Archive for March, 2012

Officially

The girls and I went to see the midwives today so that I could get cleared for running and working out and lifting and that vacuuming I started doing a few weeks ago. She proclaimed a number of things.

About Greer:
She looks like the Gerber baby!
She looks nothing like her sister.
She is GOOD.
The midwife would take her with her if I wasn’t watching.

About Piper:
She is obedient.
She has wonderfully curly hair.
She is so GOOD.
She loves her little sister.

About me:
I have plenty of estrogen!
This line will go away around month four and I can wear a bikini then without noticing it (ha!).
Everything is back in its rightful place.
This is all just skin. It will shrink back slower than the last two times.
I am doing just fine.

Straight from the mouth of a professional. We are all GOOD.

Good.

So good.

Tasty Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza & Flourless Chocolate Cake

A friend recently celebrated a birthday. When celebrating a birthday you have to have a delicious cake. I always think that a person should be allowed to eat what they want on their special day, so she chose the menu for the evening. BBQ Chicken Pizza is her favorite thing that I make, so I wasn’t surprised when she wanted to eat at on her birthday, but somehow I didn’t know she loved chocolate cake. I made a flourless one (because I’d never tried one before but it sounded decadent and that’s what everybody wants in a cake). Here’s what we ate:

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough, defrosted
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
dash of pepper

1/2 – 3/4 cup Prepared BBQ Sauce (I use Famous Daves Texas Pit or Sweet & Sassy)
1 cup Cooked chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup Purple onion, sliced very thin
6-7 Mushrooms, sliced thin (I love baby portobellas, but button work too)
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare baking sheet/pizza stone with non-stick spray or butter. Roll out dough. Mix Butter with seasonings and spread onto dough. Bake 5 minutes to set the dough a bit. Remove from oven and spread BBQ sauce on top. Add chicken, onion, mushrooms. Top with mozzarella and cheddar. Bake 15-30 minutes – until cheese is bubbly or starting to get crusty, as you desire. Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake (from Tyler Florence)

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used Ghiradelli)
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, cold

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare springform pan with butter or non-stick spray.

Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler until melted. Whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar until light yellow in color.

My lovely assistant performed the mixing. She did a fantastic job, as usual.

Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs – this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate. Whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

You need four of these blocks of chocolate. FOUR! I chose three bittersweet and one semisweet because I love the sweet. SWEET!
(oh look, there is bread dough rising in the background for the pizza. HI BREAD DOUGH!)

Melting! Okay. Full disclosure. I dorked this recipe up. There is no butter melting with these chocolates. I forgot to add it. SO LAME. The entire cake was in the oven when I turned around and saw the butter sitting on the counter. I freaked, pulled the cake out. Melted the butter in the microwave. Mixed it into the batter and then put it back into the pan and then back into the oven. Perhaps it would have been fluffier if I'd done it properly, but it still rose and was just fine.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then unmold. While the cake is cooking, make the whipped cream.

Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy. Serve the room temperature cake with a side of cream. Enjoy.

No cracking in the top. I pulled it out before then because I was nervous about over baking. Don't fret, friends! Let it bake. Let it crack. Mine was slightly underdone in the middle (which made it kind of like fudge and not bad at all, but for sure not done).

This was the most delicious chocolate cake ever. It is rich and delicious and I could not love it more. You’ll cut tiny pieces because this will be so rich that you wont be able to eat more than a sliver at a time. Serve it with some raspberries or strawberries to freshen it up and you’ll probably get marriage proposals.

On Tones and Talking

I’m sure you already know that I am often overflowing with sass and opinion. I’ve always been this way. Since I was able to put words into our language and even when I was speaking my own, I would offer up my own ideas with too much power, too many words and a general idea that I was right about them all. I’m raising someone very similar to me now and while it is often amusing to watch it all unfold, the thing that sits directly in the middle of those folds is not pretty. I know all of that because I live it and because the Word tells me that my desperately wicked self cannot survive on its own and achieve beauty. 

The past six weeks have been survived. That is my post baby mantra – survive, survive, survive. This time I blinked and we made it. Six weeks of allowing a tiny human’s every whim to rule my minutes. And now begins the process of stamping out self – not her personality or her ideas or her uniqueness – but her self will that is bent to rule and ugliness and sin.

It starts small. Sleep when it is best for you. Wake when you need to eat. Tiny steps to remind her tiny soul that this world is not spinning around her. 

Somehow I’ve got to remember this same thing. I need more time spent in quiet, more time meditating, more time devouring the things that transform me – the Word and the Spirit working together to change me. I’ve got to let go of the house running perfectly and remember that its more important to say the words gently to these tiny ears than it is be ten minutes early. The earth isn’t spinning around me.

Bigger

She turns three in a just a few days. Time warp.

Putting away the newborn clothes and switching to size one diapers. It goes faster and faster every time.

A big kid bike for a kid who is big. Hoping to loose the training wheels this summer.

Three Weeks

Three Weeks

Just a little crosseyed here. No worries. She’ll get them straightened out soon enough. Let’s not rush anything this time.

Three

There were lots and lots of comments from all kinds of people about having a third baby. They fell into three camps, for the most part. 

 

Camp 1 – OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE. 

These were the admonitions about how hard it is to be outnumbered by tiny people in your home.  I put all of the “you’re going from man-to-man to zone!” comments firmly in this space, along with all of the horror stories people gave us about what their THREE children could destroy in seconds versus the time when there were just two. There were stories about not showering and not sleeping and not being able to get anything at all accomplished. Questions about if we’d be done after this one (with a “and you should be” kicker).

 

Camp 2 – HOORAY! HAVE TONS AND TONS AND TONS OF CHILDREN! DUGGAR IT UP!

This package of comments were the congratulations that went along with predicting the future of a gaggle of children in our home. Questions about buying a new house since ours would be busting at the seems were filed here. The stories about how having a third child when your older kids are as old as mine would make the addition completely undetectable. You’re not sleeping anyway, so you might as well just keep adding tiny cries to the middle of your night! 

 

Camp 3 – YOUR COMMENTS

I don’t remember who said what, so don’t take anything I wrote up there personally. I’m not trying to call anyone out. I’m positive I’ve said things to people that have not been helpful. It’s a way we all process through our experiences – by sharing the hard stuff and by encouraging people with the good stuff. Somehow all of the things that we tell expectant moms is really more about our own selves than it is them. Their experience will be uniquely theirs – a fussy baby, a calm one, MSPI or the graduating to solid foods super early. Who can know what kind of personality or body the Lord will choose to give them? So maybe we should just keep our own thoughts to ourselves.

And yet, there is something wonderful about all of the comments I received from other moms. There is community in the shared struggle. There are moments of clarity for my mind in the middle of the night when I’m awake and unable to help a child get back to sleep. There is a sweetness in shared experience that refreshes me and comfort in knowing that difficult times aren’t unique to our family, that there’s grace enough for me when I am loosing my mind and grace enough for the kids as they navigate this new era too.  

A good friend recently wrote this: We are constantly falling short of our obligations to those around us and are occasionally aware of it! (a good starting place as we approach our fellow man and a good reminder of the tremendous grace we continually receive). 

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you all for the grace you have and are still giving to me. 

You Can Keep Your Tie-Die

This morning I woke up to two happy children playing games next to me and one tiny baby still sleeping soundly. After asking the two bigger ones to turn off the overhead light, I groggily brought myself to a sitting position and looked around at the disheveled room. Game pieces were strewn across the floor. A trash can that needs to be emptied sat next to the tiny table of wipes and diapers. A basket of clean clothing sat mocking me on the other side of the table. The room was in complete disarray.

Greer woke up shortly after me and I nursed her. The older kids scurried off to eat breakfast and play in their rooms. Soon Gideon was dressed and ready for school, with no effort from me to get him that way. Piper was heading to me while my father was taking Gideon off to class. She watched ‘a kid show’ while I diapered the baby and took off to shower.

I hurried to get myself ready but by the time I was dressed and combing out my hair, Greer was demanding her morning snack already. I, of course, obliged, but filled up my water cup first. Fed, burped and sleeping soundly, I played sous chef/taste tester to Piper’s executive chef-dom. She made oatmeal out of Yahtzee dice and chocolate out of Sorry! pieces and then Greer woke up and needed to eat again.

Gideon was back from school and lunch was on the table when I realized that my hair was completely dry. Wavy and straight, frizzy and frayed, my hair was a total mess. With no makeup and and no hair product or heating tools applied, I walked past a mirror and realized that I would’ve made a really terrible and ugly hippie. Thanks for saving me, Jud.