New baby Grady is 11 days old and I’m finally getting back into the routine of normal life. I shared his birth story earlier this week in case you missed it. So much has happened since his birth—from back-to-school open houses to the first day of school to visiting with both sides of the family to me agreeing to take on a new freelancing client. Life is busy but my heart is so full and I’m on cloud nine now that I’m not pregnant and instead am able to spend half my day snuggling a newborn.
At any rate, I wanted to share some of my favorite moments and products from the past two weeks in my latest Friday Faves.
K I D S
First Day of School
It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but my Rowdy boys really were excited about the first day of school earlier this week. Of course, all my kids decided to start sleeping later this week for some strange reason, so we found ourselves having to wake them up for the first day of school. We are shifting their bedtime back thirty minutes to ensure they get enough rest each night.
James Michael starts 1st Grade and Beau starts Pre-K. Beau was most excited about the new playground and James Michael was most excited about choosing his own lunch food. I packed him a lunch the first day because I had to last year at nature school and he’s my picky eater. But he informed me he wants to go through the lunch line like the other kids, so he’s giving that a shot. And when did school lunch become free?! So much has changed since I grew up.
While James Michael is excited about trying out school lunches, Beau doesn’t have that option because of Eosinophilic Esophagitis and subsequent food allergies. So I will continue to pack his lunch every day. I know I’ve mentioned these lunch boxes several times, but they are so perfect for Beau’s lunch, especially since he can’t eat the go-to sandwich that a lot of kids have for packed lunch. The small compartments are perfect for serving all sorts of food items. And it truly is leak-proof. This summer, I placed the box in a cooler with ice, and by the time I opened the cooler all the ice had melted and the box was submerged in water. I was afraid that all the food would be soaked, but was pleasantly surprised to find that no water had seeped in! And the the small compartments themselves also don’t spill over into each other. I often put a sauce like ketchup in the box or a big spoonful of sunbutter. And with my other kids I’ve put yogurt in a compartment. We’ve had our boxes for more than two years, but they have some new combo colors on the market now.
The timing of Grady’s birth could not have been more perfect. He arrived just over a week before school started for my Rowdy boys, so I was able to attend their Open House at 1 week postpartum and walk them into their classes the first day of school. The timing also meant that they could see both sets of cousins on each side of the family. I would have hated for their cousins from Florida to pass through town only to find me super pregnant and ornery!
Having two sets of cousins visit over 3 days also gave my kids some fun playmates to help keep them entertained.
My husband thinks I get the kids new cups or water bottles every week, but the truth is we are phasing out many of our old toddler sippy cups and my kids need something made for older kids. I saw this spill-proof straw tumbler for $6-8 and ordered it in three colors for my kids. So far we are loving this new cup. It’s much better than a water bottle at the dinner table and is a great size.
B A B Y
My older kids (ages 6, 5 and 3) are absolutely smitten with Grady. Scarlett has been anticipating his arrival for months and I think that some days she’s still in disbelief that he’s actually here. All of my kids cannot stop touching him, and we have to review the rules of how to safely touch him (feet and legs only) about 10 times a day. They wake up each morning looking for him and won’t go to bed at night until they’ve kissed him and told him goodnight. One thing’s for sure, he is well loved.
I mentioned this sleeper in my post about baby must-haves, but this sleeper has been my go-to for all my babies as newborns. Though none of my babies spit up, I can see how the incline position would be great if you have a spitter. I love that it cozily cradles them, which is helpful the first few weeks when they startle often. With three older kids, it’s also a safer place for me to put the baby rather than on the floor.
These muslin swaddle blankets are the perfect weight for summer and a lot cheaper than the popular Aden + Anais blankets. I use these for Grady if I’m indoors at a place where the AC is blasting or to swaddle him at night.
M A M A
Help from Family
Despite this being my fourth baby, it’s my first delivery where I’ve had family locally. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have my parents close by. They took on my three kids the first week at their house during a super rainy week. Then my mother-in-law tag teamed in to help get us through this first week of school. By the time next week rolls around, we should be in a good place with our new school routine and newborn routine. It really does take a village, especially when you have multiple kids.
My first week postpartum, my nutrition was all over the place. I was craving dense healthy meals, but the hospital food left much to be desired. A friend dropped off dinner at the hospital one night which was amazing. A huge burger on a gluten-free bun with broccolini on the side. I have never been so excited for broccolini! Nursing cravings, like pregnancy cravings are also very real. One minute I’m craving a mega salad with all the veggies and the next I’m craving chocolate. This second week has gone a little better now that I’m less achy and able to fend for myself in the kitchen. I’m trying to increase the veggies and fats while decreasing the sugar intake. My body just feels so much better when I eat better.
R E C I P E S // F O O D
I’ve been making this crockpot recipe for a few years now and it still one of my favorite recipes. Not only is it super healthy (and paleo), but it is packed with so much flavor. We always eat it atop baked sweet potato because I love the savory/sweet combo. It takes a little prep work to cut up the meat and veggies, but I will toss it into the crockpot in the morning and it makes for such an easy dinner on busy weeknights. It also freezes really well. I just broke out one freezer container of it this week to make sure I had a good nutritious dinner.
Allergy Friendly Break-and-Bake Cookies
I randomly spotted these Sweet Loren’s cookies at my local Publix and hesitantly read the ingredients on the back. You see, most gluten free cookies contain rice flour, and since Beau is allergic to rice, there are very few packaged goods that I can buy for him. I was pleasantly surprised that this brand included no rice at all and was safe for my Beaudozer. I let the boys sample them one afternoon last week and they are delicious! These are a great option for an allergy kid because you only have to bake a couple at a time. I always have to send special snacks or treats to school with Beau when they do celebrations, so these will make it so much easier to do last minute if I don’t have homemade treats frozen.
I saw another blogger post about this recipe and knew I had to try it since the flavors are so much different than my typical dishes. I doubled the recipe to take a portion to my parents as a thank you for helping me with my oldest three for a week when Grady was born. My mom LOVES kalamata olives and artichoke hearts, so I knew she would love this dish. I’ll be honest, it was so easy to throw together and hardly any prep time unlike many of my favorite casserole dishes. I topped the dish with feta cheese and I will say that the flavor was amazing. Of course, this is coming from a hungry nursing mama who is starving by dinner time, but my mother in law and mom agreed it was delicious.
See my past Friday Faves.
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