my 2015 planner solution {plus a giveaway!}

my perfect planner from thepolkadotposie

Y’all, it took me almost TWO MONTHS into 2015 to decide on a planner for the year.  How pathetic is that?!  I’m picky but I finally found what I was looking for and of course now I have to share that with you!

If you’re a long time reader then you’ve read my past posts about my Erin Condren planners.  And while I still think those are great planners, it just wasn’t working for me this year.  Now that I’m a stay at home mom, obviously our budget has been reduced a bit and spending $50+ on a planner is not a high priority for me.  Plus, the EC planner is just really big and bulky and not at all practical for sticking in a diaper bag to take with me.

So I spent a really, really long time searching for another one.  I have all these different “wants” in mind for my planner and unfortunately a great majority of “generic” planners you can buy at Walmart, Staples, etc. do not have what I want.  I briefly considered designing my own (like I did with my teacher lesson plan book) but I don’t have the graphic design skills to make it pretty so it would be very boring and utilitarian.  And then, and I know this sounds so silly, there were others that were fine but the overall vibe of the graphics just weren’t me.  I know, I know…beggars can’t be choosers, but if I’m going to be looking at this multiple times a day, every day, I kind of want it to be pretty, you know?

Anyway…to make a very long story short, I finally came across ThePolkaDotPosie planners.  The planners have everything I loved from my Erin Condren planner but at a fraction of the price!

thepolkadotposie planner cover

They have an Etsy shop where you purchase the digital downloads for the planner you want and then print it yourself.  I was a bit hesitant about the printing and assembling part but they have great instructions on how to do that (and I recruited Michael for the task of printing it for me ;) )

I chose the small size (5.5″ x 8.5″) with seasonal designs (each month has a different color scheme).  There are also larger ones (8.5″ x 11″) and smaller ones (like the size of a pocket calender), academic year (August – August), teacher planners, homeschool planners, planners for direct sales businesses, event planners, budgets, and more.

thepolkadotposie seasonal plannerthepolkadotposie teacher plannerthepolkadotposie direct sales planner

Each month of the seasonal planner has a page for goals, to-dos, and projects

thepolkadotposie planner monthly goals

Then there is a monthly calendarthepolkadotposie planner calendar page

And then a layout for each week of the month.  You can choose to get a weekly spread without the dinner pots (if you’d rather not write your meals down and use that section for something else).thepolkadotposie planner weekly pages

On their blog, they also have lots of free printable downloads (how cute are these Tooth Fairy receipts??).  I printed off the Christmas organizer and put it at the end of my planner to use at Christmastime and the small planner test pages (that have to do lists, goals, contact information, important dates, etc.) to put at the front of my planner.

thepolkadotposie planner Christmas printablesthepolkadotposie planner Christmas presents

I used 24 lb weight paper (a little heavier than what we usually print on) and was SO impressed with the quality of the planner pages!  They looked and felt so professional!

I originally thought I was going to put my planner in a small 3-ring binder so I punched holes in them but then realized I didn’t like that (it was too hard for me to write on the left side because of the rings, it was bulky, and I couldn’t flip it back on itself).  I then took my stack of papers to Staples and had them bind it into a spiral notebook.  I like that much better!

And here’s how I use it.  On the monthly calendar pages I put appointments and events.  On the weekly/daily pages I use the 3 boxes for my daily to-dos.  In the first box I put the things that happen every day that need to get done (like my chore of the day, laundry, my Bible study, etc.).  In the second box I put other random to-do things that need to get done that are household-related.  And in the third box I put any Young Living things that need to get done that day.

how i use thepolkadotposie plannerI love the notes sections so I can jot down notes to myself and then on the right (cut out of the picture) I can put my to-do list of things that I want to get done sometime that week.

I am so thrilled with my planner!  Total cost was less than $15 so I was super excited about that!

And I’m also excited that one of YOU will be able to win a planner from ThePolkaDotPosie as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I was not compensated for this review and purchased all planner materials and downloads myself; ThePolkaDotPosie did not ask me to write this review…I was going to write one anyway and then reached out to them to see if they’d like to do a giveaway in conjunction with my review – so these opinions are totally mine and not swayed by free stuff!)

whole30 weeks 4 and 5 – wrap up, results, and what next?

#whole30 weeks 4 and 5

I did it!  I survived Whole30!  Here’s how the last 9 days went and then read to the end for my results.

Day 22 (Sunday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs with ??? (I’ve already forgotten)

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

#whole30 avocado tuna, radishes, grapes

dinner – Leftover vegetable soup with ??? (I’ve forgotten this too…that’s what happens when I don’t write it down each night)

#whole30 vegetable soup

Day 23 (Monday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs and a smoothie

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Grilled chicken seasoned with a homemade taco seasoning recipe, roasted green beans, and crash potatoes.

thoughts – Another good day!  I am just so glad to be out of my funk from last week.  Being back home and on my routine has helped a lot.  Getting a variety of veggies is helping too with the boredom.

It’s no longer an “I think”…now I know for sure that my ring is looser!  I’m not sure if it’s loose enough that I’ll be able to get my real wedding rings on yet but it’s a start!

Day 24 (Tuesday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, leftover grilled chicken, leftover green beans

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinnerSpicy cinnamon orange shrimp, crash potatoes, and roasted broccoli with homemade mayo

#whole30 spicy cinnamon orange shrimp, crash potatoes, and broccoli

thoughts – HOW have I gone 24 days of Whole30 without making my own mayonnaise?  Oh my!  Tonight I added some parsley, paprika, and onion powder to make a pseudo-ranch dressing and dipped my potatoes and broccoli in it.

#whole30 mayo

Day 25 (Wednesday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, leftover grilled chicken, leftover green beans

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes, grapes, and leftover broccoli

dinner – Chicken in the crockpot and baked sweet potatoes with lemony-dill mayo

thoughts – Mayo.  Seriously.  That’s good stuff.

Day 26 (Thursday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, leftover grilled chicken

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes, grapes, and leftover crash potatoes

dinner – Chicken stir fry (chicken, bell peppers, and broccoli with some cajun seasoning) dipped in homemade mayo (mixed with some garlic powder and chipotle seasoning) and leftover sweet potato

thoughts – I’m just so thrilled that I’m having an easier week.  I’m not going to say that the second Whole30 is over I won’t dive into a brownie ;) but the intense cravings I was battling last week have subsided.

I keep twirling my ring around and reveling in the fact that it is lose.  I have not tried on my real wedding rings yet…I’m holding off until Whole30 is over (it’s hard but I can make it just a few more days!).

Day 27 (Friday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, leftover grilled chicken

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Steak, yellow squash, and asparagus

thoughts – Ok I lied…I didn’t want to wait until whole30 was over so I tried on my rings.  Sad news…they still don’t fit.  I’m so bummed!

Day 28 (Saturday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs with sweet potato hash.

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and tangerines

dinner – Leftover crockpot chicken with roasted broccoli and roasted potatoes dipped in homemade chipotle mayo.

thoughts – I already love roasted broccoli but dipped in mayo…oh man.  So good.  And Michael sliced the potatoes really thin so they crisped up like chips – yum yum!

Day 29 (Sunday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs with sweet potato hash

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Spicy tuna cakes with roasted green beans

Day 30 (Monday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, leftover green beans, leftover squash

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, and spicy cauliflower with chipotle mayo.

#whole30 grilled chicken, potatoes, and cauliflower

thoughts – I survived!  I did it!

My snacks were basically the same every day this week: tangerines, apples with almond butter, and/or smoothie (banana, blueberries, almond butter, avocado, and coconut milk)

Also, sorry for the boring breakfasts and lunch…that’s usually how I operate (even non-whole30) – I’ll eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and snack everyday for many days without getting bored as long as I get some variety at supper.  I started off Whole30 trying to keep it exciting and varied to keep me from getting burnt out but by the end was back in my comfort zone of repetition.


I know, probably the whole reason you’re reading this post…to find out if it worked ;).

Drumroll please…

I lost a smidge over 10 pounds! (10.4 to be exact)  I would have loved to lose more than that (I mean, who wouldn’t?), but 10 pounds in 30 days is really great, especially since I’ve struggled so much since Hudson was born to lose anything at all, so I’m very pleased.

I also lost an inch around my waist (I did not do all over measurements, like arms, thighs, calves, etc. so my waist is the only area I have data on).

Now to keep going and work on the other 50-60 pounds I need to lose….

Thoughts about my whole Whole30 experience (see what I did there?)


Whole30 was by far the hardest “diet” I’ve ever done.  It took a lot of time and effort and money.  Oh my, our grocery bill this month has been astronomical.  And it was much more restrictive than anything I’ve done before.

Honestly, I can’t say I’m all that impressed.  I feel no different now than I did 30 days ago.  I don’t feel any better or worse (not that I felt bad to begin with) nor has my sleep changed (I was already sleeping fine but Hudson was not and I was hoping this would help him but it didn’t seem to make a difference).  I didn’t start randomly waking up at 6am ready to tackle the day like some people reported.  I didn’t miraculously lose 25 pounds and 2 pants sizes like others.  I didn’t arrive at some amazing state of mind where I no longer am tempted by sweets.

Basically I ate healthier and as a result I lost some weight.  Which is great and I’m not knocking it.  And in fact, if I hadn’t done something so restrictive where cheating wasn’t an option I probably would have kept back sliding and eating junk.  So I think this was a great jump start and it showed me that I *can* lose even while breastfeeding and I’m hopeful that now that I’ve gotten used to eating so healthy again I will continue doing so and continue to lose weight.

So did it help me on my quest to get healthier and lose weight?  Yes.  Was is the magical, miracle diet I had read about?  No.  But that’s ok.  I’ve learned over the years that there is no magical shake or pill or diet…hard work, self control, eating healthy, and exercising is what it takes.

What now?

You are supposed to basically continue eating whole30 and begin gradually adding some of those “trigger” foods back in to your diet.  Add legumes, wait a few days to see how your body reacts, then add dairy, wait a few days, then grains without gluten, and so on.  However we will be traveling Saturday and having our family Easter dinner Sunday so I will likely eat some non-whole30 foods before I have finished the gradual adding in process.  I’m playing it by ear and starting today just by adding in legumes (peanut butter with my apple and black beans with our supper).

So nothing exciting.  As much as I’d love to eat a ton of Reese’s eggs I’m trying to stick to reintroducing some healthy foods first.

Long term, I will now go back to our “real food” way of eating.  Like I said when I started whole30, I believe in most foods in moderation so I’m not on board with whole30, whole9, paleo, vegetarianism, etc. as a long term way of eating (unless there are health issues that require that to be how I eat).  I much prefer to eat a little bit of everything that is real, whole food (not tons of processed junk…although I have a bit of that too from time to time).  I’m excited to add back in butter, whole milk, sour cream, wheat bread, corn, peas, and beans!

Thank you for following along with my journey.  I appreciate the comments I’ve gotten here on my blog, on my Facebook page, via text, and in person.  It can be scary to admit that you need to lose weight, or even that you just want to try to be healthier, and tell the world that you are dieting but I am thankful that (most) everyone was supportive and encouraging.

Hudson’s 14 month update

My iphone is so full that I can’t even record videos so today I spent a long time going through pictures and videos trying to delete a bunch and clear up some space.  It is amazing to me to see how much Hudson has changed, even just as recently as Christmas, not to mention since he was first born!  My baby is certainly not a baby anymore (in many ways) and is a full blown toddler.  Month 14 has brought about a lot of changes and new skills!


Based on our home measurements, Hudson is 29 inches tall (yay, I can feel normal saying tall now instead of long since we measure him standing instead of laying) and weighs 23 pounds.

His hair is so curly in the back that he hasn’t needed a haircut but when it’s wet you can see he has a bit of a rat tail – ha!




This child eats like a horse!  He can no longer eat off of our plates, he needs his own meal.  Sometimes I’m just amazed at how much food fits in that little body (and then other days he won’t eat much at all…baffling).  He ate nearly a whole steak one night – he ate more of his than I did of mine!  The white semi circle there is all the steak he ate (plus green beans).


If you’re a regular reader here you know that I’ve been following the Whole30 diet and since Hudson eats what I eat he has too (mostly).  Whole30 is an elimination diet (eliminates several foods that cause problems for many people, you see how you feel without them, then add them back and see how you feel while eating them…helps you determine if there are things you should avoid like dairy or gluten).  I don’t think that either of us have food sensitivities but I decided it didn’t hurt to check, especially since we’ve had so many sleep issues since he was born (and better sleep is a common “side effect” of Whole30).

I haven’t really noticed a difference compared to what we were eating before, but I am very thrilled that doing Whole30 has caused us to eat healthier in general and I know that’s so good for Hudson.  We’ve tried lots of new veggies and increased our fruits and healthy fats too.

Obviously he has enjoyed it ;)


He is now down to nursing only three times a day.  We have dropped his “lunchtime” feeding so now he only nurses when he wakes up, in the afternoon, and before bed.  He is definitely not interested in weaning fully yet.  As I’ve been doing Whole30 I could tell that my milk had dropped and I thought it might encourage him to wean so I wasn’t too concerned.  Instead he just walked around crying and signing “milk” all the time so obviously he did not like that idea!  I’ve done some stuff to get my milk back up and all is well now but it was definitely pitiful for a few days!

He also is drinking from his sippy cup much more than he used to.  I fill it with water every morning and put it on the floor so he is able to drink from it throughout the day as much as he wants.  However, a lot of the time he just likes to get the water in his mouth and then let it dribble out everywhere so then I have to take it away.


Finally good news on the sleep front.  It’s not perfect, but things are SO much better than they used to be!

He went through a phase for maybe two weeks where he did not fall asleep while nursing at night and then I couldn’t get him to sleep by rocking.  We found that if Michael laid with him in our bed Hudson would flop around for a while (sometimes a really long while) and eventually fall asleep.  It only works with Michael though; he tries to crawl all over me and thinks it’s a big party if I try to lay with him and get him to sleep.

This was a nice break because I’ve had to do bedtime duty for, well, basically his whole life.  So I really enjoyed getting some things done around the house (not that washing dishes and folding laundry are that enjoyable…but it’s nice to be productive) while Michael put him to bed.

That phase is over and now he (usually) falls asleep while nursing and I’m able to lay him down asleep.  Much easier on everyone and then we can both get some stuff done.

He sleeps through the night, although we fairly frequently (1 – 3 nights a week) have nights where he wakes up crying.  He settles almost immediately when I put his paci back in but he’s just restless.  So those nights we have some broken sleep but at least we aren’t up for long stretches of time.

He has dropped his afternoon nap and now only takes one nap a day (I think that is what helped with bedtime…now he’s plenty tired by bedtime so he doesn’t fight it for hours).  So many of my friends have kids who dropped their morning nap and only took an afternoon nap so when Hudson was obviously very tired two or three hours after waking up I felt like he needed a morning nap still but then we’d also do an afternoon one.  Then my mom mentioned that all of us kids dropped our afternoon naps and only took morning ones and I realized that maybe that was the case with Hudson.  I mean, duh.  I should know better to listen to my child, I just caught up in what seemed to be “the norm”.  Lesson learned.

So anyway, he takes one nap around 10 or 11, depending on when he wakes up (which is usually anywhere between 7 and 8:30).  I still hold him for his nap but I am (thankfully) no longer resentful of that fact.  I enjoy getting to snuggle and since it’s once a day for just an hour or two it doesn’t seem so “inconvenient” as it used to.  I know he won’t do this forever and it gives me a chance to blog or read or something so I enjoy it.

He hates his crib.  One day I put him in it for a few minutes so I could do some ironing without him underfoot.  It was naptime and he was tired so I turned out the lights, put on some soothing music, and stood in the doorway where he could see me to see if maybe, just maybe, he might fall asleep.  That did not end well and he cried and cried.  I felt terrible and when I got him out of his crib he was shaking from tears.  It was awful.  I know crying it out works for some people but not for us.


One evening neither of us were having any luck getting him to bed.  I was trying to do my Bible study and nothing was working so I finally put him on my back and bounced on the exercise ball while I read.  It didn’t work…I couldn’t see what I was reading and he didn’t fall asleep.  Interesting method to try though!



Hudson is walking great now!  He has really taken off and walks everywhere.  It’s unusual to see him crawling anymore.


I’ve caught him climbing a few times but it hasn’t become a consistent habit yet.



He still really only says one word (“bye”), although he doesn’t say that nearly as much as he used to.  He’ll also occasionally say “hi” or “yeah” (or at least, that’s what it sounds like) and he babbles constantly…you just can’t tell what he’s saying.

He knows quite a bit of sign language and uses that as his main means of communication.  He can sign “milk”, “more”, “eat”, “change” (diaper), “bath”, and “all done”.  He uses most of these in context and correctly although occasionally needs some prompting (like if he starts shouting when he finishes the food on his tray and we say “Hudson do you want more?” then he’ll sign “more”).

There were several times that for whatever reason (he knows the sign for milk, no idea why he didn’t use it), he would go grab the Boppy by the tag and try to drag it to me to indicate he wanted to be held/fed.  It was so funny and cute and pitiful.  The only thing I can figure is that he associates the sign for “milk” with nourishment and maybe he just wanted comfort so for some reason he thought bringing me the Boppy indicated that.  I don’t know…just making stuff up!  Ha!



He has started giving “fives” to people and blowing kisses.  He gives “woolen” (what some people call raspberries or zerberts…where you put your mouth on skin and blow to make a noise) and thinks it’s so funny to that on our arms, legs, or stomach.  He also can stack his blocks or the stacking rings instead of just knocking them down after we stack them.

He slipped in his footie pajamas and fell and smacked his head on the floor.  It swelled up instantly and looked horrible but within 24 hours was just a faint yellow bruise.


He just recently started reaching for door knobs.  He can barely reach but I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s trying to open doors!


We got some Sesame Street shows for him to watch when we travel longer distances (aka longer than a Daniel Tiger episode) so when we went to ladies retreat I played one on the way there and on the way back and he fell asleep both times.  That is unheard of for him!  Sesame Street must be really soothing or boring to him (I think it’s super annoying).


We have discovered toilet paper!  We keep the bathroom doors closed but I was cleaning the bathroom one day and stepped out to grab another rag and Hudson went to town on the toilet paper while I was gone.  And like a good blogger I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures while he pulled off more ;).



Michael had to go to Philadelphia for work so Hudson and I went and stayed with my mom while he was gone.  I enjoyed a bit of a “vacation” from laundry and housework and of course Hudson adored being doted on by his Mamie and uncle and playing with all of our old toys.


other stuff

We had a little bath tub photoshoot one day :)

IMG_8127_2 IMG_8124_2 IMG_8115_2 IMG_8107_2

This picture cracks me up!


Hudson loves to use our broom and Swiffer at home so my mom got him his own little set of cleaning tools – broom, dustpan, mop, etc.  He loves them and plays with them constantly!

IMG_8182_2IMG_8289_2We tried to nap in the bed one afternoon instead of me holding him in the chair and it didn’t go as I planned.  He was very restless and kept scooting himself under the covers.  Don’t worry, I was right there next to him to make sure he could breathe.


I adore this picture!  We’ve been going through some separation stuff recently when I leave him in the church nursery – he clings to me and cries when I first put him in his seat.  He loves this little laptop they have in there though so one Sunday I put in front of him when I put him in his seat and it did the trick to calm him down so I could leave.  I had to snap a picture though…he looks so serious and grown up!


Of course we had to rock our Albert Einstein diaper on pi day!


Mr. Hudson definitely has a bit of temper.  He gets quite unhappy if you set him down when he wants to be held, you tell him “no”, he doesn’t get food the instant he wants it, etc.  I think that’s called being a toddler but it can certainly be frustrating.  This particular day he kept taking my books off the shelf over and over and was crying because I told him no.


Trying to get things done around the house can be very challenging because Hudson is either a) crying and hanging on to my leg because he wants to be held, b) getting right up into what I’m doing and scattering my swept up piles, unfolding laundry, or trying to play in the toilet while I clean, or c) off getting into something else he shouldn’t be doing while I’m distracted.

Soooo I’m thankful for babywearing because for many of my chores I can stick him up on my back and wear him while I do them (the ones that can’t be done while I wear him get done in the afternoon when Michael can distract him).  Sometimes he even falls asleep and takes a little nap while I work.  Looks comfy, huh?

I love this outfit – he looks so grown up though!

IMG_8033_2We went out to eat one evening and he loved playing with the straws.  We had a fantastic waitress and she gave him several to keep him occupied.

He thinks it is so funny to put his stacking rings on his arms.  And this picture cracks me up – he looks like a sumo wrestler!


This old silver cup of Michael’s is Hudson’s favorite thing to play with in his bedroom.  We don’t spend much time in his room or upstairs in general since it’s not quite as baby proof as downstairs, but when we are in his room he makes a beeline for this one cup and carries it around pretending to drink from it.


My boy is such a joy!  He is so entertaining and sweet and funny and I love it.  I just look at him and marvel.  Sure, he is challenging and strong willed and often drives me batty, but I can’t (and don’t want to!) imagine life without him; I love him so incredibly much!  His sweaty curls after a good nap, the way he rubs his ear when he’s tired, the big slobbery kisses he loves to give, the funny face he makes when he’s pooping – I love it all!

These monthly updates feel so superficial…I can use my words to tell you the facts about Hudson but I can’t figure out how to express our love for him.  IMG_0398IMG_0408Slow down, sweet boy!  I love to see you grow and change but it’s happening so fast!  Weren’t you just born yesterday?

DIY cloth diaper safe diaper cream

Y’all know I love mixing up my own creams and concoctions using my essential oils so I thought I’d share this super-de-duper easy one to make your own diaper cream!

Mix 1/4 cup coconut oil (I recommend organic, unrefined – you can find it just about anywhere: Amazon, Sam’s, Trader Joes, Kroger, etc.) with 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of Gentle Baby (Gentle Baby is a blend specific to Young Living essential oils.  I love Young Living and you can read all about that here).  Store in a 4 oz jelly jar.

That’s it!

For such a small recipe you can just put the coconut oil and essential oils in the jar and mix them well with a fork.  Some people melt their coconut oil, then add EOs, then let it re-harden, and then whip it up.  That’s too complicated for me!  I just mix my EOs with the solid coconut oil – it’s very easy to stir!

If I’m making a big batch (this particular day I also made a batch of my stretch mark cream and my teething cream so I used a lot of coconut oil) then I put all the coconut oil in my KitchenAid mixer, whip it until it’s nice and creamy, transfer it to the jars, and then add the essential oils and mix well.  More clean up but easier on your arm.  Whatever floats your boat!  This is a “recipe” that can’t really be messed up.

DIY cloth diaper safe diaper cream #youngliving #essentialoils

But what if I don’t have Gentle Baby?  No worries!  Like I said, this is a super flexible recipe!  You could just use lavender and coconut oil (I’d do 20 drops of lavender).  Or if you have the Young Living starter kit then you could do another combination of oils that comes in the starter kit.  Some ideas:

  • – frankincense (frankincense is great for skin)
  • – melaleuca alternifolia aka tea tree oil (tea tree oil is another great one for skin and is popular for use in making homemade baby wipes or wipe solution)
  • – Joy (Joy has very similar ingredients as Gentle Baby and would be a good substitute for it)

Play around with it and see what you like best!

Coconut oil and essential oils are safe for cloth diapers and will not cause repelling like many diaper creams do.

No baby?  No problem!  This recipe is not just for baby bottoms.  All of the essential oils I’ve mentioned here are fantastic for anyone’s skin so you could mix this up and use it for yourself.  It’s a fantastic moisturizer!

No oils?  Also no problem!  Go here to see how you can get some.

What are you DIY’ing today?

whole30 week 3

#whole30 week 3

Whole30 Week 3 – done!  It was hard, hard, HARD!  Definitely my most challenging week yet.

Rather than repeating myself every day I’m just going to write it here that snacks each day were (all, some, or none of) these things: apple with almond butter, fruit, smoothies (avocado + coconut milk + banana + blueberries + almond butter + spinach)

Also, I have to apologize because I did a terrible job taking pictures of my meals this week so it’s a pretty boring post.

Day 15 (Sunday)

breakfastSweet potato hash with two fried eggs, bone broth

lunch – Leftover chipotle chicken from our meal Saturday over extra sweet potato hash from breakfast and grapes.

dinner – Salad with chicken, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds, and orange poppyseed dressing and berries.

thoughts – My milk seems to be back!  Yay!  Hudson nursed well at each feeding.

Hudson and I left after a quick lunch Sunday to go stay with my mom for part of the week.  She is thankfully 100% supportive and plans to make strictly Whole30 food while I’m there plus I brought some of my own stuff from home, but I know it will still be somewhat challenging since it’s not our normal routine or my own kitchen.

Day 16 (Monday)

breakfast – Sweet potato hash with fried eggs and bone broth

lunch – Leftover chipotle chicken over sweet potato hash and grapes.

dinner – Shrimp gumbo and berries.

I’ve never had gumbo before but Mom and I found some recipes that we were able to modify into a Whole30 compliant meal.  It was very good!

thoughts – Today I felt mad.  I was just mad that I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted.  Here I am staying with my mom and I can’t have any of my favorite comfort foods like chicken and dumplings or homemade milkshakes.  I sure hope this “Tiger Blood” I keep hearing about kicks in soon so I can quit craving things that I can’t have!

I haven’t done as well with my veggies yesterday or today so I need to try to increase those.

But on a positive note, my milk has been fine today.  Hudson nursed less than normal since he was so distracted playing and being in a different environment, but when he did nurse there was plenty of milk.  Looks like adding in the extra fat via smoothies is working so I will continue doing that!

Day 17 (Tuesday)

breakfast – same as previous days

lunch – Leftover chipotle chicken over leftover sweet potato hash and leftover gumbo.

dinner – Steak, roasted green beans, mashed potatoes, salad, and fruit.

Day 18 (Wednesday)

breakfast – same

lunch – Leftover steak, green beans, and gumbo

dinner – Fish (I don’t even know what kind, my mom cooked it), steamed broccoli, sweet potato hash, squash, and fruit.

thoughts – Reeses.  No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies.  Chocolate cake.  Cake batter ice cream.  THAT is what I really want.

Seriously.  I am SO over Whole30 right now.  I am tired tired tired of eggs, avocados, and sweet potatoes.  I want a yummy dessert.  I also feel like it isn’t working for me – I don’t feel any better or more energetic than I did before…in fact, I feel pretty much exactly the same.  I also don’t feel like I’ve lost a single pound.  My wedding ring (and not even my real wedding rings but my stand in ring until my real ones fit again) doesn’t feel the least bit looser than it did 18 days ago.  I so badly want to wear my real rings again!

Don’t worry, I am going to see these 30 days through.  Just 12 more days to go.  But I’m definitely feeling very discouraged and questioning whether or not it has been worth it.

Day 19 (Thursday)

breakfast – same, minus broth because I ran out

lunch – Leftover steak, squash, sweet potato hash, and an apple with almond butter.

dinner – Chicken breast and a hashbrown-type thing (basically the same recipe as the sweet potato hash but with white potatoes).

Dinner was a big fail.  Michael and I both got back from being out of town to nothing in our fridge and nothing planned so we had to throw something together.  The chicken was ok but the hashbrowns didn’t turn out good at all (plus if I can’t have ketchup on my hashbrowns then I just don’t want them…).

thoughts – Over.It.

I am so sick and tired of eating the same things over and over.  So boring.  I have to find some other things to add in if I’m going to finish out these 30 days!

Day 20 (Friday)

breakfast – Scrambled eggs with onions and kale, blackberries

#whole30 scrambled eggs and blackberries

lunchAvocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Vegetable soup and tangerines

I modified my usual vegetable soup recipe – took out the corn and peas and added in some okra instead.  Not the most exciting soup ever but it was pretty good.

thoughts – Being home made Whole30 much easier.  I wasn’t as angry about “having” to eat this way and my intense frustration and desire to quit have chilled out.  Also some friends talked me down from the ledge ;).  I also broke the Whole30 rules and weighed myself.  I had told myself that if I got on the scale and hadn’t lost any weight then I was just going to quit.  However, I have lost some (not tons, but some) so I’m going to keep going.

Day 21 (Saturday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, blackberries, and broth

lunch – Avocado tuna with radishes and grapes

dinner – Vegetable soup, leftover tuna from lunch, grapes, and tangerine

thoughts – Today was a little hard.  We had our church ladies’ retreat this weekend and instead of getting to eat the yummy food they made I ate my own.  Friday night I ate supper before I went, Saturday morning I ate breakfast before I went (I drove back and forth Friday and Saturday instead of spending the night), I took my lunch with me, and then I left before supper so I could eat at home.  It wasn’t awful but I was kind of bummed to miss out on the meals.

I got tired of my smoothie so I didn’t eat one Thursday, Friday, or Saturday and I felt like my milk had dropped so I’ll start drinking those again.

Also….dare I say it?…I am very tentatively, fingers crossed, thinking that maybe, just maybe, my (stand in) wedding ring is feeling a teeny tiny bit loose.  I’m trying not to get too excited but I’m really hoping that’s the case.  I SO BADLY want to be able to wear my real wedding rings again!!

Thoughts for the week

Well as you can tell I really struggled this week.  Now that the end is in sight and I’ve already gotten past the events where I really missed getting to eat anything I wanted (staying with my mom and being on ladies retreat) I think I can make it for nine more days.  It may be a boring nine days (although I’m going to work on getting some more variety) but I can do it.  I’m not going to say that I’m enjoying it, and to be quite honest I pretty much hate it, but I’m going to see it through.

Whole 30 Week 2

#whole30 week 2 meal plan and thoughts

Week 2 of Whole30 – check!  I started out Week 2 with a meal plan like I had in Week 1 but we deviated from the plan a lot this week!  We still ate the same basic stuff but just switched up what nights we had them.

#whole30 meal plan week 2

(see my meals and recap of week 1 here)

I’m not listing my snacks each day because frankly I forget from day to day but also because it’s the same every day: apple with cashew or almond butter, tangerine, macadamia nuts, hard boiled egg (all or some of that list, depending on how hungry I am during that day).

Day 8 (Sunday)

breakfast – Oh man…today I had the best breakfast ever!  Sweet potato hash with fried eggs.  So, so good!  It was time consuming making the hash (Michael very sweetly cooked breakfast for me while I got ready for church) so not something I’ll do every day but maybe for a special weekend treat.  It was very filling too – I wasn’t able to eat it all!  I had some broth with my breakfast as well.

#whole30 fried eggs and sweet potato hash

lunch – We finished off the chili from last week with some kale chips and then I also ate my leftover eggs and hash from breakfast.

dinner – We cooked another chicken in the crock pot like last week and served it with sweet potato fries, roasted broccoli (minus the parmesan that recipe calls for), and some berries.

Day 9 (Monday)

breakfast – Sunday we tried another egg bake-casserole-dish-thing.  This time we made a southwest breakfast casserole.  I tried a bite on Sunday and thought it was going to be a winner but Monday when I had it for breakfast it just wasn’t love.  Hudson and Michael both loved it but I wasn’t a fan.  I’m beginning to think that breakfast casseroles like this are not for me (SUCH a bummer because they are super easy and convenient).  I had a cup of broth with my breakfast as well.

#whole30 southwest breafkast casserole

lunch – We had lots of leftover chicken from our meal Sunday night so I made a salad like the one I loved so much from last week (chicken, lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds, and orange poppyseed dressing).  I also had some grapes and leftover baked sweet potato.

dinner – We loved the spicy tuna cakes from last week so much that we made them again!  This time though instead of cooking them in a muffin tin we cooked them in a skillet and liked that much better (less clean up than a muffin tin!).  We also had kale chips and brussels sprouts for sides.

Day 10 (Tuesday)

breakfast – More of the southwest breakfast casserole and bone broth.

lunch – Same salad with grapes.

dinner – Michael cooked salmon (instructions here – we used ghee instead of butter) and it was delicious!  That was a winner!  For sides we had roasted green beans, mashed sweet potato, and strawberries.

#whole30 salmon#whole30 salmon and roasted green beans

This time we cooked some of the green beans separately for Hudson without the cayenne since they were too hot for him last time – he loved them and ate the whole plate!

Day 11 (Wednesday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, some leftover zucchini, and bone broth.

lunch – Same salad with leftover mashed sweet potatoes.

For some reason this did not fill me up like it had the other days and I was hungry very shortly after.

dinner – A random smorgasboard of things.  We didn’t have time to cook before church and we had tons of leftovers so we ate those up.  We had leftover spicy tuna cakes as our “main” item and then had whatever leftover veggies were in the fridge.

Day 12 (Thursday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, roasted potatoes (finally finished all of those up from last week!), and broth

lunch – Same salad with some grapes and leftover roasted green beans.

dinnerShepherd’s pie and strawberries.  This was the first time either of us had ever had any form of shepherd’s pie and it did not disappoint!  I thought it was a little bland so I added some hot sauce to mine to spice it up but overall it was very good!  Hudson must have thought so too because he ate an adult sized portion!

#whole30 shepherds pie

Day 13 (Friday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, broth

lunch – Leftover shepherd’s pie

dinner – Shrimp stir fry (shrimp, bell peppers, and broccoli plus some seasonings that Michael put in but I’m not sure what they were), crash potatoes, and fruit.  Definitely a winning meal!   We all loved the stir fry and the potatoes – Michael liked his crash potatoes with rosemary, I put chili powder on mine, and Hudson’s just had salt and pepper.

#whole30 shrimp stir fry and crash potatoes

snacks – apple with almond butter, smoothie

thoughts – Today I was done, done, done.  I wanted to throw in the towel and eat a big, gooey brownie.  Part of that was because I was just tired of eating this way and craving sweets and part of it is because my milk has been consistently very low for about a week.  That wouldn’t be such a big deal if Hudson were ok with it and using that as an opportunity to wean but instead he just cries and signs for milk all the time and it’s quite stressful.

Before I quit Whole30 due to the milk thing I’m trying really hard to get it back up and just eating lots of calories (let’s be honest, eating tons of veggies does not result in many calories).  Smoothies are technically a no-no but it was the best way I could think of get a bunch of fat and calories so I made a coconut milk/avocado/blueberry/banana/almond butter smoothie.  It was better than I expected – not great, but edible.  Not perfectly Whole30 but if it comes down to that or a brownie I guess I made the better choice.

Day 14 (Saturday)

breakfast – We had the delicious sweet potato hash with fried eggs again and broth

lunch – I had not finished my breakfast so I ate the rest of that for lunch and then also some leftover shepherd’s pie.  We had a bunch of fruit left over from the oils class I taught that morning so we ate some of that too.

dinnerChipotle chicken sweet potato skins, avocado, and grapes.  This was good but H.O.T.   Oh my stars.  We couldn’t find chipotle peppers so we used the chipotle spice we found on the baking aisle and my oh my was it hot!  I love hot food but even this was a bit too much for me!  It was a delicious meal though, so next time we’ll just make sure to use less seasoning.

thoughts – I had another hard day today.  I taught an essential oils class at my house and made a coffee cake for it that and did not take a single bite!  I was proud of that but it was also a total bummer to bake a cake and not get to eat any of it!  I couldn’t even try it to make sure it tasted ok!  I’m hoping that I’ll get over this hump soon because I am for sure getting bored and missing lots of my yummy foods.

Thoughts for the week:  Well Week 2 was definitely harder than Week 1.  The “new” has worn off and the repetition of eggs, avocados, and potatoes is getting old.  I used up most of my “oh man that looks awesome!” meals from Pinterest last week so this week I was struggling to find things that looked appealing.

Next week I am going to work really hard at finding some new dishes to try so that I’m not bored and try to eat more good fats to get my milk back up

Hudson’s 13 month update

Ugh, I am SO behind!  I hate it when I don’t get Hudson’s monthly update written right away because he changes so quickly that these things aren’t even a reflection of him right now plus it’s just so stinkin’ hard to remember!

I’m also finding that the older he gets the less pictures I have of him since he’s not very still anymore.

So here is what Hudson was up to when he turned 13 months (two weeks ago…)


I have no idea.  I never got around to measuring him and now that we’re halfway through to his next update I think I’ll just wait.  Visibly he has definitely thinned out recently as he’s gotten more mobile.  He’s still in 12-18 month clothes, depending on the item, but mostly 18 month.


He eats everything.  I mean, there are a things he doesn’t like and other things that he prefers, but there are too many new things and favorite foods to really try to list them anymore.  I should probably drop this category in my next update.

I will say that he seems to get burnt out on foods quickly.  Like I can eat eggs for breakfast every day for weeks but he only likes them a few days and then starts just playing with them (or throwing them…no good).  The only exception is bananas and applesauce; he eats those almost every day and never seems to get tired of them.


I *think* some watermelon made it into his mouth…IMG_7720IMG_7721

He is down to nursing only four times a day – when he first wakes up (before breakfast), when we wakes up from his first nap (before lunch), when he wakes up from his second nap, and then right before bed.  He he is, for all intents and purposes, night weaned now and goes from bedtime to morning without nursing.


The month started off horrid but by the end of month…

we were sleeping through the night!  YES!  You read that right!  Hooray!  It is about time for crying out loud (literally…).

Getting him to sleep is still a big issue and is sometimes a multi-hour event.  And for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the month he woke up in the middle of the night with blood curdling shrieks every.single.night.  It was horribly hard to get him to calm down and get back to sleep.  We have no idea what caused it.  That (thankfully) went away and now he is sleeping through the night without having to eat (he’ll occasionally wake up but as soon as we put his paci in or pat him he goes right back to sleep).

Next step…to get him out of our cramped bed and into his own space.

Baby steps, baby steps.

Oh and I still have to hold him for his naps.


Or lay next to him.

IMG_7687And in case you’d like to get a little visual of what sharing a bed might look like…

This was one morning after Michael had left for work.  I woke up before Hudson and was laying there in the bed with him.  You can see the bed rail there on the left side of our bed.  Usually Hudson sleeps next to the rail, I sleep next to him (in the spot that has no pillow in the picture), and Michael sleeps on the right.

You can see that Hudson has already taken over my spot and pushed me into Michael’s (that’s my pillow there on the right, Michael’s had already been pushed off into the floor).

IMG_7911and then a bit moreIMG_7912

and finally…yep, now my pillow is hanging off the bed and I am left with the space between his fingertips and the right side of the bed.  This is co-sleeping reality, folks.

(can you see why I’m ready for him to move to his own bed?  or else get a king-sized bed?)IMG_7913


Big news this month – we have a walker!  He took his first few steps.  He’s still very unsteady and only walks a few steps at a time but he’s definitely walking!


Still just one word – “bye” (or “bye bye”).  He babbles all the time but so far we can’t tell what he’s saying and he doesn’t repeat words or anything.   However, he knows several signs.  He can sign “milk”, “more”, and “change” (i.e. diaper change).  He sometimes will sign milk to tell me he wants to nurse but most of the time he just signs these things after we say the word.  Like if I saw “Hudson do you want some more?” at a meal then he will sign “more”, but he doesn’t sign it out of the blue usually to say that he wants more (he just shouts instead…)


I wrote all about Hudson’s first stomach virus here.  And as a result of that we gave him his first juice (some NingXia Red in water) to help him stay hydrated.


He stayed with his first “babysitter” outside of family.  My friend Amber kept him for an hour of so while I went to an eye doctor appointment.


Snowmaggedon 2015 was a pretty big adventure.  Unfortunately Hudson wanted to have no part of it so we spent the better part of a week holed up at home.

not a fan

other stuff

You know, just sitting and reading a book and stuff


Crazy bedhead

IMG_7786riding around

IMG_7754 IMG_7750

Now that he’s a stair-climber we had to get a baby gate for the bottom of the steps tooIMG_7732


Valentine’s DayIMG_0360

I’ve been trying to use my “good” camera (my DSLR) more since I almost always take pictures with my phone.  It is certainly challenging to get Hudson to sit still these days, especially when I get out the camera because he wants to grab it so bad.IMG_0302

This is what we call “sleepy ear” – he sticks his finger in his ear and scratches when he’s tired.IMG_0301 Love those baby bluesIMG_0295I love that crazy hair!  People comment ALL the time on his curls – they draw a lot of attention. IMG_0292 What a hamIMG_0288 This is what 75% of my pictures look like because he’s trying to grab the camera.IMG_0284 IMG_0281 I just love this boy so much.IMG_0277

Whole30 Week 1 {meal plan, recipes, and thoughts}

#whole30 week one meal plan

Whole30 week 1 is done-o and I survived!  Hooray!  Here’s what I ate, what we liked (and didn’t like), and thoughts about each day.

I’m not sure how well you can read this, but this was my meal plan for the week.  I don’t usually plan our meals this much in detail, but since this diet is so strict I wanted to make sure that I planned out everything and actually over planned as far as how much food we would need.  Of course this ended up getting changed some during the week as we discovered foods we didn’t like or I realized a meal made more or less than I expected.

#whole30 week 1 meal plan

Look how full that fridge is!  Mercy.  I went on a huge shopping trip Saturday to get everything on my insanely long list.  #whole30 groceries

And of course I had to enjoy one last Dr Pepper and Reeses before starting!

Photo Feb 28, 11 38 35 AM

Alright, here we go!

Day 1 (Sunday)

breakfast – Saturday night I fixed baked eggs with spinach, tomato, and onion and then warmed it up for breakfast Sunday.  I was not impressed.  For one, I don’t like cooked tomatoes (I just thought I’d give them a try again) and also the consistency was too wet.  I also had roasted potatoes with rosemary.

#whole30 breakfast of tomato onion spinach egg bake and roasted potatoes

I knew I didn’t eat enough, especially since I didn’t eat very much of the frittata, so I wasn’t surprised that I was very hungry by the time church was over.

lunch – After church we fixed tuna with avocado and some kale chips.  The tuna was delicious!  Michael tried mine and liked it so much that he wanted me to fix him some which was so surprising to me.   Hudson loved it too and gobbled it up.  I felt like we ate a bunch but I was hungry pretty soon after so it wasn’t filling enough.

#whole30 lunch avocado tuna, cucumbers, and kale chips

snack – For snack I tried this broccoli/carrot/avocado/grape/pumpkin seed salad and a boiled egg.  The salad was so-so.  Not the best thing that I’d ever made but not the worst.  It made a TON so I had a bunch of leftovers…which is too bad because I didn’t like it that much.

Still hungry a little while later so I ate half an apple with almond butter (not as good as my beloved peanut butter but it’ll do)

dinner – My favorite meal of the day!  And I finally got full!  We cooked a chicken in the crock pot and had sweet potato fries and roasted green beans.  The chicken and sweet potato fries were recipes that we know and love so it was nice to have some “comfort food”.  The green bean recipe was new and it was delicious!  I loved it.  They were way too spicy for Hudson though so just fyi if you’re making them for your kids.

#whole30 dinner chicken, roasted green beans, sweet potato fries, strawberries

thoughts – Day 1 was a struggle for sure!  Hunger and headaches were the theme of the day.  I felt hungry pretty most all day until supper.  I think like I ate enough for three people at supper to finally get full!  Right before we left for church Sunday evening I got a raging headache that lasted until we went to bed.  I very rarely get headaches so that was unusual.  I’m guessing it was from a lack of sugar.

Day 2 (Monday)

breakfast – I tried chopping up the frittata from Sunday and putting it back in the oven to see if that would dry up the mushy texture a bit.  It didn’t.  I also forgot to roast a potato the night before so I fixed one really quick…too quick because the pieces didn’t get cooked all the way through.  I ended up giving Hudson almost all of my eggs and just eating the raw-ish potatoes and some bone broth that we made after we cooked chicken last night.

(bone broth = spicy broth made from the bones of the chicken from the previous night’s meal.  It’s supposed to be super good for you and it’s delicious.  Recipe here)

Breakfast fail.

#whole 30 breakfast of spinach onion tomato egg bake, roasted potatoes, and bone broth

lunch – Lunch was almost a fail too.  I had planned for us to eat sweet potato fries…I hadn’t planned on us eating so many the night before that there were very few leftovers. Then I planned to bake a sweet potato in the oven but I forgot to put it in before lunch.   So I decided just to throw a sweet potato in the microwave.

Our microwave has an automatic potato sensor thingy but we never use it and as I’m merrily fixing my salad and the potato is smelling very strong I think that maybe it’s been in there a little too long.  I look and it says it still has 10 minutes left but when I open the microwave smoke comes billowing out!  I had to open the doors and windows and turn on the fan (luckily it was on the upper end of freezing outside instead of the single digits!).  The potato was dry and felt petrified.

(Update: on Saturday our microwave still smells like burnt potato…oh my!)

However, the rest of lunch was amazing!  I made orange poppyseed dressing (waaaayyyy better than the boring olive oil and vinegar homemade dressing I’ve made in the past when trying to avoid store bought dressing) and used the leftover chicken, lettuce, radishes, and cherry tomatoes to make a big salad.  We ate what was left of the sweet potato fries and had some macadamia nuts on the side.

#whole30 lunch chicken avocado salad with orange poppyseed dressing

snack – Another round of the broccoli/carrot/apple salad, which held up surprisingly well, although I liked it less on day 2 than I did day 1.

dinner – I made “the bomb chili” in the crock pot along with roasted brussels sprouts.  Other than forgetting to thaw out the ground beef and having to cook forever to get the frozen meat browned, this was an easy and delicious dish!  There are tons of veggies in it but you don’t notice them (at least, I didn’t) so it’s a good way to get extra vegetables in.  It’s very different from my normal chili recipe and the consistency is much thicker, more like sloppy joes.  But it was still good, although Michael didn’t like it as much as I did.  Hudson loved it!

I cooked the brussels the same way I do our roasted broccoli, minus the parmesan, and they turned out great!  I’ve always been afraid of brussels sprouts but not anymore.

#whole30 dinner the bomb chili, brussel sprouts, strawberries

snack – I felt hungry before bed so I had an apple with almond butter.

#whole30 snack apple with almond butter

thoughts – I woke up with super puffy eyes.  That only happens if I have a big cry the day before but I hadn’t so I really have no idea why that happened.  I’m not sure if was related to Whole30 or just a weird coincidence but it was very strange.  My hands also felt swollen which happens after I eat a ton of salt (like tortilla chips) but again, I didn’t do that the day before so who knows.

I’ve upped my water and can definitely tell since I have to go to the bathroom more frequently!  Today I had a very mild headache in the afternoon but nothing like the one Sunday.  My milk supply seems to be fine; in fact, I felt like I had more milk than usual this morning when we woke up.

I have been very impressed and surprised with how well Hudson has done with our meals.  I have given him everything we eat and he has eaten great (better than me at times)!  He loved the mushy tomato eggs, gobbled up tuna (which had raw onion), ate radishes and chili and broccoli salad.  The only things he has really rejected were the roasted white potatoes, brussels sprouts, lettuce, strawberries, and the roasted green beans (I made them too spicy…you should have seen his poor face when he ate them – I felt terrible!)

Photo Mar 01, 12 39 41 PM

Day 3 (Tuesday)

breakfast – After the tomato spinach frittata was a bust I decided to try another frittata recipe.  This one was asparagus, spinach, and mushroom.  The only problem?  I hate mushrooms.  The consistency was so much better with this recipe but the mushroom taste was so strong and in every bite that I just couldn’t eat it.  I will be reusing this basic recipe but leaving out the mushrooms.

So again I mostly just had my potatoes and broth for breakfast.  Time to find another egg option that I actually like.

#whole30 breakfast spinach mushroom asparagus fritatta with roasted potatoes and bone broth

lunch – Leftover chili with avocado, some veggies (honestly can’t remember now), and some macadamia nuts.

dinnerBuffalo ranch chicken stuffed peppers (using the leftover chicken from the crock pot chicken) and roasted cauliflower.   I didn’t not care for the stuffed peppers but the cauliflower was delicious!  So, so good!  I’m usually just meh about cauliflower but this recipe was fantastic.

And now I’m sad that I used up the chicken for this meal and can’t have any more yummy salad right now.  Sniff.

snacks – apple with almond butter, tangerine, boiled egg

thoughts – I think it’s good to experiment with new foods or even to try things that you haven’t liked in the past, but when you’re trying to stick to a strict diet it might not be the best time to try those foods that you hate and hope that you magically like them…chances are you won’t and now you’re stuck with an inedible meal (and you can just pull out the Frosted Flakes and eat a bowl real quick since you didn’t like what you fixed!).

Also, today I woke up with a sore throat.  It went away after a few hours but I can’t help wonder if it was a coincidence or maybe related to detoxing from Whole30?

Day 4 (Wednesday)

breakfast – Ok no more eggs with yucky ingredients for me!  I abandoned the frittatas and scrambled eggs with onion, green pepper, and spinach.  Finally an edible breakfast!  I also had roasted potatoes and broth.

#whole30 breakfast scrambled eggs with peppers onions and spinach and bone broth

lunch – Leftover stuffed pepper and same salad as Monday (minus the chicken)

dinner – Baked sweet potato, boiled egg, berries, leftover roasted cauliflower

snack – apple with almond butter

I ate a whole apple this time (usually I just do half) and quite a bit more almond butter because I felt like my milk was dropping some so I was trying to increase my calories, fat, and carbs a bit.

thoughts – This was the first day that I didn’t feel crazy hungry all day…I’m sure eating a good, filling breakfast probably played a big part in that!  Still having a headache, mostly in the afternoon and evening.

This was also my first Whole30 “challenge”.  We had to go to church early to help serve the meal for the college kids and normally I would eat there, but not while on Whole30.  So before we left I ate my apple with almond butter snack, I didn’t eat anything while we were there, and then after church I ate another snack-y supper.

Day 5 (Thursday)

breakfast – Same thing as Wednesday

lunch – A serious snow day calls for some comfort food!  Leftover chili, avocado, kale chips, and berries

#whole30 lunch chili with avocado, kale chips, and berries

dinner – Green chili chicken with cumin roasted carrots, baked sweet potato, and berries.

The chicken was good.  Not like the best thing I had ever eaten, but still good.  I did not like the flavor of the carrots but Michael and Hudson both loved them.

snack – apple with almond butter, tangerine

thoughts – The first day without a headache!  Hooray!

Day 6 (Friday)

breakfast – Decided to fry my eggs this morning so I had two fried eggs, roasted potatoes, bell pepper strips, and broth.

#whole30 breakfast fried eggs with roasted potatos, bell pepper strips, and broth

lunch – We had a random assortment of leftovers.  I had leftover green chili chicken with avocado, some berries, and kale chips.  Hudson had (and thoroughly enjoyed) leftover buffalo chicken and avocado.  Wow that was a mess!

Photo Mar 06, 2 05 26 PM

dinnerSpicy tuna cakes with roasted asparagus and berries (strawberries and blackberries).  The tuna cakes were delicious!  Sweet yet spicy and so good!  We all loved them and are going to have them again next week.  So yum.

snacks – apple with almond butter, tangerine

thoughts – I don’t feel horrible anymore and I’m not having to spend as much time in the kitchen as I expected…things are looking up!

Day 7 (Saturday)

breakfast – Two fried eggs, some bell pepper strips, roasted potatoes, and broth.  Good and filling, although I’ve just about had all the roasted potatoes I can handle so it’s time to change it up a bit for next week!

lunch – Avocado tuna with cucumbers and baked sweet potatoes

dinner – We tried cinnamon orange shrimp and it was fantastic!  Too spicy for Hudson though so next time I’ll cook him some separately.  We also had zucchini, roasted butternut squash, and berries.

snack – Apple with cashew butter (this was my first time trying cashew butter and I didn’t like it); tangerine and some macadamia nuts

thoughts – I woke up slightly stopped up and feel like I’ve got a bit of a cold coming on.  Sore throat a few days ago and then this…more coincidences or is detoxing my body causing some dormant sickness to spring up or weakening my immune system so that I’m catching stuff? (…who knows, I totally made those things up so that might not even be legit).

I also noticed that I’m not getting nearly as hungry between meals and not feeling like I have to eat as much at each meal.  The first few days I was starving but now I feel pretty satisfied throughout the day.

I did get pretty mad (at no on in particular, just in general) Saturday night as I was getting ready to make a new breakfast dish for Sunday morning that I had to cook yet another meal and wash more dishes.  I felt exhausted (I’m sure the minor sickness wasn’t helping) and like I really just wanted a break from fixing food! (totally opposite of how I was feeling Friday funnily enough).

Thoughts for the week:

Well I tried some new foods and recipes that were a big, fat bust, but I also tried some new ones that were huge winners!  The most exciting thing is that I survived my first week!  Once I got past the first few days and my headaches and the hunger subsided it got a whole lot easier.  Actually I was surprised, compared to dieting in the past, as to how few cravings I had for sugary things.  Usually I really struggle with that for a few days.

I do feel like my milk has dropped some, especially in the afternoon, but since Hudson is 13 months and eating good meals I’m not as concerned about it.  I am trying to boost it a bit but it’s not a huge problem that makes me feel like I need to quit Whole30 at this point.

Notes: This meal plan is probably far from perfect.  Because I am still breastfeeding I have been more lax about having snacks (Whole30 recommends no snacking), eating fruit (I think you’re supposed to just eat 1-2 servings a day and I’ve been doing 2-3), and also eating potatoes multiple times a day.  So just fyi if you’re planning to do Whole30 definitely read the book or read the guidelines to make sure you are doing it correctly.

But for the most part when I’m planning my meals I start with my protein, add at least 2 veggies, make sure to have some healthy fats, and then maybe some fruit on the side.

I have linked to all the recipes from this week but if you’re more visual or want to see all the recipes I’ve collected, check out my Whole30 board on Pinterest.

(oh and in case you care our dishes are Corelle’s South Beach pattern)

I’ve got another week of meals planned and the groceries are purchased so here we go sailing into week 2!

Valentine’s, a first date, snowmaggedon, and a birthday

2015 has been eventful, y’all!  Between the Great Washing Machine Flood, the stomach bug, and now this, we’ve had quite a year!

So let’s talk about what all happened during this seven (eight?) day period:

Friday, February 13 – Our youth at church hosted a Valentine’s dinner for all of the married couples.  Michael and I went and had a blast!  Some of the teen girls watched the little kids in the nursery so we were able to drop Hudson off and enjoy dinner without him.  I had to go get him about halfway through the evening because he was fussy and needed to be fed, but we were able to get our meal eaten before that happened and it was nice to have a break!

The event was wonderful.  The kids were the servers and they did a fantastic job, there were games and fun and laughter and I just really enjoyed it!  I hope they do it again next year.  And thanks to my mad math skillz I won a huge jar of candy because I got the closest guess of how many pieces were in there.


Saturday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day!  We slept in, ate a yummy breakfast of bacon, eggs, and strawberry muffins, and just hung out around the house.  I (attempted) a Valentine’s photoshoot with Hudson.  I’m not sure how great the pictures ended up (I really need to learn how to use my camera!) but he sure had fun playing in the candy!



Check out these pictures of Hudson from Valentine’s last year.  Crazy how much he has changed!


That night Michael’s parents came to watch Hudson so we could go on a date…our first date since before he was born!  Yep…we had not been out alone in over a year.  Pathetic.

Being totally out of the dating scene we had forgotten how crazy it is to go out on Valentine’s.  We didn’t make reservations or anything so as we’re leaving the house we start calling some restaurants to see what the wait was going to be.  First restaurant: an hour and 45 minutes.  Yikes!  The next was two hours and another was two and a half.  We only had about a 4 hour window that we could be away, plus we were hungry!  We ended up going to Chuy’s, a Mexican restaurant that we love, and the wait was less than 30 minutes.

Our dinner was great and it was super nice to not have to wrestle Hudson and try to feed him while trying to eat our meal and keep him from screeching or throwing food on the floor.  It’s not that he’s terrible when we go out, he’s actually pretty good, it’s just that it’s stressful for us.  After we ate we went to Barnes and Noble and wandered around a bit browsing before heading back home to Hudson.  Who had, of course, had an absolute ball with his grandparents.

Sunday, February 15 – We’d been hearing snow forecasted for several days and the amounts just kept growing and growing.  By Sunday they were saying that the snow would start during the night and we would get 13.1 inches (Where on earth did the .1 come from?  Sounds like a half-marathon of snow).

You northerners may be laughing, but here in the south we don’t do snow well.

After church Sunday morning we stopped by Kroger because we were out of Hudson’s yogurt.  Hudson and I stayed in the car while Michael ran in to the store – he said it was a madhouse!  There was not an empty cart to be found and people were everywhere.

He made it out alive and we decided that while we were there we might as well fill up with gas.  Bad idea.  The gas pumps were even worse!  There were cars lined up at each pump and people were acting so crazy.  It was like a mass panic.  The snow is coming!  The snow is coming!  We were finally able to get gas and get out unscathed.

I have never seen snow more than about 4 inches deep in my life so I was really looking forward to getting a big snow and went to bed Sunday night with anticipation.   However since we never get snow and they so often predict it and nothing comes that I tried not to get my hopes up.

Monday, February 16 – President’s Day and Michael is off work.  Hooray!  We wake up to a gorgeous blanket of snow!  Double hooray!  More snow then I’ve ever seen!  And it just kept coming down all day.  We opened all the blinds and for the most part stayed cuddled up inside watching the snow.  Poor Michael had to shovel the driveway, and then shovel again, and again!



I wanted to take Hudson out in the snow and pull him on my old sled so we bundled him up (he doesn’t really have any snow appropriate clothes so I just layered as many things on as I could) and took him outside.  We put him on the sled and Michael pulled him maybe five whole feet before he had a complete meltdown.  He was not a fan!



When we took Hudson outside the snow was up to 8 inches.  By the end of the day Monday it was 10 inches deep in our yard!

IMG_0384IMG_0387Tuesday, February 17 – Michael goes back to work, Hudson and I stay huddled at home.  Not only did we get a ton of snow but it’s also super cold so nothing is melting (usually around here if we get snow it doesn’t stick around very long at all).

Wednesday, February 18 – We get two more inches of snow!  Church is cancelled because the roads are still horrible.  Hudson and I are both starting to feel like this

IMG_7903Thursday, February 19 – The roads are a little bit better but now the temperature is in the single digits and negative numbers.  I would have liked to get out but not in these conditions!  Cabin fever is a killer.


Friday, February 20 – The main roads are starting to clear up.  Michael only works a half day and then we all load up to run some errands and GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE!  Lunch at Chick Fil A, Babies R Us to get a noise machine to try and get Hudson to sleep better, the library, groceries, etc.

Ahhh.  Fresh air!  Freedom!  It felt amazing.


Saturday, February 21 – My 28th birthday!  My tradition growing up that I carried over into our marriage was to get breakfast in bed on your birthday.  However, eating breakfast in bed with a squirmy, active toddler is about as far from relaxing as I can imagine.  Instead Michael went out and got donuts for my birthday breakfast.

I just wanted to stay home and relax so that’s what we did.  I actually ended up spending a good majority of the day working on taxes but I guess that’s what happens when you’re an adult.  At least I felt productive!  I also spent some time reading It Starts with Food to learn more about Whole30 (you know, as I sat there eating another glazed donut…).

it starts with food #whole30

My mom was planning to come watch Hudson so Michael and I could go out for my birthday (dates two weekends in a row?  Could this be?) but they had avoided our tons of snow and gotten a bunch of ice instead so she couldn’t come.  So we went out as a family to Red Lobster and had a grand time.  Hudson was great (although he ate half my meal!) and it was the perfect birthday dinner with my boys :).

And that, my friends, is a recap of our crazy, snowed in week!  Our schools here were out of school the whole week.  Many of the schools in Tennessee, just a few miles south of us, were out of school for two weeks!  Unheard of!   But even after our roads cleared up to go back to school it stayed pretty cold so the snow on the yards stayed much longer.  In fact, it’s been over two weeks since that first snow and we still have some snow in our yard!

(As I type this we are getting weather reports that another storm system is moving in, this time predicting 3-12 inches across the state of Kentucky.  Last I heard we’re in the 6-10 inch area so we’ll see what happens but I have to say that I’m not at all interested in any more snow and I’d be very happy for it to just move on to spring, please!)

What has your weather been like this winter?  More snow/ice/cold than usual?  Less?  Are you ready for spring too?

when the plague hits

Well I was going to just mention Hudson’s first tummy bug in this 13 month update post but it kind of took on a life of it’s own so I decided it deserved a post all to itself.  So here you go…a post all about puke.  Enjoy.


Michael, Hudson, and I go to a meeting at church about summer church camp.  Michael has to leave early and Hudson starts to get fussy so I throw him up (pun totally intended) on my back in the Ergo to calm him down and finish out the meeting.  As things are winding down I lean over to take some notes on my paper, hear a gag, and when I straighten up Hudson hurls all down my back.

All over the carrier.  All over the back of my shirt.  All over the floor.  All over himself.


Fortunately there were plenty of people who stepped in to help me out and cleaned up Hudson, changed his clothes, cleaned up the floor, bagged up the soiled clothes, etc.  And thankfully I had on a sweater over my shirt so I was able to take my vomit covered sweater off for the drive home.

We drive home and honestly at that point I thought it was no big deal.  He had eaten a huge lunch and I figured that when I bent over and it squished his stomach against my back it just forced all that food back up.  He’s quiet on the way home just watching Daniel Tiger.

I suspect nothing.

Until I open the door to get him out and there is vomit everywhere on him and the carseat.  I call Michael, who is almost home, so Hudson and I just sit there and wait for him to get there and help us.

Commence clean up.

And yet I still didn’t think it was that big of a deal.  I thought maybe he had some bad food or something.

I shower.  We bathe Hudson.  Michael heroically cleans up the carseat and disassembles it to put the cover in the wash.  That way it’ll be dry before church tomorrow.  Because this is just a fluke and we’ll totally be going to church tomorrow. 


A little bit later the three of us are playing in the living room floor and all of the sudden Hudson makes a face or a sound or a gesture or something and we just know.  I grab Hudson and Michael cups his hands and catches the puke so that only a tiny speck hits the carpet.

That’s a good man, I tell you.

Now I’m thinking food poisoning and that obviously things aren’t as they should be (uh…duh Caitlin) but he’s acting fine other than throwing up.


We (mistakenly) feed him supper.  Michael goes to change his diaper and he barfs all over the changing table.  Cleanup number (what number are we even on?) and bath #2 for Hudson.


We put him to bed and hope the worst is over.  He wakes up fussing so I go pick him up to rock him back to sleep.  I have finally wised up and get a bath towel to wrap around him and good thing because as I’m holding him he coughs, sits straight, throws up all over us, lays his head back down, and immediately goes back to sleep.  Poor thing.  We had to wake him up to change his pajamas and get him cleaned up again.

(no wonder he didn’t want to smile in the family pictures we had taken that morning, huh?)


The vomiting has stopped!  We made it through the night without incident.  All is well!

Then we go to change his diaper before church and all is NOT well.  We’ve just switched from one end to the other.  Michael goes on to church, Hudson and I stay home.  We contact our friends and cancel the Super Bowl party that we had planned for that night.

But thankfully other than some diarrhea he acts like he feels fine.  We just try to stay hydrated and relax.

IMG_7759 copy


Other than some yucky diapers little man seems fine.

Monday evening though I start to feel nauseous.  For some reason though we think it’s a good idea to order a pizza for dinner.  Easy, you know?  No cooking.  Never mind the total grease factor.

My nausea gets worse and worse through the evening and by the time we go to bed I just want to throw up so badly because I just know I’ll feel better.  But that doesn’t happen so we go on to bed.

At 3:30 in the morning I wake up, bolt out of bed, run to the bathroom, and empty the contents of my stomach and probably every other organ I possess into the toilet.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve thrown since I was a child so this is not a common occurrence for me.  And it was bad.  And apparently loud because Hudson wakes up and starts crying.  Michael can’t get him calmed back down so after the worst is over I climb back in bed to rock Hudson to sleep.  Once he’s back asleep I get up again to clean up the bathroom and figure out how to get the stench of puke out of my nose before going to sleep.


We wake up and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.  I’m so weak I can hardly carry Hudson upstairs to change his diaper.  Michael has gone out of town for work so he can’t come home and take care of us.  I call the only other person who you want when you’re sick…mom.

She says she’ll be there in about two hours so I turn on Daniel Tiger to distract Hudson and we pitifully share a piece of dry toast.


Mom arrives armed with saltine crackers and soup and other mommy magical sickness goodies and takes care of Hudson for the day so I can rest.  By the end of the day I’m feeling much, much better.


The worst was finally over.  I still have no idea what hit us.  Hudson threw up five times that first day then had nearly a week of diarrhea.  I only threw up once and then had a day of feeling weak and nauseous then I was fine.  And Michael just had a very mildly upset stomach (which is so crazy because usually he’s the one with the ultra-sensitive stomach).

But we survived our first (and what I wish would be our last, but I’m sure I won’t be that lucky) family plague.