Sunday, April 29, 2012

Random thoughts

"I should bring a can of coconut milk to the office in case I want coffee midday."  Words I never expected to hear from my husband's lips.  Coconut milk has really made our coffee so yummy...and we certainly love our coffee.  It has definitely made the Whole30 much more tolerable.

Day 21 on the Whole30.  Two thirds of the way done.  Yippee!  One of the fun things about being on this for 30 days is it has forced me to look for new recipes and cook unlike I ever have before.  One recipe that we are in LOVE with is these Banana muffins.  Seriously.  They are amazing!  The down side is they can be a little pricey (especially the first time you make them) with the cost of the cashews and almond flour, but they are totally worth it in my opinion.  We love them for breakfast (with a boiled egg), and they really keep us from getting hungry for a long time.  Added plus, the Bean (Elliott) loves them as well.

I feel like I have done a really good job on the food front lately (cooking nutritious meals, keeping our fridge stocked), but have been sadly failing on the cleaning front.  I so often feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.  It seems impossible to keep the floors mopped, bathroom cleaned, house dusted, clutter organized when I feel like I spend all my time just picking up the clutter.

Elliott has still been fighting baths and the past several weeks, has really not wanted to go to the church nursery.  She has always loved the nursery so it makes me so sad that she doesn't like it as well.  We decided to give her a bath BEFORE church today.  This may not have been our best decision.

We are STILL wearing fleece jackets here in Indiana.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want 100 plus degrees yet like in San Angelo, but it would be nice to be able to shed the jackets.  Maybe May is our lucky month.

We're gearing up for a trip home next month to see both of our families.  I am SOOOOO excited, but also slightly nervous about flying with both kids as well as being out of our routine for a while.  I'm sure it will be fine, but a girls gotta worry, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4 months

The little man is 4 months old today.  4 months old.  He's getting so big so fast.  What has he been up to?  Well I'm glad you asked.
  • He is wearing 3-6 month clothes although I'm still cramming him in several 3 month sleepers.  Why?  Because we're stuck in the eternal cold weather.  I keep thinking SURELY it's going to get warmer here soon, so I hate to buy more sleepers but I might have to break down.
  • He is wearing size 3 diapers.  Minimal blowouts.  Thank you Lord.
  • He eats every 3-3.5 hours and drinks 5 ounces from a bottle (so I'm told).
  • He typically goes to bed around 7:30 or 8 (depending when his last nap was), but I'm still waking him at 10 for a "dream feeding," mainly because I don't want to pump and it is really more convenient than feeding him earlier.  He is usually sleeping anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30.

  •  He still takes a nap after every feeding...on his tummy in his crib...and he usually sleeps anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
  • He doesn't nap as well as E did, but he doesn't get as fussy as she did when she was tired.  He can stay awake for 1.5-2 hours sometimes and not act fussy at all.

  • He is not a huge fan of tummy time (I'm convinced no baby is), but he does it begrudgingly.  
  • He still L-O-V-E-S his bouncer.  He loves the toys on it and he loves making it bounce.  He is constantly kicking one leg so it's bouncing up and down.  So different than Elliott.
  • He also likes laying in his activity gym and sitting in the Bumbo (as of recently).

  • He has started enjoying toys as well and will hold them and follow them with his eyes.
  • His MOST favorite thing these days IS...his hands.  He sucks on them constantly.
  • He has turned into a major SPITTER.  It's shocking how much fluid can come from his small body.  It's not pleasant...and it doesn't smell pleasant.  I got to work last week and realized I had dried spit-up all over my jacket.  The true sign of a mom.  Note to self...look at yourself before you walk out the door. 

  • He is SUCH a little smiler.  I can't get enough.  He has the best smile, including a dimple on his right cheek.  I've always been a sucker for dimples.
  • He still has such a sweet, easy-going disposition.  Don't get me wrong...he does cry.  Especially when he's tired or hungry.  But even his cry is kind of sweet and pathetic.  
  • He's still a big fan of his big sister.  He loves watching her, although she hardly even realizes it.  I did find her trying to put his diaper on him (over his clothes) the other day.  Such a funny girl.

Our little man adds so much joy to our lives!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


When we had Elliott, of course I was anticipating the sleep deprivation that followed a new baby, but I was shocked how exhausting it was to wake up in the middle of the night.  And compared to some babies, she was super easy because at the most she woke up twice a night (for like 2 weeks), but she typically just woke up once.  Not to mention she was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks.  I can I complain?
With Mason, I knew what to expect.  I think I was able to feed him, change his diapers, and reswaddle him without ever opening my eyes.  The night times were not stressful because I had been there before.  What I was NOT expecting was for my 16 month old to start waking up nightly (which I talked about here).  She has been waking up consistently since he was born.  He's almost four months old, people...that is entirely TOO long.  We would have a couple of stretches where she wouldn't wake up, but for the most part, she would wake up once and sometimes twice a night.  I started resigning myself to the fact that I might never sleep again...slight exaggeration but sleep deprivation definitely makes me exaggerate and feel emotional.  As of about two weeks ago, she started sleeping again.  The waking up just stopped.  It started without warning and ended without warning.  At the same time, Mason started sleeping through the night.  I'm so thankful that the stars have aligned (at least for now), and they both are sleeping through the night.  Their naps are at completely different times so I guess that will be our next challenge.  I hate to get too used to sleeping through the night, because I'm sure one of them will soon decide sleeping is overrated.  Sigh.  Guess I better enjoy it while I can.  For all you new moms out there, I promise you WILL sleep again.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.

We are on DAY 14 of the Whole30.  Almost halfway done.  Yippee!  My thoughts so far:

  • Coconut milk in my coffee is WAY better than black coffee.  Definitely the highlight to my week.
  • Committing to this has taken way more TIME than I ever would have anticipated.  Finding new recipes, chopping LOTS of veggies and fruit at the beginning of every week, cooking multiple meals a day.  Not a commitment to be taken lightly.
  • We have eaten TONS of eggs.  Every morning.  I love me some eggs, but it would be nice to have something different every once in a while.
  • Gone is the day of fast meals.  No pre-made meals from the grocery store, no ordering out pizza when I don't feel like cooking.  I have to cook every night.  I'm still adjusting to this.
  • Fruit smoothies in the evening are an amazing tasty treat.  Who needs ice cream?
  • Elliott has actually done really well with all the fruits and veggies.  We still give her cheese, yogurt, chicken nuggets, PB and honey, but she has definitely tried way more fruits and veggies than she ever has and I think it's just because we're eating so many.
  • This week, we ordered eggs, meat, and sausage from a co-op so they're organic, grass-fed.  I'm excited to see if I can tell a difference.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A few pictures...

Here are a few iPhone pics from of late. Not the best quality, but still cute. It's hard to use a camera when your phone is always available.
Playing on the mattress...that's in our dining room. Cool or weird? It finally made it's way back down to the basement.
My sweet smiling little boy. Love his face!
Sleeping babes...but never at the perfect time. Elliott fell asleep on the way to Target (gotta love mini naps in the morning that throw off the afternoon naps), and Mason fell asleep in his bouncer...on the kitchen table.
Outdoors is definitely more fun if you're wearing your cool winter hat (at least that's what Elliott thinks).
Elliott loves to kiss her little brother,
and give him "pat pats" on the head.

Gosh I love these kids! They keep me on my toes and make me very tired by the end of the day, but they are so much fun!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Toys, toys, toys

I'm totally slacking on the whole picture front. I'm amazed I can go days without taking pictures (that never happened with Miss E), and if I actually do take some pictures, the process of getting them ON the computer can take days as well. Oh the life with 2 kids. :) Both kids are actually sleeping right now and I hardly know what to do with productive (because there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done) or just relax. The dilemma.

I've been thinking about TOYS a lot today. E's toys for that matter. She has never been really into her toys and usually just entertains herself by finding random things around the house. She does play with some toys for short periods of time, but she's never really been into dolls or stuffed animals. I realized this weekend how "babyish" so many of our toys still are, partly because honestly, I don't even know what she would play with. This became very apparent to me when we had a 4 year old over, and there was not many fun toys for her to play with. Any advice for toys or things to play with for a 20 month old? I feel like I need a few more "age appropriate" toys.

Day 11...we have survived over a whole week on the Whole30. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty proud of us. It has not been easy. I would say days 5 and 6 were hardest for me...the newness had worn off, and I began to think "What the heck were we thinking? This stinks." Thankfully, we had some really good food this weekend that I wanted to share.

Spicy Kale Chips-I've always wanted to incorporate more kale in my diet because it's supposed to be so good for you, but haven't really known how to do that. This is a really easy way to eat lots of kale in a short time. Yummy. I'm not sure how it would save (we ate it ALL), so you have to take the time to make them. Definitely worth it though. Word of wisdom...don't put too much cayenne pepper in it. I doubled the seasoning because we had a lot of kale, and they were make-your-nose-run spicy. Still delicious though.
Banana Ice Cream-We can't have any sugar which is really sad, but this little recipe was a perfect little dessert. I'm not even a huge fan of bananas but it was T-asty. Kev liked it so much he froze about 8 more bananas. Desperate? Maybe. I found that it took 3 bananas and 1 cup of coconut milk for 2 people.
Chicken Curry-I made the following recipe in my crockpot (score) and it turned out amazing!!! It is a little prep time intensive because it has lots of veggies, but it is definitely worth it. I found this recipe here and she does all the chopping ahead of time then freezes it.

Chicken Curry
3T all-purpose flour
4T curry powder
2tsp ground cumin
1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups baby carrots
2 cups coarsely chopped mango (or 2 cans of chopped mango)
1 cup chopped onion
1 zucchini chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 chicken bouillon
.5 cups raisins (for garnish)
.5 cups peanuts or cashews

My few modifications: I didn't cube the chicken but put the whole breast in and shredded at the end, I put the veggies in about halfway through so they wouldn't be too mushy (and I probably could have waited longer), more veggies, a little less seasoning (because I ran out of cumin and curry), skipped the raisins and peanuts or cashews.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

20 months and food

Our "baby" is 20 months old! How is that even possible? Instead of writing a full update, I want to write some things I don't want to forget.
  • She started saying "I need help" all.the.time. I guess it's the first full phrase she has said (that we recognize), and it is SO stinkin' cute. I seriously need to get a video of her saying it. She has also been saying "I need ..." after she realized what good response she was getting from us. Apparently the girl has serious needs. :)
  • She started being fearful of things. You know, the scary stuff in life, like the car, baths, the vacuum cleaner, etc. It's interesting to see her have this emotion and difficult to sometimes know how to reassure her. No, the bath time panic attack has definitely NOT gone away I'm just praying it does soon.
  • She insists on walking up and down the stairs like an adult instead of crawling. She will usually hold Kev or my hand, but sometimes she just wants to hold onto the banister.
  • She is OBSESSED...with washing her hands. I feel like a bad parent discouraging this activity but it takes so much effort.
  • She recently started jumping off the ground. It is hilarious! I ask her to jump frequently because it is so adorable.
She is SO much fun and is learning so much. She definitely still has her not-fun moments, but the good overshadows the difficult.

So we are on DAY 5 of the Whole30. I think day 4 and 5 have actually been harder for me. I have been seriously craving some CARBS!!! But overall, it has been really good and made us get much more creative with our meal choices. The highlight to my days has been Lara bars (super yummy) and fruit smoothies. Tasty. Here's a couple recipes we have liked so far.

Cowboy Breakfast Skillet-Not super healthy but pretty DARN tasty. Definitely worth it.
Low Carb Chicken Avocado Sandwich-We skipped the "bread" but the chicken was T-asty.
Pot Roast with Mashed Cauliflowers and Turnips-I opted to cook the roast and onions in the crockpot. Good leftovers too.
We've been eating spinach salads every day for lunch with lots of veggies, avocados, walnuts, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and it has been pretty delicious.

I'm thankful that this is not really a "diet," you're not supposed to weigh yourself, it's just about cutting out processed foods/dairy/etc. I will say that mashed cauliflowers and turnips are NOTHING like mashed potatoes (in case you were wondering) and black coffee is still sadly lacking. We've realized we "treat" ourselves with food...eating out, getting Starbucks. So we're having to rethink how we spend our free time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter and other things

I feel like I need to jump on the bandwagon and post some pics of my kids at Easter. I must admit, they were pretty cute if I do say so myself. We had a really fun Easter this year because Miss E was finally old enough to enjoy all the festivities. Holidays always remind me of the distance between us and family, but we were so thankful to spend the holiday with good friends.

We dyed eggs, which I must admit, I probably would have skipped if it wasn't for my friends wanting to do it. But it was really fun with relatively little mess. Definitely worth it.

Then the guys hid the eggs while the girls waiting oh so patiently.
Then the hunt was on. Elliott stayed *somewhat* focused. Let's just say, she definitely wouldn't win a contest, that's for sure. However, I think she really enjoyed the whole experience.
Checking their loot.
The little man. I love how he looks surprised in this pic. He gives us this face often.
The fam.

Totally unrelated, but Kev and I decided to do this food elimination called The Whole30. You eliminate all processed foods, all dairy, sweets, etc for 30 days. So you basically just eat lots of veggies, fruit, meats, and eggs. I'm interested to see how I feel after 30 days. I've had a lot of "digestion" issues since my pregnancy and they have continued while I breast feed. I also have a serious sweet tooth, and I figured what better way to deal with it than starve it. :) I read about it here. I guess we'll see! So today is DAY 1. My thoughts so with milk and sugar is WAY better than black coffee, I've gotten a little more hungry in between meals, my energy has been okay and no headaches. One day at a time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tis only a season...I hope

I feel like the longer I'm a mom, the more I realize kids go through COUNTLESS seasons. Seasons of not sleeping, seasons of throwing fits, seasons of whining, seasons of not eating, seasons of hitting, and the list goes on. I usually totally panic when we enter a new season, wondering how in the world I am going to deal with the new "issue," and then as soon as I've decided the my child will never sleep again, etc, they start sleeping. Funny how that works.

So with this in mind, I feel like Miss E has entered a new, not-so-fun season. The "I hate bathing" season. Baths used to be a highlight to our day, a way to expend energy while getting clean, a way to waste time, we all loved bath times. Not so much anymore. As of about a week ago, Elliott has a total panic attack during baths, particularly the hair washing. She starts frantically trying to get out of the tub, while screaming and saying "all done" and "out." It is heartbreaking. Of course the joy of this age is she can't tell me why in the world baths are so traumatizing. My best guess is she doesn't like getting water in her ears, so I've tried all different ways to wash her hair, but it's really hard to not get water in her ears when she is totally freaking out. I'm at a loss. I'm just really hoping this bath hating stage comes to an end quickly or she might be getting sponge baths.

Another little season she has been in for way too long is waking up in the middle of the night. This basically started right before Mason was born and has continued off and on ever since. Not fun. There was definitely a couple of weeks when Mason was waking up twice a night and she was up for at least an hour in the middle of the night that I thought I wasn't going to make it. I don't do well with sleep deprivation. :) She seemed to get better and stopped waking up, but then recently it has started again. The good news is Mason is sleeping through the night, but I really hate getting up with my toddler...for no apparent reason. Again, the difficulty of this age that she cannot communicate WHY she is waking up. I would greatly appreciate it.