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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, Whole 30

Life Lately and Whole 30 Update

Hi!! I’m back to bore you with my Whole 30 update and a little bit of what’s been going on with us lately. If you’re tempted to already click out of this post, don’t worry–I’m not doing a day-by-day update this time. That was not exciting for anyone when I recapped week one. But I will give a brief update for anyone interested.

So when I checked in last time, I didn’t feel like I could form a proper opinion about Whole 30, negative or positive. Then week 2 started. On day 10, we ran out of apples so Don quit Whole 30. I like to tease him about it. But really, the apple incident was just the final straw to his list of complaints. He was losing weight (which makes me want to roll my eyes so hard) and didn’t have the energy he needed to work every day. He was pretty much falling asleep any time he wasn’t at work. So he gave up, weighed himself, and saw that he was 5 pounds lighter than when he started. And he wasn’t wanting to lose weight in the first place. He ate a bowl of cereal and I’m serious, his mood completely changed. And I felt a lot less stress when I wasn’t worried about someone else haha.

Then after my husband (who wasn’t even TRYING to lose weight) quit, I started feeling like I was GAINING weight. WHAT?! I was craving all kinds of junk food–like a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s *gag* (My friend, Maggi, even asked if I was pregnant because of those two complaints. That caused big laughs. Big, big laughs. Nope, not pregnant.) This was actually another point that I wanted to quit. I felt like it was doing the opposite of what I wanted it to do. What is the point of doing it if I’m going to feel worse than when I started? But since it looked like these were pretty typical symptoms at this point in W30, I stuck with it. And I’m glad I did. Because after a few days, I started feeling a little better and have since then found my groove.

One of the big reasons I wanted to do Whole 30 was to venture out and try new foods. While I’m definitely not trying anything adventurous, I have found a few new things that I like. And I’ve also really grown to love things that weren’t that great to me in the beginning. I used to really despise sweet potatoes but I tried dicing one up with a little bit of cinnamon and cooking it in the skillet and now I officially love them. Actually, my absolute favorite meal right now is pulled pork over diced sweet potatoes (with lots of hot sauce.) I seriously crave it all day long. I’m also really loving almond butter mixed with cinnamon. It tastes amazing with sweet plantain chips or honeycrisp apples. And that ketchup that was just okay when I first tried it—now I think it tastes pretty good!

Now I’m on day 20 and feeling excited that I’m in the last stretch. I’m not really sick of the foods yet but I’m excited to be done so I can check the scale.  I still don’t feel any major change in my body though. So I don’t have high expectations. Anyway, I think I’ve bored you enough with my ramblings about my Whole 30 experience.

So on to what else has been going on with us lately. We’ve been gearing up for summer and trying to come up with some kind of summer bucket list. Every time the ice cream truck passes our house (and they do it ever so slowly because they know our house is the prime spot for potential buyers–little do they know we are cheap thrifty with our money,) the kids will beg to try ice cream from them “just one time.” So the plan is to let them try it just once. Although I think we’d be better off going to the store and buying a whole pack for a fraction of the cost and just drive up and down the street in our Suburban, playing creepy children’s music loudly and selling to them. For some reason, I don’t think they’d find it nearly as exciting.

A little funny story about Desmond– the other day Liam and I came up from the basement after starting the laundry to find that Desmond wasn’t in sight anymore. I figured he had run upstairs with the other kids to play but then I heard him starting to cry in the kitchen. I walked in there and thought his cries sounded weird–maybe a little muffled? So I checked the pantry to see if his sister trapped him in there (wouldn’t be the first time.) He wasn’t in there. Liam and I kept hearing his cries but couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. We started checking all of the cabinets and I started feeling like he was a ghost or something because I couldn’t find him anywhere. Then it sounded like his cries were actually coming from outside our house so I peeked out the window–I didn’t see him at first but heard the cries again to see him on the ground, right outside the window. The poor kid managed to fall out our kitchen window, on to a pokey plant, and was too scared to move. Our windows are low to the floor in our kitchen but it was still about a 3 foot drop to the ground. I’m not sure how it happened without Don noticing (he was in the living room the whole time and didn’t even notice the crying.) He must have just been pushing against the screen when it broke. Poor kid. Thankfully he seemed more scared than hurt. **Side note: he is the hardest child to photograph right now. He is always distracted by birds or anything that moves.

We are still a few months out from our family vacation but we’ve been counting down since the end of last year and I cannot wait! I’m a little (okay, very very) nervous about the 2 days of driving that it will take to get there. And then even worse, the drive back–when I seriously contemplate having Don drop me off on the side of a road so I can just walk home. But we will be vacationing with my two very best friends so I am so excited. Hopefully Clementine and Desmond love the beach as much as the rest of their family does.

The milk bath that always appear so easy when a professional photographer is doing it. Not as easy as it looks. I did get a couple of cuter shots on my phone but I wanted to share this one too. Note to self–don’t try using a 50mm lens if ever attempted again.

I had the opportunity to do a takeover on The Bump’s Instagram this past Friday. It was a little scary to share my story with such a huge audience but there were so many encouraging comments and messages. A lot of people came forward and thanked me for sharing about my miscarriages because they were either currently or recently going through one themselves. So I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share. If you want to read, you can follow the link and scroll back until you see our family picture. There are 8 photos/captions that I shared that day.

Today we’re going to check out a couple new parks/splash pads and hoping that they aren’t too crowded. If you have any fun (free/cheap) summer things to add to our bucket list, please share!! And have a great week!