Yo Foo, it's tofu

My first experience with cooking tofu was not a great one. I didn't do any research, I just impulsively bought a package as I passed it at the Asian Market.

What? You didn't know about the Asian Market? It's on NW 25th and Military (just east of Classen). You know, the places with the neon palm trees. It's official name is Super Cao Nguyen.

I made "chicken tacos," though didn't know about the different consistencies of tofu. It looked great, tasted great, but as soon as I started chewing, scrambled egg texture took over. I do not like scrambled eggs...not one bit...due to the texture. Cora loved it.

Yesterday I picked up some extra firm tofu and froze it. I then pan fried it according a recipe I found at the VegCooking Blog: Perfect Tofu. It was SOOOOOO much better. Extra firm is the answer

We decided before Cora was born that she would be a Veggie Baby. I've dabbled in Vegetarianism several times throughout my life. Sometimes eating meat feels like a moral dilemma for me - this as I'm typing this from my leather couch. When it comes down to it, the only meat I'd miss would be bacon and prime rib from Cattlemen's. So as I'm slowly moving back into the realms of meatless existence, I'm glad to know I've got another protien alternative.

The Weekend in Review

Saturday morning was biscuits and gravy day. While I was looking through some cabinets, I found a little surprise.

Cora loves to put things in random, and not so random places. She can open the lid on her diaper genie, so sometimes I find things inside - luckily she can't push things down through the "stink trap." Mostly I find unused diapers, sometimes clothes. I also found a rug in an empty trash can in the laundry room. I haven't seen her paci since mid-afternoon, I can't imagine what unusual spot it's in.
Two locations I've lived in have had prime views of marathon courses. One of those places is our current locale. We've loved watching the Memorial Marathon go by Sparrow Park from our kitchen window. This year I snapped a few pictures. Pardon the quality, I'm shooting through screen.

I love all of the white running shoes.

And finally, on Monday our couch was delivered. Please excuse the Valentine's decorations. You know how some times you don't even realize something is still there? It feels luxurious. I can't wait to make the pillows. It will be a summer project while we're living with Jake's parents.

New Couch

Jake and I just returned from a furniture shopping extravaganza. I believe we circled the store at least 4 times. And we ended up purchasing the first couch we asked about. The frame is discontinued, so we got a SMOKIN' HOT deal on it...even though Jake said it would have been a better deal if it's was like $12.

The leather felt so cool and wonderful. It was soft, and I scratched it a bunch [the sales guy said I could], and nothing showed up. The only thing I wasn't super sold on was the nail head trim, but it sort of fades in. I just can't wait to see it with bright floral pillows. I've decided that our Chicago apartment should always look like it's in bloom so I can make it through the winter. ;)

Here is a picture from Broyhill's website [It's the Bromley model]:
We will miss our super sweet sort of Greenwich sofa, but I think we'll be okay.

PS: I love this fabric for curtains
And this rug...

Both are from IKEA. :)

Kid Friendly Couch - HELP

This is our couch. I love it. It looks just like the Greenwich sofa from Pottery Barn, which is my all-time fave.

The part that's not my favorite is our upholstery selection. It was not baby-friendly - and not the color, the actual fabric.

Projectile vomit/spit-up = Bleach yuck spots allover.

LUCKILY, we bought the furniture protection plan when we bought the couch. They were going to replace our cushion covers, but they no longer use our upholstery (FANTASTIC - and I'm not being sarcastic, it's a nightmare), so they're giving us store credit for what we paid for our couch. AWESOME!

I definitely want the same couch, but I don't know what to have it covered in. I've been able to get chocolate fingerprints and other nonsense out, but vomit, which babies don't care where they are when it happens, is hopeless.

Any suggestions?

PS: Jake isn't a huge fan of microfiber. He doesn't like that he can see the outline of his bum when he gets up.

Gift(s) of Prayer

Today I spoke in church on the Gift(s) of Prayer. My original topic was "Gift of Prayer," but I found I couldn't do it adequate justice without sharing a few gifts of prayer. I started writing it on Tuesday and finished it on Friday. I loved reflecting on the blessings I've received through prayer. It enriches my life. I feel like I neglected Cora a bit, but we went to the park everyday, so it must not have been too bad.

It was so wonderful to be working toward something all week - especially considering what I was working on. I'd like to try and always have something going on, whether it be some sort of art project or a piece of writing. I've neglected my personal writing since I've had Cora. I used to be so passionate about it, and it seems to have fallen by the way side. I hardly have a moment to organize my thoughts, let alone get them out in an organized manner.

In my talk I referenced my Think Spot at the base of the Superstition Mountains. I wrote a set of poems for my final in Literature and Spirituality my senior year of college. It was about relationship between me and places I deem sacred. One of them was about the Superstition Mountains - a place that was full of growth and healing. I'll leave you with that.


Your scar is visible to everyone
Pink flesh
On top of purple age
That bleeds when the sun hits
Just right

Every morning it fades away
Only to come back again as
Night moves in
To leave you in darkness
An illusion of healing

You wear it proudly
Because you know the secret
Tears cleanse
Solitude brings self-awareness
You share it with those who come to you

weep at your feet
sleep in your shadow
forget the imperfection
they thought you shared


We're looking at pictures...

*Mammy is Jake's Grandma*

Jake: Is that Mammy?
Me: No, it's you.

Dear Cora - An Introduction

I am not the kind of mom who writes in baby books. I do not take you in for professional photos every few months. Some days we stay in our jammies and never leave the house. And I will probably not save the hair from your first haircut.

Nevertheless, there are some things I can't wait to tell you. Things I never want to forget. There are nights I can't fall asleep because I'm so excited at the thought of you, and you're just in the room next door.

I never knew love could feel like this.

I did not cry when you were born. It was much earlier for me. I cried when I was 10 weeks along and thought I might be losing you. I cried at 12 weeks when I saw your little alien head and perfectly formed fingers and hands for the first time. You were inside, growing, and healthy. I cried at 16 weeks when it was confirmed that you were a Cora, and not a Ben...just as I'd suspected since week 7. I referred to you as "her" and started sentences with "she."

I called you Jelly Bean, just to be on the safe side.

I cried the first night of our two week stay in the hospital. It was right after they gave me morphine for the first time in hopes of slowing contractions. The weight of my body under that drug was a tear press. We'd only been together for 32 weeks, we still needed to stick together. I cried when I got home, a week before you were born. I didn't expect to be gone for so long. You were already my best little friend.

And I hardly knew you.

I had the special privilege of witnessing your birth through your dad's eyes. I couldn't see anything behind the blue veil of secrecy, but I watched Jake as you "backed into the world." It was total wonder. You didn't cry when you were born either. You made a few little sounds, but you began just as laid back as you've always been. My whole world changed when I saw them carry your oddly colored body past me to clean you up.

I don't remember who I was before that moment.

The first night you were home, my milk came in, and you couldn't eat. I was terrified, and in pain. I slept for one hour that night. You slept for most of it, but I was just so sure you needed to eat that I couldn't sleep. I held you while I looked out the living room window. I prayed for a really long time. It was a prayer of gratitude. I was holding you in my arms. I was yours and you were mine.

I knew it was supposed to be that way.

The next day Meemaw and Peepaw came to help cook food and clean up around the house. I tried feeding you several times. You ate once. When dinner time rolled around, I was sitting across the table from Peepaw, who was holding you. I couldn't control the tears again. Peepaw noticed, looked me right in the eye and motioned to you while saying, "They don't just die."

I was relieved and mortified at the same time.

That night Gram stayed with us, so she could take a turn the next day. I was so emotional and TIRED. SO TIRED. I hadn't caught up on sleep after our first hospital stay. I'd pumped enough milk from my bursting at the seams breasts for her to feed you that night so I could sleep. I was so sad to be away from you, but I needed to rest. When I woke up the next morning, the weird lumpage around my incision had flattened out. I cuddled you and kissed you, and we got ready to go to the lactation consultant. She said you had the tiniest mouth she'd ever seen and that my let-down and fast flow was overwhelming you, which is why you would back away. She gave us a shield.

It saved our nursing lives.

The next night Grandma got here. She stayed for 3 weeks. She was a blessing. I couldn't walk upright all the way for almost 2 weeks. She took naps with you in the chair, made us seriously delicious food, fought off killer allergies, took us to all kinds of appointments, and helped us both get going.

She cried when she had to leave.

Now you're over a year old. I don't know where the time has gone. You've come so far from the tiny 5#8 baby we brought home from the hospital. I love you more and more every single second I'm with you.

You are definitely the light of our lives.

E.R. - a first

Today was my first trip to the emergency room as a mother.

Cora was in the dining room playing with my crafts. I know what every sound is: "Oh, she has the ribbon, she's rubbing the material on the floor, the drawer is coming out."

She was making all of the normal sounds when there was a short silence and then a melt down of tears. I ran in to find her with my pin cushion and a few straight pins on the floor around her. I picked her up, checked her out, nothing...not a scratch or any blood, just big tears.

My heart is pounding. I calm her down while looking for my phone. I can't find it. I tried to get calm and I remembered I was talking to my mom in the living room last night. I pull up the cushions after what seemed like an eternity, and there it was. I called her doctor's office, and they said to take her to the emergency room. Great. I don't have the car seat. Cora stopped crying just a few minutes after the initial "WaHHH."

In the 40 minutes it took for Jake to get home (he was done teaching), I had calmed down, and even taken a shower with Cora. When Jake walked through the door, she was happy and giggly. I was enduring a serious case of self-loathing.

We took her to OU Childrens Hospital, after about an hour and an x-ray, we were given the best news of my live, "No pin." The doctor said if they would have found one, they would have most likely needed to go in and get it. Luckily we are out unscathed. She is now sleeping, and I am going to follow her example.

Letting Go

Let it be known that on the fifth day of April in the year two thousand and nine Cora bravely let go and entered the world of walkers.

She has taken single steps here and there, approximately six, but today she realized that she could move both feet and remain standing, just in a bit of a different location. She loves to walk to a big floral chair we have. When she gets close, she dives into it and giggles.

[Video coming]

On the very same day, Jake and I decided to let go of our last reservations about going to Chicago. We'd already made up our minds that we were going to go, but in the last week, Jake started talking about law school again. He didn't want to live in Chicago for five years. My apprehension wasn't the five years in Chicago, it was the end result...the idea of being a slave to academia forever. Jake had a little of the same feeling, as law could provide more mobility....and we are small town people down at our very core.

This past weekend was the General Conference of our church. This conference is held every six months (in April and October). Knowing that we were having difficulty feeling great one way or the other about what we were supposed to be doing, we prayed specifically that we might be feel confident in a decision after hearing the talks given during conference. After listening to the sessions on Saturday, we started leaning towards Chicago. Then Elder Steven E. Snow spoke about change on Sunday morning. I was rocking Cora in the mother's room, Jake was still in the chapel (sanctuary). As soon as he started to speak I felt a very peaceful feeling come over me, and I couldn't hold back the tears. It was just what we needed to hear. When I rejoined Jake, I knew he'd felt the same thing. One thing that he said that really touched us both was:

"Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time lest one will dispel the other."

Faith not fear. Our lives are in God's hands. If we are truly relying on him, then all will be well.


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