For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Thoughts on Octuplets

The villagers punished her for acting as if she could have a private life, secret and apart from them.

If my aunt had betrayed the family at a time of large grain yields and peace, when many boys were born, and wings were being built on many houses, perhaps she might have escaped such severe punishment. But the men - hungry, greedy, tired of planting in dry soil - had been forced to leave the village in order to send food-money home. There were ghost plagues, bandit plagues, wars with the Japanese, floods. My Chinese brother and sister had died of an unknown sickness. Adultery, perhaps only a mistake during good times, became a crime when the village needed food.

~The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

I'm quoting this because I think some of the attitudes mentioned in this can be applied to the story of the unnamed woman who recently had Octuplets. Having 8 babies at once, during a time when the economy is thriving, might only be seen as a harmless mistake. But now? When things are hard? It's seen as irresponsibility to the extreme.

And now that more information is coming out about the mother, well, the reporters are having an absolute field day.

Just 3 hours ago this report was released.

Assuming it's all true, what is this woman thinking??? Now I have no problem with people having large families. I'm not someone who thinks that having more than 2 children is wasteful and irresponsible and terrible for our environment. I think that people who are good parents SHOULD have children, and hopefully balance out this world with those who are terrible parents and have them anyway. But this was reckless medicine at the very least.

Lets get to the medical facts of the situation first. The grandmother of these babies has already said that the mother had IVF (invitro fertilization). IVF is when a woman takes hormones to stimulate egg production, after ovulation those eggs are harvested, fertilized, and then transferred back into to the mother. It is an expensive, difficult, painful process. There is no guarantee that ANY of the transferred embryos will "take", but any responsible fertility doctor will only transfer 1 or 2 embryos, possibly up to 4 if they are deemed poor quality or if the mother is advancing in years. After the embryos are transferred there is the possibility that they will split into 2, so 1 transferred embryo may result in a twin pregnancy. Four transferred embryos could result in octuplets, but it would be extremely unlikely that ALL of the embryos would split. According to some reports and rumors that are out there, many are suggesting that 8 embryos were transferred, and if that's the case then the doctor was an absolute loon! If 4 were transferred and by freak anomaly all split, then that would be more understandable. But it would be pretty unusual for a woman who is 33, already has 6 healthy children (proven egg quality), to have 4 embryos transferred. Doing so would be extremely risky, and most doctors in this field do what they can to prevent such HOM (higher order multiple) births.

Now, I am very pro-life. So for me personally, if I went through IVF and discovered that I was carrying many babies, there's no way that I would be able to eliminate even one baby. However, I certainly do think that doctors AND patients need to do what they can to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.

I think the question most people are asking is, why is an unmarried woman who already has 6 children, who lives with her parents in a 3 bedroom house, getting IVF via donor sperm in the first place??? How could she afford such a procedure when it takes many childless couples years to save up to afford it? And how is she going to take care of 14 children, all under the age of 7?!? Especially since in the last article that was written the grandmother is quoted as saying that when the mother gets home from the hospital, "I'm going to be gone."

I'm certainly no expert, I've had a very tiny glimpse of what it's like to have more than one baby at a time. I know that you just sort of do what's in front of you at the time and get through by the skin of your teeth. That's just life. But I had support. I had a husband/father in the picture. I had parents who would drop everything and come running if I needed them to. I had friends, and neighbors bringing meals and lifting us up in prayer. And even so, it was SO HARD!!!

My grandmother had 3 boys under the age of 5 when she found out she was expecting twins. But that was back before birth control was readily available, and she certainly didn't try to have her children so close in age. And it absolutely was very difficult. I can't even imagine how hard it was for her, especially since by all accounts my grandfather was no help whatsoever.


I can not possibly imagine having 6 kids all under the age of 7 (including 2 year old twins by the way!), and then bringing home 8 babies at once!!!

And not by some sort of accident, but because she went through fertility treatments to make it happen?

I think you must be some kind of crazy in order to WANT that.

Either that or your fishing for a TV show or book deal.

Seriously, if this woman ends up on Extreme Home Makeover I will NEVER watch that show again!!!

No, tell us how you really feel Amy? lol

Let me reign myself in here for a moment and say that I know we don't know the whole story yet. And I'm SURE that there's more to it than what the media is saying. There always is. Having been on the news a time or two myself I know that there is always much more to the story than what the media proclaims.

But I can't help but think that the reason why the mother hasn't held a press conference is because there IS questionable circumstances surrounding her conception. Unethical circumstances. I don't believe for a second that when the truth does come to light that I'll suddenly feel sympathetic towards her or that her reasons for going through IVF after having 6 healthy children will be reasonable.

Overall I think this whole situation is pretty much a slap in the face to every couple out there who has tried for years to have just 1 child... while this single woman has had 6 + 8.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The New Octuplets

Maybe this is somewhat old news, but I just found out about it a few hours ago. I never watch the news on TV, so I didn't hear about it until my chiropractor mentioned it today. People feel the need to tell me about multiple birth stories... Don't ask me why. :P

The news story can be read HERE and HERE.

I'd really be interested to hear what everyone thinks about this. Was this woman irresponsible?

And then I'll share what I think about it tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Cookies

I'm too tired to cook today.

It's a foggy wintery day (minus the snow thank goodness!).

My kids are sick.

My husband is sick.

My dogs keep tracking muddy prints all over my dining room.

I love my dogs.

But today I'm longing for the day when we won't have any pets...

And then I will have a clean house.

At least that's how I picture it.

In the meantime I have sick people and messy dogs.


I'm dieting. I'm being a good girl (for the most part). So I do not have these wonderful cookies in my house right now. But if I did, I would scarf them down so fast. But according to my womanly dieting logic, it wouldn't be that bad! Really! Because these particular cookies have some pretty healthy stuff in them. They're chock full of fiber and umm... good stuff!

Seriously though, these are healthy enough that I feed them to my kids. And I'm particularly particular about what goes into their mouths.

This recipe is adapted from the book Feed Me I'm Yours. Go pick up a copy if you've got little ones in your house to feed. :)

Here's our very simple and nutritiously delicious cast of characters:

You don't have to use a mixer for this, but I did.

First you mix your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, 1/2 cup wheat germ, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 t cinnamon, and 1/4 t cloves.

Then because I decided I wanted to make them even more healthy, I added 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal. I think that this is something the author of the recipe would have done if it hadn't been written 35 years ago.

I kind of cheat by just reaching it in and mixing it around a bit before I add my wet ingredients, this way I don't have to use 2 bowls.

Ooooooh, lookin' pretty!

The recipe calls for either melted butter or oil. I used butter, and I zapped it in the microwave to melt it.

And here's a horrible shot of me adding 2 eggs.

I clicked right AFTER they both plopped into the bowl.

Oh well.

I love my new mixer.... love love LOVE it!

Once my butter was all melted I added it.

Mixy mixy!

Then I used a mini ice cream scoop to form the cookies, that way they turn out uniform and finish cooking at the same time.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes and...


They turn out crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. I was worried that they'd spread out into flat crispy things in the oven due to using melted butter, but they didn't. No need to refrigerate the dough for hours either.

The only trouble with this recipe is that it only makes about 2 dozen cookies, which disappear WAY too fast in this house. So I think next time I'll double it and freeze the extras.

Super Cookies

1 1/2 cups oatmeal, uncooked (or Swiss Familia)
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (optional)
1/2 cup oil or butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten

Mix dry ingredients. Add melted butter and eggs. Spoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Note: "Uncooked" oatmeal is also known as "rolled oats" or "old fashioned" oatmeal, it is not the instant kind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My First Way Back When-esday

I told myself I wouldn't follow blogging protocol, but... I don't know, I guess I'm caving to peer pressure today.

Maybe it's because I ended up taking Ziva to the ER last night only to find out that I'm a paranoid mom who's kid only has some sort of virus. They kept asking me things like, "Does she have a fever?" "Only a mild one." "Does she have a hacking cough?" "Umm... not really." I felt like a total idiot... They sent me home with proper dosing instructions for Tylenol and the keep-her-hydrated speech.

Came home to a cranky sick Hubs, and woke up this morning to a sick and crying Anya.

So my day is headed off to a fabulous start, and I'm tired and praying I'm not going to be sick too.

As a result, it seems like the PERFECT day to join in on Way Back When-esday and think about happier times.

So here's the girls in their stroller and Baby Legs when they were about 13 months old. I LOVE this picture of them!

It was taken up at the lilac garden in Woodland, WA. My parents invited me and the girls to go with them, and I'm so glad I went! It was a glorious day, and the girls had a great time getting out, we didn't get out often back then!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

Ziva's a bit better today. But I think Anya's now starting to come down with it and Hubs is in full on "Ugh... I can't breathe!" mode. I'm starting to feel pretty tired and worn down and I have a headache.

Oh, and just because God has such a rockin' sense of humor...

it snowed today.

I hate snow.

I feel like scarfing junk food.

But we have none in the house because I'm dieting.


So it's a good thing I have pictures in my camera of a recipe for granola bars that I made last week because I don't think my brain is functioning enough to come up with any more witty things to say. :)

Serenity NOW!

This granola bar recipe came from a book my mom gave me called Feed Me! I'm Yours! It's only $5 on Amazon right now so you should really hurry up and go order a copy. I've made several good recipes from this book for the girls and it has many wonderful real life solutions for feeding babies and toddlers. Some of the recipes are VERY 1975, but I think that's part of why I like it so much. Reminds me of things my mom used to make when I was little.

Anyway... back to the granola bars.

They were delicious, BUT they didn't really turn out how I would have hoped, so if some of you culinary experts could closely pay attention to what I did and then tell me what I did wrong that'd be awesome! :)

Here's my cast of characters:

Oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda & dried cranberries. The recipe didn't call for any dried fruit but I just decided to add some, maybe that's where I went wrong.

First, melt 1/2 cup of butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, and "a dash" of baking soda.

If this is wrong... then I don't wanna be right!

And then you add 2 cups of oats.

I don't have a picture of that.


But I do have a picture of me adding 1/2 cup of cranberries.

Then the recipe says you should put it all into an ungreased 9x9 baking pan.

Which worked out just fine so go ahead and do that.

I spread it out all nice and even and popped it in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

Ten minutes later the house smelled awesome, and I pulled it out of the oven.

TA DA!!!

It looks amazingly similar to the first picture, huh?

So then I let it cool in the pan. When it was completely cooled I decided to cut it up and sneak a piece (Warning: do not make this on Day 2 of your diet, because you will scarf down WAY more than you should.)

And then I realized I had a problem.

Not only did I now I have something totally yummy in the house that I couldn't leave alone, but it also fell apart into a million little pieces when I cut into it.

These were not granola BARS, it was just granola.

And you know how when you cook something and say one cookie is misshapen and it must be eaten right away before anyone else sees it? Yeah... well I had a whole entire batch if crumbly falling apart granola "bars" that just called to me. I eventually had to just dump it all in a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer so that I would stop munching on handfuls of it.

So, Verdict?

It was VERY GOOD! But also not what I was hoping for. I was hoping for a snack that I could give the girls in the living room that I wouldn't have to vacuum up a billion crumbs after they'd eaten it. This is exactly the kind of messy snack that I was trying to avoid, so it didn't serve my purpose. BUT, it was very tasty, and I'm sure it would be awesome in a bowl with a splash of milk.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Spinach Bites

It's official, Ziva's sick. We're on survival mode over here spending many hours cuddled up on the couch watching cartoons. It's tough because Anya is my usual cuddle bug and she's not happy about Ziva taking up residence in my lap. As always, the hardest thing to share is Mommy. And Mommy gets quickly fed up with being pulled in two different directions. Sigh.

Thank God for nap time!

Oh, and I'm so glad I made Spinach Bites 4 days ago so that we have plenty to pull out of the freezer now that Mommy doesn't feel like cooking. Yay!!!

I made these as toddler food for the girls, but they could certainly be used as an appetizer or snack. They're quite delicious and remind me very much of a yummy melty spinach & artichoke dip minus the artichokes.

Here's the fabulous cast of characters:

Box of frozen spinach (thawed), Panko bread crumbs, shredded cheese (whatever kind you like, I used Mozzarella), 3 eggs, 1/4 cup of butter, minced onion flakes, garlic salt, and pepper.

First, drain your spinach.

Then put it in a bowl. At this point Hubs, who HATES spinach, wandered into the kitchen to see what I was making and nearly... well.. he wasn't impressed. But I reminded him that this was for the girls, and then he returned to whatever he was doing.

Next, eggs. Ugh... now it's looking really... appetizing. Thank goodness it will only get better from here!

Then 1 tablespoon of onion. I suppose you could also use fresh minced onion, but it would be more work... and if you're like me more tears.

Then 1 teaspoon of garlic salt.

I think this is one of my best action shots yet!

Then 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.

Ooooh, lookie those flying specks of pepper!

Next you'll want to melt your butter. I just toss mine in the microwave for a few seconds.

While the butter is melting you can put in 1/2 cup of Panko.

Panko is my new obsession. Thank you Food Network! Seems like everyone on there is using now a days, and now I understand why. Although in this particular recipe it doesn't make a huge difference because they just soak up all the liquid, so just use whatever bread crumbs you have around the house.

Mix Mix Mix!

Now that your butter is all melted you can pour it in.

Mmmmm.... cheese.....

And here's what it looks like after it's all mixed in. After this you'll want to put it in your fridge for at least an hour or until it "sets"... whatever that means when it comes to spinach & eggs...

Then you form it into balls and place them on a cookie sheet. At this point you could also flash freeze them and then toss them in a ziploc bag for future use.

And here's what they look like after 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven!

And here's my girls enjoying them for a quick and healthy part of a balanced lunch!

Spinach Bites

Box of frozen spinach (thawed)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of Panko (or any other) bread crumbs
1 T minced onion flakes
1 t garlic salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 c butter, melted
1 c shredded cheese (any kind, but I used Mozzarella)

Drain spinach. Combine spinach with eggs, onion, garlic salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Add melted butter and cheese, combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Form into balls and place on lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
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