Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Running Shoes, if you can call them that!

Here are what I wear to run if for whatever reason I don't go barefoot.

In case you're curious, when I say I run barefoot, I really REALLY mean BAREfoot. As in, skin on pavement/dirt/gravel/whatever. However, sometimes, a situation comes up where I decide a little foot protection would be best.

click "more" below to read more. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Pie-Butter Mochi

I took this recipe from All Recipes and tried to make it into an Autumnal Mochi. 

These are AWESOME! If you are looking for gooey, chewy pumpkin yumminess, this is it!  The pumpkin makes it a little creamier than regular butter mochi.  For brownies, I prefer middles. For Mochi, I seem to prefer the edges, so next time I intend to make these in an all-edges pan my sister got me.


  • 1/2 can pumpkin (about 1 cup)
    • 5 eggs
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 cups (1 can) lite coconut milk
    • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 pound mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp Allspice

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and coconut milk and whole milk. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the rice flour, sugarS, spices and baking powder. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir to blend. Mix in melted butter and coconut. Pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Cool completely, then cut into squares to serve.

Need Mochiko? 12 boxes for $27.55 on Amazon! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Wyatt! Our "Homebirth in a Hospital" Story.

In honor of my baby boy's First Birthday, here is his birth story. My 2nd VBAC, but my first all natural birth.  It was also the first time that labor started BEFORE my membranes ruptured, but I still let them rupture on their own.

I started having signs of prelabor on Tuesday, the 13th.  Around 3am on the 15th, contractions became more regular but still 15-20 minutes apart. They stayed rather irregular all day, getting closer and closer together.  Occasionally, I would sit down at the computer and time them using  I wondered if this was it, but kept telling myself this was only pre-labor, and might go on for a week or more.

Just before Matthew got home, I decided Wyatt was going to arrive some time this weekend, maybe even tonight.  I called Tabetha to make sure she could watch the kids, but she was about to leave for a football game. No big deal, it wouldn't be tonight anyway. She would be free all weekend.
When Matthew got home from work I told him we had to get ready to go, just in case, I took another chance to time the contractions they were down to 5 minutes apart.   I hadn't told Matthew about the regular contractions and spacing yet. He just thought it was another day of me trying to get him to do stuff-like put the 3rd carseat in the car. Finally I told him that I thought I was at the point where normal people go to the hospital. 

We called the hospital to see what spacing they like people to come in at. They said 3-5 minutes apart.  Mine were 5 minutes apart then. Still thinking we had plenty of time, and that it might not even be real labor for sure, we slowly finished getting ready to go.  Luckily our other neighbors could keep the kids until Tabetha got home.When we got in the car, Matthew took over the timing of contractions, with me just saying "now" to start and stop.  I told him I didn't want to know what the timing was.  I hadn't wanted to start using labor props too early, but finally turned on the iPod to Bellaruth Naparstek's "Music for Childbirth" as we pulled out of the driveway. 
I could tell the contractions were getting more serious when I was squirming all over the backseat of the car, and "now" was the only thing I could say.  When we arrived at the hospital, Matthew helped me out of the car at the door before he went to park. I asked him how far apart the contractions were and he said 2-3 minutes, lasting 2 minutes.  I went inside to get checked out. I had told Matthew we were only staying if I was over 7cm dilated. 

As we walked down the hallway, I heard a nurse counting like a drill sergeant for someone else's pushes. No way that would be me. I went into kill the nurse mode, defensive of my right to labor as I wanted. 

When we got to the room, the nurse started handing me a gown, said they'd monitor me on my back in bed for an hour, and start an IV.  I gave Matthew a look and he took care of it. Matthew told her to go read my birth plan and not come back until she had!!  She never came back. She sent another nurse who turned out to be the best nurse I could have hoped for. Danielle honored my entire birthplan, with the help of Dr. McCarty. When Danielle checked my cervix, I was already 8 centimeters and fully effaced!  Thank you to's Birthplan creator for making it SO EASY to make a birth plan!  I tried other Birth Plan creator websites, but liked theirs the best. Getting it signed off on by my midwife, early in the third trimester, and put into my record was key!

With a saline lock in place of an IV, I was free to move around as needed. I squatted next to the bed, leaned over the bed and did everything I could to stay OUT of the bed.  I knew getting on my back would stall things and make labor harder. Ideally, I wanted to give birth squatting, since it opens the pelvis 4 cm more than the "lithotomy position" lying on your back.  It wasn't up to me though, and luckily Dr. McCarty didn't force me into any unnatural position. I let nature tell me how to move and just listened to my body - and my iPod.

Most of the time, Danielle and Dr. McCarty weren't even in the room. It was just Matthew and me.  Every now and then, they would come in and I'd hold still as long as I could for them to monitor the baby with the doppler. In the 3 hours of hospital labor, they only monitored a few times, totally honoring my birth plan!
Eventually, the contractions got worse. I told Matthew that I couldn't relax anymore, and he knew I needed him. We found a position that worked, with me on my hands and knees on the bed, him squatting at the foot of the bed, and me sort of hugging his arms and pushing my head into his armpit. It was the closest possible thing to a hug.

 On one contraction I pushed and my water broke all over the place. I knew he needed to go tell the doc, but I didn't want him to leave my hug. They knew things would move fast once my water broke. Around this time, my squirming ripped out my saline lock. I was now laboring in a swamp of blood and amniotic fluid.  

Since my head was at the foot of the bed, they needed me to turn so the doctor could actually catch the baby.  I managed to turn 90 degrees between contractions, so I could still hug Matthew on one side of the bed and Dr. McCarty could catch the baby on the other side.  After a few pushes, still on my elbows and knees, with Matthew encouraging me in a soft voice, Wyatt was born. The cord had been wrapped around his neck 2 times, but the doctor slipped them off as he came out, and everything was fine.

Had I been laboring on my back or if labor had stalled due to interventions, those wraps of the cord could have had lasting complications for Wyatt, and all of us. 

Oh, and by the way, when we left the hospital (another story in itself), I carried Wyatt from the room to the door in my sling, NOT in a car seat. The nurses went to the car with us to make sure he was buckled safely into a convertible car seat. So, for all of you babywearers wanting to avoid a bucket car seat, it IS possible to leave a hospital without one. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Good Reminder.

Even though this is called "Song for a Fifth Child," I think it applies to everyone, whether you have one or 9. Babies really don't keep, and I'd rather hug my kids than have a sparkling house. Just wanted to share.

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cause and Effect People! I'm sad--and Mad!!

*Before I start ranting: If you are here because Google or something said to check out this post about low supply, please go to another reputable website for low supply answers. Here's one.*

Dear Pregnant People,

How long have you spent researching and shopping for cribs? bouncy seats? car seats? strollers?

What about Breastfeeding? Have you done any research on that? Read any books? Looked at any websites that AREN'T sponsored by formula companies?

If you plan to breastfeed, you need to PLAN to breastfeed. You should spend at least as much time learning about breastfeeding as you do on your nursery decorations!

Breastfeeding IS natural, but it doesn't come naturally to most American women these days without a little forethought. Our culture has pushed it into the back room (and often bathroom) for so long, that our mental image of how to feed a baby is skewed.

If you don't have friends who have breastfed successfully (i.e. at least for a year, and maybe one friend who has gone past a year), you need to find some new friends. As the old Girl Scout song goes, "Make new friends and keep the old."   Your old friends are sure to keep giving you great advice on whatever they always have, but would you ask someone with bad hair (me) for advice on hair care? Would you ask someone who doesn't wear makeup (me)about the best way to apply mascara? So then, why would you ask formula-feeding friends for advice on breastfeeding issues? For that matter, would you ask a friend who HASN'T had a boob job (me) to recommend a good plastic surgeon FOR   boob job?

I'm SO FRUSTRATED by moms I meet -more than weekly- who have stories of "I didn't have enough milk." or "I dried up after a few weeks" who think that their bodies failed them.  In reality, when you ask a few questions, it turns out that they had plenty of milk and listened to bad advice from people who had no business giving advice. This resulted in them telling their body to stop making milk. So, yep, they didn't have enough milk BECAUSE they told their bodies to quit making milk.  Every time you tell someone that you didn't have enough milk you are perpetuating the myth that lots of people have supply problems. In reality, biologically based supply problems are VERY RARE.  If you go to Wal-mart to buy something that is usually in stock, but they don't have it, someone messed up the supply system.  Their system is computerized, much like your body. If left alone it will work great but if you put bad info in, you'll get bad results.

*I do know a couple people with ACTUAL supply problems. Yes. I know they exist*

When my own mom got bad advice in 1979, it wasn't her fault, or anyone else's that her milk dried up and I wound up on real grocery store cow milk. There just wasn't access to information like there is today.  Too many people today act like it's still 1979 and their only sources of info are whatever random people they happen to know, regardless of those people's levels of expertise on the subject. We live in the information age.  There are very few subjects you can't get good info on by either Googling or reading a book. Even my small town's teeny weeny library has a fairly recent copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding along with a few other books on the matter. If your library doesn't have the book you want, and your town doesn't have a Barnes and Noble, you've got at your fingertips. If you read an entire book on breastfeeding, you're almost guaranteed to know more about breastfeeding than your pediatrician, unless you have a darn good physician.

*Disclaimer: Don't get pissed at ME if you got bad advice and had your breastfeeding experience ruined by a breastfeeding booby trap. Maybe you really are in the less than 5% of women have TRUE BREASTFEEDING PROBLEMS. Before you decide that I'm a lucky judgmental devil who has never been in the situation of NEEDING formula, check this.  If you did research and contacted well-trained people for help and still had trouble, please know that this post is not aimed at you. In fact, you probably know exactly who I am talking to.*

And the winner of first Freebie is.......#2, Wendy!!!!!!

Congratulation++s Wendy! Please pick your prize and send me your current address!!!

I don't know if I like freebies. I was all anxious all week wondering how many would enter. Thank you to everyone who entered!! 

I want the next freebie prize to be better, so if you have any requests, leave them in the comments!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I've been making jewelery!

College football season is upon us, for better or worse. My favorite part of football season is seeing what the trendy clothes and accessories are for the games.  Despite having season tickets for Oklahoma State, I won't be going to a game until Bedlam, on Thanksgiving weekend.

I was inspired by this on Etsy and decided to have a go at one for my Hokie Mom for her birthday.  Then as my hubby was preparing to go down to an Oklahoma State game, he won 2 extra tickets and was going to give them to his mom and sister, so I whipped up a necklace for her, using a custom bottle cap from Jess Boutique who lives down the street from me.

My versions:

MIL wound up not going to the game and evidently wasn't in love with the necklace. I plan to steal it back from her when we go to the Bedlam game on Thanksgiving.

I made my little Lava Girl a pink bracelet this ribbon/bead style but haven't taken a  picture. 


Since I was sending something to MIL I felt the need to send something to SIL so I whipped up this bracelet. It's a good thing I had ordered these bottle caps from Jess Boutique before, for these projects, but then once the bracelet was made, I decided I needed an image on BOTH sides of the bottle cap, so Super Jess took it back and added the 2nd image. Evidently MIL and SIL both really liked this, so I doubt I'll be able to steal it but with any luck they'll let me borrow it for the game...

I bought all these beads LAST YEAR to make jewelry with for this football season, so now when we are down there again in the land of everything orange, I'll buy more. There just isn't enough orange stuff up here in the land of limited craft supplies.  

Outerspace Birthday Party

Sharkboy's Birthday was back in May, and I never got around to blogging it. I'm about to give away one of the leftover aliens, so I guess I'd better actually post this:

Sharkboy decided on an outerspace theme for his party.  I got decorations from and set about figuring out the rest. I went back and forth between baking a cake in a bowl to make a half-a-moon cake idea like this:

Then, the day before the party, I was in a kitchen gadget store and a cupcake plan practically jumped into my hands all by itself. I got this: 

Review of Wilton Puzzle Cake silicone bake molds: 
A. Most importantly: It made a rocket cake. Mission Accomplished.
B: Hubby got the job of pouring cake batter into them. He did not spray them first. Cupcakes did not want to release. at all. 
C: Wilton should think about how people have parties and that cakes have to be transported. That rocket was LONG once it was put together. I had to use the lid of a rubbermaid tote as the "tray." 

I did not like the themed party favors available from the various party stores online. They are all just cheap junk that will wind up in the landfill the week after the party. So I set about making aliens.  Then, at the party, the kids "fished" for aliens.  For the babies I made texture cubes and their big siblings got to fish for those.

This Eyeball was my favorite

Texture Cubes

I got my inspiration for these aliens from an Etsy seller who does it much better.

Here's a view of the fishing hole.

For the actual party set-up, it was supposed to be outdoors, in a pavilion, in a park. Then the weather was supposed to be nasty, so we rented the local museum's theater room. On the large projection screen we showed a Youtube video of outer space stuff.

One more element was the "Pin-the-nosecone-on-the-spaceship" game.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enter to win! First Freebie Giveaway!!! Freebie Friday!! YOUR CHOICE!

Back in May, I posted that once we hit 30 fans, I'd be doing weekly freebies. WEEKLY? Seriously? Did I really mean that? Well, We're at 28 followers now, so lets hurry up and get to 30!

To hurry us up on our way to 30, here's a random drawing! Each entrant can get 3 entries:
To enter the drawing,

A. Comment below with the title or subject of my post you like best.
B.  Share a link to this freebie on Facebook (see the little "share it" button on the top right?)
C. Share a link to another Crafty Crofts post that you like.

Each entry needs its own comment since I'm going to use a random number generator to choose the winner.

You must be a follower to win, so be sure to click "follow." Here is the selection of stuff the winner will have to choose from:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Baby and Kid Friendly Coffee Shop!! Cappucino and Company, Scottsbluff, NE

When I wake up wishing I had a reason to drive an hour to Scottsbluff, so I could get some coffee, the place deserves a review!

Finally, a coffee shop that I don't have to fear taking my kids into!

Cappuccino & Co on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Super Hero Capes

Back in May, I made a super hero cape for a friend's birthday gift. I didn't want to blog until I had made one for my own son, Sharkboy. Now, almost 4 months later, I've finally finished Sharkboy's cape.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week Post

It's amazing that I've never blogged about breastfeeding, considering how often I post Facebook statuses regarding it.  Right now I feel obligated to post on the subject, but I'm not incredibly inspired at the moment.

So, here are my 3 personal breastfeeding stories.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Doctors and other Dummies.

This post isn't just about barefoot running though. It's about a connection I drew tonight, while researching for info on barefoot running shoes. Yes, that's an oxymoron. Keep reading. Anyway, it occurred to me as I was reading blog posts and message board threads about barefooting, that barefooters are as awed by this Lack of a NEED for technology as homebirthers and natural birthing moms are.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden Update

The 3 tomato plants that I put outside earliest, protected in their wall-o-waters are of course doing the best. I've -also got tomatoes growing in a 5 gallon bucket, a  large dishpan, a make-shift Topsy Turvy, and there's even still one on my kitchen windowsill.

So, tomatoes are a large part of my garden, but I've got lots of other stuff coming along too. Here's the main "Square Foot Garden" section of my horticultural adventure.

I know, you're saying, yep, it's a bunch of green stuff. So, on the left, is a wagon with the 5-gallon bucket and dish pan of tomatoes. They are in the wagon so that in the case of severe weather, I can roll them into the garage for protection. 

Next in from the left are my best tomato plants, some spinach, rosemary, cilantro, a tomato plant that took a lot of abuse in a storm, a bush zucchini plant and some cucumber vines that have a long way to go. The zucchini plant appears to have a female flower forming, if it works the same way as pumpkins, but I haven't done zukes before, so no idea really, and too busy to google. 

The white area in the middle is my compost pile. 

The box on the right has Mint Gone Wild, chocolate mint, an ornamental gourd section, strawberry plants, peas and beans. 

With any luck that  trellis on the right will be fully covered in pea plants. It should have been peas and beans, but oops, I planted bush beans....

Today I finally bought materials for another trellis for the box on the left. The one on the right is 6 feet tall. The new one for the left is going to be 7 feet tall. Tomatoes are crazy.

Next is the Ghetto Garden.  It's next to the shed and behind the dumpster. REALLY prime real estate. This was possibly a sand box area for the last people who owned this house. When we moved in it was a litter box for the local cats. I mulched it with grass clippings for the last couple years hoping it would improve or grow grass or something, but it hasn't really. 

I knew my Giant Pumpkin Plant would need LOTS of room, so I put it over here, knowing that without good dirt, I'm not going to grow any incredibly impressive pumpkins, but I should get some good enough for the kids for halloween. It's had male flowers for a couple months but just finally got a couple female flowers starting to form. I've mulched heavily with grass clippings, hoping that will keep moisture in the sand. At first I wasn't using Miracle Grow. I was just hoping it would grow, but it wasn't growing, so I started putting 2.5 gallons of Miracle-Gro treated water on it every day and it's really taking off. 

Inside the white fence is supposed to be flowers,but it looks to me like weeds. I've decided to just let whatever happens happen in there. The white tube with the flower pot on it is a worm tube composting system experiment.

Beyond the white fence, there is a reusable shopping bag growing potatoes, and a potting soil bag doing the same. Beyond those potato bags is a green plastic tub full of rabbit manure. Gosh, each piece of the Ghetto Garden could be its own blog post. Ok, eventually. 

Next up is my attempt at increasing curb appeal.

Some genius put rocks all around this side of the house. Just a bed of rocks. No plants, no big rocks, nothing. This corner was especially ugly. So, I took a random plastic bin that I had scavenged from a trash pile long ago, drilled holes in it, and filled it with potting soil, to make a raised bed. The bin is Sparkly Pink, so I had to camouflage it somehow, and these logs from the historic cottonwood tree did just the trick. 

The pine branch leaning against the wall will hopefully be covered in flowering vines...if the growing season is long enough. 

A neighbor was nice enough to let me take as many of his Hens and Chicks as I wanted, so I took a bunch of them and planted them along the side, along with some other succulents that I bought. 

There's another couple pots of not so beautiful stuff, so I won't bother to show them. Carrot tops are not very exciting!!  

So, that's where my garden stands as of July 6, 2010!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to achieve YOUR VBAC.

*as I write this, I'm going on the assumption that you have had transverse (horizontal) incisions, and that the reasons for the c/sections were not anything that means you really, truly, medically, need to have a c/s to get the baby out of your body*

My quick background: uncomplicated pregnancies, 1 c/s due to Frank breech, 1 VBAC (forced pitocin=epidural) and a civilian VBAC completely natural. 

Here's the deal with avoiding a c/s. (of course, my opinion, based on months of research and fighting for the right in two different systems)

1. You have to sign a consent form in order for them to do a c/s. If you don't sign the form, they can't cut into you, and well, there's only 1 other way for the baby to get out (vaginally).

2. They cannot refuse to care for you once you are in labor. It's a law called EMTALA.

So, with those 2 things in mind, you stay home (or in the hospital parking lot) as LONG as possible. You don't want to get into one of their L&D rooms any earlier than absolutely necessary, because when you get into their room, a clock starts. The docs are busy, they have hockey games and kids' birthday parties and other stuff to do and they really don't feel like waiting around for you to labor naturally, so they will scare you into every intervention possible.

Refuse an IV. Have a birth plan. Refuse to get into the bed until YOU CAN'T stay on your feet any longer. Refuse constant external monitoring. Refuse internal monitoring at all costs. Have hubby and/or a doula more scared of YOU than of the doc's scare tactics, so that they will fight for your right to labor/deliver despite the docs scare tactics. Don't get on your back.

Labor in YOUR clothes, don't accept a hospital robe. It makes the docs/nurses remember you have your own brain, and not see you so much as a patient. A stretchy skirt and sports bra or tube top are perfect, or just go naked. You aren't the first naked laboring woman they've seen. Realize that those clothes are going to get covered in all kinds of labor goo and fluid and all that, so don't plan on wearing "good" stuff.

Do enough research to know when to say when and give in to the c/s.

I can email you my birth plan and 2nd birth story if you want. just send me your email addie.

I told hubby that I wasn't staying at the hospital unless i was at least 7 cm, and I was 7 when they checked me. I think that was key. Getting there too early in labor gives them too much time to start worrying about you!

ICAN and the unnecessarean blog are great resources for links to research and all that to back you up.

Learn about the drug they gave women in the 90's to speed up labor (a predecessor to Pitocin) which caused a TON of ruptured uteruses and is what has the world so scared of VBACs. That drug wasn't even approved for use on laboring women, but the docs liked it because it sped things up. Now they don't use it, but the fear is still there.

As you find research you like, print it, and put it in a binder for later. book marks and a favorites list on your computer are not any help when you go to fight with the docs.

Wait for labor to start on its own. Don't let them strip your membranes. Don't let them break your water even once you are in labor. It will either break or it won't. Either way, baby will come out. If you don't know what "in the caul" means, google it. Amniotic sac does not have to break, sometimes it doesn't!!

Convince yourself that they have your due date wrong, so that once your due date gets there, YOU aren't stressed.

If I do it again, I'll have some cookies in my labor bag, like a bag of Chips Ahoy or something that everyone likes, so that no matter when I go into labor, whether I have time to bake or not, I can give the nurse some cookies. She'll have to put them at the nurse's station and probably will want to go out there to snack on them (leaving you alone to labor in peace). My first VBAC, the nurse never left my side that I remember (annoying!!). The 2nd VBAC, it was only my hubby in the room 99.6% of the time and I was really able to relax!

I didn't let them "check" me internally in my final weeks of labor. It's just a curiousity thing and it plays games with your head. People can be 2cm or 4 cm for weeks, so who cares if you're 2cm or not? Who cares if you're 50% effaced or not? If you aren't having contractions that stop you from talking and make you lean against a wall, you don't need to worry about how far along you are. The first time I was "checked" after that first trimester "check" was when I was 7cm and in active labor. Again, you have a right to refuse anything!! Once you are in active labor they cannot kick you out of the hospital (as the resident Dr at tripler threatened me with if I didn't take pitocin). In those final weeks, when you go for your checkup and the nurse hands you a gown, just say "no thanks, I'm not curious" and when she looks at you like you have 2 heads, repeat "no thanks." She'll run to the doctor and the doc will come in and say "blah blah blah" and you just explain it's only a curiosity thing and you aren't curious. If you don't open your legs, they can't stick a finger in!!!

Don't give them any indication that you plan to defy them before you are there, in labor. They CAN get a court order to FORCE you to accept a c/s, but it takes time to do that, so just don't give them time to do it.

They will want to schedule your c/s in advance. Oops, keep getting distracted and fail to schedule it. oops. so distracted, pregnancy brain, blah blah blah.

If you've read this far, then you either think I'm crazy, or understand how determined I was to have a VBAC.

No matter how the baby comes out, you have a new baby to love. Good luck with your fight and your delivery. You can do it!!

I highly recommend reading Dr. Sears' Birth Book and the Bradley method book. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recycled Basil

I needed fresh basil for a recipe and being the dead of winter, I had to go buy it at the store. They didn't have any small containers of it, only a HUGE container. So, I brought it home, used what I needed and wondered what to do with the rest. It was very fresh, so I decided on an experiment. I sliced a few on an angle through their growth points, and put them in a jar of water. I knew they would root if this was done as soon as they were taken from the plant, but wasn't sure how it would work since they had probably been cut at least a day or so earlier. Maybe even a week! Who Knows?!

One of them grew a root so fast and big that I had to trudge through snow to my shed to get potting soil and a pot for it.

Here is a photo explanation:

The root in the jar picture was over an inch long by the time I planted it--about 5 hours after this photo was taken!

So, I put it in potting soil in a pot the same day that picture above was taken, and now, almost 2 months later, here it is, and this is after making a turkey sandwich with a layer of basil:


Now, I just need to get a pretty pot for this free plant!!

Dinner Waffles

Last night I totally failed to plan or execute dinner, so waffles became the menu, but I wanted to make extra hearty dinner waffles. I started with bisquick, used 2 eggs, substituted a big dump of natural apple sauce for the oil, dumped in a ton of quick cook oatmeal, some chocolate chips, and made my husband's waffles since he isn't a fan of my healthy creations.

Then I added a packet of Green Food, a packet of Jay Robb's vanilla protein shake mix, a bunch of cinnamon (to cover the flavors of the Green Food and fake Vanilla protein), 2 scoops of raisins, and what was left of a bag of sweetened, shredded coconut. Then I put it in the waffle maker like usual, and it made the most awesome waffles!!!  They were substantial, definitely worthy of being dinner. I froze the leftovers, microwaved them this morning, and the kids and I ate them in-hand like cookies.

Here's a pic of them folded and stacked. Why eat normal waffles that are basically just a piece of sugary bread?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chocolate Orange Muffins

Since some of you have found my blog through the other muffin recipe post, I thought I'd add these. The first time I made them, hubby said they were the best things I had ever made.

Today I made them a bit more healthy.  Rather than using 3 cups of normal white flour, I used 1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup graham flour. I also omitted the topping, but put coconut in with the dry ingredients.

I mixed up a bowl of the dry ingredients (including choc chips) and a bowl of the wet ingredients (including chopped oranges) last night.  I even put the cupcake papers in the muffin tins last night and set out the ice cream scooper for ladling the batter. Then this morning I just dumped them together, stirred, portioned and baked.

The recipe's topping is probably the best part. Hubby was kind of sad that it wasn't there. He almost giggled last night when I told him that I was making this kind of muffin, and then this morning when he saw them, there was almost a whimper as he realized there was no topping.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.
Sorry, no pics, without the topping they weren't very pretty.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I haven't forgotten about you!

Hey there blog friends, I haven't forgotten about you, but it's summer, and there's so much to do!!  Yard care, go to the pool, gardening experiments, trips to the playground, planning and executing a rocket themed birthday party for a 4-year old,going to the zoo, etc. Not to mention house work, which really fell behind during the rocket party process and scrapbooking-- which I had caught up on before baby #3 came but now I'm dreadfully behind on again. 
I'm taking lots of pictures of stuff to use in blog posts that I'll get to eventually! Summer doesn't last very long here, so I'll be back to you soon!

Till then, see you around the blogosphere!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shark Boy's First T-Ball Practice

Wow, what a day. Last night, Shark Boy and I were up together with sore throats. His made him scream in pain, and mine was bad enough that I understood his feelings. This morning I called for Dr's appts for us. We finally go in and get told it doesn't look like strep, just some random virus...oh wait, you've had this coming for a week, oh, then yes, Mom, you get antibiotics, but 4 y/o, no, no drugs for you. Ear Infections clear up on their own in 4 y/o's. Ok, I agree that antibiotics are probably over prescribed in the US. I'm with you there, but if we most likely have the same germs (we do live together day in and day out), how can I, the healthy adult with a fully formed immune system need drugs and he doesn't? I don't get it....  I pushed my "Trust the Docs" button and went to buy our drugs. Purple Triaminic for the boy.

Oh wait, before I get distracted by the Triaminic story, this post is supposedly about T-Ball. So, we go from the pharmacy to a restaurant for dinner, then from the restaurant, we drive down the road and find a dog skittering in traffic on the town's main street. Always the softie, and having some time to kill, I pull over, open the door, and the pup come barreling over to say hi. It appears to be a Pitbull mix. But he's friendly and all pup, and soft, and clean, and cute, and fuzzy, and ooh, so wiggly, but calm. Wiggly and calm? yes. that combo exists.

Hmm, what to do now? T-Ball 45 minutes off, don't know non-emergency 911 number/dog catcher, phone internet not working, phone won't dial anyway it turns out, so can't call a friend to get the number.

Ok, fine, Dog, jump in the car. Yes, sure  you can ride in the front seat. It looks like you're used to it.  My own dog never has, but sure, you're fuzzy. Go right ahead, I don't really trust you with my kids anyway, after all, we JUST MET!

Driving to police station (Town dog pound isn't manned, and I don't have time to deal with this dog, after all, there's T-BALL tonight--but I didn't want him to get squished in the steady traffic on that street) 

I park across the street from the police station door, consider unloading 3 kids to walk the dog 20 feet to the door, decide to leave kids, take dog. put dog inside outer door, but not INSIDE the station. wait patiently for dispatcher to notice me. point to dog. say stray, traffic, blah blah blah, she gets my info (why?) and goes to get "one of the guys." He comes out. It's the 1 cop in town that I know (his wifeand kids are awesome, but I've never really gotten to actually know him). He meets the dog, says "wait here, I'll get my car and bring it around front. ...he walks out side door.

now, if you know the layout of this town's police station, he went out a door that might have saved him about 25 steps (he's a tall guy) from walking out the door I was at. and the cop cars aren't in some high-security fenced-in lot. It's just an open lot. Why couldn't I follow him to his car, out one of the doors and around the corner? no idea. no idea. So, it's a beautiful day. I take dog back outside, to keep a better eye on the still-running minivan full of kids. We sit. We wait. Time is ticking.  Hmm, maybe he got called out on a real police matter. Maybe the one-way streets are complicating him driving to the front of the building from the side. Give it time. nothing. Hmm, what to do now. Well, Shark Baby is crying, and hungry. Lets take dog to van, get baby, sit in open van door feeding baby. Uh oh, NIP in Nebraska, outside a police station. ugh. good thing the cops were too busy to take a dog, so they definitely were too busy to notice or harass a nursing mother. (right to Nurse In Public is not protected in 3 states, NE is one of them). Finally a Sherriff's car drives up (they share a building), and I try to get him to take the dog. He says the cop is out on a call. Ok, what are you doing? going inside to do paperwork? Wouldn't you rather play with a puppy?  Ok, then I'll go home, get a leash, and take him to T-ball. Thanks for letting the dispatcher lady know. And off I go.

Practice was supposed to be starting at 6. We got there about 5:45.  Shark Boy fell asleep on the way there of course. I go unbuckle him and he slithers onto the floor of the van, still 3/4 asleep, mumbling something about how we are at the soccer fields so there's no T-Ball here.

He's right. They play soccer here. But then soccer ends and baseball starts...  He's not getting it. He's sick. He's got a fever, and ear infection, and what looks like an eye infection. But remember, he's not on antibiotics, so I'm not totally crazy to take him out to play, but OK, how about you come up here and watch them play T-Ball in the front seat with me (and Lava Girl and the Dog). He takes the drivers' seat and proceeds to rearrange all buttons, play with steering wheel, not watch a lick of practice. Hey, what? Why are they even practicing? It's only 10-till!  Stay here (kids and stray dog) in the van, I'll go tell coaches you aren't coming. Coach doesn't seem to care, but after all, practice has started (10 minutes early). *note to self, be 20 minutes early to practices.*

I give up. We go home. We pull in the drive way, and the 4 y/o says that he wants to go to T-ball. Ok, lets go. He seems awake now. We drive back. Thank GOD this is a small town, so it's only like, a 2-minute drive each way). By now it's about 6:10, they are now actually hitting the ball and sort of playing a game of T-ball, people in the outfield and all. We go over. Shark Boy sees his favorite friend in the whole wide world and runs onto the field to see him. Then runs a big circle around the pitcher's mound, then back to his friend. I tell him to stick to his friend, and Lava Girl and Shark Baby and I go join Favorite Friend's family in the bleachers. Oh, Man, my kid is wearing CROCS!! To T-Ball practice. Awesome, this B.S. degree in Parks and Recreation is really paying off.

He does a great job of sticking to Favorite Friend, even when Favorite Friend is batting. Hello, safety violation? There was so much funny stuff going on. Tyler was definitely the most distracted, and probably the youngest. He's been 4 for four days. We haven't even had Birthday Cake yet. He still thinks he's 3.

I know this is all to be expected.

He spent some time off the field, playing with 2 y/o's in the rocks and dirt, went back out and stuck to Favorite Friend some more, batted some, made it to 3rd base and was batted to home, but never made it to home, since he ran from 3rd to Pitcher's mound. and around and around and zig zag. He was last batter of the night, so everyone cheered extra loud after he hit. It was really cool. I think he needed that. He was expecting it to be really hard, and was hesitant to even go, but wound up enjoying it.

Thank you T-Ball coaches, assistants, and fellow parents on the bleachers for helping me laugh and enjoy this experience. The patience and love flowing out of each volunteer coach was so real you could almost see it.

I couldn't find my phone when I was getting out of the car, so no pics of this milestone in my son's life, Crocs and all. So, this blog post will have to get scrapbooked eventually. After practice, another family on the team took the dog. They could tell I really didn't have time to deal with it.

Later, after practice, we came home, and I still couldn't find my phone. I looked everywhere, called it, nothing. Finally, I ask Shark Boy if he's seen it, and he says "It went to a secret  hiding place. It didn't want to see you."   I get very serious, and tell him to go get it out of the hiding place. He goes to the van and gets it out of his armrest. 

I love my poor, sick, phone hiding, barely-4-year-old, and tonight tucking him into bed, after I said "I love you" he said "I love you too Mom."  He sounded like such a big boy. He doesn't always reply, he's more of a hugger than a verbal love giver, so my heart is still just jellified over hearing "I love you Mom."  I love that kid. He's way too cute. And Smart. And Amazing, and a Great Friend, Super Big Brother, and just an all around Sweetheart, and I don't tell him that often enough.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Square Foot Garden 2010

This may not look like much, but check out my first SFG post if you want to see what it was 2 years ago!!

Since we didn't eat a bunch of what I grew last year, I decided to only plant my two "real" 4x4 boxes plus some giant flower pots.

Ugh, Nebraska. It's almost June and my tomatoes aren't even in the ground. I planted seeds for everything else today, but my tomato plants ar rin the ground today, before a hail/thunder storm complete with tornado sirens, but thankfully no tornadoes.

Here's how it turned out yesterday, and the trellis withstood the 67 mph wind gusts yesterdat afternoon, so I'd say it's secure.

I try to do things on the cheap.  Have you noticed that about this blog?  So last year I attempted a wimpy, ghetto, string trellis, and it supported some peas and beans but basically sucked. We didn't have nearly enough peas or beans either. Just 1 square of each if I remember right. My kids ate them as fast as they ripened. For a trellis this year I bought the string grid that is recommended in the SFG book. However, it still wasn't going to look very good. and putting up poles to support it was going to be a LOT of work. Then I saw my lattice panels that had a use in Hawaii but hadn't found a use since we moved here. They are 2.5' x8' panels of plastic lattice, with one rigid side each. I wound up experimenting with them until I decided to make the garden extra fun for the kids. I made the tunnel they can crawl under while the vines of cukes, zukes, beans, peas, and ornamental gourds grow over it. It's going to be a mess of vines, but it should be fun! I have 1 more panel of lattice that I haven't decided how to use. I might make some kind of cage for the beans that are on the far side of the box away from the tunnel. With 2 squares each of zukes and cukes, and 4 squares each of peas and beans, plus 1 square of ornamental gourds, we are in for a LOT of vines.

The giant pumpkin isn't going to be trellised. I haven't actually figured out what I'm going to do with it. or where it's going to be planted. It's a whole other post waiting to happen.

 This Flower BED below is also going to be another post.

Square Foot Gardening

When I say this is my 2.5th  year of SFG, I mean that the first year, we moved into this house in July, but were living in a hotel in town in June, so I prepped my soil in June (before we actually closed on the house), and then planted some broccoli, pumpkin and tomato plants in July. I didn't use a grid, or box, just amended existing soil, and hoped for the best.I used info I found online to know how many plants/square.

Here's a picture from that year, 2008:

I know, you're thinking WOW, that's one SEXY garden. Well you see, I planted and then went out of town for a couple months. We came home to that. So, with no watering for 2 months, I still would have  had good broccoli, tomatoes and pumpkins--if we had been here to eat them. That works for me!!  I based what I did on the info I found online about the SFG technique.

The next year, last year, 2009, I bought the SFG book, built  2 boxes, spent a fortune buying the ingredients for Mel's Mix, and planted a mixture of seeds and store bought plants. I planted the 2 4x4 boxes plus the 4x4 patch of ground from 2008. Everything did really well, except my pepper plants were complete failures and the tomatoes had blossom end rot. I grew but didn't eat many of the onions, radishes, beets, lettuce...but they were fun to grow. The broccoli flowered too fast and I missed eating them at the  yummy point. They were so yucky that I fed them to the dogs. The flower pots had potatoes, pansies and nasturtiums. One was supposed to have carrots but that was a big mess.

Here's a pic from a main harvest day, before a big frost/hail was expected:

My next  post will be on my 2010 SFG!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Freebies are coming!! Tell your friends!!

Once I have 30 fans I am going to start giving weekly freebies. Some of it will be Creative Memories scrapbooking products, and some of it will be sewn or otherwise made by me. So, recruit your friends so that the freebie giving can begin!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ribbon Revelation

I have been collecting ribbon for over 3 years now, for making the DreamSlings as well as for other projects, like hair bows, which I have yet to really get into. This means I am constantly looking for a better way to store it.

I was looking at storage solutions online, but nothing was big enough. As I looked at this one, I thought there had to be a way to make one on a larger scale.

See the HOLES?   They made me think of pegboard, and I just happened to have one on the wall in my craft room. It wasn't being used to its best potential, so I ripped it off the wall and started poking ribbons through it.  It would work, but I needed a way to contain the mess of ribbons hanging behind it. I considered a pillow case type idea on the back of it, but that would take work. Then, as I looked around my craft room, I saw a cheap hamper which had become a landing place for unorganized (waiting to be put away) pieces of fabric, ribbon, etc. It was even ripped and waiting to be repaired. The rip actually made it perfect. I used ribbon to attach the plastic pegboard to the side of the hamper and had a way to contain the oodles of ribbon behind the board. 

As I worked on this I thought of another solution, had I not had these supplies on hand. I could have drilled holes in the lid of an under bed storage box and done the same thing. 

I'm hoping to eventually have my sewing room organized enough that I can show you all the whole thing, but for now, here's the fabric and ribbon section.  I have tons more ribbon to poke through the ribbon dispenser but for now, at least a solution has been found!

Evolution of a Dress

So I went to the thrift store looking for shirts to "upcycle" into dresses for Kaila. I found a bunch, and especially liked this one:
I had bought this pattern when Kaila was a baby and have made hats from it but hadn't made the dress yet. 
Here's how it turned out, BORING!!

Yes, I had the rick-rack that the pattern asked for, and could have done the pattern ruffles but didn't particularly like that. So I cut out some awesome paisley butterflies to applique on. Then didn't like them. So the dress sat around for a couple weeks. It looked like a sack. It wasn't just boring, it was boring and sloppy looking. Then it hit me. I could add some tie-backs to it to make it fit my skinny little Lava Girl better.  I could coordinate the tie-backs with an applique and it would decorate the front AND the back. I grabbed some scraps of Michael Miller's Carnival Bloom and made Lava Girl's favorite shape, a star, for the front, and tie-backs for the sides, and then opened up the side seams, stuck the tie-backs in, and used my serger to close it back up, while at the same time tidying the rest of the inside seams with the serger. 

I finally am happy with my serger. 
Thanks again Mom and Dad!

It still needed a bit more pizazz, so I added a ruffle with my handy dandy ruffler out of some more Michael Miller scraps. You can't go wrong with Michael Miller fabrics!

Here's the end result, with some bonus shots of SharkBoy, the photo shoot crasher.


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