Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where have I been? Blogging like a big girl

This is just a quick post to let anyone who stops by know that the reason I am MIA is because I finally decided to try and be a real blogger.

From here on out I will be blogging at

I know that if I actually want to write and have followers I needed to buy an address and figure out how to format everything.

The blog will change a bit too. It will focus on the health of our entire family and my husband is going to be involved. We want to include information and reflection on growing and raising food and of course healthy children too.

You can check out how it is doing so far, but it isn't quite ready yet.

Mainly I am having issues with transferring over my followers and the blogs I follow. Without this I am not sure what to do...but since I have transferred to wordpress it is requiring some figuring out.

So check it out and if you bloggers have any advice I would love to hear it!

I will be back in action soon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Food we are diggin' lately

So Delicious Coffee Creamer in Vanilla: Uhhh YUM! This stuff walked into my life via healthy eating blogs a few months ago. It is no secret that I love me some coffee. This is a great, natural, dairy free way for me to flavor, sweeten and lighten up my coffee all in one. I am trying to get back to banning artificial crap from my diet as well as cutting back on animal products. This stuff is so good and comes in plain and hazelnut too. You can even download some coupons of of their site HERE

Kashi Go Lean: Good ole' Go Lean has been a part of my life for ever. It has a pretty low sugar count (6 grams), good dose of fiber, tastes good and is just sweet enough to act as a great yogurt topper or before bed snack with some blueberries and even a quick before the gym breakfast with some almond milk.

Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread
Who doesn't love a good wrap? Or a Burrito? If I could, I would probably eat a burrito everyday of my life. I absolutely love burritos. I try to keep them healthy by leaving meat out and adding extra veggies. But have you ever looked at the calorie count of the tortillas or wraps at your fave sandwich or burrito shop? It might depress you and probably takes your favorite sandwich into the high calorie range. As an example, the Chipoltle tortillas have 290 calories (which is pretty good compared to many wraps..our local burrito places wraps are 350 calories). To me this seems like a steep count for something that just holds all the good stuff together. These wraps are 100 calories for a very big wrap. I usually cut them in half, which makes it only 50. Plus they are so good and soft and made with some nice ingredients. They are a bit pricey, but worth it. I just made veggies burritos in some last night. YUM.

Summer Veggies (Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Green Pepper, Kale, Herbs, etc.): All of a sudden we are loaded with our tasty organic produce Thanks to my hardworking, farmer of a husband we have great produce to eat. I love my veggies grilled, but am hoping to try some interesting combos/ recipes in the next few weeks. There is nothing like real local, non-GMO food.  Now that I am done babymaking, I am hoping to spend more time trying to use our land to feed my family. It is a great joy watching the kiddos grow, maintain, pick and eat food.

Our mini-farmers


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Monday, July 23, 2012

Five years of marriage, what I have learned

We have returned from an epic family camping adventure and I am forced to get back into the swing of things (especially eating better and hitting the gym). Why is that first day back always so hard?

While we were gone we celebrated our anniversary. On July 21, 2007 my husband and I were married on the water in front of many friends and tons of family. I loved that day, but I certainly didn't know all that we were in for during the next 5 years of life.

Five years is certainly not a long time when I think of the fact that we will spend a lifetime together. However, it has certainly been long enough to teach us a thing or two, to give us time to grow and change, to allow for some hard times and a significant amount of joy, to teach us more about each other and to log some serious hours side by side.

In five years we have had THREE children. That alone has taught us more about family and marriage than I could have ever dreamed.

I have seen many a post about what makes marriages work. I know that what makes my marriage work might not work for others. We have our own unique situation. But I thought I might share the 5 biggest things I have learned about MY marriage in the last 5 years.

1. It Ain't Easy-
When you are young and in love and you are dating it is are passionately, deeply in love and you want to spend as much time as possible with each other. But when you get married it becomes more than that. You have to pay bills, you have to worry about if your unborn child is healthy, you have to be a part of each other's family, you have to share everything and make hard decisions together. It takes effort. You cannot get lazy and stay stagnant. Mike and I have had to work through tough financial and personal problems and in order to keep our marriage strong, we had to work. It doesn't just stay all rainbows and puppy dogs without mutual effort.

2. Leaving is not and never will be an option-
This is a non-negotiable. Neither of us ever thinks of or uses the "D" word as an option. No matter how hard times may be, no matter what argument we may have, we are in it together and have no choice but to sort through it and work together. I believe that if you think of leaving as an option it would be easy to cause hurt by throwing that around or using it as a threat. We stand by each other and leaving each other will never be a solution to a problem.

3. If you feel slighted, say something-
Marriage is a partnership. When someone in a marriage feels like things are not equal then resentment starts to creep up. Most likely it isn't any one's fault, but if you feel an inequity it is important to make sure you get what you need. An example might be that if one person takes on all of the responsibilities of taking care of the kids, they may start to feel alone, or like the other doesn't understand. Suddenly they become angry with their partner. I find that when I need something from Mike (help with the kids, more time at the gym, etc.) I need to be a mature adult and voice my needs. Our marriage works because we both honor what the other needs and do our best to find away to get it for the other.

4. Our priorities are the same and we discuss them all the time to be sure
I would probably lose my mind if my husband played video games, or had a man cave, or insisted on going out every Friday night. I know this works in some marriages, but not in ours.

 -Our top priorities are the same: the kids come first and we spend the majority of our minimal spare time doing things with them/ for them. We sacrifice some things we might otherwise do in order to spend that time with them. We don't stay away from them over night or get babysitters of any kind (with the exception of family on a rare occasion).
-We put fitness and healthy eating as a priority. We agree that we want to be fit and are willing to put money and time to make that happen. This was something we had to figure out together and we agree it can never change.
-We go to bed together each night and spend time together. This has also been something we had to learn. We give up TV, going out with friends and even some classes we have been involved in to make this happen. It has made a huge difference in our relationship and our closeness and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

5. Leave the drama at the door

Since the day I met my husband, life became much less complicated. Our relationship is simple: we love each other, we are partners and therefore there isn't anyone else we are as close to. We do not put ourselves in positions where we might act inappropriately. I cannot even imagine what married people are thinking when they cheat. It seems so complicated and horrible to me. We might argue sometimes, but we do not raise our voices, scream and yell or any other big dramatic gesture. This was true when we were dating and is true now. It certainly doesn't mean we are perfect, but there has never been any cheating, yelling, leaving, etc. I cannot imagine going on in a relationship if any of that was to happen. I guess I am lucky that I married someone who is very much like me in how we deal with people and approach relationships. I would hate to live my life in a dramatic whirlwind.

So we have survived 5 years without getting sick of each other. It is pretty amazing to think of how much has happened in these last few years. I barely even remember who I was before I met my husband. I have never once regretted my decision to marry who I believe to be one of the most selfless, loving and compassionate people I have ever known. I am one lucky girl and I cannot wait to see what happens during the next 5 years that we spend together.

I love you Michael! You will always be my cowboy

Friday, July 20, 2012

Healthy(ish) camping

I am ALL about making memories with my family. Anyone who went on family trips as a kid has to have dozens of happy memories bonding with their family. Even though our oldest child is only 4, he has already been on many little and big adventures and I pray that some of the memories will stick with him for a life time.

Right now we are camping for 3 nights and honestly are having the best time. Packing for and camping with babies and toddlers is hectic, but if you are laid back enough and know how to let things go then it can be great.

Sometimes it is okay to have smores for dinner or 2 ice creams in one day, or to stay up late, or blow a whoopie cushion at innocent pedestrians as you drive through the campground.

But I am not a spring chicken anymore and I really cannot get away with sitting on my butt for
4 days and eating nothing but crap. So what have I done differently to help make this a slightly healthier camping trip?

1. I worked out hard right before I left.
I got up at 4:30 and attended a group fitness class to whip my muscles into gear before a long car ride.
2. I packed good snacks like this:

3. I bought healthier alternatives to our fave camping dinners. Think spinach feta chicken sausages instead of hot dogs, whole wheat buns, grilled veggies and veggie burgers

4. When it is hard to eat your normal veggie amounts you can drink them

5. And I am seizing the moment to exercise: I just completed a 30 minute cardio blast interval workout by timing thirty sec and one minute sets of exercises like-

Stepups on the picnic table

Abs using random campsite items

Planks on a beach towel

And lots of walking lunges and planks up a hill on our site

This mixed with burpees, jumping jacks and bear crawls did the trick. Sure it was only 30 min but I was a sweaty mess.

I had no set workout plan but I seized to moment when this happened

That would be 2 sleepy little girls taking an hour long tent nap while their daddy and brother went fishing. Carpe Diem

So now I off to make more memories my kiddos won't forget,,,,like this:

A nice balance between healthy and happy makes for the perfect trip!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Envy: Comparing yourself to other women

Why do women spend so much time comparing themselves to other women? We are all guilty of it. It's sad to think that it really starts at childhood, when you wish your hair was as blond or as long as Kristen Bell (the girl who sat in front of me in second grade) or that you talked to the boys with ease like Laurie (my best friend in 5th grade).

And it doesn't end with childhood does it? Us grownup girls do the same thing. Why don't I have it all together like Jen? or Why can't I have legs like the 5am gym chick?

I don't dwell on it as much as I did when I was a kid, but it still happens.

I found myself thinking about this at the gym today. Thanks to summertime my gym has suddenly been taken over by college kids who are home for break (I cannot believe I am old enough to call them kids...**tear**) and I have been watching some of the girls try and one up each other. I wonder what is going through their heads as they compete to wear the skimpiest gym clothes possible in the hopes of getting the former baseball hero of their high schools attention. They roll their eyes at each other and pick each other apart.

It's sad really, that we spend energy comparing ourselves to others. As I have gotten older I realize more and more that there is a good chance that, while you may be envious of other women, those same women are probably looking at you and envying some quality that you have.

A perfect example of this is my sister and I. As kids we were fairly close. We spent our time playing and imagining together. I was a mother hen and she was the crazy second child who had no fear of strangers.

We were and are POLAR OPPOSITES.

It wasn't until the teenage years (or maybe preteen) that we started comparing ourselves to each other.
I am fairly certain that  she envied how easy school was for me, how I got the grades and made it seem like nothing, how people thought of me as responsible.
And I envied her: her outgoing personality, he fearless approach to things, her assertiveness in asking for what she wanted and for sure her long, thick, straight hair.

I was the skinny one, she was the fun one. I was the smart one, she was the one with all the personality.

As teens this took a toll on our relationship. We didn't get along. We were not friends. We were different and we would not ever admit out loud that the other wished just a little bit that they were more like their sister.

How stupid! If we could have just said it: "Man Ashley, I really wish I could be as outgoing as you." I bet we could have moved on from our envy and just been friends. The problem with envy is that it seems to come out as that you are annoyed by the very quality that you admire about a person. I constantly scolded my sister for embarrassing me when she talked to some random person at a restaurant, but somewhere inside I wished I could do the same thing.

So now that I am older and maybe a tad bit wiser I have found an approach to combat my envy of other woman. I tell them what it is that I admire about them. I compliment and recognize and admit. For example, there are a group of woman at my gym, some of who I know personally, that have been working out really hard and look fabulous. I wish I looked like them, were as strong as they are. And I let them know. I tell them they rock (because they do). I let the mom at the playground know that her patience with her 5 kids is far superior to my patience with my 3 and that she is my hero. I use them as my role models, even when I know sometimes that what they are will never be what I am.

Sometimes I catch people off guard: like when I asked my boss what she does for her skin because it is glowing and beautiful. But most of the time people seem happy and often they give a compliment back.

It is liberating to let that envy out. I think it makes me like myself more. I know it is better than letting it turn inward, where I let the comparisons to other woman eat me up and chip away at my self esteem.

So college girls at the gym, stop comparing yourself to the girl next to you, it really does no good.

And Ashley, if you are reading this, I will forever be envious of your amazing hair, your much bigger boobs, your skinnier upper legs, your ability to say what is on your mind, your outgoing and bubbly personality, the way you are with kids, your natural energy and your fun outlook. I will never be like you, it is not in my nature, but know that sometimes I wish I could.

Friday, July 13, 2012

2 month postpartum body update

One month after baby vs. there a difference?

My one month post can be found HERE
and my one week measurements are HERE.

I am pretty much wearing the same outfit, the tank top is the same size and style but a different color.

                Two Months                                       One Month



So what's the verdict? The only picture I notice a difference in is the first. My belly has improved some (which makes sense) and my rib cage looks smaller to me. Both the side and back view are about the same...but I will take the belly improvement
Here are the stats:

One Week Measurements
Two Months Measurements
Net Loss
High waist
Waist (at belly button)
Right upper thigh
150 (at 1 month)
So the good news is that I am shrinking (slowly but surely). The bad news is that my body seems to want to hold on to this weight. I can't help but be frustrated with that, but as past experience has taught me, it will come off and loosing weight while nursing is a tricky game of balance.
So what are my current goals?:
1. Build muscles and get stronger: I figure if I keep lifting and taking my new fitness class then I have to burn fat and eventually the scale will have to show it.
2. Run more (self-explanatory and necessary for the Diva Dash)
3. Track calories when I can to be sure I am eating enough for my activity level (this has been hard but I am not sure I cannot totally stop doing it)
4. Get up earlier: I do better when I wake up by 5am. The baby makes this hard but it is getting closer to possible.
So I will check back in, in one month. Here's to hoping the scale decides to be my friend.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fitness check in, at least I am getting stronger

My "official" 2 month post baby post with measurements and all will be on the 12th.

But I felt compelled to write about this today. I am trying not to get frustrated with the fact that my weight appears to be STUCK at 150lbs...despite working out and eating pretty good. I am hoping that I can make a few minor adjustments to help this along. I have a feeling two things are to blame:

Breastfeeding- my body might be holding onto fat storage

Too many sweet things- I need to lay off the frozen yogurt trips.

I clearly cannot do anything about the first situation, but I am going to start working on the sweets and cutting down on this type of snack.

I am refocusing a bit, away from looking at a number on a scale and worrying about gaining strength. I took this picture today at the gym:

I feel like I am getting stronger and my muscles are getting back to where they were. It is frustrating not to see pounds come off, but it still feels good to know I am working hard.

So tomorrow I am starting a 5:45 am group fitness class and I have been told I may get my butt kicked. I am excited about this and I need a boost.

So my motto for today is: less weighing in and more lifting and running.

I am not going to weigh myself (after the 12th) for 2 weeks or so and see if refocusing my energy might help.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Working out when you have 3 kids

Easy? NOPE

Necessary? Hell Yes.

I would loose my freaking mind if  I did not workout. First off, I would never be alone EVER. I am always with children. I get the kiddos ready in the morning. During the school year the kids and my husband drive me to work (we have one car). I teach a room full of 8th graders all day and then they pick me up. We proceed to make dinner, hang out, play outside, take tubs and do the VERY long bed time routine that comes with little ones.

I usually have an hour to talk with the husband, clean up, get ready for the next day and then I need to be in bed in order to function.

Now that it is summer the only difference is that instead of heading to work during the day, I am the one taking the kids to appointments, activities, the beach, playground, etc.

Now that we have our sweet little girl I have to add nursing (basically around the clock at this point), pumping just to be able to tolerate working out and adjusting my plan to her still ever changing sleep schedule.

I NEED a break. 1 hour to myself in a day full of giving smaller human beings constant attention. Without it I get depressed. I slow down. I don't get as much accomplished. My marriage isn't as strong. My kids do not get me at my best. And of course I don't feel as healthy.

I will wake up whenever I need to in order to make this happen, even on very little sleep, even when the kids don't want to let me go. It's worth it.

It almost has started to piss me off when people who have no children bitch about not having time to get to the gym. I shouldn't hate on them because I was guilty of the same thing at some points in my life. However, I really just want to scream..JUST FRIGGEN GO THEN!

So we make it work. One of us gets up early (during the school year I go first, at 4:30am, but now I go second) and works out for an hour or so and then comes home to relieve the other.

At this point in my life I cannot be a fitness super star. I could not train for a marathon even if I wanted to, because I get ONE precious hour in my day. It could have been different when I only had one (jogging stroller and what not) but as a working mom with a four, two and one month old, getting to the gym for an hour is what I am working with and for now it is enough.

I find it hysterical that some people I work with marvel at the fact that I work out and stay in shape. They act like I am ridiculous or super human for getting to the gym at this point in my life. But what they don't seem to understand is that I LIKE working out, I live for it and it is a break in my day.

I made the mistake of getting lazy and giving up something important to me once before, and I will not make that mistake again.

And it is hard. We have to schedule out what we are doing. I cannot take my time at the gym and sometimes a sick kid or a sleepless night makes me miss a day....but we do it because we need it, to be a happy and healthy family.

Sometimes I even smile about all the difficulties that come with staying fit and having three small children

Want an example? This week I was all excited to write up a tabata workout for my husband and I to do after the kiddos went to bed. I had it all written out and somehow it got on to the floor where my two year old (who is currently potty training) somehow thought it would be an excellent idea to pull down her princess panties and take a pee all over my carefully planned workout. My workout literally was pissed on. Guess she isn't into tabata. **Sigh** That's life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Serious Randomness

After a late night I am feeling disconnected, tired and totally let's go with that.

Here are some random passing thoughts/ facts of the week.

Fireworks are awesome but getting your kids totally off schedule is intense when there are 3 of them who thrive on sleep.

Swim lessons are going well, it is amazing what my son will do for a young lifeguard in a bikini that he will not do for me.

I love lifting, and have had some good workouts. However running is not going as well...the right side of my pelvis is so jacked up from having babies, but I will not give up.

I have 3 friends from work who signed up for the Diva Dash with me. We are in the 2pm heat and I am so glad not to have to start alone.

If you have not tried So Delicious coconut coffee creamer (vanilla), PB2, Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars or Trader Joes dark really should. They are my latest obsessions.

I have no desire to read 50 Shades of Grey 1. it sounds disturbing 2. I am a literary snob 3. I have no time

I threw out a giant tub of the best Spinach and Artichoke dip ever because I would eat the crap out of it if it was in the fridge and I am proud of myself for this

I wish I had more time for my friends and I feel bad when I miss their showers, etc....but it is just so hard.

I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out how many roosters we have in our new batch of chickens and contemplating what to do with the one's we can't keep (which probably means shooting them since you CANNOT have more than 2 and probably only 1)

Our garden is looking good (thank you honey) and I have picked and will cook our first ready pepper tonight in our spicy burrito bowls.

I am wondering how I can train to be able to do unassisted pull ups...where do I even start when anything involving that type of strength is so damn hard for me? I still do incline push ups. I suck.

I am probably going to start  taking a small group boot camp once a week with a trainer at our gym..maybe this will help with the push ups.

I would give just about anything for all kids to be asleep by 7:30 has been a long week.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Over coming a fear and maybe having hot mom runner's legs?

Okay, I have a confession to make. I have an irrational fear or two (or ten). I am a pretty brave person in many ways. I know for sure I have been called tough by some, but in reality there is much that I avoid out of fear or laziness.  I am making it a personal mission to overcome a few fear as part of my road to a healthy/ happy life.

A while back I posted THIS: a reflection on sitting out of life. There are several things I really want to do, but have avoided due to some silly fear I have. Like the sledding in the post mentioned, I often find excuses and I rationalize not doing something because I am either worried or feel like it is inconvenient or most commonly I am afraid of failing or looking stupid.

But I am a big girl now and it is time to work on this.

The fears I am hoping to confront sooner rather than later are my fear of running and my fear of physical competition. This all developed in my teenage years. Growing up I was a wannabe athlete. I played field hockey, ran track. When I went off to college I taught jogging and conditioning classes and I was even a personal trainer for a while.

Does it seem weird that someone who ran track and even trained others to run has a fear of running? Well here is the thing, I was never really good at it. I have always been slow, never really enjoyed it, had knee pain while doing it, etc., etc.

The other struggle I have had since childhood is that I started the sports thing late in the game. I didn't have a dad who taught me how to throw/ catch a ball or shoot hoops. My mom was active with us, but we didn't do anything in the world of organized sports. I didn't even ride a bike much. In high school I quickly learned that athletes were cool, involved and I joined the field hockey team (I didn't own a stick or know even one single rule). I played, it was fun, but I was never good. I could keep up in practice and was in good shape..but I am pretty sure my lack of confidence held me back.

When it came to track I ran distance (the mile) and I never really tried. I never pushed myself and kind of half-assed races. Mostly I was afraid that if I tried really hard and still sucked, that I would be embarrassed.

But I always wanted to be the sporty type. My grownup self loves working out and lifting weights...but I have never really tackled running. I do all kinds of cardio..but running was my last choice. AND I was so afraid of looking stupid or falling on my face, that I dreaded and physical competition. I am pretty convinced that if you fear a sport, it makes you bad at it..even if you are physically capable of being good.

Until recently I had just told myself, if you hate running then just don't do it, life is too short to do things you hate. However, I am starting to realize that I need to try running again because I need to get over my fear and my tendency to avoid things that I am not good at.

BUT my primary reason for wanting to try running is for my children.

I have this vision in my head of my children attending races that I am running, cheering me on as I go or meeting me at the finish line. I feel like that is an amazing thing to show your kiddos....a mama who stays fit and isn't afraid to take on a challenge.

Truth be told I am terrified of embarrassing myself in a race. I hate to think of all the real runners looking at me as a slowly jog along. But what I know is that much of this is a mind game. I figure I know I am tough..I mean I did push out 3 babies without any drugs and I have carried my son up a mountain with out much complaining.

I can run. I am starting to believe this now.

So, what am I going to do about it. Well first off, I need to start running. I have a pelvic injury from giving birth that I am trying to work through. I am going to start on the treadmill so I can really track distance, time, etc. and go from there. Though I do not particularly enjoy running, I love to sweat and get my heart rate way up. So instead of just starting with jogging as long as I can and then walking (which is my usual approach) I am going to do high intensity interval training and slowly increase time and speed.

And the biggest challenge is that I signed up for this baby:
The Shape Diva Dash

It is a 3 mile obstacle course race put on by Shape magazine. I am super excited about it because it seems pretty fun and laid back. I am hoping that by starting small with something fun like this, I might be encouraged to keep going and challenge myself with other races. My husband and I are talking about doing another obstacle run together in the future so this will be a good test.

So I will report back on how running is going. Wish me luck. the entry fee is paid and there is no turning back.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Not my kid (passing judgement)

My kids:

will always brush their teeth- will never be bribed with food- will always wash their hands after taking a poop-will go to church-will eat vegetables-will be promptly removed from a store when tantruming-will not play with guns*-will rarely watch TV-will never be spanked-will never sleep in my bed-will never swear-will always get a dirty diaper changed-will not play video games-will clean up their messes-will always have their hair cut-will not ever have my spit used to clean their faces-will not get yelled at- will never be in the yard alone-will not eat hot dogs-will not hit-will not stay in on a sunny day-will not be spoiled-will do all their homework-will know how to swim-will never miss appointments-will never tell me they hate me- will not eat McDonalds-will practice the alphabet-will never be ignored
*Yes, that's MY daughter with a toy gun

I bet every person has done it. Judged. Yup, I am pretty sure even the most non-judgmental of folks has secretly judged another at some point. Maybe it was a warranted judgment, as in how we all felt about decisions Casey Anthony made. But sometimes it seems to be the age old mistake of criticizing before we have walked a mile in the shoes of the one we are judging.

I have done it. First it was pre-kid judging. I wont raise MY hypothetical, unborn child that way.

And it didn't even stop there. I kept right on judging. Judging moms who had more kids than me. Deciding right then and there how once I had all my kiddos, how I would never to this, or always do that.

The thing is, I am pretty sure my judgments were a form of self-discovery. Another words, my judgments were less about the person who I was judging and more about me. Me trying to figure out what is important to me, what I hope to do for my children, and what I would not compromise on when it came to raising them.

The stupid mistake I was making is that you have NO IDEA what you are getting yourself into when you become a parent of one, then two, then three. And it gets even more complicated when you pregnancies are close together and your children are all little. The judgments I passed on other parents, the assumptions I made about what I would and would not do, the vision I had in my head of how I would raise MY kids....that my friends has all been rocked to the core.

I now understand that the reality is that you CANNOT do it all. If you work full time, have a healthy marriage, have three kids, and friends, and other family member that may need you and a home to take care of, and maybe some pets and of course yourself to worry about, then something will have to give. And you will be judged. It is inevitable. And one of the best things that has happened to me recently is that I have finally come to a point in my life that I do not care what other people think (I don't have time to). But I have also stopped judging so much.

At the end of the day I have a choice. I can focus on all the things that I didn't do for my kids. All the parent rules I have broken. OR I can do this:

Refocus on the non-negotiable. The things that make up our families moral code. The good in it all. Which for me is-

-I will tell my children I love them every day
-I will put all my effort into giving them a variety of experiences
-I will do my best to model a healthy, active lifestyle and get up and out of the house as much as possible.

I am doing the best I can most of the time and I only pray that it is the right thing for US.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Month Post-Baby Body

Okay, I was dragging my feet on this one....but here we are, one month out from giving birth. And it is time for honestly here. I am starting another road. I have been down this road before, the difficult, but necessary road of weight loss. It is time to get serious and start to think about getting off extra weight and continuing my healthy living/ fitness journey.

So, how is it all going? Well I have some weight to get off, but the good news is my body seems to be allowing me to start this process because my healing is going well. My doctor recommenced nothing more than light walking until 6 weeks postpartum (which is 2 weeks away) but I stopped bleeding and feel good enough to do some light workouts at the gym.

So I listed my weight/ measurement one week after birth HERE. I decided not to take measurements again until 2 months out, mostly because I am not sure much has changed and I have only been working out for a few days.

My current weight seems to be fluctuating between let's call it 150. I am not going to lie, I secretly hoped 5 more lbs would magically melt off and I would be well into the 140's...yeah, not so much. I have only lost 2 more lbs since 1 weeks out. All that "magic" weight is already off and this is what I am faced with.

So here are the pictures. We will call them BEFORE photos. I choose to squeeze into wear this tank top because it is the same shirt I am wearing in my blog picture on the right of the screen. My goal is to look like that in this top again. I think it gives you a good idea of my goal and what I looked like when I was in good shape and at my goal weight/ fitness level.

Front boobs are huge (notice in real "non-nursing" life I have no boobs)

                                                                        Back view

                                                  Side: I kinda miss my big ole preggo belly

So how am I going to get to my goal of 135ish lbs? Well I am going to stick with my goals from 1 week after baby:

1. Get back to eating more clean than I am right now- I am doing pretty good at this. The key is keeping good/ healthy food in the house. I am starting to look at clean recipe blogs and sites again..which helps motivate me
2. Slowly start to exercise and get the kids involved in the process
Well my first day back at the gym was Saturday and I have gone on Sunday, and today (Wednesday) and I did the elliptical at home on Tuesday, along with a day of walking around with the kids on a family day trip. I am having to go slow. My body has healed enough to start the process, but not enough for heavy lifting or anything too intense. I still feel like someone kicked me in the crotch with a steel toed boot and my insides are still tender....but I am getting there and I know that by next month I will be lifting again
3. Get down to 145 lbs
5 lb goals are good for me. 145 is attainable and I would really love to be there by my two month update.

I would like to add the goal of :
4. Tracking calories/ fitness using
I have been doing this as much as possible but it is hard to sit down and get anything done with 3 monkeys who need me all day..however, when you exercise and breastfeed it is essential to get your calorie intake under control. I learned the hard way that eating too little can prohibit weight loss even more than eating too many calories. So i will use the website to make sure I am eating enough good/ healthy food to keep my supply and energy up AND to drop the LBS

So here's to hoping I can drop the excuses and get enough sleep to make this all happen. Every mama knows that the hardest part of having a one month old infant is lack of sleep and no real schedule.
BUT, if I can do it now, I can do it forever.

I will report back in one month!

Monday, June 4, 2012

7 years, thanks to beers

Today is June 4...which means something special around these parts. It is the 7th anniversary of the night my husband and I met.

Ironically, though neither Mike and I drink anymore, we met at a beer festival that takes place a few times a year in South Boston. My friend and I literally stumbled into two guys only about 30 minutes before the festival ended. Mike and I were more like the wingmen for our two friends who had been hitting on each other.

To make a long story short, we ended up talking all night and hitting up several local bars together. At the time I lived right in Boston and could show him all of my local establishments.

Fast forward seven years, some great dates, a quick engagement, a wedding, 3 kids, a lot of memories, some pain and more love than I ever thought I would get to feel......and here we are.

My husband, my best friend, my partner in crime..I love you more than words could ever express.

Days like this are meant for reflecting. Though we don't really "celebrate" this date formally (we have our wedding anniversary next month for that) but I know we both take time to remember and think about our love and our life together and where it all began.

We had no clue back then. No clue how wonderful and challenging our life together would be...How close we would become...How many sacrifices we would make...How we would quickly grow to need each other..How we would share all of our secrets...and How eventually we would be a true family, two lives who were so separate that day, June 4th, 7 years ago and now so intertwined, two totally inseparable souls. 

Meeting my husband really made me a better person. I know that is cliche and that everyone who is married probably says it...but it is so true. I think about that 24 year old girl at the beer festival and I think of how far I have come since then, how much I have learned. My husband has taught me so much about who I am, what I love and how I want to live my life. I am fairly certain he would say the same thing about me. Somehow we have brought out the best in each other (though it took some time for that to happen).

I love you Micheal. Thank you for being you and for showing up at that beer festival so many years ago. I am glad that we do not drink anymore, but I am also glad that we were total drunks back in the day, because it would have really sucked not to meet you.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Staying sane with 3 kids

What is going on in our world...
We have done a lot of playing. The kiddos have been pretty crazy and attention seeking now that they have a tiny baby to compete with. So this mama has been doing a lot of refereeing and putting on shows to keep the monkeys happy and going.

There have been bubble baths
Helping with the gardening

Bike riding and playgrounding
I love this picture above. Today we had a fun family day that started with an event that we go to each year called Touch-a-Truck. It is a kid friendly fundraiser where they can go and hop in and climb on many different work trucks, construction equipment, tractors, buses, etc. It is a fun time and we always run into many of our favorite families. Charlotte is sitting next to her friend Nate above and boy does she look thrilled. She has such a little attitude!!!!
Liam and his pal Colby in the firetruck
Our family loves John Deere

Daddy and his girl

Today was a good day, maybe even a great day. We had Daddy with us, which is always a treat as he works a lot. We had good, healthy, family fun. We also got some decent lunch and frozen yogurt. And all of this was topped of with me coming home and taking a 2 hour nap with the baby. Now THAT is a real treat. I was starting to feel a bit zombie like with the lack of sleep and needed some catching up. The most annoying thing about having a new baby and small kids is reading all of the articles and advice columns that say you need to "find time for yourself, or sleep when the baby sleeps, or do not lift anything over 10 lbs" hahahaha, yeah right.

So on that note, the other struggle I am having is when to return to exercise. I am pretty physically active with the kiddos all day and I am still sore and have stitches that have not dissolved.Ii really want to start working out, as I know it will lift my mood and my natural energy level...but I also am afraid to do more harm than good. I had thought about starting cardio this week and I may do a test run on Tuesday to see if I can handle it (on our home elliptical) and then if it goes okay I may start to try and get up for the gym.

 I don't think I will lift anything until my 6 week appt and when my stitches are gone. It sure is hard to wait, mostly because I worked really hard to stay fit throughout my pregnancy and I feel like it is slipping away. But damn does my pelvis still hurt.

Stay tuned for my one month post baby update.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Raising little girls, scary or exciting?

I have two daughters! Holy crap, how did that happen? For some reason when I found out our first was a boy I was not at all surprised and it felt like what I expected.

Maybe it is because my husband was one of three boys, or maybe because my whole life I was more of a "one of the guys" kind of girl...but a part of me expected that I would not have a daughter....a mom who had a brood of little boys. Well clearly that theory was wrong.

So here I am, a mama with one over active, joy of a son and TWO little ladies. So why might the thought of raising daughter scare me? I mean I am a girl and I turned out okay, so I should know how girls should be raised, right?

Well I guess the answer to that is both yes and no.

Yes, I would like to think I know what it means to be a woman in today's world, that I know what kind of love and guidance my girls will need to be happy and mentally healthy.
But I also know that it can be hard to be a girl in today's world, that no matter what my husband and I do, not matter how much we love them, that they may fall victim to some of the social pressures and expectations that plague the young girls of today.

I worry for them.

I worry that they may be made to feel ugly, weak, stupid. That they will look at other women, movie stars, models and friends and feel like they are less than them, that they are not good enough.

I worry about them being confident enough to be alone. I know too many women who end up in relationships and friendships that are not right, or that they settle into just because they do not know how to be alone, to be happy just with who they are without someone else justifying this for them.

I desperately want them to feel like they are good at many things. ....not just that they are pretty, or smart...but that they have self-worth that comes from many places. I want to be sure that if they fail at one thing that they can find happiness in and feel good about something else.

I want them to know that they can always come matter what, no questions asked. It terrifies me to think that some girls do certain things or stay in bad situations out of desperation and no where to turn.

I want them to find happiness, to know who they are, to know how a good man (or woman) should treat them, to find real love, to love their family.

But I am excited about these two little ladies and what the future has in store for them (and for us). I am going to remember the mistakes I made, the wonderful lessons my mother and grandmother taught me, the words that I wish someone had spoken to me.

I am optimistic that they will have great lives. They certainly have a great role model in their father, and I would like to believe in me too.

One thing is for certain and that is that I love them with all of my heart and that I would die to protect them. I am also pretty sure their big brother loves them as much as I here's to hoping he looks out for my girls.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Post-Partum Body...1 week

I wanted to have a starting point to go by, even though I feel like it is a bit early for this. My current major goal is to get breastfeeding under control and get Vivienne accustom enough to life on the outside, that I am able to squeeze in some exercise when my body will allow me to do so.

The doctor recommends waiting until 6 weeks post partum until reassuming exercise. I plan to start slow by the end of week two by just taking walks and maybe doing some light elliptical work.

It is really hard to just sit around and feel fluffy, but I know better than to push too hard.

So here is some pre-pregnancy info to put my weight and body in perspective.

My last know pre-pregnancy weight was 138lbs and I am 5'7

At that time I had recently (1-2 months or so) weaned my daughter from nursing. Prior to that my lowest weigh was 132lbs, but that was at the peak of breastfeeding at not really a realistic long term weight for my height and frame. I was working out a lot at the time I found out I was pregnant and was in the best shape of my life.

The picture to the right of this post (in the tank top holding Charlotte) I am 135 lbs and it was a month and a half before pregnancy. That is my goal, to be around 135-140, in shape with muscle tone.

Pregnancy weight: On the day I gave birth I was 170lbs. This put me at a 32lbs weight gain.

1 week post partum stats:

Current weight: 152lbs

High waist: 32"
Around belly button: 34.5"
Hips: 40"
Upper thigh (right): 23"

The good news:

I started this blog 6 months after my daughter's birth because I was feeling lazy and generally crappy about my body and level of activity. That post can be found HERE.

At that time I was 154lbs. So I am starting at a much better place. I also exercised regularly and weight trained until 37 weeks into pregnancy, so I think I am stronger and will not have such a long road to travel.

The bad news:

When you have 3 children (one who is nursing), a full time job and a household to look after, NOTHING is simple. If I want to get myself in shape I have to work at it and there will be NO room for excuses. When I started this healthy journey I had to wake up at 4am each day to nurse my daughter, than pump and then go to the gym. I expect it will be even more complicated this time. I do not have a gym that has a daycare and my only option is to go to the gym in the morning or work out after the kids go to bed. But I will do it. I will be a good role model for my kids and I will feel good about myself again.

So my first health/ fitness goals:

1. Get back to eating more clean than I am right now
2. Slowly start to exercise and get the kids involved in the process
3. Get down to 145 lbs

I will check back in at the one-month mark and let you know how it is going.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Loving where you live

Now that we are done the baby making and baking phase of life, we are turning our energy to the homefront. Namely garden planting, chicken raising and making small improvements where we can. So far we (and by we I really mean my husband) is on a roll. Since my return from the hospital, only one week ago, he has done the following:
Planted tons of potted plants to surround the yard including tomato, lettuce, kale, blackberries, broccoli, herbs and taken a few trips to the local greenhouse for more.

Transferred all 30 chicken into their coop, which I assure you is no small feet..those suckers are fast

Helped me wrangle grouchy, attention seeking children

Started to clear the big field for ground planting, which starts next week

Let big boy "drive" the tractor so he doesn't feel left out.

Put a whole lotta dirt into pots

Straightened the yard for summer nights that are creeping up on us.

Pushed baby girl in her swing because she would rather be there than anywhere else.

Finished off a part of the porch which has been nagging us to get finished for two years. Now we can really enjoy the porch rockers and swing that I love so much.

And this is a huge part of why I love where I live. Because my husband works hard to make it home for us all. A beautiful home that he built himself. A place where I can be happy just watching my kiddos in the yard. With our newest baby in her rock and play in the shade, I sit an observe and I like feeling the security of my own yard and I love watching my kids learn about plants, animal and nature right in their own back yard. And of course it helps that we have the beach only 2 miles away.

In my eyes there is no better balance than a small little "farm" and the freedom of playing on the beach. I hope to continue to gain more of an appreciation for all I have and where I live. I will never be wealthy, but I know I have a lot to be thankful for.