Wednesday, February 18

SwagBucks - really works

Have you heard of Swagbucks? I came across it a few months ago and it's a search engine that gives you points (swagbucks) randomly throughout the day when you search. The search engine uses Google and Ask, and I've found what I need using this site. The best part is, you rack up swagbucks that can be redeemed for gift cards and other items - I always go for the gift cards. I've gotten two or three $10 gift cards so far, and depending on how active you are, you can earn faster. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 17

I know, I know

It's been two months since I last posted. If you haven't guessed, I'm not blogging very much anymore! Way to state the obvious. I still cook and take pictures, though a little less of both as far as new and creative things go. From a couple VERY busy months at work to having the priority of rest (from work in the evenings) and health during my pregnancy, my blog is at the bottom of the list. I'm sure many of you understand!

I'll likely resume my blog a little more to post baby pictures, though at that point, I will either open a separate blog with a password, or add password access to this one.

My pregnancy:
-> Going very well. I'm 28 weeks, and the baby moves a lot. Ryan has enjoyed feeling the baby move for the last few weeks as well. I'm in the third trimester and can hardly believe it already! I can [safely] give birth in the next 9-14 weeks. I was brave enough to include a picture from 27 weeks, to the right.

-> The midwives have been great so far, and I'm thankful for the option of The Midwife Center to give birth our our child in May. So far, so good for remaining low risk to remain out of the hospital.

-> Three excellent books that greatly influenced my approach to birth and pregnancy are:
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
- Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

-> Our intention is to cloth diaper. I am decided on prefolds with covers, and look forward to it. We hope to use a diaper service the first month or so which will help ease us into baby life, cloth diapering, and laundry, especially living in an apartment with communal laundry facilities.

-> We are not finding out the gender nor telling a soul a hint of any names, but below is an amazingly clear, cute, adorable ultrasound profile from 21 weeks.

-> Thanks to a Webster certfied chiropractor, I found relief from some discomfort related to my pregnancy, and am back to feeling pretty good. Except when I try to roll over or get up off the floor. That won't change anytime soon :).

Why do I want to remain out of the hospital to give birth? We believe a birth center is the option for us to achieve a natural birth with little intervention and with the support we need to accomplish natural childbirth. We have many desires for how we'd like the birth to go or not go, and barring a true emergency or risk situation, we don't believe we need all the things the hospital likes to offer (or sometimes, force you into thinking are required). There are risks with each intervention, and when the benefit of the intervention outweighs the risk of not doing it, we'll gladly accept it. We also appreciate the attentive care of the midwives and admire their experience and knowledge of how birth should go.

Our life
-> Ryan is nearing the end of three years of seminary. Lord willing, he will graduate a few days after our baby is expected to be born. Yep, it's gonna be a full month!

-> Our first anniversary is next week. We look forward to a three-night stay at a cozy B&B in Lancaster, PA, when we attend the wedding of one of my dear college friends. It's been an awesome year being married to my best friend.

-> Our future after graduation is unknown, except that we hope to be caring for a healthy newborn and continuing to enjoy marriage.

-> Here's a recent photo of my very handsome husband

Wednesday, December 17

Baby Dreams

I've neglected my blog. I know you are all fine with that and surviving. :)

I've had two baby dreams so far.

A month or so ago, I dreamed we had a boy, blue eyes, light hair and skin (like me) and we were in the car leaving a church. I was holding him up front (!) and he was a pudgy older baby maybe 5 mo, and I reached around to put him in his facing-forward car seat (!) and remember thinking, I hope whoever put him in the seat to come to church had read the instruction manual for the car seat, and I was thinking, I really need do read it myself.

So strange!

Last night, I dreamed that I had a baby girl and had to go away right away for whatever reason for about a week, and I came home to my old neighborhood and a neighbor offered me a piece of pita with hummus on it that I snacked on as I crossed the street to go to my parents old driveway. My mom came out with my baby and handed her to me, and I got a good look at her face: light hair, blue eyes, light skin, and I was so excited to be home and be with her again. She looked to be about 5 months old and not a newborn though I was only gone week, she wasn't pudgy like my son in the other dream. lol.

So far, I've put my kids in danger and neglected them! Thankfully I am not overly concerned that this will flow over into reality.

Tuesday, November 18


A couple months ago, a friend at church graciously taught me how to make her whole wheat bread and let me have the recipe. The previous recipe I was using resulted in bread that I wasn't proud of, nor wanted to eat once it was a day old. It was called whole wheat, but wasn't 100% whole wheat. I don't know if it was the recipe or me not working it enough. I do know it wasn't the flour because I used the same whole wheat flour the first time I made this new recipe at home, and it turned out great. For the old recipe, I used my mixer for all of it, but actually enjoy doing it all by hand now, as my friend taught me.

She recommended I do that, particularly to learn how the dough feels and progresses. I should add that my mixer can't really handle 8-9 cups of flour for half the recipe, let alone 15-18 for the full recipe! She works in the last few cups of flour while working it by hand, out of the bowl.

Half the recipe makes two large loaves and one small one, which happens to work with the three loaf pans I have. I have only done this twice at home, but both times, made a cinnamon-sugar loaf with the small one.

Tuesday, November 11


Do you all like grapefruit? If so, how do you eat it?

Pink Grapefruit is pretty delicious, though I always sprinkle sugar on it. I cut around the wedges to free them for eating, a habit I got from my Dad. For years, he'd meticulously cut grapefruit halves for the first part of our Christmas breakfast every year (for as long as I can remember). we still have it.

What about you? Leave a comment.

P.S. My mom's mom eats it with salt!

Monday, November 3

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Before today, I don't think I ever ate pumpkin seeds. I knew Ryan liked them so I went on the search for a couple seasoned pumpkin seed recipes. Of course, I couldn't roast them all just plain and with only salt. I had about 4 cpus of seeds, so I used four different seasoning combinations. We liked each of them pretty well.

Plain with butter, olive oil and salt. I used popcorn salt because it's so fine.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (rosemary, salt).

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (salt, cayenne pepper)

Lime Toasted Pepitas (surprise, surprise) Actually, these seeds are from the butternut and acorn squashes that I roasted for Velvety Squash Soup for dinner on Saturday. They turned out tasty like the pumpkin seeds. I had a little less than a cup of them.