Tag Archives: Baby

Rainy Day Squash Boats

I’m all for rain, but what’s with the threatening skies every time I have a day off!? Not being able to hang laundry outside really throws a wrench into the rest of my week. 

Rrrrr…. :x

Oh well. It’s good for the garden, right? Besides, a rainy day is the perfect time to take care of some things on the To-Do list and spend some playtime in the kitchen!

To-Do for Today? Baby food!

Back when I was prego, I got a lot of cr*p from people when I said I wanted to make my own baby food (among other things…) I never said I wanted to make every single bite of it, but I did want my baby to eat homemade food whenever possible. You should have heard all the comments I got…“You just wait…you won’t have time”…”Must be nice to have that much free time on your hands”…”Ha ha…I said that, too, and then I woke up to reality.” I heard ‘em all. Some people just laughed at me and rolled their eyes.

For those people, this is for you.

I timed it, and it took me all of 20 minutes during my son’s midday nap to turn one organic mango and 3 organic peaches into 7 servings of fresh, healthy, beautiful baby food. I mean, come on…it’s not rocket science.

Only the nice fleshy parts are included.

One for the next day at Grammie’s house, and the rest for the freezer. He’s not eating a whole lot at once right now, so I’m still making small batches. Once we graduate up to big batches, it will be even more efficient. 

I paid a total of $5 for the lot, and I don’t have to worry about all these scary recalls. Priceless, in my opinion.

It’s that easy, and believe me, I don’t have ANY spare time on my hands these days.

Note to self: People will always tell you YOU CAN’T. Always know that YOU CAN. (especially when little eyes are watching your example and taking notes…)

Once that was done, the sun came out so grilling came to mind. I have vowed not to shop for a few days because I want to use up some of the masses of random groceries taking over my kitchen, so I started rummaging…

Hmmm….a few yellow summer squash from the garden. Those are fresh and perishable, so they definitely need to be involved here…

Quinoa needs to be used up….have a can of black beans….some tomato sauce…garlic, sea salt….hmmm….

Squash boats! Sort of. They were too small to dig out the middles and stuff, but they were happy to be topped with a yummy quinoa something-or-other.

Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Oh, too dark. Nope! Turns out they were just right.

Pot full o’stuff. More than enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches!

I feel like this was missing something green, but my kale was buggy. Eek! A good dousing of hot sauce kicked it up a little.

In the end, I feel like I accomplished a few things: I spent very little, I used up some neglected pantry items, and I fed my family the way I want to without much time in the kitchen. 

Feeling like a pretty good mommy today… :D

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A lot of people say that they can’t eat a healthy made-from-scratch diet because they don’t have time. What’s your response to that excuse?

The zucchini/squash onslaught has begun! What’s your best recipe?

Reminder: don’t forget to enter to win free products from Turtle Mountain! I’ll be picking a 2 winners on Saturday, 6.26…

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Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Bloobs!

I knew it was about to happen a few days ago when my husband came walking into the house, said,”Open up!” and popped a sweet little blueberry into my mouth.

The first blueberries of the season are ready! :D

When I say I like blueberries, I mean I REALLY ADORE blueberries. Last year at this time, I was pregnant and I ate so many that I expected my son to have blue hair. (He does have really pretty blue eyes…hmmm….)

So here they are…and since we have raspberries, too, which are my husband’s favorite, they are all mine! 

I know, it’s only a small handful. But there are lots more on the way!

So what do you do with a few choice bloobs?

You throw them into your oats, of course!

This morning’s fuel:

  • Oats
  • Almond milk (and the last of a container of coconut milk) 
  • A sprinkle each: almond slivers, walnuts, dried cranberries, chia seeds, cinnamon
  • A smallish teaspoon of coconut oil
  • My prized blueberries
  • One date

A bowl of oats in the morning is nothing new. I’d be willing to bet that most of you out there had them, too, topped with your choice of fruits, nuts, and yummy things to up the nutrient content.

But that’s not the only reason I eat them.

Not only will this mug of oaty goodness keep me going all morning, but it will keep my son going too! You see, oats, nuts and coconut oil are just a few of the many lactogenic foods, which can help keep a lactating mommy’s milk supply healthy and strong. 

Sure, you need a good supply of calories, nutrients and hydration in order to maintain a good supply, but it’s also important to eat foods that support the very chemistry within your body that causes lactation to happen.

Careful, though. ”The more, the merrier” may be true in the case of chocolate and cute shoes, but it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to lactogenic foods (or lactogenic herbs, like fenugreek, blessed thistle, etc.) Oversupply sounds like a blessing, but it can be a problem, too, as your baby can experience digestive issues if you are producing too much foremilk and he is full before he gets to the more nutrient-rich hindmilk. (I had oversupply issues for the first 6 months…) Too much of a good thing may also make you more prone to clogged ducts and mastitis. No fun. :(

But, as I can fully attest after an all-out panic when I nearly lost my supply due to a surge in my son’s development, lactogenic foods and herbs can be a mommy’s best friend when used wisely. Have you ever heard a woman say, “I tried to breastfeed, but it didn’t work for me?” or “My body didn’t produce any milk,” or the always frustrating, “You’re lucky it worked for you” ? :x In a society where processed, fast food and “fat-free” weirdness are the norm and many people can’t even identify a lot of fresh, whole foods, it really makes you wonder…

I don’t mean to criticize anyone: I will fully acknowledge that some women do have medical issues that thwart their efforts to breastfeed, but I’ve been told by many a medical professional that these conditions are very few and far between, and if eating more grains, herbs, legumes and healthy fats might help, isn’t it MORE than worth a try?

If you’d like more information on lactogenic foods and herbs, check out this article from Mobi Motherhood International. or contact your local chapter of LLL. Both helped me, and I hope they help you, too!  

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Have you ever used lactogenic foods and/or herbs to increase or maintain your milk supply? Would you consider it?

What is your favorite way to eat fresh blueberries?

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You have until Saturday, June 26th to enter to win free coconut milk products from Turtle Mountain! Click here.

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Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

Cloth Diapering Update: Back on the gWagon

Here it is, mamas….your cloth diapering update!

I have some unexpected news on the diaper front...we’re back in action with the little gPants! After some fit issues, red marks, chafing, and pushing the g’s to the back of the closet, I decided to give one of gDiapers’ very friendly and helpful “Diaper Therapists” a call. 

Well, wasn’t I surprised when I took her advice, adjusted the fit, and eliminated the problem! It seems the rise is different on the g’s than it is on a ‘sposie, and once I made sure the velcro and rise were in the right spot, the irritation doesn’t seem to happen anymore. It must move the snaps, which were the irritating offender, to a more comfy spot.

I’ve now been using the gDiapers for about a week (only when Little F is with me, though…Grammie and Dad haven’t switched over yet, but that’s coming soon…), and I haven’t found a leak yet! We even used them all day Sunday for our family reunion, with no problems. The first few days were with the biodegradable refill liners, which are great for on-the-go, and now….my boy is living the high life in pure luxury with gCloth!

As mentioned in my first cloth diapering post, I am committed to the idea of wrapping my son’s little bum in heavenly softness, and that’s exactly what I got when I purchased my first set of 6 gCloth inserts!

I want to wear these! Or sleep on them. Ok, not really, but I am super stoked about letting my son wear them. Who gets this excited about a diaper? I guess I do! I used my Babies R Us coupon to purchase a pack of these at 20% off (I actually had to take a day to drive an hour and a half, baby in tow, to get them, but I didn’t feel like waiting for the mail…).

You would have thought I’d gotten a new purse or a pair of shoes when I got home and ripped into the bag. What’s happenened to my life?

So, for those of you unfamiliar with the gDiapers, this is what they look like…a little pant with a nylon liner.

…and this is the cloth liner that you put into the nylon liner. (The cloth liner shown is new, not yet washed. They do shrink up a bit after washing.)

I was so excited to use the cloth inserts ASAP, but had to wait a few days as they need to be washed 8 times prior to use for full absorbency. :(  I do admit, I only washed mine 6 times before I caved in and used them, and they absorbed pretty darn well! Bonus: The hemp part of the liner keeps getting softer and softer the more you wash them. I haven’t had any issues with the “bunching up I’ve heard about, either. Sure, the insert bunched a little, but it didn’t effect absorbency at all.

Aren’t they just the cutest? I really want some blue ones, and maybe some green. Oh dear…

Here’s a pic of what they look like on a babe. This is from our first attempt, before Mommy got smart and called for help. (I think I had them a little high in the back…)

I had no idea that we’d have such success with the g’s, so last week I placed an order with Kelly’s Closet for some other liners. I’m pretty happy with the gCloth, but I plan to give the other brands a fair shot when I receive them. I’m especially excited to try the super overnight doubler I’m expecting…

If you’re wondering what I’m going to do with the Imse Vimse  and Flip covers I bought, along with the prefolds, I plan to use them! I’m not married to any one diaper yet, and I’m still curious to see what’s out there. Plus, we are having an issue with the velcro on our g’s, although gDiapers has offered to send me replacement velcro at no cost, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt for now and hoping there are no other quality issues. If there are, I can’t say I won’t reconsider using them.

I did have the opportunity to use the other covers a few times, and they held the wetness in really well, but the prefolds I got are big and bulky so the fit is a little bit off. My boy’s also really, really wriggly right now and just wants to roll over and go during diaper changes, too, so folding the prefold and fitting the cover over it is really a struggle. The g’s are a little easier to fit and fasten right now, and I happen to have 4 of them already, so they will probably get the most use right now.

Convenience and budget are ruling the roost at the moment….

The Mission:

I had no reference point whatsoever when I first considered cloth, and trying to determine what to buy when you are on a budget (not to mention sleep-deprived) can be overwhelming. My goal is to provide a weekly post chronicling our Adventures in Cloth Diapering–my little way of contributing what I can to all the new moms out there who are looking to save money, help the planet, and treat their beloved babies to a more pleasant diapering experience. 

If you have any questions about any of the diapering products I mention on my post, please feel free to ask! I’m happy to give you any details I can! 

I hope it helps, even if just a little….and don’t hesitate to send tips and advice my way!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family

Writer’s Block of Chocolate

Today, I don’t feel so much like writing. I think I wrote too much at work and used up all my words.

Instead, I feel like eating chocolate. And that shouldn’t be a problem because I just replenished my stash.

I love chocolate….and it loves me, too. Know how I know? There’s a love poem inside each one of these…

Found these on clearance at the Tar-zhay for $1 each. They were in my basket before I even knew what happened. Yup, I bought ‘em all. And they should last me a good, long time since I have to watch my caffeine while nursing. Only one little square at a time for the mama.

And on my last shopping excursion, I found this strange creature:

That’s right…bread and chocolate. It’s a chocolate bar with French bread in it. I’m going to h*ll, fo sho…

I’m not opening that one yet. It’s going to wait until I get in that French bread and chocolate mood. Don’t act like you don’t know that mood…

Don’t you just love the clearance aisle? I do…but it makes me sad, too. I often find my favorites in there, or products I’ve been wanting to try, and finding them there emblazoned with a big red clearance sticker is a little rush, no doubt, but it also means that those products are most likely being put out to pasture because nobody is buying them. Then, I can’t buy them anymore either. :(

I hate that.

My latest trip to the clearance rack also yielded a box of cinnamon Clipper Tea (it seriously is a soft, fuzzy blanket and slippers in a mug)  and a bottle of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. Fun!

So, I mentioned that yesterday was my husband’s family reunion. That might seem the perfect vehicle for blog fodder, but it just didn’t happen. I was going to put together a side dish, but I totally s**t the bed and brought drinks.

I know. You don’t have to say it. Bad blogger. Bad foodie. Bad healthy eating advocate.

But at least I brought Honest Kids juice. It’s not even sweet, and it’s the only juice I’d give my kid out of a little bag if I did, in fact, give my kid juice. 

We played some games and the husbo won a big watermelon. I was kind of stoked about that. 

Then I won. What did I win, you ask? Well, I won this:

Yes, that is a 7.5 lb bag of sugar. Ummm…….yeah. That’s what I thought, too. :?

The heat and humidity were out of control, but somehow I got talked into walking these steps carrying a 20-lb baby on my hip…

…and found this at the top! 8O

Who knew I’d find a big lake at the top of a flight of stairs? It was like finding Narnia or something. 

My husband got a hankering for a nip of wine on the way home, so we stopped at a local winery (Hunter’s Valley) that’s just a little too far out of the way to visit regularly, and picked up two bottles for home. Way to multi-task! 

I had only eaten some mixed bean salad at the reunion, so I was ravenous. I had visions of a falafel salad dancing in my head, so I got out the mix I had in the cabinet…

Did you all know about this stuff? 

It was the easiest thing ever, inexpensive, and it made really good falafel! Better than I’ve had in a lot of restaurants even.

Who knew?! 

I’ve been paying out the nose for falafel! NO MORE! Five bucks, my foot!

Falafel from scratch would be more impressive, yes. But this stuff is welcome in my pantry any time! Thanks, Casbah!

Feeling very proud of my warm falafel patties, I found them a home on top of a bed of organic greens and baby spinach, along with organic grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, fresh crumbled pepper-crusted chevre, a few artichoke hearts and a dressing I threw together with dill from the garden. (I thought it was a lot like tzatziki, until I looked it up and realized that I had, in fact, made tzatziki.)

Wow. This post is way random, and I think it has too many links. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow. 

I’m gearing up for my first giveaway in the next few days, so be sure to check back in soon!

‘Nite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………

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Have you ever made falafel from scratch? How did it turn out?

Do you ever have trouble stitching the pieces of your day together into one cohesive blog post?

and finally,

what would YOU hope to find at the top of that flight of stairs?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Burger and Fries!

I have some catching up to do!

What gets my vote for best 3pm snack this week? 

These guys, who made a surprise appearance at my desk during the afternoon slump! They arrived courtesy of my friend who happens to be a registered dietitian, so I ate one happily, no questions asked, and packed up the other for the Hus.

CHOMP!

Did you ever just get bored with your ol’ standby breakfast, only to eat it and realize why it became your breakfast of choice in the first place?

Yesterday, my cup runneth over with So Delicious coconut milk (beverage) and Granbiotics granola, topped with cranberries and one date, for good measure…

…along with more Mother’s Milk tea. I think this stuff is really working! I thought all that galactagogue talk might be a bunch of hooey, but my supply is increasing nicely. I still don’t like the anise flavor, but it’s not bothering me that much anymore. Besides, I never really liked handling poop or having bags under my eyes from sleep deprivation before either, but I deal. It’s all part of parenting, right?

Breakfast was fun. Little F is getting so curious about Mommy’s food, and he intently watches as I raise and lower my spoon for each bite, not aware that he’s imitating my motions with his mouth. It’s super cute, and I love that he’s watching me eat something healthy (most of the time… ;)

I just love being a mommy. Especially his mommy.

Daddy wanted burgers and fries, so I decided to oblige him, ABCGP-style!

I had a bunch of beautiful parsnips, courtesy of my favorite grocery store Produce Man (my Dad!) so I cut them up and made some parsnip fries! A drizzle of olive oil on one side, macadamia nut oil on the other, salt and pepper.

I also sprinkled a few with some chipotle powder a friend made for us out of our garden jalapenos…

400º for about 25 minutes…

A few were a little thin, but the core was really fat and I didn’t have much choice. Maybe smaller parsnips are better?

His burger: moo-cow. Mine: Sunshine!

Fresh salsa, crumbled feta, and basil from the garden, with a swipe of avo-hummus underneath.

Bruschetta Sunshine Burger, maybe? Either way, deeee-lish.

It was time to thin out the beet patch, so I found myself with these beautiful babies…

Not sure what I’ll do with them yet, but this new addition to the family sure is giving me some ideas…

I can’t think of a better present right now! Many thanks to Grammie Garden Pea!

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Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every day? Do you get bored? (I find that limiting my options makes it easier for me to make sure that A. I actually eat breakfast , and B. I make a healthy choice at 5am. Do you agree?)

What’s your favorite way to eat beets?

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food