Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday

Here are five things I am excited about on this glorious Friday morning.

1. Calla Lilies

Calla lilies were the main flower of our wedding, and as a wedding present my sister gave us a beautiful flower pot full of them. 

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Five Winters later, we still have the pot, but no lilies.  Earlier this year, my grandma gave me some calla lily bulbs to plant after she noticed my empty pot on my front porch.  

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Three of them bloomed over the week and I love stepping outside every morning.  They remind me of my wedding.  Of my sister.  Of my grandma.  So lovely.  

2. Flavored Coffee

Oh Dunkin Donughts, I love and loathe you at the same time.  Why does your flavored coffee have to be so good?  And so expensive?

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I have tried triple berry and strawberry shortcake, which is my favorite.  Has anyone tried the coconut?

3. Chicken Roasting

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I roasted an entire chicken. 

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When I opened the package immature Racheal showed up and I couldn't stop giggling.   I guess because I am so used to working with chicken breasts, seeing the whole thing-legs, backbone, tail- was so weird. 

I loosely followed this recipe and it turned out great.  

4. Homemade Yogurt Pops

A perfectly healthy dessert with perfectly healthy ingredients: frozen berries, Greek yogurt, bananas, and honey.  

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Thanks Amanda for giving me the idea!  Thanks Amazon Prime for the free 2 day shipping on the popsicle molds!

Recipe here

5. Tracking

This week I am mixing things up and switching back from SF to tracking.  

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I know, super exciting.  

And one last favorite - when Daddy gets home from work.  

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Have a lovely and blessed weekend! <3

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Few New Recipes

Lately I have been in a recipe rut.

I either don't have the time, energy, or resources to cook something new.

But I really do love trying new recipes, so this week I was determined to make time, save my energy, and stock my fridge / pantry with the necessary ingredients. 

First - these cinnamon quinoa bars.

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Perfect for the leftover quinoa about to perish in my fridge.  

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These aren't for the faint of heart.  Or should I say, if you don't like quinoa, you won't like these.  However, if you do like quinoa, they are a perfectly portable healthy snack - that still need a little sweetening with fruit or the like.

Second - pineapple and cashew (and shrimp!) fried rice

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I made this for dinner last night and everyone was a fan.  Dan even added raisins to his.  

Third - I made Ina peas (2 C peas and 1/2 C water pureed to oblivion)

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I know that really doesn't count, but I take it where I can get it.  

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At 6.5 months she has now had (in this order) brown rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados, zucchini, squash, and peas.  

And a taste of Blue Bell ice cream.  

And a taste of tuna salad.  

And a taste of pineapple, cashew, and shrimp fried rice.  

Don't judge - it is very hard to say no to that face.

Have a blessed day! <3

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grocery Shopping with Ina

When we were leaving the NICU (oh happy day), the neonatologist was giving us some advice for the outside world.  One of her pearls of wisdom was to leave Ina in the carseat while going places, like grocery stores, to avoid germ exposure.

Even though this went against my normal beliefs (the more germs the better - you need to build that immune system!) I understood that Ina was in a sensitive state and her immune system didn't need any extra challenges.  So, i obliged, and for the first few months when I would venture to the grocery store with Ina, she stayed snug in her seat.

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As you can see, this left little room for groceries, which meant I had to either carry a big bag to put my groceries in, only buy a few groceries, or push another cart.  All choices were less than ideal, but I have done all three.  

So, as soon as Ina was able to properly hold her head (around 3.5 months), I switched to holding her in her baby carrier.

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However, I am a bottom shelf shopper.  The combination of squats and reaches was like another workout!  

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By the time I would load and unload the groceries, my energy level was cashed out and more times than not, pizza was on the dinner menu.

You can imagine my excitement, when for the first time yesterday, Ina sat in the grocery cart like a big girl.

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We may have had to constantly switch what grocery item we let her hold (there are only so many corners of a jello box to suck before the box starts to deteriorate).

She may have started to lounge after the first 45 minutes (I'm telling you, that head is heavy).  

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I may have had to pick her up and hold her to pick out the fruits and vegetables, but even after unloading the groceries, I had enough energy to make tuna salad for dinner, which might not be gourmet, but was a huge win over pizza.  

The trip was a success.  As we were leaving the store, I saw one of the "kid" grocery carts - you know, the ones shaped like a car with a steering wheel.  I got a little teary thinking about how Ina would soon not want to be confined to the upper part of the cart.  And then I saw an entire new set of challenges.  

And then I got overwhelmed and had to stop thinking about it.  

The end.  

I hope you have a wonderful day!  <3

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Attitude Adjustment

Good morning!

My morning started off bright and early at 5:30 am  with a short run with Courtney.  As I was sitting on my front porch, sipping my coffee and waiting for Courtney to meet me, I thought about how different my running attitude, or better yet, my exercise attitude is now than it was before I was pregnant.  

Before I was pregnant, running and I had a strong love / hate relationship.  Of course, I loved the endorphin rush after a good run - nothing beats that.  However, the moments leading up to the event were pure torture.  Most days I dreaded my run.

When I was pregnant and couldn't run, I swore I would never feel that way again.  I would stare with jealousy at the women running on the sidewalk next to me on my drive to work.  My legs felt so antsy.  

However, this attitude adjustment wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  The first few months I started running again, I thought I was going strong because it was somewhat new.  

Then a few more months went by and I was still waking up extra early, staying up late, or willing Ina to sleep an extra 20 minutes just so I could run a little more.  Not only was I not making excuses, I was making exceptions to situations where it would have been perfectly acceptable not to run.  

My love / hate relationship has transformed to purely love.  

I appreciate so much the time I get to move my legs and be selfish.  

It is my me time.

I hope that never changes. 

 

 

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Have a Pinterest Worthy Baby Shower

 

On Saturday we hosted a couples baby shower for our good friends Brad and Chessa.  

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Each time I host a shower or event I think to myself, "I am going to take really good pictures of all of the activities, food, and decorations and put them on Pinterest."

Then, the actual day comes and I realize that in between cursing in front of Ina while hanging up the streamers (those twirls don't come easy)

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to running out of brisket (I don't think that has ever happened to me before)

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to Ina crying when anyone else would hold her (I thought she was over that?)

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I quickly dismissed the idea of having a Pinterest-worthy party and instead tried to have one that didn't suck.  (I know, I set such high goals.)

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We didn't have any games - I don't know if the boys would have been down with that.

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Instead, our one "activity" (other than eating) was painting wooden letters of the alphabet to hang in the baby's nursery.  

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It was a blast.

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Afterwards we all took pictures with our letter, to make the baby's first alphabet book!

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One of the first things this kid will learn in how crazy Dan is.  

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Oh my.

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What Dan doesn't know is that was supposed to be the "u" not the "n".  Bahaha.  

Now that the shower is over, I can't wait for that baby to get here!  

A few other weekend highlights:

- Sunday we went to church, which I was so thankful for.  The message was on time management and I feel like I should listen to it at least once a week.  

- We visited my grandma - who has transfered from a hospital to a long-term rehab center.  

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She is doing much better and even (slowly, but surely) walking on her own for a few seconds. 

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My sister and her kids stopped by at the same time we did, so we took over the dining room.

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- We watched the latest Batman movie, which I thought was great, and a perfect distraction to Ina's sobs.  We are trying to sleep train her, but so far she has just been sleep training us. 

Have a great week! <3

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ina's First Tooth!

It's Friday!  Woohoo!

After months and months of claiming that Ina is teething with nothing to show for it, I can finally announce that she has a tooth!  I can barely see it, but when I stick my (clean) finger in her mouth I can feel its rough edge.  

Teething requires extra cuddles.

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Ina prefers to cuddle with her dad.  To say I am jealous would be an understatement.  When he is home she must know where he is at all times.  Even when she is eating, she is constatnly stopping and turning her head the other way to make sure Dan is still there.  

Dan says he wants to have a shirt made that says, "My daughter loves me more than breast milk."

Sigh.  

Confession - my vacation eating crept into my week after vacation eating and before I knew it I was eating frozen pizza for dinner and having (unmeasured) amounts of Blue Bell for dessert. 

Don't worry, when I stepped on the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday I was quickly brought back to reality.  (The topic of the meeting was vacation eating - how appropriate.)

I came home determined to make this week healthier and Simply Filling makes that so easy!

Breakfast - 3 eggs scrambled with corn, pepper, onion, tomato, and blackbeans with a side of strawberries

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Lunch: quinoa with black beans and BBQ sauce, peppers, and left over grilled chicken

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Snack: cherries

Dinner: honey sesame chicken following this recipe with quinoa and some steamed frozen veggies

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Dessert: a few bites from Dan's cereal bowl and a handful of butterscotch chips

Exercise

Yesterday was a rest day, but Ina and I did get out for a 2.5 mile walk with the stroller.  She loved being able to hold my water bottle and stare at the cars as they drove by.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thought for the day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tri Something New Week 4: Water Aerobics

I have a new goal in life. 

Before yesterday I was wandering around, aimlessly.  

Now I know my true purpose. 

I saw the light.

My destiny is to become a retired woman who goes to water aerobics three times a week.  

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Not kidding. 

I knew yesterday would be pretty dreary (we went to Dan's family member's funeral), so I tried to start the day on a positive note.  Dan usually leaves for work at 6ish, so I never have the opportunity to go to any of the morning classes at my gym.  Because he wasn't going into work, the night before I peeked at the schedule online and saw that water aerobics was pretty much my only option.  

Score.

The second I got to the pool I was greeted by the smiling faces of about 15 women over the age of 60, with the exception of the instructor, who immediately introduced herself and helped me grab my weights, noodle, and rope.

As we started walking against the current of the lazy river, I got the feeling I was visiting some sort of club.  The women knew each other - well.  They were asking about family members, exchanging recipes from dinners made the night before, and comparing recent shopping trips. However, they weren't exclusive, and were so sweet in helping me with the next move, or giving me little pointers. 

As we were starting the workout, my friend David from my Weight Watchers meetings showed up.  Apparently this is his routine water aerobics class.  How funny!  

Even though this class was obviously fun and social, it was still a great workout.  I wouldn't say that I ever got out of breath, but maybe that was because I was talking too much!  I did have a lot of difficulty with the arms and abs portion and both muscle groups are sore today.  

By the end of the class, everyone was offering to take turns watching Ina if I brought her to the next class!

When I was leaving, many of the class participants told me, "You have to push yourself.  You can get as much or as little out of this hour as you want."  

Social hour + a good workout that will continue to challenge me = my new life goal

I am looking forward to the next time that Dan will be home until 7:45 in the morning! 

Have you tried anything new lately?  I would love to hear about it!

I know I have been seriously slacking in the food department.  Here is our dinner from last night - grilled parmesean pesto chicken (purchased on sale from our meat department), salad with homemade ranch, and corn on the cob.  

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A summer classic.  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Morning Routine

When I was on maternity leave I thought going back to work would be impossible.  Of course leaving Ina was a huge part of this, but I also had no idea how I would have time for everything else, especially my morning tasks.  I just couldn't see how I could possibly get everything done in the morning that I wanted to.  

I was right.  (I hate when that happens.)

I don't get everything I want finished before I walk out the door, but I usually finish the necessary stuff (feed Ina, bathe, dress myself, etc.) and most of the extras (running, blogging, packing lunch).

So, although no morning is the same around here, I thought I would break down yesterday morning. 

5:45 am - I wake up to Ina nuzzling me because she is hungry.  She woke up sometime in her crib in the middle of the night, and because I was being lazy, I just brought her back to bed with us.  I check my phone as I start to feed her and realize I slept in.  Darn! I usually wake up around 4:45.

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6:07 am Coffee Coffee Coffee

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6:11 am - I pack Dan's lunch, give him a goodbye kiss, and send him off to work

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6:15 am I sit down to drink my coffee and blog.  One of my favorite parts of the day!

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6:45 am I have some work to finish up from my part-time job.  Computer #2 of 3 for the day.   I usually would run around this time, but Kim and I were planning on running at night.  (We did and it was awesome!).  

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7:15: I hear Ina stirring.  She coos as I walk up the stairs.  I immediately change her diaper.  Those things get full overnight.

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7:20 I put Ina on a quilt on the bathroom floor while I take a shower.  I sing songs to her the whole time (our current fave is Six Little Ducks) and she plays with her cup.  

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7:50 I do (minimal) hair and makeup while Ina plays with herself in the mirror, or with my toothbrush.

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8:05 Breakfast time!  I throw all my smoothie ingredients into the blender.  Ina supervises.

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8:10 Before I blend my smoothie I pack my lunch - I know I am running behind, so everything gets thrown together fast.

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8:15 I feed Ina while I drink my smoothie.  Multi-tasking at its finest.  Ina stops eating frequently because she wants to put  my cup in her mouth.  I have started a bad habit.

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8:30 am - The hardest part of my day - kissing Ina goodbye.  

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8:34 am - Out the door.  Only 4 minutes late!  Boo-ya!

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