Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Foodie Penpal

I follow/ read many a food and exercise blog. I secretly envy all of the well organized foodie bloggers who have such yummy, creative recipes, great pictures and who have much more interesting and fun ideas than my boring self.

One of my favorite blogs is by Lindsay from The Lean Greenbean
She has a great balance between fitness and food and I have tried many of her recipes.

So I decided that I really wanted to participate in her foodie penpal event this month.
If you do not feel like clicking to learn more, the general idea is you get assigned a person to send a food package to and someone else is assigned to send one to you.

I sent a package to a sweet young woman named Maggie, who is a college athlete. She was kind enough to write about the package she recieved. I am going to post that after my own post.

The package I recieved was from a fellow blogger named Emily from More than Just Dessert.
I was overjoyed when I saw all of the yummy stuff she included. Se was so thoughtful and she even researched my blog to try and find ideas on things I might like.

Here's the stash

Trader Joes Tricolored quinoa: We eat a good amount of quinoa, but I had yet to try the tricolored, so I am super excited to give it a shot.

She also sent some other yummy Trader Joes sweet treats like yogurt colored almonds, chocolate covered cranberries, banana chips, fruit leathers and almond butter. These are all so good and the kids and I were so psyched  to take some of them on our road trip to Vermont. Thank goodness I passed my glucose test the day I got the box so I could sample the goodies myself. The almonds were so good that both my husband and I could not stop eating them.

My FAVE thing of all was this baby right here......

Emily had noticed that I like to make my own pizza and she was so sweet to send me her favorite pizza spice. Let's just say I LOVE my pizza and this spice is really good.

So all and all I had a great penpal experience. The hardest part was deciding what I could send to Maggie. It is really hard to pick things that are good and that might be new to the person recieving it. I would like to do it again, but I might wait until the baby is born because I don't want to end up not being able to get a package to someone as I get closer to my due date.You do not need to be a blogger to participate (Maggie does not have a blog) so check it out!

Here is Maggie's post about the package she recieved from me.

Hi I am Maggie. This was my first time participating in the Foodie Penpal and let’s just say I am hooked now. It was like Caroline knew exactly what I liked or have always thought of trying but never have. Check out all the goodies I received:

 I received the following:

1)      Back to Nature Chocolate Delight Granola. This is my absolute favorite brand of granola to buy and I love this flavor.

2)      Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar. I have never tried this flavor because I wasn’t sure how it would taste since I love my cookie dough. After trying it, I fell in love. It is pretty high up there on my list of favorite Larabar’s now.

3)      Trader Joe’s Sweet, Savory, & Tart Trial Mix Granola Bars. These were so good and make for the perfect morning or afternoon snack to hold you over. I love eating a granola bar right before I work out and these bars were the perfect size for a pre-workout snack

4)      Mestemacher Three Grain Bread. I have yet to try this yet, but I am very anxious too. I love my carbs and love trying new breads out.

5)      Trader Joe’s Orange Flavored Cranberries. I had never tried these before until I got them in the package. I have had blueberry and cherry flavored cranberries, but let me tell you, the orange flavored cranberries make an awesome addition to oatmeal or vanilla ice cream.

6)      Extra Dessert Delights Strawberry Shortcake gum and Sweetriot Dark Chocolate. Let me just say the gum is a perfect lifesaver if you are craving something sweet, but don’t really have anything at your fingertips.  As for the chocolate, this was a very brand of dark chocolate and can definitely see myself buying some more of it in the future.

7)      Trader Joe’s Jasmine Pearls Tea. I haven’t gotten a chance to try this yet, but it sounds like it would be a great flavor.

8)      Clean Eating Magazine. I am a sucker for food magazines and was so excited when I saw this in the package. I love finding new recipes to try!

I would just like to thank Caroline again for the awesome package and if you haven’t signed up yet for the March Foodie penpal, you should definitely consider it. It was a fun experience and one I will be participating in again!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Real Men Rock Prenatal Workouts

As I mentioned before, my body is rebelling against pregnancy right now and I have had to rethink my workouts.
The last few days this consisted of walking, stretching and dusting off the ole' prenatal workout DVDs.

I did a lot of these when pregnant with Charlotte, and while they are not quite enough to stay in the kind of shape I'd like to be in....they fit my better than nothing mantra.

My favorite one is Summer Sanders Prenatal Workout
It is a decent toning, stretching and light cardio workout that gets your heart rate up a bit and has you use resistance bands.

You can select the trimester you are in and the workout length (60 or 30 minutes). I personally have never bothered with the 3rd trimester workout, it's a bit to easy. But the 2nd tri is a good little workout.

But the BEST part of all of this is that my cooperative, loving husband as agreed to do it with me. Only a real man can suck up his pride and do pregnancy workouts with their wife. This is one of many reasons I love this man. It is always great to have a partner in exercise and keeps me motivated.

I would love to post a photo of this, but the man does have his pride..so I will not be that mean. I actually think he was impressed by how hard he had to work.

So I am trying to figure out this new fitness routine and will be back to the gym tomorrow with a new routine..here's to hoping my hips don't fall off.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wobbly vacation legs

I haven't posted in a while. I have been enjoying the gloriousness of vacation week and we were on a trip to here (Wildflower Inn in Vermont)

It was a good time, mostly because the kiddos got a lot of love from their meme and pepe and we ate some excellent food.

I needed a little R&R after a stressful week of pregnancy tests. First off I failed the one hour glucose test and had to do the dreaded 3 hour the day we left. I also had an ultrasound o be sure I didn't have placenta previa. Before the tests I was getting down on myself. It annoyed me that I am working so hard to be healthy, yet still having to do all this stuff. However, I passed all the tests and everything is fine.

My other issue is that my SPD is HORRIBLE right now. If you don't know what this is, here ya go:

Symphysis pubic dysfunction, or SPD, is one of those weird pregnancy conditions that sounds bizarre and well, kind of is. It means the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed and stretchy. This, in turn, can make the pelvic joint — aka the symphysis pubis — unstable, causing some pretty strange sensations and sometimes pain.

While your legs won't actually fall off (promise), it may seem like they're going in opposite directions from each other (and the rest of your body). Walking, standing, or rolling over in bed can really hurt as one side of the joint shifts more than the other, throwing everything off-kilter. In very rare cases, the joint may gape apart noticeably, a condition called diastasis symphysis pubis, which can cause serious pain in your pelvis, groin, hips, and buttocks (truly, a pain in the rear!).

The more babies you have, the worse it can get. I had it with Charlotte and it is 1000x's worse this time. So what does this mean. For me it means walking has been extremely painful the last week, sitting is worse, and sleep is impossible. It also meant that the 5 hour car ride to Vermont was hell on earth and the bad hotel bed was even worse. So I am having to rethink my exercise plan. I had to take a few days off from the gym, per doctors orders.

Basically the main parts of my fitness routine are making it worse. Anything where my legs are not both stable and on the ground together or where there is weight on one side more than the other, is making it worse (Think step ups, lunges, split squats, bosu ball leg work, high intensity arc trainer and elliptical work and anything on the core board). Honestly I am not sure what to do. I am going to start on Monday and try to lower my resistance on the cardio machines and do some of the circuit machines and any weight work that doesn't require my legs to move much. This is tough because I base everything I do on multiple body parts moving at once and I am having to change all of that. I am going with the mantra, something is better than nothing.

On a positive note, I did receive my foodie penpal box and am looking forward to posting about all the tasty treats that I got!!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh hello third trimester, nice to see you again.

I have started the final stretch of pregnancy and am now in the third tri. This is where getting big takes on a new meaning and the excitement starts to set in. It is also where I start to freak out that I need to get crap done before I have three children to tend to instead of just two.

Everyone in the web world is answering the same list of pregnancy questions and since I have little else to say about life at this second I thought I would give them a go.

How far along: 27 weeks, 2 days
 Baby size: 2-2.5 lbs and 14 or so inches long...but I bet she is a bit bigger. My babies grow fast
Total weight gain: I am at about 20 lbs..hoping stay within 30 lbs total
Belly button: 3rd pregnancy=outie very early. The kids like to poke it and laugh
Stretch marks: I just have a few small ones from my second and they are the clear kind. I have good genes in that department
Maternity clothes: I am sick of them already. I had to buy a few more tops...but I hate the pants the most. They always fall off my butt. I try to wear dresses and yoga pants as much as possible.
Sleep: ehhh, it has gotten to that point where I wake up every 30 minutes either to pee or move the belly to the other side...but I am used to that by now.
Symptoms: As of last week I started to get heartburn before bed. I also have very sore crotch, legs and tailbone and veins in my legs that had better go away when I am done. By the way almost none of this happened with my first and have gotten worse with each baby.
Aversions/cravings: I eat a pretty healthy, well-rounded diet. I really think that helps keep cravings at bay. Like always I love good, healthy, veggies filled foods of all varieties and some occasional sweet stuff. My biggest indulgance is big weekend breakfasts, yum.
Best moment of the week: Probably buying two matching dresses, one is size 2T the other in 3 months for my two girls. I am really starting to know the joy of having two little sisters on my hands.
What I am looking forward to: I have a 28 week ultrasound on Wednesday to find out if my placenta has moved up. I am praying for good news because if it hasn't moved it may mean bedrest, no more exercise and/or a C-section..all of which I dread more than anything. It will be fun to see her little squirmy self no matter what.
Nursery Progress: Umm, we don't have anything done for that yet. We finally decided to buy another crib because Charlotte is so little and sleeps so well in hers and I don't want to push her out too early. We decided Charlotte and Liam will share a room, so Liam is changing rooms and we have ordered some furniture for him (bunk beds and a bureau). So when the furniture gets here we can probably set up a room for the baby. It will feel good to have something prepared a head of time.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentines Day Love Story Link up

I stumbled across this link up in the blog world at a blog I like to check in on found here. I love a little romance in my life and I am lucky to have a romantic for a husband, who is good at making me feel special everyday.

I had so much fun reading the love stories of other bloggers that I figured I could answer the questions myself in honor of Valentines Day.

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Just about 7 years
2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
I was young, single and living with girlfriends in the city. I had basically sworn off men after getting annoyed by the singles scene in Boston. I went to an all day beerfest in Boston and as the event was ending one of my most gutsy girlfriends started hitting on this guy who she thought was cute. His friend would turn out to be the love of my life. We started out as the "wingmen" and ended up hanging out all night. We went on our first real date the next week and were never really apart after that. There was no doubt that he was the one from the start.
3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? 
We are coming up on 5 years this summer. 
4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? 
We were married in the town we now live in, which is a beach town on Cape Cod. It was July, sunny, beautiful and 70's. The ceremony was at a small Catholic Chapel on the Harbor
The reception was across the Harbor at a place called the Flying Bridge. It was sooo much fun.
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Just the basics. Usually hun or babe...nothing crazy. Since the kids it is mama and daddy a lot.
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
Hmm, that's tough to narrow down. I would say his old school, gentlemen manners. He is the old school romantic. I also love that is is a guys guy..athletic, handy, he can build houses, knows about farm animals and is very physically fit and strong.
And lastly he is the best daddy. It takes a certain kind of man to take his daughter to music class and dance with the rest of the moms and to still be a real man while doing it. He is patient and kind to his children and he doesn't do anything without them in mind.
7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
He proposed after only 6 months of dating. It was Thanksgiving night. I had just driven to his apartment and he kept pressing that he wanted to dance with me. Our song came on the radio and soon after another one of our favorite songs had come on. It turns out he had requested them to come on at a certain time. When the second song ended he was down on one knee. It was intimate and beautiful and I was is shock...I mean who proposes after just 6 months!?
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
He's more of a love note, flowers, and good dinner kind of guy (we don't drink). He is good at massages too, so I am sure that will be involved.
9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Movie and couch and good food. I love the beach very much...but we have two kids and another on the way...we have a lot of couch time.
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
I would love to go back to Belize, where we had our honeymoon...but the long term thing I am hoping to do is to take the kids on a major cross country camping/ driving trip. We are pretty adventurous and love to explore. If we can survive a 5 day RV trip with my whole family together, we could do it on our own.
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
Hmm it is a Tuesday night, I work all day and we have two kids and I am pregnant...so probably make a good dinner, get the kids to bed and sleep...maybe a massage can be squeezed in somewhere.
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
I have everything I need. I seriously want and need nothing..I just like spending time together.
13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
You have to like each other as much as you love each other. We are best friends and always put each other first. I also think going to bed together at the same time has been huge for us.
14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

How green is your monster?

Mine is not so green these days, even though it has plenty of spinch and kale because my blueberries make it a purple monster. Since my stomach has been pretty great 2nd tri I have heen back to smoothie drinking to start the day.
I love starting with some version of green monster. My current fave has been as follows:
Spinach, kale, chia and flax seed, natural pnut butter, vanilla protein, strawberries, blueberries, banana, water and ice. I make enough for all 4 of us and it is so good...especially after a great gym session. I especially love that the kids (including the baby to be) get some extra veggies to start the day. We can never get enough green veggies.

Liam loves his smoothie

Today's smoothie came after a decent workout of
10 min arc trainer warmup
3xs 15 squats on an upside down bosu ball
3xs 12 lunges on bosu
3xs 12 seated rows w 50 lbs
3xs 12 squats with 20 lb bar curls as I squat
3xs 10, 8, 8 pull downs with 50 lbs
3xs 12 reps on seated leg press, 50 lbs

Followed by lots pf stretching because my back has really started bothering me.

And all of this is even better because it is FRIDAY........wohoooooo.

Happy weekend, I hope you had a good Friday workout and a fun-filled weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pregnant chicks lift weights too

Pregnancy workout of the day....

15 minute arch trainer workout to get this big belly moving

3xs 10 squats on the squat bar with 20 lbs each side.

Alternating sets of
Shoulder press 3 xs 12 with 12 lb weights
Lat pull downs 3xs 10 with 50 lbs

Alternating sets of
Weighted step ups, with 2 15 lb weights
Weighted lunges

Alternating sets of
Planks with legs on stability ball
Oblique twists with medicine ball twist, 3 xs 15

Alternating sets of
Cable machine wood chop, 3 sets of 12 on each side with 20 lbs
Squats with 15 lb weight on reebok core board, 3xs 12

Followed by lots of stretching. I have to take tomorrow off because I am hurting...but am still happy to do some good lifting. I hope this strength pays off when I start my postpregnancy journey.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baby names, healthy choices, pigtails and workouts

One of the biggest lifestyle changes I made in the past year is that I have learned that most of the time the healthy, more wholesome and less processed version of any food tastes so much better.

Take my Friday night homemade pizza ritual.

I cannot tell you how much tastier it is to control the quality of my pizza. If you have ever ordered a pizza thinking you were going to get fresh veggies and instead you had a can of mushrooms dumped on top and a crust that probably contains a stick of butter, than you know what I can talking about.

My pizza includes a full bag of spinach, a full container of fresh mushrooms, 1 whole fresh tomato (instead of sauce with added sugar), fresh garlic and olives....YUM!
I really love fresh veggies and I feel sad for people who are veggiephoebic. I often wonder if they just don't know how to prepare them correctly.

Anyhow, I am really hoping to pass on these healthy eating habits to these cuties.....

They are always asking me to buy them prepackaged, sugary, processed crap (the damn boxes and commercials are sooo appealing to the 3 year old eye) and it can be difficult to say no. I admit, they have eaten more gold fish crackers than I would like and they have had plenty of other treats in the same category....but I am trying to influence their choices even more these days.

I will let you know how that goes. At least they like my pizza.

Speaking of my babies, I am loving that Charlotte can have her hair in pigtails now. What is it about baby girls and pigtails that is just so stinking cute? Love it!

I am looking forward to seeing what this next little girl will look like. My sister and I look nothing alike and I find it strange that two siblings can end up being so very different.

The great news is that we finally named baby girl. I didn't know if I wanted to share it with everybody but now that I feel 100 percent sure, I don't care who knows.

Our newest little lady will be
Vivienne Rose

I have loved this name for a while. I adore the French spelling and pronunciation which honors my French heritage and Rose was my great grandmother's name. But best of all it is not in the top 100, which is super important to me. The kiddos are already calling her "Vivi" so I am pretty sure it has stuck.

Pregnant life is still going okay. I am getting a lot bigger and have had to modify some of the workouts, but I still made it four days last week. I am doing 2 days of lifting and 2 days of cardio/ core with lots of stretching.

I still spend a lot of time on squats, lunges and deadlifts because I know these keep my lower half strong for carrying around this big belly.

I love the looks I get at the gym; some sympathetic, some concerned some just friendly. I just keep plugging away. I also wear these tanks sometimes:

I don't exactly look like this lady:

but I like the cute tanks and they are super long and keep the big ole' belly covered. Plus my picture was taken at 4:30am....so that's my excuse!