Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Trenches

Ruthie is a month old already!! The time has gone by so fast! She is doing really good, and we are settling into more of a routine for our day to day. The sleep deprivation is definitely taking its toll with being up 2-3 times a night for feedings. She is doing better at getting more efficient in eating quicker and not falling asleep for the feeding, but sometimes it is hard to get her back to sleep.
Maddy and I have gotten back to doing school, and it has gone pretty well. We usually get started about an hour later than we used to, but Ruth usually takes a pretty good morning nap, so we can do school during that time. Maddy has been a huge help in holding Ruth (an extra set of hands really helps!), getting stuff I need around the house, helping with Judah, and being flexible with school and other things. She has actually been doing really great with her school, reading and spelling better, and sometimes she even gets to do some schoolwork while holding the baby!
Judah just loves loving on the baby. He is quite rough, and his forms of love are often a little overwhelming to the baby! But he loves holding her, shushing her, kissing her, and hugging her! He is a good big brother!
I think this is the hardest time when you add a new baby. It is also some of the most precious time. You are still getting into a routine, the baby is figuring out how to sleep on their own, take naps, and fall into a feeding schedule, you are exhausted around the clock, and it seems like there is little time to get things done around the house. I feel like most of my day is spent holding/rocking the baby while doing other things one-handed. Which can often be challenging. Thank goodness I have a 5 year old who can really help with Judah and other things around the house. I don't know how people do it with all little babies to take care of! God certainly knew what I could handle!!

So even though I feel overwhelmed at this point, I know it will settle down and into more of a routine. I know that someday I will get more than 4 hours of sleep at a time, and hopefully Ruth will have her set naps and wake/sleep times worked out in the next few weeks!! In the meantime, we are enjoying her!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

It took me a little while to find a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that I loved. I did have one by Giada de Laurentis that had almond extract in it, and that one was pretty good as well. But once I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, I have stuck with it ever since!! It makes the best cookies, and you just can't resist them! They don't stick around my house too long! And I have found that when I make extra cookies and freeze them so I can have some for "later" or "longer," that I realized I love frozen cookies, and they definitely don't make it any longer!! In fact, they probably go faster because I love them so much!! Enjoy!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until blended. With wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on two ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking.

Remember to adjust the cooking time based on your oven. My oven is really fast so it only takes about 8-9 minutes or else I burn these!! And they always say to use room temperature ingredients, like the eggs and butter, to make the best cookies!! Happy Baking!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our New Normal

Moments after birth. The first time I saw her.

Well, it was a rough road with a last minute C-section, but it was all worth it to have our precious, perfect, healthy baby girl. I wanted to share some pictures with you all, especially if you haven't seen them on Facebook! We are doing well, especially the recovery. Everyday is better and I feel stronger and less pain. It's pretty crazy how quickly your body can bounce back after surgery!

Our little peanut.

Ruth has had her days/nights a bit mixed up, as they often do, so sleeping has been here and there lately. It's hard to get her to fall asleep for the night until about 12/1 in the morning, which makes for one tired momma! But this too shall pass. Once we can get her more on a schedule, hopefully she will go down for the night a little earlier!! At her 2 week appointment, she was back up to her birth weight, so I don't have to set an alarm to wake her up and feed her anymore at night. She wakes up herself to eat!

Judah with little sister. He loves her and it is so funny to hear him talk baby talk to her, and he's only 2!! He will jump up on the couch and put a pillow in his lap and say "hold her" and pretty much demand it! And he narrates whatever Ruthie is doing. He'll say "eating" or "feed her" when she cries, or "crying." It's pretty cute. He even pulled his shirt up the other day and said "I feed her." We're still working on that! This is all new to him!
Maddy is completely enamored with Ruth. She always wants to sit next to her, hold her, touch her, hold her hand, see her, etc. She just can't stand to not be around her! She has gotten pretty good at holding her and rocking her, though she is getting a little confident and thinking she can move her around or change positions while holding her! She makes me a little nervous sometimes! But she has been a big helper with Ruth and Judah. The other day she even managed to change one of Judah's wet diapers!! I wouldn't have allowed it, but she already threw his diaper out, and managed to get another one on with a little guidance!!
Even Judah has been helping to throw diapers away, turn on the bouncer, and "shush" Ruth when she is crying!

We love Ruth and are adjusting to having a new member of the family! Tad has worked with a friend doing a side job, so I have gotten a taste of having all 3 kids by myself! I even took them out by myself twice yesterday! It's a little crazy! And with such a lack of sleep, it makes it harder to deal with the ordinary, everyday stuff! We started back to school yesterday, and Maddy is doing well adjusting to that again! This is our new normal; we are so blessed with our 3 beautiful children! I know we don't deserve these blessings, but are so thankful that God has entrusted these beautiful children to us!! Thank you, God!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweet Baby Ruth

We are so blessed to have Ruth Aleya in our lives!! She was born last Tuesday, February 28, at 3:21 pm. She was 7 lbs, 3 oz, and 20 inches long!! It has been a crazy recovery process as I ended up having an unplanned c-section. But it's been a little over a week and I'm doing a lot better!
I was scheduled to be induced last Tuesday morning, and was hoping to go completely natural, meaning no kind of pain killers, since my last 2 labors ended up having complications because of the epidural. Well, I labored until about 6-7 cm dilated and was getting weary of the pain and wanted something to help. Tad didn't want me to regret getting another epidural, so I ended up having them put a narcotic into my iv, which I never wanted to do because of the effects it could have on the baby, but I think I was a little desperate for some relief and the nurses were telling me that the baby could do the same things without the narcotic, and they monitor the baby the whole time. So right after I got that I felt unconscious until a contraction came. I could feel it pretty strong, but not as bad. But right after that my doctor said that I was losing too much blood, my blood pressure was dropping, and my pulse was too fast, so she highly recommended I get an epidural in case I needed a quick c-section, otherwise I would be completely knocked out. So after all that, and hoping I would go completely natural, I ended up getting a narcotic, quickly followed by an epidural, and right after that she said she needed to do a c-section! Totally unplanned!
My first 2 were regular deliveries, so I didn't really know what I was in for! And it was a good thing they chose to take that precaution and get a c-section because I ended up having a partial placenta abruption where my placenta was starting to prematurely detach from the uterine wall, and if it does it completely before the baby is born, then the baby can't breath at all, and it is very dangerous for the mother/baby. So it could have been a lot more serious and dangerous, but they quickly delivered her via c-section and she was perfectly healthy, and so was I! Praise God! I didn't even realize how serious it was until later when the nurses told me what happened and explained what it was.
I'm not gonna lie, the recovery process from a c-section is pretty painful. It was my first surgery and I had heard about what it was like, but now my hat's off to those who have had c-sections! It hurts!
But besides all that, we are so blessed to have our little bundle of joy! Tad's mom watched Maddy and Judah for the few days we were in the hospital, and the sweet time that Tad and I had with our 3rd baby was precious. I love watching Tad love on Ruth, spoil her, and he never will send our babies to the nursery! He always wants them right with us in the room! It's always a special time with just Tad and our newest baby!
My family (my parents and grandparents) just spent the week with us when we got home from the hospital, and that was special time as well! It was sad to see them go yesterday!!
So now, we are starting our "new normal." Tad still has another week off from work, which has been such a blessing, and we are adjusting to 3 kids! I had them all by myself last night for the first time! I was a little nervous, but it went okay! I just have to keep Maddy and Judah occupied when I have to feed Ruth!
So my blogging might be a little here and there for the next few weeks, or months, but I will try to keep you all updated on how we are doing! And of course share my favorite recipes with you all!

As soon as my computer will cooperate with Blogger I will upload some more pictures!!