Saturday, December 31, 2011

Heaven on a Cake Stand


Im not even exaggerating when I say this cake is by far the best chocolate cake I have had in my life!!!  It is so easy to make that I think everyone needs to try it! It has coffee in the recipe which at first I was turned off by.  I love me some coffee with lots of cream and sugar but I usually don't like coffee flavored desserts well, if you didn't know it was there you would never know there was coffee in this cake!


Cake Ingredients:

1 3/4 call purpose flour
2 csugar
3/4 ccocoa powder
2 tspbaking soda
1 tspbaking powder
1 tspsalt
2eggs
1 cstrong black coffee, cooled
1 cbuttermilk
1/2 cvegetable oil
1 tspreal vanilla extract
CHocolate Frosting:
1/2 cmargarine, softened
2 ozmelted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
3 cpowdered sugar
3 Tbspmilk
2 tspreal vanilla extract
Ingredients:
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer. Spread frosting on cooled cakes.

I found the recipe HERE from Pinterest
I insist you must try it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

This and That

- I have so many random thoughts lately, on top of my random thoughts I feel like life in general is just CRAZY.  I started a new job which I am really loving so far and L has decided naps are for the birds and with the holidays I just feel like my life is so crazy and unorganized theses days!

- I have finally found a church I LOVE, they have a great nursery that loves on L and he is always so happy when he is there and the worship and message always leave me feeling lifted up and recharged, Also they are opening a campus right in my neighborhood, Im pretty excited, I am not sure if I will switch from the main campus but on days we are running late it will be nice and maybe even a good way to fellowship and build friendships with others in our neighborhood!

- As mentioned above I started a new job at a different hospital.  I left for many reasons but I am no longer in the NICU which is sad but I am trying something new and so far I am loving it and am so excited about the future and the opportunities that await me!! Plus a few of my old coworkers just started in the same unit so I am not completely new and alone, makes adjusting to a new job a lot easier.

- L is no longer napping, every now and again like today I can get him to lay down for about 20-30 minutes but I need him to really start napping!! I don't want to resort to the whole cry it out thing but so far no one who is opposed to CIO can tell me their successful methods so I may just have to buckle down and do it.

I just LOVE this sweet smile!!:




- honestly about 90% of the time he is this happy, I love it!!!

- We started out good with solid food but lately he really doesn't want much to do with it, I am not going to push him I assume one day he will be more interested.

- I finally finished christmas shopping today..Hallelujah!!

And I think I am done rambling...Thank you :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wreath love

I love pinterest and have seen so many awesome wreaths I wanted to make one for my door.  I actually made 2, one for the door and one for above the mantle.

This is the first, I have seen this mesh all over the place and couldn't wait to try it myself.  It is actually super easy to use and if you google mesh wreath there are tons of youtube videos!


This is the second and really my true love!

It was so easy but uses a ton of bulbs.  I will be buying a bunch after christmas to make some for others next christmas.

 All I did was get a foam wreath form, wrap it in satin ribbon and then starting with larger balls just start hot gluing them! I probably used about 100 balls ranging from regular size to mini but if I could do it again I would have used more larger balls and less mini balls, I think it would have taken less time.  none the less, I LOVE how it turned out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Food Made by Momma

SO while I was pregnant and actually probably before I was pregnant I had decided I wanted to make my own baby food.  I have seen and smelled jarred food and was honestly completely disgusted by it.

I came across this blog Styleberry Blog and besides the fact that she is awesome she had a really awesome post about making her baby food.  I am very much a visual person and she has this video that shows step by step her process.  After watching that and reading her food post I was completely sold 100%!

I have only done sweet potatoes and pumpkin so far as that's all we have tried, I plan to do a big shopping trip soon to stockpile my freezer with different foods for him for when we get to them.

The sweet potatoes were beyond easy, All I did was wash them, poke holes in them and wrap them in foil then bake on 400 for 30-45 minutes...be sure to watch them so they don't overcook.  Once they are done just scoop the meat out of the skin and put into the blender (I used the magic bullet) with some water and puree adding more water depending on the thinness you want. I then put it into ice cube trays and into the freezer.

Shawna of Styleberry blog recommends these ice cube trays, and so do I.  Each cube is an ounce so its good to keep track of how much baby eats and also it makes storage so much more space efficient since the cubes line up perfectly in a gallon size freezer ziploc.

I was initially very intimidated by the pumpkin but I thought the health benefits for L outweighed the scaredness of me haha.  In reality it wasn't hard at all.  To start, I cut the pumpkin in half then scooped out the innards
Then put them open side down in a baking dish with about 1-2 inches of water and bake on 400 for an hour.  The skin will pull away from the meat and this is what mine looked like I obviously had already scooped out the one half.  It was so easy since it was basically already separated.
Then you do the same thing as with the sweet potatoes just puree and put into the ice cube trays which look like this
I really followed the process from the blog I linked to above, I also used the website Wholesome Baby which is a fantastic resource.

Once again, the process was so easy and I actually tasted both things which they were both tasty, I honestly would not really expect my child to eat something that is foul tasting, I honestly taste everything I give him!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

6 months

My sweet boy turned 6 months on Thanksgiving...It was such a fun day, we had family over and he got to eat solid food for the first time too!!

At his 6 months apt all was well, still staying right along the 75%ile at 19lbs and 27inches my big boy obviously never misses a meal!

He has started to sit on his own very well he can lean foreword and sit back up, move his arms and grab for toys without falling over, he doesn't move though I suppose he is content where we put him and knows if he squawks well pick him up but Im fine with that he can stay put as long as he likes Im not ready for a mobile baby yet!

As previously mentioned we started solids when he turned 6 months we started with sweet potatoes...he loves them next we tried pumpkin which he loves even more.  I have been making his food and I love it its so easy and I feel like he is getting the best start to his eating habits.
first taste...not so sure

ok mom, your just not going fast enough
We still are breastfeeding and that has been going pretty well also, he is finally going 3-4 hours between meals during the day...sometimes less but for the majority of the time its about 3 hours.

Sleep was going ok and then we went to San Antonio two weekends in a row and all went downhill after that.  So... starting yesterday I went against all I have believed up to now and did cry it out...I watched the Moms on Call 3-12months seminar and also consulted with my pediatrician and this is just what it has come to.  It was to the point that he would fall asleep in our arms and as SOON as we put him down he would scream and throw a fit.  He would then wake up 30 minutes to an hour after he went down go through the drama again and proceed to wake every 3-4 hours all night.  That just doesn't work for us so this is the last resort.  The moms on call thing claims it takes 3 days so well see.  The hardest part is when he wakes up in the middle of the night to just let him cry, it breaks my heart but the man has got to get some rest as do the rest of us! I will keep ya posted on how this goes down in the end...and after that we work on nap time.  



He loves to be outside if it was up to him he would be outside 24/7, he loveshis squishy football and anything that lights up.  He rolled from his back to tummy once at night when he was throwing a fit but never on any other occasion.

oh and  HE HAS 2 TEETH! They are the cutest little things ever!! However they are crazy sharp and the child has GOT to learn not bite or his breastfeeding days will be over!

he is such a joy, mr personality...He has a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and always wants to be the center of attention.  He is always smiling sometimes he starts laughing even when he is crying.  When we got his 6 month shots he cried not until she put in the third one and then as soon as i picked him up he started smiling again.  I just love him so much and can not believe that he has been with us six months and that in less than six months we will be celebrating his 1st birthday!!! I better get to planning!



Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Day

Today is World Prematurity Day, being a NICU nurse I felt it necessary to a moment to honor the millions of babies who have died this year because they were born too soon and the millions more who are so strong and courageous as they fight for their little lives each day.  These little guys are some of the strongest and bravest little people around.

A glimpse:







I love what I do and these babies and their families have blessed me and showed me how precious life is.  These babies amaze me every day and when I get to see them go home and then see them months and years later thriving and doing well it rekindles my love for these little babies.

Breastfeeding: an update

So the last I posted on the topic was here and here things have certainly made a 180 and Im so so glad I stuck with it! I was determined to not give up and I really put a lot of extra effort in. I saw a Lactation Consultant on my time, called someone from the Le Leche Leauge, cried in frustration, googled and came out alive!

As far as the nursing itself goes L is a champ he can eat and be done in about 10 minutes and I have pumped after he finishes and he literally drains me all the way! I am so glad it no longer takes him 45min to an hour to eat that was so frustrating when I wanted to go anywhere although it was kind of nice when we were at home, I would basically just camp out on the couch with a full DVR and my water and snacks and just relax with my lil guy.

As far as the items that have been a neccesity for me:

I currently have the Medela Freestyle  pump and... I HATE IT!!!!
1. It is so loud, like a dying machine
2. The pump parts can only be used with the freestyle and you cant just buy the membranes which you have to replace every 3-4 months you have to buy a whole new pump parts kit so then you end up with five million pump parts and only 2 membranes, totally sucks.
3. Also I use the Medela symphony at work and that thing is a true work horse well I cant use my freestyle parts on that pump so if I want to pump in the car on the way to work I need two different sets of pump parts...its just a huge hassle.
4. Another thing I hate is that if the membranes are even the slightest bit wet, the pump wont suck Im not even exaggerating so you either need to a) have several pump part sets or b) completely clean and dry the pump parts between each pumping
5. my boobs hate it, I can get about 8-10oz per pumping with the symphony and a whopping 2-4oz with the freestyle and those 2-4oz only come after a good 25 minutes of pumping....it majorly blows!

I am on the market for a new pump which deeply saddens me since this thing was $400 but whats a girl to do, I need to pump and this thing is just not cuttin it!

I LOVE these bags:
They seem very sturdy and have a double zipper so the milk doesn't leak also, you can lay them flat in the freezer for more efficient storage of milk

Bamboobies are amazing!
These things are so soft and so absorbent I love them! I still need nursing pads and I got tired of shelling out the change for the disposables plus these are very slim and don't show through my shirts

for cleaning my pump parts I like these wipes for on the go or these bags for at home:

When I am at work I don't clean my parts in between pumping since I can use the symphony the parts don't have to be dry so I just rinse them in water and put them in a ziplock in the fridge and this cuts down immensely on my pumping time, from set up to being back in my unit it is anywhere from 20-25 min total that includes set up, pumping, and clean up, I really only pump for 10-14 min with the symphony its awesome!

I hate to pump and I don't pump really unless I am at work.  What I pump at work is what L gets the next night I work.  I usually try to go 3 times at work and if I cant go 3 times I will have to fit in a pumping at home.  I do pump at home on occasion because I dot have a freezer stash at all and I am trying to build one so I need to pump here and there to build that up.  I love this hands free bra thing

 I used to have the Medela one and I hated it because the holes would stretch out and not hold the breast shields on tight enough and I would end up holding them with my hands.  This one I have never had a  problem with it getting stretched and its way cuter!

One thing I wished I had had in those early days when I was dealing mastitis and engorgement was this thing:
Therapearl
You can make it hot or cold and it is boob shaped and comes in a pair so you can put one on each boob, also it comes with the washable blue cover.  This thing would have been a life saver and I have had some clogged ducts here and there and I need to remember to use this, Im sure its way better than a warm wash rag since it probably stays warm.  It will also comes in handy one day when its time to wean.

One last thing I have been using lately to increase my supply since I have needed to pump more so I have enough for L when I go to work is these vitamins:
I feel like I have not been able to pump enough for L for when I am gone, when I pump at work I don't really get enough for the next night lately and have had to pump a few times at home too and these vitamins have been helping, I am slowly starting to see an increase ...even though I smell like IHOP 

All items contain a like to them on Amazon, although if your in Houston, I have found the therapearl pillow thing at some HEB's in the baby section

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rock and ROLL

This past weekend I ran in the San Antonio Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon.  it was my first since finding out I was pregnant.  Granted L is only 5 months old I knew it would be the perfect motivation to get my butt in gear!!  Not to mention my mom and Gram were doing it too and heaven forbid I let them run without me!!

My training was mediocre at best, I really wish I could have trained better but getting back into the swing of things was a little harder than I anticipated.  I LOOSELY used the Hal Higdon training schedule for Novice.  I say loosely because I didn't really stick to it but when I needed some guidance on distance and when to get started I would refer to it.

The days before the race I tried to really up my hydration, during my last half that was my downfall and it really sucked, I hit a wall at mile 10 and the last 3.1 were miserable because I think I wasn't well hydrated.  So this time I really tried to amp up the hydration the week before and then the day before the race I think I drank like over 3L of fluid not just water as I didn't want to end up with hyponatremia (low sodium).
about to start!!
The night before we had our usual pasta and I was able to get about 8 hours of sleep.  I was up bright and early and started my race routine.  I ate a bagel with peanut butter and drank a red bull.  About 15 minutes before race start I ate(?) a GU it was chocolate flavor which was like chocolate pudding.  It took me a long time to get used to GU because the texture really gags you but I take it in bits and also swig water so it dissolves in my mouth.  Once I started using it I really really noticed a difference in my endurance and the way my body felt during long runs.

The race was good, I made sure to pee right as the race was starting and thus did not have to pee during the race, I learned my lesson on that the first time...always pee before you start...the clock doesn't start till your chip passes the start and once you pass the start you cant pause the time and if you have to pee the long potty lines will KILL your time!

I hit a few rough patches but God was good and put the right song on my ipod in my ears right when I needed the motivation.  Believe it or not some of my most motivating songs are worship songs! I started getting a headache around mile 5 and was a little worried it was going to escalate into something else or worse so I stopped drinking as much water and focused on the Cytomax and then at the spot where they offered salt packets I downed like 3 salt packets as well as some GU when it was offered as well.  This was the right thing to do because my headache went away and I had the endurance I needed to keep up my pace and finish without any health problems or injuries.  When I hit mile 12 I had enough steam in me to book it and I hauled it to the finish and ended with a time of 2:09:01.  I wish I would have pushed it harder during the race and I could have gotten a better time but oh well.

I must also add, I forgot a part to my pump and didn't realize it till race morning.  I ran the race with rock boobs which really wasn't that fun.  Luckily some nice security men let me run in the locked up Henry B. Gonzales convention center so I could feed L and at least relieve some pressure haha.

It was a really good time, I wish there were more water stations towards the end and also at the finish its so congested with people you just want to go sit and you feel like a heard of cattle, also some fritos and mini bagel and some cookies is not enough sustenance for people who just burned over 1500 calories...just sayin
My sweet boy after the race having lunch...holding his own bottle like a big boy!

I cant forget...My Gram, who is 77 I might add, finished in 3:09 and my mom did 2:32...they are so awesome, I hope to be as healthy and awesome as them when I get to their ages!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


Today I am linking up with Roots and rings for Ten on Tuesday, haven't done this in ages...but I miss it and I back!
1. What is your favorite month?
December...I love, love, love christmas and december is all about it!
2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating?
Hands down Reese's!
3. What kind of pen do you use?
I love the Sharpie Pen or paper-mate profile elite
4. You go to a new Italian restaurant, what is your go-to order?
I like anything with noodles, sauce, veggies it just depends on if i am in a tomato sauce mood or a cheese sauce mood
5. If you could choose to have any celebrity’s hair, who’s would you choose?
Carrie Underwood...I have always adored her hair
6. What’s your favorite board game?
Monopoly
7. Do you know how to play poker?
definitely NOT
8. What do you think about Old Navy commercials?
I hate them, they are so cheesy and those stupid jingles get stuck in my head.
9. What hurts worse- a stubbed toe or a paper cut?
I am going to go with paper cut on this one because being a nurse we use that Purell handgel religiously like you would think its going to cure cancer (in my opinion one day they will come out and say overuse will cause cancer but whatever) so that stuff and paper cuts hurts/burns like hell and if you have one little paper cut you are constantly reminded of it all dang day every time you use the Purell...its ridiculously painful
10. What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Chocolate pie with a boat load of whipped cream on top! Also this is a tie because I LOVE apple pie, I could eat the whole thing and MUST have one every thanksgiving

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

not thrilled by the whole situstion


L celebrated his first halloween today!! I was ridiculously excited about this and I am not sure why because growing up halloween was never a big holiday and even now I am not a big halloween fan but I have always thought it would be so fun to dress my kids up and take them trick or treating and this year I no longer had to try and borrow a friends kid but I had my very own sweet baby to dress up and take trick or treating.
finally a smile!


with daddy

I know, its silly to take a 5 month old trick or treating but he had a freakin cute costume and really nowhere to wear it and we recently moved into our neighborhood so we figured why not.   Anyways, I need to replenish my candy stash for my night shift 2am slump...the other day at work I realized I eat a lot of candy when I am at work...totally off topic but whatever.

photo op with my sweet dragon

checkin out the candy
Also while I was trick or treating a fellow blogger The Crazy Castros recognized us which was kind of cool and I always think its fun to meet in person the people I follow/am friends with online!


L was a Dragon, he was totally NOT loving it! He refused to wear the hat which I expected but at least we were able to get some pictures!

Monday, October 24, 2011

5 months

My oh my how time flies! How am I the mom of a 5 month old!! I was looking back at pictures and it blows my mind how fast he has grown and how old he is looking!

Age: 5 Months
Weight: weighed him this weekend and he was about 17lbs 6 oz

Milestones: SCREAMING he has certainly found his voice and loves to use it he likes to scream and squawk and is always telling us about everything.  He has decided rolling is over rated and wont do it anymore, I have been putting him on his tummy more to hopefully help him develop more muscles for crawling and rolling.  He is also getting better at sitting and it shouldn't be long before he is sitting up more straight on his own.  He has been grabbing at stuff and playing with toys more too which I think is so cute!

Sleep:  Still kind of random.  I don't force any kind of sleep schedule on him I let him sleep when he is tired and not when I want him to.  He will sleep from 730 or 8 at night and will usually wake around 3 am and then up for the day around 630 or 7.  Sometimes he wakes around 1230 but I am hoping that will become less and less frequent.  He will also usually lay down with me and take one or two long naps one in the morning and one in the afternoon usually lasting 2-3 hours.

Eating:  Still exclusively breastfed, I am waiting till 6 months to start solids.  Breastfeeding has gotten so much easier I will do a post just on that here soon but I love that he can eat and be full in 5 minutes.  On the nights I work he will sometimes eat 5oz around 6 then another 6-7oz just before bed around 730 or 8 then will eat another 6oz when he wakes up in the nights and then 5oz at 630 or 7.

Likes: LOVES to be outside and go on walks, bath times, his jumperoo, books

Dislikes: being left alone in a room, being wet or dirty, getting his nose wiped...typical boy
taking a dive trying to get out of his boppy...no tummy time mommy!!!

What I'm wearing: moved to size 3 diapers for nighttime, most of 6m clothes are getting tight Im going to have to rotate to the 9m stuff.  6-9m clothes fit good too almost all 6m jammies are too short

Sunday, October 23, 2011

lil punkin

Today we took L to the Pumpkin Patch here in our neighborhood.  In previous years I would look at my friends' photos of them and their little ones at pumpkin patches and could not wait for the day when I had my own little person to take to the pumpkin patches and take cute pictures and pick out pumpkins.

For some reason today the mosquitos were out in all their glory so I had to try and take quick pictures and swat the squitos away from my preshus bebe.

It was a fun time and cant wait to make this a yearly tradition








I'm Katie a 27 year old mommy and wife. Welcome to my blog where I will chronicle the happenings of my life as I find the balance between being both SAHM by day and CVICU nurse by night.

I love Jesus and strive to be more like Christ every day. Running, reading, and cooking are some of my favorite past-times. I love photography but I am no pro, but it helps I have such a cute subject to practice on!!


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