Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas...

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So here it is, December 25. I did no Christmas letter, no Christmas cards, no family photo, I didn't even put gift tags on Andrew's gifts this year.


It has been an insanely busy few months for us. When school started up for the kids in August, our lives exploded and we were travelling at warp speed.


So, to sum up our year, here is a quick, down and dirty Christmas newsletter.


February ... Josh had a birthday. Yay! Andrew got his learner's permit.
March ... Kids had spring break. Yay!
April ... Easter weekend and learning of a new addition to the family. That was NOT an elaborate April Fool's joke.
May ... Audrey's first birthday. Super Yay!
June ... Kymi graduated 8th grade and turned 14.
July ... Andrew turned 16. We spent independence day in Tucson with my family.
August ... Kids went back to school. Kymi started marching bad (and thus lost her free time).
September ... Josh went to a musician's seminar weekend and learned lots.
October ... Kymi's marching band season in full swing. Her school competed with a field show for the first time in 10 years and did quite well.
November ... I started my new venture of selling cloth diapers through diaperparties.com. Started maternity leave on Thanksgiving day. Andrew got his driver's license.
December 3 ... Our newest addition, Annie Noelle, joined our family. Josh's mom stayed with us for a week to help with the transition. Kymi had a few band concerts.
And that brings us to today.


Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year.
God Bless.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

A note to random commenters.....

I love to get comments on my blog and I dont care if I know who you are or not, but if you just give me a link and don't provide any actual comment or feedback onto my blog posts, you WILL be marked as spam and I will not read your blog.

Thank You!
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Annie Noelle's Entrance to this world......

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It's no secret that the last thing I wanted with this birth was a c-section.  But with a toddler in the house and 2 teenagers, and a very uncertain schedule, it was not feasible to travel where we needed to in order to have a VBAC.  This left me very apprehensive about the entire birthing procedure.  I knew that I didn't need to do anything, but yet I was not happy with my situation and nervous about how I would handle it.

The day of the "procedure" arrived and I was nervous and excited at the same time.  Not to mention hungry!  We got to the hospital and was escorted to the pre-op/recovery room.  I first had to change into my every so comfy and fashionable hospital gown.  Then the nurse started the IV, took my medical history, got my vitals, etc.

The anesthesiologist (Dr. Knight) came in and explained the procedure to me.  At that point I got a lot more nervous and anxious about the whole procedure.  It was getting more and more real.  I tried to focus on what he was saying, but it went in one ear and out the other.

Then we got a call that the doctor was running late - she had an emergency procedure to finish up.  This did NOT help my anxiety.  But there was nothing I could do about it.

Finally Dr. S showed up and I walked across the hall into the OR.  I was taken aback and the starkness of the room and the sterility of bringing a new life into the world.  I couldn't believe this was how my baby was going to make her entrance.  It just didn't feel right.

I was hooked up to a few more instruments and Dr. Knight started the spinal.  My anxiety kept climbing.  I'm not usually an anxious person and don't typically spend a lot of time in worry or fear, but I just couldn't stop this from coming and overtaking me.  I took some deep breaths and tried to pray.  Gave my anxiety to God and put the whole situation in his hands.  I was not able to handle all this on my own.  I should add that Josh was not allowed in the room yet, so I was doing all this by myself.  Again ... what an awful way to begin the journey of bringing my daughter into the world - alone, without her daddy.

Dr. S. came in and with the help of the nurses, she began prepping me for surgery.  They put up the curtain right at my neck level.  I was obnoxiously close to the curtain - it was almost enough to give me some claustrophobia.  I saw Dr. Lionel (our pediatrician) scrubbing up in the other room.  He came in and said hello to me and asked how I was doing.  It was a little strange to see the pediatrician in context when I'm a patient.  It was great to see him and great that he checked up on me.

Finally Josh was allowed in the room.  He came by my side and just held my hand for the whole thing.  He knew that I was a wreck and he was the rock that I needed to keep me halfway stable.  I could feel things happening.  It is such a weird sensation to not feel any pain, but to feel things being manipulated and pushed around.  As with Audrey, I could feel Annie being pulled out of me as a huge weight being removed from my belly.  As her head was being removed, the Dr. told Josh he could stand up and watch her "emerge."  Josh was very pleased with that.

At 12:37 PST, Annie Noelle was born weighing 7 lbs 13 oz and measuring 20 inches long.

As all this was happening, I was nearly hysterical, but trying very hard to hold it together.  All the emotions and memories of Audrey's birth came rushing back to me.  The scare of her heartrate decline; being rushed to the OR hitting every doorjam on the way; Audrey having meconium; being taken to the NICU; not getting to hold her for 4 1/2 hours.  It was such a scary experience and having it all come rushing back to me just threw me over the top.

And to top it all off, when Annie was on the table being cleaned up and measured and evaluated, I couldn't see anything because of the huge curtain at my neck.  Josh took a couple photos and I saw pictures of her before I saw her.  Finally, after what seemed like hours, Dr. Lionel brought her over to me all swaddled up and snuggly.  I got to touch her face and kiss her and pseudo hold her.

I was rolled back over to recovery.  I was there for about 15 min or so until Josh came back with Annie.  I got to hold her and all my worries and concerns were tossed to the wind.  We started nursing right away.  I was so ecstatic to have my brand new baby girl in my arms.  She was pretty good at getting the latch right away.  I was beyond thrilled to get nursing off to such a good start.

The next few days were rough.  Despite my request to not have any, I was given morphine as part of my spinal and it made us both so drowsy that she wasn't able to nurse much the first 24 hours after that initial session.  I was healing nicely and the nurses were all very impressed with my progress (I'm NOT one to sit around and be injured), but everyone was concerned with he weight.  I worked very hard and getting her to wake up to eat, but she just wasn't interested.  Finally, my milk started to come in and she was getting more calories per session, but they weren't very long.  I was diligent to feed her every 2 hours.  At her final weight check, her weight loss had declined and she hadn't dropped into the danger zone, so they stopped talking about interventions.  Nursing has been phenomenal since then and we can see that she is putting on weight.  Her diapers fit better, her cheeks are puffier, and she feels just a little bit more robust.

All in all, this birth experience was nothing like Audrey's.  The hospital staff was different, the procedures were different, the drugs were different, the facilities were opposites of each other.  Add in the differences of emotions going into the births, I really have a hard time comparing the two experiences to each other.  About the only thing that was the same was the Motrin for pain management, but even it's administration was different.

The most important thing is that I have my baby girl here in my arms and that our family of 6 is healthy and happy.  Everyone is in love with their baby sister and she fits in just right.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

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Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving I have many things for which to be thankful.

First and foremost is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I am also thankful for my husband and his awesomeness.
Thankful for the two beautiful daughters he gave me (although one is still baking).
I'm thankful for my wonderful step-children. They bring so much joy to my life.
I'm thankful that Andrew got his driver's license yesterday.

And last ... I'm thankful for maternity leave!! Woohoo!!!!! No more work for 17 weeks!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Thoughts- 11/23/10

If you've heard me say this before, I'm sorry for repeating myself. But maybe someone else can provide some insight and answer this question for me.

It is very common to recommend that women walk around, A LOT, to get labor started, to help the baby move down, to help the contractions be more productive, etc. Walking is about all women who are 39+ weeks pregnant do. So why is it when a woman, who is to term, arrives at the hospital in labor, the first thing they do is put her in a wheelchair?

I refused my wheelchair when I was in labor with Audrey and the triage nurse couldn't fathom why.

Well ... all I had been doing the last 3 hours was walk and the first thing the L&D nurse is going to do is have me walk the halls. Why should I take NOW to sit?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Audrey's 18 Month checkup

Had our well baby visit with Audrey today.

Doctor seems to think she's perfect developmentally. He's concerned about her still drinking from a bottle, but said to wait until after the baby is born to wean her. We also got lectured about a pretty bad diaper rash that is clearing up. I'm just glad he didn't see her on Monday.

Stats:
32 1/4" tall (up 1 1/4" since 8/18)
23 lbs 15 oz (up almost 2 lbs since 8/18)
Head is 46.7 cm (up 1.3 cm since 8/18)

Next visit is at 2 years. So far in advance that we couldn't make an appt.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

18 months


May 17, 2009




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October 31, 2010




My little girl is growing up so fast.

She is 18 months old today.


  • She is mimicing and parroting everything the big kids and adults do/say.
  • She has her eyes glued to any TV that is on and even requests TV shows.
  • She knows/remembers people who she sees less frequently and recognizes people from photos.
  • She is starting to make 2-word sentences
  • She says Thank You without prompting about 50% of the time.
  • Climbs on everything, but has a hard time getting down.
  • LOVES to color and will ask to color if she sees any sort of writing implement
  • Identifies objects out of books - cat, dog, monkey, keys, baby, frog, duck
  • Can make dog and cat sounds
  • Can use a fork and spoon, but much prefers her fingers
  • LOVES to give kisses and hugs
  • Recognizes herself in photos and mirrors "Dat Audrey"
  • Misses her brother and sister when they are at their mom's
  • Knows her eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, head, hands, fingers, knees, feet, toes, legs
  • Likes to have other people smell her feet, and then giggles when we make a stinky face
  • Requests to wear shoes
  • Likes to play with the doggie
  • Loves her little slide that is out on the deck and will play with that for long periods of time
  • Can drink out of a cup
  • Says, "wuv you."
In just 16 days, she is going to be a big sister.  Yikes!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Big Book Of Grievances - 11/15

sigh.......


I try to be a generally happy individual, but this morning I was just hit with a huge list of things that are irritating me.


1) cold sores ... they SUCK!!!!!  Have another new one growing.  Do you know how hard it is to keep 18 month old fingers away from a mouth with a cold sore??


2) heat.  Why on earth is our bedroom nearly 80* on November 15th???  It's supposed to be rainy and gross this time of year.  


3) waking up to pee at 4 am and not being able to fall back asleep until 20 minutes before the alarm goes off.  Blech.  I hate waking up that groggy and gross.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Veteran's Day Edition

Today I am thankful for my husband and the many other veteran's I know who have served this country.  Thankful for the freedom that their service allows me to have.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Carnival of Breastfeeding - My Family History of Nursing

Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers!


Challenged by the Motherwear Breastfeeding blog, I'm posting about the history of breastfeeding in my family.


I successfully nursed my daughter for almost 14 months.  She weaned herself because my supply dropped off due to pregnancy.  I plan on nursing my second daughter after she is born (due early December).  Nursing to me was an incredible experience.  I loved that I had all I needed to meet her nutritional needs from the day she was born.  I loved the convenience of nursing, over a bottle.  It was so easy to nurse her when she was hungry or fussing, rather than making her wait to take a bottle.  I loved that nursing her meant she got exactly the amount of milk she wanted, as opposed to feeling obligated to finish a bottle.  Nursing seemed to take the guess work out of "how much" when it came time to feeding.  


I went back to work when my daughter was about 14 weeks old; I pumped when at work and nursed when at home.  It was a struggle to keep up my supply.  Had it not been for a good community of other breastfeeding mothers, I'm not sure I would've made it an entire year.


My mom nursed both my sister and myself.  We were born at probably the height of the formula production.  Technology must be better than natural, was the mindset of the world.  My mom decided that she was going to breastfeed, and she did.  I was unable to take a bottle, so my mom couldn't even supplement with formula if she wanted.  And even after I turned 1, I was intolerant to cow's milk, so she had to continue to nurse me.  It was very reassuring to her that she was doing the right thing. 


Many years later, I remember a conversation with my mom after obtaining information on the benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding.  She was so proud of herself for sticking with her mother instincts and breastfeeding her children when formula was so popular.


My maternal grandmother nursed both my mom and my uncle for a few months, but she didn't like nursing.  I believe she also went back to work and couldn't nurse the two kids for extended periods of time, but I could be wrong.


My paternal grandmother had 5 children, 4 years apart each.  The first 4 children she nursed faithfully.  By the time her 5th child was born, she was well into her late 40s and busy with teenagers and elementary school children.  Because she was so busy, and had built in babysitters, it was easy to leave the baby at home and run to the store or a woman's group at church or wherever needed.  


I wonder, had, there been the availability of breast pumps then that there is now, would my grandmothers have breastfed longer?


For more stories on breastfeeding ... read the following.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - on Thursday

I seem to be a day late on something with my blog posts.  Oh well ... you'll enjoy the photos the same today as you would've yesterday.


Random photos from this weekend.


Who's that monkey in the mirror???

Sisters ...........

Broncos cheerleader!!  Go Broncos!


She found the carseat in the garage and just had to play with it and check it out.  She even got in it at one point, but I didn't have my camera with me then.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for an understanding and flexible boss so I can work from home today and spend time with my baby girl who is running a fever.  :(

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Confession is good for the soul ...

...or so they say.


So I'm going to make a confession.


I'm terrified.  I'm absolutely terrified of having 2 children under the age of 2.  I'm afraid of not being able to give Audrey the attention she needs while still meeting the needs of a newborn.  I'm afraid of not being able to fully recover from a c-section with a toddler at home.  I'm afraid that I won't be able to do laundry to have clean diapers for either child.


I'm afraid of the sleep that I won't be getting.  And how this change will affect the existing relationships.


I think that I have more apprehension regarding this baby than I did when pregnant with Audrey.  I was ready to have a baby when I was pregnant with Audrey and I knew that I'd be able to handle the challenges that a newborn provides.  But I feel like I'm going into something that I have no business being near by having 2 kids so young.  YIKES!!!!!!


I know that these are all perfectly normal things to be concerned about.  And that many women have done this before.  I know that things will ultimately be OK and I have to just find my groove.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photos from Kymberly's band review on Saturday. Photos aren't great because I am still learning this camera.



The week before, the drum major was awarded the Sweepstakes award for parade - which is the best award there is!!  He is awesome ... and only a junior!
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Trombones leading the way .... as it should be.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A*C*T*S*

Years ago, in Sunday School, I learned a fairly common model of prayer.  


ACTS

  • Adoration
  • Confession
  • Thanksgiving 
  • Supplication



I still try to use it today for my morning prayers.  But I struggle with one thing.  Well, a few things, really.  But one that's really bothering me lately.


I sit down to pray at 5:30 in the morning when I finish my daily bible reading.  I find that I have a hard time confessing my sins when I'm sitting to pray.  Maybe it's because it's 5:30 in the morning and I just can't remember what sins I committed the day before.  I've been praying that God would show me my sins so that I can work on them.  And He has been.  And I have been. But still, at 5:30 when I sit to pray, I just can't list off my shopping list of sins and confess them.


I much prefer to confess my sins when they immediately become apparent to me.  I shout in anger at my husband.  I let a bad word out of my mouth when getting cut off by the driver in front of me.  Or when God reveals a big sin to me, I spend some time in reflection and prayer about that.


But on a daily basis, to have my sins at the tip of my tongue, that's just not me.


Scripture tells us that God hears our prayers after we confess our sins (forgive me for not having the reference here ...).  So if I'm not confessing my sins every morning when I sit to pray for my family and my day and all the other prayer requests around me, is God not hearing my prayers????


A couple other thoughts on the ACTS prayer model.
I find that I spend the day in constant reflection and prayer.  Either minor requests all day long:


"Lord, please remove this pain."
"Lord, be with Logan as he undergoes this treatment."
"Lord give me the strength to endure yet another day of work."


You get the idea.


I also find that I thank God when I see His blessings bestowed upon me.  


"Thank you Lord for the rain."
"Thank you Lord for my daughter's laughter."


Just quick one-liner prayers sent up to God.


I tend to adore God in the same way, but I think not quite as frequently as my thanksgivings and requests.


Is this what Paul means in 1 Thessalonians 5:17?


So this prayer model I learned years ago......
Do I use it?  Yeah.  I keep it as a guide of the things I need to address when I pray.  I try to touch on all 4 aspects in all my prayers throughout the day. Do I touch on all 4 every time I sit and pray?  No.  It's helpful, however, at 5:30 in the morning, to have a guide to follow so I can focus.  5:30 is early!!!


Thoughts?  Comments?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

On Monday this week you got a taste of the pumpkin patch. Today I shall show you more.

Audrey seemed to have so much fun that day, it was hard to leave, despite having not napped all day.




















Did you know....

That I have a blog just for my fun artsy photos???? Check it out.


Captured by Christine

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mommy and Me Monday - 10/18/10 - Pumpkin Time

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend and took LOTS of fun photos.  My wonderful husband made sure that I was in a couple photos too.  ;)






Head on over to Krystyn's blog for more Mommy and Me fun.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thankful thursday

I'm a day late.  Sorry.


This week I'm thankful for yet another freebie from a co-worker.  We got an infant swing and glider for new baby.  


I can't express how grateful and blessed we are with all the free things we've received.


And I have a freecycle infant activity mat to pick up today as well.  Something I really wanted for Audrey, but couldn't justify cost-wise.


Also thankful that I have a diaper party in the works.  So excited for that.  I hope to get more, and I have a plan to try to drum up some interest.


So ... what are YOU thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Baby Blog

Are you tired of hearing about the new baby??


Well ... too bad!  ;)


This baby is a mere 2 months from entering this world.  Less than, actually, since she'll be a scheduled c-section.  Josh and I keep discussing how we're going to transport a newborn and a 19 month old all over the place, especially since I will be recovering from a c-section and can't do a whole lot of lifting.  As much as I don't want to admit it, it's become apparent that we are in need of a double stroller.


An ideal stroller would be the Britax B-Ready stroller.  And Natural Mommie is giving one away.  It looks phenomenal.  So ... I'm entering...as many times as possible.  Because, well, I want one.


You want one too?  Go check out her giveaway and enter as much as you can.  I know I will.


Giveaway is open until Nov 12.


B-Ready Stroller Giveaway


If you scroll all the way down to the bottom on my blog, you'll notice that I added a button about the giveaway too.  

Another Baby Blog

Are you tired of hearing about the new baby??


Well ... too bad!  ;)


This baby is a mere 2 months from entering this world.  Less than, actually, since she'll be a scheduled c-section.  Josh and I keep discussing how we're going to transport a newborn and a 19 month old all over the place, especially since I will be recovering from a c-section and can't do a whole lot of lifting.  As much as I don't want to admit it, it's become apparent that we are in need of a double stroller.


An ideal stroller would be the Britax B-Ready stroller.  And Natural Mommie is giving one away.  It looks phenomenal.  So ... I'm entering...as many times as possible.  Because, well, I want one.


You want one too?  Go check out her giveaway and enter as much as you can.  I know I will.


Giveaway is open until Nov 12.


B-Ready Stroller Giveaway


If you scroll all the way down to the bottom on my blog, you'll notice that I added a button about the giveaway too.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Love Affair with Laundry Day

My entire life I've hated laundry. I hate taking it out to the garage (in California, w/d are located in the garage). I hate sorting it. I hate loading in the machines. It hurts my back so much to deal with it. And then wait 30-45 minutes, go back out, pick up heavier clothes and put them into the dryer - which is even lower than the washer.

Then after that's all done, I get to fold the laundry and put it away. There were days when I would just throw it in a pile on the couch and that was my dresser. That doesn't go over so well when you have a family though - that's more of a single adult or college student solution.

Laundry day was even worse when I lived in an apartment and had to carry 50 lbs of clothes to the laundry room (halfway across the complex) through rain or snow. And then to get there and only find out that all the machines were being used, or someone took my CLEAN clothes out of the washer and threw them on the floor.

But now, I have a love affair with doing laundry. What changed, you might ask? Well, I use cloth diapers. For the last 6 months or so we've been using cloth diapers. We don't even use the fanciest or prettiest diapers. We have a small stash of Econobum and Flip diapers. And a few that I've made myself. But something about washing them and knowing that they are clean and ready to go on my daughter's bottom makes me giddy. To know that I'm helping the environment by not throwing away chemicals and plastic filled with human waste. Knowing that her bottom is healthier because of the cloth. It all brings a big smile to my face.

And when it's warm and sunny outside, I love to take the diapers from the washing machine and put them on the clothesline outside. It gives my daughter a chance to play outside with the dog while I do my part and save the environment just a little bit more.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Free Baby Sling from Seven Slings

Got an email today telling me about a promo for a free sling, just pay shipping and handling. I want to pass it on to my readers.

SevenSlings.com has a brand new promotion going where you get 100% off any of their baby slings when you use promo code "milkbands".

This promotion will allow you only one purchase per transaction so please take your time to get the right size and pattern for you! This offer will expire without notice -so don’t delay! These fitted slings are safe for infants to toddlers 35lbs and under!

Go to www.sevenslings.com , click on “Shop Now”, and select the correct size sling or gift set you would like (be sure to visit the sizing page for instructions on how to select the right size sling for you). Once you have selected the sling or gift set you would like, enter "milkbands" into the promo code box and click “Apply Code”. This will bring your product total from $39.00 to $0 for a pouch sling or from $44.00 to only $5 for a 3-piece gift set - all you are required to pay is the shipping & processing!


Sincerely,
Jenny Pierce
Owner
MilkBands.com

*You may have heard about the Infantino™ “bag sling” recall. The recalled Infantino™ slings are not the same type of baby sling found at sevenslings.com. The recalled slings were “bag slings” and were similar to an elastic closure purse where the baby sits closer to your thighs than your chest. Seven Slings are fitted, non-adjustable “pouch slings” and hold your baby right up close to you on your chest where you can see and kiss your child. There has not been a recall associated with “pouch style slings”.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Review: Help I Can't Pay My Bills by Sally Herigstad

Help! I Can't Pay My Bills: Surviving a Financial CrisisHelp! I Can't Pay My Bills: Surviving a Financial Crisis by Sally Herigstad

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I decided to read this book on a whim. We were passing the financial section in the library. I thought maybe I should read one and get some tips and ideas for cutting our expenses in this upcoming fincancial trial we are about to face. I chose this book over the many others because it seemed to be most appropriate and honestly, the title was the most catchy.



The author is a CPA and really knows her stuff, especially when it comes to taxes. But very few ideas for cutting expenses were brand new to me and few could we apply to our situation (we already have cut cable and stopped eating out and.........).



The section on taxes was great, but because we aren't poverty according to the IRS, the ideas don't apply to us.



I liked that she understood people who couldn't make ends meet. She didnt have a "you are an idiot because you're in debt" attitude or tone to her and she had ideas for how to talk to creditors if the situation gets that bad. Additionally, she had suggestions that i think most financial advisors say are taboo; she presented them with some big qualifiers though.



All in all it wasn't a bad read, just didn't have much to offer to me at our current stage in the game.



She listed several resources on her website that could be helpful to some ... I have not looked at them though, so I reallt do not know if they are still there.



View all my reviews

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scones

Motto of recent baking: Something simple with few to no special ingredients....


Josh wanted something for breakfast for Sunday morning.  We need quick and easy breakfasts because we now have to be at church by 8.  And because we are there until after noon, we can't wait until we get home.


I started thinking about what we had on hand.  Normally when we're in a pinch like this I do coffee cake.  But we had no apples.  OK.  What else....


Must do some sort of pastry.  But those require rising time, and it was already nearly dinnertime on Saturday.  SCONES!!!  Of course.  We didn't have any dried fruit, so it would have to be a pretty basic scone.  We did have raisins.  And while I'm not a fan of raisins, they would add just enough to the scone to be more than just bread.


Found a quick and easy recipe.  Scones are a pastry.  And I'm not so hot with pastries; I usually over work them and I can't cut the butter into the dry ingredients very well.  The method for this one was exceptionally different.  I didn't have to truly cut the butter in.  I took the butter, frozen, and shredded it in like cheese.  In fact, it looked like a big pile of mozzarella cheese.  Then I just worked it all together with my hands.  It was, by far, the easiest method I've seen for working butter into a flour mixture.  (The next easiest is the food processor method ... but that one is easy to make it too fine a mixture.)


Patted the dough down and cut into triangles.  Baked for the alloted time and voila ... raisin scones.  It was super quick and easy.  Easy enough I will try them again soon, with a different flavor inside.  Not sure what flavor, but something.


It is now fall.  Be on the look out for pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin _________________ (fill in the blank).  I LOVE pumpkin and we have a small pumpkin waiting to be baked to fall goodies!!!

Banana Cream Pie

Friday night last week my church held a Hymn Sing and Pie Social.  I knew I needed to make one as opposed to buy one --- for many reasons.  The first of which is ... I'm a wannabe baker.  The second ... we're broke.  So I looked around the kitchen and realized that I had extra bananas lying around leftover from last week.  I decided that I was destined to make a banana cream pie.  Never made one before.  Didn't know the first thing about making one.


But I bake ... that's what I do.  So I could figure it out.  Time was short and resources limited.  I didn't want to buy a bunch of extra ingredients (defeats the purpose of making based on what we have on hand).  We found a recipe that needed no special ingredients.  I needed a pie crust, but decided that I could afford to buy that as I haven't really figured out pastry crusts yet.  And again ... time was short.  The recipe I found also didn't need a ton of gelling time or baking time or anything.


After we got home from grocery shopping I got to work.  I baked my pie shell.  Last time I baked a crust by itself the crust bubbled up and burnt and, well, was an epic failure.  so this time I was determined to do it right.  I found a different method for baking the crust alone.  I modified it slightly.  20 minutes later I had a beautiful pre-baked pie crust that did NOT bubble up and did NOT burn.  It was golden brown and flaky.  Perfecto!


Next I had to make the pudding.  I was trying to read the recipe at the same time and plan ahead.  I was multi-tasking too much.  The pudding had to be stirred constantly so it didn't burn.  It did start to stick to the bottom of the pan, but I think I salvaged it before too much stuck and I prevented a full burn.  I sliced up the bananas and laid them in the pie shell.  I was supposed to let the shell cool off first, but I didn't have time.  So they went in while it was still warm.


Then I poured the pudding in the shell on top of the bananas.  It looked a tad lumpy, but overall looked edible.  Then let it set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.


I was VERY nervous about this pie.  I had no idea what a banana cream pie entailed (I thought the bananas were mushed INTO the pudding mixture and a whipped cream was on top of that ... more like a chocolate cream pie).   So I was hoping that I was doing it right.


The woman who sampled the pie first said it was great.  I figured she was being nice because I was sitting next to her and I told her I made it.  Then as I was leaving I got another comment on it.  Oh ... that must mean I did something right!  YAY!!!


We had another crust left, so I made a second one on Saturday for us at home.  It was pretty good.  I monitored my pudding a little more closely and prevented any burning at all.  However, after sitting in the fridge for a day, the pudding has started to kind of get rubbery and almost has a pudding skin on it.  While it tastes OK, it has an awkward texture that I'm just not fond of.  Since it's my project and my bakery, I want to find a way to fix that.


I shall find a different recipe, now that I know what I'm doing.


No photos as time was short.  I might be able to get one photo of the last piece in the pan.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Registry

Despite having most everything we need for a new baby, Josh and I decided to create a short registry anyway.  We would like a couple things doubled up on and then there are some smaller things we didn't get for Audrey and would like for this baby.


So ... we did make a registry at Babies R Us
You can search for us, also.
Or just use the registry number: 45673080


Because we are using cloth diapers and I feel like our stash isn't quite big enough for diapering 2 babies full time, I created a registry with an online CD store.  You can purchase the individual items or just a gift certificate, if you are a little nervous about cloth diapers or just unsure what to get.  Due to the nature of her store, the registry is a little misleading in that the photos don't necessarily match the description.  And I could only register for what was currently in stock.  If a color that I chose is out of stock, feel free to substitute with a color or pattern that you think I'd like.


The stores is Sweet Bottoms Baby Boutique and our registry is here.


If I were to be so bold as to make a request, honestly, the things I feel like we need the most are cloth diapers and cloth diaper supplies.


And, please, do NOT feel obligated to buy us anything.  We really do have everything we need; these are truly just wish list items if you are feeling generous.

Thankful Thursday - 9/30

Today I am VERY thankful for cooler weather, especially at night.


I can handle the heat.  I enjoy the heat.  But I just can't sleep at night when it's 90* in the bedroom.  And with the fans on high, my ears hurt with the noise.  So I've been sleeping with earplugs to drown out the white noise that drowns out the outside noise.  (Truth be told ... I hate having a fan on in the bedroom anyway, but have learned to adjust.)


At any rate, last night was significantly cooler than the previous few nights.  Consequently we all slept better.  Audrey slept in her crib all night (I think a number of factors helped her sleep better), and therefore Josh and I were able to sleep better without little legs kicking us and little hands grabbing at faces.


Now if this dumb rash would just go away I'll be one VERY happy camper.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hebrews 3:13

I read the following passage yesterday morning in my quiet time and was struck by it.  I've read it before, even memorized it in college.  But yesterday it made me stop in my tracks.


13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

How am I currently encouraging those around me?  Specifically, how am I encouraging my husband?  And how can I encourage him more/better?  


It's not uncommon to get irritated, annoyed, etc at a spouse's little quirks.  To be frustrated at the same ol' flaw.  To say, "How can you still do this even though you know it annoys me so much?"  But why not turn that irritation into encouragement.  Encouragement is so much more productive than irritation and nagging.


So I ask you ... are you encouraging those around you?  If not, why not?  If you are, can you encourage more?  Can you replace the nagging with encouragement?  Can you eliminate the frustration and substitute with prayer?


Just a quick thought for today.............

Expecting a newborn...

I suppose it's no secret that I'm expecting a baby.  In case you hadn't heard ... I'm expecting a baby.  Baby girl is due in December and will be delivered by a scheduled c-section (unless of course the hospital comes to their senses and let me try for a natural birth).


It's also not a secret that we use cloth diapers.  I've become a HUGE proponent of cloth diapers.  I refuse to buy disposables.  I will take any obstacle with the cloth and figure out how to overcome it.  That's how important it is to me to use the cloth.  (BTW --- we've been using cloth diapers exclusively since end of May.)


Trying to decide the most economical and feasible way to use cloth diapers on our new baby, I found someone willing to let me borrow her XS diapers.  I was ecstatic!!!  To add to the stash, because I know that I'll be a little busy and will want as big of a stash as possible, I've also started making my own diapers.


I was very excited to read the following blog post on using cloth diapers on a newborn.


Things I have learned about cloth diapering a newborn. When my son, HB, was five months old, I had to put away all his newborn diapers. As I did this, I kept thinking about all the trials and errors that I’ve had with cloth diapering. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned:

  1. Gussets are awesome! Because breastfed stool is so runny, it can easily squish out of a diaper.
  2. Your Birdseye prefolds aren’t really prepped until there’s very little lint in your dryer.
  3. You don’t have to fold diapers but you might want to so that you can put them on the baby correctly in the middle of a long sleepless night. You avoid lots of accidents and get more sleep that way.
  4. Prefolds must be all inside the diaper. Any part of it sticking out leads to leakage. And make sure that all-in-ones or pockets haven’t folded over in the back. This can also cause leaks.
  5. Get a supply of inserts or doublers, which are really the same thing. I had heard you needed them at night for older babies, but never realized that because newborn stool is so watery it can seep through the prefold into the cover.
 Please read the whole blog post over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.  Great tips, even for non-newborns!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9/23/10

And now it's time for Thankful Thursday.


I'm thankful for my time with God this morning.  I'm thankful that, at least for the time being, I'm at peace with our situation.  No, I don't like it, but God never said we had to like it.  I am at peace.  And I'm striving toward contentment.  


As Paul says in Phil 4
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
This is my aim ... contentment.

Enlisting the Power of Prayer

I'm going to enlist the power of a praying blog world.


We've been pretty quiet about it, but now that it's real and set in motion, I feel like I can let it out there.  I was afraid before that I would jinx any possibility of a different outcome by mentioning it, but I think that's not going to be the case.


A few weeks ago, Josh was informed that he will be transitioned from an hourly employee to a salaried one.  While this has it's benefits, Josh was able to work a significant amount of overtime as an hourly employee.  Being salaried, we will no longer be able to get that extra income.  As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been scary in our house.  And tense.  And things being said that weren't meant, or perceived in ways not intended.


Yesterday was a particularly bad day.  I said some things that made Josh feel, well, small.  It was not my intention at all to do that.  I would never purposely condescend my husband.  But I did.  And I couldn't figure out why I kept saying things that made him hurt so much.  


I talked with my mom some last night and went to bed in a prayerful state.  Grateful for my mom's ears and knowing that she, too, would be praying for us.  This morning she asked how I was doing.  This was my response.
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I dunno.
We’re both scared.  Trying to prepare without controlling the situation.  It’s hard.

We talked a bit this morning and acknowledged that our tension is a result of being scared and unsure of what is going to happen.  Acknowledged that we aren’t trying to fight with each other, but we are both processing this differently and those ways are conflicting with each other.  I admitted that while this was HIS paycheck and HIS job and HIS situation, it’s both of our battle, but I’m not handling it well.  I am having a hard time sitting back and watch it happen and not be able to do anything about it.  Even if he could negotiate or get this policy overturned or whatever, it has to be HIM that does it, not me.  And that’s why I think we are struggling.  I want to do something, but can’t.  So I’m talking as if I’m giving marching orders to him and yet he feels stuck and can’t do anything about it.  I need to back off.

I read Titus 2 last night.  I don’t think it really was saying what I learned from it, or what God was showing me. 

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10  not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

The piece about being subject to masters.  This applies to work … being subject to what the boss or whomever says.  I may not agree with the non-existent policy that HR is trying to enforce, but she’s getting away with enforcing it and I think to respect Josh’s boss and HR, we need to just suck it up and deal with it.

Then chapter 3 goes on to say:

1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 

Kind of drives the point home.

As much as I don’t like the situation we are in, ultimately we are in this situation because we allowed ourselves to get comfortable with his overtime pay.  And while he wasn’t cheating the system like HR is (in not so many words) accusing him of doing, we did get too used to having the overtime and now need to learn to live without it.  We need to really truly trust God for our finances.  Not sure what that looks like yet.  But it’s scary.  Just by the numbers, we don’t have enough to pay all of our bills.  And there isn’t a whole lot of room to trim back.  So it’ll be interesting to see how God works, if we can truly trust him and not control the situation.

Now this doesn’t mean we continue the way we’ve been living and wait for the magic check to appear in the mailbox every month.  We still need to do our part … trim the groceries, watch our utility usage, etc.  But we can’t sit and try to manipulate the numbers every month and decide to not pay bills or LOOK for magic checks.

You said that we were under attack.  While that may be, it could also be that we’re being taught something.  That we are being stretched and such.  That God is going to grow our character.  God is allowing this to happen, whether it’s an attack of the enemy or self-induced or whatever, God is letting this happen to us and we will come out OK.  We will learn something.  We will grow.  But boy the ride is going to suck.

I guess I should remember the words of James: “Consider it all joy when you encounter trials.”  This is going to be a trial.  This will be the worst financial situation I’ve found myself in.

But when I look at the BIG picture, I realize that this isn’t the worst it could be.  We don’t have a child with brain cancer.  We haven’t lost a loved one.  We both still have jobs.  We are both healthy.  We have a roof over our heads. 

God is bigger than this.
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So I ask YOU, my blogworld friends, my praying friends, my non-praying friends, pray for us.  Pray that we will see God.  Pray that we will learn from this.  Pray that we will continue to seek God around every turn.  That we will not try to control the situation.


And if you are so inclined, pray for that magic check to appear.  Because that's never out of the realm of God's work.  ;)