Friday, June 22, 2012

June 2012

I think June has been just as busy as May! It could be the fact that we are doing Whole30 this month, swimming lesson (2x per week), and Little Gym on Saturdays. Plus, Eric has started going to CrossFit 3x per week in the mornings. Even though it's been busy, we've squeezed some fun in this month. Here's a recap in pics of June 2012 (so far).

My sister came home the first week of June from Dallas. We celebrated her 28th birthday (what?!). My whole family came and we had grilled out and had a cute little cake for her (Eric and I ate fruit!). I didn't get a lot of pictures, I've been really bad about that lately. Allison stayed all weekend at our house. We visited with Mom and Dad on Saturday,  and watched a local movie,  The Gleaning, at the Little Rock Film Festival. On Sunday, we stayed around the house and played outside.

Alec also finished up his first season of Little Gym. They had a show night on June 4th and family could join to watch the kids. Alec was a little shy with so many new people there and would not get his medal. The top picture is him hiding in this tube thing while everyone else got their medals. We love The Little Gym and will be going this summer too.

Alec had to put his underwear on backwards

No longer a "diaper bag" it's a change of clothes bag!

Alec wanted to ride his bike in just his undies and his tummy.

The weekend of the 9th, I had a 3-day weekend so I decided it was time to go diaper/pull up free and take potty training seriously. I stayed at home with Alec all day on Friday and we basically traded underwear for pullups (he still sleeps in them). We went to the potty at least once an hour. We had a few accidents but overall he did great. He got M&Ms every time he went potty. On Saturday, we had a lot of activities to do outside of the house. We went to Little Gym, a birthday party at the Painted Pig, and a cookout that afternoon. Alec did really well on the potty and didn't have an accident. He did well the rest of the weekend and went to school on Monday in undies. Since he did so well, we all went to Target and Alec picked out a toy - he picked a little Woody doll. We've had some accidents but he's doing better everyday. I'm so proud of him.

For Father's Day, Eric wanted to ride a train. So, I found a train ride in Van Buren that went to Winslow and got tickets. We had lunch on the train (it was provided but not Whole30 friendly so we brought our own food).  It was a lot of fun and very relaxing it was nice to just sit there and Alec did really well for most of the trip. The last picture is of some artwork Alec and I did for Eric. We painted Alec's hand prints and then Alec decorated it with stickers and some markers.

I think Alec splashed me in the face about 10 times

Alec after bath

One of my most favorite photos ever!
The rest of pics are random from this month. We started swimming lessons this month. Alec is doing really well and seems too advanced for the class he's in - it's such a nice difference from last year. He cried every lesson last year until the last couple of weeks. He loves to jump into the water.

We also watched Madagascar 3 last weekend. It's such a good movie and Alec loved it. I downloaded the soundtrack because the songs are just so much fun - Afro Circus is my favorite. We've listened to this ever day this week - Alec will say I want to listen to my new music.

A couple of random Alec-isms from this month. He's really started asking questions, you can just see the gears turning when he asks a question. One of his favorites to ask is "Where you got that from, Mommy?" This could be food, a toy, or some music we are listening to in the car. He's also realizing that he'll be able to do things when he gets older that he can't do now. For instance, he wants to swim by  himself at swimming lessons and I'll tell him in a couple of years you'll be swimming all by yourself. He'll start thinking and say "When I'm bigger like you and you'll be little like me?" It's like he asking a question, I think he thinks he'll be an adult one day and Eric and I will be kids and he'll help us do things. It's so sweet. I just tell him he'll be bigger one day like me (maybe even bigger than me) and I'll be the same size I am right now.

Alec is still really affectionate and wants hugs and kisses all the time. He's always telling me he loves me. It's so sweet.  He's also started playing really well by himself. He can sit and play with his cars or trains and be perfectly content. It's really nice for him to play in the kitchen floor while I'm cooking dinner. He still loves T.V. - we tried to back that off quite a bit this month. He watches Curious George in the morning when he's waking up and maybe a movie or 2 once a week. I'd rather have activities going then sitting in front of the T.V. all evening.

That's about if for June so far - we are going to Memphis this weekend to watch Norah Jones in concert. It'll be good to get away for a day. Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whole30 Update #2

The Whole30 is winding down. It's definitely been an experience, sometimes better than others. It would probably be best to not do this challenge during one of your busiest months of the year, but what can I say I like a challenge.

How am I feeling? Still tired (not really more than usual) but I'm still waiting for the endless energy to come. I definitely don't crave sweets (cookies, etc) anymore and I have no desire for diet soda (finally!). I really have no desire to have dessert after dinner and I'm getting used to eating eggs in the morning. The hardest part for me is the afternoons when I'm at work. I still want to snack. I try to have an apple or a Lara Bar (lifesavers on this challenge) - they both are still sweet but much better choices than snacks I used to eat (Sunchips, crackers, or popcorn and occasionally some candy). 

I've actually really enjoyed some of the meals I've made this month, some are definitely keepers.  Vegetables and sweet potatoes are so good and there are so many ways to cook them up. We've also found some great things at Whole Foods that make the days a little easier. Italian Sausages and natural rotisserie chicken are some of our favorite finds from Whole Foods. We were able to go out last weekend and we ate at Colton's in Russellville. We had a good waitress who really took our restrictions seriously. We both had 9 oz steaks (no butter or seasonings), baked sweet potato (sans butter, cinnamon, and sugar), and steamed veggies. It was really good and a nice break from the kitchen.

However, I am ready to have more flexibility in what we eat. I think this is a good way of eating to adopt but worrying if there is sugar in things like bacon or sausage is exhausting. I'm also ready to take a break from the kitchen at least once per week. Again, the worst part about this challenge is prepping, cooking, and cleaning at every meal.

One more weekend to go! Our 30 days ends on Monday. We are going to be in Memphis (on Beale) this weekend so that will be a challenge. I think we can make it and hang in there for 4 more days.

Here's a few of my favorite meals on the web from the Whole30 Challenge:

Pan-Fried Sweet Potatoes - These are so yummy, I could eat half the pan!
Sausage and Bell Peppers - So good with cauli-rice - we used sausages from Whole Foods, made this so tasty
Roasted Veggies - I've made these at least 2x per week during this month
Crockpot Roast and Root Veggies - So good and easy - we used parsnips and carrots

I also did a food photo journal on Tuesday of this week - this is a picture of (almost) everything I ate that day:

Breakfast: Coffee (Black) and Grain/Dairy Free Banana Muffins - these are lifesavers on the Whole 30

Scrambled eggs and Fruit for Mid Morning Snack

My food for the day - unsweet tea, Lara Bar, fruit, and leftovers for lunch

Part of my lunch - celery and almond butter (nothing like PB :(  )

Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Roast with carrots and parsnips - I also made a side of mashed cauliflower with ghee.
For dinner, I threw together any leftovers from the fridge. I made a stir-fry from leftover roast and rotisserie chicken. I added a bag of stir fry veggies,  onion, and garlic with a few other seasonings. It was really good and easy. We took the leftovers for lunch the next day.

The muffins above are technically approved to eat because they have all approved ingredients in them. However, they are a lot like regular muffins which is a big no-no on Whole30, no paleofying off-limit food to make it Whole30 friendly. Still, they helped me get through this and they are really good, so I don't feel any guilt about eating these.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Whole30 Update

We are 10 days into the Whole30 - what a week! I don't think I've ever cooked, prepped, and washed so many dishes in my life. Monday I cooked and washed dishes all day getting ready for the week. The first day of eating was pretty rough, I think we constantly ate the whole day and ended up taking a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.

The rest of the week was pretty interesting and busy. Not one bite of restaurant food for the me or Eric. This is probably the first time in our 12 years of marriage that we haven't eaten at a restaurant in a whole week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was on the road for work in Conway and Arkadelphia. I actually turned down homemade fried catfish and peach cobbler, two of my favorites.

I learned a few things this week. I was really surprised to learn that bacon and sausage both contain sugar. I was unable to cook 2 of my recipes because I came home without bacon and sausage. Reading labels is exhausting! I've always paid attention to the fat, calories, etc but never really looked at the ingredients. There are so many chemicals and unpronounceable words on food labels. It's really scary and gross. Things you think are "healthy" have added preservatives and other weird stuff. I really don't understand why raisins need a preservative! I couldn't find a jar of sun-dried tomatoes without sulfites (to preserve color?!). I've decided that even after the Whole30 is over, I'm going to start paying more attention to what goes into our food.

I still don't have the abundant energy that is supposed to come with eating this way, I'm actually pretty tired still. That could also be a side effect of working 9 hours a day, cooking and washing dishes for 2 hours, and then passing out at 11:00.  Our days really are work, some activity with Alec, cook dinner, get Alec to bed, and wash dishes and prep for lunch the next day. That's really the worst part of this whole thing - I really don't feel deprived of any food, it's really different than I thought it would be.

Here's some pictures of some meals I've cooked during the last 10 days. I've had some successes and failures but overall everything we made and ate was pretty good. The first week I went by a lot of recipes and that got overwhelming. So, this week I took it easier and we've had a lot of grilled chicken, shrimp, roasted veggies, and fresh tomatoes. Summer vegetables make this a lot easier.