Dear Nolan: Months 8-10


Dear Nolan,

Here we are, another 3 months since my last letter. Not a whole lot changed in your 7th month. You continued to do well with the formula supplementing and we continued to try to get you to eat solids. The only thing I really found that you liked this month was a Zucchini Peach Smoothie. You continued to sleep in our bed, take naps whenever and wherever I could fit them in and be a generally happy baby. 

At the beginning of August, you turned 8 months and got your first two teeth (on the bottom) fairly close together. You continued to crawl regularly, especially towards the dog’s water bowl. Aside from eating dog food, which you love, you also started eating strawberries and puffs. But that’s about it. You mostly ate formula and nursed regularly, including multiple times per night. 

You also liked standing at your music table or holding onto people’s hands. You love your brother and sister and have definitely started interfering with some of their activities with their crawling.

At the beginning of September, you had your 9-month appointment. This was the month where a lot of things changed for you. At your appointment, you weighed 20 pounds, putting you in the 53rd percentile for weight, up from the third percentile at your 6-month appt. As with the previous months since we started adding formula, you ate 4 or 5 (3oz) bottles per day and the rest from nursing. You were still not interested in solids and I even talked to a feeding therapist briefly to determine if I needed to take any action before you turned one. She reminded me that you really weren’t all that abnormal, I was probably just comparing you to your brother and sister who were super into solid foods. She encouraged me to make it a goal to put you in your high chair with food 3x a day, vary the temps and textures, encourage you to get messy and also get a nuby brush to help stimulate your gums.

Pretty much the next week, you started to turn the corner with food a little bit. You started actually consuming some solids, including Bamba peanut puffs, vanilla yogurt, Go Go Squeeze fruit and veggie pouches and some Serenity Kids veggie pouches (Aff link) (i always put them in a bowl so you can practice with your spoon. Plus you would occasionally eat some baby cereal with fruit, pancake, and avocado. Right near the end of the month you finally ate what I would consider a full meal once or twice. Feeding you has been a lot of work and we’re certainly still not over the hump, but we’re making progress and you’re certainly more interested in solid food now than you were a few months ago so we’re just going to keep trucking along! In the past week, you’ve definitely hit a growth spurt and I’ve started giving you a bit more formula and nursing you more.

You continue to be a fairly happy baby, as long as mama is around. You love standing and pull yourself up on anything you can. You’ve also started taking some steps to move sideways along couches and even a few steps with your little walker toy. You can also climb the stairs, although mommy tries to keep you off of them for the most part so we don’t have to deal with that yet. I think you’ll be walking in no time! You also have your top two front teeth SO CLOSE to coming in…but they’ve been SO CLOSE for over a month now and we’re still waiting.

You’re still wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 9 month clothes. Some 12 month and a few 6-12 month pants fit. 

Your other big change this month was your sleeping arrangement. You’ve been sleeping in our bed since you were born and this month I moved you to the pack and play in our room. You were definitely ready and although you still don’t sleep through the night, you started putting yourself to sleep in the pack and play, waking up several times to nurse but then going right back to sleep in the pack and play. 

And then yesterday, we moved you into your own room! We took your sister out of the crib and gave her a big girl bed and moved the crib into what was once the guest room and is now your room! I already miss you, but I think it’ll be good for you to have your own space. You did great your first night in the crib. Cried for an hour, fell asleep sitting up for a little bit and then slept well, waking up twice to nurse and then going back down easily before getting up for the day at 5:45. Then you took two naps in the crib- it’s nice to have a dark spot (thanks to the blackout curtains daddy hung) with a loud sound machine to put you for naps. 

My hope is that moving you away from me, now that we were both ready, will help you start to sleep longer stretches and as such, naturally start the night weaning process. We’ll see how it goes over the next month or so!

Hard to believe you’ll be 10 months on Saturday. 

Mama loves you, sweet boy!


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Life Lately – Six Weeks Old

Helloooooooo friends!

Anybody still out there? Hard to believe it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve missed you guys! Although I’ve been away from the blog, I’ve still been fairly good at sharing our daily life over on Instagram stories so we sure to follow me there if you don’t already!

Today is officially 6 weeks since little man was born and I’m headed back to my OB for my six-week checkup! I’m feeling good and oh so ready to start easing into working out again.

Here’s a quick recap of the past six weeks:

At baby’s 1 week appointment, we found out he wasn’t gaining weight. So I spent about 4 days feeding him every two hours around the clock, then pumping and then feeding him the pumped bottle. After 4 days, he’d gained almost 8 ounces. Then I stopped pumping but spent the next week nursing him every 2 hours during the day and 3 hours at night. After that, he had continued to gain weight and I was able to just start nursing him on demand, without following a rigid time schedule. It was an exhausting couple of weeks but I’m thankful we turned the corner and that feeding has continued to go well.

My husband was home for two weeks on paternity leave and as a family, we spent a lot of time hanging out, watching tv and readjusting to having a baby in the house. I got back into my food prep game, we had some newborn pictures taken and even ventured out to eat a couple times.

We celebrated Christmas and enjoyed watching the big kids love on their little brother. They’re both doing so well with him. They think he’s “so cute” and keep close tabs on where he is and what he’s doing. They both have their challenging days, but I think it’s more related to their ages (4 & 2) than it is to having a new baby in the house. Hubby went back to work for 2 days after paternity leave ended and then was home for basically another two weeks for Christmas and new years.

My parents came to visit for a week at new years and my sister was also able to come out for a couple of days! Hubby went back to work January 2nd so my parents were here to help for another couple of days before I was totally on my own.

Since new years, baby has hit the one month mark, i’ve made several solo outings with all three kids including a few trips to the doctor (one for the baby’s well check – he’s up over 10 pounds (8 pounds at birth) and growing well….and another for sister who hurt her foot after brother pushed her off the end of the bed), Squish has gone back to school after break and I’ve survived my share of toddler meltdowns and sleepless nights.

One thing I haven’t done much is work. And I’m pretty proud of myself for it. I’ve been working hard to really just soak up this time with my kids and not worry about rushing back to work like I did with my other two. I’ve only opened my computer a handful of time and it’s been so nice. I’m getting ready to slowly start easing back into things, figuring out what our new schedule looks like, spending more and more time in the kitchen etc so look for some new recipes in the next few weeks!

Overall, life with 3 kids is going wonderfully. It’s loud, hectic, a little stressful sometimes and did I mention loud? But it’s also everything I hoped it would be and more…so full of love, adventure and excitement. If you’ve been around a while, you may remember that Little Miss was a colicky baby who did nothing but scream for 7 months. I’m pleased to report this little nugget is not following in his sister’s footsteps and I am oh so thankful! He’s a good baby who is eating well, sleeping decently, likes to be held, doesn’t mind his carseat and seems generally unphased by the chaos his brother and sister create.

Thanks for sticking around during this big transition. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things with some new recipes and posts for you guys. I’m also working on a toddler feeding resource that I can’t wait to share with you.

If you have recipes you’d like to see, baby questions you want answered or any other requests or questions, feel free to leave them below or email me!



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Party of 5!

Minivan life…we’re comin’ for ya!
Baby Bean #3 is due December 4th.

We’re so excited!
I’ll be 17 weeks tomorrow!
Feel free to comment below with questions and I’ll answer them in Tuesday’s post.


PS. Photo credit goes to Alisha Skeel Photography who captured these sweet photos before our spring family session about 6 weeks ago.



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When You Get Type 1 Diabetes As An Adult

Yes, you can get Type 1 diabetes as an adult. My husband’s diagnosis at age 33 had a huge effect on our family, but with a positive attitude and a lot of trial and error, you can find your new normal and live life to the fullest!

Hi friends!

As many of you know if you follow me on social media, two weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 33. Since this is a major diagnosis, impacting pretty much all areas of our life, I wanted to take some time and write down our story. I’ve discovered that many people don’t actually know a lot about type 1 diabetes so I think it’s a good opportunity to use this platform to educate. I’ve also realized just how much a diagnosis like this (of a chronic, long-term autoimmune disease) affects not only the person themselves, but family members and those around them as well….so I wanted to give you some insight into how it’s affecting him, me and our family in general.

Types of Diabetes

So, first a little clarification for those of you who don’t know -there are several types of diabetes. Before his diagnosis, I knew the basics about type 1 and 2 and that was about it. I was not an expert then and I’m certainly not an expert now, but I’ve done a lot of reading lately and learned a lot! So here’s a brief overview:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease with a fairly sudden onset. While it is most often known for being diagnosed in young children and teens (often known as juvenile diabetes), it’s actually almost as common for people in their 20’s & 30’s (and beyond) to be diagnosed. With Type 1, the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin so they stop producing it. While the exact cause is unknown, it’s likely a combination of genes you’re born with and an environmental trigger that activates it. If you’re not producing insulin, sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into cells where it’s needed…so you need injected insulin (a combination of long-acting and short-acting) for the rest of your life.

Type 2 diabetes has a more gradual onset. Your body is still producing insulin, you just become less sensitive to it over time. Typically, you can initially manage Type 2 with diet and exercise and take oral medication to stimulate the pancreas to make more insulin. Eventually, your pancreas may stop working and you’ll require insulin. The cause of type 2 diabetes is multifactorial- you can inherit genes that make you more susceptible but lifestyle factors like diet, exercise & obesity also play a role.

In addition, there’s another type known as LADA- latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (sometimes called type 1.5 diabetes), that is often initially misdiagnosed as Type 2. They have similar symptoms but LADA develops faster and people are often at a healthy weight, whereas Type 2 is often (but not always) diagnosed in people who are overweight. So even though they may initially be able to get by because their pancreas is still producing some insulin, oral drugs prescribed for type 2, like metformin, will eventually stop working for LADA patients because their immune system will continue to destroy insulin-producing cells.

There are blood tests that can be used to diagnose LADA by measuring the amount of c-peptides in the blood. C-peptides are a byproduct of insulin production, so low levels can indicate that your body is not producing much insulin on its own. Another blood test often given to LADA patients looks for the presence of insulin-destroying antibodies.

Hubby’s Story

Here’s what happened to my husband: Starting sometime around the beginning of 2018, we noticed he was having some unusual symptoms that included increased thirst, increased hunger and increased urination. He was feeling generally sluggish, having some vision changes, losing some weight etc. I prompted him several times to go to the doctor for his annual exam. We knew something was wrong but weren’t sure whether it was diabetes, thyroid-related etc.

He finally scheduled his exam for the first week of March and on Friday, March 9th he had his appointment where he shared everything with his doctor. They took a lot of blood for bloodwork and also took a urine sample. Within an hour or two, they had called him back and told him that his urine test showed his blood sugar was over 400, there were ketones in his urine and he needed to go to the ER immediately.

His parents came over to watch the kids and we headed to the ER. There, they did more bloodwork, gave him insulin and fluid and decided to admit him. My parents drove from Chicago to stay with the kids while we handled all of this.

Saturday morning he was officially diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We got the results of his Hemoglobin A1c blood test back and it was 12.7, which is extremely high. A1c is a test used to measure a person’s average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. Normal is below 5.7. So, his results indicated that his average blood sugar over the past 3 months was in the high 200’s. Normal blood sugar levels are 70-99 when fasting and below 140 within 2 hours after eating.

They decided to keep him at the hospital one more night so that they could continue to track his blood sugar and see how it was responding to the insulin. We were also supposed to speak to a diabetes educator but apparently, at the hospital we were at, they don’t work on the weekends. So, since we were there Friday night to Sunday afternoon, we didn’t speak to one.

However, he had an awesome nurse that really stepped up to help teach us about some of his new daily activities like checking his blood sugar and injecting insulin and let him practice on himself so he was comfortable doing it.

Sunday afternoon we were sent home with instructions to check his sugar at least 4 times a day and see an endocrinologist within 3 days. We were completely overwhelmed but trying to just take things one day at a time. On the way home, we stopped at the pharmacy to pick up all the supplies including a glucose monitor, test strips, lancets, alcohol swabs, insulin pens and more.

The first time we had to do everything at home was incredibly stressful. Both the glucose monitor and the insulin pens were slightly different than the ones he’d been practicing with at the hospital. The glucose monitor was different. The insulin pens he had practiced on had a type of safety cap so only the very tip of the needle came out wheras the kind we came home with had the whole needle exposed. At the hospital they threw away the insulin pens after injecting him, wheras the ones we came home with you just throw away the needle and the pen itself has enough insulin in it for many injections.

We tried to make an appointment with an endocrinologist, found out we needed a referral, got a referral and still haven’t even been able to get an appointment on the calendar (two weeks later). Our hope is to get him on both a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump as soon as possible, we’re just not sure exactly how soon that will be.

Luckily my husband was able to take a few days off work to take some time and adjust to everything. We experienced our first low blood sugar episode and now have stashes of fruit snacks and juice boxes all around the house, in both cars, in my purse, out in the garage gym, at work, next to the bed etc.

We definitely would not have survived the first few days without my online community. My friend Mary Ellen (who is an RD and Type 1 diabetic herself) has been endlessly patient and answered dozens of texts from me each day as new questions and situations came up that we had no clue how to handle. We also had several certified diabetes educators who follow me on social media reach out and be willing to answer questions for us.

I may be a Registered Dietitian, but that does not automatically make me a diabetes expert. So I am learning right along with him.

We ordered a few books that people recommended (Think Like A Pancreas and Sugar Surfing) and also went back to see our family doctor to answer some immediate questions, as well as get prescriptions for new supplies as we discovered that the needles that came with the insulin pens he got were a bit too long for him. You’re supposed to pinch your skin and inject the insulin, without pushing it into the muscle. Since he doesn’t have a ton of body fat, sometimes it’s tricky to keep a longer needle from going in too far. We also discovered the finger-sticking needles he got were too fine and not making his fingers bleed enough to get a sample to test his blood sugar.

We’ve been testing his blood sugar about 6 times a day and are using an app to keep track of all the readings so we can analyze them and share with doctors. We have learned how to count carbs, looked up the carb counts of a lot of foods, learned how to dose insulin and treat highs and lows and more….all in the span of just a few days.

So Many Questions

You never really think about just how many questions and unknowns come along with a diagnosis like this until it actually happens and you find yourself with a mile long list of questions. Here are just some of the things that came up:

  • Can he take his long acting and short acting insulin at the same time in the morning?
  • What should his daily carb goal be?
  • Should he be taking insulin to correct his blood sugar levels before meals as well as in anticipation of what he’s about to eat?
  • How many grams of carbs does he need to correct a low?
  • How will he know when his blood sugar gets too low?
  • What if we’re going out to eat and don’t know how long it will be until we eat? Does he need to take all the supplies with him to the restaurant?
  • What do we do the first time he gets sick and doesn’t feel like eating? Or if he takes insulin and then throws up?
  • How should he handle drinking alcohol?
  • Should he be taking insulin before bed even if he’s not having a snack? What should he be eating for a bedtime snack?
  • What should he do about exercising? Eat beforehand? Take insulin? Not take insulin? Can he exercise when his sugar is high?
  • How soon can we get a pump and a CGM?
  • Are our kids going to get Type 1?
  • What do we do if we go on vacation and he loses his insulin?

These are just a few of the questions we had to work through after his diagnosis. And I still have a running list of questions for when we finally get in to see the endocrinologist.

A Family Affair

This diagnosis is obviously having a huge impact on my husband. We’re in for a lifelong series of expenses and constant adjustments. It’s his body and he’s the only one who truly knows how he’s feeling. He has to be responsible about checking his sugar levels and taking insulin. He has to pay attention to how certain foods make him feel, what causes his sugar to spike and drop, etc. He has to prick his finger and inject himself constantly until we’re able to get him on a pump and get him a continuous glucose monitor.

There will constantly be new experiences that he has to learn how they will affect his body (lifting, cardio, yardwork in the summer, playing with the kids, not getting enough sleep etc). He has to remember to bring his supplies with him to work so he has his insulin in case he gets stuck at work and can’t come home for lunch, or in case he goes low during a meeting at work and needs to raise his blood sugar. It’s way harder to eat out if he doesn’t know the exact carb counts for what’s on the menu. (Not impossible…just takes more planning)

Right now our kids are fairly unaware of what’s going on but Squish does see him checking his sugar and giving shots and asks questions about it so we’re trying to find ways to explain it to him in a way his three-year-old mind can understand. As they get older, we’ll have to teach them what signs to look for when daddy has low blood sugar and what to do to help him (ie how to call 911, where his food supplies are, etc). We’re also dealing with the fact that the fruit snacks and juice boxes we have on hand for daddy are some of Squish’s favorite snacks…so we have to keep him out of those.

As for how it’s affecting me? It is…in a huge way. I’m constantly worried about him, want to know what his blood sugar is all the time, am always afraid it’s going to go low while he’s driving, or in the middle of the night while he’s sleeping (one of the main reasons why we want to get him on a CGM as soon as possible…because you can set alerts to go off if it goes too high or too low and i’ll be able to see his blood sugar levels through an app on my phone).

I’m worried about complications that could arise in the future and whether our kids are going to get this same diagnosis. I’ve had to learn how to use the glucose monitor to check his sugar, how to inject insulin so he can rotate injection sites to different parts of his body that he can’t reach by himself (like his tricep).

I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments to the way I cook. No longer can I just throw whatever I feel like in a pan. He needs to know how many carbs he’s eating so I have to do a lot of measuring. I made a stuffed pepper bake the other day and I measured all the ingredients, looked up the carb counts for all of them, divided the dish into 4 servings etc so he’d know exactly how many carbs were in each portion. Same thing with the salmon burgers I made for dinner last night. I haven’t exactly figured out yet how to tackle things like soups and casseroles where there’s so much stuff all mixed together making it harder to measure what’s in each portion but I’m sure that will come with time and practice and probably using something like My Fitness Pal.

While hubby doesn’t need to follow a crazy low-carb diet, he does have to be smarter about the carbs he’s eating. No more snacking willy-nilly on things like chips and pretzels…instead, he’s focusing more on getting his carbs from things like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It’s not a huge change from the way he was eating before but there have definitely been some adjustments.

Some people have asked if that means I’m eating low carb..and the answer is no not really…I’m still snacking on chips with hummus while drinking a beer and eating a handful of m&ms before bed…but I’m definitely more aware. And I do occasionally feel guilty when I’m eating a carb-heavy snack like that that I know isn’t the best choice for him.

Similarly, I’m affected by things like the fact that we probably won’t be ordering a basket of chips and salsa when we go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant anymore..because I’d be eating them by myself. Or the fact that I probably won’t bake my standard cookies as often anymore because he won’t be eating them as frequently and I don’t want them to be around to tempt him. Again, it’s not like he can’t have sweets…but before, he could come home from work and grab a cookie and it was no big deal. Now he needs to know exactly how many carbs are in that cookie, factor that into the amount of insulin he’s taking etc.

I’m trying to observe him closely and learn how his moods change as his blood sugar changes. We know that when it’s super high or super low, he gets increasingly irritable and anxious (not his fault) so during those times I’m trying to manage the kids and keep them calm and out of his way while he works on regulating his sugar.

I’m trying to plan ahead, make sure we know what we’re doing and where we’re going whenever we leave the house so we know what supplies to take, whether he needs to eat beforehand, pack a snack etc. We can’t even just leave on a spur of the moment family walk anymore without making sure we have some fruit snacks or a juice box to take with us in case his blood sugar goes low.

I’m sure reading through all this may sound like I’m complaining…but I’m not. I’m just sharing our experience and give people an overall picture of what it’s like to go through a diagnosis like this. It’s overwhelming and scary and definitely impacts everyone in the family and all aspects of your life together.

The good news is, we make a great team. We’re both smart people and are willing to work hard together to figure things out, get our questions answered and experiment with various things to figure out what works best. We were already eating healthy and exercising so although I’ve had to make some adjustments in the kitchen, they’ve been fairly minor and overall, our lifestyles changes have been relatively minor and more adaptive versus a major diet and exercise overhaul.

The medication side has definitely been the most challenging for us. We’re still making changes and trying to figure out what works best to keep his blood sugar under control and we know there’s no instant fix. So far we’ve had to increase his dose of long-acting insulin, change his correction factor (carbs per unit insulin) and split his long-acting insulin in half to take it twice a day instead of just once because it was wearing off too quickly and causing his sugar to get way too high in the morning. We also learned that working out when his sugar was already high makes his sugar spike even higher, whereas if it’s normal, working out can make it drop. Almost all the stuff we’re doing with the insulin has been based on our own research and with the help of Mary Ellen who has been invaluable in sharing both her clinical knowledge of diabetes and her first-hand experiences.

I’m sure there will be good days and bad days from here on out but we’ll face them together and do what we can to make the best of our new normal – life with Type 1 Diabetes. I’m forever grateful that my hubby is so level-headed and is facing this diagnosis with a positive attitude. He’s already conquered so many aspects of the disease and is willing to do whatever it takes to stay as healthy as possible for the future.


Thanks for letting me share our story! If you have any questions that I didn’t already answer, feel free to send them our way!




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Dear Alyssa – Month 7

Dear Alyssa –

It’s time for another update! In case you missed any, check out the previous months below. And just for fun, here’s the 7-monthth update for Squish:

  • Months 1 & 2
  • Month 3
  • Month 4
  • Month 5
  • Month 6

Hard to believe another month has passed already!

This was a pretty big month for you! You took your first trip. We went to Chicago to visit Mimi and Grandpa. You slept 6 hours straight on the way there and 4 hours on the way back. That’s about triple the length of time you sleep in one sitting at home. Can’t complain but you have mama considering hiring someone to just drive you around all night long.

You’ve officially started eating solids. You’re a bit behind your brother in this department, but that’s ok! He started solids around 5 months and you were closer to 6.5 months, but you let us know you were finally ready by helping yourself to whatever is on my plate. And I do mean whatever. You love lettuce, curry and more!

While you enjoy tasting almost anything, it took you a few weeks to actually swallow anything. You spent several days just shoving stuff in and then spitting it out. The first things you actually swallowed were naturally “pureed” type things like oatmeal, popsicles and applesauce. But lately you’re getting the hang of it and you’ve been enjoying noodles, curried vegetables and rice, chunks of egg, sweet potato and watermelon.

We’re slowly working our way through the top 8 allergens, just like we did with your brother. So far you’ve had wheat and egg. Peanut butter is on the agenda for this weekend.

You’re still nursing on demand and continue to be easily distracted during the day and prefer to eat at night.

Sleeping. Or more accurately not sleeping. You’re still in the pack and play in our room. Your brother is getting quite close to climbing out of his crib so I think by next month he’ll be in his big boy bed and we’ll officially have the crib set up in your room. Like I said, you like to eat at night and you still don’t like to sleep. Nothing new. You wake up multiple times per night and rarely nap. The rule seems to be, I hold you, you sleep. I put you down, you scream. Mama is tired.

In general, however, you’re fairly happy. You certainly have your days, one in particular a couple weeks ago that took me right back to months 1-5 of your life and boy I do not miss that. But most days you do pretty well. You’ve figured out how to sit up and that seems to make you happy. I can set you down and sometimes you’ll sit for 10-15 minutes without falling over. You’re not really making many attempts to crawl but do occasionally scoot and roll your way around the room.

You love your brother. Oh how you love him. Just hearing his voice makes you smile and you watch his every move. He alternates between ripping everything out of your hands while saying “mine” and gently kissing your head or bringing you a toy when you’re crying.

You’re wearing mostly 6-12 and 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. You love your daddy and always react to the sound of his voice, which often distracts you from eating.

You almost always fuss when going in your carseat but also almost always fall asleep in the car. You also have your own sippy cup now and you occasionally drink water from it.

Now that you’ve started eating, Tucker loves cleaning up all the food you drop. Marcus loves sitting next to you but you’ve started to pull his fur so that might not last much longer.

You spend a lot of time in the Ergo so it’s a good thing you like it! You chew on everything and I’m guessing you’ll get a tooth in the next few weeks. You still don’t take a binky or suck your thumb or fingers but you do love chewing on your blankie and often fall asleep with it in your mouth when you’re in your carseat.

When you smile, you smile big and it’s just the sweetest sight.

Love you, baby girl!



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Squish Turns 2!

Hi Friends!

Well, I don’t know how it happened, but my little baby turned 2 on Saturday!

It’s also been 3 months since I wrote a Dear Chase letter! #whoops. So first things first, here’s how months 22-24 went down.

We had a great rest of the summer. We pretty much lived outside all day every day and managed to keep busy.

Some things of note:

  • Mommy took you to your first Ohio State Fair!
  • We dug in the dirt!
  • We played in the water!
  • You ran full speed everywhere!
  • We did lots of swinging!
  • You started swimming lessons. Your first lesson or two didn’t go well but now you love it!
  • You developed an obsession with choo-choos.
  • You love helping daddy with projects around the house!
  • You love helping mommy in the kitchen!
  • We picked apples.
  • We went to the zoo.

You turned into a toddler right before my eyes, complete with your fair share of epic meltdowns. For the most part you’re a happy little guy. You love running around…and I do mean running. You won’t sit still unless it’s to watch tv. You still love all your shows on PBS kids, as well as Shaun the Sheep and Blue’s Clues.

You love to eat. Vegetables are not your favorite but there are some you’ll eat. You love meal and snack times, especially if I give you a smoothie. Pretty much all food is “num num”.  You’re wearing 4T clothes…around the middle. Your legs are fairly short, even though you’re tall, so pretty much all pants have to be rolled up several times and you’re now in size 7.5 shoes.

You love your animals, especially Marcus and are getting better at throwing the ball for Tucker.

Your sleep schedule is a little unpredictable but most days you wake up between 6 & 7am,  go to sleep between 7:30 & 8pm and take a nap for anywhere from 1-3 hours in the afternoon, depending on the day.

You still spend a couple hours at the gym most days and you’re getting quite good at deadlifts, burpees, ring hangs, rowing and more!

We got some family pictures taken to celebrate you turning 2/maternity photos for your sister. You’re still very attached to mama and I think we’re in for a rough couple of weeks once baby sister arrives this month!

We just came back from your 2 year appointment at the doctor. Since your 18 month appointment, you’ve gained about 6 pounds and grew 3+ inches. You currently weigh about 37.5 pounds and are 36.5 inches tall. That’s 99% percentile for height and weight….just like you have been your whole life!

You’re quite the chatterbox and even though you don’t say a ton of words, you’re adding some each week and have no trouble getting your point across.

This weekend we had friends and family over for a choo-choo themed party to celebrate you! We borrowed a bounce house from our neighbors, which was a HUGE hit!

 We got you a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake….which was also a huge hit! (You love them just like your mama!)

PS – Big thanks to Cheryl’s Cookies for sending this (free) fun “Decorate Your Own Cookie Kit” that was perfect for the older kids at the party!

You opened your presents. Some of the big hits included a guitar, a new keyboard, a few remote controlled cars and Mr & Mrs Potato head. (You’re very musically inclined like your daddy.)

Overall it was a great day, although mommy is having some trouble coming to terms with the fact that you’re now two years old!

Your little sister is due to arrive in 2 weeks. We all can’t wait to meet her!

Mama loves you!


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A Day In The Life – 21 Months

Hi Friends!

I can hardly believe it but I realized that Squish will be 22 months next week, which meant I was rapidly running out of time to do my quarterly Day In The Life post! But have no fear….I got it done.

In case missed any of my previous posts, I’ve been writing one every 3 months since he was born. You can find the links below:

Day in the Life – 18 Months
Day in the Life – 15 Months
Day in the Life – 12 Months
Day in the Life – 9 Months
Day in the Life – 6 Months
Day in the Life – 3 Months

Here’s a look at what our days have looked like recently. As usual, all days are different but this should give you a fairly good idea of what life is currently like with a 21 month old, while 28 weeks pregnant.

6AM – Up and at ’em. After a nearly 6 week stretch of Squish deciding 5am was a good time to wake up, he’s now back to typically waking up somewhere between 5:45 and 6:30. I hear his little voice saying “Mama?” over and over on the monitor so I get up, change his diaper and we head downstairs to eat breakfast.

6:15 – 8:15AM – Breakfast, then PBS Kids and playtime while I try to get some work done. Try being the operative work. Some days I can get in a solid hour or so of work…other days we’re out running up and down the driveway at 6:45AM.

8:30 – 11:00AM – We spend a little time with daddy before he heads to work and then we’re on our own. I put the computer away and we play. This summer that’s meant lots of outdoor time as well as a recent obsession with trains. On this particular day it was finally a little bit cooler than it had been so I took him to the park.

We actually went back to the park we used to go to all the time at our old house and it was crazy to see how much better he was at climbing things he used to struggle with. After about an hour at the park, we tried to go to the library but there were no parking spots!

We stopped at Great Harvest for a sample and a loaf of bread and then came home, had a snack and played with trains.

11:00AM – 1:00PM – Most days we eat lunch between 11 and 12. Some days we wait for daddy to come home, other days we eat before he gets home. On this day we ate closer to 11 because I’d just come across a local gymnastics place that has open gym from 12-1:30 a couple days a week and we had plans to go check it out.

Most days we leave the house at least some point during the morning either to go to the park, play group, swimming lessons, etc. Leaving around lunchtime is more unusual. But we ate lunch and headed over to check it out for about 45 minutes and got home around 1pm.

1:00PM – Naptime. After months of trying to transition his one nap per day to the afternoon, we’re finally getting there. While he was getting up at 5am, he was ready for a nap by 9:30, up by 10:30 or 11 and up the rest of the day which made for some long afternoons. Now, most days he’ll go down for a nap around 1 and sleep for an hour and a half, sometimes 2 hours. Except when he doesn’t. Like this day. On this day he rolled around in his crib for about 30 minutes while I tried to cram in some more work and then he was up screaming.

1:30-4:00PM – So, we made the best of a no-nap day and played some more. Of course on this day I had a conference call scheduled at 2:30 so I did my best to listen in and participate while watching to make sure Squish and his baby weren’t tumbling head first off rocks into the neighbor’s bushes.

4:00- 6:00PM – Gym time. We typically head over to the gym around 4. Some days I workout with the 4:30 class while Squish sits in his play yard, some days we just hang out and watch together. We usually hang around until our 5:45 class starts and then head home around 6. Some days we stay later than that.

6:30 – 8:00PM – Dinner. I try to eat dinner with Squish most nights. Sometimes I just feed him and wait to eat until hubby gets home, but I like him to see me eating, etc so usually we eat dinner together at the counter. After dinner is bath time. Gone are the days of winter when I could only bathe him 1-2x per week. He is a little sweatball and rarely a day goes by that he doesn’t require a bath.

After his bath, we read books. Most nights, daddy comes home around 7:30 or 8, so we try to stay awake and read until then. Then we say night night and Squish goes to bed.

8:00 – 11:00PM – Shower and work. Here’s where I try to cram in all the work I wasn’t able to fit in during the day. Some days I’m able to get a fair amount done in the morning, at lunch and during nap time so there’s less to do at night….but I try to stay on top and ahead of things because you never know when you’ll have a day like this day where you get pretty much nothing done all day long!

Work includes blog stuff, sponsored posts, social media, answering emails, various projects,  working on stuff for Regan, etc. I typically take my recipe photos during naptime. My parents also come into town every 4-6 weeks and I try to take at least one day while they’re here to cram in photos of 4-6 recipes so I can get a little bit ahead.

11:00PM – Bed.

So there you have it! We’re less than 3 months away from having another baby in the picture so the next update should give you a glimpse into life with a toddler and newborn. Eeek!



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A Day In The Life – 18 Months

Hi Friends!

Considering the fact that Squish will be 19 months on Sunday, I figured I better get my act together this week for our 18 month Day in the Life post. Can you believe it’s been 3 months since I shared our last Day in the Life post?? In case missed any of them, I’ve been writing one every 3 months since he was born. You can find the links below:

Day in the Life – 15 Months
Day in the Life – 12 Months
Day in the Life – 9 Months
Day in the Life – 6 Months
Day in the Life – 3 Months

I actually did something a little different this month and kept track of 3 days (Mon-Wednesday of this week). No two days are really the same around here…but things are a bit extra crazy since we’re right in the middle of moving/getting ready to put our house on the market, so we’ve had contractors etc messing up our typical schedule.

I’ll share photos from Monday, which was an atypical day and then at the end I’ll share a quick recap of Tuesday and Wednesday so you can get a sense of a bit more “normal” day.

Sooooo here we go:

6:15AM – Squish wakes up. This is actually a bit late for him. Lately he’s been waking up anywhere between 5:30 & 6. I consider any day I make it into the 6AM hour a major win.

{Baked pumpkin pancake, plain full-fat yogurt, raspberries}

6:30AM – Breakfast. I do my best to distract him with water and the TV for at least a few minutes when he wakes up so I can pull myself together and get my brain working but he’s like his mama and likes to eat pretty much immediately.

6:45 – 9:15AM– Playtime. Usually we watch TV, we read books, we play, we go outside, etc. Today we played with daddy for a little bit before he left for work, cooked in the play kitchen and made muffins in the real kitchen.  Of course we taste-tested one as soon as they came out of the oven. If he’s entertaining himself, I try to sneak in a little bit of work. Sometimes I can get some stuff done with him sitting on my lap watching TV when he first wakes up. I used to get up before him and work for a solid hour or so, but with him waking up earlier and earlier (it doesn’t matter if he goes to bed at 7 or 9pm, he still wakes up early) and me being pregnant (aka exhausted) those early morning work sessions just aren’t happening right now.

9:15-11:15AM – We head over to the new house. The locksmith is supposed to be coming at 9:30 for what’s supposed to be a 30-minute appointment. Of course he’s running late, doesn’t show up until 10:15 and then takes an hour. We play on the swingset, put together some new shelves and eat some raisins that I luckily find in the bottom of my purse bc I didn’t pack a snack! By the time we leave, Squish is hungry and cranky because he’s missed his nap.

{Pulled pork with hummus, pumpkin black bean dip & blueberries}

11:30AM – I try to put him straight down for a nap when we get home. No such luck. He’s up 5 minutes later screaming….so we eat lunch instead.

12:00 – 1:15PM – He’s still not in the mood to nap so he plays while I do a little work.

1:15 – 2:30PM – Squish naps and mom works furiously. This is a pretty short nap, but I”ve noticed if I don’t get him down for a morning nap, naptime doesn’t ever go very well later.

2:30-4:30PM – Snack (hard boiled egg & blueberries) & playtime. Typically we would leave for the gym around 3:45 but there are contractors replacing boards on our current house so I can’t leave. Today it’s hot so we play in the sprinkler, play with water on the deck and do lots of walking with our wagon.

4:30PM – Snack – I ate a muffin and he had a couple Sweet Potato Bites.

{Turkey & Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Squash yogurt dip}

5:30PM – By now our schedule is totally out of whack and he’s extra crabby because he only had one short nap. We play in the sprinkler again, I feed him dinner early and then stick him in bathtub for a while because I realize he hasn’t had a bath in several days.

7:00PM – Squish goes to bed.

7:00-10:00PM – Mom catches up on all the work she didn’t have time to do during the day and then goes to bed.

So that’s Monday. Here’s a quick summary of the next two days:


6:00AM– Wakeup & eat breakfast immediately
6:15-8:00AM – Playtime. We watch tv, do some puzzles, read a few books.
8:00AM – Snack.
9:15AM – Nap. I take photos of a new recipe for the blog that I made over the weekend and then since he’s still napping, I make some experimental Baked Pork Tacos. We taste test them for lunch and they’re a hit so I’ll re-make them soon and put them on the blog.
11:15AM – Lunch
11:30-1:15PM – Playtime. Typically we’d leave the house but we’re stuck here again because the contractors are here. We go for a walk with the wagon when daddy comes home for lunch and he pushes rocks around in his stroller for a while.
1:15PM – Snack and more playing. Another hot day so I strip him down and let him play in the sprinkler again. We bought a water table for the new house and I can’t wait to set it up over there!
2:15PM – A second nap!! He rarely takes two naps anymore, let alone two long ones. I guess he was making up for yesterday. I take advantage and get some extra work done and even take a few minutes to soak up the sun on the deck.
3:45PM – We head to the gym. He gets a snack (hard boiled egg and Cheerios) and hangs out while we workout.
6:15PM – Home from the gym and I make a quick dinner for us to eat.
7:00PM – Bedtime for Squish. I do some more work while hubby puts some tile up around the new fireplace we just had installed.
9:30PM – Bed.


6:30AM – Wakeup & eat.
7-9AM – Playtime.
9-10:30AM – We head to his weekly class at The Little Gym.
10:30AM – I fight to keep him awake on the drive home and then immediately put him down for a nap.
11:45AM – Lunch. We eat and watch daddy reattach the mantle.
12-1:00PM – We fold some laundry, ride our bike, generally make a mess and he throws an epic fit when I tell him he can’t have a snack 30 minutes after lunch.
1-2:00PM – We head to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for blog recipe & spend some time in the toy aisle because he’s in a MOOD and mom needs a break.
2:00PM – Home for a snack and some time rearranging things in the garage and pulling the wagon.
3:15PM – I put him in his crib, hoping he’ll nap but knowing he won’t. Putting him in there usually buys me 20-30 minutes before he starts screaming in protest. I use it to make a batch of ice cream for the blog and prep a few things for dinner.
3:45PM – He’s screaming so we get changed and head to the gym.
6:00PM – Home from the gym. I assemble the baked chicken and sweet potatoes I prepped earlier into a quick dinner.
7:00PM – Bed for squish. I work for a while and watch some TV with hubby.
9:00PM – Bedtime.

Have I mentioned this pregnancy is really kicking my butt? Before I was pregnant I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to bed at 9pm…now it’s pretty much a regular thing. I’m also battling spring allergies this week which are making things extra tough, especially when Squish wants to be outside ALL.THE.TIME.

Anyways, there’s a glimpse into a few days of our life! As you can see, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find time to work so I’m really focusing on being organized and being super-focused when I do have time, in order to accomplish as much as possible!





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Joyful Eating, Nourished Life

Hi friends!

Just popping in to share a little bit about a very special program a few of my friends created. Three of my favorite Registered Dietitians (Anne from Fannetastic Food, Alex from Delish Knowledge and Rachael from Avocado A Day Nutrition) have been working hard for the past 6 months to put together an amazing program called Joyful Eating, Nourished Life.

From their website:

Get ready to go on an un-diet.

Created by three Registered Dietitians who specialize in intuitive and mindful eating, Joyful Eating, Nourished Life is a virtual 6-week group program that teaches you how to get healthy without deprivation, calorie counting, or stress about food or exercise. Rather than introducing restrictions into your life, we’ll instead challenge the way you interact with food and exercise and create awareness of the emotions behind those decisions.  

If you are:

  • Overwhelmed by conflicting diet advice
  • Feeling extreme guilt when eating certain foods
  • Struggling with lack of energy despite trying to eat healthy and exercise
  • Experiencing periods of uncontrolled or binge eating
  • Feeling uncomfortable in your own body
  • Turning to food in times of stress or sadness
  • Out of touch with your body’s hunger and fullness cues
  • Sick and tired of calorie counting and following rigid diets that leave you feeling exhausted, depleted and like a failure because they just don’t work!

This is the program for you. It’s PACKED with the best science-backed strategies and tools for nutrition, intuitive and mindful eating, fitness and habit building.

Here’s a look at what’s included in the 6-week program:

  • A 50+ page starter guide, including 10 principles of joyful eating, 15 no-recipe formula meals and snacks, finding your happy weight and additional resources.
  • Bi-weekly emails with in-depth, written lesson plans packed with action steps, learning activities, strategies and support.
  • Access to a private facebook group during the program for support, encouragement and sharing with other participants, and access to Q&A with Anne, Alex and Rachael. (You’ll transition to a private alumni facebook group after the program concludes!)
  • Weekly challenges provided on a handy tracking worksheet to monitor your progress and success.
  • A guided weekly meditation series in audio format.
  • Weekly thought-provoking journaling exercises.
  • Four audio lectures for listening and learning on the go.

 Each week tackles a specific topic including meal planning, social eating situations, emotional eating, body confidence and self-compassion.

I’m so proud of these ladies for the amazing program they’ve put together. What I love about it is that it’s not just your average weight-loss program. Instead of focusing on the scale, it focuses on developing healthy habits that you can carry with you beyond the program. It’s also designed to work for anyone, no matter what type of diet you follow, because it focuses on patterns of eating, not a specific diet. I can already tell you that so many people are going to benefit from this program so if you or someone you know might benefit from it, be sure to help them spread the word!

Their first program launches June 20th so if you’re interested,  sign up now and claim your spot! Below is a link that will take you to their website where you can find more details and signup! (I’m an affiliate for this program because I truly believe it has the potential to change lives! That means I receive a small amount of money if you sign up using the link below, at no additional cost to you.)

Click here to visit the Joyful Eating, Nourished Life website.



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Dear Chase – Months 15 and 16

Dear Chase,

Another two months have passed so it’s time to play catch-up and share what you’ve been up to lately! (In case you’ve missed any my previous letters, you can find them here.) About a week ago you turned 16 months old! It’s crazy how time is flying. Every single day I wake up thinking about how lucky I am to get to spend my days with you!

You’re a busy guy that’s for sure. Here’s how the past couple of months have been:


Don’t let the picture fool you. We’ve actually had a very mild winter and as a result, we’ve been able to spend a fair amount of time outside walking the dogs, going to the park, etc. But we did get one big snow and I just had to put you in your new boots and snowsuit. You weren’t a very big fan.

You’re obsessed with food….to put it mildly. You ask to eat pretty much from the time you wake up until you go to bed and you eat more than it seems possible to fit in your tummy. I do my best to give you whole, healthy foods for your meals and snacks. For breakfast you usually eat eggs or oatmeal. Mid-morning you usually snack on a sweet potato bite or a lemon energy ball. Lunch varies but it’s usually a fruit, sweet potato or another veggie, some meat and lots of hummus. You will literally eat anything dipped in hummus. A couple hours after lunch we usually share a smoothie. You learned how to drink out of a straw and that’s been a game changer. Around 4 we go to gym and every day you get a hardboiled egg and a box of raisins when we get there. And then we eat dinner around 7.

You go to bed around 8 most nights and sleep like a champ, usually waking up around 7am. Naps have been hit or miss for the past couple months. Some days you’ll take two. Some days you’ll only take one. You’re not quite ready to drop down to one all the time.

You can throw a tantrum with the best of them…most often related to me refusing to give you a snack 30 minutes after you last ate. This month you got ALL FOUR of your molars at the same time, which made for a rough week or two for all of us.

I’ve taken you to childcare at MOPS a couple times. You’re definitely a mama’s boy so you don’t do well when I’m not around but we’re working on it!

Other notable events this month:

  • You got your first haircut. Daddy did it and it went fairly well. I held you in place and fed you raisins.
  • Mimi and grandpa came to visit.
  • You went to the dentist with Mommy to see what it’s all about.
  • You got your first fever. It spiked one night up to 103 degrees but went away in about 24 hours.

You love:

  • Cleaning. You have a toy vacuum that you love using. You also love brooms, swiffers, etc.
  • Stacking. Blocks, paper towel rolls – you name it.
  • Throwing things. Mostly balls, but occasionally books, blocks, etc.
  • Anything kitchen related. Both your toy kitchen and stuff in mommy’s kitchen.
  • Books. All day every day.
  • TV. You’d watch all day if I let you. We watch mostly PBS- you love Curious George, Wild Kratts, Sesame Street, etc but we occasionally watch things like Mickey Mouse as well.
  • The gym.  You’re at the gym every night with us for a couple of hours. Everyone loves you and you love running around, stealing the remotes, dancing and throwing balls and barbell clips around.
  • Baths. Endless entertainment.


February 1st you went in for your 15-month appointment. You were 33 1/4 inches long (98th percentile), 26 pounds, 6 ounces (92nd percentile) and your head was 19 1/4 inches (97th percentile).

It’s crazy to look at side-by-side comparisons of this time last year and now. You were so little then and now you’re such a little man. I wrote another Day in the Life post this month to share what our days look like during the week. Food and sleep-wise, things are pretty much the same as last month. Naps are still unpredictable. Some days you take a later morning nap and then skip your afternoon nap. Some days you take two. I try to just go with the flow as best I can and let you dictate when you need to sleep. You’re still wearing mostly 2T tops and 18-24 month pants.

You love:

  • Forward rolls- You’ve started doing this at the Little Gym and now you just randomly stop what you’re doing at home, put your head and hands on the floor and your butt in the air and wait for someone to flip you over.
  • Climbing on everything- You’ve figured out how to climb and you’re now climbing on EVERYTHING. Stacks of weights at the gym, your toy box, the couch, whatever you can find!
  • Feeding yourself- I ordered you some sectioned plates and have been trying really hard to let you start feeding yourself. I still have to watch you closely because you’ll often shove too much food in your mouth at once, but I put your plate on your high chair tray and let you decide what order you want to eat things in. You’ve started trying to scoop things up with a spoon or fork on your own as well, although most of the time you’d rather just have me do the scooping for you.
  • The Dishwasher – Nothing makes you happier than when I ask if you want to help me unload the dishwasher. You take everything out piece by piece, stack them up and hand them to me.
  • Mimicking- You’re turning into quite the mini Crossfit coach. You love to walk around clapping your hands, yelling at people while they’re wodding. We got you our own barbell and you’ve starting picking it up and doing squats with it!

Notable events this month:

  • Your feet grew! We had to get you a new pair of shoes (size 6 instead of size 5).
  • You got your second haircut. This time mommy took you to Cookie Cutters. I wasn’t sure how you’d do but for the most part you did pretty well!
  • You let grandma and grandpa babysit you a couple times so mommy and daddy could go out with friends.
  • Almost words! I’m pretty sure your first words are going to be “Let’s Go!” because you say something VERY close to that when you’re cheering for people at the gym.

You’re the light of our lives, little man. It’s a huge joy to watch you learn and grow every single day!

Mommy loves you!


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