Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Avey's First Laugh

I decided I needed to start organizing my days better. I made a pretty schedule and everything. Yeah. Still can't seem to pull myself away from the baby long enough to do the dishes. The major surgery/just had a baby card is tapped out. I placate him with delicious foods, wine and desserts. The way I figure it-- I can keep this up until Avey turns one can walk and do the dishes. Problem solved.

Mohawk. People pay to look this way. Sister was born with it. Check it.

Even though after finding out that Ben was going to be The Bachelor this season and swearing I would boycott-- I am back for more. It's like a really bad car accident-- you just can't look away. After watching Courtney get naked and take a dive into the ocean with Ben-- you know whats coming.

They always pick the yucky girl.

Why pick a beautiful, intelligent, doctor when a naked, evil, model is throwing herself at you? Cha! There's no competition. He's a moron. At least she's funnier than Vienna.
But really. I'm shocked and appreciative because with a dull uninteresting bachelor Courtney's one-liners make the show worth watching.

“Blakeley is like a champion out there. Who knew that strippers could play baseball?”
“It crossed my mind…maybe I won’t be seeing her again. I hope I got her number. I could use a personal trainer.”
“Maybe she drank too much and Jersey Shore came out.”

Oh. And one must not forget-- "Winning!"

I still have about ten pounds to lose before I'm down to pre-pregnancy weight-- not to mention all the weight I had to lose before I gained a baby. We've been trying out different diets and have come to the conclusion that we just love food too much.

It's not my love for food but more my love for preparing it that gets me in all the trouble. We'll be doing fabulously the first three days of a diet and then I start shopping recipes and all hope is lost. I really love baking. I really love cooking. I really love tasting.

But I'd really love to get my body back more. So here I am. Day three--again. Not shopping recipes but trying to come up with innovative ways to healthily spice up broccoli and cabbage! Yum!

This is the face she makes when she's done taking pictures. Still adorable, right?

We've been going over to my parents house a lot. My brothers text Brady at least once a day-- "games?" I'm glad they're all getting along so well. I'm a lucky girl. Not everyone gets to be apart of a family where all parties thoroughly enjoy each other.

They play video games and I chill out and watch television on a big screen. I don't know if I've mentioned it before but we don't have television at our house. In a way we kinda do. I've hacked my Dads netflix so I don't get too lonely but really not having the TV on all the time is really nice. Not getting a bill is nice. The extra snuggle time is nice.

Snuggling is my favorite.

Avey likes to sleep while we're over there. I've never seen a baby so tolerant of a carseat. Really. Coolest. Baby. Evah.

She is learning new tricks all the time. Daddy is teaching her how to sit. She does this thing when she's laying down where she'll lift her head, squeeze her stomach muscles and try to pull herself into a sitting position. She's only two months old and she's an overachiever already.

Brady'll support her back with one hand and she does all the rest of the work. Sister is a rockstar.

Today we were laying in bed together and I began to repeatedly say "dada" because her reaction was so grand. She would reward me with one of her million dollar smiles. I like to send Brady videos while he's at work and I thought he'd get a kick out of her silly grins.

I grabbed my million year old dinosaur phone(pink razor--remember those?) and began to film... and this is what I got:

Avey's first laugh. I couldn't believe it. I just kept speaking and she just kept laughing.

Thank you friends for sharing all these incredible "firsts" with us. I feel so privileged and humbled to have such incredible friends and family.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Penne Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

We went italian last night. I'm not a huge onion fan and this dish tasted pretty oniony in my opinion but my husband loved it. He ate all of mine, his, and he ate the leftovers for breakfast! He is a huge pasta lover and he thought the dish was great. This dish has been approved for repeat by my picky eater.

Penne Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce 
(I halved the recipe. If you're cooking for 6-8 click on "source" for the whole recipe.)

1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1/2 whole medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
dash of sugar
1 cup heavy cream (I didn't have any cream so I melted 1/6 butter (half of one third cup. just eyeball it.) and 1/4 plus 1/8 cup milk. Mixed it together and substituted it.)
Parmesan Cheese
1/2 lb Penne Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat butted and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over love heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and basil and serve immediately. (Thin with paste water before adding basil if needed.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

Growing up we'd beg my Mom to make chicken and dumplings. It was a family favorite. My Mom would get out a big ole pot and magic happened. No joke. This is one of my favorite recipes ever. It's a comfort food and perfect for a rainy day like today.

You'll find that it needs a little bit of salt and pepper at the end. Staying true to my mothers recipe I don't add it in during the process but flavor it to my liking in my own bowl. My mom never added it into the mix because we were kids and kids like things plain.

5 chicken breasts
2 cups water
2 cans cream of chicken soup (click here for a much healthier substitute recipe)
1 can milk (use empty cream of chicken soup can)
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Boil 5 chicken breasts in an extra large pot in 2 cups of water. While chicken is boiling mix together in a meduim-large sized bowl 2 cups of flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of milk, and 4 tbsp vegetable oil. Mixture will form a sticky ball. Set aside.

After cooked through remove chicken from water and place on cutting board. Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup to the water that the chicken was cooked in. Cut chicken into chunks and add back to pot with 1 can of milk.

Cook on high heat until bubbling, stirring frequently. Then drop dumpling mixture by the spoonful into boiling broth. Cover pot, turn heat to medium and cook approximately 20 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keep Breathing

This has been a doozy of a day... make that week. It's storming-- perfect writing weather and my baby is sleeping peacefully beside me in bed-- sans comforter (explanation coming soon). Brady is working late tonight the product of a day spent playing hooky yesterday.

Monday was Avey's 2 month check up. Every mother living in the United States knows what that means-- shots. I was literally in a state of panic.

Brady and I had discussed immunizing Avey with our family doctor before she was born. It's not that we're against immunizations-- Brady puts it this way, "I don't feel comfortable about pumping something into my little baby girl when I'm not 100% sure what's in it." I agree.

We also believe that our God is a God that heals our afflictions. Should you immunize your child or trust in the Lord for their health and well being? What if your child is part of the unlucky number of people that experience an adverse reaction to the immunizations? Seizures, extreme pain, diarrhea and vomiting are just a few of the risks that you take.

It's tough being a Mom. It's tough making the calls when you don't have the book in front of you and can't read the ending.

We decided that she would would receive 3 of the 5 recommended immunizations.

We arrived at the doctors office Monday morning and they ushered us back to a private waiting area so we wouldn't have to sit with the sick people.

When they brought us back to the room they did a little check-up. Sister is 9 lbs now! Giddy up! Yeehaw!

Then it was time for her shots. I sat in the corner on the other side of the room while Brady held her steady and whispered sweet words to her. Three sticks.

We both cried. Avey and I-- not Brady. He's a big strong man. Then it was over and Brady handed her to me and as we nursed I tried to dry her tears with my blouse.

Then it was my turn. The nurse fiddled around with my hands and tried to find a vein because it was time to get my thyroid checked again. They ended up sticking me three times too. I felt better then. At least it was fair.

They told us that she would be fussy and to call if she started running a high fever or experienced any diarrhea or excessive vomiting.

She slept for the next four or five hours while Brady and I ate lunch and ran errands. Sister was stressed and worn flat out.

After we were home and settled in for the night she decided she needed her Momma and we nursed for the next twelve hours or so. Sister was traumatized I'm telling ya!

This morning things went back to normal. We cuddled all morning and watched the Bachelor. After lunch I was checking my facebook and something not normal happened-- she began projectile vomiting all over the bed (sans comforter-- remember?). My baby became a fountain and more vomit than a baby should be allowed to produce flowed forth from the depths of her belly.

I was panicked. I picked her up and held her close while she made little hiccuping sounds. I began to walk around-- because that's what you do when you don't know what to do-- and we ended up in the hallway. I dialed my moms number without even thinking and it went to voicemail.

I was kicking myself for saying yes to the immunizations. Something terrible was happening.

Before I could finish dialing Brady she began to puke all over again. By the time Brady picked up the phone (4th ring) she was covered, I was covered, and the hallway was covered. I am pretty sure I was just a little bit hysterical when I tried to tell him what was going on through my tears.

He handled it well. He always does. He calmly spoke to me and reassured me that everything was okay while asking direct, problem solving questions. So rational. So unlike me.

I dialed the doctors office next. I told them I needed to speak to the doctor and they said okay and forwarded me to a voicemail. I called back sobbing and told them that I needed to speak to a doctor not a voicemail. They told me that the doctors were busy and so I told them my baby was puking everywhere and she just got her immunizations and and I didn't know what was wrong.

The woman on the other end of the phone perked up and asked "Here? You got the immunizations here? When? What's her name? Let me get a nurse!"

Like magic I was talking to a nurse within the next 10 seconds.

 She told me to check her temperature. Why didn't I think of that?

She told me to check the injection sights. To look for swelling or any abnormalities. Why didn't I think of that?

She told me that she was fine. She probably just had some reflex but to keep an eye on her and her temperature and to call back in the morning.

I sat us both down in the tub-- clothes and all and I turned on the water as hot as it would go (which is not so hot). Avey laid back to float like she always does and floated around in the water smiling and cooing. I called Brady back and let him know things were okay. I got ahold of my mother and let her know what was going on. I stripped off our soaking wet cloths and Avey started rooting so we nursed in the water and I cried.

I ugly cried.

I-- mascara going everywhere, couldn't catch my breath, shoulder shaking, belly aching, cried.

Because the only one I've ever had to worry about is me. Because I'm one of those lucky people that hasn't experienced death or deep gut wrenching worry that comes with being a mother. Because going through an 8 day NICU stay was nothing compared to being alone with a sick little baby and not knowing how to make it better or if it was going to be better at all.

Because when the kid you nanny pukes it's inconvenient. When the kid you made pukes it's heartbreaking and terrifying.

Dude. I became a Mommy today.

I felt the weight of it and my responsibility like I've never felt before. I know that I will have a million more awakenings. I know that Brady and I have been so blessed to have it so easy so far. This little person. This little 9 pound person is a part of me. If something ever happened to her there would be no coming back from the kind of devastation it would cause.  I would rather bleed. Die. Get stuck with a million needles than see her in pain.

My love for her is infinite. I don't know who she'll become or what she'll accomplish. If she never accomplishes anything it wont change a thing. My heart is lost. She's got it all and she doesn't even know it yet.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Last night I made this delicious sopapilla cheesecake! I can't get over how soft and tasty it was. We had Brady's cousin Dennis over for dinner and the three of us scarfed down the entire pan. Delicious!

I used an 8x8 pan and we polished off the whole thing. If you have more than four or five people that you're planning on serving you'll want to double the batch and use a bigger pan.

1 pkg pillsbury buttery crescent rolls
1/2 cup sugar
8oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp softened butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Use half of the package of crescent rolls to press into and cover the bottom of your ungreased 8x8 pan. Blend sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread mixture over crescent roll crust.  Place the remaining crescent rolls on top and stretch until they cover the cream cheese mixture. Spread softened butter over the top of the crescent rolls. Cover the top of the dish with cinnamon and sugar.

Place in oven and cook at 350F for 20-25 minutes.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken Chili

I had never made chicken chili before so I decided to give it a go. I am actually quite proud of how this turned out. We ate it by itself because we were out of cheese and crackers but no joke--this chili may be the best chili ever with some cheddar cheese and saltines.

Super quick and easy. Just dump everything in, let simmer, and enjoy!


2 chicken breasts
1/2 lb pinto beans
1 can chicken broth
1 small can diced green chiles
1 can cream of potato soup
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Southwest Chipotle Seasoning (a good substitute would be some cayenne perhaps)
generous dash of onion powder and garlic salt


Prepare pinto beans according to the instructions on the bag-- the longer you soak them the better (canned beans work great as well--just skip this step). Boil you chicken breasts for an hour or until tender. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place it into pot. Then add all other ingredients and let simmer for awhile so all the flavors intermingle.
Enjoy hot with cheddar cheese and saltines.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

nursing, nursing, nursing.

two months old.
Today. Can't believe it. Plain and simple.

I strike random poses all the time. It's my attempt at being "sexy" and it makes Brady laugh like crazy.

Last night I whispered a sultry "hey" before striking a pose in the hall. Brady's look of horror was my first indication that something might be wrong-- my second was all the shattering that followed. Sexy me knocked every picture frame off the hallway wall. That's right. I'm dangerous-- to wall hangings at least.

wednesday night.
On Wednesday we traveled to Truefire (my favorite restaurant) for a late anniversary/birthday celebration with my parents. Avey was smiling and content until we were polishing off our our appetizers and then she let me have it.

Give it a few months and we'll start working on patience.

I get so deeply uncomfortable when she cries so I took out my udder cover and we nursed. We did remarkably well. It was our first time to nurse at a public place. I just acted like it wasn't a big deal and then-- it wasn't. No one even looked at us strangely. The waitress averted her eyes but that was it!

We've come such a long way in regards to nursing. When we arrived home from the hospital I was pumping every 2-3 hours and Avey would drink it out of a bottle. We weren't able to try nursing until she was three days old in the hospital and at that point she was so tiny-- our anatomies were mismatched plain and simple. When she was four days old someone told us about something called a nipple shield. It's a silicone little bottle-like nipple that you use when trying to breastfeed a baby that needs extra help.

She was hooked on the bottle and the nipple shield. By the time she was four weeks old I was exhausted. We would begin with the nipple sheild. She would nurse but tire quickly, I would pump for 15-20 mins on each side, and then I would give her a bottle. By the time I was done with the whole process it was time to begin again.

Formula wasn't an option. Breast is best. I wasn't about to stop trying to do what was best for her because it would be more convenient for me.

Brady encouraged me to go cold turkey and take her off of the bottle, pacifier, and nipple shield. If she didn't have any other options she would have to nurse. It was an excruciating, tear-filled weekend. We began on a Thursday night. The first time we tried to nurse we ended up trying for six hours straight. She wouldn't latch correctly. I was completely raw from pulling her off without breaking suction first. Neither one of us knew what we were doing.

She fell asleep hungry and I felt like a terrible mother. I wanted to quit but Brady encouraged me, he told me I could do it, he told me to just hang on a little while longer-- just through the weekend. He took off work on Friday so he could stay home and help.

We saw little success in the first two days. She only latched and nursed correctly three times. We fed her by squirting a syringe full of breast milk in her mouth because I didn't want her to feel like she was starving. We continued to try.

By Sunday night I was so raw I had little speckles of blood pop up but she was doing better and we were seeing progress. It was unbearable for me though. I had never been in so much pain in my entire life. I am not over exaggerating at all. It felt like my nipples were on fire at all times. When she would try to latch I would cry. I all but cussed out Brady on several occasions. I couldn't stand when he was around us but I needed him to lean on. I literally couldn't live with him and couldn't live without him. I was completely miserable.

Then on Monday something amazing happened. We nursed for an entire day without any problems. I was still very sore but I knew that we had made it past the worst. We pushed through the hump and we were coming down the other side of the hill. Everything looked so much brighter.

We're pros now. I am so glad we worked so hard to accomplish it. I feel bonded to her in a way I know that we wouldn't be if I would have kept her on the bottle. Nursing is such a privilege. I still pump every once in awhile and Brady still feeds her with the bottle every once in awhile but not often. I love nursing. I love the way her little eyes roll back into her head when my milk lets down. The way she smiles if I whisper in her ear while we nurse. The way she still makes her "nurse" face while she's sleeping. I know she loves it just as much as I do.

uncle colin.
Loves his Avey. I've been spending a lot of time over at my parents house lately and the second he walks in the door after he gets off work at 2pm he scoops her up and I don't see her for the next hour. Colin and I have been playing mom and dad since Bethany was born.

Brothers gonna be a bad a** Daddy.

 wedding cake.
After dinner on Wednesday we headed back to my parents to enjoy some of our leftover wedding cake from a year ago.

I was surprised because it was actually decent.

 caption contest.
And the winner of the FB caption contest....

"I got your nose!!!" -Kim Baughman

last night.
Brady goes to a prayer meeting on Friday nights but last night he decided to stay home because he wanted to spend time with me. It made me feel so good. We watched The Office and I made homemade ice cream.

It was the best night.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Weekend Review

Sister made momma crazy proud last night. She put herself to sleep in--get this-- her basinet! As Brady lectured me on how I needed to leave her in the basinet even if she started to fuss(because he wanted to cuddle)-- baby girl self soothed her way to sleep-- giving me four solid hours of sleep!

Guess where sister is napping now? In her basinet! Freeing up my arms to write this quick post!


her gown says "where you lead, i will follow. ruth 1:16"

After reviewing some of my pictures I realized that the majority were single shots of Avey. Any containing Brady and I  were sleeping pictures--so we headed out to the balcony on Saturday and we had ourselves a little photo shoot.

They are gonna be best friends just like my Dad and I. They're practically the same person.

Alright, so here's the story. Brady was snapping pictures of Avey and I and in almost all the photos he chopped off the top of my head. I made a big ole fuss about it after we went inside so he took the camera and shot multiple pictures that looked like this:

Telling me I should just photoshop my hair onto the other photos. Thanks babe.

Saturday night we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa. We ate some delicious cake and played a couple games.

I won them all. NBD.

Sunday was a lazy day. We didn't roll out of bed till ten. It was the best Avey had ever slept. I usually watch her during the night. She sleeps on my side of the bed and I'm there to make sure no blankets cover her face, she stays on her back etc. Well Brady took baby duty on Saturday night.

She slept like a dream. Girlfriend loves her Daddy.

I made bacon, egg and cheese biscuits Sunday morning. For the heart shaped eggs I grabbed a cookie cutter out of the pantry, put it on the griddle, and filled it with egg.


She was knocked out after her bath. Brady put a diaper on her, we nursed, and she was down for the count.

The video game fest continued this weekend.

The cherry and whipped cream of our weekend was a night at my parents. My dad just made it back from a two week work trip in Vegas/California. We celebrated with movies and pizza--the only way there is to celebrate something grand.

I hope your week is full of wonder and excitement. Learn something new! I'm going to learn how to make candles!