Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Week

It's been a week chock full of birthdays for some of my favorites. Happy birthday to Bill- my wonderful stepdad, Joy- one of my best friends, and today- Babette- our first baby. We love you.

I tried to find a few older photos to put in here but most of my old ones are on Bryan's computer- long before the days of my laptop.

On with the birthday party people:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

If there's any doubt as to whom the father of my child is, I present to you the following information...

Bryan's Mom brought these old photos of Bryan over a few months ago. We all thought it was pretty amazing how much father and son look alike when they were about the same age (6 months-ish). When I saw the picture of Bryan concentrating on the toy in his hand, I immediately thought of the picture I took of Cooper with an almost identical look. Anyway, been meaning to post these for a while and now I'm finally doing it! Thought everyone would enjoy seeing the comparison.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Practically 8 Months

Baby Boy! You're almost 8 months old. Where has the time gone? Into naps, chasing you around the floor, feeding you bottles and oatmeal, wearing you on walks around the neighborhood, taking you on trips to see your extended family, lugging you and all of our stuff to work, grocery shopping, Targeting, snuggling with me and your Dad. That's where, I guess. When I think about it, it seems both a long time since you were born and just like yesterday. We have been so entertained by your emerging personality as of late. You seem to be understanding some of the things we say to you, which is just fascinating. I always try to talk to you like you know what I'm saying because I know one day it will just click for you. Which, by the way, has led me to look like a crazy person when we are not together because I am in constant narration of my actions. Habit.

When you wake up in the morning, we hear you on the monitor either crying or nnn nnn nnning to be attended to. When I come in your room, I flip on the light and walk up to the crib, sometimes bending down to peek at you through the slats. You are always way excited to see me and your whole body shows it. You dance and laugh a little, usually while sucking ferociously on the paci. You sure have come to love the paci for hating it so much when you were first born. I'm scared for the day when we must take it away from you.

Mornings with you are especially fun. You are pretty much always cheery and smiley. I try to soak up every minute, especially on the days when I head to work at 9:45. We change your diaper, feed you a bottle, pass you between the two of us while we shower and eat breakfast, you crawl around the house harassing the dog and cat, and we feed you oatmeal and bananas. If I have to go to work, I kiss you a million times before I get out the door. If I get to stay home with you, we usually head upstairs after Daddy goes to work and we play on the only carpet in the house until you get sleepy for naptime.

We keep lots of toys upstairs in our bedroom, strewn all over the floor, but your favorite things to play with are never your toys. It's the not-quite-attached vent on the wall, the billion power cords your Dad has under the bed, the baby monitor near the top of the stairs, or random boxes of construction-what-nots. Most of it is pretty harmless and I pretty much let you play with those things, but I have to admit it raises my blood pressure just a little bit. I worry. It's my job. I'm fairly certain it doesn't phase Daddy but Mommy's job is to worry about you. Check.

You've been crawling since the week of Thanksgiving. It took no time at all for you to get to top speed crawling and now standing with the help of furniture or the occasional pant leg. I felt sure you'd be walking by the end of January but I think I underestimated how tough a task it is! :) You're trying but seem a little hesitant. Maybe another couple of months?

We've reached yet another milestone for you in the past week. We tried dry cereal. The first time I put a piece in your mouth, it was not a happy occasion. You looked like I had just put a chunk of dirt in there. (Maybe that would have been better?) However, when you tried it for the second time, you had a change of heart. Puffs are yummy. It's really neat to see you eat them. I think I just like seeing you think about it and then act upon your desires. My favorite way you try to get the cereal in your mouth is like a person chugging a beer. You pick it up, toss your head back and put your hand over your mouth. Quite funny. Oh, but I also love the lazy man's cereal-eating. You slide the puff to the edge of the table, bend your head down to the edge and scoop that baby in there. I admire your creativity, little man. This weekend, we'll be venturing into the world of cheese and little bits of cooked carrots and peas.

You're the light of our lives, Cooper. Your Dad was right when he predicted that you'd only make us stronger and bring more happiness into our life. We love you to pieces.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I realize that my blog is taking a weird food turn lately, but I promise it won't last. Here are two of the recipes I've adapted and give my stamp of approval on...

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
(adapted from a recipe in my ALL TIME favorite cookbook The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c turbinado/raw sugar
1/4 c egg beaters
4 med extra ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c canola oil

Mix all ingredients and bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes (12 muffins) or 20-25 minutes (3 mini loaf pans). A toothpick should come out clean when you poke the bread.1 serving=1 muffin or 1 serving =1/4 mini loaf. Calories= 160 per serving. (Original recipe had 217.)

Banana bread is possibly the easiest thing to make in the world. Seriously. Go make it, it's good for you. And, it's really yummy, too. Sara, I'm sure you can handle it. :)

The next recipe is for the Swiss Chicken I was talking about earlier. It's the dish I took to Cory and Kelly after Ruby was born. I left out all the butter and it's still quite yummy. Our neighbors brought us this dish after Cooper was born and we yummed it up! I found this version in a cookbook at my Mom's house. Can't remember which one. Next to Banana bread, this is the easiest thing to make ever. It actually might be easier than the bread. It's also so yummy and tastes bad for you but isn't too bad. But please, eat a side of green beans or something because there's not a vegetable in sight in this dish. Must be why Kelly liked it so much! ;)

Swiss Chicken Light

6 (4oz) chicken breast halves
cooking spray
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c shredded swiss cheese (reduced fat if you can find it, I could not)
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 c skim milk
3/4 c reduced sodium stuffing mix for chicken (Stove Top)

Place chicken in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder and pepper. Top each with cheese. Combine soup and milk in separate dish; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with stuffing mix, lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove cover for last 5 minutes of cooking to crisp the top. Makes 6 servings. 243 calories per serving.

Personally, I think 4 ounces of chicken is a laughable portion. So, really, you could eat 2 of the servings and still be only eating under 500 calories. That's doable in my book. Pretty yummy for a casserole. Even Bryan liked it and he hates casseroles as a general rule.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Night

I'm having a crazy night! Sitting in bed, drinking a glass of wine, and surfing the internet! Who says having children cramps your style? Not mine...

Anyway, just wanted to share a few pictures and random thoughts before going to sleep. I enjoyed reading your comments from the last post. It's just nice to know I'm not alone in the weight-loss/food struggle. I'm going to do my best to try to post the recipes here that I come up with and keep updates on how things are going. It will help keep me on track and maybe help you, too. I've made two things light so far- Swiss Chicken and Stuffed Peppers. Both tasted bad for me but weren't. That's a good thing!

Bath time. I love how Cooper is trying to drink bathwater here. Apparently, he has never smelled his own feet. I personally would not be drinking any water that came near them. Eww.

Someone has a paci addiction.

I *LOVE* this photo because it is SO Cooper. Big smiles.

Daddy sporting his handy Kelty backpack baby. Cute. My two favorite boys.

Friday, January 16, 2009

FitWit Update

We just finished week two of six. It's going really great despite the fact I've had two mornings where I COULD NOT get out of bed. One for being partially sick and the other for baby being up too many times, too many nights in a row. That'll wear a girl out, coupled with getting up at 6:15am to go to workout. Otherwise, I work hard when I'm there and I feel good about it. It's a work in progress.

The first three days were once again the hardest to get through. It's just a lot of sore muscles telling me that I've been relaxing for too long. I kinda figured that when I was having dread for picking up a laundry basket! that I needed to get back to exercising. Oh, muscles, I missed you. So, in the short time of two weeks I've built enough muscle to make the everyday tasks a lot easier- picking up toys off the floor with a 20 pound baby in my arms, picking up a stuffed laundry basket, bounding up the stairs to the bedroom, etc. It's all a lot less tiring now. It feels good to notice improvement this quickly. It's motivation for fighting the good fight. I'm still not a fan of getting out of bed THAT early in the morning, though. The only bonus is that it gets it out of the way for the day. If I have to think about working out all day, I'll just come up with about 5 billion reasons why I can't. So, there ya go.

In the last few days, while sticking to my healthy eating, I've had a big aha-moment. I realized that while I do a decent job of minding the calorie count, I don't do a good job of preparing food that is a realistic long term solution to dealing with my utter love of food. I've never been a fan of starving myself thin, but I eat really boring things that I know the calorie counts on (egg beaters scramble made with Pam, side of 100% whole wheat toast, "spray butter", and low sugar jam- 300 calories) but that I probably wouldn't jump to eat if I weren't watching my food intake carefully. So, while it is painful for me to read a cookbook while on a calorie-restricted plan, I've decided that I need to scour my books to find recipes that I can adapt and enjoy for the rest of my life. For the rest of my family's life, too. It's not all about me anymore. I'm not leaving Bryan and Cooper to fend for themselves while I eat a single-portion veggie/lowfat/low-cal whatever for dinner. It's not right, it's not fair- for me or them. So far, I've made one dish! It turned out yummy and I'm hoping to make at least one new dish a week. The point is to create that lifestyle change that has eluded me thus far. I can stick to the calorie counting for a long time, but it's not the permanent change I need to make with my relationship with food. Yup, I'm that person that has a relationship with food. Gah.

Enough about that. Just needed to put it out there. If you feel like it, write a comment if you're working on or thinking about working on eating/exercising. I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Holiday Picture Fun

Instead of cleaning my house, I'm sitting on the computer! I've been wanting to share some photos from the recent holidays. SO, here goes. Random comments as they come to me...

Cute baby boy.

Musical genius playing Beethoven's 5th. Seriously.

Thought this was cute. Like father like son, apparently. TV captivates them both.

Cooper helping his Dad put the RadioFlyer walker-wagon together. Shortly after completion he slipped and hit his gums on the handle. Waaahhh! Not good.

Cooper's stocking. As you can see, he made out like a fat rat, as my Mom says. Bryan's a good stuffer but I did a crappy job of stuffing his this year. Poor guy only got a one sad bag of xmas M&M's.

Ignore how I'm wearing glasses and look a'mess. I like the family photo of xmas morning anyhow.

Cooper getting presents. I went a little overboard. Wonder who I learned that from?

Give the boy any old electrical cord and he's happy. No, it's not plugged it, thankyouverymuch.

Baby New Year. Gosh, I love this little boy.

Our first holiday with baby boy was fun. It seemed rushed and I vow to start shopping earlier this year. This December, I'm going to bake and drink hot cocoa by the tree. And wrap presents. That I bought in September. :) We'll see about that.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Don't freak out

I know, two posts in one day. But, don't get too excited either because it's just a little follow up to my earlier post.

I was just reading one of my regular blogs and came across a post that I thought goes nicely with my post about making change in my/your life. I know it's a Mom blog but this woman has sound advice for anyone out there- Mom or not. Go ahead and click it!

Two Years

This morning, I finally did it. I got myself out of bed at 6am and put on my running shoes. And then, I drove myself back to FitWit Bootcamp for the first time in one year and three months. I've been threatening exercise for, oh, about five months now. It's been a struggle and a learning process about what my needs were after the baby was born. I knew that I wanted to get back to exercising as soon as I could, but I didn't realize how difficult it would be. In hindsight, I wish I had just eased up on myself and trusted that I would go back when the time was right. I think I was just scared I'd never go back or that it would be years later and 20 pounds heavier, ya know?? But, with breastfeeding behind me and a baby whom usually sleeps through the night, there was nothing in my way but a little fear of the unknown. Will I be able to get myself out of bed? Will my abs split in two upon completing a sit up? Will I be able to run? At all?? Will I fail?

So, exactly two years after starting my weight-loss journey with FitWit for the first time, I am back at bootcamp. I'm proud to say that even after having a baby, I am still 20 pounds lighter than when I started the first time. Trust me, that makes running a WHOLE lot easier this time around. It's encouraging that the hard work I put in before the baby has lasted this long. I still struggle with food; I guess I always will- but at least I've learned that about myself.

A lot happens in two years, but it sort of seems just like yesterday that Heather and I started this thing. I had to go back and read my blog entries about starting bootcamp in 2007. This is one of the reasons I love keeping a journal- it helps me have a little perspective on my life. It's good to go back and hear yourself in the past. I'm using those words as encouragement for myself this time around. Starting at square one is tough, but I did it before- and I will do it again. Besides, the hardest part is already done. Getting started.

So, good luck and strength to any of you who are facing this challenge, too. It's a rough one but a journey worth working for. Happy 2009!