Easter project

I wanted to do a project with the boys to decorate our front window for Easter. I searched online and was reminded of this art. It simple enough for E to do but still fun for J.
First we onlined the boys hands

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hand outline

I then cut them out and the boys then glued pieces down…the hands for sun’s rays, grass, sun’s center, and cross.

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Then I laid out foam sticker letters in order. J practiced fine motor skills in peeling the back paper off and laying the sticker letters down:

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While I peeled off the paper for E and he practiced laying stickers without them tearing. I think they came out cute:

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j proud of his project

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They also added their names via sticker letters on the back.
Both boys loved it and wanted to do more. I realized more with this project than ever before it how much I really need to learn to step back and let them create as they want-and not to let my perfectionistic personality take over in attempts to get project to come out like I expect. I like how they came out. I think I am going to attempt hand print Easter lilies for centerpieces tomorrow.

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Working out

So I have been going to the gym 2-3 times a week for just about three months now. I have been doing abdominal and arm exercises at home as well. While I can jog farther and with less huffing and puffing, the scale couldn’t care less. And I ignore the scale and pay attention just to how my jeans fit, my stretched out belly still annoyingly bulges at the waistband. One positive is the thigh area is getting loose. Then again that isn’t too positive because the thighs are loose with a bulged out tummy…not too attractive or confidence building.
I am wondering though if my abdominal muscles have reshapen to a convex shape with having pregnancies so close together. I say this because when I do sit ups crunches and try to pull in my belly like pilates and yoga tells you to do, I feel like the muscles don’t seem to tighten flat.
All of this is kind of leaving me a bit discouraged. I want some movement on the scale. I want to not have to double up on spanx just to tuck tummy bulges into my pants to fit. I want something to keep me going.
Unfortunately I am thinking it will come down to track my food more closely. I eat a relatively healthy diet but maybe something is off. Maybe I eat more than I should or maybe my metabolism is storing food as fat so I should eat more lean protein and vegetables. Either way I am lazy horrible at tracking that kind of stuff. Mostly because I hate having to enter all the ingredients in the online databases to get nutrition facts. I like the freedom of cooking and adjusting recipes to fit our tastes;and having to enter all that into a computer takes the freedom away for me.
I know I have to figure it out so I can keep the motivation up to continue to exercise after I am done with the mud run in three weeks (which Omgoodness where did time go-I thought I had more time!). Maybe I will give in and sign up for the longer mud race with Husband in October.

Food

First of all this in a two-for-one post. Both have to do with food and in fact baby food.
First things first. Our baby girl is growing up seemingly faster than the boys did-and they grew up fast. Last week at her pediatrician appointment, Miss G was given the go-ahead for first food. Doctor said her head control was great and she that she should be ready for rice cereal. So:

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G had her first taste of cereal. She didn’t like it much. But hey, does any baby? Update I gave some more the next day and while there was spit back, G ate more of the bowl without fight.
Now that my baby bragging is done for the day, I want to know if food preference is determined by nature(taste buds and such) or more by nurture (selection of baby’s 1st foods)?
I have the perfect example within my own family. With J- I did as doctor, baby books, and jarred baby food more indicates-I started him with rice cereal and then apples. I was told start with apples for most neutral taste so J would just get used to eating something other than breast milk. (But apples are also one of the naturally sweetest foods).
With E-we have a different pediatrician who actually told us to start with rice cereal and then with the “yuckiest” green vegetable. You know the ones that adults even sometimes balk at eating: peas, green beans, broccoli, spinach. Then once vegetables are eaten without much fight then add fruit.
Fast forward a year or two and I find the boys eat very different. J despises vegetables and I have to either sneak them in or go with ones that are sweeter (carrots/corn/butternut squash). J also has a huge sweet tooth and will take raisins/cookies/fruit snacks all day long if we let him. E on the other hand loves vegetables. He loves having thawed out peas as a pre-dinner snack. He will usually eat his vegetables before the protein or carbon on his plate. He too likes dried fruit and sweets, but will often give me half or so back indicating he is finished.
I wonder often if this difference is because they are two different sets of taste buds who simply enjoy different foods; or is it my serving different first foods that formed this difference in food preference? Either way, I will most likely be doing the vegetable route again for G. If I can have two kids already loving vegetables and only fighting teaching one kid that they need to be eaten even though they aren’t your favorite because they are good for your body, all the better.

Yet another success

I shared before this cookie pie that was amazing and healthy. Well I have to call this recent healthy dessert attempt a success. Because Husband doesn’t remember to read my blog, I can say it and he won’t be mad for going all sneaky chef on him I made this:

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I modified the original recipe a little. Instead of a full container of tofu, I used 1/2container tofu and 4oz of reduced fat cream cheese. I wanted to make the texture like that of a no bake cheesecake. The other changes I made was using splenda in place of agave and reducing chocolate chips down to only 1cup.
I then made a homemade graham cracker crust and topped it off with fresh strawberries.

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It was so rich and yummy. And best of all, Husband and the boys liked it too.

It’s the little moments

I understand that we are blessed enough to be able to budget and afford for me to stay home with our kids. It is important to us that one of us is home raising them. Because of this, I get to enjoy all the little moments. Here are a few:

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j learning pin rolls flat

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and then cutting with cutters

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e trying out g's swing

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g and her natural after bath mohawk

I love seeing the wheels turn as they learn how to do a new activity. I love seeing the smiles. I love the fact that I get to be the one they want to cuddle with when they get hurt or sad.
We are blessed. I thank God everyday for putting these three kids in my life.

Sometime you have to say what the?

I have posted about our dog before. She is a sweetheart and puts up with a lot from the kids. Cars bashing into her. Tail and ears pulled. Toddlers using her as a stepstool.
But sometimes she does this:

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And it makes no sense. What dog lays like this? She will roll around on the floor but then will stay like this. It makes me say, what the?

A little treat

We try our very best to make sure that our diet is balanced. You know force serve fruit and veggies in abundance with lean meats. We sneak incorporate healthy foods like butternut squash into commonly unhealthy foods like mac’n’cheese.
However we do have treats. And one morning while Husband was out enjoying the fresh powdery snow in Tahoe, I decided to treat the boys. And for all those that don’t know this awesome trick-canned biscuits into fresh donuts-it is so easy my 3 year old can do it 😉

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make a hole in center of biscuit

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drop carefully in hot oil

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flip when golden brown

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drain on towel

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shake in container to cover in sugar

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J approves

J and E would have, if I had let them, finished all of the donuts. But as I said a treat, so breakfast was rounded out with yogurt and bananas.