Paleo Diet (Kind of)

Before we left for Australia Riaz and I were eating a kind of modified paleo diet. We were definitely not strict about it and we probably were doing all kinds of things “wrong,” but we both felt pretty awesome. Our diet mainly consisted of cutting out processed sugar, gluten, rice, potatoes, beans and dairy (wow – sounds restrictive when I write it out, but I swear it was not bad at all). A regular meal would be chicken or fish, a green salad, some other kind of veggies and then more veggies and maybe a sweet potato. So our diet was basically chicken, vegetables and fruit. I know it sounds boring, but I was making 3 or 4 different vegetable dishes each night and it really kept things from getting dull. Plus … I’ll say it again … we felt GREAT.

In Australia we fell off our diet … hard. We are now attempting to get back on to our pre-Australia diet. It’s been pretty difficult. I don’t want to go all crunchy on you folks, but I seriously think you can be addicted to sugar and gluten. I remember it being hard to cut them out before, but once I’d made it through the first week I felt fine, it was easier then because I was on maternity leave and could completely control what I had access too since I basically wasn’t leaving the house! I’m trying to kick the habit again, but it’s harder with the Coffee Bean across the street. Those damn carbs call to me.

We have recently put ourselves on a fairly strict financial budget (in other words, no more mid-day lattes!), which is helping me control my Coffee Bean carb urges, but I still sometimes dream about butter croissants.

This time around we are still keeping most sugar, gluten and dairy off the menu, but we are eating lentils (because they are cheap and easy to prepare in bulk), brown rice and the occasional potato. Since being put on the budget to end all budgets I have kept pretty well to the diet (so for about 2 weeks) and I really do feel better for it. Riaz is also a big fan and especially loves when I cook big pots of food on the weekend that he can re-heat all week.

I am mainly putting this out to the world to give me some accountability. I don’t want to fall off the gluten-free wagon again! Here’s hoping I can stick to it even after winning the lottery and transitioning to the life of leisure I know I am destined for!

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Woo … I’ve got a lot of knitting to catch you up on.  I have started a million projects and finished two of them.  I need help.  Also, I’ve recently decided I need to take up quilting even though I don’t have: 1) a sewing machine; 2) the space; and 3) any sewing skills whatsoever.  Not that I’m going to let that stop me.  Stay tuned for further unnecessary crafting.

First up is the shawl/wrap I have been working on for my mother-in-law.  I REALLY wanted to finish this before we went to Australia.  And then I REALLY wanted to finish it before her birthday in January.  And then I just wanted to finish it before we came home.  Care to wager whether I actually did?




I presented the half-finished project to my mother-in-law as her “gift,” but it was rather anti-climactic.  I feel bad I didn’t finish it but, in my defense, Australia was not a big relaxing vacation.  We had plans with family/friends ALL THE TIME.  Plus, you know, we had three kids to take care of.   It was really hard to get anything done.

I'm a sucker for babies on knits

I’m a sucker for babies on knits

Ah well, I truly love this pattern and this yarn.  I think it is the first time I’ve done a good job picking the right yarn to go with the pattern I was knitting.  I’ve knit a little over 30 inches of the 60 inch wrap.  It takes me about an hour and a half to get through 1 repetition and 1 repetition equals maybe 1 -1 ½ inches so I’m looking at another 45 hours or so to get this done (geez that seems like a lot when I write it out!)

I also just finished a simple but cute baby blanket for my good friend at work who is expecting Baby No. 3 at the end of April.  The pattern I chose is very basic, but I needed it after the serious brain power required of the lacy wrap.  I tried to spice things up a bit with some striping cuteness and I really like how it turned out.  I presented the blanket to my co-worker yesterday and she seemed happy, so it was a win.



I’m also making this sweater for Aiman.  I ran out of the yarn I needed for the blanket and while it was on order, I started up something for the little guy.  He has been begging me for a hand knit for some time, so this seemed like a good opportunity to cast on.  When I told him the sweater was for him, he clapped his hands together, squealed and said “Yea!”  and then my heart grew three sizes and it was Roast Beast for everyone!  Gah I love that kid.

I also knit up a quick little hat for my hair dresser who had a baby around the same time Mika was born.  I love her.  We actually went to high school together and she is a sweetheart, and the babies of sweethearts get hats.  I was racing to get this thing done before my hair cut a few weeks back and forgot to take a picture, but take my word when I say it was cute and quick and easy (my three favorite things!)  I should also mention that my new hair is also cute and quick and easy.  I am a short hair convert!

That’s it for this week.  Joining up with the Yarn Along.

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In the Swing of Things …

Well … that went fast.  My maternity leave was a long (by American standards) 5 months, but it went by in a blink and I’m back to work.  My job is extremely wonderful and my co-workers are forgiving, understanding and awesome, but it is HARD to be away from the little bobbins after 5 months of spending every day with them.

The Kids

Riaz is settling in to the new routine as well.  I’d let him write a guest post about how his days are going, but he’s much too tired to try!


No lie – three kids are hard work!


Aiman has started back up at school and besides some bumpy drop-offs involving a lot of tears, he seems to be doing just fine.


Sofia LOVES having her daddy all to herself for big stretches of the day while Mika sleeps.  I understand that there are hours of book reading, puzzles and play cooking that happen while I am at work.


Miss Mika is the happiest little monkey.  She WILL.NOT take the bottle, but she is eating solid foods like a champ and doesn’t seem to be dehydrating so we’re just following her lead.  She is really just the sweetest little thing.  She’s quick with a smile, loves a good hug and is super eager to be able to start mixing it up with her siblings.  She is very mobile at this point.  She’s up on her hands and knees, but mostly gets around with a very effective army crawl.


Riaz and I are totally exhausted, but there is kind of a cool little feeling that comes with having all of the kids you are going to have.  When I look around the table at dinner I can picture the next 18 years with my little family and it makes me indescribably happy and totally fulfilled.


Whew … enough with the sap already.   I know Grandma Scates is anxious for more pictures, and I’m doing my best to fulfill her request!  A few more snaps, mainly from our Australian adventure.







Posted in Aiman, Mika, Sofia, Us | 6 Comments

Ooops …

Ooops, I have neglected my blog again.

In fairness, we are out of the country, the internet connection is slow here, and it has been the holidays so there has been a whole lot of busyness.

This post is a short one just to say HELLO, we are alive and having a great holiday, please enjoy some pictures!

Oh and Merry Christmas and have a very Happy New Year!

Ready for his close up.

Ready for his close up.

Smiles for miles

Smiles for miles



Cousins and Tutus

Cousins and Tutus

Breakfast at Zephyrs

Breakfast at Zephyrs

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

A day at the zoo.

A day at the zoo.

Tuckered Out!

Tuckered Out!


The View From Here

My life feels like it is on hold for the moment.  I mean, I have only watched the first episode of the final season of Breaking Bad for crying out loud.  What has become of me!?!

A 4.5 year old, a 2.5 year old and a 5 week old are, together, a lot of work, in case you were wondering.  And I even have it easy.  Like, really easy.  Riaz and I are both at home.  He takes Aiman and Sofia out for hours nearly everyday and yet every night I feel like I might collapse from exhaustion.  Hang on a sec, Mika is crying for no apparent reason ….

OK, I’m back …. with one hand.   This girl likes to be held.  Which leads me to today’s knitting post … this may shock some of you but it appears to be impossible to knit with one hand.  Clearly not much is getting done around these parts.

I am some kind of a fool and am working on a relatively complicated (for me) lace pattern.  This item WILL GET DONE before we leave for Australia at the end of November, but it is going to be a race.  I’ve been able to work on it some evenings, though  which evenings is a bit of a crap shoot since Mika is sometimes very sleepy after 7 and sometimes very fussy after 7.  I haven’t figured out yet what set of circumstances leads to which version of Mika I am going to get on any given night so I basically have no control (which is unsurprising with a newborn!)

Anyway … all of this is to say that 1) I am stupid for working on lace in my current situation; 2) please don’t spoil Breaking Bad in the comments — Long Live Heisenberg!;  3) I am so happy The Voice is back on and that Cee Lo has returned — I love him and his tiny hands beyond all sense and reason (this point is kind of a non-sequitor but it is important to be said I think); 4) I’m tired; and 5) my baby is cute.

Mika and Knitting

I love how babies always look like they are ready to box with someone … put up your dukes!

P.S.  This photo was obviously totally staged.  I could never work on knitting with a wide awake, not crying baby in my lap.  She was just sitting there, and my knitting was sitting next to me and I thought … MY BLOG!

Joining up with the Yarn Along … though it is all just a sham since I haven’t Yarned much of anything in the last five weeks!

Posted in Mika, She's Crafty | 5 Comments


1,125.  That is the number of pictures and videos Riaz, my mom and myself took during September.  I did the math and that is only 37.5 pictures a day, which actually does not seem all that unreasonable when you have a new baby in the house.  Still … I may need to come up with a new way to sort our pictures for the next little while; by “month” probably won’t cut it.

Since I am not in any kind of shape to craft complete sentences using grammar and stuff, I am just going to give you a few of my favorite shots of the kids from the last couple of weeks.  They are cuter than words anyway.

Aiman – The Boy

He’s into robots.  Enough said.

Aiman + RobotFull disclosure, my mom took this shot.  Look at that kid.  It is not right for a boy to have those eyelashes!

EyelashesSofia –  The Boss

Cute Is What I Am.

SofiaThis requires some explanation.  We are working on rhyming with Aiman.  Thinking that I was very very clever I rhymed nose with toes and said something along the lines of … “you stick your toes in your nose.”  The below picture demonstrates what has been happening in my house since I made that hilarious joke.

Toes NoseMika – Variously … Baby Bird, Meek Meek, Mika Jam, The Baby

What big eyes you have.

MikaTummy time!

Mika 2


Posted in Aiman, Mika, Sofia | 2 Comments


Newborn Update:  Mika is a dreamy little newborn.  She is sometimes a touch fussy, but mainly just a sleepy little snuggler.  She continues to refuse to sleep anywhere but her swing and on my chest, but she gives me decent stretches of shut eye every night so I’m not complaining (yet!)

Moving on to my two little fish.

This photo …

Siblings in the Pool

was taken about a week before Sofia realized that she didn’t need no stinkin’ floatation device and that she could swim with the best of them.

Her swimming mainly consists of a modified doggy paddle/back stroke/water treading type of maneuver – but it keeps her head above water and generally propels her in the direction she wants to go.


It may appear that Aiman is trying to drown Sofia at the end of the video, but I assure you, it was a rescue operation.  That video was taken about 2 weeks ago and Sofia hasn’t needed any rescues since.  Her swimming skills are truly impressive for a 2.5 year old.  She is a sensation at the pool and makes her dad and I obscenely proud.

High Flying

Aiman has been swimming for well over a year now and can swim the length of the pool underwater.  He is currently working on turns at the wall so that he can go back the way he came.  With his flipper-sized feet I think we may have the next Michael Phelps on our hands (except without all the pot smoking and … you know … Vegas strippers).

Phelps in Training

Aiman in the Air

The kids are in the pool pretty much every day so it is no surprise that they are swimming.  But, I have to give credit where it is due.  Nobody is a better swim instructor than Riaz.  His instructing mainly consists of throwing the kids in the pool and letting them figure it out, but figure it out they did and now we have two completely water-safe little bobbins who are totally fearless around the water.

So … good work Riaz!  Our kids are awesome because of you.

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