Friday, March 22, 2013

Daily Shape - No excuses

At my 6 week post-partum appointment, I had lost 32 of the 40 lbs that I gained during pregnancy.  I figure 8 of that was baby, another 10 comprised of various fluids, and the rest a nice side effect to breast feeding. While on leave, I was thinking that I would take the little one on walks every day, or do exercise videos while he was napping.  Ha!  Not so much.  I did get in some solid walks with another mommy friend here and there, but I would hardly say that my exercise was consistent.  I even suspended my gym membership because there was no point trying to figure out when I may be able to go and they won't take Owen at the gym kids club until he's 6 months.

Cuisaid Bath Scale (courtesy of
It's pretty fancy looking!
Now, nearly 5 months after giving birth, I think this is the longest that I have gone without consistently working out for years.  Even while I was pregnant, I was in the pool three times and a week and doing pilates once a week, right up until a few days before I went into labor.  Seeing as I was so good for so long, I've somewhat given myself a pass, but it is time to get back on the workout horse (so to speak).  Granted, I'm still nursing the baby, which burns a ton of calories and allows me to pig out all day without much concern.  In fact, eating too little will hinder my milk production and we don't want that.  Eventually, he will wean and I will find myself actually having to pay attention to what I eat.  Until then, caution is thrown to the wind - feed me, I'm hungry. 

Next up is to get back into consistent exercise.  I'm lucky that I still have a lot of the strength retained from prior to pregnancy so have a good foundation.  I've enrolled in mommy and me yoga, which I'm enjoying a lot more than I thought I would.  I used to find yoga horrifyingly boring, but I don't know if it can be boring when you are trying to simultaneously entertain a baby, or when another baby who happens to have learned to crawl comes racing across the room and wraps themselves around your ankle.  Holding Warrior II pose with a rattle in one hand to keep baby's attention, Chair pose with a wriggling 14lb (or so) weight in your arms, or Downward-Facing Dog while blowing raspberries at the little face below yours, is a multi-tasking challenge all of it's own.  In fact, I think it deserves bonus yoga points.  Seeing as that's only once a week though, I plan to get up a half hour early (yikes) to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on weekday mornings.  As much as I kind of want to punch that woman in the face for being annoying, it's a 30 minute workout that I can do at home which seems to get great reviews.  Let's see how that goes.  

My new bathroom scale arrived this week.  I never would have thought I'd be excited about the arrival of a scale that would sit in the bathroom and taunt me on a daily basis, but I am!  As of yesterday morning, I have officially lost 47lbs.  That's 7lbs past my pre-pregnancy weight and a great start to keep the motivation going.

I'm telling you all this because it's now out in the open and, having told the world, that makes me accountable.  Going to be doing all my measurements and whatnot this weekend so I can get a fresh start next week.  Watch this space!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daily Dish - Recipes Worth Sharing

In the wee morning hours, after Owen's arrival, I mentioned that I had many hours to scour Pinterest. There are SO many recipes on there that it can be overwhelming to find ones that are a success, and we've definitely had some "meh" dinners; however, there's some great recipes too.  My favorite thing about recipes on Pinterest is that I can look at the picture and remember what the dish is.  Husband was a lifesaver during my leave and if I could find a recipe, he'd help cook it.  I'd just pull up the pin on my tablet and he'd do the rest.  In fact, he's still my hero in the kitchen as he does a lot of the cooking while I wash a never-ending amount of bottles, sippy cups and pump parts.  (Yes, this is a public thank you!)

In that we did find some winning dishes, I'm sharing them.  I'm also moving them into a separate board on Pinterest so the tried and tested tasted are easy to find.  Follow if you like!

Jen's Incredible Baked Meatballs

These meatballs were delicious! I ended up making them with baby strapped to my chest in the Ergo carrier, which worked out pretty well because my hands were "meaty" and I didn't want to have to keep washing them. We froze them in small batches and they are super easy to defrost and heat up with a quick pasta sauce. There's lots of other tasty looking things on this blog so check it out!
Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

I am really wishing I'd come across this one earlier. A tasty filling inside a Grands biscuit, put into a muffin tin. The biggest problem with this one? Not eating them all at once. I'd venture to say that the same concept could be applied with a different filling - perhaps we'll try steak and mushroom next time around.
Chili Verde Pork In A Crock Pot

Crock pots are a savior in terms of being able to walk away to let things cook, and have the added benefit of making the entire house smell delicious. This was super simple to prepare, as well as being pretty tasty. We ended up freezing the left overs for another meal (so it was a twofer?) Super simple on top of some brown rice, or could always be made into a burrito or tacos.
Honey Spice Glazed Pork Chops

We actually pre-packaged these (searing the chops and freezing them in the marinade), then dropped them into the crock pot for 6 hours on low. I removed some of the juices from the bottom and reduced them in a saucepan until they were a glaze. We did roasted asparagus and mushroom on the side (see below), which turned out to be a pretty healthy meal overall.
Roasted Asparagus and Mushroom

This is a great go-to recipe when looking for a super quick and ridiculously easy way to make veggies. I hadn’t thought of roasting mushrooms before, but I’m now wondering what took me so long! Highly recommended!
Coconut Shrimp Curry

I got a great deal on some shrimp a little while back and was looking for something different to cook with it. Shrimp and coconut go hand in hand anyway, plus I love a good curry, so this recipe seemed perfect. I added peas and carrots (frozen) and next time around would consider adding a little spice too. The hardest part about this was peeling and de-veining the shrimp. I always forget how much of a pain in the ass that is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Daily Ramblings - The Return

My maternity leave from work ended up being somewhat of a maternity leave from blogging too. All the things I would normally have to share - food, crafting, etc. went out of the window and were replaced with trying to figure out what day of the week it was and how many times Owen had pooped/napped. I had many hours some time between 1 and 4 am to peruse Pinterest for all the fabulous things to cook and pretty things to make...when I could finally muster up the energy and/or time of course!

When I was originally figuring out my maternity leave, I was thrilled to be able to take 4 months off (although granted nothing like the year that other countries automatically grant - I mean how cool is that?) It really sounded like a long time but, as I now spend part of my evenings running around putting together daycare bags with clothing and bottles for my little guy, I realize that it still went too fast. I feel for those mothers who can't take much time due to financial restraints or issues with job security. I'm super grateful to California for being a maternity leave friendly state. I had grand aspirations for all the stuff that I wanted to do with the little one and, even though I hardly did any of it, I have no regrets. Some days we never made it much farther than the couch, but I will look back fondly at the time when he was just small and needed nothing more than snuggles from his mama.

I am truly amazed every day as I see my baby boy learn and discover something new. He has learned how to pick things up with his tiny little hands. Invariably, he puts said items straight in his mouth, which is just a momentary replacement for drooling all over his fingers. (People say that *insert fluid here* isn't gross when it's your child. Having been covered in it, I can say that it's still gross, you're just more accepting when it's your kid that's wiping it on you.) He is figuring out his toys - like the one that plays classical tunes and lights up when you push the button, or the lizard that lights up and says colors when you touch it (which is truly not a euphemism for anything). The problem is, of course, when he's been pushing the button non-stop for 20 minutes and you know you're going to wake up in the middle of the night singing the "red, yellow and blue" song in your head. He reminds me that sometimes the simplest things are beautiful. I catch him staring at something I haven't truly looked at and it helps me to rediscover. I also can't help but love that he puts a smile on the face of strangers when we're out and about. I'm a proud baby wearer and people really get a kick from seeing his little face peeking at them in line at Target/the library/restaurants. He loves to look around at everything, quietly alert and taking it all in. He's currently working on sitting up, rolling over, and is generally so strong that I suspect we'll be doing a lot of chasing him when he becomes properly mobile! He loves to chatter with us and imitates husband's facial expressions really well. (They do have the same eyebrows after all). The best though is his goofy toothless grin and his attempts to giggle - which sounds like a gurgling hiccup and is usually accompanied by a string of drool. He's going to be quite a ladies man and, while I may be a little bias because I'm his mother, he's a handsome little devil.

Fortunately, his good nature has held steady at daycare and he meets his caregiver in the morning with a smile on his face. He's learning from the other babies there and is a tired little boy when he returns at night. The transition back to work has certainly been easier knowing that he seems to be having a good time, and I am enjoying being back in the world of adult conversation. While I miss my baby during the day, it makes me treasure the short time we have to spend together each evening. 

Getting back into the swing of things will include blogging and adding my exploits into motherhood into the mix. I am finally back and have so much to share!