Monday, January 30, 2017

Guilt Free Pizza Crust

I don't know about you but I pretty much think pizza makes the world go round.  Peter's family ate it every Sunday growing up and we have continued that tradition.  While I was pregnant with Grant the smell of pizza made me extremely ill so I've had a hard time getting back into the pizza groove.  I'm also trying to avoid carbs.

I can't remember where I ran across this but I've had Sassy Southern Yankee pulled up on my phone browser for weeks.  I finally remembered to get ground chicken at the commissary this weekend and this recipe did not disappoint!

Ground Chicken Pizza Crust
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix well.  Roll out on parchment paper and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Add pizza toppings and bake until cheese is melting.

You guys.  This is a game changer for me.  It was SO good.  SOOOOO good!  I ate leftovers today and honestly I could barely tell the difference between this and regular thin crust pizza.  Thin crust is my FAV so this is the best of both worlds for me.  I topped mine with turkey pepperoni, Hunt's tomato sauce and cheese.  

Ground chicken is officially my new favorite food and I'm dying to figure out what else I can make.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Grant's Two Month Update

Dear Grant,

You are officially two months old now!  I just can't believe it!  We had your 2 month appointment this week and you were 22 inches and weigh 12 pounds and 1 ounce.  You were our smallest baby at birth and our biggest (and shortest) at 2 months.

This month was a hard month.  We started out the month with a visit to a local lactation expert.  I kept hoping you would make progress with nursing on your own but after 5 weeks we weren't seeing a difference.  After working with her and a local expert in cranio sacrial therapy we've gone from exclusive pumping and bottle feeding to nursing day and night!  I can hardly believe it.  You were still just over nine pounds around 6 weeks so you've gained over 2 pounds in the last month!  Hurray!!  

We just switched you out of newborn clothes this week and you are still in newborn diapers.  So far you've been such a good sleeper.  You sleep a lot.  Day and night.  I'm looking forward to your personality as it starts to emerge.  You like to "talk" at night after you last feeding but before you are put to bed.  You sleep in the Rock N Play beside our bed and have given us a few great stretches in the last week or so.  Generally you eat between 8:30 and 10 and then sleep until 4:30-5:30.  

You took your first road trip this month to visit Kentucky and did a great job in the car.  Everyone loved getting to meet you!  

Grant-man the five of us love you so very much.  We are so thankful you are in our family!  we pray for you everyday that you will grow up to serve Jesus and love others!

Happy happy two months!

Love, Mama

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What's In A Name?

It's kind of a joke to anyone who knows me.  I have a major thing with names.  I love them.  I love what they mean.  I love finding the perfect name.  One of my dreams is to have a business where I help people choose names for their children.  There is just something magical about hitting on that name that fits your baby that I love!

I've been asked before to share how and why our kiddos got their names.  We're kind of a teachers worst nightmare.  All three boys go by their middle names and KJ goes by...well, she goes by a lot of things.  

I'll start with the S-man since he is the one who started it all!

I've been naming my "kids" since I was a kid myself.  Favorites have come and gone but the one name that has been on the list since I was way too young to have babies myself is Stafford.  My dream was to have a little girl named Anne Stafford.  Double names are a big deal where I come from and I thought this one was beautiful.

Alas our first baby was a boy.  And I started to think....what if we decide not to have any additional children?  We had to use Stafford.  Peter liked the name Nathan because it meant "Gift of God" and so there we had it. Nathan Stafford.  We chose that order because we didn't like how it sounded the other way around.  Thus setting an unplanned precedent for our boys!

Reedster was the next to join us.  Peter was deployed my entire pregnancy and I spent most of it emailing him thousands of name options.  One of the options for Stafford's first or middle name was August.  We both loved it since it's a family name on both sides.  We thought it was a little odd to use it with Stafford since his due date was in August.  So we put it on the list for the future.

One night I was up late, unable to sleep.  I remember going through names in my head and all of the sudden I had the perfect name.  My paternal grandfather's name was Reed and I've always loved it.  August Reed seemed like the perfect fit for our newest little guy.  And I can't imagine the Reedster having any other name! 

KJ was by FAR our hardest to name.  Things I think about when naming my kids are name meanings, name origin (all of ours are Anglo in origin), family names, syllables, and how common they are.

Most of the girls names I liked Peter did not.  We tend to have tastes on the opposite ends of the spectrum and have to meet in the middle.  Kelsey was going to be Allegra for a few months but after trying it out on a few people the allergy medicine was the first thing that came to mind to everyone I told.  Allegra was off the list.  Peter wanted to name her Ariel, which I liked but didn't love.  It seemed like every name we liked didn't work well with our last name.

We knew we wanted to use Jane because that was one of Peter's Mom's names.  We already had names from each of the other grandparents sides of the family (Stafford from my Mom, August from Peter's Dad and Reed from my Dad.)  We also liked Jane because it means "Gift of God" just like Nathan.  Stafford was so excited about having a sister and predicted she was a girl from the beginning so I loved that they had a shared name meaning.

We made a last minute decision in the hospital room and named her Kelsey after my great-grandfather.  Knowing her now, I can't imagine her as anything else!

I THINK that the Grant-man's name was the easiest to come up with.  We each had a LONG list and none of the names matched.  But we liked Grant.  For the longest time I was set on using a family name somewhere in his name.  I liked Pierce or Pierson because it means son of Peter.  I thought that was fitting for the 4th baby of a 4th baby! We also considered version of Donald because both of our Dad's are named Don.  This didn't quite seem like the year to name a baby Donald regardless of political affiliation or family history so we nixed that.  Most of the names we liked were one syllable.  One syllable for both first and middle didn't work for me.  So it was back to the drawing board.

According to one website the name Callen meant "rock", which is what Peter means.  So for a few weeks he was Callen Grant.  Then one day I was looking through a babyname book and saw the name Ruston.  The meaning was "red headed, fox colored".  Reed means redhead and I loved it that the boys would have names with the same meanings.  Reed was THE most excited little boy while I was pregnant and I loved tying them together this way!  

During our time in Tacoma we spent hour and hours on Ruston Way.  It was our favorite way to spend the evenings.  Walking, playing on the playground, looking at Mt. Rainier towering over the city.  Ruston.  It was perfect.

So Ruston Grant it was.  And it's the perfect name for our sweet boy!

I still have a few names on my list.  We'll see what the future holds for our family!

Grant's 1 Month Update

Dear Grant,

Buddy, you are officially a fourth child.  Mama is 1 month (plus a few days) late in posting this, although I did get your photo pretty close to your 1 month birthday!

It's pretty hard to imagine life without you little man.  This first month has flown by, as I expected it would.  The most discouraging part has been your ability to nurse.  I had hoped it would be something that would fix itself but we've had to consult the lactation services multiple times and so far we aren't seeing any progress.  You are however gaining weight like a champ now that you are taking a bottle.  You eat 3-4 ounces each feeding.  

You are sleeping well and a lot.  During that night you usually give us 3 hour stretches which is great for such a little guy.  You nap well during the day and don't seem to notice all of the noise that goes on in our house.

You are still in newborn clothes and newborn diapers.  I have to admit you are my first child that I don't dress each day.  Sometimes you have PJ day all day long!

Your hair is fabulous and you are the sweetest baby I can remember.  Your eyes are starting to turn a beautiful blue color and you have charmed everyone in our family.  What a sweet blessing you are Grant-man.  We love you!

Love, Mama

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grant's Birthday Story

I spent the majority of my pregnancy seesawing between wanting a 5th baby and thinking I could never be pregnant again.  By the end of the pregnancy the "I'll never be pregnant again" side was winning and so I was really trying to treasure all of it.  I was really looking forward to his birth and just enjoying those last few in utero baby kicks.  They are one of a kind.

Fast forward (because while you can't do that in real life you CAN do it in a blog post) to week 38.  I went in for my appointment and the OB was concerned with my swelling.  I quickly dismissed her because I was actually having a good day and felt like my feet resembled my own much more than Big Birds which had been the case since about 27 weeks.

My blood pressure was a little high so she told me she was sending me to the hospital.  She seemed frazzled and honestly I couldn't figure out if she was sending me because she just didn't want to deal with me or because I actually needed to go.

I asked her if I could return home because this Mama 3 times over didn't even have a bag packed. She highly suggested going straight to the hospital and basically put her hands over her ears and hummed when I mentioned I might stop by the house quickly.  We live 7 minutes from the hospital driving the speed limit.  I wasn't in labor.

But being the people pleaser that I am I went straight there.  I was admitted around 11.  They took some blood and ran some tests.  My blood pressure was high but not super high.  My feet were swollen but not super swollen.  I called Peter and we started making arrangements for the kids.  My nurse felt certain that the OB would keep me there.

Around 12:30 we were still waiting for labs to come back.  The OB finally checked my progress and I was only 2cm and 40% effaced.  Not exactly the perfect recipe for inducing.  The OB said he was going to release me but I should make an appointment to come back on the 22nd for an induction.

Try not to laugh at my awkward bathroom selfie.  It was my "one last I'm pregnant" picture.  I was SO sad that I didn't have my "birth shirt" with me.  I've worn it to the hospital with each kiddo.

By 12:50 the Doctor had reversed his decision and decided I needed to stay.  They gave me a dose of Cervidil (meant to thin your cervix) at 1:20.  The hope was that my body would naturally go into labor but he thought I might need at second dose around 5:20.

By 5:20 my contractions were regular and strong enough that the OB didn't want to give me another dose of meds.  So now it was just a waiting game until my body kicked into gear!

Around 8pm the nurse checked my progress and I was at 5cm and 70% effaced.  The contractions were starting to kick in at this point so she went ahead and started the IV for my epidural.  By 9:10 I had my epidural and at 9:25 the OB came in to break my water.

By now Peter had finally arrived.  Yay!!  My contractions started coming fast as soon as my water broke.  Around 10 I remember saying to Peter that I wish the nurse would stay in the room instead of leaving and coming back because I really felt like the baby was coming.  I also had a weird sensation of being able to feel the contractions down the front side of me but no where else.  All of the sudden it felt like NOW was the time.  Dr and nurses started rushing stuff into the room.  They put my feet up and Peter came over and immediately said....I see his head!!

I thought he meant the baby was crowning (as in you could only see the top of his head for those of you who aren't on the up and up in birthspeak).  Oh no.  His entire head was already out and he was just looking at Peter.  The Dr quickly told me not to push...did a few things (I have no idea what) and then literally the baby just fell out.  No pushing.  

It was a little surreal!  The nurses were wonderful and let us do lots of skin to skin before taking him and weighing him.  He is our littlest one by 2 ounces and an inch.  He fussed a little but calmed down and just cuddled with me.  

Peter went home on Wednesday morning and took care of the big kids.  Then after school he brought them up to meet their new little brother.  Everyone was excited but the Reedster was definitely the most excited.  He still asks to hold his brother almost every day.  He loves to help feed him too!


Isn't he beautiful?  Amazing how God knows just exactly what every family needs.  I'm not sure I ever thought I would be a boy Mama but I am so very thankful for all of mine!

I keep referring to the "five" of us.  Can't believe we are already a sweet family of 6.  It seems like just yesterday Peter and I were going on dates and talking on the phone late into the night.  Ten years later we are probably getting the same amount of sleep but life is sure richer.

Incredibly thankful for the amazing care we received at our hospital.  It was a fabulous experience all around!  

We are taking some time to rest this week after the Thanksgiving holiday and boy did we have a lot to be thankful for this year!  

Stay tuned for a "how we chose the name" post.....I LOVE it!

Chapter Four


Ruston "Grant"

November 15, 2016

10:18 p.m.

7 pounds 8 ounces

19 inches long

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November Adoption Family

One of the greatest joys and actually the push to start my business was the opportunity it gives me to give back.  Adoption is something that is on my heart and our family's heart.  Supporting families that are adding children to theirs is one of my greatest joys!!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Beasley Family!  I was introduced to them by one of my friends and customers (how fun is that!!).  The Beasleys are currently in the process of adopting a nine year old son from China.  Adoption is an extensive and expensive process.  Half of my income from my Rodan + Fields business this month will go towards helping the Beasley family off-set their costs.

Here are a few words from Brandy....

For many years now, we have been praying about God's call to adoption and what that looks like for our family. This summer, God answered our prayers by sending us a nine year old boy from China to live with us for two and a half weeks. Langston has been an orphan since he was abandoned by his parents at age five. He has lived in an orphanage in China and with a foster family. After living with us this summer, we knew that God was calling us to adopt Langston and make him a part of our family forever. The journey has been difficult thus far, but we believe he is worth the fight. We are praying that by December he will be officially locked in with our family and we hope to go to China and bring him home this summer! We appreciate SO much your support and prayers! Thanks and God bless, The Beasley Family - Chad, Brandy, Campbell, AND Langston!

Isn't he adorable??

How can you help?

1. Pray for the Beasley family!  It is financially and emotionally draining to be in a constant state of waiting!  Pray that they can raise the expenses they need to add Langston to their family as quickly as possible.

2. Pray for Langston!  That God would prepare his heart to be a part of this sweet family that clearly already considers him a son!

3. Pray that there would be no roadblocks and everything from paperwork to travel would go smoothly.

4. Purchase as a Preferred Customer this month.

5. Purchase as a one-time customer.  I'll be doing a few of these orders.  One will ship to Ami for those that live nearby and one will ship to me and I will mail to anyone else wishing to support the Beasley family.

Questions?  Feel free to email me at

Thank you for your support for the Beasley family!  Please share this post so we can reach as many people as possible and raise funds!


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