Creative Baby Food

After baby boy’s 9 month appointment where I discussed with his pediatrician what foods my little guy could now have at this age (everything but honey) I was ready to go home and make some baby food!

I really like making baby food. I think it’s a way for me to be creative while being 100% practical.

Here’s a few things I’ve come up with this week. I like following recipes but here are a few that I came up with on my own.

IMG_6162

This one is pureed sweet potato with garlic salt, italian seasoning, cream cheese, butter and parmesan cheese. Baby boy’s pediatrician suggested cream cheese to get some extra calories in him. This should do it, he gobbled it up! (mash together before serving)

 

 

 

This is a pureed peach from a local farm that I mixed with coconut oil for calories and flavor. The thin consistency of the peach and the slippery oil made it hard to actually get into baby boy’s mouth so I mixed it with some rice cereal to thicken it up. IMG_6167

 

 

 

 

 

My banana baby has been constipated due to his love of bananas so for breakfast I served prunes and oatmeal. I put preservative free prunes in a pan and covered them with water. I simmered them for about 10 minutes until they were plump and soft. After making them smooth in the blender I mixed them in with oats, a pinch of cloves and a scoop of baby’s goat milk formula. He pooped 3 0r 4 times that day so it definitely worked!IMG_6166

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a kid one of my favorite foods was canned spaghetti o’s with the hot dogs in it. Who am I kidding? I would love a can of that now! (maybe I’m weird but I love spaghetti o’s!) This is the healthy homemade version I came up with. I prepared and cut up in tiny pieces the pasta, added peas and little bits of hotdog. I topped the whole thing with tomato sauce and cut up bits of fresh basil and stirred that in. I’m really paranoid about choking so I actually peeled the skin off the hotdog before I cut it up. I used all natural nitrate free 100% beef hotdogs. I put about half this portion on his tray for him to practice feeding himself and I feed him the other half to make sure he actually got something in his stomach. Yes he needed a bath after and no I didn’t give him a glass dish!

IMG_6168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mixed sweet potato and an egg and fried it into these little pancakes that I then tore into bite sized pieces.

IMG_6165

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is some dessert inspired baby food. I mixed applesauce with cinnamon, formula and some chia seeds for protein. I crushed up a pumpkin flavored teething cracker to top it and then baked it all in the toaster oven.

IMG_6175

 

 

 

looks good huh? Share with me your baby food master pieces in the comments!

 

 

 

Advertisements

With My Whole Heart

“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” Psalm 119:2

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Psalm 119:10

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” Psalm 119: 34

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matt. 22:37

A few convicting questions to ask myself;

Do I seek God with my whole heart?

Can I state like David does that I have sought the Lord with my whole heart?

Do I keep and observe God’s Word with my whole heart?

Do I search for God as my heart’s one aim and desire?

Do I love God with all my heart?

or..

Do I seek earthly pleasure and self?

Is my heart devoted to my wants and not God’s will?

Would I be lying if I said my whole heart is actively seeking God?

What would it look like for every fiber of my being to be desperately searching for and waiting on God?

What would it be like if with a reckless passion I loved God with all my heart holding nothing back?

 

Jesus, do this work in my heart today. I love You because You first loved me and gave Yourself for me.

 

The Hymn Take My Life And Let It Be is my prayer this morning.

 

Take my life and let it be

consecrated Lord to Thee

Take my moments and my days

let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move

at the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet and let them be

swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing

always, only for my King

Take my lips and let them be

filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold

not a mite would I withhold

Take my intellect and use

every power as you choose

Here I am all of me

Take my life, it’s all for Thee

Take my will and make it Thine

it shall be no longer mine

Take my heart it is Thy own

it shall be Thy royal throne

Take my love, my Lord, I pour

at your feet its treasure store

Take myself and I will be

ever, only, all for Thee

 

 

Attitude Goal Setting

Last night got busier than I thought it would be so I didn’t get a chance to check in. I shared my goals of wanting to be an energetic and cheerful mom yesterday. It was really neat to have a “to do” list that didn’t focus on chores and activities I needed to check of my list. I liked how it really did change my attitude putting in writing what I wanted my day to look like as far as the only thing I ultimately have control over- my attitude.

I’m not saying I was a perfect mom all day, far from it! You should shave seen the dinner time show down where an unnamed child threw her dinner over the table onto the floor! Cheerful mom was not the mom that came out at the moment!

I really recommend writing down what kind of attitude you are wanting to have for the day. Do you want to radiate love to your children? Maybe commit to smiling at your child every time your eyes meet. Or have a goal to take deep breaths and walk away for a moment when you get angry. As moms, our days won’t ever go like we envision them but with God’s abundant grace and with prayers of strength we can be a better mom today than we were yesterday.

Have a great weekend every one!  My goal for this weekend is even if the day is busy to slow down and enjoy little moments with my family and to be fully present in those moments.

 

My Goals For Today

I have 2 simple goals for my day today.

I am going to choose to be cheerful and energetic as a mom and wife today.

That’s it. Nothing earth shattering but my mood this morning is let’s say opposite of those two adjectives.

With the help of my God I’m going to smile instead of frown and I’m going to laugh and give my kids a fun day. I’m going to choose not to complain but instead speak encouraging words.

I’ll check in tonight with how how it goes! Have a blessed day everyone! Smile because life is good and God is love!

What are your goals for today? What makes you smile?

 

 

God of the impossible

In chemistry, the law of conservation of matter states that in any given system that is closed to the transfer of matter the amount of matter in the system stays constant. In other words that you are probably more familiar with, matter cannot be created or destroyed.

That’s why I find it so thrilling to have our God beginning the Bible with Him creating matter and ending it with Him destroying it and once again creating.

Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

I love how in 2 Peter it uses the phrase, “the elements shall melt with fervent heat”. The fact that our God will once again do the impossible and destroy matter like He created it shows He is to be feared.

Some will find this hard to believe and instead want you to believe that matter was created (a scientific impossibility), when nothing exploded in a big bang and created everything.

 

 

 

4 years ago today. Pregnancy and parenting after a loss

4 years ago today I got a positive pregnancy test.

I called my mother in law, it was her birthday. “Happy Birthday,” I told her. “How about for your birthday we give you another grand baby?”

It had been a year and almost 3 months since the birth and loss of my first born.

I still can remember how bad I was shaking that morning, how scared and vulnerable I was. How much I desperately loved this new life and missed my firstborn.

That morning I went into the pregnancy resource clinic I volunteered at and after all the other staff and volunteers had brought up their prayer requests I announces by asking for prayer for my poppy seed sized baby.

I was in such a daze that whole day, on the way home I ran a red light.

That high risk pregnancy after a loss was hard to say the least.

The days, the hours even of that pregnancy dragged on. When she wasn’t moving I was afraid she was dead. When she was moving I was afraid she would strangle herself with her chord.

I survived that pregnancy mentally by taking it one day at a time. I worked hard to control my blood sugar for that day, for that meal to keep my baby healthy. I couldn’t look ahead in my mind to a baby, I was too afraid. Instead I looked forward to pregnancy milestones; movement, sonograms, setting up the nursery, buying clothes, doing a gender reveal.

I also kept myself really busy. I volunteered as much as I could at the pregnancy resource clinic doing my best to help other people which helped the days go by and keep my mind off my own fears.

I talked to people on line in a group for women who were pregnant after a loss. I reached out online to moms who had lost babies the same way I had.

It was a time of surrendering continually to God as every day I had to acknowledge that this child belonged to Him and I had to surrender this child every day to Him.

I wrote Amy from raisingarrows.net as part of her Ask Amy and she wrote this post in response:

 

“Ask Amy – Fear and the Healing Process After the Loss of a Child
FEBRUARY 9, 2013

healing after child loss

It seemed appropriate on the eve of the 5 year anniversary of our daughter’s Home-going that I should answer this particular question.

Two readers submitted questions that, while not entirely similar, were of the same topic…life after the loss of a child.

One reader had lost a child at 7 months (the same age our Emmy was) and wanted to know what we had done to heal from her loss. The other reader lost a son due to complications of childbirth and was pregnant again and wondering how to deal with the fear she was feeling.

For me, the fear was one of the most ongoing things I needed to heal from. In fact, it continues to be something I must give to the Lord over and over again. Just this past week, I sat up late into the night praying through my fears as I held my newborn son. I know I will never fully conquer this fear this side of Heaven, but I do know God is big enough to handle those fears and walk me through them.

The past 5 years have been wrought with ups and downs in the grieving process. Here are a few of the things we have done to help us heal and gain victory over our fears.

*Write, write, write. On my Grieving Mother page, I have a lot of links to articles I have written, many of them typed out through tears. I grieved through my writing and I encourage every grieving mother to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a public blog. It can be a quiet journal tucked away by your bedside. Mothers need a place to write their deepest thoughts and feelings without judgement.

*Cling to the Lord and each other. I wrote Psalms for the Grieving Heart because I knew grieving families needed to cling to the Lord during their grief, but they more than likely couldn’t handle lengthy Bible studies and/or devotionals. Music was very important in our healing as well. Songs like Blessed Be Your Name and Be Unto Your Name brought us to tears, but helped us praise the Lord in the middle of it all.

We also grew as a family. We never hesitated to speak of Emily. Even our children who were not born when she passed away know of her and speak as if they remember her. And Ty and I clung to each other. We often found that when one of us was weak, the other was strong.

*Grieve how you need to grieve and say what you need to say, but do it in a safe place. My husband and a select group of friends are my safe place. I know I can say anything to them. I know I can grieve and they will listen and hug me and pray for me. Unfortunately, those who grieve often hear rather thoughtless words spoken to them that can cut like a knife. Don’t open up to those kind of people. Even if they do not mean to hurt you, it is best to only grieve openly with those who understand.

*Don’t do anything hastily, but do keep working through those difficult things. It took me several weeks to take Emily’s clothes out of the closet and put them in a box. It took me 2 years to finally go through them all and tidy them up. There are still places we do not go and things we do not do. We’re just not ready.

There came a time when we felt ready to go back to the city where Emily died. It was hard. We cried. A lot. But, we did it. And sometimes I have been ready to take a step forward before my husband, but I have chosen to wait until he is ready. We do this together even though we heal differently. I have to respect his difficult things just as he has to respect the things that are more difficult for me.

*Focus on serving others. Once the brunt of the storm is passed, it is so very important we begin to serve others with the same comfort and love we were shown. I have sadly watched women cling to their grief as a security blanket, never letting go and reaching out to others. It is okay to find joy. It is okay to live again. It is okay to heal.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I never cry and I never miss Emily and I never feel like my heart is going to break in two. When you’ve lost a child, there’s never an end to your grief. But, I can attest to the fact that with the Lord’s infinite mercy, you can heal. Ask Him to fight the fears for you. Ask Him to steady your feet on this path. Ask Him to show you what He wants for you.

And thank you, my dear readers. for allowing me to share my precious daughter with you. It is my hope and prayer that her life and her death and how her daddy and I have walked through it all has glorified the Lord and encouraged others along the way. She was such a blessing to us and we will never be the same because of her.”

My water broke 6 hours before her planned c-section. Her delivery was rough as the medical staff denied me insulin and I went into ketoacidosis. Her blood sugar was so critically low she was dying in my arms as I begged for a sugar IV for her and finally the pediatrician showed up late yelling, “Get an IV in that baby!”

There was a lot of joy and a lot of healing in her birth and she gave me a reason to live again. The grief was more intense than we ever could have imagined though. Every one of her milestones was and is a continually reminder of all we lost with her brother. Raising a child after a loss is a continual paradigm of so many conflicting emotions.

Today she is 3. She is daring and passionate and likes pancakes and going to the park. In those rare moments when she is still, I feel her in my arms, listen to her breathing and smell her sweaty hair. I thank God in absolute amazement and awe at the fact that she is here and healthy. I trace my fingers up and down her arms as she begs for more tickles and can not believe that she is really mine. At the same time I still have to acknowledge every day that ultimately she is not mine and that she first belongs to God and is in His hands.

I also now have the privilege of spoon feeding mushy stuff to the 9 month old next to me as I type this out.

If you are pregnant after a loss, I’m so sorry for all you have been through. I pray God comforts you and gives you peace. Remember, God promises grace for today and for the moment and tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Take a deep breath and take some belly photos celebrating today and now.

Steven Curtis’ song Miracle Of The Moment was my mantra in my first pregnancy after my loss.

Its time for letting go
All of our if onlys
Cause we dont have a time machine

And even if we did
Would we really want to use it?
Would we really want to go change everything?

Cause we are who and where
And what we are for now
And this is the only moment
We can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
Theres a wonder in the here and now
Its right there in front of you
I dont want you to miss the miracle of the moment

Theres only one who knows
Whats really out there waiting
In all the moments yet to be

And all we need to know
Is Hes out there waiting
To Him the futures history

And He has given us
A treasure called right now
And this is the only moment
We can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
Theres a wonder in the here and now
Its right there in front of you
I dont want you to miss the miracle of the moment

And if it brings you tears
Then taste them as they fall
And let them soften your heart

And if it brings you laughter
Then throw your head back
And let it go, let it go, yeah
You gotta let it go
And listen to your heartbeat, yeah

Breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
Theres a wonder in the here and now
Its right there in front of you
I dont want you to miss the miracle of the moment

Breathe it in and breathe it out
And listen to your heartbeat
Theres a wonder in the here and now
Its right there in front of you
I dont want you to miss the miracle of the moment

 

 

15 Minute Tidy Up- It works!

If you spend any amount of time readings homemaking or child rearing blogs written by veteran moms and homemakers you’ll find one reoccurring tip- the 15 minute tidy up.

Amy from raining arrows.net recommends it. Sheila Gregoire recommends it in her book Raising Kids You Actually Like. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the homemaking blogging world, you’ve probably heard of flylady.net which is where I get a  lot of my housework methods from (loosely!). She uses the timer a lot for motivation.

As a quick motivation for my fellow homemakers out there I thought I’d publish this case in point:

IMG_6104

pretty bad huh? I had gotten home from town with the kids and had feed them lunch. Groceries needed put  up, food needed put away, lunch needed cleaned up, the dishwasher needed unloaded. We even had hiking stuff on the table from 2 days ago. 15 minutes of speed cleaning later and…

IMG_6105

Not perfect but WAY better than it was just 15 minutes before.

To make the 15 minutes most effective I can’t just wander around picking random stuff up, I have to be deliberate in order to get the most done in that small amount of time. I first choose to clear off the table, then the island, then the counter tops, then unload the dishwasher and loaded up what dishes I could in the 2 remaining minutes. I like to break it up like that because if I have to stop for some reason mid way through at least one thing is done such as the table being cleared off and wiped down.

15 minute increments make big projects feel small. It also gives children a frame of reference to let them know the cleaning won’t last forever, just until the timer goes off.

So set your timers ladies and MOVE for 15 minutes, then enjoy the satisfaction of a job done! Happy Homemaking!

 

“Quiet Time” when the kids are up

My poor little guy has a stuffy nose which woke him up so many times I lost track. I had to sleep in this morning until the kids woke up at 7 instead of getting up early to have a quiet time before they get up. On days like these it’s easy to forget the whole thing but I especially need God’s Word on days that are a little crazy!

If I’m doing a Bible time with the kids I keep it short and sweet and prepare myself for a little bit of chaos. I don’t expect the kids to sit and listen first thing in the morning, I just let them do their own thing while they are in the same room. There’s a time to teach kids to sit but this isn’t my goal for this. Also, keep in mind they are 3 and almost 9 month.

I sang a hymn and a read a hymn I didn’t know the tune to. My 3 year old kind of sleepily rocked back and forth so she enjoyed it. If I’m reading to the kids I will usually pick a Proverb because they are short and I can expound every verse or 2 in 3 year old terms what it means. Example: “show me your eyes!! This says the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. That means God sees everything. He sees you playing and sleeping and going to the park..”

By this time I had baby boogers wiped all over me and E managed to trip and somehow knock over the full cup of coffee I had tucked kind of under the couch to keep from being spilled. See? Prepare for chaos!

I used the Proverb we just read as an outline for a prayer.

While we ate breakfast I put 2 Thessalonians on audio which was just a little over 6 minutes long. Listening to the Bible is really the easiest way for me to absorb the Word while my hands are busy with my work.

What does devotion time look like for you when you are involving your children and how has it changed at different ages?

 

 

 

A Few Reasons I’m Taking A Facebook Break

I recently decided to deactivate my Facebook account. I’m not running away forever (okay I actually don’t know if I will get back on or not) but here’s a few reasons why I’m taking a break at least for the summer.

  1. MLM. For those who don’t know that stands for multi level marketing. I really don’t mind if a friend gets on Facebook and is like, “I’m selling this product and I want every one to know.” That’s fine, with starting a business FB lets you tell a lot of people at once what your doing. But…. I probably have 10 or so friends on FB involved in MLM. If they each post say only 3-5 posts each per day, that really adds up on my newsfeed. I feel like I’m just scrolling and scrolling through product info and why I should sell such and such a product.
  2. Donald Trump. In a short sentence: Donald Trump is a wicked man and seeing my conservative friends back him and gush about how they can’t wait to vote for “a real man” boggles my mind. It makes me want to argue back and list reasons why they shouldn’t vote for him but I have no time for that and God hasn’t called me to argue with people in FB comments. It made me want to get off FB because every pro Donald Trump post was a temptation to engage and then I’d get upset that I didn’t have time to comment and it is just better if I don’t see it in the first place.
  3. The sin of compare. I’ll be honest, I am not immune to seeing rosy glimpses of people’s lives and comparing those things with my own life. Before I deactivate my account tomorrow, I’m collecting contact information of people I want to stay in touch with so I can do a better job at fostering real relationships.
  4. Facebook can keep me emotionally in places I would have otherwise moved on about. In the natural course of life, people move in and out of our lives and over time we lose contact with certain people and that’s okay. With Facebook you can stay connected with anyone from any point in your life and sometimes that’s a good thing but other times it can leave me mentally stuck in a place and time that was years ago. Does that make any sense?

A few reasons I like Facebook and may be back on;

  1. I moved all the way across the country from my family and friends I grew up with. Facebook is how I have felt connected with these people on a daily basis.
  2. I have been part of a group that is dedicated to people who have type 1 and follow Dr. Bernstein’s diet and insulin regimen. I get a lot of encouragement from that and will miss it.
  3. Other people like to keep up with my kids and it’s easier to post on Facebook so everyone can see a picture at once instead of individually texting and emailing which takes time.
  4. A lot of my friends share really encouraging stuff that I like to read.
  5. People use FB for invitations. Without FB my kids may not get invited to their friends birthday parties and people are even using FB invite for weddings. I guess if I’m not close enough to the person to get an invite by person or a text than it may not really matter.
  6. Again, Facebook groups. From homeschooling to baby wearing to anything you can think of, finding like minded people to meet or talk with is just a click away.
  7. I’m a stay at home mom. If my kids are sick for 4 days and I can’t go out, Facebook makes it so I can feel like I’m socializing when I can’t leave the house.

 

So, today I’m just kind of rambling about a few of the thoughts floating around my head. What about you? Is Facebook more of a help or a drain for you?

 

Stand Up

Ezekiel 2     King James Version (KJV)

 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

 

I’m reading through the book of Ezekiel. I’m almost to the end so I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while. I thought it was really neat when God commanded Ezekiel to stand up before Him that it was God who gave Ezekiel the power to do it.

Isn’t that just like God? He has not commanded us to follow Him and then watch as we fall and struggle unable to do it in our own strength. No, He has filled His believers with His Holy Spirit and He promises to give the strength to follow Him.

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Psalm 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, And maketh my way perfect.
Psalm 31:24 – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

Today I believe God has called me to be a good wife and I believe He will empower me to do so. Today I believe God has called me to be a good mother and I believe He will empower me to do so. Today God has called me to love and follow Him and I believe He will empower me to do so.

My job is to ask for and to rest in the strength He provides.

 

Matthew 7:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

BTW, if you want a good read go to desiringgod.org and read “Stop Apologizing For God” by Tony Reinke. It’s what got me interested in reading through Ezekiel. Wish I could include a link here but I’m having trouble doing so 🙂

Stand in the grace and strength of God today!

 

The photo above is one I took this past May standing at the grave of my little boy. 5 years later somehow still standing by the grace and strength God provides one day at a time. I included this photo because I think it’s significants goes along with this post.