Pulling the plug

mom

It’s a term we have all, at some point in time, used in vain. Maybe you’ve had a conversation with your significant other that went something like this, “Hey if that’s me I want you to pull the plug”.   But how many of us have actually been faced with that decision? How many of us have had to sign a document stating that you knew that when the doctors turned off the machines, your loved one would die? A much smaller percentage of us, I’m sure. Because how could anyone give up on a loved one? It’s feels so….hopeless. The decision to “pull the plug” on someone? Not so cut and dry when it’s your mom, dad, daughter, son, sister, brother…lying in a hospital bed unable to communicate with you. What would they want you to do? Would they want you to pull the plug? Or would they want you to fight with the doctors to hold off just a little longer? 3 years ago around this time, my family was faced with this decision. My mom had been diagnosed with cancer about 9 months earlier, and she had seriously digressed since she had been admitted to the hospital two months earlier. The last month of her life, doctors were hounding us to pull the plug. They sent people in to talk to us about hospice. They tried to convince us that her life, as we knew it, was over. But we held on. For longer than we probably should have. But how could we give up on her? The person who almost died having (one of) us and spent every minute of her life making OUR lives better? There was literally no way we could sign on that dotted line; knowing that her death was coming. The last month of her life, she wasn’t really there. But her heart was still beating. Could we have a conversation with her? No. Could we hold her hand, brush her hair and talk to her? Yes. Could she hear us? Maybe not. Could we watch the machines she was hooked up to, knowing that her heart was still beating? Yes – and as long as her heart was still beating, there was that small, teeny tiny shrivel of hope that could remain with us. When you are talking about the end of someone’s life, those little moments matter. They matter. Her life mattered. And every additional second that we got with her, whether or not she was really “there”; it mattered.

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Cleaned up the garden this weekend…

How I turned this:

into this:

 

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So technically I didn’t turn the kale into anything…but I did freeze it!  This is the first time I’ve tried freezing kale without blanching, so we’ll see how it turns out.

Here’s the story behind these beautiful “after” photos.

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Black Bean Superfood “fingers”

So far (knock on wood), my 9 month old will eat anything I give her.  So, I try and give her healthy choices as much as possible.  If everything tasted good, wouldn’t you eat the healthiest stuff all the time too!?  I read an article on superfoods for babies and decided to try and pack as many of those as possible into one french fry shaped “finger” that she could easily feed herself.  I found a winning recipe!  I made them over the weekend and they will probably last all week – plus they are easy to pack for daycare.

You start with the five superfoods:

  • 1 can of Black beans
  • 1/4 cup Frozen spinach
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Sweet potato

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Mix all of your ingredients and form into french fry shaped “logs” or “fingers”.

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Layla is 9 months old!

It’s hard to believe that this sweet girl is 9  months old already.  So cliche, right?  I know, I know.  But I’m a mom – what can I say?  16 pounds 9 ounces of pure sweetness coming your way.

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The only meatloaf recipe you need

Here’s another recipe that I’ve tried time and time again.  I’ve played around with it a lot and now twice in a row, I’ve gotten the “This meatloaf is really good” response from my husband.  That kind of response?  That’s an A+!  Trust me.  If there was something he didn’t like about it, he would let me know in…only in the most loving I want you to be the best cook you can be way of course 🙂   I promise he will deny saying that my meatloaf was really good (twice in a row, mind you), but you’re all my proof that he said it.

So, first things first.  Here are (most) of the ingredients you’ll need (I get distracted and forget to get all of the ingredients in the picture – forgive me!).  You want to mince the onion and garlic, like I did in the picture.  DSC_0655

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No More Mush Mama!!

So after 6 months of being exclusively breastfed, I was beyond excited to start purees with Layla. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she experienced new flavors and textures, figure out what she liked and disliked and made a huge mess of herself. As soon as she turned 6 months, out came the butternut squash from my garden that I baked, pureed and froze months earlier (only the best for my little girl!!). I thawed it out, got her settled in her high chair, opened one of the (many) packages of spoons I have and gave her a bite. Her first bite of food! I was sure her eyes would light up, realizing just how tasty food was…but BOY was I wrong. Layla screamed bloody murder when I tried to feed her. So the next night I tried rice cereal. Then avocado puree. Then I tried carrots and green peas. Nothing worked. For a month, we battled at dinner time while she screamed the entire time, closed her mouth as tight as possible, spit out whatever I managed to get in, etc. You get the picture. So one day, I had had enough. I dumped the puree on her high chair and let her play around with it and she actually smiled. She attempted to put it in her mouth, and may have even swallowed some. Dinnertime was fun again! So I realized something. My daughter wasn’t opposed to food…she just didn’t like purees! Whether it’s a texture thing, or she’s just Miss. Independent and wanted to do it all herself, I”ll never know. But the point is, she wanted to eat! Check out her face on the left (oh helllll no Mama get that spoon away from me) and on the right (this whole food thing is fun Mom – why didn’t we start this awhile ago?!).

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Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

This soup recipe is too good not to share. I’ve made this one over and over again, because my husband happens to love the Olive Garden version (not because my kale has been taking over my garden all winter!!) Every time I make it, we try and figure out what’s missing, and what could improve it. Well I did it. I think I’ve perfected the sausage, potato and kale soup. Seriously, trust me on this one. Just go home and make it and I promise you won’t regret it!  You want to start by prepping all of your ingredients.  Dice the onions and garlic.  Scrub the potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Leave about half of them like that, and the rest, cut in half vertically.
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