Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I know, I know. That sounds like some really outrageous claim like if Pampers diapers were to suddenly say "How this diaper will change itself AND throw itself away!". But I promise it's 100% true and essentially what it means is that we've raised Penelope to not be a picky eater.

This doesn't mean I force feed her things she's not particularly fond of. Or that I have screaming matches with her and end with "or ellllsseee!!!" It doesn't mean every mealtime is a huge battleground. Or that I make her clean her plate off when she says she's full.

It does mean that she eats all types of food we give her. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It does mean that she has times she decides she just doesn't feel like eating what's given. And she always has a choice, two choices actually. You get to eat or you don't.

I've been very interested in researching parenting "methods" in other countries. Especially countries much less fortunate then the US. I find it very interesting that you don't find picky eaters in areas where food is They aren't picking and choosing and making their parents into their personal chefs. They are simply eating what's being given because they have two choices: eat or don't eat. 

Some yummy dinner!

Now, I will admit with the access of food available in our country it was difficult at first to get Penelope to understand this concept. For example, we had carrots that needed to be eaten soon before they went bad and so I cut them up and brought them with us as snacks. I had to do that for a week straight because the first two days Penelope would refuse to eat them, ask for something else, have a tantrum when I didn't supply something else. That was an all day cycle. But I kept at it, and the third day she realized that she could either continue to be really really hungry...or just eat the carrot. The last few days of the week, she ate them happily.

We don't make her anything separate from us for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So if what we are eating is clams, brown rice and broccoli, Penelope will be eating clams, brown rice and broccoli. In the beginning she would decide she didn't want to eat it. I never push the issue, I ask her one more time if she wants to eat it? She says no, I take her out of her highchair and she's free to go play. Then not too long after she would come back and say she wanted a snack, I would hand her the meal she didn't eat. She'd refuse, run off angry...and the cycle continues. Until it didn't. Until she finally ate it, and from that day forward she always eats what's given to her.

Penelope helping cook dinner

But what happens when she really loves something? Like she absolutely loves pasta. That's awesome! And she can definitely have some more of that. But only when she finished what's been given to her on her plate. This essentially means she isn't going to learn to eat a whole gang of chicken alfredo and then leave the vegetables. Because let's be honest, nine times out of ten, chicken alfredo for the win in the taste department right?

And now, she really does eat everything. If it's something I see she doesn't love (like zucchini), when she's done eating everything on her plate, I will give her more of what she likes better. Carrots, brussel sprouts, clams, fish, liver, spinach salad, curry, oatmeal, name it, she's eating it. I almost forgot to mention that I do think that is a huge component. Not tailoring your meal to be "toddler friendly", but really offering up all types of different flavors and textures. Taking advantage of the variety of food we have.

The coolest part is seeing all of this amazing, nutritious food that she is loving. Another amazing aspect? Not making my job as cook and parent harder then it needs to be. Because any mother knows that we have enough on our plates as it is, without adding our jobs or other commitments in the mix. What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried something different with the same results? I would love to hear about it!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A couple pages from my planner of last week and some school stuff

I get asked A LOT "What exactly do you do all day?". I find it a little difficult to answer because in the broadest sense, I make sure I keep a child alive. I also cook and clean. There's a bunch of other things sprinkled within that realm that don't really get the light of day because who even has time to listen to that? So I thought it best to just catalogue a typical day for me, here you go!

The start of our morning walk!

5:00am - Wake up, get breakfast and make myself some tea with lemon and honey. Eat it in bed, review my planner and reflect on what I want to accomplish for the day.

5:30am - Scroll through my Instagram feed and check my emails. Read through Business Law Chapter 2, take notes and read through PowerPoint presentation online.

7:00am - Penelope is up, change her diaper and snuggle for a bit. Then I start making breakfast...oatmeal w/ almond milk, blueberries, chia seeds, cinnamon and honey. As she's eating I clean the kitchen, water the plants and make the bed.

8:00am - Get Penelope ready for the day. Brush her teeth, put on lotion, clothes, sunblock and do her hair.

8:30am - Head out for our morning walk. I like to get her active pretty early since it's so hot where we live, the earlier the better to beat the heat. It's a short walk but it takes an hour because I don't rush her through anything. We make tons of stops and she picks up leaves and sticks, there's a house we always stop at to say hello to their two dogs. That's probably her favorite part, she gets on the floor and talks to them through the fence.

9:30am - Get back to the house, time for a snack for both of us. We have some apricots and tortilla chips. Random pregnancy cravings. This is our talking time, she talks and talks and talks and I love just listening and asking questions.

10:00am - Get in the shower and get ready. No makeup or hair today, my body is feeling kind of beaten up already so I just put on some comfy yoga pants and call it a day.

10:45am - We head to Trader Joes and get some groceries than go by the library but they are closed :(     Our books are due today and I can't extend any longer so I might have to make a trip later to return them.

Trader Joes flower pitstop

12:00pm - Lunchtime. We had steamed broccoli and carrots, rice, meatballs and avocado. Again, for lunch I sit with her and we eat together. 

12:30pm - It's time to get Penelope ready for her nap. Clean up time, she goes through the house and picks up everything she played with. I put her down for nap time and get on the computer to work on this post, update social media and edit and upload photos from my phone from today. Also doing a nap time battle with her the whole time, as it seems lately she just doesn't want to sleep. She decided not to sleep until 2:00pm. Joy.

2:30pm - Studying Business Law and finishing out Ch 2. reading and notes. This class is really intense with a hardcore teacher so any extra time I get, I'm working ahead of the timeline to get things done.

3:30pm - Ornan is home and Penelope just woke up! He's been working a lot of overtime and is starting work at 3am all this week, so we chat for a second then he goes off to shower and should be relaxing, but instead helps me do the laundry and then fixes our bed. I start getting dinner together which ends up being super simple: brown rice, Trader Joe's mussels in white wine and some baked zucchini with parmesan. Right before he gets home I tidy up everything and finish loading the dishwasher. Tons of dishes are made between morning and late afternoon here. Then we both lay down with Penelope and color with her until dinner time.

5:00pm - Dinner time! Penelope sets the table with help from me, we pray and then all sit down to eat. I load the rest of the dishes, run the washer and then head to our bedroom to get on the computer and take my test for Business Law. 100% score...yayyyuh!

7:00pm - Ornan takes over so I can rest (did I mention I love my husband) gives Penelope a bath and puts her to sleep. He cleans up the pots and pans and tidies the house one last time. I watch a couple TED talks and scroll through my daily news sites. I decide that I'm going to start cooking more vegetarian meals for the fam since it's healthier and look up some good recipes to make for dinner tomorrow. Then my hubby paints my toes for me, since I can't reach anymore :/ He did it for my last pregnancy too...did I mention I love him?

9:00pm - Finish this post and upload pictures, except they aren't uploading. So I schedule the post for the following day and decide to deal with that issue tomorrow. Then I start on Ch. 2 for Business Statistics now. I have two tests, two critical thinking discussion posts and a survey project all due Sunday. I pretty much read until I start glazing at which point I give myself a break and I'll finish the chapter tomorrow.

10:00pm - Brush, wash and get ready for bed. Plan out our day tomorrow in my planner and then get in bed. 9 times out of 10 I'm reading a book, but since the library was closed today I don't have any new ones. Luckily my Business Statistics chapter was a snoozefest so it helps me go to sleep reallll easy!

Her favorite stop, saying hi to the dogs

We always stop at this house for her to do the "rock walk" and spin that little fan


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bum bum bummmmm...the verdict is in folks and I will say that I absolutely love having no cellphone. There was definitely some things that weren't as convenient. But I can honestly list the times on a few fingers where I thought "SHIT, I could really use my cell phone right now!"

Overall people's reactions were a lot more understanding as time went on. I did actually have someone ask me if I was Amish though. Sure dude, whatever you say. It's really been such a cool experiment and here's some of the fun things I got out of it.

1. I have more meaningful conversations. Since I can't text every single unimportant thing I'm doing to people, (I.E. so right now I'm eating an apple) it means that I actually have something to talk about when I do talk to someone. My husband and I barely talk during the day now, which we actually both prefer. We make one call usually to check up and the rest of the conversation happens after he gets home. It's great!
2. I have been more productive. Using what would have been that "cell time", I've been making lists of ideas for blog posts, businesses. Also since I have more extra time, I decided to sign up for two business classes this semester before the next baby gets here.
3. I'm more present. I can still access Pinterest and IG when I'm home, however many days I turn my phone completely off so I can just be present with day. With my daughter and my husband or even myself. I have way more patience this way...MUCH more!
4. Made me more social. Rather then texting, I've actually had to pick up the phone and call to confirm we can come to a birthday party. Or call someone if I have a question. Which at first honestly was annoying but then I found I really enjoyed catching up and seeing how friends were doing.
5. I don't feel so...busy. Maybe it's self-inflicted because any moment of boredom I felt the need to scroll through my phone. But when I don't, and I just chill, it feels really good to do nothing. Even weirder? I'm actually sleeping so much better.

But there has been one con to this no cell deal and it made me a little scared when I thought about it. I think they are great for emergencies and I actually envisioned on the freeway the other day us breaking down. Then what would I do? Wave down a car? So I will be prepaying for 30 minutes so in the event of an emergency me and my family will be able to make those phone calls.

The positives FAR outweigh the negatives for me. I'm really happy I listened to the little inner voice finally and just decided to try something against the grain. I really have found that for us it's created a better quality of life. Would you ever try going without one?

Until next time!