Thursday, March 20, 2014

{Little Sign} Class 13 & 14 Review

Oklahoma was fantastic, and I even got to squeeze in a few days in Colorado with my best friend, Shannon!  The bummer is that I've been out for a week, sick. :(  So since I won't make it to class tomorrow, here are some ideas to keep up with your signing!  

Class #13: Friends & Feelings - FRIEND, PLAY, SHARE, NICE, FEEL, HAPPY, LAUGH, SAD, CRY
*Note - all of these signs can be found at
(with the exception of BIG and SMALL, which are shown if you watch "Opposites" carefully on the DVD) 

SING & Sign:
*Start by playing the "Baby Signing Time Theme," from the Vol. 4 CD.
*Sing and sign along, and have fun interacting with your little one.  
*Try holding their arms and helping them sign BABY if they're willing. (Remember, Ellie fussed if I tried to guide her hands--then as she got older she asked me to help her fingers sign "H" and other things.  So you never know!) :)

READ & Sign:
*Read the book "WillYou Be My Friend?" by Baby Signing Time, while signing the words you know. 
(Use the cheat sheet at the back to help brush up on any you may have forgotten!)  
*Talk about the pictures and point to different things on the pages.
*Have some toys around to play with to help demonstrate playing and sharing.  After reading, do some free play.  Try signing things like SHARE, PLAY, NICE, and THANK YOU
*You can also bring out a stuffed animal and practice petting it NICELY.

WATCH & Sign:
*Show "Can You Feel It" to your little one from the Baby Signing Time DVD Vol. 4 "Let's Be Friends." (view the Preview tab to see part of this song in the link.)
*Imitate the emotions during the song (exaggerate and emphasize).  
*Talk about the babies on the screen.  "Ohhh, is she CRYING?  She feels SAD...  Look, now she's HAPPY!"  or "Look at them LAUGHING!  Can you LAUGH?" *tickle tickle*

SING & Sign:
*Play the song, "Opposites," from the Vol. 4 CD.
*Collect some hot (warm), cold, dirty, and clean items to interact with during the song.  Some ideas:
Hot: microwave a sock filled with rice
Cold: teething toy from the fridge
Dirty: puréed baby food
Clean: baby wipes
*Sign the word as you're playing with the item, and encourage little one to experience it as well.  ("See, touch it, what does it feel like?  Is it COLD?  Brrrr, COLD!")

1) PHOTO BOOK - Take a picture of little one smiling, and another one of him pouting or crying. :(  Add this to your My Little Sign's photo book.  You could even do a messy picture (after eating?) and a clean one (after bath).
(You can find inexpensive 4x6 picture books at Target or the dollar store.  More ideas to add: pictures of little one doing activities--eating, playing, taking a bath, or getting a diaper changed; pictures of family members--mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, or even the family pet; pictures of baby holding/wearing/playing with a hat, shoes, book, ball, or blanket; and pictures playing outside with bubbles, in the grass, near a tree, or with flowers.) 

2) DIRTY & CLEAN - Make a sign for the dishwasher to show the opposites CLEAN and DIRTY
For CLEAN, trace little one's hand on cardstock.  For DIRTY, dip the hand in paint or brush glue on the hand, and after pressing the handprint on the cardstock, sprinkle sand/flax seed/glitter, or anything else messy.  Use a magnet below the appropriate hand to show the status of the dishwasher!  (You may want to laminate the paper or put it in a page protector to keep it safe!

3) BIG & SMALL - Trace your hand on black construction paper and cut it out.  Then brush white paint on to little one's hand and place it on the palm on the construction paper.  Such a cute contrast of big and small--and dark and light!

Now think of 3 signs that you're going to practice frequently this week!  My three will be: SHARE, HOT, and YES.  Feel free to comment below with your three!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Finished Week 2, & Calling It

After I started the Whole30 I read on their site that you should carefully plan WHEN you're going to do it.  Consider what's on the calendar, etc.  I'd been struggling because during my 30 days was going to be my 28th birthday and a 4-day vacation in Oklahoma to be in a dear friend's wedding!  I made it through my birthday fine.  Self-control and staying motivated and all that. :)

But with this vacation--I'd really like to enjoy it.  I realized I'd be stressing and having to put a lot of time into making Whole30-approved food (and there's never enough time when getting together with close friends as it is!!).

So with that in mind, I've given myself permission to call it.

I went halfway--15 days--and am really thankful for what I've learned and gotten out of it.  Will share sometime next week most likely!

I stepped on the scale today (did I mention how much I loved the Whole30 rule of putting your scale away and not looking at it the whole time??  So great for not focusing on each pound but on getting healthier and feeling better.  I was definitely noticing a difference in clothing fit, and my stomach slimming especially.

Here's a quick look after 2 weeks:

I tried to keep things as much the same as possible (no flexing, no makeup, wet hair, lol. and now I know my mirror needs cleaning!).  Except this time I did a selfie instead of the husband taking it--so maybe it's a different angle?  Either way--I am excited to say I lost 7 pounds and am feeling good!

I'm still going to eat well as much as possible while on vacation, but I definitely plan on having a glass of wine at our girls' night and enjoying some wedding cake. :)  Ohhhhh and a dinner roll.... oooh, and a bagel.... mmmm and a sourdough or French bread sandwich!  Oh bread, how I've missed you the most.

While I'm talking about the previously taboo food, this part of the Whole30 website is helpful to read at the end of your Whole30 (or in my case, my Whole15 hehe)--it talks about reintroduction and life after the Whole30.

So there we go.  Will I do another Whole30 all the way through?  Probably.  In the meantime I'm excited to try certain Paleo dishes that weren't allowed on the Whole30, and am going to keep packing my diet with protein, veggies, and fruits.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go brew some coffee to drink WITH creamer in it. ;)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 1 of Whole30

I've officially made it through my first week on the Whole30 challenge!  I'm on Day 8, and I'd say it's going pretty well.  I'm looking forward to sharing more specifics about what I've been eating, etc. soon, but for now here are three thoughts...

First, I thought I would have a much easier time eating veggies.  I love spaghetti squash...when it's in an ultra-cheesey casserole.  I love munching on mushrooms, carrots, snap peas, and slices of red, orange, and yellow bell peppers... when they're dunked in Ranch dressing or hummus.  I love mashed sweet potatoes or yams... when slathered in butter and milk.  I love steamed broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower...  when oozing with butter.  You get the picture.  Eating the veggies by themselves?  It's just different.

But I think I know how to fix that.  1) Spices... Such as.... Lots of sea salt (yum).  Cinnamon (like on butternut squash). And Garlic powder.  Spices are my best friend in making my latest meals tastier.

And 2) Make my own sauces.  Cauliflower hummus.  Guacamole.  Creamy Italian dressing.  A lot of dips and dressings I've found (on Pinterest) start with a homemade mayo base--which I made for the second time in my life and this time it turned out much better (definitely not Best Foods status though).

Second, it takes way more time than I realized.  If you're wanting to do the Whole30, make sure it's not during a busy month.  Most likely I'm going to have to choose to do a Whole16 this time around because of things coming up this month and not realizing how much time and prep this takes.  Everything takes longer--planning meals cause they're all new recipes with many new ingredients, buying the food cause you're reading basically every label (which is also a good thing!), and cooking, because there are so many more things to make from scratch or roast for an hour ahead of time or chill or marinate, etc, and they're new recipes that you have to read through and stop and figure out.

I've seen some helpful blogs about buying and prepping a lot of the food for the week on Sunday, so that's one way to tackle it.  I was anticipating eating dinners as leftovers for lunch the next day as a time saver, but I've had some flops for dinners that I just can't stomach eating as leftovers.

And third (this is a positive one!), I've been so grateful for how it's forced me to be INTENTIONAL about what I'm putting in my body.  It is a radical game changer.  I love learning to cook with new foods (coconut milk, butternut squash, almond butter, coconut aminos, new spices, etc.), trying out new stores (Whole Foods and Sprouts), and learning to make new things (zucchini noodles for fritters, homemade mayo, etc.).  I've also let myself spend money on plenty of fruits and veggies and am actually eating them up quickly (before they die in my veggie drawer!).  Before I would mostly just feed them to my child cause they're expensive, but Mom and Dad deserve healthy food, too! :)

And gone are the days of licking my daughter's yogurt lid before tossing it in the trash, or eating left over bites of her sandwich, or even munching on cheese as I'm grating it.  I have to be SO focused and self-controlled as I realize just how many things had become habitual.

I'm learning and growing and being stretched SO much already.  And I'm excited to discover more yummy food and keep making healthy choices this week.

I'd say making it 8 days has been a pretty good birthday gift to myself. :)
Chocolate Coconut Chew LaraBar to celebrate my 28th :)
P.S. Follow me on Instagram @bethanyjanae and check out my Whole30 Pinterest board to see the resources and recipes that have been helpful to me!