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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bread and butter

I've had bread and butter on my mind. Not just any loaf of sandwich bread, mind you. No, it had to be a round load of 'white mountain bread' from the bakery section. Don't ask me what makes it mountain bread because I haven't the foggiest, but ooh, slathered up with some good (kerrygold) butter. yummmo.
Whilst I was pregnant with Hattie, I learned that food cravings (during pregnancy) are often foods from our childhood. Fascinating, I know. And this white mountain bread falls into that very category. When I was 10-12, our church would pick up the out-of-date baked goods from a local grocery store on a given weekend each month. Then, that Sunday all the church members would take their pick of the breads and pastries. Sometimes, the french bread was hard enough to play baseball with and sometimes everything had been crushed terribly, but when the white mountain bread was to be had, oh, that was good eating. And there's something especially satisfying about ripping off a hunk of bread.
I haven't had any white mountain bread since, until today! It was just as delicious as I remembered and I wasn't even about to glance at the ingredients. {Cravings seem to put my conscience at ease more than anything else while grocery shopping. ha.}

We had a lovely Christmas. We kept things small, and did without a Christmas tree, but I liked it. I also liked that putting away all our Christmas decorations this morning was an easy endeavor. They all fit into a small-ish box anyway...except the outside lights, and those will just have to come down whenever Emery can make time for it.

Now, if we can just manage to remember that it's not Monday, we'll be doing alright.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve-ing

A refreshingly busy day at home. But it's not required busyness, that makes it happier.

There's a funny thing about gluten-free foods (desserts especially), they're really only enjoyable at the peak of freshness...which is to say the day you've baked them or maybe the day after. It's a small window of opportunity before whatever it is turns into dry crumbs or moldy icky-ness. So, while I've felt some pressure to get busy doing Christmas, I've just had to be patient and not do it until what seems like the last minute. But it really isn't the last minute because we're staying home and we're not doing any extra entertaining, and that means everything is right on time. :)
I'm planning on doing our big Christmas dinner this evening, and maybe tomorrow we can just loaf around in our pajamas and reheat leftovers (and reheat leftovers and reheat leftovers). Sounds like an easy plan as far as I'm concerned.

I was also thinking of starting a new tradition: alliterative Christmas dinners. Yes, it does sound nerdy. I don't care. This year we're having Pork (chops with cranberries), mashed Potatoes, Pecan pie....and perhaps I can think up some other P item to work in there. Maybe next year we could do C and have Cornish Hens, Cream Corn, Cabbage, and some sort of Casserole. I think it has potential to be a lot of fun. And it could be kind of adventuresome....we could do a goose one year and maybe a duck another. I've always wanted to try to cook a goose. When we lived in Vicksburg, the Walmart always kept one frozen goose out by the chicken cutlets. I was so tempted to buy it several times. This alliterative dinner would give me a could excuse to do so.

Last year, I tried to do the "12 days of Christmas" for Emery. Which is to say a different gift for every day and theoretically they should coordinate with the number of the day (a dozen cookies, or something like that). But I got too excited and gave him all the gifts the day I bought them. {I even had them wrapped and everything.} This year, however, our roles have reversed a little and he's been the one saying "I could give you one of your gifts right now." To which, I smile and reply that he's worse than me. I haven't been nearly as tempted this year to give him his gifts early. Of course, Emery and I are both the type the say we don't need anything for Christmas, and we agree that we shouldn't get each other gifts, and them we always do. I don't know why. That's just the way it is.

I hope you all have a Merry merry merry Christmas. Enjoy your loved ones. Savor the smiles and hugs. Be thankful.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

These days

I keep thinking Christmas should be on Monday....and having to wait until Tuesday is going to be kind of hard. But I'm mostly glad/thankful Hattie and I get to have Emery home to ourselves for four days in a row. Him having time off plus us being home has been a rare happening around here.

Emery's work had a Christmas lunch on Wednesday. We signed up for cookies (because the ones we brought to the Thanksgiving lunch were very well-received). At the end of the day, one of his coworkers saw him carrying the dish home and said, "Wait, you brought those? How are you not 400lbs?" I guess he liked 'em.  They were the peanut butter chocolate chip variety. Gluten free, of course, and extra easy.

Speaking of food, I told myself we'd have fish and rice for dinner tonight. Fish is healthy. We have several packages in the freezer. The plain fact remains though, I just don't like fish - at least not these days. Maybe Baby Sayre is the one who doesn't really like it. Either way, it hasn't been a frequent visitor on our table in several months...and I still feel compelled to at least put it on our menu occasionally, but usually neither of us want it and we eat out instead. So much for frugality and meal planning. Oye.

Do you ever read Kisses from Katie? She doesn't blog very often, and I probably only stop by her corner of the internet once a month or less...but I'm always blessed by it. In some ways, I kind of live vicariously through her posts. That probably sounds funny, considering her posts are full of the raw emotion of living in Africa as a single woman, struggling to show the love of Jesus to the very sick and needy around her, but at the same time there's such a 'romance' about living a life like that, a life that, from the outside, seems hugely meaningful to the Kingdom of Christ. {Please don't confuse that sentiment to say that I don't feel like my life in suburbia isn't meaningful. That isn't it at all.} And yet, with all the good this woman is doing, her posts speak largely of her weakness and her great need of the Strength of the Savior. Of his great love when ours is so small.
That's the part that's the blessing. That's the reminder I need most.
 I. am. needy. and I am oh so weak and frail. But God! God's strength is made perfect in weakness. (2Cor12:9)
I'm so thankful we have a BIG GOD. A God who doesn't need us to let him do anything. ('But our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.' --I don't remember the reference on that one).
And He's sovereign over all situations. That's what that means, you know, the doing whatever he pleases part. It means we just have to trust.
It was December three years ago when we had our first miscarriage. I didn't want to let go of that baby, I didn't want to surrender him to the Lord, even though he was never really mine to begin with. Emery and I were still newlyweds. Only four months into our marriage, still getting to know each other, really. And there we were, with wounded hearts, far away from our families and somehow trying to survive together. The Lord was with us. The prayers of our loved ones were with us. Emery and I grew closer together and clung to the promises of God. That was all we could do, but HIS grace was sufficient for our trials. I'm confident it always will be.
I know there will be so many other dark valleys to walk through in the days ahead, but I also know we won't be walking through them alone. And that's a comfort to me.
God is good, all the time. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Note to self and the communication dilemma

  • If you try to make a pot of chili and a pot of wassail at the same time...the house ends up smelling like some crazy Thai food. {Don't do it!}
  • I had another one for this note to self section, but I've already forgotten it because my brain is nonfunctional. Just ask that lady I was trying to talk to yesterday; I'm sure I made zero sense in all that babbling. Oh well, I'm growing a person. I think I can remember that much for my excuse!
  • Oh, I remembered. Instant coffee (decaf, of course) is thoroughly delicious in ice cream and chocolate milk, but don't go trying to drink a cup of it.

I got off of facebook a little under two weeks ago. It probably won't end up being permanent, but I'm enjoying feeling challenged to pick up the phone and call the people in whose lives I'm interested....rather than just clicking on their profile, seeing what they're up to, and going on about my day. I want to maintain real relationships. I don't have much time to sit down and call people or write letters, but how much more meaningful is a quick chat on the phone than stalking someone's wall? {You and I both know full well it's about a gazillion times more meaningful.} So, that's what I'm trying to do; to call my friends and tell them I love them - even if it's just on their voicemail.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Answered Prayers!

Y'all, prayer works. And God is the GREAT physician!

My sonogram 6 weeks ago showed that the baby's placenta was in the way of the birth canal, and it had a pretty long way to go to get out of the way. But today (we went in after a brief bleeding scare), the sonogram showed that placenta plenty out of the way and everything looking great! Glory Be!

I am so thankful.

Of course, the need for a c-section may yet arise, but for now, we have the hope of a natural delivery...and that is SUCH a relief to this girl. Praise the LORD.

Baby Sayre is a whopping 2lbs and 1oz. I sure do love this sweet weetle baby and I can't wait to meet her!

Friday, December 14, 2012

....you could say that.

I guess I lied to you yesterday. I didn't mean to. About all the smooth sailing and I'm so not in the nesting phase yet. After I blogged all that, I made a list. {probably my first mistake.} I'm not one to let my lists gather any dusts, and off I went pulling things out of closets and getting organized. Which closets were formerly organized enough to appease me, until I thought of a baby's arrival, and then it seemed all was sadly disheveled.
---disheveled. is dis- the prefix? and is so, then is anything really heveled? or is like couth? You can be uncouth, but you can't be couth.---
But don't you worry your pretty little head about it all because Hattie's room has been happily rearranged, the car seat and bouncer seat pads have been washed. Itty bitty pink clothes are scheduled to hop in the washing machine next....and it's all just so satisfying to undertake, I almost wish I had a longer list. Almost.

Hattie can't stop pulling out baby clothes from the basket and declaring each one in her hand "CUTE!"

I also reorganized the linen closet. How could anyone bring a baby into the world with an untidy linen closet? I cannot. (Even though I know in three months, when the baby actually arrives, it will probably be in need of another good once over.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25.5 weeks pregnancy update

This pregnancy going by super fast it seems. At the OB's office today, the scheduling girl said, "Okay, we'll see you in two weeks". What! How can we already be to this point?! It seems like it should be another month at least before appointments are scheduled for every two weeks.
We did the one hour glucose test today. I managed to get away without it during Hattie's pregnancy (mostly because the office forgot the day I was supposed to do it, and then I switched to a midwife....and she, well, she wasn't the epitome of professionalism. Let's just say that). It wasn't that bad afterall, even though I was kind of nervous. I really don't want any other diagnoses on my chart other than pregnancy, if I can help it. I decided that if I ate enough protein before I took the test that would help my blood sugar regulate better, so Hattie and I had extra helpings of eggs and milk this morning.
{I just made up that theory, btw. It seems to work in the first trimester with nausea and all, so why not now when we're knocking on the door of the third?}
The nurse did come back and tell me anything was wrong, so I'm happy to assume my numbers came back in the normal range.

At my last OB visit, the sonogram showed placenta previa. Which translates to it's in the way of the birth canal and if it doesn't move, then we'll have to have a c-section. :( At the time they said they would rescan at 31weeks, but today they said they'd look again in two weeks, which only puts me at 27.5 weeks. I would prefer that we had those three-ish extra weeks to pray that placenta will move, but y'all join me now in praying hard it will get out of the way enough for us to be able to have a natural delivery.

Baby Sayre is an active little thing, and Hattie just loves to pat my belly and give little sister hugs and kisses.

It's kind of amazing the differences between Hattie's pregnancy and this one. Last time, I spent so much time dreaming and researching (everything!). Should we get a mini-crib, portable-crib, full-size, and/or a pack'n'play? What kind of car seat? (They ALL have mixed reviews) What about baby monitors? (Ask me if we've ever really used them. Nope.) Should we cloth diaper? (Bought some, used 'em occasionally. Actually, I really like Up and Up brand of disposable diapers at Target. Can't beat the price AND you don't have to wash them or scrape poo off. Win-win) What kind of bottles should we register for, just in case? (Breastflow. Hattie never learned to drink from them, but it was a comfort to have three or four bottles around)
I really got fixated on every little point because I wanted to get the best deal - you know me! - and I didn't want a whole lot of extra clutter because our apartment at the time just couldn't deal with it, and neither could I.
This time around, however, poor Baby Sayre just hasn't had much thought into her gear. She'll sleep in the pack'n'play in our room for a while. She's already got a huge wardrobe. And our infant carrier/carseat is just ready and waiting for a bit of cleaning and to be installed in the car. It all seems so much simpler this time. 
I'm sure nesting will kick in eventually, and I'll be washing entire loads of pink laundry and hanging pictures on the walls and who knows what all, but for now it feels like smooth sailing.
And that's a nice place to be. A calm place. A place where I can soak up Hattie's smiles and enjoy her last few months as an only child.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daily Thanksgivings & holding patterns

Being a plumber is a dirty job. It isn't a job I would want. But, boy, am I thankful for plumbers, without whom, we'd still be operating in a goofy holding pattern of not washing clothes or dishes or anything else water-related.
Thank you, LORD, for plumbers.

I'm also thankful to get the household more operational now. While I appreciated the quaintness of having a jug of water to cook with, I appreciate running water all the more.

Know what? I don't like holding patterns. I don't like waiting for some specific event to start living again. About three weeks before Hattie was born, I had had some contractions and my midwife seemed to think I might go into labor at any time...and those were some of the longest days ever. I needed some good sense knocked into me though (from Sister Debbie), and she said I NEEDED to be surprised if that baby arrived less than two weeks after my due date. That was enough to get me started living again. Hattie was born just three days after my due date, as it happened, the contractions from the weeks before subsided pretty quickly after my mental shift, and I'm so thankful for those who impart good wisdom to just keep living.
Sometimes I still get into waiting on X. Even if X is just a phone call or a decision made. But it's not worth it. You're not promised any days beyond this one, why waste what you do have waiting on what you might not have at all.

It's Christmastime. {I've let that slip from my mind while in my holding pattern}. It's time for cozy comfort food. Gingerbread houses. Stockings hung by the chimney with care. It's time for family and togetherness. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm not going to wish it all away while I wait for X, Y, and Z to come to pass.
Besides, the temperature has dropped and the corners of the window panes are all fogged up, and that means it must be Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Going Green?

We're saving water. Reducing our 'footprint'.....

nah.....actually, we're just waiting on the plumber and have the water turned off outside.

---

Today marks my 25th week of pregnancy. :)

---

We built a gingerbread house last week. Er, Emery built it. I decorated it. And Hattie cried about wanting to eat the candy.

---

Happy Monday. Here's hoping you only have one Monday this week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Granola Barge.

My husband and I appreciate a good pun. Last night, he said my homemade granola bars should called granola barge. He's right, and I laughed.
They are awfully thick and dense, but pretty tasty too.

We sold some furniture via Craigslist yesterday afternoon. Our first ever sale. It was pretty exciting and so easy. The buyers came and did all the heavy lifting, and they didn't even try to bargain with us over the price. That's what I'm talking about. Emery says I made 100% commission. But we all know that really means that the money will probably go towards something very practical and useful and isn't actually at all at my disposal. I don't mind though.

We decided recently that we'll be staying home for Christmas. Our home. Georgia and Kentucky are nice for certain, but there's something charming about being home for Christmas.  Who knows, maybe it will snow? It's only 70 degrees here today after all. ;)
"Must be nice in Vermont this time of year, all that snow."


Thursday, November 29, 2012

I like this day.

I do. I like today. It's happy.

Making fudge for my love (since we had cake on his un-birthday). Freshly vacuumed and mopped floors throughout the house. Clean sheets all around. Laundry put away. Building duplo towers with Little Miss. Checking off everything on my to-do list, plus a few other things that never even made the list.

Today I read on a can of hot cocoa mix, "Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays" ha.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Old Fashioned

During our stay in Georgia this past week, my parents' neighbor,  Ms. Neva, dropped by some leftover desserts from her family's Thanksgiving. Ms. Neva can always be counted on to bring the leftovers from any family gathering because she always goes overboard in how much she buys/makes for the event, which usually consists of six people or less. My parents, on the other hand, have six people in their house everyday, and more at holidays - 18 this week (plus two on the way) - and Ms. Neva knows whatever she may bring will get eaten and will not get thrown away. So, she always comes bearing gifts. :)
In particular, she brought a huge apple cake, the recipe from which is circa 1922 and required cooking the icing on the stove and stirring with a wooden spoon. I'll testify that the cake was indeed delicious. So much so, that there were other apple cakes to be had at the house, but I always opted or the one I knew was excellent (though I didn't doubt the goodness of the others at all).

I like old fashioned recipes. Not the vintage ones that are trendy now because those are usually laden with Jello and Crisco and margarine.....but I like the ones that don't call for any fancy equipment or technique, just pure and honest recipes that may turn out homely but delicious results. Truth is, rarely does anything in the gluten-free category end up stunningly beautiful anyway and the second truth is that my baby is not very trusting of noisy appliances (mixers, choppers, vacuums etc). These truths I'm sure contribute to my liking for non-fancy & simple recipes.
If I can't mix something up by hand in my great-grandmother's green mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, I'd just as soon not have that recipe in my collection, thank you very large.

I also like old fashioned toys and it did my little heart good to watch my nieces and nephew spend the majority of the week playing with wooden trains and blocks (and occasionally Mr. Potato Head). There were a lot of lessons in sharing with the six of them four and under, but they had a fun time together. Hattie hasn't stopped talking about "Eliyot". And when he comes to mind, she can't help but say his name half a dozen times or so. Meagan, we'll have to skype again soon!

In rapid order this past week, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Picked out and cut down a Christmas tree - and that was no easy feat with 18 different opinions on which was the perfect tree. Decorated the house and then had Christmas morning on Saturday. Knocking out both holidays in one fell swoop. We ate too much. Visited a lot. Chased children a good bit. And laughed more than we ate.

And yet, our little Home Sweet Sayre Home still provides the sweetest repose, no matter how enjoyable the time away.
The pilgrims are packed away, replaced by reds and golds and stockings on the mantle. Fake mistletoe hangs on the wall (until we can figure out a method of retrieving the real stuff from our tree out from. The old fashioned way would be to shoot it down, but alas, we live inside the city limits.)

It's been hard to remember that it isn't December yet.

It's chilly and gray today. Perfect for celebrating Emery's unbirthday. That's a surprise though. He's probably expecting cake on his real birthday later this week, but shouldn't be looking for it today. Carrot cake with maple-cream cheese icing. I hope it's delish. I did leave the cinnamon out of the cake altogether (forgetful!), but I threw some in the icing to make up for it and I think that will be extra good.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pink Cake

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, I turned to Emery and told him how yummy pink cake sounded at the time. Make it strawberry or cherry or imitation berry whatever, it's bound to be delicious, so long as it's pink.

I understand there isn't much good logic in this, but it's kind of like 'irregardless'.

And then yesterday, to my great pleasure, someone brought a pink cake to church. I happily indulged. It tasted nice and pink....and I think that is to say like a yellow box-cake mix plus jello powder.

I think it's a shame you can't make a strawberry cake without jello. I've looked and looked for recipes with just strawberries, and I even tried it. The result was a very flat and somewhat purple-y cake that was extra chewy. (Of course, my version was GF too, so there may have been some major errors apart from the strawberry part, but it turned out awful.)

Speaking of pink cake, we had our real anatomy scan the other day, and Baby Sayre is reaffirmed to be a girly. Her major organs looked fine and dandy too. 18 weeks until we get to meet her!

My odds of doing any more blogging for the rest of the week are pretty slim, so I wish you all the most blessed of Thanksgivings. May you be able to rejoice in what God is doing in your life even if the circumstances aren't what you would have desired. May you remember the things that are truly important in life, AND keep remembering them on Black Friday when you're standing in line at 4am.

We've been talking with Hattie about being thankful and pointing to the Pilgrims on the table (who are holding various food stuffs) and telling her how they're thankful for their turkey, grapes, corn etc. and how she needs to be thankful for whatever we're eating that she might be less than enthused about. Don't ask me how much of this conversation is sinking in, but we've been having it nonetheless, so without further ado, here's some
'Thankful Pilgrim love'
from me to you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Granana, Granola, Banana

We like all of those things around here. Hattie doesn't differentiate much between her Granana and her favorite snack suggestion, banana (which suggestion can only be made when she taps her cheek to think about what she would like)....but we're working on it and are busy looking at pictures of Granana, and hopefully next week when we arrive in Georgia she won't be expecting Grandpa and lots of bananas.

Her other favorite snacks are apples and string cheese. Ap-ple. Cheeese.
I can't help but smile to watch her open her mouth as wide as it will go to get a bite off of that apple.
She's always ready to suggest a walk too. Except she puts some phlegm emphasis between the L and the K. It's kind of like walghk. She probably picked that up during the couple of weeks I battled some sinus congestion/cough. Maybe all my words sounded like that.
She really is a little mirror, sometimes to my dismay. She's taken up groaning when she picks something up or gets up out of the floor, and she's so dramatic about it. Oye. I've tried to decrease my groans, but sometimes by the end of the day, that just isn't possible. Last night, I was stretching my back out, and there's Little Miss right after me, holding her back and bending over. I was actually holding on to the door frame, so she could work on her form a little, but still. I reckon if that's the worst habit she picks up from us, we're doing alright, but I'm certain it won't be.

My missing slipper was found yesterday. I was almost convinced it had been thrown away, and I was almost ready to throw the other one away (there is a small hole in the sole anyway), but Hattie pulled the missing one out of the bottom drawer in the bathroom and seemed to think nothing of it. It was right where she left it, why should she be surprised? I just wish I had remembered where she had left it. I am thankful for toasty toes this morning though! Now if only she'll tell me where she's hidden her pajama shirt.

I love this time of the year. {I love most times of the year, actually, but this one is extra nostalgic.} I love getting the ball rolling towards Christmas. Having our Christmas cards ordered and having the majority of our extended families gifts neatly tucked away. I love the festivities. The celebrations that will commence just after Thanksgiving. I love fresh cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I love wearing leggings most of the time and cozy sweaters. I enjoy dressing Hattie up in tights and boots. The wassail. The family. The gingerbread houses. It all makes me smile. I like smiling.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A few favorites...

Melt my heart

She's going to be such a sweet big sister

:)

Love her faces

Have I mentioned that I love these people?

awww


Many thanks to the much talented Leah Kackley for these sweet photos. They turned out so sweet.


Monday, November 12, 2012

I think I love this day.

Emery's off today for Veteran's Day, and like anyone, we're MORE than happy to take a three-day weekend where we can get it!

The morning started with the steel gray skies of the approaching winter and a pot of oatmeal. The first wintery sky makes me eager for cozy sweaters and the nostalgic comfort foods of the season. Accordingly, we made a pumpkin pie this afternoon. It was thoroughly delectable (especially with ice cream And whipped cream.)

Hattie had the joy and privilege of playing with Dominos, playing cards, and a Jacob's Ladder toy today for the first time. I love to watch her little mind at work while she explores new things. Does a mama's heart good.

A homemade haircut. A trip to Walmart. A sweet day with my sweet family.



PS: We've been singing the scale with Hattie lately. Her favorite note is Sol, though Do and Me come out sometimes too. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Mexican Conundrum

--Let me start by saying that it gives me joy that I was able to spell conundrum without firefox underlining it in red. You know it's the little things.---


 
I've lived a few places and made a few observations (maybe more than a few).
 And I've found some interesting qualities among Mexican restaurants. In Mississippi, there is no shortage of Mexican restaurants. Most of them are separated by only minute details - the heat and freshness of the salsa, etc. But in other parts of the country, this is simply isn't so.
In the months we stayed in New Orleans, we managed to only find one decent Mexican place, and it was so far out we probably couldn't find it again if we tried.

The fact is there are only two kinds of Mexican restaurants: those run by Mexicans (or Latinos) and those who are run by non-Mexicans.
It's the latter you'll want to avoid because I can almost assure you that you'll find across the board higher prices and slower service, and inevitably, less authentic food.

Maybe it's because we have a toddler, and maybe it's because I'm unreasonably frugal at times, but quick service and lower prices rank pretty high on the important list in our family.
Granted, the family-run Mexican locations may not be the trendiest place in town to eat, but if you're willing to sacrifice being 'seen', then you'll probably enjoy the local establishment much more.

I will say that Chipotle restaurants, while not run by Mexicans at all, have delicious food (and are pretty quick and well priced)...and if you've got to eat at a chain, that's the one I'd pick.

So there you have it. If there aren't any Mexicans in sight when you walk in the door, you might want to just leave.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Motherly decisions

This morning, I faced three choices. Sleep. Shower. Or blog. I wanted to do them all, but that felt impossible (especially since naps haven't been Hattie's strong suite the last two days). So, I laid down. Unable to sleep, but thankful for a little rest, I was able to shower and here I am blogging away. Three cheers for....getting it all in!
Six months ago, it would have been solely between sleep and shower, but those were the days when Hattie wasn't sleeping through the night, and I was a little more tired.
**
By now, you all know that Obama won the election. I don't pretend to understand it, but I do feel like the economy will tank and there will be an large increase in job loss and food prices will probably rise considerably too. All that to say, I'm planning to start stocking up....not to the extreme that my parents do, but I have cleaned out some cabinet space to store extra goods. Emery and I have lately decided that our hobby is most accurately moving. Whether we like it or not. And not wanting to move 150lbs of extra food is one reason we're not going bulk storage.
**
I was thinking yesterday about how some people have certain ages/stages that are their favorite in babies and children. I know some who love the newborn phase and some who love 6-9 months etc. I have honestly loved every phase of Hattie's life. But I think 18 months is my favorite so far. I'll probably be saying that I love whatever age she's at the most, but we really do have so much fun together right now. She's saying so many words I can understand, and we dance and laugh. She also stomps her feet when she's mad that something isn't going her way, and some days she whines and whines till I'm almost crazy with it....but largely life is so enjoyable. :)
**
On Monday, we hit our twentieth week of pregnancy! Half way to baby! It's still a little surreal at times. I mean, I look pregnant (and my pastor lovingly pointed out the other Sunday that he would need longer arms to hug me. ...uh. thanks). and I'm feeling the baby move frequently, but the thought of really having a newborn in just 4.5 months is delightfully shocking. And I can't wait.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Politico

Dear Daylight Savings Time,
I could do without you.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth


Switching back to Central Standard time has been lovely. Hattie seems unphased by the clock and got up this morning at her regular 7:15. And yesterday was the most leisurely Sunday morning in the history of Sunday mornings.

There's more good news: tomorrow is election day. I know what you're thinking,"Wow! We get a special day just to celebrate being God's elect! This is GREAT!" And you'd be right, but it happens to coincide with the presidential election and I'm looking forward to having it behind us. God IS still on his throne, regardless of who's in the Oval Office....and both men are sinners anyway and fallible. 'Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God'. I'm not placing my trust in either candidate.
I am, however, enjoying the temporarily low gas prices, and I'll hate to see them go after it's all said and done. Fill up your tanks (and your pantries) before Tuesday night!




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Rambling

When Emery and I were young (ahem, before we were parents), we enjoyed just riding around together. Seeing what we could see. Picking out the houses we wouldn't mind living in, and occasionally searching out forgotten bridges {mostly for Emery's benefit, of course}.
And then Hattie came along, and she didn't seem to have much patience for the practice, so we mostly stopped exploring. Mostly.

Today was an exception. An exceptional exception.

Fog hung in the air as we left the house this morning. We rode out into the country and hunted up an old bridge across the Pearl River, and then another crossing the same river. A few small towns and a trip to Sonic later, we hit the interstate headed for Vicksburg (which is actually where I thought we were going first).

Vicksburg - our old stomping ground - boasts a new Mississippi River museum, complete with a dry-docked boat for wandering through. To sweeten the deal, it's free! Chasing an 18 month old through a museum can be challenging, but thankfully, this one had enough interactive displays to keep Hattie's attention (somewhat), and I thought they were a lot of fun. My favorite involved basically a faucet and a pan of sand....the idea was to dam up the water and make channels and watch how the water flows through it.
I grew up playing in a little creek in the woods. We were always damming up the stream and breaking the dams, and thought we were big stuff if our man-made 'pond' achieved four inches deep. Playing in the little exhibit at the museum was gloriously satisfying.

We took Hattie to play on the playground at Catfish Row, and then we went to the Outlets Mall.
I have very frugal expectations, and often anything priced outside of my realm of reasonable won't receive a second glance. But y'all Bass shoes for $12 is WELL within my price range (I got two pair), and really under $50 for Bass shoes doesn't hurt my feelings (and Emery got two pair too). Quality goods within my price-range delight me.

With our windows rolled down and the rush of the wind in our ears, we headed home. Tired from shopping and playing and being in the sunshine, but altogether happy because we had the blessing of being together without distraction all day. No phone calls, no TV, no internet. Just beautiful family. My favorite kind of day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oh November!

October is always a lovely month, at the start, but somehow it dddrrrraaaaaggggsss on and on towards the end (with all the Halloween nonsense especially), and I'm never more ready for a fresh month than I am when November finally arrives.
It's been beautiful so far.

I'm looking forward to seeing family for the first time since July. I found myself a little homesick yesterday. If Hattie hadn't woken and interrupted my homeward leaning, I might have even cried - but I am pregnant. It's been more than four years since I even lived in Georgia, and it pains me a little to see how things have changed since I've been away....but you can't live in two places at once, and you can't maintain relationships the same way when you only see folks thrice a year.
For now, we're the Sayres of Mississippi.
"Wherever you are, be all there."

Tomorrow is the 83rd birthday of my beloved Grandmother. Happy Birthday (tomorrow)!!! In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were instructed to raise up stones of remembrance - Ebeneezer stones - so they would look and remember what the Lord has done for them. My Grandmother is like a living Ebeneezer of the strength the Lord can give to a woman who has endured much, but who has trusted and kept pressing on toward the mark of the high calling of Christ.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Butter Love

A month or two ago, Emery and I were watching the Create Channel (which is like HGTV for PBS but less cool), and a new show came on called Clodagh's Irish Food Trails. This show intrigues us for two reason: the Irish accents (sometimes so thick we don't even know what they're saying) and that she mostly visits local farmers' markets and tells small farm kind of stories.
One of Clodagh's sponsors is Kerrygold. This company has a fabulous slogan that we can't help but imitate in our best Irish accent "Kerrygold. Not just from Ireland. Of Ireland."

And then it happened. On Tuesday. Kroger sells Kerrygold butter! I'm not sure it they just started or if I just noticed, but I was elated (this only added to the excitement of this shopping trip). In spite of the hefty $5.99 for 1/2lb price tag, I just had to get it...because it's not just from Ireland, it's of Ireland.

It has taken me a few days to get around to trying it since we're mostly a gluten-free household and toast doesn't happen everyday. But we finally did this afternoon, and man, that IS some good butter. It's got to be the of Ireland part that makes it so yummy. We might just have to buy Kerrygold for eating and plain old Kroger brand for cooking.

On a somewhat related note, we watched America's Test Kitchen last night, and they were making croissants. {If you haven't seen the show, they test recipes and come up with the very best way of making particular dishes - including which ingredients make a difference in how the recipe turns out}. Apparently croissants are a thoroughly time-consuming venture, and must take every bit a full day with all the resting, rising, chilling, and rolling out of the dough....but what makes the difference is using King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and European butter. European butter has 3% more fat than American style, and somehow that extra fat really helps make fluffy croissants.
Of course, the butter issue - while interesting - really wouldn't have matter much to me had I not had European style butter in my fridge at that very moment. We're butter people, and good butter matters...and what's more, good fats matter, so I think I'll happily buy my Irish butter and repeat the slogan over and over (in my best accent) every time we use it.
Kerrygold. Not just from Ireland. Of Ireland.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I never thought I'd say....

-Please don't rub your eyes with your toes.

-You have to have a shirt on to play in {Daddy's} boots.

{Fog}

There's something thoroughly enchanting about walking in a morning fog. The cool dampness in the air. The way the low-hanging cloud muffle sound. The traffic from the highway, usually so oppressive, just quiet after the morning commute. The secluded feeling despite the suburban neighborhood.
The fog reminds me of Oregon and Washington. And what I think England must be like. It reminds me of nighttime drives home from church in my youth.
It reminds me to be quiet and still.

Soon enough, the sun will make short work of these clouds and burst dazzlingly through. It did this morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Krogering

In the six months we've lived here, I've been trying to figure out which is the positively best day to do our shopping at Kroger. At first, I avoided Wednesdays because of it being senior day, but then I decided that seniors like babies and I like double-coupons (when I have them), so it was fairly a win-win. Then, I had a little extra food one week and waited until Thursday to do the shopping. Now, when we we lived in Vicksburg, Thursday was my shopping day of choice because it coincided with payday, but I also did the groceries at Walmart - and since they hardly ever mark anything down, it didn't matter much when I shopped. Thursdays at Kroger are okay. A few things marked down, but not enough to get excited about, and Mondays are the same. Friday through Sunday I try to avoid Kroger because everyone and their brother and sister and cousin seem to be there...and I prefer a little space when I shop.
AND THEN I FOUND IT! Holy Grail of Krogering experiences: TUESDAY. {Cue angelic chorus}

Y'all, it was fabulous. Lots of marked down meats. $34 worth of organic olive oil for $13! Organic Eggs marked down. It was way better than being a kid in a candy store---I know this because I DID buy some Skittles and Starbursts last Friday, and they've caused nothing but turmoil and headaches, hello Red 40! It had been forever since I'd indulged in those candies, and I'm determined it will be an even longer forever before I do so again---anyway, I think I've finally found my ideal shopping day. Hooray! And here's hoping today's experience wasn't just a fluke!

In the midst of typing this post, I realize my extreme goofiness in making the timing of my grocery trip a science. To further prove this point, I could tell you that I don't go to Kroger before 10am because of the grumpiness of the workers and because they may not have had time to get all the clearance stickers in place. Neither do I go after 3:30 - if I can help it - because all the people coming home from school or work will both get in my way and pick over the marked down items, that I, very selfishly, want for myself. So there you have it. Goofy. But I like to think of it as being a diligent home economist. It's got a better ring to it, don't you think?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby Talk

18 weeks today! Funny how 18 sounds sooo much closer to 20 than 17 does....and 20 weeks marks halfway! :) Yay and thank you LORD! If you missed yesterday's post, we're expecting a little girl. Emery and I are happily settled on her name (which will remain a secret). Our girls will be born almost in the same season -there's not much difference between March and May when you live in the south, just the pollen count -- so we're all set on clothes, and I think the only thing we'll need now is diapers. :)

I'm thankful to say that Hattie is fever-free so far this morning. Last night, Emery mentioned that she has only been sick twice (apart from thrush and allergies) in her whole life, which have both been this month and coincides with our weaning. This has been a sobering and somewhat sad thought for me. Up to this point, I could nourish her with powerful antibodies and help her fight whatever germs may have beset her, but now we've taken a step towards independence. Now, she has to fight her germs all by herself. I know she's strong and healthy, but that doesn't keep me from wishing I could protect her from illnesses a while longer. I'm glad she had 17ish months of nursing, and while there were plenty of frustrating times, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Have any of you been watching Call the Midwives on PBS? I heard about the show about a month before it aired, and I was really looking forward to watching it, but I've been kind of disappointed. It's a very 'heavy' show to me, which could certainly stand a good bit more comic relief to balance with the multitude of tense moments. And even though the births they show are all home births, they are managed in such a way that it communicates a lot of fear...and I don't think fear has to be associated with birth. If you can trust in your Creator who made your body to give birth to children, and you can trust that He will give you the strength to endure until the glorious end, then you don't have to fear. {That's not to say that you need to take unnecessary risks or refuse any medical help if needed, but make informed choices and trust in the Lord.}
Birth can be peaceful. I've experienced it that way, and it's wonderful.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baby's Mobile....original ideas

Embroidery Hoop Baby Mobile. :)

I think it's an original idea, which is a tremendous surprise in these pintrest laden days. I love all the embroidery hoop wall hangings people are doing this days, and my mobile stemmed from that. It's not really my mobile, of course, it's baby Sayre's...and I hope she'll enjoy looking at it.

{Did you catch that? It's a she! Our detailed ultrasound is still a month off, and theoretically, things could change, but the nurse seemed pretty confident.}
We're planning on keeping her name a secret until she's born. It was a lot of fun announcing Hattie's name after she was born, and I think that's how I'd like it to be again. :)

Sweet Baby Hattie has a fever today. We was a little out of sorts this morning (i.e. not eating much), but she seemed okay otherwise. So we headed to church. By the time we arrived she did have a fever and was so lethargic, it was very pitiful. We stayed a little while, before she and I came on home and put her to bed. Poor dear. 



Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm going to remember....

I'm going to remember that Primo's has delightful Turkey and Dressing on their plate lunch. {Primo's is Southern food from a Greek family. Very tasty without having overly-sweet tea}

I'm going to remember that Hattie ate almost two whole pieces of pizza yesterday - one of which was the largest in the box.

I'm going to remember the walks I've taken with Hattie when we only manage to get about 100 yards in total because she stops every four steps to look at leaves and pinestraw and sweet-gumballs.

I'm going to remember that Life is Beautiful, and I hope to remember that every day.






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Morning, Wednesday

Hattie has been so thoroughly grumpy the last two mornings, I've put her back to bed less than an hour after she got up. You would think after sleeping 12 hours, she really wouldn't need any extra shut-eye, but maybe she wakes up hungry and with that satiated, is ready to go back to dream-land. Whatever the reason, I'm glad it usually works and makes for a more cheerful baby....though admittedly, it does my the rest of our day a little wonky. But we're pretty flexible, and more often than not we're at home, so it's no biggie.

More than a month ago (when I was needing to decorate for fall), I blogged about hoping for pumpkin-shaped pumpkin pancakes. I finally got around to them this morning. Mostly, it was because I couldn't think of anything else to make for breakfast and I eyes happened upon our can of pumpkin on the shelf. I improvised the recipe, and the batter really never got thin enough to really call pancake consistency, but if you call them pumpkin cakes (like, you know, crab cakes or salmon cakes)...then were they perfect --as far as shape was concerned. Maple syrup was definitely called for and a little mountain of whipped cream on each a must.
Truth be told, I've been seeing those IHOP commercials of late, and the only thing appealing about the pancakes is the whipped cream. It almost looks like cream cheese whipped cream. Very delectable. But it probably is just regular old whipped cream from a can, and that is easily purchased (digylcerides and all, Anna G) at Kroger.
My conscience has been stirred lately about avoiding mono & di-glycerides. It's harder than you would think. Nearly all of the 'healthy' whole wheat bread (the short, expensive loaves) are laden with this stuff, which is essentially a highly processed oil used as an emulsifier. {Read more about it here}
Anyway, in the case of the whipped cream, I've had to just close my eyes to the label and try not to think about it because I am really enjoying it otherwise.

My next OB appt is tomorrow. Maybe we'll get to find out if Baby Sayre is a little boy or a little girl! I'm really looking forward to finding out the gender. Emery and I really feel like it's probably a boy, and I'm kind of anxious to see if we're right. We would be thrilled with either, of course, but I will say that little boy clothes aren't nearly as much fun to shop for as dresses and bows (that's the only downside I can think of, and it's a Very little one.)


Friday, October 12, 2012

A week of Fridays

It's been a funny week. Monday felt like Friday and Tuesday felt like Friday, and I felt the rest of the week would follow suite. But then I got sick, and Wednesday was just an awkward Wednesday since I stayed home from church that night. Thursday was more like Saturday because I was feeling better  was kill-the-germs mode. Today though, today IS Friday (and it could just as easily pass for a Tuesday as far as I'm concerned).
It's also practically the middle of October, and it's supposed to be 88 degrees tomorrow. Um, hey fall, where are you? I kind of need you to show up so we can have a nice crisp day to go the pumpkin patch before the month is out. Can you do that for me?? Pretty please?
We'll probably have to wear shorts and flip-flops and get eaten alive by mosquitoes, all in the name of "fall memories". And you know what? That's something I'm willing to endure because I want fun family memories for my children, and I want to be diligent about forming our traditions now (and keeping them up in the years to come). If we stay in central Mississippi for years to come, the heat at the pumpkin patch will just have to become a part of our family tradition too. If we ever move north, then I'm sure I'll get enough crisp days to satisfy me.

You know, I think it's pretty amazing how our bodies adjust to the conditions around us. When it's 100+ degrees in the summer, a day that only gets up to 85 feels right pleasant. The converse is true in the winter. I lived in Maryland for just shy of a year, and early in the spring (well, it might have been February) I remember being outside with only fleece pullover for a jacket and thinking what a BEAUTIFUL day it was, and so warm...at 38 degrees!

Adjusting to parenthood is kind of like that too, but it takes a little longer to transition. Those first few months with a new baby, it seems that the ONLY things you can think about are your baby and your spouse....everyone else will just have to fend for themselves for a while. You do learn and adjust, and the baby learns and adjusts, and before you know it you've left the gigantic diaper bag behind and don't have any problem leaving the house with just a few diapers and wipes. {Or maybe that's just me. My diaper bag would get everything in the world stuffed in it, by the entire family, and it was back-breaking to carry it around all the time. So I quit.}
I'm thankful the LORD blesses us to adjust to change, even if it's a little uncomfortable. That reassures me that we will successfully transition to having two children in a few months.

I saw on another blog yesterday a first-time mom's to-do list before her baby arrives. It was very thorough and well thought out for certain. I remember having similar things floating around in my mind that just had to be done before Hattie was born. This time around, I feel about as laid back as I can imagine. We need to get a cradle/Moses basket/bassinet eventually, diapers, and if it's a boy a few clothes...but these are the only things on my list and it's honestly very refreshing. That's not to say I didn't LOVE registering for Hattie's things and shopping and getting ready for her, oh, I did. But if we can save a few shopping trips and a lot of money, I'm more than willing to just buy what we'll need and not have a bunch of extra stuff taking up the already precious space in our home.
Oh, I forgot, I do need a new diaper bag. My last one, was poisoned with mildew and I had to throw it out. **Learn from my mistakes: don't forget about used nursing pads ever. That was the ruination of my really nice bag. Actually the nursing pads mildew surprisingly quickly, and made our garbage stink really bad, even though the poopy diapers didn't (at least until Hattie was about 9 months old).**
Anyway, even with the diaper bag, that's only about four things to work towards and I'm glad to get to spend these next five months mostly soaking up Hattie's sweetness and enjoying our special time, just the two of us.

Well, I hope your Friday feels like a Friday, and I hope whatever change it taking place in your life is transitioning smoothly and with lots of grace.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

my first visit to the state fair, oh and Hattie's too

It's state fair season. In Georgia, the state fair was always held several hours away from where I grew up, and being as we weren't exactly farm people, we never went.
In Mississippi, however, the fair is held right in Jackson and that is thoroughly convenient for us. We went this afternoon when everything was free and delightful. Hattie LOVED loved LOVED the petting zoo. She was so excited to see those animals and she squealed with delight if her teeny fingers got to touch one. She was in no hurry to leave either.
Pigmy goat (halfway behind the food dispenser)

Sheep...who couldn't have cared less about us upon realizing we didn't have any of the coveted carrots. {Because $2 for a sandwich sized baggie of carrot slices is way too extravagant for me}
 And then there were pig races! This was hilarious. Po-dunk and hillbilly, but very enjoyable nonetheless. My favorite part was when those piggies came running out of their trailer and into their starting positions for the race. I couldn't help but laugh and laugh. Pig number 5 won, and I guess he's spared from becoming bacon for another day. There was also a farm animals exhibit, most of which we couldn't pet, but we did get to pet baby ducks and Hattie made friends with a little goat.
We didn't eat any funnel cake.
The hope of eating funnel cake and Hattie enjoying the animals were my motivating factors in going to the fair at all. But, I'm not sorry, and I'm sure if I had asked, Emery would have gotten me some. As it happened, the 'food court' of the fair just about put me into sensory overload with the combination of aromas from the BBQ, corndogs, donuts and other artery-clogging delicacies (and of course, there was the manure wafting around too).
Loretta Lynn is going to be performing tonight....she kind of seems like she's probably too old even for Branson, but I guess not. I always think of a brand of generic cookies we ate growing up when I hear her name. They might have been 'Laura Lynn Cookies', but in my mind it was Loretta Lynn.

Going to the fair reminds me how suburban I am. How I don't and probably never will own muck-boots, and how I'm okay with that.


Here's a cutie for the road....

First tights-wearing day of the Fall.

Monday, October 8, 2012

There's something immensely satisfying in getting everyone's clothes sorted out for the fall & winter.

Something about babies in fuzzy footed pajamas

something about the crisp fall air

something about finding items that had disappeared into oblivion....


...that makes me smile.

Friday, October 5, 2012

15.5 weeks

My first belly shot this go round. Hattie doesn't really know what to when when we're not taking pictures exclusively of her...thus the 'hold me!' pose. {I don't claim to have any sort of gift when it comes to photography, and without the flash, the picture turned out in yellow tones. B&W is easier on the eyes.}

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

stories and parties

In Memphis, we lived in a townhouse. Some afternoons, our neighbor's children would come home from school and turn up a beat...and sometimes I would leave the house to escape the noise. But come Saturday mornings, we may or may not have awakened those children with soulful renditions of Allison Krauss' "Oh Atlanta" . Not every Saturday, but more than once for certain. And with such a song, you can't help but stomp your foot a little, and we did have the creakiest floors known to man. Details, details.

Yesterday I came across a party idea (via pintrest, of course). A Favorite Things Party. I'm not planning on throwing any parties anytime soon, but I did think that such theme would be a lot of fun for a first-time-mom's baby shower. The guests could bring their favorite {most useful} baby item (though, unless there were other expectant women invited, I don't suppose they'd need to bring more than one) for the momma and share stories of their favorite parts of pregnancy, birth and new motherhood. I think a favorite things party would be fun just as it is - and I can totally see the Fulmer's throwing one in the near future (they always throw the best parties!) --and really anything remotely "Sound of Music" related has got to be enjoyable.


Monday, October 1, 2012

sick days, motherhood, and strength

**Caution: this post contains poop. Not for the faint of heart**


Hattie and I stayed home from church yesterday.  {Ask me how confused I am about what day of the week it is. I was so hoping early this morning that it was Sunday again, but alas, a Monday. A send-the-daddy-off-to-work day. Hattie wasn't happy about him leaving.} Baby girl was sick. Diarrhea sick. We woke to a change the sheets and put the baby straight in the tub mess and trudged on from there.
The odd thing was that she didn't seem like she felt like dirt. She seemed okay, except for her skin - which was painful, poor dear. Stomach virus or food allergy? I don't have a clue, but so far today she's better.
After getting her in bed last night, I confessed to Emery that the hardest struggle of the day hadn't been the many icky diapers, the diarrhea smell, or figuring out what to feed her. No. It had been trying to take care of myself and the wee bairn in the process.
Since we started Hattie on solid foods, she has always just eaten what we eat. All day, everyday. This has worked great up until yesterday. Everything we usually eat is on the do-not-give list for sick tummies. And I scarcely had the heart to sit down and eat something chock full of protein (mostly via dairy), and watch her longing eyes. So I didn't. Thankfully, Emery brought lunch home after church, that made life so much easier. It's kind of amazing the blessing of not having to prepare food when you've got a sick child (or a newborn!)
As far as I can recall, this is the first time I've kept Hattie home from church because she's been sick, and this is the first she's had any kind of tummy-bug. Thank you, LORD, for healthy immune systems!

Sometimes my mind runs all to pieces with hypothetical situations. The 'what ifs' and the 'how would I reacts' could keep my occupied for hours. I came across this birth story on pintrest last night, and I cried with the mama as she learned of her newborn daughter's down syndrome and the enormous change that their life would undergo. And I wondered, what if it were me? Would I grieve the loss of some of my hopes and dreams for the child's life or could I unquestioningly adore my newborn child and dream of his/her unique potential? I'm not sure.
I got rather sucked in to Enjoying the Small Things, from which the birth story sprang, and to see the pictures of their beautiful little daughter....all I could think was "She's beautiful". You can see her down's syndrome, but you can see an inquisitive mind too and a little girl who is enjoying learning about life everyday.
Those sweet pictures give me hope that if ever faced with such a situation, I could embrace the adventure before me and do the life dance just a little bit differently.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Transitions...

Y'all my baby is growing up. {Sniff}

She started taking just one nap a day last week. Being out and about for several different things has made it easier for her to forgo the morning nap and we just put her to bed as soon as we get home from the morning errands. AND the best part is that the one nap is a good one most days at 2.5-3hrs. (this baby used to get, you know, twenty minutes at a time...but that was ages ago.)

More exciting than the nap and perhaps directly related to it, we made it through TWO church services yesterday without having to take her out!!!!!!! Hallelujah. We haven't made it through a whole service in what seems like forever.


My wee bairn has reached the second trimester mark. : ) I'd been sure it was a boy up until recently, I've been leaning towards girl the last few days. Only one more month until we find out. Confession: I have been very slack this pregnancy about eating right. I started out unable to eat any of my reliable protein sources (mostly cheese), and then meat became unappealing, and I was cutting corners and not getting enough food for two, much less three {Hattie still nurses, a little}. But I got a stern reprimand from Sister Debbie, and I'm resolved to get back into my old, high-protein habits. I go forth with food journal in hand very much determined to get this wee one the right nutrients to make a good start in the world.
You can learn more about the diet I sort of follow here. It's the Brewer Diet (aka The Blue Ribbon Baby Diet). Pre/Eclampsia is preventable. Most doctors won't tell their patients anything about how to eat for their baby, except concerning 'healthy weight gain'....this infuriates me.

Anyway, back to transitions. Fall started on Saturday, as you probably well know. I'm so looking forward to that crisp fall air and the crunch of leaves beneath our feet. I'm hoping we'll find a pumpkin patch and get to take Hattie, and maybe even a corn maze (though, honestly, that just seems stressful....maybe a hayride instead). I'm excited about pumpkin-everything. Pumpkin baked-oatmeal is on my mind at the moment, but I haven't quite decided how I need to alter the recipe to include the pumpkin. More oats?

Oh oh oh, one more. I'm making yogurt today! Raw milk yogurt and I'm uber excited about it. : )

Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Southern Glory

Cornbread.

It varies by region. Up north, they like it sweet and might as well call it corn-cake. Out west, there's usually pieces of corn and/or jalapenos adorning it. But here in the South, man oh man, it's a perfect as they come.

Cornbread used to be no-big-thing in my life. Then I married a man who can't eat wheat. Aside from the obvious no-no's in our diet, it also ruled out the majority of cornbread recipes - which are largely laden with wheat. I rummaged around the internet and found a 'plain jane cornbread' recipe. But it was just that. Decent, not too dry or crumbly, but nothing to write home about, AND it tended to grow mold very quickly (I think that's an untold property of GF foods - they either dry out altogether or grow things).

And then one marvelous day, my 'other mother' gave me her cornbread recipe. My life was changed. Forever.
This recipe ought to be written in gold. And it's so easy, even if you just throw things in the bowl and never measure a bit and think it's going to be a disastrous chemistry experiment (blame it on unknown quantities of baking soda and baking powder)....it might surprise you and still be lovely.

2 cups cornmeal (not 'cornbread mix')
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of oil

Mix all. Pour into a greased 13x9. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes.

I think you should use REAL buttermilk. Don't try to substitute with a little vinegar + milk, it's just not the same. You should use butter too for your oil. In fact that's the only thing I would change, instead doing the 1/3 cup (of melted butter), go ahead and melt the whole stick and bake it right in there. Trust me. But, you might want to only go that route if you intend to eat the whole pan while it's still hot and fresh (and you should). If you plan to have leftovers, use the regular amount of oil/butter. Emery and I found that we very much wanted to eat the entire pan full, but were too stuffed to do so.
This recipe also halves beautifully, and if you're going to halve it, go for the gold and use the extra butter, because then you CAN eat it all in one evening.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Decorating

Since we've been married, this is the first place we've lived with a fireplace and mantle. I think that mantle is the primary culprit of why I've been so desirous to decorate for fall.

I went to Michael's today and wasn't too shocked that their fall decor was already marked down (have to make way for Christmas, you know), but I was pleased to find a few things I liked and only spend $15 in the process. Hattie and I got home and started putting it all together, a few pumpkins and silk flowers later, I realize I should have gotten more. But I sacrificed the candles from the table and the mantle was happily balanced. Simple and Festive. Which is to say, just right.

This is a joy and a relief.

Maybe in the next few weeks I'll be able to find some lovely little gourds for my table, and maybe even some larger ones for the by the front door.  I'm embracing "Elegant Economy". {Did you ever read Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell? All the inhabitants of that town are just as poor as everyone else, but they pinch their pennies and never discuss their poverty, and so live just as dignified lives as they please...and spend the rest of their time gossiping.}
Anyway, let the place be as pretty as it may; Let the decor not look too cheap; Let me not spend a great fortune doing it. These things will suffice.

Hattie was getting a little antsy while we waited to check out with our goods and I let her hold a pumpkin shaped cookie-cutter. She promptly slid it on her wrist and was much impressed with her new 'bracelet'. : ) I, on the other hand, am looking forward to making pumpkin shaped pancakes in the near future. Maybe even pumpkin-spice, pumpkin shaped pancakes!



Thank you, LORD, for the change in seasons. Thank you for the beauty of each, and the special treasures each hold in store. Help us to enjoy today, for that's all we've been promised, and to glorify you with our whole lives.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

{another post on} Little things

Little things. Gratifying things. They make the world a happier place.

My happiest moment of today (so far) was finding a dress at a consignment store. New-with-tags and sold for nearly $80 originally, and I payed a whopping $6!
You see, Emery's been wanting me to have a new dress, and preferably one that is more dressy than some of my other pieces, and this one fits the bill perfectly. : ) Granted, it won't fit very long, but I really only need it to fit for that somewhat awkward time between having a baby pooch and a full-out baby belly. I'm elated.

The teller at the bank gave us a lollipop when we finished the transaction, and I'm going to eat it now that Hattie's napping. haha :)

I've been just aching to decorate for fall, and I'm so excited to have a little leftover money from my dress purchase to do just that. We did get some fabric leaves yesterday at DG, and I say, for only a dollar, they have helped things look much more fall-ish in the house.

Do any of you do Fall Cleaning? I never have been much for spring cleaning (unless I'm nesting, and it just happens to be spring at the same time), but this year the sudden drop in humidity - and very brief drop in temperature - had brought out the inclinations to vacuum out the couches and give everything a good 'once over'. The thought of tackling some of these projects, makes me smile too.

I know there's a lot of wretched stuff going on in the world, but I'd much rather focus on living a quiet and peaceable life...especially when things are so chaotic outside of our little home.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Date night, 2016, and off to the mattresses

Last night, a much anticipated event took place. Date night, sans Hattie. It's taken us 16 months to get to this place (and this is only the second time we've left her, ever.). And it was great. Some good friends of ours from church offered to keep her, and she had so much fun that she didn't even need to shed one tear during the four and a half hours we were gone. I wasn't worried about her the whole time, and evidently she wasn't worried about us.....and if we have to wait 16 months after the next baby before we leave him/her with friends, then I'm willing to wait and have few less traumatic experiences in our lives.
Emery and I had a lot we were trying to accomplish in those few hours. Besides spending time with each other, we managed to have dinner and ice cream, see the movie "2016", and buy mattresses and get them installed at home before picking Hattie up. I really enjoyed our evening. Just being together and working together is always fun. It wasn't particularly romantic, but I don't think we've sat through a whole movie without having to pause it at least once (or 15 times) in ages. :)
Now, 2016 was fascinating. I feel like Dinesh D'souza really got at the root of what is driving Obama and is explains so much of the seemingly crazy things he's doing in office. Anti-colonialism. Admittedly, I didn't really understand the implications of anti-colonialism before I saw the movie, and really, it kind of seems like a moot point to me even now because no one is actively colonizing anyone else around the world (that I know of). It seems like an issue from a by-gone era --his father's era actually, who's ideologies Obama clings to even though they've been tested around the world and proved to fail --  nevertheless, Mr. Obama sides with those 'underdogs' who have been previously colonized and who are rising up against the powers above them. Which is why he's pro-Palestine, and anti-Israel, regardless of past alliances.  What's more, he desires to level the playing field between nations both economically and concerning defense. He's lowering our nuclear defense capabilities with the intention of getting the number down to zero......but none of the other nations with nuclear warheads are lowering their number of missiles. And economically, what may be the fastest way to cripple the nation is to continue to drive up the debt to astronomical levels and essentially cause the break-down of life as we know it. It just can't go on this way. Mr Obama seems to desire the United States to be driven to the poverty and chaos, to remove any notion of being a super-power, to make the people more dependent of government hand-outs, to break down the American system we were founded upon.
And if Obama is re-elected, he'll pull out all the stops to achieve such ends. We deserve it. That's the sad truth. We've turned away from serving the true and living God, and how could we expect anything other than judgment?
 Let's be VERY prayerful that God will continue to preserve our nation for the 10 or 100 righteous' sake.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."            2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting my groove back.

I can feel it. The second trimester is getting so close, and I'm beginning to function almost normally. Hooray!

I'm 11.5 weeks along. I tried to take a 'bump' picture and stay on the ball like Lydia (and especially since we're due ONE day apart)...but in one picture I have no head and my belly looks flat and in another taken right after, I do have a head and a Huge belly. haha. I think I'll take the middle ground and assume that both are misleading.

Yesterday, I planned a whole meal. So what, you say? I haven't planned a whole meal since July. Literally. In August, we somehow subsisted on single dish 'meals' (if I managed to cook anything), like grits, instant mashed potatoes, and mac'n'cheese. It was a meager existence.
But yesterday was a delight. Pot roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes, green beans, and homemade pecan pie/ice cream for dessert. : ) It was delicious and made all the more sweeter because I was trying to cook something up that Emery would REALLY enjoy. Today is our anniversary, you see, and it being Wednesday, these evenings are sometimes more rushed as we try to make it to church on time. So I made our big anniversary dinner last night...and we can work on the left overs for a few days too. I was planning to buy some sparking cider or something to make the meal altogether special-er, and I happened upon Virgil's Cream Soda. We both enjoy cream soda now and then, and a natural soda on clearance was all the better, and as it turned out, this was DELICIOUS. Like, could have been a dessert all by itself good. : ) I highly recommend it, if you like cream soda.

I'm so thankful to be able to think, plan, and cook again! Last week, I started back to baking, and that has been nice too, but it's no substitute for real meals.
I'm also not as exhausted by 8pm as I was and have been able to stay a little more on top of the house work.

Want to know something that makes me smile? I made a spinach quiche for lunch today, and I couldn't help but enjoy that my little 16 month old ate it right along with me and was ready to ask for seconds when our bowl was empty. It really is the little things in life.

Have you shopped for anniversary cards lately? I confess, I don't think I've ever bought one for Emery before, but this year I did, and some of the cards were really quite shocking. Of course, there were singing cards and silly picture cards and very bland cards and very crude cards. But there were also some that were perfectly sentimental. "It doesn't matter the size of our ship, as long as I'm sailing with you" Awww. (That's the one I bought, actually, it was enhanced by the fact it had a picture from the 30's of a homely couple sitting in a teeny rowboat and clearly very happy to be thus situated.)

We're going to see "2016" for our real anniversary date tomorrow. You should go see it too, Neal Boortz said so.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Da-bomb dot com protein shake

I had a light-bulb of genius moment this afternoon. Sheer genius. Peanut butter, banana, chocolate protein shake (WITHOUT any protein powder, because that's kind of yuck, in my opinion).

It was supreme.

And so much protein. 52 grams by my count. Holla! That's half a days worth in one {large} glass!

Without further ado,

Peanut Butter, Banana, Chocolate Protein Shake
2 eggs*-- 12 grams of protein
2 cups of {whole} milk --16g
3 heaping tbsp Nesquik powder --virtually 0g
4tbsp peanut butter --14g
1 banana - 1g
1 cup of vanilla yogurt --10g

-Throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth and slightly frothy.


*Yes, these are raw eggs. I certainly understand if some people can't stomach the thought of eating raw eggs, and you can leave them out altogether and you'll still have 40g of protein.  We pregnant ladies have to get our two eggs a day in, and this is the easiest way for me (and you don't have to smell them cooking, which is my problem with eggs generally).

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hattie and her play stove...

Every now and again, I get a crafty spree. It's like a I have an unknown craft quota that has to be met only once in a while.
Earlier today, I was dreaming about making a play stove for Hattie from a diaper box. And what do you know, I just got busy. Three hours and a trip to the store for Elmer's glue later, we were finished! Construction paper had been flying. Glue had been oozing. Scissors cutting.
















Five minutes after Hattie was allowed to play with her stove, it was pretty much demolished. I can't blame her. I know she loves to rip paper, and anything she can get her fingers under she's more than willing to peel off......but oh, it was disheartening to see all that work gone. Such as it is, Hattie's still playing with the remnants, so I count that a victory.



unfocused Friday.

  • I stocked up on non-perishables for Hurricane Isaac. Bottle water, canned fruit, and Vienna Sausages. {I've never seen Kroger sold out of Vienna Sausages, but I bought almost the very last cans}. As it happened, we didn't get anything more than a little rain and wind and we never lost power, so Hattie and I were snacking on the sausages this morning. Oh the sodium. It kind of hits you like a ton of bricks. Maybe that was the reason I never could eat very many as a child. Whatever the reason, Vienna Sausages and I are not friends, especially not when paired with Gatorade. Whew, we were not feeling great after that snack, and it took a few hours to recover.
  • Hattie is feeding me her raisins as I type. It kind of slows things down, but she's a sweet-hearted little daughter.
  • Emery bought me some Ghirardelli chocolate. Oh boy, that 60% cocao dark, delish. It reminds me of that movie, Matilda, where the wicked school-master woman proclaims "Much too rich for children" every time she eats some of her prized truffles (or whatever they were). Although, I don't hold with her philosophy, and I do share little bits with Hattie. Seems to me, if you want children to appreciate and enjoy good food (by adults' standards), you might as well introduce to to them early and often. "Kid's foods" are so bland and unvaried, I wonder if we won't have a generation who never grows out of such tastes. 
  • This morning, I put on a maternity dress. I didn't need to, but I felt it would be more comfortable, and it is. The problem? As soon as I donned my dress, all of the sudden, I look four-five months pregnant, rather than the just shy of three months that I really am. I don't mind 'showing', but this dress thoroughly accentuates the curves that are both present and imagined. 
  • Does anyone have a good tutorial for making a little play-stove out of a box? I think our diaper boxes might be about the right size for Hattie's height, but at the same time, I kind of hate to mess-up a perfectly good and perfectly sturdy box, especially one that's not too big. We Sayre's seem to have a propensity to move fairly often, and a good box is a treasured commodity. (Is that terribly pitiful?)
    Hey I found a good template here, except that these people want to sell it to me for $44. That's not happening. It doesn't look too hard though, does it?
  • Isn't it nice that it's Friday? I think it's lovely. And a three-day weekend! Woohoo! That's hard to beat with a stick. 
  • {Warning, this one is disturbing}. 50 Shades of Gray. I haven't read it and have zero intention of reading it. It's become the latest craze, but in truth it's porn, at best. What's worse, it's child-porn. Sickening. I read an article this morning from an experienced social worker who had read it and came to such conclusions. And the pedophile is right there 'hiding in plain sight'.  Is this what we're normalizing in our society? Such atrocities are topping the sales charts? 
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them"
Romans 1:28-32
I shouldn't be surprised. God's word said it would be this way. But it still shocks me.

  • I'm thankful for the scripture. Thankful that even among all these social ills, it still stands firm, and always will. 

Oh yeah, I finally joined Pintrest. And I'm excited about it because I've been browsing occasionally for a while, and I found it so frustrating because maybe 1 in 50 pins would be useful or interesting on the main page, and then there was so much language and dumb quotations and etc. But now that I have an account I feel like it might be useful! Huzzah! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lessons from the Experimental Kitchen

The old adage that you learn something new everyday has proven correct once again.

Today I learned that Hattie is tall enough to press the panic button on our van when the keys are in the door. I learned that my neighbor's mailbox can be hit twice in four days. And I learned that you can successfully substitute zucchini for banana in a banana bread recipe.

I had been searching and searching the internet for a very simple zucchini bread recipe this afternoon, to no avail. They were all so complicated and called for entirely too many flours, none of which I had on hand (almond meal, garbanzo bean, sorghum, millet, etc. etc. etc.) In fact, I only had rice flour and tapioca starch, and they were just going to have to do. I finally went back to my trusty cook-book to thumb through the quick bread recipes one last time. Enter Banana bread recipe (rice flour based).  Zucchini and banana are both pretty moist, maybe I could just add one in place of the other and add the appropriate spices and bada-bing-bada-boom, zucchini bread. So I did. I added a touch more sugar since bananas are sweeter than their vegetable counterpart. And know what?
It turned out Great. Like, "I can't even tell this is gluten free" good.

Hattie and I may have eaten half the loaf before Emery even got home from work.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Whistlin' Dixie

As a youth, I was concerned that I wouldn't learn to whistle (or blow a bubble with chewing gum).

Petty fears? Yes, indeed. I have an array of such in my arsenal.


Hattie, though, she's a prodigy. At the ripe age of 15.5 months, she has learned to whistle. I'm not sure if I could be prouder.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Of Apples

I bought some apples for the first time in a Long time the other day. Hattie likes them but can't quite chew them well enough and ends up spitting teeny pieces of apple out all over, and it's not really worth it for me to give them to her anyway.

But today while she's asleep and the house is quite (and I'm hungry as usual), I grab the last apple and take that first entirely too cold bite.
There's this thing about good apples, they never last quite long enough. You bite and you bite and you bite, and before you know it you're on the very edge of the core. I would have been very content to keep eating my apple for another 5 minutes at least, there just wasn't five minutes of apple left.
And so, there's a sadness that comes with eating delicious fruit. They always come to an end.

We had some peaches this week too, and they were the exact same way. So delicious smelling and tasting, like all the good things about summer wrapped up inside one pinkish peel...and then you've eaten it all up. Oh the dismay.

Kroger is just a few miles away though, and they're always sure to have a healthy stock of produce. We already went once this week, and it's against my conscious to go again, but we will. And the anticipation of that yummy fruit is enough to take away the tinge of sadness over my entirely eaten up apple.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Nosey nose

Did someone just pour men's cologne into my air conditioner? Because really, all of the sudden there's a strange odor wafting around, and the only wearer of cologne in my family isn't even home. What's up with that. Don't worry, it's not like you just walked into Hollister or one of those other spray-cologne-on-you-and-make-you-shop-in-the-dark stores. It's just faint.




I'll attribute it to pregnancy nose.
Got me in trouble yesterday too.




We were in Memphis staying the home of dear friends, when my nose was assaulted with SKUNK. It must have been right outside the window it was so strong. But we were in town, and how many skunks would venture to live within the city limits? I thought there couldn't be many, but there was a dog next door and he was the most probable victim, so I felt sorry for the poor family who would Really have to deal with the skunkiness.
Y'all, there was no skunk.
Not even one.

Just Tony making an extra strong pot of Starbucks coffee specially for his guests.

I was kind of mortified to have even thought it was skunk. But Miracle got a good laugh out of it, and said, "Oh girl, you can't tell you're pregnant!"




I learned to play Rook this weekend. I think the most amusing part is hearing the players' histories with the game. Tony's family count cards. Emery has played with the sweetest little old ladies who cheat blatantly. And I always think of Donna, who always wanted us to learn to play so she could re-live memories of playing with her Grannies.
The other highlight of the game was Miracle and I beating Tony and Emery. They didn't see it coming. haha.