Saturday, January 4, 2014

Disconnect and a Fifties Housewife Project

Like most people, I spend way too much time connected to a device. And I hate that! So as one of my changes that I would like to make during this new year I am disconnecting. 

Not entirely-technology is not the enemy. I just think that it can be a huge waste of time and I want to spend more time with my family, making memories, doing work with my hands besides typing and browsing, and just living more. 

Life is so precious and time is flying by. I can tell you I won't remember what pin I saw on Pinterest or what a blog post said in ten years. I will just know I had wasted a ridiculous amount of time. Time that I could be spending with my child. I do not want to live this way.

So I'm changing that because only I can. I'm disconnecting for two weeks and doing a little project that I have been wanting to do for a couple years. Then after two weeks I will slowly add back in technology. 

I will be limiting my internet time to 1 hour a day. Does that seem like a lot? Maybe, but compared to how much time we spend collectively throughout the day I think it will not be a big cut back. That 1 hour will include blogs, Facebook, pinterest, google, and anything else online. If this one hour seems like too much I will cut it down to less. But never more than one hour.

This project I speak of is something I am so very excited about! I had read about it on a blog called
Jen goes all out and sticks to the schedule of a housewife, dresses, cooks, and cleans, and even doesn't use her dishwasher(gasp!) like a real fifties housewife.  She does this for two weeks then reflects back on her experience and decides to implement some of the changes into her life and toss some others. 

I'm doing the fifties housewife project for two weeks also but I'm doing it my way.  Keeping some things and giving up others for the two weeks.  I think there are a lot of lessons that we can learn from the lifestyle our Grandparents or parents lived.  
I will be off Facebook and the internet for two weeks. With the exception of using pandora to listen to music of the era.  

So here it is:
50's housewife project.

1. Create a clean, comfortable home.
2. Provide healthy, home cooked, from scratch meals.
3. Be economical and be frugal
4. Put extra effort into my appearance.  
5. Make our home and home life as comfortable and pleasant as can be for my breadwinner, so that he can succeed.  

Things I'm giving up:
-facebook and texting, pinterest, email and any other internet or technology luxuries.  If someone needs to get ahold of me or visa versa they can call or write me a good old fashioned letter :)
-my microwave
-casual spending
-convenience food
-credit/debit card-I'm paying cash but will keep it on me for emergencies.  
- most tv.  There were tv's but they just didn't watch as much as we do so my tv time will be very limited.  

Things I will not give up( that they probably didn't have)
-dishwasher- sorry, been there done that.
-cell phone.  Conversations will be kept short, but since I don't have a home phone I do need to have a way for others to contact me.  
- pants.  Sorry I'm not wearing a dress every day.  But I will wear a dress to church and maybe one other time throughout the week.    
-pandora.  I would use the radio but there just aren't any stations on our radio that play fifties era music.

I will try to stick to a common housewife schedule from the 1950's. I've revised it a bit to fit my sweet Zacharys schedule also. This will include:
1. waking up earlier than my husband- about 6:45ish
2 . Take a minute to make myself presentable and freshen up. 
3. Make a nutritious breakfast for my dear husband and send him on his way.
4. Make breakfast for Zachary and myself
5.  Clean up breakfast 
6.  Exercise- go for a brisk walk, or jog, and do crunches, and arm reps
7.  Get Zach and I a snack
8. Begin daily chores
   -make beds, tidy bathrooms, laundry, dishes, tidy bedrooms and living rooms
9. Do a large chore: vacuum and mop, dust, deep clean bathrooms, ironing, clean fridge and stove, 
10.  Play with Zach 
11. Lunch with Zach and clean up lunch
12. Put Zach down for nap 
13.  Relax for a half hour: nap, watch tv, read,visit with friend, write letter
12. Look over dinner menu and begin any dinner preparations: thaw meat, chop veggies, make bread, make dessert.
14. Work on daily chores: fold laundry, unload dishwasher
15.  Do make up and hair.  
16.  Wake up Zach, feed him and play with him. Run errands if I need to.  
17.  Greet dear husband when he arrives at home. And ask about his day.  
18.  Go on a walk with my family, spend time outside.
19. Prepare dinner.  Clean up dinner, do dishes.

20.  Enjoy evening.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zacharys Birth

I want to share Zachary's Birth story for a few reasons:
1.  I want to record it so that it is available to look back on.  The details are already getting less sharp.
2.  I want to share it for myself.  I think it is healthy for me to want to share an event that changed my life.
3.  I want to share my birth for others.  Birth should be celebrated.  It is a wonderful, hard and painful thing.  But it welcomes in a new life.  If we keep it private and secret, then that is what it will be.  I want to share my story so that others can read it.  I loved reading birth stories while I was pregnant and I still do. The more we talk about birth the more normal it will be, and the less scary it will be.

November 5 2012
My phone rang at 4am, it was a 231 area code number that I didn't recognize.  I always wonder if someone died when I get calls really early in the morning.  It was someone with the wrong number.  I went to lay back down, and I felt a warm gush and was pretty sure my water broke.  I told James "Oh no, I think my water broke!" and walked to the bathroom (I didn't want my water to break because I didn't want to be induced incase labor didn't start on its own).  Yes indeed my water broke. 

I threw in a load of laundry real quick because all my stretch pants were dirty.  I wore a dress to the hospital to go get checked-at the midwives request.  At the hospital (5:30am) the midwives said I was 3 cm, and that I could labor at home like I wanted to, but I had to come back within 18 hours if labor didn't start on its own.  I was getting little contractions so I wasn't too worried about that anymore. 

James and I went home, I showered and noticed that the contractions-still far apart-were starting to get a bit stronger.  I switched the laundry out, because I really didn't want to go back to the hospital in a dress. 
Around 10am I was getting contractions that were starting to really hurt.  James and I were watching the news and I remember the hilarious Saturday night live skits on Hurricane sandy being rerun.  I think that's the only time I laughed during labor.  From 10:30 until 1:00 I spent the rest of the time on my exercise ball working through contractions.  I had a lot of back pain.  We really wanted to wait until contractions were 3-4 minutes apart until we went to the hospital.  We had prepared for labor and birth as best as we could.  We took the Bradley classes, and every other class our hospital offered, and I had researched a lot to prepare for the big event. Our goal was a natural, unmedicated birth. 

I listened to enya and got in the zone, I tried my best to let go of the pain, and let it work with my body rather than against it.  Some contractions were definitely worse than others.  I was starting to understand why women choose the epidural to manage the pain.  Its pretty unavoidable.  James and I wanted to wait until my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  My back was killing me, so James pressed a bag of frozen peas against my back to help with the pain during contractions.  During the contractions I would just sway on the ball while leaning over the bed.  I would get up to go to the bathroom and noticed that contraction was always worse, and they got closer together while standing.  I was getting nervous.  I really felt like we should go to the hospital.  I told James that. I was getting mad at James because he kept trying to tell me we needed to stay home a little longer and work through a few contractions.  In his defense I told him I would tell him during labor that I would want to go to the hospital but his job was to keep me home until my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  We waited a couple more hours. 

The contractions just all of the sudden started speeding up and were like 1-2 minutes apart.  We decided it was time to go the hospital.  The contractions jumped from like 5-7 to 1-2 mins apart.  I was nervous that baby would be born in the car.  I threw on whatever I could, and I wore a dress to the hospital.  Ughh!  I hated having contractions in the car, but it was only a 20 minute drive.  By the time we got to the hospital I was ready to kill someone.

I got up to labor and delivery 3 contractions later.  Much to my dismay the nurses wanted to hook up the heart rate monitor to see how baby was, and they did a cervical check and a heplock.  I was at six centimeters, and really not too happy about it.  You'd think they had never heard a laboring woman, I moaned through contractions as I was instructed and it helped just to vocalize.  I didn't like how they sneered when I moaned, I thought it was rude.  I worked through contractions in the delivery room, and at some point decided I had had enough and wanted to get the epidural.  I could tell James was a little upset, and I felt bad.  I was just so exhausted.  I was transitioning.  About a half hour later-for some reason the nurse kept asking me questions while I was working through contractions-which I still don't understand, and I asked where the heck that epidural was!? She said he was busy.  I was getting angry, and started to feel like I needed to push.  My midwife-who I loved came in to check me, and hallelujah told me I was 10cm and ready to push.  They asked if I still wanted that epidural-I obviously did not.  James was so excited!

I pushed when I got the urge.  No one counted.  I pushed as hard as I could.  I felt that ring of fire.  At some point they told me I needed to get baby out and push as hard as I could.  I did, and his head was out!  What an amazing thing to hear, I could not believe it! They asked if I wanted to feel-I said no-I will maybe with the next baby.  I was just concentrating on getting him out.  Next push I felt him come out. 

He was So small!  That was my first though.  I cried tears of relief-not joy.  I was so glad it was over.  I held him and just admired him.  No one took him to be cleaned.  No one cut his cord.  I just got to cuddle his little naked natural self.  I don't think he really even cried.  He was just beautiful.  I loved him then but I love my Zachary so much more now.  It was not instant omg I am in love for me.  It took time.  I loved him, and he was mine, I was just in shock. 

I only pushed for about 25 minutes total.  I had no tearing.  What a blessing.  Zachary was born at 3:33pm 7lbs .07oz 19.25 inches.  My labor and delivery was  11 and a half hours long.

I got lots of skin to skin time before he was weighed and his cord was clamped.  I even got to breastfeed him for the first time before they weighed him.  It was a beautiful birth.  It took time for me to see that, but it really was a huge day/moment for me.  I will never forget it.  Birth is empowering.  I am so glad I was able to have a natural birth, I was able to experience birth as it was meant to be.  I beat myself up for wanting an epidural at the end-but you know what?  Everyone does that!  Its part of transitioning.  And at the end-I really did do it all natural and drug free, and I am proud of myself. 

Zachary is a healthy and beautiful baby boy!  We have been breastfeeding since the beginning and really don't plan on stopping until he decides to stop.  Our goal was 1 year, and I think we are going to make it.  It isn't always easy, and it sure wasn't at the beginning, but I do it because I can and its the best thing for him. 

I plan on having a natural birth with my next baby as well because the recovery is so super easy.  I was up and walking in the delivery room. 

 I understand that women make choices for their births different from mine, and I completely understand and respect that.  Not everyones birth goes as planned.  But however birth goes-it is a life changer!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lime Chicken Fajitas

So we have a cute little lime tree in our yard that has been producing too many limes for us to handle lately, so I have been trying some new recipes that call for limes.  I came up with lime fajitas (if you could say it's a recipe even) because I figured it would be easy and healthy too.  They are simple, and easy but good.  I am not blogging to tell my recipes, because I think they are so fabulous, and I am such an amazing cook.  Not at all.  I am just sharing my recipes that James and I have enjoyed, that are pretty easy, and healthy too.  I always enjoy reading food blogs, especially when the food is yummy, and I won't feel guilty after I eat it.  Sometimes making dinner-or deciding what to make for dinner can be a drag, so I appreciate new dinner ideas, and that is why I am sharing. 
And so...Lime Chicken Fajitas

This is what you will need:
That's about 1/2 of an onion, 1 green bell pepper, 2 small chicken breasts (I used 4 chicken tenderloins), juice of 1-2 limes, 1/2 a fajita seaoning mix, and some butter and olive oil.

Next: Dice up the Chicken Breasts, and put in a bag to marinate with the fajita seasoning and lime juice.  We use the lime juice from just 1 lime, but that's because our limes are the size of lemons, so you may need to use the juice from both limes if yours are small.

Then just set the marinating mixture aside to do its thing, and cut up the onion and peppers and start sauteing them.  (I use about a Table spoon of butter to begin with, and add olive oil later in the cooking if I need to.  I start with butter first because olive oil can't take the heat as well as butter does.)

Next: depending on how you like your veggies cooked-I like mine pretty soft- I add the chicken when the veggies look about half done, like when they are just starting to get a little transparent.  If you like your veggies with a little more crunch you can add the chicken sooner in the cooking or even at the same time as you start the veggies

They look like the pic below when they are all done! 

We like to roll the mixture up in a tortilla with a little cheese, salsa, sourcream, or maybe even some refried blackbeans. 

If you want to see the recipe in a more recipe like format-I posted it under the recipes tab too. 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oops-Dont Forget the Sugar!

We cant forget the sugar!  Just add 3/4 of a Cup of Brown sugar to your Dry ingredients in the Cherry Walnut Banana Bread, and follow the recipe as usual :)

Cherry Walnut Banana Bread

Oh yummy!  I love this bread because it is pretty guilt free and sooo good!  I got some dried Traverse City cherries for christmas, and thought I would put them to good use. 

I think I will be making a lot of it in 2012.  As you can see James and I LOVE it!

So here's the Recipe:
Cherry Walnut Banana Bread

-1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
-1 Cup All Purpose Flour
-1/2 tsp Salt
-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
-1 tsp Cinnamon
-2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (or whatever kind of oil you want)
-2 large Eggs
-1/2 Cup of Milk
-1/2 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-2 Large Ripe Bananas-Mashed
-1/3 Cup Chopped Wallnuts
-1/2 Cup of Dried Cherries

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease and flour loaf pan.  I like to trace the bottom of the pan I am using on wax paper, cut it out, and place it on the botton and just pam the sides-it makes the bread come out super easy!
3.  Stir together dry ingredients in large bowl. Except walnuts and cherries.
4.  In seperate bowl whisk together the mashed bananas, oil, eggs, milk and apple sauce. 
5.  Add wet ingretients to the dry and mix well.  Then add the cherries and walnuts, and mix. 
6. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 45 minutes to and hour.  Check to see if bread is done by inserting toothpick, and bread will be done when tooth pick comes out clean. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Check out this adorable gift I got from my dear friend Kayla
Seriously-how cute are these!  I LOVE them.  Kayla is the best at picking out gifts. 
Thankyou Kayla-They are so perfect!

A Backyard BBQ Dessert

With Inspiration from my good friend Rebecca Moat, i was lucky enough to make a few treats for a Backyard themed Baby Shower.  How Fun!

The Burger: Surprisingly easier than I thought it would be.  Just two 5 inch (i think) yellow cakes with a big brownie in the middle, then a little decorating with help from piping tips.

Part of the corn on the cob cup cake-I think using Jelly Bellies would be better next time.


The Mom-to-be's favorite cake is Black forest.  So I made her a few of these-just chocolate cake with a cone shape hollowed out of the center(not too much), then cherry pie filling, piped whipped cream on top and garnished with a cherry and chocolate shavings.

It's good in vanilla flavor too.

Ready to go!

I really had a ton of fun on this little project, which just helps to reassure me that Baking is something that I would like to learn more about, and do as a profession someday.