Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sweet Baby Z

Hephzibah: hef-zee-bah, Hebrew meaning "He delights in her" Isaiah 62:4
Ilia: ee-lah, Hebrew meaning "God is Lord"

  The last couple months of my pregnancy I dealt a lot with fatigue. My week 40 doctor appointment came and went without any sign of going into labor. I'd been hoping that because my baby girl appeared to be rather large in the ultrasounds that she would come early, but that would not be so. I went in for a NST (no stress test) on the Monday following my due date. I'd started having contractions late Sunday night, but they still weren't consistent or even close enough to be admitted to the hospital when I went in that afternoon for the NST. I went home and decided to try and get the contractions to be more consistent and walked around the house some. I tried napping throughout the day in case I went into active labor that night. By dinner time Monday night my contractions were consistently 10 minutes apart and quite strong. 
  My husband was at work on a swing shift, but I didn't want to call him home until they were closer together (especially since things didn't seem to be progressing all that quickly). My mother-in-law stayed up with me and coached me to relax and breathe through each contraction. I tried to get some sleep between contractions, but the 10 minutes between weren't really allowing me to get any rest. 
  At 2am on Tuesday my contractions were finally 6 minutes apart, but hadn't gotten to the 5 minute mark yet (when my doctor said I should head to the hospital). About 15 minutes to 3am, my husband got home from work and ate some dinner. While he ate his dinner and my mother-in-law decided it was time to start gathering everything together to be ready to head to the hospital, my contractions went from 6 to 4 minutes apart! The three of us quickly got into the car and made the 20 minute drive to the hospital. 
  We arrived at the hospital at 3:50am and I was admitted into the maternity ward at 4am. By this time my contractions were 3- minutes apart and, because of my naturally high pitocin levels, were extremely strong. My husband and I had discussed whether or not I'd want to have an epidural since I'd gotten no rest in the last 18 hours and my contractions were so strong. 
  When the doctor checked me out to admit me we found out that along with the strong contractions that were 3- minutes apart I was completely effaced, but only dilated to a 4. He then suggested that I consider getting an epidural so that I could get some rest and have the energy to push when the time came, as he was dealing with a lady in labor that was now too exhausted from the contractions to finish the pushing (making her labor even longer).

 I hadn't originally planned to have any pain killers or drugs, but when it came right down to it, we decided to go with the doctors advice and in the end I was very glad I did. I was able to get in a hot jet bath to help get through the contractions until the anesthesiologist was able to make it up to my room and insert the catheter for the epidural. 
  The epidural took affect quickly and after all the hospital staff that was in the room completed their given tasks and gave their instructions to me, I was finally able to fall asleep and get some much needed rest along with my husband and mother-in-law. After a few hours my eldest sister arrived and we talked a bit before I went back to sleep. Occasionally the nurse would come in and check my dilation progress and make sure that I had everything I needed. 
  At 4pm I was dilated to an 8 and remained there for an hour. As they'd already broken my water they started talking about possibly needing to do a C-section. That was exactly what I didn't want to happen and I knew that I had many people praying for me as my mother-in-law went out to inform my father-in-law. The doctor decided to try to stretch me out and try to finish me that way before resorting to a cesarean. Within 5 minutes of the doctor hand stretching and my pushing, I was finally finished to a 10. 
  After that I had my husband supporting my head and shoulders while he counted out each push and my sister and mother-in-law on either side of me coaching and cheering me on as they held my legs for me. I felt so very blessed to have the loving care and encouragement of 3 people very dear to me during such a momentous moment.
  After an hour and a half of pushing my sweet daughter slipped into this world! Upon hearing her squalls, all four of us were crying tears of joy. I remember feeling the weight of her flailing body on my abdomen as they worked on cleaning her off and cut her umbilical cord and having an overwhelming pride and joy, thinking that everything I'd gone through to get to this point was well worth it. When they put her on my chest, and I got to see her for the first time, all I could say was "she is so beautiful" as my love for my daughter overflowed my heart with joy.
  My husband had a look on his face that was so joyous that I really can't describe it. The pride and love he has for our little blessing is so beautiful to see. He loves her so much and loves hearing about everything she does throughout the day and looks forward to holding her when he gets home from work each night. The next best thing to seeing his face was seeing his father's face the moment he came in the room and saw her for the first time. I don't think I've ever seen anything so precious! Seeing him interact with her when he gets home from work at the end of the day and the way he talks to her as though they are having a conversation is absolutely adorable. 
  Hephzibah was born at 6:51pm on Tuesday, weighing 9lbs, 22.5in long, and a 13.75in head. Everyone came in to meet her after the doctor and nurses had finished with me and the baby and cleaned up the room. My husband's two younger brothers were excited to see here, as were my sister's two children. After talking for a bit they decided to go home to rest and then come back in the morning. 
  My little girl took to breastfeeding quickly and we enjoyed our first night with our new bundle as our new little family bonded and rested. The next morning my mother-in-law arrived first and was eager to get to hold her granddaughter for the first time. About half an hour later my sister arrived with her two children and they all took turns getting to hold her. The three cousins enjoyed a bit of bonding time before they had to leave after lunch. 
  My husbands two youngest brothers arrived with his dad later and they all enjoyed getting to hold their niece and granddaughter. The doctor decided that I needed to stay until the next morning to make sure that baby and I continued to progress as we should. 
2 days old. Headed home. First car ride.
  After another sweet night with my new little family we were allowed to finally go home and continue adjusting to our new life. Our little girl, whom we refer to as Z or Zibah, is such a good little baby. She loves diaper changes, being naked, has a very quiet cry, and loves baths and showers. 
  She is now a month old, weighs 13 pounds, loves talking to people, smiling, making faces, watching football, laying on the floor watching the ceiling fan, eating, car rides, her stroller, being walked around, snuggling, sleeping, polka dots, bright colors, and music. Every day she gets better at holding up her head and getting better at controlling her limbs. She is already in 3-6 month baby clothes and continues to grow healthy and strong. 
  Every night, when daddy gets home, she wakes up and loves hearing his voice. When she is fighting sleep sometimes, he'll hum to her and she very shortly falls asleep. 
  She got to meet the rest of her grandparents and great grandparents when she was 11 days old, and finished meeting the rest of her uncles, aunts, and cousins when she was almost 3 weeks old. She is such a beautiful little girl with an adorable personality and a blessing to all that meet her. 
  There are so many more people that she has yet to meet, but after all the traveling we did after she was born and all the extra hours my husband has been working, we are staying at home to rest and they'll just have to wait a bit longer. 
  The pictures below were taken by my eldest sister when  Zibah was 18 days old at the same park that my husband proposed to me at. I'll post some more recent pictures of my little sweety in my next post.

I'm Still Alive!


Hello Everyone!
  God has blessed me so very much over the last year and I'm so excited to share what he has been doing in my life!
  My last post was after Thanksgiving last year, so I'll pick up from there. We were able to spend Christmas Eve with my parents, siblings and their families in Tillamook, OR, and then got to spend Christmas Day with my hubby's dad's family near Scappoose, OR. It was such a blessing to spend the Holiday surrounded by family and the joy of the season. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year, because of the wonderful warmth and joy the season of giving invokes in everyone. I didn't listen to Christmas music nearly as much as I normally do surrounding the holiday, mostly because I was so busy with work and spending time with family (I don't recall even watching any Christmas movies *shocked*). For New Year's Eve/Day we got to go spend the couple days with my sister and her family near Salem, OR. As usual we had a blast playing games and just enjoying each others company. Family has always been a very important part of my life and I'm constantly disappointed with myself for not being able to spend more time with them or even just contacting them to talk. I know many of them understand my busy schedule and that I have a life and family of my own that occupies much of my time, but I still wish (as many do) that I had more time to do everything I want to be able to do.
  My pregnancy progressed and I continued to grow, but did my best to hide my belly as I began to show so that my clients didn't become uncomfortable and worry about my continuing to work. My husband had many difficulties in trying to find a job. No matter how many places he applied in the area that we lived, no one hired him. Finally he decided to apply at a factory out near his parent's home in Eastern Oregon. We were so happy and excited that they called him back right away asking if he would be able to come in for an interview! He felt like the interview went very well and they seemed to like him a lot, mentioning something about being over qualified for the job. A couple of days later we received a call asking him to go in for a drug test and asking when he'd be able to start. By this time is was mid-March and we eagerly gave two weeks notice at our places of employment in Hillsboro, OR and prepared to move to Eastern Oregon. 
  We celebrated our 1 year Anniversary rather sedately by going to a movie and dinner. We reminisced about our wedding and all that had happened over the past year and how our life was changing so drastically. We were so excited to see how God had blessed our marriage and where he was taking us. Our saddest thought was that with all the positives we saw in moving away we would very much miss our church family and small group, along with all the dear friends that we'd made during our time in the city.
  April 8th my hubby started his new job and for the first time since I was 16 years old, I sat at home while someone else went to work to support me/us. It was an incredibly hard thing for me to adjust to. I was greatful that my husband had a job that could support us and enable me to stay at home (I still am), but learning to not feel guilty for being able to stay home and be "lazy" all day was very hard and something I struggled with up until the week I went into labor. We have now lived here for over 4 months and I'm loving getting to live in the country again. The weather is so very different from what I've known throughout my life and it has been quite a pleasant transition. 
  Since this post has gotten a bit long, I will end here and write another post with the story of my baby's arrival and the adjustments that has entailed.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scrumptious Biscuits & Gravy

   I didn't give much of an update with my last post, so here I go.  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving in the North with my husband's family. I lost some more weight :-/  but have been doing quite well otherwise. I'm on week 11 with the pregnancy and have had it quite easy, in my estimation.  My work schedule changed so now the guys are in charge of dinners on the 5 days that I work.  They have done a great job so far too!  My biggest craving during this pregnancy has been cheeseburgers :-D My husband makes some really good burgers, all I do is add some Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, SCD legal Yellow mustard, pickles, a slice of tomato and some yummy! Christmas is fast approaching and I have so much to do still. We got our tree up and decorated today and just have to put some ribbon up with the garland to finish the decorating. Presents are far from being finished!
  Today's recipe is two fold. I've always loved biscuits with gravy and was thrilled to find a delicious recipe that I could make and enjoy. So here it be:

Yield: 8 servings

2-1/2 Cups  Almond Flour
1/2   Tsp   Sea Salt
1/2   Tsp   Baking Soda
1/4   Cup   Butter
2           Eggs
1     Tbsp  Honey

1)  In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
2)  In a large bowl, blend together butter, eggs, and honey.
3)  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until a nice dough forms.
4)  Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1-1/2 inches thick.
5)  Dust dough with almond flour if it is sticky and/or misbehaving. Cut the dough into biscuits using a mason jar with a 3-inch wide mouth.
6)  Using a spatula, transfer biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet.
7)  Bake @ 350^F for 15 minutes, until the biscuits are browned on the bottom edges.

Original Recipe Link:

Herb Gravy
Yield: 8-10 Servings

1 Quart  Chicken Stock
2   Med  Onions, coarsely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
1/2 Tsp  Sea Salt
1  Tbsp  Thyme, chopped (I use dried)
Pan Drippings (from roasted chicken or turkey)
2  Cups  Chicken, cooked & cubed or sliced

1)  In a medium saucepan, heat chicken stock, onions, and garlic to a boil.
2)  Reduce heat and simmer until onions and garlic are soft, about 30 minutes.
3)  Pour pan drippings, salt, and thyme into saucepan.
4)  Blend stock mixture in blender until smooth.
5)  Place mixture back in saucepan and reheat, then stir in cooked chicken pieces.

Original Recipe Link:

Santa Fe Chicken & White Bean Soup


Today's post is another recipe that I made for my client and then tweaked to work for my diet. I've only made it once thus far, but hope to make it again very soon, as the guys thought it was SOOO good! :-P The original recipe can be found in The Oregonian Cookbook (pg 47), and as usual the recipe below is how I made it. Enjoy!

Santa Fe Chicken & White Bean Soup
Yield: 10-12 Servings

2-1/2 Cups  Great Northern beans, soaked in water to cover overnight
11    Cups  Chicken Stock (divided)
1     Tbsp  Dried Oregano
1     Tbsp  Dried Parsley
3     Tsp   Sea Salt
4     Tsp   Ground Cumin
2     Tsp   Dehydrated Garlic
1-1/2 Tsp   Dehydrated Onion
1     Tsp   Paprika
1/2   Tsp   Chili Powder
1/8   Tsp   Ground White Pepper
1/8   Tsp   Ground Black Pepper
Pinch       Cayenne Pepper
Pinch       Red Pepper Flakes, crushed
6     Tbsp  Butter
3     Tbsp  Olive Oil
4     Cups  Onion, chopped
2     Cups  Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1     Cup   Celery, chopped
1-1/2 Tbsp  Garlic, minced (divided)
3     Tbsp  Almond Flour
1    Pound  Boneless, Skinless Chicken, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
Garnish:   Shredded Cheese, salsa, sour cream(SCD Yogurt), and fresh Cilantro

1)  Drain soaked beans. Combine with 8 cups Chicken Stock in large pot. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.
2)  In a small bowl, combine oregano, parsley, salt, cumin, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, paprika, chili powder, white and black peppers, cayenne, and red pepper flakes; set aside.
3)  In a stockpot, heat butter and olive oil; add onions, bell peppers, celery, 1/2 Tbsp (1-1/2 tsp) garlic, and 1/3 of the reserved seasoning mix. Saute over medium heat for about 5 mins. Add another 1/2 Tbsp garlic and another 1/3 seasoning mix; continue sauteing until celery is tender. Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp garlic, remaining seasoning mix, and 3 Tbsp Almond Flour. Cook 5-7 mins longer. Whisk in remaining 3 cups Chicken Stock, cooking until thickened. 
4)  Add cooked beans and their broth, and chicken; heat until chicken is just cooked, about 5-6 mins. Serve hot in bowls with cheese, salsa, "sour cream", and cilantro.

Note: The guys enjoyed some Tortilla chips with this, but a slice of toasted bread compliments it just as well.                 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Preparations & More!


  I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post. I'm finding that pregnancy is far more tiring than I remember anyone ever telling me about! I've been sleeping at least 10 hrs a night and then sometimes I'll even take a nap after I get home from work! Thanksgiving day I'll begin week 9 of my pregnancy and still have yet to experience any "morning sickness", although I've had a few bouts of nausea that lasted an hour or two. This week the baby is the size of a raspberry and growing a millimeter a day. By week 9 (Tday) it will be the size of a green olive! I've has some really weird dreams, but that's apparently normal. My husband has been a real sweetheart and is so gentle, making sure that I have everything I need and am always comfortable. 
  We have 3 days until Thanksgiving and I've already started the preparations! My husband and I will be going up to his Aunt's for the holiday, with his brother and many other family members. With that thought in mind I've been thinking of all the things I need to make ahead and what I can take with me to make there. Today I'm being quite industrious by making a batch of Homemade Yogurt, 2 loaves of bread, and pie crusts. I'll also need to bake a pumpkin for pies later. The recipe I'll be including with this post is the bread recipe that I've been using. It isn't anything super special, but I like it and it is really easy to make and the ingredients are easily obtainable if I don't already have them on hand. I'm super excited to finally have a piece of buttered toast again! The first loaf I made was cubed and taken to a party at a friend's house for some delicious Swiss Cheese Fondue! Which was quite tasty. 
Happy Holiday and much Thanks!

Almond Loaf
Yields: 1 loaf

2-1/2 cups Almond Flour
1     cup  Dry Curd Cottage Cheese(DCCC), packed
3          Eggs
1/4   Tbsp Butter, melted
1     tsp  Baking Soda
1/4   tsp  Salt

Preheat Oven to 350^F.

1)  Grease 8x4 Pyrex loaf pan with butter. Dust bottom of pan with almond flour.
2)  In food processor blend DCCC, Eggs, melted Butter, Baking Soda, and Salt. Puree until smooth butter consistency.
3)  Add Almond Flour and blend until thoroughly combined. 
4)  Remove from food processor and shape into loaf in pan.
5)  Bake for about 1 hour @ 350^F. Cool on wire wrack. 

Original Recipe Link:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

6 WEEKS!!!


  My husband and I found out that I'm pregnant! We couldn't be more happy and excited for the little blessing God has growing inside of me. I'm doing quite well (no morning sickness yet), and am still getting used to the idea that I'm going to be a Mommy!

 We've had many "Congratulations" and lots of helpful advice. I'm so thankful for the jump-start I've had with my diet and how my feeling better regularly will hopefully help me feel better throughout this pregnancy. Some mothers may laugh at that, but go ahead, I know I'm new and probably very naive about much of this, but I've learned a lot in the last week and plan to learn so much more for the months and years to come! I'm currently 6 weeks along and we expect to meet our little one sometime in July (God willing). This will be the first Grandbaby and Great-Grandbaby on my husband's side and everyone is quite excited regardless of the idea of adding "grand" and "great" to the beginning of their names.

God Bless,

Monday, October 29, 2012



  There are now two recipes I use for "fauxtatoes". One is a cheesy cauliflower bake, and the other is the one I'll post here, which is prepared much more like regular mashed potatoes. The guys really like both recipes, but seemed to enjoy this recipe more when I made it with the stew. Enjoy!

FauxTatoes aka Cauliflower Mash
Yield: 4 servings

1 head  Cauliflower
1/4 cup SCD Yogurt
1/4 cup Cheese, shredded(I used pepper jack, but others work fine)
1 Tbsp  Butter, softened
To taste Garlic
To taste Salt and Pepper

1)  Steam cauliflower until soft. Drain and Mash. 
2)  Mash and stir in yogurt, cheese, butter, and spices until all well combined. 


Original Recipe: