Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Jake!

Since I work on Jake's actual birthday (Sunday); I'm dedicating today's post to him.

An Excerpt of a Poem by Maya Angelou:

Then you rose into my life like a promised sunrise.
Brightening my days with the light in our eyes.
I've never been so strong. Now I'm where I belong.

I fall more in love with you everyday, Jake. God made me the perfect soul-mate many (ahem) years ago today. I can't wait to see what adventures God has in store for us, and I'm so excited I get to go on this lifelong saga with you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Take your Vitamins!

I realized today how my mood and energy is dependent on the sun. Yesterday it was cloudy and I felt more sluggish and depressed than ever. I got less sleep last night, but with the sun out today I felt energized and happy.  Since I can't control the sun (that would be awesome- I hope God gives me that job when I get to Heaven) I take vitamins and dietary supplements to help with health, energy, and beauty (I could use some more for that last one-lol!)  Currently, these are the vitamins I take:

1. Multi-vitamin (prenatal because I still have tons left over)

2. Vitamin B-6 for energy and lengthens my luteal phase (PMS thing). Also good for maintaining hormonal balance. Make sure you take this one in the morning, or you'll end up staying up all night.  B-12 is also great for energy, and enhances mood.

3. Vitamin C to ward off colds (chewable because I get sick of swallowing pills.) Combined with potassium sources (bananas and OJ,) it also helps prevent muscle cramping.

4. Vitamin E for healthy skin (helps with blemishes and stretch marks.) Fish Oil is also great for those with skin allergies or eczema.

5. On occasion, I'll start taking Dessicated Liver tablets when I start to feel anemic and sluggish. You can take 2-3 a day as needed. Excellent source of iron!

6. I also take Brewers Yeast tablets when breastfeeding to keep a good milk supply going. Or you can drink a non-alcoholic beer (it has brewer's yeast in it.) Eating oatmeal also helps keep a healthy milk supply going.

7. If you don't drink alot of milk, or eat very much dairy; I strongly recommend taking Vitamin D. This will not only help with bone strength, but Vitamin D and time in the sun helps improve mood as well.

Remember to get your vitamins and dietary supplements from a reputable source. I use Nature's Bounty. Most drugstores carry the more common vitamins, you may have to order online for the harder to find ones. Also, make sure to check expiration dates. Vitamins and dietary supplements can go bad like any other medication. Which brings me to my last point: check with your doctor if you are on any medications! Just like any other drug, vitamins and dietary supplements can interact badly with other medications; making them less effective, or not effective at all.

It may sound like alot of pill swallowing, but if you split them up throughout the day, or take some at night and some in the morning; it really isn't bad (and I'm the person who chokes them down one at a time.) I hope you find these helpful in maintaining a positive energy; even on the cloudy-est, coldest of days!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is a casserole that usually serves alot of people. It is very filling- so even though I'm usually starving by dinner time, a small portion fills me up.

Chicken & Rice Casserole

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 can cream of celery
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
Thawed chicken
Butter optional
Parmesan cheese optional

1. Stir in 1 1/2 soupcan of water with all 3 cans of creamed soups (I got this recipe from someone who evidently doesn't own measuring
2. Stir in rice and optional butter
3. Pour into 9x13 pan
4. Place thawed chicken on top with optional parmesan
5. Cook uncovered @ 350degrees for 2 1/2 hours.

Yummy! Enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Battling Baby Blues

First, let me preface this by saying that there is a difference between Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression. Here is a good article outlining the differences:
Majority of women battle the baby blues right after delivery. It's absolutely normal- your hormones are out of control, you're sleep deprived, you're nervous and stressed with a new baby; it's an uphill battle from the very beginning.  Here are some things I found helpful when my rug-rats were born.
1. Schedule people to visit the 2nd week you're home. The first week is for trying to get settled as a family, and get a routine down. Grandparents are OK (or people who won't judge you if you suddenly burst into tears), but everyone else can come when you're feeling more up to it.  If there are some people who insist on coming, or you really want that casserole Mindy is bringing; it's OK to have hubby meet them at the door with baby and tell them you're napping. Or at least have hubby keep a list of excuses to bring up for when the visit is starting to last longer then 10mins.
2. NAP WHEN BABY IS NAPPING!!!! It's one of the hardest rules because as women and mommies, we want to keep the household running when baby is down (and hubby just doesn't do it the same way.) But the more tired you are, the worse the moodiness and tears are.  Plus, the baby won't always sleep as well as they do the first few days and mommy needs fuel for the long haul. It's OK if the house goes down in ashes around you, sleep is of utmost importance to make you a better woman, wife, mommy. Feel free to call in the Grandparents for some quality baby time while you nap!
3. Don't forget to eat and drink lots of water! Especially if you're breastfeeding. It takes about 300 extra calories a day when pregnant and 500 extra calories a day when breastfeeding. You need these extra calories to keep your energy up. Sorry, it will be a few more months before you're able to try to lose that extra baby fat. This is a great 'job' for all those people who ask what they can do for you. Can I do anything for you? "Sure! If you could bring some lunch or dinner over, that would be great!" Don't feel bad for asking, people want to help! I also find it helpful to keep lots of fruit or yogurt around for snacking.
4. If you start feeling especially moody and irritable, I found it best to hand baby over to Daddy (great bonding time) run a hot bath or shower, put on my saddest music, and just cry for a good 15-20 minutes. I always feel much more calm and collected afterward. Your bucket can only hold so much before you need to empty it. If you need to empty your bucket, and Daddy is already back at work; you're not a bad mother if you set baby down safely in her crib and walk away for a few minutes.  My oldest child was so fussy all the time. She had bad reflux and would just cry and cry and cry. I would get so frustrated because I didn't know what to do for her. I would place her crying in her crib, and I would sit outside the door and cry just as hard. Then I'd get up, wash my face, get a drink of water, and go back to her a much more calm and effective mommy.
5. Walks outside can be refreshing. I know, the last thing you want your neighbors to see is a frumpy, chunky you puffing away with the stroller. But it really does help, and the majority of your neighbors have been there before too......they won't hold it against you.
6. Remember that Daddy can get The Grumps too (Baby Blues is not a manly enough name for Daddy, so we'll call it The Grumps.) While his is not as hormonal, it's based more on stress of being responsible for a larger family, as well as trying to take care of a hormonal and moody wife. Cut Daddy some slack if he needs a walk around the block, or a nap too. He'll be able to better take care of you and baby if he is well rested as well.  I found it best to give Daddy time away each day by having him run errands or better yet, grab me something to eat! He always came back feeling better and ready to take over while I take my turn resting.

Remember, this is a stage in life that will pass too.  Things WILL get better with time. Baby Blues is not something that you need to feel ashamed of- talking with other moms can be very helpful. There are many mom groups out there if you don't have any friends you feel comfortable enough discussing this with.  Also, if you don't feel comfortable talking about it in person, there are many online groups that you can share and discuss your frustrations with other moms online.  The most important thing to remember is that you are a wonderful mother! Motherhood is very frustrating, irritating, and emotional; but when that baby looks at you, eyes brimming with love, and flashes you the most beautiful smile in the whole world- it makes it all worth it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favorite Easy Dessert

This is a great dessert that is so easy and quick to make. It's my go-to dessert when I get that dreaded call: "Corrie we're having potluck, can you bring a dessert.........tomorrow?"  Or sometimes, if they only give me 2hrs to make something, they will end up with store bought cookies. Bwahaha!

This dessert always gets good reviews. The key is to not say the real name of the dessert. It immediately turns people off. Since I have renamed this wonderful creation, it is a favorite of everyone I know.

So here is Pineapple Cherry Cobbler (formerly known as Cherry Dump Cake-because you dump everything into a pan and bake.......still doesn't make that horrid name any better....)

2 cans cherry pie filling
2 medium cans crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 sticks margarine
1 box yellow cake mix
crushed pecans (optional)

Mix pie filling and pineapple. Pour in extra large Pyrex dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix over this. Scatter margarine pieces over cake mix. Sprinkle crushed pecans over top and bake at 350 degrees until brown.

You can substitute pineapple and cherry for 2 cans of apple pie filling to make a great Apple Cobbler.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling Nostalgic

This is Madelynn when she was 11 months old..... How time flies....

And she still loves that paper weight/holder.  I should buy more.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How my life has changed since having kids

1. The world now revolves around naptime.
2. I used to try to park close to the store, now I look for parking spots next to the shopping carts.
3. I have learned to quietly crawl across the bed and crawl across the floor to the bath room every morning; just so the baby won't see me and start crying.
4. I'm queen of the 5 minute shower.
5. I used to be able to just go to bed at night; now I pick up toys, do some laundry, get nighttime bottles ready, prepare homeschool lesson, defreeze meat for next dinner, do "go back to bed" routine with toddler five times, make sure baby's warm, check calendar for next day activities, check weather for next day clothing options, then go to bed (before waking up 2 hours later to feed baby again, and send toddler back to bed again, and move that dang toy I stubbed my toe on AGAIN.)
6. I now go out of my way to go to a place with a drive-thru, or a place that is kid friendly.
7. I have a highly developed 'mommy tone' of voice for those I'm really serious now moments (sounds scarily like my own Mother's 'mommy tone'.)
8. 'Taking risks' is things those dang teenagers do.
9. I now rock out to Jesus Loves Me in the car.
10. There is a designated safe place to sit baby down in every room of the house.
11. My fridge used to be stocked with leftovers from restaurants around town. Now it's mac-n-cheese, jello, and fishsticks.
12. Restaurants? What are they?
13. Last movie I saw's been too long, I don't remember.
14. Cheerios is a food group.
15. Distance of items from counter ledges is directly proportional to height of child.
16. I've become very proficient at saying I'm sorry. "I'm sorry I'm late.....again." "I'm sorry to cancel on you.....again." "I'm sorry to drop my children off at your doorstep....again." (just kidding on that last one....maybe....) ;)
17. I now find myself humming Old Macdonald had a Farm at work.
18. Vacation is sleeping past 6am.
19. What's a purse?
20. At any moment I may spill my list of unwanted Motherly advice to anyone with ears.
21. I cry at any and all cute mother/daughter commercials (and songs, books, the list goes on....)

How has your life changed since having kids?

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my favorite recipes! I usually like to serve it on a cold day with salad and rolls. It's really healthy and so easy to make!

Chicken Pot Pie

1 boiled & deboned chicken (or if you're really lazy like me, you can use about 3-4 cans of chicken breast)

1 can regular Veg-All mixed vegetables (drained)

1 chopped medium onion

2 cans cream of chicken soup

½ cup water

Pillsbury Pie Crusts (found in refrigerated section… rolled crusts in a box… not in a pie pan).

Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Debone one cooked chicken and place in bottom of pan.

Place Veg-All on chicken. Add onion over vegetables. Mix soups and water. Pour over vegetables. Place Pillsbury Crusts over soup layer. Bake 1 hour in 350 degree oven… or until crust is golden brown.

Serves 6 to 8

Also, you can use any vegetables that you want. If you don’t like green peas or green beans, you can use canned vegetables that you do enjoy.

You can also use one can of cream of chicken soup and once can of cream of celery soup if you like.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New snow record

The weatherman said Texas broke the record for the most snow in one day in Texas- wow! DFW got 8-12inches with a full 24hr. snowfall yesterday.  I've never been one for the cold, but I'm digging this! Maybe we should consider a move north....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Annie's Snowday

So here is a cute picture of Annie with the snow (can you tell I feel guilty for not having a pic of her in the first post) I'll make it extra big to assuage my guilt...

She kept getting mad because every time she looked up snow would land on her face. She HATES getting her face wet.

Snow Day! Again!

Since we woke up to some wonderful snow, we decided to make snowflakes for our homeschool project. (where is that homeschool tab?)  It was lots of fun!
It was a nice treat having Daddy stay home with us today too!
We have about 4-6 inches with more snow still coming.  All of the bald areas in our yard are already covered again! I think Texas forgot it's a southern state!

It's so beautiful with all the snow, it really makes me want to get a new camera so I can capture this winter wonderland more effectively.
Best snowman EVER!

Hairiest wheel EVER!

Goliath looks so pitiful, but he actually seems to really enjoy the snow!

Annie got to see the snow, but she was taking her nap during the taking of these pictures.  I'll get her pics in later....
Snow is tons of fun, and there's nothing better than coming inside all wet and tired and sitting in front of the fireplace sipping hot chocolate.  I just hope that tomorrow I won't be wiping noses all day....

Breakfast Creation

I think I've been reading too much Pioneer Woman blog.  As I write this, I'm mentally putting it under my cooking tab, and thinking about what I'll be putting under my homeschool tab. Hmmm, I need to get Jake on that-lol!  I saw this idea in a magazine and thought I'd try it.  It's not as pretty as the magazine picture, but it was really good- and so easy to make!  It basically is an egg cooked in toast. I went for a butterfly shape, but I think that was too much detail and it looks nothing like a butterfly. Next time I'm going for the easier heart or circle shape.....
1. Butter a slice of bread on both sides
2. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape you want from the middle of the bread.
3. Warm a skillet and place the bread in the skillet. (this is where I found out with the first one, that the skillet needs to be greased with some butter too.)
4. Crack the egg into the middle of the toast (into the cut-out shape.)
5. Most of the egg needs to be cooked, then flip the toast to cook the other side.
Eat and enjoy!

Valentines Fun!

Valentines Day is a great day for me, because it gives us the opportunity to tell everyone how special they are to us. Not just our significant other, but family and friends as well.  I know, most of you are like "shouldn't you do that every day?" And you would be right. We should do that every day......but how many of you actually do?  This one day of the year gives us the reminder that we need to appreciate all of the great people in our lives!
We've been having fun getting ready for Valentines Day.  Madelynn thinks every day is Valentines Day right now, but she's having fun with all the activities.

Here we are making Valentines.(Yay stickers!)

Here we are decorating some cookies! Yum, Yum!

I will be working on actual Valentines Day, so our family will be celebrating on Friday.  I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day full of love and appreciation for the wonderful people in their lives.

Dance Class- update

Madelynn has gotten better and better with her dance class! She loves practicing all the moves when at home, and will now only hug my leg for the first 10mins of class before branching out on her own. Here are some updated photos of her with Miss Sarah.

Here she is learning how to hop like a frog.

Here she is doing the 'seal'. She was the only one in her class who could do it properly.

Everyone is dancing to 'I'm a little teapot'.

Madelynn has been having so much fun, I've signed her up for the next dance class, and an art class. This summer I'm thinking a music class....