Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How I'm feeling...

I went from euphoric last Friday morning to bogged down by Sunday evening. We had a magical day at Adventureland with Jacob. Truly, the best day I've ever had, as our own little family. Jacob is at such a great age to have fun with - because his activities aren't limited to only what is fun to him. Just think, we're starting all over again! LOL 
For the most part, I feel good. I am waning, in the energy department. Two long, active, albeit great weekends, in a row, is just too much for this preggo woman. I don't like that it takes 3 days to recover on sleep. I am also finding that I cry at the drop of a hat because I'm not sleeping well and I don't want to keep the energy and discipline factor up with Jacob. I'm tired and he knows it. The past 2 days, I feel like the worst mommy in the world. I haven't been outside with him. I've been working on my Mary Kay business and let him watch tv all afternoon yesterday. :( I am trying to get ready for a garage sale, and there are rooms in my house that are a complete disheveled mess as I prepare for it. This weekend, will be furniture rearranging time, as well as, yardwork time. I don't like that everywhere I look is stuff that needs to be done that I can't really do by myself. It drains me. I like order. I am very grateful Jacob is as old as he is during this pregnancy. I can't imagine how much more of a failure I'd feel like with a toddler while I'm pregnant. I admire my many friends who dealt with that scenario while pregnant.
On an up note - Almond Joy creamer from International Delight is a.....delight! I have 2 cups of coffee each day. Tomorrow, I may wait for them til the afternoon, so I may enjoy an iced coffee with the Almond Joy creamer. This weekend is our Fourth of July festivities in Independence! Looking forward to seeing and interacting with people and celebrating our country's birthday.
As for me, I told hubby yesterday, I'm now at the point, in this pregnancy that I'm not going to do anything I don't feel like doing. This pertains to things on the calendar that will divert my energy from where it needs to be to get things ready for Sweet Pea's arrival. Cuz once he gets here, Old Man Winter will be breathing on our necks. Hubby told me I've earned it. What a guy, what a guy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frosting

I'm awake early this morning. We are leaving for, what I call, mini vacation. :) We do these 2 or 3 times a year and they're so nice. It's the frosting on the cake of life to get away and experience something for the first time through the eyes of our Boy Wonder. Today, it will be an amusement park.  Speaking of frosting, I want to share a new frosting recipe I used for my mother-in-law's retirement party cake. It got rave reviews! I am tickled since I'm not a fan of buttercream and really wanted something lighter for frosting. For me, the kicker to ultimate flavor, is to use Watkins Vanilla, when vanilla is called for. This recipe is great for decorating, piping, borders. It really stood the test of time last weekend. I got this recipe from www.allrecipes.com . Like I said, I use Watkins Vanilla.

Whipped Cream Frosting
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Directions

  1. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.               

I hope you have a wonderful, end of June, weekend! Next weekend we celebrate the birthday of our country! :D

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jabbering....

Ahhh...the weather is cooling off. I love it. I told my sister-in-law yesterday that I am ready for Fall. Friday morning, we leave for a mini-vacation with excellent friends to Adventureland and to an I-Cubs game. I am so, so happy the temps have cooled off. :D

We all had an extraordinary weekend celebrating my mother-in-laws retirement. I'm eager to see the large family group picture that was taken. It's a little embarassing how tuckered out I got by Sunday morning. I literally felt hungover, with a headache and sheer exhaustion. I came home earlier so I could recuperate by Monday. Monday, I headed to Iowa City to meet a friend for lunch. We went to Kohls and decided that I needed to buy baby clothes for Sweet Pea. Mind you, I have a whole tote full of clothes, from Jacob, but, Sweet Pea deserves his own brand new clothes. :D It was so much fun looking at them and picturing my bundle of boy in these - my two favorite outfits from Monday's shopping....

His first Thanksgiving outfit




Hmmmm....blogger isn't permitting me to add photos. [At long last, 4 hours later, I was able to upload the photos. :D ] That's fine, I'll edit later because I want to tell  you about a Fauxmosa.

A Fauxmosa is a fake mimosa. ;) I am not an orange juice drinker. However, this pregnancy, orange juice just hits the spot. I don't crave it, I simply enjoy it, WITH diet 7UP. It's 1 part o.j. to 1 part diet 7UP. I usually have it in the evening with my fabulous iron supplement. Try it. Tell me if you like it.

Jacob just got done hugging my belly. He is going to be a wonderful big brother. I am off to clean and freeze strawberries. Enjoy this Wednesday [Already!], dears!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Rebel Angel Food Cake

I have to share these pictures of the angel food cake I baked yesterday afternoon. I do not know how this happened, but it is very funny to me. The batter looked just fine to me as I poured it in the pan. In fact, I thought it looked better than usual. At 40 minutes, in the oven, this is what it looked like...


I was amused and laughing, but decided to continue to let it bake until it looked baked through. About 10 minutes later, it looked like this when I removed it from the oven...

I didn't know what to do with it, except to take a picture and share it on Facebook. Got some laughs from friends about it, turned around to look at the cake again and the hump or volcanic action was receding. It was starting to look "normal". So, I thought, "Get this bugger upside down and ready to cool. It might not be a failure after all!" I didn't know that the cake was going to make me laugh harder yet. As I flipped the cake upside down, I kept watching it. I mean, I did feel like it was some kind of scientific experiment. I could hear Beeker in the background...oh.....that wasn't Beeker, that was the cake passing gas. What? I tipped the pan back to the regular position, as I was hunkered beneath it to see where this sound of air escaping, was coming from. It sounded like an SBD. Sure enough, as I started to tip the cake to the upside-down position, the center of the "volcano" started to open up and air and steam whisper-whistled out. After setting the pan down, rolling on the floor with laughter, I decided the cake needed an autopsy. See exhibit #3....
The bottom 1/3 of the angel food cake was a gelatin-like layer. It was rubbery and tough. Not exactly the consistency and texture an angel food cake should be. I still do not know what caused this phenomenon. I have made many, many angel food cakes from scratch -but this one takes the cake. :D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Paper on sheetrock?

Last night, a lovely friend came to our house and showed me how to remove wallpaper using vinegar and water in a spray bottle. It really wasn't hard, except for how my tummy, didn't like being mushed in the wasted space corner, of our kitchen. See picture.
Wasted Space Corner
 I tried to stand on my tip toes, but discovered I'd practically be balancing my bump, on the kitchen counter like a pogo ball. Not a good idea. So, I resorted to standing with my left foot on the floor and my right, stubby leg, swung up on the counter. This was comfortable actually. It relieved the pressure of my growing tummy and I was on my left side, which is the only way to lay according to ALL the baby boards after a woman is 20 weeks along. ;)

Anywho - back to the title of the post - "paper on sheetrock?" [Imagine me tilting my head slightly to the side, eyes wide, one eyebrow raised, with expression of "who knew?"] Well...let me tell you, there IS! I was spraying my little vinegar and water bottle along, basking in the aroma of feet while I scraped away. [Once I ran out of clear vinegar, we resorted to apple cider vinegar. That is when the feet stank took over.] I scraped off, whatever would come up, when I started to see a grayish tan wall. Hmmm? Next picture please.....
See what I mean? Apparently, this is not good. I have yet to learn what the big deal is, or how to repair it. My only indication something wasn't right, was when Hubby said, "Oh, you're pulling up sheetrock paper.", and his breathing pattern .....changed.

Other than that, it was the most enjoyable experience I've had with removing wallpaper. I got to catch up with a friend and laugh. Oh - and we had some Bill's pizza - which is always excellent.
Thank you Peggy for a fabulous evening! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Morning prayer

Thank you for the cool, crisp breeze.
Thank you for the sway of the trees.
Thank you for the coffee in my hand and the
sweet dreams in my little one's head.
Thank you for the love of good friends-
the ones I've had for years and the ones I haven't met.
When I think I'm lost, and I look around -
it's your splendor that reminds me, "I am not lost. I. Am. Found."
Maker, with our words, our thoughts, our deeds- may we bring to You - everlasting praise.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nesting

Good Monday morning! =D I always welcome a weekend and I always welcome Mondays. Sundays are like the primer on a wall to paint a fresh new week. We had a fun, relaxing, quality-time weekend since Hubby had a 3 day weekend. An exciting development for us this week, are the kicks I can now feel on the outside of my tummy. Of course, when Hubby puts his hand to feel, Sweet Pea won't budge. heehee We are now 21 weeks. I have finally picked out colors for his nursery. All I have done is mostly emptied the nursery in preparation for our little nest. There will be major shifts in beds and furniture to prepare for our new little boy. I have been collecting ideas and creativity nuggets from favorite blogs.
This weekend, I also decided on the general theme I want throughout our home. I think it's set up ideally to feel like a cottage. Our kitchen, once I enlist some help to remove tacky wallpaper border and wallpaper for the backsplash, will be decorated in the navy blue and oatmeal crockery with accents of granny smith apple green. These are the two items I've had setting next to each other on my table for a few days and it brings me pleasure to look at them together. It's a total accident that I love.

I want to paint my cabinets an off-white color, glaze them for an antique finish and put on new hardware. Alas, I'm in no position to try and tackle the cabinets, on my own and hubby is not digging the idea of [gasp] painting solid wood cabinet doors. I just know it will brighten up our kitchen and update it without the expense of buying new cabinets. You know what else I love? Those blue metal plates/cups/pitchers/pots with the white speckles on them. Who can tell me what the proper name is for them? As a kid, I called them camping dishes. I can envision a hutch full of milk glass dishes. Are there also milk glass dishes in a green color? That's what I keep seeing, in my mind, but I don't even know if it exists.
Well, dears, I must get on with painting this new week.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday

Ahhhhhh….I love days like yesterday. We spent the day in hubby’s quaint hometown in northeast Iowa. Then we raced home to make Jacob’s t-ball game. We finished the evening with a trip to Fareway, for some excellent cuts of beef. Jacob chose some fine new cowboy boots from a store in Elkader, called the Turkey River Mall. It’s a 3-story building in downtown Elkader, with oodles and gobs of rooms which vendors rent and sell there creations or secondhand items or collections or antiques. One can purchase anything from primitives to dining room sets from the 1950s to kitschy toys or tableware. Jacob was very excited to show off his new boots in Elkader and in Independence[pictured below in Fareway]. We purchased a picture by artist, Billy Jacobs. The print, which I am loving for it’s simplicity and wholesomeness I feel, when I gaze at, is called, Sweet Corn For Sale. I really haven’t been able to quit thinking about the shops in Elkader. I visited an enchanting secondhand store called The Copper Frog. I want to go back today. The Copper Frog is magical. I saw so many things I wished I could buy, if I had places to put them. There were many things I would have purchased if I didn’t have a budget and list of upcoming things I need to buy for.

I am soon going to need to purchase a new camera. I apologize for the blurry quality of the pictures below, but Jacob is not exactly still-life. Winking smile 

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I hope your weekend is just the way you like it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Perfect

Pink’s song….I <3 this song SO much! My brain is inundated with examples of the pressure to be perfect and it’s all a joke. God said it first, we are created in His image and he wants us for relationship. He doesn’t want us because He needs an ego fed to adore and bow down to Him. When I think of the relationships I have, they are less than perfect…..much less…..and yet I value them, cherish them – I appreciate that we can speak openly with each other, be it excitement, sorrow, anger, joy, reflection, etc. We can mess up and be truly sorry and come back together. We are perfect to God – just the way we are. A couple weeks ago, when Steve and I were told by our doctor that Sweet Pea didn’t have 3 blood vessels in his umbilical cord and there was a 50% chance he would be born with a genetic disease – I did not praise my Maker. We knew that no matter what, we would love our son and be excited for his life. However, I said to God through gritted teeth, “If you created Mt. Everest and the seasons and made Eve from dust and a rib of a man, then you frickin’ [edited version] put three blood vessels in his umbilical cord!” I was not kidding. I do not feel guilt for talking to God that way. I’m feeling a little bit of anxiety right now for admitting, on a blog, that I did….but I’m pushing it aside because if we can’t be real with the One that made us and has a purpose for us…..who needs it and I do need Him and want Him.  After the high risk ultrasound, 10 days later, the tech saw 3 vessels right away. It’s more than likely that the vessel was there and the equipment, in our clinic couldn’t see it. The creation of a baby is a miracle…and my doctor told me there was a slim risk that he wouldn’t be able to survive outside the womb, if he had a certain genetic disease, with only a 2 vessel cord. Of course, my doctor told me all of these things when referring me to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics because of my age[ what the hell? I still think I’m  24.], my own *issues* that I was born with, and the history of losing Levi Matthew. It took me about 4 days to swim through the shock of this fear, that there was something deficient in me, to not be able to produce a healthy baby. AFTER, I lashed out at God, I started to remember the opposite of fear. Faith. No matter what evidence is given and presented and how it’s packaged in reality – it does not have to be the reality. I started to close my eyes and SEE 3 vessels in his umbilical cord, and I had to change my attitude. God has given me an amazing life. I’m not saying I took these actions with gusto and enthusiasm….I had many people lifting my family, myself and our Sweet Pea in prayer. THANK YOU to those who were strong for me when I literally felt depleted. As we were sitting in the ultrasound room, waiting for the doctors to come in to verify the tech’s report, and had uncontrollably sobbed for a couple minutes, as relief flooded my soul. I remembered what I had said to God 10 days before. I shared it with Steve. Then, I smiled through glossy eyes and tear-streaked Mary Kay face, “God likes when I talk to Him like that.” Don’t we feel closer to our loved ones when we are free to be ourselves with them? I felt closer to God. He hadn’t gone anywhere, but I had gotten closer, in his face close. He loves me no matter what. He loves when we talk to Him, no matter the tone or content. He created us for relationship.

So….when you feel “less than perfect” and like “nothing”, talk to God about it, let Him tell you, “ You are perfect to me.”

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Emerge!

Here is dictionary.com’s definition of “emerge”:

–verb (used without object), e·merged, e·merg·ing.

1. to come forth into view or notice, as from concealment or obscurity: a ghost emerging from the grave; a ship emerging from the fog.

2. to rise or come forth from or as if from water or other liquid.

3. to come up or arise, as a question or difficulty.

This verb has been, at the front of my brain wall, since yesterday afternoon. That’s all I have to say about it for right now.