Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birth Story

Hey everyone, I had my baby December 26th at 1:12am. Ethan Emerson weighed 8lbs 4oz and was 22 inches long. This little guy cooperated and was born on his due date! Let's just say that Christmas day was eventful for me! I started having contractions on Chrismas eve, but they weren't too bad. We had dinner at my in-laws house and I went home that night and couldn't go to sleep because the contractions began to be more intense, but still tolerable. I was timing them on and they were anywhere from 5-11 minutes apart. I was having more pain in my lower back than anywhere else, so I got into the tub around 1am and kept filling it with warm water whenever it cooled off. Mark was sleeping at this time and I considered waking him up to support me through the contractions, but I felt like I could handle it on my own for awhile, so I let him sleep. I called Jean at 1am and asked her if there was anything I could do to help me sleep and she suggested a glass of wine. Well, I tried that and threw up a few hours later. By 6:30am, I just got up and started moving about my day. I called my mom and sister and they came up. My sister has had two natural home births so I figured she would have some nice tricks/advice to help me get through the contractions. She filled up the tub for me and began pouring warm water over my belly and when I would have a ctx I'd get up and lean over on the edge of the tub and she would pour water on my lower back. After about an hour and a half, I got out and just sort of walked around the house between contractions. I found that leaning on someone, squatting and having tennis balls rolled on my back helped the most, so we did this most of the day and evening. I had a tens unit that I was going to use but I couldn't figure out where to place the sensors exactly, so I gave that up. By 6pm my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute. We ended up meeting Betty up at the birthing center at 7pm and I immediately got into the tub right after Betty broke my water. The contractions began to get stronger and closer together, but I labored like this for a couple of hours. She checked my cervix and I was 5cm when I came in, 100 percent effaced and at 0 station. By the time I got to 7 cm, I asked for some pain relief. Betty didn't hesitate to give me the nubain, so I guess she thought I could use it. I really think as much as I didn't want to use drugs that it helped me get through those last couple of hours. The pain coping techniques worked pretty well in early labor, but by this point I felt like I had lost control of myself and needed to relax again. It definitely didn't stop the pain, just made it more managable. It wasn't long before I hit 10 cm and began feeling like pushing. I got onto the bed and laid on my back and began to push with each contraction. I pushed for about an hour before he finally made it out. Betty mentioned something about possibly having to do an episiotomy if I didn't get him out and that was all it took to push with all of my might. Apparently he had been face up most of the labor, so that was why my back was hurting so much, but he turned before delivery. I felt the ring of fire, but it was nothing! It actually felt like a bit of a relief to feel him finally making it past that point. I pushed him out and she immediately placed him on my belly and all I could do was just stare at him. I delivered the placenta and continued bleeding for a bit. Betty was a little concerned with the bleeding, so I accepted the cytotec to stop bleeding and she gave me some pitocin to help my uterus contract back. I also had some sugar water and other stuff to help from all the blood loss. I did tear and need stitches, which wasn't the most pleasant experience, but it was way better than labor! I ate some food, went to the bathroom and we were out of the birthing center by 4:30am. We are all doing really well now, it only took 2 days for my milk to come in and he's nursing like a champ! Merry Christmas, everyone! I'll type more later :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The home stretch

Well, I know it's been awhile. I may as well admit that I'm not good at keeping up with a blog. But, I have this week off, so maybe I'll just blog every day since I'll have the time. Baby Ethan is due on Friday so Mark and I are just sitting around and waiting now! We've got the nursery all ready, his car seat in the car, bags packed, clothing and diapers washed and ready to go. Now we're just waiting for him to show up! I was a little sick over the weekend, vomiting and other nastiness, but I'm feeling better now, and I'm trying to take it easy, as hard as that is for me. I never take this much time off without having plans like going out of town or something, so this is going to be hard for me. But, my brother is in town, and I have lots of projects that I have wanted to get done, so maybe I'll have the time to do them now. Oh yeah, and it's Christmas, so there's that too! It will be a nice break from sitting all day making jewelry(which lately has been killing my back). The photo above with the henna art on my belly was taken at my baby shower about a month ago, so I was about 34 weeks there. Mark and I took some pregnancy photos a couple of weeks ago at my dad's studio, and that was a lot of fun.. I'm about 37 weeks there. I know, lying down I barely look pregnant, but trust me, I am! Our organic baby mattress came today that my brother bought for us. So we put the mattress protector and sheet on it and folded his blankets up and made the crib look all pretty :), even though he won't be sleeping in it for awhile. Not sure how long it will be before he makes it to his own room. We'll just see how everything goes. Also, we received an adorable newborn shirt from my Grandma from in the mail. Thanks, Merrylynne! We were also able to get all of our Christmas presents wrapped and put under the tree today. It's amazing what you can get done with a whole day off! I think that this is the earliest I've gotten done Christmas shopping and wrapping presents ever. Normally I'm wrapping presents the day before or day of Christmas. It's nice to see presents under the tree before Christmas!
Tomorrow, my family is coming up to cook some lasagne for us to freeze for postpartum meals and eat dinner with us. My mom's also going to make some gluten free cakeballs. If you haven't had cakeballs yet, you should! They're so good! Yesterday my mom, sister and Kerry came up to my house and cleaned it from top to bottom, dog hair and all! Thanks guys! It's stayed pretty clean so far. Then Mark and I went down to Jason's mom's house to eat dinner and play Mexican train dominoes. It was a lot of fun! After leaving there, Jason and Tamara came back to our house and we watched Wanted with Angelina Jolie. Tamara and I both fell asleep in the middle of the movie, but apparently it was pretty good! I wish I could have stayed awake to watch the whole thing, but sleep is more important at this point.
Well, I had a midwife appointment on Friday and was told that I'm about 2 cm dialated and 80% effaced, which is a good thing! Maybe this kid will actually be born on his due date. But, I know that whenever he is born is the right time, regardless of when that may be. Well that's all I got for today. Maybe I'll post again tomorrow!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

belly photo

Me at 28 weeks!

Yeah yeah...

It's been awhile, I know. Life got in the way. Well, I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty good. I had been exercising in the beginning of the pregnancy, then sort of slacked off for about a month. Last month I joined a gym, because I decided that paying for a gym membership was the only way I was going to keep up with exercising. My mentality is, why pay for something you aren't going to use? It's my motivation, what can I say? I've been hitting the gym about 4 times a week, and the days I don't go, I try and go outside and take a long walk. If I plan on having this baby naturally, I sure want to be in the best shape possible. Speaking of the baby, we decided on Ethan as a first name, but we have yet to determine the middle name. Maybe we'll save that for after the birth. We have a few ideas, but nothing solid yet. Any thoughts?

My only complaint right now about my pregnancy is heartburn. I've been dealing with it for about a month now, but it's just recently started getting worse. I've figured out some of the triggers though and for the most part have tried to avoid them. Cooked tomatoes, most citrus, and greasy foods cause the worse heartburn, while dairy products and eating small frequent meals seem to help quite a bit. Oh, and the best remedy of all thus far is Tums. Hopefully they will continue to work effectively over the next 11 weeks.

I've begun to think about the birth more now that time is dwindling away. Surprisingly, time seems to be moving faster than I expected. I mean, I can't believe I'm already in my last trimester! I have been thinking about whether I want to have a water-birth, what kinds of foods I'll want to have with me while I'm laboring, what labor will feel like, how long I'll labor before going to the birthing center, whether I can handle the pain, etc. etc. Luckily, the child birthing class starts at the end of this month and lasts until less than two weeks before my due date. As much as I know that preparing for birth is not exactly the same as studying for a test, the preparation classes seem like they will be comforting to me and will help me feel more prepared.

Baby Ethan seems more real to me now that he is running low on room and I can feel him move around inside, switching positions, pressing on my ribs, kicking my bladder, and playing games with me. Occasionally, I will press on my belly and he will press back. Oh and let me tell you, when he gets hiccups, it's the most irritating feeling ever. The rhythmic patter of hiccups when I am trying to go to sleep is so obnoxious, but I am trying to enjoy this stage while it lasts, because before long, he won't be living inside of me, an experience that I've come to enjoy. I know that the last trimester may be a different story. I may be so sick of this that I can't wait for him to be in my arms and not in my belly anymore, but right now I'm savoring it. I also have been trying to fight the guilt of sleeping too much, not keeping the house in spic and span shape at all times, like I used to try and do, because I know in a few months, my life is going to completely change, and I'm no longer going to have the luxury of sleeping until I wake up or the time to keep my house looking Martha Stewart-worthy. So, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

As far as cooking goes. I'm so glad that the nausea went away at around 17 weeks. Food has made me happy again like it used to. For months nothing sounded good and I only ate because I knew I needed too, but now food, especially the tasty treats that I get from the farmer's market every week make me drool again. This last week, my sister brought me some persimmons, butternut squash, apples and sweet potatoes, as well as bacon and weekly must. Let me tell you, it's hard to compare store-bought produce to locally grown, fresh produce. Bursting with flavor, it's difficult to go back to buying an organic apple imported from Chile from the grocery store, after savoring an apple grown less than 50 miles away. With the butternut squash and sweet potatoes, I made a soup:

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock (depending on how long you cook it and how thick you like it)
thyme, black pepper and nutmeg to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

sautee onions in olive oil until translucent

add squash, sweet potatoes, stock and seasoning and cook until vegetables are tender. scoop the veggies from the pot into a blender and blend until smooth, adding some of the liquid in if it's too thick, then transfer back to pot and continue to cook until hot. Do not add salt before tasting it. I did this and it became too salty, so I had to water it down. You can also garnish with a drizzle of fresh cream. yum!

Tonight I am preparing some chicken bone broth from the chicken I got at the farmer's market. After it's done cooking, I'll freeze it for later use in soups, stews and as a base for rice. I love homemade chicken stock! If you want instructions on how to make a bone broth, let me know.

Well, that's all I got for now. Hopefully I'll update in another week or so. I want to get back on track!

Monday, August 25, 2008

a quick view of our baby's room

This is a video that we took the other night to give everyone a look at the baby's room

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm not very good at this blogger thing

I posted a single post for photos because I am not very good at posting multiple photos and add text also. So, here's what's going on in my life! I am currently 22 weeks pregnant. We had our sonogram about a week ago and it revealed a happy, healthy baby boy. I was a bit skeptical about trusting the sonographer's conclusion that it was a boy, but she assured me that she's 100% sure, and hasn't been wrong in 25 years. Plus, one revealing photo definitely makes it clear that he is in fact a boy. So, with the sex figured out, Mark and I have been hashing out names and haven't settled on one yet. A couple that we both like is:

Jacob Henry or Henry Jacob
Ethan (no middle name figured out yet, but I like Henry, Emery or William)

A few that we like but have no middle names figured out for is:

Bryan (maybe)

And that's about it right now. I can't think of anymore that we both absolutely loved...and trust me, I've tried! Anyway, the photo below was taken a few days ago..about 21 weeks pregnant. I can't believe I'm halfway there already. I don't think I even look 5 months pregnant. Crazy!

Pregnancy photo and sonograms

Sunday, August 3, 2008

more local finds

So my sister has been going to the farmer's market in Coppell (a bit of a drive for me, so I gave her money). My mom, sister and and I have started a mini cooperative by buying local meat, eggs and dairy. Shelley lives the closest to Coppell, so she has been driving out there every week to pick up a fresh supply of milk, eggs and meat for all of us. The great thing about these farms is that most of them are organic, free range, and grass fed, something that has been important to my whole family for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we raised goats for their milk. My mom thought I had a dairy allergy, so we decided to try out goats milk instead. I tolerated it pretty well, and the thought of having milk that fresh again was very intriguing. It's been so long for me, that I literally forgot what fresh milk looks like. I forgot that when you buy a gallon of milk in the grocery store, that it has been heated to nearly 280 degrees, homogenized and standardized...even organic milk (gasp!). Shelley couldn't say enough good things about the way this milk tastes so I had to give it a shot. One thing that amazed me was that she told me that this particular minimally processed cow's milk didn't seem to affect her asthma at all. She had gone off of dairy weeks prior thinking milk was the culprit of her constant asthma symptoms, and it helped, but she decided to branch out and try really fresh milk, and problems. If any of you haven't seen fresh milk, it looks like regular whole milk but with a layer of fat on the top. This is because fresh milk has not been homogenized; a process in which milk is separated from the fat and then put back in in uniform amounts to create store varieties like 2% and1% milk. Milk is then pasteurized by heating it to 280 degrees to destroy bacteria. This high heat also destroys many of the benefits of milk too, such as live cultures. This particular milk that we purchased was only mildly pasteurized to approximately 165 degrees, just to the point of killing the bacteria but preserving the nutrients, and is non-homogenized, leaving a silky layer of fat on the surface of the milk, which can be removed or shaken up into the rest of the milk for a creamy treat. I also purchased a dozen free range, cage free, antibiotic free eggs (I like to call them happy chickens), sliced smoked ham (made from organic pork) a whole chicken for roasting and a pound of ground beef from a grass fed cow. This morning I decided to sample some of my purchases, by making scrambled eggs mixed with a little milk. When I cracked the eggs open, it took me back to my childhood. We used to raise hens for meat and eggs as well. The difference in the yolks is amazing. Store bought eggs usually have light yellow yolks, but these fresh egg yolks were a deep rich orange color (which I can only imagine is a good thing based on the taste) and when combined with a little fresh milk created a taste that was not even comparable to anything else. All it needed was a little fresh ground pepper and a dash of sea salt and I had a truly local, organic meal. This week I will prepare the chicken and ground beef and will probably blog about that too!

Okay, so enough about food (can you tell I like food?) I began to feel the baby kick about a week and half ago. It was pretty neat. Mark was able to feel the kick this morning for the first time but said "it doesn't really feel like a kick, it feels like a pulse or something." I assured him that it was indeed a kick he was feeling, but the baby is still small so it won't be as intense as it will be later on. Right now we keep referring the baby as "it" this and "it" that, because we don't know the sex yet. We will be finding out a week from tomorrow though, so then we can refer to the baby as the correct gender. It's funny..depending on what I'm wearing depends alot on whether I even look pregnant. And as the day progresses, I look even more pregnant because you know, I've been eating all day. By night time, I look way more pregnant than I do in the morning. I really have no idea how much weight I've gained because I don't have scales, so I will be finding out in a week how much I have gained. I really don't think it's very much. It's not that I don't eat, cause I certainly do eat! I think I just haven't hit that mark in the pregnancy when you start to gain weight more rapidly. I'm still wearing my regular clothes with one exception..jeans. I just can't tolerate them anymore. It's not that they don't fit, because a lot of them still do, it's just that pressure of the denim seam that my belly doesn't like. So, I've been wearing a lot of roll down waist pants and long tops, as well as skirts and dresses( and I'm so not a dress person).

Well, that's all I got for today. I'll post again may be next week after we find out the sex!

Friday, July 18, 2008

just updating a bit!!

Well, it's been awhile since I blogged, so I'll divulge a bit. I began taking my prenatal yoga class a the Blue Anjou in Lewisville, and let me tell you...I'm loving it. The first class seemed a little boring and I didn't feel like I was really exercising, but as the weeks progressed, classes got a little more intense. I think I actually broke a sweat last week! The only thing that has been a bummer is that for the past 2 weeks, it's been rainy outside whenever I leave class and there's this music festival going on at exactly the same time as my class so I have to park far away. So I get a little wet walking to my car. Ah well, at least it's not cold and rainy. Another addition to my exercise routine is the amazing Wii Fit! That's right. We broke down and bought a Wii. I figured I could pay as much for a Wii as I could to continue this prenatal yoga class for another 12ish weeks, and this way I'll have Wii forever! It's a pretty cool program actually. It features yoga, aerobics, and strength training(with a trainer) and balance games. The thing I love the most is that there's a gauge on the screen that lets you know if you are balanced or not. It really helps with doing yoga at home, because if you aren't balanced, you really can do yourself more harm than good. I also really enjoy the aerobic works outs that include jogging on a virtual trail. Just last night I finished my first 10 minute jog! I normally LOVE to go outside and walk, but with being pregnant, I don't think I can handle the 95-100 degree heat like I use to :) So, Wii is definitely a worthwhile investment if you actually use it!

Last weekend, our baby furniture arrived and we went to pick it up. It's so freaking adorable!!
It looks amazing in our nursery! Once I get all of the packaging and crap out of the room and have it looking all pretty I'll post pictures. I've already begun organizing the abundance of clothing, toys, bath and body products and cloth diapers into each dresser, and now I just can't wait to find out the sex of the baby so I can start adding pink or blue clothing and accessories to the current yellow and green wardrobe! I do have to say though, the amount of packaging that went into making the furniture unbreakable during shipment is ridiculous! I have to fill up the back of my car twice just to get it hauled over to the recycling center! Not only that, but I had to throw away 2 huge trashcans full of non-recyclable foam padding. I cried a little for the environment. Well, at least the furniture is in good shape and I was able to recycle all of the cardboard, so that's good. The picture below is the Baby Cache Manhattan collection from Babies R Us.

Me at 17 weeks!! I know, I just woke up and look like poo, but I don't care.

I've been feeling MUCH better. I think I'm completely over the morning sickness now. Occasionally I'll feel a little queasy, but it quickly passes. I've also learned that coffee doesn't settle well with me anymore, so I've switched to black and red raspberry leaf tea. It's much nicer to my tummy. I haven't really had any ailments yet except for tailbone pain. Since I sit all day at work, my tailbone begins to ache. I guess this is a normal part of pregnancy? I've been propping myself up onto a blanket at work and that seems to be helping a lot. That's really about it though! My energy is returning and my appetite for fresh food has made it's comeback. The only thing I can't stomach preparing is raw chicken. The thought of it makes my stomach turn over. I've been telling Mark that I'll buy chicken if he will grill it or cook it, because I'm not touching the stuff!

Recently, Mark and I decided to invest in a HE washer and dryer. Afterall, we will be washing lots of diapers and using more water, so we figured this would be the best time to make the upgrade. We decided to purchase the HE Whirlpool Steam washer and dryer in sage green. We also added the pedestals which makes the washer and dryer taller. Perfect for the 5'9" woman that will be doing all the laundry! Yep that's me. I'm the laundry do-er in this household. I actually really enjoy doing laundry now! After a week of using these amazing pieces of machinery, I just want to keep doing more and more because it's so easy now! And, we're saving 70% more water and 73% more electricity! A lovely added bonus. I will be very grateful for this purchase when we begin to do laundry every day after the baby gets here.

It's summer, and it's farmer's market season. I never really took advantage of farmer's markets until this year. After doing a lot of research and realizing how important it is for the environment for consumers to support local businesses and farmers, buying local became almost a no-brainer. Granted, I don't buy everything local, but I'm getting better about it. I've been buying most of my beef from a local farm only 15 minutes from my house mainly because it's organic, grass fed and about 96% lean and close to my house which brings the cost way down, but then I also realized the economic impact I'm making. There is a little produce store in Denton, only about 8 miles from my house that I finally went into this evening. They featured some local, and some not so local produce, so I chose the local ones. Here's what I walked out with tonight..Texas grown:

yellow squash
fresh black-eyed peas
snap peas

Everything was grown within the DFW area! I was pleasantly surprised at the freshness of each selection. They also carried some local eggs, but I just bought a bunch, so I won't be making that purchase until I need them. I don't know if any of this stuff was organic, but it sure looked fresh and didn't seem like it was treated like the produce you see in the store. The tomatoes had a redish greenish yellow cast to them (not all perfectly red like you see in the grocery store) and fresh black eyed peas!? I mean come on, where can you get those in any grocery store chain? I've decided that I'd rather buy local and maybe not organic(but usually local small farms are organic) than buy organic from a grocery store chain that could have organic apples flown in from chile, or organic grapes which are usually from mexico. My next feat is to find a local source for milk! I definitely buy organic milk, but I'd love to find some fresh local milk!

When I got home tonight, I made a nice fresh black eyed pea salad:
Sourced from
  • 3 cups canned or cooked black-eyed peas (2 15-ounce cans, drained)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 small sweet red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • .
  • Basil Dressing
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • fresh basil or parsley for garnish


In a serving bowl combine black-eyed peas, 1/4 teaspoon salt, chopped onion, celery, and green pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl or other container, whisk together the vinegar, basil, garlic, sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing is well blended. You can use a blender for this step, if desired.

In a medium bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, the chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and basil dressing. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil, if desired.
Serves 6.

I didn't let it marinate very long, because I wanted to dig in, but I'm sure the leftovers will taste even better tomorrow! That's all I got for today!!

The Story of Stuff

Anyone ever wonder what happens to our stuff when we don't need it anymore or get tired of it? Well, there's more to the picture than just throwing it in the trash and the dump truck coming by...This video is very capturing, and I think everyone will get something out of it! I know I did!

The Story of Stuff

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Feeling better

It's been awhile since I last posted a blog. I just thought I'd have more to say if I wait longer between posts. Mark and I had our first midwife appointment about 2 weeks ago. We heard the heartbeat for the first time and it was so cool! It was beating at about like a girl :) I really don't care what the sex of the baby is, just as long as it's healthy, but it would be cool if it was a girl since my sister and my sister in law just had baby boys last year. It's time for a girl! Mark is currently in the process of painting the baby's room a beautiful shade of robin's egg blue and a peachy apricot color. I think it will match the decor perfectly. Check out the no VOC paint that we bought:

For the past 2 days I haven't been nauseous or thrown up maybe this is the end of morning sickness? I sure hope so. I'm 14 weeks right now and this is the time that all the books and websites say that I should start to be feeling better. I have noticed that if I indulge my unhealthy cravings, I tend to end up feeling nauseous and throw up later on in the day. Maybe it's my body's way of telling me to eat healthy for the sake of the baby :) Not a bad thing! I have been having good cravings though too. I can't seem to eat enough fruit. And what a great season to be having fruit cravings! The nectarines and strawberries are so delicious right now. My mom's grapevines are at the peak of ripeness and next month is fig season. I've been lucky and found one ripe one the other day. It was darn tasty.

Starting Tuesday, I'm going to be taking a prenatal yoga class at Blue Anjou yoga studio in Lewisville. I haven't really exercised all that much since I got pregnant, partially because I've been so nauseous and partially because it's been so darn hot outside. My normal exercise routine included daily 30-45 min walks, and I could usually tolerate the heat pretty well, but since I'm pregnant, I figured it's not all that wise to be walking in 95-100 degree heat. I guess everyone knows by now that BellaRosa has officially closed. We had a long run...9.5 years to be exact, and while I'm a little sad that I'll never walk into that store again, I'm also relieved. Finally having only one job that will actually provide steady income has been something I've never really experienced before. It's always been BellaRosa plus one other job. I'm so grateful that I met Rachelle and she's been able to provide me with a great career and future career opportunities. Only working 35 hours a week instead of 50 should allow me to be able to attend a yoga class, childbirth classes and many other things that I've never given myself the time to do. I'll have my weekend back. Saturday and Sunday off!! I haven't had that luxury since I was 18.

Since this is a gluten free blog also, I thought I'd share a recipe that I'm going to make today. I've been craving coffee cake or cinnamon rolls for the past few days, but being gluten free means that I can't just run to the local Starbucks for coffee cake or the grocery store to pick up a container of cinnamon rolls (making them homemade is healthier anyway). Haven't tried this recipe yet, so we'll see what happens.

adapted from this recipe:

Cinnamon Coffeecake Muffins
1 stick butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c GF flour mix (or, alternately, 2 c rice flour mix, 1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, 1 t xanthan gum)
1 t vanilla
1 c sour cream
1/2 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/4 c nuts (of your choice, optional)

Beat butter and sugar, then add eggs. Mix in flour, then vanilla and sour cream, and beat until completely mixed. Scoop with an ice cream scoop or plop with spoons into a greased muffin tin, if you have extra, grease some ramekins and use those for the rest of the batter. Mix the topping ingredients, and sprinkle on top, then bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until they start to brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted in comes out clean.

Well, that's all I got for today. Will blog more later!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whole Foods and the joy it brings!

Well, while my husband and I were out at Babies' "R" Us on Sunday, we decided since we were nearby Whole Foods (it's a good 40 minute drive from our house) that we would stop by and look around. With the way gas prices are now, it's not a trip I embark upon very often. Since going gluten free, I've realized that bread and baked goods are now something to be savoured. Going to the grocery store and picking up a two dollar loaf of bread is not a luxury we celiac's have. Since Whole Foods is the natural, organic mecca, I figured I'd go check out their Whole Foods brand gluten free baked goods section. Oh, the choices!! I browsed through the frozen section and found pizza crusts, banana bread, blueberry muffins, cheddar biscuits, and the best one of all, gluten free sourdough bread!! Just before I went gluten free I recieved a sourdough bread starter as a gift but had yet to use it because it contained wheat. I new for years that I had a wheat sensitivity, but always thought "well, a little won't hurt me," so I had every intention of using it with the thought that eventually the starter would be so watered down with the spelt flour that I had intended on using (also contains gluten) that the wheat would eventually be undetectable. Well, a few short weeks later, I decided to go gluten free (finally succumbing to the non-chalant gluten sensitivity diagnosis that I recieved 6 years prior) and that sourdough mix is still sitting in my pantry. Maybe I will give it back to the person who originally gave it to me! Boy was I happy to find gluten free sourdough bread already made. I thawed it in the refrigerator, and when it was room temperature, I began to slice a hunk off of the perfectly rounded loaf. It began to crumble, so I placed it on a plate and microwaved it for a few seconds. Instead of trying to piece the crumbs together to spread butter on it, I decided to dip the bite size morsels into some hummus. It definitely paled in comparison to a freshly baked loaf of gluten-filled sourdough, but turned out to be a nice substitute. I think I'll try my luck and bake my own sourdough next time instead of spending 6 dollars for a loaf. Does anyone have any recipes for gluten free sourdough bread?

The next purchase was the cheddar biscuits. I've actually had these before and they sort of taste like Red Lobster's cheddar biscuits. And finally, after craving pizza for weeks on end, my final indulgence was the pizza crusts. A crispy crust pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and veggies is exactly what the baby is needing right now (well, maybe not the baby, just me :) And my final selection of the day was Nancy's Organic cultured cottage cheese. .
I've always been a huge fan of yogurt and cultured products like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, kefir and kimchee, so when I first discovered Nancy's Cottage cheese, I was filled with anticipation to try the tangy, sour treat. Now, I can find it at a local health foods store about 20 minutes from my house and at Sprouts, a local natural grocery store about 5 minutes from my work, so I never have to be without it again. As an added bonus, because live cultures help with digestion, and this cottage cheese is LOADED with live cultures, it seemed to help with my nausea a bit. I just eat a little before going to bed, and I feel great in the morning!

Another thing I've learned about gluten free products is that you have to pay good money to get convenience items like premade pizza crusts and bread. We left the store with the grand total of $23, where If I were to purchase mainstream goods at a regular grocery store, I could get out of there spending closer to $10 or $11. For this reason, I savour my gluten free goodies. Now I just need to learn to rely on my own baking abilities rather than on packaged goods.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Random stuff

So, yesterday was an okay day. I woke up with every intention of cleaning the house from top to bottom, but around 1pm, after having put away all the laundry and cleaning our bedroom, the nausea came again. I jumped in the shower and decided to rest for a bit. My husband and I put on the new Family Guy movie (which, by the way was pretty dumb, and I typically love family guy). After it was over, my tummy felt better. Yay! So, Mark and I decided to drive to Frisco to shop for the baby. We had no intention of buying anything, but we have not been able to agree on any baby room decor until yesterday. We drove to Babies' "R" Us and found the perfect bedding and decor, but with it came a hefty price tag. the photo to the left is what we decided on. It's the Bali collection by Cocalo Couture. I was so nervous about picking out paint colors before we had decided on what the decor would look like, but I was too excited to wait, and magically, the paint we chose matches perfectly. By the way, we chose Freshaire paint from Home Depot because it is zero VOC. While the rest of our house is painted in paint that contains VOC's (because I was unaware of their dangers until just recently), I decided that we should chose as non toxic an environment for our little tot as possible. Well. I gotta run to work. I'll probably write a little more later, I just don't have time right now ;)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Welcome to my blog

I've been a member of Myspace since early 2005 and have blogged there a few times, but since my brother became a TV star, I've been bombarded with friend requests from his fans. At first, I would reject the friend requests, but after several days of receiving 3, 4 requests at a time, I gave in and accepted them. Since then I haven't really gotten personal in my blogs. I thought I'd create a new blog page that is completely separate from Myspace...where I can share my thoughts and not worry about who is reading them.

In this blog, I am mainly going to talk about natural living, gluten free cooking, pregnancy and motherhood. This is what my life is mainly focused on right now. I will share tips on natural cleaning products and recipes, gluten free recipes as well as divulge what I experience in my current pregnancy. Maybe I'll get a little more personal. I haven't decided yet.

My name is Stacey Bone. I live in Oak Point, TX with my husband, Mark. We have a golden retriever/lab mix named Piper who is a sweetheart but can be a big pain in our asses at times. We haven't decided yet whether we'll keep her when the baby gets here. We are currently 11 weeks pregnant with our first child and we are very excited to bring our little tater tot into this world. Oh by the way, I own a ladies' clothing boutique with my mom and sister called BellaRosa. We've been open for 9 years now and enjoy the experience of working together. I also work for the very talented jewelry designer, Rachelle Dauphinee as a jewelry maker. I've been making jewelry since I was about 13 and I am so grateful for the opportunity to make a career out of it.

This pregnancy has certainly been a learning experience for me. While I am only 11 weeks and haven't seen the baby or heard the heartbeat yet, I am certainly aware of it's presence. The nausea and vomiting are true signs that I am sharing my body with another being. I have good days and bad days. Yesterday was a bad day. I woke up, ate some eggs and toast, but shortly after that, up it came. Not the most pleasant feeling in the world. I thought I was doing okay until I got to work, and ate lunch. I felt pretty nauseous after eating, but managed to keep it all down. Then came dinner time. I never realized what a chore eating was!. I ate some gluten free rice pasta with smart balance and salt and pepper. An hour later, the nausea came again, and there I was, bowing to the porcelain god for the second time that day. My husband was heading out to get some fast food (since I haven't cooked in, ohh about 7 weeks) and I asked him to get me a shake with butterfinger. For some reason, sugar and milk sounded tolerable. Boy was I right. It stayed down no problem.

I always criticized pregnant women for eating junk food during their pregnancy, but now that I am in the same position, I certainly understand how they feel. Sometimes you just gotta eat what sounds good and will stay down. Now, that's not to say that I eat milkshakes all the time. I certainly do my very best to eat healthy and balanced, but in the first trimester, it's all about eating what will stay down, and I have to keep reminding myself that. It doesn't do any good to choke down steamed chicken and salad when it sounds repulsive to you and you know you'll throw it up later. I've also learned that if I'm nauseous but need to eat, to make sure I eat something that won't taste horrible coming back up.

Some foods that don't taste bad if they don't stay down:
fruit smoothies
fresh fruit
bland rice or pasta
umm..anything bland.

throwing up lentil soup, doritos, salad and fried eggs are 10 times worse then throwing up fruit smoothies. Now that I've grossed everyone out a bit, I'll move on to the good parts of pregnancy.
So far, even though I can't physically see or hear the baby, I know it's there and want to do my best to nourish it. Having severe allergies during pregnancy is not so pleasant. So, drugs are a last resort. I have taken a benadryl here and there for my worst symptoms, but my body certainly surprises me at times because I get through the day without taking anything and I know it's better for my child. Being pregnant has opened my eyes and made me realize that there are a lot of decisions to be made about childbirth, vaccinations and breastfeeding. I've bought so many books and read so much already because I want the very best experience possible for both me and my child. I've decided to have the baby at a birthing center with a midwife rather than a hospital. Some people may balk and criticize my decision, but I know that it is the best choice for us. I've interviewed a doctor and two midwives already and the midwives agree more with me on birthing choices.

Well, that's all that I can write today. Hopefully I'll sit down tomorrow and write some more!