Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Reads: January

In keeping with my "One Word for 2016" I've been doing quite a bit of reading.  I got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas from "Santa" and it has been SUCH a blessing!!  I absolutely LOVE it.  Which is honestly a little shocking to me because I've always been an old school gal who loves the feel of paper in my hands.  I mean, I don't do internet banking, I handwrite thank-you's and I mail out paper invitations for events.  But anyway, as a mom, and especially one with an infant, the Kindle has been amazing.  The paperwhite is lit so that I can lay in bed and nurse baby Joel and read a book after he falls asleep without having a light on bothering him.  OR in situations that require holding the baby, as in he passes out on me in the afternoon, I can easily hold the kindle and "turn pages" all with one hand while holding him with the other arm.  AND you guys know I'm a frugal lady... Kindle books are also cheaper!!  (And can even be free when borrowed from the NC Digital Library or borrowed from a friend!)
OK so here's what I've read this month...
...and half way through "French Kids Eat Everything" by  Karen Le Billon
More reads to come!  What are you currently reading??  I have a wish list of books in my queue, but certainly always looking for inspiration.

Monday, January 25, 2016

21 Day Fix: Week 3 (and results!)

Well, well, well my 21 days are up!  If you haven't been following along, here are links for week 1 and week 2.  As with all of my other results posts out here in internet land, there's always a little bit of excitement to share how things have gone, but there's also a TON of vulnerability.  If you choose to comment, be kind.  I did just have my 3rd son 5 months ago. :)

Let's start off with non-scale victories (NSVs) first!  NSVs can sometimes be harder to spot or think of, but often times they are the true game changers above and beyond the change in appearance. So here we go....
  • WE collectively as a family of 5 are eating better.  I have been through the fix independently before, but this time ALL of us have cleaned up our eating.  
  • ... To tag along to the first, the boys are eating SO much better!  There was a time when veggies meant fights at the dinner table.  While there have been occasional troubles here and there, overall, their eating has gotten SO much better.  They are eating broccoli, carrots, spinach, and zucchini mostly without complaint.  And we've dropped the overly processed boxed items and refined sugar from their diet.  
  • I'm back in my pre-maternity skinny jeans!  Hallelujah!  I will openly confess that I miss my elastic pants, but it was certainly time to pack them away.
  • I'm becoming a morning person!  I have pretty much never been a morning person, and yet 17 out of 21 days I was up and completely finished with my workout before the boys woke up.  It wasn't easy, but the result of this action was my motivator.  I got some "me time" which is hard to come by and was able to prep for the day ahead.  But also, I found that I had SO much more energy and patience and was all around happier day to day with the boys.  
  • I need heavier "light weights."  Most of the workouts throughout the DVD set suggest having a heavy wet set and a light weight set pending the exercise, and currently my light weights are too light!  Gaining strength is always a win!
  • and lastly... plenty of good healthy calories and staying hydrated = an awesome milk supply for the baby!  I'm really impressed with the food intake and that even with adding in an extra 500 calories to accommodate nursing Joel, I've seen weight loss, AND still been able to more than supply breastmilk for him.  He is certainly priority!
Each of these things are such a blessing and a victory!  AND they are each motivators to keep on trucking along to my next goal/challenge.  It's important to take care of myself, but I've also been bettering and taking care of my family as well in the process.

Without further ado, here's the before and afters and the stats.

Before Measurements:
Weight: 170 pounds
Arms: 12 inches
Chest: 38 1/2 inches
Waist: 34 3/4 inches
Hips: 42 inches
Thighs: 26 inches

After Measurements:
Weight: 162.5 pounds
Arms: 12 inches
Chest: 38 inches
Waist: 32 1/4 inches
Hips: 41 1/2 inches
Thighs: 25 1/4 inches

21 Days.  Only 3 weeks.  That's over 3 inches down in my thighs, hips, and waist, and over 7 pounds lost!  (One pound at a time!)  I'm very pleased with the results from less than a month, but I'm MORE pleased with the habits formed and the routines made.   Eating well... in fact, eating abundantly and keeping my body moving.   No stopping now!  It's just on to the next goal.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Joel is 5 months!

The little munchkin is 5 months old today!!  While the kiddo is not crawling yet, he is certainly doing the best he can to keep up with his two big brothers.  He is all over the place!
He barrel rolls, scoots forwards and backwards, he spins... and watch out world, but the other night he got on up on his knees for the first time and nearly gave himself carpet burn on his head trying to move.  Pray for me! I am SO not ready for a crawler yet!
The little man is still co-sleeping and currently waking 2 times a night to eat which isn't too shabby considering we're in bed by 8:30pm.
No teeth yet, which is pretty typical of our kiddos.  (Leeland didn't get his first 2 teeth until almost 9 months.)  And he's still exclusively breastfed.
His last appointment was January 4th and he weighed 20 pounds, 3 ounces and was 27 1/4 inches long.  Little man is wearing size 12 months clothes, and when in disposable diapers is a size 4.  He's certainly toning up Mommy's upper body and arms!  Ha!
He is such a sweet, and very chill little man!  We certainly our blessed and are enjoying watching him grow!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

21 Day Fix: Week 2

Woo wee!  Down hill slope now!  Last summer I felt very large and out of place in my very maternity swimsuit at the beach.... this summer, I hope to be just coming out of half marathon training and back in the best shape of my life.   I've gotten so many messages over the years with questions about the programs I've done.  Here's a link where you can see results and read posts about various programs I've done over the years.  I'm NOT a beach body coach, and I get absolutely zero compensation for sharing about the programs but I am certainly happy to answer questions!

One thing that I love about the 21 Day Fix though, is that it gives me so much pride in my results.  Plain and simple, no gimmicks, no wraps, no pills, we are NOT starving, no juicing, no fads, no nonsense.  It's plain and simple the old fashioned way of doing things-- EAT RIGHT, and EXERCISE. Trust me, I'm still exclusively breastfeeding an almost 5 month old, if it were bad for me, I wouldn't be doing it.

As with last week's post, here's a little peek into what the eating looks like.  Eating right is definitely harder than working out for most people (myself included.)  But you just can't workout for 10 hours a day...  if you want results, you have to change your eating habits.  Am I 100% all the time?? Absolutely not!!  I allow myself treats here and there, but it's been YEARS in the making cleaning up our food choices and it's a constant striving to do better.  With that said... here's what Saturday's eats looked like.....

Breakfast-- A sandwich thin with 2 slices of turkey bacon and an egg with a side of grapes and my morning coffee with low fat milk.

Post-workout protein-- Scivation Vanilla whey blended to perfection with a frozen banana, almond milk and PB2

Lunch-- Leftover baked chicken and roasted brussel sprouts along with a small side salad.

Snack-- It's football time ya'll and I was very pleased to find some "fix approved" football snack ideas around the internet.  Today we enjoyed Jean Reed's Buffalo Chicken Dip with some chips made from flax "flat-outs." Great snack, not so great outcome of the Chiefs football game....

Dinner--  After using up the last of my red and yellow containers (protein and carb/starch) for the day on my football snack, I was only left with veggies for dinner.  Fine by me because it made "cooking" easy.  A yummy tossed salad with a variety of greens, cucumbers and sweet peppers.

I can't remember if I shared last week, but both Daniel and I are following the Fix eating plan.  I'm doing the 21 Day Fix workouts, while he follows his own workout plan, but we are ALL cleaning up our food and eating better.  One thing I have been really convicted about this week is what the boys are eating.  Compared to probably 80% of American kids, they are great eaters.  They don't get treats and indulgences often, and when I cook dinner, they are given what I have cooked... However, one area where I have struggled over the years is breakfast for them.  They love cereal.  (And it's easy on mommy early in the morning before coffee.) I DO NOT buy marshmallow or chocolate or frosted anything kind of cereals, but even the "honey nut ______" cereal that I've been buying is very high in sugar.  So this week I've decided we can do better and can feed them better.  It doesn't make any sense for me to eat clean and whole foods and notice how much better I'm feeling, and then turn around and give my kids crap food.  Again, the main concern here is breakfast for them.  (Lunch they get whole wheat sandwiches with various sides like fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, carrots and dinner they get what is cooked and what we adults are eating.)

SO, with all of that said, this week I took to the kitchen with healthier alternatives for the boys' breakfasts.  Made some homemade granola that they can eat plain or throw in some greek yogurt, made some whole wheat lemon blueberry muffins (some for this week and a dozen to freeze for another week) AND I happened to discover a better cereal at Aldi on Friday so that they don't feel like their cereal days are completely gone.  It's made with WHOLE grain oats and only has 1g of sugar per serving.  AND it's organic!!

Anyway, I just unloaded WAY more than I intended to in this week 2 post.... 2/3 of the way done and headed into week 3!!  Traditionally week 3 of the program is "doubles week" meaning that there's 2 workouts done per day and at separate times. I honestly have no idea what doubles will look like this time around with an infant, but I'm gonna do my best and I'll be back with a review and results next week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

To Step Back....

I was asked over a month ago about representing Doterra in an event that my old MOPS group was hosting.  A day to pamper the moms in MOPS was the idea.  I checked my calendar and saw that Daniel was off work and replied, "sure, sounds fun."

As the event got closer, I ordered supplies, made lists and checked them twice, along with rehearsing my spiel.  I really wanted it to be professional and to be a happy, fun event for the Mommas involved.  After all, I used to be in MOPS myself and know how rare and wonderful it is to be spoiled just a little by others.

Then the night before the big day came.... and I got nervous.  I spend my days chatting with kids, so I was a little nervous about conversation with adults for once, but on top of that, I was feeling anxious about Daniel having all 3 boys and taking care of going to our homeschool co-op with them.

He's heard all about our co-op, he knows his way around the church, AND he's kept all 3 boys alone before... and yet I was nervous FOR him.  While a lot ran through my mind, my biggest fear was a screaming baby disrupting Leeland's class and me not being there to do anything about it.

The day arrived.  My control freak self had taken special care to pack the diaper bag, pack lunches, and lay out children's clothes the night before all in hopes of a smooth process of getting out the door in the morning.  I got up extra early to get my workout in and calm my nerves, pumped the baby a bottle, took my shower and then went up to wake the big boys to eat breakfast before we headed out.

It wasn't until we were headed out the door that I saw it.... the excitement on Leeland's face.  And the excitement grew once we arrived to church for co-op.  Leeland was thrilled to show his Daddy where to go in the building.  He was excited to show Daddy his teacher, and his friends/class mates.  He wanted Daddy to see the lunch room and where we eat with friends.  Daniel was getting to see all of these things for the first time that I take for granted from Tuesday to Tuesday.

That's when it hit me.  My control freak tendencies are stealing the blessing.  I'm married to an extraordinary man!  He's my best friend, my favorite person, and the best teammate a girl could ask for.  He loves each of these boys just as much as I do.  He wants the best for each one and prays for each one and works so hard to make sure that they have all they need and some things they just want.   He's smart, savvy, strong, funny, and kind and is fully capable of managing our little people for a couple hours, actually longer than that!  And when I take control and try to manage it all myself, I'm stealing the blessing.  The blessing of a Dad seeing things for a first time.  The blessing of quality time between a Father and his sons.  And the blessing of big smiles on kid's faces!  Sometimes I just need to take a step back.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

21 Day Fix: Week 1

Back on the horse again and week one is now behind me!  It feels good.
tracking my containers....
I attempted to start back at working out at 6 weeks postpartum and it was an epic fail.  Honestly I should have known better since I know myself and this is the 3rd kiddo.  The postpartum hormones always hit me around 2-3 months and I go just a *little* bit crazy.  With Leeland, it resulted in postpartum depression, with Hayden and Joel it has resulted in a whirlwind of emotions from anxiety, to complete irrational thinking, and loads and loads of crying at the "silliest" of things....  silly now.  They weren't silly then!  I know this about myself.... and I'm sure Daniel would be able to speak to it even better than I can.  (Poor guy!)  So anyway, I started back then, got a few days in and ended in a tear fest on the couch.

So now here I am, about 4 1/2 months postpartum getting back in my groove.  I would LOVE to run another half marathon this year, but we'll see how life goes with 3 kids.  Joel isn't exactly on a schedule-- he's got a little bit of a routine, but he mostly just eats and naps whenever he needs to for now which makes planning hard.

Also as much as I would LOVE to look like this again which is where my results had brought me prior to getting pregnant with Joel, I'm keeping it realistic and knowing that I need calories to make milk for the baby and most say that it's harder to lose the "excess" after the third.  The weight didn't come on over night, it took 9 months.... and while I dropped 9 pounds, 2 ounces of Joel in one night, the rest is going to be hard work.  Just a little bit crazy to think that after feeling like I had reached my goals, we had another baby.

I've written about 21 Day Fix in the past, so I won't delve into the logistics of the program and how it works.  (You can find past workout results here.)  I will say though, that this is my first time going through the program while breastfeeding.  Per Autumn's suggestions, I did my calorie calculations and then added 500 calories to accommodate me nursing.  That puts me in the third calorie range which is 1800-2099 calories.  Of course per "the fix" plan, I do NOT count any calories, only my containers.

The beautiful thing about going through it breastfeeding this time, is that there is SO much food!  It's sooo wonderful!!  And of course it's all good clean foods for baby, and good foods for my milk supply as well.

Anyway, I won't be sharing any measurements, photos or results until the end of the program, but I've got ONE week down already and I'm feeling really happy with the results so far!  You can go back to previous posts to see more about the daily workouts and the food if you want more info, I won't bore you... but for curious minds, here's a peek into what 1 day of food looks like for me.  This is everything I ate on Friday...

... Post morning workout protein.  Scivation Whey (vanilla heaven flavor) mixed with some low fat milk.
Breakfast of 2 eggs scrambled with some leafy greens (chard, kale and spinach) and an apple sliced.  And ALWAYS my coffee.  (Just a little low fat milk in it.)
Lunch of a tossed salad.  I do a combo of romaine lettuce and leafy greens (chard, kale and spinach) with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 
Snack time-- some red seedless grapes and a rice cake with a smear of peanut butter.
Dinner, while delicious, was nothing extravagant. It was basically "clean out the fridge" night in the Kroh house and in working with what we had, I made "fried rice."  Some cauliflower took a spin in the food processor until it was rice sized, and then I added in some leftover quinoa, leftover grilled chicken, leftover roasted veggies, scrambled a couple eggs and some seasonings along with braggs liquid aminos and then topped it with some green onion.  Sounds way more difficult than it was! It was all of 5 minutes over the stove bc everything except the cauliflower were leftover in our fridge and had already been cooked.  Eating well doesn't have to be fancy-- food is fuel, just keep it simple!
And then lastly one more snack before bed.  I actually usually try to use up all of my fruits and carbs/starches (yellow container) early because I've always heard that you shouldn't have them too late in the night.... BUT I happened to be winging much of my day on Friday. I mean it was leftover night after all.  So here I was with a fruit and carb container (and my blue healthy fat container) left to round out my day and went with some oats with half a banana and pecans. 
I have to say, I've never been one to brag, and those who know me well know that I don't say this in vain, but I'm really proud of myself this week.  I have NEVER been a morning person! Never!! ... AND that includes the many years that I spent working early mornings at Starbucks.  With that said, 6 days this week, I have gotten up early and gotten my workout in before the kiddos woke up.  (The 7th day, they worked out with me.) In the past, nap time was my workout time, but with the addition of a 3rd, and with the big boys getting older, nap time looks a little bit different now so early mornings are ideal if I can continue to make them work.  It's hard to get out of bed that early, especially in the Winter when the bed is so warm and the room is so cold, but I really really hope that I can continue to make the mornings work.  It's nice to knock it out early, and I have found that I am a happier and more productive Mom because of the morning workouts.
Week 1 down.... TWO weeks to go!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016- One Word

2016 totally snuck on me guys!  The funny thing is that my birthday is the 1st.  There was once a time that I spent the better part of the month of December counting down to Christmas along with also counting down to my birthday.... this year, I didn't even realize until Tuesday (the 29th) what day of the week my birthday fell on!  Ha!  Consumed with excitement about Christmas for the boys and making everything happen at the holiday took my mind off of the New Year and my birthday.

So here I am a few days behind on the resolution train.  In years past, I've done resolutions that haven't been kept, and then the last few years I've done my best to focus on one word.  I do a lot better at a one word focus and I get excited about where the Lord leads me each year.   In the past my words have ranged from "intentional", to "green" (as in eco-friendliness) to "submit."

After some thinking and prayer, the word for 2016 is KNOWLEDGE.

This one is really exciting to me!  We've been on an adventure in our first year of homeschooling with Leeland, and daily I am baffled at how much Leeland is picking up and how much he is learning.  In a lot of ways I very much feel like I am reclaiming my own education through teaching him.  He's getting an education unlike the one that I received.

On top of the excitement of teaching Leeland, I have been somewhat convicted about my own learning and studying habits.  How can I expect my kids to develop of a true love of learning, if I myself am not stretching and growing and learning.  Leeland spent much of last year learning to read, and I watch and hope that he will develop a passion and a love for books, and yet I'm not reading books like I used to myself.  How can I expect him to have a love of books and learning if he doesn't witness me growing and reading and studying?

So this year, my word is knowledge.  I would love for the whole family to reignite our passions for learning.  I want to have nightly dates with my Kindle and complete several books by the end of the year.  I want to sit down in the mornings EVERYDAY with my Bible and a cup of coffee and truly soak in the words on the pages of His Word.  I want to be able to teach my boys to the best of my abilities on this homeschool journey, but also grow and learn myself.