Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall is in the air!

This is my favorite season. I love the leaves changing colors and all the fall gourds and fall smells and most of all, the yummy fall foods! Here are a few fall recipes that I love!

Ashley's Pumpkin Bread
INGREDIENTS:
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (15oz) can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (8x4 inch) loaf pans. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roll
INGREDIENTS:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup flour

FILLING:
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat sugar & eggs. Beat in remaining cake ingredients. Grease a 10"x15" jelly roll pan. Line pan with waxed paper, then grease and lightly flour the waxed paper. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a little brown. While cake is baking, sprinkle powdered sugar heavily over the kitchen towel, using a sieve or sifter. Turn hot cake onto the towel. Remove waxed paper. Trim off burnt or crusty edges. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the hot cake and quickly roll up with towel inside. Let cake cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare filling by beating together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Unroll cooled cake and spread with the filling mixture. Roll up cake with filling on the inside. Wrap in waxed paper and then foil. Refrigerate or freeze. To serve, slice cake about 1/3 inch thick and sprinkle with powdered sugar. This is so yummy and pretty, too!

Pumpkin Pie Crunch
INGREDIENTS:
3 eggs
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 butter recipe golden cake mix
1 cup chopped pecan bits
1 cup melted butter
Vanilla Cool Whip

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Combine eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Pour it into the greased pan and then pour the dry cake mix over it evenly. Sprinkle pecans on top. Then drizzle the butter over it, and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. This definitely needs to be served with Cool Whip!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup crisco
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 bag chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Cream crisco and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients (flour, soda, and seasonings). Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
**I always add extra cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. And I don't put the nuts in ours, but these are so so good! It seems like a weird combo but the pumpkin makes the cookies very creamy. Try them and I promise they will not dissapoint...we love them!

So I just noticed that all of these recipes are dessert type recipes. I guess it goes along with the season, though! We eat a lot of sweets this time of year! I am planning on trying a new butternut squash soup recipe soon so if that turns out to be any good, I will post it. That seems fall to me! Another thing that I like to make around this time of year are gingerbread waffles. I don't have the recipe for that handy or I would have posted it. It's a Rachael Ray recipe so I'm sure you could find it online if you're interested. What do you like to make around this time of year? Another thing that my mom and I like to do is to make apple cider and put red hots in it. Yum! I have loved looking at all the pictures of people taking their kiddo's to the pumpkin patch. I can hardly wait to dress Cayden up and do that next year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I am looking forward to...

I came across these pictures the other day and I just had to share! If Cayden looks anything like his daddy in the pictures below, it's going to be all over for me...what a cutie!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who says girls get to have all the cute clothes?!?

Look how precious these overalls are?!? I picked these up from BabyGap for Cayden last week. They are so soft and I can hardly wait to cuddle him while wearing these this winter!

And I love love love this velour outfit - I picked this up last week at the same time. I have visions of Cayden running around wearing this next Thanksgiving. So fun!


Also, have you voted yet? We went and voted last night and I proudly wore my "I Voted" sticker on my sweater when we went to dinner afterwards. This is such an important election - make sure you vote!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The need to nest...

*Update- it has come to my attention that the below sentence reads like I am giving birth on Saturday. I am NOT giving birth to this baby 2 1/2 months early! We went and did our hospital tour this past Saturday. That's what I was trying so say! Sorry about the confusion!*

We went and did our tour of the hospital where we'll be delivering on Saturday. I really liked the tour guide and was impressed with the hospital. I learned that they have a brand new NICU and can handle babies born after 28-29 weeks (which I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow) so that made me feel good. The hospital is close to us so we won't have to drive downtown or anything, so that's nice. And one thing I'm super excited about...it's close to a Subway and a Sonic. The 2 things that I have been missing eating while pregnant is deli meat and corn dogs so Collin won't have too far to drive to get me those things post delivery :) Here are some pics of us in front of the hospital.

In the above picture, Collin and Clint were showing off their pregnant bellies (Collin had my sweater under his shirt!). Silly boys! Larissa and I both got a tad bit freaked out while there. Just being at the hospital and seeing all the equipment and talking about all the details with hospital types...it's overwhelming. Although we have known this truth, you sort of come to the realization of, "This baby has to come out of me...and soon!!" When we found out we were pregnant, 9 months seemed so far away, but now that we're getting so close, it's almost surreal. I have definitely felt the pressure to get some more reading under my belt this week. I bought the What to Expect During the First Year book on Sunday and borrowed another book from a friend. I want to be as prepared as I can be not only for labor but for adjusting to life as a new mommy. Am I normal for being a little freaked out? I would love to hear how you were feeling when you were approaching the home stretch!

Last weekend, our baby furniture came in. It's sitting in my parents garage in boxes. I want so badly to set it up (especially since some of Cayden's bedding came in the mail yesterday) but it makes no sense to do that at this point. It's been a struggle for me to not know where we'll be living and if we'll even be able to find a house that we love and get moved and settled in before the baby comes. I LOVE decorating and not being able to get his nursery ready right now is hard for me. But, I'm so thankful that we're here and I know that everything will work out beautifully. In the meantime, I am just trying to get everything together so that when it does happen, we can set it up in a hurry.

If you have any advice on preparing for baby - both for the delivery part and for once we get home, I would love to hear it! If you don't feel like sharing on here, call or email me!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pictures and baby update!

We have not been good about taking pictures lately so last weekend we took a few! On Saturday night we went to dinner at this BBQ place out in Glen Rose and then we went to see The Promise. It's a musical about Jesus life that they have done since I can remember. I hadn't been since I was a child and, obviously, Collin had never been. He said it reminded him of pagaent at Houston's First Baptist Church. We went with my parents, some of their friends, and our friends Larissa and Clint. We had a good time - here are some pictures from the night. You can kind of tell how big I am getting - Clint joked in that shirt that my stomach sort of looked like a disco ball! Ha!

I had to post this picture of the boys at dinner - it makes me laugh.

So, now onto the baby update. This has been a weird baby week for us. I went to the doctor Monday morning for a check up and to do my glucose test. My doctor saw how swollen my feet were, especially my left one, and basically freaked out. I asked her if it was normal to have one foot way more swollen than the other and fully expecting to hear her say, "yeah, sure" she shocked me by saying, "Actually, no - it's not normal". She ordered a doppler flow study of my left leg to be sure I didn't have a blood clot. So, I went downstairs and checked into the hospital and had that done. It just took about an hour and came back that I do NOT have a blood clot. Praise the Lord! So, my doctor thinks that Cayden is just sitting on my left side. And since he's still breech - I didn't have another sonogram but I can just tell, he still only kicks me really low - then that means that he's probably sort of sitting up on the left side of my body facing the right side of my body. Imagine a little boy sitting up in a school desk. Larissa thinks it means he's advanced :) I tend to agree. He's definitely GT! So, back to the swollen feet thing, my doc put me on a low sodium diet and ordered me to spend several hours a day with my feet propped up, preferably level with my heart. I've been spending a lot of time in a recliner. And can I just tell you that EVERYTHING has sodium in it!!! An 8 oz glass of 1% milk has 130 mg of sodium. It's insane. It's been a bit of a challenge but the results this week are fabulous! My feet look like new feet. I went out last weekend and had to buy new shoes because none of my shoes (except flip-flops and it's starting to get chilly here) fit. I normally wear a 7 or 7 1/2 and had to buy an 8 WIDE and another pair that's an 8 1/2. Crazy. And now this week that the swelling's gone down, the shoes are a little big! Oh-well. Larissa reminded me last night that I still have at least 2 months to go so they might still swell a bit more even with this new lifestyle change. And in the meantime, I'll just wear those little thin flesh colored socks to fill out the extra room. But my blood pressure is still "stellar" in my doctor's words so that's really good.

My doc's office called a couple of days ago to let me know that I passed the glucose test with flying colors (which I was extra glad to hear because diabetes runs in my family and I was told that I was at advanced risk) but I am anemic with the latter part of this pregnancy so I am now on an iron supplement. So, that's been our exciting baby week!

Hope everyone reading this is doing super!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tagged!

I got tagged by my friend Ashley to post the sixth picture from the sixth file on my computer. So, here it is! This is Collin and I at Canyon Lake a couple of years ago. We were with our best buds the Simpson's and we were roasting marshmallows and making smores outside of our cabin. Yum!

I'm not sure who, if anyone, will do this but I tag Larissa, Amy, and Carissa.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bad Day Turned Good

In my last post, I mentioned that Collin was on a business trip to Midland, Texas. For anyone who lifted him up in prayer, THANK YOU! It was a great day and he came home with the wildest tale of his adventure in Midland. And he hit a home run with his presentation...I knew he would :)

Now, let me tell you about my day last Wednesday. I woke up at 5:00 AM with Collin. Once he was out the door, I came upstairs to get some things done - pay bills, etc. before trying to catch a few more zzz's before my day would begin. Of course, right about then, Cayden goes crazy kicking me. I mean crazy. You would have thought I was growing a ninja. He's kicking me so much that it's impossible to get any rest so after about 10 minutes I decide to face facts and just get up and begin my day. I'm already on edge knowing that Collin has 2 plane rides and a big presentation that day so I decide to just make myself busy. After a few hours, my dad yells up the stairs to tell me that he's going on a motorcycle ride (he just bought a motorcycle a few weeks ago and acts like a young child where that bike is concerned - he's so giddy!) around the neighborhood. My parents live in a gated community where everyone has at least a couple of acres of land so there aren't many cars on the road...a conducive environment to someone who is still learning how to ride a motorcycle. I yelled back down that I had heard him and to be careful and kept on doing whatever it was that I was doing. After about 20 minutes of him still being gone, I started to get curious as to why he wasn't back yet and ran downstairs to investigate. I noticed that he had shut the garage, which I thought was weird but dismissed it. I decided that I was worrying needlessly (which I often do) and went back upstairs to continue my business. I told myself that it was a beautiful day and he probably was just having so much fun that he was driving around more than normal. After he had been gone over an hour, I started to worry. I put on my tennis shoes (which was terribly depressing because I discovered that I could barely fit my very pregnant and swollen feet into them) and uncomfortably walked out to my car. I got into the car, rolled the window down, and began slowly driving around the neighborhood looking for my dad. I drove slowly because I didn't want to drive up on him and startle him on his motorcycle. The longer that I drove around, the more my mind started jumping to conclusions...horrible conclusions (am I the only one who does this? I think it's a sickness...). I imagined my dad lying in a ditch somewhere in the neighborhood and started to panic. This is when I started yelling "Dad!" out the window and started frantically looking for him off in the distance. I should also mention that I did something to my neck on Monday in which made it hurt terribly and almost impossible to turn my head from side to side (especially the left side) or even up and down. This made turning to look out the window and yelling very difficult but I pushed through because I was worried. I began praying harder and the tears started to flow as I drove back to the house. He was no where to be found. I went inside and hesitantly picked up the phone. I didn't want to call my mom because she's a worrier too (although she wouldn't admit it) and I hadn't called my dad already because I was afraid that if he had the phone on vibrate that it would startle him while driving the motorcycle and it might cause him to have an accident. In hindsight, I know that this logic is ridiculous for more than one reason but I'm just telling you what I was thinking at the time. I dialed my dad's cell number and sure enough, he answers on about the 3rd ring, sounding mighty chipper. I don't remember exactly what I said but I'm sure it was something along the lines of, "WHERE ARE YOU?!?". Come to find out, he had driven to the church. Like 25 miles away. He had never driven the bike outside of our little sheltered neighborhood. I could have rung his neck. He apologized for upsetting me so much and promised that he took back roads and didn't go above 60 mph. When we got off the phone, I called my mom and immediately broke down and started sobbing. So, not only was dad in trouble with me that night but he was in trouble with mom...which is always way worse! He has slowly become less and less in the dog house as the week has gone on. He promised that he would never do that to his pregnant daughter again and that he will be honest about where he's going and about how long he should be gone. In his defense, he said that he wasn't necessarily planning on driving to the church but that it was a beautiful day and after he drove around the neighborhood about 3 times and felt good about it, he decided to just drive to the church. And he figured when I started to get worried that I would call him. My thing wasn't that he drove to the church (although my mom would have sang a different tune had she been in the loop), although I wouldn't have been thrilled about that. I had a problem with the fact he acted like he would be gone for 15 minutes and was gone for 3 hours!!! It's funny now but was NOT funny on Wednesday afternoon! Praise the Lord that he was OK!

It took me a while to calm down and finally, baby Cayden stopped squirming enough for me to get some rest. I layed down and thankfully, my dad got home shortly after that. Knowing he was safely in the house allowed me to get some sleep. When I woke up about an hour and a half later, my crying-induced headache was gone and I felt much better. I got on E-bay and discovered that the bedding items for Cayden's nursery that I had bid on, I actually won so I got excited about that! Don't worry - they're brand new...I'm not planning on putting my child in a stranger's used sheets! Then the mail came and lo-and-behold, I got a package from my sweet friend Ashley. She bought me a few maternity shirts and they're precious! It totally made my day and could not have come on a better afternoon :) Thank the Lord for good friends!


And then, by the time I was done making dinner, Collin texted me and told me that his plane had landed - praise Jesus! He got home about an hour and a half later and it was sooo good to see him. It was the perfect ending to the day.

Whew...that was really long! We have had a good weekend but I won't post about that now since this is already crazy long. I go for my glucose test in the morning so cross your fingers for no gestational diabetes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I thought we left Kindergarten behind...

Collin started his job last Wednesday and things are going well. He likes his new boss and is enjoying working in downtown Fort Worth. He's working in Sundance Square, which is a trendy, fun area in downtown. Last Friday they had a music and art festival outside and Collin said there were booths set up and they played music all afternoon. Not super condusive when you're trying to get some work done, but it's a fun environment! They have really had him dive in to this new position. He is flying to Midland today (he left the house at 5:20 this morning!) to present his idea for how he thinks the company should implement financial plans to the branch in Midland. It's a little nerve-wracking being the new guy and being younger than everyone there so if you think about it, please pray for him to have safe travel and give a knock out presentation. I have no doubt that he'll do a great job :)

So now for the title of this post...I made Collin smile for a picture before he left for work last Wednesday morning. He obviously thought it was a silly idea but he appeased me and stopped getting ready in the bathroom long enough to let me snap a picture.

How cute is he?!? He called me from work at around lunchtime to tell me about his day thus far. He mentioned that it was kind of different the way the have their restrooms set up - you have to get a key from the receptionist to unlock the bathroom (it's a 1-holer). After we got off the phone, I started laughing thinking about how he probably felt like an elementary school kid: having his picture made before he left the house in the morning and then having to get a key from the receptionist to use the restroom. Ha!

I have been getting up early with him to feed him and get him out the door with ironed clothes! It's funny, I get up earlier now then I did when I was working! Then my days have been consumed with still trying to get things in order. We are dealing with a big mess getting our insurance switched over but I won't bother you with that drama. It will all work out, it's just a ridiculous process of seemingly endless (and frustrating) phone calls and waiting, etc. I am also still going round and round with several companies to tie up loose ends. For example, our former electric company in Sugar Land, due to Hurricane Ike, was not able to shut off our power. We are still paying for power there because our electric provider wasn't able to accept orders for disconnect when we were wanting that to happen. I was told yesterday that it should be shut off on Friday. I understand that it's not their fault that the hurricane came and they could not shut off our power, but that's not our fault either and I don't feel that we should be held liable for that bill. We'll see how that fight goes. I have a feeling already that I am going to lose but it's worth a try. There are so many things to get taken care of when you move and change jobs (and pregnancy definitely adds more to that list, as well!) - I feel like I am on the phone all day long. It's horrible how bad customer service is these days. Most people are not people of their word and companies do not follow through with what they tell you but I digress.

My mom and I went shopping last Friday and it was so nice just to be able to take a liesurely shopping trip with her. It used to be that Collin and I would just be here for a few days on a visit and if my mom and I went shopping, it was always rushed. It was nice to run around town for fun things. Like this precious baby book that we picked up for Cayden.

I had thought about making my own baby book but I decided that since I will be scrapbooking anyway that there was no point. This book has most of what I was wanting in a babybook anyhow and it's really cute! I haven't started writing in it yet - I have a pregnancy record book as well that I'm trying to stay updated with also.

Collin's pretty much back into a routine as far as work goes, but I have really missed him! I had him with me everyday for almost 2 weeks so when he had to go back to work, it was a little sad! We got quite a bit done before he started back the 8-5 gig so it was good.

I had intended to update on a few other things but I will do that later this week. I hope everyone is having a super week!