Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fat Free Fridays - Week 9

Total weight lost/gained: 13 lbs lost (4 this week ). 

How I'm feeling: After being sick and having Eli sick and not getting any exercise I expected a bad week. So overall I'll say I'm pretty thrilled this week.  Broke the 10 lb mark and getting back to numbers on the scale that I haven't seen since 2009!

Food this week: Not so hot but overall not a complete wash out.  I've been under 1600 calories a day all week and turns out that with Eli sick I've done way better than normal yesterday and today in spite of lots of eating out. 
Exercise this week: I've not even set foot in a gym this week.  Given how well this week went I may start trying to do 4 days one week and none the next. 
Clothes: Workout pants are rediculously loose.  Since those are the only pants I've had on since Thursday those are all the basis I have. 
Best thing this week: My sweet hubby has taken care of supper every night this week.  That has been a huge help with a sick baby.
Worst thing this week: If being sick stinks having a sick baby is like smelling rotten fish.  My poor little guy feels so bad and there is so little I can do for him at 3 months old.  He doesn't really understand when I tell him that it is going to be okay eventually and that I'm doing all I can to make it better. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

14 Week Picture

Here is this week's picture.  You can't really see it here but little man's left eye is very goopy.  There way yellow gunk all in those pretty lashes.  Turned out Tuesday (when this picture was taken) was the bad day for this little bout of allergies.  This morning I got him up and let him finish sleeping sitting up in my arms so that we could work all that congestion out before we ate.  After about 30 minutes he was finally able to breathe through his nose again.   We were running a little later than normal this morning but that's fine by me so long as he's feeling better and was able to get his belly full.  Hope you're having a good week and are feeling better than we are. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

14 Weeks Old and Under the Weather

Monday Eli was 14 weeks old.  Over the last couple of weeks we've had cooler temperatures again so Eli had to go back to some of his long pants and footed rompers to wear to daycare.  While trying to get him dressed I discovered that lots of those footed outfits no longer fit.  He is just too long now to get into them.  This weekend we went out on Sunday and he needed another footed outfit to stay warm so I grabbed a 6 month size.  It was still just a little long on him but not so long that we didn't wear it all day. 

This week Eli has discovered that he has control of those little fingers and is trying to learn to use them.  When I feed him he likes to either play with my fingers while I hold the bottle or try to hold the bottle and feel the ridges on the cap that hold the nipple on.  He also likes to lay on the couch and play with my hands grabbing a finger in each of his hands.  Once he gets thing positioned just right he tries to stick my finger in his mouth for a taste.  He loves it when we massage his gums with our fingers.  Those gums are getting really firm now in anticipation of his first teeth in a few more months. 

Eli's had a rough couple of days so far this week fighting allergies so I'm a little late getting this post up but I did manage to take a picture Tuesday morning.  He and I have been in the same puny boat with the allergies caused by the weather changing back and forth so much.  The poor little guy felt so bad the last couple of days that he hasn't been eating good.  He gets a nice mouth-ful of formula then spits it all back out.  I guess he is either having some drainage and can't get it down or his throat is sore.  Last night when we picked him up from daycare they told us that he'd been fussy all afternoon and hadn't eaten good.  When we got home I gave him a dose of tylenol and that seemed to help because he ate and ate all night long and seemed more like his regular happy self.  Eli and I snuggled on the couch until bedtime then he slept through the night (almost 8 straight hours).  The rest did us both some good because he definately seemed to feel better this morning.  We had debated taking him to the doctor but then he seemed to feel so much better today that I decided to wait and see how things went.  We dropped  him off this morning at daycare having already had another dose of Tylenol and when I called to check on him he was sleeping in the swing.  I told them that if he got fussy and wasn't eating again to give me a call.  If that happens we will go straight to the doctor to see if we should be doing something else. 

That's all for this week.  I'll post the picture I took Tuesday when I finally get a chance to get it off my camera.  Maybe he'll be happier tonight and I can squeeze in 5 minutes of computer time while he's eating. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fat Free Friday - Week 8

Total weight lost/gained: 9 lbs lost (None this week ).  So this week I stalled out again.  I've done pretty well overall this week eating and I've had an exceptional week for exercise so I'm hoping that next week will pick back up on some weight loss. 
How I'm feeling: I'm a little dissapointed that the numbers on the scale weren't great again this week but it's nothing too devastating.  I'm very proud of myself for making it to the gym a lot this week and I feel good about my eating so I'll grab onto that and hope for more progress next week.
Food this week: Really good.  I was under my calorie count every day this week except yesterday.  I think this is mostly due to the fact that I've worked out a lot which buys me extra calories.  A couple of days I was waaaay under my calorie count so I'm going to say not quite making it yesterday is balanced out.  I even had a birthday this week and I didn't cheat at all.  Today is cheat day and I might just have to go to the cinnabun store for my birthday celebration. 
Exercise this week: 4 straight days of getting to the gym for a half hour.  I used to spend at least an hour in the gym 4 days a week but I just no longer have that kind of time.  With getting Eli to and from Daycare in the time that they are open I only have 30 minutes built into my day for lunch and exercise.  So I usually go to the gym for my lunch break then eat while I work.  Anything is better than nothing, right?
Clothes: I'm seriously beginning to contemplate buying a couple of transition pieces.  I can't keep my jeans from feeling like they are falling off.  They aren't good jeans (just plain Levis) and I'm very accustomed to only having one pair so I may see if I can find a smaller size at Walmart this weekend.  When I make it to my goal weight I'll go to NY & Co.  and Old Navy and buy a couple of pairs so that I have an adequate wardrobe.  All the old pairs may be thrown out at that point.
Best thing this week: I found a recipe for a really good soup, Pasta Fagioli.  The only down side was that the recipe called for more celery than anything and that the celery didn't quite get cooked.  I will be making it again but I'll be using way less celery and pre-cooking my veggies so that they are nice and tender.  The soup only had about 350 calories a serving so it was a good thing to have to eat for lunch all week.
Worst thing this week: Brian had to work late lots and lots.  This is bad because we miss having him around at night and because I refuse to cook for just one person.  Most nights I just ate a bowl of cereal or a sandwich so I'm probably really lacking in the protein department and far too heavy on carbs.  The good news is this deadline is passed so things will be a little more normal next week. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter - Finally!

I finally had the time to get some Easter pictures off the camera and post about our holiday (and only a week and a half late might I add).  We did have a very good Easter and I think Eli's first big holiday was a success.  On Saturday we had our yearly Easter Egg dying and hunting at Joey and Pappa Rick's house.  These kiddos just don't know how lucky they are to have a Kindergarten teacher for a grandmother.  Joey arranges the egg dying and other cute fun craft projects all in addition to hiding tons of Easter Eggs and prizes!!! Can you imagine hunting Easter eggs and finding a huge bubble wand in a bush?  How about making sure each child finds their own bubble wand, rubber ducky, and other toys?  I'm constantly amazed by all my mom does for those kiddos. 

Then Sunday after church we headed over to Granny Mot's (my grandmother) for what used to be an egg hunt for all her grandkids.  But now all the grandkids are grown so the great-grandkids hunt eggs.  This year was an off year and we didn't have many kiddos of egg-hunting age so we all just sat around chatting and enjoying the sunshine.  It was a wonderfully relaxing day. 

Eli was so worn out from Saturday's festivities that he slept most of the day Sunday.  We didn't even take his picture with his Easter basket until late Sunday afternoon.  Little man was whooped (southern for really tired).  Here are a few pictures I snapped during the weekend. 

Kylie has to have the prettiest eyes and hair ever. All those beautiful curls and sparkling blue eyes.  Don't let that sweet smile fool you though.  She has a mischevious streak in her a mile wide.  We love her though.

Lane loved hunting Easter eggs.  Lane is Kylie's brother and is as sweet and shy as Kylie is outgoing.  They are polar opposites personality wise.  Right now, Lane's favorite thing is baseball.  I was feeding Eli and Lane saw a game on TV and he was telling me whether each batter was going to strike out or hit a homerun. 

Brady and Caiden were champion Egg hunters.  In this picture they got a little help from Spankie and Rocky who can't seem to understand the difference between eggs and balls.  On second thought, Spankie and Rocky might be our champion egg hunters...

Beautiful Miss Audrey loves to play with her Mommie almost as much as she likes to eat (notice that belly).  She wasn't feeling top notch that day but she was laughing occasionally in spite of her cold.  

Here's Caiden again.  His favorite game at Joey's house is walking on the railroad ties that line the flower beds.  Caiden is also quite the fisherman and marshmallow roaster.  We celebrated his 4th birthday last weekend with a big bonfire, marshmallows, cake, and icecream. 

And here's my baby boy, Eli spending time with his Great-Granny Mot.  This lady is such a wonderful example of how to live.  She's extremely hard working and has somehow managed to take care of her whole family.  Periodically she still even feeds everyone (aroudn 55 or so at Christmas).  Don't you dare cross her though.  She'll tell you real quickly that she doesn't like the way you are behaving and that you'd better straighten up and fly right. 

Apparently, Granny Mot's lap is still a wonderfully comfy spot for babies to rest.

Miss Audrey again... Joey had candie and goodies for all the kiddos.  Since Audrey and Eli were too little for candy they got some bunny ears, teething rings, bath toys, and some new outfits. 

This was my contribution to the food.  A bunny butt cake.  A co-worker saw the idea on the Betty Crocker web-page and I just couldn't resist doing it for the kiddos. 

After a fun day Saturday Eli, Easter Sunday arrived.  Sunday afternoon, we finally managed to keep Eli awake long enough to do his Easter basket.  We pulled out his Bumbo seat and used it for the first time so that we could get pictures with his basket.  Eli got some eggs with money in them, a couple of disney movies, a rubber ducky, a toy chick, and some books.  Here he is chillin in his seat trying to keep his noggin up.  That look says it all ... "I'm the boss!"

After a couple of quick pictures inside we went outside hoping to get some better light.  Eli was getting really tired by this point (notice the eyes) so it wasn't long before we had to call it a day and cuddle up on the couch.

 What are you family's Easter traditions?  Do you have kiddos to hunt eggs or is it a more adult holiday? 

Monday, April 16, 2012

13 Weeks Old (3 Months)

Today Eli is 3 months old (going by dates).  I can't believe how much our lives have changed in just that short time.  We've gone from a couple who were planning for baby, to parents, to up all night for feedings every 2 hours, to sleeping most of the night most of the time and on and on.  I love being Eli's mommie and can't imagine what life would be like without him around.  He is really the biggest blessing I've ever recieved. 

This week was a regular old week for us (with one exception).  Brian went and took his PE exam on Friday so we missed him Thursday night.  He says that it went as well as we could have really expected and we aren't going to expect to pass or fail at this point.  We're just going to hope for the best and be thankful to have a little break from studying for the next 6 weeks or so and hopefully be finished with that test forever.

This weekend we relaxed at home a bit and enjoyed the pretty sunshine on Sunday by taking Eli's 3 month pictures.  I couldn't get to a photographer so I decided to try to take some myself.  As long as I was taking pictures, I decided that I might as well reel in my sister and mom for the help by offering to take some of Stacy's kiddos too.  So here's our ametur pro 3 month old photos for this week's picture.  I didn't get as many good ones of Eli as I'd hoped so perhaps I'll get a few more this week or next weekend. 

Eli's full photo shoot...

And some of Eli's cousins Audrey and Brady

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fat Free Fridays - Week 7

Total weight lost/gained: 9 lbs lost (2 more this week ) Another exceptional week.  Right now over 7 weeks I'm averaging 1.25 lbs per week.  That is just a little under my goal, but if I can keep up the 2 lb a week thing another 2 weeks then I'll be right on track and in 3 weeks ahead of schedule to meet my goal. 

How I'm feeling: Pretty good overall.  Of course, Eli could be sleeping much longer (like the 12 hours he actually needs) or even always making it 8 hours, but right now I'm averaging 6 or so hours a night which is good enough.  I see signs that little man is ready to start going longer at night without eating so right now we just have to wait on him to make that transition. 

Food this week: Better than last week but still not as good as it could be.  I've been right at or around my calorie intake most of the week and over a few days.  I didn't even log last Saturday (cheat day) I figure it was so bad.  Only one time this week has my intake been over 1500 calories so perhaps that is good enough.

Exercise this week: Another bad week on the exercise front.  I only made it to the gym a couple of times.  Today is Brian's PE exam so I'm hoping that with it out of the way it will be a little easier to get down to the gym and I won't feel so pushed to rush home and get supper so that he can spend some time studying.  Maybe I can even convince him to come with me. 

Clothes: I'm still putting off buying new clothes.  I'd rather not go try anything on just yet.  I'm afraid the smaller size won't be quite right and I'll just get disgusted.  Plus I've got a $100 gift card that I've been saving since Christmas.  I want to wait and spend it on some stuff I'll be wearing for a while, not transition clothes.

Best thing this week:  I did a pretty good job of coordiating supper this week.  I had some leftovers that we used Sunday.  On Monday I did some whole wheat spaghetti.  Tuesday we had more leftover ham with some pinto beans that I cooked all day in the crock pot, Wednesday I grilled some Chicken I'd started marinading on Tuesday night and used the leftover pinto beans.  Thursday it was just me so I had leftover buffet to use up the last of the ham, chicken, pintos, etc. 

Worst thing this week:  I failed to pick up apple sauce at the grocery store last week so I didn't get to try a desert recipe.  Perhaps over the weekend I'll get some healthy blondies made.

Monday, April 9, 2012

12 Weeks Old

Today our baby boy is 12 weeks old.  As we reach the 3 month mark, I'm constantly amazed at how he grows, learns, and changes every day.  We still aren't rolling over, but I think we're beginning to start trying.  And I'm convinced that once his neck gets a little stronger he'll be all about trying to crawl.  Right now, when we lay him on his tummy he can hold up his punkin' head for a minute or two then he burys it into the floor and his little legs and feet start kicking like crazy.  He'd be moving now but he can't seem to keep that punkin head off the floor long enough.  Yesterday was his first Easter.  We took him to his first egg hunt on Saturday at his Joey's house and then to visit with some family yesterday.  Both times he was very interested in what was going on.  So much so that he refused to take a nap while we were there.  That made for one tired little boy.  Last night he pretty well slept on the couch from the time we got home until we went to bed around 9.  But I think he was a little restless because we were back up at 3 this morning to eat again.  Of course then we had to get up at 5 and go again to be ready for work.  I'm hopeful that he won't be too fussy at day care today.  When he gets worn out over the weekend he tends to have a very rough day on Monday.   Maybe today won't be too bad. 

This week's pictures (hey! I'm on time for a change).  Doesn't he look big in his blue jeans?  It's a little cooler this week than it's been the last week or two so we can wear some jeans without burning up.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recipe Review - Voluminous Vanilla Ice Cream (Chocolate Covered Katie)

While browsing the internet for recipes the other day I came across this website called Chocolate-Covered Katie.  Katie is a vegan (no meat, no dairy, no egg kind of vegetarian) who really enjoys coming up with healthy recipes and is an admitted choco-holic.  Now I'm not a chocolate eater but Brian is and I like the idea of healthy deserts.  My plan is to try about one recipe from her website a week and see if I can't satisfy our sweet toothes with lower calorie alternatives. 

Brian really enjoys his nightly bowl of ice cream so I decided to try Katie's recipe for a large serving of vanilla ice cream that has only 40 calories.   My first attempt was an epic failure.  I really don't know much about this health food cooking so perhaps I messed it up because mine looked nothing like Katie's

The recipe:  Volume Ice Cream (copied straight from Katie with my notes in orange)

Makes 1 huge serving - 40 calories, 3 grams of fat

Pictures via Chocholate-Covered Katie
■1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract  (alright, I'll admit I used imitation vanilla extract)
■1/16 tsp salt
■sweetener (such as 1 stevia packet or 1T sugar) (I used 1T of stevia)
■1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened Vanilla Silk)
■optional: add-ins such as fruit, peanut butter, or extracts (no add ins for us)

Mix the ingredients together in 1 or 2 shallow plastic containers. Freeze. (You could also use an ice cube tray.) Once frozen, pop the blocks out of the container (I thaw for 30 seconds in the microwave first) and blend in your Vita-Mix (My research indicates that this is a type of blender). (If you don’t have a vita-mix, you’ll probably have to thaw longer, but you can still get a yummy ice milk.)

This ice cream—when made with almond milk—has a very light texture (perfect for summer). For a creamier texture that’s more like real ice cream, try using at least 1/4c canned coconut milk (or maybe even creamer?). You can, of course, also sub other non-dairy milks for the almond. But if you do this, play around with the amount of vanilla extract, sweetener, and add-ins. (For example, an already-sweetened milk will probably need less added sweetener.)

My review: Perhaps I did something wrong, but it just didn't turn out for me. What came out of the freezer was a hard block of milk-stuff that I had to break apart with a knife and try to re-blend.  My attempt turned out kind of powdery (kind of like crushed ice or a snow cone).  The flavor wasn't bad, but the texture was terrible.  Possible things that went wrong might have included.
  1. I had no idea what canned coconut milk or creamer was or how to find it in the the grocery store. Do thay even sell that at the Pulaski, TN Walmart?  Beats me.
  2. I don't have a Vita-Mix or even a blender.  I tried to thaw and blend per the directions in my mini food processor.  Dude, it didn't work. Not even close.  Someone with a blender try this and let me know if it's an improvement.
  3. I've never before made ice cream by putting a plastic container of stuff in the freezer.  I was skeptical about that part of things and now I'm convinced that might have been part of the problem.  3 words... Ice Cream Freezer.
I was so dissapointed.  I was hopeful for finding Brian a low cal ice cream.  Seriously doesn't it look amazing in Katie's pictures?  If it had even looked half this good I'd have been convinced to give it another try.  As it is now, I don't know.  Please, somebody else try this and tell me I'm a fool and just couldn't follow the directions. Perhaps somebody who owns a blender.

Pictures via Chocholate-Covered Katie

Fat Free Fridays - Week 6

I thought I'd just had a mediocre week until I stepped on the scale this morning.  I could have done better and I could have done worse but seeing some results this week really makes me want to do better.  Today would normally be my cheat day but I'm saving that for tomorrow and our yearly Easter Egg Hunt.

Total weight lost/gained: 7 lbs lost (2 this week ) I was super excited when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw 2 lbs.  I won't give the number but that 2 lbs put me below a significant number.  Now I'm excited about seeing how much better I can do next week.

How I'm feeling: Eli is sleeping better so I'm sleeping better and that makes a huge difference.  The last week or so he's decided that he wants to go to bed a little earlier.  Lately, he is drifting off on the couch about 8:30 and we're all in bed asleep by 9.  Sometimes that means that we have to get up at 4am but other days we can sleep until 5am (our regular wake up time).  And on those 4 am mornings, I can grab another 30 to 45 minutes after he finishes eating because it now only takes my 15 minutes to get dressed in the morning.

Food this week: I had a couple of off days where I hit around 1500 calories for the day.  I didn't do as well at planning this week so a couple days I had to throw something together when I got home from work.  Overall though, it was a good week and I was able to gain a few extra calories from exercise.

Exercise this week: It's been a great week for exercise.  I only made it to the gym twice through the week this week, but doing some gardening and pond cleaning last weekend really burned off some calories.  Yay for manual labor!

Clothes: Work trousers are still loose but not so loose that I'm planning on buying new yet. My Walmart Levis that I put on this morning still fit fine but they were freshly washed.

Best thing this week:  Knowing that Brian's test is only a week away and then our life will calm down even more.  Oh... and there was no food at work to taunt me.  One of my coworkers retired and I think she might have been the food pusher.

Worst thing this week:  Getting home and having to figure out what's for dinner.  I'll have to do better next week.  I'm definately going to make some more Hawaiian Chicken Cordon Bleu this week.  We'll see what else too.  Also bad this week was my attempt at some super low calorie ice cream.  We tried it last night and it just wasn't an acceptable substitute for ice cream. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Look How We've Grown!

I was just looking through some pictures on my computer and was almost shocked by how much Eli's grown.  I knew he was getting bigger, but seeing him every day make it tough to realize.

Laying on the couch the day we brought him home from the hospital. (2 days old)

4 weeks old - The first picture in our weekly picture series.  His 0-3 month size gown was so big on him that I had to rollup the sleeves to keep his arms from wiggling out of the sleeves.

8 weeks old with a wet diaper (note the blue line).  This was about the time we started taking his clothes off before bed because he stays so hot.

11 weeks old.  Such a big little man all ready for another day at Day Care.

11 Week Pictures

So I finally got around to taking Eli's 11 week old pictures.  He was smiling big for the first couple I took but they didn't turn out so great.  After about 3 pictures he decided he was through smiling and was more interested in what his daddy was doing on the other side of the room. 

Eli's smiling big but Mommie can quite get the camera in the right spot so that his head doesn't look way out of proportion to his body.

Mommie finally got the camera right but Eli's through playing with Mommie and wants to know what Daddy's up to.

Monday, April 2, 2012

11 Weeks Old and Playing at Joey's Pond

Last week was really great!   I enjoyed having some time at the house through the week and then we had a really wonderful weekend.  I encouraged Brian to take the weekend off from studying and working and that was a nice change of pace.  Eli's Grandma Deb / Grammers / Granny (we're still deciding on a name) came up and stayed with us on Friday night so that she could have some time with Eli and we could get some things done around the house on Saturday.  It was WONDERFUL!!! Saturday morning I got the grocery shopping done, I got to spend 3 whole hours outside working on my flower beds (thanks Brian for helping me get them weeded), and then I got to go inside and start on my Easter Bunny Cake for our Easter Egg Hunt next weekend.  Plus, while Eli napped, Grandma did some laundry for me.  Life is so good when you have wonderful family helping. 

Sunday, Brian wanted to play with his tractor and my Granny Mot's farm needed some bush-hogging, so we went to my folks house and Brian rode the tractor up to do the bush-hogging while I cleaned out Joey's Koi Pond.  For the first 45 minutes of pond cleaning, Eli sat in his bouncy chair and watched us.  Then he got a little tired and restless so Joey babysat while I worked on the pond.  Every time I have to clean out the slimy yucky, nasty water in the pond after a winter of sitting, I threaten to cement the whole thing in.  But yesterday I actually enjoyed getting to spend the day in the sun and all the exercise that comes with cleaning it up.  It took about 5 hours total to get it cleaned out.  By the time I finished Eli was ready for some mommie time so I grabbed a quick shower and took him so that Joey could fix us supper.  We had a simple meal of pork tenderloin, potatoes, and green beans and it tasted wonderful.  Then Brian and I gave the dogs a much needed bath before we headed home to feed dogs, unload the tractor, give Eli his bath and bottle and go to bed. 

All three of us were so exhausted that we were in bed and asleep by 9.  Eli slept pretty well through the night.  He started fussing and grunting around 2:30 or so but I got him back to sleep without ever getting out of bed.  Then he finished off the night sleeping until 5 this morning when the alarm went off.  I'm always thankful for a good night's rest.

So I totally meant to take a picture tonight but little man fell asleep on me way early.  I'll have to try again tomorrow night.