Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Circus Food - 01. Kicken it Kabobs


It may be easier to enjoy the perfect summer dinner on your back deck under a dusk sky with friendly neighbors and 3 kids...without the kids.

But if you share our situation and can't "debaby" yourself partly because nobody sane would willingly choose to surround themselves with 3 babies, all under 2, in a sans AC home on one of the hottest evenings of the summer without making a bagillion dollars per hour, then plan to impress your guests with a fool proof easy menu.

Also keep in mind, when you plan a dinner with lil' ones, give yourself lots of time and flexibility.  Babies are like dominoes, when one falls they all do. Felix, our friends lil' guy, was upset because the pack-n-play in an unfamiliar setting did not fool him as his bed.  Costello was upset because Felix's "unfamiliar setting" was his room.  And Dashen wanted a boob.  Hopefully mine, but with the rate he's putting on weight, likely any would suffice.

Before the days of meltdowns,  Brian and I would enjoy spending an entire afternoon planning and shopping for exquisite ingredients needed in one of the many scrumptious meals out of the pages of a William and Sonoma cookbook.  But, we are now in our baby days, and cookbooks aside and dusty, I've come to the conclusion that pretty much anything works on sticks.  Hotdogs, popsicles, marshmallows, all simple items glorified on the stick.  Our combination of top sirloin, crimini mushrooms, green and red peppers, pineapple, and onions only helped prove my "stick" theory.


Our kids are too little to build their own kabobs, but what fun these will be for the boys to make when they are older.  We had everything prepped in lil' bowls and just skewered away in our kitchen, then fired them on the BBQ for about 5 minutes.  The result...a very impressive, very easy, and very enjoyable meal.  Serve with white rice and you're good to go.

For an easy side, whip up a watermelon salad featured in this months "real simple", consisting of watermelon, torn mint leaves, sliced red onion, and salt and pepper.  I also added a touch of white balsamic vinegar to give it a bit more bite, yum.    

And the best part about kabobs, leftovers.  Lots of leftovers.  Easy "we are too tired with no time to cook" leftovers. 

Ok all this talk about food has made me hungry...must go and eat...and craving a corndog.  If only the circus was in town.  

Until next time-ABCD.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Costello Mellow & the embark on brotherhood


He's a pretty awesome and easy going kid, expect when you take away a less then child friendly toy like the fire starter, or when he's sleepy, or just waking up, or when he's hungry, or.... Ok, so maybe not very mellow, but thankfully he's totally into being a big brother which is a HUGE relief to Brian and I as we were anticipating major meltdowns, like "Hansen we have a problem" meltdowns.   

Needless to say, we are quite pleased with how Costello is handling the transition from 1-2.  With only a few set backs...including one premeditated attempt to run over Dashen with his truck, it's been relatively (pun intended) smooth.  And now with the homicide out of his system he's OBSESSED with him.  Dashen is better then his Flames hockey stick...and nothing is better then his hockey stick.  He even brings him his pacifier when he's crying.  Which is either Costello's attempt to quiet him, or comfort him... and likely a bit of both.    


Mom's transition from 1-2 however is a work in progress.  I'm attempting to figure out a routine for both babies which does not include breastfeeding Dashen every 5 minutes while Costello enjoys endless hours of Barney marathons eating untoasted pop tarts.  

But, it's Costello who is also relieving a bit of the "oh my god what we were we thinking with two under two" chaos by becoming more and more independent.  He now can get up on furniture solo.  This might not seem like a big deal, but anytime he learns an act of independence it's cause for a celebration over here.  



Except when he learned how to open the front door.  This act of independence spun off in an attempt to babysafe an original to our 1912 home double-paned glass French door and sadly there is no childproof device made for such an occasion, SHAME.

Totally unrelated, you know you are on your laptop too long when your toddler decides to play peek- a-boo behind your monitor to grab a bit of mom's undivided attention which is the impromptu game unfolding before me.  So...using Costello's cues I'm going to wrap this up.  

Until Next Time - ABCD

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

my milk runnith over

I am a mass-milking machine.  I have enough supply to not only feed Dashen, (which by the way is going wonderfully), but also set up shop as a part time mom part time "all you can eat" milk buffet.   

Unlike Costello who quenched his thirst in 10 minutes flat, Dashen is a fine diner who thoroughly enjoys taking his time.  His lackadaisical ability to latch paired with a devouring appetite pushes our feeding affair into one hour sessions.

"Mum's milk makes me sleepy"

Luckily there's Google and after wasting an hour researching, "Do you produce more milk with the second child?", I came across this article, and thought to myself, "Wow!...now that is just wrong."

Here's a lady who's trying to sell her excess breast milk.  Her 4-month old daughter has decided that mom's milk is just not for her.  So entrapraneuer mom decides why not sell it.  Does this not seem a bit odd?  I mean come on...if your own kid doesn't want to drink your milk there's no way I'm going to try to give it to my mine.  Even Craig doesn't have a list right for that.
 

I for one will not be selling, donating, or offering my homemade milk to anyone except Dashen.  I've actually come to look forward to late night feedings.  The house is quiet and we often find ourselves drifting off to sleep both completely content.  So yes, we will continue our round the clock rendezvous of feeding, burping, and changing D's dirty diapers every 5 minutes.  Yes that's right every 5 minutes.

Until next time - ABCD

Monday, July 19, 2010

Belated Beloved Birthday

"Aunt Lissy...I'm so much older then this picture now...that was sooo 2 years old ago."

And just like that another year goes by as our niece Madalyn who is now three.  Younger sis to Savannah this lil' one lives too far away, well ok only Michigan but in kid distance it's "we'll never get there" far away, for us to have made the party...tear!  But, "Princess Cuddly" in the world of "Loving" is always there to bring a smile to your face.  She's fearless like her mother and last to cry when the bumps and bruises come.

It was so easy on Star Trek.  Just a lil' rub on that ol' shiny badge thing they all wore and BAMM! insta-transport.  If only traveling to see distant loved ones was such a simple "beam me up" command away.  We'd be on that space carriage so often that elite status with umpteen frequent flier miles would be a given.  Back in the world of nonbeaming our means of staying connected though emails and phone calls fall short on big day events such as birthdays.  Madalyn, if we could be there to see you more we would...just know we are thinking of you, miss you greatly, and love you even more.

Wishing you the happiest year number three ever!
All our Love- ABCD 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

two weeks of sleepless baby love

They are down.

Two babies both asleep.

A rare event in our household.  I suppose this is my short window to nap and attempt to offset my extreme fatigue.  Or I could use this time to straighten up the house, make the bed, toss some clothes in the laundry, clean up Costello's morning mess.  There's a million things I could and should be doing, but I've decided instead to eat a hearty filled breakfast of chocolate chip cookies and blog.  Yes in that order, these are my morning priorities.  Oh, it's past  noon...correction these are my afternoon priorities.

There's been a few times during the past two weeks aftermath of brining home a newborn where I've felt things have come together relatively well. There's even been outings.  It's Stampede time here in Calgary.  Last week I managed to recall Sunday was Family Day, free admission to the Stampede grounds for all those who arrive before 9:00am, and successfully with the help of Brian and my parents we got the boys there in time.

I'm ready for the Stampede Mum...

But...

1.  We entered around 8:58, failed to make the line for the free breakfast, and I had packed no food.

2.  Shortly after arriving, my right boob exploded with breast milk visible to all on my shirt.

However we were there and breast milk shirt and all I felt empowered.  Empowered as a new mom out of the house  with  her "boys".  People kept coming up to us and saying things like "I can't believe you made it here" and how "brave" we were...blah blah.  Really? Really???  I mean, It's not like this act of going out with a new baby is worthy of a purple heart people.  Four adults, who successfully packed two babies into a car to drive less then 4 miles down the street with 5 hours of prep time does not really qualify as brave to me.

yes, there's baby in there

However in their defense...something is shocking about a 10 day old baby.  You so quickly forget how small they are.  All wrinkled skin, floppy, and fragile.  It does seem like we should place our newborns in a protective glass bubble until they are at least holding their lil' heads with chubby cheeks up high.

hey...who you callin' fragile?

Speaking of chubby I need to grab a few more chocolate chip cookies, and Costello is now stirring in his crib.  Looks like my blogging window is now closing.

Until next time - ABCD    

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Birth Story of Dashen Lloyd

Wednesday June 30th, actual due date.  Brian and I checked ourselves into the hospital roughly 24 hours prior with little labor progress made.  Wednesday however was a whirlwind.  Around 9:00am, Dr. "Get Er Done" came to check my lack of progress and decided to take different direction.

The plan:  Insert a catheter up there, inflate it with 20 mm. of fluid to instantly open the flood gates.  Nothing says having a baby like jamming a water balloon up the ol' mother ship.  Once water balloon is in place Dr. would then start oxytocin, another more aggressive inducing drug, to bring on contractions.

The contractions became stronger - closer together around 3:00pm.  I asked for the epi shortly after.  Our anesthesiologist, who looked old enough to be attending senior prom with a current day Doogie Howser, was in and out in no time flat and I had some relief, numb from the waist down, to endure a bit more.

Let's call this the calm before the storm.  Remember our lil' one has floppy head, meaning baby unborn's head is moving around unengaged in my pelvis.  The plan's intent was to use the drugs to induce contractions which would force baby unborn head down.  This was not happening.  As each contraction intensified baby unborn became more and more distressed.  Heart rate was dipping lower and lower and lil' unborn was still too high to deliver.  At one point, following a very long and painful contraction, joining us in our room were 2 nurses, 1 resident, 1 head mum nurse, and an anxiously paged Dr. all looking at the baby monitor's dipping heart rate with concern.   Low heart rate = parent panic.

Dr. Get Er Done examined me only to find a hand making it's way out and called off the plan...moving forward with Plan C-esarian.  What started as an,  I'll see you in the OR in 20 minutes so take some time to digest what you just learned and compose yourself,  turned into we are delivering the baby NOW.  Brian had made just one call to family members with the update and bam my water broke.  The next bit is all hazy so bare with me. We were rushed down the hall and entered a cold surgical room.  Lots of peeps were here but I only had eye's for the VIP's - Husband, Dr. Ger Er Done, Monique our nurse who had been with us all day, and the drug lady who started loading all sorts of meds, (20 cc's of this, 30 cc's of that, 10 cc's of this...)  into my epi drip.  Focusing on Brian's hand as he held on to mine tight and we waited...waited...waited...longest 2 minutes of our lives, and then there it was the sound of our beautiful boy screaming his first breaths of air.



"It's over.  He's here.  Everything is going to be OK"


The first few moments of life with a new baby are a wonderful time full of emotions and uncapped love.  It wasn't until the drugs wore off that I really had a chance to realize that I had just given birth to someone who isn't Costello...a new baby, a little brother, a younger son....our beautiful boy Dashen Lloyd Hansen.


We are a million times blessed.



With all our love - ABC and for the first time D.      
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