Friday, March 11, 2011

Homeschool & A Spinach-Egg-Grilled-Cheese-Sandwich

As I mentioned before, I'm reading Revelations with a group of friends on Facebook. Today we read Revelations 17 and let me tell you, that was some crazy symbolic/metaphorical stuff! If you're down for an interesting read, read that chapter first and then read the commentary here. It will blow your mind!

Last night I met with a dear friend who Homeschool's her 5 children. (Bless her heart!) A year ago, I would've told you that I am NOT the Homeschool type. Today, God's started to change my heart. We are still not entirely sure what we are going to do, there are 5 different school options that we are considering...
1) Traditional Public School
2) Spanish Immersion Public/Charter School
3) A School that Doesn't Have Grades, but "Levels"
4) Christian-Montessori: 3-Days/Wk School, 2 Days/Wk Homeschool
5) Homeschool

Here are some of our reasons for Homeschool:
1) She can pursue her educational interests better
2) Freedom with time (vacations, field trips, etc)
3) Avoid peer pressure, competition & bullies (self-esteem stays in tact)
4) Religious freedom
5) Closer family relationships
6) Stability, in case of a move
7) Well-rested
8) No busywork/homework
9) Being w/my DD 24/7
10) She can still participate in sports
11) Plenty of support for Homeschoolers today
12) Safety
13) Learn at her own pace - no feeling "stupid" or being bored
14) I get to share in her successes with her

Here are some of our reasons for public/private schools:
1) No potential educational gaps
2) Learns from multiple people
3) Has to learn how to deal w/peer pressure, competition & bullies
4) Increase her attention span
5) Getting into & finding self-motivation for college
6) Learning to adjust to the "Real World"
7) Learning a 2nd language fluently, for potential mission trips (immersion school)
8) The overall "experience" of a school setting

So, this is a decision that's been weighing on me for quite some time. We still don't know what we're going to do. Any thoughts?

Well, I finally made it to yoga! And it felt great! I was amazed at how much I could still do. Though final relaxation was a bit hard with little miss Adelyn kicking me the whole time! :) After yoga, I hit the grocery store, so I was on my feet for another good hour. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and my back hurt. The next morning, I was standing at the mirror putting on my make-up, when the room started fading out & going black. I sat down. When I stood up, it started again. I started to shake & feel nauseous. So, I gave my DD a quick lesson on how to dial 9-1-1, should she ever need to & went to stick my head outside the sliding glass door. I felt better, but the second I closed the door & started walking back over to the mirror, all the symptoms started in again. At this point, I got scared. I went to my bedroom to lie down & called my hubby at work. He had me test my blood sugar, which was fine. He had me check my pulse & temperature, and both were fine. I laid there until I felt better, then went on with my day. Eventually, it was discovered that I had a bout with dehydration and/or low blood pressure. Yikes! Um yeah...note to self...DRINK WATER when you exercise or are on your feet a lot! Geez!

So, my blood sugars have been all over the place still. It put me in a bit of a funk this morning (among other things). It's really frustrating to be exercising & eating right and still you can't control how your body is breaking down sugar. Ugh. I have to meet with my Diabetes Educator early next week, but I fear that she is going to put me on insulin. :( For my believer readers, please PRAY!!! I just finished up with progesterone injections, I don't want to do more shots! Not to mention, should I need insulin, my chances of this sticking around after the baby & developing into Type II Diabetes are greatly increased. The whole thing depresses me.

On a lighter note, I had the most yummy sandwich for lunch today & paired it with half an apple. I was FULL after this meal!

So this isn't the best picture, but I promise this is YUMMY!

Spinach & Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of whole-grain bread
1 slice of organic cheese
1 organic egg
handful of organic spinach
organic butter or soy-free Earth's Balance

Spread the butter on 1 side of each slice of your bread. Put the butter-side down on a flat skillet over medium heat. Top 1 slice of bread with the spinach. Top the other slice of bread with the cheese. Cook the egg, leaving the yolk somewhat runny. When the egg is done, place it on top of the spinach-topped bread. Put the 2 pieces of bread together. The cheese will melt, the spinach will wilt a little and the runny egg with ooze out with each bite! Delicious!

Note: I am fully aware that pregnant women (or all people, in general) should not consume raw egg. I just don't care! :)

One of my BFF's moved 2 hours north several months ago. It's been hard being able to see each other. She recently purchased a house and we had plans to go up and see it this weekend. Unfortunately, my husband and I dropped the ball and completely forgot that we needed to find care for our dog. Oops! Soooo, our plans got cancelled. Bummer. Big bummer. I was so looking forward to some FRIENDS and some FUN.

Ah well, I guess I'll have to make my own fun this weekend...a movie tomorrow with the family and Trader Joe's. Perhaps I'll curl up with one of my 5 books that I'm reading...
1) Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day
2) Raising Your Spirited Child
3) Siblings Without Rivalry
4) Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
5) Financial Peace, Revisited

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The "D" Word & the 6 "F"s

And just like that, I'm back! I miss my blog world!!!

Welcome to Spring in MN... ugh, I groan just looking at it!

I've been MIA for many reasons, but mainly because this pregnancy has been a rough go at it for the last several months.  The first 12 weeks were filled w/being tired & nauseous, so I didn't have much an appetite. I actually lost 2 lbs. Then I ended up in the ER with a kidney stone... um yeah, those are NOT fun, especially when pregnant! Just when I finally started to feel better, I ended up with the dreaded head cold going around MN, thankfully (due to heaven-sent probiotics, a healthy diet & sleep) it was short lived. I am FINALLY starting to feel better!

21 weeks
And my little new DD, Adelyn Anna, is doing fabulously! Isn't it amazing what they can do with 3D ultrasound pictures now?!

I'm still having a hard time gaining weight. Not sure why, but this girl isn't complaining! :) Adelyn seems to be gaining weight & growing perfectly, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I'm trying to live my life in balance these days: FAITH, FAMILY, FITNESS/FOOD, FINANCES, FRIENDS & FUN. So, today's blog (and possibly subsequent posts) is going to be in this fashion.

First up, FAITH.

I started doing an online Bible study with some girlfriends from high school through Facebook. It's titled SOS (Sisters for our Savior), in case any of you would like to join. (You might have to let me know you want to join & then I can add you). We've been reading a chapter a day in the book of Revelations. This is a scary, frightening book, but there are little nougats & it's definitely a REQUIREMENT for all believers to read, at some point. My recommendation is to have a good trusty commentary nearby!

Also, after 10+ years in our church, we felt the Lord calling us to a new church. We now attend Eaglebrook Church, which has 4 campuses and counting! So far, we're loving it there!

Well, I already kind of told you how little miss Adelyn is doing. (That's what our baby will be named). But my DD, Izzy, isn't doing quite so well. We've hit some major behavior bumps with her. When it was at it's worst, she was throwing at least 45 minute long tantrums and there is NO ignoring this child... she'll just keep right on keeping on. And anything would set her off. It felt like we were walking on egg shells around her! Not fun. And bedtime was pure hell. It was a struggle every single night and we tried everything we could think of, but no punishment seemed bad enough for her to change her behavior... most of the time, she thought it was a game and would laugh at us.

Lately, things have become a little brighter. When she started to fight bedtime, we thought maybe she genuinely wasn't tired, so we decided it was time to cut out naps. BAD.IDEA. Once we added naps back in (which wasn't easy, since she was used to no longer having to take them), the tantrums drastically decreased! We also finally found THE.THING that made Izzy realize we meant business at bedtime... we threatened to take away the night light. Only once did we actually have to take it away and it only took about 30 seconds for her to realize she didn't like that very much! We also introduced a sticker chart and let her pick out what her reward would be, if she got 7 stickers in a row for going to bed without a fuss. Her pick? Underwater World! She'll be earning her 7th sticker tonight! Lastly, we started reading a book called, "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This book has been AMAZING! Ben and I tend to parent on the side of stricter, which I still think is good for the first few years. But, now Izzy is 4 and is exuding her independence and learning that she has a mind of her own and can challenge things. This book is helping me see that is a really great quality and it's challenged US to have to be a little more flexible (while still requiring respect and exercising authority). It's caused me to have to look at my anger issues and realize that I need to stay in control of ME so my daughter can learn to stay in control of herself, too. It's caused me, in times of tantrums, to take a deep breath, gather my daughter on my lap and saying things like, "Mommy's listening. I'm trying to understand. Tell me why you don't want to do "X"." and to have to compromise sometimes. Like when I said, "You may do "A" or "B", which would you like?" And her answer is "C". Sometimes, I find that "C" is actually a better option than "A" or "B". All of these things, along with reassuring her that she'll still get our attention, individual dates with Mommy and Daddy, and that her toys will be safe, once baby Adelyn comes, have been HUGELY instrumental in seeing the decrease of tantrums, as well as how easily diffused the tantrums are now.

As I said earlier, it's been a loooooong 21 weeks of pregnancy and my fitness and food have definitely suffered. I'm just now starting to feel like I want to exercise again, but being a high-risk pregnancy, I'm limited as to what the Dr feels is safe. I'm allowed to walk & do yoga and that's about it. I've had every intention of making it to the gym to get in my walks while my daughter's at preschool, but I always find an excuse. So, tonight, NO.MORE.EXCUSES! I'm going to make it to yoga at 6:45! I just wish that Spring would hurry up!!! I'm itching to get outside and walk! Treadmills in front of a tv are NOT appealing to me.

As far as food goes, well, *sigh*. At 17 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with the "D" word... gestational Diabetes. Ugh. I had this with my first pregnancy, too. Nothing I can't handle, but still a major pain. So, back to monitoring my blood sugars 4 times a day and watching my carb intake at every pass. Today's been a rough go. My blood sugar this morning was 106, when it should be below 95. Luckily, a piece of peanut butter toast for breakfast brought it down to a much more reasonable place. Lunch, however, is another story... since blood sugars naturally rise in the morning, something heavy on carbs, like oatmeal or cereal are NOT a good option. But, I can't live without my oatmeal, so instead, I make it for lunch.

The one on the left is Izzy's. It's 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 2 T of organic raisins, 1 cup of fat-free organic milk, sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 T of brown sugar. (My child will NOT touch oatmeal if there isn't brown sugar in it.)

The one on the right is mine: 1/2 cup of oatmeal (1 carb choice), 2 T organic raisins (1 carb choice), 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 T rice protein powder and 1 T ground flaxseed.

See how much creamier mine is than Izzy's? That's the almond milk, my friends! Try substituting it in your next bowl of oatmeal! It's delish!

I am not allowed anymore than 4 carb choices in 1 meal (meals must be 2-3 hours apart from each other). My 4th carb choice was going to be a 6 oz container of Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt, but once I took a few bites of my oatmeal, it was a bit bland. (I was hoping the vanilla protein powder would sweeten it a bit, but to no avail). So, I decided to swap my last carb choice of yogurt for 1 T pure maple syrup (straight from the sap tree at my BFF's in-laws!) Mmmmm... perfect!

Sorry for the blurry picture!
Izzy was still hungry after her bowl of oatmeal, which she gave a total thumbs up, too! 

So, I gave her the yogurt instead. At her birthday party this year, a friend gave her a unique gift...
It's a jar of crushed up Fruit Loops for times such as this... Izzy sprinkled a bit of them onto the yogurt and she ate every last bit, which says a lot, because my child will often go to bed without eating dinner because she's so picky (and NO, I will not make her a separate meal!)

Here's a picture of the rice protein I mentioned...
This was recommended by and purchased from my Naturopath Dr, but I've seen it at my local health food store, too. You'd think since it's "Rice" protein that it would contain a lot of carbs, but it surprisingly doesn't. 1 serving is 1 T and that only contains 1-2 grams of carbs. (1 carb serving = 15 grams of carbs, carbs minus fiber). Anytime you're having a carb, it's good to pair it with a protein, because the protein will help you break the sugars down a little easier.

So, I thought I was doing good with this meal... until I had to check my blood sugar 1 hour later... 185! SHRIEK! My blood should be under 145 an hour after a meal. Yikes! This is what the Endocronologist would call an "unexplained" high blood sugar. If you have 3 or more of those in 1 WEEK, you need to call in. I've had 2 TODAY alone!!! This is NOT a good sign. It could indicate that I may need insulin injections at some point to help. Please please please say some prayers that I don't need that! Pray that diet and exercise will be enough to keep the insulin and needles away!

There's a 8-week class at our new church called, "Financial Peace University" and the program was developed by Dave Ramsey. Ben and I decided to sign up, because we'd like to get debt-free and learn how to live off of Ben's income alone.

I closed the daycare March 1st, so I no longer am contributing to our income. I was really feeling strongly like God wanted me to just focus on MY kids and focus on being a Mom and Wife. Ben agreed. Izzy, on the other hand, had a rough time with the transition. She's grown up with kids coming to her house every single day and now they're not. I can imagine it must feel something like losing a sibling to her. Poor thing. She's got so many changes in her life. But... she's getting better about this too. She gets more one-on-one time with Mom and has even started reading a few words here and there (at age 4, can you believe it)!

Anyway, back to this FPU thing. So far, we are LOVING what we are learning! I have to admit, I've always hated talking about finances, but I'm finding that it's actually kind of fun and exciting to think of being debt free sometime in the next few years! Who have I become?!

Lesson 1/Baby Step 1 - Put $1,000 into a Money Market Emergency Fund
Action: Check. We already were working towards this. Although, it's not yet in a Money Market.

Lesson 2 - Learn that Men and Women look at money differently & how to start teaching your kids about money, at a very early age.
Action: Izzy's still pretty young, so we're going to start establishing a "commission" with her. (Dave recommends not calling it an allowance but a commission. They need to start associating getting money with working). So, we'll pick about 5 chores that Izzy gets paid for...$1 for each chore. She will then start collecting them in a glass jar, so she can physically see how her hard work has paid off. Once she turns 5, we'll start establishing more what to do with that money with 3 envelopes...give, save & spend. $1 will go into give, $2 will go into save and $2 will go into spend (or something like that).

I can't wait to see what we learn this week!!!

*sigh* I'm not going to lie. This area needs some work. I can't remember the last time I had FUN.

I do have to say, though, that as I approach 30 (on the 31st!) I can honestly look back on my 20's and say that the past 10 years has been all about learning who my friends are. I've lost some, gotten rid of some and gained others. It's a constant cycle. But, I've learned who my REAL and TRUE friends are! They are the ones, who love ME...all of ME... the good, the bad and the ugly. They see the not-so-great things, but they don't point them out or focus on them. Instead, they trust God to work on those things in me in HIS time, not theirs. And they instead focus on and encourage me in the things they love about me! That, is the type of friends you want in your life! I feel so blessed!