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


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