SOLD!

Well folks, we’ve got some big news coming out of the Amspacker household!

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

Not just any house, but a beautiful, big, mid-century home with a white picket fence and a big oak tree out front.

It’s pretty much our dream home.

Catch? Does there always have to be a catch? Well, yes.

This wonderful, beautiful home is located in central Pennsylvania.

Like three-and-a-half hours away from good ol’ Sayre, PA central Pennsylvania.

Now, let me start off by saying, it was never a goal or dream in my lifetime to move to another middle-of-no-where small town, or even a town with close ties to Penn State, because well, I went to Temple University and my blood runs cherry and white, not white and blue. T for Temple U.

But there are two things in this three-and-half-hour, middle-of-no-where small town with close ties to Penn State University that make this move worth it.

Their names are Gabriel and Owen, my amazing stepsons.


Now, instead of being far away from them, we will now just be a short drive away.

A short drive away from their mom’s house, a short drive away from their school, a short drive away from baseball, basketball and any other sports, or anything, they decide to do.

We can now be the crazy, overbearing, cheering-too-loud parents we’ve always wanted to be and not just there for activities on every other weekend.

After going through a brutal custody battle in the beginning of the summer, and losing. Aaron and I were left with some choices, but really only one option. If we wanted to have the best environment and family for the boys, we needed to relocate to Mifflin County.

And so the house hunt began.

Well sort of, upon seeing a few houses online, we got together with a wonderful realtor (thanks again Kim!!) and we ended up putting an offer in on the first house we saw!

After a grueling mortgage process (seriously, I’m in banking and I don’t understand why it is always so tough), we finally closed on this beauty last week!!


It’s real now.

It was hard to wrap my mind around this all happening when everything was a hypothetical. Now, it’s real. We own a home. We are painting, we are moving, we are unpacking. It is ours.

Ours.

While I may be moving from my home town, and Aaron moving away from his home for the past eight years, we are making our own home in Lewistown.

Because home is where the heart is, and our hearts are with our boys. There’s no running from us now!


So I may be a little MIA for the next few weeks while I try to wrap up the last few days at work, packing and unpacking and starting a job in t-14 days.

But don’t worry, this process has already inspired many blog posts, and ways to further embarrass my stepsons when I pick them up from the bus stop.

Cheers family. 🍻 🍷 🍹

The Potty Trials

So Charlie pooped on the potty! Exciting, right? Yes and no.

I never thought my daughter would be ready to start potty training before I was ready for her to. I mean, seriously, who wants to change diapers?

Now, I keep having flashbacks of the bright green, raisins and stained carpet.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s take it back to where it all began.

My daughter makes distinct noises and crouches down like she is a tiger stalking her pray in a field of tall grasses when she goes number two.

I became acutely aware of this after she added some company to one of our baths one night.

While cleaning up, I noticed some crouching tiger hidden dragon going on in the corner of my living room.

Upon this discovery, Charlie and I made our way to the bathroom to sit on her stinky skunk potty.

It was then I realized the hard part is keeping her on the potty long enough to do the deed.

So, I did what any parent would do. I bribed her. I let her play with something she knew she was never supposed to touch, my nail polish bottles.


After picking up and dropping all of the nail polishes, the thunder came down into my bathroom.

It was really the sound the got my attention. It was like a rescue airplane dropping gallons of water on a burning fire in California. The sound also scared my daughter so much she jumped up off the pot before she was actually done going and got it all over the bottoms of her pajamas and shoes.

The color, the smell, oh goodness she ate raisins today.

Between figuring out how to clean this catastrophe in the corner of my bathroom and pure shock that Charlie actually used the potty, I missed the tiger crouching down behind me on my bath mat. After cleaning out the potty and yelling congratulations to this little child, I turned just in time to catch her finish her poo all over my bathroom rug.

It was then we decided to take the second bath of the day.


And when I realized I needed more wine, a lot more wine to even consider the potty training process for at least another month.

So, whenever you think you have a bad case of the Mondays, just think, you could be cleaning multi-colored poop off the floor while chasing a pant-less toddler. Or you could borrow mine for a few hours.
Cheers. 💩

Another year older, another year wiser?

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, I smell like baby poo, happy birthday to me!

Welp, one year older.. one year wiser? Maybe.

Looking back on the past year it has been heartbreaking, challenging, and absolutely incredible. Our family has become older, stronger and closer than we ever have before. My darling daughter turned one, and my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary.

So what has being 26 taught me? In a nutshell.. life goes on.

26 was filled with amazing memories of taking Charlie to Philadelphia, watching friends get married, growing with my husband and watching my amazing step-kids grow up, etc.

But it was also a difficult year. I mourned my grandmother and close friends taken too soon. I watched a custody battle breakdown two boys and my husband. Friends moved away and friendships drifted apart. Divorce drew lines in the sand.

My point? I am still here talking about the last year.

I am still here watching my daughter turn into a vivacious toddler. I am still here snuggling with my husband after a long day at work. I am still here FaceTiming with my stepchildren every chance we get.

Life doesn’t stop when bad or tough things happen. So, we can either let these challenges hinder us from succeeding, or let them fuel the fire pushing us to go better, faster, stronger into our futures.

Recently I have been studying the Bible. Obviously I was not a good Catholic girl growing up because this has been the first time I have cracked the good book open to see what God’s message says to me.

From 1 Corinthians 10:13 :

“Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.”

I can’t lie, I am still so new with the Bible that I did google search what part of the Bible that quote was from and even how to spell it, don’t judge.. it’s a sin. 😉

But the meaning behind this quote has kept be motivated to get up every morning and put a smile on my face. God only gives us what we can handle. We all have tough times, difficult days, heartbreaking situations.. so God must think we are all so incredibly tough.

It’s true. We are given this life full of challenges and obstacles that turn into beautiful life changing events and build the character of the person we are today.

Fifty years from now when I turn 77, I am going to look back on my life and ask was I a good person? Did I make a difference in this world?

I won’t remember the stress of trying to make ends meet. Or the nauseating feeling watching people lie in a court of law. Or the sting of losing friendships.

I’ll remember the joy in my children’s eyes. The motivation behind decisions for our family, and how we chose to stay happy.

I will also have one of my great-grandkids make me a stiff margarita while riding shotgun in one of their fancy flying cars and tell them all about what the internet was.

I will remember how this was the year I finally started to believe in myself. I stopped second-guessing and underestimating myself before I even tried. I started to build confidence and fierceness, cue Beyoncé music.

So happy birthday to me, one year older and yes, one year wiser. It’s a new, fresh start.

The moral of the story here, people, is treat everyday like it’s your birthday. Wake up fresh, be nice to people, and don’t let the small stuff, or big stuff, keep you down and keep you from doing you, dawg.

First and last time I’ll say dawg as a late-twenties woman, whoops I said it again. Look at this 27-year-old tryin’ to be hip like she know somethin’

Cheers to another trip around the sun.

Momma, make that milk!

It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week!! Shout out to all of those milk-makin’ mommas out there!!

Breastfeeding my daughter for over a year is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Not only is it the best thing to feed my daughter, but it also created a magical bond between us. I wouldn’t trade the sore, cracked nipples, late night feedings or bites for anything!

I quickly became obsessed with making more and more milk, because ‘what if Charlie didn’t hit the quota of wet diapers for the day?’

And then I obsessed over making too much milk, ‘oh no Charlie spits up after I nurse her, I’m now overfeeding her.’

Which are both crazy thoughts I had during the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.

Check that six month chub!
Check that six month chub!

I felt like once I got the hang of nursing her, I was only a few weeks away from going back to work and had to build up a stash in the freezer for her while I was away… ‘There’s no way I can make enough milk when I’m only pumping one ounce.’

Then I really became obsessed with making more milk.

And more milk.

And more milk.

For over a year I pumped twice a day at work and nursed at home. And scowered the inter-webs for ways to make more and more and more milk. Some things worked, some things didn’t.

Here’s a list of all the thing that worked for me –

10 Tried and True Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply:

  1. DRINK! – Drink lots of water, drink your weight in water. Up your water intake and you will see a boost in your supply!
  2. Nurse on Demand – I tried schedules, I tried saying no, but when I cut back or made Charlie wait longer to nurse, my supply dropped. Nursing is a supply-demand kind of thing. The more your nurse + the more your body thinks it needs to make milk = more milk.
  3. Lactation Cookies – the best midnight snack during those middle of the night feedings. I tried a few difference recipes, but the best one I found was from BellyBelly . It comes down to the amazing, milk-making ingredients, like coconut oil, flax seed, BREWERS YEAST (emphasis on this milk boosting ingredient), and oatmeal. I added some chocolate covered raisins to mine for some extra oomph.
  4. Mother’s Milk Tea – This goes back to the water intake, but this tea seemed to have magic in it! Though I do have to warn you, you have to develop a taste for it. I drank one cup a day at work in between pumping sessions!
  5. Blue Gatorade – Back to drinking your weight, blue Gatorade is amazing. I don’t know why the blue, but that seems to be the key. I recommend the blueberry pomegranate or glacier freeze.
  6. Pump – Pumping can be tough, but the stash you build and how it affects your milk supply make it worth it! Make sure you get a good pump, I have a Medela Freestyle, and pump after you nurse. It will help trick your body into making more milk, and you will create a supply for when you are not near your babe.
  7. Power Pumping – Once you get the hang of pumping, try power pumping a few times and see if it helps. Pump for 20 minutes, stop for 10, pump for 10 more and continue for about an hour, or how long you have till the babe needs you. This will help trick your body into thinking you need to make more milk.
  8. Look at your baby – While nursing, take in that bald head, long eye lashes and baby-soft skin. Soak in all of the love and bond you two are creating together. If you’re pumping, look at pictures or watch videos of the babe.
  9. Switch sides – Charlie was a one-side feeder, so I was constantly lopsided, but it did help my supply on the days I could get her to nurse off both instead of one.
  10. RELAX – This is my biggest tip – if you are stressed, anxious or sad, it will drastically affect your milk supply. As a postpartum woman your hormones are already going haywire and your haven’t had decent sleep since before you found out you were pregnant, so relaxing isn’t something you do often, but try. The minute you let the muscles in your back loosen up and exhale that deep breath you will really see a difference in your supply!

Need help relaxing? Cheers with a dark beer. The darker the beer the more active yeast. Brewers yeast is key in breast milk production!

All of the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it momma.

Milk coma!

Not only did you create a magical being inside your body, but now you are giving this baby all of the vitamins, nutrients and liquid that it needs to survive for the first six months.

You are a miracle too!

Cheers to normalizing breastfeeding.

Frustratingly Frustrated

Emotions have been ringing high in my house the last few weeks. There is an underlaying tenseness in the air. And I am too stubborn to let it fade away.

Let me start over by saying MY emotions have been ringing high for the last few weeks. There’s no doubt. I’ve been cranky, grumpy, tired (i.e. welcome to motherhood), but I, especially, have been on an emotional roller coaster that has apparently gone 90 m.p.h. downhill, crashing into my house.

My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago, my daughter is cutting molars, she and I are weaning from breastfeeding, and we are just days away from a custody hearing for my stepsons. Easy peasy.

My husband and I seem to be nipping at each other’s heels for the sake of, well nothing. Oh that lovely nine-month-plateau, that’s real, right?

And as I have learned through this nipping, I can really only 100% touch base with myself. So, here I am. I’ve realized I’m too stubborn. Too stubborn to give in. Too stubborn to let my guard down. And I’ve gotten to the point where I am too stubborn to fight.

I get extremely frustrated with dealing with all of the emotions in my house. I’ve baked three loaves of banana bread in five days, I ate them all. By myself.

I’ve tried exercising. I’ve tried cleaning. I’ve tried blaming the dog, but she just gives me her big, saggy, sad eyes and my heart melts all over and I’m back to being frustrated.

Until I realized, I haven’t written a post in a while because my emotions were numb. I have plenty of post ideas, rough drafts, brainstorms, ven diagrams, you name it, but I didn’t have the emotion – or understanding of my emotions – behind the words.

I finally found my muse – frustration.

Typing, the finger strokes on a key board, the sound of keys making thoughts come alive – it keeps me steady, its consistent. 

I hope you didn’t come to this post in hopes of finding ways to deal with your emotions or frustrations, because frankly I have no clue. 

Like I said earlier, I can only really check in with my emotions so here it goes.

I am frustrated because I feel like my voice is not heard. I am frustrated because I think I have plateaued. I am frustrated I can’t help with my daughter’s pain. I am frustrated because I can’t help with my husband’s pain. I am frustrated with how people treat other people and think it’s ok. I am frustrated that my dog has suddenly stopped listening. I am frustrated that good people are taken from this earth. I am frustrated with politics. I am frustrated because so many people put their own feelings and bitterness before their children’s well-being.

And though I may feel lonely at times, I know I am not alone with these feelings.

But it’s how we handle these feelings that make us who we are. And set us a part from the rest of the herd.

Don’t dwell on things you cannot change, on rude attitudes, or poisonous people. I am a firm believer in karma, and whenever she comes around it won’t be pretty.

What’s the point in always being angry? Nit-picking? Fighting? Bitterness? Holding grudges?

That doesn’t sound like a fun, light, healthy life to me. Sounds heavy and quite frankly, agonizing.

Now I’m not saying lets sweep everything under the rug until it all piles up and explodes all over the crazy emotional rollercoaster that crashed in my living room. (Psh, I’ve never done that before).

So let’s all take a breath – in through the nose, out through the mouth – sit back and really check in with what fights are worth fighting. And are you arguing for the sake of conversation?

Still frustrated? Talk to the main man upstairs. He always points me in the right direction.

After all these late night ramblings, I’ll cheers you with my three cups of coffee in the morning.

Easy, Fun Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

I’m all about good food. And easy food. Especially since I’m new to this whole eat-something-nutritious-for-dinner-not-a-bowl-of-cereal thing. And I thought I wasn’t turning into my mother.

I have had plenty of failed recipes that I have tried to do for my family and blog. You don’t even want to know about the turkey and zucchini meatballs that pretty much destroyed my oven and my daughter’s appetite.

But this recipe not only hits the spot when it comes to satisfying taste buds, it’s easy on a busy mom and makes the house smell fantastic! And with a giant, 120 lb dog that is sometimes a hard thing to do at my house!

DSC_0362

On the particular day I made these, I quick mixed everything together, threw it in the fridge, took a walk with one of my besties and came home rolled-it up, threw it in the oven and it was ready just in time for some Grey’s Anatomy and wine time with her!

My daughter is also eating anything we eat and she loves this!

DSC_0365

Molly also galloped through my house whenever a piece was dropped on the floor. I used the few rolls that were left over for lunch for the rest of the week. SCORE!

This dinner is a winner all around.

I’m not a big meat in my lasagna person but it would be very easy to add in some ground venison, beef or turkey.

This goes excelled paired with wine. Red or white. Just as long as it’s wine really.

Cheers!

DSC_0370

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot
Website Skinny Taste
A modern and easy take on a classic lasagna recipe. Perfect for beginners and hungry people.

Ingredients

  • 6 Lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 15oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 clove Garlic

Note

Tip: Lay cooked noodles out on foil or wax paper before adding cheese. This will keep them from sticking to your counter.

Directions

Preheat
Step 1
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Sautee spinach and garlic over medium heat until spinach is wilted.
Boil
Step 2
Boil water and cook lasagna noodles.
Mix
Step 3
Combine spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with one cup of the sauce.
Spread
Step 4
Lay out cooked noodles, pat dry. Spread spoonfuls of the cheese mixture onto noodle until it's evenly covered.
Roll
Step 5
Roll noodle up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until all noodles are in dish.
Cover and cheese
Step 6
Cover noodles in remaining sauce. Top each noodle with mozzarella cheese.
Cook
Step 7
Cover dish with foil. Cook for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Step 8
Enjoy!

Guilty Mommy


So it happened, the thing all parents fear.. she fell.

My daughter fell. From a pretty high height. She fell off of her diaper changing table.

On my watch.

She cried. I cried (harder than her). She bruised and healed, and I still felt the guilt of her falling and hurting herself.

I am her mom. Her mother. I gave her life. And I watched her fall and get hurt.

Now, this was a few weeks ago but I am still reminded of what happened daily when I change her clothes or change her diaper. So, to combat this reminder, and to reduce the potential fall factor, I started changing her on the floor. Can’t fall from there.

My 11-month-old wiggle worm cannot stay still. Not even to get a diaper change. So even though the floor is now a huge changing mat, it is still a struggle to get her changed or dressed.

Today I was tired, today I was achy and not in the mood to wrestle a diaper onto a crying baby who just wanted to move.

So I took off the dirty diaper, wiped the baby bubble butt and let her go. Onesie undone and one sock on, she crawled around her room, onto her toys and finally focused on playing with her rocking chair.

She’s laughing as I’m watching this miracle of life play and have fun in front of me. I am in awe of how much she has grown and her personality. And even though I’m tired, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. So I grabbed her to blow raspberries on her belly and join in on the fun.

When I snagged her I noticed her thighs were a little wet. “You better not have peed,” I told her. Nah, she couldn’t have peed, I’ve been watching her – must be from the wipes.

Mind you, when I put her down her cheetah-print hooded head was rolling all over the floor near her rocking chair.

I put her diaper on, while snapping her onesie it feels damp. “You seriously better not have peed.”

Concerned, I look for a wet spot on the carpeted floor, no spot. I inch closer to the chair and sniff and rub the carpet.. feels a little wet. Smells a little like pee.

Oh man.

I look at my little girl and give her a defeated look and pull her in for a hug. I wrap my hands around her and brush against her hood. Her sweatshirt up to her hood is completely soaked.

Oh boy.

I quickly undress her and stand up to put her on the changing table away from the urine soaked carpet and I notice the wet stains on the knees of my brand new leggings.

Oh brother.

I stealthy change her all without one peep or wiggle from my maniac mover. I look down at my newly clothed baby who is smiling up at me and her eyes are sparkling with joy. That’s when I realize she’s up on the changing table and I was ok, and more importantly, so was she!

It still amazes me that I am responsible for this little life. She is mine and I am hers. There comes a point as parents when we have to let go of the guilt we carry and be in the present with our babies.
For me, that was the whole pee-on-the-floor thing.

You’re not alone moms and dads, babies cry, parents cry. Then life goes on, faster than most of us ever imagined. So be in the present, learn from the past and look forward to the many more adventures in the future.

Cheers.

20- Minute Spinach and Tomato Pasta with Chicken

I can be extremely indecisive. Like stare-at-two-things-for-20-minutes-without-picking-anything indecisive.

Especially when it comes to food.

Have you see the meme with Noah from the Notebook about girls picking food? Yeah, that’s me.

I’m usually hungry and Pintrest until my stomach is about to eat itself, then pick something and think it’s too hard so then I end up eating cereal.

Well, cereal for dinner days are over since Charlie is starting to eat real food and solid meals.

That’s when I came across this masterpiece – Spinach, Tomato Pasta with Chicken. DELICIOUS!!

Holy tasty!

I found it after work, went to the store, cooked it and was eating all within an hour. EVEN BETTER! It also makes a BUNCH of food which is great because I tend to cook on Mondays and eat leftovers until I lick all the Pyrex containers clean.

I am a spinach fanatic so my recipe has almost double the amount the original recipe called for.

I also wish I shredded the rotisserie chicken before I started making the sauce, I think everything would have gone smoother.

But regardless, my mistakes are your gains! Now it will be even easier for you!

The sauce is a thick, creamy goodness and gives you your fill of carbs with fresh spinach and tomatoes.

I used canned diced tomatoes (drained), but you can always chop up some fresh ones if you would like the tomatoes to have a stronger structure.

Quick and easy dinner with lots of leftovers!

Spinach and Tomato Pasta with Chicken

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Website Gal on a Mission
Spinach, tomatoes, chicken - OH MY! This quick and easy dinner will be sure to please your family and your taste buds!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic (Minced)
  • 3 cups Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano (Dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thyme (Dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Basil (Dried)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (Drained)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 16oz Box of Pasta (Penne or Ziti Recommended)
  • Parmesan Cheese (To Top)
  • Salt and Pepper (To Taste)

Note

Using rotisserie chicken cuts down even more time and is easy and delicious!

Directions

Saute
Step 1
In olive oil, saute garlic, minced onion and spinach in dutch oven. Simmer over medium heat.
Pasta
Step 2
Boil water for pasta. Cook per package directions.
Boil
Step 3
Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to dutch oven. Add drained tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to boil and stir.
Add
Step 4
Add chicken to sauce, stir.
Whisk
Step 5
In small boil, whisk together half & half and flour until smooth.
Stir
Step 6
Stir in flour mix into sauce. Mix thoroughly until sauce is light pink/orange color. Let sauce simmer until pasta is al dente.
Add
Step 7
Drain pasta and add to sauce. Mix.
Step 8
Top with parmesan cheese, more tomatoes and/or more spices. Enjoy!

With and Without Series: Friday Night

TGIF! Freaking TGIF! I don’t know about all of you but THANK-FREAKING-GOODNESS it’s FRIDAY!

Last week was not just rough for me at work, it was rough for: my husband who has been pretty much working 24/7 on expanding his business (he even has a nice ol’ shiner to prove it), my big puppy who has been having nightmares and Charlie, who has a sinus infection, leaving her congested and coughing.

So let me say it again, THANK GOODNESS it’s the weekend!

I have so many things I will be able to do this weekend… like fold one of the three baskets of clothing that are meticulously placed throughout my house so I will not be guilted into doing them. I’ll go to the store and make something since we’ve been living off leftovers and pizza this week. I am finally going to freaking clip Charlie’s nails, she’s starting to look like the Wolverine. And I’ll start planning her first birthday party since it’s only a few weeks away.

I’m going to do all of that on Friday night so I can spend the rest of the weekend relaxing with my family and enjoying the sunshine!

Obviously I had an ambitious itinerary for the start of the weekend. So, let me tell you what really happened..

This is the introductory blog post into a new series I like to call ‘With and Without’ where I will explain the differences in everyday tasks when you do not have children vs. when you do.

WITH AND WITHOUT : FRIDAY NIGHT 

  5:00

Without kids: Yes! Out of work, time to dance, time to relax. Hmm.. what to do? Let’s snag a co-worker and go grab a drink! That will be fun! Get out and socialize a bit, relieve some of the stress from the week. Who is ready for happy hour?!?!

With kids: Yes! Out of work, time to dance, time to relax. Hmm.. what to do? I hope my husband picked up the baby from daycare, it closes at 5. Call him, no answer. Fingers crossed and head home. Good, he’s home with the baby, but baby is crying, baby is hungry. Let me put my bags on the counter quick and feed her. Phew, now I can sit down for a few minutes. Pull out phone to catch up on all the social media from the day, take a deep breath, yes, it is finally the weekend. Transcending into relaxation, you look into your darling daughter’s eyes while she’s nursing and it hits you that this has been what you’ve been looking forward to all week. Then, OUCH, she bites you! OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, not only is she nipping at your nips, she has a bear trap locked on you and is pulling, biting and tearing with her two baby teeth. So much for relaxation.

6:00

Without kids: Just finished a happy hour specialty cocktail. Let me call my girlfriend, she just go off work maybe she’ll meet me for dinner! I don’t have much planned for tonight, time to hangout and have some fun, ITS FRIDAY!!

With kids: Finally got the Sabertooth Tiger of the nip, now she’s walking around the table laughing at me. Grab her fun Violet dog, that will entertain her for a few minutes, maybe I’ll grab a basket of laundry quick. Oh, and I have shows recorded! Yes, I’ll fold quick and catch up on a show while she plays, perfect!! Get set on the couch with all my weapons: laundry basket, remote, some puffs just incase Char wants a snack. Perfect. Come on Grey’s Anatomy! Two t-shirts in and watching April and Jackson’s relationship start to deteriorate, and the tv shuts off.. WTF? Oh you better believe little Char angel loves the blue lights on the cable box – which she is now pounding on changing all of the settings, while laughing with her two-toothed smile.

7:00 

Without kids: Dinner time! I’m starved! There aren’t any tables available at the restaurant so we’ll just sit at the bar for dinner, it’s more fun there anyway! It’s so nice to catch up with friends and unwind from the week. Oh look, girlfriend A, B, C and D are here too! It’s fate we came here, we can all eat dinner together!

With kids: Laundry basket is still half full, folded clothes that were in piles on the coffee table are being strategically thrown about the living room by an enthusiastic 10-month-old. My stomach starts growling, my husband is working downstairs, maybe he’ll want to get something to eat? Grab Char, her food, a bib, spoon and head down to the restaurant. Hubby is busy, restaurant is packed, no tables available only the bar – crap I can’t put a high chair at the bar. Guess I’ll head back upstairs and feed Char and I’ll snack until hubby gets off work. Pop Charlie in her high chair and give her some puffs to hold her over while I spend ten minutes cooking up a masterpiece meal of baby food, yogurt and kiwi. Do you know how long it takes to cut kiwi? Time to teach this girl how to eat it out of the skin. Oh crap, the dog needs to go out. Grab Char, put her in her jacket, run Molly downstairs, wait for her to pee, run back upstairs. Put Char back in her seat and re-warm up her food. Perfectly place the kiwi on her tray, Charlie looks at the green and black-seeded fruit, smiles, grabs a handful and squashes all the pieces into pulp in her hand. Attempt to feed her yogurt and baby food, but she gags and spits it out. Looks like it’s puffs for dinner.

8:00 

Without kids: Dinner was delicious! We did finally get a table and now all of my girlfriends are here and we’re on our third round of margaritas! We’ve been talking about jobs, boys, shopping, reality tv and, of course, Grey’s Anatomy! Last night with Jackson and April, ah I couldn’t believe it! I definitely cried! Oh look, the guys at the bar bought us some shots! Bottoms up!

With kids: Run a bath because the kiwi squasher is sticky and messy from spitting out all of her food. Take a nice, fun bath where you, of course, get soaked because you thought it would be a great idea to teach Charlie what ‘splash’ means. Manage to get her out of the bath, diapered, lotion up, and in pjs in less than ten minutes (MOMMY WIN!)! That’s when your sinus infection-ed daughter gets into a coughing fit and spits up all over you and her pajamas. Time for some new pjs.

9:00 

Without kids: We didn’t want this night to end so we moved back to the bar to catch up! The girls think we should all go dancing tonight! There aren’t too many places with a dance floor around here but if we’re all together we won’t care where we dance! Bottoms up ladies!

With kids: New jams and we’re back on the couch, Charlie is getting tired so it’s the perfect time to nurse her again and try to put Grey’s back on, I wonder what happens with Jackson and April!?! Finally, relaxation. Then my stomach grumbles, but Charlie is nursing and her eyes are fluttering closed. Getting her to sleep > me eating. At least Grey’s is on. Crap, I can’t reach the remote, oh well I’ll just watch the commercials – first world problems, right?

Down for the Count! 10:00 

Without kids: Dance, dance, dance, dance! I would have never thought this  night would turn out like this!! SO much fun!

With kids: Fell asleep during first commercial of Grey’s.

11:00

Without kids: Still dancing

With kids: Still sleeping

1:00 AM 

Without kids: Headed home, so happy tonight turned out like this! It was nice to finally catch up with my friends, now time to go home and sleep in tomorrow!! I’m going to stay in my sweats all day! Maybe I’ll re-watch Grey’s just for fun!

With kids: Still sleeping. Husband came home from work while you were sleeping and didn’t want to wake you. We’ll catch up in the morning over coffee. Tomorrow you’ll fold the clothes, plan Charlie’s party, go to the store, maybe you’ll even paint your nails? Oh, and watch Grey’s!

THANK GOODNESS IT’S THE WEEKEND!

Kid-Approved Spinach and Apple Muffins

I love my carbs. I love my sugar. I pretty much love anything that tastes good, not necessarily things that are good for me.

Before I had my daughter, eh, it was no big deal. I would eat my salads and protein, but I would also eat a whole container of ice cream in one sitting.

But I can’t feed my 10-month-old ice cream for dinner.

Charlotte has been exclusively breastfeed since she was born. At about six months we started feeding her baby food. I was extremely interested in trying baby-led weaning (BLW), but with food allergies running in my family, I was very hesitant and we decided to go with purees first, then BLW later.

Now, months later, I am lost at what to feed my daughter. She’s a fairly good eater, besides carrots. But I’m having a hard time finding healthy choices for her to snack on and for meals.

Plus, it has been extremely easy for me to just whip out my ‘milk makers’ and feed her whenever she is hungry instead of making something to eat, or more over, being creative enough to come up with healthy, tasty options for her.

I have neglected some possible blog posts this week in order to research “kid-friendly,” “toddler-approved,” healthy food options.

And then I came across these muffins!!

 Questioning my sanity because of the green color? Don’t! They are actually extremely delicious and easy!

My Charlotte loves them, and has my manners – check that massive, straight shove into her mouth.

Shoving her face

Charlie is easy since she’s so little, she pretty much just shoves everything in her mouth – at least once. But for toddlers, who may not be quite keen on green, try something fun to call them like ‘Hulk muffins’ or ‘Green machines.’

Enjoy!

Kid-Approved Spinach and Apple Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Website Tribe
Veggie packed muffins that are kid-tested and approved!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Spinach (Raw)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • pinch Salt

Optional

  • 1/2 cup Carrots, Squash, Zucchini, Kale, Beets, etc. (Shredded)

Note

I found the muffins stayed moist when lined in baking cups and had a crispy edge if baked in pan alone.

Directions

Preheat
Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Blend
Step 2
Add applesauce, spinach, egg, vanilla, banana, syrup and coconut oil to blender and blend till smooth.
Dry Ingredients
Step 3
In separate bowl, add rest of dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Mix
Step 4
Slowly mix the blended mix with dry mix. Can do this in mixer or by hand. Batter gets fairly thick, add splash of milk or water if you think it's too much.
Bake
Step 5
Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 6
Enjoy!