Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What could be better than jumping in puddles?

Why, jumping in pink puddles, of course!
We went outside to play after an afternoon shower and Karis had the smart idea of coloring the puddles with chalk.... to her great surprise and excitement, the puddles turned pink! Much dancing and splashing and squealing followed :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And the fun begins...

Now that we are back home, I am finally sorting through all the pics
we took at my parents' house. Lots more to come!

My parents' kitties were a major source of excitement for the girls immediately :)

Karlie was very interested in my parents' pool -- definitely not the least bit afraid and pretty much tried to walk right in!

She also enjoyed trying out the chairs like a big girl.

And guess who was on the diving board in the very first 2 minutes?

But I guess we expect that sort of thing from her by now :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

A different kind of vacation :)

We usually go to the beach ever year with my folks, which we love! But this year, due to trying to be wise with finances and the fact that my sis-in-law is due to have a baby in the next month, we decided to just have vacation at my parents' house. And I have to say, even though we absolutely LOVE the beach, this was undoubtedly one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had. I didn't have to worry about bringing food or towels or anything, really, because our folks had it all. They were all just waiting to take the girls off our hands and stuff me full of yummy food and make us relax. It has been an awesome week!

We started off spending a few days with Mark's parents, and unfortunately didn't take too many pics to show how much fun we had. But I love these cute pics we snapped of the girls before church on Sunday!

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How I plan meals for my family

I was asked to share about planning meals for my family on the POH blog. And Kelly is doing a "Show us Your life" -- Organization blog fest. So I thought I might as well post about how I organize our meals.

For breakfast, we usually have some kind of eggs and fruit and often some kind of grain (pancakes, waffles, toast, muffins, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.) I know you might think breakfast takes forever if I'm always cooking eggs, but it really only takes a minute to fry or scramble some eggs. And they are just so good for us! Eggs contain every nutrient your body needs except Vitamin C! Needless to say, my little family goes through 3 dozen eggs a week :) We have recently started grinding our own grain so I've been trying to make it all from scratch since its so much healthier. But I always make extra pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc, and freeze them so I really only cook such things once or twice a week. We do not usually does not eat store-bought cereal for breakfast because its processed and not really that good for us. Instead, I make my own cereal and granola to have on hand for quick breakfasts. HERE is a list of our favorite breakfasts.

I don't plan lunches because we usually just eat leftovers or a simple sandwich. We LOVE coconut oil and it is sooooo incredibly good for us! We use it instead of mayonnaise or Ranch or other spreads on our sandwiches. It is sweet, so I've found that we no longer even need jam with our peanut butter sandwiches or syrup on our pancakes. And it makes the best greasy, healthy grilled cheese sandwich ever :)

Snacks are pretty consistent. We usually has plain, unsweetened, home-made yogurt or unsweetened applesauce with homemade granola, or we eat some fruit and cheese and almonds or pecans. And I make healthy homemade butter crackers and graham crackers that my girls ask for throughout the day when they want to munch. I'm still working on getting my husband to give up his chips and Kudos bars for snacks, but he's slowly giving in to more healthy snacks :) HERE is a list of some of our favorite snacks.

I plan my weekly dinners from an excel spreadsheet that I've made of all our favorite meals. We have over 70 options so that I'm not making the same thing in the same month. However, I usually double the recipe whenever possible and freeze a meal for a busy day, so my family definitely receives some repetition. I also LOVE to try new recipes, so I deviate from my list every so often. But its worth it, because I'm constantly finding new favorites. My goal is to have the following each week: two dinners from the freezer that I made previously, two simple, healthy meals with fresh ingredients, try out one new recipe, CORN night (clean out the refrigerator night) and cook at least one recipe that doubles and freezes well to keep my freezer stocked. Some weeks I manage this and some weeks are crazy :) I have an ongoing list on my fridge that shows what meals I have already made in the freezer so that I don't forget about them. I also have an ongoing word document on my laptop filled with recipes that I want to try. When I am planning my menu for the week, I have all three of my lists before me so its quite simple to make a plan. HERE is a list of my recipes that freeze well.

Some of these meals are more expensive than others, so we definitely don't have them as often as the others. Not all of these meals are super healthy, but I am trying to gradually change them to use more whole foods and natural ingredients. This has been a gradual process for me due to lack of funds and time and most of these recipes haven't been converted to the healthy version yet :) We do try to have fruit with every meal and veggies at least at dinner.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The name game...

Me: Karis, Mama needs help. I can't think of a name for this baby. Can you think of a good name for our baby?

Karis: hmmm... we need to find out if it is a boy baby or a girl baby.... we should call the baby Karis!!

Me: But you are my Karis! I only need 1 Karis!

Karis: But we need a little Karis; I'm not little anymore -- I'm big. We can call the boy baby Karis!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby D3 update

I had my 10 week check-up today and all is well with our little one! I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, which is always so exciting! I really liked the midwife that I saw today and I am measuring right on schedule for my Feb 6th due date!

However... the more I think about my last two hospital births, the more interested I am in having a homebirth this time around... not sure if it will work out because it is a lot more expensive (because insurance won't help), but I'm definitely looking into it. I just vividly remember being so frustrated at my last birth because I was stuck on that hospital bed, hooked up to wires, for about two hours before they let me walk around at all. My labor was already pretty intense, but I stopped progressing while I was stuck on that bed. Not at all comfortable and not at all helping to get my labor going! And all the doctors and nurses questioning and arguing my decisions about pain meds for me and shots for the baby when I was too exhausted to think straight. And waiting for several hours for them to bring Karlie back to us the morning we were supposed to go home. I don't even remember what they took her away for, but then they weren't ready for her and she had to wait in the nursery forever before they did it and let us go home. UGH! So the thought of having my baby at home with an experienced and like-minded mid-wife is quite appealing to me! Definitely something I am praying about. If you are in my area and know of a good mid-wife that I could chat with, please send me her contact info!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My girls this week....

First of all, this video (although very bad lighting and the camera is hiding between some folded towels because she stops singing if she sees it :) has been a long time coming. Karis used to be very afraid of flies, so I taught her to sing, "Shoo fly" at the fly instead of running away screaming. But I didn't really know the words, especially how to end it, so for a couple of years we have been ending it with "'cause I'm going to get you fly!" Yes, I know it is a bit of a vindictive ending, but now you know how I feel towards flies! However, during our recent camping adventure, we happily learned the correct ending to the song, and Karis will now sing it for you with much excitement:

And now for what the girls are up to this week:

Karis is still very attached to her favorite blankies, but she has never sucked on them so I am quite alright with it. Karlie decided to mourn her favorite blankie's demise by finally giving up her morning nap completely. But as long as she and Karis will give me at least two hours of a nap in the afternoon, I can handle it.

Karlie was allergic to something that she ate this week and produced the most horrible rash I've ever seen on my girls. Actually, we've really never had many diaper rashes at all, so I figure it is our fair turn. Karlie was definitely very uncomfortable/in pain and diaper changes were miserable for the both of us, so I decided to let her have a naked bum for a few days to let it heal. Very exciting! Let me assure you that this girl is not ready for potty training :) But she does love to run around naked!
My girls did indeed wear ever-so-cute-somewhat-matching-festive dresses for the 4th of July, but as you might guess from this picture, we were never successful in getting Karis to smile at the camera. My, how a camera annoys her!
And Karlie graduated from soccer with flying colors! Not really, she isn't even old enough to start in the baby class yet :) But she always gets an honorary medal with the rest of the class. She is kind of a class mascot/distraction :) In the fall we will probably move Karis up to a class by herself and Karlie and I will do the parent/child class.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The past month has been long and hard for us, but just when I start to get overwhelmed, God sends a small breath of fresh air that helps me to remember I'm not in this alone and that there is an end in sight... here are a few of those kindnesses that have helped me get through:

I'm so grateful for...

... two single guys in our church who decided to bring us Chinese one night when I just couldn't cook a thing

... my wonderful in-laws who came down when I was at my worst and did all my dishes and left me with casseroles to feed my family

... a sweet girl in my church who comes over to play with my girls and give me break

... that my girls like nothing better than reading on the couch. There have been so many times when I couldn't get up to do anything with them, but they were perfectly content to read on the couch with me.

... a random bowl of soup given by a friend last Sunday when I was starving and wasn't going to be able to wait to eat til Mark got back with the food.

... that my girls have randomly decided to be obsessed with coloring. This has enabled me a wonderful amount of random 10 minute naps that helped me get through the day.

... an OB who realized that my pre-natal vitamins were making me dreadfully ill and had the wisdom to tell me to stop taking them

... a wonderful couple in our church who took my girls from 8-noon yesterday morning so that I could try to tackle the wreck that has become my house and even squeeze in a nap

... an amazing husband who for the last month has worked hard all day long and then come home and warmed up dinner and done all the dishes, too. Not to mention all the times he has mopped the floor, gotten out of bed to grab me a snack, done the laundry, cleaned the crumbs out of the bed :), and so much more.

... that I was actually able to cook dinner for the first time last night and that I still wanted to eat it in the kitchen after smelling it cook! (Up until now, we have been living out of our freezer and with whatever Mark comes up with to fix. And I have pretty much eaten everything on the couch or bed because the kitchen has too many smells that make me sick.)

... that although I am still utterly exhausted (I nap with the girls everyday and pretty much crash on the couch most nights by 7 :) and have to eat about every 20 minutes or I feel miserable, I feel like 9 weeks was a turning point for me and I can manage my sickness much better now with food and rest. The smells don't turn my stomach like they used to and I can actually look at my list of recipes without gagging and try to plan meals for my family again. I see the light at the end of the tunnel! Give me one more month and I will be like a new woman!

...that I know that a week from Saturday we will be with family for a week and they are just waiting to take care of me.... ever so eager to entertain my girls and give me lots of wonderful food to fatten me up. It really helps to have a nice break to look forward to!

... that I am constantly reminded that there is a sweet, tiny baby in my belly that I want to meet so badly! Every time I am miserable, I just look at Karis and Karlie and think to myself that they were so worth it! I am soooooo grateful for this little blessing inside me! I think back to the miserable time when we struggled to get pregnant with Karis and I just weep with joy that God has blessed us with these children. They are such a gift and I will never take them for granted!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fun Converstations with Karis

"She is my sweet baby girl!" (Speaking of Karlie, who was having a blast bringing Karis toys to play with :)

"Mommy not need ice cream because her tummy hurt!" (Karis is used to me refusing food because of morning sickness... but thank you very much, sweet girl, but I'll decide when my tummy hurts or not!!)

"Maybe they have coconut oil and they put it on their sores to make it better
!" (After reading about the plagues on the Egyptians and seeing a picture of the boils.)

"But they have kitties and the kitties can see in dark!!!" (After reading about how God made it dark on the Egyptians and they couldn't see :)

"How fun your day been, Daddy?" (Almost every day when Mark comes home from work)