My Life As A Raspberry

P1020822While posting yesterday’s Weigh In Wednesday on Facebook I used this image, for no explicable reason. It’s a terrible picture.

The plump, juicy, ripe raspberry in the forefront is all out of focus. The unripe, green and burgeoning berry in the back is central and totally in focus.

After reading yesterday’s post I know how loco I came off. I also realized the need for a more positive outlook. This is what I came up with .

me as raspberry

 

And then this:

I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.
I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.
I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.
I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.
I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body. I love my body.

If I’m going to be loco, at least I can be positive about it.

 

Weigh In Wednesday #20

weigh in wednesdayAs you can tell by the timing of this post, I’ve been putting it off. It’s past 11pm and if I ever have any desire to nourish my metabolism I ought to find a way to get into bed at a more reasonable hour. Now I’m just praying that Porter miraculously sleeps until 8am. But whatever, I have to post this for my own well being. I’ve actually found these weekly check ins quite helpful in figuring out my relationship with food and body. So here’s where I’m at so far.

Being that I’m almost half way through the year and nowhere near halfway to my goal (50 pounds lost) it’s time to do some evaluation. Here’s what I know:

  • I’ve done the paleo/low carb/ no gluten diet twice now. I’ve lost substantial weight when I was doing it, but found it entirely unsustainable for more than 3 months.
  • I like to snack
  • I go through cycles of wanting to cook and prepare foods and other times of total laziness, where I’m happy to feed my kid muffins, kefir and buttery toast. I’m happy to eat those too.
  • It’s not in my personality to stay rigid in anything for very long
  • I’m cyclical
  • Eating no refined sugars and less breads makes me feel really good and my body regulates it’s hormones, monthly functions and keeps libido up.

Here’s what I’m focusing on for the near future:

  • Exercising/moving daily
  • Continue to stay away from sugar and processed foods
  • Reincorporate a minimal amount of breads/baked goods if they are prepared by me in a traditional way
  • Sleep more – 8 hours a night, regularly

Here’s the part I wasn’t expecting, but subconsciously knew would come up. It’s so easy to demonize food. Even the healthy food I try to eat. This blog post pretty much sums it up, right down to harming the sea birds with plastic bags. Read it, it’s laugh out loud funny.

Following is what my brain looks like. Read at your own risk and try to keep up.

I know if I have healthy snacks around the house then I’ll be less likely to go on a bender. This leads to an assessment of time management and planning.

Sometimes being a stay at home mom is so much harder than a regular job, because at least I was accountable to someone else to maintain a schedule. And no, I won’t be accountable to my 2 year old boss.

Nap time is quite lovely for getting things done, but it’s also nice for napping.

I’ve found that it all comes down to expectations. What are my expectations for myself, are they high enough? Too high? Are they realistic? And then there’s the whole failure bit (as in I’m not meeting my current expectations for weight loss).

Am I crazy? Why can’t I just let this be simple?

I need to do affirmations.

See, this is a perfect example of what I’ve been tossing around for the last 2 weeks. My mind is in overdrive.

This morning I was hell bent and determined to go hardcore paleo right through breakfast and up until 11am when Porter got a slice of banana bread. Who knew banana bread could be such a siren, and that I’d heed her call? Well, I did. That’s when I had my minor moment of reckoning. Going hardcore isn’t my style and obviously isn’t something I can keep up with. So moderation it is. I shared that piece with Porter, enjoyed it and then avoided the ice cream section of the store with sheer will power. Ice cream will have it’s time again, but not tonight!

Anywho, I’m working on less restrictions, more moderation and not beating myself up for doing something that in and of itself won’t ruin my whole world. I still want to lose a hundred pounds, but maybe it won’t happen in a year. I have to get a whole bunch of weight off before having a second baby, so if I keep chugging along, then I should be in better shape by the end of the year.

My goal is to be less than 200 lbs by 2014. That is, unless inspiration strikes and I decide to get hardcore again. Which could actually happen – but I’ll have to cycle back into it. Whatever happens, you’re sure to find out because I’m quite prepared to continue Weigh In Wednesdays. At least that doesn’t require an entire mental breakdown of habits, desires and relationships, like food does.

#20 5/29/13 Last Week This Week Difference Overall Loss
Weight (lbs) 239 244 5 18 lbs
Left Leg (in) 30 30.5 0.5 -2
Hip (in) 49.5 50 0.5 -4
Waist (in) 41 42.5 1.5 -8.5
Chest (in) 44 45 1 -2.5
Left Arm (in) 15.5 15.5 0 -1.5
Neck (in) 15 15 0 -1
Total inches Lost 19.5″

Real Food Maple Lemonade

flowers1

Why do I want to move to the central coast of California? Not only do we have family here, but within an hour of arriving at my parents house in Santa Cruz, Porter and I ate our fill of raspberries off the bush, shared in the neighbor’s freshly growing snap peas and picked 2 dozen lemons from my dad’s tree.

raspberriesEverything grows abundantly here, which in turn begs a person to pick the bounty to make room for more. We were happy to oblige. Since I’m still trying to convince my husband that we need to move here ASAP I took the opportunity to make his favorite beverage as yet another good reason to head further west, lemonade with a maple twist. The recipe is at the bottom. What you get to enjoy next are a few of the flowers that are lucky enough to call my dad’s garden home.

flowers2 flowers7 flowers6 flowers5 flowers4 flowers3 lemonade3

lemonade

Ingredients

2 cups lemon juice (approx 24 lemons)
7 cups water
1 cup organic unrefined cane sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup, or honey

Make It

1. Juice the lemons into a large bowl or pitcher

2. In a pot bring 2 cups water to a boil and add sugar/maple syrup/honey. Stir until dissolved.

3. Add remaining 5 cups water and sugar water to lemon juice.

4. Mix thoroughly and chill.

Enjoy! 

lemonade1

 

lemonade2

 

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Fight Back Friday

Travel With Kids: Packing

travel with kids packing

Tomorrow my son and I leave on a jet plane to Boston, which means I’m in the midst of packing RIGHT NOW. So what better way to procrastinate than to write a post on the very subject? If you’re going to be flying with your young baby or child might I suggest my post about Flying With Kids, for your prep and enjoyment.

The Bag

duffleFirst things first, what are you going to put all this stuff into? I have a bag that I love. LOVE! It fits an insane amount of everything inside it for me and my son. It rolls, has backpack straps, has multiple pockets for stuffing odds and ends in, and is considered a duffle bag.

The difference is that it opens like a piece of regular luggage. Half is like traditional luggage and the other half is like a duffle. It’s this one from L.L.Bean. We got it online, on sale (because it was red) and with a gift certificate. I think we paid $90 for it. A steal! You don’t need to have a fancy bag, but if you’re in the market, I highly recommend this one.

Right now ours is packed with our portable booster seat, a training potty, our toiletries, a package of diapers, package of wipes, all our clothes, 5 picture books, baby monitor, Nook (sound machine for sleeping), my son’s sleep bag, our shoes, Bananagrams, and a 6″ bouncy ball. We’re going to Boston for a week in the springtime this trip, but this bag has also been on a 3 week stint around Spain, 3 weeks in Maui, multiple trips to and around California, a week during the spring in Maine, camping, and will be accompanying us to Alaska later this year. Big trips, small trips, one bag and a decent carry-on/backpack is all you need.

When putting everything in your bag, step away from the traditional method of folding and stacking. Use whatever Tetris skills you have to get your items to fit. Roll, fold, lay totally flat, turn things inside out and backwards. Stuff your socks and underwear in the small spaces between other items. Lay flat items under or between clothing and nestle breakables in the middle of everything. Make use of every pocket (interior and exterior) nook and cranny. If your bag has interior straps – use ’em. Cinch those bad boys down with all your might. All packed, our bag weighs about 45 lbs. That leaves 5 pounds to spare for the TSA’s 50 lbs weight limit. Boo-ya!

Consider This

luggageObviously the age of your child will determine a whole lot of what you decide to bring along, but there are a few things I think are universal when packing for (or maybe with?) children.

  • Make lists. Include everything you plan on bringing: clothes, medicines, toys, sound machines, baby monitors, tooth floss, etc. Check them over & over. Cross off items that are packed and at the end of the day, make a final list of small items like chargers, deodorant and computers. Anything that you don’t want left behind by accident.
  • Bring at least one outfit per day and 2 extras. It can seem like a lot, but unless you have access to a washing machine, it can save you time washing extras in the sink. I HIGHLY recommend staying in places where you can wash clothing (other peoples homes, laundromats  hotel laundering services, etc). It may take a couple hours of your vacation, but it will make everything that much nicer, I promise. I mean really, who doesn’t like clean underwear??
  • Limit toys to 2-3 small items that don’t make noise or have small removable pieces. We went on a trip for 3 weeks and I brought everything but the kitchen sink and regretted every moment of it. Not only did most of them NOT get played with, but we ended up having to ship most of them home in a boxes.
  • Books are good, but make sure they are ones your kids actually like. You can also take library books, but I wouldn’t mention that to the librarian.
  • If your kid is going to watch movies or use a digital device, get them their own headsets. Earbuds suck in general and a toddler won’t tolerate such ear abuse. We like these.
  • I’m a firm believer in kids carrying their own carry-ons, or at least dragging them behind them. Trunki’s are good for younger kids because they can drag them or ride on them.
  • A thin or inflatable pillow is nice for small people who may, or may not, nap on the plane/car/bus/train. Or maybe you just need to cushion their elbow from continually jabbing you in the thigh or stomach while they use you as their personal Barca Lounger?
  • Consider the length of your journey and pack appropriate snacks/food for travel times. It’ll always be healthier and cheaper this way. And bring your own empty water bottle to airports and fill them up at the drinking fountains past security.
  • If you’re bringing medicine: according to the TSA medicine is allowed in “reasonable quantities” in your carry on. For instance, my son is anaphylactic-ly allergic to cashews so we always carry an Epi-pen with us. On airplanes I carry Benedryl as well, which is 4oz. I always present it with any other liquids and it’s never been questioned. They might be put through some extra screening, but carry any important medications on you. If you’re concerned, bring a doctors note too. I also bring pain reliever in my carry on and check the rest.
  • Car seats shouldn’t cost a dime to check at the airport and will save you $$$ at your destination if you don’t want to rent one. It is standard for the larger car rental companies to rent child seats at a daily rate. You can call taxi’s or hire drivers that also have car seats available in most countries.
  • Umbrella strollers for those trips where there might be more walking than your wee one can handle. These can also be used at the airport and checked at the gate. You will have to run it through the security scanners first.
  • Bathing suit or cold weather gear, depending on destination.
  • Sunblock of choice.
  • Hat if appropriate.
  • Your portable booster seat, if you use one.
  • Any children’s soap, toothpaste, toothbrush or toiletries your kid might use.
  • IMPORTANT: if you’re flying make sure to bring your child’s passport or copy of their birth certificate no matter how old they are, 0-18.

The Fashionable Baby 1 month – 2 Years

I’m going to assume you have a good idea of what the climate is like wherever you’re travelling. Obviously pack accordingly for anytime you’ll spend outside and what makes you and your child comfortable. Here’s what I suggest, in general, when packing for children under two:

luggage1

  • For travel dress baby in layers. Planes are either way too hot or way too cold. Be ready for both. Bring a change of clothes for baby and parent. Bring more than enough diapers and wipes and always bring a burp cloth or two.
  • Any sleep aids you use: baby bags or swaddling blankets, baby monitor, sound machine, any cuddly friend your baby sleeps with at home.
  • Breast pump, baggies, formula and bottles if necessary.
  • Diapers and wipes. Remember, there are probably store where you can purchase disposables once you reach your destination too.
  • Bibs. One per day and 1-2 extras.
  • Bathing suit or cold weather gear, depending on destination.
  • Sunblock of choice.
  • Hats if appropriate.
  • Umbrella stroller and/or baby carrier of choice.
  • Car seat, if not renting one at your location.
  • Passport or copy of birth certificate.
  • Any baby soap, toothpaste, toothbrush or toiletries your baby might use.
  • Baby carrier of choice. If you’re flying, you won’t be able to wear your baby in the carrier during take off and landing if your child is sitting in your lap. Don’t ask, it’s not allowed.
  • Water for nursing moms, formula for babies and any snacks or sippy cups for babies eating solid foods.

Movin’ and Groovin’ 2+ years

There will come a point when your child has a say in what they bring with them on trips, so I’m going with what I know here and will let you work it out with your child if you think they are ready to start making lists of their own.

If you have a delicate flower of a child who doesn’t get dirty and likes to wear pretty clothes, than pack those. If you have a rough and tumble little person who you know is going to make a wreck of whatever they wear, than pack enough to get you through your trip comfortably. Better yet, stay somewhere that you’ll have access to a laudramat and spend a couple hours doing laundry. It sounds like a chore, but it can significantly cut down the amount of stuff you’ll want to bring.

  • Any sleeping aids from the 0-2 list above that will help your toddler sleep as comfortably as possible.
  • If there isn’t a bed and your child is too big for a rental crib (like my huge child) I’ve packed an inflatable camping mattress and pump for some of our longer trips. It’s worth it if it means your child will sleep more, and if they are prone to rolling off the bed (just sayin’ it’s a reality in my house) it’s nice to have them closer to the ground.
  • Are you potty training (or something like it)? We have this portable potty at home and we bring it with us.
  • We tend to eat in a lot when we travel so we bring our portable booster seat. Obviously this and the potty are optional. If we didn’t bring these two items we could easily pack my husbands clothes in the same bag too.
  • Depending on where you’re travelling, bring the minimum amount of shoes and only ones you know your kid will wear.

The most important thing to bring with you on any vacation, which wil save you time and (most importantly) patience is…grandparents. If you can fit them into your luggage or even into the seat next to you, this will be the very best investment in travelling gear ever. EVER.

porter spain
Now go show your kids the world. They’re gonna love it!

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Small Footprint Friday

Weigh In Wednesday

weigh in wednesdayHi all! So I’m taking a couple weeks off from Weigh In Wednesday’s for re-evaluation, and because I’m going to Boston next week.

I recognize that ever since I got back from my trip to Maui in April I’ve been in a rut. I’ve over extended myself (something I’m too good at) and let a few fundamentals slip, like sleep and exercise. These, as you know, are the cornerstones of any healthy lifestyle and I’m working on getting them back in check.

Think happy thoughts for me as I reconfigure, yet again, my routines and get my mind back into a place of positivity and balance. I’ll see you in two weeks. Be well!

Megan

Real Food Grocery Haul Week 2

grocery haul1Here’s week 2 Real Food Grocery Haul. I neglected to mention in the original post what my goal is. I hope to initially bring our $1200/month grocery budget down to $800/month.

grocery2 a
A shout out goes to Malheur River Meats, my favorite meat and egg farmers at the Boise Farmer’s Market.

grocery2 c

grocery2 b

grocery2 d

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Party Wave Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday

Mother’s Day 2013

mom and porter heartAren’t my mom and son adorable? I share with them such intimate relationships that I can’t even put them into words. My heart sings to know that they are kindred spirits themselves.

Who is it that can read the same kids book, or many books, an infinate number of times and never get bored? Who will gaze out the window with my son for hours, identifying every animal, plant or machine that passes by? Who will play make believe, with or without toys, to Porter’s hearts content? Not me, that’s for sure. The person who makes my son’s eyes twinkle brighter and his body practically burst with enthusiasm is my mom, his Tu Tu.

For a couple years now my mom has said, now you know how I feel about you. And I always nod my head in agreement. It’s only recently, however, that I’m begininning to understand what she’s said. The contagious happiness from my child, the worry about, oh, every decision, the wonder at how such a small person can be so capable of learning and loving in such an effortless way. This is how I feel about being a mother to my son, and I am now beginning to imagine this is how my mom feels about me, as a child and maybe even a grown up.

My mom is a great mom. She volunteered at my brothers and my schools, made our lunches daily, was always home when we parked our bikes in the garage, drove us to hundreds of after school activities, counseled us wisely, hugged us generously and never fails to let us know we are loved. She gabs with me for hours and inspires creativity, regularly. As a grandmother she astounds me with her patience and caring for her grandchild.

It is only since becoming a mother myself that I have truly made an effort to listen when my mother speaks. Try to acknowledge when she is right, to marvel at her awesome talents and to finally understand choices she made when I was a child. By being so close to my mother today and in growing up, I rest assured that what I experience as a mom is authentic and real.

Thank you Mom, for being real with me, for loving me unconditionally and for so clearly cherishing my own child. We are so very lucky to be in your family and to get to call you Mom and Tu Tu. I love you!

 

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Sunday School, Family Table Tuesday, Fat Tuesday

Words For Friends – Mother

where there is love

Now That I’m A Mother

Until I became a mother,
I did not understand,
The profound sense of love
In a mother’s heart and hands.

As I whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
I rock my precious child to sleep.
Small perfection in my arms,
Sweet breaths, slow and deep.

I now see me as a baby,
You’re rocking me to sleep.
You whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
My heart is yours to keep.

At last I recognize your love,
As a mother now I see.
As I hold and love my child,
You feel that love for me.

I will always be your baby,
Despite the years that pass.
You have given me my life,
And a mother’s heart to last.

The greatest gift I can offer,
More than words could ever say,
Is to give my child the love,
You gave me every day.

~Teri Harrison

grandma quote

This post featured on the following blog carnivals: Small Footprint Friday, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Sunday School, Family Table Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday