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.



whole30 here we go

I’m taking us on a new journey, dear readers.  A journey through my Whole30 challenge.  If you follow my Facebook page then you’ve seen my #whole30 posts recently and maybe you were curious (or maybe you don’t give a rip but too bad ’cause I’m going to tell you anyway).

I’m not going to go on and on trying to explain the program.  You can check out the official Whole30 website or Google (or search Pinterest) and you’ll find tons of info.  Also, It Starts With Food is the book that goes along with Whole30 and would be a good thing to read if you’re seriously considering.

it starts with food #whole30

Basically it comes down to this:  for 30 days (starting Sunday, March 1) I’ll be eating meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats.  And that’s about it.  No dairy.  No grains.  No beans.  No peanut butter (!!) (because peanuts are technically legumes).  No processed foods.  And definitely no added sugar.  It’s like Paleo but stricter.

(see the Whole30 rules here)

Why?  WHY? Why would you want to do that?

Several reasons, really.

At first it was just because I wanted to lose weight.  I’ve really struggled since Hudson was born and after researching Whole30 it sounded like something that could help but not drop my milk supply as long as I make sure to eat enough.  “Traditional” dieting has not worked for me while nursing (contrary to the common idea that breastfeeding makes the weight just fall off).  If you’ve been around a while you know about my weight loss journey in college so I know *how* to lose weight, I just can’t use my old techniques while nursing.

But as I researched I realized I want to do this for so much more.  Hudson doesn’t eat nearly as healthy as I’d like since he eats what we eat and that isn’t very many vegetables these days.  I’m also hoping it’ll help with other things too such as changing my mindset about food, fixing digestion issues, and re-training my body to enjoy real food over processed.

So are you never eating cheese or bread again?

No.  I mean yes.  I mean…I do plan to introduce those foods back into my diet.  I do not feel like Whole30 is a long term way that I’d like to eat.

Part of the thing with Whole30 is that after you finish your 30 days (or longer if you want to keep going longer) you start slowly adding in the foods that could be trigger foods for health issues (gluten, soy, dairy, etc.).  You see how that makes you feel and evaluate whether you think you should eat them or not (read It Starts With Food if you want to know more specifically why they don’t want you to eat those foods).  I personally don’t feel like any of those foods are big issues for me but I want to try going without them just to see (what if they *do* make me feel bad and I’m so used to it that I don’t realize?).  But unless I find that I really need to avoid one of those foods then yes, I will add them back in.

My plan after Whole30 is to go back to eating the way we did during our 100 days of real food challenge – lots of whole, real, minimally-processed foods (including dairy, grains, and beans).

Why am I telling you this?

I fully intended not to say anything because what if I fail?  I was just planning to pop on here in a month and be all “let me tell you about this great lifestyle change I made this month – I’m so much healthier and I lost weight and it’s great!”  Unless it didn’t make a difference and then I wouldn’t say anything.  But then I realized that I’d rather share my journey with you and have that accountability so here I am.

It’s going to be hard.  I don’t eat a lot of meat and I don’t eat a lot of vegetables so it will be a challenge for those to make up the majority of my diet.  But is it impossible?  No.

My meal plan is made.  My grocery list is made.  I’m going shopping this afternoon.  I’ll start prepping what I can this evening.  I’m celebrating my birthday with family tomorrow and will probably overindulge on junk.  And then Sunday it begins.

whole30 meal plan

So here we go.  30 days.  No cheats.  No junk.

Who wants to join me?  We can do this together!

family photos with GingerSnap Photography {and a giveaway}

{this giveaway is now closed}

You know, I’m pretty good about taking pictures of Hudson (oh who am I kidding…I take tons of pictures of him!) and I’ve had professional pictures done of him every three months since he was born but I’m not so good about getting family pictures done so when we had the opportunity to get those done recently I jumped on it!

A friend of mine from church and has a photography businesses and I am constantly blown away by how good her pictures are (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend…they are really good – check out her website to see for yourself!).  I was thrilled when Cassie offered to take our pictures and I was double thrilled when she also offered to give away a session to one of my lucky readers!

Unfortunately Hudson was not in the mood for pictures and didn’t want to smile (when The Plague of 2015 hit later that afternoon accompanied with much vomiting I then realized *why* he didn’t feel like smiling) and Michael apparently can’t keep his eyes open in pictures. (sorry Cassie, we’re just giving you practice in having difficult models…)  But we still got some cute shots.  And even if Hudson is Mr. Stone Face he’s still pretty stinkin’ adorable, yes?  
gingersnaps photography 2
gingersnaps photography 4gingersnaps photography 7gingersnaps photography 10gingersnaps photography 1gingersnaps photography 6gingersnaps photography 3gingersnaps photography 8gingersnaps photography 9gingersnaps photography 12gingersnaps photography 5I am so, SO glad we got these made and I’m going to make it a priority to get family pictures done from now on!

Cassie also does babies/kids, maternity, weddings, and engagement.  Check out GingerSnap Photography on Facebook here and the website here to find out more.  And fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win a session of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced on Monday, March 2.

{Update: Congratulations Amber E. on winning!}

Hudson’s 12 month and smash cake pictures

Ahhh I’m so excited!  Hudson’s 12 month pictures are here!  I am so SO thrilled with how they turned out.  He was in a super smiley mood so we got some great shots.6 8 10 20 21I love that our photographer leaves in some of the not-so-perfect pictures too.  This one of his very concerned face cracks me up.
22I love a naked baby bottom and really wanted a few pictures to capture Hudson’s (and, you know, for future blackmail…).  I usually stick to the color pictures (we get copies of very shot in color and in black and white on our disc of pictures) but this one was so striking in B&W that I liked it better.

24BW 28 37 39 44 49And then…smash cake pictures!  So fun!  Shelley (our photographer) made the banner and the “ONE” letters to match Hudson’s diaper and bow tie.  They turned out perfect!

oneI knew colored icing would be messy so I left that off and used multicolored sprinkles instead.  FYI those are still kinda messy!  I learned my lesson and did a super plain white cake for his party smash cake.66What’s this?
67First taste…
68Oooo good!69Too sweet!!7071He was just eating tiny bites of icing so I finally dug into the cake for him to make it easier to pick up some cake chunks and he went to town.737580Sprinkles, sprinkles, everywhere
87Yay!  Cake!

I am so glad that we’ve gotten pictures taken of him every three months.  Seeing the difference three months makes is amazing!  I didn’t realize how much his hair had changed since his 9 month pictures but looking back he didn’t even have his curls then!

Looking at these pictures the day we got them (a little less than a month after they were taken) we realized how much Hudson has slimmed down too.  Since these were taken he has had a stomach bug and started walking and I think both things have contributed to him losing weight but he is definitely not the chunky monkey he was in these pictures.

As always, thank you, thank you, a million times thank you! to our wonderful photographer Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography.  She is so good with Hudson and always does a great job.

Hudson’s adorable bowtie came from here.

(P.S. Does anyone know why the pictures look so odd?  Like kind of wavy or digitized or something?  They look crystal clear and perfect in iphoto but then they don’t look very good when I upload them to my blog.  Something about when I resize them maybe?  Let me know if you have an idea!)

How to remove soured laundry smell

Not that you would ever forget that you had laundry in your washing machine of course, but let’s say that maybe you washed a blanket.  And maybe you forgot about the blanket in your washing machine for TWO WHOLE DAYS.  And then when you realized the blanket was in there and you opened the washer you gagged because the smell was so bad.  And your husband could smell it as soon as he walked up the stairs, not even having to come into the laundry room.  And you were sure it was ruined.

Clearly this did NOT happen to me or anything.  It’s all just hypothetical.

Okay.  Lies.

All lies.

This totally happened. *hangs head in shame*

The smell was SO BAD y’all and I thought for sure that blanket was a goner.

But no worries!  I got the smell out in just ONE washing.  Hooray!  And it was super easy.

I used my normal laundry detergent (I’ve been making my own with this recipe for several years) and added three drops of Thieves and three drops of Purification essential oil.

how to get rid of soured laundry stink

I’ll be honest that I was a little (ok, a lot) skeptical because I’ve dealt with soured laundry in the past and in my experience the smell lingers through many washings.  I love my essential oils but I was sure that it would take more than one “treatment” to get rid of the stink.  But when I pulled the blanket out of the washer the sour smell was completely gone!  I keep picking it up and sniffing it just to make sure and yep, still nothing!

I’m excited to use this next to wash the clothes that were in the washing machine when it broke.  That was four weeks ago and the clothes from that load (which have been washed several times since then) still have a faint sour smell.

(Interested in essential oils?  Contact me to learn more or get started here.)

Hudson’s 12 month update

And here we are…Hudson’s 12 month update!  My tiny baby has grown into a big one year old!  Here’s what he has been up to this month.


At his one year check up he was 23 pounds 9 ounces and 29 1/4 inches long.

Fun fact: he was 6 pounds 14 oz and 19 1/4 when he was born so he has gained almost 17 pounds and grown 10 inches in the last year!

He is mostly in 18 months clothes plus a few of his larger 12 month clothes.  Size 5 disposable diaper.  In his cloth diapers he is on the largest rise setting and the third snap in on each side.

Here’s our fun doctor visit comparison.  It is amazing to see the difference from when he was four days old to now!

12 month dr comparison

It is much harder to recreate this picture with a wiggly one year old!  This is just a sampling of what Michael captured while trying to get a “good” shot for the comparison.



Hudson eats it all!  He can be picky – some days he’ll like a food and then the next day refuse to eat it, but there isn’t one thing consistently that he won’t eat.  Some favorite foods are currently egg yolks (he doesn’t really like the whites when we fry eggs but he’ll gobble up the yolk!), cheese, vegetables from vegetable soup, chicken, sweet potatoes, avocado, Greek yogurt, applesauce, pita bread, toast, and bananas.


A new exciting food for him this month was his first taste of sugar.  We had smash cake pictures done when we did his one year old pictures and then he also had a smash cake at his birthday party.  I did white cake with white buttercream icing both times.  He liked it and ate some but I think it was just too sugary for him so he didn’t eat much and mostly just played with it.  We won’t make it a habit to give him junk food but it was a special treat for his birthday.


We also gave him peanut butter, just a tiny bit on some bread.  He liked it but wasn’t just super in love with it like I thought he might be.  He had his first bites of bacon (along with biscuits and gravy) on Christmas morning.  Yum yum!


Our nursing pattern is still pretty much the same – four times during the day and once or twice during the night, however he’s getting to where he can easily go more than four hours between feedings so it may be time to stretch out his feedings a little more.


What’s that?

Actually, things got better…and then they got worse.  After the craziness of the holidays passed we put more focus on working on Hudson’s sleep.  He had gotten to where he would nurse but not fall asleep at night like he used to and then rocking him to sleep was a multi-hour (yes, really) nightmare.  So instead I would feed him and set him in his cosleeper.  I (or Michael) would lay or sit on our bed right there where he could see us and touch us and we could put his paci in if he dropped it, talk to him if he got upset, etc.

He did really well at first.  The first night it took an hour and a half for him to fall asleep but he did eventually go to sleep.  He just talked to himself and played and then laid and rolled around before he finally fell asleep.  The next night it only took an hour and 15 minutes.  Then an hour.  Then 45 minutes.  Things were looking up!  This seemed like the perfect solution.

And then.  It stopped.

If he falls asleep while he’s nursing (which he has done a few times recently) and I try to lay him down he screams.  If he’s still awake and we put him in his bed he screams.  We’ve have several nights where it has taken until midnight to get him to fall asleep.

IMG_7561This was one night at about 11pm after we had fought and fought to get him to sleep.  We finally plopped him down in his play pen in the living room so we could have a break.

He wants to be held, all the time and preferably by me.  I can’t remember the last time he actually slept in his bed past midnight.  Also when he’s sleeping (and being held by me) he now wants to touch, touch, touch.  He likes to put his hand in the collar of my shirt and rub my chest or shoulder.  I feel like a horrible mom to say this but it drives me batty!  I am just so touched out some days!

Naps are still pretty good….as long as I hold him.  Two naps a day, at 10 and 2 (ish).

So this is what life is like right:  Wake up whenever Hudson wakes up.  I’d love to wake up early to do my Bible study and exercise, but as soon as I get up and leave the bed he wakes up.  Diaper, nurse, breakfast, clean up.  Time for morning nap.  Hold him.  Nurse.  Lunch. Try to run one errand or do one thing around the house.  Hold him for afternoon nap. Nurse.  Michael comes home – hooray!  He can watch Hudson for a while so I can get a few things done.  Supper.  Bath.  Nurse.  Bedtime.  Try to get him to sleep for forever.  Get him back to sleep the whole eight million times he wakes up between when we lay him down and when we go to sleep.  Try to get a few things done in between the many wake-ups.  Go to sleep.

Rinse and repeat.

I’m exhausted.  I can’t get anything done and I feel so frustrated.  I have almost no time away from Hudson.  I adore my child and love to hold him but not all day every day!


That got away from me a little bit.  Sorry to go into a long rant about his sleeping, today has just been one of the more frustrating days.

We are trying some other things to help him sleep and I know eventually this too shall pass, I just feel overwhelmed sometimes.


Also, for the record (because anytime I mention our sleep issues I have some well meaning person tell me I need to let him cry) we do not use the cry it out method.  We just personally feel for this particular child and this particular situation it is not the right thing to do.  I won’t go into details here and I’m also not saying you’re a bad person if you cry it out.  Just so we’re on the same page.

Ok moving on.


Hudson is so, SO close to walking!  He easily cruises around the furniture and walks behind his push toy walker thingy.  He can stand independently for a few seconds but then drops to the floor and crawls.

On his birthday he learned how to climb the stairs.  I ran upstairs for a minute to switch some laundry and when I came back down the stairs I found he had climbed halfway up!  I nearly had a heart attack.  Time for a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs in addition to the one at the top.


He has also learned how to open cabinets.  Cabinet locks coming soon!



Hudson says one word and one sign.  He says “bye” or “bye bye” when prompted (or when he hears someone else say “bye”) and he can sign the word “milk”.  However, he uses the sign for milk to mean a lot more than just milk!  He uses it when he’s about to nurse, he uses it when he’s eating table food and wants more (we’re working on the sign for “more” but he doesn’t use it yet), and he uses it to indicate that he wants mommy (even if he doesn’t actually want to eat milk).

There are tons of other things that he understands but doesn’t say or sign yet.  For example, if you say “no” he shakes his head back and forth.


Previously Hudson would laugh when we tickled him but that was it.  Now he laughs when he thinks something is funny.  It’s adorable!

We went and played at the indoor play place at the mall.  He hated it at first and wouldn’t leave my side but after we had been there a while he started to crawl around and play.


Hudson finally got to meet his African rafikis (Swahili for “friends”)!  Our friends, the Gaineses, moved to Africa while I was pregnant with Hudson; they came home for furlough and we were super excited for our kiddos to get to meet!  So special to have all my babies together.



Christmas!  (It’s actually hard to believe that I’m talking about Christmas in this update, it feels like it was so long ago!)  Hudson had a big Christmas!  He went to Knoxville for Christmas with my dad’s family, Springfield several times for Christmas with my family, Michael’s family, and Michael’s dad’s family, and then Mayfield for Christmas with my mom’s family.  Lots of traveling!  He did pretty well with all the traveling thanks to Daniel Tiger and our discovery that watching tv in the car helped.  He would get a little fussy when we had to drive a long way (especially if it was during nap time) but overall (compared to how he used to be) he did great!


Christmas Eve day at Mamie’s.IMG_7351 IMG_7352

Eating off a silver spoon at Grandmama’s Christmas Eve.IMG_7411

Christmas morning, getting ready to open presents.


Hudson did such a good job pulling things out of his stocking!IMG_7363

IMG_9803 IMG_7370

IMG_9795 IMG_9799 IMG_9812
What do you get for Christmas when you’re a baby and don’t know any different?  A practical gift like diapers of course!IMG_7378


IMG_7422 IMG_7424

IMG_7380 My boys reading their new books.IMG_7383 Taking a nap Christmas afternoon at Joe Daddy and Gran’s.


Playing the piano at Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Squatty’s Christmas night.IMG_7397

other stuff

Baths are fine again; he got over whatever fear he had of them and now he’s back to splashing and playing.  Which is good because between the mess he makes eating and how much he sweats when he sleeps he definitely needs a bath!

Hudson got some hats and gloves for Christmas.  The first time I put them on he was not sure about the gloves – he just kept turning his hands looking at them!



Helping me fold towels the day after our washer broke.

IMG_7477 I love how he sits and looks at books.  It’s so cute!  IMG_7500 IMG_7501

Playing with Mommy’s calculator.  Future math genius in the making!IMG_7510
Trying on ties to find one for his smash cake pictures.  He looks like a little professor here.


Kisses!  We needed a picture for the K in our ABC book…I wanted to use a picture of kisses but I realized that didn’t have any (how sad is that?) so we snapped a few real quick.IMG_7591 IMG_7604

Trying to take some pictures of my big boy.IMG_9857 This is what happens 75% of the time that I try to take pictures…he immediately starts crawling toward me and trying to get the camera!  Silly boy.IMG_9861 He likes to pooch up his lips and say Ooooooo.IMG_9872 IMG_9927 This boy is ONE!IMG_9931 IMG_9941 Family picture at 7:55pm on January 23 (his exact birthday)IMG_9948 The day after his birthday we woke up to a beautiful snow!  This was the first time Hudson had really seen snow (the last time it snowed he was only two months old)IMG_9950 Hudson didn’t care too much for it.  He played with it on his glove a little but screamed when we try to set him down in it.IMG_9952

And that wraps up Hudson’s first year of life!  It’s amazing how much he’s changed physically and in his abilities to do things over the course of the year!

12 month collageOnward and upward to year two, my sweet boy!


A personalized ABC book

personalized Shutterfly ABC book

Have you ever made a photo book?  I’m a “traditional” scrapbooker and prefer to print off my pictures and create my layouts (although I would like to try to dabble in digital scrapbooking someday).  I have made a few photo books through the years, mostly as gifts for other people, but they were very basic and I’ve never really looked into the templates and options out there.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book A and B

At a playdate recently my friend Amber showed me a photo book that her friend had made for her son’s first birthday and I thought it was the cutest thing ever!  She said that Shutterfly has an ABC photo book template – you just put your pictures in and you can change the wording if you want.  Convenient!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book G and H

Michael and I brainstormed words that would go along with each letter of the alphabet.  Then I started going through our pictures of Hudson from this last year to find some that would work.  It took some time but it was fun!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book I, J, and K

In case you need some inspiration, here’s our list.

A – adorable
B – bath time and bed head
C – church
D – daddy
E – enjoying play
F – feet and fingers
G – giraffe
H – hiking, hats, and Hudson
I – iPhone
J – jack ‘o lantern
K – kisses
L – laughing
M – mommy
N – necklace
O – overalls
P – pianos and pouts
Q – quilt
R – reading
S – swimming and sunglasses
T – teeth and towels
U – unwrapping
V – vest
W – wearing
X – xoxo
Y – yum and yay
Z – zzzzzzzz

(we had to get a little creative with some of them, can you tell?)

personalized Shutterfly ABC book R, S, and T

I had a code for a free 8×8 Shutterfly photo book so I used that (I get them all the time – always check before you pay full price!) and all I had to pay was shipping ($7 or $8 I think).  The pages are regular paper pages (not hard like a board book) but for that price I’m not complaining.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book spine

This was a perfect, easy, inexpensive birthday gift!  Not only is it fun for Hudson to look at and help him learn his ABCs but it also serves as a little scrapbook of his first year.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book back