Friday, March 29, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama

So excited to get this book!  Hubby is ordering it for me.  Perhaps this will help me in the *diet* area and help curb these sometimes awful sugar/carb cravings I get. 640 pages of information and recipes from two moms that have had several children themselves!  I follow their THM page on Facebook and they have testimonial after testimonial from moms that are dropping weight so fast, but in a healthy way!  REALLY curious to read what they have to say!

Dieting & Exercising for Your Body Type

Came across some really interesting information about changing your eating and exercising routines to best suit your body type.

Read it HERE.

It makes total sense as there are DEFINITELY differences in body types!  No one exercise or eating plan is going to be best for ALL people.

I think I fall into the "endomorph" category.

So that would mean...

-lifting moderate weights (2 sets/10-12 reps)
-circuit/full-body strength training 3x/wk
-45min medium intensity cardio 2x/wk
-20min high intensity interval cardio 2x/wk

-drink lots of water
-get lots of fiber
-eat lots of protein
-keep fat intake at 20% total daily calories
-limit sugars and carbs
-eat 5-6 small meals all throughout the day

Being as far along as I am, I can't start a weight lifting regimen. But post-partum I can!  I've got both ChaLean Extreme and Turbo Jam (from Beachbody), Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds (1-5mi), and a treadmill.  I think I'll be good to go.

Watching my diet *shouldn't* be a problem...
Biggest struggle: watching sugar and carb intake.  I get some pretty intense cravings.  I *tried* giving up sugar for Lent this year... but 2-1/2 weeks in I caved and gave up.  The cravings were awful and my carb load had increased a lot.  (Probably making up for the lack of sugar in my system, as carbs metabolize as sugars.)  Not really sure what to do with this...  :-/

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Birth Kit came in!!!

So what all comes in a birth kit?

The very first kit we purchased (with Cassandra's birth, our very first home birth) was pretty "deluxe". It had all the bells and whistles. Now that we've done it a few times (Baby H will make our 5th homebirth), we've fine tuned our purchase to the basics. You can order whole kits or "a la cart". But in a nutshell, here's what comes in a kit: 

The company we purchase from is a Christian company.  So every package comes with this beautiful prayer for mom and baby. 
Super Absorbancy Maxi pads and Perineal Cold Packs

Rubbing alcohol, tape measure, footprinter, and Goldenseal capsules (an herb that speeds up the baby's cord healing).

Sterile gloves, cord clamp, lubricating jelly, and a huge 9'x12' plastic mat to cover the floor and surrounding furniture.
Absorbancy mats (large and small).
Those lovely post-partum stretchy underpants, bulb syringe, and perineal spray bottle.

My favorites: afterbirth bath herbs and mother's milk tea.
I LOVE the smell of the the afterbirth bath herbs.  About the time I'm in transition, I can smell it brewing on the stove.  I relax knowing it'll all be over soon.  It's such a happy, soothing smell.  In just a few moments, I'm gonna have a sweet little newborn in my arms.  The smell honestly gives me that last little endorphine boost to push and get through birth.  Once baby is born and we get somewhat cleaned up, baby and I get to bathe in this together.  It is an awesomely sweet bonding moment.

Other miscellaneous things we get ready in preparation for birth:
-paper towel roll
-large garbage bag
-placenta tub
-old raggedy towels
-birth clothes for me
-baby's first clothes/hat
-swaddling blackets
-burp rags
-breast pads and lanolin cream
-Boppy pillow and covers
-nursing cover (love my Hooter Hider)
-menstrual pads
-Tucks pads
-newborn diapers

It's almost time!!! I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Arianna in the kitchen

I love how Arianna is turning into quite the chef around here. She LOVES to cook and oftentimes catches the "cooking bug" and experiments with many different things. Here she made a banana/orange/strawberry/honey smoothie in the blender, poured it onto plates, then sprinkled with flax meal. When frozen, she used cookie cutters to punch out smoothie shapes.

 Then she took frozen fruit, honey, flax meal and fruit juice to make "ice cubes".
She froze them with toothpicks in them for easy handling.

Here she made Trail Mix!

Sneaky ways to sneak in school

I can slip ANYTHING into these clear sleeves! I simply just tape them to the table as a sort of "placemat". The kids will quiz each other, mark on them with dry erase markers, copy & trace, etc. It's wonderful! As soon as any amount of boredom strikes, they're learning their math tables, cursive writing, spelling words, etc. I LOVE it!


Well folks, here's my little Graham Jeffrey! He's my counter top (or stove top) kid. Loves to help out in the kitchen and "help" me cook and sample food. Got a little bed head but he's still pretty cute (I think).
He'll be 2 May 4th.

Serves me right...

For having a 4yr old paint my nails. LOL 
Thanks Edmund.  :-)

Quick Herbal Remedies For Colds

So for some reason these past 2 days I have started to get an annoying cough/sinus drainage cold thing. Today the sinus pressure was so bad behind my left eye I felt like I was going to "lose my cookies". I managed to keep a couple ibuprophen down and take a nap. It eventually subsided. When I got up, tho, I was determined to battle it with herbs.

Here's a super quick recipe:
-honey (raw/local is best)
-ground cinnamon

I don't really measure.
But I add approx 1/4t of cinnamon to approx 1T of honey.

Stir until smooth.
You can either eat it straight or spread it on a piece of bread. 

Another herbal remedy I LOVE to use is garlic oil!
(Also see here!)
I ALWAYS keep a jar in the refrigerator!

An easy way to get a lot down is to spread it on bread/toast.
You can easily eat a whole tablespoon and not realize it.
This is especially helpful for children.

Sprinkle with a little cheese...

Melt and voila!

Garlic oil can also be rubbed on the chest, in/around the ears (if an ear infection is detected), on the neck, and the soles of the feet.  However one uses it, it'll immediately absorb into the bloodstream and start working on viruses and bacteria. 

I'm back

It's been a little over 1-1/2 years since I've posted any content here.  In fact, I even went so far as to make this blog "private" for a time so that people could no longer access this blogs' content. 

This happened for a number of reasons, these being the biggest two:

1- I felt completely inadequate as a blogger IN COMPARISON TO OTHER BLOGGING WOMEN & MOMMIES.  Like seriously, who would want to hear about my little life and the little things that were happening in it?  I hardly have any readers.  Who am I really influencing anyway?  I'd read through other blogs and see the number of followers they had and all the cool content they posted: and immediately feel pathetic.  My blog, in my mind, was nothing more than a mere shadow compared to them.  What was the point of blogging anymore???

Praise the Lord I have matured in this area!  Over time and with GROWTH, I began to realize a few things:
God created each person uniquely with different qualities, talents, likes and dislikes, tastes, abilities, etc.  We shouldn't strive to be just like everyone else.  Rather, we need to be who God created us to be.  My blog will look and be different from others.  Shoot, it may be downright simple and plain.  But I need to be who I am, and I need to blog about whatever God lays on my heart, whether that be "cool" or ordinary.  It's content will reach and affect whoever God wants it to.  I should never never never compare myself with other women.  My identity is not determined by the number of followers I have, the comments I receive, how neat of a person I am perceived to be...  My identity comes from Christ alone.  The reason I started this blog was to help women strive to be better wives and moms, to encourage them in their growth, to show the good and the bad in my own life so that others will know that being "in process" and not "being perfect" is part of Christian living.  I wanted to "be real" so other women would be real.  If my audience is 10 women, then so be it.  Maybe those 10 women will be better, stronger, more grounded, and loving their Savior even more because of something I wrote.  Great!  My job has been accomplished.

2- I struggled with issues of privacy.  How much is too much to share?  Should people even know my name?  Should I use aliases?  Should I even post pics of my kids/family/home/etc?  Should I lead a private life or an open book?  Will sharing too much come back to bite me sometime?

To be honest, I'm still struggling with this.  I'm still not sure where to draw the line.

So... I'm gonna just trust in my Savior about all this.  He laid it on my heart to reopen this blog.  So I think I can trust Him on what to share and what not to share.

So there you have it.
Now you know why I disappeared for over a year and half.
But I'm back!

Some updates on my life since October 25, 2011:
- three months after losing Francesca Rose April 9, 2010, the Lord blessed us with another pregnancy.  It was both a happy but fearful time in our lives, especially as I neared the 37 week marker.  But we made it and on May 4, 2011 we had a beautiful baby boy whom we named Graham Jeffrey.  His name means "peaceful home" and boy did he ever bring peace into our home!  He'll never replace Francesca, but he definitely filled our arms and brought joy to everyone!  As I write this, he is nearing his 2nd birthday.
- I am pregnant again (!!!) with another little baby who is due May 5.  Yes, this baby and Graham are exactly 2 years apart (Graham's due date was May 5, but he came May 4)!  Right now I am 33 weeks along.  So as it stands we have 5 living children: Arianna (9), Benjamin (8), Cassandra (6), Edmund (4), and Graham (1).  We are now on the letter "H".  Got a boys name picked out (Harrison), but could someone please help us with a girls name?!!!  Belly bump pics to come.
- we recently got our FIRST HOUSE!  We are absolutely thrilled!  For 7 years we have been living with family as we paid down debt and saved up money.  We've been blessed with our own living quarters: a basement apartment complete with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen/dining area, living room, storage closet, etc. And we've had a huge yard/fields for the kids to play in.  So we have not been lacking.  But it's definitely a huge blessing to finally have a place of our own.  We're no longer going to be living in the country, but rather we'll be city dwellers.  Right now we are doing major renovations.  Not exactly sure when moving day will be.  House pics to come.
- still homeschooling and homebirthing.
- I'm into fitness.  Having so many babies in such a short amount of time has literally forced me to embrace exercise.  Come to find out, it's not so bad.  Before I got pregnant, I was doing ChaLean Extreme (weight training & cardio).  But now that I'm very pregnant, I've been sticking to cardio and toning.  Right now I am doing Turbo Jam and Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds.  I'll also do arm toning with 5lb weights and leg toning (squats, lifts, etc).  Really interested to see how all this affects labor and delivery.  This is my first "exercise baby".
- still very much into herbs, probably more so than I have ever been.  I've been seeing an Herbalist for about a year now and she has just been phenomenal.  So not only is Baby H is my first "exercise baby" but he/she is my first real "herbal baby" too.  My body was pretty depleted of calcium/magnesium and trace minerals from all the pregnancies I've had.  I'm also on a few other herbs for digestion and thyroid support.  Between herbs and exercise, this being my 7th full term pregnancy, I FEEL GREAT!  This has been my best pregnancy ever!
- still going gluten free!  Since I'm posting here now, I'm thinking of re-starting up posting on my Gluten Free Blog as well.  Got SO MANY good recipes!  A future dream of mine is to one day open a simple GF bakery, starting off with pizza pies and fruit pies.  Make it so yummy that even non-GF people will eat at my shop.  I absolutely LOVE cooking!

Well, that's all for now.  Glad to be back.  It feels real good.
And I really hope that my posts here do help and encourage other wives and mommies out there.  Even if it's just a few.  This blog is for them...