Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting Fit {updated pictures & progress}

Guess what? It's still happening. I have to say I'm shocked that I am still at this. I hate to say it, but it's not like me. My plans have changed many times since my first post on healthy living. I feel like I've hit my stride and have found a path that will get me where I need to go.

We had a brief run in with the Paleo diet. Diet as in way of eating not way of losing weight. Though it can get you there. I know you may look at some Paleo recipes and think barf, but seriously everything I made was good. What got us in the end was lunches. Lunches were so hard to plan, and I got tired of Adam complaining.

Here is what I took away from Paleo. We have seriously cut down on processed foods. We have also cut down on things with gluten. It's not totally out, but if we can get it gluten free we do. The only food I eat that is gluten free, but still not really good for you is gluten free brownies and cookies. I can't quit sweets, and I shouldn't if I want my new body to stay my body. I've also learned the lies of "low fat", "0 calories", and other health craze hot words. Ok I know gluten free brownies falls into that, but like I said I can't quit you.

So right now I am just eating wiser. If I indulge, I indulge. It's not the end of the world. I want to be in better shape, but I don't want to die tomorrow thinking 'shit I should have taken that cookie.'

I've finished the 30 Day Shred. Can I just say how much I love that work out? There is no excuse not to give twenty minutes. The fact that it's short isn't what I love about it though. It's the differences I feel in my body. Yes I've lost weight. At this point 9lbs total, but it's not that. One day I was shaving my legs and I thought 'holy crap my calf!' I started to feel my body and there was firmness. Firm taking place of my cankles. Under my baby pouch is firmness. My back feels different. No I'm not ripped with muscles, but sure enough the soft squishy body I had post babies is turning into muscle.

I've moved on to Ripped In 30. I think it's a good next step for me. The first few days of week 1 I got that sore feeling back. Once I finish I will update again with hopefully more change. I've stepped up my weights and added a kettle bell to replace the weight they use. A milestone I'm proud of, because I seriously have the weakest arms. Natalie can probably lift more than me.

For me it's not just about being thin or being fit. It's about having respect for my body. It's about having a good self esteem not just when I reach my goal, but now. The day I decided I was going to do this I decided that day to love me right then. If I didn't I probably would never be happy with myself. Not just because I would never be satisfied, but because if I didn't love my body I would never be good to it. Personally when I moped around about how I looked I didn't take the steps to change. I would emotionally eat and then feel stuffed and the ball kept rolling.

I love my body. I love what it's becoming and I love what it was. I love that we have the power to change if we want to.

I no longer envy the girls who have an inch of space between their boots and legs. I don't envy the girl that never got stretch marks. I don't envy the size 0. I love me because my body grew two beautiful children. I love my body because I put in the work for this. I love it because it's healthy and it's what God gave me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What We've Been Doing Lately

These days have been perfect. I knock on wood every time I say this, but Molly has been so sweet. I feel like I have my sweet little girl back. There was a point when I worried having Natalie had broken her heart, but these past days have shown me that her heart has grown like the rest of ours. I just can't imagine Natalie not being apart of us.

We've been making changes as to how we spend our time. The TV is on in the mornings so Molly can watch her beloved Dora and Bubble Guppies. Then it gets shut off and we spend our time outdoors in the beautiful weather or playing. It's been good for the soul, and honestly I feel more like the mom I want to be. I feel productive.

Molly has just fallen for her sister. She is so loving towards her and always wants her put wherever she is. I think my heart could burst in these moments. When I had Molly I never thought I could feel so much love as I did seeing her grow and learn. Now that I have them both I know there is no love like seeing the love they have for each other. It doesn't matter what Molly does. If she is in Natalie's line of vision that girl is smiling. Tonight Natalie was screaming from gas pain and Molly was gently patting her and shushing her. When I hear people say how terrible having two kids can be I question how these moments don't overpower any struggle.

If you haven't heard of Window Crayons you have to get on that. For us it's a guaranteed minimum ten minute attention span.  Which if you have a toddler is like a years time.

Molly got a special treat for following along while I tok pictures of her. She did her best, but that poor girl. In ways she's a tom boy because she ends up messy. In other ways she's a girly girl because she hate the woods, tall grass, etc. So all in all I got five pictures, but she did try and that's what matters most.

We have been taking full advantage of the spring air. I think Natalie loves being outside as much as her sister.

Last week the husbands were out golfing so Bree and I spent the afternoon outdoors. This sprinkler is perfect. They wouldn't run across it without us which wasn't so fun though. Unfortunately our hose is some pretty cold water.

I just love bath time photos. I have to admit it's not just the memories, but the bathtub is just an awesome reflector!  Molly is fiercely independent. She loves to do for herself, so this week I got her "big girl bath stuff." The bar of soap is Johnsons Buddies Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar. It's easy to hold and she is learning to wash herself with it. Her favorite part is definitely washing her bath baby though. Of course. I love the Montessori method which I why we are starting to show her how to keep herself clean. She really does prefer doing her own shampoo. I help once she is done and then let her rinse. She's getting there and it's fun to watch her try. She really takes pride in doing things. 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know she is just over four months. I know most people would now say you should wait till they are six months. Well congrats on your PhD from Google. I was so huge on waiting with Molly, but at 5 months the signs were there. So we started some purees and then two weeks later moved on to baby led weaning. She loved it and did really well. Natalie has a lot of the signs as well. She is way too young for baby led weaning so for now we will stick to cereals and try some puree. A couple weeks ago I had a great garage sale find! A baby bullet for $20. For now I will use it. I'm think sweet potatoes will be her first.

In other news we got Molly's ears re pierced yesterday. I can't believe how well she did. There was only one worker so she had to do them one at a time. Our brave girl sat still for both and didn't cry. I was so proud of her!

All in all things have been great. All of these things are very much every day moments. Now I just see the wonder in the simple things. Having these girls means savoring every moment and taking the time to really cherish them.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beyond Blessed {coming closer to God}

The road to get here was not an easy one. Up until this point my life has been filled with downfalls, tragic events, and self inflicted struggles. Sometimes I feel like from the start I was doomed to be that person that has to survive. Survive my parents death. Survive depression. Survive addiction. It felt like once a struggle was overcome another struggle was on the horizon. Some people just live this way. I won't deny that I was possibly one of those people that just needed chaos or attracted to it. My past is humbling to say the least.

All of these things are why I sit here in awe as I write this. I whole heartily believe that every life needs a bit of ugly to truly appreciate the beauty. I guess I could just never imagine that even on my happy days I would one day feel so content.

Which brings me to now. The past several days I've had some moments of quiet and reflection. It was then that it hit me that I am truly happy. Not for false reasons. It's not materialistic things or something coming easy. It's just real. Pure joy, appreciated blessings, and contentment with what I have and who I am. There is a calming peace even in moments of crazy.

It is always good to count your blessings and to realize that honestly we really can't even begin to count them all.

One. These two girls. Where could I even begin to explain the magic in watching someone grow and change and become who they are? To see so many qualities I find in myself. To see the characteristics in their eyes and precious faces. Every second is a blessing. Even the screaming on the floor seconds. Really in the grand scheme of things the bad moments just don't even begin to stack up to the good.

Two. Settling into my role as Adam's wife. The closeness that comes from looking back on struggles overcome together. Knowing that he is the one person in this world that loves what means most to me just as much. That together we created a family and together we are whole.

Three. Having such an amazing family outside of us four. Just knowing that they are there and have always been there. The gift of always having someone to call who knows everything in the first couple words.

Four. Having a skill. I can't even tell you how fulfilling it is to have a craft. Everyone should have something they know and love. The ability to look at an image and tell you what is right or wrong or to be able to do it is priceless. Do what you love and love what you do. That is a blessing.

Five. Myself. A healthy body and a healthy mind. The gift of my life so that I can spend it with one through four. Knowing that thick or thin it will be ok. The experience that comes from seeing the truly ugly and the truly beautiful parts of life.

I know in my heart what has changed. What has made me realize all my blessings and brought peace into my life. The honest answer is God. We have always had God in our home, but not completely. It wasn't a huge focus or priority. We knew we were Christians. We knew we believed in God, but we didn't live it. You can go about your days not committing sins but yet still not really live the life fully.

God is in our home. We don't just go to church because you should. We go because we need and want it. We pray not for wants or wishes but for others and for thanks. Things are changing in this house. The more God is in it the more we are at peace. The more content we are with good times or bad times. The more we trust in our future because we know they are his plans.

I never dreamed my life would be this. I never thought that even in my desire to be happy that it would be this good. It's not just happy when things are good or going my way. It's just happy and that's when it's real.

...and while I write this

two babies are sleeping

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The War On Reflux

It feels like a war. We have a solution, and then something sets us back. She's ok. She's not ok. I want to say that Natalie is the sweetest and smiliest little baby. When people always ask is she a "good baby" I have to laugh. I hate that question about any infant. Well she doesn't stay out past curfew, she doesn't swear or talk back, and so far she's not pregnant. I mean how could she be bad? She's three months old. I know what they mean. Yes she sleeps through the night at the moment. Yes she smiles a lot and doesn't cry all hours of the day. Really though it's a loaded question. She is an amazing baby, but she is in pain. It causes my heart pain.

The past couple days her reflux seems like the days when she was not diagnosed.  A lot of arching. A lot of crying. Her cough is back. She is spitting up often. She sounds like she has smoked for 30 years. Tonight was the worse thus far. She cried for several hours. A cry of pain. It is so hard as a mother to sit and rock and sway and be unable to offer relief. I can shush and pray and cry with you, but I can't take away the pain, and I'm sorry.

My thoughts are that she has gained a considerable amount of weight since her last appointment. At that time they raised her dosage based on her new weight. So tomorrow first thing I'm going to call and see if they can tell me a new dosage. I just don't think we can wait till her appointment on the 20th. She needs it now. I also switched her from Gentle Ease to AR today.

She isn't spitting up as much with the AR. What she did was very thick. Not like before. However tonight was the crying fit so her spit up may be less, but her pain obviously isn't.

I just want to hear her breath easily. I want to feed her and not worry that she will lose all the food she needs. I want her to be comfortable. I want for her to be able to do whatever she wants after a bottle and not have her waiting period for when she can be out of the perfectly propped angle. I don't want to ever hear her cough, because her poor throat is burning. I won't stop looking for an answer till she is. Whether it's dosage or soy v. milk based or time. I just need to know how to relieve her pain when she screams for relief. I want to offer more than rocking and singing.

I'm her mom and I'm suppose to make it all better, but I don't. I will though eventually. I know it, because somethings got to give.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My Nephew Is 2

When you have a baby you know them by weeks for the longest time. Each month you are blown away that so many weeks have gone by. Pretty soon it's 6 months. Then with a blink they are a year. That whole year you are just waiting for it to happen. You know it goes by fast so you watch carefully as the days pass.

Then there is two. Where you try to search your brain for how many months they are. That second year is a dozy. You're so busy putting feet back on the floor and chasing down a toddler that you don't even really know the day. It's not just the rush though. The second year is not necessarily better, but so different. This year they are a tiny person with interests, thoughts, and a way of communicating. They have settled in to the family. You can't remember what it was really like without them. Your days are meals, cartoons, play, and so much laughter. Your days are a start to a brand new adventure brought on by curiosity and a thirst to learn. A lot of not so fun things too, but who counts those.

The second year is just gone. You aren't sitting and waiting because your mind isn't watching the time. It's watching them and their learning and growing. It's fast, but not so fast. That's why it's so sneaky. All of a sudden you realize they are so much different than two months ago in the pictures on the fridge.

So now he is two. Two years. I want to tell you everything about him. There just isn't enough time to put down his whole character, because believe me it's a lot. Aiden is kind. He is a gentle sole. He has been since he was itty bitty. He chuckles. If you ask him he is five. You have to tell him the Bubble Guppies are napping in order for him to drop the begging to turn on the DVR. He loves anything stuffed and especially monkeys. He's bright. If you want him to say something don't ask. Just say it and 100% of the time he will repeat it. I've never seen a child have so much wonder in their eyes. He takes in everything, and he loves it all. He's going to be a good person. I know it in my heart. He's going to help people and go places.

Being an aunt is a surreal thing. It was yesterday that I was looking through the glass at this tiny little screaming baby. We all hovered around and took in every feature. At eight months pregnant the tears were streaming. My mind was racing through all those precious memories I had with Bree. All the late nights, barbies, and secret games. The petty fights and the meaningful make ups. This was her son. We always knew this day would happen, and it was here. My best friend had just had the best thing that will ever happen to her. I love him. He's not my own. He is something entirely different, and really I have no idea how to explain it. I would do anything for him just like my own. I love my own because they are mine. I love him because he is hers.

He is my sister's son. He is my nephew. He is my daughter's best friend. He has so many roles in his life that mean so very much to me. He's growing and becoming himself and as he grows his life becomes more intertwined in the rest of ours. As bitter sweet as a second birthday is it is a magical thing.

Happy Birthday Aiden. I am so excited for your life and the years to come.




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We're Back!

As I have said on here before Molly's toddler antics and Natalie's unsuccessful breastfeeding has really rocked my mama core. I have had feelings that I'm just not as good of a mom as I use to be. Dumb, but I've felt it. I do need to add that as time passes these feelings have faded. I've accepted that she is not at the breast. We have also found a discipline technique that works for M without being to harsh or too light. All and all things have been great around here. Having two has not been hard, but it has been an adjustment. I can say now that we are adjusted.

So in those doubting times I had made a decision to return to something familiar. Cloth diapers. I loved cloth diapering Molly. We went until about a year. I'm not really sure why we stopped. It wasn't hard. It wasn't gross. It just ended. At this point who cares, because she's been in underwear only the past month.

The fact that she is now potty trained probably made this decision a lot easier. We would only cloth diaper one. I would have two kids under two, but buy diapers for no one. That sort of thing. The biggest reason I decided to buy cloth diapers again was to feel like me. Not breastfeeding and having a baby made me feel like I wasn't myself. So I wanted to get back to something I believed in.

 I had already sold all of Molly's old diapers so I got the fun task of buying new ones! This time I wanted something different. So I switched from Bum Genius to Alva. They have adorable prints. The price point is amazing. About $5.99 a diaper.

The diapers are adorable. From minky fabric to over the top Tokyo street fashion prints. I'm in love and so glad to be cloth diapering again!

My tush feels amazing in this minky diaper!