Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Last day of Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Reedster's end of year performance to celebrate finishing up Kindergarten!  I cannot believe how fast this year went by.  

I mean, really, LOOK AT THIS KID!  So cute.
A doting big brother.
G requested to walk to Mama & Papa's house this morning instead of driving. Even though my legs felt like dead weight from Pilates on Sunday and then Strength and Zumba last night, I agreed and grabbed my coffee to go.  Having my ILs in our neighborhood is one of the best things ever.  They watch the kiddos for me while I'm working part time.  We are so blessed to have them so close by.  It doesn't hurt that occasionally (pretty often actually) my MIL even cooks us dinner on those days!  I love to cook, but anytime someone else offers, you know I'm taking them up on that offer.  

I mean, really, look at those faces.  
Being home has it's perks!  Little helpers are the best!
Walking back home this morning, I spent the quiet time thinking about how much has changed during this school year. Reedster's first day of school was right after my sister Jules got married - we were still coming down from the wedding "high" (or rather exhaustion) on his first day of Kindergarten.  Now we are done with weddings for a while and just spent an awesome weekend with family at Darien Lake.  

Not my best work - but it will have to do.
I thought about how grateful I am for our family and friends and the transition from full time work to part time work and full time mom. Even though I miss my family at ROL, I am so happy to be able to be with my two cuties more.  Just seeing Reedster get on and off the bus for the last 3 weeks has made me realize how precious and short childhood is.  It was an agonizing couple of months of thinking about what I should do leading up to the ultimate decision to leave full time work, but now more than ever I realize that this is what our family needed.  I am forever grateful for the friendships (and family) that I have at ROL and how supportive they were of my decision to leave. And I'm super grateful for the opportunity to work PT for my BIL's business. 

Can you see where EMX wrote "IAN WAS HERE" in the dust - 14 years ago when we worked at ROL over the summer.  (My work husband made an appearance in this photo.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ober-vations - Thoughts of a 30something year old at a BSB concert

3:00 Man, I wish I drank more water this morning.  Now I'm behind on my 9 cups and I'm going to have to catch up and use a porta-potty tonight.

4:30 I can't wait to eat.  I should have eaten a bigger lunch.  I hope this coffee keeps me awake tonight.

5:30 This Wegmans wrap is A-Mah-Zing.  Strawberry bruschetta?  Check.  Veggies and hummus?  Check.  Fruit?  Check.  Brownies?  Check.

High class tailgating is where it's at.

6:30 OOOOH they are giving out free water for Designated Drivers?  Like my Dad always says, "If it's free, it's for me!"

Wait - what did I just sign up for?

7:05 Wow, I'm OLD.  I can't tell if these 15 year olds are here trying to be ironic because they weren't born when BSB first started, or if they really like them.  Maybe they are here with their parents?

7:06 Oh.My.Goodness.  Brian Littrell's SON is singing on stage!  HOW.STINKING.CUTE.  I wonder how old he is.  I wonder if he and Reedster would get along.  I wonder if I could figure out how to finagle a play date.

Side Conversation with my friend C: 

Me: I think we should get them together for a play date.
C: Um yes - I'm going to have A start singing lessons so they can sing together.  Actually, we could form a boy band with our sons!  
Me: YES!  And then we can be their biggest fans!  I'll wear a shirt that says, 'My heart belongs to Reedster."

7:20 Avril Lavigne - is she my age?  Maybe younger?  Wow - she looks small.  I bet I'm like 5" taller than her!

7:25 (starts to notice clothing choices of other patrons) WHOA - why are high waisted shorts back "in?"  Don't people know that they accentuate CELLULITE?  Who in their right minds would wear those?  And when did crop tops come back in?  NO.WAY.  Not happening.  I may not have cellulite (Thank you God), but the stretch marks on my abdomen from having two kids would make people think a tiger mauled me.

7:26 Just when I thought it couldn't get worse than high waisted shorts.... high waisted shorts with boots that go just above the ankle?  Why would you want to make your legs look stumpy?  I thought people wanted long legs?  I'm really confused right now.

7:30 Is stone wash back in?  Did I miss that memo too?

7:35 Wait, wait wait.  Am I back in the year 1996?  OOOOOOOHHHH.  That makes much more sense now.

7:36 I didn't have an iPhone in 1996.  Crap.  It's actually 2014.  Man, I need to sit down for a few minutes apparently.  It's getting late.  How come I have 3 pimples TODAY?  I didn't have this many pimples in 1996.  How is that fair?

7:45 Oh good.  EMX took care of Reedster's snack and breakfast prep so I don't have to do that when I get home.  Man, getting out of that parking lot is going to be AW-FUL.

8:00 OK good - time for a little BSB.  I bet this will be fun.  Let me sit on the grass for a few minutes and text my sister about the people watching around here.

8:05 I wonder when they are going to start?  It's getting late.  YAWN.


8:29 (MUSIC STARTS)  Yay!  Time to rock!


8:40 (singing) my heart is incomplete!!!!! WOW.  These boys are really deep!  Why did I never realize that??????

8:50 (still singing) My Love Is All I Have to Give!!!!!!!  Without you I don't know how I would live!!!!!!

9:00 OHHHHHHHH man. They wrote this song for their KIDS?!?!?!?!?!?! I love these boys.  Seriously.  So adorable.  Such good dads.  I.can't.take.it!

I am your father.... and a BSB.  

9:10 (still singing) #SHOWMETHEMEANINGOFBEINGLONELY All of the sudden I'm in a musical...

9:18 Oh yeah - they've got it goin' on!!!!!!  for years!

9:30 (ACOUSTIC SET) - Let me get this straight, good looks, mad dance skills, good singing AND they play instruments?

9:40 (jumping) I can't believe how much fun this is.  Why do my knees hurt though?  I wonder if I have Advil in my purse...

9:45 Uh-Oh.  That girl is going to get on her friend's shoulders.  This.is.not.going.to.end.well.

9:46 Oh thank goodness for security.  That girl could have cracked her head open.

9:47 ooooooh "Madeleine!"  I wonder if this is the name of someone's daughter?  HOW CUTE WOULD THAT BE?

9:50 I don't think you can love me more than that..... true.story.  EMX.  I'm totally singing this to EMX.  NOT BSB.  Because I'm married to EMX and the year is 2014.  And I have two kids.  Two of them.  Yep.  Darn right!

10:00 NOOOOO I don't want this to end!  Come back!  You didn't sing "Everybody!"

10:05 BACKSTREET'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH THEY ARE!  I can't jump high enough!  Oh no! I have to pee!  I can't jump now!  UGHHHHHHHHH #momproblems EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY NIGHT IS COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!! (singing) "ARE YOU SILLY?????" Oh wait - my kids aren't here!  I can sing the real words!  What ARE the real words?????
So what are the real words?  It's not "AM I SILLLLLLY?"

10:15 NOOOOOO COME BACK!  They aren't turning the lights on yet - they are totally coming back!  I don't care if I sit in that parking lot until 2 am.  I'm totally not missing a song!

10:20 LARGER THAN LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:30 Best Concert Ever!  Apparently I didn't remember how much I actually loved BSB.  I mean, I'm pretty much their biggest fan ever, right?

10:45 UGHHHHHHH I picked the wrong path to the exit.  Why won't you let me IN THE LINE?  That is really not nice.  Wouldn't you want me to let YOU in if you were in my spot?  People are so rude!

12:30 (still singing to BSB) Man - Did I really need to bring all this stuff with me?  It's going to take me 10 years to empty this car.

7:00 am the next morning - wakes up startled - oh my gosh, Reedster's bus is coming in 16 minutes!  GO GO GOOOOOOOOOO!

ARgh! We have 16 minutes to get to the bus!  Please don't need to go poop this morning!

photo credit: PetitPlat - Stephanie Kilgast via photopin cc
photo credit: Arsh_86 via photopin cc
photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Your smile(s) for the day

With my new schedule/routine, I'm able to spend way more time one on one with G than I have in the last, oh, 2 years.  Even though I've always said she is a nurturer, and a caregiver, and is SO loving and affectionate, this video just really personifies our little peanut and I'm so happy to be able to spend some more time with her!  This is from last week, but is too cute not to share.

Not to be outdone by cuteness, Mr. Reedster had some huge accomplishments this weekend that I posted about on FB.  He earned his yellow belt last week in karate, learned how to ride his bike on two wheels AND learned how to tie his sneakers.  I cannot believe how fast he is growing up.  Our next task is for him to learn how to tie his yellow belt!    Here is a quick video of him riding his bike up a steep hill at Mama and Papa's house this past weekend.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ober-vations - Get it?

This morning while looking online for new sneakers for Reedster (he DID just learn how to tie his own shoes - that deserves some new sneakers, I think!), I was browsing and looking at maxi dresses.

Ober-vation 1.
Man - things are EXPENSIVE!  How annoying to not be able to know if that will look good on me?  Maybe I should go to that local consignment store/closet and try and see if I can find something there for a low price before I spend eleventy-billion dollars on something that won't look good on me.

So, off G and I went to the store with a few dresses and a couple of sweaters that I had in the back of my closet to see if could maybe get them to buy them and then not have to pay really ANYTHING for a dress.  How awesome would that be?  I am convinced they'll want my clothes because, duh, they are really cute, but just don't fit me.

G and I walk into the store and are greeted with a 12 year old with drawn on eyebrows.

Ober-vation 2.
When did they let 12 year olds start working in retail?  Because clearly this person is at least 10 years younger than me - and I'm definitely only 22.  Darnitall!  That's not right.  Reedster is 6, and I was how old when I had him?  Man - math is hard this early!  What year is it?

I'm met with a smile (I think - I really can't move past the eyebrows).

12 year old:  Hi!  Do you know what we do here?

Me: Um, I think so but I've never been here before so why don't you tell me?

12 year old: Well, we buy TEEN and YOUNG adult casual wear so I can already tell by looking at those dresses that they are not something we'll want.  They are WAY too formal.

Me: Um ok - well, can I just leave them with the other few things anyway so I don't have to carry them around?

12 year old: sure.  Come back with your ID, blah blah blah.

Ober-vation 3.
G and I decide to browse (BROWS, get it?) the maxi dress section and find a super cute dress for $12 and a matching belt for $6.  SCORE!

I don't care what that girls says, I can totally pull this off.  I'm buying it just to show her how hip and YOUNG I am.  And by HIP, I don't mean that I have child bearing hips, which I totally do.  I mean that these hips don't lie and they can shake what my momma gave me... or something.

Ober-vation 4.
On the ride home tonight from picking up my unwanted clothes (ahem, all of them), I was stopped at a light with my windows down.  Up next to me pulls two Harley Davidson motorcylces with some serious bikers on them.  Guess what they were BLASTING?


That's when I realized that even though those teens and young adults don't want my clothes, at least I'm not blaring my music trying to find someone to "ride wit me."

Monday Musings and Quick Paleo Pancakes

Well, hello.  

Some of you may know that I have a new job.  Last week was my first week as a SAHM / PT WAHM mom.  I have to say that it was a great week.  It was a little bit of a transition, but really, it was awesome.  I realized quickly how much I have missed and how stressed I had been for the last year.  With a full time job for me, EMX working major OT hours lately, one kid in karate (two nights a week), and a rambunctious 2 year old, and other commitments to church and family/friends and our own fitness commitments, I was beginning to run myself ragged trying to make sure that everyone was well fed (I'll get to that in a minute), dressed, bags packed, lunches/breakfasts/snacks ready, activities/HW complete, etc.

One thing that I just don't want to compromise on is healthy eating.  Yes, we do order pizza (or like last night, ahem, garbage plates) from time to time, but most of the time afterwards, I start to feel groggy, overfull and just kind of gross!

So what does eating healthy look like for us?  For the most part, EMX and I eat a paleo/primal diet.  EMX eats that way as a default since I do 99.9% of the cooking for our family and he has no choice to but eat what I make.  He still does get Bruegger's bagels though once a week and orders Chinese food at work on Fridays.  The kids do eat PB&J and bunny crackers and the like, but I do try and get the healthiest ingredients I can and would rather make something than buy a packaged version whenever possible.  (Even though now Reedster won't eat my PB&J, haha.  He has been choosing fruits, vegetables and nuts for lunch instead - which I'm obviously fine with.)

There have been a few articles and studies released lately that state that there is no thing such as "gluten sensitivity."  So while there may be no scientific proof that people can be sensitive to gluten, I will tell you what I have found in my very scientific research from the last year and a half - from when I did my first 21 Day Sugar Detox in February 2013.

- The first time I completed a sugar detox, I didn't do it to lose weight.  I was trying to find a way to fight the MAJOR cravings for cookies and cake that I started to have while pregnant with Giselle, and continued through the postpartum time while breastfeeding and then continued until she was almost 1, haha.  I initially thought that I would be a raging BRAT while doing the detox but what I found was actually the opposite.  By the end of the 21 days, I was downright euphoric.  I was honestly happy, energetic, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  I had so much energy and was in such a good mood that it was VERY evident that the way I had been eating beforehand may not have been the best nutrition.  While I was eating a lot of fruit and veggies and meats before the detox, the whole grains and sugars in general were just not working for me.  I DID end up losing 5 lbs during those 21 days, which I didn't complain about.  I also did find that my sugar cravings were better controlled.  If I did have a major craving, the best treat to me was anything combined with almond butter. Dark chocolate is a great indulgence, but even a banana or apple with almond butter is DIVINE to me, lol.

- After the detox, I indulged in what I had been craving (or really THINKING I was craving) during the detox - a bagel.  I cut out a portion of the middle of the bagel because I was a little nervous that I may not feel all that great after eating it.  I ate it and probably an hour later, I was groggy and ended up having a sugar crash a few hours later.

- NOW, pretty much as soon as I eat something with gluten in it, I start to crave MORE sweets or breads.  It's INSANE.  Last night we ate garbage plates and even though I was disgustingly full after eating it, I HAD to eat something sweet.  I nibbled on mini marshmallows and then had some chocolate even though I was not hungry.  As a result, I felt pretty gross later on.

So, for me, and for our family, that's why we do eat mostly paleo/primal type foods.  It's funny because EMX can tell usually pretty quickly if I've been falling off the wagon with my eating habits by my mood and demeanor.  I will never ever claim to be paleo perfect.  If I want regular pizza with pepperoni and banana peppers, I'm going to eat it.  But I do try to eat paleo/primal foods 80% of the time.

This morning I was ready to get back on track after a day of eating not so healthy foods.   I saw this pin yesterday for the "best pancakes" - one banana mixed with two eggs and a dash of cinnamon.  This morning I decided to give it a whirl, even though honestly, most paleo/primal pancakes that I've tried haven't really come close to the real deal pancakes (especially the delicious ones we had a church yesterday morning).

The batter seemed a little thin to me so I added a few teaspoons of coconut flour in to thicken it up a little bit.  I think the reason why they tasted so good today vs in the past was a small (pun intended) difference.  Today I made the pancakes on the smaller size.  They were a little bigger than a half/dollar.  This made them cook more evenly.  I cooked them in a little bit of regular butter and topped with real maple syrup (the ONLY syrup in my opinion), and even had a few topped with just almond butter.  

G and I gobbled them up!  So quick, easy and delicious.  Even better, they are a healthy alternative to regular pancakes.

G loves pancakes!
The real test will be to have Reedster taste them when he gets home from school.  That boy is the pancake master taster.  :)