Sunday, June 30, 2013

lil' bed bugs

When Alex is out of town, it's not uncommon for one of the boys to find their way into our bed.  Weston was all cozy with a book one night.  

I took a picture of all of them, just for fun.  They like to play on our bed.

Six-month Savannah

Savannah is doing great.  She is sleeping about 10.5 hours at night, with an occasion early-morning waking.  I think it might be because of teething?  We don't have to feed her or anything - just comfort her and maybe turn her back over on her tummy, where she likes to sleep.  I caught her playing with her bear the other day.  

She has two teeth now.  She has discovered her voice a little more, with high-pitched squeals.  Cute at home, not cute in church. 

Seems like all our kids have to take a picture with a zucchini or something from the garden.  This was our biggest zucchini so far.  (She didn't like it in her lap...)

She is eating baby food well.  I have decided to try making my own baby food with her.  She is now eating sweet potatoes, applesauce, blueberries, green beans, rice cereal, pears, and broccoli.  She LOVED the broccoli!  Just like the boys.  She also seems to like blueberries - I couldn't keep it from getting all over her face.  I tried to scoop it up with each bite, but it just got smeared all over.  Cute huh?

When she gets excited, she twirls her feet.  This was when she was eating broccoli.  I must be doing something right... 

She only gained 1 lb. in the last two months... better start feeding her more!  (She weighs 16 lbs. 2 oz)

Awesome Alex

Alex has been enjoying his new hobby:  gardening.  It's his escape.  If he is not around, he is most likely outside "working" in the garden.  :)  Really, how much work can you do on the garden?  Just water it right?  

We bought a couple of trees and other plants - an avocado and tangerine tree, a banana pepper plant, and blueberry plant.  I think it takes a while for them to produce.  Meanwhile, the zucchini and squash are growing like crazy.  We soon will be getting tomatoes.  We hope to get beans, peppers, watermelon, and cantaloupe too.  But the gopher has eaten most of the watermelon, and the peppers don't seem to be growing.  

Alex has also been hard at work with the apricots.  He dried some of them - I ate so many one day that my stomach hurt.  I helped him make some jam as well.  So yummy.  But it has tons of sugar in it, so of course it's going to be good.  

Alex also has been working hard on the job.  He got a long-awaited promotion.  I don't talk much about his job on the blog, since it doesn't keep things low profile on here.  But he did achieve a big accomplishment at work.  We didn't celebrate big, but had a yummy fast-food lunch, along with milk and cookies.  (It was a treat... we don't eat out much.)  Maybe we'll celebrate right one of these days.

And he is busy being a good husband and father.  Thanks for all the work you do Alex!  
He didn't get much for Father's Day - just a couple of good home-cooked meals.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Because you didn't ask...

Well, I don't often do posts about me, but I figure I want to document some things about me in my blog books.  And maybe you're wondering about me sometimes too.  

So... my latest thing is trying to get in shape and be more healthy (you might have a similar goal right?).  I want to lose my pregnancy weight, get back in shape, and just improve my general health.  I started jogging again towards the end of February and doing some on-line work-out videos.  I really like this cardio kickboxing one, which I thought I wouldn't.  But it's actually a pretty feel good work-out.  It's good to do when I feel like hitting or kicking something!  :)  It would be even better if I had a punching bag.  (I did kick the wall the other day when I was really angry...didn't leave a mark luckily.)

I also have been trying to make some changes in my diet.  I don't eat terribly, but not the best either.  I know I wasn't eating enough fruits and vegetables.  I don't know why, but I was drawn back to the "Eating Right for your Blood Type Diet."  I had read about it a while back, but never really tried it out.  I am attempting to see if it makes a difference, although I haven't been really strict about adhering to my particular diet.  The BTD has certain foods that you should avoid and certain ones that are very beneficial for your blood type.  Some of the main "avoids" for me are tomatoes, chicken, corn, and peanuts.  Supposedly I don't process those very well.  I have been pretty good about cutting those out, despite several favorite things that have those - like spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, chips & salsa, and peanut butter.  (I did eat a couple pieces of pizza for Jared's birthday).  The other thing that most blood types don't tolerate very well is wheat.  I haven't been great about that, since so many things have wheat in it.  Hats off to the successful gluten free people out there!  It's hard.  The more I am reading, the more I am hearing about wheat not being very good.  But there are just so many yummy things out there that I have a hard time not eating.  It seems like our culture is so in-grained (ha ha) with wheat products, but maybe that's why obesity and heart disease etc. are such a problem.  Lots of sugar, wheat, and processed foods is a bad combination.  Anyway, I figure I have nothing to lose by trying this out.  It's not a type of diet where you feel hungry all the time.  If anything, I'll just end up eating more fruits and veggies since I need to fill up with something besides bread and pasta.   

Another of my main objectives, besides general health, is to also see if I can help my allergies by avoiding certain things too.  I have had this weird thing with my voice, where it cuts out on certain sounds.  At times I have a really hard time talking.  I'm not sure exactly what it is - I have been diagnosed with "spasmodic dysphonia", but that basically just means vocal cord dysfunction.  No one seems to know what causes it.  Sometimes it's better and sometimes worse, so I think it could be related to allergies?  I had the problem towards the end of high school and beginning of college, but when I started allergy shots, it was significantly better.  When I later went off the allergy shots, I had problems again.  Anyway, D'Adamo (the author of the BTD) also has a book on allergies and how certain foods may be a problem.  One of my main culprits could be wheat. Cheese also can contribute to excess mucous.  So although I am not cutting them out completely, I'm just trying to eat less of them. And there are foods that are highly beneficial that I'm trying to eat more of, like onions, pineapple, walnuts, kale, olive oil, and some other things.   

Here's a look at what I have been eating.  I think I do pretty good with breakfast and lunch, but I need some more dinner ideas.  Cooking without chicken, tomatoes, and less bread and pasta is challenging.  I have still been cooking with some of my "avoids" for Alex and the boys.  I haven't subjected them to my diet yet.  I tried a gluten free pasta and didn't like it - it was made with rice and corn though, which I didn't realize.  (Corn is on the avoid list anyway.) Luckily the boys like beef and most veggies, so I don't have to do completely separate meals.  

I don't really miss sandwiches - I love the yogurt and fruit for lunch.  I'll probably eat more tuna fish when I'm not breastfeeding anymore.  Tuna tastes pretty good on salad.  I have been trying to eat more salads, just prepared individually right before I eat them.  I used to not make them because the boys don't eat them, and the rest of the salad would go to waste in the fridge.  But if I just make my own salad, it's great.  (Why didn't I do that before...?)  I recently went to this salad class with the church ladies and was introduced to homemade dressing.  There are variations, but basically you just use lemon juice, olive oil, and a little salt or vinegar.  Basil tastes good too.  I really like it.   

Bacon and pork aren't very good for you, so I'm trying the turkey bacon - love it.  We're still doing lots of eggs since protein for breakfast is really good for you.  (A friend from church gave us some quail eggs - such cute little egg bites.)  We're doing some yogurt smoothies now, about every other day.  I'm putting some spinach, kale, and flaxseed in there for a boost.       

So... when you ruin dinner, you usually throw a pizza in the oven, right?  What happens when you ruin the pizza??  The pizza slid off the pan, cheese side down....

Well, I wasn't eating it, so I just picked it up and added some more cheese, popped it in the oven, and it was good to go! Ha ha. What a mess...

As I mentioned earlier, the other part of my health kick is getting in shape.  I don't really think you can lose weight and keep it off without exercise.  You have to burn more than you consume... 
Back to jogging again.  I am still going pretty slow, but trying to gradually increase my mileage.  I have been doing about 3 miles, bumping it up to 4 sometimes.

I did do a local fundraiser race - 4 miles.  I wasn't really ready for it (knew about it 3 weeks beforehand), but it wasn't hard to finish it.  My time was 38:30.  The boys asked why I ran so slow... that's about as good as I can right now.  I had only done about 30 minutes at a pace.  

The mornings work well for jogging.  My dad will be happy to know that Nathan and Jared are now running in the morning with Alex or me.  I ran with my dad in the mornings when I was young.  It was a good feeling coming full circle to now have my kids running with me.  They have only been doing about a mile, but I hope to start running a little more with them too.  I think this is the 7th week of running for them, so we are sticking with it pretty well! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

treat nights

We used to have treat nights on Monday and Friday nights.  But in an effort to be more healthy (and not have to put sugar-high kids to bed...ugh.), we eliminated the Friday treat night.  Our movie, ice cream, and popcorn night is now just movie & popcorn.  They look forward to Monday nights even more now since that's their ice cream night.  However, since I did take away the ice cream on Friday, I decided to add one treat night per month for the boys.  They now get a special outing to McDonald's or Costco food court with either me or Alex, as well as being a "helper" in getting things at Costco.  It works pretty well since we need to do a Costco run once a week AND the one on one time is nice.  I finally got through the rotation of an outing with each of them, so here are the pictures from those.  I love the look on Weston's face when I put the yogurt in front of him.  He didn't eat all of that - we shared.  That's one little benefit of these treat nights.  Alex and I get TWO extra treat nights per month!  :)  Ah, life is good.  (The rotation will be perfect when we add Savannah in the mix...)

Summer fun...

So, I implemented a rule for summer so that the boys don't spend all day playing games on-line or watching videos.  They can earn afternoon screen time equal to the amount of time they spend outside (since it's nice enough here to do that).  After about 45 minutes, I looked out the window and saw this...

I guess as long as they're outside, that's okay with me.  I will have to come up with several outside activities soon though. 

I didn't get a picture of it, but their second morning's outside activity was trying to whack a gopher with a baseball bat.  Oh boy.  Is summer over yet?

Have you "herb"...?

...Nathan and Jared had the best teachers!  We're grateful for good teachers (Nathan had 2 teachers - I didn't get a picture with one of them).  We gave them some basil plants with a couple of cheesy sayings - Have you "HERB"?  You're the best teacher!  Thanks for helping me GROW!

They had a good year.  I'm just sad that it had to end... I vote for year round school! (3 weeks in between quarters?  I think that would be great.)

Sweet potatoes?

Not really.

This is what she thinks of sweet potatoes... 

I think we can try those again later.  Just a bad first taste...