Dairy Free = Happy Baby


By Lotus Head from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa – sxc.hu, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=134636


Yes folks!  It’s true.  I’m dairy free.  I avoid dairy because through trial and error, I discovered it really affects my baby (now 6 months old!).  The one exception I make is butter because well butter is delicious and I don’t think it affects him when I nurse.  I started all this in May for two reasons.  The first reason was really that I was trying to cut all forms of sugar out so that I would heal my body of some issues.  I also discovered I was VERY much addictive to sugar.  I craved it and depended on it to get me through the day. Milk products contain natural sugar so I needed to cut those out.  😦  An unintended pleasant discovery was that taking our dairy temporarily helped my little one’s belly issues.  The incessant screaming and hard tummy and evening discomfort no longer became such a huge issue.  Things have improved greatly.

At first avoiding dairy was so hard.  I longed for slices of cheese on my sandwich and I missed Greek yogurt, and real ice cream.  I needed to totally revamp my typical go to dinner menus to make sure there was no cheese or dairy.  The thing I missed the most was (and still is) pizza.  Because cheese is what makes pizza…well… pizza.  I also learned to substitute things in recipes.  Almond milk and I have become quite friendly. I use  unsweetened almond milk in recipes like egg bake, banana bread, and white sauces.  I’ve even learned that there is something out there called dairy free dessert (aka ice “cream”).  My favorite is almond milk ice “cream”.  It costs quite a penny so I learned to make almond milk custard in my ice cream maker.  It is pretty time consuming to prep so I’ve made it… once.  Here is the link to my favorite recipe.   https://www.cuisinart.com/recipes/desserts/5835/ .  It is awesome.  I also discovered many frozen yogurt shops carry a flavor or two of dairy free.  My favorite is always key lime!

Dinner recipes have been fun as well.  It’s amazing how many recipes out there that are dairy free.  Some of my favorites are fish tacos, taco stuffed sweet potatoes, and salisbury steak -all from one of my favorite websites called Paleo Leap.

I plan to be dairy free until my son is weaned.  After that point I plan to add back in dairy products. Once I do, I hope to have whole milk products  that are free of extra added sugar because I think I can eat way to much added sugar if I’m not careful.  But I guess that’s a topic for another post.  In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying my almond milk custard and a happier baby.



Learning about Toddler Sleep


Good morning!

Our son turns 2 very soon, and we recently experienced an epiphany regarding his sleep. The nurse practitioner at Target confirmed that an ear infection had cleared, but that fluid remained in one ear. He suggested that I contact our pediatrician about allergy medication to help dry him out and, hopefully, remove the discomfort that the fluid can cause. We did, and she agreed that it may not only prevent his frequent midnight wakings, but put him in a better spot to eat well and (finally) gain weight. You see, his weight has been under the curve for his age for much of his life.

I am happy to report that he is waking less often at night, and also that he is growing! Praise God!

Another thing I am remembering from when our daughter was 18 – 36 months old: she frequently woke early in the morning, fussing. Too early, according to her parent’s gauge. (I know you all know how important our sleep gauges are!) My husband finally figured out that she didn’t need comfort, she didn’t need questions about how she was doing and cajoling to just go back to sleep, already. She needed to be told, firmly that she was still tired, that it was still *night time* (again, we as the parents were the gauge of that 😉 ), and that she needed, right now, to lie down and go back to sleep.

It totally worked. Each time he was firm, she slept for at least another 30 minutes. It was a welcome reprieve for all.

I want to share these couple of items in case they help another family.

That’s all for now, folks!

Blessings to you,



butterfly birthday party


“Maggie, I was thinking about what we should do for your birthday party.  We could go to the zoo and have your friends come too and have treats there, or we could have a tea party and have your girlfriends over and everyone could wear fancy dresses, or we could have an Olympics party and have games in the backyard …”

“MAMA, why can’t we just have a party here at our house with my friends and have macaroni and cheese?  And chocolate cake?”

So we did …

Continue reading

“This is how I praise the Lord.”

img_5415My husband’s alarm went off and broke me out of a deep sleep.  I stretched, took a deep breath, and considered whether to get up.  I’m fighting off a cold, I hadn’t slept all that well, maybe I could sleep for twenty more minutes, until my oldest daughter would come in to wake me up … no.  I should get up.  A thought popped into my head: “This is how I praise the Lord.

Was it the Holy Spirit?  Or just a random thought my groggy mind came up with?  Who knows.  But it got me out of bed, with purpose and resolve.  And it stuck with me through the day: to get up promptly, to greet the day cheerfully, to prepare myself to shoulder the day’s responsibilities, and to keep going throughout the day – this is how I praise the Lord.

failure or frivolous (more enemy’s lies)

some “frivolous” work I did last week with my kids in our driveway

Some days, all I see is failure.  The kids are fighting, with me and with each other.  I need to vacuum and mop, because the baby is crawling all over the dirty floor all day, and her onesie is smudged grey on the front from her tummy dragging across the grime.  I lose my temper with the children, repeatedly, while I try to make dinner, which nobody will eat anyway.  Every time I turn around there is another diaper to be changed, including directly after I tell my oldest that I will finally sit down to read her a story.  Oops, I’m sorry, just five more minutes, sweetheart.  Really.  Why am I doing this? Continue reading

50 book recommendations from a picky reader


I am a picky reader.

I have no stomach for graphic violence, and no patience for what passes as “romance” in modern literature.  I don’t want to read about people or characters that I can’t admire.  When I am pregnant or postpartum (i.e., the past five years of my life) I have a hard time reading anything that’s very sad.  For the most part, I avoid fiction that’s too predictable*, but it also can’t be too deep for me to understand when I’m sleep-deprived.

With all these restrictions, though, somehow I’ve managed to read a couple hundred books over the past five years.  For this list, I’ve whittled it down to 50 books that I would absolutely recommend.  As I worked on this list, some titles made me smile as if I’d met up with an old friend.  These books kept me (somewhat) sane during those hard early days of motherhood, and continue to give me respite from thinking about diapers and temper tantrums and the terrible twos.  I hope they will bring you joy too! Continue reading

A Word for a Thursday

This morning has been a first-time-in-over-three-years kind of morning. I’m up, and miraculously nobody else is…and it has been at least 30 min…maybe 45.

So I did the only thing that made sense – I had a prayer time in peace and quiet. FANtastic.

And then I realized it is Thursday, which is my dedicated blog day that I have missed 363 out of 364 days this past year. So I thought I’d share my prayer time with you!

Today’s word is brought to you by the number 2 and the letter C 🙂

 2 Corinthians 9:8. “And God is able to fill you with every good thing, so that you may have enough of everything at all times, and may give abundantly for any good work.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you in your good work today, whatever that may be… even if it feels like what is pictured above: you are behind the wheel of a fast moving vehicle, driving with your feet…with the door open….down a hill.

But now that you have this here scripture in your back pocket for the day, I’m sure you could manage a smile too 🙂

Carry on!