Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I don't remember Diva teething this early. Then I went and found pictures. Miss April had her canines coming in around July. Smushy, Mr. August, has his canines coming November. Gee, kids, thanks.

Not, of course, that the teeth actually break through. They are visible through the gums. They're hanging out riiiiight below the top of the gum line. Ya know, where they could burst into freedom and save my sanity?

Happy baby has turned into don't-you-dare-put-me-down-woman-who-do-you-think-you-are?!?! Tipping the scales at 16 gets tiring to lug him around all day! We've been getting a lot of wear out of our Moby Wrap.

This is not us. I, for one, can never get my wrap to look this perfect. And I mean never. And my wrap, this celery color, is much much prettier in person. I'm just happy if my back doesn't hurt and the kid doesn't fall out. That means it's working...right?

Moby has a fantastic instructions page. I visit it often. This is us:

Smushy is currently being worn as I type. But...I'm not sitting. I'm standing. Apparently, if I sit, the world shifts and his happiness slides towards the "MAD BABY" side of the meter. Standing it is, sir. Standing it is.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm biased. I can't help it. The Smushy boy just does it to me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin cheesecake & muffins

For Thanksgiving, I  made pumpkin cheesecake and vegan pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. We are trying to slowly move into the vegan lifestyle. That and I couldn't find fake cream cheese.

But, here are the recipes. They are so yummy. They disappeared rather quickly, so I know I'm not the only one who enjoyed them.

Hubby's favorite:

Pumpkin Cheesecake
(I got the recipe from here, but modified it slightly)


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. 
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Again, snagged the recipe from here but modified. I like more spice!!) 


* this recipe makes 24 cupcakes, for 12, cut it in half 
seriously. this will make a bunch of small/normal size muffins and several huge ones!
2 cups canned pumpkin
2.5 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup of chocolate chips


  • Line a muffin tin with eco-friendly (unbleached) cupcake liners. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the canned pumpkin, oil, soy milk, sugar and vanilla.
  • When this is thoroughly mixed, sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Use a fork or whisk – not an electric mixer.
  • When batter is thoroughly mixed, pour in the chocolate chips and mix them in
  • Pour batter into the muffin tin – filling each space about 2/3 full. The cakes will rise a lot, so don’t overdo it unless you want gigantic cupcakes.
  • Bake at 350°F for 22 minutes. Let cool before you eat them!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Women Need Prenatal Education - Fit Pregnancy

Why Women Need Prenatal Education - Fit Pregnancy

"Does this doctor/patient dynamic sound like a healthy adult relationship or something akin to an adult-child relationship (the pregnant women plays the “child” here)? Is it a little weird that many women’s first experiences as mothers place them in a submissive, obedient role where they give away their power? Heck yeah, it’s weird and this is a “new generation” thing. Even as recently as a decade ago women came to childbirth knowing what to expect and how they wanted things to go down. They were well enough informed to voice their opinions about what happened to their bodies. Not so much these days. Too many women have become complacent, obedient and kind of gullible. "


I'm grateful this baby has grown into Miss Diva.

I'm grateful for the chance to love on this Smushy every day.

I'm grateful for the fabulous people in my life.

I'm grateful for two beautiful, healthy, happy children who fill my world with snuggles, hugs, kisses, and joy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Enjoying the Small Things"

I had a whiny, self centered post written. Then, I stumbled across this blog. More specifically, this entry.

As I read this story that was poured from a new mother's heart, my gripes suddenly seemed terribly insignificant. I held my little baby boy close and tried to keep the tears from cascading down as I lay in bed unable to navigate away from this story. The photos that accompany Nella's birth story are amazing. Even if you do not want to read, look at the photos. They are enough. Just simply enough.

Many people do not know that I have an uncle with Down's Syndrome. He is my mother's older brother and his name is Rick. I always think of him as "Uncle Rick". (case in point: I had a hard time typing Rick without "uncle" in front of it!)

He was always around when I was growing up; he lived with my Grandma and "Puppy" until she died from cancer when I was ten. He then moved up north to live with various members of my mom's family. He eventually came to live with us. Us being my mom, dad, three brothers, paternal grandmother with Alzheimer's, three cats, nine dogs, cockatiel, and chickens. Thankfully, we lived on a farm. In the middle of no-where. In a speck on the map in Alabama.

When I was younger, I knew that Uncle Rick wasn't like other people. He lives for the Dallas Cowboys, one dollar bills, Cheerios, and Days of Our Lives. He thrived on routine, phone calls, cards, and milk shakes. He rarely got frustrated with my brother and I. He was always interested in "doing homework" and would gladly pay us a dollar to write a sentence repeatedly on a piece of paper.

Growing up, I heard my mother talk about how it was to live with a brother who had DS. Her stories ranged from heart-warming to gut-clenching. The way people treated him was terrible. The way people still treat people with mental problems is disgusting, but I digress.

During my pregnancies, before any tests ruled out genetic abnormalities, I worried about DS. It consumed my thoughts and fears. It took a lot of soul searching and shame for me to finally admit I do not believe I could raise a child with DS. It is so hard to think that though, much less voice it or type it. I believe that the people who do raise children with disabilities are freakin' amazing. Their patience, love, and joy consistently humble me and make me feel ashamed of my weaknesses.

Kelle Hampton's blog, for the first time in my life, made me think that maybe, just maybe, I could also raise a child with DS. Would I feel all the roller-coaster emotions she did? Without a doubt. Would I weep and rage silently? Probably not so silently, honestly. But...she made me think I could do it. And for that, thank you Kelle. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Planning on making history

I first heard the quote "Well-behaved women rarely make history." when I attended an all-women's college in Virginia. The quote has followed me throughout the years with its meaning evolving as I do. At first, I took it at its face value. It's true--you never hear about docile housewives during history. History is fleshed out with Marie Antoinette, Pocahontas, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart. Women who didn't listen to society's rules. Women who scoffed when told "only men can". Women who pushed the envelope and burst through the glass ceiling with grace, style, and determination.

Now, it is more of a motto, a mantra, a goal. I don't want to be well-behaved. Actually, it's more the fact that I'm not well-behaved, but I used to be the docile, rule-abiding, do-as-your-told woman. Then I had my daughter. That rule-abiding person was gone. I didn't want to blindly accept what was shoved at me; I wanted, and needed, to do what I felt was best for myself and Miss Diva. It will be four years in April for this new-and-improved me. I'm still figuring out who I am. After two decades and some odd years of being here, I'm still becoming comfortable in my own skin. I'm still deciding who and what I want to be when I grow up. I'm trying new things and keeping what works for me and discarding what doesn't. It's refreshing. It's liberating. It's terrifying.

I came across a quote that is credited to Betty Bender. I don't know if Betty really said this or if credit belongs to someone else. I do know that it struck me. I've thought about it for days.

"Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile…initially scared me to death."

Driving? Scary. Going out of state to college? Scarier. Falling in love? Frightening. Signing up for doula classes? Shaking in my boots. Becoming a mother? The. Most. Terrifying. Thing. Ever. But, without a doubt, it has also been the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. And I've done it twice now. Miss Diva now has a brother, Smushy Face. They are my world. Every decision I make will affect them for the rest of their lives. Who I am will affect them. What I do will affect them. What I say, think, eat, breathe...yep, you guessed it--it will affect them.

It is humbling and overwhelming. But, those smiles, giggles, hugs and "I love you the mostest." make it worth every tear, every sleepless night, and all those stretch marks.