Friday, October 31, 2014

Another goofy boy joins the family!!!

8:43am this morning. 
7lb 6oz

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lab Answers

This is one of my favorite questions to grade each year. 
List 8 products made of recycled paper.

Some of the answers I received this year:
*steel cans
*plastic bags
*hospital gowns
*paper money
*water bottles
*lamp shades

Things I Don't Do

I was inspired by TheFrugalGirl to list the things I don't do. She has been talking about looking too perfect on blogs and how it can depress other people. Here are the first few things that popped into my head. 

Jared makes much more imaginative toys then I do and I am the engineer. He made a vacuum cleaner for Martin on Saturday. Martin loved it and played with it for about 30 minutes. 
I don't knit. 

I don't crochet. 

I rarely make plans for play dates with other kids even though I know Martin loves them and I enjoy them too. 

I don't fold Martin's clothes. They are just stuffed in a drawer. 

I rarely invite people over for dinner, even though I think about it all the time. I always come up with excuses. Example: my sister has been in town for over 4 months now and I still haven't had her over for dinner. 

I have a bad habit of writing thank you notes and then leave them on the table without stamps for a week or two before I send them. There are three sitting there right now. 

My kitchen table is always a mess. 

I have three bags of clothes that have been riding around in the back of Jared's car for over a year that need to go to Goodwill. 

I was given some maternity clothes about six months ago and they are still sitting in a pile next to my bed. I wear them, wash them, and throw them back in the pile. Is it even worth finding a home for them now? 

I plan to go outside with Martin most days, but we only make it outside 2 or 3 times a week. 

I don't serve vegetables with each meal. 

I broke the coat rack on our entry wall because I was too lazy to hang up coats in the closet and hung too much weight on the wall and it fell off. 

I haven't early voted yet even though I have meant to every day for the last week. I need to do this before the baby comes. 

I take pictures of Martin when he throws fits sometime. 
This is right before dinner. Martin wanted crackers and all I would give him was an apple. He threw himself on the ground and cried. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Random Monday Updates

This weekend my best friend from college came to visit. We just hung out and relaxed. Friday my hairdresser treated me to a pedi and hair trim. It was so relaxing. My hair ended up shorted than I expected, but it will grow back. :) The haircut is cute. I am playing with ways to pull it back for labor because it is too short for braids or a good ponytail right now. 

Michelle also gave us motivation to put the kitchen back in some order. I will post pictures tomorrow. It is livable now. The only thing I would like to do before the baby comes is finish making curtains for the windows. 

This morning Martin and I went grocery shopping. I made yogurt and ricotta. I am going to freeze the ricotta for calzones later once the baby comes.

4 quarts of plain yogurt

I love mason jars. I think they are so pretty. 

I have killed 55 fruit flies this morning. Jared and I have resorted to using the vacuum to kill them. We don't know where they are coming from, but they keep coming and coming. I am looking forward to the first frost. 

Did I mention we bought a new vacuum? It is awesome. Jared bought our old vacuum before we got married for $25 (so $5 a year for the years we owned it) and the clamp that kept the hose on was broken. So I would vacuum the whole floor and then notice that it had popped off and hadn't picked anything up. This one is a Shark. My sister suggested it. We visited 5 stores and tried out so many vacuums and weren't happy with any of them. It is so hard to find a small, light vacuum that works well.   

The engineer in me has calculated that we will have to own it for over 30 years to have it work out to $5 a year, like the other vacuum. However, the other vacuum was only used once a month or so before children. Now that Martin is moving around and eating real food, we use the vacuum way more often (several times a week usually). So if we were able to keep this one running for 15 years, I will consider it an amazing buy still. 

There is still no new baby. I am hoping he comes after my lab next Monday. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kitchen Update 3

We have been rearranging everything all day. Soon the table will be moved back into the kitchen!!! Yay, for having my kitchen back in some order. To celebrate I made a double batch of granola (which will hopefully last until after the baby comes) and some tortilla soup. 

More pictures once everything is somewhat back to order and the sun is shining. 

I will be 38 weeks in 2 days!!! Wow, how did we get this far along already? This baby could come anytime or wait another 4 weeks. I finally washed his clothes yesterday. We also put his car seat in the car. Next step is packing my hospital bag. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anna and Andrew took Martin boating today. I told him about it this morning and he went around the house babbling, "boat uncle boat Anna boat boat boat." But that was nothing to the excitement he had when they pulled up, to pick him up, and he saw the boat. 

Meanwhile, I went to target, the bank, and grocery shopping and started putting my house back together. Not having Martin around has thrown off my day. I haven't gotten as far as I had hoped at all.  Plus, I am lonely. :) I didn't realize how much I talked to him. He is such a blessing. I am so thankful for him. I love being a mom. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Update on Names

Mondays are catchup days from the weekend. 

Martin and I have been playing in his toy closet and reading lots of books. I also finished repairing four cloth diapers (to stretch my stash once baby two shows up) and made 14 more cloth wipes (I plan to try cloth wipes while he is breastfeed, but not once he eats real food - gross). I also folded and stuff clean diapers, made a new batch of wipes, finished grading my labs, and went over my lab for tonight. 

In the words of my husband, Our house still looks like a bomb went off inside. Jared is going to finish the last coat of paint tonight and we will be able to move the furniture back to its real places (instead of having a kitchen table piled with all the items off my counters sitting in the middle of the living room). We will work on hanging back pictures this weekend once the paint is cured. 

We can't decide on a new table or how we want to redo the cabinets and bench seat right now.  Maybe by spring we will sort all that out and have the kitchen finished. First, we should probably think of some names for this baby. Ha ha.  If he happens to be a girl, we would name her:
Evelyn Grace
Margaret Rose
Louisa something

But I don't think there is much chance of it being a girl; the pictures were pretty convincing on the boy parts. 
So far we have thrown around a bunch of names, but don't particularly like any of them. Here are a few:
Haddon (as is Charles Haddon Spurgeon, not Hayden). 
Peter - Jared doesn't like
Adoniram - I don't like
Jarvis - I don't like
Fredrick - a bright red-headed great uncle on Jared's side

And let's not even start on middle names... They range from the more normal suggestions of Aaron (my middle name for a few days until my parents changed it) to last names of people we know, such as Corcoron, to literary charecters, such as Atticus (Finch), to things like Noel and Christmas. 

This baby might be nameless for a few days. 

Oh, and here is an article I read today that is inspiring me to declutter my house. I hope to start tomorrow.

Any name suggestions? Favorites? Names you dislike? Our one "rule" is that people have to be able to know how to spell it and say it and people wouldn't judge you on a resume because your name is weird. I guess that is two rules. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hiding Place

Against the God who rules the sky 
I fought with hand uplifted high 
Despised the mention of His grace 
Much too proud to seek a hiding place 

Wrapped in shadows of the night 
Fond of darkness more than light 
Blind, I ran the sinful race 
I felt no need for a hiding place 

But then the eternal council ran 
"Almighty love, arrest this man!" 
I felt the arrows of distress 
And found I had no shield, no hiding place 

Holy justice stood in view 
To Sinai's fiery mount I flew 
But justice cried with frowning face 
"This mountain is no hiding place" 

But then a heavenly voice I heard 
And mercy for my soul appeared 
She led me on with gentle pace 
To Jesus as my hiding place 

Should seven storms of vengeance roll 
And shake this earth from pole to pole 
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face 
While Jesus is my hiding place 
While Jesus is my hiding place 

On Him almighty vengeance fell 
Which would have sunk this world to Hell 
He bore it for a sinful race 
To make Himself our hiding place

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kitchen Update Part 2

It is all ready to paint tonight. I have wiped down half the walls and moved everything off the counters.  I need to remove the electrical covers and finish cleaning the walls. Hopefully, tomorrow or Friday I can post some updated paint pictures. 

Also, SAMs club is carrying dried mango again!! I may have bought 4 bags and already eaten one since last week. Martin ate some of the bag... He brings it to me and says, "please, please, please". 

I am packing mango (and apricots and trail mix and other healthy snacks - hospital food is gross and heavy) in my hospital bag, which I have not packed and probably won't until a few days before my due date (or maybe when I am in labor).  First, I should wash all the baby clothes in the attic and put them away, which I was going to do two weeks ago, but the kitchen got in the way.

Lastly, I ruined this painting for Jared by pointing out that the clouds look like a chicken. We have called it the chicken painting ever since, but we still like it. It hangs over our bed. Jared thought it would be funny to ask Martin if he saw the chicken. Now whenever Martin runs into our room he points to the painting and says, "bok bok bok". 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hidden Washer and Dryer

I am rethinking the curtain idea now that I have seen these ideas online. However, my only problem is I have a top loading washer. Hmmm. I will have to give this more thought. I wonder if the counter could be hinged and open... 

Dear Amazon,
I don't fault you for taking 10 days to ship this to me. Even your computers couldn't predict this order. Ha ha. My OB suggested the support belt, which I have not found to be useful, but I will give it a few more days. I wanted free shipping so I threw in the new CS Lewis book, but was still $3 short of free shipping. So I remembered I needed packing tape and have forgotten to buy it at least three different trips to the store. I would have bought one roll, but 4 was so much cheaper and Christmas is coming soon!!! 

Do you ever buy weird assortment of items on amazon to get free shipping? Or do you have prime? Prime would be worth it for the free video streaming if I have internet at my house. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Jesus, I Come

  1. I think I have posted this before, but it is one of my favorite igrace songs and it has been stuck in my head since we sang it Sunday night. 

  2. This song meant a lot of me during college for several reasons. The first time I remember paying attention to the words was right after my grandmother died. I choked up on verse one and cried during the last verse while we sang it at RUF one night. It just struck me as so beautiful, "out of my sickness and into thy health" and "out of the fear and dread of the tomb, into the joy and light of thy home". I love that whole last verse so much!!! "Ever thy glorious face to behold, Jesus, I come to thee". 

  3. The second thing that stuck out to me in this song is verse 3. Engineers are arrogant. This song always reminds me to go back to the cross and remember who I actually am. I am only worthy to be a child of God because of Christ's righteousness, not because of anything I have done.

I am so thankful for the ministry of igrace. I love what they are doing putting new music to not well known hymns. If you are on the Eastern shore on Friday night the 17th, I highly suggest coming to the concert we are hosting at church. 

Jesus, I Come

  1. Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
    Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
    Out of my sin and into Thyself,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
  2. Out of my shameful failure and loss,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm,
    Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
    Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
  3. Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into Thy blessed will to abide,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
    Out of despair, into raptures above,
    Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.
  4. Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
    Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
    Into the joy and light of Thy home,
    Jesus, I come to Thee;
    Out of the depths of ruin untold,
    Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
    Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
    Jesus, I come to Thee.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

If you just happen to find yourself with some extra hazelnuts and spare time, might I suggest this recipe. 

The first time I had chocolate hazelnut spread was in France. They served it every morning, at the hostels, along with baguettes. I am not sure which is worse, England's toast and jam or France's baguettes with Nutella every morning. Baguettes are just so dry and sourdough flavored (I don't think it goes with chocolate spread very well). I guess you can eat the Nutella plain and save the bread for later when you are site seeing (which I did). One of Martin's first weeks of life was fueled by Nutella, baguettes, good pastries, and espressos. I had no idea I was pregnant. He had a lot of caffeine to counter the jetlag. But enough about that. 

I found the recipe on NPR's website, but it is an ATK recipe, of course. How amazing would homemade graham crackers be with this spread? I plan on making those soon and the dairy free whipped cream, if baby 2 needs to go dairy free, like Martin. 

Honestly, the only reason I found this page is because I was looking for a recipe for kale chips, which came in my csa bin... Bleh. I thought I would give kale chips one more try before giving up on kale altogether. If anyone loves kale, let me know and you can have mine. Ha ha.

And in case you think we are only eating Nutella around here, let me say I haven't bought Nutella since Martin had to go dairy free, almost two years ago. Also, I have a spaghetti squash cooking with some brocoli for dinner (but who needs a post about how to cook those?).  I am going to serve it with chicken in red sauce. We eat some healthy things. Ha ha. Life is too short to live on green stuff alone. :) 

1 c. Powdered sugar
2 c. Hazelnuts
1/3 c. Cocoa powder
1 T vanilla extract
2 T hazelnut oil (I used olive oil, but veggie oil would probably work better since it is flavorless)
1/8 tsp salt

1. Roast hazelnuts at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until dark brown. Cool slightly. Dump into either a container with a lid or a bowl with another bowl flipped on top. Shake vigorously until skins come off. 

2. Put skinless hazelnuts in food rices sit with oil and process until they from a smooth, loose paste. Add everything else and process until the mixture becomes glossy. You may need to scrap down the sides of the food processor. 

You can store this in the frig for up to a month. This is super easy. Thankfully, hazelnuts are expensive and not something I keep around the house.  But if you do, you might find yourself making this quite often. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Kitchen Wall Part 1

Jared had been wanting to remove this wall for as long as we have been married. I really like this wall. But being able to seat more people around my table and display my vintage Pyrex, polish pottery, and other pretty dishes in a glass cabinet has won out over having a pantry. The wall has been removed. 

This is what was on the other side, my pantry and laundry room. 

Jared started last Thursday night by removing the Sheetrock and letting in 500 fruit flies (I counted them as I killed them over the next few days). It was too nice of an evening to not have the windows open. Sigh. I love fall, but hate fruit flies. I suppose they are better than crickets or at least easier to kill. Each season seems to have a weakness, is this to keep us longing for our eternal home? 

Dad and Jared put in the header (because it is a load bearing wall). 

Here is the header with the supports removed. Dad is getting some Martin time before he leaves for the evening. 

And here is a picture in the daylight. 

Jared reran the electric, put up the Sheetrock, and patched the floor on Saturday. He is going to start mudding the Sheetrock tomorrow. I would also like him to take some of the stuff off the old shelf rack out to the shed (bug spray, boxes of screws, other hardware odds and ends) so I can move my cans back. Now that Martin has free access to the shelves I can't put dangerous things on the bottom anymore. 

He hopes to have it drywalled and painted in the next few weeks. The goal is to finish the paint before the baby comes. 

1. New longer table (we think we like this one at ikea with two leaves) 
2. Build bench seat
3. Install new cabinets over bench seat
4. Curtains to cover washer and dryer
5. New matching curtains on all windows (I think Jared has already picked a fabric. I might start sewing these if I have some free time - my new Lewis book is distracting me). 
6. Shelves in the broom closet to store Christmas dishes, which used to be on bottom shelf of pantry
7. Paint whole kitchen one color
8.  Maybe paint back door?

More pictures to come as the steps are completed. Any suggestions? 

CS Lewis

I have read the first two chapters in this book today and I love it!! If you are a fan or CS Lewis or enjoy any of his writing, I highly recommend this book. I have skimmed bits and pieces of the rest of the book and I look forward to finishing it, hopefully, this week. It puts into words why I love Lewis so much. 

I leave you with a quote from the appendix (because I read some of the appendix first). This is from an interview with John Piper about Lewis. 

"He was already out of date in the 1930s. Therefore he's no more out of date today than he was then. Since he was out of date in the 1930s, he is perpetually relevant. You don't need any more cool, hip, relevant people. You need somebody with roots who is so bright intellectually and so creative imaginatively that he communicates to your deepest needs."

And from Douglas Wilson from the same interview, "Speaking of relevance, Lewis once said, 'whatever's not eternal is eternally out of date.'"

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Grandma's Pizza

This is the best at home recipe for pizza I have ever had!! I watched this episode on America's Test Kitchen and thought, "that can't be as good as they say." But it is. It is also super easy and costs between $3.50-$5.00, depending on if you buy the ingredients on sale or not. The bottom is always so crunchy. I love it. 

I was just about to call Jared and ask him to bring home a $5 Little Caesars pizza, but my frugal side kicked in and I made this instead. It tastes better too. It is hard to be lazy when you know you can make something that tastes better and is cheaper. 

Grandma Pizza
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1(28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. In your KitchAid, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. Add water and oil. Mix for about 10 minutes until dough is pulling away from the walls of the bowl. 

Place dough on cookie sheet and stretch to about 10" x 6". Let rise until doubled in size about 1 to 1½ hours. Stretch dough to corners of pan and let rise until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. While it rises, place oven rack to lowest position and heat to 500 degrees.

Drain tomatoes. Combine tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in bowl. 

Sprinkle Parmesan over the dough. I have used both the stuff in the green can and fresh shredded Parmesan. I don't notice a difference. The real difference I notice is when I use all mozzarella, like the original recipe calls for. It is much better when you use half cheddar as half mozzarella (which is what I list in the   ingredients). 

Sprinkle on cheddar and mozzarella.  Top with tomato mixture and bake until browned and bubbling, about 15-20 minutes. Slide pizza onto wire rack (this is important - the time I skipped this step the bottom was more mushy and not crisp) and let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy. 

Shelves in Another Two Closets/Cupboards

Jared put up the shelves in the boys room's closet this weekend. I finally organized the jumble of things we pulled out and put most of it back in. Some of it just went in the trash or belonged in other places in the house. Look at all the room that is left!!! I love it. I wish I had a before picture. Sorry. Martin likes to play in here too. Ha ha. Funny little boy. 

Yes, he is wearing pajama bottoms made of old flannel sheets. If the kids in sound of music can wear curtains, my children can wear sheets. 

Yes, I use peach boxes to store clothes and shoes. It keeps things together better than bags and costs less than real storage bins. Plus, I don't get upset when Martin dumps everything out, plays in one, and breaks it. 

They looked like this before I put Martin's stuff back in his closet. 

Jared also installed a shelf in one of my cupboards, but I didn't take a picture of that. I have been asking for one for over 4 years. So, I am pretty happy about that. Now my Pyrex storage containers are not precariously stacked on my pie plates and ceramic bread pans.  

This is what my living room looks like right now. 
Martin dragged out a bunch of toys while I was organizing his closet. We will clean up when he awakes from his nap. 

I have killed 18 crickets so far this year (all in the living room - they love that table between the two chairs for some reason). The best method I have found is to drop a book on them (it is a plastic covered old library book). Then I wipe them up with a paper towel. 

I went to the Doctor yesterday and saw one of my favorite midwives (maybe she is my favorite because i have seen her the most...I like 3 of the 4).  I am praying that the baby is born not on a Sunday (because midwives don't work that day) and that one of my favorite 3 are working when I go into labor. The baby is doing great. I have gained 31 pounds, which is 5 fewer than what I I had gained with Martin in the same week (I have it charted in excel). 

P.s. Second pregnancies are no joke. I don't think it is me forgetting what it was like last time. Everything hurts more and is swelling up. Also, I never had Braxton hicks with Martin. Never. Never ever. The first contraction I had was when I was really in labor. This time I get them several times a day and boy, are they serious.  They are as strong as when I first went into real labor with Martin. It threw me for a loop the first time it happened this pregnancy. Mostly, they happen at night and once they stop the baby decides it is a good time to either get hiccups or bounce around. I am happy when I sleep for a four hour stretch these days. :) I think of it as preparing for when the baby is born. I am also praying he is as good of a sleeper as Martin. 

I am hoping I am pretty much all stretched out and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th children won't be as dramatically different. Otherwise, I will be bedridden by child 3 or 4. Oh well, they are worth it. All in all, I have very easy pregnancies compared to most people. I can't complain. 

And in some ways this baby has been easier than Martin. One thing I am very thankful for is that my cold, with this baby, lasted fewer than 2 weeks. Both colds, that I had with Martin, lasted between 4-6 weeks. Also, I am thankful for a coolish summer and much less heartburn (which means this baby will be bald, according to a those old wives telling tales). 

Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Boppy Cover

One of the 12 pregnant women at church is having a girl. She is decorating her nursery in grey, yellow, and teal. She registered for only one boppy cover. It was yellow and grey chevrons on one side and solid grey minky fabric on the other.  I had to change my boppy covers quite often. So, I knew having an extra on hand would be helpful. :) 

As an aside: When I have a girl I am investing in purple and some pink. Purple is my favorite color, mosly indigo and darker purples, not as much lavender and especially not fuchsia and middle purples. 
Jared found the fabric on the left. It is a soft terry cloth and is much more grey then it appears in this picture. As you know, I can't resist polka dots. I figured this baby girl would enjoy looking at these. Martin loved dots and strips. 

I decided to make it the hard way and insert a zipper across the actual boppy. I should have put it in the seam or there are patterns that just let you slip the boppy inside without a zipper. I will be making one without a zipper for myself (hopefully, this weekend - Cindy bought me the fabric yesterday and The Dusty Attic's strips, plaids, and polka dot sale). 

All in all, it was quite simple to make, even without a pattern. 

Happy October? How is it October already? It needs to start being cooler during the day. 

We are planning on taking a wall down in our house this weekend to make the kitchen slightly bigger. This means my washer and dryer will now be in my kitchen. This bumps up the curtains that cover them as my next project. I will post more on all that as it happens. Do you have any weekend plans?