Sunday, February 20, 2011

List of Things

1. Sunday Funday! We went to Forest Park today. The weather has been so delightfully wonderful! We decided to go for a walk with Ryan, and we used our hands free carrier. She loved it. Adam and I have both said on several occasions that we need a kite. This is on my list.

2. We went thrifting today-- too. And, I bought her first dress. It has a cherry on it, and it's 3-6 months. I am so excited to see her in it. I also found some children's books at the store, too. (I collect Children's books, and these were in my elementary library.) I loved them... do you remember Mr. Messy, or Mr. Lazy? check this out:
Even Adam remembered them! I am so excited to add these $.30 books to my collection.

3. I want a kaleidoscope.... I love those things.

4. My friends are visiting this week and I am so excited. Both, Noah and Anne, will be here for one day only. Thursday. I'm making homemade cranberry, walnut, and lemon scones and a breakfast dish. Also, that evening we're having smoky fondue! (it turned out great.)

5. Adam and I are building our own baby changing station... I do the painting--- Adam does the routering, cutting, jigsawing, etc.... I think it will last through all of our children. Photos... upon completion.

6. Ryan is a month old... as of yesterday! I can't believe it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life as I knew it.

My life now looks nothing like it did 2 years ago.

This time of the year, 2 years ago, I was living in Chile. I was making beer, wine, and whiskey in South America. I was learning spanish by speaking it and living it. We would be selling the product to the Chileans, and I would ask, "Cerveza y whiskey?" or "Vodka Kooler con pomelo o lemon?"
Back then, I was wondering if Adam would want me in his life forever. And, I was eating and preparing food that came to us from our garden or the neighbors gardens. I loved that I could ride the bike to town and call my parents, or ride to go pick figs down the street by the river. I loved NOT driving- looking at the Andes Mountains everyday-- and vacationing to Pichilemu.

Now, family is the most important thing. Obviously. We live in the city. And, although we do go camping and hiking A LOT, the
music scene probably tops the list. I've learned that living in a new place, you trade in old things that you love to do for new things one discovers that they love.

In Memphis, I loved the fact that I knew all the little places that I enjoyed to snack or hang out.
In Jackson, I loved that when I walked out any door, nature was right there. Even when I lived in an apartment complex, I could take my inflated tube and tube down Flat Creek. (And, yes, I did that.)
In Requegua, I loved being close to the earth. I worked the earth...I walked the earth. We made a bamboo room.
In St. Louis, I love being cultured. I have seen SO much music here. Carolina Chocolate Drops, Yonder, Gov't Mule, the Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jake's Leg. I just keep learning, too.

Also, we have a baby! And, here's some new photos:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

Adam and I have a running deal. We don't buy anything for each other on this holiday. It's totally generic to say, but we love each other everyday. (not. just. Valentine's.) And, we're pretty thoughtful about remembering just happys (as I call them) to surprise the significant other with something that says a quick 'I love you.'
This particular Valentine's day, we both had very little time to prepare ANYTHING. I did have one goal: to make a chocolate cake. I'm not a big baker, but Adam loves chocolate, and I wanted to try something simple but elegant. I also hinted to Adam that a nice dinner would be just wonderful for us to celebrate the holiday. I got my wish!

Adam prepared Crusted Salmon with Honey Mustard Sauce, Steamed Asparagus, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I made this cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute with whole wheat flour)
1 cup white or brown sugar

3 tablespoons sifted good quality cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Make three deep holes in the dry mixture. Into one hole, po
ur the oil, into the next hole, pour the vinegar, and into the final hole, pour the vanilla.

2. Pour the water into the bowl, over all. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until there aren't any more lumps and pour into an ungreased 9x9 baking pan, 2 inches deep.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes, test with a fork.

I also made a mocha icing:

1/2 small heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa (I used dutch cocoa)

I beat the whipping cream til stiff peaked.
Add the other two ingredients.... VIOLA!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Since this year has been the most snowy in the Midwest, it gets almost everyone thinking about the Spring. I have been thinking about the warm sunshine, and how I can't wait to take Ryan to the park for Twilight Tuesday music in the park, walking, and picnicking.

All this talk about the warm sunshine reminds me of a beautiful outdoor experience while I was pregnant.

I told you about our babymoon to Ozark, Arkansas for the Yonder Harvest Festival--And, while we were there, Adam and I participated in the yoga morning activity. We walked to the tent and breathed into different yoga poses. We were under the tent at the start, and Adam moved out into the grass under the sun. The sun shone upon our faces, and it felt so warm. It felt like we were harnessing the sun's energy. It was exhilarating, and we were both thankful for the day.

This festival was three days of car camping, cooking, and listening to music. We danced and played. I was 26 weeks pregnant, and we even went on a hike. It was a disaster. Ryan was in my belly dancing and grooving. Looking back, I am so happy we went.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2 weeks ago

Two weeks ago tomorrow, our little Ryan was born.

It's been a wild 2 weeks, and I've learned a lot.

There's a couple of things I want to remember forever:

1. I love baby breath.
2. I love swaddling.
3. This year has been the most snowy. I'm glad that we're snuggled in at home.
4. I'm enjoying changing Ryan's clothes, and watching her start filling them out.
5. I am in love with St. Louis Diaper Service. It makes cloth diapering a cinch, and it's not bad for the environment.
6. I love spending time with her in the morning.... she's so bright-eyed.
7. I love eating at home, and not having a sack lunch.
8. I love watching my husband hold his little girl.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A little girl!

Ryan Elizabeth Lenz was born January 27, 2011 at 12:01 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and measured 20" long. She changed my life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011, I was induced. Our surprise baby was 40.5 weeks, and time for her to arrive in the world. Adam and I received our call to arrive at the hospital, and we were to be there at 8 a.m. We got to our room, they put my IVs in, and started the pitocin. The nurses came in about every 30 minutes and increased the dose all day. Little baby was slow moving though. At about 4pm, the resident came in a broke my water. Then, I started having intense contractions. After about 2 1/2 hours of this, I was at about 4 and alittle, 80% effaced. I was given at epidural at this point. This was about 7pm. I felt super dosed after it was administered, and my blood pressure dropped. For about 6 hours, I couldn't move my left leg...
Then, labor slowed. But, it went badly. The pitocin was causing problems for baby. Our little girl wasn't tolerating it, and they had to stop it at about 11pm. An internal fetal monitor, contraction monitor, and catheter had all been placed. On top of that, I had my IVs, and blood pressure cuff attached too. And, epidural....
We tried to rest, but it became harder. The break from the pitocin had gone on for some time, and at about 2pm, the baby's heartbeat slowed... almost stopped. The nurses came in, and talked to me about what this means, and that, even though, the baby is moving, there's some cause for concern. When I was having contractions, the baby wouldn't tolerate it, and the heart rate would drop. This was a big deal, and about 5 nurses came in and discussed c-section. I was completely scared. I feared this, and I began to cry. The conversation happened twice, and I know I wanted my baby to be safe, but it is still hard to swallow. And, my baby needed to come out. While these events were occuring, my doctor was updated. He told the nurses to just let me rest, and hold the pitocin. At about 7am, they started the pitocin again. And, Dr. came into see me. The labor was continuing well from here. I rested and prayed for my little one. I prayed that he/she would be healthy and okay. I prayed for my husband while watching this to stay strong for me. I prayed because this was beyond my control.
At about 11am, I felt the baby lowering... I felt movement. I tried some practice pushing, and I pushed for about 15 minutes, and they got the doctor in. I pushed for a total of 40 minutes, and my little girl came into the world with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 4 times. Adam saw that it was a girl-- and the doctor hurried to unravel the cord. It went fine! Although I was concerned about her, she was fine. The APGAR test came back 8-9. She was alert, and I held her first. I cried. She is so beautiful and I loved her so much already. Ryan Elizabeth was here, and I am her momma. Adam was overcome with happiness, and he was bouncing all over the room.

I have to say, Adam is my strength. He had my health and the baby's health as his main concern. He aided me in whatever I needed, and he was actively involved in the delivery of our baby. He loves our little girl.

I hadn't eaten in about 40 hours, and I was famished. I finally got to post-partum room and saw my sweet child.

Ryan Elizabeth is completely healthy. No scratches or bruising. Just a sweet baby face and the creation of my love and myself. This experience was amazing. I felt like I had changed the world. I accomplished something, and Adam felt the same.

The past few days have been challenging too. Today, Ryan is 6 days old. She's met Adam's parents, and she's met the pediatrician... She's doing just fine. I stopped taking my percocet... for obvious reasons... and, my milk came in. That HURTS!

The best thing in the world though, was walking through our door at home, and knowing we were home for good. My little girl is adjusting well, and we are trying. The nights have been difficult, but we'll adjust.

Welcome to the world, Ryan! Your parents love you!