Monday, December 17, 2012

My Only Wish...

Here's the video of the week! Sorry it's up late. It's been a busy day already. :P
So I wanted to post a video that is Christmas themed, and I wasted a lot of time trying to find something to no avail. Blah. But then I remembered that there was a Christmas video I made a few years ago. Although it is a fun video, I'm glad to say that I have improved in my editing skills, lol! :) Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Breastfeeding An Octopus

Breastfeeding is hard. That doesn't, of course, mean it is a bad thing. It's a wonderful thing and I love being able to do that for my baby. There are lots of benefits too, like:

  1. Proven to be the best way for babies to get all their necessary nutrition. (Not that bottles are "bad." I commend any loving mom for doing what she feels is best for her and her baby).
  2. A way to keep baby healthier (i.e. if mommy gets a cold, guess who gets antibodies against that cold passed on to them? Baby!)
  3. Bonding and togetherness for mommy and baby.
  4. Not having to wash any supplies (okay, so yes, I do have to wash my body every day, but I do that anyhow, so it's more like multitasking).
  5. Not having to pack anything but the nursing cover or a blanket.
  6. Don't have to warm anything up. Always the perfect temperature.
These are some of the things I find the most wonderful about breastfeeding my baby. However, I was never told about the worst parts. Oh no. I had always read things like, "Breastfeeding will be a wonderful way to bond with your baby and you will be so happy you did this!" Or some author tries to give you a warning, but fails miserably. "It may be challenging from time to time, but stick with it." These people don't even bother though to tell you the challenges you may encounter or how frustrating they may be or how often they may occur, or even how they may last the entire time you breastfeed.

We've all seen the cover of any breastfeeding book. The mother is sitting quietly with her baby who is eating contently. The mother might be looking lovingly down at her child, or kissing their hand gently, while the little one looks up into the mommy's eyes. Exact example of breastfeeding, right?

This never happens with me and my baby. Ever.
Okay, so maybe not never ever ever, but it is on great occasion that we do have a sweet, simple, bonding breastfeeding session.

Although I knew that the perfect situation on all the book covers couldn't possibly happen every single time, I kept seeing it, so I figured it must be the norm, and the hard times were few and far between.

Like I said. I. Was. Wrong.

After Kessie was born, I was told that it may be difficult to keep a newborn awake, and that sometimes you may even need to wake them to eat, since newborns are so sleepy. I was further told that if I did need to wake Kessie up for her feedings, I was to do whatever I could to wake her up; strip her down to her diaper, change her, rub her hands, tickle her toes, do baby exercises, etc.
This turned out to be another thing that was entirely different from what I expected. To me, it sounded like if I was ruthless in keeping her awake, she would stay awake and eat and be done.

Again. I. Was. Wrong.

This child would have starved herself to death if I wouldn't have done everything I could to keep her awake during feedings. She was the queen of sleep. She hardly ever was awake, and I'm pretty sure she even slept through most of her feedings too.

So the first few weeks, there we were, every single feeding, she was down to her diaper, I trying desperately to keep her awake, while she was trying desperately to stay asleep. Our little game went as follows:

Undress baby. Baby squirms and falls asleep. Change diaper. Baby squirms and protests a bit and tries to stay asleep. Sit baby up and down a few times until baby is really irritated and really protesting. Obviously awake...until she dozes again. Repeat for 10 minutes. Finally, start feeding baby. Within 5 minutes or less, baby is asleep. Tickle baby's feet. Baby starts eating again. Asleep and pacifying in less than 5 minutes. Tickle feet again. And again. And again. Eventually, baby will become immune to this. Move on to rubbing her back. Again. And Again. And again, until baby is immune to this as well. Rub her hands. Again. And again. And again, until immune to that as well. Sit up to burp. Baby spits up. Probably everything she ate too. Start all over and repeat all these things until either A. Baby won't stay awake or B. Baby falls asleep while being burped. or C. You've done all you can and are just done.

Needless to say, the game of "keep the baby awake" was very tiring. Eventually, we realized that part of it was that her latch wasn't very good and she was somewhat tongue-tied, so she wasn't getting enough milk and was working so hard she was just too tired, and the other part was that she associated breastfeeding with a way to go to sleep. After we got help from a lactation consultant (which I would say is worth EVERY penny if you are having any problems), and after I was ruthless with not letting her fall asleep while nursing, things got better in this area. And for a while, things were actually quite perfect for the most part. Until she started to notice the world around her.

It was like a strange metamorphosis. Here I had, a beautiful, sweet little baby girl who slept so well and was eating much better after our months of troubles. But slowly, she began to transform into something else. Her hands and fingers became suctioned to everything within her reach- my hair was a popular one, as well as skin, clothes, and my face.

I swear her arms and legs grew 10 feet long and could wrap around my entire body 3 times.

Her mouth became a little beak that, despite having no teeth, could make me sore for days. And not just from biting. She rarely bit. It was instead from a strange obsession with, not latching on and off, but pulling on and off. Continuously. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. And it always happened for the same reasons. 1. If Daddy stepped in the room. 2. No reason. At all.

In my mind, she began to take on an entirely different form. She became...

An octopus.

How had this happened? What had I done to my poor little girl to make her into this? It was extremely difficult to believe that this little thing had once been my calm, sleepy, inactive little girl. This was a full fledged sea creature who was always alert and always awake and always...


So what did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. What could I do? There's no way to reason with a baby. It would only turn out something like this:

Very effective, right? -_-

I also couldn't make her be still and sit there. That would just unleash her wrath.

And the wrath of the octopus should not be provoked.

Anyway, so I've found myself stuck with this interesting little octopus for about the past 5 months. So what, you may ask, keeps me from ending breastfeeding sooner than later and enduring through this? Why would I put myself through this insanity? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure myself. Maybe it's because we invested so much time and money into getting help so we could breastfeed successfully so it would be a waste to stop early. Or maybe it's because I know it's the best thing for her, so I would feel selfish if I denied her the best. Maybe I feel empowered that I'm the only one who can do this for my baby and that makes me awesome and feel better about myself? These are possible reasons. But deep down, I don't think it's any of those.  I think, perhaps, it's because any time I do think about ending early, this terrible sadness overcomes me.

A day or two after Kessie was born, I had a moment where I just started crying for many reasons and none at the same time (oh hormones...). When my husband asked me what was wrong, I said that I was sad that I was laid up so much that I couldn't do anything for Kessie but feed her. I wanted to take care of her immediately and I didn't feel it was fair that after carrying this child for 9 months and then giving birth to her that I should be unable to do anything for her. I wondered though why I felt this way since I should just relax and enjoy not having to do anything, since for the rest of forever I would have to do everything. Then I realized it was because, while she was inside of me, I was able to do everything for her. I fed her, I carried her, I kept her warm. Then it got me thinking about how attached we were. We were always  together. And now, suddenly, we weren't anymore. She was in her own bed, someone else could hold her, someone else could change her diapers, essentially, someone else could do everything for her...except for feed her. 
And maybe this is why we keep breastfeeding. Because it's the only thing left that keeps us attached and as close to each other as when she was inside me.

Although the going gets rough, there are times when the little creature subsides and transforms back into a little baby girl. I cherish these times like no other and am very thankful for them, because I know that in just a few days or less, the octopus will emerge it always does. Call me crazy to keep breastfeeding an octopus, but deep down inside, I love it.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding book picture:
The Breastfeeding Book picture:

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Piano Guys-O Come, Emmanuel

I know, I know, I posted The Piano Guys last week. But this song is beautiful as well as the video. Really makes you remember the real reason for Christmas. :) Enjoy!

Kid History: "Healthy Food" Episode 6 (Kids Tell, Adults Act) True Stories

Kid History is seriously one of the best things that has ever happened. These videos are hilarious, and this one, about healthy food, is my absolute favorite. Watch for a really, really, really good laugh!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Candy Cane Cookies

Looking for a new and fun recipe this holiday season? Look no further! This candy cane cookie recipe I got from my wonderful mother-in-law is not only super cute, but super delicious!


3/4 cup margarine (or butter), softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (I always seem to be out of this ingredient, so I never use it, but the cookies always turn out yummy anyhow)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup coconut (optional)
1 tsp. red food coloring

  1. Cream first five ingredients. Stir in dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Stir coconut into one part and red food coloring into the other. Chill 30 mins. 
  2. Divide each dough into 30 balls. Form ropes and twist together and make candy cane shape. (lightly flour hands to keep from sticking). Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 mins.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Diseny Paradise

I love Disney, and I love the Disney princesses, and so I love this week's video made by tonightsreality. Although I do wish that my favorite Disney princess, Giselle from Enchanted, was included, this video is for sure one of my favorites.

The PIano Guys- Carol of the Bells (for 12 Cellos)

I just love Christmas, and I just love The Piano Guys, so why not combine the two? ;) Seriously, these guys are amazing artists and their videos are always the best too. Check them out if you don't know about them, and if you do, check them out some more! :D

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mr. Krueger's Christmas

Last night, we had some down time and decided to watch a Christmas movie together as a family. We don't own very many (which is why I got on and bought six different Christmas themed movies the other day), but there is one that I always make sure to watch.

Mr. Krueger's Christmas. 

It's an older movie, made back in 1980, so we popped it into the VHS player (amazing we still have one of those) and started watching. I love this movie. Not only because Jimmy Stewart is the leading role and because he is the cutest old man and reminds me of my sweet grandfather, but because of the message it teaches and the tears of the true Christmas spirit it brings to your eyes. Mr. Krueger's Christmas is about Willy Krueger, a kind and lonely widower living alone in a basement apartment he is custodian to. The story follows what happens to him one Christmas Eve as he goes to purchase a tree and nearly spends the holiday alone. Although he makes a few attempts to be with someone, his desires are sadly overlooked and no one seems to notice the company this old man needs. No one except a sweet little girl, Clarissa, who is out caroling with her family. Through the events of the night, Mr. Krueger finds the true reason to celebrate the season and prayerfully thanks the infant Jesus for being his closest friend through his struggles.

This movie is fun and has some very enjoyable and touching scenes. There are a few instances where the audience gets a look into Mr. Krueger's imagination, which are happy and lovely and of course, my favorite parts. From images of directing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to being a well-known man purchasing a new suit in a department store, there is one scene from Mr. Krueger's mind that stands out the greatest. While he is rearranging his nativity Mr. Krueger imagines himself there in the stable at the baby Jesus' side.  It is at this part that one of the greatest, most touching, and most meaningful monologues ever is given. It is clear that Jimmy Stewart doesn't just simply act out this part, but the  message of gratitude, faith, and love were truly from his heart and soul. "I love you," says Mr. Krueger to the Savior. "You are my closest and finest friend. And that means I can hold my head high, wherever I go."

The message that is given in this film is beautiful and one to remember even throughout the year. It is summed up in one, conclusive line. "I love you. That's what Christmas is all about. Clarissa said it to Mr. Krueger. Mr. Krueger said it to Jesus. And Jesus, in so many ways, has said it to all of us."

  • Age Appropriateness: All ages. Of course, it probably wouldn't hold a small infant or toddler's attention for long, but even young children would enjoy this movie. Plus it's only about 15 or 20 mins, so it isn't long either.
  • Content Rating: G. Super G. There is absolutely nothing objectionable about this movie. :)
  • Overall Rating: 5/5 stars. I've already stated my reasons above, but I simply just adore this movie. Unfortunately, I don't believe it is a very well-known film, so I'm not sure how accessible it would be to get a copy. However, if you can't find it to rent anywhere (which I highly doubt it is), it may very likely be available to watch on YouTube at this link: (In fact I think it is very likely and very available. But you didn't get this from me. ;) )
Now go watch this wonderful movie! Merry Christmas! :)

Movie Poster from

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meatball and Vegetable Soup with Pasta

Easy schmeasy yummy soup recipe! Just in time for the cold winter season. :)


 (Yes, I shop at Walmart...)

3 14-ounce cans beef broth (You can also use the bigger 32 ounce box plus one 14 ounce can instead. Sometimes the boxes are cheaper, so you may save money that way).
1 12 to 16-ouce package frozen cooked meatballs
1 15 to 16-ounce can Great Northern beans or cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained (if you can't find the kind with seasoning in it, just add about a teaspoon or less of each when adding the tomatoes).
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup dried small pasta (such as macaroni, small shell, mini penne, or rotini)
crusty bread (optional)
shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven (or just a big pot), combine broth, meatballs, beans, undrained tomatoes, and vegetables. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Stir in pasta. 
  3. Return to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 mins. or until pasta is tender. 
  4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. If desired, serve with bread and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 to 8 main-dish servings.
 Mmmmm, yummy! Enjoy!

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook- Step-by-Step Recipes Just for You. Meatball and Vegetable Soup with Pasta recipe pp. 380.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lindsey Stirling- Crystallize

I wanted to do something Christmas, but I know that some people (like my husband) who are complete Scrooges and say "No Christmas until December 1st!" (J/K Sweetheart...I still love you :) ) So I thought I'd post a song I really love, but is also wintery. This one is by the awesome Lindsey Stirling who is an AMAZING violinist and performer. She makes some awesome arrangements and original music and on top of that, she dances while she plays the violin. Check it out!


Of course, that title is sarcastic. This is, without a doubt, the worst action scene ever and it is hilarious! The only thing I don't find funny at all are the poor horses used for this. Not. Cool. But the rest will have you in stitches. My personal favorite is the jeep. XD

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shredded BBQ Chicken

This recipe is seriously my favorite thing. First of all, it's yummy, and I like yummy food. Second, it takes only two (yes 2!) ingredients, so it's super cheap. Third, it makes a lot. And fourth, the best part, it's a crock pot recipe. And not one of those crock pot recipes that has a million steps like, "Make sauce on stove stop. Bake chicken in the oven. Place sauce in crock pot for 1 hour. Then add chicken. After 3 hours, add vegetables. Cook for 2 more hours."  Which, by the way, totally defeats the purpose of having a crock pot. Seriously, these things were made to throw food in and magically have it turn into a delicious dinner hours later.  But this recipe is not like those. This is one of those one-step-and-you're-done-all-day crock pot recipes. Perfect! :)


1 lb. of chicken (about 3-4 large chicken breasts)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

That's IT! Woot! :D

Place chicken and sauce in crock pot.

This brand is really, really good. I would highly recommend it. Something else to note as well, this bottle is pretty big, so if you do buy a bigger bottle instead of the regular size, you'll want to add only half of the bottle.

After that, cook on low for 8 hours. You can also cook on high for 4 hours, but I think it turns out better and easier to shred if you do 8 on low. 

Next, shred the chicken and stir with the sauce. Heat through.

Serve the traditional way on buns, or...

In a tortilla with lettuce and cheese! Mmmmm!

This recipe can also be made using a pork roast, which I haven't done yet, but I'm sure it would be absolutely yummy! :) Enjoy!

Carry Scissors in Your Car!

I just got done reading this article written by a mother about how her daughter was almost strangled to death by the seat belts in their car. Such a terrifying experience! I thought it was very eye opening, so I'm sharing this with everyone.

Here's the story:

Kelly Clarkson- Dark Side

I absolutely LOVE this song. The meaning is beautiful and I love that music box part in the beginning. This song is such a great reminder to love people despite their darkest parts of who they once were and help them become their better side. Love it. :)

Change of Seasons

And here we are with the Video of the Week! I love Avatar: The Last Airbender, and ended up watching The Legend of Korra (the sequel to the latter). I liked it in the beginning, but the plot steadily went a little downhill for me in the end. I could get into a whole discussion of how if only Nickelodeon would have given the creators another season in the first place instead of just one, this wouldn't have happened, but I'll pass that and just say that for the most part, Korra was enjoyable. But I just love this video that MentalProdigy made of my favorite episode in the series. Fabulous job! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Disappointment in Fashion

So, I just got done with being pregnant seven months ago. My maternity clothes were the cutest ever. I loved wearing them. I felt adorable and especially pretty in them.
After having the cutest baby ever, and looking in my old wardrobe, I decided it's probably time to get at least a few new things. From what I had surveyed while I was pregnant, it seemed that fashion was a little out of what I usually like wearing, but that was probably just the trendy stuff I was seeing that would be out of style in a few months, right? WRONG!
What I see in stores and in magazines is horrendous. I'm literally terrified. It's like someone took the worst of the worst from every era, broke every rule, and threw it all in a blender. Oh, and the more plaids, polka dots, stripes, and whatnot you mix, the better. Uggghhhh....

One store that I absolutely {used to} love was Down East Basics. Lovely, modest, well-fitting, and classy. I could always count on finding something there. Recently though, within about the last year or two, the clothing line has steadily gone downhill, I'm sad to say. The last few times I've ventured in there, I've tried on about half the store and come out empty handed. "Ooh, this looks cute...too tight in the shoulders. Next size up? Too large. How about this? Um...I look like an over-sized daffodil...This one? Eh...It's made for twiggy girls. What about this? Not what I expected..."

Needless to say, I've been pretty disappointed in my once favorite store. I do get their magazine and emails though and look through them before throwing them away. I got my November issue in the mail a couple days ago and finally found some time to sit down to take a look at it.

Well, the cover looks harmless. Maybe things will be better. 

First page. Maybe not what I'd be dying to wear, but it is nice. This could be a good issue!

Now this is really cute. I love the striped T under that cardigan. I know what I'd like for Christmas. ;)

Hmmm, not my fav, especially the scarf. The dress on the right is cute, but I don't see it looking right on me...moving on.

Ugh, not a fan of the ugly colored, sequin covered fish tail and the seemingly armless lady. The last picture was okay, this one, not so much, which is okay because that happens. The next one will be good, right?

Okay, I was in total shock when I saw this. The one on the right, not so bad really, okay at best, but the one on the left... O.O
And what may be wrong with this monstrosity? EVERYTHING. It's like someone decided to combine Paul Bunyan and a 50's housewife. Can't find the time to take care of the household chores and chop your firewood? That's what this outfit was made for, honey.

Seriously though, who wears pearls with...that? Nothing feminine about the homeless man heels either. And the socks? Um, who wears socks with a skirt anyway? Especially frumpy thrift store ones?

I just love wearing my over sized T-shirt while sitting on my display table in front of the stairs, don't you?
Okay, this was actually really cute. I would wear either of those. Everything about these two looks great.

The outfit on the right is so ugly you hardly even pay attention to the one on the left. Upon showing it to my husband, he was immediately reminded of this:

Yeah, me too. 

Once I had gotten over my split second, initial panic and took a double take of what I thought to be a naked lady in a clothing magazine (super ironic), I vowed I would never ever ever ever ever wear anything that looked the same color as my skin. Ever.

What is that pink frilly thing hanging out of her potato sack? O.o

You know the long things hanging off your shoulders? Yeah, they're called sleeves. Poor thing doesn't even know how to dress herself. Tut-tut. 
Oh, and btw, on the right, Worst. Necklace. Ever. Both of them.

And now we run into a few things that aren't so bad. I like the design on the skirt. Not a fan of the plaid though. It's okay.

Both of these are good, but the one on the left is better. Except for the necklace...

Thank goodness they still have the basics. 

Pay no attention to the barf colored shawl on the right. 
On the left: Now THIS is the way to do a plaid shirt.With jeans. Not a banana skirt.

NOT this. Ever.

Not huge on those leggings, but the outfit is all right. I'd like jeans better. The outfit on the right would be great if you threw the clown socks out.

This headband is actually really cute. Very pretty. :)

Thank goodness they don't expect me to decorate my house the same way they dress themselves. The home decor section is actually really nice, I must say.

And there you have it. Looks like I'll be wearing my old, out of date stuff until this all passes. *sigh*

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

This recipe is so super easy to make, takes only a few ingredients, and tastes de-lish (a perfect combination)!

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (I thought that I had a yellow cake mix, but found that I only had a white cake mix, so I used that instead. It turned out just fine and delicious still, so if you are fresh out of yellow cake mix, but have white, it will work too).
  • 1 small can pumpkin 
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • You will also need the ingredients listed on the back of the cake box, which typically consist of oil, eggs, and water, to varying amounts.
And that's all! Easy schmeasy! ;)

How To:

Prepare the cake mix according to the box directions, like so.

I love using my Kitchen Aid mixer. One of the Best. Gifts. Ever.

Add pumpkin and chocolate chips.

Mix well! :)

Put cupcake cups into a muffin tin and pour batter into each, filling about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake as directed on the cake mix box. You may need to do a little more time though since the pumpkin will add more moisture to everything.

When they are done, take them carefully out of the muffin tin with a knife or a fork so you don't singe your fingers. Put them on a baking rack to cool.

These really aren't this yellow. They are more orange. I have no idea why the picture looks yellow, lol! :P

While they are cooling, you can make this cream cheese frosting to go on top!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 Tbs. softened butter
  • 3 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a small bowl, blend butter and cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add vanilla.

Last, but certainly not least, frost your cupcakes.

This recipe can also be made into a cake instead! Just put the batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish or bunt pan. Still bake as directed on the cake box, but make sure to add 20 mins. to the total bake time. This is important because if you don't, your cake will (obviously) come out really gooey and gross, and then you'll think this recipe stinks, which is doesn't, and you'll miss out on yummy pumpkin awesomeness. ;)

Enjoy! :)