Friday, February 27, 2015

3 Things I Love About Rocklin

We visited our hometown this past weekend. It was great seeing family and friends, but it also made me a little sad because there are many things I still miss about Newark. However, there are many things about our new town that I really do love. Here are a few things I am loving about Rocklin right now:

1) Trees!
Or more specifically, the way they look as the seasons change. When we first moved here in the Fall the colors of the trees were gorgeous. Deep red, orange, yellow, green, and purple leaves were everywhere. Looking out our master bedroom window took my breath away at first because the trees outside were just so beautiful. Now that Spring is almost here, I am once again amazed at how beautiful the seasons are. We have a tree in our front yard that is blooming pink flowers (see above) and I love it! I realized the other day that these same pink trees are everywhere in Rocklin. The streets are just lined with trees bursting with pretty light pink flowers.

2) Neighborhood! This is more specific to our neighborhood. We live on a court, which I love. We can walk to our preschool in 1 minute because it's on our court! We can walk to the local park in 5 minutes. The Elementary school is also a 5 minute walk from our house, and the grocery store is about an 8 minute walk. We are also about a 5 minute drive from the middle school and high school. Talk about convenient! I also feel incredibly safe in our neighborhood and everyone I have talked to has been so friendly and welcoming.

3) Kids!
Seriously, everyone has kids up here. It is not uncommon to meet large families, and nobody bats an eye if you say you have 3, 4, or 5+ kids. It is just a very family-oriented community and I love that. Case in point: You now those shopping carts with the steering wheels that are for kids? They have a special area for kids to sit and "steer" the cart. Well, I haven't visited a grocery store up here that doesn't have them. They are everywhere. Even non-grocery stores have them because there are just so many families with children around here!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weighty Wednesday: Week 8

My goal for this past week was to exercise 3 times. I came pretty close....I would say I exercised 2.5 times. Ha! I took two really good walks and one mediocre walk. I'm counting these walks as definite exercise because I not only have Jenna strapped to my chest but I'm pushing Ryan and Lucas in the double stroller. These days that's the only way I'm going to get any exercise in.

I also focused a lot this week on portion control. I tried to stop eating dinner before I was really truly full. Before bed when I got the urge to munch on something I just drank a lot of water and tried to distract myself. I think it's okay to feel hungry sometimes and not instantly satisfy that hunger. There's no rule that says you have to eat every time your stomach feels a little hungry. Adam definitely doesn't agree with me on this point. What do you all think?

My attention to portion control and additional exercise this week finally paid off. I lost 2 more pounds!

Week 8
Lbs Lost So Far: 18
Lbs Left To Lose: 13

I think an 18 pound loss over two months is pretty amazing, and I know I owe a lot of it to the calories I am burning by breastfeeding. I hope I can keep this momentum going and lose the rest of the weight over the next few months. My plan is to schedule an appointment to get my hair cut and possibly highlighted once I lose all my weight. It gives me a nice reward to look forward to after all this hard work. (And my hair desperately needs a trim!)

So what should my goal be for this week? What goals do you set for yourself when you're trying to lose weight?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lyla Joy

My newest niece, Lyla Joy, came over for a playdate the other day! Lyla was born 1 month ago....she is just 2 months younger than Jenna!
They got together for the first time, and although neither was feeling particularly photogenic, I wanted to document their first "playdate"!
Jenna and Lyla are going to have so much fun playing together as they grow up. I think it's so special that they are so close in age and live so close to each other.
PS: (Why does my daughter look so bug-eyed in every picture?)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Jenna: 3 Months

Happy 3 months baby Jenna! (1 day early). 3 Months is supposed to be a "golden age" when babies stop crying so much and start interacting and smiling more. This was certainly the case with your brothers. You've never been a big crier so I don't notice much difference with you now vs last month!
Ryan has many nicknames for you. Sometimes it's "Goo-boo or chubby face. One day he called you "Little Trash Can" all day. I think his little names for you are too cute!
Adam and I call you "goo-goos" a lot because you LOVE saying "Ah-goo!". I can have an entire conversation with you, going back and forth saying "ah-goo" to each other. You love talking!
Getting you to sleep in your crib at night was a total fluke this month. Your brothers were both sick so I stuck you in your crib one night in an attempt to keep you away from their germs. And guess only woke up once all night! You've slept in your crib every night for the last week, only waking up to nurse once around 2-3am. I am so blessed by your nighttime sleep.
Naps during the day are not so good, but I'd prefer you to sleep well at night if I had to pick one! During the day I spend a lot of time trying to get you to sleep for naps. I place you in your crib and it seems like you are asleep, but then you'll wake up 3 times in the next twenty minutes and I keep having to put you back to sleep. You average 3-4 naps a day, each around 30 minutes.
You drool a lot now. It's almost like spitting instead of drooling. You also started spitting up this month. You love sucking on your hands and if I didn't know better I'd think you were about to cut a tooth!
You aren't quite rolling over (both your brothers were by this age!) but you certainly wiggle and squirm around a lot. If I put you in your lamby seat you immediately try to sit up and move around. You hate being on your tummy so I'm not sure you'll be rolling over anytime soon.
Just for fun, here are pictures of you and your brothers, all at 3 months of age. Serious Ryan, Goofy Lucas, and Sweet Jenna. I think you look more like Ryan than Lucas. You are also smaller like your brother Ryan. Lucas had 2 pounds on you guys at this age!
I'm excited to see more of your little personality emerge this month. I love you sweet Jenna Mae!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weighty Wednesday: A Wash

Week 7 of my diet started out poorly. I was recovering from being sick, and then I over-indulged this weekend on desserts for Valentine's Day. By Monday morning I was ready to get things back on track, so I started taking pictures of everything I ate. Knowing I had to share these with the blog world definitely motivated me to clean up my diet! I weighed myself Sunday night and I was actually up 1 lb! By this morning I was down 1.5 lbs, for a total of only half a pound lost this week. I'm going to just call this week a wash and keep my pounds left to lose at 15.
Lbs Lost So Far: 16
Lbs Left To Lose: 15
Here are the two days' worth of meals that I documented on Monday and Tuesday.
 Breakfast: Oatmeal made with milk, flax and cinnamon. I topped it with banana and almond butter. Coffee with half n half on the side.
I took the kids to the park for lunch. I ate some popcorn, cucumbers, cuties, and cheese rolled up in some lunchmeat.
That afternoon I grabbed a handful of cashews.
Dinner was some BBQ'd shredded chicken, a yam topped with butter, kale chips, and steamed broccoli and carrots.
A little after dinner wine.
Tuesday Breakfast: Black coffee, boiled egg, bowl of Puffed Kamut topped with frozen blueberries and milk.
Lunch: Carrots, cucumbers and crackers dipped into jalapeno cilantro hummus from the Farmer's Market!
Lunch didn't fill me up so I ate a delicious bowl of yogurt that afternoon. This is Fage full fat plain yogurt with maple syrup drizzled in. Also Lucas' all time favorite snack. (Or meal)
Dinner: Salmon, raspberries, cornbread, broccoli.
1 square of peppermint dark chocolate after dinner!
I think the time has come to start exercising. Diet alone can only get me so far....I also need to burn more calories during the day by getting my heart rate up. Here's the thing though.....I really don't like to exercise. It's fun if I have a buddy to walk with but I don't really have that up here so I'm not as motivated. This week I'm going to try to exercise 3 times, though. That could be a long walk pushing the double stroller or maybe a workout on TV. I'll report back next week on what I did! (Anyone want to join me for a walk?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lucas' Cute Sayings

Lucas says some really cute things these days.
"Know why Mommy? Why Lucas? Cuz!!"
"Roar! Oh it's a monster! (Puts his arms around me and kisses me) It's okay Mommy, it's just me!"
(Handing me a hotwheels car) "Mommy start your engine! Vrrrrrm"
(When Jenna is smiling) "Baby not sad! Aww I love you too baby Jenna"
(When I'm reciting the little piggies to him) Points to his big toe. "That not little piggy. That my Papa toe!"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stitch Fix Review #11

Time for another Stitch Fix Review! This month I asked my stylist to send me colorful prints and patterns to get me ready for the Spring. I also requested a grey military jacket because I've wanted one for a long time now. I love that I can choose how specific to make my requests to my stylist. I can list specific items I'd like to receive, or leave my requests more vague so that I'm surprised with what they choose for me. I love surprises!
Here is the note my stylist wrote to me this month: Hi Stephanie, I had fun filling this Fix with prints and patterns that are perfect for spring! I was able to find you the Lydia blouse by Collective Concepts that you pinned. Nothing says spring like this bright floral print, style it with your leggings and a cardigan for a trip to the park, or dress it up with some skinny jeans and heels for a date night out! The Papermoon tank and the Alejandra blouse are great layering pieces that will add some fun color and patterns to your wardrobe. The Papermoon tank will look especially good with your Abrianna cardigan! I was also able to find you a fabulous grey cargo jacket by Coffeeshop that I think you are going to love. It runs a little small so I sent you the next size up thinking it will be perfect for spring and by fall you will be able to wear it with a sweater! Enjoy! Heather
My pictures this month in the clothes are pretty bad. I've been taking care of sick kids and trust don't want to see what I look like right now. So I have conveniently chopped off my head in these pictures. You should thank me! Unfortunately I also didn't have time to pair these Stitch Fix items with the appropriate clothes from my closet. So I just threw on a paid of white jeans and snapped some pics really quickly. I'll do better next month!

Here is what I got:

Kennedi Knit Sleeve Cargo Jacket by Coffeeshop
This jacket was sooo close to what I was looking for! The grey color was perfect, as was the fit. Unfortunately I just wasn't in love with the printed knit sleeves. If this jacket had been grey all over I'm almost positive I would have kept it. Adam loved it and told me to keep it. However, I felt like the sleeves made it less versatile. If I kept it I would always be uncertain about what kind of shirt to wear underneath it. I want a military jacket that can be worn over any print or pattern, and this one just wasn't it. So close though! Status: RETURNED

Alejandra Split Neck Blouse by FUN2FUN
When I first pulled this top out of the box I wasn't in love with it. The print didn't look like "me" and it looked too big. But then I tried it on. Adam immediately loved it and told me to keep it. I love how cold the material is and think it would be great to wear in the warm springtime weather here. I can picture it looking cute with dark skinny jeans and a cardigan and or even with white shorts in the summer. I also really like the split neckline. The last two shirts I kept from Stitch Fix have a split neck and I think it is a flattering neckline on me. (I'm learning all sorts of things from doing Stitch Fix!) Status: KEPT

Lydia Floral Print Key-Hole Blouse by Collective Concepts
This tank top is one that I pinned to my Stitch Fix pinterest board after seeing it on a number of other Stitch Fix reviews. I thought the floral pattern was really unique, and I can picture it looking great under my mustard colored cardigan. Unfortunately the top just didn't "wow" me in person like I thought it would. I love the colors but something about the fit just felt strange. I was kind of disappointed that I didn't love it like I thought I would. Status: RETURNED

Renoir Kimono by Honey Punch
When I read online that I would be receiving a kimono in my box I thought "Oh no, I am NOT a kimono kind of person". Then I googled a few kimonos that other Stitch Fixers had received and started to get excited by the idea of a kimono. I was seeing lots of pretty floral prints and I could imagine them looking cute over a white t-shirt in the warm weather. So when I pulled this black and white chevron print kimono out of my box, I was confused. This wasn't what I was expecting at all! Once I tried it on I hated how it made me look. The dolman-style sleeves just make me look really wide across the top. I'm already large enough on top right now, and I don't need to keep anything that's going to made me look bigger. Status: RETURNED

Ocala Henley Tank by Papermoon
 I really liked this tank top. The fabric was incredibly soft and the shirt fit really well. I even put my Abrianna cardigan over it, as my stylist suggested I pair the two together. I went back and forth over this shirt, but ultimately decided to only keep one item this month. I probably would have kept this shirt if my budget allowed for it! Status: RETURNED

So as you can see I only kept one item this month. But that's okay because I am saving up my clothing allowance for future fixes! Once I lose more baby weight I want to request some jeans, shorts, and summery dresses from Stitch Fix. My summer wardrobe is seriously lacking, and I can't wait to see what Stitch Fix sends me next time!

What are you waiting for? Have you signed up for Stitch Fix yet? I would love it if you used my referral link here, as I receive a small clothing credit for each person who signs up under my name. Let me know if you get a Fix!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weighty Wednesday: Sick Week

I was too busy taking care of sick kids this week to pay any attention to my diet. I ate very minimal produce and didn't drink enough water. I did, however, stick to my goal of not eating after dinner. (Except for one night when I pulled freshly baked bread out of the oven!) One side effect of being so busy with sick kids is not having a lot of time to eat. And not having much time to eat means I lost 3 more pounds. Not the healthiest way to do it, but it's still weight lost.

One piece of good news is that I am back in regular jeans, instead of wearing maternity jeans all the time! The jeans I'm fitting in to are still 2 sizes above my pre-Jenna size. But they are regular jeans and I'm excited to be able to wear them! I know that even after losing the next 15 pounds I still won't fit in to my smallest jeans for a while. Everything on my body shifts around after being pregnant. It's been my experience that my body doesn't look and feel totally normal until my kids are at least a  year old. I guess this just means I'll have to go shopping for new jeans in a couple months!

Week 6
Lbs Lost So Far: 16
Lbs Left To Lose: 15

My goal this week will just be to get back on track with healthy eating. (And to not get sick myself!). I was planning on beginning some sort of exercise this week but that won't happen with sick kids. So I'll save that one for the following week.

Monday, February 9, 2015

First Valentines

It occurred to me last week that Ryan needs Valentines this year to hand out to his preschool class. This is new territory for us. I thought about buying the generic ones that are attached to candy. Those would be totally fine and easy. However, I try so hard not to let my boys have tons of candy. I let them eat treats when they are out at school or birthday parties or friends' houses. But I control what they eat when they are at home. And candy is a rare treat around here. For something like handing out Valentines, I was conflicted. Do I go with the standard candy loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients? Do I avoid handing out a sweet treat at all? (No fun!) I finally decided that Valentine's Day deserves something sweet. Just not artificial.
I saw this idea on the Facebook page of Real Fit, Real Food Mom. I feel like it is the perfect compromise of a sweet treat that doesn't contain a bunch of artificial junk. It is a honey stick through a heart with a bow and arrow. We wrote "Bee Mine!" on them and I plan on finding some heart or bumble bee stickers to put on them. I am most definitely NOT crafty, but these were pretty simple and I think they turned out cute.
How do you handle Valentine's Day and other holidays? Do you let your kids eat as much candy as they want, avoid it all together, or find a happy medium? Who knows what I'll do next year....I may end up buying the artificial candy just because it is easier! For this year I'm happy with Ryan's first Valentines.