Sleepy Head

Last week Rowan was playing, cooing, being a baby, then she got a little fussy.  Before I could stop what I was doing to grab her up and snuggle, she completely conked out.  Sleeping this way looked like it might have ended up being a bit painful on her neck, but like the best parent of the year, I had to photograph it before taking her to the crib.

Wandering Wednesday

these cute pinecones for the holidays

these shelves for the kids books in their rooms

must visit here someday

love this Fall wreath

this caused a literal LOL

Diaper FAIL!

While we cloth diaper 95% of the time, I still do disposables at night. I just haven't been brave enough to try cloth yet. Rowan usually only wakes up once a night. The thought of having to change her diaper in the middle of the night and waking her completely up is what is really holding me back. However... a few nights ago I changed her diaper, put on her pajamas, fed her and put her to bed. Only to have it dawn on me a few hours later that I had put cloth on her instead of the usual disposable.  I wasn't willing to go wake her back up just to change her, I figured she'd be alright.

So this is what happened when at about 2:30am, a half asleep mother undressed her wet baby, changed her diaper, fed her, put her back to bed... then laughed a few hours later when she realized that she only halfheartedly put that diaper on the poor little thing...

UPDATED:  5-11-12: I noticed through my "Stats" that this image and post was linked to when someone searched "baby that was left in her diaper for 13 hours".  I AM HORRIFIED!!  I most certainly did not leave my baby in this diaper for 13 hours.  In fact, she'd only been in it for 4 hours at the most.  How something as horrible as leaving a baby in a diaper for that long ever got associated with my blog I will never know, but for the record.... this never happened to my child.  EVER. 

Pumpkin Pound Cake

I had really hoped to share this cake and photos from the hubs' family reunion, but several things happened along the way.  As things usually do.

One: he ended up having to work on Saturday so that meant we weren't going to be able to go to the reunion until later in the afternoon.  We only have one vehicle.  Two:  I forgot the stinkin' cake.  Left that sucker sitting square on the stove.  Three:  By the time we showed up, everyone else had already left.  D'oh!!!  Well, better late than never, right?

I'm happy to share this recipe though.  It was simple and only took an hour to cook.  It's not too pumpkin-y, not too sweet, but a perfect combination of bread and sweetness.  Y'all will love it, I promise!

Pumpkin Pound Cake
Serves 12-16.

What y'all need:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 cup canola oil 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix 
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting 

 How y'all fix it: 

In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and pudding mix; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition. Transfer to a greased bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

I followed everything except for the confectioners' sugar.  I made some icing to drizzle over the cake instead.  Except I made it too thin and it didn't really turn out the way I wanted.  So we just ate it without any topping at all!  Again the kids really liked it even knowing it had pumpkin in it!

What do rabbit ears and aluminum foil have in common?

{image source: Google}
We all (well most of us anyway!) remember having to wad up a ball of aluminum foil to stick on the ends of those rabbit ear antennas to get better reception on our TV's.  Inevitably the signal would come in perfectly when you were standing on one foot with your arms flailing in every direction, but as soon as you let go the screen would go fuzzy again.  The invention of cable/satellite TV remedied that.  However, now you have to pay for all those programs that you were getting for free.

When all stations "went digital" with their signals, we bought a converter box.  We didn't need one because we've had satellite for years, but we bought one anyway.  Because eventually it's going to rain or a thick cloud is going to travel past my house and I'll lose my satellite signal right as soon as I NEED it because there is a tornado barreling toward me and I need to see the radar on the local news.

Well, no more.  We've gone old school.  I'd love to say it's because of some need to stick it to the man, but in reality it's because we can not afford to pay for satellite anymore.  Our plan was costing us $80 a month.  Eighty freakin' dollars, every freakin' month.  That's nearly $1,000 a year.  Ridiculous.  I sat down and went over the shows that we watch every week.  Most of them are on one of the networks.  The networks that broadcast for free.  Why were we paying for free stuff?  Let's face it, we are a family of 5 living on one income.  Our budget is already stretched past it's limits.  Wayyyy past it's limits.

Sure I'm missing some of my favorite shows.  Several shows are available to view online the week after they air.  Some aren't available.  I do miss them, but in the end I tell myself, "I am saving $80 freakin' dollars every month now."  Aren't all those commercials that bombard our screens every 10-15 minutes supposed to pay for TV?  Why are we having to pay crazy amounts of money for satellite or cable TV?

Do you have cable or satellite?  How do you watch your favorite shows?

Wandering Wednesday

I guarantee you will be singing this in your head all day!

this super simple way to DIY with plug in air fresheners!

everyone has been here

this sign is perfect for my kitchen

And speaking of coffee.... this is my favorite scene involving coffee in a movie.  I say it ALL THE TIME!

Not the Beatles

I hear this song all the time on the radio. I find myself bobbing my head to the beat. It's catchy. I had no clue on the lyrics though. A few nights ago, Kaia was getting ready for bed and this song came on her radio. She said, "Ooo listen Mom! It's the Beatles!" No matter how many times I tried to explain to her that, in fact, this is NOT the Beatles, she wouldn't believe me. Curiosity got the better of me. I had to do some research. Turns out I was right, not the Beatles, but the lyrics are pretty serious.

Robert's got a quick hand.
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan.
He's got a rolled cigarette, 
hanging out his mouth, he's a cowboy kid.
Yeah he found a six shooter gun.
In his dad's closet hidden in a box of fun things,
and I don't even know what.
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you.

All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun...
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun...
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

Daddy works a long day.
He be coming home late, yeah he's coming home late.
And he's bringing me a surprise.
'Cause dinner's in the kitchen and it's packed in ice.
I've waited for a long time.
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger.
I reason with my cigarette.
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.

All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun...
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun...
All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

Fall Hot Cocoa

Since it's become very Fall-like around here lately, I decided it was time to start looking for more Fall-like recipes!  Pinterest is awesome for this (as well as basically everything else under the sun).  I found this great recipe for Fall hot cocoa at Good Life Eats.
Fall Hot Cocoa
What you need:

  • 4-5 cups of milk
  • 12 oz. pkg of white chocolate
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

How to make:

In a lrg saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk with white chocolate and cocoa powder.  Stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and combined.

Whisk in puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ginger.  

Add the remaining milk, one cup at a time until you like what you see.  (It was about this time when I realized my pan wasn't quite big enough...)

Top it off with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg!

Really very easy and warm and yummy!  I think next time I may use a bit less pumpkin puree though.  It was a bit... um, gritty?  Gritty isn't really the correct word, but it's the closest I can come up with.  Everyone liked it (even the kids!).  A great drink for warming up!

The Stash

I made the decision even before I got pregnant that if I were to ever have another baby I would cloth diaper.  I never even considered cloth diapers with either of my other children.  I have no good excuse why I didn't.  Only that I didn't think of it and it was never a topic of conversation.

At my 6 week check up, another patient and I began a conversation.  She had overheard my talking with my Mom.  Mom had been trying her hardest to figure out how to get Rowan out of the car seat.  I made the comment that baby items had drastically changed in the short span of time since my first daughter had been born, 10 years ago.  It had taken me a couple of tries to figure the damn thing out myself too.  The other lady said she'd just found out that she was pregnant and this baby's sibling was 11 years old.  We began talking about how things were different and of course the talk went to cost.  I told her that I breast feed and cloth diaper and that helps to keep our costs to a minimum.  A case of diapers on average is $20, and so is a canister of formula.  I don't have to pay for either of those.

I noticed she looked a little bewildered with the mention of cloth diapers.  She, like many others when I told them I was going to use cloth diapers, immediately thought of the cloth diapers of yesteryear.  Flatfolds, big diaper pins, and awkward rubber pants.  Not to mention... LAUNDRY.  I recognized her bewilderment.  I felt the same way when I first began researching them.  There are hundreds of different types, styles, and brands out there.  Not to mention the price tag on most one-size all-in-ones.

This is what we have...

  • 6 Tiny Tush Elite - $19.95 each - white - snap closure - MADE IN THE USA
  • 4 Fuzzi Bunz One Size - $19.95 each - 3 buttercream, 1 cotton candy - snap closure
  • 2 EconoBum Diaper Covers - $8.95 each - 1 white, 1 zinnia trim color - snap closure
  • 12 pre-fold cloth diapers - $13.95 for the set - white

In total, we've spent only $178.  The pre-folds and one Fuzzi Bunz were gifts.  That would be only about 8 cases of disposable diapers!!  These diapers will last for years.

Before Rowan was born, I was still a little skeptical.  To be on the safe side I purchased two packs of Seventh Generation disposables.  One in newborn size, one in size 1.  She was only 6 lbs. 14.3 ozs. when she was born so she did have to grown into the cloth diapers.  Buying a few disposables was a good call.  She still wears a disposable at night.  But only at night now.  We used to put her in disposables when we would leave the house as well, but that quickly changed once I got a good grasp on the situation.  I only have one wet bag, but that isn't a problem.  I simply reuse one of the dreaded plastic bags from the week's groceries to store the wet diapers in when traveling.

Laundry?  I wash diapers every other day.  Super simple.  I'm already doing laundry anyway.  Someone always needs something washed in this house.  We have a front loading HE machine.  High efficiency machines aren't really designed for cloth diaper washing, but - after a few trials and several errors - I have mastered them.  They can not defeat me! Ha!  How I do it:  Rinse cycle, no spin.  Easy care cycle ('cause it uses more water), hot water, cold rinse, fast spin.  Extra rinse.  Done.  Now if the sun is shining, I hang them outside on a drying rack that I purchased at Wal-Mart for $10.  Stains?  What stains?  I kid you not, the sun has removed ALL stains from these diapers and trust me when I tell  you they were bad stains.  No sun?  Timed dry 2 hours, extra low heat setting. Done.

First let me say that you have to wash and dry your diapers a bunch of times before they are baby ready.  By a bunch, I mean everyday until your baby is born about 8 times.  Don't use softener and you can easily check your diapers and liners absorbency by pouring a little water on dry ones.  If the water beads up, you need to do more wash/dry cycles.  Now nearly everything (and I do mean everything, everybody, everywhere) says to wash your diapers in a detergent that is free and clear of dyes, perfumes, etc.  I tried that.  I used All Free & Clear formulated for HE machines.  It left my diapers smelling like, well... nothing.  That was until Rowan would pee in them.  There was an odor.  Not a super stinky odor, not really a urine odor, but one that wasn't pleasant.  I tried upping the amount of detergent.  No change.  I tried washing without detergent.  No change.  I switched to regular Tide for HE machines.  No smell.  I couldn't find anything that indicated using a "regular" detergent would physically harm my diapers.  Only warnings that perfumes may irritate my baby's bum, but I was already using "regular" detergent for her clothes and she was fine.  My advice is do whatever is comfortable for you.  Of course there are a million people out there giving advice too!

Our favorite are the Tiny Tush Elites, followed closely by the EconoBum covers.  The hubs can never figure out the snaps on the Fuzzi Bunz.  We have had an occasional leak, but no more than with disposables.  The Tiny Tush also seem to have a better fit for our little one.  However, every baby is shaped differently.

I'm hoping to try more diapers so if anyone wants to send me one (or two) to review, I wouldn't turn them down!  The upfront cost seems a little overwhelming, but in the long run you'll be glad you did it!

The 10 year old...


apparently needs a bib.

What I Did... when I wasn't here.

Saturday was a fun filled day for us.  We traveled to Hopkinsville to visit the annual Trail of Tears Pow Wow at the Trail of Tears Commemorative Park.  Even though the reason behind the park is tragic, it's a wonderful event that is educational as well as enjoyable.

I was worried about Rowan's little ears with the drums and chanting, but she wasn't bothered and quieted right down.  Eventually falling asleep in my wrap.  There were dance competitions and when everyone started to look tired, the MC invited everyone into the circle to dance.  Kaia really wanted to take part, but couldn't get anyone to go with her.  I finally convinced her to go by offering to hold her glasses for her.  She really loved those glasses when she first got them.  Now she doesn't wear them at all. Every morning is a competition to see if she can get out the door without me noticing that she's not wearing them. She was glad to have done it after I encouraged her and I got a kick out of seeing her do it. There were a lot of vendors selling handmade items including arrowheads and dream catchers. In the food court they were serving ginormous smoked turkey legs, but there were a 1,000,000 people in that line. I opted for a Sprite and some popcorn. The line was shorter. Go figure.

Pow Wow

After visiting the grave site of Edgar Cayce, we made our way to the benefit for a friend of the family, Josh. Josh was in an auto accident the same morning that Rowan was born.  He has been in the trauma unit and a rehabilitation hospital in Nashville ever since.  The benefit was held at the local Saddle Club.  I should have known better than to take Kaia to a saddle club.  We hadn't even pulled in and she was in awe of all the horses.  Immediately she wanted to ride one, but not just a regular "pony ride".  She wanted to ride in the fenced in muddy area.  Alone.  Um...  no.  First off, she's never ridden a horse alone before.  Second, she's never ridden anything bigger than your average county fair pony.  These were HORSES.  Fully grown, two feet taller than me horses.  She was not afraid.  Thirdly, I didn't know any of these people.

Hey there!

She eventually sweet talked her way onto one of a plethora of horses wandering around. He was a sweetie. No, she didn't get to ride full throttle in the fenced in area, but she was happy to settle for a few hand led laps around the field. *shoo (wiping brow)*  All together the supper and auction went well and lots of money was raised.

Benefit for Josh

I can't even list all of the items that were donated for the auction. They ranged from spa visits to grandfather clocks to mums. Green is the color for Brain Trauma victims so there was a virtual sea of green around the place.  Always take time for those you love, anything can happen at any time.


Like so many other Americans, and others from around the world, I sit and remember that tragic day 10 years ago.  The terror attacks of September 11th, 2001.

I remember...  My second child, Kaia, was just two months old.  That morning was the first morning since she'd been born that I was getting the chance to sleep in.  The hubs had gotten both she and Neil, only 2, out of bed, fed, and dressed.  He came to the bedroom with a strange look on his face.  He told me that something was going on in New York.  He'd just turned on the TV and Peter Jennings (the voice of all things news to my memory) was reporting.  He said, "The World Trade Center is on fire, but that's all I know.  You might want to get up and check it out."

I grudgingly got out of bed.  I wanted to sleep!

I remember...  I had just sat down on the couch.  Was trying to take in what Peter was saying.  When it happened...

I remember...  I watched the second plane, Flight 175, fly into the South Tower.  I wasn't sure I was really seeing what I knew in my heart I was watching.

I remember...  I looked into the sky later that day, thinking I might never see a plane there again.

I remember...  Looking at my two young children, wondering if life would ever be the same for them, how their childhood would be so different from mine.

Today, 10 years later,  I look at Rowan, a different two month old.

And I remember.

Knit One, Pearl Two

I have been on a serious crafting spree.  First, it was Rowan's new blankie.  Now I've evolved to actually using a pattern!  A real, honest to goodness pattern.  Ok, with that being said... what in the hell are these pattern making people thinking?  I mean seriously?  Why does the pattern have to be thin enough to read through?

My Mom showed me an invaluable trick.  Use freezer paper to trace a pattern.  It's sturdy and will hold up, but it's thin enough that you can trace through it.

Instant reusable pattern!
I've never been more than a pillow maker.  You know, nice square items.  Easy to cut, easy to sew.  A couple of weeks ago, while getting fabric in Hobby Lobby for a faux Moby wrap, I saw some seasonal corduroy.  Immediately I thought of how cute it would be as a jumper for Rowan.  I put it out of my mind because I knew I would struggle with a pattern.  I just don't understand sewing terminology.  Why does it have to say "selvage"?  Just say "the edge of the damn fabric with words on it".  And what about "nap"?  Just say "fuzzy fabric".  See how this works?

Ok, so when I went back last week I bought the fabric... and the pattern.  This pattern.  It looked simple enough.

After quite a bit of head scratching, a couple of seams being sewn then ripped out and re-sewn... I FREAKING DID IT!

I don't want to toot my own horn, but...


Oh and this post has nothing to do with knitting...  I don't even want to think about learning that yet!

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans!  Do not copy image.
This is the first time that I've attempted to make candied pecans.  I've eaten them at different family functions, but never made them myself.  They were so easy to make!

Candied Pecans
Print it here!
Here's what you'll need:

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Here's how to do it:

Pre-heat your oven to 250F.  Go ahead and grease your baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whip together the egg white and water until it's frothy.  In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and ground cinnamon.

Add pecans to egg mix and coat the pecans evenly.  Pour pecans into the sugar mix and toss them!  Spread them out evenly on greased baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour in 250F oven, stirring every 15 mins.

I only made one batch.  That was one pound of pecans!  And they only lasted about 15 minutes in my house!  Super easy to make, super yummy, and they go super quick!  Maybe we should call them Super Pecans!

Rowan's New Blankie

I made Rowan a new blanket.  I still haven't finished the quilt that I started before she was even born.  This blanket was so very easy to make.  I did have a moment.  A moment where I sewed two pieces of fabric together... in the wrong direction.  I made sure to use a tight stitch because I didn't want it to come apart.  Only after I was done did I realize that the fabric was facing wrong.

Lesson learned.

Here's what I used:  1 yd of patterned fabric, 1 yd of minky, thread, scissors, iron, measuring tape

I started by cutting the patterned fabric 36" X 36". Lay that on top of the minky. I don't know if you've ever sewn with this stuff before, but I found out the hard way that it moves/stretches so you have to be careful.
That being said, I cut the minky a inch or so larger than the other fabric.
Rowan's Blankie Do not copy image.

Rowan's Blankie Do not copy image.
Notice how the wrong side of the minky is facing up? Double check before pinning!
Rowan's Blankie Do no copy image.
After checking to insure fabric is facing the right way... ( I know I'm repeating myself, but there is nothing worse that realizing you have to rip out a seam that is 144 inches long). The task was to daunting for me and I ended up re-cutting my fabric. So my 36 inch blankie became a 32 inch blankie. Anyway... I try to keep the sewing foot on the edge of the fabric. I forgot to take a photo of the gap I left in one side. Leave a 6 inch opening so you can turn your blanket right side out.
Rowan's Blankie Do not copy image.
Trim minky fabric to the edges of the top fabric and trim off corners. Then flip your fabric right side out and push out the corners.
Rowan's Blankie Do not copy image.
I sewed along the edge to give it a more finished look. Keeping the edge of the fabric on the edge of the foot.
Rowan's Blankie Do not copy image.
Tada! All done!