Friday, February 27, 2009

Warning: Resisting Morning Nap....

may cause crankiness, need to be held, unreasonable frustration towards toys and older siblings, and drowiness or, ahem, passing out "cold".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weigh in Wednesday

I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! I lost those last 2 pesky pounds that I've been trying to lose the last 2-3 weeks. I'm so excited to share that in the last 7 weeks, I've lost another 5 pounds. Woohoo! This makes me only 4 pounds away from reaching my pre-preggo weight, which has always been my goal....BUT since I wasn't done losing weight after I completed my half marathon in Sept. 2007 (when we unexpectedly found out that we were going to add another little one to our family), I'd like to lose another 5 pounds once I reach my pre-preggo weight goal. Then we'll see what happens after that.

I've repeatedly shared how much I LOVE these bloggy weight loss challenges: great source of accountability, encouragement, and even a great outlet to share frustrations and seek advice. Therefore, I will be joining the Sisterhood, once again, for their next challenge, "Kiss Me, I'm Shrinking". This challenge is going to be a quick 3 weeks, where I hope to lose those last 4 pounds of baby fat. Anyone interested in joining me?

I've been doing SO well about getting to the gym and befriending the treadmill. This past week I logged 21 miles in 5 days. I'm totally loving it now that I've worked my way back up to 5 miles. While I may only average an 11 m/m pace, I'm just excited that I've been able to increase my distance without feeling like my heart is about to fail. This week's goal is to log 5 miles most days of the week with a 6 mile workout on either Saturday or Sunday.

I also just started Week 3 of the 6 week push up challenge. It's getting hard, but I've gone from hardly being able to kick out 5 push ups at the beginning of the challenge to being able to kick out 14 in a row now. It's not as much of an improvement as I would have liked from last week when I was able to complete 12 push ups, but I'll take's still an improvement, right?

So, if anyone's interested in joining in on all of the shrinking fun going on over at the Sisterhood, come on. I'd love to cheer you on!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~February 23

Well, this month we've tried a week of beans & rice, chicken, and ground turkey. So this week, I thought I would drag out the crockpot.

Monday--frozen pizza (I can't remember the last time I prepared a packaged meal--it was a nice break)
Tuesday--Crockpot Turkey Cabbage Rolls
Wednesday--Crockpot Cranberry Chicken
Friday--Crockpot French onion/cream of mushroom soup Chicken with Jasmine rice (E, this is your recipe)

I actually struggled to find a couple of good crockpot recipes since I don't cook with the crockpot as much as maybe I should. Anyone have any tried and true favorites?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

If someone had showed me, not just told me, how hard motherhood is, I just might not have signed up for it. About a month ago, I had a really hard time with the kids....Josiah was testing me to my very limits (I lack patience anyway so testing does not get very far) and Laney was having a hard time getting back into her "before Christmas" sleep routine (naps and bedtime suddenly required a lot of attention). This just drained me to my very core. All I wanted to do was go back to bed and pray that it was time for Randy to come home when I woke up and could "save" me from my children. And I would be lying if I hadn't gotten on the computer to research job opportunities thought about going back to work every day for about a week. I just didn't think I could handle it any more. And I often questioned if this was what God really wanted for my stay at home?

Honestly, I do wonder sometimes (when it seems that nothing good could come from the day) what it would be like if I were to go back to work. I'd be providing another paycheck for our family, which would allow us to enjoy/buy new things. I'd meet a group of work friends. And I'd be using the college education that I worked so hard for. In addition, I'd drop my children off to spend their entire day with someone other than their mommy. I'd use most of my hard-earned salary to pay for that "someone else". I'd probably be the second or third or even fourth person to see the "something new" that my child learned that day. And I'd miss the fellowship with my awesome MOPS mommy friends.

I also think about what my life as a stay at home mom would be like if my children were older, like 5 and 3 years old. I dream that they would listen/carry out requests better (not ask "why?" so darn often), would be completely potty trained, would be able to help me clean up (to my standards), etc. But then I realize there is a whole new world of learning and challenges that goes on "when they're older", too.

I admit that I'm far from being a very profound thinker, but after watching Josiah and Laney learn how to do things for the very first time, such as putting together a puzzle and crawling, respectively, and it sinking in that I was the very first person to see it just got me thinking about how blessed I am that I can stay at home, even when I'm at my wit's end and don't think I can take another second of it.

Laney learned how to crawl last week. I was excited to get a little bit of it on video...for the archives.

Things have been a lot better since that week about a month ago. I've adopted a new schedule (aka getting out of house more) and put a radio in the kitchen so that I am able to listen to positive and uplifting music whenever I'm in that part of the house (which is pretty much always), and we all are much happier. I'm also participating in a bible study of Titus 2 using Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. Reading just the first couple of chapters has really helped me change my attitude about being just a stay at home mom. Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't worry if I'm teaching Josiah what he needs to be learning for his age level (letter recognition, getting rid of the sippy cups, becoming more precise with his eating utensils, etc) and whether or not I'm challenging Laney's development (promoting walking/cruising, sounds/words, drinking less from the bottle, etc). I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and consult more "experienced" moms and teachers.

Other "what if's" that I've thought about recently:

  • what if we had moved to Tulsa instead of South Texas? We would have been a heck of a lot closer to family (and a couple of bloggy friends), out of the destructive path of hurricanes, and able to experience all 4 seasons. On the flip side, we would have had to deal with tornadoes, snow/ice, and spending on-call at the hospital instead of fielding calls from home (a very unique and awesome perk of our program here)
  • what if we hadn't even moved at all and entered into a traditional internship with the hopes of starting the new surgical residency the following year? I, more than likely, would have kept working...I LOVED my job, the group I worked with/for, and the daycare that Josiah attended (it was in the hospital I worked in and the providers were AWESOME). However, there was a slight possibility that the surgical program would not have been approved, resulting in us having to either find a 2nd year slot (very hard to come by) or start 1st year over again the following year. Surgical residency is pretty hard core, so I would have seen much less of my husband than I do now....resulting in Randy second-guessing his decision (far from ideal).
  • what if we lived in a bigger house, with just one more bedroom? While having a designated play room sounds simply LOVELY, more space means more to clean...and I'm having enough trouble in that department as it is. Although, I'm working on my homekeeping steps, right?
  • what if we could skip residency but learn everything that "physicians-in-training" do during the 3-5 years of working for "free"? I truly believe that residency is necessary for the family just as much as it is for the physician. I don't think I could go through the relatively set hours of medical school and jump right into the "flexible" hours of being in a practice. I need the time to learn how to adjust.
  • what if we could skip the residency salary and bank what a good Family Practice Doc is worth these days? I would be lying if I'm not looking forward to Randy finally earning what he deserves. After all, we've invested A LOT to get us where we are today....but sadly, it's not going to pay for itself (one of the bad things about being a civilian or not signing with the National Health Service). So while Randy will hopefully earn a nice income in 3-4 years, those monies will be going towards new (once in deferment) bills.
  • And what if we just trust and love God, to trust that where we are now is where we're just supposed to be in this season of our lives? I know, without a doubt, that I would be much happier all around.....the one instance where the grass IS greener on the other side. It's just too bad that trusting and loving God whole-heartedly isn't something that comes easy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Know You're A Mexican....

when you enjoy eating beans for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Have I mentioned how much this little girl LOVES beans (with onions, ham, and cilantro)?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 6

6 weeks have come and gone, and today is the last weigh in for the Sisterhood's "Lookin' Fine" challenge. Have I mentioned just how much I LOVE these bloggy weight loss challenges? I have found they are a great way to stay accountable, meet others who are also going through the struggle of weight loss, and to find encouragement to keep going even when every ounce of your being wants to give up.

Things were looking up this week....I made it to the gym W, Th, F, & Sunday, logging 14.5 miles. I had even weighed myself on Friday and was excited to see that I had lost those last 2 pounds to put me at my 5 pound goal. What happened you ask? Nature happened. I have been waiting, and waiting for the last 3-4 weeks for "hormones" to happen now that I'm completely done breastfeeding....and "it" decides to happen 2 days before weigh convenient! So this week, and my final weigh in, I am reporting NO CHANGE. UGH! This means that in the last 6 weeks I have lost 3 pounds (and hopefully it'll be more when I weigh in again in a couple of days, after the water retention has subsided). What is it that they say, "Slow and steady wins the race"? I'm still happy, though, that it's a 3 pound LOSS vs. a 3 pound gain....I'm 3 pounds closer to reaching my pre-preggo weight.

And while I don't have very exciting news to share in the weight loss department, I am excited to share that I completed the first week of the Push-up Challenge. Last week I could barely kick out 5 standard push ups....but on Monday, I was able to kick out 12 IN.A.ROW! That's quite an improvement, if I do say so myself.

Well, that's all from my little neck of the woods. I'm sad that this particular challenge is over, but I'm looking forward to hearing about what the ladies (and guy) at the Sisterhood have up their sleeve regarding the next one. I'm all about shrinking my jeans!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Halfway to Three

Last Friday marked the halfway point of Josiah's just 6 short months, I will be the mother of a 3 Year Old! I really can't believe how fast time is flying. While we I have definitely had many I-AM-GOING-TO-PULL-OUT-ALL-OF-MY-HAIR moments, our time with Josiah has been quite a bit of fun. In just the last 6 months, he learned:

  • to pedal his tricycle
  • to ride a bike (albeit with training wheels)

  • to sing a couple of songs from memory (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Jesus Loves Me; My Girl)
  • that skateboards can be a ton of fun....he LOVES to watch the kids at the local skate park, uses the jungle gym slide as a ramp, and pretends to skate throughout the entire house.

  • to climb jungle gym ladders
    • the cheers from the Nation's best universities ("Hook 'em Horns" and "War Eagle")
    • to recognize letters, specifically those which make up his name
    • to speak some Spanish (he knows 6-7 articles of clothes, food, and a few animals)
    And while we are still in the beginning stages, Josiah is learning to recognize when he needs to use the potty. YAY! Funny story: While I was gone to the gym yesterday, Josiah woke from his nap and told Randy that he needed to pee. Once Randy sat Josiah on the potty (we have a small potty seat that sits on top of the "big boy" toilet), he started straining to pee. Not long after straining did he realize that he needed to poop, too. Mission Accomplished! But because he was so excited about the size of his business, he wouldn't flush until I got home and could show me---45 minutes later. I was so proud....I thought for a brief second about taking a picture, but I refrained (lucky for you).

    Happy 1/2 Birthday, Josiah! We love you!

    Menu Plan Monday~February 16

    So far so good on keeping with "theme" weeks. I'm not completely sold on preparing the menu this way (by Saturday I'm pretty much burned out), but I had to give it a try. Two weeks left: this is going to be the week of ground beef turkey and next week is still up for grabs, maybe a hodge-podge.

    Monday--Sloppy Joes
    Tuesday--Taco Ring
    Wednesday--Turkey Meatloaf
    Thursday--Stuffed Green Peppers (WW 5)

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Demolition at its Finest

    This past Christmas Josiah and I gave it our best shot to construct our very first gingerbread house (from scratch). Even though it took DAYS to complete the project, it was a lot of fun; and I have no hesitations about doing it again (although, I'll be making a much smaller house next year).

    With all of the hard work we put into constructing our masterpiece, I've had a hard time finding the courage to demolish it...even though it's been sitting on our countertop, taking up valuable space, for the last 3 months. But today, I was determined to get my kitchen all cleaned up...and that meant the gingerbread house had to go.

    I took it outside on our back porch so that Josiah could have as much fun with it as he wanted (he LOVES to hammer--and destroy things like any little boy). I also set Laney up outside in her exersaucer so that she could watch and cheer him on. If I said that they both had fun, it would be an understatement....they LOVED it! Both of them laughed and screamed in delight with each smash of the hammer.

    Before the fun started....but he's ready with hammer in hand

    Bye-bye pretty gingerbread house

    Once most of the demolition was complete, Laney expressed that she was ready to eat, so I brought her inside....leaving Josiah outside with the remnants of his gingerbread house. That kid smashed every piece until it was no bigger than a quarter, keeping him busy for a good 30 minutes.

    Working on getting those pieces even smaller

    There, that's better (but he's still working on smashing a piece of candy)

    And to see the demolition in action, here is the video footage. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Weigh-In Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 5

    I'm slowly but surely getting back on track. This week's workouts have been countable....I either made it to the gym or walked 3 miles around the neighborhood with the kids. Now, I'm not saying that I broke any world records or anything, but it was definitely something to overcome the lack of motivation that I'd been experiencing the last couple of weeks.

    And it's a good thing that I made it to the gym a few times this week because my eating has been the one thing this week dragging me down. We went to a baby shower on Friday, ate Sunday lunch with friends, ate Sunday dinner out on because we went to the local rodeo, and ate Tuesday's dinner with our fellow Residents as part of the incoming Intern's interview season. And while I tried to really pay attention to portion control, it's hard when you're faced with foods you've been avoiding for months (and LOVE--ahem, carrot cake).

    So the eating and gym time balanced each other out this week, and I didn't lose any weight. BUT I didn't gain, either....which is GREAT news, too. There is very little that is more frustrating than when you're losing and gaining the same 2 pounds. I only have 2 more pounds until I can say "Good Riddens" to the 160's (yep, I just admitted my weight--oh well, we're all friends here, right?)....and I want to lose those 2 pounds SO BAD! So in addition to making it back to the gym regularly (the other night I spent 1.5 hours there and LOVED it), I started the 100 pushups training program. I must admit that taking the inital test made me feel like such a weakling, but then that's the whole point of the up enough upper body strength to complete 100 pushups (REAL pushups, not the "knee" pushups) in a row. I'm so excited to see how much I'm able to accomplish in 6 weeks.

    And on another happy note, I weighed in for my MOPS Biggest Loser challenge this morning, too. I lost 3 pounds since last the weigh-in. I'm down 5.2 with another 14.8 to go before May. I can do it, I just need to get my butt in gear, as my mom would say. ;-)

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Our Little Chunk-a-Monk

    Laney had her 9 month well-baby check up yesterday. Everything checked out well. She didn't even have to have a finger/heel stick in order to check her iron no shots! Yay! However, she'll make it up by having a venous blood draw at her 12 month check We will be incorporating a new eating schedule (more of a routine b/c I've never done a precise schedule) that will hopefully help her get more of her calories from table food and less from formula (which will help ween her from the bottle) AND help her sleep through the night again. promised, here are her health statistics:

    Weight: 23 pounds 11 ounces (with a lightweight dress and diaper on)--95th percentile. I knew she was going to weigh quite a bit since she's been following the curve, but almost 24 pounds--WOW!
    Height: 29"--90th percentile
    Head circumference: not sure the exact measurement, but I was told she is inbetween the 50-75th percentile.

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Menu Plan Monday~February 9

    Monday--Chicken Baseballs (WW 6.5)
    Tuesday--Chicken, Black Beans, and Corn Enchilada Casserole (WW 6) **new recipe**
    Wednesday--Pulled Chicken BBQ Wrap (WW 6) **new recipe**
    Saturday--Green Chicken Enchiladas

    While I'm not officially following Weight Watchers, the point system helps me to identify "expensive" meals and keep within my recommended calorie allotment--something I deparately need since I've been such a slacker in the going-to-the-gym department. And instead of wading through seas of couples on Saturday, we will be spending the evening at home with good friends, enjoying Randy's special and very yummy Green Chicken Enchiladas, rice and beans with homemade sopapillas for dessert (I don't even want to think about how many WW points for this meal).

    What are you making this week?

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Weigh-in Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 4

    I had yet another week "off" week, "off" from the gym, that is. I really don't know why I'm still so unmotivated to get moving again. I feel a ton better about myself and sleep better when I do. If I really sat and thought about it, I could easily come up with 5 reasons as to why I've refrained from getting my butt back to the gym....

    1. I'm up with the baby multiple times during the night, so I'm too tired to get up early in the morning, mid-day, and after the babies go to bed to work out.
    2. I'm still seeing the scale move, in the downward direction, just by paying close attention to why I put in my mouth.
    3. No one is physically relying on me to meet them at the gym (and sometimes I need that).
    4. I can't find my workout clothes...I know they're clean, but I'm just not sure which laundry hamper they're still in from the laundry I did a couple of weeks ago.
    5. I'm such a slow poke now, and I'm frustrated with how fast my endurance went "down hill".
    And even though I'm not having nightly "dates" with a treadmill, I'm making sure that I have been eating well. I'm still not drinking the water I need, but I'll continue to work on that. Anywho....I'm excited to report that I lost the pound I gained last week plus one more making my loss this week 2 pounds (3 pounds total since the beginning of the challenge)! Woohoo! Just imagine what my losses would be like if I added in some cardio to burn off some extra calories....I'd be reaching my goal in no time!

    On a slightly positive note, I mustered up enough courage to ask a friend if I could drop the kids off for an hour this morning so that I could go to the gym. It was refreshing! I jogged 3 miles straight through (yay, me!). It felt so good to get moving again....I missed it. Plus, I was able to watch some "normal" tv, something other than "Curious George" or "Little Einsteins", while I cranked out the mileage. So after this morning, I'm feeling a little more motivated to back to where I was before Christmas (and a little less hesitant to ask friends for help).

    Here's to a much better week!

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    3/4 Birthday

    Today, our sweet princess Laney reaches the momentous 9 month birthday. She's 3/4 of her way to turning ONE YEAR OLD! While many mommies get teary-eyed when they start thinking about how their baby is no longer a baby, I'm just the opposite. I'm sooooo over the baby stuff and am excited for the next stage. I get super excited at the thought of her and Josiah fighting playing and laughing together. I must admit, though, I enjoy observing the infant-baby-toddler transition...they are so fun to watch as they figure out the world around them, taking joy in the simple things we've forgotten.

    Okay, and just as I do every month, it's time to bore you with some of Laney's latest accomplishments and enjoyments...
    • soon after her 8 month birthday, she started rolling over in BOTH directions (it took her a while, but she finally got there--it's hard to get enough momentum to roll that chubbiness around)
    • since she starting utilizing her pincer grasp, she's been feeding herself more, sticking her nose up at baby purees (and will NOT take more than one bite of jarred baby food).
    • we are slowly working on some sign language, but the one universal sign she can do is shake her head no when she's done, especially with eating and when she doesn't want to get changed.
    • she loves it when Randy sings "My Girl" to her.
    • she enjoys talking via Skype on the computer.
    • she is now starting to reach for objects further away than just the length of her torso
    • she's reaching so far that she's now getting up on her hands and knees for a few minutes
    • tooth #7 will be cutting through soon, you can see it.
    • the girl LOVES playing with shoes (and untying shoe laces).
    • in addition to her love of Cheerios, she LOVES beans (black, pinto, red)
    • she tried chicken, tortilla, guacamole, beans, cheese, and yogurt this month (we are now starting to feed her more from our plates instead of feeding her purees).
    • she gives a big smile each time I rub our foreheads together or give eskimo kisses.
    • she would rather stand than sit (this has been going on for a couple of months now but it seemed that most of the times that I tried to sit her down, she would refuse).
    • and her hair is finally starting to really is now long enough that it's going over the tops of her ears. Yay, I'm pulling the bows out as soon as she has enough on top!
    And while this is faaaar from an accomplishment, she started waking up 2-3 times per night again...something she hasn't done since she was 2 months old. My body is just now getting used to it again. I'm not sure if she's waking because she needs to feel me near her (she's had some real separation anxiety issues this past month) or if she's really hungry. I've been feeding her each time she wakes, and she eats like she's I feel bad about just snuggling and not feeding her. But I'll do anything to get her to sleep through the night again. Any suggestions?
    Laney's 9 month check up is on Monday, so I'll post her latest stats (weight, height, head measurements) then.
    And since we are only 3 months away from celebrating her 1st birthday, you better believe that I've already started thinking about her party. I'm leaning towards a cupcake theme. I found this cupcake cake pan....and I'm thinking that it's way too fun not to make for her. I've also found some cute outfits with a cupcake and 1 candle embroidered on it...again, too cute! We'll be coupling her party with her boyfriend, James', party since their birthdays are only 3 days apart, and I think we've decided on a BBQ/pool party....SO FUN! I can't wait!

    Happy 9 Month Birthday, Alayna!

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Yay for Shadows!

    Happy Groundhog Day! So I read that dear ol' Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Darn! 6 more weeks to enjoy opening the doors and windows while mid-70 degree winds blows through our home, exchanging out the stagnant air for fresh...I just can't stand it!

    And before you Northerners say, "Sure, just rub it in", just remember what we'll be served up come May...100 degree weather. While you are outside enjoying mid-70s and 80s this summer, we'll be boarded up in our homes (literally, if another hurricane decides to come our way) trying to find "cool" ways to have fun.

    Menu Plan Monday~February 2

    Happy Monday....and yet another menu plan! Randy and I thought we would try something a bit different with our plans this month....choose a theme for each week. We have thoughts that this will help us save on our grocery budget, something we didn't do well at in January (we went over by $53.52). So this week's theme is Beans. I know, I know, pretty exciting, right? But a new rice and beans recipe that I made last week (and LOVED--even Josiah and Laney ate it up) inspired us to give simple ol' beans and rice a try for a week.

    And while I've not posted a recipe review in a couple of weeks, I haven't forgotten...I'm still trying at least one new recipe a week. I'll try to post the reviews later today during naptime.

    Monday--Beef and Black Beans with Rice
    Tuesday--Santa Fe Beans and Rice **new recipe**
    Friday--Tex-Mex Rice and Beans Casserole **new recipe**
    Saturday--GOYA Black Beans and Rice **new recipe**

    For more menu plan ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.