Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup

Today I had a craving for chicken noodle soup. Having been a vegetarian almost 17 years now, I don't get these cravings for foods from the first half of my life very often. I threw together some ingredients I had laying around and made the most incredible faux chicken noodle soup ever. It seriously tastes like I remember. Even my meat eating husband commented on its authenticity. I want to get the recipe down, simple as it may be, before I forget. With 3 kids running around, I forget things quickly and frequently.

Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Not-Chick'n bouillon cube (I use Edward & Son)
  • 1-2 T olive oil or butter (or both)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 package Quorn Chik'n Tenders
  • 4 oz. of egg noodles (I used these that I found at our local Asian market)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Put water and bouillon cube together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat with 1 T of olive oil/butter. Add onions, celery, and carrots and sautee until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot mixture) to the saucepan.
  3. Using the same frying pan over medium heat add the remaining 1 T of olive oil/butter. Add the 1/2 bag of Quorn Chik'n Tenders, no need to de-thaw first. If the oil/butter runs dry too quickly then you can add 2 T of water to the pan and cover for 1-2 minutes. This will help keep the Quorn Tenders from drying out. I added the salt and pepper to the Quorn while they in the frying pan, but you can easily add it to the broth if desired. Once Quorn Tenders are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes, add them to the saucepan. 
  4. Add the egg noodles to the saucepan, turn heat to medium low, and cook until noodles are tender. 


Last belly photos

covered 39 week belly

uncovered 39 week belly

Today is the day.

I go in this evening to start my induction. I am assuming that this little one will be born tomorrow unless this turns out to be the worlds fastest induction. I feel like there are both a million things I should be doing today and nothing all at the same time. This whole knowing when baby is coming is very anticlimactic. I enjoy spontaneously going into labor. It is exciting. In the end all we want is a healthy baby, but still I wish things were a little different. Oh well.

This morning I made the boys pancakes and am doing some laundry. I will probably find some ridiculous things to keep me busy throughout the day too. I will probably be too anxious to try and nap though. I need to finish up the Belly Journal and make sure I bring that and the baby book to the hospital to get foot and hand prints. My hospital bag has been packed for weeks, but I will go through it 5 times at least. I hate this waiting!

G&G R have been here for a week now. The boys are still loving it! They spent practically all day at a Children's Museum last week. They went in the morning and then we all went back in the afternoon. It wasn't a very large museum, but it had plenty to keep them happy. There was a model train and a big sandbox that was a hit with Fletcher. Archie enjoyed role playing at the train station. He kept giving me a ticket to Chicago! There was also a bubble platform that you could pull a cord and be enclosed in a bubble. Fletcher was not interested but Archie liked it.

Over the weekend, Dave and I headed to IKEA and got a lot of odds and ends for around the house. We put up new shelves above my desk, got a coffee rack for the wall, magnetic knife holder, storage boxes, and a light for the boys reading corner. We hung up the curtains that my Mom made for the nursery. We finally have the co-sleeper attached to the bed and ready for baby. I got some Aden & Anais swaddling blankets and some more waterproof pads. I finally finished a scrapbook page that I started about 2 months ago too. I am going to get some photos from Archiver's today since I have a coupon and need my 39 week belly photo. I know I am babbling, but I didn't think that my nerves would be so jittery today. Gah!

The beautiful linen curtains in the nursery!

I should probably get started with my last day as a mother to two children. Hopefully I will be able to post a birth story blog within the week. If not, at least I can post some pictures of our new little boy or girl. Here we go!


I caved. Induction date is set.

For a month now I have been evading my Doctor when she has mentioned induction. I have had 2 growth ultrasounds in that time b/c of my gestational diabetes and the baby is measuring pretty accurately for where they are supposed to be with the exception of a big head. My diabetes is 100% diet controlled and my A1C levels came back great. Still, the standard of care is an induction at 39 weeks. I am very conflicted about all of this, but scheduled the induction with the hopes that baby will come on their own before Monday. Both Archie and Fletcher were born before 39 weeks so the odds are good...I hope. Also, the induction is scheduled at 8 p.m. I actually laughed when my nurse said it was so mom could get in a night of rest while the pitocin took effect. Has anyone ever actually been able to rest during pitocin induced contractions? At least she she was able to realize what a load she was feeding me and laughed as well.

In other news, G&G R. are here!! Can I say what a relief it is to know that I can go into labor now and the boys will be well cared for. That is always my biggest concern about going into labor with other kids at home. We had a back-up plan, but nobody wants to go into labor at 2 a.m. and immediately worry about waking up their older child(ren), getting them ready, and taking them to a sitters house. Now we just get to wake up G&G and let them know we are leaving. I am so thankful for family!

Dave's birthday was on Monday. He is now at the ripe old age of 32! We went to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes and then had cake that I bought at Rheinlander Bakery, which also sells low carb, sugar free pastries! I had my first truly sweet dessert since my GD diagnosis. The Raspberry Mousse pastry was sinfully delicious. The Pistachio Almond Cream one was actually a little too sweet for me. That has never happened to me before. On the bright side, it did not spike my blood sugar so I will call that a win. For his birthday gifts I got Dave a coffee shop gift card so he can get out of the house during the day and work there for a bit if he wants. I also made him some wall art using my handy Silhouette Cameo. Not terribly exciting gifts, but I hope he had a great day regardless.

The boys are loving having G&G here. They are going to the park, getting to fall asleep with them, reading stories, playing Lego, and just getting spoiled in general. When we went to the bakery they each got to pick out a cookie. I had them ask the gentleman helping us all by themselves and they were both so polite. Totally worth the sugar crash later...almost!

 It is not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.

 Archie with his piggy cookie. Appropriate.
 Fletcher and his baseball cookie.

Dave's Boston Cream Pie Birthday "cake"


The nursery...for now

I have done everything that I can with the nursery to this point. Fletcher is still sleeping in the crib so I cannot set that up, G&G R. will be sleeping on an Aerobed in there while they are here so I cannot set up any big things, but I really don't have any big things to set up. The walls are painted, the art work done, closet stocked with freshly laundered clothing, the swing, bouncer, and play yard have fresh batteries, the changing table, pack n' play, and co-sleeper are ready to go, and the car seat is installed. I wanted to take pictures of the nursery in the glow of the afternoon sunshine, but you wouldn't you know we have had two rainy, overcast days in a row. We get maybe 10 overcast days/year here in CO and they happened when I wanted the sun. Oh well. Here are the pictures I was able to get of the nursery.

My Mom made curtains and a valance for this window using THIS and THIS fabric from Joann's. They are going to look so great!

 The changing table/dresser. Nothing terribly exciting. 

The owl artwork I made is finally on the walls! I love how it turned out. Each canvas is 11" x 14". I painted each canvas with 2 coats of acrylic paint in a neutral. All of the shapes I cut using my Silhouette Cameo. Here is the OWL SHAPE, TREE BRANCH on right canvas, TREE BRANCH on left canvas, SWING, and FLOWERS

We will eventually put in mirror sliding doors on the closet. There were bi-fold doors when we moved in, but I hated them and they fell off anyway so we just took them down. At least I have easy access to everything in the closet. Storage baskets are my friend!

Here is a rocking chair that Dave & I found on Craigslist while we still lived in Michigan. The people we bought it from stained it themselves when their first child was born some 20 odd years ago. The green table was an old Sauder telephone stand that my Grandma gave to me when she sold her house in Redford. It was an ugly stain that I recently painted over and put a new owl knob on the door. A 110% improvement.

Close up of my night stand with owl knob.

I love the Treetop Friends collection by Skip Hop and this pillow is just too adorable. The orange pillow I found at Cost Plus on clearance. It was too perfect to pass up. I would like to get a nursing footstool for this chair.

My DIY paper leaves mobile. The whole project probably cost me $15 and about 6-8 man hours. People on Etsy charge upwards of $90 for something like this! I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the leaves in 5 different cardstock colors. I took a sewing needle and poked a hole near the top of each leaf. I used some jewelry making line (looks like fishing line) and tied knots to keep the leaves from all falling to the bottom. 

I used glass beads and necklace charms to weight down the fishing line. My hot glue gun was my best friend on this project. 

I struggled with the top on this one. I ended up using these buttons and some hot glue.

The wreath was a nice base for hanging the leave strands. I got it in the floral section of a craft store. I think it is 6-8" wide. I took floral wire and made an "x" across the top to give me more surface to hang from. I didn't need to wrap the brown ribbon around it, but it helped hide some of the hot glue that I used to keep the wire in place. You can still see a few hot glue marks, but that is only if you are standing on a step stool inspecting the wreath. I can live with that!

Here are the closet dividers that I made. Of course I didn't take into account the distance that the rod hung down from the shelf so they didn't fit when I hooked the over the rod. Luckily the ribbon works just as well. I used 4 different cardstock colors, but just took pictures of two of them. I made these going up to 4T I think. Again, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the shapes and the letters/numbers. I also laminated them myself. Being crafty has its perks! THIS is the shape I used for the owl.

Here it is in green. 


The moments that remind me why we are doing this again

When I think about having a newborn around I tend to remember the sleepless nights, spit up on everything, milk stains on my shirt, gassy, crying babies, 2 a.m. fights with Dave, the endless amount of bottle and pump parts that need washing, and did I mention the lack of sleep? This past week, however, my two boys have been reminding why we thought 3 kids was a good idea. On my morning to sleep in, Archie came up into my room with a flower that he picked for me in the backyard and a hug. Not wanting to be left out, Fletcher wanted a hug too. Getting woken up with flowers and hugs is probably the best way to wake up in my opinion. At the library a few days later, instead of holding my hands in the parking lot, the boys held each others hand. It was completely unprompted by me and luckily I had my camera handy so I could capture the sweetness of the moment. How could I not want another child? I am not delusional enough to think that puppies and roses are going to abound in the next few months, but I am reminded that it is totally worth all the crappy nights that are ahead of us.

On Tuesday we had our last growth ultrasound to see how large the baby is because of my gestational diabetes. At our penultimate (thank you Prof. John Su for teaching me one of my favorite words) ultrasound, the baby was sleepy and we didn't really get a look at him/her. This time around though we got to see the chubby cheeks and adorable face of the baby we are going to be holding in less than 2 weeks. Both of us kind of had our moment of calm at that point. The fact that Grandma and Grandpa R. are coming for a month starting on Monday also helps!

I have been trying to take the boys to the park a lot since they have been such troopers going to to all of my appt's with me. We tried out two new parks this week. One was kind of neat b/c it was a sensory park ideally suited for special needs kids. How cool is it that my new town has thought of these things? The boys liked it, but I think it could have used more shade trees. However, I would be sweating in 60 degree temps right now. The other park was in our neighborhood but we haven't been there yet. In our little square mile where our house resides we have 6 playgrounds and an abundance of trails with open space. This park had a nice climbing wall, tall slides, and wasn't near any major roads which is a great plus. I liked this one a lot.

Dave has officially completed 2 weeks of working from home. I am quite pleased with how well it is going. The boys accept that when Dad is in this basement he is "at work" and not to be bothered. There was that one day where Dave went to get the mail during nap time, slammed the door on the way out and in, and woke up the kids! I have forgiven him though since he has been rocking out the honey-do list. Plus, the basement bathroom has never been cleaner now that Dave works down there. Ivy, whose litter box is down there, is also thankful.

Over the last few weeks Fletcher has really just advanced leaps and bounds with his communication skills. Fletcher has been talking for almost a year, but the quality of what he is saying is just astounding. He is talking about his feelings, using adjectives a lot, letting us know what he has been up to, etc... Yesterday after Dave took them to the park he came home and told me everything that he did using full and complete sentences. It is really kind of cool. Archer is getting ready to start school next month. I have his uniform but we still need to get all of the back to school supplies. I am so excited for him. He has been asking to play with friends a lot lately. He doesn't have any play mates, but he calls kids that he meets at the park friends. I cannot wait until he actually has kids he can play with everyday and have real friends. It breaks my heart to see him sad when no kids are at the park. Only 3 more weeks until school!

I am still doing really well on the menu planning and food budget. I am completing our 3rd month and the amount we spend is getting pretty predictable. Our garden is also starting to produce a lot of squash, tomatoes, and the chard is still coming up. It is nice have fresh veggies at every meal and knowing what is going to be for dinner every night. It also provides a nice amount of leftovers for our lunches. I imagine our grocery bill will be going up a bit now that Dave will be eating all his meals at home, plus snacks throughout the day. Once the baby comes we will probably have a few months of more processed foods as well and that usually equals more money. At least I have built up a nice repertoire of meals that we enjoy and are relatively easy to make.

Well today is Saturday and maybe our last weekend before the baby comes so we need to get stuff done. Dave is cleaning out the cars, moving the boys' car seats to the back, and installing the infant seat. I am cleaning all the bottles and accessories and figuring out where to put them. I also need to find all the baby socks and bibs and launder them. The pack n' play and co-sleeper are getting put together, the house is getting as clean as we can muster, plus we have the boys that need supervision and what not!

What a difference a GD diagnosis makes. I weigh almost 25 lbs. less than I did at this point in my previous pregnancies and I feel the best too. I haven't been able to indulge in any pregnancy cravings, but at least I won't be paying for it after this LO is born. 


4 weeks until my due date

I am 36 weeks today. My oldest was born at 37 weeks and my 2nd at 38 weeks, 2 days so I am not expecting to make it to my due date. I don't think my OB wants me to either and since I do not want an induction I am keeping my fingers crossed. The standard of care for a woman with gestational diabetes is to induce around 39 weeks. However, since mine is diet controlled and the baby is not measuring large, if I make it that far I will decline an induction unless the baby is in distress.

36 week belly

My 2 hour post prandial's have been kind of low lately and I have had ketones in my urine. I stopped documenting everything I ate last week and I think that I have been carb starving myself which would explain both problems. It is so hard to find that happy balance between too many and too few carbohydrates. By the time I figure this whole diet out the baby will be born and I won't have diabetes anymore. It is kind of frustrating really. I go in two times/week for my non stress tests and I have weekly appt's with my OB. We have always teetered between wanting 3 or 4 kids. With this whole gestational diabetes this time around though, I am thinking 3 might be our magic number. On the bright side, I started off each pregnancy around the same weight and ended each one 50 lbs. heavier. This pregnancy, I have only gained 25 lbs.and have been holding steady for almost 10 weeks. Not being able to indulge in ANY pregnancy craving sure does help curb the weight gain. I had french fries for the first time since my diagnosis and my blood sugar levels were the highest they have been yet. It was my reality check.

Trail mix keeps them occupied during my NSTs.

The boys have been both a riot and rioting lately. Archie is learning how to push Fletcher's buttons and it is the cause of many a headache around here. However, they have their moments when they are cooperating, talking with each other, and helping each other out that gives me hope. They love playing games on our phones, tablets, and computers so I can get some down time when we have had a really trying day or when late 3rd trimester fatigue kicks in. This past week is when I have really started to slow down. It has also been the week in which I have done the most work. I noticed ants in the family room a few days ago and have been a cleaning kick b/c I hate bugs! I also washed the baby swing, bouncer, car seat, car seat bases, and the two boxes of baby toys we still had packed away. The newborn cloth diapers are clean and folded, all the clothes are hanging up in the closet and Dave painted the nursery. I need to wash the bottles next. I think we finally realized that the birth of this child could happen any day at this point.

Happily blowing bubbles
Showing off his Duplo creation.

Today was Dave's first day at his new work from home job. He had a 5 hour lunch meeting with his Colorado contact/co-worker and came home really excited about his work. The boys even played in the basement without bugging him. He will still need to find some good places to work outside the home for those days when his headphones aren't cutting it, but I think he will be happier overall with this new change. I am very excited to have him around. Not because I am expecting him to help much during the day, but it is just going to be comforting having him here while I deal with 3 kids all day. I've gotten used to him after all these years!

I have been crafting like crazy lately. I made 4 art canvasses for the kids rooms, am making a name plaque for the new baby, I made closet dividers for the nursery, working on a project for Dave's birthday, making some cards, and want to get started on a mobile for the nursery. I love, love, love my Silhouette Cameo! I can finally imagine a project and complete it with the help of my die cutting machine.

 This is a bad iPhone photo of the unfinished canvas. Same with the photo below. I apologize. 

Once the nursery gets a little more put together then I will post more photos. The pale grey with white trim on the walls looks fantastic too!

That's all I've got for now. Sorry my posts have been more pregnancy related lately. It is forefront on my mind.