paper thin walls {a response to a response to a response}

I recently had an email in my inbox.  It was from care.com and read:

War Of The Hotel Rooms: Should Babies Be Banned?

Recently, an anonymous letter berating a set of parents who brought their baby to a ski resort went viral. People were quick to pick sides — and a heated debate began: “Are there certain types of vacations that simply are not appropriate for kids and babies?” Two Care.com employees (one a parent, one a former service industry manager) have different reactions. What are your thoughts?

Now, I was pretty sure what the two lines of thinking were going to be.

One would say that babies shouldn’t be allowed on vacation and the other would say that they should.

Olivia Crying

I clicked over to the article and started reading.

And kept reading.

And the more I read, the more disbelief set in.

BOTH opinions agreed that babies should not be taken anywhere.  And one suggested that

(and this is the part that gets me)

a crying baby should be brought down to the lobby to be quieted.

Just as a family with a crying baby should leave a restaurant when it gets too bad, so should parents at a resort. They should have gone to the lobby to soothe the child. No, it’s not convenient, but we all need to be more considerate of each other, especially when people around you are eating or sleeping.

olivia

 

Um, what’s this you say person who does not have any kids?  Surely you jest.

Let me just jump right in and share my biggest issues with this drama.

1. If it’s such an upscale ski resort, why are the walls so paper thin?

2. Since when is “should babies be allowed” EVEN A DEBATE?  Next thing you know there will be “BABY ONLY” sections of hotels.  Or restaurants.  Or malls.  Or planes. (That last one is not a bad idea… )

3. Who on earth would bring a screaming baby from your private hotel room to a public lobby to try to sooth?  I would never dream of telling the party goers to take it to the lobby.  Or the loud ‘intimate’ people.  I mean, can you imagine?

Banging on the door. “Can you folks please continue your escapade in the lobby while I am trying to sleep?  You are ruining my vacation!”

I am completely dumbfounded by that line of thinking.

Here are five really important and technical and educated reasons that I find this to be phooey.

1. I have more than one child.  I simply cannot leave my other children alone in a hotel room while I go hang out in the lobby.

2. I nurse my babies and often try to nurse to sooth them.  There is no way I would feel comfortable nursing my baby in a public lobby.  Why hello Mr. Night Shift Manager!  Yes I am desperately trying to force my child to latch on to my nipple and they keep refusing but I keep trying because I know once they do they will calm down and feel better!

3. I happen to think bringing a crying baby to a lobby is rude.  More rude that attempting to deal with the situation in a private room that I paid to be in.

4. Crying babies are more stressful for the mom than the baby!  Not only are we worried about said child, but we are worried about the other kids, the disruption,  wether we will ever sleep again, if we remembered to shut the garage door when we left for the vacation… you get the idea.  It’s stressful for all involved.

5. It’s stupid.

sleeping baby

Trust me oh-complaining-ones, I want my little cherub to go to sleep just as much as you do.  And I promise, I am doing everything in my power to make that happen.

But you know what?  The suggestion of not leaving home with a baby ever is just plain rubbish.

Sometimes travel is inevitable.  Sometimes circumstances are more important that potential annoyances.  Sometimes plans are made and money is spent before you even realize you are pregnant.  (And yes, that has happened to me, twice.)

Sometimes people need to have compassion instead of being so darn judgmental and rude.

Here, let me solve this whole big overinflated ridiculous dilemma for you.

Change rooms.

Accept that babies are here to stay.  (Especially in hotel rooms:  Don’t discriminate against the baby unless you are going to discriminate against the act of making a baby. #word)

You’re welcome.

zucchini banana oat bread (and a craptastic day)

Let me just tell you about my day.

It all started about 5:00am when I heard my baby crying and got up to feed her.  I walked to her room in a zombie like stupor, hushing her whimpers and gently picking her up and then nursed her back to sleep. Just as I got done feeding her return her my alarm went off.  Why would I set the alarm for so early?  Because I wanted to get up and work out before my husband went to work and while I could do it without kids trying to jump all over me.  I am gonna ROCK this day!

Zucchini Oatmeal Banana Bread

Right after I got my running shoes on I heard Olivia again.  She had not gone back to sleep and was now up for the day.  As I sat and rocked her and watched the sky turn from dark grey to light grey, the dream (nightmare) from last night started to come back to me.  It was not good.  I was shaking and upset and an emotional mess. (Yes, I know it was a dream, but it almost seemed like a bad memory!  I heard that the brain cannot distinguish the difference between a dream and reality so it FELT REAL)

Husband gets up and leaves for work and it occurs to me… its FREEZING in here.  Turns out that the furnace broke and we had no heat.  In Minnesota.  It was 28 degrees last night.  So I decide to bake some bread for breakfast in the hopes that the hot oven would help warm up the house.  And me.

Around 7:00am and I start making this bread.  (It tastes amazing, and I give big props to Diethood for her original recipe.  Hers is a bundt cake with some glorious maple cream cheese frosting, totally worth checking out!)  As it bakes the kids slowly rise and make their way to the kitchen.  Eddie is immediately grumpy because he didnt get cereal in a blue bowl as he demands EVERY SINGLE MORNING but the delicious warm bread eventually quiets him.

We start homeschooling and immediately the kids are whining.  Complaining.  Fighting me every. step. of. the. way.  I am freezing and keep trying to get the kids to put more layers on, but they dont seem to be phased by the chill.  I offer up hot cocoa for snack time and the marshmallows are hard as a rock and somewhat stale.  I add them anyway hoping no one notices.  No one does because they spend the whole time complaining that it’s too hot.

Olivia is awake and just fusses.  And fusses.  And fusses.  (totally not her norm.  I am completely throw off by this new behavior of hers, as she is normally so happy and content and loves to nap!)  Colton refuses to do his math and sits and the table and literally sobs at how much he doenst want to work today.  I am rockin back and forth in the corner in the fetal position.  Guess I did end up ROCKIN today.

Its about 11 and someone is coming over to fix the furnace.  He calls and says he will be there in 30 minutes so I quick try to feed Olivia.  I nurse her  and she actually starts to nod off (praise Jesus!) which is Eddie’s cue to storm into my room and scream “Mommy, where are you?!?!” as he looks me in the eye.  Olivia is awake.

I get word from a company (that I really wanted to impress) that a recipe I submitted has got a WRETCHED error in it and that someone complained.  I reply back to my contact with deepest of sincerest apologies and they are not impressed.  The twitch in my eye intensifies.

I have big project in November that requires extensive research and preparation and involves large expensive video devices to be pointed at me filming my every move.  (inner voice is a constant downer lately and I am convinced that my ex boyfriend from high school that I usually never think about and dont even know where he lives will see it and laugh laugh laugh at HOW FAT I AM and I am mortified)  I am given the wardrobe requirements for the shoot and they say, “No red, white or black.”  No black?  SURELY YOU JEST!  You might as well tell me I can only wear an itsy bitsy bikini.

Zucchini Oatmeal Banana Bread

Try to quick feed Olivia again and realize the guy-who-shall-restore-heat is here.  She is awake and fussy.  I am twitching.  Guy-who-has-restored-heat determines that its just a faulty control panel and gets heat roaring.  Hurray!  Guy-who-restored-heat tells me that in spite of how my children behave he still wants to have kids someday.

I try to prepare for dinner and  defrost some beef in the microwave.  It dies.  My microwave is dead.  My brand new state of the art microwave is dead.  I wish I could crawl into it.  Olivia is still awake.

Get email that I have an assignment due tomorrow that I forgot about.

I can hear kids screaming at each other and banging doors and walls.  They are playing “store” and selling each other stuff that they already own and it sounds like Colton just shorted Audrey some of her change.  I think she threatened to cut him.  I blame Spongebob.

zucchini banana oat bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and prepare loaf pans. (I used three small loaf pans)
  2. In large bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats. Stir together.
  3. In a smaller bowl combine sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and mashed banana. Pour sugar mixture into flour mixture and stir by hand. Add in zucchini and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until bread pulls away from sides of pan and an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
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See that there is yet another BIG FABULOUS ALL EXPENSE PAID WITH UNREAL SWAG BLOGGER EVENT that I was not invited too.  Its ok, its cool.  These things happen right?  I am sure they know that I have a baby and that I homeschool and were just being considerate of my circumstances.  That, or EVERYONE JUST HATES ME AND OBVIOUSLY I NEED TO QUIT BLOGGING FOREVER AND EAT MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF COOKIE DOUGH RAW EVEN THOUGH THAT IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

Text husband that he has to bring home dinner.  He gets home and gets it ready and the family eats.  I cant eat anymore because apparently I ate an entire pan of this bread today.  So I go walk/run sporadically while Biggest Loser is on trying to see what workout they are doing and copy them.   This is effective as they literally show one move for 4 seconds then move on which is about how long I wanted to work out anyway.

Can hear Olivia screaming.  Its time.  She needs to sleep now or I think I may develop a permanent twitch in my eye.

She is out within seconds.  Exhausted.  Now peaceful.  Her little body relaxes and she cuddles closer to me.  I am jealous of a baby.

Moral of story.  On craptastic days make sure you make yummy cake-like bread that has a vegetable in it so you can pretend you actually ate healthy and that there isn’t dishes piled sky high and laundry mounds in corners of every room.

The end.

Zucchini Oatmeal Banana Breadp.s.  I hope this post made you giggle at least once.

Photography inspired by the amazingly talented Laura at Fork Knife Swoon.

Sweet Child of Mine

Its been a wonderfully hectic last couple of months.  We have had a baby, packed a house, staged a house, bought a house, sold a house, moved into a new house, and are subsequently unpacking in new house.  All while nursing full time and trying to wrangle four other very happy kids.  And one dog.  The dog is very happy.  Very very happy.

But this little girl… she is changing the most.  She had doubled her birth weight, experienced being in the warm sun for the first time, smiled at her mama for the first time, and melted the heart of pretty much everyone she meets.

 

My parents came up last weekend to help with the the move and get a little grand-kid time.

Miss Olivia took to my dad right away… she was just fascinated with him!

But then she started to feel berry berry sweepy.  (Sorry, thats how I was saying it in my head)

Baby yawns.  Is there anything better?

Olivia

 

Yes, there is something better.  Sleeping baby.  There is nothing better than that.

I would like to see Miss Olivia attempt this feat between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 am thank you very much.

Seriously.  Please?  Mama is tired! :)

Today is the Day!

We are scheduled to have our fifth child this morning via C-Section!  Five kids.  Who would have thought?

We are nervous and excited for this newest addition to finally make his/her way into our lives!

Gender Reveal Rose Cake

For this pregnancy we chose to not find out the sex of the baby, and its been really fun!!  Thank you to all those who commented and encouraged us to stick with it and not give in… I am so glad we did!

Baby Blue Rose Cake

 

I am hoping for another boy…

Pink Rose Cake

 

 

My sweet Audrey wants a little sister desperately!

 

In reality we all would be thrilled with either. :)

In honor of the sweet blessing we are about to meet I wanted to share some of the joy and excitement with you.

I am going to start my day with a super awesome gift and I think YOU SHOULD TOO!!

I would love for one of you to win the amazing new phone!

Verizon Phone

Its actually part smartphone.  Part tablet.

But all totally awesome.  These beautiful Verizon phones retail for $599.00!

How can you win one?  Simply tell me:

What do you think we are having… a boy or a girl?

If you would like you can follow along on my Facebook page, I will try to update with pictures and confirmation! :)

Contest runs from May 31st-June 3rd.  You can “vote” once a day, every day!

See official rules here.

Wish me luck! :)

UPDATED:

Olivia

On Friday we welcomed Olivia into our hearts!

She was 8lbs 5 oz

She is healthy and happy and much loved!

(Contest is still open through this evening- just make sure you guess ‘girl’) :)

WINNER ANNOUNCED!

I picked a winner using random.org.  They selected a number between 1 and 611.  Comment #52 was the lucky winner!

Theresa, please email me within 48 hours to claim your awesome new phone!

 

Bubbly Baby Cupcakes {Giveaway}

I really have baby on my brain.

And on my bladder.

And kidney.  Just sayin.

Bubbly Baby Cupcakes from iambaker.net

 

We are not finding out the sex of this little one, and I am loving the anticipation of the surprise!  As of now, he/she is scheduled to be born on May 31st,2013.  I think that’s a pretty good date! :)

I just happened to find these cute cupcakes in Wiltons new Cupcakes! book.  I was immediately drawn to the cute little baby faces smiling out from a frosting bubble bliss! (Recipe and instructions are in the book)

Smiling Baby Sugar Cookies

And thanks to making the cupcakes, I got back into the sugar cookie swing!  Granted, these are as easy as they come, but its been far to long since I piped out glaze icing onto a delicious sugar cookie.  Last time was when I made personalized cookies for the birth of our sweet almost-two-year-old Eddie!

Good times.

Bubbly Baby Cupcakes from iambaker.net

As many of you know I have been a long time fan of Wilton’s tools, recipes, and techniques.  (Heck, without them I would never have made my Original Rose Cake since they do make the 1M tip!)

 

Bubbly Baby Cupcakes!

2013

After all the trials and tribulations of 2012, I was determined to embrace hope for 2013.  I desperately hoped that in 2013 there would be no deaths, no heartbreaks, no disappointments, no rejection.

Just. No. More.

Recently I posted a story that I consider life changing.  You know, one of those stories that sticks with you and pops into your head in the most opportune moments.  When I recall it, I am in such awe that someone can put their own baggage and sense of personal loss aside to embrace a greater good moves me in a way that I can only describe as divine.

Its been about five months since my husband lost his father unexpectedly.  For some reason, the pain of losing him has not lessened.  Every new holiday that is our “first” without him, every new circumstance that we must handle without his wisdom and guidance, every memory that brings the most acute and sharp pain to our hearts… I just cant seem to find acceptance in that fact that he is no longer here.

I remember in the immediate aftermath of his passing of being so inspired by his life.  The way that he gave, the sacrifices he made, the impact he had on those around him.  Every story that people told made me realize what a gift I had in just knowing him.  And how blessed my kids were to call him grandpa.

His life moved me to the point that I wanted to change mine.

Over the holidays we spent a great deal of time with family.  My kids got used to seeing their grandparents and cousins.  When the New Year started and we didnt have plans to see them immediately, they were visibly saddened.  It was just so normal and so right… being with the people that we love.

While in Fargo we even had family pictures taken.

Looking at them now, I am trying to look past my double chins and huge belly and less than stellar fashion sense and see the family around me.  When I start to feel sad about Dennis I need to remember what his life was about.  He loved people and took care of them and gave them everything he could.  He lived.

My “i am mommy” blog might take a different turn this year, as I start to post more and more about family.  And about my growing family!

About little moments that may not mean anything to others, but mean the world to me.  (Like this one, with my Audrey and one of her namesakes, Grandma Audrey) The pictures and memories in the making that one day will hopefully mean as much to them as it does to me.  I will be sharing my faith, as I truly believe that anything that inspires and moves you deserves to be shared.

I dont have resolutions for 2013.  I know there will be trials and pain and loss just like I have faith that there will be highlights and joy and new life.

And lots and lots of laughter.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Time for a New Family Picture!

I dont think I ever shared this picture.

It was taken this summer, on a 90+ degree day, in our backyard.  The wonderful Yvette of Dilly Art Photography came over and did her best to capture some candid moments in our lives.  Which is never easy with four hyper kids!

It just occurred to me that this picture will be sorely incomplete in a few months, as we will be adding a new addition to our family.

And this time around, we are not finding out the gender!  At least thats the plan. I am not so good at “patience” and “waiting” and the “unknown”.  Yesterday I shared this on my baking blog and so many folks shared that they also waited to find out… and that it was completely worth it!  I am resting heavily on that knowledge now.

This pregnancy has not been easy,  but nothing worth having ever is right? :)

A beautiful friend shared this quote with me yesterday and it instantly brought tears to my eyes.

“I know the Lord does not give me anything I cant handle… I just wish He didnt trust me so much!”

-Mother Theresa

Thank you for that Jen!

 

I’ve Got News

You may or may not have noticed, but I have been absent.  Not blogging.  Not really facebooking.  Not tweeting.  Not Instagraming.  Not pinning.

And I have missed you.  Missed your kind words and your blogs and your awesome pins and seeing what you are up to on twitter.

And soon, I am hoping to get back in the groove again.   The separation anxiety has been too much.

Well, I might as well tell you why.

In about five months we will be gaining another member to our family.  We are pregnant!  Well, *I* am pregnant.  But my dear hubby has been picking up the slack like crazy for the last few months so he gets full credit too.

Although we are thrilled and beaming and so, so thankful for this blessing, it has not been easy.  I have been very sick.  Its been severe nausea/sickness and exhaustion and migraines and some other not so fun stuff.  For someone who suffers from motion sickness even when not preggers, this nausea has been debilitation for me.   I would look at my computer screen and get sick.  It got to the point where I had to hide my computer because the mere idea of being on it would make me sick.

But, as of the last couple days, things are starting to look up.  I am typing and not dizzy.  YAY!

The idea of baking doesn’t make me want to set my kitchen on fire so I will not have to go near it.  I mean, not that I thought that.  That would be crazy.

So hopefully, over the next five months, I will be able to get back to what I love.  Baking. Blogging.  And hanging out with you.

For the first time ever, we are planning on not finding out the gender of our newest miracle.  This being our fifth child, I think we will be able to handle it.  I mean, logistically.  Emotionally I might be in the fetal position in my closet eating cool ranch Doritos and ceasar salad (that has been my cravings of late) because I CANT TAKE THE SUSPENSE.

I might need to lean on you for support.  Please tell me you have done this and it didn’t make you crazy.  Because if there is the slightest chance it will be stressful I might start stalking our ulstrasound tech.

My husband and children have unanimously decided that its a girl.  However, we currently have three boys and one girl, so I think the odds are in favor of a boy.  I have no idea.  I have never guessed right with any of them!

But no matter what we are blessed with, we know he/she is already so completely and utterly loved.

And I just want to really apologize for how absent I have been.  I know I mentioned it before, but I sincerely miss you all.  Your comments and interaction in the iambaker community has been such a delight!  Getting to know you better is a true joy.

Oh, and one more thought. In making this cake I got to thinking… not only is this is fun “We’re Pregnant!” cake, but could also be a fun Gender Reveal cake!

Maybe I will just update this post when our new addition arrives! :)

***Just in case you want to know, I call this cake the Rose Cake.  Its an original cake the I created in Feb. of 2011 and have made many since!  You can see my full tutorial here, or my video tutorial here!

 

Advice to a New Mommy

A sweet blogging friend is about to have her first baby.  The beautiful and talented Jen from My Kitchen Addiction!

She will soon be experiencing her baby’s first coo, her first glance, her first smile.

(Original design credit to Amber Bracegirdle)

She is about to know what the old saying feels like, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” -Elizabeth Stone

And while I cant be there to help her with laundry or make her meals, but I can offer her some unsolicited advice.

Eat.  Dont forget to eat.  After my first child was born I cant tell you how many meals I prepared that I never ate.  Sandwiches on the counter.  Food in the microwave.  Pasta on the stove.  I would hear my sweet babies newborn cries and drop everything to sooth him.  But rest assured, he will wait thirty seconds while you finish that smoothie.  Nourish thyself, and you will be more able to take excellent care of her!

Share.  It was months before anyone got to hold my baby.  I want to say maybe even a year.  And even then it was only because they had to physically pry him away from me.  I was so completely in hopeless love with him that I had to have him near me at all time.  I knew what was best for him, and only me! (Ok, looking back I might have been a tad over dramatic.)  But it will be ok.  If your mom or your neighbor or your Fed Ex delivery guys wants to hold the baby, its ok.  They will give her back, promise.  And it will do you good to have a moment to see your angel loving cared for while you do nothing but look on and relax!

Write it Down. This is one of those, “Do as I say and not as I do”.  I didnt write things down because I was sure I would remember.  Well, I forgot.  Get a cheap notebook or a magnetic notepad for your fridge.  Write the date and whatever moment captured your attention.  It will take thirty seconds at most and will be priceless to you in the years to come!

If you are really, really motivated, grab your phone and snap a picture of your baby every day.  You can upload a “Photo 365″ journey app like this one.  All the hard work is done for you!

Reflect.  Take the time to stare into her eyes and be thankful for that moment.  Be thankful for her birth, for your amazing birth story, for every moment that led to her now being a part of your lives.

Enjoy how sacred and precious and wonderful this time is!

A few friends got together to celebrate  Virtual Baby Shower for Jen.  Be sure to stop by and see all the amazing dishes!

Bluebonnets & Brownies | Raspberry Lemon Fruit Dip
Sugarcrafter | Sweet Potato Cake with Honey Buttercream
My Baking Addiction | Mini Pumpkin Pies
Simple Bites | English Eccles Cakes
Stetted | Roasted Red Pepper and Caramelized Onion Dip
Food for my Family | Homemade Pear Italian Sodas with Cardamom Cream
eat. live. travel. write. | Goat Cheese and Tomato Tartlettes
Gimme Some Oven | Creamy Caramel Apple Dippers
Dessert For Two | Caramel Apple Cookie Cups
Bake at 350 | Soft Sugar Cookies for a Baby Shower
A Thought For Food | Fingerling Potato Salad
TidyMom | Apple Pomegranate Spritzers
Healthy Green Kitchen | Guacamole with Pistachios
Tracey’s Culinary Adventures | Caramelized Onion, Gruyere and Bacon Spread
What Megan’s Making | Apple Spice Muffins
Cookin’ Canuck | Gorgonzola Cheese Cups with Pear & Hazelnut Salad
Bellalimento | Frozen Berry Shortcake
Shugary Sweets | Caramel Apple Truffles
GoodLife Eats | Coconut Lemon Banana Bread

 

We love you Jen and are so excited for you!