Friday, September 21, 2012

{this moment}

Inspired by Soulemama : {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making the Most of the Harvest : Butternut Squash

This was the first year that I ever grew butternut squash.  I am pleasantly surprised at how well they did.  We got soooooo many squash.  I should have enough to hold me till next years harvest. YAY!
Some of this years harvest.
In my attempt to make the most out of what I had grown I picked all mature butternut squash, immature squash, and squash blossoms. 
I quickly got to work. I cleaned the mature squash and inspected them for any damage. I wiped down all of the squash with a diluted bleach water mixture to prevent fungus. I now have them curing for winter storage.
There were a couple of squash that were slightly damaged and needed to be used up right away.  I decided to make some crock-pot "pumpkin" butter. Yummm!!
This "pumpkin" butter is so good.  The recipe made enough for a year with some to give away as gifts.  I am bringing a container to my sister next week.  I decided to freeze small containers instead of canning.

I scooped the seeds out of the squash from the "pumpkin" butter and roasted them up with a little salt. Instant protein packed snack.
The immature squash will be used like a zucchini.  I think I want to make zucchini appetizer.  I just need to get some Bisquick. 
Fried squash blossoms and one lone eggplant.

The squash blossoms I stuffed with a bread crumb cheese mixture and fried'em up Delicious!!
These were sooooo good!
Look at how many things can be made from a single crop.... And that is why I *love* butternut squash! 

The Barn Hop
   Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Saturday we celebrated BB's second birthday. He is no longer a baby. He is now a little kid. It really is amazing how fast the time goes by. How do I have a 2 year old? I still can't wrap my brain around that lol.
We had such a fun weekend. Friday my sister was in New York for work so me and BB treked into the city to meet her. BB is currently **obsessed** with trains. So we took the train into the city as an added bonus to his pre-birthday celebration. He was completely mesmerized. I was actually able to get some crocheting done. It was marvelous!
We meet Auntie Em for lunch and then headed over to central park to go to the zoo. BB absolutely loved feeding the alpacas in the children's zoo... it was so cute. He feed them one pellet at a time and would giggle and clap after each one.
Look at that smile!
Saturday we decided to go to a local amusement park. He went on everything. The scarier the ride the bigger he smiled. He is quite the daredevil.
Driving his taxi.

Ride'em Cowboy.
 My father came over for dinner and cake but BB was so exhausted from the park that he slept the whole time grandpa was here.
We made a choo choo train cake just like the one I had when I was little. It wasn't perfect but it did look so cute.
What a wonderful birthday weekend for my little boy.  He is growing up so fast.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BB's Birth Story

BB's birth was very traumatic and I try not to think about it to much, since every time that I do I cry.  But since Saturday is BB's birthday I can't help but think about that day two years ago. 
September 14, 2010 I was 40 weeks 6 days pregnant.  I went to my weekly midwife appointment that morning.  At that appointment my blood pressure was slightly elevated. I had a fetal non-stress test and was contracting quite regularly but was not in active labor.  Since I was past my due date and my blood pressure was elevated the midwife advised me to make my way to the hospital to be induced.  I was so upset.  I wanted to go into labor on my own, I wanted to labor at home.  But I was scared and excited and decided to follow my midwife's advice and went to the hospital. 
I got to the hospital around 1pm and was 3 centimeters dilated. The nurse took some blood and urine to test for preeclampsia.  Then she hooked me up to monitors to track my blood pressure, contractions, and fetal heart rate.  I got an IV and was started on pitocin.  About 3 hours later the nurse came in and told me that my labs came back negative for preeclampsia.  About 2 hours after that their was a shift change. 
The new midwife decided that it was safe to change the blood pressure cuff from taking my pressure every half hour to every hour.  I stood next to my bed to have gravity help but kept getting in trouble because the monitors needed to be readjusted.
When I was in labor I lost all sense of time but probably around midnight the problems started.  Every time the blood pressure cuff was supposed to check my pressure it would just keep inflating and deflating about 15 times for 5 minutes.  I told the midwife and nurse.  They would come in push a few buttons and say everything was fine.  At one point I insisted that the nurse take a manual reading since I didn't think the machine was working right.  She said it was good. 
The midwife was concerned that the monitor tracking my contractions was not working properly and suggested an internal monitor.  I agreed.  At that point I was no longer allowed out of bed.  I needed to use the bathroom but was told I had to stay in bed and I could only use a bedpan.  I couldn't go.  I thought it was because of the bedpan.  After about an hour the nurse put a catheter to empty my bladder.  A couple hours later the same thing happened.  But the nurse said the internal monitor wasn't working so I could get up and use the regular bathroom, but no luck once again so she put another catheter.
At one point my legs started shaking uncontrollably and the midwife said that's the sign of a good contraction.
I had taken a Lamaze class while I was pregnant and used the cleansing breath to get through my contractions. I felt like I was in a trance.  I was able to sleep through most of my labor.  With every contraction I took a deep breath and while inhaling I said in my mind "The contraction is rising, getting stronger almost at its peak and now it's subsiding" and exhale.  I also used the mantra "This too shall pass" lol.  It helped. I didn't receive pain meds or an epidural.  I was trying for a natural birth.
At around 7:30 September 15, 2010 there was another shift change.  The midwife on call was the same one that I had seen in the office the day before.  She said "Let's get this labor moving" and turned me onto my side.  At that time I felt an enormous surge of pain.  I was almost in tears.  The nurse was next to my bed and said "That was some contraction".  That was the last thing I remember.  I don't know what exactly happened after that.
The rest of my son's birth story comes from what my mom and husband have told me about that day.  My husband has not told me everything and said he can't because it is too upsetting.  I want to know... but sometimes I think I am better off not knowing.
My mom, my husband were in the room at that time.  They said I became stiff. My husband said my hands were clenched and he tried to open one of them but couldn't.  He left to get help.  Within seconds every nurse on the floor was in my room.  The midwife checked me and I was at 10 centimeters.
The anesthesiologist kept saying "I can't give her anesthesia  she is not are you going to get a tube down her throat she bit her tongue". I was wheeled out of the room.  My mom and husband were told to wait in the waiting room. 
I had a seizure from my blood pressure getting so high..  My husband said at the time of the seizure my blood pressure was 180/?.  He doesn't recall what the bottom number was.  During the seizure I bit my tongue.  It swelled up and closed off my throat so I could not breath.  The swelling was so bad that the next day I was only able to eat oatmeal... everything else was too hard to chew. 
No one was there for the birth of my son.  We can never be sure what happened.  I had an emergency cesarean section.  BB was born at 8:15 am on September 15, 2010.  Because I had stopped breathing while BB was in utero he was deprived of oxygen.  When he was born he was not breathing.  He had to be intubated.  He was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (low oxygen and low blood flow to his brain). His blood pH was 6.7 and he had sepsis. So the little bit of blood that was making it to his brain was severely acidic and infected.  He had seizures shortly after being born. He had suffered injuries to his brain and was a candidate for head cooling therapy.  Head cooling is medically induced hypothermia it gives the brain a chance to heal.  He received the head cooling for 72 hours.  During that time he was not to be stimulated in any way.  We were not allowed to feed, hold not even touch our little boy.  That was probably the hardest. 
When I woke up after my surgery I wasn't told that BB was born but I guess mother's intuition kicked in because I just knew that he was born.  I had remembered that it was important to breastfeed within the first hour after birth.  I tried to ask my mom, she was next to the bed, to bring the baby so I could nurse but no sound came out.  I was intubated and could not talk.  I tried to show my mom what I wanted by grabbing my breast and then pointing to my mouth.  All she could say was "Everything is OK just relax".  I feel asleep shortly after that.  My mom said I started to get annoyed and was pulling on the tube so the nurse sedated me. I was in recovery in the ICU.
The next time I woke up I was in a different recovery room and no longer had the tube. I was on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures.  I remember random things.  I remember complaining that I couldn't keep my eyes open and that my lips were dry. 
My husband took some pictures of BB on his phone and showed them to me while in recovery.  I was already in love with my little boy. 
At 3 am September 16, 2010 I was moved to a room.  But before going to my room the nurse put me on a little bed, the only bed that would fit through the door of the NICU, and brought me to see my baby for the first time. I am so grateful to that nurse.
BB came home on September 25,2010.
I have both smiled and cried while writing this,  thank you for letting me share my story.
Happy 2nd Birthday BB!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Felt Birthday Crown

I am linking up to Tricia's Stash Bash and Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On.
I have been preparing for BB's second birthday! I can not believe he is going to be 2!! Craziness!!
I just love the idea of a special birthday crown and have seen quite a few in the blogosphere.  I rummaged through my stash and found the yellowy gold piece of felt that I had made. I realized that it would make the perfect crown.
I needed extra length so I cut the square in half and sewed the two pieces together to make one long strip of felt. My impatience got the best of me and I ended up cutting the crown design free hand, with no pattern late at night with the dullest scissors ever.  So it is perfectly imperfect which I love.

I ironed and blocked the felt to help flatten it out.
I wanted to add some of the same elements that are going to be in his birthday candle ring.  I needle felted a tree and mini toadstool onto the sides of the crown with a big "2" front and center.  I used all stash roving that I had left over from a wool knotting class I took last year.
I added a little hill to the bottom of the toadstool so it wasn't floating in mid air. I added dots of color to the tips of each point and all around the body of the crown. I wanted to keep it simple. I love love love how this came out.  It is so cute! I have already started planning next years crown. 

Finished B-day Crown

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My First Attempt at Wet Felting

I have been kind of obsessed with wool lately.  I just love how it can transform into so many things. Wool can be very magical. I would love to try my hand at spinning one day but for now I decided to try a little felting. I have a couple of projects planned with sheets of felt and the polyester stuff won't do.
I had some BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) roving in my stash. I planned on only using the yellow but after layering small tufts of wool, there were still some thin spots. I filled in the holes with some of the lovely robins egg blue roving. I used a rattan blind to full the felt but I have read that bubble wrap works just as well.

 BFL roving from my stash .

 After 20 minutes of rolling and lots and lots of hot soapy water here is the finished piece of felt!!


It really is amazing how something so soft and fluffy can tun into something so strong and flat.  For my first attempt I am really pleased with how it came out. I can't wait to make more!
I have a very special project in the works using this felt. It's top secret!