Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You Know You are Getting Old When..... Vasectomy

So, I haven't been on the computer lately.  Life has gotten in the way.... Sorry about that.  I have a wonderful new job that I will be starting soon.  It is 20 minutes from home, something really different from what I am used to and enables me to be more involved in the community that I live in.  It also makes me buy steel-toe boots, a first! 

But first I get to make it through tomorrow.  My husband is older than I am, and had a son before we met.  We have two beautiful daughters together, and he is done having kids.  He has a scheduled Vasectomy tomorrow afternoon.  I only ever wanted two kids, I am still sure that is enough.  But for some reason I am almost in tears at the thought of him going through with this.  We have talked it over, he has volunteered to wait.  In my head I know we should just do it and get it over with.  But in my HEART I know that I am not ready to never hold another newly born baby in my arms, feel that precious kick under my ribs of the child in my belly. 

We did not have an easy time having babies.  We were told at one point that we would never have our own.  Then when it happened, it opened up a whole lot of terrible memories and hurt feelings for both of us which almost resulted in divorce.  I almost died while delivering my sweet baby, and then spent three days alone in the hospital, not knowing if my husband would be home when we got there, or if I had a home to go to.  My mother-in-law brought us home, unaware that there was ever a problem, dropped us off and went to work.  Paige and I fell asleep on the couch.  The next thing I knew Chris was taking her out of my arms and sitting in the rocking chair, holding her and crying.  Things were amazing after that.  Our second baby just two years later brought us so much closer.  So, while our house is full, and our hearts are full, I still dread the permanency of this procedure. 

He says that he is too old for more.  There isn't enough money for more kids.  There isn't room in the house.  I keep picturing the day that Mia was born and the minute that I saw her, got to hold her.  Can that really be it?  I don't want more kids, I am fairly certain, but I don't think that I am ready to relinquish the right to change my mind. 

I spoke with a friend about my dread, she also had fertility problems, and her husband went through the procedure last year.  She didn't feel this way prior to the procedure and doesn't regret it.  Am I just weird? Should I put my foot down and say no, tomorrow is not the right day for this?  Well, tonight I will pray for a peace that exceeds my understanding, and the wisdom to know what to say and if I should say anything at all, or just bite my tongue and hold back a tear as this life changing event happens tomorrow. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Swiss Steak

This was one of my favorite recipes as a child. We never had a lot of money as a family of six, so we ate a lot of venison as kids.  People in big cities pay a lot of money for venison, for us the price was a license fee, freezer paper and tape, elbow grease and lots of time in nature. I can't eat venison anymore, I know a lot of people that ate a lot of it as kids and can no longer eat it without getting sick. I truly think there is some sort of an enzyme problem that we have developed. I have always been comfortable with guns, it helps that my Grandpa was a conservation officer (he also came to our elementary school dressed like Smoky the Bear, that was pretty awesome). I have a terrific aim with guns and bows, but I just have no desire to kill animals, targets are fun though!
Well, that brings us to tonights supper. I only make this with beef or buffalo now. A tender cut is best, we used beef tenderloin tonight, but we have used cube steak before and it was delicious!
I start with my stainless skillet and about 3Tbs of canola/ olive oil mix and put it on medium heat. When the pan gets warm, put your meat in and brown slightly on each side.
In the mean time, I preheat my oven to 325°F and get out a casserole dish. In the bottom of the casserole I put one can of cream of mushroom soup.
When the meat is browned, place it on top of the mushroom soup. Then pour another can of soup on top. (I use low sodium soup) Put the lid on the pan, and bake for about two hours, or until you can stick a fork into the meat and it just falls apart.


I serve the Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes, since the soup makes a great gravy. If it is too thick, simply add milk and stir. We also had asparagus with a little cheese tonight. My two year old has never had it before, but it is growing like crazy here, and we want her to love it like we do. I think she ate half of the pound that my husband brought home yesterday! It helped that we called them Jr.'s as in Jr asparagus from Veggie Tales, her favorite thing to watch!
Well, have a great night!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Long Days

When I started blogging, it was with the hope that it would take off like wildfire and grow very quickly.  Well, since I haven't had the time to put a lot of effort into it, I am glad that I have had a limited audience. With that said, I will move forward and make this something that I can be proud of.  I don't like to put my name on something that isn't perfect, with 110% effort given. 

I was asked yesterday how I liked being a stay-at-home Mommy.... Well, I love being able to take care of my kids, but I need to find the structure to my days.  I have days that I don't get everyone dressed until 12, and we are back in our jammies by 8.  Well, that is driving me crazy.  I am very detail oriented, and thrive with a schedule.  Tomorrow we have a schedule.  We will start our day by going to the local yard sales bright and early.  I am tyring to find some cheap kids outside toys, and gently used jeans to use to make a bunch of skirts to sell in my Etsy shop: Pumpkins Patches.  I am also looking for anything that can help me organize my life. 

What do you guys like about garage sales?  I love going to sales in big cities, or ones far from home.  It is always great to see what other people get rid of in other towns.

Tomorrow I will have my recipe for Swiss Steak.  It is to die for, and can be made with any type of red meat.  Good night!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jean Skirt Remake

This is my new FAVORITE sewing project.  I don't know about you, but I love to go to yard sales and thrift stores to find clothes for my girls.  I prefer to purchase their play clothes used, since we play hard at our home, and wear out clothes quickly.  As a renaissance woman I am drawn to things that I can do and create.  This is one of those projects! 

Now, I want to teach you all how to make one.  This tutorial is for someone that knows their way around a sewing machine, not someone without prior knowledge of sewing. 
First step is to pick out a pair of blue jeans to fit your child, a chunk of material that matches the denim, ribbon or rick rack for trim and matching thread. 

These are the pants that I chose, and the material that I used was of a similar theme.  You start by cutting off the pants above the crotch, making sure to avoid the pockets and zipper. 
Then you measure the width of the jeans.  I try to cut my skirt pieces about twice as long as the denim is wide.  I like to cut the fabric strips for the skirt at 6" tall.  So for this skirt, it was about 11" wide, so I cut two strips of fabric that were 6x22".

At this point you will put the two strips right sides together and stitch up the sides, making a tube. I use the combination straight and zig-zag stitch for this. 

Next I hem the skirt.  Pick the bottom of your skirt and roll the hem so that the raw edge is completely concealed and straight stitch around the top of the rolled part.
Next you will need to gather the top.  The easiest way that I know of to do this is to sew around the top of the skirt with a really long, loose straight stitch like this:

Start right beside one of the seams and sew all the way around the top, do not knot the thread or reverse.  I pull slightly to stretch the stitches even further apart.  The next step is to pull lightly on the thread that is on the wrong side of the skirt (the inside)  and this will gather the material.  Just keep pulling the thread and spreading out the gathers.  You will do this until the skirt size matches the width of the skirt.
Next you will take the skirt (still inside out) and slide it over the denim.  This will put the two raw edges together, and the right side of the finished skirt together.  I then use the combination straight/zig zag stitch to sew around the edge.  If you don't have this stitch, I would use a straight stitch, and then a zig zag closer to the outside edge. 
You are almost done!  Next you will need to flip the skirt out right, so that it is laying how it will when worn.  I like to put either ribbon or rick-rack around the seam, to disguise if it is not perfect.  For this skirt I choose this rainbow rick-rack, and I just straight stitch threw the center, trying to line it up right over the seam.
Over lap your rick-rack slightly, to not have any raw edges showing.  If I use ribbon, I straight stitch around the top and the bottom of the ribbon. 
There you have it!  An easy project that looks adorable, and uses those jeans that are worn, or too small! 

Up tomorrow we will try to get some cooking in! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun Project- Sewing, and reusing

Lately I have been in a sewing mood.  I have started an Etsy Shop- Pumpkins Patches, and I have been making all of this adorable baby stuff to sell.  Now I am in the mood to make things for the girls.  When I was sorting through the girls clothes, finding all of the summer stuff and putting away winter, I noticed a pair of pants that the knees were worn out of.  Well, I just happened to have a ton of scraps from my husbands Grandma and picked a cute one to gather up and and make an adorable skirt!
I will post a full tutorial tomorrow, and a picture with the cute model that I have lined up! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Life Changing News...

So, after we had the baby in the ER on Monday night, I had an even more eventful Tuesday.  I was called to my bosses office right before I left for the day and told that my position was being eliminated, and my last day is Friday.  I don't think that I have really absorbed it yet.  

Most of you know that I am a Medical Technologist. Here is the rest of my story.  I was hired at this hospital right after school, as a newlywed in a new town.  I was a generalist on the afternoon shift, and quickly promoted to the afternoon shift supervisor.  Two years after I started working there, I was promoted to a department head position.  This is an amazing feat for any Med Tech. I was the youngest section head at this hospital.  I led my department for two years before I had my first baby.  While I was on leave, a big hospital from downstate bought my community hospital and our world's turned upside down.  We went from a hospital that was making a profit and running well, to being run by people sent in from the corporation.  People that don't care about our community. People that make very expensive, very stupid mistakes and make the rest of us pay for it.  I am sure that a lot of you have gone through something similar.  I have heard about it on the news, but until now I haven't felt it. 

My department in the lab was eliminated, the work sent to the mothership while I was on leave with my youngest baby.  I returned to my dream job, specially created for me.  Perfect hours, no call, no weekend and no holidays.  Two months ago my hours were cut, which was actually great for this mommy.  Now this.  I know that in the long run I will be better off. I know that my God has a plan for me that I haven't yet seen.  I know that for my girls this will probably be their best summer with mommy home with them. 

But I also know that I was born in that hospital.  My girls were born there.  It was my first grown-up job. I was so scared my first day.  I was scared of our Blood Banker, until I stood up to her.  I spent so many years celebrating, mourning, loving, hating, fighting and growing with this family I have created at this hospital.  It hurts that these outsiders have come in, taken over and run it into the ground.  They don't hurt like we do, we built this hospital, they are just tearing it down. 

I dread tomorrow.  I hate goodbyes.  I love my hospital.  I will cry.  I will take my time and linger in the hallways.  I will take an extra long time when I leave. I will snap one last picture as I leave the building.

I will find a better job.  I will grow from this. My family will be stronger.  My God is amazing, I will praise him in my weak moments.  I will praise him while I get to play with my girls days on end.  I will praise him as I write these post for you all.  I am grateful for the chance to help you all get back to that from which we come from. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Well, instead of making a pillow-case dress today, we spent the evening in the ER with our youngest. She choked on something and we still aren't sure what it was. So, I will hopefully have something for you all tomorrow. I just want to remind everyone that it is moments like this that really put it in our faces to be grateful for what we have. Say your prayers tonight and hold your family tight, because none of us know how long we have on this earth.