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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).