Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baby Cookies

So, my almost 7 month old (WHAT??!!!) is almost refusing to eat her baby food. She is more interested in eating what we are eating. Going from eating 2-3 jars baby food at night, oatmeal in the morning, and a jar at lunch down to almost nothing is killing this nursing momma! So, I have been giving her some of what we are eating. Scrambled eggs, avocados, soft onions and mushrooms, and lots of puffs and teething cookies! No problems.

But what do I do with the baby food? (I still try to feed her some, but don't force her when she doesn't eat...)

I have put some of the veggies in spaghetti, used some of the oatmeal and rice cereal in fried chicken recipes, but today, I am craving cookies!

I have adapted this recipe into a vegan recipe that both babies and toddlers will love! And it is so easy, I was able to wear my fussy, teething, clingy baby while making them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (For toddlers and moms!)

3/4 cup baby rice cereal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup apple sauce

1 jar banana baby food

1 jar sweet potato (or carrots) baby food

1/2-1 cup oatmeal baby cereal

1 package raisins

I just mixed all the ingredients, put on a cookie sheet, and baked at 350 for around 15 minutes. These cookies will be soft in the middle, even after cooling, unless you make them thin.

Oatmeal Cookies for Baby

1 cup rice cereal

1/2 cup flour

1 cup applesauce

1 jar banana

1 jar sweet potato/carrots

1/2 cup oatmeal

Mix ingredients, cook as above. (14-20 min @350).

Again, these cookies are pretty soft and chewy. They seemed to get softer in baby's mouth when she was eating, and she did not have any trouble with choking. Some babies, however, might have a problem, so don't leave your baby alone with them!

She seems to have liked them!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Busy Season

The other day, when I put the meme

and  Football wife

I had no idea how right I was.

Last week, from Tuesday to Monday, we went to six different games – JH (2 games), Other teams (out of town), HS (out of town), JH (2 games). Going to all of them, we didn’t get back home until after 9:30 or 10. We also had a hotdog/hamburger dinner at church Wednesday night, and one Thursday night for the players. 

(In Portugal, that wouldn’t have seemed like such a big deal. But, since we’ve been back in the states, I’ve tried to establish an earlier schedule for the kids…and for them to be in bed by 9 o'clock at the latest.)
We also had a hotdog dinner at church Wednesday night, a hamburger/hotdog dinner Thursday night for the players, and a hamburger lunch Sunday at the church. (We also had hotdogs Tuesday night, Saturday afternoon, and corndogs last night…I’m a little dogged-out!) 

But We Go

- To show Coach B we love him.
- To show the town we care about them.
- To get out of the house.
- Because we love football!

And That’s Just What We Did!

Coach B. does SO MUCH MORE than that! He is up at school at 7am to workout with the boys. He stays after school for football practice. He watches film with the coaches after games, Wednesday nights, and Sunday afternoon. There is game planning and scheming to do. AND, he still manages to pay attention to me and the kids! I don’t see how he does it. Seriously.

I feel so blessed to be where we are. Yes, it’s crazy, but isn’t that a part of life? This is a glimpse into our busy “season”.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mommy is not Here Right Now…

Do you ever have those days when you wake up and think, “This isn’t for me. Did I make a mistake? I don’t know if I am cut out for this job.”? Or answer a “Momma!” with “She’s not here right now.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, most days. Other days, a banana split or an ice cold…Dr Pepper would suffice. This is one of those days.


Those days when I question being a stay at home mom.

When I have a baby who is screaming because I am not holding her. Because I have to clean up the mess my toddler made. Who is screaming in his time-out chair. Because he wouldn’t help me clean up the mess he made.

When I wake up early enough to take a shower by myself, but end up sharing it with my two year old because he woke up early. Turn the shower off, and hear the baby screaming because she, too, woke up early. (Air-dried hair and no make-up it is. Again.)

When I drink too much coffee and get a caffeine migraine, and just want to puke.

When my son spends 10 minutes in his time-out chair screaming and crying and throwing a fit because he won’t do his “school” work and asking to watch his favorite movie instead. (Almost threw in the towel on this one…But I didn’t.)

When I turn on Christian music to feel more Christian. BUT. It. Doesn’t. Work! Instead, it makes me madder. (You know what I’m talking about!)

When my toddler calls, “momma” a million and one times for no reason.

When neither of us has patience, and both of us are having a stubborn day.

When my toddler has gotten more spankings today before nap time than he did all of last week.

Yesterday looked so promising. I found an awesome Christian, toddler curriculum. We did story time. Music time. Craft time. Play time. We did potty stickers. And chore stickers. I was super mom.
Today, I woke up like Cruela Deville.  It is not pretty.

I question God’s plan for this part of my life. “ME? A stay at home mom? What are you thinking, God? You know I almost have my master’s degree, right?”
I think of all the other jobs I could be doing. (Can’t I teach or coach, instead? I could be a banker. I could finish my degree. I could do HOUSEWORK!)

  • These are the days that I NEED Jesus the most. These days when I don’t feel like a good mom. Heck, I don’t even feel Christian most of the day. (Seriously, I feel guilty singing Jesus Loves Me…)
  • These are the days when I need to sit down with my notebook and Bible and have serious one on one time with Jesus.
  • These are the days when I need to get with my other mom friends and know that I am not alone.
  • These are the days when I need to ask for help. (My hubby has already said he would take little man to the park tonight after supper.)

BUT, then at nap time, when I am pretending to be asleep so my toddler will fall asleep, and he kisses me and says, “I love you”, and smiles at me like I am the best mom in the world…that’s when I know I can make it. This is right where I need to be.

It might be hard. I might feel like quitting every other day. But it’s what God has called me to do. And it’s worth it.

A man’s steps are established by the Lord,

and He takes pleasure in his way.

Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed,

because the Lord holds his hand.

Psalm 37:23-24

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ruth is 4 Months!

I can't believe my baby is 4 months old! Where has the time gone?

This little chunker is around 16 pounds. She spits up like crazy, but I don't think it's really hurting her. I mean, look at those cheeks!

She loves to be on her stomach! She hates being on her back, unless someone is looking at her and talking to her. So, she rolls over whenever placed on the floor. 

She loves cooing and blowing raspberries at people.

She loves standing up when she's not on her tummy or being held. 

She also loves sitting up...either in her bumbo, or on the couch. 

She loves her brother!

She's started grabbing at and books, for example.  

She's still a good napper, but since we are away from home, she is not sleeping so well at night!

She still likes to be swaddled, but she can break out easily and she can roll over. I believe it's almost time to stop the swaddle!

She is the easiest baby to get to sleep. Swaddle, paci, rock for 2-3 minutes. And she's out!

We love our Ruthie Baby so much!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Football Season...Have you seen my husband?

Being the wife of a football coach is going to be a lot different than anything we have experienced so far.

When Coach and I first got married, we were both students getting our master's degrees and working (me full- and him part-time.) He had time to play flag football, and I was able to have brunch with my girlfriends and go to little parties at the seminary.

Then, when we had G-man, we still found time for friends. Even through Missionary training, moving overseas, and all that jazz.

When we moved overseas, Coach and I pretty much had the same job. We learned language, tried to develop Bible studies at our house, invited people over, and pretty much spent a lot of time together! Coach did have football practice that I didn't go to...But that was it! I was even on the same fantasy football team as he was!

(Our son wanted to play with Daddy!)
This season, however, will be a different story!

 I am at my parent's house this week with the kids. Since we were gone for a year and a half, I thought it would be nice to spend the week back with them and go to the family reunion this weekend.

I just got off the phone with Coach B. He had just gotten home at 10pm after a long day of teaching and coaching because he was painting the field. (He won't paint it every week, but since we were gone he didn't have anything better to do...)
Monday night, I called him twice, the second time at 10pm. He was still working on putting plays on armbands for the season.

I am glad my husband loves his job! It makes it so much easier for him to be gone, knowing that he is doing what God has called him to least for this season!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Being Coach B's Wife

I met Coach B. a little over four years ago. He wasn't Coach back then. He said he had quit coaching because God had called him to go back to school and go over seas. I said, "Good!" because I wasn't marrying a coach.

We went overseas two years later with our son, G-man...with him being a coach. He coached football in Portugal for a little over a year and a half. 

We came back to the states because God has another plan for us, and another place for us to minister...We are coaching football in Oklahoma.

We now have TWO children...Gid-man is 2.

Baby Ruth was born in Portugal and is 4 months. 

The reason I said at the beginning of our relationship (we didn't date long, by the way, but that's for another blog...) that I did not want to be a coach's wife was because of the crazy hours coaches keep. Coach B told me at one of his other coaching jobs, he worked at least 60 hrs per week teaching and coaching! I couldn't fathom that amount...or what it might mean to his home life. 

But, here we are! In the plains of Oklahoma. Coaching football.

And it is starting to feel like "Home". 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ruth is Two Months!

These past two months have been really busy in the Barker house! I was on maternity leave for one month, we went to Lisbon to get Ruth registered with the Embassy and apply for citizenship and a passport. We also stopped at the zoo in the morning and afternoon of our appointment. We had so much fun!
We have also gotten a new job with a high school in Cordell, OK. (Ok, David has the job…we’re just tagging along!) This means, we will be leaving Portugal in late July/early August, so David can be at school on time (and we will spend a little time with family). This has been a major transition period for us, and will continue to be one for the next few months, at least. I am not sure how I feel about moving to Sooner nation…In all seriousness, though, this is something that David and I have been praying about, and feel like it is a major gift from God. 

Now, on to my baby Ruthie. Smile

-She loves sitting up (or even standing up with help).
-She loves her paci.
- She loves her big brother.
- She loves to smile and coo at mommy.
- She spits up so bad! So much more than Gideon.
- She really likes to be swaddled and/or to sleep on her stomach. (Don’t judge, please!)
- She still has beautiful blue eyes.
- She sleeps for around 4-6 hours at a time at night!

Although we’ve only had her for two months, I really can’t remember life without her…And I wouldn’t want to imagine life without her, again.


Ruth at 1 month


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Those Things

Already having a child, you would think having a second one will be no different. You would think you are already a pro, and that nothing that happens will take you by surprise.

Having my baby girl home less than a week has let me know how very wrong I was. There are certain things that have caught me by surprise. Those things that I thought I would never forget with the first birth, but that still take my breath away.

Those things that are not pleasant.
How hard labor was, and how much it hurt.
The tears that come with using the bathroom.
The gross fluids that stick around after giving birth.
The cramps that feel like labor at times.
The belly that lingers and makes it look like you’re still pregnant.
How much it hurts to breastfeed at first.
How much laundry is added to your baskets (especially if your baby is a spitter or the diapers leak).
The raging hormones that make you laugh while you are weeping and utterly confuse your toddler and husband.
The fear of not being a good mom/ baby’s not getting enough to eat/ baby sleeps too much/ etc.

Those things that are precious to a mom’s heart.
The first time you see and hold your baby after experiencing the torture of birth.
The feeling of accomplishment of birthing your baby. (No matter what the delivery method!)
The bond of a mom and a nursing baby.
The funny expressions your baby makes while sleeping (and while awake).
Having your baby fall asleep in your arms.
Seeing your baby in your husband’s arms.
Getting to dress your baby in cute clothes. (More for the little girls than little boys.)
Those chubby, chubby cheeks.
How much you like the smell of baby. Baby hair. Baby breath. Sometimes, even baby poop.
Did I mention the cute baby smiles when they sleep?

There are new things with the second baby.
Double (or triple) the diapers!
The way big brother just wants to hold and kiss his sister when they are in the same room.
The way he wakes up at night when she cries a lot.
The family hugs and snuggles in the morning and at night.
The way big brother coos and sings to little sister, and how she seems to light up when he holds her and coos to her.

These are just a few things this momma has noticed in the first week after giving birth. I know I will learn more about myself and my children in the next weeks, months, and years. It will all catch me by surprise, and I will hide these treasures in my heart and not take one moment for granted.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Week 39 - The Story

Week 39

This week was Gideon’s birthday, so we went to the parque a couple of times, then we went to the zoo on Tuesday. We had a pretty busy weekend and first two days of the week, so I told David Wednesday that I was taking the day off and not getting out of bed. I was so tired, and I thought if Ruth could come at any moment, I wanted to be ready for her…not the exhausted hot mess that I was.

That day, and especially that night, I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. Now, I had been having contractions for four months, so this was nothing new. When David and Gideon went to football practice that night, though, they were pretty frequent – every 5-15 minutes – enough to make me look online for differences in BH and real labor. Everything I read said that real labor contractions got more intense and were in pretty regular intervals. Mine didn’t, so I didn’t worry about them…just viewed them as an annoyance.

David and Gideon got home around 12:30am, and David and I went to bed around 2:30am. While David went to sleep, I couldn’t sleep because of the hardening of my uterus and having to go to the bathroom after every contraction. Very annoying. Then, I had two real, very painful contractions. They only lasted about 15-30 seconds. But after the second one, I knew it was the real deal. It was 3:30am.

I woke David up, saying “Honey, we need to go to the hospital…I think I’m in labor.” Now, because my water hadn’t broken, and the contractions were short and spaced close together (David timed them at 30 sec length with 30 sec in between), I still wasn’t 100% sure I was in labor. But I didn’t want to be home in case it was.

We got all our stuff, got Gid in the car, called the Dr and our friends to come get Gideon from the hospital, and arrived at the hospital at 4:00am.

Apparently, My Body Doesn’t Like Pain

When I got to the hospital, I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and contraction monitor, as well as to an IV. I had tested positive for strep B, and had to take 2 doses of antibiotics over the next 4 hours to make sure Ruth didn’t get it. They checked me, and I was 5 to 6cm dilated. Uh Oh. If you’ve heard my story about Gideon’s birth, you know I went from 4 to 10cm in 1 hour. But that was with pitocin. Surely, I wouldn’t labor as fast without the meds. Surely, I would last 4 hours and be able to take all the antibiotics and let my body get a chance to rest (I hadn’t been asleep since the night before!) before having to push!

At 4:30am, my water broke. That’s when the yelling began. I’ve heard of women who can labor without yelling. I am not one of those women. I do not like pain. I do not like to be touched while I’m in pain. Nor spoken to. Just leave me alone. David has learned this, and actually stood in a corner most of while I pushed (it was also VERY hot in the room, and he stood by a window to be cooler…) They checked me again, and I was at a 7. And they moved me to a L&D room.

They hooked me back up to all my equipment while I stood and tried to handle the pain as best as I could. She checked me again, and I was at around an 8 or 9. (I really didn’t like her checking me that often…she seemed to always do it when I was contracting…and it hurt…a lot!)

At 5am, I was told I could push. I pushed a few times, but my contractions seemed to be getting less intense, so I was able to rest. But my dr and nurse were trying to get me to push…sorry, I’m not ready during that one (the dr actually tried to “help” me during one of the contractions by checking were Ruth was…I about lost it!) The nurse also tried to help by putting my feet in the stirrups or lifting my legs. I appreciated it, but she did it while I was pushing. Did I mention I don’t like being touched while I am in pain?

At 5:20am, David was leaving the room to go to the bathroom. I told him to hurry back. I needed him there. He was such an encouragement to me, telling me I was doing a good job (when I felt like such a failure and a baby for yelling and saying I couldn’t do it or that it hurt)…He was my support, even from the corner of the room. While I wasn’t having contractions or pushing, he was right there beside me, telling me how great I was doing and holding my hand…or trying to, at least. As he was walking out the door, I had a major contraction were my body wouldn’t let me not push…and told me to keep pushing until I had Ruth all the way out!

Don’t worry, David heard my cries and that they were longer than normal and rushed back into the room in time to see the whole show! He got to cut the umbilical cord, too!

Even without the Pitocin, it seems like this labor and delivery was so much more intense and painful and stressful than Gideon’s. David said I did a lot better this time (maybe his expectations were a lot more realistic, and he knew what to expect), but I don’t remember it being that way.

Maybe part of it was the frustration of the language barrier and the lack of communication between me and the dr and nurses here (that’s what I get for having an awesome midwife in Ft Worth the first time!), but I felt utterly alone during this delivery, and that I was a monkey in the zoo. (I was able to calm down when I prayed…which was maybe 5 min before I pushed my baby out!)

Part of it might also have been the rapid pace of the delivery or the irregularity of women having a natural childbirth here. The women might actually listen to the doctor and follow her lead! SmileSorry, I get a little (ok, a lot) crazy during my l&d process…And ladies who do that for 5-25 hours, I am so in awe of you! I was wishing for meds and a c-section almost the whole 20 minutes I was able to push!

When they put that little girl on my chest, though, I went from a yelling, mad-woman to a smiling, joyful, new-again mommy. None of the craziness or the pain mattered after that. The reason for the month bed rest and the agonizing pain was here, and it was all worth it!

To go from:

2014-04-24 05.04.55            to         2014-04-24 05.26.24

in less than 30 min is amazing! God really does know what he’s doing with adrenaline and endorphins and hormones and all that good stuff!

Ruth Judsyn Barker

7lbs 3 oz.

DSCF48022014-04-24 06.16.35DSCF4779

Her big brother is in Love!


One Big Family!



Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Little Third Culture Toddler Turns Two!

I cannot believe that my little boy is two today. It seems like time speeds up the more we don’t want it to…like when it comes to our kids growing up. Gideon is growing up so much, and I am afraid if I even blink, I’ll miss it.


A couple of weeks ago, on David’s birthday, I was in another room away from Gideon with the door closed, which he hates, when I hear this sweet voice call out, “Momma? Momma?” I was so thrilled! This was the first time my son had said my name!!! He’s said “Dadda” for a few months, and he says other words, but never “Momma”. I almost cried with happiness and love I did not know I could feel. It really is the sweetest sound to hear your child call for you the first time.

Since I have been off of bed rest, Gideon has *almost* reverted back to being a momma’s boy. He still loves being with his daddy, but mommy is still a comforter and support when he gets a knot on the head or falls down. But one kiss is all he needs to make it all better. I am cherishing these moments that I can offer that kind of simple love to make everything perfect again.


Through all of these sweet moments, our little man is going through his “terrible two” stage. He cries when he’s hungry or when he’s tired or when he wants his shoes and socks off or when he wants them on or when he’s having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. These are times that are pretty trying for any parent, but we have to remind ourselves that we need to give a little more grace and patience during that time, even when letting him know that his actions are not acceptable.   

Gideon and His Third Cultural-ness

I did not realize how third culture my child was until about a month ago. I know everyone wants to believe their kid is special and unique. But when you are in a store buying baby clothes and the lady who works there asks your child if he wants to come with her and sit at the table, and he then proceeds to try and unbuckle his stroller to go with the woman while nodding “yes”, you realize how much you might not know about your child. Did I mention that this woman spoke a different language than you speak at home? Yes, we live in a foreign country, and we have lived here for over half of Gideon’s life. And, yes, Gideon was in daycare for the first five months we were here where they spoke little to no English. But that was so long ago, and he was so little, I kind of thought he was just a little less loss than we were in terms of language, joking that he could probably translate for us but not really believing it. And then at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago, I hear him responding (somewhat intelligently) to the nurse who was speaking to him in Portuguese. Man, there is so much I have to learn about my own kid! His vocabulary is growing (saying not only “momma” last week, but also bus and car), and he talks in sentences in his “Gid” language. I’m waiting for him to break out in sentences in English or Portuguese (although he really doesn’t speak to us in Portuguese that often, even though his first word was “Ola”).

I love this about my kid. He is full of surprises every day!


Other than growing vocally and expressing himself in the funniest ways, my son also loves football! His new favorite game is “Down, Set, Hut!” This can either be played by ending in a tackle or throwing the football.


He’s actually got a pretty good arm, and he is pretty accurate in his aim (most of the time), sometimes even throwing a spiral. And he tackles really well, almost knocking David down if he is caught by surprise. He loves going to football practice with Daddy and the boys.


Yes, my little boy is growing up! I am so excited to see what God does with him and through him on down the road. We are so blessed that God has given us Gideon: our outgoing, charismatic, football loving, snuggle buddy. 

Happy birthday, Gid-man. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much!