Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homemade Almond Butter

First of all, if you haven't tasted almond butter before, you should try it. It's delicious! I've always avoided buying it at the store because it costs about 3 or 4 times what a good quality peanut butter costs. So, one day I looked up how to make it and realized how simple it is to do at home. I buy my almonds by the pound at Drug Emporium (of all places). This recipe uses about half of the package, so the end result costs me $2.50 at most, probably a little less than that. Here's the process:

Step 1: Roast 2 cups of raw almonds in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Let the almonds cool to room temperature. I shake mine around in a colander for a while.

Step 3: Put the almonds in a food processor and let it work for a long time. Have some oil (I use canola) and salt ready to add in later.

After a few minutes it will look like the 1st picture-- coarse sand. Let it keep going and the nuts will release their oils and form a ball (2nd pic). At that point, I add about a teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt. You can add as much as you want. Some people even add sugar too. It depends on what you like. Let the processor work until it gets to a smooth consistency (3rd pic).

Step 4: Put the almond butter in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Use it like you would any peanut butter. Yummy (and good for you too)!


Today I am officially 41 weeks and 2 days (9 days past my due date of April 20). When people find out that I'm that much overdue, they always blame my doctor. "I can't believe she's letting you go this long without inducing!" But it's not my doctor's fault, it's mine. I really want to do this completely drug-free and naturally, including going into labor on my own. My OB is getting really antsy about the whole thing. She was ready to induce at my appointment yesterday. But, the ultrasound shows that SBJD is doing well and my fluid and placenta are still good too. So, I'm sticking to my guns for now.

Everthing involves risk, at some level. I feel like this decision about induction is a balancing act. . . which choice is the riskiest? If the baby stays in too long, it could get really big (making natural childbirth harder), it could have a bowel movement in-utero and have to be suctioned a lot at birth, or my fluid and placenta could stop working effectively. If I choose to get medication to be induced, there is a risk of my uterus rupturing, having to have a C-section (the chances go up to 50% with induction), and it drugs the baby too. I could let them break my water, but then, if you haven't had the baby in X number of hours, they do a C-section. There's also a chance that the umbilical cord could come out before the baby does. That means an automatic C-section too.

So, here I sit, 9 days overdue and praying that this baby comes soon. We've had several nights when we thought labor was beginning, including last night. But for some reason, it always stops too soon. I'm already dialated to 4 cm and 70% effaced. The baby has already dropped into my pelvis. My bags are packed and I'm ready! Just waiting on God to stay it's time to meet our little one and trying to hold off this induction as long as it's safe.

Please pray for us!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pork and Sweet Potato Frittata--- Yummy!

I usually cook lots of meals on Sunday afternoon so that I don't have to cook during the rest of the week. But, this week, as a way to pass the time, I've been cooking on a nightly basis. A couple nights ago, I cooked a small pork tenderlion in my pressure cooker and roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven. I fully intended for it to last us for 2 nights, but the tenderlion was too small to make enough for another meal (I hate it when that happens!). So, I used my culinary creativity to find a way to turn those leftovers into a yummy meal for tonight. The result. . . a pork and sweet potato frittata to die for! I should've taken pictures (It would make this post a lot more interesting), but it all went into my belly so quickly that I forgot to get out the camera.
Here's the recipe (or as close to one as I could come up with):

Pork and Sweet Potato Frittata

Leftover pork tenderlion, sliced (I had 4oz. )
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes (I had about 2 cups diced)
1 onion (sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
4 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

I started with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, but any skillet that is oven-proof will work.
Saute the onions until they are a little carmelized. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add in the sweet potatoes and pork to heat through. Beat the eggs, milk, and seasonings. Pour them into the pan over the meat and veggies. Let it cook on the stovetop until the sides are set. The top will still be runny. Put the skillet in a 375 degree oven until the eggs are set. I turned the broiler on for the last couple of minutes just to get some color on top. Cut it into wedges and serve. We had it with reduced balsamic vinegar (leftover from the other night) and steamed broccoli.
The process for making a frittata is the same no matter what ingredients you use. Try it with some of your leftovers sometime. It's delicious!

Monday, April 19, 2010

God's Plan is Perfect

I've been reading this Bible passage for at least a month now. Thought I'd share it's beauty with everyone else. Isn't God amazing!

Psalm 139: 1-16 (New Living Translation)

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away.
You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!
I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
Even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night-
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-- and how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cloth Diaper Service

Today, I met with Alan from Cotton Tails Cloth Diaper Service. He brought my start-up kit with everything I'll need to diaper our sweet baby when he/she finally arrives. I was already planning on using cloth diapers before I learned about the service. In fact, I have several Bum Genius All-in-one diapers in the closet. I was ready to do it all myself, when, at my last baby shower, Adam's parents gave us a great gift--- 6 months of paid cloth diaper service with Cotton Tails. Thanks Mrs. Jonell and Mr. David! It's a brand-new business that just started last month. Alan, the owner, lives a mile from us and he and his wife are expected their first baby as well. It's great that we have this type of service available in Shreveport now! I hope it takes off! If you are interested, check them out at It costs about the same as using disposable diapers, but it's way better for the environment.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last workout class

So, tonight ended up being my last workout class at Mosley's Movements until my doctor ok's me to go back after the baby is born. I would have kept on going until I deliver, but I ran out of classes tonight and thought it would be silly to buy more this close to my due date. Patrick, the aerobics instructor, seemed very relieved that I would not be returning for a while. He's been telling me for a month that he only knows mouth to mouth and that wouldn't help me much. Tonight he said, "You want to see me freak out, see what happens if your water breaks during class!" Oh well, it's been fun and I'm glad I could continue going this far into my pregnancy. It's helped me stay in shape!

Six days and counting until my due date (although that doesn't mean much). Not much change at the doctor visit today. I'll go back Monday for another check.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Natural Child Birth

Adam and I spent the weekend in Marshall, TX learning about natural child birth from a professional doula, Jen Courtney. If you are wondering, a doula is a professional birth coach that you can hire to be your emotional and physical support during childbirth. She can attend a homebirth, hospital birth, or birth center birth if you want her to. We're not hiring her (I have Adam as my support, of course), but she is really knowledgable and was able to give us lots of good, useful information about hospital births (what to expect and how to get out of a lot of it).

As much as I would like to have a homebirth, I chose to deliver at Christus Schumpert Highland as a compromise. First, an attended homebirth is illegal in LA and I'm not stupid enough to want to try this alone. Second, we've heard great things about Highland Hospital--- very few rooms, supportive nurses, a little more familiar with natural births, etc.

If all goes well this time around and we can get our insurance to cover a birth outside of the hospital, we'd like to try out Eden Way Birth Center in Marshall for our next baby. We enjoyed our time there this weekend and it's directly across the street from a hospital. So, if you needed it, there would be no problem getting you some medical attention.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Getting Ready for SBJD

For those of you that don't already know, SBJD is short for Sara Beth/John David. Since we aren't finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time, my friends haven taken to calling the baby SBJD.

The baby's nursery is absolutely perfect! I love everything about it. Kathy Cubley painted the nature mural for us and the bedding is from Pottery Barn Kids. I can't wait to sit with our sweet little addition in this perfect place! Here are some pictures:

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