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Whole 30 Results, Kiener Plaza, and a New Van


Are you guys ready for a post that is kind of all over the place? I guess that’s pretty typical for my blog. Instead of dragging it out for 3 posts, I’m wrapping it up all in one. So sit back, relax, and read all about what’s been going on with us (along with our photos from Kiener Plaza–which I’ll share about below.)

kiener plaza

You may or may not know that back in May, I decided to try doing Whole 30. You can read about my first week of Whole 30 here. And you can read my other update here. In that second post, I had laughed at the thought of my friend suggesting I was pregnant. The joke’s on me because I found out I was pregnant about 2 weeks later. Anyway, I said that when I finished the full 30 days, I would come back and report my thoughts. And then I never did. And I know there are definitely hundreds of people checking my blog every single day to see when I’ll report back (and by hundreds, I mean zero. I bet most people forgot I even did it.)kiener plaza splash pad

So at the end of 30 days, how did I feel? The same exact way that I did when I started. No extra energy, only 5 pounds of weight loss, and I felt just as “blah” as I did in the beginning. I didn’t struggle with the limitations (though I was sad to miss out on a few treats during that time) but I did find it annoying to have to always be making a separate meal for myself, along with other inconveniences–like knowing what to eat if I was going to be out and about for a while.

Overall, I don’t think my Whole 30 results are typical. But it just wasn’t for me. Part of me does wonder if it’s because of pregnancy. But the other part doesn’t want to think that because I don’t have any interest in trying again haha. I will say that I’m glad I tried it once and I’m happy to learn that I like sweet potatoes! My favorite Whole 30 meal was pulled pork over diced sweet potatoes with a lot of hot sauce. Now all of the sudden, I’m craving it again!

kiener plaza redesign

So that’s the update you were so eagerly awaiting haha. I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying Whole 30…because, like I said, my results were not typical. But I just wanted to make it known that it’s not always the magical results that people seem to talk about.

So anyway, on to slightly less boring things. Kiener plaza (where these photos were taken.) It’s a little area in downtown St. Louis that just got a little makeover recently. And by little makeover, I mean $$$. They put in a small splash pad and playground so we were really excited about taking the kids one afternoon. We pulled up and saw this tiny little splash pad and I turned to Don and told him not to put too much money in the meter. It looked really wimpy compared to Citygarden (our favorite.) So I thought they would be ready to leave within minutes–just like another recent splash pad visit we had.

kiener plaza reopening

kiener plaza renovation

I was apparently so wrong. They loved it. There was nothing too special about it but they had the best time coming up with games to play together. We let them play for a while before quickly checking out the playground and heading back to the Suburban because our meter ran out. They were begging to go back and play some more but we had already been out for quite a while that day so we ended up heading home. But we will absolutely have to squeeze in one more visit before it gets too chilly.

kids playing in splash pad

Did I mention the fantastic Arch view that we had?

free St. Louis activities

Also–a big breakthrough! Desmond actually touched the water. Every time we visit a splash pad, he’s usually hanging out in the stroller. But he’s been getting braver each time. And he finally touched the water! Maybe this means he won’t be terrified of the beach. We can only hope.

dad and boy playing at kiener plaza

new splash pad at kiener plaza

kids playing

In other news, we bought a van!! Last September we were one month away from having baby #6 and scrambling to find a vehicle big enough to hold everyone. Right away, we found a Suburban and immediately filled it up when Clementine was born. I missed my mini van but was happy to have something to hold all of us.

Then we found out about baby #7 and a new vehicle was one of the first things on my mind. I seriously dreaded purchasing (what I lovingly refer to as) a dorky homeschool van. But I figure that I’m past the stage of looking cool anyway. So a couple weeks ago, a friend sent us a craigslist listing with a 12 passenger van. It wasn’t as “cool” as I hoped it would be–you know, as far as giant vans go. So we decided to wait a week to see if any other listings came up.

things to do with kids in st louis

things to do in st louis with kids

No new listings showed up for the 10 days we looked so we decided to check it out. (**I should note that we like to pay cash for our vehicles and not spend a huge chunk of money on them. So though we did see some other “better” options popping up, we chose not to spend our money in that way.) Our friend, who knows everything there is to know about vehicles, went along with Don to look at it. They agreed that it was a great van and a great deal so we got it!

The down side–it only had 8 seats because the back bench was missing. But pretty much within a couple hours of purchasing the van, our friend found a bench for us on craigslist. He already went and picked it up for us so we are good to go! It was seriously an answer to prayer! So my cool points probably dropped quite a bit. But at least my kids don’t have to climb over seats to get to their spots now haha.

loulou LOLLIPOP cute baby teether

Because Clem didn’t make it into any of the splash pad photos, I give you this gem ^^^

And because I thought this post wasn’t random enough, here’s the newest vlog from Family Funcast! We had planned to work on the video with the kids this past week but life got in the way. But it should definitely work out this week so hopefully we can get that done!

Have a great week!

Blog, spring, st. louis

Strawberry Fields Forever


Last year, around this time, I was a little over halfway through my pregnancy with Clementine when I realized how badly I wanted to take the kids strawberry picking. The strawberry season was just about over at the time and there was no way anyone could convince my pregnant self to bend over, so I decided it could wait. Fast forward to last week when we went on the perfect 75 degree, overcast day.

We have been apple picking multiple times at the same orchard, Thierbach, about an hour away from us. But we’ve never done berry picking there. I was afraid Don would want to choose a farm closer to us instead of making the drive but I was pleasantly surprised that he wanted to go the same place. We have just loved our experience every time, so it makes the drive worth it.

Besides our family, there were maybe only one or two other small families there. We ended up having a huge section all to ourselves. We expected to spend quite a while picking strawberries, but when you have 5 kids picking at the same time, our box filled up pretty quickly. We ended up making up a few games for the kids (things like “who can find the biggest/smallest strawberry in 30 seconds”) just to spend more time there and make that 2 hour round trip drive worth it haha. Also, I may have gone on a picture overload.

I think out of everyone, Kingston enjoyed it the most. I wish I knew how many strawberries that kid ate. Every time I saw him, he was stuffing another one in his mouth. His face and hands were stained red.

We did have one certain child who just wanted to go back to sleep. He picked strawberries for a few minutes and spent the rest of the time wishing he was in bed. I had the nerve to wake him up at 8am that morning so we could get out the door by 9. Now he knows what it feels like haha (Says the mom of sweet baby, Clementine, who has not been a very good sleeper the past few nights.)

Speaking of Clem…

Did your heart just melt? Because mine did. There was a sweet woman who was picking berries close to us and asked if we wanted a family picture. I have laughed at it so many times because the kids look absolutely miserable. But besides Kai, they all really loved it. So we’ll continue on the quest for a normal family picture.

A few days before this, I had decided to try a braided crown on Evangeline to see if I could figure it out. I had tried before and failed but I was determined to do it this time. It was a sloppy success! She has asked a couple more times for the crown (and my guess is because I let her play games on my phone while I fix her hair and she has caught on that this hair style takes the longest, haha.) It’s nowhere near perfect but I was so proud to be able to pull off a decent braid! This was only my 2nd time so be kind and don’t judge 😉

 

We had such a fun time and I think it’ll be our new May tradition! And I think next year I’ll make sure I’m not on Whole 30 when we go because it’s pure torture not to be eating all kinds of strawberry desserts right now. I hope you’re having a good week!

(p.s. Don has been making short little “micro-vlogs” for his instagram stories and is compiling them for YouTube videos. There’s a short snippet from strawberry picking in this video 🙂 )