My Favorite Smoothies

My Favorite Smoothies

I’m officially eight months along! I can see a light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve decided to list some of the smoothies I’ve been drinking throughout my pregnancy.

During the first trimester, I had the worst morning all-day sickness; just the sight of food made me queasy. I’ve never been a breakfast person (or at least not a breakfast in the morning kind of person, but if you serve it to me for dinner I’ll love you forever!) but I was so hungry, and fists full of cheerios were not cutting it. Since I could drink gallons upon gallons of water, I assumed I could withstand a smoothie or two; Thank God I was right! These have seriously been a life saver for me.

My everyday smoothie(This is my go to smoothie, for when I need a pick me up and am feeling super lazy.):

Ingredients:

1 cup peaches (I use canned and add the juice)

½ cup yogurt

1 tbs chia seeds

2 tbs oats

Handful of ice cubes to your desire

Honey to taste (optional)

Directions:

Blend everything together until it’s the consistency you like, and you’re done!

Peanut butter apple goodness (when I need something sweet!):

Ingredients:

1 apple

½ cup of yogurt

2 tbs of peanut butter (I’m using this salted caramel kind right now)

1 banana (optional)

Directions:

I suggest after slicing and peeling your apple, you throw it in your food processor unless you have a good blender; mines a single serve smoothie blender I got for cheap so the blade and motor are pretty weak.

Once your apples are nice and mushy throw them in with your yogurt and peanut butter (and banana if you wish). Super creamy and just the right amount of sweet to curb cravings!

Banana smoothie (really helps with muscle cramps):

Ingredients:

2 bananas (I really like bananas!)

½ cup yogurt

1 tsp honey

1 tbs oats

Handful of ice cubes

Directions:

Blend all together and enjoy!

 

I hope to later share some “boobie smoothies” once my little one arrives.

Until next time!

-Shayna

Growing Up Homeschooled

Growing Up Homeschooled

“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education… they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.” ~Winston Churchill

“You will not reap the fruit of individuality in your children if you clone their education.”

― Marilyn Howshall

Homeschooling has always been a touchy subject with me. At points in my life I hated being homeschooled; mainly because so many people just assumed since I was homeschooled I was screwed up, or was going to be screwed up, and then partially just going through what every young person goes through and just plain hating school.

I will admit, a lot of people have given homeschoolers a bad rap, being that some parents use homeschooling as a way to keep better control over what their child learns or doesn’t learn, or not even teaching their children in the first place. Luckily, I didn’t have that experience with my schooling.

I did, however, attend one year of public schooling when I was about six, but didn’t get to finish the school year because I had to be pulled out due to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (or ADEM for short; something I would like to talk about later on) and had to spend a good amount of time at the doctors. Yes, it was kindergarten, but I still count it.

Before my parents had enrolled me, I had a passionate hunger for knowledge. I loved math and history, but art and English were my favorite. I was well above my peers when I entered public school. Everything my friends were learning I had already mastered, so I spent more time playing rather than “learning”. Soon my teacher started to get frustrated with me because even though I knew all the answers to my math questions, and could explain how I got them, they weren’t the way I was supposed to do them; she even got frustrated with how I wrote my eights!

My parents started to notice that I had picked up some bad habits, like baby talk, lying, tantrums, etc. My once greediness for knowledge had been replaced with a bitter hatred, so much so I didn’t want to sit still and would throw fits.

After being released from the hospital we started to move into our new house, which was about forty-five minutes away from my school, so obviously, I got pulled out for that. So, from first grade until graduation, I was homeschooled

The good, bad, and frustrating.

Not very many people were supportive of my sister and I being homeschooled; I even had people tell me that someone was going to come and take me away from my parents because they weren’t putting me in school! Again, a lot of people do just pull their kid out and neglect to actually give them an education, or they do give them a great education and completely neglect the social maturity of their growing children.

But that was not the case for my experience. At the time, we lived close to a city that had an abundance of homeschool groups and programs, which we took advantage of when we could.

The good:

I’ve always been independent, to say the least. So when I entered a learning environment that didn’t have a rigid schedule or lots of pressure, I took advantage of it. There was never an end to my school days, even after my mom had cleared the table and let me run off to play, I would still be trying to learn everything I could. There were so many questions my little mind had, and an abundance of books and people that attempted to answer all my questions.

I believe because of this, it’s helped me as an adult now, and helped me to be more independent and self-motivated in life. I don’t need to be reminded to do things and am more motivated in certain aspects of my life compared to some of my peers.

The bad:

Because in most homeschooling situations, the student works at their own pace, either getting ahead of children their own age or working at a slower pace, depending on the learning abilities of the child. That being said, if you have a lot of non-homeschooling friends -like I did- you have trouble relating or discussing school subjects with them. Most of the time I’d be a math grade behind, and ahead in English or history, while my friends were all learning something I’d already learned.

Another negative aspect of homeschooling is if you don’t live in a community with a co-op, then you really have to work at going out and making friends and socializing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I was socially stunted in any way, but you do have to put forth a different kind of effort than if you just met someone at school.

My parents were very conscientious when it came to this, and if I had an interest in any activity they wouldn’t deny me the chance to try it out. From the moment I started being homeschooled I was involved in t-ball and soccer. I was terrible at both of them, but I continued, not because of a competitive need to be the best or win, but just to be with children my own age. From then on I was playing either soccer, basketball, attending youth group, extracurricular classes, biking groups, and archery.

The frustrating:

People are pretty frustrating no matter what circumstance you’re going through. I know most of the stupid things people said to me were because they were confused by my family choosing to raise me in a way that wasn’t considered the social norm. Going through elementary school I didn’t have too much trouble with having to defend my intelligence or life choices, most people assumed once I hit middle or high school I would naturally attend public school. Here are some of my favorite comments, and by favorite I mean the most annoying thing I had to deal with during my last few years of schooling.

“You… homeschool? So could you just not keep up with normal kids?”

“Oh, is it because your parents needed help on the farm?” (We lived in the middle of the suburbs, why people kept thinking we had a farm was beyond me.)

“But how do you make friends?” (Ah, yes the ever popular belief that school is a social activity rather than a means of education.)

*whispers* “Is it because you have a mental problem?”

“I sure hope someone in your family has a good education or else you’re screwed.”

“Wow! You’re actually pretty normal for a homeschooler!” (Normally I followed this response with a maniacal laugh and a few twitches, just to mess with them.)

I’ve been out of school for about four years now, and I still get these questions, some out of genuine curiosity, others just plain rude and uneducated.

I know a lot of people have different experiences with homeschooling; needing to be homeschooled for personal reasons such as a mental health issue, bullying, or difficulty keeping up with the rest of the class) and I totally understand that, but this is my personal experience.

There were times growing up where I hated being homeschooled, because of being bullied or just getting frustrating with feeling different than the other people my age. Looking back, though, I don’t regret it. It’s made me different, stronger, more independent and creative; I was given a chance to pursue every possibility of myself.

I’ve met some amazingly unique people that were homeschooled, and some not so amazing homeschoolers, but that’s how it is with people, everyone’s different and quirky in their own way and I think that’s amazing.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you!

~Shayna

Pregnancy Q&A

Pregnancy Q&A

30weeks

Q: How far along are you?

A: 30 weeks today!

Q: When is your due date?

A: March 20th 2017

Q: What was the process like for you getting pregnant?

A: Well, we had a lot of practice… (haha) we honestly weren’t trying. We were talking about having kids, we even talked about “starting to try” in October! But obviously, God had other plans.

Q: How/when did you and your husband find out?

A: For the first two weeks of July I felt like I was coming down with the flu. My husband and I went to the beach for the fourth of July and I was MISERABLE. I was car sick (I rarely ever get carsick), extremely fatigued, and I was thirsty all the time. I had been having some other health issues at the time so we just blew it off as my body just hating me.

A week or so went by and I kept getting worse. Everything made me queasy, I was light headed and tired, all of the time. I was literally sleeping around 12 hrs a day; I’d get home from work, eat something light, and knock out until I had work the next day.

Finally, I went up to my husband at work (we work together) and told him he had to pick up a pregnancy test on his way home. I distinctly remember him rolling his eyes and telling me I was over reacting. You see, since we’ve been married I’ve had random moments where I was positive I was pregnant, so I would frequently demand that he would go and pick me up a test. After a while, he just ended up going to the dollar store (hey, don’t knock it! I’ve had great luck with them!) and bought me a handful of tests. Anyway, he came home with a bag full of pregnancy tests.

I’ve taken pregnancy tests a thousand times, so I had that routine down pat. I (being impatient) peeked at the test as soon as I finished. Sure enough, there were two bright pink lines! I waited the three minutes, carefully watching for the positive line to disappear or fade, but it stayed. I ran out of the bathroom screaming at my husband, as I chugged more water so I could take enough test.

He was so happy! He hugged and kissed me, even talked to my belly. I, on the other hand, was mentally freaking out about how everything was going to change. I may, or may not have fallen over.

I was about four weeks pregnant.

Q: Do you like being pregnant?

A: Some days; it’s a wonderful feeling to have a little life move and grow inside of you. But for the most part, I feel like crap. I’m tired all of the time, food doesn’t sound good, and none of my clothes fit. There are a few great moments, like when I have an ultrasound, feel him kick, or hear his heartbeat, but for the most part I just want to nap.

Q: Did you get any stretch marks?

Yes! In the weirdest spots too! I have a few on my hips (which I expected), but my main stretch marks are at the back of my knees. It’s the weirdest thing.

Q: What are some things about pregnancy you were never warned about?

You’ll drool, snore, and get leg cramps in the later part of pregnancy. You’ll have to reapply deodorant throughout the day, even if you aren’t doing anything, oh and pelvic pressure is the most annoying thing ever. Also, there’s this thing called a pregnancy tumor (google it!), which is pretty much a benign lump on your mouth that gets really angry and big if you brush or touch it. I’m told you have to have it removed after pregnancy or else it will keep coming back. I’ve had it about three times so far, they normally fall off when I rinse with salt-water and hydrogen peroxide, but they’ll come back if they’re not surgically removed.
Q: Biggest regret?

Probably the stupidest thing you can do during the first trimester is travel, right? Well add about 550 miles, two states, and three nights camping and you have yourself in for a not so fun time. I was around seven weeks pregnant when my husband and I took a trip to the redwood forest for our one year wedding anniversary. Before I found out I was pregnant, I had made campsite reservations and everything, so I didn’t see the point in canceling them. I agreed to drive half way there, because normally I don’t have a problem driving long distances, but about two hours into driving I got sick.

I was sweating even though I had the AC on high, and just the sight of the road moving made me want to throw up. On top of that, I had to pee, constantly, which kind of sucks when you’re driving through the middle of nowhere, or camping out in the woods where you have to walk a good distance to use the restroom. It was a beautiful trip, but I felt like dying the entire time.

Q: Have you had any weird cravings?

I crave ice… other than that everything I crave is normal.

Q: What’s your birth plan?

My original plan was to have a hospital birth, strictly for the privacy. But my mom used a midwife with my sister and I, and I loved the relaxed natural feel of a home birth, so during my 22nd week I switched to a midwife. Now don’t get me wrong, hospitals are great for some women, and I understand that in most circumstances that’s the only option because of health reasons. But I’ve had a fairly healthy pregnancy, and the baby’s healthy, so there was nothing really stopping me from going with a midwife.

Since I don’t have a tub, I’m going to birth at the midwife’s home. I’m not necessarily planning a water birth, but I would like to labor for as long as possible in the tub, and if it happens it happens, all I really care about is the baby coming out safe.

Hope you enjoyed!

~Shayna

My Top Five Favorite Books!

My Top Five Favorite Books!

Obviously, I love books, but sometimes it’s difficult for me to focus on stories when my head is swimming with other things (having pregnancy brain doesn’t help either). With that in mind, here’s a list of my top five favorite books that I can actually reread without getting bored or suddenly hating.

Fallen, by Lauren Kate:

“17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.”*

Yes, I’m aware that YA paranormal romance is overdone, and I really don’t care because this book is like my security blanket. It’s helped me through some not so fun times in high school, and whenever I need to de-stress, I can just easily sink into this little world and relax.

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater:

“For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.”

Honestly, I would read anything this woman writes. She’s my personal favorite and, if I ever truly grow up, I want to be like her. All of her books are wonderful, but this one is like a sweater just taken out of the dryer; toasty warm and cozy enough to comfort you into a nice little cat nap. That’s not to say it’s boring, but it kind of has that “coming home” feeling to me.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini:

“Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.”

Good book for those somewhat downer days when you need to be reminded you’re not the first person to be sad. Ned gives a witty and honest look at mental health, which always leaves me feeling a little less alone.  (And yes, the movie with Emma Robberts and Zach Galifianakis is pretty good too, if you haven’t already seen it)

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis:

“Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.”

I stumbled upon this book while looking for female authors that write sci-fi (because hey, girl power). This is Beth’s first published novel, and you honestly can’t tell. It has just the right amount of wanderlust, suspense, and page-turning mystery that makes it so that you have to stay up until the sun comes up to finish it. I probably read this book at least twice a year, sometimes I read the whole series, but this one is my favorite.

Wake, by Lisa Mcmann:

“For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can’t tell anybody about what she does — they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant….”

I honestly don’t know how I found this book, but I’m glad it found me.  It’s not overly flashes, and the characters aren’t your typical “woe-is-me” characters that are sadly pretty common in YA fiction nowadays. I swear every time I read this, it feels like I’m reading it for the first time.

Happy reading!

~Shayna

*All synopsises we’re pulled directly from the book covers or author websites.