5 Months

A bunch of photos and a little bit of talking as usual for this post! 

But it's mainly for me anyway, feel free to just look at the blurry pics of the baby who doesn't hold still. 






Weight: 16 lbs. You were an ounce under 16 two weeks ago at the well baby visit so I'm just assuming you're at least 16. 

Length/Height: Can't remember one bit lol! I'll have to update this. 

Eyes: Blue, but starting to look a bit green

Hair: Brown like Mama's!

Clothes: Harrison is wearing 6 months, but we are pushing 9 big time. Just squeezing a bit more out of 6.

Diapers: Size 2 for day diaper and size 3 for night. Once we are done with this box it's all size 3

Likes: He loves to be talked to, playing in the exer-saucer, and sitting in the high chair playing with toys while we are in the kitchen. Tummy time has become less of a fuss and he will happily stay that way much longer. Oh and bath time, the kid loves water! 

Dislikes: Riding in my car, but Jeremy's isn't a problem (tinted windows). At the end of the day he is just done, so sometimes I have to wear him in the carrier to appease his little attitude so I don't have to hear screaming until 7:30. 

Eating: Just breast milk at the moment, we are starting Baby Led Weaning next month. I had to reintroduce the bottle this month because he will be going to a sitter in August and he wasn't having it! We finally figured out he remembered how to take the bottle, but preferred to nurse. 

Sleeping: Sleeping all night! Finally. Jeremy goes in maybe once to put the paci back, but he can stretch it to 6am for the next feed. Although sometimes I just go ahead and go in if he wakes after 5:20ish. 

Milestones: Picking up objects, observing, and placing in his mouth has been the thing. Harrison will even cross his body, if that makes sense, pick up something with his right hand that I have on the left... if I prompt it. We finally figured out how to put the paci back in our own mouth most of the time. He's still rolling from tummy to back but isn't a fan. Luckily Psychologist Daddy said once they do it you're good, he might just not like doing it. We also finally got the child to legitimately laugh at us this month! He's like Jeremy and doesn't full on belly laugh often. 


If I had to describe our fifth month in one word, it would be: Easier. He's able to play on his own a lot more and is more easily entertained. He's a happy little thing up until about 5:30 every day! 

Mommy notes: Everything is in the mouth! He is absolutely in that teething phase, but there is no real proof of it yet. Our good friend that's a dental hygienist said she thinks she feels something, but really they can do this for 3 months. He's showing how stubborn he is for sure, but considering how Jeremy and I are it is fitting that we got a stubborn child. We were stubborn children. 


Oh and Harrison's hair is coming back in!!! 



Those little hands are clutched to whatever is near!





 The child is a monkey, he has Jeremy's ability to move his toes crazy and is constantly putting the soles of his feet together.



Jeremy's Birthday Cake

After having morning sicking upon morning sickness during Jeremy's birthday and missing his 30th I decided to step it up this year and give him two weeks of birthday cake. 

Week one was his favorite, and a first time I made it for him, Strawberry Shortcake. 


This week (which he's reminded me multiple times his birthday isn't until next week, but school starts so there's no time for such things) he got the mack daddy of cake flavors in my opinion. 

It's basically what I wanted... and I'm using him as an excuse to make it. 

So, the cake...

It's a yellow cake with Butterfingers. 
The filling is an egg-less Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
The icing is a Marshmallow Buttercream.
And it's topped with Oreo's. 

This has proven to be THE cake recipe and frosting I will use for every birthday for hence forth. 
You can easily change up your filling or add chocolate to the frosting. There are just so many options with a good base cake like this! 

I initially intended to put the Oreo's in the frosting, but I decided it would make it harder to frost. 


Notice that baby? 

It was pushing nap time when I started snapping pictures. He was DONE with everything I had planned that wasn't turning the lights off, sound machine off, and handing that paci to him. 


But get his attention for a hot second and you could almost pretend he wasn't sleepy. 

This is also the first tiered cake I've made that didn't lean and the easiest to frost I've ever made too! 
I attribute that to the silky frosting, it was super easy to work with. 

Plus it set very well in the fridge and I was able to wrap it in Saran wrap without everything mushing around and looking like Harrison was who iced it. 

Now I know you're wanting to know what the recipes are, 
So here are the links, you can easily pin them from here.

Moist Yellow Cake Recipe
I added two crushed Butterfingers Candy Bars to the batter.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Filling from this recipe. 
This is the cake I made Jeremy for graduation last year. 

Marshmallow Buttercream Recipe
I realized later I forgot the vanilla when I made this but it is still really good! 

I hope you like these as much as we do. I haven't even cut into the cake yet, We sat around eating the scrapes from leveling the cake and leftover icing out of tupperware and were beyond sugared out!

Lessons From a Summer of Whole30

Whole30 has basically come to a close and I'm back to just eating Paleo/Primal for the most part. With Jeremy's birthday next week and only one week left of summer I had to ditch the 100% dedication and move back to a more balanced 80/20 approach to healthy eating.

For the sake of every else's sanity in this house at least.


The whole reason I started Whole30 at the beginning of summer was to detox myself from what I had eaten an entire pregnancy. 

Before I found out I was pregnant I had been eating Paleo (whole foods diet, but whatever you want to call it) for quite some time and planned to continue it throughout pregnancy. Needless to say I was slapped in the face with serious pregnancy sickness that lasted to about week 22 and I didn't stop taking prescriptions for it until probably 25 weeks. 

It was bad. 

Husband picking you up off the floor and cleaning up the puke bad. 

Which he did on more than one occasion. 

So whole foods went out the door, especially since the thought of meat made me want to die. I was reminded recently how I wandered around with a tissue full of Vick's Vapor Rub shoved up my nose so I couldn't smell anything and subsequently puke. 

Good times. 

So after 9+ months of eating whatever, and those first 13ish living on a diet of tortilla chips I had to do something. 

When I went into the hospital to have Harrison I was up 55lbs. By the last week of May I was down 45 of those and still had roughly 15 I wanted to lose. 

As far as weight loss goes, I managed to lose 7lbs this summer on Whole30 and get back into a few pair of pants. 

There were other issues that needed addressing although that I didn't realize they were going to be fixed with Whole30. 

Honestly I forgot how different I felt eating this way before pregnancy because frankly, pregnancy was rough on me. 

1. Harrison's colic

He didn't have true colic, but the gas was tough on him. Turns out that cutting out dairy radically changed how he felt. No more constant tummy rumbling and sleepless nights with a tummy ache. 

2. Pregnancy/Postpartum Hemorrhoids

I thought that would just disappear but after pushing out a nearly 9lb baby they weren't going anywhere. I really should have seen a doctor for it, considering they were of the internal bleeding variety but didn't. Instead 3 weeks into the first round of Whole30 for the summer I noticed they were gone. 

Cutting out wheat fixed it. 

I know for sure it was the wheat/gluten because I took a week off of Whole30 at the end of June and they came back something awful, and wheat was the only thing that had been added. 

3. Inflammation

This last round in July I wasn't expecting much. I was allowing myself 1 treat a week as to not blow the entire summer completely snow cone-less. I already know how I personally react to dairy, aside from the baby, I'm lactose intolerant. That's been a fact since I was a kid. 

However, last week when I made Strawberry Shortcakes and started prepping for Jeremy's birthday cake the introduction of gluten again showed me a different symptom... inflammation. 

One afternoon I ate a handful of Oreo's that were only in the house for this birthday cake I'm making and by that evening I noticed that my face felt puffy as well as my mouth. Come the next morning when I was flossing my gums were bleeding bad! 

To back track my gums have always bled and the dentist has always told me to floss more. Flossing never fixed it. Doing Whole30 this summer though made the bleeding stop. 

So I cut out wheat/gluten for two days and my gums were back to normal, not swollen feeling and not bleeding. Therefore, I'm attributing gluten to the inflammation. 

With Whole30 being done, I might do another one in January, it's time to just get back to eating. So what does that entail?

Another 80/20 Primal approach to eating. I'm not saying Paleo outright because I like a little cream in my coffee and that tablespoon a day doesn't seem to effect my breast milk. 

No dairy - aside from a tbsp in coffee everyday
No wheat, grains, legumes. 
Limit added sugar - 2 tsp of Stevia in my coffee daily
Limited soy - I don't like eating it because of the effect it has on hormones (my grandmother's breast cancer was estrogen sensitive so that is something I'm mindful of) but I won't be spending extra money on coconut aminos for when I make an Asian dish. 

I'll give myself the permission to have cake if everyone else is having it, but not every day. 

A girl's gotta live! 

We will have date night and the sort, but overall the majority of my "diet" is whole foods. I've just come to learn I feel better eating this way, and that's without buying organic. 

I can't afford that mess! 

So there you have it, the effect Whole30 had on my body. In the past I didn't see a huge difference when I did a Whole30 because I didn't have much to cut out, but after pregnancy it showed a ton of improvements in my overall health. 

Many of which are much greater than the weight loss I was aiming for in the beginning.

Meal Pinning Monday

It's officially the last week of summer. 

Please tell me other teachers around the world are crying about this too. It means the end of fun lunch and kid free eating. Back to things that can be heated in a microwave and stuffed in a lunch box. 

Because we all know school lunches are gross and you've gotta pack your own stuff.

 

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Sweet Potato Chili

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Tandoori Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Thursday - Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Friday - Mini Vacay to Nola with Mom & Laura. Jeremy & Laura are going to a concert to see some of our favorite bands (sadly nursing/pumping is keeping me from going). Mom & I are taking the kids out on an adventure though! 

Saturday & Sunday - Grocery Shop & meal prep for first week back at work

Breakfast - Paleo Green Monster Smoothie
1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp flax meal, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup tropical mixed fruit (frozen), 6 tbsp of Egg Beaters egg whites (for protein that's not whey), and 1 cup spinach

Lunch - 2 eggs cooked in ghee with sausage & a sweet potato

I'm also making Jeremy's birthday cake this week, but I'll wait until I make it to share what all went into it! 

Back to the Reality That is Pumping

After this week I can't even pretend to muster up some frilly 5 on Friday post.

It's been rough.

A baby that has cried through naps. The realization that work starts in a week. Teething. Discussing finances after the lovely AC debacle.

Trying to pump and give a bottle to a baby that hasn't had one in two months because I naively thought he could just hop back on after doing so well in May.

So turns out not pumping for two months and not giving a baby a bottle isn't a good thing when you have no choice but to go back to work.


At the end of May I swore off the pump for the entire summer, cleaned it one last time (happily), and put it at the top of the closet to forget about how much I hate it for just two months.

To recap why I hate that pump so much, my body has no issue creating an oversupply. Pumping, even dropping my pumping time every day, made my supply high and my initial letdown so forceful that it would choke the baby.

But when I'm not pumping I don't have that problem.

So selfishly, if you can even peg it at that, I quit pumping for just two months. Not even really two months because it was really only a month and two weeks. Maybe 3, the end of May is vague.

In that time I went from needing about 3 1/2 oz per feed and getting nearly 7 and having a baby who happily took a bottle to trying to pump this week and getting maybe a tablespoon for two pumps and then finally 3oz when I pumped in the morning.

The only reason it even crossed my mind to break the devilish pump back out was that a teacher friend asked if I had started back at dinner Monday night.

Umm, nope, I hadn't started back.

Somewhere in my naive mind I was just going to show up at work on Monday and get the amount of milk I needed pumping, and dare I say it, have a baby who took the bottle at the sitter.

Yeah, that isn't happening.

When actually went down was panic pumping for two days and getting nothing since I was pumping 1) after I worked out and 2) at the 5pm feed. Neither of which lend themselves to high yield milking.

I also casually thought I could pick up new tubing for my pump at the grocery store, because that would make sense.

Umm, no to that one too.

Panic ordering during a 3am feed (because we are sleep regressing for the sake of making me insane) from Amazon and not being able to get the tubing until two days before work starts back is what ended up happening!

That led me to trying to pump again this morning, when my supply is at its highest. The hitch being that Jeremy isn't home.

Yes, you heard that right, naive Emily thought she could give that breastfed baby a bottle, sitting right next to the actual source.

Kind of like eating out at your favorite restaurant but being on Whole30 and just having to watch.

I feel ya kid, totally feel ya.

After what seemed like an hour, but was probably more, of giving the baby milk with a medicine dropper... shoving the paci in while there was milk in his mouth to make him think that maybe he could suck... giving in an nursing for 2 minutes... replacing the boob with the bottle... turning on the sound machine and the lights off... he finally started to suck on the bottle.

Not in a "I'm actually going to eat this everyday way," no it was more of a "why are you doing this to me" and thrashing around kind of way.

At least he showed me he would suck on the bottle for a hot second. So now ole Daddy Jeremy can be the milk giver once a day when he's home and we will cross our fingers and pray he gets this down pat in 1, literally 1, week before I go back to work.

Because it's apparently selfish to not want to pump and pretend you can stay home over the summer.

When in reality forgetting about reality doesn't make reality go away. 

Breakfast Pumpkin Custard

After a month of straight sweet potatoes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast I was dying for something different.

I can eat the same thing for ever meal but after a few weeks I'm beyond burned out. I also didn't want to make my green pancakes and totally derail from Whole30 at the time.


I've since then basically derailed from Whole30 and gone back to just eating Paleo, but technically Primal because I like a little cream in my coffee. Luckily that tiny bit of dairy doesn't seem to be bothering the baby at all. 

I also resolved another notion while on Whole30, I'm not making Paleo Desserts. Yes, some desserts I love happen to be Paleo like the Chocolate and Macaroons, but I'm not making cake. There's no coconut cheesecake, No fake biscuits. 

If I really want those things they will just be my cheat meal. I'm not making a fake version of things to make myself "feel better" about it. I want to be able to eat what everyone else is eating in a group situation, within reason. 


So back to this custard...

It's heavenly. There's no added sugar, just the sweetness from the bananas. 

So I definitely suggest using really ripe bananas. 

I imagine this with a cup of coffee sitting in the backyard when the weather cools down for fall will be my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. 

It's creamy with a bit of crunch from the pecans. You could even replace the pumpkin with sweet potato for a different take on it. 


Breakfast Pumpkin Custard

Ingredients::
13.5 oz can of full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans, or other nut you like
2 very ripe bananas
3 tbsp almond butter, or almond meal
4 eggs
cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste
15 oz can pumpkin puree

Directions::
Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a 13x9 baking dish - place all ingredients except the nuts. Using an immersion blender blend the mixture until combined well. If you don't have an immersion blender you can put the ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or ever a blender. Once combined, sprinkle the top with nuts and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. 

It will be a much nicer custard consistency when chilled. 

*If you aren't following Whole30 I would suggest adding a little vanilla extract to this! 



I Heart Pinterest - Back to School

School is upon us teachers! Like it or not.

I recruited my hubby this past week to come and hook up computers, which saved me I don't ever know how much time. There's no telling how that would have gone if I was being yelled at by the baby the entire time.

All that's left now is a bulletin board or two and a bit or organization.

Oh, and tracking down my computer cart with my printer on it. It vanished over the summer.

Until then, here's a few pins I'm utilizing in my room this year!


I'm obsessed with this Welcome Letter, I already printed it out and edited it for my class! 


In case you're like me and feel like the writing advice you give them goes in one ear and out the other. 


Since we aren't really doing Spelling anymore, here's my solution to help the kids with the words they need. 


I really want to teach proper note taking this year and use those journals the best we can.


Better binder organization, yes please!


Definitely making this! 


Hoping the ribbon will help the kids know where they left off in a notebook easier without having to flip for 10 minutes. 


I'm hoping this "waiting on the teacher" will help with the line that forms when I'm helping proofread writing. I think half the little people stand in line to waste time. 


Since my welcome letter had a little about me spot I'm going to use these for the board outside my room!



Meal Pinning... Tuesday

This week y'all. 

It's looking to be a doozie. 

Jeremy went back to work today and we squeezed in a last minute trip back to our Cajun hometown of Thibodaux. Sunday being crazy mixed with Monday in my classroom using up every last ounce of slave labor I could muster out of Jeremy has left me with the baby from the black lagoon. 

So this post would have been up sooner... but that baby screaming like he's being eaten alive by ants all day has kinda put other things off. 

 

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - dinner with friends

Tuesday - Whole30 In n Out Burger with Garlic Aoili

Wednesday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken Strips with Paleo Honey Mustard & Roasted Broccoli


Thursday - Taco Salad

Friday - Tandoori Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

Saturday - Sweet Potato Chili

Sunday - leftovers

Breakfast - 2 eggs with breakfast sausage & a sweet potato

Lunch - Satueet Kale with Curry Chicken & a red potato with ghee

being a healthy mama

I've been open with y'all throughout my pregnancy and even post pregnancy with struggles I've had.

Especially health related ones that caused me to completely change my diet this summer in a effort to fix things, which it did. Can I get a yippee for a baby that is sleeping better and a mama that completely got rid of a birthing related postpartum side effect!


There is still only so much I can fix with food, and I'm a big believer that food can fix quite a bit.

Paleo Blender Hollandaise

One of our favorite breakfast for dinner recipes is Eggs Benedict, Whole30 aside, I've had to cut out dairy (for nursing) and wheat (to solve my own postpartum issues) so the traditional way I make it just doesn't foot the bill. 

I remade my usual recipe the other night and got a good response about it for #NationalFrenchFryDay on Facebook and Instagram so I thought I'd share our little remake. 

Paleo Blender Hollandaise

Ingredients::
1/2 cup melted ghee
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
dash of cayenne pepper to taste

Directions::

Place 2 large egg yolks into your blender. 


Pulse to combine.


Next you're going to add your 1/2 cup of hot melted ghee. The last time I made ghee I let it get a little darker and I have to say I like the darker ghee taste, it's a bit more decadent.


While your blender is on (I set my to sauce or dressing speed, around medium) drizzle in the hot melted ghee. 


Look at the buttery flavored goodness, we're getting there! 


Next, drizzle in your tablespoon of lemon juice, or you could use the juice of one lemon, while the blender is on. 


Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper and blend to combine.



Here's your finished product. If it's too thick you can always add a bit more lemon juice.


Now here's how I used our hollandaise. 

I roasted a sweet potato and Yukon Gold potato (with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil) at 375 until crispy. 

Then I topped it with a few slices of bacon and two poached eggs. I poach my eggs by bringing a pot of water to boil, then reducing it to a low boil (too rapid will break up the egg) and boiling it for 2 minutes. 

Top it all with Hollandaise and you've got a really good Paleo/Whole30 friendly version of Eggs Benedict. 


How I Quit Washing My Hair Everyday

I have a hair type that basically demands it be washed daily.

Not thick, not thin. Greasy roots that show oil. Straight and brown.

Brown.

Oh brown hair and your ability to glisten when you take on grit and oil.

These are the moments that make me wish I was a curly thick headed blonde.

While I was on maternity leave for two months I didn't exaclty plan to not wash my hair, the screaming newborn and being home alone with zero help during the day just sort of caused me to not wash it.

I was just doing good to bathe.

At the end of the first 6 weeks I started to notice that by not washing my hair daily it had quit looking so greasy on day 2. By that point I started spraying in the hair spray and doing whatever I could to maintain this every other day washing for when I went back to work in May.

In June I read a blog post about how someone went 5 days between washing, without using product. That just won't do for my hair.

Welcome July, and I've devised a way to stretch it out to three days between shampooing when I need to.

So if you've got medium hair (not fine or thick really) that's straight, shiny, and likes to take on oil... here's how I managed to quit washing my hair every day.


First let me say it again, it took nearly 2 months for my hair to adjust to going every other day with washing. That meant I washed on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday depending on what I was doing. If I was just staying home I skipped and just looked awful so I didn't have to wash twice in a row.

Here's my schedule and what I do every day now -

Day 1 - Wash & Condition Day - after washing I spray it with Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight, use mousse on my roots, and a argan oil on the very ends. After I blow dry I spray my roots and all around with a light hair spray.

Day 2- I spray a tiny bit of my dry shampoo concoction I found on Pinterest on my roots at the top of my head and around the roots closest to my hair and then blow dry to dry the product. (recipe for the dry shampoo below) I use a round brush to smooth any creases from sleeping. Then depending on how my hair is doing that day I will do one of the three hair styles in the pic above for day 2, I typically land on the second two. My bangs have to be up or the grease factor is crazy! Oh and more hair spray... it's my grease saving grace.

Day 3 - A bit more of the dry shampoo and I do the same thing blow drying it out as on Day 2. By day 3 I can't have my hair down long and I like to curl it to add texture and make it look messy on purpose, I like to start off with it down but it always ends the day in a messy pony tail.

On a typical week I do a 2-3 day schedule that looks like this:
Sunday - Wash
Monday - don't wash
Tuesday - wash
Wednesday - don't wash
Thursday - wash
Friday - don't wash
Saturday don't wash

Depending on how I do getting the kid ready and out the door we may be on a 3 day every time schedule in the fall.

And before I forget, here's the dry shampoo recipe:

Wet/Dry Shampoo:
(source)
1 tbsp corn starch
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp rubbing alcohol

Place in a spray bottle and shake to combine before using. Spray into oily hair at the roots and blow dry. 

*links in this post are not affiliate links

Meal Pinning Monday

Lucky for us we have a pretty uneventful week this week. 

Is it bad that I love nothing more than the peace of nothing to really do. We do need to make it to the zoo one morning for an outing before Jeremy goes back to work though!

 

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Paleo Eggs Benedict  - using the PW method but making it with ghee, serving over potato hash with bacon

Tuesday - Balsamic Chuck Roast with Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts


Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salads

Friday - Creamy Salsa Chicken - Whole30 version coming soon

Saturday - Tandoori Chicken & Roasted Potatoes

Sunday - Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken (Kelly Minter What Love Is Study)