The toddler eating trials

Anyone who has ever been near a toddler at feeding time knows that getting them to eat what is put in from them is not an easy task. It’s no exception in our house. We have always had luck getting her to eat fruits and vegetables (although the ones she loved yesterday might be highly offensive today), and since I couldn’t cook when we lived with the in laws, we did a lot of snacking. I’d keep the mini fridge full of fruit and veggie trays (not the most cost effective, by any means, but easy), so that when she was hungry, she had food options. I’d also usually keep some full fat cheese and some Applegate lunch meats. Clearly, not as awesome as sitting down to eat actual meals, (and we did always have something more substantial for dinner), but under the circumstances, it was the best I could do.

Sliced Cucumber

Goose with Raspberries and Banana

When we moved into our own place, I knew that getting her to eat meals (and the meals that I prepared) was going to be an adjustment. I didn’t, however, get the memo that it was going to be such an issue. In the beginning, we tried to force her to eat at least one bite of whatever I made. You would think that just one bite would be do-able, but I have never in my entire life met anyone as stubborn as this child. After a few days of this, we realized that that was not the approach that was going to get us results. If we continued down that patch, meal time was going to turn into a battle every single time, and meal time wasn’t going to be the pleasant family time that I was hoping for.

Goose with Pear

So, we changed our approach. She does need to sit at the table until everyone is done eating. That’s not negotiable, but we stopped pressuring her to eat. My husband and I do make a big deal about how good the food is while we are eating, and usually this will encourage her to eat it. If it doesn’t though, we just let it go. Maybe she’s not hungry, maybe she is just being picky, I don’t know. However, I won’t make her something different. Dinner is what I make, and that is that. We have had way more success with this method.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting toddlers to eat? I’d love to hear what works for your family in the comments below!

Updates, updates

So, it’s been far too long. Although, in all fairness, I warned you all that it was going to be a bit before I got back to you. I didn’t want or expect it to be this long though. For that, I certainly do apologize.

In the few months that I have been MIA, there have been some big changes. The first one being that I gave birth to our second baby. I gave birth to her with no drugs. Not so much by choice, but because I missed the boat on the epidural. Buy the time they got me settled into my room, it was too late. I will be honest, it hurt, I let out a lot of curse words, but it wasn’t unbearable pain. Now that I know I can do it, I will probably just opt out of the drugs if I have any more children. So far things are going well. Going from one child to two kids under two has been an adjustment to say the least. I’ve been drinking far more coffee than I should be, but I’m hanging in there. I also must confess, in the beginning, I was also eating a fair amount of junk food, for the quick energy that the sugar was providing. Luckily, I was able to get a handle on that pretty quickly.

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         The other big news is that we moved. I had hoped that we would be able to move before the baby came, but that didn’t happen. Luckily, my in laws were nice, and tried to convince me that having a newborn in their house wasn’t an inconvenience. I could tell by their tired eyes, though, that it was, and as soon as we were able to, we made the move into our own place.

         The first thing to get unpacked was the kitchen, and once we were able to stock up on real food ingredients, there was no looking back. We’ve all been eating better, and I was able to kick that junk food habit pretty quickly. One of the first things I did was to make a giant batch of salad to keep us fueled during the moving and unpacking process. This one just has a ton of veggies, some Applegate turkey, a bit of feta cheese, and Balsamic Vinaigrette that I made using this recipe from Primal Palate.

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       Anyway, thank you for bearing with me while I was away. I look forward to reconnecting with you all again. Please let me know in the comments section if you have any questions or if there is anything you’d like me to talk about. Thanks

Working out While Knocked Up…..

The general consensus among doctors is that if you worked out before you got pregnant, you can keep doing whatever you were doing while you are pregnant. I’ve been completely honest about this, back in December, when I got pregnant, I was way off track. The most exercise I was doing was lifting non-Paleo cookies to my mouth and eating them. That’s not awesome for me, and certainly not awesome for the tiny human I’m growing. I’ve cleaned up my eating habits quite a bit since then. (I’m not going to lie, though, I’m human, and sometimes I eat crap that I know isn’t going to make me feel my best). Now that the snow and ice have also melted, I’ve started walking again. Now, I wasn’t doing this before I got pregnant, but my doctor gave me the green light. They don’t advise going from couch surfing all the time to crossfit or running marathons during pregnancy, but taking some walks is pretty safe. So, I try to get out as often as I can for a walk. I plop our little one in her stroller, and we go. It’s nice because she loves it just as much as I do. We’ve taken walks together since I got the okay from my doctors after having her, so she’s used to be outside and getting some fresh air. I love it, too, because not only do I feel like I’m taking care of myself, and the new baby, but I feel like I’m teaching her healthy habits from the start. wpid-img_20140414_190451236_hdr.jpg wpid-img_20140411_165344604_hdr.jpgwpid-img_20140411_165420381.jpg

M.I.A

Admittedly, I’ve been missing in action since the move. This adjustment has been a much larger struggle than I had anticipated. We are still staying with family, and as such don’t have our own kitchen for cooking. I, of course, can use the kitchen here, but that generally means washing the dishes that I need to use, cooking, and then cleaning up after myself. Aside from that, there isn’t room for groceries in the refrigerator here.  Which is totally fine, this isn’t our house. We are guests here, but running to the store each day to get groceries to prepare a meal can be inconvenient to say the least. The other major hindrance is that the family is opposed to Paleo. At first, they were willing to eat if I cooked, but when everyone loved the food, it seemed to become an issue. Like I was trying to be a show off or something. I’m not really sure what the issue is, but it’s very clear that there is one. Now, if I cook, they “just ate,”  “aren’t hungry” or will try a single bite to be polite. (Then they will go back and sneak more food when they think we’re not around….) I’m not sure why they are so strongly opposed to it, since they seem to have enjoyed anything that I’ve cooked, but they don’t want to hear about Paleo, they don’t want to look at my cookbooks, and they don’t want to try my cooking. In fact, they bury my cookbooks in the kitchen, making it more difficult for me to find them, and they move any groceries we do buy to the back of the refrigerator so that I can’t  find them, and move any dry goods to the higher shelves that I can’t reach. Okay, cool, I get it. You want nothing to do with Paleo.

With that said, one of my brother in laws was just hospitalized for diabetes. Turns out that he is a type 1 diabetic and nobody knew. They have made adjustments to his diet, loaded him up with medications, and he’s adjusted to eating boring food and being hungry all of the time.  Then he was diagnosed with high cholesterol. They have made more adjustments, added more medication, loaded up the house with fake sugar, fake butter, fake eggs, and all of the other chemical filled “foods” that are supposed to be healthier for him. Meanwhile, he is hungry all of the time, and miserable. He asks my husband and I nearly every day to cook dinner for everyone, because he knows that whatever we cook will be good, and he will be able to eat as much as he wants. Our hands are pretty tied though. If we cook for him, he gets told he can’t have any, and we make the family who is still providing us with a place to live mad. If we don’t cook for him, though, he gets to eat a bunch of chemicals, tasteless crap, and be hungry. It’s so frustrating to watch and to be a part of. We could help if they would let us. We could make things easier if they would let us, but they won’t.  I’m at all loss with it all, really. I don’t even know what to do.

However, hubby and I are pissing them off and cooking for ourselves as much as possible. It is a pain, and inconvenient, but well worth it.  I cannot wait until I have my own kitchen again, with plenty of space for healthy foods, and my kitchen gadgets. In the meantime, though, we are making the best of a crappy situation and trying our best to do what we need to do for our own well being. We cannot change their mindsets, but to damage our own health in the meantime is just silly. We offer some food to all of them every time we cook, even though we know what the answer we be. We both were suffering relapses with our health, and gaining weight, and we just reached a point where being polite wasn’t worth the damage that it was doing anymore. Plus, we found out that we are expecting another baby. I am not willing to keep damaging my health knowing full well that I am growing another life inside of me. I can’t do that to myself, or to this baby.

So, in the meantime, I hope to be able to blog more often than I have been, but if it is still a bit scattered, I apologize in advance. I am certainly doing the best that I can, with what I have.  As always, I can’t thank you enough for being here and following along with my adventures.

 

Feeding the Baby During the Move

Way back in one of my first posts, I talked about my inability to breast feed, and what I do instead. Well, the formula that I make is supposed to be made fresh every day, or every other day.  That’s not going to be possible to do while we’re driving across country during our move. One of my biggest concerns, of course, is how to feed the baby along the way, without compromising the quality of her food. So, I’ve been making extra formula, and freezing it in breast milk storage bags. I’ve laid the bags flat, thinking that they will take up less space in the cooler that way. Each bag has about one bottle’s worth of formula. formulaWhat you can’t see, is that there is another stack behind this one. In all, this is about 10 days worth of food for the baby. My hope is that with enough ice, this will work for the entire trip. I’ve heard from other mothers who have done this while traveling, but not from anyone who has done it during an entire cross country move. We’ll see what happens. We do have an overnight stop planned around the half way point, where I’ll be able to reassess the situation if need be, and I can make more formula if I have to, but right now, this is the plan.

The before pictures

This post isn’t pretty, but I want to share with you a bit more about my Paleo journey. I have already talked about the dramatic improvements to my health in my first post. Those improvements to my health are why I tried paleo, and why it has become a lifestyle for me. It’s not a diet, or a temporary thing, this is how I live, and it’s because I feel better, and my husband feels better. It’s because I was able to stop taking 17 pills a day, and start participating in my life. With that said, I would be foolish not to acknowledge that there have been physical improvements as well. So, here goes…..

Before Paleo

This picture was probably taken around my heaviest. There aren’t many pictures of me at this weight, but I was close to 200lbs at one point. At this point, I didn’t drink soda, and we ate a diet pretty close to what doctor’s recommend. We were eating whole grains, and watching portions, but in hindsight, I’m sure we weren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t gaining any weight at this time, but I wasn’t losing any either. I was far from healthy.

CHEESE

In this picture, I was the thinnest that I had ever been as an adult. I was about 170lbs. I was eating 1200 calories a day, obsessing over my food choices, working full time, and working out twice a day. While I certainly looked better, I didn’t feel better.

IMG_2969This was taken about two months before we started eating paleo. At this time, I was taking 17 pills a day, never ventured far from home, just in case my health took a turn for the worst, and while I was working out almost daily, that was about all I was managing to do. I was spending a lot of my time in bed, or laying on the couch, resting.

IMG_0535This picture was taken 2 weeks after I had the baby. Not working out, not counting calories, and, more importantly, not taking any medications. I weigh less now than I ever have as an adult, and I finally feel like I’m participating in my life. I understand that Paleo isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. Yes, paleo changed my appearance, but more importantly, paleo changed the quality of my life in some really great ways.

ErgoBaby!

A few weeks ago, I posted about the sanity saver that is baby wearing. In that post, I mentioned that Zulily had an amazing deal on Ergo Baby Carriers recently. I ordered one, and I promised to give my thoughts when I got it. I had heard from other moms and read lots of blogs where the Ergo Carriers are highly recommended. I was still a bit skeptical, though. I mean, honestly, how much different could it possibly be from the one I already had? Turns out it’s quite different.

The day I got it, I thought I’d test it out by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping the floors. It turns out that the carrier is actually easier to use than my old one. It also has options. I can carry her on my front, my back, or my hip. I’ve tried the front carry, and the hip carry so far. My little one, even at 8 months, is still so little that I’m entirely comfortable with her on my back yet. (Although I’m sure she will love being able to see everything). The front carry is great. It’s so comfortable. The shoulder straps and the waist belt have so much more padding than my old carrier. My husband noticed a difference as well. I do think that I need to invest in the teething pads though, since she keeps trying to chew on the straps. The hip carry didn’t feel so secure to me, but it could be because of her size, or simply because I did something wrong when I put it on. (That’s the more likely cause…). I love that the carrier has a hood that I put over her head if I need to, and a storage pocket in the front that is easily accessible while I’m wearing her. It came in handy when we went out mini golfing. Ergobaby photo(17)Over all, I’d definitely give the Ergo Baby two thumbs up. I got a fantastic deal on mine, but I can see why people would pay retail price for these. They are definitely worth it, and definitely much easier on my back than the other one I had.