I have three children. The first two died. The third was birthed by another woman.
I miss Alex & Emma at strange times and it's not always on the days you would suspect. Mother's Day makes my heart hurt in intimate ways that I can't really express in words. I miss them something awful. That's all I can say about it.
Of course, I'm over the top grateful for Eleanor. She is mine and my heart overflows with joy and love for this child, but I can't experience those feelings without acknowledging her birth mom. It's a big, heavy, overwhelming emotion that I suppose I will carry for the rest of my life.
"A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy & the depth of that privilege are not lost on me." -Jody Landers
So, yeah, it's been a weird week of emotions for me. That's about as vulnerable as I can be right now.
As I browsed through the photos on my phone from this week, I see that the week has mainly been about food. I'm so exciting.
Two weeks ago we took Eleanor off of dairy to see if that would help her constipation problems. I think it's still too soon to say if it's working. What I can tell you is that the child loves cheese and continues to ask for it. Soy cheese? Nope. Not gonna happen. I can't blame her there, it smells like butt. I couldn't handle it either. Almond milk? Nope. Vanilla almond milk? Nope. Soy milk? Nope. Not gonna drink any of that and she thinks it's a mean joke to make her try. (She was drinking pediasure, but that has milk proteins so she can't have it right now.) I was getting concerned about her getting the nutrients she needs, but I found these non-dairy yogurts. She really likes them, they have protein & calcium & other good stuff, and if I add chia seeds then that's just more good stuff.
As for me and my food... my weight has been pretty stable for the last few years. I'm technically a bit over where "they" say I should be, but my body has been pretty happy there. I pretty well eat what I want, stay active, and keep an eye on my weight. Recently I started creeping up the scales a bit and decided I best get back on track before that 5 pounds becomes 25 pounds. I just want to feel good, be happy, and enjoy doing awesome stuff with my family & friends... so I pay attention and try to stay in a good place for my body. Weight Watchers has really helped Drew & I in the past, so I signed back up for a short stint of Weight Watchers and we're giving it a go. For the record, I am allotted 30 points a day. (Drew isn't officially doing the program, he's just eating what I give him.)
These protein shakes have been fantastic for Drew & I because they are low calorie & low carb, but high protein (for WW followers, that means that one shake is only 2 points and that's TOTALLY a good thing). They really help keep me full for longer and keep me from over eating during the day. I'm a grazer, so I need all the help I can get. Wet get ours at Sam's Club and they are about $16 for a 12 pack, but I think you can buy 4 packs in the nutrition/supplement section of Walmart or Target.
I do still eat throughout the day (because, hello, I like to eat), but I'm trying super hard to make better decisions. My favorite lunch this week has been a roll up with two slices of hickory turkey, a bit of mayo, and a handful of spinach with a gala apple on the side. The whole plate = 2 points. Tip that I had forgotten but am employing again: use a smaller plate. You can fill up a smaller plate and your eyes will tell you that you have a full meal. If I had put this on a full size plate, my eyes would have said, "Yeah, but where's the rest of it?"
- eat lots of fruits & veggies (they are 0 points and often satisfy my need to just eat something)
- drink lots of water
- flavored coffee creamer isn't worth it & I can survive without coffee
- protein helps keep me full so that I don't crave as much of the starchy carbs that I mindlessly snack on
...Ellyn Satter’s groundbreaking 2000 book Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense, and it was literally a life-changing read. Satter, a registered dietitian nutritionist and family therapist, promotes a “division of responsibility” for meals: the parent decides when to eat, what to serve, and where to serve it, and the child decides whether and how much to eat
I've sort of taken that approach with Eleanor anyway, but I'm being a big more mindful about it this week. So even if I'm pretty sure she won't like something, I put it on her plate anyway. When she protests I just say, "You don't have to eat it". That wasn't quite enough for her and she wanted it completely out of her area, so I just showed her that if she doesn't like it then she can put it "right here" (the cup holder of her tray). She was satisfied with that option and took the time to separate the things she does like from the things she doesn't. There wasn't a fuss and no food was thrown on the floor. She never did chow down on the blueberries or the green beans, but when it became a non-issue I caught her take a bit of each. She didn't like it and didn't continue, but she tried and it that's good enough for me right now.