Introducing Carter Hayes

Friday, May 23, 2014

T & I are so proud to announce the newest addition to our little family has arrived! 

Carter Hayes Witt | Friday, May 16, 3:26 p.m. | 6 lbs. 15 oz. | 19.5 inches long


Friday morning, May 16, started bright and early around 4 a.m. when I woke up with contractions that felt more painful than the previous occasional Braxton Hicks I had just recently started to experience. Not thinking too much of it, I had a big glass of water and tried to go back to sleep and see if they would go away. When about 15 minutes later I felt another twinge of pain, I began to think I should probably keep an eye on the clock to see if there was a pattern. 

Side Note #1: I did not normally wake up in the middle of the night during this pregnancy, and since it was still dark outside and T hadn't gotten up for the day (the usual reason I would wake up), I had a hunch something was different.

T got up about an hour later to get ready for work. After his morning straight razor shaving routine, he noticed I was sitting up in bed looking somewhat uncomfortable. I said 'I think the baby wants to come today' to which he replied with a slightly incredulous 'OK' before heading to the kitchen to make some morning coffee. To his credit, we were only at 37.5 weeks, and that desired 40 week mark was still off looming on the distant horizon somewhere. I hopped in the shower (another technique to try and see if what I was experiencing was just Braxton Hicks), and when I was still having painful contractions consistently afterwards, T finally decided to take me a little more seriously.

He packed an overnight bag, just in case, and called in to the OB department to let them know I would be coming in to get checked out. 

T waiting nervously before Baby W's arrival.
Side Note #2: T was on call all weekend long, and had many patients in the hospital to round on, plus a full clinic schedule, so I told him to go ahead without me so I could get a hospital bag packed (another thing I hadn't quite gotten to yet), and if the contractions continued, I would follow behind him shortly.

After I finally decided on some essentials for my potential stay in the hospital, a few items for Baby W, and maybe picking up some around the house, I made my way in. Four car ride contractions later, by the time I arrived, there was no way I was going to drive myself home if this wasn't going to be 'the real deal'. After getting checked in about 9 a.m., we learned that I was dilated 3-4 centimeters, and Baby W was in fact going to be coming to meet us. So exciting!

Seconds after Carter's arrival into the world. So happy!
After four separate tries to get an IV started so that we could get antibiotics running for at least four hours prior to delivery (for the strep B I previously mentioned), I was full of bruised arms and in more than a little bit of pain (my veins kept rolling, and no one was having any luck). I finally received a little relief when I got a dose of pain medication used as a holdover before I was cleared for an epidural. 

T is so excited to finally meet baby Carter and be a Dad.
T, who had been planning to work all day (he notoriously has OB patients who are first time mothers that labor for 24+ hours), was told by my Doctor not too much later, that this baby was not going to take all day to come, and he would need to reschedule the rest of his patients. This was at my second check, around 11 a.m., when we determined I was between 7-8 centimeters dilated already. With still no epidural, and the holdover pain medication all but worn off...

One of my nurses suggested maybe I should just go without since I was already  nearing the end stages of labor. I think I  gave her a very pointed glare at this point and stated that I had no intentions of an epidural free delivery no matter how close we were.

Ten little toes, and HUGE feet!
Shortly afterward, the nurse anethstetist arrived, and prepared the epidural. Meanwhile, I used some breathing techniques we had just learned about that week at our baby class, and a big dose of iron will. 

The nurses would later describe me as very stoic. Really though, by this point, I was thinking 'what on Earth are they waiting for?' Before being poked with any needles, or any minor little check, I was continuously asked if I was having a contraction, and then they would wait till it was over. This was about the silliest thing I experienced during my entire stay. In my mind, any poking or jabbing that they were going to do was going to hurt significantly less than the contractions I was having, and if anything, would give me something else to think about. 

Side Note #3: Another lesson we learned is that I have a very high pain tolerance. Next time I say something hurts, or is painful, someone better take me seriously.

Post epidural, I finally felt some relief, and it was suggested that I try to take a nap. I  was all about this plan, until about 15 minutes later when my water broke. Baby W was on a mission, and there was nothing going to get in the way now!

Side Note #4: If T & I decide to have more children in the future, we were directed to leave immediately to get to the hospital, or T may have to deliver the baby at home!

Dr. Young and one of our wonderful nurses Roxanne
Shortly after, I started pushing, which apparently I'm pretty good at (it may have helped that I still had enough feeling in my legs to be able to move around a little on my own). Baby's heart tones started to decelerate with the pushing however, and I could tell T was getting very nervous, so we waited a little while until my Doctor was able to join us before picking up with the pushing again. Meanwhile, Baby W got a fetal scalp electrode attached so that we could monitor the heart tones more closely.

One day old. My eyes and cheeks are all swollen from the vacuum. 
Once my doctor arrived, I started pushing again, baby flipped to an occiput anterior (face down) position (woo hoo!), and we were back on track. Baby's heart tones were still dropping down to the 60s with the pushing however (normal heart tones would be in the 110-150 range), and when we had maybe only 10 minutes of pushing left to go, my Doctor and T agreed that it was time to help baby along with the mighty vac and get those heart tones back to normal as soon as possible.

Within two minutes, everything was ready to go, and Carter Hayes Witt made his appearance into our world bright pink and screaming up a storm. We couldn't be more thrilled to have him here!

Mom loves you so much!


Grandma J & Grandpa T were Carter's first visitors. After T & I had a chance to bond with our little man for a couple hours just to ourselves, and I had a chance to get a shower and a little recovery time after the day's events, we called our immediate family to let them know that baby BOY Carter Hayes had arrived. Grandpa T & Grandma J wasted no time hopping in the car to hurry and arrive at the hospital just before the cut-off time for visitors on Friday night. 

Grandma S & Grandpa D came to visit baby C early Saturday morning with roses for me, and the cutest little box of goodies for C.

Great Grandma M & Great Grandpa K arrived Saturday afternoon, along with Uncle T, and another visit from Grandma J & Grandpa T. Everyone is so excited to have two little munchkins to spoil!

Uncle T, Aunt H, and cousin Jake came to visit (Jake tried out his best right hook, but Carter wasn't having it). These two are going to get up to all kinds of mischief in the future no doubt!

C & I enjoying some quiet snuggle time before heading home Sunday night.

All packed up and ready to go home! 

One week old today, and getting cuter by the minute!

Let the adventures begin!

Week 37

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week 37 | an update

How far along: 37 weeks

Best moment this week: T & I started a baby class offered at the hospital where I'll be delivering. After week one, we didn't feel like we learned a whole lot, but hopefully as the class progresses, we'll pick up on some good tips. This week we got to take a tour of the OB floor (T is already familiar, but I'd never seen it), and learned some breathing and relaxation techniques. Since I'm 100% planning to have an epidural, I'm hoping that will take care of any relaxation I will be needing!

I also coerced T into helping to hang up the curtain rod in Baby W's room, and ordered some other decor pieces to help complete the look. It's so nice to see the room finally coming together!

Worst moment this week: My Group B strep screen came back positive (not terribly uncommon, about 1 out of 4 women will have a positive test result), so I will need to have IV antibiotics at least 4 hours before Baby W's arrival to help prevent any complications that could arise. This means I'll probably have to go to the hospital sooner rather than later once any signs of labor start so that there will be plenty of time to make sure the little one has the best chance to be protected from infection.

On another note, my check-up this morning resulted in an unplanned ultrasound this afternoon when my physician thought Baby W may have flipped to a breech position. Everything checked out OK, and baby is currently head down. Whew! Another thing we learned (or rather, I learned since T was too busy in clinic to attend the ultrasound), is that Baby W is in a occiput posterior position (head down, facing towards the outside world instead of facing in). I had a hunch this was the case after some very strange indentations of the baby bump in the mornings. Looks like I was right! Hopefully, baby will decide to shift to the more preferable and most common occiput anterior position (head down, facing in) before delivery. Delivering from the occiput posterior position would prove to be much more difficult as baby's head would have trouble getting past the pubic bone, and likely quite a bit more uncomfortable both during labor and recovery for this soon-to-be mama.

In other ultrasound news, as of today, baby is measuring approximately 6.8 lbs. plus or minus 1.7 lbs. (An exact weight measurement is impossible at this point, so the ultrasound tech factors in a little leeway either way.) All in all, this means baby is right on track for growth.

Things I miss: Oh so many things. I've been thinking I'll put together a list of things I'd like to see when we return home with Baby W. Any of you planning to visit, keep your eyes peeled!

Maternity clothes: Yes. Above jacket (Motherhood), cami (A Pea in the Pod), pants (3 Seasons Maternity).

Sleep: Not terrible. T is less than impressed with the pillow addition from last week, and is looking forward to Baby W's arrival, and the return of his normal sleep space.

Movement: Baby W's movement slowed down over the weekend, but has picked back up as we progress into the week. I was a little worried about this, but have been assured over the last couple of days (by return to regular movement) that baby must have just been tuckered out from all the kicking, and is just getting more cramped as we get closer to delivery-day. New kicking location this week has been my ribcage. Oh so comfortable. Sigh.

Food Cravings: Grapes and ice cream. 

Food Aversions: Nothing really, although I did have some spicy taco soup which gave me a little heartburn, so I think I'll avoid try to avoid anything too spicy until after baby arrives.

Queasy or sick: Just a touch of heartburn, other than that feeling good.

Belly button in or out: T and I decided what I have isn't really an out-y, but more of a flat-y.

Rings on or off: Wedding rings on.

Looking forward to: I'm getting a pedicure tomorrow! Mama S surprised me with a gift certificate for Mother's Day, and I am so excited to have my toes pampered. It is not easy to keep them in tip top painted form with the bump in the way! Both T & I are also looking forward to Baby W's arrival. We are officially in the home stretch now, and can't wait to meet our little one sometime in the next 3 weeks!

The Best Lasagna Ever

Monday, May 12, 2014

Greetings on this blustery, rainy, yucky Monday. In the last 15 minutes, I have watched my brand new flower pot blow over not once, but twice from it's perch in the middle of our outdoor dining table. T & I have pretty much had it with the wind, and I'm not sure what we will do if it stays this way for the entire summer. Between ruining my flowers, blowing our grill all over our deck, and continuously knocking over our outdoor chairs, it seems that we have hardly been able to enjoy being outside this first spring at our new casa.

What we can enjoy, however, is this delicious lasagna recipe from The Pioneer Woman. T's mom made this dish a couple times over the winter when we've been over for dinner, and I was so excited that she shared the recipe source. It is super easy to mix up, makes enough to freeze half (if you are only cooking for 2), and definitely packs in the flavor compared to many lasagna recipes out there. I would venture to say this is restaurant quality lasagna here joke.

Step One: Gather the ingredients.

Step Two: Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef, sausage, and garlic, cook until browned. Drain some of the fat, then add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp parsley, basil and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Step Three: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook lasagna until al dente. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more Tbsp parsley, and 1 tsp salt. Stir together and set aside.

Step Four: Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in a 9x13 baking dish. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Cover the cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top. Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan. 

Step Five: Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 min, or until the top is hot and bubbly.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

THE BEST LASAGNA EVER | Yield: 1 9x13 baking dish | Total Time: 1 hr.


1 lb ground beef
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes
2 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp kosher salt
3 C lowfat cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
1 pkg (10 oz) lasagna noodles
(add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil to pasta water)


Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook ground beef, sausage, and garlic until browned. Drain the excess fat (leave some), and add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp parsley, basil and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cook lasagna noodles until 'al dente' (see package instructions).

While noodles are boiling, combine cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more Tbsp parsley, and 1 more tsp salt. Stir together and set aside.

To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (use a smaller dish size and adjust if you are splitting the recipe to freeze half). Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top. Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.

Refrigerate for up to 2 days, or bake immediately in a 350 degree oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

Serve with a side of kale salad and garlic bread.

In other weekend catch-ups, I hope all of you mama's out there had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! T & I snuck in a little afternoon hiking, caught up with both of our mom's, and enjoyed a great dinner out to celebrate the day.

Mama J and I.

T and Mama S.

We love you!

Week 36

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 36 | an update

How far along: 36 weeks. Eeeek! Only 4 more weeks to go!!

Best moment this week: Finally bit the bullet and ordered curtains, a quilt, and matching pillow for Baby W's nursery. No going back now! They arrived on Monday (LOVE), and now I'm just waiting for T to tell me he is ready to help hang yet another curtain rod.

Not baby related you ask? Our new dining room chairs arrived. Woot woot! T & I don't know what to do now that we can actually sit down at a table together for a meal at home instead of eating at the kitchen bar. We are still playing musical chairs to decide where we like to sit, but I'm sure we'll have that figured out in no time. In other news...I'm pretty sure we collect more cardboard than the recycling center.

Another exciting moment? T planted some kale seeds last week after our trip to the local greenhouse. He was soooooo proud when after only 2 days they had sprouted up already. He has been watching them like a hawk, and can hardly wait until the weather warms up enough to transfer them to a container outside and watch them grow. He's convinced that if all of his patients would just eat more kale, then he wouldn't be seeing most of them. I'm not sure about that, but kale does offer quite a few health benefits. Meanwhile, I found a new kale citrus salad recipe over the weekend that I'm looking forward to trying out.

Worst moment this week: I checked up on the status of a couple armchairs we ordered waaaaay back in February from Pottery Barn for our main living space. They originally were supposed to ship the first week of, however, the estimated shipping date is pushed all the way back to mid-August. SO FRUSTRATING! So much for that 3-week quick shipping they were supposed to have. UGH.

Things I miss: A normal sleeping situation. This week, assuming we're on track, baby should be weighing about 6-ish pounds. The most comfortable sleep position would be on my back, however, that is against the rules, and side sleeping is highly recommended to prevent too much pressure on the placenta and umbilical cord carrying blood and oxygen to baby. I'm usually a side sleeper anyways, but when Baby W's weight is all shifted to the side, it's like trying to sleep with a bowling ball attached, a.k.a. not very comfortable. Much to T's chagrin, I've had to add a pillow for some extra support, and our individual sleeping space has been cut even smaller.

Maternity clothes: Yes. The weather is finally starting to be warmer, and I've been loving wearing some of my maxi skirts and dresses. Above skirt (Motherhood), cami (Target), cardigan (Old Navy).

Sleep: Seems to be a little better with the new addition of the pillow. 

Movement: Still plenty of movement, generally late at night.

Food Cravings: Hoping to get some grilling in with this warm weather! Also...fruit and sweets as per usual.

Food Aversions: Nope.

Queasy or sick: Nothing to report here.

Belly button in or out: Out.

Rings on or off: Wedding rings still on.

Looking forward to: Seeing the new look of the nursery after we get curtains hung and some of the bedding put on. Still trying to lock in an accent color to use, so hopefully will get that figured out soon.

I'm also waiting to see if T has anything cooked up for Mother's Day this weekend. Knowing him, this has a highly unlikely probability, but I'm hoping at the very least that he is thinking about our upcoming 2-year anniversary and the fact that I will be delivering his baby sometime in the next month (Is a new mama present too much to ask for from a hubby? No. I didn't think so. Glad we agree.) And yes, T, in case you are reading this, I have already thought ahead and have some great surprises headed your way for these upcoming milestones. Love you.

Banana Walnut Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Friday!! Is it just me, or has this week gone by super fast? Certainly not because I spent it outside enjoying any sort of beautiful springtime weather (it has been rainy and cold literally all week - today it is actually nice for once, but of course incredibly windy), but maybe because I've been keeping busy searching for the perfect nursery decor for Baby W, visiting local greenhouses with T, or testing out new delicious recipes.

Speaking of new recipes...I stumbled across this gem for banana walnut cake with brown butter frosting that is so quick and easy to mix up that I can't believe it took me this long to try out.

Step One: Gather the ingredients.

Step Two: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together softened butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. Fold in chopped walnuts with a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in a greased baking dish and pop in an oven preheated to 375 for 30-35 min, or until gold brown.

Step Four: While the cake is cooling, make the brown butter frosting. Pour over the still warm cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Deliciouso! Serve this up as dessert with a warm cup of jo, or enjoy for an afternoon snack. It would also be yummy in the morning as a breakfast cake if you so choose.

Recipe adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch

BANANA WALNUT CAKE WITH BROWN BUTTER FROSTING | Yield: 1 9x13 cake pan | Total Time: 45 min.


1 1/2 C sugar
1 5.3 oz container vanilla Greek yogurt (use a single serving size container)
1/2 C butter, softened
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 C chopped walnuts

6 Tbsp butter
3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.*

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in chopped walnuts. Spread evenly into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

*NOTE: You can also make this recipe using a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan if you prefer more of a bar than a piece of cake. Reduce baking time to 20-25 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until boiling. Stir continually with a whisk to prevent burning. Remove from heat immediately after browned, and whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Pour the frosting over the warm banana cake. Spread evenly, and sprinkle with additional chopped walnuts.

Do you have a favorite recipe that uses ripe bananas?
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