We found these cool looking gourds on sale at the store. They were 99 cents each.
Many of them came with Tenticles, or other ridges. Drew decided it would be fun to try and eat. I had been going to get one, just for decoration, but Drew insisted. So today, we tried to eat it. First, we tried to just cut it open with a regular knife.
That really didn't work, so we had to pull out the big guns.
This seemed to actually work pretty well. we got it open, and stared to clean it out.
we put the seeds in to cook, and try them on their own, just like pumpkin seeds. they tasted vaguely like popcorn, but it wasn't my favorite.
we chopped up part of the rest of it, to try it fried.
it wasn't amazing, but it wasn't horrible either. I wouldn't suggest eating it like this again. The other part, we shredded up to have as hash browns
They actually turned out pretty good. I think that if someone offered me these and told me they were hash browns, I might think they were funny colored but that they tasted just like regular hash browns.
This is a post that I've been debating if I wanted to write for quite a while. It's one of those topics that people just don't seem to talk about, and honestly, I can understand why. But, I decided the other very early morning when both J and I were in tears after a long and hard day and not sleeping well, I needed to get it off my chest.
One word sums it up fairly well: Frustration. Not all the time, but it's probably the most prevalent feeling out there. Frustration at not being able to do anything to help my son, frustration at not being able to do anything around the house because he just wants to be held, and standing, and walking the apartment hallways, frustration at his dad being able to escape to work and class, and having homework when he get's home. Frustration at his dad for sleeping through it all at night, and getting his full 7 hours of sleep, when I'm running on less than half of that. Yes, even frustration at J for crying all the time, even though he can't help it because he has excess gas that won't go away, and his tummy hurts.
The days like this...it makes me wonder again and again why I wanted to be a parent, and will this really ever end? I've heard it does, but really.... will it?
While endlessly walking the halls in our apartment, or at church, I meet other people, and they "helpfully" mention, "You know there are other ways to calm your child. You should look up such and such video on YouTube to find out more" Do you really think I haven't tried it all? Do you really think I enjoy walking that much that I wouldn't try anything else? Okay, maybe sometimes I do enjoy walking, and spending time exploring and showing my son the world. But do you really think I enjoy it that much at 1am?
And then there are the times when no matter what I do, and how much walking we do J just won't stop crying, and yes, it's getting to me because it's been _all_day_long. So I put him in the crib, walk into the bathroom, and shut the door. J is crying hysterically out there, but I need a cry too because I feel like a horrible parent and want to hurt something because I can't get my son to stop crying. I know that in the long run, it won't do him any harm, no long term damage. But I still feel horrible about needing some time to let it out with a good cry. And again, the thoughts "Will this really ever end? What if this just keeps going...forever?"
There are the good days and good times too. The times when we are cuddling, and I'll whisper "I love you" in his ear, and he gives me a huge smile. The times when he get's so excited when I come in to pick him up from a nap or in the middle of the night. And those times make me SO happy and feel like the luckiest person alive. Do they drown out all the frustration? No, absolutely not. I'm sure that when I look back at J's childhood, it's something I'll always remember is the frustration of these early days. And honestly, it makes me scared for the children we want to have in the future. Are they all going to be like this? But, the good times do make it that much easier to go on, and to see another day through.
going into pregnancy, I knew from the start that I wanted to breastfeed J. I wanted that special bonding time, I wanted the food that was best for him and would provide all those essential anti-bodies and goodness that comes with breast milk, and I certainly didn't want to spend the tons of money it took to formula feed a child. That was probably my biggest reason, not wanting to spend the money.
and for a while, breastfeeding worked (kind of). It was hard for both J and me. I was slow to produce milk, and because he was such a large baby to start out with, wasn't happy with the small amounts of colostrum, then in-between-milk that I made. Combined with the fact that he had to spend his first few days in the NICU, and was formula fed there, J was always a bit frustrated at my attempts to nurse him (especially since mom is sooooo much slower to eat from than mom, and I want my food NOW!). We kept persevering (with lots of tears, fighting to keep J awake, and frustration on all ends), and all seemed to be going great, and doing so much better....until he got all colic-y.
I knew that something had to be an underlying factor for this. There had to be a reason for the colic, it shouldn't just happen. so I started to do some research. We were recommended some infant gas drops, to see if it was just his body processing gas poorly, and it seemed to help some, but not much. We eventually stumbled upon the idea of being sensitive to dairy, specifically the proteins in dairy. This made so much sense to me. Even though he doesn't like to admit it, Drew has a dairy sensitivity, so why wouldn't J? So we tried a dairy free week with me eating no major sources of dairy (milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) and some formula that was specifically for a dairy sensitivity.
It was amazing. After a few days, J only cried for wanting to eat (NOW, not in 5 seconds!), wanting to be held and cuddled (I want to be held all the time!) being overly tired (there's way too much world to see, and I want to see it all now, not sleep!) and I'm fairly certain some if it was boredom too (I'm tired of looking at all the cool things in this house, and that rattle doesn't interest me. let's go on another walk, even though we went 10 minutes ago!) it was amazing. My little boy was sometimes happy again, and didn't cry all day every day. It wasn't always a huge relief (and my main goal after every time he woke) for him to just fall back to sleep. I wanted to spend time cuddling and playing with him. I wanted to see his alert and ever curious little eyes.
I knew that I couldn't keep up with eating no dairy. I absolutely love dairy, and it's one of my main snacks. Plus, at least half the dinners and other meals we eat have lots of dairy. It would just be too much of a stress for me, something I certainly didn't need in my life while still adjusting to this new mom-hood thing. So we decided to try a week with me eating just one meal with dairy a day. If I knew we were having a dairy dinner (say, mac and cheese, or lasagna) then I wouldn't have any the rest of the day, just at dinner. If we weren't having dairy for dinner, I could have it somewhere else in the day.
After just two days, we knew it didn't work. J was back to crying at every waking moment. I was so disappointed. I still wanted to be able to nurse him, and still mainly not wanting to have to pay the exorbitant amounts of money to formula feed him. But I knew it was best for J. Did I feel guilty and like a bad mom? No. (actually, maybe a bit of guilt for not being stronger for him to give up the dairy, just for a few months while his insides adjusted) I knew it was best for both of us. What I mainly felt (and still do) is a whole slew of disappointment and sadness. As much of a fight and as frustrating as it was, I still loved nursing J, and knew I would miss it greatly. Sure, I can still cuddle him, but it's different. And that's still hard. Especially times when HE goes to nurse, and I know I probably don't have anything there any more for him. It makes me wonder if he misses it too. As much as I had to fight to keep him awake which he didn't like, did he enjoy nursing too?
I know that in the long run, it won't make a difference. he'll still grow up to be healthy and happy. Formula has some great benefits that breast milk doesn't and that he'll be fine.
I've learned quickly in this brief postpartum period that everyone and their dog has an opinion about breastfeeding, and just how great it is. I've also discovered that some opinions are more helpful than others. and sometimes seemingly harmless comments meant to encourage can do just the opposite.
I'll admit that I've been having problems with breastfeeding thus far. Not having anything there the first few days, then the colostrum coming in so slowly and in such small amounts I wasn't even able to syringe any up, let alone in the amounts that baby J wanted them in. Now on to the problem that he's such an impatient eater, he won't latch on to me for more than 3-4 sucks, and then gets frustrated there isn't anything there, and that he actually has to put in some work to get something from me. Honestly, I don't want feeding time to be any more stressful than it already is for both of us (especially that 3am feeding....) that I've come up with my own system of pumping what I can, feeding that to him, and then supplementing with formula. I'm content to do that until my actual milk comes in (and not just the colostrum or in-between the two stuff), and if he's still too impatient after the milk comes in, then to continue on after. But then people give seemingly harmless comments about "The best thing about actually breastfeeding is..." and it's very discouraging, and honestly, a bit overwhelming. So far, I haven't been able to produce the amounts of stuff that J wants and I think that even if I could, he wouldn't latch on long enough to be able to get at it. But is there really a problem with pumping my milk, and just giving that to him in a bottle? Isn't that good enough, and can't I get some encouragement on just what I can and am doing for this kid? I'm making sure he isn't starving, and I'm trying to get the amazing-ness that is breast milk to him in as much quantity as I possibly can. Isn't that good enough? Can't people see that and be encouraging about "you're doing your best, and that's what counts"? So far, out of the multiple people I've talked to about this problem (Drew, numerous nurses at the hospital, the hospital lactation consultant, mom and mom in law, sisters...) only 3 of those many, many people, have been supportive of what we've got going and encouraging that I'm trying my best, and thank heavens for today's medical advances. So yes, it is nice that people care about what's going on, and that they want to be encouraging. Maybe just try a different tactic, and don't keep going on and on about "well, the great thing about actually breastfeeding is...." and try something more like "It sounds like you've got some problems there, but I'm glad your doing what you can for him"
Naming a kid is hard. First you have to narrow it down to some favorites, and figure out what sounds good. Then you have to figure out which one both you and your spouse like, and think will be a good fit for this kid.
Drew and I have been having a hard time coming up with a name for our kid. I have about 4 names that I personally like. The fact that we are both rather indecisive doesn't help the naming matter any. We eventually decided that kids should come pre-tagged with their name. I know that some kids toys will... "Hi, my name is..." and they tell you right there, that's their name! Super simple, no having to decide. Though, naming a kid is probably a lot harder than naming a toy. With toys, you can easily just change their name. Once a day or more if you like! Kids are quite a bit harder to change names. It would be super easy if they could just tell you themselves.