Thursday, February 23, 2012

My little kumquat

My baby may barely be the size of a kumquat, but he/she has no doubt moved in and is working on making itself quite comfortable in my belly. I still sit and stare at my growing belly in awe that there is yet another life inside my womb. Sometimes I get teary eyed, sometimes I get so excited I want to burst into joyful laughter, and sometimes I am stricken with immense fear. I fear whether I am capable of raising another baby alongside my precious toddler. I fear that I will fail in some way as a mother, and that all my baby instincts have shot off into la-la land, never to be found again. I fear that my home will crumble into shambles because I won't be able to keep up with two little ones, and all the laundry, cleaning, cooking, and organizing that needs to coincide in perfect harmony.

But amongst that fear I have found peace, peace that God obviously sees beyond what I can see. He knows my weaknesses and my strengths, He has allowed me to raise one little boy and apparently He knows that my boy needs a sibling and that I must be capable. With the knowledge that this is God's plan, God's story weaving in and out of my life; I find strength. Strength when I feel so sick that I don't know how I will make it through the day, and suddenly it's nighttime and I realize we made it. Strength when I lay my head down on the floor because I feel too sick to stand upright and my precious boy comes barreling over to snuggle up next to me. Strength when my sense of smell is no longer my enemy and I can pick up a pot and pan to make dinner. Strength when those knubby little hands wrap around my neck in a bear hug. Strength when I look down and see my belly expanding and growing bigger each day, and I am reminded of God's hands knitting that kumquat of a baby together in my womb. God makes no mistakes. Nothing is without intention. How thankful I am to serve a God who knows me better than myself.

I honestly wasn't intending on laying out my innermost fears for the world to see. But apparently my heart was in much need of a venting session. I actually was wanting to start a weekly post about the development of my baby. Something that I have seen on several other blogs, and thought, what a  perfect way to keep my family and friends in the baby loop.....especially those that are a state away.

While this picture is actually from last week, not a whole lot has changed other than my belly is starting to look that size in the morning rather than just in the evening.

How far along? 10 weeks, 6 days
Total weight gain/loss: about 4 lbs
Maternity clothes? No, not yet...however I have a hard time buttoning my pants, and have started wearing the belly band from time to time.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Horrible, horrible sleep....I seem to sleep soundly from 10:30-2:30....and then am wide awake for a good chunk of the night!
Best moment this week: Actually looking somewhat pregnant!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Sushi and fried...runny eggs
Movement: Not yet
Food cravings: anything and everything avocado, citrus, tomato based pasta dishes, flour tortillas, plain bagels with cream cheese, watermelon sour patch...and yesterday I wanted potato chips like none other (I resisted the urge).
Anything making you queasy or sick: coffee, and anything with a white creamy base (such as alfredo sauce, or soup with a cream base.....oh man, I need to stop thinking about it)
Have you started to show yet: I think I am, my bump seemed to really pop out in the evening, but as of this morning it was pretty much prominent in the AM.
Gender prediction: Girl
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out?  in
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Well, this can change in the blink of an eye...for the most part happy, but I can cry at the drop of a pin.....and may have been a little irrational earlier this week when we were late for a Dr. appointment, sorry honey.
Weekly Wisdom: Eat what sounds good at the moment.....because if you try and eat something because it is healthy even though it makes you may not ever be able to look at it again (spinach).
Looking forward to: Feeling movement and finding out the gender!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet 16

Guess who is 16 months old today? My sweet little munchy poo.

To celebrate we took him to his 15 month well baby check up (I know, I know....better late than never). He checked out awesome....however, it looks like he may not be the tall boy we once thought. My husband blames it on my side of the family, I say let's just wait and see what happens in the next 5 years. I'm pretty sure he has a good chance of passing me up in all my shortness. Here are the official stats from his appointment.

Age: 16 months
weight: 22-1 lbs. (40th %)
Height: 30 in. (7 %)
Head Circumference: 46 (30%)

Even with the whole 7th percentile hiccup, his pediatrician thought he was developing perfectly normal and was very pleased with all that he was learning.  He still is not walking by choice but can and will when there is a lot of clapping and loud applause to be had.   He has also reached the wonderful age of tantrums. I couldn't help but chuckle the other day when I was reading about the typical development of a 15 month old, and they started to say beware of the tantrums. Well, at least I know he is right on target! While he is still his sweet compliant self 95% of the day, the other 5% he spends branching out into the world of pushing mama's buttons. At least I know he has a will and a way...
And someday my little boy that will come in very, very handy.

Until then, I will continue to stare into those piercing blue eyes and get lost in their innocence and sweetness. Here are some pictures I took of him after he had climbed up onto his new favorite place to sit and rock.

And then he decided to drag out every single toy and scatter them frivolously about the living room area.

Too much 16 month cuteness for me to handle! Hope you all enjoyed!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cheesecake as Promised

This is going to be quick mainly because I have caught what my little pumpkin had, and sleeping sounds much more appealing than writing. Let me just say this, if you need to bring a dessert to some function there is no better choice than the cheesecake. But add white chocolate to that cheesecake and suddenly people will be lining up at your doorstep begging for a bite.  Ok, so maybe not....but I can almost guarantee you will be requested to bring this cheesecake over and over again.

I'm about to get real with you. I actually do not like cheesecake very much. Gasp. It's true, I enjoy making it and serving it much more than the actual eating of it. I like to have about one single bite, and then I'm good for the year. But oddly I make cheesecakes often, mainly because there are so many varieties, people always love them, and they look like a lot more work than they really are. Actually, it seems many people are frightened by making cheesecake, and all I have to say is....make sure you have a good topping.  While cheesecakes are fairly easy to whip up, the hardest part is it keep them from cracking. Even after all my years of making cheesecakes I still get cracks. But nothing a pretty piling of berries can't handle.  Or try a whipped sour cream compliments the tartness of the cream cheese and adds a nice silky dimension. Or you can do what I did for the shower and accidentally add a whole extra cup of heave whipping actually worked, and there was absolutely not a single crack in the whole cake. Perhaps God was being kind and knew I might crack myself if one showed up.

Whatever topping you choose, make sure you use this as your base.  I had originally planned on adding fresh raspberries to the top as requested by the mama-to-be. However, when I pulled them out of the refrigerator I realized I had a bowl full of fuzzy berries. Thankfully I had leftover strawberries and blueberries from the yogurt parfaits. Whew.

Ok, I'm done blabbing.

White Chocolate Cheesecake:
adapted from All Recipes

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter; melted
  • 2 tbls sugar
  • 8 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate ( I use Guittards white chocolate chips)
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Wrap the outside of a 10 inch springform pan with foil. Grease the inside of the pan. 
  2. Mix together graham cracker, butter, and sugar and press evenly on the bottom of springform pan. place in oven for about 10 min. to set.
  3. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape bowl.
  4. Melt 4 ounces of the white chocolate. With an electric mixer on low speed, mix melted white chocolate into cream cheese mixture. Keeping electric mixer on low, slowly beat in the vanilla and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Blend well. Pour mixture into the prepared springform pan.
  5. Place cheesecake pan in a water bath filled with warm water.(I actually have better luck pouring boiling water in a pan and placing on the rack below the cheesecake). Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes (I always have to bake mine longer, but it depends on you oven), or until center of the cheesecake is just firm. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate until set before removing from pan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Easy, lovely posole.

This morning we have been taking it easy. We woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground and the little mister was still all coughs and snots. So we watched a little Veggie Tales, played in a fort we built, made up our own games, and basically enjoyed each others company. I must say, despite all the icky Cole must be feeling, he still manages some of the sweetest smiles and best giggles. And that is why I sit here feeling blessed by my little man.

I am also very blessed by my big man.

I just have to take a moment to tell you all how I married that best man in the world.  Yesterday was Valentine's Day....and while I got all consumed taking care of Cole. I was horrible and went to the store to buy a card and at least write a promise gift of something to come. But while I stood there reading through cards, Cole started crying, and I started feeling sick. So off we scooted out of Target empty valentine's handed. Sad day. Because I really love Valentine's Day and usually look forward to celebrating the love that God gave to me. Kyle on the other hand stepped it up. He surprised me with homemade truffles when I returned from being gone over a week. He had the sweetest card that made me teary eyed. Then he text me in the middle of the day to see if he could pick up something for dinner so that I wouldn't have to cook. And while all of that would have been enough he also said that he was going to treat me to a brand new maternity outfit! Seriously, he is the best. 

While I was lame in the gift department I did however manage to send him to work with a hot bowl of my latest craving.

Chicken Posole Soup. YUM.

This soup will warm you from the inside out. It has a nice spice and heat to it that makes it perfectly addicting and tantalizing. The best part, you can totally customize it to your liking. I prefer many textures in my food so I love to top it with sliced radishes, thinly cut raw cabbage, chopped avocado, cilantro, lime and tostada. Perfection. I adapted a recipe I found from but found that it was a bit bland. So I added a can of green enchilada sauce, that did the trick. I also didn't add the total amount of chili spice as I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle super duper spicy. But feel free to spice it up to whatever level you are comfortable with. I have made this numerous times and it never fails to make me fall in love all over again.

Easy Chicken Posole Soup


  • 2 1/2 pounds shredded chicken ( I usually poach chicken breasts, or use a rotisserie chicken)
  •  2 Tbls tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can Green enchilada sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 3 cups white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 10 tostada shells


  1. Shred cooked chicken with a fork.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken to the skillet. Stir in the chicken broth, water, enchilada sauce, oregano, salt, and chili powder. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook about 90 minutes.( sometimes I added chicken later so it doesn't get dry and over cooked) Stir in the hominy and cook until tender, about 15 minutes more. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt and chili powder, if desired. Serve in soup bowls with1 tostada shell per serving. Garnish as desired.( cheese, sliced radishes, cabbage, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, salsa, chips, olives, whatever you want.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bb is for Baby--the Shower

So here I sit ready to type another post 2 days in a row. Go me! I really didn't think it was going to happen, I have been nursing my sick little boy back to health. Oh how my heart hurts to see him suffer.  I guess this is real life love on Valentines Day....snot on my sleeve and coughs in my face. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I am in love with the life that God has given me, snotty or not.

I am trying to find a good transition from talking about snot to a baby shower....and since there really doesn't seem to be a way to smoothly combine the two I am going to just pretend that the two mold perfectly together.  Well, actually I guess the shower is kind of when it all began.....

It had been a pretty stressful week trying to perfect a shower in one weeks time is a difficult task. My mom and I have something called "detail perfectionism". My mom also likes to have everything planned to the 'T' at least two months in advance. And while I usually plan ahead of time for some reason I struggled. I think it was partly do the fact that I couldn't really buy many things in advance since I would have to pack and cram it into a suitcase and lug it to my parents house. Then there was the being pregnant, tired, sick, and mindless. And finally, I think my main issue was the fact that this was a very very special shower to plan. I wanted it to be beautiful, perfect, girlie, and encompass how special my sister's miracle baby really is.  I could sit here and cry thinking of all the pain and heartache her and her husband have gone through to get to this point. So it had to be nothing short of special.

A few days before the shower my little boy starting getting a bit of a stuffy nose. It didn't seem to phase him much so I didn't think much about it. Then came shower time. My horrid insomnia kicked in full bore the night before (seriously?!) I slept soundly from Then Cole woke up and it all went downhill very quickly. He developed croup, an ear infection and was teething something awful. Thankfully my little sister works for a pediatric medical office and was able to squeeze us in on a Saturday which is always crazy. Our appointment was at 12:45 and the shower started at 2:00. we arrived home with antibiotics in tow with less than a half an hour to finish up. My parents were rock stars and pretty much pulled off much of it on their own. My mom graciously reminded me that this is life.....unpredictable, and not always convenient. There were so many other things that could have been disastrous but we ended up just tossing our hands in the air and putting them behind us.

So here are the final results of much blood, sweat, tears and hard work. Everything stemmed from our theme Bb is for Baby.

My mom found some beautiful vintage alphabet printables, that we strung as garland using mini clothespins.

We then tried to incorporate some vintage pieces throughout the rest of the decor such us the pretty teal mason jars and assorted milk glass. Tea lights were scattered throughout which created a really pretty glow and added a dainty element to the table. Here are a few more close-ups of the table scape.

We also wanted to highlight baby Kara by painting a big wooden 'K' brown and using in the center of the table

We had decided very early on that we would serve brunch foods....because really, who doesn't like brunch? Usually the food is my baby, I like to spend all week long baking, cooking and preparing fun things to eat. I am proud of myself for recognizing my limits and making the decision to use Trader Joe's as my caterer. Up until that point I hadn't even been able to set foot in the kitchen unless it was to grab a plain bagel with cream cheese. I did however honor my sister's one request for my White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberries. 

And while it doesn't have the raspberries (they were fuzzy and moldy that morning) it also almost didn't make the cut. See, I have made this cheesecake a bazillion times.....and for some reason I decided to accidentally triple the amount of heavy whipping cream.  I thought for sure the cheesecake was beyond repair and almost dumped it out right then and there. But thanks again to my sweet mom she encouraged me to just throw it in the oven and see what happens. I had to bake it for an extra hour.....but guess what? There wasn't a single crack, and it had a smooth and creamy texture....enough that I just might through in an extra cup of cream next time! Praise the Lord! Dessert wasn't a disaster after all.  I will share the recipe with you tomorrow. Promise.

We carried the B is for Baby theme throughout the food table by using signs to tell what each item was. My mom made 3 amazing quiches, a cinnamon swirl bundt cake, and my favorite cream wafer cookies. We also served yogurt parfaits, and small bites from Trader Joes. We also had a cookie, milk, and donut table.

And here is the beautiful mama.....

Overall the shower was a success, we were able to celebrate with amazing family and friends and shower that sweet baby with all kinds of love. I am so excited to meet my new niece!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bb is for Baby has been way way too long since I have gotten my typing hands into gear.  It's not that I have had nothing to blog about...actually it was more like I had a ton I wanted to let out but had to wait. For those that know me, waiting is not my friend. I'm not a patient waiter. Not even a little. So here you go, this is what I so wanted to scream and yell from the the mountain tops....

We are expecting baby #2 this coming September!!!! We are still jumping up and down with least I am when I don't feel like running to the nearest toilet. I decided it was best for me to stay away from blogging for a week or two until we had our first appointment and shared the news with family and friends.  I promise you the plan was only for a couple of weeks.....and then the dreaded "morning sickness" or in my case "all day sickness" hit me with a vengeance.  While I have been able to keep everything down, I find that I am more green that I was with Cole. And even worse was the food aversions. In all honesty I had a hard time even coming to my blog because of the last soup recipe I had posted.....I shouldn't even be mentioning it because it is making my stomach turn as we speak. I lived off of all things white and plain. And didn't pick up a pan for at least a week. Poor hubby.

So I took a break. I napped when baby napped. 
And slowly started adding spice back into my life.

Then I planned a baby shower, that was to be held in a different state....that I couldn't get my preggo brain wrapped around. But it was for my dear sister....who has been waiting for this baby for the past 6 years. I wasn't about to poop out on the celebration now. Thanks to my wonderful mom, she brought her amazing talent to help me pull it off. And boy was it tough to pull off.....I will share the details later. Let me just say that the day of the shower everything that could possibly go wrong....did. But again that will be saved for tomorrow (if I can get my act together two days in a row) I can't wait to share all of the pretty little details of the Bb is for Baby Shower. For now, I need a nap and to get ready for my next baby appointment this afternoon! Yay!