A Random Tuesday + Ryder is Three Months Old

Hey friends! As I sit down to write the first part of this blog post (all of my work seems to be completed in small fragments these days!), the sun is shining through my office window. After several back-to-back days of clouds, rain and storms, it feels nice to see the sun again! Temperatures are back to the mid-80s in Charlotte right now which makes me feel a little ridiculous for decorating our house for fall over the weekend but since Hurricane Florence had us hanging out at home, it seemed like a good time to knock it out.

Hello pumpkins!

I wanted to pop in today to share another random day-in-the-life recap with you guys and give you a peek into our Tuesday. Let’s get to it!

Morning

All plans I had for waking up before the boys went out the window when Ryder was up before the sun with me with no intent to go back down. Thankfully Ryder almost always wakes up in a great mood, full of gummy smiles and sweet baby chirps. He’s often content to kick and wiggle on a blanket in the mornings so I got dressed for the day and then brought Ryder downstairs with me and set him up on the floor while I made coffee and spent some time going through one of the chapters of my small group’s most recent study.

Ryder wasn’t up for too long before he was ready for a cat nap and so I swaddled him up, placed him in the Rock ‘n’ Play, made myself a smoothie and then got some work done on my laptop while he snoozed.

(Sorry it looks so gross! I swear anytime I add cocoa powder to a smoothie it instantly looks like cat puke.) 

I spent my early morning work time tackling emails and following up on some upcoming partnerships before I heard Chase calling me from his room. Ryder was making noises as well, so I quickly nursed him and then we headed into Chase’s room to get dressed and read some stories before preschool.

Whenever I walk into Chase’s room in the morning he almost always asks me, “Mom, you have Baby Ryder?” and immediately wants to get in his little brother’s face. It’s actually been a nice little incentive to help Chase get dressed at warp speed since I tell him he has to be dressed like his little brother before playtime can begin. We read The Cat in the Hat and played in Chase’s room for a bit before making our way downstairs for breakfast and a little more playtime before we needed to head out the door.

Chase only has school two mornings this week thanks to a hurricane-related closure on Monday and a teacher work day today and he was more than ready to see his teachers and friends. He ran inside and gave me a dinosaur growl goodbye. (He was a velociraptor yesterday, in case you were wondering.)

Once Chase was settled in school, Ryder and I made our way to boot camp!

While Ryder hung out in childcare, I went through a total body strength workout that looked like this:

(The workout includes my modifications since I’m still modifying quite a bit.) 

It felt good to move and sweat and Ryder seemed to do well in childcare. I chatted with some friends for a bit after my workout and then we headed home so I could nurse Ryder and get a little work done before preschool pickup. Ryder wasn’t in the mood for a long nap so my work time was cut a bit short but I took advantage of a very awake and very happy baby to snap some pictures of him to celebrate three months with this sweet guy!

I just love the way Ryder reacts to happy faces, voices and smiles. It’s almost like he looks at the world around him through the eyes of a tiny human sponge that just wants to absorb everything. His big gummy smiles seem to overtake his whole body and he’ll often curl up into a smiley ball that makes me smile right along with him.

Afternoon

Before heading out the door to pick Chase up from school, I figured I should take advantage of an awake and happy baby and made myself lunch. Everything came together quickly thanks to yet another Daily Harvest harvest bowl (the obsession continues!) and this time I added some shrimp and pumpkin seeds to the red lentil bowl.

(FYI you can use the code pbfingers to get three free cups on your first Daily Harvest order if you want to try it out!) 

After I was done eating, I loaded Ryder into his car seat and the two of us picked Chase up from preschool before making our way back home. I let Chase unwind and play in our family room for a bit while I nursed Ryder before corralling everyone upstairs in Chase’s room for a nap time picnic. (I told you guys I do this ALL the time! So random but it works!)

Once Chase was down, I brought Ryder into our bathroom and put him in his Dock-a-Tot so I could grab a quick shower before I nursed him and put him down for a nap, too. With both boys sleeping, I made myself a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter (random snack but I was starving) and then began typing up this blog post. I ended up having TWO hours of time to work in the afternoon yesterday which felt like such a gift from my guys! It wasn’t fully uninterrupted (Ryder isn’t the most solid napper) but it still felt amazing to have time in the middle of the day to wrap up a future blog post and continue to chip away at my inbox.

Ryder was up before Chase and once he was done nursing, he seemed content to hang out with me in the kitchen in a little bouncer seat my friend Lauren gave me at preschool pickup yesterday. Ryder LOVES the bouncer seat in Burn Boot Camp’s childcare and since Lauren is doing a massive purge of baby things, she asked if we wanted her old one and I jumped at the offer. Ryder is a huge fan!!

With Ryder happy in his new bouncer seat, I quickly assembled dinner which looked like chickpea pasta paired with kale and shrimp. (I loosely followed this recipe from Clean Eating Magazine.)

We haven’t had the chance to get to the grocery store yet this week but I cooked up a big bag of shrimp we had in the freezer on Monday which worked well as a quick protein source in both my lunch and our family’s dinner. Freezer food for the win!

Evening

Chase woke up from his nap right around the time that we had a package delivery at the door. He was excited to thank our favorite UPS man (he’s practically a family friend at this point) and we immediately opened the large box to find the new comforter I ordered for our master bedroom.

I’m excited to see how it looks but sliiiightly concerned Ryan may veto this particular design choice and say it’s too frilly for his taste. We’ll see!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at home splitting time between our backyard where Chase “helped” clear our patio of debris from the weekend storm (thank you Aunt Laurie for his sweeper brush!) and our kitchen where we made a new batch of chocolate energy bites with dates, oats, peanut butter, flax seed, honey and cocoa powder.

Since Chase took a longer nap than usual yesterday, he was amped around dinnertime and had no interest in settling down to eat. He was also pretty content to play by himself with his toys and since this coincided with an evening cat nap for Ryder, I decided to roll with it and took advantage of the time to clean up the kitchen. Ryan arrived home a little after 7 p.m. and after a quick round of soccer with Chase, we all settled down for dinner. I reheated the pasta I prepared earlier in the day and we dug in!

Eventually we made our way upstairs and did the whole bed time routine. We finally had both boys asleep around 8:30 p.m. Ryan and I chatted for a bit before we were both ready to call it a night. I read my book until my eyes could no longer stay open. (I’m currently reading Total Control by David Baldacci. I like the story line and look forward to reading it at the end of the day but there’s something about the way the author refers to the main female character that irks me over and over again.)

Today should be a good one over here as Chase has the day off from school and we have some fun plans with friends at a local park on the agenda this morning! I hope you all have a great Wednesday and I hope to see ya back here tomorrow for a yummy recipe I have coming your way!

The post A Random Tuesday + Ryder is Three Months Old appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/a-random-tuesday-ryder-is-three-months-old/

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The Best Way to Clean an Oven (+ Natural Oven Cleaner)

Natural Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaning stinks! It is time-consuming and the chemicals that are used in most conventional oven cleaners are toxic. When I started switching all of my household cleaners to more natural methods, finding a way to clean the oven using a natural oven cleaner was at the top of my list. I do not have a self-cleaning oven…

Continue reading The Best Way to Clean an Oven (+ Natural Oven Cleaner)

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/211/natural-oven-cleaning/

Give Up Comfort

By Leo Babauta

I was boarding an airplane today, and the woman ahead of me had a huge travel pillow, a blanket, and a few other items designed to give her maximum comfort on the flight.

Someone I know was about to go on a trip, and they spent a month worrying about whether they would have everything they could possibly need to be comfortable.

Most of us are like this: we spend a good amount of time and effort worrying about our comfort, and a good amount of money buying things (and carrying things) that will ensure we have a coccoon of comfort surrounding us at all times.

This is understandable, and I say it all without judgment. It’s how we react to the insecurity of travel, of doing something we’re not used to doing, of not knowing how to deal with a situation. The insecurity of everyday life. Myself, I go into research mode, trying to find out everything I can about an insecure situation. Then I might go into buying mode, getting the gear I need to make myself more secure. Then I might go into planning mode, trying to get control of the insecure situation.

This is how we are. We spend time researching, buying, planning, worrying, stressing about the insecure situation, trying to ensure our comfort.

But what if we could let go of concern for our comfort? What if we could dive fully into the insecurity of the situation, and stay in the insecurity without needing to change it?

It would transform our lives. It would transform us.

A Thought Experiment

Imagine going on a trip with just the bare essentials: a change of clothes, a few toiletries (toothbrush, soap, deodorant), your passport, and your phone charging cord. Nothing to ensure your comfort.

You would feel insecurity about the situation. All the “what ifs” would come to mind. All the “what abouts” would come up. All the “but I might needs” would arise. Your comfort would not be guaranteed.

You go through the airport, without protection, just your passport and the digital boarding pass on your phone. Turns out, this uncertain, insecure situation wasn’t so bad. You make it to your gate, sit at one of the chairs and read a book on your phone as it charges.

You feel the insecurity of the situation, and it’s not a problem. You sit still for a moment, and allow yourself to fully feel the sensations of insecurity in your body. You open your heart to the feelings of uncertainty, the stress. You relax into it, and it becomes peaceful shakiness. You drop your ego and are present with the pure experience of the moment. It’s beautiful.

You get on the plane, and don’t have a pillow or anything. It’s actually completely fine, as you sit at your seat and read on your book some more. You feel like you should research the place where you’re going, plan things out, know exactly what you’re going to do and everything you need to know. You resist acting on those urges that stem from insecurity, and instead allow yourself to feel the fear, stress, and insecurity. You practice with it, feeling it fully in your heart, becoming friends with it, not shying away from it. You’re fine, and everything is OK.

You get to your destination and figure out the train system, getting to your budget hotel just fine. You drop off your little bag and walk around, without a plan. You feel the insecurity of being in this place without all your comforts, and by now, you’re good at practicing with this insecurity, and you’ve begun to welcome it. It becomes a feeling of freedom and excitement, of openness and curiosity.

You have none of your comforts from home, and yet it turns out you didn’t need them. None of the discomfort is that bad — you’ve suffered much worse before. You don’t have your nightly wine, nor your morning coffee (two of your favorite comforts), and guess what? Nothing falls apart. Or more accurately, things fall apart and you relax into it all, realizing that you can be fully open hearted when things are falling apart. And it is beautiful.

This trip, with its delicious discomforts, teaches you that all your efforts and stresses spent trying to build up your comfort and rid yourself of insecure situations are completely wasted.

Everyday Insecurity

Back home, this same idea applies to our everyday lives — imagine going through the day without all the security and comforts we’re used to.

You have only the clothes on your back, a notebook, a book. Some toiletries. A handful of real foods, barely prepared. Some water. Imagine this being all you had for the day.

You could go for a walk, perhaps barefoot if you felt like it. You don’t need a gym, just do some pushups, You graze when you’re hungry, swig some water when you’re thirsty, but don’t stress about having all your comfort foods and drinks. You read, you meditate, you lounge around in the sun, you do more pushups, you go for another walk, you write in your notebook.

When insecurity comes up, you practice as you did on your trip. You don’t need to look anything up, nor plan, nor buy things, nor be prepared. You have all you need, and the insecurity is absolutely fine, the ground of your life, lovely and everpresent.

You can try to give yourself all the comforts in the world, but discomfort still comes.

You can try to rid yourself of insecure situations, and yet insecurity will still be there.

You can give up your comfort, and relax into the discomfort, and in fact there is no problem. The discomfort becomes a friend of yours, just like the insecurity. You are free.

from Health & Wellness https://zenhabits.net/comfort/

188: Saunacast: How we Took Control of Our Healthcare and Insurance (& Saved Money)

Saunacast: How we Took Control of Our Healthcare and Insurance (& Saved Money)

It is no secret that we live in a world where we face a lot of potentially harmful things on a daily basis. From plastic exposure to all of the additives in our food system and even over-exposure to blue-light, our bodies face a lot each day. These, and many other factors, may help explain…

Continue reading 188: Saunacast: How we Took Control of Our Healthcare and Insurance (& Saved Money)

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/saunacast-healthcare/

Ryder’s Nursery Tour

Hi friends! How are you guys doing today? This weekend has been a very wet one in Charlotte with record rainfall thanks to Hurricane Florence. We’ve been on high alert over the course of the past few days as we tracked the storm and remained hunkered down at home. (The main concern for the Charlotte area is severe flooding.) We are absolutely thinking of those of you on the east coast of the Carolinas or other parts of North or South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia who may be facing the horrible effects of this storm. I hope you and your loved ones are all safe!

Since we’re spending almost the entire weekend indoors, I figured I wouldn’t have much in the way of a weekend recap to share with you guys tomorrow and thought I’d pop in this afternoon instead. We’ve filled the past few days with fort building, apple crisp-making, story reading, movie watching and closet cleaning but in lieu of recapping all of that, I wanted to share a peek into Ryder’s nursery on the blog today!

I realized a while ago that I never really shared a final tour of Ryder’s nursery before he arrived and that was mostly just in case Ryder ended up being a girl! When he came out and was a beautiful little boy, our nursery didn’t really need any extra touches since the decor was pretty neutral. (If Ryder would’ve been a girl, my plan was to incorporate some blush pink colors throughout the nursery.)

Though Ryder is currently sleeping in a bassinet in our room and won’t be occupying his nursery for a while, we’re surprisingly already using the space a good bit for floor playtime, diaper changes, story time and more. Chase loves his little brother’s bedroom and since the three windows give the small space a lot of natural light, it has a bright and happy feel our whole family adores.

We kept the walls in Ryder’s room gray and went with a color scheme that incorporated pops of mint green and mustard yellow. For some reason I love these two colors together (I used them for Chase’s first birthday party as well!) and they always make me smile. I hope they make Ryder smile, too!

When it came time to outfit Ryder’s room, we didn’t have to do too much. We moved the changing table from Chase’s room into Ryder’s room and replaced the beige knobs with gray faux-metal nobs I found at Hobby Lobby.

I ordered a new crib, night stand and glider from Wayfair and opted for similar models to the ones we selected for Chase’s room since we were pleased with all of our former selections.

We’ve already spent hours in the glider and I can already say I love it! A moving ottoman was a requirement for me when I was looking for a new glider and I love the way this one moves with ease and feels simultaneously supportive and comfortable. (Bonus: The glider was a breeze to put together unlike the night stand in this nursery which will make you want to throw things.)

I ordered adorable giraffe-themed Aden & Anais crib sheets and changing pad covers and I LOVE them! I also ordered a new changing pad because I’ve been using the one that came with the changing pad table for years and it was a disaster. I wanted to light that thing on fire by the time I got rid of it because it was folding in on itself and the weird plastic material was peeling off the bottom. I only wish I would’ve ordered a better changing pad when Chase was born because it’s amazing and wasn’t even expensive. Go figure!

(Note: We will be removing the blanket and stuffed animals from Ryder’s crib when he’s actually using it.)

Some other features I love in Ryder’s room include a creamy white blanket my mom knit, a sweet prayer my sister wrote for Ryder, a personalized “R” baby block, a beautiful prayer my friend Laurel had framed and a diaper changing station cart.

I cannot take credit for the diaper changing station stand idea because it was a Pinterest discovery but I love the way it adds a pop of color to the room and displays all of the diapering supplies as well as essentials I want within easy reach, including swaddle blankets, burp cloths and more.

While Ryder’s nursery doesn’t feel 100 percent done (I’d still love to add some kind of art or something above his crib), I’d say it’s 95 percent of the way there. We think it feels like a joyful, calming space and I hope it’s a room that makes Ryder feel safe, comfortable and happy. Thanks for coming along on this little tour!

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The post Ryder’s Nursery Tour appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/ryders-nursery-tour/

How to Stay Safe in a Disaster: Emergency Preparedness List

How to Stay Safe in a Disaster- Emergency Preparedness List

If you’ve watched the news or the weather channel lately you know a huge amount of natural disasters have happened over the past several months. My heart breaks for all of those affected by the tornados, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and all the other storms that have caused so many issues. In the past, some of my…

Continue reading How to Stay Safe in a Disaster: Emergency Preparedness List

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/269764/emergency-preparedness-list/

Traveling Lightly & Being Grounded in the Middle of Chaos

By Leo Babauta

Today Eva and I decided at the last minute to move our round-the-world trip up two days early, to avoid running into a strong typhoon that was headed our way.

Luckily, we travel lightly and are flexible enough that the switch in plans wasn’t too difficult.

We put up some typhoon shutters, bought our kids some food to eat as they weather out the storm with their grandma, and packed our bags.

Through all of this, we felt tremendous groundlessness, leaving our kids as the storm approached (though we know they’ll be safe), going into Africa armed with typhoid and yellow fever vaccinations and a handful of malaria pills, a bunch of work left undone as we headed to the airport.

What is helping us in this time of chaos and uncertainty, in this time of groundlessness … is two things:

  1. Having the flexibility of traveling lightly; and
  2. Grounding ourselves in the center of the storm of our lives.

I’d like to share a little about these, because I believe they have larger lessons for our everyday lives and the groundlessness we feel all the time.

If we can practice in the middle of a 3-week trip that starts on Guam and goes through Asia and Europe, centers on a safari in Kenya, then goes back across Europe and North America to California, and finally back through Asia (Tokyo) and landing back on Guam … if we can practice through a deliciously crazy and tiring trip like that … we can practice through just about anything.

Let’s start with flexibility and traveling lightly.

Flexibility & Traveling Lightly

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know I’m a huge proponent of traveling lightly (see my Ultralight book). Eva and I each travel for weeks at a time with a small (20L) backpack on our backs.

That might sound like bragging, but it’s an important approach that lets us be more flexible on a trip like this. And it speaks to an approach to life in general.

Flexibility and lightness allows us to:

  • Switch plans easily if needed, packing quickly, traveling through airports and train stations quickly
  • Not get tired by dragging luggage around, which allows us to be more open to the experiences
  • Not have to worry about spending an extra day somewhere, because we don’t have luggage to drag around — we could walk all day with our backpacks
  • Take an unexpected route (walking, bus, taxi, train, plane) if we feel like it
  • Be open to changes, and not be hardened into inflexibility, or as worried about things going wrong

That said, traveling with less stuff means we have fewer things to deal with what we might encounter. People who pack for every contingency might feel more prepared than we do, even if they pay for it with the burden of weight. I’ve learned to be OK with having fewer options, trusting that I can handle pretty much any situation I’m likely to face, because I’ve done it many times before.

Think about this idea as it might apply to our daily lives — being light and flexible might mean we’re less stuck in our ways, not only have less to carry on our backs but less to carry in our minds.

With a flexible mind, we can be OK when plans shift (as they do every day), we can be open to the opportunities that arise and the experiences that come up unexpectedly. We can flow with change, and love the change instead of complaining about it.

How do we develop lightness and flexibility of mind? By being less rigid in how we want things to go, and practicing loving what actually happens. Seeing that our minds get stuck on certain beliefs, and experimenting with letting go of those beliefs so we can be free, be at peace.

Grounding in the Center of Chaos

As we arrived at the airport, Eva and I both felt a huge sense of groundlessness, as if we were falling through the air with nothing to hold on to.

This can feel like being in the middle of a storm without shelter. It can feel very scary, very stressful. And our normal reaction is to get some kind of ground under our feet: to get control of things, to find comfort or distraction, to run away from the uncertain situation, to complain or lash out at others, to curl into a ball to protect ourselves.

This comes from a belief that we need to protect ourselves from groundlessness or do something to get rid of the groundlessness.

This is simply not true. We can stay in the middle of chaos and groundlessness, in the middle of the storm, and be perfectly OK. We can breathe, and feel the groundlessness. We can smile, and feel the joy and freedom in it. We can be completely in love with the storm.

The way to start, as I did at the airport, is to come to stillness in the center of chaos. Just stand still for a moment, and feel the sensations in your body. Notice the swirling of emotions, the stress, the tightness in your head or chest.

Just notice, for now. Stay with it, instead of running to a story about the situation. Be with it, with gentleness and curiosity. Develop a friendly attitude towards it.

The tightness might be in your chest, and in fact you can let go of this and relax into the chaos. Breathe and let go of the tightness, which is simply you bracing yourself against the storm. By letting go of the bracing and the tightening, we can just be at peace in the middle of the storm.

Smile, and let the storm pelt you. Savor the feeling of having no ground under your feet, feeling the freedom of that. Let your mind become wide open like a vast blue sky.

And this is the feeling of being grounded — it’s being at peace with not needing ground.

It’s actually loving the moment of complete chaos and uncertainty, which is the ground of life.

It’s beautiful, and I’m in the middle of it right now.

I hope to stay centered in the middle of the chaos of this trip, which will be filled with change, stress, complexity and the unexpected. I hope to maintain my flexibility, but in the end, to not need anything but openness to the heartbreaking gorgeousness of the storm.

Chaos is a
friend of
mine
~Bob Dylan

from Health & Wellness https://zenhabits.net/flexible-chaos/