Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saturday in the park

Oh shoot guys, I'm going to have to change the date for our "Easy as PB&J" link up.  I wrote that blurb on the bottom of last Wednesday's post anticipating a conversation with my friend Tiffanie, but we haven't worked out all the details yet.  So hold on to your lunch idea posts!  I will give more info soon!!!! 

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During the dark winter months I always think I love summer.  But what I really love is spring and fall.  Those are the seasons you can actually leave your house.  Two kids in the summer is just about as difficult as two kids in the winter. 

But Saturday.  Saturday it was so cool.  Right around 80 degrees, overcast with a nice breeze. 

Olivia needed to run.  That girl was going crazy inside, and Adam was gone all day golfing so we hadn't managed to get outside.  We let her play on the playground and I chatted it up with the Ax Man on a blanket under a tree.

I got jealous of Adam and Olivia's fun, as I usually do, so I abandoned my post and Axel and I walked over to the playground where Olivia was attempting to do the monkey bars.  As I watched her play, music from a near by event (so near we were practically attending) floated over to us.  It was a jazzy instrumental version of "Til There Was You".  It was one of those moments you are happy just to be.  You don't want to be anywhere else. 

So naturally I made Adam take a picture.  I'm a blogging work in progress.

Soon Olivia was running again.  That girl, she is beautiful.  Her little body is just so perfect.  I can see all the muscles when she moves, and she's thin but not frail looking at all.  I'm pretty sure she's buff enough to knock out a kindergartener.

We walked while Olivia ran around three baseball fields.  "Keep running!" we would say.

After our fun walk/run, Olivia didn't want to leave the park.  Not in a throwing a fit kind of way, but in a "I want to hug the parking lot" kind of way.


We got her in the car with the promise of "ice cream", which was really a Hawaiian shaved ice, but same thing when you're two.

We shared a half gallon of shaved ice, I swear it was that big, and got home around 9pm.  Oops, like an hour past everyone's bed time! 

But you know what?  They went right to sleep.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wanna watch the Bachelorette with me? Finale Part 1

Only one week left after today!  What are Aubrey and I going to blog about when this is over???

Here we go guys, the most dramatic finale ever.  Who do you think will leave Des in tears?  They sure edited it to look like Brooks, but I think they're trying to trick us.  Except they know that by now we have learned their ways and so they are telling the truth thinking we'll expect a trick! (They don't know that we know they know we know!)  So yeah, I think about this too much.
So of course we recap Des's feelings for all the guys and she still seems the most interested in Brooks.

Des says about Brooks: He doesn't have to say that its love for me to know.
Wow, the things we women tell ourselves when we want so badly for something to be true.

Drew's Date
Drew: She's the woman of my dreams and Antigua is like heaven.
Does he know he only gets the girl at the end?  I mean, she doesn't live here.

Des: It started to rain on our dinner.  It's not about the dinner or where the dinner is.
I'm suddenly hungry, despite just finishing my food.

Drew says: Look at the rose petals.
And I have to wonder, has he ever seen this show before?

Brooks visits family
Brooks says proposing at the end of this makes him uncomfortable.  You're kidding me.  Proposing a life long commitment at the end of a ten week reality show makes you uncomfortable?  Geeze Brooks welcome to the 2000s.

Chris's Date
Des's fringe vest and pants makes her look like a hippie.  Who wears a bikini top with pants?  Is it cold, is it hot?  Are you hiking through brush later?

What animal is making this horrible sound during dinner?!  Good heavens can we not edit that out???

Des makes Chris feel vibrant and feel alive.  She makes him feel like a natural woman.

Poetry, yes, I've been waiting for this moment.  In my nightmares.

Des says she's going to take advantage of her time with Brooks today.  Just remove the words "her time with" out of that sentence and it will probably portray her true feelings more accurately.  

Does Chris Harrison have a degree in relationship therapy?  He should get one.

Whoa, Chris just brings up Brooks's parent's divorce.  Way to pull out the big guns.

Hey!  Editors!  Did we have to see this much of the Brooks/Chris Harrison chat?  I feel like they're saying the same things over and over.

Des says she hasn't been in love in quite a while.  How long ago was Sean's season again?

My guess?  He changes his mind shortly after this but they can't show it until next week.

Or I don't know, maybe that's my hope.

As always, check out what Aubrey has to say about tonight's episode.  Was it really that dramatic????

*     *     *

I'm also over at my friend Suzzie's blog today!  We met at my first blogging round table and I have loved reading her blog ever since.

Oh shoot guys, I'm going to have to change the date for our "Easy as PB&J" link up.  I wrote that blurb on the bottom of last Wednesday's post anticipating a conversation with my friend Tiffanie, but we haven't worked out all the details yet.  So hold on to your lunch idea posts!  I will give more info soon!!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A bunch of random updates

I don't usually write my posts the night before.  When I find myself needing to do that, I panic and I can't think of a single thing to write!  So yeah, that's what's going on right now.  I have like 33 drafts I could finish up and post, but none of those topics are speaking to me right now.  I'm taking a line from Finding Forrester (Love that movie, now I want to watch it) and writing until it starts to flow.

Sewing.  I've been doing a lot of that lately, trying to get my etsy shop up and running.  I have too many design ideas and perhaps I should narrow it down and focus on a few things in different colors to begin.  So far I have made a pair of bloomers, two toddler pencil skirts, a toddler ruffle skirt (and another one in process), a darling (if I do say so myself) throw pillow case and a half of a quilt top (not for the shop).  The throw pillow is gray and cream dots with a cream heart on the middle.  I will be giving it away on my blog as a grand opening celebration, so stay tuned.

Would you like to see some horrible cell phone shots?  Obviously I will be doing a photo shoot for real when I post them on etsy but this was just for fun.

This picture is so funny looking.  It looks like a weird shaped adult more than a toddler.

These look so cute from the back, but they didn't fit very well from the front.  And no, that isn't Axel in the bottom left corner.  It's our doll, Emily.

Oh!  July is almost over.  I've nearly been a vegetarian for a month.  Let's see. . . cheats?  July 1st we were driving home from our CA trip and I had some seriously awful chicken strips.  I got flustered when they didn't have what I wanted (chicken, rice and veggies in a bowl) and ordered something blah.  And then I had a hot dog during Draper Days, because I love fair food.  And then today I ate some breakfast casserole at my nephew's blessing brunch.  1/3 of the casserole didn't have meat but none of us could find that third.  Maybe the meat melted in the oven and spread out into all of it.  Probably that's what happened.

I don't mind being vegetarian.  It's kinda fun to be the exception.  My sis-in-law didn't have to be the only one who needed the meat free breakfast casserole (she does eat some meat, but not red meat and maybe not pork?)  So I don't know, I just wanted to try it.  I found so many fun vegetarian recipes and this will probably help me continue to lower my meat consumption.

August!  I read this post today by my blogger friend Shannon and it was like HELLO!  Perfect timing.  In August I start my goal to read religious texts daily.  I've been doing a little reading in the scriptures or the Ensign (LDS Church magazine) before bed some nights, but since I've been waking up before the babes, I'm thinking that will be the perfect time to start a new habit.

So there you go, a blog post from out of the air. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Food Friday: Peach Pie

I've never been a big fan of pie.  Making it, eating it, not my favorite.  I'll eat it, if it's there, but I hate making pie crust.  And to be honest, I don't love the taste of it either.  Are you still reading?  I'm not pleading my case very well, ha!

Adam, being the ever loving husband that he is, bought me 25 pounds of peaches.
He knows I love fruit and cooking.  I made peach jam, froze peaches for smoothies, peach syrup, peaches and cream (or almond milk in my case) and we ate peaches with our lunch for a week!  Also, I made a peach pie.  I don't know what got into my head, but I just wanted to.

It was so good.

Do you know how I know?  My husband asked me later if there was any more.  And he told my brother how good it was.  And he asked me to make it again.  Adam isn't picky, and I appreciate that.  But he also isn't very enthusiastic about food so getting him to rave about my food is a huge accomplishment.

The first thing I did was find a pie crust recipe that I would like and that would be easy.  I decided I wanted my pie crust to be more like a sugar cookie, because the lack of crust sweetness is what bothers me the most about it.  I found this recipe here and decided to use 1 c of whole wheat flour and 1/2 c all purpose.  Oh, and I upped the sugar to a rounded 1/4 c.  I mixed everything in a bowl but then dumped it right into my pie dish and mashed it down.  None of this rolling it out crap.  I hate that.  I made some fork pricks and blind baked it for about 15 minutes at 400 (The recipe says 20 minutes but I figured it would get baked with the pie filling too)
Ever classy with my pictures, you can enjoy the flour that spilled out of the bowl, my glass of water and the fruit from our dinner.
Here is the pie filling recipe I used.  It was so simple and so yummy! 

I don't usually post recipes unless I personally created them, but I wanted to post this one because I liked the combination of the whole wheat sugar cookie crust with this peach pie filling. The original can be found here.

Peach Pie Filling
3 Tbsp. Flour
⅓ C. Sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3-4 c. sliced peaches
½ tsp. almond extract

Combine the dry ingredients, then stir in peaches and almond extract. Bake at 375 until crust turns golden brown (about 35-40 minutes). (Unless your crust is already baked like mine!  I think I baked it for 30 or 35 minutes)

Here is my final pie.  Have I mentioned that the lighting in my kitchen is horrible?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TBT Parents

(Since reading Bonnie's post I realized that I wrote down all the prompts at the beginning of the summer and for this one all I wrote was "Parents" instead of a memory of your parents from childhood. Soooo, this is not a memory of mine because I wasn't born!  But I guess I have a memory of looking at these pictures when I was a kid. . . so there you have it)

When I was at home this summer I tried to plan out all my throwback posts so that I could scan any pictures I might need.  This prompt is pretty general so I decided to go as far back as I could and show you my mom and dad when they were brand new parents.  But looking through my mom's albums I decided to start a little before that and END with my birth.  :)

This is from my parents' engagement shoot.  I don't think it's the one they sent out.  Check out my mom's hair!  Awesome volume there mom.  Oh yeah, check out my dad's too!  :)

Here they are walking out of the Los Angeles temple.  It's soooooo tempting to find a picture of Adam and I on our wedding day in the exact same spot.  Maybe another post. . .  Love my dad rockin' the white tux.

 Here they are on their honeymoon in Southern California.  Check out their stylin' baseball Ts!  My mom was smart to honeymoon in a place that allowed her to use a hairdryer.  My hair never looked good in our pics from Fiji.

This is during the year or so they were married before I was born.  This is my older cousin Greg.

And for the final picture, my dad snuggling me.

Of course linking up with Bonnie, if you want to check out the other posts on parents, but of course none will be as cool as mine!  Jk (do people still say jk?)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Body Image

There are so many articles that you can read about raising a daughter and worrying about body image.  What legacy will you pass down to her?  Everyone is posting them and as the mom of a beautiful girl I read them all.

Losing weight after Olivia was hard.  Losing weight after Axel is impossible.  I'm serious.  Some people can lose weight while they nurse, but I am not one of them.  (I did not nurse Olivia)  My body clings to each and every calorie so that it can continue to make milk for Axel.  When I lost a couple pounds, my milk supply dipped.

Honestly, I don't mind being chubby that much.  But I feel like I'm supposed to mind.   When I tell people I can't lose weight while nursing they all have a solution for me.  "Try Weight Watchers" "Count calories"  The rebel in me wants to stay fat forever just to prove a point.  Well, that's not healthy.  But what if I'm happy like this for now?

I'm not saying I'm giving up and accepting my new weight.  I don't want to live an unhealthy lifestyle.  I still plan to eat healthy and exercise as regularly as possible.  I have some progress to make in both areas, for sure.  But can't I be happy with out being perfect?

I want to reject society's idea that my body must be perfect for it to be beautiful, but at the same time embrace that if I truly love my body I will feed it the best foods and exercise it regularly.

I want Olivia to remember me happy, regardless of my weight.  I want her to enjoy a wide variety of foods and live an active lifestyle.  I don't want her to use the word "diet" on a regular basis or remember a mom who is always planning to "start my diet on Monday".

Loving myself is the best way to teach her to love herself as well.

*     *     *

On a less serious note, I'm super excited to do a link up with my friend Tiffanie next week!  Next Wednesday we're co hosting a link up for lunch ideas, called "Easy as PB&J".  It's hard for me to find lunch ideas for me or my kids that are quick and yummy.  I want something simple and easy, just like peanut butter and jelly but that also tastes good (I'm not a fan of the PB&J, but Olivia likes them alright)  You don't have to be a stay at home to do this.  If you take homemade lunches to work we would also love for you to share your ideas!  We'll be posting next Wednesday and we'd love for you to join us! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wanna watch the Bachelorette with me? Week Men Tell All

Here we go blogging the bach again!  Aubrey told me she's mixing up her post this week.  I don't know what that means, but I'm excited to check it out!
I'm kind of unsure how this post will shake out since it's Men Tell All, but let's just jump in and see how it goes, shall we?

Chris welcomes us all to the show and manages to use pretty much every vocab word from my Bachelor vocabulary list (here). 

Fun to see some of my favorite girls back!  Emily!  Ali (she was my favorite on Jake's season) and Ashley!

Yes, Ali, Ben never seemed that bad to me either.  But we need our drama and this season has been seriously lacking, so we make things up. 

Ah Jonathan, he acted poorly and I'm sure that it has been rubbed in his face a lot since the show aired. I'm thinking his apology here is sincere, but also a strategic move to fix his reputation.

With all these flash backs there isn't much to say that I didn't already say in my original posts.

Okay so booing Ben?  That's just so dumb.  Are you in jr high?  Yeah, they probably just tape this in a jr high auditorium for one of their assemblies. 

Mikey the meat head, he uses some seriously great vocabulary.  #MaybeNotAMeatHeadAfterAll

I think I need to add "I'm not here to make friends" to my Bachelor vocabulary list.  The "bad guys" always say it.

I can't wait to hear the story about Mikey and James hanging out in Chicago with tall women.  Again.

I just love the boys sitting on their twin beds having slumber party gossip about James.  And then Drew is going to talk about maturity? 

Look, we're not ever going to know who said what about what tall women.  Des is probably going to be single again in three months anyway so this is a moot point. (Trivia: a moo point.  Who says that?)

I know it's a little late, but I've become a big Juan Pablo fan.  Next bachelor maybe?  He says it's very hard to date when you have a daughter.  I have a feeling that this will no long be the case, Juan Pab. 

I like him so much now.  ABC, if you can get this happily married woman excited about another guy (not like that, sheesh) you should make him the next Bachelor.  Seriously, please, this show is dying!

Ooh, Chris has the journal.  Does this mean Des is having Chris return it for her?  And the poem?  Did Des know Zak was a poet?  Maybe that would have changed things.  Oh listen to me, I'm going against everything I stand for!  Nothing would have changed it, you love who you love.

Having to face a bunch of ex boyfriends would be my own personal hell.  But if you got them all together in a room there would only be like two.  Still, it would be awful.  

Juan wants to know why didn't get a one on Juan date.  Probably because she was too busy sketching to worry about brushing up on her high school Spanish.

Zak!  Juan!  Two great options for bachelors.  ABC, are you listening!!?!?!!

Well, Zak will not have a hard time finding love after this.  Or a music career.

When they show the "dramatic" finale I love the stunned faces in the audience.  This is clearly the first season of the Bachelor/ette they have ever seen.  Us veterans are like, "is that all ya got?"

Woop woop, only two more weeks!  I'm off to read Aubrey now (well, not now because it's 9pm on Monday and I'm sure she hasn't posted it yet, but now as in this moment in which you are reading it)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cutting my hair and making new friends

So about a two weeks ago on Saturday I woke up and thought, "Enough is enough.  This hair is gonna go."  Last time I talked about cutting my hair, my hair caught wind of it and I had nothing but awesome hair days for three weeks.  But those days were gone and I was sick of finding lots of long blonde hair all over my house (I'm still losing hair from my pregnancy).  So I made an appointment and found a picture of Portia de Rossi (You don't have to be Ellen to know that this hair cut is hott)

But in my haste to escape two children, I forgot the iPad with the picture of Portia.  I tried to explain what I wanted, but my hairdresser thought I was kidding.  She insisted I get a bob first and if I still wanted it shorter after a few months then we would talk.

No one listens to me.

Then last Thursday I went to another one of Bonnie's round tables.  It was so much fun and I loved the two new girls I got to meet this time!  Since I liked this picture so much, I decided to finally reveal my new hair cut on the blog.  Don't get too attached.  I'm going back for that pixie cut soon.
Aubrey, Bonnie, Me, Melinda and Chelsea

Okay fine, you can't even see my hair in that picture.  Here is another one.  
I feel like I always look older in selfies. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Food Friday: Quinoa and Fruit Lettuce Wraps

So you might remember that this is vegetarian month at our house.  So far so good!  I feel great, I'm not just eating junk (like so many vegetarians are accused of I think) and no weight loss, but I blame breastfeeding!  :)  A lot of my the pins on my healthy food pinterest board are vegetarian, but not all of them.  This recipe was inspired by this pin:
Original Pin
I thought about just leaving the chicken out, but then it would be nothing but grapes and apples!  Not very filling for a dinner.  I decided to replace the chicken with quinoa and thus this recipe was born.  Also I changed the dressing.  You can try the almond butter and honey, but I already cut the chicken so I figured going forward with a traditional mayo dressing was still pretty healthy.  Here's mine:

It takes like ten of these to fill me up, but YUM!
1 c quinoa, rinsed
2 c vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 c of grapes, halved
1 apple, chopped
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/3 c mayo
salt, to taste
curry powder, to taste
pepper, to taste
romaine lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)

1. Cook quinoa in the broth just like you would cook rice.  Cool.
2. Mix quinoa, fruit, nuts and dressing ingredients.
3. Chill for like an hour or more until dinner time.
4. Serve in lettuce cups, or roll up. (my lettuce was too crisp to roll, it would have just cracked)

I was pleased how much this reminded me of the classic chicken salad so often served at baby showers.  Feel free to add more mayo if that suits you (I would have but we were running low)  You could also eat it wrapped in a tortilla if you wanted something a little more filling.  This was a great summer dinner.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TBT Moving Away

I surprise myself often.  One of the things I'm surprised by in my life is that I up and moved away at 18.  I don't know why, but I feel like I could have easily ended up staying in my hometown in California.  I know how to work hard for what I want, but I don't always admit to myself what I want.  BYU was the only school I applied to and luckily I was accepted!

I think I mentioned before that there were only like FIVE pictures of me taken between the ages of 16 and 20.  I don't know why, but I vaguely remember not wanting to get my picture taken.  That is just so weird.  I LOVE getting my picture taken now (well with in reason)  So anyway, I did find this gem.  Someone (my dad?) took this while I was packing to move.  I don't know if I was in a bad mood that day, or if I was just pissed about getting my picture taken when I was wearing seriously awful clothes. 
Check out my mom looking all fabulous.

So we packed up my stuff, and my parents both drove me to Provo.  My dad also had a high school reunion in southern Utah so it was a twofer for him.

I remember walking into my new dorm room and seeing my roommate's stuff before actually meeting her.  Running trophies and workout clothes.  Could she be more different from me? (think Chandler Bing when you read that sentence)  I hung up my pageant sash and my pink feather boa. (as in BOA.  Every time I look at that I read BRA, and just. . . NO)

We had our ups and downs, we were great at fighting with each other.  In the end she taught me to enjoy working out and I taught her how to wear makeup.  We're both moms to two kids and we're still good friends to this day.  We've come along way in the past 12 years (holy cow!  I graduated TWELVE YEARS AGO!)

Linking up with Bonnie again!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Parable of the Jello Jigglers

Even though I didn't notice it, a lot of my identity formed at a young age.  I've loved sewing since I was 6 or 7, always wanted to be an interior designer and I loved cooking dinner for my family even in elementary school.
One year for Christmas I got my first cookbook and my first set of measuring cups!

A treat I liked making was Jello Jigglers.  It was super concentrated Jello so that it would hold it's shape when cut with cookie cutters and the like. 

One day I asked my mom if I could make jigglers.  She agreed after making me (and my brother too maybe?) promise to clean the kitchen before I began.  I worked hard, cleaned the kitchen so clean that not a crumb could be found.  Then we carefully boiled the water, measured, stirred the entire five minutes until my arm felt it was going to fall off, poured into the molds and waited.  Jigglers take like ten hours to set up.  But our patience paid off and they turned out great! 

A few weeks later, remembering that fun experience, I asked my mom again if I could make them.  She reluctantly agreed, but no promise to clean the kitchen was made.  This was great!  All of the fun, none of the work!  I measured, stirred and poured, and ten hours later I had grainy blobs that tasted okay, but they just weren't as good.  What happened? 

I honestly will never forget that.  By working for something first and earning it I put forth my best efforts and carefully crafted my jigglers.  The second time I took it all for granted and slopped together a mess.  The lesson was clear: Hard work pays off. 

What taught you to be a hard worker?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wanna watch the Bachelorette with me? Week 8

Hometowns this week!!!  Aubrey and I both live in Salt Lake so to say we're excited about a potential hometown in our own hometown would be an understatement!  Let's hope that Brooks doesn't let us down like Jef did and take Des to a hidden family ranch in another city.

Zak's Hometown
You can tell from Des's excited face/voice that she has no idea what Zak is describing from his dream.  No one does, Des, no one does.

Zak drives a snow cone truck?????  I just fell in love with him. 

Oh dear, the penguine is cute from my safe chair in my living room, but masks scare the freaking heck out of me in person.  I would have had a melt down right in front of the kids.

Zak is more tan (tanner?) than his sister.  #orange

I love that they're actually eating.  I feel like we never see them actually eat dinner!

I can't help but think his family is hoping to get a reality TV show out of this when they start singing like the Von Trapps.

Zak gave a journal and now the locket with the ring!?!?!  He's like the best gift giving boyfriend ever. (Sorry babe)

And THAT is going to be a hard date to top my friends.

Drew's Hometown
Drew says his family has never seen him like this before.  I'm assuming it's because he usually dates men.  (Sorry!  I've been thinking it for so long, I couldn't not say it any longer!)

The sweetness of Des meeting Melissa brings tears to my eyes.

Ever since Sean's hometown with Emily, nieces and nephews are trying to get famous.  Drew's are cute though.

He hasn't said those "three magical words in that order" yet.  He has said "Love you I" and "You I love" but we all know that isn't the same.

Drew's "I love you" is one of the less awkward I love yous of the season. (I'm looking at you, Chris)

Drew says next time he sees his family he will be an engaged man.  I think he meant he would be engaged to a man.  (Sorry last one I promise!!)

Chris's Hometown
Chris should wear baseball Ts more often.  This is the first time I have found him attractive.

His dad starts spouting poetry.  So it runs in the family I see.

OMG, I would marry into a family with a chiropractor.  I don't know why everyone thinks this is weird. 

Chris says he can see himself with her.  That's because he photo shopped their pictures together on his computer.

Chris tells his mom, It's not the real world, but we hug.  I don't have anything to say about this, it was just a weird comment is all.

Brooks's Hometown
Here's where Adam (my husband) made a smoothie.  No DVR means I missed this part, so I hope it wasn't important!

So, Brooks has wine?  I thought his family was Mormon?  Maybe it's just for him and Des.

All my excitement and I miss it all because of a smoothie!  (Just kidding I saw most of it I just didn't have much to say about it.  Oops)

Back in LA/Rose Ceremony
Des's brother just seems like a jerk.  She can say he has her best interest at heart all she wants, but it sure looks like he's just playing up his own insecurities.

Eek!  I honestly have no idea who she's going to send home.  The Bachelorette rarely surprises me, so well played ABC, well played.

Des says there's nothing holding me back from finding my husband, and we see her brother creepily peering around a corner.  This is starting to look like a murder mystery.

Break ups are so draining.  I can't imagine doing so many in such a short period of time.

Roses go to:

Going home: Zak.  I'm floored.  I guess of all the guys they maybe had a lesser connection, but his hometown date was just SO AWESOME.  Zak, are you confused?  I'm right there with you bro.

I'm excited to see what Aubrey said!  Go check her out too!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Breastfeeding vs Bottes

Do you remember this scandalous picture?

When it came out almost a year ago, there was a lot of outrage from moms that did breastfeed and moms that didn't breastfeed.  It stirred up a LOT of controversy.  But my reaction surprised me.  I was like, "Eh."

When Olivia was born (in March 2011) I planned to nurse her, but one week after her birth she still wasn't gaining weight, in fact she continued to lose it.  I went to a lactation specialist who helped me get her latched correctly and gave me some tips on increasing my milk supply.  After taking fenugreek for a week I had doubled my milk supply but it still wasn't enough to support Olivia.  My lactation specialist told me I had done all I could do (in so many words) and that I should just enjoy nursing as bonding time.  Each feeding I would nurse first, and then give her a bottle.  After ten weeks I couldn't take it any more.  I quit nursing and it was if Olivia didn't even notice.

I was crushed.

I became very vocal for women who couldn't nurse.  Which is why I was surpirsed that the Time magazine cover didn't stir me up.  Are You Mom Enough????  Are you mom enough to give your baby formula and feel like a failure when you know it's best for them?  But at the time (May 2012) Olivia was just a couple weeks shy of being weaned off bottles completely, and so it was really in my past.

Then Axel was born.

Now, let me tell you, we are pretty poor.  I didn't want to work away from my children any more, so living on less income was a sacrifice I was willing to make.  And that was my driving motivation behind breastfeeding Axel.  Olivia cost us about 80-100 dollars a month in formula.  I was scared it wouldn't work, but looking back I noticed a LOT of mistakes I made when trying to nurse Olivia.  I learned from them, educated myself and went forward hoping for the best. 

Nursing Axel was a totally different ball game.  Soon it was going great!  And I hated it. When I took Axel for his two week check, I seriously almost hoped I would be told to supplement.  Nursing was HARD.  But I stuck with it, and now, four months later, I'm glad I did.  There are things I love about both nursing and bottles, and loooooong story long, I decided to share.

-You know how much your baby is getting.  Babies need 24-32 ounces of milk each day.  I have no idea how much Axel is getting, I just know that he's happy.  The problem comes with trying to get him to night wean.  I worry he's getting a good portion of his milk during the night and I'm not totally sure how to make sure he's getting a full amount of calories during the day.

-I know how to sleep train a formula drinking baby.  This goes along with the first one.  It's easy to control how much a baby eats during the day and slowly reduce the amount they're getting at night until they no longer need calories during the night.

-More independence from your child.  We went on an over night trip when Olivia was three months old.  I missed her like crazy, but it was just what I needed to feel like myself again.  I couldn't do that with Axel.

-What I eat doesn't matter when I bottle feed.  Nursing I have had to stop eating dairy and soy (which are probably not that good for you anyway, but still hard because ice cream)

-Easier weight loss.  Some people would put this under the breastfeeding pros.  Not me.  Any time I try to lose weight my body clings to calories even more and I gain, OR my milk supply drops.  So it would be much easier to be bottle feeding and just worrying about my body all by myself. 

-Free.  Seriously the biggest factor for me sticking with nursing this time.

-No need to pack bottles.  I have loved packing the diaper bag and simply throwing my nursing cover in.  No need to measure out formula, fill bottles with water and worry that we will be gone longer than planned and run out. 

-No mixing formula in the middle of the night.  It's easier for me to kind of stay asleep when I don't have to walk out to the kitchen to mix and heat a bottle.

-No washing bottles.  I feel like a huge portion of my life was spent doing this when Olivia was a baby.

-No concern about reactions to formula ingredients.  Olivia spit up constantly until she was 9 months.  When I say constantly I don't think many people fully grasp it.  I mean like every five or ten minutes she was spitting up.  I tried a lot of different formulas trying to find one that helped.  With nursing I'm less concerned that my babies will have a reaction to something (although I do have to stop eating dairy and soy)

-Only you can do it. No big deal now that I stay at home, but when Olivia was in daycare I was always so sad when someone else fed her a bottle on the weekend because that was precious time.  Once I even demanded my mother-in-law let me feed her because I missed her.  I may not have been completely mentally stable. . . :) 

-A patient baby.  I looked everyone on the internet for evidence to support this, but I feel like nursing has helped Axel be more patient than Olivia was.  I notice this because of the way they ate/eat solid foods in their infancy.  Olivia would wimper in between bites of food because she was used to a constant flow of milk.  With Axel I can pause his dinner for a minute to take Olivia to the bathroom and he never minds.  I attribute this to the way milk flows when nursing.  It comes and goes as the baby sucks and "requests" more.  Or maybe none of this is true and it's just my children's individual personalities :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Food Friday: Eggplant Parmesan

We get a basket of produce from Bountiful Baskets once every couple weeks.  Last Saturday we had an eggplant in our basket and on Sunday I changed dinner plans and decided to make eggplant Parmesan.  I was missing a couple ingredients so I made some substitutions and it still turned out great!  I forgot to take a picture, so you'll have to enjoy this little graphic that I made instead :)

1 eggplant
1 egg
1 c breadcrumbs (I didn't have any so I put a few slices of stale bread in my food processor)
1 T Italian seasoning (I didn't have any so I used basil and oregano instead)
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 c parmesan OR mozzarella (the recipe called for mozz and I only had parm, so I went with it)

1. Begin by peeling and slicing your eggplant into 1/4" slices.  Salt generously and let sweat for 30 minutes.  Rinse well and pat dry.
2. Wisk egg.  Mix bread crumbs, seasoning and 1/4c parm cheese.  Dip eggplant slices into egg, then bread crumb mixture. 
3.  Bake eggplant slices for 5 minutes at 350 F.
4. Remove eggplant from oven and layer in a 9x9 baking dish: eggplant, marinara, cheese, repeat.
5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.

This fed two adults, one toddler and a lunch for Adam the next day. . . so I would say serves 4 normal people, especially if you have sides.  I served this with fruit salad.  Green salad and french bread would also be good.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wanna watch the Bachelorette with me? Week 7

I had to remind myself I was excited to watch this week.  But like I told Aubrey last week, previews always look more interesting than they are.  I'd hate to find out that all the drama is about a sandwich.

Drew confirms that this is a place for falling in love, which leaves us all breathing a sigh of relief!  Maybe someone could provide us with a list of places that aren't good for falling in love, you know just so we can avoid them.

Catherine passes on Sean's good wishes and Des says "that's so nice."  Which roughly translated means "I hate his guts" in ex girlfriend.

1x1 Brooks
I've noticed that Brooks hasn't had the traditional freak out that most first one on oners have.  That bodes well for him I think.

Des wants to see where he's at, and let him know where she is.  I think they're going to look at maps.

Just waiting for someone to say "cloud nine".  Op!  There it is.

Back at the hotel Chris smells the envelope as if Des actually delivered it herself.  Silly boy, Des probably didn't even choose the words and that certainly isn't her handwriting. 

They've shown close ups on several cats.  Is that something Madeira is known for or. . . ?

There's cloud nine again.

I really hope Aubrey is counting the times they use the word "family" in this conversation about hometowns.  On that note, I'm glad no one sits around and counts my words.  I probably say "freak" and "dude" a lot more than I care to admit.

1x1 Chris
Chris is really really really excited.  I think it would be fin to buy the bachelor/ette contestants a thesaurus next season instead of jewel toned hoodies. 

I'm remembering when I rode a boat to a smaller island on my honeymoon, and how it was nothing like this.  Mostly I got sprayed with water and a little sea sick.

They write a poem and Chris says, "It's not too bad." Chris, it's not too good either.

They throw the bottle out into the waves.  No one burst their bubble, but I can almost guarantee you that bottle smashed on the jagged rocks with in fifteen minutes.

Des: I want like three kids.  I don't have a number on it.
Even Olivia (my two-year-old) knows three is a number.

More poetry.  Ugh.  You know what?  Chris has to be the one she picks in the end because other wise his cheesy poetry would have gotten him sent home weeks ago.  You remember this?  Watch it.  It's pretty intense stuff.

1x1 Michael G
Do we still have to call him Michael G now that Mikey is gone?  Probably not.

Des is embarrassed to say that they are exploring the city.  It's easily the third "exploring" date of the season.  So she says they're going to take in the culture and take in everything Madeira has to offer.  But then yeah, she admits it's basically exploring.

Micheal looks like his mom scrubbed him up and dressed him for church in seersucker.  He seems to be missing his bow tie though.

Des makes Michael feel like he can love again.  I've seen this movie before.

2x1 Zak and Drew
Zak says he's ready to race.  And I'm wondering how much money he spends on whitening his teeth each month.

It's a race!  (name that movie)

Drew continues to remind us he's never felt this way before.  He's like 90% sure it's love, but there's always the chance it could be something he ate.

Zak says he doesn't know where he would meet the next girl if Des doesn't choose him.  I suggest twitter.

Discussion with Chris Harrison/Rose Ceremony
Chris points out that Des has never been to Europe AGAIN.  He might as well say, "You grew up really poor." (I'm not saying you're poor if you've never been to Europe, but they just like to keep pointing that out this season, ya know.  For the record, I have never been to Europe.)

So there is like ten minutes of this show left and no drama.  What were we seeing on the previews last week?  Will it all go down during these last ten minutes?

Des hands out the roses, no one cries, Michael is very understanding and quite the gentleman. . . did Olivia step on the remote and change the channel?  I don't think this is the Bachelorette.

Next week, hometowns!  Only two of my four picks will be making it, Zak and Brooks.  Aubrey did better and she has three of her picks making it, Brooks, Drew and Chris.  Dang it, I knew Chris would go far I just didn't want to admit it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I need a schedule

A blurry outtake of me and Olivia during the 30x30 challenge.

Okay so I've gotten to the point in this stay at home mom thing where I'm no longer just "surviving".  Axel's five months and will play alone for stretches of time, his naps are pretty regular and Olivia and I are still watching way too many hours of TV.  I wake up in the morning with no expectations and no plan, which means most of the day ends up wasted.

I thought about making a plan the night before, but that just adds to the long list of things to do after the babies are in bed, so no.  Instead, I need a daily routine, a schedule that works for us, with movable parts so I can swap out grocery shopping for library time or swimming depending on our needs.

I'm going to try waking up at 6am again.  For a while Axel's nights were so rough that I would always use them as an excuse to sleep those extra two hours.  If I wake up at 6 and do my workout (Jillian's 30 day shred, thank you Jacq!!!!!) and shower, that means we can be ready for anything.

The kids are usually up by 8 and Olivia is the slowest eater on the planet so I'll give us from 8-10 to have breakfast and get dressed and watch some Disney Jr.

10-12 will be our activity time.  Some ideas that I have include library trip, grocery shopping, walking the mall (too hot outside to go on walks for a while!), splash pad, water parties on the porch, reading books or playing with Olivia's toys.  We wont always leave the house, but if we're going to this is the best time to do it.

12-1 Lunch time.

1-3 Olivia's nap.  This is when I plan to do my chores: clean the kitchen, bathroom, laundry etc. . . 

3-4 Art/creativity.  Olivia likes playdough and oobleck.  Another fun thing I found at Target the other day was a paint with water book!  I have been looking everywhere for them!

4-5 Dinner prep/Adam comes home

And then we eat dinner and bathe babies and read stories and the kids are usually in bed by 8pm.  This is when I blog for a bit and then try to read something real, like a book or a magazine (computer and TV lights make it hard for me to get tired and fall asleep)

Maybe I'll follow this up with a "Day in the life" post.  I just love when other people do those!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I used to teach. . .

Often in conversation I throw out the phrase, "I used to teach. . . " followed by something you probably had no idea I used to teach.  I pretty much majored in like ten things.  It's very much a "Jack of all trades, master of none" kind of major.  I took classes in cooking, sewing, interior design, finance, child development, fashion and religion (not part of my major, just part of being at BYU.)

People usually look at me like I'm lying.  Now you're telling me you taught fashion?  I thought you said interior design?  And last week it was sewing!

So here is a comprehensive list of every high school class I ever taught.  I'm not a liar, but I was a very busy teacher.

Interior Design.  This was my main focus, what I spent most of my time on at Bingham. I taught 4-6 Interior Design I classes each year and one or two year long Interior Design II/Advanced Interior Design classes each year.
Student Project.  She got an A.

Fashion.  I kept this to myself during the 30x30 challenge.  I don't need that kind of pressure.  During my five years at Bingham I taught this class ten times and put on three fashion shows.
We did A LOT of sketching in this class.

Sewing.  This is my weakest subject as a teacher.  I'm pretty good at sewing, but organizing 30 students and their projects made me run around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I only taught this class four times.  Twice my first year, twice my last year.  (It was way better my last year!)
One of my favorite sewing students presenting me with a made up award.  So dang funny.

Child Development.  I only taught this class twice and it was my first year so I pretty much copied the lesson plans word for word from the teacher that taught the bulk of the Child Development classes.  But this class did give me opportunities to tell lots of stories (I love telling stories!)

Pro-Start: This is the restaurant level cooking class.  I taught it twice my third year of teaching and I told them if they ever made me teach it again they could start looking for my replacement.  I hated that class. (most of the students were okay, but the few egotistical wanna be chefs were enough to push me over the edge)
My competition team.

Adult Roles: This class basically teaches everything high schoolers need to know about being a grown up.  The 7 units include: Self Concept, Communication, Dating (sex education), Marriage, Parenting, Family Life, Finance (I hated finance as much as the students.  We all suffered together!)
Three of my Adult Roles Students taking their robot babies home for the weekend during the parenting unit. 

Whew!  Kind a fun to have that all written out!  What was your favorite subject in high school?

Friday, July 5, 2013

June and July Goals

Even with posting five days a week lately, I still have way too many blog posts building up in my drafts folder!  I'm alone all day long with two kids, so all of my thoughts have to go somewhere.  So killing two birds today by posting about my goals for June and July.

I started keeping record of all my workouts.  I only missed two days, until the 18th of June and that's when I just stopped.  I had packing to do for our trip to CA and then I was in CA, sooooooo I got too busy enjoying my time there :)

But now that we're home again I plan to start up again.  Maybe not every day, but at least three days a week!

So we're in vegetarian month now!  Because I spent the last week in June at my family's house I was pretty much a vegetarian then too (except when Adam brought me his leftover wings after golfing.  I LOVE wings).  So I didn't think it would be a big deal to cheat on July first, since we were driving home.  But since then I've been perfect.  I'm writing this on July 3rd so I'm a little worried about tomorrow, the number one day for burgers in America, but I'm sure there will be a salad somewhere for me to enjoy.  :)  I already have two weeks of vegetarian dinners planned, but if you have any you love please leave me the recipe or link in the comments!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TBT 4th of July

The summer I met Adam I went on the best road trip of my life!  I went alone and I visited several friends along the way, including the guy I was dating that wasn't Adam.  I met Adam soon after I got back from this trip.

But this post isn't about road trips!  It's about the 4th of July, which just so happened to fall during the Orange County portion of this trip.  It was a seriously fun day.  And let's be honest here, I was looking good back then.  Which is probably why Adam wanted to date me after this trip. . .

Hannah and I at the church pancake breakfast that morning.

Hannah was so little!  Now she towers over me! 

My cousins and I went for a walk to the local firework shack.

Jeremy and Caitlin, my cousins, looking tough.

My cousin Dallin and me.  But the best part about this picture is the ladies butt over my left shoulder.

Caitlin and me taking selfies.

Cousin Jeremy and me!

Cousin Kyle and me!

Uncle Steve!!!  Funnest guy on the planet, no contest.  Dad of Kyle and Jeremy (and Colin, but he wasn't at this party I guess)

So much fun. I just love hangin' with family, and being outdoors.  Nothing better on the fourth!