My Whole30… So Far

I was introduced to the idea of Whole30 by a coworker who was trying to pinpoint allergens, and then it kept popping up on my radar for the next few months.  When I heard that it could help me kick my sugar addiction (which kicked into high gear during my pregnancy with Hudson) and improve Andrew’s joint pain, I was ready to sign up!

So on July 1, Andrew, my mom and his mom all started our Whole30 journey.  I have done more cooking and dishes in the last 10 days than I care for, and meal planning isn’t exactly the most fun thing in the world, but I have absolutely seen some positives.  I actually know what we’re going to eat every night instead of walking up to the refrigerator at 4:30pm and wondering how on earth I’m going to feed my family.  We’re not wasting food.  We’re eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (I’ve eaten broccoli twice in 10 days… a food I previously hated!).  We’re not wasting money picking up take out.  We’re exposing Jane (and ourselves) to lots of new foods and broadening our palate.  And I’ve lost weight!  So far the jury is still out on Andrew’s joints, but we’re not even halfway through, and some of the gluten and other potential toxins are still working their way out of our systems.

None of us every experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms, but I was pretty hypoglycemic in the mornings of days 2-6ish.  And on day 4, both Jane and I threw up.  I was also weak feeling for several days.  Now, though, we all feel pretty normal.

This nutritional reset has been about the most difficult test of willpower of my life.  If it weren’t for the fact that this was my idea and I’m dragging three other people along with me, I would have quit on the first day.  And when I lost 6 pounds in 5 days and felt super weak, I would have quit then, too.  But now I am so proud of myself for making it this far!  I have looked a delectable slice of chocolate cake in the face and said “I don’t need you”, and I have ignored the handful of chocolate chips that are waiting for me in my freezer door.  One stop closer to beating my sugar addiction!  That being said, we have allowed ourselves to consume a few “off plan” things.  First, neither of us think alcohol has anything to do with our ailments, so we’re okay having an occasional hard cider/beer.  Second, we had company over one night and I wanted to make sure everyone left with a full belly, so we had quinoa.  Finally, you’re not supposed to indulge in sweets at all, but one night we mashed up a few bananas and mixed in some cocoa powder.  All in all, though, I think we have done really well, and though we may not be following the outlined plan to the letter, we are well on the way to meeting our goals.

As far as specific recipes, we have had mostly eggs and bacon for breakfasts, leftovers or Boar’s Head turkey for lunch, and a variety of dinners:

As you can see, we’re getting quite a variety!  And although it’s hard work, it’s fun sampling new foods as a family.

Month {One}

P1130575Oh, precious Hudson, how are you already one month old?  You are such a bundle of sweetness and I cannot get my fill!  You are really laid back (except for when you have gas or a burp or are cold), and you sleep so much that I often wonder if this is normal.  You have a tongue and posterior lip tie that causes you to gag and choke while nursing, which in turn leads to some really terrible gas pain.  I feel so badly for you and look forward to our appointment to have the ties revised; I’m really hopeful that it will make a difference in your overall comfort.  You also really enjoy your pacifier, which caught me off guard and I actually had to ask Nana to run to the store to buy some extras for you.

Your big sister loves you so much and gets really upset when someone other than me is holding you.  She is mostly okay with Daddy holding you, but she will often still point at you and then say “Mommy baby”.  I guess all of our talk about the baby inside of Mommy’s tummy has helped her develop a strong belief that you belong only to me.  She loves to talk to you and frequently tells you to wake up; she also loves playing on the activity mat with you.  I hope that you two will develop a close friendship at an early age and be good friends your whole lives.

You are such a treasure, Son, and I love you so much!

P1130258Height: 22 inches (~75%)

Weight: 10 pounds, 12 ounces (~90%-ile)

Diaper size: 1

Clothing size: 0-3 months, no more newborn clothes!

Shoe size: 1, though you have yet to wear a pair

Sleep: You usually wake in the morning around 7:30, eat, and then nap again around 9.  From that point, you sleep for a few hours, wake up to nurse, and then go right back to sleep until early evening when you will have another 90ish minute alert period.  Bedtime is anywhere between 7:30 and 11, depending on the day.  After going down for the night, you wake up between 1 and 1:30 AM, 3-4 AM and then it’s restless sleep until waking for the day.  I put you in the Rock & Play when I go to bed, but then you sleep with us after you wake up the first time.  Although Jane loved her Summer Swaddle Sacks, you are not a fan, preferring instead to be swaddled in muslin blankets.

Milestones: You rolled over for the first time when you were 12 days old, and now you do it almost every time I place you on your tummy.  You started smiling in your sleep a while ago, but right before you turned a month, you gave me a big alert grin when I took you out of the tub.

Challenges: For me, figuring out how to be a mom of two and give each child adequate attention has been challenging.  I feel so badly that you aren’t held as much as Jane was, but you don’t really seem to mind.  You like to be held when you are awake, but you are just fine in the RNP when you are sleeping.

P1130490Post partum: Holy stretch marks!  Holy flabby abs!  I’m beginning to wonder if my hips will ever shrink (and I sure hope they do, otherwise I am going to have to replace half of my wardrobe), and I can’t wait to get the all clear to exercise.  I decided that I’m going to sign up for a sprint triathlon to motivate me to get back into shape and I’ve started doing some really gentle yoga just to get me into the habit of moving around.  I feel like my emotions are much less labile this time around, though getting out of the house with two kids is still something that will stress me to the max.  All in all, though, I’m really enjoying Hudson’s newborn period and I am so thankful for my lovely little family.

Three Weeks In

We are just over three weeks into being a family of four, and I am happy to report that I am not as overwhelmed as I was at this point after Jane was born.  I think this is partially because Hudson is not my first baby and I seriously lowered my expectations of myself this time around.  I have also been much more willing to accept help.  This is not to say that I’m not emotional or overwhelmed, I’m just less so.

I’m terrified to go out with both kids by myself, so I haven’t done that yet, but the day is quickly approaching when I will have to.  And the thing that I struggle with most is how to love my firstborn well.  Her world has been rocked and she has done a phenomenal job of transitioning, but neither she nor I are perfect.  Though my arms are almost never empty, they rarely get to hold her.  And I miss her.  And yet, at the same time, I am impatient with her.  We’re starting to see some behavior issues, and figuring out how to deal with them has been another challenge.  I want to avoid spanking and find a gentle way to chastise her for unacceptable behavior… but an almost two-year-old doesn’t understand time out, nor is a gentle talk explaining my expectations very effective.

Today has been a difficult day.  Andrew has food poisoning and has been down for the count, so I was pretty much on my own until my parents came over this afternoon to drop off a few things.  They ended up taking Jane to the park and helping me prepare dinner, which was incredibly helpful.  But then Hudson had a witching hour until 8 pm and then it was bedtime for Jane as soon as I got him settled.

Normally I rock Jane for a few minutes before putting her in bed, but tonight I just missed her so much and I knew that she needed more of me, so I just held her.  And even when I put her in bed, I laid down with her (which must be a funny picture… her + me in a toddler bed).  As I was holding her I began to cry because I was so overwhelmed by how much I love her and hoping that she doesn’t feel replaced or forgotten.  But then my silent sobs woke her up and concerned her, so I had to stop before she started to cry.

All in all, I think that we are adjusting well.  Every day we get a little bit closer to figuring out normal; and every day I am so thankful for the indescribable blessings of my husband and children.

It’s Been A While

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated, mostly because life has just been so busy and I’m trying to really absorb this time with Jane before she becomes a big sister and I am inundated with crazy post partum hormones.

Our precious family (34 weeks)

Our precious family (34 weeks)

As far as pregnancy goes, this one has been quite different than Jane’s.  I haven’t had crazy swelling of my legs and I also haven’t wanted to eat anything remotely healthy.  This boy loves sugar!  In the last few weeks I’ve tried to get better about upping my fruit and vegetable intake, but it’s not uncommon to get around to dinner and realize that I’ve had nothing but processed foods all day.  Sorry about that, Bud.  I am a lot more uncomfortable this time around, too.  My belly feels like it’s dragging on the floor by about 2 pm and I just want to lie down and rest.  Fortunately, while Jane naps I am usually able to chill out on the couch for a while.  Baby boy is also a lot more active than his sister was, so I think he’s going to be quite the firecracker!  I’m 37 weeks now, so he could technically come at any time, but our whole household has a cold, so it would definitely be preferable for him to wait until we’re all healthy again.

Jane continues to grow and change daily.  She will sometimes put two words together, but mostly communicates in one word sentences.  Although this morning she did say “Where’s my water?”  She’s also started to say “sorry” and “shoot” a lot.  Both of which are adorable and used correctly.  Except that she always says sorry when she hurts herself.  I guess because I always ask if she’s hurt and then tell her I’m sorry.  We’re in swimming lessons this month which she absolutely loves and I hope she’ll be able to continue once her brother is born.  This kid melts my heart on a daily basis.

She had her first ear infection a few weeks ago which necessitated antibiotics—nine days into treatment and we she started to have an allergic reaction.  Come to find out that Andrew’s sisters are allergic to the same antibiotic, so we definitely won’t be using that one anymore!

Anyway, that’s pretty much what’s going on in our house… just trying to get healthy and prepare for the addition of our sweet baby boy!


On Sunday we had to make the very difficult and sudden decision to put our sweet dog to sleep.  He developed kidney failure, and short of sending him to UF for dialysis, there was nothing else that we could do but watch him endure a slow, agonizing death.  So we did what we never thought that we would have to do for our 5.5 year old pup.  Even now it seems surreal.  He filled so much space in our hearts and home and things are just not the same without him.

Jane asks for him several times a day, and I tell her that Harrison doesn’t live with us anymore; he lives in Heaven with Jesus now.  She is asking for him less and less, but still pretty frequently.  Last night we mentioned Jesus’s name and she instantly started saying “doggie”, so I know she is starting to understand at whatever level she can.

Andrew is absolutely devastated.  Harrison is the dog that he always wanted, and it is Andrew who feels the dog’s absence most acutely.

We don’t know what sent him into kidney failure, which, for me, is one of the most difficult things about his death.  We just don’t know what caused it.  That and watching Andrew grieve.  That is truly the most difficult thing, and I just pray that God would give him peace and comfort.

Our sweet puppy shortly after bringing him home.

Our sweet puppy shortly after bringing him home.

Our obediant dog.

Our obedient dog.

Squirrel hunter

Squirrel hunter

Harrison was loved by all

Harrison was loved by all

Sweet puppy :)

Sweet puppy :)

Jane and her doggie.

Jane and her doggie.



P1050260We love you and miss you, sweet Harrison.  You really were the best dog.

28 Weeks and Life in General

All has been quiet on the blogging front for a while, so I decided it was high time for an update!  I’m now 28 weeks with our precious boy, and he still doesn’t have a name.  It was driving me crazy for a while, but now I’m remarkably okay with it.  We also don’t have his nursery set up, but my goal is to get that done in the next three or so weeks.  I know that he will spend most of his time in our room, but I’d still like to have a place that is his.  Every time I go into TJ Maxx the baby section beckons and I pick up an outfit or socks, so his wardrobe is building, but I don’t anticipate it being anywhere near as large as Jane’s.

He’s quite an active little guy and I keep saying that he is going to throw me for a loop.  Jane is a really docile little girl who loves to read and play quietly, but I don’t see that pattern continuing with baby number two.  In fact, I had to smile this morning when a stranger complimented Jane on her good behavior in a store and said she hoped it continued with the next one.  While I’m sure that he’ll be a delight and a joy, I’m expecting my son and daughter to be as different as night and day, and for each of them to offer their own parenting challenges.

My varicose veins came back with a vengeance pretty early in the pregnancy, and hypotension and hypoglycemia just made them worse.  Thankfully, my blood pressure has gotten better so my legs don’t hurt most days, I’m just careful to wear my support hose.  The stretch marks came a lot earlier this pregnancy, though, so I’m trying to be really diligent about applying lotion to my abdomen to help keep the skin supple.

Jane and Andrew were sick last week; poor Jane had a fever from Wednesday to Sunday and is still not fully herself.  Amazingly, she slept pretty well for the most part, so at least we were all well rested.  Until now.  When I’m sick.  We had weaned Jane of sleeping in our bed, but the last few nights I’ve been bringing her in because I just cannot sleep comfortably in the recliner in her room, and she’s having such a difficult time with nasal congestion at night that she really needs us near her, so bedsharing quickly became our only option.  And between her being sick and now me, we’ve been watching a lot of TV which isn’t something I’m very happy about, but it’s the only thing that allows me to rest during the day, so I’m learning to accept it.  We’re just going to have to work on breaking some less than ideal habits once I’m feeling better.

All in all, life has been good lately.  I’m trying to really enjoy having only one child and all of the free time that affords me before our little guy comes along and I’m a hopeless wreck again for an indeterminate period of time.  When I think about his birth, there are many different emotions than what I anticipated with Jane.  With Jane, I think I was more confident and excited.  This time, while I am excited, I also remember just how hard it was to care for a newborn and how overwhelming everything is.  But then I remember, not only will I have a newborn, I will also have a toddler!  And it is for that and many other reasons that I am thankful that we have family nearby!

{18 Months}

P1120867Oh, our sweet Jane is now one and a half!  Where has the time gone?  She continues her journey toward independence; she likes to try to put on her own socks, pants, and shoes.  She’s becoming a bit more of a picky eater, preferring mostly fruit and carbs.  She does love corn and peas, so at least she is getting some vegetables!

When I ask her where her baby brother is, she will usually point to my belly, but then will point to her own!  But she will also give my belly a hug and kiss when I ask her to give kisses and cuddles to brother.  It’s so cute!  And I make sure to tell her that her brother loves her, too.  I held an eight-month-old at a birthday party a few weeks ago and Jane wasn’t jealous at all!  In fact, she just wanted to give the sweet baby lots of hugs and kisses; it was so precious!

P1120870Height: 31.5 inches (50th %-ile)

Weight: 23 pounds, 10 ounces (between 25th & 50th %-iles)

Shoe size: Her feet are too, umm, pudgy for most size 4s, but too short for size 5.  Such an awkward fitting stage!

Diaper size: 4

Clothing: Her 18 month shirts fit fine, but otherwise she fits better in 24 month clothing.  I still keep a lot of the 18 month outfits around, though, because she has some warmer clothes in that size.

Don't touch the Christmas tree??

Don’t touch the Christmas tree??

Sleep: Jane is sleeping in her crib full-time now, although she still wakes a few times at night.  She has slept through the night once or twice, but her sleep patterns tend to be unpredictable.  Andrew and I often fall asleep on the floor or in the recliner in her room in the middle of the night.  She has been waking around 6:30 in the morning and going to bed between 6:30 and 7:30 at night, depending on the timing of her nap.  I’ve gotten to be a pro at moving her (huge) convertible car seat out of the car and into the house without waking her, thereby getting her some much needed sleep and mommy a much needed break when Jane falls asleep in the car.

Jane loves being outside

Jane loves being outside

Milestones: Jane’s vocabulary continues to grow, and this month she started signing apple and banana.  She is also finally saying momma!  And now she won’t stop saying it ;)

Just after Thanksgiving, Jane caught her first real illness, roseola.  It was a pretty mild case, but it did leave her pretty cranky for a week.  Her bottom two incisors also came in this month.

Jane wasn't too excited about meeting the Clauses.

Jane wasn’t too excited about meeting the Clauses.

As an anniversary/Christmas gift, my parents gave us some tickets to Disney, and on Jane’s 18-month-birthday, we went to EPCOT where she met Santa and saw Candlelight.  It was a fun, but very exhausting day.

My Paris Kitchen

Let me first start out by saying that I am no chef, and only a “wannabe” foodie.  But I loved my time in Paris and still drool over all of the yummy things we ate when we were there.  So when I had the opportunity to review famed chef David Lebovitz’s cookbook My Paris Kitchen, I jumped at the chance.

My Paris Kitchen is full of delicious recipes, but what sets it apart from other cookbooks is that it is full of stories from his everyday (though food related) life.  It breaks up the monotony of reading just recipes and is very enjoyable.  Although I have only tried out one recipe, I have many bookmarked and can’t wait to try more.

This cookbook would make a great gift for the foodie in your life, and hey, maybe they’ll thank you by making you something out of the cookbook!!  Check it out for yourself on

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.