Potty Training Blues

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Before I go too far into it here are a couple of things I know already. I know that it could sometimes take a child up until they are four years old to be potty trained. I know that my child is still considered a little young to be potty training. Finally, I know that every child is different and will potty train at his or her pace. With that said, I don’t need to be told “he is too little” because he has already been trained…mostly. That is why I am writing this post.

Just after Gavin turned two I decided we should see where he is at with the potty training. My husband thought I was nuts but he was showing signs of being ready. For instance, he would tell me when he would pee and poop in his diaper. He also wanted to watch us use the bathroom, as well as the older daycare kids who were being potty trained at the same time. I figured, why not!?

I went into it with the mindset that it was just a check in. If he didn’t get it at all then we would back off. Surprisingly enough, within a few days he was staying dry all day. Within two weeks of being taken potty regularly and staying dry throughout the day he was telling us he had to go potty! I was so happy…shocked!

When my older kids were potty training I did what everyone else did, I used Pull Ups for them. My oldest was trained by the time he turned 3 (it was a nightmare because I was a first time mom and clueless). My daughter had a harder time and it wasn’t until around 5 years old that she was staying dry throughout the day. But with Gavin I decided to follow a tip from the of the mom of a boy I took care of. The advice was actually prompted by his Montessori School and I was completely on board when mom asked if I would be okay with doing the same thing. It’s simple, no Pull Ups. That’s right. Go straight from diapers to undies. That little boy was potty trained in less than 2 weeks!!! It was amazing. I strongly urged another family to try the same thing with their little girl as she was pushing the four-year old mark and once we all got on board she was trained in about a week as well. Of course because they were little, there were some accidents but we had what I would call potty training success pretty quick. So when it came time to try it with Gavin I said no to Pull Ups. Like I said, it didn’t take long at all before he was staying dry and then asking us to go potty.

Fast forward about 6 or so weeks….REGRESSION. ????? Why does this have to happen??? So while Gavin was asking to go pee on the potty, he still wasn’t going poop on the potty. He refused and started a pattern of going early morning, or right as he was waking up from nap, while he still had a diaper on. I was fine with that because I know that part of training takes a little longer. Then all of a sudden he started having TONS of accidents, stopped telling us he had to go pee pee, and became constipated. I decided to back off because I didn’t want him being constipated. My daughter had issues with constipation and it has been a really hard road for her where that is concerned. So after putting Gavin back in diapers to avoid pooping problems he absolutely refused to go back to peeing on the potty.

It’s been a few months since being back in diapers and recently he is showing signs of being ready to be trained again. For instance, he will pee in his diaper and then tell me he just did it. He has woken up a few times recently with a completely dry diaper in the morning and at nap time. And he will TELL me when he is about to go poop, then go into the foyer to do his business. His current pattern though is the most frustrating. The last few weeks he has been pooping right after I lay him down for nap, or shortly after. It’s been brutal because after I change him, and hope with will go to sleep, he stays up. My kid will not nap anymore. I’m lucky if I get one nap a week out of him. I’m losing my mind!!! Okay, back to business…this post is about potty training and not my depression over my kid not napping!

Because he has been showing the other signs of potty training, and I’ve seen this pattern of pooping, I’ve decided to use it to my advantage. I’ve started putting him on the potty to poop right before nap time in hopes that he will go because it’s around the same time he has been going. NOPE. He waits me out and then poops as soon as he gets into bed. I’ve been told and I’ve read that a drop of peppermint essential oil in the potty could help. I’ve tried it a few times and I can tell it’s starting to work and then just like that he closes up shop…the little turd! I really thought I was more stubborn than he is but he is proving me wrong. After two attempts today, one before lunch and one after lunch, totaling about an hour and twenty minutes, I put a diaper on him and laid him down. This was after all of the things I tried to keep him calm and relaxed and encouraged to go…essential oils (peppermint in the toilet and Digize on his tummy), hand holding, switching potties three times, Dinosaur Train, Monkey Potty (YouTube it, it’s ridiculous), and some classical music. He passed right out today but the kid was exhausted from waiting me out and holding it in…and because I put a sleepy blend on him during lunch because dammit if he’s not gonna poop on the toilet then he is at least going to sleep!

I’m really trying to find the beauty in potty training…I’m guessing it comes when they are actually trained LOL…but for right now I’m struggling.

 

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Why Essential Oils?

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Essential Oils are all the rage these days and after having my own success with oils I fully know why. Most of my friends and family know my love of oils but they don’t all know why I have chosen to start using them or start working the business.  This blog isn’t a chance for me to educate you on essential oils or explain my business. It is however about me, my story, and my journey.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED…Peppermint oil was my first experience with oils, about 7-8 yrs. ago. A Co-worker offered it to me while I had a migraine. I was surprised a few minutes later when my pain had started to ease up. After that, anytime I had a headache I went to her to “dose” me up with her peppermint oil. Slowly I started hearing more and more about oils and started buying some and experimenting, not paying attention to quality and not even knowing that it mattered much. In March of 2016, when I was pregnant with my third baby, I was about to take a flight with my older 2 kids and had a lot of anxiety. I couldn’t drink or take any Xanax to take the edge off and so naturally I whined about it to my friend.  She suggested this calming blend you could buy at Walgreens. I bought it and used it. I was pleasantly surprised that I did notice a difference. During the next year I continued to use drug store brand essential oils and even started diffusing them. I still didn’t know a ton about how oils worked, where they came from or how to be safe with them.

THE TURNING POINT…I have GERD, along with some old injuries that lend to my body feeling pretty crotchety at times, and anxiety. By May of 2017 my GERD had started getting really out of control and I spent the next 10 or so months feeling MISERABLE. I had eliminated what seemed to be ALL of the food. I think I was down to eating oatmeal, eggs, toast, fruits (but not all) and veggies, rice,…you get the idea. My stomach hurt ALL of the time and I was always afraid of eating my next meal. I had a lot of headaches, my joints hurt, and I wasn’t sleeping well.  I had taken turns eliminating gluten and dairy and when I eliminated dairy for the first time I saw small results and I lasted about 4 or 5 months. I did not see any difference when I eliminated gluten. I was taking obscene amounts of anti-acids and too many OTC pain relievers for my headaches and pain. I lost a lot of weight in a very unhealthy way between July and November of 2017, my anxiety was through the roof that summer.  In March of 2018, after a day out with a friend, we ended up back at her house having some dinner and wine and we started talking about essential oils. I was super surprised that she used Young Living essential oils because by now I had heard of the company, but she didn’t seem the “type” to “buy into this stuff”, meaning a direct sales company. Yes, I was Judgy Mcjudgerson. BIG TIME. I had resigned myself to never buying into another direct sales company again. She explained her simple routine and how much relief she had gotten in a short amount of time. I was pretty intrigued and when I got home I started researching essential oils and GERD and became excited that there might be something out there that could actually help me, and it wouldn’t be a pharmaceutical. And not only could they help my digestive system but maybe I’d find help with my anxiety and pain as well. I’m a little bit of a hippie and love all things natural so this was right up my alley! The only reason I decided to do some research and start believing in the possibility of these oils and this company is because while my friend told me her story, she wasn’t trying to sell me. She doesn’t even work the business. She uses the oils in her daily life to help improve her health, simple as that. That spoke volumes to me. So, after a couple of days of doing some research I sat and talked with my husband and said “hey I want to try this and this is why”. I broke down the pricing, what I would get, the benefits and how it all worked. He said, “okay! But only if you promise to not make it a business”…So, I promised. In April of 2018, I got my premium starter kit and within 2 weeks of starting a routine for my GERD I had stopped taking almost all of the anti-acids I had been for almost a year and started EATING again. It sounds drastic but I will never forget the day I decided to celebrate those two weeks of feeling awesome with a piece of Portillo’s chocolate cake! I might have jumped the gun a little on that celebration because I paid for it the next day, but I quickly recovered and got back on track. Have I regressed here and there? Yes.  I am human and to tend to eat when I’m bored and give in to cravings way too easily. Am I currently still on an anti-acid? Yes…however, one a day. If I over indulge then I may have to have a back-up, but I usually get back on track with my oils first before reaching for an OTC. My ultimate goal is to be medication free! Speaking of OTC’s…Advil and Tylenol. I rarely take any these days. The only reason I might take an OTC these days is because of a headache. I get terrible headaches but thankfully not nearly as often as I used to, maybe once or twice a month, and I have yet to reach a point where I don’t need a little extra help in headache relief. Body pain? Yes, I still have pain, but it is so much more manageable and I reach for the oils first and avoid the OTC’s. My anxiety? Almost completely under control now. I still have some moments of panic and anxiety but they aren’t as frequent and they don’t last as long. I will add that about 9 months before I started using the oils I was hypnotized for my anxiety and I saw tremendous results, but for me the oils are what help me maintain and keep myself spiritually and emotionally in check. Since October I have added CBD oil to the mix, as well as a vegan diet shortly after that. A quick FYI – Young Living has announced they have partnered with a company to provide a quality CBD oil that is infused with Young Living essential oils and I cannot wait until it’s released! Between the essential oils kick starting my journey to a healthier body, the CBD oil, and the vegan diet I’ve had a huge amount of progress in under a year!! It hasn’t happened overnight but it is happening and I am so thankful to experience it first hand. I’m actually excited to eat…not only to eat but to try new flavors. I’m not afraid to work out because I don’t want to have to use pain medication the next day which will then in turn hurt my stomach. It’s been an awesome journey so far and I know that I still have a lot more to experience with essential oils. Wanna know my favorite part of this process, aside from how great I feel?? My whole family, husband included, ask for essential oils. It took a few months but the first time my husband said, “What oils can I use for this and can you show me how to use them?”, I practically did cart wheels through the house! To have him on board and really understand the power that these little bottles hold was very exciting for me. My teenagers ask for oils as well for anything from pain to needing some motivation to finish up their homework. I love having my whole family on board and learning about the natural way to help improve their health!

THE JOURNEY IS REALLY JUST GETTING STARTED…I didn’t start working my business until November of 2018, just a few months ago, six months after incorporating essential oils into my life. Remember, I promised not to! Because I have had such great progress I decided that I wanted to share essential oils and hopefully teach as many people as I can how to utilize something so pure and natural. My husband and kids have been so extremely supportive making this process so much more exciting! Early on in my essential oil journey I started making roller bottles for myself and my family. Eventually I started making them for friends and now it has snowballed into an Etsy store that will be open very soon!!!

Now that you know my story I hope you are encouraged to do some research on essential oils and what they can do for you. I hope you are inspired to start your own journey to a more natural, less chemical filled, way of life. Finally, I hope that you remember everyone has something they’re dealing with and while it might not seem like it in the moment, there is beauty lying there waiting to be seen.

My Quick Cleaning Experiment

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This morning I woke up super grumpy. I asked my husband for some time alone and went back upstairs. I diffused some Frankincense while doing a morning yoga flow to help ease my workout soreness from yesterday and hopefully ease up my mood. It helped but I was still wearing the grumpy pants. So while my husband and older son were gone playing football, the baby was sleeping and the daughter was doing homework I got to cleaning. Deep cleaning of the kitchen, in particular the stove. I don’t know why but I enjoy cleaning when I can do it alone and for whatever reason cleaning and organizing tends to make me feel better. Can anyone else relate?

Now, you might judge me based on the pictures you will see. You might not. Either way I am confident you will be impressed because I definitely was.

I cook a lot. I’m guessing the people who lived in the house before us cooked a lot as well because we inherited some pretty gooked up stove burners. I promise that in the 4 years we have lived here I have tried many, many things and scrubbed until my hands hurt to get the black off of the stove. Nothing has come close to what I was able to do this morning.

Here is the before of my stove top. So gross! I am a little embarrassed to be revealing this. I’ve even bought drip pan thingys (that’s what they’re called right?) to go under the burners to catch droppings and to hide the black. Can you tell which side of the stove we usually cook on?? Oh look, there’s a little bottle to the right…wonder what that is!?

Here is the after!! Now I know it might not seem so drastic to you but I swear I have been trying to get this junk off for a long time. It’s not perfect but man it is so much better!!

I bet you’re wondering what I used, aren’t you? You might want to sit down for this because it is super simple. Drum roll please…..I used Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner and Lemon essential oil. Oh, and a bit of elbow grease. THAT’S IT!

I sprayed my diluted cleaner all over and added a few drops of lemon essential oil to each burner and let sit for a while. I did a second soaking after getting the first layers off. Honestly I couldn’t believe it!! And I certainly can’t believe that I’ve been sitting on this treasure of a combo for almost a year without trying it! As a bonus, my kitchen smelled so fresh and clean afterward!

I don’t know if it was the improvement of the stoves appearance or breathing in all that lemon essential oil, but I definitely felt better after and was able to find the beauty. I hope you did too today!

From Young to Gray Part Two

I am just about a week away from the one year anniversary of the blog I wrote about letting my gray hair run wild. I am extremely over due for an update but better late than never, right?? I’m super happy to report that I have stuck with it. I have not colored my hair in over a year!! I’m not gonna lie, there have been a few times, especially when seeing a picture of my pretty colored hair, that I almost told my stylist to get the dye out and cover those bad boys. But in all honesty, I’m really digging my hair. I have natural highlights, I’m saving money and I am not going to the salon every 4 weeks for touch ups. Oh, and let’s not forget I’ve reduced the amount of chemicals I’m exposing my body to! There have been things to get used to, like my appearance. Maybe it’s just me and some lingering insecurities, but I feel like I do myself up just a tad bit more than I would have normally because I want to maintain a youthful appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not high maintenance and of course I leave the house without makeup. Actually I rarely put makeup on. But when there is an event or a get together I feel like I am putting in a little more effort. Texture. The texture of my hair has changed and it was something I noticed immediately with the outgrowth.  It worried me at first because I have been so used to smooth hair due to dyeing it but to be honest I feel like my hair is just as manageable. Confidence. I mentioned lingering insecurities above, and that might be true. But the confidence I feel regarding my hair and my appearance far outweighs any lingering insecurity! I only have a hair cut or two before my hair is completely grown out and I cannot wait!!! I love the variation in the white and silver against my dark hair. So, unless I find myself in some crazy midlife crisis, my hair is staying in its natural state! Wait, maybe me deciding to let it go natural is due to a midlife crisis!?? Either way, I’m happy with it and my hubby likes it too!!

Now for what you really want…the pictures.  My hair is naturally curly, but lately I have been blowing it out and that’s what you will see in these pictures…along with my tired eyes. You can also see the last bit of color that is there. Not too much longer!!!

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So, what do you think? Have you considered going the natural route with your hair?

Until next time, find the beauty friends!

 

 

From Young to Gray

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This post is a long time coming. Well, a few weeks really but it’s been in the back of my mind for a very long time. The decision to let my gray hair grow out was not easy to come to and I had a LOT of anxiety over it. So much so that I consulted with three hairstylists and LOTS of internet and Pinterest pictures. I’ve always been pretty adventurous with my hair. Everything from length to color.  I’ve also always been told I look so young. My girlfriends always tell me my face looks too young to let my gray hair grow out. I was even told by a friend to not let it grow out because no man finds gray hair sexy. I asked my husband if he will still like me if I grow my grays out..he said maybe. (Okay, don’t get up in arms, he was joking!) While all of that went through my mind in deciding my next step I couldn’t help but wonder…What do I even look like with gray hair? What kind of gray do I have, silver, white, dull, bright? Am I even fully gray or is it nicely dispersed throughout? I am not a “high maintenance” kind of woman but I do care what I look like. In my day-to-day life I am extremely casual but when it comes time to be part of functioning society I enjoying getting dolled up and looking cute.  Lately, about a week after getting my hair touched up and colored I would start to see shimmery outgrowth within a week. By the time 4 weeks were up and it was time for my next hair appointment my hair was looking skunk-ish.  I think this was more detrimental to my self-esteem than anything. I always wondered how noticeable my hair was to other people.  Aside from that, trying to fit in appointments every 4 weeks was starting to get stressful…and not to mention pricey.  It was just all starting to seem like a lot more work than I might really be willing to do for just my hair.

Before coming to this decision I did a lot of research on how to grow out the grays and looked at a lot of pictures.  Thankfully in my search I was pleasantly surprised to see many women my age, (I turned 40 last summer) and even younger, rocking out their gray hair.  The hair styles all ranged from short fun bobs to beautiful flowing locks and every shade of gray you can imagine.  Seeing these photos gave me inspiration and a positive outlook on my decision and I was starting to not feel so “old”.

I made the decision to grow out the gray hair a month ago and I’m almost 3 weeks from my last hair appointment.  At that point my hair was already 4 weeks grown out. I took a little length off the back and added some foil highlights only, no touch up to the roots, to help transition the grow out phase.  My stylist initially was hoping for a lighter blonde and not so much a copper color but my hair is pretty dark. Even so, I do think that the highlights helped a lot because I would look like a skunk otherwise. My next appointment is in about 3 weeks to see what the progress is and where we go from there.  So far my hair is growing out really fast and I have to say, I am not that upset.  My curiosity for what I look like with my natural hair grows more and more every day and I think I’ve embraced this transition fully.  I am still a little self-conscious because I can’t help but think that people who see me out and about probably think that I am homeless.  Okay, maybe they don’t but either way I remind myself of the goal and feel reassured that I am doing the right thing for me. And hey, if in the end I don’t like it I can always cover it back up, right?!

So I know you are all thinking, show us the before pictures already!!  Okay, okay…here you go. Just keep in mind…I am not a model and I don’t always think ahead enough to put on make up because I will probably take before pictures later…so basically I look a little rough around the edges, but hey there’s beauty in that, right!?

Here is my before. 4 weeks post all over color. Pretty scary.

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Same night, but after foils to add highlights. Still scary.

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Two and a half weeks post foils. For some reason not as scary.

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So, there ya’ go! The beginning phase of my gray hair grow out.  If any of you are thinking of doing the same, I hope I’ve provided some relief and inspiration.  I’ll continue to update this post with pictures as my hair grows out.  My next appointment is in three weeks!!

Here’s to finding the beauty in gray hair!

 

Protein Pancakes with Juice Pulp

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A few years back I was introduced to protein pancakes. I know there are a lot of different versions but I really like this recipe and recently brought it back to life. There are just three main ingredients and then you can add more if you like.

This simple recipe calls for equal parts oats, egg whites (I use what I have on hand so full eggs it is), and cottage cheese.

I used to mix it all together and throw the cakes onto a heated griddle. But recently I decided to powder up my oats in my Cuisnart Portable Blender.

Once the oats are how I like them I add the eggs to the blender until mixed and then the cottage cheese. So simple! What’s even better is this recipe is easy to double!

Lately I’ve been juicing. A lot. I got into it years ago but recently got a used juicer for a great price and have been drinking at least one juice a day…I’m so proud of myself! With juicing comes pulp. I always feel guilty throwing it away. I might feel better if I had a compost, but I don’t. I started doing a little research on what to do with the pulp and low and behold, there is a ton you can do with it! I decided to throw it my protein pancakes.

The first round went great and everyone ate them up. They were a great consistency too! The second round this morning I was really nervous about. I added beets to my juice and when it came time to mix my batter with the pulp it turned bright red.

I was scared for a moment and thought “this didn’t happen yesterday!!??”…but duh, there were no beets in yesterday’s juice!!

However, I continued on to make 3 small cakes each for my little ones and 3 big cakes. One for myself and one each for the big kids. To my surprise, all the little ones gobbled them up, even though they were red!! (I’m sure it had everything to do with the taste of them and nothing at all to do with the little cups of syrup they had to dip into!! 😁) I was a happy momma!

They don’t look very pretty but they were good. I do think yesterdays batch came out better, consistency and flavor wise, but I would make the red cakes again. Like I said, the little ones ate them without complaint so I consider that a win!

I just love this recipe so much. It is easy, quick, and versatile. These pancakes can be made with just the three base ingredients, you can get crazy with add ins, and they can be savory or sweet!

Recipe:

1 cup oats

1 cup egg white or about 4 whole large eggs

1 cup cottage cheese

1-1 1/2 cups of juice pulp in medium sized bowl.

Add oats to a blender of your choice and powder them up. I like to use the pulse option because I have more control over the texture I end up with. Next, add eggs and pulse until blended together. Then add the cottage cheese and again, pulse until blended. Pour batter on top of pulp and hand mix. I like to add a little cinnamon at this point! Pour batter onto heater griddle and cook until done. Easy peasy!

My New Obsession

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I’ve always been a big DIY-er and crafter. I have done home projects, home repairs, paper crafting and pretty much everything in between. I enjoy it all.  As of July 2017 though my world was rocked when I opened a gift at my 40th birthday party (which my husband threw for me and somehow managed to keep a secret for months!!).  My dad and aunts bought me a Cricut *insert angelic singing praises here*.  I had heard of a Cricut but never knew exactly what it was and I was really excited about figuring it all out. Honestly, it couldn’t have come at a better time than my 40th birthday. A time when many women are feeling lost, confused, run down and in need of a transformation. I definitely fit into all of those categories.  This gift tied in with a gift my husband gave me before my birthday.  A brand new Canon digital camera. Again, my very first one. I was so stoked and surprised and couldn’t wait to get going with it…which I did and have had a blast. Receiving these gifts was rejuvenating for me! It meant I could tie my photography skills and my crafting skills together and run! It’s been a marathon sort of run rather than a sprint, but I have had a blast using my camera and making crafts.  Aside from learning what the Cricut can do with paper I was introduced to vinyl crafting *insert a second round of angelic singing praises here*.  My world will never be the same and I couldn’t be more excited! Since getting these two amazing gifts I have entered three craft fairs, sold some of my hand made crafts, had custom orders, made ALL of our Christmas gifts, done a few photography shoots, and in a few days will help out a local Girl Scout troop earn their photography badge! This to me has been a dream and I am so eternally grateful for the opportunities.  It also means that I can keep expanding my little business and make crafting my full time career.  Like I said before, it will be more of a marathon rather than a sprint, but being able to do it at all is so exciting to me!

Here are some of the things I have created since July! I’ve had a blast creating my own designs or simply finding things on Pinterest to create. These items are a mix of things I made to gift to friends, to sell in fairs, or custom orders.

I can’t wait to see what comes of my crafting in the near future…especially since my husband has declared himself my business manager ;D

I keep finding the beauty.

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Chocolate Banana Bread

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This post was first written in September of 2015 and has been sitting as a draft ever since…WHOOPS!!! A month after drafting this post I found out I was pregnant with my third child.  Not much writing, planning, or crafting was done during that time or the first year after my son was born! But I am happy to say that a few months ago I got back into the swing of crafting with much thanks to my dad and aunts.  They bought me my first Cricut for my 40th birthday and I have been addicted to it since! Now that I have found my groove with my crafts I am ready to find my groove with writing….again.

I am starting with this past draft because after reading it over I realized how valuable it could be to someone who is wanting to implement some healthy baking into their homes.  I love finding different ways to make things healthy and this is a reminder for me that I’m not half bad at doing so! My only regrets with this post is that I failed to take a picture of the bread after it was baked and I haven’t made the bread since. So without further ado, here is my post from over 2 years ago…

I’ve been wanting to write about cooking and meal planning for a while and today I was moved to plan, cook and write. Today I’m going to share how I found a recipe and made it my own and healthy. Just a warning, I’m no professional!!! I’m definitely an amateur but I enjoy sneaking healthy stuff into our diet (I should probably do it way more often than I do) and this time EVERYONE loved the bread and no one suspected how healthy it actually was.

Today I baked chocolate banana bread with my little daycare children. They were so cute and more than willing to help out…and gobble up the bread at snack time! I had pinned a recipe for chocolate banana bread on Pinterest a while ago, but never got to it. Honestly, who REALLY does??

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Here’s the original recipe: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/259942209718832824/

While I’m a huge fan of sweets and junk food I want to feed my kids healthy food. I’ve been motivated lately to do so even more because my son has been eating really bad and he’s an athlete. He’s a typical teenager though and grabs whatever is easy and convenient to eat. If he has to prepare anything, forget it. Of course, there is always room for improvement. I’m by no means Miss Susie Homemaker and even though I have really good intentions, I’m not that consistent. As I read over this recipe I immediately saw where I could make some adjustments and substitutions and got to work.

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First, I gathered all of my ingredients and supplies. It just makes the process a little bit easier for me!

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Second, I measured everything out. Doing this made it easier for the little ones to help, and shortened their wait time while helping.

I have to say, watching little kids get excited about cooking is really sweet. They really do love learning and soak it all up. At one point there was a bunch of coconut flour on the table and my little guy was swooshing it all around the table, smelling it and clapping his hands so the flour would fly through the air. My little girl enjoyed smelling all of the ingredients and rubbing brown sugar through her fingers. Not only did they get to learn and experience cooking, but they got a sensory activity out of it as well!

Okay, back to the recipe…I’m going to begin by saying that the ingredients I have pictured I happened to have at home already, I did not go out and buy anything special. Also, this was a total experiment and I was kind of nervous. Sometimes I’ll substitute one ingredient, this time I substituted 3 ingredients and left out 3…talk about living on the edge!!! The three things I left out were the vanilla extract, the chocolate chunks and the mini chocolate chips. I know, I know. I left out three of the most important things, but I didn’t have any on hand, but I felt confident that what I was putting in was going to make a good banana bread.

Here are my substitutions:

3 ripe bananas –> 2 ripe bananas = That’s what I had and it worked out great!

1/2 cup unsalted butter –> 1/2 cup applesauce = So much healthier than butter, still maintains the moisture and adds a serving of fruit.  I use Indian Summer applesauce because it’s the only one that I’ve found that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it. (EDIT: there are now many brands that offer applesauce without high fructose corn syrup)

1 cup all purpose flour –> 1 cup coconut flour =

1/2 cup cocoa powder –> 1/2 cup of Ovaltine = Again, I had it on hand. (My kids love Ovaltine and use it after work outs instead of traditional chocolate syrup and I don’t feel as bad letting them have it on a regular basis) I figure why not add some vitamins while we’re at it!

Added 2 tbsp of Chia seeds –> Why not add a little bit protein and fiber!

I followed the recipe, just with my substitutions, and put it in the oven. It turned out great and we had no left overs!

See ya’ next time!

 

 

 

 

 

Mish-mash

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My brain isn’t working today. Not that it’s fully functioning on a daily basis, but today it’s definitely not working. I’ve been sluggish and without motivation all day. With that said, my thoughts are going here, there and everywhere and I’m not sure how much cohesiveness there will be in this post. Why am I writing then, you ask? Well, I’ve been wanting to write all day but have been unsure of which topic I’d like to tackle. I thought if I just start typing something will come to me.

So far nothing.

I’m going to start with my daughter Lauren. She’s 11 and starts junior high in two days. My girl is usually a very laid back, happy-go-lucky girl. So after a week of sobbing; complaints of stomach aches, headaches; saying her heart is racing and she can’t breathe I’m ready to pull my hair out. This came out of nowhere and I’m really trying hard to be as supportive as I possibly can while maintaining my sanity. These complaints come at night only and of course after I’m already in bed drifting off. I know for at least the last year her moods and emotions have been in sync with my monthly cycle, which is just fan-f’n-tastic. Seriously, I can’t even handle my own hormones, how am I supposed to handle both of ours at the same time!! It just so happens that a week ago I started my own pms-ing. At first I thought that’s what it was, she was just synced up with me and being super emotional. After two nights of the sobbing and her repeatedly coming into my room I decided to sleep down in the living room with her (At least my husband would get some good sleep, lucky guy that he is didn’t even know I was gone!) I slept on the couch and she slept on the floor right next to me holding my hand while we talked. And talked. And talked until 1 a.m and she said, “mom, it’s like we’re having a slumber party on a Thursday” and I replied in a sleepy one eye open voice, “go to sleep now”. I came to the conclusion on the third night that this was more than emotions. This was anxiety. She’s anxious about starting 6th grade. Duh! So, in an effort to ease her nervousness the very next day we finished her school shopping, replaced her dead fish from the carnival with a bright colorful beta, got her a new outfit for the first day of school and even got her a bunch of locker decorations. That night we organized all of her supplies and I printed and taped her schedule in her trapper keeper. I was so please with this that even I felt better, and I’m not the one who’s nervous. I thought for sure she’d go right to sleep. Hell no. This child was in and out of my room for an hour. After being sternly talked to by the dad, she went to sleep. Now, tonight was supply drop off and she was looking forward to it. It went well! Her locker is decorated, she met her home room teacher and she had her picture taken. All should be well…but it’s not. We get home and she’s getting “the feelings”. Tonight she got a spa bath…nice warm water, epsom salts, lavender oil, candles and a bath pillow, even a cup of sleepy time tea. If this doesn’t help the child relax I don’t know what will! I can’t help but think I really hope this is just nerves over starting junior high and in a few days she will be fine. Otherwise, dear Lord PLEASE just let her get her period already.

No wonder my brain is mish-mash today.

Anyone else go through something like this? If so, what did you do to handle it and how did it go/end up? I’d love some feedback 🙂

 

 

The Ugly Duckling

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Today was a big day around the Jones Homestead (remember when I said I really liked homesteading?? I meant it). Today was Aidan’s first day of Freshman year….HIGH SCHOOL. Over the last week or so I have thought back to my days in high school, my days as a freshman in particular, and today was no different. Okay, so I also have been thinking about how old I feel, but I guess that’s irrelevant.

For me high school was just “eh”. Many people say high school sucked, many say it was the best years of their life. Me? “Eh”. In all honesty it was middle school that was brutal. I dreaded every day, sometimes begging and pleading with my mom to let me stay home. I was teased, snickered at, made fun of. It was awful. I entered high school feeling even more withdrawn and awkward. How could I not be, I was 6’0″ tall and resembled a baby giraffe. My brother actually made a great jab at me one day. I had been out with my best friend and when I walked in the house I asked him if anyone called for me. To that he said, “yeah, Big Bird…he wants his legs back”. Naturally I was annoyed but with my best friend cackling and howling with laughter behind me I decided to let it slide…I think because I felt bad for him. I mean I’m smarter AND taller, he should feel good about himself sometimes. With that said, I did make friends. I did participate in some extra curriculars. I do have a few wonderful memories. But I really, REALLY was awkward. Take a look at some of these pictures….I should have been given citations for my wardrobe choices.

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And DON’T get me started on my Senior pictures…..why? Just why? (I’m actually teetering on whether or not to actually include these two photos…ugh, what the hell, why not!?)

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Thank heavens everyone had to wear the same robes for graduation, there’s no telling what I would have shown up in. There’s no telling what I was wearing underneath it, to be perfectly honest. But I do know I did not take that robe off until I got home.

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Thankfully I ended up blossoming as an adult, and definitely dressing better. I like to think of myself as The Ugly Duckling; truly awkward as a young woman but turning into a beautiful swan. This is my husband and I on our wedding day. I have never felt more beautiful than on this day!

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Thinking back to the kind of high schooler I was and watching my son enter high school is so drastically different. He absolutely loved middle school (I think he went to almost every school dance, if he could) and has been so excited to start high school. For the longest time I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that he was ready for the big step, that he actually was looking forward to it. How in the world could he feel this way for when I was in this same phase I was terrified? Don’t get me wrong, he has displayed some trepidation, but has gotten over it pretty quick. Then it dawned on me. Aidan and I are the same, but so very different. He is me, but extroverted. He feeds off of his friends, they recharge him, bring him to life. It’s no wonder he’s been excited for high school and all of the social activities it entails. So while I have been sad, scared and wrapped up in my own emotions over my first-born entering high school…his happiness and excitement have made me happy and excited. I’m actually thrilled for him and truly thankful that the ugly duckling stage for him will be a short-lived phase. I’m looking forward to being there for all of his adventures and to cheer him on. Who knows, maybe this is a chance to relive my high school days in a not so introverted way!

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Until next time, find the beauty!