Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homemade Pizza

This isn't the prettiest pizza out there, but I am working on that...

Jeremy and I love Papa John's pizza, but we don't love the expense. A blog that I love is called Biblical Womanhood. She doesn't normally post recipes, but this pizza crust recipe was under a family night theme. Since her blog is down right now, I can't link to it, but I will post the recipe below.

I made my first homemade pizza a couple of months ago, and it was half pepperoni and half ham and pineapple. I wasn't thrilled with the result. The crust was too soft for me. I decided that I wanted to get a pizza pan to see if that made a difference, and I bought one on sale at Kohl's. Our favorite kind of pizza is a chicken barbecue pizza with pineapple on it, so that was my next attempt at pizza with my new pan. This time when the crust wasn't crispy when it was time to take it out, I decided to leave it in longer- I cooked it 18-20 minutes. That was all it took; we will use this pizza crust recipe forever because it's that good.

Don't be scared of making homemade pizza. It only takes 30-35 minutes from the time you start the crust to the time the pizza comes out of the oven (unless you have a toddler wanting your attention). Enjoy! Maybe you will start a new tradition of pizza night in your house.

Pizza Crust:

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix.

Dump onto a floured surface .

Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so).

Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan.

Add toppings.

Bake at 450 degrees F. for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

By the way, you can make up a double or triple batch of the pizza crust dough and freeze the extras if you don't need it. This speeds up the preparation even more as all you have to do is pull out a bag of dough and a bag of chopped cooked chicken in the morning and then put the pizza together right before you're ready to eat. You can also freeze the pizzas already cooked - but I doubt it would ever stay uneaten long enough to make it to the freezer around here!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Come What May

Yesterday I read a blog post about a free online movie called Come What May. Since I had no time last night I thought I would watch it today, and then this morning I read another post about it on The Homespun Heart. The movie is called Come What May. Read School in 'R Home to learn more about the movie and then go here to watch it free online through Friday, Oct. 31. Since it's divided into 5 segments, you could catch a segment or two when the kids are napping and then come back to it later. At least that's what I will have to do. I probably have a few minutes before Vance wakes up for a bottle.

I will let you know what I think once I see it!

Tummy Time

Tummy time is becoming more pleasant around here. (No, we don't normally do it on the bed.) I have learned that before a bottle is not the best time for it because it makes Vance fussy. I have also learned that Vance may very well throw up regardless of when we do it, so I just have an extra burp cloth handy. Best of all, tummy time is highly recommended by his physical therapist!

I just love this little guy! He smiles so much, and you can't help but smile back even when you're down about something. I guess the Lord knew I needed a good smile to cheer me up sometimes.

Here is a 2 second clip of Vance rolling over. I caught him right as he was rolling over.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Parents ought to be concerned

If you're a parent, do you ever think about how legalizing same sex marriage would affect your family? The following video shows how the legalization of same sex marriage in Massachusetts affected one family. All families with kids in public schools will be affected if same sex marriage is legalized. This video was put out for California, but it is a national issue. The hearts and minds of our children are at stake! Our little ones are so impressionable...

Just because I'm 2 1/2 years old doesn't mean I can't learn some geography, Mommy!

I am learning that homeschooling doesn't have to wait until kindergarten. Samuel wants to show you what he's learned from me and other family members.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Physical therapy evaluation, a little rolling over, and a new doctor

Jeremy and I took Vance to the physical therapy evaluation on Friday. It went well. They have diagnosed him with moderate torticollis. We left with several exercises to do at home and basic instructions. Vance will have weekly therapy appointments for about 3 months, and then he we go less frequently. We are confident that he is going to do just fine in therapy. According to a friend of mine, they will watch his development carefully until he walks because torticollis can affect development.

Speaking of development, my mom said that Vance rolled over a couple of weeks ago when she was here, but I didn't see it. Well, Vance rolled over from his tummy to his back 4 times in a row on Friday. It was so exciting to watch! Jeremy's mom and Amanda were here to witness it. My baby is growing up! Wouldn't you know that I got my camera out to video the event and then he wouldn't roll over again? I got a cute video of him on his tummy though. He is enjoying tummy time more now (except for those times he ends up vomiting).

Next week Vance will see a pediatric gastroenterologist for the first time. Jeremy and I have noticed the reflux getting worse and feel like we need a specialist's help. I will let you know how that goes. We are praying this doctor will be able to help Vance more than a regular pediatrician can.

There is another new post below. Since I started it on Oct. 22, it posted it as Oct. 22. ???

Here is a photo of my boys. I just love them so much!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Big Baby

Vance is a big baby. We had his 4 month check-up a week ago. Here are his stats:

Weight- 16 lb. 12 oz. (80th percentile)
Height- 26 inches long (90th percentile)
Big head (80th percentile).

When Samuel went to his 4 month check-up, he was 15 lbs. 3 oz. and 26 1/2 in. long. Let's just say that Vance is "thicker".

We love both of our guys! Maybe one day Vance will play football and scare his mommy to death... Samuel, on the other hand, already likes to play soccer. That doesn't scare me nearly as much as football does.

Here are 4 month pictures of both boys:



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Update on Vance

Vance is sleeping now. I can hear his congestion through the monitor though. This poor little guy has had a rough week. Thankfully his cough has gotten better, but he still has a wheeze and nasal congestion. I wonder when this will end. I know it takes longer for babies to get over congestion, etc... I am praying that it's soon because he has struggled to sleep this week. His reflux is also worse, which we were told to expect with the bronchiolitis.

On Wednesday I took Vance back to the doctor because his cough was worse. I mentioned that Jeremy has been wondering why Vance always turns his head to the right. (Jeremy has actually been concerned about it.) He looked at Vance for a few minutes and then said that it's called torticollis and requires physical therapy. He said it was probably caused by the way he was positioned in my womb, but I just read something that said that acid reflux can cause torticollis. I called the local children's hospital and scheduled a physical therapy evaluation for Friday of this week. Jeremy's mom is coming into town to watch Samuel, so that Jeremy and I can go to the appointment together. We will probably have weekly physical therapy for awhile. I just pray that the therapist, who specializes in torticollis, is able to help Vance.

With this also comes the issue of a flat spot developing, so we are hoping the therapist can also show us how to get him to sleep with his head facing the other way. Our ped. said that he needs to sleep with the other side of his head down and recommended we a buy a wedge from Babiesrus, but when I bought it and got it home, Vance was just too big for it. Our giant baby is about the size of a 6 month old, and the package says that it only goes up to 6 months. We need a new plan! We definitely don't want him developing a flat spot. For over a month I have tried putting Vance to sleep on his tummy because by now Samuel only slept on his tummy, but I think the Torticollis makes it too hard for him to sleep on his tummy. He starts suffocating himself. Not good! I guess there has got to be another way. I will ask on Friday.

In case you're bored, here's an article on one baby's experience with torticollis.

Well, Vance is up now, so I need to give him a bottle.

Praying for an uneventful week until Friday,

Walgreens diapers and training pants

Let me give you my diaper history. I have always preferred Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers to any other diaper, but they are expensive. I was blessed to be given those awesome diapers for the first 4 months of Samuel's life. To save money on diapers, I started using Luvs when Samuel was a few months old. I actually did this before my Pampers supply ran out. I would use Pampers some, but I felt like it was a waste of money to put him in a Pampers right before a feeding or a bath. I continued to use Pampers diapers overnight though and still do with both boys.

A few months ago after reading a post on Baby Cheapskate I decided to try Walgreens diapers and pull-ups. I noticed that they were on sale, which made them very affordable. It doesn't hurt that there is a Walgreens a mile from our house.

Why do I prefer Walgreens diapers? Not only are Walgreens diapers and pull-ups (training pants) softer than Luvs, but they also don't have those nasty perfumes that make me nauseated. I have also tried Target and Kroger training pants and wasn't satisfied. They didn't absorb well at all. I actually saw urine on the floor one day when we were out getting a haircut and quickly figured out that the Target pull-up hadn't done it's job. YUCK!! I have never had that problem with Walgreens diapers or training pants. They are a winner in my book!

There is one downside with the Walgreens training pants. They don't have open sides. Because of this, we keep Huggies Pull-ups in the diaper bag. That way we don't have to undress Samuel in order to change him. I figure it's not a big deal to do this at home, but I don't want the hassle when we're out. Since we spend most of our time at home these days, I don't spend much on the Huggies pull-ups, and I always use a coupon when I buy them. I bought some less than 2 weeks ago at Target. They were 15% off for some reason making them $19.50 for a big box. Then, I used a $2.00 and $1.50 coupons I got in the mail. Not bad. You can also go the Huggies website to find those Pull-up coupons and print them at home.

I will tell you that it's good to check the ads each week. I don't buy diapers or pull-ups unless they're on sale. When they're on sale at Walgreens they are $5.99 a pack, and I stock up because I know they won't necessarily be on sale next week. You can also find coupons on the Walgreens website for $5 off of $20 almost every week, so that's how you save even more money. Go here for those coupons.

Just a heads up- You normally need to go up a size when you are using store brand diapers. I found this to be true with the Walgreens diapers too.

One last thing, Walgreens has come out with a premium diaper. I haven't tried them yet because there are less diapers per package. I will save that extra money for the Pampers I still buy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I have been so busy with taking care of two kids that I haven't had time to keep up with this blog. I just wanted to give a quick update.

Samuel is doing well. He goes through periods of being jealous, but I feel like he is doing well considering his world was turned upside down 4 months ago. He is talking so much that I forget he's only 2. It's amazing how much we can talk about with ease. His vocabulary amazes me. I guess I never knew I would be having normal conversations with him at this point. It's been a lot of fun! My parents love it too because they can have phone conversations with him. I enjoy being a part of holding the phone while he goes "on and on" with them. Fun times!

Vance is 4 months old now (on the 16th) and quite larger than Samuel was at this age. Jeremy and I often ask each other, "Where did this huge baby come from?" He is a sweet baby. I don't think Samuel smiled as much as Vance does, and Samuel was a happy baby too. I just love it when I'm trying to put him to bed, and he gives me a huge grin. I bet he will always try to use that grin on me to get his way. :) We are so thankful for Vance and feel like our family is complete now with him in our lives.

We had a scare over the weekend. Vance seemed to be getting a cold on Friday. I noticed he had a runny nose. Since he is always congested (stuffy) due to reflux, it caught us by surprise when he seemed to have difficulty breathing on Sunday morning. He was also coughing like a smoker. Wouldn't you know that this happened on the morning of the boys' dedication at church? Well, we decided to go on to the dedication, and then my mom and I took Vance to the ER as soon as we walked off the stage. I was so impressed with the ER. This is a children's hospital near our house, and they have got their acts together. I think they are ranked among the children's hospitals. Anyway, from the time you pull up you're impressed because they have free valet parking. Then they work quickly to get you in a room. Vance had a breathing treatment, RSV test, and an x-ray in less than 2 hours. (We were in and out in 2 hours.) Thankfully he didn't have RSV. He has bronchiolitis, which is a viral lung infection. Who knows where he got it? Since Sunday he has been on an inhaler with Albuterol every 4 hours for the cough and then suctioning as often as needed. He hasn't had a fever since Sunday.- Thank the Lord! The hardest part has been not knowing if he's ok or if I should be taking him to the doctor or ER. His cough is really bad at times, and I get nervous. Thankfully I haven't felt like he has struggled to breathe since Monday. It's amazing how concerned you get though. Jeremy and I barely slept on Sunday night and have had him in our room at night because we want to be right there if he needs us. Since Samuel has never been this sick, it's all a new experience for us. Thank the Lord for reassuring doctors and nurses! They make it a whole lot easier to deal with. We took him to the doctor on Monday and again today, and he definitely hasn't gotten worse, which was a concern. :) It's hard to swallow the fact that it could take weeks for him to be back to normal. My poor baby!

Ok. I must get to bed. I will hopefully get some pictures up soon. Anybody with 2 kids knows the struggle that can be. Nap time used to be great for that when I just had Samuel, but Samuel and Vance don't always nap at the same time... :( I hope to figure that out sometime soon.