Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oprah's Must Have Fashion

Not too long ago, "O" had those women from "What Not to Wear" on her show. All I remember from that was how important boot cut jeans are to every woman's wardrobe.

Although I am certainly NOT on the cutting edge of fashion (by the time I saw this episode, I think "boot cut" was out and "skinny leg" was in), I certainly took the message to heart. I mean if Oprah says so! I went out and found several pair of boot cut jeans.

I liked them. Except. My shirts were too short. And the shape was well not quite, um, modest. I finally figured out, after a few YEARS of trying to make this work, that boot cut jeans are not for me.

One quick trip to the store and I am happily back in straight leg, high waist, Mom jeans. These are comfortable, attractive and I can wear them with ANY shirt I have in my closet. Perhaps its not the "in" look but I sure am a lot more at ease.

Sr. Mary Martha wrote more on the subject of fashion and modesty. Funny. But true.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thoughts for a Blustery Day

"Be brave, little Piglet!

It's awfully hard to be brave when you're such a small animal.

Then to divert your small mind from your unfortunate predicament,
I should tell you an amusing antidote."

It is quite unfortunate that Holly is going through another bout of stomach virus. The original virus was in December, it took two weeks to recover from. This time though, I am hopeful she won't be suffering so long. To divert my small mind from our unfortunate predicament, I have found my IRON CUPCAKE recipe. The special ingredient for January was WINE.

That is of course, if I had the time. Or the ingredients. Or the camera to photograph the whole thing! Nonetheless, don't you want to try Chiffon Cakes with Port Wine Melba Sauce and Peach Ice Cream?

First make the cupcakes described in this months Woman's Day magazine. Except change the 2 tsp vanilla to 1tsp almond extract & 1 tsp vanilla.

Then make this Port Wine Melba Sauce:
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, ground, or ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup raspberry filling
Combine all ingredients, except the raspberry filling, in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add water and simmer 15 to 20 mins until thickened.

Add raspberry filling to port syrup and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to the consistency of a glaze. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Assemble your cupcake as follows: Remove cupcake from paper liners. Cut (and discard) the tops off the cupcake, pour Port Wine Melba Sauce over cupcake, add a small scoop of softened Peach Ice Cream, drizzle with sauce and maybe a fresh raspberry and some rosemary on top.

This would look similar to the Woman's Day picture without the peaches or Cool Whip and Peach Ice Cream & Raspberries instead.

Haven't tried this recipe, but doesn't it sound delicious? And clearly, I have found a diversion on the blustery day INSIDE our house.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

She slept

I mean really. S-L-E-P-T.

From 8:30 pm until 5:30 am.

Thank you Lord for a good nights sleep!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Are You Kidding?

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
Wait..well maybe?

Iron Cupcake?

After meeting Bakerella on her blog, and following the link to the Iron Cupcake, well..Wow! I'm not quite ready for the Iron Cupcake: Earth challenge but maybe one day. In any case, here's my Christmas Poinsettia Cupcake tower.

I had fun and think the kids enjoyed these too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Before & After

There are many things I wanted to blog about recently, like mid-year school progress or boot cut jeans...but this is what I found today:

This picture in the green is July 2005, just before I began The Light Weigh diet. The picture on the right is July 2006, one year and 70 lbs lighter. It has taken me this much longer to ever want to see the before pictures again.

I've been reading about some Saints lately, to gain encouragement to continue trying to lose that baby weight. Here's what I love about Mother Francis Cabrini: when she was refused to join convents in Italy, she started her own! When she wanted to come to America to help the immigrants, she gathered "other strong women" around her and set out!

She didn't let doubt or naysayers slow her down. That's what I need to do too. Have the courage to go on, no listening to doubters or negative thoughts. Just seek out like minded women and go forth.

God, send me people to meet and help on the way. That we may encourage one another, listen to your Son, Jesus, and find your will for our lives. Amen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Those rosy roses..

Up from the ashes of disaster grows SUCCESS!

My sister asked if I had journaled about the whole reflux experience with Holly here. While I know I have written some about it, I have necessarily shared the whole story. Here goes:

To begin with Holly was diagnosed with reflux at one month old. This was after an event that landed us in the emergency room. I can't quite say what happened, because we got not clear answer from the hospital. Except to describe: she was drinking her bottle and coughing and choking. Then everything stopped. She stopped. She didn't hold her breathe, or turn red. She just went blank. Stopped breathing, eyes glazed over. Everything stopped. I stopped. Fortunately my sisters were her and yelled at me to put her over my shoulder and pat her one the back. That worked. She breathed again. And we went to the ER.

Two days later she was diagnosed with Reflux. Prescribed 3.5 mg of Prevacid. That didn't seem to help much. We switched formulas to Hypo allergenic Nutramigen. That helped some more. But still, lots of crying, spit up and little sleep.

Around March I asked to increase the Prevacid to 7mg. That helped some more.

But not until May when we finally got a referral to a GI doctor and he prescribe 15 mg did I see any drastic changes. Spit up stopped, sleep improved slightly. She didn't cry as much in the car, seemed a little happier.

And we got a Tucker Sling. That helped too with sleep. We bought ours on ebay to help keep the cost down.

Loved the advice on this website Crying Over Spilt Milk, especially now that Holly is becoming a toddler.

Other things I have learned:

  1. Colds, ear infections and stomach virus can increase reflux symptoms alot! I mean alot. During these times the doctor has increased her Prevacid once more to 30 mg, temporarily.
  2. All the websites recommend feeding the baby less but more often. What that has meant for Holly is that she is still on almost a new-born feeding schedule. Up every four hours, drinking 4 ounces. Recently, I have figured out that 5 ounces is ok. But over 5 ounces and
    and all the symptoms return. Coughing, spit up, no sleep, congestion, crying.
  3. Food: Bananas and Rice are out. She doesn't like either one, probably because these two cause gas, and therefore more acid is stirred up. Oatmeal is ok but doesn't help with the sleep issue or reflux at a-l-l, so that's just another choice on the menu, not really a mainstay.
  4. And then there's sugar. When we were at the worst days, either before Prevacid or during colds and that nasty virus, the only thing that seemed to give her a break was 1 tbsp brown sugar and 4 ounces water. And for that matter karo syrup (clear has fewer ingredients than the others) helps too. I don't know why. And at this point I just am glad I know something that works.
  5. If you think you just can't figure out what is wrong, its probably reflux. Like why isn't the prescription cough medicine working? Or why is she waking up all night again, I thought we were past that? I call it chasing ghosts. Turns out the ghost is reflux.

One more thing I have learned is that I am an incredibly hopeful person. Spongebob-like even. Yesterday, I felt quite defeated and without options for a full nights sleep any time soon. By full night, I mean more than 4 or 5 hours. When you limited to 5 ounces at a time..what can you do? She is gaining weight and growing. Just waking up for those extra bottles.

Today, however, I have starting humming that great Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song and am slightly optomistic that tonight will be different. I am trying to feed her at different times to get to one bottle at night and will hope for the best.

Those rosy rose, those rosy rose, those rosy roses! Up from the ashes of disaster, row the roses of Success!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Martha Goes Oriental Trading?!?

I vaguely remember Martha Stewart mentioning on her show something about craft kits for kids at Walmart..blah blah blah. Who needs Martha to sell me pre-packaged pipe cleaners to make farm animals?

Well, apparently I might! Have you seen these kits? It's like Oriental Trading but no shipping and handling and at Walmart. (Even if I don't like shopping there, I like paying S&H even less!)

I think the prices are comparable to OT too. Each kit makes several creatures. Who knew? and if that's not bad enough, I've gone and looked up "Martha's Blog, just so you could see the kits for yourself.

It's a love/hate relationship I have with Martha and Walmart. Maybe I can work on that this year too :-)


Co-op starts this week and I am so happy to be leading an elementary class in ART! This month is about SNOW! Over the course of the semester we will look all different parts of the beauty God's creation.

Don't tell the little ones in my class....but here's what we are making Wednesday! You can make one too, here.

Wishing for snow in Carolina!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


2009 Resolution: Reclaim the house! After this long year, our house has taken a beating. I resolve to repaint the kitchen and build a wall and closet for my oldest son's room. (He currently has bookcases on one end.)

Another hot topic for the New Year is always weight loss. Since that isn't really a new resolution for me, I won't officially at it to my list. But just in case that is on YOUR list, please read Sr. Mary Martha's post and visit The Light Weigh.

You are WORTH IT!

Happy New Year!