Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stay-at-Home vs. Working Mom

home office

It's been more quiet around here than usual for a couple of reasons: a) it's summertime, meaning my kids are out of school, and b) I've been looking for work. Like it's my JOB. Hah!

See, back before I had kids, I used to work in Market Research. I had this pretty sweet gig in Dallas that I actually sort of loved (no really, I did!). I started from the bottom as a Recruiter and over the years (+ a company switch later) was able to work my way up to Senior Project Manager. I was in a long distance relationship with Dan + didn't have any children at the time, so it was nice to just really throw myself into something. But, once I got married and moved out to San Diego where the hubby was (then) stationed, things changed. I got a job at another MR company where I worked whilst preggo, but left just before Nico was born. I wasn't in love with my new position (or the current mgmt.), and therefore, it just seemed like the right move. And it was. At the time.

Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later, and returning to the workforce is looking like a viable option. I always said when we moved back to TX that I'd eventually like to work again. I didn't think I'd be looking quite so soon, but with Dan still searching for something to transition to outside of the Navy, I decided to start looking as well. And now that I may have a couple of opportunities coming my way? It's becoming a LOT more real. Which if I'm being honest, is a little scary.

I mean, I already feel like I'm so busy being a stay-at-home mom. How will I possibly fit in all that I do + take on a job outside of the home? I know it's doable 'cause people do it erryday, it's just hard to imagine what our new normal will look like. Is it me working while Dan's home w/ the kids + actively look for work? Me working with Dan back in school to get his Master's? Or both of us working with Lola in an all-day preschool and Si in daycare? There's really so much that's still up in the air.

I haven't really wrapped my head around the idea of leaving my children with someone else just yet. Yes, Lola went to part-day preschool for the 2nd part of this past school year (once she turned 3), but she's still painfully shy. Like, only-talked-to-her-teachers-once-the-whole-time-she-was-there shy! How will she do switching over to an all-day program? And what about my little Silas? I haven't even reactivated my gym membership since he came along because I'm scared of leaving him with someone else. What if something goes wrong? He doesn't talk yet, so how would he tell me? These are the questions/concerns that I've been struggling with.

All of this said, I believe it could actually be a good thing for me to get back out there. Yes, I think being away from my babies could be challenging at first, but I really do think that getting out of the house and doing something non-kid related would be good for me. Perhaps even make me a better mom? Who knows?! What I do know is that changes are a-comin'! And while scary, it's also sort of exciting. I didn't see myself staying home forever. And now that I possibly have the opportunity to go back to work doing what I love? I think I may want to give it a go and see what happens!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nico's Last Day of Kindergarten

Nico kindergarten

My little man graduated Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. Hastag how did this even happen?! Hashtag time you need a big ol' slap in the face, because NO. I mean, on the one hand, I'm loving the smart, funny, and just plain awesome kid he's grown into. But, on the other? I literally remember bringing him home from the hospital, like it was yesterday. Which makes me painfully aware of just how quickly time is flying by, and how before I know it, he'll be grown. Luckily, we still have a ways to go before this happens, so in the meantime, I'm trying my darndest to enjoy each moment to the best of my ability.

This year was a really big one in terms of development. He knows how to read, y'all! And not just sight words, but, like, legit reading. Chapter books and stuff! Also, I'm certain he's gonna out-math me within the next year or two. Not even joking (since when do Kindergarteners know multiplication?!). Besides math, his favorite subjects are art and science. In fact, he'll be attending a Summer science program offered through the school that's starting soon (like, he chose to go…by choice!). Not to get all braggy, but homey is a straight up smartypants! Just sayin'.

Sadly, this was his first AND last year at his current school, since we'll be moving back to the Dallas area before the new school year begins (assuming Dan gets his separation orders in time - fingers crossed!). Thankfully, I'm not too worried about him making new friends, because shy? He is not.

Nico kindergarten Nico kindergarten

…And let's not address the fact that he'll be in an actual grade this Fall. If I don't say it, it won't happen, right? Right?!

For reference, here's a little side-by-side comparison of his first + last day of school: #wah

Nico kindergarten

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Taking Stock

Brock Paper Scissors home
The place we've called home for over 3 years now

I saw this meme called "Taking Stock" going around the internet awhile back (I believe this was the original source), so I thought I'd give it a go! I secretly sort of love these things.

Making: plans for our return to Dallas late next month. Cannot wait to get back there! It's been far too long.
Cooking: mostly just the meals we liked from our round of Whole30. I haven't really experimented with anything new this past week because I just had ankle surgery. I do plan on making Silas' first baby food later this week, though!
Drinking: water + homemade fraps (in the AM).
Reading: The Fault in Our Stars - it's been on my iPad for about a year, but I'm just getting around to reading it. So far, so good!
Wanting: for Dan's orders to come in so we can get our move set up. The process is a whole lot of hurry up and wait - so stressful!
Looking: at Lola and Si sitting next to me (she's singing him a song she made up).
Playing: new Lana - love it!
Wasting: time doing this when I should be looking for jobs (more on this later).
Sewing: not sewing anything, but I am weaving a wall hanging with my new loom.
Wishing: that my kids would stop growing - this current age combo (6yr., 3.5yr. & 6mo.) is so good!
Enjoying: the amazing weather we've been having - breezy + not too humid or hot.
Waiting: for our trip to Six Flags this weekend! I'll be in a boot, but we got free tickets that expire on the 14th, so I'm gonna suck it up, lol.
Liking: how well my older two have been getting along. There's usually a lot of bickering between them, but lately? Not so much. It's been nice.
Wondering: how it's gonna be for all 5 of us to stay with my dad and stepmom when we move back to Dallas. Excited, but also a little worried…for them. Hah!
Loving: my new Birks! When I was younger, I had the Target knockoffs, so this is my first real experience. They are so comfy! In fact, I love 'em so much that I'm asking for a second pair for my birthday!
Hoping: Dan finds a job soon (and possibly me, too). Transitioning out of the military & into the real world can be a little scary, especially when you've got kids you're responsible for.
Marveling: at the relationship between my 3 littles. Their bond is incredible.
Needing: more hours in the day.
Smelling: Silas' head. Nothing better than the smell of a baby!
Wearing: cropped harem lounge pants all day, erryday.
Following: All the incredible mamas + food gurus I follow on Instagram. So inspiring!
Noticing: how much all of my children have grown recently - especially Lola. It's like she's gone from toddler to kid overnight. Parts of me love it, but it also sort of kills me that she's no longer a baby.
Knowing: that because Dan is getting out of the military, he'll never be deployed again. Such a relief!
Thinking: about what a B time can be! How is my baby already almost 6 months old?!
Bookmarking: this news of a new book release from Judy Blume next year. Love her!
Opening: La Croix, which I used to hate but now sort of love.
Giggling: at my kids, always. They are far more funny than I am.
Feeling: eager to see what the future has in store. So much is about to change, and although it is scary, it's also quite exciting!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Whole30: Week 4 (& Beyond)

Whole30 week 3

Last Sunday, the 29th of June, was our last day of Whole30. Yip! All of week four I felt amazing, guys! What I did feel sort of meh about? My lack of weight loss.

Five pounds, y'all. That's it.

And I lost that five pounds within the first week of the program (which I know b/c I cheated and weighed myself).

Unfortunately, I didn't take before and after pictures, so it's hard to be sure, but I feel like I look pretty much the same as I did. And not to be a Debbie Downer, but my clothes don't really fit any differently either. I know weight loss isn't really the goal of this program, but I was sort of hoping it'd be a perk. I mean, no sugar/dairy/legumes/grains for a month should warrant a legitimate amount of pounds lost, no?

…of course Dan lost 13. Dudes!

Not gonna lie, we went a bit off the rails with our eating this past week (read: ate ALL THE FUDS), and have been feeling pretty lousy because of it. Well, truthfully, I don't know if it's the change in diet or the pain meds I've been on since having ankle surgery last Monday, but either way, I'm ready to get back on track. We decided to go back to a Whole30-ish way of eating + some other stuff thrown in.

Here's what we've agreed to in addition to the Whole30-approved list:

PROTEIN:
  • Applegate Organic Roasted Turkey Breast
  • TJ's Jalapeño Chicken Sausage

DAIRY:
  • Organic low-fat milk
  • Feta cheese
  • Part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • Butter
  • Greek yogurt (for Dan)
  • TJ's Organic Midnight Moo syrup (for me, once daily in my morning homemade frap)

LEGUMES:
  • Soy milk (for me, once daily in my frap)
  • Peanut butter
  • Lentils
  • Black beans

GRAINS:
  • Ezekiel bread
  • TJ's Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli (gluten free)
  • Rice

OTHER/TREATS:
  • TJ's Tomato Basil Marinara
  • Gardenburger Malibu Vegan Burgers
  • Perfect Bars
  • TJ's Organic sugar (1tbsp daily in my frap)

Basically, adding in these foods will allow us a little more freedom with our diet. Plus, like I said before, we never intended on doing Whole365. I don't feel that any of these foods are truly that bad. Sure, I don't need chocolate syrup + sugar in my coffee, but I want it! Like, I legit get excited about waking up and drinking my morning coffee drink. Weird, perhaps, but it's the little things. Plus, it keeps me more sane throughout the day (happy wife, happy life!).

As I mentioned before, Dan and I work better within boundaries, so I'm thinking this'll work for us. True, I didn't lose a ton of weight during my Whole30, but the way I started feeling near the end was awesome. Plus, I like knowing that I'm putting good things into my body.

Anyone else transitioning back into life after Whole30? I'd love to hear what's working for you! Be back with my favorite Whole30 recipes later in the week!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Insta-life {May 2014}

Brock Paper Scissors Instagram
her (very tolerant) real life baby doll // sibs

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baby store hangs // baby rat tail

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sleepy dude // yeehaw!

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early mornin' reads // lady date to Tarjay

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Teacher Appreciation gifts // wish making

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gotta get down on Friday // brunch coma

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dreams coming true 'cause Sesame Street // stoplight selfie

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hey girl // kicky pants (aka Thumper)

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twinners (Lola-3, me-8) // "Congrats, baby! You da cutest widdle baby in da widest world!"

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shark attack // "Well, he-whoa der, baby Siwis!"

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4 month checkup // little brochacho

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adventuring // inheriting big bro's Cars collection makes for one happy girl

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big & little // had the park all to herself

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baby hand clasps // new rug because popsicles

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wheeee! // swangin'

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ladies' night selfie // last day of preschool w/ her teacher, Mr. Marcus

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more wish blowing // teething babe

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whole30: Week 3 (What's Next?)

Whole30 week 3

This past Friday, we reached the 3 week mark of Whole30. Meaning, we're currently on day 25 and only have 5 more days to go. Yip!

If we're being honest, I started off this past week in a not-so-great way (read: bad). Last Sunday, we were given a box of girl scout cookies, and I almost caved. But for me, it's a slippery slope. First, I knew I would've failed at the Whole30, and second, there was NO way I would've been able to have just the one. Dan and I are very much the same in this regard. A box of cookies or bag of chips doesn't just hang out in our pantry. If it's there, it's certainly not there for long.

It got me thinking about how I don't really feel like I've broken this habit yet. Like, what if I get through with the Whole30 and just go back to my old ways? What will I have achieved then? I know I have almost a week to go before the reintroduction phase, but I don't think know I'm not ready to return to a completely unstructured eating plan. I definitely work much better within boundaries. Which then has me questioning, what's next? Yes, we plan on doing the reintro plan, but what about after that? We were already eating pretty clean before the Whole30, but still, we oftentimes fell off the wagon with junk slash treats slash processed foods. What's to stop this from happening again?!

At this point, I've pretty much narrowed it down to one of two ideas: paleo or clean eating, with a lean towards to latter for two reasons. First of all, it'd be wayyy easier. The Whole30 really should come with a warning label that lets you know exactly how time consuming it's going to be to shop/prep/cook all your food to the program's standards. Especially with 3 littles at home, one of them being a BABY. I honestly have a new appreciation for the convenience of modern food…minus all the yucky ish they put in it. Which I'm not exactly sure is something you're supposed to walk away with after this? I dunno. Second, it'd be more convenient when eating out. I would only want to do so like once a week, but as it stands now, we can only really safely eat out at Chipotle. And even then, I was over the carnitas two trips in. (Does anyone else think they taste like they've been soaking in dirty bath water? Maybe it's just because it spilt all over me in the car and I went around all day smelling like pork water...which if you're wondering, is not a cute look.) Plus, I think I'm okay with dairy and legumes (assuming they reintroduce well), and am not really all that interested in giving 'em up for good.

Reading back over this, it turned into more of a what-I-want-my future-eating-habits-to-look-like post than anything else, but it's where my thoughts are right now. If you've finished the Whole30, I'd love to hear what worked for you on the other side!

As for recipes, I know I promised to share them, but at this point, we're mainly just repeating what we liked from the first couple weeks of experimentation. Therefore, I'm just gonna wait till the end and share 'em all at once. If you'd like to see what we're cooking now, you can follow me on Instagram or search the hashtag #wholejoanna.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Silas Rhodes - 5 Months

Brock Paper Scissors Silas

Silas turned 5 months old on the 10th. Crazy, if you ask me, because we JUST brought him home, like yesterday. It's possible that I'm a bit in denial that my last and final baby isn't such a newb anymore. Definitely trying to soak up the present as much as possible because it is flying by.

This past month, Silas' little personality has really started shining through, even more so than in previous months. He knows exactly what he likes and doesn't like, and just how to express these emotions. Well, as much as one can when they don't talk. Hah!

He went back to the doctor at 5 months to get a head measurement (as I mentioned last month, they were a tad concerned about the spike in growth), and everything's back on track. It's bigger than it was at 4 months, but growing more steadily than it was from 2-4mo. Also, in case you didn't see the update on last month's post, the ultrasound on his head went A-OK! They said there was a little fluid, but not in the areas of concern, and nothing that shouldn't fix itself by 12-18mo. Phew!

As far as his other stats (height + weight), I have no clue because they didn't take them. But, he is quite the tank! The big kids are always calling his rolls "muscles", which kills me. I love my little chunka munka!

LIKES: grabbing all the things (toys + everything else), his jumper, kicking the crap out of us, brother & sister, giggling like cray, his new ride, being held, kitchen hangs whilst we cook (SO into it, thank baby Jesus, 'cause we've been doing a LOT of this), keeping busy

DISLIKES: tummy time (as you can gather from the pics below), baby cereal, sitting in his carseat IN the car (HATES), naps, being put down for very long, not having nana (boob) or a baba (bottle) at all times (he may be teething?), not being entertained

EATING: This past week, we decided to have a go at baby cereal because homey is ALWAYS hungry, but nope! He's just not having it. We attempted to feed him a few bites for about 5 days, but have since decided to take a step back and try again at 6 months. It's funny because I could've sworn he would love cereal by how much of a milk/formula enthusiast he is (both my other littles did) + how much he's into what we're eating. Oh wells, maybe he's just not a lover of the rice cereal? I think we'll try oatmeal in a couple weeks, and if that doesn't go over well, just move on to veggies + fruits.

SLEEPING: He has continued sleeping through the night (thank gawd!), but is still not big on naps. Homeslice fights 'em like whoa. He needs to be awake for all the excitement, I suppose. But, like I said, he sleeps through the night, so I'll take it!

I know I may be biased, but Si (or "Bud Bud", as Lola calls him) is just so stinkin' cute! And sweet! And awesome! His giggle is seriously the most amazing thing ever. Nico and Lola are SO good at getting him going. It's quite ridiculous, really.

Oh, and LOUD. So, SO loud. Like, if he doesn't like something, you're gonna know all about it. And prolly the neighbs, too! He's gotten to where he doesn't even bother with the crying, he'll just straight up scream until you fix the prob. Thankfully, he usually reserves this yelling for very specific occasions: being hungry, from being put down, or when put in the car. So weird 'cause both the other babes loved the car!

Brock Paper Scissors SilasBrock Paper Scissors Silas Brock Paper Scissors SilasBrock Paper Scissors Silas Brock Paper Scissors Silas Brock Paper Scissors Silas Brock Paper Scissors Silas Brock Paper Scissors Silas

All the heart eyes for you, Silas! Daddy, the kids and I are head over heals for you, sweet baby!!
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