Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peterson Christmas Card 2010

Many Memories Tree Christmas Card
Turn your pictures into personalized Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Thanks Shutterfly!

Monday, November 29, 2010

50 Free Christmas Cards from Shutterfly for Bloggers!

It’s that time of year- Christmas Card time! Don’t you love getting them? I do… We normally display them on our fridge… but this year I have a special wall holder for them (thanks to a gift from my mom…)

While looking around on various websites for Christmas card options for this year... I came across 2 friends' blogs who posted about Shutterfly giving away 50 holiday cards to bloggers... just for blogging about it! This was great news to me, seeing as how I already had my eye on a few of their designs for our card this year! A friend of our’s has offered to take Christmas pics of the boys, and once he does, I’ll hop on Shutterfly to pick out our card.

They've got TONS of options, and lots of cute choices! I'm always wondering, when making purchases online, how something will actually look when it arrives... "Will I really like it, or will I be disappointed?" Well, last year we used Shutterfly for our New Year's cards (bc I was late getting them out, tee hee), Valentines Day cards and Juniper calendars . We LOVED them!!!! And so did everyone that received them :)

And, they’ve got some other great things for gift ideas, too… wall canvases, photobooks… See the links below for card and gift ideas:

Christmas photo cards to

canvas wall art to

holiday cards to

holiday photo cards to 

And here’s the link to the details about how to get the 50 FREE CARDS: (Thanks Shutterfly!)

(This blog inspired by my friend @ The Gannon Gang. Go check out the story of her journey with two beautiful twin baby boys that arrived much earlier than expected.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quiting Nursing COLD-TURKEY :(

Here is my "weening" story that really involved no "weening" at all! (Do you know if you forget the first 'n' in "weening" it becomes "weeing"? That is an entirely different story.):

Due to a bout with sinusitis and medicines I needed to take to cure it, I was told by my doctor that I had to stop nursing right away. WHAT?! I had no milk stored up. I mean, with Juniper being 11 months old, I had already switched one of her feedings with a bottle - but ALL of them?! I wasn't ready for that! And I was SURE she wasn't ready for it. My desire was to nurse until Juniper stopped wanting it, so I was almost devastated hearing that I had to quit cold turkey for 10 days. I prepared myself for a week of hell.

Well, color my face red when Juniper didn't bat an eye at no longer getting my boob.  She didn't have any trouble at all! I was the one falling apart over it but she hasn't seemed to miss it. She is chugging a bottle like a champ - even holding it herself.

The other day, I had her on the bed while I was changing clothes.  Usually, when she's sees me without a shirt she smacks her lips and whines, wanting me to feed her. Instead, she handed me my bra, as if to say, "Put those away, Mom!" And it was only the 1st full day without nursing! Excuse me if I feel a little rejected! I kind of thought I was more necessary than that. HA!

You know, I thought I would miss the closeness of nursing, but I am finding that we are connecting even more and cuddling more when I feed her from a bottle. I guess it is bc she gets to be so much closer to my face. With my anatomy, she would have to lay flat on my lap to nurse. Now, I can cuddle her up close while I feed her. She seems to be exploring my face more and taking breaks to "talk" to me. She even directly called me "Ma ma" for the first time! (I don't count the times she's wailed it when she wanted something.)

I expected this "cold-turkey" to be as miserable or more so than my sever case of sinusitis. I didn't expect to have to "ween" like this. But, as shocked as I am, it seems to actually be a good thing. I am no longer used as a bag of milk to comfort her - there were many times that she didn't want me, just my milk. I felt objectified!

Here are some more positives:
I no longer have to consider her diet when deciding what I want to eat. (Sweet tea, anyone? YES!)
I can get back on my ADD meds!!!!! (if my insurance company would stop being stupid. arg!)
I am no longer the ONLY ONE who can feed her milk! (this last one is my favorite)

How did I deal with the discomfort of "cold-turkey" weening? Part of my medication for the sinusitis was Zyrtec D. My Doula/Breast Counselor friend told me that when mothers ween but continue to produce milk, they prescribe Zyrtec because it will dry them right up. Well, there you go. No fussy baby. No achy boobies. Thank you, LORD!

A little piece of me has died, as does every time Juniper takes another step away from being my little baby and towards becoming her own person. But, that empty place is restored and refilled to overflowing by the blessing of seeing her grow into the beautiful creature God has created her to be. What joy I feel when she turns to me out of choice for a kiss, a hug, a snuggle - knowing that she is showing conscious love and desire for me. Now you've got me crying.

Being a parent helps me understand God's love for us so much more. How He must feel when we choose Him and also when we try to objectify Him as just a resource to be used. I know that this journey of parenthood will continue to take me to a greater understanding of our Lord. This child is an unending source of blessings :)

Today, I found her walking around with my nursing cover slung around her neck like a cape. That is the most interest she has had in anything having to do with nursing since the last time I nursed her. It made me smile :)

Of course, I will choose to nurse with my next child, and will encourage any mother to do so if it is a possibility for her. And, though I really enjoyed that season of my relationship with my daughter, I am enjoying this new season of her independence, as well. Even if she IS already exhibiting behavior associated with the "terrible two's" at the age of 12 months. *sigh* More on that, later.

p.s. I just looked it up and realized that the correct spelling is "weaning," not "weening." That clears up the confusion at the beginning. yup.

Sticky Pages

I have been wondering why all of the pages to Juniper's books have begun to stick together.

Today I saw her sitting on the floor, flipping through her books and kissing the picture on each page.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11/2001 Remembered

I was in my freshman year at Harding University. As I was getting ready for class, I got a call from my mom telling me to turn on my TV. I watched them replaying the plane's crash into the first tower and really couldn't understand what was happening. I don't think any of us could. How can we comprehend our safe American world crumbling before our eyes? For my generation, this just didn't seem possible. We had grown up in a safe and strong America. This went against every confidence and reliance we had in our country - in our world. At first I believed it just to be a terrible mistake on a pilot's part or a horrible mechanical malfunction.
In a daze, I finished getting ready and walked across campus to the music building. I really don't remember many details. I think I was in such disbelief that nothing seemed real. I believe my Music Theory professor tried to start class, just out of shear loss for what else to do. None of us were into it. We went out into the hallway where another professor had rolled out a TV. We sat on the floor around it and watched the plane hit the second tower. "Wait. Was that another plane? Was that another building?" I then realized this was not a mistake. Fear, confusion, compassion, disbelief - how can you explain all of the emotions you feel at a moment like that?
I went back to my dorm. (I don't believe many of us tried to go to any more classes that day.) Then they began running footage of the people covered in smoke and dust running in terror, crying, in hysterics. Was this my country? These images resembled pictures I had seen in National Geographic of war-time in other countries. How could this be here?
The pentagon. The next news was that the Pentagon had been hit. This wasn't just a business building in the middle of NY. This was a vital building to our government. This should be one of the most well guarded buildings in our country! It was on fire with a huge hole in the side.
I believe at this point I may have completely checked out. What could I do? I was helpless. I could do nothing to stop this. I couldn't even process what was happening. I believe I popped in one of my favorite movies (probably 10 Things I Hate About You) just to escape from the horror of it all.
For the next several weeks, there were rumors around campus that we could be a target - because we had the largest auditorium in the area. Of course, this idea was ridiculous, but our fear was real.
When I went home for Thanksgiving, SNL had an amazing tribute with many artists singing "I'm Proud To Be An American." This is not like me, but I remember standing with tears streaming down my face, singing along with them.

I wanted to get down my random thoughts and memories of that horrible day, so I would have them for years to come. It is not a day I like to dwell on. I didn't watch any of the specials today. I didn't discuss the events with anyone. I didn't even read anyone else's accounts of 9/11/01. But, of course, it is something I will never forget. When asked, I want to have my memories as best I can.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I am allergic to:

Doing the dishes after I have cooked a large meal. (Ok, ok - even after a small, easy meal.)

Running. (The phrase, "I'm exercising. I'm exercising," always repeats in my head over and over again to the rhythm of my canter. And, in the case that you are confused, it is not repeated in a chipper endorphin-infused voice, but rather a voice more similar to that of Eeyore, Pooh's donkey friend. Thanks for noticin' me.) 

Matching socks.

Plain socks.

My husband's explanations of accounting processes.

Hanging up laundry right when I pull it out of the dryer.

Hanging up laundry. (Achoo! I feel it coming on.)

The term "tee tee" when used in reference to urinating.

Watching sports on TV.

NASCAR anything.

Cloth diapers. Kudos to you that can do it. I've tried. I just cannot. Maybe if the stairs to and from my washer and dryer didn't feel like I was scaling a mountain I would be more successful at them.

Lord of The Rings. I can't get into it. I've tried several times bc my husband loves it. But, nope, not happening. In fact, I think for the 2nd movie I went to the opening showing with some friends. I just sat there and heckled it the entire time. I got a lot of angry nerd looks. lol

Animal movies. I'm trying to think of one that I have liked . . . , . . . , . . . Nope, can't think of one.

What are you allergic to?

Inspired by this post from idontbelieveingrammar. I am in <3 with her blog name - even if am an English/Grammar/Writing teacher. I somehow stumbled across her blog and fell in love with it. I see myself in so many of her posts.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mama Bear (cont.)

Time to continue the story. Yes, it has been a few months. I know you have been sitting in suspense all this time and I am sorry to have caused you so much anxiety. ha
If you haven't read the previous entry (part 1 of this saga), I encourage you to.

In the previous post, I hope I have established my very logical fear of stinging insects. They don't like me. They come after me. I cannot stand still. They do not go away. They sting me. We have a mutual hate for each other.

Some persistent hornets must continue to build a nest right near our front door bc it is a common occurrence for one to find its way into our home when my husband opens the door to leave for work in the morning. As previously mentioned, my normal response to this was to barricade myself in another room until my husband got home from work. Yes. All day. And sometimes several days in a row. These suckers live for DAYS! I would think that they had died by the evening, bc of course by the time that my husband gets home they have stopped flying. But, no, they are just resting for the evening and begin their furious flight anew when I rise in the morning. Ahhh!

I mean, look at these things! They are the size of, like, a golf ball! So scary!

So, to reset the scene: Juniper and I get up in the morning. I set her down on the living room floor to play and I assume my position on the couch. Then I hear it:
Bzzzzzzz *Clink*
Bzzzzzzz *Plonk*
Bzzzzzzz "I'm an angry hornet and I'm just getting angrier every time I run into something!" *Dink*

Being the brave mommy that I am, I scoop up Juniper and run to the back of the room intent on camping out in her room for the rest of the day until her father gets home. Then, my brain kicks in a little. It is 8am. Her father doesn't get home until around 6pm. Am I really going to be able to keep this baby happy in her room for 10 hours? What if she gets hungry? My milk only goes so far. I don't have enough toys in there to keep her entertained. What if I have to go to the bathroom?

I realize I need to get tough and take care of this. Man up. Be a Mama bear protecting her cub. ROAR! I have to destroy this thing.

I begin whispering with Juniper (you know, so the hornet can't hear us), trying to figure out what we are going to do. Juniper whispers babble back. Not helpful - but cute! I'm going to need something with a lot of surface, so there is less room for error. Lord knows, I do not want to miss! I settle on a large dust pan. After about 20 minutes of standing there debating and abating my fear, I begin to move.

I set Juniper down in the kitchen where she can see all the action but is out of harm's way. I stalk carefully towards the hornet. It has been favoring our brick fireplace so at least it is kind of staying in one place. I get closer. I can see it! Closer. Its stupid little wings are quivering. Closer. I am definitely within stinging range now. With a trembling hand I raise the dust pan and . . .

WHACK! Bzzzzzz SCREAM! Screech!
WHACK! Bzzzzzz SCREAM! Screech!
WHACK! WHACK! Bzzzzzz SCREAM! Screech!

These sounds were happening pretty much simultaneously. The "WHACK," of course, is me hitting the hornet. The "Bzzzzzz" is the hornet that WILL NOT DIE!!! The "SCREAM" is me screaming in fear with every hit. And the "Screech" is Juniper screaming in response to my scream. I am sure it was quite a ridiculous scene.

In the end, I emerged the victor! I slew the hornet! The hornet had been slain! I scooped up the carcass with the dustpan and deposited it outside. I raised my fists in triumph. I deserved a trophy, nay, a CAPE, fore I was the super slayer of stinging insects! HA!

I would like to say that the tables have turned with stinging insects and me. I would like to say that I no longer fear them. But, just today, I nervously held my breath as a yellow jacket flew by me and then frantically waved my arms and yelled, "Stay away from my baby! Stay away from my baby!" as it flew near Juniper. I'm a work in progress.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mamma Bear

I had a triumphant morning! Today, I slew a stinging insect! A hornet, to be exact. Hooray!!!
This is a huge triumph for me, since in the past if a stinging insect invaded my home and was flying around angrily, I would just barricade myself in another room until my husband came home - yes, I would stay in that room all day. That is how fearful I am of stinging insects.

My first encounter was when I was about 5 (or 8, I can't remember.) Anyway, my family and I were walking through a new neighborhood that had been built near ours, admiring the new houses and checking out the sample homes. As we were leaving we walked through the same rot iron gate we had come in through. The gate had a hole for a handle, but no handle yet. So, we just put our hand through the hole to open it. This was not a problem going in as we all passed through the gate together and went on our way. However, on the way back I ran ahead so I could hold the door open for my family (trying to be sweet has a history of burning me - more stories later.) Lo and behold, within that hole resided a wasp and its nest. As my fingers were disturbing the nest, the wasp flew out to meet me. I screamed. What did my father tell me to do? "Stand still! It won't bother you." Well, that works unless you just stuck a finger directly into their nest. At that point the wasp is already mad and your fate is pretty much sealed. So, I did as my father instructed. I stood still and let that wasp take its time in getting its aim. It made 3 figure 8s in front of my face and then decided to plant its stinger right into the tip of my nose. Yes, the stupid wasp stung the tip of my nose. From that day on I stayed as far away as possible from stinging insects.

Until today. But let me first quickly tell you my second encounter.

I was 2 WEEKS over-due with my little baby. Yes, I was a big waddling ball of miserable. I was walking down a few stairs after a visit to Sub-Way. I was out in the middle of nothing, no walls, no railings. I wasn't holding on to anything so I have no idea how this happened. All I can think is that I swung my arm (and you better believe I was swinging my arms while I was walking. Moving something that big took momentum, man.) I guess I swung my arm in the path of a hornet's flight. Well, EXCUSE ME mister hornet. Heaven forbid that I am walking where you are flying. So, it decided to sting me on the arm. All I heard was a quick buzz and then felt a terrible sting in the crook of my arm.
I was a pitiful sight, let me tell you. Tears started streaming down my face. It wasn't that it really hurt too badly, but my feelings were hurt. I mean, didn't it see how miserable I was? And I didn't do anything to it! I was just walking, well, waddling back to my car after trying to treat my gloomy self to a scrumptious sandwich. I stood there and just said, "Why?"
Two ladies were walking by and, seeing a hugely pregnant lady standing there with a quivering bottom lip and talking to herself, they asked if I was alright. I began blubbering, "I was just walking and this hornet - I guess it was a hornet - came out of nowhere and stung my arm! Why would it do that?!"
They just stared at me bewildered. I realized they didn't have an answer for that, so I asked them, "What should I do? Do I need to go to the hospital? Is it going to hurt my baby?" (Yes, I was pretty hysterical.)
More bewildered stares and then one woman blinked and said, "I guess you should probably put some ice on it. Maybe use your drink. And then call your doctor."
Well, that sounded a lot more sensible to me. I got in my car and held my cold drink to the boo-boo until I got home. I called the doc and she said it was no big deal. Overreact much?

Which brings us to today.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning Up

I have been trying to get my life in order. Read: less time on the computer and more time Doin' Stuff! Every time I think to sit down and blog, I realize there is a pile of junk that could be gone through or a dusty surface or 2 or 5. I realize there is a pile of laundry, a sink of dishes, a messy closet. I used to ignore these things and just sit at the computer bc dealing with these things did not make me happy and sitting at the computer did. However, the anxiety began to build. Life in clutter was stressing me out. So, I began cleaning. While the process made me miserable, the end result makes me a much happier and clear-minded person. *smile*

My bedroom was the biggest project. It had been neglected for, well, maybe for almost *shudder* a year! It is the room that is just so easy to close the door on whenever guests come buy. Every unsightly thing would be transferred there and the door shut. It was one of those projects that I had started several times, but would always be interrupted and the attempt would leave the room worse than it had previously been.

Finally, I got a day where my husband was not working and he took a day off of studying for his graduate classes and could watch our baby girl. I had almost ALL DAY uninterrupted to clean! And you know what? It didn't even take all day! It feels so good to have a clean, (somewhat) organized room! It still needs a little work, but it is in a very good place, now.

And, no, I am not posting before and after pictures. Are you kidding me? My mother reads this blog!

Oh, and may I just mention that I recently moved ALL of the furniture and rugs in my living room and did a seriously cleaning of the floors - all of this while trying to keep a crawling baby contented. This may be a regular activity for some people - but it isn't for me, and I think I deserve a "way to go!" Why, thank you!

I am supper excited to finally get my photo editing software up and running again. I have had several posts bouncing around in my head the last month, but have not wanted to post them without the accompanying pictures. Hopefully, I will get around to them, soon!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Human Again

It's the little things that make you feel human again.

  • An uninterrupted shower
  • An uninterrupted meal
  • Cooking a meal . . . uninterrupted
  • An uninterrupted night's sleep (I don't remember what that is like)
  • Cleaning the house
  • Doing your hair
  • Applying make-up
  • Brushed teeth
  • Plucked eyebrows
  • Wearing a real bra
  • Shaved legs
  • Reading a chapter in a book
  • Driving in the car by yourself
  • Watching a chick flick
  • An uninterrupted blog entry (arg!)
  • Vacuuming the floors
  • Cleaning out that pile of junk you've been meaning to get to
  • Hanging flowers on the back porch
  • Filling bird feeders
  • A trip to the grocery store/farmer's market by yourself
I feel myself relaxing just listing these things.

If I were to get any 5 of these things in one week I would think I was dreaming.
But I would know I was not dreaming, because that would require an uninterrupted night's sleep.

So, then I would come to the conclusion that I was dead and this is Heaven.
I would look around and think,

"Hmm. Not bad . . .

Ok, where's my new body?"

I have new pictures to post along with an entry I've been working on - but our desktop computer that I keep my pictures on has crashed.
You know when you try to do something on the computer and a little warning sign pops up and says that force-quitting that application could cause damage to your computer? Well, sometimes it actually does. Lesson learned.
Funny that it was actually my husband who did it this time. Ha!
Not funny that we are going to have to pay about $100 just to see if we can salvage any of the videos and pictures of our precious daughter. Also, my husband's grad work is on that computer and several of the projects are due next week. Eeek!
Please send happy thoughts and prayers into our Mac. Does "laying on hands" work on machines?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Husband Stitch

This post discusses a topic that is not for the easily offended. In my opinion, I actually exercised a lot of restraint, but to some I may have still gone too far. Oh well. Don't read it. 
I debated about sharing this - but I just have to get it out there. Maybe I am hoping that others have a similar experience so I don't feel like such a weird-o?
Tally forth . . .

Dear "Husband Stitch",

You suck.

As the doctors went to work on my 3rd degree lacerations after the delivery of my 10lb 1oz baby girl, in my exhausted stupor I vaguely remember them saying, "Don't worry. We're going to make you BETTER than new."


What is wrong with just new?

What was wrong with me before?

Nothing. I was fine before.

Just make me like I was before, ok?

But I wasn't asked. I was just sewn. Practically shut. Not cool.

Almost 7 months later and I am still having to deal with this. Let me just say that my husband is not a big fan of this so-called "husband stitch". It's more like an ANTI-husband stitch.

Thank God for an awesome O.B. that has a bunch of little tricks up her sleeve.

Little Juniper - someday you will have a little brother or sister. Someday. Just not any time soon. Sorry.

And if you are wondering, yes, this has affected my self-confidence. Along with that, I have been more than discontented with my flabby, stretch-marked (or tiger striped!) body. But, just when I am about to have a major meltdown - I look at my little Juniper. I remember that this body made a baby. Heck, I should amazed by my body! I should give my body a little wink, wink nudge "good job!" I'd do it all over again for that precious little girl. And I just might have to if I want another one. *sigh*

Maybe I should just make a permanent TMI button. What do you think? lol

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All Buttoned Up!

Today I spent a good chunk of time adding the buttons of several blogs that a frequently read.
Is your button there? (see bottom right-side column)
If it isn't then chances are I couldn't find it or it didn't work or *gasp* you don't have one!

If you don't yet have a button, then HERE is a great tutorial that helped me out. The first time it took me 2 hours. The second time it took me 1 hour and the 3rd took me 1/2hour. So, you see, I am improving. :)

Here's my button in case you'd like to re-button :)

Mommy Musings

If you have a button I missed or if you create a new one - let me know! I'll darn your button to my blog :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are You Ready For This Cuteness?!

I don't think you are!
Juniper Grace
Easter Day, 6 months old

 Laughing at Daddy :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Promise This Is Not Becoming a Breast-Feeding Blog

In light of my last 2 posts, I thought I would re-visit a blog I did several months ago concerning my struggles with nursing my daughter. I hope you enjoy! or re-enjoy!

This Sucks Because She Won't!
Warning: This post discusses boobies. If that makes you uncomfortable, read no further.

I wish I had written this closer to when the events had occurred for a better account. It just took me so darn long to remember and recount the events of my delivery that everything else was put on hold.

Anyway, we finally get baby girl home. I went about trying to do about the only thing my beat-up body should be capable of doing: feeding the baby. I had gotten some pointers from the nurse at the hospital and had attended a breast feeding class during my 9th month. I figured I was pretty prepared. I cradled Juniper in a proper feeding position - supporting her head as I had seen. I supported my breast with the other hand, waited for her mouth to open and popped the thing right into it. I thought, "Now, suck." But she didn't suck. She screamed. So, we tried again. And again. Ok, lets try the other breast. Same thing. I couldn't understand it. For hours I tried to feed her while she screamed - so tired and so hungry. I would let her suck on my finger for a few minutes and then we would try again. Again she screamed. She screamed and cried with perfectly pitiful little "Wha"s until, exhausted, she would cry herself to sleep.

This continued for 2 days. I was exasperated, exhausted, desperate and pretty much mortified. Why wouldn't my baby eat. I kept saying, "It is right here, baby. Take it!" But she would not. I was beside myself. Here it was, my biggest job as a mother - to make sure my child was fed - and I couldn't do it. Everything I had read said to keep going - that eventually the baby would feed. They said not to use a bottle bc it would cause nipple confusion. However, I was watching my baby waste away before my eyes. This pudgy little baby I had brought home from the hospital had lost almost all of her baby fat. Her double chin was replaced with saggy skin and her neck began to look like that of an old woman. Her rosy glow had turned ashen. My every instinct as a mother said to do what I could to get something into that baby's stomach. So, fighting the guilt imposed by breast-feeding nazis I broke out the hand pump. I pumped about 3oz, poured it into a bottle and popped it into her mouth. She drank! She chugged that bottle down and when she was done - no screaming. I had a completely different baby. This baby was peaceful and contented. We all sighed and laughed with relief and then we slept.

The next day we went to a lactation consultant. Juniper had lost 2.5lbs from her birth weight! That is significant. They commended me, though, on doing what I could to get something into her stomach. She was responding well with good color in her skin and would not need to be admitted to the hospital.
It turns out that my breasts were becoming so engorged that my nipples were flattening out and giving her nothing to latch on to. They gave me plastic nipple shields and Juniper took to them right away. Another sigh of relief. Also, I had the letdown of a super soaker and I was drowning her, so they encouraged me to pump a little before nursing. They sent me home with the nipple shields, storage bottles and a rented electric pump to help lessen the engorgement. Happy baby, happy mommy.
Now that she was eating we had to work on improving her latch. "It is called breast feeding, not nipple feeding," they would tell me. Well, someone tell Juniper that! I would do everything they told me to do, angling myself right, widening her mouth and shoving as much of myself in there as I could - but she would inevitably slide down to where she was only sucking on my nipple. 3 months later this is still her preference, but my skin is a lot tougher now. Then, she was biting me raw and to the point of bleeding. The nipple shield would be filled with blood and I was afraid I was creating a little vampire of a baby. With creams and soothing pads they finally healed and toughened up.

I have resigned to the fact that, though we have both greatly improved at it, she is just a fussy eater. My mom says I was the same way and that I fought her the whole time I was nursing until I weened myself around 6 months. She is also a sloooooooooow eater. She likes to take breaks and look around. She will want to stop and play and then want to eat again 10-15 minutes later, causing her feeding time to last about an hour. This makes it very difficult when in social situations. It is frustrating to keep disappearing or to stay gone for hours at a time. With my anatomy and her fussiness it makes it difficult to breastfeed her discreetly in public. This is why I typically try to keep some pumped milk with me. I just fart in the general direction of all the breastfeeding brow-beaters giving me the stink-eye. It is breast milk - but what business is it of their's how I choose or need to feed my baby. How dare they make another woman feel inferior for doing what they can to feed their child. Occasionally, Juniper's hunger is too great for my supply and I have to supplement a little formula. The BFNs (Breastfeeding Nazis) would have me to simply let my baby do without, saying it won't hurt her. Seriously? Giving her formula would do her more harm than having her go hungry? Ridiculous. If my baby is hungry, I find a way to feed her - it is instinctual. Here is a confession for all you booby bullies - sometimes I give her formula simply out of convenience. I must be a terrible mom. My child is going to grow up stupid, right? You self-righteous shamers seriously need to put a cork in it. If we wanted your opinion, we would ask. You just tend to and raise your own little organic baby geniuses. I am going to laugh when my formula feeder gets better college scholarships.
Sorry, I got a little mean and angry their. I just think its horrible when women who have tried their best but are simply unable to breastfeed are judged as bad mothers. I will get off of my soap box. However, this is my blog so I guess I shouldn't have to apologize for expressing my thoughts.
I will probably go back later and edit all of this out - after I cool down.

*I didn't cool down about it. Therefore, I never edited it out :)

Unbiased Breast-Feeding News

After my last post I was contacted by Paige at She suggested that I post this video with some recent news on breastfeeding.
The video looks at new findings from various media outlet perspectives.
Newsy videos combine and analyze content from many different news sources to eliminate bias and let the viewer develop their own opinion. They give users comprehensive updates on global events to make them smarter, faster.
I had never heard of before, but now I'm a convert. Thanks, Paige!

Funny for Breast-Feeding Moms

I will return to the blogging world soon. I have been using what little energy I've had of late to do some Spring cleaning. However, as I look around my house right now I can't even tell I've done anything. Depressing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy, YUMMY Recipe for Sneaking in Veggies!

I ran across a recipe that I had printed off from who knows where. It was incomplete but included many ingredients that I already had at home and sounded yummy, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
It was soooo good!!! I made some adjustments and added spinach for a veggie kick. It was VERY filling. A second helping put me over the edge last night. I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was all beautiful in the casserole dish, but here is a pick of the very last left-over serving. Can I say again, YUM?!
Alright, so I have NO future in food photography.

Chicken (Spinach) Tamale Casserole 
  • 2 cooked, shredded chicken breasts - about 2 cups (my mom hates shredding chicken so I would suggest maybe 6 chicken tenders and just let the eaters cut their own chicken)
  • 1 box of corn bread mix
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 1 can of green chilies
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper (I use 1/4tsp bc I likey spicy! but still isn't very spicy)
  • 1 tsp cumin (I LOVE cumin!)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese, divided (I just shredded a block of cheddar that I had on hand.)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • (optional) 1/2 a box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry - I placed the frozen block in a sieve or strainer, ran warm water over it and broke it up with my hands (or about 1/2 cup sauteed spinach) (You may try broccoli if you like.)
Preheat oven as instructed on corn bread mix 

Mix corn bread mix, creamed corn, green chilies, red pepper, cumin, milk, 1/3 cup cheese and spinach (if using)

Pour into a greased 11" by 7"ish or 2L casserole dish

Bake for about 15min or until just set, but not baked all the way through

Poke the cornbread mix liberally with a fork and pour enchilada sauce over it to cover. Spread chicken evenly and add the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake for about 10min more.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Mmmmmmmmmm!

Let me know if you try it and how it goes! Did you make any changes?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adventures in D'oh!

Mommy Musings
I am an alright cook. I'm not awesome; no one's asking me to star in my own show or anything, but I typically get good responses to what I do. I'm alright. One thing (among many) that I am not good at is baking. My success in baking pretty much begins and ends with Toll House break-away cookie squares - and sometimes I mess those up, too. I have thus decided to begin a journey. I plan to teach myself to bake and will chronicle this journey in posts entitled "Adventures in D'oh!" (Get it? Dough and Homer Simpson's expletive "D'oh"? Anyway . . .)

I begin this adventure, in keeping with my habit of being ever overly ambitious, by choosing a recipe I saw in a post by fudge ripple for homemade Ding-Dongs. This recipe calls for making devil's food cake, a fluffy filling and a chocolate ganache. Yes, that is 3 separate recipes - all from scratch. Formidable, right? Oh wait, there's more. I decided to make all of this for the Small Group from church that meets at my house on Wednesday nights. No time for a trial run. All done in one day while juggling a 4 month old and allowing time for clean-up, oh, and to make a double batch of chili, all before ppl start showing up around 6:15pm. Yes, I am an idiot.

#1 Lesson Learned: Use appropriate equipment.
I tried to skate buy by using a smaller sheet pan than suggested which made the cake have to cook twice as long as the recipe called for and also made the cake twice as thick as I needed it - which led to a deluge of issues. *sigh*
I also did not have access to a cookie cutter (though I went both to Wal-mart and to my grocery store, neither of which had a simple cookie cutter. Is it really that difficult, people?) As my friend, Kasey suggested, I could have used a glass to cut the pieces out, but I wanted more bite-sized confections that would be easy for people to just pop into their mouths. I therefore decided to use a plastic toothpick container, which cracked and broke after I used it a few times. *sigh*

#2 Lesson Learned: Adjust the mixer speed when adding ingredients.
At one point I was supposed to alternate adding dry and liquid ingredients to my mixer. I added the dry ingredients and got a cloud of cocoa powder, sugar, flour, etc. coating me and everything else within a 3' radius. I added the liquid ingredients and thus added a mixture of milk and chocolate/coffee splatters to the same surfaces. How about turning down the speed of the mixer when adding ingredients, huh? Slow down, speedy! I would like to say I learned my lesson after the first time I added the ingredients. No, it took me a few times before I figured out the solution to my problem. I know you're shaking your head at me. Its justified.

#3 Lesson Learned: Clean as you go . . .
or get a bigger kitchen with triplicates of all utensils and appliances . . . or hire a dish-washer. I was constantly needing the very measuring cup or bowl that I had just submerged in chocolaty water.

What a mess! It was all over the kitchen, it was all over me, it was all over Juniper. (No, mom. I did not feed my baby chocolate. I apparently had ganache on my shirt that I hadn't licked cleaned off before I picked her up from her nap.)

Now, if Juniper were old enough to eat chocolate, right about here I would add adorable pictures of her licking chocolate off of a spoon. But seeing as she is still to young, you will have to settle for adorable pictures of me:

Since chocolate was EVERYWHERE, I did have to lick clean the camera off after taking this picture.

Here is what fudge ripple's Ding-Dongs looked like:

And here are my messy results *sigh*:

Ganache is hard to handle, dang it! I guess this could lead to my #4 Lesson Learned: Follow the suggestions in the recipe.
She told me to use a spatula heated over a flame to smooth the ganache. I used a cold knife and my fingers. D'oh!

And finally . . .
#5 Lesson Learned: Presentation is everything.
If I had just left them looking like little turds on a plate, no one would have eaten them. However, wrap them in foil - no matter how poorly wrapped - and they become little presents with a surprise inside. Added bonus, I can then blame the poor ganache job on the foil mucking it up.

The verdict: They LOVED it! See?

They ate them all!

Moment of pure embarrassment: 
I did make 2 bigger ones after my "genius" toothpick container/cookie cutter broke. At the end of the night, I found myself announcing to the entire church group, "I've got 2 large Ding-Dongs here if anybody wants 'em!" My face turned red. They all laughed. I love them. :)
*Side note: Folks even took the extra Ding-Dongs home to share with family and friends. Yes, they liked them that much! I am SO GLAD all that hard work actually produced something, not only edible, but good and well received!

Now, what do I do with the mutilated, left-over cake?

I hear you asking, "What was Juniper doing while you were whipping up a confectional flurry in the kitchen?"
Well, part of the time she was ENTHRALLED in Blue's Clues, of all things. She actually watched 2 episodes and squealed and giggled at the characters the whole time! The only time she got fussy was when the first episode ended and she needed me to start the next one.
I always feel really guilty whenever I depend on TV to babysit. At least it was educational, right?

Now, it is your turn! I am so interested to hear your baking successes/failures. Am I alone in the world of D'oh, or do others of you have the same struggles? Let me know!
If you post about it, grab the button! Yes, it is huge. I don't know how to make it smaller.
Mommy Musings

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am a Jungle Gym

I am a jungle gym.
I am a rock wall.
My nose, ears and eye sockets are hand-holds.
My legs, bulging belly and boobs are foot-holds.
My hair is ropes from which to swing.
I am a human jungle gym.

This is what I feel like with a rambunctious infant squirming all over me. Poor girl. She can not yet move herself to all the places she constantly and so desperately wants to be! She wants everything and is discontented by it once she has finally attained it. Restless, fickle girl. But, don't I so often feel the same way?

Rashes, rashes, rashes all over my baby's body. What are they? I am currently trying to rule-out foods by switching her back to just breast milk for a while. By comparing it to pictures on-line I do not believe it is eczema. Could it be just dryness from running a heater all winter? She has been cranky lately and my mother suggested she could be itchy - which makes sense. I guess we will be making a doctor appt. tomorrow. Arg.
Last time I took her in before her scheduled check-up bc I feared she had acid reflux I felt that they were all treating me like the overreacting mother that brings her baby in after every sneeze. But maybe it was just in my head - how they were treating me, not the acid reflux (though that may have been all in my head, as well.)

Last night I composed an entire post while lying in bed. I remember it was funny . . . but that is all I remember of it. However, I did have a dream that an ex-boyfriend of mine gained 400lbs and was crying bc he had moobs. I was trying to console him by saying that I had gained a lot of weight, too and we can find a way for us to lose weight. I think it was my subconscious's way of making me feel better about my weight-gain. It worked. But it's not true. He hasn't gained much weight . . . dang it.

And now for a little levity:
Here is Juniper having fun in her new highchair . . . and then deciding she is so over it.

I don't know why the video uploaded so pixelly. I'll figure it out next time. This time it took me over an hour to just figure out how (through trial and error) to post a video on here. I finally broke down and uploaded my very first video to YouTube. I'm one of the cool kids, now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Wanna Read It!

I was made aware of a recent book called Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein. How interesting, right? It discusses many things from ridiculous medieval tactics to the source of some of our modern day practices to the varying and sometimes polar opposite views of "feminists" concerning the rights of the mother through the ages. This has now moved to the top of my "To Read" list - a depressingly long list. I recommend checking out a review by Jade Keller and then listening to or reading the NPR interview with Epstein. I would love to have others join me in reading it. Any takers?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Delicious Demise

So, I'll give you a guess as to what my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. Go on, guess (see previous post for a hint) . . .

If you said Thin Mints, then DING DING DING you're correct! Give yourself a pat on the back. There, now don't you feel good?

Good, because I don't. Oh, he knows me well, but not well enough to keep those things away from me! I do SO LOVE them. Which is why I cannot have them. The fact that I can eat an entire box myself while watching a single episode of The Office is a source for self-loathing.

Oh, Thin Mints. My delicious demise.

And yes, Kat, they (or what is left of them due to some serious self-control) are residing in my freezer. Is there any other way? :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear So and So . . .

Dear So and So...

Dear Sleeping Baby,

I am conflicted. I am always so relieved that you are sleeping and I have a few moments to myself. But at the same time I miss you and want to give you hugs. I check on you every few minutes because I love you and want to make sure you are safe and I have to fight the urge to pick you up and smother you with kisses.
I know that your naps make you a much happier baby. I am so proud of you for going to sleep even when you are not yet falling asleep in my arms and also for soothing yourself back to sleep when those unnecessarily loud pick-up trucks and motorcycles go by our house. I am considering going outside and throwing rocks at them the next time.
I love you. Keep breathing.

- Mommy of a Rested Baby
Dear "."

 Well, hello again. I did not miss you during your 13 month hiatus and I am not happy to see that you have returned - with a vengeance! The headaches, soar tummy, achy muscles, lethargy and need for chocolate that you bring are not welcome. I guess I do appreciate the fact that you are a part of a functioning reproductive system that produced my precious baby. Whatever.

- Crabby Cramper
Dear Girl Scouts,

Yes, if propositioned I will buy several boxes of Thin Mints. No, I do not need them nor do I really have the money to waste on those delicious boxes of cellulite that I will no doubt consume on my own. I am in a vulnerable state (see above letter.) Please stay away.

- Weak-Willed Woman
Dear Stretch Marks,

You will no longer be labeled as "Stretch Marks." From now on you will be known as "Tiger Stripes." RAWRRR!!!

- A Mommy Re-Purposing Her Skin as Fashionable Body-Art

Dear Winter Weather,

How I wished for you while growing up in Daytona Beach, FL. As I child I would have loved to frolic in your snow, make snow men, snow ball fights, ice skating, suck on icicles, catch your flakes on my tongue, sled, stick my tongue on a metal pole, avoid yellow snow, etc. That was back when days were empty of responsibility and filled with whimsy.
Now, a body's got places to be - things to achieve. I do not mean to sound like a grump. I did so enjoy you during your first visit . . . and some on your second. You were so pretty and such a wonder at our mountain home. I love dawning my winter coats and hand-made scarves and hats. But you are becoming down-right inconvenient and dangerous. You ice our drive-way and the mountain road on which we live. You cancel activities I have been looking forward to and you make the grocery store a mad-house. My heating bills are ridiculous as a Florida girl is not used to these temperatures. And I have a serious case of cabin fever.
You have been pretty, but it is time to go away.

- A Serious Humbug
Dear Husband,

I am so happy that 3 years ago I let you marry me - and you let me marry you back. I knew you would be a great husband and father, but to experience that daily is truly a blessing. You are patient and forgiving, hard-working and devoted, loving and understanding and I LOVE you!
I thought I would be disappointed if our baby began looking more like you than me, but I have to say, you make one beautiful baby! (Let's make more.)
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

- Your Lucky Wife
Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking an interest! Check out Kat's website for more "Dear So and So"s.

- Linzi

Blog Template by
Sponsored by Free Web Space

Web Analytics