Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Hairy Situation

***Instead of including another full list of "Things I Wish I'd Known/Tips for New Moms" for the next stage of infancy, I will periodically post random information, advice, and product recommendations and label them so they all fall under the "Mom Tips" category for easy searching. The following information is definitely something to be aware of when you have a baby.***

In addition to strech marks, a softer belly, and boobs that are a little more National Geographic and a little less Victoria's Secret, hair loss is a lovely postpartum side effect for many women....including yours truly. My hair is currently falling out constantly, and it is EVERYWHERE! It makes me think of the Dashboard Confessional song (minus the infidelity part).

This situation doesn't help the fact that infants develop "hair tourniquets" very easily. Many people have never heard of hair tourniquets (including my Mom), but a friend of Lauren's who is a primary care nurse said that they see babies with them all the time at the hospital. I heard about them a while back, so I knew to be on the lookout on Ava's fingers and toes (baby boys can even develop them on their penis...eeeeek!).

A couple weeks ago, Josh noticed a red line around one of Ava's toes that appeared to be a hair tourniquet. But upon close inspection, we couldn't see a hair. However, I started researching them online later in the day and discovered that sometimes you can't see the hair without a magnifying glass. Josh bought a magnifying glass at CVS, but we still couldn't see anything. I called Lauren, who happened to be with her primary care nurse friend, and they confirmed that the doctors often use special glasses to see the hair.

At that point, I was really worried because it was a Friday night and we couldn't get into the pediatrician until the next morning. The pictures I saw online did not help the situation, especially since they often have to cut the side of the poor baby's toe to remove the hair. However, the end of Ava's toe was not red or purple, so if it was a hair tourniquet, it was not yet cutting off circulation. So, we put her to bed, and I set an alarm to check her toe every couple hours throughout the night. Luckily, it never got any worse.

We took her to the pediatrician the next morning, and the doctor said it was definitely suspicious. But after he inspected her toe very closely with his super-magnifying glasses, he couldn't see a hair. He said that she has deep toe creases, and it was likely just red for the same reason babies' neck creases get red. The doctor also mentioned that if it had been a hair tourniquet, she would have fussed when he handled the toe. Thank goodness!! All that worrying over some chubby toes :).

Below is a picture of Ava's foot that I took that Sunday. The line around her middle toe was not quite as red by then, but you can still see it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to Lily and Jill!

Happy Birthday to two of my favorite people....

My "baby" sister Lily.

(who I still think of like this even though she just turned 17)

And my BFF (and partner-in-crime) Jill :).

I love ya'll!!

Speaking of Jill's birthday, we celebrated on Sunday at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles pool in Dallas. The place is beyond awesome. It is fun, eclectic, and feels like you took a step back in time as well as out of Dallas. In fact, it feels like you are in Austin circa 1978. 

Ava was very excited about her first pool party and her new bathing suit. 

She showed up in style.

Laid out a bit. 

Hung out with her friend Abby.

And was quite the party animal ;).

Ava - Three Months Old

Ava is such a happy, sweet baby, and she continues to amaze me on a daily basis with how quickly she is growing and learning new "tricks." She is still a great sleeper, and is pretty consistent with sleeping 10 hours a night. Ava will occasionally wake up once during the night, but you can tell it is because she is really hungry, because she gulps down a bottle and goes right back to sleep. She also takes several naps throughout the day, including a long afternoon nap. I am so glad that she is a good sleeper, especially now that I am back at work.

On that note, this month has been quite a transition with my return to work, but everyone is adjusting to our new routine. The first week was a bit rough for me, but it is getting easier. It helps that Ava doesn't seem to mind daycare at all, and her teachers say that she is "such a happy baby" who "hardly ever fusses"...this makes her momma very proud :).

I love the pictures from Ava's monthly photo shoot. This time around, Josh took the pictures while I got her to she was much less distracted by the camera.

Three-Month Stats:
  • She doesn't have another doctor's appointment until her four-month check-up, but I'm guessing she is somewhere around 15 pounds. 
Ava still loves her playmat, going on walks, her pacifier, and being walked in laps around the house when she is tired, as well as the following new things:
  • Putting her hands in her mouth....constantly!
  • She likes "strumming" her bottle and/or my arm when she eats sometimes. It is so funny. I managed to capture it on video.
  • After Ava is done being burped after a meal, she likes to turn toward me and snuggle for a while. I absolutely love it!

  • Ava loves "talking" to us when she is on the changing table. 
  • This happy little baby doesn't dislike much, but she still doesn't like waiting too long for her bottle once she is hungry :).
Below are all the fun things our smart little cookie accomplished by her three-month birthday:
  • Reaching for/batting/grabbing toys. She loves to grab the animals that hang from her playmat.
  • Laughing....which is one of the best sounds ever! The first time Ava laughed was at her Dad, and it was adorable. I have yet to catch it on video, but hopefully I can soon. 
  • She was even more talkative this past month, and is still the most talkative and smiley when she is on the changing table.
  • Ava can "scoot" around on her tummy now...especially when she wants to go after Louie :). I love this video:
  • She discovered her feet. As my Mimi said upon seeing this picture, "how could she miss them." Haha!
  • We read her first book this month. Brown Bear, Brown Bear has always been one of my favorite children's books, so I thought it would be a perfect first book for Ava. She loved it!

  • Technically, it wasn't until two days after she turned three-months old (so I will mention it in next month's post), but she rolled over from her tummy to her back. It was really fun because she did it for the first time when my Mom and Charlotte were in town, so we all got to see it. We cheered so loud, and you could tell she was really proud of herself.  She also rolls from side to side as well as in a circular motion when she is on her back. We often find Ava in the crib in the morning with her turned completely around in the opposite direction. I managed to get a picture of her turned on her side during her nap :). 

Funny/Random Tidbits:
  • I finally captured her giving me "the lip" on camera. Her sad face is so stinking cute.

Some of my other favorite pictures from last month...

She loves her Daddy :).

Hi. My name is Ava. What's yours?

Enjoying the nice weather outside before it gets too hot this summer.

Chewing on her Sophie toy. She doesn't have any teeth yet, but I'm afraid they will be coming in soon. Betsy said that both Josh and Tori got their first tooth at three months. 

Taking her morning nap on her playmat. I have learned not to wake a sleeping baby :).

Tummy time at Bunny and Nello's house. 

Sitting up like a big girl in her Bumbo chair. 

Ava took a trip to the Dallas Zoo with her cousins. Can you tell she was really excited about the penguins ;).

She loves bath time.

Poor Ava was really tired every day I picked her up during her first full week of daycare. 

But it made for some wonderful snuggles after work :).

We love this precious baby so much!

S'mores Bars

I have posted a few recipes on the Team Shep blog that were originally posted on our (very neglected) Six Degrees of Supperation blog, but I thought I would go ahead and post all of mine on here as well so they are available in both places. And I apologize for the quality of the photos...they were taken with my old camera.

First, because it is a favorite, is the recipe for S'mores Bars. It is adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe. 

“Hey, you want a s’more?
Some more what?
No, no you want a s’more?
I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
You’re killing me Smalls!” – The Sandlot

These little goodies are delicious and addicting, but they are so rich that you can probably just eat one at any given time – unless your name is Derek Hicks…or Lane Arnold…or Josh Shepherd….ummm, never mind. I hope ya’ll enjoy!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups (1 box) graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow crème
  • Approx. 2 cups mini marshmallows

Heat the oven to 350ºF and grease the bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch pan. For this dish, I prefer what my Mother-in-Law calls the “Crayon Method” of greasing a pan...thanks for the tip Betsy :).

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, flour, and salt.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the graham cracker crumb mixture and press the remaining mixture in the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust (minus the two or three that must be eaten immediately) and press lightly.

Drop the marshmallow creme by the spoonful over the chocolate chips…warning…this is a slightly messy endeavor.

Wet the back of the spoon and use it to lightly spread the marshmallow creme over the chocolate chips (you will need to re-wet it many times)….again…a bit messy…but fun.

Sprinkle with the mini marshmallows.

Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker mixture. Make sure to leave some of the marshmallows peeking through, because they will get nice and toasty like real s’mores.

Bake 17 - 25 minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffed and light golden brown.

Despite how good your kitchen smells at this point, let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes before enjoying.
And let me tell you…they are fantastic. It is like you can taste the campfire in every bite! I recommend consumption with an ice-cold glass of milk.


p.s. Having a little Kings of Leon playing in the background magically makes them taste even better.

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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