Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

The Nielsens minus Alex (we missed you Alex)

Nobody's home, I'm tak'n off anna says.

knock knock knock

The smiths!

candy candy candy! Anna is crazy about it! As you can see as chocolate comes drooling down her chin.

Zachie with a cute little contented face.

Oh Avrie. You are cutest thing ever!
Thanks for being our friends guys. We love you (:

still eating us up.

I am so frustrated. Our insurance is up 220$ a year because of that accident I got in in october. You know, the one where the guy without insurance hit me, took off, gave wrong information. Then my license got suspended because I didn't change the address on my drivers license when we moved so I didn't know I needed to fill out an accident form (because the cop in coos bay and the insurance man told me I didn't need to fill one out). We paid like 200$ for the ticket and like 100$ for a new license. Now we pay 100$ every 6 months for 3 years until it is off my record. FOR REAL! Car insurance is robbery anyways. We've never really needed it - its just money down the drain for peace of mind. Kind of like well child visits and homeowners insurance.

There are 3 solutions to this problem.

#1 suggested by Richard: Nicole doesn't drive. I hate driving anyways so I guess it would work, except that I have to make it to work every day for 2 weeks in December.

#2: I guess we should go a-wall, move to the city, ditch our cars and live in an apartment with a green roof so we can still garden. We can use zip cars and use the money we spend on car insurance to fly home 5 times a year. Considering all the money the house eats up this seems like a good option. Eh, we like where we live and are probably stuck in our house forever.

#3: Suffer through and whine on my blog hoping that someone who reads this will give me more pity than Richard did to make me feel better. Yeah, that seems like a good option. If only I was a better person and could do it without the whining part.

the end.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I dont know how to spell that. Anyways, my dear friend Kaelie had a fun party where we made masks and ate some good food. She let me make some of it. It was fun to get out with just some girls and no babies (well, for the most part). I don't do that enough!

31 years and what do you get?

a cute little girl to eat all your birthday treats for you!

Rich had a great bday. He had waffles made with his sole b-day present (new waffle iron). Really good waffles I might add. On birthdays I get off my healthy horse. So we had overnight waffles, which are made with yeast and whole stick of butter. Yum.

Then he had to work. Boo.

While he was gone we cleaned the garage. Boo.

Then we made chicken fried steak and potatoes for dinner. I suck at cooking meat. Especially fried meat. I do it once like every few years - not enough practice to succeed. Ah well, I tried with love and even got burnt with oil. Classic richard - he was still nice even though dinner was stinky. He pretended to like it and didn't complain one bit. He never complains.

So that was dinner - potatoes and steak. Richard said "where's the vegetables?" I said - "it's a richard meal, no vegetables." He said - "I would have at least liked some brussels sprouts or something." Wow I thought, I didn't see that one coming! 31 years and what do you get - a love for vegetables!!

No pictues of the gross dinner.

But after a mound of dishes we had dessert. Peanut butter pie. I've been wanting to make this for Richard for years. I decided 31 is the year to live like you are dying - so I followed the recipe with only 1 low fat sub - light cream cheese. I don't feel like typing it out and can't find it online, but I'll just say it has more than 1 stick of butter in it. And it was good, even anna can attest (she ate 1/2 of richards).

Some friends invited us over - but Richard wanted to stay home and watch sports. And by sports I mean sport S. Classic rich: TV and internet games going all at once. If we had a radio in the house Im sure that would be going too. We need picture in picture cable so he can watch them both on TV and I can use the computer. I feel bad, but I've been getting over a cold and I am super tired from pregnancy, so I went to bed at 8. Hope you know I still love you hunny! Happy birthday. Thanks for all you are and all you do for us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

some stuff from our life

Anna loves the pumpkin costume my mom bought her. She even eats lunch in it! Here she is enjoying roasted beets and potatoes. Yum yum.
Anna also loves her cousin Jane! My sister and mom came for a girls weekend last thursday. We had an awesome time eating a lot of junk and doing baby stuff (I think we bored my mom out a little bit). Ah well. Here's jane and anna riding in the double stroller. Jane didn't love it - anna was a little too touchy feely for her.
Richard carved some pumpkins with me! Hooray. Usually richard is less than interested in holiday craftiness. usually won't participate in decorating eggs or easter cookies or ginger bread houses or carving pumpkins. Since anna was old enough this year he wanted to participate. Thanks hunny, it was fun huh? Especially since you watched a good baseball game at the same time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

some yummy mac and cheese.

We like cheese at our house. Way too much. I loove homemade mac and cheese, but making a roux and cheese sauce is a little excessive in calories (even with that additional 300 Cal for baby #2). So I was happy to see this eating well recipe!

I didn't use bread crumbs or olive oil, which probably decreased the calories. I also used skim milk. Oh and I upped the veggies (of course). I still have leeks, chard and kale in the garden. So I cooked leeks in 1/2 tsp of butter until golden, then added 1 finely chopped red bell and about 7 Chard leaves. After it was all cooked good I stirred it into the cheese sauce. yum yum. If you like mac and cheese here's one to try!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

15 months and busy

Still loves reading. Now she will go get books for us.Anna enjoys helping around the house. She puts the silverware away. Look at the drawer. She's really good at it.
She chose herself a little pumpkin. But was more interested in watching all the people.
Now she can also load the dishwasher. We go to toddler time at the library. She's the shorty in brown. She can't jump like the other kids, but she tries by stomping her feet! It's really cute.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

15 months of goodness.

So I started this on october 9th or so.........sorry I forgot about it until now!

Anna! You are so old! Well not really. But you do so many things!

This is how our day usually rolls out.

I wake early so I can have some peaceful time without you. This is important and much needed. You messed that up this morning.

You wake up crying EVERY MORNING. Your hair is always sweaty and it smells bad. I'm not sure why that is. We give you a shower at night and wash your hair. You must have a sweaty head like your dad. But anyways, as soon as I pull you out of bed you sign BOOK! But we don't read until later.

Usually we change your diaper (since youve had a wicked nasty rash the past month). Then we stick you straight in your high chair for oatmeal and fruit. You love pears. You eat the WHOLE thing except the stem. Seriously, seeds and everything. It's amazing. Some days you eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Some days you throw it on the ground without a bite in your mouth. But you always drink your milk - except those times when you push your sippy on the table to get the milk out and then spread it around with your hand. That's less fun for me.

After bfast we wash your hands. You used to want to splash in the sink. Now you rub your hands together. Good job! We also load up the dishwasher. You are a great helper!

Next we get dressed. You always try to put your pants on your head.

Then we read a few books. Lately your favorite is one from the library called "My Love For You." It's sort of a counting book with animals. It's fun to read with you because you count "1" with your finger. Then you make the animal signs/noises on the other pages. The cutest is your sign for monkeys. The next cutest is your sign for fish (making fishy face with your lips). I can only get you to do it when you read this book.

After books you play while mom and dad read scriptures. You're usually pretty distracting. Then we have family prayer. You fold your arms to start, but quickly unfold if Mom gets too verbose. Dad usually doesn't have the problem. When we say amen you pretend to unfold your arms (as if you had been folding them the whole time).

Then dad goes and you chase him out the door. We stand in the garage and wave goodbye.

Then we go in and do some chores before getting on our shoes to go on our jog. I used to say run, but since I'm carrying your sibling its more of a slow jog. anyways, we go to the park, where you always want to swing. I sing the ABC and Old McDonald while I push you. As soon as the end of the song is near you sign "more! more more!" until I start singing again. Silly girl.

If its not too wet you play in the sandbox while I do a little park workout routine. Otherwise we move the sand toys under the play structure and you play in the wood chips. I also make you practice stairs on the big toy rain or shine. I bring a towel and you go down the slides. If there are other kids you just like to stare. You are happiest when the other kids try to include you, although, that doesn't happen very often because you are so small.

On tuesdays and thursdays we then head to Ray's Produce for a nectarine, peach or pear. You are very impatient while I pick one out and wash it. But you eat the whole thing. It's rather messy but whatever.

After that we go to toddler time at the library. You LOVE IT. At first you just sat in my lap. Now you are up in there playing with all the big kids! Its fun to watch you try to imitate all the things they do. You won't sit by the kids when Mrs. Teresa reads the story, but that's okay. You'll usually sit and listen to most of it in my lap.

We walk home after that and feed you lunch. You eat almost everything. Lately you are good at folding your arms when we pray over lunch.

after lunch we read books until I get FREEDOM at noon. You still require a binky to sleep darn it. It makes it easy to put you down though. Usually it falls through the slats and onto the floor under your crib. When I say "where's you binky?!" You usually crawl under your crib looking for it. You are getting so smart!

At 1:30 you wake up. On blessed days its a little bit longer, but I really am a little anxious for you to get up. You are just so fun to be around.

After that we piddle around doing projects and working outside when we can.

This is where I ended the post about a month ago. Things have already changed so much! Mostly I want to remember this:

You are starting to talk and know where your body parts are. You like to point out your nose and eyes. You sign all sorts of things - mostly animals. here's a list I can think of:

hmm i dont remember what else.

You have learned the word NO and like to use it. The way you say it is still cute. I wonder how long that will last. Just thinking quick you can say:


It seems you try to say new things everyday. I love it.

well I guess i'll post this long post without picutres before it is too late to post it at all.

Here are your stats from the doc:

1yr 3mo:
27.8 pounds (96%)
32.5 inches (96%)
(you are porportionate - good job!)
head 19.3 in (99%)

looking back at this chart - you were 15 pounds at 2 months and 19 pounds at 3 mo. Your cousin just visited. She is 6 mo and weighs about 15#. Wowsas, you must not have her genes!

Monday, October 10, 2011

And that, folks, is the way the oat is cut

In many classes I've taught - and in many patient rooms I've visited - people proudly claim STEEL CUT OATS as their daily breakfast of choice because they are healthier than rolled oats.

I'm supposed to be really impressed when they tell me this.

I often say, "Great! I'm so glad you eat breakfast and that you are making a healthy choice!" Because it's true, oatmeal is really good for you. It has protein, fiber, iron, vitamins, minerals; plus it tastes good and KEEPS YOU FULL. Which is a vital breakfast factor in our hungry house.

What I usually think, however, is that oatmeal is oatmeal no matter how its cut. As long as it is the whole grain it should be just as nutritious as instant oatmeal. FYI steel cut oats are the whole oat kernel chopped 3 fat parts - like cutting a banana into three chunks. Rolled oats are sliced the long way - like slicing a banana into many long thin slices. Because rolled oats are cut smaller, there is probably a difference in glycemic index (how fast and high a food increases your blood sugar postprandial) but last I read glycemic index had too much intra and inter personal variation to actually be employable.

So this morning I was telling my friend I had oatmeal for bfast and she was telling me she switched to steel cut oats because she heard on the food network that they are higher in fiber and keep you fuller longer. I told her my theory - but decided I better look up the facts before I got on my high and mighty RD horse. So here we go. I looked at fiber and protein, because that's what keeps you full (I guess, I personally think fat keeps me satisfied - so i looked at that too).

The USDA nutrient database didn't contain steel cut oats. Just quick oats and every flavor of quaker instant oats available. Weird. So I went to the manufacturer.

According to the nutrition facts on the quaker oat website - gram for gram steel cut oats and old fashioned oats are the same nutritionally.

3 grams fat, 5 grams protein, and 4 grams of fiber for 40 grams,

The difference is in the volume. 1/4 cup steel cut oats = 1/2 cup regular oats. This makes sense because rolled (regular) oats are fluffier and steel cut oats are denser. Think of it this way - you can pack alot of rice in 1 cup - but only a little bit of penne pasta. There is more air in there displacing the space. anyways - to continue....

Instant oatmeal from their packet only has 3 grams per packet (28grams). Which actually equates to 4.2 grams fiber for each 40 grams of oats eaten. Pretty much the same. The ingredients were whole grain oats for steel cut and regular rolled. The instant oats had added oat flour, which probably adds the extra fiber.

So I thought, "well that's one brand." Every processing plant is different. So I decided to check out Bob's Red Mill.

Steel cut oats ingredients on label = organic whole grain oats
1/2 cup or 44g = 170 Cal/3 g fat/5 g fiber/7g protein

regular rolled oats ingredient on label = whole grain oats
1/2 cup or 41g = 160 Cal/2.5g fat/4 g fiber/7g pr0tein

instant rolled oats ingredients on label = whole grain oats
1/3 cup (32 g) = 120 Cal/2 g fat/ 3 g fiber/5g protein
conversion (assuming 41g)
1/2 cup : 153 Cal/2.5g fat/3.8 g fiber/6.4 g protein

For some reason Bob's red mill's oat kernel has more protein (2g - who cares), and their rolled oats lose some fiber in the processing. Possibly they are just more honest than Quaker. Who knows. Either way rolled oats and steel cut oats are pretty much equal. I suppose it makes sense that more of the fiber is lost during the making of an instant oat.

So basically you can't just make a blanket statement that steel cut oats are better for you than rolled or even instant oats. I guess if you unknowingly compared them cup for cup steel cut oats would have more fiber - but only because you are eating more (read as - you are getting more calories too). Fiber and protein content seem to vary with the brand name and what else is added.

I suppose I found some evidence to verify my idea that if your rolled oats contain the whole grain, they are just as nutritious as steel cut oats that contain the whole grain.

Really, it doesn't matter anyways. As long as you are eating some form of oatmeal for bfast you are doing good. If you like a chewier texture, nuttier flavor and 20 minute wait - go for steel cut. If you like 5 minutes and mushier texture - go for regular. If you like to eat from a packet at your desk (after adding water from the drinking fountain down the hall) - go for the packet of instant. If you were wondering - yes I did this all the time at work. Just watch the added butter/brown sugar/jam/white sugar - and in richards case - the 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

For a great chart on different fiber content of different cereals from the center for science in the public interest go here.

For an additional 6-8 grams of fiber (and a guilt free sweetener) make your oatmeal Nicole style:

1. In a bowl add 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup raspberries. Microwave until they are no longer distinguishable as berries, but appear to be purple syrup with seeds.
2. Cook your oats however you like. I use regular oats and sometimes quick oats - boiled in who knows how much water - for like 5 minutes until its not too solid but not too mushy.
3. Stir your oats into the syrup. Top with 1/4 cup toasted nuts of choice (lately i like walnuts).


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Meltdown hike.

We officialy have a toddler. Nicole has told me that Anna is learning how to throw tantrums. Last Saturday she did one at the restaurant, but I didn't witness it because I had to run home and get her a diaper. Yesterday if anybody was looking for a nice peaceful hike or becoming one with nature and all that blah well if they were anywhere near Angels rest they got a rude awakening.

Nicole said she was not going to carry Anna at all because she is already carrying one baby. Last winter we tried to take Anna on this hike but it was too cold so we ended going home. After hiking for a while I needed a break and we got Anna out of the pack to see if she would hike. That was a no go she just laid down in the trail.
Mom got her to hike a little bit, and was somewhat happy. But then the meltdown occurred.

This is pretty much the top of the hike.

On the way back down Anna took a nap after a rough hike. The way she looks is the way I felt the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

At the end was a rainbow

Today was my LAST DAY at Salem Hospital. It was a perfect day actually. I woke up early and read some scriptures. Ate bfast with my pea. Went for a run with Anna and her friend Zachie to the park. Came home and vacuumed the floor and made eggplant parmesan for richard's dinner. Dropped anna off at Brittneys - she didn't even cry (she loves it there). Drove to work while listening to The Davinci Code. Saw a few patients. My coworkers had a potluck lunch for me. Oh my RD's can put on a potluck (thank you LORRI!). Saw a few more patients. Saw a few friends. Went to teach my cooking class - it was cancelled. Started to drive home and there was a rainbow in front of me the WHOLE drive home. Picked up anna - still happy. Came home to a clean house and stuck dinner in the oven. Got the mail - no junk mail. Now im just basking in my joblessness. AHHH no worries feels nice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

HB Dorothy

My dear friend and neighbor Dorothy has a birthday thursday. I thought it was today. But that's besides the point. She mentioned the other day that she loves lemon meringue pie. I also know that she loves anything cookie. So combine the two and badaboom badabang goodness.

Here's the recipe - i shoulda taken a pic before I took it to her - it was beautiful. If you are craving lemon bars or lemon meringue pie - you should try these. They are the best of both worlds.