30 July 2014

Lily isms 23

We heard crickets:
"Momma, what do I hear? I think it's a snake. Or an elephant."

"Here, Momma. Take Kaylee before I drop her."

"Alright, Daddy, let's get building!"

"Rain is very wet. It can wash poop off anytime."

"Momma! I can't do a super kick!"

"Emma is stinking up the room!"

Lily: what are you doing, Daddy?
Jesse: I'm just sitting here listening to the birds.
Lily: but I don't see any birds flying! I just hear them going tweet tweet!

Looking at a picture of a kangaroo:
"See how the kangaroo carries her baby in her basket?"

"Emma, sit on my lap! But don't poop on me!"

"Momma, I did it! You're a great friend. I'm going to give you a hug."

To preface: talking to babies in "baby talk" is a huge pet peeve of mine. Don't try and convince me that it helps children develop speech better. I don't believe it and it annoys me. That being said, Lily has started talking "baby talk" to Kaylee:
Me: Lily, please use your words, I don't like that tone of voice.
Lily: but Momma, that's boring!  

Jesse and Lily built a Superman and Lex Luther Lego set:
"Momma, this is Lufer the Lufer."

Lily: Momma got me pretzels!
Jesse: yeah, she's the best.
Lily: yes. She's the greatest snacker I ever saw.

25 July 2014

and done!

Guys, I'm being completely serious when I say that the Whole 30 Diet was awesome.  Jesse and I had tossed around various, "let's cut out so much meat," or "let's eat less bread," or "we need to not as much processed junk," sporadically for years.  And while cutting back works for some people, cutting out works way better for me.  In most situations, I do better to just completely remove the temptation, of whatever it is, than to just try and cut it back.

As I said previously, I do think Jesse and I had a slight advantage to our 30 days than others because I could spend all day planning and prepping what we'd have for dinner or the next day.  Not like I really spent all day getting ready for dinner- hello, I have 3 kids- but if I needed to spend a few hours prepping, I had that luxury.  For instance, one evening we had wings and I made 3 different marinades.  And then of course we needed Ranch for dipping, so I had to make mayo first and then the Ranch.  That took some time, and I am pretty sure that all the people who work outside the home aren't going to want to do that upon arriving home from work in the evening.

We both feel that our month on this "diet" was a smashing success: we have a better outlook on food, we feel great, we both lost overall inches, I lost my allergies- yes, they're gone!- and we both lost weight.  I generally feel I have more energy, also.

And now?
Moving forward, we are just continuing on with our new eating habits.  We did have a potluck that we went to on Monday and I finally got my pizza last night.  But really, while we had just whatever potluck food we wanted, we both decided that while the desserts all looked good, and shared a few bites to try, none of it really tasted good enough to us to want to eat much of it.  This is huge for me again.  I love desserts.  I have a huge sweet tooth.  Yes, some of the desserts were good, but I didn't want to sit down and gorge myself.  That was exciting for me.  I still highly recommend reading the book, It Starts with Food, and learning about what you're putting in your mouth, but Jesse and I have both come to understand our food better and which ones we really need to watch out for.  Because while I do love chips, they have zero nutritional value, they're terrible for you, and you (I) could eat an entire bag without batting an eye or feeling stuffed and that is a horrible pattern to fall into.  Yes, it was tasty to splurge, but I didn't really care or enjoy it enough to fall back into that eating style just yet.  And last night, I had a dream about doughnuts...which was odd since I rarely remember dreams.  But I had a dream that Jesse and I found a place that had a Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton's and Krispy Kreme all next to each other and he bought me the same doughnut from each place so I could compare.  ...yes, I realize that's ridiculous.

I really don't want to bore you all, so if you have questions or want to hear more about the Whole 30, please feel free to message me.

Thanks for bearing with me, I have more thoughts here, but don't want to bore you.  And I know you're really here to hear about my girls.

Last weekend, Jesse, Kaylee and I went up to Pittsburgh IKEA while Lily and Emma hung out with friends.  I miss IKEA.  But we went to buy Lily and Emma "big girl" dressers, hopefully ones that will last a really long time..
They had been sharing one dresser, but now they each have their own and I still don't know what to do with all the space.  Little girl clothes don't take up as much space in a drawer as adult clothes, and while my children are very blessed in the clothes department, they don't have enough to fill the dressers, which I'm thankful for.

Lily is doing great.  I don't know too many almost-4-year-olds, but I think she's brilliant.  She is absorbing knowledge all over the place and starting to grasp some concepts pretty well.  She is showing signs that she's ready for stuff, and I know I am what's holding her back because I just don't have the time or energy to sit down and teach her things all day in an organized manner.  We still enjoy doing flash cards and working on writing letters, but part of homeschooling- and just being a mom in general- is that you use everyday mundane things as teachable moments.  But yesterday in the van, she was playing with her shoelaces, trying to tie them, and I couldn't just pull over and show her how to do it correctly right then and there.  I wish I could have, but it isn't always feasible to jump on teaching moments when kids are excited about them.  

Emma is great, also.  She has always had an obvious personality, but her little quirks and mannerisms are really coming through even more now.  I enjoy watching her repeat some of the same little hand gestures and head tilts Lily did at that age, and it's kind of weird because Lily doesn't do them as much anymore and they aren't ones that Jesse and I do.  But she seems to be very excitable and she is thrilled with little things.  Lily has started to enjoy trying to work through the numbers with Emma, and I like listening to them in the backseat as Lily counts slowly to 10 and encourages Emma to repeat the numbers in order.  Unfortunately, Emma has also hit a shy stage and isn't as outgoing as she normally is.  That's ok, it isn't as bad as the one Lily went through, but it still can be obnoxious to see some of these stages.

Kaylee is a baby ready to go.  She's been growing like a weed, pushing ahead of where I'd like her to be mobility wise, which is resulting in less sound sleep through the night.  My biggest gripe with babies that are starting to move is that you can't just put them in their cribs anymore and expect a content baby.  No, no.  Everything must be touched, sucked on, flailed about and eventually thrown out of the crib before frustrated cries because everything is gone.  Babies are funny.  She is sitting up pretty well, though I wouldn't leave her in the middle of the room by herself without padding around her yet.

I'm sure I had more stories, but I forget them.  That's what comes with starting a blog one day and finishing it another.  Or, truth be told, several days.  So I'm just going to be done for now and hopefully back soon.  With pictures to keep you entertained since I don't have any great ones to share this time...sorry.  But here is one of the girls' new dressers!  Jesse will be building shelves into their rooms, so we eventually will be able to clear the organized clutter off the top of their dressers, but this is how life goes for now.
I may be an abnormal amount of excited about this. 

17 July 2014

Day 25/30, Day 5/6

At this point of our Whole 30 diet, or at least this morning, I feel that our diet change is now part of every day life.  It isn't as big of a struggle to me to come up with meals, and I've gone away from a strict meal plan so I didn't have to spend all day thinking about what I'd make for dinner.  Maybe I need to get back to that somewhat, have a little more of a plan, but I'm adapting to thinking of meals without grains, sugars, dairy and legumes, mostly without missing any of it.
Being real and honest, my biggest struggle is in the evening.  I have completely eliminated snacking during the day, which has always been part of my day: I'd just graze all day and seemed to be a bottomless pit.  Now, I eat my three meals and feel content and am just getting hungry by the time for the next meal.  The evenings, however, are my weak spot.  By the time the girls are in bed, dishes are done, kitchen is cleaned and meals are prepped for the next day, I don't care.  I don't care about a diet, I don't care that I'm not hungry, I don't care what size or how tight my pants are, I don't care if I don't have a flat stomach.  I'm done with the day and want to sit on the couch, veg out for awhile and have something to munch on.  Yes, this is absolutely a mental game, and I've asked Jesse to help me be accountable and not let me snack.  A huge request and he will have his work cut out for him.  Hopefully I have a positive follow up to report back with soon.
Jesse is doing great.  We are both noticing he is losing inches, though the past week he has said he didn't feel he was losing the weight the same.  After a quick assessment, we realized we have been experimenting in frying food more, and need to go back to the simple baked, roasted and raw variety of meals as our norm.  We will see if that helps.  Part of this challenge is to not weigh yourself for the 30 days, so I don't actually know if either of us actually have lost any amount of weight.
We are both still exciting about keeping our diet change around long term.  This hasn't been a "30 days and done, back to our old eating habits" for us: we have been viewing it as a strict 30 days and then continuing on, with a handful of changes.  For example, Jesse wants cheese.  We both really want a pizza at this point, and while that won't be in my regular meal rotation, I do want one.  Today.  Additionally, since we have bees and all, we decided honey would be ok as a sweetener occasionally and as needed/wanted.  That will probably be it for our regular diet, but I don't think I will have trouble occasionally making something like rice, a baked potato or something, and eating out.  We've been hermiting ourselves this month so we could focus on eating healthy, and I don't miss eating out, but I'd like to some day again I'm sure!

Yesterday was big for me: the girls and I went grocery shopping.  Not that this task is really a huge accomplishment for me now, but the fact that the store is next to a Burger King normally would lead to the girls and I getting lunch there after a shopping trip.  By that point, typically, I'd be fried from keeping little ones in line while shopping.  If you've ever shopped alone with 3 kids, 3 and under, you know what I'm talking about.  I admitted yesterday that I'm jealous of my friends who have an older child or two who is helpful, either to help wrangle other kids or at least carry a bag of groceries inside.  I wouldn't trade what we have for anything, but 7 trips up and down 12 steps carrying little girls and groceries, followed by putting all the groceries away with girls underfoot, made me wish I occasionally had a mother's day out program I've heard so much about!  So you mom friends that have that option, family nearby or an older child, I'm admitting I occasionally am jealous of you!  There, I said it.  I even admit  it some days.
But that's all off topic.  Burger King.

So I normally stop for food before heading home, and then I can just put the girls down to nap while I unload and unpack groceries.  The restaurant is convenient, smells good and I'm hungry, so it works.  I give in to my craving.  Yesterday, we took an hour longer than normal, so I was extra done.  I smelled the BK and didn't even care.  I didn't want it.  I didn't realize it until this morning, but I didn't have any urge whatsoever to go get a burger or pop.  This is huge for me, I'm not sure I'm explaining it right so you grasp it.  If I'm in town, I (used to) look for any reason to stop and grab a pop from somewhere.  We don't keep it on hand at the house ever, so it was my "treat" or pick me up.  I didn't even care.
That isn't to say I don't have cravings or desires for food we used to eat, because we do.  Jesse bought the girls soft pretzels the other day and I barely could restrain myself from stealing some.  But overall, I'm so pleased with where we are from an eating standpoint.  Another struggle is just in the area of lunches, but we have survived so far.  Jesse typically takes leftovers, but some leftovers are more bountiful and filling for him than others.  I typically just scrounge up this, that and the other, and while I'm staying true to the diet, I need a better plan.  Maybe I just need to double our dinners so we have enough for both of us to have leftovers?  We both focus on our protein and then filling the rest of vegetables, but some days it's better than others. 

All that aside, we're doing well.  Kaylee has been a bit of a handful, and I'm not sure if it's a growth spurt, teething, or something I'm doing.  I have been feeding her a bit of rice cereal with previously pumped milk, so with that alone, it could be a) bad milk from whatever I'd eaten that day or b) the rice isn't sitting well with her.  Additionally, the past few days I have been trying to reintroduce a bottle to her.  Not that she needs it necessarily, but I'd like a break some day in the future.  She needs to be able to take a bottle if I have any hope of ever going anywhere alone.  So she may just be extra fussy because she hates it.  If it wasn't so heartbreaking, it'd be kind of funny to see her so upset, throwing her little self everywhere and flailing her fists in the air.  Otherwise, my not-so-little baby is doing great.  She's into the fun stages finally where she isn't just a little lump of cute, but starting to interact, recognize people, grin, grab for my face, squeal at her sisters and play and entertain herself on the floor.  She is also fairly confident on her hands and knees, in my opinion, so I'm in trouble there.  The other two were power army crawlers before they got up on their hands and knees, so having this already is new to me.  Lily and Emma will just love it when she's more mobile and can chase them, and as it is now, they love that she can roll her way around the room and scoot backwards.  Emma asks all the time if she can "hold it," and Lily feels she's a big enough girl to carry Kaylee around.  What do you mommas with petite babies do?  I'd be a mess.  I'm thankful for my sturdy chunkers.
Emma is doing pretty well.  She's a fireball, but can be so much fun.  A friend was commenting today how "little girl" she is looking now, which is true, but makes my heart a little sad.  When did my baby Emma become a big girl?  Poor Lily, Emma can push her buttons already.  But, to be fair, Lily can sure drive Emma up the wall also.  We have many talks throughout the day about being nice to each other.  When I was grocery shopping yesterday, I had both girls in the cart and they just would not leave each other alone, so I made them both sit with their hands folded on their laps.  I had to remind them a few times, but it worked.  That will work for now until someone figures out that elbows are sharp...

Lily is great.  She loves doing the homemade handwriting practice sheets I did, and asks to do them all the time.  How can I turn that down?  She's getting the hang of it, and she likes it when I sit down and show her the correct way to make each letter.  We haven't been all the way through the alphabet yet, but there are a few letters that she can recreate, besides her name, from memory and I'm so proud. 
That's about it for now!  Sorry for the poor quality of pictures, I've been working on this post for a few days and just wanted to finish it and I haven't had a chance to upload new pictures from my camera to my computer.


08 July 2014

Whole 30 Day 16 (I think?)

I don't always know how I get so behind on my posts.  It typically takes me a few days to write a blog post now, as I don't have the time or desire during the day to sit and write all at once.  I'll be on a good train of thought and then one of the girls need me and things get postponed.  And I'm just done by bedtime: if it isn't done by that point of my day, it'll have to wait until tomorrow.  I have about zero motivation by that point of the day.

Anyway, I know some of you have been curious about our Whole 30 diet and how that's going (Hi, Mom).  Short answer: awesome.  Long answer: really awesome. 

For a few days, I was doing really well writing down everything we ate- because you all care- and then I kept forgetting.  Eh, oh well.  I'll give you some of the highlights of our meals.

Mashed cauliflower.

Jesse's favorite meals may be the coconut chicken, wings (of course!) and the pulled pork sliders.  The sliders were delicious, even though what I made was definitely not following the recipe.. Considering we had no pork roast so I used a deer roast.  And the recipe has you bake some sliced sweet potatoes as "buns" and I only had teeny sweet potatoes, so they were more like bites.  Still tasty.  We have eaten other meals, of course, but I think those are most of the highlights.

We are enjoying this.  There have only been a small handful of times I've thought I wanted something anti-diet, but it quickly passed.  Except Jesse brought home cupcakes with a heap of frosting for the girls and I wanted them.  Even though they were store bought and I knew they would be as terrible as you'd expect from store bought cupcakes.  But that icing.  Oh man.  It looked glorious anyway.  Overall, we both feel we have more energy, which is awesome.  It Starts With Food states that you are eating the wrong sorts of foods and your diet isn't right if you need coffee and caffeine first thing in the morning to function, so it's been nice to feel I have energy throughout the day without naps.  There have only been a few days where I felt tired all day like I used to, so that's encouraging.

Ok, boring stuff out of the way, the girls are doing great.

Lily and I have been making an effort to have some flash card time in the morning.  She recognizes all the letter, and I can mix the flash cards up and she still knows which are which, most of the time.  I can tell when she's done because she'll just start saying she doesn't know what the letter is, when I know she absolutely does.  The other day, I wrote out all the upper and lower case letters on a piece of paper and stuck the sheet in a page protector.  She then learned to trace letters with a dry erase marker.  I just let Lily trace her own way yesterday since she had never done tracing before, but I will show her next time the correct way to draw each letter.  At the end, I pulled the paper out so she could see her work on the page protector and she and I were both thrilled.

Emma is busy.  And requires extra patience.  Some days, Jesse and I get frustrated because it seems that all she does is cry, from the minute she wakes up to the time she finally gives it up and goes to bed.  Those days are hard, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever say, "parenting is easy."  Because I don't care who you are, or how much of a Super Mom you are (and I know a few!), being a parent is hard.
While she can be a challenge, Emma is also hilarious.  She's spunky, fun, loves her sisters and keeps us smiling.  She absolutely loves trying to sing along with Frozen, jumping and following in Lily's footsteps.  I think my favorite is when she gets incredibly excited about something, and she starts yelling staccato words.  Like when she sees an airplane, she starts yelling things like, "airplane!  Fly!  Loud!  Funny!" with lots of smiles, arm waving and flailing about.

Kaylee has been good, a little more high maintenance than normal, but still good.  Her "high maintenance" is not even on the same scale as when Emma was "low maintenance."  I feel blessed with an easy baby.  She giggles, loves her sisters and has started interacting with them (which is my new favorite thing EVER), rolls all over the place and is scooting.  My 5 month old is scooting.  And rocking up onto her hands and knees.  And trying to sit up, and doing a pretty good job.  Both Emma and Lily have really started to be all over her lately and I love watching them all together, even the times I get nervous because I'm in a different room from the girls and Lily shows up carrying Kaylee and saying, "look how strong I am!"  Which she is, but since Lily is only 35 pounds and Kaylee is 20 pounds...third born babies are chill because of necessity.  I had been feeling that Kaylee's extra fussing could be a result of a growth spurt, and it turns out I'm right.  I called Jesse into her room last night as I was getting her in a sleeper after a bath.  Her 3-6 month sleeper, which she had just been wearing, was a good 2 inches short.  So I pulled out a 6-9 month sleeper and it fits perfectly.  She's so tall.  Of course, 3-6 still fits fine if there aren't any feet on the outfit. She also tried rice cereal last night because she's been acting interested in food.  Time goes so quickly with kids.

Jesse and I had a heap of plans and projects for the long weekend, but our 4th of July weekend was really low key and lazy.  Which was nice.  We went to hang out with Partins at a local lake for a few hours in the afternoon so the girls could play and swim, which they absolutely loved.  There is a shallow area where the little ones can play, and Emma thought it was the best thing ever to sit on the bottom and splash around.   

Other than that...Jesse has been working on his bee hives quite a bit, as he re-queened his hives.  We've had some chicken issues...But will be reflocking soon.  Needless to say, we hate raccoons and went from 9 chickens to 2.  Our garden is great, Jesse says we will have green beans this weekend, so I guess I better make sure my canner and supplies are in order!  I'm looking forward to eating some of our fresh produce before we can the rest of it.
baby on the move: she started on her back in the bouncer chair.
Lily and Emma and I enjoyed lunch outside over the weekend.

02 July 2014

Lily isms 22

Emma: band aid! There! Bug bite. Band aid band aid band aid!
Lily: yes, Emma, we will see in a little bit.
Emma: *nodding* bug bite. Band aid. *starts yelling about bug bites and band aids*
Lily: Emma! I'm trying to talk to you..about..Do you need to go potty?

Me: when you get a little bigger, would you like to learn to shoot a bow like Merida (from Brave)?
Lily: but I already HAVE a bow and arrow!
Me: you do?
Lily: yes! Down at Coleman's! And when I'm a big girl, we will bring it back here so I can shoot a deer!

"I need more energy." and then proceeded to scoop up a finger full of peanut butter out of a bowl and eat it.

"Momma, will you call me Elsa? Like..Elsa?"

"Daddy, please put my water bottle in Amber's bag."

We saw a lady jogging while we drove home:
"why is she running down the street? What happened to her car?"

As she is attacking my head with a hairbrush:
"oh you're all right, Momma. Just be a good girl like Elsa."
-- if you're unfamiliar with Frozen, there's a line in The Song that says, "be the good girl you always have to be."

Me: why do you have crumbs in your hair?
Lily: well, maybe I turned my tub (of crackers) upside down on top of my head. But it's ok, I'm alright.

Lily: I throw-ded the pillow off the bed!
Me: you threw the pillow.
Lily: what?
Me: you didn't throw-ded, you threw the pillow.
Lily: ...actually, I dropped it.

"that cloud made a 'Y'! Thank you cloud!"

"why is Kaylee being noisy?"

"Daddy, why are you using Emma's tablet? That tablet is for kids. You can use Momma's."

"way go Lily!"

"funny me!"