Monday, February 27, 2017

20 Weeks Pregnant and Halfway Baked!

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: 20 weeks
Total weight gain: 30 pounds, but my weight gain seems to be slowing down. 
Maternity clothes: All of the time.
Stretch marks: Nothing new.
Sleep: Yes, please!
Best moment of this week: The OB let Scarlett hold the wand for the doppler so she could find the baby's heartbeat.  I really wish I'd had my camera ready to snap a picture.  She was thrilled that she could be a big helper and she loves doctors!  
Miss anything: Being able to relax and unwind - there is so much to do.
Movement: Oh yeah.  She's been moving quite a bit.  
Food cravings: I just really want bland foods which means carbs which leads to unnecessary weight gain because my body hates yeast. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Really flavorful foods.  My tastebuds just can't handle it.  
Have you started to show yet: I think so!
Gender: Another girl!  We are so lucky!  You can watch our 4 year old daughter finding out that she is having a sister HERE.
Labor signs: Nope, in fact I have "lots of cervix" according to my OB.  I have an incompetent cervix so they are monitoring me closely to see if I will deliver early again.  
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On, but I think I'm going to have to take it off soon.  
Happy or moody most of the time: Tired.  Just so tired.  
Looking forward to: Another ultrasound at 24 weeks to make sure my cervix is still holding up!

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, February 20, 2017

18 Weeks Pregnant and SO CLOSE To Finding Out the Gender!

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.

We now know what the gender of our summer baby will be. To watch the video of when our daughter found out click HERE.  

How far along: 18 weeks!
Total weight gain:  25 pounds?  Too much in my opinion!
Maternity clothes: Oh yes, all of the time.
Stretch marks: Just the usual.
Sleep: I take what I can.
Best moment of this week:  I had to take Scarlett into the baby room at school so she could see what a little baby looked like.  She made a comment that the baby was going to come out of me walking.  Pretty sure she is confused on the difference between a toddler and a baby.   
Miss anything: I miss being able to workout all if the time and eating healthy foods.  I feel like I've been eating too many carbs and sugar.  
Movement:  Starting to feel some movement, little kicks and punches. 
Food cravings: Not really. I do get in moods where I could eat and eat and eat some more. 
Anything making you queasy or sick:  Still can't stand chicken.  
Have you started to show yet: Oh yes!
Gender: Everyone is still Team Pink!  We find out on January 30 .
Labor signs: Nope. 
Belly button in or out: Still in. 
Wedding rings on or off: On, but not sure for how much longer. 
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy but tired of feeling gross.  
Looking forward to:  Finding out if we are having a boy or a girl and then telling everyone!  

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! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to Survive a Snow Day with Your Preschooler!

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Snow days!  Everyone loves them, right?

Well, if you have little ones at home and you've been stuck home with them for an extra day or two you might be running out of patience and ideas on what to do with them.

I taught preschool for nearly 20 years so I should have plenty of tricks up my sleeve when it comes to this sort of thing, right?  Yes and no.  Since I work on a pretty tight schedule in my classroom all week, the last thing I want to do on the weekends is be on a tight schedule. even though I have a 4 year old to take care of.

Usually, my daughter does an alright job of entertaining herself and doing more than watching a ton of TV, but when the whining became incessant and there were tears over everything I decided to take action and get her on the dreaded SCHEDULE.

Was she happy?


But it was time.  Was she better for it?  Oh, yeah.  The proof is in the (low carb) pudding as they say so here's what I did.

Wake - up to 9 AM

This is what we early childhood educators like to call "free time."  During this time, she can eat her breakfast, which she is usually good at helping herself to, and watching TV.  At 9 AM though, all electronics go off.  

9:30-11:00 AM 

Now is the time for some big body play or more formally called Gross/Large Motor Play.  I decided to bundle my daughter up and take her outside in the elements where she went sledding and climbed up snowbanks.  If the weather is too treacherous to get out then turn up the music for some dancing, break out your old copy of Twister (great for learning left from right and colors) or set up some fun indoor games like the ones below.

Now it's time to clean up after all that fun and eat lunch!  Yay!  I've found that if I don't feed my daughter at specific times when we are home, she will eat all day and mostly snack foods.  She does so much better when we have a specific meal time, plus I feel like she doesn't drink enough during the day.  Instead, she starts chugging before bed and that never ends well.


Busy box time!  For 40 minutes I had my daughter sit down with various educational activities of my choosing.  Now, I am not huge on worksheets but with limited supplies at home, I do use them and I do believe they have their place in learning. I used the following books and she did quite well with them.


Now is a good time to clean up the mess from the busy box.  We also decided to do an easy cooking project before Scarlett moved on to the next activity.  We kept it really simple and made brownies from a box in our pantry.  She didn't care about the lack of creativity - she just loved being able to wear her apron and help her mama!

2:00-3:00 PM

After we tossed our brownies into the oven, I told Scarlett it was time for her to play by herself in her room.  For children that are having a hard time finding something to do, I recommend setting out a few items for them to choose from such as Legos or puzzles.  Scarlett wanted to do dress-up so she just played with what was out.  This blogger momma was happy to have an hour to herself to, well, blog, and get any other work done such as paying bills.  

3:00-4:00 PM

Since our brownies were ready, we ate them.  This would also be a good time to go out again to play in the snow, maybe take a short walk or play another game from the list above.

4:00 to Dinner Time

Now is a good time for any cleaning that your child needs to do before dinner.  If you have any age appropriate board games that don't require a ton of time, now's the time to take it out.  If your significant other is home, have them read your child a book.  

Whew!  That's it!  You've survived another snow day!  How did it go?  What would you do differently next time?  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas

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Normally, I don't eat breakfast.

Yes, it is healthy.

No, I am not damaging my body.

Yes, we've all been brainwashed into believing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

For some of us, it just isn't.

Once I was diagnosed with high levels of inflammation in my body, I started doing some research and stumbled upon the idea of intermittent fasting.  It took some time, patience and practice to make it 16 hours without eating, but once I did it and got into the groove of it I felt so much better.  A lot of my stomach pains went away and I found myself NOT being constantly hungry.

But I digress.

If you are a breakfast food person or, if you are like me, you like to eat breakfast for dinner, here are some healthy, low carb options.

For further reading check out:

For more breakfast ideas follow me on Pinterest!  

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I know most New Englanders don't get excited about snow, but this one certainly does.  After 12 years of living on the West Coast where we were lucky to get 6 inches every couple of years and snow plows didn't exist, I enjoy the slower pace and calm that a snow day brings.  As long as it snows enough to keep people off the roads and at home safe, I'm good with it. Now, when it snows just enough to make my morning commute messy and treacherous, well, that's a whole different story.
Not sure what the pouty face is for. She was having fun. 

We were predicted to get anywhere from 8 to 18 inches of snow today and so far at this writing we've hit an unoffcial amount of 13 here in town.

Around noon, the whole family headed out.  Big snowflakes were falling down then.  Our dog, Leia, had fun with it for awhile, but she was the first one to run back inside.

Scarlett and I stayed outside for about an hour so she could play with the neighborhood kids.  They are all around 10-12 years old so it was really sweet of them to help her on their sleds.

I tried to take some more photos and videos of her playing, but the heavy snowfall and my touch screen were not a good mix.  My phone was not happy and did not want to cooperate.  I still managed to get a few photos with my DLSR camera.

She really wanted to build a snowman, but the snow just isn't wet enough for it.  The best moment was when I told Matt to help her and he looked at me stunned, "I don't know how to build a snowman.  Do you remember where I grew up?"  Oh yeah, I guess kids in San Francisco don't get much practice at making one.

Of course, when we were done we came inside for hot chocolate and warm snuggles.

Anybody else have a snow day today?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

16 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: 16 weeks!
Total weight gain: 25 Pounds!
Maternity clothes: Oh yes!  I was using a button extender on my jeans but it was just too uncomfortable to wear any more.  Besides, I was getting tired of pulling up my sagging pants.  
Stretch marks: Nothing new.
Sleep:  Sometimes I sleep like the dead.  Other times I barely sleep.  
Best moment of this week: All of the running and working out I was able to squeeze in.  My body is happy to be moving again. The funniest moment though was when my 4 year old got to hear the baby's heart beat for the first time at my 16 week appointment.  It was very strong and loud.  She was immediately quieted down by it.  When the doctor explained to her what it was she quipped, "That is so weird!" 
Miss anything: Not really.
Movement: Nope. 
Food cravings: No although I have a hard time with food that has a lot of flavor.  I think I've been craving a lot of carbs because the taste is so bland.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: No thank God!
Have you started to show yet: I've had a lot more remarks on my baby bump!
Gender: My husband and daughter are convinced it is a girl.  I've switched from Team Blue to Team Pink, but I had a friend tell me she had a dream that I was having a boy too (she's pregnant with her third.)
Labor signs: No!
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off:  On 
Happy or moody most of the time: I think no different than normal.  
Looking forward to: Finding out the sex in 3 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, February 6, 2017

It's a Baby...

Well, I guess you are going to have to watch this video to find out.

Baby is measuring right on track and developing normally which made this Momma of "advanced maternal age feel better.  No question about her due date unlike big sis who was measuring 10 days ahead at this point and showed up a month early.

We've already decided her name will be Vivienne Rose.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Virtual Charity Runs and Super Bowl Sunday!

A couple of weeks ago I received a medal from Virtual Charity Runs for a 1 mile/5K/10K run or walk.  Since I'm at the point that I reserve my runs for the weekend and I always get at least a mile in I decided that today was the day that I needed to push myself to get in a 5K (3.1 miles) to earn my medal benefiting the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue.

My sweet new bling!

It was a frigid 20 degrees when Leia and I set out on our longest walk to date.  Since I've run 10 mile loops around my neighborhood many times while half marathon training, I knew exactly which way to go to get in 3.1 miles.  I wasn't sure how Leia would do on such a long walk on a new route but overall she did great!  You could tell she was nervous at some points and she definitely pulled me once or twice when she thought we were headed home, but we got it done and met a few neighbors along the way.

Since I was running and walking this 5K, I clocked my slowest time yet at just under an hour, but that wasn't the point.  Both my dog and I needed exercise and I wanted to hang up my new Boston Terrier medal with my other race bling.

The fact that I even set out on this 3 mile journey at almost 20 weeks pregnant (half baked!) is amazing to me since I barely moved on the weekends when I was pregnant with my daughter Scarlett.

Caught in the act! 

After Leia and I came home from our journey, we set out to run some errands including picking out baby clothes for Vivienne.  Scarlett tore the store and had a huge pile of clothes in her hands before I even finished looking at one rack.  We found the cutest little sandals for her too!  I know it sounds ridiculous but Scarlett is obsessed with taking Vivienne to the beach this summer.  Here's hoping they are both water babies.

The cashiers, "Awwwed" when I bought these. 

Now it is time to settle in for the evening after finishing up chores so we can cheer on the Pats in the Big Game.  We have a friend driving up from visiting New York that might stop in later on his way home.  He's a Cleveland Browns fan but we don't hold it against him.

Looking for last minute Super Bowl recipes?  Check out what I made last year HERE.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How To Run With Your Dog

This post may contain affiliate links.  

Before adopting our rescue dog, Leia, this year, I've never run with a dog before.

It might sound hard to imagine for dog lovers out there, but I didn't grow up being very athletic.  More on that HERE.  Our last dog was a corgi and even though those stubbies could move she didn't particularly enjoy it and as she got older it didn't take much for her arthritis to kick up.  When that happened she'd be immobilized for days.  

But Leia is different - she's a boxer mix which is a high energy breed even though you wouldn't know it by looking at her.  Most days you can find her on the couch and she really isn't motivated by much to leave it.  

Which makes it all the more important that she and I get out and move.  19 weeks into this pregnancy and I'm not motivated by much either especially after coming home from a busy 9 hour day to more cooking, cleaning and taking care of a child.  

As a boxer mix, Leia needs exercise and that's enough motivation for me to get her out there on the weekends - it is still too dark before and after work to run with her.

Now that I finally have a dog to run with, I've been trying to figure out how to do it.  Our first run was kind of a mess with her wanting to sniff, turn around or cut me off so I've had to do some research on how to make these outings easier on both of us.

  • Check with your vet to make sure your dog is up for the challenge.

  • Start out slow.  Try to run with your dog for 10 minutes at a time and them gradually add another 5-10 minutes over time until eventually your dog is keeping your pace.  

  • During the summer months run in the shade and before to bring water for the both of you if it is a long run.

  • In the winter, you might consider getting your dog a coat and putting protective gear on the feet to protect them from ice and rock salt.  Dogs will lick off the rock salt which can cause tummy troubles.  

  •  Don't assume every dog is a runner!  For some breeds, running is just too much exertion.  Older dogs may suffer from arthritis and shouldn't run.  Dogs with shorter legs might have a hard time keeping up.  When in doubt, check with your vet before starting a running program with your dog.

  • Hit the trails!  Trail running is easier on your legs and feet as well as your canine companions.

  • If you are going trail running, be sure your dog has flea and tick medicine and that you have bug spray.  Dogs should be up to date on heart worm medication as this is a mosquito born illness.

  • Have a plan for rewarding your dog for a job well done.  Treats should be given once he's calmed down so as not to risk vomiting.

Ready to try it?  I'd love to hear about your running adventures with your dog!