Real Life

As a family of soon to be 4 + a few fur babies, we have a lot of big plans for the future! Currently living in an apartment consisting of 1,150 sqft with 2 bedrooms (one of which is a playroom/office), 2 adults, 2 dogs, 1 cat, a toddler, a soon to be newborn and enough toys to fill a toy store, you’d be surprised to hear we are planning on growing our family while downsizing our home in a couple of years! For now, those plans will remain a secret, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We aren’t your typical, conventional, “normal” family. Baking and cooking with things like organic coconut sugar, almond flour and bone broth. Eating and drinking probiotics and other live cultures. Making homemade kombucha. Growing our own mini garden on the patio. Co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing toddlers (and babies, of course) and choosing to not have babysitters on the regular. Although we aren’t exactly where we want to be, while still eating a plethora of sugar items (we can’t leave Fresh Thyme without some gummy bears!) and still using “bad for you” shampoos and conditioners (nothing makes my hair quite as soft as those toxic chemicals! ;)), we are striving every day to reach a healthier lifestyle!

Living each day not concerned about what others have to say about my choice of breastfeeding my children in public, or our choice as a family about continuing to co-sleep with our children, we are dedicated to raising our kids in a way where they won’t be ashamed or concerned to be themselves, whoever that may be!

Enjoy our blog where we will post about our apartment garden, apartment life with young children and many furry friends, homemade kombucha and bone broth, “healthier” alternatives to some of your favorite treats (seriously, some of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had!), my soon-to-be very first birth center experience, lots of traveling (with the kids, of course), some of our favorite dinner recipes and so much more!

birth center · Uncategorized

Anatomy Scan at the Birth Center

The birth center that I am receiving care and delivering at is pretty much a one-stop shop! They have their birthing rooms, exam rooms, they provide all maternal and women’s health care, they provide pediatric care with a pediatrician a couple of times a week, they have a chiropractor and a chiropractic room and they even have an ultrasound room with an ultrasound tech who comes in once a week! The birth center also has a doctor on staff who works at the hospital but he reviews all ultrasound images and signs off on them and he also works closely with the midwives to continually make sure that the patients are still able to receive their care at the birth center and to deliver at the birth center. If anything changes during your care or during labor, they notify the doctor and he will determine if it is still a safe option to remain at the birth center.

Anyways, I had my anatomy scan done a couple of weeks ago when I was 19 weeks along. The tech was behind but she still took her time with each patient and went as carefully and precisely as she could. This was opposite from my experience with my older daughter. Her tech was also behind and booked with patients back to back so it felt like she rushed through the anatomy scan – it only ended up taking about 10 minutes. If you don’t know what the anatomy scan is, they are basically looking at and taking pictures of every part of the baby to determine if there are any issues. This typically should take between 45-60 minutes. So it was great that the tech really took her time making sure to get the best images and really checking everything over!

We received a call the next day and the heart images and face images weren’t clear enough so we had to go back the following week at 20 weeks pregnant. I was a little nervous but I kept reminding myself that if they had actually seen anything wrong they would have just sent me to a specialist to get a better look! While we were on the phone, the nurse had told me that they just need to be extra cautious to make sure everything is alright so we know that it is safe to continue care and to deliver at the birth center. This part made my medical freak side happy! I am obsessed with making sure everything is completely fine and then making sure again and again. Having the nurse say they had to be extra cautious made me feel as though they would be more thorough and look closer than a doctor’s office would. [[I have no idea if this is actually true or not, but it made my medical obsessed self feel better ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]]

The second follow up was great and everything turned out fine! Little baby girl is completely healthy and everything is as it should be! Now, my downside with this experience. First of all, when I showed up for the follow up scan I don’t think the tech had read much more than my name on my file. She started out asking us if we wanted to know the gender (which we already had done the previous week) and doing a regular anatomy scan for the first 10 minutes. She was pointing out things in the brain when my husband said something about how we were just there for the heart and the face. She read her clipboard, said something along the lines of “oh, we’re just playing around trying to get her to flip over”, then went straight to getting pictures of the heart and the face.

My second complaint about this anatomy scan experience was that we didn’t really get any pictures… I know that’s not why you’re there, but I know every mama likes pictures to take home! She didn’t print any pictures for us, yet I saw the people who came down right before it was our turn had pictures in their hands… They had the medical assistant of the birth center upload certain pictures that she thought we would want online then sent us a link to download them. However, the pictures she thought we would want were actually pretty terrible pictures. I’m not really sure she knew what she was doing… The tech had gotten some really cute profile shots that I would have loved to have copies of. But we got a bunch of random anatomy pictures and a couple front face shots (and if you’ve ever seen a front face shot of a baby on an ultrasound, they’re pretty terrifying! They look like little skeleton aliens).

All in all, the anatomy scan at the birth center was a good experience! I’m glad they were as thorough as they were and that my only complaints were more superficial things like pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am 21 weeks now and won’t have another appointment until I am 24 weeks so in the mean time, enjoy my recipe posts and other random things. ๐Ÿ™‚


Paleo Banana Bread

Although this banana bread recipe is Paleo, you don’t have to eat Paleo to enjoy it! Seriously, this is some of the best banana bread I have ever had – and I’ve had a lot of banana bread! I am going to warn you, though, it is very addicting and it’s hard to stop eating! You won’t even miss all of that glorious gluten. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you prefer banana muffins, then just pour the batter into muffin tins and reduce the baking time to only 18-22 minutes! It will make a perfectly easy breakfast that can be enjoyed on-the-go.

Best Paleo Banana Bread

Gather up….

3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons very soft or melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Get to work….

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your baking dish of choice ย with oil or parchment paper/muffin liners (9 x 5 loaf pan or muffin tins).
  2. Whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and both flours. In another bowl, mix together the coconut oil, eggs, bananas, maple syrup and vanilla – make sure everything is very well combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined – do not over mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes for banana bread or 18-22 minutes for muffins.ย THIS PART IS VERY IMPORTANT: let the banana bread completely cool before removing from the pan. Otherwise it will crumble all over when you try to take it out.




Birth Center

So I made the decision with pregnancy #2 to do it a little different… With our first daughter I did everything with an OB, gave birth in a hospital, I didn’t receive an epidural (because the nurses claimed I had “plenty of time” and wouldn’t let me get one, then she came an hour later…) but I did have IV pain meds (and let me tell you, they were horrendous. I absolutely hated them and never want to do that again). Although I wouldn’t have been able to give birth in a birth center with her because she came just a day shy of 36 weeks, I still wish I would have gone into things with more of a plan. But like most first time moms, I had no idea what to expect when it came to labor and the amount of pain that would be endured!

This time around, knowing quite well the amount of pain that goes with giving birth, I have made the decision to receive care from a midwife and to give birth in a birthing center. When I think about labor and having to go all natural I of course get nervous, but this is what our bodies were made to do, right? So our goal with this little girl is to keep her in until 37 weeks so I can have that birth center experience!

I had my first few appointments this week where I will be giving birth! [[If you are in the Twin Cities area, Health Foundations is quite amazing!]]ย I only toured one birth center, but it felt like an amazing fit and had everything I wanted (some “medical” things were still very important to me, such as the rhogam shot due to being RH- and all of the newborn blood tests, because I’m a freak when it comes to medical things and like to have the testing done).

Although I haven’t had a lot of appointments yet, I still have had to change my thinking a lot with this switch! For starters, there are only two birthing rooms at this birth center. That means they can only accommodate two births at one time. That also means if your appointment is during the time where two births happen to be taking place, you will be waiting a long time. I’m so used to the in and out of doctor’s offices. You show up early, get seen within 10 minutes and are sometimes even out before your original appointment time! Well, with a birth center things go a lot slower. The midwives and nurses take their time with you, they tend to the births before any appointments (obviously) and you may be waiting 30 minutes or more past your appointment time. So my lesson learned that day was to schedule my appointments early in the day so I don’t have to deal with rush hour driving home! I hate traffic and I hate driving in the city, so there will be a lot to get used to with this switch.

However, I am extremely excited for the benefits that come with birthing in a birth center. My labor was only 2 hours with my daughter,ย from the time my water broke at home to the time she was in my arms. I’m hoping for something similar this time around. Although the contractions are almost completely non-stop and back to back during a labor that fast, and the intensity is unimaginable, the 2 hours of labor is so much better than a long drawn out labor (in my opinion). So I am excited for that intervention-free laboring experience! I am excited for the use of a birthing tub, if that’s what I am feeling in the moment. I am excited for the option to have my daughter there if that’s what my husband and I decide to do. I am excited for more personalized care, where I actually get to build a relationship with those who will be caring for me and for my soon-to-be daughter. I am excited for the opportunity to use an intern doula. I think most of all, though, I am excited to go home 4-6 hours after birth! We spent 4 days in a hospital bed after my oldest daughter was born and I am happy to have the opportunity to spend my post-partum time in the comfort of my own home!

I’m not saying that these things aren’t available when birthing with an OB or in a hospital but this is what is right for my family and I, and I completely support any type of birth that someone else chooses to do.

Living in the large city that I live in and having 15+ providers in OB-GYN at my previous clinic, the comfort that is felt from going to a small birth center is a nice change! Although I haven’t gotten to experience much of the birth center yet, I am excited for the rest of this pregnancy and for a birthing experience that will hopefully be a lot more different and a whole lot more relaxing than with my oldest daughter.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Yesterday, we spent the morning out at the Farmer’s Market. Upon leaving, we had spent $20 on the most fruit and vegetables that $20 has ever bought us! Why haven’t we done this more often?! One of our favorite fruit purchases was rhubarb. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb ANYTHING, but it is my absolute favorite! So I gave Jessie my phone and had him search through Pinterest to find the rhubarb dessert that he wanted. He ended up with some Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. We still have a lot of rhubarb left over, so more rhubarb desserts to come! But here is our crisp recipe!



1 quart (or if you’re like me and don’t know what that is, 2 pints) of strawberries, stemmed and quartered

4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch lengths

1/2 cup sugar (we used Organic Coconut Sugar)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 orange, zested and juiced (apparently I’m not a huge orange fan, next time I’ll be omitting this part of the recipe)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 sticks butter, sliced nice and small

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or if all of your teaspoons are in the running dishwasher, then just dump some and go ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Pinch salt (we skipped this since our butter is salted)

1 to 2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to be sure everything is well combined. Spoon the filling into a wide, shallow baking dish.


In a food processor (or blender) combine the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter, vanilla and salt and pule until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.* Add 1 tablespoon of water and pulse until the mixture starts to come together and look crumbly – add 1 more tablespoon if the mixture still seems dry.

Crumble the topping over the filling and bake until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping looks crispy and light brown – about 25-30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream!

*My blender sucks so after I blended the flour, oats and brown sugar, I dumped it all into a bowl and used a masher to incorporate the butter and the water.

Minus the orange flavor, I really enjoyed this! If you’re an orange lover, leave it in! But if you aren’t a huge fan of the citrusy goodness, you may want to omit it. ๐Ÿ™‚