Saturday, March 26, 2011

... of a very tasty last resort

As Abram has grown and started eating more, I have constantly been worried that my milk supply is not enough to keep up with him. This may be an irrational worry, as he usually seems to be able to make it about three hours in between feedings. However, the many times that he is absolutely out of control while eating makes me question my supply nearly every day. I have tried fenugreek and mother's milk tea and herbal drops for water and lots and lots of water and no caffeine and none of it seems to have made a permanent change. I thought I had reached the end of my options and would just have to wean him sooner than I had wanted if it didn't improve.

Last Wednesday, however, as I sat in the NICU with my friend and her ever-growing, soon-to-be-home baby girl, a male hospital worker interrupted our conversation about breast feeding trials.

"Have you heard of breast milk cookies?"

The surprise of the big Hawaiian man entering our conversation was startling enough, but his question really caught us off guard.

"Ummm... what?"

"Breast milk cookies. Google it. They help with milk production. They have, like, oatmeal and flax seed and brewer's yeast and they totally help. My wife eats them. They call her the cow at work."

More not knowing quite how to respond.

"It's just, whenever I hear women talking about it, I have to tell them because they helped my wife so much. And I figure, if we know a trick, why not share it?"

The conversation concluded with some thank yous from my friend and I and the exchange of a interested, yet weirded out look between us after he left.

So I googled it. And they do exist. There is even a company that makes them and sells them as monthly subscriptions to nursing mothers (www.milkmakers.com) But as the recipe is readily accessible online, I decided to make them myself and see how they worked. Here is the recipe I used:

Ingredients:
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 T water
2 T flaxseed meal (no subs)
2 Lg eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 C Thick cut oats
1 C Chocolate chips
2 T Brewers Yeast (no substitutions)

Preparation
Preheat oven at 375.

Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs.
Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.
Beat until well blended.
Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.
Add butter mix to dry ing.
Stir in the oats and then the choc chips.
Drop on parchmant paper on baking sheet.
Bake 8-12 minutes.

(Taken from epicurious)

They say that it makes 12 dozen. I am unclear about whether or not this is a typo, because they also say to eat four a day. Perhaps they are intending the baker to make very small cookies. When I told my husband what the recommended dosage was, he said: "If you really had to eat four a day, they shouldn't call them breastmilk cookies. They should call them get fat quick cookies". I opted to make two dozen very large cookies and only eat one a day.

Brewer's yeast is a key ingredient. I had to buy a $12 14oz canister to use 2 tbsp for one batch. Part of me hopes they work just so I don't waste the brewer's yeast.

They are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that rival the best ones out there. My non-nursing friend had one the other day and say they tasted great (and she would let me know if anything happened on the lactation front).

I am on day #2 and I have noticed an increase in my supply. This is said with a caveat, however. I remember high school science. And I do know that they only way to know if the effect is directly related to that variable is to hold all the other variables constant. Since that is impossible in this instance, I cannot be 100% sure. My water intake has been about the same and I've had about the same amount of caffeine, but Abram has been nursing a little longer and so his demand may have been most of the cause for the supply increase.

But whatever!! Right now I am overjoyed to be able to justify eating rather delicious cookies "for the sake of my baby". And no one can stop me. Until they start to become get fat quick cookies and then I may rethink my position.

On another, more directly related baby note: Abram is officially rolling over from back to front!



This is a little ironic to me because he really hates to be on his tummy. So you'd think he would be trying to figure out how to get OFF his tummy, not ON his tummy. But I'm sure that will happen soon enough. And when it does, he'll be more mobile and I'll have to start rearranging the house. So if he takes a little longer, I'm ok with that.

I don't know what Abram is saying in this picture. It's just one of the only ones of me we've gotten in the last few months and I thought I'd include it for posterity's sake.

Friday, March 18, 2011

... of a real mini Quinn

Abram had his four month check up today. Here are the stats: 12lb 9.6oz and 25.25 inches long. So he hasn't doubled his birth weight yet, but we are close! He is in the 55% for height and the 20% for weight. The doctor also added that he is really strong and has great muscle tone, even though he's skinny. So, basically, he is exactly like his dad. Tall, skinny, and deceptively strong.

He has had a tough week this week. traveling from Austin to San Antonio and back (4 hours) Saturday, from Austin to Paris, TX (6 hours) Monday, from Paris to Poteau, OK and back (5 hours) Tuesday, and Paris to Austin (6 hours) Wednesday. Needless to say he does not enjoy his car seat very much right now. Nana was in town - which was the reason for the trip to see family - and she got some good pictures from the week.

Here he is hanging with Aunt Liesl at a burger place in San Antonio. By the way, she is the only person we can liken Abram to at the moment. Which greatly confuses Quinn and I...

Nana got a smiley picture at the beginning of the journey:

... before he hated us.

My grandparents and uncle live in Paris and my great grandmother, who is 99, lives in Poteau. So we wanted to get a picture of five generations, in case we didn't get another chance. So here it is!

Abram also got to play with his third cousins.

So now that we are back, we've had some fussy days and we thought we would try to implement a naptime routine because he gets so fussy when he's sleepy and then refuses to sleep. We were totally prepared to let him cry it out a few times and see if he would catch on. Well, we did it a few times yesterday and it seemed to work. But for the last two months or so, Abram has developed a 30 minute internal nap clock. We could never get him to sleep longer than 30 minutes, even though we knew he was tired. Today, he missed his morning 30 minute nap because of the doctor and was incredibly fussy. But he fell asleep on the car ride home and I transfered him to his crib. He slept for about 30 minutes, but I left him alone and he fell back to sleep and slept for another hour and a half!! Then I woke him up to feed him, and he fell asleep while eating and has been passed out for another 30 minutes or so. I am hoping he is not sick or anything. He got some vaccinations today. Maybe it's normal for them to be sleepy or something. Hmmm... Well, I know that too much daytime sleep can be a bad thing, too. So I think we'll head out for a walk in a bit. I just hope that maybe it's the start of the sleep consolidation that should have started a month ago. That would be excellent.

And one final pic of Abram sitting up with very little help!
He is getting so big so fast. Makes a mom proud :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

... of a Babram Einstein.

But not really. I just happened to catch a few Abram moments today that make him seem like a little genius.

Here is is saying "mom"


That is actually part of a two minute video where he says "mom" THREE times. But it takes a lot of listening to me to get to the good parts. I think he's just a really good parrot... which I guess means I need to be very careful.

Here he is reading:

And drooling.

Here he is making out with a blinking face toy:
I think this also means we need to be very careful.

The fact is that he is a normal almost 4 month old: beginning to sleep through the night, taking more regular naps, holding his own head up, etc.

But by the next post, expect videos of him discussing the theory of relativity. Or not.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

... of a little variety

My life has been consumed by Abram for the last fifteen and a half weeks. Therefore, my blog has been consumed by Abram for the last... more than fifteen and a half weeks. I was such a complainer during my pregnancy (especially during the last trimester) that the last many months of my blog have been consumed by Abram.

I just returned from a baby shower for a friend that had her baby at 29 weeks. Praise God, Elliot Grace is a tough little cookie and is doing amazingly well, but my friend recently told me that she was mourning the loss of her third trimester. This made me realize that as tough as those last three months were, I am so glad that Abram was born full term and very healthy. I told Quinn that next time I promise to be much less complainy and count my many, many blessings...

Just had to put that in writing so I can read it and remember my promise when that time comes and I am tempted to forget.

I made a quilt for Miss Elliot Grace and documented the process, just for fun. Abram helped a little (by being calm and playing on the floor while I worked - sometimes). I am definitely not a quilter and I don't think I ever will be, but it was fun and hopefully she will get some good use out of it.

It all started out as a big pile of 3"x3" squares.
The back.
Abram helping out.The top finished.
Done!

It turned out kind of a strange size: long and skinny. So I call it a "play quilt". Like, she can play on it. Really it's just my way of justifying the fact that it won't work as a blanket.

So there's some variety for the blog. Quilts.

... aaaand on a final baby note, Abram is sitting up on his own enough to mildly enjoy a bumbo type activity chair. Hurray for self entertainment.

Friday, March 4, 2011

... of conversation

"That's right, folks! It's only a matter of time until they won't be able to shut me up..."

Not much time to blog lately, but I thought I would share some (low quality) pics. We basically went from taking insane amounts of pictures when Abram was born to taking almost none with a real camera. So my phone is the only place that we are getting any documentation of his fast and furious development. The fun thing is that it DOES take video, so I get a little more eventful stuff to share.

He has been talking a lot lately. I haven't figured out if he is just babbling for babblings sake or if he does it when he needs to spit up. Usually these conversations follow a feeding and are followed by some kind of liquid. Sorry. But here is Abram conversing.



If my mac were working, I would love to be able to add captions for what I imagine him to be saying. Oh well, maybe it's better for you to use your own imagination.

We've also been working on playing with toys and tummy time. He's still not a huge fan of the latter, but he's getting better and better each time at not freaking out.

This is tummy time in his new gym we bought at a resale shop for 1/3 of the price it is at babies r us. I am beginning to learn to never buy anything new...

Well, I will try to be better about taking pictures of the kid on a good camera. Or maybe be better about telling Quinn to be better about taking pictures of the kid on a good camera. Same thing.

"Thaaaaat's all, folks."