Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 years of wededness

Dec 28, 2001, I married DH. So we are celebrating 10 years of marriage. I think we have both worked our asses off when it comes to staying married. We both look at marriage as a job. Like any job, you have days that are wonderful and days that are off. Days were you can't believe you have the privilege of being with this person for the rest of your life and days were you can't believe you are giving this person the privilege of being with you for the rest of your life.

Marriage is marriage. We both have said that divorce is off the table. We will make it work or die trying. I find this mentally has worked very well for us. When times have been hard I don't look for the out; I don't toss out divorce to get my way. I know the bad times are not forever. If we work at it the good times will come back around.

I think the best advice on marriage I ever got was to "move away from home and learn to cling to each other."  I've heard it from couples who's marriages/relationships didn't make it. "We just did learn to depend on one another. We always turned to other people first.". So DH and I moved to Virginia in July of 2003. It was the best decision we ever made! I had to trust that DH had my back because I had no one else. We became a family. I know that if we hadn't have made that move we would have been divorced a long time ago. So even though we are back in Texas and back with family, we know that our first family is now each other.  Home is where we are and family is us.

Senior Prom '97
So today I celebrate 10 years of marriage.   They have been everything DH promised they would be: good/bad, sickness/health, rich(relatively speaking)/poor, funny/sad and so much more than I could have or would have thought.  The gift of our Audrey 2 years ago and the addition of Snoopy and Jasmin 3 years before that just added to the love in our family.   I think we both would like to expand the family with a few more children but we're learning to let God be in control and just enjoy the ride.

So to DH:  I love you.  I thank you for everything.  We've gone from 16-year-olds with nothing but dreams to 33-year-olds with a real family of our own.  I know we don't always see eye to eye but as long as you're willing to work at it I'm willing too.  I promise you I'm more stubborn and will always win at the "willing to work at it" game.  We celebrate 10 years of marriage but I hope that when we are looking back from our 50th that we'll see just how stupid and childish our views of ourselves were and how we have finally grown-up.  I look forward to many more years of dancing and singing and in general embarrassing of Audrey.  I pray that God blesses us with more children.  I can't wait to see the things that God has in store for us.  Love you always, Martha

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random recipe: glutenfree cheesecake

So this cheesecake is the result of my need for cheesecake and my random trying of various recipes I have found on-line. It combines two different recipes all while making it my own. Things to note: read the ingredients on all of your items to make sure there is no gluten in them and if at first you don't succeed, you still have a decent enough cheesecake so enjoy. :)

Preheat oven to 325.  You'll need a 10-inch springform pan.

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-free Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I try it in everything, so it makes more like a Snickerdoodle crust)

Mix everything in a bowl until a soft dough forms. mold into your 10-inch springform pan. Go up about an inch or go all the way up and have an extra bit of cookie crust.  Now time to make filling.

3 packages of 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 & 1/4 cups sugar (regular stuff)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Beat cream cheese and sugar together on slow until blended.  Beat in vanilla and eggs one at a time.  Pour into crust.  Bake for about 65 - 75 mins until puffy and light golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy!

I think the hardest part is the crust.  The dough doesn't always want to stick to the pan or will try to fall apart.  It's gluten-free so keep in mind it's not exactly like 'regular' cookie dough.  Play with the recipe.  Add chocolate, avoid the cinnamon, but most importantly enjoy.  I've made this three times and each time it goes faster than the first.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wheat challenge - Round 2

So Audrey's birthday is in 6 days! So hard to believe I'll have a 2 year old in less than a week. But this leads us to wheat challenge - round 2. Audrey's allergist suggested we challenge the wheat-free diet around Audrey's 2nd birthday. I guess 2 is the magic allergy number. So we decided to head to Olive Garden and order whatever we wanted!

I was excited. Order anything! Eat a breadstick! Not worry about what I"m eating, sign me back up for that life. I wish it was that easy. Having been strictly wheat-free for almost 2 years, plus off an on for 6 years prior, it's hard to go back to eating without worry. I don't know why I thought I would go back to old me in one trip to the Olive Garden. I still asked for the gluten-free menu. I wish they had an ingredients list. We do eat gluten-free since it makes life easier but strictly speaking we're wheat-free. Having something with a little MSG don't kill us so if the ingredients are clear of wheat we eat it. The Olive Garden's gluten-free menu is small and they have one penne pasta that is gluten-free. But I'm sure they have other things that are wheat-free that we can probably eat.

Anyways, we were going with a challenge so I start looking at the regular menu. What to have, what to have? Alfredo? Eggplant parm? Nope I start looking at Herb Salmon. Yep, even in my eat anything I'm still going toward the gluten-free stuff. I finally decided on the Chianti braised short-ribs. Not gluten-free but not pasta either. It comes with risotto. Where the gluten is in the dish I know not. We also ordered calamari. Audrey got a children's gluten-free penne with marinara. We didn't want to push her too much.

I got a bite of calamari. Strangely it wasn't as good as I remembered. I got a bite of breadstick. So disappointed. Why had I been pining for this stuff? Did we hit the Olive Garden on a bad day? I think DH said it best. "You're just a wheat-free girl now!" Laughing with glee. Evil wheat-allergic man! I did get mad. I don't like the food anymore. I didn't want the breadstick; I wanted a piece of Udi's with garlic butter. The calamari was just sad. My ribs were good. I guess the wheat is in the "gravy." Audrey ate some calamari, a bite of DH's spaghetti and lots of penne. Later that night we let her have a bite of "real" brownie. We had a wheat-filled day! or what we think of as a wheat-filled day.

So last night, 3 am, Audrey is crying. She's passing gas like crazy. She's rolling around unable to get comfy. Guess what, the kid is still allergic to wheat! She kept nursing but since I had had wheat she was just pouring more allergens into her system. Today she is all broken out. I think we can call this done. Audrey has a wheat allergy. Is it deadly? Thankfully no. If she decides to eat a piece of regular pizza, I won't panic. I don't be taking her to Mikey Dee's anytime soon but I think I can let go of some of the panic I've had in the past.

As for me, I am realizing that wheat-free isn't a diet or a change for now but a change for life. I'm learning to bake wheat-free. I"m longing for my food past less and less. I'm finding that "bread" doesn't appeal to me like it use to.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: two snowflakes

Pic from the Christmas parade

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sid the Science Kid

So if you have a child and watch PBS, you know all about Sid the Science Kid. It is a fantastic show that helps teach children about science and asking questions. They have great catchy music on top of teaching kids about science. It is a favorite of mine and Audrey's. DH loves that it teaches about science; I guess the whole part about DH being a physicist plays a part in the love of Sid.
So I just got a heads up that Sid will be featuring EMMY®-award winning actress America Ferrera (one of my favorite actresses) as the voice of marine biologist Dr. Rosalinda Cordova starting on  Monday, December 5 on PBS KIDS® .  They will be doing a entire week of shows for "Technology and Engineering Week" that focus on inspiring young girls to take an interest in science.  I know not everyone has a DH that lives and breathes science, so it's good to see a a show focus on getting our girls hooked on science.  

Here is a brief description of what to expect this week on Sid:
  • I Want to be a Scientist!”  Premieres Monday, December 5
Sid whats to know, “What kind of scientist investigates animals?”  Fortunately for Sid, his class is going on a field trip to the Science Center, where a special guest greets them—it’s Gabriela’s Mom, Dr. Rosalinda Cordova (America Ferrera).  She is a marine biologist, and tells the kids about her exciting job SCUBA diving with whales.  Completely enthralled, Sid wants to know if scientists investigate other kinds of animals, too.  

  • The Amazing Computer Science Tool!”  Premieres Tuesday, December 6
Every time Sid's parents' computer “dings” Mom and Dad run to check their computer, so Sid wants to know what computers do.  Mom volunteers to show Sid’s class how a computer works, which helps Teacher Susie demonstrate the amazing way scientists use computers as a science tool.

  • The Big Cheese!”  Premieres Wednesday, December 7
While surfing the Internet with his Mom, Sid finds a funny picture showing that the moon is made of green, glowing, cheese.  Sid thinks this is amazing, and when he goes to school, he relays his newly found moon information to his friends.  When they tell Susie what they learned, Susie explains something very important—not everything you find on the computer is true.

  • Sid Wings It!”  Premieres Thursday, December 8
In his backyard, Sid shows off his homemade cardboard wings.  He’s wearing them because he wants to fly, just like the bird he has been watching all morning.  But his flight plans don’t work out so he heads to school to investigate.  Susie announces that the class is going to visit the Science Center to check out a special exhibit about FLIGHT.  Sid and his friends are thrilled to discover how people learned how to fly by observing birds in nature, just like Sid did. 

  • Sid Engineers A Solution”  Premieres Friday, December 9
Sid has a big, big, big problem.  He’s trying to grab a cereal box located way up high on the kitchen shelf, but he just can’t reach it.  At school, Sid and his friends encounter another problem.  They need to get a ball down that got stuck in a tree. Susie has an idea.  If they have a problem, it’s time to “engineer a solution.”  The kids work as a team, brainstorm some ideas, draw pictures of their ideas, and then try building their ideas.  

You'll have to check your local listing for times but as the mom of a young girl, I'll be making sure we tune in each day.  If you don't believe my high praise then just so you know, Sid has 5 EMMY nominations to it's credit.  It's from the Jim Henson Company, so you know it's fun and kids will watch.   I will warn you that the songs are catchy so be prepared to be singing them for the rest of the day!  

I'm so happy to have found Sid, and if you don't know Sid then you are really missing out.  Check him out on and don't forget to watch next week!