Monday, January 25, 2010

Good News

I went today for a follow-up ultrasound to check on Selah's cyst. The good news is that it hasn't changed in size at all! So now all we do is anxiously await her birth. The pediatrician will have an ultrasound done on her at that time to confirm the diagnosis of an ovarian cyst. The ultrasound shows her right at 7 pounds, and she has her momma's feet. Nice.

I am one centimeter dilated, so only nine more to go! My doctor says it could be anytime, but he's predicting next week. We shall see!

And it's now official -- our little girl has a middle name! Ready?

Her daddy chose it ...

He wanted to name her this from the beginning ...

It's ...

Selah Rachel

I love how it looks. And Rachel means "lamb". Too sweet.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baby Shower for Selah

My sweet, sweet friends Chrissy and Lisa threw a baby shower today for our new little addition! It was wonderful to get to see so many friends and so many adorable baby outfits, too! Brunch was served -- delicious breakfast casserole, biscuits with jelly/honey, fresh orange slices, mini quiches (mmm ... bacon and cheese ...), and a wonderful punch. A cute little idea for party favors was a piece of white felt folded into a diaper shape (complete with safety pin!) and filled with those tasty butter mints. Precious!

Me with Lisa and Chrissy ...

Me with my mother-in-law, Cheryl, my sister-in-law Paige, and Kaity-Kaity.

The adorable cake ...

Opening presents!

I REALLY wanted to buy this same outfit at a store one day and Jeff said not yet! When I showed it to him today, he laughed. I'm glad I didn't actually buy it before! My friend Ashley has such good taste. :) Oh, and you would not believe how many outfits Selah got that have daisies on them -- they were all absolutely the cutest.

Kaity decided to wear every single ribbon off of the packages! I don't know where she gets that streak of silliness. Certainly not her staid, serious-minded mother.
And we're still waiting ... :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Wai-aiting is the Hardest Part

Bassinet, check!

Blankets, one made by your big sister, check!

Going home outfit, worn by your big sister, check!

Well, what are you waiting for, Selah?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Scrapbooking Method

Everybody has their own way of doing a scrapbook, but one thing beginners all have in common is "How do I start?" Usually there's a backlog of pictures to go through and it seems pretty overwhelming! Well, I'm a natural procrastinator, so I've come up with a way to scrapbook that accommodates that nicely. I organize the pages by events such as holidays, birthdays, family visits, vacations, etc. It's much easier to remember what order these came in because they're important to you. You can use numerous visual clues such as people present, clothing, age of the children, season of year, etc. to help you decide where in the time line your pictures belong. For everyday events I don't worry about exactly when they happened. As long as they're in the same year/general season I'm fine with that. If you can't remember, certainly no one else will, either! I even skip pages if necessary, leaving the back page blank. I can add just one more page, onto the back, or I can insert as many as I need later.

Your next step should be to group the pictures by page layout. For example, gather all the pictures you have from your child's 3rd birthday. Depending on how many pictures you have, you will probably want to do 2-3 pages for an event like this. The more pictures you have, the more important the event, the more space you should allow for it. My rule of thumb is to have 3-5 pictures per page. Remember, the pictures and the stories are the entire purpose for the scrapbook! If you have only one picture per page, you'll have to fill in with a lot of writing or paper/stickers/embellishments. If you have too many pictures on a page, the visual impact is lost -- the look is too busy. Don't forget as you organize the pictures to save space for journaling. That can be as simple as captions on pictures to writing out a funny, sweet or memorable story.

On this page I only placed two pictures. I knew that I wanted journal several things on the page and I didn't want the layout to be crowded. (Tip: Click on any of the pictures to view it full-size.)

Now look over the pictures you've chosen for the layout. If it's just one page, go ahead and decide what you'll do for the facing page so that you can make sure to coordinate the colors a little. They don't have to match completely, you just don't want them to clash. Choose the background colors/papers based on the colors in the pictures. When the photos are all of one event, the colors in the pictures will be the same anyway, making this step pretty easy. I like to use no more than three colors. Two that coordinate and one that contrasts, or all three that complement each other. Again, remember that the photos are the important part! You don't want the "enhancements" to overshadow the subjects of the pictures.

These are random pictures taken during a month time frame. I grouped them together because they all had the same subject matter. Blue and tan can be found in all the pictures, so I used those colors to create the title of the page.

For these pages, I pulled the colors from the dump truck on the left page. I felt comfortable using four pictures per page because I didn't want to go to three pages and these could be trimmed, leaving more space around them for journaling.

Here I just had these three sweet pictures. I used a title box and paper enhancements to fill in. I also used a larger tip pen to journal, taking up more space. Also, I used gingham print paper to match the gingham print on Joe's romper and the check in Jeff's shirt.
I know this has been a long post, but I hope it contains useful information for you! I have a very simple, clean, no-nonsense approach to scrapbooking and it works for me. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I LOVE to scrapbook. Unfortunately, it's one of those things that gets pushed to the side when more pressing issues are at hand, like homeschooling, moving, having a baby, etc. But I decided that it's better to go ahead and start Selah's scrapbook while I only have two children as opposed to three! I have made up a few pages to start and I'll fill them in with pictures later. Here are a couple of the layouts I've done so far.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Recipe Experiment

I shorted myself a meal this week ... in other words, I only bought groceries specifically for five meals when I should have done six. It's not really a problem except that I am in the process of stocking the freezer for when Selah arrives. I didn't want to have to dig into my reserves which would then have to be replaced. So I'm being creative tonight with dinner! I raided the freezer and pantry, etc. and came up with ...

Chicken Parmesan Calzones

I started with my basic pizza dough crust ...

1 2/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast

All that goes in the bread machine to be rescued an hour and twenty-five minutes later. (This recipe makes 2 crusts.) Of course, you could use your own recipe or store-bought dough.

For the calzone filling, I made a basic white sauce ...

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (if I'd had chicken broth, I'd have used 1 cup broth, 1 cup milk)

(When I melted the butter, I threw in a chopped clove of garlic, too. Yum!)

To which I added ...
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Other delicious additions would be chopped onion, zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, ricotta cheese ... whatever your family likes!

To put it all together, I divided the dough in half, setting one half aside for the freezer. The rest of it I divided into fourths. I rolled out each section into a circle -- not too thin! Each circle was topped with a touch of olive oil, some mozzarella cheese, and about a fourth of the filling. I folded the dough up over the filling, making a bun, and placed them seam-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Into the oven for 15 minutes or so on 375!

I served them with warmed spaghetti sauce for dipping. The whole family liked them, from Papa to the kids! Success. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name ...

Well, we have at long last decided on a name for our little girl! None too soon, I suppose, since the countdown is down to 27 days. And her middle name is actually uncertain now, though it'll be one of two options. We'll let you know that later. For now, at least you'll have a first name for her ...

Selah (SAY - lah)

It's a musical term found in scripture in the book of Psalms. Though the meaning is generally uncertain, according to Blue Letter Bible it means to lift up; exalt, and is a technical musical term probably showing accentuation, pause, interruption. I think of it as the moment in a musical piece when the music stops, there's a grand pause, the silence is deafening and then the music begins again. It's believed to denote a change in the flow/mood of the piece.

I would say this baby has definitely denoted a change in the flow of our lives! So there it is. Selah.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Baby Update

So it turns out that the ultrasound I had done Monday was not technically okay. It showed that our little girl has a cyst in her abdomen. The doctor's office called on Tuesday to let me know, and they sent me to a specialist to have a high-density ultrasound done on Wednesday. That ultrasound showed that she has a 4 cm (make a circle with your thumb and forefinger) cyst next to her bladder. The educated guess is that it's an ovarian cyst, which is (somewhat) common. It's caused by an excess of estrogen and should go away on its own after her birth. There's no treatment as of yet. I have another high-density ultrasound scheduled for the 28th of January to check on the cyst. But there's still nothing they can do until she's born. Even after birth, she'll just have to have periodic ultrasounds to monitor the situation. As long as the cyst is shrinking, we'll do nothing. If it stays the same size, or if the doctor finds some complication, she'll probably have to have surgery.

I have a few more pictures from the ultrasounds, but no scanner, so I can't share them! And no, no name yet. *sigh* Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a name picked out and Jeff has a name picked out. They're just not the same name. And no, we can't combine them because she already has a middle name. Again, *sigh*.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The After-Christmas Tree Party

My friend Chrissy is always coming up with creative ideas and recently she read a book that sparked a home school party. "The After-Christmas Tree" by Linda Wagner Tyler is about a family that stood their Christmas tree outside, then decorated it for the birds. We strung garlands of dried fruits (prunes, raisins, cranberries), Cheerios and popcorn. We made pinecone feeders by spreading the pinecones with shortening and rolling them in bird seed. We also coated pita bread wedges the same way and hung those on the tree.

It was downright COLD, but we had fun, anyway.

Monday, January 04, 2010


After the ultrasound today, everything looks fine. Baby and Mom are doing great!

Our girl is (by the technician's estimate) about five pounds, nine ounces.

The countdown begins ... :)

35 Weeks!

Almost there! I go for a final ultrasound today, which will give us a better idea of how big our little girl is.

No, she still doesn't have a name yet! We're becoming desperate at this point. I just hope I don't fill out her birth certificate at the hospital while in an anesthetic-induced haze. "So, how'd you come up with the name 'Demelza'?"

(And yes, those pictures were taken at our old house ... we were there to get pictures of it to post on-line.)