Tuesday, January 21, 2014

proof is in the paleo

some of the paleo meals we've enjoyed
we're on week 3 of the paleo diet now and so far things are moving along pretty well.  (what is paleo?  paleo explained)  we just want to be healthier and be a good example for our sweet boy.  we've been pretty indulgent over the past two years and it's time to act like responsible adults with good eating habits.  we love food and hate exercise, so it's been a bad situation around here.  however, we are dialed in to this new lifestyle and we are both down 9 pounds already, so it seems like things are moving in the right direction.  

the complications come into play when you're tired and have had a long day and then you have a recipe in front of you that takes about an hour to prepare.  i normally love to just see what's in the pantry/fridge and then just wing it, but it's harder to do when you are unfamiliar with the things you can/can't have.  it seems that the more i follow a recipe the longer the preparation takes and then its 7:30 before dinner is set before us.  i love cooking, but cooking three from scratch meals a day is just not something i have time to do with this full time job and parenting gig.  this week i started winging some paleo stuff, and while the meals were not as supremo delicioso (as everything we've eaten from our nomnom recipes have been out of this world), they were a lot faster to pull off and still tasted good.  last night i made a "fake" stir fried "rice" by using the miracle noodles, collard greens, onions, carrots, chicken, and cashews.  the coconut aminos really gives the taste of soy sauce and the "noodles", when all chopped up really gave the texture of rice.  carbs/noodles/rice are what i crave the most, so it was nice to have the feeling of eating rice.

snacking seemed hard until we pulled out all of the fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, herbed nuts, carrot sticks and celery with cashew butter.  we're finding things we can eat that we like and it's making each day a little easier.  certain lara bars are approved and those are helpful when you're on the go or really in a pinch.  not ever letting yourself get into that "hungry monster" phase is very helpful.

we both feel internally better in the gut.  the two times we've cheated (once by free will and once by necessity after a night in the er) we've both ended up with intestinal troubles.  for me it was just something that i thought i would always live with, but that in the past year i'd begun to think i was a bit lactose intolerant.  still, i would rely on meals of cereal, consume bowls of ice cream, or indulge in the double dirty chai latte.  sometimes i would remember to take a lactaid, and other times i wouldn't and i would pay the price.  since going paleo (except for the after effects of those two cheat meals) i have had no gut problems and my body has felt a lot better overall.

daddy and daxy play at the park
 while we've been to the gym only once so far, we have also gone on family walks, and been to the park.  it's been cold and 2 of the 3 of us have developed some sinusy crud, but we're being active and that's a big help to our overall momentum.  hopefully we'll be able to get into a more active routine here soon.

so far the proof is in the paleo and we're committed and sticking to it!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"those" people

at thanksgiving all he wanted to eat were rolls.  rolls - that's it.
terrible two's.  that's what they call it, right?  i reckon "they" being everyone who came before us did that for a reason.  enter independence, enter personal thoughts about how things should go, enter thoughts about what we should eat, enter thoughts about not just doing what mommy and daddy say to do, enter a kid who can kind of talk but you are not really sure what he's saying all of the time.  boom, we have a two year old.

it's great to watch his personality develop.  he's becoming a real character.  he practices giving us "sassy eyes" when he looks at us ever so slightly cutting his eyes with a sheepish grin to let you know he's got a different idea about things.  it's pretty mischievous looking and probably giving us some foreshadowing into his teenage years.  he has also started practicing fake fall downs that include stairs.  his previous fake fall downs were just while walking - oh no, i fell down - kind of a thing.  however, now we've graduated to standing on the base of the stairs and then flinging our body against the two bottom steps and sliding back down them.  he looks to see if you are watching and then even throws in fake tears.  the first time he did it, i was not clued into what we were doing there and i thought it was real.  however, proceed one week to attempt number 47 to fling oneself on the steps and i tell him - "buddy, that's not real - it's fake.  you are a good actor, but you are not hurt."  he cries and carries on and i cannot tell what reaction he really desires from it, or if it is just the fact that he wants some reaction period.

then in the past two weeks we've added in severe meltdowns that first began around 5pm.  usually we begin to pack up from working and head down stairs around this time.  he used to enjoy playing with the downstairs toys, checking up on the dogs, and helping me start to make dinner - and of course he could not ever wait for the arrival of his beloved daddy to come home from work.  however, early last week he was crying and throwing a major fit and so i bumped his dinner time up earlier thinking he was starving.  however, after a few days of switching this up and seeing he was still crying and carrying on, we thought maybe it was his two year molars and that he was not actually being a fussy pants, but was actually in pain.  he had a low grade fever, but seemed fine otherwise.  we reacted by giving him motrin before dinner each night and still no progress.  some nights he was not even staying up until daddy made it home.  then, fast forward to this week and it worsened and started to happen around lunch time too.  cranky kids at meal times just are not fun.  we are tired and hungry too, but we've prepared him something and he just won't have it.  it could be foods he's previously consistently eaten in the past, but now he does not even want to look at it or the bowl that it sits in.  he seriously was gagging and choking so hard from crying about it that one night i thought he was having some allergic reaction.  i administered benadryl and watched over him like a hawk (on standby with my 911 dialing fingers).  however, i noticed that when he was picked up and petting on a lamp shade (removed from the area) that he was all of the sudden fine - and then my light bulb came on.

we're slow here, so give us a break.
we've never done this before.

it finally dawned on me that he is just testing us and working on his own independence.  he wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and he won't take no for an answer.  oh man, how did we get here?  are we the ones with the spoiled rotten kid?  are we "those" people?  gulp.  afraid it was starting to look like that.  so, in the past two days we've been taking a much different approach.  you don't want to eat what we've given you, that is fine but you cannot have anything else.  sure, we said we were doing that before - but because i was the one who is here with him (while trying to work a full time desk job) all day long from sunrise to sunset, i caved and would sometimes give him something else just to 1.  get him to eat  2.  get him to stop fussing.  guilty. as. charged.  

now i can see that what i was doing to make that moment easier has actually made things so much more difficult.  so, we've got a lot of crying and carrying on happening, even more so than before - but we're hoping that this will help us win the battle in the end.  last night we celebrated a small victory where daxton ate everything he was given for his dinner and did not even throw any of it on the floor.  we were impressed, and even hours later i kept saying "i cannot believe he ate all of his dinner!"  some friends said it was a fluke and it wouldn't last, but we hope that's not true and that we are making progress in this struggle.  

hopefully he's learning that we're in the driver's seat and he's buckled in tightly in the back.  we're not exactly sure where we're going, but we know we'll get there.  it's a wild ride for sure.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

catching up

we're attempting to get caught up around here.  part of this catching up includes things like taking down our Christmas decor, unpacking from being away for the holidays, reorganizing the pantry with new and healthier food options, getting into a gym and wednesday night church routine, and updating the blog.  

so far we've got the outside lights put away, but still have a decorated Christmas tree in our living room.  most of the clothing and gifts have been unpacked from virginia, but there are still some items that need to find their way to their respective homes and off of my dining room table.  we spent hours at whole foods bracing for our new paleo lifestyle (for will and i, not for dax), but we still have things on all shelves of the pantry and fridge that nobody can now consume.  i am hoping to get those packed up for food pantry at church this week.  will made it to wednesday night church last night, but i was unable to go since dax has had a fever on and off this week and would not sit anywhere but on my lap.  50% participation for our new class is better than none, i guess.  while we've gone to the gym and signed up, we still have to go back and get our membership cards and turn in our medical information packets.  i got myself some new "workout" clothes to inspire myself to want to go to the gym.  not sure if the world is ready for this.  we attempted to go monday, but the whole fever thing was a good excuse to not have to do that.  that brings me to the final item on the list - which is this poor neglected blog.  so, here i sit with lots of tid bits to fill you in on what transpired over the past month.

dax visits with great granny and gran-gran
we headed to roanoke, va and visited with my side of the family for this year's winter holidays.  this year is the last year my granny will spend in her home and so we were excited (and sad) to attend this last traditional holiday experience.  

dax loved spending Christmas with all of his taylor/covey side relatives.
we had all of the sisters there the weekend before Christmas and so we all headed to granny's to spend time together.  it was hard, but we squeezed everyone into granny's living room for one giant family photo.  this was the last time this group would be in this living room around Christmas time.

the entire group (minus beth's hubby mike)  - standing beside the grandfather clock that my grandfather built.
dax in granny's rocker.
dax admiring the nativity under granny's tree.
 on Christmas eve those of us who were able to headed back to granny's house to celebrate our traditional Christmas events.  in Christmases past we've always gone to granny's house for a Christmas eve dinner and gift opening session.  this year we'd follow all of the same traditions.  i gathered everyone out front and told them they'd have to join in one family photo together.  after all, it is the last Christmas eve in this house.  

while they didn't all want to participate at first, they got into it and we got some good pictures.  (you cannot blame them too much because it was freezing cold outside.)

the group (minus beth's family)

this is the goofy pic.  everyone does this so well!
after the group shot we all headed back inside to enjoy granny's Christmas eve feast.  everyone sat around and ate their meals on tv trays and various tables throughout the house.  it used to be a lot simpler when there were no spouses and great grand children.  we had the adults at the dining room table and the kids at the kitchen table.  it was always simple and it was always fun.  after eating way more than anyone should we all gathered around the tree so we could watch dax and ellie open their gifts.  they enjoyed shredding paper and seeing what each present would be.

uncle arnold and aunt sheree got dax a thomas train set that he is in love with.  granny got all of the fellas a head lamp, but she admitted she didn't know what she was buying.  dax thought it was cool.
dax and ellie sporting the head lamps.
after sharing all of the gifts, stories about what was going on with everyone lately, and planning next year's summer time get together our time together was just about over.  it seemed to last a lot longer when we were six.  everyone headed out to prepare for santa's arrival and get themselves warmly tucked into bed.

dax and daddy prepare for night night.
on Christmas morning we're not sure who was more excited, us or dax.  we got him all pepped up before we headed to the living room to see what santa had left.  santa gave dax a tricycle, a noah's ark, and some puzzles.  daxton was super excited to see the trike.

daxton gets a look at the tricycle.
he especially loved the bell.  so glad we santa sprung an extra $5 for it.
daxton got a shopping cart from his auntie conti and his uncle keke.

dax got quite a few gifts and one of his favorites was a doggy named scout that he was given from his birth mother, birth father, and half brother.
part way through opening gifts we had our traditional visit from my dad's side of the family.  here dad is with his dad and two sisters.
we all shared a pot luck style late lunch and gathered around for some chit chat.  as usual james and dax entertained us all and there wasn't a dull moment.  at one point james had two stockings on his feet like socks.  (yes, they were giant stockings.)  it was great to see everyone and to spend time together in one place on Christmas day.  

dax was really good about learning to open the gifts and then handing them all to gran-gran so he could get them out of the package.  he proceeded to throw wrapping paper on gran-gran for about half an hour, but he was getting such a good reaction it was hard to get him to stop.

dad was a good sport.
the three sisters.
again, time passed too quickly and beth, mike, and james had to head back home and then a few days later auntie conti and uncle keke had to mosey on back through virginia to chicago.  we had an amazing Christmas together and we'll cherish every minute.  after the dust settled we cozied into some down time at nani and gran-gran's before new years eve and most of us caught up on our sleep and relaxing.  after recovering from the go-go time of the Christmas holiday we headed to mom's sorority's annual new year's eve gala.  will and i got all dressed up and celebrated ringing in the new year with mom and dad.  daxton stayed up in the hotel room with our dear friend nancy who played with him until he was sleepy and then slept soundly in the adjoining room.  it was easy to party knowing he was so well cared for.

down stairs in the hotel for the new year's party.

the live band.
mom's best friend's brother performed some of his famous hits for the crowd.  he is a country music song writer and everyone sang along to hits like "me and my gang", "how forever feels", and "little bit of life".
the crowd went nuts!
mom and dad ringing in the new year.  bring it on 2014!
we had a great time and it was amazing to finally celebrate a new years in a big way when we weren't wishing and praying for something magnificent to happen in the following year.  in past years we'd been worried about my health, will's health, and then praying for babies.  it was so wonderfully nice to just be thankful to have our little family and know we were all safe and sound for 2014.