Our Second Annual March for Babies

May 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 1 Comment
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Kamran is only 13 months old and has now officially participated in two March of Dimes walks.  This past weekend was the March of Dimes March for Babies annual walk.  This year we recruited friends and family to join us!  I want to share a special thank you to the friends and family who walked with us this year.  It meant more than you will ever know.  Same goes to the friends and family who sponsored us by making donations to the March of Dimes.

Last year Kayvan and I took Kamran and participated in the March for Babies together for the first time.  We raised $180 between the two of us in only a matter of a few weeks.  With more time this year, we were determined to do better.  This year Kayvan and I raised $1,225 between the two of us AND had a few friends join in on the fundraising fund.  I am proud to share that I raised over $1000 making me a March for Babies top walker.  With the joint effort of our family and friends, we raised a combined total of $3,080 for the IFHC – NICU March for Babies team.  Our friend Beth who joined us also raised over $1,000 as well.  Beth and I were so proud of the funds we raised that we decided to branch out and form our own family team next year.  That means you can expect lemonade stands, bake sales, perhaps a Loopsi Daisy hat promo and lots of donation requests going out to local businesses we frequent–in addition to all of the fundraising efforts we typically put in with our friends.

I remember last year’s walk was super emotional for me.  This year the emotions were a little easier to manage with friends joining us.  It probably also helped that friends read the tribute signs along the route before I did and would say “Don’t read that one, it’s sad!”  At one point a friend told me not to read a sign moments after I heard a woman say, “Oh here is our sign.”  I of course read it and asked another friend if it was too late to give the woman a hug.  Her baby had anacephaly and was born in silence.  5 days later she lost her husband.  I didn’t know how to react after I read her sign knowing it was hers and she was standing right next to me for at least 1/4 mile.  The walk certainly helps us keep perspective on just how fortunate we are.  Yes, we were dealt a tough hand at the start but everyone is healthy today–and that is what matters.

Here is a photo of the 3 of us at the end of the walk.

The finish line! Our second March for Babies Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More photos are here:  http://theromaezis.smugmug.com/Friends/March-for-Babies-2012/22878578_RGc7RX#!i=1837158780&k=SdkR4NS

 

Cooking for Kam: Quinoa Burgers

April 23, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Posted in Baby Food | 4 Comments
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Quinoa Burgers

I’m a working mom so all of my cooking for the boy is typically done on weekends.  I didn’t do a very good job of planning out meals for the week this week and tonight was at a bit of a loss for what to feed Kamran at daycare tomorrow.  I have a few meals still frozen from previous weeks and technically could have given him turkey meatballs a few extra times.  I don’t like to be as low on food options for Kamran as I currently am so I whipped something up.  Tonight’s recipe is brought to you by my “oh no, what do we have in the fridge” moment.

Quinoa burgers. Quinoa is one food I can’t get my husband to eat but Kamran and I both really like it.  I love that it is such a versatile food and is packed full of nutrients.  You can really mix it with anything.  So, what did I have in the fridge?  Quinoa, carrots, asparagus, egg and bread crumbs.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded asparagus
2 medium eggs (I buy medium because Kamran never eats all of a large egg)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
small diced onion (optional)
pinch turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil

Cook quinoa per instructions on the box.  Basically, just like you would rice.  Shred all veggies (carrot, asparagus, onion (optional)) then saute in olive oil with a pinch of turmeric.

Add quinoa, cooked veggies, bread crumbs, wheat germ (optional), 2 eggs to large bowl and mix well.  Flatten quinoa into small patties by first rolling into a ball then flattening as you would hamburger patties.  To cook you can either fry in a pan or bake on 350 for 20 minutes.  I had Kamran sample these before he went to bed and he LOVED them.

As I mentioned, one great thing about quinoa is that you can cook it so many ways.  It also tastes great with several different ingredients making it really easy to just throw something together using the stuff you have on hand in the fridge. Try these alternates:

Sweet –  Substitute veggies (carrot, asparagus, onion) for shredded apple and raisin.  Lose the turmeric.  You could add cinnamon.
Savory – Substitute veggies for butternut squash.  You could keep the carrot if you wanted.  Lose the turmeric and use cinnamon instead.
Zucchini is also great with these instead of asparagus.

Cooking for Kam: Chicken Broccoli Quesadillas

April 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Posted in Baby Food | 2 Comments
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Chicken Broccoli Quesadilla

Kamran has established that he is going to exercise his option of being a picky toddler.  He is a pretty inconsistent eater but has made one thing clear.  He does not like chicken unless it is mixed with something.  He will eat my homemade chicken nuggets, no problem but plain cubes of chicken are for throwing on the floor.  That left me with the question of what to do with all of the left over cubed chicken I froze but know Kamran won’t eat.  He seemed to like my solution.  Quesadillas.

Here is what you need.  I only made 1 serving.
1 tortilla
1.5 oz cooked chicken (shredded, cubed, however you prefer)
1.5 oz broccoli–I used frozen organic broccoli and just diced from frozen.
Shredded cheese, as much or little as you like

Heat your tortilla on a pan, flipping until it begins to puff a bit.  Add broccoli, chicken and cheese on top to one 1/2 of the open tortilla.  Fold the tortilla in half, allow cheese to melt and flip to cook the other side.  Cut into finger sized strips and serve. 

Kamran has decided that he is now a big boy and wants whole pieces to bite off.  You could also cut these down to bite sized pieces if your child prefers.

Do I Really Have a Toddler?

March 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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Define toddler for me.  Technically Kamran doesn’t “toddle” yet.  We’ve had 2 unassisted steps and maybe a cumulative 2 minutes of time standing on his own.  He doesn’t even know he took the 2 steps, but I know.  I saw it last Friday.  Kamran is not interested in a repeat performance.  Heck, he doesn’t even want to stand.  Sometimes he will test the water, let go and grab whatever it is he was holding himself up on.  I don’t like that we are now calling him a toddler just because he has experienced a birthday. Okay, maybe it is really that I can’t believe I am mom to a 1-year-old. Kam has grown from my 5 lb helpless little wonder to this 21 lb wrecking ball. He’s curious about and into everything, has the most wonderful, smiley personality and is such a sweet, loving boy.

Little ones learn so much in the first year. I don’t think I ever realized that. Kamran can stand on his own, but won’t, walks when his hands are held and loves to cruise furniture or clear a good shelf. (Poor Sookie has been victim of more shelf avalanches than she would care to admit.)  The fact that Kam isn’t walking is no big deal to me most days.  I’m actually largely thankful that we get a little extra time to “relax” before walking begins.  Lately I’m amazed at Kamran’s vocabulary.  He is only 1 but actively attempts to communicate with us. Every week it is something new.  Last week according to Kamran, every moving animal and insect said “meow”…and he meowed at them to make sure we knew this.  He also says “meow” when you ask what the kitty says.  I felt like I was experiencing real life “Super Troopers” antics.  In addition to saying “meow” more often, he discovered that he would receive his favorite food if he said “ba-a” (banana).  This week he wants down.  He says “daaaooo” and bucks in your arms until you put him down. 

Back to how much Kamran has grown.  Last year he fit in the basket he now sits next to.  He wasn’t exactly happy about it, but he fit. 

Then: April 2011

Since I haven’t blogged about it for a bit, we are now 23 days away from the March for Babies.  I have raised 33% of my goal so far and am working hard to raise the rest.  In addition to being for a good cause, if I raise $250 between today and Friday, 4/20 I am entered into a drawing for 2 roundtrip airline tickets.    Donations are absolutely appreciated and can be made at www.marchforbabies.org/jromaezi.

You Never Know What Tomorrow Will Bring

March 15, 2012 at 2:27 AM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | Leave a comment
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This morning I read the blog I posted on 3/14/11.  One year ago today.  I seriously had no clue what was in store the following day.  12 hours later, really.  It was actually about this time of night last year that I started to get a sneaky feeling that something else was about to go awry with my pregnancy and for once I wasn’t happy about being right. 

I will never forget the last night I was pregnant.  I truly was trying to enjoy every second at that point.  I knew that my pregnancy was going to be shorter than the norm.  As I bought more and more time, I cherished it.  Every kick, every movement.  I would ask Kayvan if he saw that…even when he wasn’t looking.  Or if he wanted to feel Kamran moving. 

The night before I had Kamran, I had a tough time getting comfy in my tiny, twin sized hospital bed.  I could typically rely on sleeping comfortably on my right side later in my pregnancy.  Not that night.  Kamran, who always had his feet perched on my right pelvic bone decided that he was unwilling to share.  As I rolled over to sleep, he gave me the kick of a lifetime staking his claim. Like a big baby, I swore that he broke something, rolled to my left side and fell asleep. 

In truth, I liked that kick.  I had noticed that Kam’s kicks had become different.  Stronger.  That night, that kick gave me the confidence I needed to know Kam had grown into a baby strong enough to make it.  Kamran timed his message well, too.

Tomorrow is our amazing little boy’s birthday.  Time really does fly.  I can’t believe how fast he has grown, how well he is doing and what a smart, happy, loving boy he has become in just a year.  He’s been through a ton and has taught me and Kayvan just as much in the process.  Expect a sappy blog after Kam goes to bed tomorrow night too.

And because I haven’t blogged about it much lately, just a reminder that we will be walking in the
March of Dimes, March for Babies in May.  Please walk with us or donate, the March of Dimes was a significant resource for us last year.  http://www.marchforbabies.org/jromaezi

Spit Up vs. Vomit

February 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 1 Comment
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At what point do you no longer call it spit up? Kamran will officially be 11 months next week. With reflux, I was told it gets better once they are sitting, eating solids, walking and/or crawling. Not my kid. I’m pretty sure Kamran spit up his entire bottle last night. At one point, he was pushing his little walking toy, spit up, and kept going.

I hate it. Sookie, that gross girl still loves her predigested dessert (it’s okay to gag, I just did thinking about it). I even had to change my clothes before I went to bed last night because I had so much spit up on me. I stunk! Not to mention, Kamran spit up on our bed so I had to change the sheets.

The amount of spit up at one time is insane too! His stomach is bigger, therefore he spits up more than when he was an itty bitty.

Okay, really I’m ranting. He is probably teething. When he starts walking I get to call it puke. Fair?

Dads and Diapers

January 22, 2012 at 9:46 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 3 Comments
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Let me start this blog by saying that I have such an amazing husband who is the most hands on dad he could possibly be. For that I am incredibly thankful. I am also thankful for the hysterical diaper dad moments I have witnessed the past ten months. This mornings event made me laugh so hard I just had to share. I only wish I had a picture.

I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting ready in our master bath. Kayvan said he was going to change Kamran and I could hear Kayvan put him on our bed. The only way to ensure a scream free diaper change these days. Kayvan pointed out the fan to Kamran and the world sounded happy. Shortly after Kayvan started to change Kamran’s diaper I heard a bit of a commotion which meant one thing. Kamran had tried to roll over and Kayvan flipped him back to his back causing Kamran to scream. After a few “look fan!” and “do you want to play with this?!” comments from Kayvan I got a very urgent “I NEED HELP OUT HERE!!” from Kayvan. There was no thud. I knew they were both physically unharmed but quickly opened the bathroom door only to burst out in laughter at the scene in front of me.

Now let’s see if I can paint this picture with words…

Kayvan was holding Kamran up in the air almost like you would an infant in football hold. His hand was supporting Kamran’s chest and Kayvan was holding Kamran’s ankles as Kamran still attempted to crawl away mid air…poopy butt up.

As soon as I opened the door, prepared to rescue, Kayvan said “Just wipe the poop!” in a defeated tone. I could not stop laughing. I’m giggling now as I think back to this morning. Kayvan has had these moments before. Several of them. But he hasn’t had one in at least a few months.

This may only be funny to me, I’m aware that I take that risk with this post.

I love my boys!

Fricking Baby Gate!!!

December 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi, Sookie the French Bulldog | Leave a comment
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When we got Sookie, we bought this cheap, ugly, worthless piece of a baby gate. You get what you pay for. It was like $15 on amazon. Neither Kayvan nor I could figure out how to work the tension part and make it work appropriately. So we opted to use the lean function. I tripped over this stupid thing when I was first pregnant and at that time Sookie was good enough with the whole asking to potty thing so the gate was banished to the garage.

Fast forward to a month ago. Our cat got a UTI and started peeing everywhere but his litter box and our kid started getting more mobile. Bad combo and kitty had to be kept segregated for a bit. Welcome back stupid fricking baby gate. Only this time, Kayvan insisted on leaning it at the bottom of the stairs.

Every morning, I would walk down the stairs to find that stinking gate sitting there mocking me. I had to pick it up and move it before I could go anywhere. Sookie also wouldn’t go down the steps with it there.

Finally I complained enough for Kayvan to tell me to order new gates for the house. Not that I needed his permission as much as I needed him to say he would install them. So, order new gates I did…on a Friday, and received them the very next day…a Saturday. Thank you for $4 overnight delivery, Amazon!

The new gates are black and shiney and mount to the walls. They are too tall for me to climb over. But then, why would I? They have a hinge.

Oh, and Sookie doesn’t exactly love being contained. This is her…cussing me out.

 

First Thanksgiving

November 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 1 Comment
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This time last year, we announced to the family over dinner that we finally knew the gender and we were having a boy! Insane how it feels like just yesterday. Everyone knew that we found out the gender of the baby. And they were completely frustrated that Kayvan and I just would not spill the beans. It is how we told family and their reaction that makes me giggle.  I’ll get to this year, I promise but first, this story.

Kayvan and I hosted Thanksgiving last year. I tasked him with setting the table. A task which included hiding an ultrasound picture. When dinner was ready, everyone sat down to eat. They filled their plates and as the hungry group started taking their first bites, kayvan asked if they would like to know the gender of the baby. We got a certain “yes” from the entire table. Then Kayvan told them that the answer was hidden in or around the table and they had to find it.

We actually thought that our hungry guests would continue eating and look for the answer later with dessert. We were wrong. Of the 18 people at dinner, my mom, Kayvan’s mom and Kayvan’s uncle were the most eager. My mom jumped up, started looking and before I knew it was crawling on the floor in her dress. Kayvan’s mom was looking everywhere. Under the tablecloth, seats, you name it. Kayvan’s uncle was sitting across from me and scoured every inch of the table within his reach. I had no idea where the picture actually was hidden, so I couldn’t help. Eventually, Kayvan started giving cues. I kept eating because let’s face it, I was pregnant and just got my appetite back. It was Kayvan’s uncle who found the photo first, but before he could read it, my mom ran over and snatched the photo from the man she had only just met. She ran into the kitchen followed by Kayvan’s mother and stretched her arms out until the photo was visible to her. She shouted, “it’s a boy.” and hugged Kayvan’s mom as if they indeed were the ones who were going to have a baby. A comedy scene, really.

This year was much different. We picked up our friend Chris as we do every Thanksgiving and lugged the pack n play and portable high chair to Kayvan’s uncle’s house where his family was visiting from out of town. Everyone just loved seeing Kamran and got a kick out of his outfit, complete with a vest and bow tie. He was fully spoiled and got lots of hold time. Kayvan loved watching his uncle feed Kamran his solids at lunch time. Later in the night, we all laughed as one of his cousins fed Kam his dinner solids as well. he did a good job, it was more Kayvan’s pride–and heckling that was funny. Both Kayvan’s cousin and his uncle asked the same question, how much does he eat?” I’m not sure why I found this funny. I had handed them each a 2 oz portion of homemade baby food but they asked like it was an entire turkey leg. everyone had fun feeding the baby. Even me. We planned it out so that Kamran could try turkey for the first time on Thanksgiving. Now that he is 8 months the pediatrician says we can start meat. I decided that puréed turkey would be gross and instead broke it into the smallest bites then shared it with Kamran. He always makes a funny face upon first bite and that he did. Not only did he continue to make this face, but he spit the turkey out. This photo sums up his disdain pretty well.  Check out more photos from Thanksgiving here:  http://theromaezis.smugmug.com/Family/First-Thanksgiving/20290626_84LWgd#1604304130_B2ZWb2f

 

World Prematurity Awareness Day

November 18, 2011 at 2:52 AM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 2 Comments
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November is Prematurity Awareness month, the 17th specifically is World Prematurity awareness day.

Reading so many stories of preemies has brought forth a lot of emotion for me today. Before I turn this blog into something deep, I share with you one way in which I raised awareness today. Below is a snippet of conversation with a coworker. I won’t generalize and mention her hair color, but it certainly doesn’t match mine. We often write quotes like the one I share below on our board and tease her when necessary.

Me: You’re wearing purple, happy prematurity awareness day!

K: Right, because I’m so mature.

Me: (giggle–then I realize she wasn’t making a joke) Wait, you do know what prematurity awareness means, right?

She didn’t. Of course I filled her in–then wrote this conversation on our white board.

This day obviously held much deeper meaning for me than for my coworker.

I spent some time when I woke up today and this evening after work reading the preemie (I will abbreviate) Awareness Day Facebook page. Mostly happy stories were shared and occasionally sad. Whenever I see stories of 20 something weekers, I always well up. If there is one thing this whole experience taught me, it is that you truly cannot understand the depth of some things without experiencing them firsthand.

I am lucky to be able to say that I didn’t have a 23 week preemie. Last December, doctors thought I would. When my water broke at 23 weeks 2 days I was told I HAD to make it to 24 weeks to give Kamran the chance to survive. I was also told that there was a very high likelihood of delivering within 72 hours. Further, if he were to be born at 24 weeks and survive, he would face serious challenges. This information changed me forever. It rocks you. Hearing it makes you numb–lost in a dark abyss. On the shallow end, the perfect pregnancy you were expecting is suddenly out the door. Forget all of those cute pregnancy clothes you invested in, they will just sit in your closet and taunt you when you are fresh out of the hospital and no longer pregnant. On the deeper end, visions of meeting your perfectly pink and chubby baby for the first time fade into the fear that you may not actually meet your baby at all. From there the thoughts just spiral, can my marriage handle this, I’ve failed my baby and my husband…all among the medication, doctors, nurses, blood tests and the barrage of stimulation that is hospital life.

Being in labor at 23 weeks is so many things. Number 1, it is scary. More scary than I imagine normal full term labor to be. At 23 weeks, you aren’t supposed to be there. You have no control over the situation you are in and are entirely at the mercy of medical professionals to save your baby’s life and keep you safe in the process. I can’t even accurately paint the picture of emotions I went through last December. But I was scared.

Knowing what we went through and NOT having a 24 weeker, I cannot begin to imagine how much more scary it would have been to actually have had Kamran at 24 weeks. To those parents who have realized those fears, I tip my (crochet) hat.

Knowing just how lucky we got off, most days I feel silly calling Kamran a preemie. He was born at 35 weeks. He was practically term! It pales in comparison to what could have been but thankfully was not. However, we spent 33 days in the NICU. Kamran had his own set of challenges and he certainly was a preemie regardless. I am thankful that I did not have to realize the fear of being mom to a 24 week preterm baby and am oh so happy for my happy healthy 8 month old boy born only 5 weeks early.

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