Monday, April 30, 2012


You know,

When I had Faith, I wanted to do the whole take a picture of Jeff and I kissing while pink balloons fly up from a box...but alas, we were poor college students with maybe $20 in the bank, so it didn't happen....

but now EVERYONE is doing it...I don't want to announce the gender of baby 2.0 like everyone else would...

So...we found some inspiration and decided to do something all our own...

Trying to get the angle right was Jeff's favorite part...we have about 20 pictures of us kissing, but not enough of the banner...In a perfect world we would have been holding it, but that didn't quite I hung it up.

When the little diva woke up, we decided she deserved to be in on the action too! She was pretty happy about it.  You see, unlike some other divas, she is showing no fear when it comes to sharing her spotlight!
And because we like kissy face pictures soooo much.....

(Please excuse the this point in the pregnancy its almost impossible to hide it...)
For those of you that are wondering about the "medical" end of things- all is well. We have another "very long" baby (in the exact words of the ultra sound technician and the doc...the baby is measuring almost 21 weeks according to the average length charts and, given all measurements, likely weighs about 11 oz.  (almost a whole pound...golly gee whilikers!)  According to Dr. H. "The baby looks beautiful, keep doing whatever it is you're doing..."  You got it Dr. got it!

So I guess Jeff will be living every man's in a house surrounded by beautiful women.

Lucky son of a gun!

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.

Thursday, April 26, 2012



Life and time march on.

Faith had her 6mos check up at the doctor on Monday and we succeeded in getting her to the 5th percentile for weight...its still not ideal, but the doc says she will breathe a little easier with her at least being on the chart. We mentioned that we've been having issues with her spitting up (projectile vomiting) after she eats...sometimes hours after she eats...its always frustrating and disconcerting. We discussed the possibility of her having developed reflux...its unlikely, but not unheard of...then again, Faith proved at her 6 mos appointment to have a lot of that going on...magic teeth that appear then disappear (the whole 2 steps forward 1 step back idea) is another thing that has been happening that isn't unheard of, but isn't very common...We decided to try switching her formula, but if after attempting the formula switches, we're still having issues the doc said she'd get the ball rolling for her upper GI tract to be checked for holes, or definite signs of reflux...

I thought the first new formula was working, but the projectile vomiting has returned... We know we need to wait a little longer, the spit up could just be from the formula change itself and her tummy we're going to give it a couple of weeks before trying to the other formula...then if that doesn't work it means spending half the day in the hospital for the test...Yay...

Other than that, Faith is still smiley and perfect!

In other news, I am working on finding recipes that I can easily turn into freezer recipes for the crock pot.  I know that my ward here is awesome about helping the new moms in the ward, but I also don't want to be completely dependent on Jeff and I are trying to build a stockpile of freezer meals that we can use for after we aren't getting as much help from the sweet sisters of my Relief Society group (who are ALL awesome by the way...) I have no illusions about things being rosy and perfect, and I am preparing myself for a new baby that is the polar opposite of the angel that I have now...It almost doesn't seem fair that Faith is so even tempered and wasn't colicky when she was little...Its heaven's best way to trick me into a false sense of security before the trial...LOL

I  just want to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if I have another angel baby like Faith, or have the ability to breathe and remind myself that I knew it could be really, really hard.

I actually made a lot of headway today in the freezer meals department. I am super excited for our next shopping trip so I can meal plan a few of them and start testing which recipes we'd like to have on hand.

I also found a great list of 8 weeks of dinner menus with recipes and what would be a whole cookbook full of 30 minute meals!

Since I like to share:

For crock pot meals go HERE  I think a lot of them could easily be turned into meals that are semi prepared ahead of time, placed in a gallon freezer bag and frozen for use later!  I am going to have some fun with this one!

For the 8 weeks of Dinner Menus go HERE - Some of these could even be turned into freezer, this will make my life much easier when it comes to making meal plans for a while! LOVE IT! My pocketbook will be thanking me when I save money by just shopping for what I need!

Last, but not least, for the 30 Minute Meal Recipe Treasure trove go HERE....

My next quest will be to compile lists of baby food recipes, and possibly print off my own little baby food cookbook... My pediatrician was VERY impressed with how easily Faithers took to solids and gave us the green light to move onto stage 2 foods.  I went to the store and canvassed the baby food aisle for inspiration, and this week we started to mix flavors that she already loves.  Let's just say that peas and carrots are a huge success in my house this week. I'm excited to start letting her try meats and other veggies that we'd refrained from. I will try to post a blog of the good stuff I find for those of you that are interested in making your own baby food, or already do!

We save at least $30 minimum a WEEK on our grocery bill by not buying baby food in a jar (that number has gone up - as in better savings- as my pediatrician now wants me to feed Faith 3 times a day). The Baby Bullet was the best investment we've made when it comes to money saving in a while (besides our cloth diapers!) and making baby food isn't that hard at all!  In fact, in about 20 minutes time I will have made enough baby food to last 2 weeks!  (we still need to get more storage containers so I can actually make enough for 2 weeks- but it only takes about 10 minutes for me to make enough to last a week. :)  )

How did I have time for all my research today? Well, today I am feeling incredibly dizzy- more than likely I am suffering from an iron I've been trying to stay down as much as I can. Don't worry...I stood up for 5 minutes spurts to clean my kitchen, dining room, bedroom and do laundry...but in my time down I've researched recipes for future use.  Gotta love Pinterest and the internet!

Here's your daily dose of cuteness:
Faith enjoying her first sippy pretty much rocks her world...notice the HAIR...its an unruly, curly mess (it may not look like it in these pictures but she has a major blonde afro after her bath!)...its a wonder I'm ever able to tame it even for a little bit!

Hi...yes this is my baby chilling in her cute argyle print diaper because she decided to make a mess of her big...LOL "Hi world!"

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!
 (P.S> We find out if Faith will have another little diva to compete with or a little man to watch out for on Monday! Do you think we'll be buying more pink, or blue?)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crock pot Gumbo

Alright, tonight's recipe experiment turned out to be a keeper...Once again I took 3 different recipes to make one awesome recipe that suited my tastes.

When I was little, my dad tried to make gumbo once...he used Okra and I'm fairly sure I remember all of us just eating the chicken and sausage in the mix and leaving all the veggies....

This recipe doesn't use Okra (you can if you want), and it is delicious to the last bite- and believe me, the veggies will be your favorite part!

To start off, you will need to have Creole/Cajun seasoning...however, there is no point in buying a $5 or $6 jar of Creole/Cajun seasoning if you have a well stocked spice cabinet. Here is a recipe to make your own (you will need a container or jar, because there will be leftovers for future Cajun goodness.)  This is a mix of 2 recipes that I found:

Creole/Cajun Seasoning:
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS oregano
2 TBS basil
2 TBS pepper
1 TBS cayenne pepper
5 TBS paprika
5 TBS seasoning salt (regular salt can be used instead if that is all you have...that's what I did, and its just fine!)

Shake and mix it, and set it aside for later!

For the Gumbo you will need:

1 1/2 cups diced onion ( about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups  diced green pepper  (about 1)
1/2 cup diced red pepper (1/4 to 1/2 of one)
3- 4  stalks celery diced (I used larger stalks, so I only needed 3, but if yours are smaller, you'll want to err on the side of can use okra in this step instead if you have a love for it...I love almost all veggies, but I can honestly say I've never had good okra and so it and I are NOT friends)
1 package smoked sausage (I used smoked turkey sausage, it was cheaper. For those of you not in the know, this is the Hillshire Farm type sausage that is sold in a ring-ish type shape. Its next to polish sausage in your markets.  You can use Andouille Sausage if you can find it, but its generally WAY more expensive than the smoked, and in my opinion, it doesn't make much of a flavor difference.)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized cubes.
2-4 cups of chicken broth (I just used boullion cubes and hot water. I used 4 cups and ours ended up really soupy, if you want a more thick gumbo err on the side of 2 cups.)
3 TBS margarine or butter
1 tsp salt
2-3 TBS of Creole Seasoning (I used 2 HEAPING tablespoon fulls.)
1 dash of red pepper sauce (i.e. hot sauce like Franks or even Tapitio long as it has some heat.)

Throw veggies into the crock pot, put the sausage and chicken on top of veggies, add the chicken broth (or water and boullion cubes...) salt and creole seasoning. Mix around with a spoon and then put the dollop of butter or margarine on top. Set heat setting to low. Cook for 8 hours. With about an hour of cooking time left, add the red pepper sauce to taste (you may like it more spicey or less. Just taste test it and figure it out.)  20-30 minutes before cooking time take out some of the broth and mix it with 1- 2 heaping TBS of cornstarch or flour ( depending on what you need to get it to thicken.) mix in the broth you've taken out until there are no lumps, and add back into the crock pot, making sure to stir it well. Turn the heat up to high and allow it to thicken.

Serve over rice.

Bon appetite Darlings

Hugs and loves until next time!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

6 months...

Its so crazy how fast time has seemed to go in the last few years. What's even crazier is how fast the last 6 months has gone by and everything that has happened...

In the last 6 months: we moved and started a new life in Las Vegas, we found out that baby #2 is already on the way, we've purchased a new bed, couch, and said goodbye to my beloved laptop and hello to a brand spanking new dream machine laptop for Jeff...

There is more that's happened, but those are the big ones...

All the while, our Little Diva has been growing and growing.  Yesterday was her half birthday- she has officially been a part of our home and family for 6 feels like she's always been here, like she just fits- its hard to imagine how "new" she really is... I managed to take her outside for a little photoshoot yesterday so I could try to capture her awesomeness for everyone to see:

At 6 months old, here a few of the milestones we've witnessed...

She is now the master of the double roll (i.e. rolling across a blanket) but not so good yet at rolling back from her belly if that is the way that she lands...

She says "mamma"

She LOVES solid fact, I'm sure that if she didn't need her bottle for full nutrition she would eat solids all day long if she could. She has made her way through all of the first foods. She currently enjoys avocado, sweet potato, apples, pears, peas, and carrots...she loved squash but we're pretty sure she had an allergic reaction to it, so we will have to try it again later when she is older.

She gives kisses in her own special way...that way being that she opens her mouth as wide as she can and holds it open waiting for you to kiss her- she then proceeds to suck on your cheeks and make you a slobbery,wet mess...but she can't get enough of it.

She can now sit up on her own for almost a full minute.

Beyond her developmental milestones...she is full of personality.

We're pretty sure she is going to be extra melodramatic (gee I wonder where she gets that?) You always know that she wants a bottle because she shakes her arms like she is convulsing and cries out and then, the minute she sees her bottle, she starts to make relieved laughing sounds as if to say, "I'm sooooo glad you're here- I was STARVING!"  Also, when she is playing with a toy but its obviously naptime and you take the toy away, she will throw her head down into her arms and bury her face like its the end of the world...

She loves music...especially if mommy knows the words and sings along- she thinks that its the coolest thing ever! She will smile up and kick her legs in excitement and coo along with you.

She likes to lay on her belly and mindlessly kick her legs as she plays with toys...its just cute and for a moment she looks like a 4 or 5 year old in a 6 month old's body.

She is obsessed with textures. If it feels different from anything she's felt before,she will be obsessed with it! She is also obsessed with faces. She loves to feel people's faces and touch their lips, eyes/eyebrows, cheeks, etc...Early in the morning, after I bring her to lay with me in bed, she will roll over and face me and just touch my face gently and smile...she thinks it hilarious when she grabs my lips a bit too roughly and I say "Ouch, ouch..." but I think she is starting to learn that it hurts and isn't will be a long road. I'm just praying she kind of gets it before the new baby gets here.

She has got to be one of the happiest babies I've ever met. She only cries when she is tired and ready for a nap, hungry, or turning into a teething monster (Disclaimer: when she is a teething monster, as soon as she gets some Tylenol and teething tablets she is her regular happy self again.)
I've had several people: my bishop, friends and even random strangers ask me if she is always smiling that much and the answer is YES. She pretty much has a million dollar smile and she isn't afraid to show it off.

She is super curious and has started to mimic things. This makes it tough to do chores because she cries if she can't be in on, or watching the action as I do things around the house... Today, for example, she spit up on her new doll and Jeff used a rag to clean it off. The rag was still on the blanket next to her doll and when Jeff sat her up for a while she reached for the rag and attempted to clean off the doll in the exact same place that she had spit up on it. I managed to catch a picture of it:

Oh...Daddy, you didn't clean her enough...

Maddy Q? Are you okay?

Here, let me fix it the rest of the way!

See, I fixed it!
(P.S. There is a cute story that goes along with the doll. Its the first toy that Faith picked out all by herself. Jeff and I were walking through the toy aisle, and showing her different toys to see how she would react and she FELL IN LOVE with this little Cabbage Patch Kid. Its soft and has a little jingle bell in it.  We showed her other dolls, but she kept wanting that one. Finally, we went back to the store, and decided to see if she remembered and still liked it- she did! When we took it away she almost looked like she was ready to cry...parental guilt crept in, and we decided it was just too cute not to let her have it- especially because it was her first "official" toy.  She played with it in the cart, quiet as a mouse while we finished the rest of our shopping trip and even whined a bit when we handed it to the cashier to check out. The doll's name is Madelyn Quinn (you know Cabbage Patch Kids...) we lovingly call her Maddy Q. Faith gave her kisses in the car (I kid you not!)  and held her all the way home, happy as a clam!)

 If you make a noise that she doesn't know how to make she will sit and, with many hilarious antics, try to figure out the noise...She also tries to grab the spoon and feed herself when we're giving her solids- it makes a huge mess, but I am glad that she is already showing so much desire to be self sufficient.  She also tries to steal our forks, plates and bowls off the table and out of our hands when she sits on our laps at lunch and dinner times.  She wants to eat what we're eating, and she gets frustrated watching us, not being able to partake yet.

She wants to crawl SO BADLY! She just hasn't quite figured out that she needs to be up on her hands...She will lay on her belly and get into her superman flying position, grunt and try to swim her way forward...I'm sure if she could levitate and fly to where she wants to be, she probably would.

She LOVES to make new friends.  She is sooo friendly. She started to discover other kids at about 4 months old, and since then she has her very set way of making friends...she locks eyes with her intended target, flashes the million dollar smile, and once they are close by she giggles, coos and otherwise loves on them- super content that they are giving her the attention she so obviously deserves...

All in all, I'm pretty sure there are things that I will remember that I want to write about later...she is so awesome, fun and easygoing. I feel so lucky and blessed that she chose to come to our family.  As terrified as I am about having another baby in the house before she is even a year old, I see how kind, loving, and self sufficient she tries to be and I am so grateful. She will be a great big sister when she's given the chance and hopefully, considering how loving and kind I see her to be, she will be the world's best, best friend for baby # 2.

Here's hoping that baby #2 is just as wonderful, and here's being grateful that while our Little Diva is a melodramatic genius, she is easy going and kind....

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everything and Nothing...

So,  I'm still suffering from blogger's block. Once I get going I have plenty to say, but its hard to get started. I guess part of me feels like I should always have something spiritual, monumental, or life changing to say and the reality is that my life is pretty normal and boring...but I've decided I'm okay with that.  I don't always have to inspire people, right? I just have to be me. I had to do some soul searching and remind myself that, while every once in a while I have something to say that touches someone, or answers a prayer, this blog is more for me and my family. This is how I journal. I'm awesome at blogging, and HORRIBLE at writing it down...I figure that as we start printing my "blog books" my kids will be able to read them as they get older and maybe they will laugh because they are doing something similar at a similar age, or they are struggling with something that I struggled with and my answer will give them some answers...Long story short- every once in a while there is going to be a blog about everything and nothing, and this is one of those blogs...

A few people asked for the recipe that I posted about on Facebook the other night for Tuscan Garlic here ya go...this is meant to be a copy cat of the dish from Olive Garden....I made some tweaks and I have to say that I think my tweaks made it taste a little more like the Olive Garden version than the recipe would have...I'll give you the link for the recipe and I will tell you what I changed (mostly because we didn't have everything it called for- but let's be honest, it wouldn't be ME cooking if I didn't tweak something...)

Recipe found HERE ....I found it on Pinterest...I've been making it a point to actually try the stuff that I find on Pinterest and I'm glad that I did. I've actually found some "keeper" recipes for the recipe box and we've tried a lot of new things that I wouldn't have even imagined or always wanted to try but didn't think it would work as an actual recipe.

Pinterest is such a funny place...I had to laugh when I realized that I'm actually kind of popular on Pinterest...I have people following my boards from all over the world...its so funny how small the big bad globe becomes when you're on the internet...

Anyway...onto the recipe tweaks... I poured the oil into the pan and cooked the chicken almost all the way through, and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes instead. I then sliced the chicken into pieces that could easily be eaten in a bite (to simplify serving and make the meal spread a little further) and since it was still a little pink, I just threw it back into the oven until the pink was cooked off...I then I drained off enough of the oil  from the pan so that I wouldn't drown the garlic and pepper sautee, so the garlic and peppers were kind of infused with the flavors from the chicken, which was nice. I also didn't use as much Garlic...I found that 2 big cloves was PLENTY, especially when it was minced really small. I also didn't use nearly as much red pepper as the recipe called for. I found that a quarter of a red bell pepper, diced small, was plenty to infuse the sauce with flavor and make sure that every serving had a little "pop" of color.  I used closer to a cup of chicken broth and I added about a 1/4 cup  FROZEN spinach and let everything simmer together until the spinach was cooked through.  I also only used half and half instead of cream and milk mixture that the recipe called for. I used about a cup of half and a half. I used cornstarch to thicken it using the "rue" technique that my grandma taught me when I was little. I took a little of the hot fluic in a measuring cup, added the corn starch (about 1 1/2 tsp) and then some cold to mix it and get the lumps out. I use this EVERY time I make gravy or white sauce, whether its with flour or corn starch.  Then I pour this mix in stirring constantly until it starts to bubble...I find this easier and FAR LESS CONFUSING than trying to get the flour frying in the butter technique to work and I NEVER have lumps in my gravy or sauces because of this little technique.  I still added the parmesan at the end of the cooking process as the recipe dictated.
I also diced some romas and put them on top of the finished product as I plated it.  It added a little extra oomph and made me feel more like I was cooking for a fancy restaurant.

Tonight I tried THIS recipe from Pioneer Woman that I found on Pinterest as well.
It looked yummy, but as I read the recipe, I got a little skeptical that all the flavors would go together...but after a long week of deep cleaning the house (we had our 90 day property inspection today and I got a little OCD about making sure everything was picture perfect for the people that would be touring our townhouse... I SCRUBBED MY GUTS OUT!) I was exhausted and this seemed simple, and I had the ingredients (well most of them and some substitutes...) so I decided...we'll give it a whirl and if we hate it Jeff can always run to Little Caesars for pizza...

Rating...I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars...I think I would have liked it better with potatoes. I think I will try it next time with some tator tots on the bottom instead or diced cooked potatoes...

My tweaks?  For starters, I salted and peppered the ground beef while it was cooking and added more to taste after I added the tomato sauce. Once upon a time, a few years ago, during a late night college study session I learned while watching food network that meat needs to be at least salted while it cooks because it helps bring out the actual flavor of the meat. Since then, I've always at least salted the meat for recipes even when the recipe says not to, and I have to say that I want to find the chef that taught me that little tidbit through the television screen and kiss him! I also added about 2 TBS of sugar to the meat mixture because it just needed to be a little sweeter for my palate's liking. It almost tasted like sloppy joe meat by the time I was done, but it was what I thought it needed (and neither Jeff or I complained... as we ate the finished product, so I may have been onto something...) Instead of cottage cheese I used Ricotta because we had some leftover from when I made crock pot lasagna last week and I didn't want it to go to waste, I also didn't have Green Onions so I diced up some regular onions really small and added about a half a palm full of dried parsley to the still worked and was still pretty good...Jeff offered to take it to work tomorrow for lunch, so I at least know it was passable...LOL

As far as life is concerned (other than trying new recipes from Pinterest...) The lady that toured our townhouse today said how amazing I looked for having a 6 month old...and then she was astonished when I told her that I was almost 5 months pregnant with #2...she said she wouldn't have known I was pregnant and that I looked rather "slim." Hello ego boost...I definitely needed that (since we all know how cute , or not, I've been feeling lately...)

Faith is getting to be a rolling devil...She has figured out how to manipulate her way onto her belly in spite of her sleeping wedge in her crib...I go in and find her on her belly and struggling to figure out a comfortable position for her face so she can breathe and quickly flip her over. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of to keep it from happening, and she still manages to flip herself. She seems comfortable on her belly, but because she hasn't mastered flipping from her belly to her back yet I get nervous that she will suffocate if I let her have her way...I'm close to giving up...but I will keep forging ahead and hopefully my pediatrician will have some suggestions next week for what to do to either keep her on her back or help her "belly sleeping" expeditions to be a little less frightening for me.  She still has a smile that is 2 miles wide and the cutest little dimple on the right side of her smile that melts my heart every morning (even when its early and I still want to be in bed.) I've decided that her hair is unruly and I have no clue how to tame it. Some days I just go with the curls and put a little gel in and let them fall where they may, other days I spend half time I'm holding her slicking her little cowlicks down incessantly and obsessively...I just keep reminding myself that when its longer it will be heavier and I won't have to work so hard...LOL

Jeff and I finally agreed on a name for a little girl...since he is convinced #2 is a girl, I'm glad that we already know. I feel really good about it, and I don't think I'm going to change my mind...especially because of how we came about the name ( I will share the story I don't want to tweak too much curiosity and drive people crazy with wanting to know. Suffice it to say, coming to this name was a spiritual experience of sorts and kind of what I thought would happen with naming Faith...the experience that didn't happen...then again, nothing went the way I planned it with Faith anyway...) Our first name for Faith, Maybelle, got a lot of negative reviews from family, and so it was tough to want to use it by the, when she came she didn't look like a Maybelle...we still love the name, and maybe we'll use it someday, but I can say that its not the name this time...and I'm pretty sure that if this new little cupcake is a girl, the name we've come to a decision on is THE NAME...we're just not going to tell anyone until she's born... sorry peanut gallery. I promise if I change my mind and want to share you'll be some of the first to hear (read) it...

Well, my house is sparkling and Jeff brought me a Diet Dr. Pepper to help me through the day...and I drank ALL of it with every intention of saving some for tomorrow...because of that I am still awake while he is asleep with nothing to keep me occupied other than the results episode of Dancing With the Stars from this week, and today's episode of General Hospital and Days of Our Lives...hopefully I will get tired soon...otherwise I will be having strange soap opera dreams (Oh yes, its happened before...)...YES I watch soap operas- GET OVER IT! I'm a fan, born and raised and nothing can take it out of my blood...unless my shows are cancelled, then things might get ugly as I lose my one dramatic outlet of late...LOL

Well...that's a little bit of everything and nothing.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I promise that I will post about Easter soon. We didn't really do much. Jeff wasn't feeling well, Faith was being a teething monster- but I did make a fabulous dinner....

Right now, I decided to post on something that has been weighing on my mind lately. I haven't really taken any pictures of me this pregnancy...I took a few on Valentines day, but they were definitely not shots of my full body so people could see...

I've been rationalizing that the reason why I haven't taken any pictures of myself and posted them is because my computer went to digital heaven and I don't have my scrapbooking or photoshop programs to make them all cute and fun...

But, now I feel guilty, because I am willing to admit the real reason now...

My brain just hasn't caught up with my body.

The reality is that I will be 5 months pregnant on the 28th...but I still look in the mirror and think, "Ewww...I am disgusting."

I have been working really hard to change this mentality. I want to love my body and all the amazing things that it has done for me and continues to do. Its relatively healthy (OB/GYN being worried about my blood sugar aside...) and it gets me from point A to point B with few hiccups...but the unfortunate truth is that due to previous experiences that I've had (bullying in school, remarks from well meaning family members who thought they were helping, when in reality their words only stung me to my core...) my self esteem when it comes to my body has always been pretty hard to bring up.  I had a lot of experiences where my "failures" were attributed to me being was a constant struggle growing up.

When I met Jeff, I was the smallest I'd been since my freshman year of high school. I was satisfied. People were always telling me how amazing I looked, and my voice teacher was even concerned that I was losing too much weight to maintain the sound that my voice type puts out...I wasn't doing anything to lose weight before the wedding but I even had friends who approached me because they worried that I was getting, "scary skinny"...these were issues I'd never had before...and let's face it...I wasn't a twig.  My weight fluctuated between 145 and 155 and wore a size 4/6....

When I was pregnant with Faith, I didn't worry about my weight gain until I reached the 40 lbs mark with 2 months left to go...I cried in my midwife's office when she got after me for not being disciplined enough when I gained 50 by the end...I WAS being as disciplined as I could be...I tried to find healthy alternatives for cravings that were less than healthy, but I also knew that you have to indulge every once in a while...I didn't change much about my eating habits, I just ate a little more than usual...

I lost 20 lbs pretty fast after she was born...the last 10 that I lost before I went for my first doctor's appointment with this baby at 9 weeks 2 days was a hard fought fight, but I did it...I had every intention of trying to lose more while it was still safe for me to do so...but then the morning sickness came and took over my body like a person that crashed a party that no one wants there...there were days I couldn't even get out of bed.  In spite of everything, at my 12 week appointment, I'd only gained 4 lbs (with Faith I'd gained about 12 pounds by the end of my 12 week mark). Last appointment, at 16 weeks, I'd actually lost 2 of the 4 lbs that I gained....

I guess, long story short...I feel embarrassed. I was so good at taking pictures and documenting my pregnancy with the Little Diva, but I felt like I started this pregnancy so overweight that part of me just gave up thinking "What's the point? I'm too fat for anyone to see much of a change anyway..."  I've had several people ask why I haven't posted any pics...and there is your answer.  I'm embarrassed by my body...I'm frustrated that I only have 3 or 4 outfits that actually fit over my baby bump right now...I. Just. Don't. Feel. Beautiful...

and I hate it.

My husband tells me almost every day how beautiful and sexy I am...but I look in the mirror and see my flabby tummy and arms and think, "Yeah...he's just being nice..."

and I hate it!

I want to feel pretty again, I want to convince myself to believe my husband when he pays me a complement...its just hard right now. I love my husband so much...and he is so handsome. I guess I just want him to feel like he's out with a hottie...and right now I feel more like a nottie... in a way, I almost feel like I'm letting him down.  I know he doesn't care. I know he loves me for more than my body, my clothes, my hair, or my makeup...

I need to find a way to catch my subconscious up with the rest of my body. I need to stop playing those tapes in my head over and over...the teenage boys that would moo at me when I walked down the family members who told me that no one would ever be interested in me if I didn't lose a few pounds...and the directors who told me that they would have cast me, that I was super talented, but I didn't quite fit their ideal for the part, to lose a few pounds and then come audition for them the next time they did a show...

Who decided that 3-5% body fat was beautiful anyway? I want to find them and punch them in the nose!

In the end, I need to keep reminding myself that I am a daughter of God. That He loves me for what's in my heart, not the size that's on the tag in my shirt or pants...I need to remind myself that my body is in the process of performing a miracle- I am growing life for Pete's sake!...and this miracle wouldn't have occurred if I didn't have such an amazing husband, who loves me so much.

I promise to find a way to start a scrapbook for this baby, even though I'm REALLY late getting moving on it.  I promise that I will listen and HEAR my husband when he complements me, and believe it, because I know he wouldn't lie to me. I promise to stop doing things and thinking of things that I hate...because that isn't me. I am a happy and infinitely blessed person and I promise myself that I will start to remember that.

Because I am beautiful, no matter what size I am. God made my body, it may not be perfect, that is part of the agreement that we made to live this life, but it was made by Him...and he fathered my spirit...and he wouldn't make a mistake. True beauty starts on the inside and shines out of you like a light.

Fashionistas of the world that don't agree with that can kiss my pregnant bum- both cheeks!

I promise that there will be a post about me and the baking cupcake at 20 weeks...WITH pictures.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Favorite Things: Baby Edition


I have severe blogger's block. I just don't know what to post about. Life seems pretty much like its running its normal hectic pace. Jeff was diagnosed with a Hernia, which means we will have the fun of surgery to deal with in the near OB/GYN is concerned about my sugar levels. He wonders if I developed gestational diabetes after I'd had the normal test that they do when you're pregnant. Apparently, the medication I'm on for my Insulin Resistance can stop working all of a sudden while you're pregnant leaving you unprotected when your sugars decide to go haywire... This is all news to me. My midwife wasn't concerned about this at all. When I reached the 50 lbs mark she was concerned and asked if I had been taking my meds and when I responded ,"yes," she simply chalked it off to being what my body did naturally. He ordered some blood tests and decided to have me come back in two weeks to determine our next steps. I'm really, really hoping that I don't have to use a Glucometer through my whole pregnancy, but its very likely that I may...I am grateful that I have a doctor that is thorough and is trying to do everything he can to help me keep the weight down this pregnancy. Since I started out overweight (still needing to lose about 20 lbs of weight from my time carrying the little princess in my belly) he wants me to only gain 20 lbs...considering that I'd actually LOST weight at my last appointment, I'm hoping that won't be a problem.

But..that isn't what this blog is about.

I don't want to think of the hectic and crazy things going on. I've been trying to focus on the little blessings that come with modern technology, or even old technology made new that have been making my life much easier and more interesting... since I have lots of friends expecting their first baby or their first baby in a long time, I figured I'd share a few of my favorite things that I've discovered in the last almost 6 months...

1) Up and Up brand baby formula (found at Target)-
I know that breast feeding is best. My experience with breast feeding was one of frustration and sadness. I had planned on breast feeding to do what was best for my baby and to save money- but, when she came a month early, my body just wasn't ready to do what it needed to do. I didn't even start producing colostrum until a week after she was born...after that it was a constant struggle to keep up and get my body in line with when she wanted to feed. Nobody tells you that your boobs can be too big for your baby to feed off of...and unfortunately, that was the case for me. I was too big, or Faith's mouth was too small...either way she couldn't latch well and wouldn't stay latched for long. I'm sure if I'd kept at it we could have mastered it, but my reality was that I was waking up every 2 hours to pump and getting almost nothing, I'd have to mix it with formula anyway because, while she was only 5 lbs 3 oz, my little diva wanted 3 oz of food and then 4 very quickly. I was only to the point where my body was producing about 2 oz every time I pumped...then came the disaster known as Blessed Thistle ( I was allergic, she was allergic and together we were one giant rash). 

My doctor, a champion of breast feeding, gave me props for trying as long as I did, but even admitted that he hadn't thought that I would end up being successful since we hadn't really been given those crucial hours right after she was born to try to let her feed... he suggested the Gentlease formula by Enfamil, saying that its really the only formula he'd ever seen that had given the results it promised. We went ahead and did the Gentlease when the other formula we were using was still making her a very sad baby....but the ACTUAL Gentlease is about $26 a can...and when a can only lasts a week or two that starts to add up.

We started using the Walmart generic, but I started looking around to see if I could find a generic that was in a bigger can for less price...well, one day Jeff surprised me and took me to my favorite store on the planet....ahhhh Target...lo and behold they had a generic for the Gentlease, in a canister TWICE the size of the Walmart generic for only $4 more...when it all worked out the Target brand was cheaper by like $0.25 or $0.30 an ounce...and considering that a can of the Target brand lasts for almost 2 weeks in our house, we were saving even more!

If you end up having to buy formula and there is a Target close by, go ahead and use their generics...believe me, you'll thank me in the end...

2) Munchkin Bottle Scrubber

When I first had Faith, we had a bottle scrubber that came with my breast pump in this killer deal that we found on eBay. It was the same brand as the pump, Avent by was okay, but not my favorite. When I saw how much they wanted for one of them in the store, I was impressed by our killer deal and thought that maybe I just wasn't using it just wasn't brush enough for our bottles...

I LOVE the Munchkin bottle scrubber. We bought it because it was the cheapest one on the shelf (again, at Target, was there ever any doubt?) What I love about it is that the soft spongey top can double as a nipple scrubber (oh, it comes with one in the bottom of it, and its great,but on the days that I'm feeling lazy and don't want to pop it out of the bottom, its nice to know that the sponge on top will conform to the insides of the nipples and clean them out too!) I also use Dr. Brown's bottles (LOVE THEM) and this is the only scrubber I've ever used that can get inside the attachment that goes on the inside to clean it out as well. This bottle scrubber is a big winner in my house and makes the daily grind of cleaning bottles much quicker and far more painless.

3) Baby Bullet- sold at most major retailers and online at
I can't say enough about this little kitchen gem.  When I was debating the purchase of this, a lot of people suggested just buying a really nice food processor, but then I talked to people that actually owned and used the Baby Bullet, and I quickly changed my mind. 

They all said the same thing- NOTHING out there on the market will puree the baby food that you make as finely as the baby bullet reality, it turns your sweet potatoes, peas, apples...whatever into a fluffy cream that baby can't get enough of, and you can later control the puree so that it is more textured as baby gets older. 

We purchased ours about a month before we needed it (at Target...what can I say? I'm hooked) it was a killer deal. It was their regular price of $59.99, but you also got a $10 Target shopping card with the purchase. Since I shop there regularly, it was effectively like getting it for $49.99. Gotta love it...and it was so much cheaper than buying a regular food processor and praying it would work...

Making my own baby food is not only rewarding, but its super fast! In about 5 minutes I can have enough baby food to last 2 weeks stored between my fridge and freezer... its also WAY cheaper. I can buy a single sweet potato for $0.30 to $0.40 (depending on the time of year) that single sweet potato can make 8-10 servings of baby food!...And I get to know, without a doubt, how fresh everything is and what exactly is in it...I read an article recently online that shocked me...if people knew what could be in their $0.30 to $0.60 jar of baby food, they may think twice about convenience over saving money...did you know that jarred baby food can have ground up bugs and rodents in the mix because the conveyor belts that the food is processed on can't stop everything from going through? YUCK! Here baby, have some applesauce with a hint of field mouse...yum yum.. GROSS! 

4) Sunbaby Diapers

I originally made the choice to start cloth diapering in an effort to help save money. When we found out that baby #2 was on the way so soon after the Little Diva, I knew that, even though we technically would have the money for disposables, it would be costly. We usually would spend about $50 a month on diapers (that's not even including the wipes and creams to combat diaper rashes that Faith frequently got) Once we added another baby to the mix it would make it a little over $100 for diapers a month...that is $1200 a year (again, not including wipes and creams...)  I had been debating cloth since I was pregnant with Faith, but baby number 2 made my decision for me.

These diapers by Sunbaby, can only be ordered online at

For $108.00 I got 24 diapers and 24 liners (they are pocket diapers, you put the liners inside and pull them out when they are wet.) They fit any baby 7 to 35 lbs- meaning: we can use them THROUGH potty training!    Just be aware, that as they come from Shanghai, shipping takes 20-30 days. Mine actually made it in 18... I love them. I love the snaps because the diapers don't magically come undone (a problem I'd had with my wriggly baby...I guess the fake velcro they use for the disposables just didn't stand a chance against her...LOL) and I love the cute, bright designs. It also comes in a size 2 which is for chubbier babies...since my Little Diva takes after her daddy, we went the size 1 route to accommodate her skinny frame.

At this point, I will only be washing diapers twice a week, which really isn't much when you consider that I already have to do laundry twice a what's one more load?

It started out as a money saving venture...but now a week into it I can honestly say that I would NEVER go back to disposables!  Yes- it is a little more time consuming...if you consider taking anywhere from 1-3 minutes out of your day to take care of a dirty diaper super time consuming...and I don't...but it also  has done so much more!

Faith had a horrible diaper rash when we first started using them a week ago...but you can't put any rash creams on a baby in cloth (well you can, but there are special creams you have to buy...) the trick should NEVER need a rash cream with cloth. I've read several articles (wish I could find them again to link them for you all) that explain that there are chemicals and other treatments that are done on the materials that they make disposables with and generally the chemicals and other treatments are what causes the rash! I was skeptical after I read this...but I will say that after 2 or 3 diaper changes with cloth, the Little Diva's rash had completely disappeared. She actually sits still now for her diaper changes and doesn't scream when I wipe her...its AMAZING!

Another story to further bring my point home...on Tuesday we ended up running an unexpected errand with Jeff (well, somewhat expected...he was having an ultrasound to determine what type of hernia he has and I wanted to come, but didn't ask until later if he was willing to come pick me up. He surprised me when he said yes. I was glad to get to go support him) I knew Faith needed a diaper change when we left, but there wasn't time, as Jeff was already going to be late. I grabbed the diaper bag and put Faith into her carseat knowing that I had one disposable left, tucked away in the diaper bag that still needed to be used (waste not, want not.) Well, I changed her at the doctor's office and didn't think a thing about it...until we got home and I decided to put her back in cloth. She was acting really fidgety and I was wondering if maybe it was the feel of the papery disposable against her skin...well, you could say it was that...I took off her diaper and found a huge, red, angry rash covering her whole bottom! I quickly put her in the bathtub, and then into a cloth diaper- praying that it would go away on its own.  Lo and behold, the next morning, there was NO was a contact rash from the disposable. Once I took her out of it and bathed her and put her back in cloth the contact was gone and her body was able to calm down.

I am so grateful to my cousin Desiree for pointing me in the direction of Sunbaby! I was going to buy BumGenius 4.0, which was almost $300 for, "all the diapers we would ever need," according to the website I was buying them from. I was attracted to BumGenius because I liked the idea of being able to reuse the covers after changing...but I will say that there is something so rewarding about a fresh cover and clean liner every time I change my baby!

If you're debating cloth- just do it! You will save so much money (even if you do opt for a more expensive brand like BumGenius) and your baby will be much happier!

Well...that is a few of my favorite baby things...I would add more, but this blog is already becoming a novel (so much for blogger's block.) I guess you will just have to wait for part deux!

Hugs and Loves until next time darlings!