The smallest little things. . . . .

Grand Lake, Colorado

Grand Lake, Colorado

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Like Mama Like Me Grocery List. Any Suggestions???

Please Help.  I am finally making a Grocery List in an effort to only buy the (healthy) foods we need in our home.  Only problem is that this is all I can come up with. And
Its a solid start but I don’t have much in the way of (healthy) convenience foods for toddlers.
I’d welcome any ideas you guys might have!
Thank you!

(BTW my baby girl is 17 months old)

My Partner in Crime :)

My Partner in Crime 🙂

Produce
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Seasonal Fruit
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions
  • avocados
Deli / Dairy
  • Yogurt (full fat for baby and whatever looks good for you)
  • Tofu (Extra Firm for cooking and Silken to blend in smoothies (and baby food)
  • Shredded Cheese
Packaged
  • Applesauce
  • Almond Butter
  • Almond Milk
  • Cheerios
  • Mini Pitas
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Pasta (smaller shapes are great for small hands)
Frozen
  • Berries (so much cheaper than fresh ones and with the same nutritional value!)
  • Veggies – Sweet  Peas, Corn, “Grilled” Vegetable Medley,

That’s all I’ve got so far. What am I missing? What’s on YOUR list?
Your suggestions are GREATLY appreciated 🙂

What do you mean you don’t want it?!

“Please just try it?”

Every parent has been there. And when you put in so much time and love into what you cook them, it can be crushing when they won’t even taste it.
All that time and energy wasted? Don’t give up just yet. Below are some of my favorite “fast fixes” for my picky eater.

Serve it with a smile! Changing utensils might help too.

Serve it with a smile! Changing utensils might help too.

1. Try putting unwanted veggies in a pita and using a pizza cuter to transform them into mini slices!
2. Mashed or diced fruit? Stir in some plain full-fat yogurt and top with cereal (Ella really likes Chex).
3. Stuff chicken, ground turkey, or beef between small tortillas and turn into mini quesadillas. You can also add a veggie puree to make them more nutritious!
4. Is it a pasta or rice dish that they don’t want? Mix what you have with a touch of cheese, and some finely diced veggies and spoon mixture into coated mini muffin tin cups. 350 for 10 minutes and voila! Something new! Hopefully your toughest critic will love the new texture and presentation!

Stuffed Acorn Squash For Mama and Baby

  Since moving to the mountains squash has become a staple in my house. Not only is it super versatile and easy to prepare, but is full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It’s also super easy to make version of … Continue reading

Dealing with Distance: When the Ones You Love Live So Far Away

Distance sucks no matter how you slice it.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your spouse, your friends, or your parents, when the people you love live so far away it can cause some major heartache. And when a parent just happens to be your best friend too? Well that can really suck too.

So since my mom and I have live 2000 miles apart we both have to make a constant effort to connect. It’s definitely not easy but it’s worth it.

Over the years I’ve also become pretty creative on ways to connect with my far away family that I love so very much. They may be out of sight but they’re never out of mind.

My Four S’s For Staying Connected

Snail mail. Whether it’s a card, photo postcard (my favorite) or random keepsake you’ve found, sending something the old school way is an easy and cheap way to make someone’s day.

Gmailing with Daddy from far far away.

Gmailing with Daddy from far far away

Skype. Or Gmail. Or Facetime. It doesn’t matter which one you choose just DO IT! If you didn’t live so far away from each other you’d make plans for coffee, right? Plan it the same way just with a webcam! Need an honest opinion on a new hairstyle? Or help choosing which dress wear? Regardless if you need feedback or just want to see their smiling face, connecting this way is one of the simplest.

Surprises. Okay, so some of us love surprises and some of us dread them. Surprises don’t always have to be major though. And they don’t have to be expensive either. Take photos for an example. Ever order prints to your local pharmacy and pick them up later that day? Well what if you sent photos to their pharmacy. Just search find the closest store (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) online and order the prints to be picked up there. A quick text/call to your mom and she can pick up a handful of your personalized photos on her way home from work!

Support. Since its difficult to be a part of each other’s life physically, it’s important to stay honest and open with each other. Try to letting your guard down and let them into your world! Listen to them when they need to lean on you and make the effort to reach out to them when you’re struggling. It might be scary but take the risk.

These people are your family. And family is forever.

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Introducing New Foods (Parenting Tip)

My favorite little helper.

My favorite little helper.

Introducing your child to new foods begins at the supermarket. As you shop, have your child pick out something that gets their attention. Encourage them to hold it while you do the rest of your shopping. Then once you’re home prepare a meal with it and have them help you. Not only will they be involved in the process but hopefully he’ll be more open to trying it at the dinner table!

And shop at multiple grocery stores when possible. Where we live we have a couple to choose from. One has a larger produce section and the other offers lots of international stuff and a better bakery. By shopping at both you have a much wider selection of foods to feed your family.

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Sick baby. Now what?

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My little bundle of sickness.

Taking care of a sick baby has got to be one of toughest things parents endure. In fact, I’d argue that sometimes its even harder for us than it is for them. Our little ones can’t tell us what’s hurting them and we are so limited in our ways to make them comfortable.

My baby girl is just now feeling better after her first full blown cold. What started out as a runny nose turned into an entire week of sneezing, screaming, crying, and snuggling. It was rough but we survived.

This is how.

Bottles Everywhere. It’s tough keeping little ones hydrated! Since I’m not producing as much breast milk as I used to (which is full of the antibodies she needs) I try to always have alternatives nearby. This translates to plenty of (defrosted) breast milk and Pedialyte in the fridge, water bottles in her bedroom and in ours, and spare bottles in both cars just in case. So no matter where we are we always have something for her to drink.

Plan ahead. Whether it’s figuring out the feeding/sleeping schedules or allocating middle of the night responsibilities, planning ahead will save you the stress when your baby’s routine to become erratic. It also enables you to find balance with your partner rather than one person doing all the work. Double checking your supply of (sick) baby-friendly foods and infant ibuprofen is also a good idea.

Swings work wonders. Indoor swings, outdoor swings, swings in doorways, swings that vibrate. No matter which you choose swings are awesome for sick babies. Runny nose? A swinging will help it drain. Can’t go outside? An indoor swing (or Johnny Jump Up) is great for shaking all of the wiggles out. Going stir crazy? A short walk to a local playground is a great way to get some fresh air without a whole lot of interaction. And need a break from all the one-on-one time? Find some swings in the corner of a busy playground. The other kids will hold your baby’s attention much longer than you can. Just don’t forget the Kleenex and sanitizer!

Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. It may be the only upside to caring for sick babies. They tend to sleep a lot more (meaning more of a break for you). Once they start rubbing their eyes try laying them down. Even if they only sleep for 20 minutes you’re giving them the opportunities their little bodies need to rest and recover.

Treat Yourself to Dinner. Chances are your little one is going to be a super picky eater if she’s in the mood to eat anything at all (Ella has survived the last week on bananas, Cheerios, and yogurt). So if you’re feeling ambitious I encourage you to pack up your little bundle of sickness and make a quick run out to pick up dinner. A giant pre-made salad from a local deli? Some chicken lettuce wraps from your favorite Chinese restaurant? Since I rarely focus on my meals I try to treat myself to something yummy that I’d never make at home. This goes for dessert too! When was the last time you ordered a decadent slice of apple pie to go? It’s pretty awesome at 2 am when you’ve got a screaming, slobbering sick baby in your lap.

I mean Mamas deserve to be taken care of too, right? 🙂

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Hey Guys! – An Introduction

I am so excited about blogging for so many reasons.
IMG_7469– I am a full-time mama living in a super small mountain town. I feel so isolated here and thru blogging I’m hoping to connect with other parents.
– I am so inspired by MY mother. She is the most incredible woman I know and I am constantly trying to all that she did for me.
– I am constantly making the every effort to keep my baby girl healthy and finally decided that I deserve to be healthy too. Mind, body, and spirit.

Although challenging, this journey into motherhood has been amazing.
I hope you can relate to (and maybe even enjoy) some of my craziness. 
Do something everyday that scares you, right?
xo
Jen