Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and the Natural Birth Dilemma

I need some advice from all you moms out there or those in the medical profession that may have some inside info. I have a month to decide if I am going to try for a vaginal birth or an elected c-section.

As some of you may remember, I had a rather rough recovery from my first labor. I don’t know that I was ever officially diagnosed, but I had pubic symphysis separation. This is when the pubic bones separate more than they should. I think there were a few contributing factors, none of which I was aware of at the time. I am now positive I was having some pubic symphysis discomfort during my pregnancy, but being my first, I had no idea this was not normal. Secondly, giving birth the standard way, on your back, feet in stirrups, exacerbates the pelvic spreading. Then of course, I had an epidural, which prevented me from realizing my body was probably in a position that was not good for it. Lastly, she came quickly, which was great for me, but probably put more strain on my body as well.

All that being said, my recovery was hard. It was hard on me, since I couldn’t walk unassisted for weeks. It was hard on my husband, who had to continually bring me our daughter since I couldn’t carry her and move on my feet at the same time. It was hard on my family, who helped out so much with caring for us all. The beginning was hard! Continue reading

Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza Review

imageWe have deemed Friday night our new frozen pizza night. By the end of the week, I am drained and cooking is the last thing on my mind. So it’s wonderful to have some frozen pizzas on hand to just pop in the oven. Needless to say, I was super excited when I was chosen to receive a coupon for a free higher-end frozen pizza from BzzAgent and #ScreaminSicilian. I think I may have seen this brand in the store, but never really paid it any attention.

I got my coupon and then headed to the store to check it out. I was a little disappointed with the variety offered at Meijer. They only had two kinds, and neither was the one I had really wanted to try. I ended up getting the Supreme one.image

We tried it out a few weeks ago and it was yummy! It didn’t make us scream, but I did enjoy every bite! If it went on sale, I would definitely purchase again. Thankfully, it did go on sale at Jewel so I picked up a few more. They had many more varieties at Jewel so I chose a few different ones to try out in the future.

Last night we ate the Mambo Italiano, which had meatballs on it. This was the one I really wanted to try. I love meatballs and pizza and it sounded like a great combo to try together. It was just ok. Didn’t knock my socks off. It was still good pizza, but I guess I just had higher expectations.image

The one thing I didn’t like about both pizzas is that the toppings didn’t seem very evenly distributed and had to be hand spread out some before I put in the oven. Not a huge deal, but something that I noticed.

Overall, a good frozen pizza, which is very filing. However, most places sell it regular price for $7, which I think is very high for frozen pizza. So I would say, if it goes on sale, stock up. Otherwise, see what else you can find.

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These Shortbread Cookies are Addictive!

File Oct 06, 7 58 13 PMLand O’Lakes has a new product out which is a European Butter. I had no idea what that was, or that it even existed, but apparently there are lots of versions out there in the stores. Who knew? I guess I just don’t pay attention to everything, unless I need to buy it. Meijer didn’t carry this brand, so I used my free coupon from BzzAgent at Wal-mart.

So, what is European Butter? It has a higher fat content, with 82% milk fat and fresh sweet cream.

My coupon came with some recipes you could try, and while many looked good my eyes immediately settled on the Gooey Butter Shortbread. I love shortbread cookies and figured this was the perfect time to try this new recipe, all in the name of research, right?image

They were so good! Seriously, addictive! I am not sure if I make them again with regular butter if they will turn out as well or not. I may try. But as is, they were ‘one is not enough’ good. Ok, maybe even ‘two is not enough’ good. Did I mention how addictive they were?image

I would love to try out some of the other recipes as well, but the box of butter only has two sticks. Not enough for more than one recipe. And it’s kind of expensive compared to regular butter. So it definitely will not make it on my list very frequently, if at all. But, if you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget or just want a special treat, I’d say go for it.image

Once I try them with regular butter I will let you know how they turn out. It may be a while, but then again, they were so good, that maybe it will be sooner rather than later!

Baking Soda is so Versatile

imageI received a free box of Arm&Hammer Baking Soda via Smiley360, along with a little booklet detailing a variety of ways it could be used. I already use it in my refrigerator and in cooking, but there is so much this inexpensive little product can do.

The first way I used it was in the bottom of my dishwasher to ward off smells when it’s starting to fill up, but not quite ready to be run yet. This worked great! I will definitely do that more.image

The second way I used it was for an art project with my daughter. We made “paint”. It was so easy and she loved it. Plus, all the ingredients were edible, so I didn’t have to worry when she stuck her thumb in her mouth. I’m sure it didn’t taste all that great, but at least it didn’t harm her. And clean up was super quick in the bathtub. Everything washed right off with no problem. I think we’ll do this again and make multiple colors to try next time.imageimage

There are so many uses. You can check them all out for yourself by visiting the Arm & Hammer website. Thanks Smiley360, for this fun free sample.

Reminders about sin from the Duggar situation 

You’ve probably heard about Josh Duggar and the scandal associated with him. If not, a quick google search can give you more info than you will ever need to know. I have only read a few articles but it was enough to give me a quick synopsis, though probably not the complete truth. I really don’t think it’s important for me to dwell too much on it. It’s a shame. But it’s always a shame when people choose sin and it always hurts. So I started thinking about what I can take away from this situation and a few things came to mind.

1. Sin is powerful and dangerous 
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but agains the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

Sin is real and since it is our nature we will always struggle with it. With Christ, we have the power to overcome, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a struggle or that we don’t still fail. We all struggle in different areas and none of us is immune to the temptation of sin. A good reminder of why we need to “put on the full armor of God.”

2. No one is infallible

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NIV

The bible is full of stories of great heros of the faith and also their sins. And these weren’t just what we might consider trivial sins. Several were actually murderers. Even those whose heart is close to God can be pulled away when sin gets the best of them.

3. Sin always affects more than just yourself

Justification of our sins is something we are so good at. We tell ourselves that it only affects us. But that is just a plain lie. Sin ALWAYS affects us and those around us. We don’t think about the consequences or those that may get hurt along the way. Some sins can even affect generations. But that is what sin is – selfish.

4. Why we need a Savior

So we’ve seen the power of sin and that no one is immune to it’s pull. We all can fall prey to it and will at some time or another. Our actions hurt God and hurt others. Who can save us from this evil?

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:13 NIV

I am so thankful for grace and forgiveness. We have hope in Christ to stand firm and to choose to live for him. No longer slaves to sin. We will still fall and won’t be perfect this side of heaven, but we can rest assured that our sins won’t separate us from His love and if we repent He will always welcome us.


Oh So Good Chocolate Ice Cream

Last week at via mperks at Meijer I was able to bring home 2 kinds of milk for free. I actually had an amazing shopping trip as far as savings go. There were coupons for Fairlife white milk and Fairlife chocolate milk. After trying the chocolate milk I immediately put our ice cream canister in the freezer because I knew I wanted to experiment with some ice cream. The milk was so rich, creamy, chocolatey and delicious!

Since it takes at least a day to freeze we opted to try a shake first. I modified this recipe for Banana Split Shakes and it was good, but not something I could have all the time. John really liked it though.

At last the day arrived. Our canister was frozen and ready. I used the liquid ratios from my standard ice cream recipe and just did my own thing.IMG_0506

A little peanut butter, flavored creamer instead of cream, chocolate milk…the results were oh so good. Seriously, the first bite of this chocolate ice cream each of us took was just amazing, as were each of the subsequent bites. The only way it could be even better is by adding chunks of peanut butter cups. I didn’t have any on hand at the time. But I did find some discounted at Dollar Tree and we added a few on top. It was even better.

There is absolutely NOTHING healthy about this ice cream, but it was sooooo good that I know I will keep it on file for a future treat. I love ice cream season!image

Quaker Oats Steel Cut Quick 3 Minute Oatmeal

oat6I received a free sample via Quaker Oats and BzzAgent of their new 3 minute Steel Cut Oatmeal packets. The packets were blueberry/cranberry flavored. I didn’t know much about steel cut outs except that they take longer to make and are healthier. I don’t have much time in the morning to prepare breakfast so anything quick, easy and healthy sounds good to me. I was excited to try.oat1

oat2It does take a few minutes in the microwave to cook, but it is very simple. The first time I tried it I misread the instructions so I put it in for 3 minutes and when it came out it was very thick and stew like. This wasn’t really a problem because that’s how I like it.oat4

The second time I tried it I followed the instructions and put it in for 3 minutes at 50% power. That made a big difference. It was much more watery, but did thicken up after it set for a few more minutes. I think if I tried it again I would maybe go half power 3 minutes and regular power a minute or so. I like it a little thicker.oat5

Overall I was pleased. It was a little sweet, but not too over the top. It had good flavor and it was simple. It’s not something I will keep in my pantry on a regular basis, but I might buy it if there was a good sale to use for those mornings when I need something quick and I’m out of everything else.

Thank you Quaker Oats and BzzAgent!

4 Simple Steps to Improve Communication in Marriage

Maybe it’s because I majored in Communication Arts in college, or maybe it’s just because I have seen the impact good and poor communication can have in any relationship, but I am keenly aware of the necessity of good communication in relationships and marriages in particular. Without it you can pretty much guarantee disaster from the start.

It’s almost a given in every hollywood romance movie that there is some big event that happens and one party makes assumptions, usually incorrect, that leads them to leave the relationship, only to find out that it was a big misunderstanding and then they come back and live happily ever after. My husband knows that drives me crazy. All that drama could have been avoided if the couple would have just sat down and talked it out. But he reminds me that then there would be no movie. Maybe in hollywood’s mind he’s right. But not in reality.

There is plenty enough drama in everyday life without creating additional drama in what would otherwise be a peaceful marriage. Maybe they should be showing how two adults can avoid drama instead of create it. Maybe then relationships would not end in divorce so often.

Continue reading

Chicken Freezer Cooking Session: 4 Meals in 30 Minutes

This weekend I got some chicken breast on sale and found some recipes to use them for. So I decided to shoot for a mini chicken freezer cooking session. Now that I have a little girl chomping on my heels, getting dinner on the table every day feels like an insurmountable task. So when I found these recipes and was able to do the prep work on the weekend with minimal effort I was excited to try them.

FreezerCooking1I doubled two recipes to make 4 freezer dinners. There was not much prep work involved, a little bit of veggie chopping, ginger grating and some measuring. That’s about it.Chicken Freezer Cooking

1. Slow Cooker Ginger Peach Chicken
2. Red Pepper Chicken

FreezerCookingFinalNow all I have to do when I want dinner on the table is thaw the night before, put in the crockpot in the morning, throw some rice in the rice cooker and make a veggie for a side. Much easier than preparing everything the day of.


What My Baby and Our Garage Door Taught Me About Frustration

garagedoorOur garage door needs some TLC. It’s actually the motor I think. When the weather is below freezing and stays that way a while the door has trouble opening all the way. Sometimes if you open and close it several times you can get it to go up enough to get the car out. We have a small car, thankfully. And we’ve about got it figured out how low the door can be so we can still get the car out.

Sunday, before church, the door would just not cooperate. It would not go high enough to get out. After like 7 tries up and down with no success I was getting frustrated. We finally were able to locate the emergency release and manually opened the door so we could pull the car out.

As the car warmed up I waited for my husband to lock the door and close it back so we could be on our way to church. We were going to be late. I hate being late. I was mad at the situation. I was getting frustrated that it was taking so long to re-lock the garage door. John came back to the car and I thought he should do something one way while he was thinking of another way. (They were both right, but I was too frustrated to see that in the moment.) I got mad and yelled at him. Continue reading