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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harvest Fun, Food & Friends

I've been busy lately with my "To Do" list before the baby comes. This little one is moving a lot lately and I feel at times like maybe I'll be going into labor, but I don't think it's the case (probably just tired and feeling ready). Here are some things we've been up to this week and still have more since I am selling food at a Craft Bazaar on Saturday.

When I went to the consignment shop I found this wonderful little red poncho (40% off too) for Veronica, which made me think she could be Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween and wear it again.

Here she is pulling her baby out of her basket. I tried to give her a basket, since Little Red needs one, but it only lasted about 5 seconds.

I think this will be the only picture I can get of her with the basket.




I made a wonderful Pumpkin Cheesecake for our Thursday playgroup, which came out wonderfully. Here are the results & the recipe.



Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup pecans
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used one pouch of whole graham crackers)
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
5 Tb melted unsalted butter

Filling:
4-8 oz packages of cream cheese (2 lbs), room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I added more ginger than this, probably 1/2-3/4 tsp)
1-15 oz can solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 Tb vanilla

Make Crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Blend first four ingredients in food processor until nuts are finely chopped and everything is ground. Add butter; process until moist crumbs form. Press onto bottom & 1 inch up sides of 9-in diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Cool. Wrap outside of pan with double thickness of heavy-duty foil. This is for the water bath (bain marie), so you want to ensure NO water is able to go in between the foil and pan to make the crust soggy.

Make Filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat first 4 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add pumpkin; beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time, scrape the sides, beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat. Transfer to crust.

Heat up a kettle of water to boiling. Put kitchen towel in bottom of roasting pan, put cheesecake on top of towel and place in oven. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake cake until top is golden, or bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or so. One of the most important things is to NEVER open the door while baking cheesecake. Once your timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour and DO NOT open the door. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan. Cool. Cover and chill in fridge overnight.

Using Roasted Pumpkin or Sweet Meat Squash (light green/mint squash) for pies or cheesecake:

Heat oven to 450. Cut your pumpkin or sweet meat squash. Take out all of the seeds and insides. You can choose to cut into a couple smaller sizes. Place pumpkin or squash on a roasting pan or jelly roll pan. Add a little water to the pan. Bake for one hour. Let cool and cut off the skin. Add smaller chunks to food processor and puree until smooth. This freezes perfectly for up to a year. Substitute this for buying your own canned pumpkin.



Today at Playgroup we piled all the kids out onto the porch to capture their cuteness in their costumes. It was great as you can see, especially since we weren't able to get all the kids to smile at the same time.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One for G&G

Veronica in her kitty attire. It's the only picture I have, which is from my phone, b/c the battery was dead in the camera. When you ask her what her boots say, she says, "Meow!" What a brilliant child!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

30 days and counting

Today marks 30 days until my due date. I was just looking at the Baby Guesses on my blog page and I have to give kudos to you (Paige & Biz) who guessed the earliest dates for the baby to come. I'm feeling pretty well and can't see any reasons to really complain about this life growing inside of me. Of course, I get uncomfortable at times and don't have as much energy at times, but it's to be expected and I'm not throwing up for 9 months or suffering from some severe thing.

The baby is healthy, growing, kicking & stretching with force, and I'm looking forward to meeting him or her. I will be 36 weeks on Wednesday, which means the baby is free to come anytime starting November 5th. I need to have all my "home birth" items at my house by Friday when the midwife will come to my house for my 36 week visit. I still have quite a bit to finish up before the baby comes (one being sleep at this point), so I will keep you posted!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Six Random Facts about Me

My friend Paige tagged me to post "Six Random Facts about Me," so here it goes.

1. When I was 18 years old, I was on my way to work from my house when a complete stranger jumped in my car. Needless to say, it was a stranger who was running away from the police and it would be later labeled as "a carjacking." I also found out that this guy and I share the same birthday.

2. In the fourth grade I was sick the days before picture day, and realized after my mom dropped me off that it was picture day. I freaked out (I was sensitive) and ran after my mom's car and screamed, "Wait! Stop!" I continued to run as fast as I could and eventually ran/walked all the way home. We didn't live right next to the school and my mom wasn't too happy that I walked home after being dropped off. I guess I wanted to look good for my picture.

3. When I was in third grade I noticed how there were kids who were called out of class and had special one on one time with a parent. Well I wanted special one on one time, so I pretended to need some extra "help" on my subtraction and it worked.

4. I am a pick it out junkie. I love getting yucky things out of crevices and getting to the clean of it. I know it sounds incredibly gross, especially if you knew of all the crevice areas that I love to clean. It's like I can't stand it when I see kids with crusty hard boogers on their nose, b/c I just want all that yuck to get out. Same is with blackheads, dirty bellybuttons, soap scum, etc.

5. I like eating homemade rice krispies with a bit of salted butter spread on it. I know you might being saying, "EUUU," but honestly, you should try it and it's this perfect sweet salty combo.

6. I can tell when the sheets are uneven in the bed, which bothers me to all ends. So, I have been known to get out of bed and rearrange everything, in order to have evenly distributed sheets on the bed.

I get to tag people to write six random facts about them, so I am tagging: Adrienne, Amy, Talia, & Stephanie.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tire Day 2008 & Rails

The Scellick family tradition continues as we celebrated another successful Tire Day. We have forgone the whole tradition revolving around the actual tires, but they live on with good memory. We had brunch with G&G and Auntie Amber, then enjoyed some leaf tossing and kicking. Veronica was learning how to throw leaves up in the air, quite humorous.






Veronica has also been learning how to climb up the stairs standing up, rather than climbing in a crawl fashion. Here is her doing a bit for me, but it was right before bed and her tolerance level was quite low.


video

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Countdown to baby carl and Cloth Diaper stuff

I have 38 days until our official due date...and no, we're not naming the baby carl and we don't know if it's a boy, just a family joke.

I'm a big fan of cloth diapers and I don't mind the whole washing and drying them. I've been actively reading about how to do cloth diapering more, so I can save on wipes & such. If you're a mom who is interested in cloth diapering, but you don't know where to begin here are some great websites you can go to:

www.cottonbabies.com
(this is a one stop shopping spot with great information for more than just cloth diapers)
clothdiapers.blogspot.com (this blog has various links and ideas about the cloth world)

Friday, October 17, 2008

New interests

Veronica is always having a new interest in something. In fact, just last night I was reading her "new" favorite book to her and Ben said, "yeah it's her favorite of the week." Totally true!

We got a load of books from Grandpa Scellick's boss who has two sons. Most of the books are still to advanced, but a couple weren't. My favorite was when Veronica pulled out one of the new books for me to read and continued to ask for more. The reason being is the title is 'Juan y Juanita,' meaning it's all in Spanish. Luckily, I am able to pronounce Spanish words correctly (due to my upbringing), but I didn't understand everything. You can imagine..."Juan y Juanita...para aqua y mamita..." and so forth. As Veronica listens and asks for more I can't help but wonder what she's thinking (she is 1/8th Mexican).


Her other two favorites are "No, David" & "Jamberry." I read 'No, David' about 15 times yesterday--I had to cut her off. She'll repeat a couple of the words in the book: "No, daveyd," "back" & "kiet (quiet)." She looks forward to the end of the book where David's mommy gives him a hug and says, "I love you."


We read Jamberry when she's going potty and her face lights up. I wish I could put into words how beautiful her face is when she gets to hear this book. Last night daddy was reading it to her and her eyes began to squint in that getting ready to smile sort of way and she would begin to mouth the words of the pages. I'm so fascinated with her learning ability and how kids truly are sponges. I know my daughter isn't the only "smart" kid, but I am blown away by how smart she is when I watch her do things. Such as trying to get these words down so she can speak them.



Veronica is also very interested (and persistent) about having a fire going in the fireplace. She knows where the logs are kept and says, "fye!" This is her enjoying the fire while drinking warm milk and being a bit sick. I think the pictures capture so much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tale of two soups

Here are two of our favorite soups, which are perfect for Autumn days (along with being very easy and even gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free & tasty).

Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 4-6)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup salsa
Add the broth, cumin, chili powder and oregano to the pot. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the beans, corn, chicken and salsa. Reduce heat to low, stir and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.

Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, avocados, and anything else that sounds good to you.

**Tip: You can heat up the broth and spices and add frozen chicken to the boiling broth. Then, you can use kitchen shears to cut up the chicken or cut it up on a cutting board and add it back to the pot.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup (courtesy Laura Bergsma)
serves 6-8
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 1 Tb each, minced garlic and chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed & drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 3/4 cup salsa
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chili powder & garlic and cook for 1 minutes, while constantly stirring. Add broth, increase heat to medium-high, throw everything else in, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.

**Tips: You can switch out chick peas for black beans. Serve with sour cream or cheese and some cornbread. I add more cumin and garlic than it calls for, which means you doctor it up the way you like the best. It has an Indian flavor to it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One for Amy

I haven't really posted any pics of my pregnancy. I'm totally one of those pregnant ladies that doesn't mind the whole taking pictures of me while being pregnant. I also don't mind people (maybe more so family or friends) touching my belly to feel the baby move. Since I don't mind the pictures, I thought I should post some of me throughout this pregnancy.


21 weeks pregnant


23 weeks pregnant



24 1/2 weeks

30 weeks


Personally, I think I look huge here, but it's either because I'm 33 weeks (almost 34 weeks) and/or wearing a striped shirt.

As of today I'm about 45 days till my due date--hip hip hooray!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stoney Ridge Farm

Question: What do you get when a turkey crosses paths with a toddler?

Answer: Look Below


Veronica was pleased with many things at Stoney Ridge Farm, but her first impression of the turkey was NOT one of them. If you saw this turkey close up you immediately understand why someone would shoot them to eat them up (they're down right frightening!).




It was a beautiful day for the farm and it was our first time. It was also so fun to experience this with Veronica at her age, b/c there is literally so much to take in. One of her favorites would definitely be the little ride she went on first thing upon arrival. Ben thought she would freak out on it. However, it was completely the opposite. Here she is ready to get going.

As you can see, she is an expert at steering a moving vehicle. Once the ride finished, she turned to the man driving and put her hands together signing, "More!" Can you believe he didn't understand her?




At this point we were walking toward the hayride to go to the pumpkin patch, but Veronica had other things on her mind.



Whenever the ride was going, Veronica continued to ask to go on it. If only Grandmas & Grandpas were here to continue to pay the fee to ride.


At the farm there are all sorts of things for kids & adults alike. You take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, corn maze, & apple orchards. However, Veronica was weary about a couple things at the farm, one being the tractor pulling the hay wagon.


Next year I am going to inquire about applications for an almost 3 year old pumpkin inspector, b/c Veronica really understands the breadth & depth of pumpkins. You must be willing to get tactile.


Don't be afraid of a little labor, b/c it is necessary in getting just the right one.


Lastly, if you need to pat, then pat...slap, then slap...knock, then knock...whatever you need to do to ensure it is a solid pumpkin--YOU MUST DO IT. Also, any good pumpkin inspector must say "goodbye" to the pumpkins!


We're off towards the corn maze, which wasn't all that interesting to a 21 month old.



A farm is really a farm when there are animals, which we were able to see up close and personal. One of Veronica's favorites was BaaBaa (the Lamb). They had little goats, geese, ducks, chickens, peacocks, bunnies, sheep, and a scary turkey.


Here is where her courage increased with the turkey. However, as mama I was a little concerned that this turkey was going to pluck my daughter's eye out.



She absolutely loved the peacocks, which she exclaimed, "BIRS!"


After a long stay with the animals it was time to part even though Veronica didn't want to leave.


Veronica measuring in about 2 feet 10 inches, along with a disgruntled look for having to leave the BaaBaa.



We ended our day trying to enjoy some apple slices with caramel and an apple pull apart, but we were invaded by the attack of killer bees (probably not killer). All in all, it was a picturesque Autumn day!