my 28th birthday + the start of Whole30

Over the weekend, we celebrated my birthday on Saturday...and started Whole30 on Friday. Poor timing, to say the least. Before I get into that, the brightest spots of the day were sleeping in until 10:00am--especially after hearing Jake wake up at 6:45 with "Mommy, my nap is over!"--and then having this card delivered to me by Jake, who told me that he's the tall guy and Daddy is the one holding the balloon. ;)

If you've never heard of Whole30, check out the website for tons of information. But the general idea is to cut out anything that messes with digestion, inflammation and hormones. So: no grains (not even quinoa!), no recreated baked goods or sweets, no refined sugar (not even as an ingredient in mustard, salad dressing, etc.), no dairy. If I'm missing anything, just think of any food that you actually look forward to eating and add that to the list of forbidden food. Sigh.

Whole30 will be the hardest thing I've ever put myself through, guaranteed. I honestly don't want to do it, but it caught my attention a few weeks ago when I read a few testimonies from pregnant women who experienced major improvements in digestion and an increase in energy, my two biggest issues with this pregnancy. There are numerous other benefits but those two were biggies for me. I explained it to Deric, bought the book and read through it, and we decided to start on Friday in order to finish by Easter.

^A small fraction of our grocery haul on Friday. Our grocery budget is gonna be through.the.roof this month and there's just no helping that when all we can eat is produce and meat!

Thanks to our perfect timing, I spent my birthday feeling like I'd been hit by a train thanks to the lack of sugar (after just one day! ridiculous). Headache, fatigue, overall anger at myself for doing something so stupid. Deric and I went to a steak house for dinner and had to be those people asking a million questions about ingredients and cooking process, yada yada. But we got steaks with sides of steamed veggies and once we tore our eyes away from the steaming bread on everyone else's tables, we did alright. But suffice to say, birthday numero 28 will not go down in the books as a favorite memory. ;) I will say that it was sorta fun to whine and complain together at dinner about all the things we couldn't have (like the brownie topped with ice cream that was carried past our table) and laugh about how pathetic we were. Weird, but even in this inconvenient and uncomfortable process, its more fun to do it together.

Yesterday was a little more of the same hangover feeling, but the headache was thankfully not so strong. Deric actually didn't have one at all, so he must have eaten less sugar than I have recently. Still experienced a strong sense of frustration and annoyance at myself. But then for dinner I made almond flour encrusted chicken parmesan (minus the parm) with zucchini noodles and homemade marinara, and suddenly I could smile again. I can't tell you how much that meal boosted my outlook. I didn't feel like I was missing out on good food, plus there was no bloated, uncomfortably full feeling after consuming pasta. (I told Deric we *may* be having chicken parmesan twice a week if thats what will keep me going for the next 27 days.)

And today, its a good day. I know it won't be smooth sailing for the next four weeks, but today I'm feeling good. No headaches, no fatigue, and all three of us have experienced improved digestion already. Plus it doesn't hurt that its 60 outside and we played at the park this morning plus ate lunch (leftover chicken parm!) in the backyard.

^Breakfast this morning definitely didn't suck. Hash brown and sausage casserole minus the cheese, and really I didn't even notice the cheese missing.

More recaps will follow--not every day, promise--if only to remind myself later of how this process helped me out. After the thirty days is over, we'll follow the guidelines to reintroduce food in a way that will hopefully help us pinpoint what food groups cause what issues for us. I think this will be a major benefit for all of us long term, even once we're back to eating normally. Three days down, twenty-seven to go!


odds and ends of February

Monday morning was warm enough to head out to the park for a run (ok, walk. I tried though!) and time at the playground. And oh my gosh, it did us both so good to be outside for a few hours. I've been checking our ten-day forecast a little too often just hoping that these slightly warmer temperatures are truly going to stick around, and I think they just might!

Anything to keep the calm while waiting in line at the grocery store. Its this or he rearranges every packet of gum in the checkout line. Thankfully he can reach up to the belt now so once we get close enough, I can occupy him by having him hand me every single item from our cart. It also helps (only temporarily) to divert his attention from the bowl of suckers they have under the register.

This was taken a week or so ago when Jake was in the annoying yet cute habit of sneaking out of his bed after we leave the room and falling asleep on the floor. His favorite spot was to be wedged in between his bed and the chair. How is that comfortable?! It was cute to find him  like this, but also drove me crazy because we talked every day about how he needed to stay in his bed. Then one night late last week, we found him asleep curled up in the chair. All I can think is that he had taken it to heart when we said not to sleep on the floor...so he got into the chair instead. But thankfully lately he's been staying in his bed.

Jake thinks it is beyond hysterical to try to blow raspberries on Deric's face before Deric can do it to him. Usually this happens while Deric's holding him so Jake doesn't stand a chance. Every time Deric gets him, Jake belly laughs and makes us both start laughing. The other night Jake snuck up on Deric and successfully beat him to the punch. I can't stop laughing when I see these photos! The way his head pops up with that maniacal grin...hilarious.

In other news, Jake is about 90% potty trained! We started last week and Jake did great. Besides some accidents because he doesn't want to stop playing, Jake has things under control and knows the routine. I'm looking forward to a few diaper-less months before we start things all over again!


baby #2 is a...

We're all pretty excited at the thought of another little boy running around here soon! Our budget is pretty pumped about it too--thank goodness for lots of hand-me-downs in the future!


24 weeks with baby #2

We haven't kept up with documenting this pregnancy nearly as often as we did with Jake but that's the curse of every second child, right? As Mom and Dad always say, "If we didn't need a passport photo for Sarah, we'd have no baby pictures of her!"


50/50 split

Lately Jake has been all about puzzles. He had just one puzzle of a train that he would put together at least ten times each day until I found these Ninja Turtle puzzles for two bucks at Target. So now he rotates through the turtle puzzles and the train puzzle daily. And as he finishes them, he lines them all up together, as pictured. Solid proof that while he looks 100% like Deric (except his nose!), his personality is 100% from me. Oh boy. ;)


life lately

So glad January is over! Both Jan and Feb are my least favorite months of the year, with the exception of the very few days of snow I cross my fingers for. Halfway through winter and onto spring! (I should give credit where its due however, and mention that it was warm enough to go to the park this morning for a good long while before it began to rain incessantly. Even a little break from cabin fever is so appreciated at this point.) Nothing too exciting to report about over the past month, just a smattering of new crafts and activities to keep our sanity.

Practicing with his new toddler scissors...

These scissors are brilliant! I don't know if I'm late to the game or not, but they're spring-loaded or something so Jake only has to hold the outside and squeeze them together. It took less than a minute to help him figure them out, and then I cleaned out the entire linen closet while he confetti'd his room, so big win for the scissors.

Lots of baking happening. I'm not very creative when it comes to making up games to play--I leave that to the fun parent-- but I'm good at including Jake in cooking and baking. So we made cinnamon rolls one afternoon, and then I had a cinnamon roll for breakfast (ok, and for a snack..) for like a week straight.

Helping fix his broken bed rail. As soon as he saw Deric bring in his tools, Jake told me he probably needed to get his tools too to help Daddy.

Nothing fancy, but I forget about playdoh so often that its pretty exciting when I remember to pull it out.

I finally put all that pinning to good use and actually did one of the activities I'd saved. Jake drew the snowman's face, complete with a "pickle nose" based off the book Snowmen at Night that Grandma read to him over and over at Christmas.

And another idea from Pinterest...a car wash/bubble bath for some toy trains in the sink. I've done this twice now and each time Jake was totally into it for an hour and a half! I pour in his bubble bath, add some trains and every so often, give him another kitchen utensil to use. Then I go about whatever kitchen prep and cooking needs to happen and when we're both done, we sop up all the water on the floor, change Jake's soaking wet clothes, and move on. The car wash idea is going to be in my back pocket hopefully forever. Jake always wants to help me in the kitchen but sometimes he just can't, so this is a lifesaver because he gets to be right next to me but doing his own thing.

Looking back, I guess January wasn't so bad. But we're still ready to hustle spring here a little quicker and get back to enjoying parks and playgrounds on a daily basis!