Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I love keeping bananas in the house not only to snack on but for banana bread and muffins when they get a little soft. After I've given Ford eggs and yogurt in the morning, I let him munch on bread (and it makes the perfect afternoon snack for me!). Even though I am a major supporter of this banana bread recipe, I love trying new ones. I mean, when there is cream cheese involved, we know it's gonna be good! Jon and I could have easily eaten an entire loaf in one sitting. There was something different about this bread, the crust tasted like it was baked or dusted with sugar, like bakery muffins usually are. Wow!

Ingredients- makes 2 loafs
3/4 cup melted butter
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*Optional, 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Mix together all ingredients and stir thoroughly until fully combined (a hand mixer comes in handy)
2. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans
3. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour
4. Enjoy!
Original Recipe

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 reasons not to be afraid of C sections

This is a post I wrote for MOMquery last month and wanted to share here on my personal blog. A c section is usually no one's Plan A, it sure as heck wasn't mine, but I embrace my birth story and don't want mamas to be to be afraid of them! P.S. Are you following MOMquery on Facebook?

1. They are safe

Modern medicine continues to blow me away. Embryos and sperm and united in petri dishes and carried by surrogates. We have the ability to see babies in 4D and fight over whose nose he has. And hearts are transplanted from one body to another. Incredible. Medicine has come such a long way and I am so confident in the knowledge and practices of today's doctors, especially the one I carefully researched and chose. These doctors know what they are doing, this is their job. Just like as a full time mommy I feel like I could change a diaper or make a cheese quesadilla in my sleep, doctors perform C sections every day and continue to advance their skills and abilities. Anesthesia won't damage your baby's brain, come on, Ford turned out fine. An epidural won't kill ya, millions of women get them every year. Thank you God for modern medicine!

2. They are quick

Labor is called labor for a reason, it is work! My first delivery started with a long, painful induction and ended in a full surgery cesarean. It definitely wasn't your traditional birth story. So yes there are times when a C section comes after a grueling 24 hour labor but the actual surgery is quick. My baby was out within 2 minutes of being wheeled into the OR. It seems like a dream knowing that this next baby I am carrying will be born without labor, without a contraction, without the anxiety of thinking of pushing something out of my lady bits. I will show up and an hour later meet my baby. Is this real life?

3. You will feel normal again

Just because a C section is quick, does not mean it comes without pain. Now I've never experienced a vaginal delivery but the recovery from a C section is rough. It's the one time in your life where you experience MAJOR surgery and are immediately required to be up around the clock feeding, changing, getting acquainted with this strange little human that just came out of you. There is not a grace period with C sections, you have to jump right back into motherhood. I remember telling people that I could totally deal with the sleep deprivation, it was the C section recovery that had me in tears every night. It took me 5 minutes just to get out of bed in the mornings and I hobbled hunchback around my house. But then the 3 week mark hit and I felt like a human again. Each day after that I regained strength and muscle memory and my spirits sky rocketed knowing I wouldn't forever feel like my insides had been ripped apart. It gives me the chills to think back to those first few days post surgery but I am reminded how incredible the human body is at repairing and recovering. Besides my incision scar, I can honestly say it feels like it never happened.

4. No damage to your lady parts

Do I have to go into detail? Ha! I mean, a C section is no one's plan A but I spent a lot of time finding green pastures in the middle of a traumatic and painful part of my life. I don't suddenly pee my pants when I jump up and down or feel where stitches used to be while being intimate with my husband. Sure I get numb around my incision occasionally (what a weird sensation) but I am proud to say that my lady parts experienced no trauma, tearing, or damage while delivering. That's good for something, right?!

5. You were made for this

One of the most discouraging things I heard post emergency C section was women apologizing to me that I had to have one and that I didn't get to experience "real" birth. First my uterus was cut open and a baby ripped out, now my heart was ripped out. Ouch. I feel so blessed to live in a time where I lived through the birth of my son. 50, 100 years ago, I don't think that would have been the case. The female body was made to grow and birth a baby and that is exactly what I did. I don't feel like I missed out on anything because I didn't pop a baby out through my vagina and I sure as heck don't feel like less of a woman for it. I actually feel like a gladiator. I did it! I never even thought my barely 5 foot framed body could carry a baby full term, let alone overdue. No matter how the baby comes out, we did it! What a feat!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Emma Joy Designs {giveaway}

The internet can be a scary place but it can also be oh so wonderful. Never did I think I would meet people via the world wide web that I would call my dearest friends. Friends that text me when their water breaks, friends that text me asking for prayers when they are fed up with their teething toddlers, and friends who love on me and my family. I had someone comment last Christmas on how many Christmas cards I had pinned up in my house and I would guess that at least half were internet friends. What a joy it has been to build true community and friendship on the web. One of the ladies who has been a rock in my life for a few years now is Liz, mama to Emma Joy, NICU survivor, former teacher, children's ministry leader, and now turned printable shop owner! Liz started creating chalkboard prints for birthdays and has expanded her shop, Emma Joy Designs, into custom invitations, printables, and more. Our little girls share the same precious middle name too. Liz knew that the second I found out I was having a baby girl, she would be Lucy Joy. 

She crafted this adorable and fun print for us to remember my pregnancy with our little lady!

Chalkboard prints are becoming super popular for first birthdays (and beyond!), I still have Ford's chalkboard printable hanging out upstairs in the gameroom! These printables are such a sweet way to commemerate and remember the joy, struggle, and fun of the first year of your little one's life. No need to limit the prints to a first birthday either! At only $12, Liz has made it easy for you to create this custom gift and party decoration for your little one.

Here are a few other popular prints in her shop.

Find Emma Joy Designs

Use code RUTHIE10 for 10% off you order! Just mention on Instagram that I sent you! Good until 12/19

Last day to order for Christmas delivery is tomorrow, 12/13.

One lucky reader will receive a custom Emma Joy Designs print or chalkboard print!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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