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Waiting

For the last 3 1/2 weeks or so I have been having braxton hicks that have led me to believe this baby was going to arrive early. So much so that I have worked myself in a frenzy to make sure everything is prepared to bring him home.


1. Purchase Car Seat, clothes, diapers, and other baby essentials √
2. Stock house with groceries (several times; I didn’t realize how much the three boys I already live with eat and drink) √
3. Scrub house (again several times; I am sick of cleaning!) √
4. Get things in order at work √

And here I am am at 39 weeks and 5 days and we are still waiting. Every day and night while I am having the contractions I think, “today is the day”. Nervously I think about the labor and delivery and try to mentally prepare myself, and then the contractions go away. The anticipation is getting to me. We are all so excited for this baby to finally arrive that it makes the waiting even harder. We can’t wait to see him and hold him!

All night I had more contractions, and all I keep thinking is, “don’t get your hopes up, they are going to go away and we are going to have to wait some more”. But, as I am sitting here writing the contractions are still happening…SO, maybe…today truly IS the day.

Change is on the way in the next 4 weeks…and other random thoughts

I am 36 weeks today and I am feeling it. I feel real big and real uncomfortable. Sitting for prolong periods of time, trying to get a good night’s sleep, AND putting my socks and shoes on are becoming more difficult (almost impossible). I can hardly believe our new baby boy will be here in just a few weeks. I have been feeling really anxious about being “ready” for him, so Saturday my Mom and I went shopping at Babies “R” Us and picked up a few essentials. I got some long sleeved onesies, pants in the same material as the onesies, sleepers, newborn and size 1/2 diapers, booties, and a new infant carseat. (I am feeling less anxious now, thanks Mom!). I can tell I am nearing his birth, because I am experiencing both exhaustion and the “nesting” urge. For the last week and a half – during the day I feel like I am on the verge of falling asleep and then randomly I will get the strong urge to scrub the house. The energy bursts don’t last very long, but while I have them I have been getting a lot of good cleaning in. I also have the feeling this baby is going to come early. Which I am hoping doesn’t happen!! Mainly because I don’t want to have to brave the blizzardy conditions to get to the hospital or bring him home when it’s this cold outside.

That brings me to my next thought…We have had a loooooong winter. When will it end? I am blaming it on Punxsutawney Phil. I am mad at him. 6 more weeks, really? Since we got back from Arizona on the 7th it won’t stop snowing. It snowed again today and it’s is suppose to snow a few more times in the next few days. Our trampoline is practically touching the ground – weighed down by the layers and layers of old and new snow. Unlike the last 3 winters we have not had enough sunny days to melt the old snow away and according to the forecast, we won’t for a while. I am done with the overcast/gray skies, ice, snow, and feeling trapped at home because the streets are not usually plowed. Three blessings I am praying for- an easy labor/delivery, a healthy baby, and warm weather very soon!

Snakes and Snails and Puppy dog tails…AGAIN

We received confirmation today at my third ultrasound that we are definitely having another boy. I am 32 weeks today and my Doctor wanted to check on the baby’s growth progress. Our newest baby boy is doing well and according to the ultrasound tech’s prediction he is right on track to be about 7 – 7 1/2 lbs when he is born. I have never had an ultrasound this far along – it was a different but good experience. Poor little guy looks so cramped in there! The ultrasound pictures and video never represent clearly what we get to see during the ultrasound, but the tech did manage to capture this gem:

Those lips are identical to Jonah’s when he is stretching his out to give kisses. In many of the pictures I could see the baby’s strong resemblance to both Elijah and Jonah. Just 8 more weeks and we will be able to see and hold our newest, precious, little boy…we can’t wait!!

Can’t get these chewy, delicious croutons out of my mind


For as long as we have lived in Indiana Jill and Quaid have highly recommended the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s. They particularly are fans of the fresh made Pumpernickel croutons. So, the other day after running some errands Ben and I and the boys decided to try out the salad bar and see what all the fuss is about. Well, let me just tell you I understand now. The croutons are REALLY good. So good, that I can’t stop craving them. I can’t get them out of my head. It’s bad…I even went to the grocery store and bought Pumpernickel bread so I can make them tonight. BUT, I looked up some copycat recipes, and funny enough they are not made out of Pumpernickel bread. They are actually made out of Dark Honey Wheat bread and they are deep fried. Here is the really simple recipe (slightly modified) taken from the RecipeZaar website:


Ruby Tuesday’s Croutons


SERVES 8 , 6 cups (change servings and units)
* 3 cups dark honey wheat bread, cubed
* garlic salt
* 2 cups oil (for deep frying)
Directions


1. Cut the loaf of bread into bit size cubes.
2. Deep fry for about 1 -2 minutes. They should come out semi soft.
3. As the croutons come out of the deep fryer, sprinkle with garlic salt.

YUM…I can’t wait to try this recipe and see how they turn out. Though, I think I will try to bake them rather than fry them.

Someone is looking a little older today

Today is Jonah’s birthday. He is 3 years old!! It’s hard to believe 3 years have gone by already. He is getting so tall and looking so mature- losing his baby look. I am sure when the new baby comes Jonah will seem so big, but for now we can still treat him like our little goo-goo! I am not ready to let that go just yet.

This morning Elijah asked Jonah what he wants for his birthday, to which Jonah replied -three cakes. So three cakes it will be (or rather just a bunch of cupcakes) – my boys are easy to please ; ).

He’s an Artist

Earlier today Elijah keep himself very busy with drawing on the whiteboard. He finished with this little gem. Here is his drawing of the cast of

SpongeBob SquarePants

SBSPpicture [640x480]

(From Left to Right: Plankton, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs)

I thought he did a pretty good job!!

Thanks to little brothers…

Last Friday Elijah came home from school looking like this…

Elijah'sloosetooth [800x600]

(A few days before this the boys were playing a fun game of holding hands while alternating who got to jump up while the other dropped down, and Jonah knocked Elijah’s front tooth loose when his head hit Elijah’s mouth during mid-jump)

Before going to a Fall Festival later that evening Jonah assisted his big brother with knocking the tooth out. He accidentally kicked Elijah in the face while they were both sitting on the couch watching their favorite cartoon, Sponge Bob-Square Pants. So, Elijah now looks like this…

Missing front tooth [640x480]

A very good student, indeed!


Today I met with Elijah’s 1st grade teacher for the anticipated Parent/Teacher conference to discuss his progress in school so far. It went very well! I am very proud of our boy! He is doing great in all areas, especially reading and writing. A momma likes to hear all the good things her baby is accomplishing.


I am glad I got to meet with his teacher, because my impression of her has now changed. In the beginning she seemed to be extremely hard on the children. Too hard. Some days Elijah would be very nervous to go to school for fear he was going to get in trouble for not doing or saying things right. Not too long ago he was in tears since he could not find a little apple book he made out of cut paper. He thought he had to return it to class and he was frantic searching the house. We never found the book, so I wrote his teacher a note hoping that would soften his punishment. He never got in trouble…but as any protective parent watching their son crying because he was scared what his teacher would do, I wasn’t sure if I liked his teacher very much.


Mrs. Perry admitted she was harder on the children in the beginning of the school year to establish the “rules”, but I think things are more relaxed now. Turns out she is very sweet and from her comments today, I can tell she is a very caring teacher.

Pickles and ice cream…not me.


Like many women during pregnancy I have had many cravings, but mine tend to last the whole pregnancy long.


When I was pregnant with Elijah I could not get enough tamales, Mexican food in general, slushies from Sonic or Water-n-Ice, and seafood (mainly crabmeat and shrimp). With Jonah I craved hummus, edamames, pizza, french fries, and banana bread (specifically Emma’s recipe). I know these sound really gross together, but I did not eat them all at one time. ; ) With this pregnancy I haven’t had as many cravings as before, but I have had two specific ones so far; Chinese potstickers and sweets (mostly cake, pies, and anything chocolate).


So, I have been trying my hand at some good old home cooking and have discovered some great recipes. My favorite so far are the Vegetarian potstickers (dumplings) and Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipes I pulled off of the Smitten Kitchen and Allrecipes websites.


Vegetarian Dumplings

Adapted from Alton Brown


1/2 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
2 minced cloves garlic (Deb addition)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (I replace 1 teaspoon with hot sesame oil — delicious)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
35 to 40 small wonton wrappers
1/3 cup chicken stock or water


Preheat the oven to 200°F.


Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels. Place on a plate, top with another plate, and place a weight on top (a 14-ounce can of vegetables works well). Let stand 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots, cabbage, red pepper, scallions, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, egg, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.


To form the dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering the others with a damp cloth. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Place 1/2 rounded teaspoon of the tofu mixture in the center of the wrapper. Shape as desired*. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.


Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Brush with vegetable oil once hot. Add 8 to 10 potstickers at a time to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, without touching. Once the 2 minutes are up, gently add 1/3 cup chicken stock to the pan, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.

I made a bunch of these and froze them. They keep really well in the freezer and are great for a quick meal/snack. I have since modified the Vegetable dumpling recipe and added ground chicken for Ben’s benefit since he is not a fan of tofu. Both turned out so good that I have not had the desire to go out to P.F. Chang’s for their overly priced but extremely delicious vegetarian and chicken ones.


Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:


• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


This week I am going to make chocolate cream pie and pumpkin pie. I will post the recipes if they turn out good!

Anything new happening?

I have really been neglecting our blog lately, but honestly I haven’t had the energy to do much more than trying to keep up with the daily tasks that demand my attention. So I am going to attempt to catch things up in the next few posts…