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Babies Left in Car Seats? I Don’t Think So.

4 Aug

There have been multiple articles recently about babies being left in car seats, and dying in cars in the sweltering summer heat. Forgive me for sounding like “that” mom, but there was a segment on the Today Show this morning. They were talking about moms who headed to work and forgot to drop their kid at daycare (or dropped their older kid, but forgot to get their infant out of the back seat), went to work, and went to pick their kid up from daycare to learn that their kid wasn’t there. But of course he is here, the mother would say. Oh, wait. Oh, no. And that’s it. the five month old was n the backseat of the SUV, in his rear-facing car seat and his mom had forgotten him. Forgot him on the way to work. Forgot him for nine hours at work. Forgot him on the way home from work. He died.

Then, they talk about some sensor technology that goes in car seats that alerts you on your dash that there’s still a baby in your back seat.

Matt Lauer asks, “why doesn’t the government require that technology be put in all cars?”

And the guy says something like they’re working on that.

When you are in the hospital for two nights after having a baby, they make you write down on a little chart what time you fed the baby, how long the baby ate, when you changed diapers that had pee in them, and when you changed diapers that had poo in them. You do this for two days, and if you do a good job with that and act decently competent, they let you head home, baby in tow, with no supervision. No one makes you keep writing on those sheets and turning them into anyone. Why? Because you are an adult. Because you were old enough to have sex. Because you should be able to handle this. And because if you can’t, your doctor will tell you 100 times over to just ask for help.

That’s why the government doesn’t require sensor technology to remind  you that you have a baby. Because you are an adult. Because you were old enough to have sex. Because you should be able to handle this. also gives some pointers on how not to forget your kid in your backseat. It tells you all sorts of stuff you can buy to remind yourself about your baby.

Don’t get me wrong, baby stuff is hard. There are a lot of changes.

Here’s a thought: cut your expenses (like all those reminders), work a little less, slow your life down, and hang out with your kid. Then maybe you will remember them.

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Something Else I Didn’t Know {recipe: easy focaccia bread}

29 May

Right now I have 11 friends who are pregnant. And one coming home Friday with a baby from Ethiopia. That is 12 babies. That is a big enough number that according to the rules of writing, you don’t have to spell it out with letters. That is a lot of babies.

I am sorry, but there is still something that no one tells you about having babies. I am going to tell you abut it so maybe the seven of you who are pregnant with baby number one don’t for a minute wonder, “am I the only one?”

I am over most of the weird things that happen to the body. And those things are weird not because they don’t make sense or because they seem completely out of nowhere, but because all of these things happen to your body that all work together for a specific purpose to support you and the baby perfectly. For example:  Your body emits some hormones that make your ligaments all loosey-goosey. This could be annoying because if the hormones work in you like they did in me, you have to stop running and rest or your hip joints cause shooting pain down your legs. You could think this is annoying but really it is helpful. You don’t need to be running to prove that “you can still do everything you did when you weren’t pregnant,” and, you need everything to slide out of place a little to make room for that baby to make its grand entrance into the world.

All of that seems so weird because it really does work together so well. Most of what we experience in life doesn’t work together well because it gets wrecked up by us and our pride and our selfish motives or desire for someone else’s approval that we expect everything to get all messed up. When hormones and bones and body systems all work together how God created them to support and sustain us, it feels weird.

So here is the other thing:

It took a while to feel any love.

People tell you that the minute you have a baby, you experience more love and joy than you have ever felt before. Consequently, I was really confused in our first few weeks as a family. I knew I was supposed to take care of this baby, and I could do that, but I didn’t feel much love.

I felt tired most of the time and confused at how to get her to stop crying when nothing seemed wrong. I felt a whole new set of responsibilities and the weight of someone else’s needs being forever more important than my own. But I did not feel love.

And then that did funny things to my head like make me wonder what love and joy are and if I ever felt them before and what was I doing wrong? Because I was definitely not feeling like everyone said I would. And you don’t want to tell anyone that you don’t love your baby because surely someone will take your baby away and put you in one of those jackets where the arms tie in the back. And you remember the time that your husband came with you to one of your last doctor’s appointments and as you were leaving the doctor quickly said something under her breath to your husband about how if he ever sees any bad or depressed behavior in you post-delivery that he should call the doctor immediately. And I didn’t want to go to the crazy house. And I didn’t think I needed to. I didn’t feel anything bad, I just didn’t feel anything awesome.

In a moment of weakness or after a glass of wine (which I think are the same for me ), I tell my husband all of these things and he tells me he thinks that’s ok, he thinks what I am feeling is normal and that I am a good mother. He assures me that this is not grounds for the straightjacket. And that is what I need to hear and we talk about it again the next weekend and I can’t even remember the feelings of emptiness that I had because now I feel love and joy and I want to do nothing but hold that baby and if she cries in the middle of the night and it means I get to fall asleep holding her or see her smile at 4am, well, I just think that is wonderful.

And for the recipe:

This bread is awesome. Make a big bowl of dough and then stick it in the fridge and pinch off parts of it on different nights. Top with your favorite pizza toppings for a meal, smear some garlic butter on it for s side, or slice it open and make a tasty sandwich.

Focaccia Bread

Makes about three 12-inch pizza crusts.

2 3/4 c. warm water

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

1 T. salt

1/4 c. olive oil

6 1/2 cups flour

optional add-ins: garlic powder, rosemary, lemon zest, italian seasoning…

  • Put water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until most all flour is incorporated.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap or a slightly damp towel.
  • Let sit at room temperature 2 hours, use right away or refrigerate until ready to use (can stay in the fridge up to five days, the flavor will get yeastier as the days go on).
  • When ready to use, preheat oven to 400. If you have a baking stone, put that in the oven.
  • Pinch off the dough you want to use and slowly pull it out into a circle.
  • Place on baking stone or lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9-13 minutes. If I am making a pizza, I bake it about seven minutes, then put the toppings on it and bake about five more.

original post:

Look what we cooked up!

8 Feb

So, we had been waiting for quite some time for this baby. We found out I was pregnant right at week four, and then she was 13 days late.

Thirteen days feels like a long time when you are expecting a baby at any minute.

But, we waited and waited. And waited. And even stalled with a post about the nursery.

And it was worth it.

Shilah Mae was born on Friday, January 29. She was eight pounds and 12 oz and 20 inches long. She has a full head of dark hair and those “baby” blue eyes that are apt to change as she grows.

We went into the hospital around 7 on Friday morning to be induced, already 4 cm dialated and almost fully effaced, but with no contractions, which was weird…showing up at the hospital not in labor, just with our travel coffee mugs and bags and a deck of cards.

We got into a room and they started me on pitocin around 9:30. I started feeling contractions that weren’t too strong.

So at noon they broke my water. I thought that was hilarious. I could not stop laughing. Think if you were uncontrollably peeing all over…for a long time…it feels awkward so I tried to mask my awkwardness with laughing. It kind of worked.

Then, within about 30 minutes the contractions were two minutes apart and increasing in strength and I quickly stopped laughing. By about 2pm I thought I might explode but we kept on going and going. It was tiring. And I think a lot of it was back labor, which, let me tell you is just delightful. I was dozing off for 45 seconds between contractions and I kept asking Jon how much longer he thought it would be. He coached me through the whole thing and would just talk me through each contraction, one by one, not letting me worry about what was to come (or how long it would last). After the fact, we both talked about how in the middle of it, we wondered how long this would go on and if the pain was enough to want drugs…but during the labor, neither of us mentioned compromising what we’d wanted and we made it through without any meds!

By about 4:45 I was telling the doctor that I thought my body was telling me to push. By 4:55 the room was full…5 or 6 nurses, two doctors, Jon, me, and lots of bright lights and shiny instruments that I don’t think they really used. At 5 I was pushing and at 5:35 she was out! Jon caught her and cut the umbilical cord.

Saturday and Sunday morning were in the hospital. Aside from the separate beds, we felt like we were on an all-inclusive vacation. We had cable TV, room service, a refreshment room down the hall, and people coming in to see if we needed anything else. All that being said, we were ready to get home by Sunday morning and Shilah passed all of her tests (not sure what that means) and so did I (not sure what that means either), so we got to come home.

The past few days have been great, though day three at home was a major scream fest. I did some reading and realized that I ate at least half of the things on the “what not to eat when you first start breastfeeding because it will make your baby gassy and cranky” list. Whoops.

More recipes soon 🙂

original post:

Grey and Yellow: a Not-so-Babyish Room {nursery tour}

27 Jan

I am refusing to buy fresh produce and groceries because I am not supposed to be home right now. We are supposed to be having a baby. So, last night I thought I was going into labor and instead of cooking we jetted out to my favorite burger place. The burgers were delicious but the contractions eventually fizzled and here we go again with another night and no produce. Tonight’s menu looks like taco chili and chips and queso…tasty but not overly healthy. But Jon doesn’t care because queso is his favorite and I don’t care because I am pretty sure the baby uses a ton of the calories that I eat right now.

So, I have no recipe.

But I do have a nursery tour! Want to see what we’ve been cooking up in the used-to-be guest room? It’s good stuff. We combined the office and guest room to use the third bedroom for the baby and my mom came up in August to start the renovation process. It was a lot of work but I love how it turned out! The colors and patterns are less babyish and more like I just decorated a room. I love the combination of old-looking furniture and modern colors.


  • Crib from Stanley Furniture Young America.
  • Yellow gingham sheet and brown tree quilt from Pottery Barn Kids Outlet, brown bumper from Carter’s.
  • Artwork on white canvases that I painted, and installed a clock on the right one.
  • Owl mobile with owls cut from felt and hung from dowels wrapped with twine.

Dresser/Changing Area:

  • Dresser from my favorite secondhand store in Austin, Corner Collector’s Market.
  • Changing pad cover from Carter’s and Angel Dear Duck Pillow from Two Blue Peas.
  • Storage bowls from Plate This.
  • Flannel wipes for cloth diapers from Wonder Wipes, (extras made by just cutting flannel from the fabric store) and homemade wipe spray (2 c. water, 1 T. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap, 10 drops lavender oil)

The Rocking/Reading Nook:

  • Rocker from Babies R Us, in tan.
  • Lamp from Pottery Barn Kids Outlet and pillar from Hobby Lobby, spray-painted brown.
  • Shelves are spray-painted wood from Home Depot with spray-painted brackets from Hobby Lobby.
  • Hanging basket is from Hobby Lobby, spray-painted yellow.

Closet and Accents:

  • Closet curtain (to save space!) made by my aunt.
  • Chair, frames, and deer lampshade from Pottery Barn Kids Outlet.
  • Wall hooks from Hobby Lobby, spray painted.

Window Seat:

  • Curtains and round pillows from Ikea.
  • Pad made by my aunt.
  • Pillow shams from Pottery Barn Outlet.

Now, it just needs a baby!

Original Post:

No Baby Yet {recipe: cranberry vanilla granola bars}

16 Jan

Dear Baby,

Today is your due date. It is 11:36 a.m. and you are not here. You have shown no real signs of wanting to be here. That’s ok. I am usually late to stuff too, so maybe this is the first quality that you’ll take from me. Together, we will annoy your dad for the rest of our lives.

I have done a lot in the past few weeks. I have cooked enough meals that if I did not leave the house for a month, we could still eat well. Don’t worry, if you tear my insides up on your way out, it doesn’t matter because I won’t be having to stand up in the kitchen for any length of time. The freezer shelves are packed carefully with lasagnas with homemade sauce and enchiladas and stuffed peppers and other things that are easy to thaw and throw in the oven. Those all sound like dinner foods, huh? Well don’t worry, because we also have roasted chickens and roast beef for lunches and breakfast food too: batches of muffins and pumpkin bread and fresh granola bars.  And snickerdoodles and chocolate peanut butter cookies and oatmeal scotchies for dessert. It is ridiculous, but I couldn’t stop.

There are still some things I have not finished, but I don’t know that they’re too necessary. Like I haven’t made the mobile to go above your crib (that your little eyes won’t even be able to focus on for months), and I haven’t made the clock (that you won’t be able to read for years). All of the important things are in place, you have a carseat an diapers and a crib an a beautiful room, and most of all, parents and grandparents and lots of friends to love you.

Today we planned fun stuff to do, in case this day comes and goes and you are not ready to come out yet, so that we are not sitting there, staring at each other, waiting. But really we are still waiting. Anticipating. We are just doing it at a coffee shop surrounded by life. There’s a table of four people next to us learning French, a couple who looks like they’ve just recently met and are getting to know each other. There are people reading and studying and to my left there’s a woman from Colombia writing letters, and today, an old friend is the barista. So, we will wait, and we will mask our waiting with activities and plans and conversation, but really, we are just excited for you to get here.

So when you are ready, we will be ready too. Ready to love you with a love that I don’t even thing we understand yet.



Here’s something I made for quick breakfasts in the mornings to come:

Cranberry Vanilla Granola Bars

Makes 16 granola bars, one 9×13 pan.

2 cups oats (old-fashioned, not quick-cooking)
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut, loosely packed
2/3 cup honey
2 T. pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350. Butter  a 9×13 pan and line it with parchment paper.

Pour the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Dump the ingredients into a mixing bowl and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Add honey, vanilla and salt to the oat mixture and stir until everything is coated in honey, then stir in the cranberries. Dump the mixture into your 9×13 pan and press it into the pan (if you wet your fingers, it’s a little bit easier because the granola won’t stick to your fingers. Get it packed in there as tightly as you can.

Bake about 25 minutes, until light golden brown.

Cool for a few hours, then wedge the giant granola rectangle out of its pan and place it on  a cutting board. Use a long, serrated knife to cut the giant rectangle into bars. Put the granola crumbles in a bag for yogurt topping later.

Now, here’s the key. Store these bars and granola-crumb bag in the freezer. They will last longer and be crunchy…rather than awkwardly sticky granola 🙂 If you want them for on-the-go eating, wrap them individually in foil and put them all in a plastic bag in the freezer. That’s what I did.

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