Monday, October 20, 2014

Early Bird

Mornings are a little rough when the boys first get up. I can't even put in my contacts without a fight breaking out. Lucas' aggression towards Ryan has gotten pretty bad lately. I can no longer leave them alone without someone getting hurt. Lucas is constantly scratching or biting Ryan (who I'm sure is provoking him sometimes). The constant screaming and fighting is really draining for me. I always have to be on alert to make sure someone isn't bleeding or being hit in the head with a truck. It's not uncommon for many timeouts to be issued before 7am even arrives. It's enough to make me want to crawl back in bed!

Doesn't he look so cute and innocent?

My point in sharing this is that lately I have been craving a little time to myself more than ever before. And I have finally accepted the fact that my only time for that is before the boys wake up in the morning. This really isn't an issue for me, since I am naturally a morning person. I feel most motivated and energized first thing in the morning.  But since having children, I have gotten into the habit of stealing extra sleep any chance I get. It's not that I sleep boys are up between 6:30 and 7 almost every day. But with Ryan always in our bed by morning time, I can't get up without waking him. So I stay in bed until he wakes up. More sleep for both of us! However, since we moved the boys into a room together, we have really been encouraging Ryan to stay in his bed all night. And every few nights or so, he actually does!

So I've started a new habit of getting up with Adam, around 6 or 6:15am. This usually gives me time to get dressed and pour a cup of coffee before one of the boys is up. The other day I even had time to put on some makeup and take my hair out of the ponytail that it has literally been in for the past three months. When I walked by the mirror I was honestly surprised to see myself looking half-human for a change. It was nice!
So how am I dealing with the loss of sleep? I'm going to bed earlier. I used to go to bed around 10 or 10:30. But since moving, I can't figure out our cable channels so I don't really have anything to watch on TV at night. So I read in bed and try to turn out the lights by 9:30 or 10 at the latest. Even with all the wakeups at night with the boys (and using the bathroom 3-4 times!), I am usually getting enough sleep. I know this will all change when the baby comes along next month, but for now I am relishing the 20 minutes to myself in the morning!

Friday, October 17, 2014

House Tour: Family Room

I've known for a while that I wanted to use gray and blue/teal colors in my new family room. I decided to decorate with the cool, beachy colors that I am naturally attracted to. So after a lot of deliberation we went with gray walls for our family room. I am happy with this room, although I think it still needs a few pops of color here and there to brighten it up.
Here is the view walking in from the main entrance area. I'm thinking we need a long narrow rug to go behind the couch here, and possibly some curtains.
Immediately to the left is a shelf with some pictures and decorations:
I like how this family room is smaller and cozier than our last one.

Our throw pillows are a mixture of teals and grays. Our plan is to replace the TV tray with an actual end table at some point!
The fireplace. Once the Halloween picture comes down I want to add some colorful decorations on top of the mantle.
TV wall. (Apparently the boys were watching a princess cartoon). I want to put something tall in the left corner, but I'm not sure what.
 View of the entryway.

While I love the room so far, I have a few things on my wish list that I'd like to buy at some point. Maybe some curtains, a throw blanket, an end table, a long narrow rug, and some sort of tall shelf or piece of furniture. However, I have no idea what sort of colors to add to this room. Right now it is primarily gray, black, and different shades of blue/teal. I feel like I need an accent color that "pops", but I'm not so good at this sort of thing, so I don't know what color to choose. Adam suggested yellow but I'm not sure. Anyone have a knack for decorating who wants to offer advice?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Our Favorite Books

I'm pretty picky about the books I buy and read to my boys. The book has to be interesting enough to hold their attention, which is a tall order these days. It also needs to be fun for me to read, with cute pictures and a good storyline. I have a few personal favorites in our collection, and the boys have their own.

First up is my favorite book from childhood, "The Little Red Hen". I don't know why, but I have always loved this story. Must be because the hen bakes her own bread!

I loved the "We Help Mommy" book as a child, so I was happy to find this used version of "We Help Daddy". It is a little old-fashioned but very sweet and full of examples of how the kids help their Daddy with chores.

Lucas and Ryan's absolute favorite book right now is Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go". Or as they lovingly refer to it, "Goldbug!". The book is about a pig family that goes on a trip. Each page shows their travels and all the other cars, trucks, etc that they see along the way. But the secret to the book is the little critter named Goldbug hidden on each page. My boys have almost memorized where he is on each page.
Finally, we have the Harry books. I also remember these from my childhood, and I still love them. My favorite is the classic "Harry the Dirty Dog". Harry is simply a dog that tends to get into trouble and each book is a different story about his adventures. The pictures in these are also a little old-fashioned but I think that adds to the charm of the books.

What are your favorite books to read to your kids? I'd love to get some recommendations!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

House Tour: Master Bathroom

I thought it would be fun to show some pictures of our new (to us) house in Rocklin. A few rooms aren't really done yet (hello nursery!), so I'm starting with the ones that are mostly unpacked and organized.
Up first is our master bathroom and closet. I should start by saying how incredibly blessed I am to have a bathroom as nice as this one. It is amazing! And unfortunately I don't get to spend too much time in there during the day, other than putting away laundry and towels! But at night when I go up to get ready for bed I am reminded how nice and luxurious it is. See for yourself:

View from our master bedroom:

Tub and shower area:

I am in love with my tub. Funny has a funny little step next to it so I figured it was for stepping up and getting in to the tub. Bad idea. I slipped and fell my first time trying to get in! I learned my lesson and now just step in from floor level.

Our shower feels so huge, especially compared to our last one, which I could barely fit in while pregnant.

Double sinks! And LOTS of storage.

More storage, and the little "potty room", as Ryan calls it.

 Also inside our bathroom area is the walk-in closet. There is so much storage in here, we actually have a couple empty shelves!
My beautiful clothes. And I can only fit in to one thing you see in this picture. Ha! I can't wait to fit back into my regular clothes, especially the ones from Stitch Fix.
So there you go....the first edition of my house tour. I definitely started with one of the nicest, most updated rooms of the house. Up next will probably be our family room.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Freezer Foods for Post-Baby

It's no secret that I love keeping my freezer stocked full of homemade breakfast items and freezer meals. Since we moved our freezer has been a bit sad and empty. But I am slowly getting back in to the routine of things. Last weekend when we had homemade pizza for dinner I tripled our pizza dough recipe and rolled out a few extra pizza crusts to put in the freezer. And when I made homemade whole wheat pancakes recently I stashed a few servings away for easy weekday breakfasts. Here is a picture of possibly the prettiest breakfast I have ever made for myself. And it only took about two minutes, thanks to my freezer stash!
Homemade whole wheat blueberry pancakes topped with plain whole milk yogurt, pomegranate seeds, and sunflower seeds. So fancy and healthy!
So now that I am 33 weeks pregnant I am starting to think about making some freezer meals to have on hand after the baby is here. This time around I really want to think of foods my boys will eat, that are still healthy. My whole wheat pizza crust is a great example of that because I know at least Ryan will eat homemade cheese pizza, and it is relatively healthy.  BBQ'd pulled pork or chicken is next on my list of things to double and freeze, since Ryan will also eat that. But now I need some other ideas of what to make. What are some freezer meal ideas that might please extremely picky eaters? Please share your recipes and ideas with me!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bishops Farm

Last week the boys and I drove to Wheatland to meet my sister and 3 of her kids! We met at Bishops Farm, which has a pumpkin patch as well as all sorts of other fun kid things this time of year. Poor Adam was still sick from his kidney stones so he had to stay home. Our morning included a train ride, a turn on the merry-go-round, a tractor ride out to pick pumpkins (yes we actually had to pick them off the vine!), and a 3 Little Pigs play that included real pigs. We concluded our day at the farm with the boys' first taste of shaved ice. It was HOT outside and we needed something to cool us off.
We definitely plan on going back to Bishops next year!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

32 Weeks Pregnant

I had my 32-week prenatal appointment yesterday with my new midwife in Roseville. For the first time, my weight gain was brought up. Not by the midwife, but by the nosy nurse checking me in. I have consistently been gaining 2 lbs per week throughout this pregnancy. More than I should, but that seems to be the pattern with my pregnancies. This month I only gained 3 lbs in 4 weeks, so I was pretty happy with that. But when the nurse entered my numbers into the computer she exclaimed "Wow you've gained 39 lbs! Try not to eat very much for the rest of your pregnancy". I didn't like her comment at all. It's one thing to tell me they are concerned about my numbers and give me some practical advice. But to tell me to not eat very much and offer no other advice? She just seemed rude. Here are my stats:

Blood Pressure: 120/59
Total Weight Gain: 39 lbs

My new midwife was really nice and took a lot of time to talk to me. I told her the nurse had mentioned my weight gain. She said she could give me all sorts of doctorly advice about cutting out sugar and salt and exercising every day. But in reality, she wasn't worried about my gain at all. She basically said that I seem very healthy and my numbers look great, especially blood pressure. She said it would be really hard not to gain at least a pound a week at this point in my pregnancy, so I will likely gain around 50 or more pounds total. Her parting advice was to just stay afloat right now and be kind to my body.
Pardon the bad picture. This is pretty much what I look like every day now. A hot tired mess. I have reached the point in my pregnancy where my feet feel like inflated water balloons by the end of the day. My toes look like sausages, my socks leave imprints on my ankles (cankles), and standing up makes me feel like my feet are going to pop. My favorite lace-up sneakers feel really tight when I try to get them on my feet. The midwife recommended drinking lots of water and water-rich foods, such as cucumbers. Easy enough. Other than fatigue and water retention, my only other new symptom is a major aversion to Mexican food. Thinking about it or smelling it grosses me out. I'm fine with that because I shouldn't be eating salty Mexican food anyways right now!