Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday Y’all! I’m enjoying having the family home and spending some time together this Memorial Day. I hope you are able to do the same.

I’m starting a new weekly feature called “Meal Plan Monday”. We are trying to eat following a paleo plan, but I struggle with it from time to time. Hopefully sharing my menu plans and some recipes will help me stick to the plan a little bit better.

That said, this weeks dinners are not 100% paleo, but they’re close! One recipe contains dairy, and one recipe uses white potatoes. All of these meals will be served with a large portion of veggies.

Our sauerkraut fermenting on the counter

Monday: Perfect Pot Roast (The Pioneer Woman)

Tuesday: Honey Lime Tilapia (One Lovely Life)
    *Substitute coconut flour for white flour.

Wednesday: Bulgogi (Paleo Cupboard)

Thursday: 40 Clove Chicken (Alton Brown)

Friday: Smoked Sausage and Potatoes (Found here)

Saturday: Bratwurst/ hotdogs with home made sauerkraut

Sunday: Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs (from the book Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
)

Paleo Picnic

The sun is shining today and after the last few hellish weeks, we needed to get outside. (post coming soon about the last few weeks). It was a perfect day for a little picnic and while little miss baby pants snoozed inside, the boys and I spread out a blanket and ate in the yard. 
We veered off course for paleo eating when I was pregnant and have been slowly getting back on track. The boys are grumbling and complaining a bit about the lack of grain, mainly in the form of crackers and cookies, but they’re adjusting pretty well. I notice something when we follow a paleo eating plan. My kids eat better, gain weight, and have better behavior. 
 So what does one feed kids on a paleo diet? This was their picnic lunch today :
  • Almond Butter mixed with coconut oil and a bit of honey, served on apple rings.
  • Sliced green peppers
  • raisens
  • avocado chunks
  • coconut chips from Trader Joes (not perfectly paleo, since there is a bit of cane sugar)

And guess what, they loved it! I normally have a lot more protein in their meals, but I seriously need to hit up the grocery store, so I made due with what we had in the fridge. Oh and did you notice,  poor Mr. B Bear (Who is nearly 6 by the way!) has a big ole’ goose egg on his forehead! Poor kid ran right into a fence post at school today. He got to visit the nurses office and everything.

Our New Addition

Two weeks ago today we welcomed our new baby into the world! I am so happy to not be pregnant anymore and to hold lil’ miss E in my arms.

She was born at home, in the water, after a natural induction (I’ll go into what exactly that means in another post), 10 days past my due date. I was cared for by a very loving and caring midwife and surrounded by friends and family. Our house was full of joy and love as she was born. The boys were not home for the birth. We thought about having them share in the experience, but we ultimately decided otherwise.

My days are spent almost entirely nursing the baby (8-12 times a day), feeding children, changing diapers, and trying to give all the kids some attention. We are adjusting to our new family and our new routines. It hasn’t been an easy transition all around, but we are managing and it’s already getting better.

The last two weeks has flown by in the blink of an eye. I’m reminded how quickly this sweet newborn stage goes by and I’m trying to enjoy all the snuggles and sweet moments. Before I know it she’ll be crawling, then walking, then running. I’m going to make a point of reminding myself often to just slow down and bask in the moment. There will always be new happy and exciting moments, but this one is right now and it will be gone before I know it.

Hello New Year

Bye-bye 2013. Hello 2014!!! 2013 really threw me off. I spent the first few months of the year doing school, doula work, and assisting births with a midwife. Then toward the end of May we found out we were expecting our 4th baby.

The next few months were a blur of sickness. I was never sick at the beginning of my pregnancies with the boys, and this baby was a whole new ball park for me. To all my friends that complained of morning sickness, I am so sorry I wasn’t more sympathetic. Now I know differently. Morning sickness is not restricted to the morning. I’m pretty sure I was some sort of zombie for about four months. At twenty weeks we found out that we’re having a girl! I’m still not convinced. After three boys, I’m totally expecting this one to come out with a penis.

Fast forward to the end of summer… I started feeling alive again and then fall quarter started up. Microbiology kept me busy for the next three months. It was an intense class, but has been my favorite class by far. The really exciting part is that it was my last class! Well, my last prerequisite anyhow. I took the placement test, know as the dreaded TEAS test. Now I’m ready to apply to the nursing program and cross my fingers that I’ll get in on my first try.

Another big thing for me is that I stopped crocheting. I haven’t held a hook in months. I intend to go back to it someday. Right now, with a baby on the way, nursing school applications to fill out, three big boys to raise- one with autism and one with ADD, I just can not handle it. And guess what? I’m happy. My load is lighter. I have less expectations from myself. I can focus more on my children without looming order deadlines. It’s a happy thing.

Nursing Beanie Pattern…It’s back!!!!

I had removed the old pattern last year when I was trying to make improvements to it. Here is the pattern in 0-3 month size. The rest of the sizes are available as a free download on ravelry.com.Click Here for a Link.

 
Materials Used:

Worsted Weight Yarn in Two colors

US H/5.50mm hook, or hook to fit gauge. Be sure to check gauge.

Yarn Needle

Abbreviations:

Hk: hook

Sc: Single Crochet
Ss: Slip stitch
St: stitch
Hdc: Half double crochet

 

Gauge: 2×2 inch square in sc= 7 stitches and 9 rows. To make a gauge swatch, crochet a 2×2 inch square. If there are more stitches and rows, go up a hook size and check gauge again. If there are less stitches and rows, go down a hook size and check again.

R1: With pink yarn, make magic loop. 8 sc in loop. Tighten loop. Do not join rounds.(8)

R2-4: Sc in each st around. If you want a longer nipple, add another row here.(8) 

R5: Hdc in each st around. (8)

R6: *2 hdc in next st* Repeat around (16)

R7: *Hdc in next st. 2 hdc in next st* Repeat around. (24)

R8: *Hdc in next 2 st. 2 hdc in next st*. Repeat around. (32) Slip st in next stitch. Fasten off pink yarn.

R9: Join main color in any stitch. Ch 1. *Hdc in next 3 st. 2 hdc in next st.* Repeat around. (40)

R10: *Hdc in next 4 st. 2 hdc in next st.* Repeat around. (48)

R 11-17: Hdc in each st around. (48). At end of round 17, sc in next st. Sl in next st and fasten off. If you would like a longer hat, continue this until you reach the desired length.  Weave in ends.

***Feel free to sell items made from this pattern. Please just give pattern credit in any online listings to Once Upon a Baby.***


 

Paleo Weekly Meal Plan

Last week was bad. I cheated on my paleo diet in so many ways, Pizza, cake, spaghetti, and Chinese food. Let me tell you, it was not worth it. I’m not sure why I caved and fell off the wagon so many times, but I’m ready to get back on track. Eating all of those foods didn’t make me feel good. When I eat a paleo meal, I leave feeling satisfied and renewed. After a big bowl of spaghetti I feel stuffed, bloated, and tired. Sorry, spaghetti. We’re through.

I’ve planned a yummy week, and I can’t wait to eat all of these things. Here’s the plan:

*for some reason, when I link things they come up in a very light color. I’m trying to get it fixed*

Sat: Hissin Chicken (Eat Like a Dinosaur) with roasted green beans.

Sun: 50/50 Bacon Burgers w/ veggie toppings (Eat Like a Dinosaur) and sweet potato fried

Mon: Swimming Rama served on cauliflower rice and spinach. (This recipe is from Fix, Freeze, Feast . I’m subbing in almonds in place of peanuts)

Tues: Shakey Pork BBQ (again from Eat Like a Dinosaur), The best broccoli ever (click here for broccoli recipe)

Wed: Korean Beef. (click here for link to recipe) I’m making this with ground turkey, only because I have a lot of it. Sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce and use honey in place of sugar. Serve on top of cauliflower rice.

Thurs: Shrimp Scampi with sautéed zucchini on the side. Click here for link.

Friday: Bratwurst with tons of  homemade sauerkraut and fresh veggies on the side. (carrots, bell peppers, cucumber)

I hope you all have a clean-eating week ahead of you.

Amazon.com Widgets

College, and Preschool, and Chickens, OH MY!

My blog has been so neglected over that past year. I thought I’d give y’all a little update.

The biggest thing for us is that I’ve gone back to school. Let me tell ya folks, this was SOOOO much easier before I had kids. I already have an AA, and far too many credits, but I’m back finishing up a few pre-reqs for nursing school. I’m hoping to get into nursing school in spring or fall of 2014. This has been a huge challenge for us to work around. Finding good times to take classes and finding time to study has been an adjustment for everyone. I went back to work as a midwives assistant and I’m loving the experience more than I can put into words. I am so privileged to be a part of so many births. I’m still growing my doula business as well. My crochet shop is still up and running. I had intended to have many patterns released by now, but I’ve been having trouble making that happen. Let’s see if I can manage it this summer. I’m eating Paleo now, and am working on transitioning our whole family to a primal diet.

In other news, all three of the boys were in preschool this year. I had fully intended to keep up with tot-school at home. It just wasn’t happening when I was struggling to find time to study myself. Having them out of the house every day help me with my courses tremendously. B and A went to the same school and we couldn’t be happier with it. L joined the autism preschool through our school district. I cannot believe how good it has been for him.

 
L is now 3 and a half and is making progress in leaps and bounds. Sometimes we regress and have to start over. When I look back at where he was a year ago, and little he talked, I am amazed by the change. The child is definitely verbal. He is eating a bigger variety now then ever before, although his diet still consists mainly of cheerios. L loves Angry Birds, and would be happy to only discuss that for days. He has a special bond with our chickens, and has named three of them. We certainly have our bad days, but overall he is happy little boy.

B turned 5 recently and is so very smart. He is already reading. I love this and he reads to his brothers. His current favorite books are “The Pigeon” series by Mo Willems. They are hilarious. He also just had his preschool graduation and is off to kindergarten next year. I can’t believe how time flies. He learned how to ride a bike this year. He is also a big helper with the chickens and loves collecting eggs every day. He still LOVES trains and says that he will be a train engineer when he grows up.

A is also 3 and a half and is such a funny kid. He cracks me up like none other. His dimples and smile brighten everyone’s day. He is very connected to our dog, Oscar and loves to give him snuggles. He loves superheroes and favors Captain America. He is still my snuggle baby. He is very shy and quiet when he is around a lot of people. Boy, does this child eat. He is always eating, and he eats everything! I’m thankful to not have picky eaters. His current favorite food is sauerkraut, and he will eat a cup at a time, on it’s own if you let him.

As for the animals, they are fabulous. Mr. Oscar is getting older and lounges for most of the day. The chickens have a coop and a run now and are the best birds a girl could wish for. We added bantees to the mix this year and they are the teensiest and cutest little things.

Now that it’s summer I hope to have the time to write more. I’m looking forward to sharing some Paleo tips, chicken tips, art projects, crochet patterns, and much more. Stay tuned!