Monday, October 16, 2017

Sweet Potato Sriracha Bowl - A Low Carb Meal



I bought some sweet potatoes on a whim one day thinking I could satisfy my chip craving by making some fries.  The fries came out alright but when I noticed my neglected sweet potatoes were going to spoil soon, I cleaned them up and steamed them.  Who knew steaming sweet potatoes would be so easy?!

After I steamed them I had an idea to mix them up with my favorite dip for sweet potato fries - sriracha and mayo.  I also had some left over bacon bits that I threw in.  After I mixed everything together, I took a much anticipated bite and instantly decided it was Mmmm, mmm, good!

It might look kinda weird or you might be like, "Mayo in my sweet potatoes?  Gross!"  But just like the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba sings, "Try it!  You'll like it!"

Ingredients:
1 steamed sweet potato (directions for steaming below)
2 Tablespoons of mayo (I eyeball this)
Couple of squirts of Sriracha
As many bacon bits as you want!

Mix it all together in a bowl and enjoy.

The easiest way I've found to steam sweet potatoes is to clean them, put them all snug in a glass pan with 1/4 cup of water, cover it with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  

Now you can have the Gabba song stuck in your head too. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Chip Off the Old Block

My 5 year old daughter is just like me.

But yet she's not.

Alright, so when it comes to running, she is just like I was when I was a kid - she hates it and she's going to let everybody around her know about it and make them miserable in the process. 

I asked her if she wanted to run the Lil' Pumpkins race with me again and she happily agreed.  I warned her that because she's older now she's going to have to run longer.  This year she'll be running 0.3 miles versus 100 yards.  She still wanted to do it so I registered her.  I promised her I'd take her out for a training run. 

After begging me all week to take her running, we finally made it out today, a day when Daddy could watch the baby. 

In the beginning, she was more than happy to get outside and run.

After a few short, warmups, really we are only running 0.3 of a mile, we headed to the road to run.

Reality set in at that point.

I don't think we ran 100 yards before she started complaining that she was itchy, she didn't want to run, that it was too hot.  She kept asking to stop. 

I told her we'd slow down but that we really needed to keep moving so she doesn't get knocked down by the other kids on race day.

With lots of encouraging, she finally made it to the "finish" line. 

She immediately asked if we could walk back and not run.

I compromised with her and we did intervals.  I told her we'd run to the stop sign and then walk and then run to the mailboxes and then walk.

By the time we made it home, she was running to the door to get away from mommy's crazy race training.
I'm MORE than HAPPY that a 12 mm was a comfortable, easy pace for me!

Now, my daughter has more energy than the Energizer bunny.  She's very active in dance and Girl Scouts.  Her favorite activity at school?  Playing outside.  She will run... when she wants to. 

But she's still a chip off the old block and hates running.  I wasn't nearly as active as she is at her age and now I'm paying for it. (I even wrote a blog post about it HERE.)  I'm fine with running not being her thing because she is so active.

What physical activities do you enjoy with your kids?  Leave me a comment below.  I want to know.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I've Come to the Realization

That I don't know how to run. 

If you know me at all in real life or you've been following along for awhile now, then you know I suffer from a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. So severe, in fact, that I almost had surgery to correct it.  I've since realized my problem isn't my feet but my back. 

This realization has led me to do some extensive foam rolling on said back AND work on my form bringing me back to the title of this post. 

I am a heel striker.  No wonder my feet and back hurt all the time!
I run like the guy on the left.  Tsk, tsk.  

I honestly had no idea you are supposed to run on the front part of your feet!  They don't teach you that in gym class. Or if they did, I wasn't paying attention. 

So, like any other social media savvy person would do, I jumped on YouTube and started searching for videos to help me improve my form.

Below is the video I found that is the most helpful.  Strange as it may sound to some, I'm actually excited for my next run so I can try his techniques.  I'm really enjoying getting back to basics.  


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Here I Go Again!

And again.  And again. 

Seriously, it my personal history with staying healthy is any indication, it will be awhile before I consistently workout and eat healthy.  

But I did something that I haven't done yet in the last 3 months since I had baby Vivi - I ran 2 days in a row!

Now mind you, I only ran a mile but it was a hard fought for one. My calves were tight for most of it and it took awhile for my back to stop hurting.  

My speed might not be anywhere near where it once was but running a 12 minute mile never felt so good!

And I got a sleepy baby out of it too.  


Next on the agenda?  Strength training.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

34 Weeks and "On the Healthy Side of Normal"


Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.


How far along: 34 Weeks
Total weight gain: 44
Maternity clothes: Yes!
Stretch marks: Nope
Sleep: Now that I am back on the magnesium I am sleeping much deeper for much longer.
Best moment of this week: Seeing our little Vivienne's face at my 34 week growth scan!  The tech was even nice enough to show her in 3D although she didn't really cooperate because she kept putting her hand up in front of her face.  She might even have been sucking her thumb!  She has some real cute chubby cheeks and a giant Horton head too.

Luckily, the growth scan didn't reveal anything scary.  They wouldn't check my cervical length because it's a mute point at 34 weeks.  She has all the amniotic fluid she needs, but still plenty of room to flip around.  Unlike her sister was at this point, she is head down.  My placenta is ageing as it is supposed to and the umbilical cord has all 3 chambers.  There were really no concerns.

She is measuring in the 82 percentile which means she is on the "healthy side of normal."  Anything over 90% is classified as a huge baby.  Not sure what the next steps would have been if she'd been "huge" because it is not something we need to worry about.  With her giant head, big round belly and long legs, she is measuring ahead at over 35 weeks and is roughly already 5 lbs. 8 oz.!  
Miss anything: Being able to relax.
Movement: All the time!  She's crazy. I'm supposed to be doing kick counts but they really aren't necessary.  
Food cravings: My stomach is so squished that I barely want to eat, but I keep gaining weight!
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Have you started to show yet: I'd say so.
Gender: The tech double checked for us and she is most definitely a girl.  
Labor signs: No and I hope it stays that way for at least 2 more weeks.  
Belly button in or out: Still in but it has almost disappeared
Wedding rings on or off: Been off for awhile now
Happy or moody most of the time: I'm too tired to be either one.  
Looking forward to: Meeting this little girl in 2-5 weeks!



Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

32 Weeks and New Concerns Arise

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.


How far along: 32 Weeks
Total weight gain: 39
Maternity clothes: Yes!
Stretch marks: Nope
Sleep: Uncomfortable
Best moment of this week: I don't know if it is the best moment this week, but I'm still measuring 2 weeks ahead and the doctor I saw at this week's appointment seems more concerned about it than the last especially considering I've already had one preemie who weighed over 7 lbs.  She's being proactive by ordering a growth scan for my 34 week appointment which will check how big baby is, how much amniotic fluid is in there and how well the umbilical cord is feeding the baby.  I'll be pushing for them to check my cervical length too which might give us an idea as to when this baby will arrive.  
Miss anything: Being able to relax.
Movement: All the time!  She's crazy. I'm supposed to be doing kick counts but they really aren't necessary.  
Food cravings: My stomach is so squished that I barely want to eat.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: No
Have you started to show yet: I'd say so.
Gender: Still a girl as far as we know.  
Labor signs: No and I hope it stays that way for at least 4 more weeks.  
Belly button in or out: Still in but it has almost disappeared
Wedding rings on or off: Been off for awhile now
Happy or moody most of the time: I'm starting to get grouchy now because I am barely sleeping.
Looking forward to: Getting some answers at my next appointment to put my anxiety at ease.



Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

30 Weeks: 6-9 Weeks to Go!



Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.


How far along: 30 Weeks
Total weight gain: 36 pounds. I actually lost weight!
Maternity clothes: Oh yeah.
Stretch marks: Nothing new
Sleep: So much pain!  If it is my sciatica than it is nerve damage from my previous c-section keeping me up.  Lately, the bulging disk is my lower back has been making it hard for me to bend over.  I'm finally investing in a pregnancy belt.  
Best moment of this week: Taking Scarlett to her big sister class.  Honestly, she was a pain the whole time, but I do think she absorbed some information.  She also got to take her second hospital tour so if nothing else she'll be really comfortable when she comes to visit me.  
Miss anything: Not being in pain?  
Movement: This little girl is strong!  So strong that she kicked me so hard on the left side that she must have hit a nerve and it aggravated my bulging disk in my back.  
Food cravings: Nah.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just really strong smells.  
Have you started to show yet: YES!
Gender: Female
Labor signs: No, but I worry about how my cervix is holding up although nothing can be done.  
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: off
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy
Looking forward to: Getting stuff done!  There is so much to do.  I need a week to clean and organize this house, but that isn't going to happen with my back giving out.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

28 Weeks Later

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.


How far along: 28 Weeks
Total weight gain: About 37 pounds!  Too much weight gain so far, but I passed my glucose test so there's that.  
Maternity clothes: Oh yeah.
Stretch marks: Nothing new
Sleep: My allergies are starting to kick in so breathing at night is rough.  
Best moment of this week: Scarlett sitting on me, but then as soon as she got off Vivienne started to go crazy punching, kicking and jabbing!  It was like she was saying, "Hey, big sis, come back here!"
Miss anything: I miss racing.  I can't go for a 2 mile run without desperately needing a bathroom these days so there is no way I could even pull off a 5K.  I've been tempted to sign up for one, but I also worry about complications arising even though I know it is perfectly safe for me to run and exercise while pregnant.  I think mentally I'd rather just stay close to home.  
Movement: Tons!  The other night I woke up to hear being transverse.  She was kicking her legs and arms simultaneously.  I really thought she was trying to bust out.  
Food cravings: Nah.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just really strong smells.  
Have you started to show yet: YES!
Gender: Female
Labor signs: No, but I worry about how my cervix is holding up although nothing can be done.  
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: off
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy
Looking forward to: Just checking more things off my to-do list like gathering baby gear and packing our hospital bags.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

26 Weeks Pregnant

Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.

How far along: 26 weeks
Total weight gain: 34 pounds give or take
Maternity clothes: Oh yeah
Stretch marks: Nothing new
Sleep: Yes, please!  
Best moment of this week: Sleeping for 12 hours on a Friday night!
Miss anything: Downtime.  I've been so busy lately and all I want to do is R-E-L-A-X
Movement: She is a wiggle worm!  I miss having a belly band so I can play music.  Scarlett listened to a lot of Mozart while she was in there.  
Food cravings: Nope.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.  Just strong smells offend me.  
Have you started to show yet: I'd like to think I look pregnant now and not just fat.  
Gender: Still a girl as far as we know.  
Labor signs: Nope, but fingers crossed my cervix holds out until she's full-term.  
Belly button in or out: In, but it never popped out with Scarlett.  
Wedding rings on or off: Off for awhile now.  
Happy or moody most of the time: I'd like to think I'm happy.  My family might think otherwise.  
Looking forward to: Getting the glucose test for gestational diabetes over with.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

"You're a Mean Mommy!"



"You're terrible. You're awful!  You're a mean mommy!  I'm telling Daddy!"

These would be examples of what my 4 year old daughter has said to me lately. The last one elicited a phone call in the middle of the grocery store to my husband, her daddy, so she could tattle on me. She hid under the cart while I dialed because her bluff had been called. This was after I refused to buy her rain boots on a day when  I had treated her to the ballet and lunch. I was being berated by my 4 year old for being "terrible" for not buying her things which she didn't need.
Mommy and Scarlett at the ballet!

To be fair, we are not the kind of parents who buy her things just because she sees them and expresses an interest in something. We buy her what she needs and extravagances are saved for holidays and birthdays.  Even then we don't go all out. We've learned that very few toys make her happy and that she'd rather create or invent games of her own imagination. While a new toy might make her happy in the moment, the newness quickly wears off and just becomes clutter she doesn't want to clean up.


But, now I'm 7 months pregnant with her little sister. She's watched boxes of new baby items arrive at the house and she's helped me pick her out some new clothes. Jealousy is starting to rear it's ugly head and she doesn't understand why she can't get stuff like Vivienne. 

Even while she spews such terrible words at me, I've remained strong. I refuse to buy her what she wants because she has so much already.
Lunch with Mommy after the ballet

On this particular day, I had had enough. I was tired. I work full-time, come home to work more, cook, clean take care of the dog, the cat, the laundry and pack lunches. I could not stand being called "terrible" or "mean" one more time. Normally, I just tell her that her words hurt my feelings​ and I don't like it. But not this time. This time she needed to learn just how hurtful she was being.

So, to the bewilderment  of my family, I cut a heart out of a piece of construction paper and sat my daughter down at eye level and through tears I told her, "This is my heart.  When you said mean things to mommy this is what happens to my heart.". I ripped it in half. "Now it is not the same as it was before. How are you going to fix it?"

By the look on her face she was horrified that she had made me so upset. She quickly went to work taping up the heart and presented it to me.

"When you hurt someone and break their heart, you can never make it whole again.  The heart will never be the same. You can patch it up with words and good deeds, but the damage will always be there. Words can hurt and your words hurt me really bad."

At that she gave me the world's biggest hug and promised to be nice. I have no problem with my daughter expressing her feelings. In fact, I want her to tell me when she is hurt, angry, upset, happy. However, I refuse to let her think she can put down other people because she is going through a lot. There are other ways for her to let her fears and frustration out. Telling someone she loves that they are terrible and mean is not the way to do it.

By the next morning, I had her wrapped in a blanket snuggled in my arms in the rocking chair - her newest request in the last few weeks is to be rocked like a baby.

All is forgiven.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

24 Weeks and Things Just Got Real





Disclaimer: This is my second pregnancy.  With my first pregnancy my daughter was born preterm, breech and via C-section.  Due to my age, my medical history (hello, incompetent cervix!) and my daughter being delivered preterm I am being classified as high-risk.  Things could get a little crazy in here so proceed with caution.


How far along: 24 weeks
Total weight gain: 29 pounds.  Over the last month, I just haven't been able to do much.  I move around a lot at work, but once I am home I am usually parked in the sitting position.  I know, I know, not good.  Once I get us into a new normal routine and the weather warms up, I'll be taking out dog, Leia, for lots of walks.  
Maternity clothes: Yes!  And I hate them.  No matter what size I buy my shirts ride up while my pants slide down.  
Stretch marks: Nope.  
Sleep: Not bad.  I usually wake up once during the night.  
Best moment of this week: Scarlett kissing my belly and saying, "I love you Vivienne.  I love you so much!"
Miss anything: Just the usual stuff.  Going for a run regularly and relaxing with a drink with my husband.  
Movement: Boy, is she a wiggle worm!  I just went through a 4 day period where she non-stop flipped, kicked and punched me.  Luckily, she seems to have slowed down now.  
Food cravings: No, although sugar is hard to resist!  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just nasty smelling things.  
Have you started to show yet: Yes!
Gender: Still a girl!  I had another ultrasound this week and I had the tech checked. She assured me that nothing had "sprouted" yet.  
Labor signs: Here is where things get sticky.  At the start of my pregnancy, my OB laid out a plan to check my cervix at the 20 and 24 week mark.  Why?  Well, I have an incompetent cervix and my daughter was born a month early when my water unexpectedly broke.  She felt this was the best plan of action since I had no other signs that my body would deliver early.  

My 19 week ultrasound showed that I had 4 cm of cervix - "oodles of cervix" my OB said.  Then, my 24 week ultrasound showed that my cervix had thinned to just under 3 cm.  I had "lost" about a centimeter of cervix thickness in 5 weeks.  

At this point, my OB assured me there is nothing to be done.  It is still thankfully closed, but it has thinned.  I'm not in the danger zone yet, which is less than 2.5 CM, but I'm getting close.  Given this information, it is not hard to surmise how it happened that my daughter was born a month early.  If logic dictates, which it rarely does with our pregnant bodies, I'll continue to lose another centimeter a month which leads me to believe that by 36 weeks I'll be having a baby again.  Let's just hope she waits until AFTER Memorial Day so I can help her big sister at her big yearly dance recital.  
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but getting stressed with everything that needs to be done before this bambino arrives.  
Looking forward to: I can tell you what I am NOT looking forward to:  My blood glucose test at my next appoint at 28 weeks.  Yuck to drinking that stuff.

Since we did not spill the beans on this pregnancy to our family until I was 14 weeks pregnant, there will be a fair amount of backtracking until I can get caught up.  Hang in there!