Nutrition Nook: “healthy” cookies and other new favorites

Working, mothering, wife-ing and well — just being me is a fun balancing act, who’s with me on this feeling?  There will be no such thing as equal balance but I am finally putting some ideas into place to help me for more sane.

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Just a quick note, I’m so glad to have the carrier back in action. I’m amazed I didn’t wear the straps out with little bug…(April 2011)
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One goal is incorporating some new meal staples to make healthy eating more manageable and realistic. Since hubby and I are never together for lunches or suppers except for 2 days a week, it means that I juggle the 2 when preparing supper. This can equal me feeling very rushed and frantic and eating healthy is a lot harder with a toddler — especially is you don’t want to eat the same 3 foods. I stick with our (read her) favorites and one newer dish every week. I don’t have battles with little bug, thank goodness but we do still bribe her a couple times a week with “treats” to eat all her vegetables or to try new foods. Healthy treats became my goal when I saw a chocolate chip cookie recipe on Facebook which involved using chickpeas. I just had to try it! This also meant a great little afternoon activity for little bug and I! Win – Win here!

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Chickpeas…the staple in hummus was to be the “body” of the cookie. I was also intrigued that no white or brown sugar was involved, in fact, the ingredient list was super small. No eggs touch this batter — read edible batter here!

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The dough was quite nice…with all the PB and honey though, it should be.

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The verdict: I was really, like really surprised. They tasted like, well, cookies! The texture is different and these don’t “set” like regular cookies but they are definitely good enough to make again. I’d rate them about a 7 but the important point to make is that little bug likes them. “Healthy” treat conquered!

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*Note: I had to make them differently than the recipe calls for. My food processor isn’t large enough for a batch of cookies so I did the PB, chickpeas and vanilla in the food processor and then moved it to the mixer.

Other new and fun food items added include:

Coffee concentrate = perfect for an iced coffee in the morning and it the flavor is just like a proper coffee shop! I use this method.

Garden fresh veggies= my mom has created an awesome garden in our new backyard. I’m reaping the benefits and enjoying zucchini, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers so far. If I can’t use them in time, I juice!

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Chocolate overnight oats= overnight oats with 1 tsp of dark cocoa powder and 1T PB. This sort of tastes like No Bake Cookies, which is why I love it.

Peanut butter yogurt chocolate chip “parfait”= 1/2 c greek yog, 1 heaping tsp PB stirred together and topped with fruit, something crunchy (I used Quaker Oat Squares) and 1 T chocolate chips. YUMMY! I’ve been bringing these last two as work breakfasts since I don’t get a chance at home to eat.

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Have a great week, hopefully you got a few ideas for new food combos to try on you or your loved ones!

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Chase’s Birth Story

As I look at my 2 month old swaddled in my right arm and I type with my left, I still can’t believe that we brought this little guy into the world. It’s been a great  couple of months with lots of events and visitors but it’s also been great because of my short recovery time due to a great VBAC birth story. (This is a LONG post so I won’t be offended if you skip this)

My doctor was extremely optimistic for our attempted VBAC and so was I (see former post here to catch up)! I could, yet couldn’t wait for the whole labor process to begin. May 17th at about 8:30am, regular contractions started — lasting about 30 seconds and occuring every 8 minutes. I also had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30. I was opting to not get “checked” by the doctor in prior appointments as I didn’t want to be disappointed OR get excited too quickly; we continued with this trend at this appointment. My doctors said that if regular contractions were beginning, I’d probably have the baby that weekend (it was Friday).

Work was fine. I was training my temp and I simply carried on but knew that this would be my last day for the summer. The pain was mostly in my back, this is how I knew my body was progressing as I had horrendous back labor for baby 1. After work, Little bug and I continued with our regular Friday night Movie Night ritual. Hubby’s work told him to go home at 9. All I thought was, “you really didn’t have to you know.”

11pm into bed. Contractions were every 6 minutes but totally bareable.

11:30pm: Contractions made a 180 turn. Extremely painful and about 3 to 4 minutes apart…JUST LIKE THAT!

I didn’t wake hubby up until about 12:15am when I told him we better start properly timing these. Just as I thought — 3 to 4 minutes. I was standing up during contractions now and leaning over our chest of drawers trying to find some sort of breathing technique that would relax me. Before I knew it, I was in so much pain that I was on the bed in between contractions so I could rest. Tub-time started at about 1:30 and hubby called our doctor. I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS, but because of my c-section, I would need extra monitoring. My doc was at the hospital anyway and wanted me to check-in. We called my dad to come and watch little bug. I ate some oatmeal muffins and we were in the car for the 15 minute drive to the hospital. Contractions in the car SUCK, especially railroad tracks!

Slippers on, no makeup, no hair done, in PJ/workout clothes we entered the ER and about 4 awful contractions later I was finally  in “my” room. Speaking of checking in, why does it take ages and why are the check-in people so boring? No customers service skills on that shift.

My biggest fear was that I would be 1cm dialated. I was extremely tense when the nursed entered to check me.

The verdict, 3cm, thank god. Normally I needed to be 4cm to be admitted but they heard how “real” my contractions were and got me a room.

For the next couple of hours I went through excruciating contractions, coping through them by holding on to hubby’s waist while a swayed my hips back and forth. Inbetween contractions I would rest in bed. the nursing staff was very respectful of my wishes and never asked me about pain medications. Their encouragement was wonderful. Hubby stayed quiet and calming which is exactly what I needed. Eventually around 5:30am I was able to be in the shower for 30 minutes, but ONLY 30 minutes as I needed to go back on the monitor. I also want to note that I had very, very low blood pressure and they wanted to keep an eye on this. The shower was GLORIOUS and 30 minutes felt like 5. I was so sad what it ended.

Around 7am…STILL 3 cm. What the heck!

My doctor examined me and looked at me with the most caring eyes and asked if I would consider being put on the drug fentanyl to relax me a bit. I would still feel everything but in a chilled out version. I instantly was in tears. I was seeing my natural childbirth go down the drain already; in my mind, they were already telling me that I was going to have a C-section. I knew this could be the start of what I dreaded could happen. But…I had been in painful labor for a while and the pain was only going to get worse. I caved.

Fentanyl sucks people, SUCKS! Sure, it relaxes you a tiny bit but the terrible back labor was worse because I HAD to stay in bed so there was no more using hubby to get me through the contractions. The first round of Fentanyl I was “ok” but the second round, I was fed up. I was in more pain than ever. I needed to find a way to cope while being stuck in bed. I experimented with different breathing techniques and what ended up getting me through the contraction was doing deep breathing while saying the work “relax” very slowly — relaaaaax, relaaaax — and this made jackhammer-in-the-back contractions more bearable.

Of course at this time, the nurse walks in to examine me. I’m bawling the whole time expecting 3cm still.

5cm! Progress but I could not and would not continue on Fentanyl. The doctor came and I was more than thrilled to get the dreaded epidural. Again, I was hysterical. HERE entered the next intervention. That was one step closer to surgery, I was sad and angry. Waiting for the epidural sucks and luckily needles don’t bother me so I couldn’t even feel it when they administed it…of course it was right during a contraction but I just did my coping breathing and didn’t flinch once! I was pumped I had finally gotten the breathing down so I was feeling like a bit of a failure for caving…what if I could have kept it up? But, when the epidural kicked in (around 9:30am) I was so happy to finally sleep.

The next couple of hours I was only on the epidural (no pitocin) and was in and out of sleep. Time went by at a snails pace. My blood pressure and baby’s heart rate stayed good. Of course when the nurse checked me around 11:30, no progress…here came the pitocin. Lovely, just what I wanted, barf! I knew the pitocin would be coming at some point, so I was not surprised.

Luckily I was still able to go in and out of sleep but that clock did not move, I swear. I remember one time thinking I had slept for an hour and only 10 minutes went by. Nothing on the I-pad was helping. I chilled as much as possible and just kept checking the baby’s heartrate, please don’t go down or up too much.

I remember hitting 8cm around 2pm and I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! I was progressing. I also knew it was getting serious as the pressure was really increasing. I could still feel each contraction this entire time of having the epidural but now they were becoming painful and I was starting to do some breathing techniques again. I was delighted when the nurse told me that she was taking me off pitocin because my body had taken over and was doing the work! Sweet!

Over the next 2 hours I watched Friends and breathed through contractions as they got more painful with each one. Friends was a perfect distraction.  At 4pm the nurse said that I would need to go about 1 more hour and then I could start pushing! We were almost there.

45 minutes later we buzzed the nurse who got the doctor and we were ready to get the pushing started. The nursing staff was amazing at coaching me how to push. If I was doing it wrong, they would instruct on how to correct. The encouragement was awesome! This was my moment, I felt so strong in my core. I felt that all those burpees, planks, pilates and yoga sessions during pregnancy were coming into play and paying off. This is what I had worked hard to get to. What felt like 5 minutes was actually 45 minutes of pushing. Right before the final 2 pushes my doctor informed the staff that the sex was unknown and that hubby was going to call out the sex. Two crazy pushes later at 5:18, at the same time I opened my eyes, hubby called out, “it’s a boy.”

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I couldn’t believe it — 1.) that it was a boy and 2.) that we had done it, I had gotten my VBAC!

What my Spanish doctor said (three years ago) I would never be able to do — I did! Even after delivery my doctor commented said that she didn’t know if we’d be able to make it happen. My tilted cervix made it so that Chase have to “turn a corner” which is what led to my intense back-labor and a little more hands-on work from the doc.  She said, “I never met anyone who wanted a VBAC so much!”

After 18 hard hours and a lot of tears we had our baby boy and our family was complete. I was on a high and felt amazing.

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I didn’t look amazing but you know what, pretty hair and makeup would not show the real story of my labor. I’m proud of how crappy I look; I earned the right to look this terrible ;)

There, that’s better!

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I’m very happy with my birth story. No, it was not the natural hippie granola childbirth I dreamed of, but every decision that happened was my choice and I was in control of each step. I was thrilled that in the end my body worked for me and I felt more than I expected I would with an epidural. And no matter what, you just can’t beat the end result; a healthy and happy baby!

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Kitchen Progress: The Finale

Something amazing happened on Saturday morning, I was alone with a clean kitchen! The time to take our “finished” had finally arrived! From the moment we spotted this house and toured it, we knew that the only way this house could be our home was if we completely gutted the kitchen! I was more than ecstatic to create my dream kitchen, or at least my first dream kitchen! With the help of pintrest and Knecht Ace Hardware here in town, a beautiful, bright, cheerful and functional kitchen was born! And although there is still a lot I want to replace, I’m over-the-moon with the results. Let’s bring on the good ol’, before and after shots!

Goodbye drive thru window and welcome in a breakfast area and counter space!

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We went with black laminet with a marble look for countertops.

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Flooring are rectangle tiles with a gray marbling look with accents in light blues, browns, and charcoal. I’m so happy with the floor and how it came together with the paint and counter tops!

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This area changed a lot from our original plan; due to cost we had to take out the overheads, but we designed it so that we can add them in later.
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Out went all the counters and cabinets which were old, dark and boring. The previous owners attempted to resurrect them with new doors but that didn’t hide the horror found on the inside.
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White and bright!  Tall cabinets and deep drawers lead to lots and lots of space.

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A lazy-susan in the lower corner houses the pots and pans and we splurged on a sweet microwave…only 3 appliances to go!

DSCN4785We did add the pull-out garbages on the left. LOVE THIS!

Luckily we didn’t need a new sink, just a light and faucet.

DSCN4792Laundry in the kitchen, an ice cold beer during the spin cycle….why not! There was so much potential in this wasted area.

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Now that makes more sense! The cabinets over the fridge are HUGE and an sweet place to store randoms kitchen things I only use seasonally. The ‘fridge is the old standard size so extra space was given on the top and sides for a larger ‘fridge in the future.

DSCN4789This whole area holds our daily dishes in the cabinets and the lowers have a junk drawer, little bug art drawer, extra glasses and bakeware; on the right side is silverware, kids plates and cups drawer and tupperware/gladware storage drawer

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Glass doors were something I always wanted, this gives a much more open feel.

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We wanted simple, black hardware and found exactly what we wanted at Lowes and for a great price. Some hardware can run $5-$7 a piece easily, and we needed about 45 pieces in total! Ouch.

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And now for the biggest improved area. Before, this was a biggest waste of space. Tiny cabinets and a narrow, pointless counter no storage underneath for some reason?!

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NOW, it’s my favorite addition.

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The left side has appliances like the bread machine, juicer, crock pot and such. The middle holds out “fancy” dishes and vases and the right side is the pantry area.

DSCN4787 - CopyThe display area is a work in progress. There are too many ideas running through my head to make any decisions.

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The canisters are my favorite part so far here. I kept my eye out for ages on the perfect ones and TJ Maxx came to the rescue!

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I just love the simple detail with the molding and edging throughout! The ceilings feel so much higher.DSCN4793

Here are a few demolition pics. All demo was done by my dad and hubby!

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DSCN3773I still can’t believe how this has changed! Having space for everything is a wonderful feeling. None of the cabinets are full! As time goes by we will eventually get new appliances, light, stools, and custom drawer organizers to finish the look.

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Now on to the dining room! This will be our winter project. I have “big plans” for keeping my dad busy!

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Before, after, after: 2 months postpartum

The ability of the human body is amazing, especially one’s skin. 2 months ago I was stretchy and vein-y (39 weeks).

Week 39_aAfter 4 weeks, I was at my “set” weight. I say set weight because this is the weight I could easily maintain without really working out and eating a SAD (standard American diet).

2WeeksPostTwo months postpartum and I’m still pretty much at the same weight, give or take a couple of pounds either way.

DSCN4748The difference now is that I’m firming up which is slightly more evident from the front.

2WeeksPost_bI was a sweaty betty in these photos but I had a moment. Those moments don’t come very often these days!

DSCN4749Squeezing a workout in has been extremely more difficult this time. At night I’m exhausted (I have to do the bedtime routine solo); and now that I’m back at work part-time, I prefer to sleep in until baby wakes me…well after a 5am feed, burp and pump, it’s basically time to get ready for work, then little bug’s brekkie, pump again on both sides (I have a manual pump for now) and it’s out the door AND I’m still late for work. Whew, I’m tired just thinking of the morning. I TOTALLY get it now when friends have said, “you really become a parent when you have two.” I get it, I get it.

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It’s so much fun though! Never a dull moment, never a completely clean house or face ;)

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DSCN4743When I do get the time to workout, it’s either an Insanity workout or run; Saturday through Tuesday are the best days for me. Here are the workouts from the past week.

Sat: 30 min run
Sun: 2 mile run
Mon: Insanity Workout – Pure Cardio and 25 min walk
Tue: Inanity Workout – Cardio Recovery
Wed: 15 min hilly run
Thu: off
Fri: off

I bitch and moan like my world is going to end because I can’t sweat it out most days but it’s MY me time. I NEED this. But you know what, it’s not the end of the world. I DO have better things to do!

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Above is a rare occasion where we were all together at night and I could get a pic with my babies. I have tired eyes, greasy hair, probably smelly clothes but luckily the kiddos don’t say anything…yet! I love a good snuggle :) xoxo

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Favorite Thing of the Moment

Being the one who always takes the photos means I’m never in them…any good ones that is.

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BUT, I do get to capture my favorite thing at the moment.

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Nothing warms my heart more than seeing hubby with our kids, especially for a good ol’ nap!

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Lately…Top 8

Top 10 is so cliché’ don’t ya think? Top 8 is the “new top 10.” In no particular order, here’s a few highlights of life as of lately.

1. Little bug turned the big 0-3. Princess insanity

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2. Baby C got baptized

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3. I started back at work part-time…you know what this means…I’m ACTUALLY having to shower daily! (Moms, I know you totally get me there). I smell like flowers now instead of spoiled milk.

4. Workouts are occurring almost daily!!! Yes, I’m finding time for me.

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…And if I can’t find time for myself, I don’t mind having my workout buddy with me!

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5. My in-laws visit was awesome, but all too short. I was in mommy heaven: helpers, adults to talk with all day and extra naps for me!

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6. My 3-year-old is turning sassy! 2 was nothing… sassy sucks!

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7. Baby C is growing too fast :( 7 weeks has flown by.

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8. Breastfeeding with a toddler is not easy. Baby 1 wants my attention so bad, but everything couple of hours she has to hear “in a bit, I have to feed Chase first.” She knows the drill: feed, burp, pump THEN play. We are becoming quite the three-some though I must say! I am a pro at getting everyone cleaned up out of the house on time!

DSCN4577Life is crazy with two, I can’t believe people have more…and then I see these two being all cute and adorable and I remember why!

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Nutrition Nook: What I Ate Wednesday

HELLO sleep-in Wednesday! Little bug is at the grandparents on Tuesday nights so the 3 of us slept-in till 8:15! After baby C’s brekkie, he joined me for mine.
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Breakfast: Cookie-dough cereal found here! LOVE this so much I could easily make a cup instead of the 1/3 I used.

DSCN44511/3 c old-fashioned oats + salt + cinnamon + PB + honey + vanilla= smash all together with fork till it’s clumpy and top with milk and desired toppings (1/2 banana today). I let the milk soak for a bit before devouring down. Try it, it’s life-changing I tell ya.  Regular coffee accompanied this as well as at least 1 additional spoonful of PB while preparing…like I could actually not eat while making breakfast.

Lunch: wrap with sauteed onions, bit of shredded cheddar and over-easy egg in a wrap! I’ve been going nuts about having my not-fully cooked eyes now that pregnancy is over! Sides included a few carrot sticks, pickled zucchini and a small slice of watermelon. The runny yoke served as the “sauce” for the wrap. OMG why have I not done this sooner!

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Supper: open-face baked ham sandwich with cheese, horseradish spread and dijon mustard; sides included pickled zucchini again (from the garden last year) and 1/2 sweet potato. We made a huge ham a few weeks back and froze a few bags worth for sandwiches on lazy night such as this! I’m not a deli ham kinda-girl because the flavor sucks but slow-cooked ham is a whole other story! Packed full of juiciness and salty goodness!

DSCN4456I had my little girl back for additional company!

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Late night snack: 3oz vanilla yogurt with 1/4 c pumpkin flax granola and 1/2 banana

Wednesday’s Workout: I got my lungs handed to me during my 30 minutes of working out today.

DSCN4454I split this into 3 10 minute segments:
1-10: 10 min Insanity warm-up
11-20: stretching
21-30:  core and pelvic floor work as follows done slowly and repeated twice: (kegals=25, hip raises with squeeze at top= 25, pelvic tilts=25, single leg hip raise with leg lift= 15/side, plank= 40 seconds)

I’m excited for the soreness to start!

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Pregnancy Nook: before, before and after

2 1/2 weeks postpartum already! The hormones have finally evened out and my “birthing muscles” don’t feel as if they are going to fall out anymore! It is time to start some form of a workout plan and say/write this because I NEED to do something just for ME that involves getting out of the house.  From little bug enjoying my time off work (play with me mommy), to working on the house and getting ready for the in-laws to visit, and regular mommy chores and the fact that I can’t be away from baby C any longer than a couple of hours due to nursing…it’s a crazy state of always being busy. So the unfortunate part here is that I really have to plan to make these workouts happen; once I’m done nursing, it’s shoes-on and out the door…no time for doddling!

I have worked out a whopping 2 times. Workout 1 was a 30 minute walk with the stroller 4 days after birth…not a good idea about 8 hours after the fact. My pushing muscles were aching and I thought they were going to fall out…plus my hormones were up and down like a roller coaster and I ended up staying in bed for about 12 hours that next day. Workout 2 was a stroller jog with little bug on Sunday…a huge success and this motivated me to start-up again! 

Plan of attack: I’m keeping this simple, workout every other day with a focus on running/walking and lots of pelvic floor exercises. The pelvic floor exercises will not only help get the “birthing muscles” back in shape but also help flatten the belly and make running a heck of a lot easier (and safer). 

For fun here are the before, before, after pics.

5 weeks pregnant:
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39 weeks pregnant (4 days before baby C was born): weight gain was 28 lbs doctor’s scale, 26 pounds home scale.

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2 weeks postpartum: down about 16 pounds so about 9 to 10 pounds to go if I want to hit pre-pregnancy weight.

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Luckily nursing is going to suck most the weight off but I know that about 5 will stay on due to nursing and needing extra fat. I’m not super concerned about the weight, I just want to be active again. It feels as though I’m glued to the recliner and boppy all day! I crave movement!

On the family front…I AM loving this time around SO much more! The ease and confidence have helped the transition into mommyhood of two. Hubby and I are beaming!!

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The Peanut has arrived!

May 17, 2013 starting at 9am, I went into the early stages of labor…May 18, 2013 at 5:13pm it was all over. Our little peanut arrived!

DSCN4279Baby BOY Chase Simon Waby is the newest member of our family: 7lbs, 11oz at 20.5 inches

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Labor was excruciating, long, challenging and the most rewarding thing I’ve done. We got our VBAC!

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I’m mending very well (I was cleared for running while still in the hospital) and the big sis is a proud one at that!

DSCN4336Our family is now complete, I so happy to give my husband a “little buddy!”

DSCN4340The answer to my question from weeks prior, “How will I share my love with another child.” Well, I figured out right away, I don’t have to share my love, I grew more of it!

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Pregnancy Nook: Highlights of Week 38

May 8-14th, 2013

Welcome to Week 38…any day now right?
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Labor Signs:
Baby has dropped and there is a lots of pressure. LOTS of pressure. I feel like the baby is going to burst out of my crotch when this happens. It’s not painful at all, just a TON of pressure. The pinching kind of contractions are happening when I’m active and on my feet, especially during runs. My stomach looks like a giant purple spiderweb as my tummy veins are so bright and purple it’s almost alien-like! My body is getting weak and tired much quicker than normal :( boo hoo!

Baby still moves like it’s on a constant caffeine high, heartburn is still terrible. I thought the heartburn was supposed to lessen as the baby dropped, whatever.

Nutrition Nook:
I’ve been craving smoothies and fruit all week. I cracked open the juicer as well as made large batches of strawberry/pineapple and Green Monster smoothies. Another big comeback has been cottage cheese! I love it with pineapple or used as a salad topping instead of dressing!

Baby Prep:
Hubby and I worked together to make a few batches of food to freeze (oatmeal muffins and Sheppard’s pie) and we are stocked up on various meats like whole chicken, local beef, natural chicken-dogs and a giant ham! I double checked the hospital bags and so the only bag needing packed with be little bug’s overnight bag for the grandparents.

I’m still listening to Pregtastic almost every morning while getting ready for work. I never get bored with listening to the labor stories!

I’ve been attempting to rest more and take more baths to relax at night. I usually go all-out one night with projects and then take it easy the next night with 1 small project.

Names are officially picked out. Hubby changed his up slightly in regards to the middle name but the baby will have a name right away. (Again, I pick out the girl’s and he picks the boy’s name)!

Week 38 Workouts:
Because of the pressure, running hasn’t been the most comfortable activity but it’s not painful yet.
Wed: 40 min run/walk, 5 min stretch
Thu: AM= 10 min walk and 10 min stretch; PM= 3 mile lunch run with bit of walking
Fri: REST
Sat: 30 min power walk; 10 min stretch
Sun: 20 min hike and 20 min walk
Mon: 40 run with a bit of walking; 10 min stretch
Tue: REST

Week 38 Highlights:
-My boss and his wife had their first baby…a boy (it was a surprise for them). Needless to say, now they are antsy to find out what we are having!

-Mother’s Day! Hubby and little one got me a massage! Because hubby had to work all day, it was a mommy-daughter day and a wonderful outdoor day at that which included hiking, a picnic and playtime followed by a BBQ at my parents.
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Tuesday was a great date night with hubby. We crossed off many to-do items and then celebrated by going out to eat!

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Could this perhaps be our last date night for a while…hopefully the next date night will include a giant glass of wine for me!

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