Sunday, May 31, 2009

Babies, Babies, Everywhere!!

At 31 years old, Mark and I feel our baby-making days are (more or less) over, and now most of our 30-year-old friends are finally getting on the bandwagon. Soon, I will have lots of babies around to hold! And friends' babies mean lots of fun sewing!

My friend Jan and I share a love of birds. She didn't want a "theme-y" nursery, but has a few cute birdy things here and there. When I found this Joel Dewberry Aviary fabric, I knew it was for Jan.
I think I will name the pattern "Charlotte" in honor of Jan's little one, unless she changes the name. Its backed in flannel backed satin, because every baby needs a silky! I used "warm n white" all natural batting, because its real cotton and I love the feel of it.
I put together this little set for my friend Becky to give to her friend Christal. Christal and Becky have been BFF's since 5th grade, and Christal is naming her third child after Becky! Rebekah Pate Barnes will join the world Monday - precious baby. This is Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line, with which I am completely enamored. The bib is backed in soft striped chenille, which just makes me happy.

And take note of the pretty pink flower I grabbed from the front garden for these pics. Mo Ottinger has been relentlessly mocking (all in good fun) the massive hollyhock that is growing in front of the house (it has crested 6 feet, and yes, its a bit out of place) but now that I am getting these sweet flowers from it, I really don't mind!

And we have purchased the domain to put up a simple site for my projects. I have tags heading to me in the mail. I will let you know when the site is active!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Celebrations all around

May 10 was Bella's 9th birthday and Mother's Day. We celebrated all day, including a trip to build-a-bear in the afternoon. On May 12 Nonny Margaret came into town, and on the 19th we celebrated Papa Gary's first birthday in heaven. Samuel's birthday was the next day, so Mark and I really wanted to do something special to celebrate both of these days. The evening of the 19th, we left for St Louis to go to Six Flags all day on the 20th. Papa LOVED roller coasters, and amusement parks were something that Mark and his brother John enjoyed with their parents regularly when they were kids. Bella also rode her first roller coaster with Papa. It was bittersweet to enjoy that park without Gary, but it was also more precious to think about how much Papa would have enjoyed it there. Mark inherited his father's love of crazy rides, so he really enjoyed himself too.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

They should charge for this

So I thought I would post a little update about my return to health. You know, we have friends (you know who you are) that HATE New Year's Resolutions. But, if you are like me, when you happen upon the resolutions you wrote in January and realize that you have done NOTHING about it, it kick starts your motivation.

I am a bit over two weeks into the new eating plan, and by the weekend I will have been working out again for two weeks.

I can tell you I feel SO MUCH BETTER, consistently! And I do think the abs, waist and arms are already showing the results. I don't feel that I am eating much, but the smaller portions are protein-packed, so I haven't yet been hungry.

A word about getting in shape - I am enjoying the YMCA membership, but after a couple weeks of doing a few different workouts, I can safely say the 'Becky' workout is top-notch. And I love that I can do it at home, preferably while watching styleTV or something equally ridiculous.

It is as follows, and I have put my personal (ok'ed by Becky) adjustments in parentheses.

5 sets of:

10 pull ups (lat pull downs)
20 push ups (I do some regular and some girl)
30 crunches
40 squats without weights
50 jump rope (I do this without the rope)

2 minute rest in between, or till recovery. Take 20-30 seconds between the moves if you need it.

This thing will have you sore at first, but feeling very strong and sensing your whole body engaging pretty quickly. It also gets the heart rate up, while working core areas. I spent 45 minutes today in a fairly tough muscle class, and although the moves were hard, my heart rate never really went up and it took - 45 minutes. The Becky workout can be done safely in 30 minutes.

Hoping I can keep it up!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Two of my favorite things: trees and shakespeare

We recently made nature journals with help from Donna Young at Yesterday, the kids picked leaves and did a page describing a tree. We are pressing the leaves, and will insert them in our journal. When looking for a heavy book to press them in, I decided my Pelican Shakepeare was just the right heft. So we are pressing our leaves in the midst of Julius Ceasar, which we are studying for history. Does this count as a unit study?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Confessions, part deux

Jessie recently confessed her addiction to her coupon system on her blog. I guess she’s got me on a roll.

If you follow me on twitter, you might notice I have been eating strange things. Like veggies for breakfast. And live food drink for a ‘snack’. Let me fill you in…
I come from an interesting mix of folks – my dad has always been a binge eater – we all remember laughing with him as he would make up a bowl of ice cream (large) with chex mix on top. My mother raised me without sugar cereals, wheat bread only, low cal everything. She also exercised regularly (and still does). As a child, I think I leaned toward my dad’s tendencies with food – comfort eating at its finest. As a teen, I began to swim and exercise, and leaned more toward my mom. Split personality, I know.
When Mark and I were 19, we became vegetarians. Although we had been thinking of making the leap for some time, Mark’s parents took us to Outback one night and Mark wound up nearly in the hospital from some sort of food poisoning. That was his last taste of meat for over three years. When I got pregnant for Bella, I did really well until the end; I kept craving a turkey sandwich from Subway. So, meat eaters we were – again. After Bella was born, we managed to eat very healthy – I made all of her baby food, made sure she got tons of veggies, did everything “by the book”. When she was diagnosed with cancer, we immediately put her on tons of vitamins and supplements, and continued this regimen for nearly two years, adopting much of it for ourselves and Izaiah as well. During the time when I was pregnant with Sam, while Bella was still on her chemo, I lapsed into eating foods that were higher in sugar and carbs. I remember that I would crave these foods for their comfort value as well as the immediate feeling of fullness I would get – but after several months of this, I realized that I was feeling really awful most of the time. I was always just a little too tired, a little too bloated, a little too moody. At the time, I tried the Maker’s Diet and felt great...and then was able to get a handle on my eating once again. Cut to 2006 and Habitat for Hope.

So I’ve already mentioned I have the tendency to eat for comfort, right? Well, in the past 3 years not only have we entertained more than ever (think: dessert every night) but we have also been under the most stress I have ever experienced in my life (and yes, this is by choice). Every time we lose a child we have been close to, my heart breaks again – a dear friend who has been working in oncology for 30 years said its like “ripping a band-aid off, over and over”. Great analogy. When we entertain, our scripture of choice has always been Romans 14:20 – very loosely applied, we feel that we are feeding others here for their physical and spiritual sake, not ours – and therefore will prepare foods that they would love. In the south, that typically means high fat/high carb/low veggie. So we have a stressed comfort-eating mommy who is also cooking foods that her guests will enjoy, and oh yeah, eating out way too much –

And you get one depressed, angry gal.

I am sure this is only true for me, but since I was little, I could equate what I was putting in to my mouth to my general feeling of well-being. And over the past several months, something has just been off. Or maybe its been off for some time, but I am finally choosing to do something about it. A couple of times last week, I woke up simply feeling angry and fustrated. I prayed through that emotion, but the second or third time it happened, I realized something would have to give. After thinking about the reality of what goes in my mouth I came up with this:

Coffee (caffeine and sugar)
Coke Zero or Crystal Light (I had NEVER drank this stuff before this year, have no idea why I started)
Some form of dessert (usually after 10pm at night)

Throw in a couple of higher carb meals, and for me, that is a recipe for disaster.

So for the past several days, I have been detoxing. I am following my own plan, formulated just by good sense and some help from the Maker’s Diet and a few other books I have laying around. At this point, I have cut out all sugar, from food sources as well as added (so no fruit yet), and I am only allowing myself one cup of coffee in the morning. I am actually EATING breakfast, and greatly reducing my intake at all other meals. I have also added back live food (Green Vibrance is our favorite) and supplemental fiber. I am trying to eat earlier in the evening (like 5-5:30pm) and I actually think this is much better for the kids, as well. Basically, after several more days of this, I will start to add back some good grains, such as Ezekiel 4:9 breads and brown rice, and some fruits. Eventually, the idea is that I will rid my system of some stuff that has been ailing me, and at some point in the future my diet will be able to handle a few ‘extras’ here and there, but it will be more in proportion to the good stuff that is going in.

I feel amazing. I really hope it continues.
Will you pray for me? I am going to need serious will power to move ahead!