Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So today is the start of Lent. I hadn't decided on giving anything up.  Usually I try to just adopt a new, improved outlook or habit to be a better or healthier person rather than viewing it as giving something up.  I guess that defeats the whole purpose of the sacrifice, though, doesn't it?

Well, I decided that even though I'm late to the decision and have already cheated today...I'm going to give up chocolate.  That's right.  This one will truly be a sacrifice, people.  I think I have chocolate in some form almost every day, and even put chocolate chips in my banana bread and zucchini bread.  (we can't let ourselves get too healthy, can we?!)

We are continuing our no-meat diet here at home, too.  It's going well.  I'm learning more and more each week and am starting to find out what works for us and when it's just too much soy or beans too many days in a row, so finding a larger variety of protein sources is key! The boys are doing great with it, and honestly, I don't even miss the beef or poultry. 

I do miss Chick-Fil-A sometimes, though...oh my goodness, that is some good stuff.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Little is better than None...

I've been a little discouraged lately with my general fitness level.  Granted, I have not been devoting much time to exercise period, so it's not a big surprise, but still. 
I will admit this is largely driven by vanity at the moment...I mean, who wants a muffin top?  But it's also about having an outlet for working out the stress and challenges of the day. 

I headed out today for the first time a week for a jog (I do not kid myself these days that I truly run...) after battling a bad cold/sinus thing because I needed it.  The dogs needed it, too.  We are all better for it.  It was tough for me, even though I only did 3 miles today.  But then I need to give myself some credit I suppose - some is better than none, and 3 years ago, I couldn't even run 1 mile without stopping. 
There are days where I need more than 3 miles/30 minutes...but if the day (and my body) only allows me those 30 minutes, I'll take 'em.  I'm going to keep trying like crazy to get on a good schedule so I am sure to get in my "me" time on the road. 

How do you get in your exercise or personal time?  What helps you unwind most after a stressful day?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Perfect Mom?

I saw this today and it is oh-so-true!  W went to school one day wearing 2 different shoes, and I didn’t even notice till we got there…and just this morning, he asked for ice cream for breakfast (I was able to fend that request off till at least after lunch, phew!)

Anyway, thank you for this, Carrie!  You can see the article here and her Facebook page here.

Top Ten Ways I Was a Perfect Mom Until I Had Kids

1. I will not bribe my kids.  They will behave because they have such great internal moral compasses, and complying will be what they want to do.

Reality: I will let you eat Hershey kisses for breakfast if you stay in your bed tonight.  I will take you anywhere you want to go if you will just stay in your bed tonight.

2. I will maintain appropriate boundaries in the bathroom.

Reality: Most days, I use the bathroom with three little faces watching my every move.  The upside?  There is always someone nearby to run and get a new roll of toilet paper when I’m stranded.

3. My kids will leave the house with their hair combed neatly and wearing clothes that match.

Reality: We hit a low last summer when Annie Rose insisted on wearing one snow boot and one flip flop to Target, happily limping her way through the aisles. An astonishing number of old ladies asked if I was aware that her shoes didn’t match.  Yes, thank you for your concern, I replied.

4. I will control my potty mouth in front of the kids.

Reality: Oh, shit the fire alarm is going off again.  Damn it, the dinner is burning.  Shit! Shit! Shit! My girls reply, at least it’s better than Christmas Eve, when Daddy caught on fire.

5. I will spend time taking care of myself even after I have kids. 

Reality: A shower every three or four days, if I’m lucky.  A brown Crayola marker is a lot faster and cheaper than getting my roots colored (but try to explain to a 4-yr-old why Mommy is allowed to scribble with markers in her hair).  And my health club might as well apply for 501c3 status, since I give them a monthly donation. 

6. I will model healthy conflict resolution skills, and I will be gracious when I am right.

Reality: I have been known to chant “I was right! You were wrong!” to my husband, as I sing and march around the kitchen, doing a victory dance.

7. I will share, and thus my kids will be good sharers, too.

Reality: Get out of my makeup, girls!  It's mine!  Get out of my toiletries!

8. My kids will only eat wholesome, balanced meals with one reasonable dessert after dinner.

Reality: Fine, you may have a bowl of ice cream for “breakfast dessert.”  It’s got calcium, right? And all the good milk fat that your growing brain needs! Here, have a second helping.

9. We will be on time for school, appointments, classes and playdates.

Reality: How is it that everyone is up three hours before school starts and we are the last ones to arrive? 

10. My kids will see me as an empowered woman and a role model of how women can achieve success outside of the house.

Reality: If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my tombstone would say, “Here lies Carrie.  Now who will do the laundry?”

Living Green and Being Healthier

After cleaning up a lot of pee yesterday, and then doing a load of cloth diapers, I got to thinking about how the cleaning routines have changed in our house since we moved in.  It used to be all chemical-based, since that’s what was cheap and that’s what I knew.  Then, we got 2 dogs and had 2 babies…

While I wouldn’t call myself totally green, I do make an effort every day to recycle and look out for the planet we’ll be leaving to our children.  It’s part of why I decided to cloth diaper baby #2 (and use cloth wipes!  Which is actually soooo much easier than disposable wipes, at least at home).  Basically, once I had a little baby to think about, and especially when he started laying and crawling on the floor, I was very aware of what I put on the floor to clean up after the big messy dogs.  And then when Daisy started with her spay-related incontinence (joy) and was getting a big cyst/tumor on her shoulder (since removed, but unfortunately coming back), I started really looking into how we could go natural with the dog food and holistic remedies, too, rather than adding more chemicals and hormones into our routine.

Sometimes, I find it to be overwhelming to think about “being green",” I’ll be honest.  But the more I look into it, the more I realize what we are ALREADY doing to live greener every day.  This is no small feat considering the mess and amount of daily waste our family of 2 kids and 2 big dogs can generate.  Trust me when I tell you, it can be a lot.  But it’s good to know that I’m doing a little something right even on those days where the messes just keep coming.  And that keeps me inspired to keep working at it and greening up our life!

So, on the bright side, here’s what we have going for our green lifestyle already.  A lot of little things can really add up!!

  • we rarely fill up our trash can each week – but our recycling bin is always full for pickup every 2 weeks. 
  • we installed a “doggie dooley” in the backyard when we first got the 2 dogs to compost the yard waste.  we’re looking to get this up and running again now that I’ve done some more research on how to keep it going.  (poor system just couldn’t keep up with our poopers, and we might actually need a second doggie septic system. um, TMI?)
  • we use reusable cups and water bottles for us and the boys
  • we make our own coffee each morning and use reusable travel mugs
  • we plant and eat our own vegetables each summer – the garden expands each year with more plants!
    • and we use our old coffee grounds to enrich the garden soil rather than chemical fertilizers.
  • online bill pay – paperless!
  • all-natural cleaning supplies
    • I buy several Method products for the kitchen and bath and like them a lot
    • I use a lot of vinegar and water to clean and de-grease
    • Tea tree oil and water solution to fight mildew in the bathrooms
    • ROCKIN’ GREEN – the super awesome laundry detergent that you know I love and that will truly take the stain out of anything AND that you can feel safe using around kids and dogs that are always on the floor.  (seriously, if you haven’t already, go check them out. I get their “52 weeks of clean” newsletter and have picked up some great tips!)
  • we eat very clean – lots of fresh veggies and fruits, limited (lately no) meat, very limited processed and packaged food.  I buy organic whenever possible and am introducing lots of new flavors to our boys, including homemade things like hummus (which Bear adores).
  • we keep our thermostat lower in the winter, higher in the summer
  • I use reusable grocery bags at the store and reusable food storage containers at home
  • I use washable rags to clean up messes rather than paper towels
  • cloth diapers and wipes for Bear
  • tea tree oil to deodorize the diaper pail
  • we got sleeping bags from Goodwill for the dogs’ crates instead of big, expensive beds
  • we buy an all-natural dog food from a local business
  • walk or run the dogs up to the vet whenever I can for their appointments – love that they are located so close!
  • both pups are “fixed” – I didn’t think of this as being green, but I guess it is!
  • goes along with the doggie composter above, but we always pick up the poop, in our yard, and elsewhere.

What are some of your favorite tips for living greener? 

I hope you have a low-mess day Smile