Thursday, January 31, 2013

Messy Days

Monday was a really great day. Both boys slept in a little bit and then proceeded to take excellent naps during the day. Both boys were in a great mood most of the day. We had a successful trip to the grocery store where Ryan rode in the basket of the shopping cart for the first time and didn't even try to climb out. Dinner was healthy and delicious. Baths were taken and both boys were in their jammies by 8pm. It was the kind of day that I thanked God for when my head hit my pillow.

Then came Wednesday. It was a really messy day. It started at 4:45am when I thought a certain little baby had pooped their diaper, but turns out he didn't. We were awake for the day. Then the dog puked, Lucas spit up on me, and Ryan peed all over our bed. For the 3rd time in a week. This was all before 7am. It was the kind of day where everything was just "off". Nothing went according to my schedule. Naps were short or nonexistent. Toddler tempers were hot, practically scorching. It was the kind of day where no matter how much cleaning I did, the house just looked messy. Everywhere I stepped there were little cars under my feet. I bumped myself putting the double stroller into the car and bit my tongue really hard. It was a bad day. It was the kind of day where I didn't thank God at the end of the day.

But doesn't the Bible tell us to give God thanks in ALL things? Especially during difficult times, because God will use those experiences to strengthen our character and draw us closer to Him.

I've been told that I tend to be a glass-half-empty kind of person. And having that mindset means that I am probably missing countless opportunities to thank God for the blessings in my life. So to make up for yesterday, I have compiled a list of some things I should have thanked God for yesterday. Blessings that I failed to miss because I was too busy focusing on what I thought were the negatives.

~Ryan refused to eat his whole wheat toast with peanut butter for breakfast. But when I offered it to him later for his morning snack, he ate the entire thing.

~I got to take a shower. (!!!)

~I bought the boys a swing that I randomly found on sale while out this morning.

~I got home safely from running errands despite the fact that the tire pressure in my car is low.

~When we went outside after lunch Ryan shouted "Mommy, it's sunny!!!" and practically skipped around the yard in joy.

~Lucas tried fish for the first time at dinner and really liked it.

~Adam got home from work before 6pm! (Lately it's been closer to 8pm)

There are so many more things I am forgetting to list. Have you read One Thousand Gifts? It will definitely inspire you to take notice of every blessing in your life. Even the not so obvious ones.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weighty Wednesday: Real Calories

I've been eating more real foods lately. For example, after reading about the benefits of eating full fat dairy here, I've switched to full fat plain yogurt and am considering drinking lowfat milk instead of my typical nonfat. Healthier for me, but richer in fat and calories, and thus not ideal for losing weight. Unfortunately real foods still have real calories. I will need to find a good balance between eating real foods such as cream and butter, and other real foods, like fruits and vegetables. Just because a food is good and natural (like cream) doesn't mean I can eat copious amounts of it and still expect to lose weight. Although I have to say I am excited to put organic half n half or cream in my coffee each morning, rather than the artificial coffee creamer I used to buy!

One more pound lost this week, so I must be doing something right!

Week 31
Lbs Lost So Far: 23
Lbs Left To Lose: 2

Goals: One goal this week is to make my own salad dressing. I have leftover glass bottles from the organic half n half I bought that will be perfect to keep salad dressing in. My other food goal is to eat 5 servings of fruits/vegetables every day this week. Filling up on these foods first should help me to eat less of the more fattening foods. Also, because the weather is a bit warmer, I plan on getting out on more walks with my boys. Only 2 more pounds to go!

Monday, January 28, 2013

These Days

These days we're on a pretty good nap/eat/play routine.  It helps to keep the boys relatively happy, but means we rarely get out of the house.

These days I'm starting to do a lot of refereeing. Ryan likes to take away toys from Lucas, which means I in turn take away one of Ryan's toys as a consequence. I know this is only the beginning of Ryan vs Lucas.

These days I am feeling incredibly blessed to have two adorable healthy boys.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weighty Wednesday: Limbo

I feel like I've been in some sort of weird limbo with my weight loss. I was going strong until December when I got sick, then the holidays came and went, and then I just sort of lost interest in the whole thing, and then I had renewed motivation, but then Lucas got sick. I could just throw in the towel now, since I'm very close to my goal weight. But I can't do that. I need to see this through to the end. And I have new motivation......I came across a picture of myself from October 2011. This would have been right before I got pregnant with Lucas, so I was probably about 5 pounds lighter than I am right now. I'm not sure what it is: the weight I was at, my slight tan, or maybe just the lighting, but I think I look really healthy in this picture. And I want to get back to that.

Week 30
Lbs Lost So Far: 22
Lbs Left To Lose: 3

If you read my post from yesterday then you know I have been eating differently lately. More fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and a ton less sugar. I think this will be the key to losing these last few pounds and feeling healthier.

As for achieving a tan? Well that's an unattainable goal.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Real Food

I recently finished reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food". He basically explains that over the past 50 years or so, the food available to us in grocery stores has become less and less "real". Food science has removed and added so many ingredients to our foods that most of it is no longer food. Many foods have an ingredient list a mile long, full of words I can't even pronounce.

I read this book nodding to myself, believing that I was a very healthy eater who avoids most high-processed foods. And to some extent, that is true. But then I started looking a little closer at ingredient labels and I realized that we are eating a lot of really weird things. For example, I recently came across a recipe for homemade bread crumbs. I thought "This is silly, why make them at home when I can buy them for a couple dollars? Surely store-bought bread crumbs don't have weird ingredients in them, right?".  The next day I picked up a package of plain bread crumbs and was shocked to see about 25 ingredients. So then I went home and made my own breadcrumbs. Number of ingredients? One.

As I was reading Pollan's book I learned that a friend was trying to give up all processed foods after reading this website: 100 Days of Real Food. I went to the website and was instantly hooked. I loved their story and decided to start making a few changes with what I buy and feed my family.

My two major changes are the following: 1) Read all food labels. If a food contains more than 5 ingredients or words I cannot pronounce or products I wouldn't find in my own pantry, don't buy it. 2) Try to make more foods from scratch. (Intimidating, I know!)

Here are a few "real" foods I have made from scratch recently.

Popcorn (I've been doing this for the past year or so after hearing how many scary things are in microwave popcorn. I buy my kernals at Trader Joe's and pop a big batch on the stove every couple weeks, then divide into sandwich bags for quick snacks. Coconut oil is a good option to use for this)

Egg Casserole Bites (I made these over the weekend to pack in Adam's lunches for work or to eat for an easy breakfast. Delicious!)

Easy Cheesy Crackers (These are really good, as long as you don't bite into one expecting it to taste like a Cheez-It. Ryan declared them "yutky" but Adam ate almost all of them! Bonus: these only contain 3 ingredients!)

Other foods I have made are whole wheat pancakes, granola, bread, granola balls, and fruit leather. (Click on the links for recipes)

Making foods from scratch that I would normally buy from the grocery store has been pretty fun for me because I love to cook and bake. I am hoping that if we can eat a cleaner, more "real" diet most of the time, it will give us a little wiggle room to more fully enjoy things like eating dessert, eating in restaurants, or just eating a little junk food here and there. It's all about balance.

So tell me, do you make anything from scratch? Have any good recipes to share? Up next I want to try making my own salad dressings.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Lucas had a fever from Tuesday night through Friday night. He also had some tummy troubles, so the Dr. diagnosed him as having a stomach virus that is going around. But then he started to become incredibly fussy on Saturday. Like nonstop crying. By Sunday morning he had broken out in a rash on his torso, so now I'm thinking he had Roseola, a common virus in babies that causes fever and rash. (Ryan had it at this exact same age)

But last week we also noticed that his two top front teeth are cutting through. His gums are bulging and he's miserable. Pretty much any activity that doesn't involve me holding him and bouncing/walking around results in major crying. The past two nights have been really bad. He was up literally every 20-30 minutes Saturday and Sunday night, crying and whimpering. My best guess is that his gums are really hurting, although I guess it's possible that he's still feeling crummy from his virus and rash, which has now spread to his entire body.
I want my happy baby back!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

If You Give A Mom A Muffin

I've been having a hard time lately keeping my house clean. I'm moving all day long, taking care of my boys and picking up after them, and of course cooking and doing dishes and laundry. Yet at the end of the day I often feel like I didn't get anything accomplished. And somehow, the house is still a mess.

I came across the following poem recently on the internet. I read it and laughed. Yes, this describes my days perfectly! This is why nothing ever gets finished.

If You Give A Mom A Muffinby Beth Brubaker

If you give a mom a muffin,
she’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She’ll pour herself some.
Her three year-old will come and spill the coffee.
Mom will wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks.
She’ll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry into the washer,
she’ll trip over shoes and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She’ll look for her cookbook
(How to Make 101 Things With a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse,
which is being dumped out by her two year-old.
Then she’ll smell something funny.
She’ll change the two year-old.
While she is changing the two year-old, the phone will ring.
Her five year-old will answer and hang up.
She’ll remember she was supposed to phone a friend
to come over for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some more.
And chances are,
if she has a cup a coffee,
her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Any Moms out there who can relate?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby Fever

My baby is sick again and I hate it. He has had a moderate fever (ranging between 100 and 102.8) since late Tuesday night. He's only content in my arms, where he just lays and stares at nothing in a baby fever daze.

It's really sad.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Partners in Crime

It's so sweet to see my boys playing together.
Lucas to Ryan: "Okay man, now just slide open the window, lift me up, and we'll be out of this joint!"

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Wolf?

The Wolf.

He is talked about so much in our household these days that he might as well be a member of the family.

It all started one night when I was trying to get Ryan to fall asleep. I told him the story of the 3 Little Pigs. When I told him about the wolf, he seemed a little unsure about him because he sounded kind of scary. But then he fell asleep.

Oops, I accidentally scared my child to sleep.
Hmmm this could work to my advantage.

A few days later I "scared" him to sleep for a nap. I told him that we needed to hide from the wolf. We hid in his bed together and I told him the story again until he fell asleep.

I was beginning to really like the wolf.
Sometimes the wolf is mentioned when Ryan won't get into the car to go somewhere. "Oh Ryan, I think I see the wolf! Quick! We better get into the car!"

Nowadays the wolf tends to come visit our house around 1pm. I "see" him outside and Ryan and I hide from him. And wouldn't you know it, sometimes he falls asleep!
Ryan doesn't seem like he's really afraid of the wolf, but more views it as a game. He loves to whisper "The Wolf!! Hide! Hide!" And then he drags the nearest blanket over to hide under.

So really, I have nothing to feel guilty about. Ryan loves the wolf!
At least that's what I'll be telling myself as long as the wolf gets Ryan to sleep.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Almost 3

The expression, the choice of foot apparel, the nakedness, the attitude......if this doesn't say "Almost 3", I don't know what does.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Too Fast

If you have a young child, you've probably received the advice of "Cherish these days, they go by so fast." Or perhaps you've heard other mothers fondly remembering their children's baby/toddler years and wishing they could relive them. Or others may have said they wished their baby could stay exactly as they are, and never grow up.

I've heard all these things. And to be honest, I've never really fully understood them until now. When Ryan was a baby all I wanted was for him to get older. I constantly looked ahead to the next stage. "When will it get easier?" I often found myself wondering. I couldn't wait for him to grow just a little bigger and reach the next developmental stage. Maybe this is how parents often feel with their first born. Every experience is new and whatever age is on the horizon seems like it will be just a little more fun or a little less demanding. I never really found myself hoping that Ryan would stay at a certain age. Perhaps I was too busy looking ahead to fully appreciate the present.
But now that I have a second child, it is suddenly very real to me just how fast they grow up. When I compare Lucas to Ryan, I see the vast differences between their ages. In the blink of an eye, Ryan has gone from a screaming newborn to this, this.....person. This person who has full conversations with me. This person who has a sense of humor. Who wants to dress (or undress) himself. Who has an opinion about every little thing.

Ryan came up to me after dinner the other night with a really sneaky look on his face. I knew he had something he wanted to tell me, except he didn't know how to say it. He kept fiddling around with his pockets. Finally he reached into his pocket and giggled as he pulled out a handful of change. "See?" he said to me with obvious delight. He was so proud and excited to show me that he had stolen money out of his Daddy's truck earlier and hadn't gotten caught.
Seriously? When did my first born turn into such a big kid?

And it's not just his personality. When I look at pictures of Ryan from literally 3 months ago, I am shocked by how much he has changed. His face has thinned out and his toddler chub is gone. (Doesn't help that he nearly starves himself on a daily basis these days). Most traces of his toddlerhood are gone. And it makes me sad. It makes me want to hit the "pause" button on his baby brother Lucas and keep him exactly where he's at right now, because I know how quickly he is going to change. I finally understand what everyone has been saying all along. It really does go by much too fast.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mt. Living Room

Lucas discovered our two living room steps yesterday. Guess what he did all day today? Practiced his climbing of course!

I think the sound effects were his way of cheering himself on. And wouldn't you know it, he got all the way to the top right after I stopped recording.

Darnit. I was kind of hoping he would stay immobile for a really long time.

Oh and here's Ryan doing the same thing at 6.5 months, only he was a lot less vocal about it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lucas: 7 Months

Dear baby Lucas, you are changing so quickly these days that I fear I won't be able to call you a baby for much longer!

7 months is a really great age. I am loving this stage right now because you are generally happy, not mobile enough that I need to chase you around, no defiant behavior yet, and less crying and more sleeping than previous months. All of that makes for a happy baby and a happy Mommy!

This past month you were focused on moving. You scoot/crawl all over the place and now that you are mobile, all you want to do is wiggle around and explore. Changing your diaper has become a serious wrestling match!

The only time you are still is when you are sleeping, and praise the Lord, your sleeping has been great this month! (Except for those two weeks of being sick). Ever since I let you cry yourself to sleep, you seem to really understand that you can fall asleep on your own. You take a morning and early afternoon nap of around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours each, and sometimes a little catnap in the late afternoon. I try to put you to sleep at night between 7:30 and 8pm. On a good night you will sleep about 6 hours before getting up to nurse and coming into our bed, and then you are awake again by 6:30 to nurse and get up for the day. How did I get so lucky?

You are eating 3 solid meals a day now, as well as nursing around 6 times in a 24-hour period. New foods for you this month were berries, turkey and chicken. You make the craziest faces when I feed you and I can't figure out why! (Obviously this picture isn't a good example, but you just have to trust me)

We bought you a doorway jumper for Christmas and you love it! You enjoy jumping so much now that you jump in my arms, in your exersaucer, your highchair, and while nursing. It's so funny to watch!

Your hair has continued to lighten since birth, which is exactly what happened to your Daddy's hair when he was a baby. Guess you'll be pretty handsome if you take after him! I haven't noticed any birth marks yet, unlike your brother and Mommy, who have 2 each.

Your personality has been really mellow lately. You are pretty quiet most of the time, although Ryan can definitely make you laugh by simply being himself. You love looking at people's faces and smiling in response to attention.
I love you sweet baby Lucas! (Also known as Lukey Luke or the Lukester)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weighty Wednesday: Resolutions

The new year has begun, and unfortunately my weight loss has not ended. The holidays got the better of me and I gained a pound since my last weigh-in. I kind of figured that would happen, and in the back of my mind I told myself I'd just begin a healthier diet once the new year started. You know, give up dessert for the month of January (except oops, I broke that resolution on Jan 1st). Or stop eating out. Except oops, I broke that Jan 2nd. So here I am, with 4 pounds still to lose. I'd love to make some sort of a resolution to re-motivate myself, except I can't think of a good goal. It needs to be something reasonable for me to accomplish with two little kiddos. Any suggestions?

Week 27
Lbs Lost So Far: 21
Lbs Left To Lose: 4

Goal: Come up with a healthier eating plan to re-motivate myself! A wonderful bonus would be if my eating habits would rub off on my little family.  =)