Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

When I wrote Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli on the food menu board, it sounded easy.  It sounded quick and delicious.  Delicious it was, easy it was, quick it was not. . . I don’t know if it’s because the babe helped me cook, but it seemed like this meal created much more mess than the usual and took quite a while too, but I thought I’d share it anyway as it is simple.

Steam some broccoli (and maybe some carrots too).

Boil Water for Pasta and Follow directions for the pasta of your choice.  We used Linguini because that’s what was in the cupboard.  On a side note: Italian pasta names are fun to sing and once I started singing”We are making linguini pasta” the babe chimed in and it was quite entertaining.  See, cooking can be fun.

Heat up the Alfredo sauce, (slowly on low heat.)

We had two leftover chicken breasts from earlier in the week so I cut them up threw them in a pan with some olive oil and let the babe help me shake salt and pepper, garlic, basil and grill dust seasoning on top.

I piled it on all our plates and Voila Linguini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli (and carrots).

As I write this it still sounds easy, but while I was cooking it I felt like it was taking forever. . .  I forgot to boil the pasta early and the chicken was cooked before the linguini had finished, so maybe that’s where I went wrong. . . and there were 4 pots, and two strainers and a cutting board to clean, so the mess was a bit more than normal. . . In any case, it’s not a horribly time consuming or complicated meal to make.

Cheers and Happy Eating.

To Breast or to Bottle

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Studies show that breast feeding baby for as long as you can has many benefits to both Mom and baby.  Being a breast feeding Momma, I highly recommend it, but I also know it’s a super huge commitment.  Breastfeeding can be time consuming and a lot of work.  It can be draining and sleep depriving and it can make hubby feel left out.  The decision to breastfeed or bottle feed is a highly personal choice.   You should NEVER make anyone feel bad over their choice.  Many people try and fail because of reasons beyond their control.  That being said this is what I learned. . .

1. Get a support group. Mine consists of the hubby, a few girlfriends with experience and a FB mommies group.  I cannot stress enough how helpful it is having a community of women you can turn to when you first have a baby, whether it’s friends, family, or a virtual group. (Which is where I give a shout out to all the wonderful mothers of NHCM)

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  (There will be questions many questions.)

3. Understand going in that it takes dedication to be successful. . .research tips and tricks to help. I immediately tried nursing the baby after he was born. All the tests they need to do in the hospital can wait a little bit. I also exclusively breastfed in the hospital. No bottles. I read that giving bottles too early can lead the babe to prefer the bottle because its easier to nurse from bottle than breast so I waited weeks before letting a single bottle hit his lips. (I also tried not to use a pacifier for the first few weeks for the same reason.)

4. Patience is key. Sometimes it feels all you do is nurse, it gets easier as time goes by.  (I promise it does, but it takes patience and dedication and uh, more patience.)

5. Experiment with different positions to find what works for you.  You’ll be surprised at just how many different positions there are to try.

6. Don’t be afraid to use contraptions to help you out. I used a nipple shield on multiple occasions to make nursing easier for both of us. The nipple shield can be helpful if you have a fast letdown (translated to English this means you have a strong spray when you first start nursing), it can help when you first introduce the babe to a bottle and are going back and forth between bottle and breast (and it can also help when baby is teething…as protection.)

7. Get a good pump if you planning on nursing while  you work.  (And watch the video that comes with it to make sure you are using it properly.)

8. To pump at work you need a quiet room preferably with a lock on the door (Or for those with a sense of humor, a sign of a cow that says milking in progress).  I am lucky that I have a lock on the door to my office and that I could close my door for prolonged periods of time and no one bothered me.  Pumping can take between 10-30 minutes.  I pumped up to 5 times while I was at work especially towards the end when my supply started to drop.

9. Every time you think you’re not pumping enough double check all your pump parts.  Every time I was having bad pumping results it turned out to be something silly with my pump, but until you figure out the pump is the cause (and you really aren’t defective) it is super frustrating.

10.  A couple of good resources:

HTTP://KELLYMOM.COM/

WWW.WORKANDPUMP.COM/

If you are up for the challenge of breast feeding, kuddos to you, cheers  and good luck!

Wheels for Adam!

Just an update on Adam. . . because of the overwhelming support form facebook and the news.  Adam will get his wheelchair!!!!  Thank you to everyone who shows support for families in need.  This family is so amazing and so blessed to have strangers give them love and help them out!!!

One of the most beautiful things is when Mom’s band together to try to help each other out.  It is difficult to ask for help, but less so when you have beautiful children depending on you.  One of the Mom’s in my mom’s group moved to Houston and had their family van stolen with all their medical supplies inside, including Adam’s wheelchair.  You can read his and his family’s story below.

This is Adam.
Adam
His parents have six beautiful children, some of which were adopted and have special needs. One of those children is ten-year-old Adam who has Spina Bifida.

Adam’s family recently moved to Houston. On the first night here, their 15 passenger van was stolen still containing all of their medical supplies and many of the children’s things. Their van was well suited for handicapped accessibility and a large family to safely travel. Unfortunately, liability insurance doesn’t cover the loss of the van or valuable property inside.

The wheelchair Adam is now using is too small and is becoming increasingly difficult to use. In order for Adam to gain autonomy and acquire freedom, he very badly needs a wheelchair that gives him the ability to keep up with his brothers and sisters and regain the independence that was taken from him.

Adam needs a wheelchair that will grow with him through these vital years of his life. The children’s hospital has such a chair but the family cannot cover the cost of $4500 with their growing medical bills. Insurance would cover the chair, but like many Americans they have an extremely high deductible which far exceeds the price of the chair.

Our first priority is to get Adam the chair he needs to lead as normal of a life as possible. Our next goal is to retrofit a van so it will accommodate their needs for the commutes to Adam’s specialists in Dallas.

Please help us show this family that even though they were victimized by one greedy individual, Texans can come together to help a child in need.

Please feel free to inquire about other ways to donate and thank you all for your support!!

Donate here:

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/wheels-for-adam/330330#.VR4c22cjRK4.facebook

Watch the news story here:

http://www.khou.com/story/news/features/2015/04/30/friends-help-replace-10-year-olds-wheelchair/26620467/

Sometimes it’s a Simple and Complicated as Asking for Help

Sometimes the answer is as simple and as complex as asking for help.  Why is it in this day and age that we as humans find such a simple thing as asking for help so dang complicated?

The answer to that is simple. . . fear.  Fear of judgement.  Fear of rejection. Fear people will think we are incompetent, or won’t take us seriously.  Fear we won’t get the help if we do ask for it. Fear is a powerful emotion.  In it’s useful form it can keep us from mortal danger, our body intrinsically sending us into a fight or flight response so we can protect ourselves from harm.  In other forms it can cause us to freeze like a deer in headlights or in it’s most irrational form can cause us to develop a phobia.

Asking for help is not something that should ever be frowned upon.  People who ask for help are brave!  John Wooden said  “We’re all imperfect and we all have needs. The weak usually do not ask for help, so they stay weak. If we recognize that we are imperfect, we will ask for help and we will pray for the guidance necessary to bring positive results to whatever we are doing.”

My personal theory is to take a deep breath and ask for help when you need it. The worst possible outcome of asking for help is that the person you ask can say no, they won’t help you, which means you are not better or worse off than before you asked.  If the person says yes and does assist you, the aid they give could considerably change your situation for the better.  Most people are willing to assist when a request for assistance is made.  (It’s almost as hard to say no to helping someone as it is difficult to ask for help.)

When asking for help keep a few things in mind.

1. Know what you want to ask.  Be direct and specific with your request for help. People are not mind readers.  Asking for help is similar to setting goals in that requests should be specific, measurable and time bound.

2. Don’t assume people are all on a level playing field.  Everyone has different areas of expertise.  For the most part people do not know everything you know and you do not know everything they know.  In asking for help you are asking someone to share their personal knowledge and expertise, and in asking for help you may both learn something.

3. Help is a two way street.  Don’t just ask for help but help foster a community where help is encouraged by also offering help or by giving help to others when the requests are made of you.

If we all take a little time to help each other great things happen!!! I’ll end with a quote from Cesar Chavez  “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.” This folks, is simple truth.

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(https://instagram.com/p/mBlbGDqa6Z/)

typography by:
http://www.nicolasfredrickson.com/

Quote of the Day

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

If only. . . this is definitely a goal to work towards!