Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

Today was a totally typical late fall day. Sunny, then cloudy, then sprinkled rain, now its just cloudy and chilly! I don't dare say cold because last winter was cold! This is just chill! Ok it is cold but still chill compared to what winter is cookin' up for us! 

Still waiting on baby. I am very ready to have baby. A baby started crying in church yesterday and I had let down. Yeah, when that starts to happen I know I'm close! Very close! The contractions have been different today, going from 30 minutes apart to 20 to 10, then I start doing something and I get distracted and I forget to count them so then I don't know if they are staying the same or disappearing like practice labor often does. 

I'm thinking about going into town with the family this evening after dinner and walking around and picking up a few last minute items for the baby. Maybe that will encourage these strange contractions to kick into active labor and produce a baby! Yeah! I was looking at the calendar today and realized that today is the last day of October! Tomorrow is November! 11-1-11! If I can't wait to have the baby for 11-11-11 then 11-01-11 would be just as fine. Actually any day is fine with me! I'm ready to meet the baby, and start letting my body heal and revive itself after having 3 babies in 3 years. 

Over all it's to the point where I just can't wait to meet the baby and smell that precious new baby smell. That is the most heavenly smell no scientist could ever recreate! New born baby everything about them is precious :)  I guess you could say they are "heaven-scent"!!!! So excited!

Well time to sign off and figure out what to have for dinner. I'm so restless the last thing I feel like doing is cooking but I have two kids and a husband to feed so off to cook I go!!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Breastfeeding, Nursing, Holidays and Crockpots

As I listen to The Christmas Song being sung I can't help but think of the fast approaching holidays. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. This year has totally flown by and I have been blessed with a fabulous pregnancy compared to my previous two! I actually enjoyed being pregnant this time around! Down deep I know I enjoyed the other two but now that I have accepted how my body changes during pregnancy and embracing the changes instead of wishing I still had the body I had in highschool I don't mind being pregnant one bit! I always thought my prime would be early twenties. Now that I am on the other side of the early twenties I realize that all the women I had talked to in high school were right. A woman doesn't hit her prime until later! I haven't even reached that yet! Interesting :)

Thinking about being "in the prime", about to have another baby and the holidays really made me start to think about breastfeeding again. I finally realized that nursing is what a baby does, breastfeeding is what a mom does. I'm no longer scared or embarrassed to say the word "breast". Every warm blooded animal that needs to feed it's young has mammary glands, funny thing is you don't see a milk cow going in for an "udder enhancement". . . I know there are many exceptions in different religious communities but our american society in general puts too much emphasis on the breast as a sexual object instead of it's natural intended use. I've read the Bible and while there is a place for them in that context the main purpose is to feed babies.

Going along this train of thought I was highly embarrassed to breastfeed in public because of the looks I got. Not so much of the "ew, I can't believe she doesn't use a bottle" looks but the "I wonder how much I can see if I walk close enough" looks. I was appalled. So, what did I do? I tried not just to breastfeed discretely but also I got a nursing cover. 

Seriously people, have you ever had your morning coffee/tea UNDER a blanket???? How about your breakfast??? Do you eat your lunch in the bathroom??? How about "you guys go ahead, I need to finish my dinner so I will just sit in the car while you all have fun". Nope. Not for my baby.

When my baby needs to eat, the baby will get to eat and if someone dares to make a perverted comment they will be lucky not to get my shoe thrown at them. Their mother would be so ashamed of them. I will not put up with crass comments about how I should go to the bathroom to feed my baby or use a blanket. If an adult wouldn't eat like that then a baby shouldn't have to either. 

As for my modesty I can nurse discreetly, this is a free country and in my state there are no laws prohibiting breastfeeding in public. Therefore I can. And I will. I also encourage other moms to just not put up with it, do what you feel is best for you and baby despite what other people think! 

I tried not to listen to Christmas music until closer to Thanksgiving but I woke up to a sassy Christmas song this morning and I just had to listen to it. Then I started listening to other favorite Christmas songs and here I sit, typing and listening to Christmas music! All the while smelling what is becoming dinner in the crock pot! 

I have really enjoyed learning to cook in a crock pot this past week. Today I am making scalloped potatoes in the crock pot. While not too complex and so far my fare from the crock pot has been out of character for my cooking preferences I have enjoyed spending more time with my kids (and off my feet due to the baby pressing a nerve in my back!). Another plus to cooking in a crock pot is if you are home you get to smell the lovely goodness all day long, slowly cooking and getting tastier until the peak for dinner time! 

So I guess that pretty much sums up the title for today. I breastfeed my baby, my baby nurses, the holidays are coming quick and crock pots are pretty handy kitchen accessories! 
Hoping you all have a safe and enjoyable weekend! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sugar Cookies

 Yesterday afternoon my daughter and I made cookies. As dinner was finishing up I was just finishing up frosting them like pumpkins. Since the frosting was fresh I had them sitting out for the frosting to set before stacking them on the serving plate. My son was having a pretty hard time waiting for dinner and putting up quite the fuss. I was finishing up the last of the baking dishes when I realized it suddenly became quiet. Oh no. I turn around and I didn't have to find what he was into at all. He was able to reach up on the counter and help himself to a decorated cookie! He was happy as a clam sitting on my kitchen rug. He saw me said "num num" and kept eating. I got a few pictures with my good camera as a memory. I couldn't scold such a cute sight as that! I just let him eat his prize then we had dinner.

After dinner for desert was, of course, cookies. My daughter didn't see her brother eating the cookie he took of the counter so she had no idea I had frosted them. I handed her a cookie and you would have thought I was handing her a rare prized possession. She said "woooowww my cookie!?" then took it from me with two hands every so carefully as not to disturb the frosting. What a hunny! 

I sure enjoyed the pumpkin cookies with my kids. Of course my husband liked them too! Hot chocolate and pumpkin cookies, yummy!

I am so blessed to have the kids that I have, they remind me almost daily to enjoy the simple things in life (like pumpkin shaped sugar cookies!) because without the simple things life can turn into one big routine. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Babies, Birthing and Other Women. Mostly Other Women.

So I have been doing a lot of thinking on this subject the past two weeks as my time to birth my third baby is nearing. I have done incredible amounts of research on different methods of birthing, different places to have the baby, different doctors, etc., etc., etc.

I still find it incredibly interesting how some people are so happy to be like sheep and others like to think for themselves before following the herd - if they even follow the herd. 

Now, I am no expert on this subject, even if I were to become a doctor I would never consider myself an expert. Look how many times the experts change their minds. Just today they are releasing a new opinion on baby crib deaths. Interesting. 

But at any rate I am not picking on the experts. The real bone I have to pick is with some women. 

You know the type, the one who thinks she has the most horrific birthing story and repeats it like it is impending doom or putting a hex on you like you will have a horrific birth too. On one hand I feel pity for women like that and on the other hand I think they need a slap to the face. 

It's a shame to scare young women about to birth their first baby with their horror stories. But who else would listen to them? Other women that have had a child really don't care (do they?!) because they have gone through birth themselves and despite the fact whether their birth was horrific or not there is no fear there.

I honestly believe from the bottom of my heart that birth affects all women differently, labor can be different with each pregnancy with each woman and sometimes there are scary medical emergencies that need to be dealt with(which is the basis for most horror stories).

Just a few weeks ago I had a few women tell me their horror stories and I just told them that just because they had a hard time giving birth doesn't mean I will, especially since I have already given birth twice before with no problem. Now, I am not saying there is not a chance there could be a problem but I am NOT counting on it. My glass is half full thank you very much!

What surprises me the most is that if they are telling me this stuff and I have already had two kids I can't imagine how petrified a soon to be mama would be if she was about to have her first child. Shame, shame, shame. Just because you got hit by lightning doesn't mean I will get hit too.

If there was one thing I would love to do is to help new moms realize that those horror stories are not that common and while you may be able to do a lot to prevent a hard labor sometimes medical intervention is necessary. But if medical intervention is necessary it doesn't mean you will have a horror story!

My first labor story is one of frustration. If I had gone to a midwife I would have minimized a lot of hassle for myself. But it was my first so how was I supposed to know? I was just a sheep following the herd of birthing horror stories. My second labor went so much better once I had an idea of what labor and birthing was like. 
I am very excited to go into labor with this baby, it really doesn't hurt, labor is work much like running a race is but at the end it is totally exhilarating and you always get a prize no matter what!

I also did some research on labor and the "women's curse in childbirth" and those people in King James time really through women for a loop. The word for Adam's toil is the same word for Eve's childbirth. Well, you don't see men screaming, cussing and losing themselves over having to work to support their family even though it can be quite rough (especially in the lack of jobs available today). So I figure if it's the same word then it's not that labor will be painful, it is work. Yeah, it can get uncomfortable (I had back labor with my second born) BUT if you view it as painful it will hurt. 

Well I could go on for hours about all this stuff. I started writing a book and I think it's high time I finish it. Who knows, maybe someone will actually read it?! You never know! 

The kids are asking for a snack so I better oblige so we can make it through the "witching hour" before dinner is served! 

Do your fellow pregnant sister's a favor, no horror stories! There must be SOMETHING positive to say about your birth!!! I sure could have made my first birth story a horror story but like I said, my glass is half full! 

Kids are such a blessing!


A Hair Past Autumn, A Step Towards Winter

Today I finally realized, with the passing of the majority of the leaves on the trees that winter is quick approaching us. The temperatures in the 40's isn't so bad but the wind makes it seem so much colder. Once all the corn is cut it really will seem like a day before snow!

We took down the garden fencing and posts, put away most of the outdoor stuff that needs to be stored for winter. Time sure flew by!

Since I am without a vehicle to run to town I decided today was a great day to make crock-pot bean soup for dinner. Since we still have homemade bread from earlier this week I think that will make a great combination. My daughter helped "cook" some cookie dough (which is now chilling) so we can make some pumpkin sugar cookies after her nap time. She is such a sweetheart! She loves pretending to cook, I may just have a little chef on my hands!

Here is the recipe for the bean soup I am trying out today:

Navy Bean Soup
  • 2 cups dried navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons celery flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 brats (sausages),cubed
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
~Mix all ingredients into crock pot and let cook all day~ 

I must say that is the ultimate fix it and forget it recipe! I just hope it tastes good! It sure smells fabulous, I did put the crock pot on high for now but later this afternoon depending on how well done the beans are I may turn it down to low.

Well still no baby yet, I am clearly getting random BH contractions every once in a while but nothing like I had this past weekend. What a teaser! I was so excited, well I still am and I can't wait for the baby to finally come!

Time for lunch, the kids nap time then I can finally get my "morning shower" in the afternoon! The kids woke up super early this morning so I wasn't able to fit in my morning shower but oh happy day I will sure enjoy it after lunch!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh Blustery Day

This weekend has been pretty windy and most of the leaves are down, except of course from the oak trees! Still, there is so much beauty in this transition of seasons. The corn field across the street is just gorgeous blowing in the wind, the few remaining leaves on the maple trees in the front yard are a pretty reddish yellow color and I can sit and enjoy the sunshine gleaming down on the different colors! So, the leaves are past peal? No matter, there are plenty other colors of nature I am soaking in before our world is in a blanket of white!

Yesterday I made that Pumpkin Spice Cake but next time I make it I am going to add more spices and also add a teaspoon or two (or three) of pumpkin pie spice in addition to the other spices already in the recipe. The cake was wonderfully moist but not spicy enough for my taste :) Also it could have used some chopped dates or raisins and garnished with some toasted walnuts would have made it even more divine! 

Today I am going to make some homemade bread, but I am cheating and going to use the breadmaker. Sure, it isn't the same as hand made bread but since the baby dropped I'm really not up to standing around kneading bread with all the pressure on my lower back. Plus I have dinner to think about making and other daily household chores that need to be done.

Contractions have slowed down since yesterday but when I do get them they involve my lower back as well. Not painful, but not comfortable either! Yesterday I had to have my husband rub my lower back to help release the tension there after a really strong contraction that left my back in a spasm. Oh what wonderful release a little massage gives! 

I am hoping some of the things I have posted to sell will sell this week. It would be most helpful. I also need to find someone to take our chickens. Once we sell our laying hens we will be down to the animals we want to keep through the winter. Well, almost! I still need to find a home for my pet bunny. Although it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to keep him because if we have to feed the ducks we just keep him in the chicken coop with the ducks anyways. But it would be nice to find him a home.

A rat moved in under the chicken coop this week. Yesterday I even found some rat droppings inside the feed shed. Good thing we keep everything in containers but the rat obviously found something to eat in there. I need to find a way to get rid of that disease carrying rodent. I don't want it reproducing and us having a problem with rats. We haven't had a problem with mice since our cat keeps that population down but I have a feeling from the size of the droppings this rat must be about the same size as our cat, which is actually a pretty smallish sized cat. Hope to find a safe way to rid ourselves of this rat without harming the cat OR the free range chickens and ducks. It's not cold enough to keep them in the chicken coop yet so we let the birds free range until then. 

I recently found an imported bag I absolutely loved at the store. They were selling them for $40 each. I don't have that kind of money to spend on a bag and it was the perfect size to carry everything I need for three kids and of course my normal "purse" necessities for myself. The fact that it was imported makes me wonder if it was really handmade or just "imported" from an overseas factory. I will have to check etsy for something similar I guess. I could always make my own if I could sneak a picture of it. I will have to check online. If I find something similar that will be my next project to make! 

Of course I did want to crochet some matching hats for me and my daughter and the new baby (which is supposed to be a girl according to the ultrasound tech, but only God knows for sure!)

Well off to get the daily chores done so if the baby does decide to come later today at least the house will be caught up!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn Pumpkin Spice Cake ~ Super Easy~

I was craving cake today and remembered I had some leftover cooked squash in the fridge. Lucky me I already knew you can substitute cooked squash for pumpkin! So this is what I made, I am in culinary heaven right now! Yumm!!!

~Autumn Pumpkin Spice Cake~
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk)

* Mix together the first five ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add, alternating between the milk and dry ingredients until mixed together. Pour into desired greased pan (I used an 11x7 glass pan which was perfect) and cook in preheated 350F oven until done approx. 25-30 minutes until the toothpick test comes clean.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp rum extract (or you can omit this if desired)
milk to make desired consistency.

*Mix all together and slowly add milk to make the desired consistency. Also depending on how cool the cake is when you put it on also will determine the end result so it's up to you, the cook!


I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would write something. There are quite a few things I have on my mind to write about but I can't possibly write about all of them at once. I guess I will just try to post on each on this week. 

I have so many thoughts on being frugal, cutting costs, cloth diapers, having babies, cooking, working at home/working outside the home, and family life in general. Oh, did I forget to mention Christmas and Thanksgiving coming up too?!?!?! 

I have been having contractions every 20-30 minutes since this past Friday. They slow down to every 30 minutes after I go to bed but they continue throughout the night. I've had some other signs of early labor but not what I consider "active" labor yet - although I can tell I am dilating despite the contractions not getting "stronger" or "worse". I have so much pressure and lower back discomfort so I know that baby is getting ready to come out and meet the world! I know my husband and I can't wait to meet our new baby!!!

I have just about everything ready for the baby, so this is very exciting! It's just a matter of when. We aren't going too far from home because of the contractions not stopping. I remember with my son (2nd baby) I would have contractions for 10-12 hours but then they would stop for a few days then start back up again for another 10 hours then stop. 

A month ago I was dilated to 2.5 and effaced 25% so who knows what that would be now! They didn't do an exam at my last doctors appointment. Oh well :) I have to go each week now so it's curious to see (if baby doesn't come before my next appointment) what these contractions are doing. I also wonder if they will just go into active labor or just disappear. 

It's been a beautiful and blustery weekend this weekend. Most of the leaves in the yard blew away which is nice because it minimizes the raking we have to do later. 

For some odd reason I feel like making a cake today. Maybe that is a sign the baby is coming? I've had a weird hankering to make cake before each other baby was born. I made strawberry coffee cake before my daughter was born, strawberry shortcake before my son was born and I've been craving strawberry cake all day long. I think I will just make some vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. Not sure. Well off to make a cake, maybe after have a baby :D Only God knows! 

Loving the country life,

Friday, October 7, 2011


Season. Is it the beginning of something new? The end of something old? Or is it just the continuation of a chapter of life?

As I sit and watch the basswood leaves drifting through the air landing on the yard and the horse barn I cannot help but wonder. The lush green lawn is now covered in temporary gold. The maple trees are starting their color change from dark green to light green, now yellowing and turning a brilliant crimson red. The air smells crisp, like fresh pressed apple cider. The wind blows from new directions hastening the basswood leaves descent. The end of something or the beginning of something? 

Early in the morning a light fog mixed with smoke from wood burners sits in a haze over the pasture. The horses breath mingles in the haze while he grazes the last bits of new growing grass. The colors surrounding this early morning picture is just incredible. The sumac's crimson, the milkweed's yellow, the grasses slowly turning greenish brown, the last of the late summer flowers drying on their stalks ready to let lose their seeds to lay dormant until next spring. Leaves of different colors and shapes drifting almost silently, except for the initial rustle of their leaving their post on the tree and rustling while they make their contact with the ground.

Bugs and other juicy goodies are getting scarce for the chickens and ducks. The wild geese are making their way slowly south for warmer climes as the sound their wings make as they fly effortlessly through the sky makes a prelude to winter storms coming. The deer and turkeys forage and enjoy the last of summers bounty. The squirrels and chipmunks fight over the acorns and any other wonderful tidbit they find to put into their "pantry" in a tree.

While summer may be ending and autumn is clearly here the excitement of winter approaching and spending more time with family is in the crisp autumn air. Few corn fields are still standing the stalks brittle and scratching against the crisp fall breeze just waiting to be cut down and stored for the farmer's animals over winter. 

Fresh pressed apple cider warmed with some caramel, magic gloves, mid-autumn camp fires, friends and family, the crisp and cleansing autumn air, pumpkin pies, apple pies, leaves falling, peak leaf color and a hug from my husband, kids laughing and playing in piles of fallen leaves raked up just to be scattered about by kids running through them.


Autumn is truly here. 

The circle of life continues on.

So I ask, is a season the end, the beginning or continuation?

Praise be to God for the changing of the seasons and whatever they bring.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wedding Anniversary!!!

Today is mine and my husband's 3rd wedding anniversary!!! 

What a gorgeous day too! Fall leaves are just about peak, Indian Summer temperatures, sunshine! Since we couldn't go to our usual weekend anniversary retreat I got a deep dish pizza to make (since I couldn't afford steaks, but we never ate steaks on our anniversary anyways--We always got pizza!!!) 

I'm going to make some strawberry cupcakes with white frosting like usual and my grandparents got us a really pretty carrot cake which they said we had to wait until our anniversary to eat and we did! We got into it this morning for breakfast before my husband left for work! 

This morning I had breakfast fit for a pregnant mama. Pumpkin Pie Poptarts (I know, real healthy right?! It was a treat!) and my favorite maple flavored coffee. Door County Coffee has the best Maple coffee in the world and I look forward to them selling it each autumn!!! They have other amazing flavors but Maple is my favorite followed by White Christmas, Cookie Dough and a Cranberry flavor they sell during Christmas time.

Well since my plans were messed up due to some circumstances we are trying to figure out it looks like we will have the kids with us for dinner unless I can get a sitter at the last minute for an hour or two. It's so hard for my husband and I to get by ourselves. We finally got some time to ourselves this past Sunday for the FIRST time this entire YEAR!!! We really need to get more alone time together! 

Well I better get started on picking up the house again, making my cupcakes and finding a sitter. We are also trying to sell that buck goat. So I need to make a few phone calls on him today as well. It would be a huge blessing for someone to buy him this week. Well that is all for now, off to get the day started so I can relax with or without the kids when my husband comes home so we can enjoy our anniversary together!!!