Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Back to reality August 15, 2012

Keenan this morning: he wanted to take all of his critters in the car!

We are back to our regular routine today… having our “usual” breakfast with Fage 0% Greek yogurt (Mountain High Original whole-fat for Keenan), strawberries, flax seed, chia seeds and Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal and of course, a latte for my husband and me. After a fairly quick breakfast, we headed to Keenan’s swim class at the Y. We actually arrived early for a change (a first for us!). We are usually right on time or a couple of minutes of late, so it was nice to not have to rush. After swim class, we ran a couple of errands before going home for a little play time and lunch.

Keenan and I played a little piano together (I play and he taps, or sometimes bangs the keys!) and then we made all of his favorite critters (aka Baba, Lambie, Elmo and Polar Bear) lunch from his little kitchen. He was adamant on feeding them before we ate our lunch; it was too cute!

Feeding lunch to all of his critters!

For lunch, I made Keenan his favorite, a peanut butter and honey sandwich with some nectarine pieces on the side and a glass of milk. I ate some baby carrots, a nectarine and a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and avocado on a sandwich thin spread with some new tzatziki sauce that we got at a different Costco. Our regular Costco discontinued the one we usually buy, so we found a different brand at a Costco near my parent’s house. I love Costco, but I get so frustrated when they discontinue an item that you always purchase. What are your favorite items at Costco?

Anyhow, today is all about getting “back to reality.” Last night I made a to-do list with all of the things I need to get done before the end of the month, including a few for Keenan’s birthday. His birthday is next Monday, but we are having his party at my parent’s house the following weekend. It seems aside from Keenan’s birthday, every weekend is booked until the end of September! It is crazy how busy things are going to be for the next month. I guess that is typical after getting back from vacation. I don’t think we have ever come back from a vacation and not had any commitments or things to do…life is just busy in our household!

Though, I’m looking forward to all of the things we have planned for the next month: Keenan’s birthday, our good friend’s birthday, my cousin’s wedding and getting my CrossFit Level 1 Certification, it will be nice when we have a free weekend again! The hustle and bustle of life makes me continue to think of the simplicity in Alaska, and prioritizing what really is important. Instead of racing through life, constantly thinking/worrying of what I have to do next or how I am going to get things done, I am making a vow to slow down, not get stressed out or overwhelmed when I have a lot on my plate. I am committing myself to focus more in the present, cherishing each and every moment and most importantly, appreciate the little things (i.e. kisses and cuddles from Keenan, laughing/playing with him and enjoying time with my husband). Lastly, I am pledging to truly differentiate between our needs vs. wants.  Life is too short and too precious to get caught in the rat race and forget what is really meaningful. How do you stay balanced and sane when life gets busy?

This afternoon, after Keenan wakes-up from his nap, we are heading to his friend’s birthday party and then to CrossFit for another grueling (but awesome!) workout. Yesterday, we found our 1-Rep-Max deadlift, which I PR’d (Personal Record) at 230 lbs and then had to do 150 wall balls in 8 minutes! It was rough, but I was able to complete 107 wall balls (not bad for my first day back)!

On the menu for tonight is a Basil Peach Salad made with arugula, fresh mozzarella cheese and walnuts, that I found in this month’s edition of Women’s Health Magazine. It looks so good; I can’t wait to try it! I’ll take a picture of it and post the recipe tomorrow!

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Random…Elmo, Strollers and Solids July 27, 2012

Diane Sawyer was on Sesame Street.

I just love lazy mornings! Keenan woke up late (9:00 a.m.) again, so it was nice to sleep-in a bit! Since my husband is off today, we were able to have some family time this morning: eating breakfast together and watching a couple of Elmo’s World and Sesame Street episodes. Keenan rarely watches TV (he hasn’t really shown an interest and we are just too busy with other things!), so this morning was a treat! Ever since Keenan met Elmo at Sea World last week, he has been infatuated with him! He has wanted to watch Elmo on TV, sleep with his Elmo doll and wear his shoes! As you can see from the pictures, Keenan was mesmerized!

I had to take a picture of this: Keenan watching Sesame Street (Feist was singing her song, “1234″) while wearing Daddy’s shoes…too cute!

I did it again, I forgot to take a picture of breakfast this morning, which was my “usual,” with half of a banana (sliced) mixed in it. So, I snapped a quick picture after I finished, sorry! I’m still working on the whole picture thing!

Sorry, this was after I finished my “usual” breakfast. At least, you can still see some of my latte that I was drinking!

For lunch, I had my “typical:” turkey sandwich on an Oroweat sandwich thin with lettuce, tomato and Costco’s yogurt jalapeno dip! In addition, I had a few baby carrots and a nectarine  that I shared with Keenan. He ate leftover chicken, eggplant and carrots from last night’s dinner. Speaking of nectarines, do you like your stone fruit firm or soft? My husband and I always butt heads over stone fruit. I like my fruit to be firm (which he says is “rock hard”), while he likes his fruit to be soft (squishy and over ripe, in my opinion) and juicy. Fortunately, Keenan likes firm fruit, so that is what I buy!

On another note, I have received a couple of questions in regards to jogging strollers and introducing solids. Yes, I know these two things are totally unrelated and random, but I thought I would address them here.

Jogging Strollers:

We have the BOB revolution and we absolutely LOVE it! It is our only stroller, so we bought the car seat adapter to use when Keenan was an infant. It was a perfect stroller for us, because it is so versatile. In addition to jogging with it (as soon as I was cleared to exercise again at 6 weeks postpartum), we took it everywhere: shopping, going to the beach, walking, some hiking and traveling. It rides very smooth and it is so easy and effortless to push. You can walk over any terrain and the stroller still rides smooth. The catalyst for choosing the BOB was when my niece was born. My brother and sister-in-law had a Graco stroller, where the car seat locked right in, and when we took a family vacation in Spain and France, it was horrible on the cobble stone streets. It was so bumpy and rough, we had to carry the stroller! After that trip, my husband and I knew we wanted to get a stroller that had pneumatic tires and rode smooth, once we had children. When I found out I was pregnant, we did a lot of research and stumbled upon the BOB. We tried it out at REI and loved it! We have taken it with us on four trips and each time, it was very easy to travel with. It even rolls over soft sand! We folded it down, took the front wheel off, strapped the wheel, and put the whole thing in a large plastic bag (that we got from our airline, or you can buy a big package of extra large clear garbage bags at Costco) and gate-checked it. So far, the stroller has been fine and it has been our savior to have in the airport. Needless to say, I highly recommend the BOB, if you are in the market for a stroller. (I can take pictures of my husband breaking down the stroller for travel, and describe the process in another post, if anyone is interested.)

At the beach in San Diego!

Introducing Solids:

When my friend asked me what food I introduced to Keenan first, it brought back a lot of memories that I thought I would share. It seemed that everywhere you read or even who you talked with, the universal “first solid food” recommendation was rice cereal. Luckily, my sister-in-law told me that rice cereal constipates your baby (she experienced it with my niece), so she recommended starting with oatmeal or barley and to not even introduce rice cereal. I listened to her and started Keenan on oatmeal, making it myself by using whole oats, grinding them in a blender or food processor and cooking them with my frozen breast milk. I made big batches, poured the oatmeal into silicone ice cube trays and froze them. When it was time to feed Keenan his oatmeal, I would pop out a cube or two (depending on how much he was eating), place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 1 minute, until thawed. Of course, I would have to wait until it cooled before giving it to him. For added flavor and nutritional benefits, I added ground flax seed and cinnamon. Keenan loved it, in fact he ate oatmeal every morning for his breakfast until he was 15 months old! We started him on solids when he was 7 1/2 months old, rather late, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our pediatrician follows the World Health Organization recommendations, which at the time, stated if your baby is exclusively breastfed, then solids don’t need to be introduced until 7 months. Since we visited my brother, sister-in-law and niece (for her 3rd birthday) in Montreal when Keenan was turning 7 months old, we waited until we got home from our trip to give him solids. Up until then, he really never showed any interest in our food, so it was perfect timing. When he ate oatmeal for the first time, he devoured it, so he was completely ready! When did you introduce solids to your children? Do you have any helpful tips for those who are just starting to introduce solid foods to their babies?

This afternoon, we are off to CrossFit for our second-to-last workout before we leave for Alaska (we are going to do one more WOD tomorrow morning, after I help out with the morning class) and then it’s dinner. On the menu for tonight is my Grilled Corn Salad (which we made for 4th of July) with chicken! It should be good!!

 

Hard to Say Goodbye July 24, 2012

Keenan licking his plate clean after finishing a piece of his early birthday cake last night!

It is always hard saying goodbye to my brother, sister-in-law and niece. Every time they leave, I always have tears in my eyes, no matter if I’ll see them next month or 3 months from now; I just hate goodbyes! My husband just took them to the airport, to fly back home to Montreal. Thank goodness for skype, because it would be hard to not see my niece for a while! Fortunately, we will see them in September, since my cousin is getting married. Knowing that we will seem them in little over a month, makes saying goodbye a little easier this time. We had a great time with them this past month and Keenan and his cousin had SO much fun! They played so well together and shared lots of laughs. We called them “Ooga and Booga,” because they were always so silly together!

Last night, we had one last family dinner together (Mexican food from our favorite taqueria) and my brother and sister-in-law surprised Keenan with an early birthday cake and gift (since they won’t be here for his birthday on Aug. 20th). It was so sweet and Keenan was excited, but he didn’t really know what to do. He was mesmerized by the candles, so my niece and I helped him blow them out. They got an ice cream cake (a perfect choice, since Keenan is infatuated with ice cream cones these days!), so Keenan devoured his slice and ate some of my mom’s cake, too! They got him a set of balls: soccer, basketball and football, as well as a Play Doh ice cream maker set. Keenan was thrilled!

This morning, after we all finished a simple breakfast of Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal, Fage yogurt, nectarines and blueberries (lattes, of course!), we opened the ice cream maker set and Keenan and his cousin had a blast making different kinds of ice cream cones.  As they were playing and Play Doh was flying everywhere, onto our rug and in the crevices of our coffee table, it made me realize how little space we have, especially as Keenan is getting older and accumulating more toys (and bigger ones). So, as his birthday approaches, I need to start thinking about making more room, i.e. purging and reorganizing (which my husband loves…not really!). We want to get Keenan a little table to use for art projects and playing with Play Doh, but the question is “where do we put it?” Before I was pregnant, my husband and I always said we didn’t want our house to be overrun by our children. We wanted it to still look like our home, but with a small play area for our kids. We have to think creatively in finding more space, so it doesn’t become overrun with Keenan’s things. I can only imagine what it will be like when we have another child! Do you have the same issues with space and finding room for your child’s toys? Does your house feel overrun with your child’s or children’s toys? How do you make room for all of your child’s or children’s things?

Speaking of Keenan’s upcoming birthday, call me old fashion, but I like traditional mailed invitations. I know evites are the new thing, which are much easier and most importantly, environmentally friendly, but I just like receiving an old fashion invitation in the mail. I enjoy making cards, thank you notes and invitations, so I look at it as a fun project to make his birthday invites. I know most people might think that making your own invites takes too much time and since I’m at home with Keenan everyday, I  have plenty of time to do them. Creating your own invitations doesn’t take much time at all. I made Keenan’s 1st birthday invites last year when I was working. You can make them as simple or as intricate as you like. For his 2nd birthday invitations that I just completed and mailed, I purchased cream colored card stock (already cut in a A6 size) from Cutcardstock. They are very reasonably priced, about 10% cheaper than purchasing a package at Michaels or Office Depot. I formatted the invitation in Microsoft Word, added Keenan’s picture and wording. Since I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked (since we are getting ready to leave for Alaska), I made them very simple, but cute. We are going with a theme of “Keenan’s Favorites” for his birthday this year, so the invite was geared to some of his favorite foods, which we will have at his party. It should be fun!

This afternoon, we are heading back to CrossFit for another awesome workout and then home for dinner. Yesterday’s workout was brutal for our first day back after a week off! It was a partner WOD, consisting of rope climbs, box jumps, over-the-bar burpees and deadlifts (women weight: 205/men weight: 325). The workout was 2 rounds for time and my partner and I completed 1 round and 23 reps at 175 pounds for our deadlifts. It was tough! I could definitely tell that my lack of working out last week and not eating as I usually do, affected my performance. When we are in Alaska, my husband and I are making sure to at least workout every other day, so we don’t feel like this after being gone for two weeks!

On the menu for tonight is sauteed Kale with a torpedo onion (diced), sun dried tomatoes and chicken sausages over whole wheat couscous. It should be yummy! I will make sure to take pictures and post the recipe tomorrow! Have a great rest of your afternoon!

 

Fun in the Sun July 15, 2012

Keenan enjoying his first “real” slice of pizza at the Pescadero Grocery Store, a stop along the way!

We all made it to San Diego safe and sound! The drive wasn’t too bad, except for the traffic through L.A. I don’t know how people live there and deal with the traffic every day. I would be SO miserable, not to mention stressed out all the time! Yesterday, we drove through around 1:00 p.m. and the traffic was completely stopped (I can’t imagine what it is like during the week!). It took us at least 30 minutes to drive 5 miles; it was crazy!

Keenan was, once again, our little “trooper.” He did very well in the car, keeping himself entertained and going with the flow. We listened to lots of music, sang songs, “danced,”  and talked about the things we saw along the way.  We had plenty of stops along the way, which definitely helped. Overall, it was a fun first roadtrip!

For our first stop, we headed to Pescadero, about an hour and a half south of San Francisco, and visited a goat dairy. We tasted some amazing cheese, in fact, we bought some of the best feta and ricotta cheese we have ever eaten! Keenan enjoyed petting the goats, too! After visiting the dairy, we had lunch at the Pescadero General Store, which was well-known for their wood-fried pizzas. We had the vegetarian with chicken added to it. It was yummy and Keenan devoured his two slices! On our way out, we stopped at the Arcangeli Grocery Co. that is known for their artichoke garlic herb bread (they bake it every 10 minutes) and got two loaves (one to snack on in the car and one half-baked to eat for dinner the next day). It was probably the best bread I have ever eaten! They lace the dough with artichoke hearts, so you get artichokes in almost every bite! It was crusty on the outside and perfectly pillowy soft in the inside!

Petting the goats!

A piece of heaven…artichoke garlic herb bread!

We spent Friday night in Santa Barbara and before driving the rest of the way to San Diego, we stopped at the Farmer’s Market and picked up some fresh produce. After the Farmer’s Market, we had brunch and got a “Carmel Blended” coffee from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (the best blended coffee drink ever!) and drove down to San Diego.

Fresh produce at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market.

Today, we all slept in (Keenan slept until 8:15, which is pretty late for him!) and my husband made a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs mixed with leftover tri-tip and tillamock sharp cheddar cheese, along with cinnamon english muffins (from Arcangeli Grocery Co. in Pescadero), and fruit. It was yummy! Of course, we also had lattes (we brought our french press with us).

Having fun with Avo in the water!

After breakfast, we headed to the beach for some fun in the sun! Keenan and his cousin loved building sand castles (Keenan’s role was getting more water with Avo’s help!) and playing in the water. They had so much fun, they both didn’t want to head back to the house for lunch.

Now, everyone is napping, before heading back out to the beach and getting an ice cream cone (we found this cute little ice cream shop as we were walking back to the house). I think I’ll take a little snooze before Keenan wakes up. Have a great rest of your Sunday!

 

A Family who eats together, stays together July 11, 2012

Keenan and Daddy having lunch together.

“A family who eats together, stays together.”

My mom and grandma used to say this when I was younger. Sitting down at the table to have meals together has always been an everyday tradition in my family. It was a time for all of us to come together and share about our days, worries, frustrations, ideas, goals and plans. Even when we were all busy, we still made sitting down for dinner a priority. Even now that we are all grown and have our own families, we still make sitting down for meals a priority when we are all together. It is something we all value. In fact,  dinners in our family tend to last a while, because we like to solve the world’s problems! But, sitting down at a table and taking a while to eat can actually be good for your health, too! By eating slowly, you are less likely to overeat because you are more mindful of when you are full. By sitting in front of the TV to eat, you are more in tune to what you are watching than what you are putting in your mouth, thus you are more likely to overeat (also the commercials for juicy hamburgers or mouth-watering pizza might tempt you to indulge in more unhealthy foods…, i.e. late night fast food runs). Where do you and your family eat your meals? Do you find it important to eat together as a family?

My husband grew up with the same tradition, so when we got married seven years ago (I still can’t believe it has been that long!), we made sitting down at the table for dinner together a priority. When we had Keenan, we knew we wanted to instill this value on him, thus we eat dinner together as a family almost every night. We ask Keenan what he did during the day and what he liked best about it, which helps encourage conversation with him, so he learns that dinner is a time for sharing (and also enjoying your food!). He enjoys talking with us and eating like my husband and me (using his utensils, a skill we are still perfecting!). My husband and I also try to have one “at-home date night,” either Friday or Saturday each week, where we open a bottle of wine, cook a special meal and eat dinner together after Keenan goes to bed. It is nice after a busy week to look forward to our little date night, where we can slowly make dinner and talk uninterrupted. What do you do for date nights? How often do you have date nights?

Today, Keenan and I shared our “usual” breakfast with fresh strawberries, and I enjoyed a latte with a little sugar-free Brown Sugar and Vanilla Torani Syrup. It was SO good! After not sleeping very well last night (I don’t know why…maybe in anticipation of our upcoming vacation), I definitely needed it! I only had a small cup, so I saved the rest for an iced coffee after lunch, which was also very yummy! For my iced coffee, I pour the coffee (espresso, since I use my stove-top percolator) over ice into my glass, add a couple tablespoons of non-fat milk and a splash of sugar-free syrup, and mix! It is the perfect balance of bitter and sweet! It’s also great to enjoy an ice-cold coffee on a hot Summer day, like today (I think it’s still 90 degrees outside, yikes!).

After Keenan woke up from his nap (he finally fell asleep after his little peeing escapade: taking off his diaper and his sleep sack, thus peeing on his mattress while yelling at the top of his lungs for me!), we headed to CrossFit to work our tails off again. Dinner was leftovers and now it is time for some relaxing and catching-up on “So You Think You Can Dance!”

 

Getting back on track, at least for a little bit… July 3, 2012

Filed under: Coffee,CrossFit,Family,Fitness,Food,Recipes,Workouts — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 9:59 pm
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Last night’s WOD was awful, to say the least! It kicked my butt (literally!). The workout was “Death by Barbell” (but rather a Death by Barbell challenge, since we had to complete 5 rounds), one of CrossFit’s benchmark WODs:

15 Deadlifts

12 Hanging Cleans

9 Front Squat

6 Push Jerks

*20min Cap

Weights:

Women: BEG: 65,  INT: 75 and ADV: 95

Men: BEG: 95,  INT: 115 and ADV: 135

After a weekend full of rich food, wine and little sleep, it was a struggle to keep-up. For an additional challenge, I decided to do the advanced weight, to see how many rounds I could do (I don’t know what I was thinking!). It was definitely difficult, since the weight is heavy for me, but I wanted to push myself to continue to get stronger. I ended up completing 3 rounds and 18 reps. It wasn’t too bad, but I was hoping to at least complete 4 rounds. The weekend really affected my performance, but it felt great to work out and get back on track. My body needed it (especially after eating plenty of banana bars and rocky road over the weekend)!

After working-out, we headed home and I made HUGE strawberry, walnut, chicken and feta cheese salads for my husband and me. After the weekend at my parents’ house, we needed to have greens! Since Keenan can’t really chew lettuce (he only has 9 teeth in the front and 2 molars barely coming-in), he ate chicken with avocado and strawberries, washing it all down with a glass of milk.

My favorite…salad!

Today, we are back to our normal routine of our “usual” breakfast: Yogurt with berries, flax seed, chia seeds and Kashi Go Lean Cereal (and a latte for me, of course!). Keenan and I have this breakfast pretty much five days a week (weekends are usually special breakfasts of buckwheat pancakes, eggs or scones). I love having our “usual” breakfast, because it is a nice balance of protein, fiber, fruit, dairy and whole grain carbohydrates that satisfies me until lunch time (I even converted my husband, who usually ate cheese and a bagel or eggs, to having this breakfast daily!).

The start of the messiness!

Keenan loves yogurt as much as I do, as you can see from the picture! Yogurt gets everywhere, including his hair! I don’t know how he does it. As far as yogurt goes, I love Fage Greek yogurt (0%) and I buy Mountain High original (3.5% milk fat) plain yogurt for Keenan. I would buy Greek yogurt for him, but I can’t seem to find any that are whole fat. I’m always on the look-out for it, because Greek yogurt contains such a high amount of protein. If you ever see any, please let me know! What is your “usual” breakfast?

This afternoon, we are off to CrossFit again, to have one last workout before we head to my parents’ house for the 4th. Tomorrow will be a fun day with family and friends and of course, lots of good food again! I need to burn as many calories as I can, to make-up for all of the food I’ll be eating! What are your plans for the 4th? Do your plans revolve around food?

 

 
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