I didn’t talk much about it at the time because everyone knows the fastest way to make your baby a terrible sleeper is to get all braggy about it on social media. But you guys, from about five weeks on, Elsa more or less slept through the night, and it was amazing.
You have to remember that Owen woke up two to three times a night throughout his first year of life, despite numerous and varied attempts at sleep training. So for her to just sleep through the night like that? We knew it was nothing WE were doing right. Mostly, it was a miracle. So I stayed pretty quiet about it.
But you’ll notice that the operative word in that first paragraph is was. It was amazing. And now, it is over.
It started innocently enough. Baby Girl got a nasty cold a couple months ago, and because she is a baby, she had not yet learned that when your nose is completely stuffed up, you have to breathe through your mouth. So she’d wake herself up, coughing, momentarily not knowing how to breathe, and totally and justifiably panicking about it.
There was comfort nursing. And then she’d give these pathetic little whimpers when we tried to lay her down afterwards, and somehow, she ended up sleeping on two-thirds of our bed for the better part of September. But a couple of weeks ago, her nose finally not running, her cough finally cleared up, we realized we needed our bed back.
This is not an invitation to discuss the finer points of co-sleeping…or not…in the comments, but rather a statement about how over sleeping on the very edges of our queen-sized bed we were: me, with recurring neck spasms, and Eric the Restless who basically shifts in his sleep like a shark that would die if it stopped moving.
So, we determined that she needed to be in her crib. And that we’d let her cry a few minutes at a time to settle in. The problem is that she and Owen share a room, and he is an incredibly light sleeper. So it goes: she wakes up, he wakes up.
We have successfully gotten her to sleep in her crib for most of the night, but less successfully gotten her to sleep through the night without nursing every three hours. Last night, she broke her personal best by getting up five times. Five.
Needless to say, I have become a shell of a person. Today, I put the coffee grinder away…in the fridge. I think that I have permanently developed bags under my eyes, the type that makes kind strangers in the grocery store stop you and say, “Wow! Two little ones? You look tired!”
It’s been a little quiet on the blog this past week because, well, five times. But tired or not, we are eating. And we are eating this colorful fall soup because the days are warm but the nights are chilly, and isn’t winter squash just so beautiful sometimes?
I made this recipe from one of the last weeks of our Uproot Farm CSA. I will be so sad to see the season end, but this soup wasn’t a bad way to go. It’s simple: everything goes in one pot, almost everything at the same time, and twenty minutes later, you’re eating soup. Probably the hardest part of this recipe is all of the chopping, but bigger pieces actually cook better in this recipe, so don’t go too crazy with your knife skills (P.S. Today I used a meat cleaver to cut apart an uncooked squash, and it was amazing. Like cutting softened butter. You should definitely do this.)
This soup has all the love of a green curry, but brothier. Brothier is not an appetizing word, but this broth has got it going on. Green curry paste, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime – these are a few of my favorite things. There’s also winter squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and chicken – so it’s a pretty filling little number.
I made a huge batch of this, and we ate it with multiple meals last week because I am almost too tired to press down the space bar with my right thumb at this point. Fill it out with some toasted pita wedges or some rice, and you could eat this for days.
(recipe adapted from Real Simple )
(yields 6-8 servings)
I adapted the original recipe by adding carrots, garlic, onions, the curry paste, more lime zest and more chicken.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
one 2-lb squash (like kabocha or acorn), seeded & cut into 1-inch cubes*
1 large sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 large onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh peeled ginger
generous 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
2 teaspoons lime zest (from about 1 lime) (less to taste)
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3-inch pieces and smashed with the handle of a knife (optional)**
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Asian chili oil or red pepper flakes
Garnishes: fresh cilantro, thinly sliced green onions, and lime juice
*I kept the skin on mine, but remove before cooking if you prefer a smoother texture.
**Dried lemongrass is often available if you can't find fresh; substitute 1 teaspoon dried.
Poach the Chicken:
Combine the broth, chicken, squash, sweet potato, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste, lime zest, and lemongrass (if desired) in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest breast registers 165° F and the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes, then shred with a fork.
Finish the Soup:
Return the chicken to the pot, and add the coconut milk, lime juice, and fish sauce. Cook uncovered over medium heat at least 5 minutes until warmed through, or longer if you prefer a thicker soup, stirring frequently to keep soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Discard the lemongrass.
Serve the Soup:
Serve topped with a drizzle of chili oil (or a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes), the cilantro, green onions, and additional lime juice as preferred.