Friday, June 30, 2017

Adam's 3rd Stitch Fix

Adam received his 3rd Stitch Fix this week and it was his best one yet!
This fix was actually a bit of a surprise, as both Adam and I forgot that it was scheduled to come. I quickly left a note for his stylist requesting casual inexpensive pieces for HOT weather. And she definitely delivered!

Here is the note from his stylist: "Hey, Adam, and Happy Fix day! I'm happy to be styling you again and I hope you're having an enjoyable summer so far. Wow, you weren't kidding when you said it's hot there....and I thought Texas was bad! Let's get you some new summer clothes. The Flag & Anthem shorts will be perfect for casual summer days. They're a linen/cotton blend so they'll be nice and breathable. Try them with each of the shirts in this Fix and add the black sneakers to complete the look. The Julian & Mark polo will also look good with jeans or casual chino pants, should you need to dress up a little more. Let me know how everything works for you. I hope you're able to find something that you like and I hope you can find a way to keep cool for the next couple of months! Take care--Maribeth"

Essential Spacedye Crew Tee by Hawker Rye

It looks gray in this picture but this tee is actually a deep blue. I thought it looked great on Adam. It was a basic comfy tee, but just different enough with the spacedye pattern to be special. I've seen Adam dress the same way for 20 years, so it's always fun to see him in something a little different. Adam wasn't initially sure about the spacedye effect. Status: UNDECIDED

Westford Linen Short by Flag and Anthem

Adam was happy to see that these shorts were a size 35.....a size that is difficult for him to find in stores. These fit him perfectly and he loved the way they felt. They at a nice light gray color. I doubt Adam has ever owned anything made out linen before! He liked these so much that he pulled off the tags and wore them immediately. Status: KEPT

Charlie Spaedye Polo by Julian and Mark

Another spacedye shirt! Adam put this on and could NOT stop talking about how soft and comfortable it was. The material was so incredibly thin, and that is how Adam prefers his clothes. I've never heard him gush about a polo shirt like this. He declared it "the most comfortable top he's ever worn". Status: UNDECIDED, but probably keeping.

The Rosen Runner Sneaker by Greats

We had mixed feelings about these shoes. I didn't immediately love them. Adam didn't either, but he appreciated that the soles were made out of vibram, the same material as his workboots. This meant they were incredibly comfy. Unfortunately they were just a tiny bit snug in the toes. Stitch Fix does allow exchanges, so Adam could request the next size up for no shipping fees. Status: UNDECIDED

Essential Stripe Crew Tee by Hawker Rye
Another easy casual shirt that Adam loved. The fit was perfect and the color combo of the stripes was just different enough without being too trendy for Adam. He ripped off the tags and wore it for the rest of the day. Status: KEPT

Here is where it gets tricky. Adam loved 3 out of the 5 items. But when you keep all 5 items in your Stitch Fix box, you get a 25% discount. This means his 2 tops, shorts, shoes, and polo shirt would cost him approximately the same amount as keeping only his 3 favorites. What to do, what to do?

This was Adam's best fix so far. He is all about comfort and that's exactly how we would describe this fix. If you would like to try Stitch Fix for yourself or the man in your life, please consider using Adam's referral link below!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Weighty Wednesday: Healthy Fats

I lost 1 pound this week and man, I really had to work for it! I did really well with my diet and found myself eating a lot more healthy fats to keep myself satisfied. Remember, eating fat doesn't make you fat! At least not healthy fats in moderation. 

Lbs Lost So Far: 13
Lbs Left To Lose: 14

I pretty much stuck to the same types of foods for breakfast and lunch everyday. I alternated between plain yogurt with homemade granola and fruit, or chia pudding with fruit and coconut chips. Once I made chia pudding using coconut milk and it was delicious. The healthy fats really kept me full all morning. A new product I've been trying is this Super Seed and Ancient Grain Blend from Trader Joe's.
I sprinkle it on oatmeal, yogurt, chia pudding, etc. It gives it great crunch, in addition to all the health benefits of sprouted seeds.
For lunch I've been making a big bowl of veggies or a salad and topping it with some sort of protein like leftover chicken or boiled eggs. I've also been putting feta cheese on all my lunches because I bought a large container at Costco. If I was hungry in the afternoon I'd grab some salted peanuts or make myself a smoothie. I bought a big bag of avocados at Costco so I've been eating a lot of those. My new obsession is this Avocado Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie. Don't let the avocado scare you. It is absolutely delicious!! If I was craving something sweet in the afternoon, this did the trick. I made the full recipe and split it with Jenna, as it is pretty filling for just a snack.

Dinners have been whatever I make for my family, except I try to substitute or swap out the carbs. For example one night we had pot roast and I ate my meat over riced cauliflower instead of rice or potatoes. Last night was taco night and I ate mine as a salad instead of in a tortilla.

So I feel like I'm doing a great job making healthy food choices. And I am active all day, rarely sitting down except to nurse the baby. But the weight is just coming off slowly. I'm trying to be patient and accept that I'm older and my metabolism may be slower this time around.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Andrew: 4 Months

Happy 4 Months Andrew!

You are such a sweet little boy. This month you started babbling and you haven't stopped! You love looking at faces and listening to people talk to you. Your face lights up and you start cooing and babbling baby sounds. You also laugh now, which is adorable!

You nurse well and often. You are still very infant-like in your schedule. You like to take lots of little catnaps and snacks throughout the day. Your nursing sessions are getting shorter and shorter, and when you are done you always like to lay and "talk" to me.

You adore Lucas and think he is hilarious! He can almost always make you laugh.

You can roll over both ways, but don't seem too motivated. When I put you down you tend to just babble or chew on your hands (SO much drool!), rather than try to move and get somewhere. Your brothers were definitely movers at this age, but so far you are more of a talker.

Your hairline forms into a widow's peak on your forehead, as you can see here:

The other day you discovered your reflection and you were so happy to see another baby smiling back at you!

I'm really loving this age. You are just so sweet and content, as long as your needs are met. You do prefer to be held by me, but I really don't mind. Knowing you are most likely my last baby makes me want to savor these sweet baby days.

I love you so much "Andy-Drew" or "Drewski". My big 4-month old!

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.