Baby Enzo: 7 Month Update

Technically Mr. Enzo is about 7 1/2 months old but better late than never on posting!

Enjoys: sleeping on his belly (just started this week!), bouncing in his jumper, chewing on everything and screaming (happy screams not bad ones).

Nicknames: Bum Bum (I think this started because his cloth diapers make his bum look so huge!), Crank Man or Fuss Man when he’s extra fussy, Mr. Enzo, Little Man and Bubbie (not sure how to spell that one).

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Sleep: This area has started to improve since last month for sure. We’re on the cusp of transitioning from 3 to 2 naps. Technically we are on a 2 nap schedule but that’s only because little man decides to skip his 3rd nap 90% of the time. The one day this week he actually took 3 naps was the WORST night sleep he has had in a loooong time. Last night he slept 11 hours straight (a new record!), woke at 5 a.m. to eat and slept again until 7:30. I’m guessing it was a fluke but who knows. :)

Teething: Enzo cut his bottom two teeth a few weeks ago! They are still coming through, maybe about 1/3 of the way. We never really had to do much except give him cold things to chew on. He didn’t get a fever, sick or really too fussy. He was sleeping extra weird (even for him) but I’m happy it wasn’t worse.

Food: Still breastfeeding which is going well. We’ve also been able to introduce some solids over the last month or so. He’s eating avocado, sweet potato, apples, pears, bananas (his fav!), bell peppers and carrots. Some days he devours everything and others he’s not too interested. I’m excited to continue introducing more yummy things for him to enjoy.

Exercise: Going strong with my online workouts as much as I can. Also getting lots of walks in since the weather has been really nice.

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

I’m not really sure this even counts as a recipe, more of an idea. I love using the slow cooker especially during the week on days that I work in the office. The only issue is planning ahead and making sure your ingredients are thawed and ready to go so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning. A few years ago I was looking for a different way to cook a whole chicken and stumbled upon a recipe that used the slow cooker. I was skeptical but after trying it once, it’s the only way I’ll make a whole chicken now. All you have to do is add whatever spices you like all over the thawed chicken, stick in the slow cooker and wait! The chicken falls off the bone and is so delicious. I always save the bones to make homemade chicken stock so I have some on hand for future recipes.

20150328_131712The weather in Austin has been absolutely gorgeous over the last week or so. I’ve been trying to get Enzo outside as much as possible. We went to the park this past weekend and just hung out in the shade. He liked playing with the grass and looking up at the trees. Soon it’s going to be too hot to go outside so I’m trying to get all the sunshine in while I can. He just rolled from back to belly this weekend for the first time. Only problem is…I missed it! I laid him on the floor on his back, turned away for a few minutes to do something and came back to find him on his tummy. He did it again later but kind of cheats and uses the blanket he’s laying on for leverage to help him over. I’m sure he’ll be rolling across the room soon enough. He especially likes practicing when he’s supposed to be napping!

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (thawed if frozen)
  • Spices (ex. chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, paprika, salt and pepper)

Directions

Step 1
Place whole chicken in the slow cooker. Completely cover in desired spices.
Step 2
Set slow cooker to low and cook about 8 hours or until chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone. Shred chicken if desired and eat up!

 

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Baby Enzo: 6 Month Update

Wow…half a year! This last month has flown by. It’s so hard to imagine that in six more months Enzo will be a year old. I can’t even picture him that big. He’s changing so much every day. It’s hard to keep up!

Enjoys: trying to roll from back to tummy but getting stuck on his side (he especially likes doing this in the crib by grabbing the crib rails), blowing bubbles with his mouth, grabbing everything and putting it in his mouth, and standing.

DSC01263Sleep: Bleh! Sleep is not good right now. He’s been skipping naps or taking really short ones, taking up to three hours to fall asleep at night and not giving us really long stretches at night any more. The only consistency we’ve had lately is his first nap of the day is about an hour and 20 or 30 minutes. Other than that he’s all over the place. We have him on a three nap schedule but his naps are so short most of the time he ends up with a super early bedtime, not always working out well. We’ve also had a lot of 5 a.m. wake up calls where he won’t go back down. People have said that with solids he’ll start sleeping better but I honestly think that’s a myth. I don’t think his sleep issues have anything to do with food. You can tell he gets quite enough. :) I’m curious to see how much he weighs when we go in for his six month check up next week.

Still breastfeeding exclusively and going well. He recently started biting me at random points while he’s eating. Ouch! I’m not really sure how to get him to stop and I’m hoping it’s just a phase. Luckily he doesn’t have any teeth yet. We’re hoping to get solids going next week, starting with avocado. There will be plenty of pictures!

Exercise: I’m squeezing in 30-45 minute workouts about four days a week which has been great. A friend recommended the YouTube channel Fitness Blender. The workouts are awesome, quick and hard! And it’s one of the few workout videos that aren’t super cheesy.

Other than that, we are trying to enjoy the nice weather with him as much as we can. Walks are great. Carrying around a 16+ lb baby in the carrier is a full body workout I swear!

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BBQ Pineapple Pork Pizza + Baby Update

I’ve been obsessed with making this pizza crust since being pregnant. Over the summer I made pesto, chicken and veggie pizza with this paleo pizza crust pretty much every week. I’m already dreaming about that combination and can’t wait for basil to be back in season! In the meantime we’ve been making other pizza combos such as fig jam, prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula (Joe’s fav!) and now this BBQ pineapple version. Super tasty and really easy. I already had the pork on hand from the night before but you could sub cooked chicken or leave the meat off for a vegetarian version. I do still eat cheese here and there (though Enzo isn’t too happy with me when I do) and it’s hard to make a pizza without any cheese. Possible, but just not as delicious in my opinion. I found a sheep’s milk feta at the grocery store and it was super tasty. Since I still have some left we may be eating this pizza again next week.

Only one more week and Enzo turns six months old! I honestly can’t believe how much he’s grown over these last six months and can only imagine what he’ll be like in another six months when he turns one. It’s so hard to picture him being that old but it’ll be here before we know it. I know I mentioned this before, but we are planning on starting him on solids right around the six month mark. We are going out of town for a wedding that first weekend so we’re going to start once we are back. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to a whole piece of avocado. I can only imagine the faces that kid’s going to make. :)

He has turned into a pretty chill baby. He’s not rolling from his back to tummy yet so I can lay him on his activity mat and he would probably be content for an hour or so if I left him there. We’re working on rolling and sitting up and I think both will be happening in the near future.

Now I said he was pretty chill and that’s true, except for when it comes to sleep. We’ve worked hard and have gotten him to be able to fall asleep completely on his own with little crying/fussing. But his naps are short and truly are the bane of my existence! We’re on a three nap schedule and by the end of the day I can just tell he’s exhausted but he continually wakes up multiple times a night especially during his first chunk of sleep before his first feeding. Most of the time he’ll put himself back to sleep but sometimes it takes a long time or one of us needs to intervene. We are at a loss as to why his night sleep has been so off. He still feeds twice per night which is normal for his age but all of the additional wakings and sleep cries are exhausting for all of us. I’ll admit I get pretty frustrated especially over the past two weeks as it’s been rough. Luckily Joe has been awesome and is taking the monitor most nights so I can sleep in the guest room and only wake when he needs to feed. If I hear him make any noises I wake up no matter what, so it’s been nice to finally get a few longer stretches of sleep even if it’s only 3-4 hours at once. Holding out hope that soon he’ll (we’ll!) be well-rested again…

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BBQ Pineapple Pork Pizza

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • BBQ sauce (homemade (I used this version: http://www.paleocupboard.com/bbq-sauce.html) or all-natural store bought)
  • Pineapple (diced)
  • Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • Feta cheese
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
  • Cooked pork or chicken (shredded or diced)
  • Cilantro (chopped)
  • Pizza crust (homemade (I used this Paleo version: http://paleospirit.com/2014/paleo-pizza-crust-recipe/))

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Make pizza crust as desired and cook about 10 minutes or until starting to brown.
Step 2
Remove the crust and top with BBQ sauce, pork or chicken, pineapple, jalapeno and both cheeses. Place back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until crust and toppings are browned.
Step 3
Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Enjoy!
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Salmon, Arugula and Pear Salad

I just recently started eating salmon again. I was eating it a lot right when I found out I was pregnant and then the nausea hit around 6 weeks and no more salmon… I’m also pretty picky on where I buy my fish. Cheap fish grosses me out! I want to get it on our weekly menu so I can start introducing it to Enzo eventually. Yummy, healthy fats for growing baby!

People have asked me if I’m excited about introducing solids to Enzo and I think I have mixed feelings. It’ll be fun to start giving him food and seeing what he likes/dislikes but it’s also more work. Even though we aren’t planning on going the pureed route, it’ll still be more work to feed him food as opposed to strictly nursing. I’m happy to keep nursing exclusively as long as I can. Some babies take to eating solids by themselves quickly while others take a month or more. When we do decide to give Enzo food it’ll probably be more play time in the beginning as opposed to him actually eating and getting calories. It will be fun to see him explore.

We had a really great time visiting friends and family in Omaha though it is nice to be back to our routine again. Even though I’m only working 20 hours a week (2 days in the office, the rest from home) I still feel pretty busy most days. When Enzo was first born, I was watching TV literally all day. It was taking him 45 minutes or so to nurse so I’d plop down and watch whatever daytime show was on. But now that it only takes him about 10ish minutes and I have to feed him in the dark in his room so he won’t be distracted, I hardly ever turn it on. I don’t have time anymore! Though sometimes I miss those relaxed days a bit, I am happy to be working and getting more active with Enzo as he gets bigger.

This salad is truly delicious! Joe had chicken on his but I think the salmon was better. I like making my own dressings and always try to make a little extra so I can have it on hand throughout the rest of the week. Don’t wait until the weather warms up to make this one!

Salmon Salad

Salmon, Arugula and Pear Salad

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of salmon or chicken breast (cooked)
  • 1 pear (diced)
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • Arugula

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Green onions (chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

Directions

Step 1
To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together.
Step 2
To make the salad, plate the arugula and top with the salmon/chicken, pears, cucumbers, pine nuts, olives and avocado. Serve with dressing. Dig in!

 

 

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Baby Enzo: 5 Month Update

I have not been doing very well at keeping up with monthly updates for Enzo! I cannot believe he’s already 5 months old. It’s crazy how fast time is going and I can imagine that it will continue to do so. Now that we are out of the newborn stage I feel like both Joe and I can breathe a little bit easier. The first three months of his life were difficult for many reasons and I’m happy to be on the other side of that now, though the experience taught us both a lot. I am truly feeling better physically, emotionally and mentally, and I am looking forward to continuing to watch Enzo grow.

Enjoys: grabbing toys, hair and faces (he pinches and it hurts!), standing and walking (with help of course), watching the puppies, grabbing his toes every chance he gets (he just found them this week finally), smiling and shrieking.

Sleep: We’ve been sleep coaching for about 4 weeks now and Enzo has gotten very good at falling asleep on his own for naps and bedtime in his crib. It really didn’t take much effort for him to learn how. Most of the time when we rocked him to sleep I felt that we were just getting in the way so we decided to give it a try. We’ve gotten some pretty great stretches of sleep at night (10 hours one night!) but naps are still a struggle. He does have some longer ones but most of the time he wakes after about 40 minutes and I can tell he’s still really tired. We are trying to get him down to 3 naps a day instead of 4 so hopefully with that transition, his naps will get a little bit better. Joe and I now have our nights back. Playing tag team with a screaming baby who won’t sleep was pretty stressful and now once Enzo is in bed (usually around 6), we can have dinner, watch a movie or just hang out before bed. It’s been pretty refreshing. Most nights he gets up once to eat but sometimes twice. Getting more sleep makes me feel like a totally new person! Though we still have some rough nights here and there.

DSC01077Enzo was able to roll from his tummy to back about a month or so ago but isn’t really interested in doing it much any more. He hasn’t rolled from back to tummy yet but I’m thinking that will happen in the next month. He can get from his back to his side but gets stuck. He’s also close to being able to sit up on his own.

Breastfeeding is going fairly well. He still doesn’t maintain suction like he is supposed to but I think my body has gotten used to it. I can’t believe how far we’ve come with breastfeeding and I’m hoping I can make it to at least a year or even longer if both Enzo and I still want to. The moments when I’m feeding him and he looks up at me with a huge smile are priceless. I try to treasure each and every one of those moments as I know they are fleeting. I have really grown to hate pumping and only pump/bottle feed if I have to miss a feeding for some reason, otherwise I’m strictly breastfeeding. It’s easier now that he’s more efficient at eating. We’re not starting any solids yet but will start baby led weaning (skipping purees) around 6 months or later depending on when he can sit up unassisted and when he shows interest. It’ll be fun to start introducing him to new foods!

Exercise: Within the last few weeks I have finally had more of a regular workout routine. After Enzo was born I was way too tired to even think about exercising and then I completely lost all motivation to work out. After having Enzo I lost all my baby weight pretty much instantly but I’ve recently gained some of it back so I’m really working on eating better and working out more throughout the week. Even if I only squeeze in 30 minutes each day, it’s better than zero. I feel so much better when I know I’m taking care of myself so hopefully I can keep it up.

We drove back to Omaha this week and Enzo did amazing in the car. I was dreading the trip for weeks and constantly worrying about how he would handle the long drive. He cried for maybe 15 minutes total throughout the entire 14 hours and slept most of the time. I fed him in the car while Joe got gas and took care of the dogs. We played for a little bit and then he was content in his car seat until he got tired and took a nap. It was awesome! Hopefully the drive back goes just as smooth. It has been a blast introducing Enzo to our family and friends in Omaha.

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Dealing with Postpartum Depression

This post is really difficult for me to write. There are some things that are so personal to me that it’s really difficult to share. Things that I feel truly ashamed of. Dealing with postpartum depression over the past three months has been one of those things. I’ve tried suppressing it, I’ve tried ignoring it, I’ve tried praying about it and crying about it, but it’s still there. I felt led by God over the last few days to share my story and what has been going on emotionally in my life after having a baby.

It started with random crying episodes that I couldn’t control and were usually over something insignificant. I knew I could be emotional/hormonal after having a baby so the first month or so I just chalked up the crying to that. But as month two and now month three have slowly passed, I know it’s more. Through working with my doctor, he is confident that I have a hormonal imbalance and I am taking medicine to help assist with it and have for about a week. I have seen some improvement but I’m still not back to my old self. My doctor did also prescribe an antidepressant for me which I am choosing not to take. Through discussing with Joe, we’ve decided an all natural approach along with Bible-centered counseling is a better decision for us right now. I know people take antidepressants and they are helpful, but I’m really steering away from prescriptions and would rather work on balancing my hormones naturally and strengthen my relationship with God. If over the next month, I still feel that my hormones are out of balance, I’ll be searching for a holistic doctor in Austin for additional help.

The feelings that come with postpartum depression are awful. I have thoughts of not wanting to be Enzo’s mother, wanting to run away, wanting to completely give up, feeling that God chose the wrong Mom for Enzo, thinking that I’m a terrible mother and all of these other negative thoughts that I know deep down are completely untrue. I have never experienced so much anxiety in my life than I have in the past three months. Most of the anxiety stems from my lack of control with my son. I think my biggest sin struggle has always been wanting to be in control and having a baby has left me frustrated and angry when I can’t control his actions, especially when I know what I want him to do is the best thing for him (such as sleep). I had so much anxiety about trying to put him to sleep that the minute I picked him up to start rocking, I literally felt the anxiety build in my stomach just begging to be released. That’s usually when the crying would begin along with all the negative thoughts about how I’m a bad mother and can’t even help my child get the sleep he needs.

In those moments, it feels that things will never get better and that Enzo would be better off with another mom who wants to be with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and am thankful that God gave him to us after two years of prayer but sometimes those negatives thoughts overwhelm all logic in my mind. One awesome point that my counselor brought up was to always remember that Enzo is God’s child and not mine. Though God has allowed me to take care of him and be his mom, he will always be God’s child and that God is truly in control, not me. Letting go of that control is something I will be dealing with daily, even hourly, and will be something I deal with my entire life, especially now with a child. Even if I get passed this newborn phase and Enzo becomes a champion sleeper (fingers crossed!), there will still be moments when he doesn’t do what I want him to. It’s a part of parenting that I knew about, but never really comprehended.

There are a few practical things that I took from my counseling session this week. One is to write Bible verses that speak to me and my situation and put them on sticky notes throughout the house. So far I have six different verses that I think will help me in those bad moments. Another was to truly take a break from Enzo when his crying gets to be too much. Especially when I’m home alone. My plan is to put him down in a safe place, step outside and just breathe for five minutes, open my Bible app on my phone and get some truth into my heart before going back in there. My counselor emphasized taking breaks to get filled up which I really liked instead of just checking email or Facebook which would still make me feel empty. Lastly I’m going to start looking into Mom groups in Austin. Right now I really don’t have too many friends with babies in Austin which can make things a little harder. My goal over the next few weeks is to look into groups that I can get connected with either within the community or though my church.

I could go on and write so much more but I’ll stop here. I wanted to share my struggles and let other women know that it’s okay to feel this way. You are not alone. I have felt so alone in so many moments thinking other moms cannot possibly feel like this and that something was wrong with me for not being happy after having a baby. I am beyond blessed and have an awesome husband who has wholeheartedly supported me throughout all of this, a happy and healthy child who is growing and getting cuter by the day and friends and family who support me as well. Knowing that logically does help, but it still doesn’t take away the sadness, anxiety and frustration that I can sometimes feel. It’s going to take time and I know that I will get there with only God’s presence and his never ending grace and mercy.

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Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cherry Salad

It has been way too long since I posted a new recipe. Baby Enzo has definitely kept me and Joe very busy. Things do seem to be slowing down and I’ve been able to cook a little more than I did in the beginning. Joe and I usually tag team dinner depending on his sleeping schedule or I try to prep/make as much as I can during the day so that if we get a short dinner window, we can put together everything really quickly. Most nights we have still been able to eat dinner together which is always wonderful.

This salad dish is so tasty. It’s still pretty warm here in Austin (60’s and 70’s) so grilling is an option for us. The combination of the grilled chicken, with roasted butternut squash, sweet cherries and creamy avocado is so good. I’m already looking forward to eating leftovers for lunch! You really could add any other toppings you’d like but I think this combo is perfect.

I can’t believe Enzo is coming up on 3 months old! We still have some rough, tiring days but I think both Joe and I are getting the hang of this whole parenting thing. Enzo is starting to smile a lot more and even waking up happy (which never happened before). He is getting over a cold right now but luckily it’s just been a stuffy/congested nose and nothing too serious. Our sleep schedules, though not always consistent, have gotten better too. I know the minute I get used to it, he’ll change it up on us!

I’m also going back to work part-time starting January 6th. I’m looking forward to going back and getting a little break from the day-to-day at home. I love being able to stay home with Enzo but it’ll be nice to still be able to get some adult time during the day and get a little break. I’m nervous about the daycare situation as it’ll be an adjustment for all of us so hopefully the transition goes well.

I’m also looking forward to lots of family visiting us over a few weeks at Christmas. Can’t wait for family to meet him and it’s always nice to have extra hands around the house. :)

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Chicken, Butternut Squash and Cherry Salad

Ingredients

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1 Small butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons honey (divided)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Mixed greens
  • Dried cherries
  • Walnuts (chopped)
  • Avocado (diced)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Step 1
Preheat grill or large skillet to medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper or any other seasonings as desired. Grill the chicken breasts or cook in a skillet for about 15 minutes until completely cooked through. Slice and cover to keep warm.
Step 2
To make the butternut squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cubed butternut squash in a large baking dish and add 1 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Roast 15 minutes, stir and roast another 15-20 minutes until squash is completely cooked through.
Step 3
To make the dressing, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and add additional seasoning if needed.
Step 4
Assemble the salad by plating the lettuce, sliced chicken, roasted butternut squash, dried cherries, walnuts and avocado. Add as much dressing as desired. Enjoy!
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Baby Enzo: 2 Months Update

I cannot believe it’s already been two months since little Enzo was born. These last two months have had their share of many ups and downs and I hope we are on the other side of the rough patch now. Things have been slowly getting better and I’m very thankful for that. Little Enzo is getting so big at 10 lbs 9 oz and 22 1/4 inches long at his two month check-up. We try to incorporate tummy time throughout the day and he’s really good at pushing up and lifting his head. I still think it will be some time before he’s rolling over though.

He’s smiling at just about everyone and making lots of coo’s (only when he’s happy of course). We still have issues with acid reflux and gas at least a few times a day. This especially happens after we give him a bottle and can make it really difficult to get him to take a nap and actually stay asleep. Since he’s having lots of tummy troubles I’ve been cutting dairy, soy, gluten and eggs out of my diet to see if it’s making a difference. I’m honestly not sure if it is or not but some days he seems great and others are a struggle. I’m going to keep going with this diet at least for another month. There is a total elimination diet where you only eat lamb, turkey, pears, sweet/white potatoes and rice products for two weeks but I’m not quite that desperate yet. We do have reflux medicine (Zantac) on hand from his pediatrician but we are really trying to avoid it if possible. We keep him upright after feedings, pace him and burp him during feedings and use a digestive blend essential oil on his belly before or after feedings. If we really can’t calm him we use gripe water which usually helps at least with the gas. The pediatrician is confident that by four months he will grow out of it so we are trying to hang on until then.

As far as breastfeeding goes, things are better but I would not say it’s seamless or perfect by any means. He is still clamping down when he eats (whether he is breastfeeding or bottle feeding). It’s still painful most of the time but the pain is much less than it was in the beginning. We are still working to get this fixed through chiropractic care and also cranial sacral therapy (CST). I’m trying to stick it out as long as I can. Right now I’m giving myself a goal to keep going through the end of the year and if things aren’t better or they get worse, I’ll rethink it. The idea of solely pumping though is pretty daunting so if breastfeeding ends up not working, we would probably go the formula route.

IMGP0418We have also been so blessed to have lots of visitors over the last two months including my mom, Joe’s parents, my sister and her boyfriend and one of Joe’s sisters. It was so nice to have extra hands to help with baby and other household tasks. We don’t have any more visitors coming until right after Christmas so we are on our own for a while!

I can’t wait to see what the next month brings and look forward to watching how little Enzo grows.

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Grilled Eggplant and Pepperoni Parmesan Plus Baby Update

With little Enzo here, we are all about easy to make meals right now. I still have a few things left in the freezer as well but I’m trying to space those out. We were so blessed to have so many friends support us by bringing over meals. Also having family stay with us here and there has helped tremendously. Now that it’s been over a month since he was born, we are starting to get the hang of things and cooking more each week. This meal is truly easy and delicious. I wish we had made a little extra because it’s almost gone already!

Update on breastfeeding/health: we are still going strong with breastfeeding. My doctor has managed to remove all of the infected abscess (hopefully!) and I almost feel back to normal on that side. Hopefully no more incisions or needles! I did develop an all-over body rash earlier this week from my antibiotic. Not the most pleasant but after stopping the medicine it has now cleared up. As far as Enzo, he is still clamping down when he eats. I was referred to a chiropractor in Austin who specializes in helping pregnant moms and children, including newborns. We went twice this week and she released a few points in his body, specifically his jaw. She said it was so tight it even popped which is rare (and was a little scary). It didn’t seem to phase him much but he is still clamping tight. I’m hoping that after a couple of sessions things will get better. I’m really praying it gets better before his 6 week growth spurt hits because I’ve heard that one’s intense…

We are able to give him a bottle each day of expressed breast milk which is a nice break for me and great for Joe to be able to feed him. We are still struggling with sleep right now. It seems that he has a lot of gas/tummy issues after eating and has a really hard time going to sleep. Once he is asleep, he struggles to stay that way. It’s been an exhausting few days but I’m hopefully we’ll get over this hump and start to get into somewhat of a routine. I’m also going to try eliminating dairy from my diet for a week or two to see if that helps his little belly feel better. Why does there have to be ice cream in our freezer right now??

This past week has been a bit of a struggle because while I was pregnant I pictured what life was going to be like with a baby. Being able to take him out on walks, carry him around in the Moby wrap, run errands, breastfeed with ease, get a good sleep routine, etc. And now that most of those things aren’t happening easily, it’s almost like I’m mourning the baby I had imagined. Even though I’m beyond blessed with the baby we have it’s still hard at times. I know we’ll get there and I’m trying to enjoy every moment I have with him that I can, even if I’m running on empty!

Enough baby talk, get to making this recipe and enjoy with a delicious salad and nice glass of red wine. Mmmm…

Eggplant Parmesan

Grilled Eggplant and Pepperoni Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2-4 eggplant (peeled and sliced)
  • Pasta sauce (favorite jarred variety or homemade)
  • Pepperoni (all natural)
  • Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • Gluten-free pasta (or other grain-free pasta alternative such as spaghetti squash)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Season the eggplant slices with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for about 5 minutes a side until softened.
Step 2
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour a layer of pasta sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 glass baking dish. Lay the eggplant in a single layer on top followed by the pepperoni and shredded mozzarella cheese. Add as much as you'd like.
Step 3
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. If you want it a little browner, stick under the broiler for about 5 minutes.
Step 4
While the eggplant is baking, cook pasta according to package directions or make other pasta alternative. Serve eggplant parmesan with pasta and additional sauce. Enjoy!
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