Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Having Dogs and a Baby

When Ina was a few weeks old, the people asked us the same few questions - 

How is she eating?

How is she sleeping?

How did you make such a beautiful baby?  (secret family recipe)

How are the dogs handling the baby?

Dog?  What dogs?  

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Oh, them.

After 3 months, here are some thoughts on having dogs and a newborn:

- Before Ina was born, Aumlette and Lilly knew that something was up.  They acted different, more protective.  They went from getting out of the backyard once a month to not at all.  Also, they could tell they needed to mark their territory.  Unfortunately, when we were making piles of Ina's clothes in her room, one of them decided that the 3 to 6 month pile was up for grabs.  Eh, they needed to be washed anyways, right?

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- Our dogs aren't the violent type, but we were still cautious bringing Ina home.  Dan took one of her blankets home from the hospital and let the dogs smell it and lay on it a few days beforehand.  Then, we made sure that the dogs were outside when we brought her in the house for the first time, so they didn't view her as a guest entering the house.  We have never had a problem with them messing with her.  Beside the occasional sniff, they mostly leave her alone.

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- It was a huge adjustment, not only for them, but for me.  Pre-baby, they were the center of my attention when I was home.  If they wanted a back scratch, some water, or to go outside, it was no big deal.  Obviously, now things have changed.  They sometimes will stand at the door for 10 minutes asking to go outside while I am busy feeding Ina, and then just give up. Sometimes they don't get breakfast until around dinner time.  I don't want to pet them as much because then I just have to wash my hands more.  

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- Our girl dog, Lilly (the gold one), requires a lot more attention. She still is adjusting to me not giving it all to her.  I call her "Lilly Girl" and sometimes I call Ina "baby girl."  Poor Lilly runs in the room, tail wagging, every single time. She also still thinks that when I talk in my high pitched voice to Ina, I am talking to her.  Slowly, we are finding a new balance of my attentions.

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- Our boy dog, Aumlette, the beagle, doesn't seem to notice a change.  Except that he always lays next to where Ina is, protecting her.  Also, every time I let him in from outside, he smells every single one of her rockers until he finds her.  It is so cute.  He also is a huge fan of all the new things on the floor to cuddle up with.


- Years ago, a friend was telling me that when she had her first baby she had to give her dog away.  I remember thinking that was so sad.  How could she give her dog away?  I could never do that, I love my dogs.  She told me that the love for a baby doesn't even compare, that the dogs will be an afterthought.  I didn't believe her.  Now, I completely understand.  Of course, we are not going to give our dogs away, but I understand how it would be necessary if the dog wasn't cooperating.  

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- Sometimes they get a little too frisky playing next to Ina, and I have to stop them.  Sometimes they howl at a leaf blowing in the yard and I have to quiet them down.  Having dogs makes having a baby a little more complicated, but I have to say it is worth it.  We are now one big happy family. 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Ethical Question

I realize that the topic discussed below has nothing to do with running.  Or with eating healthy. However, it was a surprising experience for me and something I cannot get off my mind.  So, because I am thinking about it, I am going to write about it.

On Saturday night when Dan, Abby, Ina, and I were headed to the hockey game, Dan noticed we needed to stop for gas.  There was a lot of snow on the roads, so we took a back-way to the gas station.  This was my first time entering the neighborhood behind our favorite Quick Trip.  I had seen it many times from the highway, but never came closer than that.  The houses, for the most part, were small and run down. I saw a church and a school I didn't know existed.  I didn't even know what town we were technically in.  Just as I was getting ready to ask Dan what school district the elementry school belonged to I heard him gasp.

I turned my head to follow his line of vision and could not believe what I saw.  A little girl, two, maybe three years old, was running down the middle of the road.  That fact alone would be bad.  The fact that it was a very cold, snowy Febuary day, made it worse.  The fact that this little girl was wearing only a small pair of underwear, made it absolutely, gut-wrenching, sickening.  She had long dark hair that looked like she had just got out of bed, except it was almost time for the sun to set.  She had tan skin, and still plenty of baby fat.  Her little bare feet were skuttling along the pavement.  There was a worried look on her face.

Running in front of her was a little boy.  He was a few years older.  Skinnier.  Paler.  He was fortunate enough to be wearing pajama pants.  However, he also had barefeet and no shirt on.  

My heart sank as I stared at them in disbelief, literally not believeing my eyes. 

A truck coming from the opposite direction stopped in front of them.  At first I thought that the driver knew the children, but just as the children reached it, they turned the corner.  

Within seconds of seeing this I grabbed the door handle.  Locked.  As I was yelling, "let me out" Dan had the car in park and pressed unlock.

By that time the kids were 30 yards ahead of me, still running their hearts out.  "Hi!" I yelled.  

Nothing.  They kept on running.

"Helllooo!" I yelled as I ran after them.  

The little boy turned his head but didn't stop.

"Hi!  Please stop.  My name is Racheal.  I'm nice."

The little boy slowed down and finally stopped, but the girl's little feet kept on moving.

"What are you doing outside?" I asked.

"We can't find our dog.  We lost him."  By this time the little girl had stopped and was nodding her head in agreement.  

"Oh."  I didn't really know how to respond.  What I wanted to do was open the door to our warm car and tell them to jump in.  "Are you doing home now?"

They nodded.  

The door of a house close to where they stood opened and a teenage girl stepped outside and screamed, "Get in here right now!"  

The kids didn't give me a second look as they ran inside the house.  The door shut.

I stayed outside and stared at that door for a few seconds while Dan drove up to where I stood.  When I got in the car he was giving the 911 operator the address of the house.  The operator assured us that they would send someone soon to the house.

Dan drove to the gas station.  As he was pumping the gas, I couldn't get those poor children off my mind.  I couldn't stop asking myself if we did the right thing.

Was calling 911 and driving away enough?  What if those kids needed more help?  Will the police officer do enough?  

Was calling 911 too much? What if the parents thought the kids were taking a nap and they snuck out of the house?  Lord knows I was pretty sneaky with my parents.  

My biggest fear is that the police officer did come to the house, give the parents a warning, and leave the children to wrath of the parents who didn't want 911 called on them.  That they would be punished not just for going outside without clothes on, but for getting their parents in trouble.  

I pray we did the right thing.

What would you have done?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Reminder Email

I had a post planned today about my morning routine.  However, after one day back at work I can already tell that a "planned routine" is out of the question, at least for the first few months.  So instead, I thought I would tell you about my first day at work.  

Spoiler alert - I survived.   

I was a mess Sunday night and Monday morning leaving the house.  I think I said bye and kissed Ina about 20 times and all the make-up I put on was washed away before I got to work.  Dan gave me a pep talk on the drive in, but I was still feeling pretty down as I sat at my desk.  

It was weird, there were still documents and notes on my desk from 12 weeks earlier.  My water cup had a few drops in it.  The computer mouse felt funny in my hand.

I spent most of the day going through my ginormous email inbox and finally got to the email I sent my boss the day that Ina was born.  I remember sitting in the hospital, with monitors hooked up to my belly, typing up that email.  It said,

"I will be a little late to work tomorrow.  The baby wasn't moving as much, so I am admitted for the night so they can monitor her.  I will let you know more in the morning." 

(Little did I know what was in store for me just a few hours later.)

So many of the emotions of that day came back to me and that is when I realized that me being upset about leaving Ina is so small compared to what other people have to be upset about, what I have had to be upset about in the past.  

The daughter I am leaving is healthy. The house I am leaving is warm, clean, and stocked with groceries. The job I am going to is one that I love and that provides for my family.  

I am blessed with those things, and for that I am thankful. 

The rest of the day was much better after I read that email. 

I returned home with a pounding headache to a fussy baby.  After playing with the mirror, trying to take a nap, and having a little snack, neither one of us were feeling much better.  However, after some Gripe Water and wine, we were good to go.  


(This was the first time I have given Ina any type of medication.  I think her stomach was hurting because she had milk that I had pumped when she was first born.  Any other mom's with that experience?)

Today I am snowed in, so I get to stay at home with my love.  I hope everyone else in this blizzard is staying safe!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back to Work

The day is here.  

No more staying in my PJs until 5 PM.  Now I have to wear pants with a zipper or a button.  Or worse, shoes that don't lace up.  

I have dreaded this day since I first saw that little blue line.  The day I have to leave my beautiful baby girl.  

 How is it even possible?

When I got pregnant I didn't even think this would be a choice.  Of course I would go back to work.  Why wouldn't I?  Then, I met her and I completely understood and envied every single stay at home mother I have known.  

There are times when I want to go back in time to my high school or college self and tell her to stop.  Stop studying so hard.  Stop investing so much into your career.  Because if you don't have a career, then you won't have anything to keep you away from something you will love more than you can imagine.  If you don't have a career then you won't have to make this choice.  

However, I love my career.  It makes me feel useful and purposeful.  I love using a unique niche that I have developed to contribute to society.  I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy.  I love the people I work with.  

I am thankful for my career that allows me to have a choice.  I am so blessed to have so many choices when it comes to my life, and one of them is to live a balanced life of work and family.  I am crazy enough to think that I can actually do that - balance both.

Ask me in a week how it is working.  

I am not going to talk about the guilt that creeps up on me.  I am not going to talk about the tears that well in my eyes when I see her smile and know I will miss that for 8 hours everyday.  I am not going to talk about how extremely jealous I was to watch Abby give Ina her "practice bottle."  I am not going to talk about how I have been spending the past week holding her more, literally trying to radiate my love from my body to hers.  

Talking about that would be a tad bit dramatic.  I am not dramatic.

So, I am just going to focus on how awesome that past 12 weeks have been.  I have been blessed to have a solid 12 weeks with her.

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She has taught me so much.

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I get to know a little more of her personality every day.


We are starting to become buddies.


I can't wait until I get to come home tonight and see her smile at me.  That will get me through what I predict to be the longest day of my life. 

Thought for the day



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our First Hockey Game + Next Week's Meal Plan

One of Dan's work friends told Dan he had 3 extra tickets to a Missouri Mavericks hockey game last night.  


When Dan called and asked if I wanted to go - I was totally game because

a - I haven't left the house in 6 days.  6 days.  I think I would be very successful at being agoraphobic.  

b - my hockey knowledge doesn't go past what I learned in The Mighty Ducks movies, and those were years ago

So, we packed up Ina and away we went.  


As it turns out, a hockey game isn't the best place to take a baby.  Yep, we were those people.  


Who takes a baby to a hockey game?  asked the judgmental  people all around us.  


Still, the trip was pretty successful.  We only ran into problems when the horn blared after a score (8 times!) and when I was feeding her in the family restroom and some rowdy fans thought I was using more than my fair share of bathroom time.  Yikes.  

Today we are going to church, then grocery shopping, then prepping the meals for this week which are:

Monday: a taco beef version of the chicken tamale bake.  My sister told me she substituted one pound of ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning and mixed with a can of Rotel for the chicken and it was pretty good.  I am going to give it a try. 

Tuesday: meatloaf with roasted green beans and mashed potatoes / cauliflower

Wednesday: crockpot Asian glazed chicken with broccolini and brown rice

Thursday: baked chicken nuggets with sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli

Friday - dinner at my sister's (Jess - the only thing we can bring is leftovers)

Breakfasts - overnight oat "kits" (put all the dry ingredients in little bags so that all I need to do is mix in the milk and the yogurt) and more breakfast cookies

Lunches - leftovers plus quinoa salads

Snacks - popcorn, fruit with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, carrots

I started to put a grocery list together for you guys, but then got a tad bit overwhelmed and figured that you wouldn't really need it.  Let me know if I was wrong. 


I completed Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30.  I have been doing this video about once a week for the past 2ish months, and I am still on Week 1.  I super sore today and terrified to move on to Week 2.  Maybe next year?


Breakfast - hard-boiled eggs with toast and Earth Balance butter

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Lunch - a left over chicken burrito from the night before

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Dinner - chicken fingers and fries at the game - not pictured because I was too busy bouncing my baby.

Points Breakdown

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Thought for the day 

Saturday, February 23, 2013


A few housekeeping issues, but first a picture of what covers the floor in my house - 

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Yes, all of those are necessary.

- After I posted yesterday's post about spam, I seemed to get even more spam comments.  So, I had to add the word verification in my comments section again.  Now my Blogger settings look like this: 

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Since I changed those settings, I haven't had any spam comments.  Yay!  If you have this problem too, maybe give these setting a try.

- Thank you to those of you who introduced yourselves yesterday!  However, I do want to say that I don't mind if people don't comment.  I just love that you stop by to see what I have to say every once in a while.  Believe me, I read lots of blogs and never comment on them.  No judgement here.

- Next week I go back to work (wwaaahhhhh), so all of my posts are going to be pre-written. I am going to give myself a week of getting into a routine before adding writing my blog on top everything else I have to do before I hop out the door.  Tomorrow I plan on posting my menu plan for the week, plus a grocery list if you want to cook along with me. :)


Breakfast was another bowl of Fiber One.

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Lunch was leftover beef and noodles from the night before, plus another salad - minus the broccoli.  

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We had some friends over for dinner for shredded chicken tacos.  

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I washed it down with a few beers and enjoyed some good guacamole and good company.

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What a big girl!


I started another season of TBL - season 13 I think.  I ran 3.2 miles watching Dolvette for motivation.  Momma like.

Points Breakdown

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Thought for the day

Friday, February 22, 2013


Even though I have been writing this blog for over a year, I still get excited when I get an email saying that someone commented on my blog.  I only get a few a day, so it is always a treat.  Bless the wonderful people who "talk back" to me.  


However, lately, I have been getting quite a few comments from "anonymous readers" who really seem to love me:

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Always happy to find a new reader.

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Glad I could make your cup of coffee even better.  <---sarcasm font

I have been getting about 20 of these emails / comments per day.  I have never had this problem before, so I don't exactly know how to handle it.  Any advice?

I also don't understand the purpose of spam blog comments.  Do these people honestly think that someone is going to click on their link?

I might just email Blogger and see what they have to say.


Yesterday was fiber-ific.

I had a bowl of Fiber One cereal for breakfast.

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A bowl of pork and beans with whole wheat bread for lunch.

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Dan made "homemade hamburger helper" for dinner with broccoli and cheese and a huge salad.

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A good night.

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Points Breakdown

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Thought for the day


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baby in the Mirror

Dan is a procrastinator.

The guy is great, but he can drag a project out to the end of time.  When we moved out of our old house, the outlet covers were still missing from when we painted when we moved in.  We have had a dead plant on our front porch all Winter long.  We have had a huge mirror on the floor in our living room for 2 months.  

For 2 months he has been waiting until the perfect time to hang it.  For 2 months, every time another male is at our house I say, "Hey Dan, you could hang that mirror today."  

For 2 months he has thought of a reason not to:

We don't have the right wire

We can't decide exactly where we want to hang it.

The ladder isn't tall enough.

Does anyone have an extra tall ladder?

Anyways, for once I am so thankful for his procrastination, because it turns out that a huge mirror on the floor is perfect for playing, "Who's that baby?" with Ina. 

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I could sit with her for hours and watch her smile at herself.  


Try with all her might to stand and push herself towards that smiling girl.

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Over and over again I watch her head starts to bobble as it gets too heavy and her knees slowly bend as she cuddles into my lap.



She also gets this look of curosity as she sees me in the mirror. I can almost see the wheels turning in her brain as she is thinking, "If mom is over there, then who in the world is holding me?"  

 I love it.  

So, thanks Dan, for not doing what I tell, er, ask you to do.


Breakfast and lunch are on repeat until the end of time.  No description necessary.

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Dinner was baked tilapia following *this recipe* with roasted baby potatoes and roasted green beans.  

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Plus a piece of pizza before bed because I was famished.  Hey, we can't all be perfect and that fact that I only ate one piece when I knew there was a whole box in the fridge the entire day is a victory in and of itself.  

Points Breakdown

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Thought for the day


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pizza Night

Last night Dan called me and begged be to get pizza for dinner.  This happens often, and I almost always convince him to go with the dinner that I have planned instead. 

However, yesterday when he called it was 5 PM Ina was having a trying day.  I hadn't ran.  I hadn't showered.  I was still in my PJs.  I tried to sell the tilapia I had defrosting in the refrigerator, but he wasn't listening.  So, I caved.

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I did get the chance to throw some lettuce in bowl in an attempt to health-up dinner.

Lunch was the last bit of Sunday's chili on top of a sweet potato with a large dallop of Greek yogurt - a surpisingly tasty combo.

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Breakfast was my typical overnight oats with banana, coconut and walnuts. 

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Abby blessed me by watching my child who forgot how to sleep while I ran 4.25 miles while watching Glee.  

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(Slowly adapting to the baby monitor without having to be in the same room with her 24/7).  

Points Breakdown

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Thought for the day

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