Friday, January 30, 2015

what's up (every) weekly.

i feel like, lately, all i ever say is stuff like, 'nothing to report.  it's been a pretty typical week.'  and guess what?  this week is really no different.  so i figured i could at least tell you what a typical week entails for us.

mondays, i get the kids up around 9:00, like i do most days, at which point finneas always says, 'good morning! where is my daddy?' like he does most days.  9:00-10:30 is a mad dash of making breakfast, serving breakfast, cleaning up breakfast, changing diapers, taking finneas potty, making the big kids pick up their stuff and get dressed, and (on unusually good days) brushing everyone's teeth and dressing the little kids.  then from 11-12:30, we do some homeschool stuff while laurelai naps - folk songs and hymns, reading, math, handwriting.  then another mad dash begins at lunchtime.  then, in the afternoon while the little kids nap again, the big kids and i cuddle on the couch for about 45 minutes and do our read-aloud stories, bible reading, character discussion, and memory work.  then the big kids head to the basement, their room, or outside to play while i do something entirely self-interested for an hour and a half, like read a book or watch netflix.  then it's time to get dinner, serve dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner, clean up the house, etc etc etc, and monday is over.

tuesdays look almost identical to mondays, except that we have connection group in the evening, so i have to make sure to have found time to shower and put on makeup in there, and make dinner for our babysitters, and be out the door on time.

wednesdays are kind of a wild card.  todd is usually home in the morning, so sometimes i go grocery shopping after breakfast.  sometimes i go to the gym.  it's supposed to be cleaning day, but often that gets shuffled around.  the kids all get baths.  in the afternoon, i make the big kids nap, since they're usually up late for connection group reasons on tuesday nights.  we don't do school on wednesdays.

thursdays are also a bit of a wild card, since todd is usually home these mornings as well.  yesterday we took the kids to the library, but oh my word, i HATE doing that for various reasons, so it's by far a less-often-than-weekly occurrence.  (i usually put a bunch of stuff on hold so that i don't have to search the shelves myself for what i want. i dart in to check out my stuff, let the kids play with the trains for like .02, and book it out of there before someone starts to have a meltdown.  also, i usually check out enough stuff to last us nine weeks or so, since that's the maximum amount of time one can check out and renew library books, so i space our trips waaaay out.)  in the afternoon, the big kids do art activities while the littles are napping.

fridays are repeats of mondays and tuesdays.

it's a decent rhythm we have going, although not without its frustrations, and there are usually at least two days a week that plans get totally changed, which i really hate but que sera sera, no?  this week's quirks included taking laurelai's pacifier away for good (she kept figuring out how to detach it from herself and then losing it, causing endless fits), so we had quite a few sleepless nights.

anyway, there's a look at our weeks!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

the whole9 yards.


well, folks.  yesterday was day thirty of the whole30, and i have to brag:  we did it.  we got through it with grace and dignity and at least less-than-daily meltdowns.  

the kids and i had the easiest go of it at the beginning, i'd say.  the kids were more temperamental, slept a ton, and fought all the time, so it wasn't rainbows and daisies those first couple of weeks, but they rarely asked about pizza, or why we couldn't eat noodles.  after the novelty of the whole thing wore off, they genuinely seemed to feel better, but they were mentally pretty over it.  and, honestly, so was i, once i started PMSing and wanting to eat everything sugary and chocolaty and salty and fatty.  those were a rough couple of days.

but we all made it through.  and i successfully never gave into the urge to cheat.  there were a couple of days in which i discovered that the banana chips or the mustard that i'd been serving had added sugar or something, which was frustrating, but i never knowingly fudged.  (ooh, fudgggggge.)  i'm proud of my accomplishment, since i'm not an overly self-disciplined person, generally speaking.

apart from the iron will it required, it also necessitated a bunch of planning.  here are some things that i think made it easier for me.

i took a week or so before we began to sit down and plan out every. single. thing. we were going to eat over the next thirty days.  i usually meal plan for dinner entrees and that's it, but this month i kept a menu for every single thing served at every single meal.  toward the end i got a bit more lackadaisical about side dishes and stuff (throw a bunch of roasted veggies, a salad, some baby carrots, some sauerkraut, and a couple of olives on the plate next to whatever your entree is and you've got yourself a meal).

also, because there was SO MUCH PRODUCE involved, we grocery shopped weekly, so i planned each week's grocery trips at the beginning of the month as well.

i printed out every single recipe i'd need over the course of the month, and kept them all in a binder with my menu plan and my grocery lists, so i had it all right on hand whenever i needed it.  (i personally hate getting to meal prep time and having to squirrel my way through my pinterest boards or whatever, looking for some recipe i buried, and then clicking the link, and then scrolling past the WAY TOO MANY PHOTOS that are always on food blogs.  it takes FORRRRRRRR. EVVVVVVVVV. ERRRRRRRR.  i'd rather just have it immediately in tangible black and white and times new roman, thankyouverymuch.)  i'd show you a photo of my binder, but i realize this post has already crossed the border into WhoCaresVille and is not coming back anytime soon, so i'll spare you.

and, just because i'm going to use whole30 as an excuse to act like an incessant dirtbag for another week yet, i'm planning on doing a recipe roundup next week of some of the genuinely yummy stuff we ate this month.  hold your breath for it, it'll be worth it.

now.  please excuse me while i go eat those chocolate covered caramels i've been lucid-dreaming about for the last three weeks.  ahem.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

video vednesday: zebras: they're not your friend.

welcome to homie school science class.  lesson one:  Let's Just Clear Something Up, Shall We?

Monday, January 26, 2015

this is how we do.

parkour, playas.  parkour.

Friday, January 23, 2015

what's up - and who's down - weekly.

this has just been a blah week, guys.  i just feel... blah.  the weather is nicer, i'm supposed to be in 'tiger blood' mode at this point in the whole30, and yet... blah blah blah. 

well, let's just jump right in, shall we?  my house currently smells like a head shop, so there's that.  a friend gifted me an oil diffuser recently, and 'stress relief blend' has been the oil of choice now that the sickness seems to have left the building and more medicinal oils aren't as necessary.  as it turns out, patchouli seems to be a major ingredient in 'stress relief,' and while it does seem to be helping with the mood issues, it also makes me feel like my house constantly smells slightly illegal.  my eyes have gotten shiftier as a result.  so if you see me, i'll probably look more relaxed than usual, but somehow simultaneously more jittery because i feel like everyone thinks i smell like a criminal.  

and now i appear to be paranoid.  excellent.  i'm really building a pretty good case for laying off the oils for a while.

in other news, it has been beautiful here.  i'm talking everyday in the thirties and forties.  i feel like i should start putting sunblock on the kids when they head outside.  the sun has been shining, the snow has been melting, and the yard has been looking, well, pretty tragic, if i'm being honest.  the kids went outside to 'play in the snow,' which was pretty limited in its scope, as it turns out.

hahahaha, i literally belly laughed when i first discovered that second picture on the camera card.  the fact that he's full-on scooping a pile of snow that's roughly the size of a pie just kills me.

annnnnd last but not least, the whole30 report.  i wish i had happier news on this front.  we're all staying strong, although the kids are getting totally and completely disillusioned with the whole thing and ask every day how many days we have left before we can 'stop eating healthy food.'  and, you know what?  i kind of agree with them.  (today is day twenty-five, as though i'm counting or something.)

i bought a package of salted chocolate-covered caramels at trader joe's a couple of weeks ago, to save as a treat for after this whole thing (ha. ha.) is over, and knowing those things are lurking around in my basement makes me feel about as desperate as, um, a desperado?  are those guys desperate?  it sounds like they might be based on the name alone, and they're probably at least desperately thirsty for love.  and also literally thirsty for water, from what i can tell, since they're always depicted as being covered in sand and running away from the law, which both seem like dehydrating activities.  well, anyway, i'm thirsty for chocolate.  any and all kinds.  and i'm getting a little bitter at the fact that raisins are expected to scratch that itch for me, because hello, i'm not new: it's pretty obvious a raisin is just a grape that got left out overnight.  

i'm pretty sure this chocolate withdrawal is half my blahdom explained.  it also probably indicates that, twenty-five days in, my sugar addiction is still not under control, and that i should keep going beyond thirty days.  but guys, i'm just not sure that i'm strong enough.  i think those caramels from trader jose's have got my goat and really it's a modern day miracle that i haven't caved and eaten them before now.  i'm starting to talk to myself in the third person like a hippie therapist, being all, 'you're stronger than this, paige,'  and 'independent, confident women don't have to binge eat in their basements to feel satisfied with their lives, paige,' and 'it's just food, it's not love, tiny flower.'

that's probably just a result of the patchouli as well, though.  i think it's becoming clear that i really should lay off it for a while.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

video vednesday: (YES RICE)

aaaaaaaagh, i forgot!

Monday, January 19, 2015

i love you. i like you. your hair looks pretty.

happy monday from one mister finneas van voorst.

to quote finneas' highest and most frequently-given compliment:  "i love you.  i like you.  your hair looks pretty."

now, if you don't think that's a great way to start off a monday, then you have unreasonable expectations for this life.

Friday, January 16, 2015

what's been up? (weekly.)

as i've mentioned, and as you may have seen on my instagram or facebook, we've had a nasty bug bouncing around this past week.  three of the kids each had a 24-hour stint with a really high fever, followed on subsequent days with lots of tiredness, meltdowns, and massive naps, as well as deep coughs and congestion.  it has not been pleasant for them.  we're past the one-week mark, and they're still trying to kick this thing for good.  so it's been a low-key week.  other than having some friends stay with us last weekend, we haven't really seen anyone, as we had to miss church as well.  yesterday seemed to be better, with most kids feeling on the up-and-up, and with warm enough weather for the older two to play outside for a while.  whew.  this virus ain't no joke.

penelope's been hit the hardest, with multiple non-consecutive days on the couch.  it just keeps coming back to bite her.

lucky for us, this one held out for quite a while before being defeated by the crud, and at least attempted to charm the kids back to relative health with her cutie patootie face.

here's to hoping for a healthy upcoming week!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

coming to you in 2D!

for a christmas gift to todd, i asked a friend of ours to do a fun drawing of our family.  isn't it so great?!  i love how even the kids' glasses are exactly right.

the only difficulty i'm having is finding a good spot for it.  we don't have a ton of wall space in our house, and what we do have is mostly all taken with ginormo pieces of art, etc.  there's one larger empty space to the left of the piano, but as per usual, i feel the need to fill it with something larger-scale than this.  (it's hard to tell in the picture, but the drawing is 8x10 in an 11x16 frame).  i'm finding in this tiny house that bigger art makes the house itself feel bigger, which seems counter-intuitive, but also seems to work out okay in the end.  additionally, i submit with conviction that some larger art tends to make a house look more pulled together than lots of smaller art.  worth the investment in my book, but that is clearly a really substantial tangent.

anyway, i'd put this sweet drawing in our bedroom, but our bedroom is a whole sack of sad-looking, and would then only be a sad sack with a single pretty picture on the wall.  (one of these days we're going to live somewhere long enough for me to finally get around to decorating our bedroom, as it is invariably the last space i ever get to.  or, so i assume, since i've never actually lived anywhere that long to have gotten that far.)  plus, as is my reasoning for never decorating our bedroom with anything in the first place:  no one but us will ever see it, and that's a bummer.

oh, the dilemma.  where should i hang it, guys?!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

video vednesday: salt. salt. salt.