About Me

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I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What family means to me.

The past couple of months have brought lots of changes for our family.  I'd love to write a post about all the good stuff, (because there's a lot of it!) but heavy on my heart right now is the crappy stuff.  
We always have one aspect of our lives that is not the best.  And that's just something we have to deal with.  But one thing that, at least in my mind, remain constant, is family.  
Family to me means a lot of things.  It means safety.  People come into your life, some stay, some don't...but family should be the constant.  They are supposed to be permanent.  Along with that permanence comes acceptance, unconditional love, and being there for one another.  Supporting each other.  Taking everything about the other person and saying "all of that is okay.  I love you anyway.  Even if you're not perfect."  Its sharing with each other and having each other's back.  Its knowing the details of each other's lives and keeping it to yourself.  Keeping things in the family.  Knowing that family comes first.  Its being able to share with each other and know that the whole world isn't going to be talking about you.  Its knowing that you're accepted and what you see is what you get.  
I always have had that with my family.  We are definitely not perfect, but I have been sure of the fact that they love me.  I know that if I share something with them, it'll stay with them.  I know that I have their support and prayers.  I know that if I share happy news with them, they'll keep that in the family, as well.  They'll let me live my life as an adult with a family of my own and still be my family, without being meddling busybodies. Without judging the way I live my life and or the way my husband and I raise our children.
I just thought that's how families were.  
I didn't know that what I have is a huge blessing, and something that isn't as common as I'd assume.
Sometimes, there are families or family members who don't have, or don't know how to have, unconditional love.  Sometimes they don't understand the sacredness of family.  And that's sad to me.  
Its got my stomach in knots knowing that, even with the tragic news yesterday -- that many families have no choice, they will never see their sweet babies again -- that someone could make a conscious decision to not see family members again because of their pride.  My sweet babies are two of the biggest blessings in my life.  They are bright spots in this dark world and just because of petty things and because someone can't have their own way in our lives (our adult life, with our own family to raise how we feel best), they are choosing to leave the lives of my kids and not know them anymore.
It hurts, and its sad.  Very sad for my kids, but also sad for that person.  Sad that their life is that way.  I don't want to slander someone, I don't want to air dirty laundry, but I just want to share that this is unfathomable to me.  We have to let it happen because ultimately, we have to protect and nurture our children.  We have to raise them the way we see fit and the best way we know.  We have to provide love and happiness for them, not manipulation and poison.  We can't allow them to be jerked around.  We can't allow them to learn that is what family is about.  
its a sad day today.  But tomorrow is a different day, and we'll just use that as a new beginning.  We, here in this household, love each other unconditionally. And that's what I want to teach my children.

Monday, July 30, 2012

You mean there's no bacon?!

Tonight, driving around running errands, I was listening to Sophie 'pretend' with Gavin in the backseat.  I gotta tell you that her pretending is pretty real and specific.  She has a certain idea of how things are going to go down.

She was playing on her little lavender 'laptop' and suddenly smacked it and said "oh no, the power went out!  That means I can't watch any shows, and we can't open the fridge!" (Haha.)

There's a few minutes of silene, and I assume this scenario is over.  Then she loudly exclaims:

"Oh man!!...I can't cook any bacon!!"

Its nice to see, as a parent, that I'm teaching her the things that really matter.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Four year ago today, Sophie Grace changed my life forever.
I have had many titles throughout my life: daughter, sister, aunt, wife, even step-mom, but 8 pounds 7 ounces gave me a title I'll have for the rest of my life: mommy.  I had no idea what it would be like when they took her out of my stomach (creepy!) and I heard her cry. I even remember asking Ernie "Is that her?"  like what other baby would be in the operating room during my c-section??  It was just too unbelievable for my mind to comprehend.  That very first cry turned everything upside down so that nothing would ever be the same.  I laid eyes on Sophie a couple minutes later and I just felt like I recognized her.  I had never seen her before in my life but my heart knew her little face and her beautiful eyes and even her strong set of lungs as she wailed for a good amount of time. 
She continued to wail and use those lungs for a good part of the next year.  I learned what that title "mom" actually meant, as I got almost no sleep and cared more about if she was eating and sleeping and pooping and if she was clean and warm enough but not too warm, and if she was safe...I remember so much about those first few days, weeks, and months, but for the most part it passed in a blur.  Sophie Grace changed life and also gave me the greatest challenge ever.  During that time I wondered at my sanity at having actually wanted to be a mom, but looking back I of course would never change it. 
She kept growing and slowly I began to appreciate being a mom more and more.  Whereas first, it was more challenge than anything else, it slowly began to be more joy, less pain.  My bald little baby grew more into a curly headed little girl (with light colored hair that confused me...) and I could see more and more the light shining from within her.
Three years old hit and the best year ever of being a mom.  Every woman is different: some are drawn to the itty bitty baby stage, but I believe this stage: the 3 years old, learning to be more and more independent, and having more and more personality, is where its at for me.  Sophie has shown that she is full to the top and overflowing with personality.  She has hundreds of different expressions and looks that mean so many different things, and I feel as if I know them all.  She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I've ever had the pleasure to know and she amazes me on a daily basis at the things she thinks, feels, and understands.  To say that I never knew having a daughter would be like this would be a gross understatement.
Many people say they fell so in love instantly with their babies the second they saw them.  While this is true: my heart of course loved her as soon as I knew her, I believe Sophie and I got to know each other and I truly realized the full extent of my love for her after going through such trying times in my early days/months as a mom.  Maybe that seems harsh, but I don't believe that to be so.  Whether it happened suddenly or gradually, over time, I know that my heart could never be fuller than it is now.    Sophie dropped into my life and changed everything, and I am a far better person than I could ever possibly have been on my own.

Happy birthday to my beautiful, precious, intelligent, caring and hilarious little Sophie Grace.  Words cannot tell you how proud I am of the person you are and I am so blessed to be allowed to know and care for you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Check up

Today we had Sophie's 4 year check up at the doctor.  I can't believe she's going to be 4 in just a couple weeks...ridiculous. 
Sophie did great.  She weighs 42 pounds and is 42 inches tall...so in the 90th percentile for both!  I told her doc that people always say "Oh my gosh she's only THREE?!" like I gave birth to the child of the Jolly Green Giant or something, and she just rolled her eyes and said "she's perfect".  She proportional, so not to worry! Which I knew but is always so good to hear from a smarty pants.  She had Sophie spell her name, hop on one foot, talk about dressing herself (no problem, Sophie was wearing her pink camo wool socks and water shoes, if she needed any proof that Sophie does, indeed, dress herself).  She was impressed that Sophie wrote her name for her, and doubly impressed when she told the doc what to do in an emergency (call 911!!). 
The doctor was delighted with most everything else. :)  She was happy with us eating paleo, which is so nice to hear.  Sophie's last pediatrician had no idea how Sophie would ever grow or use her brain without a diet full of wheat, so it was nice that this doctor knew what "paleo" was, and actually showed approval over it.  Success! (Not that it matters, either...I made it clear to the un-believer that I'm the parent so I'll feed her/raise her/discipline her/do whatever I want the way I see best, and I'd do the same if this one doubted me as well;). ) 
We had to go over to the lab to have blood work to check for anemia "real quick" after the appointment, because Sophie has been anemic in the past so we always have to keep up with that.  The lab was packed!  The receptionist gave Sophie some paper and crayons and Sophie announced very loudly that she was drawing Loki and Thor.  The teenage boy across from us looked at her in admiration.  Finally when we got back there Sophie got her finger stuck and then squeezed and squeezed for blood to fill up a tube.  She just sat and stared though, so I was a pretty proud mama. The lab techs said she was awesome and that the "big girl" before her had to be held down (she was maybe 18). 
The only thing that wasn't the best was that she failed her eye test. :( Noooooooo.  I have been hoping and hoping she wouldn't get my bad eyes...I had to schedule a follow up with an eye doctor to have her tested more thoroughly.  I hope she doesn't need glasses already! Sad day.
Overall it was a success for my big girl. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hell just froze over you guys

For serious.  I don't know if I've posted on here about Gavin's food aversions, but I have lamented about it often on facebook, and if you know me well, you know it is a HUGE source of stress for me.  He's not just a picky eater, he has a serious phobia about certain foods.  Not even just certain foods: MOST foods except for a select few things, and all junk food.  Honestly, if it comes in a package, most likely he will eat it.  Anything that comes in a happy meal, macaroni and cheese (but it has to be in the blue box!), frozen chicken nuggets (even after I showed him the video of how they MAKE those...*shudder*), hot dogs, ALL CANDY, chips, etc. 
I hate it.  I suppose I could just feed him chips and fast food every day to make things easy, and life would be happy, there would be no tension here at home...call me crazy, but I care what he's putting into his growing body and what's fueling his growing and changing mind.  I cringe thinking about all the nutrients he's missing out on, and wonder if he's sick all the time with a chronic cough because he'll only eat crap.  I get lucky in the fact that he WILL eat baby carrots and apples.  I send those puppies in his lunch every day!  I'd get sick of that much repetition, but I am seriously at a loss most of the time on meals.  I have made it clear that I am not a short order cook.  I make very healthy and delicious meals for the family, and that is what everyone eats.  But it is like Armageddon in here on nights that I try to get him to eat something that isn't fried or full of who knows what.  Its awful. 
So tonight, we cooked out for the first time this season.  Hooray!  Here's what I had to make: turkey burgers.   I didn't have any hot dogs (because I usually don't).  I put the turkey burger on his plate with some fruit and veggies.  Let's get this straight: If it was covered with a bun and in a wrapper that said "McDonalds", he'd be digging in.  But we don't eat buns up in here, and he doesn't like condiments, so this is just straight meat patty.  While the rest of us dug in, Ernie and I steeled ourselves for the stressful meal.
Then hell froze over and some pigs flew by the window.
When prompted, he TOOK A BITE of the turkey burger.  And you know what you guys?!  He didn't die or puke.  It was a miracle!  So, I did the grown up, adult thing.
I cried.  You have to understand how much this is on my mind, every day.  Do you see all my posts on facebook about health and nutrition??  Do you understand that I just want the best for these kids??  It kills me every day that I try to make something that is unoffensive to him but that will not also add to obesity or disease.  So, when he took a bite of something unprocessed and un-fast-food, I shed a little tear.  Awkward!  But that is okay.  I will feel embarassed at the dinner table for this VICTORY, and it is definitely a victory in this house.  I feel like taking all the money out of my purse and showering it on him. 
It made such an impact on me, I had to blog about it and let everyone know I cried over a turkey burger. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Satan invented gluten, you know.

Want to hear me gush about the benefits of eating paleo some more? I bet you do!
Sorry if you don't...I'm not that interesting so we'll stick with stuff I'm excited about.

There have been a ridiculous amount of positive changes and benefits to us switching to a paleo lifestyle.  More than I thought.  Quite a while ago we decided we'd try it, because what could it hurt, right?  Most people who care enough to take the time to read my blog posts also know that over the past year I had a lot of health problems and scary things go on that were sort of a mystery to doctors.  Enough that we really would try anything to improve my health and reverse the things that were going on. 
So anyway, we went back and forth with paleo.  We ate a good portion of our food 'paleo friendly' but we also ate non-paleo stuff.  Or sometimes we'd stick to it then get off track.  But I got sick of that.  Literally, SICK.  And I was tired of always being sick.  Sick, and fat...and no matter what I tried, I couldn't feel better, and I couldn't lose weight.  I wasn't a closet binge-er or anything, either.  It wasn't like I was only being good in public and then doing stuff to sabotage my success.  I couldn't figure it out and that kind of thing is so frustrating it makes me want to scream and cry.  I decided to just suck it up. 
The beginning of switching to a totally paleo lifestyle is, I won't lie, hard.  Really tough.  You realize what you are really addicted to, and you want those things you've given up more than you want anything!  Food is scarier than an addiction to crack. Because, you know, you have to eat!  May as well eat pasta and cookies and chips, right??  Okay so we ate pretty 'healthy' in the first place.  But becoming really strict about it takes quite the adjustment period.  I have no will power.  I'm very impressed with myself that I finally reached the point where I could give everything up and do it semi-easily.  I guess maybe 3 hospital visits in one year and multiple doctors visits with different doctors with no real answers is my final straw.  I'm 29 for crying out loud. Not 70. 
So a benefit I have is that I love to cook, and I'm a stay at home mom.  That is a hard job, don't get me wrong, but it also puts me here, in the house, more than I would be if I had a job outside the home, and  that helps me have the ability to find good recipes and make a variety of paleo meals and snacks for us.  If I wasn't here as my job, I would probably have found that to be an overwhelming thing to start.  However, now that I know how to eat/cook/shop paleo, I can tell you: it is really easy.  If you don't have any idea what to make for dinner one night, there's no reason to panic.  Cook some meat.  Cook some veggies.  Bam. Dinner's done.  You can get fancy, which is nice to add some variety, but you can also do it that basic and you'll have a satisfying meal.
What was my point...? Oh yeah.  Okay so I finally made up my mind and stuck to it.  Amazing.  I had no idea I felt SO BAD before.  Yeah I felt bad enough a few times to make my way to the hospital (I even took my first ever ambulance ride...scary), but I didn't realize how bad I felt on a daily basis.  Every single day, I felt some sort of aches and pains.  Did I find that troubling? NO (which is even scarier). I just had lived like that so long, that it was normal. It was life.  Everyone must have that right? No, wrong.  My aches and pains went away.  My constant stomach/intestinal issues/pains/discomfort...GONE.  The crippling chest pain I had been having that made me feel, honestly, that I was going to die (but doctors couldn't figure out) has been gone for months, with no indications of returning.  That is the biggest thing.  To make *that* pain go away, I'd really do almost anything.  I have enough energy to exercise regularly, and on top of that, I *want* to.  When I don't, I notice a difference in the way I feel, emotionally.
Aside from my health problems prompting me to this change, a big...no, HUGE factor in my success was reading Robb Wolf's book, The Paleo Solution, which you can buy here (and I highly recommend doing so...even if you're skeptical about this "paleo" thing.)
I was reading this book and he asked a list of questions, and as I read them, I thought..."oh my gosh. He wrote this book for ME." Because:
Yes, I sleep less than 9 hours per night.  YES, I have problems falling asleep/staying asleep.  I wake up more exhausted than when I went to bed...I really only get to feeling fully awake in the evening, when its almost time for sleep again!  YES, i'm tired and achy all the time!  I DO have frequent upper-respiratory infections.  I DO live and die by stimulants (COFFEE)...I have definitely gained fat in the midsection, even carefully watching my food intake.  I HAVE SO experience memory problems (which has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Why can't I just freaking REMEMBER stuff?!) And I definitely have problems with depression.
These were the answers to almost every single question on his list.  What is the solution to all of these things?  Eat paleo. And get sleep.
I've been doing those things and you cannot truly understand the difference its made unless you live with me.  Seriously.  Night and day.  I still have a significant amount of weight to lose.  And while that's really troubling to me, its a slow process and I just have to accept that.  The most important part is the difference it has made in my health and well-being. 
Another sign of this is recently, I had something by mistake that had gluten in it.  If I was skeptical before that eating paleo was causing all the beneficial changes, this would have made me a believer.  I felt SO SICK.  My stomach cramped up.  I got a headache. I got itchy.  Oh man I felt terrible.  From ONE thing.  I had never realized before how food was making me feel...but going back to the 'old ways' showed me just how awful I was always feeling, and I was just so used to it I didn't even notice. That was kinda scary. 
Another thing I realized, as I thought more about it and paid attention to the effects that slip up had on me, was how much my mood is effected by the things I put in my body.  That one incident made me feel a little crazy.  Like I was on a roller coaster. So I went back through my brain and looked at the calender and I could actually pin point the roller coaster emotions as being times when we were eating only 'sorta' paleo.  Artificial, processed things and gluten actually do, in fact, make me crazy.  You get sort of a euphoric feeling at the moment you are eating those things, and then a huge crash.  I felt overly emotional (which for me, is saying something) the next few days.  Stupid little things made me cry.  This last time, I felt like my world was honestly coming to an end, over stuff that really wasn't that big of a deal.  I cried, felt so overly depressed I couldn't go about my normal daily business...and why would I ever want to feel that way??
Isn't that ridiculous?!  It helped, though, in a major way, to reinforce in my mind that we are doing the absolute right thing.  Eating paleo has changed my life.  I'm not where I want to be, physically, but everything else has made such a huge turn around.  And its awesome!  If you need me, I'll be standing on the corner with a pro-paleo sandwich board on, ringing a bell.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bam! Bacon!

I feel Sophie's little pearl of wisdom from yesterday deserves it's own blog post.  We were driving out to pick Gavin up from school, and we drive through a lot of farm land.  This got her talking about farm animals...
"Mom.  We should get a pig.  Not a boy pig, because they're mean, but a girl pig.  So we should get a girl pig, and when the pig gets all the way fat...BAM -- bacon!"

Man, she's so smart. 
I've tried to let her know about how we get meat, and apparently she sort of gets the concept.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We have a writer!

I'm not sure if this really warrants a blog post, but I am a mom, so -- it should be expected. :)  I'm not sure where this is on the development timeline for a 3 year old, but I am SUPER excited that Sophie wrote her name today all by herself!  In school we're still just working on the beginning of the alphabet, shapes, and a couple numbers.  She's seemed to be slower at getting how to write letters, etc., which has been fine because I know everyone develops different stuff more easily.  I learned to read early and with ease, and math came later.  Or okay, lets face it, I still can't do math.
Anyway, last week I think it was, Sophie wrote random letters on a paper she was coloring on, so I decided well, she can verbally spell her name, lets see how she does with the letters.  So I've been writing it out for her, hoping she'd get it.  She will say it very quickly, but, as with ALL writing, she has been hesitant.  Come to find out, she's just being STUBBORN, once again.  I was in the bathroom drying my hair today and she came in and yelled at me "MOM I wrote an S!"  I came out to see and sure enough, she did.  She also had followed it with O - P - H - I - E.  Little trickster.  I am so proud of my little stinker!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When she thinks its HER choice...

Sophie is a stubborn little fart.  I have absolutely NO idea where she got that from....

Moving on.  Today she said to me several times that she thought we were going to go to McDonalds and get a mcflurry.  Which is funny, because I never said any such thing, and I have no idea where she got the idea.  If she was trying to convince me I actually said that, then she gets points for thinking that up.  However, it didn't work.  She wasn't too happy that she couldn't have junk food for dinner, and I have had a bad headache for the better part of 4 hours, which pushed all ideas for dinner out of my brain. 
So I decided Sophie should pick something out.  I had her look in the cabinets and in the fridge, and she chose: a zucchini, bacon, green onions, artichoke hearts, and grape tomatoes.  I added eggs and mixed that all up for her, and she couldn't have been happier!  The ice cream was forgotten and she was very pleased with herself that she 'planned' dinner.  She ate it all up, no complaining, and giggled the whole time. 
As long as she thought dinner was her choice, she was happy with it.  And I will say, that she eats paleo food with MUCH less complaining than she does 'regular' food.  If she were to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I would have to remind her to keep eating about 147 times during the meal.  Stir fried veggies though, and some awesome protein, and she's done faster than I am!  *Especially* if she helps cook it. 
by chef Sophie
And I'm really happy about that!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Medical woes...

I had my follow up appointment with my nurse practitioner today, to go over the results of my thyroid scan I had last week.  I told Ernie I would cry if they didn't find any thyroid problems --meaning, I want an explanation of *why* I am unable to lose weight, no matter what I do.  I don't want to have a medical problem, but if its something that could give me some answers, I'd rather that be the case. 
I did not go back on my word.  I cried in the NP's office.  Super.  Luckily she was very nice to me about it.  Apparently they still can't understand the source of the problem. I do, however, have a nodule on my thyroid, and they don't know what its from.  I have to go back for another scan in 6 months, and if it has grown at all, I have to have surgery to biopsy it.  When she told me about the nodule, she started asking me all about my mom's cancer, and what type of cancer she had, and when, etc.  So that was a little scary.  She ordered a few more blood tests, which I had drawn at my appointment (and Sophie watched, she's a weirdo - just like her momma).  I guess I'll find out about those in a week or two...but the bottom line is, this was yet another medical appointment, more money spent, and no answers found. 
She told me to cut out processed foods.  Uh check, did that a while ago.  She told me to not eat junk food.  OKay yeah, I know that (valentine's candy didn't count :)).  Don't drink pop.  I don't!  I also don't eat grains.  Or dairy.  Or anything else that could contribute whatsoever to any sort of weight GAIN...and the way we eat definitely should contribute to weight LOSS.  I am personally at a loss and I feel quite a bit of -- despair I guess would be the word.  I don't sit on my couch all day long eating junk food.  I work out.  I eat right.  I drink a ridiculous amount of water.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Okay here is the quite delicious paleo mayo that I made. 
I followed the directions from Nom Nom Paleo, who is much funnier than me and also seems to be a much better cook.  I figured if that's the way she said to do it, it would work.  And, it did!  My ingredients aren't quite the same as she suggests, but what I used was tasty, so here ya go!

(I will say, these measurements are approximate.  I don't really always use measuring spoons/cups, but this is a good estimate. :) )

*4 egg yolks
*1 tsp sea salt
*1 tsp yellow mustard
*4 tsp white vinegar
*3-4 tsp lemon juice
*3 cups olive oil

1. Combine all but the oil in a bowl
2. Whisk for about 30 seconds, until yolk has thickened
3. Add 1 cup olive oil in a slow steady stream while whisking like crazy (about 1 minute)
4. Add the 2nd cup of olive oil in the same way (your arm will most likely be killing you by now)
5. Add the last cup of oil all at once
6. Whisk whisk whisk!

It'll get thick and mayo-like -- voila you're done!  In my opinion, this is better than the mayo you buy at the store.  As our friend Nick pointed out, it looks like mashed up peeps because its pretty bright yellow. :) 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I have been sitting here, watching the kids run around our entire house.  Sophie is wearing nothing but a tutu and mismatched socks, carrying a hula hoop and chasing Gavin screaming "Come here you freak! I'm gonna get you! Hop in the circle!"  I feel oddly content.  Oddly, because they're being pretty loud, and - thanks to the m&ms they got earlier - wild.  However, no one is pestering me, no one is arguing, they are just 100% delighted with whatever it is they think they are doing.  And I love it.

I have often wondered about the quality of their childhood.  Gavin for obvious reasons, because he goes back and forth between houses.  I was blessed enough to never have to do that.  My parents are still married after 45 years.  I don't know what growing up like that would even feel like, and I wish that I could empathize with him a little, just because I can't say things like "I know how you feel", because I don't.  I want him to know that we understand this life isn't the most ideal without making him think he should feel awkward about the life he has.  I know he's used to it, because its been his life the majority of the time he's been on this earth.  It still doesn't mean its fair.
I also have worried about Sophie, because her life isn't traditional, either.  She has a big brother - and I understand that he is technically her half brother, but this in all honesty is something I only completely realized recently.  I have never thought of them as "half" anything.  He is her bubba and she is his sissy and that's just how its been.  However, her big bubby that she loves so much is here and then gone for a period of time, then comes back...and it goes on and on in that cycle.  That is hard on her.  We also had a long period of time where her daddy was laid off and on unemployment, and things were hard.  Things still are hard -- that's how it is for a lot of people nowadays.  We have a lot of struggles, monetary sure but definitely more so in other areas.  I have worried about the effect these things have on her quality of life.  Recently I voiced these concerns to Ernie and he said..."the hard times are only hard for us."  The amount she feels and understands the difficulties and burdens our family has is the amount we allow into her life.  I don't think kids should think life is perfect.  I don't think they should believe that parents never argue and everything is just wonderful as can be.  However, discussing it with my honey made me realize what he said is true: Sophie has a happy life.  Daddy was unemployed for a large amount of time -- hard on us, but for her, she had her daddy around to play with a lot.  She has a daddy who is such a good parent -- she has unlimited access to mommy, since my full time job is to be home with her and take care of her.  She has a big brother she loves.  She has food and clothes and shelter.  She gets to learn and do crafts and go to the park and have a dog...she has extended family who loves her and she gets to experience a lot of awesome things, like going camping, and going hiking in the mountains, and going clam digging, and crabbing, and learning how to cook.  She laughs every day and she feels loved and safe every night when she gets tucked into bed.  She knows every night I'll sing her "Good night Sweetheart" and that every morning we'll be here when she wakes up. 
Seeing life through their eyes I think yeah...our life is pretty good.  And I feel content in that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take Two!

Alright, here I go again...
So the first Whole30, as I mentioned, was a failure. :(  It was going GREAT until Mother Nature intervened.  And there are supposed to be NO EXCUSES...but unfortunately, I'm using one, and that's just how its going to have to be.  At least I'm getting back on track. 
I've replaced a lot of the food we lost from the fridge and freezer -- thanks Safeway for your buy one get one free meat sale today.  :)  I also have about 15 pounds of moose meat in the freezer now (Thanks, Uncle Pat).  I hate how expensive veggies can be, but there are the biggest staple in this house.  Makes me want to cry having to replace that kinda stuff!  But, we're back to it and starting tomorrow AM, Whole30 take two is on like donkey kong.  I'm leaving Ernie a note to read when he gets home from work so he'll be informed he's starting again too. :)  (Maybe I should phrase it like a question and not a commandment...)
I feel really bad that my first go around didn't make it all 30 days.  But I have decided I can't dwell on it.  I could sit around and feel really down on myself and feel like a failure and beat myself up, or I can look back to my goals I set and get back on track.  Its different than some other "diet" goal that would be commonly made at New Years.  This is the lifestyle I want to live, and it is like night and day when I am living that way. Having processed foods, gluten, grains, dairy, sugars...I feel like C R A P.  I never noticed before because I was SO ridiculously used to it.  So much so that I craved those things.  Yuck!  Cutting all of that garbage out of my daily life made me realize how bad I was actually feeling.  It was common occurance for me to have muscle aches, joint aches, *bad* headaches, stomach aches...no joke, every. single. day I felt cruddy in some way.  I took far too much ibuprofen for far too many pains and it was miserable.  I realized that I hadn't take any pain medicine since the start of the year!  Miracle!  I had a headache when we first started because I had caffeine withdrawal, but I had also committed to myself that I wouldn't take any medication, so I powered through it and after that, I felt awesome.
Falling off the wagon showed me just how crappy I felt NOT eating paleo, so I am even more jazzed to get back to it.  Tomorrow is Day 1, and I am excited to feel good every day and be the best mom I can be.  The absolute number one best part is Sophie loving her paleo food and wanting to be active and 'eskersize' just like me.  Love it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Storm. And the importance of electricity.

Last week's snow storm was pretty ridiculous.  Gavin didn't have to go to school all week!  I can't believe how much snow we got, but the powerful wind and ice was what made everything come to a halt.  Washington state has so many beautiful trees, everywhere.  All different kinds, but of course tons of huge evergreens.

  My neighborhood is covered in them.  Very pretty, but not very safe when there's a storm.  All over this area when the ice and wind came, trees came crashing down all over, and most destructively into power lines.  Last time I called Puget Sound Energy they said over 260,000 customers were without power.  Thursday morning before 7 am our power went out.
Sophie started crying and I thought she might be scared, because it was still dark outside we it was black in the house.  Why was she crying? She wanted to watch tv.  Silly girl.  At least we know what her priorities are.  After about an hour without any power coming back, we woke Ernie up to let him know.  We decided to call his parents, and they still had power. So, we packed up a few things and went over there, because it was really cold and snowy and we didn't want to be stuck here with no idea when we'd get power/heat back on.  By the time we got there, their power had gone out, too.  Luckily they have a generator and a propane fireplace so we were living pretty good in the storm!  Sophie was even able to watch a movie (important, you know)!  We had buckets under the downspouts so we'd have water to flush the toilets, and that was a pretty big pain.  I'm glad I had Ernie around to lug the water back and forth...if you know me at all, you know I have a well -- relatively small bladder. :)  ANYWAY, we just assumed the power would be on the next day.  Not so!  Tree limbs kept breaking and there were downed power lines everywhere.

  So we stayed.  Sophie of course had a ball.  She had things to play with, she had grandma and papa Steve's undivided attention, and she's not an adult so she's not so concerned with showering.  I think she probably thought it was a pretty fun adventure. 
  I am very thankful that I was able to keep my family fed and warm...however, the biggest bummer to me: we fell off our Whole30 wagon.  :(  We were about what..18 days into it?  And doing awesome. However, when the power went out, I had ingredients, but nothing made.  The biggest thing we had in mind when we started this was NO CHEATING no matter what!  No way did I think there would be this big power outage and storm, so we were not prepared.  I felt sad about it, but now that the power is back on we can get right back on the horse! (Oh wait, I said it was a wagon...)  One good thing to come out of that though, was I realized how freaking SICK gluten, grains, processed sugar and dairy and any other processed food is.  I ate whatever we could make and my guts were torn up inside!  I got headaches and stomach aches and felt really bloated...whereas, I haven't had ANY of those things all month before we 'cheated'.  So that's kind of neat/interesting to know. 
Ernie and I had plans for several weeks to go to the ocean Friday.  We don't like to miss a clam tide and we already had it planned out, and Sophie was going to stay with grandma.  Well, since we were already there, Sophie stayed and Ernie and bundled up and made our way to Westport. Several people thought we were cuckoo because of the snow and the storm and everything, but it was pretty nice!  The closer you get to the ocean, the less snow there is, and so everyone there had electricity.  It was frigid, yeah, but that was tolerable.  We got to go around to gift shops which were lit and nice and warm.  We even got some warm food, and brought jugs of water back home from their non-depleted grocery store.  PLUS, we got 2 crabs and 12 clams, and Saturday night we were able to make a nice big batch of clam chowder on the butane camping stove. Can't get much better than that!

However, that many days without showers is pretty disgusting. The only blessing was that EVERYONE was in the same situation, so no one could really tell how bad you stunk, because everyone stunk.  I don't remember ever going 4 days without a shower, not even after my appendectomy or my c-section.  I just felt sick.  Last night when we got home after the power was finally restored, I got to take a shower.  Seriously the best thing EVER.  I wanted to stay in the shower for as long as possible, it was just so delightful. 
We were so excited to be clean, and have on clean clothes, and have lights.  Ernie and I cooked some actual FOOD on the real stove, and turned on netflix to find something to watch.  Then I realized it was pretty cold.  Lo and behold...our heater won't come on.  I checked the fuse box and everything was okay.  We checked the switches on the furnace, and they're okay too.  So we got out portable heaters (good thing we procrastinate, we still have our neighbors' heater from a while ago, even though I've been meaning to take it back.) and sat down to watch a movie.  Then CLICK, the tv, ps3, and living room lights went out.  Everything else was still on...so I checked the fuse box AGAIN.  Now something was flipped off. So we fixed it, and then it happened AGAIN.  Annoying, but we have just decided to go try and watch something in our room.  We got in there, and then the tv in THERE and the heater we had plugged in switched off.  And I think all this upset me more than the major power outage!! Maybe I was at the end of my rope and I didn't know it.  But having the power come back and thinking all the problems were over and now having our furnace not working sort of sent me over the edge.  Then we got up this morning and I realized it kept switching our dryer off too, so all our clothes I was so happy to wash last night are STILL soaking wet.  Argh! 
This whole long drawn out story to say...not much.  But it was a big deal to us so I wanted to at least record it!  Now I'm just sitting here waiting on the electrician, bundled up in my only clean clothes: pink striped pj pants, a tie dyed shirt, and a blue zip up hoody.  I look gooood.
But at least I don't stink!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Over Halfway Through!

I cannot believe it.  We're 16 days into it...over halfway through our 30 days and I am SO over craving the crap.  Which pretty much makes me speechless.  I did not think that would change.  Get better, maybe, but not go away entirely. 
(Let me clarify...I still have delicious dreams about coffee.  I will never include coffee in the "crap" family, and it will be returning to me when these days are done.)
For the first week of this, I wanted ice cream/something really bad for me like you wouldn't believe.  I have always had a hard time telling myself I *couldn't* have something, because that only made me want to eat it.  And I would inevitably fail.  Having Ernie do this Whole30 thing with me, though, has been the biggest help.  He definitely has conviction so it is easier NOT to cheat when I know he's doing the same thing I am.  (Of course, he is in shape and lookin good, so whatever.)  Anyway, first week, wanted to cry.  Second week, it started to get better but if someone put me in a room with some Tim's Salt and Vinegar potato chips or some Cherry Garcia, it would be on. 
However NOW...today is day 16.  A couple nights ago I realized, as I was sitting on the couch being an old lady (crocheting) -- I just want my yummy paleo food.  I love the stuff I cook and I don't want to replace it with anything!  That is huge for me.  H-U-G-E.  I don't feel like "making it through" these 30 days and then hopping off the wagon into a pile of sugar and processed foods.  It just doesn't sound appealing.  That is so beyond exciting to me!  Time is flying by faster and I can't wait to see the changes that we've made begin to show. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day Eight and a Good Coach

We've made it through the entire week of our 30 day challenge! :)  Hooray! Let's celebrate with ice cream.  Okay, we won't.  Last night was super hard -- it was Saturday night and that's usually the time we'd have snacks and watch movies, etc., since we're home as a family.  I really *really* wanted some ice cream.  Like really.  BUT I didn't.  Mostly because Ernie is a stronger person than I am, and also bossy.  ;) 
I made my meal list for this coming week, and my grocery list.  Ernie requested several of the new things I made last week, which shows that the food is super good.  We love eating paleo, its the mental part that is the hardest.  I *mentally* need ice cream or chocolate.  My mind is addicted to it.  And my mind is stubborn.  I am hoping as this week goes by, it will get easier.  Plus we have lots of yummy meals planned for the week, so I'm looking forward to cooking those!  And Sophie is definitely our little paleo kid.  I love watching her eat something I made and hearing her say "MMMMM this is yummy mom!"  I know a lot of 3 year olds might turn up their noses at some of the "weird" things we eat, so I am thankful she is adventurous. :) 
Today when we woke up, I was pretty happy that I didnt give in and cheat last night.  I did not have to feel guilty!  And when we went to the grocery store and I got all the ingredients for my meals for the beginning of the week, the old lady in line behind us said "you're the smartest shopper I've seen in a long time!"  I asked her what she meant and she said "look at all that good food! Most young people like you have carts full of processed junk!"  That boosted my spirits a little and made me proud that people would compliment me on the choices I'm making in feeding my family. 
We came home and there's no day care at the gym on Sundays, so Ernie left for a run and I sucked it up and put the 30 day shred DVD in.  Whenever I'm *done* with the workout, I'm glad I did it.  Before and during though, not so much.  Before I have to talk myself into it, and during I am cursing Jillian Michaels.  :)  Its hard!  But I'm thankful for the hard work, too, because it is helping me reach my goals.  The BEST part though, is that when I tell Sophie we're going to exercise, she gets out her yoga mat (which is hilarious), and puts on her "work out clothes", and does the best she can with the work out right there beside me.  Today, she was my little trainer.  She kept saying "exhale, exhale, exhale, good, perfect."  Crazy girl.  I took a pic of her in her creative work out attire.  She is such a funny little sweetheart, she makes it so much easier to stick with all this stuff.  I want her to grow up to be a healthy, strong lady, and she needs to see that in me.
No better coach than this lady!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day Five

Well, I really meant to post about Christmas/the holiday season, but I haven't gotten around to it (obviously).  But its 2012 already and I figure I should post about what's relevant today. I'll go back and post about Christmas when I have anything interesting to say.
Today is day 5 of our Whole30 challenge.  For the past 5 days, I haven't had any coffee (no caffeine at all!).  I've just had meats, veggies, and...that's about it.  And tons of water.  I think I'm trying to replace my coffee with water, which sounds good in theory.  However, I drank a lot of water *anyway*, so this is a little ridiculous.
I did not realize how much of a sugar addict I was/AM.  It is HARD.  The food I'm eating is really awesome, because I mean...I cooked it, and I'm good at that.  But also, I really like my coffee with yummy (full of crap) creamer, and cutting out coffee meant cutting out that sweet stuff, too.  And anything else that secretly has sugar in it.  I've been trying to stay away from fruits because they are sweet, and I think that might be one of the hardest parts.  The coffee part was hard for the first couple of days, especially since it was when school started back after break and I had to get up early and take Gavin to school (not so good with the planning).  I did feel like several times I was just going to fall asleep driving.  Which sounds scary but, I didn't.  It was just in the back of my mind.  :)  But I feel okay now.  Yeah coffee sounds delicious but my head isn't splitting open, at least.  However, I did want to rip Sophie's candy cane out of her hand earlier today and put it in MY mouth. 
Regardless of that (which made me sound a little bit crazy), I am doing good with this.  I really have no willpower so I am surprised at how easy it is.  We've tried to eat mostly paleo for quite a while, but this is the first time we've really gotten super strict about it.  I have had moments where I wanted to cheat over the last few days, but not overwhelming. 
Going to the grocery store with the kids and Target was probably the hardest.  Man they do make junk food appealing, don't they?!  All pretty and shiny and brightly colored.  But I survived.  Which has been making me feel pretty good about myself. :) 
I've also tried just working out whenever I feel like I want to cheat.  That helps a TON.  And I got my craft tub out and have been doing a lot of crafts so that I'm busy when I'm having my "down" time. 
So 25 days to go!  So far so good.  I hope it can continue this way!  I haven't noticied a difference yet, but it hasn't been very long.  Ernie and I did take "before" pictures, and we'll be taking them each week, but there's no way in H-E-double hockeysticks that I will be sharing those, so, you'll just have to take my word for it when I report any progress. :)
I am excited! (slash exhausted)