Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonder vs Wheat Bread (week 1)

My favorite food is junk food, especially in the form of chocolate.  I used to sell Dove Chocolate and loved it because I sold what I really believed in, really good chocolate.  So trying to live a healthier lifestyle has not been the easiest for me.  But when is it really easy for anyone?

What is really hard is totally changing everything I know, the foods I buy, the way I cook, what meals to cook, the lunches I pack, the things I snack on, the way I de-stress, all kinds of things have changed, or are in the process of. 

My husband has been beyond supportive and really the only way I have not given up entirely and eaten that entire jug of chocolate caramel pecan clusters from Costco that I have SO been wanting to buy.  It probably helps that he has lost 10 lbs from just eating better.  But the past several weeks we have really slipped back into our old routine because salads were getting boring and our grocery bill has been really high and I don't know what else to do.  I buy milk and cereal, and also tons of fruits and veggies and meats and it just explodes the budget. 

A few nights ago, Tyson plugged all the receipts in the computer (we keep track of everything we spend and make a budget to try and keep from spending more than we make.  Tyson is the main person that does this, but I fully support it and do my best to spend only the lot of money allotted for the different areas).  After he had tirelessly had done all that, he told me the bad news.  We had spent hundreds of dollars over what we were supposed to on food.  Not good.

I was SO mad at myself and mad at food.  Why does it have to cost so much?  I don't feel like I am buying any fancy stuff or wasting food (minus the three peaches that went bad before we ate them).  Where does the money go?!  How can we afford to feed four growing boys when they are just little boys?  What are we going to do when they are teenagers and bringing over all their friends?  What am I going to do?!

Instead of giving up and chucking my cookbooks out the back door along with my sanity, I am clinging to a hope that I can, somehow, learn to shop frugally and cook healthy food.  So, my goal is to blog about it weekly to keep tabs on my progress and to share what I am learning.  You are welcome to learn with me and share what you know.

So far:

-The things that make me spend too much: meat, milk, BUTTER (never even noticed how expensive it is), cheese, baby food, bread/buns/tortillas, and any fruit or veggie bought out of season.

-It is cheaper to buy more for a meal to ensure leftovers, than the money it would cost for a separate lunch.

-There are apps that you can download that let you make a grocery list and have your local stores and the coupons for those stores.  I have seriously always hated the thought of couponing, but I am going to learn more about it, to see if it would be worth my time.

-I also have been researching A TON about school lunches. 
1. Bento lunches or lunchboxes.  Apparently it began as a single serving homemade lunch in Japan, especially for their loved ones.  They often take great care with them and will carve intricate things out of the food to make it appealing and beautiful.  It has evolved into every super cool mom blog having amazing lunches for their kids.  I am not one of those moms, but I am trying to make something more exciting than pb&j everyday, which I'm pretty sure Josh OD'd on last year.  He hates them now.  I did purchase some bento Tupperware (just the basic kind, no frills) yesterday, I will let you know how it turns out.
2. There is a ton of blogs out there to help teach you about lunches and how to make them easy and exciting and healthy for you and your kids.  So, as I find good ones, I will let you know.  Don't expect me to be carving ninja turtles out of pickles, but who knows?  :)  This is how I tell me kids I love them in their lunches:

They know if mom takes a bite, it means she loves them.  Tyson and I started that just to eat some of their yummy food, but now they don't feel loved if we don't take a bite. 

Matthew will sometimes bring me his food and say "You no love me?"
me: "Matthew, what are you talking about?  Of course I love you."
Matthew: "You no take bite my handwhich."
me: "Oh!  I'm so sorry!" (take bite) "There you go."
Matthew: "Tank you so much!!  Me wove you too!"

It is adorable and kind of crazy.  All right, until next week!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

They Live for YOU

My little ones are the highlight of my life.  They are also the bane of my existence.  I can't go anywhere without them.  I need to feed and entertain them constantly.  I worry about them nonstop.  They don't like that I discipline them, heck, I don't like disciplining them.  I would much rather they just behave.  Or I wouldn't mind letting them slide often, if it didn't mean that I so would regret that later.  So being a mom is a stressful job.  And often, pretty thankless.  Or at least, it feels that way.  There isn't a paycheck or constant praise or any moving up in the corporate ladder.  Nope, it is just more sleepless nights, more lunches to pack, more meals to make, more dishes to wash, stuff like that.

However, no one gets rewarded like we do.  The cute kisses that melt our hearts.  The little smiles with the dimpled cheeks coated in peanut butter.  Getting to see all the firsts.  Being at the crossroads and hearing about their day: who sat by who, what they ate for snack, you know, the important things.  And they are telling YOU, which means YOU are important.  And that knowledge alone is the reason we get up every morning before dawn to a crying baby.

After a tiring morning, with my hair pulled back to mask the grease because yet again I haven't had a chance to bathe without risking a child revolt, I sink into the couch for just a one minute to reprieve
 my swelling feet.  I glance up to see my silent little Caleb, hard at work on another coloring masterpiece.  The first thing I notice, besides his cute little tongue sticking out, is the words on the paper, "I love you Mama," with the a's backwards of course because that makes it more adorable.  I didn't feel any of the exhaustion anymore, just the throbbing in my heart, knowing I am loved.

For all of you parents out there, what you do is worth it.  Let the little moments sink in and know that YOU are important to those little people.  Live your life and love them.