Wednesday, September 30, 2009

yummy hummus recipe

I have been munching on hummus and pita chips all day. Thought I would share this great recipe I found.

Spicy Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 (15 oz) can drained garbanzo beans
1 (4 oz) jar roasted red peppers
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. tahini butter
1 clove garlic
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (I used about 1/4 t.)
1/4 t. salt
2-3 T. olive oil (I added this extra)

Mix it all in the food processor or blender. Top with chopped parsley before serving if you wanted to make it fancy!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

weekend renovation project(s)

Do you all remember from the previous post about our upstairs before and after pictures? Well our renovations just got a little more extreme.

Unfortunately, the upstairs addition to our house was done without a city permit back in 2007. We think 2007 because the pieces of sheet rock that we took down yesterday had March 2007 dates on them. The stairs and the two upstairs rooms were not done to code. When we bought our house, we got a great deal on it because we did not have an inspection done. We don't regret not having that inspection, but we have found so many things that need fixed because of a shoddy job that was done on it. It looks pretty, but when you start getting in behind the walls and realize that the bad wiring and insulation jobs could set your house on fire at any moment, it gets scary. Thank goodness Scott is handy, because these are not cheap projects!

The upstairs is not temperature regulated with a thermostat although it does have ventilation. Because the roof is directly on the other side of the ceiling, it gets pretty hot in the Texas summer heat. It is insulated, but not with a radiant barrier. Our project this weekend was to take the ceiling down. There was no need to preserve the pieces of sheet rock because they put up 1/2" instead of the fire protective 5/8" ceiling sheet rock that would make it to code.

You would think that this picture is a finished project compared to what you are about to see below, but it is not. These are before pictures.

Once we realized it was 1/2" and not 5/8" we got after the demolition. And it was so hot up there. We were sweating so much. There is at least a 20 degree difference between up and down.
Screws were my job. Although, I did rip an entire piece of sheet rock down all by myself with my incredibly ridiculous strength!!
An hour and a half later, we had the entire ceiling down and what seemed like 5,000 screws.
We are kind of debating on whether to take this door and wall down. It would make the room bigger and roomier. If it isn't structural we are going to do it. What do you think? We want to make this big room an entertainment area and a guest room divided with Soji screens. It is plenty of room and privacy upstairs even without the wall. It just seems kind of awkward to come up the stairs into the claustrophobic, dimly lit hallway where you have to duck to go either right or left into a room. For now, until we can get the sheet of foil radiant barrier and the new sheet rock, this is how the room will stay.
As if that project wasn't enough, he just had to start tearing down the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen today. Thankfully, it came off in easy sheets. The ceilings in our house are all connected. So instead of popcorning the ceiling where he fell through into the hallway a few months ago and replaced that portion, we opted to take off the very dated popcorn all the ceilings. This also is a messy project. A lot of sneezing involved.
But, when it is all said and down (who knows when...probably years) we agree that our house will look pretty awesome and definitely not be a hazard. We will have a lot of equity in it that is for sure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my soul smiles


Today is the fall equinox and I am lovin' every bit of this cool weather! This big pot of soup is to celebrate.

I made the soup when it was storming so badly last night. Every time it rains, pieces of our back yard fall to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt.

I was so proud of myself for cleaning and organizing the pantry on Sunday afternoon. Even though we have only been in this house for about 7 months, it was getting a bit cluttered in there. I am all stocked up on beans though!

Some of you may know that I have blog contests on my Bellies In Bloom blog everyone once in a while. I have been poking around some other blogs and decided to enter the Dallas Etsy Two Year Anniversary contest. Out of 195 entries, I WON!!! And, this FedEx box arrived on my doorstep today. It was like Christmas. I waited until Scott got home late this evening to open all 14 of the individually wrapped presents. I never win these things.....I got lucky!!! What goes around comes around I guess.

Then, after I carefully unwrapped each gift made by all different creative artists in Dallas, I laid everything out to admire it all. Everything here is handmade. I love it! Sometimes it amazes me how creative people can be. Check out their blog here!

At lunch, Scott brought home some gifts his client brought him from Japan and Mexico. Definitely interesting. Candy that looks like sushi, tequila, wine, ice cream that you shake up and put in the freezer then eat...not too sure on that one???, and some other random things. Guess we shall see about all that. I may have to pass.

Then he brought home his Texas Wesleyan 08-09 conference champion ring tonight. He helped coach them last year and got a ring from it. This year he will be coaching at a private high school in Fort Worth. College ball schedules get a little bit out of control.

What a great day! Full of great weather and fun surprises.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

i heart the rain

Now it is a humid because it rained all weekend. I think from Friday morning until literally Sunday night it rained non-stop here in Fort Worth. Apparently, that isn't normal for Texas. Scott says this is a first for him. I love it! I love rain. I believe that fall is my favorite season. I love brisk, cool, football weather. I am not a fan of hot seasons and in Texas we have about 9 months of what I would call hot. With all the rain, we got to thinking about how it reminds us of Arkansas. It rains in Arkansas a lot....or so we remember anyway. There are many things that I miss about, the smell of the air, the Razorbacks, friends, the natural things, Pilates, the beautiful scenery and changing of seasons, and the list just goes on.....I get so many things done with the weather is nice out. I did all the laundry yesterday and got my house all in order for no particular reason other than I felt like it.

Yesterday I read a blog about a girl and her husband who are trying fertility treatments to get pregnant. I am hoping never to have to think about that. Plus, the cost is too great for us and without health insurance you can pretty much forget about it. But, I have decided to get serious about my own fertility treatments. So, yesterday I took my first Yoga class in a very long time. My eating habits are about to drastically change as well, and I am going to do something every day that will help me to relax and focus on all the good. Scott has a very care free attitude about getting pregnant. I can only hope to get to be more like that very soon. It can become very consuming to want to get pregnant. I never knew the thoughts and emotions that are behind the scenes of the road to becoming pregnant until I was actually on that road myself. But, seriously, I am taking new steps to become less preoccupied with fertitily and more preoccupied with the here and the now.

Oh, the ramblings of my day....thanks for living in it with me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

moms and babies...that's what I do

I normally only write about my work related events on Bellies In Bloom, but I had such a fantastic birth today that it warranted telling you all the story.

About a week and a half ago I got a call from a mom to be who was due in three days. She had a previous cesarean birth with her son and after much reading and discussing with her husband they thought that a doula would be very helpful for them for the VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) birth they desired to have with their daughter. Usually I get weeks to prepare with clients, but these were special circumstances because we were so close to the due date.

In her eighth month of her pregnancy she changed care providers from her doctor to a group of midwives who practice at a local hospital. (Side note: changing care providers late in pregnancy is always an option if you are not satisfied. As long as the baby is still inside of you, you have choices. Get the kind of care and birth that you desire!) So, after she changed groups, she decided to look into a doula. Thanks to a referral from a previous client, she was led to me.

As her "due date" came and went, she was visiting the midwives to assure that her pregnancy was still going well and that she and baby were fine. Of course, everything checked out and she was given 14 days past her "due date" before they would do any sort of medical intervention.

On Friday, six days past her "due date", she had an appointment with the midwives for stress testing. Her cervix was dilated to a four, but she and baby were fine and she was not in active labor so she went home. I went over to her house to work with her. She had taken Castor oil, been walking, and was ready for anything more at that point. I arrived early in the afternoon and worked with her for several hours doing acupressure and labor enhancing massage techniques. She was having contractions and things were seeming to move forward, but when the evening approached, I felt it best to let her rest and try and get a good nights sleep in case labor did come on. I did not want her to be too tired for what was ahead of her.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to find I had not received a call in the night. When I called her that morning, she told me she had gotten a good nights rest and that she felt that things had progressed in the night. I told her I would come later that afternoon to work with her more unless her labor started before then. At about 4:00 that afternoon, I went back over to work with her some more. This time not much was happening. The contractions were few and far between and she did not feel as though they were as productive as they had been the day before. Her mother and sister arrived at about 8:00pm. Again, I decided that it would be best for her to rest and at 9:00pm I left them for the evening with instructions for she and her husband to take a walk and relax.

On Sunday morning at 2:24am, I received a call from her husband telling me that contractions had picked up. I didn't get much information other than they were coming on stronger than ever, but told them I would head over to help them labor at home, and it was their call on whether to head to the hospital at that point. It took me about 10 minutes get dressed and head out the door. I said many prayers on the way. I was unusually calm as I drove down the road in the middle of the night. The streets were bare and the rain was falling. I had a good feeling that this was going to be okay. Just as I approached the highway to turn left toward their home, he called and told me they were headed to the hospital. I could tell there was no time for talking and I told them I would see them there. I took a right onto the highway instead of a left and headed to the hospital downtown. I parked in the parking garage, which can be kind of scary at that time of night. My birth bag was in the trunk and I wasn't sure what to take out of it or take the whole thing in. I popped the trunk, hurried out of my car, grabbed the bag and got back in my car and locked the doors. I searched for a couple of minutes through my bag before deciding just to take the whole thing in. After all, there is no telling how long these births can last. With my cell phone in hand and my purse and birth bag tucked tightly against me, I headed for the parking garage elevators down to the ground level and into the hospital. I was greeted by a security guard. He asked me who I was coming to see. I said "I am a doula, and I need to get to maternal observation." "A doula?" he replied. Well, once we got that all straightened out, I was off to meet them on the maternity floor. I waited in maternal observation. When I saw the dad behind the double doors I got my things and went on back. He rushed past and told me he was headed to the restroom and she was in room 4. I thought I heard room 4, but then I second guessed what I had heard when I got down the hall. Then I heard the moans of a woman in labor and he nurses in the room calling her name. I knocked on the door and two nurses suddenly yelled at me to move the wheel chair in the hall out of the way and that the baby was crowning. They were telling my client not to push as they rushed her in the bed down the hall to labor and delivery. I ran with her, leaving her husband behind. I wasn't really sure what to do, but felt she needed someone with her, so it was with her that I stayed. As she approached L&D the nurses rolling her bed were shouting, "she is crowning!" About six nurses rushed into her room and I moved off to the side while they got her squared away. They pulled up her gown and I could see the baby's head. Her mom and her husband got to the room and we all squeezed past nurses to get up next to her as she began to push.

At 3:24am, just one hour after I received the phone call, they were holding their baby girl in their arms. She did it! She had a VBAC! It was a success for them and for me, as now I can say that I had my first VBAC and it was successful doulaing experience and they can go on to have many more children vaginally as they plan to.

When we all settled down after the birth to admire the baby, I sat on the sofa next to my unopened birth bag. You just never know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

too busy to blog

Too busy working on the house, having gatherings, and working that is...

But, the good thing is that I have taken some pictures of all the happenings. Henry is still in town, so he hooked us up with some sweet tunes for our bbq this evening.

I wish I could claim that I took these precious pictures of the kids, but I haven't seen them since June. They are just getting so big. Grandma and Grandpa T. took these and I borrowed them and made some prints for the fridge.

I think there is a picture of Heidi that looks just like this one hanging in my parents house on the stairs! Too cute! Miss those kiddos!

G and G T. just had a new litter of pups. Who can resist those cuddly little things? But, Scott says a medium sized dog costs $16,000 throughout the course of their lifetime and therefore has vetoed me on getting a dog.

Is this not the cutest picture of bro and sis?

The hall bathroom has been one of our first house projects. I seemed pretty "safe". (I say safe because the only danger was paint fumes, no ceiling incidents here!) So, with Henry in town, we decided to tackle it. This picture was taken before we moved in. Kind of sad and in definite need of some TLC.

It then evolved into this hodge-podge of odds and ends decor. Leftover mirrors, hand me downs, and eclectic accessories. It wasn't so bad until my shorter clients were having a hard time seeing themselves in the mirror when coming for massages. Scott had it positioned just right for our 13" height difference. But, we use this bathroom the most since our master, well, let's just say it's out of commission for the time being. We decided that the bathroom needed a fixin'. We had some leftover paint from the house we were supposed to buy last year that fell through. It was just sitting in the garage and needed to be put to good use.

So, River Stone Blue it was! The fronts of the drawers screwed off and I was put to work sanding and painting. They look pretty shnazzy now, if you ask me.

Although, painting under the pecan trees in the backyard is not recommended for future projects.

This is what we came up with for our finished product. We have searched high and low for that perfect bath mats, but so far we've come up empty handed. The new cabinet paint is just the shade of off white that makes white mats look crumby. It is one of those "we'll know it when we see it" kind of deals. So far, we haven't seen it.

Tonight we had a little bbq party in our backyard. Everyone spread out on blankets and lawn chairs. We had grub from the grill and were entertained by some fine blue grass tunes from Henry's guitar. It was a great night with good food and good friends. A bit hot, but we sweat it out. Unfortunately, I was too busy being hostess to take any other pictures. Hopefully my friends snapped some keepers.

After everyone left, Francesca insisted that remaining of us "sit" and listen to Henry. It was funny to hear her say "Scott, sit down". We had a knee-slappin' time!