I’m still loving our breakfast smoothies in the mornings. It has reached a point where I am actually craving them and looking forward to them every day, so we are making them more often than not now. We have made a lot of really tasty combinations, but this is definitely one of my favorites.
If you’re freaked out by the green color of green smoothies—this one is for you. The combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries transforms this smoothie into a lovely purple color that is appetizing to even the most discerning smoothie drinkers. But the secret is that it still has a few cups of healthy, vitamin-packed spinach hidden in there! Blueberries are the real color culprit. Any time you want to hide the green? Add blueberries.
My only complaint about this smoothie is that it is a bit “seedy.” Strawberries play a role, but it’s the raspberries that give this a little bit of “bite”! You just need to make sure to do a good tooth brushing/flossing afterward. :)
The Ungreen Green Smoothie
(Source: Annie’s Eats)
Makes 2 large smoothies
- 1-2 cups orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
- 1 banana (frozen or not)
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 2 servings protein powder (optional) or 1-2 tbsp. ground flax seed (optional)
- Agave syrup or honey (optional)
Combine all ingredients in your blender (may want to do this in stages, blending in between—depends on the quality of your blender). If necessary, add more orange juice a splash at a time for a thinner texture. Taste and if needed, add up to 1 tablespoon of agave syrup or honey to lightly sweeten.
As is usual for me this time of year, I am starting to feel the effects of the cold, snowy, dreary weather and being cooped up inside. Cabin fever, if you will. February and March are generally my least favorite months of the year. I struggle with my mood, and my motivation to do anything.
We’ve had a couple of low-key weekends recently, though, which has done wonders for my feelings about balance. I feel like I have had nice doses of quality time with my girls, who are bright spots in an otherwise “blah” time of year.
Nora has been really, really funny lately. We’ve had some serious challenges with her (maybe more on that another time?), but she’s also so amazing, all at the same time.
“Mommy, do you love me?”
She randomly asked me this on the way to daycare one morning this week. Heart = busted. I briefly wondered why she was asking—could she really be insecure about my love for her?—but the fact is that she’s learning a lot these days about feelings and emotions. Love, anger, happiness, sadness. It’s tough to be three-and-a-half, you know.
“What are we having for dinner?”
She asks every day when I pick her up from daycare. She is interested in knowing, always. If I say leftovers, she’ll ask, “What kind of leftovers?” That’s the other thing about her recent development—she asks good questions. Questions that you or I might ask, too. It’s rather strange hearing such “adult” questions coming from someone who I still see as so little.
Some days, I’ll pick her up from Mary’s and she talks my ear off the entire way home. Like will.not.shut.up. It’s hysterical. And her memory is insane. She remembers everything. She’s getting better at her pronunciation of words, although she can still sometimes be difficult to understand. It’s funny how there are some words she just can’t seem to say clearly, yet she belts out words like “quesadilla” with authority, loud and clear.
“Mommy, what is that amazing smell?”
She asked while we were baking brownies. When did my baby become such a… person?
I had to work really late on Tuesday night, so the girls were both in bed by the time I got home. On Wednesday morning, Nora came into our room to get me up out of bed. She said “Mommy, you’re home!” and came in to snuggle with me. I asked her if she missed me, “Yeah,” she said. “But Daddy take good care of me. He fed me quesadilla for dinner!” How stinking cute is that??
I’m going to have to try to get better about jotting down her “Nora-isms” again, because she comes out with some seriously good ones these days. I would definitely have enough material for a weekly post. I HAVE to try harder. Besides the occasional Facebook post with a quote from her, or texting my mom, I haven’t jotted down any of her quotes since before Vivienne was born. *sigh* Time just flies, y’all.
I just wrote all about Vivienne in her six-month post, so I don’t have too much to add here. Just that she’s happy and smiley and adorable and fun. She is such a joy and I am doing everything I can to soak it all in while she still lets me hold her and snuggle her a lot of the time. She’s really into her toys now and actually plays. Crazy how that happens.
We’ve had a lot of time on the weekends to just play. Hang out. Be together. Take family trips to Wegmans for the weekly grocery shopping.
It’s all mundane, but so precious all at the same time. I want spring to be here, but I also don’t want to wish away the days, weeks, and months.
We’ve been achieving “dual naps” most Saturdays and Sundays. Amazing to have that time back. Sometimes we take advantage to get things done—cleaning, shopping (only one of us!), or whatever. Other times? Not so much. Butt? Meet couch.
There are a few house projects that could use some attention. A few more doors to paint upstairs. Our master bathroom needs some paint and a mini makeover (fixtures, mirror, and the like). Our basement needs organizing.
I should exercise. I have a perfectly nice treadmill downstairs on which I can complete a Couch to 5K program. Because lord knows I need to start at the “couch” part these days.
But blahhhhh motivation. Winter makes me lazy.
On Sunday, we “celebrated” the Super Bowl with a pajama party picnic in our family room. Just the four of us. Michael and I made some killer nachos (no cheese, though) and Nora had leftover quesadillas from when we went out to dinner the night before. Nora was SO EXCITED about the picnic, and even acted excited about the football. Such a goof. The next day, she asked me if we can have a picnic in the living room again sometime, so clearly she had fun.
Vivienne went to bed during the first quarter, and I put Nora to bed during halftime. Living large in this house! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I want winter to be gone, but I don’t want it to take these moments with it. I’m going to focus on my bright spots.
It’s your half birthday, sweet baby! I can hardly believe it.
You are so cute I could eat you. Nibble those toes, those fingers, those cheeks, that nose. I just can’t get enough of you these days. I want to bottle up your infancy and keep it for the future, when you’re grown and I want to remember for just a moment how exactly it felt to hold you, kiss you, snuggle you, play with you.
I have no idea how big you are (doctor’s appointment is not until next week!), but you’re growing, that’s for sure. You’ve come a long way in just the last month.
For one, we officially ditched the swaddle. You were starting to roll over in it consistently, and after finding you sleeping on your stomach one too many times, we went cold turkey. I was so nervous about it, but as it turned out, I didn’t give you enough credit. You did great with the transition. You did, however, keep rolling over to your belly a lot in the night—and then you’d get angry when you couldn’t get back! There were several nights when we made multiple trips into your room in the middle of the night to turn you back over. Now, though? You’re usually content to sleep on your belly. And you’ve figured out how to get back onto your back pretty well, too. Good girl.
Speaking of rolling… this past weekend, I watched you roll across the family room to get to a toy you wanted. Our days of putting you down in a spot and coming back to find you in that same spot are undoubtedly over!
You grab EVERYTHING. You want to grab things, hold them, squeeze them, pull them, and otherwise manipulate them. You are fascinated with your toys, but also with everyday objects. If I try to use my phone while holding you, or even drink from a cup—your little hands are all up in my business, trying to grab it away.
You’re also putting a ton of stuff into your mouth. Toys, hands, anything you can find in your vicinity on the floor. You seem to be drooling a ton, so maybe teeth are on the horizon? It’s hard to say. I don’t necessarily feel anything on your gums, and your sister didn’t get a tooth until she was 10 months old, so… maybe not. I’m not in any hurry for teeth, so take your time, my love.
We’ve tried solid food a few times. Our first attempt was with avocado, and you made the funniest faces. You ate about 3-4 spoonfuls of it and then refused to part your lips anymore. Next, we tried bananas, and I was surprised when you gave it the same treatment as the avocado. I thought for sure you’d like fruit! Then, last night, I decided to try some baby oatmeal mixed with breast milk. You seemed like you MIGHT give up on it after 3-4 spoonfuls again, but I kept trying and ultimately you started opening your mouth again. You ate the whole (very small) bowl! I mean, a lot of it still ended up on your bib, but I was impressed. It seemed as though maybe you just needed to get used to it a little bit? We’ll see what happens when we try again.
You belly laugh now. It is too cute for words. You have to be in the right mood for it—usually in the evenings, shortly before bed—and your daddy is best at making you laugh. You think he is SO funny. You blow raspberries A LOT, and still “yell” at us often.
You are a social butterfly. You like smiling at anyone who looks at you. You are particularly taken by your big sister and Tessa (our dog). Nora loves to talk to you and try to make you smile. She also likes to make sure to remind you that she’s bigger/older than you are—something I’m sure you will have to put up with for the rest of your lives. Nora is obsessed with the movie “Frozen” right now, and just so you know—you’re Anna. Since Anna is the little sister and all. (And if you’ve seen it, I probably don’t have to tell you that this means Nora is Elsa.)
We’re still dealing with your reflux, which seems to be OK right now. You’re still on medication—the same dose you’ve been on since mid-November, when I gave up dairy—but we’re going to talk about that with your pediatrician at the appointment next week. My hope is that we will be able to get you off of the meds and then, MAYBE I can start eating some cheese again!
We are having so much fun with you. I love this age. Every age is a joy for its own reasons, but six months is such a sweet spot. Maybe slow down time a little so we can enjoy it for longer, mmkay?
I feel so blessed to have you. And I love you always.
It’s going to be hard to name these things—I can tell already. Because how do you accurately represent all of the yummy, healthy ingredients in the name of the smoothie without spelling them all out?
We’re still on a smoothie kick over here. With the exception of Tuesday (when I was afraid to eat anything good in fear that I was going to see it again on its way back up), we’ve had smoothies for breakfast every morning this week. I’m loving it.
I whipped up this one yesterday morning, when we decided we could no longer live in fear—we needed vitamins and nutrients, and things with flavor! It’s delightfully fruity, but not too sweet. Instead, the grapefruit juice makes it a little tart. Yum.
Pineapple-Peach-Berry Green Smoothie
Makes 2 large smoothies
- 1-2 cups grapefruit juice
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 servings protein powder (for us, that’s 6 Tbsp)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tsp. agave syrup (optional)
Pour 1 cup of grapefruit juice into the blender. Add spinach and protein powder. Blend well. Add pineapple chunks and frozen peaches and blend again to make sure everything is liquefied. Add strawberries and banana and blend again. Along the way, if the smoothie is not “moving” in the blender—and therefore not circulating the ingredients effectively to blend them—add up to 1 cup additional grapefruit juice. At the end, add agave syrup (if desired) and blend again. Serve.
It seems as though everyone is getting the stomach bug this year. For weeks now, my Facebook feed has been filled with people complaining about the bug.
Because it methodically hit everyone in their families.
Or because they were begging for someone to put them out of their misery.
So I’ve been bracing myself for a while, waiting to see if this thing was going to hit even closer to home. One of my nephews had it a week or two ago, and unfortunately, it lingered for quite a while for him. And my mom also got it from being around him. But we hadn’t seen them in that timeframe, so we were in the clear.
But then, as I took the girls into daycare on Friday morning, Mary told me that on Thursday night, TWO of the other kids who go to her house both came down with the stomach bug. Uh oh. I crossed my fingers that we’d get lucky.
And then we somehow made it through the weekend unscathed. On Monday morning, I dropped my girls off at Mary’s to find NO OTHER KIDS there. Apparently every other child—and many of their parents—had been afflicted with the bug between Friday and Sunday. This made me nervous, but given that no one had been at Mary’s since Friday, and no one else was there on Monday, I thought we may have, somehow, dodged that bullet.
Come the middle of the night between Monday and Tuesday, however… I learned I was very wrong. At 1:30 a.m., we heard Nora calling for us and crying over the monitor, and we were pretty sure we knew what was happening. Sure enough, when Michael went in to get her, she had thrown up all over herself and in her bed.
We got her into the bathroom, cleaned her up, got her changed into fresh pajamas, and brought her into our bed with us, armed with the iPad, a puke bucket, and a box of tissues. Nora was too uncomfortable to sleep, so she didn’t. I dosed in and out of consciousness, but was mostly awake the remainder of the night because every 30-40 minutes, Nora was throwing up again. She threw up eight times between 1:30-7 a.m., the poor thing. She kept complaining about being thirsty, so we gave her a few sips of water, but within 30 minutes, she’d throw it right back up again.
And as soon as she was FINALLY exhausted enough to pass out for a while? Vivienne was awake for the day. Of course.
After I fed Vivienne, Michael took her and went to Wegmans to pick up some Pedialyte. Nora and I got about an hour of sleep before she woke up and was tossing and turning again.
She spent the rest of the morning watching movies on the couch. A little before noon, we decided to get her ready for a nap. Michael went upstairs to put fresh sheets on her bed, and I snuggled her on the couch. Within minutes, this was the scene:
As you can imagine, this NEVER happens. Definitely a clear sign she was sick!
When she got up from the nap (only about two hours later, I had expected longer!), she also had a 103-degree fever. FUN TIMES! If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
(This was AFTER the nap. So not normal!)
I dosed her with some ibuprofen because she was clearly miserable. An hour or so later, she perked up and was acting almost completely normal. “Mommy, I feel better!” she was saying. “I’m not sick anymore!”
That lasted like an hour, and then she was collapsed on the floor in the family room, covered with her blanket, telling us she was going to sleep. We asked her if she wanted us to hold her, if she wanted to get up on the couch. All she would say is, “No, thank you. I’m fine.” Within 10 minutes, she was legitimately passed out on the floor. It was about 5:30. The poor kid! I took her temperature while she slept and it was back up to 103.6.
At this point, I was a little worried, so I called the pediatrician. I couldn’t give her more ibuprofen since it had only been about three hours from the last dose. The doctor said to just let.her.sleep, and to give her some acetaminophen and alternate the two if we had to, in order to keep her comfortable. She also told me to load her up with as many fluids as possible before bedtime.
Nora ended up stirring awake shortly after I got off the phone. She wanted nothing to do with medicine or fluids—which was tough, because she had been taking them easily earlier in the day. All she said was, “Mommy, I want to go to bed.” It was 6:30! :(
I carried her upstairs, had her go to the bathroom, and gave her medicine and forced a few sips of Pedialyte. She went to sleep, and other than crying out for us a few times during the night for a drink, she slept through. 13+ hours.
Today, she’s still out of sorts. She still has a fever, though not as high as it was yesterday. She’s still spent the majority of the day on the couch. And she once again ASKED me to go up for a nap… at 10:40 a.m.! So crazy.
(Morning, Day 2)
She napped for three hours, and although she still has a fever, she seems to be in better spirits than this morning. We’ll see what tonight brings. But in any case, this is a NASTY bug! I hope she’s better soon!
In the meantime, we’ve been doing everything we can to ensure no one else in our family gets it. So far, so good, but we’re certainly not in the clear. Vivienne has been her happy self:
Let’s hope it stays that way! And given that we’ve already been out of work for a few days (and I don’t know that Nora will even be ready to go back to daycare tomorrow, either), it will suck if it hits the whole family.
So stay healthy, my friends! Wash hands, wash hands, wash hands!
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 31 and have been married to Michael for five years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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