Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our New Addition

Ellia Renee
Born on November 22, 2009
3:47 PM
9.00 lb, 21.5" long

Labor Day Post 6

4:30 She's here!! Arrived at ~3:47
Ok, so I posted at 3:35 last... Rebekah was in the tub and sooooo under control that I thought for sure we had some time to go... In fact, when she got checked just before getting in the tub, I made sure to set Rebekah's expectations low by telling her to not be disappointed if there had not been much progress since we got admitted.

Needless to say after trying a couple of positions and a couple of hard contractions Rebekah told me she felt the urge to push. I had just enough time to get to the door, call for help, and get back to Rebekah. Four contractions happened back to back as we got her out of the tub and over to the bed. Rebekah told me to get behind her (for support while she pushed). Two minutes later... BABY! There was meconium in the bag of waters, so the pediatrician was called in with much haste, but thankfully all was good and Baby came out testing her lungs with a good vocal call!

Of course there are a lot more details (like her name) but those will come later ;)

Labor Day Post #5 - In the Tub Now

3:35 Grant here... Rebekah is doing great, she's dilated at 7cm and has settled into the hot tub. She's trying out different positions and handling things like a CHAMP!

Labor Day - Post 4

2:45 - We've been at the Birthing Center for awhile now.....when I got here, they hooked me up to a monitor for 20 minutes or so to make sure the baby was handling contractions just fine. She is. I was dilated 5 cm. when the midwife, Tara, checked me.....and she said my water could break at any second. Contractions are coming around 2-3 minutes apart, We're listening to an awesome Plumb CD that is so peaceful. I can't get in the tub yet, the water was too hot and they're cooling it with ice cubes.

Labor Day - Post 3

12:35 - Headed to the hospital.....I just had a issue with an aura, which is a vision disturbance that precludes a migraine....I laid down and rested for about 20 minutes and the aura is gone, thankfully I only have a smidge of a headache. Weird....haven't had something like that in a long time. Contractions eased a bit while I was resting...but now that I'm up, they're kicking in pretty good. Hopefully things will go fast at the birthing center!

Labor Day - Post 2

10:00 - Contractions are steady at about 4-5 minutes apart....definitely intensifying. I've finally given the answering service a call....should hear back from the midwife soon.

Labor Day - Post 1

I woke up this morning around 4:30 with mild they continued, about 8-10 minutes apart, I tried to rest until around 5:30, when I finally got up and showered and started the rest of my packing for the hospital. I am confident that our baby will be born today! I just can't wait to meet her! Right now, at 7:30, my contractions are about 4-5 minutes apart, strong enough that I can't walk through them, but I can still talk. Haven't called the midwife yet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Scones

I saw this recipe on Tammy's Recipes (made with pumpkin) and knew I had to try them. I adore scones, and pumpkin is wonderful in baked goods, so I figured it would be a winner. Oh yes. Well, actually, I did change the recipe a bit to make it a bit healthier, and I had some frozen sweet potato puree begging to be used instead of opening a can of pumpkin, so I made that substitution too. The smell coming out of my kitchen.....just divine. And the flavor was perfect....just the right amount of spice. My version is double what hers is written as, so it yields 16 scones. I knew 8 just wouldn't be enough for my hungry brood! And the leftovers were just tasty the next morning.


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 T. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
12 tablespoons butter, sliced and chilled (1-1/2 sticks)
1 cup sweet potato or pumpkin puree
2/3 cup whole milk (a little more may be needed)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon Icing Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients (dry). Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
3. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, sugar, and vanilla.
4. Add to dry mixture and stir just until mixture forms a thick dough. Use your (clean) hands to knead the dough once or twice, pressing it together. (For more tender scones, don't over-knead.)
5. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into a 2 circles, about 3/4 inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut each circle into 8 wedges/triangles. Place wedges on an ungreased baking sheet, not touching.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned on the bottom.
7. Make icing by whisking together the icing ingredients, adding just enough milk to make a drizzling consistency. Icing can be drizzled over warm or hot scones, or brushed on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

This delicious cheesecake is from Taste of Home....I've made it a few times and we think it's wonderful. I did add the ganache topping.....because a little extra chocolate never hurt anything. And I have even gone to the lengths of decorating the top with Andes Mints....but this time I left them off. If you like chocolate and mint, this is definitely a cheesecake you'll have to try.


1 package (10 ounces) chocolate-covered mint cookies, crushed (I used the Great Value brand from Wal-Mart...but Grasshopper cookies work well too. Puree them up in the blender for the least mess.)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or milk (I used milk)
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 to 4 drops green food coloring, optional
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Topping: (to be made the next day)
1 cup chocolate chips
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. This will appear very wet and mushy - don't worry about it. Stick it in the oven for 5-6 minutes and then let it cool a bit.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolk; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the cream, extracts and food coloring if desired. Fold in chocolate chips (Note: I tossed the chocolate chips with a bit of flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom....didn't work. They all sunk anyways. Maybe I stirred too much.) Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet - DON'T forget to do this...or you WILL end up with a bunch of goo in the bottom of your oven. NOT fun.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Make Topping:
Heat chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe bowl and stir until smooth. Add vanilla. Pour on chilled cheesecake and refrigerate to set.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This and That

Just a few personal updates on the family...for those who are interested (Hi, Grandparents!).

Corban and Marissa have finished a session of swim lessons, with Corban passing Level 2 and Marissa passing Level 1 (Red Cross standards). They both loved it tremendously and can't wait to get signed up for more classes. Maybe in the spring.....I just don't see myself packing up a newborn and 2-year old twice a week to take older siblings to swim lessons in the dead of winter. Not gonna happen.

Annika is taking a parent/child gymnastics class and has an absolute blast - it's special time with Daddy and she gets to jump and climb and swing to her little heart's content. Marissa is a bit jealous and keeps asking when she gets to take gymnastics again too....but back to that whole scheduling thing....I just don't know how I can swing it for awhile.

Pregnancy - Thank God it's almost over! I'm doing fine, check-ups have been perfect, I'm just tired of being pregnant. I don't sleep well due to aching hips and pelvic pain, so I'm in a fairly constant state of tiredness. Yeah.....I know.....that's not gonna change for the next year.
I am so thankful for a healthy pregnancy and baby, though, so I really shouldn't complain.

All of the hospitals in our area have adopted a policy prohibiting all visitors under age 18 to prevent the spread of H1N1 and the flu. I was bummed to hear about that, since that means the kids won't get to come visit me and the baby while we're in the hospital.

The good news is, for the first time I tested negative for Group B Strep (a common bacteria in the birth canal found in at least 30% of women at any given time that is harmless to the mother but has the slim chance of causing sickness in the baby). There are several reasons I'm thrilled about that:

1. I don't have to have antibiotics (or an IV, for that matter) during labor this time!!
2. I don't have to rush to the hospital as fast because I don't have to get the antibiotics 4 hours before delivering - do you know how hard it is to know you have at least 4 hours left in labor??
3. When the mother has GBS, even if she gets antibiotics at the proper time before delivery, the pediatricians won't let the baby leave the hospital until 48 hours after delivery just for monitoring purposes. Now I don't have to worry about that and can plan on the standard 24 hour discharge that is typical for my Birthing Center. This is especially nice since the kids can't come visit us.

My mom is due to arrive in five days.....can't wait to see her! And dad is coming a few days after that. The kids are so excited - Annika keeps saying, "Nonny coming soon. Granddaddy coming soon too. Granddaddy give me piggyback rides!!" (Hope your back is nice and strong, Dad!)

Corban (6) and Marissa (4) just had their well check-ups:

Corban is 51-1/4" tall (the height of an average 8.5 year old) and 54.5 lbs
Marissa is 41-1/4" tall (75 percentile) and 36 lbs.

Both have perfect blood counts, vision and hearing. Marissa was especially excited to pee in a cup for the first time. Big thrill there.

It is such a blessing to have healthy children. Even ones who make little nests in the closet in the bonus room for their nap instead of lying on the couch like you'd think they would.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my Taste of Home Cookies that book! These are absolutely delicious....I thought so, anyways. Grant isn't a fan of nuts in cookies, so he requested that I make them with smooth peanut butter next time....but I think the chunky peanut butter adds a lot of great texture. Either way, the flavor of these cookies is just wonderful!

Note: Be sure to check your oven for any spills....from say, a cheesecake that leaked yesterday....before preheating it and baking your cookies....or you may end up with a small oven fire like I did. I'm just sayin'.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars; beat in peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4-5 dozen

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honeybun Cake

I made this for my MOPS group a couple of weeks ago. I have always enjoyed honeybuns and had this saved in my recipe box on Allrecipes for a few years now. I didn't make it exactly as directed (big surprise) and omitted the glaze, since it was for brunch and not "dessert" and I didn't want it too sweet. It was plenty sweet and great for a dessert anyways....although I have to say that it didn't really remind me of a honeybun. It's just a good cake!


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Chopped nuts, optional

Glaze: (Optional)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs and sour cream. Stir by hand approximately 50 strokes, or until most large lumps are gone. Pour half of the batter into an ungreased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle half of it over the batter in the cake pan. Spoon the other half of the batter into the cake pan, then top with the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon. Twirl the cake with a butter knife or icing knife until it looks like a honey bun (or whatever design you want to make). Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Frost cake while it is still fairly hot. Serve warm.
To Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Caramel Apple Bars

I got this from Allrecipes a couple of years ago and just made it for the second time last week. These are so delicious! Even my chocolate-loving husband thinks they're great. The only exception was my 2-year old....who has seemingly found the one dessert she doesn't like. Maybe it's a texture thing. I dunno. But our friends who ate them had nothing but compliments.
This time of making them, I only had half a bag of caramels in the pantry, but I also had nearly a full jar of caramel ice cream topping. I just mixed them together to pour on the apples. Tasted great! However, if you were to use only ice cream topping, I'm guessing your finished product would be more gooey (not necessarily in a good way) and not hold together as well.

Note: I have only served these cold because they'll hold together in a bar shape and be a finger food better that way - but I know they would be amazing served warm with some vanilla ice cream. I may have to try that next time.


1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
2-3 T. milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cups apple - peeled, cored and chopped (I used 2 large Granny Smith and 1 Gala)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until smooth. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, oats, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, then toss them with the 3 tablespoons of flour. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the prepared crust. In a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave), melt caramels with milk, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the melted caramels evenly over the apples. Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the top of the apple layer. Press down lightly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender. Cool in fridge before cutting and refrigerate any leftover bars.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Cake

This is one of the easiest recipes you can make and it's always a big hit. Relatively healthy, too...if you leave off the frosting. But who would want to do that???? Seriously, though, you could make this into muffins instead, omit the frosting, and have them for breakfast....yum!
I have gotten so many compliments on this cake, though, that it's almost embarrassing to admit how simple it is to make.


1 spice cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup water (optional)

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
cinnamon (optional)
chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine the spice cake mix, pumpkin, and eggs in a mixing bowl and stir for 2 minutes, medium speed. If you want the mixture a bit thinner (it is fairly thick, but works either way), add the water. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack completely before removing from pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread on top and sides of cooled cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped nuts if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

Store in the refrigerator.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...