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Friday, March 30, 2012

cream cheese monkey bread {recipe}


Ya'll, this is legit. Make it. Eat it. Thank me later.


Ingredients:

 - 2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
 - 2/3 cup of sugar
 - 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
 - 3/4 cup of melted butter
 - 8 ounces of cream cheese {using the block form is easiest}
 - 2 containers of refrigerated flaky biscuits {you need about 20 biscuits}



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your bundt pan.

In a small bowl, mix the white sugar, dark brown sugar and cinnamon.
In a second bowl, melt the butter.




Set this aside for now.

Next put all of your biscuits out on a flat surface.
Cut your cream cheese into 20 small pieces. Place one piece on the center of each biscuit.



Flatten the edges of each biscuit and wrap them around the cream cheese.




Place ten of the biscuits in your bundt pan, cream cheese opening up.







Top the biscuits with half of the sugar mixture, then half of the melted butter.




Now add the other ten biscuits, cream cheese side down.




Add your last half of the sugar mixture and the butter on top of the biscuits again.




Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. 
Smells soooo good!!!




Lastly, invert the monkey bread onto your serving dish.





So stinkin' delicious!!!! I could eat the entire thing!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a proud mama {Jake's birth story}

 Wow, Jake was a week old yesterday!
I suppose that means it's high time that I brag a bit more about him.

So here's the story of sweet Jake's debut.


We had a scheduled induction due to his predicted weight and head size {read: HEAD SIZE. It was in placed 4+ weeks ahead at 38 weeks. Yikes!}. My OB likes to have patients come in the night before and get them settled and rest, so the Monday night that we went in, I was exactly 39 weeks. They told us to eat dinner before we came to the hospital, so J.B. and I went out to our "Last Supper" that night. {Olive Garden to carbo-load on pasta!} But I was so nervous I could hardly eat!

We got to the hospital around 6:30 that night to check in. A little while later, Brit, our nurse, came to take us to our delivery room. She. was. fantastic. Clearly J.B. and I were all nerves, but her fun personality put us at ease right away. She was super sassy and sarcastic - which fits in with us perfectly. I really was incredibly thankful to have her around.

After an hour or so I was all hooked up - IV, the baby's heart rate monitor, the contractions monitor {those two both go around the belly} and probably a few more things. Brit gave me the drug that is supposed to soften your cervix. My OB likes to start inductions with this dose the night before and then they begin the pitocin drug early the next morning to start contractions.
She did say that the pill she was giving me tonight {cytotek, I believe} could cause some cramping, so not to freak out and to try to get some rest that night. 

So J.B. and I settled in. It was around 8:30pm at this point and we were hoping to get a few good hours of sleep before all the madness the next day. No such luck.
Yup, that cytotek sure as heck did cause cramping. Like crazy. But I'm stubborn and was determined not to complain so I just closed my eyes and dealt with the pain.  I was not going to be the girl that whined about some minor cramping. J.B. slept most of the night but I was wide awake {staring at the clock} and in a lot of pain. Truth be told, I was basically psyching myself out. If I was barely hanging on during this, I would surely never survive having a baby right? 

Around 3 in the morning, Brit comes in to check on me. She cautiously asks how I'm feeling and I cautiously answer that I'm okay. The next thing out of her mouth was that she was beginning to think I was on some sort of fast track and that we might have a baby tonight with my contractions coming every one to three minutes. Contractions every one to three minutes?! WHAT? Turns out, I had back labor! That means you don't feel the normal contractions, it's just constant pain in your back. The contraction monitor was pointed away from the bed and it never occurred to me to turn it and look at it since I had been told that cramping was possible. Guys, I was so relieved!! I laughed and told her I felt really terrible but didn't want to complain if it was just cramps. She asked about my pain level and if I wanted anything for it, or if I wanted her to check my progress. But since J.B. was sleeping and she'd be back in a couple of hours, I just decided to wait it out. 

So I ended up laboring through the rest of the wee hours of the morning while J.B. dozed on the couch. Once I knew I was actually in labor, I felt like a champion. I could do this! It wasn't the most blissful experience but it was totally manageable.
Brit checked me at 5am to see if the cytotek had done anything and boom! I was 8cm dilated! She was amazed! So she starts the pitocin to get the contractions going a little more and I asked to get hooked up on an epidural. Stat, haha. 

The epidural. Needle in the spine. Woah. 
Not going to lie,  I wasn't in the best of moods about it. I'd been a bad pregnant lady and read too many ugly birth stories. But the anesthesiologist was quick and it really was almost painless. Seriously nothing! Thank goodness!

By now, it's around 7am. I've got the epidural juices flowing. For the first time, I'm feeling super comfy.


My OB swings by to say hi and checks me herself. 9 cm this time! She says it looks like she'll see me in a little while and heads off to her practice {around the corner from the hospital}.
And time creeps on. I'm comfy and numb. The only side effect that I had from the epidural was that it gave me the shakes. Essentially, I was shivering for hours, but I wasn't cold. So weird and a little hilarious.

By now, its a normal hour of the day and family starts to show up. We're all just sitting around the hospital room, watching tv and talking about how excited we were for Jake to get here.
I get a new nurse, Julie {appropriate because I kept thinking she looked like a blond Julia Roberts}. And about once an hour Julie checks me. No change. No change. No change. Although I'm in no pain, it's still frustrating to be so close, but never quite there {plus, day time television is awful}.

Finally it's 1pm and still no change. I'd been at 9cm for five hours!  Julie tells me that she thinks Jake's head is turned a little to the side and he's stuck.. It's keeping the labor from progressing until he turns it about another 45 degrees. So she tries this nursing trick called "The Wedge". Basically she and another nurse turn me on my side and start tucking rolled up pillows and blankets all around me and under my belly in the weirdest way. I laid that way for hour, hoping that little man would shift.
 An hour later, and sure enough, he's moved! I was finally 10cm and ready to push!


Jacob Aaron Wilder arrived at 4:34pm after about an hour of pushing.
7lbs, 3 oz and 20 inches long. He was beautiful and he came out squalling. 


 The nurses took him over to the little baby table to clean him up a bit and J.B. stood over them watching. But bless his heart, he kept coming back over to me in the bed while the doctor finished up. He couldn't decide where to be! He was a little frantic, saying, "I have to watch over both you now!" Oh, I just love that man.

Once the doctor and the nurses had finished with Jake and I, our family of three got a few moments to snuggle together. Goodness, he was sweet even from those first moments. We held him tight and just looked him all over. He has a head full of pretty brown hair and no birth marks that we can find. Most newborns look like little aliens for awhile, but we just kept thinking that he looked like a little doll. A tiny human version. Then again, we're pretty biased.
Here's our little man at about 30 minutes old...



About a half hour later J.B. took Jake to the nursery where they gave him his first bath and all the touching up a newborn needs.






Our hospital stay was busy and exhausting. We spent every moment trying to learn about our new little wonder, had tons of lovely visitors, and got almost no sleep. That's the thing about hospitals.




Now that we're home, we've tried to settle into a bit of a routine. It's been great for Jake, who is a wonderfully sweet baby. He eats well, sleeps well and loves to stare up at you with his big blue eyes {which I'm hoping will stay blue since both mine and J.B.'s are}.

He did have a bit of jaundice over the weekend so the pediatrician put him on the photo therapy lights for 48 hours. I thought I'd have a breakdown not being able to pick him up, but Jake loved laying on the lights so that made things so much easier.


He's off the lights now and has great levels. At one week old he rocked his last appointment and was already back up to his birth weight! The pediatrician was super impressed with our little champ!

My pups have been really excited to have Jake around. Delilah is interested in him, but keeps a respectable distance. She's a lazy girl. Denver, on the other hand, is completely obsessed with him. If he cries, Denver runs around next to you with the saddest look on his face. He just wants us to make Jake happy again. And when Jake is sleeping, Denver walks past his bassinet over and over again to check him. Even on the photo therapy lights, Denver kept watch.




All in all, things are going well. I'm a week out and feeling great! I was weeding some flower beds this morning and have been running around like normal.  .

Thanks so much for all your congratulations and comments. We're having a blast as a family of three!
{or five! if you count my precious furbabies}






Monday, March 26, 2012

scrap wreath {tutorial}

We are settling in at home with sweet Jake. He's a precious baby... and a night owl. Bless him.
 I promise to have more pictures and share more about his birth story later this week.

But for today, how about a craft?

Of course, my babe had to have a cute wreath to hang on the door at the hospital. Here's the one that I made the week before he debuted:




This is a super simple and fun wreath to make for a fun event! And if you're like me, you have tons of scrap fabric around that you need a good project for.

My wreath is around 12-14" in diameter. I used around 1/4 to 3/8 of a yard of six different fabrics - so you don't need much. 

Start by ripping up your fabric into 6 inch or so strips {if you like that shredded look like I do}. Here's how I do it...

I started with a 1/4 of a yard, and folded it in half lengthwise...



Snip a small cut along the fold.




Now rip it down the fold...



 Should look like this:




Now you can start ripping your strips of fabric. Making small cuts ahead of time helps.




Start tearing....




Until you have a big pile of fabrics.




Next you'll need your wreath form. I'd suggest using a wire frame. My local craft store was all out so I decided to just make my own with some thick floral wire. 
Just make sure it's not floppy, otherwise weight of the fabric will cause it to lose its circular shape. 




Then start knotting your fabric strips.




Here's my wreath, all knotted up...





I bought this wooden piece to go in the center of the wreath. I had my hubby drill a few holes in the corners.




After decorating, I just tied on the name plate with - you guessed it - scraps!
Perfect for my little man!






Thursday, March 22, 2012

he's here!

Jacob Aaron Wilder was born at 4:34pm on Tuesday, March 20th. He weighed 7lbs, 3oz and was 20 inches long. He has a head full of wavy sandy brown hair. We are so in love!



We are so enjoying our family of three!
More pictures and bragging to come soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012

39 Weeks



Well folks, this is the end of the ride.

Literally.

J.B. and I are headed to the hospital tonight to meet Baby Jake! Ekk!!! 
Why tonight, you ask? Well, apparently, I'm having a bobble-head. For real.

At our appointment last week, my obstetrician decided to do one last ultrasound to see what was going on with the little guy. Since he's been flipping all over the place, she wanted to make sure he had settled head-down. And since I'm so petite {sans baby, haha}, she also wanted to check out his weight.

The good news is that Jake has finally turned his little breeched butt around! The less thrilling news was that my fella' is measuring in the 99th percentile in head size.
 Yup, my own little bobble-head baby!
{clearly there is no doubt that he is his father's son, bless him}

Since he was already up to 7 1/2 lbs at that appointment last week, my OB thought we should probably get a move on soon.
So off to the hospital we go!


For all of those that have been following along, thanks so much!
And for all my curious pregnant friends, here's a recap of my last 9-10 months:


Never had any morning sickness {high five!}
 ____

 Gained a total of 18 pounds, distributed pretty evenly throughout all three trimesters. I like to think that all of it is pretty front and center, but I guess we'll see how it goes...
 ____

 Never had many specific cravings, I just love food! If there is a commercial on tv that looks good, I am in. My favorite junk foods, like hot wings and pizza, were just a million times more delicious!

 ____
 
While Baby Jake has never really been one to kick or punch me in any kind of painful way throughout this whole pregnancy, he changed positions allllllll the time. It gets pretty painful when he decides to move his little bum from one side of my body to another!
 ____

He also was a hiccuping machine. Especially in the final trimester, he got the hiccups four to five times a day. It was super adorable at first, but honestly in the end, it kind of lost it's charm. The old wives tale is that having the hiccups a lot means the baby has good lung function. Fingers crossed!
____

 My only real issue throughout the pregnancy was sleep. I've had insomnia the entire time. But a mild sleep aid  has helped drastically.
 ____

 Best part? I think finding out the sex. That was when the fun really started. He had a name and little personality already. I was officially going to be a mom to a crazy, scruffy little boy.
 ____

 Worst part? The last few weeks. Starting around 34 weeks or so I got really uncomfortable {and large!}. Ironically, laying or sitting down was the worst. Which kinda stinks when that's all your body wants to do. A big part of it is that the anticipation gets super crazy then too. You're tired of being pregnant and you want to meet your kiddo. You're just... done. 
____

 I haven't had much swelling here at the end either. In the last few days, my feet will occasionally swell a bit if I'm standing for too long, but a couple days of that has been no biggie.
 ____

 Never experienced any Braxton Hicks contractions.
 


All in all, it's been a really great and easy pregnancy! But I'm incredibly nervous about everything to come! Even if I can convince my brain to not think about the whole labor concept, I'm still super anxious about being a mom to a newborn! Me? Really? A mom??
Here goes nothing!

Wish us luck!!!




Thursday, March 15, 2012

Take me to West Elm!

There are some of those places that I just love to shop.

West Elm is definitely one of them! They are always coming up with some fantastic new things that make me completely lustful! Here's some of what I've had my eye on lately...




































Feel free to ship any gift cards my way, folks!
Something about being mega pregnant makes shopping online super joyous!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homemade Banana Pudding - recipe


Yup, still here. Still pregnant. 
Still eating lots of yummy things!!


I looooove banana pudding. 
In this part of the county it's a staple at every yummy southern restaurant - that and some form of cobbler.

So I decided to try my hand at my making my own. OMGeeeee, delish!

Try it out!!


Ingredients: 

3 cups of milk
3 egg yolks
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. of vanilla
About half of a box of vanilla wafers
3 bananas
 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip



Mix milk and egg yolks to a medium saucepan and whisk. Then add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk again until it's smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes or until it thickens.
{If it’s not getting as thick as you’d like after the 20 minutes, add just a bit more flour}



 
 Remove from the heat and add your vanilla.

I decided to arrange my banana pudding in a large dish. I started by arranging a layer of wafer cookies and a layer of bananas.



 
  Spoon custard over bananas. 
{Tip: if you give the custard some time to cool, it won't make the wafer cookies so mushy so quickly}




 Repeat your wafer cookie, banana, and custard layers until the custard is gone.





Spread the cool whip over the top.




Eat as is or give it several hours to cool. I love both!




Another awesome thing about banana pudding is that you can make and arrange it in a variety of ways. Check out some of awesome looking banana puddings!!