Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just a thought...


Today Mommy is 34 weeks pregnant with you. That means that in a mere three weeks you will be considered a full term baby should you decide to grace us with your presence. I have a big conversation coming up with my Doctor concerning your arrival and when it should take place for the health and safety of me and the fact I have Crohns disease. I swore up and down that I would allow nature to take it's course for your arrival. I wanted you to come when you were ready and when my body was fully prepared for it to happen but now I must take into consideration whether you need a healthy Mommy or risk ending up with a sick Mommy. So many decisions I have had to make over the course of these last eight months pertaining to your well being and so many more that are yet to come. I have already started putting your needs in front of my own. Money that was gifted to me over the holidays has been spent on you and I don't regret it for a second...I only wish I could do more for you as I am sure most all parents feel.

I am starting to drive Daddy a little on the crazy side. Even though your nursery still hasn't been completed I can't help but walk by and open up the door and just stand there in awe of what it is about to become and the countless hours you and I will spend in there just gazing upon one another. He quickly walks by and shuts the door not understanding my need to keep the door open. You are the light of my life already and I can't even begin to understand how much that will grow once I have you in my arms.

You have so many people anxiously awaiting your arrival. Your Aunt Nikki and Aunt Heather are just as excited as we are and your Uncle Matt and Uncle Steve, well they have become very protective of you already. I think Aunt Megan is just excited to share your arrival with all of her friends and shout proudly from the roof tops that she is an Aunt...silly teenagers!

We won't even begin to discuss how your Grandparents are doing. Your Grandpa Blankenship no longer cares about my well being, it's "how is my Granddaughter doing, you keep her safe". Grandma B is just as excited, she is stocking up for your arrival and I fear that she may snatch you one day and not give you back. She proudly showed off the bumpers for your cradle and the quilt that a friend made for her, all that is to be kept at her house, on Christmas. And she kept saying she wanted a boy, I think she has gotten over that rather nicely. Your Papaw takes pride in reminding me that I am carrying precious cargo...or "his" granddaughter as he says. There was great debate on Christmas about what your nickname would be. Dylan is currently going by pickle, and Mya, your soon to be cousin goes by peanut...he informed me that you would go by pumpkin. I guess we have a letter p thing going on here and in true fashion it must revolve around food.

Your Daddy is slowly coming around. Deep down inside he's excited, he just doesn't show it. I think it's a man thing and he says it will all change the minute he sees you for the first time. After the few short seconds you will be laid upon my chest at birth you will be going straight to your Daddy's arms. I will have gotten to hold you for the past nine months at that point so it's only fair that he gets his turn and that it takes place after I have kicked the few people that will be in the room out on their fannies...hopefully Grandma B, Aunt Nikki, and Aunt Heather will understand.

Daddy has now compared you to your four legged brothers and sadly it's somewhat true. The boys know when it's time to be fed, they harass you and run around like crazed animals until you give in and just feed them already. After they have full tummies they are out for the count, curled up like precious bundles scattered around the living room. It's those moments of peace that Mommy treasures...those few hours that I don't want to skin them alive for destroying something. Sadly Addison, you are the same way. When its time to eat you slowly start moving about in my tummy and during the time in which I am feeding the both of us, you grow more fierce in your movements to the point Mommy is in pain and can barely eat. Shortly after finishing though you settle down nicely until we must start the process all over again. At least your nice to Mommy when it's lights out, you must like your sleep like I do. Please continue with that after your arrival!

Anyway, I just wanted to remind you how loved you are and how excited we are to finally meet you. Life for everyone is about to change for the better in just a few short weeks.

Love Always,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Momma's on a roll!

Today was a very good shopping today at the Blankenship homestead. Not only did I save about $100 on Addison's car seat/stroller but I also saved $60 on her baby swing.

Our next baby shower is on January 10th which will be here before I know it. I still can't believe how close we are to meeting our little girl. A few more things to buy and we should be all set.

Friday, December 25, 2009

33 Weeks and counting!

Here I am below at 33 weeks pregnant . I can't believe that in seven weeks I will be holding my little bundle of joy.

Until then take a look at this little bundle of joy...I could just eat him up he's so darn cute!

He was way to busy to smile for the camera in that last picture. His priority at the time was chewing on his fingers and watching TV.

Hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Ours was wonderful and full of family, more family tomorrow which is great.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Well the cookie thing didn't go as planned as I am sure you all can tell. I did make several of the cookies but I just never got around to actually blogging about them. It's been a very stressful week at our house and the enthusiasm that I had for my holiday baking was flushed down the toilet along with my vehicle.

Yes, my vehicle has temporarily been sent to it's maker...quite literally, it's sitting at the Chevy dealership as we speak. Due to stupidity on our part my three year old vehicle with only 30,000 miles on it has to have a complete engine overhaul at the tune of $5000. Like most families right now $5000 might as well be a million dollars. The money is available if we need it thanks to our 401K's but I refuse to touch that money unless we absolutely have to as we can't really afford the interest payments or having that extra money taken out of our paychecks each month to pay it back. Thankfully my in-laws have a car that they have graciously allowed us to use while we weigh our options and Daniel is hoping that by some miracle he and a few of the others boys will be able to fix the motor without having to replace the entire thing. The problem is the vehicle is going to be stored at my Uncle Dan and Aunt Robins and with these guys working full time, fixing our vehicle will be a weekend project only. The day the news was delivered to us was a very, very bad day but since then we have come to terms with the Equinox's fate and after having a much needed conversation about monetary expenses we have come up with ways to save money that will begin right after Christmas.

The first being no carpet for the babies room. She isn't exactly going to be in there just yet so we're cleaning up the ceramic tile that is in there currently and buying an area rug just to help our poor feet when we are in the there changing diapers. I guess the former owners laid carpet down over the tile for a reason...can you imagine if we just had the bare concrete. The second cost saving measure is groceries! The one joy I had and it's being taken from There are going to be a lot of casseroles in our future and we are going to start shopping at Aldi's in order to reduce our costs. Farewell Jungle Jim's...I will be back one day!

It is on that note that I have decided to take a bit of a break from the food blogging world. Sure I will have the occasional post since one of the new groceries rules is no more store bought baked goods, they are cheaper to make at home and provide us with a lot more for our buck. Another reason is the little girl currently growing in my belly. Our due date isn't until February 10th but the way my body is currently reacting it appears that she may make her appearance sometime next month. She is already head down and face down and trust me when I say body is gearing up for the delivery...I can barely walk because of all of the changes "down there". The fact I am a Crohns patient is another reason why I fear an early delivery. Allowing this child to go to term can do some serious damage to my insides from pushing, so I may not be allowed to go all the way into February. The goal is not to have a c-section however because of my health issue the longer I go, the greater my chances of having one are.

I look at the drama we have had this past week along with the upcoming, possible early arrival of our daughter and I am well aware that things could be much worse even though I felt like throwing in the towel at the time.

Who cares that I can't just go to the grocery whenever I want or that I have to get a second job once the baby is here and then stress about having a c-section. I have a roof over my head, a job that allows me to pay our bills...just not the new engine, and even with a c-section...a healthy baby that I will get to love for the rest of my time here on earth. Christmas isn't just about the gifts. It's about stepping back and realizing that in the grand scheme of things, life can be much worse. I have a wonderful husband (even though we have our days of turmoil), a supportive and loving family who is generous beyond their means, wonderful friends and co-workers, and most importantly, a child who I thought I would never be blessed with who is busting at my seams ready to come out and join this party! How can a person ever be miserable with all of that?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each of every one of my blogging buddies. May God bless each and every one of you with good health, a happy home, and wonderful people to fill that home with! If I am not back with new recipes in the next month or so you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be back with a big announcement and a picture of a very loved little lady who will be all mine...and Daniels I guess since he did help to create her!

Oh yeah...get your oil changed! That has now become my new motto since all of this engine crap started. If I can save you $5000 then I will sleep better at night! :) It makes me feel a little like Bob Barker/Drew Carey when they say, "don't forget...have your pet spayed or neutered...good bye everybody!"

Monday, December 14, 2009


Can you tell these past few weeks haven't been very eventful...haven't posted since November. I apologize Uncle Dan...I'm a bad baby updater!

Anyway, I have had two ultrasounds since and an appointment or two since my last post so I guess it's about time I share some information.

Everything remains good, my blood pressure is excellent and swelling is relatively minor at this point in the game. The only thing that seems to be swelling are my feet/ankles and I only notice it at the end of the day. I blame it on having to sit at a desk for eight hours a day with little to no movement unless I am getting up to use the ladies room or grabbing something off of the printer. I should really move around more!

Anyway, I passed my glucose test with an 84, 140 being the cut off before they start looking at you for gestational diabetes, so that was pretty awesome. I have had my RhoGAM shot so that is over and done with. It wasn't so bad, before I knew it the nurse was slapping on a band-aid and the sucker didn't even leave a mark. It still cracks me up how nervous I get about needles, you would think I would be a pro by now but they still bother me a little bit. It was worse this time since it had been awhile since I have had a shot, actually it's been a long while, try freshman year of college, so even though they say the needles stuck in you for blood draws or my infusions are worse, I was still somewhat panicked about it and would have much rather had my blood drawn.

*Ultrsound pic from November 11th I don't think I ever shared with you. Today was yet another ultrasound and the little lady is once again measuring with a delivery date of February 10th, gee I wonder why my Doctor won't listen to me. She still says my due date is the 18th, I guess my dates and all of the ultrasounds aren't proof enough. We are actually prepping ourselves for a January delivery, not sure why, but I just have this gut feeling that she will be here at the end of January sometime. Not that it really matters what I feel or the tech determines by ultrasound, I figure she will come when she is good and ready and just to be stubborn she will probably come right on the 18th to make her Mother look foolish. She comes from a very long line of stubborn ass' so I wouldn't expect any different...LOL.

She is measuring right on track with a weight just under four pounds. I still can't believe I have something inside of me that large...then she knocks me in the bladder and I remember that yes, I do have something that large inside of me. She is head down and face down so she is ready to go...I wonder if she realizes she has another eight weeks yet...who knows what her rush is (once again the whole January delivery flashes in my mind)! Maybe it's because it's Christmas and she isn't to thrilled about missing out on the festivities. Or could it be because Daddy selfishly mentioned that her arrival before the 31st would be nice because we could claim her on our taxes? I have forbidden her from coming until the carpet is down in her room and the crib is put together and ready to go...we will see who she listens to...Mom or Dad. On another cute note, she has hair and what the ultrasound tech said appears to be lots. The tech asked me, "do you see all of those squiggly, fuzzy lines around her head?", "yes" I replied, "that's her hair" she pointed out. That is very reassuring since both her Mom and Dad had lots of hair that stood on end when born. In fact Daniel's Mom mentioned that if this baby was born with no hair and it didn't stand up on end, then Daniel wasn't the father...LOL. Further proof that yes folks, my husband is the father of my unborn child.

Her heartbeat was a good 153 but unfortunately due to her size and the lack of space she has left we were unable to get any really good pictures. We didn't even get a glance at her face since she was head down. I thought it was really cute when the tech stopped the probe for the ultrasound right over top of her head. You could actually see Addison rotate her head back and forth in my cervix. It was like she had an itch and she was rubbing her nose to relieve it. Just like her younger brother I tell you. Lennon has a bad habit of scratching his nose by rubbing it back and forth on the couch, it appeared that she was doing the same.

So there we go, oh wait, I have not gained anymore weight since the nine pound event in November. The Doctor said it wasn't unusual to have a large increase like that and since I hadn't gained any since then chances are it was most likely water retention.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cookie #2

I know, I know, I'm a little behind with this cooking baking deal that I promised everyone but honestly did you expect any differently? Procrastination...isn't it wonderful? Anyway, here is cookie number two and it is really yummy.

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles~

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

I got a little under three dozen cookies out of this batch which means lots of snickerdoodles to munch on during the week!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

We tried out another new recipe this week and I must say it was pretty tasty. Another one of Daniel's favorite is fish. He'll eat just about any fish there is and unfortunately having not grown up being served fish I don't cook much of it. We have both agreed that when Addison is old enough to start eating big kid food she will be forced to try different things, she may not like it but she needs to at least try it. We don't want her to be afraid to try new and exotic things when she's older. Since I married Daniel I will admit my tastes have improved because he has forced me to try things I wouldn't have touched before...can somebody say fried I don't want my daughter to be 26 years old before she tries something so we're starting her off early.

Like I said he loves fish and I have slowly been trying my hardest to incorporate it more into our meals. Thursday I made this broiled tilapia parmesan and I actually enjoyed it. I always know when Daniel enjoyed something because when he does he always tells me "good dinner". This is definitely going to be going into rotation!

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan~

1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1/4 C. butter, softened
3 tbsp. mayo
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 garlic power*
1-2 dashs hot sauce*
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. celery salt
2 lbs. tilapia fillets

1.) Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

*Were my own little additions!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BBQ Pulled Chickenx2

Today I made the most wonderful pulled chicken in the slow cooker that I have ever tasted and what makes it even better is there is enough for two very different meals. Tonight we are just eating pulled chicken sandwiches but tomorrow...oh my goodness tomorrow...we are trying it a new way and I can't wait to share it with you.

Anyway, this was so simple and the best slow cooker did the majority of the work. I filled the sucker up at 11:30 and by 4:30 the chicken was so tender it was breaking apart when I was spooning it out to shred. The juice it created was another story...was it wrong of me to take a couple of sips and save a glass for later. BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes are so good, but than again that may just be one of my weird things.

Katie's Pulled BBQ Chicken~

2 bottles BBQ sauce*
6 md. to lg. pieces of frozen chicken...yes frozen!
1 cup water
1 lg. onion thinly sliced in half

1.) Pour some BBQ sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker and then layer chicken, onion, and more BBQ sauce. Add water. Only use one bottle of sauce for this step.
2.) Turn slow cooker to high and allow to cook for 4 hours.
3.) Remove chicken and 3/4 of your onions from sauce and shred. Set aside half of your chicken and store for later making sure to add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid to help keep it most.
4.) Add one to two cups of rice to remaining juices, cover and allow to cook on high until rice has absorbed liquid, it took about 10 minutes for mine. Keep your eye on the rice to prevent it from burning!! Once liquid is fully absorbed add a handful of shredded cheese and mix to allow the cheese to melt.
5.) Add about a half a cup or so of extra BBQ sauce from the second bottle to chicken and mix. Serve on bun of your choice with rice and a nice green salad as your sides.

* I used two 18 ounce bottles of regular Budweiser BBQ sauce. I allowed my husband to pick it out, can you tell??

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Katie's Smothered Porkchops

I enjoy pork chops however I seem to be in rut when cooking them. I pretty much just season them up and brown in some butter and call it a day. I don't think Daniel could take eating another pork chop cooked this way so I thought it was about time I try something different. I did a mental scan of everything I had stocked in the pantry and this is what I came up with. These were awesome served over pasta but can you imagine if it was served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of the keyboard! Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Katie's Smothered Pork Chops~

4-6 boneless pork chops
6 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 md. onion, thinly sliced in half
1 pint of baby bella mushrooms
1/3 C. beer
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

1.) In a large skillet add 3 tbsp. butter and begin browning pork chops seasoned to your liking.
2.) Remove pork chops from skillet once browned on each side, add onion and mushrooms to pan along with the remainder of the butter. Allow onions and mushrooms to soften. Add beer and seasonings.
3.) Allow beer to cook down for roughly ten minutes and then add crushed tomatoes.
4.) Add pork chops back to sauce and simmer for thirty minutes allowing all of the flavors to blend together.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cookie #1

Cookie number one has been baked and is ready to go. I must say for as simple as this cookie is it packs a powerful flavor punch. For those of you who like lemon anything this is the cookie for you. The downfall is that people will know when you have had one because the powdered sugar drops all over your "girls", or wait...maybe that is a problem that only I have...LOL.

Lemon Coolers~

1 (18.25 oz.) package lemon cake mix
1 (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1 egg
2 cups powdered sugar, I only needed about one cup.

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together cake mix, whipped topping and egg. Drop by teaspoonfuls into bowl of confectioners' sugar and coat. Shape into balls. (Putting dough in the freezer for a few minutes really helps)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not brown.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tis' the Season

I absolutely adore this time of year. I think it has something to do with the Christmas carols, decorations, and the sense of family that seems so strong during these times. Another one of my favorite things about the Christmas season are cookies, lots and lots of cookies, and I think my husband couldn't agree more.

I am going to branch out of just doing cookies and hopefully incorporate quick breads to go along with all of the other baked goodness in our home. I am excited for our 2nd annual cookie exchange as well as baking for gifts and those just because moments.

I have compiled a list of items I hope to make during the next 24 days. Thank goodness my MIL Sue stocked piled our freezer with butter, I do believe I will use every last pound over the course of these next few weeks. The goal is to make two to three different kinds each week, I will be more than happy if I can knock out one. I have listed each cookie that will be made for each week but in true Katie fashion, please do not hold this to me as things change with my moods daily...LOL. For all I know I may not feel like snickerdoodles on snickerdoodle day and instead throw together some peanut butter cookies...who knows, it's all a part of the fun!

Week One:

Festive Shortbread- Can you go wrong with shortbread?

Lemon Coolers- My sister Nikki loves lemon and this seemed really refreshing.

Double Chocolate Cookies by Eagle Brand- Double chocolate...enough said!

Week Two:

Dutch Apple Loaf- I have a bushel of apples coming my way, need recipes to use them up in.

Snickerdoodles- Simple and easy to make, what child doesn't love cinnamon and sugar combined?

Peppermint Cookies- Cookies with a nice little crunch.

Week Three:

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies- The family favorite which I have never made all by myself.

Traditional Christmas Sugar Cookie- Because everyone needs to decorate cookies at least once during the season!!

Strawberry Bread- I love strawberries and who can resist a layer of cream cheese goodness in between layers?

I am still deciding if week one will start this week or if I will push it off until next Monday. If that is the case I will do my best to knock one recipe out this week that may or may not be listed above. That will also mean some additions for the week of Christmas. Here are a few more that I would like to include but we will see how far I get. I wanted to share them just in case they float your boat further than the items listed above!

Muddy Buddies- Something sweet to munch on without having to babysit the oven!

Holiday Tree Brownies- For those of us that don't necessarily have to bake from scratch to enjoy a good treat. I will save these for the cookie exchange since we all sit around and decorate then!

Holiday Thumbprints- These are most definitely going into rotation, it's a just matter of when.

I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew? My kitchen aid is definitaly going to get a workout this month and can I let you in on a little secret? I can't wait!!!!!

What are some of your favorite holiday baked goods that you find yourself making year after year? Feel free to share the links or the actual recipe so that everyone else can enjoy!

Here are some of the sites I stumbled upon the recipes at! For those of you with young children or who are young at heart like myself...whoever said Santa doesn't exist needs to be whipped, here is a great site to visit.