Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza

I'm so excited to share this recipe today! It was my first time making a pizza from scratch! I've bought premade crusts before but this crust was completely my own :) It's homemade stuffed crust pizza!

First I started with my dough. I made my dough in the bread machine. I'm not advanced enough to trust myself making the dough and rising it myself! I bought the bread machine at goodwill a few years ago for a few bucks and it's been WONDERFUL! 

I used the base recipe for pizza dough from the book that came with my bread machine. Before I added the oil, however, I added about 2 tbsp of italian seasoning, 2 tbsp garlic powder, and a little bit of shredded parmasan/asiago/romano cheese blend.

Here's the dough after it came out of the bread machine after 1.5 hours. I placed it on a floured surface and covered it with a clean towel for 10 minutes.

Then I tossed it in the air like a real pizza chef! I was COVERED in flour! Skyler kept laughing at me. It was so much fun but not as easy as it looks! I don't know how many times I dropped it on the counter. I finally broke out the rolling pin to finish it off. I placed it on my Pampered Chef pizza stoneware. TOTALLY worth the price! It's difficult to burn the bottom of something on this!

Then I took string cheese (I used 8 of them) and placed them around the edge. 

Then I rolled the crust over and pushed the dough together. You're supposed to poke the dough with a fork all over but I forgot.

I baked it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Then I covered with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and cheese. You could add whatever you like!

Then put it back in the over for another 12-15 minutes until it finished cooking.

Mmmmm... It was really good! I think next time, I'll add more seasoning to the crust as I like lots of seasoning! And maybe brush the crust with butter.

There's so many possibility with this! I could make calzones, pizza roll ups, so much!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taking Care of Babies that are Addicted

Today I wanted to talk about something troublesome I deal with at work. (For those of you that are new, I have worked the past 2 years as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse.) And I hope I don't come off as not compassionate or judgmental. Because I love my jobs and the babies I am blessed to take care of. But it's something that's been on my mind lately. And I wanted to give you all a little insight into a difficult aspect of my job. Forewarning, it may be difficult to read, and remember, these are my own opinions. 

Most people thing that in the NICU all we have are teeny tiny really sick babies. However, sometimes we get seemingly healthy babies. Until you get a little deeper on why they are here. Sometimes, we get a baby who is addicted to a drug or medication at birth. The mom took a certain medication or drug during her pregnancy that creates a dependency in her baby. Once the baby is born, they are cut off from their "supply" essentially. The babies then go through a process of withdrawal. The baby is actually experiencing physical pain. Some people wonder, how do you know a baby is withdrawing? Well, we have certain signs and symptoms we look for.

Firstly, with most babies, we run a drug test. If we can catch the first or second urine the baby has, we can test it. It will tell us anything the mother took within a few days of giving birth. The meconium is the the first stool the baby has. It tells everything the mother took during majority of the pregnancy. This one is the one we see positive the most. The one symptom that sticks out the most to me is their cry. It's hard to describe the cry of a severely addicted baby. It's so high-pitched and shrill that it shoots straight through you. And they are inconsolable. There's not much you can do for them. We do whatever comfort measures we can. We offer the pacifier. And they will excessively suck on it. We swaddle them tightly. This helps with their own tightness. These babies are so rigid. I've seen one where I could push on her legs and her upper body would sit up. They also tremor. I'll never forget this one who was shaking so bad. He never cried, which made my heart hurt even more. I simply picked him up and held him to me as tight as I could to help control some of his shaking. Although I have never seen it, they can even have a seizure. Their metabolism is so high they often run a temperature and sweat. They have severe diarrhea which usually will break down their behinds to the point that they bleed. They will sneeze constantly, have trouble eating, projectile vomit.

The babies are treated, depending on their severity, with medication. Some hospitals use morphine, some use methadone. Which are addictive medications themselves. And the babies have to be slowly weaned off of the medication to ease their pain and help with the withdrawal process.

It's really difficult to watch these babies go through it. And, to be honest, it's very trying on us as a nurse to care for these babies. Your heart breaks for them. They cry all the time but there's nothing you can do. You simply have to let them cry it out. We hold them when we can. You'll see us passing the baby from nurse to nurse in an attempt to console them. We put them in swings, bouncers, whatever we can find in an attempt to soothe them. Mentally, you can't take care of a severe addicted baby for more than a day or so. It is stressful and emotionally draining.

This documentary from NBC News is very good. It's 12 minutes long but well worth the watch. It accurately shows what a baby that is withdrawing looks like and how they are cared for.

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Some moms have no choice and are on certain medications that cause the baby to withdraw. Then there are moms who intentionally take drugs or prescription pills.  And what I struggle with is having sympathy for these mothers, especially the ones who do drugs, especially the "repeat offenders". They'll be crying saying "I didn't know this would do this to my baby." And I just have to politely smile and nod while inside, I'm thinking "Really? This is your 4th kid up here for withdrawals. You knew exactly what was going to happen every time you popped those pills or shot up." There are the ones that cry and say "this is all my fault." I don't coddle them and say "awww, honey, it's not your fault". Because it is their fault. I tell them that what happened is done, and now we have to focus on getting their baby better. I refuse to tell them that it isn't their fault. I just don't feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for the baby. It's not the baby's fault. 

And I was recently talking to someone and they asked me if these mothers are arrested for child abuse. Because, essentially, these mothers are giving drugs to their child. And the cold hard truth is that in today's society, the unborn baby is considered an "extension of the mother's body". Don't get me wrong, these mothers do have to go through some social stuff. They are flagged as a "social services case". The Department of Children and Family Services opens up an investigation. They go out to the home, do inspections, talk with the mother and family. Then, they decide if they are going to send the baby home with the mom. If they do, the mom will have random visits, random drug tests, and basically have to keep their act together. Sometimes, they remove custody and the baby goes home with a foster family until the mother straightens up or the baby may end up in the system for their entire life. I always tell moms, when they find out we know their baby is addicted, to be honest. Tell them everything you did and took. Because we know based off of the drug test. Don't lie and say you didn't take it. We have the proof. And the more honest you are, the more likely you'll be able to keep your baby.

It seems that lately, doing drugs/pills during pregnancy is the new thing. Within the past year, the number of babies that we get due to withdrawals is through the roof. We used to get 1 every now and then. The other day, 1/3 of our unit population were drug addicted babies. And these are only the ones severe enough to be transferred to the NICU. It's not counting the ones who may show slight symptoms and who have a positive drug test, but don't need to come up to the NICU. 

I just don't understand how someone can do this to their own child. It blows my mind. And I feel like a terrible person for judging these women. I don't know their situation. I don't know what led them to do drugs. The moms addicted to prescription pills blame their doctor. "Well, he gave me the prescription." While I do believe that medications are often overprescribed, the patient is the one who makes the decision to take the medications. It's like the whole gun controversy. Guns don't have a mind of their own. Guns don't shoot people. People shoot people. And although I have taken medications that I could see how they could become addictive, I had to make a conscious decision that no, I don't need this med anymore. And I stopped taking it. And there's a whole other controversy over addiction being hereditary and genetic that I don't have time to get into. The basic point, is that I really struggle to have sympathy for these mothers. And it's something I'm trying to work on. To show more compassion to these mothers.

So I hope I haven't offended anyone! I just wanted to give an honest look into what it's like caring for the drug addicted baby.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1/23 What's New Wednesdays {crafts, DIY, recipes & more link up}

Hey everyone! So sorry I missed the past 2 weeks. Still trying to get back into the swing of things while working and coaching and being a wife!

Anyways... there were several wonderful posts shared last time! Here's a few...

The number one most viewed post was 5 Best Posts on 2012 over at Clever Nest! I loved the drip paint pottery and her tests of making your own Modge Podge!

Another post I enjoyed is the Monthly Meal Plan over at Learning the Ropes. I love how she included the shopping list as well as recipes to cook for an entire month!

I love how cute these Knit Infinity Scarves from The Freckled Optimist turned out! So cute! And she made them in record time :)

There were several more WONDERFUL posts last time! Be sure to check them out!

And those of you that were featured... please grab a featured button HERE!

Now for a new week :)

Add as many recipes, crafts, DIY, etc... as you'd like!

Please... don't link to your main blog page, shops, giveaways, etc.

And please make sure to visit others and comment on their stuff too!

Look for featured ones next week too!
Your link up could be a favorite!

Grab the NEW button and share with others!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

The other day I was wanting to make a simple salad that really tasted good. I saw a few recipes on Pinterest that looked good, but I didn't have all of the ingredients. So, based of of some of the recipes I saw, I made my own! And so I present... Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing.

It's really easy to make.

I cubed half of a beefsteak tomato, 2 small caprese tomatoes, and a handful of golden snacking tomatoes. 

I also cubed an avocado. Note to all... never try to stab the seed out with a knife. Because what will happen is that seed will slip and the knife will go through the avocado and into your hand. True story. Happened last year and I will never make that mistake again!

Throw the tomatoes and avocado into a bowl. Separately, mix together 1 tbsp each of honey, lime juice, and olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper. Then toss the salad with the dressing you just made.

It was soooo good! I devoured the entire bowl in a matter of minutes! I'll be making this often! And it's good for you too :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Key Lime Bars

This is a recipe I found through Pinterest over at Let's Dish Recipes for Key Lime Bars... MMMMM!

You can find the recipe HERE

I used Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla cake mix. Surprisingly, there aren't a whole lot of choices for VANILLA cake mixes. Lots of "yellow" or "butter yellow".

First time to use my KitchenAid mixer!!!!!

I cooked it in my Paula Deen 9x13 pan that I got as a wedding present.

It bubbles up nicely.

This is the final product.

Verdict.... SO yummy! Very prominent lime taste and oh so sweet! They are so easy to make and are sure to be a hit at any party!

If you try them, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Star Wars Themed Party

So I've always wanted to host a "themed" party. And Skyler's birthday was last week so I used that to my advantage to throw my first themed party! Star Wars! (Skyler loves Star Wars).

I found this kit through Pinterest and bought it (it was only $12 for all of the PDF files and SO worth it!). It's from Hello My Sweet. They show their party HERE. I got several of my ideas from her page! They also have a link to their etsy shop where you can buy the kit with your own customizations (for $25).

It was a great hit! I had so much fun putting it all together too! Here's a few pictures from the setup (please excuse the blurry pictures... lighting in my living room is TERRIBLE!)

Here's what I did for each label:

Wookie Cookies: I made chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies (Skyler's favorite). They were the epitome of homemade. Break and Bake Pillsbury kind. So difficult to open those packages and put them on the pan!

Jabba Juice: I used this recipe found at allrecipes that was used at my bachalorette party. It's called a Pink Panty. But it's SOOOO GOOOD! Instead of the gin the recipe calls for, I added some sprite.

Yoda Soda: I put out cans of Sprite, Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Cherry Coke.

Han Burgers: I made hamburgers using this recipe found at Little Miss Momma. So yummy!

Leia's Buns: hamburger buns.

Vader Veggies: fixings for the burgers... lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, avocado, and sprouts. Mmmm :)

TIE Fighters: fried cheese sticks

Han Rolos: (I was going to use the Rolo candies but the store was out). I used beef and cheese taquitos.

Hutt Dogs: Pig in a Blankets (one of Skyler's favorite snacks!)

Thermal Detonators: Used the 5 BILLION gumballs left from my wedding.

Carbonite Jello: (not shown in picture). I made Jello. With a red layer and a blue layer. Only I tried to rush the jello by speed setting it and it turned out HORRIBLE!

Palpatine's Pizza: Bagel Bites!

Sarlacc Pit Dip: I made homemade Rotel Cheese Dip. 1 can of Rotel and 1 lb of Velveeta Cheese (I used the white kind). Melt it all in a crockpot together and enjoy!

Sith Salsa: I was going to make this recipe (my favorite!!!) but ran out of time and just used a premade salsa.

Ewokamole: used a premade guacamole but I wish I had had time to make my own!

Padawan Popcorn: (not shown) Was gonna pop some popcorn but didn't end up doing this. There was a ton of food and it wouldn't have gotten eaten anyways!

Light Sabers: Planned on dipping pretzel rods in chocolate but, like several things, I ran out of time. So I just put out regular pretzel rods. Can you tell I'm not the best at time management?

Chewbacca's Chips: used tortilla scoops and plain chips for the different dips.

Other labels that were included that I didn't use:

Bantha Milk: could've set out milk for the cookies :)

Death Star Donuts: I originally planned to use this and make donut holes. But, what do you know, I ran out of time!

So there you go... a star wars themed party! It was pretty easy to do! And I recommend getting that kit as it has SOO much more in it. Pictures of the characters. Jedi Certificates! Much more! (No one asked me to write about this... I just loved the kit that much!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1/2 What's New Wednesdays {crafts, DIY, recipes & more link up}

Welcome to the FIRST What's New Wednesdays of 2013! I'm so excited to see what all has been new with you all lately! It's been a LONG while so feel free to link up new stuff, old stuff, it doesn't matter! I can't wait to see it all :)

Add as many recipes, crafts, DIY, etc... as you'd like!

Please... don't link to your main blog page, shops, giveaways, etc.

And please make sure to visit others and comment on their stuff too!

Look for featured ones next week too!
Your link up could be a favorite!

Grab the NEW button and share with others!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year's everyone! I hope it's wonderful! I'll be working all day, loving on some babies :)

People always make new year resolutions. And I say I'll do that every year. But by day 2 I've usually failed. Instead of setting "resolutions", I've found a few things on pinterest to inspire me for the new year.

I want to live each day happy, accomplish new things, and become a better me!

I want to laugh more and worry less.

Do kind things, without seeking recognition.

So to 2013.....

What are your goals for this year?
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