Month: April 2008

Baby Tracker form

At the hospital, we got a sheet of paper with a little chart for keeping track of how often the baby was fed and how many wet/dirty diapers the baby had. Naturally, not too long after we got home, I had to create my own version of the form! (Well, and their form only had room for tracking six days.)

Especially when breastfeeding, it’s important to keep track of wet and dirty diapers because sometimes that’s the only way you know if your baby is getting enough to eat, since breasts don’t come with handy measuring marks on the side. The form that I’ve designed has space to keep track of when you feed the baby, what side the baby feeds on and how long, how many wet/dirty diapers are generated, and some extra space for notes.

Click the screenshot for a larger view.

Download

I have two downloads — one specifically for the first six days of a newborn’s life, with the number of expected feedings, wet diapers, and dirty diapers, and a generic one that can be filled out for days 6-28.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

How to use

  • Fill out the date.
  • For the generic form, you can write in the number of days old that your baby is.
  • In the timeline, write the time that you start feeding.
  • In the “feeding” bar, write how many minutes the baby ate. If breastfeeding, you can specify which side the baby ate with a “L” or “R” for left/right.
  • Keep track of how many wet and dirty diapers are generated. I use “W” and “D”, you can use whatever shorthand you want!
  • The “notes” area can be used for whatever you want. I’ve been using it to note how long the baby sleeps as well as times when he is especially fussy.

Welcome, baby!

Steven Jacob Haffly

Steven Jacob Haffly was born on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 9:13 pm. He was 9 lbs, 2 oz, and 21.5 inches long.

Steve, Steven, and I are all back home and doing well! Cooking, cleaning, organizing, goal-achieving, working, and blogging have all fallen by the wayside, but I hear that’s pretty normal. My only goals for May’s Groundhog Resolution Review day will be to 1) spend time with my family, 2) get back into a routine and 3) get back to work!

I’m not sure how much information to include in this post about labor, delivery, the baby, etc. So feel free to ask questions in the comments!

As is expected of any new, doting, parents, we are taking hundreds of pictures which you may view at Flickr. Below are some of my favorites…

Nutmeg isn’t a big cat, but she looks gigantic next to Steven. Please also carefully note the paw on the head.

Nutmeg and Steven

Looking around at the big new world:

Steven in car seat

Steven has furry hobbit ears (and a very furry back, as well):

Steven's ears

My two favorite boys:

Steven and Steve

CSA box: Leeks, chard, arugula, and more.

In between making large amounts of food that can be frozen for later in preparation for the baby, we’ve been enjoying the fresh veggies and fruits from our CSA box.

Baked eggs with leeks, swiss chard with breadcrumbs

On the plate: Garlic bread, Swiss chard sauteed and covered with buttered toasted breadcrumbs, and baked eggs with creamy leeks. Consensus was that Swiss chard is much tastier with bacon than with breadcrumbs. But that’s probably true of most things.

The creamy leeks with egg was a new recipe as well that turned out surprisingly good. Steve doesn’t like runny eggs and was quite suspicious of the raw-looking egg, but I had cooked the egg to the point where it was nearly crispy on top, so he ate it all!

It’s a pretty easy dish to make…

Baked eggs over creamy leeks

Saute leeks

Slice leeks and rinse them very well, then drain. Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a skillet and cook the leeks over medium heat until they are tender but not super-soft.

Add cream, nutmeg, salt.

Add about a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and sprinkle salt and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the cream is slightly reduced.

Bake egg and leeks.

Generously butter some ramekins or other oven-safe small bowls. Divide the leeks between the bowls (I had enough for two). Break an egg on top and sprinkle salt and pepper. If you want, you can add another tablespoon of cream on top (I ran out, unfortunately) before adding the salt and pepper. Place the ramekins in a baking pan with boiling water going up at least 1/3 of the way of the ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees for at least 8 minutes (egg will be runny) or until desired doneness (I think I baked mine for more like 15-20 minutes to get the egg cooked all the way through).

Baked eggs and creamy leeks.

Warning: This is a surprisingly filling dish!

Ravioli with sausage and arugula.

I’ve decided that I like arugula better cooked than raw — the slightly bitter, peppery taste is a bit too much for me when I have it raw in salads. Sauteeing the arugula mellows out the flavor, plus, it wilts down so that there’s not quite so much of it!

We got a generous bunch of arugula in our box this week, and I used half of it in a made-up combination of ravioli, sausage, and pesto. Delicious! The artichoke wasn’t in our box — I’ve been longing to eat artichokes and got some huge ones at the store.

Ravioli with sausage, arugula, and pesto

  1. Start boiling water for the ravioli (I used “fresh” store-bought).
  2. Meanwhile, cook italian sausage in a large skillet with some chopped onions.
  3. Cook the ravioli. Drain and add to the skillet after the sausage is fully cooked.
  4. Drop in several handfuls of washed arugula. Stir everything around until the arugula starts to wilt.
  5. Add some generous spoonfuls of pesto sauce and toss.
  6. Serve while warm.

Bok choy and steamed fish

Nothing in this photo is from our box, but it looked so good that I took a picture of it anyway! I tried steaming cod for the first time, laying out some slices of ginger over the fish before steaming it. I mixed together my brother-in-law’s secret sauce (okay, not so secret — a bit of veggie oil, soy sauce, and green onions) and poured it over the top after the fish was done. Awesome over rice; I added a side of basic stir-fried bok choy with a few tablespoons of oyster sauce thrown in at the end.

We still have a lot of stuff from our box:

  • Chard
  • More arugula
  • Red and green lettuce
  • Apple
  • Green garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus!!
  • Carrots
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Spinach
  • Grapefruit
  • Fava beans

Neither Steve nor I like grapefruit, so that may be pawned off on a neighbor or friend (although since it’s in our box, maybe I’ll give it one more try). With the snap peas, carrots, and lettuce, I’m foreseeing some kind of delicious salad in our near future. I’ve never had fava beans, before, either, and am excited to try them!

Funniest moment in NCAA tournament

I don’t remember the exact quote from the announcer when the NCAA final Kansas-Memphis game went into overtime, but here it is paraphrased:

“Kansas is no stranger to the pressure of overtime in the NCAA final… they had a triple overtime against North Carolina in 1957.”

I’m quite sure that the experience from 1957 really helped prepare these players — born 30 years later — deal with the pressure of an overtime game.

Nutmeg photos

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any photos of Nutmeg the cat.

Wedged in our blankets:

Nutmeg in bed

Not too long afterwards…

Nutmeg sleeping

In the garage window at our old place. What’s awesome is that there were tons of boxes stacked on that side of the garage so she had to climb through an obstacle course to get to her “spot”:

Nutmeg in the garage window

And in the not-quite-set-up baby crib. Interestingly, she’s only been in here once, presumably just to check it out. I hope she appreciated the expensive organic crib mattress.

Nutmeg in crib.

April 2008 Groundhog Day Resolution Review

Happy April 4th! Time for reviewing Groundhog Day resolutions.

  • Gain about 2 pounds (last month!) 😕
    I ended up fluctuating a ton because of water weight (gained and lost six pounds when my feet swelled up and then un-swelled), and decided to stop tracking my weight because it seemed pretty pointless!
  • Walk 30 minutes daily 😦
    I did good for one week. Then, we moved, my feet swelled up, and that was the end of that!
  • Use all veggies in CSA box 8)
  • Research meat CSA 🙂
    I found somewhere local which may have a meat CSA program, but the owner seems extremely hard to get a hold of! I left three messages and the one time that I actually talked to him in person, caught him at a bad time. Those farmers are awfully busy. If anyone knows of anything in the Sacramento region, please let me know!
  • Wrap up all work projects by the end of the month 🙂
    … Then took on some new projects.
  • Arrange “maternity leave” plan for forwarding email support and checking email/phone schedule 🙂
  • Write one article 🙂
  • Close on the house and move! 8)
  • Plan a date with Steve 🙂
  • Lead two activities for small group. 🙂
  • Follow through on daily/weekly spiritual/character goals. 🙂 / ;|
    Some yes, some no.

Not too bad, I suppose, for having moved in the middle of the month!

Again, I’m not going to be too ambitious this next month; I’ll mainly be trying to maintain good habits (and get physically active again). The baby could really come anytime between now and 4/23, so I have to hold all plans loosely!

  • Do something active daily until the baby comes
  • Use up all veggies from CSA boxes
  • Keep calling CSA meat place
  • Finish work projects
  • Lead an activity for small group
  • Follow through on daily/weekly spiritual/character goals

TasteSpotting

My friend Kristine gave me a heads-up for TasteSpotting, brought to you by the same people who run Notcot. Similar to Notcot, nice large visuals catch your attention; in this case, photos of delicious-looking food inspire you to click and learn more. Most go to yummy-sounding recipes.

Oops, did I just drool on my keyboard?

Reading: Lots of baby books

Finished reading:

Lots of baby books. I’ve summarized the basic points below, but have yet to put anything into practice so I’ve stayed away from expressing any opinions! (Will have to put up a followup post at some point once we have some actual experience…)

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – I didn’t read every word of this but flipped through the pages and read sidebars here and there. This cookbook has tons of sidebars with research and quotes about traditional foods and why they’re good for you (much along the lines of Real Food and In Defense of Food).

Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet – Also didn’t read every word of this. Similar to other “guide through pregnancy” books, this book covers some of the things you can expect in pregnancy. What I found the most helpful was the information near the beginning with suggested exercises for connecting with your body and your baby. The goal of the book is to help you fully experience pregnancy instead of letting it just fly by.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. – This book is basically about “how to soothe your crying baby.” Karp’s theory is that babies need a “fourth trimester” with conditions similar to those in the womb in order to not be as fussy and colic-y. He wraps up baby-soothing techniques into a series of “5 S’s”: Swaddling to keep the baby’s arms from flailing about so that they can focus and be aware of what you do next, holding the baby on their side/stomach to keep them from having a falling reflex (with the note that this is only when you’re soothing them; babies should sleep on their backs), providing white noise by shushing them (“shhhhh, shhhh”) at an intensity equal to their level of crying, swinging them (more like “jiggling” them) gently so that their head jiggles a little to imitate movement in the womb, and, if necessary, providing them something to suck. Whether or not you buy into the fourth trimester theory, there is something to be said for Karp’s methods. We’ve personally observed our friends practice these sequential techniques to great success, so we may be trying these ourselves!

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth – I read most of this book, skipping the parts about older children and adolescents. The main message of this book is that “sleep is important.” Weissbluth offers a lot of different research results about how sleep quantity and sleep quality affects learning and adaptability, then describes what sleep looks like or should look like from birth through adolescence. The book doesn’t offer very much hands-on practical advice but does share a lot of stories from parents so that you can learn how other parents approached “sleep problems.” Weissbluth does advocate “helping” your child with sleep training after three or four months if they haven’t fallen into their own schedule of quality sleep and offers a few suggestions, including setting an earlier bedtime, letting the child cry, and protecting their sleep quality by not dragging them around to different places when they should be sleeping. Many of our friends have highly recommended this book; I wished there was a bit more “here’s what you do” information, but I may change my mind when we actually have a baby!

On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo – There is apparently some controversy surrounding this book as attachment-parenting proponents vilify those who follow this book, but I personally didn’t see the controversy and found that it had many similar concepts with the other baby books I’ve read. The basic principle is to set a reasonable routine/schedule early on, and your child will naturally start to sleep through the night. Similar to Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, this book advises that you follow a basic routine of feeding the baby, keeping the baby awake for a limited amount of time to change the baby and play with him or her, then putting the baby to bed while still awake (as opposed to rocking or feeding the baby to sleep). The book strongly advocates breastfeeding and learning how to do it well so that the child gets adequate nutrition. I think people who have issues with this book think that it advocates sticking to a strict schedule and never deviating from it, but the book actually encourages you as the parent to use your brain, make sure your baby is being fed adequately, and be flexible with the basic schedule as you need to.

So That’s What They’re For! by Janet Tamero – The first book I’ve read that leans more on the “attachment parenting” side of things, although the philosophy is more assumed than explicit. This book is all about breastfeeding. Opened my eyes to the world of women who even breastfeed older children (like, verbal toddlers!).

Complete Home Storage by Jeanne Huber – A Sunset book with lots of photos and examples of different home storage options. Includes some plans and instructions for building your own stuff. As I’m hoping that Steve will build some shelves into the office closet for me, I was happy to find this on the new book shelf at the library!

With a bookmark: (Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter
  • The Best of Ogden Nash edited by Linell Nash Smith
  • Sacred Attitudes by Erica Ross-Krieger
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst Putting this into my “reference” shelf and will probably never read it cover-to-cover.
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

In the library book box:

  • What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International
  • Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? by Melanie Bowden