Sunday, June 23, 2013

This is why...

Oh, hey, little bloggy... I have missed you (again).  It's so weird to see that I was sooo pregnant just a few months ago. My, how life gets crazy when you have a baby.  I feel like I'm kind of stepping out of the cave, blinking my eyes, wondering what's been going on for the last few months.

So yep I had a baby, he is the best.  He is so mellow and sweet and smiley.  He's awesome.

Three kids is busy.  We are adjusting.  I think I've lost a lot of caring about the little things though.  There is stuff you just can't worry about anymore.

I don't care that the middle child runs around in just a diaper most days.  I don't care that my four year old dresses herself crazy.  I don't care that we eat peanut butter and jelly for almost every meal.  I don't care that  I can't meet everyone's needs instantaneously... because they will be met.   I have to triage needs.  Poop trumps hunger.  Hunger trumps tired/fussy.  Fussy baby trumps whining about toys.

There are things that I'm trying not to care about... (maybe I'll get over it when we have another kid... which will be a long while... just sayin')  like having a really messy house, not being on a schedule yet, feeling frumptastic, not being in shape yet, not having "me" time, not being on top of everything... like returning phone calls and paying those pesky bills.

Things will fall in place more and more, but it's hard to be patient with myself and getting used to the new normal.

Some days I struggle being a stay at home mom.  Society doesn't value it.  People don't look at all the diapers you change in one day and say "Wow, way to go!".  I struggle with wanting to feel like I'm really making a difference... I have to remind myself that I am.  A huge difference to three little people who need me.  World change at the grass roots level is harder than it looks.  Sometimes I have to remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing, but sums it up rather nicely... this is why I have three kids, this is why it's important: 



Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Survive Pregnancy

I've earned the right to write this post.  This is my third pregnancy, and I feel like I've finally learned how to be pregnant and not hate it the ENTIRE time.

Here's a run down of what I've learned:

1.  Eating for TWO is a LIE...

It is an evil lie that will cause you to gain twice the recommended weight you should.

My first pregnancy I ate whatever the crap I wanted, whenever I wanted (or pretty much all day long).  I gained sooooo much weight.  It sucked.  I got a ton of stretch marks... not all of which were on my stomach.  I had horrible swelling.  I couldn't get around very well at all....  People would ask me when I was due and be like, "OH, HONEY, YOU'RE NOT GONNA MAKE IT."  It was like a slap in the face every time.  Not fun.  It took my about a year to get back into my body afterward.

2nd time around, I was smarter with my food choices and didn't go hog wild.  And it worked.  I stayed in the recommended weight limit... and I lost the weight much quicker, I didn't have as much swelling, but I still felt REALLY crappy for a lot of my pregnancy.

Which brings to the third time around... and no. 2

2.  Exercise.

I kind of walked around some with my other pregnancies... but I never really maintained the habit.  3rd time pregnant, exercising and eating more healthy definitely helped me feel a ton better.  Who knew?  All the articles about eating right and exercising during pregnancy were right!   My second trimester energy lasted well into my third trimester... really about 34 weeks was when things started to decline, not too bad.

Here's the difference, I had a great exercise routine before I was pregnant with the 3rd... so it wasn't like I was starting from scratch when I became pregnant... or going from a lame regimen to nothing.

I have had to modify my exercise every couple of months... I started out running, that ended after my first trimester, then I went onto exercise dvd's, then prenatal yoga and walking, right now I'm down to the bare minimum... I'm only doing prenatal yoga and only every other day... but I'm still exercising! VICTORY!

3.  Water.  LOTS and LOTS of it.

Drink water.  A ton of it!  Way more than you think you need.  You will feel better and you will look better and you won't have so many freaking braxton hicks contractions.  I wish I would have done this with no. 1 and no. 2... I had so many BH contractions, and it drove me nuts.

4.  Sleep

Make it your no. 1 priority.  Don't stay up late, and any day you can take a nap... DO IT! Especially in your first and third trimesters.  Even just laying on the couch for 15 mins can really help.

Plus if you follow advice no. 1 and no. 2... you will sleep better.  I promise.  A little walk around the block and I sleep way more soundly.

5. Crazy = normal.  

Nesting, crying, impatience, irritability it's normal... and someday you won't be such a raving lunatic. So even after 2 other pregnancies I haven't learned to master the hormones, but I will say... at least I know I can be normal again... it might take about 6 months after the babies born, but someday I will be normal (kind of).

Harness your craziness... and it can work in your benefit.  All those crazy nesting ideas can really distract you from the "WHEN'S THIS BABY GOING TO GET THE H OUTTA ME?" feelings you may be having.

And somedays... you will HATE being pregnant.  You will HATE everything about it.  And that's okay.  Because tomorrow you probably will swing the other way and be like, this is pretty cool... I'm growing a baby.  And that's awesome.

So don't beat yourself up for being a little NUTSO.

Well, here's to 9 more days!  We're almost there.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yeah, we did it! Lo hicimos!

Here's my super mom scrapbook of all the 'nesting' that's been going on here.  Just FYI, for every day of nesting (lest you think I'm just amazing all the time) there were at least two-seven couch days where I whined about wanting to die in between.  

Gum paste flowers (tutorial here)

Ruffle/Circle skirts (combined tutorials here and here)

Bean bag/potato stamped pillows (idea from here)

Crockpot freezer meals (recipe's from here and here)

I'm pretty sure my nesting gear is now set to low... I'm just too tired, but I am super happy with everything I've gotten done.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to feed your chocolate addiction without all the sugar

Banana bread, with unsweetened cocoa thrown in :)

I love chocolate.  I know people say this and you're like yeah, yeah, we all love chocolate.  BUT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW... or maybe you do.

Do you sometimes randomly open the unsweetened cocoa box and just inhale?
Do you place 80% dark chocolate under your tongue and involuntarily sway as it melts?
Will you do/eat anything to get your fix?

So I'm addicted to chocolate.  Problem is chocolate and sugar usually go hand in hand.  And I don't like that.  Especially right now...  it's the whole pregnant thing.  I have no control once I get started on the sugar train.  I  seriously eat the WHOLE batch of brownies.  Chocolate frosting in the fridge? I'm there every five minutes scooping it out with a spoon.  When the kids ask about the Rockie Road Icecream I bought two days ago... and I can't really explain what happened to it... it becomes a problem.  Not to mention the major sugar crashes you go through.

And then there's the doctor's office... you have to actually get on the scale.  February was a bad, bad month for me and the scale.

So I realized I need to do something about it.

I decided to not bake any cookies, cupcakes, or brownies (basically any dessert with an excessive amount of sugar) until St. Patty's day.  I also stopped eating ice cream.


So here's what I've been doing.  Me and the unsweetened cocoa are BFF's.

I make chocolate/peanut butter spinach smoothies.  I know you just totally cringed... but you should try it.

I found this recipe and tweaked it:

1 frozen banana
2 cups spinach
1 cup of milk
dash of cinnamon
dash of red pepper
1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder, sometimes a little more
1 tbs peanut butter

And then blend the crap out of it.

Also when the girls are eating ice cream, I eat plain yogurt with a banana cut up in it, some peanuts, and you guessed it a heaping load of cocoa powder.  I sometimes have coconut on top.

I make hot chocolate with cocoa powder and no sugar... and I love it.

We've also tried black bean brownies... I would add more chocolate to the recipe next time... but the amazing thing was that after 2 small brownies I was stuffed.  I didn't eat the whole pan.  Miracle of miracles.

These do have the consistency of like a dry pumpkin bar... so don't go into thinking it's going to trick you.  I mean, come on, if you really, really, really need a brownie and you aren't about to go over the recommended weight limit for your pregnancy... just make a real brownie. 

Another food I haven't had in a while, but seriously need to... is Mole (as in the sauce, not the animal) it's a Mexican chocolate/nut/spicy combo that goes over chicken. Sigh.

Anyone else out there addicted to chocolate??  Any good recipes?

Friday, March 8, 2013

How to be happy

This just keeps coming up in my life lately.

Maybe because I'm generally an optimistic person and I'm struggling with that currently... but I keep running into things that remind me I need to be happy now.

I need to enjoy life today, and not push it back to some kind of deadline. The "I'll be happy when..." thing isn't cool, because you just never know what's coming.

Some things I'm trying to remember right now are:

1. Be Grateful
2. Someone's having a worse day than you.

So the gratitude thing.  I've heard of a lot of people keeping gratitude journals* lately.

I've decided it's really important to constantly recognize what you're grateful for...  Grateful people are happy people.  They look at the good things in their lives instead of dwelling on everything bad.  And dwelling on the positive things will change your perspective.

So I'm going to start keeping a gratitude journal of sorts... but I kind of want to pull my family into it and talk about what we're grateful for at dinner and write it down in a little notebook--I'll have to report back to show you how it goes :)

Okay, so a little story about how being grateful can change you:

So I was at the grocery store about six months ago.  I was still in my first trimester and feeling really crumby, my kids were going crazy at the store, whining, crawling out of the top of the cart, wanting to be held, dancing in the aisles... I know, I know there were only two, but things were getting a little crazy.  I felt nauseous and tired.  And my husband was out of town... for 12 weeks... this was somewhere in the middle of it.

So I prayed, a really whiny prayer in my head in the grocery store.  Something to the effect of I'm soooo tired, I'm sick of this, I just want to be done with this trip... and I was literally on the verge of tears.

And an interesting thing happened.  An image of a third world country popped up in my head.  And all these things came to my mind:

You have food.  You have water.  You have money to pay for your food.  You have air conditioning.  All the food is here in one large store.

All these things just flooded my mind.  I thought about how women have to carry their children on their backs, get food from markets, some don't have money to feed their kids.

And it changed my attitude... I was grateful.  I could suddenly handle these goofy kids and my luxury life.  It was humbling.  

The other thing to remember is... Someone is having a worse day than you.

So I'm due at the end of the month.  I haven't been feeling well lately.  I had a really awesome, long 2nd trimester and then things kind of plummeted a couple of weeks ago.

I've been having a hard time.  I have super emotional, super cranky, super tired.  I'm ready to be done.  I've hit the point where I keep thinking:  I hate being pregnant.

But I've been trying to remember that it really isn't so bad... and that I need to look around me.  Everyone has something that they are struggling with, and if you can help someone, you might just feel a little bit better.

I recently found out a girl I knew growing up is having a really rough time.

She was pregnant and living in Germany with her husband when she broke her arm.  Breaking your arm would be difficult anytime, but when your pregnant and not feeling well... It would be worse. When she got it x-rayed they realized she has a rapidly progressing bone cancer.

They decided to deliver her baby a tiny, healthy, baby girl, and three days later the mom had to start Chemo.  She now is living in the US being treated, while her husband still has to finish his time in Germany.

She is grateful she broke her arm, so that they found the cancer.

Another friend's relative had a baby boy a month or so ago, just before they were about to leave the hospital the doctor checked him one last time and realized something was very seriously wrong with him.  Since then he's had multiple procedures and been in various hospitals.  You can read about his progress here.  

My sister-in-law and her sister (Hi Jenny :) ) have Cystic Fibrosis. Sometimes I need to remember what a blessing it is to be able to breathe.

I can't even imagine going through these things.  Here I am whining about a normal pregnancy, and all the "crazy" things in my life... when I should be grateful for what I do have.

Someone is having a worse day than you.  Go and find out how you can make it better.  You will be happier.

Any other thoughts out there?  What do you do to be happy?

*Random Rant:  I don't know why, but Oprah ruined this for me. I know Oprah does a lot of good things with her money/power/etc.  But I didn't like the show, I only watched it once or twice.  I guess it's the interview thing, where she's like digging into the souls of people on tv to millions of people and they are hurting about whatever they are going through and then she'd dissect them on television... it just seemed cruel and manipulative.  Plus people practically worshiped her... Anyway.  So anyway the fact that Oprah has plugged having a gratitude journal kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.  I'm getting over myself though :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wicked Witch of the Nest

I'm nesting.  Completely and insanely.  The problem is I only have so much energy... or ya know... so little.  And the days I try to take on the world, I pay for it.  Either that afternoon or for the next three days.  And I get CRANKY and go into a complete emotional upheaval, because I'm so flipping tired.  It's so aggravating.   Some days I can't seem to make my bed or do any of the dishes  (nope, not a one).  And days like today I make lists and lists of the things I would love to do before the baby gets here.

-Make a zillion curtains to go in every room of my house
-Do a few diy art projects from pinterest (which if you're wondering, I still haven't joined, I just lurk)
-Make two ruffle skirts for my girls
-Make three bean bag chairs
-recover the glider
-repaint ALL the baseboards/doors/paneling a fresh coat of white
-buy a new comforter for my bed
-paint the baby's dresser

But how can I even bother doing the above if I don't have the energy to do this:
-pay the bills
-reorganize the little dresser
-take a shower
-do my prenatal yoga so my stupid tailbone doesn't hurt sooooo much.
-finish recovering my parents dining room chairs that I started MONTHS ago
-make all these little gum paste flowers that I'm going to need in April...

And in the insane part of my nesting brain... I look at the above list and I'm like, yeah I can totally do that!  I just need to make a list of my supplies and just start cracking.  The more rational side of me is thinking it's time to buy more dark chocolate and go watch Pride and Prejudice (the six hour one, duh).

I'm not sure which side will win today... but I have a feeling I'm going to be spent tomorrow either way.


Friday, February 8, 2013

It's okay to be overwhelmed

Today I woke up overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed with life and the billion things that are clamoring for my attention.

Sometimes life is like a cupboard (or drawer or closet) you've crammed so many things into, that they all keep spilling out every time you open the door... or you know, wake up and get out of bed.

Waking up like this isn't fun.

But the thing I realized today is... It's OKAY to feel overwhelmed.  It's NORMAL when there are a billion things in your life that you can't control.

You just have to embrace it and say 'Nope I can't do it all'.  And know that at the end of the day the important things will get done.  No you don't have to finish doing your taxes today, or patching all the nail holes in the wall, or sorting that ridiculous pile of papers on the counter, or finish prepping for your little brother's wedding reception that isn't until the END OF APRIL... (okay, that last one may not apply to you).

Prioritize.  Yes, I will get my bum to the grocery store because I have to feed my family. And if that's the only thing on my list that gets "done"... it's okay.

I find that whenever I feel like this and I want to crawl back in my bed there are some things to do/realize:

1. I probably need more sleep.  Life always looks better when you aren't over tired.

2. If it go out for a walk I'll get some perspective.

3. Do one thing on your list.  Just one.  Some days this means making my bed.  Others it means showering.  Yep, I'm serious.  Or the walk thing.  So pick one thing you HAVE to do... and then "take a vacation from your problems"--What about Bob... I'm seriously going to have to watch this movie soon, it's been way to long.

So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
{Besides make a HUGE batch of brownies and eat them until you want to pop... because that may or may not have been my coping mechanism yesterday :) }