Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clean-ish Pancakes?

This week we have found ourselves in a position of having plenty of food in the house but not enough to make a meal.  Do you know what I mean?  You know, we have peanut butter and jelly but no bread, pasta but no sauce, everything to make tacos but no shells....and the list goes on!  Tonight I decided to try some pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon.  We had dinner late but we still ate and nobody had to make an emergency trip to the grocery store!

I don't know how clean these pancakes actually are but they are 100% homemade, I even made "buttermilk" for the first time!  There were no complaints!  And I had to have my favorite omelet with mushrooms, peppers and mozzarella cheese, yuuuummmm!!  

I had to double our recipe since we are feeding several but we still had a few leftovers.  
The recipe used was:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp stevia
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to sour
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk.  Pour the flour mix into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Head on skillet coated with cooking spray

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family Pictures

"There were photographs I wanted to take...."

We got our first family pictures since welcoming our 5th baby girl to our family last week.  Quite noticeably, there are only 4 girls in the picture.  I cannot even begin to put into words the ache I feel every time I see a new picture of us and Olivia is not there.  I can just picture having our little 3 year old with big blue eyes right in between Greg and my legs.....

*pictures taken by my friend Tisha with Priceless Images by Tisha

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"I feel so sorry for you!"

This has been on my mind since last night and I just cannot quite shake it.  We are all guilty of saying ignorant things, I'm sure I stick my foot in my mouth more often than I even realize!  With that being said, before I even write this post, I will say that I am going to try to be more conscious of what I say to people, especially strangers!

Last evening I ran an errand and since I am obviously pregnant, strangers are making comments, which is ok!  I absolutely love the question when I am alone, "Is this your first?"  Haha, the face change when I answer "No, it's my 5th" is so funny!  People think you are insane or just don't understand how this keeps happening.

I got the question last night, then it rolled into gender.  Another girl.  Yes I have all girls.  To this, the stranger proceeds to laugh, as do I.  She continues with "Oh MY GAWD, I feel sooo sorry for you!"  Mind you, I have never met this person in my life.  I did not complain about having girls.  I just kindof laugh it off and say "it's what we do!"  The woman goes on and on about how horrible it must be with all the hormones in the house, how terrible it will be when they all grow up, and how sorry she feels for me (about 5 more times).

I am so glad I was alone, my girls do not need to listen to that.  They do not need to think that they are all just a product of trying to get that perfect boy so we can finally stop having children.  I get that most people think that we have tried (and tried and tried again) to have a boy but we have not.  At one point, Greg and I both thought a boy would be nice but quite honestly, we were hoping this one was a girl!  Can you imagine bringing a boy into a house full of sisters and being the youngest and only one?  We would have been thrilled but God did not make a mistake with this one, or the other 4! 

As this woman continued ranting about how horrible having 5 girls would be, I just kept thinking, "lady, if you only knew, you would feel really horrible!"  5 girls is a dream.  Five healthy, living, breathing a dream!  Our reality is that this will only be our 4th one at home.  Olivia died and here we are just wishing we could have that 5th girl at home to just have be so dreadful, awful, hormone filled.  It made me sick. 

I do not blame people for their comments, having that many girls in a row is quite the conversation starter but this was just over the top.  It has made me think A LOT today of what I find myself saying.  I try not to complain about my husband to friends, especially in public but what if I did find myself doing that and a widow was overhearing what I had to say.  Yes, marriage is not perfect but I'm sure a woman who is missing her husband would much rather have him home being a slob than to never see him again!  Work on the slob at home, just do not throw a fit about it in public.  (I am guilty of this myself, I love you Greg but the dirty rolled up socks....see I'm guilty too!)

Ephesians 4:29~ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Yay!!! We may have conquered bedtime!!!

Something magical has happened in our house!  Claire has finally hit the point over the last couple of days that we can put her to bed, before she is completely knocked out, without a complete fit!  This is huge!

Let me give you a little backstory.  Claire nursed for almost 16 months, so in that 16 months, she fell asleep nursing for every single nap and bedtime that I was home for.  Once the nursing stopped, it turned into having to rock her to sleep each night.  Not just asleep, out past the point of no return asleep!  It was brutal!  Of course since she was my rainbow baby, there was no way I was going to let her cry it out.  I tried a few times but it broke my heart and I just could not do it.

Fast forward a few months, we are less than 8 weeks from having this next baby girl and finally decided this was ENOUGH!  I surprisingly didn't have to let her cry it out.  I did for one nap, she cried 5 minutes, I don't think she ever went to sleep but she stayed in her crib.  Now, for the last 2 nights and todays nap, she went down without a fight.

When we went to her room I told her it was bedtime, told her I would sing one song while rocking then she had to go to bed.  And just like magic, it worked!  I feel like angels are singing right now, our house is so quiet and no adults are imprisoned in a rocking chair for half the night!

Now if only we had our house cleaned up before the kids went to bed, that would be extra magical!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We did it!!!

We did it, we made it to school on time!  Not just on time, 5 minutes early....and I did not hate this morning! 
Funny thing is, nothing changed for today except Hannah's getting dressed schedule.  She got up, I told her I was setting the timer for 3 minutes to get dressed.  That was all the encouragement she needed, she was dressed in 1 minute!  Typically it is at least 20 minutes for her to get PJs off and clothes on.  We all woke up late-ish too, I'm not going to try to figure it out but accept that we got to school without a fight.
I don't know if that was the magic solution we needed but it worked for today!!  Just over a month and we get summer break :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I hate school mornings!!!

I wish I didn't, but I just hate school mornings.  I have tried and tried to find a good balance and organization to get out the door at a good time.  Somehow it ALWAYS turns into a rushed, crazed, yelling mess to get out the door and get the girls to school at the last minute to not be tardy....again.

We have tried getting absolutely everything in order before bed, clothes picked out, lunches made, shoes by door, backpacks packed.  This takes a lot of time out of the mornings...and they are still late!  I cannot figure out the perfect solution, just last quarter, we had 9 tardies.  9!!!! 

Most mornings are pretty nice until the last 5 minutes and the world explodes because homework is not in the backpack, shoes are lost and where is that jacket?  Which Makayla went to school without today :P

If anyone has good solutions, please share!  Don't be offended if I say we have already tried that it and it didn't work, I'm asking because I feel like we have done it all.  I just want a peaceful trip out the door!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Feeling Much Better!

I always seem to blog when I am having "one of those moments."  Whether grieving or my life just seems like a wreck, then suddenly, it all turns around and life is good again.  Well....had another one today!

Our morning went pretty good, I got the big girls to school...on time and with everything they needed!  Claire and I came home and I finished getting ready so I could get to physical therapy by 9.  My babysitting plans fell through and I did not have an emergency backup lined up.  As we are about to walk out the door, she pours half a cup of chocolate Shakeology all over herself, her coat and the kitchen floor.  I had a major flip out, meltdown, not proud of myself at all kind of a moment!  I changed her clothes and left the rest of the mess for later.

On the way to physical therapy, I about had a major lose it moment.  I really had nobody to call.  I could have called my grandma but she was on vacation, I would feel better and she would hang up feeling crappy.  I really did not want to burden my friends and hang up.  Greg was working and unable to talk, I had already freaked out to him and probably screwed up his day.  I felt alone and in the midst of it all I thought "I don't have to feel this awful."  I had one of the rare moments of letting go of my control.  Pouring my heart out to God, I was pleading for him to take control of the day, to help me handle situations better, help me set a better example for my children, be a better/less freak outish wife.  It only took a few minutes of tears and total surrender and from that point, the day just kept getting better.

I managed to make it to PT, Claire in tow, about 7 minutes late.  The [very kind] receptionist told me that she did not know if I would be able to get my PT in since I was late.  Of course my completely composed mess of a self started crying even though I really understood.  They were kind enough to let me go ahead.  Claire was very good until the very end when I ran out of a fruit snack bribe.  Everyone was so nice and understanding, I was feeling much better!

Then we had to run over to my OB appointment.  It's always fun to try to pee in a cup with the help/audience of a 19 month old, but you do what you have to do :)  That went beautifully, I was told that Claire was "really good but busy like a boy."  That cracked me up because it is true.

By the time we got to Wal-Mart, a whole 4 minute drive, Claire had crashed.  I put her in a cart and used my hand as a pillow and had a super helpful worker get me lunchables to take the girls for lunch.  We were out of all lunch food and they would not eat the sloppy joes that the school was serving.  She woke up on the way back to Altamont to meet her big sisters for lunch.

Today did not go at all how I had planned, it rarely does.  It is so nice to know that in the midst of it all, God is ALWAYS in control. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lunch Dates

One thing that the big girls and I used to do when they were younger, before preschool and school got in the way, was meet Greg for lunch.  At the time he worked in sales for a local Pepsi bottler and would be all over the place within about an hour radius.  It really did not matter how far he was, we would just go meet because we could.  Sometimes it would be fast food, other times a pizza place or Greg's favorite, a mom & pop type diner. 
Over time, school started getting in the way, his job changed and he had a much wider area and then a complete change of career.  From that point on our lunches stopped completely but were replaced with a few overnight getaways to meet up with Daddy.  We both severely underestimated the effect a job requiring travel would have on our family.  It was the longest year of our married life and although it caused hardships for him to lose that job, I am so glad to have my husband back home every night!!
His job now has him in an office in Effingham and Claire and I have been meeting him for lunch at least once every week or two.  I LOVE it!  It is usually at Subway since his lunch break is short and McDonald's and Subway are the only food choices on that end of town.  When Claire stays awake for it, she loves getting to go see Daddy before heading home from Effingham.  It's such a great way to break up the week, I don't know that he will always have a job that allows for this so I will soak it in for now.  I'm not sure what this summer will bring with a new baby coming and big kids home from school but I'm sure we will make some family lunch dates work, even if they are at a park!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I workout because......

If you are like me, this is a loaded question.  My reasons have changed 10,000 times and will probably change again.  When I first started exercising, and I mean really exercising, it was to lose weight.  I had gained 30+ pounds my freshman year of college.  When I decided to get serious about taking off weight, the way I spent time in the gym changed.  I tried most group exercise classes the college rec center offered, I would run on the track and I would spend time in the weight room even though I didn't know what I was doing.  My eating habits changed along with it which was a challenge.  I lived in dorms and ate cafeteria food, drank too much on the weekends and enjoyed the finest delivery pizza, subs and bagel cart sandwiches you could imagine.  With alot of hard work, I was able to lose most of the weight in just 4 months.

After my weight loss and lifestyle change I transferred from SIUC to EIU.  Within a few weeks of my first semester there I changed my major from English education to Exercise Science (or Kinesiology).  My reasons for exercise changed, I needed to exercise.  It had become such a huge part of my life and without it I didn't even feel like myself.  I also had to take tons of exercise classes to go along with my degree and I loved them all.  I truly believe that the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle far outweigh any barriers you may face.

In June of 2005 I was still a college student as well as a newlywed.  Just a little over a month later we had a bun in the oven and my body has been on a rollercoaster since!  I have gained, lost, gained, lost so many times over the last 7.5 years and I am so thankful that my body still continues to forgive me!  When I became pregnant with baby #4, early on I began showing signs of pelvic pain.  This is more than sciatic nerve pain which is painful in itself.  Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction or Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction is a condition in which the ligaments supporting your pelvic area relax too much.  Without boring you with detail, it just hurts, ALL....THE....TIME!  By the end of the pregnancy, I could hardly get up and down, by the end of the day walking was torture, sleeping was torture and it felt like every female organ could come falling out of my vagina.

Now that I am pregnant with baby #5, I exercise because A.  I love it and B.  So I won't hurt.  I am doing absolutely everything in my power to only gain the appropriate amount of weight and keep my body strong.  I have already began showing signs of pelvic pain.  This weekend I did not get exercise for 2 days and Sunday night I had no sleep, my hips and pelvic ached so bad.  I am terrified of feeling the way I felt at the end of my pregnancy with Claire!  I decided that a busy schedule was no reason to not find time to exercise.  I may not be able to push to my normal limits but I can, and I WILL, exercise.  I have great programs that I can modify and it's really enjoyable too.  I look forward to that time each day that I can just work on me and I love the way I feel when I get done. 

Now that I have overdetailed you with why I exercise, why do you exercise?  Or what's holding you back?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What A Week!!!

I have had one of "those" weeks where the most random things could go wrong....and did!  It wasn't the worst week ever but it definitely was not smooth.

It started out Sunday, I fell in the cafe at church.  It was not wet, just slick and my dress shoes could not keep me up.  I came crashing down on my knees and caught myself with my arms.  By the end of the day I felt like I had been in a carwreck.  Monday I felt even worse and by the end of the day my knees were bruised and swollen and just ugly.  Since I was so damaged, I cancelled my Turbo Kick class for Tuesday and took some extra rest days. 

By Wednesday, my knees still hurt but starting feeling better.  I was taking a road trip with my grandma to Hobby Lobby, got a block away from my house and one of my back teeth broke off.  What the heck?!?!  I was eating a rice cake, not a rock!  I called the dentist and could get in Friday so we kept going on our trip.

Then migraine Thursday hit.  I was getting back into the swing of things, started making dinner and it started with my vision.  Flashing lights, cannot see what I am doing.  Once the vision starts acting funny, I have to lay down.  I could be preparing dinner for the queen and it wouldn't matter, my day is done.  I finished preparing the turkey enchiladas and left the rest for Greg.  The stove wouldn't work, the oven wouldn't work.  I really didn't care, I was done for the day!  Thankfully I have an awesome neighbor who baked our dinner and brought it back home.  Strangely enough, the stove worked perfect the next day. 

After about 11 hours of sleep I woke up Friday feeling incredibly hung over.  I made it to the dentist who was able to fix my tooth without pulling the entire thing out!  I got lots of rest in the afternoon and began feeling better.

I woke up today with what ended up being a horrible sinus infection.  After finally deciding to go to the walk in clinic, I now have medicine and hoping I am on the mend.  Next week has to be better!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snowy Days

Last weekend we had alot of snow that has hung around all week.  Greg took the big girls out this weekend to play while Claire and I stayed in and made hot chocolate.  Makayla and Hannah have taken every opportunity when going to the car to throw snowballs at eachother.  They love it!

With stir crazy girls and a bored mom, we all bundled up to go play in the snow.  It lasted about half an hour but just enough to break up the day!

Claire loved the snow, last year she slept when I took her out with the girls.  This year she walked around, ate dirty ice chunks and any snow clump she could find she stuck in her mouth.
Hannah could probably outlast anyone in the snow. She does not seem affected at all by the cold and was busy making her ice town in the backyard.
Makayla loves the idea of playing in the snow but when she is done, she is done. It was like that when she was younger. She would play, play, play then just have a breakdown from being too cold. That's how we knew she was done.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello Toddler Time

I am not sure exactly when a baby becomes a toddler but I am 100% certain that Claire is officially a toddler.  When she turned 1, she was still such a baby!  She didn't walk, or even try, until after 14 months.  She nursed until almost 16 months, she was just "my baby." 

I am not certain if I have amnesia from the big girls toddler time or if Claire is just different but I was not prepared for my little nugget to become such a handful!!  I honestly do not remember going through half of these things with Makayla and Hannah.  I know there were many times I called my grandma and said "I cannot do this!" but this side of fence I remember it all rosy.  Don't get me wrong, I would trade this craziness for NOTHING.  I know what it is like living without these milestones and just wishing I could have my baby terrorizing my house, so for all of this.....I am grateful!

With that being said, here is a small list of the things my 17 month old has decided to start doing that leaves me wondering how I did it with 2 just 12.5 months apart.  I know I survived it and feel that I did a good job with Makayla and Hannah and I know that I will get through it all just fine again.  So here goes my list of daily fun:

  • As we speak, she is eating a candy cane through the wrapper
  • When I tell her no, she has a massive fit that I am forced to just walk away from
  • Every cabinet, every drawer, everything in reach is fair game to be unloaded!
  • She draws on absolutely everything with any writing object she can find
  • Food in bowls in automatically dumped, then eaten off the floor
  • If a cup is left within reach, the drink is poured all over her and the floor and then played in
  • Some clothes she can take off!  Then cries until I put it back on, then she takes it off again!
The list goes on, life is never dull and I love it.  I just try to soak it all in, be thankful and remind myself that the next stage might not be as humorous or easy to deal with.  I'll do a quick list of the things I love about my baby girl growing up (*tear*tear*)

  • She has started saying words, at least I know what she is saying :)
  • Baby dancing!  She was a late bloomer on this, she makes a wide stance then shakes her booty
  • She understands most things I say and will follow commands
  • She knows sign language, a whole 2 signs but it's so stinking cute!
  • She loves to sit on the potty but has only actually peed on it once
  • She laughs at everything and thinks I am soooo funny (because I am)
  • She can play with toys the right way, not just haul them around
  • She tries to mimic everything I do, love watching her try to put on makeup
  • She loves clothes and accessories
  • She attempts to do somersaults to copy her big sisters flying all over the house
I'm sure there are 10 million things I love that I am leaving off this list.  Claire is so fun and funny and I cannot imagine our life without this silly little ball of sunshine!