Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So It's Been A While, Again...

     *sigh* Maybe, eventually, I'll start up blogging regularly again. There are a few subjects that have been rattling around my brain recently, that it would be great to write out rather than just mulling it over. Perhaps I will get my act together soon. Anyway, today just a brief update, with pictures.

J.B. turned one a couple of weeks ago. Hard to believe, for it seems like he's been out and about forever, but not at the same time.

Here he is, enjoying Target brand honey
 nut cheerios for his birthday breakfast.
He is my little man, and it is wonderful to see him grow and learn. I will truly miss these days with him. 

John Michael will be joining us in January. :) A brother for J.B. to play with. I'm also contemplating changing people's nicknames on here, confusing as that prospect might be. I just need to decide between Spanish and Italian, though...  Anyway, here are a few pictures of John, the day we found out he was/is a boy.

We are currently under contract for a house, and now that the gov. is once again working, our loan should  be processed soon. Yeah, I was probably the only one who couldn't wait for them to get back online, but the prospect of spending much more time here in this apartment was a little too much to bear...  The best part about the house, other than basically living at the park? Chickens. I will be able to have chickens. I really do like chickens, in case you didn't know. :)  And I am once again seriously considering a dog, because alarm systems only alert you when the bad guy is already in the house, but a good dog will let you know when someone steps foot on the property. 

And now my stomach says it is time for a snack, since it is past sleepy time. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pinterest Fail (But Not Really)

     So, one day we had a lot of cherries, and they were on the verge of going bad. The Martian doesn't eat them raw, and I wasn't about to attempt to eat a whole 3 pounds or whatever it was all by myself in one go, so I came up with the brilliant idea to make pie, specifically mini pies.
This was a birthday present
for my husband from family...
     Anyway, it was a brilliant idea, until I tried to enact it. Earlier that day, I dropped and broke the food processor while retrieving it from the closet-pantry. Broke it so that it was unusable, and the pie crust called for a food processor. *sigh* "I guess I can work around that; I'll just cut the butter into the flour using two butter knives..." I managed to pit and halve all the cherries while J.B. napped, which was nearly a miracle because he wasn't napping much around that time. Dinner ran late; J.B. became tired, crabby, and really annoying; the counter was a mess; so I didn't start the pies in a particularly great mood. And it only went down hill from there, for it called for nearly frozen butter, which I did not have and could not possibly have managed to work with sans food processor. Also, in spite of having read the recipe at least three times, I only just noticed that the cherries were supposed to be cooked, in a pot, on the stove, for an undetermined amount of time. "There goes my quick, easy pies..." 
So I started the crust, with my not-cold-enough butter, and I think I accidentally added too much water, because the dough did not look anything like the picture, nor did it behave properly - much, much too sticky. But it could also have been the warm butter...
Luckily I used wax paper, otherwise
that mess would have been on my counter...
     The crust was basically mush, and stuck to the wax paper when I tried to roll it out. See those lines? Those are my finger marks, from scraping it off tiny piece by tiny piece so I could put it into the muffin tin. That was about the time I came up with the wonderful idea to make a Pinterest fail type post to try and salvage the fiasco, and my sanity.
Just the situation you never want to
run into while baking - having to mush
dough (or anything) down in to the
vessel it is going to be cooked in...
     Luckily I took the precaution to spray the tin with non-stick spray. Mushing tiny pieces of dough into each one of them so I could get some sort of bottom crust left me with a bad feeling in my gut...

     While I was silently cursing the dough and my lack of a food processor, I was also simultaneously attempting to cook the cherries, which did eventually work, but not in time for the pies. I was quite done with pies...
This is what the cherries looked like
when I decided I was "done"
This is what they were supposed to look like...
Patience is not a virtue I have in abundance, I am discovering...there was a brief episode of chucking things that were in my way, to somewhere out of my way...

     Anyhow, here's what the pre-cooked result was:
Ran out of crust, after making
more pies than the recipe said. 
     And after baking longer than the recipe said (everything takes longer in our oven for some reason), this was the end result:

     And this (with the finished cherries):

          Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the first pie to be eaten, but this one turned out well, I think:
     Thankfully, they came out of the muffin tins really easily, and they tasted pretty good too, which is the most important thing when dealing with food. Though I am not going to attempt this again until I have a new food processor. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bottles VS Nursing

          Well, J.B. has taken to the bottle surprisingly well, and right from the start, too. That was a bit unexpected, for the few times I had pumped so that I could leave for a reasonable amount of time he would never take one, even from Daddy. I guess he must have really been hungry. We did have a brief period about a week after introducing the bottle that he basically refused to take it, but I think he is over that now, considering he drank 5.5 ounces in one sitting yesterday, the most he has ever taken! It brings me much joy and comfort knowing that he isn't going hungry. And you will never know what a good thing wet diapers are, until you don't have any to change, and really should. 
          Anyhow, it is a great thing that he is getting the nutrition that he needs and I am no longer able to provide for him, but let me tell you, bottles are a hassle! As awful as nursing was in the beginning, all in all nursing is much easier. At least, I think so. Fewer things to wash, takes much less time to get food into baby's belly, don't have to really wake up for night feedings, and there is no waste! So my recommendation is:  don't use bottles unless you have to. Life is simpler that way.

Friday, June 28, 2013

So, Are You Excited?

          If you read my last post, you would have noted that we are expecting again.  Yup.  This time we decided not to wait to tell people, because I really didn't want to be keeping a secret like that for three months again. It was hard last time.  Well, that's not true.  At first I was like, "We aren't telling anybody ever."  Why, you ask?  Because I so wasn't ready for this, at all.  Not that we were avoiding, exactly, just kinda seeing how well breastfeeding alone worked, but I totally wasn't expecting children 16 months apart.  So, after the congratulations of whoever we told, came the inevitable "So, are you excited? / You must be excited!"  And honestly, I wasn't.  Unless you were to mean excited in the sense of nervous/excitable:  "Oh, she's an excitable person - freaks out at everything!"  I was kinda panicking, actually.  There are days, quite a few of them actually, where it seems like I can't handle the 8.5 month old I have, let alone try and recover from birth and take care of J.B., with no family near enough to help out for very long.  Not very appealing, let me tell you.  But, time has past and I am more used to the idea, and yes, now I am excited.  Even though we found out that our due date is about a month sooner than we were figuring.  We had a confirmation of pregnancy and gestational age ultrasound at the Front Royal Pregnancy Center (the website doesn't list the ultrasound availability because it is extremely new; thanks for all those who donated!), and found out that we are 10 weeks along, with a due date of January 21, 2014.  Because of our positive test, and no real LMP to go by, we assumed February, what with it being 9 months from May and all that.  Though it does leave me wondering why I had a negative test on May 11, since we were already expecting then, unless my math is bad...

Anyway, J.B. is waking up, so here is a cute pic of the newbie before I go:

So Much For A Year...

          So, you remember my last post about nursing for a year? Yeah, well, that isn't going to happen. Why? Because of this, on Memorial Day:  
Not our actual test; that pic is on my other phone, in the room
where Jose finally  just fell asleep...But it was that type of test.
For those of you wondering why this means not being able to nurse until Jose is one, let me explain. Pregnancy causes a drastic drop in milk supply, so much so that our sweet little one did not grow taller and lost weight since his last check up in April. Even with all the demand (and there was a lot), the supply just isn't there. So supplementing, here we are, and I'm debating whether it would be easier to just wean, rather than keep nursing. My vanity says "Yes! Think of the dresses you could wear, and the other clothes that aren't so nursing accessory friendly!" The more motherly part of me thinks weaning would be a better way of ensuring he is getting enough, since I don't know how much he is getting when nursing anyway; and I'm supposed to offer the bottle after nursing to keep up supply, but he won't take it then, even though we are supposed to get him to take 4-6 ounces of formula 4 times a day.... Neither of us are ready to completely wean, though, and bottles are a pain. Oh, the conundrums of a mom!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Because I Can

     Well, I'm not too sure, exactly, of what to write, though I sort of feel compelled to write something. Why? Because J.B. is napping in my lap, and I now have a smart phone. :) So, basically, there's not much else I could be doing anyway. Naw, I don't really want to put him down; it's nice not having to deal with tired crabby baby who feels like he's being abandoned because he wakes up during transport. We attempted some nap sleep training for a couple of weeks, but that left both of us tired and crabby so I cut my losses and settled for sleeping through the night. Eventually we will drop the nursing/being held naps, but right now I'm fine with settling. 
     Life has been decently good to us these past almost 8 months since I basically stopped writing. We're finally in the market for a house. J.B. started crawling on Saturday, thereby increasing the necessity of a larger place. Unfortunately, what we want doesn't seem to exist, except in the very expensive price range. I've decided to try my hand at being an independent consultant with Arbonne, hoping to make some money to be able to help my sister out with school, though at the immediate moment it would be nice to just make  my investment money back. I'm also trying to start an exercise support group with some of my friends - maybe we'll have more success that way. I know I'll do better with someone other than just myself to be accountable to.
     Like I mentioned, J.B. is crawling now, and getting into all sorts of trouble. He's also cutting his two top incisors, so soon he'll have four teeth. Slowly and surely we're working on rel food, though I need to find stuff he can feed to himself; he'all do better that way. We also need to look into some more engaging toys eventually. 
     Well, that's pretty much what's going on these days. Hopefully I'll be posting more often than these past months. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Done

          Nursing. Just because it's "natural" and "instinctual" doesn't mean it's easy. Because it really isn't. The most difficult thing I have done, up to date, is sticking with it. Yes, giving birth was hard, but there was no way around that. There are only so many ways to get a baby out, and all of them involve pain. But feeding a baby, now there's a different story. There are a few ways to go about it, some of which are completely painless. So you see, when faced with the choice of sticking with the miserableness that was nursing (for it certainly was unbearable at times) and the possibility of leaving that pain behind in favor of something else, it took pretty much everything in my willpower to forge ahead. I have never wanted to quit anything so badly in all of my life. But I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did; because it gets so much better, it really does. Now I can say I'm part of a not very large percentage of women who have nursed up to the 6 month mark and beyond. Hopefully we can join an even more elite group and reach the 12 month mark. Guess only time will tell. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

P. T. Day

          No, not physical therapy. Not physical training either, though I could definitely benefit from some. No, P. T. quite simply stands for Pregnancy Test. You see, it was a year ago today that we discovered that we were with child. A very happy and nerve wracking day indeed. A day for treats and celebration! A day, the anniversary of which shall be henceforth celebrated as one of thanksgiving. One year ago today we found out that we were parents, and from that day forth our lives would be so radically changed for the better.  Oh, it hasn't been easy - that first trimester was rough, these newborn days haven't been all peaches and cream, and there will most assuredly be many challenging times ahead - but it sure has been worth it overall.
          And, if you ask me, such days should be days of celebration for every pro-lifer. Why? Because it seems like celebrating the days we first found out about our children would have a little bit of impact on those who believe that murdering them in the name of "choice" is okay. Thanks to the great advances in science, it is becoming much more difficult for people to deny the humanity of the unborn, but why not do what we can to reinforce that knowledge? My thinking mostly follows the same kind of path it had when I wrote about whether or not to find out if we were having a boy or girl - discussing an unborn child in terms of he/she and names does wonders for remembering their humanity.  
          In a similar way, if we believe life begins at conception, then shouldn't we be celebrating life from the very beginning? Now, since celebrating 'conception day' would most likely be difficult for most because of uncertainty in regards to the actual day, and quite honestly, that would be a bit on the awkward side. I mean, really. Thus Pregnancy Test Day to the rescue! No "ick" factor, easy to explain, and still gets the point across. Seriously, how difficult is it to explain to a child (or anyone, for that matter) that "This was the day that we found out that God had given you to us, love, mushiness, cake, etc."? P. T. Day could even surpass birthdays in celebration! Personally, I'd like to celebrate both; who wouldn't like more frequent parties? And treats?  Anyway, those are just my two cents worth, and since Jose has woken from his slumbers, that's all I'm going to have time for.