Monday, June 30, 2014

Preggo Food

I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of what I've been eating lately. In my second trimester I am finally craving healthier foods....lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods like yogurt and whole grain rice blends have also been tasting really good. In my first trimester I ate a lot of eggs for breakfast but now I tend to wake up craving something sweeter like fruit and yogurt or oatmeal.
One of my absolute favorite snacks these days is raw vegetables with some sort of vinegar-based dressing on them. The vinegar tastes so good!

A snack of radishes, tomatoes, and basil topped with homemade balsamic vinegarette.
This one was such a good afternoon snack! It is a salad from my childhood....cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion tossed with salt and pepper, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I didn't intend to eat the whole bowl but I couldn't help myself. I drank the vinegar out of the bottom of the bowl. Is that weird?? I wonder what it means when you crave vinegar while pregnant.
I didn't think the vegetables and vinegar could get any better until I had the bright idea to top them with feta cheese. Oh my goodness, I think this is my favorite food combination right now.
Now obviously I don't eat vegetables all the time. Another food that I'm loving is pizza....more specifically, pizza cooked on the BBQ! Last week I made a couple homemade pizzas and had Adam cook them on the BBQ for me. Adam declared it some of the best pizza he had ever eaten. I thought it was pretty amazing as well. Mine was topped with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. I sautéed some kale with Ryan, hoping he would eat some but he wouldn't. So I ate the entire head of kale myself. Vitamins for the baby!
We enjoyed the pizza so much that we BBQ'd a couple more last night!
So that's a little glimpse of what I've been eating lately. I am still craving some unhealthy foods, including brownies and Chinese food. Chinese food always sounds good but I never buy or make it because Adam doesn't like it. I think I need to change that! Aversions still include coconut (yuck!!) and sometimes ground beef or the thought of Mexican food.

What have you been eating lately?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Of Fun

I am very much aware of the fact that once Nully Baby #3 comes along in November, I will have less time to spend with my boys. Fewer opportunities to get out and go on fun adventures and less one-on-one time with either of them. So I've been trying really hard to make this a fun summer for them!
We've been spending a lot of time at the park:
 Including amusement parks:
Enjoying special treats:
Exploring the great outdoors:
And of course, driving the shopping cart car at Home Depot:
What are you doing with your kids this summer?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Not In Vain

Ryan has said a couple of really sweet things lately that I want to share. Ryan is going through a rather frustrating phase of disobedience right now so I want to try to focus on the amazing things he is doing and learning these days.

We teach Ryan about God and Jesus and he is exposed to it at church as well as preschool, Mops, and Awana. But sometimes it's hard to know whether he is retaining anything he hears.
I was reminded recently that whenever we teach our children about God, it is not in vain.
We had our babysitter over the other day and she asked Ryan if he thought the new baby would be a boy or a girl. He replied by saying he didn't know, and that it would be whatever God gives us.  I thought that was such a sweet answer! Especially because I don't remember ever saying those exact words in front of Ryan.
Then just last week I witnessed something heart melting between my two boys. Ryan was telling Lucas that Jesus lives in his heart. He then asked Lucas if God was in his heart. When Lucas didn't respond, Ryan said "Do you want him to come into your heart? Just say this. Dear God. Come into my heart. Amen."
It was perhaps the best thing I have ever heard Ryan say.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Produce Progress

I think the entire world knows that I have a couple of really picky eaters for kids. Friends often offer me advice or send me articles promising new ways to get picky eaters to eat healthy foods. I genuinely appreciate the advice. But I have definitely become pessimistic over the past few years about whether anything will actually work. It's hard to not get discouraged when, although the books say my kids may need 10-20 exposures to a food before trying it, my boys have been exposed to most healthy foods hundreds of times, and still refuse to even touch them.
(A snack tray I prepared for a playdate at my house. I hoped the peer pressure of seeing other kids eating fruits and veggies would inspire my boys to try them. No such luck this time.)

So you can imagine my excitement when we had two mini break-throughs recently. I was at Costco the other day with Lucas and I purchased a large clamshell container of organic raspberries. When Lucas saw them in the package he immediately wanted to eat them, right in the middle of the store. You better believe I let him! (They don't need to be washed right? They're organic!). The next day I put a couple on his lunch plate and he immediately handed them back to me. I figured the raspberry eating had just been a fluke. But then the next day he saw me washing the remaining raspberries in the clamshell container and ended up eating at least 10 right out of the package. I'm still not sure why he liked eating them out of the tray but not off of his plate. But I may try serving more food family style, where Lucas can see all of the portions right in front of him at the table.

With Ryan, I don't think he has touched a vegetable in at least a year. I would like to get him exposed more to picking out and cooking food with me. I have always heard you should cook with your kids from an early age, but it's just not realistic for me to do with Lucas at this age. And because Lucas is always with me, I never get a chance to be alone with Ryan and cook with him. A couple weeks ago I was about to make dinner and Adam was playing with Lucas. Since Lucas was occupied I asked Ryan if he wanted to help me make the kale for dinner. He agreed and pulled up a chair. He helped me saute the kale, squeeze in the lemon, and add in the garlic. He was in such a good mood that night he set the table and served kale onto everyone's plate without me even asking. I was shocked. When I asked him if we should try the kale we had made, he said yes and took a bite! I was speechless. He said he liked it, but didn't take another bite. Still though, it was huge progress! A week later we had just left the store when I exclaimed "Oh no! I forgot to get kale!". Ryan immediately told me we needed to go back to the store to get some because he likes kale now. What?! So am I confident he will try it again next time I make it? No. But at least he tried a bite of a vegetable and it gave me a tiny sliver of hope that someday he will willingly eat green food!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

17-Week Prenatal Visit

I had my 17-week prenatal appointment earlier this week. Everything is looking great!

Blood Pressure: 113/67
Weight Gain: 11 lbs

I felt like this was a lot of weight to gain at this point in my pregnancy, but after looking back on my blog I see that this is the exact same amount I had gained at this point with Lucas. I asked the midwife about my tendency to gain a lot of weight while pregnant (36 with Ryan, 49 with Lucas) and she assured me it was right on target. She said that since my blood pressure is great and my starting weight was in a healthy range, I have nothing to worry about. She basically told me to just relax and enjoy the pregnancy. Ok, I think I can try to do that!
Please excuse the bad picture. Ryan and Lucas aren't exactly up for the challenge of taking my picture yet.

I complained about my frequent headaches which are not relieved by Tylenol. She gave me a few alternative methods to try, but said not to take Motrin, which is the only thing that seems to help me! Darn. One piece of great news is that the sciatic pain has pretty much disappeared over the past couple weeks. The midwife said the baby has probably changed position and is no longer pressing on the nerve.

No baby kicks yet, but I didn't feel them with my boys until 20 weeks. I can't wait to feel this little one move! And of course I am even more excited about our ultrasound in early July that will hopefully reveal the gender!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lucas' 2-Year Checkup

I took Lucas in for his 2-year doctor checkup last week. Here are his growth stats:

Weight: 26 lbs, 3 oz (27%)
Height: 33.25 inches (27%)
Head: 19 inches (39%)

Lucas' growth has definitely slowed down, which I think is normal for this age. At his 18-month checkup he weighed 26 lbs, so he gained a whopping 3 oz over the past 6 months. My boys just don't like to eat! But they sure like to move and burn calories.

Developmentally, Lucas is right on track. His gross motor skills are beyond his age. He can correctly name some colors and his speech is really starting to pick up. I'm not worried about any of those areas.
The one thing that still concerns me is how much Lucas still hits his head against the wall. (It has been going on for a year now). Add in his horrible, frequent tantrums, and I am feeling really frustrated by his behavior. By the end of the day I often feel like either ripping my hair out or just sitting down to cry. Lucas's behavior has become so exhausting for me, both physically and mentally. I have been meeting with a child psychologist to try to figure out why he is behaving this way and what we can do about it. Together we have brainstormed a few ideas to help with the head-banging and also to minimize Lucas harming himself or others during tantrums. I updated the doctor on what we have tried and he encouraged me to continue meeting with the psychologist. I am hoping something starts to work soon, and I may write a post about it once things improve.

So overall it was a good visit with the doctor because I felt like he really listened and gave me his honest advice about Lucas. The fact that Lucas tests at or above his age level for every developmental category is very encouraging. Now if we can just move past this difficult phase, I'll feel a bit more ready for the next baby to come along!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two Boys In One Room

We're being brave and trying something different. Two boys in one room! Our neighbors were giving away a free car toddler bed so I snagged it. And here's what we did this afternoon.
Lucas has been walking around saying "tar bed!" all afternoon. Both boys are excited about sharing a room so I really hope this works! We tried putting the boys together once before but after being up all night with them we gave up. This time we have some new strategies we are going to try. Wish us luck!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Plague

It's been a germy couple of weeks here. It all started two Wednesdays ago right before Ryan's big Awana graduation ceremony. He fell asleep in my arms before dinner and woke up with a fever. It lasted for a few days and turned into a bad cold.

Adam got it next, but I was confident I would stay healthy. Unfortunately I was wrong. Lucas and I got sick 8 days ago and we are just now finally feeling human again. This was a really bad cold/flu with fevers, congestion, sore throats (which I still have!), eye gunk, and horrible coughs.

Lucas was especially sick, with a fever that came and went for 4 days. Two nights in a row he was shaking uncontrollably from the climbing temperature, and that was scary to watch. He's been coughing so hard that I've been thrown up on a few times. In addition, he has a double ear infection.

Yes, it's been a fun couple of weeks. I am ready to get out of the house, put away the medicine bottles, and finally get some sleep at night!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lucas: Two

Happy 2nd Birthday Lucas!
If I could use one word to describe you lately it would be "animated". Your noise level, facial expressions, tantrums, laughter, and just overall attitude are all very animated.
Although the doctors say you are a little behind in speech for your age, I feel like you talk a lot! I think you just make so much noise that I may be confusing that with actual talking. You do say quite a few words, though. Your three favorite words are "ME", "MAMA" and "NO". Your newest two words are Mommeeeeeee and Daddeeeeeee!
Your tantrums are insane. They happen constantly, from the time you wake up in the morning until every night when you don't want to go to bed. You do all the classic toddler tantrum moves....screaming, kicking, biting, crying, throwing yourself on the floor. It's lots of fun.
On the flip side, when you are in a good are in a GOOD mood. You can be so incredibly goofy and just watching you makes me laugh! You can turn anything into a game. One of your new favorite activities is spinning around in circles and then falling on the floor laughing. Adam's one word to describe you is "goofy".
You have a personality that really seems to embrace life and jump into situations. (Literally! You will climb up and jump off of just about anything. No fear!). You like loud noises and seeing or hearing new things makes you curious, rather than fearful. I think you are going to be the type of person who leaps first and thinks later. Totally opposite from your Mommy!
Your relationship with your brother can be very sweet, although it has its ups and downs. You and Ryan play a lot more together these days, zooming your cars around the house. You also fight a lot and almost anything can turn into a competition between the two of you. I must say, you are often the instigator, stealing Ryan's toy or hitting him if you don't get your way. I can't really leave you two alone longer than a few minutes without some sort of fight breaking out. Can't you just learn to get along?
You are such a picky eater. I didn't think it was possible to have a second child just as picky as the first, but you prove me wrong every day at mealtime. Some of your favorite foods include anything sweet, crackers, fruit pouches, and muffins. Oh yes, and whipped cream.
Some of your favorite things include being naked, dancing to music, Thomas the train, and being held by me. Things I love about you include your eye color (blue with a large ring of gold/hazel in the center), and your fun-loving, happy-go-lucky personality.
I love you so much my happy Lucas. Happy Birthday!

Monday, June 2, 2014

14 Week Aches and Pains

Here I am just over 14 weeks and already feeling like a 9-month pregnancy lady waddling around. Maybe not quite that bad, but I am definitely limping for a good part of the day.

The pain started a few weeks ago in my very lower back/hip area. I emailed a midwife and she told me I was too early on in my pregnancy for it to be sciatic pain, and that I should try wearing support underwear. Talk about making me feel like an old lady! Days later it got to be so bad that I went to the doctor and they told me it was most likely sciatica. It comes and goes during the day, but hurts the worst when I put weight on the opposite side of my body, giving me a small limp.

The doctor recommended the following things: resting when it hurts, lots of warm baths, no heavy lifting, and prenatal yoga. Ha! Doesn't she know I have two little kids? I can try to do some of these things but most likely I won't be laying down to rest during the day and taking baths every night. Not unless my boys learn how to take care of themselves! She did say that while the pain will most likely last during the remainder of my pregnancy, it will probably go away once the baby is born.