Lucky number 3!

I am a terrible blogger. I know, I take breaks that are entirely too long, reappear out of nowhere with big news, then disappear again. It’s a terrible habit. I know I am no good at keeping up with this thing regularly, but I do love coming back to it later and seeing the big, important, emotional moments of my life written out. So, I keep blogging when I have something I feel like blogging about.

Right now, I have something huge!

6ws

Adam impregnated me again. =D We are so excited! Our girls are incredible and beautiful and amazing and hilarious and we can’t wait to add to our brood… maybe this time we will get a little more testosterone in the house? We have actually known for quite a while, since the beginning of September, but kept it to ourselves while we did the initial confirmation and other fun doctor stuff. Now I am almost 10w along so we are sharing our incredible news with the world.

IMG_9031s

The girls are basically oblivious to what’s going on, which is to be expected from a 1 year old and a 2 year old, but since they are older than Kaia was when Kalista arrived we are going to keep talking about it in the hopes that they will understand when the big day gets here. Right now, if I ask Kaia what’s in mommy’s belly she will say baby, and if we start talking about babies she will point to her own belly. ❤ Kalista knows how to say “baby” but that’s about the extent of her understanding. I am really excited to get them their own little baby dolls as the pregnancy progresses and teach them how to take care of them. Hopefully that will help them get excited and help it to click a little bit.

That’s my big announcement for this installment of As the Alexander’s Turn… stay tuned (but don’t hold your breath, who knows how long it will take me to post again) for upcoming developments. =P

Whole30 Banana Pancakes

On Whole30 you aren’t supposed to find ways to “Paleo-tize” desserts to be Whole30 compliant. The point is to cut out the junk, not find ways to manipulate it to fit into the program so you can keep on having it. I have stuck to that, but I did find one treat. It isn’t a treat because it’s dessert, it’s actually a pretty common breakfast food that happens to also be bad for  you. This Whole30 version of it just FEELS like a treat since it’s so good! I got this recipe from Christa in my Whole30 FB group (just made a few very small tweaks) and it is super yummy!

These Whole30 Banana Pancakes aren’t the same as the “two eggs and one mashed banana” recipe that most people know. This one is fancified, and worth the extra work!

Ingredients:

2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 heaping Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp baking soda
2 heaping Tbsp coconut flour
1/8 cup water
pinch of salt
coconut oil (for cooking)

Directions:

Mash up bananas in a bowl.

bananas

Add both eggs and mix together. (I initially only added one egg, but I added another one later as I adjusted the recipe. =P)

egg

Add almond butter and mix in. I added the almond butter cold, which took a lot of mixing to get it completely mixed in. If you can add it in at room temperature it’s much easier!

almondbutter

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Your mixture should still be pretty runny at this point.

bakingsodasalt

Mix in coconut flour. Mixture will start to thicken up at this point. You can add water as you mix to make it into pancake consistency.

coconutflour

Put desire amount of coconut oil into a hot skillet and add batter to make pancakes. I found that this size worked the best. They are slightly smaller than pancakes you would get a a restaurant but much easier to flip than when I tried to make them larger.

cooking

Here is my final product! They brown darker than regular pancakes when they are done, so don’t take them off too early or you may end up with them a little gooey in the middle. They are supposed to be darker since they aren’t made with bleached white flour or pancake mix!

pancakes

They are delicious, and my girls LOVED them! I think next time I will thin them out just a bit more when I make the batter and add a little fruit. =D

To Die For Guacamole

When I started Whole30 and found out that I could eat as much avocado as I wanted, I went on a hunt for a stellar guacamole recipe. I grew up in the land of authentic Mexican food, and guacamole is one of those things I can eat on almost anything. I attempted a few Whole30 safe recipes and failed miserably, mostly because for some odd reason I spent the first 10 days thinking I couldn’t have salt (fail!), before asking for a good recipe in a Whole30 group I am in. That is when I was graced with the Alton Brown way of making guac. After a few tweaks, I came up with the recipe for the BEST guacamole I have ever had, and I have had a LOT of different guacamole. Seriously. TO. DIE. FOR.

 

Without further ado…

To Die For Guacamole

Ingredients:
6 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled.
2 limes, juiced
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (leave in the seeds for extra kick!)
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice. Mash with a potato masher adding the salt, cumin, and chili powder as you go. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

 

 

Whole New Me

It’s been a while since I blogged regularly.

Who am I kidding? I have never blogged regularly. =P I do have some stuff going on that I want to talk about, so I am going to (once again) attempt to blog more often. I may succeed, I may fail.

Back in August I put it all out there and wrote a gut wrenching post about how I want to feel, and how disgusted I was with what I had done to my body. It was really hard to put out there, and I was hoping that by bearing it all and being so open that it would spark something in me. Well, it did. The spark started out small and it took 8 months, but ever since I posted that I have lost the ability to ignore my problems. It didn’t quite cause the instant rush of motivation to go out and conquer it all and make a radical change I was going for. I wasn’t some overnight sensation that dramatically changed my life. The change was slower, mostly because the depth of my ability to put up with my own self loathing was much more vast than I thought it was. I ended up spending months noticing more and more of the things I didn’t like about what I was doing to myself. It built slowly, but it did build.

I finally reached a breaking point about 3 weeks ago and something clicked. I don’t know how to describe it, I just felt READY. Ready to make a change and really give something an honest shot. In the past I have always chosen the meal plan, or diet, or “lifestyle change” that was the easiest to manipulate and seemed like it would give me the most dramatic results in fastest time with the least amount of actual change from me. It wasn’t an intentional thing, I just gravitated towards things that would let me cheat but dress it  up as revolutionary.  In reality it was just another way to throw off my bodies balance enough to cause weight loss in the short term but it would all bounce right back quicker than I lost it to begin with. You know… the yo-yo that EVERYONE claims happens with every plan BUT theirs. I thought I was AVOIDING exactly that, but I wasn’t. They were attractive to me so I would fall for the hype, but now I feel like since I am being  honest about myself I can see the options in front of me more honestly, as well.

When I saw a friend of mine on FB post about this plan she was doing it struck something in me. I think she just happened to be talking about the changes she was making at the exact time that I was finally ready to make changes in my own life. She was doing a clean eating, gluten-free, dairy-free, whole food program. All of the things that I would NEVER do before because it was too restrictive/expensive/complicated/over the top crunchy. Suddenly it didn’t seem so over the top anymore. All of the foods I used to indulge in stopped tasting good a few months ago because I was so grossed out with myself for eating them. The idea of actually PLANNING not to eat them was appealing. So, I researched the program on the best place to find tons of random crap… Pinterest. I found dozens of recipes, charts that listed all of the things I could eat, guidelines for what to avoid and how to replace it, outlines of how you will feel as  your body notices that you aren’t shoveling junk into it anymore (a lot of people call this “detoxing” but I HATE that word, it’s been made so cliche by the diet industry that using it at all feels cliche now), and tons of other good stuff that really made me feel prepared. I watched this friend of mine post more and more about how she was feeling the longer she was eating that way, and that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted what she had. So, I decided to stop wanting and start doing.

I am on day 12 of  Whole30 (look it up if you are curious, I am not here to peddle the plan, just talk about my experience) and while I have still had temptations and weak moments, I have stuck with it. Not only have I stuck with it, I feel STRONG in my resolve still! I am already down at least 10 lbs, and although I have a LOT to lose, that 10lbs was instant proof that what I am doing is allowing my body to let go of the extra fluid that it has been retaining to protect itself from the awful stuff I have been putting into it. I bet some of that was even excess fat. The best part is that I haven’t felt deprived at all, in fact I am not really eating enough! I have been shoving my face with healthy, whole, clean foods and they are delicious! I think Whole30 may end up being more like Whole90 because with my horrible relationship with food I think I need a longer reset, but even the prospect of 90 days without my beloved Takis, or cotton candy, or chocolate on Mother’s Day, or BBQ smothered everything on Father’s Day, or Macayo’s isn’t daunting to me. It makes sense to eat the way I am eating now, not because some book or motivational speaker or documentary tells me it makes sense… but because food is not my crutch, or my comfort, or my entertainment. Food is fuel for my body.

  • One should eat to live, not live to eat. -Moliere
  • Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food. – Hippocrates
  • Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness. -Edward Stanley
  • In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  ~Author Unknown

This time feels different. This time I am going to be different. It’s a whole new me.

40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS Declutter Challenge!!!

A friend of mine, Ann Marie, runs this amazing blog called White House Black Shutters, and she is doing an awesome challenge right now that I am so excited about participating in. It’s called 40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS and it’s all about decluttering and decrappifying your space. This is something I DESPERATELY need to do right now. My home is my office, and with two little girls now mobile and running around my house like dirty little banshees, the less I have for them to twirl into a sticky pile of mess the better. I can’t tell you how many times I have spent the last two minutes before a video meeting with colleagues at work pushing an array of toys and toddler clothes out of the frame of my webcam so that when I popped into a meeting  the toddler tornado wasn’t visible.

So… It. Is. ON. Time to fix it! The point of the challenge is to spend Lent simplifying. Every day either fill a bag to donate/trash/sell, or pick one area of your home or office (or both in my case) to clean and organize. I have wrangled a few coworkers, a few family members, and a few friends into doing the challenge with me already, and we are all getting started today!  My first area is my couch which is a very large, very comfortable sectional with this amazing ottoman that is so big we call it baby island… and there is MAYBE 1.5 butts worth of space to actually sit on it. Between the laundry, toys, and other random pieces of random randomness, it has been taken over and no longer serves it’s intended purpose. That all changes as soon as I am done writing this post. I will post my before and after pics when I am done.

If you would like to join the challenge with me, you can find out all of the deets here:
http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/40-bags-in-40-days-2013-declutter-challenge/

I have already joined the FB group created for it (there are 400+ people in there and it’s already proving to be very motivational!) and I plan to blog and Instagram (#40bags40days) my progress. Join me and we can help keep each other motivated!

Dear Kalista,

The first thing that I want to tell you is that I love you. I have loved you from the moment I found out you were coming, and I still love you just as much… no, more… than I did then. You are my second, and I want to make sure that you never feel second best. I love you as much, although in different ways than, your sister. Although I am sure that at times I will fail, I promise that I will try to never compare you to Nikaia in any way that makes you feel like you aren’t good enough. You are good enough, you are smart enough, you are brave enough, you are beautiful enough… YOU are more than enough all by yourself. On the same token… You entering our lives was an addition to the family, not a substitution or a replacement for anything your sister was lacking. You are two very unique, very special, very amazing little girls and while we will never love you exactly the same (since you are two very different people), we will always love you both with our whole hearts. There will be no splitting our love between you, you both get ALL of the love we have to give.

There are so many things I hope for you. I hope that you will be ridiculously happy with whatever life you create for yourself. I hope that you will take the time to stop and smell the roses. I hope that you will find a creative outlet that allows you to release your sadness and express your happiness.  I hope you will find your voice and never be afraid to use it. I hope that you will know the joy of carrying a baby and I hope that motherhood will impact your life the way that being your mother has impacted mine. I hope that you will recognize and utilize the ambition that you have inside of you. As a baby you had hip dysplasia and needed therapy to do simple things like roll, crawl, and transition from one position to another. You never let your limited range of motion stop you from doing what you wanted to do. As a baby you couldn’t care less what prognosis doctors gave you, you didn’t understand those silly words and continued to work towards whatever you wanted no matter what came out of your doctor’s mouth. I hope that as an adult you will continue to let the silly words of others pass right by you and go for what  you want no matter what anyone else thinks about it.

Right now you are 10 months old, and already I see a fire in you that I wish I had in me throughout my life. Your determination and your attitude while you work so hard to do things that other babies do with ease, is absolutely inspiring to watch. You don’t need inspirational quotes, or pep talks, or an adult understanding of the importance of reaching your goals… All you need is that shiny toy in the corner that looks oh so delicious. Your motivation isn’t muddied by someone else’s opinion of you, your self worth isn’t defined by your ability to keep up with anyone else, you do what you want to do because YOU want to do it. This attitude is lost on so many people as they grow, or they never have it at all. You are special, though. You are brave. Watching you has renewed my own sense of self, and brought me new life, not just in the form of you but within me, too. You being here and causing me to change more diapers, spend more money, do more housework, and wake up more often isn’t the only change you have brought… you have caused a change for the better within me just by being you, and you didn’t even have to try.

Your father and I are so happy that you came into our family. We are so grateful that we get to be your parents. We are overjoyed that you are Nikaia’s sister. We love you so much!

Mom