26 January 2015

Quick Takes all about Me : )

I should be doing the dishes right now, but oh well. I've been focusing on taking pictures of things that do not involve my kids and I can't believe how easy it is! I actually have a decent life outside of my adorable little stinkers. Today's quick takes style post will be all about me, with one take for each girl, but making me the subject and them the object of the sentence, as it were.

1. Date night was amazing. Mexican (my favorite) at a restaurant Matt had been to with some colleagues before - the food was so good that I spent the rest of the weekend reminiscing about how delicious it was - and a trip to browse the bookstore. At the bookstore, Matt surprised me with the announcement that he'd secretly budgeted some money for today and I could pick any book I wanted.

I've always been an avid reader, but I've spent most of my life so far reading the classics. Things by dead, white guys since 1800. In college I discovered that dead chicks wrote good books too, so I read some of those. But I'm a little classic-ed out. I get it, I get it, Victorian Britain was oppressive. So now I'm venturing into modern classics. I found a book I've been wanted to read for a while and snatched it up: The Life of Pi. So far it is deliciously amazing.

I also just finished Poehler's Yes Please and am working through Madame Bovary - I know, I know, dead, white guy - in my bid to read 24 books this year.

My second purchase were some enchanted theme story cubes. I've had my eye on Rory's story cubes for a long time - I imagine they are great writing prompts and I want to get back into story writing.

I forgot to take a picture until we were cuddled up on the couch, reading in our pajamas, make up washed off, contacts swapped out for glasses, but here it is anyway.

2. I crochet a lot, and I don't know how much that comes through on the blog. At least six out of every seven days involves crocheting, almost all of it happening after the girls go down at night. I crochet while Matt and I watch movies, while I'm catching up on Law & Order, sometimes during the day, sitting on the floor while Eleanor plays and Abigail is in school. I always have a bajillion projects going on. Right now I'm making a sweater for Abigail, I just finished some batman scarves I was commissioned to make, I'm about done with a reversible blaze orange/black hat I was commissioned to make, and a rainbow afghan I've been steadily chugging through since October.

Once the commissioned works are done, I'll add "pillow slip covers" for the couch throw pillows to the list.

3. I have friends...who are love experts.
Just kidding. I can't hear words from Frozen without finishing them in my head. "Soup"... roast, and ice cream. "Let's go!" ... kiss Hans! Who is this Hans! "Deep, deep" ... deep, deep snow. You get the picture.

Anyway, I have friends who complain that their kids eat too much fruit.
Well, fruit is expensive! Comes the ridiculous response. 

I try very, very hard not to judge other people's struggles by my struggles. Everyone has their own life experiences that set their personal threshold, I get that. For some people, taking their kids to the doctor totally freaks them out. They panic when they have to take their kid in to get bloodwork done. For us, that would be nothing, but for some people, that's intense, I get it. I'm sure my thresholds look easy to someone whose child has cancer.

But the one subject that totally gets under my skin in a heartbeat is parents complaining about their children's eating habits.
"If he could have his way, he'd eat bananas and apples all day long! I have to limit him to one per day!"
Oh, well just knock me over with a feather!
He'd also probably love to eat cookies and candy all day long, but you limit those with no qualms. We live in a country that spends less on food than any other country in the world (cite) and you want to spend your time complaining about how your kid eats too much healthy food? How about you file that one under "Kick ass problems to have"?

Of course I don't say any of that to their faces because I'm an uber controversy-avoider; so thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Eleanor has started a few solids and her eating of bananas and eggs has made Abigail desperately want to follow suit. I'm cautious but excited, hoping that she'll continue to eat things her sister eats, so long as they eat them together. I wish my kid's problem was that she ate too much fruit instead of not eating.

4. After one glorious week of harmony, Eleanor has resumed not sleeping alone. Her teething pain is through the roof and I think it's ruining life for the poor dear. She's up all night (I'm up all night) and then doubly miserable during the day because her teeth hurt and she's tired. Teething gel is spectacular - for 20 minutes until it wears off and Tylenol doesn't seem to help much. Matt is going to swing by a baby boutique after work today and pick up one of those amber teething necklaces. It's worth a try at this point. I understand now why people used to rub rum on baby gums before teething gel was invented.

5. It has been forever since I blogged about cloth diapers, which is obviously a happening topic. Hehe. From my perspective, cloth diapering is going fantastic.

But from a bottom-line perspective, we spent $300 on cloth diapers when Eleanor was three months old and are still spending the exact same amount on disposables every month as we did before she was born. Woo-hoo. I can't imagine how much fun it would be if we didn't do any cloth.

Matt and I talked it over and identified a few weak points. We bought another $100 worth of cloth diapers so that when "set A" is in the washer, I'll have a "set B" to use instead of disposables. I stuff Eleanor's overnight diapers with an extra insert so they'll last the night instead of using disposable. I keep the girls in cloth when we run short errands. And we buy Luvs instead of Pampers now. Hopefully this will help us see more savings - I'd love to start funneling the money we budget for diapers into another category. Abigail has to wear a disposable to school and I have to supply the school with diapers. It's a bit frustrating because they have a routine where everyone gets their diaper changed everyday - whether they need it or not. So Abigail is in two disposables a day (four days a week) no matter what I do.

Random note: We have 22 cloth diapers and 3 dozen cloth wipes now (I use cloth wipes with cloth diapers and disposable wipes with disposable diapers. I also use cloth wipes as face wipes after meal time).

6. The kidney doctor kept telling me that to help prevent more stones from forming, I need to drink more water. He was driving me nuts with all the "drink more water" talk! I do drink a lot of water! About 60oz per day! How much more should I be drinking? I wondered in annoyance. One night I Googled, "hydration calculator" and founded a pretty detailed one. I put in my age, height, weight, activity level, breastfeeding status and it churned out a number: 100. 100oz of water per day, and that's for someone without kidney issues! So right then and there I resolved to shoot for 100oz of water (plain, flavored, and tea) per day.

Things I learned about increasing my water intake:

- It's not that hard. I was able to increase it to 80oz without even trying. The last 20oz does require some more conscious I need to finish off this water bottle before the end of this hour, but it's definitely tougher to convince myself to finish off the green beans than a bottle of water.

- I just plain feel better. I have more energy and am more alert during the day. I have how this is true, but my blood sugar is more stable when I drink more water.

- All that nonsense about, "people actually eat when they're thirsty!" is so. true. I'm an avid calorie counter and I can honestly say that I eat 400-500 calories less per day without even trying. Seriously. So far while breastfeeding Eleanor, my body naturally wants to eat a certain number of calories that is almost the same every day. But when I'm drinking 100oz of water, it's totally satisfied at a much lower number.

Seriously, "drink more water" has got to be the best health advice I've ever gotten.

7. I feel like this past weekend was the last outpost before we enter the wild, wild west that is wintertime in the midwest. From the Atlantic to the Mississippi, we had birthdays, holidays, a date night, walks outside, the purchase of a new couch. Now we cross into the Great Plains: sky scrapers and raging rivers tamed by gorgeous bridges give way long expanses of waving grasses. As far as the eye can see there are short days, freezing temperatures, ice storms. After we cross tedious day after tedious day inside four tiny walls, we'll come to Lent: the Great Rocky Mountains of my metaphor. Somewhere on the other side of this I know there is Sunny California whose fertile lands flow with gold nuggets. There will be a first birthday, a family wedding, our anniversary, spring walks among budding trees. But first there are miles and miles of prairie grass. Time will no longer be marked as we pass through great, historic cities, but as we pass through a field of purple flowers to a field of yellow ones. We have to learn to appreciate the beauty of a warbler or a prairie dog. Saturday morning baby swim lessons, Tuesday night girls' night, a deliciously addicting book, homemade nachos on a Friday night. The small, slow, simple life of winter in the midwest.


Liz said...

Okay, I have to say something about #3. Not cool. Really. At the risk of being judge-y, that's no way to talk about friends on a public forum.

Jacqueline said...

I came back to it after I had some cool down, and you're right, that was pretty harsh. I took it down a notch. Thanks for the honesty.

Liz said...

Totally been there, so no worries :). I'll take down my comment :)

Liz said...

Oops - I don't know how to take it down, but you can if you want!

Anonymous said...

Re: # 6: I was drinking 120oz a day just to feel good, avoid headaches and have the energy I needed with nursing baby #4. I thought there must be something wrong with me to have to drink so much to stay hydrated, because I never drank that much while nursing and living in hot, hot FL. My dr. Recommended adding lemon juice, sea salt, or emergen•c to at least two of my 24oz water bottles each day, because she suspected I wasn't getting enough electrolytes. I now add the emergen•c and feel great with *only* 72oz a day, minimum.

It IS great health advice -your immune system works better, your muscles are happier, you milk supply sustained, etc,etc.