Friday, June 23, 2017

Carseat Shuffle

Ever since Andrew was born we've been playing musical chairs with our carseats. Shortly before he was born we traded in our Ford Explorer for a used Toyota Sienna. I love the amount of cargo space we have in this car, and it fits our family of 6 very well.

We started out with both big boys in the back, since they can buckle themselves. But that led to lots of fighting that I was unable to control while driving. And then Ryan's carsickness became an issue. He often gets a headache and feels sick to his stomach in the backseat. This week he threw up after a 15-minute drive to VBS.
So we traded his carseat with Jenna's seat, and now she's in the back with Lucas. However, this makes it a real pain getting her in and buckled. I have to push the baby's seat forward and shove half my body in to buckle her. It's not ideal.
The baby obviously can't go in the back, so for now I'm having to climb in to buckle Jenna. I've tried teaching the boys to buckle and unbuckle her but they don't quite have the finger strength.

So we continue to play the carseat shuffle.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: No Change

I had great momentum going last week and then I didn't lose anything this week. I was doing great with the no wheat/sugar plan, but then I cheated a little on Sunday. It was a planned cheat, but what I found was that once I ate some sugar I wanted more of it. So I ended up eating some again Monday and Tuesday, and I think that's what derailed my weight loss this week. One interesting thing I noticed was the difference in how I felt after Sunday. Up until then I had gone 10 days without wheat or sugar. I can honestly say I had more energy than I've had in a long time! I was feeling good. Then after indulging Sunday I suddenly felt sluggish and tired. I found myself back to craving sweets and I just didn't feel like being as active. I think if you pay attention, your body will tell you what it needs (and what it doesn't!).

Lbs Lost So Far: 12
Lbs Left To Lose: 15

Some meals worth mentioning from the week.......

Eggroll in a bowl over riced cauliflower
This was a meal I've made before. It's ground turkey mixed with a bag of coleslaw mix, and some Asian ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, etc. This time instead of eating it over rice I cooked some frozen riced cauliflower. This is such a trendy product right now so I had to try it. The verdict? I really liked it and didn't miss the rice at all.

Nachos and Salad
I made refried beans in my crockpot and then put them on top of blue corn tortilla chips. Toppings included cheese, beans, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and jalapenos.
I also had a salad of romaine lettuce on the side. I mixed a little balsamic dressing with salsa and it was pretty good!

 Smoked Pulled Pork, Veggie Tots, Raw Veggies
This was a new find at Costco. I had heard how good it was but honestly, it wasn't our favorite. I realized too late that I don't like foods with a "smoked" flavor. This tasted more like smoked ham than pulled pork, if that makes sense.
The tater tot things on my plate were veggie tots from Green Giant. They are actually made from cauliflower, and while the taste was great, the texture was just too mushy. Nobody else really ate them.
On the menu this week is anything that doesn't require me to turn on the oven! What are your favorite hot-weather meals?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Day In The Life 6/17/17

My first Day In The Life post with 4 kids! On this Saturday my kids are 7, 5, 2.5 and 3.5 months.

6:30am: I'm nursing Andrew in bed and Ryan is asleep next to me. I can hear Adam getting ready for work.

7am: The baby is getting noisy so it's time to get up. I don't want Ryan to wake up before it's absolutely necessary. That boy is grumpy in the morning. It's nice to lay in bed this long now that its summer!

Andrew is all congested, as he has been for the last few mornings. Baby allergies or his 3rd cold?
7:30 - Adam leaves for work with a huge thing of ice water. Poor guy will be working in 100+ temps today. All three boys are up, but sleeping beauty Jenna is still in her crib. I start a load of laundry.

8:00 - I eat chia pudding for breakfast....I made it using 1/8 cup chia seeds and 1/2 cup coconut milk. I top it with some granola and also eat a plum. The pudding is surprisingly really flavorful and filling! Lucas and Jenna drink smoothies and Ryan eats nothing. I have the kids get dressed so we can go to the park.

9am - We head out and it's already getting warm! I wear the baby and push Jenna in the stroller while the boys ride their bikes. We go to Ryan's school and practice our burnouts.
It's always a bit nerve-wracking for me to take all 4 kids out, mostly because I never know when Lucas is going to get upset and throw a fit. Today he throws down his bike a few times but overall the kids are really good at the park.

10:30 - We are home and sweaty! I let the kids sit down and watch part of a movie while they cool off.

Ryan and Jenna decide they don't want to watch TV with Lucas, so they go watch TV in my room.

And I feed this guy. We are interrupted a bunch by kids requesting snacks, drinks, etc. But eventually Andrew's tummy is full and he's happy.
I also read my devotional for the day.

11am- Time to get some cleaning done! The kids are watching a movie and Andrew is content so I unload the drying rack and dishwasher, then re-load it and start it. I switch the laundry and begin a 2nd load. I find Ryan and Jenna like this in my bed:
11:30 - Lunch time for the kids! Ryan picked out these uncured beef hot dogs from Trader Joe's. They are wrapped in some sort of filo dough and he loves them. Lucas eats crackers and a strawberry. Jenna eats her turkey, a strawberry, and skips her crackers and requests a peanut butter sandwich instead.
12:00 - I put Andrew down for a nap on our guest room bed. He's my first baby who doesn't have a nursery, so he just kind of naps wherever is convenient. I give the boys some ice cream and take Jenna upstairs for her nap. She sleeps with a big white puffy comforter in her crib, and she calls it her cloud.
12:30 - I send the boys into quiet time. Ryan's in the playroom and Lucas is playing with legos in the living room. All 4 kids are either asleep or quiet (Jenna is just playing in her crib)'s officially Mommy time! I microwave some leftover turkey/cabbage stir fry for myself and mix together some BBQ sauce to have with our dinner. Yesterday I cleaned out our freezer. It was SO gross. Today I finish the task of moving all our food back into it.

1pm - Andrew is awake so I take him upstairs and nurse him on my bed. Then he helps me put away a few loads of laundry.

2pm - Laundry was so tiring that the baby fell asleep again. The boys are getting antsy because I promised them we'd get out the wading pool today. I tell them they need to clean up the playroom before they can swim. While they are doing that I make myself some iced coffee and whip up a batch of granola to pop in the oven.
2:30 - Time to swim! I set up the trampoline and wading pool next to each other and the boys love it.

Andrew and Jenna wake up.

Jenna plays in the water for only 10 minutes before deciding she'd rather paint.

I have a big roll of white paper that I taped on our back table yesterday. I figured it'd be a mess-free way for the kids to draw or paint.

I sit outside with the baby for a while but it's too hot. So I test out his new (used) exersaucer inside. I bought this from someone yesterday and I think Andrew is the perfect age to start using it.

Lucas runs inside and tells me his toe fell off. He corrects himself and tells me his toenail is gone. His toenail had been hanging on by a thread so I'm glad it finally fell off!

3:30 - We come inside for a snack break. Fruit bar for me, mini tacos for Ryan, apple juice for Jenna, granola bar for Lucas, and breastmilk for Andrew. The kids watch a little bit more of their movie from earlier.

4pm - I send the big kids back outside. After a few minutes I go to check on them and hear Ryan say "what's that smell?". Ugh Jenna pooped in the pool. I grab her and stick all 3 kids in the shower to sanitize them. The baby's crying but I need to clean Jenna off first. Lucas gets mad in the shower and slams the door closed so hard I'm afraid the glass will break. I grab the other two kids and get them out before he starts throwing shampoo bottles.
4:30 - The kids are dried off, calmed down, and in their jammies. We all pile onto my bed for some reading time. Andrew isn't happy but then I put him in my lap and he nurses and dozes off while I read.

We end up reading all 9 stories in this Aesop's book. It's a new book I got from Usborne and my kids love it.

5:30 - Adam is home!! Praise the Lord because I can feel my patience running out. I go downstairs to start on dinner and tell the kids to play upstairs. But somehow they all follow me downstairs. Sometimes it feels like I can never get a moment alone!

6:15 - We eat dinner. Or actually Jenna and I eat dinner, and nobody else really likes what I made.
While I'm eating I have Andrew sitting on my lap and he explodes through his diaper all over me. It's gross, but a blessing in disguise because now I get to take a shower! Andrew and I shower and I tell everyone else to clean up from dinner.

7:30 - Well their idea of cleaning up from dinner was taking everything off the table and putting it on the counter. I finish putting stuff away and washing dishes and sweeping the floor while the kids play upstairs.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: No Wheat or Sugar

My week of no wheat or sugar was a success! I lost 2 pounds this week. I didn't let myself eat any sort of dessert or wheat product. I wasn't so strict that I avoided things like ketchup just because it has sugar in it (I'd go crazy if I had to do that!), but overall I did really well with the challenge.

Lbs Lost So Far: 12
Lbs Left To Lose: 15

I tried 2 new recipes this week that I think are worth mentioning. I didn't get good pictures of our dinners so these are from the recipe websites. First up was this Cajun Chicken Pasta. It's a copycat recipe of the dish at Chili's. It was really good! I used a pasta made from a corn/quinoa blend instead of traditional wheat pasta, and we really couldn't taste a difference. I would definitely buy it again.

Then last night we had Meatloaf Balls. They tasted just like they sound....meatballs that taste like meatloaf! We had them with baked potatoes and they were fabulous.
So for this week I'm going to continue with the no wheat/sugar plan, except I will allow myself one cheat day where I can eat a little of both. I'm also going to aim for 3 servings of veggies every day, since I've been lacking in that category lately.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Fun!

Last summer was a bit of a bust. I was pregnant with this little guy and spent a lot of time laying on the couch trying to stay awake and not get sick.
The other kids unfortunately spent a lot of time indoors watching TV because I just didn't have the energy to haul them around anywhere. We did take swimming lessons, go to 2 lakes and spent some time in the Bay Area, but that's about it.
 This summer I'd like to get us out more and do some fun things.
 This morning we brainstormed a list of fun stuff to do this summer.
And here's what we came up with! Nothing too fancy, but lots of local/free activities that I think the kids will love. I have them signed up for 2 different Bible camps, a gymnastics class, and I am in the process of planning a trip to Tahoe. We are also working on a chore chart in order to earn a trip to the movie theatre to see Cars 3.
What are you doing this summer with your kids?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lucas' 5th Birthday Celebration

We finally celebrated Lucas' birthday a week after he turned 5! He is almost back to normal after being sick for so long, and we decided to invite family over for some dessert and presents.
Lucas kept saying he wanted a "frosting cake". I finally realized he just wanted frosting, and no actual cake. So I literally made a bowl of buttercream frosting for him, and then made cookie bars and ice cream for everyone else.

Lucas got some cool new legos, a fun pool toy, a Spider-Man kite, a scooter, coloring book, and a big green ball. Lucas is also the proud new owner of a fidget spinner! Ryan is super jealous and wants to buy one for himself now.

Birthday parties have been so different lately than they were a few years ago. We used to go all out....50 guests, a theme, goodie bags, games, a full meal. But lately we've just been doing a simple celebration with family. Maybe that's what happens when you move to a new place and don't have many friends? Or maybe that's what happens when you have 4 young kids and you're too busy to plan a party!

Either way I think he enjoyed himself.
I realized my sister and I had 9 out of our 11 kids together yesterday. So I lined them up by age and tried to get a good picture.
 The little girls were totally in to posing.

What a fun day we had celebrating Lucas!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: 10 and 10

You are going to be so impressed with me. Since I last updated 2 weeks ago, I have lost another half a pound! Seriously, I'm like a poster child for weight loss right now.

Lbs Lost So Far: 10
Lbs Left To Lose: 17

10 pounds lost in 10 weeks isn't thaaaat bad right?

So here's the deal. This last month has been pretty stressful for me. We've been dealing with some pretty exhausting behavioral issues with the boys. Behaviors that take a lot of mental and emotional energy out of me, and leave little time or energy for me to do things for myself. Things like sit down and make a healthy meal plan, or even go grocery shopping on a regular basis. And then we all got SO sick, especially Lucas. He was sick for 3 weeks straight with a couple different viruses. I spent a lot of time playing nurse, running to the doctor, worrying, and being up all night taking care of sick kids (and a husband).

Thankfully I have had a LOT of support and help from people like my parents, Adam's Mom, etc. And now that all that is behind us, I'm ready to try something new. I'm going to start setting attainable weekly goals for myself, like I've done in the past when losing baby weight. I'm starting tomorrow with a bang and I'm going to give up wheat and sugar. I've given up sugar before and seen good results, but I've never tried giving up wheat. I'm curious to see what happens if I stop eating foods like bread and bagels, and replace them with healthier grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa, etc. I'll try it for the week and report back next week with (hopefully!) some weight loss.

Oh! I did manage to snap 1 picture of a recent dinner I made. This was on a night when I brought dinner to a friend with a new baby. I made pulled pork from my 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. Recipe here: I also made a southwestern quinoa salad that had bell peppers, corn, black beans, cilantro, and cumin, among other things. I brought strawberries and whipped cream to my friend, but chose to eat some cucumbers with our meal.