Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year–Welcome 2012


So grateful for all my family and friends and all the new friends God has added to my life this year.  Especially thankful for Dave, Henry, baby and Maggie the Annoying (dog).

Going to church to ring in the New Year if we make it that late with a toddler!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pinterest Post

Here we go Pinterest, here we go.  Pinterest is a lot of fun.  There are fantastic DIY projects, outstanding recipes, gift ideas, gorgeous room redo's,  photography, travel, health, exercise, family fun and much more.  That’s why it’s fun and can be addicting.  Say, if you love all things weddings like my grandmother, you could spend hours looking at dresses, table settings, photography, flowers and so on.  Love it.

Here are some of my most recent Pinterest pins that may or may not interest you:

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via.  I think my aunt Annie once tried to communicate the health benefits of coconut oil and I wasn’t ready for it mentally.  For some reason it keeps popping up everywhere lately and has really caught my attention.

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via.  I really like this look.  I love cleanness of letting dishes be your decoration.  The black lower cabinets with clean lines and white upper.  So crisp.  So inviting.  Love.

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via.  This is delicious.  I love several paned windows painted black and to use as a sliding door.  Brilliant.

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via. I really love the table top in the this photo.  It would look good with any style.  Okay, maybe not super formal, but you get what I mean.

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via. Board & Batten love. I love the height of it and the narrow spacing.  Gorgeous.

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via. Have  you noticed how much I love white cabinets?  I do like mixing, too, and that might be a change I would do in this kitchen.  But how can you go wrong with those stunning windows, dark floors, marble counters and that massive stove and farm sink?  Please.  Love.

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via.  I don’t think I could pull this style off in my own house even if I had the money but it sure does look luxurious  I am sure Maggie would enjoy the Zebra rug as much as that dog.  No wait, our bed would never look that nice because she would be enjoying the bed.

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via.  This looks like a place in my mind I would like to enjoy but if I had it, I would probably never go there.  Beautiful though.

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via.  This reminds me of opening up the Country Living Magazine which is my all time favorite and something I look forward to the whole month before the next issue arrives.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

15 Weeks Pregnant

Confession One:  Too much Chipotle

Confession Two:  Too much caffeine.  I seriously need to restrict myself.  I do most days but why is it so comforting to drink (caffeine NOT alcohol!!) when pregnant?  Which brings me to my next confession:

Confession Three:  Too much Dr. Pepper.  Pretty sick I know.  But in those weeks of light headedness and that short spell of nausea it hit the spot.

Confession Four:  I have a cold.  The cold I called my husband a wimp for acting sick.  The not breathing through the nose thing is really starting to get to me.  All this extra oxygen needed has seemed to labor my breathing anyway and now I feel like I sound like I just ran up hill for six miles ALL the time.  Yikes.  So tonight desparate times have called for desperate measures. Yup.  I have chopped a raw onion, made a concoction and have even resorted to putting onions in my nose for some minor relief.  So sick.  I know.  Dave is refusing to believe the level I have stooped to.

Confession Five:  I ate Chipotle tonight and I don’t even know why other than Dave offered to pick it up.  I can barely taste a raw onion.  What was the point?!?!  Addiction?

Confession Six:  I get my next ultrasound in a few weeks and I am getting excited/nervous.  I think that’s what forcing me to rein in my bad habits.  But then I tell my self I was born among a generation when mothers still smoked and maybe drank coffee (I am secretly praying) and we turned out alright.  Right?  Help me out here.

Confession Seven:  I am lazy.  There I said it.  I don’t like being a wimp but I feel like one.  At five I feel like curling up on my bed and sipping tea (well, probably something with more caffeine) and doing nothing.  Oh where, oh where has my energy gone?  Out the door.  Please come back.

Text from Baby Center

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

Happy Birthday, GG

Happy 87th birthday to my grandfather Galkowski.

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He has been blessed with so many years and we are blessed to have him.

James 1:27

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God has really been impressing things on my heart.  Too much to talk about.  I have been doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James.  God has grown my heart even bigger for the orphans and widows.  And for the poor of this world.  Growing up in New England there is so much pride passed down in being independent, being self-sufficient, not having any vulnerability.  I think this is especially true in the church.  Last night’s message was a continuation of what God has been speaking to me.  God does not give up on us and say, “What are you doing, you bunch of idiots”.  And He could.  I have inherited this New England impatience for lack of competence.   I realize it’s my choice, my sin whatever you want to call.  But it’s not from God.  Conviction.  Thank God, God loves us so deeply.  Thank God He doesn’t treat us with the same lack of love and impatience we treat each other.  Thank You, Lord, for your mercy for our ignorance thinking we (I) are so smart and so much better.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grandma Babysitting Craziness

We came home from church to find Me-maw and Henry pretend fighting with the tools she brought him (video below).  Then Henry broke out into a Hallelujah song waving his chain saw.  I had to get him to do it again so I could tape some of it (video above).  This kid is a ticket let me tell you.

Eating Changes Since Sickness with my 2.5 Year Old

Henry has had a lot of changes since his stomach flu or whatever it was.  I know it was more than 48 hours of vomiting and I am wondering if sudden growth spurts ever bring these illnesses on.  Just curious.  Because we have seen A LOT of changes in Henry since he was sick and I think all of them are positive they can just be a little inconvenient.  Before he got sick I was getting concerned with the amount of rice milk he was consuming.  I mean it's always good to drink, right?  But it just wasn't sitting well with me.  I was also wondering how I was going to transition him away from sippy cups which were like a security blanket to him.  Another issue was his pickiness with food (I am not sure that will go a way for a while).  But, man alive, he wanted to eat the same thing every meal.  Peas and hot dogs.  I was comforted by the fact that my cousins who I babysat for years ate microwaved hot dogs 24/7. 

So, changes.  Lots.  Henry associated his rice milk with sickness we think.  He calls it dirty and wants us to wash it.  We had to buy him several beverages before we landed on ice tea as something he would drink.  At the risk of him getting dehydrated, we are going with it for now.  A side note is I looked up consuming large amounts of rice milk.  Not good.  Arsenic is found in all foods, it's just rice holds a larger amount.  Well, he lived through that, praise God.

He also will not drink from a sippy cup.  He was only drinking from one of those disposable clear plastic fountain soda cups with a straw that Johnny & Stacey use for their ice tea.  The cup finally collapsed and now he's drinking from coffee cups.  Praise God.  Dave went out and immediately purchased fancy straw sippy cups.  I hadn't discussed that I wanted to get away from those, but Henry rejected them anyway.

Henry is eating a lot more!  Every morning he wakes up and immediately wants breakfast.   He usually eats french toast (I make it will almond milk, honey and cinnamon) and ham in the morning.  He will eat up to four pieces.   Then it seems like all he does is eat all day. 

He's growing.  He's grown over 1/2 inch in just a couple of weeks.

He's eating a bigger variety of food.  He's actually eating what we eat for dinner which he would never do.  I know many are of the school of thought to force eating what you serve.  That's not always possible when you have a child with a will of steal and one who will vomit on demand.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Big Brother!

We are all so blessed to have so many wonderful memories of Vinny.  He was larger than life and the memories he left are so big they will fill our lifetime.  It’s his fourth birthday in heaven.  Gone suddenly a little less than 3.5 years ago.  It’s so strange to grow older without him here.  We were always talking about our ages – we were 17 months apart.  Well, 1 year, 4 months and 27 days to be exact. 

I was recently thinking about, though we were poor when we were really little, we were so blessed to grow up where we did.  The tree forts, walks in the woods, and running through the fields.  I wouldn’t trade anything if it meant a life without memories with my big brother.  Though they were not all good at the time.  Several fights.  I don’t think we could go 10 seconds in a car when we were 10 and 11 without arguing.   Zac and I often joke we could win the TV series survivor (I have never really seen it) after living with Vinny’s hair trigger temper in his high school years.

This photo was taken outside of Stacey’s first house right after she got married to Myriah & Victor’s dad.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas read by Grammie Sue to Henry.  My mom sent this book for Henry.  She recorded her voice reading it to him.

Henry was riveted.

Christmas Eve with Me-Maw

Happy Christmas Eve

For some reason I couldn't get my camera to focus.  Yesterday we received a delivery of an edible bouquet from my mom and Dan.  I was right in the middle of making something to go in the crock pot and Henry grew very impatient with me because he wanted to start eating the fruit!  Well, mostly the chocolate I think.

Last night I had nursery for our candle service. Then I went over to my friend Beth's house for a sushi party sans the rest of the fam.  I had a total blast.  I think sushi parties are my favorite now.  So good!

Today we are being bums (Dave is sick).  Eating and laying around.  I pulled up lyrics to Christmas songs and sang a bunch to Henry which he loved.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Second Trimester of Pregnancy Two Begins

It’s so funny how sometimes I completely forget I’m pregnant.  Someone will ask me when I’m due and then I’m like, oh yeah, I’m pregnant.  Of course that’s not all the time, I just get so engrossed in daily life.  So here we are entering into the second trimester.  I can hardly believe it.  I have been blessed with my second uneventful pregnancy so far and am grateful and praying it stays that way. 

I have this feeling we are having a girl but, of course, we would be thrilled with either one.  I brought up one name to Dave so far and he completely vetoed it right away.  Said it was an old lady’s name.  I told him it goes with Henry then because he has an old man’s name.  That’s our role with names.  He doesn’t suggest, just vetoes.  Which I guess isn’t out of the ordinary and is better than him being madly in love with some horrible name.  The Ukrainian adoption story couple I am following has the same set up with the name situation.  She suggests and he vetoes.  Names do grow on Dave.  I suggested Henry and he said no way.  Then it really started to grow on him.  We didn’t even have a name before I gave birth and an hour or so after he was born he was named Henry.  We both think it’s the perfect name for him.  He’s such a Henry.

Speaking of Henry.  He’s getting very, very, very bossy/demanding.  We spent the day with my aunt Stacey and he ordered her around.  I know it’s terrible but I can’t help laughing.  I am creating a monster.  Well, he’s perfect but I am not doing much to stop his bossiness.   Henry requested Stacey sing Jingle Bells about 5,000 times and then he sang it the  rest of the day.  He sings all the time and makes up his own songs too.  Last night on the way home from church he sang a “no” song to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star.  Such a little character.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Henry and I made my second ever batch of Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies.  It is a pretty simple recipe and great for those with casein allergies as well.  The peanut butter flavor is not too strong and the perfect accent.



I am so thankful Henry is more like himself today after almost a week of sickness.  Here he is helping make the cookies.  He was the operator of the mixer.


Enjoying his masterpiece – Gluten free chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.

Recipe Yields 4 Dozen:

Preheat oven to 375

  • 2 1/4 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour Mix
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Sticks of room temperature Butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla (make sure is gluten free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips or other chocolate chips not containing dairy
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of peanut butter

Mix butter and sugars together in a mixer on medium speed until creamed

Add vanilla & eggs one at a time until mixed in.

Add in dry mixer slowly on low speed just until mixed in.

Add in peanut butter.

Add in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate batter for 10 minutes.

Form small mounds of cookie batter on cookie sheet (about 12)

Bake 9 – 11 minutes.

Emma’s Farm Birthday Party Part 4



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Interesting Geography Lesson

I quite often hear people comparing Maine to places as far north as Finland and Alaska.  Most of the population of Maine lives directly on the coast within 1.5 hours of Portland.  Here is an example of the Latitude of Portland, Maine and other US and world cities that are further north.  Just thought this was interesting.


43°39'N – Portland, ME

44°59'N - Minneapolis Minn

46°00'N -  Butte, Mont.

52 22 N Amsterdam, Netherlands

52 30 N Berlin, Germany

44 50 N Bordeaux, France

51 32 N London, England

46 27 N Odessa, Ukraine

48 48 N Paris, France

Monday, December 19, 2011

Intense Ukraine Adoption Story

I have been following this blog for a couple of years.  Rachael with the same spelling is from Michigan and has four children – one adopted from Russian.  She recently took a trip to Ukraine to help an organization choose orphaned children who are about to age out of the system to come to America for 6 weeks in the summer.  As a result of this trip she and her family hosted a teenage boy.  Something she didn’t expect when leaving for the trip.  Once the boy stepped off the plane her heart melted.  The option of adoption cannot be discussed with host children and it’s not even certain they are available for adoption (complicated system).  But they knew they wanted him.  Now they are on an intense journey in Ukraine – getting court dates for the adoption, going through the legal process and saying goodbye to Sergey’s siblings.  Heart wrenching and a super miracle all at the same time.

Read for yourself here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pinterest Favorites

On a lighter note (Henry seems to be more himself tonight – thanking God for answered prayers)…. here are some of my Pinterest favorites since my last Pinterest post.

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Cool kitchen layout via.

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Beautiful kitchen design via.

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Now that is quite a tub via.

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Wow.  Nice foyer/hallway table.  I think it’s a marble top and I love it and the whole thing via.

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Cute shutter table via.

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I would love to eat perogies.

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What.a.couch.  Via.

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What to try these in art class.  via.

Stomach Flu–Lingering Illness

Little man still has some lingering sickness.  I am afraid his throat is sore.  I am hoping the vomiting that he did twice yesterday and once so far today are just because his stomach is sensitive due to such a severe case of the stomach flu and not because of something else like strep.  I have been on my knees begging God to take this away from little Henry.  It rips my heart out to see him sick.   I am so grateful to God that he has perked up the last couple of days though still lethargic and not himself.  I am also grateful for another major answer to prayer which is he pooped a big poop this morning.  I was having fears of some type of blockage.  He also has been able to keep some food and fluid down and we found something he is willing to drink.  All major answers to prayer.  I am taking him to the doctor tomorrow to make sure there isn’t something else going on like strep throat.  Please pray he makes a full recovery and is able to rest the remainder of this day.  He is taking a nap with his father right now.

A miracle from God is that Dave had taken off Friday and Monday because they were the only days left the rest of the year.  I am so glad he has been home.  He’s been so encouraging and helpful when I have been a nervous wreck.  He has been doing mounds of vomit covered laundry, mopping up it up on the floors and has even forced me to leave the house a couple of times to get me out of here.  Last night I went to Hamden again with my friend Beth.  I had a good time but felt very guilty and missed my baby the whole time.

We have been a solid week with illness in this house starting out with Dave having some sort of virus last Sunday night. Don’t get me wrong.  I am not complaining.  I would take a week or two of sickness over so many things and am extremely grateful for the faithfulness of God.  I just can’t seem to function normally when it’s going on – like not making dinner for a solid week.  Poor Dave.  He is such a good sport.