Thursday, September 30, 2010

Abigail "isms"

My daughter has such a sweet and tender heart. She also says lots of funny things. I want to share some and record them here so I can remember them in the future.

- I have been a bit extra emotional lately - you know, pregnancy, breastfeeding, feeling like crud, etc. Abigail found me teary-eyed in the kitchen one day and said to me, "Mama, it'll be okay. I'll bring you a Kleenex." And proceeded to bring me a used one from the other room. It was so sweet anyway.

- Another emotional moment: I was crying earlier this evening because Abigail had given me a good bonk on the nose. Still hurts now (I don't think it's broken). Anyway tears were running down my face as the pain was seering through my nose and Abigail said, "Here Mama, I will sing you a song and you'll feel better." She proceeded to do so and I made myself stop crying. She came over and said, "See Mama? You're all better."

- She always wants to know who bought something for her. Today she asked me "Mama, who bought me these shoes?" When I replied that I had, indeed, bought the shoes she was inquiring about she said "Mama, YOU bought me these shoes. I LOVE these shoes." Ha!

- We were at my in-law's today and I put Abigail on the potty before her nap (in their downstairs bathroom). My mother-in-law has a bird house with one (or two, can't remember) birds hanging from it. Abigail pointed to it and said "Mama, that bird's mad." Ha! It was pretty funny because the bird does have somewhat of a scowl.

That's all I can remember for now. I need to write this more often, I guess!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ah, a break!

I'm experiencing a rare break from overwhelming nausea at the moment so I guess I'll blog. Ha!

We're doing fine around here. I feel like I'm barely holding on most of the time but I know that's not true.

Abigail is doing great in her big girl bed. She only had a night or two where she cried out. It was for someone to come and take her to the bathroom ("I need go pee pee in the potty.") I don't know if that was the new bed or the potty training's fault but she hasn't done that in a while.

Elsie . . . still doesn't sleep well. She got up at 11 pm last night so I had firm resolve to let her cry for a while. She "fussed" (not really outright crying) until about midnight. Then she wailed. I let it go until 12:30 but by then I was exhaused. I went and fed her. She slept until morning.

She was playing in the kitchen this morning and got a little too close to our step (we have one step between the kitchen and the tiled mud room) and she fell. Just one step but it gave her a pretty good fat and bloody lip. Poor baby.

My parents may be coming for a visit in a few weeks. We're all excited about that. It all depends on how wheat planing goes!

I'm still working. Most of my days are focused on just getting food into my kids and myself and getting a few hours in for work. I have plenty to do!

Sorry this is so boring! I have a few recipes to share if I can manage to look at the food pictures long enough to post them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reminder

I haven't blogged all week in an effort to keep the whining to a minimum. Ha!

No, seriously.

My husband has been out-of-town and my in-laws have been super in his absence . . . keeping my kids, making us food, keeping Abigail overnight, and many other things. I've been spoiled.

Now . . . will someone please remind my husband that I'm pregnant? I mean, seriously. He wonders why I am crying at something that is so silly - um . . . I can't help it!

Logic . . . totally gone.

Sorry, dear.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sleep, Elsie, Sleep

Dearest Elsie Pie,

My sweet, sweet, Darling. I love you more than I can say. Having said that, I hate to tell you but some sleep training is coming at ya, my dear. I have put it off for far too long. I have babied you and rocked you and nursed you all night long. You're 10 going on 11 months old. You SHOULD be able to sleep longer than 4 or 5 hours without mommy.

Darling, it's not your fault (entirely) but I'm tired - extremely tired - more tired than I can EVER remember being before. So . . . I need you to sleep.

If you're sick or hurting, mommy will always be there for you and will be glad to see you at midnight, 4 am, and 6 am. Whatever. However, if your well and healthy, my darling - you need to sleep.

PLEASE!

Your daddy is getting frustrated because he does not comprehend mommy logic (a.k.a. - it's faster to nurse her than to let her cry for hours - and "she might need me"). It's not his fault - he simply doesn't understand mommy and baby logic.

But

He's right. You're old enough (WAAAY older than your sis) to be sleeping better.



I love you more than anything my sweet-cheeked happy girl.
Please sleep.
Love,
Momma

Friday, September 17, 2010

Evening . . .sweet evening!

I have noticed a pattern in my "morning" sickness this past week.

Mornings = really really bad!! Ugh! Really bad. I can hardly make breakfast - bad.
Mid Mornings = really bad!
Lunch = pretty bad! Nothing sounds good but I can at least cook something for us to eat.
Mid afternoon = bad! as long as I have a protein or decent snack, I can start to feel better.
Supper = okay. If I have to cook it's another matter. I'm not jiving with the cooking right now which is so not like me.
After supper = decent.
7 pm = ah, I feel a bit normal. Of course, smells overwhelm me but as long as I'm in a neutral zone, I'm okay!

I love 7 pm!

Wake up and do it all again!

(I don't remember it being this bad with my other two. Perhaps that means it's a boy. Perhaps I just blocked out the memory! I know that I threw up more when pregnant with Abigail but then I'd feel better.)

P.S. Sorry to complain! I'm thankful for many things . . . especially the evening.

Big Bed Time!

I think it's finally time for Abigail to move into a big girl bed!!

I convinced Andrew, when we were expecting Elsie, that if we were going to move our darling girl to another floor of the house, she still needed to be in a crib - contained!

He agreed and we have two cribs. I guess that's a good thing now - eh?! :)

She's not climbing out or acting upset at being in a crib. In fact she loves her bed. The reason we've waited so long is . . . why mess with a good thing! The child is a champion sleeper - even when she's sick.

So, why are we doing it now?! Well, it is getting more and more difficult for me to lift her into that crib. I usually have a baby in my arms during the process and this is only going to get harder in the next few months.

Plus, I really think she's ready. She's going on 3, knows her whole alphabet, is pretty obedient (even if she sometimes obeys slowly!), is almost 100% potty trained, etc.

She's a big girl now so I believe this weekend will bring about the moving of the toddler bed from the basement to her room. Now . . . where do we put the crib?

(No, they don't sleep together. They were just playing in Abigail's crib one morning).


Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 8, 2010

On September 8, 2010, I found myself in need of going to the grocery story. I left my children in the capable hands of my husband, once he got home from work, and made my way to the store.


I found myself buying only three things at the grocery store that September evening.


One item was a package of pull-ups. We are in the midst of "potty training" and our daughter Abigail prefers pull-ups to wear for bed and nap time and we were almost out.


The second item was a package of night-time pacifiers for Elsie. She is going on 11-months old and will still not sleep through the night. I was hoping that she could find these pacifers in her crib at night and soothe herself to sleep (so far that has not worked).


The third item was a first response pregnancy test. You see earlier in the day I had taken another pregnancy test that I just happened to have on hand. I had been "off" and I guess another word is "late" since taking birth control pills and just jokinly told myself I'd better check the test. The first test was positive. Well, the second and third tests were positive too!


So . . .


We're officially expecting#3! To say I'm shocked is kind of an understatement but I can see the hand of God working in our lives and I know He will see us through this period of crazy/good life with three young ones.


I also normally do not announce these things publically until later. However, our immediate family knows, Andrew's co-workers know (he's so excited), and well to be truthfully honest, I'm so nausated most of the time now that I can hardly think of anything else to write about!

Today has been a doosy. Elsie has a stuffy nose and got me up a few "extra" times last night. The only thing I could manage to make (for anyone) for breakfast was toast and I just feel like curling up in bed with a movie, a cold drink, and a cold washcloth for my head. Just being honest. Instead, I have managed to run the dishwasher and do two load of laundry.

The baby is going to sleep and the toddler is playing nicely downstairs so that is a welcome relief.

Anyway . . . some exciting changes are happening (again!) in our lives. Despite the pain and sickness that I feel, I know that this is a sweet blessing from God!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Potty Training Begins (and Ends?)

This post may fall into the category of "too much information"! If you do not want to read about my child's potty training, please check back tomorrow. However, this is my blog and I just know that when it is time to start training Elsie, I will have forgotten all of this and will wish it was on my blog for me to refer to.

So . . . here it goes.


What I mean by that title is that this week of potty training has gone so well that we may be officially potty trained soon. By "we", I don't mean myself, my husband, or Elsie. I mean Abigail. Not sure why I typed "we". Oh well.


It started off about 3 weeks ago by offering to let Abigail wear underwear instead of diapers. She was ALL over that. She went in the toilet a few random times but still had quite a few accidents in her underwear.


I decided to take a step back and try again in a month.


Well . . .


My little girl didn't want to do that. She wanted to wear underwear and asked for them frequently. So instead of discourage her attempt to be a big girl, I let her wear the underwear and just figured I'd clean up the mess.


She soon caught on to the fact that when she went in the potty, she would get a jelly bean (organic - from whole foods) or a gummy bear. She was hooked.


We started by reminding her every hour or so to sit on the potty and that worked pretty well.


Then Andrew caught her trying to do a #2 at his Grandma's one Sunday and sat her on the pot. She went and she was so proud of herself!! :)


After that one thing just led to another. First of all, she started to tell us when she had to go. Sometimes it is difficult for me to drop what I'm doing and run to the bathroom with her but I've made it a priority (today I carried a nursing Elsie to the bathroom with us!).


Then tonight she did the unimaginable . . . something I thought was weeks or even months away from happening.


When I was in Elsie's room putting her to bed, Abigail pulled down her own underwear, got up on the potty and went (#2). She waited for me to help her finish up. :)


To say that I'm thrilled is an understatement. I thought I was in for a much harder time than this. I realize that there will still be accidents and probably set-backs but so far it's been a breeze!
(Oh, and that kid-seat you see in this picture? She refuses to use it now. She wants to sit on the big potty like a big girl. What a waste of money for the little potty she never used and the seat she used for 2 weeks. Oh well.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandparents . . .

Yesterday was Grandparents Day - for those of you who didn't know. If I had my act together I would have had lovely cards and flowers ready for each of these important people but well . . . I didn't. Shame on me!


However, I want to acknowledge all of the wonderful grandparents in our lives. We are blessed with grandparents (not only ours but our kids' as well) that are loving, supportive, and always willing to lend a hand.

Grandparents are so important in our family! So let me introduce you to some of the best grandparents that this world has ever known! :)

(in no particular order . . . this was just how the pictures loaded up).


My mom with her granddaughter, Abigail. February 2010




Andrew's Grandma Myers with Great-Granddaughter Abigail in February 2009.




My Grandma Helen with Great-Granddaughter Elsie in August 2010.




My dad with his grandbabies, Isaac and Elsie.


My Grandma Fairchild with Great-Granddaughter Elsie August 2010.



My mother-in-law Susan with Granddaughter Elsie in April 2010.


My father-in-law (sorry you can't see his face very well but this picture shows him adoring Elsie) Wayne with Granddaughter Elsie.


Andrew's Grandpa Schechter and dad with Abigail in Spring of 2009.


Andrew's Grandma Schechter with Great-Granddaughter Abigail in Spring 2009.



Are we blessed or what?!
Thanks to all these wonderful people for loving and caring for us!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Addressing Canola

Okay, so I have gotten a few questions about Canola Oil since my last post, so . . . let me explain. Or at least try to guide you to where you can find answers.

I started out not using Canola Oil about a year ago when my mother said to me "Don't use Canola Oil". Now . . . do I do everything that my mother tells me to? Sorry Mom, but no. However, she's a smart lady and when it comes to health issues, the woman does her research.

Here are a few of the sites with information that I have found (and there are opposing views, of course):

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/559-the-great-con-ola.html

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/04/canola-oil-last-time-random-reader-question.html

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/03/healthy-cooking-oils-whats-wrong-with-canola-info-from-nina-planck.html

http://www.truthaboutabs.com/the-canola-oil-deception.html


Here is more info directly related to Saturated Fat (which is not actually what makes us fat. . . did you know that?).

http://www.fathead-movie.com/

http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/does-fat-make-you-fat-dieting-answers.html

Especially check out the last one!! :)

Having listed all those links for you to view yourself, I also want to say . . . feel free to use Canola Oil in your own homes. I am not one to tell other people what to do (it's the people-pleaser in me). If you think it's good and good for you- go for it.

As for me though . . .

I just don't trust "new" and "refined" oils from plants that I am unfamiliar with (see information above). I have never tasted or noticed a difference in my baking or cooking by not using Canola so we will continue to avoid it. I also don't view Saturated or Animal Fat as an enemy. People ate that way for generations and didn't have the obesity epidemic that we have now.

I'm just sayin. . . :)

Hopefully that cleared things up - at least as far as wondering why we don't use Canola Oil. If you have other questions please email me (jaime_schechter@yahoo.com).

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Oatmeal Maple Cookies

My toddler loves cookies! I try not to make cookies that fill her with too much white sugar, flour, and especially hydrogenated oils. These is a great recipe that I found at Whole Foods. Believe it or not, I even modifed it more to make it better! The original recipe called for Canola Oil. I also avoid that at all costs. After all . . . can someone explain to me what a canola is? No seriously, most of these modified oils are what can cause heart attacks and stroke.



I'm not providing much info but . . . you're all smart . . . you can research it for yourself!



So here we go.



If you can see, I had two little helpers in this picture. Elsie didn't last long though. She'll help me some day.





Take 2 cups rolled oats.

Pour it into a skillet or pan ("oops, mama I spilled a little") and toast for about 3 minutes.


Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup spelt flour,









1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg




and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt.



Melt butter in a separate pan (or you can use melted unrefined virgin coconut oil).


Mix together maple syrup (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup of melted butter and . . .


2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract in a separate bowl.



Having a cheerful helper helps speed the process up considerably! :)





Combine maple mixture to oat mixture in a mixing bowl and combine completely. (Yes, I scraped the sides of the bowl down to get the flour after I took this picture).



Drop by teaspoonful onto a baking sheet. Flatten slightly. (I used my spatula to flatten and it worked fine).
Bake about 15 minutes at 350.



Cool cookies on a wire rack before enjoying.




Then enjoy!



Abigail LOVED these cookies. Andrew liked them but thought they'd be better with butterscotch chips (perhaps). They just weren't as sweet as conventional cookies so his sweet tooth was missing something, I think. Anyway, these are delicious and a decently healthy choice (at least with no chemicals like store bought cookies have) as an occasional snack for kids.
I think we may make more today. This batch is gone! :)


Complete Recipe
Oatmeal Maple Cookies
jaimeschechter.blogspot.com
original recipe from whole foods
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup melted butter or melted unrefined coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Place oats into a pan and toast for 3 minutes or until slightly golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate saucepan, melt butter. In a mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup, butter and vanilla until combined. Add oat mixture to maple syrup mixture and stir to combine completely. Dough will be warm. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Flatten dough slightly with a spoon or wet fingers. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool cookies and enjoy!!

Future Ball Player?

This girl LOVES balls. Perhaps she enjoys it so much because she's finally getting some attention away from her older sister when we play "catch" with her. Anyway, thought you'd enjoy seeing my girl (Elsie) enjoy playing ball with her mama!

video

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Comparing

They look very "sisterly" . . . don't ya think?

Here are comparison photos of both my girls at roughly the same age. I think Abigail was 9 months on the dot and Elsie was almost 10 months.

Elsie is smaller than Abigail (which is okay - Abigail is VERY tall) and isn't wearing the outfit that Abigail has on in her picture yet.

Elsie - September 5, 2010


Abigail - November 2, 2008

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Elsie @ 9 months

So . . . Elsie is technically almost 10 months (tomorrow!!!) but we are two busy parents with two busy kids so we finally got around to taking Elsie's 9 month pictures yesterday.

I apologize in advance . . . these were taken with a very wrinkly background in our basement and have not yet been edited. Photoshop can do amazing things. You're getting the raw picture.

Here it goes:

Our sweet darling girl

Who loves to crawl

Elsie's sweet darling sister who wanted in on the photoshoot. Nevermind that she didn't have any pants on so you can see her pull-ups.


Mama and her girls (again would be a great shot except for my pant-less child).



Sisterly love. You can kind of see Abigail's nose in this picture. She fell while doing push-ups (what can I say, the child loves to exercise) and scraped her nose.



Dear Elsie,
You are a sweet, loving, and fun little girl and . . . you are growing up way too fast! We love you very much and despite wanting to keep you a little baby forever, I am also excited about seeing you grow into a little lady. Your sweetness and joy will take you far, my darling. Always remember that you have a very proud mommy, daddy, and perhaps and even more proud big sister (if that is possible).
Your Mommy

Friday, September 03, 2010

Is it time?

I've been struggling with a decision lately. I am trying to decide whether to cancel my online weight watchers membership. I've never gone to a meeting. I have just done their online program. I just can't quite let go!

Officially I have lost 31.6 pounds. That's just okay in my books. I have another 19 to go before I would really be satisfied.

Still, I haven't lost any weight - or significant weight in months.

Also, without going into detail, we could really use the $18 back in our budget every month. New medical bills are coming due, kids need things, etc.

Also, I have copied most of the information from the site (all my weight tracking, recipes, some points calculations, etc) so I think I can keep going on my own.

Also, I went 2.5 weeks without tracking during my vacation and only gained a very negligible amount. Seems that my eating habits have changed somewhat.

Also, I would still track my weight every Monday. If it starts going up, I'd just join again. Seems easy, right?

Okay, I've talked myself into it. Maybe in the next few days I'll cancel!!

Yikes!

I feel like I'm losing a big safety net!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Trip 2010: Kansas City

I'm finally getting around to the very last part of our trip! I'm sure you're all thankful you won't have to read about this anymore. Ha!

Anyway, we stopped in Kansas City for two nights for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family. We are spread out from Ohio to Chicago to Arkansas to Denver so we don't see each other that often.

It was really great to see everyone again and to have a chance to reconnect. We didn't do any real formal "reunioning" but just spent time together. So fun!

Of course, Abigail was instantly drawn to my Aunt Ronda. She is truly the ultimate aunt and is one of the most amazing people I know. She is great with kids so, of course, Abigail adored her!

Here they are checking out the view!


Me and my cousin, Rachel.


Rachel holding Elsie. Elsie was being a little fussy at this particular moment! :)


Alex (my nephew), Abigail, and my aunt Ronda have fun playing together!



My Grandma Helen and my Mom let the babies (Elsie and my nephew Isaac) have a chat.



My dad with his pride and joy - the younger 2 grandkids.



All of the younger generations at the Plaza Fountains pose for a picture.


All of us pose for a picture. Andrew took the picture and later photoshopped himself in but I didn't upload that one. Perhaps I will later!



The Walter siblings.



Elsie crashes for her morning nap. She took about a 2-hour nap in her stroller! She slept some outside and finished her nap in the Cheesecake Factory where we ate lunch.



Abigail did not want her picture taken at this moment. She showed her displeasure by not holding onto Papa Kurt's head! Ha! I'm sure she won't like me showing this . . . some day!



Abigail and her daddy share a tender moment at lunch.


Abigail and her cousin Alex had a lot of fun hanging out!


Abigail had no fear of the open atrium. She even went to the 12th floor with Aunt Ronda and Uncle Dale and peered over the edge.




Then on Sunday morning we headed home. Whew! It was a busy but super fun trip! I can't believe how great our kids did in the car and sharing a room together. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mardi Gras Eggs

So, I'm not from New Orleans, nor have I ever visited . . . but

I have visited Lucile's. It is a Creole restaurant in Colorado. It's yummy. If you live in Colorado . . . you'll do yourself a big favor by eating there!

What I really wish I could duplicate is their biscuits but I'm not THAT talented!

Anyway, I ordered a yummy dish called "Farmer's Eggs" which is something that I consider a "skillet" or "scramble".

I decided to dupliate or get close to the same recipe at home.


Start by dicing 2 medium sized potatoes. Saute them in a skillet with olive oil for 15 minutes or until tender.



After the potatoes are on the tender side, you'll want to add sausage. Here is a disclaimer: we usually (80% of the time) eat unprocessed foods (our meat is usually organic or nitrate-free). This sausage is well . . . not. It's what I had in the fridge. In my defence, my husband bought it. I only used about 1/3 of a pound, which means the other 2/3 is still sitting in my freezer!

Oh, this is hot sausage by the way.

Add the sausage to the skillet with the potatoes and cook until brown.

Chop your peppers (you can choose what type you'd like) and onion. I used red, yellow, green, and a teeny tiny bit of jalepeno.






Add the peppers and onion to your sausage and potatoes.



Cook until veggies are slightly softened.



In a separate mixing bowl, crack 8 eggs (you can vary the amounts, btw) and scramble with a fork. The add 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Cook until eggs are scrambed through. Salt and pepper to taste.
The last step (and most important) involves adding the Creole seasoning. Yum!
And can you believe that I didn't take an after picture? I know, all that work on this recipe and you're left with out the beauty of this dish! Oh well, you'll just have to make it yourself.
I served my Mardi Gras Eggs with corn on the cob. We also sprinkled a little Creole seasoning on the corn and it was also delicious!
Enjoy!
Recipe follows:
Mardi Gras Eggs
jaimeschechter.blogspot.com
1 tbsp olive oil
2 potatoes (cut into cubes)
1/3 pound hot sausage
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1/4 jalepeno pepper (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
8 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt
pepper
creole seasoning
Saute potatoes in olive oil until soft. Add hot sausage to potatoes and cook until browned. Add chopped peppers and onion to skillet. Cook peppers and onion until barely soft. Whisk 8 eggs in a mixing bowel and add cheese. Pour egg mixture into skillet and scramble until eggs are cooked. Add seasonings to taste.
Yummy!