Wife, Mummy, Nurse: July 2011

30 July 2011

Beach Trip {TNAT}

This weekend will be one of recovery for me!!  On Wednesday, Charis and I went to the BEACH!!!  It was so wonderful.  The weather was gorgeous and the humidity low!!  L.V. (a friend from church) organized the trip.  We went to Cape Henlopen.  I woke up on Wednesday at 6:30 because I had to do laundry, which was finished and packed before our ride picked us up-PTL!!  We pulled onto the Beltway around 8:40 and 2 hours and 45 minutes later we were at Cape Henlopen.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten our lunches, but thankfully our friends were willing to share.  I was able to swim in the ocean ALONE as well because a lovely lady from church offered to hold Charis while I swam.  (Charis even fell asleep on this lady.)  Afterwards, we went out to eat at a pizza restaurant and then parted ways.

This trip had a few firsts for Charis.

  • First time at the beach.  At first she was not sure about everything, but gradually warmed up.
  • First time playing in sand.  I bought her some sand toys for her birthday.
  • First time in the Ocean.  Mama held VERY tightly onto her and she gradually began to like the water
  • First time being breastfed at the beach.  I'm not sure how much sand she also swallowed, but that did not stop her from nursing.
  • First time eating pizza.  Well, I think more of it ended up on the floor than in her tummy.
Thankfully, everyone who went on the trip had a safe, uneventful time.  Though there were a few sunburns, including me, but Charis did NOT get burnt.  

This is posted over at Try New Adventures Thursday.

26 July 2011

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

To render thanks to Thee, O LORD, It is a comely thing, And to Thy name, O Thou Most High, Due praise aloud to sing (From The Book of Psalms for Singing Psalm 92A)
I have SO MANY things to be thankful for.  Unfortunately, during the day, I tend not to think about what I am thankful for.  Here's a list of the things I am grateful for:

  1. Friday, July 22, 2011: Even though the air conditioner at work was not keeping up to my liking, I am thankful that there was AC.  The temperature index outside was 100+ degrees.
  2. Saturday, July 23, 2011: I was thankful the pumpkin was well behaved, especially since I was working the day before.
  3. Sabbath, July 24, 2011: I am SO THANKFUL for a Sabbath rest.  We were able to go to church in the AM, hear the word preached, fellowship with other believers, have lunch with our church family, and I was able to take a small nap in the early evening.
  4. Monday, July 25, 2011: I was thankful I did not need to go anywhere and that I could stay in our cool apartment.  Also it rained yesterday!!  Praise God.
  5. Tuesday, July 26, 2011: It was about 90 degrees today, with almost NO humidity!!!  Grocery shopping was very bearable and actually pleasant.
This list is not complete and it might seem like nothing, but we need to be thankful for the "small" things as well.

What are you thankful for?
Link up at Gratituesday.

D is for Dark Chocolate

Last week I referred to chocolate as being a woman's best friend.  So, I decided to stay on the chocolate swing and delve a wee bit into dark chocolate.  There are many benefits to eating dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate contains

  • Flavonoids which function in the body as antioxidants.  Flavanols are the main flavonoid found in chocolate.  When chocolate is processed, it loses some of the flavanols.  The key to remember about chocolate is, "The darker the better."
  • Antioxidants which help our body's cells resist damage caused by free radicals\
This is my second favorite brownie recipe.  See Healthy grain free brownies
  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 can of no salt added)
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey (or other equivalent sweetener) (next time I want to try palm sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped up bittersweet chocolate (or semi-sweet chips if you don’t mind the added refined sugar in them)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts -optional
Making these could NOT be simpler. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 pan. Toss all but the final 2 ingredients (the chopped up chocolate and walnuts) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped chocolate and walnuts. Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Read more: grain free brownie | Naturally Knocked Up http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/healthy-grain-free-brownies/#ixzz1TBGE3RCX
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
My notes:
I used butter, not coconut oil, because I could not open the lid to our coconut oil.  :(
Instead of honey, I used sugar in the raw.  
Definitely use the blender or food processor.  The first time I made these, I misread the directions and did not use it, though it did not detract from the taste, I could see whole beans and it looks better when they are not whole.
This tastes very much like chocolate mousse.
I'm sorry I did not post a picture.  I had planned on making these brownies this past weekend, but when the heat index is in the 100's, I don't want to use the oven.  A picture will hopefully be posted tomorrow.
Enjoy, but eat in moderation!!!

20 July 2011

Soakers, Scarves, and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding {Yarn Along}

Last week was my first to link up to Small Things Yarn Along.  If you like reading and knitting, this is THE place for you to go and show other bloggers what you are reading and knitting.  Here are last weeks projects which were finished in time!!  Praise God.

I am still going through The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by La Leche League International.  My thoughts on this book so far: I really like how the authors didn't start writing about breastfeeding after the baby was born, but started going into information that a woman would need on breastfeeding during pregnancy.  Why do I like this?  Because it is during pregnancy, that a woman needs to think about how she is going to feed her baby.  It is also during pregnancy, women need to consider if they want medication during their labor or interventions (such as induction,  cesarean section, IV fluids, external/internal fetal monitoring, episiotomy, etc.)  and know what the risks are, not just to them, but to babies when it comes to nursing or other medical problems.  If you are pregnant or considering getting pregnant in the future, I highly recommend this book.

I'm currently knitting two projects.  Project one is a soaker for my daughter.  I am using a pattern I found on Ravelry called WHW Plain Wrap.  I have a confession though.  I started knitting this in March.  Yes, that's right March.  I want to start knitting it again and FINISH it within the next four weeks.  I said four weeks, because I need to finish the Christmas gifts I'm knitting for my siblings.  Note: we didn't celebrate Christmas last year because most of us went to Northern Ireland for my cousin's wedding.

Which brings my to project two, which is a scarf I am knitting to give as a gift.  I am also using a pattern I got off Ravelry.  The pattern calls for bulky weight yarn, but I'm rebelling and using worsted.  Hopefully it will turn out all right.  I am not including a photograph of it in case the person for whom it is meant reads my blog.

19 July 2011

For those who cloth diaper...

Please go and fill out this poll http://www.pregnancymagazine.com/poll/cloth-or-disposable.  Thanks!!


I have plenty to be THANKFUL for today (as well as EVERYDAY).

  1. I am thankful that I went to the library around the time my husband got off work.  You see I locked the apartment keys in the apartment, so I would not have been able to get back inside.
  2. I am thankful we live about 1 mile away from the library.  My husband was able to bring his library card so I could check out books.
  3. I am thankful for the husband God gave to me!!!
Our wedding bands!!

Blog about what you are thankful for and link up at Heavenly Homemakers: Gratituesday.

18 July 2011

C is for Cocoa Powder

Three things I enjoy:
Chocolate :)
I have not been posting my alphabet series on Mondays.  Oops.  Hopefully, I'll get into the swing of it and be more diligent about it.  I picked cocoa powder because "Chocolate is a woman's best friend."  Hope you enjoy the brownie recipe.

At one of my bridal showers about two years ago, those who came were supposed to bring a treasured recipe.  One of the attendees brought a recipe for Oatmeal Saucepan Brownies; on the card she wrote, "The only brownie recipe our family ever uses-even better the second day!"

2/3 cup butter
1 1/3 cup sugar (I usually just use 1 cup and they are sweet enough; I plan on cutting the sugar back some more)
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup quick oats
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well.  Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture.  Stir in oats and vanilla.  Bake in greased 9-inch square pan 25-30 minutes.

16 July 2011

15 July 2011

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank) Article

Please go and read Motherhood is a calling (And where your children rank).  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
This next quote I NEEDED to read, especially the "perfectly clean house."  I don't have a perfectly clean house. Yes, I am bothered by it, but I need to run to the cross falling at the feet of Jesus.
But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes...  Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
I am not perfect at this next one either, but I pray that God will help me through it.  The beauty though is that God forgives me and gives me the strength.  I pray that God is gracious to my daughter Charis.
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.

13 July 2011

Reading and Knitting {Yarn Along}

Knitting Projects
and Reading
I have loved reading since I was a child.  When we moved to Pennsylvania, I was 10 years old and would stay up to all hours of the night reading.  My dad would often see my night light on at 1:00 AM when he would go to the bathroom.  He would pop his head into my remind, gently remind me what time it was, and say, "You need to get some sleep.  You have school in the morning."  I would say, "Can I finish reading this chapter?  I'm at a really good part and want to find out what happens."  Often he would let me, but come back 15-30 minutes later, still see the light on (I was at least 2-3 chapters further along), and take the book from me so I could sleep.  I still love to read and am in the summer reading program at the library.  Two of the many books I'm reading are The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by La Leche League International and Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom by Walter Dean Myers.

My two main knitting projects have to be completed for a baby shower this weekend.  They are a sleep sack designed by Minimalist Knitter (See Snug as a bug sleep sack) and a worm stuffed toy designed by Miriam L. Felton (See Joe the Worm).  I'll probably have about 2 more hours devoted to complete these projects.  Deadline is SATURDAY!!  Hopefully Charis will cooperate.  Pictures will be taken of the finished projects and posted.

Hop on over to Small Things Yarn Along to see what others are reading and knitting.

12 July 2011

How CUTE is this!! Another reason to like Babykicks.

Hope you enjoyed watching!!

My favorite cloth diaper store...

As you are aware, my husband and I use cloth diapers on our daughter.  The store I most frequently shop for cloth diapers is Happy Baby Company.

There are many reasons for this.  The biggest is because it's located in Pittsburgh, PA.  We currently live in the D.C. Metro region, but there is no cloth diaper store around us (with a store front).  Drew and I hope to move back to Western PA within the next 2-3 years, and I have figured we might try putting money into the economy where we hope to end up permanently.  Happy Baby Company has a store front, and I would like to have one when we move back to Pennsylvania.  They also have an online store, offer free shipping to anywhere in the USA, and price match, if you find something cheaper at another store.

If you want to check them out and shop there, please click on my affiliate link on the right.


09 July 2011

How to Lanolize a Wool Diaper

What you need:
Baby shampoo (or wool wash)
I primarily use wool diaper covers at night on Charis.  Why did I choose this?  For a few reasons:

Wool is water resistant.  Lanolin is what makes the a sheep's coating waterproof and makes wool covers "waterproof".  Wool absorbs water, absorbs up to 30% of it's weight without feeling wet.

Wool is breathable. Breathability in diaper covers is important for a baby's skin.  If the skin can't breath, then when a diaper is wet, the temperature rises, and can cause a diaper wash.  During the day, I use PUL covers (but I change Charis QUICKLY when I realize she's dirty), but at night she's often in her diaper for 12+ hours.

Wool can go a few weeks (3-4) without washing.  Wool is naturally antibacterial and should not smell like pee when dry but if it does then it's time to wash and lanolize.

Soaker lanolizing in the solution
How to lanolize a wool diaper:
  1. Squirt baby shampoo and place approximately 1 inch of Lanolin into a plugged sink or basin.
  2. Pour boiling water over the shampoo and Lanolin.
  3. Stir with a spoon until the lanolin dissolves.
  4. Turn on the tap and run lukewarm water into the sink.
  5. Place cover inside out into the water and swish it around a tiny bit.  Warning: make sure the water is not too cold or too hot. You do NOT want to shock the wool or cause it to shrink too much.
  6. Let it soak for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Remove from water, place between two towels, and roll the towels up to help squeeze out the water.
  8. Let dry for about 24 hours.  
Do you cloth diaper?  If so, what are your night time solutions?  
Have you ever tried wool? 

07 July 2011

Wish I wasn't working tomorrow...

So Charis and I could go to Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A.

I will not be doing this though.  I have to work for 12 hours at the hospital.  Maybe later though.

05 July 2011

Independence Day Weekend

Charis sticking out her tongue
(wonder where she got that from).
Hope everyone had a safe and fun filled 4th of July!!  Charis, Drew, and I sure did.  Well Drew worked on job applications most of the day at Panera Bread, but Charis and I had a day filled with shopping, napping, some more shopping, and cooking.

I woke up at 7:30, but didn't get up until the pumpkin woke up (around 8:30).  I then got dressed and had breakfast, because I was going to go thrifting.  Our nearby thrift store is HUGE and WONDERFUL.  Every month, around a holiday weekend, they have a 50% off day.  I wanted to get there ASAP and try to beat the crowds.  I succeeded for the first hour, but then it got busier and busier.  Lesson was learned, leave the apartment and get to the store first thing in the morning.  I was on a mission-buy baby clothes.  No, I'm not pregnant, but my sister-in-law is!!!  So, I'm now an aunt who wanted to go shopping as soon as I found out.  I'm also planning knitting projects for the little baby.  I would post pictures, but they might be seen by unwanted people (my SIL and her husband).

Drew was teasing Charis
with a hairbrush.
Charis and I went to Starbucks, home (to eat and nap), Joann Fabric, and Target.  I bought hot dogs, hot dog buns, and chips at Target.  Drew came home and we went to see fireworks.  All in all, it was a GOOD day.

How did you spend your holiday?  
Do you have any special traditions on Independence Day?

02 July 2011

Swimming {TNAT}

On Thursday, my daughter and I went swimming at our condo's pool.  This was the first time this summer we were able to do this.  Thankfully, I remembered to put sun screen on my baby girl about 20-30 minutes before leaving, but realized when I got to the pool that I had forgotten to put sunscreen on myself.  Oops!!  Now my back looks like a tomato, well maybe not that bad, but I burned myself.  There are two different pools-a baby pool and a big people pool.  First, we went into the baby pool and were there for about 45 minutes.  Then, we went into the big people pool (I held her the whole time) because I wanted to cool down more.  Thankfully, Charis enjoyed both.  I hope to take her back to the pools at least 1-2 times/week.
Before going into the BIG pool.

As we were about to leave the pool.
Charis is drinking water.
What do you do during summer to stay cool?  Do you have
 a pool at your house, apartment, condo, etc.?