Summer time picnic!

Why does summer always fly by so fast? I felt like it was just yesterday when I was planning all these fantastic and fun activities for the kids, and then BAM, school starts, we are back to our super structured routines, and that doesn't leave time for much fun. Because Caspian has started school (he's in the same toddler montessori program as Valentino now), he has to now skip his morning nap that he is used to taking around 11am. This means that we have to start getting ready for bed now every night at 6pm so the kids can be in bed by 7! Before having kids I would think parents who put their kids to bed this early were nuts. I totally get it now. 

I wish the summer lasted a little longer and we had more time to go on family outings. The kids still had a really good time, doing things like attending birthday parties, going to the neighborhood playground and pool, and family picnics!

Now time to plan for fall activities! 

Here are some pics of a family picnic we had on father's day. This was the first time we realized that Valentino is afraid of balloons. He thinks they are alive and gets scared when they fly up. He is hilarious. 

You can also check out the kids's blog entries on their summer:

http://www.valentinorahmanian.com/valentinorahmanian.com/food-prep-and-eating/

http://www.valentinorahmanian.com/valentinorahmanian.com/summer-school/

http://www.valentinorahmanian.com/valentinorahmanian.com/water-days-and-birthdays/

http://www.valentinorahmanian.com/valentinorahmanian.com/summer-2016/

http://www.valentinorahmanian.com/valentinorahmanian.com/making-messes/

http://www.caspianrahmanian.com/caspianrahmanian.com/summer-time/

summer toddler picnic ideas

summer picnic spread ideas

summer toddler picnic ideas picnic table spread

summer picnic ideas table spread

valentino rahmanian toddler picnic ideas

Our Strange Toddler Phases

Toddlers and their phases! They are so funny. Six months back, we were having some new issues with Valentino. He would do the craziest things, like take his poopy diaper off during nap time, wave it in the air and then stomp on it. Or during play time he would take all his clothes off, throw poop around his room (yes, physically throw it), then go hide in his closet because he knew he had done wrong. Then we would go into his room and see him peeking at us butt naked from inside his closet. He would then giggle and run away from me while I would chase him and then dump him in the bath for an intense scrubbing session. 

Another funny Valentino phase? Emptying his closet. He would empty his closet by taking all his clothes out of his drawers one by one, and thowing them all over his room.

toddler phases

Then when I tell him off he quickly runs and cleans it up, mixing his dirty clothes in with the clean ones. At least he tries :) 

The drawers in his closet are the IKEA malm brand. Before we heard anything about the recall, we had a set of these drawers in each kids bedroom, and we didn't attach them to the wall. I had put the drawers in their closets, and then I would tie the closets shut with a ribbon. 

Then one day Valentino figured out how to get through the ribbon, open his closet and he tipped over his drawers. That could have killed him, as it did to a few toddlers apparently, hence the recall. We immediately removed the drawers from his room and put them right outside his room, where he again, made it tip over. 

ikea malm drawers tipping over falling over recall

So then we moved all the Ikea malm drawers into our own bedroom until we sent them back and got a refund. They came the other day and removed them all, and we will get a full refund too. It was super convenient, I didn't need to find the receipt (as we bought them 5 years ago) and I didn't need to dismantle them either.  

So about 6 months ago we had some issues with Caspian. He would constantly chew his wooden furniture, and it would drive me insane. I mean, just look at this:

baby eating crib wood

So I had to get creative........

baby chewing crib rails

baby crib rail protector

I tried wrapping blankets around the crib rail, I tried sheets, I tried those gummy protectors, I tried the fabric crib rail guard and wrapped ribbons with double knots all around it. All my attempts were a fail, until one day daddy came and wrapped an old onesie around the fabric crib rail guard. A ONESIE! and it worked wonders. Who knew? 

solutions for chewing crib wood

Thankfully all these odd behaviors were just a phase. We changed Valentino's diapers to a more comfortable one and he doesn't take them off anymore, and Caspian doesn't chew wood anymore. Valentino has become such a little gentleman now. Caspian not so much, but I love them both the same. Time flies so fast, I wish I could just press pause and keep them little and cute forever.

 

My Sister's Birthday

Two weekends ago we celebrated my sister, Sara's, 22nd birthday. She also recently graduated with a bachelor degree in marketing. I am bummed that we couldn't make the graduation. Going anywhere with two toddlers gives me hives. Nevertheless, I am so proud of her and love her so much, and so glad that we got to celebrate her birthday with her. Here are some pics, enjoy!

brunch pictures catering

poached pears red wine

brunch pictures

pug

brunch tablescape

One in a Million

He taught me to take risks and live life spontaneously. He took me traveling and introduced me to the finer things in life. He held my hand and took care of me through the worst nine months of pregnancy in my life, two times over! He was there making baby related runs in the middle of the night and driving newborns in circles at 2am just so they can fall asleep. He always puts his family first, above anyone and anything else- so much so that if anyone messes with his family he will shred them to pieces. He is extremely disciplined. He works so hard for his family, and then hands over all the money for me to manage. He shares everything. He doesn't believe in "mine" or "your's" He says it's just all mine (as in Leila's)  :-)  He is super involved with the kids. He can tell you when their next doctor's appointment is and is in charge of bathing them nightly. He services the kids weekend mornings so that I can sleep in and take a long shower. He asks me everything, whether it's buying a cup of coffee, going out somewhere, or when faced with a serious decision. He always runs everything by me first, and me the same. He is on the exact same page on parenting as I am. He solves any and every problem. I don't ever have to worry about a thing- because he's got it. He's a fantastic planner. He's structured, he gets $h!t done and makes it happen. I can think of a million more things that I love about him, but what I love most is watching him be the best father ever to our children. Love you hubby, you are truly one in a million. Happy Father's Day! 

father's day ideas

father's day ideas toddlers

How to maintain a sugar-free Ketogenic Lifestyle

Two days ago I have (again) started the Ketogenic diet, after a three week break that left the entire family sick. During that break, me and hubby ate as much carbs as we wanted. 

I had forgotten how wonderful eating carbs was. I would wake up in the morning excited to eat, and I would look forward to breakfast lunch and dinner. Also, how convenient is eating a carb? SO CONVENIENT! I didn't have to constantly cook, meal plan, or wash tons of dishes. Leftover carbs taste so much better than leftover meat and veggies. Eating carbs just saves so much time and energy. 

The downside? My loose jeans have started to feel snug. Really snug. Like, when I sit down it's uncomfortable kind of smug. I HATE THAT FEELING- when you sit down and your fat is bulging out of your pants. Worst feeling ever. God I love carbs but I can't stand the weight gain. Why can't eating carbs make me skinny? Why can't I have my cake and eat it too? Life is so unfair!

Ok enough whining like a little b!tch. I need to get it together again. The first few weeks of cutting carbs are the hardest. I go crazy as my cravings get worse and worse. Then I try to distract myself with other addictions, like binge watching Netflix and HBO series. Game of thrones, WHY are you on only once a week? IM DYING HERE.  

So here are some tips that help me stick to this diet long term:

  • MEAL PLANNING: Every Friday I meal plan for the week ahead. I go through the fridge, throw away anything that's gone bad and make a list of what we need. Then I'll send hubby to the grocery store on the weekend, and on Sunday I will spend about two hours prepping meals. During these two hours I will cook 4 days worth of taco beef, separate them into 4 portions, and then put them in the freezer. I will also season one or two portions of salmon and put those in the fridge as well. I'll cut up and wash a bunch of lettuce for salads. Then during the week I'll just put a portion of food out to defrost a few hours before dinner and heat it up in the microwave. This saves me A TON of time, as there is no way I can prepare dinner on a weeknight while feeding and bathing the kids and getting them to bed by 8. 

ketogenic meal planning ideas ketogenic food ideas

  • FINDING KETO FRIENDLY SNACKS: Being stocked up on snacks helps me the most during the first two months of the Ketogenic diet. When my carb cravings are at an all time high, these are what save me.
    • STRING CHEESE. I love them because of the packaging. I will just grab one as a fast on the go breakfast or quick snack.
    • MACADAMIA NUTS: They are by far the best kinds of nuts for the Ketogenic diet. We get them bulk from Costco. Minimal grams of carbs, and such a great fat content. 
    • ketogenic nuts macadamia
    • Sugar free jello: Whenever I crave fruit I have some of these. I top it off with sugar free heavy whipped cream and it's just delicious.
    • keto friendly snacks ketogenic snacks
    • WHISPS: We recently discovered these at Costco. They are basically parmesan chips, and have hardly any carbs. I will take these and dip them in heavy sour cream for a snack that resembles chips and dip, Keto style!
    • keto friendly chips and dip ketogenic diet ketosis

ketogenic meals ketogenic ideas diet food

What also keeps me able to continue this diet are the very rare sweet stuff that have very little carbs. 

Every day I look forward to my Keto coffee, made with heavy whipped cream sweetened with Starbucks sugar free syrups. These have ZERO carbs! 

starbucks sugar free syrups ketogenic diet

ketogenic coffee keto coffee

I also love making meatballs or hamburgers, and dipping them into this amazing ketchup that is low carb but tastes just the same as regular ketchup:

ketogenic ketchup low carb

So a lot of people are confused by this diet. They look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them that I can eat juicy cheeseburgers with no bun but I can't eat carrots. Or when I say I can have heavy sour cream but no milk, and if I eat an apple my body will be kicked out of ketosis and I will gain 5 pounds. 

In order to stick to this diet, you have to understand it. You have to know what types of food are safe to eat and what types are loaded with carbs. You have to eat as much fat as you can stomach. The more fat you eat, the more fat you burn. Take everything the Standard American Diet has taught you and throw it out of the window. Don't get anxious about heart disease and high cholesterol. Our bodies were designed to have cholesterol move freely through our arteries. Eating carbs is what causes the inflammation that causes arteries to get clogged.  

The best thing about this diet is that you do not go hungry. You are encouraged to eat fat. Fat doesn't make you fat, it keeps you full. However, if you eat carbs AND fat then your body burns the carbs and then stores the fat, and that is dangerous. Then you get obesity, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic diseases.