Friday, April 29, 2011

I've Got Nothing

Have you ever had one of those weeks/months where it feels like all you're doing is run, run, run, but you have absolutely nothing to show for it? That's been me. I feel like we've been incredibly busy the last few weeks, but I can't tell you with what. Maybe partly because we're spending more time outdoors, which involves work and not sitting on my backside - but I don't really have anything to show for it. I did get.....half a flowerbed weeded. Okay, so I've got three others done, but they all got done in one day, and this one out front has taken me two weeks to do half (and Paul did half of it!).
We have a good start on our garden. We had a perfect spring, moisture-wise, where it was actually dry enough to work the soil without it clodding up. I got in 2 rows of beans, 2 rows of peas, 1/2 of onions, 1/2 of carrots, 4 rows of corn, 6 tomatoes, 6 peppers, 6 broccoli, 2 hills of cucumbers, and 1 each of zucchini and yellow squash. That sounds like a lot, but I've still got some other stuff I want to get in! And of course, now it's wet out there. Although, as windy as it's been, we should be able to get out there again on Monday when Paul is off next.
Well, I'm making cookies for Paul to take to work. I'm in the middle of a double batch of double-chocolate mint, with a double batch of chocolate/butterscotch chip still to come. I need to get some dirty dishes out of the way before I can get any more baking done.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

News Brief

Jacob said another word: Ball! He repeated it when I asked him, then went back to his generic, "Ah" that he uses for everything. Sigh. But he's getting there!
Nathan colored his picture at Cubbies for the first time tonight. He sometimes "writes" on it, but doesn't actually scribble or color - he's tried then gets frurstrated and quits. This time he scribbled purple the pants and vest of the child in the picture, with no whining about "I can't do it!" I'm so proud. He's also asked to write his letters (we have a wipe-off letter book) the last two days - and he's done it left-handed. So in my prep for preschool next year, I'm also researching how to teach a lefty to write!


Me: Did you toot? Awh.... Stink!

Nathan: Yeah! It's me!

Oh, the joy of being a mother of boys......

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Love You, Dear.

I have a lot of time to think when you work nights, and so often I think about how much I love you.
I am so grateful for everything you do to lead our family. You are such a great daddy - the boys love you so much, and everyone can see how much you love them.
I love that you are my best friend and we can talk about anything and everything and nothing.
I love how you call from work to check in when I'm home at night by myself with the boys, and how you ask about how bedtime went.
I love how you ask about the books I'm reading - even the ones you haven't read yourself.
I love how you reassure me when I worry about things too much. They always work out.
I love curling up against your warm self on a rainy afternoon (even when you're dead to the world and have no idea I even came to bed to catch a nap).
I love you, I love you, I love you. I don't get tired of saying it, and I hope you don't get tired of hearing it.
Your Treasure

Two Tiny Tushies in Tighty Whiteys

Despite what I figured would happen, Jacob is well on his way to being potty trained. We started just about a month ago, because he was very interested in the potty - especially peeing standing up. So we started messing around with it, and despite what I figured would happen, he took to it! We did naked bottom for a week or so, then just training pants, then just pants (pajamas or other elastic-waist, light-weight), then pants with training/underpants. After two days at my parents house, church, and an afternoon at Paul's parents' house with no accidents (while wearing underpants and jeans/slacks), I think I can safely say "He gets it." He even poops in the potty, which is something Nathan didn't get for several months after he was trained. I honestly didn't think he'd take to it, or even if he wanted to that he would really be able to.
Since he still doesn't talk, he doesn't tell us he needs to go, so we make sure to ask every hour or two - the answer is always "YEAH" (the one word he does say). But he holds it, so that's what tells me more than anything that he gets it. Because even if he isn't saying he needs to go, he's not going whenever he feels like it. Occasionally he does come get me and lead me to the bathroom. Or he starts playing with himself, which is some sign language I could definitely go without seeing!
I did laundry Friday, but even though I washed everything, when I folded clothes, there were only 3 pairs of training pants. (I'm not sure if the others ended up with the cloth diapers or what.) So today, I grabbed one of Nathan's tiny pairs of tighty whiteys and put them on Jacob. Can I just tell you how cute their tushies look running around in those things? I'm going to have to buy another package, because I figured Nathan would be out of this size before Jacob got into them. (Incidentally, you can't buy white underpants in any size smaller than 4, and I refuse to buy cartoon character underwear.) I did buy Nathan the next size up, but they are too big - I had to roll the waistband to get them to stay up. So I guess they'll share for a while.
In other Jacob news: He seems to be trying harder to talk. This weekend, he stood on the step and Grandpa and Grandma's and said "Daaa. Daaadaa. Daaaa," until Paul came and opened the door for him. In the last week, he started saying "ow" for cow, and said milk and more fairly clearly. I asked him to say something tonight, and you could tell he was really thinking about what came out of his mouth and how it sounded. (It was, "I love you," when we were talking to Paul on his way to work.)
And I had my first experience in catching Nathan in a lie tonight. I have suspected that some tattlings have been a lie ("Jacob hit me!" when I walk in the room and both of them are screaming), but didn't know for sure, since Jacob can't tell his side. Tonight I asked Nathan to get something from his room, and he came down and said everything was under his bed. (Sometimes he strips everything off his bed when he gets sent upstairs when he's in trouble, so I figured he had shoved everything under there in a new version of protest.)
"Who put everything under your bed?
"Jacob." (I knew for a fact Jacob had not been upstairs at all during the day.)
"Nathan, who put everything under your bed?"
"Jacob did."
"Nathan, Jacob wasn't upstairs today. Who put everything under your bed?"
"I don't know."
"I'm not going to spank you. Who put everything under your bed?"
"I did."
I did say something about how it makes Jesus sad when we don't tell the truth. But I know that the concept of truth and what a lie is may still be a little vague to a 3-year-old. I hope he did see that it upset me, and that I showed that it was safe to tell the truth.
(Incidentally, there was nothing under his bed except a few toys he couldn't reach and some Kleenex he must have pulled out of the box weeks ago when the box was still on his headboard.)

We Don't Keep Secrets

Tonight, one of my friends asked me if I had told Paul about a conversation she and I had had. She was going through some personal stuff, and I was upset after talking to her. So what do I do? Stuff it? Brood on it? No, I talked to my husband about it.
I tell everyone - the moment they say, "Don't tell anyone, but...." I interrupt and say, "I will tell Paul about it, but I won't tell anyone else." I have always told people that, including this friend.
I have always thought that keeping secrets from your spouse is a bad practice to start - I don't care what the secret is about. Picture it as a progression.... If you don't tell him about this thing that you're bothered by, then it's easier to keep something else from him, and soon you have marriage problems based on all the things you're not telling each other. I just don't even want to get there, so we've never kept anything from each other.
Even silly stuff - like the other day, I was bothered by the way a new male acquaintance greeted me. It just felt too familiar. I considered not saying anything; I didn't want Paul to think I was trying to make him jealous. I figured it was best to be straight up.
We don't keep secrets. And I don't apologize. I'm proud of that fact.


Marriage wouldn't be any fun if I didn't have anything to nag you about.

I have written my opinions on nagging before, and I really feel like I have gotten better about it (I think Paul would agree), so the above comment was a teasing one. We are reading through The Love Dare, and the last two dares have involved unity. We were talking about how we feel we are pretty unified and see eye-t0-eye on things. We have lots of similar interests and friends, but we still are two individuals - I am not "married to myself". That conversation is preceded the quote above.
Yes, I realize it's supposed to be 40 days, and we're pushing 4 months. I'll write a review here when we finish it. We just finished Day 31.

Incidentally, Justin..... (I know you read this.) What was that comment during Sunday morning's rehearsal that I told you I was going to put on my blog? Email me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spoke Too Soon

After 36 hours on these antibiotics, I announced to Paul: "I think maybe I'm not going to get the metallic-taste-in-your-mouth side effect."
Definitely spoke too soon.
It's not a gross taste, it's just.... Annoying. Like my teeth have a flavor. Or I need to brush my teeth. The nurse warned me not to use mouthwash (or any alcohol) to try to get rid of it - it will make it horrible.

And another thing about these drugs - one says, "May turn urine red." The other says, "If you experience red urine, contact your doctor immediately." Hmm.....

Only 6 more days of them. So far I haven't forgotten.... Three a day of one, two of the other. It really is hard for me to remember.

I researched things to avoid if you have diverticulitis. What the doctor mentioned and most websites, I was fine with... Seedy foods (strawberries, raspberries), nuts, and popcorn. I enjoy all of those, but can live without them. Then one website mentioned tomatoes.

I think I might die if I can't eat tomatoes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diverticulitis - So much for my iron gut.

I had my first ever non-baby hospital stay this week. Also my first trip to the emergency room (for myself) that didn't involve an injury - I haven't been to the emergency room for myself since I was like 15.
It's been a great few days.
Sunday night I started having pain in my right side. It was uncomfortable, but not horrible. It was still there Monday, but I continued on. I didn't feel bad, except for the persistent pain just below my ribs. I chalked it up to the weekend's combination of grilled meat and ham (have caused a bit of digestive issues before) and some different food that we had at our church's Seder supper.
I realized in the afternoon though, that I was unconciously hunching over because of the pain. If I stood straight, it hurt worse. We went for a drive that evening, and every bump we hit in the road was like a knife. I decided I probably should go see the doctor in the morning.
As the evening went on, I hurt worse and worse. I just figured it was because I was tired. But then I started having diarrhea. And then I puked. I hate puking.
Oh, and to add insult to injury, my period started about that same time.
I went to bed about 11 Monday night. After 3 hours of not being able to sleep because of constant pain and trips to the bathroom, I got out of bed. I suspected my appendix, so I looked up symptoms. Everything listed sounded like what I was experiencing - except where the pain was.... Appendix pain is in the lower right side. But the information said very rarely (1 in 500), the pain could be near the ribs, rather than near the hip. I figured I would be the 1 in 500, with my luck.
I was miserable, and near tears from the pain. I have a very high pain tolerance - I willingly went through two natural childbirths, because I didn't think the pain was that bad, if that tells you anything. I needed to throw up again, but couldn't. Finally, about 3 AM, I went and woke up Paul and told him I thought we should go to the emergency room. (I was trying to let Paul get some sleep - he'd only had about 5 hours since Sunday afternoon, due to working Sunday night, and then getting up to help me with the boys so I could lay down.) If it was my appendix, I was at 30 hours since the pain had started, so I thought I could be pushing my luck. If my appendix burst, I'd have an even bigger problem. Paul called his parents; they came to stay at the house with the boys, and we headed in.
I threw up again right before we left, and that did help ease the pain, but not enough to make me want to wait until morning to see a doctor. The emergency room was blessedly empty, but that didn't help with speed of service. I mean, I don't expect everyone to drop everything and come running to serve me, but it seemed like things should have moved a little quicker.... It seemed like every step took an hour.
Check in, draw blood for lab.
Wait an hour.
Tell me a CT scan is ordered. Drink nasty stuff.
Wait an hour. (I realize they can't rush that process as the drink has to light up my insides or whatever it does.)
Get scan.
Wait an hour and twenty minutes.
Get results of scan. (Something going on in the area of my gall bladder, but it could be my colon.)
Wait an hour.
Admitted to hospital and moved to a real room.
The overnight nurse was very kind and attentive, but I never was examined by a doctor (she kind of felt my belly while I was sitting in a chair), and after the shift change (7AM), I really didn't see a nurse. The "bed" was horribly uncomfortable, and by the time we got upstairs to the real room, my back hurt worse than the pain in my side. I was so tired from not sleeping all night that I was totally emotional.
Once I was admitted to the room upstairs, the "resident" doctor's (he's the surgeon, but alwo was assigned to me, for some reason) nurse practicioner came in and told me that based on my age, the symptoms, where the pain was, and how quickly my symptoms came on, they were suspecting my gall bladder was the culprit. She said it usually took surgery to resolve. I was fine with that. I just wanted the pain to go away! (Think childbirth pain, with no breaks, and no happy end result.) My white blood cell count was elevated, so they gave me antibiotics, and said that I would have a sonogram of my gall bladder to see what was going on there. So I was just supposed to rest and wait.
I was put in a room with a woman who had just had her hip replaced. She was kind and considerate, but snored horribly (due to drugs I'm sure), and between doctors, nurses, and therapists coming to work with her, and doctors, nurses, and technicians coming to see me, the phone ringing (the room phone; I had turned my cell phone off), and all the sounds of a hospital, I didn't sleep. Twice I asked for pain drugs, just to relax me so I could sleep, and both times just as I was drifting off, someone came in. Sigh.
At the end of the day, the doctor came in again to visit with me. My gall bladder was fine. I had a condition called diverticulitis. Basically tiny pockets can form on your colon, and the obviously nasty stuff that resides in a colon can get in there and get infected. The reason everyone was confused was because it normally doesn't happen to people younger than 50, and it usually happens in the section of your colon that's on the lower left side (mine was in the upper right). The good news was I wouldn't have to have surgery, the bad news is there's a good chance it could happen again. I almost would rather have the surgery, I think. They told me as long as I could handle foods (because I'd have to take an oral antibiotic), I could go home the next day.
I asked for something to help me sleep that night. I knew I needed sleep to get well, and given the afternoon's attempts, I didn't have much hope for the night. They gave me a Tylenol PM, and a Benadryl. (It's worth noting that I don't take medicine hardly ever - I take one regular Tylenol when I want to relax to go to sleep.)
I slept good.
There were nurses in a few times during the night. I woke up, closed my eyes, and konked right back out. The nurse was pretty alarmed when she came to check my vitals at like 4 AM, and my blood pressure was like 89/47. She didn't seem to understand the notion of my body ceasing all but the most vital functions because I was so tired - 48 hours without sleep while in constant pain and fighting infection.... Yes, that does bring on what one would call "the sleep of the dead."
I felt much better in the morning and was excited about the prospect of real food for breakfast - it had been a day and a half since I'd eaten anything. And they served me.... Broth. Jello. Juice. Yum. While my roommate got a plate full of sausage links! Mid-morning, they did bring me a muffin and crispy rice cereal. That was better. Then I got a hamburger, fries, and a milkshake (such as it was... ) for lunch - and it was delicious! (Not really, but even a cafeteria hamburger tastes good given the right circumstances!) Mid afternoon I got my oral antibiotic, and after 2 hours and no problem with vomiting any of it back up, the doctor released me to go home. It took two hours to process the paper work, and another hour waiting at Walgreens to fill my prescription (because it was 20 minutes after the downtown much faster pharmacy closed). By 8, I finally got HOME.
I couldn't get to sleep when we went to bed last night. Jacob couldn't stay asleep and ended up in our bed for 3 hours. Paul went ahead and went to work today. But I really feel pretty good. A slight pain still in my side, but I don't feel weak, and surprisingly not tired (even though I'm going to take a nap here in a bit). I still don't feel hungry - yes, I want to eat, because I enjoy the flavors and textures of food, but my stomach isn't hungry. And honestly, nothing really sounds that great anyways.
In reading more about diverticulitis, I'm even more baffled as to why I have it, because it apparently happens people older than 50 (I'm 28), to men 3x more often than women, who don't eat enough fiber (I eat tons!), and don't drink enough water (I generally drink a gallon a day). The "culprit foods" are popcorn, seedy foods (berries and tomatoes), and nuts. I had had maybe 5 strawberries (all my sons would allow me) over a few days last week, so it's possible that was the cause, even though I've never had any problems before.
Also, even though high fiber is the way to avoid this happening again, high fiber is not the way to recover from it.... You're supposed to eat a low fiber, low residue diet. GAH!
I think I'll just go crawl in a hole and eat Ramen noodles until I feel normal again.

Anyhow. Thanks everyone for their prayers. Pastor Carrier and Alene came to see me Tuesday afternoon, and Pastor encouraged me with this verse:
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
It was just exactly what I needed to hear, and I have no doubt God used him to encourage me. It went over and over in my mind while I was in the hospital, and it still is. I'll write more later about why it was perfect - not just for this situation, but for what else is going on in our lives right now.
Sorry so long. Aren't my adventures always long?
You can read more about diverticulitis here, if you're interested.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Need-to-know: Dallas is 5 years old, the older of the two boys I used to babysit.

"Dallas likes to pick up chicks."

After a moment of, "What?" and "Where the heck did he learn that phrase?" I realized Nathan was literally talking about picking up chicks. As in, baby birds. We had ran into Dallas, Andrew, and their dad at Orscheln yesterday. They had come to see the baby birds, and all 4 boys enjoyed picking them up and petting them.

Taco Pasta

A few days ago, for some reason, Paul and I were talking about him cooking. I mentioned a dish he made and brought to me at work when we still lived in the apartment. He apparently thought a lot about it over the next few days, because when I came home from band practice to find him scouring my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for that recipe. He finally found the one he had made - Chili Pasta Skillet - and decided to go to experimenting.
So really, this "food win" is all Paul's.
Basically, brown a pound of hamburger. Add a jar of undrained tomatoes (which would be about equal to 2 cans), a can of drained/rinsed beans, and a packet of taco seasoning. (I later added another half packet, because I like things with some zest.) Bring that all to a boil, then add 3 cups of pasta (we used cavatappi). Reduce the heat, and simmer until pasta is tender (10-15 minutes). Top with cheese, and - yummo!
Paul can add this one to his "Daddy's night to cook" list. It's also going to be really good for those times when we decide to have tacos, really start to crave them, then realize we have no tortillas.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Note to Self:

While considering the obvious places to apply sunscreen (face, shoulders, back of neck), remember your not-so-obvious places as well. Like under your shirt, just above your waistline. Because when you are bending over pulling weeks for 3 hours on a windy day, your shirt will not stay over your pants and your back will be exposed to sunshine.
And sunshine is not kind on your lily-white behind.

(And yes, siblings, I know I do this every year. Because I seriously do forget. Do you think I enjoy being in pain??)

Friday, April 8, 2011


Nathan's "lovey" - his stuffed animal that he has to take to bed with him is a Beenie Baby white tiger, seriously sun-faded from spending the first 5(+) years of his life on the dash of my husband's truck.
Well, last week, Cat sprung a leak. I started finding the little plastic "beans" around the house. It took me three times of inspecting to finally find the hole on his paw. So earlier this week, we did "surgery" on Cat and sewed up that seam - with blue thread, on the request of Nathan.
While I had my needle out (a rare occurance), I decided to sew up the shirt that Cat wears, too. It's a red shirt that says Tractor Supply Co. that actually was originally on a stuffed Donkey they gave away as a promotion (Aunt Sissy brought some home for the kids at Christmas). The donkey never made it home, but the shirt did.
As I was sewing, I got to thinking - what a privileged country we live in! Not only can we afford to have stuffed animals for our children to play with, but we can afford to have clothes for the stuffed animals. And a step beyond that - there is enough money in this country that businesses can afford to give away stuffed animals wearing clothes!
I'm not saying that our country is evil for us being able to afford these things. It just makes me grateful that we have all these priviledges, when in some countries their children don't even have clothes or enough food.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Mommy, I spilled the potty!

Our toilet is not the greatest. It works, but it's flushing capabilities really could be better. Things flow alot better if you practice what I call the "courtesy flush" - I won't elaborate, but you get the idea. Someone didn't practice the courtesy flush. Then Nathan went potty. And when he saw his potty didn't go down, he flushed again, overflowing the toilet all over the bathroom floor. That's when I realized the concept of the need for plunging toilets is probably a little beyond a 3-year-old's comprehension.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Back story: We went to Home Depot on Friday to get a filter for our water faucet. The store in Olathe had a large display of all of their fountains at the front of the store, which Nathan loved. I had to practically drag him away. He wants to take Paul back to see the "waterfalls."
Well, I got the wrong filters, so today went to the Lawrence store to exchange them. I told Nathan we were going to "the waterfall store" and we finally found the display in their outdoor garden store, but they hadn't filled them with water yet, so they weren't working.

Me: Well, they're not working today. Maybe we can come back another time and they'll be working.
Nathan: Yeah, we'll bring Daddy back and he'll fix them.

(It cracked me up because we were at Home Depot, a place chock-full of tools and installation experts, and in my son's eyes, Daddy is the only one that can possibly fix things right.) (Which he is in Mommy's eyes, too. :) )

Walking Kansas

I'm participating in a challenge called Walk Kansas this spring. It consists of teams of 6 collectively walking the distance across the state of Kansas (423 miles), over 8 weeks (it breaks down to 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week, for each team member). I did this challenge 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Nathan (has it really been that long?!), and the 8 weeks of participating created a habit of exercise that continued all 9 months of my pregnancy, which was the last time I exercised regularly (except for a brief spate last fall).
We're at the beginning of week 4 for Walk Kansas. Our team consists of me, my mom, my sisters, my best friend Brooke, and my good friend/other sister Christina. We are definitely not in the lead. But really I don't care about that. What I care about is that we're all being challenged to eat better and exercise consistently. We all have been trying before this, and now we're all kind of accountable to each other.
However, the weather is not cooperating. We've probably averaged only 4 days a week where it wasn't raining or below 40 - and at least for me, it seems like those days are the days your schedule makes it so you can't exercise.. And every "nice" day is accompanied by wind. And every route I walk has at least one spot where the wind blows across an open field and will about blow you over.
I'm enjoying it. A lot. I crave the time I get to exercise, and be alone to think, to pray, to have imaginary conversations...... When I walk, I walk for an hour - usually somewhere around 3.5 miles. (I should be able to do it faster, but the gravel, the wind, and the hills slow me down - this ain't like walking on a treadmill, folks!)

I have noticed a few things while walking:

  1. There are only 2 routes I can go that are dog-free, meaning either no one owns dogs, or they keep them penned up. I don't want to break up a dog fight, but my dog won't stay home. If I step outside in my tennis shoes, he just knows, and refuses to let me catch him. I've even tried tricking him and going out barefoot or in sandals, and he still somehow knows.

  2. Our dog will always poop exactly 1/2 mile into the walk. And usually again at about 2 miles later.

  3. 86% of the cars that pass me come up from behind. And of those cars, I'm pretty sure 63% of them throw up a little at the sight of my backside jiggling as I hoof it down the road.

  4. You find interesting stuff along side of the road. Last time I did this, I found a magazine all about marijuana - Weed Weekly or something like that. Today, I found a Winchester folding knife with a belt clip. That's going to become part of the regular walking gear.

  5. Walking will do wonders for toning up your ankles. Okay, normally we think about our calves getting toned, but honestly, the fat was creeping down the calf and getting dangerously close to becoming a cankle. I'm happy to announce that it's no longer cankle-izing.

  6. Walking takes care of back problems. My theory is that in walking and swinging your arms, holding your shoulders back and not slumping, you get everything lined up in your back and strengthen the muscles that hold them in place. Paul refuses to believe me on this and still goes to the chiropractor, even though every time my back has started bothering me, a few days of fitness walking (not meandering, walking with kids, or walking at work), and it has fixed itself.

  7. I fully endorse lolly-gagging the last 1/4 mile. It will eliminate sore muscles. My neighbors probably think I'm [even more] insane, because when I get to their house, I start doing kick-steps, knee lifts, and wide-to-each-side steps to stretch everything as I cool down.

There are other interesting things, but I've got 4 weeks left to do this, so I'm sure I'll be talking about it again.

Food Wins

I love food. And I love taking pictures of food I love. I've had some major wins recently, and I thought I'd share them with you. Pizza Meatloaf A variation of Sabrina's stuffed meatloaf, except I used 1 pound of sausage and 1 pound of hamburger, then stuffed it with the pepperoni and mozzarella (or in this case, Italian blend shredded cheese). And I topped it with even more cheese, instead of your normal ketchup-y sauce on the top. This was even better as leftovers than it was straight out of the oven! Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Born from a major craving for chicken and bacon one day, I tried to find a recipe that combined the two. I found a lot that sounded like something I would like, but none that would meet the stringent anti-poultry tendencies of my husband. So I set out on my own. I cut chicken breast tenders in half, then sprinkled them with blackening seasoning. I wrapped each chunk of chicken in a slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. I broiled them in the oven and viola! Paul said they were good enough I could put them on the menu as a regular dish. We even tried out smothering them in Italian shredded cheese, and they were excellent that way as well. Dill Bread I love bread, and have an incredible weakness for crackly-crusted, chewy inside bread. Or any type of homemade bread, really. So imagine combining the two! I printed off the recipe for Dill Bread from that I got in a newsletter forwarded to me by my mother-in-law. It sounded interesting - dill in bread. It was wonderful! It's not so much the dill I'm in love with, as I couldn't really taste the herb, so much as the end result (maybe because my dill is several years old). If you love ciabatta bread, you will love this recipe. I had to deviate from the recipe a bit - it mentions using dough scrapers, and I don't have any. So I used a combination of a large rubber spatula and my hands, and I think it turned out fine. I also didn't have bread flour, and I thought it turned out great. I did lower my oven to 400. I've had trouble with things burning, and didn't want to chance it. Cooking the bread in the pot with the lid on makes it deliciously moist and chewy on the inside, while that last 10 minutes after you take off the lid makes the crust delightfully crackly and beautifully browned. I loved it, and may or may not have eaten 2/3 of the loaf on my own. It does make a rather small loaf - 8 inches around and 3 inches thick. It's a one-day loaf, not a eat-on-it-all-week loaf. Other Random Food Pictures: Mom's Bread Recipe. My mom makes the most amazing wheat bread and rolls. I have her recipe, but she's tweaked and adjusted it so much over the years, that she's not positive of amounts. I'm getting close. In fact, I've quit buying bread and just make our own. Serves as a two-fold: It's better for us (all natural), and not as easy to just grab a slice and eat it, so not as many carbs for me. Grilled Cheese on Mom's Bread with Sauteed Onions. Saute some onions. In bacon grease is the best. Slice up the above homemade bread, and assemble a grilled cheese sandwich - layer the onions in between two slices of cheese. Heaven. The Ugliest Most Delicious Cookies. I'm going to brag. I make the best sugar cookies. They are amazing. One morning Nathan woke up as Paul was leaving for work, and was inconsolable, about seeing from his upstairs window Paul pulling out the driveway . I finally got him calmed down when I suggested we make Daddy cookies while he was at work. Nathan asked, "And we'll take them to him at work?" How could I refuse? I asked what kind he wanted. "Blue cookies." Okaaaaaay. I asked him if he wanted to put frosting on them. "Yes, purple frosting. And sparkles [sprinkles]?" They didn't really turn out blue, and the frosting wasn't quite purple, but they weren't any less amazing. And Paul enjoyed them even more because they were hand-delivered by the cutest two boys in the world, so he didn't even notice how ugly the cookies were. Cinnamon Rolls. I make treats once a month for Paul's shift. He likes treating them, and I don't mind doing it. I tweaked the The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls (I can't ever be satisfied with a recipe the way it is written), and this is what I come up with. I send this many with him when I make them (which is a double batch), and it makes 1-2 round dishes (pie plates) of extra and ugly ones that we (I) get to enjoy at home. (When I send cookies, I make a quadruple batch.) Do we even need to ask why I can't lose weight?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thoughts on Miscarriage

I'd like to ask prayers for some of our friends who lost their baby this week. I'm not sure how far along she was... I'm guessing 15 weeks. (She and I got pregnant at about the same time.) They had a miscarriage last year, and everything had seemed okay this time around. My heart is really hurting for them, and I know they would appreciate your prayers.
Having recently been through this (and not even as hard as their experience, her being much further along), I remember how I felt, and offered to help out however I could (I'm not tooting my own horn here). As I was preparing a meal to take to them today, I was thinking about how people react to a miscarriage.
For example, our church has a meal ministry. We take meals to people after the birth of a baby, after deaths, and after surgery. Isn't a miscarriage all three of those rolled into one? Yet we ignore it. We give a pat, "Praying for you." and avoid the topic, if not the person entirely. Why is that? If we're truly pro-life, shouldn't we be showering them in support, as they've lost a person? A dream, hopes.... shattered.
I know we all feel awkward, and we think we don't know what to say. But honestly, just being available would be wonderful. You don't have to say anything. A meal. A bag of groceries. Watch the kids for a couple hours.
Two things that helped me make it through were my sister, who has lost three babies, and talking about our experiences and pregnancies, and my best friend Brooke, who let me celebrate my pregnancy, even though we lost the baby, by not avoiding the topic. Also, Paul being home, so I didn't have to stuff my emotions down and be brave for my kids.
I don't know what I'm thinking I'll accomplish by writing this, but maybe next time you hear of someone losing a baby, you might think of it differently.