Friday, May 29, 2009

Another New Addition

It may not be as cute as Little Peachy, but it is a very good vacuum cleaner!
We started tossing around the idea of purchasing a new vacuum when we knew Peachy was on the way. Our current floor cleaner was a bottom of the line Wal-Mart purchase that M had bought back in his bachelor days. We just weren't sure if it was really doing the job anymore. It also was bagless and we have come to think that bags are just better. Oh, and there was that lovely burning rubber smell that was growing ever stronger every time that we used it.
Little did I know when I started looking that M had his eye on a vacuum. Not just any vacuum either. This vacuum has received the Consumer Reports best rating for several years running. In M's mind this is high praise for a product. He also liked the fact that it has a drive train rather than belts.
We went to Sears to check out the Kenmore Progressive Upright Vacuum with Intelli-Clean in Slate Blue (yes, that is its full name) at Sears the same week that Little Peachy was born. I was game until I saw the price tag. I just couldn't see spending that kind of money on a vacuum. I told M that I would have to think about it.
As I was thinking about it, I received a generous gift card for the very mall that Sears is in. Also, when I went to look online at the vacuum, it was on sale for the week. This sealed the deal. We headed out Memorial Day weekend to pick up our new dust sucker. And to our surprise, it was on sale for even less than what the internet had listed. M said this was the first time that he wanted something and it was actually cheaper than what he thought.
I finally was able to use it this morning and it is a super-cleaner. (It even has lights to alert you to the fact that the area you are cleaning is getting cleaner and cleaner until the light turns green and then it is all clean.) While it is a bit heavy and bulky, I think that I will enjoy this new addition thoroughly.

Foodie Friday: Chicken Noodle Casserole

I am sorry that I don't have pictures of the next few Foodie Fridays. They were all made before Little Peachy's arrival and there were other things on my mind right then. (Like there are any less now.) :o)

I made a large batch of this. We ate one portion the day that I made it and the other is still in our freezer waiting for us. (It is so nice having meals ready to go in the freezer. It saves me having to go to the grocery store with the little one and it is so much easier than trying to figure out how to get cooking fit into her feeding schedule. I know that when the time comes, it will all fall into place, but for now it is a great blessing.)

Chicken Noodle Casserole
serves 8-12 (4-6 divided) makes two 9x13 pans

-6 c. cooked and diced chicken breast
-42 oz cream of anything soup
-2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
-16 oz narrow noodles; dry
-16 oz chicken broth
-3 c. frozen mixed vegetables

Cook noodles according to package directions. Mix soup, broth, vegetables, and chicken in large bowl. Gently toss in cooked noodles. If cooking right away, place in casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

To freeze: mix as directed above. Place in Ziplock bag, but omit the cheese.
To serve: thaw completely. Add to casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Night Owl

=daytime sleepy-head
Little Peachy had a rough night last night. It was the most upset we have seen her in her two weeks. You just wish you could know what was wrong and how to fix it. Her solution would be to nurse non-stop, but I am not sure that eating solves all of her problems. (A little lesson that I have learned in life.)

What does a little girl who stayed up half the night crying do to recover the following day? SLEEP!!

And believe me, this cute little face redeems itself from any nighttime antics it was involved in. Must be a mother's love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Foodie Friday: Chicken BLT Flatbread Sandwiches

After seeing the flatbread sandwiches over at Creating Post-It Notes I thought, "I can do that." So, the next time I made pizza, I made a double recipe of dough and saved half of it for flotbreads. Then Little Peachy happened and there sat the dough in the fridge. I finally got them made this week and will pass the recipe along to you.Start with my basic bread dough recipe. I made rolled this into four flatbreads, but they ended up rather thick. I think that next time I will make them into at least 6 flatbreads. I cooked each flatbread on my panini press for about 10-15 minutes. (Until they looked done.)

Chicken Mix

-1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-5 slices of bacon, chopped
-ranch dressing
-shredded lettuce

Mix first four ingredients together. (I think that next time I will also add some onion and salt for extra flavor.) Cut flatbreads in half and use a knife to make a pocket in the bread. Stuff with lettuce and chicken mix.

Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished product. I forgot again. But here are the two main parts. It continues to amaze me how scatter-brained I am these days. Must be that I have more important things on my mind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Champion

Aw, so cute.

Oh, so innocent.

What a doll!

That is until she decides it is time to participate in projectile pooping. Who knew she could have such force behind her poop? I really think that we may have a champion on our hands. What proud parents we will be.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Little Peachy's Birth Story

Sorry about the length of this post. I know not all of you will be interested in Little Peachy's birth story, but here it is for those that are. (This will also help me to preserve the day.) I'll try to spare you any graphic details. ;o)
At my OB appointment on Wednesday, May 6, there was still nothing happening. We discussed induction options and decided we would wait until two weeks past the due date. I had to mentally set myself up for another 2 1/2 weeks of pregnancy.
Until this point I hadn't felt anything that I thought was a contraction. Not even Braxton Hicks, or false labor. However, Thursday evening I happily reported to M that I had started to feel contractions. Nothing too serious at this point, but anything was welcome. (Hmmm, I should have kept that thought in mind.)
I woke up on Friday morning and was still having consistent contractions, but nothing regular and nothing strong enough to slow me down. That afternoon they started to get stronger and more regular. I was starting to have to breath through them and found focusing on anything else difficult.
They continued throughout the evening, getting stronger and closer together and we decided it would be a good idea to start timing them. (We found this awesome website that keeps track of how long and how far apart the contractions are with the tap of a button. Very convenient.) We called into the birthing center and they suggested that we try a few things before coming in. Around midnight, we packed up the car and headed to the hospital.
The triage nurse assessed me and I was dilated a whomping 1 cm. Progress from Wednesday, but not enough. They had me walk the halls for a while, but nothing progressed and we were sent home at 2 a.m.
The contractions continued throughout the night and throughout the day on Saturday. I made another desperate call to the birthing center. The sleepless nights and lack of appetite were really starting to wear me down. They suggested taking a Tylenol PM to get some sleep. M made the late night drug run and at least I was able catch a quick nap between the contractions.
While the contractions were not as close as they were on Friday, I told M that we were going in again and were going to make them do something. (As if I could get them to, but that is just how I felt. I even said that we could handcuff me to the bed until they helped me get the baby out.) As it turned out, we didn't need drastic measures. When we arrived, I was at a 4+ and my cervix was completely thinned out. They were letting me stay!
At this point I was really leery of being able to pull off a natural birth. I just wanted the contractions to stop. So, the epidural man paid a visit and I was one happy customer. It actually made the rest of labor a delivery a happy and fun experience. (Now, I had a really good epidural. I couldn't even feel one of my legs. I was in a happy place.)
My delivery nurse was awesome. She had given birth to her first daughter 19 years ago on Mother's Day and even stayed past her shift to see Little Peachy being born.
When I was fully dilated, it took less than an hour of pushing for our little bundle to come out. The nurses and doctor were excited that we didn't know the sex and were all making guesses as to what they thought it might be. The doctor said a boy because he could see a big head. But the nursery nurse had it right when she guessed girl.
M was awesome supporting me and participating throughout the entire process. (He watched the entire time they were giving me the epidural.) He too had to endure the sleepless nights and the long wait. He also made sure that I ate something to keep my energy up.
When they first placed Peachy on my chest, it was the best feeling ever. It felt so weird that this little person had just come from me to be with me. I can still sit and look at her for hours.
And those two and a half days of labor? Totally worth it! This will be the best Mother's Day ever! Priase the Lord for his continuing goodness.
Some interesting facts: Peachy was born on M's grandpa's birthday. M's brother's first born was born on M's other grandpa's birthday. I was born on my father's birthday. All of the great-grandchildren on my mom's side have been born on a holiday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Mother's Day To Me

Sorry for the long leave of absence. I have a really, really good excuse. (I bet you can guess what it is, too.)

On Sunday, May 1o (Mother's Day) our new little bundle of joy arrived at 3:43 p.m. Little Peachy was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. She was brought into the Lord's family through the washing of Holy Baptism on Monday. She is truly the joy of our lives. I already can't imagine my life without her. Being a parent is such a wonderful blessing from the Lord. The little joys of everyday far outweigh the sleepless nights and infrequent crying sessions.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To both of our moms:

Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and kind words

Thanks for all of your care and concern

Thank you for raising me and your son in the light of God's love

Thank you for all of the sacrifices you made

Thanks for the countless prayers you have uttered

Thank you for being a wonderful mother in every sense of the word

We love you and wish that we could give you a hug in person, but this will have to do.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nesting Part II

We finally bit the bullet and purchased new dressers for our bedroom. This led to the grand dresser switcheroo. Lets see if you can follow.

1) Purchase two new dressers.

2) Once dressers arrive, move old dresser from master closet to be the changing table in the nursery.

3) Install pack and play in place of old dresser in closet.

4) Send other old dresser back with my parents as that is where it originated.

5) Move crates to lower level to be used for various purposes.
6) Put glider rocker where crates were.

7) Sit back and enjoy all of the changes.

Here are the new dressers in all of their new dresser glory.
Here are the curtains. I made these a l-o-n-g time ago but we had some issues to work out before I could call them complete. We have worked through those issues and are now back on speaking terms.

Unfortunately the new dressers put the old night stands to shame. Oh well, I guess you can't win them all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Foodie Friday: Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I made this coffee cake last weekend when my parents were visiting. I got the recipe from "The Taste of Home Cookbook." The only bad part is that it is all gone now. Oh well, on to the next recipe!!

-2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
-3/4 c. sugar
-3/4 c. cold butter
-1/2 t. baking powder
-1/2 t. baking soda
-1/2 t. salt
-3/4 c. sour cream
-1 egg, beaten
-1 1/2 t. almond extract

-1 pkg. cream cheese softened
-1/2 c. sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 c. raspberry jam
-1/2 c. slivered almonds

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Remove 1 c. and set aside. To remaining crumbs, add baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sour cream, egg and almond extract. Mix well.
2) Spread in the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
3) For the filling, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until blended. Pour over batter; spoon raspberry jam on top. Sprinkle with almonds and reserved crumbs.
4) Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen; remove sides from pan.

**Every time I typed raspberry I thought rasp-berry in my head. Is this odd?**

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nesting Part I

I wasn't sure if I bought into the whole "nesting" concept before I was in the final months of my pregnancy. However, looking at what we have all accomplished on the house recently, I would say there is some truth to thought. Some of these changes were needed to accommodate the baby, but it is sure nice to have the house shaping up because of it.

I had some additional plans for the downstairs living room once the craft area was completed. It is still a work in progress, but it is starting to shape up. We moved the two twin beds from the downstairs bedrooms into the corner to make a daybed area. (The futon was moved into the office as a double bed for guests.) I made fitted covers and dust ruffles for the beds and will be covering some pillows to make the beds more "daybed-ish." (The two pillows that are already on the beds are from Hobby Lobby. They were in the 90 percent off section and I couldn't resist.)

We painted above the knee wall the same green as the craft area. The plan is to decorate this area with all of my shabby chic items. I have always liked this style and have accumulated quite a stash of decorating objects. We hadn't really found a spot for any of it in the new house, so, I figured that this would be the perfect room for it. (That way it isn't too girly all over the house.) So far I have just gotten everything out that could work down there. I will have to decide what I want out and what should be put away. All of it would be a bit much. (You can see some of it on the ledge.) I will have to post more pictures as it comes together.
I also am still working on wading through all of the stuff that we own and don't really need that is being stored downstairs. I took a large load to the thrift store yesterday. It feels so good to cleanse our life of unnecessary stuff. I could go on with this subject, but perhaps I will save that for another post.

Up next, the master bedroom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Room for New Little One

Since it takes a baby over nine months to grow and mature before it is ready to live outside of the womb, why should it take any less time to prepare their room? And, if their room is all ready to welcome them, shouldn't they come out to see it? Some deep thoughts for you on this Tuesday morning.

My parents were here this past weekend and brought with them the finishing touch for the nursery, a beautiful, hand crafted crib. (When we first told them that we were expecting, my dad asked if he could make the crib for us. Who could say no to something like that? And with kit in hand, he created an heirloom sure to last generations in our family.)
Something so special and lovingly made deserves another shot, don't you think?

And with the crib in place, the remainder of our nursery fell into place as well. Here is the closet all stocked and ready for baby. (Look at all of that yellow and green!! You would think that I root for THAT team, but I don't.)

And the curtains that I thought were crossed off of the to-do list so long ago, but took several tries to get just right. Ah, it is good to have them done. (Oh wait, I still have to finish the tie backs. Well, someday . . .)

And the corner with the crate/shelves and dresser/changing table.

Now all we need is the baby, right?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A New Title in Life

Stay-at-home-mom. This will be my new position in life for the foreseeable future. Obviously, it hasn't completely sunk in yet, but I am looking forward to opening this new chapter in life.

I handed the reigns completely over to the new preschool teacher this week. I said good bye to "my kids" at the end of last week. There was only one in tears (and it wasn't me) so that was a good thing. Over the past week the preschoolers have already bonded with their new teacher and it makes me feel good knowing that they are in capable hands. I was even able to prolong the good byes by saying that I would try to make it back for graduation. (I don't do final good byes very well. This is my way of coping.)

This is one of the gifts that I received on my last day. It makes me smile every time that I see it.

And now the waiting can truly begin.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Foodie Friday: Buffalo Chicken Soup

If you haven't guessed by now, I really like making buffalo chicken recipes. (See here and here.) When I got this recipe emailed to me through the Better Homes and Gardens daily recipe, I knew I would have to try it. And we were sure glad that we did!

-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
-2 T butter
-1/2 c. finely chopped celery
-1/2 c. chopped onions
-28 oz. chicken broth
-1 1/2 c. milk
-1 t. hot pepper sauce
-1 1/2 c. mozzarella
-1 1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
-1/2 c. Parmesan
-1/3 c. flour

Melt butter in large pan. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Stir in broth, milk, and 1 t. hot pepper sauce. Slowly whisk in flour until blended. Slowly add cheeses and mix well. Add chopped chicken and heat through.