About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Saturday, November 30, 2013


We all had a great Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday as everyone is totally focused on food and catching up.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and have several gifts I'm dying to have the receivers open (I've definitely made the switch from getting excited about receiving to getting a rush from finding the "perfect" gift for someone else).  But the meals and time memories made are generally pushed away rather quickly in order to make room for the gifts. 

Anyway, I think I enjoyed the meal the most this year.  Not only was I well rested thanks to a six hour stretch of sleep (finally!!) I decided to not worry about what I was eating and just pumped my milk afterwards for about 8 hrs, giving Charlotte some pumped milk from before the meal instead.  It has resulted in a little oversupply but I'm pretty sure it's on the mend already.  Other than a slightly fussy morning the next day and maybe a few extra diapers, Charlotte seemed just fine with the indulgence.

Grandad giving Charlotte a bottle- SUCH a relief knowing that she'll take one!
I actually think she prefers it since she doesn't "drown".  Samantha was thrilled to be able to feed her too!

Hyunseok played with the cousins for quite some time.  They looooved him.  He has quite the talent for distracting them if one is upset about not getting a toy/turn right away.

Titus and Samantha have been wrestling every year for a while now.  I think it's a tradition.

Boardgames are a must now.  The current favorite is Legendary.

Showing off the braids I did.  You can see Grayson's mohawk if you look carefully.  He wanted to be in the picture, but didn't understand why we were facing away from the camera.

There we go!

Amanda and Olivia.  She, my dad and Lucy got Olivia and Charlotte mixed up. 
Seriously.  We don't get it.  They both look like white babies, true, but they definitely don't look alike!

Friday, November 29, 2013

So what DO you eat?!

Contrary to what most think when they hear all that I've elimated (dairy/soy/beef/corn/egg/nuts/fish/wheat/gluten), I do eat and am rarely hungry or looking for variety.  The day I went on the diet my husband and I filled the kitchen and fridge with food for me.  The following is what I have on my menu:

Wrap-up of some sort- currently with hummus, Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing, avocado, deli-meat, lettuce and tomato.  I had a heck of a time finding something that was corn AND egg free to hold what I wanted to eat together.  I found this recipe which I tried tonight.  They taste wonderful but it's a lot of work.  Then there are Paleo Wraps, which I ordered and had to take a loan out just to have them shipped (shipping was three times the price of the wraps.  I would have bought the bulk package, but I just wanted to try them first!)

Food For Life's granola with rice milk- this is usually my breakfast.  It's really hard not to eat three or four bowls.  I just remind myself of the price for one bag and that usually helps me to stop.

Rice Chex with rice milk- this is my dessert usually.  How is this sweet enough?  I always  usually douse it with sugar.

Homemade Granola bars - kind of cookie-like, but they fill me up if I need something quick.  Coconut oil makes them crunchier, canola oil chewier (and slightly greasier). It's still a recipe in progress...

Granola recipe, click to enlarge
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds mixed together- I put them in a container in the car to help curb any hunger while out and about

Potatoes- the possibilities are endless, but Jeremy will make his hashbrowns (using bacon grease-yum!), I do a basic baked potato, potato fries, what we call Ralph's potatoes (red potatoes, butter/butter substitute, garlic salt and parsley- mix in the microwave until fork tender), mashed potatoes, etc

Spaghetti sauce with rice pasta- one of my main staples.  Jeremy will make a HUGE batch and freeze it.  Lasts me about a week :)
Jeremy's famous Spaghetti sauce recipe- click to enlarge

Pork chops- I get them when they are 10/$10 with .10 off per gallon.  Jeremy will cook up a bunch of them for me and I eat them hot or cold.  Samantha likes them too-sometimes for breakfast.

Rice- I prefer brown rice.  I use Alton Brown's recipe with olive oil, double it and freeze it.  I eat this with my pork chops a lot of the time.

Broccoli/green beans/asparagus- all sauteed with olive oil and garlic salt.  Jeremy prefers to boil the broccoli

Pork Butt- Jeremy made an amazing bone-in pork butt roast tonight.  With the fat side up, salt it sprinkle with pepper, parsley and oregano.  Rest on top 1/2 onion, 1/2 clove crushed garlic, 3-4 medium carrots, 2-3 sticks of celery, cook in pressure cooker for 1.5 hrs (from frozen state) or in a crock-pot until it falls apart.  We (as in I ate the same thing as the rest of the family!!!) ate it with Ralph's potatoes and broccoli.

Imagine brand's soups with diced avocado- not all of them are safe, but the potato &leek and black bean are safe. 

Trader Joe's soups- the ORGANIC butternut squash is safe- a few others too I'm sure, they just didn't appeal to me.

Canned fruit/fuit leather

Sliced apple with sunbutter

Chicken thighs- I think Jeremy just seasons and broils them

Chocolate oatmeal bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal bars- click to enlarge
Quinoa- I haven't actually made it yet.  But I have it sitting on the shelf to be made here soon.  I'd take suggestions on recipes, but I think I'm just going to cook it up and eat it with my butter.

Potato pops dipped in hummus

Bacon- yum...I add it to whatever I can or just eat it when it is rationed out.  Bacon is a comodity in our house.

Salad- with Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing, carrots, avocado, celery, sunflower seeds, tomato, etc...

That's all I can think of for now.  I think I'll be able to add egg into my diet soon (I was never suspicious of it, but took it out just in case).  If it's ok, the possibilities are endless- bread! mayo! real tortillas! fried rice!

Monday, November 25, 2013


November 23rd
Olivia is 13 lbs and Charlotte is 12...she's almost caught up!
Olivia is a big hand sucker- even if it's not her own.  Good think Charlotte doesn't mind.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fighting off Colic Update

Reflux: Let me just say that I have hated giving her the medicine from the beginning.  Not only do I not like medicating my baby, but I hate the process of giving it to her as well.  I felt like I was drowning her every time, and even though I was only giving her .85ml it was still a five minute ordeal (which seemed like eternity).  The fact that I had to do it twice a day was even worse.  As a sleep deprived mom who doesn't function well on no-sleep, there wasn't really any differenciation between night and day so it felt like I was giving it to her all the time.  I wasn't very disciplined about giving it to her when I didn't see the total turn around I was hoping for.  Sure her congestion finally cleared up, but she was still fussy.  I was giving it to her here and there and at one point broke down and asked Jeremy to take one of the doses each day (I was trying to be supermom and do everything by myself, because I CAN DO IT ALL!!)  When I had decided to go off all the major allergy foods (explained below) I had hoped that I could stop giving her the meds.  But when her one four hour stretch at night disappeared (my only link to sanity) I nixed that theory and made a vow never to miss another dose.  And here we are, giving her 1/4tsp twice a day with no problems (I mix it with my milk and it goes down much easier).
Food Allergy: So I gave up dairy and soy when I was 38 weeks pregnant.  Two weeks ago I gave up corn.  She had a rash that started on her cheeks and it had slowly spread to her neck and head.  The day it started rapidly working it's way down her torso helped me to make the commitment to nix all the top culprits in food allergies.  When I had given up corn I was wondering every day if it was really making a difference.  I was constantly asking Jeremy, "Do you think it's getting better?' 24 hours after taking out wheat/gluten, nuts, eggs, beef and fish the rash on her stomach was GONE. She still had the remains of it on her face and head (it had gotten so bad part of it had started to bleed) but there was a huge improvement to keep me motivated.  I do attribute part of that quick healing to a desperate plea to St. Padre Pio to pray for us, but that didn't stop me from staying on the diet. 
That was on a Monday.  She was still fussy and not sleeping Monday, and Tuesday was a particularly tiring day.  Then Wednesday came and she slept ALL DAY.  Literally.  She would stir to eat but never opened her eyes- just went back into her "coma".  She finally woke up at 5pm to blow out of her diaper, smiled for a bit, and then went back to sleep.  That night she nursed alllllll night.  Thursday she did the same thing, but with a few hours of HAPPY awake time.  I was actually able to put her down and she'd quietly watch me or whomever was near her.  She didn't go to sleep for the night until 1am, but I think that's because her internal clock was wacked due to sleeping for two days straight. 
Thursday evening her stools were finally without mucus and a nice mustard yellow.  I had to show it to my mom just to be sure, as I'd never seen a healthy baby poop before- Sam's ALWAYs had mucus in it and was usually green (both signs of irritation and digested blood...looking back I should have gone on this diet for her too).  Today (Friday) she fought her morning nap for about 15 minutes, but after she went down for good she slept for most of the morning and afternoon, sleeping in the car, at a funeral and in the boba while Samantha and I went grocery shopping.  Two of her naps were in her rock n play while unswaddled!

Watching her big sis play with her toys for her.
Such happy girls! They were like this for a good 1/2 hour.

Diaper Rash: My poor children have the most sensitive skin.  Charlotte had a really bad diaper rash that got so inflamed one night that I was doing everything and anything that I could find on the internet to stop her incesant screams of pain- baking soda bath, coconut oil, jock-itch cream, calendula cream, bag balm, air dry, cloth diaper, different brand of diaper.  In the end the rash calmed down enough for her to relax after the baking soda bath and a layer of cream (I don't remember which) and bag balm.  We had to use the jock-itch cream for the yeast part of it for a few days and I made my own wipes from paper towels to start using.  It's finally under control and we don't have to put anything on her between changes, but I can't use store bought wipes, even for just ONE change.  ONE use and she gets a chemical burn.  It took two times, but I've finally learned my lesson. 

Other random changes: 
She doesn't squirm and jerk in her sleep anymore. 
She burps!! She would never burp before, just swallow it down and make it come out the other end.
She poops without a 15 minute long "announcement" before hand of fussing and yelling at whomever is nearby. 
She eats without fighting me.  I even got a couple boobie smiles this week, which are my FAVORITE part of nursing.  Forget the nutritional and bonding benefits, I love nursing soley for those special smiles.  There's nothing like it!

That's all for now.  I'm hoping to finally enjoy some of my maternity leave...all nine days that I have left.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sisters at 7 weeks

Samantha 7 weeks

Charlotte 7 weeks

I need to update on the colic, but we've definitely turned a corner!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


If you talk to Samantha these days she'll try and have a conversation with you that either involves her asking a very obvious question:

"These cheese crackers have dairy, right mom?  Cheese comes from cows, right mom?"
(ok, this may not seem like an obvious question to most, but trust me, in our house this is a very well known topic)

narrating what she's doing:

*Kiss**hug* "I kissed you and gave you a hug!  And now my hands are on your leg!"

or reminding you of things, just in case you forgot.  Her specialty is familial relations:

"Remember that you have four sisters mom?  Amanda, Lucy, Becca and Jenna!"
"Mimi, remember that you have three daughters?  Amanda, mommy and Lucy!  And Lucy, you are my aunt!"

After I gave birth to Charlotte I had some digestive issues.  As many other moms out there can attest to, the bathroom is not exactly a private place for us female folks.  So Samantha knew a few private details as she was my gofer for a few items that I needed while I was indisposed. 

A few days after a particularly memorable incident, we were at mass.  I was seated in front of a friends' husband (who have 5 young boys) and sitting next to a former student of mine.  Luckily I was sitting in the front row and on the side, so no one else was in ear shot.  Right after communion when the music had stopped, Samantha said to me in a very loud whisper,

"Mommy, remember that you have diarrhea?"
My friend's husband was beet red from trying not to laugh and my student was quite mortified.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sisters at 6 weeks

She's 11 lbs!!!  That was Samantha's weight at 4 months, I believe.
She only woke up once last night WHILE SLEEPING IN THE ROCK N PLAY!  Too bad Jeremy still woke me up twice, so I still woke up three times...sigh...
She is currently sleeping IN THE ROCK N PLAY for a nap!
She smiles whenever she's awake and makes eye contact now.
She fights sleep like her sister but, unlike her sister, she will STAY asleep
She's got an awful case of face/neck/head/chest eczema that is spreading.  I've taken corn out of my diet, so fingers crossed that it's the culprit and her scaly skin will return to normal here again soon. Now we are off milk, soy, fish (which I don't eat anyway), corn, wheat, nuts, beef, eggs and anything else high on "the list".


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Plethera of Expressions take TWO

Samantha saw the previous post and could not stop giggling.  And then she wanted to do her version of each one.

 (she was concentrating real hard to keep one eye closed)

(She kept making a loud noise.  Took me showing for her to get the idea)

Starry eyed

Bird in flight- her favorite

(only one take)


Friday, November 15, 2013

Plethera of expressions




Starry Eyed


Bird in flight


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Still hasn't worn off.

Although Samantha DID complain that she was tired of hearing Charlotte cry in the car. 
This was right after she herself threw a fit because "Something is not right!!!" when she was getting buckled in.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sleep Aid

When I get to my breaking point (I do NOT function with no sleep...I'm not sure what God is thinking giving me children who don't sleep)  he takes the night shift and brings her to me when she's hungry.  And then goes to work at 6:30am. 

He loooooooves his girls.  All three of us.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


It's amazing what 4 hours of sleep will give you the energy to do.
Back to making my own snacks.  Samantha is getting dangerously good at baking.  But the sampling is still her favorite part of the process.
Grandma sent this monkey hat last year. 
Last winter and so far this winter it is her staple clothing accessory.

When I think of her being 3 and 4 years old, I'll always invision her with this hat!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


So far Charlotte makes very little eye contact, and when she does she just looks at you with raised eyebrows as if to say, "Um...did you need something?  No? Ok, then I'm gonna go back to looking at that light over there."  I know she knows I exists because as soon as I pick her up she stops fussing/goes back to sleep. 
But today, after a nice nap she woke up and every time she'd stretch her arms out, she'd give me a big smile!

Ram Sam Sam

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lil Sister

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers


Lilypie First Birthday tickers