Sometime in the next couple weeks, Scattered Seashells will be moving to WordPress.

What does this mean to you?

The link will remain the same, but if you're following via GFC, you'll need to find a new way to follow - Facebook, Twitter, Email, BlogLovin', or any other way.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How I Lost the Weight

I announced last week on my personal FB page that I never thought I'd be able to say it, but I'm in the 120s again. Yep. I'm below my pre-pregnancy weight by about 13 pounds now, and even below my wedding weight.

Honestly, I wasn't trying to lose weight. I always said that I wanted to be at my pre-pregnancy weight (141) and when I reached that, it was all good. When asked if I ever wanted to lose any more, I said it would be cool, but I wasn't going to kill myself over it. I was fine with being around 140. After that I said 130 would be nice, but whatever, if I didn't make it, I wasn't going to complain. But now I'm under 130? I have to admit, it feels pretty damn great.

So how did I lose the weight? I had some friends asking and here you are. This is what I changed six weeks ago and lost the last ten pounds (yes, ten pounds, and counting, since we changed our diet mid-June).

Work Out Right
You need to work out, and you need to work out right. That doesn't mean walking twenty minutes a day and calling it good (like I was doing). If your level of fitness is higher than that, then you need to match it. Once I started running again, the pounds started to drop. That also means that if you aren't doing anything and haven't for awhile, then maybe walking is what you need to do. Just make sure you push yourself.

You know we started juicing back in June. This is a radical change for some people, but the benefits have been great. We are getting more than the daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies in just two glasses a day. We juice for breakfast and lunch most days, and sometimes after dinner.

Don't count calories
If you're eating good food, you don't have to. Since I started eating massive amounts of fruits and veggies, I don't worry about calories. I know the foods I'm choosing are low calories anyway. I eat when I'm hungry and until I'm full, then I stop.

Get rid of grains & dairy
Yeah, this is a hard one, one that I never thought I'd do. I always said I love bread and pasta too much. We didn't start with cutting out grains, just reducing them, and slowly I just stopped making meals with them. It's been difficult, I won't lie. I've had to completely reinvent how I make our meals and come up with new recipes. Who would've thought I used so many grains? It's been terribly fun though. I've been feeling so good since I stopped eating grains and dairy. I just don't ever feel sick to my stomach.

Eat fruits and veggies
And lots of them. We began this new lifestyle by trying to change our bodies pH levels. I was at 5.5, Brandon at 6. (Neutral is 7, below is acidic, more is alkaline). Now, 6 weeks later, I'm at 6.75 and Brandon is at 7.5. Rocking! But how did we do this? We discovered what foods are most alkaline and started eating them. Simple as that. Lots and lots of fruits and veggies, and a good variety too. It's been tasty!

Do it as a family
I'm the one cooking the meals, so Brandon has to eat what I make. But he's given up ice cream with me. That's love.

Don't be too strict
I cheat sometimes. I make wraps maybe once a week, I eat a burger with a bun, we have Chick-Fil-A or ice cream or Thai food or whatever. I'm not going to restrict myself completely, but I practice control. If I know I can go home soon and get a healthy snack of strawberries, I'll resist that gross snack.

I suppose those are the big things. It wasn't too difficult to do the switches because we live a fairly healthy lifestyle anyway, but even changing these little things has made us feel so much better. Brandon and I are both down to a great weight. It wasn't easy but it's so worth it.

For now, I've joined a gym because I want to start really toning up those muscles of mine. They have childcare included - awesome! I've been twice already and Penny had a good time. I'm so glad.
Do you have any questions? I'll gladly write a follow-up post! Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Share - Penny's Faces

Coming this week...
Monday - How I Lost the Weight
Tuesday - New Blog, Aurorae Review, Insta Tuesday Link-Up
Wednesday - Penny's Sleep
Thursday - Thursday Randoms
Friday - Friday Featured Blogger

Penny cracks me up. She's such a character. She does the funniest faces and sometimes, just sometimes, I manage to catch them! Check it out.

The "whaaaaat?" face
 The "OMG" face
The "happy" face
The "sad" face

 (love her sad faces lol)

The "indifferent" face
(I think she looks a little like Brandon's sister here)

The "contemplative and sometimes upside-down" face
The "sassy" face
And the "I see the dog so I'm going to stop nursing to look at him" face

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Day in (Our) History

It's funny how July 28 became my travel day for the last couple years. International travel, to boot. Last year, we packed up and headed out to Australia for two weeks. What a trip that was! The year before that? Well, Brandon had been deployed for nearly a month by then and I was off on my first trip without him to my cousin's wedding in Canada. You could say July 28 is a special day.

Unfortunately, this year we're chillaxin' at home. Sorta. We hired the babysitter for a few hours in the afternoon so Mommy and Daddy can go see the new Batman movie. What can I say? I sorta love Batman (he's my fave superhero!)

But what else makes this day super special? It's Dexter's Birthday!!
Woke him up from a nap

He is a whopping three years old today. He's college aged, in dog years. Maybe even graduated by this time.

Want to hear the quick story of how we ended up with crazy here? Brandon wasn't so keen on getting a dog, but when I said he could get a cat (bargaining power) he couldn't refuse. He gave me some guidelines though. No beagles. No small dogs. No big dogs. No girl dogs. No dumb dogs. Oh, ok. We decided to get a dachshund, so I started my search. We stopped at a pet store one day and saw the cutest border collie puppy ever and Brandon started liking them again. He grew up with a border collie and loved it!

While perusing internet ads for a dachshund still, I came across a photo of Dexter, posted by the breeder. I showed Brandon and did a cost analysis (he's into charts) and we decided to get him! The next week he flew on over from the Big Island (we were still in Hawaii, remember?) and I picked him up from the airport, a cute little 8 week old puppy. Awww.

Honorable birthday mention to our kitty, Winston, who also turns three on Sunday. Yep, close in age!
Interrupted food time

Even though we aren't going on some great international vacation this year, this is the first time we'll be home for both the babies birthdays. How special!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Day in the Life...

Last Friday, I documented what we did all day, just for fun. I keep fairly busy and wanted to let you know what life with Penny is like! So here you are, a day in the life of Chantal and Penny (and a little bit of Brandon!).

Brandon is awake and getting ready for school.
I grab Penny and bring her into bed. She's been sleeping badly all night. I think she has an upset tummy!

Wake up!
I usually wake up before her, but it was a rough night, so we're up together. Rise and shine, baby!
We start the morning with a couple episodes of Blue's Clues.
I browse FB and read blogs to wake up.
We eat breakfast - Penny gets some mango, kiwi and puffs. I get a juice and whatever's left of the mango and kiwi.
We water the lawn and sit outside for a few minutes.
Then it's playtime!

Mommy takes a shower and has "me-time"

Wake up!
Penny eats and changes into her day clothes.
We head off to Walmart to get some beets and other junk (photo frame, kitchen towels, and a baby toy).
Back home, I start some diaper laundry.
Then Penny helps me cut up some veggies for a snack.

Penny is tired! Naptime #2

Do I hear Penny? Why isn't she sleeping?

Brandon's home!
I make him a "brain booster" juice before his test and heat up leftovers for lunch

Brandon's gone to study before his test. Finally time to relax!

Penny is awake. Back to it!

Decide to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, but the internet isn't working. Playtime instead!
Penny plays while I put photos into the new photo frame I bought.
Crybaby. What's wrong, Penny?
We go and cut up some fruit for a snack later. Penny loves the pineapple!
Go outside for a bit while I chat on the phone with Jessica.
Super hot! Back inside we go!
We wrestle and play with each other :)

Mommy reads blogs and relaxes.
Penny helps me stuff diapers.
We play some more - what a life!

Daddy's home!
Penny eats and sits on her potty for a bit.

I'm off on a run while Brandon watches Penny.
I come home and he tried to put her down, but she's crying.
She sits on the bath mat while I shower.

Naptime #4
I prepare dinner (steak and salad), Brandon grills.
Penny is awake and it's dinnertime!
Penny gets avocado and peas all over herself!
After dinner we watch Breaking Bad while Penny rolls all around.

Bath. Book. Bed.

Brandon is super tired! He's off to bed.
I sit in bed with my computer and catch up on my last blogs.
I'm tired too, goodnight!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

I have a secret and it is that we're doing...

Elimination Communication.
(wait, what?)

Let me tell you what's up. I'm part of a lot of different groups on FB, and one happens to be a "crunchy moms" group. One particular mom got me interested in a book called Diaper-Free Baby and the process of elimination communication (EC). I decided to get the book and a potty, and we've been doing it for a couple weeks now!

But what is elimination communication anyway?

Babies aren't born wanting to poop and pee in diapers, they want to be able to eliminate in a cleaner way, and they communicate to you their need to eliminate. (It's funny because I remember Penny crying like crazy every time she pooped as a newborn. Could this be why?) Well, we aren't usually so in tune to the communication, and we just let them go in diapers. Did you know that North America, and a lot of first world countries, are unique in the fact that their babies go years in diapers? While most of the world's babies are out of diapers by a year? That intrigued me. So EC is letting them go on a potty/toilet, and learning their cues for when they wanted to go.

I started to realize that Penny pooped at certain times, so I started putting her on the potty then. At first, I didn't get anything, but then we kept at it. Now I'm hardly changing any poopy diapers! Our routine is I feed her, take her diaper off and plop her on the potty. We talk, she plays with her "potty toy" and her iPod (an old iPod we had), and within 5-10, she poops! How amazing!

I'm not so good at catching the pees, but it's a work in progress. I'm ok with changing those diapers anyway.

We're hoping that in doing this, the transition to full-time potty training will be easier and less stressful on her. She doesn't seem to mind it, either. It hardly takes any time out of our day to do it, so might as well!

Yep, just another hippie-mom thing I do!
What do you think of elimination communication?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Penny's Hair

I did it. I cut Penny's hair.

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but Penny was born with a lot of hair. Still, that's the biggest comment we get from strangers, "Look at all that hair!" And now when I tell them I cut it, they're shocked. How can such a young baby have so much hair?

She takes after me, I suppose.

I started to notice that her bangs were getting in her eyes and the back was getting long, kind of mullet-ish. That was the last straw. We lived in Alabama, but she wasn't going to look like a hillbilly.

After a quick YouTube tutorial, I went to work! I snapped her into the Bumbo (yes, snapped... big thighs!) and sat her on the bathroom counter. I distracted her with her favorite toys, which helped immensely. Then I sprayed down the back a bit and snipped away! The first photos aren't the best, but I cut about an inch. Yeah, a lot.
And then I turned her around, gave her the comb to chew on, and somehow managed to cut the bangs. It was a little more difficult since she could actually see I was doing something to her now.
Her hair is nice and trimmed now. It looks so much cleaner too. The bottom is even, and she has some cute bangs that I still push to the side. One thing I did bad was not include Brandon, so he was a bit sad when he came home and discovered I had given her the first haircut without him... whoops. But in my defense, whenever I mentioned cutting her hair, he said no! And that morning I told him I was going to do it, so he had fair warning. Believe me now, lovey? Haha.

There ya go, first haircut! The below pictures are a little better. You can see how long it was getting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Insta Tuesday Link-Up

Today I'm linking up with Jane at Taingamala for the first ever Insta-Tuesday! We'll be sharing our Instagram photos for the week, and you all know how much I loooooveee me some Instagram. Here are some photos from over the weekend and what Penny was up to :)

My baby is a heart breaker!

Morning cuddles with Daddy, and then passed out wrapped in her blanket. I love when she sleeps.

Family Runday Sunday! Penny has the best seat
Cherry tomatoes from my garden
Cuddles with Mommy

Playtime outside and in the kitchen. It's hard being a baby.

Monday, July 23, 2012

BLW so far!

I'm excited about this week - It's All About Baby! I'll be writing various posts about Penny and topics surrounding our life with her. Hope you enjoy!

On last Sunday's "Sunday Share" I shared photos of Penny's Eats. It got me thinking, I should update you guys on how our baby-led weaning adventure is going! It's been over two months since I first blogged about it. So... how's it going?

Well, in so many words... great!

We started right around 6 months, mostly with avocado and other mushy foods. At first, she was gagging a bit when the food would reach the back of her throat. I think it freaked Brandon out more than it did for me, because I knew the gagging was her learning how to swallow, and she never choked. Of course, we kept an eye on her, and if something seemed to difficult we would take the food away.

The gagging continued for a couple weeks and I was getting a little discouraged. Had we started too early? And then, after some practice, she started getting better and better. Now, about 6 weeks in, she hardly ever gags!

We still make sure her food is soft enough to chew, since she doesn't have teeth yet. Some harder foods (like the apple slice in the second photo) she just gnaws on, which is fine. We also make sure to take off any skin from zucchini or sweet potatoes. And what an adventurous eater she is! She's routinely eating breakfast and dinner with us now. She skips lunch because usually she's napping during that time. It's all good!

What does she eat?
Fruit: Banana, watermelon, strawberries, kiwi, mango, apples, pears, pineapple (anything!)
Organic puffs (kale and spinach flavored)
Yogurt melts
Hard-boiled egg yolks (no white!)

(she eats what we eat, usually)
Avocado, all the time
Sweet potatoes, all the time!
Steamed veggies: Broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, turnips, carrots, etc.
Shredded chicken
Soft beef (ground beef, roast)

She has some favorites. Namely, avocado, sweet potatoes, zucchini, the puffs, and strawberries. She would eat those at every meal!

Oh, and before I forget. Do you have pureed food you don't want to get rid of? No fear! I received some samples of puree in my TeetheMe boxes, and since Penny doesn't let me spoon-feed her, I had to decide what to do with it. I tried just giving it to her on a spoon so she could feed herself, but that only worked for a short time. Then an idea: freeze it!

I froze bits of pureed food in a heart-shaped ice cube tray. Now, I can quickly grab a piece and give it to her. She loves it! She can pick it up and suck on the food, and it tastes great and is organic. Sure, once it melts a bit it gets messy, but she eats it up quick. Her favorite is the pureed peas, but she loves the bananas I got too. We actually went out to Target yesterday and bought more to freeze because she likes it so much and it's so easy.

Have any questions about BLW for me?
How do you feed your baby?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Share - Penny in the Morning

Whoops. A week ago I had a guest post I forgot to mention. Check it out HERE!

This Week... It's All About Baby!
Monday - BLW So Far
Tuesday - Insta-Tuesday Link-Up
Wednesday - Penny's Hair
Thursday - Dirty Little Secret
Friday - A Day in the Life...

I love mornings with my baby. Most mornings I bring her into bed around 5am, feed her, and we both pass out for a bit longer. I get up before her and have some Mommy time, and then she wakes up around 7am. Then it's Blue's Clues while Mommy finishes her Facebooking. I like to take photos of her in the morning while she's veggin' on the couch, or whatever she's doing in her jammies. She's just so cute.
She's frequently without pants.
She rolled to the edge and then did this. Don't worry, Brandon was right there to catch her if she fell while I snapped the photo.
Morning face. Morning cheeks.
Whatcha doin', Mom?