Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fitness Report

I worked out!  For the first time in six weeks and two days (because the last time I worked out was the Tuesday before Connor was born thanks to the inclement weather we had that week), I went to the Y and got in a great workout.  I warmed up with 10 minutes on the elliptical doing my usual program, which was a touch more difficult than normal.  Then I took my Thursday night muscle conditioning class that was being taught by one of my favorite instructors.


I wasn’t surprised that some moves were harder than they used to be, but a welcome change was the return of my balance.  Toward the end of my pregnancy, I could hardly do lunges because I was in danger of toppling over.  So it was nice to do them again and only feel as uncoordinated as usual.  This teacher likes to do ab work and I was a little worried about how I was going to get through all her moves, but I think I did pretty good.  I could actually hold a plank for the required amount of time and I didn’t have to rest too much during the other moves.


I have a feeling that I am going to be super sore today and tomorrow.  I rarely got sore (in a good way – my back often hurt) toward the end of my pregnancy so while I’ll be wishing I’d eased back into things a little better, I’ll also be happy to have my muscles talking to me again.

Just for comparison’s sake:  Roughly 38 1/2 weeks pregnant and also taken just before muscle conditioning vs. almost 6 weeks postpartum.  I still have a ways to go in the tighten-and-tone department, but I can’t complain too much.


TGIF!  Hope you all have great weekends!

P.S.  I have to thank the McHusband really quick for coming home early from work so that I could go to this class. Connor and I actually had a really great day and both of us took long afternoon naps so getting to the Y was the icing on that cake.  Thanks, McHusband, I really appreciate it!

P.P.S.  Happy early birthday to Jennifer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A brief reprieve

I hadn’t had my hair cut or colored since the weekend before Thanksgiving so Tuesday’s appointment was looooooong overdue.


Lucky for me, Vanessa offered to help me out by watching Connor while I took a few hours for myself.


(I didn’t take any pictures during the actual babysitting so this is one from when Shawn and Vanessa visited at the hospital.)

I got a picture and an “All’s well!” message from Vanessa halfway through my appointment so I was able to sit back and relax and not worry.  Not about Connor, mind you.  About whether he was treating Vanessa nicely or not.


I got a chai tea latte on the way to my appointment, made an exchange at Kohl’s, grabbed some lunch, and popped in the grocery store.  Those four hours I had to myself made such a difference (IN my head as well as on), and I am grateful to Vanessa for watching Connor.  I so appreciate that I have such wonderful friends who I can count on.

Thanks, Vanessa!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quickie Quiche

I have a recommendation for you guys.  I know your jaws will drop when I tell you it’s something to eat.

I got my new issue of Southern Living last week and as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew we’d be eating it soon.  Sure, I was saving that second pie crust for another cookie pie, but I decided we probably needed real food more than we needed more dessert.  I had everything but the shredded cheese so I picked that up during a trip to Wally World and we were all set.

Cheese-and-Sausage Quiche Recipe{Picture courtesy of Southern Living}

I threw this together while the McHusband was working out and Connor was mostly chilling in the Bjorn.  Actually, the former helped measure a couple things during a break between sets when the latter was being fussy.  Gotta give credit where credit it due.

To make this even easier on myself, I used a bag of Jimmy Dean Turkey Crumbles.  I’ve used them in several casseroles, in meat sauce, and even in a breakfast bread, and they’ve always worked out great.

When I make this again – and yes, I mean when and not if – I’d like to try to spice it up a bit with either some red pepper flakes or maybe a can of diced chiles.  Also, I think it’d be good to cut back a little on the cheese and maybe replace it with some spinach.

If you’re looking for something easy, quick, delicious and filling, put this quiche on your list.

{Recipe adapted from here}

Monday, March 24, 2014

{Recipe Recap} S’mores Cupcakes (and other weekend stuff)

I attended Women’s Night here in the ‘hood this past Friday.  The hostess asked everyone to bring cupcakes to share.  You know I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to dig into one of two paper grocdery bags full of cupcake liners and scour my saved recipes for inspiration.  I remembered a toasted marshmallow frosting and decided to use it atop a graham cracker cupcake and then I’d finish things off with some Hershey’s chocolate.  Voila, S’mores Cupcakes!


I appreciate the McHusband letting me have the evening off.  I definitely needed a break from playing mommy.  Connor didn’t do great while I was gone, but he’s been worse so thank goodness for small favors, I guess.  Luckily, he’d been pretty cute earlier in the evening so we were quick to forgive.


(My side of the family is notorious for having one eye being squintier than the other and it looks like Connor has inherited that trait.)

I spent the first half of Saturday in Greensboro watching Lyla, my five-year-old niece, dance at a competition.  Her little duo, which I unfortunately missed, took first place!  I was a very proud aunt when the girls accepted their award.

Lyla was very excited to hold Connor.  This was before awards but it looks like Lyla’s youngest cousin might’ve had an inkling about what was coming.


I had hoped to hang out with friends Saturday night, but Connor was being a pill and wouldn’t nap so I didn’t nap and therefore I was feeling less than social.  The upside is that he actually went down for the night without a fight.  I think I had him in his crib fast asleep within 30 minutes.  Definitely a record.  However, I think it’s kinda like the glimpses of spring we’ve seen around here – just like Mother Nature’s teased us on Saturday, so did Connor.  But at least I know it’s possible to get him down easily.  Gives me hope.

Hope your week’s off to a great start!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Four Weeks: Connor

Four weeks.  One month.  A lifetime, literally.


Connor had a doctor’s appointment on Monday to get the second round of his Hepatitis B vaccine.  I’m not sure what he thought was worse: being naked for all the measurements they take or getting that shot in his leg.  Okay, it was the latter, but just barely.  Anyway, he’s up to 9 lb 11 oz so the formula and my boobs make a good team.


Connor likes: baths now that he can be in his tub, having his hair washed/his head rubbed, being wrapped up in a blanket, the sign over his changing table, ceiling fans, the Bjorn most of the time (thank goodness!), and sleeping in his bouncer.


Connor dislikes: getting naked for baths and getting out of the tub, being hungry, a cold wipe on his bare butt, having shirts go over his head, and being put in his crib less than firmly sound asleep.


It would appear he’s also suspicious of sock monkeys.


He sneezes a lot and smiles a little.


I know the smiles aren’t real yet, but they’re cute all the same, and I can’t wait until something I do elicits one.


The car seat is hit or miss.  Sometimes he doesn’t mind it and will either fall asleep or just veg, but sometimes it’s as bad as being naked.  I took him and Monte for a walk on Saturday and it was a day the car seat was the enemy so I ended up pushing the stroller and holding the leash with one hand while I had Connor up on the other shoulder.  Fun times.


Let’s talk about the hair for a sec.  I promise, we don’t style it, we don’t make it stand up or do the mohawk thing.  Connor’s hair looks how it looks all on its own.


We are trying to get on a little bit of a schedule ahead of me going back to work and so far the most positive thing I can say is we have good intentions.  Putting Connor to bed in the evenings is a nightmare that has had me in tears a couple of times.  I’d rather do the middle-of-the-night shift than try to get him down for the night.


My mom made me monthly shirt thingies for these posts, and I have to apologize for forgetting to grab it for this first set of pictures.  Sorry, Mom!  Connor just happened to be in a good mood and I wanted to get some photos before that changed, and I kinda forgot about the monthly markers until it was too late.


Connor in a nutshell: sweet, annoying, cute, needy, and frustrating.  One minute I love him, the next I want to sell him to the highest bidder.  Hopefully I’ll feel less and less inclined to put an ad on craigslist with each passing day.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Cinnamon Spice Applesauce Bread

Connor and I visited my office last week.  You probably won’t be surprised to know that I shared a baked good with them.  I figured after three weeks, my coworkers had to be missing out on the homemade carbtastic goodies they both loved and hated me for.


I know the bread doesn’t look like much and even appears that it might be healthy.  But I promise, I wouldn’t do that to you.  I try to save my health-conscious ways for the “real” food we eat. 


That being said, I did throw some apple chunks in the batter.  You know my general stance on fruit desserts – you can keep ‘em! – but fruit’s okay in quick breads and apples in particular get a bit of a pardon from my rule.  I’d still rather have chocolate or caramel or Biscoff, but every once in a while I branch out and throw some apples into my flour, sugar, and butter.


The recipe didn’t call for the apples so if you aren’t a fan of chunks in your bread or you simply don’t have the time to dice up an apple, then don’t worry about it.  The bread will still be good, although the McHusband did say after eating this that he thinks I should add apple pieces to more goodies.


I was a little surprised that this bread wasn’t more flavorful thanks to  the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Maybe it’s because I used plain applesauce although I did add more cinnamon as suggested to compensate.  I still thought the bread was very good, I just think the spice factor could’ve been amped up a bit.


Would I make this bread again?  Definitely!  But I’d play around with the spices (maybe use some apple pie spice?) to make it a touch more flavorful.


Real quick: Happy Day-After-St.-Patrick’s-Day!  You know a little boy named Connor Patrick had to have a special outfit just for the holiday.


Unfortunately I don’t think his outfit brought him particularly good luck since he had to get his second Hep B shot yesterday.   That wasn’t fun for either of us.  Connor tried to be strong and showed me how tough he was (Check out that bicep!), but he was no match for that nurse and her needle.


Speaking of the McBaby, I’ll have a one-month post on him…hopefully this week.  But I make no promises.

{Recipe adapted from here}

Friday, March 14, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Did you know that today’s a holiday, one celebrated around the world?  No, St. Patrick’s Day didn’t come early.  It’s Pi Day.  Pi as in 3.14.  On 3/14.

I felt I needed to honor this holiday with an actual pie (as opposed to doing some geometry), but it had to be something easy, something my mixer could pretty much do on its own with only minor supervision from my sous chef and me.


Don’t worry, the formula wasn’t a secret ingredient.


I decided to go with this Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.  First of all, it just sounded good.  Second, it was easy – measure ingredients, mix ‘em together, fill (store-bought) pie crust, bake.


I used semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and thought about throwing some toffee pieces in as well but refrained this time around.  But those pie crusts come two-to-a-box so there might be another one of these in my near future.


As you can see, the top is nice and crusty but the filling stays moist.


I wasn’t sure about the pie crust.  Regular pie crust isn’t my favorite in general so I thought about making this with a graham cracker crust.  But you know what?  The pie crust was easier and it played very well with the pie filling; it wasn’t an extra strong flavor by itself that distracted from the taste of the pie.


If you click to see the recipe, you’ll see that Bakerella suggests eating this warm with some ice cream.  We didn’t have vanilla ice cream, but I did get some Cool Whip to use as a topping.



I like REAL whipped cream, but there’s just something about Cool Whip…


I took this pie to the McHusband’s office yesterday when Connor and I went out there to visit and have lunch with the McHusband.  I delivered the pie around noon and the McHusband brought the empty pie plate home with him that evening.  The coworkers wasted no time digging in.


So happy Pi Day and happy Friday!  Normally I’d take today off from work to get ready for our annual St. Patrick’s Day party, but I just don’t think I have the energy for a big bash this year.  Hopefully we’ll be back on track next year.


Have a good weekend!

{Recipe slightly adapted from here}

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recent favorites

Believe it or not, I do still have a life outside Connor.  It may not be much of one, but it does exist.  What I don’t have much of is Connor-free time so those precious minutes are spent taking care of basic household chores like laundry, sweeping, and vacuuming, showering at least every other day, washing bottles, tending to animals, and trying to get online once in a while.  As you can see, blogging has suffered.  Hopefully it’ll get better (and yes, I mean more than just my blogging schedule).

Anyway, I thought I’d share a short and random list of favorites.  First up, a new Wallflower scent.

Tokyo Petals Wallflowers Fragrance Bulb - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

I don’t like super flowery smells, but I do like sweet fragrances.  For instance, I’m a big fan of vanilla, as is the McHusband.  Tokyo Petals is sweet but light.  The web site says Tokyo Petals is “[a]n exotic combination of Japanese iced sake, delicate cherry blossoms and a hint of berries.” After reading the description, I’m not surprised to know that I like it since Cherry Blossom (but not Japanese Cherry Blossom as that one is too overpowering and perfume-y) is one of my favorite B&BW smells.

Next up is a new show.  It’s called Those Who Kill and it’s on A&E on Mondays at 10:00  after Bates Motel, another show I watch and would recommend.  Anyway, TWK stars Chloe Sevigny as a homicide detective and of course she has her own issues to deal with while she’s kicking butt and taking names.  I’ve only seen the first episode (the second one aired last night), but I’m already hooked.

Those Who Kill trailer

And last but not least, I have a baby-related favorite.  These aden + anais muslin blankets are on my list of must-haves for baby.


The fabric is soft and lightweight, and the blanket is a great size for wrapping up the baby.  Since Connor likes to be wrapped up for sleeping, it’s important to me that the fabric is breathable so he doesn’t overheat since being too warm is related to SIDS.  The blankets also come in a ton of patterns; I would have one of each “boy” blanket if I could, but I just don’t need that many nor do I need to spend hundreds of dollars on blankets.

My house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be, but at least it smells good.  And there’s one thing I can do while my hands are unavailable – I can catch up on my shows, both old favorites and new finds.  And those blankets are very necessary for ensuring that Connor sleeps as well as he’s going to so I can sleep myself or, you know, wash my armpits.  Some days it’s not even a struggle to decide which is more important.  (The nap, of course.)  Which leads me back to the Wallflower and having good smells in my house. Smile

Friday, March 7, 2014

Connor’s birth story

Connor was due on Valentine’s Day.  That day, a Friday, felt no different from any other day. 


I went to work, hit Walmart for groceries on the way home, whipped us up some dinner,  and exchanged Valentine’s Day cards and gifts with the McHusband.  Then, to continue the romance, we headed out and BACK to Walmart to pick up the rocker I’d ordered that came in earlier than expected (a sign perhaps?).  The McHusband and I carried it upstairs that night and got it situated. 


We also went to Target for a few things: a lamp and blanket (the white one on the back of the chair) for Connor’s room and some other incidentals.  The McHusband and I hoped to go to dinner the following night and celebrate a proper belated Valentine’s Day.

I’d been having a few contractions but none too serious; I just figured they were the Braxton-Hicks contractions that I’d read about.  On Saturday, I felt a few more and was going to head to the Y to work out, but I just wanted to stay home and get some stuff up on the nursery walls, do some laundry, just generally nest, I guess.  The McHusband and I also walked the dogs, and one of our neighbors said, as she went running by us, “No baby yet?”  Famous last words…

I talked to my mom and to Bri that afternoon and basically told them the same thing: some contractions and I thought maybe the baby would come in a few days.  At the time of the phone calls, I really didn’t think we’d be meeting our son that evening.

However, by 3:00 or so, the contractions started getting stronger and I knew I should probably get in the shower.  After I dried my hair, I went out and told the McHusband, who was finishing washing his car, “I think I may get that 2/16/14 birthday I want after all.”  He got kinda nervous about how much time we had before we needed to go to the hospital, but I told him that doctors don’t want you there until your contractions last for a minute and are five minutes apart for an hour.  I hadn’t even started officially timing mine yet.  So he finished with his car and gave mine a quick once-over before coming inside to clean up.

In the meantime, I downloaded a contraction app on my phone and tried to get ready around them – I put on a little make-up, straightened my hair, packed that stuff up, and got my bags downstairs. 

I started timing my contractions at 5:00.  Somehow I think I missed them being five minutes apart – they were more like 2 to 4 minutes – so I thought they were working to be five minutes apart.  Finally we called the doctor at 6:15 and she told us to head to the hospital in 30 to 60 minutes.  In that time, I continued to labor at home and let me tell you – contractions hurt!  I have never been so miserable in my entire life.  The McHusband called our moms to give them a heads-up and we finally left for the hospital at 7:30.  On our way out the door, I said, “I thought I might do this without drugs, but I’ve changed my mind; I want an epidural!”  I figured if I still had hours of this pain to go, there was no way I could handle that.

The drive to the hospital was pretty awful.  I was so uncomfortable with each contraction and I remember that I kept my eyes closed for most of the ride.  I don’t know why, but somehow not seeing anything seemed like the best thing to do.

We parked the car and walked into the hospital, stopping to have a couple contractions along the way.  We had to check in with a security guard before we could ride the elevator up to Labor & Delivery and of course I had another contraction there and then another one in the elevator (it only had to go up two floors).

We finally got into triage (at maybe 8:15?) and the nurse proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions while I had contraction after contraction.  I just wanted SOMEone (the nurse, a doctor, an orderly, I didn’t really care who at that point) to check me and see how dilated I was so we could get an anesthesiologist lined up for my epidural.  My water broke at 8:49 and that prompted the nurse to wrap up her survey and see what was going on down there.  After a quick clean-up, the nurse did her thing and declared, “And you’re at 10 cm, we’re going to have a baby!”  No epidural for me.

So they rolled me to an actual L & D room – finally! – and amidst my contractions, I had to scoot myself onto the bed in there.  I was hyperventilating apparently and my hands were sorta numb, which made scooting myself to the new bed difficult but that bought the doctor some time to show up.  She got ready and explained how this was going to work: when I felt  a contraction, I was to take a deep breath and push for a count of 10 and repeat that twice.  So at 9:04 I took my first deep breath and and after three sets of three pushes, Connor was born nine minutes later at 9:13 pm.


He weighed 7lbs15oz and was 21 inches long.  He had a full head of hair, which took us all by surprise.  I don’t know why, I guess I just assumed I’d have a bald-ish baby.

I had a minor tear that required just one stitch.  Overall, my recovery has gone very well.  I took some Motrin at the hospital at the doctor’s urging, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed it.  Maybe that’s because the two Motrins did their job.  Connor was born Saturday night.  The McHusband and I were out walking on Tuesday, the day after we got home, and by Friday, I felt really good.  I haven’t done any exercising yet, but if I can manage to get there, I’d like to go my muscle conditioning class at the Y this weekend.  There’s a class on Saturday and Sunday so I should be able to make one of those.

So there you have it – my tale of adding a human to the world.  It was and wasn’t what I expected.  Contractions hurt way more than I thought and I agree with other women who say that pushing felt good.  I’ve said since Connor was born that I’d push another baby out if I could skip the contractions.  My labor definitely went faster than I expected but I can’t say I minded that – no sense prolonging that misery.

Well, if you made it through my long story, I wish you a happy Friday and great weekend!  And don’t forget to adjust your clocks ahead an hour on Sunday.  The weather’s supposed to be very nice (mid-60’s and sunny) this weekend so I know we’ll appreciate the extra hour of daylight on Sunday.  Should be a perfect evening for grilling turkey burgers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Old habits die hard

I was holding Connor last night and he had his right hand up by his face.  More often than not, his hands are up by his face, which can be a challenge when it’s time for him to eat because they get in the way.


Anyway, I snapped the picture above, and then pulled out a 20-week ultrasound picture from when we found out Connor was a boy.

Look who has his hand up by his face.


So I know I’m more than a little behind with my blogging.  I need to do Connor’s birth story, if not for you guys then for myself, and just post some pictures for posterity’s sake.  The McMom is visiting today and tomorrow so between the extra set of arms and us doing some bottles, maybe my fingers’ll be freed up enough to get a post or two written.

Connor and I had a big day yesterday.  We went to the post office AND to Walmart.  He did great during both errands, snoozing the whole time.  We capped off our exciting day with a bath.


Connor likes to have his hair washed, but he’s not really a fan of having his body cleaned.  Typical boy.  However, last night, with the heater running and a not-totally-empty tummy, he didn’t mind the bath too much.

And here he is, post-bath with his crazy hair.


Hope everyone has a happy Hump Day!