Thai Coconut Curry {Whole30, Paleo, GF}

When I set out to make this meal, I had zero expectations. I knew I wanted a Thai curry taste in a meal full of protein and veggies. What I got was easily one of the best things I’ve ever made!  Looking at the pictures makes me drool (&requires all my self control not to shovel in the leftovers).

If you like curry, Thai food or just enjoy delicious meals, MAKE THIS NOW. It won’t disappoint.

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Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts (tofu or shrimp would also work), diced

1 zucchini, cut into strips

1 yellow squash, cut into strips

1 bell pepper, cut into strips

1 head of broccoli, crowns cut

1/2 yellow onion, diced

5-6 green onions, diced

1 16oz can of coconut cream

3 tbsp Thai kitchen red curry paste

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp minced garlic

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a small skillet add 1 tsp coconut oil and heat over medium high. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate, large skillet or wok, heat 1 tsp coconut oil over medium high. Add all veggies, season with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Stir the chicken and cook through. Add ginger and garlic and stir to coat. Add Thai curry paste, stir to coat. Pour in coconut cream evenly and stir. Cook 3-4 minutes over low.
  4. While chicken cooks continue cooking veggies until tender. Remove everything from heat and mix together in a large bowl. Adjust salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
  5. Spoon over cauliflower rice (or regular rice).
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WIAM: A Day of Eats

I’m usually up for the day between 3-4:30 am so breakfast is always by the moonlight

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3 egg whites + 1 egg scrambled in coconut oil & seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder & turmeric. Roasted sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and a fruit salad. Plus 2c unpictured coffee with coconut milk.

Mornings are the best time for me to do things around the house, like clean the kitchen, put away dishes, get everything ready for the day. The older boys play and watch tv and kyle usually is content hanging out in the swing or on his activity mat. At about 8:30/9am I have a morning snack.

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2 hard boiled eggs + 1/4c mixed raw cashews & almonds

After preschool dropoff for Jax, we head to the gym. It’s raining so today’s run is on the treadmill. After a 1/4mi warm up, I knock out 4 miles of speedy intervals before cooling down with a 1/2mi walk.

Lunch takes place in the car on the way back home for showers.

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Leftover garlic seared salmon, roasted beets, broccolini and asparagus

After showers, we head to preschool pickup. We always go early so we can play on their awesome playground. Kyle falls asleep in the ergo and i chase an overtired, thus overly giggly, little boy around the playground. We get Jax and head home for naps. I make a snack to eat while nursing Kyle.

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A sliced apple drowned in almond butter and sprinkled with cinnamon & coconut flakes.

After the boys wake up, they play in the garden while I clean out and vacuum the car. Eventually we head back inside so I can finish making dinner before daddy gets home.

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Dinner is fantastic! Pork carnitas over spring mix, broccoli slaw mixed with cilantro, lime juice & homemade mayo, carrots roasted in ghee (insanely good!), broiled orange bell pepper and topped with avocado, salsa and more lime juice. I literally kicked my plate clean.

After dinner I cleaned the kitchen again and began kyles bedtime routine. I nurse him to sleep until the older boys go into their rooms for books, then slowwwwly transfer him to his pack n play and stealthily sneak out to the nursery to read big brothers to  sleep.

The end!

TWO.

Andrew Weston,

My sweet sweet boy. There truly aren’t words to describe what you mean to me or enough words in the world to capture how much I love you. You are incredible.

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I say it time and time again but time keeps flying faster and faster. I blinked and suddenly you’re this amazing little BOY. Even though it still feels like yesterday that we were bringing you into the world. I remember it so vividly.

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But still somehow two years have passed. You’re strong and energetic with a charismatic personality that no one is able to ignore. You make friends with ease and love saying hi to new people. You love to play with other kids on the playground though your best friend is your big brother by far.

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And for every bit as kind, caring, nurturing and loving as you are with your flawless ability to quickly share a toy or run to comfort someone who’s crying (especially if that someone is your baby brother), you’re every bit as quick to stand up for your brothers as well. Even though Jackson is perfectly capable of defending himself, and stands at a head taller than you with 10 extra pounds on his frame, if someone pushes him or yells at him at the park, you seem to come out of nowhere and will push that kid right back. Even if they’re 3 times your size. You’re fearless and defend what you love and although some might argue you shouldn’t push, I am so dang proud of the reckless abandon with which you protect your family.

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You are obsessed with animals and when the weather is nice we visit the zoo at least once a week. You can’t see a dog without wanting to pet it (and hug it, and kiss it), you try to literally climb the zoo fences to reach the animals just to say “hi” and your face lights up with this adorable glow of unaltered excitement whenever you see a furry friend. If I ask you if you want to go see the animals (meaning, go to the zoo), you get so excited and enthusiastically scream “YEASSSH!”

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You’re convinced you can do anything Jackson can do, and I’m often amazed that you’re absolutely correct. From scaling the rock climbing wall at the park without assistance to getting yourself a snack from the fridge, you are fiercely independent. But there are still times, albeit rare these days, when I still see my little baby inside you. The times when you struggle with getting onto the big boy swings by yourself, can’t quite reach the granola bars even on your tippy toes and using the bathroom scale as a stool or when the bigger kids aren’t quite so nice. You’re such an easy going little boy but my mama heart aches when I see others take advantage of your loving soul. You are so darn special, kid. And so darn loved.

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You’re my snugglebug. And I absolutely love it. You often carry over your blankie (that you insist on dragging everywhere with you, even through the dog water) to me and climb into my lap (despite whether or not Kyle is already there). You curl up and place your head on me and my heart melts.

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Even at two you’ll fall asleep in my arms and your cuddles are one of my favorite things in the world. They make up for the fact that this week you pulled your tiny hand from mine and told me “no mommy, I walk”. But then you’ll turn around 5 minutes later with outstretched arms and beg “carry mommy! Carry” and my world is right again.

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When you get tired you stick your tongue between your teeth and when you’re going down to bed at night you often make the sucking motion with your mouth as if you were nursing. And again shines through that baby boy I still see when I look at you.

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You love to kick balls, slide and could swing forever if we let you. Just the other day you swung so long you actually fell asleep.

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Speaking of sleep, what happened with that?! Where once you would sleep until 7am, you’re now going on 3 straight weeks of 3am wakeups. I love our extra time together but it’s exhausting. And I can tell you’re exhausted too. Along with the good sleeper of yesteryear went our fantastic eater. Now you’re so busy climbing around the table and messing with us while we eat that your plate is left hardly touched. I’m hoping it’s all a phase, and I’m sure it is.

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If I could sum you up in one word it’d be incredible. Incredibly sweet, incredibly loving, incredibly adorable, incredibly perfect and incredibly loved. You’re one of a kind and I thank my lucky stars each and every day that you’re mine. Being your mommy is such a blessing. I love you sweetheart.

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Happy 2nd Birthday!

Soaking in Spring

Spring has officially sprung here in DC. Not only is the weather a perfect mid-60 degrees most days, with little humidity, the sun shines from early morning til after bedtime but the trees are all reaching their peak bloom and the result could not be more breathtaking. Where a few weeks ago only bare trees and branches existed, there are now signs of new life and beauty.

We’ve taken every advantage of the weather and sunshine, exploring the zoo, visiting one of the most kid friendly hiking spots near us (that still offers a view) & playing at every playground we can find.

Thursday we ventured out to the zoo, completely forgetting about the Spring break crowds. We started off at the kids farm where we said hi to the pigs, cows and alpacas then headed up the American Trail, passing the spectacled bears and finding ourselves mere inches from the sea lions.

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We eventually continued on to see the panda bears & elephants before heading back down the hill for a ride on the carousel.

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After 3.5 hours, the boys collapsed in the backseat, a sure sign of a successful morning.

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Bry worked Thursday night and came home at 2am Friday to catch up on sleep. The weather forecast that had long been calling for rain, cleared, so at 7am I packed up the kids and our backpack then giddily woke up bry convincing him we should go for a family hike. I enticed him with promises of coffee and breakfast and 5 minutes later, we were on our way.

The drive to the mountain was foreboding, with dark clouds looming overhead in the distance. By the time we made it to the parking lot at the base of the trail there was a full on downpour. Whomp whomp. We ended up feeding the older boys and I nursed kyle while we waited for a break in the clouds. It only took 10 minutes and suddenly the rain stopped and the sun started to peek through. Off we went!

Sugarloaf Mountain is a great place for younger kids to hike. The trail to the top, while steep and full of endless stairs, is short. At the top there’s a large, flat area for the kids to safely run around, collect rocks and take breaks for snacks while taking in the view.

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After an hour or so, we headed back down the mountain and headed home. After naps we headed out for a walk to the park before dinner and bedtime.

Saturday morning was sunny but cold. We overestimated Spring’s full arrival and were surprised to find it was only 36 degrees. Still, we pressed on and packed up the strollers to head to another park. I took off with kyle for a run while bry walked the kids to the park. We ended up covering 5 beautiful miles before meeting up with the other boys to stretch and play.

After an hour, we were all red nosed and cold so we embarked on the 1.5mi walk home. We quickly assembled a hod podge lunch. As we ate brys parents called to say they were already here! They’re visiting for the week and we were all excited when they arrived a few hours earlier than expected. We got to play for a bit and say hi before the boys went down for their naps, allowing the adults to catch up in peace.

Once the boys awoke we drove by a house we were looking at before finding ourselves at the park. Yes, you read that correctly. We’re house hunting! While we’re just starting to dip our toes into the water of our home search, we’re really excited for our next chapter and hope to find a place within the year.

Eventually we headed home so I could start dinner. We feasted on chicken carnitas, kale and broccoli slaw and corn and avocado salad while enjoying the far too rare company of family.

Sunday was Easter! We drove to our favorite bagel place for bagel sandwiches (a weekly tradition) before heading to the nearby trail via a detour around the tidal basin in DC. We completely underestimated how many people would be out at 7am on Easter to see the cherry Blossoms and ended up getting caught in gridlock traffic. Brys parents still got to see the gorgeous trees in full bloom so the trip wasn’t wasted, but we quickly switched gears and headed to the trail.

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By the time we parked, all 3 boys were fast asleep.We set up at a nearby picnic table to eat our giant sandwiches and once the boys awoke, we kicked the ball around in the field and walked down to the water to find rocks. It was another brisk morning so we didn’t stay too long.

We headed home to hide Easter eggs that the boys had dyed with MiMi the night before.

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They loved the thrill of finding each new hidden egg, though Andrew attempted to crack his so he could eat it! The easter bunny came with goodies of books, new clothes and a rattle toy for Kyle. But the highlight of their easter baskets was the endless paper grass that were still finding around the living room.

After naps we drove over to MiMi and Pappy’s hotel (Jackson calls it “the big house”) to swim in their indoor pool. We had a blast splashing, learning to swim and jumping non-stop. Thank goodness for puddle jumpers. And for an amazing MiMi who generously cuddled the baby so mommy could swim with her biggest boys too.

After an hour and a half we were all exhausted. And hungry! We swung by Whole Foods for some dinner ingredients and the creamery for some very necessary ice cream before driving home to quickly cook. We had teriyaki salmon, roasted asparagus and quinoa before diving head first into the good stuff. Ice cream!!!

It was a wonderful weekend that like most, flew by far too quickly. Thankfully MiMi & Pappy are here all week which makes it feel like a vacation at home and allows the fun to continue all week long 🙂

Hello, Hello Again

It’s not even 5am.

I’m currently sitting on the oversized chair in our living room nursing an impossibly perfect, chubby, absurdly adorable little boy who’s drifting off to sleep, his tiny feet crossed and his tiny hand cupping mine.

5am used to feel so early. Now it’d be considered “sleeping in” if that was possible. I’ve been up since 1am. And the tiny, impossibly perfect baby isn’t the reason.

Bry worked last night so I thought I’d take the opportunity to start sleep training kyle. At 2.5 months old he’s still sleeping on me. While it isn’t ideal, he sleeps really well on me which means I’m actually getting some sleep for the first time in 11 months. And it feels good. But I know the longer we wait, the harder it’ll be so we really need to start trying sooner rather than later.

The first night went well. Kyle slept soundly, mostly off me while I awoke every hour wishing him to awake so he’d nurse and relieve my chest. Then 1am hit and bry came home which woke me up for good. 3am hit and a certain almost 2 year old came strutting out of his nursery with his blankie. Unfortunately this isn’t unusual. He’s been doing this daily for weeks and usually we put him back in his bed with a fresh diaper and most often he’ll fall back asleep until 5. But he’s currently sporting a high fever and his cries of pain were so sad I scooped him up and brought him to the living room, propped him on the couch with a bottle and turned on Doc McStuffins (per his request).

I pumped for the first time in months and started much needed coffee and to my surprise and excitement, kyle stayed asleep on his own for 45 whole minutes! I ran to the bed to scoop him up when I heard him start to wail at 4:15.

Another pot of coffee. A giant bowl of oatmeal. Here we are.

Doc McStuffins has turned into last night’s episode of Greys Anatomy, both little ones are softly snoring and I expect that any moment the biggest brother will come trotting down the stairs, loudly proclaiming “choo chooooo”.

And of course his volume will awake the younger two and the day will officially begin. So for now, I’ll sit here watching Greys, sipping coffee and nursing this sweet boy who is growing right before my eyes. And for now, I’ll soak up the rare silence.

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Playing Catch Up

Woah, where has the time gone?! When your days are filled with chasing 3 little ones and your nights consist of marathon feeding sessions, the weeks fly by at lightening speed! So let’s play a little catch up.

Somehow I blinked again and this perfect little boy turned TWO months old. IMG_20160307_160717

He’s weighing in at a whopping 13lbs 1oz and is 24″ long. He’s still sporting these memorizing baby blues and loves to show off his gummy smile. He’s starting to “talk” and loves when you talk back. He’s a big fan of his tongue and is thoroughly amused when you stick your tongue back out at him.

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When he’s fussy, which is rare unless we’ve missed his golden hour at bedtime to put him down before he’s overtired, patting his back is his preferred method of soothing. He’s obsessed with the Ergo and gladly spends his nap times in there whenever were on the go. He’s basically perfect and we’re still in disbelief that were lucky enough to be his parents.

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The older boys are doing great! Andrew will be 2 next month which completely blows my mind. He’s still so small: he gets tired on long walks and asks “carry mommy” while throwing his arms up at me to pick him up, he carries his blankey everywhere with him and still sports those beautiful baby cheeks.

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He’s got these huge eyes that are full of innocence and these tiny lips that beg to be kissed. He loves his brothers and is such a sweetheart to everyone he meets. When we pick jax up from school, he greets big brother with a bear hug and squeal of excitement yelling “Jack!!!” & is always has to be pulled away from his endless kisses and dances for baby kyle or he’d never stop slobbering all over baby brothers bald head.

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But at the same time he’s getting so big, stringing together sentences, mastering the rock climbing wall at the park without assistance and asserting himself in true toddler form with emphatic “no!”s.

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Jax is still in school 3 mornings a week and loves it.  He’s learned so much this year and grown by leaps and bounds. His language has taken off and most days are filled with nonstop chatter, namely in the form of questions or endless observations.

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He’s still obsessed with trucks, dirt and lately, Paw Patrol. The long winter days coupled with a newborn and incredibly early wakeups for the entire house, led to far more TV time than I’d care to admit. But the weather is finally turning and Spring is definitely in the air.

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Oh this weather! After snowfall last Friday we’ve been spending every waking hour outside this week, soaking up the 60 and 70 degree sunshine. We’ve gone to visit the animals at the zoo, frequented countless parks, gone for morning hikes, eaten dinners on the back deck…

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And I’ve finally found my way back into my running shoes! After each boy I’ve trained for a half marathon so it only seems right to do the same now. I have my sights on one in September and hope to register as soon as registration opens in April. Right now I’m running 3 days a week with the double stroller (when weather allows) & trying to get 10k steps in every day. I’m currently up to about 4 miles for my long runs. I have an extremely generous friend who just gifted me a gym membership which I can’t wait to start using this week, perfectly timed with the rain we’re expecting. I’m hoping to throw in some bootcamp classes for cross training and maybe some spin, yoga or bootcamp if schedules allow. Just moving again from my permanent butt print on the couch during the endless days of nursing, feels amazing.

So here’s to a new season! & hopefully updating this space more often with training and with life.

Kyle Henderson: 1 Month

As I sit here with you curled up on my chest, lightly snoring, your brothers sitting beside us eating cereal with Paw Patrol playing in the background, I’m overcome by this feeling of content, of pure happiness. You are such a blessing and such a joy. You’ve made our family feel complete, something I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel, as if money and skies were the limit we’d happily have a million tiny babies.

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You are such a sweet baby. You rarely ever cry and using the word cry feels like an exaggeration. You’ll let out a cry for a second or two to let us know you’re unhappy but will never cry for long. You’re extremely happy and extremely easy to please. Your only wants in life are to eat and to cuddle. You dislike being put down, even if you’re fed, clean and tired. You much prefer sleeping on my chest or in my arms. And while I love our cuddles, with two older brothers to care for, i often feel like I’m constantly juggling everything.

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In the past month you’ve probably gained a bit over 3lbs!! Your triple chins and extra rolls make me proud. You’ve started to begin to give intentional smiles and they are every bit as heart melting as I imagined.

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Your eyes are still blue and we constantly wonder if they’ll stay blue like Jackson’s or turn hazel like Andrews. Your hair is this beautiful, soft dark brown that fluffs after baths and sticks up when you wake up in the morning. Your cheeks are utter perfection. They constantly beckon for kisses and are so soft and smooth I find myself brushing your face with my finger constantly, especially while we nurse.

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Our love for you is fierce. And your brothers have taken to you immediately. Whenever you’re around they run to kiss you and hold your hands. They love to “play” with you on your activity mat and constantly ask to touch, hold and kiss you. Jackson gets especially worried whenever you’re upset and will run over to sing to you and rock you. He always asks to wash his hands so he can touch you and wants to know when you’re hungry so he can help feed you.

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andrew is equally enamored. He loves to try to tickle you and kiss your face, which often consists more of a head butt and slobbery face wash but it’s the thought that counts. He’s still too young to really understand how little you are but insists on being present for nursing, diaper changes and anything that involves being near you.

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This month has been a whirlwind blur of no sleep, constant nursing and an extra 31 days of being constantly attached to you 24/7, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re the piece of Our family we always knew was missing and dreamed of all our lives. We couldn’t be more grateful for this past month, for being your mommy and daddy, for every moment we get to spend kissing, holding and loving you. Happy 1 month baby boy!!

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