The time is finally here!!!

Shortly before I turned 14, I had the amazing opportunity to become a big sister again to my baby brother, Christian. As soon as he was born, we were buds. I remember shortly after he came home from the hospital I was in my bedroom during the late evening and he was screaming. My mom and stepdad were trying to calm him and I could tell they were getting frustrated. I tried to help, but they pushed me off. Later, we found out that he had a tongue tie and with a small procedure it was fixed and was finally able to get a good amount of nutrition from breast milk.

During my down times, I would hang out with him and cuddle or play with him. At this time, I’m remembering these precious memories we had together and can’t believe he’s graduating high school! I’m not going to lie, I’m both excited and nervous for him. I feel like he has a lot to learn about life and responsibilities and it may be a rough transition for him once he leaves the roost. He’s smart though, and he’ll figure it out. I just hope it’s not too rough.

This brings me to my most exciting part… my mom will be moving in with us in less than a week!! Today, my daughter and I are heading up to help my mom with some last minute graduation things (like her famous potato salad! yummmmm!! Here’s a similar recipe to hers) and with helping her move. Most of her things are already taken care of so she has decided to give me and my husband some time to ourselves. She will have our daughter with her for 3 days and then she is moving in with us!

Now, I’m sure most of you couldn’t imagine living with your mom/dad or parents again, but we are thrilled! Our daughter is very spirited and we could use some more help. Plus, with our little one anticipated to arrive this fall, we are very blessed and grateful for the help. Plus, it will be beneficial for her as well. Rent is crazy expensive here and I know that it takes a while to meet people, so it’s a great way to acclimate her to the hills. We are such a segregated society… I mean I live in the same city as my dad, one of my sisters, and almost all of my husbands family and we hardly ever see them! This will allow my children to grow up really knowing her grandma, all of her wisdom, and have more support and love.

We understand it will be a transition for all of us, and we know that the main thing to keep things running smooth is communication. We are planning on doing family meetings every two to four weeks just to make sure we keep our relationships strong. SO wish us luck on what will be an awesome experience.

I wish you all a beautiful holiday weekend and thanks to all military personnel and their families for all they do or have done. God bless!

 

damn sugar! what a love/hate relationship… No Sugar Ice Cream recipe

Last year, I decided to cut added sugars (for the most part) out of my diet. Every once in a while, I would splurge on a treat and then I’d be good for a while. I read books from authors like Sarah Wilson and David Gillespie and stuck with brown rice syrup, but mostly stevia to sweeten homemade treats I made. My husband didn’t really appreciate these treats, but it worked for me and my kiddo.

Then, December rolled around and my mom came to visit for the holiday and I kind of went berserk on sugar. I got pregnant shortly after, and ever since it has been a downward spiral into my sugar addiction. (This kid is definitely his fathers’) I won’t compromise my diet in terms of eating anything that isn’t organic/non-GMO, especially since I’m pregnant. I also, won’t and haven’t eaten any dairy (okay, I ate organic dairy a couple of times on some pizza in my first trimester) or wheat. However, the sugar that I have been ingesting is getting out of hand. My energy is plummeting, my skin is starting to show signs of too much, my heartburn is annoying, and worse of all, my daughter is eating more sugar and my unborn baby is developing its’ taste buds, so I’m beginning to influence his taste for sugar…

The first step to changing a habit, is admitting the problem. Well I’m admitting it! And I’m here to say that I’m going to change it! I’m not going to quit cold turkey, because that never is a good plan for me. Instead, I’m going to slowly cut out sugar from my diet and pick a day to implement my no added sugar/fructose diet, which means I’ll still eat fruit. May 29 will be the official day I will stop eating anything with added sugar. From now until then, I will not buy any more sugary treats to bring into the home, I will not make any more desserts to have in the house, I will consume small amounts of what we have left in the house and will buy fruit to replace any cravings I will have and I will increase healthy fats into my diet to fend of cravings, as well (coconut oil/butter, avocado, nuts/seeds, and clean animal fats). And boy, I know that I’ll have cravings!

Thankfully, I have been here before, and I know how to get back to a good place. It’s just taking the steps and implementation. Plus, support, which I’m going to have from my husband and mom. Improved energy, better skin and healthier me and my family… here I come!!

How’s your relationship with sugar? Do you notice a difference when you cut sugar out of your diet? Start the journey with me, if you haven’t already, and let me know how it’s going. What are you tricks?

Healthy Ice Cream:

1 can full fat coconut milk (chilled in refrigerator overnight)
1 cup frozen berries of choice
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Green powdered stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth

Here’s an article with 11 reasons why to quit sugar.

Getting out of the house… yay! Plus, Peach Lemonade Smoothie Recipe

Last week, I wrote about getting my daughter out of the house and socializing more. I did it and it’s been working great! Saturday, there was a class for 3-4 year olds at a local outdoor campus. There were 5 other kids there learning how to fish. My family summers were spent fishing off an on throughout my childhood. I learned to bait my line, reel in a catch and clean the fish. I loved all of it. Then I became a teenager and it was much to boring for me. I’ve really been wanting to get back into it and was gifted a new pole from my husband and daughter this last Christmas. When I looked up weekend events, I was so excited to take my LO to this class.

We got there and before we were given a pole, we were taught the parts of the fishing pole, safety and techniques on how to catch a fish. After the small talk, we were given a pole and were shown how to put a worm on the hook. My daughter did not like that! She was grossed out and refused to put them on during the class. Hopefully, that disgust for insects and other squiggly critters goes away soon… Then, I helped her through the steps of casting our line. She did AMAZING!! The first two she did were perfect! We even had a very smart fish nab the worm off the hook within the first few minutes. Again, I tried to get her to put another worm on the hook and she wouldn’t. I did it quick and we went back to casting. Unfortunately, she reeled up the line too much so it kept getting caught on the end and it made her confidence plummet and soon after she was ready to be done fishing.

The next day, we went for a 3.5 hour hike last weekend with my husband and her dad a long for the journey. The whole time, whenever we crossed paths with fellow hikers she had to tell them her name. Then, yesterday, we went to the park and there were a lot of other kids there. I thought maybe the large crowd would overwhelm her, but she left with two new friends who were probable 2 or 3 years older than her. Maybe I’m just reading into it, but I think it has really helped her mood and energy with being out of the house more and around more people. It also helps that the weather on these days has been so beautiful and warm! Gotta love that vitamin D!

Wanna learn a delicious recipe? My tot and I made Peach lemonades at drank them on our deck during the hot Saturday afternoon. I found a really easy recipe online and tweaked it a bit. Take one medium sized peach and half a lemon (peeled and de-seeded) and 2 cups of ice. Throw in some fresh mint and a pinch of stevia and salt! Wahhhlahhh! It was a bit tart with a whole lemon, but half is much better! Enjoy on a beautiful hot and sunny day with a loved one!

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Doing the best I can to be a great mom

Recently, I have been researching energy profiling and raising a spirited child from a woman named Carol Tuttle and Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. With this research I have found that my daughter needs more socialization to allow her spirit to thrive, being that she is more of an extrovert than I am. She receives her energy by being around other people, while I am easily drained by her high spirited energy. Being an introvert, I recharge my battery by having some alone time and then I’m good to go again. It’s important to know your kiddos energy profile and intensity and so forth, so that you can relate to them if they differ from yours. The two authors I mentioned above, along with Janet Lansbury, are some extremely helpful and influential authors to help parents be amazing parents to our children so that they grow up healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

My little one is 3 1/2 and has always been in small care centers because I thought this would be best for her by allowing her more one-on-one attention. I’m more of an introvert so we don’t get out much and when we do, not many of my friends have kids so she’s usually the only kiddo around. With this newfound information, I have been trying to branch out more to seek out more socialization for her. I’m finding it pretty difficult. Whenever we go to the park or the like, all the other kids are either gone or have a few friends they’re playing with already. Since she’s not used to big group interactions with children, I thought maybe I should get her into a pre-school just to meet some other kids and to experience working with more than one or two kids. I’m coming up short in this area as well. A lot of the preschools in my area are 5 days a week, which I’d rather start slow and do 2 or 3 days a week.

I’m starting to go through my Facebook groups to see if there are any parents who would like to meet up, but being an introvert makes me a bit nervous. I’ve tried this before and it never seemed to pan out. Plus, the way I parent and our diet is typically different than the norm, which makes me nervous about also. I want a village to live in, which we are working on, but it couldn’t seem to come fast enough. Until then, I will just join more groups around the area to help support her needs, and really my needs too. It’s important for me to meet more people who are parents, and then recharge when I get home.

Have you discovered your kids energy, intensity, social needs? Have you been supportive of it? Was it difficult or did you implement the needed changes and see a change?

Best Parenting books I recommend (so far):

  1. Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic 
  2. It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
  3. Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime
  4. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
  5. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame
  6. The Child Whisperer, The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children

Some of these authors, also have free podcasts! If you don’t have the time for reading and want to listen to great advice while in the car or making dinner, this is another great option!