Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finally Caved & Indulged

I posted about a month ago how I was seriously craving some corn dogs. Well, I finally gave in and made them over the 4th of July weekend.

Would you believe that neither hubby nor his parents had ever had a corn dog in their lives? How can you live almost 33 and 60+ years respectively and never have a corn dog!?

And, what did they think of their first corn dogs? They LOVED them!

corn dogs

Mine don’t look as pretty as the ones in the original recipe, but they sure tasted yummy. They were definitely more work than buying the bulk package of individually wrapped corn dogs at Sam’s Club, but I’m sure they were healthier (well as healthy as a corn dog gets) for you which makes them worth it.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Last Thursday hubby had the privilege of throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game. It was fun to watch him relive his childhood days of pitching and he was so proud of himself that he threw a strike.

Here are some photos of the star pitcher for the evening:

Posing for the official photographer

Such determination on his face!

A happy boy with his souvenir baseball.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

21 Weeks

Well, no doubt I'm pregnant now based on the size of this belly! Also, no doubt I need to get a new haircut and stop wearing the same wet style every morning. And, it goes without saying that a pale complexion with a white door as a backdrop and red lips is a definite DO NOT REPEAT! I feel like I belong in a portrait of the Adam's Family. Ha!

Today is most definitely the last day these white pants will be worn until post-pregnancy/baby weight loss. Let's just say if I had a pair of white maternity pants, they definitely would have been the better option today.

What else is new this week? Today I'm surviving on less than 5 hours of sleep courtesy of my hubby who couldn't sleep himself and when he got up to go downstairs around 3am (even though he really was quiet), it woke me up and I couldn't fall back asleep until an hour before my alarm went off. So, we'll see how long I last today.

Last night I felt our little girl move from the outside for the first time! It was so neat, and I tried to get hubby's hand in time, but she stopped moving by the time I grabbed him. Hopefully she'll start doing that more frequently so he can join in on all these fun somersaults I'm experiencing.

I've been cleaning my catch-all junk craft room this week in preparation for starting in on converting it to a nursery when we return in two weeks from visiting family and working on our house. I have a million ideas of what I want to do, but it will all come down to which costs the least buckaroos if you know what I mean. Where I'm going to store all my junk craft stuff is TBD, but I'm anxious to convert it to something special for our little girl.

Lastly, here is what the little one is up to this week:

At about seven inches in length and almost 11 ounces in weight (we were told she was 11 ounces at our ultrasound last Friday), your baby is about the size of a large banana.

By 21 weeks pregnant, your baby swallows at least several ounces of amniotic fluid each day — not only for hydration and nutrition, but also to practice swallowing and digesting — skills your baby will need as soon as he or she arrives in your arms. And keep this in mind: The taste of the amniotic fluid differs from day to day depending on what you've eaten (spicy enchilada one day, sweet carrots another). And that smorgasbord of tastes won't be lost on your baby. That's because your little one has very developed taste buds already. In fact, researchers have noted that babies who were exposed to certain tastes in utero via the amniotic fluid were more eager to eat foods with that same taste after birth. Want your baby to eat his or her broccoli later? Eat yours now!

Your developing baby still has a great deal of room in your womb — though like anyone who lives in one space for a long time, this tenant will soon begin to feel cramped. Until those uterine walls start closing in, however, there's plenty of space for twisting, turning, and even an occasional somersault (so that's what you were feeling last night!).

With all that belly dancing going on, it's hard to believe your baby gets any sleep at all. But believe it or not, your fetus sleeps as much as a newborn, perhaps 12 to 14 hours per day! (Now if only you could get some sleep!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another one for team…

Yankees Outfit


To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement! Hubby took it like a champ too and I think he’s going to be so in love with his little girl he’ll forget all about the fact he was positive it was a boy. My family is super happy and I think my in-laws will eventually come around to the idea of a grandDAUGHTER instead of a grandson (they just tend to be more boy-oriented). And, I even chose to laugh at a most likely unintended insult from my m.i.l. during the following conversation:

M.I.L (to hubby): “Looks like no help on the farm for you.”
Me: “Oh no, I fully expect him and want him to show our little girl how to work on the farm too.”
M.I.L: “No. She’s going to be just like her mother.”

What other option did I have but to look at hubby and just laugh? I know I’m definitely more girly than my mother-in-law, but I also know how to get dirty when the time calls for it. I’ve loaded and thrown hay bales. I’ve gotten dirty renovating a house with my hubby. I’ve dug in the dirt and helped put up fencing. Just because I prefer to do more inside “girly” chores doesn’t mean I can’t help out on the farm. Besides, you gotta have someone to feed and cloth the hungry workers and give them a place of respite when they come in from the fields!

I’ve been on cloud 9 all day. Now it’s time to start planning the nursery! And, for those of you who are wondering, we are pretty set on a name, but we’re not revealing it until our little girl arrives.

P.S. Her daddy picked out the cute little Yankees outfit and looked all through the racks on his own to find the right size to fit her for next year’s season. So cute!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

20 Weeks – Halfway!

Today we are halfway through! I’m hoping a little over halfway because it’d be great if our son or daughter (tomorrow we find out…yeah!) makes their appearance around 38 weeks.

Two weeks in a row I’ve had horrible pictures taken. Week 19 I never posted because it was completely washed out and taken from down looking up. This week I had hubby take it at 6:30am after I had done my yoga and made a trip to the toilet due to nausea (what’s up with that?) because I was in the same clothes I had on at week 16 and though it’d be a good comparison.

So, here is my no-makeup, new blood spots (they appear for about a day each time after I throw up…anybody have any idea what that’s about?) on my face, and horrible background (the downstairs sweat shop) of a 20 week picture:

Pregnant_20 Weeks
One observation - my back is not normally that swayed looking when I look in the mirror; must be the angle hubby was at compared to me.

And, for comparison sake, here is Week 16 & Week 20 side-by-side:


Today I’m still wearing a normal pair of jeans (button-fly and can only button bottom button) and shirt, but I think this is the last time I’ll be able to wear the shirt without popping a button until after the baby is born. Thankfully, I still haven’t had to venture into the realm of maternity clothes because I have one pair of shorts that still fit (just lower than normal) and lots of a-line dresses. Hopefully those will get me through the rest of this ridiculously hot summer we’re having here in the Northeast because my sister gave me some tops for fall and I should only need to buy a pair of dress maternity slacks.

This week our lil’ turkey is measuring in around 6.5” crown to rump and weighs about 10 oz. It likes to move a lot and I’ve felt a small kick or two. Hopefully in the next couple weeks hubby will be able to feel it from the outside too.

Speaking of hubby. I forwarded him the weekly e-mail I get about the status of the pregnancy and today’s was about how dad should celebrate the 20 week milestone by buying the mom-to-be flowers, taking her to dinner and giving her a backrub. He sent the following back to me:

For Mom: Half Way There

The halfway point in the pregnancy is an excellent reason to celebrate.

Twenty weeks! Your excitement, which may have been at a lull the last few weeks, just might peak again about now: At 20 weeks pregnant, you've reached the halfway point in the pregnancy. This is an excellent reason to celebrate: Stop your whining, moaning, complaining and instead tell him how wonderful he is that he puts up with you, rub his feet, give him long non-chinsy back rubs, make him lunch or other snacks, clean the house and maybe he’ll stay around for the next 20 weeks.
See more tips for
mom during pregnancy.

The parts in olive are obviously his own additions. He sure makes me laugh that one! Especially given how easy he’s had it because I haven’t been that moody.

Tonight we are celebrating, though, because he’s meeting me at work and we’re going to grab dinner and then we’re off to a minor league baseball game where he gets to enjoy one of the perks of being mayor – throwing out the first pitch. It should be a lot of fun as long as I don’t die from heat stroke!

Today’s the last day to vote on whether we’re having a boy or a girl. Last I checked, girl was still winning by two. Tune in tomorrow to find out pink or blue!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

Sweet Corn Tamale Cake_2  
Every time hubby & I go to The Cheesecake Factory we order the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes as an appetizer. They are delicious and I had to find the recipe to make them at home. A quick internet search produced a similar sounding recipe on Tonight was the night to try them out and they are G-O-O-D!

Last night I quickly whipped up the sauces in the food processor (very few dishes to clean) and tonight I made the corn cakes after work. They were met with rave reviews from hubby and the in-laws. While they don’t taste exactly like the ones we get at the restaurant, they are a very good substitute and much friendlier on our wallet.

Here is the recipe if you care to make your own. It looks like more work and ingredients than it really is…you probably have most of them on hand already.

Sweet Corn Tamale Cake

SWEET CORN TAMALE CAKES (Cheesecake Factory copycat)
Serves: 4

Salsa Verde
2 tomatillos, sliced
4 oz. can diced mild green chilies, drained
1 green onion, chopped
2 T fresh cilantro, minced
1 1/4 t sugar
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in food processor or blender and chill.

Tomato Salsa
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 T minced onion
1 T fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 t lime juice
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 dash salt
1 dash ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in food processor or blender and chill.

Southwestern Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 t white vinegar
1 t water
3/4 t sugar
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch onion powder
1 dash salt
1 dash garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and chill.

Corn Cakes
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn (slightly thawed)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 T sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup corn meal/flour
2 T all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coarsely puree 1 cup of corn in food processor. Add softened butter, sugar and salt. Blend well. Add corn meal and flour and blend well. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup corn. Scoop about 1/2 cup of mixture and form it into a patty and place on greased cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve used all the dough (I got about 4 patties with a little left over). Bake for 25 minutes or until the bottoms start to brown. Flip the cakes and cook for another 5 minutes or until browned (note: they will spread a lot in the oven so don’t place them too close together).

Garnish & Assembly
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 avocado, diced (we used 2/3 because we love avocado)
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped (I forgot this)
Salsa Verde (from above)
Tomato Salsa (from above)
Southwestern Sauce (from above)

Place some salsa verde on a plate. Top with one of the corn cakes. Spread sour cream on top of the cake. Top with diced avocado and tomato salsa. Drizzle southwestern sauce on top and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

“CARS” Apron & Chef Hat

My oldest nephew turns 3 in August and one of his favorite things is to cook and bake with mommy. She calls him her little “sous chef” and he gets so upset if she starts baking/cooking without him. Thus, I thought the perfect gift for him would be an apron and hat (so he no longer steals Chelsea’s girly apron each time). When I found the “Cars” fabric I knew it’d be perfect because that’s one of his favorite movies.

I did a quick Google search for some apron/hat tutorials, and the best one I found was here: apron and hat. I changed it a little by adding a pocket to the reverse side and separating the pocket into two pockets by sewing a seam down the middle.

First, I made a Microsoft publisher file that contained all my pattern pieces so I could maximize my fabric usage.


(1.25 yards of 44” wide main fabric)


(1 yard of 44” wide coordinating fabric)

I printed out the patterns on my computer and then taped the 8.5 x 11 sheets together and cut them out and pinned them to my fabric. After cutting out my fabric, I was left with a good amount of scraps for future projects.

I’m a beginner/intermediate sewer (why does that word always look so awful?) and this was super easy. I liked this project because I learned how to make your own binding to hide raw edges and how much of a difference interfacing makes for stiffness (in the hat band). Overall, the project cost me less than $11 because I only had to buy the fabric (only two fabric stores within an hour of me – Wal-Mart (where I ended up going) and a mom & pop that charges through the nose so you might be able to get cheaper fabric). My mother-in-law had interfacing I could use and I took two round rings of old matching key chains to use instead of D-rings.

Here is the finished project:

cars apron & hat (front)

cars apron & hat_back


Can’t wait to see the birthday boy in his new apron and hat. I’m sure he’ll love it!

Want to check out more fun projects? Visit Hope Studios Tutorial Tuesday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Almost time!

My hubby has been travelling for the past three days for work. Poor guy had to fly into Billings, Montana and then make the 12 hour drive north across the Canadian border to get to where he was going because it was more economical than flying closer. Needless to say, I'm ready to have him back in the country and back in cell phone signal range so we can communicate again.

I pick him up tonight at 7pm from the airport. After that, we're heading directly to Red Robin for some delicious hamburgers. I may or may not have also had a hamburger for dinner each of the two nights while he was gone. What can I body is craving red meat!

Today marks 19 weeks. Almost halfway! Hard to believe. In hubby's absence I asked my mother-in-law to take my picture this morning and let's just say when I went to upload it it left a lot to be desired. So, I'll try to have hubby take a different one of me tonight when I see him and post it tomorrow.

We originally thought we were going to find out whether we're having a boy or girl tomorrow, but about a week ago we realized my doctor's office scheduled me a week too soon so we had to move it back until next Friday the 9th. I'm so anxious to find out! I know you can normally tell by now (and I think my doctor found out at my 18 week appointment), but my doctor wants to wait until week 20 so that we're on a better schedule with the visits for the rest of the pregnancy. So, if you haven't voted yet, you have about a week left. So far girl is winning by 2 votes. At this point, I really have no clue whether I'm carrying a boy or a girl, but I have had dreams about both. As long as there's only one baby in there, I'll be happy no matter what.