Friday, March 25, 2011

here we go again...

Can you hear Ray Charles crooning in your ear??  "Heeeerrrrreeee we gooooo again..."  That chorus has been playing over and over again in my head for the last few weeks.  Why, you ask?  Not only because I love Ray Charles-there is just something about that emotion-filled, scratchy ol' voice that gets me-but because we found out some surprising and exciting news over here in the Ratliff home.  Baby Ratliff #2 will be joining us in early November.  Yup, we are pregnant...again! We are very excited, surprised, a bit overwhelmed ect.  I will keep you posted on any updates.  Until then please pray that I begin to feel better soon.

I was so shocked by this near immaculate conception that I spent almost $50 on pregnancy tests

Friday, March 11, 2011

faux food friday

I love alliteration (yup I'm a big geek).  I also love food.  I love healthy yummy food.   The misfit loves food.  The yummy type-just not so much the healthy type.  So I try to get sneaky.  I have taken some recipes from Deceptively Delicious and tweaked them until they meet my kitchens guidelines (Jessica Seinfeld likes margarine and low fat reduced calorie things-I prefer REAL food. She also doesn't specify organic-my kitchen does)  Here are a few things that have been winning over even the more picky eater in my home.

mighty protein mac and cheese
1 box Gluten free pasta or whole wheat pasta (prepare from instructions on the box)
1/4 cup organic cheddar cheese (or any cheese for that matter cheddar is good because it gives the orange color and a good flavor) shredded
1-1 1/2 cups  cooked organic Navy beans (or 1 can if using canned)
a dash of garlic powder (to taste)
a dash of onion powder (to taste)
salt and pepper

dump beans, cheese and seasoning in food processor.  Add about a 1/4 cup hot water to food processor and blend until creamy.  Pour onto pasta while it is still warm and stir together.

The Navy beans give this pasta dish protein and fiber.


Do you have any healthy toddler friendly recipes that work at your house?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

4 generations

Here are some pictures from our trip to Atlanta.  My grandfather and aunt flew in from Madison, WI and finally got to meet Margaret.  It was such a precious time!  And the misfit and Alexander had a blast together as usual.  The weather was gorgeous so we spent the majority of the time outside.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

why it matters

this image is from the LLLI website

Finally today I have gotten my internet back.  After an unfortunate serious of events (mainly involving Butter chewing through our outdoor cable wires) all connection to the outside world has resumed.  So, I have been chomping at the bit to share this post with you all.  I had the most amazing experience last week.  It has touched me so much and reiterated to me that it is so important for us as women, mommas, people to share our experiences (good and ugly) with one another.  So hear is my story-or really a girl's- whose name I don't even know-story.
This past Sunday I had just returned from a long visit with my family in Atlanta (pictures from that trip coming later this week).  I was unpacking and getting ready for the week ahead when I realized I had a missed call from a sweet mom in my play group Mandi.  I called her back and could tell she was a little distraught.  Come to find out she was in the car with her sick son Jake returning from Florida earlier than she had planned.  She was visiting her very best friend who had just given birth.  Her friend was in a hospital in the Destin area and had a healthy baby. Yay for that God is good!  But she was really struggling with breast feeding.  She had been informed that lactation resources where unavailable because it was a weekend (WHAT?!)  She had barely been visited by a nurse in a 10 hour period.  Her sweet baby was not latching and the momma was afraid he was not getting enough to eat.  She didn't know what to do and Mandi was equally upset having to leave her friend in this state.  She was calling me to see if I had any advice.  This is a tough one as I am not in the same state as the momma and baby. I gave her what information I could over the phone but suggested she should contact her local Le Leche league chapter for support.  So, while Mandi drove along the highways with her sick baby boy (bless his heart, he really is just the sweetest baby ever)  I looked up the Destin LLLI chapter.  My geography is not so great so we had a bit of trouble trying to figure what county/area chapter we should contact.  So I went with the closest I could get.  That is where we found Michelle.  I gave my friend Mandi Michelle's phone number so she could pass it along to her friend asap.  A day or two later Mandi called me to say that her friend had called Michelle and she came out to her home and helped her and her baby breast feed.  It gave me chills to hear this.  I am attaching the correspondence I shared with Michelle a few days later.  To me this was a perfect example of why it matters to ask for help, to give help and how special the bond between women really is.

Dear Michelle,
You do not know me and for that matter I don't know you either. But our paths recently crossed in a strange way. I live in Birmingham, AL and am a mother to a 17 month old little girl. Through my journey in this mothering process I have experienced a lot of ups and downs. I struggled greatly in the beginning of my breast feeding relationship with Margaret and eventually was diagnosed with PPA/PPD. After coming through this (my daughter and I just mutually weaned) I have become so passionate about helping new mothers. This past summer I even took the DONA postpartum doula training course. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, my friends know me as being slightly obsessed with helping mommas-especially in the way of breast feeding. So this past Sunday I received a call from a mom friend of mine who was returning from visiting her best friend in the Destin area who had just given birth. My friend was clearly upset and did not like the state she had left her friend in. Her friend was really struggling with breast feeding. She had given birth over the weekend and was told lactation support was not really available at this hospital on the weekends and had barely been visited by a nurse in a 10 hour period. Her baby wasn't latching and she was scared that the baby wasn't eating. The last my friend heard was that they were giving this 2 day old full-term healthy baby a bottle. Being in a completely different state and not knowing this mother at all I gave her the best advice I could-Get someone out to the hospital/her home to help her asap. So as my friend drove I pulled out my laptop and opened the LLLC website and searched for the chapter closest to her friend. That is where I found your name and your number. I just heard from my friend this afternoon that you went to this moms house and helped her and her new baby breast feed. She said you were so helpful and kind. I got chills when she told me this. I just wanted to send you a note and let you know that what you do is so important and that you have touched a stranger a few states away!

Thank you,
Meghan Hesse Ratliff

Dear Meghan,
I can't tell you how much your email touched me.  I read the email while at a long red light and it touched me so much that I had to pull over into the parking lot because I couldn't see through my happy tears.  I've also sat down several times to write you back but nothing seem adequate or enough for the kind words you said to me.

You know if you are so passionate about breastfeeding then you should think about becoming a leader!!  :)  You would be great at it! :)

I also have taken DONA training but as a birth doula which I have been doing for the last 2 years!  LOVE IT!  

I'm so thankful that you were able to find my information online and send my information to your friend's friend.  She was such a sweet sweet lady!  Her husband was so sweet and caring too and their baby was just precious!  He did latch on and nurse very well while I was there with them.  I plan on calling them tomorrow to make sure he is doing well still.  
THANK you for caring enough to get online to look and THANK YOU again for your very kind and sweet message to me!  I am very grateful!

Thank you,
LaLeche League Leader of the Central Panhandle