Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You Are Doing a Great Work

My little brother is serving a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.  (www.lds.org or www.mormon.org) I was writing him an email just now and the more I wrote, the more comfort I found.  I don't know if that happens to anyone else, but often when I am frustrated or in need of an answer, when I write, the answer usually comes to me.  I am not sure if it is the Lord's way of giving me inspiration or if it is just how my brain processes things, but either way, I am thankful.

In this email today, I was writing him to help him, but I found it really helping me since I have been really struggling with the day in and day out mom stuff.  You know, when you vacuum and two seconds later someone spills chips all over the floor, or when you wash all the sheets and that night someone wets the bed, so you wash the sheets and then they wet the bed again.  Seriously, my life has been like that constantly for the last six years, but for some reason, the past few weeks it has really been getting to me.  It didn't help that they were not the greatest of kids on Mother's Day.  The day that you really hope they will be adorable and cute and sing praises to your name all day.  Yeah, well, not my kids.  They weren't horrible, but just not the greatest.  And my attitude really didn't help them be any happier.

So as I was writing, I really started feeling better and better, and then when I hit "send," I thought, man, I need to read that again.  And I thought of my little sister and my sisters-in-law who I am sure feel the same way I do sometimes.  So for those of you that get sick of the mundane momhood stuff sometimes, this is for you:

"I read a scripture the other day that reminded me of you, so I thought I would share it with you: Doctrine and Covenants 68:6 (the Lord is talking to the elders called to serve missions) "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."
Pretty cool promise and instruction.  I love you lots Ammon, and I am so proud of the work you are doing.  There are many moments that I have a hard time remembering that the work I am doing is really important, especially when I feel like I am going insane with the constant chattering and fighting and snotty faces.  But my work is incredibly important.  I am raising God's children.  I am teaching them, helping them develop testimonies and faith.  And one day they will go out and teach hundreds of others about the Savior.  So I know my work is important, but sometimes it is hard to remember in the moment.

So what I am saying is, there may be moments, especially in your new area where you are tracking and searching and exhausted and people keep telling you "no thanks," when you feel like giving up or wondering why you are doing this.  So don't forget, your work is important.  It may stink sometimes, but it is worth it, and all those people will call you blessed and be thankful for the service you are giving.

We love you Buddy.  Keep smiling and sharing the truth that gives so much joy and light to the soul, just like the fiery red sunrise on a dark, cold world."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eat to Live, Part 2

Eating healthy has been a different experience for us.  I have been uber cranky about it all.  The first few days I was psycho chipper and constantly talking about how happy I felt and great everything tasted.  But then I started bugging myself about being SOO spunky about it all, so I tried to calm down, but once I wasn't doing little cheers around the dining room table, I realized how much my body was craving sugar and cheese and comfort food.  It is not easy changing your comfort food.

It wouldn't be so bad, but we are making this change a permanent thing, or at least trying to.  So it isn't like, "for the next six weeks I can't have sugar and then I can splurge."  Nope. I want to be healthy for the rest of my life, not just for a few weeks and then get worse than I was before.  I am not saying I will never eat sugar again, cuz heaven knows that won't happen.  But I want it to be a special thing, not my main course every meal.  :)

Tyson is taking this all much better than I am.  So he is seeing amazing results.  He has already lost several pounds and he is looking much slimmer already.  His self control has always been incredible.  It is really only because of him that we were still virgins when we got married.  But, you really don't need to know that do you?

So back to food.  Our typical daily diet was like this BEFORE our eating habits changed:

Breakfast: bowl of sugary cereal and milk
Snack: crackers or toast or even candy
Lunch: 2 chili burritos with flour tortillas, occasionally part of an apple
Snack: same-ish as above
Dinner: tater tot casserole
Late night snack: ice cream or popcorn or some hidden candy we didn't want to share with the kids

Our typical diet this past week:

Breakfast: bowl of cut up cantaloupe sprinkled with flax seed
Snack: a few carrots and raisins
Lunch: salad with craisins and sliced almonds or a bowl of peas in Tyson's case
Dinner: black beans, red peppers in a whole wheat tortilla, salad or cut up veggies
Snack: apple or strawberries

This is more like what Tyson eats, I am doing better, but more often than not, I have granola and greek yogurt for breakfast because it is easier for me to feel like I am still starting off with cereal.  But I am doing better and adding more fruits and veggies through out the day.  If anyone has any great, easy recipes, PLEASE feel free to share.

It is a work in progress, but when I woke up this morning and was still cranky, I told myself, "self, this has got to stop.  You made this decision, so life with it and stop whining about it.  Enjoy it."  I am trying to and much happier since then.  Find joy in the journey, right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Like Being a Mom

Sometimes we get so caught up in all the things that need to be cleaned, and cooked, and cleaned again, and fed, and changed, and homework to be done and more things to be cleaned...that we forget to enjoy those little mess makers.

Little Andrew has been having such a hard time being happy.  Like following me around as fast as he can crawl, just crying and crying.  I pick him up and clean or cook one handed for as long as I can until I need to set him down and there he is crying again.  So I researched it, because that is what I have learned to do from my liberal arts degree.  (Research is amazingly very important)  And I found this whole section in one of my books about the "needy" child. 

Ah yes, I thought, this is my child.  It listed all these symptoms "cries often, wants to be held, clingy, hates to be left alone, picky eater," and on and on.  Yup.  Check.  Double check.  Check, check.  That is this one. 

So then this book has the audacity me I need to hold my child more and I am thinking, are you KIDDING me?!  How can I possibly hold my child more?  I have four other kids to take care of, and a house, and a husband, and myself. 

I continue reading.

Apparently they have done studies that the parents that held their child for at least three hours a day had children that cried less.  I think, "no duh, why would they cry?  They are being held."

It continues to explain they pick up their child BEFORE they start crying, never when they were crying (unless of course they were hurt).  That way the child felt loved, comforted, but didn't think that crying would get them picked up.

Huh.  Now that is an interesting concept.  Now for application.  Trial and error, right?

Today I tried it.  I got down on the floor and played with him for awhile, I picked him up and carried him, but never when he was crying, I got him to stop and THEN I would pick him up.

Wow.  What a difference it was. 

Until of course Matthew peed on the floor and I had to clean it up and then he peed again and I had to clean up that one and Andrew was trying to suck on the dirty rags I was cleaning it with and I pulled him away....but you know, other than that.  :)

It was so fun playing on the floor with my little ones.  Caleb, Logan, Andrew and I just rolled a ball back and forth for about an hour and they were laughing hysterically and it was so fun.  Who cared if dinner was made or the floor was vacuumed for like the millionth time.  It was fun to just be a mom for awhile.  I like being a mom.

The Eating Journey Begins

Life is a continual process of trying to better ourselves.  This weekend we took another pretty big step at trying to do just that.  And it is a REALLY hard change for me.

Anyone who knows me knows that my "love language" is food.  I love food.  I love sugar, I love chocolates, I love donuts, I love burgers and fries, I love ice cream and cupcakes, I love cheese and cereal.  Basically every junk food known to man, I LOOOOVE it.

But I really hate the feeling that my love of food has taken over my life and I am not feeling well, looking well or having healthy kids because of how we eat.  But I hadn't really been thinking much about it, just occasionally I think, "I need to actually eat a fruit today," or "I should exercise."  You know things like that.

Lucky for me, I am curvy, but still about the same size as I was when I got pregnant with Josh.  Four kids later, that isn't too shabby.  So I don't have a ton of motivation because I don't feel "huge" too often, because I've always looked this way and it isn't a horrible way to look, so I've been okay with it.  However, having muscle would be nice and not jiggling in certain areas would be nice too.  But along with my hair and lack of make up, I don't pay much attention to it.  I have a wonderful husband that sees me and loves me and that is that.  But his drive lately to live a healthier and better life has really got me thinking and inspired me.  He even ran a 5k last week even though just months ago he hated running more than anything.

Tys is the extremely attractive one on the right.  Dallin is his brother-in-law and personal trainer and Cassie is his awesome marathon running sister.  She has been trying to get us to eat healthier for a long time.  :)
I saw someone post on Facebook a few weeks ago about wanting to get in shape and if anyone had any weight loss programs that worked well.  One person commented something about a book called "Eat to Live."  Don't know why, but the comment stuck with me.

So, what did I do?  Went to Amazon and searched it.  I started reading the "Look Inside" section and I was hooked.  Could this be for real?  The author, Dr. Fuhrman, talked a ton about eating healthy vegetables and fruits and not eating animal products and how he has been able to reverse Type II diabetes and helped to prevent heart attacks and cancer and on and on.  Sounded crazy, but at the same time made SOOO much sense.  I totally checked it out from my local library, but I recommend buying it if you can, there are so many things I wanted to highlight and keep.  I did however buy another book he wrote called "Disease Proof Your Child."  I have just started reading it and I LOVE it.  Either of these affiliate links will take you right to them if you want to read snippets from them or read other reviews.

So as I was reading "Eat to Live," all the things I have been taught for years about how milk makes your bones strong, and meat is the best protein, were totally shattered.  I almost had this feeling like I didn't know what to believe anymore.  I couldn't put the book down and seriously, that NEVER happens to me.  I love to read fiction and happy love stories.  But never non-fiction, especially stuff telling me not to eat the food I love most in the world.
I kept telling Tyson all the info I was learning as I read it and was so excited about it, he couldn't help but learn and care.  Believe me, he tried to ignore me, I would not shut up.  I kept telling him about all the people that have lost a lot of weight on this new healthy eating habits and he said "might as well give it a try."
Well, if he was all for it, I had to stand my ground.  We were going to do this.
Dr. Fuhrman suggests giving it a six week commitment and the results will speak for themselves.  I looked through his recipes, but seriously, very little actually looked good that didn't take a long time to prepare.  And anyone that has a nine month old, a two year old, a four year old, and a six year old, or even one of those, knows that making dinner has got to be quick, simple, needs to look good, taste good, smell good, etc.  I hit a road block before we even began.
Being the wonderful husband that he is, as soon as Tyson heard my worries, he said, well forget to recipes, lets just buy tons of healthy stuff and we will just mix it together and make it work.  Sounded good to me.
My wonderful mom and my crazy little sister, Carmel, went with me to the store and I bought more veggies than I think I ever have in my life, I got lots of beans and fruit and nuts.  My mom helped me know how to cook certain veggies that I refused to even look at as a kid so I had no idea what to do with them, and Carmel provided the entertainment as she hopped on the front of my cart and waved to all the shoppers as I steered her carriage around.  Got to love the teenage love for life and all things crazy.
I was so excited to live this new life, to have more energy, to lose weight (maybe I could actually look hot in a swimsuit), to not get sick all the time, to feel good about the things I was giving my kids.  I unloaded those groceries with pride.  And this is all I will tell you for now, this post is getting much too long.  Keep checking for updates to see how this six week challenge is going!!