Friday, June 22, 2012

Conversation about Peaches

Conversation heard while eating peaches:
"Jack, I found da pit!"
"You don't eat da pit. It make you sick."
"I not eat da pit. Is yucky!"
"Tanks, Ben."

So grateful to provide my kids with a childhood where the most challenging part of their day includes avoiding the seeds in their fruit. Thank you, Lord!

 Ben (above) and Jack - identical, but completely original

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lots of Changes

Megan will be 10 weeks this week. It feels like it's going a lot quicker the second time around!

In addition to having THREE kids in our house and getting used to traveling with all of them on my own, we've been making quite a few changes around here. The biggest one is our eating. Seven weeks ago, Andy and I joined Weight Watchers. Such a great decision!

We had been talking a lot about taking better care of ourselves, but it was just so hard to make the first step. After hearing about how my older sister was nearing the Fifty Pounds Lost mark with Weight Watchers, we decided it was worth the investment.

Since then, we have lost 45 pounds between the two of us, 25 pounds of which was mine! (Of course, some credit goes to my good eater, who's helping me lose weight by breastfeeding :) My husband looks like he did when we were dating and yesterday, I wore a dress to church that I had bought for our wedding rehearsal! I still have a tummy, but gosh, parts of my belly are still numb from my c-section! Both of us have lost every week since we joined and I absolutely love how we're eating.

I tease that it's like having a part time job. It takes a little more time to research groceries, prepare them and then bring food with us when we go out. But there's no turning back now!

The first few grocery trips took the longest, as we had to read more labels and make better choices. Now we just get much of the same foods, from week to week. No fat, low fat foods are the best. And lots of produce.

Since Andy and I both have a set number of points we're encouraged to eat everyday (based on our height, weight and age, making allowances for the fact that I'm exclusively breastfeeding,) we try and save our points for things that count. I can have whatever I want during the day. But now I'm more choosy about saving that chocolate chip cookie for when I really want it, rather than indulging in whatever I want, whenever I want. Fruits and vegetables are zero points (well, except for things like black beans and corn on the cob, etc) so we eat a TON of them. As raw as possible. You wouldn't believe how much of our grocery bill is fresh produce - but we couldn't have chosen a better time of year to eat like this! My husband feels like one of the reasons he's continued to do so well on this program is the fact that he can eat as many vegetables as he wants during the day, which he appreciates.

One of the best things we've been doing is what we've come to call "Slice and Dice." After putting all three kids to bed on the night we've gone grocery shopping, Andy and I head into the kitchen for at least an hour in order to cut up ALL of the fruits and veggies we can, at least ones that won't spoil (like strawberries, cherries and kiwi.) I clean and cut colored peppers, green beans and sugar snap peas and put many of them into sandwich-sized bags to grab during the week. Andy chops onions for cooking and stores in containers in the fridge. Pineapple, cantoloupe, and watermelon all get cut up and stored into large containers for us to enjoy when we'd like. Spending this time saves us a TON of time during the week. Plus it's a great way to make the good food more accessible. When we're hungry, we try and look for something in the fridge, not the cupboards where you'll find more of the processed and fatty stuff. This has been a HUGE change for us.

We also pack our lunches every night. Even for me. Andy's bag is super heavy, but it's filled with two sandwiches, water bottles and a TON of fruits and veggies in bags. We've come to appreciate the natural flavor of vegetables again, even in their rawest form.

Dinner felt a bit daunting at first, but I'm getting better! Chicken stir fry and fajitas are a favorite for us, but even sausage, peppers and onions looks a little different nowadays. Instead of regular sausage, I buy chicken sausage. And we eat them on a thin roll (called Thin Selects, the same bread we eat our lunch sandwiches on.) Since meat has so many points, we don't eat as much of it anymore. I'm making more substitutions. I still cook many of our favorite meals, but I'll use low fat ingredients now or we just eat smaller portions. Our dinners now are made up of more than 50% veggies (usually sauteed with onions and garlic,) 25% meat and 25% starch. That's a HUGE change. And I don't add butter to cooked vegetables anymore. They don't need it!!

At first, I was scared by how much more expensive our grocery bills would be with all of this fresh (and expensive) produce. But it kinda feels like we're spending the same amount we did before, if not less overall. We're not buying as much food on the run anymore and we don't go out to eat as much. When we do go out for hot dogs, Andy and I usually get a chicken sandwich, split a salad and then we'll usually have some of the French fries with the boys. We don't plan on getting dessert every time. I buy ice cream sandwiches and keep those in the freezer for the times when I really need something sweet - they're only 4 points! The other 'guilty pleasure' of mine doesn't have any points at all... basically, anything dipped in fat free Cool Whip. Yup, I can eat a LOT of that.

One of the biggest reasons for my success (in my opinion) is the fact that Andy is doing this with me. We weigh in every Sunday morning. Both of us. Gone are the days when I would grab food to eat by myself, in private. 'Cause the scale don't lie. If I cheat over and over, it's going to show. And I can't hide it anymore. Our boys don't mind these changes too because they've always eaten like this! It's nice that Andy and I finally joined them. It's nice that we keep eachother accountable and help encourage the other when we get discouraged.

Seven weeks later, Andy and I are about 10-15 pounds from our goal weights. Unbelievable. Who knows? Perhaps we'll get there and decide to keep going!!! Woohoo!!! Thank you, Weight Watchers!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two Months Old

Two months later and I still think we chose the perfect name for her. Megan means "little pearl" and her middle name is Joy. Yup. Perfect.

Megan is such a wonderful baby. We know when she wants something, for sure, but we are thrilled to have such a content and happy little one. She doesn't even mind when the boys fight to hold her and then squeeze her tightly in their arms. Just in the past few weeks, she's begun straining her neck to watch her brothers play and tonight, she was fussing until I moved her where she could watch them. So sweet.

Jack has blossomed into a wonderfully protective big brother. When she's crying, he'll ask to hold her. "Her want me," he says. And then while he pats her gently on the head or the back, he repeats, "It's okay, Megan. Okay, okay, okay, okay." And then just recently, he added, "It's okay, I'm here." Just makes me want to melt. So grateful her brothers accepted her so nicely into our clan.

She's definitely a keeper.