December 29, 2007

How I Tackle the Nesting Instinct

It comes and goes. I am talking about the nesting instinct. Mikayla's dresser arrived today and Joe put it together. I am moving stuff around and slowly getting Lily's room ready. It helps me to make lists and I will cross things off as I get them taken care of. Most of the stuff I need to purchase.

* Bedding for crib - Mom is working on
* bath pillow
* Have Joe lift crib mattress
* From the garage grab swing, carseat, play mat and bouncy chair. - Need to wash these covers as well.
* curtains or blinds for windows - I decided at this time I don't need to worry about this.
* incline to sleep - Done - I purchased this today from Babies R Us.
* Cover for carseat - Done - Bought this on ebay and I am waiting for it to arrive - actually I bid on 2 my accident - I am hoping my other bid gets overbid! **Update - I was over bid on by $1 - that was close.
* Swaddle Blanket - Done - Bought this on ebay and I am waiting for it to arrive!!
* Lamp
* 3 tier draws (small) - Done - I grab one from my room and emptied it and put this in the babies room. I set the lamp on top.
* diapers - Done for now I have a stash of cloth diapers and disposables. If I decide I need more cloth diapers I will purchase them later.
* Music maker with lights

* binkies - Done - I purchased these today2 - nipples for bottles - This one is being put on the wait list as well. I am not going to worry about pumping for the first couple of weeks so I don't need to worry about this and numbers 3 and 4 until after she comes. 3 - breast pump 4 - parts for pump

I am ready for Lily to come even with a few things on the list. If she would arrive tomorrow we would be just fine.

December 28, 2007


Yep - You read that right it was -22 this morning at 7:15am. So far this winter we have been very lucky normally we see a week of this type of weather around Thanksgiving but this is the coldest is has been this winter so far. Ever since we had that big snowstorm it has been cloudy and snowing lightly almost every day. Not enough snow to count just light flurries but with the cloud cover it has kept us warmer, around -5 in the morning warming up to about 10. This morning when I woke up I noticed how blue the sky was and not a cloud it sight (I thought this was wonderful because we have not seen much blue sky in the past few weeks and that in of itself is really odd for Gunnison - we average over 300 days of sunshine a year.) Then I thought if the sky is that blue it is pretty darn cold outside and sure enough it was -22! I have forgotten how hard it is to breath outside when it is that cold and don't even think of breathing through your nose - your nose hairs will freeze!!

December 25, 2007

8 Months Pregnant

I am 33 weeks and 4 days pregnant or in other words almost 8 1/2 months pregnant. I feel bigger and fatter every day!! I am so ready to have this baby but I keep telling myself that she still has to cook a little longer. I also keep telling myself I have anywhere from 4 to 7 weeks left. I had better not be overdue - I would not want to be around me that week.

I am going to be busy this week hopefully taking advantage of after Christmas sales and buying the few things that I need. Mostly it is items that I wish I had when Mikayla was born.

Okay - Take a look at these pictures - has the baby dropped?? I have been asking myself this question a lot lately - mostly because of how much time I spend in the bathroom. About 75% of my Braxton Hixs contractions are because I have to go to the bathroom - or if I didn't think I had to go I will get a BH and then have to do. Let me know what you think.

7 Months

7 Months and Then Some

8 months and then some

Looking at these pictures I got big in one month!


Santa came last night and Mikayla had tons of fun opening presents. She even enjoyed handing out presents to Joe and I and the dogs for everyone else to open.

Don't you love the jelly on her lip! Here is a calender Grandma and Grandpa got for her. We put it on the wall and it is magnet so she can change the months as we go.
Poor Teo - Every year he gets at least one bow put on his head. As long as he has a bone to chew on he does not care. It was his birthday yesterday, Teo is now 9 years old.
This was the big present from Mom and Dad. Mikayla loves to help cook in the kitchen either with pretend or for real. Maybe we have a world known chef on our hands!
One last picture of Mikayla and mom. She just has to show her belly whenever we take belly pictures! I will post my belly pictures in a little while.

December 24, 2007

Ice Skating

In Gunnison hockey is a very BIG thing. We have two outdoor rinks - one with a roof and one without and we also have an ice skating pond. We decided to introduce Mikayla to ice skating. We went over on Saturday and she just played on the ice in her boots. Today we rented skates (for $3.00 - can't beat that!) Daddy had to hold her up the whole time but she loved it.

She loved it when we took the skates off so she could just run around in her boots.

Mikayla's New Room

Yesterday Joe and I spent the morning getting Mikayla's new room all ready for her. We had to clean out all of the junk in there since this room was the misc room. Here is a picture of her new room.

It is HUGE for a 2 1/2 year old but she has plenty of room to play. She also gets her own bathroom and front door (just perfect when she is a teenager!!) We did block the door with a blanket to keep the room warmer and a bookshelf in front of it. If you don't know our house has 2 front doors - one right next to the other. She also has her own bathroom. We are in the process of getting the tub cleaned out (another spot where I stuck the extra junk in the house!)

Mikayla loves her new room and has been busy in there.

December 19, 2007

Snow and Cold

After our large snow storm a week or so ago it has been cold. I am not talking about 20 degrees cold but in the morning we are lucky to hit zero before I leave for work. It has been getting down to -15 or lower at night. We are staying pretty warm, our house has single pane windows (but we did cover most of them with plastic) and drafts everywhere. This year we are using our gas fireplace and even though it is on the other side of the house it keeps the house bearable for when we come home and get up in the morning. Our house is heated with individual wall heaters that do not have thermostats so when we turn the heat off it is off. We are going to place a space heater in the living room for when the baby is born so when I get up for nightly feedings I won't freeze my butt off!

This nice thing is that it warmed up a little bit today, it snowed about 2 inches last night and it snowing VERY lightly. So this morning it was 4 degrees on my way to work.

I am now 32 weeks pregnant or 8 months. By this Friday I will be 33 weeks and have 4 to 7 weeks left. I am soooo ready. Amazingly I have been sleeping better the last couple of nights, last night I only woke up once to go to the bathroom - that is a first in a long time. We are in the process of slowly (the story of my life right now) getting Mikayla's room ready. I did pull out the baby clothes and I am getting them washed and sorted. Everything is taking about 10 times longer than it use to because I am trying to be better at resting more. Last night I did no laundry, left the dirty dinner dishes, did not empty the dishwasher and I did not pick up the house. I sat on the couch and relaxed all evening. This is HUGE for me - I always pick up the house when I get home from work and try to keep it pretty picked up in the evening, I always do the dinner dishes and make lunches the night before. I figured I can straighten up the house at lunch time today.

Sorry this is not an exciting post but nothing exciting is going on right now. I will try to post some pictures this weekend.

December 14, 2007

Green Christmas

MSN wrote today on how hard it is to stay green during the holidays. Click here for the article . To me it is always easy to make small changes that will eventually effect the greater good. (Do you like that term?). Here are some simple easy ways to make your Christmas a little more green.

1. Gifts - There are many ways to make Christmas more green with the gifts you give. First you do not have to buy brand new gifts. You can find great things at second hand stores, Craig's List, Paperback swap etc. Mikayla is getting some books I ordered off of Paperback swap for Christmas. Also instead of supporting the huge retailers you can buy locally. Mikayla is getting some great wood alphabet blocks I purchased at a local retailer. Finally instead of buying gifts you can make them (arts and crafts, sewing, knitting). In my case I am making a whole bunch of holiday goodies for the grandparents. Making these cookies has been so much more and more love has gone into these goodies than anything I would have purchased. Mikayla and I have been making cookies every night and she loves to help out. Even if instead of smashing the dough balls she is making snowmen instead!

2. Wrapping Paper - Instead of buying the regular wrapping paper you can use other items to wrap gifts. Old newsprint or the comic section from the newspaper. If you are giving towels or sheets use those to wrap the rest. I recycle my old gift bags that I receive. Finally you can also purchase recycled wrapping paper.

3. Christmas Tree - The best way to stay green is to buy an articical tree and use the same one every year. They last forever. If you have to have the real tree you can look into purchasing a tree that has a root bulb on it. Then after you are done with Christmas you can plant it. I recently heard about this and thought it was an excellent idea, except there is no where around here that you can do that. Look into your local tree farms to see if they do this.

4. Christmas Lights - Now you can buy energy efficient Christmas lights. This will save money on your electric bill and these lights put off less carbon than the regular lights.

5. Christmas Cards - I love them and I hate them! In order to be more green here you can email everyone the Christmas card instead of buying the cards and mailing them. You can also find recycled Christmas cards on line.

These are just 5 simple ideas to make your Christmas a little more green. What other ideas do you have?

December 10, 2007

Doctor's Visit

I had my regular doctor's visit today. The doctor was concerned about how often I am having the Braxton Hix contractions but I am not dilated and the cervix is nice and thick. So no concern right now about early deliver.

The little one is already upside down. Yes the doctor had fun pushing on her head - not fun for me! I was glad to hear that the little one has flipped because now there is no concern about a breeched baby. I was not worried about this because Mikayla flipped about this stage a well - but you never know.

Now I just have to be patient and wait 9 more weeks until my due date of February 8th - this is hard because I want to see this little one so bad. I know that if I was working on her room I would be happier but that can't happen until Mikayla is settled in her new room.

Mikyala is saying that her current room is baby sister's room and the other room is her room - so that is a good sign.

2 Year Old Chores

As Mikayla is getting older she wants to do what mommy is doing. Here is a list of chores that she helps mommy with and she actually gets upset sometimes if I do them without asking for her help.

1 - Make her bed
2 - Make Mommy and Daddy's bed
3 - She puts her socks, panties, PJ's and daddy's socks away on her own.
4 - She folds the kitchen towels and puts them away.
5 - Picks up her toys, this takes encouraging because usually when the toys get picked up it is time for bed.
6 - She also loves to help mommy cook in the kitchen.
7 - She feeds the dogs. She knows they get 2 scoops and where to put the food down for each dog.
8 - She also lets the dogs inside and outside but needs lots of help turning the door handle.

Mikayla is becoming a great little helper - let's see how long this lasts! What does your little one do around the house to help out?

December 9, 2007

The Snow is Over!!

It snowed Thursday night, all day Friday, all day Saturday and it finally stopped Saturday evening. All said we received about 2 1/2 or 3 feet of snow. Crested Butte, the ski area, which is 30 miles north of us received over 80 inches in 7 days. Joe went skiing on Saturday and loved it.

Here is a picture of our backyard .

This is another picture of the backyard. Since the snow was so heavy and wet all of the willows that line our creeks are laying down - now we can see our neighbors - yuck! We loved the privacy they gave us. Most people didn't even realize that our house is down here from the main road but you can sure see it now.

December 7, 2007

Its Snowing!!!!

I have to admit that yesterday when my sister wrote in an email that it was snowing where she lives in Kansas I was pretty jealous. Yesterday it was rainy all day, which is odd for living at almost 8,000 feet in December. By late afternoon the rain turned to a snow rain mix and by bedtime it was snowing big flakes.

Around 5:30ish the electricity went out. I was having trouble sleeping all night due to Bratxon Hix contractions so I was tossing and turning all night. Eventually I did notice that we had no electricity. It did come back on about 6:45am - good thing because I needed to take a shower.

I looked outside and this is what I saw.
The snow is a heavy wet snow so we have tree limbs all over the yard - large ones!

Last night we received about 18 inches of snow and it is still snowing. It is not suppose to stop until sometime tomorrow! This is what I love about winter!!!

In order to get to our house you have to cross a bridge and we share our island with one other house. Joe had to go outside and help the neighbor remove downed tree limbs from in front of the bridge. Then when I was leaving to go to work about 45 minutes later I had to remove a couple more in order to get out. As I was removing it I heard another tree limb crack and fall as well.

This is a cute picture of Mikayla wearing daddy's ski helmet last night.

December 5, 2007

Braxton Hix Question

This is for all you mamas - that haven't forgotten what it is like to be pregnant (sorry mom!)

Yesterday I was feeling a lot of pressure in my lower belly (below the belly button). It would feel as if the baby was putting weight in one place but it was spread across the entire belly. It would make my belly get hard - not my entire belly but from about an inch or two above the belly button all the way down. If I got up to go to the bathroom it would stop. It was happening a lot yesterday. Was this a Braxton Hix contraction?

Today - so far - when she puts weight in one spot it hurts a bit so it defiantly feels different than yesterday. Not a bad pain just an pain from her moving and pushing.

So am I have Braxton Hix or not? I did not really get them with Mikayla - or maybe I did. I felt this type of pressure with Mikayla as well.

December 4, 2007

Some People Are Just Crazy!!

As you know I live in Gunnison, Colorado and boy does it get cold here. This winter and even last winter has been unseasonably warm. This time of year you can normally expect the temperatures to be -25 in the morning - or close to that. It has just recently gotten cold but nothing close to the -25. In the morning it is between 5 and 10 and then it warms up to a cold 30ish degrees. To me this means, pants, heavy sweaters, puffy jackets, etc... I normally do not wear a hat and gloves if I am just running errands.

Well - back to the title of this blog entry yesterday I saw one person walking around town in a short sleeve shirt. At first I thought maybe she cannot afford a jacket, but then why wear short sleeves. The I noticed that she was walking a few blocks and it even looked like the cold was not bothering her. I would have had my arms crossed and been rubbing my arms to stay warm. Not her she looked liked she was enjoying a nice walk in the spring or fall! Then later yesterday I saw someone wearing shorts!

I guess some people are just crazy - or at least they look crazy to me!

November 30, 2007

30 Weeks - Only 10 left to go!!

Today I am 30 weeks pregnant or 7 1/2 months. I have 10 weeks to go or if I am lucky as with Mikayla I only have 7 more weeks - yikes I don't think I will be ready to have this baby in 7 weeks but I am ready to be done being pregnant. I just feel huge. I wish I would wear my yoga pants everyday and feel comfy. I am also very uncomfortable at work - I like being able to relax at home. Relaxing on the couch is much more comfortable than sitting in my chair at work. I do feel sorry for women who work and have to be on their feet a ton - I could not do that now.

I still have quite a bit to do before I have this baby:
1 - Paint Mikayla's new room - We are going to start this, this weekend.

2 - Carpet in Mikayla's new room

3 - Once number 1 and 2 - move Mikayla into her new room. I want this completed by the end of December.

4 - Organize the baby's room.

5 - Buy things for the baby - (Incline to sleep, bathtub pillow, Swaddle Me sleeping blankets) - My friend Jen is going to lend me her breast pump but I know that there is something I need to buy. Need to remember to ask her what it is.

6 - Buy a couple more All in One cloth diapers and some inserts

7 - Pull out all of Mikayla's old baby clothes, wash them and organize them.

Hey - looking at my list it is not too bad. The big this is getting Mikayla into her own room and we starting that process this weekend. But of course I want most of this done while I am trying to get ready for the holiday season.

November 29, 2007

Chevy Truck

I have a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer and we bought it in October 2005. At the end of December 2005 we drove to Steamboat, it was a 4 or 5 hour car ride from here. Just as we were getting to Steamboat the oil gage kept climbing and everything in the car manual mentioned the oil gage getting lower not climbing so I was not too worried. After that the oil gage slowly started to not work. I took it into the shop but they did not know what was wrong with it because they could get it to go wrong - at this time you had to drive a while to see that it was not working. Eventually it gave out all together. I took it into the shop a few months ago and had them take a look at it and the dealer said that I needed a new cluster (something electronic to do with the gages in the car). The fix was about $400 and I said don't fix it because I don't have $400 to make my oil gage work.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving we got in the car to head up to my brothers and we were not even 20 miles from home and we noticed that the speedometer was not working at all. It said we were going 30 and we were actually doing around 60. Right now the speedometer doesn't even move. Oh and the RPM gage only works sometimes. The car went back to the shop so they could order the cluster. I asked the guy if they see this problem a lot. (In Gunnison it seems as if half the cars are the Chevy Trailblazer) The shop said that they see this problem all of the time.

This is really upsetting at the quality of workmanship in the US and the quality of workmanship that Chevy and GM is producing. When I buy a fairly new car I would except something like this to work for a long time. This was one of the main reasons for buying an '04 - I would not have to deal with maintenance issues like this for a long time. This cluster started going when the car was less than 1 1/2 years old. If I had bought this car brand new this type of thing (I would hope) would have been covered under the warranty. What kind of vehicles is Chevy creating? I don't think I will ever buy a Chevy again. I think I will stick with foreign cars.

At this point I wish I would have kept my 1997 Nissan Sentra. It was a great little car, no frills, no maintenance, great gas mileage. The one thing it did not have was room for me, Mikayla and 2 big dogs.

I think the next car we will buy will be something smaller, more gas efficient and another Nissan or a Toyota. Joe loves his Toyota 4-Runner that has about 150,000 miles on it and it is still running great with no special maintenance. What are your experiences with buying new cars?

Mikayla and Cats and Christmas

We are pretty sure that Mikayla is taking after daddy in the fact that she is mildly allergic to cats. We went to visit my brother and they have a cat. Mikayla is exposed to a cat at daycare but I think that cat in outside more and tends to hide when the kids are around. The first day one eye started tearing and the longer we stayed there her eyes were red and gooey. I kept thinking it was a cold and it would start to get worse. We left on Sunday on by the time we got home her eyes were just fine. Se she can never live with a cat but she can be around them. Joe is the same. He actually was never bothered by the cat this time but it has bothered him before. With about the same mild reaction.

Joe just made my Christmas giving season much easier. I always stress out what to get the in-laws, will they like what I buy, will they use it - and his dad is tough! I can only buy him Budweiser and black jeans from the Gap so many years in a row - but I know he will use those presents!! I am going to be making holiday cookies, treats and breads for everyone!! I really enjoy baking and I know his dad loves the chocolate covered pretzels. I also know that if someone sent me homemade holiday treats in the mail I would love it as well. Know I just have to think of things to get Mikayla and Joe for Christmas.

November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

For Thanksgiving we headed up to see my brother, sister-in-law and niece for Thanksgiving. They outside of Sheridan, Wyoming or about 10 miles from Montana. It took us 10 hours to get there and I was worried about how Mikayla would do on such a long car trip. She did great - I don't care what anyone says but a portable DVD player saved us.

Mikayla's cousin is 7 and they had tons of fun playing together. It was almost like being on vacation - I could sit and read a book while they ran off and played!

My brother has two wonderful dogs. One is an English Mastiff who weighs at least 150 pounds and is taller than Mikayla. He is taller than the table.

I was using my brother's digital camera and thought I would take some good 7 month pregnant photos since they other ones did not turn out.

Man - I am getting big.
"f mom is showing her belly - I have to too!!"

November 19, 2007

Pictures - 7 Months

Here is my 7 month pregnant pictures. We REALLY need a new digital camera. I hope you get the idea! I will try to take some better pictures this week during the day.

Isn't see a cutie!!!

Mikayla and Daddy relaxing on the couch.

Let's see how much I have grown!

5 Months

21 Weeks (5 months and 1 week)

6 months

25 Weeks (6.5 months

7 Months

So far I have gained 26 pounds. My only complaint is I feel huge and my belly is getting big and I still have 3 months to go! My back pain is bearable but always there. I still cannot walk more than a few blocks at a time until my back really starts to hurt. I can also tell my belly is getting big because at work we have a work table and I really have to reach to get a pen in the middle of the table (go up on my toes!).

November 16, 2007

Misc. Stuff

Mikayla and her big kid bed
Mikayla is in her big kid bed. We have the box spring and mattress sitting on the floor. The first night she did great. Then the second night she woke up crying around 2am. I went into her room and she was laying on her back at the other end of the bed crying. I really don't know why. I asked if she had a bad dream and she said yes, but she might have been saying yes because I asked. Then last night she did fall out of the bed and woke me up again crying. Her room is very small and we still have her crib in it just in case she wants to sleep in her crib. But ever since we put the bed in there she has not even mentioned it. I think I will move the crib out tonight (I hope I can get it through the door without taking the crib apart) and put the crib mattress next to her bed in case she falls out again.

Secretarial Help
I am trying to start up a secretarial business where I word process documents (letters, resumes, spreadheets, etc..) from home. I dream of making between $2000 and $2500 a month so I don't have to work full time and I could daycare out of the picture. We will see if I can develop it that far. Wish me luck.

People have asked for an update on our house. Well my secret plan did not work since it is still not under contract. We have a couple that is still interested in buying it but they are trying to get numbers from contractors to see if it will work. During late October and into early November hunting is a VERY big thing in Gunnison. Therefore the town shuts down, so this couple has had some delays in getting the numbers. I did run into the husband the other day and he said they are still very interested. So keep your figures crossed.

Does anyone want a 1969 trailer that needs work for only $7000? We have been trying to sell this trailer for a few months but have had no luck. Joe thinks it is in much better shape than it is but it could use a new kitchen and new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. We did put new carpet in the rest of the trailer. I just want it sold.

7 Months Pregnant
I have finally hit 28 weeks!!! Hey - third trimester here I come. I have 12 more weeks to go to hit 40 weeks but if this baby comes early like Mikayla I have 10 weeks to go - that does seem scare even though I am so ready to have this little baby but she still needs time to cook! She is very busy rolling around, kicking much harder, and just plain active - of course I have noticed it more because she is most active in the middle of the night and I have been awake lately with Mikayla in the middle of the night. I am getting bigger and bigger every day. I look at my belly and think I was this big when Mikayla was born - I am sure that is not true but I look huge! I will get pictures this weekend. I am glad that most of it is my belly.

November 15, 2007

Pumpkin Receipes

This past weekend I made these yuumy and super moist pumpkin muffins, I didn't even realize that they were vegan until I got to the end I was wondering about the eggs. I went back to the receipe and then realized it was vegan.

Pumpkin MuffinsIngredients

1/4 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar (or white sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses)

1/2 cup applesauce

2 cups pureed pumpkin or squash (I used 2 cans of pumpkin instead of measuring out 2 cups)

1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg (I also added cloves and all spice)

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin tin. (This recipe makes 12 muffins.)

Cream together margarine and vegan sugar.

Add applesauce, pumpkin, and spice.

Mix well and add flour and soda.

Fill muffin tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

The muffins don't rise much, so don't be shy about piling the batter in.These muffins are great warm, but keep for days. Most people don't believe me when I tell them these muffins are vegan, because they cook up so light and fluffy. Also, people are shocked to find they are made with 100% whole wheat flour.

I also made a pumpkin cheesecake that was super yummy. This receipe made one pie, plus a smaller one.

Pumkpin Cheesecake

I had trouble getting the indregiants to list first since the webpage is split in 2. The website is

When making cheesecakes make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together to create a smooth texture. Cold cheese is harder to beat and you can end up with graininess. Judging when a cheesecake is fully baked always presents a challenge. They are very deceptive as they do need to be removed from the oven when the center is still wobbly and wet looking. Cracking can also be a problem. As a cheesecake bakes its moisture evaporates. If too much moisture is lost (when overcooked), or if it evaporates too quickly (oven temperature too hot) cracking will occur. So be sure to follow your recipe's instructions. Also, to prevent cracking, shortly after you remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake has completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This allows the cake to set, flavors to meld, and produces a creamier texture.

You can use canned pure pumpkin in this recipe or make your own pumpkin puree. Fortunately there are excellent brands of canned pumpkin on the market which match the quality of homemade. But if you want to make your own puree, use the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). To make the puree, cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy fibers, and place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. Can strain through cheesecloth to extract all the liquid. Cool before using..

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground ginger snap cookies, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.
For Cheesecake: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.
Pour the filling over the chilled ginger crust and place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees C (165 degrees C) and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10 - 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan.

Meanwhile whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake and rotate the pan slightly to evenly distribute the topping. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 8 minutes to set the topping. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before serving.
Serves 10-12 people.

Crust: (I used a store bought graham cracker crust)
1 cup (100 grams) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cups (50 grams) finely ground ginger cookies, homemade or store bought
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
4 - 5 tablespoons (56 - 60 grams) unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup (145 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound (454 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

Mikayla's Birth Story - Hospital Birth With Meds

Kirsten over at GreenStyleMom is looking for birth stories. So here is Mikayla's birth story.

In wee early morning hours on May 6, 2005 I woke up with an intense pain in my back, but I just rolled over and fell back to sleep. This went on until about 4am when I really woke and started to wonder why does my back hurt so bad? I realized that I must be in labor but I am only 37 1/2 weeks so it is probably Braxton Hixs. The pain in my back was pretty bad so I got up and took a bath. I have heard that sometimes a bath will help. Well it didn't and I was still in denial so when 7am rolled around I took a shower and got ready for work. Hubby and I headed to work thinking since I was so early the contractions will stop.

At work I was attempting to concentrate and get some work done but it was hard. The contractions were coming about every 5 minutes or so. I called the doctor and he said that the only way know for sure was to come in and he would examine me. I went to the doctors about 2:30pm and he said, yup you are in labor and have already dilated 3 cm.

Hubby and I headed home - and of course the nesting set it. I HAD to clean the house because I did not want to come home with a brand new baby and a dirty house. I took another bath around 6:30 or so in order to ease the pain of the contractions. The doctor called while I was in the tub and wanted to see how I was doing. He asked me to head to the hospital at 7:30 to get checked out and see how far along I was. By the time I got out of tub I was ready for an epidural, the contractions were getting stronger and I had been in labor since 4am and I was over it!

At the hospital they did the worse thing in the world for a woman in labor they made me sit in a bed and not move for over 30 minutes while they hooked me up to monitor my contractions. They also examined me and found out that I had only progressed to 4 cm since 2:30 that afternoon. The nurse was very nice but she would not give me drugs and she sent me home. She said to come back when the contractions got worse or if I saw any blood.

Joe and I headed home about 8pm or so. We grabbed a quick bit at McDonald's and went home to relax. The nurse actually gave me a sleeping pill to help me relax a bit because she knew I had been up since 4am. What was she thinking???? I was having horrible contractions every 2-3 minutes - Did she really think I could sleep??? At 9pm I went to the bathroom and there was a very small amount of blood and I felt the contractions and really sky-rocketed so we headed back to the hospital.

Once we arrived back at the hospital I promptly went to the bathroom and threw up and the nurse was so excited. She new that I was in the transition stage, just where she wanted me. She made me get back into that bed and go through the whole monitoring of the contractions again. I asked for the epidural again and she said she work on getting that for me. But she had to get my doctor and the epidural doctor to the hospital first. During this time I was watching the clock with every contraction. I would have about 15 seconds of peace, then 30 seconds of horrible shivering, then the contraction and then the process would start all over again.

At this point it is more Hubby's memory than mine - my doctor arrived before then epidural doctor (funny because my doctor lives 30 minutes from the hospital and the other doctor was only a few minutes away from the hospital). My doctor was getting very upset and yelling at the epidural doctor because if I did not get that epidural in they I was going to have this baby with nothing.

Finally they got the epidural in. It took a few tries. The first time they tried to have me sit up, Mikayla's heart rate dropped and they had me lay back down. Second time they were able to get it in and I finally started to relax and enjoy this. Before I knew it, it was time to push.

I noticed that they were watching Mikayla's heart rate pretty close but were not saying anything about it. While I was pushing the doctor was using a manual vacuum on Mikayla's head to help her out. Hubby had one job during the pushing stage. To put his hands on my belly and when he felt me having a contraction to tell me to push. I just had the epidural and I could not feel anything. Hubby was too busy laughing and joking with the doctor to do his job. But after 20 minutes of pushing, Mikayla arrived at 12:17am on May 7, 2005. She had the cord wrapped around her neck once and that is why her heart rate had dropped during labor. The doctor did say that she was so low in the birth canal that if he was really worried about her he would have just reached up and grabbed her (ouch!)

Mikayla weighed in at 5 pounds 3 ounces and 18.5 inches long. She had a head of black hair which eventually either fell out or turned to her current dirty blond almost brown hair.

We stayed a total of 2 nights in the hospital and we loved our night nurse that helped deliver Mikayla. After we headed home and begin the journey of parents.

As most of you know our second little girl is due on February 8th and I will post that birth story when she is born.

November 13, 2007

Whole Wheat Bread - Take 2

I tried to make wheat bread again and this time I took my mom's advice and used half wheat flour and half white flour (maybe a little more wheat than white). Well it rose but not as much as it should have. I have tried it yet but I am pretty sure it is going to be pretty hard - but not as hard as last time. I think I am going to give up - at least until we decide to move to a lower elevation. I will continue to spend the money on healthy bread.

One way I am going to try and save money is to do one egg dish for dinner every week (quich or eggs for dinner) and one meatless dish. Last night I made lasagna with my own sauce and I did not put any meat in it. I am planning the quiche for Wednesday night. So I am starting to meal plan a little bit. I also made some yummy pumkpin muffins - well they turned into pumpkin bread because I don't have a muffin tin. Mikayla helped me make them and she had a blast. She kept saying I want muffin man mommy. I found a vegan receipe and it already replaced the oil with applesauce, no eggs and it called for whole wheat flour. It is super yummy and the bread is so moist. I will post the receipe once I get home from work tonight.

I hope that next week at the grocery store I will only need to buy produce, one bag of chips (our down fall I know!!) milk, yogurt, cheese, bread.

November 11, 2007

No More NaBloPoMo

I tried but it did not happen. I have missed 2 days of blogging so I am no longer doing the NaBloPoMo - oh well. I am been busy and I normally don't blog too much on the weekends.

I am 27 weeks pregnant, this coming Friday I will be 28 weeks and 7 months months pregnant and I am already getting the nesting instincts. I wish Mikayla was already in her new room and the babies room was all set up or we were more in the middle of the process than we are. I am working on getting Mikayla a twin bed. I was going to buy one on Friday but a co-worker said her mom might have one - so I am waiting to hear from here. I was ready to buy Mikayla a new dresser and another co-worker said she might have one so I am waiting on that. I would rather not spend money so I just have to wait. It is also getting much harder to put Mikayla in her crib with my big belly getting in way! We also have to get carpet and her new room painted - that is something I will probably work on this coming week.

I am been busy buying cloth diapers for the baby - I have purchased about 12 all in ones and the average price since they are used is $6 to $7. Brand new these diapers would be $10-$20. I just have to wait for them to arrive.

Every few months we go through the same thing - trying to get Mikayla's bangs to grow out. We want her hair to be all one length (like moms) but we give up when she can't see and she refuses the "pretties" in her hair. I noticed today that she was looking up to look under her bangs - but i have to stand tough! She is getting better at wearing the pretties longer because she realizes that she can't see without them.

That is our update for our house!

November 8, 2007


This is what I was worried about when I committed to blog every day for the month of November - what do I say - it is not like I lead an exciting life. Well this is what you get - diapers and weight!!

I have been busy buying All in One Cloth Diapers for the new baby. I found a called where I can purchase All In One (no cover needed) for Preemie (4-7 pounds) for $9.00 or $8.00 if I order 12 or more and size newborn (6-10 pounds) for $10.00 or $9.00. But I have been trying to buy them used, to save money and to recycle someone elses. Don't worry they are clean. I have been on where (if I look hard enough) I can buy ones for under $10.00. But some of those mamas must have spent over$20.00 per diaper to be selling a used diaper for $15 plus!!

Next question is what time of day do you weigh yourself? I normally weigh myself first thing in the morning, naked so that I am at my absolute lowest but then at the same time I know I will naturally gain a few pounds by the end of the day. What are you opinions on this???

It is after 5pm so that means time to go home and see the family!

November 7, 2007

Favorite TV Show

I am having trouble to think of something so I thought I would ask what are you favorite TV shows that you have to watch every week.

For me I have to watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday night and ER on Thursday nights. I am also getting into Life but with a 2 1/2 year old it is so hard to get into a new TV show and the only 9pm TV show that I can stay up late enough for is ER. It is a good thing I don't live on the east coast where TV shows start at 8pm instead of 7pm.

What are you favorite TV shows?

November 6, 2007

Easy Ways to Start Being a Little More Green

Everywhere you look now days you hear about global warming. A very basic explanation of global warming is that we are putting way too much pollution into the atmosphere and the pollution has no place to go. The pollution is trapped due to our atmosphere. This creates a barrier and it allows the suns rays to come into the atmosphere and then the pollution traps the suns rays instead of allowing them back out. This in turn leads to the temperature of the earth to rise.

1 - Turn down thermostat or better yet purchase a programmable thermostat and sit it at 55 when you are not there.

2 - Unplug appliances. Your TV can draw up 6% of excess energy when it is not turned on. I know that a lot of lamps and appliances are hard to unplug because the plugs are hidden but unplug what you can. We have a space heater in our bedroom and that is only plugged in when it is in use. I also unplug my microwave and dishwasher when not in use. Also don’t leave you cell phone charger plugged in when not in use.

3 - Go Green in Your Home - When the regular light bulbs burn out replace them with compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. You will not notice a difference in the type of light. I notice that when I first turn one on it is not as bright as a regular light bulb would be but if I wait just a couple of minutes it is a bright as the regular ones. The CFL light bulbs last 12 times as long as regular light bulbs and they use 1/5 the energy.

4 - Stop using paper towels - all they do is create waste. Pick up a bunch of dish towels and wash cloths from Wal-mart and use those or make your own. It took a little while to get out of the habit of always reaching for a paper towel but now I never use paper towels. I use my dish rags for napkins at the dinner table, to clean my kitchen, clean up spills and messes, cover things in the microwave and for all of my general house cleaning. Whatever I would use a paper towel for I now use my kitchen rages. Hey if you are adventurous you can even give up toilet paper and use rags instead - but not me - I will have to stick with toilet. Also buy recycled toilet paper and paper towels to help the environment.

5 - Stop using plastic bags. Stock up on the cloth shopping bags and when ever you go into a store grab your own. I am pretty good about using my own cloth bags in the grocery store but I have to get better about using them when I go into other stores. You can find some cheap ones at your local grocery store now.

6 - Drive Less - Whenever you can walk, ride your bike, carpool or just combine all of your errands into one big one.

7 - Recycle - Recycling one pound of material equals one pound less of carbon or pollution going into the air. Recycling is easy. Check out your local recycling center to first see what you can recycle. I have two trash cans that sit next to each other. One is for recyclables (glass - green, clean and brown, plastics numbers 1 and 2, newspapers, magazines, tin cans and aluminum cans), then once a week I take the trash can to the recycle center. Other items you can recycle - your old sneakers. Ask at your local footwear store if you can donate old sneakers and then they will send them to third world countries. My local store offers me a 10% discount off a new pair if I bring in an old pair. You can also take them to any Niketown or Nike Factory Store or mail them to Nike.

These are just some small ways to help everyone live a little more green without changing much. Check out the following blogs for much more information. I am no expert and there is A LOT more that I can do. But if we all take small steps leading to larger ones we will make the earth a better place for our children.

November 5, 2007

Sagging Breasts NOT do to Breast Feeding????

I am pretty bored at work today in reality I just don't feel like working. I am reading articles on MSN and came across this one. Go ahead and take a couple of minutes to read it.

Now - Can you believe it - they are blaming sagging breasts on smoking not on nursing. I am sorry but I have to say something. Before Mikayla was born I was a solid A, then I got pregnant and I eventually made it to a size B while pregnant and a C while I was nursing. I only nursed for 3 months and I have never in my life smoke a cigarette. After nursing Mikayla I went down to an A minus and even at that small they were sagging. Come on people - nursing does lead to sagging breasts. When ever I see a hot model on TV with great boobs I normally make the comment - you can tell she has never had a kid!!

HELP - How to Make Wheat Bread

This weekend I decided to make my own whole wheat bread and I had one big problem. It did not rise. When I put the yeast into the warm water I made sure the water was at the correct temperature (115ish), I added a little bit of sugar (1/2 teaspoon), and I let it sit there to make sure it was bubbling and active. It might have risen a bit the first time but it never doubled in size. I kept waiting and I was hoping it would go but it never did.

Next question - I did finally bake it so what do I do with brick whole wheat bread - since I don't want to waste it - any ideas?

I need advise on how to make whole wheat yeast bread - also, please remember I live at 7700 feet.

Also I am pretty sure I have made white yeast bread and have not had this problem, the problem only occurs when I use whole wheat. Another I did not do was knead the bread for 20 minutes.

November 4, 2007

Saving Money on Food

Thanks for everyone's comments on how to save money on food. I do plan on making my own bread this week. I also know that I do spend a lot of money on prepacked processed foods, yogurt drinks for Mikayla, rice mixes, pasta mixes etc... I also buy a lot of processed lunch entrees for my lunches during the week. I am trying to stop buying as many of these and taking more sandwiches because I am tried of the Lien Cusines lunch entrees and I know they cost a lot. As to a meal plan it is a great idea but Joe is the cook in the family and he is not a meal planner. He likes to look in the fridge and pantry and come up with something to eat.

I should try to plan one meatless meal a week and one egg meal a week. I do love quiche. As for the beans - not gonna happen. I really don't like beans that much. I will eat them but not on a regular basis.

Jen you mentioned the fat - don't worry I still eat probably too much, olive oil, cheese, junk food. I get plenty of fat in my diet - trust me!! I do eliminate it where I can, skim milk, low fat turkey and beef, etc...

This week I made a grocery list before I went to the store and I did pretty darn good about sticking to it but I was still shocked when it came to $153 without any meat products. I took stock of the pantry before I went. I did need dog food and that was $30 and I bought some eye cream and that was $13 but even with those purchases I was over $100 and I was hoping the bill would come in less than $100 - and the dogs do need food.

If you come up with any more ideas let me know.

November 3, 2007

Clean House

I grew up in a very clean house. It was always picked up, Mom and Dad would clean the house every Saturday morning. The dinner dishes were done right after dinner - no dishes were left to the next morning. This "groomed" me to be a clean person as well. I have always enjoyed a clean house but I would also let the dinner dishes wait until the next day to be done, especially since Joe and I tend to eat late. After I had Mikayla, well maybe a few months before, I turned from a clean person to an anally clean person. I pick up the house every day after work, I would vacuum the house a few times a week (this is needed with 2 hair dogs), and wipe down the house. Then on Saturday I go through and clean the bathrooms, sweep and mop the floors (we have no carpet except for a couple of rugs), clean up the kitchen, etc... Now that I am six months pregnant and my back bothers me a lot I have slowed down. I don't vacuum the floors during the week, I still pick up, and today I even said - I am not sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor this weekend - who cares! Did I really say that? Yep - it looks fine.

If you were to come to my house it looks clean, but it is the deep cleaning I hate and don't bother with much. As I am writing this I see a huge cobweb in the window sill but it can sit there, I should clean out my cabinets because they are pretty dirty, and the fridge only gets cleaned when it starts to smell.

Normally I clean up the kitchen after dinner because Joe cooks dinner. Last night I did part of it, planning on finishing it today. I took a bath and while I was in there Joe cleaned up the whole kitchen. He said he has noticed that I have slowed down on things lately. Oh well - at least it got done and I have a more relaxed Saturday.

Well - I am off to my massage. My sister got me this as a birthday present and I am going to enjoy it!

What are you anal about?

November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween

Last night Mikayla went trick or treating for the first time. She dressed up as a pumpkin. She had lots of fun and was pretty darn cute when she would whisper "trick or treat" and then "thank you". The big thing here is to go down town to all of the shops on Main Street. Mikayla did not like the scary customs, she would whine and say noooo and try to get away. I thought it was odd because she has never seen anything scare and we have never addressed it. It was a natural reaction. Here are the pictures you have been waiting for.

The pumpkin all ready to go trick or treating.

Isn't she too cute!!

Look at that smile!!!

Trick and Treating!!

The Trick and Treaters on Main Street - Look at all of them.

We actually had trick or treaters at our house for the first time in three years. We live down a dark dirt road (about 200 yards) off of the main street. Last night trick or treaters ventured down the driveway with there flashlights. I was so impressed, they got some of Mikayla's candy - just don't tell her!