Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Formula is Evil!

Did I get your attention? ;-)

I've been meaning to note that I don't really hate formula as much as I may have let on in my posts about Lena's weight gain/"failure to thrive." I don't want any of my formula-feeding-friends to feel like I'm looking down on you. I couldn't care less how you choose to feed your baby. I, personally, love breastfeeding, and I just hated that I felt like formula-feeding was being pushed on me by my doctor. Formula is a Godsend for women who can't or don't want to breastfeed, and I like having it as an option to fall back on. At least I did . . .

I'm terrible at building a frozen milk stash. I'm home all the time, so it's not too necessary. And I have yet to figure out when I'm supposed to pump when I breastfeed for every feeding. Anyway, we have a wedding coming up and the girls are going to Justin's parents'. I don't want to worry about having enough frozen milk and I don't want them to have to worry about warming it up. So I decided to have Justin give Lena a bottle of formula last night while I was at Bible Study to see how she'd do with it. She only drank 2 ounces, then went to sleep.

I nursed her at 10:30, then when I was ready for bed, I scooped her up out of the swing and carried her upstairs. I laid her down in her bed at 11:15 and she started screaming. And screaming. And screaming. Like I've never heard her scream before. Mind you, this is my colicky baby, so I've heard her scream. This was different. She was writhing in pain and grunting and straining so hard she would stop breathing for seconds at a time - like to the point that she was making me nervous. This went on for probably half an hour before I got her settled down on my chest. She continued to grunt and hold her breath in her sleep for a while, then started screaming again. We did that cycle a couple times before she finally got into a deep sleep and I was able to put her back in bed. At 12:50, she woke up out of a sound sleep puking her guts out. After that, she seemed to have gotten it out of her system, and slept peacefully the rest of the night.

It had to have been the formula. (It was Enfamil Newborn that they gave me in the hospital.) So much for that plan. I guess I better get working on my freezer stash!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy got this book for her birthday from Great Grandpa and Grandma.
It came with a CD of a little girl reading the stories. Lucy listens to it during every nap and every night before bed, and she seriously has every story memorized. It is amazing. I really need to get her a CD of Bible verses or something!

2. I made another fabulous pinterest recipe this week. Smoky Chicken Pasta. It was very similar to some other recipes I've made from plainchicken, but I still loved it. It was very bad for us, though. Lots of heavy cream, butter, and cheese. Which leads me to my next point . . .

3. The diet is not going very well. Haha. We had Olive Garden on Sunday as a belated Mother's Day celebration. Monday night was Bible Study potluck where I ate way too much good food. We had that fattening smoky chicken pasta on Thursday, and KFC on Friday. Oh, and Wednesday night I had a small bowl of ice cream, followed by 2 of those Grandma's chocolate chip cookies you get from the gas station. It was 400 calories for both of them, and I didn't even care. I just chowed them down. Ugh. No self control.

4. Also, I didn't run once this week. My run last Saturday consisted of 2, 2 minute runs (separated by 4 minutes of walking). The last minute really killed me and I got totally defeated about ever being able to do more than that. Plus it rained a lot this week, we were busy, I didn't have anyone to watch the girls while I ran, it was really hot, it was really cold . . . excuses, excuses. Despite all my laziness, though, I did lose one pound. Small victories.

5. Justin, Lucy, and Lena all had awful colds this week. Justin actually had it the worst, which is very unlike him. He never gets very sick. He was hacking his guts out, though, and blowing his nose every 15 seconds. Lena got a pretty mild case, but it was still so sad hearing her cough. :-( Miraculously, I never got it. I always get everything - especially coughs. The only thing I can think is that they all got a strain of something I've already had. Or all those vitamins I'm taking are doing something for my immunity!

6. I forgot to record that Justin went back to his old position at work last week. He starts really early in the morning, but gets home earlier and has every Friday off! That's especially nice when a holiday falls on a Monday. 4 day weekend!

7. I've been feeling really convicted about spending more time reading the Bible, lately. I really need to try hard to make it a priority. I say I don't have time, but I always find time for facebook and blogging, don't I? Anyway, I feel like I've read the Bible before and don't know where to start. I kind of want a devotional book. I can't remember if I've asked for suggestions before, but I'm asking again. Here are my requirements: I want something easy to read/understand, but not complete fluff. I'm not a fan of poetic/flowery language (aka Ann Voskamp). And I don't want to read Jesus Calling. I just have a hard time with people putting words in Jesus' mouth. So with that said, any suggestions?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lena: 4 Months

My baby is 1/3 of the way to a year! 4 months old and getting cuter every day. ;-)

The past few days she's been waking up at 6:59 on the dot. Haha. She happily talks and plays for a while before she starts fussing. I feed her in bed and we snuggle for a while, then we usually go back to bed for an hour or so until Lucy wakes up.

She's finally started to go 3 hours between eating! Not every time, but more often than not. I think it helps that she's started to eat off both sides more regularly. She definitely prefers my right side, so the left doesn't produce as much. Isn't it crazy how my body knows that?

She's still only staying awake about an hour at a time before going down for another nap, and she usually takes a few short naps and one long nap during the day.

Night time is very hit or miss. Sometimes she has her last feeding at 7:30, sometimes it's not until 10 or 11. I was just reading in Lucy's 4 month update that she had started sleeping 12 hours at night! She didn't consistently sleep through the night until 8 months, but apparently she started doing it now and then by 4! Lena is no where close to that. I was astounded when she made it 8 hours the other night. She usually does a 6-7 hour stretch, followed by a 3 hour stretch. Nothing new there.

Personality and Milestones
Lena loves to talk. She especially likes to make gurgly, growly sounds. And she loves to squeal. This is her being happy. (It's only sideways for the first few seconds.)

She loves kicking her legs. She does it every time I lay her on her back - whether it's in her swing, on her playmat, or in the bath (which results in much splashing).

She's finally outgrown the colic, and is usually a happy, easy going baby. She loves to smile, but very rarely giggles. We've only heard a few chuckles here and there. I can't wait for the real belly laughs to start!!

She's getting good at playing with her toys and getting them in her mouth. She still hates tummy time, but can't roll over anymore like she did as a little baby (when her head was so much bigger than the rest of her body. Haha). She's working so hard on rolling from her back to her belly, but just gets up on her side, wobbles a little bit, then falls back onto her back.

She's a major drooler, but I highly doubt she's getting teeth yet. Lucy didn't get them until 10 months, and I don't feel anything in Lena's mouth. I think she just always has her mouth open, so drool comes out. Haha.

Here's another of her strange quirks: she has the most awful smelling gas of any baby I've ever known. How can a breastfed baby have such stinky toots? I think it's because she never poops - seriously, probably only once a week - if that.

She's still a little midget. Her next doctor's appointment isn't until June 10 (because I rescheduled for a time when my doctor will be back from maternity leave instead of seeing the formula-pushing PA!), so I don't really know how much she weighs. But she's still wearing 3 month clothes. Actually, yesterday she was wearing a GAP dress that said "Up to 3 months" and the little diaper cover sagged around her knees because she couldn't keep it up!

My mom and I were looking at pictures of Lucy as a baby last night. Lena is definitely starting to look more like her - just with bigger ears and less chub. Haha.

And as always, a note on me: I've started shedding. I pull out huge chunks of hair in the shower. And I realized this week that I'm only a couple pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I've lost 40 lbs since the day Lena was born. Woot! But I still have a good 15 to go to get to my healthy weight. Blurg. I'm officially done with the maternity jeans, but only because I went out and got a pair of jeans in a much bigger size than I've ever worn, and a friend loaned me her "fat jeans." (I can say that, because she was only "fat" right after having her baby and is back to size negative zero now. Haha.)

I love my little Lena bean so much. Last night, she was fighting against sleep, so I sat in my dark room rocking her. As she snuggled against my chest, I felt so overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have my 2 healthy, happy girls. That's grace right there, because I certainly don't deserve such a blessing!

I is for Ice Cream

It's a cold, rainy day today, but we're dreaming of sunshine and ice cream, so we made this little craft today.

First we drew a lowercase i.

I drew x-es on the bottom to make it look like an ice cream cone, cut some ice cream scoops out of construction paper, and let Lucy glue them on.

You're not taking my picture, are you?

We glued on cotton balls to look like whipped cream. Lucy thought they looked like marshmallows, so we had to have a little marshmallow snack:

We glued a cherry pom pom on top and some sprinkles on the bottom.

It's supposed to be nicer tomorrow. We might have to take a field trip to the ice cream shop!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lucy's 3 Year Interview

I just realized I forgot to post this. I found the questions on pinterest, and Lucy was so adorable when she answered them. She really thought about each one and surprised me a couple times with her answers. I didn't help her at all. This is what she came up with all on her own.

What do you and Mommy do together?

What do you and Daddy do together?

What makes you happy?

What is something scary?

What are you really good at?

Who is your best friend?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you think about before you fall asleep?
Getting my "be's" [this was before we took them away - haha]

Yellow and pink

The Belly Button Book [Sandra Boynton]

Little Mermaid



TV Show

My baby

Turtle [that one surprised me, but she answered without hesitation! haha]

"Lola and you Dance." [She made that up on the spot, so I said, "Nooo, what's your real favorite song? She repeated "Lola and you Dance," then pointed at my paper and said, "Write that down." Lol.]



Breakfast Food


Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Saturday 8! (Bonus Point!)

1. We had a big weekend last week. Lucy's birthday was Saturday. We spent hours at Chuck E. Cheese thanks to the hundred tokens my mom got Lucy. We didn't even use them all.

2. Also on Saturday, Justin ran the 25K River Bank run in Grand Rapids. Lucy and I went to watch last year, but I didn't have a babysitter for Lena this year, and there was no way I would be able to push the double stroller through the crowd down there! Justin had a cold, so he didn't do as well as last year, but he finished! That alone is an incredible feat.

3. Sunday was Lucy's birthday party. She got spoiled like crazy and loved all the attention. Imagine that. Haha. Then, Monday was my brother Luke's birthday. Lucy and I decorated for him:
Poster on his door - Lucy decorated it with princess stickers. :-)
Lucy's portrait of Luke.
Balloons! (Don't mind his messy room! Haha.)
 4. Lena has been trying so hard to roll over this week! She just can't get past this:
She's also been doing awesome sleeping at night lately. One night this week, she slept from 6 pm-2 am. I checked on her around midnight to make sure she was breathing! Haha. And a few other nights recently she ate late (like 10ish), then only got up once in the middle of the night. Making progress!

5. Oh, I almost forgot to chronicle the great binky debacle of 2013! Lucy has loved her binky since the day she was born. I just couldn't bring myself to take it from her, but now that she's 3, I decided it's time to lay down the law. We've been warning her for months that when she turned 3, we'd throw them away. But when the time came, she was not happy.

Honestly, though, after the initial tears, she did amazingly well. She definitely asked for them often, and the first night it took her a while to go to sleep. The nap on day 2 was the worst. She screamed and cried for a long time. But after the first couple of days, she stopped asking for them altogether! Whew!

6. Unfortunately, she's been a real bear this week. It's probably because she's sick and is adjusting to the "no binkies" thing, but she has been driving me crazy. I've seen this website before, but I came across it again this week: - This dad takes pictures of the ridiculous things his son is crying about and captions them. Like "I wouldn't let him drown in this pond" or "I wouldn't let him drink my whiskey." I'm about ready to start doing this with Lucy. On Tuesday, she cried for a solid hour - including the entire time we were at Meijer - because she didn't want to wear the pants I picked out for her. Then yesterday she cried the whole 30 minute drive home from Kohl's because Justin didn't let her push the handicap button on the way out of the store. I seriously have to remind myself to breathe and relax my jaw because I get so tense!

I really think I need to start repairing some of the damage I've done by spoiling her. She just expects everyone to do what she wants when she wants it. Most of the time, it's not a big deal to do what she wants, and it's so much easier than listening to her cry for an hour. But that's some majorly lazy parenting. I foresee a couple rough weeks in our future. :-/
This is her "Don't take my picture" face.
7. I got a little annoyed with dieting this week. I really miss drinking scads of Dr Pepper. Plus I was really good (staying under 1700 calories every day but one - when I only went to 1800) and didn't lose any weight. I'm also a little concerned that I'm threatening my milk supply by so drastically decreasing my caloric intake. I don't want my body to think I'm starving and stop making milk! I ate whatever I wanted this weekend. I need to get back on the wagon on Monday - maybe just a little more moderately. We'll see. I have been sticking with my running program, though. I ran for 2 consecutive minutes this week. That's big news for me. Lol. And as soon as I wrap up this entry, I'm off to do it again! Wish me luck! :-)

8. I'm cheating and adding an extra today because I feel the need to record that we had Lena dedicated at church on Sunday. 
Pastor Chris gave her this verse "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." (Psalm 116:1-2) That is our prayer for her - that she will call on God as long as she lives. 

Also, on a more trivial note - I was so proud of that outfit. Haha. Justin gave me an Old Navy gift card for mother's day, so I went and tried on a million things that made me look frumpy, pregnant, or tubby. Then I found this dress. It was apparently returned in store after being purchased online because it didn't have a price on the tag. I took it to the counter and asked nervously how much it was . . . $10.99! I spent $12 on the sweater and $13 on the necklace! Quite a steal. Don't be surprised if you see me in this outfit a lot this summer. I have very few things that make me feel stylish. Haha. 

H is for Hands

Lucy got a bunch of princess nail polish for her birthday, and she desperately wants to paint her own nails, but I just can't bring myself to allow such a mess. I compromised this week when we worked on the letter H.

First we traced her hands, then I drew nails on them, and finally she got to paint them!

Then she wanted to trace my hand. Lol. I promise it doesn't really look like this:

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Best of Pinterest [Recipe Edition]

My sister is in search of a way to make cake pops royal blue. We've ruled out food coloring (it makes the frosting gloppy and gross), and it's surprisingly difficult to find royal blue sprinkles or sugar. So when I came across this pin on Pinterest, I got all excited and sent it to her:
The caption on the pin, says to combine 1/4 c. sugar with 1/2 tsp. food coloring, and bake it at 350*. However, when you click on the pic to go to the site, it says "This page has been removed." Niki did a little searching and found this:
Apparently, it's not real. Or if it is, it's pretty difficult to accomplish.

I also saw an article floating around facebook recently about how Pinterest is creating anxiety in mothers and causing them to feel so much pressure to be the "Pinterest mom." I honestly do feel that way sometimes, but I also think Pinterest has been an amazing tool. I have found so many amazing recipes, tips, and craft projects that I decided to document my successes (and maybe mention some Pinterest fails as well - haha).

Let's start with Recipes. I have pinned 141 things to my "For the Belly" board. Honestly, I haven't done most of them. But here a few that I've tried that have been winners. (A lot of them are from - my favorite foodie blog.)

Added to My Meal Repertoire 
Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti - This has made its way into my rotation of meals. Easy and delicious. I make it often.

Baked KFC Chicken - The pin claims to taste like KFC but is baked, not fried. It's actually pretty accurate! I've made this a few times. It's one of those recipes that I always have the ingredients on hand, so it's easy to whip up!

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili - Another one of my favorites that I make all the time. Especially good on cold winter days.

Grilled Chicken over Tomato Alfredo Pasta - And another that has made it into my repertoire of meals I make often. Super easy and delicious. I've made the chicken in a skillet, too, when it's too cold to grill.

Cajun Grilled Chicken - Don't be scared by the Cajun seasoning. It's not overly spicy. I'm looking forward to summer so we can break out the grill for this dish!

Cajun Chicken Pasta - I think this might be the pin that turned me onto - for that, I am eternally grateful. I make this all the time, and again, sometimes I just make the chicken in the skillet, when the weather isn't grill-friendly.

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps - This is another of my go-to meals. It's slightly time consuming, but so worth it. And they're not horribly bad for us - which is rare in my cooking. Haha.

Delicious But Time Consuming
"The Best" White Chicken Enchiladas Ever - This is a Pinterest favorite. I see it all the time. I finally tried it out a while ago. It was delicious, but I haven't made it again. Too much work. Haha.

Wild Rice Chicken Casserole - Another one that was really good, but too time consuming to really make it into my repertoire.

Chicken Bacon Pasta - I wish I had the patience to make this meal more often. It is incredible!

Desserts, Breads, and Snacks
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes - I didn't have dark chocolate cocoa powder, so I just used regular. Mine didn't look as glossy as the picture, but they sure were delicious!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Pie - I've blogged about this before. It was divine. This is why I have to be on a diet.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles - Oh man. If I had the time and metabolism, I would make these every day. Perfect for special occasions.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies - The pin claims that these are made without white sugar, flour, or butter. But I really just made them because the recipe called for ingredients I had on hand, and I'm a sucker for the pb/chocolate combination. I wrote here (point 3) about my experience making them. Kind of weird, but absolutely amazing.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread - I used to make this a few times a month. I haven't made it in a while, but I really should. It's amazing.

Honey Beer Bread - I was so excited to find this recipe. I love Tastefully Simple's beer bread, but I'm not a fan of its price. This just calls for basic ingredients I usually have on hand (except for the beer) and is just as good as TS!

No Bake Energy Bites - This is one of my best pins ever. I'm usually not a big health nut, but I love that these are semi guiltless for snacking on! And uber-yummy!

See? Pinterest is totally worth it! That said, I have had a few failures. Nothing as epic as the glitter meme, but still disappointing.

This ham and bean soup was flavorless and gross.
This eggless cookie dough was slimy and didn't taste that great.
This crockpot chicken teriyaki is another pinterest all-star that was actually really nasty. Total fail.

I've had a lot more successes than failures, though! Stay tuned for some posts about my best craft finds and helpful household hints!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

3 Year Update Addendum

I thought of a few things I forgot to mention in Lucy's 3 Year Update.

1. She is just now starting to sprout her 2 year molars! We're late bloomers around here. Her fingers are always in her mouth lately, so I took a peek - sure enough, one of her lower molars is starting to poke through. Only one so far! The good news is they don't seem to be hurting her. She's always been a pretty easy teether. Hopefully Lena will follow suit!

2. She has a nasty cold right now - complete with chest rattling cough and disgusting runny nose. The kid can not figure out how to blow her nose. She either blows with her mouth or sucks the snot back in. Haha. Her preferred method of snot removal is using her right arm to swipe under her nose and across her cheek. She has a perpetual snot trail on her right cheek (and forearm). Totally the Wal-Mart child I swore I wouldn't have.

3. Another of her quirks I wanted to record is her propensity for making lists. I think she partially has my planning/list making personality, but she's also been largely influenced by my dad who makes himself a "note" every day (his to-do list.) Lucy is always making notes and lists. And she loves any kind of paperwork. She always wants my grocery receipts, and she recently found an old bulletin that entertained her for days. She calls it her "directions," carries it around everywhere, and loves making notations on it. Haha.

4. One of her favorite games is "sleepover." It's also my favorite game. She makes me lay in her bed and go to sleep. I can handle that! She covers me up, puts on a CD, reads me a book, gives me a kiss, then tells me in her most authoritative voice, "Go to sleep." Part of the game is that I have to call for her every minute or so and ask for a drink or a kiss or another book. She thinks it's hilarious when I act like she does at bedtime. And she takes great delight in giving me an exasperated sigh and saying, "What do you need now?!" I wonder where she gets that from. Haha.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lucy's 3 Year Update

My Lucy is 3 years old. Somehow that seems so old. Not such a toddler anymore. Only 2 years 'til she's in Kindergarten! Here are some of the things I want to note about her:

She can be so sweet. Yesterday, I was playing with her dollhouse with her. She looked up at me with the biggest smile, leaned over to hug me and said, "Mommy, you're my best friend." I about melted in a puddle right there.

She's the best big sister. She loves to kiss and hug Lena, and is always saying, "I love you, Lena!" She talks in a high, squeaky voice (can't imagine where she gets that from), loves to put the binky back in Lena's mouth, and will often say, "Why you crying Lena? Do you need a kiss from your big sister?" Haha.

Yesterday, at her birthday party, she unwrapped a fishing pole from Justin. Someone told her to tell him thank you, and she ran over to him, gave him a big hug, then leaned back to look him in the eye and say so sincerely, "Thank you, Daddy!"

She's incredibly smart. She has a mind like a steel trap. Don't ever tell her something you don't want repeated, because she will remember it and repeat it. Haha. She pays attention to everything. One day, Justin was driving her to Niki's house. There was an accident blocking the road, so they had to take a different road. Days later, I was driving her to Niki's house on the same road. She piped up from the backseat, "I went this way with Daddy. There were lots of firemans cuz someone got hurt, so we had to go a different way."  On her birthday, my mom set out a cup of Chuck E. Cheese tokens for Lucy before she left for work. When Lucy found them, she said, "I saw these in Grandma's room." Haha. Nosy.

She catches on to letters and numbers with lightning speed, and remembers things I didn't even work hard to reinforce with her. For instance, we talked about Lena's middle name being Kay exactly once, but she'll tell anyone who asks what Lena's middle name is. She also caught on that her birthday is May 11 after being told only once or twice. I hope that memory will serve her well in school!

She's very particular. Haha. She likes things a certain way. We give her juice diluted with water, but she insists that the water must go on the bottom and the juice on the top. She has to have her plethora of animals and babies lined up just right in her bed every night. She has specific ways to playing with her doctor kit, her kitchen stuff, and her dollhouse - she will teach you the right way, and you better not mess it up. Haha. She and my dad have this running joke about how to pronounce banana. Every day, my dad will say, "Are you going to have a nanno for breakfast this morning?" And every day she corrects him, "No, it's a banna." She doesn't realize it's a joke. She really thinks Grandpa is just so dumb that he can't pronounce banana correctly and needs her assistance. Lol. (Even though she can't pronounce it correctly either!)

She's an extremely picky eater. She eats the same thing for breakfast every morning: a waffle, banana, and vitamin gummies. Up until recently, she's been eating multi-grain waffles. But I made the mistake of buying the Eggo Homestyle kind and now she asks for the "yellow" kind every morning (instead of the brown-flecked multigrain.) Her other meals are limited to pizza, hot dogs, cheese roll-ups, grilled cheese, pb&j, and mac n' cheese. Seriously. I don't think she deviates from that list at all. She does not eat vegetables, and only approves of a few kinds of fruit. I'm over feeling guilty about it. It is what it is.

She also has a little bit of an attitude. (My family will tell you that's an understatement. Lol.) She only does things on her terms. If she doesn't want her picture taken, it will not get taken:
She can be very mouthy, demanding, and bossy. She can be incredibly whiny. She throws fits at the drop of a hat. She hates getting her hair washed in the bath and wails vehemently. She got Uno for her birthday. We played it today, and she got furious when I played a Wild and called a color she didn't have. She has this hilarious quirk of putting herself in time-out, though. When she gets riled up, she runs away crying and plops down on the steps to her bedroom. If anyone tries to talk to her, she'll usually say, "I'm just going to be sad for a while."

But most of the time, she is hilarious and adorable. These are a few of her funny words:

She calls KFC (the restaurant) "kissy."
She calls lamps "lanterns."
She calls Princess Jasmine "Aunt Jasmine" (because she has an Aunt Jasmine in Colorado - she's never met her, but we pray for her, so she knows who she is)

She's still a very nervous child. She's terrified of dogs, thunder, the vacuum, my blow dryer, trains . . . pretty much anything that makes a loud noise.

She watches a variety of shows (thanks to Netflix), but some of her favorites are Caillou, Strawberry Shortcake, Dora, Arthur, Martha Speaks, Angelina Ballerina, and Curious George.

She adores craft time, doing projects, coloring, playing with stickers and glue and paint.

She's currently obsessed with Princesses. I let her pick her own party supplies for her birthday, and she immediately gravitated to the princess section. The Little Mermaid and Cinderella are her favorites. She's a total girly girl who loves dressing up, make-up, ballet, and babies.

And she's a complete goofball:

Basically I could go on forever. She is so precious and we love her so much. It was fun celebrating her birthday over Mother's Day weekend. She's the reason I get to be called "Mommy" (even if it's 60,000 times a day), and I can't imagine life without her!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Saturday 6

I'm going to try to make this a quick one. I have too much to do today to spend an hour writing this like I usually do.

1. Today is Lucy's 3rd birthday! We have big plans to go to Chuck E. Cheese later today, but her party isn't until tomorrow. I did let her open one present this morning (plus some tokens wrapped up from my mom). And she woke up to her room filled with balloons and this at the bottom of the stairs:
I took this picture last night because I expected Lola to have them all torn down by this morning. Miraculously they were still in place!
I'm working on a 3rd Birthday Update for Lucy. It's daunting.

2. We worked on the letter G this week. We made a Glitter G, and Lucy worked in the garden with Grandpa.

3. Diet Update: it's going remarkably well. I actually lost 9 pounds in one week. Seriously. Apparently my body just needed a jumpstart! Or I really used to consume so many calories that limiting myself to 1800 is a drastic difference! Dieting itself hasn't been horrible. I discovered that whole wheat English muffins are only 100 calories, so I have that most mornings with peanut butter, a glass of skim milk, and coffee. I found some good 300 calorie meals. (Healthy Choice Top Chef) I generally have one of those for lunch. And then I'm still eating normal dinners - I just try to eat a reasonable portion. I'm sure limiting myself to one glass of Dr Pepper a day is making a huge difference as well!

4. Speaking of dinner, here's the link to the recipe I referred to on facebook this week. Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. It was kind of time consuming, but it sure was delicious!
Picture from
5. Lena discovered her feet this week. It's so cute to see her holding on to them, trying to get them in her mouth. And her hands are always in her mouth. She's getting the hang of grabbing things and pulling them to her mouth, and really starting to show interest in her toys.

6. Justin is running the 25K Riverbank Run right now. Lucy and I went to watch last year, but it's freezing this year, and there's no way I'm going to push the double stroller through that insane crowd. So we're waiting anxiously at home to hear how he did!

Ok, well I'm going to have to end this here. Lena is crying in her swing and Lucy is leaning on my shoulder asking me over and over, "Is it time to go to Chuck E. Cheese yet? When are we going to go? Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! How long do I have to wait?!" Haha. My mistake for mentioning it to her!

G is for Glitter

This is my tutorial on how to make a glitter G - because I'm sure none of you are smart enough to figure it out on your own.

1. Find a g template on the internet. Or use this one (page 5).

2. Go outside to the picnic table. This is an outdoor project. Trust me. You do not want to be cleaning glitter off of every imaginable surface inside your house.

3. Get some dollar store salt shakers. Coffee also required if doing this project before noon. (Especially if the temperature is below 70*)

4. Pour glitter into salt shakers.

5. Put glue on your g and apply glitter generously.
Duck head paper weight optional.
6. Pour excess glitter back into the shaker.

7. Add more colors.

8. Admire your finished product sparkling in the sun!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. Well the news of the week is that I went on my first official diet. It's not super fun. I'm not doing anything crazy or super-restrictive. I signed up with myfitnesspal and they asked me questions about my lifestyle and goals. I said that I'm sedentary, but want to lose 25 lbs, so they only gave me 1250 calories a day. Yikes. I add 500 to that because I'm breastfeeding, and don't beat myself up if I go over another 50 calories or so. Basically, I'm trying to stay around 1800 calories. I entered my calories all week, basically to get a feel for what 1800 calories looks like. I'm a complete nutrition novice. I was amazed how many calories are in peanut butter and cheese - a couple of my diet staples. Haha. And one day I was ravenous and scarfed down 2 pieces of Papa Murphy's pizza for lunch. That didn't leave me many calories for dinner! It's a learning process, and I honestly hate it, but for the first time in my life I hate my current weight more than I hate dieting.

Of course, it's only been a week. We'll see how faithful I am. Although I'm having a little competition with some friends - complete with a point system - that will hopefully keep me motivated. I don't know if I lost anything this week because we don't have a very accurate scale. I might have to remedy that situation. And I intend to do something about my sedentary lifestyle, too. My friend Karen has lost a ton of weight by doing this beginner's running plan. (Similar to Couch25K) I'm really going to try to do it, starting next week. I don't have the greatest track record of keeping up with running plans.

2. Lucy adopted an imaginary friend this week. She's not quite creative enough to conjure a totally new person, though. Haha. She just has "Pretend Presley." Presley is my friend Kelly's daughter, and Lucy's real life best friend. All week, though, Lucy has pretended that Presley is here. It's adorable. And sneaky. One day, Lucy wanted a piece of cheese. I gave her one, then she said, "Presley needs one too." So I gave her another one for Presley. After Lucy finished her piece she said, "Mommy, Presley's just pretend, so I have to eat her cheese for her." Haha. Nice. They go everywhere together. Lucy put a chair next to her spot at the table for Presley to sit in. She gives her bites of her food:

But the funniest thing is that Pretend Presley apparently has some bladder issues. She has to go potty about every 3 minutes. Lucy goes in the bathroom, turns on the light, pretends to rip off some toilet paper for Presley, and pretends to flush the toilet for her. It cracks me up. I had 2 imaginary friends when I was around Lucy's age: Aktchel and Panna. Glad to see Lucy following in my footsteps. :-)

3. I have a cousin (who shall remain unnamed) who is turning 30 today. To celebrate, I made her a candy gram. The pictures I took didn't turn out very well, but these were my inspirations:

I got most of my wording from the one on the left (it's from Pinterest, but there's no link to a website). I tweaked it a little bit to include some of my cousin's favorite candies, and because I couldn't find everything in the original. Here's how mine ended up:

Dear [Cousin], 
As you begin the next decade of your life, consider these important questions: Does your mind play twix on you? Are you active? Can you walk down 5th Avenue on the streets of New York with a hot French guy like Ferrero Rocher? Do your friends snicker as your bones crunch? Are your [honey] buns turning into whoppers? Are you still engaging in hanky panky?  We hope you have mounds of fun on your birthday! Ignore all those goobers who call you old. You’re a sweetart and I love you to [Reese’s] pieces!
Happy 30th birthday!
Love, your air head cousin,

I just put everything in a gift bag because I didn't want to take the time to glue each piece of candy to a piece of poster board. Haha. I think she'll get the idea. :-)

4. I've written before that I have a hard time juggling my 2 kids with my daily responsibilities and my desire for relaxation. So I've decided to make a weekly plan. That way I don't have to decide every day what to do. As of right now it looks something like this:

M- meal plans, lesson plans (alphabet activities for Lucy), grocery shopping
T - floors and bathroom
W - emails (I input email addresses into a database for a local company in exchange for store credit)
Th - laundry
F - read

I generally get about 2 hours while the girls are napping. So if I spend an hour a day doing the above chores, that leaves me an hour to relax. We'll see how it goes.

5. Here's a random one. One of my biggest pet peeves is people changing the spelling of words to make a cutesy phrase. Like "Kids' Korner." It's even worse when they change the spelling of both words. I came across a blog this week called "Krazy Kouponers." Neither of those words starts with K! Why change them?! Ugh.

6. Lucy is going to be 3 one week from today (!) and while she's completely potty trained during her waking hours, she still absolutely soaks her diaper during naps and overnight. I have bribed her up the wazoo to keep her diaper dry. I even told her if she keeps it dry, I'll take her to the store and let her buy whatever she wants. And I've tried to impose peer pressure on her. I tell her all the time that Addy and Presley keep their diapers dry during naps. But she totally doesn't care. She tells me, "I'll keep it dry when I get bigger." Do you think there's anything else I can do? Or do I just have to wait it out?

7. I'll end with another Lucy story. (Apparently Lena didn't do anything exciting this week - she never even made it into the entry!)

My parents live smack dab in the middle of a field. There's a pig farm right down the road, and they've been spreading manure this week. Poor Lucy is going to have a hard time living here all summer. Haha. She is ridiculously sensitive to smells. Fortunately, she seems to be getting used to it. Every time the manure tractor drives by, she says, "There goes the pig poop truck!" Haha. The joys of country living. :-)

F is for Fishing and Flowers

To celebrate the letter F this week, we tried an activity I've seen floating (hehe, pun) around Pinterest for a while: alphabet fishing. (My inspiration came here.)

My dad has all kinds of random, interesting things used as decoration in this house. So we picked up the "Legal Fishing Gauge" because it was stick-like and had a hole in the end to tie our yarn through. I found a magnet on the fridge that was shaped like an "o", and tied the yarn through that on the other end. Then we threw our magnetic letters in the tub (the Leap Frog ones worked way better than the little dollar store ones) and went fishing!

Here are a couple of the "fish" we caught:

Lucy loved this activity. She thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Later on in the week, we made flower f's.

My idea was to have a green stem and flowers just at the top, but Lucy wanted to cover the whole thing with flowers. We had these flowers in the craft closet (leftovers from her flower girl duties last summer), but you could make them out of construction paper or tissue paper or anything you have on hand!

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