Thursday, March 29, 2012

I want to share with you a refreshing and yummy shake I composed tonight:

Banana Peanut Butter Cookie Shake

5 ice cubes

2 Very Ripe Bananas

Handful Trader Joe's Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies (alphabet-shaped) or just use graham crackers

1/3 cup Peanut Butter

1- 1 1/2 Tbsp (to taste) Honey

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any non-dairy or regular milk will do)

The cookies in this shake add to the tell-tale creamy texture! Zip all the above ingredients in a blender and enjoy to your heart's content.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm sorry my latest posts have been all about Reese and how she eats well today and doesn't the next. But I guess that's just the stage of life I'm in right now and have really nothing else to write about.

Monday was utterly crazy. Well, let me start again. Sunday night after studying the Word, I was convicted I needed to show more patience with my eldest. They say not to pray for patience, right? Well, I did, and I'm glad I did. If I hadn't been stalwart in my commitment to show patience, not in my strength, in the Lord's strength, don't think I could have handled the Monday to come.

I awoke to the horrible smell of poop. My thought was my eldest must have laid a big egg. But as I lay there in bed, I realized the smell was so strong it lingered. For an hour. I finally ventured out, almost scared to ask. The answer was, my daughter had not made it to the bathroom in time, which hasn't happened since she was 3. There it was - all over the linoleum, all over her sleeping place. Amazingly, she and I worked together to clean it all up with only minor stressing (on my part) going on. We still loved each other afterward. It was definitely the Holy Spirit working on my heart and prodding me to hold my anger in check and be infinitely patient. Truth was, all the years I had peed in my bed (until age 9) and hid my sheets from the anger of my mother, came flooding back and I couldn't help but show love instead.

Next, the baby was having a rough day. Reese usually eats every 3 hrs but that day she wouldn't sleep a full nap and she was eating sporadically. My middle girl had a cold and she was super whiny and needy as well. I felt like crying. All these needs and only one of me! Only two hands and two feet!

While this was going on, I had my eldest still cleaning up her mess from earlier. She misunderstood one direction and accidentally stuffed an already full washer (which was currently on the rinse/spin cylce) even fuller with a quilt. That broke the washer's back, so to speak. It started make a ticking noise and would no longer spin correctly. We are currently looking for a new washer.

All this to say, it must have been the Spirit who helped me put on the "armor" to guard myself from the enemy's fiery darts. I think moms tend to put a lot of pressure on their oldest daughters. It shouldn't be that way. I need to put to practice the same attitudes I would like to have shown toward me...forgiveness, love, patience, humility.

Surprisingly, we had a great day of school. Got everything done, with good attitudes to boot. Since Baby's birth, we're a little behind, but we have a plan and we're executing it! Props to my daughter for being such a hard worker and doing school even before being asked!

Today was a pretty hard day too. All the girls are now sick. Baby came down with it on Monday, I think. Probably why she was so fussy. Today she was the same, but had some good moments of being alert and happy. She just went down about 10 minutes ago. Wasn't sure if she was going to sleep! She whined for about 10 minutes but stopped, so hopefully she'll be good for a while. She certainly needs the sleep. I need it too.

Made some delicious and moist peanut butter and banana muffins today. They are from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious recipes. These are great. Katie doesn't like veggies as much as Brilla, so I sneak them in sometimes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The baby is finally asleep. Those words are some of the most beautiful ones I have heard today.

That girl keep me on my toes and rings out my energy! She is the reason why I feel like zombie around 2 p.m.

My husband is in between projects, so he is currently building us a new deck on the back of the house! We had our hot tub cut out of the former one and gave it to friends. Since then, it had no railings in that corner, jut a big drop off to the yard below. Not great for toddlers who are adventuresome. Since Mike had some time, he demolished it and began this new one. It will be so pretty, with colors we like instead of painted ugly brown. When it's finished I'll disclose the colors and give the before and after.

While he has been doing that, I have been getting in shape. More crunches, push-ups, lunges, leg toners, boxing moves, and jumping jacks. More walks and runs with my eldest. Running in place. Anything to burn off this middle flab and gain muscle in its place.

Tonight was my first soccer game since having Reese. My last one was the week I found out I was pregnant with her. Obviously, I am pretty out-of-shape. We were down women players and had no subs. I got my workout for the whole next week, at least that's what it feels like! My feet are sore as can be. Let's just say I'm glad I've been exercising some. Today, while our flat tire was getting fixed, Katie and I walked to Fred Meyer. It was a gorgeous day.

We started seeing a Naturopathic doctor for Reese. He recommended going dairy-free for a couple weeks to help lessen her gas and dry skin. Not that dairy-free is healthier, but it's sure helped me to lose some pounds. I'm using almond, soy and coconut milk in its place. I tried some almond cheese today but it's a no-go. However, the soy latte I had the other day was delicious. Today I made some blueberry muffins that were amazing. They were baked with almond milk. Two weeks? It can't be all that bad.

While pregnant, I got in the bad habit of eating a ton chocolate, desserts and unhealthy food throughout the day. It's easier to continue when you have a newborn because you are exhausted and don't have time to cook. But I decided enough was enough! So. I've been eating a ton more veggies and fruits. Smoothies instead of ice cream (though I still do have the occasional scoop, just not while I'm on the dairy fast) and pb & honey instead of other desserts. I don't just want to fill my body, I want to fuel it. Especially with my little one's brain growing these first three months.

My middle girl has a runny nose again. I tell you what, whenever she gets around those toddlers at Bible study, she comes down with a new cold! We had just recovered from her other one last Saturday, so I was able to go to church. Crossings my fingers that she'll get better before Sunday again.

I'd better rest my weary legs in bed. Perhaps my man will rub my feet too? Fat chance, I think he's probably exhausted too. We're pretty sad around here. Happy weekend!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I just put my little Reesie down for the night. Well, until she feeds again. Probably around 2:30/3. Then she'll wake up about 7:3/8. Today wasn't her best day eating. I think she's a little under the weather. She mostly wanted to sleep. I've discovered that she has the teeniest nostril passages and in order to nurse well, I have to make sure they are cleared out daily. This is the most I've ever used a nose-sucker-outer thing. It really does come in handy.

My day started off great, because the girls slept in a little. I was able to get my stretches and toning exercises in. I really pushed myself. It was painful but felt great afterward. I'm finally using all those workouts in my magazines. I have a very sweet girl friend who has given me a magazine subscription the last couple of years. It has been the best gift ever because I always have a little something to reach for when I'm nursing.

It's hard to believe the Spring soccer season is starting up and the first game is Friday. Yes, I play this Friday. I'm trying to convince myself I won't die. I've been working out the last few weeks with crunches, jumping jacks, pushups, and the like. Last week was my first attempt at running. Yes, my first attempt and I have a game in a few days! Thankfully, indoor soccer has subs go in and out constantly.

I've also changed my diet. I'm back to eating a lot healthier. I've mostly cut out sweets, except for the occasional ice cream before bed. Now, mind you, I've always been an organic and whole wheat type of person, but I also love food and tend to eat much of it AND eat on the sweet side.

Ever since we started getting our produce from a local co-op source, we are getting an amazing variety of fruits and veggies every week. We are "forced" to eat healthier. Also, it's been good to replace my bad eating habits with good ones. Sometimes when the desire to eat bad food wants to hang around, you just have to kick it in the rear end with a good dose of whole foods and stick with it for at least three weeks. That's how it works with me anyway.

For lunch today, I made my husband a ham panini, servced with leftover corned beef, cabbage and potato stew to dip it in. For myself, I made a spinach salad. It was delicious. Had all that was in my husband's panini, just without the bread and a lot more veggies. My girls are benefiting from this change too. They get a lot healthier snacks. Today we snacked on some amazing guacamole, and strawberry/mango smoothies I made.

After lunch, Bri and I did some running. My daughter was a trooper to keep up. These runs and walks will be good for her though. The breeze felt great in my hair and on my cheeks. Funny weather, it was a crisp sunny day, then it hailed in the middle of our run.

My daughter did great on her school work today. She needs a lot of, shall I say, motivation?, to get things done. I've done it all...timers, treats, getting upset (which doesn't work too well) and competition (can you do such and such before I finish the dishes?). Some times it works, some times it does not. She is a dreamer. If she had her way, she would sing, dance, build forts, draw and dress-up all day. And honestly, I would love to let her. In fact, some days I have. But it's good to instill the daily discipline of school work, get her in the swing of reality. But like I said before, she did GREAT today!! And I told her so. I felt like cheering. I think patience with her goes a long way.

I did not get any Bible study in today. I love reading God's word every day, but the actual study questions I have to get done are hard to get in. I don't always have the time to focus my brain for a long chunk of time.

I will leave you with this question that I thought was a good provoker: What is the difference between organic unity and organizational conformity? Organic unity refers to the one faith, one Lord, and one God, a few of the basic Christian tenets we hold to, whereas organizational conformity would refer to those standards and/or rules held by certain Christian orgs. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I must head to bed. My body is incredibly sore and my soft pillow is all I can think of. Nighty-night.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So Reese seems to be our most interesting baby yet when it comes to sleeping. She seemed to sleep pretty good there for a while, then lately has had trouble - getting up in the middle of her naps during the day, crying forever at night. And I know she's doggone tired.

So I tried something new.

I had placed a fan (white noise) in her room thinking that would help her sleep. Well, it has a little rattle sound that I think might be annoying her. I have a theory that's why she's waking up. So I turned it off before bed.

It has worked wonders (so far). And she's still eating great.

Good thing each child is not the exact same! This is a great reminder that each child doesn't fit a mold!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Newborn Tips

It's interesting how some weeks fly by and others seem to drag. This one is racing.

Reese and I are getting her eating schedule down. It's nice to have predictability. Have any of you moms with babies used Babywise? About 5 1/2 years ago, I was pregnant with my first born and casually glanced at the books they were clearing out at my local library. Here this was for a quarter.

It has been a lifesaver for my three girls. Just by keeping a consistent but flexible eating pattern during the day, my first two have slept through the night by 6 weeks. My youngest is now only waking once a night. A little more sleep than usual!

I know there's been some controversy as to this scheduling method. However, it has worked wonders for us and we consider ourselves very doting and flexible parents.

I think there is no "perfect" mold when you start out with your newborns. The newborn season is sleepless and hard! No way around that. This book can give you some method amidst the madness, especially for first time parents.

Another topic.

I do wish moms would be more open and honest about their breastfeeding experiences. Maybe it's just something we don't talk about? Perhaps we fear that something so natural like breastfeeding shouldn't have complications and if it does, we're the weird ones? While Katie was a breeze, my oldest and youngest had problems. Brilla had to have formula (I felt like a failure at the time) because she wouldn't latch on for anything. It had been 48 hours and not a drop of anything. Partly it was due to first-time parenting. I wish someone had told me to see a lactation specialist! I wish someone had guided me to a nipple shield, available at the Walgreens down the road! I wish I'd known that a mother's milk can not come in for up to 5 days and that colostrum is plenty enough (5x the protein as mature breast milk) and a newborn's body has liquids stored up until the milk comes.

And then my dear Reese. She struggled as well, even though she was a bigger baby than Brilla. She nursed just fine for the first week, then decided for some reason she didn't want to latch on anymore. I had to start pumping and bottle-feeding her. Only this time I knew about a nipple shield and a lactation specialist. These are essentials when starting out with a newborn just in case nursing is a bumpy road for you at first.

One thing about breastfeeding is that if you push through and seek help, it can end up being bliss for both you and baby. Books are fine but actually seeing a live professional is the best. Don't give up!