Allergen free Crockpot Meals for the Busy Mom

Autumn is  here! That means it’s time to take out your sparkly little crockpot. I don’t know about you but I love the smell of a yummy hearty dinner slow-cooking in the crockpot for a few hours. The aroma of a delicious crockpot meal fills a house with scents of family-loving. It’s a scent my husband loves to come home to after a long day of work. Crockpot meals will also be a lifesaver when I return to teaching after my maternity leave. I will be able to prep a dish quickly in the morning, set my crockpot on low,  and come home to it brewing something delicious in the afternoon. 

Chris Jr was recently diagnosed with a lactose intolerance therefore I have been eating dairy-free for the past few weeks. Add soy-free and egg-free to the list for this mama! We’ve been trying to figure out how different foods may affect his tummy. 

Here are some dishes I’ve recently tried at home which have gotten a sticker of approval from my family: 

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Newborn Hacks for Every Mommy Who Wants to Get Things Done Around the House

How can you possibly accomplish anything with an adorable and completely dependent newborn in your hands? I’ve heard horror stories of not being able to shower, skipping meals, and becoming withdrawn and depressed because of the limitations a newborn can put on a mom, especially new moms. Don’t get me wrong, there is no way everything will get done, more so if you are flying solo without family around to help and a husband who works all day. Even though some things will need to be let go, it feels great to gain some sense of accomplishment as a new mom, even if it’s just showering or cooking a meal. 

Here are some Newborn Hacks to help you mommas out there accomplish a few things: 

1. Baby wear ya at…

From weeks 4-7 of Chris Jr’s life, he refused to nap anywhere but in my arms. I tried every technique to gently put him down besides the cry it out method. (Letting my baby cry hurts my soul!) One place he would take naps that would allow me to get the dishes or a load of laundry done was in his carrier. We use the Boba 4g carrier. It is ergonomically safe for baby’s body. I would wear him for a couple of hours a day to do the dishes, cook, eat, clean, and check my work emails. A baby carrier is a must have especially if you have an extra fussy little friend. 

2. Rockers and bouncers, oh my!

Chris Jr. has two swings and a little bouncer. He has one swing in the living room, Mamaroo in the kitchen, and his bouncer is in our bedroom. We have three because my husband bought one swing, the Mamaroo was a hand-me-down from a friend, and the bouncer came in his Graco Pack n Play set. Having three is not necessary but convenient if you have a large house. Baby just needs one spot where he can sit cuddled up with a binky while you run to the bathroom, eat breakfast, or hop in the shower. 

3. Multitasking it

Want to know a secret? When Junior and I do our tummy time, I steal a couple of moments to go put a laundry load in. If he’s had an extra rough day where I haven’t even been able to shower – ehen I give him a bath, I take a quick bath myself. 

4.  + the Pacifier and White Noise

A pacifier and/or white noise can be added to any of these techniques to buy you extra time. Chris Jr loves his Wubba-Nub pacifiers and I use the Deep Sleep Sounds app for white noise. 

4. Take help if you can get it

If your husband wants to spend time holding your baby while you get a few things done, let him. If you have guests over who want to hold the baby, let them if you trust them. If mom wants to stay for a week to help, let her even if you don’t agree with some of her ways. That can all be hashed out and I’m sure she would love to help anyways. 

5. It’s okay to let go and LET GOD 

My final tip is that it’s okay to let go. There is no way to get everything done with a newborn. Some days will be great and some days, not so much. Please remember that this is only a season of life. It too shall pass. Enjoy your little one during this fleeting moment of their lives. They will never be as tiny little and needy as they are in this very moment so hold your little newborn and show them lots of love through your warm embrace and caresses. These tiny growing souls need all of the love we can give them. 

The most important part of this final tip is to pray pray pray. I rock Chris Jr to sleep in my arms every night and I whisper a long prayer of gratitude and requests. I thank God every day for my blessings and talk to God about any struggles my family may have experience that day. This has become part of our routine and I plan to pray with Chris Jr before bed for years to come.