And she’s off!

Today was an anti-climatic day for me. Five hours in the car and I ended up right back where I started from (though with a yummy lunch in my belly and two bags of goodies from Target!) Miss Eve, on the other hand, is having a much more exciting day! We meet Rosy halfway between here and there and Eve headed home with her for a fun-filled “girls weekend” in the big city! :)  (“Girls weekend” with a few other people, and maybe the medium city… but still!)

Silly girls

We had lunch and said our goodbyes (*sniff, sniff*). Then I headed to Target for some retail therapy (why do we not have a Target nearby yet?!?!), then home. Luckily I got home to this smiling face.

Me and my boy

She likes the closet. :)

Between him and Alan and this sweetie pie, I think it’s going to be a quiet weekend. Arlo and I will have to bring in the noise! :)

Meet Jasmine

One afternoon last week Eve came into the library crying. Life was rough, bad day, missing the kitty, sob, sob, sob. I did what any loving mother would do and tried to distract her with birthday party plans. We’ve been talking about having a party at the local humane society, but they don’t do parties, so with Eve on my lap we pulled up the website for the next nearest humane society. Of course, once you’re on the website you need to browse the adorable animals too. Eve came across a brother/sister pair that she fell in love with. The listing said they were kind, gentle, and the girl was named Daisy! Eve was smitten. Then I saw a “February Special” on the front page saying if the cat had been at the shelter for over a year you could get it for free! I was smitten! Two sweet cats for free?! We decided to go visit on Thursday.

That morning I called to ask some questions and learned that Daisy and Kashmire (brother and sister) were pending adoption. Sigh. The kids decided they wanted to stick with the plan and to visit the humane society anyway. We’ve never been there before so it seemed like a good thing to do.

We met lots of cats (and laughed at some pretty entertaining dogs), but when we saw this little girl we were in love.

Miss Jasmine

The kids were ready to take her home, but it turns out that place doesn’t do “same day adoptions” so we had to put in an application and wait. And wait. And wait. Four long days of kids wondering if we would be approved, wondering when we can get the cat, and hoping, HOPING, no one else took her first.

Today we finally got word that she was ours. The kids were thrilled!! They set up all the cat stuff (food bowls, litter box, toys) and we headed down to pick her up.

Lex can’t get enough of her. He even said, “Sometimes when you cry it’s because you’re happy.” :)

Paperwork done and ready to go! Just one quick photo for the adoption website (and mom’s blog!)

We got her home and put her in the bathroom to explore. She found the “behind the dryer” spot pretty quickly. :) Daisy found that spot a few times too!

Lost already!

She was pretty happy back there. Purring away. We pulled the washing machine out and she peeked out a few times, but kept tucking herself back again.

After awhile she came out and met Arlo. He was intrigued, but not aggressive.

New friends

Eve brought her upstairs and the kitty quickly found another good hiding place. :) I spent the afternoon reassuring the kids that she is friendly (she is!) and that she’s just shy right now, but it won’t last forever. We are watching a movie right now and Jasmine is exploring upstairs. I hear her walking around and knocking things over! She came down the stairs once too, looked around, then headed back up. She’ll be snuggling in laps in no time!

Under the bed is cozy.

And then there’s these goofballs! :)

Arlo and Lex

Be Mine, Valentine.

We managed a sweet Valentine’s Day today, even without sweets.

This is a mix of old, new, and cards from others. It made for a cheery cheery display though, and the kids loved it.

I spent the day saying “thanks, but no thanks,” to adorable children offering me treats all day long.  Eve shocked me by also saying “no thanks” to the treats in her classroom.  She said she even skipped the Ritz crackers because they have added Sugar.  Luckily there was lots of fruit and cheese for her to eat.  

I gave all the candy to a lucky 5th grader walking by at the end of the day.

I hope you all had a sweet day too. ❤

Highs and Lows in the grocery store

I took both kids to the grocery store tonight, after karate, before dinner. I mentally prepared myself for the experience. We were ok until the kids discovered that bagels have added sugar. Although I had warned them ahead of time, they refused to believe me until they saw the ingredients list for themselves. Lex was angry! He hit the cart, then, upon realizing that punching things hurts, he started kicking things as we walked past them. Not in any damaging way, more like a public protest. I ignored him for awhile, but once he started slamming doors to the cooler cases I told him to cut it out. I’m sure slamming those doors isn’t satisfactory anyway because they just gently close. :) Eve kept it together and actively started reading labels, looking for something, ANYTHING, she could eat! LOL. They are both so dramatic. Lex hid in the beer cases for awhile, but eventually got it together. By the time we made it to the snack food aisle they were both doing a little better. Lex discovered that dry roasted peanuts have added sugar, which set him off again, until Eve pointed out that Cheez-Its do not! Who knew?!? We talked about all the other stuff in Cheez-Its, but since our focus this month is sugar I let them buy the crackers. They needed a consolation prize by this point. LOL! In the checkout lane we discovered that Tostitos also have no sugar. In fact, Tostitos have just three ingredients: corn, vegetable oil, and salt. Not a health food, of course, but acceptable for this experiment! By the time we made it out to the car Lex was feeling good, but Eve was falling apart. Tons of tears and desperation, insisting that sugar is what keeps her going and there’s no way she can be happy without it. Basically proving my point over and over again!

Actually, even though we don’t “officially” start until February (the kids remind me of this fact regularly), we have drastically cut back this week and today was our second “no sugar” shopping trip. At family meeting on Saturday Alan and I both commented on how calm and happy Eve has been all week. She was really with it and positive and went to bed in a good mood each night. This weekend, however, brought with it birthday cookies for Alan, and a birthday party with cookies for Eve’s friend. Sugar everywhere! She crashed hard Sunday afternoon.

In other news… Believe it or not there are other things going on besides our dietary saga. Eve auditioned for the school drama club this afternoon. They are going to perform Honk, Jr. a musical version of The Ugly Duckling. She is super excited, as are 40+ other kids so we’ll see how it goes! I think everyone gets to be in the musical but only 17 get speaking parts. She is excited and eager and nervous and feeling anxious about waiting until Friday for the announcement!

Lex will also be starting drama club at the middle school this year. They are doing na production of Shrek Jr. and he will, of course, be stage crew. He is looking forward to working with a real stage and auditorium (they use the high school facilities) and he’s hoping that maybe he can do some sound and lighting as well. I think that’s typically for the older kids, but we’ll see.

Hmmm… probably more, but I’m tired so I’m going to bed now. Thank you all for the support, advice, and encouragement! I think this will be a good thing. No, I KNOW this will be a good thing and it’s actually been easier than I was expecting so far. I hope we can install some habits that last longer than the month of February. :)

A quick sugar update

Thanks for all the support from my loyal blog readers! All three of you! :)

A few things I’ve noticed:

1. I don’t crave sugar so much as the dessert habit. After each meal I find myself feeling the need for a dessert of some sort. I’ve started having a small handful of almonds, which satisfies the need, but I’d like to actually break the habit altogether. Obviously I’m not actually hungry immediately after a meal.

2. Although we don’t “officially” start until Feburary, we are all noticeably cutting back already.

3. Eve and I read a lot of labels at the grocery store this week! We found very few crackers with no added sugar and only one type of cereal. Grape Nuts. Grandpa knew what he was doing! :)

4. After looking at a pack of peanut butter sandwich crackers (unhealthy for many reasons), Eve said, “Oh, why does everything that tastes good have to have sugar in it?!?” She’s starting to understand.

5. Alan said that he had some yogurt yesterday, the kind he normally eats but hasn’t since this sugar conversation, and he said it tasted way too sweet.

6. When we talk about sugar, are we looking for added sugars in the ingredients list or any sugar on the nutrition panel? I’m not sure what we are supposed to be doing, but for now we are just looking at added sugars. Almost everything has some sugar in it.

That is all. Off to work. Have a healthy day. <3

Boots

Funny story…

Silly me…

I was looking for my boots this morning to take Arlo to the dog park. I couldn’t find them anywhere, but I noticed Lex’s boots still in the mudroom. Usually he wears his boots to school, so I assumed he had mistakenly put mine on this morning on his way out the door. I laughed at him and slid my feet into his boots. Guess what?! They are too big! My toes wiggled all around and had room to spare. Crazy!

… and Lex’s boots.

Then I got in the car and saw my boots on the seat, all packed up for skiing yesterday. D’oh! Lex must have worn his sneakers today. Silly me.

Fed Up

I have been getting more and more frustrated with the way we eat around here.  Over the past few weeks, months, years even, we have gone from a very healthy family to one where you can usually find chips and cookies in the snack cabinets.  Ice cream, once a special treat reserved for birthdays and special outings, is now a near weekly purchase and eaten once or twice a day by some people around here.  The healthyish “cracker snacks” I used to make with Cheerios (or small crackers), dried fruit, and nuts has morphed into a big bowl of crackers with a few nuts thrown on top if mom is watching.

Not coincidentally, my weight has crept up as well.  The kids are still on their “growth curves” and the doctors aren’t concerned, but I am concerned with their very limited, and even shrinking, diets and their up and down mood swings.  I often feel logy myself and find myself turning to crackers, sweets, Facebook, and/or wine to pass the time.  I was successful with WW many years ago, but in the past five years I’ve gained it all back and much more.  I’ve rejoined WW a few times, but can’t do it.  I’ve tried to track on my own and I’m unable to stick with it.  My friend is doing Whole30 and encouraged me to try, but just looking at all the food you have to eliminate exhausted me!  However, something has to change.  I weigh more now then I did at full-term with Eve!  I was looking through old blog posts the other day and came across a picture of me on my due date with Lex, and my first thought was, “wow, I was skinny!”  Not my belly, of course, but my arms, legs, and face looked so much thinner than today.  Ugh!

Sugar is something that is getting more and more attention these days.  I often find myself reminding the kids about the sugar high/crash cycle, and it occurred to me that maybe removing sugar from our diets would benefit all of us!  It’s a scary proposition, so I did what I usually do and thought about it for a month or two.  Then I cautiously broached the subject with Alan and, of course, he loved it!  Yesterday we told the kids.  They were less enthused!  :)

The plan is to use up what we have in the house, but stop buying obviously sugary things (cookies, ice cream, sugar cereals, granola bars, etc.).  From there we will move to looking more closely at the non-sweet things and looking for alternatives with no sugar.  Not “sugar-free” products, because they are just full of fake sugar, but the goal is to look for items with fewer ingredients, less processed, and more real food.  The idea is terrifying, but the idea of not making the change is even more terrifying!

The kids both cried.  Lex said it’s a good thing Feburary is the shortest month of the year (yes, that was part of my plan), and Eve, through tears, asked if she could still have a cake on her birthday.  She also worried about what to do with all the Valentine’s Day candy she will receive.  Big problems to overcome!

After family meeting, we gathered in the living room and I put on Fed Up on Netflix.  The kids insisted they did not want to watch, and I didn’t push the issue, so they sat with their laptops in the living room “not” watching the movie.  I paused it at various times and they had lots of comments about it and by the end they were both actively engaged!  Eve is all on board, because Eve is always either all in or all out of every activity!  Lex reluctantly agreed that it might be a good idea.  While we were making dinner Eve gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you for doing this now, mommy, before I get obese.  I don’t want to be obese.”  (The movie focuses a lot on obesity.)  She had a smoothie and oatmeal for breakfast and I noticed Lex chose Cheerios over his usual Mini-wheats when he had cereal today.  Maybe a coincidence, maybe not, I didn’t ask.

I was just looking through the Fed Up website and it says that you should quit cold turkey, because if you wean off it slowly the sugar will continue calling to sugar and make it harder for you to quit.  They say if you quit all at once you’ll start feeling better in 1-2 days and cravings will be completely gone within three weeks.  Maybe we should wean off a little faster than originally planned… but after Alan’s birthday this week!  Birthday Cookies are already under way!  :)

Now… what do with all those Girl Scout arriving mid-February…

Middle school concert

Lex had his first middle school concert tonight. It was just 6th graders, which was great! Not too long, not too crowded, just right. Lex ROCKED!

The dress code was nice clothes, black on bottom, white on top. Lex managed the correct colors, but it’s debatable whether black sweats and Alan’s white t-shirt count as “nice” clothes. But hey, he’s up there and he’s rockin’, so all is well!

The band was snapping their fingers making the rain sound and Lex did the rumble of thunder.

I love, love, love watching him play in the band. His confidence is outstanding and he smiles and jokes with the other percussionists between sets. It does my mommy heart proud!

Dad, I’m going to find out when his next concert is and you totally should come.  You’d love it!!

Unrelated, but funny, earlier today Arlo was begging for cheese.  See his nose?  :)

Cheese please!