9 Pregnancy Must Haves

November 1, 2016

You’re thinking, yes, yes, you’ve talked about this before. But I have short-term mom brain so really all I can fixate on is this pregnancy and how I’m surviving. 33 weeks, baby. And considering that my midwife & I agree to not go 42 weeks (like last time–10 pounder), that means I will only be pregnant for 7-8 more weeks. WE CAN DO THIS. Yes, the throwing up continues as does varicose crippling pain, as does all the unmentionables (are there any left?) of pregnancy, but I’m so damn grateful for this baby girl that I just am coasting through the finish line. And this is how I’m surviving: 1) Blessed Nest Pillow. My sister gave me one with my second? third? pregnancy for nursing, but it’s also the only thing I can sleep with that comfortably supports my belly and my back and helps prop me up with insane heartburn that’s like a firehose. 2) Bumble Balm. They’re cracked all the time from breathing in & out of my mouth. And frankly, they retain chocolate from my afternoon mint chocolate ice cream, which is an inexcusable tell-tale sign of raiding the freezer. So here it is: my sister’s amazing organic balm collection! 3) Sheepskin slippers. My house is old and cold already. And I live in a version of theses for my toesies. Like, all the time. They make my swollen feet feel better. 4) Sea Salt. Straight up sea salt from the Dead Sea. I feel so much…

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Food on Vacation

August 24, 2016

Meals meals meals. How I do love to cook and eat (when unhindered by little ones). I know some moms are awesome about their kids being super involved with meal prep and while I do make an effort for that by necessity as they’re always with me while I’m prepping food, honestly, I love being alone in the kitchen. A brief run down of what we ate on our vacation-staycation from a few weeks back. Here’s last year’s peek too! Coop granola & seasoned ground pork for yummmmmmy sausage patties. Blueberry & banana & milk smoothie! Shredded pork, homemade guac via Alice Waters, chopped romaine, shredded cheddar, and black beans. King Arthur’s pancakes with loads of Hope Creamery butter! French Almond granola, plain whole milk yogurt, chopped dates, and blue berries! Monster sandwich with roast beef, turkey, ham, two kinds f cheese, onions, lettuce, avocado and lil dippers with hummus. This rhubarb crisp. Never look back. Peaches, cherry tomatoes, almonds, goat cheese, romaine, yup! Layers and layers of lasagna with mild spiced ground pork from the coop, lots of cheese, and homemade sauce. Don’t forget the basil and pepper. Another shot of the crisp. I may have doubled the topping. Snooker doodles. What a weird name for a cookie that I devoured in about 25 minutes. Nearly lots of them. Not telling how many. Okay. A lot. Family recipe! — Even though I’ve been in NYC all week, feasting like a queen with my brother-in-law the chef and on baby watch for my…

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the global artisan breakfast box

June 7, 2016

Let’s say you also have the crazy morning. The small kids not yet in school, but very much awake all-too-early kind of morning. The dragging your pregnant body down the stairs to prepare oats and toast kind of morning. It’s a blessing. It’s a stay-at-home mom life that really is idyllic in many ways despite or due to the sibling snapping, screaming, and overall protests. More syrup, please, every time. One very special brightening to my morning has been the Rise & Shine gift box from GlobeIn. The premise of this company is to curate handmade goods from around the world, send you the sweet box, and you not only get to enjoy the beautiful artisan work, but most excitingly for my children, you get to read the story & see a photo of each artisan!! You can shop the artisan box subscriptions or the benefit basket (think for your loved one, college student, or yourself!!), or the stand-alone items that you can’t live without like this or these or THIS. Use code “wholeparenting” to save $10 with a purchase of 3- and 6-month Artisan Box subscriptions. Jenna curated our Rise & Shine box and it’s heavenly! We celebrated when ours came, and it included almond butter, which is currently half off (peanut allergy household rejoices at almond butter that tastes so good!!), a hand-woven basket, block print trivet, olive wood spatula, and olive wood spreader. And then, of course, oatmeal tasted so much better with the amazing spatula & trivet that I used as a hot pad! I…

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Happy Birthday to Us

April 10, 2016

I love sharing a birthday with my daughter!! She’s four and I’m thirty three. How’s that for fun? We had a little family brunch this morning after some swift maneuverings in the kitchen with my sister & her spouse making pancakes with the batter that had been waiting patiently for me to finish sixty other things, my mom on her (sprained!) ankle watching the little kids, my husband and oldest at mass, and twirling and whirling but it was delish & so much fun to all be together. My wonderful aunt came over too, and with both my sisters who live in town, one’s spouse, my parents, and our little family, it was the perfect birthday. I only wish all my siblings and their kids could be in town (but, of course, that’s like, all the time I want that!!). I went off the Smitten Kitchen birthday cake recipe. It was relish. My dad was kind enough to take the cakes out of the oven for us while we had girl time at the early mass, so one of them met with a spatula that didn’t like it and kinda was beat up. Frosting to the rescue! Butter + powdered sugar + fruit meant one layer was bluish and one was pink! Quiche was my fav go-to recipe. Crust from the food coop, bake blind partially, toss your ingredients, cover with 1 1/3 cup milk + four eggs + nutmeg + pepper + salt = 40 minutes and it’s amazingly…

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My Seven Fav Family Recipes

April 6, 2016

Family, as in, my children will eat them. Not all are actual “family” recipes, as in, handed down from generation to generation. I get stuck a bit in the kitchen. I used to run a meal planning link up for, what, six months, last year? You can hop over to the eating section on the blog and see it all! When faced with the daunting task of feeding three kids and one ravenous husband, I want to retreat to the pantry to eat cereal myself. Once this intense feeling passes, I gird my loins and dish out a few of these. 1) Pasta with homemade sauce. Don’t get overwhelmed by seeing “homemade sauce”–the sauce is so simple and just takes a few hours. It’s the planning ahead part that’s hard–not the making of it. Simmer chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh) in olive oil and salt for a few hours, adding a hint of water or broth if it’s burning up. Season with oregano and basil and tons of shredded part. Brown beef and season with salt & pepper & those other things as well. Angel hair + combine. Oh, and butter. 2. Red quinoa with sausage & peppers. Recipe here. 3) Chicken noodle soup with amped up yogurt. Recipe here. 4) Rice + protein + mango + tomatoes. Cook rice. Cook meat or tofu. Combine! Spritz with lemon! 5) Pizza. Recipe here. Kinda. It’s evolved. But we use this crust. 6) Beef chili. (grainy iPhone pic!) Recipe here. 7) Monster salads. Butter or…

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10 ways to live Laudato Si as a midwest, mom of many

March 6, 2016

I had the great privilege of being a guest on the Jennifer Fulwiler show on the Catholic channel on Sirius XM radio the other week. Afterwards, I felt so chagrinned. We were talking about living out the Pope’s latest encyclical, Laudato Si, and I totally lost my notes beforehand and experienced major mommy brain during and couldn’t summon up all the thoughts I’d had about the topic. Jen, will you ever let me back on the air??? But we did confirm that despite not compost toileting, you’re probably holier than Haley, right? 😉 The reason I wanted to talk with her in the first place was that upon reading the encyclical, I felt panicked. I need my heat! I need my a/c! Pope Francis seems to ask things we can’t do as normal American moms of many! So after thinking about it, here’s my list of ways to live out environmental stewardship as a midwest mom of many who can’t live out the beautiful organic farmer life that I pine for secretly in my dreams. (But then I’d have to give up our ancestral home and I don’t think I can do that!!) 1) Recycle. I’m pretty sure everyone does this. At least, I thought everyone did before I went to law school and met so many people who simply didn’t. Maybe their city didn’t collect it without a fee. Maybe their county didn’t promote it. Maybe they simply hadn’t given it much thought. Paper. Cardboard. Glass. Certain plastics. The greatest city…

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