Sunday, September 28, 2014

75th Boone Family Reunion!

Today was the 75th Boone Family Reunion. 


I really love the sense of family and togetherness a reunion brings.  To think this has been going on for the last 75 years is amazing to me.  After church we headed to White Oak for the big party.  Everybody brings a dish to share and there is always so much good food to eat.  Unfortunately for me, my diet had started and there was not much there I could partake in.  I brought a spinach salad (to share) and that was most of what I had that day.  Passing over the rows and rows of desserts was certainly not my idea of fun.

Jamison was a Daddy's boy today....I think he could sense Daddy was leaving soon.  We drove from the reunion almost straight to the airport.  

Usually most people eat outside and the food is set up outside, but a large tree had just been cut down and there were remains of it that hadn't been cleaned up, so for that reason the food and most of the people were inside.  We came prepared with our getting to small picnic table and some also getting too small chairs for the big boys.  

The boys' Great Uncle Warren enjoyed talking with them about life in the good old days.  Warren was only 5 years old when the reunion began, the same age that Brighton is now.  

Aunt Elizabeth had driven down from the mountains to enjoy the festivities.  Can't wait till next year!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The GI Diet

So, I'm writing this post after being on this diet for about one month.  Mid September till now (mid October) has been a struggle.  Derek traveled for business, was home a few days and then was in the ER with tachycardia.  He is still not 100%, and being mom, dad, and nurse is hard for me to keep up with things like the blog.

So....if you've been wondering why I dropped off for a month....that is why.  Hopefully we will resume our "normal" soon :)

Anyways, the diet came about because I was having a lot of GI issues that I was attributing to perhaps a lactose-intolerance.  I really didn't know what kept upsetting my stomach, but having to run to the bathroom at a moment's notice, several times a day was draining.  Especially when you have 4 kids in tow and sometimes have to take them with you.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.

I had cut milk (but not butter, cheese, sour cream, etc...) out of my diet about 6 months ago.  I'd use almond "milk" instead and let me tell you, it's just not the same.  I thought things had improved, but there was a sudden turn for the worse about a week ago, and I decided enough was enough and I needed to make a drastic change.

After seeing in Reader's Digest a book called 21 Day Tummy I decided to see if that could help my GI tract.  I checked the book out at the local library to see if this was a diet plan I thought I could follow.  The food seemed yummy enough, but the preparation seemed intense.  

See, there are some days, that getting dinner on the table can be a challenge.  Now, you are telling me that I have to make "special" food for myself and also make dinner for my family?  I didn't see how that was possible, but I knew it needed to happen.

My parents and my MIL agreed to help out where they could and make some of my "special" food for me.  Luckily, they would double the recipe and so I'd have left overs for some extra lunches and dinners here and there.  I was able to make a few of the soups for lunches and also smoothies for breakfasts.  

As the days turned into weeks, and the foods that I could have started to include more things that I knew the family would eat, I would make enough for all of us and maybe a few extra side-dishes the kids would eat to help fill in the gaps.  

I've never really been on a diet before, and really didn't start this plan for weight loss.  I'm very happy with the results.  In the 21 days, I lost 8 lbs and 2 inches from my waist line!  The muffin top needed to go.  Even though I'm still nursing, losing those last few pounds really made the difference.  I feel healthier and know I'm certainly eating better.  

It will still be a challenge to keep up this lifestyle as I try to undergo the next phase of the plan which is to narrow down the foods that may be aggravating my GI tract.  I've already done the milk test, and  I passed!  Apparently, milk is not the problem with me.  Good news, because I like milk!  There are seven other groups of foods that I need to test out my system with and hopefully I'll find the culprit.  I think this experiment has been an eye-opener for me because I can see how fueling your body with the right foods and not a bunch of junk really makes a difference.  I know it's hard when you are pulled in so many different directions, but your health is very important and after Derek's scare in October, we are even more aware of that now.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dress (and act) like a Pirate Day!

Today was "Dress Like a Pirate Day" at Krispy Kreme.  What a fun thing to do with my 2 big boys who were off from school.  The two little ones had preschool this morning, so it was a fun outing for just the big guys.  I even dressed up too, but you needn't see a picture of that.  We had more than our fair share of donuts before heading to Monkey Joes to burn off some of that energy.

Unfortunately, the boys didn't burn off enough energy because their behavior was atrocious for the rest of the afternoon.  I don't know if I felt better or worse that the behavior didn't improve once Dad got home.  Lucky for me, my cousin invited me to Dirty Dancing, and I got the evening off.  My savior!  I needed a break and it was so fun to have a girls night.  Lucky for the boys too, because they might not have survived the night otherwise.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jamison's Gymnastics

Jamison is taking a gymnastics class on Mondays....also known as "Mommy & Me" days.  
He is really enjoying it.  It turns out that his best buddy, Jett, is able to take the class with us.  

It is rare that the mommies ever get to talk though because the boys are often running in other directions.  Here I caught a rare moment of parallel-play with the cones.

Jamison is not too sure of the foam pit.  On this day he actually got in by himself, but it didn't last long.  His absolute favorite thing to do is the trampoline.  He would do that the entire time, if I didn't feel guilty for hogging it and making him get off occasionally.  

This facility has 4 in-ground trampolines.  There are 3 that are side-by-side and his favorite thing to do is to run from one to the next to the next.  I wish I had the space in our yard to get a trampoline for the boys.  I know it would be a great energy burner.  I had one before the whole net-concept, and I was fine.  Nowadays, the "safety" aspect significantly adds to the price.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Things that make me Happy...

Derek and I have been trying to have a "Date Night" once a month.  Tonight was my night to plan it and I picked a football game.  We went to watch our high school football team.  I don't think I've been back there since high school (for a football game that is).  It was fun!

I was in the band in high school and participated in the color guard, so I was at every home game.  It was nice to be able to watch the show this time instead of participate in it.  Although I noted that when I was in color guard we were lucky to have 2 flags for a half-time show.  I lost track of how many different flags this color guard used, but it was at least 6-7!

Another thing that makes me happy is our new bike rack.  Custom built by Derek!  I really should have taken a "before" picture to show the absolute mess that our front porch was, but let's just say it was impassable.  Now it's much neater and easier to walk by the bikes without tripping.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Swimming Lessons Complete

As I have eluded to on the blog, my younger two have been taking swimming lessons since late June. Yes, for the past 2.5 months, Monday - Friday, I have dedicated my afternoons to these lessons.  It has been quite the undertaking, if I do say so myself.  Normally I would not want to commit to this type of every. single. day. activity that required 1 hour of driving every. single. day. but because we received a scholarship for these lessons and I greatly value the fact that my younger two would be learning to "save themselves" should they fall into our pool, I decided to suck it up and make the commitment.  I am AMAZED at their progress.  Maverick would not stick his face in the water (willingly) at the start of lessons, but by the end of the first week, he had stopped crying and was now proud to show off what he was learning.

Maverick putting his face in.

These lessons are very intense and require the parent to keep a log of your child's sleep/eat/elimination patterns so any changes to the child's routine can be evaluated and their lessons reflect the changes.  We also had to avoid certain foods (mainly apple products) for the duration of the lessons since these are known belly-gas producing foods and the child is not allowed to swim if they have consumed these in the past 24 hours.  

Jamison learns breath control

The goal of these lessons is to teach the child to roll to their back and maintain a float until help arrives.  For older children, they also learn to roll over and swim towards the side/ladder/steps.  If they cannot make it there in one breath, then the roll back over and float and repeat until they can get out.  Swim-Float-Swim.  

Maverick finally relaxed enough to "float"
 Since these lessons are very intense, they only last for 10 minutes each day.  They are very careful to monitor the child for temperature loss, as they check this throughout the lesson.  In the beginning, they are also hard for the parent to witness as the child is often "fussing" as they cope with learning a new skill.  
Jamison reaching for the ladder.
Derek was only able to come with me one time, when we had a make-up lesson on a Saturday morning.  Most, if not all, of the pictures and videos that I took are from my phone, so they aren't the best quality.  Keep in mind that I'm having to watch 4 kids while one is swimming and the other just got out, so I'm having to dry them off, get them changed, etc....all while trying to pay attention to the one in the pool.  I'm surprised I got any pictures at all, some times.  

Jamison practices floating.
 You are only allowed to take pictures/videos on Fridays, so I've tried to show a progression in learning in the ones I picked.  Since these lessons fell during the summer, we also had a few trips that interrupted them (Chicago & Florida).  Jamison did really well until we went to Chicago.  He had stopped crying during lessons and would even clap and smile for himself.  That all went away once we got back.  
Maverick swimming for the ladder.
 For the remainder of the lessons, Jamison would fuss.  It was hard to watch, but I knew he was learning.  He was also cutting his molars during this time and was pretty fussy anyways.  It was hard to tell exactly why he was fussing and he regressed some in his learning and we had to start over from square one.  Luckily, it came back to him quickly and he finished up his lessons, just a few days after Maverick did.  
Maverick in "Summer Clothes"
 The child is considered finished with lessons when they can complete the float or Swim-Float-Swim while wearing typical summer clothes, shoes too and also winter clothes.  Since most drowning accidents occur when the child is fully clothed, this makes sense to practice this way.  
Maverick in "Winter Clothes"

Maverick did really well in both his summer and winter clothes.  It was actually hard for me to watch since you could tell how hard he was having to work to keep himself afloat in his heavy clothes and shoes.  The mama in me just wanted to scoop him up out of there.  

Jamison practices his skills in a bathing suit before trying it in clothes.
 Jamison did great with the skills in just his bathing suit.  The first time in his summer clothes though, it took him a little while to adjust.  A few little tweaks, and he was able to maintain his float.  Originally the plan was for Jamison to be able to complete the Swim-Float-Swim sequence, but with the setbacks of traveling and cutting molars, we stopped lessons after just the floating was complete.  
Jamison in "Summer Clothes"
 This is a hard age, as you can imagine, to teach the full sequence.  With the summer winding down, and having to juggle all the kids with school and swim lessons too, we felt it was okay to stop at this point.  Since I've been watching these lessons, hopefully I can continue where we left off and we will keep going with this.  
Jamison in "Winter Clothes"  Looks like a little doll-baby!
What is even more impressive than these pictures are the videos I took.  
Look for those in another blog post soon!

I cannot be more grateful to our instructor who gave of her time for the past 2.5 months to give my boys a skill that could very well save their life.  Thanks, Kelly

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

While the Kids are Away....Mama will Play

The first day of preschool arrived.  In prep for the big day, I decided to give Jamison a quick hair cut. It had actually gotten quite longish, and although I don't want my baby to loose his "baby-look" quite yet, a little trim was okay.

 Maverick was super excited for his first day!

 Jamison looks so cute next to his bag and with his new shorter locks.  

With all four boys out of the house for the first time ever....what was a mama to do?  I decided to start a project that I had been wanting to tackle for a while.  Paint a tree on the wall of the playroom.  Now keep in mind...I am not an artist by any means, but I do like to be creative and I love to try.  This was a method that I have used before....kind of like a paint by numbers stencil.  I pulled the couch away from the wall, and here's how it went:

 Step 1:

 Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 6:

 Step 11: Completion!

I was thrilled with how it turned out.  I added a cardinal to the right side and a tiny butterfly to the left.  The boys really love it.  On the right side of the wall, I'm starting a photo collage with some of our newly framed prints. Amazingly, I got the entire tree done in just 1.5 hours.  Amazing what you can do without little ones underfoot.