Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I love to try new recipes, especially those that are "tried and true" and come recommended by friends! Here is one of our favorites that we had last night.

1 cup water
2 T. butter, softened
1 egg
3 cups bread flour (If it is rainy or especially humid, I'll add an extra tablespoon of flour.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. salt
3 t. yeast (I use the kind that comes in a jar and says "for bread machines"!)

1 egg, beaten
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
toppings of choice
pizza sauce for dipping

Put ingredients into bread machine in the order listed and set your machine to the dough cycle. When done, remove dough and divide into two pieces. Prepare your countertop and rolling pin with oil or flour. Roll one piece of dough at a time into a rectangle. Coat top of rolled out dough with part of a beaten egg, sprinkle with cheese, and then add your toppings. Starting with a long end, roll up the dough and place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Pinch any seams closed and coat top of the roll with more egg mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly and slice. Serve with pizza sauce. Serves between 4 and 6 hungry eaters.
* We like ours with veggies like green pepper, onion and mushrooms. I've found that it works best to saute these veggies first before putting them in the stromboli.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Our Weekend

This past Saturday we had a family party at our house for Lydia's first birthday. On Friday, Elizabeth came over to hang out and keep Lydia company while I cooked and made preparations. It was a big help since I spent the majority of the day in the kitchen!
There are quite a few "good cooks" in my family (3 of whom were at the party) and it is tradition in our family to make all of our cakes from scratch. (My Aunt Jenny made my wedding cake - it was beautiful and delicious!) I've made several kinds of cakes before, but never a birthday cake which I also had to decorate. So I set out and decided to keep the decorating as simple as possible. After all, Lydia certainly wouldn't care! I had to make two cakes (one for her and one for the rest of us) and three kinds of icing. (My mixer got a work-out.)

We ate on the deck, which was great because we just hosed everything off after Lydia played
with her cake. She probably only ate about 3-4 bites of it, but she had fun destroying it and dropping it all over the deck! Of course her every action was captured on film - I think I counted 5 digital cameras and 1 video camera! As you can see, she gave up on using her hands and decided just to try to get a bite straight off the highchair!

After cake, she opened up her presents which was hilarious in itself. She preferred to play with the wrapping instead of the gifts! Then, if a gift caught her attention, she didn't want to move on and open another. What can you do?! It was a fun evening and wonderful to have our family share it with us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Let her eat cake"

Ok people. I know you don't come here to read anything... it's all about the pictures. Here you go -

"What is this? It can't be food. I've never seen anything this big on my plate before."

"I'd better take this gooey stuff off of my plate."

Mama feeds me a bite...

"Hey, no problem. This is good!"

"Am I allowed to do this?"


"This was fun!"

"Touchdown!" ...oops, I mean "All done!"

These are from our impromptu "party" with J & L at their house yesterday. As you can see, we attempted to document every moment on film.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Birthday Greetings

When we got the mail today there was a birthday card for Lydia from a sweet friend, Lois. How thoughtful! I'm very thankful for Lois' willingness to play with and watch over the little ones at church - and I'm sure there are many other mommies who feel the same way. I know she loves the children and I appreciate the time to talk with everyone. So thank you Lois (and thank you to all the other young ladies as well) - we love you!
Lois is a faithful blog checker...so these pictures were taken and posted with her in mind :)

Lydia opening her card from Lois

Happy Birthday Lydia!

Part 2:

Well, none of the “home remedies” were able to start my labor, so off we went to Athens Regional at 6 a.m. that Monday morning. Without getting into the gory details, my water was broken at 7:30 a.m., the pitocin was started by IV and thus my labor began. Pat, who I thought would be my coach through a natural labor, stayed with us the entire time and kept the mood light. One interesting thing she pointed out was the difference that pitocin makes in your contractions (duh, right?) - shown visually, on the monitor. Instead of showing a gradual rise to a peak and then down, my contractions rocketed straight up to the peak and then down! Initially nothing was too painful – but later on those sky-rocketing contractions were really hard to handle!

Because of the IV, my physical movement was limited. I wasn’t able to walk and of course the bathtub was out. I spent several hours in the rocking chair and then moved to the bed. One amazing thing I learned about contractions is that the break in between the end of one and the beginning of the next is totally painless! I was able to utilize this time to relax and rest. My focus was completely inward and I don’t recall much of what went on in the room when the labor started to get really intense. During every difficult contraction, Pat dug her fist into the small of my back to create some counter-pressure, which helped. (The next day I saw her hand and she had rubbed the skin off of a couple of her knuckles – yikes!) She and Ben were by my side for hours and helped me breathe through the contractions and try to stay relaxed!

Although my doc ordered increases in the Pitocin every half-hour or hour, Pat and my nurse, whose name was also Jen, had mercy and stopped increasing my dosage when hard labor had been thoroughly established. I guess he was tired of waiting on me (in the private doctor waiting room) and wanted to move things along as quickly as possible.

Suddenly during one contraction I had the intense urge to push. After the nurse checked me, she said I could go ahead and push during the next one. At this point, the doc was informed and he came into the room to catch Lydia. I think I pushed for about 1.5 hours and our little baby girl was born at 5:23 that evening.

She was so alert from the moment she was born – all the nurses commented on that. I remember asking at least three times “How much does she weigh?” When they finally weighed her I couldn’t believe she was 7 lbs 11 oz. After they cleaned her up a bit, we were finally alone. I tried nursing and we just spent some time admiring our little girl. It was so amazing to look at her and pick out features that resembled the Baileys or the Johnsons. The nurses came to take her for her tests (Ben went along – already as protective as ever!) and move me to a private room. I remember asking Pat and my mom, “When can I eat? “!!!!

The experience of Lydia’s birth was incredible. Although things didn’t start off like I’d hoped, I was still able to achieve the labor and delivery that I wanted. I was so glad that I didn’t buckle and do everything according to my doctor’s typical routine. I’m sure he thought I was crazy and that I would be begging for the epidural when things got tough. When he saw me a day or two later he obligingly said, “Well, you did it like you wanted.”

P.S. We just discovered that Lydia has her 5th tooth coming in. That probably explains her excessive drooling the past few days.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Lake

Thursday night I was catching up on the phone with my friend, Lauren, who was headed up to her family's vacation home on Lake Nantahala. She invited me to join her for a day or two of R & R. I almost didn't go just because of the amount of stuff you have to take with you when you have a young child. Whether for one night or five, you still have to bring half the house!! So I packed up our stuff and Lydia and I left after breakfast Friday morning. I was a little concerned about the 2.5 hour drive without anyone else to help me entertain Lydia, but I timed it well and she slept the last 1.5 hours - waking just after we finished the 45 minute winding drive up the mountain!
The M's home is absolutely gorgeous. It has at least 6-7 bedrooms plus two lofts and I think I counted enough beds to sleep about 25 people! Vaulted ceilings, two huge great rooms, a sunroom, two kitchens and several porches and decks - and all decorated like something out of a Southern Living home. Did I mention the floating dock with sailboat, jetski, canoe and speedboat?? Anyway, I don't know how they ever pull themselves away. It is a wonderful place to rest and enjoy fellowship with family and friends. The family is very generous and hospitable -they are always inviting friends up to stay. I have some great memories of time spent at their former family home on Lake Burton.
Lydia was a sweetie and seemed to enjoy her time there as well. She liked being in the lake and the covered part of the boat made a great playpen! She also slept well (always a concern when away from home -esp the first night) and didn't wake until 9:30 the next morning! Although short, it was nice to relax by the lake and to spend time talking with Lauren.

Although the water was pretty cold, Lydia enjoyed being in the lake in this little float.

The boat made a great playpen

Lydia and me

She loved Lauren's two labs - here we are with Duke. She didn't even mind getting licked right on the face!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Remembering...one year ago

As Lydia's 1st birthday approaches, I remember back to this time last year. June 15 was her due date. My sisters-in-law, Liz and Becky were with me that wednesday, the 15th, and helped keep my mind off of things by taking me to lunch and going shopping.
As my doctor was preparing to go on vacation and did not want me "waiting" a week or so to go in to labor on my own, he scheduled an induction for a few days later. Being the planner that I am, I had my whole labor and birth well thought out - and it did not include being induced!! I had planned to have a "natural" or "drug-free" labor and delivery. From the extensive reading I had done during pregnancy, it seemed apparent that the process of induction and meds that go with it practically ruled out my desires. Fortunately we had a wonderful doula, Pat, who really comforted and encouraged me throughout the pregnancy, but especially that afternoon when I had to face the reality of my situation.
In that week between my last doctor's visit and my scheduled induction, I must have tried every remedy you've ever heard of to get my labor to start! Well, Lydia was snug and comfy and showing her stubborn nature even then - she was not ready to leave the womb. To be continued....

My little smiley girl

Mama's Little Helper

New Car Seat
We planned to keep her rear-facing for a little while longer, but the angle was not conducive to sleeping, so she now faces forward.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pool Time

Lydia in her $5 pool on the back deck. The first time I put her in, she didn't move around for at least 15 minutes. I think the cold water temp was a bit shocking. (I also dropped our camera in the pool while I was putting her in...thankfully it was unharmed.)

Mmm....tasty pool water.

In her pink swimsuit bought by Grandma B. It is so tight that a swim diaper doesn't fit very well. I think we'll have to have another bathing suit before summer is over!

Here Goes...

Hi! I've decided to join my family and friends and try my hand at operating and maintaining my own blog. Not a big deal for most people, but for me - it is. I generally leave anything pertaining to computers in Ben's capable hands. I think many computers, especially ours, know that I lack confidence and expertise in this area. In my experience, things seem to go awry frequently for me. I can't tell you how many times I have called Ben up to explain the problem and his response is something like, " Hmmm, I've never heard of anything like that. That has never happened to me before." This from a guy who spends all day in front of computers programming them to do anything and everything to his specifications!
Anyway, since I have more time at home than Ben does, it is my plan to update with a little more frequency than my hubby....especially for all of Lydia's fans out there! We'll see how it goes...