Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

School 2015

The summer drew to a close and it was time for school, yet again. The biggest difference this year is that all three of my children were getting ready on the first day of school. The girls were pleasantly ready to go back to school. And Jack-Jack was pure excitement. The first day came and went and for the girls it was anti-climactic. I guess by third grade you have the hang of things.

The girls are in the same class again this year. Partly because they are very autonomous at school and partly because they are both still in the inclusion class.

Jack did great on his first day. No tears, not sadness just smiles and happiness. That certainly made my transition easier. I went to Trader Joe's BY MYSELF! 

 Unfortunately that was just the calm before the storm. When I picked him up on day two I was informed that he screamed (not cried, screamed) for two hours. I was a little surprised but had hoped it would be a steady process.
 Day three was a little better with some crying on and off but definitely improvement.

That brings us to today. Day four. He woke up and immediately cried about going. He cried all morning. He cried on the way there and the walk in. He walked into his classroom and started to sob. In those moments, what the heck are we to do. He is there for fun and learning. He's just three. But if I walk out with him that isn't a great message to send. So here I sit, with a pit in my gut and a close eye on the clock. Please God, let him have settled in.

Is it too late for Easter Pictures?

I definitely think three or four months is the perfect amount of time in which to pull pictures off of your camera. 

They sure do clean up nice!

Summer Musings

It has been an up and down kind of summer thus far. We have had some high highs, and some very low lows.

We were fortunate to have two vacations this year.

One at our local beach... 

and one in North Carolina with my in-laws.

We have spent lots of time at the pool and playing outside.

We've really been lucky and had nice hot weather in NJ.

We've run a 5-k ...

...and gone for long hikes.

We have one more month of summer vacation here in NJ and we plan to get the most out of it!


Sadly we lost a member of our family this summer. Wisdom was taken from us too soon. We don't really have all the answers as to what happened but he took ill and even after a diagnosis of Lymes Disease, he took a significant turn for the worse and went into organ system failure. I cannot express the sadness we all felt, and still feel. It's still hard to think about.

He came and went so fast. 
 We miss him. 

Super Simple Granola

When Abby was formally diagnosed as allergic to tree nuts, our ability to buy store made granola become much more difficult. She loves granola in her soy-yogurt so we have been working on a recipe that will work for her needs. I was using a recipe from the Pioneer Woman that I liked but I decided to play around on my own and I have to say this recipe was a HIT! Abby and I sat and ate it by the handful. Best of all, it was SO SIMPLE!

Basic Granola

         3 cups rolled oats
         4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
         1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/4 teaspoon salt
         1/3 cup honey
         1/4 cup coconut oil
         2 teaspoon vanilla extract
         1/2 cup raisins, craisins or dry fruit
         1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds


1.   Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
2.   Combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
3.   In a separate microwavable bowl, combine the honey, oil, and vanilla and stir to combine. Microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Let cool for about a minute and then pour over the oat mixture, mixing well until the oats are evenly coated.
4.   Spread the mixture in a rimmed baking sheet that is well coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Make sure to mix the oats at the edges to the middle so they do not burn.
5.   Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool the granola about 20 minutes. You can give it a mix every five minutes or so as it will harden as it sits.
6.   Once cool, add whatever fruit, nuts or seeds you desire and toss to combine.

7.   Store granola in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks, if it lasts that long!

May's Gluten Free Goodies

Another month, another great box of gluten free stuff to try. This months box was filled with many things we have never tried, which I love. 

 Lot's of yummy, crunch salty snacks. We loved the pita chips and they were delicious with hummus.
The Bare Belly Sunscreen was awesome. That went straight into my track bag. I cannot wait to try the sauce goddess sample. 

 I LOVE Luna Bars, although I do have to say that the peppermint ones are not their strongest offering, in my humble opinion. 

Now this one was not included in my box, but did you know these lovelies are gluten free???

Pictures and things

I sometimes gather my thoughts and come up with what I think will be a brilliant blog post. Then I sit down to write and after writing all day professionally, I come up short with my personal writing. It isn't that I don't have lots to tell, it's just that my brain is out of words. In the last month or so the kiddo's have been up to so much.

A certain boy turned 3. 

The girls received their first holy communion.

Track has been going very well. Abby is kicking RS's butt and taking names. She ran a 400 meter race and came in 4th out of 12! Grace has had Personal Records in all of her 3 favorite events (1500, 800 and 400) and is headed to the Championship meet and maybe even the Junior Olympics.

Life for Brian and I has been hectic. Brian is taking over the role of the commissioner of track for next season. It is a surprisingly time consuming role. It's so great to be able to give back in such a big way but as he takes over he is gone a lot more for meetings and things. I am working like crazy, both writing and teaching. Plus the responsibilities of home and gardening and being Mom to three crazy kids. I know I am going to miss this all some day but I just hope I am rested enough to remember it. :D 

Gluten Free Goodies!

We had the privilege of trying a number of new Gluten Free, Vegan and/or Health Smart products thanks to our friends at the Gluten Free Media Group. Most of you know that we have restricted diet due to food allergies (egg, milk, tree nut and agave) and we try to limit gluten. What many people do not know is that the amount of gluten in things we eat every day, like bread and pasta, is as much as 200% higher now than when I was a child. Meaning it is being put into foods. Just something to think about!

Our lovely box of goodies was full of great items we have never tried (with the exception of Skinny Pop, which we love and IS VEGAN... EVEN THE CHEESE FLAVOR!!!)

These supplements have been awesome as we struggle through an awful NJ spring allergy season. They also taste fantastic! 

I am now in love with these pumpkin seeds. I like to keep things like this in my van and purse. These are a new must!

And, how the heck can you go wrong with chocolate!

This was a new category for us. It is a sauce to add to asian inspired dishes. I have been trying to master a few dishes in this category so I can't wait to get testing!

I LOVED THIS BAR! I limit my carbs because I am insulin resistant and with only 4 net grams of carbs these are awesome. I haven't seen them in stores but amazon had them.

We have tried many different sunbutters but these are tops! And the little pouch is ideal for track meets or games. 

Who thought a quinoa cookie could be good? It was!!!

Love, love, love, love, love!

Everything in our box this month was a hit. I suggest if you can get yours hands on some, go try them!!!


When I found out I was having multiples (was triplets to begin with) I wondered how much children would get along when they got older. Would they be the inseparable kind of twins? Would they get along better than most kids? Would they drive each other nuts because they were together so much? 

 Then they were born and I realized that they were siblings, not just twins. Sure they fight sometimes, but probably less than most siblings. We chocked that up to the fact that they were twins. But we always put an emphasis on the importance of your siblings. When no one else in the world is there for you, a sister always can be.

 Then when we knew another baby was on the way I started to worry. How could this new person fit into the world of twins? Would this baby always be the third wheel? Would he/she ever be able to fit in?

Then he was here. And they loved him. And although there are moments when he is the third wheel, he fits in their world better than I could have imagined. I love watching they bond and grow and love each other. He misses them terrible when they are gone at school. They hug him so tight when they get home. They're quite a trio these three. 

Meatball Casserole

In an effort to drop a few lbs and increase my overall health I have cut carbs and sugar from my diet. I am not a big fan of "dieting" but I also know that as someone with PCOS and insulin resistance, minimizing any sugar from my body is the best plan for my homeostasis. But, who can resist the call of spaghetti and meatballs? The answer is no human being living in Southern New Jersey, that's who!

So we are attempting some mock recipes to try and fill the (very large) whole in our hearts where pasts used to be. 

Meatball Casserole:

  • Clearly making your own is the best way to go. I however, took the easy route (since it was a basketball practice night) and use Trader Joe's frozen mini-meatballs which are egg and milk free. 
  • 1 Jar of really good tomato sauce. I used one I canned in the summer. 
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 block of fresh mozzarella 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Parmesan for sprinkling
  1. Put the meatballs, sauce, pepper flakes and garlic in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 
  2. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Prepare a 2 quart baking dish. 
  3. Spread a layer of sauce from the crock pot on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle in some spinach. Top with the meatballs and remaining sauce. Top with spinach and give it a little stir. 
  4. Top with the mozzarella and place in preheated oven. 
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the spinach is cooked down and the mozzarella is browned and bubbly. 
  6. Top with torn basil leaves and parmesan. 


This was a truly delicious bake. It lacked a little something without the pasta or bread but you could certainly serve this with a nice crusty garlic loaf. 



About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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