Friday, November 30, 2012

No 'Poo

Have you heard of the "no 'poo method"?  It's a haircare routine that uses NO shampoo or conditioner. Various words may pop into your head.  Probably along the lines of: what, gross, dirty, stinky, etc.  But guess what?  Turns out it's pretty awesome.

I used the same measurements and method found here.  She has links and some great information on the how and the why of cleaning your hair without shampoo.  I use vinegar every single time, and I use more of that because my hair tends to be drier and the vinegar is an amazing smoother and detangler.  I can tell you that my hair does not smell dirty, it definitely does not smell like vinegar.  It has no smell at all!

I'm 2 weeks in, my hair is happy and healthy and manageable.  I used to have to use mousse or hairspray constantly to control flyaways, but now a little water on the tips of my fingers smooths it down just fine.  I haven't gotten to that point yet, but if I get desperate I think a TINY amount of coconut oil would fix everything.  So my recommendation is: give it a try!!  It can't hurt anything, and it's very cheap (or, if you're like me and have baking soda and apple cider vinegar on hand, it's free!!).  What do you have to lose?  Except for the expensive products.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

M is a walker!!

I can proudly say my little girl is walking :)  She's not zooming across the room on her two legs quite yet, but she is getting very close and taking more and more steps every day.  10 months and 5 days old (C was 10 1/2 months, she had to show him up). I'm so proud of her, she is so cute on her chubby little legs!  Here's a video!

I love how proud she is at the end and she claps for herself.  

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Family Changes

Our family has been going through a lot of changes lately.  Everything has been confusing and up in the air, and still is a little bit, but we have a few answers.  Maybe. 

At the end of August, C was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  He's tested as very age-appropriate or advanced in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, physical development, etc., but his communication was behind.  At the age of 2 he was almost silent most of the time.  Very few words, no babbling, no repeating, and he didn't seem to understand much of what we were saying.  We've been doing speech and behavior therapy, and he has been on a gluten free diet for about a month now.  He has made HUGE strides with both talking and understanding.  We're constantly amazed at how quickly he's progressing.  He's babbling like crazy, talking much more, putting together 2-word sentences, and repeating everything like a little parrot.  It's so exciting and awesome! 

We're trying to get ABA therapy, which is a more intense behavior therapy program (10-20 hours a week), but of course insurance is a hurdle so we're working on that issue at the moment.  Soon we will be getting him evaluated through the school district, their special needs program starts at age 3, so we're preparing for the possibility of C starting school next year (eeek!!). 

M is getting so big!!  She is cruising all over the place and has taken a couple steps by herself, but is still afraid to let go of the couch or wall or toy that she's holding onto to try and walk on her own..  She is so sweet and happy and friendly, and will be 10 months old tomorrow!!  I can't believe it. 

Some days I go a little crazy with both of them getting into everything and constantly under my feet, but they also make me smile every single day.  They are so funny and sweet and awesome, it balances out the frustration.  You can see pics to the right in my Instagram feed :)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

S'Mores Cupcakes... kinda

I've felt like baking lately.  I thought the idea of a s'mores cupcake sounded amazing, so I mixed and matched a few different ideas I found on Pinterest.  Verdict?  Semi-fail.  I thought I'd use this chocolate cupcake recipe, add marshmallows like this for a marshmallow center, and use this stablilized whipped cream recipe (with graham cracker crumbs added) for the frosting.

I didn't take any pictures right out of the oven, but it wasn't pretty.  I overfilled the liners so there was cupcake everywhere and then the marshmallow centers that had puffed up so nicely during baking collapsed so they were all sunken in and complete disasters.  It was ugly.  But, also yummy!  The graham cracker whipped cream frosting was amazingly delicious.  AMAZING, I tell you!  I wanted to just lick it out of the bowl.  Then... I tried to pipe it on the cupcakes to camouflage the ugly, but apparently my piping tips were too small and that didn't work out too well either.  So, they're ugly.  Really ugly.  But also so, so yummy!  I guess I'll just need to keep practicing until I can get them right :)

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I used the whipped cream recipe and once it was whipped I added a cup of graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full crackers run through my food processor) and mixed until it was just combined.  YUM!  I'm not a fan of cream cheese frostings, so I'm excited to try all different variations of this recipe.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

August is Busy

I've totally been slacking on exercises (surprise, surprise, right?).  But, M is pulling up on everything and I'm sure will be cruising any day now, she has TWO teeth (came in just a few days apart), and is just getting super mobile and active, which is keeping me on my toes constantly.

C loves loves LOVES swimming and is completely fearless.  We have to make sure he has floaties or a vest on any time we're at a pool because he will just jump into the deep end no problem.  He's doing really well, kicking and can almost swim on his own, but not quite.  He doesn't care if he goes underwater or anything, he just loves the water.  It's gotten to the point where he spends most of the day wearing a floatie (usually just one, lol) because he finds it and brings it to me to put on him.  It's pretty hilarious.

I've added a way to share pictures with my blog more easily.  If you look to the right ---> on the sidebar, I have a slideshow feed of my Instagram pictures.  So I can upload pictures of the kids on my phone, and it shows up here!  How convenient!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August Ab Challenge

Ok, I'll admit, I'm not doing too well with this ab challenge.  BUT, I am being more active, which is good, right?  We've gone swimming 3 times this week, which has been a ton of fun (not to mention a great way to burn a ton of calories!).  C is fearless, jumping into the water and trying to swim on his own even though he can't yet.  We have to keep floaties on him at all times at the pool because he will go in without us!  Of course we're working very hard on safety and making him wait until an adult is in the water, but he is just so excited!

I plan on swimming at least once these next few days, maybe twice (unfortunately I'm confined to my husband's days off since I'm not willing to brave the pool with 2 littles by myself).  The good news is, I've lost 2 more pounds, and am down 16 pounds total!  It's so encouraging to see the numbers going down, and it really helps me make better choices every day.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

August Ab Challenge; day 16

Ok so yesterday (the 16th) I didn't do the specific ab-targeted exercises I've been working on, but we did go to the pool with the kids for 4 hours, so I'd say I got my exercise in, lol.  And today my shoulder and ribs are sore on one side because M spent the entire 45 min drive home from book club crying because she was overtired and refusing to sleep.  So I was reaching around to the seat directly behind me to try and stroke her face to calm her down, while keeping my eyes on the road and still driving carefully.  Bodies aren't supposed to bend that way, FYI.  Overall it was an ok day; hot sun and lots of swimming, while fun, led to some overtired, exhausted, cranky children, but in the end everyone fell asleep at a decent time and all was well.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Ab Challenge

What is today, August 15th?  I've been a huge slacker.  The 11th, I didn't do any exercises.  We were leaving for home the next morning so I spent the night furiously packing and hunting down tiny shoes and lost sippy cups. 

The 12th was a day full of traveling.  3 hours in the car, wrangling 2 kids, 2 car seats, 2 bags, and 2 carry-ons in the airport, a 2 hour flight, then having to get everything back into a car, to drive across town, eat out, and finally go home.  I didn't do ab exercises but I did go on a 30 minute walk in the morning before we left, and I had a good 30-45 minutes of walking around the airport with a 20+ lb baby on my back and various bags I was carrying, so I definitely got a workout in! 
The 13th, I again did nothing.  My sister and her 2 kids are staying at our house, so we haven't been able to get back into our routine yet, and things are just plain hectic. 

Last night, the 14th, I did a few, but not as much as I should have.  25 In n Outs, 25 Bicycles, 25 Reverse Bicycles, and 50 Kayakers. 

Today I did 25 deep squats while I was getting ready in the morning.  I haven't done ab workouts, but it is in my plan.  I usually wait until after the kids are in bed, so late at night.  I have to keep my motivation going!!

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Friday, August 10, 2012

August Ab Challenge; days 9 & 10

I skipped day 9.  Foiled again by a cranky M who wouldn't sleep anywhere but on my chest. She wins again.

But today, day 10, I am doing I think my best workout yet!!  I did 25 In n Outs, 25 Bicycles, 25 Reverse Bicycles, 10 Crunchy Frog, 10 Cross Leg/Wide Leg Sit ups, 25 Scissors, 25 Hip Butt Ups, 25 Heels to the Heavens, 24 Leg Climbers, and 50 Kayakers!!  On a couple I did lower reps, and I skipped only one exercise.  I'm very proud of myself :)  It's so nice to see that 10 days ago, I couldn't even get through 4 of these exercises, and now I've done 10!!  I'm getting stronger and that is so cool.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August Ab Challenge; day 8

Skipped exercising today, it's my anniversary! Four years, 5 houses, 3 cars, and 2 kids later, and I'm so, so happy. I can't believe how much has changed and how much we've done.

I'm so excited to be spending my life with such a wonderful man, and as an extra bonus he's such a great dad! Couldn't have done better :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Ab Challenge, Day 7

Hello!!  Today was another day of a super grumpy M who needed Mommy and ONLY Mommy all day long.  I hope it eases up a bit tomorrow, since it's the hubs' and my 4th wedding anniversary!  We don't want to do anything very special, but we were hoping for a dinner out alone, and babysitters are required, but I feel so guilty leaving if she's going to be upset the entire time.  Poor girl.

Today I finally got her asleep and resting, so I got to do ab exercises until I fatigued (which is still an embarrassingly few number of exercises, but I feel the burn!).  I did 25 each of In N Outs, Bicycles, Reverse Bicycles, Hip Butt Ups, and Heels to the Heavens.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

August Ab Challenge, days 5 & 6

Once again, my children foil my fitness plans.  Yesterday (day 5) I didn't do any ab workouts.  Remember how I was supposed to do 2 to make up for the day before? Nope.

Today, I think I should get a little credit for having 20+ lbs of baby attached to me all day.  And I mean ALL. DAY.  I don't know if M is going through a growth spurt or not adjusting to vacation well or the altitude is messing with her or what, but she has been a huge grumper pants.  She's napped off and on basically all day, but if she's awake, she wants me.  No Daddy, no Gram, no Auntie, even if we're in the same room or sitting right next to each other, Mommy is the only acceptable baby holder and that's that.  Dude, my back hurts.  I love having a healthy, chunky, squishy baby, don't get me wrong, but when my 7 month old is the size of the average one year old it makes the constant carrying difficult.  Most kids this size are walking!  My whole body hurts, but especially my back.  Arg.

Anyway, I did do something today.  I did leg climbers (10 on each side), 25 In n Outs, 50 Kayakers (at this point I had to stop because M woke up- not so easy to keep up with anything when your momentum is killed in the middle of it), 25 Scissors, and 25 of the Hip Butt Ups.

Overall I'm finding myself using my abs more in everyday life.  I'm paying closer attention to my posture, trying to tuck my pelvis back so the front pooch I have isn't as prominent, and trying to keep my core supported as much as I can.  I know I'm not doing great, or nearly as much as I should be, but I'm happy with my baby steps for now :)

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Ab Challenge: day 4

Today was a fail. I had like 3 hours of sleep, followed by a disastrous morning. Leaving the house to go to the airport for vacation, we see our tire has a nail. Sticking out. And it's making an ominous "ssssssssssssss" noise, so not drivable. We pull the car out to change the tire real quick and it turns out we DON'T HAVE A SPARE. How is that possible? Excellent question, and one we will be asking the dealership when we get home. Ok, let's put it back in the garage and just take my mom's car since she's driving us anyways. Except wait, our car battery died!! So we had to jump the car just to back it into the garage. Oh man. So we get both carseats and all of our luggage somehow Tetrised into my mom's little Camry, and I was squished in the back with the two carseats, off to the airport, thankfully with time to make it to our plane.

Security was a breeze, they let me keep M on my back in the Ergo (did you know as long as you don't set off metal detectors you can do that now? It's awesome. SO much easier) and we got to the gate fine. But then we were on a plane for 2 hours. Both kids were wonderful, but it's a plane. Not the epitome of comfort or ideal napping location.

Off the plane, grabbed some lunch and a quick Target trip for diapers, and it was into the rental car for a 3 hour drive to our destination. I think I managed a 30 minute nap, but still. Not comfy. So my body is angry.

I tried In-N-Outs and felt like my lower abs were tearing in half. Not like "ooh, good workout," more like "ow, impending injury." Along with the pulling in my lower back, I pushed through 15 but felt like I was going to hurt myself.

So. Fail. I'm hoping to get a semi-decent night of sleep, and I will try and work in an extra Ab session tomorrow to make up for today. Blah.

Friday, August 3, 2012

August Ab Challenge, day 3

Still sore.  Is it weird that feeling sore makes me more confident?  It's like I've been reminded that I actually have ab muscles, somewhere, hidden under layers of not-pretty stuff.  Anyway, today I did better.  I didn't almost die, and my ribs stayed in place, so yay!  (Here's the exercises, by the way).

Ok so I did 25 bicycles, 25 reverse bicycles (and even maintained decent form!), 15 of the crunchy frogs, and then I did two 30-second planks.  The second plank was hard, I almost didn't make it, but I was staring down that clock, man.  I'm improving and doing something every day (so far), so that works for me.  All I can do is keep trying.

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August Ab Challenge, days 1&2

Ok, when I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest, I was encouraged. Visible results with no lost weight, just toning up.  Doesn't she look fabulous?  That led me to this blog that has the actual workout routine for you, laid out and presented in pictures.  I thought, "I can do that.  Just me and the floor, no equipment 15 mins a day?  Cake.  Bring it on."

August Ab Challenge (with a nice long back story)

Ok, after 2 kids in less than 2 years, my body has been through the wringer. And my weight has fluctuated like CRAZY. (I can't believe I'm going to actually post numbers, but here it is. Please bear in mind I'm 5'10" and not exactly delicately built). And also... this is going to be long.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!

As you all know, yesterday was the 4th of July, but it also happened to be Little Miss's half birthday!!  That's right, my little chunkier is six months old, I can't believe it.  We went to a baseball game and then  watched the fireworks show after and had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hi there!

Just checking in and sharing some pics of the babes :)  Pictures from C's second birthday are still on my camera, eventually I will get those onto the comp to post, lol.  M is a little ham and all you need to do is look at her and she smiles.  C is hard to catch on camera, he doesn't stand still long enough and all the pictures are blurry!   But here's some recents:

Pushing Sister in the stroller

Mohawk at Pinkpeas

Such a big girl in the high chair! 

Playing Angry Birds with a peanut butter face

He climbed into the swing to give Sister some cuddles <3

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Monday, May 7, 2012

4 months as a family of 4

I can't believe that M is four months old already!  She is such a chunker, it's so different from when C was a baby.  Even now, his clothes size matches up with his age, but M is already in 9 month clothes!  She is 17 lbs and 4 oz, which is the average weight of a baby over 7 months old!  She just needs more room to fit all of her cuteness in.  Don't believe me?  Check it out for yoruself!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our foray into the world of juicing.

After watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix, the hubs and I immediately bought a juicer.  The documentary is quite persuasive, lol.   The fact of the matter is, we don't eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and when I buy a bunch of produce with all the good intentions of eating it, I end up throwing away all that money because the fruit spoils and the veggies shrivel and we never get them eaten.  I thought that juicing would be a great way to get all of those great vitamins and nutrients in my body (and in my kids' bodies!) in a delicious way.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slowly but surely, I'm turning into a hippy

I like to think that I'm merely taking steps to benefit the overall health of my family (and save money in the process!), my family thinks that it's just a matter of time before I'm sporting dreadlocks, tie dye, and am sitting in a drum circle.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pizza Rolls!

As a kid, I always loved pizza rolls.  They're small, fun to eat, and of course, PIZZA!  It was a fun treat that we always looked forward to.  Now that I'm a mom and I have C's sensitive tummy to worry about, the preservatives and additives and frying that goes into the frozen pizza rolls just doesn't appeal to me as something I want to feed my kid.  I found a recipe for homemade, baked pizza rolls on Pinterest and was so excited!!  I made them and they were delicious, but the next time I went to make them, the recipe had disappeared!  I followed the same link, but the page was gone and I was sad.  Luckily, I worked off of memory and I think I got it right, so here you go!  These are so much healthier than the fried version, and I think they taste better, too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Update and Family Pictures!

Wow, I can't believe M is already over six weeks old!  The hubs has gone back to work (happy for him, sad for me) and I'm adjusting to being on my own at home with both kids.  It's not always easy, especially when a certain toddler thinks he doesn't need naps anymore, but so far it hasn't been too stressful **knock on wood**.  I'm sure I'll have some hard days, but thankfully I have a couple of pretty awesome kids :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

After the fact: Birth Story Part 2

There isn't much left to my story, but my last post was getting really long.  I didn't exactly get the peaceful, calm birth I envisioned during my natural birth classes, but I'm glad I did it and I'm proud of myself.  Honestly I didn't set out to have a natural birth because I wanted the experience, I did it in the hopes of having a quicker recovery and a healthier baby.  I have gotten both of those, so it was worth it.

Welcome Maeve!! My birth story; Part 1

We are now a family of four :) Maeve Elizabeth joined us on January 4th, 2012, 4 days past her due date.

I had Braxton Hicks contractions pretty much my whole pregnancy; I started noticing them around 20 weeks.  I was very uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy, it was a lot worse than when I was pregnant with my son.  I had back pain, sciatic pain that made walking really hard, rib pain, etc.  I was trying so hard to cherish my pregnancy and not wish her out sooner than she was ready, but I was pretty miserable, lol.  At 35 1/2 weeks I took a trip to the hospital for frequent contractions; not painful, just more often than my midwife was happy with. I got a shot to stop the contractions because we needed at least a couple more weeks. I was back in a week later at 36 1/2 weeks for the same thing (more often than before), but since I was so close to full term they skipped the shot, but I was on bed rest for 4 days to get me to 37 weeks.

37 weeks came... and went.  Then we had Christmas, then my New Year's Eve due date came and went, and I was getting anxious.  I was already 4 cm dilated, so it was just a matter of getting the real thing going.  My last few appointments I had my midwife sweep my membranes in the hopes of jump starting labor, but she just wasn't ready to join us.

January 3rd, I started noticing that my contractions were different.  They were coming every 10-15 minutes, which wasn't new because that had been happening for weeks, but they felt different.  A bit more uncomfortable, just "off".  I told my husband that I thought something was starting to happen, but I wasn't going to get too excited.  Later that night (around 1 am on the 4th) I thought that it was definitely happening, but I needed rest, so I made myself sleep.  I didn't want to start labor on zero sleep!!  I had contractions throughout the night, but was able to rest.