Monday, April 27, 2015

One Pan Smoked Sausage

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Now that Soren is 6 weeks old (as of yesterday!!) I've been easing my way back into actually cooking, verses panicking at 5:30 every night and making a box of mac and cheese with a side of veggies or ordering a pizza. Between the hours of 4-7PM are the craziest (especially on Mondays and Wednesdays when Jasper has soccer practice) so I've been utilizing the crock pot a lot, and also nap time prep.

Today I miraculously got Soren and Tindra to nap at the same time so I made our entire dinner during that time. AND cleaned the kitchen! I definitely felt like an over achiever.

Since I had just washed and put away all the dishes, I hated the idea of using a bunch of pots and pants, so I decided to try to make our entire dinner just using one pan, and it turned out great!

One Pan Smoked Sausage and Veggies
1 Package Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage
8-10 small potatoes of your choice 
2 bell peppers
1-2 tablespoons of butter
spices of your choice: I used oregano, parsley, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper

 After you have chopped up your sausage and peppers, sautee the potatoes in a bit of butter as the potatoes take the longest to took. Once they were slightly soft throw in the sausage. 
 Throw in the spices you want to use now also
 After the sausage is mostly done, add in your bell peppers. 

 And that's it! See, so easy. I threw it all in an oven safe dish and put it in the fridge till after soccer practice. When we came home I put it in the oven at 375 just to warm up while I set the table and then dinner was ready within 10 minutes! 

It was a big hit with everyone, and I think Drew and Jasper are going to be fighting over who gets to bring the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Even Tindra, the picky eater of the family kept asking for 'more hot dogs please.'

We have been easing our way into eating mostly paleo, and I've got to say I get sick of all the chicken we have been eating so this was a perfect way to switch it up. The hillshire farms smoked sausage was delicious, and really simple to cook, and not messy and time consuming like cooking with chicken can be.  I'm already thinking of different ways I can prepare the sausage next time because clearly it was a big hit in our house! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Yesterday Tindra Helene Birgit turned three. I honestly don't know how it's possible. If could time could stand still for a few years now that would be fantastic. Except maybe wait a few weeks till Soren is out of the 'I refuse to be set down from the hours of 3PM and midnight. Once he's out of that it can freeze.

We spent the morning jumping our little hearts out at the trampoline/bouncy house place and then we had a surprise (and by surprise I mean surprise..even I didn't know she was coming till like 12 minutes before)  visit from Elsa in the evening and she spent an hour painting Tindra's (and Jasper's) faces  and nails, reading a book and singing and dancing. Tindra was basically in heaven and keeps asking when Elsa is coming back to play. And naturally she insisted on sleeping in her dress and wearing it again today. 

 One day

 One Year
Two years 


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1 Month!

I honestly have no idea where this month has gone. A lot of it is honestly sort of a blur. I feel like I'm still treading water and we are just sort of in survival mode right now. But that's okay! I know now how fast this newborn craziness passes, so I'm join going to savor it while it lasts. 

At one month..Soren wants to eat 20-40 minutes every 2-3 hrs during the day, and will give me one 4, maybe 4.5 hr stretch at night. At this point Tindra was sleeping 6 hrs at a time so hopefully S gets there soon too! Mamma would Really love some sleep since naps (for me) aren't happening anymore. 

He detests the swing, really hoping that changes as well. Tolerates the bouncer for a few minutes at a time, and will sometimes sleep in there during the day. Otherwise he just wants to be held. By me. People keep asking if he's a good baby, and my response is usually 'as long as he's being fed and held he's an angel'. 

He is a LOUD sleeper. Even right now, he's asleep in the bouncy chair next to me, snoring and grunting like an old man. Sure doesn't help with my sleep at night!

Has given us a few little smiles, but mostly he just glares, grunts and sleeps. 

He has started taking a bottle in the middle of the night that I have pumped, but for some reason if Drew feeds him (he's the only other person who has tried) he gulps and sucks it down so fast he spills half of it so even though he Will take a bottle, he will only take it from me. So sort of useless. But that's okay, I have zero plans of leaving him anytime soon!

He loves being held and rocked, and the noises he makes while sleeping on my chest, there's nothing like it. 

The whole family is just obsessed with him and I can't wait to see his little personality emerge even more!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

No More Hangry Nursing #WhenImHungry #Ad

This #WhenImHungry shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

You know that feeling, when you are so hungry you start getting super angry, crabby, impatient etc. Hangry is a real real thing in this house, especially when I'm pregnant or breast feeding. Several times over the past few weeks I have forgotten to eat in the morning in between making Jasper's lunch, feeing him and Tindra breakfast, all while usually nursing Soren since he insists on eating for an hour straight every morning.

Before I know it, I've fed Tindra lunch and I'm nursing Soren again to try to get him to nap while she does and it's 1 PM and I've yet to put anything in my mouth. And by this time, I'm hangry. I realize I'm starting to really lose my patience with a certain two year old, and that's my cue that I need to eat something. Fast. Lately that something I've been reaching for has been the kids easter candy. But last week when I was picking up some groceries, I decided to grab a treat for myself. Grown up candy, I told the kids. I picked up a few SNICKERS® Almond and SNICKERS® Peanut butter squares. 

So now I keep a SNICKERS® by my bed for those middle of the night nursing sessions, and of course I keep one in the diaper bag. 

Chocolate and water, my two necessities in life 

Now I want to know Who Are You When You Are Hungry? I can't be the only one who gets super crabby and impatient! 
And make sure you enter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Instagram, Facebook or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.
Also, make sure to check out more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories on the SNICKERS® social hub.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Staying germ free with #Purellwipes! #Ad

This #PurellWipes Sponsored post has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

When Jasper started school, I was so incredibly excited for him. School meant learning, and friends, and field trips and all that fun stuff. But you know what else it meant? Germs. Lots and lots of gross germs being brought into our home. 

I've always made Jasper go wash his hands the second he gets home from school, I don't even want to think about all the kids and germs he comes in contact with on a daily basis at school. But ever since bringing a newborn home, right in the middle of one of the worst flue seasons Colorado has ever seen, I've been even stricter about it. 

With the busy life we live, it's not always convenient to find hot water and soap to wash little germy hands with though. Often times after I pick Jasper up from school we have errands to run, or soccer practice or swim lessons to get to right away. Which is where PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes comes in. These clean  99% of germs without needing to use water and soap. 

Last week I picked up a container of PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes at Walmart, and I can't even tell you how much easier it's making my life. Now when we pick up Jasper I just hand him a wipe or two and he knows the drill of wiping down his hands and face before he's allowed to touch his brother. Neither kid can keep their hands (or lips) off of him (poor lucky guy) so these wipes are truly a life saver. Now I don't have to be stressing (and stressing I was!) about the germs Jasper has come into contact with. 

Not only am I keeping a package in the car, we keep one right inside the back door also, so the second the kids walk in the door from playing out back and Tindra yells "I kiss Soren?" all I have to say is 'grab a wipe' and she knows exactly what to do. 

In the past I have used baby wipes to wipe germy hands and faces, but recently I learned that this is actually a horrible idea. They aren't meant to be used for that, especially on faces and some kids were actually breaking out in horrible rashes from using baby wipes! So we will definitely be sticking to the PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes which are perfectly safe for hands and faces. 

The wipes even came in handy cleaning off this face after a certain two year old got into my mascara while I was making dinner.. 

Grab your PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes from the household cleaning aisle and use this coupon for $1 off any PURELL® Canister Wipe product. And don’t forget to join the PURELL® loyalty program!

A video posted by Darlene (@darlenelynn86) on
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Birth Story

Sorens birth is somewhat of a blur already so if I don't hurry and jot some things down I'm afraid I'm going to forget it all. Except for the 'bad' parts. I doubt I'll forget those parts ever. 

Everything was going good as we were prepping for the c- section. This time the nurses noticed my veins and decided instead of trying to stick me 10 times they would just get an 'expert' in right away. Their words. So the anesthesiologist came in and took care of that and talked about the drugs they would use blah blah. And decided I would be fine to have some narcotics in the IV even though I have a sensitivity to all that.

(I'm going to go over more c section details later because I get frequent questions about that) 

I was in the OR by 7:30 and at 7:57 AM Soren was born. 

They held him over the curtain thing (thank god for the curtain) and my first words were "Wow he doesn't look anything like Jasper or Tindra" (because in my mind he was supposed to be identical to them. Even though their birth pictures don't actually look anything alike even if they are twinsies now) And then they whisked him away (like 8 feet) to clean him up and do the things they do to newborns. 

At this point I kept asking why it was taking so long, because it felt like they were 'working' on me foreverrrr even though it wasn't long.

And then the nausea hit. At this point Drew had brought Soren over to me, but I couldn't even see straight and just kept saying ' I don't feel good..I think I'm going to throw up' I kept mumbling it over and over again and I think they just didn't take me seriously? But finally Drew saw my face and said something like "she's going to be sick." Apparently a look he knows too well. 

The anesthesiologist brought over a big cup thing next to my face, and I threw up for the next few minutes. Honestly some of the worst minutes of my life. Throwing up, while lying on a table with your abs cut open and multiple hands INSIDE OF YOU is even worse than it sounds. I promise. 

Someone then stuck some patch thing behind my ear which caused the  nausea to disappear instantly. Thank God. 

The worst few minutes were followed by the best.

Drew had been standing back a few feet that whole time holding Soren and as soon I felt good he brought him right over. Drew kept saying "He's opening his eyes" as soon as I started talking, and as soon as Drew brought him closer he (Soren) pushed his face up against me and started nuzzling me. It was one of the best moments of my life. He clearly just knew who I was and wanted to be close to me. There are no words to adequately describe that moment, so I won't even try.

As soon as they were finished stitching me up and doing whatever it is they do (clearly I don't ask a lot of medical questions) we all went into the recover room together. Drew and Soren went in ahead of me, maybe a minute before and as soon as Drew brought him right to me again, Soren placed his head on face. The nurse said he needed to start nursing right away because he was such a big boy, so within minutes of being in recovery he was nursing like a champ. How amazing is it that they are born and just know what to do immediately? So in awe of these little babies. 

Noteworthy: As soon as Soren was born and they had showed me him they went to the corner and cleaned him up and did all the newborn stuff that they do, along with his apgar scores. And shouted out that he scored 9 and 10. Apparently thats a big deal and babies basically NEVER score a 10. The whole rest of our stay nurses and docs kept remarking about the 10 baby, and most said he was the first baby they had ever delivered/taken care of that had scored a 10. Setting records at just minutes old! 

The rest of the hospital stay went quickly. I stayed there by myself and had Drew go home to be with the big kids and I begged to be released early and since we were both healthy we checked out of the hospital Tuesday morning, just 50 or so hours after Soren was born. 

As promised I will go into more details regarding c section so leave any questions you have about that here or email me and I'll try to answer them!

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hillshire Farm Natural Lunchmeat #HillshireNaturals

This post was brought to you by Hillshire Farm Naturals. All opinions are my own. 

It's no secret that we try to eat as cleanly and naturally as possible around here. We just all feel better when we do. 

It's also no secret that I love sandwiches. I mean, what's not to love. But I've become sort of a deli meat snob. I pretty much only buy deli meat from the deli counter. I just don't usually like the taste of it otherwise. I always find the prepackaged meats have weird textures. Anyone else? 

When I was asked to to try Hillshire Farms Naturals  I knew it was at least worth the try as I've always liked all their other products and their lunch meats contain no artificial ingredients, color or preservatives and don't contain any extra added nitrates/nitrites. So as I was finishing up some last minute Easter shopping yesterday I grabbed a package of their slow roasted turkey breast and some croissants and threw together a quick sandwich for dinner. 
I was definitely Not disappointed with the quality, taste, OR texture of my turkey. It was delicious! Even Tindra, who will 95% of the time pick deli meat off of a sandwich and just eat the bread and cheese, kept hers on, and Jasper asked me to make this 'exact sandwich' for his packed lunch on Monday. So it was a hit for the whole family! 

 On our sandwiches I added swiss cheese, a little mayo and mustard and some lettuce to the slow toasted turkey, a simple, classic delicious combo and paired with with some fresh strawberries and grapes.
Next time we will be trying the Black Forest Ham per Drew's request! 
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#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

His Name

So I got a bunch of questions/comments about our newest little man's name so I thought I would explain it here really quick how we came up with it!

I wanted to stick with a Scandinavian theme to go with Jasper (Jesper in Swedish) and Tindra. But after deciding that, it got hard. 

My requirements: That I not know anyone with this name. Thats slightly difficult if you really think about it. It wasn't just that I not know anyone currently, I didn't want to ever have met/known anyone with the name. 

Had to be able to pronounced easily in English. I mean..we live in America. And a lot of Swedish names I like would easily be butchered here. So that narrowed the list down a bit.

I found some website with Swedish/Scandinavian names and emailed Drew a list of about 10 in maybe November? December? Drew was kind of like eh. They are okay. Except he liked one. And as soon as he said it out loud (which I had. yet to do, just went by how they looked on paper) I immediately nixed it even though it was on MY list. Whoops.

We talked about these names and a few others but couldn't agree so we stopped talking aboteut. Third child and all, nothing seems that pressing.

A few weeks before he was due we started talking about names some more. Still nothing.

Even as soon as he came out, with the craziness of the day (will blog about that later!) we didn't talk names. Drew went home to get the kids..still no name. 

Finally at maybe 3 AM when I was up feeding the little man I texted Drew a picture of him and said I think he's a Soren Anders (we had agreed on the middle name a few months before) and no answer obviously because hello.. 3 AM. 

The next morning he texted saying him and Tindra would be by soon after they dropped Jasper off at school, and asked how Soren was doing it. So I guessed it was a done deal? But held off on announcing obviously till Drew and I could discuss in person. But that's how we became Soren! And that was originally on the list I emailed Drew but wasn't even the top 1-2 I wanted till after I had spent the day with him.

And Anders. That's a little simpler. As soon as I thought of it and ran it by Drew he was like yep. That's perfect. 

So Drew's name is Andrew. Anders is kind of the Swedish version of Andrew. When I first introduced Drew to my farmor (father's mother) in Sweden in 2009 she was like Nope can't say that, I'm going to call him Anders. So she did. 

Jasper's middle name is Andrew. After his dad obviously.

So we thought it was totally fitting that all three boys in our little family be a form of Andrew.  Drew, Jasper Andrew, and now Soren Anders. 

And that's how we came up with his name!

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