Simply Liv: September 2014


Evie- 9 Month Update

*Mushy Mom Alert*

Sometimes I look at my little Evelyn, with her blue eyes, huge grin (complete with three and a half teeth), pudgy thighs, curious fingers, and whispy reddish-brown hair, and I wonder how I got so lucky. If she isn't the very definition of God's grace I don't know what is. Despite my weakness and mistakes, He worked beauty into the ashes and in many ways healed my doubting heart with the birth of this little girl. Being her mom has brought more joy, tears, pain, laughter, and growth than I ever imagined...and its only been 9 months. Parenthood....I tell ya.

Its not all sunshine and toothy grins though. This month, while probably one of my favorites, has also been one of the hardest. Just when sleeping became a normal thing and I was adjusting to getting more than two hours in a row, teething hit hard. She cried about everything, and had a fever for four days. It is a good thing we can't remember being babies- they go through a lot. The sleep schedule we worked so hard on was nonexistent and I did anything I could just to get her to sleep. Which, a few times actually, meant her sleeping in bed with me all night long. There was one night when I had been up with her for hours and my patience had left the building. I was at the verge of a breakdown (in my sleep-deprived selfishness, I regret saying. My poor baby had teeth breaking though her gums for crying out loud), when AJ came to the rescue so I could get a few minutes to compose myself. On-the-verge-of-mental-break-down Olivia isn't a pretty sight, so thank God for AJ. We survived though and sleeping is on the up and up in our house, I'm happy to say. Until the next round of teeth.

- Getting into things: now that she's crawling, anything in the house is fair game. So far her favorite places to explore are the bathroom and in Roxy's dog food bowl. She may have consumed a little's a pretty safe assumption.
- Long walks in the stroller/car seat: this is still the only way she will nap, but I will take it because it usually is my only excuse to leave the house.
- Daddy: she is obsessed with AJ right now. The second he gets home from work she starts laughing and waving her arms and "dancing". He loves it.
- Blueberries: she will basically eat anything I put in front of her (except eggs...) but blueberries seem to be at the top of her list. She will eat around everything else on her plate if blueberries are in the picture. They also make her look like she's part of the Blue Man Group, so that is probably half of the fun.


- Teething: see above rant.
- Putting clothes on: I can sympathize with this one a little bit. In all honesty, If I didn't have to wear pants everywhere, I totally wouldn't. Evie, however, doesn't understand the cultural norm the clothing is, and so she puts up a fight every time I try to dress her. This leads to a lot of naked baby time at our house. But her butt is probably in the top five on my list of cute things so I won't complain. ;)


- Crawling!!!!: This was a big deal. She took her sweet time about it and still kind of crawls like she has a bum leg...but she gets around. And fast. Look out world, Evie is mobile.
- Blowing kisses: Her Nona taught her to blow kisses which is probably the most adorable thing you will see all week.
- Pulling herself up on things: With crawling comes standing. And lots and lots of falling.
- Saying "poop": she lets me know when business has happened by making a little noise that sounds an awful lot like the actual word. Which means her two favorite words are "poop" and "dada". I'm such a proud mom.
- In case you didn't know, she got her two upper middle teeth. Refer to above paragraphs if you haven't read enough about her darn teeth yet.
-  This month AJ and I went to Fort Collins for my birthday. WITHOUT the baby. A definite first for all of us. We were there for three whole days- the time away was amazing, but by the end I was all too ready to be back to my baby. She did great with Mimi though :)

And just so you can experience the cuteness, here's a video of her "sneezing" and blowing kisses:


To Wheat, or Not to Wheat- That is the Question.

My most recent hair-brained idea has been to give up eating gluten. Hearing those words still make my carb loving self shiver a little bit.

I'm about two weeks in and I've already noticed a huge increase in my energy (because I'm not stuffing my face with a bagel first thing in the morning), as well as improvement in my skin and the infamous "belly bloat" I would feel, but not necessarily see after eating some kind of wheat. While these are definitely awesome bonuses, cosmetic changes and weight loss weren't really my goal in embarking on this wheat-free journey, but rather overall health. 

My mom (who has been gluten free for several years and has experienced many of the health benefits since), recommended the book "Wheat Belly" to me. I barely got past the first three chapters when I knew I had to at least try giving it up. In it, Davis talks about how our "healthy grains" today aren't at all what they were even 50 years ago. He explains that many well meaning diets often have the reverse effect because no matter how many "healthy grains" a person eats with his well balanced diet and rigorous exercise, he still isn't keeping the extra weight off. His book is engaging, science based, and has countless stories of changed lives. 

While weight loss isn't my goal, self control and health is. I realized that, when it came to things like pastries, bread, and pasta I had the self control of a 9 month old child- which let me tell you, is nonexistent. If it was in my house, I would eat it. A blueberry scone at work? Sure, I'll have three. If Aj asked me to make cookies, I'd eat half the batter before the first batch went in the oven. 

Overindulgence in any area of life isn't healthy, and I really felt that I couldn't just "cut back"- I had to quit cold turkey. So far, I haven't even been tempted to cheat. It has been far easier to completely remove wheat from my diet than it would have been to cut back. I've been forced to experiment with food and learn to cook things in new ways. Lettuce wraps have become my best friend. And AJ is thrilled because he can buy oreos without the fear that I'll eat them all before he gets home from work. Seriously. 

I've made this recipe before and LOVE it. Click here for link. 
Do any of you have experience with gluten free life? I'd love to hear your experience/tips/favorite recipes. 

I'm excited to share this journey with you all- keep checking back for updates, recipes and my latest shenanigans. 

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