I just wanted to pop in for a brief update on life lately. My newsletters will be a similar format to this post, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here: newsletter signup.
By the time we get to March each year, I feel like spring is just around the corner and typically sickness is behind us. The first three weeks of February were filled with the stomach bug followed by the flu. At some point every winter, we go through a season of heavy sickness and it’s rough. Every time, I feel weighted down and confined not just to the house but inside because of the weather. And just about the time when I wonder if things will ever turn around, they always do.
We had something like 18 doctor’s visits in the month of February. About half for sickness and half for specialist visits. It was an intense month, but by the last week of February, we finally got our groove back and even managed to enjoy some sunny 60-degree days. It did this Mama heart and our family a world of good. The heaviness of sickness was lifted the the Vitamin D did so much to restore our spirits.
I posted this picture on Instagram, but it’s amazing what weeks of sickness will do to shift your perspective. The seemingly ordinary (sometimes chaotic) moments are welcomed with open arms. The moments of closeness, while they can be overwhelming at times with four kids, were cherished once quarantined restrictions were lifted.
Though I only went to the gym a handful of times in February, the few days I did go I was too tired and sleep deprived to get in a great workout. So I listened to my body and dialed my expectations back a bit. Hopefully I’ll get my gym groove back this month and maybe even sneak in some outdoor workouts.
But we did enjoy several long slow-paced walks this past week.
Though I loved Kristin Hannah’s books The Nightingale and The Great Alone, I was less than impressed with The Magic Hour, though it received just as many rave reviews. Something about some of the characters annoyed me. Or maybe that’s actually the mark of a good novel if the characters get to you so much they annoy you! At the recommendation of bloggers I follow as well as a couple friends, I recently started Where the Crawdads Sing. I have heard it’s one of those books that you can’t put down, and that most people read it in just a couple days. I would like to challenge them to taking on a baby who wakes up 3-5 times a night and coming off weeks of sickness. Least to say, I have not had the urge to stay up half the night reading this only because I cannot keep my eyes open. So far though, it is drawing me in with the characters and the setting and a bit of a mystery at the beginning.
Besides that, we are more than halfway through God of Creation by Jen Wilkins with my women’s bible study at church. A friend asked me if it was a good study because she was thinking of purchasing the book online. And while it’s good, what makes it really great to me is the corresponding weekly videos (“All human creativity is the vaguest whisper of God.” Jen Wilkins) as well as talking through points with my fellow moms each week.
I recently did a post about Tips for Surviving Postpartum Hair Loss. At the end I alluded to not know what to do about going gray. I am so torn about where to go from here. I got a whim and decided to highlight my hair when I was pregnant with Baby #2 and it took over a year to get it back to my natural color because my hair grows slowly. Of course, that was 5 years ago before any gray hairs started popping up. I am hesitant to start highlighting again because of the upkeep, but I’m not sure of my other options. A couple months ago, I decided to pluck out the few gray strands I saw. Bad idea, because more have popped up since then and the ones that have grown back have a different texture: thicker and kind of crinkly. So fellow aging moms, what are you doing about gray hairs? Let them grow? Dye them?
I have been making this recipe for Crockpot Carne Guisada for a few years now—and often double the recipe to take as a meal to a friend or to freeze some for busy nights. I love eating it on top of baked sweet potato or most recently, a mix of baked white potato and sweet potato fries. It’s amazing with cheese (if you aren’t dairy-free like me) and of course avocado.
I’m also obsessed with my dairy-free version of Nutpods coffee creamer. Now that I’m making my own creamer, I’m more liberal with how much I add to my coffee, which means every single cup is amazing. And between sickness and sleep deprivation, I’ll confess that coffee is helping me to survive most days. I have plans to cut back some, but not until the baby is sleeping better (ear tubes happen next week so I’m hopeful sleep is in my future!).
While we were dealing with sickness last month, my cooking was impaired a bit. It took me several days after the stomach bug to get my appetite back. And then when my three youngest got the flu I skipped grocery shopping that week and simply pulled out food from the freezer. One thing I kept craving was mega salads. Thanks to my husband’s alternative gardening skills, we have hydroponic greens ready to eat year round. So many days, I picked some greens and made mega salads using some smoked chicken from the freezer. I get my dad to smoke several pounds of chicken for me every couple months so I can freeze them in small packages and pull out to eat at the last minute. Because of my EOE kid’s food allergies, there is no last-minute convenience meals that he can eat, so this frozen chicken is key for quick meals.
Last but not least, I managed to take a trip to Costco with a friend this morning (so much more fun) and stock up on all the things. I know I’ve said this many times before, but I love Costco. They have so many great organic options and bulk buying is great for my family of six.
Cheers to spring and good health!