Monday, August 30, 2010

The Secret Club - Blogher Post

There is this secret club that no one ever talks about and you would never know that it even exists, that is until you get pregnant.

Before you ever get pregnant you think you have an idea about how it is going to go; morning sickness, the urge to pee all the time, cravings, and that it is going to hurt like hell. Well there is a lot that isn't taught in school or talked about, it isn't until your pregnant everyone who has gone through it decides that's when to share what really happens, when there is no turning back!

Once I became pregnant, I heard a lot of "has [this] happened yet?" I usually looked at them in question and either said "um, no" or "um, yeah. It happened to you too?"

I was lucky, I had a really easy pregnancy. No morning sickness (at any part of the day), no cravings that I just had to have at that very minute, I felt great! Well all for one little thing...hemorrhoids and I had them bad. I don't remember anyone ever telling me that I was going to have to take a stool softener everyday for the last two months. But once I mentioned constipation, my mom and sister both told me it could be bad. Why didn't anyone tell me before?

My favorite question, "have you had the bloody show yet?" WHAT?? Nothing about that sounds good! Well if I actually did research I would have known what that was but really they need to call it something else.
I also had it in my head that both my mom and sister had easy deliveries and that will deliver like my mother, well almost. Everything was going smoothly, I went from not being dilated to fully dilated in thirty minutes, he crowned in the next five, then nothing he wouldn't move. After three hours of pushing I was taken to surgery for an emergency c-section. I wasn't expecting it and neither was my husband or mother (who was in the waiting room and I found out later was crying to her best friend because she knew something was wrong.) Well after sharing my story, I couldn't believe how many people said "yeah, that happened to me too." Once again, why do I find out after the fact?

I also never realized what came along with the c-section. It is a serious surgery, why anyone would choose to have one is beyond me! I was in the hospital for four full days, the let me go a day early. I was hooked to a catheter till the third night because I couldn't pee on my own. I couldn't walk. The worst...I wasn't able to hold or focus on my new son right after he was born because of the drugs. My mom feed him with a bottle because my boobs were numb and my arms were so shaky. Once we got home, I could barely bend and walk. I am lucky that my husband was able to take off as long as he did. No one tells you these things!

But now, when I know someone is pregnant (and not before) I share some of the joys of being pregnant. When I am asked a question I answer it honestly with out making it seem better than it really is. Because I am now apart of this club, I am a mom and have been through something that I now know you can't really explain to someone who isn't. Being pregnant is just the initiation. There is no turning back...and you won't ever want too (well you might, but it will pass.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scarecrow Farm and Flea Market

The name of this farm sounds like a place that would have everything, but... That really wasn't the case. It was nice don't get me wrong. The owner was a very nice man who was great to talk to, most likely an old hippy. The farm has a lot of space for flea market vendors and visitors, today it was empty except for one vendor who was packing up when we got there. (Granted the hours were from 9-2 and we got there at 1:30, so we may have missed more.)

About two to three times a month they have live music, activities for kids and of course vendors selling anything. It is definitely more of a flea market than a farmers market but they did have fresh local fruits and vegetables. The owner and I talked about the long neck pumpkins that were on the front porch and he seemed excited about all the fall vegetables that will be coming soon.  My sister-in-law and I decided that we may reserve a space in October and sell some things and see it while it is a little more busy.

I have to admit I am a sucker for cute old men, I can't help it. some people like babies, me? Nope it's old men, I can listen to their stories for hours. And now you are probably thinking "why is she telling me this?" well the farm has this quote under their sign, on their t-shirts (yes they have t-shirts) and on other signs posted around the store. It is, "Help yourself, pay the cute old man in the shed." and I must admit he is a cute old man, ponytail and all.

Getting back on track...

I plan on going to this farm again, earlier next time, to see if there is more. They do however have a lot of scarecrows, they seem homemade like someones crafts. They are cute but unless I gave in to my child whining to have one I don't think I would actually purchase one. They just aren't my style, my neighbor has one in their yard.

If you are interested in checking them out you can find them at 2178 Orwig Road in Stewartstown or on the web at

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Getting a phone call from my husband telling me one of my sons friends in his room at day care was sent home and has whooping cough is a little scary.  I know it isn't life threatening, but have you ever heard the sound of a whooping cough?  It is down right disturbing!  I have seen more public service announcements talking about getting vaccinated, but I never really paid much attention to it because I knew my son was getting the vaccine.  I never really thought about getting it myself, but now everyone is saying that adults should get re-vaccinated.  While I was at the doctors the other day, I got my much needed tetanus shot, which now includes the pertussis vaccine. 

Doing some research, since my sons doctor told us that if we see any signs within 21 days to contact the office so he can be treated, I not only was able to listen to the sounds the cough makes I also learned a little more about the bacteria.  First thing is that it is a bacteria and not a virus so it can be treated with antibiotics. Good news!  Also, it can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, which is a really long time.  It is the most contagious in the first 2 weeks, but the symptoms are the same as if you had a cold with a slight dry cough so you really wouldn't know or even think that you may have the whooping cough.  And even worse is only 50% of people even get the 'whoop' that follows the cough, so how would you even know that you have the whooping cough and not just a bad cold?  Well you could just stop breathing and turn blue for a little bit. I think even though the 'whoop' sounds really bad, I would rather have the 'whoop'.

After the first 2 weeks, then the symptoms get worse and you may then get the 'whoop'. (I highly suggest that you listen to what it sounds like, even though I must warn is disturbing.  You can listen at, you can also find more information about it there.) The cough can sometime last for a long time, you basically have coughing fits, and in between you may feel fine.  I must say if your child ever gets the cough with the 'whoop' you will not question calling the doctor, you will think your child is gasping for air and can't breathe.

The Dangers of Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Corn Soup

This corn soup started out being a cold soup (it is summer) but I ate it warm and think maybe it could go either way.  It was really simple with fresh in season ingredients.  I didn't measure anything out so below is the process.

Corn Soup

Start by cutting the kernels off 4 ears of corn, put the kernels in a saute pan and the cob in a large pot.  Cut up one jalapeno and add to kernels. Place another jalapeno in the pot with the cobs. While the kernels are sauteing, add carrots, chives, salt and pepper in with the cobs.  Add about 2 cups of water and two chicken bouillon cubes to the pot, cook on medium heat to infuse all the flavors in the now broth. 

In the saute pan, add a couple tablespoons of cumin, a couple cloves of garlic, tomatoes and salt and pepper.  Saute until everything is combined.  To thicken it up I added about a half a cup to a cup of left over mashed potatoes.

Add the broth to the saute pan, mix and simmer for a few minutes.  Cool slightly and add to blender to puree. (You don't have to puree if you like thicker soups.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Batch Cooking Grains

Red Quinoa - Cooked

I have been introducing the 9 month old to new textures when it comes to food, I am finding that there are some that he has no problems with and others...well, it may take a while.  So this past weekend, I decided to do some batch cooking of grains and pasta. 

Most grains and pasta freeze well for at least a month and some longer.  I use a method I call, the stacked freezer bag method.  I use a Tupperware container that I am not using anymore to hold the bags.  I put about a 1/4 cup of the cooled grain or pasta into the bag (I use the snack size bags) and start layering the bags on top of each other.  They plastic container is good for keeping them in the stack.  When you are ready to use the bagged food, just thaw in the refrigerator over night, run under warm water, or remove the food from the bag and microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds (may need longer but I would always start at 30 seconds).

Foods that I have made and freeze this way are:
  • Oatmeal (old fashioned - not instant or quick)
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta (alphabets and ditalini)
  • Bulgur (whole kernel)
  • Couscous
All of these foods can be ground in a food processor or blender to make finer so you can adjust the consistency to your child.

For more information on grains check out these brands:

Sunnyland Mills
Near East
Bob's Red Mill

All of these sites have recipes also.

*Please note, most contain or are wheat so if your child has an allergy don't use them.*

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Whole grain organic vegetable pasta! I had trouble finding something that had a little more nutrition then the plain semolina pastas and I found this in the natural food section of our supper market. It is slightly more expensive then the plain pastas but it is larger and had more nutrition, so I feel it is worth the extra money. I make a week or two worth and freeze it in individual servings using freezer bags that I can stack.

New Freedom Farmers Market

The New Freedom Farmers Market is the first and third Saturday of each month from May thru October, it is located in downtown New Freedom at the Red Cabooses that is along the Heritage Rail Trail in York County.

Today was my first visit, and it took me longer to drive there then to walk through and see all the vendors.  There were maybe about 7-8 vendors that were selling everything from dairy and vegetables to flowers and handmade soaps.  It was all in all a very nice little market.

Two vendors stood out to me, one perhaps because he had a goat with him and the other because they stopped me to give me samples but either way it worked.

The first was Charlottetown Farms located in New Freedom, PA 17349. They had handmade Chevre Cheeses, Goat Milk Soaps, and fresh eggs.

Homemade Chevre Cheese, Charlottetown Farms
The second was the Golden Grain Bread Company also located in New Freedom, PA 17349. They had all kinds of homemade breads, rolls, cookies, etc. and even some cheese from a dairy located in Harford County, MD called Blooms Broom Dairy (which has really good ice cream by the way.)

Kicked Up Rosemary Bread, Golden Grain Bread Co.
For lunch when I got home, I smeared the chevre on the rosemary bread and it was wonderful!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best Plum!

These are sweet little plums, the skin has a great crunch and is tart with the sweetest center! Yummy!

(Wish I could remember the name, it sounded Asian.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Diapers and Formula

Last night I decided that I was going to compare diapers and formula because I am sick of just assuming certain stores have the best deals. When you are buying a lot of diapers and formula you should take the time and really look to see what you are getting. I know there are times when we run out of something and I just run to the closest store just so we have something but those are rare. So I looked on-line, at the stores I most frequent and compare some diapers. The brands I compared are: Pampers, Luvs, Huggies, and the store brand all in Size 4. The stores I looked into are: Babies R Us,, Target, Walmart and Sam's Club. (There are other big clubs out there like, BJ's and Costco but I don't use them so I didn't look into their prices.) So here we go...

Diaper Comparison

Store Brands:
  • 176 count @ 0.23 cents/unit = $40.99
  • Walmart (Parents Choice): 82 count @ 0.18 cents/unit = $14.47
  • Target (Up & Up): 124 count @ 0.16 cents/unit = $19.99
  • Babies R Us (Especially for Baby): 126 count @ 0.16 cents/unit = $19.98
  • Sam's Club (Members Mark): 176 count @ 0.17 cents/unit = $29.98
Pampers (Baby Dry)
  • 176 count @ 0.26 cents/unit = $44.99
  • Walmart: 156 count @ 0.22 cents/unit = $35.00
  • Target: 100 count @ 0.30 cents/unit = $29.99
  • Babies R Us: 176 count @ 0.24 cents/unit = $41.99
  • Sam's Club: 176 count @ 0.21 cents/unit = $37.98
  • 180 count @ 0.21 cents/unit = $36.99
  • Walmart: 180 count @ 0.20 cents/unit = $35.54
  • Target: 180 count @ 0.21 cents/unit = 38.99
  • Babies R Us: NA
  • Sam's Club: NA
Huggies (Snug and Dry*)
  • 140 count @ 0.29 cents/unit = $39.99
  • Walmart: 140 count @ 0.25 cents/unit = $35.00
  • Target*: 108 count @ 0.34 cents/unit = $36.99
  • Babies R Us: 176 count @ 0.24 cents/unit = $41.99
  • Sam's Club: 176 count @ 0.21 cents/unit = $37.14
The winners for the cheapest diapers...
  • Overall: Babies R Us brand @ $19.98, runner up: Target's Up & Up @ $19.99
    • Cheapest per unit @ only 0.16 cents
    • Sam's Club is not far behind at 0.17 cents a unit
  • Pampers
    • Purchase at Sam's Club @ 0.21 cents a unit
    • Runner up: Walmart @ 0.22 cents a unit
  • Luvs
    • Purchase at Walmart @ 0.20 cents a unit
    • Runner up: @ 0.21 cents a unit
  • Huggies
    • Purchase at Sam's Club @ 0.21 cents a unit
    • Runner up: Babies R Us @ 0.24 cents a unit
My personal ratings of the diapers:

1 (poor) - 5 (excellent) brand - NA
Walmart's Parents Choice - 3
Target's Up & Up - 4.5
Babies R Us brand - 4.5
Sam's Club's Members Mark - 4.5
Pampers - 5
Luvs - 4
Huggies - 3

*Target's Huggies were based on Little Movers

Formula Comparison

When it came to comparing formula I only looked in to the store brands and milk based (powder).  When we first switched to formula we used the name brands because that is what was sent home with us from the hospital and because we received a bunch of samples in the mail.  So once we ran out of the free stash we looked in to the generic brands and realized the ingredients were the same, so why by name brand for twice as much?

So... - 25.75 oz @ 0.74 cents/ounce = $18.99
Walmart - 23.2 oz @ 0.51 cents/oz = $11.88
Target - 25.75 oz @ 0.47 cents/oz = $11.99
Babies R Us - 25.7 oz @ 0.51 cents/oz = $12.99
Sam's Club - 51.4 oz @ 0.38 cents/oz = $19.38

Sam's Club is the best price by far, followed by Target.