Thursday, April 25, 2013

Working it out

With Mike's mom in town as well as other excuses, I've been away from the gym for about a month or so which makes me feel like such a slug.  I aim to go three days a week & feel so much better when I do, but I've been so bad about going lately.  Part of the problem is the ungodly early morning workout time I chose.  I'd call myself a morning person, but not the 5am kind, more like the 7am kind!  

The past two weeks I was having Grammy drop me off at work at 7am & pick me up at 3:30 so she could have the car to do as she pleased while I worked.  I really liked getting out at 3:30 & having so much more of the day left so I decided to keep it up & hit the gym after work now that Grammy has left.  Luckily Mike was supportive of the decision since he's now the one that will be dropping the kids off at daycare.  

Do you ever find yourself in a workout rut?  My problem is that I'm always coming up with excuses; I'm too tired, I have too much to do, I have cramps, it's too early, it's too late, I want to spend more time with the kids.  That last part is a big one for me since I already feel like I have so little time with them.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I'll be a happier, more energetic mom if I do get to the gym.

So, I've come up with a list of ways to help me (or you) workout more consistently:

1) Pick a time that truly works for you.  This might take some tweaking, but this is the biggest deterrent for me.

2) Be prepared.  For me, this means packing my gym clothes/towel the night before so I can go straight from work.

3) Be realistic.  If you don't think you can feasibly go four times a week, don't vow to do that because chances are you'll get frustrated & just give it up all together.

4) Don't make excuses.  Tell yourself that come hell or high water, you will go to the gym.  After about five hours of sleep last night, I was so tired today that I seriously felt physically sick.  I had a mental battle throughout the day, but in the end I forced myself to go & now I feel so much better.

5) Do workouts that you truly enjoy.  If you loathe jogging, don't bother!  I'll drag myself onto the treadmill & do interval training for about ten to fifteen minutes & the constant changing of speeds & elevations help to mix things up.  Or I'll take a walk with Mike or the kids after work which is a good workout & de-stressor.

6) Listen to music or watch TV while you workout.  I find myself catching an episode of The Real Housewives or another show I like & workout even longer than I anticipated just so I can see more of the show.

7) Have a support system.  For me this is Mike.  I'm so, so thankful that he's been encouraging,  adaptable & willing to drop the kids & pick them up on the Tuesdays & Thursdays I plan to go.


Busyness is another big reason I convince myself not to hit the gym.  This week was particularly busy & I can barely believe that tomorrow is already Friday.  Monday Papa & Auntie Erika headed back to Chicago, next was Grammy on Tuesday night & finally our friend Evans went back this morning.  I've had two 5am drives to the airport this week!  While our handyman friend Evans was unexpectedly in town, he offered to install a new sink for us.  Our kitchen sink was in desperate need of replacing, so we've gradually been saving money & gift cards.  The installation alone was nearly $300 dollars which shocked me!

I'm in love & actually look forward to doing dishes (for the time being)!  Our old sink was a disaster functionally & cosmetically so I'm so thankful our friend was awesome enough to offer to install it!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Squealing in the rain

We had a jam packed weekend spent with Mike's mom, dad & sister who were all in from Chicago.  It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're having fun!

Cam spent so much quality time with his Auntie Erika; they were both sad to leave each other since Papa & Erika took an early flight back this morning.  Grammy leaves tomorrow night.  Every few months when Grammy comes down, it's such a difficult transition (especially for me) when she leaves.  I get so used to her help & company that it's hard to see her go!

In addition to my normal Wednesday off, I also took Thursday & Friday off which was glorious!  We busted our butts on Wednesday & I literally power washed the house for 8 hours straight.  The fence alone took about 5 hours.  It's one of the projects that's been bugging me the most since we moved in & it feels so good to have the disgusting mildew swept away!  We planted a little garden of plants by our patio too... things are looking so fresh & cheerful now!

I love sitting outside, especially as the sun is setting and since I'm an OCD psycho, it's a lot easier to sit & relax when I know things are done.

We had a Sunday BBQ yesterday & it began to rain at the end of the night.  A certain little girl went absolutely bananas over playing in the rain & it was so much fun to watch!

And it saved me from the nightly bath!!  ;o)

I'm feeling bummed that the fun filled weekend is over, but I'm thankful for the time off with family.  Tomorrow is Papa's 70th birthday!!!!!!!

The kids are SO BLESSED to have such loving grandparents!!  Happy birthday, Papa, we love you!!  Hop over to Cameron & Reese's blog to see some super cute pictures of Taylor & Reese's play date!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

17 months

Reese, today you're seventeen months old!

You have not been much of a happy camper these days since your teeth are causing you so much discomfort, but you still crack me up everyday!

You're an absolute goofball & your dad & I often talk about what you're going to be like when you're older.  You are quite the character & a very funny girl.  I look so forward to getting to know you more & more.

So, what are you up to these days other than being fussy from teething?  You're wearing 18-24 month clothes, size five shoes & size four diapers.  You have a wicked diaper rash right now which literally happened over night as I pulled you out of bed with a load in your pants.  You have sensitive skin, just like your mama did as a baby.

You love pointing to body parts, especially noses, eyes & mouth.  You know SO MANY words, talk up a storm & are pretty much a little parrot.  Sometimes I'm blown away by the words you spout out.

You're a walking fool & very steady on your feet.  You are extremely "spirited" or "passionate" which I sometimes refer to as evil or wicked!!!  ;o)  When you get mad, boy are you angry!  Daddy likes to say, "Hmmm, I wonder where she gets that from?" as he shoots me a knowing look.  You're getting bit a lot at school & the teachers say you're basically the only one whose bitten & I think it's because you can be a tad rough at times.  I'm being very nice when I say a tad rough.  We continue to work on explaining that hitting is "not nice" (another thing you love saying as you wave your finger..)

You are still an AMAZING sleeper, go down at 7 without a fuss (thank GOODNESS for that because your brother did not) & sleep till 7am or later if it's a dark, gloomy morning.  Most days you take only one nap per day for a couple of hours, but with your teething, you've been taking two naps on the weekends.  You love to eat fruit, not so much veggies & with your second molars coming in, you don't have much of an appetite.  You drink two bottles of 2% milk a day, but we'll probably take you off bottles soon & I don't really think you'll care too much.  Even though you are a feisty little stinker, I would not change a thing about you!  I love that you have such a strong, passionate personality!

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Birthday boy

Today we're celebrating Mike's thirty-fourth birthday!  Hard to believe we're already in our nearly mid-thirties... especially since we met at the ripe old age of sixteen. 

The festivities began yesterday with the annual birthday dinner I make.  I pick a meal I know Mike will love, but don't reveal the menu to him; it's so much fun for me!  This year I chose Jeff Mauro's meatloaf sandwich.  As I was watching The Sandwich King a month or so ago, I was pretty sure this was what I was going to make.  Mike adores sandwiches.  It was so very yummy!  Click here for the recipe.  It makes a lot, so it'd be a good make ahead for a group.  Pop it in the fridge & when it's dinner time, it's ready from oven to table in about an hour & a half.

Hello meatloaf, I'd like to eat you.  And I did.  And it was divine!

Cam & I cooked up the idea to do a princess themed party since we're always joking that Cam is going to have a Sofia the First (character from Disney) party instead of Mario.  Cam wanted to get Mike back & I was all in!

Mike & Reese were surprised to see the plethora of balloons & streamers as they came through the garage door.

Although Cam looks bored in this picture, I can promise you he was anything but!

I whipped up a rich & decadent chocolate peanut butter pie from The Pioneer Woman.  Mike's favorite combination is peanut butter chocolate so as I watched The PW nearly a year ago, I knew this would be the cake.  I think I'll be hitting the gym tomorrow, but it was worth every last calorie!  Click here for the recipe.

Since Cam loves blowing out candles, we decided to throw in a celebration for his four & a half birthday which was a few weeks ago.  He was pretty excited about it; I think he loves birthdays nearly as much as I do.

My sweet little girl always seems to miss out on the excitement, but she is just too darn pooped to stay up past her bedtime.  Oh, and we wanted to have a relaxing meal.  These days after she's in her highchair for five minutes, she starts saying, "All done!!" and wanting out NOW.

Grammy gave me an idea to follow a question & answer session from Cam about his daddy so I printed it & gave it as part of his card.  When I asked Cam how old Mike was, he said 7... ha, ha!  And by the way, Mike's eyes are brown, definitely NOT green!  Ah, kids, so cute & innocent!

Tonight is just the start of the celebration since we're heading out for breakfast tomorrow & then out for dinner & drinks with our friends in the evening.  What?  An evening with just adults?!  Heck yeah!!!  Happy 34th birthday, Mike!  You're the best!  Thank you for cracking me up even when I'm on the verge or in the thick of hysterics..  no one knows how to make me laugh quite like you!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Soup's on!

It was nice having my Wednesday off with Grammy's company in addition to my little guy.  Reese, the teething queen, was at daycare since I had a meeting this morning & a bunch of running around to do.  I decided to make the Barefoot Contessa's cheddar corn chowder & it was absolutely delicious!  I love the Barefoot Contessa, she's so calming to watch.

I cut the recipe in half (except for the bacon garnish!) since the original served 10-12 & it was just enough for us to have leftovers for tomorrow with 4.5 of us eating.  

Cheddar corn chowder:

8oz of bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound potatoes, diced
1.5 pounds frozen corn kernels
1.5 cups half & half
1/4 pound sharp white cheddar cheese + more for garnish, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon & set aside.  Reduce heat to medium, add the onions & butter to the stockpot with residual bacon grease.  Cook onions for ten minutes until translucent.

Stir in flour, salt, pepper & tumeric & cook for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock & the potatoes, bring to a boil & simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Add the corn to the soup, then the half & half & cheddar.  Cook for five more minutes until the cheese is melted.  Serve garnished with grated cheese & chopped bacon.

Eat, enjoy & repeat again!  The kids loved it!

Mike & Grammy were pretty excited to eat too..

Such a great recipe; click here for the original.

My happy little girl finally returned today!!  It was so, so awesome to see here laughing & walking around the house like her usual funny, spunky self!  I missed this girl; hopefully the sad, cranky baby has left the building.

After my little gal went to bed, we headed to the backyard to plant the Meyer lemon tree Grammy bought since she loves homemade lemonade so much!  Our old house had a teeny tiny backyard that wasn't fenced so I positively love our new yard.

We've been busy planting & getting things spruced up now that spring has arrived.  Although in Florida, does that even make a difference?  It's so fun hanging out back, planting, watering & making the house our own.

Grammy's dog Lucy made the trek from Chicago too; plenty of action going on in our house!

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