Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two months! :)

Introducing Cora Elaine, our little snuggle bear! Today at her two month checkup she was 11 pounds, up from 7 pounds 13 oz. at her birth.
(she was born via C-section after about 24 hours of Foley bulb and Pitocin and no progress past 5cm). She's a breastfeeding champ, and usually finishes her meals in ten minutes or less.

We absolutely love her, and she was the best surprise ever after thinking she was a boy for most of the pregnancy (we were team green, and what baby clothes we had were either from cousin Rafe or gender neutral... But several friends and family members gave us tons of girly clothes so we are pretty much set through six months (she's in 3-6 months now, and we've been taking advantage of thrift stores for deals on bigger sizes for the future.  She found her thumb yesterday, and enjoys trying to put it in her mouth, but usually ends up gnawing on her hand. :p   its kinda hard to remember what it was like with just the hubby and myself, but i absolutely love being a mama, and i know daddy feels the same about being this little girl's daddy. Its kinda scary knowing that God's trusting us to raise her for Him to the best of our abilities, and I'm sure we'll make mistakes, but I'm glad He's there to guide us through it all!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Favorite Sandwich Bread.... (recipe at the end, if you can stand it!)

For a few years now I have been making bread in my bread machine.  That bread machine (inherited from my mama) lasted until this past fall, when it went spazzo on me. We ventured to the mall in hopes of finding a new one, and finally scored a great deal on a little Sunbeam with 12 options (including dough, jam, and cake!).    I started cranking out bread again, happily knowing I was feeding my family healthy food with no extra ingredients or hard-to-pronounce additives.

Fast forward (rewind?) to about a month ago when we started getting excessive amounts of milk, what with the milk vouchers we got at our local food pantry and the 4.5 gallons a month that I qualify for with our WIC checks. .... and then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes, meaning that milk-by-itself was out of the question.   I figured out that I could turn all that "undrinkable milk" (even more so since my husband can't drink milk without feeling ill afterwards) into delicious yogurt. 

So I started cranking out yogurt by the (huge) crockpotfull. I made some of that yogurt into yogurt cheese, and strained some further to a more Greek-yogurt consistency.  Just this last week, I combined 3 quarts of my Greekified yogurt with 2 cans of pumpkin puree, about 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, and a good helping of pumpkin pie spice. As I watched my handy KitchenAid mixer (an investment that has proved its worth over and over!) blend all the fun together, it came together beautifully smooth and tasted just like pumpkin pie! 


... The only downside of all this yogurt is there're only two of us at home to eat it. So now I get to start freezing it in baggies and such and make my own go-gurts :)   
.... add to that the vast amount of whey that is left after straining my 4 quarts of yogurt:   Each gallon of milk ends up making 2 quarts of Greek (thicker) yogurt and 2 quarts of whey.  

What to do with allll that whey?? 

whey'll, ..... 



I froze about 6 ice cube trays full of whey to put in baggies to add to soup later, and found that I can also add it to bread. 

So to experiment, I took my favorite bread-machine recipe and switched things up a little.  Just out of the oven, and husband already ate a slice with NOTHING spread on it! :)  



Here we go!  

Ingredients: 
Add to pan: 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground oatmeal 
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast 
2 tablespoons white sugar 
1 teaspoon salt

Then add (also to pan): 
1/4 cup (plus a tablespoon or so more)  olive oil
1 cup whey (to replace the water in the original recipe, and add more nutrients!) 

Gently stir ingredients together (I use a melamine chopstick) to make sure nothing gets left behind on pan walls, and put in bread machine on the sandwich setting. 

Go do something productive or restful for about 3 hours, and try not to eat the whole thing as soon as it's done (because it's hot). :)  

I like to store my awesomesauce bread in a 2-gallon Ziploc bag :) 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Esther

I joined an online Bible Study through "Good Morning Girls" - they are starting this Sunday with the book of Esther. I'm excited!   It's been awhile since I've been able to be part of a Bible Study, and I'm looking forward to a new format. I'm also looking forward to using the Bible I got for my husband for his birthday - ... they sent me a copy that was missing a page or two of Psalms, so I wrote to them and they let me keep that copy and sent me another one.   I gave the not-ripped one to David, and wrote some quotes from famous speakers, etc. in the margins here and there for him. I kept the other one for myself :)

It is an ESV Study Bible - Deliciously large and full of great, informative notes.

Yay hurray!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Magic bread and venison.... Plus salad.

Since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it's been hard trying to figure out what my body can and cannot handle (yay, placenta and hormones..   Heh... )

I get great numbers after i eat a big salad, but baby needs more than just salads (like papa, apparently) to grow...   I've been learning a loooottttt about food and how it works ... Did you know that if you eat carbs and pair them with protein and fat your body has an easier time of digesting the carbs' sugar?  :) ... It's all about finding the magical combination ha ha ha...

So i found a recipe for "bread" I can eat .... All it requires is eggs, cream cheese, and cream of tartar. ... Basically, you make meringues.  I just toasted some and they taste like a very light Challah :)  burger time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Clean-it-up!

I really like Clorox Clean-Up. And no, they did not pay me to say this, I just love their product! :)    I spray down the sink after washing dishes, can spray out coffee mugs to remove some of the stank, and spray down the shower and sink (and sometimes toilet) in the bathroom.

It overall just makes the house smell clean!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

new waters

As it turns out, I qualify for WIC because of our tiny human that's taken up residence in my abdomen.   I wasn't really sure what to expect of the program, but our income was just low enough that we "got in."   The process was relatively easy-  bring a few paystubs, our IDs, and proof that said tiny human existed. ...  First time really being identified as a "family of three" -  even though most places wouldn't count an unborn child as a person (for discounts and such), WIC did. It was encouraging to have someone other than the church acknowledge our little one as "counting."

It is humbling being "part" of this government-sponsored program, but humbling in a good way - we're in-between jobs right now, and I know we need to be very, very frugal with the finances God has given us as we wait on His timing. I truly believe He allowed us to make "just enough" to qualify - really, we're only a thousand-or-so dollars away from the cutoff - for WIC and still be able to pay for some of our loans. It's allowed us to be able to bless other people financially as well with the few dollars that could have been spent on milk or eggs.

Then this morning we took another step of trusting God's provision, if you could call it that-  the woman who set us up with WIC told us about a free food pantry (not income-based, just free for residents of our county) just down the road from us. . . So we ventured downtown and parked at a meter - 25cents for a half an hour - culture shock for this city girl :p - then went inside to sign in and sit in the waiting room. We only waited for about 40 minutes as people were "called back" to get their groceries and such. The atmosphere was so much fun - people either knew each other or acted like they did. There was a Korean War veteran, an Army vet, a couple with a yearling, a gaggle of old ladies, and a Sophia(from the Golden Girls)-act-a-like, as well as many, many mustaches.  (I told David I felt left out that I didn't have one!). We amused ourselves by watching (among all these people) a tiny chihuahua and its owner across the street at a bike shop. When we got called back, all the volunteers were very friendly and "got us through" quickly.  Fun fact of the day - we got at least a pound and a half of venison!  ... I remember one of David's coworkers telling us that the farmers and hunters in the area donate their deer meat) It was a really neat experience, and we can go back each week if we need to!    God really is good, and He's provided so much!



Additionally, we got to go to a baby shower - for our very own tiny person!  Our church family here threw us a shower - announced it on the 13th, and held it the 20th. It was so much fun - a bring-a-dish-to-pass meal (that's more fun to say than "potluck") that they call a "Clean Culinary" because each family is to bring their own place settings. They had a baby food guessing game - I did pretty well, and the pastor's daughter - 14 years old - made such great faces when tasting the food .... much like babies do! :D  The other game they did was a drinking contest - apple juice in baby bottles. I couldn't get the cap off my bottle, the college-kid David just started chugging (ha!), and the 96-year-old sweetheart Thelma kept taking the whole top off to swig "when no one was looking."   I just sipped it occasionally and encouraged Thelma :D  ... then I had to go wash my mouth out with some of my sweet tea from all that baby food and juice haha.

Then David came and sat by me and we opened presents since our little one can't reach through my tummy and open them on his/her own yet.  Baby was given so much neat / useful stuff!  Some of it was from the registry, and some of it was "from" the registry found elsewhere, and some of it was just neat stuff that we didn't register for! :)  Baby is already so blessed, and not even born!  They gave us several cute outfits, hats, mittens, blankets (one homemade swaddler, and a stroller blanket, too!), an umbrella stroller for when baby's bigger, lots of books - a set of Planes board books that Papa already read - a whale bathtub we had on the registry, some diapers, wipes, and wash / lotion, ...

All we really need is our stroller/carseat combo - this one - to take baby home. . . since we have a Pack 'N Play already, but we'd like a crib, mattress, and changing dresser, as well. ...   We're well on the way to purchasing our travel system with gift cards from baby's fans :)
We're so grateful that so many people have been praying for us and gifting us with things for this little one. God truly is good, and we want to remember that to tell our little squishy every day.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Christmas slippers, at last!

I finally finished Hubby's Christmas slippers! Just in time to start this year's presents :)

Good thing we found presents for almost half of our family members so far!   :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

A "little" delay

So I've been playing catch-up with my temperature afghan...

February 16th we got a positive pregnancy test, had to wait almost a month for dating ultrasound, and found out on Saint Patrick's Day that our wee leprechaun is due on the 21st of October, give or take a few weeks.
I've had minimal morning sickness and very little weight gain (yay!) :)  pretty sure I've been able to feel baby since a little before 12 weeks.
We're going to try our hardest to wait until October to find out whether baby is a he or a she. :)

So that being said, I've been feeling a lot better and have more energy now (not as much as before, but getting there.... Hopefully, ha ha...) so I've been cranking out the days on my afghan, and it's so much fun seeing all the colors popping out.

Mad props to Weather Underground for having a weather history section for crazy pregnant ladies like myself who need to catch up on incredibly ambitious crochet projects :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

12/31/13 ~Teriyaki pork, greens, and potatoes

I had to work on New years Eve until 6:45 or so, so I slow cooked some teriyaki pork from ALDI with some potatoes. Threw some Hawaiian rolls in the toaster oven when i got home...only burnt a little bit...and chopped up some romaine lettuce. Et voila.... Food. The pork feel apart when i asked my husband to turn it over when i was still at work... It was tasty and filled up DH, too! :)