My Spring/Summer Goals

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I’m a goal-oriented kind of girl. I like to have an idea of what I want to do. Now, knowing that I’m due with my first child in June, you’re probably wondering: isn’t that work enough? The answer is no. There are never enough projects. There is never too much to be striving for. On the other hand, that mindset does lead to the problem that  I start a billion projects and finish three. It is an awful habit that I am really trying to break but, alas, I like starting projects and working towards goals too much.

So, here are my projects and goals for this spring/summer time and hopefully this blog will keep me on track.

  1. A Redhead Married a Geek Blog. This is a project. I’ve started a couple of blogs and they usually fail after like 5 posts in 5 days. I just get too lazy to write, which is sad because I love it once I start! I’ve already made it longer than I ever have before which is a full month. I told myself after one month I could start hosting instead of having it as aredheadmarriedageek.wordpress.com but, I have yet to make the switch. I need to look into it more so, maybe by April I’ll have made a decision on how I want to go about hosting my own website.
  2. 20 Books in 12 Months. I’m already behind on this because I started in late February instead of in January. I actually think I’ll be able to keep this one because I am a big reader, I just normally read unpublished books that I can get on my phone so, for some reason I don’t count those. I want to read classics and books that stretch my brain. I’m currently 150ish pages into “The Explorers Guild” by Jon Baird and Kevin Costner. It’s 763 pages. I probably should’ve started with something shorter but, it is really interesting so far. I’m going to read a couple of books concurrently as well. I love to read in shower (I’ll lay down like I’m taking a bath and hold my phone on the outside of the curtain. It is the best is warm forever unlike baths). But, I can’t hold a massive 700+ page book in one hand so, I’ve downloaded some free books on my Kindle app and I’ll read those.
  3. Refresh my French. Beat DuolingoMy first language is English, my second French, and my third Russian. I am fluent in none of them… just kidding. I am fluent in English and I could get on well enough in Russian and I used to be able to get on well enough in French but, when I learned Russian, French took a back seat. Now, when I try to speak French sometimes the Russian words will come out instead. (I think my brain goes into foreign language mode and just chooses whichever word comes to mind first). So, I’d like to refresh my French and speak it to Little C. (I think French will be a little more useful than Russian). I’m using the app Duolingo to help. I don’t know if you can actually beat Duolingo or if it just keeps getting progressively harder, so we’ll see about that part of the goal.
  4. Participate in my community moreI wrote a post earlier about all the cool things that my community does, that I had no idea about! It got me really excited. So, I want to be more involved in my community by doing the activities they host. We already go to the farmer’s market whenever it opens but, there are so many cool things to do! Monday we are going to a Tesla Coil Class at the Library. I am so stoked.
  5. Baby Curriculum. This is a huge one that I think I am absolutely going to adore but, really has to wait until I have Little C to try my ideas with. It’s still just a vague brain child of an idea so, you’ll have to wait and see what it entails.
  6. Be Healthy. This is a broad goal that I’ve already started working on in this post and this meal plan. I want to be a good weight for my height and body type but, more importantly, I want to be getting all the nutrients and exercise I need. I’ve been doing pretty good at working out 10-20 minutes a day or walking at least 30 minutes but, that is still a goal I have to maintain as well as healthy eating.
  7. Craft! This is always a goal for me. It goes back to my ‘start a billion projects and finish 5’ problem. Right now, I have a yellow baby blanket I started 2 years ago sitting in my crochet basket (along with the beige baby blanket for Little C that I actually will finish) and the start of a sewn rocket ship stuffed toy that I started 2 weeks ago. Those aren’t including the sewing projects I bought fabric and patterns for and never started or the junk I’ve collect because ‘this could work to make so and so.’ Just today I bought primer to paint our bookshelf (something I’ve wanted to do for almost a year). I’m going to paint our bookshelf starting tomorrow. It is my weekend project and it is going to be awesome. One of my goals is to finish more crafts, especially crafts for Little C. (Which I’ve already started by making a carrier for him which is pictured above).
  8. Not have a black thumb. My final goal is another goal that I try and fail at every year: the garden. I have a black thumb. It is the truth. I think my problem has been that I try to shoot above my ability because I grew up watching my wonderfully green thumbed mother in her beautiful vegetable garden and her flowery landscaping. (Her goal is to one day have a garden as beautiful as temple square, my goal is to not have things die). This year we are going to try for strawberries, spinach, basil and cilantro.

Bonus Goal (because it isn’t for the spring/summer): Lose all my baby weight by Christmas. I’m hoping I’ll do it faster but, my goal is to be 140 pounds by Christmas. I am 6 months preggo right now and 161. (I was actually 145 before I got pregnant, so, I’ve only gained 16ish pounds but, my goal is 140).

What are your goals for the year? Or do you prefer to sit back and take it as it comes like Mr. B does? (I think it’s less stressful this way – Mr B)

xoxo,

Kels

What Does Your Community Have to Offer?

So, today I went to our City Hall for the first time. I luckily found out this past Friday, that this Monday was the last day I could register my dog (a yearly thing) without paying a late fee. So, I stopped in to register Wheatley and I’m pretty sure the three people ahead of me in line were doing the same thing. Procrastinators Unite!

Anyways, while I was there, I stumbled across the library newsletter. Bear in mind, we had been to the library on Saturday and I skipped over the newsletter because it had this giant head “1000 Books before Kindergarten” and I thought it was a flyer for that program. But, this time I stopped to look at it and there were so many cool things!

First of all, I learned that our county has subscriptions to a bunch of eMagazines that I can get for free with my library card. So, I spent the afternoon looking through CookingLight. I’m also excited for Better Nutrition, Bon Appetit, This Old House, Interweave Crochet, Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and Time. I can download them to my phone too, like an ebook (which our library has a lot of too)!

Secondly, they have this streaming service called Hoopla through the library. This is limited and I can only borrow six seasons or movies a month but, that’s okay. It has a lot of older movies but, they look like fun. We recently gave up Netflix (in favor of only using Amazon Prime) so, this might give us another outlet.

Third, the community offers “Financial Literacy for All” classes. After reading descriptions,  the classes seem fairly basic and not like something we would need to attend but, I think it is awesome that they offer these classes.

Fourth, they offer all kinds of events and performances for the community. There is a Celtic Music Performance we might go to. There’s also things like “Utah Puppet Theater,” “Star Wars Gala & Dancing,” ” Sensory Faire,” “Literary Arts Spring Into Books Festival,” and a “Burgers and Brownies” get together. I’m 90% sure these are free and if not, I’m in for a rude awakening. They also have some classes. I think we are going to attend one called “Tesla Coil Science.” It’s a class on you guessed it Tesla coils and it includes a light show and the opportunity to experiment with mini coils as well. There’s a gardening class, a duct tape craft class, a storytelling lab, etc. The classes are for different age groups. I’m jealous of some of the teen classes.

There is a lot that focuses on kids and I keep thinking, “when Little C is old enough, I get to do all these fun things!” But, there is also a lot of opportunities for free date nights!

I know I just sounded like a massive ad for getting involved in your community, but I’m excited! I’m also planning on looking at our city’s website now and seeing what the city has to offer.

Are you involved in your community? What fun things does your community do?

xoxo,

Kels

Meal Plan 2/28/16 – 3/11/16

It only took me like 5-6 hours to make this meal plan. I am all meal planned out. Hopefully it will get easier. I don’t remember it taking this long last time I did meal plans like this. Of course, I never checked that I was hitting all of the food groups so, I suppose that added time.

The number one lesson I learned this week while meal planning? Use a pencil on my check mark sheet. As you can see above, I had many scratch outs and it looks awful and became a little confusing to read.

Otherwise, I’m quite happy how the plan turned out. Now here’s hoping I don’t forget anything at the grocery store!

Here is the link to the (almost) 2-week menu: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1M30B3gm4RKK9ohPHN9kn8f2955Q1pjAtKfkdIhoJGYo/edit?usp=sharing

What do you think? Too much effort for a meal plan or is it a great idea?

xoxo,

Kels

Nutrition in Meal Planning

Monday kinda got me on a nutrition kick. Before I got pregnant I was actually really good at tracking my food. We had trouble conceiving and my doctor told me if I lost weight, it would be easier. At the beginning of 2015, I was 170 pounds (I’m 5’4″) and wore a medium/size 8. I wasn’t huge but, that was the biggest I’d ever been. After my doctor told me loosing weight would be best, I took to it with vigor. Difficulty conceiving was completely out of my hands but, my weight – I could control that. My type A-ness was completely stoked. In April, I put myself on 1500 calories a day which was the lowest (according to somewhere on the internet) I should go. I am dead set against doing diets that restrict what you can and can’t have because I know I would fail in a minute if I couldn’t have potatoes or chocolate milk or things like that. So, I allowed myself to have anything I wanted, but if I ran out of calories it sucked to be me. Anyways, about halfway through the year, I had to switch doctors (I graduated college and could no longer see one of the schools doctors). He flat out told me that 1500 calories was too high for me if I wanted to lose substantial weight and told me to go down to 1200. (Don’t freak out anyone! It’s because I have PCOS which basically makes it difficult for my body to transfer food into energy and instead just stores it. I need less food than a normal person). I dropped down to 1200 calories. For those of you who have never eaten that few calories before, it isn’t a lot and you really have to plan your food well to not end up eating celery for dinner. So, for a couple months, I planned every individual meal and snack for the day and how they related to the other meals so I wouldn’t go hungry. I had all the foods listed and all of their calories next to them. I lost 25 pounds between April and October (when I found out I was pregnant). I lost another 5 pounds the first month I knew I was pregnant because I couldn’t eat anything. Fast forward to my last doctor’s appointment and my doctor tells me this: ‘So, you didn’t gain almost any weight your first trimester so this is okay but, this past month you gained 8 pounds. You don’t want to continue doing that.’

Oops. 

The past couple of weeks, I’ve really been trying to scale back my eating and I aim for 1800-2000 calories. (Side note: When you’re pregnant, you should add about 300 calories to what your body normally needs. When non-pregnant 1500 calories had me loosing a little weight so, I aim for a little above 1800. Everyone is different though so, ask your doctor!). As, I was reviewing nutrition information for my article on Monday, I realized I probably wasn’t getting all the nutrients me or Little C needs. So, I consulted the handy-dandy MyPlate. Thanks government! I mixed the recommendations of how many servings of each food group I need for someone my age/weight/height that isn’t pregnant vs that is (hence why they are optional). The reason I did this is because, MyPlate decided that I needed 2400 calories as a pregnant woman. Which might be true normally but, definitely isn’t for me.

Anyways, after that long rambling explanation, here is what I came up with:

I meal plan by two weeks, which is why there are two checkboxes under each day of the week.When I meal plan, I have the chart printed and check the boxes as I assign food to each day. I also check calories as I go along. I use My Fitness Pal (non-affiliated link, I just love them so much, and it’s free) to check calories for each food item.

I will post the full 2 week menu on Friday!

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Fruit 1
Fruit 2
Vegetable 1
Vegetable 2
Vegetable 3
Grain 1
Grain 2
Grain 3
Grain 4
Grain 5
Grain 6
Grain 7 (opt)
Grain 8 (opt)
Protein 1
Protein 2
Protein 3
Protein 4
Protein 5
Protein 6
Dairy 1
Dairy 2
Dairy 3

 

2 Servings of fruit:

  • 1 cup raw fruit
  • ½ cup dried fruit
  • 1 cup 100% fruit juice

2.5 – 3 Servings Vegetables

  • 1 cup raw/cooked veggies
  • 2 cups leafy salad greens

6 – 8 servings Grains

  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ cup of cooked rice/pasta/cereal
  • ½ cup cooked Oatmeal

5.5 – 6.5 Servings Protein

  • 1 oz meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ cup beans

3 Servings dairy

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 5 oz cheese

How do you make sure you eat healthily?

xoxo,

Kels

Nutrition in Young Children

I often write articles for NAFCC (The National Association for Family Child Care). Here is the article I wrote for this month’s featured standard (NAFCC requires their accredited providers to meet certain standards to be accredited with them).

4.73 The provider serves nutritious and sufficient food following Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines. If parents bring food, the provider assures that it is nutritious or supplements it.

Young children’s stomachs are only about the size of their fists. This is why small but frequent feedings work best. Try to feed your toddler ever 3 or so hours. A child’s body uses nutrients from food to function properly throughout the day. Children that are fed a healthy diet can learn, grow, and play!

Some of the benefits of good nutrition in children are:

  • A healthy weight for their height
  • Mental well-being
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Strong bones and muscles
  • Good energy levels
  • The ability to fight off sickness and disease
  • Easier recovery from illness or injury
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, joint problems, breathing problems, and obesity

Remember that offering nutritious food is not enough. It is important to encourage learning about good nutrition so, that older children can learn to make good decisions on their own.

Tips for encouraging healthy learning:

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods so children don’t see healthy foods as boring foods.
  • Expect children to like new foods but, don’t be discouraged if they don’t. It takes multiple tries for children to adjust to the texture and taste of new foods.
  • Encourage children to eat slowly and enjoy their food.
  • Allow the children to determine how much they eat. Encourage them to listen to their bodies and when their bodies tell them they are full.
  • Avoid using food as a reward or a punishment.
  • Use real food labels in imaginary play areas. Encourage and teach older children to read labels.
  • Encourage children to safely help prepare health meals and snacks.

While children may spend a great deal of time in your care, parents have a huge impact on the health of their children. Encourage parents to continue offering healthy choices at home. Make sure to offer them a menu so they can plan their meals  and supplement the nutrients the child is already getting in your care. Offer parents a copy of the CACFP Meal Pattern. This offers a simplified checklist for busy parents to make sure they are providing all the food groups their child needs.

The above tips are not all inclusive.  After all, there are Many Right Ways! Find your own creative ways to encourage children to eat healthily and teach them about the importance of good nutrition.

For more helpful information conduct your own internet search or visit the sites listed below.

http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/cacfp-wellness-resources-child-care-providers

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating/nutrition-healthy-eating-for-kids.html

Resources:

Chan, By Amanda. “10 Ways to Promote Kids’ Healthy Eating Habits.”LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. <http://www.livescience.com/35876-kids-healthy-eating-tips.html>.

Editorial Staff. “Nutrition: Healthy Eating for Kids.” Nutrition: Healthy Eating for Kids. American Academy of Family Physicians, Mar. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. <http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating/nutrition-healthy-eating-for-kids.html>.

“Healthy Eating for Kids.” Healthy Eating for Kids. Memiah Limited, 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. <http://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/content/healthy-eating-for-kids.html>.

Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten

My Favorite Quotes

Sometimes, you read something that changes your life. It’s either because they are harsh realities or because they are the way I want to live. All of these quotes made a profound impact on the way I see the world and really gave me cause to think:

Best advice anyone could give. CUTE
From the movie “This Means War”

 

And finally, my favorite, because it is basically my life’s motto. If I can’t accomplish something it’s because I don’t want it enough.
xoxo,
Kels

The One Chore Rule

I won’t pretend to be an expert on marriage or even to have lots of experience in it. Mr. B and I have only been married for a year and a half. Sometimes its been hard, but, mostly it is just awesome. I love being married. We talked a lot and did a lot of preparation before we were wed. I took three different marriage prep classes at BYU, one was from a religious perspective to count as a religion credit, one was from a secular perspective for my major, and the third was an extra free mini-course that BYU offered for engaged couples. Mr. B took the last one with me. It had strong religious undertones (it’s BYU y’all) but, mostly focused on the day to day of actual marriage. I think that class helped us the most but, that might have been because we took it together. I highly recommend taking a marriage preparation class together. It was so fun and a huge help. Anyways, as you can tell we did a lot of preparation and really focused on giving ourselves a solid start beyond just our love for each other.

One of the things we decided back during our engagement period was a funny little rule that I’d never heard of anyone doing before. This rule is that there is one chore we could choose that we didn’t have to do for the entirety of our marriage. I chose never taking out the trash and Mr. B chose never doing the dishes. In full disclosure, we haven’t exactly followed this. I take out the bathroom trash a couple of times and Mr. B has done a couple of dishes. Since I’ve been pregnant, he’s washed all the Tupperware containers that we’ve accidentally let get moldy and he also did the dishes three times during my first trimester when I could not stand the smell.

However, I think the rule has been very helpful mostly because we knew what each others least favorite chore was from the get go. I think the whole point of the rule is that it has really helped us be more aware of what the other hates doing and, in turn, realizing best where we can serve one another.

How did you prepare for your marriage?

xoxo,

Kels

 

Photo Credit: Dru Kelly