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.


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


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 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.