"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What the world eats...

I was browsing another blog this morning and ran across a link to an interesting photo-article (by Time Magazine) that showcased what families in different parts of the world eat and spend on that food in one week's time.

I noticed several things from the photos and brief descriptions.
1. The US was by no means the most expensive, but neither was it the least expensive.
2. The dollar is getting better!
3. I was amazed at the amounts of processed, take out and junk foods that we eat compared to other regions of the world.
4. I was even more amazed to notice American made processed foods all over the world..Ritz crackers in the middle east for one, and there were very few pictures without Coke!
5. The fact that the families with the least often looked the happiest.
6. More often than not the fathers had dour faces!

Another thing, and probably the most important thing I took away from the photo-journal, was that I believe (considering the timing of the article and the background of the liberal magazine) it was directed at our lifestyles as Americans, to make us feel guilty for our excess.

But should we feel guilty for the prosperity that we enjoy? I think not. And here's why.

We're one of the youngest nations (relatively) in the world; yet we're one of the most, if not, THE most prosperous nation. You know why? Because we have worked HARD. We have fought for everything we have; we have made huge advances in technology, industry and medicine that the rest of the world has benefited from and we come to the aid of anyone who needs it. I think we have no reason to feel ashamed for our capitalistic-consumer driven lifestyle. We've earned it and we continue to work hard in order to maintain it.

I believe every country has had the same ability to venture out and prosper...but we have succeeded-by the blood, sweat and tears of our citizens.

So am I going to feel guilty that I can spend $15 on a steak to eat tonight, while a family in India eats .30 cents worth of beans? No.

But because I'm an American, I'll gladly forfeit that $15 steak, make a $5 casserole and send a good portion of the money I would have spent to help my fellow man-kind. Because I'm an American. And that's what we do.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In a cooking mood!

Last night I made mini apple turnovers (not so good..too much nutmeg!), a huge amount of meatballs because Reagan loves them so much (next time I need much leaner meat!!!) and these wonderful scrambled egg muffin cups. The recipe is below!

They are so delicious, I think I'll double the recipe next time. I froze almost a dozen of them and now I can just pull them out and pop them in the microwave for a few seconds for a quick, easy and nutritious breakfast for Reagan (with some fruit of course!)

Scrambled Egg Muffin Cups:
2 of the 2-packs of Morningstar Veggie Sausage (a total of 4 patties; you can also use a 1/2 lb of pork sausage if you prefer)
12 eggs
1/4 cup chopped onion (I used vidalia!)
vegetable of your choice (I used frozen broccoli florets, but the original recipe called for 1/4 cup of green pepper)
seasoning to taste (I used pepper and Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the sausage per the package directions then crumble. Mix the eggs, onion, veggie and seasonings together. Add in sausage and cheese.

Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into greased muffin liners. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Original recipe courtesy of Taste of Homes. Adapted by me, of course ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So many projects, so little time..

Wow..it seems like this summer is already flying by. Of course, in Indiana, you only really have summer for 4 months of the year...then it's freezing cold again!

Josh and I have so many projects we wanted to get done this summer. We wanted to plant a garden (we're planning to till up the area this weekend...hmm, as though we haven't said that the last several weekends!) We want to clean out the garage, put in new landscaping bricks, finish Reagan's big girl room, fence in the backyard (done!!) and repair some thresholds, a cabinet and repaint the bathroom. So far....well, we haven't accomplished much!

But in our defense, who really wants to work when it's gorgeous? I'd much rather be outside, swinging or going to the park or grilling out. Speaking of swinging, we did manage to put our 'porch' swing up. Of course, since we don't have a porch, it's not a true 'porch' swing, but you get the idea. I love it. Reagan on the other hand could live without it..so could Josh I think. I guess I'll be the one sitting out there sipping mint juleps ;)

I'm off to work on more housework!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Remember

We can never say thank you enough.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The zoo!

We took Reagan to the zoo this afternoon for her first 'official' visit! She's actually been to the zoo before, but during the Halloween walk, when most of the animals were bundled up against the cold. We snapped a few pictures! Hope you all enjoy!!!

Reagan as a 'joey'!

Reagan with the seals...wow, what are THOSE?!

Dingos--or as Reagan calls them "doggies"!


Seal lions, seals....whatever....they were sure friendly!

Friday, May 23, 2008


My husband is the antithesis of romantic...but this morning he sent me a sweet e-card just to remind me he loved me. I have the biggest smile on my face now! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good Morning!

I cannot believe it! I actually was able to get out of bed this morning before Reagan! This is a HUGE feat for me because we co-sleep with her and we usually end up waking each other up! Poor sweetie must have been so tired...in her defense she did have some nightmares last night and woke up crying/screaming a few times.

It makes you wonder what on earth would terrify them in their dreams this early in life? Losing mommy or daddy? Losing her 'baby'? A news bulletin that the manufacturing of yogurt has been declared illegal? ;) I'm kidding on that one..but she does love yogurt!

Anyway, today Reagan is in for a special treat! We are making the hour trek (at
$4/gallon mind you!) to Shipshewana! She'll get to see the horseys, play in the toy store, ride the carousel and watch the miniature electronic 1920s-style puppet show--she loves it! And mommy will get to check out the bulk food store because I've decided we're going to have a small stockpile of food that is healthy in the event of an emergency...and an Amish town has got to be the best place to purchase everything we need! A huge plus to that for me is I'll be doing a lot of walking!

Which leads me to an update on the diet...I've managed to gain weight! Go Figure! I'm so angry with myself! But I have been trying to fit in exercise in our daily schedule and eat a little healthier....my sole consolation is that muscle weighs more than fat..so maybe I'm just gaining muscle from the exercising! LOL! If only I could look like I did in my earlier twenties...legs to die for people...legs. to. die. for. Not even close now! *Sigh*

Alright, enough of the past..I have work to do..Reagan will probably be waking up any minute and I need to get breakfast ready, straighten up the house, pack the diaper bag for a day trip...and, well, all the mommy stuff that needs to be done!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to Stace!

Earlier this week was my best friend's birthday! (Everyone wave hi to Stace!!) I miss her desparately--she is currently living overseas in Italy with her husband and my two wonderful nieces.

Stacy and I have been best friends for oh, what...17 years now??? At any rate, a really LONG time--*sigh* and that should give some indication of how old we are. We've been through pretty much every scenario you can imagine--we've lived together, we've moved across the country together, we've been there for each other through boyfriends, falling in and out of love, husbands, children, death of friends, family problems, financial distress, illnesses, depression and all the sorrows and joys life has to offer. No one in my life, including my wonderful husband, knows me as well as Stacy does.

So, Stace, here's lookin' at you kid! *Raising my margarita glass in a salute* To the best sister and friend a girl could have, I hope you had an amazing day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I can't stand it. Apparently they're getting rid of everyone. Ok, I could handle losing one member of the team..Jenny. BUT I CANNOT HANDLE LOSING an additional three members---MAIN CHARACTERS!

I refuse to watch. I can't watch. I hate it! I hate it! I feel like acting like my toddler and throwing something and stomping across the room until CBS gets their act together and fixes everything!

Rant over...I'm going to go sob into my pillow...yes, I'm a slightly hormonal basketcase at the moment. *sigh* Where's the chocolate???

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

It's been a while since I participated but I have very modest tackles for today:

1. straighten up before Reagan's playdate gets here
2. work on finishing painting Reagan's room
3. get to the grocery store finally!

pretty basic!

Hopefully I'll be blogging more than I have been in the last two weeks, now that we are going to less doctor's appointments! Have a good day everyone!

Friday, May 16, 2008

New update on Reagan

We went for allergy testing on Thursday and guess what? She has allergies! I'm the most ecstatic mom in the world to find out her child has allergies..because at last I know why my poor child has been sick for the last six months.

She was tested for 40 allergens and reacted to almost every one except the foods (thank goodness!). Her allergist says that she is probably allergic to much more but at the moment he wasn't going to continue testing her because she is so young, she will probably develop more allergies the older she gets, and for now, the fact that she has allergies, is enough for him, so he can begin to treat them.

Currently our treatment plan includes two medications for her allergies, an additional one if she becomes sick, one medication for her asthma, an additional one if she gets worse with that and treating her environment.

At the moment, we are working on a plan to keep the cats. We are planning on buying gates to contain them to the non-carpeted area of the house. We are getting our ducts cleaned (tomorrow), carpet cleaning, major dusting and we have gotten rid of all our commercial cleaners (almost all) and have switched to dye and frangrance free detergent and fabric softeners. We can't have candles; I can't wear perfume or scented deoderant and we can't use nice smelly lotions, shampoos, soaps and conditioners--everything has to be hypoallergenic.

We're in the process of purchasing a steammop so we can clean without chemicals, a hepa air cleaner for her room and some 'healthy' cleaning products--like electrostatic mitts for dusting instead of using Pledge; and baking soda and vinegar instead of Clorox and Windex.

We're also working on making her room a safe haven for any episodes..a 'clean' room for her to go to when she has an attack. This includes encasing everything from dust mites and even keeping the majority of her books contained in tupperware containers--as ink is a major source of allergies for most people and it also attracts A LOT of dust! Who knew??!

It's a process that is taking some time, but we're working towards making our home a little better for Reagan to breathe and live in. Any suggestions related to making our home more of a safe place for her are welcome!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On the homefront...

Just an update for everyone! The weather is finally getting nice in Indiana, so we're spending more time outside...which means less time for blogging, forums and the like..which I think is a really good thing for me!

Yesterday Josh and I purchased a TON of red brick landscaping material to edge out our bushes...and what a steal! It was only $1.00 for each 16 inch piece--WOOHOO! It was a closeout item, so I seriously hope we don't need anymore!

We're still working on the backyard--getting the extra dirt that was displaced during the work on the new fence, smoothed out and re-seeded with Kentucky Blue Grass...a gorgeous grass if I do say so myself...and also a real bargain since we're using seed and not sod!

I also purchased some fence pieces and a seed mat roll to make a small garden area on our patio. It has a cutout in the concrete for a gas grill...which we don't use, so it's becoming a flower bed. The flowers are going to be gorgeous in a few weeks I'm sure. I picked the "Sunny Cottage Garden" with lupines, daises and a dozen other flowers I don't know the name of. My mother in law says they are perennials so they'll come back next year and they're also pretty invasive plants so they'll grow large (shh, don't tell Josh!)

We're also working on Reagan's big girl room finally! I purchased a gorgeous pink paint for her room which Josh says looks like Pepto Bismol..but I assure you it is actually much lighter and it's called "Cherry Cream!" I can't wait to show off the finished room! Give me a couple of weeks though, we have a ton going on!

After Reagan wakes up from her nap today, we're going to plant flowers and read a few books about gardens, which we picked up from the library this morning! Should be very exciting!

Reagan also goes in for her allergy testing on Thursday, so please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Will update once we know more!

God Bless!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Our new fence!

I'm so excited because today we had our new fence put up...it surrounds over very TINY backyard but it's wonderful because reagan can go out and play and be contained since we're on a pretty decently busy street.

After Josh comes home and cuts the grass (we've had to wait due to utility line flags being all over the place!), we get to put Reagan's 'new' toys out back! I'm super excited--not only about her toys but about the great deals I got on them!

She has a turtle sandbox--free from a friend who is moving!
A Little Tikes climber/slide combination--$10!!!!!!! from craigslist!
A cool new 'kiddie' pool with a giraffe that spits water at you and a slide!--ok this was $30 from Target!

Now I just need a child's swing for her!

I'm so happy that she'll get to go outside and enjoy herself!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm NOT a coffee purist

At one point in my life I was. Black coffee, please. I need to be able to enjoy the flavor of the beans. Favorite coffee? Oh yes, that would be the more acidic Kenya AA blend. And I could go on and on about the roasting of the beans, the consistency and flavor of the coffe...blah blah blah.

Now, when I go to Starbucks (yes, the very people that burn all their beans together) I order a grande Pikes Place with two splendas and "a lot of cream". I feel as though I'm being looked down upon for that last part. I can't help it. I need cream. I need caffiene. And I need a morning cup of coffee. I am not a purist anymore. Sad, sad, sad.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two years ago today..

I got my first BFP!!!! For those of you who AREN'T members of women-dominated forums, that means "big fat positive!" and it's in reference of course to a positive pregnancy test.

I had never been so unsure of my eyes or so excited in my entire life! We had just gotten back from a hike with our new friends, Kelly and Ben, and I thought, well, I might be. I'll just go ahead and POAS (pee on a stick!) and see what it says...although I was sure it was going to be negative.

The faintest pink line I have ever seen in my life gradually started to appear--at which point I promptly freaked out and started screaming so loud I'm sure the entire neighborhood heard me! Josh came running into the bathroom (I'm sure he thought I was being murdered) and I said "do you see it? Is it really there?" He smiled and said "yep, you're pregnant!" "But it's so faint." "Well, we just won't consider it for sure until you take another one tomorrow." (This said completely calmly!)

Of course, by the time 'tomorrow' came we had already celebrated and jumped around like crazy people. Another test, and yet another, oh yeah, and another, confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.

And...two years later, we have a beautiful, smart, incredible little girl that is the best thing that ever happened to either of us!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Menu Monday

This week's menu is especially challenging because Reagan's eating habits have been going straight downhill for the past couple of months. Of course, she's been sick so much, I really can't blame her for not eating, but she's lost two pounds in a month---soooo, I'm struggling to find foods to entice her to eat.

Don't worry--she isn't starving. She's 23 lbs but she's also VERY tall--we are guessing 34 inches; so she's still tiny for her height. At any rate, here is the menu for the week. Feel free to leave any suggestions geared towards a picky toddler.

Monday: Mac & Beef casserole (used to be one of her favorites), salad (I may hide some veggies in the casserole to get some extra vitamins into Reagan)
Tuesday: Reagan will probably have a Gerber Graduates or Leftovers and I'll probably toss together a salad for myself!
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie--may use sweet potatoes on top instead of white, due to the vitamins and Reagan loves sweet potatoes
Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie (adding egg to this for extra protein and some vegetables)
Friday: Any leftovers, otherwise I'll make a veggie and hamburger or chicken calzone.
Saturday: We're celebrating mother's day out and about!
Sunday: Either eating out or grilling out!

Breakfasts: Cottage cheese and fruit, muffins that I'm sneaking veggies into, morningstar farms breakfast items, cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, waffles--ie whatever of those I can get into her!
Lunches: Crackers, cheese and meat; quesadillas with cheese and tomatoes; leftovers; meatballs; gerber's graduates; salads; baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli
Snacks: Reagan's Special Mix, yogurt, fruit, cream cheese, sweet potato cubes, crackers and cheese and deli meat, applesauce

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Snacky goodness!

I wanted to share Reagan's new favorite 'blend'. She usually ends up getting this at least once a day because it's one of the few things she'll eat anymore.

1 string cheese stick, chopped
cranberries, dried
animal crackers

That's it! Just make sure the cranberries aren't too large for your little one. It's really yummy and healthy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Some new news....

Yesterday I took Reagan to a new doctor. He's an allergist, an immunologist and a former pediatrician. To make a very long story short, he diagnosed her with mild asthma and believes that she does have allergies and it is not an immune problem. This from reviewing her test results from her pediatrician.

She also has an ear infection (which she either didn't have or her pediatrician didn't catch on Tuesday). So our game plan for now is as follows:

Continue with albuterol and pulmocort breathing treatments 2xs daily. (He doubled her intake of pulmocort).
Take azrithromycin for 5 days to clear up the infection.
Take allegra twice a day.
Take singulair once a day.
Take tylenol and advil as needed for the pain while the infection lasts.

In two weeks we will go back to Dr. T (as I'll refer to him, her regular pediatrician is Dr. D) for allergy testing. Four days prior to the testing, I am to remove her from the allegra and singulair so that it will not skew the results.

The allergy tests this time will be skin/scratch tests. Once we receive those results, we will move forward with working on her environment/treatment or if the tests are negative we will move forward with continued immune testing.

Today she is already so much better just after a little of the allergy medicine and the antibiotic.

We also are going to wait on the CT scan and x-rays and immune blood work at this time. We still have a follow-up/well baby check up in a couple of weeks with Dr. D.

On other news, Josh and I have decided to forgo adoption at this point in our lives. I'm working to get healthier and we plan to meet with my doctor to get her opinions on another pregnancy and making sure that I will be well monitored if we go that route (I'm assuming this will be a high-risk pregnancy).

So that's it on the home front for now. Please continue to pray for Reagan. Love to all!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More on Reagan...

Well last night was absolutely awful. She didn't go back down to sleep until 3 a.m. and woke up at 7 a.m. I spent the majority of the night yelling at her and this morning she woke up with a slight fever. So not only am I completely stressed out at this point, I feel like the world's worst mother and that I should be lined up in front of a firing squad and shot.

In addition to the CT scan, her doctor also wants some x-rays of her tissues in her neck..not sure if I mentioned that earlier. At this point, I have decided to veto the CT scan (temporarily) in favor of having a specialist see her. We have an appointment at 1:30 today with an allergist/immunologist, who is going to evaluate her and possibly run some tests.

HOWEVER, and here is the kicker, because she's on antihistimines and other medications, they CANNOT do allergy testing because it can give a false negative. Interesting...because when we did the allergy testing a month or so back, she was on the same medicine....AND we got a negative. I'm guessing it was a false negative.

So perhaps all of the last two months of agony and sickness could have been avoided. I'm really hoping we get some answers soon. Reagan is coughing so much that she has red spots around her eyes from the strain and her nose is a continual river. I just want my baby to feel better. Please keep praying for her.

New Reagan update

At our doctor appointment yesterday, her pediatrician decided he wants to have a CT scan done on her sinuses, as well as some x-rays on her neck tissues. We also decided against putting her on anymore medication--oral steriods and antibiotics included.

Opps...she just woke up..will continue later
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