Whole30–We made it!

In case we have some bandwagoners in the audience (like moi), I wanted to alert you that I have drank the Paleo/Whole 30 kool-aid and am in love. I drug my family along with me as I’ve plastered IG and Facebook with whiny updates for the last 30 days, so how about a recap?

So what’s Whole30? No grains, dairy, sugar or alcohol for 30 days. More details here. It’s basically a reset for your body and metabolism, not a weight loss plan, although that is a great side effect. It was something I felt I really needed after being pregnant and nursing for 2 years straight. My portions were way out of whack and I couldn’t really trust my body anymore to tell me when I was hungry. This post really resonated with me. I kept nodding and uh-huh-ing and me-too-ing right on through it. I also bought the book Whole 9 Life. It’s not a must read to do the diet but it was nice to have some science to back up the eating plan. It was a quick, interesting read.

I won’t bore you to death with our meal plan (lots and LOTS of eggs) but thought I’d answer some of the questions I initially had when starting out.

Were you starving?

No! If you’re following the plan correctly you should never be starving. You should be aiming for two cups of veggies per meal and a lot of healthy fat. My friend’s husband who is a Crossfit/Paleo enthusiast gave me the best advice: if you’re too hungry, you’re not eating enough fat. It felt counterintuitive at first but it was totally true.

What did you miss the most?

This is going to sound like a load of BS but I didn’t really miss anything so much that I was just dying to have it. Anytime I had a craving for something I stopped and asked myself if it was worth throwing away the work I had done earlier. The answer was always no. I was also trying to get away from using food as a treat or reward. Sounds ridic, but it’s true!

What did you do when you had to go out?

I only went out to eat one time the entire month. Sad but true. Even more depressing? It was at Disneyland…I ordered grilled fish and steamed veggies. My willpower got a workout when the churro cart went rolling by. Matt ate all of his lunches out this month and didn’t find it too difficult to find an “approved” salad. He also had a couple of networking happy hours and just had soda water with lime. He said everyone was pretty cool with him not drinking/eating but that might just be the fact that we live in LA and someone is always on some sort of cleanse!

So, did you make your kids eat the same things you did?

Mostly, yes. Eating this way takes a serious amount of planning and home cooking. I wasn’t about to make separate meals (as they say, ain’t nobody got time fo that). Thankfully, Hudson will eat almost anything we give him and Harper just started solids so we took the whole family on this adventure. I did make the kids whole wheat/flax pancakes one Saturday and quinoa and pasta a few nights. Hudson also looked at me one morning around week three and asked, “mama? toast?”. I couldn’t deny him, so toast it was! Please know we definitely were not restricting the kids’ calories, just cutting out the fruit snacks and cookies. Mostly so I wouldn’t eat them. Smile

What’s your biggest tip?

Planning is key. You are definitely hungry when it’s meal time. If you don’t have something to go you’re going to cheat and eat something easy or available. The same goes for snacks. I always made sure I had some cut veggies in my bag and a larabar for desperate times.

Favorite resources?

http://paleomg.com/

http://ourpaleolife.com/

http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/

http://nomnompaleo.com/

I picked up a Paleo cookbook from Costco also, It’s called Paleo Kitchen and was co-written by Juli of PaleOMG. I really like it!

I went to the grocery store twice a week and Costco once a week to stock up on fruit, veggies and eggs. You go through a lot! Overall, I feel great and have lost a little over 10 pounds (hurrah!). I think we’re going to stick to limiting grains, sugar and dairy but this mama needs an occasional glass of wine and some coffee! Any questions? Comments? Happy to answer as the novice I am!

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Camp Hudson

We celebrated Camp Hudson a couple of weeks ago and it was a raging success. I can’t believe our big boy is two! This year we had lots of family in town to help set up our little party and lucky for us, almost all of Hudson’s little pals were able to make it to the party. We had the party at a beach park again this year. Since we had to transport everything to the park, I tried to keep it simple with the décor and food. We started with invitations from this cute Etsy shop.

                      Hudson is 2

My Grandma Liz sent Hudson this cute party shirt to wear that matched the invites. She loves a well executed theme as much as I do. Smile

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We once again sprung for “catered” food. I’m using that term pretty willy nilly since sandwich wraps and $6 cupcakes from Ralph’s is about as fancy as we get up in here.  I also threw together some fruit skewers topped with donut holes. Again, no picture. #blogger fail

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I filled tin buckets from the dollar spot with goldfish and graham cracker bears. Inspiration from this party.

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I filled little glassine bags from TomKat Studio with veggie sticks again this year. I found it to be really convenient to make all of the food grab and go so kids could picnic around instead of having to balance everything on a plate. Speaking of plates, we used tin pie plates to tie in outdoorsy theme. I didn’t get a great shot of them though.

I did decide to get a little crafty with the desserts. I made oreo truffles and stuck little feather arrows (sucker sticks + feathers) for easy pick up. I also whipped up some pre-made s’mores to tie in the camping theme. Also super easy (graham crackers + marshmallow fluff + dipped in almond bark). You can find the actual recipe at The Pioneer Woman. I thought the little display was pretty cute. A big thanks to my friend Emily for letting me use her cute stand!

Camp Hudson: dessert bar

I also tried to church up our grocery store cupcakes. I was going for “campfire cakes” with the red/orange and I added little almond slivers to the chocolate to make bear paws. I’m not sure the baker really saw my vision though!

Camp Hudson: campfire cakes

I just did juice boxes dressed up with some cute printables from Wants and Wishes for the kids. There was also lemonade and water. I kept it pretty simple and I don’t think anyone minded!

Camp Hudson: drink station

Our location was a pretty fun backdrop so I didn’t bring much to decorate. We brought Hudson’s Christmas tent, some blankets and umbrellas for shade.

Camp Hudson: toddler tent

I added a Camp Hudson banner to his blue ombre first birthday garland for a backdrop and that was it!

Camp Hudson: cardstock banner

I also busted out the Ikea chalkboard announcing Camp Hudson since we had a dueling Thomas the Train party next to us. It also held our little favors.

Camp Hudson: Ikea Easel

Firefly crayons in a thank you mason jar printable. Inspiration from here.

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That was that! We had a great time celebrating our number one boy and loved keeping it simple but fun with a few camping details.

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Babies on a Plane: Two Under Two

Alternately titled…only the prepared survive! I just arrived home from a quick trip to Iowa to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. Sorry to my Facebook peeps but this one is too good not to share again!

 

I was flying solo this time since Matt had some work obligations and has been studying like crazy for the CFA test. The trip with both minis in tow was shockingly smooth and uneventful. I’m sure that will change once Harper is walking but I’ll take a win where I can get one! Here are a few things that made our travels breezy!

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backpack/ergo/harness/books/wetbag/wipes

After pressing purchase on the airplane tickets I had a minor panic attack thinking what have I just done? I pretty much went through every possible scenario and packed accordingly. I did manage to snag flights that were pretty perfectly timed with the kids’ nap schedule. We left LAX at 8:20 am to Vegas and took off from Vegas at 11:30 am. I made sure to pack Hudson snacks and lunch so he was able to eat on the plane. I didn’t pack as much food flying home and I ended up paying $5.47 for 3 ounces of grapes at our layover. Annoying. Don’t forget that you can bring liquids when you’re traveling with kids. Pack up all of the milk and water you need. We have insulated sippy cup that keep milk cold for 8 hours. Worked like a charm.

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Kiddie backpack: This may not be an intuitive choice since no one wants to carry around more luggage but it was actually a lifesaver. I packed Hudson’s books/toys/snacks in it to avoid making my diaper bag 100 pounds. Once on the plane I just handed it to him and he could pull out whatever he wanted or needed instead of having to dig around my bag. I thought he would be able to carry it down the jet bridge himself but he promptly fell over backwards when I strapped it on him the first time. Better work on that upper body strength buddy!

Books: Lucky for me the Target dollar spot was Cars/Planes themed the week before we left. I grabbed a few $1 books and coloring activities and we were set. I try to reserve the iPad for level 10 meltdowns.

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Ergo: My love knows no bounds for this carrier. I strapped Harper in it for the whole trip. That let me just bring the single stroller instead of our behemoth double. I’m not against bringing the double stroller but since I was alone I needed to be able to collapse it by myself and corral the kids.

Cares Harness: This was a major game changer. It is FAA approved and adapts to the airplane seat belt to form a harness. Hudson just thought he was in a carseat or stroller so he never made an attempt to escape from his seat. If you buy one thing for traveling with kids, this should be IT! Bonus points for the hilarious animal neck pillow.

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Wetbag: This is the one item I wish I had packed. If you follow me on Twitter you know that Harper had a serious diaper situation on the way home. It included carrying her back to our seat in only a diaper. Airplane sick bags will totally work in a pinch though. #momfail

Sani-wipes: I love these for everyday but are perfect for traveling. They’re individually wrapped and you can wipe down the seat/window/tray table that your kids will definitely end up licking at some point.

Other tips…I always like to board early so we can choose our seat (flying SW) and we have a better chance of getting a row to ourselves. Most other passengers avoid babies like the plague. I got a lot of “you’ve got your hands full” and “are you crazy?” comments. Good times. I also rented Hudson’s carseat from the rental car company. Again, I’m not against bringing our own (I actually checked Harper’s) but I knew his bulky toddler seat would be way too much for me alone.

So, I think that’s all of the wisdom I have to impart on you dear readers for now. Obviously, I’m no expert in traveling with babes in tow but I’m pretty proud of how we managed this first go-round. Travel warriors, share what you know!

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Hippity Hop

Motherhood cliché alert: I LOVE the holidays even more now that we have kids. Being Santa was awesome this year! We decided to bring it down a notch this year for Easter (it’s not all about the presents kids!). Looks like we’ll have to try a little harder with that next year as we had 4 different Easter gift baskets from various family members arrive this week! These kids’ Easter cup baskets runneth over!

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We have the Pottery Barn Kids Sabrina Baskets. They were kind of a splurge but I figured amortized over 10 years, they’re a pretty good deal. Shopping justification at it’s finest folks.

Here’s what we tossed in the baskets this year. I will admit to reusing Hudson’s bunny, chirping eggs toy, and board book in Harper’s basket. Ain’t no shame in my game. #poornewbaby

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bib/bunny(similar)/ears (target $1 spot)/book/eggs

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trucks(found at Michael’s-similar)/bathtime letters/chalk(target $1 spot)/sand toys/slinky/bunny/shoes

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I also added in the classic Easter candies and treats. What is the Easter Bunny bringing to your house? You can see what he brought Hudson last year here.

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 12

Maybe I should go ahead and change the title to 2 under 2 update whenever the heck I feel like it. Like I said in my last post, I think we’ve finally hit our stride juggling two babies. Harper is finally sleeping through the night consistently (9:30 pm – 6 am). I love Baby Wise + SwaddleMe wraps. I’ve been telling all of my mama friends who are knocked up with number 2, it’s totally doable and dare I say getting fun? I’m sure they appreciate my words of encouragement.

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We’ve been hitting up Hudson’s classes in the mornings and/or the park, home for lunch and naptimes and then more play time before dinner. Maybe I’ll whip together one of those ‘day in the life’ posts. I’m sure it will be a thrilling read for you all. I’ve also taken up drinking coffee like a grown up. The first time I brewed a pot of coffee for Matt and I to share was probably the best day of his life. <— words straight from his lips. Apparently, he’s been dreaming of slugging down coffee and raising babies together.

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We have an ortho appointment for Harper’s hip tomorrow. She’s still in the brace, hopefully she’ll be done in a few weeks. Her left hip is perfect now, we’re just waiting on righty to catch up.

In other news, our not so trusty travel swing bit the dust last weekend (see duct taped evidence above). We headed to Buy Buy Baby and splurged on a Mamaroo. That thing is the shiz. We also bought the Breeze playard. We justified the price since that will be Harper’s bed sweet bed for the foreseeable future. Hudson’s not ready for the big boy bed (re: I’m not ready for him to be out of his cage) and girlfriend was growing out of her cradle. PLUS, she slept 9 hours the first night we had it. Coincidence? I don’t care, I’ll take it!

I’m working on Hudson’s 2nd birthday party (what?! Can’t believe it). We’re doing a camping theme minus the sleepover part. Should be fun! Alrighty kids, that’s all I’ve got this week!

PS- No affiliates posted, I just linked because I love you!

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 10

Let’s just ignore that I haven’t posted an update for a few weeks. I know you’ve all just missed me and my banter terribly. These last few weeks have been all around awesome. We have emerged from the fourth trimester fog. Harper is now on a predictable 3 hour schedule (all hail Baby Wise). She’s sleeping a lot longer through the night which we all love her for. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed ourselves declaring this to the internets.

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Hudson has also upped his game in the big brother department. His new favorite thing is to come over and say “hi” in his adorable squeaky baby voice. He also mimics my sushing whenever she cries. I’ll try and catch it on video. It is adorable in my unbiased opinion. Smile

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A not to toot my own horn (but toot!toot!) I managed these two solo for three nights while Matt was on a business trip to Boston. We totally rocked it. I filled up our days to the brim with playdates, beach parks and library trips. Having a car accessible is a total game changer. We might becoming a two car family sooner than later!

This week we have another follow up appointment for Harper’s hips. I’m hoping we’re almost done with the brace. It doesn’t seem to bother her much anymore but I am over it. Not much else to report on the home front. I’m working on baby announcements (I know! 2 months late!) and birthday party ideas for our big boy.

picture of the two cutest babies ever courtesy of Jylare Photography

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 6

The magical week six is here! I feel like the first six weeks with a new baby is going to be insanity but everything starts to fall into place after you hit this magic week. Our schedule is a lot more predictable and Harper is blessing us with longer stretches of sleep. She’s usually waking up around 3:30 am to eat and then back to bed until 5:30 or so. <— so sad that seems like a decent amount of sleep. Whenever I tell people that I think she’s sleeping pretty well and give the wake times they have this look of horror on their faces.

Armed with my renewed confidence in herding cats parenting we hit the town big time this week! We made our solo maiden voyage to Costco, the grocery store and Mommy & Me class. It was shockingly successful. My one tip, strap that baby in a carrier (we love the Ergo and K’tan). I always carried Hudson in one while shopping but with two kids it is a necessity. There is no room for that hunking car seat + groceries in the cart.

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Hudson seems to be embracing his big brother role. He insisted on teaching sister how to play with her baby gym.

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The internet was chock full of baby wrangling goodness this week. Some great blogs/articles that I read from better writers/moms than me:

Motley Mama

Camp Patton

Lesley Graham

The Rhodes Log

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 5

I think we’ve turned a corner here folks! With our first real week on our own we’re doing pretty well. I managed to get Hudson to his music class and mommy & me class on time with Harper tagging along. I think Hudson has finally come down from his post-grandparent insanity and we’re settling back into a routine.

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In the past few weeks I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to keep everybody happy all the time. I’m here to tell you, with two kids someone is always waiting. Waiting for dinner, waiting for a bath, waiting for attention, etc, etc, waiting for ALL THE THINGS. I know that seems pretty obvious but it took me awhile to catch on (I blame the lack of sleep!). Since there is only one of me and two kids, I’ve just embraced the idea of someone is always waiting and/or crying. It makes me feel a lot less guilty taking time to feed Harper while Hudson waits his turn for a book or letting Harper cry while I finish up something with Hudson.

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So there’s the tip of the week: if only one baby is crying at any given time, you are winning!

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 4

Week 4 was a whirlwind of fun here, hence the lack of updates. Cousin Isabelle (and Aunt Brooke) came to visit for a few days. I’m not sure if they came to visit us or just to escape the polar vortex. Smile Either way, we’re glad they stayed. Hudson used Isabelle’s visit to perfect his shouting ‘no’ and ‘mine’ at every available chance. When they weren’t stealing each others sippy cups and toys they really played well together, which gives me hope for the future!

We spent their visit here soaking in the sun, visiting the beach and just hanging out around here. It makes me wish we had family living closer to us.

Hudson & Isabelle Collage

Brooke and Isabelle left on Thursday and Matt’s parents arrived on Friday to meet our newest addition and spoil Hudson rotten. They were a huge help getting up with him in the morning and distracting him while I was busy feeding Harper.

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They also babysat for us one night so we could sneak out for dinner sans babies. We tried out a new neighborhood bistro and it was pretty great! We even splurged on dessert. Basically, they spoiled us all and we were sad to see them go. Especially Hudson, since I have not been bringing the entertainment factor he’s been used to!

This week we also found out that Harper does have hip dysplasia and has to be in a full body harness for six weeks. We love the orthopedic doctor we’re seeing and will be seeing him every two weeks for an update on her progress. Fingers crossed that this brace fixes her right up since she looks absolutely pitiful in the brace.

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Two Under Two Tuesday: Week 3

Well, here we are on Friday with our weekly check in. I don’t even have any new pictures of the kids to include. It’s a good thing I set the bar impressively low on blog updates! Onward!

This week was pretty brutal if I’m being honest. Hudson has just realized that sister is here to stay and she is taking up a whole lot of attention and time. He hasn’t been acting out at her but he’s been really whine-y and cries at the drop of a hat. I feel equal parts exasperated and sad for him since he can’t really express himself yet. He does love helping me with diapers and binky duty so I’ve been trying to channel that into making the time with Harper a positive one for him. I’ve also really been trying to have some sort of fun activity for him to do with me each day. We’ve made cookies, worked on Valentine’s and just read books together while Harper naps. I can definitely tell a difference in his mood when he gets some alone time!

Harper is growing like a weed and is giving me a little (tiny!) bit more sleep during the night. I usually get her down around 10 and she wakes up at 1:30 am and 5:00 am to eat. We also had an appointment at Children’s Hospital of LA this week for a hip ultrasound. Our pediatrician thought Harper’s hip might be a little out of line (this is something fairly common I’m told) and sent us in for a referral. We have another appointment in a couple of weeks with the specialist for the update/results.

Since I’m up every few hours during the night. Which- side bar here- has really made me re-visit our stance on no TV in the bedroom as I could have easily watched all of the past seasons of Scandal already. I have been to the ends of the Internet trying to stay awake for 45 minute nursing sessions. I am completely up to date on all of my friends happenings on Facebook, have liked all of the Instagram pics, have pinned all the things and watched all of the cat videos. I found a hilarious book, Dad is Fat that has been keeping me company for the past few nights. Jim Gaffigan is a dad of 5 kids and his musings are hilarious. I definitely recommend it, midnight feedings or not!

Any veteran moms/dads want to throw out any advice on keeping the toddler happy? Or share any cute cat videos? Here’s to next week, it can only go up from here!

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