Join Me For Another 10 Weeks! This is the first week of ten weeks starting October 22, 2012

Hi folks! I'm at it again. I'm going for another 20 pound loss in ten weeks. I've recently had another baby, a little girl, she is now five months old and I'm ready to drop some weight.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"A Girl ?!?"

No, it's not what you think....I'm not having a girl...

At least I don't think.

I just wanted to share something funny someone said to me today.

So, there I was this morning, waiting near the hospital coffee pot for my name to get called for my pregnancy visit, when this guy strolls up.

He pours himself a cup of coffee and says, "I just LOVE this coffee. Heck, I make extra appointments just so I can drink their coffee."

I nodded in agreement. "Yes, I know. I also know why it tastes so good too."


"Yes, I had thought it tasted so good too so I asked where they bought it from so I could see see what it's made of (I thought maybe it was the bean they used). The company adds a "flavor enhancer"."

(What I forgot to add, is that they also add an artificial sweetener)

Then he looks at me at me and says, "How much longer?"

"Nine weeks."

Then with his coffee in one hand, he leans back like he's sizing me up and say, "A girl."

I laugh and say, "Well, they told me it was a boy."

After he walks away, these two gals who were listening nearby smile.

One of them says, "They told me I was having a boy and she came out a girl."

I said, "I don't could see his *fill in the blank* pretty clearly. Although, I would be perfectly happy if he came out a girl!"

To add to this "fun" outing, the midwife measured my abdomen at 33 centimeters. If you recall, the last time I was in, they measured me slightly bigger than my weeks. Usually the measurement of the abdomen will coincide with the number of weeks that you are.

So, of course, it gets me wondering if maybe the baby will come before my due date. I mentioned the possibility to my midwife and she just laughs and says,

"Now...Sunshine Mama, you know better than that. It just means you might have a big baby."

She's right. Measuring big doesn't mean your due date is off. But a girl can hope, right?

But the earliest I've ever gone before my due date is by three days. But I'm already talking to the kids about letting them put in their guesses as to when this baby will come.

My oldest is thinking, October 31 at 8:30 p.m. The second oldest thought maybe November 4th. I'm thinking November 5th, a Friday at 11:00 a.m. seems probable.

My first pregnancy was four days over. The second was two days over. The third was three days before. The fourth was almost 14 days over (But he was positioned wrong and had the cord wrapped around his I wonder if that held things up). And the fifth was right on his due date. All of the babies were born on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Any guesses?

Other than that, I'm feeling great since I've been counting calories and eating healthier. During my visit today, I made my birth plan and pre-registered. My next appointment will be two weeks from now instead of the normal four week interval.

Thanks for your encouragement by the way. I glad you liked the poem and hope I can continue to encourage you too.

Have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Monday, August 30, 2010

If You Knew The Future...

If you knew the future...
What would you do?
Would you ignore that cookie
Calling for you?
If you knew how it felt,
To fit your dream jeans...
Would you pass on the chips
And pick green beans?
If you knew ahead,
Just how good you could look
How great you could feel
With less bites that you took
Would you give yourself...
More of a chance
Would you teach yourself
The diet dance?
Just because...
It's been so long
Doesn't mean
This road is wrong
Just because...
You can't recall
How it felt to have it all
Doesn't mean
You'll never see
The body you
Were meant to be
It only means
You need to dream
And picture yourself
In those jeans
You need to believe
There is a way
And not give up
Until you see that day.
Written by Sunshine Mama on Thursday, August 26, 2010
Hi folks!!
I wrote that last week. I was actually inspired by Tami, who has already reached her goal. She wrote an article a few weeks back asking a similar question.
Sometimes it's hard to envision our success if hasn't happened in a long time or if perhaps you've never seen yourself with your dream body.
That's one of the reasons I try to put pictures of myself on my food diary "looking good" or in my current case, perhaps of another slender pregnant lady.
What we can achieve with our bodies is truly unbelievable....and it might seem especially so when we're trudging along in the trenches of our extra fat.
But being able to see a picture of what we could look like or have looked us hope.
It encourages and motivates us.
So, I really encourage all you calorie counters or WW counters to find your dream photos to put on your food journal.
The more you personalize your food diary...the more you will want to visit it.
And the more you visit it with your daily records...the more successful you will be.
Heck, take this poem...and put it on the inside cover...find encouraging and inspiring words that will lift you up and take you to your dreams.
In the meantime, the pregnant lady is counting with you.
One week down...nine to go.
Last week was a smashing success. I ate better. I felt better.
I lost some weight.
Now... the second week is when I will try to restrict my calories. In my case, I won't be so "strict" about it.
But perhaps a recommended starting point for the non-pregnant persons might be 1,500-ish.
Whatever you decide, always remember that the huge component to your success will always still be...WRITING. IT. DOWN.
Oh...and drinks lots and lots of water. I try to get in eight to ten cups a day.
You can do it!!
Sunshine Mama

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Finally Friday And A Few Updates

Happy Friday folks!!

Sorry to post so late today. BUT I was doing something very important.

Yesterday the library called me to let me know that some "library materials" were ready for me to pick up.

Well, I had been number 21 in line for the latest Jack Reacher novel, "61 Hours".

And it was ready.

So, I picked it up last night. Started reading at 7:30 p.m. Went to bed at midnight. Started again at 9:00 a.m. and finished the book by 2:30 today. (Include a 30 minute lunch, and maybe 30 minutes worth of other distractions...our children? Ha, Ha!)

How many hours did it take me to read 383 pages of 61 Hours by Lee Child?

Nine hours. Not bad.

Maybe I'll begin reading tonight another one of his books that I also picked up while at the library.

In the meantime, I'm so glad I've challenged you all to ten weeks of calories counting.

My eating has been noticeably better. I'm drinking a ton of water whenever I can. I'm still down two pounds from Monday morning despite giving myself permission to eat whatever I want.

Remember there is suppose to be no pressure to restrict calories the first week of calorie counting?

(Even though, we all really know that we'll be tempted to eat less anyway)

So, if you really, really want that chocolate covered cream filled bismark like I did last eat it ...with some milk.

You just make sure you write down the calories. Which I did.

Despite that high calorie doughnut, I'm still pretty sure that I ate fewer calories than I would have if I hadn't been counting calories.

It's weird, but very true. And proven. Studies have shown that people who keep a food journal lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don't keep a food journal.

Hence the reason, I'm going to, at the very least, play these awesome odds for the next 9 1/2 weeks so that I can keep my weight gain reasonable and minimal, and my food choices healthier.

But the second hardest part of the first week of calorie counting starts today.

The weekend.....*with drum roll added*

But to alleviate the mental pressure a little. I'm not restricting...just counting and recording in my big blue notebook.

You guys can do it too.

Let's do it together.

Have an awesome Friday folks!

Sunshine Mama

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Thursday...I'm 30 Weeks Two Days Along...

Happy Thursday folks!

If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again.

It's never as bad as you think.

You're doing better than you think. (that last one is my line.)

I've come to the conclusion that I need to have some kind of back-up plan for when I bake hot home made bread and cookies. Ha! I'll just leave it at that. But, I made a promise and I am still counting my calories or at the very least estimating. I'm there with you guys, don't give it up especially when it gets a little hard. You want the "bad" days down on paper so that you can look back at it and make your adjustments.

Also, I'm in ALL-OUT nesting mode folks. You just have no idea. My husband says he's never seen me this bad. (But perhaps he forgot three pregnancies back when I just up and started painting the kitchen, remodeling...ect). He said he was having a feeling it might get like this when I attacked the back yard last week...

But yesterday... I re-organized the kitchen.

That meant attacking the top of the refrigerator. You some people (like my husband) likes to put stuff up there?

Well, after nine years of marriage...enough was enough!

My husband came home and all of that easy-to-grab "stuff" was put "elsewhere". putting all that stuff on the top of the cup boards may have not been the most accessible place to reach. I mean at 5' 2" I only needed a stool (placed on top of a chair) to reach it....

But, like any good marriage, we compromised and found a more suitable location and now everyone is happy.

But I can not help myself people. I have every intention of spending the next few weeks making this place re-organized and spotless. I also will be homeschooling three to four of our children this year (the fourth being the 4-year-old for a little bit each day).

So, all homeschooling materials and schedules will be ready in conjunction with everything also being ready for our blessed baby boy.

So, today is going to be a great day!! A Happy Thursday!

The back yard looks good.
The kitchen is almost there... a bedroom perhaps and some paperwork reorganization.

Have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Good morning friends!

How do you like the morning posting?

I kind of like it. It's different. I'm not sure if I'll keep it up. We'll see.

I made it through day two yesterday of counting calories. I resisted the donut that was in our house yesterday and split it up between the kids. Everything was going well until we started making cookies for my husband's work.

I ate two whole cookies and probably the equivalent of three cookies in cookie dough. I accidentally got mint chocolate chips for the cookies instead of regular chocolate chips, which oddly enough my husband really liked.

Remember he doesn't like mint chocolate chip?

Then, our daughter accidentally added 1 tbl of baking soda instead of 1 teaspoon. My husband still liked the cookie, but, well, I'm not so sure I do. (even though I ate a bunch of the dough..ha, ha...the dough actually tasted better than the cookie)

So, I don't plan on having any today.

Not that I'm trying to restrict my calories or anything this first week of counting calories.

I actually gained back a pound from the two pounds that I lost yesterday morning. That's why this pregnancy thing is so strange. The weight tends to fluctuate oddly.

But I'm still sticking to my 70 days of counting calories. Everything I eat will be written down.

I made a lot of healthy foods choices yesterday. Spinach salads, eggs, chicken breast, fruits and veggies.

We plan to make eight loaves of bread today with also some home made wheat noodles.

So, this post is meandering a bit. But today is day three of counting calories...the last day of the hardest part of starting. I can do all can do it!!!

And I'm still working on getting some pictures added.

Is anyone out there adding pictures to their calorie counting note books? or their WW notebook's? I'm trying to decided if my "dream" picture of me should be me...not pregnant...or of some slim and trim pregnant gal.

Ha, Ha, Maybe I'll do both!

Well, 69 days and counting.

Have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank You...And How I Get Through This First Week Of Counting Calories

Good Morning!

It's Tuesday and I have officially ten weeks until I'm due.

Also, wanted to just say that you guys are great!

I wasn't really expecting anyone to jump on board and start counting calories with the pregnant mama in the house, but, some of you did and I do feel encouraged.

I kept track yesterday and did really well in making healthy food choices. So much so, that I actually dropped two pounds. But, I think that may be due in part to probably eating bad over the weekend and retaining fluids and stuff. I also drank a lot of water yesterday which always helps to flush out the fluids.

I picked out a blue notebook and plan to put some pictures of myself on it this week so as make my notebook more personal and also to give it a feeling of a safe haven where I work out my eating frustrations. I plan to put pictures on it where I am looking good...and usually I also try to find a current overweight picture to also motivate me too. So, that I can visualize where I want to be and can see the reality of where I'm at.

If you don't have any pictures you feel you have that you can aspire to, pick out one from a magazine and put your head on it. The more you see what you want to be, the more you will try to make it happen.

Whenever I start calorie counting, I make it a point to not restrict my calories the first week. It's very tempting to restrict because at any given moment you may be feeling positive about succeeding. But because we can't see into the future, it's better to eat a little more and be a little happier the first week...why?

Because you just want to get through the first week...making sure you keep track. You are trying to develop a new habit of keeping track of your calories and what you eat. And that's a big deal. Keeping track isn't a habit that is easily developed overnight. So, you want to take the pressure off a little by not "making" yourself keep to a certain number of calories.

Besides, even if you don't try to restrict, you will anyway because it's so hard not to when you are keeping track.

But, also, having a record of what you ate the first week, will allow you to look back and help you to see what you can cut out to make your choices healthier for the next week.

Technically speaking, the first three days of keeping track are the hardest. The rest of the week and getting through the weekend are the second hardest.

So, that's my spiel today. Give yourself grace this first week. You probably won't eat perfect the first week, but that's ok. The goal for the first week is to simply write it all down.

Anyway, that's how I trick myself into starting a food journal. Ha! Ha!

Other than that, there's this donut in our house and I'm suppose to make cookies today. I'm really thinking I'm going to skip the donut and have maybe one cookie.

I'll let you know how I did tomorrow.

I'm so glad I have you all as blogger friends!

Hope you all have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Ten Week Challenge

How many times have I failed
When I've been searching for success
How many times have I given up
In the face of some duress?
How can I count the ways
That I let my hunger win?
And shook my head in shame
As the pounds came on again?
But if ever there was a lesson learned
In all my weight gain woes
It's always to press...on again
Despite repeated blows
Today is new and never lived
A brand new slate the Master gives
To try once more and find a way
To beat the odds and win today.
Written by Sunshine Mama on August 23, 2010

Good morning friends!
I wrote this this morning.
And I'm pregnant.
Technically I'm not suppose to be trying to lose weight.
Perhaps it's good that I haven't succeeded, but perhaps bad that I feel like I'm gaining too much.
I do think I can be making healthier choices that would make my weight gain more reasonable.


A ten week challenge.

I'm following my own advice and am staring a journal this morning. The problem is...that I don't
feel like keeping track of my calories. I really don't. I don't feel like cutting calories. And I probably shouldn't anyway. But I do know that I need to eat healthier.

But I have discovered that the very act of writing down what I eat will indeed help me to make healthier choices.

It will help you to eat healthier.

So, I grabbed a 70 page notebook that I picked up for ten cents that I got on a back-to-school sale.

Did you know that 70 pages equals 70 days? 70 days is ten weeks?

I have 71 days until I'm due. Ten weeks.

It's never to late to take control of our diet.

Never. Even in the last ten weeks of my pregnancy.

So, why don't you grab a cheap notebook too?

Not only write down what you ate, but write down how you feel. Fill up each page if you have to.

Let the day.

If you don't want to do precise caloric calculations...ESTIMATE.


Trust me on this.

And at the end of ten weeks...

We'll see how much I've little I've gained...

And how much you have lost.


Sunshine Mama

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Thursday...I'm 29 Weeks Two Days Along...

Hi everyone!

No picture today, because blogger wouldn't let me upload any due to the storage space issue. How annoying is that? Even an old, already saved picture. I didn't change it up on the "birthday song" for my sister's birthday yesterday, but I can see that you all agree that I should. So, before you all even commented on that part of my post yesterday, my daughter and I already had this awesome idea for a birthday song for my sister's husband. See, her husband writes and sings his own music.

Wouldn't it be funny to sing him "Happy Birthday", (cause his birthday is coming up in September) to take one of his songs and use the tune and change some words to put together a birthday song...preferably one of his melancholy songs?

See, all these great ideas I have while pregnant.

Well, as the title said, I am 29 weeks two days along. I have 75 days left (not that I'm counting or anything).

I got a wild hair...well it's actually been building up all summer long...and I cleaned our entire back yard. Toys got thrown away, trash got thrown away, the weeds that were growing too long over the sidewalk got pulled and thrown. I pulled out the rake and raked the place.

I was raking along when I noticed a pain in my hand and realized that I had popped a blister that I was not even aware had formed from all the raking today.

My husband who considers the yard to be his domain, was scratching his head today and feeling slightly mystified at my "sudden" cleaning frenzy. Of course he attributed it to my pregnancy.

Perhaps. But the yard did look much improved.

Then, I made it to the gym tonight with our daughter and by the end of the work-out was feeling like crying. Please don't be alarmed folks, it's my hormones. Really it is. I can always expect a crying spat at least once every two weeks. I suppose it gets more frequent the farther along I get.

Also, I think I was just tired from the whole day. And, also, I just feel like I have "forever" until this baby comes. I mean, I already feel huge!

So, most of Thursday was happy. Ha! Ha!

Well, tomorrow is Friday! Yeah!!

I think I'm going to relax now and read some of my "Jack Reacher" book.

Have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Rushmore...

Hola folks!

I'm posting an a picture of Mount Rushmore at night when we went to South Dakota in July.
I 'm having some issues with uploading and heck, just downloading current photos because apparently I've run out of space with the 1 free gigabyte allotted me through Picasa Web Albums. So, this may take a few days to figure out.

So, you may see some older photos or just me talking.
Anyway, this is Mount Rushmore at night, in case you were wondering.
I had this really nice photograph of the six loaves of bread we baked up today too that I wanted to share with you. Oh well.
Also, we finally got to try out the cookies that I made yesterday and they were very tasty.
Everyone at work ate up all the cookies that Daddy Rainmaker brought.
So, I think that is a good sign.
Other than that, I worked out at the gym tonight.
I didn't get any strange commenters from the gym
I did sing "Happy Birthday" to my younger sister tonight.
I left it on her answering machine and she said she was going to keep it on there for a few days.
It got me thinking that maybe I need to change up the ole "Birthday song"...
Maybe sing it with a rap beat, or a country western twang, or an "oldies" feel to it.
Well, not much going on here, so I hope you all have a Happy Thursday tomorrow.
Sunshine Mama

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The New Cookie That We Haven't Yet Tasted

Hello friends!

How are you all tonight? I'm well. Thanks for your encouraging comments about my comments in yesterday's post about my weight increase. After I posted it, I was thinking, "well, maybe I shouldn't have wrote that."

But it is true. I have gained more weight than I've wanted to gain. But, it's also true that I will lose it all.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.

It must be the way I'm wired. This will be the fifth baby in nine years and I know that I will lose the extra weight.

All of it.

I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I could have twelve kids, and I would still zero in on losing that "baby weight".

I'm still working out too. I did an awesome leg work-out tonight. I am still doing my squats using a 45 pound bar with twenty pounds on each side. I have had to change the position of my legs so that my belly doesn't get in the way, but I'm still able to do it.

But aside from all that. I wanted to share some pictures of some cookies that we baked up tonight.

Tuesday has become cookie baking day because, then, my husband can take some home made cookies to work with him for Wednesday, the middle of the work week. I like this because it allows the kids to take part in baking a new cookie recipe we wouldn't otherwise make. Plus, it gives them a little home-made treat in addition to all that healthy home-made food I've been cooking for them.
For this week, I picked out what's called a "Thumbprint" cookie.
You put the jam or jelly in the indentation made by your thumbprint. But I found that my "pinky print" was a better size.
I could have added pecans to this recipe, but chose not to because it seems like half the people out there don't like nuts in their cookies, which would include about half of our family of seven too.
Since I only made 30 in the first batch, I only had a taste of the batter,
which was good but very buttery.
I haven't actually had a taste of the baked cookie because I wanted this batch to go to Daddy Rainmaker's work tomorrow, and I didn't have time to make a second batch tonight.
This is a shot before we put them in the oven.
Seven-year-old Dandy Lion was the one who put the grape jelly in the middle of the cookies.
Didn't he do a good job?
Here's a close-up of the final product.
They look good.
I'll find out tomorrow how they taste when I cook up the rest of the batter.
Tomorrow will be a bread baking day.
We only have a half a loaf left from those eight loaves of bread we made last Monday.
Oh, and I can't resist mentioning...
Brett Farve is back with the Vikings.
He joined the team today.
Admit it you guys,
it will be nice to watch him play again this fall.
Hope your doing well!
Sunshine Mama

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Tahiti, But Still Nice...And I Have Untapped Strength...

Hi folks!

Happy Monday? Yes. No. Maybe.

Well, thank you for all those nice things you said about me looking good while pregnant. Especially Dawn when she said I might get knocked up again while on my date with my husband. That made me laugh.

I admit that I have gained a ton of weight, but I'm working through those issues. As you all know by now, it will be only a matter of time once the baby is born, that I will be back to my normal self.

Lindsey keeps posting these pictures of her honeymoon in Tahiti so I thought I'd post pictures of this place we like to go to on the weekends where we can take our five kids and actually relax. It has a zero depth pool for the little ones with all kinds of cool spraying, and spouting water, plus it has two water slides and a diving board and a few deep, then deeper areas for the older kids.

And yes, that is my toe sticking out in the first picture.

It is so relaxing going here, taking a dip and then laying in the sun like a big fat cat. Ha! Then, by the time we get home all the kids are all worn out from the sun and water that they all sleep like angels.

But now for the serious part of this post.

Remember that guy from the gym?

You know...the one who says to me, "I heard that women have ten times more adrenaline when they're pregnant."

Isn't it funny when these people say these crazy things to you that you start thinking about it when you'd really rather not?

Like after we went swimming and we got home. I was hungry for a snack so I started to cut some Wisconsin cheese to eat with some good ole Wisconsin summer sausage. It was medium cheddar, not sharp which is actually a little harder to cut through.

But there I was going away at it and "snap!"

The knife cracked in half.

"What the heck? This is an Amway knife. These things are suppose to last forever."

And then, unbidden to my brain, comes the comment from the guy at the gym.

Am I putting more force into things? Because I have more adrenaline?

Then...I yell to my husband to look at the knife that I just broke in two. I grab the camera, but it was juggling in my hand so I tried to move faster to catch it from falling which just made the situation worse and I ended up literally popping my camera into the air and onto the floor.

He's like, "Whoa! It looks like you might have broken the camera too."

Well, I didn't break the camera.

But I did break something again the next day.

You know how I popped the camera out of my hand?

Well I did the same exact thing with a glass glass. I was holding it, then thought it was falling out of my grip so I reached quickly to catch it and but instead sent it flying across the kitchen whereupon it broke when it crashed to the floor.

So, what did I learn?

Sunshine Mama needs to move more slowly.

More carefully.

My reactions are too quick.

Perhaps fueled by increased adrenaline.

Actually I googled that whole adrenaline thing and didn't really come up with anything.

Oh well.

I really hope that guy from the gym doesn't find me and tell me any more helpful pregnancy information.

Have a good one!

Sunshine Mama

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Official...I'm Like A Big, Glowing Lightbulb!!

Good day folks!

I know it's Fantasy Food Friday and I'm totally skipping it again because....

I beat the heat, put on some make-up, got on my cute preggo outfit, had a date with my husband and had these pictures taken for you all to see.

I think it's safe to say that I've popped out,

And that I'm glowing...

And that I'm happy...

And that I'm very



"How much bigger can I get?", you ask.
Well, I do have 81 days left
(not that I'm counting or anything)
So, who knows...
Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
In the mean time, I'm just glad it's Friday!
Aren't you?
Have a good weekend!!
Sunshine Mama

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Thursday! I''m 28 Weeks Two Days Along!

Happy Thursday folks!!

How is everyone today? Great here!

I discovered something last night while watching the news. I had just gotten done doing my blog, was listening to the news when the guy says something about it being only 83 days until mid-term elections. Of course, my ears perked up because I had just written on my blog that I'm due in 83 days.

So, I turn to my husband and say, "Am I due on the day of elections?!?"

He pauses, thinks about if for a second and says, "Yes."

So, I said, "So, basically the entire United States of America is counting down with me."

"What if I go into labor when I need to vote? Excuse me, but can I butt in front of you? I'm about to have a baby here."

So, even though, it's a little early to be counting days, guess what...I now have 82 days before this baby is due. And the last baby I had...was born on his due date.

Well, Dawn is absolutely correct when she says I'm too hot to be making soups right now. But that's all I've scheduled myself to make lately so here I am...making soups.

I took two cold showers today...the first one, after making lunch for the kids and the second guessed it, after making soup for supper. And they liked the soup so much, that I don't have any leftovers for tomorrow night, so I have to make more soup again for tomorrow night.

I'm actually going to post this recipe for Lindsey. It's so simple, so easy and so delicious that all of your friends will just gobble it down and ask for more and think that you are Chef Boy R Dee.
But first here are a few pictures.
This is after I put in the home-made noodles. They are actually cut a little too thick so I had to cook them longer than normal. But they still tasted great.

Instead of adding two cans of cream of chicken soup, I made up my own sauce using white flour because I was out of whole wheat flour.

Sauce is easy to make, but throwing in the cans of soup is easier if you prefer that method.

The finished product.
Some warmed up home-made white bread to compliment the dish.

Our two-year-old had three bowls of this.
Ok, they were small, but he just kept eating it and eating it.
I also served sliced carrots and radishes with this meal.
The salad was all gone.
I did get to the store again tonight to replenish the veggies.
But here's the very simple recipe:
2 quarts of water
eight chicken bouillon
4 1/2 cups of uncooked wide egg noodles
3 cups of cubed cooked chicken
minced fresh parsley
2 ( 10 1/2 oz cans of condensed cream of chicken soup)
1 cup of sour cream
In a large saucepan, bring water and bouillon to a boil. Add noodles and cook uncovered until tender ( about 10 minutes). Do not drain. Add soup and chicken and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
Recipe for a medium white sauce (since I don't use the condensed soups, I make this sauce):
2 tbl of butter or margarine
2 tbl of of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
dash of pepper
1 cup of milk
In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more. Makes about one cup.
If you want a "thin" white sauce just use half as much butter and flour. You can alter the taste of this sauce by adding different spices. This is as great sauce to make to throw over pasta or a rice dish. Of course when I make this for the soup, I want 2 1/2 cups of the sauce so I make enough to replace the condensed soup. It's very handy to know how to make sauce. Then, you don't need to continue to buy condensed soups for your recipes.
I can't believe how every time I make this soup, how everyone just "ooohs and ahhhs" over it and it is just so simple. So, that's the first chicken soup that's easy to make. I have another one, Lindsey, that I'll be making in a few days.
Well, I didn't make it to the gym because I went to the grocery store, so I will need to get there tomorrow night.
I do have an idea for Fantasy Food Friday and I do think I will be posting a new preggo picture in a few days.
Thanks for visiting and have a great day!!
Sunshine Mama

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Self Portrait And Talk About The Heat...

Good Evening friends!

How are you doing tonight? Everyone staying cool?

I got creative tonight and decided to do a self-portrait in the kitchen...looking down. I actually really had to bend over to get my feet in because my belly really is starting to stick out. This shot was taken after I got home from the gym. I was wearing my navy blue work-out outfit. It's not maternity, but it's starting to feel a little tight over my belly. When I wash my work-out clothes, I air dry them to make sure they don't shrink. I can not have any shrinking shirts and shorts at this point.

Let's see... with 83 days left (not that I'm counting or anything), I'm not sure if these work-out clothes are going to make it to November 2.
I met with another gal tonight who is also due a few weeks after me. It's great to see another pregnant mama. She lives in town and doesn't have air conditioning on the first floor and she takes cold showers every day too because of the heat. So, I'm not alone on that count.

It's crazy, but I just feel like I reach this boiling point in my body and I can't stand how hot it is ANY LONGER and I have to just jump in the shower. was sitting in the kid's pool pouring cold water over myself. My kids want to hug me and I'm like, "get're making me hot!" And then I try to hug my husband and he says, "Get're HOT." And he doesn't mean that figuratively either. Literally speaking. Like I'm a walking heat stick or something.

Today it hit the low 90's with high humidity. But the kids like it when I sit in the pool with them anyway. And I suppose everyone likes it when I smell clean from all these showers. Ha. Ha!! And I'm much happier when I'm cooler.

But I suppose soon enough we'll all be shivering this winter. "BRING IT ON!!"

Well, I went to the gym. I didn't talk to anyone. Wednesday must be a slow "comment" night. There weren't as many people. Maybe the heat scared them away.

Lindsey asked me about making some easy soup recipes even crock pot ones. I do have a few ideas to share, but not in this post. Last night I made so much soup that we were able to just warm it up in the crock pot and have it for supper tonight along with some warmed home-made bread. Another home-made meal...that didn't take much effort to put together tonight.

Well, I think this post is rambling a bit, but I'm ok with that.'s all down hill to Friday.

Hang in there folks!

Sunshine Mama

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cookies, Hamburger Soup And More Gym Talk

Hello friends!

We made it through the second day of the work week. I had to take a nap about half way through today. Then, I got up and sweated my way through making soup and cookies for supper.

I know, I know ...why do I post the picture of the cookies before the main dish? Because at our house, if you know what dessert looks like first, then you're more likely to eat the main dish.

These, by the way, are called "Chewy peanut butter chocolate chip" cookies.
Warning...don't make these if you're on a diet.
Instead make this really, healthy home-made soup.
Since I use soups as part of the main dish, I make sure they are chock full of good food like carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, corn, green peppers, barley and hamburger.
I took a loaf of whole wheat bread and warmed it in the oven before serving it with the soup.
So...that the butter just melted onto it.
Here's a little close-up.
Our six-year-old ate a second helping of the soup and exclaimed to me how "good" it tasted.
The two-year-old...not so much.
I also served salad with this meal.
A bit later we cooked up these cookies for "cookie night".

Daddy Rainmaker picked out this recipe because he likes peanut butter.
Darling Rose made these cookies herself and then I cooked them up in the oven.

I would actually recommend this recipe. These cookies were really "chewy".
They didn't taste over-lly buttery.
And they baked up easily and look "pretty".
If anyone wants it, let me know.
Otherwise, I did get to the gym today and got in a 60 minute biceps and back work-out.
I had a some good conversation with folks at the gym which centered mostly around the weather.
It's been in the 80s with tropical-like humidity.
There was one gentleman, however, who wanted to talk about something else.
Last night and tonight...every time he walked by me he smiled and said "hi".
Meanwhile, I was trying to rack my brain with how I knew him.
Then, tonight...I remembered.
About three months ago...when I was doing an exercise and talking to some one else...he was smiling and pipes up with...
"I should probably tell you...that I've read that pregnant women should avoid getting their feet massaged because it could lead to miscarriage."
That's what he said to me...and that's what I finally remembered tonight when he came up to me to speak to me tonight...
This time, however, he says to me,
"I've heard that a woman's adrenaline is ten times higher when they are pregnant." I'm thinking to I have more adrenaline?
So, I said, "Well, a few pregnancies ago, I increased the weight on my bench press while pregnant..."
"Ahh...", he nods and then mentioned that I was "glowing"
I added, "and growing!" Ha! Ha!
Well, I'll have to check with my midwife the next time I see her about these little pregnancy factoids that I'm learning at the gym.
In the meantime, I hope you're all doing well.
Don't worry, SunshineMeg, I will do some calculations for you on what it costs me to make bread and how much I'm saving by making it.
Have a good one!
Sunshine Mama

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today Was Baking Day

Happy Monday friends!

If your comments are any indication, it looks like every one's coming over to my house for supper. Today would have been a good day if you like the taste of hot bread fresh out of the oven.

My husband lucked out and was able to grab a hot slice during lunch 15 minutes after they came out.

As you all know, I have been working towards making whole food meals for our family using simple grains. Part of that process includes baking our own bread. I don't think a bread maker would work in our situation since there are so many of us and we go through a loaf a day, easy. So, I have been working up to spending one day out of a two week period where I do a mass amount of cooking that involves bread making, noodle making, browning of meats that I freeze (like today I slow cooked 10 pounds of chicken quarters and then browned five pounds of hamburger meat). Later I can pull down this meat and quickly throw it into a soup or a dish.

It's a process that is taking some time. For example, I'm still trying to master the art of raising the dough to the point that it 1.) actually raises and 2.) doesn't raise too high so that the cell walls are stretched too thin and cause it to collapse. There was some collapsing going on today. But we're working on it. Around here, we get real excited when we see the bread raising high...
and then staying that way.
I didn't buy any wheat berries this week, so the whole wheat came from a 5 pound bag.

Then, we also made four loaves of white bread because my husband likes white.
As you can see, the white round loaf on the bottom right collapsed,

But then raised during baking (back left).
It's been an education for everyone to see what will cause a loaf of bread to collapse.
In this case, it got knocked when we moved things around to get all the loaves of bread to fit in the oven. I eventually want to make a twelve loaves of bread at a time. I know that sounds like a lot of bread, but think of it this way. If you already got all the ingredients out...why not make a boatload and be done with it for a few weeks?

Darling Rose is starting to roll some whole wheat dough for some more noodles.
With the four loaves of wheat bread and a few batches of whole wheat noodles, we emptied the 5 pound bag of whole wheat flour.
The two year old loves to help out with the noodles.

Tomorrow night will be "cookie baking" night.

We will be trying out a new cookie recipe.
Darling Rose snapped this picture.
Well, I was so hot and tired out from all the baking today, that I didn't fix much for supper.
But it's nice to have all that bread in the freezer and all that food ready to be used to quickly make into a "home-made" meal.
I did get in a 15 minute cardio work-out on the stair stepper today,
plus a 45 minute leg work-out at the gym.
How about you all?
Right now I am wishing I was in Germany where Sarah says it's already getting cooler.
It was 86 today and humid. It's suppose to be that way all week.
I've taking two cold showers today.
With this weather being so hot I average at least one cold shower a day.
I've never been so clean in my life. Ha, Ha!!
Oh, and for those of you who are waiting for this pregnant picture of me...
I picked out the outfit today!
Now I'm just waiting for that non-sweaty moment
when I can put on some make-up and go somewhere in it.
Keep it up folks, you can do it!
Sunshine Mama

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup With Home Made Noodles

Good Sunday folks!

Hope you all had a good day. Mine was pretty productive considering all the laundry and grocery shopping I got in. I also was able to make some chicken noodle soup tonight using those whole wheat noodles that our 15-year-old Darling Rose had made the other day.

We also made a few loaves of white bread on Friday because I was out of wheat flour. We consumed the last loaf today. Despite white flour not being good for you, this sure tasted good.
The firm texture resembles that of French bread you would buy at a bakery.
It works great for making a high calorie grilled cheese sandwhich.
But besides the unhealthy but very tasteful white bread, I did make something very healthy for the family.
I made a double batch of chicken noodles soup with three cups of chicken, about a cup and a half of hash browns because I was out of potatoes, a cup or so of carrots and a cup or so of celery, a cup of onions, some chicken broth from when used a crock pot to cook the chicken quarters, and about eight teaspoons of chicken boullion. I also used some spices. But this was all mixed in to ten cups of water. I will say, though, that I did not use the fat from the chicken drippings. I'm saving that to make gravy.

Here go the home made noodles into the pot.
The white is the flour that is still attached to them.

I love a chunky soup!
This was wonderful.

You know it tastes good when the six and four year old want seconds.
....and the husband, and the 15 year old...and me.
So, what did you all cook up today?
I did about 15 minutes of cardio today on my in-home $15 stair stepper.
I'll have to take a picture of its loveliness.
I know you'll all be impressed.
Well, besides it being extremely humid and hot today, there wasn't much going on.
Tomorrow's a new week...
Time to get five days in at the gym combined with maybe a few days of cardio at home.
Take care!
Sunshine Mama

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Do You Know What Today Is (Saturday)?

Good evening friends!

Do you know what today is? It's Saturday, August 7th!!

Always on the seventh my husband and I acknowledge our monthly anniversary. For the past several months...heck, as long as I can recall, I have beaten my husband to the punch.'s like this little game...whoever says "Happy (fill in the month) anniversary first...wins". Well, yesterday, I knew it was today. Even last week I knew it was today.

But there I was this engrossed in reading my latest Jack Reacher novel that I completely blanked it when my husband comes walking into the room...

he leans down and says to me, "Happy 106 month anniversary, honey!" followed it with a kiss...

then follows it with this huge "whoop" and "Halu" like he just got down watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers score a touchdown against Colorado State. "I got you!!" he says and walks out of the room.

Later he told me he thought of it while in the middle of making pancakes. And knew... at any moment I could remember too, so he quick dropped what he was doing and grabbed a calculator to quickly compute the number of months we've been married. It doesn't count if you don't know the months (ha, Ha) and yes, we've been married so long now we need a calculator to figure it up.

So, in honor of this momentous, blog worthy occasion..."drum roll please"
I've decided to post a few pictures of something that I hope symbolizes how long our love for each other will last...
... This 120 year old turtle that we saw at Reptile Gardens while on our trip to South Dakota last month.

See, isn't he cute?

And Daddy Rainmaker posed next to this turtle's head just for your benefit (kind of like he does next to food on Fantasy Food Friday) so that you could more fully appreciate the scale of the turtle's head.
But, besides all that, we spent some time in the kitchen yesterday....

making some home-made whole wheat noodles. We started with wheat berries and ground it into flour.
This is our 15-year-old daughter hard at work.

Aided by our two-year old.

Ok, I'll admit it.
We patted their faces with flour for effect.

Homemade noodles need a few hours to dry on a rack like this
(It's actually the rack from our microwave oven).
I plan to use these noodles in a soup for tomorrow. I will share those pictures with you later.
I love being back in blog world, folks!!
I made it to the gym again last night even though I didn't want to go.
I didn't make it there today, but I did manage to bike outside for about four miles.
So, I weight lifted four out of the five days that I had originally planned.
Thank you for all of your encouragement.
I think it helps me.
Now on to offer you all encouragement too!!
Have a good one!
Sunshine Mama

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Thursday!! I'm 27 weeks, Two Days Along

Happy Thursday friends!

I'm 27 weeks and two days along. That means I have exactly 88 days until I'm due on November 2. Although, I don't think I want to start actually counting down single days until I hit 21 days out. But, I am excited to count single weeks once I hit ten weeks out.

A few days ago I went in for a check-up and had a glucose screening test where they make you drink this sugary orange drink to see if you body metabolizes sugar correctly, to then see if you are a concern for different things. I came through with flying colors on that score.

My abdomen measured slightly big at 28 centimeters instead of 27. Usually the abdomen measurement coincides with the number of weeks that you are. Being slightly big is really not that big of a concern.

I normally see midwives and had the unusual opportunity to meet with a male doctor. The whole time that I was talking to him I kept thinking to myself that there is no way he could really understand what I'm feeling or going through. I made a comment to him like, "I feel like I'm already big...and I know I'm just going to get bigger!"

And perceptive guy that he is, he says, "Uncomfortably so!"

Ha, Ha!! That struck me as funny. "Uncomfortably so" is such an understatement.

Well, this morning I began the the day, sometime after breakfast by whipping up some chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I didn't like the normal chocolate chip cookie recipe that I had made a few days ago. It seemed like all it had was sugar, brown sugar, white flour and a pound of butter. And then when you cooked it, it just spread out all flat and fatty.

So, I found an oatmeal cookie recipe and switched the raisins for some chocolate chips. Much better. And there was even some sugar and cinnamon in it, SunshineMeg.

Doesn't this look good?
I baked it with three cups of oatmeal and one cup of white flour.
I added some nuts in the last dozen cookies and I liked the extra crunch.
For supper, it was baked potato soup with summer sausage.

There's actually a few more ingredients than this.
Like 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth and some butter and milk.
I'm being lazy and not posting the recipe.

But I served it with some 100 percent whole wheat bread that we baked up the other week and froze. The bread is made from freshly ground wheat berries. It's very filling and very good for the family to be eating. We also had carrots.

I love how this potato soup recipe has a chunky texture to it.
Did you guys get in a work-out tonight?
I did.
And it wasn't too bad.
I just may be getting back into the groove.
Some of the gym goers are starting to make comments
and ask questions of the "pregnant lady" working out.
Tonight someone asked, "So, how much longer?"
Me: "three months?"
I feel like I look more like I only have one month left.
I know, I know...I'm working on that picture for you all.
I guess I'm trying to figure out how to do it so I don't look huge.
Ha, Ha!!
Another guy, about 55-60 wanted to know if the baby started doing anything inside me while I was weight lifting.
Like moving around or something...
I think I may just keep going just for all the interesting interaction I get.
Well, you know what tomorrow is?
Have a good one!
Sunshine Mama