Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beau Update: 4 & 5 Months!!

I was telling Jonathan the other day that I blogged every week when Jase was born….went to about every 2 weeks with Kade…and now I’m barey doing monthly posts with Baby Beau! At least I have them though, right?

Beau was 4 months old on June 23rd & 5 months on July 23rd.

Weight/Height: He weighs 14 + lbs, is 25 1/2” long, and is wearing a 6-9 month onsies. He has some giant feet, so we know he’s going to be a big ole boy.

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Health: Finally got the little diaper rash to go away. I’m not sure exactly which diaper was doing it, but we are using Huggies right now. He is drooling and chewing on his hands like crazy but no signs of teeth yet. Still hearing a little clicking in one of his knees, so I’ll get the pediatrician to check that again next time we go. He hasn’t really had much baby acne or cradle cap like the other boys had, and his thrush (not totally convinced it was thrush) is gone now.

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Sleep: Beau is sleeping pretty well. He takes great naps and of course he’ll sleep longer if we’re at home. I keep a box fan going and he has a swaddle around his legs only. I can always tell if he’s getting tired because he kicks his little legs like crazy and squeals like a pterordactyl. He wakes up once during the night to eat, usually around 3:30/4ish I think. (I’ve learned that I can’t look at my phone during that feeding or I can’t go back to sleep myself.) He is a tummy sleeper like his brothers, but we have a Snuza on his diaper, and Angel Care monitor under the mattress, he can roll from front to back and back to front really well, and has excellent head control so I feel okay with it. He will sleep some on the go. If I’m holding him, he likes to be held upright and will eventually fall asleep (& drool all over my shoulder). 

As you can tell, we aren’t really doing Babywise with Beau. I am thankful I had it with Jase and we still follow some of the principles because they are solid, but a strict schedule just won’t work for this phase of our life. I feel like it is very important for our bigger boys to be involved in things (like music camp, story time, & VBS for example), especially since we plan to homeschool. Thankfully he is a very laid back, go with the flow baby. We are still home a lot and he naps really well on his own in his bed.

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What Beau is up to: Maybe teething? Didn’t seem to have too much of the 4 month sleep regression like I remember with the other boys. Very happy and alert! Big eyes, big gummy smile. He adores his brothers and has the cutest laugh!! His new squealing thing is kinda funny, but he really only does it when he’s getting tired. He also went on his first trip to Texas with us and he straight ROCKED it out! He was an angel baby on his flight (got his wings!) and definitely attracted a lot of attention everywhere we went. He is always smiling and cooing at everyone and he RARELY cries! (only if he’s really overtired and we don’t let that happen too often) He comes everywhere with us right now &we just loving having him as our little sidekick.

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Everybody was complimenting him after the flight. Thankfully all of our boys have done great flying as babies. (I just nurse them during take off and landing.) Annnnnd he was the real MVP since his stroller got us quickly through some crazy security lines in Atl.

Nursing: Nursing is still going well. He has moved to eating every 3 1/2-4 hours & still definitely has a favorite side. I get around 5 oz when I pump & the milk looks super “hearty.” (Ha!) He has bit down a few times or pulled off really hard…NOT cool. But I’m thankful he’s a good eater and doesn’t seem to get quite as distracted as the other boys did. His longest two feeds are in the morning and at night. Sometimes I’ll “top him off” right before a nap and let him nurse for a minute or two. He will usually sleep for a solid 2 hours if I do that.

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I know he’ll be ready to start eating solids soon. I need to freshen up on some Baby Led Weaning. (It was a little overwhelming starting out again with Kade, even though I’d done it before with Jase.)

Post-Partum:  I feel like I am finally starting to get closer to pre-pregnancy self. It was a great recovery, but it has taken about 5 months to get back to what I’d call normal. I still feel like I’m sweating all the time, but I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a crazy hot summer & I’ve got 3 boys I’m taking care of or if it’s mostly hormonal. I do stink when I sweat though now, and that’s annoying. (I’ve always been a sweater, but it never was really smelly.) Sorry, I know that’s random and gross, but it’s true. I do at least like my skin though!

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Big Brothers Jase & Kade: They LOVE their brother! If Beau ever fusses, Jase says “Mommmmm, get the baby!” They like to make him laugh and smile and are very gentle with him. They do a good job watching out for him and being aware of his needs. I can’t wait to watch them all continue to grow & play together. I LOVE seeing their sweet brother bond. I feel like each of them will have a special connection with each other.

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Thoughts: Sweet Baby Beau, you are just PRECIOUS!! You are a show stopper and everyone wants to talk to you and about you everywhere we go. You are so, so loved and I feel like you’ve always been a part of our family. Everyone always comments on how pretty you and what a good baby you are. You are so easy going and make it so easy for us to just bring you everywhere with us. You light up our world, and I mean that. I am so grateful for you! You are an answered prayer and I am so grateful I get to be your mama. You’re going to change the world!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

HIIT/Tabata

At this point in my life, I want to get the very most out of my workouts in a short time, so I have found that high intensity interval training/tabata are the best for getting results quickly. If you’re busy like me, you may struggle to find the time to work out, so this might very well be a solution for you too.

Right now I am going to a boot camp, but you can very easily do them at home in 20-30 minutes (with body weight exercises if you don’t have any equipment) & you’ll definitely feel it if you push yourself. You can also add on a 15-20 minute tabata at the end of a strength training session to really shed some body fat.

If you’re just starting out, you can look up some body weight exercises on Pinterest or even watch a video on Youtube to see correct form. Things like squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, planks, pushups, high knees, butt kicks, wall sits, and jumping jacks are very effective!! I typically go to the gym before the kiddos get up, but even if I can’t make it to the gym, you can get it done during their naps. You can use the FREE Gymboss app on your phone to set up your workout once you’ve decided the exercises.

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Easy peasy to use! Has a timer/buzzers that go off to let you know when to switch exercises, and you can even build in rest periods if you want.

Here’s way more in depth article from Dr. Axe on HIIT (with a great infographic) about why they’re more effective than traditional cardio.

And here’s one of the random workouts I’ve been doing 1-2 times a week when in a time crunch. Sometimes I’ll go through it twice.

OH, and here are all of AdvoCare's CU24 workouts totally free! They are INTENSE. Only 24 minutes & they’ll flat out get it done.

Also, if you’re working out at all (or even if you’re not) and not taking amino acids, you are seriously missing out. Cataylst is one of the products I make sure we never run out of! It helps support muscle tone & enhances strength and energy. For me, I know it helps me power through my workouts and I’ve noticed that I’m more tone & defined when taking it. I have personally taken it every single day for the last 5 years and 3 months & I know Jonathan has too. Amino acids are SO beneficial! (Here is an AdvoCare Performance Elite product training video Jonathan did a while back. I think he covers some of the benefits of amino acids somewhere in there.)

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Now go get yo workout on!

*Always consult with a physician before starting an exercise/supplement program.

Healthy Mom Hacks

Us mamas gotta stick together and share our secrets, right?

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These are a few of my favorite healthy mom hacks! I use these to sneak extra nutrients into our kiddos’ food & wanted to share why/how I use them. You can find them all at your local grocery store, at Costco, or on Amazon.

Organic Bone Broth: I use this in lots of recipes that would call for chicken broth (soups, casseroles, when baking chicken, etc.) and it adds a ton of benefits! Helps boost the immune system among other things. I can drink it warmed up, but the boys won’t do that. I made soup a LOT this winter using this. You can make your own too, but this is the shortcut. There are other great brands on Thrive Market also. (If you haven’t already, click on that post and read about Thrive. Game changer/big savings on many healthy food staples.)

Braggs Nutritional Yeast: I sprinkle this into several recipes too. I use it when I’m making burgers, on veggies, in scrambled eggs, etc. Here are a few of the many benefits from an article written by Dr. Mercola. (I didn’t even know some of this before- glad I read it!)

Pink Himalayan Salt: Salt is not the enemy. Our bodies NEED salt. However, normal table salt is NOT a good choice. We personally like pink Himalyan sea salt when cooking. I also use it in oats the boys eat for breakfast where we also add sliced almonds, chia seeds, and ground flax. It adds the perfect flavor.

Braggs Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos: Great alternative for soy sauce when making Asian dishes/stir fry (like the quinoa fried rice bowls). I also use it in place of Dell’s or Worschtershire sauce since it has less sodium. You can opt for the coconut aminos if you’re avoiding or limiting soy.

Organic Ground Chia Seed: Powerful super food. I add into smoothies, oatmeal, healthy muffins, protein bites (no honey for the littles though till they’re older), & even salads.

Amazing Grass Kids Superfood: My boys love chocolate milk, but we don’t drink it at home. Instead, I put a scoop of this into almond milk (so they think they’re getting chocolate milk) but it has greens, several fruits & veggies we don’t eat regularly (or ever), and prebiotics and probiotics which are so important for a healthy gut.

Organic Live Fit Superfood Blend: It’s packed with antioxidants & lots of real food- like broccoli, blueberries, tomatoes, and vegan protein. This is perfect for smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, homemade bars, etc.

Organic Ground Flaxseed: Powerful source of omega-3s, fiber, and lignans. I add it to oatmeal, smoothies, and anytime I bake anything, like our favorite banana chocolate chip power cake muffins. Omega 3s are SO important for their brain development (especially little boys), and since we don’t eat enough fish (since so much of it is toxic- boo), this is a great way to add it in.

Of course I don’t use them all every day, but I do use at least a couple of them daily. I want my boys to eat healthy, & I do feel like we do a pretty decent job modeling that for them. But the reality is they’re not exactly chompin’ at the bit to get some of my kale salad & could definitely eat better. (Specifically more veggies.) These are a few of my favorite ways to add some quality nutrition into their diets! Anything you guys have found that I need to add in? I’m always open to suggestions!

Taking Ownership

One of the major issues causing problems in America today is that people really struggle to take OWNERSHIP. We are living in a generation where many people displace the blame and do not take personal responsibility. Am I right?

I know this has been an area of personal growth for me & something I’m still working on. I am training myself to start asking “What did I do/not do to get these results?” instead of blaming someone/something else or making excuses. (Because the latter doesn’t lead to anything positive or productive.)

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Yes, I know there are plenty of legitimate reasons people have for how things turn out in certain areas, and I’m not trying to minimize that. But many times, it’s just not helpful to focus on those things.  So I’m suggesting we shift our perspective and take ownership so we can actually accomplish something rather than spending our time blaming, avoiding responsibility, complaining, and making excuses.

We have to draw the line somewhere.

We have to CHOOSE to take OWNERSHIP.

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Honestly, it’s pretty empowering to know that you are RIDICULOUSLY in charge for many of the outcomes in your life.

If we take an inventory of our lives, what are the things we would like to change? If you “begin with the end in mind” and think about how you’d like a certain area of your life to look, you can start making the changes to move in the direction of that desired outcome. In my experience, it has been so much easier to grow in an area when I take ownership first.

Here are a few of the areas we can take inventory.

  • marriage
  • parenting
  • health/fitness
  • finances
  • business
  • faith
  • relationships

Instead of blaming our spouse, focus on what WE are doing to bring God glory in our marriage. After all, we will answer to the Lord some day for our own words and actions. (And our spouse will answer for theirs.)

Instead of blaming our boss, employees, or company, focus on what WE can do to work hard as if working for the Lord to gain influence, improve production, and grow our business.

Instead of focusing on the church, the preacher, “hypocrites,” trials in our life, focus on what WE are doing to draw near to the Lord through studying the Word, obedience, prayer, serving, and bringing others to Christ.

Instead of focusing on our genetics, focus on healthy lifestyle choices WE make daily (more sleep, less stress, healthy eating, exercise, clean water, etc.)to improve our overall health & “turn off” genes.

Instead of losing our patience with our kids, focus on how WE can have self-control and respond in love and patience.

Instead of making excuses for why we can’t keep a clean house, make healthy meals, stay on budget, work out, forgive someone, have a quiet time, give up unhealthy habits, stop watching trash tv or listening to junky music, get out of debt…take ownership and make the choice to practice discipline.

It’s not about perfection, but it is about progress and striving to be the best version of myself. I don’t want to raise entitled children. I want to raise kids who become great adults, so that means I have to teach them to take ownership. And the only way I can do that with integrity is to model it myself.

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Yes, there are some things that are out of our control, like the 10 unchangeables. But we can choose to focus on the things we CAN control- and when we take ownership, we have the ability to make changes for the better. #ownit

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Father’s Day 2017

I am so grateful for these three men & love being able to celebrate them.

Jonathan, my dad (Granddaddy), & Jonathan’s dad (Papa) are some of the best of the best. They are men of character and integrity. Would literally give the shirts off their backs if someone needed it. Some of the hardest workers I know and that’s why they are all three successful business owners.

They love their families fiercely and have demonstrated that through giving their TIME to them. I love watching the precious bond the boys have with their Daddy, Granddaddy, & Papa. It’s priceless & I cherish it for them.

Jonathan, my dad, and Jimmy are respected by pretty much anyone who knows them, but are respected most by those who know them best. Not many can say that, but these three champion men can. I am so grateful they are all part of our lives and are the role models for our little Butler boys.

Here are their 2017 Father’s Day cards I make them on Shutterfly every year.

Happy Father’s Day to my favorites!!

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We are blessed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Your Home is your Ministry

Ladies, I just want to encourage YOU today.

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Your home IS your ministry!

What a powerful opportunity we have every single day to serve the Lord...even in what may feel like mundane tasks. I’ve said before “If I’m scrubbing toilets, I’m going to scrub em for Jesus!” May sound lame, but isn’t that what we want to do? And isn't that exciting? Taking care of our homes & families is such an awesome contribution to the Kingdom that we should be proud of and work heartily in! It may not get all the glory now & may seem like a thankless job, but I feel full confidence we are storing crowns in Heaven as we walk out that great calling.

There are a few passages in the Bible that are just for us women, like Titus 2:3-5 that says "the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." We should study those verses & become passionate about them as we pursue our mission to become more like Christ.

Being a homemaker- to me, that means your best efforts should be inside your own four walls. If your ministry ever becomes so demanding of you that your own home- your family...husband/marriage, children, health, personal walk...begins to suffer, it's time to step back. We can't let our light shine for others if our lights are burned out, and they can even be burned out by doing "good" things like serving/working outside the home. Do I believe both can be done? Yes. But we have to be super cautious to GUARD our hearts, minds, & homes. You have to take care of your own light first, and the bigger the flame, the more it draws others & more you can share. We are not called to be busy, stretched too thin, or too exhausted for our own family. I have no doubt Satan is using this as a tool of destruction & a sneaky method of getting into families...making us busy, making us feel inadequate & like we aren't doing enough in what should be our greatest calling, by keeping us from finding fulfillment in being homemakers, & in having us pursue things that mean some of our own families' needs go unmet.

Let's pursue godliness together by becoming warriors for our own four walls! I get excited at the thought of how we can change the world when our own husbands and children get our most Christ-like efforts.

"I want to be respected most by those who know me best."

Munchkin Murphy Mission

You guys know how precious adoption is to me since I was adopted. I can tell you from the perspective of being adopted, it is an incredible bond and such a gift. I am forever grateful to both my biological mom and my family taking me in and always treating me like blood. I am grateful every day they chose LIFE & that the Lord orchestrated and placed me where he did.

We have some sweet friends – PJ & Kiley Murphy- (they are farmers in Kentucky) getting ready to adopt a precious baby, & they're fundraising with these super cute t-shirts!

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There are lots of colors & options available if you want your own. (I ordered some for Jon & the boys too.) Here’s the link to order shirts: https://www.bonfire.com/mmmlovegrowsfamilies/

(You can read a little more of their story here too.)

If you decide to get one, be sure to post a picture and use the hashtag #murphymunchkinmission . Kiley is making a collage with pictures to put in the baby’s room of everyone who supported the adoption.

Saying a prayer today for all of the families going through the adoption process and all of the precious children waiting for a family to call their own. A sweet friend reminded me to pray for the birth mothers too, and that is so very true & honestly something I didn’t think of. It is such an act of sacrificial love, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for those mamas. Praying for them too.

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“For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” – 1 Samuel 1:27