Friday, April 29, 2016

Paleo Apple Muffins

Breakfast is honestly the hardest meal for me. Not only am I tired and juggling a newly awoken baby, I am usually starving from breastfeeding throughout the night. I don't want to eat bacon and eggs every morning either, and all my favorite morning foods either my son is allergic to or it's not paleo. (avocado, pancakes, biscuits...need I go on?)

I've started making muffins, usually on Sunday night to last me through the week. They are quick, easy and help me not stare hopelessly in the fridge, my stomach growling. A few weeks ago I found this recipe, and below is how I modified it.

  • 2 cups lightly packed almond flour
  • .5 teaspoons baking soda
  • A dash of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all spice 
  • 2 small apples, pealed and grated 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cashew butter (mine was not raw)
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grate your apples and drizzle the lemon juice over them, set aside. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl and stir them. Add thc rest of your wet ingredients to the apple lemon bowl and stir. Then add the wet to the dry. Or you can do it like I normally do and just beat it all together in one big bowl. Doing it the first way does make it more flavorful for some odd reason, through. 

Bake in muffin pan with cupcake liners for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes 12 small muffins.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Week 34

I thought I would vlog a lot this week, since hubby was off work and we were on vacation. I actually didn't vlog all that much, too busy enjoying life with my husband. We had a great week and Reuben turned 9 months old!

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Sons Father

I grew up without a dad. It's a fact and it also says a lot about me. It wasn't my moms fault, and it's her story and not mine to tell. But my dad rarely visited. He would come once a year. He would tell me on the phone how much my mom really hated me too, and to burn my homework, but that's another story.

Reuben has a dad.

I don't know what dads are supposed to do. At least, that is the first thing I remember thinking, after the survival weeks of newborn cluster feeding wore off. What do dads do? I don't know.

That was also the first time I realized I missed out on something as a kid. Not to say my mom was a bad mom. She is amazing. She put herself through college with kids and became a teacher and we had a home of love. But I never had a dad.

When I was little it didn't bother me, I actually didn't think about it much. My mom loved me. She made me cakes on my birthday and read me books and took me to tennis practice and bought me a clarinet and braided my hair and gifted me my first bible.

But I do know there are struggles and issues I deal with in my life due to the absence of a strong, loving male role model. Not to say my past is responsible for bad decisions I made, but more like I can see a correlation.

Seeing Reuben have what I never did is twofold. On one hand I thank God for my husband and rejoice that he is such a wonderful father. And on the other hand I mourn and grieve over the empty hole in my own life.

I am glad that I get to discover what a dad does, even if it's through my sons eyes.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Questioning Feminism

Growing up I never really thought about if I was or wasn't a feminist. Of course I wasn't. Feminists were all lesbians, and man haters. Why would I ever want to be one of those?

When I graduated college at 21 and entered the real world, I met a few actual feminists and realized they weren't horrible terrible people like I'd been told. They were reasonable, nice women and men! What a shock.

I was raised in a baptist church, but I didn't accept Christ until I was 26. I spent the first 21 years of my life believing what adults and church leaders told me about the bible and about feminism. At 26, when God finally came knocking and I surrendered my life to him (because it's His anyway) I suddenly found myself confused and lost more than before I became a Christian. (Because figuring things out for yourself and not being a sheep is hard!)

I decided I needed to throw out everything and start from scratch. Everything I'd been taught about church and God and the bible and the world needed to go. I'd only believed it anyway because an adult had told me in Sunday school! So, four years ago I began the painstaking process of building myself a world view on God based on what He said not by what others told me He had said. It's been a tear stained and hard journey, I won't lie--and it's still progressing.

In the four years since I've accepted Christ, I have learned so much through. So much good has come into my heart through throwing out the lies and the misinformation and gaining background into what being a Christian really means. I have started studying hermeneutics and theology, and I've questioned almost everything I thought I believed. I've grown in my knowledge of God and for sure I have changed! Obviously at four years I am nowhere near done searching, of course.

But feminism. The dichotomy of my past and the uncertainty of my future made me question feminism again. Can you be Christian and a feminist? What does feminism stand for?

Before I could think about what feminism stood for I had to find out what I stand for. For one, I am a conservative Christian mom who stays at home, who wants to home-school. I think saying home when your kids are young is what is best for raising children, although I know not everyone can do that. I believe abortion is wrong. I think sex should be saved for marriage but I also believe in sexual education. I think homosexuality and being transgender does not align with God's plan. (This does not mean I think someone cannot be born gay, or transgender, because I do believe that you can, most certainly be born that way. I just believe that if you choose to live a gay or trans lifestyle or even live with your boyfriend before marriage you should not label yourself a Christian. If you have an issue with my religious belief I would point out that many religions have tenets that followers must adhere to, like Jainism that says it's followers must be vegan). In my mind Christians, although imperfect and fallen and wrong, should believe what the bible says and try to live a life that follows Gods commandments. Even when we fail.

I am for equal treatment of men and women, and I am for sexual consent, even within marriage. However, I am against porn. I think porn gives men and women false fantasies and glorifies the mistreatment of women. I think women can do any job a man can with the possible exception of being the head pastor of a church. I am still searching out if a woman can be the head lead pastor in a church. It might be my upbringing, but it just feels wrong to me. Feelings are not something I should base fact on, but I wanted to be honest and say I am still searching in this area.

So that is basically what I believe. It may not seem like much, but to me knowing finally what I believe is a relief. As to if I can still be a feminist, I don't know. I am still learning what it is to be a Christian, and I feel that comes first right now. What do you think? Are you a feminist? Why or why not?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Week 33

Another crazy week in my life! If you are interested in the baby legging pattern I show in the video, it's from here!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Breastfeeding: do we really need to see it?

Breastfeeding. Many mothers choose to breastfeed, for many different reasons. But do we need to see it? Is breastfeeding an intimate act that should be restricted to only baby and mom? Is it okay to do in public?

I don't think I have all the answers, and I can't speak for all moms, but I feel that breastfeeding is a natural activity. I feel no shame breastfeeding Reuben in public. I will say that it was something I had to learn to do, through. When Ruby was hours old, I didn't know what I was doing, much less how to do it in public. I mean, during the first few weeks I wasn't able to feed myself (or even walk without peeing, I do not miss those days) and I was so sleep deprived I didn't have any brain matter left to think about feeding Reuben in front of someone who wasn't a family member.

But when the survival days were over and I began to feel like myself, the question did arise. What was I to do in public? Reuben was exclusively breastfed until 6 months. Should I stay home 24/7 since my child seemed to desire to feed from me about every 1-2 hours? Should I buy a pump and try to figure that out and risk nipple confusion? Should I wear a cover? Should I remove myself to the car or the bathroom (ew) to feed my son when he was hungry? Or should I just feed him where I was, and continue on with business as usual?

I tried a cover, and we both hated it. I couldn't see his latch or adjust his mouth when he popped on or off when he was under a cover. And he was born in July. It was hot. Who wants to cover an already hot baby? The whole process felt quite silly to me. That is not to say that others can't use covers. I just felt they were unnecessary and cumbersome to drag around for me personally. I know that every woman probably feels quite different about their own breastfeeding journey.

I also no longer feel comfortable being shuffled aside into another room or, heaven forbid, bathroom to feed my child. It just feels wrong. Breastfeeding is a natural part of life for many moms, not something to be shamefully done in the corner. Not to mention if I have to stop what I am doing (eating dinner out, shopping, attending church, get the idea) it's going to take up a lot of time. And make my food cold. I want to eat my food when it's warm, thank you very much, no matter what else happens to be going on at the same time. I have so little free time as a mom-- being able to breastfeed while shopping at target is awesome.

At 8 months I have breastfed everywhere. On dates with daddy, at target, in the pews at the park, in my own living room...even in my car while Brian ran into Walmart or some other store and I didn't feel like going in. I breastfed all over Atlanta, Ga, even in the stands of a Va Tech game. I did move away from the stadium eventually because the noise of the game kept making Reuben pop on and off and cry, and he needed to eat. I don't make a big deal about it, I don't even have any pictures of me breastfeeding outside of my home--I'm too busy feeding my kid to worry about what I look like or documenting the moment. Also, have you tried to take a selfie while supporting a hungry infant? It's not easy. (Thank you daddy for these pictures of me nursing in my nursing tank top and pajamas!)

I just want to have a normal life, like any other American. No special service or shame needed. No different treatment required. Like every other mom, regardless of breast or bottle, I only want to feed my son when he's hungry. No matter where I am, or what I am doing.

But you wouldn't have sex in public, you say. Of course I wouldn't have sex in public. Sex is in no way related to breastfeeding. Yes, both can involve breasts but that's about as far as the similarities go. You don't need sex to survive. Both parties can consent to sex. Sex is between adults. My child cannot speak. When he is hungry he's hungry. He can't understand "wait" or "not right now" and, before 6 months of age breast milk was his only food. You would eat a sandwich in public, wouldn't you? But of course you wouldn't have sex in public. Can't you see the two are not related?

But I might see your nipple! Nipples and boobs are sexual objects. It's obscene! Yes, breasts can be used when participating in coitus. But they can be also used for feeding babies. Me using my breasts to feed my child is not sexual. Breasts can have a wide variety of uses, I am so sorry your upbringing taught you there was only one purpose for mammory glands. Also, if you aren't familiar with breastfeeding, my nipple is not even visible. Even if he lets go, his head still covers everything. About the only thing you can see when I feed Ruby is the top of my breast, and if I was wearing a bathing suit or even a low cut dress this would show anyway. So what's the difference?

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 2016 Stitch Fix

I asked for shorts in my April stitch fix, because I only own two pairs! And I have been wearing way less skirts and more shorts as a mom (they are easy to style and easier to bend over in). I think this box was one of my favorites!

I didn't end up keeping the tan shorts because they were just to big. It's funny, because the jean shorts were the same size (a 14) and fit perfectly!

The two things I kept were the Alonza Keyhole Back Knit Top and the Kaiden Cuffed Denim Short.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Week 32

This week I did a babywearing photoshoot in my foxy tula and my didymos wrap. I love babywearing! I also did some more closet cleaning. What are you up to this week? Pictures taken by Rayasunshine Photography.


Monday, April 11, 2016

The Baby who Does Not Nap

I know I've mentioned it before, but Reuben does not nap. I've tried everything. He basically quit napping at 6 weeks unless I was physically holding him, and he even quit that at four months! He does not nap.

I used to think parents of kids who don't nap were doing it wrong, or just not trying hard enough. But I have tried everything. It's just Reuben, he doesn't need to nap or something. And yes, it was frustrating at first! I read all these articles online about how to help your baby nap and tried so many different things only to have him start screaming seconds later.

I've just resigned myself to the fact that Reuben is not going to fall asleep and stay asleep during the day. Now that I expect him not to nap, when he does (like twice a month) it feels like a treat. I've stopped fighting him. I've adjusted my outlook on what life is like with a baby who refuses to sleep.

In case you were about to leave me a helpful comment telling me what I should be doing to help my child nap, here is a list of things I've already tried. Multiple times. For weeks.

  • Swaddling
  • Laying him on his back
  • Laying him on his belly
  • Laying him on his side
  • White noise
  • Letting him cry for 1-2 minutes
  • Singing
  • Rocking
  • Baby wearing
  • Dark room
  • Light room
  • The 2-3-4 method
  • Nursing
  • The 5s
  • Napping with baby
  • Side laying nursing
  • Pasifier
  • Daddy

None of it has worked for my kid.

I found one other mom whose baby also does not nap, so I know I am not completely alone. Reuben's pedi actually said that non napping is a sign of high intelligence in babies. Maybe I am raising the next boy genius? Hey Rachel, did you nap as a baby? Now if only I could get a non pooping baby...that would be great.

What about you? Does your baby nap? What would you do if they suddenly didn't?

Friday, April 8, 2016

A week of paleo dinners

This is the paleo equivalent to a chicken enchilada. I have my own paleo enchilada sauce on the left, and some green peppers and a chicken thigh on the right. I cooked the chicken in a mixture of chili powder and coconut aminos with a dash of cayenne pepper. It was delicious. Husband liked it too!

Below we have husband's birthday dinner. I cooked steak in the crock pot with chili powder and garlic on top of a sweet potato. I put some mushrooms and green beans on top of the steak and cooked it for 5 hours on low. I added some nutritional yeast to the veggies,and made these carrot cake cookies as desert. Carrot cake is husband's favorite!

This was my own creation. It's hamburger bacon bark, made with leftovers in the fridge and served with a pickle. This is amazing, and husband has asked me to be sure to make it again! I took half a large zucchini (shredded), half a pack of ground beef, three strips of already-cooekd bacon, a dash of coconut aminos, a pinch of pepper and salt, and two eggs. I mixed them all together and baked flat on parchement paper covered pan at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Perfection.

Mexican stir fry with vegan sour cream. Onion, green pepper, loads of garlic with chicken thighs spiced with cumin. I covered it in Muir Glen organic salsa of course!

Paleo sweet potato chili. This is a crock pot recipee. I put half a package ground beef, two cans of  Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, two large sweet potatoes, half an onion, a bunch of garlic, one cup chicken stock, and 4 tablespoons of chili powder into a crock pot and cooked on low for 6 hours. It was amazing.

Sometimes I just have to have pizza. This is Simple Mills Pizza Dough mix topped with organic spaghetti sauce (works in a pinch for pizza sauce), organic no preservative pepperoni, artichokes and my favorite banana peppers. More sauce for dipping. I looooooveeeee Simple Mills products. They are expensive, but for a spurge...totally worth it. 

What kinds of dinners do you guys eat a week? What do you think of paleo food? Honestly, I love to eat!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Week 31

This week flew by. I love seeing my little man grow--and his cheeks are doing much better now. I hate eczema! Poor Reuben.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Paleo chocolate chip mug cake

I have been trying for awhile to create a mug cake without eggs. My first few concoctions were mush, and the next few were burned on the outside and droopy in the middle. That's when I got the idea to cook this mug cake in a bowl! It worked perfectly. This amazing "mug" cake is egg, dairy, gluten and grain free. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Just a quick note: this does taste a lot like a banana. I like it, but if you don't like ripe bananas, you probably will not be a fan.

What you need:
  • 1/2 ripe banana (with spots) mine weighed 1.98oz peeled
  • 1 tablespoon of Coconut Flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Almond Flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (I used minis)
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and mush with a fork until everything is mixed. It should resemble mushed, dewy cookie dough.

Then even it out on the bottom of the bowl, and microwave 2.5 minutes. Let sit 1-2 minutes before eating to firm up (the coconut absorbs liquid) This step is is crucial to it getting the consistency of cake.

Enjoy! Next I am going to work on making a mug cake that uses flax seed instead of egg. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 1, 2016

2 Months Paleo

Two months paleo! Wow. Has it really been that long? Actually it doesn't feel that long at all.

Today I feel stellar. Really. It might be the spring weather, but my spirits are up and I'm smiling more often than not.

What did I do this month? I made paleo bread! And while it was very eggy, it was nice to have bread. I probably will not be repeating this recipe, however. Not that it wasn't good. It was just very expensive to buy all the ingredients and I still had to bake it.

A photo posted by Carolynn M (@moonofsilver) on

I also made paleo cheese. It was amazing and delicious and for sure I will be making it once a month! I used this recipe. Noms. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. My husband hated it, naturally. He thought it tasted like toe fungus. I laughed at him as I ate his entire serving. (NOMS!)

I also realized that the oyster sauce I bought to compliment a few meals has wheat in it. I've never chucked a condiment in the trash so fast. No wonder I've had a hard time with bloating still! Once I chucked it I noticed a huge improvement. It's funny what even the tiniest bit of gluten can do. But I can drastically see a difference.

We've found like three paleo approved local restaurants and we visit one every weekend. Chipotles is compliant, as is Zoe's Kitchen and then a local place called the Health Nut. I love me some Chipotles, but I may have legit cried over the fact that I can't eat their guacamole due to Reuben's allergy. My salad bowl just isn't the same without it.

Another very interesting thing that happened is in regards to Mr. Adventure's stomach. Since we started paleo my husband has been getting horrible stomach pains that keep him up at night. They've been getting progressively worse, so bad that he actually went to the doctor. (Does anyone else notice their husband avoids the doctor like the plague??) They thought his body was producing too much acid so they gave him a inhibitor and took blood samples to check on other things.

When the blood tests came back negative (and his pain just got worse) they suggested he might have diverticulitis. (And it runs in his family) They told him to no longer eat nuts or beans. Honestly we've been eating lots of nut based things, and he's had whole nuts on his salad every day for lunch. It's been 4 or 5 days nut free for him and he feels so much better. Looks like a positive diagnosis to me, and if you are having any sort of stomach issues when switching to a paleo diet, definitely listen to your body. My body is thriving on this way of life, but Mr. Adventure needs more tweaking.