Friday, April 30, 2010

My Favorite Kitchen Gadget

For Christmas I had jotted down on a sticky note what I wanted to get Tyson and to my dismay, he found it!  But what was hilarious is that I had written down "Chef Mat".  While he thought we were getting a personal chef (which is a HUGE insult to my hubby chef), I smiled,  patted his ego and told him to not worry.  The Chef Mat will be a treat and relief to us in the kitchen.  And it is......
Tyson and I LOVE cooking and do it often.  For Tyson, he caters parties and can be in the kitchen prepping and cooking for 6+ hours at a time.  That amount of time on his feet affects his back and legs. There are several times where he has woken up sore because of the lack of support on the hard kitchen floor.  For me, I enjoy helping him in his cooking, baking treats, preserving and cleaning. This amount of work done on hardwood floors makes my feet and back ache and then add a huge belly and I am in intense pain at night.   This mat has saved us beyond belief.  I purchased it at Bed Bath and Beyond because I was able to return it , had I had any problems.  Some reviews had mentioned that the trim curls up, but after having it for 5 months, no such thing.  I bought the mat in Truffle to match our decor and because we loved our first one so much, just recently, purchased a matching one.  And they are EASY to clean. Now we have one in front of our stove and in front of our sink.

And why do I have this on my baby/mommy blog?

Because after SEVERAL hours of baking Tyson a cake for his birthday (which was yesterday), making Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies for his special treat (OMG to die FOR!), wrapping Mother's Day gifts, and cleaning up a storm, my legs and back did not hurt as much as they should have.  The cushion support is such a relief and cannot recommend the mat enough. 

Also in baby news, today is my due date and at 6pm, I am without contractions.  BOO!  I had my NST today with a follow up NST on Monday.  I also am scheduled for my induction on May 5th (I know, Cinco de Mayo), but I am hoping for some action sooner.  Just knowing that we will have baby in hand by this time next week is reassuring enough so we are just counting the days down.  FINGERS CROSSED!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My apologies, Mama Nature

I tried to keep up with the dutiful task of acknowledging Earth Week last week and by the fourth day, exhaustion kicked in.  I do not feel guilty because I know my education will continue.  Matter-of-fact, I feel well rested....for a pregnant woman.  THAT'S RIGHT!  I AM STILL PREGNANT!  While I didn't take the greatest care of Mother Nature, I did take care of Mother Kristina

   I CONSERVED my energy
   I watched RECYCLED episodes of the Hills
   I REUSED food from previous dinners and ate leftovers
   I SAVED gas and electricity by turning off all of the lights and not going anywhere
   I REDUCED the amount of time I was awake

I mean this counts for something, right?  After all, I have been taking on too much for a belly this size.  Rest was needed and I fully accepted.  Thankfully, Tyson was my knight in shining armor.   He made sure my bowl of Cherrios with bananas was full and my glass of water was by my side.  AND........HE CLEANED! 

And so we wait for Maxon's arrival............

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day Two and Three of Earth Week

 Please take your eyes off of the unrelenting DUST is on Tyson's Honey-Do List!

Taking another few days of conscious environmentally thinking and living, Tyson and I bought and installed energy saving light bulbs from Target.  A bit on the pricey side, they end up saving us money in the long run because they last longer and are brighter (small living area+bright lights=less amount of lights turned on). And while I am snapping photos of light bulbs, why not take some pictures of Maxon's room?

 For Day Three of Earth Week, I began my transition of emptying out my toxic under-the-sink cleaning products and replacing them with non-toxic cleaners.
My new scrubbing agent-Baking Soda Paste.
Window Cleaner-Rubbing Alcohol.
All Purpose-Vinegar and Water
Ant Control-Cinnamon Sticks/Garlic Cloves
Furniture Polish-Lemon Juice and EVOO

While my favorite memory is that of my Great Grandmother's house and smelling like Pine Sol, I am terrified of the harmful toxins it leaves behind.  These alternatives are baby friendly, use less packaging waste and are CHEAPER!  YAY CHEAP!  We also have natural dish soap and detergent stocked as well.  Got love going natural......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Week, Day One

 Last year Tyson and I went to our first Earth Day in Balboa Park and fell in love with the amount of resources and organizations San Diego has to offer.  We were surprised in how many of the groups applied to our cooking/gardening/fun outside activities kind of lifestyle.  Since then, we joined Slow Food Urban San Diego, have done some volunteer work with the community gardens, dived into more organic gardening in our backyard, have used more natural cleaning products and have attempted to eat more organic and local.  We feel better about ourselves and have tried to grow a routine in which Maxon can acquire.  It makes sense to live healthy and environmentally conscious.  And for the second year in a row, Tyson and I ventured out to Balboa Park to enjoy the sunny Sunday afternoon with a bunch of Earth loving hippies.  We stopped at Peace Pies for our favorite Vegan food, picked up some seeds at Urban Garden and tasted loquats at the Roots booth.  We also visited with the women of the Babywearing Group and the Cloth Diapers Group.  We learned that cloth diapers are not as scary as we assumed and that with the diaper delivery service, can be affordable and accommodating.  We will take all of this into consideration.   Giving us motivation for gardening our favorite veggies and flowers, Tyson and I stocked up on organic potting soil and more pots.  We planted kale, horseradish, arugula and some lovely flowers. 
Day One of Earth Week was a pretty one!
Leaving Balboa Park with some seedlings
Baby curly Kale in hanging pots (perfect view from our  kitchen)
    Bib Lettuce growing in our garage sale purchased wooden boxes
Bright Celosias growing along our fence

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

I am trying with all of my will power to plaster a smile on my face when I hear TWO more women gave birth to their annoying little babies over the past few days. Tyson calls is jealousy....I call it annoyed. It is as though these women are rubbing it in my face on purpose. Why couldn't they have kept their news to themselves??!! I am perfectly aware that Maxon's time will come and his due date is not for another 11 days (20 hours, 14 minutes, 11 seconds), but as I sit here praying for some sort of water leaking, agonizing contraction and/or spot of blood, my patience is wearing down to nothing. I am literally dying from boredom and waiting.....

But to speed up the days, my baby research continues. From a friends recommendation, I attended a Babywearing meeting that advocates mothers to "wear" their children in slings, wraps and carriers. I am all aboard on this and find that with carrying Maxon in my belly for 9 months, I will want him as close as possible. There are so many different products out on the market and with this group, I am able to try them all for a month (with a yearly membership of $30) and find one that suits me. I already own an Ergo Baby Carrier, but want a wrap until Maxon is old enough to hold up his head. I looked at Didy's, Moby's, Mei Tai's, water wraps and more. It was a very comfortable atmosphere with kids of all ages around, breastfeeding mommies, and chatter of how to wrap, using cloth diapers and upcoming events. I even left the group having an open mind on cloth diapers, which I was against. While I am not on the "cloth diaper train" I am more open to the positive aspects of using cloth diaper rash, no butt explosions, environmentally beneficial, less money, and not as difficult as I assumed. I am going to attend a future meeting of mommies with cloth wearing babies to learn more about the pros and cons.

Another week passes by (slowly) and another one begins. On our schedule we have another car seat installation (because our first one doesn't fit into our cars), Padres game, prenatal appointments, Food Justice conference, a party we are catering, yoga, coffee dates and advanced planning for Mother's Day, Tyson's birthday, and Alex's Birthday. There is still SO much to do before Maxon gets here and Tyson really wants me to keep my legs crossed until next week since we have such a busy week......looks like he will get his wish.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bring it on

Advice is free and comes frequent when your are sporting a belly the size of a large basketball. Whether wanted or unwelcome, passing by or at a coffee date, people (men and women) love to disclose their techniques of how to change a baby's diaper, the best holding position to nurse and when is the best time to introduce solid foods. And while I appreciate it all, I am taken aback to just how different the advice can be.

I am fascinated by everyone's story. I do not take anyone's experience as I solution for my own pregnancy and labor, but I do enjoy listening to how people dealt with their troubles. For instance, what was the best position for contractions? How did the epidural feel? How long was active labor? Was there a tear? And the funny thing is...not one person has the same answer. I am desperately hoping, in having great mama friends, that there will be an average, for lack of a better word, that I can use. Like 4 women experienced one way and three experienced another technique so I will utilize the middle of the road option. Not so much......everyone is different.......

And I should know this already. Many women said that they worst part of pregnancy was the nausea, the back pains, the swollen feet, the last month. None of these applied to me. I am a walking advertisement for a perfect pregnancy.


But that is just my story and I cannot count on the guarantee that the next woman will have the same idea.

The reason for this realization? Because I have discovered in my impatient daily routine of cleaning, checking and re-checking my hospital bag, and my walks, that I am ready for MY baby. I have questioned, poked and pondered all of my friends brains and I think I am as prepared as I possibly can be. I am completely okay with the idea of having contractions that will make me want to murder Tyson and I am also satisfied with the 20+ hour labor that will be followed by several hours of pushing, as well as the sleepless nights caused by a screaming baby. I am okay with it all because with my horrific pains and trying times, it will be my story to tell. I will own the details, make mistakes and learn something new. And who knows, I just might have the best labor ever..........

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


No contractions.

No dilating.

No dropping.

No effacement.

No action.

At our weekly appointment, Maxon is as boring as ever......

BUT I  made sour cream cookies!

Sour Cream Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sour cream

PREHEAT oven 400 degrees F

Everything goes into a mixing bowl


ROLL out onto a floured space

CUT OUT with chosen cookie cutters

BAKE for 8-10 minutes

FROST when cooled

Simple Frosting:  I do NOT use measurements for this. Just feel it out.  I use powered sugar, a small bit of butter and milk.  Milk is used sparingly....just add until you get the thick consistency you want.  A little goes a long way.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Earthquakes and Milkshakes

Hoping to spend a quiet Easter with family and food, our evening was interrupted with a sharp, extra long EARTHQUAKE!!!.  My mom and I hoped that my anxiety and stress would trigger contraction pains of some sort, but the only thing that it did trigger were several aftershocks that sent me flying out the door.  I even practiced staying up all night!  Not for becoming prepared for Maxon's hourly feedings and poopy diapers, but because as soon as I dozed off, an aftershock would rattle the windows.  My body, surprisingly enough, CAN survive on three hours of sleep.  And what is better is that I will be able to live off of a little more caffeine after Max's is born than I can now.

And so on Monday, instead of doing on our Monday cleaning/organizing and laundry routine, we became responsible parents and shopped for our Emergency Earthquake Kit.  After reviewing some websites, including the California's Earthquake Emergency website, we put together necessities for the next "BIG ONE."  Hopefully we will never use these items and Maxon will only know of earthquakes that are small shakers, but we, as new parents, need to be overly prepared and overly cautious.  Tyson and I joked that if it were the just the two of us, our plan of attack would be to rush to the nearest bar......Oh, how the times have changed *gag

In addition to our granola bars, PB, Top Ramen, Canned Fruit and Soups, Emergen-C, hand sanitizer, sponges, Saltine Crackers, Propane, gallons of water, and (tyson's idea), we are putting together a first aide kit loaded with Hydrogen Peroxide, band-aides, gauze and aspirin, some food for Sonny, flashlights and batteries, candles and matches, any necessary baby supplies (formula, diapers, wipes), blankets, TP and whatever else that we can think to put in our Kit.  Most of our stuff we will probably grab will be found in our camping tote so we are making sure that this is fully stocked as well (sleeping bags, propane stove, bug spray, tent).

Am I missing anything else????????

And in the middle of all of this "preparedness" I have had an insane craving for a chocolate milkshake.....McDonald's preferably.  This amazes me considering I find McD's food repulsive.  So I will have to satisfy my sweet tooth with chocolate cupcakes.....close enough......

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Wait

April has finally arrived and I couldn't have anticipated the anxiety and lack of patience I have.  The hours creep by and the days seem to pass like months.  I have to admit that I am too prepared and too eager to go into labor, but all I want is to have Maxon in our home, in our arms and our life. There is still plenty for me to do, but I am discouraged by my "to-do" list because I fear that if I complete it, I will be left with three weeks of nothing to do, but to dwell on when I will feel my first contraction.

I was hoping that on my appointment last Monday that they would tell me that I was dilated....even at 1 cm, but to our disappointment, Maxon was snug in my belly, not wanting to go anywhere, anytime soon.  My Braxton Hicks are not even that strong for me to assume that they are actual contraction pains.  They feel like a weak onset of period cramps and go away after awhile.  Max is still active and seems pretty comfortable with where his is at and I am beginning to see just how similar is his to his father (likes to be cozy and comfortable) and like his mother (stubborn and planned).  Will Max arrive early like all of his other friends did?  Probably not.  If he is any child of Tyson and I, he will  make an entrance like no other.....let's hope that it isn't in the middle of a Target aisle, like my dreams have suggested.