Natalie: Two Months

Natalie Two Months

Two Months! Time is just flying by with this little cutie. I feel like things are finally starting to feel more normal around here. We kind of have a schedule down, but I know from the first time around, it’s best not to get too comfortable with any routine as it constantly changes throughout the first year.

Sleepwise, Natalie is actually pretty good at night. She goes to bed around 9pm and has been sleeping through the night until anywhere from 5-7:30. So no complaints there, but Maddie was also pretty good at this age and then started waking up constantly around 5 months or so until she was sleep trained. Since Natalie sleeps so well at night unswaddled, I haven’t bothered trying to swaddle her. It made a big difference with Madeline, but Natalie doesn’t seem to be as jerky.

Peanut-Sauced Chicken Pitas

Peanut-Sauced Chicken Pitas

When it comes to lunch, I think I’m in a forever rut. I want/need healthy options, but there are only so many salads one can eat before you get totally sick of salads! And since having a second baby, my mornings have gotten seriously hectic. Between getting myself ready, getting the girls dressed, feeding the baby, and making breakfast for Maddie and my husband, I don’t have a lot of time for lunch prep before I realize how late I am running to get to work. Since returning to work, I’ve been buying lunch way too often which of course, is too expensive and not very healthy. I’m a big fan of chicken salads and I like these Peanut-Sauced Chicken Pitas because 1. I’m all about anything covered in peanut sauce and 2. These are really easy to make! If you want to have these pitas a few times in a week, you can also make a larger batch of the peanut sauce and keep extra of the chopped veggies in a container in the fridge.

While I love eating this in a pita, the chicken and peanut mixture would also be fabulous of a bed of greens or heck, just by itself with a fork!

Peanut-Sauced Chicken Pitas

S’mores Milkshakes

S'mores Milkshakes

I know I typically try to post healthier recipes on this blog, but sometimes you just gotta for it and say screw it. It was one of those weekends last week where everything just seemed like a big mess. We were running so far behind on every errand we needed to run and the girls both were acting up everywhere we went. Madeline was running around like a crazy person and Natalie just wants to be held constantly, otherwise she loses it. Ugh. A giant chocolate and marshmallow shake was desperately needed. It’s summer and S’mores milkshakes should be the official milkshake of summer!

S'mores Milkshakes

To make the shake, you just need some good quality chocolate ice cream, vanilla extract, and marshmallow cream. I know, I know, some of you may be thinking marshmallow cream is a no-go, and you totally don’t have to add it if you don’t want to! But, seriously, to get more of that s’mores flavor, you will want to add the marshmallow cream. You can also try adding marshmallow extract, though I haven’t tried that yet. For the topping, I dipped the rims of the glasses in chocolate syrup and graham cracker crumbs. And what would a s’mores shake be without the toasted marshmallows on top?! To toast the marshmallows, I used my handy kitchen torch.

S'mores Milkshakes

Healthy Cake Batter Bites

Healthy Cake Batter Bites

At 8 weeks pospartum, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can no longer justify indulging in many treats. I’m not able to do a lot of nursing now so I’m not burning those extra calories. It’s time to get back to normal healthier eating, but it totally sucks! One of my biggest cravings with this last pregnancy was cake. I know, so bad, but the craving was strong!

Healthy Cake Batter Bites

I’ve loved these healthy cookie dough bites for a long time now. They are the perfect little bite of sweetness and do actually taste like cookie dough. As I was trying to think of healthy snacks I could store in the fridge, I decided to make a cake batter version of those bites! Cashews and oats are the base of these bites and when you throw them together in a food processor, they produce a nice cake or cookie-like consistency.

To achieve the cake batter taste, you just need some butter extract and a touch of vanilla. You can add more if you want a stronger flavor. And then of course, you have to add a good dose of colorful sprinkles! These are a fun and healthy treat that kids can enjoy too!

Healthy Cake Batter Bites

Tomato Burrata Toasts

Tomato Burrata Toasts

If you asked me to pick my favorite summer meal or appetizer, I’d say it’s this. Toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Brushetta is truly one of my greatest loves in life. I know, it’s kind of simple, but that’s what I love about it. I adore warm toasted bread topped with a pile of fresh tomatoes and garlic!

Tomato Burrata Toasts

I’ve added one incredible ingredient to these little toasts and it’s burrata. Oh my gosh, I love burrata so so so much and I want to put it in everything. If you’ve never had it before, burrata is a light cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer part is mozzarella and then when you break into it, you’ll find the most amazing creamy cheese. It’s basically a dream come true and perfect for spreading on some toasted bread!

You can really use whatever tomatoes you want for this recipe, but I like to use this constellation mix of little heirloom tomatoes my grocery store carries. I adore the look of the different colored tomatoes, but if you can only find grape or cherry tomatoes, that’s perfectly okay! I love garlic and add a lot of it, but you can add less. I also highly recommend a good drizzling of balsamic vinegar or glaze on top to finish the toasts off before serving!

You can serve these toasts as an appetizer, but I honestly could eat this as a meal! These toasts would be lovely to serve with a crisp glass of white wine while enjoying a summer sunset. You could also serve these as a side dish along with some grilled chicken or fish. It’s entirely possible I ate an entire half of a baguette of the toasts in one sitting. Sorry not sorry!

Tomato Burrata Toasts

Natalie: One Month

Natalie One Month

One Month old already! Well, actually, Natalie is almost 2 months, but I’m obviously running a bit behind on the updates! I loved sharing these monthly updates with you guys when Madeline was a baby and wanted to bring them back for Natalie. It’s nice to share our struggles with others and I always got great tips from you experienced parents out there!

In some regards, these early weeks have been easier this time around. I know the drill. There is no real routine, feed on demand, and sleeping in short bursts, etc.. Even though I am completely exhausted beyond belief, I feel like I am handling it better this time around since everything is more expected. On other hand, the most difficult adjustment is now figuring out how to manage two kids at once!

Natalie seems to have a bit of colic. It’s not the worst case, but every afternoon/evening from about 4-9pm, she is always wide awake and cranky and difficult to comfort. This has honestly been the most challenging change for us because it’s just an awful, hectic time of day to deal with it. It’s dinner time, I need to cook at least for Madeline. Then it’s Maddie’s bath time and bed time, which of course, I want to do with her, but then Natalie is always crying and cranky. Sean tries to keep her calm and get her to sleep while I put Maddie down, but it’s rough. A lot of nights, we have been eating dinner at 9pm so we can enjoy a meal in peace and quiet!

In regards to feeding, as some of you may remember, I had supply issues with Madeline. Knowing my struggles the first time around, my plan this time has been to just do the best I can, but not to beat myself up if breastfeeding didn’t work out. Natalie had fantastic latch and was nursing like a champ. During our second night at home though (which was about 5 days postpartum for me), I had been nursing on and off for hours and hours and she started getting really upset and was rooting for more and I just felt so dry and started to realize that I again wasn’t getting that “full” feeling of milk coming in. I gave her a couple of ounces of formula and she finally fell right to sleep. I let her pediatrician know of my struggles the first time around so she was diligent about us getting Natalie in for weight checks in the early weeks. She got down to 4.9 pounds shortly after birth which is kind of scary, but as soon as I started supplementing with formula, her weight started to climb.

I still nurse her, but I always have to give a bottle after because Natalie is never satisfied just from nursing. She’s also gotten quite lazy with nursing since we introduced the bottle so I’m also trying to pump a few times a day to keep up the little supply I do have. It’s weird because sometimes I can feel some fullness, but if I nurse, it’s not enough for her and when I pump, I’m lucky to get an ounce total. Very frustrating, but I’ve done my best. I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast every day and I think it helps a little so I’m going to keep that going too.

Now we are struggling with formula. Natalie gets so uncomfortable after a bottle of formula. She gets extremely gassy and scrunches up and grunts for a really long time. I’ve tried more gentler formulas, but they don’t seem to really help her so either I haven’t found the right one or this is just how she is and I’m praying she will grow out of it soon!

Natalie One Month

Madeline has been adjusting pretty well to having a baby sister. Overall, she really loves her and wants to hold her all the time and help. We got her a doll and stroller as a big sister gift and she has been having fun feeding and walking around with her baby too. She’s had a few jealous moments, but she doesn’t seem to be too bothered. It’s been a long month of adjustment for all of us. We’ve had a lot of family visit us which was wonderful! I learned the first time around to accept all the help you are offered from family and I’ve taken people up on every offer to help with holding the baby so I could nap or do some things around the house, taking Maddie out, whatever!

I think that’s pretty much it for now, stay tuned for the next update soon!