Sunday, May 31, 2009

Frozen Banana's

Now traditionally, I am not a banana fan. I avoid banana in smoothies, D eats any donated banana bread that makes it's way into our house, banana flavored candies and gum have always turned my stomach, I even had a hard time offering the mashed gooey fruit to E when we started her out on solids. But, um, I'm pregnant, and things change...I've fallen in l-o-v-e with chocolate covered frozen banana's!

Perhaps it has something to do with the utterly hilarious episodes of Arrested Development that have kept me endlessly entertained this pregnancy. Just as my habit of eating jars and jars of pimento filled green olives was informed by those martini making comic geniuses from M*A*S*H while I was pregnant with E.

They're cold and delicious and have been easy to find in the freezer section at Trader Joe's.

Although, upon doing the math ($1.99 for 4 in a box and I've been eating 1 or so per day), I decided I should try my hand at the frozen we're trying our first batch today!

  • 6 ripe bananas (I did 3)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Peel bananas; cut in half crosswise. Insert a wooden stick (I used reusable popsicle handles) into flat end of each banana half. Lay bananas on a shallow pan or baking sheet; freeze for about 3 hours, until very firm. Melt chocolate chips over hot water. With a spatula, quickly spread melted chocolate over each banana, coating well. Chocolate will become firm right away, refreeze again. Wrap each banana in foil; store in freezer (I just threw them in a ziplock).

p.s. ours turned out waaay better than the TJ's ones, much sweeter and better quality banana's!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Midwife in Training

As mentioned before E has attended most of my appointments, and gets to help with a few of the procedures. She (meticulously) readies the tape measure for my abdomen, she gets to squeeze the "belly jelly" on the doppler and then helps find her brother's heart beat!

*Please excuse the large doughy orb that is my belly...

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Over the last few weekends we've really been making some headway in the storage department of our garage. We've gone through countless boxes of junk, organized, D's built the appropriate shelving to house what we do want, and the aura around our house is lightening.

One such box housed a pile of old purses, gloves, and scarves from a decade ago. I flipped through old wallets finding library cards and receipts, tubes of crusty chap stick were tumbling around the bottom of long forgotten shoulder bags, and ID's and ancient photo's of D and me in our younger years smashed and yellowed tucked inside.

Most of it went in the trash or in our mountain of donations to the thrift store. I did find an old colorful purse I must have bought at Folklife or something years and years ago that I knew E would love. She immediately filled it with her precious items and carry's it around very seriously. The other day she called me in to examine the all important contents of her purse:

  • Hello Kitty sunglasses
  • a tissue pack
  • change purse
  • 2 mini jars of nail polish
  • 2 hair ties
  • a tube of Lip Smackers' Strawberry Snowflake chapstick
  • a glitter superball

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Just Kick Ya in The Shins Cute

A few weeks back E and D went on a Daddy-Daughter Date for a nice dinner and on to see The Shins. Ever since Ella's had the first part of New Slang stuck in her head. She wakes up singing it, sings it in the bathtub, on the swing set, in the car, everywhere. Last week I overheard her telling a classmate from her swimming lessons that her dad had brought her to see The Shins and the kid responded with "What's a Shins?" and this afternoon I caught her telling a 70 year old woman at Trader Joe's about the band and their song...

Big Belly Art (not mine)

* To clarify; this is not me, no we haven't had the baby, I just thought it was really creative...

39 and Holding

1 week until due date, which I realize means absolutely nothing!


We're getting closer...right?


Sometimes I just think he'll stay in there forever. I keep stocking up on groceries thinking that we'll need a little reserve for when we're just hanging out and getting to know our new little one, but slowly everything is eaten up and I'm off to waddle down the aisles again.

We did, though, settle on a name this last week (in the 11th hour...). And that's a relief. Because I usually refer to each member of our family with a capitol letter only, he'll be 'N' from now on.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I never thought too much about it when we had E, but while we've been waiting for baby #2, I decided to check out this book. Not preachy for either side of the debate, just strait forward facts to help me make an informed decision. I've really enjoyed familiarizing myself with this part of parenting.

*Here's an online article that some of you may find interesting

Concert In Utero

E's been very interested in making sure the baby will recognize her voice when he decides to make his way out. She regularly sings to him a handful of lullaby's. The camera was a little distracting and she's really tired and ready to climb into bed, so these versions are a little choppy but you get the idea.

This is about 5 minutes long...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One Vowel Swoop

E gave this to me this morning:

"Ellanora (a nickname I call her sometimes), I Luv Yo Mam. I Kud Kis Yo In Wn Vawl Swop"

Translation: From Ellanor, I Love You Mom. I Could Kiss You In One Fell Swoop.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beach Baby

E remarked that today would be a good day to visit the beach, and under normal circumstances I would have agreed with her; the mercury is hovering just above 70, we just came home with our new tablecloth for the first outside meal of the season, we've been sucking on popsicles, and she's decked out in her new Saltwater's. Perfect day for the beach. Except my belly currently is the size of a beach ball, and with all the Braxton Hicks I've been having, toting all our shovels, umbrella and folding chairs down to the shore on my own isn't exactly my definition of sane.

So my response to her was, "Y'know it does sound good, but I really can't do anything without Daddy right now. What if 'Buddy' decided to come out and we were all the way down there on our own?" "Oh yeah," she said "He'd get shells in his ears, sand in his eyes, and fish in his mouth."

Many giggles ensued.

Feathering the Nest

Just down to 2 weeks and some days until my due date comes around. I've been in clean/prepare mode for a few weeks now; washing and ironing all the curtains and couch cushion covers, synchronizing all our clocks, avoiding sitting on the ground, drinking gallons for raspberry leaf tea, putting fresh batteries in all our smoke alarms, washing loads of tiny little socks and onsies, re-reading baby books, organizing the medicine cabinets, cursing my swelling fingers and feet (thank God for flip-flops), visiting a few shops and filling in the arsenal of baby items that we'll need in the first few weeks, bribing D to get outside and mow the lawn that is almost at this point unbearable for me, counting baby kicks, checking and rechecking my supply list for the birth, and trying to come up with a suitable name for out little guy.

D suggested that we take a few days with each prospective name and just call him that and see how it fits. So far I think it's been a good idea, some names are hard to assign to a little helpless infant but would be a great adult name (which I suppose is the idea as you're an adult for more of your life than a little bundle...)

At the first of the week E took her sibling class with 5 or so other soon-to-be big brother's and sister's. She loved it, and of course had so many things to share with the rest of the class. The children gathered on the floor, while the parents sat in semi-circle behind them. The instructor was Penny Simpkin, a real guru in the field of childbirth and midwifery. She brought posters, books, a slide show, had a 4-week-old visiting newborn that all the children got to practice holding, and also recreated a birth using dolls. E was all eyes and ears and of course full of comments and supplemental information for discussion times. She mentioned learning some new things, mainly "what a placenta was for and what it looked like," and also "the sounds Mama might make" while in labor. It was a great preparation class for her, and I think will provide an excellent communication tool for her and D while I'm pushin' her brother out.

Well, whenever this little guy decides it's the right time, we'll be ready.

I'm ready.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Because It's Important That We Have a Choice

Thank you Melissa for bringing this to my attention. If you're so inclined please read through and take the time to sign the letter to Congress. We should have a choice.

Judge Rules Against Birth Centers

May 2009 - A federal administrative judge has ruled that the federal Medicaid program may deny federal funds to state Medicaid plans that pay for birth center facility fees. The ruling comes in an appeal by the Texas Health & Human Services Commission in which the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) filed an amicus brief on behalf of the 42 Texas birth centers that are now at risk to lose Medicaid payment of their costs. The decision leaves the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") free to shut down birth center facility reimbursement in the rest of the U.S.

The AABC has turned to Congress to rectify this situation. Legislation that would require payment to birth centers on the same basis that Medicaid currently pays hospitals, physicians, and nurse-midwives will be introdouced in the U.S. House of Representatives next week by Representative Susan Davis (D) of California and Representative Gus Bilirakis (R) of Florida. The bill, to be called the "Birth Center Medicaid Act," would ensure that Medicaid enrollees may continue to access the safe, woman-centered, cost-effective care that women with private insurance may choose.

For the past 30 years, birth centers have consistently demonstrated dramatic cost savings, compared to the cost of childbirth in hospitals. According to data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the recently-published Milbank report, "Evidence-based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve", the national average charge for an uncomplicated hospital birth is four times higher than for birth in a freestanding birth center. Birth centers provide high quality woman-centered care with outcomes as good if not better than hospital births, result in far fewer expensive interventions, and demonstrate much lower rates of cesarean sections.

Even though birth centers had been recognized as Medicaid providerss by CMS (and, earlier, by HCFA) since 1987, in the last three years CMS began to disallow federal matching funds to states that paid birth center facilitiy fees. As a result, state Medicaid Agencies in Alaska, South Carolina, and Washington State were forced to find alternative ways to compensate birth centers for Medicaid enrollees. The Texas Health & Human Services Commission has not yet indicated whether it intends to pursue a further appeal to the courts, but AABC is greatly concerned that the agency may be not continue to pay birth centers without federal matching funds.

The nationwide implications of this ruling, not only for women enrolled in Medicaid but also for birth centers, could be catastrophic. Birth centers serve a significant Medicaid population and, for some centers, as many as 50% to 95% of patients are Medicaid enrollees. Without reimbursement for the costs associated with these births, birth centers thoughout the nation will be pushed to the brink of closing. Some centers in Washington State have, in fact, been forced to close since the CMS crackdown. The loss of birth centers would be particularly ironic at the present time, as the nation considers how to deal with a flu pandemic that could make hospitals unsuitable sites for women in labor and their otherwise-healthy babies. Birth centers, in such a scenario, stand out as safe havens where women could give birth safely without exposure to hospital pathogens. If birth centers are forced to shut their doors because of this misguided CMS policy, this option may be foreclosed in many states.

For further information, and to learn how you can take action, please visit AABC's Legislative Alert pages on

*taken from American Association of Birth Centers' website

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama Card

This was given to me this week, and I think counts as a lovely Mother's Day card. You can see that I am depicted in purple (my favorite color) with the baby (in blue for a boy), D is in black (his everyday shirt color) and a beard, and E is in red (her favorite color). Also pictured; an ant hill, tree, bird, butterfly, rainbow, sun and sky.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lone Star Friends

We had some friends move to Texas this last year. Their oldest son is only weeks older than E, so his friendship has been missed and really quite obvious as her circle of friends is rather small. And really, the friendship that Kristen and I forged isn't much different; she has been missed. We did get to see them over the holiday's as their families are both from Washington, and last week a speaking engagement brought them up again. This time the weather afforded some much needed outside play, while the mommies chatted in the sun.

*Thanks for the photo's Kristen

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Take the Camera and Run

After scrolling through Jen's recent post with photo's of her and her daughter, E really really wanted to grab the camera and take some silly shots of me too. Each one is a pose she requested...


E's in full swing baby readiness mode...shown here taking the job of rocking and nursing Kromps, her stuffed giraffe very seriously.

Triple Door Date

Last night may well have been our last date night out before the baby comes. My sister agreed to have E overnight, and our dear friends Jeff and Rosie invited us out to see Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) at the Triple Door. It's really the only way I can enjoy shows these days; comfy seating, good food, clean bathrooms, music that doesn't require ear plugs and bodies of complete strangers packed in like sardines on all sides.

Thank you for dinner Shoops, the night was perfect!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Showered with Lotsa Love

Jen and Trey threw us the sweetest baby shower this evening. It was so nice to see so many of our friends in the same place! We feel so loved. If you'd like to see a few shots of the festivities (and my ballooning form) click here.