An Open Valentine, to My Dad

Every year of my life when Valentine’s day rolls around I’ve known that I wont need to worry about not being chosen by someone, because for the past 28 years I’ve had the very same Valentine.

In 28 years I’ve learned that he likes Snickers candy best, only trumped by homemade chocolate chip cookies that he can stash in his desk to hide from the rest of the house. He’ll accept year after year of framed photographs without protest – whether the frames are made from Popsicle sticks or purchasedfrom a department store. But most importantly, in 28 years, I’ve learned that he will love me for me, no matter what, and no matter when.

It means just as much to me on this Valentine’s day, as I find myself waking up to make a special breakfast for my own little girl, and to send my amazing husband off to work with a special tray of Valentine cookies and an extra kiss, as it did when I was in middle school and the boy I had my eye on didn’t ask me to be his Valentine. My Dad has taught me loyalty, and the strength that is in the true, unconditionallove between family.Whether he knew it or not, he’s shown me all along just what I would wish for in my own little family someday, just by being him.

Thank you, Dad, for being the example of what I wanted in a husband and a father for my children. You are the strongest, most loyal, and most loving Dad a girl could ask for – I feel so lucky to have you in my life, and as my Forever Valentine.

This year, I hope you’ll accept being publicly humiliated on my Blog, in front of all 16 of my readers, since I know you already havea secret stash of cookies that you’re working on. If you want, I can make you a Popsicle stick frame for youto put this post in :)

I love you with all of my heart – thank you for being you, and helping to make me, me.

Your Little Girl

 

 

 

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An Early Valentine’s Date

Unlike the days before parenthood, when you have children your romantic holidays or personal holidays, like Valentine’s Days, Anniversaries, and Birthdays, may not actually be celebrated on the actual calendar holiday, but on the day closest to said calendar holiday that you can obtain a baby sitter. So even though Valentine’s Day isn’t until Tuesday, the Hubs and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day yesterday.

For Christmas, my parents gave us a pair of tickets to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway. It’s gotten GREAT reviews, and was said to be hilariously funny.

The Hubs was hoping that it wasn’ta musical while I secretly hoped it was (because everythingis better when put to song isn’t it)? My secret wishes came true, and the actors belted out song after song of Broadway goodness. A little over 2 hours later I left the theatre with cheeks that hurt from smiling so much, and that were stained from my tears. It wasn’t a tear jerker of a show – I’m not sure if I should blame my crying on pregnancy hormones, or the fact that I am so easily moved by musicals. Either way, it was a great show, although a little outrageous – definitely for adults only. Some parts even left me feeling a little bit uncomfortable because of so much vulgarity, and I don’t consider myself ultra conservative when it comes to that kind of thing.

Asusual, Ileft the showawe-struck after seeing these live performers on stage. Some times I look at them and can’t even believe the sounds that are coming out of their mouths are real. They are true entertainers, and the real rock stars. I feel alittle sad that they’re not more celebrated. I hope that G loves Broadway as much as I do so that I can have a partner to go with. The Hubs will go to make me happy, but it’s not the same as going with someone that gets as much out of it as I do.

After the show we went to dinner at a new place that we’ve heard great things about, Jewel. The atmosphere was really cool – the decor was interesting and trendy, the vibe was cool, and the staff was really nice and helpful, but the food kind of stunk. Normally I’m excited to go out and generally always like the food because it’s not something that I had to cook (being a stay at home mom has really made me appreciate a dinner out more than ever before), but last night the food just wasn’t on point. The Hubs agreed. The only things we both really liked were the roasted brussel sprouts that we ordered as a side, and the Pistachio ice cream sandwich that we shared for dessert. (You can’t really go wrong with Pistachio ice cream).

Even though the food didn’t knock our socks off, the company was great. A date night was much needed and I’m so glad that I got to spend some one-on-one time with my man. (Another thing that I have come to appreciate more than ever before). And even though it was celebrated a few days before the calendar holiday, it was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in at least a year.

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1000 in 2012 – a Week in Review

The hernia pain carries on, and so I’ve officially been sidelined from running (sadly). But that doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking. Just because I can’t run, doesn’t mean I’m not moving.

As I said back in January, the whole point in creating this goal for myself was just to have a gentle guideline to remember to keep moving during this year while I’ll be going through so many changes. I knew I would have to adapt as the year progressed, and this hurdle is no different. Some of my miles this week were completed in walks – uphill walks, fast walks, fun walks with G through the park. But some of them were ellipticalled miles (ellipticalled? … whatever). I fought myself really hard on whether I was “allowed” to count miles completed on the elliptical. Are they technically miles “on foot”?? Didn’t I say “on foot” when I began the challenge? Well, since this pain sometimes even kicks in so badly when I’m engaging in a brisk walk or a strong uphill walk, a few times this week, I’ve been forced to jump off of the treadmill and onto the elliptical. I found myself having NO pain on the elliptical whatsoever even when I was fully exerting myself. I tossed the idea around with a couple of people, and everyone said the same thing — give yourself a break, your pregnant, you’re still moving, and every mile counts. So, I finally said, since I created the challenge, I make the rules, and I rule that ellipticalling is just fine. ;)

This is what my week looked like,

21.28miles for the week!

I rested as I normally do on Sunday, and then again on Monday because after the party we threw for Superbowl, I really needed some couch time.

I also adapted my arms workout a little bit. I got kind of bored of pushups day after day, so I started doing a little arms circut from the Tone It Up girls, found here on YouTube. (If you haven’t checked out the Tone It Up girls yet, do it! I’m a member of the Tone It Up team and get TONS of great info from them daily, plus its a really cool community to be apart of with lots of wonderful support). I’ve been rotating the arms circut with pushups to change it up a bit. Feels good to do a little strength training. *I forgot to mark off my Saturday box, but I did domy arms circut :)

I didn’t actually run 99.18 miles, and I’m not cheating. I realized this week that somewhere I forgot to enter a run and couldn’t figure out where but it was throwing my whole count off, so I reset the counter with the total number of miles I’ve completed for the year — I’m almost out of the 900′s!!

YTD

Miles on Foot : 99.18

Miles Biked : 64.9

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Baby C – 26 Weeks

One more week until we enter THIRD TRI! Time it is a flyin’ …

According to Sprout Baby C is continuing to practice breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. His/her immune system, including the lymph nodes, thymus and spleen, are rapidly developing. His eyes are also beginning to open after they have been closed for the past few months so that the retina could develop. AND I read that the her brain-wave activity is beginning to develop at this stage, so she may react to different things. For example if I shined a flash light at my belly he/she might kick to say, “get that light out of my eyes”. (Pretty crazy, huh?) Baby C is weighing in at just about 2 pounds this week, and is apparently the size of a large zucchini (another weird size comparison that I’m not sure is accurate).

How am I doing this week? I’m feeling good … as the belly gets bigger I find myself sometime getting out of breath doing next to nothing. Seems like quarters are getting tight in there. As the baby gets bigger I guess the other things that normally live in my abdomen are moving all around and impairing my lung capacity ;) . The hernia pain I developed last week, as well as that sciatica pain are still there – not going away as I had hoped, but they’re manageable.

How about the bod? The belly is still growing. More people this week have commented that I actually look pregnant now, or they had no idea, and all of a sudden I have this belly. This is basically the same thing that happened during my pregnancy with G. Some of the maternity shirts that I bought in the begining of my pregnancy are now becoming too short to cover the belly, and I can no longer get away with wearing my pre-pregnancy workout clothes to the gym.

*I had a really hard time finding some good workout gear (I am VERY picky when it comes to gym pants – I want them to be durable, and supportive – I’m not a fan of cheap yoga pants. I think that yoga pants can be super sexy or extremely unflattering). Most maternity shops carry your typical soft non-supportive fold over yoga pants as exercise pants, and they weren’t cutting it for me. There was also nary a nice racer-back supportive maternity shirt to be found. After much searching I finally found a GREAT pair of pants from Gap maternity. I own the G-Flex capris (multiple pairs) and was wearing them until my belly finally wouldn’t allow it anymore. Well, I found that Gap also sells the G-Flex in a long pant maternity style. (They also sell them in ankle length which is great for a shorty like me)!! Sadly, Gap had no shirts, but I finally found a great shirt at Impact Fitness. I wish it were a slight bit longer, but it will have to do. I have a long torso, so I find most shirts to be on the shorter side, the big belly just adds to the problem.

Here are a couple belly shots for your viewing pleasure,

I love a good maternity shirt, and this one won me over. It could 100% pass for just a cool boho blouse – there’s no empire waist, there’s no tie in the back, it’s just slightly longer in the front than it is in the back so it hangs evenly and nicely over the belly. I wore it with black skinny maternity pants and heels on a date with the Hubs for an early Valentine’s Day celebration.

G is better than ever. Her vocabulary seemed to grow immensely this week, as well as her imagination. I have found her handing me imaginary butterflies, and making imaginary phone calls on her phone (she’s been making fake phone calls for some time now, but now she has actual imaginary exchanges – she asks the person on the other line questions, and waits for their response. It’s very cute). She’s also been asking me interesting questions about our wee one on the way. “What will the baby eat”? “What does the baby need”? “Can I feed the baby”? I think it’s really interesting that she is thinking ahead in this way. I love that she seems excited and wants to be involved. She’ll be a great Big Sister.

The Hubs is still hairy, and I still have no picture.

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Homemade Valentines

I love me some crafting. Especially in the colder months, G and I aren’t strangers to the craft store. We peruse the aisles looking for fun, new projects that we can do together (which is almost as much fun as doing the projects themselves). With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be much more fun to hand-make some Valentine’s for G’s classmates and her grandparents, then to buy the pre-made, charecterized ones that are all over the place. In order for a 2 year old to be able to participate in crafting things need to be really simple, and be as safe as possible.

G has been bringing home lots of work from school that looks like this,

Being that they’re doing a lot of cutting and pasting I thought we could incorporate that into our Valentine making. I wasn’t ready to take the plunge and let her use scissors with me at home because (1) I’m accident prone and dangerous with scissors (one timeI was crafting something with my little brother, had him hold a piece of fabric straight for me while I cut it, and wound up cutting right into his little finger with the scissors. Sure, we were 9 and 6, but it still haunts me). And (2), I think like every other kid, G listens to her teachers better than me, and I was afraid if I brought out a pair of scissors I would get the “NO I NEED TO DO IT MYSELF” tantrum. I can picture the scissors flailing about in her hands as I type this. I wasn’t willing to risk it, so I picked up a couple of paper punches so that G could cut the shapes out all by herself. Safely.

I also picked up a package of sparkly stationary for our base, and a couple of pieces of corrdinating scrapbooking paper (which I forgot to take a picture of before cutting into it).

G used the paper punches to cut out a bunch of hearts and squares from the scrapbooking paper (with a little help from me – it required a little muscle).

And then she pasted the shapes and I placed them on the center of the cards. We wound up with a fab little bunch of cards for her to give her friends!

Much better than the store bought variety if I do say so myself ;)

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1000 in 2012 – a Week in Review

As I mentioned in my 25 week Baby C update, I’ve had some pain that’s messed with my running regimen, and left me with a lot of run/walks. I’m not mad at the run/walk, or the walk for that matter. I’m grateful for anything that I can do (that is really the truth). I do love running, but I know that if I can’t carry on all the way to the end, I’ll pick up where I left off after Baby C arrives.

Even though I haven’t been running as much, I’ve still managed to get all the miles that I needed to, but most importantly, I’ve made myself a priority, and made room for my “me time” in the gym, on the street, or in the park. This is what my week looked like,

I forgot to mark that I rested on Saturday – I did no push-ups, and didn’t get any formal miles in. Still at the weeks end, I wound up with 19.72 miles for the week (and 150 push-ups!). Not too shabby. I’m really just glad that I have something that keeps me motivated. I LOVE MY REFRIGERATOR CHART!!

YTD

Miles on Foot : 77.9

Miles Biked : 64.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby C – 25 Weeks

I’m a little late with this week’s update …. almost 6 days late to be exact.At least I’m doin’ it, ok?;)

This week Sprout says that Baby C is starting to grasp with his or her hands, and wiggle it’s finger’s and toes! Fingers and toes that are begining to form nails, might I add! It also says that Baby C should be weighing in at about 1 1/2 pounds this week, and is about the size of a squash. (I thought this was a little weird because last week they said he/she was about the size of a half gallon of milk, which to me, is bigger than a squash. Right?!) Sprout also warns me this week about stretch marks and swollen ankles, but I’m not gonna get into that here. I (thankfully) didn’t have any of those side effects with G and so, am hoping I’ll be spared this time around too. ;)

How am I doing this week? This week my belly definitely popped. It is definitely much bigger than it was last week, and for the first time am being acknowledged by non-family members as being pregnant. (This makes me happy :) ). With the bigger belly though came some aches and pains that I remember from my pregnancy with G. One is a hernia that I have on my lower left side that really hurts when I’m engaging in certain physical activities. Like running. This means that my runs began becoming shorter in distance, and my workouts became mostly run/walk combos. I spoke to my doctor about this pain and she said basically putting my feet up would fix it …. not the answer that I was looking for. I hoped to run until I gave birth, but I guess maybe it’s not in cards for me. I’m going to continue to try because in the very begining of my pregnancy I experienced some back pain that prevented me from running for a week or so, but it faded as my body changed. Maybe this will happen again. If it does, I’ll be thrilled, but if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get back to running after I have our new bundle :) I’ve also developed this crazy pain that runs down the front of my right quad if I’m on my feet for too long. I think it’s related to my back — maybe its the sciatica thing you always hear pregnant ladies talk about? I’m not to sure as I haven’t tried to read about it or anything. I’m just dealing with it since theres likely nothing I can do about it anyway. Other than those couple of new developments, I feel great. I definitely feel bigger – I feel out of breathe more often, I feel like its tougher to get into my clothes because they’re suddenly pulling in different areas. For a moment that can make me feel miserable, but I try to snap out of it and try to remember that I’m growing a baby and in a couple months I’ll be back into fighting shape ;)

I’ve also made myself many more meals this week – salads have made a come back, roasted veggies, stir fried veggies, veggies in general. I’ve taken the time to prepare some really beautiful fresh foods for myself rather than just grabbing a veggie burger or a PB sandwich, and it’s really felt so good.

How about the bod? As I said, my belly has definitely made more of an appearence this week. Baby C is a growing, thats for sure! Other than my expanding wasitline, I think I’m relatively similar.

I never got around to snapping my picture last Thursday as I normally do, but this weekend at our Superbowl party my brother’s girl friend took this picture of my belly. I was wearing pre-pregnancy jeans, hence the belly band wrapped around my hips. (I don’t normally wear it like that ;) ). As you can see, I wasn’t lying — the belly’s definitely gotten bigger!

G is her spark-plug self. She has beenc oming out with a lot of funny things lately. Today I asked her a question, and she said, “Give me a minute please, I’m cleaning my boots”. (I sometimes think shes 22 years old).

The hubs hasn’t gotten a hair cut since September 10th. It isn’t pretty. A couple family members commented that if they were me they would’ve shaved it in his sleep my now.

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Tryn’a Go with the Flow

(Source)

There was a time in my life when I woke up at precisely the same time everyday, took a shower washing my hair and body in the exact same way, put on my make up lining each product up perfectly on my counter and putting them back the same way, ate the same exact amount of the same exact cereal each morning, had the same exact lunch on my lunch break the very same way, and went home to eat the same exact dinner sitting in the same exact spot, while watching the same exact show, and then … well, you get the point. At this time in my life I was pretty sick, and developed OCD as a means to protect myself from running into any unknowns that might rock my boat, because I mentally just couldn’t handle anything else.

This was a really tough time. For me, for my family, and for my friends. But I got well, and eventually began to be more flexible andadaptable tooutside situations.Sometimes I still find myself getting set in my ways, or when somethingunexpected comes up I get alittle shot of anxiety, doubting whetherI can handle it or not. These days though, I am finding myself having an easier time of rolling with what ever comes my way.

If any of you have ever gone through home renovations, you might know how unpredictable each day can be. I’ve mentioned a little bit about how I’ve taken on the roll of Project Manager for this reno as the Hubs has been under a very demanding and grueling work schedule lately. Well, when you’re managing the project, you have to talk to everyone, sign everything, see everything, choose everything, purchase everything — basically, short of physically putting the house together with my hands, I’m doing it all. And that’s OK because I’m happy to, and I’m grateful to be able to be doing the renovations, but it’s still a task when combined with parenting essentially alone Monday through Friday, and trying to preserve my sexy, as they say, by working out, eating well, and – well – showering, everyday. I’ve found myself getting really anxious a couple of times over the passed several weeks when I’ve been on the receiving end of phone calls that beckon me to a meeting that conflicted with my planned workout, or when I’ve come home after a really long morning to find workers on all 3 floors of my house leaving no place for G and I to escape to, and no way for her to nap, therefore, no way for me to get any “quiet” time. The latter happened today as a matter of fact. A day when it was in the low 30′s (too cold to spend any real time outside), when I was expecting a visitor in the evening, and knew I had to fold laundry, cook a meal worthy of a guest (no easy PB sandwiches), and try to get into bed at a decent hour so that when my alarm would ring at 4:30 tomorrow morning, I wouldn’t snooze it repeatedly until 7, but would actually get up and get a good workout in.

So, when I realized that there would be no solace in my house today, I did an intentional mental shift and went from being reactively anxious, to being proactively ambitious. I gathered together a couple of healthy snacks, put G in her car seat and we went to Barnes and Noble for a little quiet time outside of the house. Thank the good Lord that Barnes and Noble has a Starbucks, because by the time we got there I was in desperate need of one of these,

While I sipped my Latte, G perused aisle after aisle of books, and fun toys, stopping to play with a toyor flip through a book that interested her while we were surrounded by the soothing sounds of a bookstore. (Does anyone else feel just about as relaxed while they’re in a book store as they do after a Yoga class?) We stayed there for almost a couple of hours before she was ready to go, paid for our purchases, and made our way back to a home restored of peace. By the time we arrived at home, she was sleeping, and I tucked her in for a nap just before I sat down to write this.

Even though an afternoon in B&N wasn’t what I had planned for us today, it worked wonders for my mind, and my spirit when I needed it to. Goes to show that sometimes it’s just better to go with the flow – be adaptable, be easy, feel free.

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1000 in 2012 – A Week in Review

After my shorthiatus from exercise, I came back this week, just in time for some great weather! Last week we were doing this,

And this week we got to do some of this,

and this,

It may be the last week of January, but it sure didn’t feel that way this week. I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to do so much outdoors this winter. I can get a little crazy being stuck inside all the time, and it makes me SO happy to be able to get some fresh air.

The warmer temps made it easier for me to get some walks in with G this week. One day we spent an entire afternoon at the park, and just yesterday morning I was able to nail the hubs down long enough to get him to take a walk with the two of us. I was also able to get an outdoor run in early in the week! The rest was done on the dreadmill, but done nonetheless.

Here’s what I got:

I mentioned in last week’s post thatmy Mondayworkoutgot nixed by an impromptu meeting that I had to be at withthe HVAC people, so I started my week on Tuesday and was still able to surpassmy goal for the week! The little boxes at the bottom area new addition – I rarely participate in any kind of strength training – not because I don’t like it, but mostly because since I’ve become a parent and have limited time to be in the gym, I’ve deemed my cardio time more important than fitting in a sculpting class - but I’ve noticed that my arms and shoulders are looking a little less lean these days. (Maybe it’sa result of the pregnancy – I tendto feel like my upper body broadens during pregnancy- or it could bemy lack of a tan ;) ). So, this week I’ve begun to incorporate push ups into my day. It’s something easy that I feel like tones all of my arms and shoulders in one shot and I can do multiple reps wherever I happen to be whenever I remember to do them, and then mark it off on my chart. This week I started with 30 (3 sets of 10 reps). G has been doing them with me (in her own little way) since I’ve been doing them straight out of bed, or as we wind down our day. (I let her mark off our progress on Thursday – hence the scribble :) ). I love push ups. They instantly make me feel stronger, and like I said, I think they’re a good one-stop-shop kind of upper body exercise. Maybe I’ll increase my reps as the weeks pass, but maybe I won’t. I’ll let my body be the judge of that.

At the end of the week I wound up with 21.18 miles on foot, and 0 milesbiked. My schedule didn’t allow me to get to any spin classes this week, so all my workouts were made up of runs and walks. My Runs to Go counter now looks like this,

YTD

Miles on Foot : 58.18

Miles Biked : 64.9

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Baby C – 24 Weeks

24 weeks — that’s 6 months! I can’t believe I’ve been pregnant for half of a year. Seems crazy when I think about it …

This week Sprout is saying that Baby C has begun growing some hair! (I’m really interested to see if this baby has any hair — G had next to none when she was born and for the first year + of her life. I was SHOCKED by this because I, on the other hand, was born a hairy little creature, and today have more hair on my head than multiple people combined). Sections of his/her lungs are expanding and he/she is starting to produce lung surfactant which helps to keep the lungs from collapsing after birth. His/her bones are also growing stronger by the day, making it easier to tell whether I’m being bumped by a knee of a soft little bum. Most impressively, Baby C is weighing in at 1.5 POUNDS this week, and is up to 12 inches tall!! Sprout describes him/her as being the same size as a half gallon of milk!

How am I doing this week? I feel good this week. I’ve made a strong effort to get some physical activity in daily, even if it means getting up at 5am to get it in before I’m beckoned by contractors, electricians, HVAC people (oh my!). Even though I’ve been wiped by late afternoon, I’m always glad to have done it because it really improves my mental state knowing I’ve done something good for myself. I also think that hour + that I have to be quiet and alone before the day starts is really good for me. Sort of like how Oprah meditates in the morning … yeah. I’ve also made an effort to incorporate more vegetables into my day. I’ve lost a lot of my gusto when it comes to preparing nutritional meals for myself during this pregnancy. I’m by no means living off fast food or junk, but I’m just not getting as many nutrient rich things as I’d like to. I realized a really easy way to get a lot of goodness is by incorporating one of these guys everyday,

The smoothie is made with unsweetened almond milk, a banana, a small handful of blueberries, a scoop of organic brown rice protein powder, and a couple huge handfuls of spinach. You can’t taste the spinach at all. SO good. I haven’t had one since the summer time – I’m glad I brought them back. And the wine glass makes it extra special.

How about the bod? I think my belly’s popped out a bit more this week! Other than the belly, not much has changed. I actually wore a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans today because all my maternity jeans were in the wash. I thought I’d be resigned to staying in sweaty gym clothes til the laundry was done, but to my surprise, my old favorites still fit with the help of a belly band. (I wish someone would invent something that could attach the belly band to the waistband of my pants to avoid that uncomfortable gap when I bend over or sit down. If I had that, I don’t think I’d even purchase a pair of maternity jeans at all). *If you read this and use my idea, please contact me so I can tell you where to send my royalties.

G is wonderful as usual … We had some great weather in the begining of this week and took an entire afternoon and spent it outdoors at the park, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground, and exploring the area. It was SO nice.

The hubs’ hair, it is a growing. Still no picture to document it … but I think it’s better that way ;)

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