Lactogenic banana bread

I adapted my low fat banana bread recipe to be a little more lactogenic based on what I’ve learned about possible substitutions, and I was really surprised that it was moist, and that it actually baked through (I’ve often made disaster quickbreads where the center never sets and remains gooey, especially when I’ve substituted applesauce for eggs, so this chia seed egg concoction is impressive). I would venture to say it’s slightly healthy and a good choice for anyone and not just nursing moms. I even let baby Winter have a few bites. The molasses actually made it quite sweet and moist, to the point where I really don’t think it needed the two squares of bakers chocolate I included… and I’m always the gal that throws chocolate into her baked goods. 

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Flying Solo with a 15 Month Old

Last month I took the plunge and took my toddler on a plane ride. She’s no stranger to air travel—this was her fifth plane trip in her short life—but it was the first time I didn’t have her dad to tag team during the adventure.

My plan going in was that less would be more. I was flying from Georgia to New Mexico and would be there for more than a week, so I wanted to pack everything we both needed into one carry-on sized suitcase (I hate paying extra checking in a bag, but that changed once I got to the airport). I also lucked out, because at my destination there would be a car seat and pack ‘n play waiting for us (two very large and bulky items that I didn’t have to worry about).

I waffled back and forth between what to take for our adventure in the airport and on the plane (specifically, I questioned if I wanted to lug a stroller with me), and this is what I eventually went with:

  • Umbrella stroller
  • Ergo Carrier (We use wraps and slings, too, but for an airport/airplane I like using the carrier that clips and goes on quickly)
  • Backpack (Inside I had my laptop and all of my personal things—wallet, phone, chap stick, etc.—new snacks and toys for her, and a few extra diapers and wipes in their own separate Ziploc)
  • Suitcase filled to the brim with everything the two of use would need for our trip. I left the diapers at home and only took “just enough” and bought diapers and wipes once I got to my destination.

I planned it out to get to the airport super early. It’s about a two-hour drive to the airport from where we live, and I knew Bunny would nap on the way there. Our flight departed right at the beginning of her bedtime, so I was hoping she would walk around a lot and burn off energy. My plan almost worked like a charm.

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Olive’s 2 1/2 Year Update

The last time I wrote an update for Olive was over a year ago when she was 20 months old, so I thought an update was due before she turns 3 in October!


After I weaned last December, Mr. Bee took over Olive’s bedtime and we transitioned her out of her crib (at 26 months), we started having a lot of bedtime battles. We actually had similar problems with Charlie at the same age (we transitioned him out of his crib at the same age when he wouldn’t stop climbing out). The same thing that worked for him worked for her — we leave her bedroom door wide open. If she comes out of her room, we close the door. I think being able to hear us outside makes her feel less alone and she’ll play with her toys, sing to herself, and eventually fall asleep by herself. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep in her doorway!

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Private Swimming Lessons for a 3 Year Old

I love swimming and was fortunate to grow up with a swimming pool where my sisters and I spent most of our summer days. I’ve always envisioned having a pool as an adult, but so far this is not a reality. In some respects, I know this is a blessing because watching children around a pool can be a full-time job. But swimming was a really big part of my childhood and is a very big summer activity where we live, so I’ve never questioned that my kids would have to learn to swim.

When Gemma was about 15 months old we enrolled in some mommy and me swim classes. It was a fun activity but I am not sure I’d qualify it as educational for a baby; I can’t say either way if she actually learned anything from it, but at least it was an introduction to water.

This year, at 3 years old, and with daily temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, I made a commitment that I had to get her swimming at least halfway decently. Now that I have baby Summer, I need some assurance that Gemma won’t be in danger if we want to go swimming at my parents’ or sister’s house and I am responsible for them both.

I arranged ten private lessons for her and the experience is something to definitely be shared. This was hard work–for both of us. The teacher was intense; she was congenial but firm and at three Gemma, had never experienced anything of this nature. The first lesson was hard. Gemma has a very stubborn and independent personality and her swim instructor had zero tolerance for her negotiation skills. Oftentimes, when she is feeling fearful, she tries to lesson the blow of something new by thinking outside the box. I think this is a great skill that applies in many situations but in this particular one, her instructor mistook it for defiance and made her swim more and more before moving on in the lesson. This type of negative reinforcement is not something that I practice in my parenting style so I felt very uncomfortable with it. Truth be told, we both wanted to quit after the first lesson.

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My Obsession with the Rock n’ Play

Lately, more and more of my friends are starting to have babies, and whenever I browse through their registries the first thing I look for is to see if they have the Rock n’ Play listed. If they don’t, I’ll tell them about this wonderful contraption and explain why it is all kinds of awesome, then buy it for them!  I’m not normally this vocal about baby items because all babies are so different, and have different preferences, but this is a product I really believe in! Anything that makes the newborn stage a little bit easier gets a thumbs up in my book, and in the case of the Rock n’ Play, I really felt it made the newborn stage a lot easier.

We didn’t use the Rock n’ Play with Noelle because we didn’t know about it, but I’m pretty sure if we had the rock ‘n play we all would’ve slept better in those early weeks, especially since she suffered from reflux, and would not sleep unless held or at an incline.  With Jaren, he was in the Rock n’ Play from the minute we got home!

First day home

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Roadtrip Essentials

In just a few short weeks, we will be embarking on our first family road trip from New Jersey to Florida.  To say I am not daunted at the idea of such a long car ride with a 4 year old and a 1 year old would be a lie; I am terrified. Juliet has recently started hating riding in the car and Drake will probably be better than Juliet, but this is still the longest trip he will ever have taken in the car. We are leaving around bedtime on our way down and I plan on driving straight through the night while Mr. Chocolate sleeps and switch off in the morning hours, so I hope we can get a good chunk of the trip covered there. We do plan on stopping one night on the way down and up, so hopefully that will help ease the kids as well. This is my list of supplies I hope will help with keeping the kids happy and entertained!

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Veggie Monster Muffins

As Kennedy starts eating more and more table food (who am I kidding…she never ate baby food), its’ a real struggle to get vegetables into her. All of our go-to snacks seem to be carb-based; crackers, puffs, MumMums, toast. Its pretty tough to hand a ten-month-old a leaf of lettuce, and she doesn’t seem to like steamed broccoli or any of the standard “baby” vegetables.

So that left me searching for a recipe that 1. she would eat, 2. had lots of vegetables and 3. wasn’t full of sugar. And when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for, I created a recipe of my own. These monster muffins taste like blueberry-banana oatmeal muffins, but they come out bright green (depending on the veggies you add). By labeling them monsters, I circumvented the inevitable “ewwww” that green food usually elicits. They’re monsters… they’re SUPPOSED to be green.

Have fun with these – toss in any combination of fruits and vegetables that you like. Each mini muffin is packed full of goodness…and they taste pretty good, too!

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