Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Women

Well, believe it or not...we're going to have  4 girls!  Our own, live, version of Little Women.

A long time ago, as we discussed plans for our family, Ryan reminded me why I love him so much when he said..."Really, we just have to decide if we're going to be Sense and Sensibility (3 daughters), Little Women (4 sisters) or Pride and Prejudice (5 girls)"  His comical resignation and how he tries to help me see the positive side cracks me up.  He's also the best daddy a girl could want.  So, Little Women it is!

Bring on the same old, but adorable, pink dresses, lace, and bows.  I'll add a few more minutes to my morning routine to style one more head of hair.  More baby dolls, ponies, princesses and feelings!  We can keep all the bedroom curtains pink.  And one day I'll sit back and watch them experience the sisterly-bond that only sisters can have, and be so happy that they were all girls!

And Ryan doesn't have it too bad.  He's made sure he's got girls that will hike, explore and camp with him.  They all love some of his favorite cartoons and spend good times laughing with him.  After getting into Star Wars Clone Wars (cartoon), Ryan decided it was time to introduce the real Star Wars movies.  The girls are everything Ryan could have hoped for.  They get so excited--I hear squeals of delight and excitement and then at dinner I get reenactments of the races and battles.  Alice even turned to me with an imitation of Jar Jar's tongue wiggling!  Pretty hilarious!  Really...what daddy needs boys when you have cool girls?!?!

To be honest, I've been more disappointed than I had expected today.  Tears?  Yes.  It would be exciting and different to have a boy around here.  Hayley and I shared some tears, and then decided..."lil' lady" is probably going to be extra cute so that we can't help but love her!

Ryan and I went to the ultrasound appointment alone.  Since Hayley was in school we promised we wouldn't tell any of the kids until they were all together.  We copied a cute idea from one of your blogs :)

Excited to dig into the news...


Hayley knows.  "Really mom?"

Hayley is depressed.
Maya is almost through the chocolate layer.
Alice just thinks it's fun to hold a knife!

Maya: "It's a GIRL!"
Alice: "[scream of joy]"
Hayley: tears are starting to flow

Reality sinks in...some are happy, others not so much.

But the cake sure tasted good!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sometimes I think I'm a little behind on my parenting.  About 6 months ago I moved all the dishes in our kitchen around so that the all the plates, bowls, cups, etc are in a bottom cupboard.  Why hadn't it occurred to me before that it would be great if the kids could reach their own cups so that I don't have to come running every time they need a drink???  They can also now unload the dishwasher by themselves, set the table and get a plate to make their own snack on.  Should have done it 4 years ago!

Along the same lines, I'm a few years behind on revising our kitchen when it comes to snacking....

I've been toying with the idea of forcing our family to have more nutritious snacking habits for a very long time.  I've just been a I'm finally doing it.  Last week I got rid of the stuff that I deemed "not good enough" for our house!  But before that I spent a lot of time reading blogs and talking to people so that I had ideas to replace it all.  Here's just one that I've gleaned a lot of ideas from.

Here's one new favorite from that site...chip dip.  Love it!

Just to define where we are at on the scale of "more nutritious"...we do pretty good on homemade meals and our snacks aren't bad but I don't put as much effort into the snacking side of things.  We make whole wheat bread and granola all the time.  We buy some organic products but not everything.  My kids don't know what Twinkies are or other stuff that is so glaringly bad...but often they reach for the goldfish, pretzels or Cheez-its for a snack and I know those aren't doing much for them nutritionally (but they sure are easy!)  So my goals are:

1. Get rid of some of the less nutritious options that sit around our house.
2. Post lists of better options for the kids.
3. Set up our fridge and cupboards so that they can independently make good choices.
4. Make in bulk and freeze some of the things that I know they like I just don't always have on hand (like hummus)
5. Start to educate the kids (and me!) about portion that when we have dessert it's 1/2 cup of ice cream not 2-3 cups with toppings!!!
6. Make knowing portion sizes part of our applied family knowledge
7. Find some recipes for treats that our family loves...but tweak some ingredients so they aren't quite so damaging (my favorite new tid-bit of knowledge is that you can replace fat using pureed white beans instead of applesauce in a lot of things!  Cool, huh?)
8. We will still eat some of the yummy junk out there sometimes and enjoy every bite but I want our daily habits to change long-term!

This week I did the first 3!  #4 is a daily progression.  In all honesty, I don't think the kids have noticed too much.  Changing me was the hard part! 

It's all about changing me first!  A typical school packed lunch for Hayley used to be: 1/2 sandwich, fruit/yogurt, a few chips, a cookie.  About 2 weeks ago I cut out the chips and cookie and tried to replace it with a non-carb option (carrots, olives, etc) and a whole sandwich.  She now actually eats her whole sandwich and hasn't even mentioned the changes.  I panic every morning as I'm making lunch that I'm going to starve her...but apparently the problem lies in my expectations, not her needs!

The new Independent Kid Kitchen Plan...I tweaked an idea from a class I listened to at a church activity recently.  Sherrie had used an over-the-door shoe holder on her pantry door to provide quick-grab options for her kids.  I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me?  The only stuff my kids could reach was the crackers, goldfish and cookies.  No wonder!  I don't have a pantry door but I moved the quick-grab snack items to a lower shelf and put it in divided containers.  I posted a laminated list of snack ideas on the cupboard door.  They love consulting the list instead of me for ideas!  I also realized that a lot of the more healthy options are refrigerated.  We have a side-by-side fridge and a lot of the good stuff like yogurt, hummus and cheese sticks are typically stored on the top shelf which is taller than me.  So I cleared off the bottom shelf.  Put a cute little container on it and made it into a snack shelf.  I also laminated and posted a list on the top drawer in the fridge with ideas of fruits and veggies that they may want to consider for snacks.

Brainstorming:  Before you start squinting to figure out what's on that fridge shelf or in the cupboard...I have a list list of snack ideas that I have assembled and would love you to look it over and email me with your own ideas that I haven't thought of.  I divided it into "Grab it" "Make it" and "Prep it" sections.  It helps me in my planning to look at the prep section to see what I need to make ahead of time and freeze if possible.  Leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send the list to you then I'll compile all the ideas and send the list back out.

Happy Snacking and Feeding everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Update on me!

Well folks, I'm here to tell you that we all survived to see the end of week 16 of this pregnancy!  It was pretty hit and miss there for a while!  Thought they were going to have to cart me off to a loony house!  I feel like I've already done 40 weeks of this pregnancy thing...maybe it will speed up a little now?

For 3-4 months, I've been hanging onto hope that maybe I'll feel like a human being again sometime around the end of September or beginning of October and hoping that my family will make it in one piece with me.  But as the date neared, I feared that I had set myself up for disappointment.  I know that I don't necessarily get "better" until sometime between 16 and 20 weeks.  Thank heavens for little improvements!  I'm not back up to speed but I'm on my way.  The nausea isn't constant anymore.  I'm still completely dependent on the meds, but that's okay.  I'm starting to eat more healthy things instead of any random thing that sounds good.  I have a little more energy  as long as I don't over-do it and use it all up in a day!

The best part of all is that I'm better in time to enjoy the fall...what a great reward!  The world suddenly looks more beautiful and life has more sun shining on my days!

I'm so grateful for the little things I can do again.  The laundry mountain hasn't been so high.  The floor has been swept, mopped and vacuumed more often, dinner is even planned and prepared by me most nights.  And last week was an exciting milestone...I ventured out for a full-Sam's Club shopping trip with kids in-tow!  Haven't done that since at least July!  My kids behavior is improving now that they aren't neglected orphans!  I play games with kids and even discipline more effectively which makes us all much happier.  It's wonderful to feel sincere gratitude for the mundane parts of life!

The gears in my brain are starting to turn again with to do lists and projects.  I have had to started using my calendar again--before we just scheduled nothing!  I wish my body could move faster so I could keep up with all the plans my brain has, but for now we'll just settle with appreciating the little things that we've missed!

1 week until the big "reveal"....BOY or GIRL...what's your guess???


I think I'll be shocked either way...boy would be unbelievable considering our history and girl--again? that really possible 4 times in a row???  I like to think that at this point I don't care (although I've had my opinions--and at one point thought I'd cry on the ultrasound table if I didn't get what I wanted!)  I think I've gone through the pros and cons of each so much that now I'm completely confused about what I want!  7 more days to wonder...