Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicken carrot and wild rice casserole:

I must have a little bit of a crush on creamy, chicken, wild rice dishes... my favorite soup is creamy chicken and wild rice :)

Chicken, carrot, and wild rice casserole:

Is there anything more homey and fall than a casserole?! All the warm and cozy feels 

Adapted from T.D. Willey's recipe:

3 c. stock of your choice ( i use chicken stock)
1.5 tsp. ground nutmeg
1.5 c. chopped carrots
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
3/4 heavy cream ( whatever milk you prefer)
1 c. wild rice uncooked
3/4 c milk
2 tbls. butter
3 tbls. flour ( i use whole wheat)
1 c. sliced green onion
salt & pep 

Preheat oven to 375*. Lightly coat 2 qt baking dish with spray. bring stock to a boil in a med soup pot, add carrots, reduce to simmer. Cook, uncovered until carrots very tender ( 10-12 min). Drain carrots, reserving stock. Allow carrots to cool at least 5 min, transfer to blender or food processor, add cream and process until smooth. 

Scald Milk* in a small pan (do not boil).
Melt butter in a med pot over low heat, stir in flour, cook for 2 min, gradually whisk in milk, then reserved stock. Add carrot puree, nutmeg and cayenne to taste. Increase heat, bring mixture to a boil add rice. 

Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 min.  
Remove pot from heat. Stir in scallions & cooked chicken, season with salt and pep.

Pour into prepared baking dish

Bake 30+ min

Casserole will be finished when solid and browned.

ENJOY!!!!! Get ready for warm cozy comfort. Don't feel bad if this doesn't last long or you don't have leftovers... ( heart eyed emoji)

*How to scald milk:
 To scald milk, you use a heavy bottomed pan or double boiler and bring the temperature of the milk to 85-100°C (185-212°F). At sea level, the milk should just start showing small bubbles and releasing steam at the lower end of this temperature range.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ramona's Birth story:Photos, final thoughts and our hospital stay!

Walking the halls with my love.

My sweetheart, such an amazing support.

 My favorite nurse: Kim.

Rory was able to cut the long length off of Mona's cord after the nurse made sure she was o.k. I loved how focused He was when cutting Ramona's cord.

" It's a girl!" 

My mother in law, meeting her first grand baby <3 

Skin to skin with her Papa. My heart in one tiny frame.

Our amaaaazing doula, Rebecca, such a strong support, encouraging me so much. hearing her say she was proud of me, and how well I was doing, spoke so highly to me!

After her birth:

After delivering Ramona, we had an hour of skin to skin, and I nursed her for the very first time. She latched on almost immediately, once I got the hang of it! And nursed almost the entire hour! What a joy it is to supply everything your baby needs with God-given nutrients and antibodies, and sustenance, designed just for her... it doesn't get much more amazing then that! During that time I was being stitched up, I had a two degree tear. That was a pretty painful process. But nothing trumps the feeling of your baby on your chest. I was relishing in our baby girl. 

Her name:

Since we didn't know what gender our little one was, by choice, we decided to wait to name our baby, until we saw her. We had a top three-ish list of each gender names, and Ramona was #1 on the girl list! It was the only name I had written down twice. I have no idea why, but I loved it that much :) 

We knew when we saw her, we knew that she our Ramona.
She wan't a Ruby, Rilo, or Reece: Other contenders. And we still agree, her name fits her so well.

Our stay:
In our Post-labor room:
At first, when I got pregnant, I considered a home birth. MAN can I tell you how glad I am I didn't have a home birth! Hospitals are around for a good reason! And the fact that someone is bringing you food every few hours, that cannot be beat! More importantly, the monitoring on Mona during labor, to make sure she was handling the stress adequately, and keeping an eye on me, knowing the nurses truly had me and Mona's best interest in mind. I also loved the hospital bed! I know that sounds silly, but man I appreciated the mobility of the up/ down capabilities of the bed and the  back of the bed. Lots of buttons on the bed too, lights for the room, tv controls, ( as if we ever even turned that thing on. comical) Funny fact that I just remembered, during labor, since all the controls for the bed are in the inside of the arm rest, I kept pushing them as I was pushing and turning the T.V. on! It was on some Mexican soap opera channel an it upset me every time, I'd say, " someone please turn that off!" Sometimes I think I was the only one who realized it was on. LOL. This happened at least 4-5 times...-_- hahah.
 I loved all the " goodies" you get during your stay too! MEDS :) After labor I was ALLL about those extra strength Ibuprofen. Also those goofy mesh undies, the topical sprays,  the largest feminine pads you'll ever see in your life, nurses checking on you and your baby, and teaching you how to care for the little one you're now responsible to feed, bathe, clothe and care for. They showed me lots of helpful nursing techniques, how to bathe her, and other helpful tips. We also got lots of diapers, onsies, and other goodies. And may I mention the fact that someone comes in most hours to clean up after you?! Replace things you've used, change and make your sheets, etc. Guys, have your babies in hospitals. All good things.  Even though we had a fantastic experience at Kaiser, we were so ready to head home!!

Overall the experience we had was one I will always cherish. The nursing staff at Kaiser Fresno, is beyond kind, capable, and go above and beyond! I had so many positive experiences with many of the nurses there. We also were blown away, with the cost of everything. After our insurance covered it's portion, we paid a total of $150!
I am still shocked to write that. Thank you Starbucks for your great coverage!! ALLLL those years of ALLL those customers, yeah you know the ones, finally paid off ;)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

30 things I'm grateful for:

I've been inspired by one of my favorite bloggers to start a grateful list each month reflecting on the previous month. You can view hers here


1. Dr. Brown's bottles.

2. Bible study: what we're reading.

3. Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

4. Funny texts with my sister.

5. Family dinners every Sunday.

6. Starbucks.

7. Getting back to the gym.

8. Surviving and celebrating month one with a newborn!!!

9. Gazebo gardens.

10. Sleep training success: seeing all of my hard work pay off!

11. Packages from family members from afar with gifts for Ramona.

12. Our church nursery and the lovely women that volunteer there. 

13. Quality, sturdy, adorable cloth diapers!

14. My dogs, Lily and Luca.

15. Sweets.

16. Cooler weather!

17. Birthday countdowns.

18. Mona taking a bottle!

19. Cheap lunch dates at Costco.

20. My husband getting home early multiple days this month!

21. My bed.

22. Coffee in the morning, already ready for me when I get up, thanks to Rory.

23. A good 6-week postpartum Doctors appointment.

24. Adorable baby clothes.

25. Last full month of my twenties!

26. Friends from church who we connect with and enjoy so very much.

27. Watching Ramona work on and conquer so much this past month: Taking her pacifier, taking a bottle, working on holding her head up, recognizing my voice from across the room, smiling at us (!), learning to fall asleep on her own, handling new situations like a champ, and becoming her own little person.

28. Remembering the gift my husband has said He's wanted for years, right before His birthday!

29. Smiles every morning from my sweet baby girl! She's such a morning person.

30. Dependable friends who text back.