Monday, April 30, 2012

1 Year old!!

My baby turns 1 year old this week. I decided to write this post early as I know by the end of the week it will be really crazy here and I will not find the time. Niah is truly a wonderful gift from God. Children were always something Matthew and I wanted but it was down the road a little bit, especially since we were in the midst of building a house when we got pregnant with Niah. Here is a little bit about Niah coming along and I how I truly believe she was exactly what God had planned and his plan is greater than MY plan. I can remember laying on the bed in the emergency room throwing up every 20-30 mins and the nurse walks in and tells me, nothing is wrong I am pregnant. I am not going to lie alot of things raced through my head starting from, are we ready to have a baby, to does pregnancy cause this much sickness. I know alot of people talk about morning sickness but I had down right sickness, with throwing up every 20-30 mins everyday and the only relief was taking this sedative to sleep it off, thankfully it ended after 12 weeks and I had a fairly easy pregnancy. Back to my story, I get checked out alone to make sure the baby is ok in the er. The lady doing the ultrasound starts with, "has anyone ever told you anything was wrong with you?" I shook my head no and instantly was scared and asked her if everything was ok, her reply I can't tell you anything a dr. will be in shortly. I was already crying from being sick and I began to sob thinking, oh no something is terribly wrong. The dr. comes in tells me I have a very rare condition but thankfully everything was ok. He reccommends a dr. and tells me I should make an appt. today. Again, I am planner and had thought about these moments in the future and believe they would be go differently, more organized thought out and decided on. We made the dr. appt. I continued to be terribly sick with no relief, people treated me as I was dying but it was probably because I was throwing up every 20 minutes and had not eaten or drank anything in 2 days. The next day we went to the dr. and he was quite surprised that 1 missed pill with my rare condition got me pregnant. He explained to me that most women that have this condition take desperate measures to become pregnant (He never personally had a patient with this condition just did some medical research while I was there). As I carried our little baby I knew this was God's timing and not mine. God gave me a wonderful dr. that took excellent care of me and Niah even in some rough delivery patches. I am so thankful for God's timing, I can not imagine my life, our family without Niah. Niah is now standing on her own for 3 or 4 minutes, she refuses to take any steps. Niah loves to be in the mix of everything, if I am cooking she wants to be right up there by the bowl, if I am cleaning she wants a rag to clean to. Niah points alot and uses hand motions to come get her. She is very lively and fun and full of emotion. Niah lets you know exactly what she is thinking and wants. I hope she always stays that way!! Niah's birthday plans are to have a tulle birthday! I will post lots of pictures and how to's after the party it was a complete diy party. Here are a few pictures of Niah in her Birthday dress that we took for invites and things!!
Niah Beth we absolutely love you and can not imagine our lives without you. You are the biggest blessing!! You remind me every single day how God is God and He made you!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Things every Mom needs!!

Here are a few things I could not do with out!! There are lots of things I never used that I bought but these are the items I absolutely could not do with out. 1. Video monitor We love our video monitor, it is such a piece of mind to look at it especially when Niah was younger and greater risk of sids.
2. Portable vacumn. We have the shark portable chargeable vacumn. We use it everday now that Niah is eating solids we didn't need it until she was older. Everything she drops on the floor or in her High chair I just vacumn up!
3. Absolutely could not live without a bouncer. Niah did not even like the vibrate on it she just liked the chair. In fact the first 4-5 weeks of her life she slept in her bouncer. It was the only thing she would sleep in because she did not like laying flat on her back. It was nice to set her in the bouncer while I got ready or needed do something and I knew she was safe so it was a piece of mind. The bouncer was very portable so I could take it room to room.
4. Swaddle blankets. We used swaddle blankets on Niah till she was 3 - 4 months old and she loved them and slept so well swaddled. I highly recommend swaddling your baby, the swaddle blankets work well because they are tighter than a homemade swaddle which I did during naps to save my actual swaddle blankets for night. We like the swaddle blankets with velcro
5. Activity floor mat Niah spent so much time on her activity mat, She loved it, even at a young age. She had a very basic one but there are mats at there that light up and play music as well.
6. Mommy Mirror This was an item I did not think of till after Niah was born and after a few car trips of not being able to see her drove me crazy. The mommy mirror has been so helpful to see what she is doing and if she is ok.
There is probably a few more things that I could think of but these are by far my favorite. Niah Update: Niah is standing up on her own and standing for a few seconds. She is too scared to take any steps on her own but we are thinking her cousin Kyah will give her some confindence this weekend when she sees her. Niah now says: clap, cheese, and bye. In addition to the words she was already say which were: momma, dadda, thank you, addie, hi, and hey. She is always trying to repeat words you say. She loves to wave bye to everyone except Mom. She loves to tease people, she will even stick food in Matthew's mouth and want to take it back out :-) When Niah wakes up she will cry until she sees mom, which is Matthew's excuse not to get Niah in the morning :-) She has became a pretty good eater and her favorite food is still BREAD!! She loves it and gets excited to see bread, I have limited her bread intake to at the most 2 pieces of whole grain bread a day (I hardly ever will let her have white bread). She would probably eat 8 pieces if I let her. She said good bye to the bottle and uses only sippy cups. She had a different sippy cup for milk than water though. We still do not let Niah have any sugar, acidic foods, fried food, white potatoes, cow's milk, or preservatives.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Supreme

Monday night is my least favorite day to cook besided the weekends because I am trying to finish up so many things from the weekend and also getting into the groove of the week. This Monday night I hadn't been to the grocery store in a couple weeks so I needed to make something I had all the ingredients for searching through recipes online I found this chicken broccoli supreme recipe on and I have seen a couple recipes on pinterest similar. I liked it because it didn't call for canned soup had a meat and veggie in it. CHICKEN BROCOLLI SUPREME Ingredients: 1 – lb. fresh broccoli Break in pieces, and steam for 2 minutes.3 cups cooked chicken breasts – Break up in small pieces3 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese dividedTopping:2 tubes Ritz Crackers1 stick melted butter1 tablespoon poppy seeds SAUCE: 1/3 cup Butter- melted1/4 cups Cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup COLD Water1/3 cup Chicken Broth1/4 tsp. Salt1/4 tsp Pepper2 Cups Milk1 1/2 cups of the above Cheddar Cheese Directions: In greased 13×9 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken, then set aside. I grilled my chicken in the cast iron but the next time I make it I will make extra chicken the night before dinner or put chicken in the crockpot on low before going to work. It will save alot of time in making it. In saucepan over medium heat, combine the 1/3 cup melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. I think I will add the salt and pepper after I pour the sauce on and maybe add some garlic powder.Melt the cup of butter, and add the poppy seeds (I didn't have poppy seeds so I skipped that), and stir well. Crush Ritz crackers in large zip-lock bag with a rolling pin. Don’t crush too small. Add crumbs to the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.The whole pan was eaten in 2 days it was a huge hit and pretty easy to make. I would suggest it for anyone.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Simple things: park days

We live on the lake and so when it's nice out there is always plenty of fun things to do but we have recently been going away from the lake to the park. It has been so fun to go some where quiet with our family to spend quality time. There is nothing better than to see a great big smile on our little girls face as we get away and spend time together.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our Schedule

Alot of people ask me constantly about my schedule and how I do everything I do. I am not a by the books schedule person but almost always this is what I week looks like. Mon-Fri.I get up around 7:45 and get ready and Niah gets up anywhere from 8:00-8:30. She eats breakfast while I am still getting ready, then we get her ready. We leave the house at 8:30 to go to work (I only work 30 sec. from my house). When we get there, Niah plays with her toys or if she didn't have time to finish her breakfast she finish that. Around 9:30 she takes a nap from anywhere to 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours. She wakes up and I usually stop for lunch. We come back and Niah plays with her toys or a boy of hotel supplies and I finish up working. Around 3 to 4 pm Niah goes down for her afternoon nap and will only sleep about an hour. While she is taking her afternoon nap, I clean or get dinner ready. When she wakes up she eats dinner while I finish cooking. If Matthew is home we eat dinner, otherwise Niah gets a bath if it is her night to take a bath or I read to her or we play on the floor. Niah is ready for bed at 7 so I feed her and tuck her and she goes to sleep. Wednesdays we have Kindermusik from 8:45 to 9:45 (if you haven't heard of it you should check it out here) in the morning so that day is a little different. We usually will eat a snack after kindermusik and have to run an errand for work so we get back close to 11 and she goes down for a nap and I do not take a lunch.Thurs. are a little different in the evening because we have swim class at 5. So we try to take an earlier afternoon nap. And when we get home it is a rush to get to bed around 7:30. On the weekends she takes her nap a little later so she only takes one nap and sleeps for 4 hours usually wakes up at around 2 on saturdays and 4 on sundays.That is our schedule and I am so very thankful for a child that loves to nap, it makes it so easy to work and have her at work.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lemon Tres Leche Cake

My mom needed a dessert for our Easter Lunch and so I knew I wanted a fruit flavor desert with it being spring. I started googling recipes and put a couple recipes together and this is what I came up with. It took quite a bit of time to prepare but I spaced each part through out the day so I would say total prep time if you did it at one time about an hour. Total cook time 30 mins. Tres Leche: 12 oz evaporated milk 1 cup sweetened condensed milk 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla Cake: 1 cup sifted flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/4 cup melted butter 1/2 teaspoon. lemon extract 1/2 cup milk scalded 6 egg yolks 1 cup sugar Mousse: 1 lemon zested and juiced 2 tablespoons simple syrup 1 package unflavored gelatin 2 cup heavy cream -- chilled 1 cup lemon curd -- your favorite recipe Topping: 2 cups sweetened whipped cream Chill the bowl and wire whip of an electric mixer in the freezer. Whisk together flour and baking powder; keep scalded milk hot. In an electric mixer beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar, butter and lemon extract. Quickly add flour mixture. Stir just until mixed. Gently stir in hot milk mixture. Pour into greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Bake in oven 350 degrees oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely. Mix ingredients for Tres Leche together. After cake is completely cooled, I cut the top off of my cake so I cook have an even top and so the cake wouldn't be so thick since this will be a rich dessert. Poke holes all over cake and pour tres leche mixture over cake and let it soak in the cake. I only used about half of the mixture but you almost have to make that much because I do not think you can get a smaller can of evaporated milk. I stopped when it seemed the cake could not absorb anymore of the milk mixture. I put the cake in the fridge. You have to make a lemon curd for the mousse, I used a recipe from You take 5 egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar and it said 4 lemons squeezed making 1/3 cup juice (I did not have lemons so I used lemon juice), and beat with an electric mixer for several minutes in metal bowl. Then in a sauce pan bring water to a boil and then turn water down to a simmer and put metal bowl on top of sauce pan don't let it touch the top of water just getting the heat. Mix with whisk for 8 minutes. Then cut up a stick of butter (I cut mine into 1/2 tbsp) and add a piece at a time until it melts. Then refridgerate. In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup and gelatin. Stir to soften the gelatin. I on accident got pudding instead of gelatin and pudding worked great. I remade it with the unflavored gelatin and the mousse is easier to work with when you use the gelatin. The mousse with the pudding tasted great just not as good of a consistancy. Place over low heat and cook until the gelatin dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Combine the gelatin mixture and lemon curd. Mix well. Add the lemon mixture to the whipped cream. Continue to beat until the cream forms stiff peaks. Spread lemon cream over cake and place in the refrigerator to set - 3 to 4 hours. When I served the cake I drizzled carmel sauce over the top of the cake and made sweeten whipped cream. I took a cup of heavy cream 1/2 tsp of vanilla and about 1/4 sugar and beat until stiff peaks. I put the whipped cream in a plastic bag, cut the tip out and squirted it on the cake. It was probably a more tedious dessert I made but it turned out great and would definately do it again.

Simple Things:Plastic Easter Eggs

My little one is 11 months so Easter does not mean much to her so we didn't do much but get a new dress (any reason to justify buying her new clothes). I was organizing a church Easter event and had bought tons of Easter supplies. She found the plastic eggs and loved them. I ended up filling a basket with plastic eggs and she has played with them non stop since got them.Who would have thought 20 eggs for $.99 would be so much fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

11 Months old Today!!

I can not believe my little girl is 11 months old today... the last 11 months have flown by!! It is a bittersweet feeling watching your little one grow up, bitter that it seems to go by so quickly, very sweet that you watch them develop, and accomplish things. Niah is a determined girl that knows what she wants. She points at things she wants and raises her voice when you take something away she wanted. Niah also will go after what she wants. She has slowed down on her motor skills and is excelling in her communication. She talks nonstop and will answer when you talk to her. She says, "Hi, Hey, Momma, Dadda, Addie (the dog), thank you." Thank you is the newest word that she just started saying. She tries to repeat thousands of other words some that she almost always tries to repeat is tease, nighty nighty, Kyah, and do do do (I sing this to her and try to get her to say it the same number of times I did). Niah is still cruising and she is standing by herself for a few seconds and she is trying to stand up from sitting down (she has succeeded around 3 times). Niah's favorite toys right now are baskets filled with objects. She loves to take the objects out, inspect them, and put them back in! Her room is filled with baskets so she has a blast tearing them apart and putting them back in but not as neatly as before :-) Niah's favorite foods this week are blueberries, yogurt (I buy organic greek yogurt), and BREAD. She loves bread, Matthew always jokes you can tell she is my child because I also, have a love for bread. Niah changes what she likes from week to week, she can love something one week and not touch it the next. Every week is an adventure to find what will be on the menu for Niah. About 3 weeks ago she had a photo shoot for her 10 month photos and for her b-day invitations done be LighterFocus Photography. He did a great job and we love how he captured all of Niah's various expressions. She was about 10 1/2 months so we will take her 11 month photos in about a week or 2. Here are some of the photos, I will show her birthday photos closer to her birthday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ribbon Flowers

My mom and I started making pillowcase dresses for vacation and I have kept making them since vacation for different things (I will blog on how to make them soon). The more dresses I have made the more artistic and elaborate I begin making them. Today, I am going to share with you how I made some flower embellishment on the dress, I also made them into hair bows.Here is the best picture I could find of the flower on a dress (This is my sister's little girl Kyah wearing the flower and you can view her blog here

What you need is:

Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread Ribbon of your choice

1. You sew a basting stich on one edge of the ribbon. For those of you readers that do not know what a basting stich is (Which I learned in the last year) is a loose long easy to remove stitch.

2. You begin to pull one of the 2 ends and let the ribbon bunch up. You keep bunching and pulling the ribbon until the ribbon is bunched all of the way to the end.

3. Then you begin to wrap the ribbon around each other in a circle.4. I sew the flowers onto the dress but I hot glue the flowers to the metal barrett. You can do either or.

Here is Niah wearing the flower I made

Somewhat Simple