Thursday, December 31, 2009

My adventures in Green/Raw foods education

I've been drinking Green smoothies pretty much everyday since December 12 and I've noticed some rather nice changes in myself! I start off each day craving a green smoothie and making a huge one for myself. No sugar or high fructose corn syrup, only frozen fruits, water and spinach (I've yet to try any other "green veggies" in the smoothies). Some of the benefits i've noticed:

  • The dark circles under my eyes have started to diminish. I've had those forever regardless of sleep or not, and they have actually lightened.
  • I don't need or want any coffee in the morning. It doesn't even appeal to me and it's something I couldn't live with out a few weeks ago. I didn't say I don't drink coffee at ALL....just not in the morning!
  • I have WAY more energy than I did weeks ago. MUCH more.
  • I physically FEEL better, healthier.
  • My skin has totally cleared up and looks much better than it did weeks ago. All my blemishes are gone!
  • Everyone else in the house got that nasty fever/runny nose/cough/ thing and I have stayed healthy (though I know there are other factors involved and I COULD still get sick with everyone hacking around me...)
  • I don't crave junk food or sugar. I don't even have the slightest desire to have a bowl of ice cream at night after the kids are in bed (which has been our little tradition for quite some time now)
  • I crave fruits and veggies.
So now I'm reading "12 Steps to Raw Foods~How to end you dependency on cooked food" and am very intrigued by it. I know for a fact I won't ever be able to convert this family into a raw foods family, and of course I really enjoy cooked food. But it's so interesting to read about the chemistry behind raw vs. cooked food and the benefits of eating raw (by the way I am NOT talking about eating raw meat or chicken just veggies). I will definitely be adding more raw foods into our diets and trying to take out the precessed foods (by the way a show on Modern Marvels about how cold cuts were made really helped me want to eliminate THAT from the kids diets!), even removing more sugar from their diets. They actually like a lot of healthy foods (Jonah's favorites are frozen blueberries and a a Spinach salad for a snack!) it's a matter of cutting out the less healthy items in the house. At least for myself and the kids during the day I'd like to eat only raw foods (or very little cooked and meat/chicken) and then have a normal dinner. Like I said, even though Dave teaches chemistry, I don't think he'd get on board with this....but you never know, and I don't think I want to give up all my yummy recipes! But I would think adding healthy and taking out not so healthy most of the day should be good for you right!!??

I've borrowed a few books on how to get kids to eat more raw....I'm looking forward to checking out some of those recipes! I'll let you know!

As for my Green smoothie recipe:

1/2 to 1 frozen banana (necessary for the sweetness factor)
1-2 cups of frozen pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberries (found in a frozen smoothie mix at Costco)
1 cup of banana/strawberry/apple smoothie (found it at costco~organic and NO sugar, pure fruits)
1 cup of pure organic guava juice (again NO sugar added)
water if you still need to dilute to get the right consistency
a heaping handful (or more) of spinach

I blend up the fruit and juice and water first then add the spnach last. You might have to blend it a lot to get the spinach to really get blended in and not in bits and peices.

So WHY green smoothies? What makes em so good for you?
  • They are really? Yup!
  • Easy to digest since you are breaking down the cell wall of the greens making it easy for the body to assimilate.
  • They are a complete food because they have the fiber in them (juices emliminate the fiber)
  • Fruit dominates the flavor, yet greens balance out the taste with zest!
  • They are's like getting a healthy blood transfusion each time you drink 2-3 cups!
  • Because greens are hard to get into your diet, this makes it super easy to make, drink and clean up after!
  • Even the kids love it!
  • You reduce the amount of salts and oils and FAT in your diet
  • After a few weeks you will enjoy eating greens more and start to crave more greens ( I totally attest to this!)
  • I can carry my green smoothie around for hours in a thremo cup with a straw and it stays could and doesn't get watery like other smoothies, it stays nice and thick and smoothie like!
So there you have it. My little talk on green smoothies...... call it a new years resolution of sorts to eat healthier and feel better physically.....if you like.

Happy New Year everyone! Careful with those fireworks! We are loaded up and ready to go here!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Craziness!

All in all Christmas was superb this year. All of my immediate family flew in for the special day (except poor Tessa who tried and got cancelled flight after cancelled flight due to snow and high winds). We haven't had Christmas together like that since I was pregnant with Ellie! I think the year was 2005, so it's been a while!

We started the day at home. It was really nice to be here by ourselves for the first time in years. I actually had to wake the children up! I woke at 5am all excited and giddy and went downstairs pluggin in Christmas lights and starting coffee......and waiting. Finally Ellie woke up and then Gracia and then the 3 of us went in and roused the boys. We came down stairs and finished the last ornaments for our Jesse tree and Dave read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke. It was really special, I was surprised the kids weren't impatient and begging to tear into their presents. It was actually nice they sat and listened to Dad talk about why we were celebrating a special day and why we exchanged presents at all.

Of course we DID get to the presents and recorded them opening the big FULL boxes from grandma and grandpa, that was a hoot, we'll post that at some point! With our growing family we never have tons of money to spend each year and even though it would be nice to go out and splurge on the kids, it felt really good to be able to buy the kids 1 thing they really wanted (a Nerf Blaster for Jonah and a Poop Doll for Ellie) and a few other things we knew they would really enjoy. And they were so satisfied and pleased, even though there were lots of things left on their lists they didn't get. We never heard ONE complaint. I felt like we accomplished getting across to them what we were really celebrating, and it wasn't just gifts.

After a quick call to Dave's family (which didn't last long enough) we threw the kid in the car and headed to my parents house. That was where the REAL choas happened! Have you ever tried to open presents simultaneously with 20 people????? It was crazy! But fun too! I spent most of the time trying to chase after the flying wrapping paper *(okay I was seated and mainly just being pelted with wrapping paper balls but whatever)*!! The kids were even more pleased with the thoughtful gifts they got there as well, Jonah really scored big time with all sorts of science experiments and books, and I was happy as well, being the nerd that I am!

Then we ate and ate and ate the best food ever, all the traditional stuff was there (well traditional for our family) like Great Noni's "Red stuff" (layered jello mixrd with fruit with sour cream in's deliscious!) and then we played Pit and Apples to Apples. I was so thrilled that everyone was loving Pit. We learned that game from the Heldts and then found friends here that also love that game and actually gave us a copy! And it was a hit, the loud screaming and yelling was hilarious. (If you haven't ever played Pit and want to know what it's like to be in a stock market check it out, you can find it at Toys R's easy and fun!)

Eventually we made our way home, exhausted and full in heart and belly and trunk!!!

Last week though wore me out. I had a few meltdowns the days after Christmas. From last Saturday until this Sunday we went every single day to something out of the house. A party, birthday, dinner, shopping, Church, something took us away from home. And the more we go the bigger the mess is here. I dont' know how it happens exactly but almost everday we were coming home late at night, getting up early packing up and going again. I guess that leaves no time for cleaning, laundry, straightening. Things get thrown out of the car and back in, it's chaos. Needless to say I was totally fried.

And now everyone in the house is sick. Fevers, runny noses, coughing ,the whole works. I think so far I have it the easiest with just a runny nose, maybe it's all those green smoothies I've been drinking everymorning...who knows but we are pumping everyone's immune systems with all the strenght building things it needs hopefully!

I've been trying to catch up on all the reading from the books I've requested from the Library...I finished Ina May Gaskin's books on birth and midwifery, I'm working now on Lorraine Curry's "Easy Homeschooling Companion" and after that I've got a Biblical parenting book by MacArthur lined up, The Green Foods Bible, Disease Proofing your child, Baby Greens, the Birth Book and the Gentle Birth Book. I guess it seems I'm in a non-fictions sort of frame of mind! Funny I think I am becoming Dave, I'll need some easy reading at some point soon I'm sure!

We've got 5 days left before school starts up again and we are in the full swing of things! I've still got sewing to do and organizing to finish and I absolutely HAVE to catch up with laundry before next week Monday. I might drown in it if i don't. It's been a constant purr of the washer and dryer for days and I 've commited to folding it right away so the clean pile doesn't turn into a mountain on me! It's worked so far.....who knows how many loads I have left though!

Hope the end of your vacations are restful and fun!

And just for the record, we found out we are having another little girl! She was very clear about showing us who she was! Her little profile is so adorable, I can't wait to meet her! It seems to me that to others a fourth baby and a third girl in a row isn't very exciting, but to us the blessing is amazingly exciting. All of the children are so different and so wonderful to watch develop and grow, she will be just as special to watch!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Midwife Appointment

My very first appointment with the midwife today went fabulously! I loved the location of course...overlooking the huge waves were amazing and so calm and peaceful. But even more calm and peaceful was the midwife and her assistant. She answered all my questions I had been saving up after reading 2 Ina May Gaskin books, even about the shoulder dystocias with the girls (though she said from the sound of it they weren't true shoulder dystocias). She told me everything she has and does and is prepared for. All of her experience, being at this for 34 years, being both an RN and a Nurse Practitioner eases any fears I have of her ability to care for me and the baby being so far away from the hospital as it is. Dave and I brought all the kids with us so she could meet everyone, the kids just ran around the house and the grounds playing and exploring and they were so wonderful about all of that. We talked about a waterbirth and she said she was a professional heated tub we can use! That sounds great! And basically we just talked and got to know each other! Dave really liked her which I was relieved about, it's extremely important we are a team on this one. We also talked about how I go through transition and get stressed out, deliver the head to quickly...etc, things like that. I love the way she really just listened and reassured me. I've been doing so much reading and research. I really want this birth to be wonderful. Every birth no matter what has been wonderful, bringing my children into this world. But I would like this birth NOT to be stressful if at all possible! It's exciting and stresslifting just thinking about NOT leaving the house and worrying if I will have to deliver a baby on the side of the road! That alone has lifted an immense amount of stress off of me!

After the appointment we went down to Lanikai Beach and got to swim with lots of Turtles! The are so neat to watch I don't know why! I suppose because you don't see a whole lot of Ocean Life up close. It was really fun, sometimes the beach is a little stressful for me with all these little ones but it was relaxing. It was funny to see the looks we got with 4 little ones (Bella was with us) Jon (who's 14) and another one on the way....I laugh at what others were thinking that I couldn't actually hear.

At one point Dave turned to me and said, "See 4 little ones isn't very many kids at all!" He's right.....I know it's all the hormones swirling around....but I love my babies. Life is extremely overwhelming sometimes but then there are times like today that for a little bit, all is calm and peaceful within watching those little toes dance and run in the shore break, those are the times you really feel the blessing of God's hand upon your family. I know people think we are a little off for having all these babes especially so close together and truthfully sometimes I am roaming around looking for my marbles myself. But THESE little moments are when I find my answer. When I know what God has given us in these little souls is so much richer than any worldy treasure.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

{Step One to accomplishing a dream}

First prayer.

It's been a {not so} secret desire of mine to have a homebirth. I've labored and birthed in 2 different hospitals and though it hasn't been horrible, it hasn't been exactly what I've wanted either. So this was something I have committed to prayer.

First and foremost the health and safety of me and my baby are very important. I've had 2 babies born with shoulder dystocia. After asking the doctors, they could not tell me why it was happening nor if it would happen again. After some simple research my thoughts about what I had experienced were confirmed through research. It seems my two daughters crowned so quickly (I think due to my stress level) and didn't have enough time to fully rotate before I was trying to deliver the rest of them. Ater a very short time had past, (30 seconds or so) another contraction would hit, the baby would rotate and deliver without problem.

I've been doing lots and lots of reading on natural birth again, and reading other woman's birth stories and just really wanting the birth I've tried for and dreamed of. At least the CHANCE to have a calm, peaceful birth! I finally found some information stating that our insurance covers up to 80% of a Nurse Midwife!!! The same as is covered by a Doctor! So I emailed one that is an RN and Midwife and Nurse Practitioner. She does homebirths and waterbirths and has been practicing for 30 years. She even worked with my current Doctor (who by the way is amazing....very pro woman and pro natural birth). Anyway after talking to her for a little while I am thrilled. She said she doesn't even care about the insurance companies, she will accept being paid the 20% if that's all we can afford! Seriously! (I will still fight for her to get paid fully~but am thrilled at how she views the importance of hat she does verses that of being paid!)

We set up an appointment for Dec 21, she asked if I minded being scene at a beach house on the North Shore...uh no......she asked if I minded sitting on a bench overlooking the beach and laying with a pillow under my head while she measured and listened.....I like this woman already. Really I do. So Dave will come with me and we'll talk about what we have in mind and see where it goes from there.

I just can't believe that this could actually be a reality for's something to explore for sure!

PS.....made a green smoothie this was really really good....pineapple,mango,papaya.strawberries,banana and gotta try it! It's delicious! You don't taste the spinach just all the fruity goodness! Only Jon would try it with me, but that kid will try anything! For Jonah...he'd rather eat a bowl of spinach!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is it with GREEN?

I don't know!!!!

But I tell you I am fighting this insane urge to just break out of the Mommy mold. Every once in a while I get this itch....this urge just to change things up a bit. Maybe it's the routine of doing the same ole thing around here. Maybe it's New Year's approaching .....

Somewhere though deep deep down, I feel like I've lost the artistic crazy side of me and settled for the one that just keeps plugging away at laundry and toilets. And I'm getting pretty tired of it. There hasn't been a whole lot of creativity in my life these days. More accurately since Jonah was born the creative happenings have been becoming less frequent.

There used to be periods where I was so engrossed in a project it would take up every spare moment and much of the night. That just doesn't happen any more.I dont' have the energy or motivation to get everything out, make a mess, play with ideas. My photography has been reduced to snapshots, which I really hate. I just don't have the time or energy for that anymore either.

But I want to get that back.

I suppose having 3 small kids 5 and under and having another one on the way may have something to do with it. I just miss me. The artistic, creative me.

I even feel like my house is lacking in the true me. Everything is under decorated and so not me. I mean the me I see myself as if that makes sense. I am so tired of the brown on brown in the livingroom. And the granny curtains in the kitchen. So I'm thinking 'Apple Valley' and 'Del Sol' might whip me out of the neutral doldrums. That would be Green and Orange in layman terms. I've been pretty attracted to orange lately. Don't know why but it's going on the wall. As well as some fun bright (not neon) green. I just need a change and paint happens to be free....and it just so happens we've got a little staycay coming up. .....Now I just need to hunt down some bright coordinating fabrics to do the trick for curtains and pillows. Oh how i miss Joanns already.

I've been doing a little reading on Raw Food diets lately. I am very intreged. So much so I am sending Dave to Costco today to get me some frozen fruit and baby spinach. Maybe it's the pregnancy but a green smoothie sounds really really good. And I love fruits and veggies so why not try and eat a little greener? I already know Dave would never give up his steak (and I don't know if I would either really) but......I would really like to take care of myself better than I have. So I am trying something new. Just for the fun of it....and because it's green. No I mean really green. I'm not declaring anything here....more like rambling......

And Yoga (which I know if controversial in some christian circles) but I was up at 5am this morning....dreaming of green smoothies.....and sore and stiff and generally feeling pretty old in my early 30's. So I turned on FitTV and did some Yoga. I feel amazing! I didn't say I LOOKED amazing while doing Yoga, it was pretty hilarious actually. And at one point I had Gracia laying underneath me while I was attempting downward dog....and in my lap in every other pose (though her weight helps in the stretch let me tell you!). But my back feels amazing and it was only 20 minutes worth. I've been contemplateing taking some me time before the kids wake up in the morning. Going for a walk or jog. It's really the only me time I get to be alone and I've been itching to just do that lately. I'd have to get up early (for me) to fit in devotions and a walk, but it is something that actually seems appealing to me lately.

Who knows, it could be the pregnancy hormones!

I hope all this green obssesion doesn't mean I'm having a hermaphidite.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Meek and Quiet Spirit

So I am exhausted, still, even after a long night's sleep and a good (albeit long school day). But that really isn't my main problem.

I don't see how people get through life living on a Spiritual deficit. For me it's nearly impossible. And even though vacation is wonderful and relaxing, I don't seem to find time to keep my spiritual tank full. And for me, when it starts getting low it really really shows. And for some reason during these times I fail to cling to the promises that I KNOW to be true! Last night I feel like I was brought to me knees finally and was able to rest not only physically but spiritually as well.

These verses spoke to my soul~ as they should have in the morning BEFORE I started my day.....

2 Corinthians 12:9
"My gracious favor is all you need. My power works BEST in your weakness. So now i am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may work through me."

All day yesterday HE could have strengthened me where I was weak, but yet I refused to have the power of Christ working through me...instead I trudged through the day by myself, exhausted and worn down while Christ was right there the whole time waiting to strengthen me.

Philippians 4:13
"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."

Yes even yesterday which seemed I would not survive, was possible. So much easier than how I handled it though is truly relying on HIS strength and not my own.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9
"But this precious treasure~this light and power that now shine within us is held in perishable containers, that is our weak bodies. SO everyone can see that our gorius power is from God and not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are NOT crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit! We are hunted down, But God NEVER abandons us, We get knocked down but we get UP and keep going!"

On the grand scheme of things yesterday was a mere blip. I was tired and emotional at best. Nothing major had happened, everything seemed overwhelming and frustrating and impossible. I was knocked down, I was pressed, I was perplexed. But at any moment the amazing power of God is there to lift us up again and again, however many times we need it in a day, hour or moment. He will NOT forsake us even in the silliest of meltdowns! And even after years and years of being a Christian for me it is so easy to forget, especially when I am focused on me.

I never took the time to look up, reach up and grab a hold of what is always near, always waiting to help and by my strength and grace and peace.

Trust me I did NOT forget that today.Yesterday was enough of a reminder of what a day not walking and living in the spirit is like. I don't need another one of those anytime soon.

PS. I will very soon do a cheery, happy post about all the fun we had in Florida complete with way too many photos for your viewing pleasure as soon as I get the images off Dave's MAC! Which hopefully will be tonight!


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