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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You Might Be a Toddler's Mom If...

You have a morning all to yourself and you're most excited about cleaning the toilets in peace.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Baby Did THAT?

Yes, my sweet new baby girl did that. Gross.

She's had a lot of firsts in the past two weeks, but this may go down as Mom's most memorable.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Week #1 with #2

I'm showered and dressed. It's 11:45am and I'm considering this success for the day.

Week #1 with #2 has been SO much easier than Week #1 with the Squirt. My husband, mother-in-law, mom and sister are definitely getting the credit for that. To my own credit I have swallowed my pride and accepted any and all offers of help this time around. It has made a HUGE difference.

I still haven't had a "real" day yet with both kiddos, someone has been here to help entertain the Squirt and/or keep the house in order for me each tomorrow might be quite a shock to my system!

Here are a few pics of our first week at home for you:

And one of the Squirt that I'm sure my sister will love:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent: What's the Deal?

So even though I'm writing this Sunday night, by the time you read this I should have a three day old and be in the middle of mommy zombieland.

I know this month will be full of distraction for the Leipprandt clan (even more so than usual) and I've been praying for my heart to remain focused on what Christmas is truly about- the coming of a King, the birth of a Savior, God loving us enough to send a Redeemer. And I've got this idea rolling around that maybe we could observe some Advent traditions this year since we'll be holed up and away from church most likely.

I love the thought, but I have no idea where to start. I was brought up in non-traditional churches and the lighting of Advent candles was a rarity. Do any of you observe Advent traditions in your homes? Where's a good place to start?

Thanks for the help and we would love your prayers this week!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#2 Has Arrived!

We are incredibly proud to announce the birth of our daughter Britain Joy!

Born at 11:39am, 8lbs 2oz and 22 inches long.

Thanks for all of your prayers and well-wishes over the past few days and please keep them coming. This mama certainly needs them and I'm sure B Daddy wouldn't mind a few thrown his way as well.

Love to you all,
The Leipprandts

Labor Pains

We're well on our way to having #2!

B Daddy is sleeping soundly next to me on a tiny hospital couch and I've just woken up after a 3hr Ambien nap. Mmmmmm. Supposedly the next step is to have Cervidil (sp??) removed and to be checked for progress. In the meantime I'm keeping myself entertained between Hulu and watching the monitors spike up and back down with each contraction.

Here comes a nurse....time for a shower!?

Once I'm clean and freshly primped, the Pitocin party gets started.

Being induced is really not such bad thing at all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Stockings Are Hung...

We spent this weekend enjoying family time with the Squirt and getting the house ready for Christmas. We are SO ready to meet this baby girl!

Today's the day we check into the hospital and tomorrow you should be seeing her sweet face shortly after we do. In the's a glimpse at our casa, all dolled up for Christmas.

Four stockings this year!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Picture of the Week: 7

Once upon a time my stomach looked like this:

It doesn't anymore. Just thought you'd want to know.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NOT Brownies. (AKA Fudge Cake Recipe)

I've recently re-discovered and busted out my great-grandmother's fudge cake recipe about half a dozen times for holiday gatherings around these parts and each time I do I receive marriage proposals and a dozen requests for my "brownie" recipe.

I'm not sure exactly why the family has always called this Fudge certainly is brownie-esque, but they are divine. And easy. A perfect addition to your holiday baking repertoire.

Just don't call them brownies. Thanks!

Mimmie's Fudge Cake

2 cups flour
6 Tbs cocoa (I use dark or Dutch processed...I swear it makes a difference)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup Wesson oil (I use Publix vegetable oil...I'm sure Wesson is better)
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat eggs, add sugar, oil and vanilla.

Let your toddler play around on the counter with glass bottles of oil while you do this.

Combine dry ingredients with the wet mixture.

Oh yum.

Bake in a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan for 20-25 minutes, until cake is barely done.

Have this icing ready to spread on your still warm cake:

1 box confectioner's sugar (or about 3 1/2 cups)
4-5 Tbs cocoa
3-4 Tbs margarine
6-8 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla

Stir all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heart until blended. Pour over cake right away.

(Sorry, no pics! But this icing makes the fudge cake. Don't skimp!)

In spite of my type-A detailed self, I love all the approximations in this icing recipe. Pretty sure at some point a relative held Mimmie down and forced her to make a "recipe" out of something she just threw together. I envy people like that in the kitchen.

Let me know if you make these this Christmas season - I'll be stuck in my house with a suckling baby and a rambunctious toddler and will guilt you into bringing me some.

Note: As you can read in the comments, I left out a critical component of this recipe. Marshmallows. Marshmallows creep B Daddy out, so I have been leaving them out of this recipe for years, but if you are a fan, sprinkle the just-out-of-the-oven cake with mini marshmallows and pop it back in the oven for a minute or two, until they begin to melt. Then proceed with pouring your icing on top. MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Window Mistreatments: Re-covering an Old Roman Shade

I've finally (well almost) finished the baby's room! Yesterday B Daddy took the Squirt on a very long errand and challenged me to have the curtains done by the time they got home.

Challenge accepted. And I must say I'm pretty stinking proud of my eight and three-quarters months pregnant self.

Since I'd already spent waaaaaaaay too long making Roman shades the old-fashioned way for these windows once, I was heartbroken at the thought of abandoning them and going through the same torture to make brand new ones that were more girly.

The solution? Make use of my new best friend Fabri-Tac. I had never realized such a fabulous thing existed until I used it on the Squirt's new bedroom curtains. I'm now addicted to the stuff.

The project took me an hour and a half total and 45 minutes of that time was spent getting up off the floor once I'd finished. The situation was complicated by this 38.5 week pregnant belly.

(Pretty sure this picture is not out of focus...that mirror just REALLY needs to be cleaned.)

Here's the easy-peasy-process in pictures:

1. Lay out your old curtain face-down on top of your new fabric. Cut to size, leaving a generous border on all four sides for "hemming" and folding over.

2. "Hem" the sides. Now I actually pulled out my sewing machine here because my supply of Fabri-Tac looked dangerously low. But you should buy a full bottle of the magic stuff and glue/fold your edges in for the same effect in 1/4 of the time.

3. Then fold your fabric around the edges of the old curtain and glue!

For $35 (cost of fabric) for two curtains, I don't think I could have done much better at Wal-Mart and I'm thrilled that this fabric works with our blue "boy" nursery but girls it up some.

P.S. This would work equally well to turn any Big-Box-bought Roman shade into something much classier!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thankful Heart

  • A healthy child
  • An easy pregnancy
  • A family who loves us and lives near us
  • A husband who leads
  • A home that is warm and comfortable
  • A car to take me anywhere I'd like to go
  • A checking account with far more in it than I need for today
  • Neighbors who can be counted on for meals, babysitting, fellowship and laughter
  • Friends who go out of their way to support and encourage us
  • A God who loves us and gave himself up for us

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Defense of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday EVER.

Therefore I'm understandably protective of it and each year I find myself getting more and more defensive of it. As in, "TAKE YOUR STINKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS DOWN AND GIVE THE TURKEY SOME RESPECT PEOPLE!"

Sorry. Had to get that out.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some Christmas. There is something undeniably wonderful about your home when it is decorated for Christmas and smells wonderful and feels merry and bright. The lights, the music, the meaning...Christmas has A LOT going for it. But here in modern day America it has also been hijacked by marketers and retailers and every year I inevitably find myself sucked into the game sometime between now and the 25th...spending more money than anticipated and meditating less on the birth of Jesus than on which cookies I'm bringing to the family exchange.

Thanksgiving is still so pure. Family, food, grateful hearts. So simple. I love love love it.

This year we are not getting together with extended family because I'm approximately the size of a hippopotamus. It'll just be the three of us and B Daddy's parents and sister at our house. I'm thrilled that we will have time to really connect with one another and enjoy food and fellowship.

May you enjoy this Thanksgiving in all its simplicity!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Mystery

Sometime last year I had the brilliant idea that keeping chickens would be fun and educational for our little familia. Fast forward 6 months - we built a coop, bought some hens and began eagerly anticipating the feast of eggs to follow.

You'll remember the chickens were quite shy for about a month. As in, zero eggs. Cleaning up chicken poop and feeding the girls each day became quite a frustrating exercise. Where was the reciprocation!?

Then miracle of miracles we had a two egg day! Two beautiful brown speckled eggs. Followed by many many more one egg days. I assumed both girls were producing since the breeds we bought are only supposed to lay 3-4 times each week.

Wrong. Come October we suddenly found ourself with a two egg day again, only the two eggs looked very different. Aha! So our blond hen, Charlotte, lays cafe au lait colored eggs and our brown hen, Hester, lays brown speckled eggs.

Suddenly we were inundated with eggs. 10-12 a week to be exact. I was giving them away to neighbors, friends and family almost as quickly as they were laid. And then one day about two weeks back I went out to collect and nada. Nothing. And the next day, no egg either. The day after that, ZERO eggs. Finally on day four there was a lovely little cafe au lait egg. And ever since, some days one, some days none. Always cafe au lait though. It seems now our reliable little Hester is on strike. She's stopped laying altogether.

The chicken learning curve is steeper than I thought indeed.

So I'm stumped. Do chickens have boom and bust cycles? Should I consult a vet? The internet has shockingly done me very little good. If you know any chicken experts, I'd be glad of an opinion!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us

5 years today!

How is it that the past five years have passed by much faster than high school or college did? Tonight thanks to my favorite in-laws, we'll have dinner at a restaurant that doesn't have high chairs (for me) and then a date with Harry Potter (for him). It's the first time we haven't gone out for Italian on our anniversary to bring back honeymoon memories, but I am craving a big thick steak!

How long have you been married? Do you give gifts each year or prefer a date night out? I'd love to know what your anniversary traditions are!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Desk & Chair Re-do

No the room isn't completely put together yet, but we all know that it's likely never to be finished, and I want you to enjoy the fruits of our labor along with us.

Remember these?

Well now they look like this.....

It's starting to come together and with just a few more pieces/details we'll be done with this room entirely. I can't wait to share!

P.S. Have you noticed that I've just figured out how to put text on top of pictures?! It's my favorite thing ever and I'm bound to abuse the awesomeness in coming posts. Please ignore me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Before Baby #2 To Do

D Day is officially less than 4 weeks away now. I'm slightly terrified that Thanksgiving is only 15 days away. Which means that Christmas is like, tomorrow, right?

Here's my "must-do before she gets here" list in order of priority/urgency.

1. Buy crib and mattress
2. Sell old stroller on Craigslist
3. Purchase double stroller
4. Get the Squirt's old car seat down from the attic
5. Make curtains for #2's bedroom
6. Paint side table for #2's bedroom
7. Finish/install Squirt's new light fixture
8. Make decent headway on Christmas shopping
9. Decorate home for holidays
10. Pre-bake cookies for family cookie exchange taking place sometime shortly after #2's birthday

And these are my "it-would-be-nice-to-dos"

1. Finish Squirt's box shelves
2. Hang mirror in Squirt's room
3. Buy beanbag for Squirt's reading nook (since he's SUCH an avid reader these days...)
4. Host family for Thanksgiving Day dinner
5. Fry turkey and be on top of my game for said dinner
6. Complete Squirt's baby book
7. Finish Christmas shopping

It doesn't seem so overwhelming looking at it like this actually. The trouble is that I really like to nap these days, and I just started a really interesting book...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crock Pot Applesauce

Note to readers: the following recipes are Squirt-tested and Squirt-approved.

Crock Pot Applesauce
12 cups of apples - peeled, cored and chunked
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
2 whole cloves

1. Throw everything together in your Crock Pot
2. Cook on low for about 3 hours
3. Pick out the cloves!
4. Mash into smaller chunks with a potato masher or the back of a fork if necessary. (You can also throw it in the blender and process until totally smooth if that's your preference or for younger kiddos.)

Note: you might want to check after about an hour to see how things are coming along. If the apples haven't started to breakdown at all yet, add another 1/2 cup of water.

Note 2: I have used Golden Delicious and Royal Gala apples to make this recipe. If you start with sweeter apples, no sugar is necessary, but you can always do a taste test half way through and add 1/4 cup of white or brown (yummy!) sugar if you want.

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Applesauce
2 lb(ish) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, chunked
3 lbs apples - peeled, cored, chunked
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Steps are the same as in the recipe above, minus the picking out the cloves bit. You could definitely adjust the spices to your liking, I think some pumpkin pie spice would be delish instead of cinnamon and nutmeg. I probably only used 1/8 cup of sugar and mine was plenty sweet. Depends on the sweetness of your apple variety.


P.S. If you are making this for bambinos, word on the street is that spices should only be introduced after 8 months. I'm pretty sure these would still be yummy sans-spices though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Picture of the Week: 5

These shoes go on the feet of the men in my life.
I love these two men.
I love these shoes.
I love this life.

The End.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Adventures

This year marked our second family trip up to Ellijay, Georgia for some old-fashioned apple-pickin' and apple cannon shootin'.

Check out the difference a year makes!

Apple Pickin - 2009

Apple Pickin - 2010 (note the belly in the background!)
This year I got wise to the apple orchard game and bought a small bag of apples (20 lbs) that we hand picked and then got a 1/2 bushel of "seconds." "Seconds" are the ugly apples. Some have bruises, some are funkily-shaped, most are the type you'd put back at the grocery store. But they are PERFECT for making applesauce! With one applesauce monster in the house already and a new kiddo coming who will be starting solids when apples are completely out of season, I thought I'd stockpile some by canning and freezing.

The cost of 20lbs of "purty" apples? $14+ $4 orchard admission
The cost of my 1/2 bushel (about 24lbs) of "seconds"? $6

So we're using the pretty picked apples for eating and I'll pop some of them into pies and crumbles (theoretically that is). I've already made two Crock-Pot batches of applesauce and it still looks like I've barely dug into my bag of!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat!

The Set-Up...
our little chick - how appropriate right?

Not so sure about this costume thing

House #1:
Not sure what Trick or Treat meant,
but very intent on saying Tank Ooo and Bah-Bye multiple times.

House #3:
Still confused, "Why are these people giving me candy?"

But by House #6 I couldn't keep up with my little chick...

Back at our place he assessed the haul with B Daddy

And may have enjoyed answering the door just as much as casing the neighborhood himself

Picking out one treat for the evening...

He's definitely come around on this holiday tradition!

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