Archive for March, 2011

March 22, 2011

March, March, March for Babies!!!

 So we are less than a month from our big walk and we have been able to raise $875 as of this morning! That far surpassed our original goal and we could not be more proud!

We have also recruited at least 10-15 walkers for Team: Twice the Love! I’m hopeful that I can wrangle a few more nervous nellies before the big day.  5 miles seeems like a lot, BUT, when you are strolling along with babies in tote, chatting and having a good time, it’s probably equivalent to a long day of shopping at Northpark (you know you always enter at the wrong end…which way is Nordstroms again?) 

Becky, my cousin-in-law, who is walking in honor of her son Jackson and is the other half of Team: Twice the Love! got super creative and made the adorable logo you see in this post! We are having t-shirts made for our group to wear on the big day.  SO are you feeling the urge to walk with us?  If so click below….

If not, click above anyways and see if the spirit moves you  🙂

Happy Tuesday – Much love!


March 16, 2011

Nap time, what?

So Lila likes to play a little game with us recently and it goes a little something like this…..

She gets fussy so you decide its nap time.  You take her to her room, turn on the sound machine, close the blinds, cuddle her up and rock. You rock, and you rock and after a bit of “talking” she is asleep.  Now, because you want to be CERTAIN she is asleep, you rock a bit longer than necessary and if you are me, you poke her little cheek and kiss her forehead to make sure she is asleep for real.  You feel triumph and she looks like this:

(sidenote: look at that balding head!!!) So anyways, you carefully get up and ready yourself for the transition to the crib…..carefully you place her down and then without a warning…..POP! Up goes the head and you have this baby:


As wide eyed and bushy-tailed as the day is long.  If you are me, then you shake your head, smile, and give those fat cheeks a kiss. Oh Lila.

March 11, 2011

Chatty Kathy

We have affectionately started calling this toy Robyn’s dog because Robyn bought this for Lila for Christmas.   She has always been interested in it but she finally can “play” with it without too  much assistance from us.  When we first got it, Chris banned it from the living room because it is very much a kid toy (read as loud and obnoxious).  There are various places on the dog you can push (hand. foot, ear) and it will either say “Hand”, “Blue Ear” or it will sing a song — it has a pretty impressive vocabulary 🙂 Now that it entertains her, and we realize the value of that, it stays in the kitchen for evening distraction! The problem is, the place Lila has figured out how to grab and squeeze is the dogs right foot….which is also the on/off switch.  So, I spend a lot of my time going back and forth with Lila so she can keep “talking” to the dog.  Exhausting…but too cute!

In other news, Chris and I are in Spring cleaning/organizational mode.  We just got in a new cabinet for the kitchen, finally got a rug for Lila’s room (so much warmer and quieter now!), trimmed the trees (or paid someone else to!) and are going to begin our annual landscape  clean out  this weekend.  I don’t know if this well-known, but Chris is Lawn King and likes for our yard to produce envy among the neighbors.  Since I was either in the nauseous stage of pregnancy or caring for LK during the last 2 planting seasons I have fallen down on my flower and pot planting duty but…I’m BACK! We went to Lowes yesterday and I’m ready to get my hands in some dirt! I am a bit concerned that we aren’t fully done with winter yet though so we may wait to actually put any flowers in the ground, but I’ll be sure to post a picture once everything starts turning green! 

Dont forget to take a look at my March for Babies! 

Happy Friday – Christy

March 9, 2011

March for Babies

My wee little baby!!!

On April 16th I am participating in the March for Babies!

I never in a million years could have imagined having a preemie.  When you find out you are pregnant you think about the nursery, the strollers and other ridiculous baby paraphernalia.  You read the books and prepare yourself as much as you can and hopefully pick a hospital you are comfortable in. Unless you have experienced the NICU before, you don’t think twice about whether the hospital you are delivering at has a first class neonatal unit – or at least I didn’t.  But we lucked out.  Methodist where I delivered is one of three Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the DFW area.  

After a rollercoaster of a delivery, we were taken to see Lila.  Still exhausted and drained in every possible way, we were taken a back a bit when we first saw her – tubes for breathing and eating and probes all over her little body…..but she was beautiful.  It was 5 more days until I held her for the first time and 6 until Chris was able to hold her, but it still gives me goose bumps when I think how much love and determination I had for her from the very first moment.  I knew she would come home – I would be lying if I said there were not moments where I imagined the worst, but we were lucky.  5 weeks later we got to bring her home.  That day it felt like we were “breaking the rules” and police cars would be chasing us soon! Once home, it just worked; she was were she belonged!

We learned SO much in the NICU.  We are amazed that parents of full term babies get so little instruction and guidance. It was amazing to see the technology and the skill of the nurses and doctors.  Not only did they take care of her physically, but they cared for us emotionally as well.  They let us be parents in an unlikely and unnatural setting.  We were able to see all her firsts and the nurses were so patient with our constant presence and incessant calling when we weren’t able to be there. 

We were lucky, our stay was relatively uneventful compared to other preemies and Lila managed to come into this world 8 weeks early and come home 6 weeks later – 2 weeks before she was supposed to be here.  We know that others are not so lucky which is why we support the March of Dimes and all the work they do to save babies like ours and advance the research that assists those wonderful doctors and nurses. 

So, I’m attaching the link to our team website….take a look! Id love for you to join us on our walk, donate to further our goal, or simply say a prayer for those in the NICU today – they need all the prayer they can get! 

Much Love –  Christy

March 7, 2011

Recipe: Cauliflower & Ham Gratin

So last week I was at the grocery store and ended up buying a head of cauliflower on impulse.  Who does that? Anyways, it sat in my fridge for the good part of the week before I decided I would find a recipe to make it into a main dish this past weekend. 

Photo Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine!

 What I found was a 30 minute meal by Rachel Ray.  I made a ton of substitutions so I’m posting my version of the recipe here but will include the original link below.  My version was a bit lighter and probably not as thick as it should have been….next time I will probably increase the flour by a tbsp to thicken it up. 

We loved this – the sauce would have been excellent with noodles for a spin on macaroni and cheese and the addition of breadcrumbs satisfied my need for carbs 🙂 Enjoy! 
Cauliflower & Ham Gratin – CR Style
3 tbsp butter
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
2-3 rounded tbsp AP flour
1/2 c chicken broth
1 c 2% evaporated milk
1/2 tsp of S&P and 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 large head of cauliflower florets cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1 tbsp course ground Dijon mustard
8 oz  of ham, diced 1/4 in pieces
1/2 Panko or bread crumbs + 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. 
Boil cauliflower bits in a pot of salted water approximately 5 minutes or until crisp tender, drain and set aside 
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan add butter and onions, cook 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add flour and stir to incorporate (about 1 minute).  Add broth and milk salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook over med heat 3-5 minutes or until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat and add Gruyère and mustard – stir to melt/combine.  Once mixture is smooth, add ham and cauliflower.  Pour into a sprayed 8×8 dish.  Top with Panko or breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil or additional melted butter.  Bake until top is browned and mixture is bubbly. 
March 4, 2011

Mornings with Lila

Mornings are my absolute favorite time with Lila.  I have pretty much always been a morning person – I enjoy the snooze button like any other person but once its past 7am I’d rather be awake.  I’m conflicted because although sleeping in feels great in the moment – I always feel like I wasted the day.  I feel more productive and energized in the morning.  This is VERY different from Mr. Ratcliff.  He could sleep  The verdict is still out on which direction Lila is going.  I’m thinking she is taking on my sleep habits – she is a pretty awful napper  and most mornings she wide-eyed.  She has discovered the video monitor camera that we have attached to the wall above her crib so most mornings Ill click on the monitor to see her craning her little head to stare at the camera. 

So anyways, because I am a morning person I am the dedicated morning feeder.  Since going back to work this time has become my favorite because she is fresh off of 10-12 hours of sleep and SO happy and smiley.  She is hungry, but not the usual impatient screaming hungry that ensues around feeding time for the remainder of the day.  She will talk and chew on her fingers while I dress her for the day and the moment she sees the bottle – chomp.  She is super cute and holds my hands while she eats. Normally she holds both hands and hangs on for dear life.  I try to encourage her to hold the bottle but she doesn’t get it and just puts her hands on her chest.  So I let her hold my hands.  One day she may not want to! 

These mornings have started getting better because not only is Lila fresh off of a large chunk of sleep but so is mom! She is starting to sleep in longer increments….we still have a occassional wakeful night, but for example, last night she slept from 7pm – 4:15am.  Do you hear the angels singing?  I’m still doubtful that the whole 7pm – 7am thing will ever happen….one of those ugly myths you hear about when you are pregnant 🙂 *Sigh* A girl can hope right?

March 2, 2011

Blog Attempt #2

So I attempted a blog when we almost bought our first house about a year ago – I lovingly refer to that as “the most awesome heartbreak of our lives”. Someone above was looking out for us because although we were heartbroken that we lost the house, we were so thankful that we didn’t get it after seeing the mess it became.  Its absolutely stunning now – our neighbor David did more with it than Chris and I could have ever imagined! But anyways, that blog lost all steam when the house fell through but I’m hopeful that this one will be a different story….
As most of you are aware, 5 months ago – holy moly its been 5 months – we were blessed with a little bundle named Lila Kate.  She is the most amazing thing and it has been such a blessing to watch her grow.  The beginning of her life was so stressful for Chris and I and full of so many unknowns.  We were truly blessed to come out of that ordeal unscathed and as her pediatrician says each time we go – “You would NEVER know she was born 2 months early!”.   God is good 🙂  She provides us comic relief and endless worry/obsession so I feel that I have some good stories to share!
I wanted to start the blog to keep everyone updated, (although I’m painfully aware that we are not that interesting) – because since LK entered our world our free time has dramatically decreased and there aren’t enough hours in the day to catch up with everyone we want to. So although this is no substitute, hopefully this will allow us to keep in touch until we can accomplish more than survival in a given day (only partly joking)  I’ll try to update regularly and post some pictures with each post for you baby vultures…. I could look at those fat cheeks and double chin all day so no judging here….
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