Tag Archives: new mom

The rest of the day has to be better, right?

Ugh! What a morning!

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure: Automatic door locks are NOT as much of a convenience as you would think. I was at the gas station today, in the midst of a mayfly swarm, and I shut my door, only to hear a click and realize my keys, phone, wallet, etc. were locked inside. 

Again, ugh. 

Needless to say, I was an hour late to work and now I am in super-overdrive. I apologize if this post seemed a but rushed…

Silver lining: Baby was NOT in the car. See…something to be happy about :)

Anyhoo, let’s rewind to the much more relaxing yesterday:

My little man and I got up early and shared a smoothie! Well, he only licked the spoon because he can’t really have strawberries yet (they are a common allergen, so the recommendation is 1 year.)

The mash-up: Kale (from Grammie and Pop Pop Garden Pea’s garden!) strawberries, fresh bloobs from the yard, a nanner and some coconut milk.

Sideshow included a Food for Life sprouted grains bread heel spread with coconut butter. Dipping: YUM!

It had a few more chunks than I’d like, but pretty, I think. I had to make it in my food processor since I broke my faux Magic Bullet-ish puree machine. I’m thinking that what I need for a truly smooth smoothie is a Vitamix, but not so sure one is in the budget any time soon. I’d like to get the healthy smoothie habit started early with my boy, though, so I may have to do some shopping…

During naptime, I cut up this watermelon to snack on after dinner. Not fancy, just functional. Kind of feels like summer…

After naptime, we were both ready for playtime! You just can’t beat a blanket in the grass and a $.99 bottle of bubbles. 

Dinner included these zucchini fritters, adapted from a recipe in this month’s Food Network Magazine. (I’ll always take a new zuke recipe!)

  • 1 beast of a zucchini, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 small onion, chopped

I shredded the zuke and tossed it into a colander with the salt for 10 minutes, then pressed out the liquid. I then combined all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed well, and dropped the batter by the large spoonful into a bit of olive oil to pan fry until brown and crispy. Easy as that!

I’m thinking these would be good with a yogurty dipping sauce, or served with a dilly salmon. Next time…

Fritters alongside a plain old tuna salad, served in Belgium endive leaves, and some kale massaged with lime and sea salt. A simple, satisfying dinner that did not require a trip to the store.  :D Goal accomplished yet again!

Sadly, the lovely lunch of leftovers I packed for today lost its life in this morning’s keys-in-the-car-for-4-hours-on-a-hot-morning debacle. So, I ended up with chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (I was not entirely disappointed… ;) ) and this “veggie bowl” from the convenience store for lunch. Can you believe this was $6.65? It was totally plain–not even salt or anything–so I added a packet of Parm. This time, I was entirely disappointed.

…and hungry. :(  

I will not be locking my keys in my car again!

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What kind of appliance do you use to make a smoothie? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

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

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

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

Cloth Diapering: The Adventure Begins…

Yeah, baby! Our first shipment of cloth diapers has arrived! Let the games begin…

I will admit without shame that I am intimidated. No doubt. The thought of swishing these things around in a bucket full of vinegar and poop is not helping me sleep easy at night… 8O

Little did I know when I first decided to try cloth how much research it would require, and how much learning I’d have to do. These things are not cheap, and I sure didn’t want to spend money recklessly on diapers that we wouldn’t end up using. Plus, I just really like lots of information :)

My two main sources of info were, of course, the internet, and the incomparable Mothering Magazine. I found that there are several different styles of cloth diapers: flats, prefolds, fitted, wraps and covers, pockets, all-in-ones, hybrids–and they all come in a variety of fabrics: cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, polyester, etc. With each, you can opt to add additional liners, inserts, stuffers and doublers, also available in a variety of fabrics.

Once you choose the style of diaper you want, there are no less than a billion different makers, including: Bummis, Bumkins, Fuzzibuns, Mother-Ease, BumGenius, Flip, Imse Vimse, Gdiapers, Smartipants, Thirsties, the list goes on and on and on…

And then, you have to decide where to order them, because you can’t just go to the store and pick them up. I did a search of the entire Central PA area, and the only ones I found without a minimum of a 2-hour drive were Gdiapers (a hybrid), sold at the Babies R Us about an hour away. You may have more luck if you live in a more populated area. (Wal-Mart offers a few options through their site-to-store feature, and they don’t make you pay shipping, but I prefer not to shop at Wal-Mart.)

(Just FYI: We started out by registering for Gdiapers when I was pregnant. I got several from a friend who buys the best gifts, but we found that the snaps and waistband irritated our baby’s skin. I wish we could have figured out the problem, because they’re super cute. They are currently for sale on eBay, and I’m sure someone who uses them will gets lots of use out of them. So we did actually have reusable diapers since he was born, but found ourselves not using them in favor of disposables. That’s why we are considering NOW to be our first real foray into the world of cloth…)

I found way too much info to share it all, so I’ll share what we decided on. Because cost is an issue, we decided to go the old school route and try prefolds (the type used by diaper services) in organic cotton. We purchased 8. Pros of these seem to be affordability, proven track record and durability. Cons seem to be bulkiness, the fact that they have to be carefully folded, and, well, I haven’t used them yet so I don’t really know what else…

This is what they look like. They have to be washed 3-5 times before use to quilt them up and establish absorbancy. I will use the dryer to shrink them up as directed, but after that they will be dried on the clothesline!

As soon as I noticed how soft these were, I felt reassured that I had made the right decision for my baby’s bum. They are big, though. I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to make that fit…

Now we needed something to fit over the prefolds. After weeding through the mountains of options, I chose one Flip cover in Moonbeam (Blue), adjustable so one size fits all, made of polyester. :? We also got one Imse Vimse cover, size large, in organic cotton with a cute farm animal print. 

Personally, I’m rooting for the organic cotton cover for obvious reasons, but I’m keeping my mind open. I would love to love both.

I ordered from BananaPeelsDiapers because I stumbled upon a $5 off $50 and free shipping code in Mothering Magazine, and that was the best deal I found. Customer service was great and shipping was prompt, so I would definitely order from them again.

They included a free sample of Punkin Booty Bits in Breezes and Sunshine scent. How nice to get an added bonus! (LOVE FREE SAMPLES!) You just melt them in hot water and add them to a container full of reusable cloth wipes or folded paper towels for soothing, homemade, all-natural wipes that smell lovely and keep your baby’s butt soft and clean. Perk: They don’t contain any sulfates or phthalates, and are made with essential oils. Yummy butt! 

I want to try different online sellers, and Kelly’s Closet is offering a free All-in-One diaper with a $25 purchase, so our next order will be placed with them!

I’m currently in laundry mode, but I’m anxious to start diapering in the next few days. I plan to use the jelly roll fold to start. Ha ha, I love the way it sounds like I know what I’m doing!

I’m starting to hate even looking at those yucky old  ’sposies. 

Stay tuned for our Adventures in Cloth…this could be entertaining… :P

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Do you use (or plan to use) cloth diapers? Were you as clueless as I am when you started? How is it working out?

Please feel free to share any tips or recommendations! I would appreciate the help of any and all seasoned cloth users out there, mommies OR daddies!

***Giveaway notice! The Progressive Pioneer is giving away a gift certificate to the Vintage Pearl here. Beautiful stuff!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family, The Everyday