Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 1/18/2010

It's still taking me some time to learn to type out 2010. It takes me twice as long as typing 2009.

ANYWAY. It's Monday again, folks. And so here's the menu for the week. Sort of a light week because we had extra things going on with the family that we ate with family a lot. And I tried to keep the rest of our week simple.

  • Monday
Breakfast~ veggie and egg scramble, toast
Lunch~ leftover chili with ILs
Dinner~ chicken stuffed baked potatoes, green beans

  • Tuesday
Breakfast~ oatmeal and apricots
Lunch~ turkey and cheese sandwiches, spinach, yogurt
Dinner~ beans and brown rice, cornbread, salad

  • Wednesday
Breakfast~ cereal, apples
Lunch~ hot dogs, peaches
Dinner~ @ my mom and dad's

  • Thursday
Breakfast~ PB toast, oranges
Lunch~ Spaghettios
Dinner~ hot dogs and tater tots (Disclaimer: I didn't actually feed them hot dogs two days in a row! Remember, we menu Thursday-Wednesday, so they actually would have had hot dogs on Thursday 1/14, and then will be eating the remainder of the package on 1/20. :))

  • Friday
Breakfast~ pancakes, berries
Lunch~ tuna mac, carrots and apples
Dinner~ @ my ILs

  • Saturday
Breakfast~ PB toast, banana
Lunch~ @ ILs
Dinner~ @ ILs (we were supposed to have a garage sale with them at their house, so we were there most of the day, even though the garage sale got rained out.)

  • Sunday
Breakfast~ cereal
Lunch~ @ my mom and dad's after church
Dinner~ Chicken tortilla soup, guacamole (we actually ended up eating dinner with my parents again.)

There you have it. Not very exciting. And somehow, I still ended up spending well over $100 on this week's groceries. Not sure how that happened! I bought lots of fruits and veggies for Evie's food, but still....hated to have to break that news to Sweet Hubby! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Show us Your Life-Diets, Exercise and Weight Loss Tips

If you know me IRL (in real life), then you probably are already giggling or at least smirking to yourself at that title. Honestly, people want to listen to my weight loss tips as much as one would want to listen to *fill in the name of a millionaire hotel heiress here (don't want searches for her leading people here)* giving ideas on how to live on a small budget. Honestly, being overweight is something I've never struggled with...being underweight is. People tend to roll their eyes when I say that sort of thing, but only because they understand my issues about as much as I understand theirs. But it kinda stinks, being underweight. I feel like it makes me look older than I am, and my proportions are weird, so clothes never fit right. So it's not really all that fun being underweight.

All that being said, I do know a bit about nutrition and healthy eating. I believe that it's a lifestyle change that's important for weight loss...not some diet program that you may or may not be able to stay on. Sweet Hubby struggles with his weight and he is currently in the process of trying to lose about 30 pounds. We've changed some of our habits for this reason. So here's the run down of a few things we're doing that are important things to do for EVERYONE to live full and healthy lives. And these are probably things you've heard a million times before....I don't claim that any of these are original ideas.

  • Read labels! Generally speaking, it's my belief that the fewer ingredients, the better. Learn how to read labels and nutrition facts.
  • When buying grains (like bread, pasta and cereals), look for whole grain as the first ingredient. And sugar should be as far down the list as possible....certainly not in the top 2 or 3.
  • Everything in moderation! Don't completely deprive yourself of the things you love (like chocolate or soda), just don't indulge several times daily. A soda with a special meal once in a while isn't going to hurt you! Keeping that treat as "forbidden fruit" might later cause you to binge and then feel guilty...that actually CAN hurt you in the long run.
  • Find new and creative ways to incorporate veggies in your diet. We always hear we should be eating more, but if you are like me, buying a new veggie and then slapping it down on my plate is not really appealing. If you can plan ahead and find a tasty recipe for that new veggie, you'll be more likely to eat it (and enjoy it, too!). In my own experience, I've found that you can't go wrong grilling or roasting veggies. Hubby and I have found that we LOVE grilled onions and peppers with just about everything!
  • PORTION CONTROL. Seriously, folks, this is huge. Portion control is one of the simplest ways to start eating better and see a difference. Learn what proper portions are. You've probably heard it recently, but if not, here's the breakdown of what your plate should be: 1/4 (or less) of lean protein, 1/4 carb and 1/2 fruits or veggies. 3 oz of protein is a serving. It's probably less than you think. So pay attention to serving size and portion sizes.
  • Snacks count! Instead of grabbing an empty-calorie snack like chips or candy, make every bite count and have a piece of fruit or some veggies. Even a piece of whole wheat bread with a smear of peanut butter, and a small glass of milk can hold you until your next meal.
  • Don't eat until you are miserably full. This kind of goes along with portion control. Your brain is slow in telling you when your tummy is full. So quit eating well before you are full. Put smaller amounts of things on your plate if you have to, so you don't feel guilty about leaving food on the plate. It's OKAY to not eat everything on your plate.
  • Don't eat 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Last but not least, BABY STEPS. There is no way to make every change that you need to make in one day. If you try that, you will fail. Change one or two things, give yourself and your family a couple weeks or a month to get used to it, and then move on to the next thing to change. Start buying whole grain bread first and when you are used to that, stop buying soda and drinking more water, and when you are used to that.....you get the idea. Baby steps folks. And always keep moving in the right direction.
So there you have it. Nothing life changing or earth shattering. Simple, common sense things, really. But things that we all need to be reminded of once in a while (myself included!).

For more ideas and tips, visit Kelly's Korner for Show us Your Life Friday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pssst!

Um, I'm guessing you haven't seen Zachary's five year post, yet. You probably just missed it. ;) If you want to check that out, just scroll down a bit....you'll find it now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

In my attempt to blog more regularly, I wanted to join in on some weekly blog carnivals, so I have SOMETHING to blog, even if I feel like I don't. So. Mondays are now "Menu Plan Mondays" where I post our menu for the week and where I also pretend that you care. :) I menu plan every week anyway, and it's fun to share it and also read other people's menus. All this happens at I'm an Organizing Junkie (find the MPM tab at the top if you are interested). And on Fridays, I'm going to try to participate in Show Us Your Life Fridays at Kelly's Korner (too lazy to link right now, you can catch it on Friday), where every week Kelly picks a certain aspect of our lives and we get to share about it. Past weeks have included wedding dresses, baby nurseries, and New Year's Resolutions....just so you get an idea of what to expect.

On to the menu. I actually do plan everything because we eat just about every meal at home and it's so much easier to not have to think about every single meal. If I'm long on time (ha ha), I'll also plan snacks, but more often than not, we end up just grabbing some crackers or fruit or cereal...all of which we always have on hand. I also plan from Thursday-Wednesday, because hubby gets paid on Thursday and that's when we go grocery shopping. So half of the plan you are about to read has already been eaten, if not enjoyed. :) Also, hubby is trying to eat better, so we are all eating better as a family...when he's home. You'll probably be able to tell the days that he works because those meals aren't as healthful.

  • Monday~
Breakfast - oatmeal, bananas
Lunch- Nicoise salad for Mom and Dad, Mac and cheese and fruit for kiddoes (we actually ended up eating the pizza we were supposed to have on Sunday night.
Dinner - Dinner with my in-laws (we eat with them almost every Monday night)

  • Tuesday~
Breakfast - Veggie and egg scramble (or just plain scrambled eggs for the kids), toast
Lunch - Turkey and cheese sandwiches, applesauce, baby spinach with dip
Dinner - Omelettes, turkey bacon, fruit (ate this on Sunday)

  • Wednesday
Breakfast - cereal and fruit
Lunch - Quesadillas
Dinner - With my parents since the kids have gymnastics and I have choir...this is the same every Wednesday night

  • Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal, pears
Lunch - Pb & j and yogurt
Dinner - Pancakes, sausage, eggs, berries

  • Friday
Breakfast - Fruit smoothies, toast
Lunch - Grilled Cheese sandwiches, spaghettios (don't judge me)
Dinner - Baked chicken drumsticks, spinach salad, mac and cheese, homemade whole wheat bread and butter

  • Saturday
Breakfast - PB toast, bananas
Lunch - cheese and crackers, carrots with dip, apples
Dinner - ??? I left this blank and for the life of me, I can't remember what we ate!

  • Sunday
Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - With my mom and Dad
Dinner - MYO (make your own) veggie chicken pizza, green beans (we actually had omelettes because we were short on time).

Find more "other people's menus" at Organizing Junkie.

Happy Monday, folks!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I'm going to be better and "Eight Months!" and "Five"

I really do want to get better about blogging....especially at this time in my life. There is so much going on now that I know I'm going to love looking back on if I would just take the time to write it down. And since there are a few of you that keep up with our goings-on through my little blog here, it's not fair to you for me to go TWO MONTHS without writing something! So, I'm going to try to be better. I want to set a goal, but I want to be realistic, too. Feel free to hold me accountable and send me "Get with it, woman!" e-mails if you care enough to want to see a new post. :)

SO.

Since the last time I blogged, Evie turned seven and eight months old and Zachary turned five. I don't have posts for any of them. Seven months is just going to have to never happen. But here's an eight month post and in the next day or so, I'll get one up for Zachary's fifth birthday (and pre-date it so it fits in the blog chronology, so look for it a bit further down).

Evie turned eight months 2 days ago. SO much has happened with her in the last 2 months! Here's the rundown.

  • She has two teeth!! Both on the bottom, and both like razors. She likes to bite. She's gotten better about not biting while nursing, but probably only because I scared the bejeezus out of her by screaming a couple of times. I'm gun-shy now, and I get a little nauseus during every feed because I'm nervous she's going to bite.
  • She's wearing mostly 6-9 months clothes, but the 6-9 month pants are too big around the waist and fall down. But with jammies and dresses and such, the 6-9 month size is perfect.
  • She graduated to size two diapers a couple weeks ago.
  • We had a follow-up appointment a couple weeks ago with the gastroenterologist, and she weighs a little over 14 pounds, which is back to her regular growth curve finally! She's probably closer to 15 pounds now.
  • Speaking of weight, she's an eater!! She loves to eat, loves to sit at the table with us and eats just about everything I give her. At this point, she eats avocado, sweet potato, green beans, bananas, pears, peaches, squash, peas, yogurt, oatmeal, chicken, apples, and turkey. I still make a good part of her food, but when we don't eat at home, I don't bother with it. Her favorites are sweet potato and banana, and her least favorite are peas and green beans. She still eats those things, but she just makes a funny face and holds them in her mouth for a long time before she finally swallows. She also hums during her entire meal, which is equal parts cute, funny and annoying.
  • She's MOBILE. She started creeping just before Christmas and has now just about mastered crawling!
video
  • And TODAY, she pulled up to stand on her own for the first time. It's so funny to watch this little tiny baby do all these things. But she's SO PROUD of herself! (Grrr...the video came out sideways...I don't know why my camera (or computer?) is doing that! Sorry! I'll try to fix it...) video
  • She is STILL fascinated with my hair. I swear I will be bald before she grows out of it. It hurts, and she always grabs and yanks when I'm not paying attention. Once she gets a handful, I'm totally at her mercy!
  • She had her first Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was such a joy to have her this year. She did really well being around all those people so much, but you could tell it was overwhelming for her. She didn't really leave my hip at every get together. For her first Christmas, she received a new exersaucer, her first cabbage patch doll, a cute outfit (with ribbon to match for me to make bows!), a fun ball-type toy for her to sit and play with, a touch and feel book, and a couple of little baby toys.
  • As far as sleep, she's doing well. She sleeps through about half the time, and when she doesn't she wakes at around 4am or 5am to eat, and then goes back to sleep until she wakes for the day at 7am or 8am.
  • I've started signing with her, but she hasn't done anything yet. I don't expect her to, but it's fun to do it with her.

And here are her tiara pictures. They were incredibly hard to get because she kept wanting to leap off the chair. There were a couple times she actually almost fell off!

She's so wiggly and wanted OFF that chair!


She seriously almost fell off before I could catch her.


But I was able to distract her a few times.


Or hold her back with my feet.



I eventually let her down on the floor, and she was happy with that...


But not before I got a really good one! She's growing into that tiara so well! I bet it will be a perfect fit for her first birthday pictures!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Five

Zachary! You're FIVE now!! Of course you know that, though. You counted down the days! :) There's something about the fifth birthday that changes a child in my mind. Somehow, you seem older, even though you are the same little boy that you were the day before your birthday. But FIVE. Five is a big boy now. No longer a preschooler, but a boy! You seem so grown up to me somedays. We have great conversation, you offer wise insight, and you seem to understand so much. But then, I sneak into your room at night to grab one more kiss and to make sure you're tucked in, and I see you snuggled with your lovey, sucking your fingers. You seem so little to me when I watch you sleep. So much more like the baby I used to rock to sleep and less like the little boy who read me a book just before bed and insisted he needed no help getting ready for bed.



So let's see....what's been happening since I wrote your 4 year letter....well, for starters, like I already mentioned, you're reading! You got your first library card and LOVE going to the library to "buy books". Fortunately, you may call it "buying books", but you've never had a hard time giving them up when it's time to take them back. But you are reading very well, sounding out and also using context clues....which is outstanding since you aren't technically supposed to start kindergarten for another 7 months or so. You are getting better at writing, but we still have to do a lot of fine motor skill work. Especially since you write with the same hand that you use to suck your fingers. You tend to guard those fingers while writing, and it makes it difficult for you to hold the pencil correctly. As for the rest of school, you aren't doing math quite yet, but everything else, you do with Stephen. So right now you are learning all about nouns, memorizing poetry and bible verses and you are learning all there is for a five year old to know about astronomy. You are keeping right up with everything I gear towards Stephen. You are one smart cookie! Next year, we'll start you on math. In the meantime, you know how to count, skip count by 10s and you are now correctly reading the time from a digital clock.



One of your favorite activities is going to gymanstics. You love it, and you are very good at it. After class, when I ask you what your favorite part was, you tell me "All of it!" I really think gymnastics has also helped your coordination.

You also LOVE going to church. You look forward to it all week. And when we talk about Sunday School after I pick you up, you can tell me all about what you did and what you learned. This week, when I picked you up, you told me I needed to give you money for the offering. :) You look forward to the fall when you can start Kids Rock.

One of the cute things you are doing right now is how you talk about today, yesterday and tomorrow. For some reason, that's not a concept you've quite grasped yet. Frequently (especially when there is something special going on), you'll ask me, "Mama, is tomorrow the day after this day?" Or "Is today tomorrow?" or "When will it be tomorrow?" I admit, I get a little kick out of telling, "Today is yesterday's tomorrow." You love counting down to things, so every day you ask me how many more days until a special event. You usually already know, but you ask me, "Is it 4 more days?"

You. are. STUBBORN. Once something is in your mind a certain way, that's how it is. There is no negotiating with you. You try to negotiate with us, and one day, that will serve you well. Right now, though, it just gets you in trouble.

You still feel things so intensely. In fact, this year, you gained a little sister. And it's obvious your brothers love her. But you. You adore her. And she adores you. You were the first brother she smiled and laughed at. You hate it when she cries and you never want to leave her alone. If I had a nickel for everytime I had to say, "Zachary, get out of her face" or "Zachary, leave her alone" or "ZACHARY. BACK. OFF." I'd be able to pay for your college tuition already. :) It's so sweet how much you love her. You are such a good brother.



You are a great brother to your brothers as well, although, you do seem to fit the "middle child" picture. Sometimes you seem a little left out, but I think that's as much your choosing as it is your brothers'. You're still figuring out your "rank", I think, especially now that Evie has come along. That's okay, though, you'll figure it out....we all know exactly where you belong. Although you are a little different from your brothers, you fit right in in our hearts. Perfectly.

I love you, boy. You are so fun, funny, and you still have that smile that makes your eyes twinkle and that lights up a room. I'm so blessed to be your mama!



Happy Fifth Year!!
Love,
Mama

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Six months!

Sooo....our girl turned 6 months on Saturday. And as always I'm behind on her update. Actually, I'm behind on her 5 month post, too, since I never got to it. Anyway, here's what Evie's up to:

  • She's had some growth issues, but we seem to be overcoming them. Last we checked, she weighed not quite 12 pounds (I think that was about 3 weeks ago). She has an appointment on Friday, so we'll see then. I'm hoping she hits 13 pounds.
  • She's still wearing size 1 diapers and 3-6 month clothes. The 3-6 months clothes are just a tiny bit short but she's still too small for the 6-9 month clothes.
  • No teeth yet, but she GNAWS like crazy on my hands and toys and such. I'm surprised she doesn't have teeth yet. No sign of one even.
  • Evie's really coming into her personality. She's SO.MUCH.FUN. She laughs and giggles and screeches to get our attention. She still wrinkles her nose when she smiles, and she acts like she's going to eat me when I play with her. She grabs me with both hands and lunges toward my face with mouth wide open and act likes she's trying to bite me. I love it.
  • She's fascinated with my hair. She loves it when I brush my hair against her face and she reaches out and lets it go through her fingers. Sometimes she grabs and shoves it her mouth, but then realizes that's no fun and lets go.
  • She's sitting on her own now. Only for a few seconds and that's far less fun than standing, but she can do it and she looks so big and grown up when she does.
  • She started food a few weeks ago. I posted that video. The girl LOVES to eat. She loves everything we've given her...she wasn't too sure about the oatmeal, but I had just made it, so it was still a little warm. It wasn't hot, but it was definitely warmer than the room temperature or cold avocados and sweet potatoes she had had so far. Now she loves it. I am making as much of her food as possible, and so far, I'm enjoying it as much as I did when I did it for the boys. All she's had so far is avocado, sweet potato and oatmeal. We're taking things kind of slowly, obviously. Not for any particular reason other than I just haven't had time to make more food and I'm trying to feed her avocado as often as possible for all the good fats. The next food will be butternut squash, then maybe green beans and then possibly banana.
  • She's getting on her hands and knees a lot lately. She's not scooting or actually mobile yet, but she rolls everywhere and I think she scoots very slowly, because if I leave her on the floor for very long (which admittedly, doesn't happen very often), she winds up far from where she started pointed in a totally different direction.
  • Hrmmm, what else?? Ever since she started gaining weight again, she's been in such a really good mood. Just fun. She's a pretty easy baby...doesn't cry much and when she does it's easy to fix. Feed her or put her to sleep.
  • Speaking of sleep, she's doing pretty good. During the process of trying to get her to gain more weight, she started waking at night again. I love the whole nights of sleep, but I totally didn't mind waking up to feed her in the night because I know she needs it. The last week or so, she's started waking only once a night and it's been getting later and later. I'm hoping that she's gained lots of weight so that if she starts sleeping through the night again, I can let her. Naps are pretty good, too. Not always great, but a lot of the time she'll take a couple 1.5-2 hour naps a day. Sometimes shorter, but only if I didn't give her a good awake time (like if I put her down early for a nap because the boys are getting ready to take their quiet time and I want her to sleep at the same time).
To the tiara pics....I'm adding the 5 and 6 month pictures since I missed last month's post. I took the pictures, but never wrote the post.

Five Months






Six Months



One to Six Months