Thursday, May 31, 2012

No shame

 While I was changing Nora's diaper, Char found me and said, "Mom, you need to come see the mess Jane made." Why they think I want to see it, I'm not sure. I wonder when, or more correctly, at what age, they will just help clean things up themselves instead of showing me. Here is Jane, at the kitchen table, looking over her shoulder at her mom who is snapping a few photos of the mess Jane made with the granola. She must have tried to pour herself a bowl and dumped out a lot in the process.
 Do you think she cares? No. Absolutely no shame or remorse is experienced by this little girl, and instead she just goes back to eating her granola, straight out of the bowl with no spoon.
 And see that granola on the floor? Yeah, she goes on to eat that too. I mop several times a week so I don't try and stop her.
 She eats off the kitchen floor, and sleeps on it too, silly girl!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Popcorn Popping

 Our sweet Jane trying to sing the primary song, "I looked out the window and what did I see?"
" Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!"
 Air popped popcorn is one of our family's favorite snacks to make and eat. It's cheap, healthy, fast and entertaining! We always have an audience when the popcorn starts popping and we hear many, "ooohs!" and "aaahhs!"
 And sometimes we like to turn it into this yummy, but still fairly healthy treat(Peanut Butter Popcorn made with brown rice syrup, all natural peanut butter and sucanat)

 And Chef Elisabeth helping mommy make the peanut butter syrupy caramel stuff:

 Charlie and Elisabeth filling up their bowls in preparation for our game night

 What game did we play? Clue! Jane and Nora sat this one out. 2 year old Jane mostly colored and ate and Nora slept in her bouncer on the counter in the kitchen so she was still close by and felt like she was a part of the group. Nora is 4 weeks old now and starting to care about things like that :)...seriously, she does not sleep well during the day in her quiet room, in the crib. During the day she sleeps best in her bouncer, in the kitchen, right in the thick of things.

(Nice face Scott :). Love you!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life with a newborn and prioritizing

While my mom was here we made sure to do a few things. We visited Temple Square and went to the new Whole Foods Market just around the corner(that was my favorite part...I LOVE browsing health food stores!), we had her brother and his wife over for green smoothies, we made lots of yummy and healthy foods, we went out to eat(and Scott and I agreed that from here on out, when we go out to eat it'll just be me and him on a date, or with other adults, because not only is eating out with our whole family expensive, but it's stressful :)) and we visited Kennecott Copper Mine. The day we went to the copper mine, there was a tour bus there with monks from Taiwan. They all wore long brown robes and had shaved heads or at least hair that was buzzed really short. It seemed to me that some of them were women, though I'm not positive. Anyway, when they saw my kids, several of them rushed over and started pulling them together and taking pictures of them :). Perhaps being with children is rare for them, or maybe it's because I have blonde-haired and blue eyed kids and maybe they don't see that too often, I'm not really sure, but those monks were sure sweet and cute. I wished I could speak their language so I could ask them questions about their lives. And I wish I would've pulled out my camera soon enough and got pictures with them before they took off.

My mom went home on Sunday and so we've been on our own for a few days. I haven't had to make dinner from scratch since she's left, I've just been pulling out frozen meals I made before hand which has been really nice. Nora is so sweet and cute and I love holding her, but it's hard to get things done with only one free hand/arm and she likes to be held a lot during the day. Night time is a different story and she'll sleep in her crib and wake up twice to eat and then go right back to sleep. I'm grateful she's not awake for long periods of time during the night and it'll be nice once she's actually sleeping through the night.

The kids also went back to school this week which I think was perfect timing. There are moments during our day that seem a little too busy or chaotic, like just before the kids leave to school in the morning and we're trying to get hair done, people dressed, kids fed and breakfast cleaned, sometimes while holding Nora or feeding Nora, but then there are other times where nobody needs me to do anything for them except Nora who just wants to be held and I cherish those moments. Of course I love all my kids and enjoy being with them, but it's also nice to get some one-on-one time and not have so many people needing me all at once. When the kids get home from school, they like to have some Nora time as well. This picture of Elisabeth and Nora was taken while they were off track and the kids could lounge in their pjs during the morning.

I have found that in order for me to get things done during the day, I have to first of all, prioritize. Many times I'll make a list on paper that I can cross stuff off, and then I start those things early on in the day, in order of importance and I find that I can usually get half the stuff done that'd I'd like to. Once Nora is older and not so dependent I'll be able to complete the entire list again. So in order of priority, here are the things on my list today and keep in mind that Nora's needs and the needs of my kids and hubby are always a priority, though they're never on my check list. Some of these things I do while holding Nora or nursing her. She nurses about every two hours during the day and needs a diaper change at every feeding so it feels like her needs are almost constant, which is about right...though I know it won't be that way for very long. I get a lot more personal reading time in when I nurse which has been nice. Also, Jane is potty training which means she is also a high priority right now and when she has to go, we go! The list:

-read scriptures (I do this in bed)
-crunches and weights(in bedroom before kids wake up)
-help kids(breakfast, fix hair, make green smoothies, get them out the door for school)
-clean kitchen
-load of laundry
-aerobic exercise 45 min (elliptical and rebounder or Zumba or Tae Bo. I want to see how fast I can lose the baby weight when I combine eating whole foods with daily exercise)
-walk 1 hour(I do this with some other women in the neighborhood. I have Annabelle and Jane in the double stroller and then I wrap Nora to me in our Moby Wrap...we usually stop half way through for a 10 minute play break at the park before finishing our walk. Oh and today, when I was putting Nora into my wrap she spits up all over herself and me. She was drenched so I had to stop, wipe off her eyes, cheeks, chin, face and change all of her clothes...but I wasn't drenched so I didn't change my clothes for the time being :))
-shower and get ready
-pick up Charlie from school(yes I have to write down to pick up Char from school because I have forgotten a couple of times :)...half day kindergarten is hard for me to remember)
-make and clean up after lunch
-Put Jane down for a nap
-write a blog--I only got half way through writing my blog and then I didn't get anything else done on my list for the day though I still wanted to accomplish several things. Even though I cleaned the kitchen in the morning and after lunch, when Scott got home the kitchen was no longer clean, though the rest of the house managed to stay somewhat clean and orderly. Our afternoons are usually our quietest because Jane is sleeping, I try and get Nora to sleep, the other two do quiet activities and school work and Elisabeth is at school. Once we get to around 3pm, life is really busy again: monitoring 2 piano lessons for 30 minutes each, snacks for kids, helping with homework while feeding Nora, changing diapers, trying to get dinner on and so on.

Once the kids are in bed around 830pm, Scott and I like to visit with each other and then sometimes we'll read or fold laundry together or clean the kitchen together etc, but it's almost always together. I'm glad that even after nearly 9 years of marriage and 5 kids, we still love to be together.

Here are a couple of random pictures from our past week and a short video of Jane:

1.) Elisabeth wanted to learn how to make a fleece tie blanket and she decided to make one for Annabelle. We picked out Rapunzel fleece material for the project. Elisabeth and I worked on it together and finished it in about an hour. Annabelle was so pleased!
2.) Jane is obsessed with any kind of fleece tie blanket and keeps trying to carry Annabelle's around which does not usually end in sisterly love. We're trying to teach Jane that some of the fleece tie blankets are hers, and some belong to other people :). Not an easy concept to learn at age 2.
3.) Here is Jane wearing Annabelle's tank top and Elisabeth's socks. She loves sharing a room with 2 older sisters because she can fit into all of their clothes...needless to say, their room will be perfectly clean one moment, then Jane will enter and within seconds it looks as if a tornado has just passed through.

 And here is a short clip of Jane pretending to be a Tiger. She makes a very cute tiger.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Real Foods Mom Blog

I now have my 'real foods mom' website up and running with several recipes/picture tutorials. Here is the website:  

The other night I was talking with my mom and Scott and we were remembering when, about 4 years ago, the foods we fed our family were drastically different than what they are now. Most of our foods were not fresh and came packaged. Some common staple foods found in our fridge, pantry and freezer were: fishy crackers, hot dogs, Jif peanut butter, Dino Buddies(chicken nuggets), peanut butter crackers(the prepackaged kind with all the additives), and we went through a lot more white flour and white sugar then. In fact, I remember baking some sort of sugary treat every week. And so it's really not very surprising that our family was sick a lot during that time, too.

I would cook all different meals for dinner, but Elisabeth our oldest child and about 4-years-old, refused to try them and would only eat Dino Buddies. Scott suggested several times, that I stop buying Dino Buddies so that she'd try something else. At first I was hesitant because we make little children (our kids are always in the lowest percentiles at their doctor's visits) and I was afraid she would starve. I literally thought that if she didn't have Dino Buddies, she wouldn't eat anything. But I finally agreed and we stopped buying Dino Buddies. And you know what happened? At first she cried and whined and it was hard, but she got hungry enough that she started to try new things. I agree with Joel Fuhrman, the author of "Disease-Proof Your Child" when he said, "The trick is to adhere to this one most important rule: only permit healthy food in your home. Children will eat whatever is available. They will not starve themselves to death; they adapt easily and learn relatively quickly to like the food that is offered."

Because Elisabeth was older when we started introducing more whole and real foods, she was, and still is, our most challenging child when it comes to trying new things. But once she's tried the same food about 10-15 different times, she generally doesn't hate it anymore and many times she'll actually like it :). Through my, 'Real Foods Mom' blog, I will share real food recipes we've come up with that our family loves. My goal for now, since we have a newborn at home, is to post one recipe a week. Hopefully I'll be able to do more than that soon. I also hope to get comments from readers who are willing to share some of their favorite real food recipes and also any tips and advice they might have concerning whole foods.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nora is 2 weeks

Nora is two weeks old already! The hospital called last Monday to ask if I was all ready to come in the following morning for our scheduled induction :). I was happy to inform them that Nora had been born almost two weeks prior. I'm SO happy I didn't make it to that date and that Nora came on her own a little early. At Nora's two week appointment she weighed 7 lbs 9 ounces which means she's up 8 ounces and everything else looked really good. Her umbilical cord stub fell off after thirteen days. When they first fall off, the rawish look always worries me, but it's looking much more normal now.

We had so many people bring us meals the week after Nora was born which was very nice. A couple were freezer meals and a couple I just had to freeze anyway because we had so many leftovers from other people bringing meals that we couldn't keep up. We've also had several people invite our kids over for play dates to help ease us into our life with another addition which has also been nice. We've definitely felt the love of the Lord through those around us. One dear, sweet lady who knows of my healthy eating habits went to my blog and made one of my recipes for us and then also brought this beautiful fruit tray. I was touched by her careful planning.

Scott went back to work last week and then my Mom arrived a few days later which has been wonderful. One of the perks of living out-of-state from where your family is, is that when they come to visit, you get them all to yourselves! I love that I get mom all to myself for ten days and nights. She sleeps here, eats here, we walk together, talk, do everything together and it's wonderful. Now, if I could only get her to come a little more often then it'd be perfect.

Saturday we took my mom out for a mother's day meal at a buffet restaurant. We figured buffet would be good so that everyone could get whatever they wanted. Unfortunately, I did not make the best food choices. I've been off dairy for a little while which has helped Nora tremendously, but I wasn't very careful at the buffet. I had bread that was obviously slathered in butter(a couple pieces) and I have a huge sweet tooth, and there were a few desserts that looked really good, which I tried, and they probably all had some sort of dairy, either milk or butter.  I regretted my lack of carelessness later that evening because Nora, who has been sleeping really good for the past week since I moved her into a crib in her own room, was up a lot. She spit up a TON. I mean, completely soaked through all her clothes, all over her hair, everywhere! She also had a huge explosion in her diaper which also went through all of her clothes and everywhere else. This was the first time that's happened. And she was super fussy. Nothing I could do would calm her. I decided I better not give her any more of my  milk for a little while so instead we pulled out some breast milk I had frozen a few days before and fed her that. I had only pumped enough for two bottles, but that seemed to be enough. Scott also made a midnight trip to the store to buy Gripe Water which was a suggestion from my mom and is supposed to help calm babies tummies. I think between those two things(clean, non-dairy breast milk and Gripe Water), Nora started to feel better and was able to calm down and go to sleep. Poor girl. I felt awful that my food choices made her feel that way. And it really was a flashback of the time we had Elisabeth, our first child. I just wish I would have known then what I know now because I'm sure we could've really helped our colicky Elisabeth if I would have changed my diet. Newborns have such sensitive, little tummies that they just can't handle a lot of the foods we eat just takes time for them to develop. Anyway, I'm resolved to be good again, especially if we go out to eat, in order to help our little Nora.

Today was Mother's Day and it was so nice spending mother's day with my mother. I loved being able to prepare vegan meals for her (she's been vegan for a couple of months...and I'm pretty close to following a vegan diet right now for Miss Nora; the only thing I eat that wouldn't be vegan are eggs) and our family on Mother's Day. Mom added a beautiful and delicious Berry Salad to the mix which was perfect. It's interesting that even though I didn't grow up eating like this,and none of my siblings did, most of us are all pretty health conscious now and do a lot of the same things food-wise, even though a few of us live far away from each other. For Mother's Day we had Green Smoothies for breakfast which Scott made for us, Baked Blueberry Steel Cut Oatmeal for brunch, Black Bean Layered Enchiladas with Guacamole and Spinach Orzo Salad for dinner and Berry Salad and Peanut Butter Cups for dessert. An all out delicious vegan spread! I'll post all those recipes with pictures on my food blog;  I plan on making that blog public this week so I hope you follow me there!

Granny, Charlie and the girls in their new matching dresses(thanks Mom!). Charlie also got a matching shirt and tie but he refused to wear it because it is purple which is apparently a 'girl color'. I think he'll warm up to the tie:

Here is Jane, fast asleep on the living room floor(Working around afternoon church on Sunday throws off her nap schedule): 

But she woke up in time to lead the family in songs before we read scriptures together:

Other news from the past two weeks: Elisabeth learned how to do a back-walk-over(and she really, really wants us to sign her up for gymnastics) and Jane is now going poop in the toilet! Wahoo! Sorry, no pictures for that one :).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nora's Newborn Photo Shoot

These were taken by my friend Lindsay when Nora was about 4 days old. Thanks Lindsay!