Friday, April 25, 2008

Yummy Recipe That I May Never Make Again

Last night, I made a delicious asparagus soup to go along with steak. I wanted something different than the usual salad and potato. I love asparagus soup because it’s a soup that you can eat in the spring and summer. It’s even good cold although I prefer warm. I had cold asparagus soup in Vegas at Mon Ami Gabi. We were sitting outside on a warm summer night, and it was actually very refreshing. So you may ask why I refuse to make this recipe again.

Well, the steak was needing to be flipped, the bread was done baking, and the soup was done simmering all at the same time. My kids were also both screaming at this exact moment in time. If you’re a mom, you can definitely relate to this scenario. I took a deep breath, tuned out the screaming, flipped the steaks, took the bread out, and poured the soup into the blender. Then, I asked Dee to give the children a snack. This temporarily silenced them.

As I started to blend the soup, boiling HOT asparagus soup came flying out of the top of the blender, landing on me and all down the side of the refrigerator. It was a quite painful burn, so I screamed. This really scared Emily who started crying because she thought I was hurt. Instead of doing something to relieve the burn, I had to go make sure E knew I was okay.

Dee helped me clean up, and after securing the top TIGHTLY to the blender, he finished blending the soup. Then, I set aside a small bowl for Emily and a smaller bowl for Ty, so it could cool before it was time to eat. Somewhere in that time, Ty ended up fussing, so Dee took him out of his booster and let him pull things out of my cabinets (I do have some unlocked cabinets for Ty to amuse himself when I’m busy cooking). While I was deglazing the pan I had used for the steaks, Emily started crying because of the smoke that came up when I poured liquid in the pan. She thought I burned myself again.

I turned to tell her everything was okay, and this is when the proverbial straw broke the camel’s back. Ty crawled over to the table, reached up, and turned a bowl of asparagus soup onto himself and his WHITE shirt!!!!!! Thankfully, it was not very hot at this point. He actually thought it was quite humorous. Dee and I, however, didn’t find it so funny. In fact, we just left the mess on the floor until after the kids went to bed. We took his messy clothes off of him, but it was just too much at that point to mop the floor. The thought actually crossed my mind that maybe I could just let him eat his soup off of the floor--it would keep him happy and be less to clean (it was *just* a thought--I didn't really do it).

Finally, we sat down to dinner, and I’m sure it was actually quite tasty. But after all that, nothing was going to be very yummy. Anyway, the recipe is easy and delicious--it really is an easy recipe even though it didn't seem easy at the time. It’s a great, unique way to get some vegetables into your diet. I just think I am too traumatized to make it again!

CREAMED ASPARAGUS SOUP (Serves 6 as a side dish)


2 tablespoons Butter

1/2 cup diced Onion

8-ounce Baking Potato, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock

1 pound Asparagus, trimmed, tips removed and set aside

Salt and Black Pepper

Sauté onion in butter in medium saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Cut asparagus stalks into 1-inch pieces and add to pan along with potatoes, milk and stock. 

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Purée soup in blender or food processor (make sure the lid is on tight LOL and you may need to do 2 separate batches).
Return to saucepan, salt and pepper to taste, add asparagus tips, and heat until tips are tender.

Optional Topping:
Before making soup, mix 1/3 cup sour cream and ¼ tsp dried dill in small bowl, set aside until serving time. Serve soup with a dollop of this topping!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What do you think?

I saw this sweet picture of my brand new niece...

I couldn't help but think that baby looked familiar. Here's Ty on his first day of life...

What do you think? I think they definitely look like family. It's the double-chin, round face, dark hair, and pinchy-winchy squishy cheeks that they seem to have in common!

But then I saw another picture of Miss Claira-Bear...

It really reminded me of Miss Emily Dawn

These girls could pass for sisters if you just looked at baby pictures. Two beautiful girls!

Carter, I looked at your new baby pictures, but to me, you just looked too much like your Daddy to look like Claira. I'm not giving up, though. You two are bound to make a similar expression eventually :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

And Here She Is!

I took these pictures off of my sister's Facebook. Here is Miss Claira Susan Tittle, 8 lbs, 7 oz, 21.75 in. She was born on San Jacinto Day, so she must be a Texan at heart. I would love it if she became a Texan one day...hint, hint, Brandon and Joy. Aunt Melissa can't babysit if you are 8 hrs away!

It sure is strange to see my bro with a daughter. I can't wait to see him wrapped around her precious little finger!

Brandon, Joy, and Claira

Carter meeting his baby cousin for the first time--he looks thrilled, doesn't he? He's not the youngest anymore!

She's Here!

When I posted earlier, I didn't want to post that my mom and dad weren't going to make it to AR before the birth. I thought that if I made that prediction, I would be wrong, and Joy would be in for a long, hard labor. So I decided to predict the opposite since most of my predictions DON'T come true. So I predicted that my mom and dad would make it before the birth. That way, I would avoid "jinxing" Joy. Sometimes, I am very superstitious about things.

Are you confused yet? What I am trying to say is that my brother just told me that Joy is fully dilated. We (by we, I am including Joy because I hear she was quite surprised) definitely didn't expect it to be so soon.

Okay, now I am re-thinking this post. I am afraid if I post that Claira is almost here, Joy will end up pushing for 3 hours or something traumatic like that. So I think I will just save as a draft and post when the baby arrives...

One hour later--Claira is here, and she is a healthy 8 lbs, 7 oz. She is not as big as Emily was but not as small as Ty/Carter were. My mom and dad now have 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. YAY for Joy for an easy and uneventful labor. She only pushed 4 times! It's a good thing I waited to post--she can thank me later--HA HA HA!

My mom isn't even to Oklahoma City yet. Oh, well. She'll get to see her before I do. I won't see her until June :(

I am hoping my sisters send me pictures very soon.

Baby Claira is Coming!

If you think about it, lift up my SIL Joy and my brother Brandon in your prayers today. They are on their way to the hospital! My mom and dad have hopefully left by now, but I think they will make it in time despite the 11 hour drive. From my experience and the experiences of most of my friends, short labors for first babies are the exception. However, I'm sure Joy hopes she is one of the exceptions! I'll post an update with a pic as soon as I have one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Piper Pays Him--Yes Sir!

Emily just did the most hilarious thing...yes she should be in bed, but she got up to go potty, and I let her stall because she was in a cuddly mood. She snuggled up next to me, and we watched some youtube for about 20 minutes. We like to watch some of the Disney Princess movie clips on youtube occasionally. We also enjoy watching clips from the Sound of Music and The Music Man.

Tonight's event deals with Music Man. But first, I should give you a little background. My entire family (The Tittles) are crazy-obsessed fans of The Music Man. My Dad was in it in high school, and he shared the awesomeness of this musical with his children. In fact, I was in it in high school, and my sister Amy played in the pit. This is my absolute favorite musical and one of my favorite movies. Our family can sit around and between the 4 of us kids and my parents, we can probably quote the entire movie. I know, we're dorks, but it's so much fun to be a dork!

Anyway, when Ty was a few months old, I noticed that saying rhythmic things soothed him. One thing that would always make him smile was a quote from Rock Island, the opening scene of The Music Man..."and when the man dances, certainly boys, what else, the piper pays him, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir..."

Of course, Emily picks up on this and soon has it memorized. My siblings got a kick out of hearing her recite this line. I wanted her to know the context of this fabulous quote, but since I only have The Music Man on VHS and don't have a VCR hooked up, I thought it would be easier to search for a clip online. Months ago, we watched the opening scene of TMM on youtube, and she loved it. She wanted to see it over and over. Then, I noticed they had other clips. I introduced her to the fabulousness of Pickalittle, talkalittle and Shipoopi. Who knows if I am spelling these correctly. We haven't watched any clips since then.

So tonight, I told her one more clip after we had finished watching some Disney clips. I chose Rock Island. As soon as the picture came up (I hadn't even played it yet), she says "Mommy, this is the piper pays him yes sir. I like this song!" My heart leapt for joy at this moment--I was so proud. As we were watching it, she's trying to say things along with the salesmen (cash for the merchandise, etc.), she quoted the piper part, and when that was over, she told me "Everybody is about to fall down, Mommy." I was really in shock that she remembered that the train comes to a fast stop, and the traveling salesmen fall. The best part of all was when the clip was over, I told her she needed to go to bed now. But she started whining and crying. I asked her what was wrong. Her answer will be in my mind forever..."Mommy, I don't wanna go to bed. I need to watch the Shipoopi now."

I am so proud that she has already learned what a great show this is, and she hasn't even watched the thing yet. I know my sister Amy said that Ty's birthday post made her tear up, but this post should make all of my fam cry. I know they will be so proud of little Emily and proud of me for teaching her well. HA HA HA! Thanks for humoring me and my dorky self.

Since you endured this long post, let me at least show my appreciation by posting some pics ;-)

This is a picture I took of Emily a few weeks ago. She was playing with some rose petals.

This is Ty performing one of his favorite tricks--clapping. I like this because you can see his Grammy's shadow on the side. She is clapping, too.

Ty enjoying one of his Bday gifts from us. Look at him laughing at his Daddy!

Ty loves to tackle us. This is us horsin' around after his bday party.

This is Emily taking care of her sick teddy bear. Does the bear look familiar? It was mine when I was a baby. Maybe some of you had one too.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

p.s. Now a woman who'll kiss on a very first date is usually a hussy. And a woman who'll kiss on the 2nd time out is anything but fussy. But a woman who'll wait 'till the third time around, head in the clouds, feet on the ground, she's the girl he's glad he's found--she's his Shipoopi.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jaxon & Jordan's Website

I have added a link to my fave blogs on the right for the Larry Family and their preemie twin boys Jaxon and Jordan. They seem to be getting stronger which is a huge answered prayer. My mom and I checked their website this weekend and found this post which contains a something that Crichelle's mom wrote about how God was taking care of them. You can click here to read it. Do not click unless you have a box of Kleenex with you ;-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

I've been wanting to write this all day and haven't had a minute to myself, so here goes now that it's 11:15 p.m.....

I was at Scott & White at this time 1 year ago. I had just found out that I was 5 cm dilated and was being admitted to the hospital!

Let's go back to the beginning...and since we are talking childbirth here, I am giving fair warning that some things may be TMI!!!

During the wee hours of the morning on April 11, our alarm started going off, and it scared us to death. Dee hurdled over me and my huge belly, grabbed his pistol, and went to investigate. The front door had just popped open, so he turned off the alarm, and we went back to bed. Emily slept through everything, but sometimes I think that it scared Ty.

The next morning, I woke up with a little spotting which was strange since I hadn't had that throughout my pregnancy. I decided to call L&D just to make sure I shouldn't be concerned. She said not to be but to call if I had a certain number of contractions in an hour. I don't remember what that number was, but while I was at work teaching calculus all day, I was having more than that number of contractions. I would call, and they would tell me not to worry because they were not regularly spaced/5 minutes apart contractions. I didn't even tell Dee about these phone calls.

Well, they just kept coming all day...but they were not too uncomfortable and not regular, so I figured I just needed to get off my feet/drink some water. Then, I thought maybe they were regular, but I just wasn't paying attention since I didn't have my watch. I called Dee in his room at this point and asked him if I could borrow his watch. Of course, he FREAKED out! He had the secretary across the hall come check on me, but I told her I was fine, I had talked to the doctor, it was still almost 4 weeks before I was due, I was NOT in labor. I just continued making my students do calculus problems while I sat on my big prego bottom.

By the time school was out, I was feeling better. I had a burst of energy as I picked up Emily from school. I was planning on taking her to church later that night. But when I got home, I just felt awful--really tired and uncomfortable and still having contractions. I talked to my mom, and she encouraged me to get lots of rest, maybe I've just had a rough day, but keep her posted. Dee said he was coming home early from practice, taking Emily to stay with his sister and husband, and we were going to L&D just to check since I had been contracting ALL DAY! I agreed to go only if he would bring me chicken club tacos from Chili's before we left.

Since he had to drive from Killeen to Temple, take a shower, pack Emily's bag, take her to Nolanville, come back to Temple and pick up Chili's, he wasn't home until almost 8:00. We ate our dinner, packed a bag just in case we were there for a while, and left. I talked to my mom again on the way to the hospital, still convinced I wasn't in labor, and she tells me at this time that she never had regular contractions, 1 minute in length and 5 minutes apart. It was at that moment that I realized that Ty may actually be coming almost 4 weeks early!

When we got to the hospital, we were joking around with the nurse that we will probably be sent home. When she checked me, she said "You're not going anywhere--you're 5 cm!" Our jaws dropped. They dropped some more when she informed us that because Ty would be premature, he would most likely be in the NICU for at least a few days, if not, longer. I looked at her and told her that I realize I'm not full term yet, but I would be on Sunday. Would he really need to be in the NICU? She said, "You're not full term on Sunday--you're only 34 weeks, 6 days."

"Oh, no," I replied, "I assure you I am 36 weeks, 4 days." She checked my chart, and sure enough, I was right about my own pregnancy--imagine that! She reassured us at this point that as long as Ty doesn't have any problems, he shouldn't need a NICU stay.

My MIL was in the hospital after having some tests done, so she snuck out of her room at this point to come see us as we were getting settled into our hospital room.

Now, when I originally planned this post, I wanted to stop here at the end of the day of April 11 and finish the story April 12. But since I have had many interruptions, it is now April 12, so I will continue...

After toughing it out for quite a while, I broke down and asked for the epidural. I couldn't help it--Dee's loud breathing was getting on my nerves so bad that I couldn't take it anymore! It was either get drugs or kick him out of the room ;-) The nurses informed me of 2 car accidents and a stabbing that had just arrived in the ER, so the anesthesiologists were busy. Great. Finally, a sweet doctor arrived, but just as soon as she started explaining the procedure, she was paged, said she had to leave, and would come back as soon as she could.

It was during her absence that things started hurting really badly. By the time she got back, I could tell that I was really dilated, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want them to check me and say it was too late for the epidural. If I had only known that Ty would be arriving in less than an hour, I would have toughed it out. I could have handled the pain had I known it wouldn't be long. About 20 minutes later, they checked me and said I was dilated to a 10. My water broke during this check, and that made me go back down a little. But 20-30 minutes later, I could feel a pushing urge despite the epidural (I couldn't feel pain though), so Dee got the nurses, and I pushed for about 15-20 minutes. It was faster and easier than with Emily, no forceps this time either!

Ty Austin Trcka was born at 3:20 a.m. on April 12, 2007. He was a perfectly healthy 7 lb, 11 oz "preemie."

Here is a picture of my 1st baby and me on April 10, and here is a picture of my 2nd baby and me on April 12. I am huge in both pictures, but they are a part of my story nonetheless!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy! Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming early because I did not want to deliver a 10 lb baby!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Prayers for a Special Family

For you KGE alum, Jyusef Larry, his wife Crichelle, and their two twin boys, Jaxon and Jordan, really need our prayers. Crichelle's water broke last week (she was only 24 weeks), and she has been in the hospital trying to keep those little guys in her womb as long as possible. I don't know the details, but they had to go ahead and deliver the boys earlier this afternoon. Jordan is 1 lb 7.9 oz, and Jaxon is 1 lb 12.5 oz. Can you imagine how tiny? Pray that these boys will grow stronger every day. I know that with God's help and with the amazing medical technology that is out there, they CAN survive this rough start to life. I just can't imagine how their Mommy and Daddy must be feeling right now. I know that Jyusef and Crichelle have waited a long time to finally be blessed with babies, and this must be so scary. Please send up a prayer right now for these precious little ones and for their precious parents!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mr. Ty

I was completing my final assignment for my photography class and came up with some adorable pictures of Ty. Look!

Here's my 2nd fave of the shoot--I love his eyes in this one.

This was the one I submitted. Don't you LOVE this face? I feel like I met my goal for the course--to learn to use my camera's features to capture pictures of what my kids REALLY look like, not just say "cheese" photos. I got great feedback, and the instructor said it's my best photo yet. It was also chosen as a photo of the week. YAY!

She even fixed it up for me in photoshop as it was slightly underexposed. She did not do this for everyone, so it made me feel "special." I love the result.

I was very happy as she commented that I have a "knack" for great framing. I was glad to hear that I actually don't stink at photography (I still have much to learn though, including photoshop). Did I mention I'm getting photoshop for free by the end of the month? They purchased a license for all teachers at our school--YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!!

P.S. Have a wonderful weekend!