Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My new way to run

So it has gotten pretty cold in Atlanta this week and I thought it would be difficult for me to get Hope out of the house. She has been pretty healthy, but I fear taking her out in the cold. Yesterday my future brother-in-law was off work (a big runner), so he came over so we could all go for a run. He is much faster than me, even when he is out of shape, so he is in charge of the jogging stroller, and I just run beside him. I am usually also in charge of the route. He wanted to do roughly 5 miles, so I have a newish loop that I do that is 5.4 miles.

So here is Hope before we get ready for the run. She is sporting a sweater because the high yesterday was only in the mid 40's (yes, that is cold for us). She is also sporting the plastic spoon that goes with her new kitchen she got her Christmas (her favorite toy).

Step 1 is to get the mittens and hat on her which is very difficult to keep on her. She tries to pull the hat off as soon as I put it on her. Same with the mittens.

And thank goodness her grandmother (Adam's mom) got her a snow suit like thing from LL Bean. The hands and feet actually roll over to cover her up completely. It's awesome! One of my favorite gifts Hope got. I feel much better taking her running when she is covered up like this.

So now, I have her in the jogging stroller and it was pretty sunny, so I thought she could sport her shades too.

And finally, a blanket over her. She was ready to go now! She sang and talked almost the entire way, so I guess that means she was pretty comfortable. Her new thing is counting. I know she doesn't know what she is doing, but I will say "One" and then she will respond with "Two." We showed off for Uncle Eric for over 5 miles.
She was an angel which made mommy very happy. I have been able to work out as much as I would like with all the Christmas stuff and have been eating very heavy meals, so it felt great to get out and pound the pavement.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas presents

Well Christmas at our house was full! We did Christmas morning at our house instead of my dad's house because he doesn't have much furniture because he is remodeling. I thought that would be great because then I wouldn't have to get Hope up and ready, but it was still a lot of work. Hope got up at 4:30am and she doesn't even understand the whole Santa thing yet. So we finally got her back down at 7:00am and I slept for another hour. Then I was up to make some cinnamon rolls. My dad sent me a text at 9:00am (when he was supposed to be over) that he had either a stomach bug or food poisoning and wasn't coming over.

So it took some time to get all the troops over but once we did, we opened a lot of presents. It was crazy. There were boxes and paper everywhere. Adam and I decided to clean up some before heading to our next stop. We were very late, but we didn't expect to have so much to clean up. Yikes.

We continued the Christmas holiday with brunch at my grandmother's and then it was off to Adam's mom's house for the rest of the day. We had a fabulous time but were exhausted by the end of the day.

I am happy to report on the health and fitness side, I received some new running tights and the Your Shape for my laptop. I also got a subscription to Cooking Light and a new vegetarian recipe book. I am hoping to try out the Your Shape this week. I wanted to get it for days when it is raining or too cold to go running and still want to get a decent workout in. This seems to have a lot of variety so I am hoping I do not get bored with it.

On the not to health and fitness side, Adam and Hope got me an anniversary band to go with my engagement ring and wedding band. I was so excited (although I did pick this one out so I knew it was coming). I am so happy with it. :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday debates

Well, I finally got all my wrapping done yesterday. I am usually really good about wrapping up gifts early, but this year, I am down to the wire. Adam and I are in a debate on the Christmas thing with little Hope now involved. At my house, we had presents from mom and dad and then from Santa. On Christmas morning we would come down and there would be presents galore (not kidding, my parents went crazy with presents, it was AWESOME). Obviously there was wrapping paper I hadn't seen my mom using, because that was what Santa had brought us. Well in Adam's house, his mom never got him any presents; they all came from Santa. Santa also had one wrapping paper just for Adam and one just for his brother. So when they went down to see the tree, they knew which ones were whose. I didn't like that idea, but Adam thinks it's so cool, so I am going with it. But when I said, can we have some presents from us to Hope and the rest can be from Santa, I had to go into a huge debate about it. I think Adam is just someone who likes to debate. He is not willing to give up his view in the beginning (I am thinking he should be a lawyer now). So finally, it is that Hope will get a few presents from us (as of now) and some from Santa, but the ones from Santa will be in a wrapping paper just from her. I still don't like it. I liked seeing a big present and not knowing who it was for. Call me crazy!

As far as working out goes, it is not going so well. Hope had a cold, so I couldn't take her out running in the stroller, then it got crazy cold for the ATL, then it rained on all my running days. Last Saturday Adam had to go out to do some shopping for me, and I convinced him to take Hope to have some bonding time. He did and I got to hit the pavement. It was very cold so I couldn't have taken Hope with me, so it was good she was with her daddy. :) I only conquered 6.5 miles, but I don't like running in the cold like some people do. I would much rather run in 90 degree heat. Yesterday, it was much nicer, so I decided to 4.5 miles with Hope and the stroller. Boy, taking 3 weeks off with minimal exercise and very little running showed. My time was terrible!!! But I have decided to take it easy. I have signed up for another half-marathon, but it's not until March. January is always the coldest time to run in Atlanta, so it will be nice not to think about getting in too many runs in while it's cold (well cold for me and Hope). I plan to get back into the swing of things at the end of Jan. I plan to do an 8 week training plan from Runner's World. You can create your own personalized training plan there and I find them very helpful.

1st Annual Cookie Swap

I hosted my 1st annual Holiday Cookie Swap last week and it was a success! I didn't get many pictures, but that was because we were having such a good time. Here are the cookies I made:

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
from the 2008 January/February Cooks Illustrated magazine

They are so good. I made them before and they really are to die for. They have chocolate chunks in them which just puts it over the top for me. Adam has been enjoying my leftovers.

"Christmas Cookies"
from The Food Network's Robin Miller
I have made these for several years. I love the green and red and the dipping in white chocolate makes it special. I am not a fan of making homemade sugar cookie dough, so I am glad this recipe calls for the pre-made dough. Another hit, at least in my family.

And here was the table after the swap. You can see there are a lot of cookies still left. I told everyone to take the leftovers, but most people did not, which means I was left with my swap cookies (2 dozen), the extras from my 2 cookies, and then everyone elses extras. Yikes! We have a lot of cookies in the house right now.
I can't wait until next year's. I will have to start thinking of my recipes now. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to survive the holidays - well at least your figure

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, even if you aren't talking about your waistline. Both of our immediate families (and a lot of my extended family) are in town, so it can get very crazy just trying to see everyone. But then when you throw in there that you want to maintain your weight through the holidays, now it's just insane. Here are my 4 rules for the holidays.

Don't skip your workouts!!!

This is one I am struggling with this year because I now have a little one. But I do remember a couple of years ago before trying to conceiving and being pregnant, when I had to get up early or squeeze gym time in during lunch to get all my workouts in for the week. There are a lot more parties this time of year and it's easy to skip your spin class to go to a cocktail party. But that is the worst thing you can do. You are not only not working out, but you are mostly likely going to eat more than you would if you were cooking at home. So whatever you do, make sure you are working out the same amount during this holiday season.

It's a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK (or month).

I would never advocate for you to eat celery sticks on Thanksgiving, but I would also never advocate to consume leftover pecan pie and sweet potatoes covered in butter, brown sugar and marshmellows for days on end. Yes, Thanksgiving is fun and the food is delicious, so enjoy, but don't over indulge. I always start to fill my plate with the veggies first. Then I start to fill in the rest of my plate with the not so healthy dishes. Once my plate is full, I start eating. No more room on the plate. I also don't get seconds. Nope! Don't need it (and I ran a half marathon last Thanksgiving). :) When it comes to dessert (my favorite part of the meal), enjoy your favorite dessert, but just one. Thanksgiving does not mean you can have one piece of pumpkin pie, one piece of apple pie, and a collection of cookies. No, shockingly it doesn't. If you are someone who likes to try everything (I am one of those people), then share with your spouse, friend, relative, etc. You each get one dessert and split them both. See, easy! Now, the big way to survive Thanksgiving (or any big holiday), is to give away the leftovers. Now, if you want to save the salad you made, fine, but give away the apple pie. I love apple pie and usually make it for at least one holiday meal, but I always give away the leftovers. I enjoy it that day, but that is it. I go back to my regular meals the next day (and apple pie is never one my daily menus). The problem with holiday weight gain is never the day of over indulging, it's when you get those decadent dishes for a whole week, that is the problem. So enjoy your meal, but remember it's just ONE meal.

The trick to surviving party after party is portions.

So this past week I had 2 parties on the same day, one for lunch, and one for dinner. Yikes! I was not looking forward to it. How was I going to stay on track when I was having mexican for lunch and going to a wing place for dinner (even though I don't eat meat, there is not a lot of healthy fare at a wing place). So here is how you survive, portion control. I had a small, healthy breakfast that morning (small bowl of low sugar cereal and some skim milk). Luckily, at the mexican restaurant, they had a lunch menu. The nice thing about lunch menus are they are typically smaller portions than the dinner menu options. So my portion was going to be better. Now, you don't have to do the celery sticks again (now this is to maintain, not lose weight over the holidays), but try for something healthful. I ended up getting the shrimp salad salad. It came with sauteed shrimp (not grilled, but not fried either), avocado (good fat), cheese (yeah, there was a good amount of cheese, but no salad dressing, so I kept all the cheese on there), and the typical veggies. It was very tasty and I left full. Yes, I did have some cheese and salsa, but not a ton. Ok, one party done. Ok, so the rest of the day I sipped on water, tea, coffee, etc. No snacking! I typically eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day, but when I eat out, I know that I am inhaling more calories than I typically do so I don't need the snacks. And I wasn't hungry. So then I went to the wing place for party #2 and I had 1 Guiness draft beer (surprisingly Guiness beer is a low calorie full body beer) and buffalo shrimp. Yes, the shrimp were fried, but came there were only 10 (I ate 9 because my dad wanted to try it) and it came with celery and carrots and blue cheese dressing. Yes, it was not the healthiest thing on the menu but the portion was controlled and that was all I ate. That night when I got home, no ice cream for me. I had had enough calories. :)

Now, I am not saying no snacks ever. I know there are a lot of people that advocate eating a piece of string cheese or some almonds before a party, and if you are starving, then yes, definitely eat something before you walk out of the door. I was not starving and sipping on the beer when I got there took the edge off. But after eating a mexican shrimp salad, I didn't need my yogurt and granola that I typically eat for a late afternoon snack. My salad was probably at least 250 calories more than I typically eat for lunch.

Find low calorie holiday treats!

I find it's more difficult to drink 64oz. of water in the winter than in the summer months. I do not feel like my body is asking for lots of water when I am bundled up. But I also know that it's important keep those liquids going in to keep my feeling full. So during the holiday months, I will treat myself to an afternoon coffee with skim milk. I know what you are thinking, really, that is a treat for you. Yes, it is. Because I live in the deep south, I don't want coffee typically in the afternoons, it's too hot. I would always say no coffee past noon, and that's my typical rule. Also, in order to drink 64oz. of water a day, I can't also drink 30oz. of coffee. I know some people can drink that much, but I can't drink that much of anything. So when I am not in the water drinking mood, I might spring for a late afternoon coffee. Now that is a treat, because coffee is probably my favorite food in the world. I love coffee. I used to think it was the caffeine but once Adam and I figured out we had issues conceiving, I went cold turkey on caffeine and still loved coffee, even decaf. So it is not the caffeine, it's the taste. Yum! So for me an afternoon coffee can help soothe my cravings for minimal calories when I am having big meals and don't need to be snacking. You just have to find out what works for you.

Wow, that's a lot of writing, and it's the abridged version. That is my holiday survival guide in a nut shell. Happy Holidays everyone!

I have been MIA!

Well between work, taking care of Hope, taking care of Adam (let's admit it, men need taking care of too), plus Christmas stuff, I have been MIA from my blog. Let me catch you up.

Hope is not sleeping! Poor thing got over a cold and then cut 2 molars (cut one before the cold). She woke up during the night and was inconsolable. It has been awful! 4 nights of me getting up with her for 1-2 hours. I am exhausted! Finally last night, she was fine and then started crying as soon as turned to leave the room. So that's when I knew that she was conning me. :) She was feeling fine now, she just wanted me. So I had to do a little tough love, which was so hard for me. I just wanted to scoop her up and let her hang out with me (Adam was working late). Finally, she fell asleep and slept through the night. Yeah!!! So hopefully, she will get back on her normal schedule and I can be human again.
With these late nights and rain, I have not been able to work out much at all. I did manage to hit the gym 3 times last week, but none for very long. I hope to hit the company gym today and then run on Friday (if I can work it in). With Christmas, comes lots of errands and that means less time to cook for the family annd work out for myself. I am trying to get it all in, but it's hard.
My friend jokes with me about writing a nutrition book (diet cook if it were in the mainstream media because that's what people want to hear). But if I did, I would have a surviving the holidays chapter indeed. I had hoped to share with ya'll (you all if you are not from the south) before the holiday season was upon us, but maybe I will in the next day or two, so you can see how I survive the holidays.
Hoping these next couple of days run smoothly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Planning - 11/30

I can't believe it's the last day of November already! Wow, time is flying by. We had a great holiday weekend and got a lot of jobs done around the house. We are planning to put our house on the market at the beginning of the year, so we need to get it ready (clean out the clutter mostly). We plan to get our Christmas decorations out next weekend. It will be interesting to see how Hope does with the decorations. I might have to move things around this year so Hope doesn't get into things. :) Ok, so here is what I am planning for dinners this week.

Monday - Roasted broccoli, Turkey tetrazini (for Adam), and a loaded baked potato for me

Tuesday - Vegetable Curry with Lentils

Wednesday - Burgers, Parm Asparagus

Thursday - Cottage cheese and noodles

Friday - Roasted corn and garlic couscous, chicken (for Adam), salads

Have a great week everyone!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Planning - 11/23

So the first part of the week will be panty and freezer items and the rest of the week will be leftovers from Thanksgiving. So it will be an easy week in the kitchen for me (except for Thanksgiving Day).

Have a good Thanksgiving week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Product Review - Zone Indulegnce Bar

I am part of the Zone Bar VIP Club and they offered me a sample of their new Indulgence Bars. It was FedEx to me and I was so excited to try it. I had the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. This bar is a little different then most of the Zone Bars. They are square, not the usual rectangular. I, personally, associated this as a treat, not a workout supplement. I ate it one afternoon when I was hungry and wanted something sweet. No, it was not a workout day for me, by the way. It was VERY good. It was decadent. It was very sweet. I would not suggest eating this after a workout (or before), but for only 190 calories, it is a great treat for yourself. It also has 10 grams of protein in it. I am pretty picky when it comes to protein bars. I don't like the taste of most of them and I don't like to eat a lot of processed foods, but Zone bars are always in our house. They are one of the few I can stand. They usually have a good bit of protein in them and taste like chocolate. YUM! I don't eat them a lot but Adam will have them once or twice a week for breakfast when he doesn't have time for a real breakfast. I would buy these indulgence bars too and use them as a healthier sweet treat like I do with some of the granola bars I keep on hand.

Overall Rating: A-

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Planning - 11/16

Good morning! Here is what I am planning for this week for dinners. It's a little more low key than last week, but should be just as good.

Monday - Burgers, fries, peas

Tuesday - Baked Potato Eggs, roasted broccoli

Wednesday - Big salads

Thursday - Taco night

Friday - Homemade pizza

Have a good week everyone!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hope's first visit to see Santa

I know it's a little early, but I was off for Veteran's Day and thought it would be the perfect time to get Hope's picture with Santa. Santa was not at every mall, but I found one that he was and we went right after her morning nap. I took my grandmother as an extra adult because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if there would a long line and one of us would have to wait in line while the other walked Hope around (yes, she's walking now). Well we got there and there was ZERO line. One woman was paying and no one else was around. So I took Hope over near Santa and told her all about Santa. The woman then explained the packages and then I took Hope up to see Santa. Now, I did not like Santa for years. In my baby book, year after year, you would see me crying in Santa's lap. I was not a fan of the bearded man in the red suit. Well, it looks like Hope is following in my footsteps. I got her up there and she was fine. Then I put her in Santa's lap and she didn't fuss. She was all out screaming (and it shows in the picture). Hope does not scream like that often, so you know it's bad when she does. We got the quick picture and I scooped her up immediately.
After I purchased a package of pictures, we were allowed to go back up there and get pictures with our camera. So I had my grandmother take my camera and I sat next to Santa with Hope on my lap. She did not cry, but she did not smile either. She was over Santa at this point.

And here is a picture of Hope in her Christmast dress (bought it in Oct. at Macy's 50% off). I was trying to get a nice picture but this child does not like to sit still. Well you get the idea of what the dress looks like.

And one more of her dress at home.

I hope everyone had/will have a better time taking your children to see Santa.

Lobster Bisque

Last week I had planned to make "chicken" pot pie on Friday night but when I was at the grocery store, I saw that 2-1lb. lobsters were $6.99/lb. I just couldn't resist and had to get them. I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but I got home and went online to see what I could do with approximately 1lb. lobster meat. I found a recipe on Allrecipes and used it as my base. It turned out really well and still very healthy.


  • 1 cup vegetable stock (reduced sodium)
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2T unsalted light butter
  • 2T flour
  • 2 cups skim or 1% milk (I used skim because that's what I had and it thickened nicely, but obviously not as rich as it could be)
  • 1 lb. lobster meat, cubed
  • 1/2t kosher salt
  • 2 shakes of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 shake cayenne pepper


  1. Saute onion in 1/4 cup vegetable stock in a small saucepan.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter. Then add flour and mix for 2 minutes to cook the flour.
  3. Gradually pour in the remaining stock and whisk until the flour/butter mixture is incorporated.
  4. Next whisk in the milk, onion, salt, and lobster. Once all incorporated, add in the worcestershire and cayenne.
  5. Let simmer (not boil) for 20 minutes as soup thickens.
  6. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Nutritional Information

Calories: 224

Total fat: 6.7 grams

Saturated fat: 3.9 grams

Carbs: 11.3 grams

Protein: 28.1 grams

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Menu Planning - 11/9

Sorry, I am a day late on this, but I just couldn't get around to posting this yesterday. Hope was up late last night and I was distracted most of the day. I am excited about this week's menus because I plan to try a lot of different recipes.

Monday - Cottage cheese and noodles

Tuesday - Stuffed peppers

Wednesday - "Chicken" and Veggie Pot Pie (I plan to use veggie chicken strips instead of real chicken), broccoli

Thursday - Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower, chicken for Adam, side salad

Friday - Dinner out

I did not make the chicken and veggie pot pie last week because I found lobster on sale for $6.99/lb, so I just couldn't pass it up. I will post the recipe and pictures of my lobster dinner later, I promise. Have a good week everyone!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I won the giveaway!

I never win anything, so you can believe how surprised I was when I found out I won the giveaway I mentioned last week. A fellow blogger is lucky enough to have a nice following and has companies send her tons of stuff to try and write up a review on her blog. Well she had so much stuff, that we had a giveaway and I won! I received the package on Wednesday and immediately opened it up and started going through it. Lots of gels, powders, and fun exercise food stuff. I have already tried some of it. I really liked the nunn tablets.

Here are some pictures of my loot. :)

And if there are any companies that would like to send me free stuff to review, I am open and willing. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Challenge

So, some of you are as bad as me when it comes to message boards, and some of you frequent the same ones I do, but I have to say I am addicted to The Nest. I was on The Knot before I got married, and I am also on The Bump now. On The Nest, I frequent the Health and Fitness message board. One of the nesties started a Holiday Challenge and even if you are not a big fan of message boards, I thought this might be something you might want to do on your own. You can download the spreadsheet and do it anyway. I am such a competitor that I plan to do it this holiday season, but instead of going crazy to fill in every 5 and 10 point block, I am going to be realistic about it. In the past, I would have gone over and above to make sure I won it, but now I have a child and I have to put her needs first (wow, look at me, I am growing up). It started Nov. 1, but you could start today and runs through the end of Dec. I will let you know how I am doing periodically, and how many points I end up with. For those that plan to do it as well, good luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Planned Exercise for week Nov. 2-8

So the weather is nice again and I can get back into the swing of things with me, Hope and our jogging stroller. Yeah! I also saw a new ab routine in last month's Shape's magazine. I couldn't find the routine online, but it is the 4 week ab makeover that has 8 exercises and Jennifer Love Hewitt is on the cover. I thought I would give it a try and see what it does since I am always trying to change things up. Here is what I am thinking for this week.

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Run 5 miles with jogging stroller, new ab routine

Wednesday - 30 minutes on elliptical, push-ups

Thursday - Tennis practice

Friday - Run 6-7 miles with jogging stroller, new ab routine

Saturday - Tennis match

Sunday - Run 9-10 miles - this time without the jogging stroller
I hope I can get it all in. I am thinking by Sunday, running is not going to be the first thing on my mind, but I do have another half marathon coming up on Thanksgiving morning, so I need to get some long runs in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hope's first flight and trip to Notre Dame

Well, a few weeks ago, we went to South Bend, IN via Chicago to see the Notre Dame football team face Boston College. It was Hope's first flight and all in all, she did very well (the trip up was much easier than the trip back). We stayed with friends both nights (Friday and Saturday) which was nice because they have little ones so we didn't have to bring as much stuff for Hope. Saturday morning we were up early to make the drive from Chicago to South Bend (a little over 90 miles). The drive was no problem, but once we got to South Bend, it was very cold and looked like it was going to rain. We parked the car and made it over to the bookstore where Adam could get a new t-shirt, some gifts for family, and a whole slew of stuff for Hope. As soon as we reached the bookstore, we saw the leprechaun and I had to get a picture of Hope and the leprechaun. Hope looks more interested in his glove, then him. :) Notice how bundled up she is. I had to hit the store on Friday before we left to buy her a winter coat, something she won't need much for winters down south.

After that, we made our way to the tailgate. It was very cold and windy (42 degrees and 10+ mph winds). Then it started to rain. After an hour of being held, poor Hope wanted to get down and move around. I walked her around for a about 10 minutes, but knew I couldn't do this all day and we were both getting cold.

So we grabbed a few pictures of Hope in South Bend and Hope and I headed to the car. Here we are in front of the stadium.

Hope and Adam with Touchdown Jesus.

The fam in front of the golden dome.

Hope and I got warm at a local diner that Adam recommended (he went back to the tailgate and then to the game with college roommates of his).

This is what Hope ended up doing during the game. We were lucky enough that we had some friends who were also in town and had a daughter just a few months older than Hope. So we spent the rest of the day inside watching the game and Hope was able to play with toys and new friends. I think she enjoyed it!

Halloween 2009

Halloween 2009 was a success despite the crummy weather we had in the ATL. Hope was a ladybug this year and a darn cute one if I do say so myself. :) Adam has been pushing the whole ladybug thing for a while now, so I was glad when I found this cute costume at Target. Here are a few pictures of her during the week of Halloween.

At Gymboree (we were told to dress them up for class).

Going to the block party, all dressed up.

Checkin' it all out!

We had a number of trick or treaters and I can't believe next year Hope might be going to houses with her daddy. They grow up so fast.

Menu Planning - 11/2

Good morning everyone! I am back on track with my menu planning this week. Late last week was tough; we had a lot of candy in the house and we did not eat well. I am feeling it today too. I need to get back to my healthy meals and I know I will feel like myself in a day or two after that. I have a number of new recipes I plan to try out this week. I can't wait! A lot of them are seasonal, so it will be fun. Here is what I have for this week's menu:

Monday - Chicken, rice pilaf, salads

Wednesday - Veggie and Black bean Quesadillas

Thursday - Potato and Carrot Pancakes, Baked beans, pork sandwich for Adam

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkins and Apples, oh my

We did this a couple of weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to telling the story and blogging about it. We had our family portraits and Hope's 1 year portraits that morning, and then we got in the car and headed up to North GA to get some pumpkins and pick some apples. It's about an hour and a half to get up to Burt's Pumpkin Farm, but well worth the drive. Hope is usually a very good baby in the car, and she wasn't bad, but she didn't sleep for very long and it was during her nap time, so that made for a difficult afternoon. I think she was tired and then to see pumpkins that big, she got scared. She was very clingy the whole afternoon. She just wanted her mommy, but I didn't mind. Lucky for me, I am married to a get photographer, so he got some shots so it looks like Hope enjoyed herself. We hope to make this an annual event as Hope gets older.

Here is Hope next to some of the big pumpkins when we first got to the farm.

Now, here she is getting scared, tired, and clingy.

Here we are at some of the other pumpkins, more her size.

Adam getting some artistic shots. He's so good! Now, we are at the Hope size pumpkins.

Hope on the John Deere tracker with Dad.

Here is Hope and I at the nearby apple farm. We decided to do the pick your own and I am glad we did. It was fun to pick our own and get exactly what we wanted.

The apples are/were delicious. We have been eating them everyday for lunch and I made a huge apple crisp. I know I should have taken a picture of it, but when it came out of the oven, it didn't look that great. Once I let it set for a little while, it looked better, but it tasted amazing!

So we ended up with 3 pumpkins (one for each of us), indian corn for the door, some gords and pumpkins for decorating the house, and a peck of apples. We had a great time and it was a nice way to get ready for the holiday season.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Menu Planning - I know I am late on this

I know, I know, it's Thursday and I am late on getting this out, but I did menu plan, I just didn't get it on my blog. Here is what we had.

Monday - Annie Chun's Pad Thai adding in carrots, onions, and egg, chicken for Adam
Tuesday - Wild Salmon (grilled), fresh green beans, and wild rice
Wednesday - Leftovers (salad instead of green beans)
Thursday - Eggplant parmesean (I am going to bake the eggplant though instead of frying it) egg pasta, and a salad
Friday - On our own, I am going to dinner with some girlfriends and I can't wait!!!

Have a good end of the week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Check out lil runner's giveaway

Lil runner is hosting a giveaway on her blog. Check it out.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Training/Exercise - 10/19

So after completing my first half marathon since Hope was born, I have been running, but haven't really been following a specific training guide right now. I am basically just trying to run when I can. It has been a busy Oct. for me so far, so it's harder to get my runs in. And the rain on top of that, makes it even harder when I have to take the baby jogger with me 90% of the time. So this week, here is my plan.

Monday - I was going to do the elliptical but I might just rest today. Hope had me up most of the night last night and I am pretty tired.
Tuesday - Run 6 miles, abs
Wednesday - 30 minutes on the elliptical if I don't get to it on Monday.
Thursday - Tennis practice
Friday - 9 miles, abs

Menu Planning - 10/19

Well I forgot to post last week's menu, but I did make a plan and stuck to it. Here is what I am planning for this week.

Monday - Gnocchi with marinara sauce, salads
Tuesday - Butternut squash supreme, curried peas, chicken for Adam
Wednesday - Burgers and homemade potatoe "fries", leftover peas or something from the freezer
Thursday - Homemade pizza
Friday - Out

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Hope!

My little baby is 1 year old today! I can't believe it! Time really has flown by. Adam and I did a lot of reminiscing last night because it all "started" on Oct. 13th. Hope was diagnosed borderline IUGR when I was 26 weeks pregnant. At 36 weeks, she was all out IUGR. Because of this, the perinatologist wanted me to be induced and get the baby out because she was not really growing anymore. I really didn't want to be induced, but didn't have much of a choice. I also had not been progressing during my last 4 visits to the OB, so the likelihood that I would have a successful induction was only 45%. Yep, less than half. Yikes, what I didn't want more than to be induced was to have a c-section. I was really nervous about the whole induction thing. We got a call from the hospital at 6:30pm telling us to be at the hospital at 8:00pm. It was the first time in Adam's life he was early. We arrived at the hospital at 7:50pm. Here is a picture of us in the labor room before getting started.

So around 8:45pm, the nurse started asking me questions, checking me, and getting me hooked up to all the monitors. When she checked me I was now 1 cm dilated (from a fingertip at the OB office just 6 hours earlier), 50% effaced, and -2 station (baby had already dropped). She hooked me up to the contraction monitor and I was having real contractions. They were almost too regular for them to give me anything for the induction. So in my opinion, I believe I was in the early stages of labor and Hope would have been born on Oct. 14 anyway, just later in the day. So at 9:30pm, I got the cervidil, and things really started to progress. I started feeling the contractions. At 12:30am, I called the nurse and told her I was in a lot of pain. She checked me and I was now 4cm dilated and removed the cervidil. The contractions didn't come as quickly for about 30 minutes now (6 minutes apart instead of 3), but then they picked up again. I asked the nurse what my options were for pain medication. I had told her I didn't want an epidural. She said I could have an epi or something in my IV. I said to try the IV meds first. Well, they didn't do much for me at all. I really didn't want the epi, so I just went back and forth from the bed to the rocking chair next to my bed. I couldn't walk because Hope was IUGR and had to be on the monitors all the time. It sucked! Well after almost 10 hours of labor, it was time to push. I was very lucky because they told me she had dropped so much, it wouldn't take much to get her out. Well they were right. 2 contractions later, she was out. Here is me getting to hold her right after Adam cut the cord.

Hope Cecile was born at 7:30am, weighing 6lb. 10oz. (more than I did when I was born) and 19 inches long. So our IUGR baby weighed in just fine. The conclusion from the whole IUGR is that my placenta was small, and I was still doing a lot of exercise. Although, I am not a big person, she is was probably going to be on the smaller side anyway. I have to say though, I didn't care about the previous 13 weeks of modified rest. At the end, I had a beautiful and healthy baby girl and I couldn't be happier.
Here is a picture of Hope still in the hospital, one day old.

And now 12 months later, here is my baby girl, growing up.

I couldn't love her more!!! Happy Birthday baby girl!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Half Marathon Recap

Well, I survived to tell the story, so I guess that is good. Actually, the race went really well and I am very pleased with my time, despite the lack of training I have had in the past 2 1/2 weeks. My day started Sunday morning at 5:30am, pumping in the living room, while watching Sports Center. I made my usual pre-race snack, one piece of toast with a slather of lowfat no salted added cottage cheese with a sliced strawberry on top and a bottle of water. I headed out the door by 6:05am (wanted to leave by 6:00am, but that didn't happen). I got to the race and parked in plenty of time. From there, I headed straight to the porta potty line. It was chilly, not even 60 degrees yet. I was sporting my current race outfit (light pink LiveStrong cotton dryfit short sleeve shirt and lime green nike running shorts, easy to pick me out of a running crowd). After that, I did some stretching and got in line. I put myself at the 1:50 flag. My PR was 1:55, but I knew I had been running well, so I was hoping for 1:52. I had my Garmin Forerunner 405 and had put my virtual partner at a 8:32 minute mile pace. That would put my finish right at 1:52. At my last 10K race, I averaged 7:59 minute miles, so I thought 8:32 for a half was doable.

Finally, I was off. It was still pretty dark, so it was hard to see my watch and I wasn't thinking clearly to put the back light on (hey, it was early). I knew my first mile was good (ended up being 7:59) and my second mile was pretty good (8:21), but I didn't see the exact time on my watch. I knew I crossed the start/finish line about 11 or 12 seconds after the gun went off, so I used the clocks they had on the course at the beginning. The course was pretty good, but not totally easy. A lot of little hills, but at least it was even. I felt like I went up as many as I went down. I was watching my virtual partner and I was quickly 1:30 minutes ahead of my time. I thought, Wow! I am going to break 1:52 for sure. Do you think I can break 1:50? Oh crap, I had it in my head to break 1:50 now. I was scared I was going to push myself too hard now and have nothing left in me by the end. I did happen to look up what I needed to average to break 1:50 and it was 8:23 minute miles. That has been my goal for a while, to break 1:50, but because of my lack of training, I was scared that was too ambitious, so I put my watch on 1:52 pace.

Adam was going to try to see my at 4.5 miles. He ended up missing me (I guess I was too fast for him).

At mile 9, I went ahead and had my gel pack. I usually only consume one for a half marathon. Sometimes I have one right before the start of the race, but I think the bread with cottage cheese and strawberry is enough for my tummy that early in the morning.

Adam did see me at 9.5 miles (which was my slowest mile at 8:54). So after my gel pack and a "Go honey, go" from Adam, I was ready to finish the race. So I hit the mile 10 mile marker and knew I only had 3 little miles left. I tried to just focus on a 5K. Then I hit 11 miles. Wow, I thought. 2 miles is nothing. You can do this! I was up to 1:44 minutes ahead of my virtual partner. I dug deep and really pushed myself. Once I hit mile marker 12, I said it's now or never. My goal was under 8:00 minutes for this last mile. I knew if I did that I would break 1:50. It was a hilly mile. I wasn't looking at my watch much now. I was jamming to my iPod and focusing on going as fast as I could. I saw Adam and Hope right before the finish and started sprinting (well I call it sprinting, but after 13 miles, I am sure it was pretty slow). Well I still had more to run than I thought. I could see the finish line, but the course took me away from it first before heading back to the finish line. I started to slow up because I was dog tired, but then I saw it again and gave it one last push. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. I had finished in 1:48:55. I couldn't believe it! Now only had a finished in under 1:50, but had broken 1:49. That wasn't even a thought in my mind. I actually surpassed my unreachable goal of 1:50. I now have a new PR and don't even know what my goal will be for the Thanksgiving Half Marathon.

I was very happy and very tired. I grabbed my stuff and got a hug and kiss from Adam and Hope. Hope actually wanted me to hold her so I did. Adam said he got her to wave at all the runners that passed them while they were waiting for me. I am sure she helped a lot of runners at the end with her smiling face and waving hand.

So, I did it! I completed my first half marathon since Hope was born. There is a 15K race that I might do, but plan to do the Thanksgiving Half Marathon. I totally have the bug again for racing. I am so happy with my finish. I do have to thank Hope though for my training. Pushing a jogging stroller is a lot harder than you think, so pushing Hope for 6-10 miles at a time is probably a lot harder than I think. :)