Lately I've been trying out some new things. The first one came while I was watching the Food Nanny (on BYU TV). The basic thought was that even though I thoroughly can't stand cooking, I need to just buck up and do a better job with dinners. Seriously, what's so great about just standing there and stirring and cutting and did I mention just standing there? What kind of bad attitude is this? What kind of mom am I anyway? I have quite a few kids and quite a few years to feed them. I just can't keep hating to cook.
I've always considered dinner time important. That's how I grew up and I knew I wanted it that way in our family. No TV or reading or sitting on the couch. We always sit around the table and eat. It's just the making food part that I loathe. I've also tried many times to make menus and let me tell you, it always makes life like 300 times better. My strategy this time? Oh, it's the same. Plan out meals, make a shopping list and oh yeah, stick to it! That's got to be the hardest part. The first day of November I planned out all my meals until December (ha, we'll be gone for 10 days of that). So far, life is at least 300 times better.
The other thing I started is trying to eat better. This is such a no-brainer, I know, but when I eat lousy I feel lousy. You know that mid-afternoon stretch that is so hard to get through without say some chocolate or a couple of brownies? Well I know it. But the thing is that eating candy or cookies just gives you a temporary fix and then makes you feel even more tired and yucky (but they are so good and so tempting!). So being crabby and feeling yucky was one reason for trying to eat better, but let's face it, I've got plenty of unwanted baby weight that's still hanging on. You can only use that excuse for so long before you are just permanently 15 pounds more than you want to be. Also, and tell me if this means I'm getting old, but lately things are actually tasting too sugary to me. Like cereals that I never considered to be sugar cereals because they don't turn your milk red (i.e. Rice Krispies, Life, Raisin Bran Crunch, Honey Bunches of Oats)--they are all of a sudden too sweet for me. What's that about? Turns out they do have just as much sugar as the so called "sugar cereals".
So my friend and I were talking about eating better and exercising more and decided to be accountable to each other. Like with a scale and everything (gulp!). We write down everything we eat, how much water we drink and how much we exercise and then weigh in at the end of the week. And of course we try to eat better foods more often. No starving ourselves or any crazy diet schemes, just good old fashioned "eat right and exercise". Go figure. I have never done anything like this before, probably because my favorite food is cookies, but I've also never felt like I needed to lose 10+ pounds before either. Writing everything down really makes me think twice before I eat something and get this: I haven't had any Halloween candy for over a week, and not because there aren't three buckets of it staring at me from on top of the fridge and not because the kids aren't eating it constantly. It's more a matter of not wanting to write down "8 snickers bars" on my list. Amazingly, but not really surprisingly, I feel a lot better! I am not quite as crabby with the kids and can get through the afternoon better too. Then with dinner planned, life is better.
What else... I've been thinking about life with three kids at home during the day. This really is the first time I've had three kids at home (because Erin always had pre-school). Definite pros and cons to this situation. The best thing about having three is that the older two always have someone to play with. I have no idea what I would do with just one. Of course, the bad part is that you have all these kids with you all... the... time. Trying to go places like the store is hard, so I try to avoid it at all costs unless a) there's a severe need or b) I'm not in my right mind when make that kind of ridiculous decision. Even taking a walk or run with the kids is terribly impractical. Usually Alex holds Connor in the back of the double stroller and Marissa sits in the front, but I can't expect that configuration to last more than 10 minutes. It's a challenge to keep up with anything or even have time for myself. They are great kids so I guess I am lucky, but sometimes the demands just get to me (usually in the last 30 minutes before Jared saves me). I always complain about the same thing, but that's because that's basically my whole life right now.
Okay, random picture of my four couch potatoes. I sat Connor there while I was doing dishes and they were watching a movie. Looks like he's getting an early start on the TV watching. Notice how none of them are looking at me and how they are all on 1 1/2 cushions? They always sit right next to each other. I love it!Connor is almost 5 months which means... there's only one more month till I can bring him to the kid's club at the gym. I don't know why this is so exciting, but it is. I've been going in the morning before Jared goes to work without kids and it is glorious, but on the days that that time doesn't work out I would have the freedom to exercise at the gym with them there. Although, I just realized that Connor is becoming a little bit harder to leave places. We got a babysitter a couple of weeks ago while we were singing in the adult session of stake conference and Jared had to leave half way through to go get our screaming, no bottle taking baby. He used to be great, but recently--not so great. I'm also wondering when he will start sleeping for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time. He's definitely in the between stage where he doesn't sleep all day but he's not on a normal nap schedule yet. And our great sleeper who has slept through the night since he was 8 weeks now wakes up every night to eat and usually ends up in bed with us. Growth spurt? I also started feeding him rice cereal and have to say, he is the messiest eater ever. He sucks his thumb between every bite then rubs his hands all over his clothes, head, feet, high chair, etc. Usually I have to give him a bath after his meals. This picture doesn't show his legs, but I assure you that a bath was necessary.He sure is cute though. (FYI Krisanne, this is one of my favorite outfits for Connor. He's starting to out grow of it now.) I was trying to get him to smile while taking the picture, which explains the cut off head. More artistic, right?All right, I'll end this random, rambling post. But update on the weigh-in today: I lost 2.8 pounds! I didn't think eating better and exercising for one week would do that much but it has. Yay!