Thanksgiving 2022

This Thanksgiving has truly taught me to be thankful for what I have. I’m thankful for my family including my son, my husband, my parents, Grandma, aunts, uncles and extended family. I’m thankful for my friends and my friends who are practically family. I’m thankful for our home even if we are sharing it with others right now… God, our car, our faith, church family, income, food, safety and so much more. I’m thankful!

This time last year I was just getting over covid and 34 weeks pregnant.

This year I am beyond blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my little turkey. 🦃 💕

This year was a little more low key as far as our food, but of course I made my stable Bruschetta to chow down on before the big feast.

We did cook a big turkey this year which was super exciting.

Our little boy loved trying stuffing, black olives, turkey, mashed potatoes and asparagus.

It was a great first Thanksgiving for our son and a wonderful reminder to be grateful for what we have especially in times of hardship.

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🍁 💕

Recipe Reshare: Bruschetta Recipe

Hey Everybody! Since it’s the holiday season, I decided I would share my Bruschetta recipe! I recently have fallen in love with Bruschetta! It is perfect for any holiday event and SO easy to make!

INGREDIENTS 

Baget (Large)

Mozzerella Cheese (4 Oz. of block cheese) Optional*

Tomato (2 Medium or Large)

Onion (1/2 a red onion)

Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)

Cilantro (1 teaspoon)

Basil (1 teaspoon)

Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)

1. Cut baget into slices, should make about 20 pieces. 

2. Toast baget in oven at 350* for 10 – 15 minutes, a nonstick cookie sheet works great! 

3. Dice tomatoes and onions. 

4. Slice Mozzarella cheese (optional)

5. Mix together tomatoes, onions, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, basil and red pepper flakes. 

6. Remove bagets from oven, let cool, and spread toppings on each baget. 

7. Place bagets on a plate or board. If desired, place cheese slices in a bowl for your friends and family to enjoy with their Bruschetta. Enjoy!

Easter

Easter this year did not go as planned. I had all these high expectations that everything would go smoothly and my son would have the very best first Easter. My expectations were we’d get up, listen to worship music, have breakfast, dress up for church, read the Easter story from the Bible and children’s bible as a family. We’d find some church service virtually to view online, and/or go visit some church for a sunrise service. We would then head to my parent’s house for lunch, spend time with family, take some gorgeous family photos outside and create precious memories until the sunset and we headed home.

Those were my expectations…..

This was my reality:

Matty woke me up around 6:30-7am. I changed him, nursed him and we played. He was in the best mood! Everything was going great. I turned on some worship music and got some breakfast. After that it was like a switch flipped. Matty got fussy and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I changed him, burped him, tried feeding him, putting him in the swing, letting him play on the floor… nothing was working. I woke up my husband and he was exhausted and struggling to get out of bed.

I then decided to get Matty dressed. Now as a new mom, I knew better than to put him in his outfit I wanted his pictures done in until right before hand in case he had a blow out or spit up. I however didn’t factor this in when I was putting on my Easter dress. Matty started screaming as I got him dressed. I became frustrated and impatient as I quickly tried getting him ready. I picked him up so he would stop crying… and… he burped. It was quiet and I figured that’s why he was screaming. He had a bubble. And within seconds a waterfall of baby spit up went down my dress. Of course.

Charles got up and got breakfast. I walked around the house bouncing our 3 month old trying to get him to calm down. I tried different positions, singing, rocking… nothing. When Charles was free I handed him off. Low and behold Matty stopped crying immediately.

By this time it was already 9:30, and I was at least an hour behind on where I wanted to be with our morning. Charles pulled out the children’s bible and handed it to me. I read the scripture about the empty tomb, and Jesus coming back. Matty sat on his Daddy’s lap smiling and listening. The minute we were done he started screaming again. I nursed him and put him down. We started loading up so we could decide where we wanted to go for church.

By the time we got the car loaded, and Matty in his car seat it was already almost 11. No matter where we went to church at the this point the service would be almost over. And of course Matty woke up in his car seat and started crying. The morning was not off to a good start.


We got to my parents close to 11:30am. Matty fell asleep in his car seat just minutes before we pulled in. When we got in the house Matty was all smiles at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Me on the other hand, I was officially in a funk. I was taking it rather personally that Matty was in a bad mood at home, but all smiles at Grandma and Grandpas. I was disappointed things weren’t going as I had planned and I felt the weight of grief on my chest that I just couldn’t seem to shake.

My mom made ham, green beans, corn bread casserole, jello salad, deviled eggs, hors d’oeuvres, and baked potato which tasted great. Everybody was exhausted after dinner and we all took little cat naps throughout the afternoon, even Matty… thank goodness cause that baby needed sleep.

In the afternoon, Matty seemed off. He had a bellyache, acted like he needed to poop but couldn’t and was gnawing and drooling like crazy as if his mouth hurt. Poor baby, it felt like one thing after another. I tried handing him off when I could so I could get rest while I had help but when your baby doesn’t feel good, sometimes the only thing they want is mom.

In the evening before getting ready to leave we tried taking family photos. There were more outtakes than good photos. Matty seemed uncomfortable and didn’t want to smile in any of them… and if you know my baby boy you know he is very photogenic and loves to smile. We were also stuck taking pictures inside since it was a chilling 45° and I didn’t want to take Matty out in the cold if he already didn’t feel good. This all made for awkward, poor lighting family photos.

By 6:30, we said bye to my parents and headed home.


On the way home, I found myself sitting in the backseat with my baby, sobbing on the way home. Some big emotions I had been trying to keep buried all day were welling up to the surface. It dawned on me how old my other babies would be on this holiday. Mackenzie would be two and a half and Chase would be one. Grief never really goes away. I then found myself feeling guilty looking at my son with a tear stained face. Was I being selfish for wanting things to be perfect? Did I seem ungrateful because he was now here, but i still missed my other babies? Was I being a bad Christian for focusing on my grief and motherhood rather than remembering the true meaning of Easter?

By the end of the day, I felt defeated. I tried. I tried making my son’s first Easter the best I could. But you know what, he’s not going to remember it anyway. All he is going to remember is that he was loved. And as he gets older he will continue to feel loved and learn the importance of Easter as his Daddy and I teach it to him. And that’s what matters, not some picture perfect holiday.

Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta is something I just thought of and wasn’t sure if it was a real thing. So, I went to Google to see if anyone else has combined chickpeas and pasta, and sure enough it’s a real thing! I scanned through a variety of different recipes then decided to make my own!

Check out my Chickpea Pasta recipe below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta
  • Chickpeas (1 can)
  • Olive Oil
  • Tomatoes (1)
  • Black olives (small can)
  • Pepperonis (10-20)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Minced Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese

First, boil a pot of water. Depending on how many noodles you want to make will depend on how much water you choose to boil.

Next, pour penne pasta into boiling water. Stir occasionally until noodles are soft and tender.

Chop tomatoes, black olives, and pepperonis.

Next, drain noodles and place in a bowl.

Drain canned chickpeas, and combine in bowl of noodles.

Then add olive oil, chopped pepperonis, olives, and tomatoes.

Season to taste with minced garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Grief & Mercy 6th Blog Post Round Up

It’s round up time again! I am sharing my most liked, commented and viewed posts since my last round up. Check it out!

Sequential Screening During the 12th Week of Pregnancy

In this post I discuss not only the anxiety that comes with going through a pregnancy after loss, but also our experience with different genetic testing.

First Few Little Kicks

Feeling baby kicks for the first time was amazing and nothing like I had ever experienced. ❤️

18 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)

This post is about my pregnancy update at 18 weeks.

Gender Reveal! 20 Week Anatomy Scan

Hitting half way in my pregnancy was a huge milestone. Going to our anatomy scan and being able to see baby and all his features was so exciting. My favorite part was finding out what we were having. 🥰

27 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)

This post is about my 27 week update of my pregnancy.

Decorating the Nursery/ Organizing Baby’s Things

In a one bedroom apartment, you are very limited on space. However, I love how our bedroom/baby’s nursery turned out 🥰

10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

For the most part I had a pretty easy pregnancy until I hit the third trimester. In the third trimester I dealt with GD, thyroid problems and covid. In this post, I talk about the things I will soon miss about being pregnant.

Feeling a Little Extra Thankful

Being pregnant on Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. Charles and I cherished our little family of two + a fur baby, before our rainbow baby arrives. We also spent the morning cooking together.

37 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Third Trimester)

In this post I give a 37 week pregnancy update, and talk about ways I am preparing for labor.


A Look Ahead…
My Top 10 Favorite Date Night Ideas
DIY Padsicles and Postpartum Care

Merry Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! This is our last Christmas as a family of 3… and yes I am including Rocky in our little family. This year I was very hopeful that our Baby Bear would have a Christmas birthday but that just wasn’t meant to be. It’s okay. We know he’ll come when he is good and ready.

This year has been a little crazy, but Charles and I feel so blessed for everything God has taught us this year.

I unfortunately didn’t get to making Christmas cards this year because Christmas just kinda snuck up on me and I ran out of time.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

– The Rhames (Charles, Kaylee, Baby Bear and Rocky!

38 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Third Trimester)

38 Weeks and ready to pop! Baby could come any time! This week baby is the size of a winter melon or a pumpkin depending on which set of measurements you go by.

Today we had a non-stress test and baby did great. He slept in the beginning and they had to use a buzzer to wake him up, but he started moving and grooving after that.

Later, we had a midwife appointment. I have gained another pound and have gained a total of 9 lbs this pregnancy so far. My blood pressure is looking good and baby is still measuring a week ahead. He is still head down, and in a good position for labor when ever he decides to get things moving.

We also talked to the midwife about my ultrasound. Since baby is measuring fine, and passing all of his tests, my midwife said they will let me go to 40 weeks and 5 days before having an induction on 1/11. I did ask to have a membrane sweep done and my midwife said at my next visit (39 weeks) I can have it done.

7 weeks vs 38 weeks

At the end of my visit my midwife did give me permission to try and induce labor naturally at home. Here are a few things she suggested I should try:

  • Curb Stepping
  • Exercising/Being Active
  • Eating Dates
  • Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Doing the Miles Circuit

This week’s symptoms include fatigue, nesting, nausea, pelvic and back pain, irregular contractions, mood swings and lots of baby kicks. I’m getting very uncomfortable and not feeling cute these days as my clothes just don’t seem to fit right, and everything just feels snug.

This mama is trying and doing what she can to stay active for labor, and allow my body to get ready for whenever labor kicks in. We are getting so excited to meet our baby boy. We are still of course hoping for a Christmas baby, but honestly we will be fine with whenever Baby Rhames decides to make his grand arrival! 💕

Maternity Photos!

So as many of you know, I’ve stayed pretty on top of documenting and taking photos of my pregnancy and bump progress. One thing I really wish I was able to do, is take some professional maternity photos. For weeks I tried budgeting for photos and we simply just didn’t have the funds. Then I tried reaching out to different family members and friends to take the photos, but it seemed like every time we tried to schedule something there was either bad weather or someone was exposed to Covid.

Thankfully at 35 weeks, my Mama took some time out of her day to take a few cute maternity pictures of us. They turned out adorable and I’m thankful for what we have! 🥰

Baby Bear, we love you so much and can’t wait to meet you! 💕

When Will Baby Rhames Arrive?

We are officially one month away from my due date, I still can’t believe it. I’m curious when everyone thinks Baby Rhames will arrive. Before you make your guess, here are a few things to consider…

Due Date is 1/6/22

Baby is measuring a week ahead.

This is my third pregnancy, but first time making it to term.

With various health issues and complications, my doctors will likely not let me go past my due date.

I’m secretly hoping for a Christmas baby!

What’s your guess?

Feeling a Little Extra Thankful This Year 🍂

We are feeling a little extra thankful this year! I thank God for my family and friends, my job, my kitty, my health, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, our little bun in the oven and so much more! ❤️

This year we decided to change our Thanksgiving menu a little and have a porterhouse steak instead of turkey!

We also stuck with some classics, including crescent rolls and gravy.

Charcuterie board

Of course, my holiday staple Bruschetta

Homemade mashed potatoes

Stuffing and corn

Green bean casserole

Veggies and hummus

… and cranberry sauce.

I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving! 🍂

To the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day… This One is for You.

I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️

It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.

Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?


ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE. 


And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way. 

This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year. 

Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss. 


THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. 


So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared. 

Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven. 

I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

Roasted Chickpeas is one of my new favorite little snacks. They are not only a great source of protein, but also help curve that craving for a salty snack.

What You Need…

1. 2 Cans of Chickpeas (I buy mine at Walmart)

2. Olive Oil

3. 8 x 8 size Pan (or something similar)

4. Cajun Spice

5. Garlic Salt

6. Paper Towels

What You Do….

First, preheat the oven to 350°.

Next, place a double layer of paper towel on the counter.

Open the cans of chickpeas and drain the water.

Gently dump the chickpeas onto the paper towel.

Spread the chickpeas out evenly on the paper towel.

Place another paper towel over the chickpeas to soak up the remaining water. The chickpeas have to be as dry as possible so that they are crunchy once they are cooked.

Once dry, place the chickpeas in the pan.

Drizzle olive oil across the top of the chick peas, just enough that all the chick peas have oil.

Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Once done, pull out of the oven and sprinkle cajun and garlic salt on the chickpeas immediately.

Note: If you prefer to use other spices on the chickpeas that is fine too! Chickpeas taste great on salads, as a side or even as a little snack!

Let cool and enjoy!