My Lunch as a Mommy

“Food” these days has taken on a new meaning. Thanks to breastfeeding, it’s an extension of the past 9+ months — what I eat affects the baby. I still haven’t figured out if certain food items (highly acidic, super spicy, etc) make Hadley act/feel differently, but I do know that the evening I decided to *gasp* drink a cup of coffee made for a looooong night. What’s equally as important with breastfeeding (or, really, for any new mom, in my opinion) is keeping up my caloric intake. Earlier, I felt my body’s energy draaaaiiiiin if I didn’t eat or drink enough; it’s better these days, but still need to keep on top of how much I eat. Oh, and sure I’ll occasionally grab a bowl of ice cream as one of my “snacks”, but for the most part I’m trying to keep those 4-5 meals a day healthy. See? Extension of the previous 9 months, generally speaking.

So, I thought I’d share a cucumber dip (loosely, a tzatziki sauce) that I recently whipped up. We had been sent home from my mom’s with leftover chicken and I thought this sauce would help us use it up in a healthy way. Plus, we had a buttload of cucumbers to use up. Unfortunately, I started mixing and chopping before I realized our plain Greek yogurt was expired. *wop wooooop* So, on a whim, I substituted cottage cheese, and whadya know? It worked just fine! Here’s what I did…

Cucumber Sauce/Dip (Tzatziki)

Dice or shred 1/2 a cucumber (more or less, up to you! It’s all relative, too, since homegrown cukes have been HUGE this summer), zest 1/2 a lemon, and mince a clove of garlic. Mix these together with ~ 1/2 cup cottage cheese (or plain yogurt), ~1/3 cup all-natural mayo, and (to taste) salt ‘n pepper, oregano, dill, and the juice of the 1/2 lemon. Enjoy! Here’s a look-see:

Sure, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s tasty. My favorite thing to do with it? Wraps!!! Whole wheat wraps up the nutrition factor, and there are things you can make with wraps that you couldn’t do with plain ol’ sandwich bread.
On  this particular day, the wrap was made with mesclun mix, all-natural deli turkey, shaved romano cheese and chopped apples. Oh, plus the cuke sauce and, of course, the whole wheat wrap…’cuz it ain’t  a wrap unless it gets wrapped!

But, a wrapped sandwich does not a full meal make. So, here’s the full Monty – wrap, small handful of pretzels (or, at least, I think it’s small ;-)), a sliced apple, some Nutella and peanut butter (y’know…for dippin’), and a glass each o’ water and juice. Yeah, I’m generally double-fistin’ it these days.

It ain’t good unless you’ve got a sweet, overweight kitty admiring your plate…and a stack of baby laundry to accompany the deliciousness.
I’ll be doing my best to keep up the healthy factor upon returning to school this week. Since Dave and I have both been fighting a virus (mine admittedly more bearable than his; I blame the healthy-ish eating and prenatal vitamins I’m still downing), this is wicked important to have the energy (both mental and physical!) to make it through the first  “not with the baby 24/7” days. Plus, I haven’t done the best job at stockpiling the ol’ boob juice, so I’m trying to see if there’s anything (food or otherwise) I can do to make pumping more successful. So far, I’m drinking Mother’s Milk tea and have just discovered that oatmeal helps (generally whole grains, depending on what you read).

By the way, I’m truly sorry I haven’t been posting more this summer. Seriously. I wouldn’t apologize if I didn’t feel badly about it — it’s not just guilt. Ideas for posts have popped up in my head (usually when I took a shower, strangely enough), and I’ve got a kazillion drafts of posts started. Truly, I’d like to try to post a touch more since a) it’s kinda therapeutic, b) I enjoy sharing my thoughts and experiences, c) hopefully folks get a kick out of what I write, and d) I can look back as Hads grows up to see the evolution of our family and remember the small, good times I may not otherwise recall. So, yes. I will try. 🙂

Sock Sack O’ Beans

I know what you’re going to think — “Wait. You’ve been absent HOW LONG and all you’re going to write about is a stupid DIY heating pad? What about the B-A-B-Y?!?!” And you’re more than entitled to have those thoughts. But, let’s just say that it takes all the power in me to write a post at all.

Not saying that I’m that full-blown exhausted that everyone talks about. Sure, tired, but generally speaking I’m doing fine. Got some strong emotions going on that I’m sure I could talk about (no post-partum depression, though, as far as I can tell :-D), but I don’t really feel like wasting time discussing that stuff, either. But my days have been pretty much a sequestered existence consisting of rotating feedings and changings. So, I thought, “I could wallow in the fact that it’s now August (“sweat drops, sweat drops” – anyone? “SNL”/”Cathy”?) or I could finally write a blog post.” So, here I be! Arrrgh.

Yeah. Maybe I am a tad overtired. I’ve had one nap since we brought the baby home. I’m not a big “napper”, but maybe I should take advantage of “free time” while I still can.

Why the HECK is this post about an old sock filled with dried beans? Because I don’t make it out of the house much…I needed a heating pad solution…and I was pretty proud that I made one. Don’t judge. These days, it’s the little things that make me happy.

So, I suppose what I’m getting at is more so the fact that I need a heating pad in the first place. As far as pain goes, I’m usually pretty tough, and wouldn’t have anything on hand for aches and pains. Hey, I felt like I was, in a way, gypped over Hadley’s birth in having a C-section; I didn’t get to experience LABOR and didn’t have much pain (beyond the whole issue of coughing, sneezing, laughing, etc with that darned incision), but I’ll post more on that when I feel good ‘n ready to do so. 😉 Long story short, though, through our trials and triumphs of breastfeeding (also more on that in a future post), I seem to have developed a blocked milk duct.

Funny. Had’s got a blocked tear duct that causes one of his eyes to goober up with yellow stuff (not puss, and ’tis completely normal – believe me, the doc has been consulted as to every inch of his cute lil’ body). Wonder if there’s a connection beyond grammatical. And, now, I’m not leaking yellow goobers.

Anyhoo, being a) quite the independent bugger and b) more than a tad intimidated by the overbearing lactation consultants, I’m determined to handle this issue on my own – unless, of course, it becomes a bigger issue (ie mastitis…an infection…in da booby. Yeah. Let’s hope not, shall we?). So, after researching via books ‘n the interwebs, I found myself filling a cute ol’ sock with dried beans. I wasn’t up for going all Martha Stewart with my sewing machine, so I took the easy way out.

Between using my bean-filled buddy (microwaved for a couple of minutes and wrapped in a kitchen towel), “pressure massaging”, attempting to pump (and feed) more on “that side”, and taking the occasional ibuprofen, I’m hoping that the issue

Otherwise, for those of you who are wondering (and since it’s World Breastfeeding Week), I should say that breastfeeding has been a challenge — and, in some ways, way easier than I had expected (example being – even though Hadley had been given a small bottle right after he was born — due to his size and a necessity to keep his body heat regulated, and the fact that I was getting stitched…er, stapled up — when he was brought back to me in Recovery, he immediately latched on — what a moment!) and in others, purdy darn frustrating (example – let’s just say he doesn’t always latch well, and he’s got a temper AND an impatient streak that make for meltdowns…can’t IMAGINE where he got those traits, hee hee). That’s the nature of breastfeeding, though.

I should shout from the rooftops that I’m terribly lucky. I’ve healed very well, have lost weight VERY quickly (some might say TOO much too fast – I swear I’m eating and trying to drink enough for the both of us, though! And, no worries, my tummy still looks like a satellite image being beamed in from Mars), can almost always get him to settle down for a feeding (even when there are latching issues), am able to pump so Dave (AKA “The Dorky Daddy”, AKA “Best Father and Husband on Earth”) can have some one-on-one time with his little man…and, miracle of miracles, my milk came in before leaving the hospital. The little guy was already starting to gain weight after his first week home, so all appears to be working! And, hey. Isn’t that all that matters? 🙂

Thanks, as always, for reading. I promise to write the birth story when I’m up to it, as well as more on breastfeeding. Oh, and for those who are wondering, we’re not using cloth diapers quite yet — not with how quickly this lil’ guy goes through them, and with how few we currently own. Gonna stock up and move onto that next step when things are a tad more, um, solid. One thing at a time, but we’ll get there. Oh, and just so I’m not a completely stingy b-word keeping things from you, here’s the unofficial birth announcement for those of you who may not have heard —

Our wonderful Hadley Allston was born on  
Friday, July 13th at 11:48am via scheduled C-section.
He weighed 10 lbs., 1 3/4 oz and was 22″ in length.