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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All Smiles

This week we have been getting lots of smiles from Holden. It melts my heart when I am talking to him in my classic baby talk and he gives me a big grin. But we have had the hardest time catching that smile with the camera. And then it happened today. He was not smiling at me, or Jeremy. He was smiling at the sunshine on his Baby Einstein Discovery Gym. He really enjoys playing on that thing. He bats his hand at the parakeet and just stares up at that sunshine (who happens to have a smile painted on her face also). And so it’s almost like Holden is smiling back at her. When I turn the sunshine on and it starts playing music and lighting up, Holden’s smile fades. And soon the bottom lip turns out and he starts crying. So for now, we keep the sunshine turned off. Because he loves it when she’s silent, nonbattery operated and simply smiling back at him. Here is Holden smiling at miss Sunshine. Could I have had better timing on this one? I think not! And thank you cousins Margaret, Jesse and Lilly for the play gym. I think it’s by far his favorite!

Freezer Meals

Last week, while my mom was here. I devoted almost an entire day to cooking. I wanted to do some freezer meals to make life a little less complicated with Holden. And since you are all dying to know, I am sharing the recipes here. And I would love for you to share with me some good meals that can be cooked ahead of time and that freeze well. The ones posted below and have been tasted and approved by Jeremy and I. It was my second run with all of them. The portions are so large, so once I put them in individual freezer bags for 2 people I had 25+ meals in my freezer. Nice! Dinner for a month. Some of the recipes I doubled as I cooked for this very reason. But since we are going to be eating the same 5 meals all month, I would love to hear your recipes for my next go at this. I wonder if it would fit on a comment?? You could try. Or you could post it on your own blog, if you don’t have anything better to blog about. J

Well, here are the meals in my freezer right now.

Chicken Spaghetti
3 chicken breast small box Velveeta
24 oz package of spaghetti noodles cream of chicken soup
cream of mushroom soup cream of celery soup
3 stalks of celery

Boil chicken and chop into bit sized pieces. Dice celery stalks. Boil noddles and celery and drain. Cube Velveeta cheese. Mix all ingredients. Place in storage bags and lay flat in freezer.

To serve: Place mixture in 9X13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Hawaiian Chicken
2 cups chopped chicken breast 1 cup onion
1 cup green bell pepper 2 cans cream of chicken soup
15 oz can of pineapple tidbits 2 teaspoons soy sauce
grape tomatoes

Saute onion and bell pepper until mostly soft. Cook chicken and dice. Mix together with soups, pineapple and soy sauce. Freeze.

To serve: Let thaw, warm in sauce pan over medium heat. Serve over rice and garnish with tomatoes.

Chicken and Rice Wraps
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded 2 cups water
1 cup mild salsa 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
2 cups instant rice 8-12 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar

In skillet or saucepan, combine cooked chicken, water, salsa and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add uncooked instant rice, simmer on low for 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into center of tortillas and add shredded cheese. Wrap tortilla.

To freeze: Wrap each folded tortilla in tin foil and place in 1 gallon freezer bag.

To serve: Take wrap out of foil and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Tomato Chicken Gumbo
14 oz. chicken broth ½ lb. polish sausage, cooked and sliced
26 oz. can chunky spaghetti sauce 2 cups cooked diced chicken
11 oz can of corn, drained 1 green bell pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Place in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze.

To serve: allow mixture to unthaw. Please in saucepan and let gumbo come to a boil. Add cooked rice. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Chicken and Bacon Pasta
4 cups penne pasta 12 oz jar of alfredo sauce
peppers in adobe sauce (1-3 peppers depending on how spicey you want the dish)
4 slices of bacon 2 chicken breasts
2 green onions

Boil chicken and slice into bite sized pieces. Cook penne pasta and drain. Cook bacon and chop. Dice peppers finely. Chop green onion. Mix all ingredients and freeze.

To serve: Place mixture in a 5X5 dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350. You may top with parmesan cheese before baking.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blessed by dads!

Sunday was Jeremy’s first Father’s Day and he got diddly squat from this mother-son team. But can Holden really be any part of the blame?? No. In my defense, I looked for something in the hospital gift shop, but really had no luck. It was a crazy weekend, but I think Father’s Day did end up being a special one for Jeremy once we were released to go home. That was a nice gift in itself. So some things I love about Jeremy and his recent exploration into fatherhood.

*He prays for his son and we pray as a family. I know this will be something that Holden will naturally see as Jeremy has already begun including him in these prayer times.

*He is an amazing swaddler. Better than me. And better than some of the nurses we encountered last weekend. Once he swaddles Holden, there will be NO limbs escaping and he sleeps so well that way!

*He reads books to Holden and uses his animated expressions in conversation. Yes, Jeremy has quickly picked up on the baby talk.

*Holden is the only person I know that can wake Jeremy up in the middle of the night and it puts a smile on Jeremy’s face. Jeremy REALLY enjoys his sleep, but Holden’s disturbances don’t bother him in the least.

*I left Jeremy alone with Holden within the 1st week that we had him. He is just so good with him and more than capable of the responsibility.

*He is a wonderful provider and takes that responsibility so seriously. Sometimes, too seriously, (if you ask) me when I just want to live on faith. But his practical side really balances us out as a couple.

There are so many other things that I love about Jeremy, as a father, my husband and my very best friend. He is my blessing. Now he is our blessing!

And there are other important fathers in our lives. Jeremy’s dad had a big hand in the development of who Jeremy has become. So to him I am forever grateful. Thank you so much for your love and support to us as a family. We love you! Happy belated Father’s Day.

And to my dad, could a girl ask for a better one? I think not. You are 4 hours away, but I know from last Thursday that you can be here in a moments notice. Thank you for your availability, care and concern. Thank you for your level head that can listen and share advice. I love you! And happy belated Father’s Day to you!

Holden has a special message for you both. See below. Dads, the gifts will be in the mail tomorrow. I know they are so late!! We’ll do better next year.

Update on Holden

I know this is long overdue. Things have just been busy. We returned home from the hospital late Sunday afternoon. And as of last night, I think he is just about 100% back to himself. He finally slept in the bassinet by himself last night – the entire night. Well, with the exception of feedings every 3 hours. While he was so sick and vomiting, I had been sitting up and holding him while he slept. I was somewhat afraid that he might choke and I just wasn’t comfortable sleeping while all of that was going on with his little body. Anyways, it is no wonder that when we returned home he did not want to be laid down. He wanted to be held. But we prayed and prayed and prayed last night and he slept on his own with no fuss. Amazing! I think he is getting back to his normal and laid back temperament. He was just a little traumatized through the hospital stay and surgery. And who wouldn’t be!! Thanks for everyone’s concern and prayers. He is really doing great now!

Friday, June 13, 2008


Holden is out of surgery. It was a success! Thank you for your prayers. We had loving and concerned people praying all over the place. What a blessing! He is doing well - resting in his hospital room. I fed him 15 cc's of pedialite and he gobbled it up. In 3 hours he can have 30 cc's. He is a hungry boy as he hasn't eaten in 2 days and has been losing several meals for 2 weeks. But the surgery went amazing! We are so thankful for God's hand over Holden's precious life. We are thankful for wonderfully skilled doctors and compassionate nurses that have been by our side for the past 2 days. We have so much to be thankful for!

Nightmare – Miserable – Sick sick baby

I couldn’t decide which title would be the most appropriate for this post. Nightmare might be a little dramatic for the situation. As I lay on the hospital cot last night, I kept thinking . . where are we? What city? Are we really doing this? But as I realized that we are in fact in the hospital of our home town, it just seemed more real. Yesterday was miserable for me. That is the one word that kept coming to mind. Miserable for the 3 of us. Today won’t be much better. And so I will start from the beginning, while trying to keep this short and sweet for you readers.
2 weeks ago yesterday Holden began vomiting. Not spitting up, but projectile vomiting most of his meals. The doctor tried 2 formula switches and assumed reflux, as I think we all did. Thursday we went in for an Upper GI . . . just in case it was something else. And sure enough it was more. He has what is called pyloric stenosis. It is something that develops early in newborns, in those early weeks of life. I find it amazing that he spit up a total of 2 times in his first 4 weeks of life, and then began this awful vomiting. His pyloric sphincter is too tight and is not allowing food to properly flow through the digestive system. And so everything he eats comes back up . . . in full force. The only option is surgery. They will snip the muscle and he will be cured. That is the plan. It’s just a scary thought to put your 6 week old baby under anesthetics for a surgery. But I know people do it all the time. It just feels much different when it’s our little guy. Yesterday was rough as it took them 3 hours to get an IV into Holden. He was dehydrated and so the veins were even smaller than normal. It was a catch 22 – he needed fluids, but yet they couldn’t get fluids into him because they couldn’t get in the FREAKIN IV!! The nurses tried, poking him unsuccessfully about 5 times. Then the NICU nurses came in and tried with no success. And then they called on the big guns – the anesthesiologists. Still no success. They ended up having to take him into the OR and slightly put him under, to have him relax. They finally hit a vein in his left arm and it is completely wrapped and protected so that it doesn’t accidentally come out before surgery. We stayed in the room for over an hour while they poked and prodded. I looked out the window and cried, while Holden lay on the bed and cried. Sometimes he was fine, and such a strong baby boy. But other times, I know he was just in pain with all of the needles poking at him. When they went for a vein in the head, Jeremy couldn’t take anymore and they told us we should probably leave. It was an overwhelming day. I hated to see my baby out of sorts, hooked up to wires and now IV’s. They tell us that today will be the easy day, in comparison to yesterday. I am hopeful that the surgery will be quick and smooth. I am ready to have my happy baby back. He hasn’t had food in over 24 hours and you can tell he is hungry (when he is awake). But his pacifer seems to pacify well enough. Anyways, I know this is kind of rambly. And I know that isn’t a word. We haven’t had much sleep.
We would appreciate your prayers. This afternoon will not be fun. It’s trusting God all over again. And I KNOW His faithfulness. Holden is PROOF of his faithfulness. But this time it is just a little tougher. It’s no longer about us . . . there is precious little life involved that we are completely in love with. We just have to trust Him. He continually proves to us that his plan is so much sweeter than our own.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Holden hearts Texas.

He made his first trip to the great state this past weekend. And he absolutely loved it! I could tell by this look on his face, he just wasn’t ready to leave.

We had a great weekend in Texas, showing off our little boy. Now most of our family and many dear friends have met this wonderful baby.

My meme meets Holden for the first time.

Jeremy's granny and dad meet Holden. Obviously, everyone fell in love instantly. :)

Some college friends gave me a baby shower on Saturday. Thank you Amanda, April, Alicia and Sarah!! You all are too wonderful for words. I was able to visit with old friends and see many family members. And they spoiled Holden rotten with gifts and cuddles. No wonder he didn’t want to leave them all. I will leave you with a few more pictures from the weekend.
Cute cute cake at the shower!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Can you say baby model?

Ok. Maybe I am a little biassed and all being his mother. But Holden had his first photo shoot on Memorial Day. Mrs. Kalee Ridings came to our home and did an amazing job (I think). Pictures are now posted at her site. Go here, then click "clients" and our password is holden. Now we have the hard decisions ahead - which to choose!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

1 month

Well, here we are at Holden’s 1 month mark and everyone in our house is still alive. That seems to be a good sign. Some of us are a little sleep deprived, but well worth every waking minute. We’ve had Holden home just over 3 weeks and the time has been a whirlwind and full of excitement and awe for these new parents. I believe that things are finally settling down and it’s nice to finally start some sort of routine for him and me. We are completely enjoying life with Holden and I have to say motherhood is everything I had ever dreamt of and more! And fatherhood is wearing nicely on Jeremy. We are loving every minute with this boy! He is quite the blessing!

head over heels for Holden

I think Nana and Papa J are nuts for their 5th grandchild and 3rd grandson. Mom was so gracious to spend 2 weeks here while I finished up at work. I think she was a little sad to leave mister Holden. Not to leave me, just Holden. :)

Uncle Daniel, Aunt Amy, Carson and Cameron came for a visit last weekend. The boys loved their new cousin. Well, I don’t think Cameron really knew what to think of him, but Carson was anxious to see and hold. He seemed to think that their family needed another LITTLE baby in the house. Since Cameron has grown and gotten bigger, it only seemed natural to add another baby.

Uncle Loren, Aunt Amanda, Hope and Bella came last week to visit. Hope was super excited to see him and repeatedly would say “ooooh, he’s so cute!!” We all have to agree with that statement.

On another note, Bella is still somewhat scared of Uncle J (that’s Jeremy). Ever since she awoke at our house to mommy being gone, and Jeremy was the only one there, she has been terrified of Jeremy and will not have much to do with him. It’s kind of funny. And at this point, I think it has become more of a game to her. Seriously, my husband looks so harmless! I am sad that I didn’t get any pictures with Bella. She is a doll! Jump over here to see for yourself.

I'm so glad to have family that love our new addition to pieces. They all had to make a long distance trip to meet him. Thanks for the visit!