Week 3 – Filler

Week 3 is come and gone and really it served like a bad middle novel in a trilogy series. Just Filler.

Easter came and I did my best to eat Paleo, but didn’t beat myself up when I had dessert. Perhaps I should have, though, because I gained FIVE POUNDS!!! I seriously would have to have embarrassed myself to gain that much weight in 2 days. I asked Stud to confirm if I ate crazily and he seemed supportive of the fact that I didn’t – assuring me it must be water weight (he also wants to live a long healthy life and doesn’t fall into traps). I might agree with him since I’ve returned to eating paleo (except I was so disheartened I now allow myself to use butter in cooking. I know, even when I cheat I’m ridiculous) I have lost 1 of the pounds. I increased exercise too last week and didn’t see any benefits EXCEPT that my heart rate showed improvement.

I don’t feel like writing much more on the subject and am really only finishing the challenge in hopes of knocking the 4 lbs back off and enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to actually meal plan since it was all planned for me.

I will state that I’ve switched from almond flour to coconut flour – but I’m sorry, the paleo pot pie topping is still kind of gross to all of us. Just make the inside part – it’s really tasty. Also, since I did consume non paleo foods this weekend I was able to clearly see that pasta/breads cause me to have almost instant indigestion. I also felt bloated, gassy, and dehydrated. So dehydrated. I’ve really benefited from the water drinking schedule.

ALSO: I made Paleo Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes (http://robinssweetconfessions.com/wp/mexican-hot-chocolate-cupcakes-gluten-free-and-paleo/) and with a few tweaks they were better then some regular chocolate cupcakes I’ve had!! I will definitely make them again!  I used coconut flour instead of almond, used butter instead of coconut butter (no regrets!),  dark chocolate cocoa powder, no cayenne (b/c gross), and used half the vanilla in the icing. CRAZY moist and GOOD! 

I have a new theory for my sleep issues that I think couples with my body’s commitment to not losing weight. Apparently, MTHFR (unfortunate acronym) runs in my family (2 siblings have it) and I’m going to see if I can get tested for it next week. If I have it, which, of course, I think I do (because I once convinced myself that I had a tumor on my pituitary…you can shake your head now) it could explain all my ailments that have really flared up since having tiny humans. It would also explain why my body responds quickly to paleo type diets as it’s the recommended diet for MTHFR’s  (I mean, really?! I giggle at that name every time). Yet, again, I could just be a quack who can’t face that maybe it’s just been a crazy hard 2 years and that alone could cause my problems.

Or I’m just a mother f—ing MTHFR.

Ok. I’m slightly ashamed at that one. But only slightly.

Oh, snap.

Frankly, the last two days of parenting have been rough. I’ve got a a nine month old who wakes up just as much as the 5 day old next door, a toddler who whines incessantly and makes Ghandi and his fasting look like amateur work, and a preschooler that negotiates with every breath. Some days I feel like I can’t breathe from the noise and the chaos and that I’m simply not getting through to them. Which leaves me wondering, am I doing any good here? Am I pointless? Do they love me? If they loved me wouldn’t they want to try and be better? Wouldn’t they listen? Or see how their actions hurt me and others? Are disrespectful? I sometimes wonder if all people with the main love language of “acts of service” struggle heavily with small children. For example I “feel” most loved when someone does something to make my life easier such as put the dishes away, so when a child dumps cheerios all over the floor after I *just* picked up the last spill and vacuumed…it can feel soul crushing.

Obviously, you can see from the above paragraph that there is a lot of selfishness that I’m still working through — / — kids are intense and I’m human. Needless, to say last night I was in my all too usual foul mood when I overheard Stud reading to the Admiral from the Jesus Storybook Bible. He was reading the story of Leah. For those less familiar: Jacob came to work for a guy who had 2 daughters. The eldest, Leah, wasn’t easy on the eyes, and the younger, Rachel’s milkshake made all the boys come to the yard. If you know what I mean. So Jacob works hard for the Dad for seven years to marry, obviously, the hot one, because he’s a dude. Maybe he was in love with her too…but let’s be honest, she was hot. Come wedding day, Jacob channels his inner fraternity brother, gets married to a veiled “Rachel,” and parties hard. Except, it wasn’t Rachel under the veil but Leah. So he sleeps with veiled “Rachel” – which proves it IS sexy to show less – wakes up the next morning next to non virgin Leah…and is horrified. Dear ol’ Dad then graciously let’s Jacob work another 7 years to finally marry Rachel. This is the original Sister Wives.  Interestingly, even though Leah is the non favored wife, she produces all the babies (except for 2) and it’s through her lineage that Jesus’s line comes from. ALSO can we just point out that even though girlfriend wasn’t the easiest on the eyes…Jacob clearly still has no problems sleeping with her. That always baffled me. I digress.

Anyway, so generally, this story is used to teach a variety of lessons, but specifically that God shows love and favor to Leah over  Rachel. Leah receives and accepts this love and eventually finds satisfaction and fulfillment in life because of this single fact. She doesn’t need the love of Jacob to feel loved and fulfilled…or even happy. It’s a great lesson to cling to as a single, in a bad marriage, or even  just a period of struggle in your relationship. SO that’s why I didn’t expect the story to SLAP ME IN THE FACE. Hell-O, SELF! I DON’T need to feel love and respected by my kids to feel happy, love, and fulfillment in my life. I’m loved by the King…nothing else matters.

Of course, God never likes to stop there when He’s making a point to me. He’ll bring it up again and again for funsies. Like tonight. One page into my Bible Study homework and it’s talking about how in light of the eternity, or the hereafter, it can change our perspective of our situations – giving us the strength and motivation to choose joy and love in times of hardship. I can’t help but flash back to my Dad’s death. Slam. I can’t sit in church and not think of my Dad for at least a moment. I can hear him singing “here I raise my Ebeneezer” and countless other phrases as I attempt to choke out the words…sometimes I can’t finish the song, and sometimes I sing louder knowing that my voice is rising in unison with him in that very moment as he sings gleefully for all of eternity. Woah. See, my dad’s death really just personified the concept of eternity for me. I understood it in my head, but after he died I understood it in my heart. I (and the rest of us) were created to be in love for eternity and when that love is cut us from in death our souls break, cry, and yearn for the very thing is was created for and was severed from. Death severs us. But the hope of eternity, of a see you again and when I do we’ll be doing what fulfills us the most – worshiping the very being that went through every torturous step of death and then slayed actual death. Rose from the grave. Gave new life. Gave us a hope of a forever – a chance at bliss. When I’m reminded of that reality check, again, I don’t need approval/love/respect from my children to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Yes, I will still demand them to obey and show respect, because that’s my job. But I will stop using them as personal saviors. They suck at it anyway. I mean….The Admiral can’t even snap his pants without the bribe of screen time. Clearly, my survival would be doomed if I relied on them in an apocalypse. But in reality, how unfair of me to do that to them. Now to wake up and remember this all tomorrow. Wish me luck.

30 Day Challenge Week 2: or when humility sets in

Ah. Week 2. The week where humility is taught and bred.

I’ve been down this path before and have forsaken my former Biggest Loser fandom! Which means, I should KNOW better. Week 2 is notoriously low numbers in weight loss and yet I still found myself whining and ready to lose heart when my drunk scale refused to budge.  Aunt Flow was also visiting and, like the heartless wench that she is, she made sure to make it that much harder.

As a result my weight loss was significantly slower and my cravings for chocolate were significantly higher. Humility – 1 Millie – 0! On the plus side I had zero cramping and other symptoms that I typically have. I remained pretty faithful to the diet though and squeaked out another  almost 2lb loss – making it 10 lbs in 14 days (depending on when I last nursed can also throw the scale some). Am I complaining about that as a whole – absolutely not! I’m noticeably smaller and my stomach is much less a deflated balloon (I mean…I did have 3 kids in a short period of time, so what else is it going to look like?). The comments for week 2 were especially helpful when I found myself struggling. Here are some things I learned – apparently, it’s just a tough week to push through for most, NO one really loses weight with Aunt Flow, and numbers won’t ever be as impressive as that first week. It helped to read all that and keep the faith.

I had a couple minor cheats this week. One night I had a glass of wine and 2 bites of an amazing flourless chocolate brownie (containing sugar — interestingly I had a “knife” in the belly feeling on and off that night, possibly sugar?). Then another night I had a glass of wine and one small square of a cranberry-almond dark chocolate bar (no knife feeling). Today I tried a new vanilla almond milk creamer and after drinking it I’ve had the knife in gut feeling all evening (again sugar, which is why I stopped drinking it after a few sips). All that to say, my body has really benefited from the lack of all grains, sugar, preservatives, and highly limited dairy (I still drink dairy in my coffee in public and eat food with butter when served by others).

In the interest of having no personal life filter and  hoping to assist anyone with similar issues, I’m going to share some other positive notables. I’ll try to write it as tastefully as possible. As someone with life long IBS the last two weeks have been some of my best gut days since I can remember. Let’s put it this way – I’m currently super efficient when I go to the bathroom and typically it’s NEVER that way for me (I used to get in trouble as a kid for using too much toilet paper – but I had no choice if I wanted to walk away clean – you can thank me later for that! Plus side I’m the plunger queen. Did I ever tell you about the time I flooded my in-laws entire bathroom at Christmas…?!). Well, now I am in and out with MINIMAL toilet paper need. I finally know how the rest of you all live! I’m seriously wasting my life in that bathroom! Alright. I’m done with that topic. Ok— one last thing. The Charmin toilet paper for sensitive skin (has Aloe) is the best on the market in my opinion. You’re welcome.

I believe I stuck pretty close to her meal plans for the days – if I didn’t I merely switched it around with other days or repeated. The only real differences were that we were served a meal (chicken, sweet potatoes, and a fabulous salad) and I made a quiche that we ate at two different dinners (recipe: http://www.fourteenforty365.com/2014/04/weekend-meal-prep.html?m=1) — I omitted the cheese and miso. The sweet potato crust is a game changer – It’s amazing! Also the turkey burgers I am eating are pre-made gluten free ones. They are awesome and a huge time saver. No regrets even if it’s not as officially paleo.

Exercise was minimum. I had lower energy and was a bit anemic to be honest. I did one 2 mile run and a video but that’s it for official workouts.

My face is not nearly as clear this week – Humility – 2  Millie – 0. And I’ve learned that almond flour doesn’t agree with my system. Humility – 3 Millie – 0.

I’m currently on week 3 and have been experimenting a bit with exercise and will report on that next time…However, we are traveling for Easter and I expect to have to deviate away from the diet some since we are being hosted by amazing family – so food options may be out of my hands more. I may have just ordered an insane amount of larabars for the trip though. I will be the Scrooge McDuck of Larabars. .

 

Another Post…must be another Diet

Yep. Back on the old dieting horse again. The Spy is 4 days shy of being 9 months old and I’m on day 9 of a 30 day Paleo challenge.  I’ve left you in the dust, sorry — sort of. I also left the two other girls who wanted to do it with me in the dust and started mid month…I’m a jerk and I couldn’t stand how clothes didn’t fit right (being not a 12 or a 14 can prove a challenge, just pick a number body!).

So let me catch you up to speed.

Once again, I had baby weight I was hoping to lose and exercise (I worked with a personal trainer), “general good eating,” and breastfeeding were, once again, doing nothing for me (shakes fists in an endearing way at all those who dropped their weight through the power of milk!). I mean, not fully true since I was able to lose all the weight I put on with the Spy, but I never lost The Professor’s baby weight, b/c, woops, The Spy was on the way. So that’s the skinny on my fat cell populace. In a perfect world I had 30 lbs (give or take a few) to obliterate in a way that wouldn’t sap my sanity that is already sapped and a sign hanging on the door with rental information.

Then I stumbled upon a facebook post where one of the comments contained the link to this 30 day Paleo challenge (http://robinssweetconfessions.com/wp/category/paleo-challenge/page/3/), and just like that time I spotted Stud for the first moment, time stood still and I knew I had found the one.

Check it out. IT is fully meal planned for you (Great for those of us whose minds look like a smashed boiled egg – it’s a real image going around), you get to eat whenever you’re hungry, exercise videos are included if you’re so inclined, and she includes a grocery list for the first 2 weeks. WIN.

I’m officially 8 lbs lighter according to my drunk scale (it’s never in anyone’s favor, so if it’s marking weight loss, it’s legit!). I feel great, ate out twice in that time frame, my skin is clear, my energy most days is decent (for someone who lives on rumors that sleep exists for others), and I’m not hangry. Let me repeat. I’m NOT HANGRY! I’ve done doctor prescribed diets (did I mention I don’t lose weight well despite doctors still advising me to drop it?) and lost LESS weight in the same time frame and was for sure, a scary soul-less woman. Give momma food.

So that’s another thing. I love food. I don’t waste calories on food I don’t love (no binge eating with milk chocolate for me), and I have a deep rooted fear of plain dry chicken. SO my standards are legit. It better taste good and satisfy me and I’m happy as a clam to follow through with a food plan.

I didn’t follow her dinner plans exactly and I would repeat some lunches a good bit. Also I continued to drink coffee with creamer till we ran out (or if I was in public) and now have switched to coconut creamer at home (next up: Almond creamer).  The comments section in the recipes provided alot of answers to questions I had.

Here are the dinners I made (with links)

Day 1: Ham and Bean Soup http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-ham-and-beans-96347

Day 2: Bratwurst Stew, subbed sweet potatoes and added cabbage for St. Patrick’s day. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-bratwurst-stew

Day 3: Mongolian Beef at a Chinese restaurant, Green beans. Egg drop soup. No rice.

Day 4: Peruvian Chicken, Subbed sour cream for almond milk and vinegar — EPIC. Good. Easy. http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/01/peruvian-style-roast-chicken-with-green-sauce.html

Day 5: HER actual meal of Acorn Squash – and it was amazing and easy! It will become a regular in our house.

Day 6: Fajita chicken on lettuce, tomato, avocado with salsa and gaucamoli from the amazing resturaunt Chuy’s — and half a margarita that I lost interest in so Stud finished it (he loves me). No Chips! And shockingly, I felt like I didn’t miss out on anything – truly their salad was delish! Remember. I’m a food snob. Totally worth the 45 min drive.

Day 7: One of her meals but not the recommended for the day – Salmon (I added seasoning and a dash of honey)  with sauteed onions, spinach and mushrooms.

Day 8: Leftover brat stew

Day 9: Her actual plan except I put my bacon on the side – and directly into my face.

 

Exercise: Some morning routines she has listed; using my children as weights leisurely and to, for the love of all that is good and holy, stop the whining; a 2 mile run; and one of the Jillian Michael’s videos she posted (6 week to 6 pack or something).

 

8 lbs. 9 days. BOO Yah. PLUS I eat bacon pretty much every day. Win. One day I was alloted dark chocolate. Win. The spinach salad was tasty, win! Oh and I’ve noticed that my usual PMS symptoms are FAR more mild then normal – a reaction to less sugar. Everybody Wins with that last one.  Stud even noted I was more calm (risky move, but I love his honesty).

Seriously, this is pretty fool proof people. IF you’re looking for a quick challenge, I highly recommend it, and as you can see, you can still even eat in public if you plan smartly.

BAM.

 

(that was the sound of another deflating baby weight fat cell shrinking).

Postpartum/baby products I’m loving

This ain’t my first rodeo, ya’ll and I thought I’d make a list of products that I have found useful for my sanity.

For Baby:

Baby Carriers: I’ve had a few of them. My favorite infant one is the Baba Sling (the moby is a close second if you have time and not a ton of little ones running around maybe?). Baba sling is super fast to use and feels sturdy. I like my Moby in general, it’s just time consuming. Amazing back support though. We have an Ergo that Stud uses with #2 still and it seems pretty decent too. I have yet to try it.

Lounger – seems ridiculous at first. I didn’t use one for #1, but was forced to take one by my sister for #2. She was right. It’s great for babies to sleep in and fits in our bassinet. I suspect they think they are being held. It props them upright to help with reflux/bubbles/sick. Much easier to pack for traveling in the first few months then a pack-n-play. LOVE it.

Halo Sleep Sack – loved this with all 3. #3 is less inclined to swaddling but the gown allows options with it. I love that it won’t ever get untangled and be a possible threat of strangling specifically when baby is older. Miracle Blanket is a close second, but Halo is by far my first choice.

Dr. Brown Glass bottles – We have always needed to supplement in some way, so we splurged with asking for glass bottles this go round – I feel much better about heating them up, etc. Nipple confusion is ridiculous people. At some point they’re going to to go through it unless you can truly exclusively breast feed. I maintain that introducing the bottle from the get go with lots of nursing surrounding has been the easiest way to battle it out. Plus introducing cold formula from the start means you won’t have to be in a pinch for heating bottles out and about in later months.

Joovy ultralight stroller – now that I’ve read the manual I’m all about this stroller. Very easy to use when you know the tricks. Both boys love it. Great storage underneath and good sun shade! It was a great purchase.

Nipple shield – save the tatas. Both babies I used it with had no issue one day telling me they no longer needed or preferred it. The girls got to heal and switching back to no shield was easy. I found that if I put it on for the initial latch that saved a ton of pain, then after a minute or so took it off and relatched – and the second latch was WAY less painful. I used it with #3 just long enough to let the girls heal and both #3 and I found we didn’t care or need it within a very short amount of time. #2 used it for several weeks out of preference but then he got over it on his own. Easy – and the girls were grateful.

Swing that swings side to side. Worth it.

Postpartum:

Earth Momma Angel Baby – momma bottom balm: If you are able to not have a c-section I recommend ordering this. I didn’t have it till #3 and it has been super helpful (and I didn’t tear) for relief. I hate sitz baths, and they hurt me like WOAH. So I found balms, sprays, witch hazel pads, ice packs to be the most helpful.

Always Overnight Extra Heavy Flow Pads – Crazy long and reassuring for the first week after delivery. I wore them night and day, then switch to just night with regular pads during the day till unneeded.

Olive Oil – worked as a great sub for Lanolin

Belly Binder of some form- I had some popular brand for #1 and didn’t care for how little it moved/breathed – so annoying I didn’t wear it the full 6 weeks. #2 I used some regular inexpensive medical one I borrowed from my sister (who had a c-section). Moved and breathed way better and gave INCREDIBLE lower back support. Best my lower back has felt after a delivery. #3 I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’m not using one and I regret it. the Binders did NOT help with giving me a flat tummy in either instance.

Bravado Nursing Silk Seemless Bra – I have had 4 different brands of nursing bras at least. Target and Motherhoods were all terrible (gave bad shape, hurt, not enough sizes, etc) in comparison to Bravado (you can buy on amazon!). I just measured myself (I’m a crazy not normal size) and bought based off of that and am IN LOVE. Best bra for the price hands down – worth every penny. SO comfortable I might buy another one, good nipple coverage (which I respect that others don’t mind, but personally I desire for my own comfort), straps stay in place. Seriously, in love.

Chiropractic adjustments/massages: Schedule time. Go. Do it. Do them back to back if you can. And if they say they can’t adjust you b/c you have too much relaxin or whatever – fire them. You can thank me later. Dark chocolate and ready made breakfast items would be appreciated. 😉