Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas ~ ElephantEats.com

I can’t believe it took me til Berkeley was 4 months old, but I finally found the time to cook. I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that seem quick to make, and during December we had a nanny and I was working from home- I really had no excuse. Still, I only found time to make an actual dinner ONE night. Pathetic.

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas ~ ElephantEats.com

Honestly, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time to cook, it was that I didn’t have time to pick a recipe, grocery shop AND cook. I need to get my act together, which is going to be really hard now that I’m back at work officially (as of Monday) and I leave at 7:30am and don’t get home til almost 7pm. Any tips? I’m thinking that during the weekend I might need to send Nate to the grocery store and then put him on baby duty while I pump out a couple meals we can eat all week long. This will take some planning though, and I’m not sure if I have it in me yet.

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas 3 ~ ElephantEats.com

Most likely I’ll be cooking more meals than I show on here. Taking photos of your meal when you have limited time doesn’t really make sense. Plus, I don’t have my photo lights set up and am a little out of practice now, so forgive my poor photos. 

For a little baby update:

Berkeley 4 month ~ ElephantEats.com

Berkeley has officially been on this earth for a whole 4 months, and it’s really quite hard to believe. He’s SO smiley. He smiles for Nate more than for me, which makes me a little sad, but I think it’s just because I’m more of the “provider” and he’s more of the “entertainer.” That’s not to say he doesn’t smile for me at all, but Nate can always get him to grin. He smiles a lot for the nanny, Nora, too…he loves her which makes me very happy.

BerkeleyCollage

He’s also been “talking” a ton. It’s super cute when I’m feeding him and all of a sudden he’ll stop, look at me and just blabber on about something with a furrowed brow. He’s probably complaining about the nasty formula and asking when he can get some of that tasty breastmilk again. He’s been having some tummy issues so we’re trying a completely broken down formula (and a very $$$ one!) and it’s really seemed to help. I’m still breastfeeding him in the middle of the night though because it’s just easier. He’s been really fussing during that time though so it might have to end soon :(

Berkeley football hat ~ ElephantEats.com

Berkeley is also reaching for and grabbing things now! Shirts, hair, you name it…don’t put it too close or it will end up in his mouth. For a couple weeks he was sucking on his fist non-stop, but he seems to have forgotten about that lately. I still think he might become a thumb-sucker, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

He doesn’t spend a ton of time on his playmat on either his back or tummy because he has reflux…right after he eats we like to keep him mainly upright so he doesn’t spit up too much. Towards the end of that time before he naps, we’ll put him on his back. He only gets tummy time if he wakes up from a nap early and isn’t ready to eat yet. 

Berkeley Christmas PJs ~ ElephantEats.com

He wiggles and kicks a ton when he’s down but hasn’t rolled over yet. BUT…the other day during nap time he was squirming a ton in his swaddle and next thing I knew, he was face down in the crib! Luckily he has great neck strength and was able to lift his head up. I flipped him and put him back and he did it again! You’re not supposed to keep swaddling after that but he hasn’t done it since…it’s been keeping me up at night though because I’m so afraid he’ll do it during the night. I totally wanna ditch the swaddle but I’m so worried he won’t be able to sleep at all without it since his startle reflex is still pretty strong. If he starts flipping over regularly, i’ll obviously have no choice.

We also conquered a few milestones that I was fearing- our first long (2-3 hr) car ride, the first time I got sick and had to still take care of a baby, and Berkeley’s first cold. I managed to make it through all of them just fine. We headed down to my mother-in-laws for Christmas. We fed him his nighttime bottle and then hit the road during his bed time and he slept the whole way. Then we just moved him to his crib when we got there and he didn’t even wake up.

Santa Berk ~ ElephantEats.com

I got the worst cold while there and I feel bad because I’m totally the one who got Berkeley sick. I couldn’t help it because I had to blow my nose all day long, including while I was feeding him. I think if he had been breastfeeding instead of getting formula, he might have escaped getting sick. He was such a little trooper though, even when he was a snotty, congested mess. He got this nasty cough and runny nose but all through it he was still in a good mood! I should be very thankful and hope that this means he’s a very easygoing baby (now that he got his 2 months of colic out of the way). He did have a little more trouble sleeping though so I’m definitely feeling exhausted right now. I’m crossing my fingers because last night he seemed to have slept a little better.

Also now that I’m back at work, we’re figuring out the best way to do a morning routine. The problem is that he fusses in the morning so I put him in bed with me so we can both get a extra couple hours of sleep…but now I have to get up early to start getting ready for work and it’s hard not to wake him up by mistake. He stays asleep when I get out of bed but is up within 5 min since he doesn’t feel me next to him anymore. I’m not sure how to solve this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. As of last night he slept the second half of his night (after his feeding) without fussing! I felt much better rested in the morning.

Santa Berk ~ ElephantEats.com

 

Pasta with Sausage and Chickpeas
A healthy and quick weeknight meal
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 pound fresh hot Italian sausage, casings removed (can use turkey sausage)
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  7. 16 ounces small dried pasta (such as malloreddus or orecchiette)
  8. Kosher salt
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  10. Finely grated Parmesan and lemon zest (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste to skillet and cook, stirring, until paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  4. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook, stirring and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 3 minutes.
  5. Serve pasta topped with parsley, if using, Parmesan, and lemon zest.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
http://elephanteats.com/

36 Comments

  1. I love that your baby update is so refreshingly honest – none of this fake everything-is-so-easy crap. It’s not easy! Sounds like you’ve got your hands full, but that you’re thriving as well. Three cheers! I can’t imagine doing what you’re doing and, you know, earning money at a real job.

    That said, 2.0 and I always prep big pots of food on Sundays and then eat them all week. It does take some organizing and planning ahead, but the reward is a much more enjoyable week! My plan this winter is to get so organized that I can have a pot on the stove AND the slow cooker going. FREEZER MEALS! We also freeze massive quantities of spaghetti sauce loaded with veggies. Super easy to defrost and put over pasta.

    xox

    • Aw, thank you, Movita :) I know I really need to make use of my Sundays for that purpose. Please send me your favorite recipes for big pots of food (especially slow cooker)!!! I am at such a loss when it comes to that stuff. It doesn’t help that I’m currently off of dairy/soy for the baby…but I’ve been just improvising recipes.

  2. Wow, don’t be so hard on yourself… I just made cookies for the blog and ONLY think I’ll be able to photograph them tomorrow because my mom is coming. Making them alone was a challenge enough ha!

    You sound like such a great mom and Berkeley is adorable! Oh, and I’m terrified of when we have to give up the swaddle because L ALWAYS wakes himself up when his arms get out… yikes!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lauren! Haha, I’m super impressed you were able to make cookies. Berkeley officially started rolling over in the swaddle FOR SURE last night (and started rolling over at playtime today!) and now I sadly have to stop swaddling him…but I bought that Zipadeezip thing (have you seen it?) and I’ll let you know if it works.
      P.S.I still work in Manhattan so we should definitely meet up some time!

  3. trishielockandkey

    Can Berkeley get any cuter?! I think you’re doing such a good job and being able to make such a delicious meal while taking care of a little baby is no mean feat.

    PS: when my little guy started flipping, I started to swaddle him from the arms down, so he’d still get the feeling of security but his arms will still be free to flip back!

    • Hehe, thanks, Trishie! I tried swaddling just one arm a couple nights ago and it was a disaster. He couldn’t stop moving his arm and every time he was about to drift to sleep, it woke him up! But now that he rolls over EVERY time i put him down in the swaddle, I have to do something… :(

  4. i’m so happy baby B is finally calming down and you can find time to cook again! (at least once :) hehe) and i cannot get over those big beautiful eyes – there can never be too many pictures of baby!

  5. So nice to see this, Amy! And you are far from pathetic – I was not functional until my son was at least 6 months (more like a year, if I’m totally honest). Those days were a blur and I felt like it was never going to end. haha. But things do get a lot better/easier. Good luck getting back to work and I hope things settle into place for you. This pasta looks awesome – pasta is a great quick cook. You might want to start those crockpot meals! Keep us posted. And Berkeley is adorable…that pic in front of the x’mas tree is priceless.

    • Thanks, Monica! Haha, I’m hearing more and more moms tell me that, so it definitely makes me feel better. It does seem never-ending and it’s so strange to remember he’s outgrowing these stages and getting older every day. Nate commented on something that will be happening next month and I was like “he can’t do that at 4.5 months old” and Nate was like “uhhh, he’ll be 6 months old then, Amy.” I totally forgot he’s getting older! haha.

  6. A D O R A B L E !! Seeing these pics of Berkely has me dieing to be a grandma! My advise at this stage of my life, just enjoy that baby totally. Forget about fancy meals and being creative – though you so can be creative with just the simpliest things. Those are long working days, I remember that very well. When you come home, all you want to do is snuggle that baby! I also suggest batch cooking on the weekends, while your hubby has some one on one time with him, you can prepare some easy meals. Gosh, if I lived near you I’d cook for you!!

  7. For groceries, check out Instacart, Peapod and Amazon Fresh (new to NYC, but not sure about NJ). You can order your groceries online while taking care of baby and then they can leave them outside your door. They can even put the cold products in coolers for you.

    Look at little Berkely dressed up as Santa, how cute! It’s amazing how much he has grown in 4 months, look at that! He’s going to be a tall one! Good luck with getting back to work, you are Super Woman, don’t forget it! :)

    • Pamela, that’s such a good idea to do grocery delivery! I totally forgot that’s an option…and although going to the grocery store is one of my favorite activities, I just have to accept that at this stage of life, it might not work. This week we did one of those ingredient/recipe meal delivery things (HelloFresh) and it was great. My only issue with that is that I feel like if I”m going to spend the time cooking a meal, I want it to last for more than one meal- so grocery deliver seems like a smarter idea.
      Yes, Berkeley is already growing so much and he’s 75th percentile in height! Thanks, Pamela!!!

  8. Such a cute update!!! Sooooooo adorable! I love that you added the little months signs :)

  9. Your baby is adorable! Pasta looks delicious too.
    PS – don’t be tooo hard on yourself! I don’t have a baby and sometimes I also go weeks without cooking :)

  10. Berkeley is adorable! Wow, back to cooking already? I can’t even recalled how long it took me to get back to cooking after having a baby. :P I say you are doing wonderful job there. Keep it up and enjoy your bundle of joy! They grow up too fast! ;)

  11. Yay! I’m so happy to see an update from you!… even if it took me a few days to read it. This is actually only the second timeline sat down to catch up on blogs since Joseph was born.
    It’s almost guaranteed our guy will become a thumb sucker. I’m trying to avoid it but giving him a pacifier but he LOVES trying to eat his hands, and he’s even gotten his them into his mouth for little suck sessions a few times.
    Aaand we already don’t swaddle all the time. He sleeps fine without it, has always had his arms out since day 1, and occasionally kicks the whole thing off before morning anyway.

    Berkeley is such a cutie! I’m so happy you guys are doing well. Good luck back at work! I’m going back in March and I’m already dreading the time away from him.

    • Hehe, I completely understand, Alyssa! I’m impressed you DID get to read it. Although in the early days of breastfeeding, I actually did a lot of reading on my phone. It’s a little harder now since he’s wiggly. I’m so jealous you started out not swaddling! i think given our colicky situation, swaddling was necessary but it sure is going to be hard to transition out of it. Work hasn’t been so bad. I’m glad you have some time before you get to go back to enjoy your little cutie. Since Berkeley has been so high-maintenance, it’s kind of nice to be away for a bit, though I miss him a ton. It helps to know that he LOVES our nanny…and she loves him :)

  12. I read this and instantly thought of ordering your groceries once you choose the dishes. I know several bloggers who do their posts all on a Saturday because they work and have children. It’s not ideal but it’s better than losing you. Look after yourself and that gorgeous little boy.

    • Thank you, Maureen!…several people have suggested grocery delivery. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I guess i thought it was only available in the city and not now that I moved to the suburbs…but I looked into it and i was wrong! I’m totally going to try that :)

  13. Totally adorable. I can’t imagine doing all you do and cooking and blogging. I think grocery delivery is a superb idea. Take advantage of these conveniences right now- you deserve it. Prepping on the weekends is good but keep it simple and maybe you take a couple months to try out some wholesome meal delivery- it wouldn’t be forever. Happy January Amy.

    • Haha, I don’t understand how any moms (working or not) have time to blog! Am i just really really bad at managing my time?! Thank you for making me seem like I get a lot done :) I def think you’re right, even if we have to spend a little more $ now on these luxuries, it’s not forever and it’s def money well spent!! Happy New Year, Wendy!

  14. AWW he is TOO adorable!! And looks so much like you!! Can you guys get groceries delivered where you live? That helps a TON. Or maybe one of these services like Blue Apron or Plated where they deliver the ingredients AND recipes to you so you don’t really have to do much other than cook?

    • Thanks, Joanne! :) really? We were comparing baby pics and he does look a lot like my baby pic…but he def has Nate’s nose. Grocery delivery is a definite option I’m looking into. We started doing HelloFresh which is like Blue Apron but I had a coupon for it. It’s been such a good idea! It’s still hard to find time to cook but luckily the recipes pretty much take 30 min or less.

  15. I would never think to mix chick peas and suasage with a pasta, it looks yummy! And your baby is getting cuter and cuter by the month, congrats!

    • I wouldn’t have thought to do it either, since it’s double the protein…but it was tasty! I think next time I might add a green of some sort to it. Thanks, Pamela :)

  16. I love the look of this pasta and I think I’ll make it tonight. Thanks for the inspiration! Your little Berkeley is so cute and it’s lovely to watch and see how quickly he’s growing. I love how he ‘talks’ to you xx

  17. Well that’s it, I think you need to put Berkeley to work as your sous chef – get him doing something productive other than winning us all over with his adorable eyes! :)

    • Why didn’t I think of that?! Great idea, Emma. He’s pretty good at holding things these days so picking up a knife should be no big deal ;)

  18. Oh, what a sweetie pie your little guy is! I have to say, new babies are so darling but I don’t miss the sleep deprivation and the guessing games. I hope you guys are able to settle into a routine that works and makes you happy! And in the meantime, four-month olds are why God gave us Trader Joe’s frozen meals. :)

    • Aw, thanks, Elizabeth. Gosh, I don’t blame you. This sleep deprivation is no joke…we’re trying to get him to sleep through the night now and I dont quite sure know how i”m going to make it…. Haha, we’ve been eating a lot of TJs. Too bad being off of dairy and soy for him has made it difficult to eat.

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