family photos

I’ve got cute kids, if I may say so myself.


Overall I wasn’t thrilled with our latest family photo adventure.  The baby was cranky, the kid had his cheesy face, and it was hot and we were all sweaty.  One of the only shots of us all looking at the camera:

Goofy momma is goofy.  Goofy kid is pointing you out.

I much prefer candids, but we didn’t really get any good ones of those, either.

But the kids are cute.

As I told my husband, even with the cheesy smiles and cranky baby, the photos are an accurate look into our life at this time.  I’m okay with that.


catching up

Now that some of the newborn haze has lifted, I’ve had time to go through my camera and grab some pictures.  It’s been four months since Blinkybean was born, and I can’t believe how hard it is to remember life without him.

Going all the way back, here’s BB’s first bath:





He took to his bath very well, he seemed to like the warm water.  Bug helped us wrap him up in a towel and get him dried off.

Christmas seems so long ago.  Mr BB had colic, and after his first two weeks he started screaming and seemed never to stop.  But we got some good photos of the holiday.  This one of BB with his Aunt T is my favorite:

auntieBug had a good Christmas too.



My mom gave me some monthly stickers so we can track BB’s growth:




I haven’t had time to get his 4th month pics yet.  We’ve all been battling things like strep throat, the flu, allergic reactions, burst eardrums, colic…  I’m hoping to get something at an Easter Party tomorrow.

Speaking of Easter, here’s Bug’s school party.  They did an egg hunt and had parachute games at a local park.


A few weeks ago they had a Fun Run at his school.  Our Bug is not an athlete, but he has fun! Here is a snapshot of how his “run” went:






He kind of tra-la-la’d his way through the run, but he managed to complete 11 laps and had a blast doing it.

I leave you with a shot of my boys.  It’s not a great shot, but it’s the best one I have of the two of them together. Again, I hope to remedy that soon.


TED part 2 – more recipes

A few new recipes to post!  These are totally TED friendly and pretty tasty!


I browned some ground lamb with some salt and pepper while boiling some potatoes that I had peeled and sliced. I had also peeled and sliced one green squash, cut it up finely and added it to the lamb while it cooked. When the meat was cooked I drained it, reserving the grease and juices.  I used a very lean lamb, so there wasn’t a lot, but you need the fat to make a gravy.  I returned the grease to the pan and whisked in some rice flour, about a tablespoon, and cooked it for a few minutes.  Then I added some of the turkey stock I had made from the previous night’s dinner (put the bones in the crock pot, cover with water, let it run on low overnight, strain and refrigerate).  You can also use water if you don’t have turkey stock.  When you have a nice gravy, return the meat to the pan and stir together, then dump the whole thing out into a baking dish.

When the potatoes are cooked and fork tender, drain them, reserving some of the cooking liquid.  In a bowl, mash them up and add some of the liquid to make them mash easier, or use turkey stock if you have it, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the ground lamb.  Take a handful of rice crackers and crush them, sprinkle over the top of the potatoes.  Bake the whole thing at 350 for about half an hour until the top is browned.

It wasn’t bad at all, and even my very picky 4yo ate a bowl full, as well as leftovers the next day.


Okay, this was one of my favorite dishes.  I boiled up some rice penne, then drained and reserved about a cup of the boiling liquid.  Then I made a roux with some of the skimmed turkey fat from the stock and some rice flour (use a 1 to 1 ratio, whisk and cook for a few minutes). Then added the reserved cooking water and a few tablespoons stock, brought to a boil and let simmer until nice and thick.  Added some chopped up leftover turkey from the breasts I cooked the night before.  I also sliced some green and yellow squash very thinly into rounds, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and broiled until crisp.  Served the pasta in a bowl, added the turkey and gravy, topped with the squash chips.  It was very good – my picky child stole it before I could finish it and gobbled it all up (pardon the pun).  This would be good with other veggies too – peas and carrots for example, once they are cleared to return to your diet.


This one was an experiment, and I ended up reworking the leftovers before serving them the next night.  I’ll tell you what I did first, and then how I “fixed” the leftovers. You can get two decent meals out of this one.

Again, this uses the turkey stock from before.  Get it boiling on the stove, and make some turkey meatballs.  In a bowl combine about one pound of  ground turkey (I actually used my food processor on some boneless skinless turkey breasts, since I hadn’t planned on meatballs when I bought the meat and didn’t have ground turkey on hand) with one half cup of uncooked white rice.  Meanwhile, slice one green and one yellow squash and broil until golden brown.  Mash up half the squash with a fork and add to the turkey rice mixture – this will act as a binding agent since we can’t use eggs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Form small meatballs, and add them to the boiling stock.  When the rice inside the meatballs is done, the meat is cooked.  I added 1 cup of wild rice to the broth as well, and let it cook along with the meatballs.  I served it in bowls with the rest of the squash divided evenly between them.

If I were to make it again, I would definitely brown the turkey meatballs before adding them to the soup to finish cooking.  This is what I did for the leftovers.  I removed the meatballs and browned them in some olive oil.  In a sauce pan I added about 2 T olive oil and 2 T rice flour, whisking and cooking until a golden brown.  Then I added the rest of the broth and rice, brought it to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes to thicken up.  Added the browned meatballs, and I found it to have more flavor and a nicer texture than the original soup.

I was sad to realize I don’t really like lamb as much as I remember liking it.  It has a strong odor, and is gamey, and I guess my post-partum super tasters are more sensitive.  I didn’t end up making the lamb stew or the lamb chops I intended to make.  For the stew I was planning on cutting the lamb off the bones and making lamb stock the same way I made the turkey stock.  The next day I was going to cube the meat, dredge it in rice flour and brown it in olive oil, then cook it in the stock with some potatoes and carrots, salt and pepper.  I just couldn’t stomach the lamb though, unfortunately.

I did, however, make Fried Turkey and Potato/Squash Mash

I took turkey cutlets, dipped them in a bowl of rice milk, then dredged them in a mixture of rice flour and seasoned salt.  By now I was sick of the whole diet and feeling more adventurous, so I branched out.  You can stick to rice flour, salt and pepper if you prefer.  I also added about 2T of ground flax seeds, as I’m also battling a cholesterol issue.  Pan fried in olive oil until done.  Meanwhile, I roasted baby potatoes and a bag of butternut squash I picked up at Trader Joe’s, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  When they were golden and done I beat them with a mixer in a bowl, adding rice milk until they were fluffy.  It wasn’t fried chicken and mashed potatoes, but it was pretty good.  I had the leftover turkey today and it was still tasty.

I stuck to the diet strictly for a week, then started to add in low-allergenic foods. First was avocados, and I found some rice bread at Trader Joe’s that fit my restrictions, used half an avocado as the spread, and made turkey sandwiches.  Served with a sliced pear and it made a pretty good lunch.  I also started to add in sunflower butter, which was tasty spread on a rice cake and topped with the pear butter I made (pealed and diced about a dozen pears, tossed in a crock pot and let cook until very very brown, then blended until smooth).  Then I added in blueberries and bananas, and those made a nice fruit salad with the pears.

I’m pretty sure it’s dairy that was causing his colic, and the colic was all but gone when he contracted a horrible respiratory virus.  He’s been miserably sick for several days now, but at least the crying is more of the “I’m sad and don’t feel good” variety than the “ANGRY RAGEY WHY YOU EAT THE BAD THINGS?!” type.  If you’re a mom, you know the difference.  So I’ve reintroduced most foods back into my diet and I’m staying away from dairy, caffeine, carbonation, and high-acid foods like tomatoes, citrus, garlic, onions, etc.  I have allowed myself some chocolate, so far it seems okay but it will have to be the first to go if he gets colicky again.  And alcohol is right out, that also made him angry ragey screamy babyhulk. But eggs don’t seem to affect him, nor soy, nuts, wheat.  I’ll avoid beef for a while, since beef proteins and dairy proteins are similar and I just don’t want to deal with it right now.  But I’ve had chicken with success, and oatmeal, and a small amount of spices like onion and garlic salt.

I hope someone is able to find these recipes and get through the TED more easily.  It’s very restrictive.  I found a lot of great rice products, pasta and crackers and cereal and stuff.  Unfortunately, rice cereal with rice milk is all carbs, and I’ve put on about three pounds in the last week because of the rice and pears.  But my weight is the least of my concerns, I’m aiming for a happy baby, and now that I can add more variety to my diet I can have more healthy food choices.

Total Elimination Diet – reasons and recipes

This blog might be boring for the next several posts, and I apologize in advance to the few people who actually see this space.

Blinkybean has colic.  Colic is evil.  He screams, he eats, he sleeps, and that’s about it.  Sometimes it’s a combination of two of those, or all three at the same time.  But it sucks.  We took him to a GI and tried some medication that isn’t helping, so the GI wanted to put him on a special formula for five days to determine if this is a food allergy or a digestive tract issue.  And I did NOT like that, not one bit.  I had a very rocky breastfeeding relationship with Bug, he never really got the hang of it and it hurt almost every time for the two years we did it.  BB is awesome, though, latched right on within minutes of being born and hasn’t hurt me even once.  And since this is my last shot at having a baby, I want to enjoy these things as long as I can.  Two months isn’t long enough, and I was worried that if he had a bottle and formula for five days, getting him back to the breast would be difficult.  I’d pump while he did it, but still.

So I did some research and decided to do the Dr. Sears Total Elimination Diet (TED).

Phase One:

Eat only range-fed turkey and lamb, baked or boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes (with salt and pepper only), rice and millet as your only grain, cooked green and yellow squash for your vegetable, and for fruit, pears and diluted pear juice. Drink a rice-based beverage drink in place of milk on cereal or in cooking. Do not yet use soy beverage. Take a calcium supplement. (Rice products, such as rice beverage, rice-based frozen dessert, rice pasta, rice flour, and millet are available in nutrition stores.)

Awesome. I can also use salt and pepper, and I’m giving myself olive oil because I’d be SHOCKED if he was allergic to that. Fortunately I live in the land of alternative eating, and finding free-range anything is easy.  I headed over to Sprouts and stocked up on lamb and turkey and all the rest.  I am amazed at how many formats rice comes in!  I got rice cereal, rice crackers, rice milk, rice flour, and rice pasta.  All just rice, no other ingredients!  Amazing.

A diet like this can get pretty old pretty fast, and I do not want to make separate meals for me and my family, so my goal is to come up with a menu that we can all eat and enjoy.  I want to log the meals here, because there aren’t many resources for TED recipes.  I’m a pretty good cook, and a creative one, and I think I can make this work without going crazy.

Phase One lasts for two weeks, then I can start to add things back into my diet to see if they affect him.  I have a hunch the big culprit is dairy, but we’ll see.

I started this last night.


Roasted turkey breast, smashed sweet potato with pears, broiled squash.

TURKEY BREAST(Make enough to have leftovers! I roasted two.)

Heat oven to 305Place turkey breast(s) on a rack over a roasting pan or cookie sheet with a rim.  Using about a teaspoon of olive oil, coat the surface and rub it in to even it out.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Using a small medicine syringe (which you are likely to have on hand if you have a baby with colic), inject pear juice into each turkey breast, using a paring knife to help make holes as needed.  Insert a probe thermometer and slide those bad boys into the oven.  Mine took nearly two hours to roast, the thermometer eliminated the need for guesswork and constant checking.

When dinner is done, remove the rest of the meat from the bones and save for leftovers.  Place the bones in a crock pot and cover with water.  Set on low and let it go overnight.  This will make a wonderful turkey stock that can be used for soups and as a cooking liquid when making rice.


Wash and peel a sweet potato.  Cut into even sized chunks and place in a small saucepan.  Cover with water by about 2″, add a pinch of salt, and boil until soft.  Meanwhile, peel and core a pear and cut into small pieces.  When the sweet potato is soft, drain off the water and return them to the pot.  Add a splash of vanilla rice milk if desired, or you can add a splash of the cooking water if you think ahead and save some.  Mash them up, add the pears, and let them sit so the heat can soften up the pears without over cooking them.


Wash and peel one squash per person – I did one green and one yellow.  Slice lengthwise into about four pieces.  Lay them on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt, let sit for about 20-30 minutes to draw out some of the water.  Pat dry.  Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle on some olive oil – not too much, or these will get mushy and soggy and gross.  Lay the squash out evenly, drizzle the top with a little more olive oil and sprinkle on some black pepper (there is already salt on them).  Broil until slightly charred, about 10-15 minutes in my toaster oven.

I also started a Pear Butter last night, peeling and coring and chopping pears and filling up my second, much smaller crock pot.  I left that on low all night, but that didn’t quite do it so now it’s on high and the lid is off.  I figure pear butter will be great with rice crackers.  And since it was more of a pear sauce this morning, like a chunky applesauce but with pears, I had some with the rice cereal I made for breakfast.


Take a mason jar if you have one, or just your blender jar if you don’t, and pour in about a cup of rice.  Blend that sucker until it’s a chunky powder.  Add 1/4 cup of the ground rice and 1 cup of water to a sauce pan and boil for about 10 minutes.  You can add unground rice if you want more texture, and cook it for longer.  If it seems to run out of liquid and you want to soften it up, add some vanilla rice milk  and keep stirring and cooking until done.  I topped mine with some of the cooked pears and had a sweetish breakfast cereal.  I’m saving the rest of the rice powder in the mason jar to make some more later.

Tonight I’m planning on a turkey meatball and wild rice soup made with the turkey stock I made from the bones. The husband will have a salad to round out his meal, I might have more squash.  I’m still working out the recipe in my head, I’ll post it if it’s any good. Actually, I’ll post it if it sucks so others can avoid my mistakes!

double the fun

So as I mentioned briefly, we are now a family of four.  Mister Blinkybean decided to make his appearance two weeks early last Sunday afternoon.

Just look at that sweet face!  I must admit, it was love at first sight.

And first sight was pretty darn fast, let me tell you!  He was born and placed immediately on my chest.  I look exhausted, don’t I?  I had been up for about 30 hours at this point, and labor was a bit difficult towards the end. But OH! how it all disappeared when that little bundle of snuggly love was in my arms!  So very worth it all!

Bug was the first visitor to hold his baby brother.  He was a little bit in awe, didn’t seem quite sure what to make of it all, held him for a while then asked if he could play with Grandma’s phone.  It was about what I expected.  But he’s adjusting to being a big brother, and gives Blinkybean kisses (gently!) every so often.

Bug stayed with his grandparents while I was in the hospital, and for our first night home.  We figured the first night could be rough with a newborn, and he would have more peace if he stayed away one extra night.  But Blinkybean has turned out to be a pretty easy baby.  He rarely cries unless he’s being changed, and he sleeps for about 4-5 hours at a time at night.  It’s been a fairly smooth transition so far, though Bug seems to be having a little bit of a hard time not being the center of our attention anymore.  We’re trying to keep a balance, he went out for a special lunch with Daddy today and then ran some errands.

I am very happy to have my family together again, and I am blessed with my boys.  I couldn’t ask for a more awesome kid than Bug, nor a sweeter baby than Blinkybean.  And my husband has been amazing through all of this, taking the rest of the year off to be with the family as we continue to make this transition.  It took a lot for us to get to this point, but waking up on Thanksgiving with my entire family – including the cats! – in my bed?  Totally worth it.