Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Headed to the Hospital...

We are heading to the hospital to be induced this morning!! I'm not exactly thrilled about being induced, but my doctor will be out of town, I'm past my due date, my family comes into town in 2 days, and I had to be induced 2 times before when my water broke but my labor didn't start. So there, whether or not you wanted the reasons, there you go!! I have to finish my breakfast and coffee and get out the door! Hopefully pictures will follow sometime in the next few days!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Waiting Game

Well, at this point I have 2 days until my due date. I can't tell you how impatient I have been lately!! I know it sounds ridiculous. I know it will eventually happen. I know it's coming. I know I'm closer than ever. But by this point I had already had my other 2 kids. Maddy was 5 days early and Judah was 3 days early, so by now I thought I would have my sweet baby in my arms. I guess I wasn't mentally prepared to be doing all the "planned" stuff we had for this week, I figured someone would be taking my kids to them. I didn't think I would still be trying to pick up the house and have everything in order for when the time came for us to leave for the hospital. I didn't think that morning after morning after morning I would still be waking up and going about my day instead of to the hospital. Yesterday I was in the hospital with headaches that wouldn't go away, and since they thought it might be high blood pressure, they wanted me to go in. I didn't think they would send me home, being so close to my due date. But alas, once all the tests came back normal, they sent me home. All our stuff was packed and in the car. But we are home again!! Still waiting. I know I should be thankful and grateful that my babies stay in for so long. Some women aren't so fortunate, and their babies are fighting for their lives, or for their health and stability. So I don't want to sound ungrateful. I know it's a blessing that Ruth is developed and that her lungs are ready to function on their own. I am just so ready to not be pregnant and to have my precious baby! This morning I have had a pretty intense crampy feeling so I'm not sure what that means. Maybe a baby today?? Or maybe not?? We shall see!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Chair

So, in our tiny little house, there isn't much room for any more furniture. But for Christmas, we had to move some things around to get our Christmas tree into the living room in front of the window. Once we took our tree down, I realized we would still have room in front of the window and decided that I wanted a big, easy chair to go there instead. So we started the hunt at our favorite thrift stores. But it seemed like everywhere we looked, the chairs were overpriced and weren't in very good condition. I didn't want to pay over $100 for something that looked like it was out of the dumpster!! So we kept looking.
We went to this little antique shop here in town, and started looking around at the stuff. Most stuff was overpriced and expensive collector's items, but we had fun looking around. Then, in one of his back rooms, we saw a big, easy chair that matched our living room colors and was in really nice condition. Just one chair. I asked him the price, thinking it would be way out of our price range and guess what?? It was $30!! It looked almost brand new! When you put the foot rest up, there is a little hole, but that is pretty much it!! We couldn't believe it! It was in much better condition than all the other ones we had seen and way cheaper!! We couldn't resist!!
And that chair has gotten so much love!! We have never had an easy chair before, so we all take turns lounging in it. The kids actually fit in it together and play games in it, like pretending it is a rocket ship!! Everyone loves it...
Being goofballs.

And I even fit with one kid, or two if they aren't all on top of me!! Well, actually three if you count Ruth.

They boys like their lounging!!

If someone is sitting in the chair, then the kids just sit on them!!

So, now all I guess the chair needs is a name. We haven't officially named her yet, but she makes all of our lives a little bit more relaxing!! Any suggestions??

What is your latest, greatest thrift store find??

Monday, February 20, 2012

One-Pot Beef Stew

I am always a sucker for one-pot meals. Not only because it's a great, filling meal in one pot, but the slow-cooked deliciousness of this meal over a couple hours makes the house smell great, all while you do minimal work to get that oh-so-tender meat! You can serve this amazing meal over rice or egg noodles; we chose to make some hot fluffy white rice out of one of my favorite cookbooks, and it was divine!! Good thing I doubled the recipe for the rice!!

One-Pot Beef Stew
Food to Live By
Myra Goodman

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 4 cups)
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup sour cream

1. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meat and brown well on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes per batch. Add the onions to the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pot and bring the stew to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low and let simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook until the meat is fork-tender, about 45 minutes longer. Check the stew occasionally and add more water if needed. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to maintain a gentle simmer.
4. Just before serving, add the sour cream and stir to blend. Serve the stew hot. If you are not planning on serving the stew at this time, don't add the sour cream. Let the stew cool to room temperature. It can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the stew overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it over low heat and add the sour cream.

The 2 pounds of meat might sound like a lot, but the whole stew really cooks down so it's not as much as it might sound like. I added at least another cup of water after it had been cooking for awhile, as it doesn't have much liquid, and since it cooks for so long, it cooks down a lot. If you don't like mushrooms, don't add them, but if you do, you will love them in this dish!! We are huge mushroom fans, and they add such great flavor to this meal! I will also include the recipe for the rice that we use all the time!! We did have a rice cooker, but it stopped working correctly, leaving us with hard, crunchy rice or unpredictable rice, so I just started making it on the stove top again. And this recipe never fails!!

Hot Fluffy Rice
The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book

2 cups water
1 cup regular long-grain rice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

In 3-quart saucepan, heat water to boiling over high heat. Stir in rice, butter if using, and salt; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, without stirring or lifting lid, until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Makes about 3 cups or 4 accompaniment servings.

You can use this rice recipe for anything!! It always turns out perfect!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

11 Days and Counting

I know, I know, could I get any bigger??

Well, we are down to 11 days!! The baby could come any day now!! I am so ready to not be pregnant anymore!! It's weird thinking about going from the woes of pregnancy to the woes of recovering after labor and delivery!! My first 2 labors were quite traumatic, with recoveries involving a broken tailbone with Maddy and spinal headaches for a week with Judah. Not to mention gall stones after each birth and a possible removal of my gallbladder after this baby if the same problem arises.
But I would much rather not be pregnant, be holding my precious baby girl in my arms, and maybe (hopefully not!) dealing with some issues from labor!! It is so weird being in the "waiting game" phase of pregnancy. Tad asks me every day if we are going to have a baby tonight! I didn't really feel ready, but last night I finally did! I had the house all cleaned, chores done, errands ran, things done, and the baby still didn't come! Didn't she know I was ready? And tired? And DONE???
Anyways, we are still plugging away getting school done with Maddy, doing regularly scheduled activities as planned, and just waiting with our bags packed and ready to go! Minus the last minute stuff I need to add! Praying for a smooth labor and delivery and a healthy baby girl! And no, we have not picked that middle name yet!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Try New Adventures: Goats, Snakes, and More!!

We've been busy doing some pretty random things lately!! One of the fun things we got to do is go out to Tad's Uncle and Aunt's farm where they have goats who have had lots of babies!! When we went, they had about 26 baby goats!! Of course, the kids loved getting to hold them, pet them, and chase after them!! Pictured above are my two sister-in-laws holding baby goats!!
Their chickens laid eggs and each of the girls got one, although we ended up leaving them there for fear they would break in the car on the way home!!
They were like little puppies!!! Judah got such a kick out of them!! Grandma was helping him hold one!

Maddy was pretty good about chasing the goats and getting one that she could hold. She got to help Judah pet one!! She held about every baby goat I think!! She is an animal lover!!
Momma and baby goats!! They were fun to watch!!
They got a big, new dog!! It was bigger than Judah!! It just followed us wherever we went on the farm.

Maddy just loved it! This is her in her element! She has always loved anything involving animals!! Which reminds me of her "Aunt Jess" who loves animals as much as her!!
At our local art and science museum called Leonardo's, Judah got to pet a lot of their animals that they had in cages and aquariums. He loved it! Maddy has homeschool classes there, so Judah and I get to play at the museum during that time. He would pet it quickly and then say "in there!" and point to its' cage! Especially with the snake!!

They have lots of fun dress-up stuff there! Maddy got to come down and play after her classes!! I can't believe how big she is getting! And yes, you have to hear me keep saying it!!

The kids after bath time in their robes. They are such goofballs! And they love getting their picture taken together! These next few are just random pictures that I wanted to share!! They aren't particularly related!!

Daddy and Judah at the library in their cute kid's section!
Daddy and the kids feeding ducks at the park! Don't let Tad's attire fool you, it was actually quite chilly! He just doesn't really like to wear a coat! Below are the kids at the playground!!
Maddy and her tea parties! Sometime I should post pics of her when she was littler and using the same table and stuffed animals for a tea party!!
Judah at Grandma's house for game night. He was too little to play the games we were playing, but these dominoes kept him occupied for awhile!!

And the new baby! Just a few short weeks and we will be meeting our precious new addition to the family!! Her name will be Ruth ____ Davis! Any suggestions for a middle name?? I'm worried we won't pick one until the day of!! There are lots of names in the running!!

Hop on over to aliciashomemaking.com for other fun adventures around the blogosphere!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Try New Adventures: City Exploring

On one of Tad's days off, we decided to go exploring in our little town of Enid, Oklahoma. We have only lived here a little over a year, and we have come across some interesting, fun little shops over the past few weeks. So we decided to take some time to go around and visit some of the places we hadn't been. We started out at this little, local health food store. We came from Chicago, the mecca of healthy eating with their 2 story Whole Foods store, Trader Joe's, Sunflower Market, and outdoor farmer's markets all throughout the city. So this was a bit small, but nice to find a little place that had some familiar stuff and things that the local grocery store probably wouldn't carry.

Then, continuing on in our health journey, there was a little bakery that people have been talking about that opened up not too long ago. If you blink you'll miss it because it's so tiny!! It's just that little building right there with the little purple sign. But don't let that fool you! There were some good eats in there! Tad got a sticky bun, I got a cream cheese filled croissant, the kids got cookies, and we got coffee and juice!! Yum!! I did think to take a picture before they were totally gone!

This is a cool painting on the side of one of the old buildings in town. Just thought it was worth a picture!!
Tad wanted to check out a couple of pawn shops and just see what was in them, and so we took turns getting out at some different places without the kids.

I went into this cool little school supply store and got Maddy a coloring book that teaches them the basics about the state of Oklahoma. They had lots of good stuff in there, and it was good to know that I had somewhere to get those specific things I will need for Maddy's school!

We just took a picture of this cool little bakery/restaurant. They served food for breakfast/lunch too, and since we had just had our bakery food, we didn't go in. But it looked cute!! You can't really tell from the picture, but hanging from the awning are jeans, like the tops of jean dresses or something. Unique for sure!! Hopefully we will go back and try this place!!
Another pawn shop that Tad perused. We have also found a cool antique shop, great thrift stores, random little shops with trinkets in them, western stores with awesome country stuff to decorate your home, and the cutest downtown you will ever see!!
And on another day, we got to go to our little yogurt place called Cherry Berry, and the kids had a blast at the little kid tables and their candy-filled ice cream!! So fun!!

I'm sure we will continue to find cool little spots here in town, and it is still such a breath of fresh air after living in downtown Chicago for 8 years!! Hope you are having some fun new adventures yourself!! Comment below if you have tried anything new in the past few weeks!! Makes life interesting!

Head on over to aliciashomemaking.com to read about other people's fun new adventures!!