Friday, January 31, 2014

I just want my pants to fit

Well. It's been nearly 5 months since Wilson was born and I'm still not in my pre-pregnancy pants. womp womp womp I'm still holding on to about 15 pounds of pregnancy weight. It seems to have all settled around my hips and thighs and I don't like it.

I really really don't like to talk negatively about my body, especially after my body worked so hard and made my perfect baby. It's a good body. I don't ever want Wilson to have a negative self image, and I know if he hears me picking myself and my body apart flaw by flaw, those thoughts might find their way into his thinking one day. I want my son to be proud, strong, and healthy. So instead of being critical of my weight and so called "flaws", I want to focus on making my body healthy and strong.

Now, please don't think that I don't find myself hating what I see in the mirror. Because those thoughts creep in so easily. But I try to catch myself and reroute those thoughts. I try to remember that my body looks this way because 1) I created a person and 2) I have not been very good at eating well or exercising.

This past month, I have been trying really hard to eat more healthy and exercise. And it hasn't been torturous like I had been expecting. I've been taking baby steps and easing into it, and I feel like I'm on the right road. Here are just a few of my strategies for being healthier.

1. Drinking tons of water. I quit soda cold-turkey on my birthday and have been soda free for almost two weeks! The biggest aid in quitting my soda intake has been my Soda stream. I use it to make carbonated water, which I love. It makes water a lot more exciting. Water is also free, so I feel good about saving money. I'm currently drinking at least 4 liters a day.

2. Exercise! I have never ever been big on exercise. If I'm being honest, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have "worked out" in my adult life. So not healthy. The past few weeks I've been really intentional about making time to exercise, even if it's just some stretches and running in place for a few minutes. I have done the Jillian Michaels DVD some, but I for real hate it. It feels like torture and she annoys the crap out of me. I recently found POPpilates at Blogilates and I love it. Cassey is so bright and peppy. But don't let the pop music and her smile fool you. Pilates is freaking hard. But it's new and fun and I'm enjoying it. I even got out of bed early this morning to work out!

3. MyFitnessPal. This has been huge for me. I've used myfitnesspal in the past, but never stuck with it. Now I log EVERYTHING in it. It really helps me see what I'm eating and where my calories are going. It helps me make better choices and also has made me more aware of my portion sizes. It's a great tool. My only qualm is that I cook most meals homemade so I have to guesstimate which prepared dish is most like mine. But, hey, it's still super helpful.

4. Cook at home, all homemade. I think my weekly food posts prove that I like to cook. One of the perks of cooking at home is that you know exactly what is in your food. No extra sugar, salt, or unpronounceable ingredients. It makes me feel good knowing I'm putting good food in my body.

Hopefully the extra weight will start coming off soon. But if not,at least I know my body is strong and well nourished.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Do we want another baby?

If you had asked me if I wanted another child 6 months ago while I was pregnant with Wilson, I would have said "no". 

If you had asked me 5 months ago while the memories of my panic attack filled c-section and the subsequent recovery process were still fresh, I would have said "O HELL NO!!!"

If you asked me 3 months ago when we found our new normal and started a new routine, I would have said "I don't think so". 

If you asked me 2 months ago when Wilson started smiling and cooing, I would have said "maybe one day". 

And if you had just asked me a few weeks ago, I would have let you know that, yes, we want another baby in our family. 

While I was pregnant, I seriously thought that Wilson would be our only baby. Just the three of us in life. But the more I thought about Wilson being an only child, the more sad it made me. Caleb and I each have two siblings and we are both close with our brothers. The thought of Wilson missing out on that bond his whole life makes me sad. I want him to have a play mate, a best friend, someone to beat up and boss around, a companion through his entire life, family other than his dad and me. Wilson already seems like such the typical "first born" and I want him to get to be a big brother. I know he will be the best. 

And I would really love to be pregnant again. I loved being pregnant. I was the happiest I think I have ever been. I felt beautiful and strong. Feeling my baby move inside me was the absolute best feeling in the world. It was such a happy time for me and I would jump at the chance to do it again. 

Caleb is still slightly unsure of the idea. He definitely wants Wilson to have a sibling, but he isn't the biggest fan of the newborn period. But it's such a short time of no sleep and craziness. And the more Wilson grows and learns, the more fun Caleb has with him and the more Caleb sees what fun two might be. 

I am for sure not saying we are jumping on the baby making bandwagon right now. No way. But in a year or two, it's something that I think we both want. Just one more. Hopefully a boy because we have a name picked out.  ;) 

A year of food #3

I am feeling pretty damn accomplished over here. 3 weeks in and I am still cooking like I belong on the food network! They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, but I'm going to say that 21 days has made cooking a habit for me. It's part of my routine. I don't panic about what we will eat or stress over recipes that require more than two steps. I'm finding my culinary groove and it feels good, both in my heart and belly. 

So here's what's been for dinner this week. 

Monday: 
Jamaican jerk chicken and mushroom rice pilaf


Tuesday:
Left overs. Caleb was in class until 8:30. Boo. 

Wednesday:
Chicken pot pie


Thursday:
Honey sriracha chicken thighs


Friday:
BBQ chicken pizza with homemade naan crust


Saturday:
White bean soup, ham, and crusty bread


Sunday:
Homemade vegetable fried rice, homemade sweet and sour sauce, frozen chicken bites 



It was a good week in food at our house. I tried almost a new recipes and they were all quite good. Especially that BBQ pizza. There are more naan crusts in my future. Mmmmmmm. 

And one thing these pictures have shown me, it's that I don't make/eat nearly enough vegetables. I don't really like vegetables very much but I know they are good for me and I wan to set a good example for Wilson. So I'm going to have to learn to cook (and eat) vegetables. That's my goal for next month. Cook 4 nights a week and more vegetable. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Feelings.

I kinda don't want to be writing right now. I've been feeling kind of down for a little bit. I'm not sure if it's post-holiday blues, being cooped up and alone inside all the time, or post partum weepies and hormones. Probably a combination of all three. I just feel pretty meh most of the time and crying a good bit. 

I would rather not share those feelings. But I think it's important that I be honest here on this space. Caleb said something the other day that really hit me. He told me that I'm really bad at talking about how I feel. Not that I lack feelings or even lack in expressing them. But that I can't talk about them and get them out in the open. 

It's kind of strange how well he knows me that he can tell me something I dont even know about myself. But he is exactly right. I have always been one to push away bad emotions or feelings. To bury then deep down and force a smile for the world. I have never wanted to burden others with my problems. So I just go on and on denying myself any negative feelings until I physically can't take it anymore. And then I cry a lot. Or get moody and angry and cry a lot. I feel depressed and tired and anxious. That's how the emotion comes out. But then, nothing. I stew in that physical unhappiness. I don't tell anyone what's wrong. I don't try to explain and work though it with anyone. I shut down. 

I never realized that I did this but now I can see that I've had this same pattern since I was a kid. I can't put my feelings into words, which is highly unproductive. If I can't talk about how I feel and get help working though it, how can I really get past how I feel? I can't. All the sadness and anger and negativity just sits there inside me. That's unhealthy. 

So I'm going to try to start vocalizing my emotions more so that I have a handle and understanding of them. So Caleb will know what's going on. So he can help me. So I can let some things go. Finally. 
 
Well that was deep and depressing. Here is a cute picture of my baby to brighten everyone's mood up. 



Monday, January 20, 2014

A year of food #2

I knew I wouldn't (couldn't) keep up with cooking 6 nights a week. This week was busy, so I only ended up cooking 4 nights. But considering that I was dealing with a cold myself plus a sick baby, I'm pretty proud I managed my goal of 4 nights. 

Monday:
Chicken yakisoba with stir fried vegetables 


Tuesday:
Didn't  cook because my husband has class until 8. Doubt there will be much (or any) cooking on Tuesdays. 

Wednesday:
Didn't cook because me and the baby were yucky sick. Sent Caleb to the grocery store alone with my list. He did well and got pretty much everything I needed. 

Thursday:
Cajun sausage pasta and homemade Indian naan bread


The naan didn't really go with the Cajun pasta, but I was craving some carbs. I've never made bread and I think my flatbread turned out quite well. It would have been perfect with some hummus. Homemade hummus is on my list of things to make now. 

Friday:
Imitation Philly cheesesteaks with southwestern roasted potato wedges


The sandwich was good but those fries were to die for. They were roasted at just the right temperature for exactly the rigt about of time. They were crispy on the outside and so soft and fluffy on the inside. So freaking good. 

Saturday:
My red beans and rice (again) 


I think I'm going to attempt to measure out this recipe next time I make it and put it on the blog. Because it's damn good and I'm proud of it. 

So that's what we ate this week. I need to start linking to the recipes I go by for reference. I don't really go by recipes bit by bit. I just kind of read the whole thing once through and then wing it. I'm big on not measuring and winging it. I blame watching too much Rachel Ray. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Things I wish I could tell my pregnant self

That birth plan you put hours of work into? yea....just do yourself a favor and toss it now. Birth is so unpredictable and I was crazy to think it would go the way I wanted it to. 

Having a c section and not breast feeding does not make you less of a mother, your body any less strong or your womanhood any less powerful. 

It will be months before you do anything for yourself. Baby comes first, husband second. You fit in somewhere between the dog and the grandparents. But somehow you're ok with that. A happy family helps you to be happy. 

It's ok to admit that you are having a hard time and need help. You are not super mom. You cannot do it all, all day, everyday. Give the baby to your husband. Let the dirty dishes sit another day. Breathe. 

Start exercising now. You'll miss your old body and starting a new exercise routine with a newborn is a daunting task. Plus, your baby will be a giant that loves to be held and you need all the strength you can get. 

In the same vein, let yourself recover in your own time. You just had major surgery. Let your body heal. Don't push it. Pushing yourself will only hurt you more. 

Spend time with Sadie. She is a sweet pup and will be a great big sister. Love on her extra while she is still the only baby. 

Don't bother reading all of those parenting books. As soon as you bring the baby home, it all flies out the window and you will know nothing. Your baby is special and none of those techniques will work for him anyway. 

You will spend most your days in pajamas, covered in at least one bodily fluid. Make peace with this idea now. You don't get to be grossed out as a mother. 

Going anywhere will require at least an extra hour of prep now. Pick and plan your trips wisely. You will learn to fly through Kroger in 30 minutes or less and be very proud of this skill.

Your heart will grow twice as big the moment you meet your baby. And it won't ever stop. You will love you baby more and more every day. He will give you a perspective on life you could have never imagined. He will become your everything. He will make you a better person. He will make you whole. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CoSleeping. O boy.

Poor baby Wilson has been so stuffy these past few days. I could tell he wasn't quite himself and didn't feel well over the weekend but it's gotten worse. He snores like an old man in his sleep, which hasn't been as good as usual. For about a week now he has been waking up around 4:30. And no matter if he gets a bottle or rocked for half an hour, he doesn't want to go back in his crib. We wakes up as soon as his little head hits the crib matress. So we put him in our bed between us. 

Yes, we cosleep, something I swore I would never ever do. 

Not that I have anything against cosleeping. It's a perfectly fine way for some families to get precious, precious sleep. I'm all for maximizing sleep for new parents. But it's not something I ever wanted to do. I'm a fitful sleeper. I toss and turn. It takes me forever to fall asleep and I wake up super easily. Not to mention Caleb is the loudest snorer I have ever heard. It's not conducive to productive sleep to throw a baby between us. We have enough sleep issues already. 

It started over Christmas when we were visiting family. Caleb, Wilson and I slept upstairs in my old bedroom. It's a pretty small room so Wilson's pack and play was right next to the bed. We were all in a weird sleeping arrangement, and all of us weren't sleeping well. After a night of hourly wake ups, I was desperate for some sleep. So I laid Wilson on my chest and got in bed. And Wilson slept until 9:30 the next morning. It was glorious. 

So after that night, whenever Wilson would wake at night, we would bring him to our bed and snuggle him close. And he sleeps so well. I, however, do not. I'm uncomfortable and scared to move. I can't fall completely asleep because I'm nervous I'll roll on him and smother him. And I have to punch Caleb 485489 times to stop snoring. 

Wilson goes down in his crib just fine. And he will sleep there happily until he wakes himself up. And after that, he will no lay in the crib. So I'm not sure where else to let him sleep. And at 3 am, I don't have the will to make him sleep in his crib. 

I don't know how to feel. On one hand, I can't say that I don't love snuggling with my baby. And I'm glad he is getting some good rest. But it's at the sacrifice of my sleep. I really want Caleb and my bed to be our bed. As in "no kids allowed". I need somewhere and some time that I'm not with my child and exclusively with my husband (even if we are asleep). I'm just quite conflicted about it. 

We are cosleeping. Not all night. And not voluntarily. But we are. Just another thing I swore I would never do, that I am now in the middle of. I'm not sure how long we will cosleep but I have a feeling it might be a while. We will see. 

Here's a collage of my sleeping baby. When he is that cute and sweet, how could I deny  him? 


Monday, January 13, 2014

A Year of Food #1

I am not one to make New Year resolutions. Mostly because I have absolutely no will power and suck at goal making/keeping. But I made one this year. This year, I want to cook semi-homemade dinners 4 nights a week.

I know that seems pretty simple, but a year ago, I could make hamburger helper and Kraft Mac and Cheese. That's about it. I needed a box and directions to make anything, especially if I wanted it to taste good. Caleb cooked some and we ate out/got take out pretty often. But since I've been staying home, I've read a lot of food blogs and watched hours and hours of the Food Network. And more importantly, I've started to actually try to cook. And I love it. It's a big stress reliever for me. When Caleb comes home from work, I hand Wilson off and get an hour or so to make dinner. I measure and stir and sauté and drink a beer and relax. It's fun for me. It also makes me feel really good when I can make Caleb a nice meal after his day at work. Caleb seriously loves to eat and I can tell he appreciates my time and effort in the kitchen.

So since this is my blog, I want to use it to help keep me accountable and sticking to my goal. Every week I'll try to post the previous weeks dinners. I actually cooked 6/7 nights last week. I doubt that I'll do that good in the future but I'm glad to start out on a good foot.

Sunday:
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Pasta
I kind of cheated here. It was from a box. But I did add vegetables, chicken, and sausage.



Monday:
Chicken Empanadas, homemade refried beans, Spanish rice
The empanadas didn't turn out quite right but those beans were amazing.



Tuesday:
Chicken chipotle chili
This was frozen from my last huge pot. It's one of my favorite things I make.

Wednesday:
Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and sour is Caleb's favorite thing to get at Chinese takeout so I was nervous to try to make it at home. But it turned our really tasty. Not exactly like takeout, but still really good.

Thursday:
Curried chickpeas with spinach and beef
I combined two recipes to make this. This first was vegetarian curry, which sounded delish but my husband does not believe in dinner without meat. So I found another recipe that called for curry seasoned ground beef and incorporated that. I HATE ground beef but my husband had bought some at the store and it needed to be used. I think this would have been better with chicken or no meat at all.



Friday:
Red beans and rice
This was probably no where close to authentic red beans and rice, but I made it up all on my own without a recipe. It was tasty. So tasty that I ate leftovers for lunch the next day and I hate leftovers.



Sunday:
Chicken Pot Pie
This is probably the best thing I make. It's so good and pretty easy. Caleb requests that I make this almost every week when I meal plan, so be prepared to see this lots.



So every Monday I'll try to write about my cooking challenge and what we have been eating. I'm craving Asian, so be prepared for a bunch of DIY takeout dishes next week. And feel free to leave some of your favorite recipes. My "things I want to cook" folder is overflowing right now, but I'm always on the lookout for new things.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Life update

We had a busy and fast paced weekend. It seems like we never have enough time with all three of us together. I'm trying to talk Caleb into taking a long weekend around his birthday just so we can all sit around at home and be lazy together. 

Friday was Wilson's 4 month well visit and shots at the doctor. Kid actually weighs 18 AND A HALF pounds. He will no doubt be 20 by the time he is 5 months old. My kid is a giant. Wilson got an A+ report from his doctor. She was very impressed at how strong he was. And I was just glowing with pride. Shots went ok. Wilson had the most pitiful cry when he got stuck, but he quickly calmed down after I could hold him. I gave him Tylenol for a day and he didn't act any different from his normal self. 

Saturday we went to visit my grandmother. We went to Oxford and shopped some. We got Wilson a sippy cup to try out. I swear I only had to show him what to do one time before he was sipping water like a pro.  He blows mymind with  how smart he is. 




Today we have just been hanging out at home and tidying up a bit. We finally took our tree down and our living room suddenly looks twice as big. 



Tomorrow is Caleb's first day of his last semester of his liberal studies master's program. He applied for his comps and his graduation in May. I'm so proud of him. And as soon as he graduates, he is starting his application for a doctoral program. I wish I loved school as much as him. 

Speaking of me and school, I've made a HUGE decision. I finally decided that I'll be getting my alternate route teaching license and a masters in teaching. After I graduated, I literally had no clue what I wanted to do professionally. I was mostly concerned with successfully getting the baby out of me and keeping him alive. But since he has arrived, I've found myself puzzling over what exactly I wanted to do. And I made a complete 360 degree circle and landed right back at what I wanted to do when I started college 6 years ago. I want to teach. I want to teach younger kids. About 5th grade to be exact. So I'm gearing up to apply to the MAT program and take my praxis tests (which is so dumb because I have all of the training already). So yea. The program starts in the summer and requires I get an "internship" in the fall. Which means I'll be working full time as a teacher by August. Crazy. I'm going to soak up every minute of these next 8 months as a SAHM. 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Birthday Wishes

Guess what? I'm going to talk (write?) about something other than my baby or motherhood today! Crazy, I know. But my baby has been whiney and clingy since we got home from the holidays and he is taking all my patience. I love him to pieces, but it is so draining holding a fussy baby all. day. long. So I need to think about something other than him for 30 minutes while he naps, for my sanity's sake.

My birthday is coming up in  like a week. I don't actually know today's date so I'm not exactly sure just what day my birthday falls on (#momlife),  but it's coming soon. I usually start a count down the day after Christmas and demand not a birthDAY but a birthWEEK, but my priorities are a little different this year. Not to say I wouldn't like the big shebang like I used to have, but with a baby and a right budget, I realize that my birthday just isn't real important. Which makes me feel like the oldest 24 year old ever.

Even though I probably won't get any gifts this year, I still made a wish list. It's fun to pretend. So here are the things I would like for my 24th birthday.

Miss Dior eau de parfum

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne eau de parfum

These are my two "signature" scents. I always get compliments when I wear them. They are both fun, young and feminine. I sadly dropped my big bottle of Miss Dior and ran out of Parisienne right before Wilson was born. I need these both back in my life.

Baby Brezza Baby Food Maker

Organic baby food is not cheap. But it is so important to me that Wilson's food be organic and contain only fruit/vegetable and water. That's it. So I've been thinking about making his food myself. I have started to love to cook, so I think it would be a good choice for us to make his food.

Kroger gift card

There are so many ingredients that I would love to experiment and cook with, but they don't quite fit into our weekly grocery budget. But I would love to splurge on spices, sauces, fancy cheeses. Yum.

A  (used) treadmill

I need to start exercising big time. My post baby weight loss has stalled out at a weight I am no where near comfortable with. But it's hard for me to get outside to walk/run with Wilson and  I hate work out DVDs with a passion! So a treadmill would allow me to work out while Wilson plays or naps quite easily.

So there it is. The frivolous things I would most like to have right now. But it's not really all that important if they don't magically appear. I've slowly started to learn to live with less for myself  because it means I can give more to Wilson. It's amazing how selfless a baby can make even the most selfish person.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wilson -- 4 months

My baby boy is 4 months old today. Typing that seems surreal. FOUR MONTHS. He is growing into such a sweet and smart little boy. 



- Wilson weighs 18 pounds. That's the 95th percentile. Little Bud is a big boy. He is 26.5 inches long. 

- He wears some 3/6 months, 6 months, 6/9 months, and 9 months clothes. The 3/6 and 6 are just about too small. I packed up a bunch of his too small clothes over the weekend. I can't decide if I should give them away or keep them just in case Wilson ever has a brother. 

- Wilson is in size 3 diapers. And I think we may need to go to 4 soonish. 

- Wilson has bumped up his formula this month. He takes 7 ounces 5 times a day now. We had to switch bottles because one day he just decided to reject his usual ones. Whatever makes him happy. 



- We have been dealing with so much spit up this month. I think we may need to increase his dose of Zantac. Poor baby is constantly covered in spit up. 

- Wilson is doing great with tummy time. He can roll from his tummy to his back, but doesn't do it much. He kicks and moves his arms so much on his tummy. I think he will be an early crawler. 

- I think a little tooth is trying to break through. Wilson gums everything and drools nonstop. 



- Wilson sleeps through the night in his crib just about every night. He falls asleep around 8 and I rock him til about 9. He usually wakes up between 7 and 8. We are so thankful he is a good sleeper. 

- Naps are a different story. He takes a morning and afternoon nap that last about an hour and a half each. He usually will not nap in his crib. So I rock him. 


- Wilson found his hands and feet this month. They most always are in his mouth. 

- The biggest milestone we hit this month is that we introduced food. I didn't intend to start him so early but he is eating like a champ. He loves oatmeal cereal, squash, sweetpotatoes, carrots, and peas. He isn't so sure about fruit yet but is ok with bananas and prunes. I'll write a full post about this soon. 

- He has started "talking" a lot more this month. He laughs, coos, yells, and growls. His little laughs are my favorite. 

My little boy is such a joy to be around. We had a big, busy month but he took it all in stride. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas 2013

Wow. Just wow. It's so hard to believe that Wilson's first holiday season has already come and gone. It was such a sweet time for our little family and our extended family, too. We got to spend a week and half with all of Wilson's grandparents and great grandparents. He loved every bit of the attention. 

Wilson was also spoiled with gifts. He is the littlest person in the family, but I think he got more things than everyone else combined. 




As fun as Christmas and New Year were, I'm so glad to be back to our home. I'm ready to get back into our routine and slow down. Wilson will be FOUR month old tomorrow! Time seriously needs to slow down.