Tuesday Thoughts ~ Induced Labor

Induced Labor

 

If your labor doesn’t begin on its own, many times your practitioner will use medication and various other techniques to induce contractions.

Have you ever been induced, Mom? And more importantly, what are your thoughts on induction? Share with us!

Foodie Friday ~ Iced Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin-cookie-photo-240-NC-IMG_043

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #12

BookSacredSilence

 

Journal Entry #12

September 26th, 2013

Had lunch with Mom today. Was refreshing to sit and chat over chicken salad sandwiches without talking about loss for once.

There was one fleeting moment when I caught the silhouette of a pregnant woman standing across the restaurant from us, her belly swollen as her left hand grasped that of a red haired little girl with curls cascading past her shoulders. I looked away quickly, swallowing the lump in my throat repeatedly to avoid finding tears. Not here; not in front of Mom.

Miles and I talked about work last night. At this point in our lives, he thinks I should stay home, or at the very least, find something part time. I’ve been pretty adamant about looking for a new job. I need to be occupied, to fully immerse myself in something other than staying at home. The silence drives me crazy.

A friend of mine sent me an email this morning regarding “Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day” that is honored and remembered each year on October 15th. You could submit the name of your child with a simple message. My fingers were frozen as they hovered over my keyboard as I wrestled with the notion whether or not to submit Zach’s name. After nearly 10 minutes, I hit “send”, my son’s information sent to an organization that would walk in honor of my son…my loss, and that of so many others.

Relief spread through me in that moment. I made a vow to walk for Zachariah on my own October 15th. I miss him with every single part of my being, but I was filled with love in knowing that there truly are people out there that understand my hurt and heartache. It’s easy to feel alone…that you are the only one around you that has lost a baby making you some sort of outcast. But, we’re not. I’m not. Neither are you. We are women, and we are no lesser of sorts because our arms are empty.

When someone offers you a kind word, or a hopeful voice that life will be okay…that your child won’t ever be forgotten…that changes your entire perspective on living as a mother. That’s one thing that has healed me greatly. I am still a mother. I will ALWAYS be a mother.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence – Journal Entry #7

BookSacredSilence

Journal Entry #7

September 10th, 2013

Twenty- seven days. Twenty-seven gut wrenching, soul stirring days since I gave birth and said goodbye in the same moment. What I felt, what I feel, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The hurt is hard. Harder than I ever expected.

I lost my father when I was fourteen to lung cancer. He didn’t even smoke, but he died a liberating death of a disease that tore my world apart at the seams.

When I say “liberating”, I mean it as such. When the Oncologist told my daddy that he had stage 4 lung cancer, he smiled. My daddy smiled at the doctor who had handed him a death sentence. He didn’t cry, ask for chemotherapy treatment, or vow to fight, he simply smiled and said aloud, “I’m ready when the Lord’s ready to take me. Life has been kind to me. It’s been VERY kind to me.” He nodded, leaning back in his chair, the rest of my family stunned as the eyes of his little girls and that of wife’s filled with tears of terror.

Three and half months later, my father died at home. My mother, my sisters, and myself surrounding his bed at a quarter after three that cold December morning, hands holding his, stroking his cheek as his final breath left his lungs. He had been unresponsive for nearly a week, hospice coming by the house several times a day to administer pain medication to keep him comfortable, but for a week I watched my father die. I watched his body fail, his spirit diminish, and as a young girl who was just learning how to cope with what the teenage years were like, I had to stand up and be strong. To be a woman of faith, when I felt like faith had failed me. My daddy faced death without an ounce of fear. I had to learn to do the same. I wanted to be like my daddy.

Now I’ve faced death again years later. Yet the loss of life is so very different this time. The taste in my mouth is one of ¬†bitterness. My only son, the one I prayed for, longed for, taken away before he ever had a chance to experience the beauty of life.

Today I wrestle with what my daddy faced. Facing death without an ounce of fear. I’m fearful. Afraid to move forward without Zach. Afraid to live a happy life with the debilitating sorrow that fills me from head to toe.

I’m afraid for my marriage. Miles and I have distanced ourselves from one another. I miss my husband. Who we were a month ago. Time heals all wounds. This is what I hear, and what I’m trying to believe. In time, we’ll find one another again. I believe that. I have to believe that.

I quit my job today. My boss understood as well as my co-workers. Sometimes life demands a change, and where I stand now, I need to find change. I can’t return to the place where my nightmare as a mother began. Find that strange, weird, or cowardly, but I know what my heart needs. It needs change. It needs change for Zach’s memory.

I carry on. Today I planted a lavender bush in the backyard by our porch. I have always loved lavender. It smells amazing. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of my son. I can see him, smell him, touch him here. Little by little, I search for any remanent of hope. Little by little, I uncover it.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

 

Foodie Friday ~ Lemon Coconut Loaf

lemonloaf

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flaked coconut

Lemon Drizzle:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more as needed

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 4×8-inch loaf pan.

Beat white sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir juice and zest of one lemon into butter mixture.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, mixing until batter is just incorporated. Fold in coconut, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Gradually stir 2 teaspoons lemon juice into confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until mixture is thin enough to drizzle. Transfer mixture to a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Gently squeeze bag and drizzle mixture evenly over the loaf.

Foodie Friday ~ Delcious Mexican Goulash

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1 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers

1 (9 ounce) package frozen corn

1/2 cup medium salsa

2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni

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Directions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef, onion, bell pepper, and Worcestershire sauce in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease. Add tomatoes, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning. Cover and simmer while preparing macaroni.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain. Stir macaroni into beef mixture.

Foodie Friday ~ Mocha Cheesecake Brownies

mocha-cheesecake-brownie-wedge

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup sour cream

Directions

First make the brownie crust. Begin by melting butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add 2 ounces chopped chocolate to the butter; stir until chocolate melts, and remove from heat. Whisk in 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. Spread batter in thin layer on bottom of greased and floured 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees until tester toothpick inserted into center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Next make the filling. In a small saucepan, stir cream and coffee powder over medium-high heat until coffee powder dissolves. Cool.

Beat cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg and yolk. Add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and the coffee mixture; beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon filling evenly over brownie crust.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake about 35 minutes, or until filling puffs slightly around the edges and center is set. Cool completely on rack. Cover pan with foil, and chill overnight.

Now make the topping. In a small saucepan, stir 1 cup sour cream and confectioners’ sugar over low heat until sugar dissolves; do not boil. Spread topping evenly over filling. Cool slightly. Cover and chill until topping sets, at least 2 hours. Cut dessert into 24 bars. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Foodie Friday ~ Monkey Bread Muffins

monkeybreadmuffins

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/4 cup white sugar

1 (12 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and cut into six pieces

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon water

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Butter 6 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

Combine the apple pie spice and white sugar in a small bowl; roll the biscuit pieces in the mixture to coat. Divide the coated pieces between the prepared muffin cups.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Allow the mixture to boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit pieces.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden, and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 12 minutes.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ New Year Crown

Crown

Yellow and white craft foam

White craft glue

Scissors

Seed beads

Sequins

Small colorful beads

Pieces of self adhesive hook-and-loop fasteners

Pattern

 

How to make it:

Use a cookie sheet with sides to work on so that the beads do not fall all over the floor.

Cut a crown out of yellow craft foam using the pattern. Cut two 12- by 1-inch strips of white craft foam. Glue the white strips to the bottom edge of the yellow crown. Let dry.

Lift crown and place on child’s head to get a measurement for the headband. Trim where needed then attach a piece or two of hook-and-loop fastener that will hold headband in place.

Lay the crown face up and write “Happy New Year” with the white craft glue.

Cover the glue words with seed beads. Cover all the glue completely and very gently press down. Wait a few minutes before lifting the crown and letting the excess beads fall off.

Decorate the rest of the crown and the headband using sequins and small colorful beads. Let dry completely, this could take several hours.