Weight Watchers Freestyle tips and (unsolicited) Advice

Let me start off by saying I am not an expert. I do not claim to be. I’ve been asked to share what I eat and what not since I’ve started this program. So, I’m just sharing my experience so far.

First I’ll start with my absolute favorite part of the whole program: zero point foods.

Oh.my.good.gracious.

The first time I was on weight watchers I had to record absolutely everything I ate because it was a mystery to me what would have points (corn?) and how many (a ton for avocado!). With Freestyle there are lists on lists that you can find of zero point foods.

Chicken breast, eggs, any vegetable, fruit, most seafood etc… Knowing zero point foods has helped me work out meals. The trick is then finding ways to keep them zero points by being conscious of how you’re preparing the food (non fat spray in a pan rather than butter, low fat/no fat yogurt or broth etc…).

Here are a few products I use to keep my meals/snacks the lowest points I can.

Flatout flatbreads are 2 points a piece and I bake them in the oven and use them as pizza crust (I’ll talk more about this later).

Most Bolthouse yogurt based dressings are 1 point for 2 tablespoons. My favorite is roasted garlic, but the cucumber ranch and bleu cheese have been life savers on my salads.

I’ve tried a few yogurts but Siggi’s has become my favorite. I use it instead of sour cream. It makes my eggs creamy and is a good base for any chicken salad, egg salad etc…

The tortillas are 1 point a piece and help with my intense taco cravings! Plus taco sauce is zero points! Nom!

The spray is non fat cooking spray. I have not used butter or oil of any kind since I started this program.

Other things I love are: fat free chicken broth, black beans (zero points!), chick peas (zero points!), Oscar Mayer oven roasted turkey breast (1 pt for 2 oz, which is quite a lot if you weigh it!).

Now I can talk about some recipes I’ve made. (If you’re interested in any of them let me know and I can send recipes via email, text or messenger).

Eggs are zero points. I cook my eggs with an 1/8 of a cup of plain fat free yogurt (mix thoroughly with eggs), any veggies i have on hand (this pic has onion, asparagus and mushrooms), and a 1/4 cup fat free mozzarella cheese. I use the non stick spray to (obvs) keep it from sticking! This breakfast is 3 eggs. The whole thing is zero points! And keeps me full throughout the morning until i eat a late lunch around 1 or 2 pm.

I found this chicken salad recipe on the WW app. I changed it a little to use fat free yogurt instead of light sour cream. For 2/3 of a cup it’s 1 point. That point coming from the 3 tablespoons of light mayo I use. It’s packed full of flavor! I put it on lettuce or toast up a Flatout and eat it with that.

This is a salad with baked (or pan seared) tilapia that’s spiced with chili powder, cumin and coriander. I make a killer 0 point black bean and corn pico that’s spicy and delicious on any salad. I add radish for an extra crunch. The dressing on this particular salad is yogurt, lime, and sriracha sauce. But any Bolthouse dressing would be good (they have a salsa ranch flavor for 2 points per 2 tablespoons).

My all time favorite recipe right now is shrimp ceviche. Blanch raw shrimp in boiling water and add it to lime, lemon and orange juice. Toss with veggies (cucumber, red pepper, onion, radish, jalapeño), cilantro, and avocado (adds more points). Let it sit for an hour or so and it is SO GOOOD! Crunchy, bright, flavorful.

For all my recipes I add salt and pepper to taste and also garlic or garlic powder.

Top to bottom: Baked shrimp and veggies (asparagus, brussel sprouts, onion, peppers, grape tomatoes). Pan seared blackened salmon on top of sautéed veggies in a spicy tomato sauce. Flatout pizza with fat free mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and chicken breast (I use Contadina pizza sauce which is 1 pt for a 1/4 cup).

Let me also share a little tip: rotisserie chicken breast. Ya know those delicious smelling rotisserie chickens at Meijer and Costco? GET THEM. The chicken breast (no skin) is zero points. I give the dark meat to my girls and hubby. I use the breast for any recipe I have. I also have a Crockpot express cooker (like an Insta Pot). I pressure cook chicken quickly, steam hard boiled eggs (easy to peal!) and make cauliflower mash super fast!

That’s another thing, I can literally eat a whole baked cauliflower head with spices for dinner. Zero points!

Ok.

Let me talk about restaurants.

I work in one. A well known one. We have very few things that are even close to being ok to eat on this diet. So, when I’m at work I bring my own food or I make a salad of some sort. If I don’t have Bolthouse dressing on hand I use salsa as my dressing or buffalo sauce. I eat grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp. Sometimes I’ll eat our broccoli with no butter. I have to be picky and particular.

When I go out other places (and this IS the annoying part of being on a diet of any kind) I have to do homework before I get there. The WW app has a whole section on their app to help me in this area! I look up what I can eat and go from there. If it’s a restaurant that’s not on the app, I look at the restaurant’s menu and plan accordingly that way. I recently went to Terra GR and enjoyed an amazing meal for under 10 points (which is splurging for me).

Lastly, let’s talk booze.

I’m no closet drinker. I enjoy my beer and vodka drinks. A few tips here: Coors light is 3 points per can. Bud light is 4. If you’re a craft beer drinker… uhm… good luck! Those kinds of beer are fullll of points. Vodka is 3 pts for 1.5oz. I drink vodka with cherry lime La Croix (zero points) and diet cranberry-pomegranate juice (zero points for 8 oz).

Do I miss eating “normally?” Yes. I want Taco Bell and Pizza (of any kind!!) daily. At work, it literally takes so much restraint on my part (window fries anyone?) People are constantly offering foods to me that I can’t eat. Or eat directly next to me and make sure I know how delicious their ribs are. Taunting me.

But, I’ve lost 22 lbs in 2 months. My clothes are too big. I’m fitting into “maybe I’ll fit into this again one day” clothes. I have more weight to lose, but I feel I’m on the right track.

So, good luck to you all! In whatever helps you be happy!

Also, cause I love myself and refuse to drink black coffee… I will always save points for creamer!

Advertisements

Maycee Ryan

Tuesday morning came slowly as I woke up at 2 am to a thunderstorm. A storm usually puts me back to sleep, but not this day. I had ridiculously bad heartburn. And couldn’t take anything past midnite. So, there I laid. Burping fire. Awful, burning fire. I think I drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. Until finally I fell asleep, just in time for Eric’s alarm to go off, and then mine.IMG_6581

The day began.

I got dressed, shaking ever so slightly. I couldn’t breathe. I also couldn’t decide if it was Maycee pressing against my lungs, or if it was that I was so anxious about the day that I couldn’t quite catch my breath. I decided it was both.

Eric and I packed quickly. He reminded me, a couple of times probably, that we lived literally less than 10 mins away from the hospital. Anything forgotten could be easily picked up at our convenience. Another reason we chose Metro to have our third, and final, baby girl and Charlee (our second).

We got to the hospital promptly at 5:30 am. You wait a lot in hospitals. A lot. We waited in triage for 2 hours. During this waiting time is when I got prepped for the surgery. The looming cesarean section. My third, my last. I’ll keep repeating  last throughout this because this is a very final chapter in our lives.

IV in, 1000 questions answered later and an awkward encounter with a med student and we were ready to go. The med student, oh my gosh, just awkward, shaky, odd. And the first question he asked was “what brings you in?” I just looked at him, mouth agape. “Uhm, I’m having a baby.” As I sat there, naked, belly bulging, in triage. Ya know, where you have babies. You could tell he was attempting to recite a script. And all I could think was “if this kid touches me in surgery….no. just no.” I turned to Eric, “if he reaches for a scalpel, you say ‘NO!’ and you knock it out of his hand.” I wasn’t kidding.IMG_6588

Finally, there I was sitting ass out on the cold operating table.  There’s always a nurse there to talk you through what the anesthesiologist is doing. This time the nurse attempted to distract me with questions about me, and then decided to tell me about her daughter that lives 10 mins from her but has to come and stay with them when her husband is out-of-town. She played that correctly, because the rest of the time I was thinking about her daughter, and how odd that is to me. An empty house? Hell yes.

But, the pain still came as the needle entered my spine. The uncomfortable feeling of numbness, and then the dead weight of my legs. I always giggle when this happens because they ask me to swing my legs up on the table. Do you know how much these thunder thighs weigh? I’m gonna need some help with this.

After I laid down everything started to move so quickly, yet so slowly.

Here are my thoughts in order if I could have written them down:

People are everywhere. I can’t find Eric. Where’s Eric? What the hell is that? OMG why can I feel that? Oh, never mind, can’t anymore. Why is this lady scratching my arm? I should really pay attention. I think I’m having a panic attack. Yep, that’s a panic attack. Where’s Eric? THERE HE IS! (enter sob).

I couldn’t breathe through my nose at this point because I had already been congested going into it, and then I had a panic attack which made me cry so it just kept getting worse. Eric was the best. He wiped my eyes, then he started wiping up my snot. God, I love him. So much.

Here are things I then heard the doctor say:

“We’re getting through some layers of scar tissue.” -on why it was taking so long.

“Here’s the flood.” -commenting on my remarkable amount of fluid.

“Oh, god. She’s big” -Enter sounds and visions of wrestling a large fish out of a lake.

This is when the worst happens every time. It literally feels as if they’re holding your lungs and heart in their hands and just pulling. It’s painful and it’s very uncomfortable. I started sobbing at this point. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see. The best way I have heard this described is “intrusive.” Which is completely correct, it’s highly intrusive and will be the one traumatic thought you have after a c-section.

Then the nurse turned to Eric and said “Get your camera out.”

The pain subsided. Eric stood up and I heard a nervous giggle from my doctor.

“She’s huge! Look at that umbilical cord!” Apparently one of the thickest umbilical cords they had ever seen. Which apparently only means that she was well fed and getting more than her share of nutrients.

IMG_6610Stitching me up took forever and it sounded as if the doctor was teaching. I learned how to cross stitch I think. I also learned that the med student didn’t even want to be an OB. No wonder he was awkward. Lady parts must make him nervous. At one point I said “uhm, how’s it going down there?” The doctor came around the curtain and let me know that he was stitching multiple layers and was almost done.

Maycee, in all her beautiful glory, laid on my chest during all of this. I looked at her dark jet black hair, her eyes seemingly glued shut, her purple/pink/red skin. My last. I would never see a newborn so new again in my life. I cherished every moment of it. I memorized every sound, her cry was strong, her whimper cute. Amazed by her squished face. That old man grimace. She wanted back into her large ocean that had kept her safe and warm for 38 weeks.

They took my last newborn to be weighed finally and Eric got more pictures. 9 lbs, 9 oz, 19 inches long. My last was by far my biggest. And hey, I just lost 10 lbs for sure. That’s always a bonus.

Her birth was not riddled with drama, it wasn’t hard, and it wasn’t my worst experience. But, I would like to include some tips for mommas out there about to go through what I just did.

Pack light and make sure you know what your hospital will supply you with.

At Metro we are supplied with diapers, wipes, bottles, swaddle blankets, pads, underwear, baby shirts, baby hats, a MAM pacifier, a TV, wifi and so many other things. I really only needed to bring a change of clothes for me, my brush, tooth-brush, chargers, glasses, contacts, travel shampoo (although they did say they would give me some shampoo), deodorant, Maycee’s going home outfit, dry shampoo (my secret weapon) and emergency snacks.

If you’re having a C-section know these things:

The pain is real. But, getting up and moving will only do you good, so do it. The first shower makes you feel human again. The nurse has probably seen worse, let her help you with your lady business. Pooping and farting will become your main, and greatest, concern. Eat a high fiber diet; beef broth has been helping me immensely. Ask for meds 5 mins before you need them, and they’ll get to you on time. Drink so much water you think you’ll drown. A nurse loves to see a good amount of pee output. Take advantage of the nursery  (if there is one) for a couple hours of sleep at least. You will itch horribly bad all over for 24+ hours. The Belly binder (also something Metro supplies you with) will save you and make you feel svelt.

This is the last birth story I will write. I guess unless someone wants me to write theirs… but I doubt that will happen. I’ll end on a sappy note.

I never thought I would have 3 kids. I certainly never thought I would have 3 daughters. I always dreamed of having twin boys (because that’s definitely something you can predict/request). But, I feel so unbelievably complete. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband, or better kids. Kylee is happy, will make you smile and continues to amaze us on a daily basis. Charlee is a little mama, a force to be reckoned with, an independent soul. Maycee is obviously a little too young to put labels on at this point, but so far she’s an excellent sleeper, a good eater and seems to get over things quickly (like having her heel poked every 2 hours to check her sugar). We cannot wait to see how these 3 girls grow into their personalities, and we cannot imagine our lives any other way.

We are Complete.

I am tired.

IMG_6596

Problem Solvers

I have been talking about writing about work for a long time. I really long time. I was going to talk about how it’s so frustrating to watch good employees get new jobs and move on. I was going to write about how I miss those people so so much and wish there was some way I could have changed their minds and kept them around. How a ‘Thank you’ letter was great, but probably came with a big ol let down of “and my last day is…” I got really sick of thank you letters for a month or two last year. I wanted to throw it back at them and say “NO!! KEEP IT! BAHHH!” and pretend like it wasn’t happening. But, it did happen. They left to better themselves. And some even come back to visit me at work or send sweet texts to see how I’m doing. But, the business I’m in waits for no one. People are still going to come in and eat food whether Sally Sue is behind the bar or Emmy Mae is serving them in the dining room. So, I got past my sadness and feeling of failure, and here I am.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a restaurant manager. Right now my title is “Service/bar manager.” That’s quite a job really. I’m in charge of a lot of people. To be more specific, a lot of students.

Don’t get me wrong, I was a college student before. Actually, I was a full time college student working full time in another restaurant, cooking for other college students. Then I was a culinary student working in ANOTHER restaurant cooking for anyone that went to the mall. But, it has dawned on me recently something that is lacking in the mindset of restaurant workers these days. And I’m not going to say it’s JUST students having this problem. It’s damn near everyone. And it’s frustrating as hell sometimes. But, then again… I am VERY pregnant and VERY ornery at this point….

Let me explain to you this problem.

Problem solving.

And no, I’m not talking about how many more apples Jill will need to be at 5 bushels of apples. I’m talking about solving a problem at hand in order to get your job done. I’m talking about looking, thoroughly or at all, for something BEFORE asking me to go look. I’m talking about figuring out how to get one thing from point A to point B without asking how/why/when. Solving the problem doesn’t always have to be done by the manager or co worker. And I’m convinced a lot of people are just lacking that skill. A skill I find to be very helpful, especially in the business I’m in.

I’ve been avidly preaching about it to people at work. One day I went a few hours answering questions like “where is…”, “who is…”, and “how do I…” with “I don’t know,” shrugging and walking away. Not because I’m a bitch (well, I mean maybe that’s part if it) but because I wanted them to PROBLEM SOLVE. Even if they came back to me with an answer that they came up with and it was wrong, I wanted them to think about it. I want them to be PROBLEM SOLVERS, NOT PROBLEM MAKERS.

Maybe this all seems a little off the wall. Like, why is this broad complaining? Aren’t you the manager? Shouldn’t you have the answer to everything? (I do some/most of the time). Shouldn’t you be polite enough to coach in the moment (shout out to those managers who know that saying!) and help the employees get to the answer? Yes, in some cases I should. But, put me, by myself, in a busy restaurant setting with 20-30 employees on at once, and have about half of them asking you when Joe Shmoe is on, where the bone-in wings are, and how you cut a lemon and I’m telling you you’re going to go absolutely insane. You’re going to start wondering where you’ve gone wrong in your life.

So, today I’m watching some good ‘ol Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my two daughters thinking to myself MICKEY CAN PROBLEM SOLVE! I mean, he has Toodles to give him the tools, but he gets it done. How is the gang going to get around the giant mound of rubber duckies?? Ask Mickey to call Toodles, pick the best tool to solve the problem (obviously a giant broom). In real life we don’t have a flying alarm clock to give us 4-5 options on how to solve a problem, we have brains. How will you get those tortilla chips from the back line to expo? I could tell you, or you could think for a moment, go through your own tool box, call on the ever mighty power of problem solving and see that the answer is simple, quick, and doesn’t involve asking me one damn thing. I shall applaud you. Then, I want you to go to your friends and explain this phenomenon, share the wealth. And for the love of everything that is good; save my sanity.

That’s all I ask. Simple.

I’ll end on this note. I plan on teaching my three daughters how to be problem solvers and not problem makers. How to work smarter and not harder. And how not to drive their mother up the wall into an oblivion of padded rooms and straight jackets. I will also teach them how to teach others this art. And together we will make the world a better place.

So please, come on this journey with me. Let’s change the world! ;o)

 

Growing up…

Maybe it’s because Kylee went back to school today, or because my dad literally text me and said “you should update that blog.” But, I felt today was a good day to give a decent update on the Postma home front.

A lot of things have changed with our girls, so lets start with Kylee.

Kylee has been doing fantastic, although not without her problems (problems that do not seem to have solutions in the near future). We are constantly encouraging her to learn and grow, even though some things seem quite a bit far away still. For instance: eating is still a huge struggle. While she went back to out-patient feeding therapy this summer (only going Tuesdays and Thursdays) nothing advanced as far as solids. She is still eating purees of soups and spaghetti-os. However, with a quick turn in a new direction, she is now learning to feed herself. She is doing fantastic with that. A quick view into what that means: instead of Eric and I holding her spoon for her, SHE holds the spoon and puts the darn thing in her own mouth! It’s really great. We are still in the learning stages though, which means we guide the spoon and make sure she doesn’t fling her precious calories all over our floor and walls. We also still give her her drink of thickened Pediasure. Our hopes are obviously that she will not only eat completely on her own one day, but that she will also one day eat the foods we eat and will chew and swallow with out any problems. In the mean time we are taking every step we have to to make advances in that direction. And we are very proud of our girl.

Kylee still doesn’t talk very much. She jib jabs, she says “all done,” “bye,””hi,””water,””car,”etc… the newest? “Thank you!” That just started today and really caught us off guard. We had to have her repeat it a couple times just to be sure. The school she’s attending this year is the Grand Rapids Public School Oral Deaf Program (same building as the school she went to last year- Ken O Sha). Their main focus is to get Kylee to communicate, speak and listen. We’re really excited for this school year, but not as much as she is. She absolutely LOVES school. She gets so excited when she sees the bus pull up… even if it is 10 mins late.. lol

Lastly, we’ve been working on potty training. Some days she does great and some days she’s like, nah. She’ll just say “all done” get off the potty and say bye to her non-existant pee-pee. Other days, she pees on the potty all day and will poo too. We’re just taking everything one step at a time and letting her do things her way as the doctors have always suggested would happen.

She turns 4 next week and we really couldn’t be more proud and excited to see how she advances over the next year. She truly amazes us on a daily basis. Her energy, her enthusiasm, and constant ability to make us smile is so intoxicating in the best way possible.

img_5656

First day of school

img_5559

A picture kylee made- our angel made an angel

Now for Charlee…

Our very strong willed 2.5 year old. I always told Eric I would love for one of our kids to actually look like me. Well, I got her. My little mini-me. Little did I know my attitude would come along with the looks. I swear, the day she learns to roll her eyes I’ll never be able to get them out of the back of her head. While Charlee is not currently speaking English fluently, she does speak her version.You would think this means she’s behind, which we did think, we even had her tested by Early On. They said her speech will come with time, and probably quickly. But, just because she’s not stringing words together to make sentences doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her stuff. Just recently we asked when she would start talking to us, she said “3.” ha! then she pointed to the analog clock on the wall and said “3,” it was 3 pm. Eric and I just looked at eachother in shock and laughed. She will lean over our keyboard and point out letters, 98% correct. She sings the ABC’s (or rather.. WXYZs) she really likes the end of things. She also knows the numbers 5-9 in order. Colors, shapes, animal and their noises… etc. She says ‘thank you’ and ‘peez’ (please). She’s VERY smart! We just can’t get her to tell us why the hell she’s crying (for no reason) or what she wants when she’s just pointing, making up her own words for things (Ipad=shows… apparently). At the end of the day, she’s truly a gift to us. And we learn new things from her as well. She may be strong willed and bossy, but she’s a damn good snuggler and gives some pretty great hugs and kisses.

img_5543

On the pontoon boat

Kids.. I tell ya…

Speaking of kids…

…and learning new things every day.

I got one for ya’ll (well.. some of you…)

Eric and I are expecting baby #3 in March! (the 19th to be exact).

So, there’s that. I’m not just getting fat.. ;o) Also, this is the last. The absolute last one, getting my innards tied up when this one comes out lol.

img_5534

Taken at 6 weeks-8 days

 

 

Demon Pneumonia. 

I’m at home right now. Staring, zombie-like at the tv. I just made a frozen za cause I don’t want to force a jimmy johns driver to drive in this crappy weather. I keep texting Eric, asking dumb questions.  He’s with Kylee at the hospital, again. The third night she’s been there. With the Demon Pneumonia.

Charlee has been bouncing between grandma Postma’s and us. Thankfully they have been there for us and Charlee.

This all started so simply. Kylee went back to school after winter break. Got through one week, just barely. Eric was sick with something or other during New Year’s Eve-day. He was coughing… Well, he’s still coughing and had fevers.

So, basically, one day Kylee is fine. The next she is not. Then she’s intensely bad and Eric takes her to the er (Saturday night), I went to work. There’s nothing worse than leaving your family in shambles to go to work. But, it’s what I signed up for. It’s also a constant work/life struggle for me. Besides all that, Eric told me it’ll be fine and to go to work. So, I did. They tell him it’s the flu. And release Kylee a couple hours later. Suddenly, I’m feeling not so awful about working. The flu? Ha! She’s had heart surgery, she can handle the flu.

Wrong.

The next day, she’s comatose. She’s coughing, not eating, puking when she does sort of eat, and hot. Really hot. We put her down for a nap around 2. And she wasn’t too warm. By the time I’m out of the shower and almost ready for work, Eric is holding her. I touch her head and flip shit. (Excuse my French). We debate taking her back to the er. I finish getting ready for work and Eric says he’s going back. I take her temp and its 104.4. What.the.hell?

They finally take a chest X-ray. Demon Pneumonia.

Fast forward to today.

I stayed with her yesterday and last night and all day today, while Eric took care of Charlee. The changes in Kylee are minimal. She doesn’t have a fever, and when she is warm it’s only as high as 99.5. “Not considered a fever.” But her breathing is the same.

So, this nurse walks in today and says that her oxygen is too low and she can’t “hang out around 88.” Thank you lady, I’m aware. I say, “I know.” We discuss options and she says something about wrapping her arms. Inside I’m ‘like eff that’. She calls them “no-nos” I say “uhm, no.no.”
Then she gets the doctor. They talk to me about it and how important it is for her to get oxygen. Like.i.dont.know.

I tell them to do what they need to, but I will hold this oxygen tube near her face until I leave, then they can torture her as necessary after I leave. The nurse asks me     “When are you leaving?” With a smirk.

Bitch.

Now the background:

I have been watching Kylee struggle with not being able to use her left hand/arm. (Her iv is there and it’s also her dominant hand), I’ve watched her be held down and held her down myself to do ventilation, inhalers, medicines, diaper changes etc… I’ve watched her hurt as she coughs constantly. I’ve watched 800 people walk in and out all doing the same shit… Bugging the crap out of her.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand they’re all doing they’re jobs. Trying to get her better. But it’s a struggle. A major struggle, for everyone.

But then, the nurse asks me “well how do you discipline her when she just doesn’t want to do something?” (Like have an oxygen mask taped to her face?)

Here’s the problem with this question:

1. Hello, my kid is perfect… Jk, but still.

2. I sure as hell don’t strap her arms down so she can’t use them.

3. This broad knows NOTHING about Kylee, what she’s been through, what’s she’s going through.

4. There’s no way to describe this.

5. I’m pissed. White-hot pissed. Overreacting? Definitely. But I’m also sleep deprived.

How do I describe to these people that putting stuff on/around/over her face is horrifying for her? How do I explain that constraining her in anyway might as well be beating her? (At least that’s what her eyes say to me, and her cry…) it’s heart breaking.

I.just.cant.

So, I came home tonite. Eric went back to the hospital. I hung out with Charlee, did some stuff for work and am now writing this.

I will never be able to explain Kylee to anyone. But I’ll be damned if I don’t defend her until I die.

Now. Demon pneumonia… kick rocks (I have much more vulgar words in my head right now).

Can’t Decide.

I can never decide. Can’t decide what to make for dinner, can’t decide what to wear to my (new) job, can’t decide what to title this damn blog entry, and can’t decide which recipes to feature here.

Let’s be honest, it’s been months since my last update. I’ve made TONS of dinners and desserts. I’ve even made some pretty delicious breakfast things (thank you Pinterest). I have pictures for days in my phone too. CAN’T DECIDE which is best!

So, ya’ll can choose. Which recipe would you like me to put on here? I am posting the slow cooker dinner I’m making today though. I was so excited to finally get to make it!

You choose from the following:

IMG_4093 Pumpkin swirled chocolate brownies

IMG_4150 (1) Banana Upside down cake

IMG_4186Philly cheesesteak meatloaf (sorry about the ugly pic!)

IMG_3625 Banana Chocolate muffins, with a crunchy topping.

3 sweet one savory. But, let me tell you… THIS is what we’re eating tonite:

Oh yes. Pork and hominy stew. A Food Network Magazine recipe that I tore out of the Halloween edition (October, 2015) and then lost… for a month. That’s ok though, it’s been an unusually warm November and today was a perfectly gloomy day to try it out. For those of you who don’t know (aka- you haven’t read my past posts) I LOVE hominy. I mean, I’m obsessed. Luckily, the hubs likes it too. And we’re a pork lovin’ family as well. this is the best of both. And, a slow cooker is my best friend.

Incase you can’t read that picture’s recipe:

Slow cooker pork and hominy stew:

1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces

2 15-oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 16-oz jar salsa verde

2 poblano chile peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for topping

10 6-in corn tortillas

1/4 cup sour cream

1 romaine lettuce heart, shredded

1 avocado, diced

kosher salt

–Now here are my changes: I used pork loin (less fatty, and a choice we make in this house hold), 1 29-oz can of hominy, 2 cups of our homemade chicken stock, I used Chi Chi’s salsa verde (I’m sure there’s a better kind, but this was cheapest), I roasted the poblanos first and peeled, deseeded and diced them the day before, I also (accidentally) used flour tortillas instead of corn. (Whoops, I should learn how to read!) Additions I made were some red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Directions: toss pork, salsa, poblanos, hominy, broth, cilantro, salt (seasonings) into slow cooker and cook for 7 hours on low. Top with avocado, lettuce, sour cream and use more tortillas as a side.

Pretty ahhmazing.

 

Lastly, let me just share my pictures of the top secret (no way you are not getting this recipe ever… ever!!!) Dad’s Dough!

Both use the same dough. The first pic is of stuffed rolls (I will be adding more stuffing next time, I was just afraid they would burst) and the second is pizza. Delicious, amazing, thick-crust pizza. That kind of dough you wish you could duplicate… and then you weasel the recipe out of your not-so-willing father. But, believe me, he’s proud (I know, ’cause he’s told me). It took me 3 tries to finally be like “don’t worry dad, I got it now.” And thank you, daddio, for texting me through it, even watching a video of the hook mixing the dough because your directions don’t have measurements for the flour!!! How was I supposed to know when it’s ready!? That’s ok though, I still have no idea how much flour the recipe actually needs, but I can do it by sight and touch now, and I think that was the real lesson.

 

Love you dad. ;0)

Let’s Catch up.

IMG_18I’m probably going to do two posts today. One shall be kid related and the other food.

This one is kid related.

Can you believe we have a 3 year old and a 19-month old? It’s pretty insane. I can’t tell you how many times we get asked if they’re twins. I mean, I know twins don’t have to look exactly alike, but my girls don’t even look related most of the time lol.

Moving on…

Kylee started 3school this year. She absolutely loves it.  We even decided that we would use the bus system. Something we said no to in the beginning because we didn’t feel comfortable. The time her class runs, however, is very inconvenient for Charlee’s nap time and was basically making our lives miserable. The bus has been a savior for us and the bus driver is attentive and treats Kylee as her own. For some reason, I feel the need to justify us using the bus… Not sure why. But, regardless, I’m glad we took the risk. Now every time Kylee sees a big yellow bus she gets excited and runs toward it. Both dangerous and cute all at once, lol.

Kylee’s eating habits are about the same. They got particularly bad with school and we had to do a little trouble shooting, but we are back on track now. Unfortunately, she’s still only eating purees, and some chunkier purees. We don’t have to puree applesauce any more, which is awesome, and she will willingly stick her fingers straight into my food and taste it herself without being prompted. Something Eric hates, but I love! :o)

She weighs one pound less than Charlee which was to be expected. they are also just about the same height.

We are continuously working on speech with both of the girls. Neither are very good at talking at the moment but they’ve made strides. Kylee says ball, apple, papa, bubbles, Otootles, oool (school), up, issy (sissy) and some other words.. still no mama/mom/ma though. I think she knows how badly I would like to hear “Love you ma/mom/mama” even mother would do. So, I’ll just keep pushing that until it happens. Because it will! Charlee is also a tad behind in the speech department and we’ve been referred to ken o’ sha for her as well. Since her last doctor’s appointment though she has begun to talk a lot more. She knows no, ya, daddy, mom, and something that sounds like “do it” not sure if that’s what she means though lol. She also says something that sounds like ‘shit.’ But, we’re hoping that’s just her figuring stuff out. >.<

Kylee and Charlee are both walking around everywhere. Charlee is running. Literally, full sprint, pretty much everywhere. When I take her in public it’s basically a slow jog every where I go. And Kylee has been attempting to hop which is damn cute to watch. Kylee’s being taught to walk up and down small steps and school and you can just see her confidence growing.

Last time I posted about the girls I said Kylee was getting tubes. Which she did. Unfortunately, they did not help her hearing, but they didn’t hinder her hearing either. She has had one ear infection since getting them put in and I was seriously surprised when Eric called and told me the doc’s diagnosis. She wasn’t acting like she had an ear infection, she just had a really bad cough.

Our lives are a bit messy (literally) but the girls are growing and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Charlee will freak out if you take a toy from her (or something she’s not suppose to have), while Kylee will just move on to the next one. Charlee has frequent meltdowns and Kylee stays level headed…. I’m basically describing my personality versus Eric’s. Ha!

Let’s see some pics, eh?

IMG_01IMG_21IMG_11-2

From TV to reality.

So, yesterday I’m watching Food Network (which I don’t watch often because Mickey Mouse Clubhouse rules this roost) and Diners, Drive ins and Dives is on. “Blah Blah Blah,” says Guy Fieri as Charlee continues to growl-grunt loudly. I can’t hear a damn word they say on shows I watch anyway, so whatever’s on better look cool. Then a big round fried piece of dough gets topped with all these taco toppings. Hominy is being mixed in… wait what was that? Salsa? (Turn volume up to 30 on tv) “HOMINY SALSA!” Fieri exclaims. Say what?! I love hominy. LOVE it.

I finish watching the episode and that delicious looking Native American taco stands out in my head until this morning when I started searching the Googler for recipes. Then I was thinking, well if I’m going to make the hominy salsa, I might as well make the whole darn thing, AMIRIGHT?! I text Eric with a short list of what I would need from Meijer and sent him a picture of what dinner would like look (hopefully). He’s all “don’t we need tortillas?” I’m all, “No, ya turd, I’m making the dough!” and he’s all “Oh, I thought it was just fried tortilla.” No, this is so much better. And it can go sweet with a dusting of sugar and cinnamon.

Apparently, in Colorado, there’s a restaurant called Tocabe. It’s American Indian food, which often features this delicious doughy goodness called Fry Bread. Which is what it sounds like; fried bread. Totally not good for you. In fact, I think I watched a Biggest Loser with an American Indian family on it with their main problem being this exact thing. I’ll be honest though, work has got my emotions all a mess right now, and Fry Bread tacos seemed to be the answer.

For the Hominy salsa:

Large can of Hominy (found in the international aisle of your local grocery store) the recipe I read said 2 cups. I believe mine was a titch more.

1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 large jalapeno, minced (I left the seeds in)

1-2 tsp of vinegar, add more if you feel it’s needed (i used white wine, but red wine vinegar was also mentioned)

Juice of 2 limes (I also used the zest of one)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powderhominy salsa

1 Tbs sugar (yes, that much)

1 tsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: mix everything together, adjust seasonings to your liking, place in fridge covered and let the flavors develop.

I had Eric try it and he had this look. I yelled, “Ugh, you don’t like it!” He said, “I wasn’t expecting the hominy to be that texture, but, no, it’s really good!” I was so relieved. On Triple D the Tocabe owner added dried cranberries, which I found to be odd, Guy said it was delicious, so if you’d like to try that, by all means, give it a go and let me know how it turns out.

For the Fry Bread:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powderfry bread
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat milk and honey until lukewarm temperature.
  2. In a bowl stir together flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Slowly add the milk-honey mixture to the flour and stir until soft dough is formed
  4. On a floured surface, knead dough gently. Do not overwork dough.
  5. Cut into 8 equal pieces.
  6. Roll each piece to about ½ thick circles, as you might when making tortillas.
  7. Fry on each side until golden brown.

(Found this here)

Couple of differences: my dough was VERY sticky so I ended up adding, probably, another 1/2 cup of flour. I made the dough by hand, but next time I will definitely use my stand mixer. I only got 6 pieces out of the dough. I used 2.5 Crisco (baking) grease block things (which I bought last December to make sugar cookies and never used them) heated to 360 degrees. Sit the fried dough on paper towel fresh out of the grease. I also sprinkled salt on the dough when it was just out. This would also be the time to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.

For the chicken:

1 whole roasted chicken (got ours piping hot from Meijer)

2 Tablespoons (couple of the peppers) chipotles in adobo

1-1 1/2 cups of sour cream (we used light-that’s what we had)

1/2 lime, juiced

1 tsp cumin, coriander and chili powder

1/4 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Blend all but chicken until smooth, adjust seasonings to taste. Mix with chicken. Warm in a pan (or microwave) when ready to use. We prepped everything at about 3 pm and made our dinner after the girls went to bed at 745.

To assemble: (Bottom to top) fry bread, black beans (warmed), chicken, shredded cheese, hominy salsa, lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream. Obviously, all toppings are optional. It is a taco after all!

frybreadtaco2

frybreadtaco1

Now, I’m sure you’re all dying for a Kylee update, eh? She had tubes placed a couple weeks ago (ear tubes). It went so fast! We sat down in the waiting room then got right back up and went to see her. She did great! I’m not sure they have helped her hearing, but we are still hopeful. She’s been eating well for us, but not without mishaps. Her favorite entree foods seem to be pizza and meat sauce (both blended). She really likes the homemade stuff over the ‘prepared’ foods the little recipe book tells us to give her (like beef stew in a can, TV dinners etc…) At the next appointment they said we may try some textured applesauce and see where to go from there. We’re excited, but worried, about the next step. I will try to keep everyone in the loop!

Charlee is also doing fantastic. Although, a little needy, she’s a giggly little thing. She’s walking a bit more now, but likes to just (what I call) suicide-fall into things. She will walk towards Eric or I and then just fall into us. She does the same with pillows. I guess it could also be called a ‘trust fall,’ which is probably less offensive.

Both of the girls had their first dentist appointment! They did great and the place we went was phenomenal (Hudsonville Dental).

If you’re looking for the episode I watched for Triple D go here!

Graduation… and an update

So, it’s been a minute. I should have posted a while ago. But, I’m a busy working momma, my apologies.

Kylee graduated from feeding therapy on 4/1/15. Isn’t that amazing? I wish I could post the video of her making everyone clap before she graduated. she loves being simon in simon says.

Since graduation Kylee has done great. She eats lots of purees. But, doesn’t go without her episodes of throwing up. She is fed at home 5 times a day. Two drink only meals, and the others are drink and food (purees) of our choice. So far, she loves apples, pears, bananas, yogurt, some sweet potatoes, pizza, and tolerates beef stew and green beans. But, I must admit, she does hate green beans. She has a very hard time with them. I personally don’t like canned green beans either, but we are told to give her a food she doesn’t necessarily like. Honestly, we try really hard not to do that. I don’t eat peas, and if i were forced to, I would probably do the same thing. blegh.

Anyway, pictures help more than anything so… here are a couple of what her foods look like:

IMG_3018 IMG_3119

On the left is her regular pediasure and what is has to be mixed with (simply thick-nectar). On the right is what it takes to make her plates of food with her drink. Her squeeze bottle is her drink. We have to weigh everything with a scale by grams. if a food is heated up we place it in a different dish and then transfer it. We have tons of tupperware/Meijer plastic stuff to hold the purees. And when I say purees i mean even applesauce is pureed. Pears are pureed. Pizza is pureed with pizza sauce and whole milk. All so that they are the same texture.

Texture is what it’s all about.

If Kylee gets a piece of something, or a feel of something, that she’s not ok with, it’s coming right back out. And with that is often everything else she’s put down. We have to distract her with Mickey mouse dvds and Mickey Mouse toys/stuffed animals and bubbles. Lots of bubbles. A meal is like a production. Fortunately, it has become fun. Eric and I battle to make the biggest bubbles. And to try to do tricks. Eric says he’s about to make YouTube videos about how to blow bubbles and the art of it. He gets very excited about it.

The past couple appointments that Ky has gone to have not been very positive, however, she always throws up. But, at home she does amazing. I think it has to do with the surroundings, being under pressure and Eric thinks she just misses being there and knows what will put her back there.

The last day (graduation day) was quite eye opening, and somewhat unnerving, as the doctors/therapists/nurses sat us down in a large circle and told us whats going and what is expected. The main nurse decided to say a most unfortunate statement of “well if..” and get my britches all in a bunch.

me: So, if this doesn’t go well, what do we do?

Her: Well, if Kylee doesn’t respond well, we’ll have to think of putting in a tube. (she means feeding tube, through the stomach)

me: uhm, no.

Literally, uhm no.

We were told when she was in the hospital in the NICU that if she didn’t eat well we would have to tube feed her. Then, we were told in the PICU (after heart surgery) that she may need a feeding tube. Now, we are told if this doesn’t work she will need a feeding tube.

How about, no?

She eats just fine out of a bottle or her squeeze bottle. why would we even think about tube feeding? Why would we take 10 steps backward?

No offense to tube feeders. But, if your child could eat through a bottle for the rest of their lives instead of a tube in their stomach which would you choose? i would choose a drinking apparatus. I would choose for my child to taste and drink her food. That is just my opinion.

Do I think she may need to go back to learn to eat solids? Yes. Am I OK with it? Yes. But, am I OK with her ‘perhaps’ getting a feeding tube? No. Absolutely not.

Along with her feeding update, I would like to report that she is doing amazing with walking. She really doesn’t like walking outside on cement or grass, but inside she is a walking machine. We try to encourage it at all times. The best thing i saw was her motioning for Charlee to stand up a week or two ago. Like, ” let’s go sis, stand on up, join me.” It was amazing. She will hold my hand from the living room to dining room to eat, it’s so cute.

I took her to walk around her pre school (coming in the fall) and she loved it. I really think she thrives on that interaction. Which is great. But, the number one reason they decided to have Kylee graduate early is so that she would get healthy and remain so. They, and we, felt she was getting too sick too often. Ending her daily therapy was to promote better health, and so far has. I am worried school may derail this. But, we have made an appointment to finally have tubes placed in her ears on May 20th. The (new) doctor says the tubes will also help her hearing. So far, no other doctors have said they will help. A new light is being shed, and we are waiting in anticipation, but keeping in mind that it may not really help her hearing.

The last thing I would like to add is that Charlee turned one in the midst of all this (the day after Ky’s graduation). We had a fun party for her and she really enjoyed a cupcake. She’s a cranky little thing sometimes, but we are so happy to have her in our lives as well. Kylee is being nicer to her these day, but they do not go without their bad moments. There’s still scratching and kicking and whapping and crying. But, there’s love too, and bonding. Kylee sometimes tries to feed Charlee and it is so fun. They will also sit the exact same way and watch Mickey. And as of late, they both stand at the TV stand and watch Mickey. It’s truly adorable.

IMG_3103 IMG_3149

And for fun…

IMG_3065

 IMG_3062

IMG_3046

IMG_3044  IMG_2975 (1) IMG_2908 (1)

Kylee is almost done!

Almost done! Can you believe it?! April 8th, 2015!

So amazing that there’s actually a date in which we will be done! It may not be forever though.. reasons later.

Kylee has had about 4-5 ear infections since she’s started feeding therapy. Four.to.five. i say this because, damnit, I lost count. In April she will also be seeing a new ENT who will hopefully decide tubes are the answer. We tried to convince her last ENT but, he was unreceptive. Went against what we felt was right and so now we have decided to go to a new guy. Either way, the ear infections have got to stop. They have added on almost another 2 weeks to her feeding therapy. But, there is an end in sight, which really is the point.

Our 830-330 monday-friday situation will end. With this end i feel Charlee will get more of the attention she needs (although her babysitters have been fantastic!) Her birthday is 4-2 and her birthday party is 3-29 (this sunday). i really want the whole day to be about her. We will be hush hush about Kylee being fed; upstairs with one person in attendance.

Her grandma Postma went through training last week and wrote a really gripping Facebook update:

I had the pleasure of spending my day with Kylee and participating in her feeding therapy. When Eric told me I needed to be trained so I could feed her I thought “whats to know? Can’t you just show me”. I now understand why he said plainly, (and “you” have to know Eric to appreciate this) “No”. I first got to observe behind a two way mirror “the process” and just thought OMG, you really want me to do this? It’s one bite of food, praise, toy for 5 secs, drink, praise, toy for 5 sec, drink, praise toy for 5 sec, and over again. Goal, complete the entire feeding in 9 mins..Holy Cow, its like a marathon, and if you don’t have the right rythm your screwed. Oh, and don’t forget to periodically weigh the drink to make sure you are giving her the right amount each time, and if she throws up, ignore it, wipe it up, and keep moving. As crazy as it sounds, Ky loves it and is doing awesome. We are so proud of her. I have to say though after spending the day with a room full of other children, all of whom have feeding tubes, and their parents, we are truly blessed to have such great medical care for our children right here in GR. Helen DeVos is something to brag about. All of the parents I met today live in other parts of the state, and some are staying at the Ronald McDonald house during the week. This feeding therapy program is only 1 of 8 in the whole nation! Tomorrow will be my second and last day of training, gotta tell you I’m a little nervous, this is not an easy job, but I am so happy I can be a part of it.

feeling grateful.

The hardest part about all of this is she needs to eat within 9 minutes to be truly successful. Why? Because the doctors have found out after 9 minutes she ‘feels’ full and doesn’t like the feeling. She then starts to throw up the food to clear that feeling.

I am not sure i can better phrase the process. Drink, drink, praise, toy, bite, praise, toy.. rinse and repeat. Unless it’s a drink only meal.. then drink, drink, praise, toy, drink, drink, praise, toy. Oh! and wait, if there’s a sign of gag/vomit/discomfort turn on mickey mouse clubhouse and then deal with a MMC zombie (as I call her).

I’ll admit, I thought I did well with her this week. i went 3 of 4 days. 2 of which i came off of closes (meaning, i had 3 hours of sleep). Luckily, Eric would watch the girls on our 2 hour breaks so I would come home to nap in between feedings.

Yes, she puked. Yes, it was hard to handle. Apparently, we also do not say ‘please’ or ‘thank you.’ We make demands. “Take a bite. Take a drink.” Not “Please, Kylee, for God’s sake, take a bite!” We, as parents and grandparents, are in charge, not you, you little 24 lb child of mine.

So, I did well. I fed her. Three days this week. Then, today, on my day off, I struggled. Today, she decided she would spit her drinks out. Let them leak onto her bib and laugh. Blow raspberries and laugh.

I heard, “ha, mom, you suck.” I got VERY overwhelmed.

Eric was in the kitchen. After the third drink-and-spit I said “I can’t do this”. I shook with emotion. Eric came over and filled in as i walked away.

I’m an emotionally charged person, always have been. This got me. Now, instead of puking (uncontrollably, and forgivable) she’s going to spit it out at-will? I think not.

“Ignore it,” Eric said.

“I’m trying!” I yelled.

Seriously, it is the hardest thing to do ever. It’s like ignoring someone punching you square in the heart. Like, wham! Haha! Breathe now, ma!

He fed her the rest of her last meal and I sat in the bathroom, moping. Feeling as if failure would surround us forever.

But, I have to realize. She’s 2 1/2. She’s going to do these things no matter if she’s able to eat or not. She will retaliate, test the waters, push the limits, cross lines. I have to know that. I just wish she KNEW how much eating is an importance. It is the most important thing in this home. Not only are her parents cooks/chefs we are advocates of eating. We love to eat, and she WILL too. It has to happen.

The bad news, if she doesn’t successfully progress into solid foods we will have to go back to feeding therapy. I know now, though, that we can make it happen. What I mean by all that is; how a 9 month old progresses from purees to solid foods is how Kylee should now progress. But, lets face it, she’s not so easily predicted. We may go back, and that’s ok.

She is ok, I am ok, Eric is ok, Charlee is ok.

WE will survive.

IMG_2971 IMG_2975 IMG_2994

Tagged ,
Advertisements