The Last Two [Busy] Days

When Daniel is off from work, we make an effort to spend as much time together as possible. We try to get out a little, but mostly we like to be together at home. All we do is run, run, run and it’s nice to have some quality time just to ourselves once in a while. Just another step in simplifying life.  So this “weekend” (Monday and Tuesday) we made sure to have a lot of fun. So here’s our little “weekend” summarized in some fun pictures.

Gideon spent time with his dad 

Daniel and Gideon did a lot of snuggling
Daniel and Gideon did a lot of snuggling
We've got to get the boy started right early. Gideon watching the epic 2004 Final Farewell Concert in France.
We’ve got to get the boy started off right. Gideon watching Phil Collin’s epic 2004 Final Farewell Concert in France.

We took horrible family pictures

worse family photo 1
worse family photo 1
worse family photo 2
worse family photo 2
Worse family photo 3
worse family photo 3
worse family photo 4. I was hugging my boys if you are wondering what is going on here.

We ate really well, though.

made wheat free banana pancakes for breakfast
made wheat free banana pancakes for breakfast
we made wheat free banana pancakes. so delicious!
soooo delicious with some maple syrup and turkey bacon! 
Gideon helped his daddy make homemade vanilla ice cream.
Gideon helped his daddy make homemade vanilla ice cream.

making homemade vanilla ice cream

Gideon loves the smell of vanilla!
Gideon loves the smell of vanilla!
Gideon helped daddy by holding on to the heavy cream for him.
Gideon helped daddy by holding on to the heavy cream for him.

We played hard

Gideon broke in his exersaucer and loved it! His favorite is spinning the monkies on the pole, and the butterflies.

 We got out of the house

We saw two fawns on our front lawn.
We took our usual evening walks while Gideon grabbed some z's.
We took our usual evening walks while Gideon grabbed some Z’s.
We went out for breakfast to FirstWatch and ate delicious omelets.

Gideon tried on his dad's shades.

Gideon wants to be like his daddy
Gideon played tug of war
We played tug of war
We went to the zoo and saw  goats, penguins, monkeys, donkeys, and lizards.
We went to the zoo and saw goats, penguins, monkeys, donkeys, and lizards.

We walked through the bamboo
We walked through the bamboo
Gideon fed himself. He is so strong!
Gideon fed himself. He is so strong!
Gideon helped Daniel install the new sound system at the church building.
Gideon helped Daniel install the new sound system at the church building.

Busy weekday weekend, but it was a blast! What do you do for fun with your family?


Snot Suckers: The NoseFrida

So updates have been sparse the last couple of days, greatly due to lack of sleep and a more hectic schedule than usual. Poor Gideon has been fighting some really bad nasal congestion, and therefore so have Daniel and I. We’ve tried all sorts of tactics to combat  the war against nasal congestion. I’ve kept him constantly near a warm mist humidifier and infused the air with eucalyptus oil, sprayed his nose with homemade nasal drops using a medicine dropper, and suctioned his nose with the NoseFrida. Have you heard of the NoseFrida? If you have, then there is 50% chance you are either thinking “genius” or “gross. gag me.” Daniel cannot bring himself to be in the same room when it is used, and I think it’s the greatest invention ever. Whatever your opinion on this rather strange object, you cannot deny that it is more effective than that obnoxious nose bulb. If you decide to look into it, this is what the box looks like.

Nose FridaI found the NoseFrida at Whole Foods for $15. The picture on the cover of the box is pretty self-explanatory. Refills boxes cost under $3 and include 20 filters.

the back of the box.

I’m not going to push this item down people’s throats because I really do understand why people may not be able to stomach it. But at the same time, I want to review this item to maybe give you some perspective.

We tried the nose bulbs. I only got frustrated with them. I tried different brands and none of them met my standards. They were nasty, I never felt like I could get them clean enough after use, and they didn’t really help Gideon breath better. I’d heard a lot of good things about the NoseFrida and decided to try it. After using it for the last 4 days, I’m 100% a believer. It’s extremely effective. When I’m able to clear his airway, I’m not only helping him breathe better, but I’m helping prevent sore throats from postnasal drainage or mouth breathing, as well as ear infections. For all that, I’ll be the snot sucker of the family!  Gideon hates it and screams bloody murder, but does not cry because it causes absolutely no pain. He just hates being held down, and dislikes anything near his nostrils. But once we are done, he is breathing clearly and oohing and cooing. Nothing has helped clear his nose as much as the NoseFrida.

The homemade nasal saline that I use with Gideon is 1/4 tsp of salt to 8 oz of water (“The Portable Pediatrician”)

Have you tried the NoseFrida, or know anyone who has? Let me know what you think if you decide to try it.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day I decided it was time to make a second dessert food that was completely wheat and processed sugar free. This recipe yielded 13 cookies, and was a total hit with Daniel and myself. If you are looking for a healthy dessert that will curb your craving for sweet baked goods, then this is a must-try. Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this recipe you will need:

  1. A hand mixer
  2. 2 medium sized mixing bowls
  3. 1 cup almond flour
  4. 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  5. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 4 Tbsp butter (substitute with coconut butter if you prefer)
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 Tbsp honey (the original recipe called for raw, but I used regular honey)
  10. 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the first bowl, you will add all your dry ingredients and mix. In your second bowl, you’ll beat the butter to soften (if needed), add the egg, vanilla, and honey and mix. Add wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and beat with a hand mixer just until blended. Then fold in your chocolate chips. The original recipe says to refrigerate the batter. I skipped this step entirely, and we all survived.

Paleo Chocolate Chip CookiesWhen I make  cookies I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper. It keeps the bottoms of the cookies from burning, and I think it keeps them from getting dry. The batter is on the sticky side, so I just wet my hand with water and applied light pressure.
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes tops. Paleo Chocolate Chip CookiesYum! Daniel took some to work, and I enjoyed some at home. I’ve already made the recipe again, and doubled the batch. Enjoy! Let me know how they turn out if you try them out.

Paleo Banana Bread

I’ve wanted to try flourless cooking for a while now. My first attempt was a success! I got this recipe from Life as a Plate.

The recipe calls for 2 ripe bananas, 2 eggs, baking soda, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple sauce, cashew butter, and a blender. 

Paleo Banana Bread: ingredientsYou dump all the ingredients in the blender and mix them. Doesnt get much simpler than that.

Paleo Banana BreadThe batter was runny and smooth once it was all mixed together. It smelled great!

Paleo Banana Bread

After pouring the batter in a loaf pan, I baked at 325 degrees. The instructions called for  45 minutes. Since it was my first time making this particular recipe I tested the bread at 30 minutes and then at 40. It passed the clean knife test at the 40 minute mark. Just as with any new recipe, check your bread before the allotted time. You oven does not work the same as the next person’s.

"what a pretty loaf of bread!" - me
“what a pretty loaf of bread!” – me

Daniel couldn’t wait for the bread to cool. He started pecking at it as soon as it was out of the oven.

Paleo Banana Bread

The adjectives that came to mind when I tried to describe the taste and consistency of the bread were: yummy, soft, light, and smooth. It’s fluffy, but not thick.

Paleo Banana Bread

The bread literally melted in your mouth, and did not feel thick in my throat going down. It was wonderful, and Daniel loved it too. We had it for an evening treat, and then for breakfast this morning.  It was so easy to make, and very delicious.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes!

Great Buys and Rolls

Gideon and I spent half of our day out and about finding some great deals on toys and baby clothes. Gideon is 4 months old, weighs almost 15.5 pounds, and has almost outgrown his 3-6 month clothes. The boy has me playing catch up on a daily basis.

Great Buys


I bought all of the items in the picture including several Melissa and Doug toys for a steal. The large 2×3 foot floor puzzle was only $3.50. I thought it must be missing pieces to be that cheap, but it had never been put together before! All of this plus a few storage containers that were already in use upstairs, and a stuffed bag of clothes [not depicted because they were being washed] cost me a little under $50. I was so excited, I had to share that with you.

Later, I was upstairs with Gideon hanging out in his room. While I put laundry away, he played on the floor. It’s always so hard to focus on the task at hand when he’s laying there being scrumptious.

He is so scrumptious!
Isn’t he scrumptious?

You know your baby has moved into the early mobile stages when you turn around and he is clear across the room.

Slow down boy!
Over here mommy! Gotcha!

The little stinker was sneaky and stealth. He didn’t make a peep and all I was able to document of his 3-4 rolls in the time it took me to put away a few onesies was his radiant smile. He was so proud of himself.

If you are a mom, when did your baby start rolling over with the intention of going places? Are there any milestones that you were unable to document?



Meet Hadassah

If you are a fellow Francine Rivers fan, and more specifically a fan of the Mark of the Lion Series, let me clarify that I will not be writing about one of my favorite heroines in all of literature.

The Hadassah that I want you to meet is a 34 year-old, mother of 7, who lives on the west side of Cincinnati, and shares my love for consignment shopping. I actually met her just this past Saturday while standing in the checkout line at a huge consignment sale. The line was moving extremely slowly, and Gideon was quickly running out of steam. I had left his diaper bag in the car, so all I had to appease him was his pacifier and a game of peek-a-boo. Before desperation set in, I had taken notice of the woman standing in line behind me. She was younger, and she had a little toddler with her. He struck me as extremely well behaved, and I don’t think I heard him say a word in the full hour I was standing in line. I also noticed that this woman was very sweet to him. She had such a happy peaceful air about her, and I was relieved I didn’t have to listen to some grumpy mother yell at her kids for an hour instead.

30 minutes into standing in line, Gideon started losing it. I knew exactly what he needed, but his bottle was in the car, and I had a bag full of things, and there were at least another 30 minutes of waiting ahead of us. Just when I was about to get out of line and head to the car, happy peaceful aired woman spoke to me. “Is he hungry?”, she asked. “Yes. And I left his bottle in the car, which means I have to get out of line. Very unfortunate.” Without hesitation she immediately offered to push my stroller and keep an eye on my bag of goodies while I ran out to the car to feed Gideon. I was dumbfounded. “That is so nice of you! Are you sure?”. She smiled at me like a mother of 7 would smile at a naive mother of a screaming 4 month-old, and said “Of course I’m sure. We mothers need to stick together and help each other out.” I heard an echo of “Word!”, “Isn’t that the truth?”, and “That’s right.” from the line behind us. I sheepishly realized that this woman was not the only one who was keenly aware of my … predicament. She was just the only one who offered me a helping hand.

I said thank you a few times, OK maybe I thanked her as many times as I could until I was out of earshot but who’s keeping track? I raced to my car holding on tight to Gideon in my arms, and rushed back to that miserable checkout line. The whole time I thought to myself “How can I make it up to her?”. I offered to purchase a toy or book for her little boy, but she shook her head saying “He does not need any more toys. Just something more for me to clean.” I even offered to take them out for ice cream, but she just chuckled and told me “Don’t worry about it.”

For the next 30 minutes or so, we did not stop talking. We talked about everything from motherhood, to homeschooling, to child development. Actually, I asked questions and she did the imparting of wisdom. This woman, mother of 7 like I said, is currently homeschooling 5 of the 7. And you know what her response was when my jaw dropped? She said “Everyone reacts like I’m some kind of martyr, but really I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to be with my kids more.” This woman baffled me. Mother of 7, and yet, she was so full of joy and life. She hadn’t let exhaustion and stress consume her. Rather, she saw her children for what they really are, gifts and blessings that she can’t get enough of.

Before I knew it, it was time to pay for our things and leave. I told her that I felt so sad that our conversation was over and that I’d never see her again. I felt like I’d made a new friend, and that I wanted to invest more time in getting to know her better. She said she felt the same way. While I was in the middle of paying for my things, she approached me from the neighboring register with a piece of paper. On it, she had written her phone number and name. Hadassah. I felt something move in my heart. Hadassah is a fictional character whose characteristics I admire, who made a strong impact on my life from the pages. This Hadassah standing right next to me was a real person whose characteristics I admire, and who made a strong impact on my life. I felt blessed by meeting this person, and knew I would be a fool to not keep in touch. I scrambled to write my name and phone number on a piece of paper, and quickly handed it to her. The line was moving like a herd of cattle to the hay. There was no holding it up, and I had to leave.

My conversation with Hadassah caused me to reflect on lots of important things. First and foremost, I was reminded that taking care of my child is not a burden. It’s a gift. Every time he has a need that I have the means to meet, is a wonderful thing. Hadassah also reaffirmed me as I strive to keep sleep deprivation and physical aches and pains outside of the way I relate to Gideon. This may get harder, and I’m sure there are mothers that are thinking “good luck with that” or “we’ll see how long that lasts”, but so far I find myself not caring about being exhausted. It’s torture to climb out of bed in the middle of the night, but as soon as I see Gideon’s face, it all leaves me and I find him irresistible even at 3 in the morning. God also blessed me with a husband that gladly lets me sleep in or take naps when necessary. That helps.

I met Hadassah on Saturday. It is now Monday night, and I cannot find the piece of paper with her phone number on it anywhere. I have searched and searched to no avail. There have been moments when I am nearly brought to tears because of this, but something tells me that would be silly. God works in mysterious ways, and I’m not about to decipher this one. I have to believe that what is in my power to do is enough. I can pray for her and her family, I can keep her memory by writing down the story of meeting her, and I can encourage you with her story. So be encouraged. And don’t misplace phone numbers of people you want to keep in touch with. That’s very important.

Here’s to Hadassah.

Ketchup Time!

Oof! It’s been a while! I need to stop spacing my blog entries out so much. Time to hit the ground running, and I’ve got to keep it as short as possible because I’m spent!

H o u s e k e e p i n g 

  1. On a previous post I said I was going to make an itemized grocery list comparing Trader Joe’s vs. Kroger’s prices “in a week or so”. Well, that was two months ago and no such itemized list exists. You see where my priorities don’t lay. A lot has changed since then, and Trader Joe’s is so last May. My last large grocery haul was at Whole Foods, and I had such a blast. Baby daddy was at home with Gideon, and I got to walk every single aisle, and take my time. I’m looking to make a few small but significant changes in how my family eats, and it was so educational to look at new products, and make notes. No really. I had a notebook and was taking notes like I was training for a new job or something.
    So. Long story short, yes the dog ate my ho- grocery list, but believe me. I’m nothing if persistent. For my benefit and yours (yes?), I will have an itemized list comparing prices from Whole Foods and Kroger up. Soon.
  2. My wheels have been turning about the direction I want this blog to take, and I envision the following:
  • First and foremost, this is a place I will keep track of Gideon’s development and milestones. I want people who love him but live far away to have access to what is going on his life. I also want to be able to look back on these entries in the years to come, and be reminded of things I would have otherwise forgotten.
  • I want this blog to be a place where people can check in and find whatever they are in the mood to read. Cute baby updates, stories about things that happen to me that strike a chord, mindless banter about every day living, very intentional banter about every day living, product and book reviews, a perspective (whether new, shared, or divergent) on spiritual, political, socio-emotional topics, and…
  • Tips on how to make life simple. Practical stuff. So this blog will include things like reflections on how we try to eliminate excess from our lives, organization tips,  updates on how we are trying to harness resources in own home, information on what I’m learning about food and nutrition, etc.  Since we bought our current forever home, we have veered away from striving for that american dream and started making ongoing decisions to simplify our lives, become healthier, happier, and more self-sufficient. In short, we’ve worked at going back to the basics in terms of how we spend our time, our money, how we eat, and how we want to raise our family. Four years into this new lifestyle we’re forming, we are both very happy with the decisions we’ve made. Keeping life simple and free of all types of clutter (emotional, time-related, material) has really worked for us. Living simplistically has actually made our life more abundant than ever, and we look forward to our time with each other and with our son. Simplification is an ongoing process, and we are excited to continue working on it. I’d love for you to come with me on this journey, and I’d love even more to hear from you.
  • I’m only 4 months into this motherhood thing, and every single day there is something new I want to relay to the world around me. I have frustrations, I feel overwhelmed and unqualified, I’m so full of love that I can’t contain all of it, I’m anxious about the long-term effects of every single decision I make, I want so badly to make good ones. I want to know what all of my options are for Gideon, and make educated decisions when it comes to parenting, diet, discipline, etc. There are stories I want to tell about things that happen to me, eye-opening epiphanies about God, who He is, and what that means for mankind.  I have so much pent up inspiration I want to share with you. Little by little, I will get it on here.
  • Blessing and encouraging others. If I learn or experience something inspirational and positive, I want you to benefit from it too!

Monthly Goals:        J U L Y 

Accountability is a huge thing for me – especially with things that are more trivial than not in the grand scheme of things. Just to clarify, this isn’t my to-do list. To-do lists are always changing and never interesting. So I’m going to begin posting my monthly goals on this blog. Regardless of the response this blog gets, just knowing that people I don’t see on a daily basis could judge how driven I am based on follow through with monthly goals is [hopefully] enough motivation to get me into gear. However.

DISCLAIMER/NOTE-TO-SELF: I’m not a failure for not checking every single item of any list I make. Lists and setting goals keeps me focused, and getting a list marked off to its completion is great, but lists and self-made goals will not control my life. Happiness and joy in the life God has given me is the main goal.

At the end of each month, I will update on what got done, and what did not get done what I just could not be bothered with.

July Goals


  1. Organize master bathroom
  2. Organize upstairs linen closet
  3. Organize/decorate Gideon’s bathroom
  4. Make a binder for Gideon’s paperwork/information
  5. Try my hand at flourless baking


  1. Pray for someone new every day
  2. Go to bed at a decent time
  3. Be intentional about contacting people who are on my heart/mind

I’ll start short and sweet, and see how it goes.

G i d e o n      U p d a t e

Gideon is now very intentional with his eye gaze. Exhibit A, his bottle. When he sees it, he gets all Rolling Stones on me, and wild horses couldn’t drag him away. His burps like a fully grown man, and gets so mad if you take the bottle away to burp him. Nipple confusion? This babe can’t be bothered with that. Got milk? Gideon does! I still have not introduced any foods to him, but Daniel is especially getting antsy. I believe he’s in the early stages of cutting teeth because he is drool central and puts every single thing in his mouth. It won’t be long before he’s gnawing on carrot sticks and chicken bones!

His hand-eye coordination is still maturing, but he’s working on it. It’s adorable to see him focus so hard on getting his hand in just the right place to grab a toy.  Gideon loves the element of surprise. He is so delighted by peek-a-boo and the sudden bang his spoons and bowls make on his Bumbo tray. He’ll have object permanence down in no time. Gideon also loves books. He is so aware of how they work, and will try to turn the pages with his right hand for the most part. I also think he’s starting to enjoy rhymes, and he loves to hear Daniel and I sing to him. The other day I played a song by Thalia called “Piel Morena” which was a huge hit when I was in middle school, and he belly laughed the whole time I danced for him, and waved my kitchen towel around. He wanted to dance too! Gideon is vocalizing like crazy. He is discovering his voice, and that he can change volumes and tones. He listens attentively, and loves interacting whether I talk to him in english or spanish. I aim at speaking to him in each language 50% of the time. He’s not showing a preference for one language over the other. Gideon’s also discovering cause and effect. “If I do this, this happens”. I know I’m mixing cognitive, motor, and other areas of development, but this is me writing “on my toes”, and not caring about how things flow.

I could go on and on, but I’m not doing well at meeting my inward goal #2 as it is.


Last Tuesday we went for one of our family evening walks, only we didn't put Gideon in his pumpkin seat. He rode like a big boy!
Last Tuesday we went for one of our family evening walks, only we didn’t put Gideon in his pumpkin seat. He rode like a big boy!

I surprised Daniel at the trustees meeting where he swore in as a new corporal (we are so proud!) with Gideon dressed in a police officer onesie that Daniel's cousin, Jenny, made for him. Every one thought he was pretty adorable. They thought Gideon was adorable, not Daniel. That would just be wierd.

I surprised Daniel at the trustees meeting where he swore in as a new corporal (we are so proud!) with Gideon dressed in a police officer onesie that Daniel’s cousin, Jenny, made for him. Every one thought he was pretty adorable. They thought Gideon was adorable, not Daniel. That would just be wierd.

Proud of Daddy

Gideon went to the swimming pool for the first time on Thursday, July 11th. He loved it.
Gideon went to the swimming pool for the first time on Thursday, July 11th. He loved it.

My Boys

Gideon is such a cuddle boy!
Gideon is such a cuddle boy!

I’d love input or ideas about for blog entries. I want to write about things that are interesting to you. Good night!