Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Anyway, my kids laugh at my popsicle stick jokes. I think I am the funniest mom around!
Age: 4 1/2
Favorite Color: Red, purple and pink
Favorite Toy: Little Mermaid Doll
Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
Funny quirks: Doesn't like having her hair done, but likes to get dressed up. I can usually persuade her with some lip gloss to do her hair. :o) She is scared of being alone, stopped liking bugs -including spiders- about a year ago(before that she loved them and would catch them in the yard and hold them).
Recent Accomplishments: Finished her year of 4's preschool. Since she is born just 4 days after the cut off, she has another year of pre-school ahead of her.
Bedtime Routine: Teeth Brushing, PJ's, Books, Say prayers with Nathan, say prayers in her room, song with Mom, song with Daddy, put on some music, read some more books, color, cut, dance, do whatever, ask for a few more songs from mom or dad(whoever feels like getting back up), finally sleep after about an hour of goofing off.
Best Friends: Carina, Sadie, Lucy & Elizabeth. Annalina is her best cousin ever. And tho she won't admit it, her brother.
Favorite Activities: Singing(LOVES her singing class with Ms. Stephanie), coloring(wishes mommy would let her paint more), learning to ride her new princess bike, holding and loving her kitty: Alli Cat.
Age: 3 1/2
Favorite Color: Red or Blue, sometimes orange and brown and black and red
Favorite Toy: Car
Favorite Movie: Herby, Cars & Ratatouille
Funny quirks: Loves to have his head scratched. Loves to dance and shake his bod. Is either very happy, or in the midst of a tantrum. Picky about his clothes. Knows everything about everything and is always right. He has a great memory. Likes to point out luv-bugs on the road. Loves tires. Hates getting his hair cut or washed.
Potty Training Status: Complete- YAHOO!(With an occasional accident when he is playing too hard and doesn't have time to think about it and mommy forgets to remind him.)
Recent Accomplishments: Received a certificate of completion for his "Sports Fun With Me" class he took with mommy. He loves to play bowling, basket ball, kick soccer balls, and jump on the trampoline. He still gets the type of ball mixed up, but that is OK, he will learn.
Bedtime Routine: We brush teeth, get on Jammies(lets hope the ones he wants to wear are clean.), read books, "time to say some prayers", Daddy sings to Nathan while Mommy is with Leila, then Mommy sings to Nathan. Usually he falls right to sleep(good sleeper like his daddy), but there are nights he doesn't and falls asleep in the hallway in the pile of laundry usually there, or with a car under his head for a pillow. Around 3 or 4 in the morning he might come and get in bed with mom and dad, with his pillow, his blanket(ducky blanket his Grandma made for Leila, but he took possession of years ago), and whatever car he went to sleep with at night(mommy has tried to get him to sleep with something soft because she usually ends up sleeping on top of whatever it is he brings in.)
Best Friend: His Daddy. And though he won't admit it, his sister.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
A week in review(See earlier post on my to-do list):
So, I had two nights where I was up past 11:30-- I was up much later actually not being able to turn my mind off to sleep. Made for a rough next day. This is somthing I still need to work on.
I did give blood.
I didn't do all my laundry-- just the basic needs.
I got thru Nathan's clothes, started on Leila's.
We did go to the library, got new books, more music- I love the library.
I did not cook every night.
I didn't get studying in every day.
I did write back my new Iranian Pen Pal. I hope to hear from her soon.
I did get Bonnie's invites out-- took me a few days.
I did visit my parents.
I did OK. I did what I could. My headaches are getting a bit more intense. It might be some allergies or changes in weather or an unstable sleeping schedule, so I had a rough week last week.
I refrain from doing another list because if an item stays on my list too often, I just forget about it.
So, this week I will simply set a goal, and it is about parenting: I want to have a happy home. If some of my bigger items don't get taken care of, that is OK. I want to get along with my kids. I want to be a good mom and not yell or be part of the cause of an unhappy home. I want happy children, I want a happy husband. I know I will get the basics done, I always seem to(Or Wonderful Husband helps me when he gets home). So, lets aim for Love at Home, the rest will take care of itself this week.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
On Monday May 5th, 2008, I hit goal! I started on my journey Jan. 7, 2007. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I am not posting exactly how much I lost, but I am not shy about it-- so just ask me. I will tell you privately.
Things I learned from my almost a year and a half "on plan":
1- Life is too short to diet. I need to make good choices, but not deprive myself. A way to do this to keep a plan and track what I put in my mouth. If I know what I am eating and when I am eating it, I do much better than looking at an open day full of open temptations. Or, if I know I can't escape a quick trip thru a drive thru because my day is so very packed, I can plan accordingly for dinner.
2- Can you say portion control? Any idea what a real portion size is? Do you know that 3 oz. of steak is a healthy portion(Not that you can find that on a menu anywhwere), and do you know what that looks like(look at the palm of your hand, a bit smaller than that)? Can you tell at a glance what a 1/2 cup of potato salad is, or 1 cup of pasta? If you aren't sure, get out your measuring cups or food scale. I learned early on not to even serve bread with my meals because I couldn't stop at one serving of bread (This was really bad when I figured out to use my breadmaker to knead my dough and could actually make really good rolls- see previous post- I can not stop at one- just look how beautiful they are.).
3- Drink Water. I have always been able to drink a lot of water- I am lucky in the fact that I do love my water. Drinking at work was a snap-- at home its a bit more tricky(I don't stare at my cup next to my monitor all day long). I reward myself with flavored water after I have my daily requirement, or splurge with a diet soda if its early enough in the (Caffine will keep me awake all night).
4- Keep good food in the house, and the junk I can't keep my hands off out of the house(Or put it somewhere I won't think about). I have no self-control when it comes to eating treats. I can't just eat a small amount and save some for later- an opened bag of m&m's is an empty bag of m&m's, no matter the size of the bag.
5-Along with keeping good food in the house, I try to have meals planned out. The nights I don't plan meals I am more likely to make somthing less healthy, ask hubby to stop for take out, or simply eat whatever we pull together and not even look at what I am eating.
6- If I have a bad day(or a bad meal), its OK, start over tommorrow(or the next meal). Don't beat myself up... just start over.
7- Move when I can. If you read my earlier post you know I don't feel good a lot of the time. I do think on some level if I exercised every day I would feel some benefit, however I am not there yet. Maybe soon?
8- Learn to love me for who I am and how I look, no matter what that may be. My body has changed from the days before children and other stresses caused me to gain those extra pounds. As a person I have changed too from those days, so I wouldn't say its a bad thing. I am satisified with who I am- how I look is just a teensy tiny part of that. I love my body and how it has served me. I am grateful I am treating it better so it can continue to serve me.
I am trying to be healthy and I am trying to be happy. I have goals for my future:
1-Maintain my weight(Weight Watchers has a great plan for this... now that I have hit my goal I maintain for 6 weeks and if I can be within my goal weight by 2 pounds I become a 'lifetime' member. I no longer have to pay fees so long as I am within 2 pounds of my goal weight.).
2-Keep up my exercise routine.(WW again reccomends 4 activity points a day-- you earn these a vareity of ways, but I seriously need to get more movement into my daily life-I have it, just not daily, or at least not enough daily).
3-Keep meals healthy and exciting.
4-Live as an example for my chidlren and family. When I decided to loose weight I wanted to do it for myself of course, but I also wanted to be healthy for my family. I said I had an excuse, two babies in two years... but then my youngest just turned two and I didn't feel I could use that excuse anymore. Becoming a mother has been such an amazing change of life for me, that I need and want to do what I can to ensure that I am around for them for as long as I possibly can be. I want eating healthy and living an active life to be second nature to my children.
Thanks to my husband who let me try out WW-- he was pleasently surprised I found somthing I could stick with! What will I do with the extra money each month? Get a cell phone maybe????
I will post an after picture(and look for a before, but honestly I didn't take many pictures of myself) once I get to Lifetime-- three more weeks! Now that I am halfway thru I am finding maintaining is a bit tricky, but as with everything, I will learn and I will find what works best for myself. Learning is exciting, afterall isn't learning how to learn one of lifes most important skills? [By the way Julie- I am so glad you joined and am so excited for you, and I think I will start joining you on Saturdays-- never got your e-mail but lets talk!]
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here is my list for this week:
Get to bed and asleep before 11:30(last night I couldn't sleep, was up until after 2! Eeek!)
Go give blood(I have an appointment today, so its an easily attainable goal- I love the items I can check off almost as I write them)
Get caught up on Laundry. At some point in time I want to see the bottom of all of our laundry baskets AND not have a pile in the hallway.
Purge the kids drawers of clothes that do not fit them. Give away what I can, store the rest.
Get all the library books back to the libary.
Cook, or provide some sort of resemblance to a meal every night(I want Jeremy to be happy to come home again-- I only cooked once or twice last week, and he didn't outwardly show his dissapointment, but I know he appreciates it I cook. The days I don't cook end up being "fend for yourself" or "eat these left-overs".)
Do my daily studying for personal growth(in my books, scriptures, book research) for at least 1/2 hour each day, or more if I can get away with it.
Write back to my new Iranian Pen Pal.
Get Bonnie's Baby Shower Invites OUT!
Visit my parents.
Note, I did not put "go work out" on my list. I may or may not, but I just can't put that down.
I have a week to do the above along with my other daily things, and those things that will come up that I can't think of right now. Some of them I HAVE to do, others won't kill me if I don't. Well nothing will kill me, but some consequences are harder than others. I may let you know how I did? What are you lists? Are lists as theraputic for you as they are for me? How do you organize your "to-do" list? How do you set your priorities?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Today we set out for a Conser Adventure-- non-shopping style... and we headed WEST!
First stop was at the Tillamook Forest Center. I am breaking our trip up on two blogs because this place was sooooo cooool I want everyone who reads about it to understand how cool it is and go there with thier families. I first heard about this a year ago with from my neighbor Mandy who told me how kid friendly it is. There are places to picnic and fun things to do- my toddlers were impressed and amused. Best yet, admission is free and it took us less than an hour to get there. How family friendly is that? It is open from 10-4, and starting next Friday (May 23rd) it will be open 7 days a week (only open Weds-Sun on the off season). Check out thier website for more info: www.tillamookforestcenter.com
So, on a beautiful warm Saturday, around 10AM, we drove up and saw a 40 foot tall look-out tower. Of course that is what my kids wanted to climb first, and we did. They had all sorts of educational stuff that we only glanced at. We will look at it in depth when we visit again this summer I am sure.
Out back they have a 250 foot long pedestrian suspension bridge that goes over the Wilson River. They had several trails to take that would be easy enough for our kids to go on, and we plan to do that again this summer when we have our Guest Wendy with us.
We continued our journey west, the kids wanting to go directly to the beach. Until we brought up the cheese factory and ice-cream that we always get no matter what time of day, no matter what we ate and how soon we just ate, or how soon we plan to eat(Heidi & Rick, I get the PB&Choc every time, I can't help myself).
First stop is the Blue Heron Cheese Factory. This is a little cheese facotry that makes Brie. I LOVE BRIE. I didn't before my stay in Belgium, but compared to all the stinky cheese they eat, brie became my favorite. Actually I adore most cheese(I think there was only one really really stinky kind I wasn't able to stomach), and have no idea how I gave birth to a son who hates cheese, but I have hope one day he will realize what he has been missing. If you have always wanted to stop here, but never have, I suggest you do. I wanted to stop here for years and years. Jeremy and I finally did on our anniversary weekend last September and we LOVE it. We took the kids back last winter on a weekend at the coast and they had fun feeding the Llamas. Leila loves llamas now and wants one for a pet. I might look into that someday, maybe we can sell our lawn mower? Anyway, they have an old London Bus out front, and Nathan just got a "Victoria" english bus from Grandma Conser who is back from her cruise, so we needed to visit that after we fed their livestock some oats and stuff. Leila wasn't so sure about letting them lick her hands, but Nathan didn't have a problem. He also feed one of the goats the plastic bag on accident. OOPS! We ran inside to tell them, but they were OK with that. SO- if you like brie, check it out sometime- they have several flavors to sample and if you buy some the usually have fresh french bread to go along with it. YUM. http://www.blueheronoregon.com/
Friday, May 16, 2008
A little bit about my sister who is three years and two months older than me:
She is smart and wants to excel, not just pass or be good at, all she does.(This annoys me who is very happy with just skating by.)
She is crafty: In the Arts(I am thinking scrapbooking, she always does an amazing job), In Business(not only has she worked for my dad for years, she has her own e-bay business, has wholesale contacts and a loyal customer base- this is a great and successful side business), In Raising her children(She comes up with ways to get them to help her out or behaving or keep taking naps way longer than I ever could).
She let me be an obnoxious Aunt to her children-- I wanted my own for so very long, that she let me take hers pretty much whenever I wanted. We had a blast and a lot of fun memories.
She is a wonderful mother. She had two wonderful children and found herself a single Mom. She raised them well for years and was fortunate enough to meet a nice mad and have two more wonderful children. She is patient with them and teaches them well, but she is also a normal mother and understands when I confess to her that I may have yelled too much, or turned on the TV one time too many the week before. Oh, and we had our baby boys 4 months apart-- that was fun!
She is always smiling!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mother's Day 2004
Nathan, around a month old
We had several reasons. First reason: Wendy is coming to stay with us from Belgium. I will post more on her later, but we are very excited to have a "big sister" come and stay with us from the end of June thru the end of August. She is a daughter of one of my good friends from when I lived in Belgium my senior year of HS. We wanted her to have a little bit of privacy, and she will have Leila's room to her self, at least at night. Second reason: The kids get afraid at night, Leila especially, and I wondered if they were in the same room if that might help the situation, and KEEP THEM OUT of our room. Time will tell on that one. Third reason: What little kid doesn't want a bunk bed? I hope they will take my word on it that blankets do not act as parachutes. I grew up with bunk beds and Beth and I shared a room most of childhood years. I think its good for kids to share spaces. Time will tell if this will be a successful pairing. Last night the room became quiet around 10. Not so good... but we might get better.
So, we bought a bunk bed after searching far and wide and going on an extensive "Conser Adventure". One tip: If you want something like this on craigslist, you have to call the second it is posted, otherwise it will be gone later that day. We bought ours new. The instructions were in Spanish. I guess I got lucky in the fact my Husband used to design furniture. He was able to put it together nicely, and enjoyed himself while doing so. Enjoy the pics:
Thursday, May 8, 2008
We have major headway here... I am so happy!
This morning we had Jeremy's parents over for a quick visit before their cruise from San Fran to Vancouver-- can't wait for the pictures and details of their trip. The kids had them both reading and I was able to unload the dishwasher in peace! Leila and Nathan love their River Grandparents. It was definitely the highlight of their day (Sorry, my highlight was the underwear, obviously) :o>
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Mmmm... rolls... nothing beats a nice warm roll fresh from the oven. Last year I decided I would simply make them. Wasn't so simple.
Being a Baker's Granddaughter you would think I would know how to knead bread dough, but I couldn't. My sweet friend Annie would praise my rolls saying, "They have a great flavor" not mentioning they felt like a brick in her stomach. They weren't that bad, but still... I needed help. Wasn't sure where to turn until I noticed a note on a my neighbors recipe for her cinnamon rolls. She uses her bread machine to make the dough. GENUIS! That was all the direction I needed... my rolls are perfect now. We prefer to cloverleaf formation. Its fun for small hands to roll them up. What would my Grandpa Schouten think of a machine making my dough? I think he wouldn't mind. Maybe he would be disappointed in my efforts of kneading and giving up so easily. But he for sure had machines to make his dough and other goodies in his bakery on Main Street in Springville, Utah. I know both he and my Grandma are tickled pink to see me and my children making rolls together. My mom lived for many years above this bakery, it was really a family business. It was put out of business when they took out slanted parking and put in parallel parking(darn city planners), and the Thriftway down the street moved in, the small community didn't have any need for a hometown Bakery anymore. We ran across an album of wedding cakes with the prices, the most expensive, and very elaborate too, was $25. Wow. Sounds like life would have been a lot of fun to live in a baking world, and its been fun to have a friend who manages a bakery now. It was a lot of hard work too from the stories. I feel like when I bake from scratch I am a little closer to Grandpa. And when I can eat and enjoy my creations, yum, I feel like there is nothing better.