Thursday, October 22, 2009

Turning over a new leaf

As I was going through our budget recently and checking back over the bank statements I was floored with how often we have made trips through the drive through in the last month or two. I have no idea how that happened. Not long ago we NEVER ate fast food and now the girls and I are going 4 or 5 days a week (sometimes more)! When I think of the money spent and all the crap that has gone through our bodies in that time, well I'm a bit nauseous thinking about it.

So no more, I am putting us on a 30 day challenge. We will not be eating out, at all, for the next 30 days. Starting tomorrow and ending November 21. I think that's 30 days at least, it's been a long day! There will be one exception and that will be for the husband's birthday when we usually go out with the extended family. I doubt I can talk them all into staying in.

So we will be eating at home for every meal and snack, on a budget and as healthy as possible. I will post my weekly (or maybe daily if I really turn around on this blogging thing) menu as well as my grocery list and amount spent every 2 weeks (how often we shop) and I'm hoping for a big turn around both in our pocket books and the way we feel. Stay tuned to see if we are big fat cheaters!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Giggles and Grins

I believe most mamas can agree with me that it is almost heart breaking to see our tiny squishy babies become inquisitive toddlers and then defiant preschoolers it is also amazing to see their little personalities develop. Today was one of those days where I just had to step back and watch my two beautiful girls interact.

After spending the last 2 days inside due to the rain I believe we were all feeling a little stir crazy and getting on each others nerves a little bit. I had tried all my old favorites and was running low on entertainment ideas and then I thought we'd give hide and seek a try. Two hours later we had all had a great time, laughed until our bellies hurt and we were ready to cuddle up in bed and watch a princess movie.

But during those 2 hours of hide and seek it was so much fun to see the way my girls interacted. The way Gwen took pride in covering her little eyes (with her fingers spread wide open so she could still see) and counting to 5 (or 1, 2 3, 5, 7, 6,) and then shouting "Ready or not, here we come". Then hearing her quick heavy footsteps running down the hall and Lila's little bare feet pitter pattering right after hre big sister. Hearing Gwen shout "I found you" and then having Lila run up behind her with her arms straight up in the air, stomping her little feet and turning around in circles while she squealed with victory.

It was a great time and it's little times like that, times when we aren't out doing something special and exciting but just enjoying each other that I hope my girls look back on and remember when they are older. As for me, those two growing little girls are my babies and those two beautiful babies are cuddled up with each other in bed right now. I intend on going and joining them and enjoying those little chubby feet pressed up against my legs or the arm that will undoubtly be sprawled out across my face by the end of the night. The simple things are the things that are the biggest blessing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My How Time Flies

While lying in bed tonight between my two favorite girls it hit me that one year ago at this exact time I was lying there beside one girl, breathing through contractions and realizing that this would be her last night as an only child. Thanks to a long labor it wasn't exactly her last night but it was her last night laying there in bed between mom and dad.

I remember there being so many emotions. I was sad that Gwendalyn's life as an only child was coming to an end. I knew that things were going to change for her forever, and I wasn't sure what would happen. Of course, I was also anticipating the arrival of the fashionably late little girl who was still so happy snuggled up in my womb. Much like this evening though I couldn't sleep, I tried my hardest because I knew my body was up for a very hard task but I just couldn't relax enough to sleep through contractions very well. I would doze off here and there but the length of little naps were never more than 5 or 6 minutes long. I was anxious and worried about silly little things- did we have enough clean diapers, did the kitchen need to be cleaned, would we leave to late for the birth center, I didn't want to have a baby on the side of I-40.

So like many early laboring mamas I was up at 2 am washing dishes, folding diapers, sweeping the floors and packing snacks. Between all my chores I would come back to bed and lay down beside Gwen while she nursed every hour or so. I smelled her hair and held her tight and tried to enjoy the last bit of time we had left of being mother and 1 daughter.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Body, Your Birth

I am always amazed how many women will blindly follow the advice of their doctors in regards to pregnancy and birth. They don't question or disagree they just do what they are told. The medical community can be a great thing in pregnancy and birth but it can also be the source of interventions, unnecessary csections and the downfall of childbirth in the United States.

Just yesterday I was talking to a very pregnant aquantance and she was asking me about my girl's size at birth and their gestational age. When I told her the size of my first she was surprised but when I told her my second was 1 1/2 weeks overdue and over 9 lbs she said the common phrase from those who go in completely trusting their doctors "I can't believe your doctor let you go that far overdue". Of course she was even more shocked when I told her I don't see an obstetrician for prenatal care and that a doctor really doesn't let anyone do anything, medical professionals work for you, it isn't the other way around.

It really makes me sad the way doctors will bully and scare hormonal women into doing what they want them to do. The way inductions are scheduled for convenience and the option of an elective csection is even available. The percentage of doctors in this country who have actually attended a 100% natural birth with no interventions is very slim. Doctors aren't even trained to deliver a baby in any way other than the mother laying in a flat on her back position with her legs up above her in stirrups. This is perhaps the most conterproductive position to push a baby out in and when the second stage (pushing) last longer than what is convenient for the doctor you can almost always guarantee that mother will be wheeled down the hall on her way to a csection.

I wish that all women would educate themselves on birth, don't be afraid to question your doctor and ask them why and most importantly be an advocate for yourself. Natural birth isn't for everyone but at the very least know the facts and the risk of interventions. If you do chose to have a natural birth then look into classes. Two very popular ones right now are Bradley and Hynobirth. I personally have had 2 successful and natural Bradley births and cannot even begin to say how great I think the Bradley method of childbirth is.

Just for the record so I'm not taken as saying that all medical interventions are bad I did have what I consider a traumatic birth experience with my baby. After 28 hours of labor and 5 1/2 hours of pushing I transferred to the hospital where my care was transferred to an ob and family practice doctor. I am grateful that they were there that night and they got little Lila here safely and kept me safe. But I just think that under normal circumstances there is no reason to interfere with a natural labor and birth.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kicking Back

I love my girls more than anything but all of you parents and especially those stay at home parents out there know that every once in a while it's nice to have a little time. When my husband offered to take the kids out for a run a bit ago I jumped at it realizing it would give me the chance to eat my dinner with no little hands reaching on my plate and maybe even polish off a glass or two of wine. Dinner tonight is certainly not fancy but it is mostly fresh. We had deviled chicken which is just a recipe I stumbled upon on another posting

Very good and most importantly super easy and quick. I of course had to add something to it. Instead of breadcrumbs I used a combo of wheat germ and milled flax seed. We also had creamed spinach made with fresh from the farmer's market spinach and soy milk and finally some sliced home grown tomatoes. Like I said nothing fancy but easy and pretty healthy.

We had a great day today that started off with a La Leche League meeting. No day can be bad when it starts with a La Leche meeting. There is something really special about getting together with likeminded mama's who share the same values in regards to pregnancy, birth, and parenting. I ventured down to Statesville for the meeting and while it is a small group I am impressed with the closeness of them. I do encourage any past, present or future breastfeeding mama's to check out your local La Leche League meetings.

Other than our breastfeeding meeting we spent the day with grandma and just relaxing and of course now the girls are out on a run with Jeff while I finish my first glass of wine and watch crap tv. Sometimes you just need to sit on the couch and watch bad tv it's a right every person should be able to experience occasionally.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


All of you parents of two kids know that you can't talk about one without talking about the other a bit. In case you are a bit confused we did not name our baby YaYa but YaYa very much fits her. Gwendalyn started calling Lila 'Yaya' and I find myself letting it slip occasionally. Not to mention the fact that you'll often hear a little 'YaYa' coming out of her own mouth.

So some little things about my baby.

-She never sits down, NEVER. This girl goes all the time. Whether it is 4 am or 2 in the afternoon she is wiggling, moving, crawling trying to explore. She has such a desire to see the world and not miss a single thing and she must keep up with big sister.
-Lila is trying so hard to walk. We have seen a few random steps but no steady walking yet. We suspect she is just going to take off one day and never look back.
-Lila is a biter. Not necessarily a good thing but if she is able to get anything in her mouth she will bite it and bite it hard.
-Much like big sister always has been Lila likes being naked. Just last night I was trying to convince a 9 month old to kee her diaper on at 4 am. I lost.

Silly Gwendalyn

I've decided today that I need to write a bit about both my girls. There are so many little moments that are just slipping by me that I am all too soon forgetting. Those little things that make Gwendalyn's personality that will change so quickly.

For those of you who are lucky enough to get to see and play with Gwen on a regular basis you know that she is a ball of energy. I cannot get over what a little lady she is becoming and how the bit of baby she had left is slowly disappearing. I was just looking at some old pictures of her a few weeks ago and could hardly recognize that little baby who used to cuddle up with me on the couch.

So here is a little list of things that make Gwendalyn 'Silly Gwen'.

-She is always wearing a dress. No matter where we go or what we are doing she insists on wearing a little dress.
-Gwendalyn also knows how to accessorize. It's not uncommon to see her wearing a pretty little bracelet and carrying a sparkly pocketbook and pretty little princess hat.
-You may wonder what it is a 2 1/2 year old keeps in a pocketbook. Well for Gwendalyn it's 3 or 4 Little People, a train or two and a couple of hair ties.
-Like most 2 year olds Gwen is also incredibly inquisitive. She wants to know how things work, or what they are, or where something is. I'll be the first to admit that all the questions drive me crazy on occasion but it is also such a blessing to be able to sit down and talk through the answer with her. And it is even more of a blessing when, instead of answering her question, I say 'What do you think?' It's amazing to see those little wheels turning in her head while she tries to come up with an answer which is sometimes right but it is always creative and almost always makes me laugh.
-Silly Gwen is also a great mommy. It isn't uncommon to see her rocking or nursing her babies. She pushes them in the buggy and loves to change their diapers and unfortunately for us she also likes to rub lotion on them and gives them baths. The messy little Cabbage Patch doll in the bathroom sink is proof of that.

and a few random facts about the 2 1/2 year old Silly Gwen.
-Her favorite color is green
-She likes to talk about how stinky her feet are
-She hates having her hair brushed and put up