Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This pie will make you LEAP with joy on leap day!


  • 3/4c Butter, melted
  • 1 1/2c Flour, all-purpose
  • 1T Sugar, powdered
  • 3/4c Pecans, chopped

  • 2lb Strawberries; divided
  • 1/2c Water
  • 1c Sugar
  • 3T Cornstarch

  • 1 1/4c Whipping cream
  • 1/4lb Cream cheese; softened
  • 3/4ts Vanilla extract
  • 1/2c Sugar, powdered

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 F. For crust, mix melted butter with flour, powdered sugar, and pecans. Press into a buttered 10" pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool completely.

Step 2

Start topping by mashing enough strawberries to make one cup. Cut tops off remaining strawberries and set aside. Place mashed berries in a sauce pan and add water. Mix sugar and cornstarch into crushed berry mixture and bring to a boil on top of stove, stirring. Boil about one minute or until clear and thickened. Set aside to cool.

Step 3

For filling, whip cream until stiff. In another bowl, beat cream cheese with vanilla and powdered sugar. Carefully fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread in cooled crust and refrigerate.

Step 4

When crushed berry mixture is cool, pie can be assembled. Stand whole (or halved, as you like) strawberries on top of cream filling, cut side down. When entire filling is covered with whole berries, carefully spoon cooled crushed berry mixture over all. Cream filling should not be seen between berries. Once the crevices have been filled, do not overload the pie with the crushed berry mixture, as it will just drip over the sides. Any left- over crushed berry mixture is excellent instead of jam on toast or English muffins.

This recipe is from Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson.  I have read almost all the books in her series.  They are like a cookbook and a murder mystery all in one.  After eating this yummy pie, you should go to the library and try the book too.  Sorry the recipe was a little late, but sick babies leave no time for recreational baking.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baby Speed

Somehow, Guppy is still sick.  He still sounds all phlegmy and congested.  It is probably my fault, because I stopped using the nebulizer for the past few days.  Honestly, it doesn't seem to be helping him very much.  But the real reason I stopped is because of the side effects of the medicine.  Have you ever seen a hyper baby?  Until last week, I didn't even think that was possible.  But the Albuterol we have been using definitely makes Guppy hyper.

Right after a treatment, he gets all worked up.  He starts flailing his arms and slapping himself in the head.  He just can't calm down.  He acts like he is on baby speed.  He also seems to fuss excessively after taking his medicine.  This is difficult for me to handle, because he is usually a very happy baby.  But by far, the worst side effect is the shaking.  His little legs and arms tremble.  It freaks me out and makes me worry excessively.  If the medicine seemed to be helping his coughing/breathing, I would continue with the treatments.  But we've been on the medicine for a week and Guppy seems exactly the same.  Actually, John thinks he sounds worse.

If my little man isn't feeling better by Thursday, I am bringing him back to the pediatrician on Friday.  Ugh. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oversharing on the internet

I haven't talked about finances in a long time, so I thought I would fill you in on the latest happenings here in Cakerwakerville.  If you remember, we had to switch insurance companies 2 weeks before Guppy was born.  With my old plan, my total out-of-pocket expense would have been $3,000.  With our new (much crappier) plan, we had to pay $6,000.  You read that correctly.  SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I freaked the fuck out.  I cried.  I complained.  Of course, all that did was make me miserable.

After Guppy was born and the bills started rolling in, we made the decision to just deplete our savings account and pay all the bills in full.  It was tough seeing our savings account go from healthy and growing to nearly empty.  But how awesome is it that we were able to handle $6,000 in hospital bills without much fuss?  We had hospital bills hanging over our heads FOREVER with Porgie and Izzy.

Right now, we are aggressively trying to rebuild our savings.  We have also made paying off our home equity loan a top priority.  We have been making extra payments on this loan for the past year, but we still have a substantial amount left to pay.  We decided that all bonuses my husband receives from work will go straight toward the loan.  If we stick with our current payments and combine John's quarterly bonuses (which vary, so none of this is set in stone), we should have that pesky loan paid off in about 18 months.  That would free up so much money every month.  Then maybe we could afford to finish off our basement!  Or add a second bathroom!  Or go on vacation!  The possibles are endless!

Before you think we are amazing money-saving and bill-paying-off people, I should tell you that we have spent some money frivolously lately.  First, John bought me a cell phone for Christmas (yes, I was the last person on planet Earth to get a cell phone).  Then, we bought new cookware for our anniversary in January (We bought this.  I love it.).  And last week my husband bought himself a new guitar.  A very expensive guitar.   But, I think we deserve these things.  We have been so frugal and thrifty for nearly two years.  However, it is definitely time to tighten the belt again.  We still have debts to pay, and I can't wait to get to the finish line.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Guppy had his 6 month well check-up yesterday.  Remember that illness I told you about last week?  Well, my little man still has a cough and that phlegmy sound in this throat.  I didn't really think much of it.  He has been in good spirits lately, and his sleeping has returned to normal (which for him, is waking every 2 to 3 hours during the night to nurse). 

Upon listening to his breathing, the doctor seemed very concerned.  She kept asking me lots of questions about how long he has been wheezing.  Honestly, I didn't think he was wheezing.  I just thought he had some mucousy stuff in his throat that he needed to clear out with a few good coughs.  Apparently, I am a moron. 

The doctor decided to give him a breathing treatment right there in the office.  After 10 minutes she came back to listen to him.  He was still wheezing.  She sent us home with our very own nebulizer and instructions to do breathing treatments 4 times per day.  She wants to see him back on Thursday to check his breathing.

I felt like the world's worst mother.  How could I not know that my baby was struggling for air? 

Doesn't he look cute with his little face mask?  You know, in a sick baby kind of way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I love baking.  It relieves stress, distracts me when I am having a bad day, and of course, my creations taste yummy. This past month I baked quite a few new pies.  Some were a hit.  Some were not.

First up was a chocolate pudding pie.  This pie was good, but kind of boring. 

Next I made a Manhattan Mud Pie.  OH MY GOODNESS, this was a good pie.  It was chocolatey and boozy and gooey and soooooooo delicious.  We ate it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Heavenly.

Finally, I tried my hand at a vegan pecan pie.  Several things went wrong with this recipe.  I was missing ingredients, I overcooked the caramel, and I was talking on the phone while baking (never a good idea).  Even though the odds were against me, I thought I had pulled it off.  But I didn't.  It was awful.  AWFUL.  I never knew a pie could taste that bad.

This week I plan on making a strawberries and cream pie, which I've made in the past but never shared with you.  It isn't vegan, so I am sure lots of you will want to give it a try (it has no weird ingredients, like agar powder and tofu).  I'll make sure to include the recipe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You don't have to tell me. I already know.

I know I bitch about sleep a lot.  And really, it is my own fault.  I feel very ambivalent about all things baby related.  Guppy is most likely going to be my last baby.  Knowing that I will never have a wee little baby again is really difficult for me to accept.   So I am stuck in baby limbo.  I am afraid to move forward.

Yes, I want to get more sleep, and co-sleeping obviously isn't working.  But I want to cuddle with my co-sleeping baby for as long as possible, because I might never get to feel a peach fuzzy head rubbing against my cheek at 3am ever again.

Yes, I want to teach my baby how to self-soothe.  But I also love nursing my baby off to sleep.  Nothing is sweeter than watching his little eyes flutter shut, while I rub his little head.  Just thinking about it makes me want to go nurse him.  And I know this special time is so very brief.  I just want to enjoy it before it is gone.

Forgive me for complaining, dear readers.  I am frustrated and tired, but I am also so head-over-heels in love with having a baby.  Things probably aren't going to change overnight.  I am probably going to bitch about sleep again (and again).  But just bare with me.  We'll get there eventually.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Internet people, I am so fucking tired.  I am so tired that I can't remember ever not feeling tired.  I am so tired that I wake up angry and mean.  I am so tired that I can't even go to sleep when the opportunity presents itself.  My baby boy has never slept great, so I have been functioning on very little sleep for the past 6 months.  And largely, I was fine with this arrangement.  But this cold virus has pushed me over the edge.  Guppy has been waking every fucking hour at night.  EVERY HOUR.  This has been going on for the past 4 days.  I feel sorry for the little guy, but I think I feel more sorry for myself.

My head is pounding. I have been eating like a pig.  I yell at my other children for the slightest infraction.  I can't concentrate on anything.  I have no motivation to clean the house or fold the laundry or cook dinner.  I feel like I am just barely able to get through each day.  Life is just no fun when you aren't sleeping.

This post is so annoying.  I am such a whiny baby.  Okay, let's pretend that I didn't just write the world's most boring post.  Instead, let's do something productive!  I know, let's bake a German Chocolate Cake! 

When my lovely cake stuck to the bottom of the pan, I lost my shit and cussed loudly.  Then (because I am super mature and level-headed) I threw the cake pan.  Finally, I ate half the destroyed cake right off the counter top.  It was a bad morning.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Change is hard

Someone asked why I decided to unswaddle Guppy.  Really, there is no good reason to keep swaddling him.  My baby boy is a week shy of 6 months, and he still takes measly 30 minutes naps.  Additionally, he wakes a lot at night too.  The whole purpose of swaddling is to help a baby settle down and sleep longer.  Since the swaddling obviously wasn't helping Guppy sleep, I decided to just get rid of the damn blanket.

Things have improved somewhat, but they are still not great.  I can now transfer Guppy from my arm to the swing without waking him.  When he does awaken during the transfer, I have to turn on the swing to get him to settle back down. But for most of his naps, I can just sit him in the swing without turning it on.  For some strange reason he wakes up whenever I lay him down in his crib.  So, we are still working on this one.

Not wanting to stress everyone out too much, I decided to work on naps first and then move on to bedtime.  It was my intention to start unswaddling at night this week, but my baby boy is suffering through a nasty cold right now.  I think I'll wait until he is feeling better before I unswaddle him at night.

When guppy is completely unswaddled and his sleeping has returned to normal, I want to move him to his crib in his own bedroom.  After all, my baby boy is getting big.  I want him out of my bed before he can crawl.

So, that is why I unswaddled my wee little babe.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Unswaddled and Unhinged

My baby has been sleeping horribly lately.  I woke up on Wednesday morning exhausted and ready for a change.  I decided to unswaddle him for his naps COLD TURKEY.  And now?  I feel like the world's biggest failure, because I cannot get my baby to nap.  He will go to sleep easily, but he wakes up during the transfer from arms to crib EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  It has to get better - right?  I know that I've done this before, but for the life of me I cannot remember how I made it happen.  Let's look at how cute he is, so that I have motivation to keep trying...

Look at that chubby face!  He is so fun to nibble and kiss and squeeze!  I guess we'll keep him;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baby led weaning?

I am strongly leaning toward baby led weaning with Guppy.  We largely did finger foods with Izzy, and he is the world's best eater.  Seriously, that child will eat anything you put in front of him.  My daughter, who I spoon fed mush, is the world's pickiest eater (That isn't enitrely true.  She will eat almost anything NOW, but we struggled for years to get to this point.).  So, my past experiences have led me to believe that letting babies feed themselves will result in more adventurous eaters. 

I am actually very excited to start solids with Guppy.  He has been nursing ALL THE FREAKING TIME lately.  My baby boy can barely make it 2 hours without nursing during the day.  And by that point, he is starving.  I know I have a good milk supply, because he is a chunky little monkey.  I think he just needs something more substantial to fill his little belly.  Izzy had lots of tummy issues as a baby, so I want to play it safe with Guppy and wait until that magic 6 month mark before beginning solids.  And besides, I want my baby to stay little and newborn-like for as long as possible.  Why do my children keep growing up so darn fast?