Being a New Mommy (or heck, just being a mommy)

… is hard. Like, y’all, this stuff is hard. And people told me that before I had kids but one can NEVER know how hard it is until you’ve got a little baby screaming in your face and you have NO FRIGGIN’ IDEA WHAT TO DO. The funny thing is that I thought it would get easier as she gets older, but it just seems to get harder and harder. For different reasons, of course. I’m trying to be more thoughtful and more prayerful through this Lenten season and from doing so, I’ve discovered some of what makes this all so challenging.

 

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How cute is this face?

 

1) The crying is really hard but not for the reasons one would think

At first, I thought the crying would be hard because it’s loud. And before I had her, I thought, eh, even if it’s loud, it won’t be that big of a deal. No. It is not because it is loud. It is because my body has a full on, physical reaction that comes from the gut when she is upset. And depending on her cry, it gets exponentially worse. I want to help her as quickly as possible, but sometimes don’t know why it’s happening. Is she hungry? Is she tired? Is she teething? Does her stomach hurt? Is she developing mentally? Is she growing physically? Does she have a fever? WHY ARE YOU CRYING BABY I WANT TO HELP IF YOU JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED I SWEAR I WILL GIVE IT TO YOU!!!!!!! So sometimes, it’s just trial and error. And now, over the past month, she’s had those cries where she’s just pissed. Pissed that I put her on her back on the changing table, pissed that I laid her down, pissed that she can’t have my boiling lava hot cup of coffee. Either way, I have a visceral reaction to her cries like nothing I’ve ever felt.

2) I have no idea if the path I’m taking as a parent is a good one

There is an article that comes out daily on what mistakes I’m making as a parent. Kids that watch tv will have ADD. Your baby is not getting enough Vitamin D so you need to give them a supplement. Supplements are bad for your baby. You shouldn’t give your newborn the vitamin K shot because it’s bad. You are endangering your child by not giving them the Vitamin K shot because they could bleed to death. Ugh. I am destined to mess her up. How can I not?

 

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Her new rain coat! Thanks Peggy!

 

3) I’m very sensitive to the fact that I am parenting in a non that usual way and others are judging me

I know this is weird, but I am weird, so it makes sense. I’m following the Attachment Parenting model because honestly, it makes the most sense to me. It comes naturally to me. I found myself reading Dr Sears’s book and saying, yes that’s how I feel! It’s not for everyone and especially here in the South, it’s not for anyone. And when I’m by myself, just little Ellie and I, it’s no issue. It’s hard because I have to learn to be patient as she goes through different life stages, but I’m willing to do it because I just can’t put her in a room by herself to cry it out, I’m not going to deny her food if she’s hungry, and I don’t care about a schedule. When I become sensitive is when I’m in pubic and my velcro baby doesn’t want anyone but me. In reality, that’s exactly what attachment parenting is all about. A baby that is securely attached is one who “become[s] visibly upset when their caregivers leave, and are happy when their parents return”.    But to others, I’m seem like a crazy person. They want to hold her, but she isn’t having it. She wants mama. And so I get embarrassed because I somehow think they’re judging my parenting. My husband says, who cares and don’t worry about it, so I try to be that way, but it’s hard. How can I be confident that what I’m doing is right but still be worried that others are judging me, I have no idea. But I’m a little bit at a level of cray that my husband can’t understand anyway. So yeah…

 

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4) I have a hard time being uncomfortable

I was thinking about this yesterday. Part of what makes parenting so hard is that I can’t run from it. When I’m at my wits end, and I just think I can’t take anymore, there’s no where to go. In the past, I would do my usual things like make myself super busy so I don’t have to deal with the issue, ignore it, eat myself out of it, go for a run, whatever. I would use whatever vice was available at that time. But she needs me. She is 100% totally dependent on me. I brought her into the world and it’s my responsibility to make sure her every need is taken care of, so I can’t just run out. I have to sit with her crying, sit with her mad, be there even when there’s nothing I can do. I feel powerless. And that’s hard. I have to be present and be there for someone else.

 

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yeah, I need to do my hair and makeup – don’t judge me!

 

Suddenly though, there’s a day when she’s so happy. And she laughs at everything. And I get to see her pure joy as she discovers a whole new world and I know that it’s all worth it. Yesterday, we went down to the play area in our neighborhood. I had Ellie strapped into my Ergo and we sat in the swing together. I WISH I could’ve gotten a picture of her face. She was SO STINKIN’ HAPPY to be swinging. It was the coolest thing. Then we walked down to the creek and saw a beaver and again, she was amazed. Heck, I was even amazed by that. My point though is that I felt her pure joy and it made me so happy to have that moment with her. And I suddenly forget how hard it is and realize that I’m absolutely the luckiest person in the world to have her.

Meal Plan Monday

I need to do a video blog because I’d really like you all to hear how I’m saying this. Imagine Pat Sajak in the background saying:

MEAL

PLAN

MONDAY!!!

It’s obviously not as effective as if I were yelling it you. But oh well, back to our point. Here’s the meal plan for the week.

Breakfast: Eggs and bacon OR oatmeal with sunflower butter, bananas and strawberries

Lunch: Leftovers or Applegate Farms gluten free chicken nuggets with fruit or hopefully some type of veggies

Monday: Ribs – I bought the ones they had on sale at Whole foods which I’ve never done before. I think they were St Louis style or something like that, so I need to figure out a good recipe. This is what I’ve used before, sweet potatoe fries (I basically just cut sweet potatoes into fry shapes and roast them – olive oil, salt and pepper)

Tuesday: Leftover ribs

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken (olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano), beet chips (still haven’t made my beets yet), and asparagus

Thursday: leftover chicken

Friday: Turkey burgers, grilled carrots

For baby: I’m going to make pureed apples, pureed sweet potatoes and pureed avocado (some meals, I’ll mix together). I have been using some Earth’s Best food, but I hate her eating that type of stuff, so I’m trying to get it together and make stuff this week. She moves to 7 month food next week and I can try some other things

I’m going to try very very hard this week to blog more. My goal is 3 posts a week, and for them to not all be about eating. As I said earlier, I’d like this blog to be a source of information for breastfeeding diets, especially with an infant with food intolerances, a journal for those who don’t follow the standard parenting path (somewhere you read something and go, oh thank goodness someone else does that too), and hopefully, some crafts too! So far, I have been failing miserably, but hey, that is exactly what us moms do, right? (I kid)

Meal Plan Monday!

So, I strayed a bit from my meal plan last week, but ended up pretty much on task. I forgot to put the chicken in the crockpot and so Tuesday, we had to eat out. The gluten free wraps were gross, so next time, if you’re making that chicken salsa verde, put it on some rice. I did that and it was way better. I am also ditching the Rice Cereal. It’s just not what I want in the morning. I’m going to get some oatmeal next time, but for this week, it’ll be eggs, bacon and fruit. Simple and yummy.

 

Breakfast all week long: Bacon (this bacon is the bomb), eggs (organic of course, I try to buy local, but Whole Foods didn’t have the local brand out this time – when our farmer’s market starts here in Greenville, I’ll get lots of stuff from there) and some fruit. This week, I bought

  • 2 melons (they were on sale, one is cantaloupe and the other was a canary melon)
  • strawberries
  • bananas
  • and we still have some leftover apples and oranges from the week before

Lunch: I plan on having leftovers of the meals below but if for some reason, there’s nothing leftover, I bought some gluten free chicken nuggets , some avocados, and I have some frozen veggies still (365 brand)

Monday Dinner:

Pork Tenderloin – I’ll probably do an herb encrusted loin

Mashed Sweet potatoes

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 

Tuesday:

Free night because my husband and I are celebrating a milestone for him

 

Wednesday:

Rack of Lamb

Beets – I can’t decide if I want to do beet chips, roasted beets, or a beet salad

Brown Basmati Rice

 

Thursday:

Wings – I just do an olive oil and lime marinade

Corn on the Cob

Friday:

free night

 

What are you eating this week?

Gluten Free Pasta – Yums

If you read my blog post yesterday, you know that we had Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops. I had to adapt the recipe because I need it to be gluten free, dairy free and soy free. Just a warning, a food photographer I am not, so, don’t judge me!!!

This recipe is an adaptation from one found on SkinnyTaste 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 lb bay scallops, dried well – I went to Whole Foods with the intention of getting fresh scallops, but they were out so I got frozen
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided –
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 14 oz can diced petite tomatoes, drained
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 7 oz angel hair pasta (DeBoles gluten free rice pasta)

 

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I had the scallops on a napkin to dry them out as much as possible

Directions:

Put a large pot of salted water to boil.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once it’s very hot, place the scallops into the pan (half of the scallops at first), and allow them to brown without moving them around. After about 30 seconds, flip them over and allow them to brown on the other side. Take them out and place on paper towel or napkin to soak extra moisture. Finish the other half of the scallops.

The next time I make this, I’m going to make some changes. If you’re using high heat, olive oil is not a great choice. I was just following the recipe, but next time, I’ll use grapeseed oil or something that handles high heat better. Also, I don’t enjoy cooking on high heat because it pops in your face. I might experiment with less heat and cooking the scallops longer. 

Add the pasta to the boiling water, and follow the instructions on the box. For rice pasta, you have to be careful not to overcook it because rice pasta gets soft quickly. 

Reduce to high heat and add the remainder of oil. Add the garlic and cook until slightly brown. Add the tomatoes, wine, salt and pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of parsley, and remove from heat.

The other thing I’ll change is adding less liquid. I’d also like to cook the tomatoes a little longer because I like them to break down a bit more. The original recipe calls for white wine, but my husband and I don’t drink and I don’t like to keep wine around the house for that purpose. I bought white wine vinegar instead, which was good, but should be reduced to about half of what the original recipe says. There’s plenty of liquid with the canned tomatoes and olive oil, so reducing the wine would be fine. 

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Add the scallops and remove from heat.

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It was nice to eat something different and the flavors together were really good. It came out kind of like a pomodoro sauce which is one of my favs! Super healthy!!

and then I finished it off with this –

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Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Vanilla Glazed donuts – they’re actually really really good

Yums 🙂

Meal Plan Monday

So I think I’m going to a regular post called Meal Plan Monday. I’m not sure everyone is dying to know what we eat every week, but maybe it’ll help you plan your meals. I’ve found that planning out my meals a)makes my grocery bill cheaper and 2) helps me stay on track with cooking and not eat out so much. There’s a limited number of places in Greenville that provide food that’s dairy/gluten/soy free and I’ve worn those out, believe me. So I’m hoping this little post will help as well 🙂

This week’s meal plan is inspired by a new blog that was recommended to me, SkinnyTaste. She has a gluten free section and a paleo section, so with her help and my knowledge of substitutions, I have found some things to try. At one point, I was eating dairy, gluten, soy, nut, egg and beef free and that felt impossible to find recipes. Paleo is probably closest but they LOVE nuts, so it was hard to find anything I could use there. Vegan uses a lot of soy which is what bothers Ellie the most and most gluten free things have both dairy and soy in them. Either way, I’ve learned how to substitute really well and now that I’ve reintroduced eggs and nuts, I feel a lot more free.

Monday – I actually still have to go to the grocery store because I never made it yesterday, so we’ll see what happens.

Breakfast:

  • Bob’s Red Mill brown rice cereal
  • Ellie and I shared a banana and some strawberries as well
  • Coffee with coconut creamer, french vanilla
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Ellie double fisting strawberries & bananas

Lunch:

  • Applegate Farms Turkey burger patty
  • leftover fingerling potatoes, roasted with olive oil
  • So Delicious coconut ice cream bar

Dinner:

(I’ll blog about substitutions later because there’s a lot I’ll have to do)

FYI – I just reintroduced scallops/shrimp with her, because I wasn’t sure how she’d react. The jury is still out, so we’ll see after tonight if she does okay. I ate salmon once and she had blood in her stool, so I’m not sure if it’s just salmon. I’ve eaten shrimp before and she was fine.

Tuesday

Breakfast

  • Brown Rice Cereal
  • Fruit of some sort
  • Coffee with coconut creamer

Lunch

  • Leftover pasta

Dinner

Wednesday

Breakfast

  • Same – I’m trying to finish the bag of rice cereal so I can get oatmeal. Or possibly quinoa – those are much better for the morning but I also don’t want to waste food.

Lunch

  • leftover chicken

Dinner

Thursday

  • Repeat breakfast and lunch

Dinner

  • Leftovers, depending on what’s left – either the chicken or the chili

Friday

  • repeat breakfast and lunch
  • Dinner is a free day, so we’ll probably go out to eat

By Friday, I’ll have to revisit the grocery store for things and I’ll re-evaluate what dinner will be for the weekend. Sometimes, we like to cook in, sometimes, we’ll go out. The goal is to have most weekly meals at home though. If you’re gluten free, dairy free, soy free or have any type of allergies, some good places to visit are:

Let me know what recipes you’re trying this week!

Week in Review

I am really trying hard to start posting more regularly. The biggest setback this week was having to change nannies. I was without a nanny for about a week, and let me tell you – stay at home moms should be commended. I work from home, but that time that I get at my desk, interacting with other adults via telephone is a welcomed break. The days that it’s just Ellie and I are cherished but I’m typically exhausted by bed time. Some days, I get some stuff done around the house, others, I’m lucky to brush my teeth. So as someone who has done both, staying at home is WAY HARDER than being a working mom in terms of being ragged. As a working mom, leaving my baby (even if it is just to go upstairs) is hard. I’m super grateful that my boss let’s me get the best of both worlds because I couldn’t imagine dropping Ellie off at a day care. I probably wouldn’t unless it was absolutely necessary.

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Ellie looking at the monkeys at the zoo

We went to the zoo together which was actually our second time going. This time, though, she was a little more alert and could respond to the animals. She really liked the monkeys, big cats, and elephants. We didn’t get to see the whole thing, because she was getting tired and fussy towards the end. It was a fun mommy/daughter date though.

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the future’s so bright

She absolutely HATES the sun being in her eyes, so luckily, I found these glasses that a friend gave us. I haven’t put them on her outside yet, but next zoo trip, we’re giving it a shot! In the meantime, she likes to eat them.

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Mommy got to take a shower!

We have discovered sesame Street (not the show because we don’t watch TV, or we TRY not to watch it), but another friend gave us these animals and she loves them. I actually took a shower at one point and she occupied herself. Ernie is her favorite so I play the rubber ducky song a lot. It’s surprising how much she likes him.

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eating peas – yum

I’m going to do a separate post on Baby led Weaning but after a little scare, I decided that I would give her a combination of puree foods and my food. This is her eating peas which she liked a lot.

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Mashed purple sweet potatoes

She didn’t like these as much, but they’re a little thick. This wasn’t a store-bought puree, this was my own recipe, water and mashed sweet potato. She still ate the whole thing, it just wasn’t as pleasing as the other stuff.

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she loved this

There really wasn’t any corn on it, it was basically the cob, but she likes anything she can chew on. And it was probably sweet.

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Her newest obsession

She’s going through a bit of a clingy phase, but she’s also going through a curious phase so she wants to grab and touch everything she sees…. from the comfort of my lap.

Lastly, this week was the beginning of Lent. Ellie and I went to mass on Wednesday evening and both got ashes on our head! While it was interesting having Ellie try to eat the pew, the hymnal, the missalette, my fingers, the laminated sheet of prayers and her outfit, she was relatively quiet and I got a lot out of what Father Pat said. He said don’t give up chocolate or something like that, give up something that separates you from Jesus. I really liked that and interestingly enough, I did that this year. I decided that for Lent, I am giving up

  1. being critical of others – For whatever reason, I’ve always had this “defect” of character. I think initially, it was a defense mechanism for low self-esteem. It made me feel good to see the faults in others, when what I was really doing was trying to convince myself that I was okay. And it may still be that a bit, as being a new mom really does shake one’s confidence. I’ve noticed that I get really nervous when I’m around others with Ellie. I was running with a mom the other day and Ellie was a bit fussy. I felt unsure of what to do because in reality, I always just respond to her cries, but I know in the mommy world, that’s not really accepted as much, so I didn’t want to appear “weak” to the other mommy, even though she’s not judgmental at all and has always been supportive, it’s just my own inner critic and the fear of not being liked. So maybe part if my being judgmental is me being defensive but I think the other part is me just being arrogant, plain and simple. It’s still coming from the same place, that place of separation and that’s not what God wants of us. Jesus always talked about us being one. Our struggles are one in the same, so what I should be doing is loving others and He loves me, warts (while they are my own perception so who knows if they’re even real) and all. This is going to be very hard and I’m really going to need prayer to help me stick to it.
  2. cussing – In reality, I don’t think that God cares that much if I cuss, but usually when I’m cussing, I’m either being critical (see above), or complaining in some way. I’m never just like, Oh good effin’ morning!! It’s usually like, that driver is an effin’ moron. The words are so aggressive and coming from a place that is absolutely separate from God.
  3. Be more prayerful – Being Catholic, I never have an excuse to not pray. There is a prayer for everything! So if I’m at a loss for words, I’ve got some I can say. But there’s also time for my own words too, so instead of turning to the things above, I can say a quick prayer instead. I can get up with Ellie in the morning, and we can pray together. Pray before meals, helping me have gratitude for the blessings in my life. Thanking God at the end of the day because there’s much to be thankful for. There’s a lot I can pray about and while I usually say one strong one in the evening, I feel I need to do much more than that.

What are you giving up for Lent?