Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dear 2012, be good to us.....

It's New Years Eve. Christmas has come and gone and that is always bitter sweet. It is such a wonderful time of year, but dang does it involve lots of work and clean up.

Of course it is all worth it for these two peanuts:

                                                    Reading with daddy on Christmas Eve
                                                      The loot on Christmas morning
                                              The Village Green all decorated for Christmas.                  


                                           Charlotte is proud that she can explore on her own.
And of course, Mama and her babies dreaming about Santa.

So we say goodbye to Christmas. We also said goodbye to our family who came to stay with us. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and it was fun to have a house full of craziness.

Now I have a few days to relax, even though it is oddly quiet around here.

Tonight we will have a New Years Eve pajama party with some close friends who have kiddos who are the same age as ours. It is perfect for us. We make lots of good food, let the kiddos play, and usually don't make it even close to midnight. It is nice to hang out with people who get the fact that having little ones is not conducive to staying up late and partying.

In the spirit of New Year, I need to make my resolutions.

Here is my resolution from last year: NYE

We did pretty damn good with this one until about 2 months ago. As the pregnancy exhaustion set in, clean eating suddenly became less clean, I was easily tempted by Dunkin Donuts trips and pizza takeout sounded so easy and tempting.

This vacation is helping me get back on track and is a great time for resolutions. I do feel like I should give myself positive credit. I started this blog in December of last year, 6 months post baby and 154 lbs. I weigh less than that now at 21 weeks pregnant but more importantly I feel much better about how I am living my life. I still make exercise and eating healthy and priority and although staying healthy while pregnant is not easy, and I have my slip ups, I do feel like I have made some very positive, permanent changes in my life.

I am looking forward to going back to using myfitnesspal.com, working out harder and getting back to my best shape (135 lbs and muscular) after the baby is born.

So with all of that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2012:

No dunkin donuts coffee (unless we are on a road trip or someone brings it to me) and using the Kuerig instead.

Try more clean eating recipes

Get the kids to eat healthier and make better food choices on their own

Spend more time on simple pleasures that don't cost (knitting, long walks, etc)

Flirt with my husband more: It is really hard to keep the spark alive when you have a honeymoon baby followed by two more babies, all in a less than 5 years. As our 5 year anniversary approaches and I am finally done with pregnancy and eventually nursing, we need to work on that spark.

Go back to following New Rules of Lifting for Women

Start working out (slowly) 2-3 weeks after baby as long as I have a normal delivery.

Start to really accept and enjoy where I live and stop investigating moves to other places

Get to the beach on almost every nice day this summer, even though it will be next to impossible with 3 kids

Have a better garden with more variety

Get more chicks and merge them successfully with the rest of the flock

Actually finish some knitting projects.

Happy New Year. I wish you all great joy, health and lots of love in 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vacation, Vacation, Vacaaaaation

Yes, 10 days off from work.
10 days home with my babies, part of which will be spent hanging with the sweetest niece and nephew ever (who are coming to stay with us for 5 days) and my brother and sister in-law.

There is nothing in this world as special as watching your kids experience the magic that is Christmas morning. I am so psyched.

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning and cooking and baking. Our Christmas plans are always the same. We go to church at 4pm, have my in laws over for dinner and dessert after church, have a birthday party and sing happy birthday to baby Jesus, watch a Christmas movie, read "twas the night before Christmas to the kids and get them in bed and then set up the magic for the morning. Christmas morning we wake up, wait for the kids, open presents, my in laws come over for an early breakfast (usually overnight french toast, bacon and fruit salad. We get dressed and head out to my mom's (a two hour drive). The kids open gifts there, we have snacks and then we head down the street to my grandmothers house, where our extended family gathers for a party/ dinner/ lots of love, laughter and fun. Then we all head back home, exhausted, full, usually with a car load of presents.

It is of course a lot for two days, but as you all know, totally worth it. It certainly helps that it is followed by 8 days off from work.

So as so many people are this time of year, I am excited.

Things have been good around here. I finally got over a cold that seemed like it would never leave.
I have gone to the gym three mornings this week. I have had some serious crotch pain issues. I swear this pregnancy is so much harder on my body. Everything is happening so early this time. It just helps to remember that this is the last time. The gym does help to get me going. I am planning to go tomorrow and then beat the crowds at the grocery store when it opens.

My eating has been less than stellar. I feel like there has just been food everywhere lately. I have gained about 13 lbs so far. I am hoping that since today is my half way point (20 weeks) that I will only gain 15 more, putting me at a 30 lb weight gain...which seems to be the norm for me. It is so hard when you are hungry and exhausted all the time. When I cook I am careful to keep it healthy and clean, but there have been a lot of pizzas lately. Having a week off to reset will help, because I usually love to cook but don't love doing it when I am so damn tired. I tell ya, having a full time job and taking care of two toddlers is painfully tiring when you are pregnant.

Anyhow, I will leave you with 20 week belly pictures. I know how big I am for 20 weeks. No, it is not twins...I call it "third child in 4.5 year syndrome" I was not even close to this big with the other two at 20 weeks...but baby bumps are always fun, even if people don't believe you when you day how far along you are.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good news for a Saturday

Oh Saturday morning, how your meaning has changed so much in my life.

I remember the days, before my husband and I were married and looong before Liam blessed us with his presence, when we would spend half of Saturday in bed. We would watch TV, fall in and out of sleep, and try to get rid of hangovers from the Friday night we had spent with friends. I am glad we had that time in our lives.

Today is different, for obvious reasons...but I don't mind. I am tired, that's for sure but I am also fulfilled.

This week was a good one. Despite a pretty bad cold that is still gripping my chest and stuffing up my head, we had a week filled with happiness.

Tuesday was our ultrasound. After my husband and son both became determined to find out if our baby was in fact the boy they were so convinced it was, and after I started to have an OCD panic attack about not being ready and not having control over every aspect of my life (typical Caroline behavior) I totally caved and we decided to find out the sex of the baby. Although I will not have that big 40 week surprise, I don't really feel regret about this. Somehow I am at peace with the decision and am happy to be able to day dream about what my future will look like.

So, we were all pretty shocked when within 10 seconds of the wand hitting my tummy, we saw a pair of spread legs that clearly belonged to a baby girl. We had all felt so sure it was a little boy, that it took me a while to believe what I was seeing. Another healthy little baby girl, squirming all around for all of us to see. It was pretty special having Liam there with us. I think he felt good about being a big enough boy to come and it was a moment we will all remember for a lifetime.

Afterwards we picked up Charlotte and headed out to see Santa at the Bass Pro Shop. It was a great night with the family and it was fun to spend the car ride talking about our newest baby girl and what that will be like for all of us.

I certainly am happy that these two girls will have a big brother to protect them. I hope to stress to all of them that though they may not like each other all the time, that family always sticks together and stands up for each other.

For the first day or two after I found out I had a lot of joy, but also some sadness. Because this is our last time, I couldn't help but think I will never have another little boy. I kept picturing Liam when he was tiny and it left a little empty feeling in my heart. But I know I would have been just as sad to think of never having a little girl again.

Now that I have moved past that, I am embracing all that is wonderful about a family with a big brother and two baby girls. This holiday season has me imagining getting my girls dressed up in holiday dresses, taking them into Boston and bringing them to see The Nutcracker (something I have been dying to do for years, but have not had anyone to go with who would actually enjoy it).

So on this Saturday I am simply enjoying my kiddos, being reflective about how our family has changed so much over the past 6 years, and wondering about what the future will hold.

In typical family with young children style, tonight my hubby is going to a Christmas party alone. Sadly, I cannot go because we have no sitter and my cold is still pretty bad. But that's okay, because the sacrifices we have made have all been worth it and I get lots of rewards. So tonight I will put baby girl number one to bed, put on the fireplace and snuggle up to my big boy, who is going to be 4 soon and who is handling the idea of being a big brother quite well. He and I will eat some good food and watch a special movie together...because this phase will not last forever.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ahhh, the weekend..I love you so. Not that the weekend is all that relaxing, but it sure beats work.

This morning we were up at 6:30, which is sleeping in for me by a lot because I get up at
4:30 during the week. This was followed by a trip to dunks for a small peppermint/ mocha coffee. YUM.

Then the hubs went to work and the kids and I got ready and cleaned up the house.

We left here at 9 to head to the craft store. I was determined to make a wreath for out bare front door. My husband has started blacksmithing and made some beautiful hooks for our stocking..so I asked him to make me a wreath hook for the door. I will post some pics of our crafting tomorrow if he gets the hook up.

Liam was a terror in the craft store, so I was totally dreading going into Trader Joes...but I was already in town and really had to go. We all came out in one piece and made it home without too many meltdowns and a car full of the week's meals.

We are back home and I even got the wreath done. It looks pretty damn good. I cannot believe they try to sell these things for 40 bucks when you can make one for 8 bucks that looks even better.
Here's a picture. I know it will look better hanging but it gives you an idea:



Bought the natural wood form for $4.00, the fake berries for $1.00 and the silver pine cones for $3.00. I had the ribbon and used an industrial hot glue gun to get it all on. It will look good hanging on our green door. The traditional green wreath does not look good because of our door color.

Not sure what to do with the rest of the day. I am feeling lazy and it isn't so nice outside. Maybe some fort building and hide and seek.

Tonight I am making homemade wheat crust greek pizzas with mushroms, spinach, garlic, tomatoes feta and mozerella

I love staying home during the holidays. Everything is decorated and the house is warm and smells like pine. Makes me feel all festive.

Not much new otherwise. I am 18 weeks pregnant. I went to the gym 4 times last week and had a few good lifting sessions (or at least good for a tired preggo girl). I am taking this Tuesday off for our big anatomy scan ultrasound...but it isn't quite as exciting when you are not finding out the sex. After the ultrasound we are taking the kids to the Bass Pro Shop to see Santa...they always have the best Santa there.

'Tis the season. I am just trying to enjoy the kiddos and to not get too fat. (which was probably not helped by the box of Candy Cane Trader Jo Jo cookies I just bought).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bellies grow and grow


 

17 weeks. Time is flying by. Maternity clothes are all I wear now. Bigger than I was with kids 1 or 2 (they say that happens). Hoping my butt doesn't get any bigger...which is part of why I work out. Glad my boobs have grown. I will miss then when I am done nursing. Big ultrasound next week.Hope all is well. Still planning to keep the sex a suprise. The kids at school are sweet about pregnancy and it makes me love being a teacher. I have a ridiculous craving for sour cream and onion chips. I ate some. They weren't what I dreamed of. Will try to wear this shirt for all further bump shots. Gained about 10 lbs. Hoping that slows down, but not too worried. This is my last time at all of this. Bitter sweet.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I must stop eating

My eating was out of control the last few day. I am hungry all the time and I need to get my crap under control. As much as I would love to be a stay at home mom, I would most certainly have trouble keeping my self out of the fridge. I need a schedule to maintain my healthy eating patterns.

Today I made a major Trader Joes trip and scheduled my meal plan for the week. So if I stick to it and stop grazing, I will be good.

here's a brief outline for the week:
Tonight: large Greek salad with lots of veggies and almond slices
Tomorrow: Spinach and mozzarella stuffed turkey loaf over caper and lemon brown rice
Tuesday: Seafood stir fry with wheat lo-mein and broccoli
Wednesday- Turkey meatballs over homemade tomato/ veggie sauce over pasta
Thursday: Lemon pepper chicken over quinoa with peppered Brussel sprouts
Friday: Burritos with chicken, tomatoes, cheddar, black beans and avocado on lo carb wraps
Saturday- Pizza from our favorite pizza joint, because I can't be THAT good while I have hormones ragging!

I'd like to believe the baby is having a growth spurt, but I think I am just looking for an excuse to keep eating.

At least I went to the gym a lot this week. That's one thing to feel good about. I simply cannot go without meal planning EVER..it's a disaster waiting to happen.

I'm 16 weeks preggo this week and other than my over-eating, I am feeling good. Sometimes though, I'd really love a nap. I remember when I was pregs with my first child and I could nap all freaking weekend. I haven't had a nap (other than one that was a remedy for a migraine) in years. I miss sleep. Sleep is glorious And on that note I am off to bed at 8pm because I am old, sleep-deprived, pregnant and I must go to the gym in the morning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

If I could just live life like my Grandma...

The big eating festivus has come to an end. I ate a lot. I cooked a ton. My back and feet ache and I just had a second piece of pie.

Yup, another Thanksgiving come and gone. Thanksgiving has aways been a special time for my husband and I. He proposed to me on Thanksgiving night six years ago. It is hard to believe that much time has come and gone, but in other ways it seems like the two people who were dancing in the kitchen of their first apartment when he proposed, are now strangers. We have done soooo much since that night- moved two times, built a house, got out of a crappy business, gained and lost weight, had a fabulous wedding, had two (almost three) babies, lost a beloved dog and got another one, worked a lot, cried some, laughed tons...

Yup life has been an adventure. Today he looked at me and said "I bet you didn't know what you were in for when you said yes that night." And he is right, I had no idea, but for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised. I really can't even relate to that 25 year old girl, standing in the kitchen, who truly had no idea what life would bring her.

Aside from the memories of that night, my other major reason for loving holidays is getting to listen to my family members: their stories and interactions and the way they adore my children.

My grandmother (my mother's mother) is one of my favorite people on this planet. Many people who know me don't even know that I lived with my grandparents for several years and they really were parents to me in every sense of the word. Because of that, we have a very special bond.

My grandmother is the most positive person I have ever met. She is kind, gentle, happy and she loves unconditionally.

I over-heard her talking today. Someone asked her if she just started chemotherapy. My grandmothers reply was that she had been receiving treatments since she was 38 years old (she is now in her late 70's) for her terrible rheumatoid arthritis. I sort of knew this already, but hearing her say it was like a stab to my heart. I know what terrible pain and horrible treatments she has gone through for nearly half her life!

It's hard to imagine. And her pain doesn't end there. As a mother of two (yes two) sets of twins, plus a single, she lost a child when he was two years old. A pain I can't even pretend to know. And in the past few years she started to go blind and cannot see very much at all.

But here's the thing. This woman loves life. I have lived with her, and had thousands of conversations with her and I have never once heard her complain about her life, her pain, or really anything. She is in terrible amounts of pain at times, but never seems to mention it. In fact, not that long ago I asked her how it was to to through chemo treatments and her reply was "well your grandpa always takes me to Dunkin Donuts afterward and I get a juice and two other treats!" Talk about looking on the bright side. So many people could learn something from her about taking things in stride and focusing on what really matters to get you through.

She does everything she can to stay alive and healthy, including swimming every chance she gets and exercising regularly, because, as she say.."I am just not ready to die yet, I love my life."

I happen to be around some not so positive people on a regular basis and it is all too easy to get sucked into the negative talk of what I refer to as "doom and gloom" people. Being around my grandmother reminds me that your attitude towards life can make or break your own happiness and can even determine how long you live. It also reminds me what I should listen to and what I should let go in one ear and out the other when talking to older people about life.

I can only hope and pray that I can live this way as I age and things become harder physically.

So today I am thankful for my life, my husband and my grandmother..who is an excellent role model.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks and Thanksgiving

I have been blogger MIA lately. I have a few reasons: I haven't had much to say, my kids are seemingly more crazy lately, I have been preparing for the holiday and I have been teaching myself to knit, which has taken up some of my couch time.

Not much has been going on here. I had a doctors appointment on Monday and they officially readjusted my due date to May 11, putting me at 15 weeks. I ate a lot of crap this week, and am hoping to redeem myself next week, which will be hard with the holiday.

I had a decent workout week with 4 days at the gym and a few good workouts where I was even able to up some of my weight because I was feeling so good.

Today my mom and sister came down and took the kids out for the day while I went shopping. I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year. I really do love to cook and do not mind hosting at all, in fact I love it...however, it takes some serious prep. I have a lot of people bringing dishes, which helps. I find that the hardest part is trying to cook everything at the right time with only one oven.

I also got almost all of the kids Christmas shopping done and I am done with my nieces and nephews, and it's not even December! Wohooooo. Thank you Mama and Little Sis, I could have never done it without you.

The main things I am cooking this year are:
The turkey (obviously)
Homemade Cranberry-orange sauce
Whipped banana and honey sweet potatoes, recipe found here
Red Bliss Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Green Bean Casserole, recipe doubled and found here
Crockpot spinach and artichoke Dip
Homemade sweet roles with honey butter
Pumpkin Pecan Pie and Apple Pie

All the other stuff is being brought by a family member. I am praying I didn't forget anything.



I do like to spend a bit of time thinking about what I am thankful for during this busy time of year. I know it is on most people's minds and I have seen it talked about on many a blog and Facebook post. So in the tradition of giving thanks, here is my top ten list of what I am thankful for.

1. My health and the health of my family. Every time I log onto Facebook or every other day in real life, I hear of another friend/ acquaintance with a sick child or family member. I have had healthy pregnancies, healthy babies and my husband and I have no real health issues. Thank you God!

2. My job and the people I work with. I have been employed by a public school district since the year I graduated college and have never been without a job. I make a good salary, have good benefits and I work with many supportive, funny and generally wonderful people.

3. My mother. She is so supportive, loving and is always there when we need her. She has helped us financially and in every other way. I love that she is still young and has energy to do fun things with her grandkids.

4. My house. I sometimes take this for granted, but I really do have a beautiful house. It is comfortable and custom made for us (thank you husband) and it is pretty amazing to own something that someone you love made.

5. Summers with my kids. It is super hard to go to work everyday and leave my babies behind...but having a whole summer on the beach with them makes it much easier.

6. Getting to educate young people. I feel so fortunate to have a job that matters and to get to be a part of the lives of so many wonderful young people. It isn't easy, but it is meaningful.

7. A husband who loves his family. It seems like it is how it should be, but I hear about a lot of women who are married to men who would rather be doing many other things rather than spend time with their family. My husband and I like each other as much as we love each other and he likes to be with us.

8. A beautiful place and fun family to visit. My dad lives in a beautiful part of Montana and going to visit him and his lovely wife is the highlight of our summer. It is a fun, carefree trip where we can focus on family and the outdoors and my dad always makes it a great time.

9. My ability to have children. I know many woman who have struggled with fertility/ getting pregnant. I had some points in my life where I thought it might be hard for me. I am so blessed to experience the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth and to do so with no hardship.

10. My intellect. I am no genius but I am happy to have enough of a brain to know the importance of being healthy, to be pretty quick in most situations and to see all sides of things. I know my intellect was a gift of genetics and of being raised by caring, compassionate people and I am glad to have received such a gift.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A jammies kind of day

I am not sure that I will get out of my jammies today. My husband is gone ( he is at a weekend long blacksmithing course), the kids and I have no car, and it just feels like a jammies kid of day.

We started off the morning with a Dunkin Donuts ride with the husband before he left for the morning. I put a jerk chicken in the crockpot for tonight, we had a major dance party in the living room and now the kids are playing while I veg out here typing. This is all before 8:30 a.m. Not sure what we will do the rest of the day.

Liam has plans for fort building and hide and seek. I should mop the floor. I have some work to get done for Monday's class....but what I know for sure is that there will be a lot of silliness,probably pajamas, certainly some cooking and lots of snuggles.

I have gotten better at slowing down the pace of my life on days like today. I try to cherish the moment and just be a part of the day. That used to be really hard for me. I always needed to be doing something, planning my next move. The kids have taught me to let that go when the moment allows. It is cliche to say, but they do grow up so fast and if you rush around you miss it.

So today will be a lazy, slow-paced day of watching the kids just be themselves. I am looking forward to it and on that note...

we are off to build a fort.

Friday, November 11, 2011

2nd trimester, coffee and feeling good

I am up and at 'um this morning. It is 6 am here and I have returned from the gym and am feeling good.
I had a mini-battle with myself this morning because I have today off from work and really considered staying in bed. However, I wasn't really even tired and I new I would feel better if I got there...so off I went.

I went 4 days this week. Two of which I did weight training and two of which I did cardio and stretching. I am in the 2nd trimester now (or at least I think, they keep changing my due date) and I am feeling good.

I have had a few fabulous blog friends had their little babies this week and another who is about to pop (or maybe she already has) and so I am going to start looking for some other fit pregnant mamas to follow because I need some inspiration. I am also happy to follow the journey of the new mamas as they get back into shape. Madeline at Food, Fitness and Family is rocking it at the gym just one month post-partum and I find her amazing.

I am psyched for a 3 days weekend, even though our car is in the shop and I have no way to get anywhere for the next few days. I think we are going to buy a "new" (used) car soon, which I hate going through...but will probably be necessary with 3 babies.

I wanted to share my faux frappacino recipe. I have had some serious migraine issues the first part of this pregnancy, as a result I started adding in some caffeine a few weeks ago to help keep the headaches away. The problem was, the thought of coffee made me want to die. I LOVE coffee when I am not pregnant, but my pregnant self has a huge aversion. The only thing I could think of that appealed to me was frappacinos from Starbucks. That, however, is neither waist, nor wallet friendly. Plus I needed to have the coffee early in the morning and I wanted to find a way to get a small meal in before the gym. So here was my solution.

The night before I made one small, strong cup of coffee (I have a Kuerig and just make the 6oz cup) and I place it in the fridge over night.
In the a.m. I add the coffee in the blender, along with the following:
1 splash skim milk
1/2 banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 a large cup of ice (I use the chopped ice from my fridge ice machine)

Blend and enjoy. It is especially good with coconut coffee and it gives me some calories for the gym.

This is pretty much my daily breakfast and when I get home from the gym I eat a sprouted grain English muffin (Ezeikiel Brand) with natural peanut butter and the second half of the banana or other sliced fruit on top. It has kept me fueled and feeling good for the past few weeks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

These days.....

I got an inspiration for this post from SouleMama, who happens to write the best blog EVER. I want to be like her if I ever decide to follow my real dream.

Anyhow.

These days, this little girl:

is still trying to get away without walking. She can, but she doesn't much..why would she? Big brother gets her everything she needs.

These days, she is a bit of a climber and bumps her head a bit too much.

These days, she has a lot to say but her favoritete words are "Cowboy" (our dog) and "Beef" (her brother's words for passing gas...oh GREAT)

These days I cannot believe that soon there will be another baby and she will be a big sister, there is nothing "big" about her.

These days I am so grateful for getting to have a little girl, because the testosterone around this place can be overwhelming.

These days she has started to idolize her big brother. Her eyes light up when he enters the room and she follows him around as much as possible.

These days I am glad to be done nursing, but am sad that my baby likes to go in her crib with her dollie instead of rocking with me.

These days I am grateful that she is a much better sleeper than her big brother, because I am not sure I could handle two horrible sleepers.

These days Mr. Charlie is into shoes, Little Einsteins, her dollies, dancing to any hip hop music and climbing on the kitchen table.

These days she is even more beautiful, it's like her eyes are getting bluer and her dimples deeper.

These days I worry for her..that she will make my mistakes, make the wrong decisions but then I remember she has a daddy who will protect her, and a brother, and a mama too of course.

These days I wonder if I might have to pack up her little dresses, tights and sun hats for good because I am getting a boy vibe from this baby in my belly.

These days I relish the sweet sound of her baby voice saying "mama, I luuuuv yew" over and over until I pick her up and I try to give her as much one on one time as I can before she has to share her mama with yet another.

These day, Ms Charlotte is growing up too fast. Love you baby girl.

Check out how pretty our princess is (and of course how cute the rest of us are too) at our family picture link:
http://www.sarahpudlo.com/2011/11/02/beautiful-a-family-the-super-cool-farm-family/

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A great week

YES!!! Finally a good week.

I am feeling about a thousand times better than last week. This alone makes it a great week, but some other good stuff happened too...

On the health front
I made it to the gym three times. Which is better than last week, when I went once. I actually had a decent workout or two and feel energized to get back on Monday. I actually would have gone more, but with Halloween on Monday, the earlier part of the week was a bit exhausting and I had a badcold..so I didn't push it. Cold was gone by Tuesday and I was at the gym Wed-Fri morning.

I am also eating better. My nausea is not so constant and my aversion to some of my old favs is almost gone. There have been a lot more veggies this week. Today I am making a slow cooked Italian pot roast and red, garlic smashed potatoes...I am in a home cooking mood.  I will confess I did hit the Halloween candy a bit harder than I would have liked, but I chopped the rest of it up last night and baked it into brownies for the kiddos, so no more temptation there.

I have been debating if I want to share the pregnancy weight journey...and I have decided I will. Let me just explain that I am sharing this because I want people to see the reality of gaining during (what I hope will be) a healthy pregnancy. This is not for the same reasons as I was recording my weight before baby. I am NOT holding myself accountable because I know my body will gain what it needs to gain, and I hope that exercise might help me maintain a healthy gain. I gained around 30 lbs with my other pregnancies, which I was fine with. It would be nice if I could keep it under that number, simply because I intend to exercise more and eat better than I did...but I will gain what I gain and that is okay with me.

My starting weight on the day I found out was 136.5 lbs.
This morning I weighed 140.9 lbs at 13 weeks pregnant.

The good news is I weighed 145 lbs when I got pregnant with my daughter and about the same with my son..so I am starting off at a better weight.

On the baby front
I had my NT scan this week, which is an ultrasound to check for genetic abnormalities. It was a lot of fun. The baby was more developed then I was expecting and the ultrasound was pretty clear. I also measured a week a head and I think they will be readjusting my due date. This put me at 13 weeks, and the tech was pretty certain based on babies size and development. He/ she was bouncing all around in there and I could feel it too. Even after two other babies, it doesn't get old. I had a boy vibe the whole time I was watching baby. I was thinking girl before, but my new guess is boy. The better best part is that it looks like the hematoma I had before has probably cleared up and that risk has diminished..wohoo.

All and all I am good and am happy to be feeling better. It is soo much easier to be excited when you feel good physically.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipes

As pictured below I did some cooking this weekend.

Among the highlights were-
homemade chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (oh so healthy), homemade lo mein, coconut shrimp wontons and pumpkin seeds

Let's start with the cupcakes. I do not bake often, mostly because I would be double the size if I did. But my son has been begging me to make cupcakes, so I figured Halloween was a good excuse to bake them. There is nothing like from scratch cake..so much better than the box.

Chocolate cupcakes:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup milk


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
    3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.
    This made about 18 cupcakes

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    2-8 ounce packages softened cream cheese
    1/2 cup softened butter
    1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
    2 cups confection sugar, sifted

    Beat together butter and frosting until smooth
    add in vanilla
    slowly beat in sifted sugar until smooth

    *Note: this is not super sweet..it is more on the cream cheesy side and soo fabulous with chocolate cake if you ask me. We added in food coloring for festive, orange cupcakes. This makes enough for 18 generously frosted cupcakes

    Homemade Lomein
    2-3 bonelss pork chops sliced into thin pieces
    2 stalks brocolli chopped up and including sliced stems
    1/4 cabbage slices
    2 medium carrots julliened
    3 green onions, chopped
    2 tablespoons seasame oil
    House of Tsangs Classic Stir fry sauce (to taste and found in most asian food sections)
    1 package Soba noodle cooked slightly less than directions call for (I cook the Annie Chung noodles for 3 minutes)

    Heat oil in wok or large stir fry pan
    add in pork strips and cook about half way: 3-4 minute
    Add in all veggies except green onions
    Stir fry until cooked as you like and pork is totally done (3-4 minutes)
    Add in a few squirts of sauce
    Add in cooked noodles and toss
    Continue to add sauce until it tastes how you like, I'd guess that I used 1/8 of a cup
    Turn off heat and add green onions and toss
    Better than restaurant lomein with less crap in it.

    I really wish I could take credit for the delicious Coconut shrimp wontons, but one of my favorite bloggers at Peas and Crayons: http://www.peasandcrayons.com/, posted this recipe the other day and I had been thinking of it ever since. I was so psyched to try it today. You can find it here. YUMMY!!! I made them almost excatly as she did, excpet I didn't use the parmesan chhese, because I forgot to buy it and I used wheat panko breadcrumbs. In my opinion, the sweet chili sipping sauce was key.

    And last but not least

    Pumpkin Seeds
    Set oven to 325
    Remove all the seeds you can from your pumpkin and blace in bowl
    Rinse the seeds in cold water and seperate any goo
    Lay out on paper towl and pat dry

    Put parchment paper on cookie sheet
    Lay out seeds onto paper
    Spray seeds with olive or vegetable oil (I prefer olive)
    Then sprinkle with ground sea salt, garlis salt, and if you like a little spice, cayenne pepper
    bake for approx 20 minutes, checking frequently..I also reach in and shake them around a bit a few times

    A foodie, fall weekend

    Let's start with some pictures






    This weekend there was pumpkin carving.....
    
    And randonly delicious recipes (see more below)
    
    And messy mommy and kid cupcake decorating (I swear they are orange, even though they look pink)..........
    
    
    And two cuties in costumes.....
    

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Survival Mode

    I have been a major blog slacker, mostly because I have been going to bed around 8pm every night and am still not feeling too fabulous.

    I am working hard to stay positive and be a good mom. I am certainly not feeling as horrible as I was a few weeks ago, but I am still playing the....work 24 hours a day to prevent getting so sick that I cannot function. I am constantly on guard of having a migraine come on, eating the wrong thing and then puking and of staying on a schedule because somehow when I veer from my eating, waking, sleeping pattern things go down hill quickly.

    On the health front I feel like I am failing miserably, but honestly I am currently in survival mode.

    This past week I went to the gym ONCE.

    I am trying to look at it like:

    well at least you made it to the gym once.

    instead of:

    I can't believe you only made it to the gym once.

    Mostly this was due to the fact that I felt bad much of the week and both of my kids have a cold and we had some seriously bad sleepers the past few nights.

    I am hoping for a better week next week and praying as I approach week 12 that I will feel much better.

    On a happy pregnancy note, I do get to have my NT scan on Wednesday which means I get to see that itty, bitty baby. Ultrasounds are always fun.

    Eating has also been pretty sub par. I eat what I can, when I can.

    This week that meant pizza and Chinese food (for my mother-in-laws birthday). The Chinese food was pretty gross, so luckily I didn't go too overboard. The pizza was fabulous and I really overindulged.

    I am not sure if you were ever a big partier, but pregnancy sickness is very much like having a bad hangover. You are sick to your stomach, tired, have headaches and for some reason greasy food settles your stomach. This seems odd to me. You would think that greasy pizza would make it worse, but it does not.

    Some morning, when I am sitting on the couch thinking of how bad I feel, I think about the bad hangovers I have had and I just cannot believe I would have ever bring that level of illness on to myself.

    So after two other babies, I know this wont last forever. Survival mode will turn into cute little belly mode, which will last for a few months before starting I feel like the Titanic and my back and hips make me want to cry mode. This is why I am hoping to get back into my exercise routine in hopes that it will heal some of the aches and pains.

     My short term goal is to try and stay away from the Halloween candy. I am taking the kids to a town trick or treating event today and my will power sucks. JUST SAY NO TO PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    My love for them.

    I am terrified to write this post, or maybe a better word is intimidated. How do you capture the love you have for your children in one blog post? I guess the best way to think of it is that you can't and you won't-but I would like to attempt to do some justice to my feelings on this.

    As I begin to announce that we are blessed enough to be expecting a third child, I have come to realize that I am constantly apologizing for who I am. I have been anticipating the comments people have such as "another one!" and "what are you crazy?" and trying to avoid and make excuses instead of admitting who I truly am and clearly stating why I am over-joyed.

    The fact of the matter is, that despite my profession, and my other roles in this great big world...I was born to be a mama.
    In fact, I love being a mama more than I could ever love anything else I have ever done in this world. And I know that I may help thousands of other children in my 30 year teaching career, and I guess it is always possible that I could help solve a world crisis or develop a way to cure disease, but all of that would still not hold a candle to the joy of all joys, which is raising my babies in a loving, happy, accepting household.

    I am convinced that my life would hold no purpose without my children. Watching them discover and grow and start out on their own life journey is by far the most rewarding observation I have ever been allowed to make.

    I know that some people cannot understand this, and maybe they never will...but I would sacrifice every part of who I am if it meant giving my kids a better life.

    Why? Because when my son came into this world he taught me what it meant to have full responsibility of someone's innocence. When he was born there was not one speck of hate, of self-doubt, of jealousy or fear in his entire being. I know this to be 100 percent fact. And as his mother I consider it my life's mission to protect as much of the goodness in him as possible.

    Being loved by my children and having the pleasure of watching them become people is something I will never take for granted.
    It is easy to almost do so. After a day of tantrums, and talking back, of "I don't love you anymore mama's" from the mouth of an over tired 3 year old and of grouchy mama's who take out their frustration on their equally grouchy, over-worked and over-tired husbands...it is easy to think, why would we have another one? But without fail something always makes it worth it.

    This week
    it is a baby girl who claps for herself every time she takes two steps and falls down.
    it is a son whose tantrum always comes to an end and then asks his mama if she will be his number one girl forever.
    it is waking up after a night from hell to find your son's hand wrapped in your hair because he is afraid you will leave him in the night.
    or a baby girl who loves to ask 'dada, where are you?" whenever her favorite man on the planet is not in the room.
    or two kids who love to chase each other and laugh uncontrollably because the youngest of the two has finally understood the concept of hide and seek.
    or a son who declares that he loves his sister and if we have to have another baby it must be another girl and we will call her Charlotte number 2.
    or a husband who loves his kids as much as their mama does and spends as much time with them as he can.

    So how could I ever make excuses for that? how could I ever not want more of it?

    It's the most real thing there is, my love for them. And despite the fact that I have locked myself in the bathroom at 3pm with a pint of ice cream and cried in exhaustion and frustration...being loved unconditionally is worth it every time.

    I wish for every person I know, that you may experience that level of love as much as possible for as long as possible.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    The BIG announcement, and baby makes 5!

    Well,

    After spending the past 6 weeks or so being vague, avoiding people and trying not to puke when anyone is around, I have finally gotten to the point where I cannot keep it in anymore.

    I am 10 weeks preggo with baby number 3! Wohoo.

    I know it is still very early, and there is always the possibility that something could go wrong...but I am hopeful that all is well and honestly, I am just sick of holding it in. I am just not a secretive kind of person.

    I mentioned my "injury" a few weeks back. This was all related to my pregnancy. I had some bleeding around 5 weeks, which ended up being a hematoma. The result of that was taking it easy and being careful...especially careful not to have sex (poor hubby) and not to lift anything heavy (poor muscles).

    Honestly, it was a bit hard to deal with at first, but then I ended up with such bad ALL DAY AND NIGHT sickness that I didn't get much done in the exercise world anyway. It was bad. I am talking a migraine and puking all day long kind of bad. I ate like crap because crap was all I could hold down.

    With my son I was not sick at all. I had it almost as bad with my daughter...but this time was the worst of all. Another girl perhaps?

    I am feeling better now and I can honestly say I am thrilled and just praying that everything is okay and that we have our third and final child.

    I know this will be our last time, so I am trying to enjoy each moment. I know from past experience that it flies by and that no stage lasts very long.

    I have been exercising again and am generally feeling pretty good about myself. I am really hoping to travel down a healthy and active road the next 8 months.

    So my blog will probably take a bit of a turn here. I am hoping to focus on maintaining my happiness and health while pregnant, working, and caring for 2 toddlers. And then refocusing on regaining my post baby weight and staying active as a momma of 3.

    I am due in May and this time I am hoping to have a gender surprise. So here's to another healthy baby!

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    It's 4am, what are normal people doing?

    Yup, I still wake up this early to go to the gym. I took about a week off last week due to the restrictions the doctor put on me and the fact that I didn't feel well and just needed a break.

    But here I am again, back into my old routine.

    I like my morning workouts. Most days it isn't even hard to get out of bed. However, I am a bit worried about the winter.

    I started this routine last April. Before that I had been working out at night in my basement. I had no choice at the time, as my daughter was still nursing around the clock and I couldn't leave at 4am.

    Now it is October (still warm) and I am dreading the onset of cold weather. I HATE being cold. I live in New England, the mecca of cold, unpredictable winters and 4am is going to be miserable in January.

    I am worried about getting lazy and giving up. Maybe I can save up for an automatic car starter?...hmm.

    Perhaps I can plaster pictures of Jessica Biel's Body to my alarm clock and mirror just in case I get tempted to slip back into bed.

    I don't know...but maybe thinking this through now will help me next month. Scraping windows, in the dark, at 4am is frightening me already.

    Can I convince the husband to move to California? Probably not.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Because the Fall always makes me feel better...

    Even though I have felt down in the dumps lately, I have enjoyed some fabulous Fall days. I love the Fall, and during the Fall I love doing family road trips, our annual weekend in Maine with friends, pumpkin picking, apple orchard visits, etc., etc., etc.

    It's unfortunate that I have to go back to work in the Fall, otherwise I'd call it my favorite season of all. But because of the work factor, it comes second to Summer.

    Aside from the fact that I haven't been feeling so HOT lately..the other reason for my blogging absence is all the Fall Fun I have been having.

    So far the highlights have been:

    A kids fun fall farm day with my friend Steph and her son where the kids saw lots of animals, painted pumpkins, ate junk, ran around in the corn maze and went on horse pulls and tractor ride.

    Our annual town pumpkin day with my mom where she comes every year to spoil the kids, and pays for them to do fun activities like face painting, slides, hay rides, etc. The weather on this day was particularly fabulous.

    Day our with Thomas the Train at Edaville Railroad. if you live in Massachusetts, you probably know Edaville...it is pretty iconic around these parts. We had excellent weather to ride on Thomas the Train, play in a massive playground, ride rides and listen to music and stories.

    And of course our annual weekend to Naples, Maine. Mike and I have been renting the same cottage on a River in Maine for the past 6 years (before kids and marriage). For the past 3 years we have gone with some of our close friends and their kiddos. We always have a blast cooking on the fire, exploring and going to kid friendly places.

    So here are some pictures from the last few weeks. I expect that there will be a few more fun, Fall festivities before October comes to an end.


                                              All the kiddos, fireside in Maine
                              My sexy hubby and Charlotte at Portland Children's Museum
                                            The hubby giving fire instructions
                                              Ms. Charlotte hanging out
                                        A horrible picture of me, but the only one I am in.
                                              Riding Thomas the Train





    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Control Freak

    I think I am done pouting and am staring to deal with the fact that I have to change my routine for a while.

    Sometimes I just get down in the dumps. I like control. I might just love control. Ask my husband what I'm like when I don't know what is going to happen. I am pretty sure he doesn't like me too much in these situations. Control and I are BFF's. Without control I am lost.

    The good thing about this is that I tend to take full responsibility for my actions. I usually can only blame myself when things go wrong because I spend so much of my time controlling what happens. I have learned that if I am going to be like this, I cannot go around blaming anyone for the outcome of things.

    But let's face it...there are a whole lotta times in life when you simply cannot control what happens. My body is in control right now, and I am along for the ride.

    Therefore I am learning to deal with the fact that I cannot workout like I really want to. I am working on figuring out a routine that will work. Starting tomorrow I am headed to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio and some stretching (which is about all I am supposed to do right now).

    I went for a walk with the kids this evening and pushed the double stroller up some hills.

    I am going to do what I can, while I can, and wait for my doctors appointment, where I am going to try not to act like a total freak to my doctor due to the fact that I am praying and hoping she will give me some news that will allow me to regain some control in my life.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Goodbye NROLFW

    Well, life has thrown a wrench in my plans. Things were going smoothly with my exercise routine. I was certainly building muscle, maintaining my weight and feeling pretty good.

    And then an injury. I will get into the details of this in another post. It is a long story for another day. However, the injury has come with two requirments.....taking it easy (because that's so easy to do with two kids and a full time job) and not lifting anything heavy. GREEAATTT.

    I finally built up some strength and now I cannot lift anything for at least 6 weeks.

    I am so afraid that this is going to send me backwards. I am afraid of gaining weight. I am afraid of how much I am going to hate the gym if all I can do is cardio.

    I want to stay positive. It is just hard when you work really hard at something and then have to walk away from it. I have followed NROLFW for 9 weeks and I never cheated...not even once.

    So goodbye for now New Rules of Lifting for Women. I have really enjoyed how you make my arms, back and legs look. I hope we will meet again soon.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    There will be cheesecake...

    I have a confession to make...this is serious people, so try not to judge me too harshly.

    Yesterday I had THE worst day of eating I have had in 7 months..

    First let's start with the justification (because you know I like to make excuses):

    The two reasons this happened were,

    1. my day did not go as planned, so neither did my eating

    and

    2. My husband was in celebration mode.

    Let me explain and I will start with number two

    My husband has lost 52 lbs total in the past 9 months. This can be contributed to the fact that he stopped drinking and he started training. His major goal was to make a low weight class at a tournament he competed in yesterday (Grapplers Quest). He had to be 168 lbs and he did it. He also happened to take 2nd place in both of his divisions in his very first competition ever. Go Hubby!!!

    So what did he do. He stopped at Cheesecake Factory on the way home and brought home mass amounts of food.

    It was the tastiest stuff I have ever put my mouth on. Seriously, I wanted to roll in around in it.

    I had 3 avocado egg roles. This is probably my favorite food ever.
    Half of a chicken Thai pasta dish covered in peanut sauce. And if you know Cheesecake Factory you know half of a dish is like 4 servings.
    And of course I had to have 1/2 a piece of snickers cheesecake.

    I probably would not have felt so guilty about this had I not stuffed my face with disgustingness earlier that day.

    I was running super late to get to a fall festival where I was meeting a friend. This resulted in a Ham egg and cheese on an English muffin from Dunks.

    Then, after realizing the "restaurant" that was advertised at this fall festival was actually a shack with a microwave...the kids and I ate a gourmet lunch of luke warm hot dogs (barf) and a shared bag of good ole' lays.

    AND (yes there is an and) we also stopped to get a soft serve ice cream on the way home because sometimes I bribe my children so that they do not embarrass me in public (don't bother lecturing me on this bad parenting move, sometimes it's about mommy survival).

    I don't really feel guilty about this. I think sometimes you just can't worry about it. I have been pretty darn good at controlling myself and Cheesecake Factory does not just show up at your door on just any occasion.

    It might be considered a problem that I woke up at 6am and ate the remainder of the Thai Chicken. And it may become a problem that the other half of my cheesecake is taunting me as we speak and it is only 8:45 a.m.

    Tomorrow there will be veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. But today, I am pretty sure there will be cheesecake.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Big dreams, boring workouts

    Tomorrow is Friday...thank goodness.

    I made the gym every day but Tuesday ( I had parent's night Monday night and I was exhausted) and I fully intend on going tomorrow morning. I have been in a bit of a funk there. I am still following NROLFW, but I feel like I do so much of the same stuff. I may need to modify for a while...but I'll get back to that another day.

    Lately I have been down in the dumps about where I live. I would give just about anything to sell everything and move to Maine. I love my house...but I feel like my neighborhood is going downhill. I wish I had the courage to just change everything...but when you have kids you really have to think about more than just yourself. The quality of education is good here and who knows what it would be like in some rural town. I have a great job, with fantastic benefits. Plus my in-laws are here....but some days I am sad that I don't have the courage to take the chance. You only get one life. Maybe there is still a chance? It's hard when you know if you ever left, that it could devastate other people...but yet it is what you and your family really want.

    Maybe I am just having back to work blues. I get very overwhelmed this time of year. Maybe my dream of moving to the boonies is my attempt at escaping from my stress. Who know? I have pledged that I will never move my kids anywhere past 5th grade. So I have some time...10 years to be exact.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Joe is my hero

    Joe, of Trader Joe's is my secret lover...

    I'm pretty sure he is not a real person, so I think it's okay to say this.

    I made the treck to the big city of Hyannis. If you don't know Cape Cod, this is kind of a joke. Hyannis is not a big city, however it is the only place on the Cape with a mall and is where you have to go if you really need to buy anything. It also is home to a lot of trashtasticness, so I try to avoid it. BUT they do have a Trader Joe's....so I have to take a trip every few weeks.

    Why to I love TJ's so much? Well back when I was a fat a$$ less healthy person, I loved it because I was lazy and they have great frozen food and premade stuff. Now I like it because you can get several clean eating staples for a fraction of the cost of other places.

    I have blogged abou this before and don't want to restate everything I buy there.

    However, I will mention a few things that are a bargain:
    1. sesame seed oil
    2. precut stirfry veggies (you get a lot of variety for the price)
    3. preseasoned brussel sprouts (seriously, give them a try..I promise they are not what you think) a recipe will come later this week
    4. whole wheat flour
    5. premade, fresh salsa
    6. organic apples
    7. organic whole wheat pasta
    8. organic, free range chicken breast
    9. light organic string cheese
    10. extra firm tofu
    11. Raw Almonds and dreied fruit (VERY good price)

    Good prices, healthy food and excellent-non-trashy employees= who wouldn't love this place?

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    What I want...'cause yeah, I'm in a greedy mood

    It's Saturday, the sun is FINALLY out and I am trying to figure out where to bring the kiddos today. I feel like I have to step up my game in the fun department because now my quality time with them is limited to the weekends. I don't want to become the forgotten parent.

    I was just sitting here thinking about how I really want a Starbucks carmel machiato. I could easily drive off and get one, but I am really trying not to buy coffee on the go. This is probably my biggest weakness and I need to be good.

    This got me thinking about what else I want that I don't currently have but also don't really need. My life wish list if you will.........

    1. A larger, cleaner vehicle that can transport my kids, dog and other crap in a slightly classier way then my currently filthy, aging Ford Freestyle. I think I want a Pilot.

    2. A fence around my yard. We have a beautiful, large yard but it is so open to everyone who walks by...including many of the neighborhood kids who I have had as students. Plus I would love if the kids, chickens, dog and cat would be contained in a fenced area. for now we are working on a privacy fence across the front...but it will be forever before we can afford one all the way around.

    3. Another baby. I know, it is crazy...but I am starting to get baby fever again. I just stopped nursing my daughter...so sooner than later would be nice.

    4. Intensive, one on one pilates instruction 3 nights a week. Ha, I'll keep dreaming on this one.

    5. A secretary at work. I can't even imagine what a fabulous teacher I would be if I didn't spend half my damn day doing crap that is pointless and does not have anything to do with the quality of education.

    6. A tropical vacation in the winter during February vacation...because New England winters start to get intolerable right about that time.

    7. A family day that included my husband at least one day a week. I miss him a lot.

    8. A fully finished basement with a giant, padded playroom. Because rainy days with kids are no fun.

    I think that is all. I mean, is it all really too much to ask? The good news is...a few of these are not totally unrealistic,,,so I will live for those!

    What do you really want, even if you don't need it?

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    My new self and mommy moments

    Hey there,

    Remember me? The teacher, who went back to work and couldn't stay awake past 8?

    Yeah, the first week back to work tends to take everything out of a teacher. I equate teaching to acting on stage for 7 hours straight and that spells exhaustion.

    Not much has happened around these parts- my mom came to visit and it was amazing because she took the kids and I back to school shopping...which made things much easier on us and on our wallets (love you mama)
    We had an okay start to school, minus the usual madness and drama associated with the start of the year.
    My son is starting preschool tomorrow and I am so worried...Will he make friends? Will his teacher appreciate and know how to channel his energy and enthusiasm? Will people be nice to him? Is his backpack cool enough?
    Can you tell this mom is freaking out a little? I mean he is MY baby...I want to world to know how fabulous he is and what if they don't? I mean they will, right?

    Other than my emotional mommy feeling, things are going well.

    I managed to work out every morning this week...even this morning when it was pouring and lightening out when I woke up.I have cooked every night and stuck to my meal plans.
    My first week back to school used to be a huge moment of weakness for me. The old me would have certainly gotten takeout at least one night and most likely skipped the gym with the excuse that I was too tired and busy to make it. But the new me ignored the excuses and kept going. I have to say I am proud of my new self.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Food, Work, Life

    Before I say anything, let me start with some pictures of  recipes I have tried in the past week:


    Sweet Potatoe and spinach Hash with Turkey Bacon, Poached Eggs and Cheddar Cheese



    Grilled portabella mushrooms in balsamic topped with slices of tomatoe, mozerella and basil




    Broiled Salmon with tomatoes and feta on top of Greek quinoa (quinoa, garlic, spinach, red peppers and greek olives)



    Tilapia fish tacos with greek yogurt chipoltle


     
    I LOVE food. If you would like any of these recipes, just let me know and I will post.
     
    Someday maybe I will get a good camera so these pics don't look so bad.
     
    I have not posted in forever for two main reasons-
     
    1) I started back at work.
    2) We live near the cost, which means we prepared for the hurricane (which was a bad tropical storm here) and we lost power and then the internet/ cable for a few days.
     
    Starting a new school year is exhausting. I am going to have to really be disciplined if I am going to keep cooking and working out. So far so good. I am on workout sets 7 of NROLFW and I haven't slacked on that at all, which I do MWF.
     
    The summer is over for me, but it was a good one. I am trying not to get down on myself about all the things I didn't accomplish during my weeks off, like the million lessons I should have planned, all the cabinets I didn't clean out and a less than stellar garden.
     
    Instead I will reflect on what I did accomplish:
     
    1.A killer tan
    2. An amazing trip out West
    3. Logging serious time in my beach chair
    4. Getting Liam to love the ocean water.
    5. Celebrating my baby girls first birthday.
    6. Celebrating the engagment and wedding of great friends.
    7. Growing some nice fresh herbs and tomatoes
    8. Cleaning out my closet and donating 2 lawn bags full of clothes.
    9. Teaching my son how to recognize letters.
    10. And most importantly, spending some quality time as a stay at home mom.
     
    Who cares if I never got to the bank to deal with our bank accounts? I had LOTS OF FUN!
     

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    The dreaded back to work schedule

    It's almost here (although I am in a bit of denial). I am starting back at work next week. At least they ease us back in slowly. We are back Wednesday and Thursday and then we have a 4 day weekend and the kids officially start back on that Tuesday.

    I like work, I really do. I like the challenge of it. I like getting to know a new group of kids. I like trying to improve my teaching each year. But I miss MY kids so damn much.

    I also miss the flexibility of the summer schedule. During the school year everything is so rigid and our schedule is locked in.

    I was just participating in a discussion on a health website I have joined. Everyone was discussing schedules and someone had asked if we could post a "day in the life" example of our week/ day so that they could see how everyone fits in healthy eating/ cooking and exercise in their busy life.

    Some of the people seemed much busier than me. It is crazy how some people's lives are so complicated. I think I was somewhere in the middle. But what I liked is that everyone who responded said you just have to find the time to be healthy and make it a non-negotiable priority, just like brushing your teeth or washing your clothes.

    Here is my typical schedule during the school year.

    M-F

    Up at 4:30am, let dog out, lace up shoes and head to the gym no later than 5.

    Work out from 5-6am (MWF is weight training/ intervals, TuTH is cardio/ stretching)

    Home by 6:05am, where husband is waiting to go to the gym from 6-7:15.

    6:05-6:30 Feed the cat and dog and let them out, make breakfast and set up for kids, get work bag and lunch ready

    6:30-7 Shower and get ready and PRAY the kids stay asleep. Its about 50/50 chance they wake up.

    7-7:30 Get the kids dressed and teeth brushed, eat, husband gets home from gym

    7:30 Get everyone in car, kids and husband drop me off at work (yup, we are currently sharing a car)

    8-3 (M, THUR, FRI)
    8-4:20 (TUES, WED)   Work

    3-5pm on TUES and THURS, take Liam to Karate or wait to be picked up after karate is over.

    as soon as we are home-5:30 Get dinner ready, dishes done, etc.

    Eat by 6pm, but usually by 5:30.

    6-7pm play with kids either outside, on a family walk, watching a show, reading, etc.

    7pm- Start baths/ PJ's (On Tues, Wed, Thurs husband leaves for training at 6:30 so I do both kids...the rest of the week I only have to do one kid)

    7:30-8pm (or 9 if it is a bad night with both kids) any combination of rocking, feeding, begging, bribing, reading to the kids to get them to be soundly asleep

    8-9/ 9:30pm: any combination of the following: snacking, blogging, Facebook stalking, answering work emails, correcting mass amounts of essays, cleaning up messes, staring at the wall and enjoying silence, talking to my husband, watching TV.

    9:30: Pass out in bed.

    Midnightish: My darling daugher is STLL (at 14 months) waking up screaming to eat. The getting her back to sleep thing seems to take about 20 minutes.

    Am I busy?, yup. If it sounds like an unusually crazy life, you probably don't have kids and might think pretty hard before you do...because I am pretty sure this is the average life of a regular mom.

    On the weekends it isn't too much different, except that my husband works and instead of being at work I am taking the kids to activities, play dates, etc. I live for the weekends, mostly because my husband is home no latter than 5 both nights and we can both be there for the bedtime routine.

    So if you are like me, and feeling bad about gaining a few pounds or not being perfect in every way...I recommend doing as I did here and writing out your typical schedule. It has helped me realize that I am doing all I can to stay healthy and that I cannot be too hard on myself, I am doing the best I can right now....and sometimes that just has to be enough.
    So I am off to enjoy my last few days with a slightly less frantic schedule...thank the Lord for Summer Vacation!

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Wait, what, 6 lbs..are you kidding me?!

    After yesterday's post I weighed myself and I am up 2 more pounds. Are you kidding? I am tryin to remember my own advice, there is a lot more to weight gain then just fat, but I know it ain't 6 lbs of water weight.

    I am trying not to get down on myself and not to make excuses. I know that it has to be a combination of factors, the biggest being I have just cut my breastfeeding down to one feeding at night and this is clearly screwing with my metabolism. But since it isn't socially acceptable orconvenient to have a 10 year old hanging off your boob...I have to deal with the fact that no more breastfeeding=less eating.

    This is a reminder that my health, weight and how I feel about myself all need to be a priority and something that I constantly monitor. I am clearly eating too many calories, bottom line.

    Soooo, back to myfitnesspal to track my calories for a few weeks. I don't NEED to weight 132 lbs to be happy, but I strongly suspect that if I don't get myself in check I will keep gaining.

    Good thing I went to the gym this morning, or I'd be living with serious regret after that weigh in.

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Damn you 4 lbs.

    First off, I finally fixed my blog so anyone can comment. People have mentioned they wanted to comment on posts and could not. I think I have solved that...so comment away!

    I really need to do a health check in here because I am trying to step it up this last week before I go back to work.

    I am now on the 4th phase of NROLFW's stage 1. I wont bore you again with the details, but basically I am still doing the same exercises, but with less reps and more weight. It has gone well except for a few mornings where a trainer at my gym seems to keep training woman using the exact equipment I need. I guess that is a good thing being that the he sees the exercises as valuable.

    The only thing about this program is that I have been slacking off on the days I don't lift. You can only lift every other day, so I have stuck with Mon, Wed, Fri. I should still be waking up Tues, Thurs to do some good cardio, but ever since returning from vacation I am finding it hard to pull myself out of bed when I am not following the program.

    I MUST change that this week because I am 4 lbs heavier than when I left for vacation. I do think about a lbs of that weight is muscle gain...but the other 3 is due to slacking and also due to a serious and passionate fling I have been having with frozen yogurt.

    There is something about summer that just screams ICE CREAM and lately my husband has been on a "go for a drive and get a frozen yogurt" kick. And I have fully and willingly participated in each and every trip...which I am 100 percent sure is why I am up a few lbs. The thing is, my husband does some pretty serious training 3 days a week, plus he does physical work AND he goes to the gym. He CAN eat frozen yogurt. I am not nearly as active and cannot throw away a days clean eating with such a sugary treat.

    So, I have thoroughly enjoyed my cones. I will not regret them at all...but since the scale has not budged downward since returning from vacation...frozen yogurt and I are officially broken up. Maybe we will have one last fling before the snow starts falling, but not until I have myself back to where I was.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Pizza, Pizza

    I love pizza. It is cheesy and saucy and garlicy and all the things I love all in a fun, hand-held slice.

    However, I never get pizza unless I make it myself. The calorie count on most takeout pizza is out of control. A friend once told me that a pizza place she worked at used one whole stick of butter in a small pizza. I have serious issues with takeout food, as it is the reason I gained every pound that I have worked to get off.

    BUT if you make your own pizza, you can really control how healthy it is and make it really, really good.

    Lately we have been having pizza and a big salad on Friday night.

    Here is what I used:

    1 whole wheat pizza dough. They have these at Trader Joes, Stop and Shop and whole foods. I get a bunch at a time and freeze them. And of course if you are a much better homemaker then myself, there are great recipes for your own healthy pizza dough.

    Part skim shredded mozzarella

    Crumbled feta

    2-3 very ripe tomatoes or a can of whole tomatoes drained

    1/2 package baby spinach, 1 package mushrooms, 3-4 cloves of minced garlic (you could use any veggies you like, I have used red peppers, broccoli, asparagus when I have had it)

    3 tablespoons olive oil

    Preheat oven to 450
    Roll out pizza dough on a floured surface. We like ours pretty thin.
    Place dough a greased baking sheet or pizza stone.
    Brush edges of dough with small amount of olive oil
    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on med/high and saute garlic and veggies (not the tomatoes) until lightly cooked
    Slice tomatoes very thin
    Put a light layer of mozzarella cheese on crust
    then spread tomatoes out evenly (this is a substitute for sauce so you want enough to cover pizza)
    spread out cooked veggies
    Then spread a light layer of feta cheese over veggies

    **I also love to add diced kalamata olives or olive paste

    Place pizza in over for about 10 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown.

    YUMMY!

    I also love making my own pizza because I can make a little section of it the way the kids like it, which usually means just cheese and tomatoes.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    An Island Life for Me: Marthas Vineyard, Ice Cream and Feeling Grateful

    Yesterday I took my babies on the ferry for a day trip to Marthas Vineyard. For you non-New Englanders out there, this is a large island off of the coast of Massachusetts.  President Obama is flying there this afternoon for his annual vacation, so I knew we needed to go yesterday to avoid the presidential visit and the road block it entails. Two years ago we were there when he was vacationing and missed him at the restaurant we were eating at by about 3 minutes.

    I make it a point to go there at least once every summer. The ferry is close to our house and it is a nice boat ride. I learned a long time ago that if I want to go somewhere, I need to be able to enjoy going on my own. Because I am a teacher, I am off all summer BUT everyone else has to work...so I have learned to enjoy doing stuff solo, or at least without any other grownups. The down side to this is it is EXHAUSTING! I have to lug all of our stuff, a double stroller (which is a total pain in the arse to get on and off the boat) and two toddlers.

    I cannot tell you how many people tell me I am nuts for doing this. I don't really know why. The simple truth is, I can sit around on my butt all day, which would be easy but totally boring...or I can just get out there and bring the kids to places where they can have some fun experiences. Is it tiring? YUP, but I would have to live with regret if I didn't get out there and try to have fun. I try to live by this motto a lot because I live in a town where I have no roots, no family (other than my husband's parents) and I have had to learn how to enjoy myself by myself. I also believe very much in kids being outside and on the go as much as possible in their years leading up to school, because once school starts, so do the strict schedules that last for the rest of one's life

    Some days it is easy to forget that I live in such a beautiful place. It is way too easy to take the ocean, beaches and beauty for granted. Some days I get sad that I don't live near my closest friends and family and I want to be mad that I have to take the kids most places on my own...but then I look out at the ocean and I think about what people pay to come to such a beautiful place, and I watch my kids crawling/ running into the waves, and I remember that I am lucky and need to experience what my town has to offer. And one of these things is a pretty inexpensive boat trip to an amazingly beautiful island.

    It was a really nice day. We took the 9am boat, hit up my favorite bakery...the home of Backdoor Donuts. I indulged on a giant apple fritter, the same kind I get every year which is big enough for 6 people to share.We hit up the beach for a few hours, went to the famous Flying Horses carousel,  had a picnic lunch, browsed some shops, got some ice cream and took the 2:15 boat home.


    It was a pretty horrible day for healthy eating BUT I did push the double stroller around all day so that totally cancels it out, right? Here are some photos from our day:



    Beach babies












    Charlie-Girl looking fab in pink shades!





                                                                                         Siblings getting along










    I








    Yup, that chocolate one was mommies: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, no regrets on that one!





    The boat home...it was a long day!