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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DIY Pumpkin Spice Creamer (and Whole30 friendly) husband says that I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar. He may or may not (may) be right. One of the most challenging things for when I start my Whole30 next week will likely be my coffee. So in the weeks leading up to it, I've switched to coconut milk for my creamer and have been reducing the sugar in it.

Then I found this little recipe. So I whipped up some this morning.

I did make some changes, because, well we all know how good I am about following recipes (I'm not).

1 Can Coconut milk (Whole30 Compliant)
about 1/2 can Pumpkin Puree
2 drops YL Cinnamon Bark EO*
1 drop YL Clove EO*
1 drop YL Ginger EO*
1 drop Nutmeg EO*

--I left out the Vanilla extract because that has alcohol in it, therefore rendering it NOT Whole30 compliant, if you aren't doing Whole30 I'm sure it would be a great addition

I mixed in my stand mixer and added to my morning coffee. It's like a pumpkin spice coffee but with no sweetener but lots of flavor! So if you are looking for a way to "slay the sugar" dragon and make your coffee a little more like coffee, here is a great way to do it.


*I personally use Young Living oils because of their purity and Seed to Seal process, please do not ingest any oils unless they are listed as a dietary supplement or are on the GRAS list from the FDA,  but the choice is yours. This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thinking about the Very Last Time

 I don't know about you, but there are some days that I wish I didn't have to change a stinky diaper, or fix something that Hannah can't quite do for the seemingly zillionth time. To wish that they were a little older and self sufficient, if I'm being honest, sometimes I want that.

But, other times I don't, other times, I enjoy helping Piper fall asleep by nursing her and laying next to her in bed and looking at her beautiful, peaceful face as she sleeps and I suddenly want time to stop, so that I can enjoy these sweet moments.

Sometimes, I don't want Hannah to get any bigger, or to lose that little girl voice that she has, and I definitely don't want her to lose the way that her lips take such care to form words, flaring out from her mouth more than they need to, but it is so cute.

Other times, I don't want Lucy to get any bigger because she is already so grown up, now that I have sent her off to Kindergarten I realize that I miss those times when she was smaller. I wish that I had spent more time enjoying her when she was little and not wishing her to grow up a little more and be more independent.

So, for now, I'll remind my sometimes tired mommy self to enjoy Lucy learning to read and helping her with her homework. I'll teach Hannah how to learn to control her big emotions (which some are good, like how much she cares) and enjoy that she wears a princess dress 6 out of 7 days a week usually and that even when she's in pajamas she has a crown on her head. I'll try to enjoy the middle of the night wakeups with Piper, because I know she won't be little long and right now she is so dependent on me. And,

It is ok sometimes to wish for the next stage, but I want to remember to enjoy and be content in the stage that I'm in. Because sending Lucy off to Kindergarten made me realize just how short those times are. It made me sad that I won't have as many of those times with Lucy anymore because she is in school all day.

Does that mean I succeed at this all the time, heck no. But, I'm glad that I am more aware.

I'm leaving you with a poem that talks about the last times, because it really struck me and I hope it hits you right in the feels too.

But first, some pictures, to remind me just how special my sweet girls are. Poem is below the pictures.


From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same
You might long for the person you were before 
When you had freedom and time
And nothing in particular to worry about
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before
And days will run into days that are exactly the same
Full of feedings and burping
Nappy changes and crying
Whining and fighting
Naps or a lack of naps
It might seem like a never-ending cycle

But don’t forget….
There is a last time for everything
There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down 
And never pick them up that way again
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone
They will hold your hand to cross the road 
Then never reach for it again
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions
Then never sing them that song again
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate 
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time 
Until there are no more times. And even then, it will take you a while to realise.

So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Piper is 4 months old!

How is it possible that my baby is getting so big? No, really, she isn't little.

We had her 4 month checkup yesterday and she was 16 lbs 8 oz (89%) and 26.5 inches (96%), she is a big kid.

She is also, so so sweet. She is smiley, happy, talkative and so peaceful. She is such a Joy that God has given us and we are trying to soak in all of her sweet baby stage ;)

Here is her 4 month picture!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Go ahead and give that jealousy monster a swift kick in the rear...

Today I went to a new gym, because ours is closed for 2 weeks for renovations. So, I didn't teach spin like normal, I got to lift which is one of my favorite things to do, but I just don't have as much time for.

While I was there, in walks a fit, 20 something (and well I haven't been a 20 something for a few years now....) and instantly the jealous monster reared it's ugly head in my heart. I remember when I used to look like that, when I spent way more time in the gym, when my muscles were more defined, before I had three kids....

But, thankfully today I was able to slay that jealousy monster, and put it in it's place quickly. Today, I won, not the negative self talk that can easily occur in my head. Because I remembered what amazing things my body has done. It has been pregnant with 4 babies and carried 3 of them to term. It has given birth to 3 beautiful, healthy (praise God) girls. It has nursed those 3 girls, it has carried them on my hip, my back, my front. It has allowed me to play with them, to pick them up and toss them, to swim with them, to dance with them, to jump with them, to play soccer with them, to kiss them, to hug them, to build block towers with them, to learn letters and numbers with them, to color with them, to teach them to cook....well you get the point.

This body of mine has done amazing things, it may not look the same as it did before I got pregnant 6 years ago, but it has done spectacular things for me. It's not something to compare to someone else, it is something to celebrate.

It's ok that my left bicep is bigger than my right, because I carry Piper with that arm.
It's ok that I have a little pooch below my belly from being pregnant with my girls.
It's ok that my muscles aren't as defined as I was working in a collegiate weight room and had all the time in the world to spend lifting.

It's ok.

I don't have to compare myself to my former self or to anyone else. Because there is a season for everything.

This season is about caring for my little ones and enjoying them, and appreciating my body for what it has done. Sometimes it's about celebrating that with a Butterbeer coffee from starbucks and taking a selfie with Hannah to remind myself that it is ok that my body doesn't look the same as it did 6 years ago. To take time to realize that my life is so full and God has given me so many good gifts, with my children, husband and life in general. To choose not to compare. To choose joy.

Whatever stage your body is in (whether you have had kids, or you have not), take some time to appreciate it today, to talk positively about it, instead of negatively, think on the things that it HAS accomplished, what it HAS done. Also, if you have little girls like I do, be especially aware about positive self talk, because there are little ears listening. The last thing I want is for them to feel negatively about their bodies, I want them to appreciate their bodies and to love how they have been made.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Recipe: Creamy Polenta with Chicken and Broccoli

Disclaimer: awesome photographer I am not.

Today I'm sharing this yummy Creamy Polenta recipe with you. Polenta is something new that I have started making over the last 6 months, I thought it was something that was really hard to make, but with this recipe it isn't at all!

This is the recipe that I use, I don't even adapt it! And anyone that knows me, knows that is a big deal because I usually adapt most recipes. Ok, well I guess I did adapt it because I added a little Garlic Powder and Italian seasoning, but other than that NOTHING ;)

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal (medium grind)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring the milk, 2 cups of the water, and a very large pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add cornmeal in a slow and steady stream, constantly whisking to prevent lumps.
  2. Polenta should be at a bare simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets too thick (mine did), add water, ½ cup at a time. I ended up doing this twice.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in butter and olive oil, and then stir in cheddar cheese. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Serve immediately.

I used Cheddar Jack because that's what I had on hand and I had to add about 3/4 cup of water during the cooking process, we really enjoyed this polenta served along some basic pan fried chicken and broccoli, it was a nice well rounded "man meal" as my husband calls it, because it was all served in one bowl.

Step out of your comfort zone and try this yummy side dish,  you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Piper's Birth Story

Piper's Birth Story
On Thursday, May 14th at 40 weeks and 2 days, I woke up and went about my day. I had been having prodromal labor for 3 days leading up to this but nothing had turned into labor. This is the first pregnancy that I had gone overdue. At about 9am I started to have some contractions again, but these were in my back more (I’ve always had back labor in all of my births and in my miscarriage, it is just where I experience labor). But, I didn’t want to get my hopes up as they were still only about 30 seconds long. So the girls and I headed out to the gym, where I kicked and ran in the pool, I threw up at the end of my workout and decided to head out. I was still having contractions every 3-5 minutes but they were still light and only 30 seconds long so I still didn’t know if this would stop or pick up. The girls and I went to the Library/Park and they played for a while and I read a book. We headed home at 11:45 and I put a tv show on for them. I hopped in the shower because I figured if things were going to stop a hot shower would do it. So a little after noon I took a shower and things did not slow down. I started to have to sway my hips and lean over on something and at that point I knew today would be the day.
After I got out of the shower, I started to prep lunch for the girls and then laid down and timed a few contractions, they were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting 45sec to a minute so I called Jude my Midwife and told her that I thought today would be the day, she heard me talk through a contraction and said she would be right over. I e-mailed Clayton at work and told him to come home ASAP and I called my Mother-In law to come pick up the girls (but she had an appointment at 1 so I knew she wouldn’t be there for a while. The girls ate lunch and I put them down for their naps/quiet time until my Mother-In law could get them. Jude arrived at 1:45 pm and we started setting things up (including my diffuser with Valor *my brave oil* ) and I was pacing the room in between contractions and swaying my hips leaned over the bed during contractions. Clayton arrived at around 2, he helped Jude finish getting everything set up and I would call him when I would have a contraction and he would come squeeze my hips to help me work through the back labor. I could only stand or lean over and sway, nothing else felt good, I attempted to squat but I realized quickly, that it was a no.

My contractions started to get stronger/longer and I was feeling my back pain very low and starting to feel pressure on my cervix. I had one contraction that felt like it rolled right into the next one where I think she was descending through my pelvis quite a bit.

Then I was working through a strong contraction when my water broke at 2:38 and I felt much more pressure. I then got into the birth tub sort of on my hands and knees. I relaxed for a minute before the contraction started. Jude told me to blow through the next one so that she could finish setting things up, but when the contraction started she was coming no matter what. I put my hand on her head so I wouldn't push too hard/fast, but her head came out all in one long contraction. Jude said there was a cord so she tried to reach it but she couldn't because Piper’s shoulder was stuck (Lucy’s birth was the same way). Jude told me we need to get out of the water, we have a stuck baby, so I stood up got out and did what she asked me to (just like Lucy’s birth) I got on hands and knees and pushed, then went into a runners lunge, then she had me lie on my back and pull my knees way back and push, she put her hands on either side of her shoulders and then she came out at 2:45. She was stuck for about 3 minutes (Lucy was also stuck for 3). Piper was alert on my chest with her eyes open but it took her a few seconds of rubbing to get her to breathe. She was just fine and healthy as can be, her apgars were 7 and 10. I am very thankful that I have such a good and experienced midwife who has successfully used the gaskin maneuver to help my 2 shoulder dystocia babies.
I pushed the Placenta out about 3 minutes later and I got up and went into my room to lie down on the bed. Piper and I snuggled while my midwives cleaned everything up. While I had been pushing my Mother In law arrived and was hanging out with Lucy in her room. Hannah woke up shortly after that from her nap. Clayton went in and asked them to wait a few minutes before they came out and my mother in law was shocked that she was already here. Jude checked me and thankfully I didn’t tear even with how fast everything went down. Piper Jane was 8lbs9oz and 21.5 inches long.
My Midwife now believes that I have a slightly android (more masculine) shaped pelvis and because of that is why 2 of my 3 babies have had their shoulders get hung up on my pubic bone. Hannah’s birth had no problem.  Again, I am super thankful that I have such a great midwife who calmly and correctly handled the situation. I was really hoping for a waterbirth this time but obviously that was not the way it was supposed to be.
I love all things birth and my desire is to be a midwife in the future, I am so thankful for Jude, who is such an excellent midwife even when birth doesn't go exactly how you planned. Shoulder Dystocia can be a scary thing, but in most cases is resolved without issue, which has been the case for me both times.

If you are in AZ (in the phoenix area) check Jude out if you are interested in a Home birth or Birth Center birth

Here is our first Family picture about 30 min after Piper was born.

And one of our first pictures of Piper and she was sucking her thumb :::swoon:::

I will share Lucy and Hannah's birth stories over the next few weeks as well. This is obviously the Crunchy side of this #HappyHippyishMama ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I'm back! (A blog update and a recipe)

Hi everyone,
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been neglecting my blog    :::cough cough::: 3 years :::cough cough:::. so I'm on the stop neglecting my blog train now.

This will just be a little bit of everything, Cooking/Baking, Midwifery/Doula things, my favorite DIY things with Young Living Essential Oils, my KIDS, Books I've read etc. There will probably even be a little bit of Whole30 stuff coming up in October because I think we are going to dive into that *bye bye sweet sweetened coffee*

Today I'll leave you with the brownie recipe that I whipped up for a friend's birthday today.

Peppermint (or Orange!) Brownies
1/2 cup Butter (Melted) or Coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
2 Drops YL Peppermint (or Orange) Oil
Mix well- Pour into prepared pan
Bake at 350* for 25 min (or until center is just set and the sides start to pull away)

I hope you enjoy!


New Pampers Cruisers #SagtoSwag

:::walks in shamefully::: Hi, everyone, I've been neglecting the point that we've had another baby! Piper is nearly 4 months old and joins Hannah who is 3 and Lucy who is 5 and in Kindergarten now. My how the time goes fast.

Today I'm going to review the New Pampers Cruisers for you. Influenster  ( sent me these to review for free for my honest opinion. Now, I was only sent 3 so it isn't a super great review just on the sheer sample size. But I'll tell you that their tagline #sagtoswag is true. These diapers with their 3 different cores definitely helps spread out the diaper instead of it sagging down.

Piper wore one to the gym last night, went fine, just like our Target diapers that we normally use.
She also wore one over night last night- that one didn't go quite as well. It did leak a little bit and we haven't had that issue with our Target diapers.

The designs are cute and the non-sagging is great, but overall I don't find them to be superior over the Target brand. Now, to be fair, 3 diapers does not a great review make since it doesn't give you a great overall picture, so I can only tell how I feel so far. There is also something to be said for the fit on the baby, some diapers fit babies better than others.

Overall, these diapers look cute and work well, but I'd give them a 4 out of a 5.

Look for me to start posting more about the things that are going on here at our house, I forgot how much I enjoy it!