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Welcoming our third has brought a lot of thoughts on how life will be adding another member to our family and what that looks like practically with all of the responsibilities Daniel and I already have as parents. We are actively involved with our church, very hands on and lots-of-time-spent type of parents, Daniel is beginning to teach more frequently at the local University, we are Keto and loving it, trying to learn French and there has been so much hard, but positive growth this year that has helped us all grow much closer together. If you had told me what my life now would be like 10 years ago, I would have been exhausted just hearing about it! But what God has done over the past 6 years of marriage and raising babies has been to draw me out of myself and into a greater understanding of who He is and what His purpose is for me in this life. A lot of what He has shown me has just been about surrender and refocusing my priorities and from where I am sourcing my satisfaction. Every time I get my focus wrong, He sweetly redirects my attention to the fact that in Him lies the only true lasting satisfaction in this world. Daniel and I began talking about how it is that we would actually like to spend our time. I told him how, as crazy as it sounds, I’d one day possibly like to live in a smaller house again. I am officially 20 weeks along in this pregnancy, tossing excess stuff we don’t need like a mad person and loving every minute of this simpler summer!
The reasoning behind came from the idea that when we had less house-cleaning and maintenance responsibilities we had more quality time to spend with the kids. We moved from a 1000sq/ft home to a 2400. It was less “go play, Mommy is cleaning right now,” and more “I’m done, what do you guys want to do? Outside to swing? Library trip? Park? Walk?” I like the idea of unnecessary and fading trivial things of this world to be minimized and the lasting things to be invested in. Spending my time cleaning and up-keeping leaves me somewhat at a point of “what have I REALLY done with my time?” So this summer we have not only been basking in the showers of blessings concerning my health throughout this pregnancy (energy levels up, minimal fatigue and nausea due to the Lord revealing Keto in our lives), we have been having some come-to-Jesus moments, if you will, regarding things that are not building us up, but rather, breaking us down as a family. Practically taking a look at some things that have been dead weight in our lives have brought us to a couple of super positive changes that have already (in the short amount of time since implementation) brought peace and are driving us toward our goals.
The toy situation has gotten a LOT out of control around here for my liking. Walking into my daughters room had gotten to be a major stressor for me because it literally just mentally added one more TO-DO to my list–help Jeanette organize the chaos. But through researching and looking into options and opinions of how much my kids ACTUALLY need in their toy arsenal for productive, happy, creative play, we came up with a solution that has proven to be the best one for our family. Minimizing toys!
What this looked like for Jeanette was asking her to make a list of 5 things she’d really like to keep. I told her to think about it over the course of a couple of days. Then I watched them silently. Observing what they actually played with faithfully. We were able to come up with a list of her 5 favorite toys. These are they which stay in her room in a toy box. There are also a few toys which stay in a basket in the tub for bath time. The next faze will be to go through the outdoor play bin and throw away scraps and broken toys and minimize down to a few shovels for snow and sand play and balls/frisbees, etc…We have a game shelf and an art drawer downstairs so there is never a lack for some creative thought provoking entertainment, just not all of the toys.
So far the outcome of this has been MIRACULOUS, quick clean ups and a less chaotic household for me. We spend less time on “go clean your room” and more time together. It’s great. She is able to manage keeping everything where it goes and her room is a much more pleasant environment for her to actually be able to enjoy playing in. The surprising thing is, it’s been 2 weeks and not a single toy we got rid of has been mentioned or missed. The kids seem calmer and more focused and their play more imaginative. This has been the move I should have made 2 years ago and stuck to!!
I used to stick to a rigid week long cleaning schedule that, for my small house in Florida, worked out just fine, each day you tackle one major task and a few daily upkeep tasks. Recently I have found that this works well maybe once a month and the rest of the month is better spent utilizing a workday and several maintenance days. What this looks like for us is maximizing effort on my most productive, energetic day. Monday is a day where I get up on time, I put on some essential oils, some quick paced music and after prayer and Bible time, I get down to business. I have the kids help collect trash, switch over the laundry and take care of their areas (at these young ages, with much overseeing and reminding), while I start in the kitchen and tackle some of the week’s bigger tasks such as sanitizing, vacuuming, dusting, blitz cleaning of all types due to whatever the need of the house is. This day I allow the kids to end with a couple of their favorite shows because at this “Let me help, Mommy!” stage, they are plum tuckered out by the time 4pm rolls around!
So the method is simple, I feel most energized on Monday, so I blitz and clean and whip this place into shape, then the rest of the week is as simple as a few more minor tasks and upkeep and LOTS of fun!
This summer has been amazing so far because of this schedule. I am really enjoying the break Jeanette and I get from school before we dive back in here soon. We decided to take more of a semester approach since the baby will be coming and we will be taking some time off. Not to mention that we both really enjoy school when that time comes around. She will be starting first grade!! But before we do that, we plan on continuing to enjoy all the spectacular activities the Kansas City area affords during the summer. So far we have enjoyed our neighborhood pool, local splash pads, amazing parks, picnics outdoors, walks through nature trails and a lot more!
Staying the Course with Keto
Over the course of this pregnancy as I am about half way through, I have been knocked out of ketosis a handful of times by cravings or food aversions along the way. What I have observed that has been a huge Keto encourager has been, when I take my supplements and am in a good nutritional state of ketosis (.5-1.5 is a happy range for me), I feel more energy and less ups and downs with my energy. When I get knocked out of ketosis, it takes me a couple of strict days until I feel re-energized and like “myself.” This has been my biggest motivator to stay as faithful as possible to remain producing ketones for optimal energy and fewer of the other common pregnancy discomforts. I learned recently that blood sugar can actually have a big impact on swelling in later pregnancy as a woman’s body is way more sensitive to carbs. I also learned from a pregnancy nutritionist Lily Nichols that a great deal of fetal brain development comes from ketones you produce each night. So your body actually TRIES to get into ketosis at night! Amazing!
So far, I have gained 7.5lbs, am almost 21 weeks gestation and feeling great as long as I eat a high fat, high vegetable Keto diet. My approach has been very widely intuitive and not so religious and dogmatic. I have found that NOT counting macros works best for me and GUESS WHAT??? Eating “what I want when I want it” has helped me to stay at about a 1mmol/L-1.9. That is a GREAT number for someone in nutritional Ketosis.
Would you all be interested in knowing generally what I eat in a day? If you are, I’d love to share a common day with you below and more in a separate blog post should there be some interest in the subject….
Common Day of Eats this Pregnancy….
Prior to breakfast: coffee with xylitol and heavy cream
Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled in 1 tbsp of butter (try to get organic as much as I can afford of both) + 2 pieces of bacon and a Lemon Blueberry Muffin click HERE for recipe!
Lunch: 2-3 cups of salad (usually includes romaine, kale, cucumber, tomato and celery) + 3-4 Tbsp ranch or greek dressing, 3-4 oz chicken breast+1/2 avocado +sunflower seeds and chia seeds + 1oz of feta or high fat cheese (sometimes I leave the cheese off)
Snack: usually another cup of coffee, a couple handfuls of berries (probably comes out to about 1/2-3/4 cup of blueberries and strawberries
Dinner: 1 Chicken thigh and 2 cups of roasted zucchini and yellow squash in avocado oil
IF I’m hungry which is rare after a day like this, I may have some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs (usually 1-2).
Dinner is usually some variation of protein and veg and very rarely am I hangry or starving, I usually am still so satisfied by dinner that I am eating just to nourish and keep up my satiety until sleepy time. So pleased with this way of eating, I have never felt better during pregnancy!
Here are some fun pics of this summer, I hope y’all enjoyed this update, let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear about or any questions you have about the pregnancy!