What's in My Rouse's Bag?

We headed home this past weekend to visit new babies and see some familiar faces since school was out for Columbus Day. 

While we were there I headed over to Rouse's, my beloved Thibadaux grocery staple that recently arrived in New Iberia, and grabbed what was running low in our house. Now this isn't your likely Cajun staples. I'm not a from scratch person on all dishes from South LA.

Here's what I got::

Tony Chachere's Cajun Brown Gravy Mix (I usually buy Louisiana Brand) - this is just a tastier brown gravy than any other packet you'll get and I am by no means a gravy maker. I didn't grow up on it and I just can't make it or really desire to fuss to make it at all. Jeremy is chief gravy maker during the holidays.

Cajun Red Head Seasoning: Love this! It has a much more Cajun taste than Tony's does. There are a few local varieties my friends like, this just happens to be the preference I have and where I landed on Cajun House Seasoning. It's definitely less sodium than your usual Cajun seasonings.

Jambalaya Girl Gumbo & Jambalaya: After spending 5 hours on Emeril's amazing gumbo recipe I swore I'd never make it from scratch again. I'm not a fan of the jar roux simply because it's so oily. As far as gumbo goes Jambalaya Girl is just a good roux base. You have to add your own meat and veggies. Her jambalaya... again no reason to make it myself. 1) I've never made it from scratch and until a legit Cajun hands me a recipe you won't find me making it. Google isn't your friend for Cajun recipes. Real Cajuns really don't share recipes that much.

Cajun Power Garlic Sauce: I've used this in the past for basically all the crawfish dip I could stomach. I also put it in chili and red beans and rice. I've heard it's good in spaghetti, I haven't tried that yet though. There's a recipe on the back for BBQ Shrimp and that is high on my list of things to try. I'm tempted to start using this in marinades in place of garlic, or in addition to it. We shall see. But for a boiled seafood dip... this mixed with a few other things is my jam.

Blue Runner Creole Cream Style Red Beans: This is 100% to make Every Day Cajun Queen's Working Woman's Red Beans and Rice. This is now my staple red beans and that is all folks.

Let it also be known I only drink Community Coffee Half Caf or Dark Roast but I've found both at Publix in Alabama. I did talk myself out of Monjuni's Spaghetti Sauce though... next time. 

Elliot | 11 Months

Elliot's Current Stats:

❊ Age – 11 months
❊ Weight & Height – Wearing size 4 diapers and 12-18 months clothing. I need to get Jeremy to weigh him. 

❊ Eat – Much like last month he will eat just about anything. Kinda makes me sad he won't go after a PB sammy like his brother would. Man that was an easy lunch. The boy loves anything grits and rice with some sauce. Cajun food being his favorite. Currently he is nursing AM/PM and taking a bottle at daycare. He also eats yogurt for breakfast, puffs for a snack, lunch at daycare, a baby food pouch for his next snack, and that bottle I mentioned before. He's got about a week left in frozen milk before that daytime bottle is long gone. 

Boo because that is some pretty golden breastmilk from back in the spring too. 
❊ Sleep – We did a touch of sleep training this month and he's sleeping through the night. I've gone in maybe twice and offered water. Otherwise he will wake up on occasion, find his paci and put himself back to sleep. He naps well, except for the weekends when he is in the same room as Harrison and they skip naps to have a party. 

❊ Recent Milestones – Elliot started pulling up and is starting to try and cruise. It's amazing what you can do when you want to take your brother's Legos or popcorn. 

I can't remember what was grossing him out but something caused that ick face. 

❊ Special Moments – I had to laugh this past week. I was putting up dishes to find he has been taking the letter magnets off of the fridge and putting them in a glass dish in the island behind him... it has cabinets and stores pans. 

❊ Mama’s Experience – We are getting somewhere y'all. I might sleep through the night again. He's still a touch clingy, but this month was easier. 

Comparison - Harrison at this point only had 4 teeth, Elliot has 7. Elliot is also more motivated to move and go than Harrison was simply because he wants to keep up with his brother. They still don't look alike, related, but not alike. 

Keeping Up With Your Dental Health While Breastfeeding

Dr. Amanda Tavoularis - dentably.com

Breastfeeding is an important activity for many new mothers, and is proven to be a great way to bond with their new child. It’s also essential to providing the nutrients your baby needs and to help them grow. Many women choose to breastfeed their child, but will understandably be a bit cautious during this period to not pass anything harmful to their child. One area that has some big misconceptions for breastfeeding mothers is their dental health. This takes the form of both how to keep up with your dental health during these busy months, as well as what sorts of procedures are safe to undergo. As a dentist with 20 years of experience, I’ve worked with a multitude of nursing women to help them answer these exact questions. Today, we’ll look at steps to preserve your dental health while you are nursing.

Keep Up With Your at Home Care

The most important thing to do is simply to keep up with your normal dental routines. Preventative measures are the first and best line of defense against unwanted oral issues. This is an easy way to protect your teeth and prevent long term issues, and only takes a few minutes a day working into even the busiest new mom’s schedule.

A good dental routine involves brushing twice a day, flossing once per day, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash once per day. It’s also important to make sure you’re doing all these correctly as many people brush and floss but do a poor job at it.

At home care is so important, and plays a huge role in your overall oral health. Stay consistent here and you’ll stop the majority of dental issues before they become a problem.

Watch Your Diet

While you’re breastfeeding, having a good diet is essential. It will not only help you replenish lost calories, but will also impact your dental health. Food plays a big role in bacterial growth in your mouth, so it’s important to watch what you eat. It’s also important to make sure you're eating enough as many of the calories you take in will pass onto your child.

The key here is to avoid empty calories like foods that are high in sugars. Things like candies, pop, and some fruit juices can be loaded with sugar and lacking in key nutrients. Sugar is also damaging to your teeth as it’s used by bacteria to grow.

You’ll want to focus on nutrient rich foods like whole grains, lean proteins, and veggies. These provide the nutrients your body needs without a lot of the harmful sugars. A good diet will also help you get rid of any of that extra pregnancy weight you might want to shed.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep a good diet, a smart move is to prep meals in your downtime. Things like hard boiled eggs or salads are good for you, and keep well over a few days. This is a great way to avoid grabbing an unhealthy snack simply because you don’t have time to prepare something better.

Listen To Your Dentist

Last, it’s important to listen to your dentist, and follow all their recommendations for care. This includes getting the procedures recommended and taking any prescribed medications.

Many women are a bit nervous doing these things while breastfeeding, as it’s well known what the mother takes in is passed to the child. In these cases though, the risk of adverse effects is very low, and there are many safe medications and prescriptions that won’t affect the child.

For procedures, many of the anesthetics used are perfectly safe for breastfeeding mothers. The medications used in them are typically out of your system quickly, before the next time you need to breastfeed. Also there are many medications that are safe to take while breastfeeding, and won’t cause harm to your baby. That said, always bring any concerns to your dentist, and let them know you’re breastfeeding. They’ll then be able to make better decisions on what is and what is not safe for you and your baby.

Keeping up with your dental health is important to keeping your overall body healthy. With a new baby, it may seem like you just don’t have enough hours in the day, but make sure you don’t neglect your dental health. Keep up with the tips above, and you’ll lead a healthier life for both you and your baby.

Things I Bought & Liked | September

This was a short month on purchases. Mainly because I use blog check to support my Amazon habit and somehow in the move my check was lost in the mail.

So anyway...

Toy Story Pajama Sets | The boys adore these and I am using them as Halloween costumes. This is a cheap costume option is you're ever looking for one. I got the idea from a Lafayette Mom friend.

Orgain Grass Fed Protein Shake | I've been struggling to get my breakfast calories in and this was my solution. Easy. Tastes good. High Protein. Clean. Done & done.

John Freida Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight | Adore! I've been using this for 6 years and it really helps me get 3 days out of my hair before I have to wash it and straighten again.

Vanicream Lite Lotion | #1 is came in a pump so Hallelujah! #2 I love the thick stuff and the kids skin is doing just fine so I moved to a lighter one, if Elliot has another dry patch I'll move back to heavy lotion.

Nutpods Pumpkin Spice Creamer | This creamer alone is not only Whole30/Paleo friendly it is 100x better than any other pumpkin spice anything I've tried. It's yummy and not over-powering. Plus it's only 10 calories a serving.

Biosil Natural Factors | I might actually give up my collagen habit. This supplement is taken morning and night and helps your body create it's own collagen. Great for skin, hair, nails... and wrinkle prevention. Basically everything.

Love, Welcome, Serve Cookbook | I could this at half the price from a second hand seller and couldn't be happier. It's been sitting in my wish list for ages. I have made many of Amy's recipes and really love them. Even for guests too! My favorite by far has been the poppyseed chicken from her blog, but the chili in the book is amazing. I've heard the strawberry cake is to die for but haven't made it yet.

48oz Nalgene | My poor old Camlbak was on it's last leg and needed to be replaced. I had a Nalgene before the Camelbak and both brands last a long time. The Camlbak actually lasted 6 years. This one will last until I kill it in the dishwasher like the last Nalgene. I also use this brand for kid cups and really love them.

YALUXE Tote for Women | It's a good tote, well made. I like that it has a strap with a clasp for keys, plus it has a small zipper bag on the inside that I use as a wallet. The fabric is such that it can be wiped off easily. My only complaint, I don't think I'm a tote bag person. I much prefer a backpack. So I'll likely give this perfectly new bag to my mother.

Your Guide to Getting Life Insurance as a New Parent

Today's guest post is everything you need to know when thinking about life insurance after having babies. I can say for us personally we took longer to get to it than we really should have. 
Life insurance may not have been a topic that crossed your mind when you were single and childfree, but now you’ve started a family and have a baby relying on you, everything changes. You will want to make sure that your little one is well protected and looked after if anything were to happen to you, and getting life insurance coverage is one of the best ways to do this.

How Life Insurance Works:

Life insurance pays money to a chosen beneficiary, such as your spouse or child, when you die. This payout is known as a death benefit. For example, if you buy a $1 million policy during your life and name your spouse as a beneficiary, this amount will be paid out to them in the event of your death if you die when the insurance is still in effect. This money can then be used to support the family in your absence, allowing your spouse to easily cover costs such as sending the kids to college, paying off the mortgage, and more.

Types of Life Insurance:

There are many different types of life insurance policy, so it’s important to choose the right one for you and your family.
Term life: This is temporary and the most affordable type of life insurance. You can get a lot of coverage at an affordable price which is used to cover a certain time period, for example ten, twenty or thirty years. If you die during the term, the policy will pay out to the beneficiary. However, the coverage will stop at the end of the term and nothing will be paid out if you’re still alive.
Permanent life: This type of life insurance will last for your entire life and will pay out whether you die in the next five or fifty years. There are various types of permanent life insurance to choose from such as whole, universal, variable and indexed. These policies are more complex compared to term life insurance as they also include cash value, which is a tax-deferred amount that slowly grows throughout the policy. You can find out more about the different types of life insurance at insurancegeek.com; and choose the best option for you at insurancegeek.com.

Why Both Parents Need Life Insurance:

If one parent’s income is higher than the other, or one parent stays at home, then you might believe that it’s only essential for the working or higher-earning parent to get life insurance cover. However, this isn’t always the case, and even stay-at-home parents can benefit from cover. This is because even if one parent is not going out to work, they are still providing valuable benefits to the family such as child care and domestic tasks that would need to be replaced in the event of their death. A life insurance policy would enable the other parent to cover the cost of these tasks easily, or even take an extended time period from work while the family readjusts.
If you’re a new parent, there are several reasons why getting life insurance should be a top priority.