Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yummo & Then Some!

I made this beautiful braised chicken last week using a recipe by Anne Burrell of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. She has quickly become my absolute favorite chef to watch on Food Network...her recipes have such depth and yumminess!!

Brad and I realized awhile back that while he is content to get in the kitchen and just throw stuff together...I am much happier when I have a recipe & a plan to follow! Her recipes do not disappoint! I was very pleased with the outcome and Brad said he thinks it's the best thing I've ever cooked...I was quite happy with that observation ;) So if you need some dinnertime inspiration...give this one a won't disappoint - I promise!

disclaimer - ALL mushrooms were omitted from the recipe as mushrooms are one thing I just cannot handle - but it was extremely lovely, nonetheless!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Beautiful

I'm so excited - I just finalized my order on Amazon and soon the next two beautiful books will be in my hands! Home Decor has become more and more interesting to me in the past few weeks and thanks to the Nesting Place I decided this was a resource I just couldn't live with out. Barnes&Noble & Amazon had it for about $1.50 difference, so I decided to just head over to the B&N in town and pick it after the doctor & the credit union yesterday morning, I ventured into B&N with both far my most adventuresome outing with the two...except I'm then super disappointed to find out that in the store they want $39.99 not $26 for the book - are you kidding me? I was more than happy to let them keep it and come home and order it myself...craziness! My whole point in going to the real store was so that I could use my $100 giftcard that I won in a Tackle it Tuesday challenge awhile back (still doing happy dance), but then Brad reminded me Amazon would probably take it too, and sure enough, they did!

While I was looking around at Amazon, I decided to go on and pickup the cookbook that my friend Meg is constantly raving about...only to find out that a new edition is being released in May and that they have it on mega-pre-release sale - love it! So I decided to treat myself to it too, as it seems to be a great cooking resource (and heaven knows I could always use those!) So technically I won't get my hands on it until probably May, but what a nice treat & surprise it will be when it magically shows up!

And while we're at it - does this next book not also look oh so delicious? The author has a major giveaway going on over at her blog and this is but one of the beautiful take a few minutes and hop on over and enter...and the exciting thing is that she's giving away 2 copies of the book, so maybe we can both win, right? ;-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quick Pics

We went to Mama & Daddy's last night for supper...after we finished eating, I went in the den to check on the big babies and this is what I found...Walker in the carrier & Alexa rocking him - so darn cute!

A quick snap of Cameron at the doctor's office this morning - she's up to 9 lbs 1 oz & 22.25 inches - always exciting to know your baby is growing just like she should be! As a breastfeeding mama, it's somewhat incredible to know that your baby is growing & thriving solely because of the nourishment my body provides - what a beautiful system God created!

Walker showing off my shades while we were waiting for the doctor to come in. When we went for Cameron's post birth check when she was just a week old...I was so amazed because when we pulled in the doctor's office parking lot, Walker said "go see Dr. Greene" - we hadn't mentioned her name in weeks/months, but he knew where we were...this morning, I was careful not to use her name at all as I wanted to see what his reaction would be, and sure enough...once again he called her name & talked about going to see the fish as we pulled in the parking lot. I just love seeing his little mind at work!

Last week Walker decided Cameron needed her bear to love on.

Love this little girlie!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bless this Nest

Have you been to the Nesting Place yet? I hope so - but if not, boy are you in for a treat! I have always wished that I had the decorating gene, but alas I do not. Periodically I am able to pull together a look that I like...

but more often than not, I end up at a loss. Enter Nester- her motto is it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful...that's been very liberating for me! Several weeks back, Nester started a 10 minute challenge - small things that you can do to spruce up a room without spending a lot of time or $$ - now that is right up my alley! I've still got a long way to go, but am loving implementing some of what I've been learning from her. I've been working in my den...on top of our TV armoire...

and on one of our big walls...
this one definitely still needs some work - a few more hanging picture frames, some other odds & ends for the top shelf & I need to get that W painted, for sure - but it's been fun to play with nonetheless! Head on over to the Nesting Place & check out other great 10 minute spruce-ups!!

edited to add: this is the top of our armoire @ night...we used an extra strand of Christmas lights up on top, so it gives off a nice glow and makes the display even more homey and enjoyable! Love it!! Thanks Nester for encouragement in the right direction!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

WFMW - Bible Reading Help

When I was in college - quiet times came easy, time seemed to be abundant and I read my Bible through cover-to-cover several, several that I'm a mom...finding that time to read daily is sometimes a struggle. Last year, Brad & I started reading a read-through-in-a-year plan in January, and did great until April...or was it June...and then we fell behind and never caught back up. I don't even remember what really happened, except that we were typically reading at night and life just got busy.

This year, I knew I wanted one of my goals to be to get back on track with my Bible reading, I just didn't know what plan could/would best make that happen. I read a little here and there and then back at the end of January I found BibleShared. I was immediately excited as blog accountability seems to work for me!

I immediately signed up and started reading. I love that I can read the Bible in any order I want and simply record my progress as I go (last week I was reading in Humility and Mahaney referenced Habakkuk, so I stopped and quickly read those 3 chapters to better grasp the his point - I didn't have to wait for the summertime to roll around for Habakkuk to come up in my yearly reading plan.) I can read while online or I can read offline and record my progress after the fact. I also love that they have a widget I can put in my sidebar so that anybody can see how I'm doing - that motivates me.

As a mom of 2, it's often difficult to find time to sit down and read my Bible for 15 minutes (or more) at a time...however I'm on my computer all day long. Using Firefox, I simply keep my BibleShared page up in a separate tab, and periodically throughout the day I pop over to it and read a chapter or 2. Wow - what a difference that has made! In only 18 days of using their service, I've already read 90 chapters - or 7% of the Bible. Yippee!! And, on my progress page, BibleShared tells me that if I continue to read at my current rate of 5 chapters/day, I'll finish the Bible in 219.8 days. That's really exciting for me, because it tells me that I can finish the Bible this year!

If you want more great WFMW ideas, head on over and see Shannon @ RocksinmyDryer - and head's up...this is Shannon's last week hosting before she passes the torch on over to Kristen! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Walker & the Bobcat

Walker & the Bobcat from Jodi on Vimeo.

On Sunday, the family came over for lunch and the weather was so delightful that we all went outside to play after eating...after a few minutes on the swingset, Walker made a beeline for the bottom, where the Bobcat was - he's definitely in love!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Two Sweeties

My Two Sweeties from Jodi on Vimeo.

Walker has definitely been cautious around Baby Cameron, but was more than happy to sit with us and let me read to him the other night. I LOVED it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Catching Up on Pics

I don't ever get tired of seeing a pic like this...

Walker & Alexa running back up from the bottom of our land

Grandpa & Grace with baby Cameron

Walker on Pop's backhoe attachment - he was so excited, going back and forth between the bobcat and the backhoe

Walker on the Kubota

Cameron in the dumptruck

Walker pushing Cameron
He was so gentle & slow moving her from the den to the kitchen (with Papa's close supervision!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cameron's Arrival

As with Walker...little Miss Cameron had no desire to arrive on her due date - Jan 15 - in fact, she made us wait almost another whole week. We were no strangers to waiting...Walker was induced when he went 9 days past his due date. I so wanted Cameron's birth to be go into labor naturally and experience the whole process God's way - but I also didn't want to do anything that endangered Baby Girl.

Throughout this pregnancy, I typically had my check-ups on Mondays, but knowing that the docs would start talking about inducing after I passed my due date, I decided to be a bit sneaky, and scheduled my checkup for Tuesday, Jan 20th. When I saw Dr. Hood that day - little to no progress had been made, and since I had been late with Walker, he felt it fine for me to wait a bit longer, but said that if I hadn't gone into labor by Monday, Jan 26th, he felt it prudent to induce. That put me at just a few days shy of 42 weeks, so I agreed. Before leaving that day, I signed the paperwork and they got my inducement on the calendar.

I don't remember being super nervous when I was pregnant with Walker - but every day past my due date, my nerves increased a see, my Mama was late with all of us, but when her labor with my brother (I'm the oldest, he's #2) only lasted 30-40 minutes, and she didn't even realize it at first. Thankfully my dad had worked on a farm growing up and had helped deliver several calves...perfect training for when he delivered Josh at home. So while I longed to experience a natural childbirth, I also didn't want anything quite that fast and natural! :)

Wednesday the 21st was quite cold, so our guys weren't working. We slept in a bit and then decided to go to the Y and work out. I did 15 mins or so on the elliptical and then another 8 on a recumbent bike. I couldn't get the program on it to cooperate, and it kept ramping up the resistance, which I didn't like one bit, so I finally just quit. My theory was that any exercise was better than none, but I certainly didn't want to over-exert myself!

After the Y, we grabbed some Mexican for lunch (Walker loves "chippies & salsa") and then headed to Wal-Mart. While there, we ran into a friend from church - as we were standing there talking, I realized I didn't feel very good. My lower back was a little sore and I just felt a bit out of sorts. Then later over on the frozen foods aisle, I experienced a minor took a few minutes, but all of the sudden I wondered - could that have been a contraction?

You see - after arriving at the hospital when I went in to have Walker, they hooked me up to a monitor and said I was already having light contractions - I couldn't feel a thing. By the time they started to intensify, they gave me an epidural, so I really had zero recollection of what a contraction even felt like.

Not long thereafter, we checked out and headed out to the car. I had another mild pain and then shared with Brad that I thought this might be something. I always hated saying that, because a few other times I had experienced a little lower back pain that turned out to be nothing, and I didn't want to get his hopes up if this wasn't it. We started watching the clock and sure enough, every 10-12-15 minutes I was having these pains...after that had gone on for an hour or so, we were both fully convinced that I was in labor. We decided to go on and call both Mamas and bring them up to speed, which was definitely a fun thing! After that, we just sat back and waited...and waited...and waited.

For awhile Brad timed the contractions, then I took over....but nothing seemed to change. They were fairly consistent at 10-12 mins, but the intensity was about the same and the timing just wouldn't change. Towards the end of the afternoon, it was quite clear that Brad was disappointed - he was ready for some action! LOL As night began to approach, and the contractions weren't going away, we decided to go on and send Walker to Brad's mama's house so that if things sped up during the night, we wouldn't have to worry about him. Looking back, that was a very wise move!

We straightened up the house, did a little last-minute packing, anything we could think of to pass the time. Just before 9 that evening, I was talking to my mama on the phone, reporting that nothing had changed and that I intended to call the nurse in 15 or so mins just to let her know my status (my office had said to call when contractions were 5 mins apart or my water broke). Almost instantaneously with hanging up the phone, I felt a small gush and realized - my water just broke! I jumped up and dashed to the bathroom and then told Brad - yep...I'm pretty sure this was it!

I called the office and it took them probably 15-20 mins to call back. In the meantime, we alerted both Mamas and told them we were sure we would be heading out to the hospital shortly, but we'd let them know when we left. Brad jumped in the shower while I gathered up a few last minute items. When I was finally able to talk to the nurse, she confirmed that indeed we should head to the hospital. My contractions had now jumped to about 5 mins apart, and a bit more intense, so as Brad got out of the shower I told him I thought we needed to speed up and get this show on the road. We were out the door in no time flat.

I think we left the house around 9:25 or so and I think we both prayed pretty much the whole way to the hospital...I was praying that we'd make it (thinking about my parents the whole time!) and Brad was praying that we wouldn't hit all the redlights...I don't think he entirely realized how quickly things were happening at that point, and while I thought they were happening pretty quickly (contractions were now at about 3 mins), I also didn't want to freak him out...looking back later, he said if he had had any idea, he would have driven a whole lot faster! LOL

We did manage to hit only 1 or 2 of the kazillion redlights between our house and the hospital, and when we got there, he let me out at the door and parked the car. I can't ever remember which entrance to use at St. Francis, so I walked on in and rang the bell to ask where the elevators were. A lady came out of the office and asked if I was to be admitted, and when I said yes, started looking for my chart. (Now mind you - I had called that very afternoon and verified that all of my pre-registration was complete and ready to go.) She couldn't find my another lady started looking me up in the computer...she finally found me, but they continued to chatter back and forth about my chart. About the time Brad came through the door carrying all of our stuff, I looked at them and said "Can we just go on up?" evidently in a bit of a sharp tone. Contractions were now about 2 mins apart. After-the-fact, Brad told me that he knew I was serious because of the tone of voice I used - I just couldn't get over the fact that they were so clueless!

We rode up to the 4th floor and proceeded down to the Nurse's station - they gave me a little paper to fill out that told why I had come in that night. As I'm furiously filling it out, one of the nurses must have looked at me, because she said "honey - are you in labor?" and I was like - uh-huh!! So they whisked me back to a triage room so that I could be checked...and we waited, and waited, and waited - it felt like an eternity, but was probably about 5 mins. Come to find out, there were lots of girls showing up to deliver that night (I made #7 since their shift started at 7 PM and they usually only deliver 6-8 in a day!) so they were a bit frazzled. About the time I was ready to send Brad to find somebody, my nurse came in and proceeded to check me...she didn't say anything, but buzzed the desk and said she needed some more help. They called back and said "uh...for delivery?" she was like "quite possibly" - I then asked her how far along I was and she said a 7. Maybe 2-3 mins later another girl came in, and she had her check me and I was at a 9.

At that point, I was beyond extremely uncomfortable and beginning to cry out. They got ready to move me to the delivery room and I can remember thinking...I need to be quiet while I'm in the hallway, but then realizing I was beyond any control of my vocals at that point!

We moved into the delivery room and I was laying on my side and they got me shifted over to that bed...not a super comfortable move, but I knew it was necessary. At one point, she wanted me to roll to my back so that she could look for the baby's heartbeat on a monitor - it was excruciatingly painful to be on my back, but I also wanted to hear that sweet baby's heartbeat and was definitely a bit freaked out when she couldn't find it. I think my brain knew that she must not be at any real risk, or they would be doing something else, but I do remember being disconcerted that she couldn't find it. I think the hardest thing in this point was that I felt like I was getting no feedback from the entire bottom half felt like it was getting to explode (can we say urge to push???), and I knew from stories I'd heard in the past that it wasn't good to push until you were truly ready...but I just didn't know where I was. In retrospect, it all happened so quickly, I think they were really trying to slow me down because the dr wasn't there yet!

Somewhere along in here, they made the decision to call the "in house" doctor as it sounded like my doctor was either too far out or not responding to his page (later found out he got paged at 10:38). The in house guy walked in, they put my legs up in the stirrups, he told me to push twice and I felt the baby's head come out...he told me to wait and then to push again and I felt the rest of her body come out. Seeing her immediately and then hearing her cry were definitely very welcome to put any fears to rest about not hearing her on the monitor. And just like that - all the pain was gone, and I immediately turned to Brad & my mom and said "it was all worth it - every bit of it". Best we remember, we got to the hospital around 10 and then she was born at 10:46 - it was definitely a fast ride! Evidently I do have some of my mama's baby birthing mojo! :)

Amazingly, with as speedy as the whole thing was - my body handled it wonderfully. I had a small tear ~ 1cm that he stitched up, and that was it. And just as everyone had said, when the time comes, you don't care what doctor it is, just that there's one there! That was oh so true! LOL I truly believe that all the exercising I did throughout the pregnancy made a huge difference! I loved not being induced this time, and not having time to even consider an epidural - while it was definitely extremely painful for 10-15 mins, this would definitely be my chosen route between the 2 I've taken!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

WFMW - Perfect Watch for Moms

For the longest time, I wore a "pretty" watch and loved it...a few years back, though, when the band broke or the battery died, instead of getting said issue fixed, I somehow ended up deciding to try a new kind of watch for me - and man has it been awesome! let me introduce you to my new best friend:

Say hello to the Timex Ironman for women - I love this watch! I tried a similar watch back when I was in college, but it had a velcro watchband...which looked cool on my roommate's wrist, but on mine, always seemed bulky, always got wet and took awhile to dry when I washed my hands/took a shower & over time eventually started to smell - YUCK! This baby has a rubber-like band that takes on no water whatsoever...making it perfect to wear all the the shower, in the pool, washing dishes, you name it. I absolutely adore that quality.

It also has a built in chrono function that counts up, timer that counts down and built in alarm (not to mention 2 different time settings & indiglo). I use all these functions, but chrono is my absolute favorite. With my first child, I used it frequently to time his naps...I would start the chrono function when I put him down for a nap and then I didn't have to remember what time it started, as it often varied day-to-day.

Now that my second pumpkin has arrived, I use it when she nurses. As we're getting started, I restart the time and let it count helps me know when she probably is getting finished and/or ready to burp as well as making it easier to keep track of when she last nursed. I don't stop and restart it until it's time to start the process over, so I can always tell when her last feeding started. In these past 2 weeks, that alone has been indispensible! Not to mention that during the night indiglo has been one of my best friends!

Next time you find yourself needing a new watch - definitely check this baby out! For more great WFMW ideas, head on over to Rocks in my Dryer!

Delicious Giveaway!

Are these not the cutest crayons ever? I was first turned on to Stubby Pencil Studio by Meredith - and have now seen them a few other places on the web...I'm totally in love with several of their products right now, but as we've tightened the purse-strings on our budget as of late, am holding myself back...for now. However, couldn't pass up this lovely chance to WIN a basket of their goodies - love it! Enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just a Quick Note

Oh my goodness - just can't get over this little cutie pie! She is such a sweetheart & such a fabulous baby! Other than either a midnight feeding (well, last night was 4 AM) she's slept through the night for the past 4 nights! Woo hoo!!! I hope to post her birth story in the next day or two, so check back with us!

Walker is quite taken with the reemergence of all the baby gear...we were in the den the other night and he "disappeared" momentarily...then I realized he was at the end of the the bouncy seat...with it turned on - he is such a hoot! Love this big bug!