Wednesday, August 21, 2013

G...goldfish live forever (well not all of them)


Have you ever bought something that you immediately regretted?

Yeah, that happened to us Christmas of 2012.

We thought it would be great to get the girls a goldfish! But we knew that we couldn't just get one fish! We had to get one for each of them. So we got them. They were Christmas presents and the girls LOVED them!!!

Sissy Bell came up with the creative name of Goldie and Sassy Sue decided her fish would be Sushi. (How funny is it that our not quite 3 year old came up with the new Sushi??)

Things were going great at first! The fish seemed to be doing well and the girls loved to watch them. The cats were even leaving them alone!

The same day the girls got the fish, we told the girls that mommy would be having a baby! We were all so excited!

But then the other shoe dropped! I found out January 10, 2012 that the baby was in the arms of Jesus! We all mourned the loss of our little one, especially Sissy Bell! It was just a few days later that we found Goldie belly up!!

You have got to be kidding! What a terrible way to start the year! I now had developed a new dislike for goldfish! How was I supposed to tell my child that something else had died? We cried for the goldfish. I cried for Sissy Bell! And she doubted God.

It was so sad to hear her question God's love for her. She was so looking forward to meeting her brother. She had so wanted a fish! And now, they were both gone. She was completely honest and upfront about the way she was feeling. She was extremely angry! And I was right there with her. Why did this have to happen? Why us?

And then like a ton of bricks, the question hit me. "Why not us?"

Who am I to doubt God? Who am I to question His perfect will? Do I like it? NO! But if anyone knows the pain I am feeling, it is God? He knows better than anyone the pain of losing a child. He knows the pain of reject and lies and deceit. He knows!! He knows!!

This happened well over a year ago! And boy does time heal!

Am I still saddened by the loss of that precious child? Oh yes!!!! Do I look at other children who were due near him and imagine my little guy? Sure!! But I rejoice in their life. And when I hold our sweet boy in my arms, I am truly grateful for three souls that God has trusted me with. And I long for the day when I get to see that precious face and hold that sweet one in my arms.

With love,

Kenan

**PS: Sushi is still going strong! He lives on a diet of peas! Did you know that you don't have to feed them fish food? Crazy, huh?**

Sunday, August 18, 2013

F...fixing thing


These past few weeks have been crazy! But crazy in a good way! We were finally able to sneak away for a few days of vacation. Well, not really vacation, Daddy-o was at a conference. So the kiddos and I were able to play by the pool for a few days. It was a much needed break from the norm.

In our world, the summer is crazy. Daddy-o is busier during this time of year than any other. So that means working long days and lunches. It also means 6:00 am phone calls and an extremely tired daddy-o. Mix that with a baby who is still not sleeping through the night (don't worry the doctor said he will get it in a month or so!! seriously?) and we have crazy!!

It took getting away for a few days to realize the amount of time I waste each day. Now don't get me wrong, I love my kids!! But sometimes I get stir crazy! Really stir crazy! And as busy as daddy-o has been, getting away at night just has not been an option! So I have caught myself getting away in my mind!

Now I am not talking about day dreaming! I am talking about living in a world of Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram! Looking for fun things to do with the kids, dreaming about what it must be like taking a vacation like so-in-so, and picking apart the comments of others.

Let me just tell you, this is NOT a healthy place to live. There is no room for Jesus in a life of social media! There is also no room for family in a life of social media. There comes a point when social media goes from a fun thing to a god! If social media is my god, I have no room for THE God!

So things have to change!! Big time!!

What does that mean? I still don't know exactly! But we are starting a new day tomorrow! In the morning there will be no sleeping in! Even if The Boy decides to wake up 3 times tonight, I will get up at 6:45 am! I will use that time to drink a cup of coffee and read The Word. I want my kids to see their momma in The Word and not on the phone. I want them to remember me as a woman of faith. Not a woman who is unhappy with what she has and who she is.

This means we will cut out TV time for the girls. I predict that this might be a problem. But I hope it can be replaced by a morning walk or bike ride before we start school. I also, think that this means we will finish school much earlier in the day. Finishing school earlier means more swimming/playing and more time with the kids. It also means I can get supper cooked and the flower beds tended to. It also means time to love on others.

I want to teach my children that it is more important to love on others than it is to have fun. Now don't get me wrong. I want them to have fun! But is there a better feeling than the feeling you get by helping someone?

So...what is going on in my life right now?? A lot of fixing! What does that mean? I pray that means mending relationships and building new ones!!

With love,

Kenan

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

D...Diapers (cloth that is)

Yes, you read that correctly! I am blogging about diapers. I know you are so excited. Don't worry! I am not about to tell you what brand I love and hate! But I am going to tell you how cute my little guy is in cloth diapers.

That is right, we cloth diaper! I guess that is something else we have in common with the royal family! Did you know the royals use cloth diapers? Did you know that they also named their baby George? How crazy! We are virtually related! :)

Anyways! We started cloth diapering when Sassy Sue was a baby! I was going through a ton of diapers with her and Sissy Bell still wasn't potty trained. I don't even want to think about how much money we were spending on diapers. So I started doing some research! I was really impressed!! Cloth diapers have really come a long way. No more giant pins. No more folding and praying they don't leak. And did I mention how cute these things are?

So The Boy has been wearing the same diapers his sisters wore. We have added to our collection over the last few years. Right now we are really loving Fuzzibunz. These are great for Daddy-o and the grandparents (or basically anyone who has no experience with cloth diapers). All they have to do is snap it on! There is no stuffing (I have already done that for them). My current favorite is the Thirsties. These are great because you can use the same cover all day and just replace the insert!! That is awesome!!

Getting started with cloth diapers can seem super expensive. In reality cloth diapers can save you about $2000 per child. That is a nice little savings. Also, cloth diapers are not a lot of work. It is just one more load of laundry. And if they stain, you simply hang them in the sun! :) And did I mention that they are cute? Just check out this little handsome man!!


E...Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

I LOVE chocolate! I will repeat that for emphasis! I LOOOOOVE chocolate!

Chocolate is wonderful, but not when you are seriously trying to lose the last of the baby weight (and the baby weight from the other two kiddos). So lately, I have cut out pretty much all white and processed food. That means no chips, potatoes, rice, pasta, cookies, and cakes! Oh and dairy! But it does mean I can have all meats, fruits, and vegetables.

This plan works for me because I can have fruit which satisfies my sweet tooth! Huge bonus! It also works for me because it reduces the amount of salt that I eat. This means less water retention. That is a huge bonus to almost every woman. :)

Have you looked at the sodium levels on the processed food??? It is unreal!!! Usually, a company will add salt if their food is lacking in flavor.

I do extremely well with this type of eating plan, until about 2:00 pm! And that is when my chocolate bone starts screaming! It starts aching! I start convulsing. OK, not really. But like I said, I do love chocolate!! I have tried blueberries and peaches. I have tried flavored water. I have tried to sleep it off. Nothing seemed to work. And then I found Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.

These things taste wonderful!! They are soy, dairy, nut, and gluten free chocolate chips. They are all natural and have a whopping 3 ingredients. And did I mention, they tastes great??

These work for me because I can't just eat one piece of chocolate. When the craving hits, I get about a teaspoon in a small dish. I don't just down them all at one time. I get a few at a time and savor the flavor. :)

These are slightly more expensive than your average chocolate chip, but they are totally worth it!! You get the chocolate flavor without the waxy aftertaste! Boo the waxy aftertaste!!! Trust me, you want to try these! They are perfect! I have heard they have a chocolate chunk, but they were out at our local store.

So what do you treat yourself with when you are dieting? Chocolate? Chips? Pasta? Or are you hardcore and forego everything??


**I was not given any Enjoy Life product to review! I wrote this review because I love their product! Here is their link! http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/#page=page-1 **

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

C - Cream Cheese Chicken Topped with Bacon

If you are like me, you get tired of the same old things. That is exactly how this recipe came to be. It is super delicious and I always have these ingredients in my fridge!!

This one has been a huge hit with my family. We have made it a few times and it is always devoured. I like it because it is easy, but looks like a lot of work. The fact that I always have these things makes it wonderful when I need to go to the store. I usually serve this with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. This particular night, it was fresh tomatoes, fresh corn, and fresh Dixie Lee peas with rice. :) Man I love summer food!!

So here is goes!

4 boneless/skinless chicken breast (pounded out to 1/4 inch)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons cream cheese
4 slices of bacon
Mrs. Dash Table Blend or your favorite spice combo

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 pan with Pam.
2. Pound out boneless/skinless chicken breast until they are about 1/4 inch thick (I am not Martha Stewart. So I don't measure. Just guesstimate at your measurement.)
3. Salt and pepper one side of the chicken breast.
4.Sprinkle Mrs. Dash's Table Blend.
5. Dot a tablespoon of cream cheese (pinched into small pieces) onto the chicken.
6.Roll the chicken up with the seam on the bottom.
7. Salt and Pepper the top.
8. Cut the bacon into thirds and place on top of the chicken.
9. Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Enjoy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Marshmallow Firecrackers



Are you still looking for a last minute craft to do with your kiddos?

 These marshmallow pops are super easy and yummy!
(Don't you just love my fancy stand?)
 Check out these easy steps...
1. Melt white chocolate or almond bark.
2. Dip cake pop sticks in white chocolate and insert stick into the marshmallow.
3. Once they are set, dip marshmallow into the white chocolate and shake off the excess.
4. Dip chocolate cover marshmallows into colored sprinkles.
5. Allow to cool on wax paper.
 Done!

 If you are like me, you have some chocolate left over!

 You could dip some cookies or make come festive candies!!!

 My girls are so excited they can hardly stand it!! (lol...even though they are totally faking it here!)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

B is for Babyfood

Well, at baby boy's check up the doctor gave us the thumbs up for starting baby food!

What was that you said, good doctor?!?

Real food?!?

Does the good doctor realize this is just a new born baby?

He cannot possibly be old enough to start real food! I mean he is only....uh oh! He is 5 months old! He is old enough to start eating real food!!

Where is the time going? At this rate I will be begging Daddy-o for another baby by the end of the year!
Shh...don't tell him!!

But that does bring up another chore that mommy gets to tackle. We don't "do" store bought baby food. I know it would make my life a ton easier to just purchase it. However, we are on a budget and it tickles me to save that money. So the savings are well worth my time.

We (by 'we' I mean me) decided to introduce foods on a weekly basis. I also chose to introduce new foods on Tuesdays. That gives me a chance to make new foods on Mondays.

First up, sweet potatoes!!

This is by far one of the easiest foods to prepare.

Wash and place your sweet potatoes on a tin foil lined pan.

It is as simple as roasting your sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes (sometimes they take up to an hour). The potatoes should be tender to touch. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and dispose of the skins. You can either mash the flesh with a potato masher or throw them in the stand mixer with the whisk attached. The stand mixer does an awesome job getting the job done. I wish I would have thought about this when I was making food for the girls! That is it! The sweet potatoes are made!! Easy Peasy!!


He LOVES sweet potatoes!!

Next up, peas!!

These are also super easy. You can use fresh or frozen peas. I used frozen. Place the peas in a steam bag or a steamer. Follow the direction for the bag or steamer. Once the peas are steamed, begin mashing them through a fine strainer. This part is a little long and boring. But soon you will have nothing but skins left in your strainer. Throw the skins away and store the flesh. 
This will be really thick!! I freeze the food as is. Upon defrosting the food, add breast milk, formula, or water. Mix it well until you get the desired thickness. 
I wish I could tell you Baby Boy likes peas, as well! But he gags! haha

Maybe they will grow on him!?!

Oatmeal Cereal
Sassy Sue loved oatmeal cereal! So I thought, why not try it with Baby Boy? That is when I found that yucky word: "wheat gluten"!!
::Gasps::
So that is where her first gluten came from!! :( I did not know I was poisoning her at such a young age!

As many of you know, Sassy Sue has Celiac Disease. Celiac is a genetic disease, which means she got it from either me or Daddy-o. Knowing that piece of valuable information makes us look at feeding this little guy a little differently. We will not introduce wheat or gluten into his diet until we are able to determine if it effects him.

I thought we would just skip oatmeal altogether! But she can have gluten free oatmeal, so I decided to make my own. And boy was it easy (and gluten free)! :)

1. You simply put the rolled oats (not instant) into the blender and grind into a powder.
2. Sift to remove any large pieces.
3. Cook 1/2 cup of ground oatmeal with 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes.
4. Cool.
5. Mix with your fruit of choice.
6. Serve or freeze.
    The End!

Now how easy was that?? AND!! It tastes great!!

Storage

There are many ways you can store your baby food. I like simple! So the old fashioned ice cube tray comes to play. Simply, scoop the food into the tray and freeze. Once it is frozen, remove the cubes and place them in an airtight container. Make sure you label your containers and date them!! They all starts to look the same when you get into other foods and you don't want them to be eating old food. One ice cube is enough to feed Baby Boy one meal if it is mixed with breast milk. I simply grab a cube out of the container, defrost, mix it with milk, and he is ready to go.

Benefits

Like I already said, the first benefit is the price. The second benefit is the health. I know exactly what I am putting into his food. There is never a question about freshness or taste. Which brings me to number three: a good eater. Homemade baby food tastes worlds better than store bought food! I would actually eat this stuff!!

Stay tuned for more baby food posts. I will be working on carrots, blueberries, pears, and many more in the next few weeks!!

With Love,
Kenan