Monday, August 28, 2017

Ben's 5 month update

Sitting big and tall!

So Ben is 5 months and I think this is my favorite stage so far. His big accomplishment this month is sitting up on his own and he loves the independence. He has hit a new level and maturity and is learning to self-entertain which is awesome for this Mama. We're cloth diapering in an apartment with community washer/dryer so I wash all his diapers in a camper washing machine. I like to let them sun dry which means they have to be done first thing in the morning. This kid is so wonderful and joyful so I can get my work done and then we play the rest of the day.

He is also so much more interactive which is a blast and he seems to be learning something new each day. Today I went in to get him up from his nap and he had turned over onto his stomach! On the subject of sleeping we've finally figured out naps and almost figured out a bedtime routine which makes our lives 1 million times better. (Would you be interested in a post on how we set up sleep routines and taught self soothing? Comment below๐Ÿ˜Š)

We had a lot of adventures this last month including:
He clearly really enjoyed our hike

The crew

Going camping with my family and one of my best friends. Ben and I had to drive 4 hours each way for the trip and he traveled like a trooper!

4 generations of Green Men

We also saw my in-laws and Ben loved getting to sing and read and spend time with Grandma Green! We got to have dinner with Tim's Grandpa as well and got this great picture!

Watching the eclipse

And of course we didn't want to miss the eclipse! We joined Daddy at work to watch it. Ben was more interested in eating and sleeping hence the sleepy face :)

Baby skin for days!

Daddy's favorites: Making Ben laugh, playing with Ben in the morning, head-butting Ben

Mommy's favorites: when he smiles at anyone, when he's sleeping, and watching Ben and Daddy play together.

Ben's favorites- sitting up, his spoon, his duck

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ben's 4 month update

I know, I know, I'm late. But to be honest the older he gets the less time I seem to have and it has been a busy month. But here's the update! He's starting gumming like crazy and has started his 4 month sleep regression so one of our hardest months yet but he's handling it like a trooper. He talks a lot now and loves to sing and has started being able to entertain himself on his play mat.

He's so cute! Both my hubby and my son๐Ÿ˜‰

Adventures of the 4th month:
We took our first flying trip to go with Daddy to Atlanta for a work conference then to Louisiana to visit Ben's great grandmother (my dad's mom). And if I can brag for a minute my baby did amazing. It was just him and I for the flight flight (we were meeting Tim in Atlanta) and I was a little nervous trying to fly with a infant and all our luggage and a stroller. But honestly he was amazing. 

He spent some of the time in the airport people-watching.
This was my baby the whole flight!

My cute little family

So maybe it wasn't the smartest idea to go so far south in July because it was hot with a capital H! Whew. We did go to the Atlanta aquarium while we were in town, Ben slept on and off most of the time but he was awake enough to have a HUGE blowout diaper at the aquarium, which was very exciting. NOT! However I think my favorite part was watching my husband carry around my son and slow down to just point out bright colored fish or wait while Ben tracked the movement of a jellyfish. I love watching their relationship grow and strengthen. Ben has changed us both for the better and he teaches us something about ourselves everyday.

After Atlanta the 3 of us flew to Louisiana to meet up with my family and visit my dad's family. I've been wanting to share Louisiana with Tim since we started dating. We stayed down in Houma and visited with family. Ben got to meet his great grandmother and it was such a beautiful experience. Life is so precious and it was a humbling experience to watch my grandmother hold my son. We got a picture of the 4 generations (Great Grandmother, Papa, Mama, Baby Boy) but I can't seem to find it so you'll just have to imagine ๐Ÿ˜‰

We ate a lot! Po-boys, beignets, lots and lots of seafood! We also went to New Orleans for a day and adventured. We walked around the French Quarter, ate a Cafe-Du-Monde. We took a moment in the Catherdral. We explored the French Market where we (you guessed it) ate more food. Finally we went to Blaine Kern Mardi Gras World where they build the floats for Mardi Gras. They also build the Chick-Fil-A Cows there which I think is pretty neat! It was a wonderful adventure with my family and Ben loved all the attention.

Sleepy baby
My dad, brother and son at the Market.

Ben can't seem to figure out who is Mommy and who is Auntie

Mardi Gras World!

Daddy's favorites:
His hugs
How strong he's getting
When he smiles at strangers

Mama's favorites:
His laugh
Watching him discover the world
When he acts shy

Ben's favorites:
His toes!
Being naked
Chewing on fingers...anyone's fingers.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ben's 3 month update!

Ben is already a quarter of a year old! He is growing so fast. He truly is an beautiful gift. He started smiling and cooing this month. He squeals when he's happy and it's the best! He sleeps through the night which Mama and Daddy love and he loves when people talk to him.

Exciting Times in Ben's Life this month:

I've been loving all the sun and the warmth because I get all kinds of baby skin! We love sitting on our porch and soaking up the sun. So the last several days this had been my view! :)

Lovin' the sun

We've had an exciting month. Grandma Lovey and Funcle came to visit for almost 2 weeks and he loved it! I had to work full time to wrap up a project so they stayed with Ben during the day, he loved all the attention and play time. Just looks how he looks at his Lovey.

There's a small smile hidden there

We went to the zoo over the weekend and Funcle carried around Ben like the great Uncle he is. We wet a light blanket to keep him cool and he was a happy camper. Kinda  looks like St. Joseph and Baby Jesus right?

Daddy's Favorites:
Making Ben smile
Finding new tickle spots
Cuddling Ben

Mommy's Favorites:
Ben's face of wonder
Listening to him talk
Singing with Ben
All the cute faces and smiles

Ben's Favorites:
Kicking things
Facing the world
His Duckie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My labor story (pt 2.)

Welcome back for part 2 of my labor story! Hopefully part 1 was helpful and not too scaring.

So after meeting our nurse I labored for an hour or so on my own in the shower before deciding to get Nitric-Oxide (laughing gas). I breathed this in during each contraction to take the edge off. If you are hoping to do a natural birth I would recommend this. It was really helpful for the majority of my labor. Because Baby was posterior I couldn't labor laying down so I labored on the ball most of the time, a little while on my side in the bed and in the shower again. The contractions in the bed lying on my side were the worst, they seemed to effect my whole body. Our nurse Angie came in for a while during these horrible contractions and massaged my back to try and give me some relief. Tim kept working on my back during each contraction and even during the pauses the back pain was pretty bad. Towards the end of this stage of labor I was breathing in so hard on the Nitric-Oxide I couldn’t tell if I was high on the pain or the meds. Finally around 10:30 P.M. I started to realize that the Nitric-Oxide was working anymore and I got pretty emotional. I got checked and still had only dilated to a 6 but I was 100% effaced. They started trying to encourage me to break my water but informed me that since this was my first baby the contractions would intensify and become more frequent but it might not speed up my labor at all. This made me very nervous knowing that I could hardly handle the pain as it was and I could potentially have up to 9 more hours of labor (5 hours of labor after my water broke and 4 hours of pushing possibly). I really wanted to have a natural birth but I felt that was slipping away from me.

I decided to not break my water but I needed more help with the pain so I got a dose of Staydol. I was told that while Staydol stayed in your system for 4 hours it really only helped for 90 minutes and you couldn’t get any other medication for 2 hours. The Staydol put me in a weird dream state for most of the 90 minutes. I could feel the strong contractions but it was like having contractions while I was asleep and they didn't really hurt. Tim said that my response time was really slow while I had the Staydol. Unfortunately the worst part  of the Staydol was the 30 minutes between when the Staydol wore off and before I could have any other medication. These contractions were so intense. I couldn't focus on anything else. After my 30 mins were up I had Nitric-Oxide again. At this point it was 12:30 P.M. I had been in labor for over 24 hours at this point and active labor for 12 hours. I had not dilated any further. My OBGYN discussed with me that labor was not progressing and I was slowly wearing out. I needed to seriously consider breaking my water. I realized that I could not handle worse contractions without more medical aid so I decided to get an epidural and have them break my water. I felt really discouraged because I had waited so long and wanted to have a natural birth. I felt like I had failed. Nurse Angie and Tim each said something that brought me a lot of comfort. Nurse Angie reminded me that I needed to have enough energy to push and that with the epidural I could sleep and get rest to push my baby out safely, if I didn't I might run the risk of needing a C-section. Tim told me that all I truly wanted was to see how far I could go and I had proved that I could go a really long time. I was really worried about getting an epidural because I had heard how big the needle was and how painful it was. However the great thing about being in labor for so long was the epidural didn’t hurt at all compared to the contractions I had been having. With the epidural I finally got some sleep and really couldn’t feel the contractions for a while. I could feel pressure but no pain.

I slept for a few hours until around 5. A.M. on Sunday morning. I started feeling like I could push so I woke Tim up and the doctor came in. Pushing was kind of a blur but this was probably the best part because I was actually working with the contractions instead of against them. They kept trying to get Baby to turn but Baby would turn 90 degrees then turn right back! I pushed about 8 times when Baby’s head starting crowning. My OBGYN asked if I wanted to feel the head! I said, "no thank you!" (Actually I think I just looked at him like he was crazy). He apparently then proceeded to make Mohawks in Baby's hair in between contractions!  I pushed a few more times and then they asked me not to push too hard for the next 2 contractions because Baby was coming! After my second push my baby slipped out sideways with his eyes open. We had a baby boy!! He was perfect and after getting all checked out and after we cuddled he nursed right away! I had 2 incisions and had to get stitched up but it was worth it. Baby Thomas Benedict was born at 6:05am on March 19th at 6lb 11oz and 22 in long.
Thomas Benedict

Tired but happy
Would I have another baby? Absolutely. I was so happy with how my pregnancy went and while my labor was very different than I imagined I did it! My baby was safely born into this world and he is perfect. So if you are expecting your first baby and you're nervous, just remember to pray and breathe. Baby will be here soon and your life will be forever changed!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My labor story (pt. 1)

I'm back! I know, I know, it's been a while since regular posting. But to be fair I didn't really start blogging until I was well and truly pregnant. So on March 19th when I gave birth to my son I didn't think it was a big deal to take a break. However I've taken time to write down my labor story so I can have the memories. I also wanted to write this post because I lived on blog labor stories before I gave birth. I'm not the type of person that is willing to go through ANY pain for ANY reward so I just got more and more nervous as I got closer to my due date. I want to write this post for those mamas.

And as my life is now focused on my son I'm going to be doing more posts about being a mama; month updates, working with a baby, balancing life and baby, balancing wife/mom roles, raising conservative kids in a liberal world, Catholic mama stuff. I'm excited for this new direction and I hope you'll join me for the ride!

So onto my labor story!

March 6th, 13 days before my due date I went to my OBGYN who told us that I was dilated to a 2! He went on to tell us that we would probably not make it to my due date and that Baby would be born in the next 7-10 days! That night Tim and I went out to celebrate thinking that this would probably be one of the last dates we would have before Baby made his/her arrival. OH HOW WRONG WE WERE!

Every day following I just kept waiting and waiting to start labor. I was one of the few lucky women who didn't really have any Braxton-Hicks so I kept thinking I was going to be eternally pregnant. Trust me every woman gets to a stage when she is just DONE being pregnant. She's tired of feeling huge and waddling around, anything would be better than this. That's when it's almost time for baby! If she doesn't feel that way yet, it's not time for baby. Just saying. You can tell from my picture that I'm feeling tired of this by now.


The following Monday we had a follow-up appointment and I was sure that I would have dilated further and been ready to go. The doctor checked me and... NOTHING! I had not dilated even a little more! I was so frustrated I almost started crying in the room. So we went back home to continue waiting around for Baby to show up. I know that you're probably thinking, "hey, you're still ahead of the curve, you're due date isn't for another week!" Yes, but once you get an idea that you're going to be early each day that gets close to due date feels like you're late. Also my doctor had been predicting that Baby would be over 8 lbs and for a small woman (I'm 5'2'') already scared of labor pain this was just terrifying to think of a late/bigger baby. My husband and I started trying a bunch of old wive's tales on getting labor started. We had heard from a friend that being intimate had started labor for her but can you imagine trying to get in the mood at 9 months pregnant.

Finally Friday night (3/17/17) my husband got home from work and I decided it was worth a shot. We had invited friends over for DnD that night and around 7 P.M. I started having more intense contractions. They were intense enough that I couldn't focus on playing a game so our friends just sat around and chatted with us to distract me from the pain. Throughout the night the contractions were intense enough and I was excited that labor was actually starting that I couldn’t sleep much. I was up most of the night getting things cleaned and ready to go in case we needed to leave for the hospital before my clothes were folded! Contractions at this point were anywhere from 13-20 min apart.

Now in all the blogs I read there was much information about how contractions felt. Wave-like was about the most information I could find. Wave-like? We are not on a beach vacation, we are pushing a small human out of a tiny hole! So how do I describe contractions? They're not insurmountable, that's the main thing. Now I don't know about you but when I smash my toe on a table it doesn't just stop hurting, it throbs! So that's what I thought contractions would be like, an intense pain followed by a throbbing pain until the next contraction hit. But honestly between contractions I may have felt tired or worn out the longer labor went but I didn't hurt. It was almost as if I didn't have any pain at all in between contractions. I understood how women could actually rest between contractions. So if you are pregnant and reading this know that you can get through it. There is something sort of encouraging about knowing there is nothing to do about it. It's going to come, it's going to be intense and then it's going to stop. And honestly the most intense pain only lasts 30 seconds or so. Another really thing that was really helpful was having my husband timing contractions. Hearing him talk me through it was so relieving. He tell me when it was peaking and when it should be finishing. He'd warn me when the next one was coming. So ladies, get your men involved!!

By Saturday morning we knew we were officially in labor! We called our families to let them know Baby Bean would be here by the end of the weekend and they all got on the road since our families all live a minimum of 8 hours away. Tim had gotten a little sleep and I had gotten even less so we were both pretty tired. By 10 A.M. I realized that while I was handling the contractions pretty well I was having pretty intense back pain that did not go away in between contractions. I wasn't able to prepare for the next contraction because of the pain and it was wearing me out really fast. A friend told me that her baby was posterior during her labor and it caused her a lot of back pain and back labor. So I started thinking my baby might be in the same position. Even though my contractions were between 3-10 min apart at this point we called my doctor because I was in so much discomfort from the back pain. We were suppose to wait until my contractions were 5 min apart for 2 hours before checking in. He told us to head into the hospital to get checked out. 

We checked into triage and they told us that I had dilated to 4 cm. and that Baby was indeed posterior. My doctor decided to admit us to try and help Baby turn even though 5 cm. is considered active labor. We got checked into our room and met our nurse Angie around 11 A.M. She told us she had just clocked on for her 12 hour shift so she would be our nurse when Baby was born. So our family was on our way, we had met the nurse who would help us through labor and delivery. We thought for sure Baby would be here before our families got here and long before Nurse Angie clocked out... (to be continued)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Baby Bean is 2 months

My sweet baby is 2 months old already!!! How did this happen? He has grown so much already and I know it's just going to get faster! He is such a sweet and happy baby and makes it so easy to love him.

Exciting events of this last month in Ben's life:

He was baptized! My son is now forever a son of the Most High King. Both of our families were here for the baptism. I had the baptism scheduled 2 months before Ben was even born to make sure our priest would be able to make it. However the week of the baptism a funeral was scheduled right at the same time as our baptism. So we rushed to make changes and got our priest to confirm the time change for 7:30 P.M. that night. He and I had also been in St. Louis all week so he was off-kilter from all the traveling. On top of that there was a miscommunication the night of the baptism. We saw our priest at 6 at Mass with our families and he asked if we were ready for the baptism. He had moved his previous engagement to 7:30 to make room for the baptism! So we called his Godparents and they rushed to the church. We didn't have time to call anyone else so when our other guests showed up at 7:30 he was already baptized.  Ben normally goes to sleep around 8. Needless to say he was not a happy camper for his baptism. My sweet baby somehow became a banshee and screamed for the whole baptism and all the way home until he went to bed. Somehow though we got some good pictures. (See below)
Thomas Benedict welcome to the church!

We celebrated my first Mother's Day! Ben woke up early so after I nursed him Tim grabbed him and they needed off on a "secret mission." They went and got me flowers, chocolate covered strawberries and made a big breakfast. Ben was mostly cut moral support. It was a wonderful Mother's Day and I felt so blessed to be able to celebrate it with the 100 year anniversary of our Lady of Fatima.

He also took his first road trip to St. Louis and back to Michigan and he did amazing! He started back to work with Mommy and normally sleeps her whole shift. The office staff loves him and I feel very blessed to have a job and co-workers that allow this to be a possibility. I can't imagine trying to leave him at a day-care. He still has lots of visitors and company and he's really good with new people holding him.

I mean come on!!

Daddy's favorites:

How big he's getting and his cute fat rolls.
Talking with Ben.
His smiles.

Mommy's Favorites:

Cuddling and singing with Ben.
Taking pictures of Ben.
Seeing the world through his eyes.

Ben's Favorites:

Jazz music.
His bouncy seat.
The morning.
Going running with Daddy.

Sweet baby!
Check back in a month for another update! Hopefully I'll have a few other posts up before then but no promises. I'm getting used to this blogging thing.

God bless!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Papa's Famous Meatball Recipe

Hi Readers!!

Today's post is a recipe!! Getting back in the kitchen to get my hands dirty! Literally. :)

My Papa is a fantastic cook. He's the type of person who can go into the kitchen and whatever comes out will be amazing and he doesn't normally follow a recipe very well! He's the best. He's inspired me to get creative with my cooking, to not worry about the how to's and the what if's but to just have fun and let my creative flag fly!

Today's recipe is his meatball recipe which is fantastic and super easy!! It's also cheap and makes a bunch, which for a grad student's wife, is a huge plus! These are great to freeze and just pop a few out at a time and they are really good on meatball subs, as well. They're also really easy to be creative!

So here's the group from the kitchen.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1:1 ratio, It's so easy!

Preheat your oven to 350. Then throw all the ingredients together!

This is everything but the breadcrumbs. It's important to finely chop the onions. These aren't quite fine enough and the meatballs don't quite stick together if they aren't finely chopped. And I might have added a little more than a tablespoon of garlic but I'm a garlic girl, what can I say? No apologies. Like I said it's hard to mess this recipe up.

Dig in and get dirty! Mix all the ingredients up by hands and roll them into small balls. Don't they look so cute?

Bake at 350 for 10 min or so depending on the size of your meatballs.
See what I said about the onion fallout? But your house will smell amazing!!

Then dish up and you're ready to serve! I'm planning on serving these at a dinner tomorrow night
so I just had to sample a couple tonight. I'll try to post a full meal picture tomorrow!

Anyway that's the recipe! The great thing is you could throw these in a crock pot uncooked for a couple hours with a sweet and sour or bbq sauce as more of an appetizer/football party dish, although I probably wouldn't do the Italian breadcrumbs for those. Or you could fry them up if you like a more crunchy outside on your meatball. You can even play with the seasoning in the meatball themselves. The options are limitless! Let your creativity flow! I'd love to hear what kinds of recipes you like to cook in the kitchen!

God bless and see you next time. :)