Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Beautiful Day

A couple of mornings ago my son lifted up my shirt a bit and looking at my belly said "growing bigger and bigger and bigger." I unable to keep a small smirk off my face replied with "yes, your baby sister is growing bigger in there."

We had a fun family day today, we packed a picnic and ate at a local wildlife conservation area by a river. Then we did some hiking and off-roading - using our SUV for what man intended it for I guess. It was a ton of fun. After awhile I was done with both boys begging for more and bigger hills - I said they'd have to make a day out of it when Mommy and baby were at home resting!

I'll leave you with some pictures of our day and my belly (20 weeks and 4 days along) if you want to compare it to 4 weeks ago here's the link.

Where's your baby sister?"
Watching for another fish to jump.
Kissing baby sister
A refreshingly beautiful day.
Another favorite quote:

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7

Quirky quote contest

Jewlsntexas is having a contest and the winner gets a new blog template. I'm participating because let's face it I can use all the help I can get - plus I love quotes! One of my favorites is

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thinking bloggers

My parents are visiting for a couple days so I was just going to sneak a quick blogging moment. (They tired my son out enough for him to take a nap!) But I come to find out that sweet, sweet Linds my blogging friend of Rocking Chair Reflections has given me a thinking blogger award. Apparently that means I make her think - which makes me chuckle since I'm not so sure that I agree!! BUT I am totally blushing and tickled that she thinks so!

So the point of these awards is to "pay it forward" to five other bloggers. I'm finding it hard to narrow down just five since the reason that I read all of your blogs is because you do make me think and learn and challenge me!

Even though she was also on Linds list a blog I have to include is Owlhaven. Mary's was the first blog I ever read which got me hooked to this whole idea. She's inspiring and her writing about raising 8 kids, adoption, God, and the reality of life all makes me think and strive to be a better Mom, Wife and Child of God.

Stephanie from Adventures in Babywearing is next on my list - not that this is in any special order. Whether she's posting about the complex decision of vaccinations or to stay in pjs all day she's always making me think about the important things in life. She's a wonderful blogging persona here in blogland and I'm very blessed to read her.

I too agree with Linds that it's wonderful how generation gaps are non existent here in the blogging world same with physical boundaries like oceans and mountains too I guess!! Anyway, Barb writes at A Chelsea Morning and her writings are very wonderful to me. She makes me think about life. Everything from should I really be ironing my sheets ;) to keeping the focus on God. She's always letting us in on projects she's up too and I love the devotions she does on Sundays they are always insightful for me.

Another one that makes me think is Ashlee at New Mama's Nest. I love her writing style as well as parenting style. She's done some terrific writing on what being the Mommy of a preemie has been like for her and her family. Her son is a hoot and I love to follow the things they do. And an added bonus is that she takes amazing photos!

Last but not least I'm going to have to say that Linds you have to make it on my list as well. Her writings are absolutely amazing. Her faith in times of hardship and loss are truly inspirational and her love of life and her children - mostly grown now- are so profound and I feel truly blessed to have found her blog when I did!

Remember to pass these awards forward!!! And thanks for being my blogging buddies!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We're having a .......

Here are some new ultrasound pictures of our precious little one. Linds there really didn't turn out to be a great picture for you to try to guess since the Dr typed on that one and I'm too tired to blur it out tonight! I also forgot to ask hubs to take a picture of me today at 20 weeks so I'll have to remember tomorrow!

It's a GIRL!!! It's a GIRL!!! It's a GIRL!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

More potty talk

We made it on an outing today and not one accident. It was to church which he considers kind of like home anyway, I was able to find a step stool so that he could go standing up "like daddy does." It was the first day without an accident except one #2 accident (only his second of the week) yup I'm so happy for him! I may brave my Dr's appointment and the grocery store tomorrow!


My Mom sent me this in an email the other day and I thought it was fun.
Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it.. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

Paul Harvey riddle:What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die?

I'll be back tomorrow with the news!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Oh my word...

...does time fly when you're having fun. I guess my last post was a lie - oops and sorry! I haven't even turned on the computer all week, we've been enjoying some nice spring weather and doing a ton around the house.

I guess the biggest news of the week is that my son is potty training!! We tried for a couple days about 4 weeks ago and neither one of us was ready. Then this past Monday right before his quiet time he asked to sit and read on the potty and we did for 40 minutes - yes indeed he is quite determined so I guess he just wanted to sit there until he succeeded. And he did! Lots of hugs, a call to Daddy and a chocolate chip later and we were on to something.

Today he only had 2 accidents BOTH within 30 minutes of each other AND while I was cooking dinner. Similar to the night before so I'll have to increase the frequency of my reminders in the evening time. Still in diapers during naps and outings since I haven't been brave enough to just go for it. I think I may invest in some training pants this week for while we are out! Any advice you'd like to give on this subject will be well received as I always feel like I need to be a sponge and learn more about parenting at each new stage!

On Tuesday I go in for my 20 week u/s!!!!!!!!! We'll be finding out if we're having a little brother or sister!!!! Other pregnancy news - I'm so hormonal right now that one of the comics in the paper today made me cry. Can I just say my poor hubby, I'm certain he thinks I'm nuts. I'll post another belly picture soon.

A couple of weeks ago my son was asking to go outside, I was on the phone with my sister so I really didn't pay that much attention to what he was saying (insert twinge of guilt here). It was a nice day so I sat out there with him and the next thing I know he's coming over to me holding the watering can saying "flowers need water." I find that he'd stuck some of my silk flowers into the garden - apparently spring couldn't come too soon around here! Happy Spring!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Getting back to blogging

I'm back...feeling SO much better and I've cleaned and pruned bushes and laundered (actually put away even) and cooked and exercised. I'm feeling productive enough to get back to visiting my blogging friends!

The winner of a homemade party favor (I think we'll make cookies tomorrow) is Monkey Giggles. Congrats and I hope you'll enjoy!

Some new blogs I've found and enjoy (among many) are Woman With Many Hats - Tracey's posts are many about attachment parenting and I'm finding them fun and educational! - and bleeding espresso - Sognatrice lives in Italy and shares many insights about the world and life (not to mention pictures) of a world away!

I'll be around to visit soon!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A little break

Thanks for all your wonderful comments...I seem to have been slapped in the face by a cold for one of my birthday presents and I'm grateful that I had a reminder of all I have to be thankful for!!!!

I'll be taking a little break from blogging until Monday - I might be around to visit you though :)!!!! See ya in a few!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Tulips are coming!!!!

Remember to Party!

32 Things to be Thankful For

Since I shared the news that it's my birthday I decided to share 32 things that I'm especially thankful for this year! In totally random order...

  1. My loving husband
  2. the wonderful connection we have
  3. A wonderful and truly amazing son
  4. A growing pregnant belly
  5. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" vs.13 and the rest of Psalm 139
  6. Outstanding parents - the best
  7. The best siblings and extended family
  8. My Mom for (of many reasons)being an example of natural childbirth (30 something hour labor with me I want to say!)
  9. A terrific Mother-in-law
  10. 2 handsome nephews and a beautiful niece
  11. Our health
  12. Smiles
  13. The best friends
  14. That God always provides
  15. 2 crazy dogs to teach me patience
  16. Girl scout cookies ;)
  17. A wonderful church family
  18. Tulips piercing the earth
  19. Eyes to read and learn
  20. Ears to hear the best laugh ever
  21. Spinach and lettuce coming up in the garden
  22. That I get to stay home with my son- as he says "Daddy go work and Mommy stay home play!"
  23. To be a sinner saved by God's grace
  24. A son who sleeps through the night
  25. The drive to become the best mom and wife I can be
  26. My blogging friends :)
  27. A beautiful home
  28. Mexican food ;)
  29. To be living in the US
  30. Running water and a multitude of appliances (I can't imaging being without these luxuries especially while pregnant!)
  31. All my family - I know I mentioned them before but they deserve 2 spots since I'm doubly grateful for them all!!!!!!
  32. A joyous life!!!!!!! (Yes, we have our moments too but I love how wonderful it really is!)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Someone really needs to invent a lock for a box of girl scout cookies. One that say, spits out a serving and then won't let you have anymore for 24 hours. Otherwise it might be possible for one person to eat an entire box in two sittings or less!!!!!

In my house girl scout cookies = failed lesson in self control!!!! ;)

Remember to party!

Prego Belly Pics

The above picture was taken when I was 37 weeks along with my son. He was born on his due date so I still got three weeks bigger than this. Sorry that it's not the best picture, we have some others that are bare belly and actually show how HUGE I was but I'm not brave enough to post those!!! My son was 8 pounds 6 ounces and I'll be posting more about my birthing experience with him in the next few weeks! The sunflower was knocked over in a wind storm but I wanted a record of how big it was too!

This was taken today (Sunday 3/4/07) at 16 weeks 5 days along! I'm hoping to post them periodically so I can have a record and we all can see how big I get with this one!!!!

For more pregnant bellys or to link up yours visit Steph at Adventures in Babywearing.

P.S. Remember that there's a party going on!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Apple Fruit Leathers

Today we made apple fruit leathers from scratch. I've wanted to try them for awhile and they were both easier and harder than I anticipated.

I followed the recipe that's in my La Leche League cookbook, Whole Foods For The Whole Family. The ingredients are: 1- 1 1/2 pounds (or more) ripe fruit and 1 T to 1/4 C water, if needed (I didn't add any)
Optional ingredients: 1 T. to 1/2 C. honey, ground spices such as cinnamon, allspice, cloves or ginger, and flavorings such as vanilla, grated lemon rind or grated orange rind.

For softer fruits it said to peel (peaches, plums etc.) but for harder fruits (apples, pears) the recipe said to leave them unpeeled. I was semi skeptical about this so I peeled half of the apples - knowing that there are so many nutrients there but not wanting the flavor tainted! (Tasted fine BTW.) After coring and cutting into chunks I boiled them with about half an inch of water until fork tender. (With softer fruits you can skip the boiling step.)

Puree with skins in blender or food processor cool and force through a sieve. I don't have a sieve that I thought would work plus I just thought that it wasn't necessary as the puree was an applesauce consistency - like the instructions said.:) Add options to taste...I used cinnamon, honey, vanilla and allspice.

All is going well so far but here was where the hard part began.

Line one baking sheet or drying screen with heavy plastic wrap securing corners. Spread puree 1/8 inch thick on prepared surface. Dry in food dehydrator or outside in the sunshine (cover with cheesecloth to protect from insects) on warm days, bring inside at night. May dry in a gas oven with pilot light or electric oven heated occasionally to 120- 140 degrees; open door periodically to let out moisture. May also use the top of a wood stove or the rear window of a closed car parked in the sun.(seriously it says this) Dry for 1-2 days or until no wet or sticky spots remain.

I had read somewhere else to oil the baking sheet instead of using plastic wrap so I did one tray of each. Spreading the fruit very thin was a bit difficult with a 2 year old trying to help. Once Daddy occupied him it was somewhat easier! It was also easier to spread on the oiled sheet, the plastic wrap even though it was secured to the sides would slide on the bottom of the pan which made it a bit more frustrating. Plus I'm not the biggest fan of having soft plastic like that right next to my food in a warm place where it could potentially leach into the food.

All that being said and done when I went to put them into my electric oven I found out the lowest temp that mine has is 170 degrees. I thought it would be ok :)! Really it was ok but I think I should have just let it heat up and then turned the oven off, cracked the door ajar and the oven light would have provided enough heat. I left the oven on for almost an hour (cracking occasionally to let steam excape), then I turned the oven off - left it closed and we went to a friends for dinner. When we got home a couple hours later the pan that was only half way filled was done...actually overdone. Around the edges it became a fruit brittle, which tasted good but it wasn't what I was really going for. The pieces tasted great this morning on top of oatmeal and I'm sure they'll make a great topping for granola too.

The second tray still had large wet spots last night so I just took it out of the oven and covered it on the counter to continue in the morning. I heated the oven (slightly) put it in and left the door ajar while we went to church. When we got home it was done.

They taste good but I think next time I'll spread the mixture a bit thicker, when dry these are paper thin. All in all it was a really good learning experience and I plan to make some more with some frozen peaches and pumpkin (since I have both in the freezer still) to see how those turn out. (For pumpkin it says puree cooked pumpkin, add options and proceed as directed.)

For storage it says to roll and store in an airtight container in cool dry place, can refrigerate or freeze for long term storage. Oh, here we go...if fruit becomes brittle sprinkle on celery? or yogurt.

Really they weren't as time consuming as reading this wordy post!LOL!!!! Just have to get the knack of drying them! Since it's challenge week at Stop the Ride! I'll be submitting this for Stephanie's carnival be sure to head over there on Tuesday and see what all the other participants made from scratch!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Updates and DNA

For those of you who asked, my birthday is Wednesday, March 7th and an update on how being 16 weeks pregnant is...I'm feeling so much better - I still have a pretty strong beef aversion but I can eat chicken as long as I've cooked it, mostly I'm craving a lot of Mexican food (cheese enchiladas) and guacamole. The mornings are still a bit rough but usually after breakfast I'm feeling great for the rest of the day.

I've felt occasional movement and can't wait for more of it! The good thing is that all of us are getting used to eating less meat and more vegetarian type dishes which is of course so much healthier anyway. Last but not least at my appointment 9 days ago I had only gained 1 pound total - ignoring the fact that I'm a good 10 pounds heavier to start this pregnancy than I was with my son that's not so bad.

This is the last time I plan to talk about my weight, I don't even own a scale because I believe that they aren't really a good indicator of health (having been a dancer and knowing all the unhealthy ways in the world to loose a few pounds before a performance). If we are eating right and exercising then building lean muscle and losing fat might not register on the scale anyway which is just discouraging.

Wow, I've gotten off topic and I really don't care how much weight I do or don't gain during pregnancy the goal is a healthy baby and that means more poundage! :) Besides nursing will help take off the weight again anyway!!!! I can't wait to have another nursing kiddo! What a blessing this pregnancy is!!!

Thanks to the babywearing Stephanie (and others) for sharing this.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Chocolate cake

In my party post I mentioned a recipe for chocolate cake. Before I get to that however let me just say that some of my favorite TV lately is the Food Network. I love 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray and I also have been getting some good ideas lately from Quick fix meals with Robin Miller.

Tonight for dinner I fixed these meatball parm subs but with beef instead of chicken. I've made them before and they are a snap to make and very tasty!

Now on to the good stuff, the first year Adam and I were dating (10 1/2 years ago) I made him a chocolate birthday cake from scratch that he says was the best ever. For 10 more birthdays I've been trying to make it again and finally this year I succeeded. (I didn't actually make chocolate EVERY year!) I saw Robin Miller make this one on one of her Quick Fix Meals shows and I thought I would try again this year. We found it very delicious and easy to make so it looks like a keeper!

Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
*Note:I didn't have buttermilk but substituted Milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar per cup milk and let sit for a bit.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and slowly whisk in wet ingredients. Pour into greased 9 by 12-inch baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.

I felt that after 25 minutes it looked a bit runny still so I cooked it for about 12 more minutes and it turned out that the center was still wobbly then too but it did gel up nicely when it cooled a bit and those were the best pieces. Next time I think I'll pull it out at 30 minutes. Enjoy!!!

It's a party!!!!

Susan and Janice over at 5 minutes for mom are so much fun! They are hosting this wonderful blog party for everyone with fun prizes and everything! I'm totally digging a party where I can meet some new and wonderful bloggers and sit at home and sip some ginger tea!!

If you're new here I'm a stay at home Mom to a wonderful 2 and a half year old son who keeps me plenty busy and entertained and I'm 16 weeks pregnant with our second due August 14th! If you'd like to find out a bit more about me you can read 100 things about me and you can see what a semi-typical day around here is like.

What's a party without a cake??? Tomorrow I'll be sharing a super delicious chocolate cake recipe! I'm also turning 32 next Wednesday so there's lots of reasons to party around here!

I'm also offering a prize for everyone that leaves a comment here. You'll be put into a drawing for some sort of homemade treat - it could be something I canned or something I'll make special, not sure yet. Make sure to leave me a comment so I can come check out your place and so you'll be put in the drawing!