Some Lenten Eats



I have been meaning to and wanting to post more about what I am eating for Lent.  But, by the end of each day I am tuckered out!  So here are a few iPhone pics I have taken.  I plan on writing a bit more about it, but for now here are some (very amateur) photos from the last six weeks.        

(Not Pictured: a green smoothie (or two) each day, lots of roasted sweet potatoes, and much more)


What I’m Giving Up For Lent

Today is the start of Lent, and after some consideration I figured out what I was giving up.  Hopefully by putting it out here, I will be more accountable than keeping it private.

First, I am giving up processed foods.  After healing from my flare-up of ulcerative colitis back in September, I have noticed processed snacks, breads, and JUNK creep into my diet and become more and more abundant.  This is going to stop.  I have been reading a bunch lately, and the themes that keep coming up are whole foods and less gluten.  Everyone that I have read about has had major health improvements by eating this way – more energy, fewer health issues (including colitis). 

I eat pretty healthy to begin with (I was vegan for 3 years and still eat heavily vegetarian), but I just want to go out of my way to eliminate the processed stuff and see how I feel.  I find that I grab the processed stuff when I am tired and don’t feel like cooking.  So, this is going to force me to roll up my sleeves and get into the kitchen more (not ordering a gluten free pizza or eating a bunch of pre-packaged snacks).  Those packaged foods are expensive and add up, so I will feel much better spending the money on whole foods that nourish my body.  It is also going to require a little more planning and cooking while the little guy is napping.  I find cooking therapeutic and relaxing, it’s just getting started that I sometimes have the problem doing.  

Second, I am giving up grocery bags.  For the next forty days I am going to have to bring my own reusable bags with me when I grocery shop.  No more bringing things back in tons of plastic bags… or paper ones, for that matter.  

My recent trip to California made me consider doing this.  Out there, you have to pay $.10 per bag at checkout if you want to use their bags.  This forces people to bring their own bags more often.  I use and throw away far too many of these bags, so for Lent I will be giving up that habit. 

So, there they are.  I will try and post updates on my progress.  I have dreams of taking pictures of all the wholesome food I will be eating, but we will see if that happens.  Maybe i’ll work on my photography skills during Lent :)

PS:   Knowing I was giving up the processed foods, I ate a bunch of it yesterday.  I was SO THIRSTY all night, slept horribly and woke up looking forward to the beginning of these 40 days.

6 Months

Our little guy has been with us for half of a year.  Hard to wrap my mind around that!  But at the same time, I couldn’t imagine our lives without him in it.  He brings so much joy to so many people.

At six months, he is a whopping 19 pounds and 15 ounces.  He is 28 inches long.  He’s a big boy!  He started teething a couple weeks ago, and he has two bottom front pearly white bumps showing now.  His hair is filling back in, and it’s coming in SO LIGHT!  He’s still hanging on to the long swoop of hair in the front that at times resembles a bad toupee or combover.

He is seriously the happiest baby I know.  He laughs and smiles all the time!  I think some of that has to do with the amount of sleep he gets.  A TON!  He sleeps 12-13 hours at night and takes a couple naps during the day.  I would be super-happy all the time if that is how much sleep I got! :)

He has been eating some baby food.  His favorite food is the sweet potato, and his least favorite are peas.  Not surprised.  He also loves the rice cereal he eats every evening.

He’s not crawling, but rolling a bunch.  He loves to stand with us holding him, and jumping makes him laugh lately.  He rolls onto his belly to sleep now, which freaked me out at first.  The pediatrician assured me it was fine if he was doing it on his own.

It’s been a crazy, love-filled six months, and I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!

Happy 6 Months!

Happy 6 Months!

Wednesday Musings About Monday

I was planning on writing “Monday Musings” this week, but Monday disappeared in a flash.  The flash was caused by the excitement of Ashton’s first tooth poking through, and then the fussiness that followed.  He hasn’t been a terrible teether… just a bit fussier at night than his norm.  Then “Tuesday Musings” passed.  So now it’s Wednesday, but I still want to talk about Monday.

Monday was an extra good day.  We got up (earlier than normal, due to the teething), played and then Ashton and I went to visit a good friend and her mom.  Ashton was a little fussy at first, but had a bottle and then was Mr. Personality. He is just so happy and smiles at everyone.  He warms up to new people quickly, and that makes me sooooo happy!

But what really moved me was when my friend’s mom made a comment that she could tell I really love and enjoy being a mom.  It really made me stop and think… Yes, I do. I really, really love being a mama!!  She didn’t even realize it, but it was such a huge compliment.  The fact that she could see me interact with Ashton and conclude that I enjoy it just warmed my heart.

I want people to see it in my face when I am passionate about something.  When it is unspoken and others can see it in you, the passion, the love… it’s authentic.

I love being Ashton’s mama.  Each day I learn more about him and more about myself.  These days are so special.

Baby Boot Camp

Sooooo, we had (notice the past-tense, thank goodness) a sleeping problem over here.  Well, sleep wasn’t the actual  problem, it was more the location that was the problem.

Ashton has slept in this:


Lovingly dubbed the “bunny hole” by my Aunt Brenda.

And he’s slept in this (it actually lays flatter than this pic):


A little better to sleep in than the “bunny hole.”

But he would not sleep in his crib!  Like I said, it was just the location that was the problem.  He was sleeping 8-10 hours a night in the above beds, so I was a bit nervous about trying to move him into the crib.  Would he sleep less?  We had to find out because he had pretty much outgrown all other options.

Enter… Baby Boot Camp!  Basically my way of sleep-training him to his crib.  I’ve read and read and read about sleep training, and decided to adapt some of the techniques to get the little (not so little) munchkin to catch his zzzz’s in the crib.  I used this post that Caitlin wrote, this one that Kath wrote and this book to guide me along.

I decided to do controlled comforting, which is going in to comfort in certain time-increments if he is crying.  I wouldn’t pick him up, just soothe him by talking, singing or patting him.

The first night, he went down and started crying.  This lasted a little less than an hour, and I went in every 10 minutes for about a minute.  Finally asleep, and I thought I was golden.  Nope.  Around 1am he woke up screaming, I woke up with indigestion and I caved.  I got him out of the crib, laid him in the middle of our bed while I went to grab a bottle.  In the 20 seconds I was gone, he fell asleep.  On our bed.

Ashton:1 – Baby Boot Camp: 0

So at 1:15am, I decided we would start fresh the next day.  Grace is a wonderful thing!

The next night I was armed.  I had to be consistent (a VERY important part of the whole thing) and toughen up.  So at 8pm, he was put to bed and cried.  Hard.  But, I stuck to my guns.  I went in every 12 minutes because his crying calmed.  I went in three times, and shortly after the third time, he was out.  Woohoo!  But, I was prepared in case he woke up in the night like he had the previous night.  Fortunately, he slept ALL NIGHT LONG!  He woke up around 8:15am and we celebrated.

The third night, I kept with the 8pm bedtime (which is heavenly since he was previously staying up anywhere from 9-11:30pm).  This time, I only had to console him twice and then he was out… until 8:30am!  It was starting to work!

The fourth night I only had to console once and he slept until almost 9am.  This has continued for a week.  Now I rarely have to go in to comfort and he sleeps 11-13 hours a night.  I couldn’t be happier about this!!!!

Now we have a happy, crib-sleeping and rested baby on our hands.  And, we have some of our life back getting his sleep times under control.

Happy Baby!

Happy Baby!

Only one time did I come home from running errands and find that he got spoiled and was able to hangout in his “bunny hole.”



With that face?  I’ll let it slide this time…


Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!  Seriously, the temperature is 0 degrees right now.  I don’t even want to talk about the wind chill.  So, today we are hunkering down, staying in and I don’t mind one bit!

I stocked up on some food-things yesterday, ran errands and made sure we wouldn’t need to go out for anything.  Well, then last night as I was reading through Shauna Neiquist’s book I found a recipe for enchiladas that I want to make ASAP.  It’ll probably have to wait, but until then I am drooling dreaming about it.

So today I’ll be hanging out with this guy:IMG_0088

And working on napping in the crib:


And maybe some reading, catching up on some shows (Parenthood and actually starting season one of Downton Abbey) and quality time with the hubby.

Stay warm!