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Archive for September, 2013

I’m a Gamer Girl

Yep, some of you might not know of my gamer side, but I am a gamer. It started with the CCG, Magic the Gathering. I learned to play on my sister’s Alpha and Beta cards. I didn’t play again on my own until 5th Ed. Cardboard crack we called it. Nearly all my babysitting money went to these cards. Back then, I was one of the few females to frequent the gaming store. Yep, I got hit on a lot and have a collection of dice that were given to me just because I was a girl in the store. The ignorant comments were ignored and once I was considered a regular, I had my band of gaming brothers who had my back. I quit around 7th Ed because some players were playing for strategy while I played for the fun of it. That and my money needed to be better spent on college.

Around this same time I was introduced to a table top RPG that was Christian based, totally cannot remember the name of it but I liked it. Then came text based RPGs, Vaxia in particular. That game was so enjoyable, a pure escape from reality. I really think it kept me from being an angst-y teenager. Here was this site that allowed many people to essentially collaborate on weaving a grand story. It was beautiful! FYI, it is still around, mommy hood keeps me from returning and that is ok. 🙂

When I married GamerDad, DnD was introduced to me and again, I loved it. By far, Eberon is my favorite campaign setting with Artificer as my favorite class. We also played Wheel of Time, more enjoyable than the books in my opinion.

When we made our first PCS overseas, we played WoW. Man did we play the heck out of that MMO! I quit that one while pregnant with our oldest. It was not fun doing dungeons as a level 60, dwarf priest and having to pee every five minutes.

We have dabbled into Guild Wars and would like to play it more should nap time ever become consistent again.

Now we play Pathfinder with our gaming group. Yesterday, another female gamer of the group was out of commission so we watched The Gamers 3. It dabbles into quite a bit of the gaming world: CCG, table top, and LARP. Natalie, the sole female CCG player reminded me of how it was when I played MtG. Only, she is about 10 years older, snarky, and more ballsy. Lots of happy memories came flooding back and some of the others in the group reminisced of the MtG days. Good times! See, gamers can be social!

My point to all this is that gaming is amazing and fun. Being a female in the gaming world isn’t easy, but I have been fortunate to find groups that respect the female presence. When I was younger, females weren’t respected much. There is still sexism in the gaming world, but if you find the right folks it doesn’t exist. In our group, I can nurse my daughter uncovered. Yes, there is some akwardness, but that is fading as everyone gets used to it. I love begging a gamer and hope our kiddos become gamers too.

God bless!

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Yes, I bring you pumpkin again! This time in the form of lactation cookies that boost the supply of nursing mamas.

I simply took this recipe and put in a bag of my purée (see previous post on how to do that). One bag of 1 1/2C is about one can of the stuff you get at the store. To compensate for the moisture of the pumpkin, I added 1/2C more wheat flour and 1C more rolled oats. The extra yummies I added in are white chocolate chips and pecans. I did not measure them out, but it was probably 1/3C each. Of course, the go-to pumpkin-y spices were added too (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves). I was tempted to toss in some ginger but decided not to.

What’s so great about these? Well, first there’s the pumpkin, duh! 😉 The best part for my readers who hate the taste of beer from the brewer’s yeast (who are you?!) will find the taste is minimized/gone completely. I was hoping for a pumpkin beer flavor but the yeast got over powered by pumpkin. FYI, 4T of the yeast was put in this batch too.

Happy Baking!

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Horray! It is fall! I LOVE autumn! Pumpkins kinda steal the show, at least they do at my house. A couple of years ago, I challenged myself to make all my baked goods from scratch as much as possible (no pre-made stuff from cans or boxes). Ta-da, broke my crutch of canned pumpkin! Now you can too!

Start with a standard pie pumpkin, not the huge ones you see for carving.

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Then, slice the stem off, but not too deep.

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Slice it in half like this:

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Scoop out the “guts” and save them in a bowl for later!

Plop the halves of pumpkin cut side down on a greased cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 375* for 30-45 minutes. When you can easily stab into the pumpkin, it is ready.

Wait for it to cool a bit and scoop out the “meat” and put it in your food processor, discard the skin.

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Add in water a little at a time and let your food processor do its thing. Then you’ll get this:

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Store in freezer bags or small, air tight containers. I put about a cup and a half in per bag because that is about what you get from a can. That way, if a recipe calls for a can of purée, you can thaw out your bag (I leave it frozen and plop the pumpkin cube into a bowl minus the bag to thaw so none is wasted) and pour it into your recipe.

Now, here is what a real pumpkin pie looks like:

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Do you see that dayglo orange?! Nope! That’s because this is as pure as you can get! No preservatives either. Isn’t that nice?! The taste will blow you away too!

Oh, back to the guts in the bowl. Put the seeds on a greased cookie sheet, salt them, and roast at 375* until golden brown. Toss the remaining guts and you are done.

Cheaper and healthier for the win! Added bonus, since you are doing more kitchen work, it is more calories burned than you cracking open a can.

God Bless!

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Today marks four weeks since we welcomed our daughter into our arms. I am in denial about that. Up there, that’s me, frumpy, but me.

Most days, I feel like Lynette from Desperate Housewives. You know, kid clinging to one leg, nursing baby in arm, spots of spit-up all over, frazzled hair, and a tired face. I love it though. Besides, chasing the kids around and nursing burns calories.

I do not know what the scale says today, but last Friday I was 10.5 pounds from my first goal. Wahoo! I have also joined my fellow BBC mamas on a weight loss challenge. A great deal of us are using LoseIt and keeping each other motivated.

It has been difficult taming down my love for pumpkin. I bought five pie pumpkins and puréed them. Next came pumpkin lactation cookies and plain ol’ pumpkin cookies for the boys since I seem to always make “milk cookies.” Blog posts to follow with those bits too. Moderation is key. Pumpkin tummies are well and good, but nomming on half a batch of lactation cookies is not ok! No, I haven’t gone that far, but half a dozen…yep, a weakness!! Time to tame the nursing cravings (it is true, cravings still occur after baby is in your arms) and show them I am in control.

God bless!

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We most recently took a dive into the land of “crunchy.” It started with cloth diapers, then cloth wipes that I made myself, to homemade gripe water and diaper ointment, and lots more (dish soap and laundry soap too).

I have now started to make my own Kind and Larabars at home too as they have been my favorite nursing snack, but I do not enjoy the price tag.

Back to CDing (cloth diapering for those who don’t know). Our stash started with GoGreens. Then I did research and almost everyone said, “newborns cannot fit one size (OS) diapes.” I was determined to find OS pockets that a newborn could get into. Then I saw GlowBugs, spitting image of GoGreen, but trimmer and a 360 degree gusset to ensure you have zero leaks. Yep, bought those too. And since CDing is addictive, I found a sale on Kawaiis through another BabyCenter mama. They are targeted to fit 6lbs and up. The only thing I didn’t like when I clicked “purchase” was that they were Velcro closures (a Godsend at night!).

I packed the GlowBugs and Kawaiis in the hospital bag. Before we were discharged, baby girl was sporting butt fluff. 🙂 She fit perfectly in Kawaiis. Now she is a bit bigger and somehow thinning out in the legs, but beefing up elsewhere. This leaves a bit of a leg gap, allowing poo to leak out. Not fun when that occurs while nursing her! I am thinking I need to up her to two inserts. These were also great when she still had her umbilical stump as they didn’t rub her like the snaps of the GlowBugs.

Diaper laundry is done twice a day now, but I have been told it calms down as baby gets older. This also means roughly 20 diapes are used in a day here. You do the math for disposables. 20x7x3=420. I do not want to know how many packs of disposables that is! We spent $600 total on CDs and wet bags.

As for homeschooling, we had a longer break because the boys got sick. Thankfully, it was only them and the rest of us were spared. We are almost done with our first full week back. Our oldest is plowing through and lessons seem to be sticking more. Our youngest still does not enjoy the art portion. He loves literacy and religion though. Math is also not a favorite of his.

We have added various poster charts around the house so lessons can stick even more.

When it is all said and done, we have adjusted quite well to being a family of five with more demands all around.

God Bless!

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No photo this week because I look like a zombie. It has been a few days (I lost count) of cluster feeding. This means I get sleep in very small chunks at a time. Coffee was also given up this week. I decided it was time to say adios all the way to drinks that aren’t water. That velvety and dark beverage was my only non-water drink every day. No, I never added sugar or cream.

What’s my progress? I am down to 179 now! It feels so good to see that number! It is only 14 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and my first goal weight. I felt stuck at 180, so I was stunned to see 179.

What am I doing to shed it off? Babywearing has to be my largest calorie burner these days. Whenever we leave the house, I have my Moby on and wear her. At home, since GamerDad is back to work, I wear her in the Moby so I can get stuff done and not have an over tired baby. She refuses to sleep in the crib during the day. Having my baby close and having both arms free is great! It means I can spend more time with my boys too!!!

No, Moby did not pay me to say any of the above, it is all my personal opinion. If I could wear her, breast feed, and get things done around the house, it’d get 5 stars from me, but BFing in it requires you to go down to one arm.

I do plan to do a post on our adventures in cloth diapering and how homeschooling is going with this new dynamic too. Stay tuned!

God Bless!

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Tada! Two weeks down and last I was on a scale was 3 days ago (having a hungry nursling and hungry eveyone else first thing in the morning takes priority). I was 180 then. I am probably a bit less now as my size 10s fit without me muffintoppin’ it. I feel great! LoseIt is back to being used on my phone to track my calories.

I have read that breast feeding mamas need to intake at least 1800 calories a day. For me to lose a safe weight of a pound a week, I have an 1805 calorie budget. Nursing can burn 200-500 of those a day! I estimate 350 for me since I really have no clue. It probably is closer to 500 as I swear Lil Miss is at the boob all the time…and when she is not, I feel it! Speaking of her, she has nearly gained a pound since her birth just two weeks ago. Most babies are just getting back to their birth weight at this point.

Once it finally cools off a tad more, we will go on walks more often as a family. We enjoyed a few of those during GamerDad’s paternity leave. He likes to push the stroller, I’d much rather use the Ergo carrier. 🙂

GamerDad also wants to join a gym to get fit again and he is trying to drag me kicking and screaming to said gym. I don’t do gyms…I just don’t. I do not like them. Give me a workout DVD or the great outdoors and I will get my fit in. Anyone else like me and just cannot do gyms? Who out in the blogosphere thinks I should do the gym thing?

God bless!

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