Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I just remembered I have a blog. I don't lie. Life has been cray-zay these last months. The dust is settling and life is assuming a look of semi normal.

I'm going to play captain obvious to those that follow me on Facebook or Instagram for a sec. Even if you know the main parts, some of it will be new to you. And if you still are annoyed: sowwy.

Rob and I have always wanted to live in Fayetteville, AR. It is a smaller than Little Rock, less crime, less city, more family, more friends, more nature. We blogged about it. We talked about it. We whined and cried and burned up the road between Little Rock and Fayetteville. But we had good jobs in Little Rock. First, I did, I wanted to work with kids and a Children's Hospital is only found in Little Rock if you are in Arkansas. Then Rob got his job and it allowed me to stay home with the chillens. Every one around us was sick of hearing about how we wanted to live in Fayetteville and they all believed we'd never leave.

But then we started really feeling the itch. Every bad day felt like it could be fixed if we didn't live so far from family. If we didn't have to commute to get anywhere. Rob's 80 mile round trip commute was getting really old. My 1 hour trip to get kids to school, then to work was getting old. Things at both our works were....different. The pull to stay because we had awesome jobs was no longer there.

So, we decided to start fixing our house up to put on the market. The first order of business was replacing our floors. Memorial Day weekend we purchased 1200 square feet of new floors. We had our master bathtub replaced and fixed a place in our ceiling where a burst waterpipe had leaked. It felt good to get the ball rolling. We thought we'd flip the house over the summer, put it on the market and maybe move while Rylan was off of school for Christmas break. Tentatively.

And then:

A couple of weeks into June, my sister Tammy, saw a friend of hers at a restaurant, in Fayetteville. The friend is in the IT business (Rob's business) and was saying how tired he was because he was working like crazy because he was missing two Network Administrators (Rob's title).  My sister called that day to tell Rob about the job and Rob was in Fayetteville two weeks later for an interview.

In the meantime, I started a "last time visit to all our favorite places" tour of Little Rock. You know, JUST IN CASE. I should have been painting and laying floors just in case, but it was easier to go to the zoo. First stop was the zoo with our neighbor Renee and her grandson. We had so much fun.







And then we had an awesome July 4



We found out July 11 that he got the job. They gave him a pretty big window for when he could start so at first we thought we had maybe a month and a half or more. And then we looked at our 5 year old almost Kindergartner and said "oh $hit! we have to move before school starts!!!!!!!" And then we did some research and found out that 1/3 of Fayetteville Elementary Schools do year-round schooling and their year started on August 5!!!!!!! Holy moly.

To be continued..................

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Father's Day weekend

Life has been busy lately. I've mentioned before, we are nightime homebodies by nature. The kids and I like to go go go during the day, but come 5pm, we like to be home, eating, cleaning up and sitting on our laurels. Not saying this is good that we have this happen, just that we have it. So joining a busy church, putting 2 kids in t-ball, and becoming more active in MOPS and other community groups, we have been learning a new game of juggling. We are still less busy than 50% of the world, but its new to us, and everything new takes time and flexibility.

The boys have become total Daddy's boys. Especially Max. Rob started a men's group at our church in January, and for the first part of the year, the church also had stuff for me and the kids to do as well, so we still saw him on Wednesday nights. But, when ball season started, the groups for women and children took the late spring and summer off, while Rob's group continued. With Tuesdays and Thursdays being t-ball nights (back to back games and then immediately home for bedtime routine and bed), and Wednesday nights with Rob at church and us at home, the boys have been craving some major Daddy time.

Rylan has been telling his dad that he wanted to take him to the Splash Pad for a couple of weeks. So, we got up Saturday morning and went to a new (to us) breakfast place called The Root. It was fabulous. Everything is farm fresh and local. I had biscuits and gravy and eggs, Rob had a sausage biscuit (and shared my biscuits and gravy, because, wow) and the kids had raspberry and blueberry pancakes. Everything was fabulous. Homemade jelly, local honey, you just wanted to drink the maple syrup. 

This kind of began a downward spiral of eating.





We spent a couple of hours at the splash pad and the kids ran and climbed and splashed and ran some more. And then declared that they needed ice cream. It just so happens that across the street from The Root is Loblolly Creamery and...........yeah. That happened. We had ice cream for lunch. I love Loblolly. They are very allergen aware and always have at least two options for the boys. And their options are freakin amazing. Rylan had coconut chocolate chip and Max had blueberry sorbet. Its hard to pick a flavor. They are all so damn good. I might have picked two flavors. Rob MIGHT have had a brownie sundae. Calories don't count on Father's Day weekend. Or something like that.

You'd think that would be a pretty awesome, full Saturday. But, no. We went home and rested for a few minutes and then headed to Conway for a birthday party at a bounce place.

My kids have a hard life. We should probably have a telethon for them with Sara MacLaughlin playing a super sad song.

Renee is our neighbor across the street. She is a huge part of our life. We take care of each other's houses and dogs, she babysits our kids, we trade coupons, and we drive to Conway for her grandson's third birthday. We had a great time. And we ate Chick Fil A chicken nuggets.  Yeah......so.............

We had a gift certificate for Whole Hog BBQ that had to be used at the Conway location, and we aren't in Conway a lot, so, you guessed it. We had, like, our 5th meal of the day. And then went home and passed out in a fatty haze.









Sunday was a lot more chill. We went to church, swam in the pool, ate grilled steaks and sat by a campfire and roasted marshmallows. Every since Rob's first Father's Day, I make a cake for him every year. Change it up every year. First year was Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, next was Coconut Cream Pie, next was Carrot Cake, next was a Cookie cake, and this year it was Hummingbird Cake.






  I think Rob had a great weekend and the boys got a lot of time with their Dadio. I ate approximately 72,000 calories and its been actually nice to eat a boatload of fruits and veggies yesterday and today. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Random ramblings

We joined the Summer reading program. Sometimes I have to pull teeth to get the kids to sit and read with me and other times they bring me so many books that my eyes cross on their own. The reading program encourages all of us to turn off the tv and read more.


We had a four legged extra child for a few days. The kids named him Busta. He was cute as can be, but after 2 days of cleaning up pee and poop and saving anything and everything from his chewing, I was so grateful to find his owners. I have always been a fan of shelter and rescue dogs, but this situation taught me, I am an older dog kind of dog mom. Curt was CRAZY trained when I became his mom, and Lola needed some housetraining help, but I have never dealt with the chewing and the whining and the constant peeing on the floors.

I made Hulk Muffins. They are really good and the kids loved them and didn't even know they were getting spinach for breakfast. Add the bananas in it and sub applesauce for oil and they are basically the healthiest thing my kids want for breakfast.

We had a family reunion on Rob's side. Rob's dad is from Sulpher Rock, so we had it at their community center. It was laid back, good food, and located next to a park, so win, win win.

The boys played their last t-ball games. There was a trophy ceremony, delicious drinks and lots of smiles. The coaches gave good speeches about how they had enjoyed meeting our kids and teaching them. Even Max's team, that had kind of turned into a negative situation had a really good end. The assistant coach that Max really loved, the one that had to manually stand Max up about 10 times a game, the one that often had to carry him off the field because he was too busy burying his baseball hat, the one that was the sole reason we didn't quit when the going got rough asked if he could coach Max if they let him be a head coach next year. That really warmed my heart.




And then..............they called to tell us we needed to make up the games that got rained out. 3 games. In one week. So...............yeah.

There's the last two weeks in a nutshell post.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ry's first graduation

Holy cow. I started this blog when Rylan was 8 weeks old. He graduated from Pre-k last week. I am going to sound like a typical mom here but here goes

I don't know where the time went.

I mean, I do know. I facebooked and blogged and instagrammed about it out the whazoo. But there are seriously days, like yesterday when Rylan and I were in the pool, I had a flashback of my first summer with him in our pool. How I'd put him in his floaty and kick him around the pool singing B-I-N-G-O to him. It comes in waves, these flashbacks and its hard to remember he's 5 now. He swims himself around and doesn't really laugh when I sing. He kind of asks me to stop singing.

In the last year, Rylan has grown so much. He has started building actual structures with his Legoes, not just messing around with the "guys" switching their heads around. He has tested out of speech therapy. He has gone from a 28% to a 65% in Developmental therapy and is learning letters like a madman nowadays. He helps me in the kitchen and he pretty much puts himself to bed at night. No more naps for this kid, he goes 90 to nothing alllllllll day. He loves reading with us, loves to eat pretty much anything, and loves going places. Like anywhere.Just not staying home. 

 They were all decked out for a carnival
 Rylan's class
The whole school singing This Little Light Of Mine
When they called Rylan to come up, he brought me flowers and a package of kleenex. So cute. They showed a picture of him dressed as Spiderman and read an interview they'd done with him. He said his favorite food was chocolate, he wanted to be Spiderman when he grew up because he always saves the day and when he grows up he wants to live by Zoe, his cousin. I die at the cuteness. Although, one kid said he wanted to live in a bowling alley and be a professional bowler when he grows up and I want to be his best friend.


Monday, June 2, 2014

What I've been eating


I've mentioned one thousand times once or twice that I am trying to lose some L. B.'s. I'm down 5. Which isn't a lot, but this is, literally, the first time in maybe 3 years that I've lost 5 and kept it off long enough to blog about it. That right there is a victory. Usually, I get 5 down, feel good about my accomplishments, say "I've got this" and then throw myself a food party to celebrate.

At the beginning of April, I took a week off for the kid's springbreak and we traveled to see my parents. We didn't eat horribly, but I ate like I wasn't trying to lose weight and I snacked more than usual and I went out to eat a lot. I came back with a stomach at least 3 inches bigger, but it felt like it was 27 inches bigger. I was so bloated. And I hurt. My stomach literally hurt. Eating hurt. Something I was eating was not sitting right in my stomach.

Being the GI nurse, and the mother of two boys that are dairy free, my first two foods to point at are wheat and dairy. It isn't rocket science to see that I have one son that breaks out in a rash and has explosive diarrhea every time he gets dairy and another son that refluxes so bad, the reflux goes into his nasal and ear canals and he has an ear infection within a week of having dairy, that dairy might not be awesome for me.  And wheat seems the culprit in a lot of people's lives, and more and more patients that I work with are testing positive for wheat allergies.

So, I did a "poor man's advocare cleanse." I went off wheat, dairy, caffeine, and booze. I took a small dose of Miralax, just to get the pipes clearing out, if you will. I literally lost a pound a day. And my stomach shrunk probably an inch a day, I don't lie, I went from 5 months pregnant to regular stomach in one week. I still ate carbs. But I ate potatoes, rice, quinoa, lots of fruit. All stuff put on the earth naturally. And I felt like a million dollaz. At the end of the week, I bought a pair of capris in a smaller size that were almost too big. It was awesome.

Since then, I am figuring out how to keep this up full time. I don't want to be on a diet. I want to eat right for myself and not really have an end in sight. I don't want to get in shape for a cousin's wedding or a reunion or anything. I want to get in shape for life.  I am still finding my way to have a cheat meal and not turn it into a cheat month.  I haven't gained the weight back, but I haven't been strict enough to continue this awesome trend. I am probably 70% good and 30% not swell right now. I'd like to be 95% good and 5% occassional treats.

I do think I was on to something for this to not only help me lose, but it simply being the best diet for my body, for the long term, to feel its best. I find that eating to feel good versus eating to lose weight does a lot for my mind set. Telling myself I'll get fat makes me crazy and I turn into a 13 year old hormonal girl that wants to eat ALL THE FOODS that someone tells me I shouldn't. Telling myself "last time you drank a milkshake, you almost threw up after you were done, it made you that sick," makes it so much easier to make the right decision. I think dairy is the culprit of my stomach feeling so sick and bloated and laying off wheat is the key to helping me lose weight and (sorry, TMI) things not getting too slowed down in the ole' intestines. I come from a long line of sick bellies (which, sorry Max, I've passed on to my offspring) and when your stomach feels ill, your whole body wants to shut down. When my gut falls asleep, my whole body wants to sleep. The more I read about processed foods, the less I want to eat them. I've done decently well laying off the cookies, and waffles, and crackers, but I do love a good bagel thin and I have momentary weaknesses for cake, brownies, and Honey Bunches of Oats cereal still want to call my name. I've had an occassional Sonic blast or shared a slice of coconut cream pie. Like I said, I'm working on the 95/5. Working on it everyday.

Here are some foods that I've found that I really like that follow the Sara Plan.



I bought the 99% turkey meat and mixed it with hamburger meat (90%) and made grilled burgers. Instead of a bun, I topped mine with mustard and avacado. We also skewered mushrooms that had marinated in balsamic vinegarette. Fab.
Protein pancakes with pb2 and Walden Farms syrum, turkey bacon
Pancakes
1/2 cup egg beaters
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oatmeal
Blend it all in the blender, pour into pancakes over low heat and cook through. It takes a while, but higher heat will burn them errrrrr damn time. How do I know.

Corn tortillas, refried beans, avacado and a ton of cilantro. 

Refried beans
1 lb of pinto beans
6 cups of water
1 whole onion quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp salt

Cook in the crockpot all day, when the beans are really really really done, put everything in the food processor with cumin and chili powder to taste. And....yum. Rylan will eat a bowl of the beans with a spoon.


Snack: rice cakes spread with pb2 or regular peanut butter and a chopped banana and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Butter lettuce, spinach, carrots, watermelon, strawberries, with light ranch and a small sprinkle of blue cheese. Rob had this at a restaurant and told me it was good, so I made the homemade version. If I take this to work, I'll put the fruit in a separate container so it doesn't get gross on the lettuce.


Corn's a huge crowdpleaser. Max would make it a main course.

Seriously, they could eat it every night.







Thursday, May 29, 2014

T-ball

My kids have had a great time playing t-ball and I would bet money that they'll want to play again next year.

That being said.....................

T-ball.

Oh T-ball.

Why couldn't you have been as fun as you sounded?

I'll start in March. I had tickets to go to a women's convention, so Rob had the Rylan one Saturday morning. I had seen signs around town for T-ball sign ups and asked Rob if he would take the boys to sign up. Sure. He says. No problem. He says.

If it had only been no problem.

Rob and I both grew up in Mtn. Home. So, we both grew up in the same baseball/softball/tball league. In our day, we played t-ball well into elementary school. I know for a fact I played t-ball the summer after my second grade year, so age 8. He goes to sign Rylan up and is told that t-ball is only for 3 and 4 year olds. And its not really t-ball. Its coach pitch. And if they miss 3 coach pitched balls, they get one try off the tee.  5 year olds, like our little tyke, play MACHINE PITCH. And Rylan needs to TRY OUT. At this point, we should have made the executive decision to run like the unknowing parents that we are and never step foot on a baseball field in Saline County again.

Except we didn't.

Via text, Rob and I decide to go ahead and sign Max up for "t-ball" since OMG Rylan's already behind, we can't be THOSE parents that have two sons that are behind. And we also sign Rylan up and Rob takes both kids to a tryout. Rylan has never stepped foot on a baseball field. He had never held a glove. Things went, well like you'd expect them to go. He gets put on a team and we go to the first practice and we feel.......totally out of our element. Everyone knows each other because THEY HAVE ALREADY PLAYED "T-BALL" FOR 2 YEARS FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY!!!!! Our poor kid doesn't even know what a base is or what hand to throw with and they are fielding him balls and telling him "throw it to first."

Max's situation was better. New team. All little kids. Ready to have fun. I mean, by fun, I mean "fun" because ten 3-4 year old throwing balls and waving bats is crazy. We did 2-3 practices per team and were still feeling......uneasy.

We heard that Sardis, the small town where the kids go to school and we go to church, had baseball as well. In fact, the field is next to our church. We heard that 5 year olds get to play Coach Pitch, or "t-ball" in Sardis. And, since its 3-5 the kids could be on the same team. I call and am told they can both play in Sardis but that, since we are late coming, the boys couldn't be on the same team or whatever team they were on would have way too many players. After much deliberation, we decided to leave our town and join Sardis.

Rylan became a Sardis Rascal, Max became a Sardis Bulldog. And they both ended up playing left field, same position. Same attention span.

Its been crazy.

I'll start with the "holy moly, what were we thinking?"

There has been four times that the kids have played each other. We don't know who is playing, who is batting, where to stand, who to cheer for or what to do with our hands.

Max's coach's are entirely too serious about the game and often forget they are 3-5 year olds, not Babe Ruths. There has been too much yelling and stomping and just plain immature behavior. By the coaches, not children. I wish we could have had both boys on Rylan's team.

We've had to call DHS about a mother.

We've worked a collective 10 hours in the concession stands pushing a button to get cheese and chili out of machines.

Max has made approximately 75 dirt angels on the field.

Max has done approximately 75 yoga poses in the field.

Max has gotten in trouble for digging in his pants during a game.

Max has pulled his pants down and peed on the field during practice.

Rylan doesn't understand cheering and so if someone yells "go Rylan" he gets ticked and yells back "I AM!!!!"

We've eaten more corndogs, hot dogs, cheese fries and snow cones than should be legal at this point.

Rylan is always at school on game days and a lot of the time so is Max. Their school is next to the ball park, but 20 minutes from home. So, on game days, I bring dinner to their school, pick them up, they eat in the car on the tiny drive to the ball park. Then they change clothes in the car and we go straight to playing two games. Rob and I have taken to eating whatever I bring in the stands. Taco salad in Tupperware? Sure, don't stare at me!!!! I'm sick of cheese pumped out of a machine.

Now for the positives:
Its been wonderful to see Rylan blossom the way he has. He has a very positive coach and a very understanding coach that has taken time to help Rylan understand the game. He hit a ball during a game and made a run and it was instantaneous how quickly he started loving the game.

When Max chooses to pay attention to the game, he rocks that shit out! He's a natural and, if he chooses to play, and we NEVER have to be on the same team again, I think he will play the crap out of baseball. He has hit the ball off a coach pitch several times. He just gets a little lost when running bases, and gets super sidetracked in the field.

Rob and I have seriously been homebodies in our marriage. We like coming home and doing nothing. But, things needed to change. In my previous post, I mentioned that we are in uncharted territory and this was part of it. I am not sporty, I have not ever dealt with "sports parents" or the feeling of defeat when something doesn't work out the way you thought it would as a mother quite like tball. There was one practice where Max's coaches were so negative, so degrading and kept them at a really hot practice for so long that I cried the whole way home to my Mommy on the phone. Rob and I have really learned from these experiences. A lot about working through hard times TOGETHER, not quitting when the going gets tough, and most of all, sticking up for our kids and being their advocate. That is why this went in the positive list.

We have two games left. I hope they are good ones. I feel I've grown as a sports mom. At the beginning of the season, I kid you not, when my kids were up to bat, I stood up and when/if they hit the ball, I'd run in place trying to get them to first base faster. It was ridicudonkulous. I have calmed down. I sit at the top of the stands, where it would be unsafe to run and I have used the coach's negtivity to realize how positive I need to be. So what if Max poured half of the dirt from the field into his shirt? Did he have fun?

Because that is what is most important.
Dear coaches: smile once in a while. There's a ton of cute kids in front of you!!!!!

First practice. Before he peed on the field.

First game. Against each other. 
Rylan batting
 Rylan's coach took their team to a professional baseball game at Travelers Stadium. That was really awesome.

 This is what I love to see. The coach cheering my kid on, my cute kid doing what he's told all is well.