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Mostly Dairy and Gluten Free Meal Plan

We currently are in transition. We had been gluten and dairy free for about 6 months, then added them back in when my youngest stopped nursing so often; and to be honest we just got tired of it.  Well, that didn't seem to work so well for any of us.  We are now back to walking gluten and dairy out of our diets. You will find more processed foods (such as rice crackers, chex cereal and Daiya cheese) as we get used to the new menu.  My youngest and I love So Delicious yogurt and ice cream while my husband and my oldest are not completely dairy free as they do eat Chobani yogurt and KerryGold cheese occasionally.  I will note that, when meal planning, the plan is not set in stone.  For example, if we were planning on grilling and the weather doesn't cooperate, or we just don't make it home in time, we can pull out some leftovers and roll the missed meals into the next week's plan or freezer stash for another day.  Having the plan just means the ingredients are in the house, I likely will remember to defrost it the night before, if needed, and my oldest knows basically what to expect. This way she doesn't try to complain that there is nothing to eat every day.  As always, you can assume that anywhere you see ground beef/turkey, we sub in a can of beans for half of it.




B  Baked Oatmeal

S fruit salad with granola

L Tuna macaroni salad - we use 1 bag rice macaroni, 2 cans tuna or salmon, a few handfuls of defrosted peas and mayo to taste. If you like you can sprinkle on some sea salt.

S vegetable sticks and dip

D Chicken soup with grilled cheese (I splurged and bought Udis bread)


B sausage

S apples and peanut butter/almond butter

L chicken wraps with craisins and spinach (this is where we cheat on the gluten a bit) My youngest likely will have beans fried in coconut oil as she isn't thrilled with plain chicken

S Yogurt and granola

D crock pot pork  with sweet potatoes *this is great to double if you have a large crock.  I fill my 7qt to the top


B Apple crock pot oatmeal there are many varieties of this recipie and most of the time I play with the ingredients depending what is on hand (brewers yeast, flax seed and coconut oil are great additions).  A great trick is using a timer, like you normally would use to set up lights when you're away, to delay when it starts. 

S yogurt and fruit

L Leftovers

S trail mix- nuts, raisins and chex

D flounder with rice and mixed vegetables


B  Oatmeal with bananas on the side

S Apple slices with pb

L Leftovers

S gf Pretzels with cheese or fake cheese dip

D Stuffed acorn squash - We have made this with rice and quinoa.  I perfer the couscous for texture but they are both doable.


B Sausage

S Yogurt and fruit

L Chicken wraps - a staple when we are on the go that i really need to work on

S vegetables and dip

D chicken a la queen - We sub a can of coconut milk for cream, coconut oil for the butter, and any gluten free flour for the flour. It doesn't look as creamy but it still is a family favorite.


B Oatmeal with craisins

S apple sauce or freeze dried fruit

L Out for the day.

S trail mix

D grilled chicken with corn and potatoes


B Bean pancakes - I know these sound gross but the kids love them

S Yogurt

L Salad

S rice crackers with cheese

D Beef and cheddar pie This is my oldest daughter's favorite meal for which she has been asking quite some time now.  I am going to make two smaller batches: one normal for her and DH.  The other I'll use the fake cheese and leave off the crust for us dairy free people.  We always leave out the beer.




Our school room/ playroom for 2013-2014

 We are lucky to have an extra room that is currently functioning as a playroom/school room. Well, technically, we moved our living room to the eat in part of the kitchen and are just eating in the dining room.  Since it is a rental I am not going out to spend a ton of money on furniture we didn't have.  Previously, the playroom was upstairs and the office was in the extra room downstairs, but this works better as the kids are down where I can keep an eye on them.


Our workboxes and bookshelves are to the right when you walk in with mostly fiction on the right shelf and nonfiction and other resource books on the left.  You can see our ever-used white board tucked between along with a blackboard the kids play with.

After that is where the independent school work gets done.  The large world map gets used for our social studies program.  The current Lego project is on top of the radiator to keep it out of reach of the toddler, along with commonly used supplies like expo markers, pens, glue stick...  The desk itself holds all her personal art supplies and kits. The small crate on top holds 4H binders, her address book and whatever she deems worthy of this space.

 The closet holds all sorts of games and other art supplies that I don't want so accessible; such as beads, play dough, glitter and paint, as well as a variety of other things.

 There are two ikea book shelves back to back to divide the room into a play area and school area .  The school side has our paper supply, current and past school books, binders and other supplies. The bigger bins on the bottom hold science, math, preschool (for Storm when she is ready) and additional art supplies.  The crate to the right is currently holding our Winter Promise material.


 Our library books sit in the purple container on top of the shelves. The pink and green crates I am planning on turning into Storm's workboxes when she is ready. The purple bin, I believe, currently holds zhu zhu pets, and the red bin is a set of smaller toys.


This side of the shelves mostly holds the older kid toys and a few more often played games. They were labeled, but Peyton has a love of labels so they were taken off.  The cardboard box holds the cardboard bricks and also gets used to build all sorts of houses and other pretend spaces.


The baby/toddler toys come next, along with our wall calendar, weather posters and space to fill as the year goes on.

 The last corner of the room to the left when you enter is the kitchen/doll area.  We keep the smaller pieces put away in a bin on the shelves for now so Storm can have free access to it. The blue toy chest is filled with dress up clothing that both girls have a ball with, and tends to get used as a table when we turn this area into a reading corner.


 Over our door we put this really cool scientific method set, or at least I think it is, While on the door hangs our day's schedule so I can see it in the dining-room where much of the not independent work gets done when the toddler climbing all over everything gets tiring.




Storm's Birth Story. 

My labor with Storm was much longer than with first DD. I had been having contractions since about friday night on and off. Sunday DH almost didn't go back to Pa. becuse they were 6-8 min apart, but not getting stronger or harder. Monday came and contractions seemed to stop. I just felt kinda gross and we said If I didn't feel better Tuesday, then I would go to the doctors. Well, Tuesday never came.

My water broke at 1:40 am and, let me tell you, when they said "you will know" they weren't kidding! It was a weird, popping feeling. After calling DH to wake him up and tell him to come home, I headed to the hospital with my sister on the doctor's orders :) When contractions finally started, it turns out I was only 1 cm dilated, and there was talk of inducing me, but we held it off. When DH arived at  6:35a.m.,  I jumped to 4cm but then we seemed to get stuck around 7 cm for a couple hrs and I was wearing out. After talking to my midwife, we decided to do an IV pain med and a small amt of pitocin to help me get some rest and hopefully dilate. There was a lot of pressure with the baby trying to move down, but my body was not ready.  The pain med did make me kinda loopy, but I needed the break and I think I did pass out for a bit.  Eventually my body took over and we knew it was time for the next stage. Unfortunatelym this is where it went down hill. My practice has 3 midwifes: one was on vacation, one (who came in earlier) just got off duty after being on all weekend and had to go home to her kids, and I don't know what happened with the third, but I was left with a doctor I didn't know and who, while nice just was not a good fit. She was willing to work with us on positions but didn't have the knowledge and I sure didn't have it. I just knew that the standard position was not working for me and I didn't  appreciate hearing, "well they look like they are working from this end."  In the end, thanks to my husband, mom, plus a really great nurse, they were able to make a couple changes and she was out within a few more pushes.  Then the real suprises began as they put a very large 9lb 6 oz baby on me to clean her up. She started pooping and peeing and gave the nurse a run for her money trying to clean me, my husband and the baby up. I did have them take her to the warmer for a bit because she was sounding kinda congested. After they cleaned out her lungs, and boy... does she have a set of lungs, gave her the vitemin k shot and glucose test,  we snuggled for a while and she started nursing with little issue. I'll admit I did have some worry. Because of her glucose being a bit low, they were a bit over-eager to get her to nurse as soon as posible.  Later that day she got her sponge bath and I was able to finally eat. 


Our "little Storm" has finally arrived :) 

I am very Happy to annouce that our daughter was born on July 31st at 3:56 PM.  She was a surprise at 9 lbs 6.6 oz and 20.5 inches long.  While we expected a big baby, no one had a clue she was this big. It has been an eventful few days and I am working with DH to write up our hospital story, but being that we are in the middle of a relocation, the story will be somewhat delayed. 




Moving out of state.

This will be my first time moving out of state and, really, the first time I have had to deal with many issues like rent and a moving truck. Until now, I have either lived with family, in the dorms, or the house I inherited.

On one hand we are happy to be able to leave our city, the house that needs so much work, and many other issues.  On the other hand, this is the first time in my life I will not be living under the maple trees this blog was named after.  Looking back at the photos it seems that they have grown with me from the time I was a little girl toddling next to my grandfather.  We are also very sorry to have to move away from my 90 yr old neighbors.  They treat my daughter as part of the family and it will be a great loss on both sides.

As for where we are moving to... we are currently looking for a rental house/ apartment in the southeastern area of PA.

There are so many questions bouncing around in my head over this move that I am hoping some readers might have advice and referals to help me narrow down the choices.

  • Starting with how did you find a rental to live in?  What questions are important, both when you start looking and to ask the landlord when you find a possible home?
  • How did you find new doctors?  Do you have one in that area that you would recommend?  It seems like we just started to put the finishing touches on a team that we are happy with, ranging from  primary care, pediatrician, family therapist, dentist,  opthamologist, midwife, and chances are a few I am forgetting.  Starting to line these up from another state seems like a daunting task; especially when many doctors are not on board with ADD, SPD and food intolerance issues. 
  • New homeschooling laws- We are still on the wire, but are looking at some of the virtual public schools in the area. This would save us some money with the move and time picking out curriculum and writing lesson plans. Also I would not have to worry if I was missing something in our transition with the difference in state laws.  I am leaning towards Calvert or Lincoln Interactive, but would love your suggestions.  We are looking for a program that is self paced and does not require computer class time.
  • Activites for my daughter to get involved and meet other children, and myself to meet other moms. Whether this is a co-op, meetup group, playdates, or maybe a camp depending on when we move. I also have to find her some activites for the school year to replace her dance and nature classes. 
  • Less on my mind but still necessary is moving over the car insurance/registration, quality food stores, state and local taxes, utilities and other budget related expenses.
  • What other issues have been on your list when you moved?