Friday, July 27, 2012

Skinny Ms. Crockpot

So, I'm in no way getting compensated for this and Skinny Ms. has no idea that I'm even writing about them; however, I've been following the different Skinny Ms. Facebook pages for months now, and I love all that they have to offer.

Since William got really sick with pneumonia this past December and was hospitalized, and Weston had been very sickly during the Winter/Spring of 2011, I started doing a lot of research about foods and how they impact our bodies and health. Of course, I already knew that healthy eating could help you lose weight and eating too much or too many sweets could make you gain weight, but I didn't realize how the food that you consume is truly so important to your health.

After doing a lot of research, I made huge changes to the way that our family eats...we tried the gluten free route; however, no one in our family has trouble tolerating gluten, and it didn't make us feel any different/better or seem to impact our health. So, we moved to 100% whole wheat products and sprouted grains, and we have adopted a "Clean Eating" approach. I'll write more about what we eat and what helped us make these decisions; however, we are now mostly dairy free except for the occasional greek yogurt or cheese stick, and we mostly eat clean foods, but we do have the occasional treat meal usually once per week.

Anyways, I've read so many websites and blogs with great recipes, and they look delicious, but they don't taste that great. They are usually fairly bland and don't have much flavor. I've been following the Skinny Ms. recipes, but I hadn't made one yet; however, I was going to be working at Vacation Bible School at our church this week, and Grant would have to get the boys fed each night, so I went to Skinny Ms. for some crock pot recipes that would be ready for Grant to feed the boys.

This week we made:

Turkey Sloppy Joes except with Ground Chicken instead of Turkey

Balsamic Chicken with 100% Whole Wheat Pasta

Both were absolutely delicious...with a 10 month old and 2.5 year old, it's hard to have a win with everyone; however, both dishes were enjoyed by everyone in our family. We also had enough that we were able to have the meal for two nights, and it was perfect for our crazy week!

If you haven't already, go check out Skinny Ms. and try some of their recipes today! They are delicious, and we have more on our menu for this upcoming week. We'll be making BBQ Pulled Chicken, Crockpot Spaghetti, Roast and Pizza Burgers. I'll let you know what we think...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eating is Exhausting!

William's teacher at the daycare sent me this photo yesterday of William. She said that he was sitting in the highchair to have a snack, and she was rocking another baby to sleep. She looked up, and he had passed out in the highchair. I had seen photos of babies who had done this; however, I NEVER imagined that either of mine would. They are so active and eating is one of their favorite activities. He is too sweet, and he's growing way too quickly. :(

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This past Sunday, our pastor, spoke about courage during his sermon. The theme was "And then some, Courage is required!"

In our sermon notes, it read "Miracles don't make life easier; they often stir up circumstances that require great courage."

I was hit hard by the things that he spoke about, and Jay challenged us to do this:

1.) Count the costs
2.) Decide Now
3.) Prepare Well
4.) Practice until it is habit
5.) Remember your Reason

There are a couple of things that God really laid on my heart during the sermon that need to change, and I know that I am being challenged to make a change. During the sermon, I fought hard to keep the tears back, and it was tough, because I know that there are areas of my life that need change. I thought about laying each one of these out separately here; however, I don't think that this is the place to fully disclose these things that are heavy on my heart.

I hope to circle back and to continue to check in on my progress or share with you all when I've made progress. I pray that I will have the courage to get where my heart desires.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Friends in our "Newish" Home

I can't even begin to describe how much the Lord has blessed us since we arrived here in Brunswick. Envisioning a move at 8 days post partum, I was miserable and heartbroken. I was SO ready to be back under the same roof as my husband, but I was devastated to be leaving my friends and family in Athens. The emotions were high, and I had many nights/evenings when I first arrived in Brunswick where I just cried. I missed my parents, and I missed my friends, and I didn't have anyone to talk to here.

On Sunday, October 30th, at the recommendation of a coworker, Grant and I decided to attend a church here in Brunswick that we'd heard good things about. We immediately had someone come to us and introduce us to another young couple, and they invited us to the Halloween party the following evening after I found her on Facebook. I was feeling relieved, and I was so excited to be able to go and meet some people and get out of the house.

It all started from there...I've meet the most incredible group of women since I moved here. I have definitely gained friendships here that are much stronger than the ones I had in Athens, and the majority of these women attend the same church we do. I know that God had a hand in it all, and he knew and listened to my prayers for a group of women to have a close relationship with that had children that were close in age to mine.

What a blessing?! I get daily text messages from these friends, and I talk to them regularly. We get together on the weekends and holidays, and I just love it. I know that if I'm going through a storm or need prayers for anything that I can send them a quick text message, and they'll pray for me or my family. They would do anything for us...from babysit, bring us change and food when we are in the hospital, pray for us, have lunch with me, get together, etc. I'm looking forward to many fun times with this great group of women.

Did I mention that one of the women that I've met is a wonderful photographer?! So grateful! She has become our official family photographer, and we hang out with her regularly, so she takes great photos when we all hang out together too. :) These photos in this post are just a few of the great photos that she's taken for us!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friends without Children

So, I've seen a number of these different posts over the past few years since Weston was born, and I can totally relate, so I decided to write one of my own. I miss spending time with both my single friends and married friends without children; however, life has become so incredibly chaotic, and we rarely hang out with those friends at this stage in our lives, particularly our single friends. I think that the only people that we hang out with that don't have young children are my sister and brother in law and our parents and thankfully, they understand. Yes, it's sad, and yes, I miss my friends without children and my single friends...I still love you all, and I hope that before we know it we are able to spend more quality time together!

To all my friends who don't have children,

Life has drastically changed since before I had children, and I know that it's effected our friendship. I no longer answer the phone or return phone calls quickly. I only talk on the phone when I'm in the car driving down the road, and I have a few spare minutes. I don't want to talk on the phone at the end of a long day, so I won't usually return calls then. After the boys get in bed, and Weston comes out of his room a couple of times, it's usually after 9:00 PM, and I have to do laundry, dishes, straighten up the house, prepare for the next day and try to spend a little bit of time with my husband.

I didn't know that it would be so difficult, and I didn't plan to drift away from my friends. I want to see you as much as possible, but it's so much easier to stay at home. Traveling with two young children is difficult, especially when one or both of them are crying in the car. Packing up all the supplies and things that you need for two kids is a nightmare, and both the packing and unpacking are daunting tasks. I used to love to travel and would jump at the opportunity to get in the car and go for a weekend. Not anymore...I put off packing until the last minute, and I always fill up our vehicle with strollers, pack and play, travel high chair, clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, etc.

We hang out a lot more now with families who have kids that are close in age with Weston and William, because it's so much easier if the kids can entertain one another a bit. It allows the adults some time to talk, but they also understand when we have to stop in the middle of a conversation to get a snack, something to drink or help a child to the potty.

I want to take a week long trip with my girlfriends and go away, but I just can't. William is still breastfeeding, so I can't get too far from him. He also still wakes up every single night, and I want to be there for him as much as possible when he wakes up and needs me. I'm sorry that I can't join on your trips unless I bring one or both children with me, and it's a reasonable distance from home. But please know that I want to, and I hate to miss out on those times with you.

I remember when I used to talk on the phone to my girlfriends all the time, hang out and go shopping. I can't wait to do that again. I can't wait to be able to get away on the weekends for a few hours and just go shopping by myself. I just ask that you hang in there with me during the next few years. It's difficult but very fun phase, and I don't want to mess anything up.

Note: To my single or married friends without children, please do not read this as a negative or belittling post. I respect you guys so much, and I know that life is busy and crazy for you, as well, between volunteer projects, organizations, jobs, etc.  I miss you all, and I so badly want to spend time with you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

William at 9 Months

I cannot believe that my "baby" and last baby is already 3/4 of a year old. In just two and a half short months, he's going to be a year old. Where has time gone?! Why is it going by so quickly? I'm ready for Baby #3, but Grant has assured me that we are done having children, so William is our last baby. It's probably best for the sake of our house, our car, our dog, our finances, our relationship and our sanity. We love our little guys, but they keep us on our toes, constantly!!

  • Weighs 19 pounds & 7 ounces; 28.5 inches long
  • William isn't a great eater, and he refuses all baby food. He actually refuses anything that you have to feed him. He loves to pick up foods and eat them, and he's doing very well with his pincher grasp. He's loving puffs right now, and he'd like to eat those for every meal.
  • He is still only breastfeeding, and he's not had any formula at this point. I'm running low on my frozen milk stores though, so we'll see how far I can make it!
  • He's doing great with his sippy cup, and he picks it up consistently and drinks both breastmilk and water from his cup. 
  • You are wearing Size 4 diapers, and 12 month or 12-18 month clothes, as well as, some 9 month clothes depending on the brand.
  • William is crawling, pulling up on everything, climbing and walking along while holding on to something. I was really hoping that we'd have a bit longer before he mastered all of those items. He's into everything. I walked into the Master Bathroom the other day, and he'd climbed up on the ledge, and he'd turned the water on in our bathroom.

  • He's so far not received any bruises that I know of, because he's extremely careful. Weston was all over the place, and he had all kinds of bumps and bruises. William slowly eases himself down after he's pulled up on something. It's bizarre!
  • He does get bruises regularly though, because he has a big brother who continues to sit on him, knock him over, close coolers on his fingers, etc.
  • He chooses his favorite toys based on what Weston is playing you can imagine, this is not fun and frustrates Weston!
  • William is babbling constantly, and he's said 'dada' but he's no closer to saying 'mama' than Weston was at his age. :(
  • He's getting really good at clapping and waving, and I can't  believe he's becoming so much fun and interacting with us so much. It's such a fun age! 
  • You still only have two teeth. We were hoping that more would've made their appearance, so we are patiently waiting for some to arrive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Staying Organized as a Full Time Mom, Wife & Employee

So, I've had a couple of people ask him how I stay organized as a full-time working mom, and I want to start this post off by saying that most of the time, I'm not organized at all. I feel so unorganized in day to day life, and I never feel like I get it all accomplished. More often than not, I feel/know that I'm failing at something. I often feel like I'm not good enough, because I can't keep it all together.

Here's how I "attempt" to stay organized...
  • Our week starts on Sunday, so every Sunday during nap time, I sit down and write out our menu for the week including breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as, snacks. I also make sure that I get a copy of the lunch menu from daycare for the week, so that I can pack food for the boys, if they don't like or I don't like what's being served.
  • After nap, William and I usually go to the grocery store, and I prep food for the week. I cut up veggies, make muffins for grab and go snacks and breakfasts, etc.
  • I set out clothes for the boys every single night before we all go to bed, so if I'm getting ready, Grant can dress them for the day.
  • I do one load of laundry everyday, so I typically fold the load from the night before, and I wash and put the new load in the dryer. Yes, I have to refresh our clothes, but it's worth it. I don't have to wait for the load to finish before heading to bed.
  • I have a lot of help...Grant is great, and he's a huge help to me around the house. He washes all of our dishes and cleans up after dinner. He bathes the boys every night, and he gets Weston to bed. If Weston wakes up in the middle of the night, Grant tends to him. Grant gets both kids up in the morning, and he feds them breakfast while I get ready in mostly peace and quiet. ;)
  • I schedule everything, and I write our schedule on a big board every week including both our weekly menu and any appointments or after work obligations.
  • I prepare bags, bottles and lunches the night before. I always make William's bottles the night before, as well as, fix lunches the night before, so we can just grab them and head out the door in the morning.
  • If I know that dinner is going to take some time to prepare, and I haven't already done it, I use my lunch break to run home (2 miles down the road), and prep for dinner. 
It may sound like I have it all together, but I feel like I don't get it all done in a number of areas...
  • Work - I often have to leave early due to a sick child or arrive late, because we couldn't get out the door. I rarely can work in the evenings, and I often get that request, but my family is more important to me. This is an area where I often feel like I'm not doing a good job.
  • Health & Fitness - I want to work out...I do, but William still wakes up in the night, and since he's our last baby, I'm not in a hurry to get him to sleep all night, so I'm tired in the morning. I don't have much spare time between work and home, so I don't get to do this as often as I need or want to. 
  • Grant - We have been working to have a great relationship and spend that important time together, but it's SO easy to slip. It's so easy to be so busy and the hustle and bustle of life, and it just gets away from you. It's gotten away from us this week, and we need to reign ourselves in a bit and focus on one another.
  • Housework - I want to keep a clean house, and my house is very clean and organized. I pick up toys and wipe down counters every night, but I don't dust as often as I should, clean the bathrooms nearly enough or mop the floor regularly. I want to, and I try, but it's just one of the things we let go to an extent to spend more QT with our kids.
That's our schedule...I hope it helps someone out there with organization. I'm totally OCD, and so some of this is difficult for me, and I'm never perfect, but we are trying. :) 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Day at the Harvey Household

One day last week, I had to work late, but I chose to go pick up the kids and come home, then work from home briefly since I knew it would only last about a half hour or so. Grant met me at home, so he could entertain the boys while I was working. He took some photos of the boys playing together and emailed them to me afterwards. I love these boys, and it's SO awesome to see them playing together and interacting!

Working at the work bench and with their tools is a regular event in the evenings at our house! Love it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Air Conditioning in a Pinch

We returned home from vacation on a Sunday afternoon, and we attempted to turn our air conditioning on, so our house would cool off after we'd had it on "hold" while we were out of town. Nothing...our air conditioner would not turn on! In south GA, in June, it's hot! Without air conditioning, it's miserable. We called the AC guys in town, since we know them on a personal level, since our air conditioning as gone out four times this year, and it's only June. No one called us back...

We suffered through the afternoon and evening, and they came first thing on Monday. They told us that our fan was bad, and it needed replacing, but that meant ordering a part that wouldn't be in until Friday or the following Monday. Seriously?!

Needless to say, we've been trying to suffer through it, but it's been miserable when our house is 84 degrees inside. Both kids have been sleeping without pajama's, and we borrowed a window unit from a friend. We've been running our fans on high and praying that the part comes in sooner than anticipated.

However, if you come to our house right now, you'll probably see coolers of ice and freezer packs sitting all over the house. Last night, we had at least one cooler full of ice in every room that someone sleeps in, and we had two in the master bedroom.

Here's a quick glance of our "air conditioning in a pinch"...