Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adventures in Canning and Homemade Baby Food

I've had so much fun making Ezekiel's baby food AND we have saved so much money in the mean time! A friend referred me to the site www.wholesomebabyfood.com it's a great sit that tells you what foods are appropriate for baby's age and such, has several recipes for great meal ideas for baby and so many tips on how to cook and store homemade baby food! I'm loving it :)




We recently went to the pumpkin patch, while we were there I picked up a dozen or so honey crisp apples. They were so huge and beautiful I couldn't pass them up, applesauce was inevitable and it turned out so yummy! I made a sugar free batch for Ezekiel and a sweet batch for Brian and I :)





I am so excited about these peaches! If you've never had canned peaches, they are sooooo much better than store bought peaches! We were up to are ears pealing and slicing enough to make about 100 quarts.


Love my boy!! He loves my food ;)


I've been able to make all of Ezekiel's food for about $10/month! I'm loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When I'm Bored, I Bake!



I've decided that there is no possible way that I will ever be super skinny... Simply put: I just love to bake too much! Baking is one of my favorite pass times, I think I made my first coffee cake when I was about 9 using my 4H cookbook. A committed "American Girl" my sister and I loved cooking new recipes out of our Felicity and Kirsten cookbooks. Oh how I wish I still had that book... :) I'll never forget the time Cait and I decided to have our own restaurant at the house when Gma Judy was visiting one time. We had menus and a four course meal complete with desert. So Fun!

Last night I was craving cookies, but I had a dilemma! I have NO chocolate in my house!!! No chocolate chips, no baking cocoa, nothing! So I decided to pull out one of my cook books and looked for something that I actually had all the ingredients for and I found the classic "Cinnamon Coffee Cake" in my Taste of Home cookbook.


Not going to toot my own horn, but this was seriously the best coffee cake I've ever had! So moist! Not to mention the cake batter was delish as well.








Friday, September 2, 2011

InstaFriday


I'm loving InstaFriday! We had a pretty fun fast week :) Brian went Backpacking at Duffy Lake so Ezekiel and I where all by our selves for a couple days last weekend.

Check out Jeannett's page at Life Rearranged, such a fun site :)

life rearranged

Here we go...


Brian went backpacking last weekend so Ezekiel and I went swimming at Grandma and Grandpa's house! He didn't like it at first but by the time it was time to get out Z was having a blast!

Swimmin' with the fishies :)


We went to Red Robin for the first time in a while and Z was lovin his sunglasses! He didn't try to take them off even once! Love It!!!!!


Rid'em Cowboy! He's a natural... I guess it's in his blood. :)


How does one look at this face and refrain themselves from slobbering kisses all over it????


Hooray! I went to Joann's finally and picked up some fabric for my throw pillows!


Meet Mr. GrumpyFace! :(
I think we are try to teeth again....



Have a blessed weekend everyone :)












Tuesday, August 30, 2011



Mission Curtains: Complete :)


I've been wanting to have curtains for our master bedroom for a LONG time now! I actually purchased the material for this project back in January when I was getting this for Ezekiel's nursery, but had NO motivation during my pregnancy to do anything but work on the nursery! The machine that I used to make the curtains in the nursery was like a 1930s Montgomery Ward and half way through the project the motor went out and I had to hand crank the wheel to get the curtains finished. Needless to say I was not about to start on the curtains for my bedroom until I either got that machine fixed or just purchased a new one!

Well my wonderful husband surprised me the other day and bought me a new sewing machine! As many of you know it took me a little bit to get the thing figured out, but it's working! :)


Yes, I am hiding our Window A/C behind those!


I'm in LOVE <3

My next project, when I get around to it........ Pillows for the Sectional in the Living Room!

Friday, August 26, 2011

InstaFriday


I've decided to try something a little different... Recently I've found myself swimming in several awesome blogs, I keep adding them to my GoogleReader and am loving reading all the blog updates on my Mobile RSS Feed app on my iPad. I'm learning more and more about blogging and have noticed several Link Parties and it seems like there is a huge network of Stay-At-Home-Moms or Work-At-Home-Moms that are connected on this vast space we call the internet.

I'm starting to feel as if I have a social life....haha even though I hardly ever get out of this house....

So here I go! I found out about InstaFriday at this cool blog called the Pleated Poppy!

the pleated poppy blog

She linked up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for this fun time of sharing life through Instagram photos :)

If you have a blog you should join too! Link up with Life Rearranged and check out Jeanette's awesome blog as well :)

life rearranged



Ezekiel was so cute yesterday after he ate his lunch!
I just couldn't pass up this photo opportunity :)


Trying to stay cool!
It finally was hot enough this week for me to convince
my husband to put in our window A/C!




I found a great new cookie recipe!
You can find out how to make this yummy delights at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle!
I was going to put a direct link to the recipe but for some reason her server isn't working, these are called cookies for Mikey or something like that...

Oh the joys of learning how to sew!
I thought I figured out that the problem with my sewing machine was that I had wound the bobbin incorrectly, so I wound a new bobbin... It still is causing me grief so I'm just going with it! I finally finished one of the panels for our Master Bedroom Curtains...


My sweet boy!


I'm thinking he looks a little bit like his Daddy!
Baby Brian pictured on the Right.


Now that wasn't too bad? Was it?!! I'm gonna have to do stuff like this more often.....



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Berry Bash-What a Family!



At the end of July we were blessed to get to fly to Missouri/Illinois to see my family. We got to go to the Annual Berry Bash family reunion and my Grandparents "Surprise" 50th Wedding Anniversary! In a world where marriage doesn't seem to be valued very much and spouses are traded in like new cars this example is very precious to me! 50 years! Wow! What an inspiration and a challenge to all of us young married couples! Grandma and Grandpa, I love you guys so much thank you for being a great example for all of us :)









Awww.... Just as adorable :)



I was so excited for my family to meet our little Ezekiel, sad that he is already 4 months old but so excited that he finally got to meet 2 of his Great-Great Grandparents! Yes that's right 2 greats! We are hoping that he will get to meet Great-Great Gpa Grant and Gma Annie around Christmas!



Great-Great Gpa Wayne, Momma & Z, Great-Gpa Berry, & Grammie :)



Great Gma Berry, Momma, Grammie
Great-Great Gma Ruby & Ezekiel

What an AMAZING heritage!!! This little one is so blessed to have so many grandparents! I thought I was blessed to have 1 Great-Great Gma alive when I was born, Ezekiel has 6 Great-Great Grandparents alive and well :)

Oh..... Gma Berry if you are reading this.... you should comment and give us some advice on the 50 years of marriage.... :) Something we all should have asked at the party.... <3

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Encouragement for Nursing Mommas: How He Loves Us So


Recently my husband and I made the huge decision to let me stay home and raise Ezekiel. Even though I only worked 2 days a week the thought of being away from my child for those 10 hour days just broke my heart and made me feel sick inside. I think I was a little jealous of the thought that someone else could possibly see my baby do things for the first time and I would miss out on his accomplishments. It wasn't just those little things that made the idea of returning to work hard, it was also everything involved with nursing a baby. I had already celebrated the day that I got to return my beloved pump when Baby Z graduated to a full time nursing baby and I just didn't want to welcome that awful thing back into the family... HA!

There are so many things that I didn't really think about before Ezekiel was born. I knew I would probably be home and not do very much for the first few weeks, but I never thought about how intense a schedule for a EBF baby could be.. like if you don't nurse after a few hours not only is baby screaming but Momma is dealing with a t-shirt problem if you know what I mean?? And not the Wet T-shirt contest that anyone would want to enter...(not that I would ever have/or thought of entering any other kind of wet t-shirt contest either). I didn't think about how I would be planning out when I needed to feed my baby and plan it just right so that we could take off and be driving to Portland or where ever for 2 hours or so and get there before he would start crying because he was hungry. Or going out to eat... or going to the beach...

I never considered the fact that sometimes I might just have to be prepared to feed my baby in PUBLIC with no private nursing mothers room! It's funny the little tricks and methods you can come up with to keep yourself modest. I know I live in hippie town USA but I'm sorry I'm not just gonna whip out the boob for all to see... and I never really thought about the fact that there are just somethings that I might have to miss out on....

LIKE WATCHING FIREWORKS ON THE BEACH LOOKING OVER THE OCEAN....HOW ROMANTIC.......

This 4th of July we got to be at the coast for the first time on this holiday and as everyone was loading up to go find the perfect spot on the sand I thought to myself (being very practical) "Why in the world am I thinking that I can bring my baby out to the beach tonight?" It probably would be a lot different if we were on the beach in Southern California or in Florida somewhere warm, but on the Oregon coast even during the warmest day in the summer the beach is cold, windy, sandy, did I say cold and windy??? So Brian jumped in the van with his parents and I ended up back at the house with my bubby.

As much as was glad that I was in a warm house snuggling my sleep, exhausted from a long weekend baby, I was starting to get a little sad about the fact that I was missing out on the fireworks. At this point one could get a little depressed thinking "I'm not gonna get to do anything fun for a while" or you could think about the fact that the decisions you make could adversely affect this tiny little being in your possession! So be wise, right! I'm not saying sit at home and do nothing or go nowhere.. Evaluate each situation as it comes up.

Psalm 37
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

As I was sitting in the house with Ezekiel getting ready to feed him (another thing I didn't want to do at the beach) I could hear fireworks going off everywhere. I just love that sound of celebration, the 4th of July is one day that you can relax when big explosions sound off and not work if something is wrong! And then to my surprise in the corner of my eye I see a huge firework burst right outside of the balcony window!!! Wow! These weren't just the little firecrackers that you can buy in Oregon, these were the big illegal ones that you have to drive to Washington to buy!! I was so excited I grabbed Zeke and put him in his warm jammies and we went out on the balcony and got to see our own private little display of fireworks!!! And at 3 months old I KNOW he saw them because each time one went off he perked up and his eyes just got huge!

It says take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. If I had chosen to get upset at the fact that I wasn't out with everyone else enjoying the show would we have got to see our own little show? Maybe? Maybe not? But I'm gonna take it as an example of the LORD giving me the desires of MY heart. :) Something I have been really needing for a while.... a little pick me up to know that He still cares for ME.


Psalm 22
9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that when all of the family arrived back at the house at about 11pm at separate times each one individually told me that I had made the right decision to take Zeke home instead of going to the beach. I guess it was extremely windy and very cold, they had made a fire to stay warm and all smelled like campfire smoke when they got home. I'm so glad that I didn't go I would have been so upset with myself if I did go and because of the weather my baby had gotten his first cold.


I'm so grateful that I can trust God to take care of me when I listen to Him. In all of this I am learning how important my role as a Momma is to my little one. Now I don't just make decisions for myself but along with my husband we have to make decisions for our child. We have to make decisions that please God because ultimately we are teaching little Ezekiel how to trust God by how we live. It's amazing to me that even this tiny little being already knows the presence of God. He absolutely loves the song "How He Loves" its one of the only ones that automatically calms him down every time it is played. This afternoon we were singing to Kari Jobe and Klaus' version of the song and I had my hands raised and at that moment I looked down and it was like he was already mimicking me and he had his hands raised praising the LORD as well. It's amazing to me that the most powerful moments of the song
are when my little Ezekiel smiles the most! He already knows How much he is loved by God and I will do my best to make sure it stays that way!



3 Months already....

This 4th of July weekend was huge for Ezekiel James!! He is now 3 months old and I can't believe it. How is it possible that this much time has passed already. We got to spend the weekend at Great Grandma Edna and Grandpa Bill's beach house in Lincoln City and boy did we have fun!

At 3 months old my little man got to go to the beach for the 1st time, I was 15 before I got to put my toes in the sand on the Pacific coast! He had so much fun just laughing up a storm and laying on the sand. And we managed to not get a sunburn... a huge plus for Momma!

He passed over so many milestones from going to the beach for the first time to rolling over!! Yes on the day he turned 3 months Ezekiel ROLLED OVER for the first time.. I'm so proud! I'm just in awe of how perfect he is to Brian and I! Because he was born 6 weeks early the NICU nurses and doctors all said it would take him a lot longer to do things developementally than term babies. Not my little man not only can he do everything on the list for a 3 month old, he can do more!!!

I can't keep my eyes off of him for fear that I might miss him do something new for the first time!

video

Gerber Baby



Hip Hip Hooray! Ezekiel's photo was accepted for the 2011 Gerber Baby Contest on Facebook. Voting begins July 5th and ends on July 31st. Vote everyday for Z to get a shot at winning :) This little cutie patootie can do this!!!

To vote go to the Gerber page on facebook and "like" then you can either search for Ezekiel by entering his name or his #159805.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Ezekiel....

When the time finally came for Ezekiel's birthday it came FAST!!! Although the nurses kept telling me that I still wasn't in labor and the the contractions were inconstistant I knew something was happening. I basically had to beg my nurse to check to see if anything had changed because they were not allowed to check me "just because" because my water could potentially break and they didn't want that to happen... at 2:00 am I was asking for some pain meds because I just wasn't going to be able to sleep if these "contractions" didn't stop... at 2:30 am I was pushing the button for the nurse because the meds weren't doing a thing.... at 3:00 am she got permission to check me HA! I was complete! Ezekiel James arrived at 3:24 am with only 4 pushes... and I had no epidural!!!!







My precious baby boy surprised us in more than one way! Not only did he gain more than a pound in that 2 weeks I was in the hospital weighing 5lbs 12 oz. But he didn't need ANY help breathing! And to my excitement he didn't look like an alien (My biggest fear of having a preemie... haha)!

Unfortunately he hadn't mastered the suck, swallow, breath process and had to have IV fluids and a tube put in his nose for feedings and I was forced to have a new best friend.... the PUMP..UGH! He did so good those first few days surprising all the NICU nurses and Dr. Hoffmeister. He started to take his bottle well and then his jaundice levels increased causing him to have to have treatments which unfortunately made him exhausted and slowed his desire to eat and then came the NG tube again. But after 11 days and the help of a wonderful nurse named Katy who pushed my baby and the doctors our little Ezekiel got to come home!

To all moms and future moms out there... never take forgranted the day that you got to come home with your baby from the hospital. I speak for myself and for other moms who have experienced this on top of being an emotional mess from just delivering a baby, having to leave the hospital and not getting to take your baby with you is one of the most awful feelings in the world and I was blessed to have a baby that was considered "healthy". Even after spending 2 weeks in the hospital before Ezekiel was born, the day that I got to go home was not a joyous occasion and no one prepares you for such an event.

Here I am 3 months later and I am so thankful for my healthy baby boy and how unless someone told you his story you would have never known that he was born premature.

Ezekiel James...

This is a little late coming but to be honest its been a rough couple of months at the Cuff household... After a fairly easy 31 weeks of pregnancy our little Ezekiel James decided he wanted to grace us with his presence early and very unexpected.

After enduring a weekend of what I thought were just Braxton hicks contractions Brian finally talked me into calling the Dr. and we ended up going to the hospital for an hour of observation. Little did I know that It would be 2 weeks before I would get to breath fresh air or walk outside. An hour goes by and they decide to do a little test to see if I was going into later and to my Doctors surprise I was already there. I was half way done with labor! Dilated to 5 cm and 100% effaced there was no going back and unfortunately for my I was going to get to stay in a hospital room until this little baby of mine arrived! No big deal right just have the kid and go home in 2 days..... Nope!

Because I wasn't even 32 weeks yet I had to get steroid shots in hopes that they would help mature Ezekiel's lungs. I also had to be on an IV because I hadn't been tested yet for Group Strep B and had to be put on antibiotics "just in case" I was positive. You see at 32 weeks of gestation a babies lung are not quite ready to breath air, nor are they ready to eat like a normal term baby. I had to meet a NICU Dr. who told me that my baby might get to stay in the hospital for a couple of months because he most likely only weighed about 4 lbs and would need help breathing, eating, and developmentally would be behind other babies because he just wasn't finished growing. Talk about being an emotional wreck!!!!!! All that on top of being freaked out about delivering my first child!

No one at the hospital was able to give me an estimated day of delivery... They said he could arrive in 2 hours or 2 weeks... What we did know is that for every day he didn't come he would have to be in the NICU for 2 less days! So we got to wait.... and wait.... and wait....



Last Prego Picture



This is all I got to do....


My home for a few weeks...