Thursday, March 29, 2012

Laugh of the day

Walter has not been feeling swell. At first I thought it was because he hasn't napped in several days, but last night he went to bed at 5:50 and slept until 7 am. He had a fever today and a goopy eye that got redder throughout.  When we got home from dropping Dean off at school and the grocery store, he passed out at 10:30 am. He ended up having pink eye and a sinus infection poor guy. 

Anyway, tonight at dinner Matt was trying to get some food in him and he said, "Do you want me to feed you Walter?"  Walter's response was, "No. You don't have boobs." HAHA.

(This picture's from January but I never posted it. Just more proof of his love of drawing on anything but paper.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Smiles at 6 weeks

I'm pretty sure that Edward is my earliest smiler. On Sunday we saw a few glimmers of smiles and on Monday and today we saw some real smiles. So fantastic. And as a follow up on my Tupler thing...2 weeks in and my stomach is measuring 3 in. smaller (could be due to just time passing) and my diastasis has gone from a 6 finger gap to a 4. The splint gets a little annoying at times, bunching up and with the weather warming up it is toasty.  But it seems to be helping, so I'll continue. I have been getting better at my running. Since I can't really do much distance during the week due to time constraints, I've been working on speed.  I have been keeping my time between 8-8:15 min/mi. repeating for up to 3.5 miles.  My longest run yet was a 6 miler and I kept my speed around 9 min. for that. I have been really pleased with my progress. I'm now running faster than I was before I got pregnant. Not bad for 6 weeks postpartum. I really love this vaginal birth recovery. With my c-sections I don't think I started running again for about 5 months! Though, truth be told, I wasn't as dedicated to running then as I am now. I found with Walter that it really helped restore my sanity so I started back as soon as I could this time around. It seems to help! Gives me a little "me" time.

Stripy twins!

My attempt to get their size comparisons. Kind of a fail. =)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Multitasking at its best

"Walter, did you sleep or just play during your nap?" "I sleeped while I played. I just didn't close my eyes."

Classic. I wish I could do that.

Monday, March 19, 2012

100 Percent Whole Wheat Loaf

I have been making all of our sandwich bread for the last 2 years or so. I used to use LuAnn's whole wheat bread recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe that produced 4 (1 lb.) loaves at at time.  It was really good, but I realized that it was just too much for my 6 quart kitchen aid and was burning out my motor. I now use a recipe tweaked from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion cookbook. It makes a larger loaf (make sure you have the right size pan!) and I actually like the final product better than the other recipe. My favorite pans to use for the King Aurthur loaves are the Chicago Metallic Commercial 1 1/2 lb. loaf pans. They really make a difference in the crust not getting too hard or browned.  Every time I make bread I make 2 loaves, 1 in my kitchen aid and 1 in my bread maker on dough setting. The bread maker almost always gets my loaves a little lighter and fluffier and have a shorter rise time by about 20 min.

100 Percent Whole Wheat Loaf - Yields 1 (1.5 lb) loaf
1 1/2 C (12 oz--I always weigh this one) warm water
3 Tbs olive oil
5 Tbs honey, molasses, or maple syrup (I prefer honey. I've tried them all plus agave and honey is the best to me)
3 1/2 C whole wheat flour (I use fresh ground white wheat that I grind in my Fidibus 21 grain mill)
1 Tbsp gluten
2 tsp dough conditioner (This is KEY to an amazing loaf. And not all dough conditioners/enhancers are created equally. I buy mine on Amazon since I can't find it in stores here. Shirley J's dough conditioner is horrible. FYI.)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used to use dry active but have switched over to instant. I too buy this on Amazon in bulk and store in my fridge/freezer)

For the bread maker:
  1. Put all ingredients in machine in order and select dough. 
  2. After it's finished (about 1 hour 20 min.), take it out and shape the dough to fit your greased pan. 
  3. Cover the pan loosely with greased/sprayed plastic wrap and let sit until it's 1-2 in. above the side of your pan. If you let it rise too long at this point it will collapse on you when it's baking and/or cooling.

For the kitchen aid/mixer:
  1. Put all the ingredients in the mixer and combine with the paddle until it forms a shaggy dough. Turn off the mixer and LET THE DOUGH REST FOR 20 min.  It makes a difference. It gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquids. 
  2. Turn it on to knead with the dough hook for 15-20 min. You can knead by hand, but it will be a denser, smaller loaf.
  3. Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl for 1 hour or until double.  If it's extra cold in my house, I turn my oven on to warm, turn it off and let the bowl sit in the warm oven with the door cracked. I don't have to do that in the spring/summer.
  4. When shaping the loaf, I spray my table/counter (rather than flour), dump the dough out and gently deflate any large bubbles. I make it into a thick rectangle, a little longer than the size of the bread pan. I gently roll/shape the loaf into a log, seal the edge, and fold under and seal the sides. I put into a greased pan.
  5. Cover the pan loosely with greased/sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until it's 1-2 in. above the side of your pan. If you let it rise too long at this point it will collapse on you when it's baking and/or cooling. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350*. Bake the bread for 18 min., tent it with foil, and bake another 18 min.  Remove from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool on a rack.  It slices better once it's cooled, but it's oh so delicious when it's warm.
Tips for slicing and storage: To keep my slices relatively even, I use a canning lid ring as my guide for each slice and use a good bread knife.  I cut it all up the night that I make it and freeze in gallon ziploc freezer bags, sucking as much air out as possible when I zip it. That way I can take out 1 or 2 slices at a time rather than have to use the whole loaf in a day or two. It thaws really well just sitting out, but you can also nuke it for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's day didn't quite go as planned. I had hoped to do some fun crafts and things with the boys, but Dean started getting sick last night (though I thought he was just tired). He kept complaining about his legs being too tired to walk and he woke up in the night saying his stomach hurt. I thought it was because he was hungry since he only took his one obligatory bite of dinner. This morning he woke up happy as can be. He said his stomach felt a lot better, but he didn't drink his morning milk and he didn't want breakfast right away. He said he was going to take care of Edward and got a blanket and laid down next to his chair on the floor. After that it went down hill. He had a fever of 101* and was just plain not feeling well. I let him just veg on the couch watching Curious George and Bob the Builder most of the day. I never even changed them out of their PJs.

He felt better after having some Tylenol and he even managed to get down a whole green (spinach) waffle. We were able to make our "leprechaun candy" aka sour patch grapes aka grapes rolled in lime jello powder and chilled. They were so yummy! The boys had a lot of fun. After that we tried having lunch, but he was only able to eat 1 saltine cracker. I went and got him Gatorade and by the time I got back he was so hot looking. He kept complaining about his eyes being hot. His fever was back so I gave him some ibuprofen. He asked me to carry him to his bed so he could take a nap since his legs were hurting too much to walk. He seemed to feel better when he woke up, but by the time bed rolled around I could tell he was feeling poorly again poor boy.

Edward was a good boy. He basically slept, ate, and hung out pretty well all day. I think he's pretty close to smiling. He's such a little cutie pie.During one of his naps I got a 6.17 mi. run in today. That was pretty awesome. I even kept the pace under 9 min. miles. The last time I ran that particular route was the day I found out I was pregnant with Edward. On an aside, Walter has been calling Edward "Edward Von Drake" a lot lately as in Professor Von Drake (Donald Duck's uncle) from Mickey Mouse. It makes Dean mad every time he says it. "HIS NAME IS NOT EDWARD VAN DRAKE! IT'S EDWARD STEED!!!"

I didn't do anything amazing for dinner. Pork chops and zucchini/carrot patties (my zucchini was kind of small so I added a grated carrot to make up for it even though the recipe didn't call for it.) and a green salad. The veggie patties were really yummy, but the boys each just at their obligatory bites of each thing. Of course. I did make some bread since we were out, and before bed I let Walt have a slice of warm fresh bread. Oh it is so yummy. I make some fabulous soft, pillowy whole wheat bread if I do say so myself. I honestly can't stand to have store bought bread anymore unless I really, really don't have the time/energy to make some.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The big brothers - fears, tears, and fun

I FINALLY got to the hospital to do Edward's PKU blood work yesterday (I was supposed to do it by 2/21). It took 1.5 hours of waiting to get into the lab! I was so glad one of my friends was watching the other 2 boys. This morning I took Dean and Walt in to LabCorp to do long overdue blood work as well. I have been dreading it. Walt went first while Dean watched him scream and cry. Dean's eyes nearly popped out of his head as he watched them stick the needle into Walt. I kept trying to get him to look at me instead and sing ABC's to try and help distract Walt, but his eyes kept going back to the needle. When it was Dean's turn, he kicked and screamed, and cried, but luckily his went quickly. As it was nearly finished he stopped crying and said, "That's not so bad." He even said, "I liked it." and "I was a brave boy!" as we were leaving. The nurses and the people in the waiting room were cracking up at his commentary afterward. I promised them a special treat if they were good, and so afterward we got ice cream (it HAD to be chocolate according to Dean) and cones. I tried taking them to Dairy Queen since they've never been, but because he insisted on chocolate ice cream I tried going to Baskin Robins, but they weren't open yet. I ended up just getting some from Tom Thumb since I didn't want to drive around any more!  They were happy about it and it resulted in a nice, sticky mess. I was glad it was a nice day outside so they could eat it out there instead of in my house!


One day Dean wanted to paint on canvas like the paintings I did, but since I didn't have canvas I covered some cardboard with freezer paper to make them a "canvas". Walt went to town with the color mixing and then decided he needed to paint himself. Right after I took these pictures, he painted all over his legs. This kid loves to paint and draw on everything he is not supposed to! He drew all over my desk in pen this morning and he has on more than one or two or three occasions drawn on our kitchen tile with crayons and markers. Thank heavens for the magic erasers! I actually still have green pen on my computer monitor from him.

Dean's preschool had a "hoedown" last week. They put on a little program where they said the United States and TX pledges -yes, there really is a TX pledge. So weird.- (Dean got to hold the flag), they sang some cowboys songs and some Texas songs, and then they had a little lunch of cornbread and chili that they helped make.  I dressed Walt in an "alien" shirt (ok, it's really a monster shirt) so they could be my version of cowboys and aliens. =) We borrowed a hat and boots from friends and he wore a 2 T plaid shirt. haha. I had to roll up the sleeves since they were too small for him. It worked.

Dean has recently turned into a little worrier. It mainly started when he turned 4. I remember reading him a Halloween book or a book about monsters and it totally freaked him out.  He started worrying about shadows in his room and for a long time he required we put a crib mattress on the rocker chair in his room to block something scary from his view when he went to bed.  When my parents brought the boys to Denton to see me in the hospital, it really freaked Dean out. He was so worried about going so far from home, and when they couldn't find the L&D immediately he just kept telling them that they just needed to go home.   The last two nights he's come out after we left his room to tell me I needed to stay in there because he was scared. Last night I had a special prayer with him that he would be safe, told him to think about the fun things we did that day and the fun things we were going to do the next day, and that he'd be fine. Tonight after I said a "special prayer" with him for peace, safety and comfort, he still wanted me to come back in and say another special prayer.  I told him that Heavenly Father hears us and we just have to have faith that he'll answer our prayers and that we can always have a prayer in our hearts.

Way back in January, Walter was playing with play dough and covered his new sun glasses, put them on, and started walking around saying, "I can't see anything! I can't see!" It was pretty hilarious. He knew he was being a little joker. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

1 month postpartum

A reminder of what I looked like 1 month ago...
I feel sane. I honestly feel like I am going to be able to handle this. Yes, there are times my kids drive me crazy. Yes, the "terrible 2's" are sometimes an issue with Walt. But I have felt so blessed.  So, so, so blessed.

After I had Walter I felt very, very lonely. I felt very isolated from my family and didn't feel like I had many friends to call on for support. My c-section recovery didn't help any at all, especially since I had an under 2 year old that I couldn't pick up.

1 month postpartum (Wearing the splint I talk about below)
This time, however, I have felt an amazing outpouring of love from the people in my church ward, friends, neighbors, FB friends, and the ICAN support group. I had someone volunteer to bring us dinner every night the first week my parents were gone. I also had 3 different people ask to take my 2 older kids for a couple of hours that first week as well so I could get some rest.  I have felt mostly happy and in control with very little crazy.  After Walter I honestly felt like crazy Celia was in the driver's seat the first 6 months!!!

Edward has been just about as fantastic as a baby can be. He by far has been my best sleeper up to this point. He has his night and days right, and he goes for 3-5 hour stretches at night without feeding.  It took me months and lots of tears (mine and baby's) and sleep training to get my other boys to that point (though all three had their nights and days right. They just woke up more frequently to nurse. Or maybe I was just too jumpy to pick them up. Or a little of both.) His biggest problem comes while nursing when he's extra hungry. No matter what position I have him in, he sucks in lots of air when he's really hungry. He doesn't do it toward the end of a feeding, mainly because he slows down I think.  The air gets trapped way down and makes him painfully gassy at times.

I started running again 2 weeks after I had Edward.  I have to admit it was a little harder than I expected. I thought it would be super easy to get under 9 min. miles, but I've been sitting right there at 9 working my hardest. I have to keep reminding myself that that was the pace I was running at my best before I had him. I have set a goal to get to 7.5 min. repeatable miles, but that is going to be a few months down the road. I have had one short 2 mi. run at 8.5 min. miles.  My goal is to get some sort of run in 3-4 times a week. That's a hard feat since I can't take Edward in the jogger yet and I have 3 kids instead of 2. I have gone in the morning before Matt goes to work and once at night.

I have also decided to really take my tummy seriously this time around. It honestly was my favorite physical feature before I had babies, and I have never gotten it back to flat. Through friends I found out about something called diastasis recti, which is totally my problem since I have consistently weighed less after each pregnancy but never can get a flat stomach. What that means is my abs have separated and have never come back together, so my internal organs press out on my belly resulting in a poochy stomach. At the largest separation, my muscles are 6 finger widths separated! Anything over 2 is considered diastasis recti. So, I am trying a system called the Tupler Technique to try and "recti"fy my problem. =) Today is my first real day of the program, though I've worn the splint 2 days and honestly think I've already seen some improvement with that and the exercises. I took pictures so I can see what sort of progress I will make over the next weeks and months. I am determined.  Unfortunately I will have the stretched out skin since my belly gets so huge, but if I can get that gap closed and my stomach flat, I will be happy.

These are more or less 1 month postpartum.  Sorry if these pictures offend anyone, but I really wanted to have an "uncensored" before and after just to see if my money was well spent! I got a bit of a farmer's burn today at the park, so that's kind of funny.

I had to concentrate really hard to not suck in at all for this picture. In my defense, though, I never appear quite this big because I'm used to "holding it in". Even at my skinniest pre-baby days I could relax my stomach to a poochy look.

Sucking in the very most that I can. Definitely room for improvement.

Front view. Again, concentrating on not sucking in!

Sucking in.

Wearing the Tupler splint. This is supposed to be worn night and day until the gap closes.

It gets a little bunched up throughout the day from bending and moving around, and I have to periodically redo it

Monday, March 05, 2012

The first two weeks in pics

I figured I'd put up some pics of the first two weeks I haven't gotten around to posting yet. 

When I was in the hospital, my mom asked the boys what they thought the baby was going to be named. I can't remember if it was Dean or Walter, but one of them said he should be named Building Block Brasfield. They were cracking up so hard when they told me that at the hospital the first time they met him.  Walter still occasionally calls him Edward Building Block Brasfield. A cute thing Dean had been saying was "I love, love, love, love the newest member of our family."  The boys really have done quite well so far adjusting to having him. It's definitely been easier for me to adjust to 3 than it was to 2! He's gotten an occasional poke in the eye, and Walter really likes to steal his pacifier, but overall they've been really good with him.

Matt's classic leg hold at the computer.

The dimples! LOVE!

With Grandpa Waterman

Incredibly difficult getting everyone to smile at the same time!