Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I am not bragging or anything,

But I seriously have one of the cutest babies ever. I am just stating a fact, that is all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too Ambitious?

My Goals

I am starting a rather ambitious adventure this week. There are going to be some fall backs but I think I can do it. I am going to do a major overhaul on my family’s health and lifestyle. That begins in the kitchen. And by actually eating in there, which we don’t do enough of.

Granted, it’s pretty dang hard for me to be healthy sometimes with John being gone and having 3 young ones, 2 very young ones. If I attempt to cook or eat while Ethan is sleeping, well, everyone knows babies have psychic powers and know automatically if you are even thinking about it. I can only do one thing at a time and this makes cooking very hard. But I am taking on the challenge of mainly cooking from scratch as well as generally sticking to a more organized life and schedule. Well, for the most part. While John being gone so much may be a valid excuse to some to slack big time, it’s just that- an excuse. If you want something, make it happen. And I am pretty good at going forward with something after I decide I really want it. But I am being realistic. It’s probably not going to happen so much on weekends. We run around a lot, I like to be on the go. This is one of my greatest drawbacks. I hate staying home. Don’t take that as being a stay at home mom, but I hate actually physically being home all the time. I love to socialize, have play dates, and take the kids to do fun and educational things. I get depressed staying home alone. But that means being out and about with hungry kids. Which inevitably means drive thru’s. Way too many drive thru’s. When John is home, we are even busier. Partly because I save so many activities for when he is home, things that are better done as a family such as camping or things that I just can’t handle alone with three kids or don’t want him to miss out on. If you don’t know, John is on average home every other month, and usually not even home his whole month that is supposedly off. So when he gets home I have a list of ideas in my head that I hope to do and we eat out a lot, shop a lot, play a lot. Which means little home cooked meals. And as much as I love, and I do mean love, eating out, its crazy expensive especially with two more little eaters, and a pain the butt with all three kids, not to mention very unhealthy. I actually love good home cooked meals just as much, even more so now that I have to eat out with kids. It’s just that I am not the one who usually makes the home cooked meals very good. I am a pretty lousy cook. It’s not unheard of for the kids to not even eat what I cooked! I absolutely love to eat and love to bake. I love good food and since I am not too good at cooking it, I prefer to eat out. This is not what I want for my family and I need to make a change. I want my kids to grow up and look back fondly at my cooking, not how much I used the microwave, boxed meals and restaurants.

This desire to change so dramatically was brought on by several factors. While I have always leaned more towards organics/natural living, I take the lazy way out of a lot of things. It’s no secret how bad processed foods are for you. I used to be a bit better about cooking most nights, until the 2nd and 3rd kids came along. Ironically, that’s when I needed to more than ever to save money, right? Madison’s has some behavior challenges that I feel are brought on in large part by her diet. Some of it is just her personality, some of it my lack of parenting skills. But I can see a huge difference in her when she is eating healthy and taking herbal supplements. Last year I was giving her Calm Child, an herbal supplement targeted towards children with ADHD. It made a huge difference but I gradually started forgetting it more and more. I have been saying for a long time now that I need to get her back on that. I finally made that step today and went and bought some more calming supplements for children, supposedly the same thing as Calm Child, called Focus and Attention Powder. We are going to try that along with Stress J, a natural calming and relaxing liquid herbal supplement. I also got the kids multi vitamins and DHA chewables. DHA supports brain health and normal cognitive function it also supports memory, focus, concentration, and attention and almost all children are deficient in it. I was giving Madison that last year as well. Research suggests that most children are sensitive to artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. I know for a fact it affects Madison’s behavior. Tyler, I am not sure about yet but I wouldn’t doubt it because it just can’t be good for anyone. Madison’s behavior lately has been pretty awful, with many days of her seeming out of control. And I blame myself completely. It’s no wonder, when we eat something out of a paper bag or a box most days of the week. As I type this, my frozen Stouffers chicken enchiladas are baking. And it will be my last frozen meal I buy. Maybe. For the most part. My kitchen is near empty and pay day is Friday, and I am going all out to stock it full of staples to help me start cooking from scratch. My cooking skills should improve drastically as I am giving myself no other choice, and my family will be much healthier. Tyler has an awful diet and I feel bad about that, he hates most everything and is sensitive to dairy. Cooking healthier meals for him that he will actually eat is a really big deal to me. He has some texture issues as well, so he is difficult. John has high blood pressure and I just want to lose weight the weight of 2 babies in two years and start eating better for my nursing baby and to shape his tastes better as he starts solids in the next year. Also, the boys are not vaccinated so it’s even more important to keep their immune systems in top shape, as winter approaches I want them all as healthy as possible.

And lastly, I have had the epiphany that a house wife should actually be a HOUSE wife. I don’t take care of the house and family like I should. This is my job and if I were John, I would fire me. He works hard to make money for us and I play with it way too much instead of investing my time in the home and kids. I spend too much time on the computer and not enough with them. I want to teach Madison how to cook, so I need to be a good teacher. I need to stay home more and take a lot more pride in my duties and work as hard as he does and save some money instead of spending it all and then buying all processed crap because I don’t have time to cook.

Nobody else will care about this, but it helps me to have it written, proof of what I am attempting. Somehow it makes me more determined if people know about it, I can’t back out and look like a liar or failure. So, breaking it down, these are my goals.

  1. Start immediately giving the kids their vitamins and dha chewables every day and Madison her 2 calming herbs.
  2. On Friday, start cooking from mostly from scratch Sunday through Thursday. (hope to increase this as time goes on but I am starting a little slow to give myself a break because I do have the 2 little ones that make it hard) Breakfast is easy, we always have eggs or oatmeal, occasionally waffles or pancakes. Now and then I buy frozen ones but never again. Lunch is awful. I need to start cooking from scratch at dinner more and having the leftovers for lunch. Dinner will be my biggest challenge.. With doing homework, her reading, ethan nursing, and getting Madison to bed early, evenings are so rushed already. So number 3 comes in to play.
  3. Sundays I plan to cook 2 meals and freeze them for Monday and Wednesday. So that really only leaves Sunday and Tuesday night that I am committed to cook a full meal. Thursday will be crock pot night, because Madison has 2 activities that night. Friday and Saturday are up in the air as to what happens.
  4. No more junk food. No more juice. Tyler will get flavored water from now on because he hates water and juice has nearly no nutritional value, it’s just sugar water. Bad for his health and his teeth and sugar weakens the immune system. He likes flavored water so I don’t even think he will notice. I am just going to add fresh fruit to my water pitcher that’s already in the fridge and wa-la.
  5. Make some things such as salsas which we go through a lot of, red and white sauces and freeze for quick meals in small batches. Start making my own bread. Partly because it’s healthier and partly because I hate most store bread plus I could keep some of that disgusting rosemary bread John likes on hand. Not sure if I will make my own pasta that seems like a pain.
  6. Get organized! I need to get into a routine that makes life less chaotic and stick to it even when John is home. So I am in the process of making a daily and weekly routine schedule up with when I clean what, do what, go where, ect. Part of the hope is to keep the house cleaner without having to do huge cleaning day marathons because I keep it up better and the kids knowing what to expect better. Madison is like me though and likes to go, go, go so staying home more will be hard on her. But that’s okay, I am going to give her some chores to do so she isn’t to bored haha J I am the type of person who has lists for my lists. And when I am really motivated, I stick to it. This is probably one of the things I have been most motivated for in my life. I hope it starts to become second nature and not such a goal and struggle. So, what is my first step? Get off this computer!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Downtown Austin Shoot

What a great guy, this 15 (yes, you read that right, only 15!) year old guy was a dream to photograph. His mom did not have to beg or bribe him to be there, he didn't complain once, his smile wasn't fake, he didn't require any posing, he was a natural and seemed to be as sweet as his mom. Now how do I get my grown husband to be that easy? It seems the gene that makes men despise having their picture taken was left out of this guy. I am so grateful to him for being such a good sport and can't wait to do their whole family shoot next month. We shot downtown Austin, which I absolutely LOVE and hope to do more shoots there. I could keep posting all the images but I guess I will stop there, it's always so hard to narrow it down!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The longest picture blog post ever

In no particular order bc blogger uploads backwards and all..

We have been pretty busy. Especially when John was home, it was a whirlwind. We are really loving it here. Here is what we have been up to the past few weeks.

Last night, kids being goofy, poor ethan in the middle of it

banging on na-na's head like a drum

Ethan is trying to roll over, but he can't figure out why that arm under him won't get out of the way

My short hair in a ponytail :(
Ethan loves his baths
Yesterday we went to a pumpkin festival in Elgin, it was great, the kids had a blast
On the hayride
I LOVE this picture!
Sorry about some crap shots, a lot of my pics were taken with one hand while holding ethan in the other, man he is heavy and so is my camera
All the sudden Tyler no little to no fear. He will climb anything.

Of course this was Tyler's favorite part
Hay slide

This was at the Austin Zoo last week, they have wild birds all over, the kids favorite part was feeding the peacocks
Best snow cones ever, even better than Kawai's (or however you spell that) down from the zoo

This is Lake Travis, gorgeous lake

We went camping out at Lake Travis a few weekends ago and had a lot of fun.Post hair chop off :(
It really is shorter than it looks here :(
My friend "Brandi" from Sweden, she has 2 kids here, 5 and 6 yrs old. We went and played around down town

I think it's so neat that they have these photos posted along the railing downtown alongside town lake. It's such a great way to show the citys past.

Me before cutting all my hair off. I miss you hair.

This little piggy...

Oh man is he cute or what???
His cars Uncle David gave him, they are his favorites. He takes them all over the house with him. Loads them all up in a pile and hauls them all from room to room. When I say it's bath time, he gathers up as many cars as he can carry and goes, sometimes coming back for more. Then when we get out, he has to take them all with him again. He freaks if i shut the bathroom door with any cars left inside. "No cars left behind" is his policy.

CHEESE!!!Ethan is starting to laugh at Tyler and pretty much everyone, he is such a happy, sweet baby
Oh how he loves his fingers he is only near 4 months old but I swear he is teething. His knawing, chewing, drooling is pretty bad.
He is so stinkin adorable
These were at the same park as he lake above, but this is the playscape which was named The Best Playscape in Texas. I should have taken a picture of the whole thing, it's HUGE and so cool. It has everything you can think of for a play ground and so many levels, nooks and crannies, activities built in the wood work, very cool place.

My strong man
He was so cute trying to push all the girls

It's like a castle

My friend Rachel holding Ethan who is looking at me like WTH are you doing???

This is the lake by the playground, you can fish, swim, picnic, play, everything here. It's beautiful, peaceful and so huge that it can be busy but not feel like it.
Madison walking in the parade for her girl scout troop

Her first girl scout event