Friday, September 30, 2011

Foodie Friday: Crockpot Apple Butter

It is a bountiful apple season around here. I have had two friends share the riches with me. I made apple bread with the first batch and with the second I tried apple butter for the first time. It was very easy. (Then again, Mr. Cherry's mom was here and helped out with the chopping.) And the results are delicious. Nothing says fall like a yummy spread of apple and cinnamon on the baked good of your choice.
I found this recipe via Pinterest, but it is originally from Oh My Sugar High.

Apple Butter
5 1/2 pounds (approx. 15-16 cups) of baking apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 to 2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix well.
2. Cook on high for two hours.
3. Stir and reduce heat to low.
4. Cook an additional 9-11 hours until dark brown. Stirring occasionally.
5. Stir with a whisk to break up any large chunks.
6. Remove cover and cook an additional 3-6 hours until butter has reached desired consistency
7. Refrigerate or freeze.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Diabolic Plan

Knowing that the transition of having just mom and a little sister at home would be tough for Peachy, I made sure to have a few tricks up my sleeve. This summer I collected several small toys at garage sales and off of Craigslist. I stashed these toys away in case of a "rainy day." While the weather today was gorgeous, it was a "rainy day" for Peachy. She woke up crabby and we had no plans for the day. I also wanted to get the house straightened up and a crabby two year old would not be of any help in that department. So I dipped into my stash and gave Peachy the first of the reserved toys. It worked like a charm. She excitedly played all day and her crabby mood was all but erased.

Me=1, Crabby Two Year Old=0

Random Ramblings

Here are some things that have been on my mind lately. Nothing huge, just a smattering of thoughts.
1. You don't realize how loud your two year old is until you bring your newborn home.
2. I used to like noise all the time. If I didn't have tv on, I had music playing. Now, whenever I get the chance, I choose silence. Driving alone in the car I do not always turn the radio on, now I cherish a few quite moments.
3. Why do most shopping carts do such a poor job of holding our car seat? Don't stores want moms to shop there? What am I supposed to do with my infant while I shop if there is no way for her to ride in your carts?
4. No one is more aware of germs than the mother of a newborn. I must wash my hands 20 times a day now.
5. I had always heard that when you have a second child you realize how easy it was to care for one child. That is so true.
6. I find it amusing how many different theories there are out there on newborn care. One expert will tell you to never wake a sleeping baby. The next will tell you that you need to feed them every three hours sleeping or not. I have come to realize that the baby is the only one who really knows what is best. As long as they are healthy, leave them to their own schedule. Newborns know when they are hungry. They know when they need sleep. They know what is best.
7. Two kids in diapers makes for a lot of diaper changes throughout the day.
8. True happiness can be found when all of your children are sleeping and you get a few moments to yourself.
9. If you are a stay at home parent, you are just as excited to see your spouse at the end of the day as the kids are.
10. A supportive spouse is one of the most important things you can have in raising your children.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Headband

I took last week off. I just didn't find the time to sit and write and I also didn't have much to write about. Not that I am anticipating much crafting time in the coming weeks, but I think I have enough to at least make a few posts. And for a while, that will have to be good enough. :o)
So for now, here is the adorable Miss Cream for you to look at. :o)
We had the same photographer that took Peachy's two year pictures come over a few weeks ago to get some newborn pictures of Cream and the rest of the Bowl of Cherrys bunch. We got some great pictures. I will share more with you later.
While most of the pictures were clothing optional, for Cream anyway, we did take a few with a new outfit that I put together. I found an adorable knit sweater dress at Target and made a matching headband and leggings to go with. You can see the headband above. I used natural elastic for the headband itself and then made a simple rosebud to go on it. Very easy. Very quick. Just what a new mom needs in her projects. I made the leggings with 2T socks that I also purchased at Target. I used this tutorial again. Very easy. Very quick. Do you sense a theme?
Here is a picture of the dress from Target's site. And a link.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foodie Friday: Pizza in a Bowl

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I tore out of a recent Parent's Magazine. As per my usual, I adapted it to what I thought would taste good and what we had on hand. It was a yummy, easy, and healthy lunch.

Pizza in a Bowl
-1/2 loaf french baguette
-1 c cherry tomatoes, halved (I also tossed in some pear tomatoes that we had.)
-1 med. banana pepper, sliced
-1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
-30 slices pepperoni, quartered (I used turkey pepperoni)
-8 oz. cherry sized fresh mozzarella
-2 T fresh basil, thinly sliced
-2 T olive oil
-1 T balsamic vinegar
-Salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice baguette in half. Toast in toaster oven on medium. Once toasted, slice into 1 inch pieces.
2. Roast tomatoes, pepper, and onion for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Toss half way through.
3. Toss everything into a bowl and serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Day in the Life

So the most hilarious thing just happened and I wanted to write it down before I forgot about it. Both girls were napping. (This actually happens frequently at our house right now. Don't worry, I know that this may not last. However, I am going to enjoy it as long as I can.) Miss Cream woke up and decided that she needed to eat. While she was eating she let out an explosive poop. (Sorry if you were eating your supper. I am just trying to keep it real.) I finished feeding her and then changed her. As she was getting changed she pooped again. (Keeping it real.) I got a new diaper on her and then I heard Peachy crying in her room. I put Cream in the swing and went down to Peachy. While trying to get her to stop crying and go back to sleep I hear Cream crying upstairs. I leave Peachy's room and hurry up the stairs only to find Cream back asleep in her swing. I go back down the stairs to Peachy's room only to find her back to sleep as well. I go back upstairs and clean up the mess that Miss Cream had made and then sit down to write this out and share it with all of you.
Ah, motherhood. Maybe I will lose my remaining pregnancy weight! :o)

Baby Cream's Birth Story; Part 2

(Continued from yesterday  . . .)
After spending about an hour in triage, they decided to admit me to the hospital. In that time I could tell that the contractions were getting stronger. They got me my room and the nurse ordered the epidural. (Once again, my optimistic thinking of going natural were quickly put aside when I felt those strong contractions.
As Mr. Cherry said, "You just don't like pain, do you?" Ah, no!) They started my iv and the nurse began asking the endless questions that you really wonder why they don't have on record.
Since my doctor practices at a clinic that is a little way from the hospital, he had another doctor coming to break my water. I don't know exactly what time that doctor got there, but when he did I was already to 7 or 8 centimeters and he decided he better let my own doctor do the honors or he wouldn't make it.
In the mean time, I was still waiting for the epidural and my breathing and focus were all out the window. I would take a deep breath at the start of the contraction and then moan writhe it out. It wasn't pretty, folks. When the anesthesiologist got there, they decided that it was too late for a full epidural, but they could give me something called a one-shot. This would be faster acting, but it would also not be continual. Once it was done, it was done. Thankfully this provided some much needed relief. It wasn't as numbing as the epidural that I had with Peachy, but it really took the edge off.
My doctor made it to the hospital and peeked his head in the room. He was in his office clothes and had to change into scrubs, but quickly returned to break my water. I was already feeling some pressure and urges to push before he broke my water, but when he did, boy did I feel the need to push. He went to the staff lounge only to have my nurse call him right back for delivery.
Lets just say that at this point I totally lost it. I wasn't at all prepared for the pressure and the feeling of needing to push. I was so numb at this point with Peachy I just had to go by instinct. Well, that was not the case this time around. The nurse, the doctor, and Mr. Cherry had to tell me repeatedly to focus and quit freaking out. I was able to pull it together and in three pushes Cream was out at 11:45 a.m. Just over three hours after arriving at the hospital.
No one had mentioned the sex yet and I really wanted to know. I remember saying, "Its a baby! Is it a boy or a girl?" And I was told that we had another daughter! I was surprised, it seemed like everyone was telling me it was going to be a boy and I had begun to go along with that thought. The nurse had even gotten out the blue bracelets after asking me what my gut thought was.
After Peachy's long labor, I was prepared for another long one, but praying for something shorter. God answered my prayer. Only 14 hours after feeling my first contraction,  I was holding my baby girl! After preparing for an induction, God granted my to go into labor on my own. The big joke in the delivery room was that I wouldn't be keeping my appointment the next morning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baby Cream's Birth Story; Part 1

I was very disappointed at my last ob appointment, which was the day before my due date, to find out that I really hadn't made any progress over the past few weeks. I was even more disappointed when my doctor decided that we should schedule an induction. I knew that there were dangers in going past your due date, but I really didn't like the thought of an induction. But as the week after the due date wore on, it looked more and more like I would be heading to the birth center bright and early Wednesday morning to begin the induction process.
I often find that when God puts some sort of challenge in your life, he doesn't take it away until you have made peace with it. That seemed to be the case here. We were starting to settle into the fact that I would get induced. Then, Monday night around 9, I began having contractions. I had been fooled a few times before and wasn't getting my hopes up too high, but as the night progressed, it was apparent that I was in labor.
I was able to grab a few hours of sleep before the contractions started to keep me up. The rest of the night Mr Cherry and I spent resting and timing contractions off and on. (Did you know there is an app for that? Actually we had our choice of several.) We talked about when we should call my mom, who was going to come to take care of Peachy. We decided that 4 am would be a good time. However when 4 came, my contractions were still pretty far apart, so we decided to let her get an extra hour of sleep before hitting the road for the 4 hour drive. When we did call, it turns out that she was awake at 4 anyway. She was on her way.
The contractions did start coming closer together and we decided that we better not wait for my moms arrival. I texted a couple of friends and found one who could be there a little after 8 and stay until my mom made it. In the mean time, Peachy woke up. She wasn't at all sure why I was having to stop and breath every 4 or 5 minutes, but was pretty satisfied with the answer that I had a tummy ache. (Her babysitter texted a few hours after he had been at the hospital that Peachy had a tummy ache, but was breathing through it in her chair. What a little monkey see monkey do!)
Mr. Cherry and I headed to the birth center and were checked out at triage. I was sure that I had made some progress, and I was right, 2 centimeters since my appointment the week before. (Not exactly the progress that I was looking for. I was worried that they would send me home like they had with Peachy.)
To be continued . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Father Daughter Time

We have been so blessed over the past few weeks. Not only were we able to bring home our second daughter, a true blessing from the Lord, but we have also been able to spend the time together as a family. Mr. Cherry had enough vacation time that he could take the full last two weeks off to be with us as we settle in. I honestly think that this is the most time we have ever been able to spend together and it has been wonderful.

He and Peachy have gotten to spend a lot of time together while I care for Cream. The best thing they did was build a sandbox and of course play in it in the backyard. Mr. Cherry had a sandbox growing up as a child and remembers spending many fun hours using it. I am sure that the same will ring true for Peachy and one day for Cream.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ruffle Pillowcase

I knew that I wanted a fun pillowcase to bring to the hospital when delivering Baby Cream. A quick Google search found this tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets for a pillowcase with contrasting bands. I followed the tutorial except for when it came to the small band. There I cut two strips of fabric to give me double the length so that I could gather the fabric for a ruffle. I sewed the two strips together and then ran a gather stitch close to the edge. When inserting the band, I gathered it up and made it match the length of the other two pieces of fabric. There is something to be said about recovering on your own pillow and a fun pillowcase just adds to the comfort.

I will be linking to the following parties this week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome Cream!!

Our newest little addition has been with us for a week now. We are all doing well. I will be sure to share more information soon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Woman Show

Our Peachy is definitely a girl of her own heart. I love watching what she comes up with to entertain herself. One morning she decided it was time to make up a little show including a dance number and song. Mr Cherry and I just watched her go and go. (One of her moves was to periodically go over and bonk Mr. Cherry on the knee. You can see this at the end.) I grabbed the camera and got a few seconds of the show to share with you.
Here is the video on You Tube.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dinosaur Taggie Toy and Tee

I always enjoy giving homemade gifts. It is fun being able to give the recipient something that is one of a kind and created from my heart. When we were recently invited to a one-year-old party, I came up with this dino-mite gift. :o)
For the tee-shirt I appliqued a dinosaur shape cut out of cotton fabric. I stitched around him and added an eye with an iron on transfer sheet.
Then I made his friend the taggie toy. I simply cut out two dinosaur shapes from cotton fabric and rainbow ribbon loops. I first stitched the loops onto the right side of one of the dinos. Then I stitched the two dinos together, wrong sides together, leaving a spot for the stuffing to be inserted. I clip curves, turned it right side out, and stuffed it. I then slip stitched the hole  together and used a fabric pen to draw the eye.
A fun gift for a fun one year old.
I am linking to these parties this week.
Todays Creative Blog

Friday, September 2, 2011

Foodie Friday: Baked Chocolate Donuts

It was a total pregnancy moment. I was up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. I was on Pinterest. I saw a recipe for baked donuts. I didn't stop with pinning the recipe, no. I pinned that recipe, jumped on to Amazon, ordered the pan and waited anxiously for its arrival. While the donuts were delicious, I can't say that they will be taking the place of fried donuts anytime soon. They turned out more like soft cakes. In case you would like to order your own donut pan, I found mine here.
Baked Chocolate Donuts (from Fake Ginger)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg


Lightly grease a doughnut tin and preheat the oven to 350F.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, and then whisk in the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, buttermilk, vanilla and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix, or your doughnuts may be a bit rubbery.
Fill each cup 1/2 to 3/4 full. You can do this with a spoon, but I prefer using a piping bag to fill each cup more evenly and cleanly. It’s important not to overfill, or as the doughnuts rise, you’ll lose the hole.
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of your doughnut pan), until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before glazing.
I glazed mine with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To the Lake!

 A friend invited us for a fun filled morning at their lake place. It sounded like the perfect activity for a beautiful summer day. And it was just that! A summer day filled with boating, tubing, digging, and relaxing. Thanks, Lisa!