Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baby Update

Baby I. went in for a bilirubin draw this week.  Her numbers came back 'elevated' but she is not considered to be at  much risk.  Also, she finally pooped after playing the waiting game for 7 days.  She looks healthy (aside from the tan) and wets often, but I have to wonder if she is drawing down the hindmilk.   A dear friend of mine is tracking down a pump for me, as we speak.  I'm telling you, it pays to have crazy La Leche League friends (love you, Rita).    

I on the other hand and being told in no uncertain terms that I need to go get back in bed, by my body via kidney infection.  I guess this is comeuppance for all the times that I have almost haughtily told new mothers "if you don't take it easy, you'll get what's coming to you."  I surely did.  I guess I need to take this whole 40 days more seriously...

B. turned two and N. turns 11this weekend.  I have been changing diapers for 11 years and up until December it had been without a break or 3902 days without a break.  I wish I had more pictures, but I've spent most of this week in bed.

I know, yesterday was the Annunciation.   I feel sort of lost in time right now, unmoored from the Church calendar.  I did find this Psalm which seems especially appropriate for the day.

Psalm 40

 1I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
 2He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
 3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
 4Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
 5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
 6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
 7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
 8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
 9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
 10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
 11Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
 12For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
 13Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
 14Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
 15Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
 16Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
 17But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Keep me in prayer, dear Reader.  Many blessings to you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Your Core on for Jesus

I never watch the News.  I occasionally read the News, but I filter most of what I read.  This is mainly a self-preservation technique, as the News has left me dissolved in tears over the horrors of what we do to one another.  Every once in a while I have been rickrolled by a lead or a article heading, but usually I manage to stay out of the murky depths.

This is nearly impossible to accomplish when you watch the News on tv.  It seems to matter little what the leading stories of the day are:  Japan, Libya, the Recovery, the Un-Recovery, Afghanistan, etc... you are going to first be subjected to Info-tainment, the spam of the wasteland that is network news.  I'm sure that if a network news executive were to wander onto my pitiful little space here he would offer me deep critical insight from the current king of Info-tainment in the form of the deep analysis that we have come to expect from the Pundits.  It would go something like this: "Uh, duh. Winning!"  (As an aside, did you know that the word 'pundit' originated from the Hindi, "... term pandit, which in turn originates from the Sanskrit (a language from ancient India) term paṇḍitá, meaning "learned" (see also Pandit). It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects and who conducts religious ceremonies and offers counsel to the king."  from Wikipedia.  Oh, how far we have fallen.)

Anyway, just proving that Modern Man has eschewed the chalice to swill directly from the trough (lest our sense, dignity, or humanity interfere with our ever enlightened Progress) I bring you:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Update and Real Food Alternatives to Dairy

Baby I. and I are coming along.  She is strong and sweet and not too hard to soothe.  I gave her her first bath today.  She has a head full of ash blond hair and long slender fingers.  I cannot get enough of her!  I would like to spend my whole day cuddling and feeding her.  Mr. Flavivius has off from work all week and has facilitated much of my babymoon desire, but tomorrow we will begin the new schedule.

A sweet friend came over yesterday and took some professional baby pictures of I. in the beautiful layette made for us by one of the ladies from church, her birthday suit, and then in her baptismal gown.  We have never had professional pictures taken of any of the children.  It was such a special treat!  I. slept through much the event and nursed a little bit, but was fairly contented for much of the 2 hours that Amber was here.  The couple that I saw were so beautiful.  I can't wait to share them with y'all.

Nursing started out great, but now I worry that maybe I'm not making enough milk, that this little nibbler is a bit too laid back, etc...  this happens to me everytime there is a new wee bean in the house, but I have the added concern that she is nor having enough bowel movements (only 5 since day 3).

I will be calling the pediatrician tomorrow and trying to decide what to do next.  She had a touch of jaundice on day 3, but it was not a concern then.  Bilirubin is stored in the tissues, but is primarily elimated through waste (a small amount through urine, but the majority through stooling).  Keep us in your prayers, please.  Also, if you've ever wished a real stinker on that know-it-all-not-yet-a-parent-friend, please, pass all that passion and fervent wishing/praying on to Baby I.  All poopy prayers are welcome.

+   +   +   +   +   +   +

Okay!  One of my motherly peeves around the Fast is how, in effort to keep the fast, we will replace a real food with a fake food.  Now, if I was being honest with myself, then no butter would mean, no butter substitute.  That would certainly put an end to my margerine/transfat/what-exactly-is-Earth-Balance-and-why is-it-kinda-grey? anxieties.  I eventually shelve these minor-freakouts for the sake to being able to cook fast friendly food that the kids will eat.  Invariably, this eventually leads to a soy overload and then freakout #2 "what-is-all-this-soy-doing-to-us?!"  

Soy products, in general, are the answer to the question:  What to do with all this agricultural waste?!  Fortunately, for all of us, the Church and Christendom have being dealing with the question of Lenten cooking for millenia (two actually).  If you to have concerns about the effects of soy on you and your children  then here is an easy dairy alternative for the nut milk inclined.  First. a little history on use of Almond Milk and then a recipe.  I hope you find it useful.  By making your own almond milk, you can also avoid all the yucky sweeteners and Bisphenol A that end up in a comercial product.

In the Middle Ages, animal milk was, of course, not refrigerated, and fresh milk did not stay fresh for long. Most cooks simply did not use much milk as the short shelf-life of the product made it a difficult ingredient to depend upon. Many recipe collections of the time advise that cooks should only rely on milk that comes directly from a cow, something not possible at all times, and purchasing milk was a dubious practice, for streetsellers of milk often sold wares that were either spoiled or diluted with water. Milk’s use had to be immediate, in cooking or by turning into cheese & butter. It was these difficulties that forced Medieval cooks to look upon milk with great reluctance, and so having milk in the kitchen was usually unheard of.
Rather than animal milk, Medieval cooks turned to something they could depend upon, and that was the milky liquid produced by grinding almonds or walnuts. This liquid, high in natural fats, could be prepared fresh whenever needed in whatever quantities. It also could be made well ahead of time and stored with no danger of degeneration. Because of its high fat content, it, like animal milk, could be churned into butter, and because it was not animal milk, it could be used and consumed during Church designated meatless days.
Almond milk was used extensively in period; all existing cookbooks call for it, and it must have been found in literally every Medieval kitchen. It's the prime ingredient in many, many recipes, and the modern cook recreating Medieval food will have to learn its production in order to prepare the most common of dishes. Fortunately, it's easily made.  from here
Homemade Almond Milk 
2 cups of raw almonds soaked overnight
5 cups of filtered water
1-3 teaspoons of natural sweetener of your choice (I like maple sugar) optional

Grind your soaked almonds with the water. Let steep for an hour.  Stir and strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve.  You can save the ground remains to dry and grind again to use as almond meal.  Stir in sweetner if you choose to use it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The children visit

I will bless the Lord at all times . . .

Thank you so much for your prayers.  They bore me safely through my travail.  Our baby girl was born at 1:57 p.m. on March 11, 2011.  8 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long.  Thanks be to God for His abundant goodness and many blessings.

Psalm 34 was on my lips for much of my labor.  It vanquished much of my pain and fear.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together! 
I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 
Look to Him and be radiant, so your faces shall never be ashamed.
 The poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them. 
O taste and see that the Lord is good! 
Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him! 
O fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no want! 
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 
Come, O sons, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 
What man is there who desires life, and covets many days, that he may enjoy good? 
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. 
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears toward their cry. 
The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. 
Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 
He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. 
Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 
The Lord redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Today is the day...

Keep us in your prayers, please. Sts. Svetlana and Irenaeus, pray for us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Free As a Bird Far, Far Away

stunt belly
I haven't posted in a while.  Pregnancy is taking a serious toll on my brain these days.  Activities that require lots of computation- out.  Activities that are based on a set of explicit instructions or require nothing but respiration on my part- in. It's not that I feel bad.  I'm just here.
cutie patootie baby pants
I've been having days of on-again, off-again contractions that look promising, but go nowhere.  This suits me to a 'T,' as after about 6 hours of this, I come to the somewhat irrational decision that staying home is fine and that Mr. Flavius is perfectly capable of catching the little one when she comes.  Of course, this is a pretty lousy plan considering the fact that I'm taking a goodly amount of anti-clotting drugs and they pose a real risk to my health after delivery.  Thank heavens for Mr. Flavius, who I married because (among many other reasons) he told me, "No" (a word I seldom heard growing up or among my friends and beaus).

more baby pants

These are the days that I am grateful beyond belief for priests, readers, and choirs that carry me along during Liturgy; for children content to play with blocks or playdoh, while I sew little pajama pants for our little baby that will be here sooner than later; and the capable women and men of the internet.

We made a huge batch of Food Renegade's Double Fermented Kombucha.  My most successful fermented endeavor to date.
Then my googling led me to an excellent article on the hows, whys, and whens of using corn syrup or another substitute, by David Lebovitz.
Made by Rae, baby tights
And finally, because I am currently obsessed with things that cover baby behinds, a tutorial from Made By Rae on how to make baby tights, which are so adorable I want to make a dozen pairs.

I hope all of you are well!  God bless!