Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School has begun...

I have been so busy. I had planned to write about so many different things, but school has begun, and it is taking a lot more time than I thought!! I only have 5 kids in my class, and I only teach part time, but I feel like I work full time right now. I'm not sure how mommies teach full time... it must consume their life!! Of course, I am a perfectionist... so I spend HOURS working on things. But, if I didn't, I don't think things would go so well. Sometimes I feel like I'm not that prepared even though I spend so long preparing. I know that it'll get easier over time, and I know that things will come into place. But, right now I'm a little overwhelmed.

So... I'll be back when things start to slow down...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two Week Meal Plan

We're back to making meals at home this next week! I'm very excited! :)
Here's my two week meal plan:

~ Breakfast tacos
~ Cheese grits
~ Eggs and toast
~ Yogurt, cereal, and fruit
~ Cottage cheese and fruit
~ Peanut butter and honey (or jelly) sandwich
~ Muffins

~ Sandwiches
~ Tuna
~ Chicken salad
~ Boiled eggs, avocados, cheese, veggies, fruit
~ Quesadillas
~ Leftovers
~ Dining hall

~ Homemade Pizza
~ Meatloaf, veggies
~ Pasta and homemade sauce
~ Chicken and rice, veggies
~ Cheese Enchiladas
~ Chicken noodle soup (w/leftover chicken)
~ Black bean wraps
~ Pinto beans and rice
~ Refried beans and cheese tacos (w/leftover pinto beans)
~ Southwestern chicken (crock pot)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting Back into “the swing of things”

The one thing that fall brings is routine… This summer has been anything but routine. I feel as though I have lost who I am this summer… and I know that a lot of it has to do with my being pregnant (in my 1st trimester). This pregnancy has been the hardest emotionally and physically. I hope that it gets better soon! I know that I should be thankful that I'm not throwing up all the time like a lot of women do… but being nauseous all day every day isn't much better. Luckily I'm starting to feel much better lately.

There are a lot of changes that I want to begin making with-in the next few weeks as we get back into life after summer… I'm going to share them, but mainly to just process for myself. Feel free to stop here if you want, because this is a long blog!

We definitely need to go back to our old ways in our eating habits. I know that processed foods are horrible for anyone, but that's all I've been eating lately. Between the dining hall and just wanting things to be easy, I haven't been making things homemade at all anymore, and I can feel a difference in me, and I have seen a difference in the kids. It's almost like I got "stupid" this summer and completely tuned out all that I had learned for the sake of doing something that's easier… The benefit of that is that I definitely see the benefits of doing things the right way!
So, as we get back into homemade meals with whole foods, we are going to:
1) Start buying beef, sausage, and eggs at the Farmer's market again. I will buy whole chickens at Walmart because they have a brand called Harvestland that is free of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. They aren't cage free, but they are HALF the price of chickens at the Farmer's market ($1.49 a pound verses $3-$3.50). They also sell frozen chicken breasts in the same brand that I will buy occasionally. Sometimes chicken breasts are just easier. As far as beef goes, the natural beef at HEB is about the same price as the FM beef… so I would rather buy grassfed if it's about the same price anyway. It's definitely a higher quality. The same goes for pork; although, a lot of times we buy sausage at Whole Foods because it's pretty inexpensive and yummy. They stuff their link sausage with things (herbs, spices, cheeses, etc)… and it is like $3.50 for a package (which is more than enough for a meal for our family).
Also, I plan to try to start buying more seafood. We'll see if we can afford it.
2) Start shopping at Whole Foods again, twice a month. Robert and I have decided that the quality of food there is worth driving there twice a month. And, our bank is in Austin anyway, so we go that way every two weeks as it is (this is because Robert loves our bank and refuses to change!). The WF that we shop at has a HUGE selection of bulk items, which I miss! I haven't been there in a long time… Their selection of produce, frozen produce, bulk items, etc is very large… and not too expensive if you search.
Robert will be off every Thursday, so I think that our goal will be to do our grocery shopping on Thursdays. It will definitely help me a lot to have him with me when I shop (especially when the new baby is here!!).
3) Start baking homemade bread, crackers, muffins, etc again. We have been eating way too much refined flour products, and it has affected Karis' digestive system greatly. I believe, also, that it affects emotions and moods (there is a lot of research about that). So, I'm going to focus on whole grains again. Plus, homemade items like these just taste SO much better. I have been buying "whole wheat" bread, and I don't like it that much at all. There is no flavor in it.
4) Eat more fruits and veggies. I tried to eat a salad at each meal in the dining hall, but after a while, the same salad over and over again gets old… so I haven't been eating it as much lately. And, the veggies that they serve are usually canned (not always, though). I plan to stick to the EWG's list of produce to eat organically… we used to buy all organic, but that got too expensive. So, I will focus on the ones that are most heavily sprayed. Something that surprised me the other day is that Walmart is starting to sell some produce organic, and I bought some beautiful organic grapes for $3.50 for 2 pounds (that's $1.25 a pound)! They are very yummy, fresh, and sweet. So, I may hit them up here and there to check out what they have. Ethan and I both love grapes. Usually things like avocadoes, bananas, etc are cheaper there too, and I don't buy those organic. I work in Marble Falls, and there's a Walmart there, so this is something I can get while I'm there, by myself!
My plan to get Karis to eat more is to sneak them into foods, and to make smoothies. She'll eat/drink a smoothie if it's pink. She calls it pink ice cream.
5) I, personally, need to focus on eating more protein. I haven't been doing a good job of this lately, and in pregnancy it is SO important. It can prevent many pregnancy complications including pre-eclampsia. So, I will focus a lot more on this. Some ways I plan to get more protein intake are to eat more eggs (cage free are best!), healthy meats, cottage cheese (has 12g per ½ cup!), cheese in general, yogurt, whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, etc. Does anyone have any more ideas for more protein intake? This can get tough. As a pregnant women, it's important to eat at least 80g a day. That's a lot of protein.
6) Drink MORE WATER. I have NOT been doing a good job of this… even though it's 105+ degrees outside. I have never been a big water drinker, but I need to really work hard on this. I also need to avoid caffeine more. I had decided at the beginning of this pregnancy that I would drastically lower my caffeine intake, but I haven't been doing a good job. I grew up on sodas and sweet tea… and they serve sweet tea in the dining hall (which is also lots of sugar). I only drink sodas here and there, but I need to cut down on those too. It doesn't make me feel good, but it's just habit (well, and I enjoy them). I think if I can cut down/cut out caffeine, then it will help with breastfeeding when it comes time. Caffeine in breastmilk can be tough for a baby!
7) We will start taking a few supplements again, but not to the extent that we had been. I need to buy a new prenatal because I'm almost out of the ones that I have… plus I wanted to try Super Nutrition Prenatal Blend (I plan to take 3 instead of 6 since I'll be eating well) and Coromega Omega-3. My midwife suggested both of these, and they seem great. I will also start drinking pregnancy tea as this will prepare my body for delivery and is just very nutritious. Karis loves her "gummies," but I'm thinking I will just try the Coromega for her too, and if she doesn't like them, I will go back to the Nordic Naturals fish oil. It would just be easier to give her what I'm taking.
8) Last but not least… I have been eating out a lot lately. I have been in Marble Falls for training and to get things ready for school, and instead of taking a lunch, I eat out. Not only is this expensive, it isn't the healthiest. I try to eat things like Subway, but sometimes I eat really unhealthy foods… this is where my soda intake comes in… If I don't eat fast food, I don't drink sodas. That's the only time I drink soda.

Some other things that I really want to start doing/going back to are:
1) Cloth diapering… I had decided this summer that I was tired of washing/folding diapers, so I stopped using them. I had to give myself a break. I struggle with the desire to use them because they are a lot more work, but Robert definitely prefers cloth over disposable… so if he is here to help me wash and fold, then I am willing to use them again. I'm still trying to decide if I want the added work of cloth diapering the new baby… we'll see. If Robert made that decision we would use only cloth diapers. It really does save a ton of money to use cloth, and they are so much better on the environment.
2) Getting the kids out of the house more… and watching less tv. Of course, it has been way too hot this summer to go outside and do things. Every time I step outside, I get nauseous. It is SO hot. I can't wait till fall. Here, it never gets very cold, but anything is better than 105+ degree weather. I can't wait.
Robert and I plan to take the kids camping twice this fall, we are going to Rockport in a few weeks (it's on the coast… my grandparents live there), we plan to take them to the zoo, and several day trips to different places. We will also do things like hike through the park (the camp is inside a county park with an awesome hiking trail) and have picnic lunches often.
3) Doing activities with Karis again. I bought a workbook for her because she has been watching me prepare for my classes, and she SO wants to try to do that kind of "big kid" school work. I know she seems young for it, but it's something that she really wants to do, so I want to give her that opportunity. I will also just do hands on activities with her, and paint, play with play dough, etc. I wrote a while back about a curriculum that I found online for preschoolers that is free (ABCJesusLovesMe), and I will be following that as well. I plan to have her help me with cooking and baking more as well, as she REALLY likes that. She has also been wanting to help with cleaning! I like that!
4) We're going to pick and choose the products that we buy naturally. We prefer natural laundry detergent (ECOS), dish detergent (BioKleen or ECOVER), etc because those products go straight into the ground or our septic tank. But for now, we just can't afford natural "personal care" products, except maybe toothpaste because we can buy it cheap at Sam's. We have so much to buy/pay for this semester that we are going to be on a tight budget… much like summer (a little less tight than summer). So, we're just going to do the best that we can.

Anyway… this seems like a lot of changes. It's really just going back to the things that I/we used to do, so it's not a bunch of new stuff. It's just hard to get back into since I've neglected all of these things this summer.
I'm starting to feel better physically, so I think it will begin to get easier and easier to get back to my old ways!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Despite my selfish outlook...

Last night, at the camp, we had our "SMT Banquet." SMTs are the summer missions team, who are our college summer staff.
I needed last night to remind me why we are here. So many SMTs, team servants (our high school volunteer program), Wayland Rec team members (a rec team from a Christian college here in Texas), resident volunteers (retired volunteers who live here), and full time staff stood up and talked about all that God had done in them and through them this summer. It really opened my eyes to what God is doing here. Apparently, God has changed a lot of lives here this summer :).
You see, despite my selfish outlook, God IS moving here. God IS being glorified here. God IS using his servants to bring others to Him. It's so tough being the wife of a staff member with young children because I don't see all of that. I don't have the opportunity to be part of that, so I just assume that the things that drive me crazy are all that's going on. Boy was I wrong. Just this past week alone, there were 70 kids who made decisions for Christ. How amazing. Why doesn't that energize me like it used to, though? Because I'm allowing Satan to use my weaknesses to bring me down... to make me frustrated... to be angry and bitter...
I am determined that instead of looking at the things that are hard (because it IS hard being in camp ministry... well, ministry in general), I will look at how God is being glorified here. I need to stop looking at the things that need to change, and look more at the things that are going right... being prayerful about both.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn't go to sleep. I was just thinking and thinking about all the things that people said, all the things that I've been missing, and how I can make changes in my heart.
Now, if I can just figure out how to get more involved, get to know the summer staff, and serve God here also... I will get there :). Next year will be hard too because I will have a 3 month old when it all begins... on top of 2 other children. So, I will just pray all year that God will give me the strength and power to get through, and that He will help me to see all that He is doing here and not be frustrated.
I'm also not saying that this place is perfect. There are many things that could change, and I still think should change. But, I will just have to rest in the fact that He is ultimately in control, and He is the only one who can make those changes... if He chooses to!

I think a lot of my stress this summer has been related to pregnancy... I think my hormones, nausea, and exhaustion has weakened me... I hope that I start to feel more like myself soon :). (I promise I'm not blaming my ugly attitude on my pregnancy... it just makes it worse...)
I'm probably a lot harder on myself than I should be, but sometimes I'm ashamed at my attitude. I hate when I put myself and my needs before others... and I've been doing that.
Anyway... I will move on now :). I just wanted to share the changes that God is making in my heart. I know that this will be tested, and probably soon... so I just have to pray and stay in God's word for strength.

12 Weeks

I had my 12 week appointment yesterday, and it went really well :). I got to meet my midwife's assistant/apprentice, and I love her already. I also got to hear the heartbeat. It took a while to find because my pulse was so loud haha. But, they eventually found it, and it was strong and perfect. It was in the spot that I swear I keep feeling some kind of movement already. It's not ever strong, but by the third one, I think I know the difference between a gas bubble and baby! She felt for the fundal height (the top of the uterus), and she said it's a little high, but mostly right on. So, I guess I'm not a whole month ahead :). I always measure a week or two ahead, and both of my babies were born about a week early, so I might be a week ahead... but that's probably it.
The appointment was mostly paperwork, then the typical listening to the heartbeat, taking blood pressure, peeing on a stick, etc. Those things will happen every time. Next time I will have a little bit of blood work done.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I am now 11 ½ weeks pregnant, and I look like I'm 16 weeks (in my opinion). Every morning, I wake up and feel like I've grown over night. I have officially started wearing maternity clothes because a few days ago I decided that my clothes were too tight. I am meeting with my midwife on Thursday, so I plan to see what she thinks. I hear that it's normal to start showing early with third pregnancies… but really? This early? I don't know that it's really possible to truly be showing at this point. Anyway… I might just be freaking out about nothing… but I'm going to talk to her about it anyway J. She should be able to feel for the top of my uterus and see if it's higher than it should be at this point. Some women can do that themselves, but I've never been good at that J. So… I will update you on Thursday!

I'll post a picture in a few days… I'm having problems with my camera.