Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Good" Mothering.

Ok, I'm going to vent a little because this is my blog and I can vent if I want to. (Ha.Ha.)

I have a slight problem with this sign I see on Pinterest. (And if you have repinned/Facebooked aforementioned sign, then please don't take offense. This is in no way directed towards you. It's not a "mommy war". It's a faceless rant.)

Source: Pinterest
I hate my floors sticky, I hate my kitchen messy, I especially hate it when I have dishes in the sink, and I hate piles of laundry. (Ok, so my oven is dirty.) So does this imply that I'm a "bad mom"? Is it really so bad that on the average night I come home from work, make dinner (which sometimes involves a microwave & frozen nuggets) & then let Zeke watch tv *gasp* for about 30-45 minutes while I clean up the dinner mess and pick up a few things? The kid loves Blue Clues & Team UmiZoomi, who am I to deny him that pleasure?

Here's how I see it: When my house is a mess, I'm unhappy. A clean house = a happy momma. A happy momma = a happy world. So maybe I don't put aside chores and such to get in the floor & play with him on a regular basis in the evenings but I am able to spend my days off just spending time with him instead of worrying about the house I ignored all week. It works for us. We're both happy. My husband is happy when we're happy. Secretly, I know my family is happy that the house is clean. We go for walks some evenings, we read books, we snuggle, we say our prayers, we sing Twinkle Twinkle at bedtime.

See, it's not even really the sign that irks me. It's the concept behind it. I always get a little twinge of guilt when I see other mom's posting this. Why? I don't know. Why should I feel faulted for balancing my life in the best way I can and caring for my family the best way I know how? It seems like there is some underlying constant "Mommy war" between us mothers. It's like we all want to be the "ultimate mom" but we all think there is only one way to get there. There shouldn't be arguing over whether a stay at home mom, a work from home mom, or a mom who works out of the home has it the roughest or has the happiest kids. I mean, I shouldn't get dirty looks from other mother's when Zeke throws a public temper tantrum. Actually, I better just stop there before this rant is screen pages long.


Point being: If your your children are cared for, happy, and know you love them regardless of the method - pat yourself on the back, have a glass of wine, read a book, play with your kids, do whatever it is to reassure yourself that you are a good mother. 

Now to relieve tension: a cute picture of Zeke to make you smile..


Monday, April 23, 2012

Weight Loss Monday

Yea, I should be ashamed. My last post was months ago.

It was about the same time I got overwhelmed, quit going to Zumba/excercising, and stopped being so careful about what I ate. The results? I gained 10 of the 15 lbs I lost back.

Frustrating. I tried the 17 Day Diet. Your supposed to lose like 10-12 lbs alone the first 17 days. 9 days into it, I discovered I had actually gained a pound. Really frustrating.


BUT, back in January,  I resolved to live a healthier lifestyle and after a wonderfully encouraging MOPS group speaker on clean & healthy eating I've been sticking to a much healthier lifestyle of food choices the last few months. (Not just me, Noah & Zeke, too.)

You've probably heard about the clean eating get-up so I don't think I really  need to get into it but here are the main changes I've done:
  • I've been buying much much less processed foods. Next time you go grocery shopping, just read the labels of the things your buying. I'm trying to completely eliminate high fructose corn syrup out of my diet; it's in like everything.
  • No more Seldom do we have white bread & pasta; we've switched to wheat and whole grain pasta. 
  • Lots more fresh fruits & veggies. I'm also trying to incorporate veggies into as many meals as possible. Spinach is the flavor of the month at our house.
  • Pretty much no juice. I checked out our local grocery store the other day and noticed the "nutritional value" ratings the juice had on a scale from 1-100. It was a 1. The sugar content is ridiculous.
  • I cook a lot more and bring leftovers to work and eat out for lunch a lot less. When I do need to eat lunch on the go at work, I go to Subway. Turkey, spinach, lettuce, cheese, mayo on wheat is where it's at.
  • To keep the budget as low as possible: I try to limit my organics to what I feel is most important. Meats, butters, milk, and the dirty dozen fruits/veggies.
  • I'm not a huge chip eater but Sunchips, Kettle brand chips, and Blue Corn tortilla chips (preferably with flax seed) are what I've been buying. Zeke's snack foods have been altered to raisins, several of the "Annie's" brand commonly for cheese crackers, graham crackers, & fruit snacks.
I feel better. I have more energy despite my constant serious sleep deficit. My face has cleared up (though I have no idea if that has anything to do with it). I look less bloated by the end of the day. I look less bloated in general actually.


I've got back into Zumba the 2-3 months again after my winter hiatus and I have slowly discovered that I actually love exercise. It seems to be the best natural stress reliever for me and the evenings that are warm, I head up to the local park for a walk with Zeke which also gives us some nice time to spend together after a day at work & daycare.

I don't want to play the blame game put all my weight gain/struggles with weight loss on my PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) because I'm the one who actual consumes the food I do but in all reality, it's a huge part of it. I did go back to the doctor and get back on my Metformin to help with the remainder of my weight loss. I took it before I got pregnant with Zeke and went from 235 to 205 in 5 months...anything after that has been not going anywhere slow going.

Tonight at Zumba, I have my final weigh in for the Biggest Loser competion we are doing. My half point weigh-in showed no weight loss, which was just a little frustrating because I know that means it's unlikely I will be the leader of weight loss and $350 richer this coming Thursday. BUT, I have tried hard and my sister insists that my shape is looking mucho sexy lately and I need to quit worrying about the numbers so much.

Until next week (if I don't forget...)

Stars in a Jar

I'm sure many of you have seen the ever-so-popular Stars in a Jar picture on Pinterest. Here's a refresher:
Photo credit: Pinterest.
It appears that this photo has no identifiable source but I wanted to do a craft with Noah's younger cousin's so I set about the world wide web for some research and read about two different ways to do this:


A: Using small paint brushes, paint the inside of the jar with glow in the dark paint. We tried this. Does the glow in the dark paint work? Yes. It works best if left under a bright lamp to "charge" first. While it worked in theory, it really made more glowy blob dots than looking anything like the picture above. We did have fun doing it though and did a few different things in the jars for fun but it's not what I was looking for.


B: Use the insides of glowsticks. This was the winner. I'll give it a little better breakdown.

You'll need:
  • A jar
  • Scissors
  • Glowstick necklace (I used a very large Mason jar & 1.5 necklaces in the jar. You can get these at the Dollar Store I'm pretty sure but I grabbed mine at Michael's since I was already there)
  • Gloves to keep the gunk off your fingers
Ridiculously easy instructions:
  • Break/activate the necklaces to glow then cut the necklace into three pieces. (Using the shorter pieces allowed me to isolate the colors and the liquid seemed to run out easier when they were shorter.)
  • Tap each pieces back and forth on the inside of the glass, repeat until sticks are gone. Note: make sure to get the bottom all the way to the top for best look.
  • Seal the jar & take outside to enjoy.

They loved making it & Zeke loved looking at it. We even made a mini jar of red & Zeke took it in the car that night & stared at it until he fell asleep.


Fun, easy craft for the kids this summer. Give it a try! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fufilled.

We had a weekend of fun & firsts. The hubs was working and I had the weekend off which left Zeke & I plenty of time to spend together which was lovely (despite a couple massive public tantrum meltdowns.)


Friday 
We took to the parking lot carnival after work. After we all rode some rides, we stuffed ourselves full of completely fried carnival food.
Blurry carousel picture before Zeke freaked out a little. (Little = frantically trying to climb off the horse while clinging to me.)



First: Ferris Wheel.
A doughnut burger. Yes, a cheeseburger in-between a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Surprisingly delicious. Yes, we split it three ways. It has to be one of the unhealthiest things ever created. We might or might have not topped it off with fried Oreos & Snickers.

Saturday
The much awaited Fresh Beat Band concert. A day anticipated more by me than Zeke (who honestly was oblivious until they hit the stage) because I was so excited to see how excited he was.


First: concert.
I am inserting a video here to show the short short clip of his mad baby dancing skills. He really enjoyed it. Heck, I enjoyed it, too! (Minus one previously mentioned massive public tantrum meltdown during intermission becauseI wouldn't let him climb up the plexiglass barrier separating the balcony and the 20 foot drop to the floor. It's a hard life being a kid.)

video

I would like to make an important note that Charlene & I did NOT get lost on our way there or on our way back. This is a first, people. 
We get lost every.single.time.we.take.a.trip.by.ourselves.

Sunday
After normal things like church and a nap, we took to the fenced in giant soccer field great outdoors for a picnic with Charlene while our kids ran around, played with bubbles, and dragged the poor dog around on his leash.

I giggled when I realize it looks like the bubble gun is floating by itself.
After Zeke got to bed last night, I made the time to enjoy a long hot bath & started a book. Once I crawled my exhausted self into bed, I realized that I was exhausted but at the same time fulfilled. I wasn't exhausted because I worked all weekend or cleaned the house all weekend or ran errands...I was exhausted because I spent the weekend on Zeke's level and just enjoyed myself. I was exhausted from carnival rides, and dancing, and playing.

That type of exhaustion is worth it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Being thankful is probably something I don't do enough of. I hate to confess it but it's true. Esther at Lovingly Thrown Together made a thankful post which led me to Carina's blog a punk, a pumpkin, and a peanut where she hosts a Thankful Thursday linky. I thought I'd give it a whirl. The extent of my thanks usually goes to "God thank you for your blessings today" when Zeke & I say our goodnight prayers so hopefully this will help me keep in check the many things I would do good to remember to be thankful for.

1. Last night right before bath, Zeke was playing with Daddy and fell off the couch and whacked his head (really hard) on the hard part of our ottoman. After a two hour ER trip, all was determined to be fine. I'm thankful that everything (aside a long knot & bruise) ended up being ok.

2. I am thankful that Noah is such a great father. Fatherhood really suits that man. He knows when I'm overloaded & need a break and willingly gives it. He really bonds & enjoys spending time with Zeke and I love him all the more for it.

3. I'm thankful that Zeke gets to know both of his great-grandmothers.


4. I'm thankful for seeing a pin on Pinterest for Proverbs 4:23 adapted from the "Easy to Read" translation. "Be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life." I'm a serious overthinker & I think God's trying to teach me otherwise lately.

5. I'm thankful for my Kindle. Yea, this probably seems like a silly thing to be thankful for but I LOVE love love to read and I just think it's like one of the best technological inventions ever.

I'll stop there because as I said, I'm an overthinker. I could probably list a thousand things I'm thankful for but I'll just try to keep it down to 5 at a time for all of our sakes.


a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pallet Herb Garden

(see updated post here)

Pinterest....yes, Pinterest. I hate to be all "bandwagon" here but geez, could there ever be a more nifty website?

Anyway, I've seen a few "pallet gardening" ideas on there and since I have a leftover pallet (or three) from having our roof redone, I thought I'd give it a try.


Yea, It's not quite as cutesy as the ones on Pinterest and the few herbs I do have in there are rescue experiments from the TLC rack at work. I'm going to get some more & hopefully after another month of nice weather, they will be big & full.

I'm not sure how much of a tutorial I can give...I had been planning it for a few weeks but really I spent 45 minutes of precious free time on Saturday getting it done because my herbs were going to die if I left them to wither in their pots any longer.

Basically, I:
  • Dragged it into my yard and used some paver stone I had lying around to raise on end up. (It's on a slight slope)
  • Used some more of the paver stones I had laying around to fill the gaps in the sides to help prevent the soil from spilling out
  •  Mixed a 50 lb. bag of composted cow manure & two 40 lb bags of topsoil (also a hoot to drag across the yard) onto a tarp & then transferred via shovel to the pallet. I think I will add a couple inches of pine bark humus/soil conditioner to the top.
  • Planted my sad little plants with love & watered them in.
I'll give it awhile & post a picture once everything starts filling out nicely. It may not be the prettiest but it's functional and functional makes me happy, too.

Tell me, do you have any herbs you suggest for cooking, etc?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter.

Yesterday was stellar. What else can I say? How about I don't and I mostly just show.

It was a day to celebrate the sweet defeat of death by my Jesus. A day to celebrate with family & remember the reason for Easter.


 A day where my husband sacrificed an entire day of sleep to attend church & spend the day with family.

A day where the sun was shining & I had the most handsome little boy on the whole planet.






A day to get to appreciate just so much how I am glad that Zeke has such a loving, caring great-grandmother. (I admire that woman.)


A day to spend some time with my favorite father. O wait...I suppose he's my only father.

Extreme squishy face hug
Yesterday I seemed extra happy inside...except for that 20 minute period where I refused to get out of bed & snapped at Noah for letting my really annoying alarm clock go off over and over. Yea, I'm kinda not a morning person.

I'm finding myself in a content phase of life while I'm also finding myself in this constantly busy phase of life as well. It's an odd combination; mostly I feel so enthused, so in-the-right-place-, so at home with the things in my life, ready to tackle life head on but somedays I feel so behind, anxious, and unable. You know though....it comes with life. I must remember that no matter how I feel, as long as I appreciate each day that I am given, I'm on the right track. I'm not going to be a perfect (or even almost perfect) follower of Christ, parent, wife, sister, friend etc.

A perfect thought for the past Easter weekend because God knew I would never be perfect, he knew my flaws would be vast, he knew I could never love him enough and still yet he sent his Son to die for me so I could be more, hope more, and have a reason to strive to be more.I couldn't be more thankful.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fresh.

It's a new month. It's a new season. It's spring. (The beginning of spring makes me all first-boyfriend-ever giddy inside.) Spring is fresh. Fresh growth, fresh air, fresh look on life after the bleary winter.

I inherited his trait from my father where I commit & plan & think I can do all these things that I actually don't have time for BUT I did manage to get a few things accomplished this weekend that I'll be blogging about soon...hopefully. ;)

Here's the best parts of last week...

  1. Once again realizing how cute Zeke is when he is sleeping.
2. Getting lost (again) with my sister in law
3. Feeding the ducks
4. Snuggling
5. Buying a lamp at the Salvation Army for $20 and then finding it at Lowes for $180. Scoooore.
6. Date night: Losing @ Putt-Putt