Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

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!

 

On the road again… July 13, 2012

Keenan enjoying his new “Monkey” platypus water bottle on our road trip, thanks to Auntie Mimi!

Our car is loaded to the gills and we are finally on our way to San Diego! It is amazing how much stuff we have for only three people (it doesn’t help that my husband always over prepares for everything…”you never know, we might need it!”). Gone are the days of just packing a bag, getting-up and going. With Keenan in tow, it is quite a production to get all of us in the car; I can’t imagine what it will be like once we have another child! Do you pack light or do you tend to bring everything but the kitchen sink, when traveling?

We are headed to our first stop in Pescadero, to visit a goat farm to taste cheese, have Keenan run around a bit and then lunch, before getting back in the car to drive for several more hours. We are spending the night near Santa Barbara, so we can explore in the morning and then drive the rest of the way to San Diego. Do any of you have suggestions for must-see attractions (aside from the Zoo and Sea World) and awesome eats?

Once we get to San Diego, I will do my best to post about our trip when I can. When we return, I will be sure to post a full recap with lots of pictures! Have a great weekend!

 

Play dates July 11, 2012

Keenan having fun at the wading pool this morning (he was borrowing another little boy’s toys)!

This morning was all about water, which was nice for such a hot day (it is supposed to be 103 degrees today, yikes!). After Keenan and I finished our “usual” breakfast and I drank my latte, we headed to swim lessons (parent and child swim class) at our local YMCA this morning and then to a play date at Land Park’s wading pool with my MOMs group. It was a busy morning, but a lot of fun! By the time we got home for lunch, Keenan was tired and ready for a good nap.

Keenan LOVES the water, so he was excited for his swim lessons and he couldn’t wait to see his friend at the wading pool afterward. Play dates are such a necessity for us, because Keenan has an opportunity to play with other children while I am able to socialize with other moms (it’s a win-win!). As mommies, especially if you stay at home, you need to be able to talk with other moms, having adult conversation and just sharing your experiences, so you don’t feel alone. It is helpful to know that you are not the only one going through or dealing with something, i.e. napping, the terrible twos or potty-training.

Having the support network of other mommies who have children at or around the same age as Keenan has been very helpful to me, to say the least! I joined a new mom’s support group through the Mother’s Support Network in Sacramento when Keenan was 6 weeks old and it was probably one of the best things that I did! I met new friends and gained the support, advice and encouragement of other new mommies who were going through the same thing as me. Being that I was a brand new mom, it was SO beneficial for my health and well-being to meet other women who were in the same “trenches” so to speak. I continued going to the group every week (until I went back to work) and then a few of us started scheduling play dates on our own (which we still do today). When Keenan was 3 months old, I joined our local MOMs Club, made new friends and started attending more play dates and mommy events. Keenan is almost 2 years old and we are still a part of these groups (I’m now on the board of our MOMs Club), our friendships have grown and we have made new ones along the way. The play dates and events definitely keep us busy (sometimes I feel busier now than I was when I was working and caring for Keenan!).

If you are a mom-to-be or new mom, I encourage you to meet other mommy friends and develop a support network, because it can really make or break you at times, especially during the first year. I’ve met a couple of moms who stayed at home the first year and didn’t join any groups or meet other mommy friends, and both of them felt very isolated and unhappy. Both women felt the first year of their children’s lives were the hardest, because they didn’t have the support of other women. They wished they had gone out and met others who were dealing with the same issues.

Who do you look to for support, advice and encouragement as a new mom? Do you find that having a group of mommy friends who have children at or around the same age as yours to be helpful?

It’s time to head to CrossFit and then home for dinner, which is going to be a strawberry spinach salad with grilled chicken, walnuts and feta cheese, yum!

 

Happy 4th of July! July 4, 2012

Keenan licking the batter!

Happy 4th, everyone! I have always loved the 4th of July because it means barbecue, ice cream and swimming! In our family, it is a day of cooking, making ice cream, swimming, playing bocci ball and having good conversations. It is a nice day of relaxing and spending time together.

Today started out with Keenan and I baking the most moist and easiest peanut butter cookies to compliment my husband’s homemade vanilla ice cream with peanut butter chunks and fudge swirl (YUM!!). Keenan loves to be my “Baking Assistant” or “Sou Chef,” as I call him. He loves helping us in the kitchen (including setting the table). I love that he has taken an interest in cooking; maybe he will be a chef when he grows up! He enjoys helping me measure out the ingredients, pouring them into the bowl and adding spices. Once we are all finished, he absolutely LOVES to lick the batter when we are baking (only if the recipe does not include eggs, of course). The nice thing about this peanut butter cookie recipe is there are no eggs, so Keenan can lick away (as you can see from the picture!). He was in hog heaven, since one of his favorite foods is peanut butter! How do you involve your kids in the kitchen? Do you find that involving your kids in the kitchen helps them to eat better?

The finished product: yummy peanut butter cookies (some with Hershey kisses!)

After Keenan and I made the cookies, I started on my grilled corn salad (we grilled the corn last night to save time today) that consists of tomatoes, red onions, black beans, cotija cheese, avocado and cilantro. Once we are ready to eat, I’ll add the avocado and chopped cilantro (since they tend to brown if they sit out for a while). Before dinner, we will enjoy linguica (a 4th of July tradition in my family), cheese, crackers and guacamole with chips (my husband thinks it’s funny to see linguica and guacamole together, but that is how we roll!). For the rest of our dinner, we are having watermelon feta salad (my sister-in-law is preparing), ribs, tri-tip and bread. For dessert, we will be having cookies with my husband’s ice cream and homemade cherry ice cream that my dad is making (another 4th of July tradition, made with our own cherries!). It will be quite a feast, to say the least!

If you are interested in my salad recipe, I adapted it from one I saw in Cooking Light a couple of years ago. It is super-easy to make and it is always a crowd pleaser!

Grilled Corn Salad: (serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

– 8 ears of corn (my husband seasons them and wraps them in foil; grilled and kernels cut from cob)

– 1 red onion (medium dice)

– 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered, depending on the size)

– 4 avocados (large dice)

– 3 cans black beans (low sodium, rinsed)

– 1 bunch cilantro (de-stem and finely chop 1/4 of bunch for dressing; repeat with the rest when finishing salad)

– 4-5 cans sweet corn (depending on the size of your ears of corn)

– 1 block of cotija cheese (cut into small cubes, or crumbled)

– 1/4 cup olive oil

-4-5 limes (juiced, to taste)

– 1/2 teaspoon of cumin (to taste)

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients in large bowl, except for avocado and cilantro.

2. In a small container, mix lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper and 1/4 of the chopped cilantro and whisk together.

3. Pour dressing over salad and mix well.

4. Put plastic wrap over salad and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

5. After 2 hours, add diced avocado and the rest of the cilantro and mix. Serve and enjoy!

My Grilled Corn Salad before putting it in the fridge to sit for two hours.

Keenan will be waking-up from his nap soon, so it’s time to get ready for swimming and having some munchies, before digging into to our delicious dinner and later, dessert! Today, I am definitely not watching my food intake! I will be gladly enjoying a little bit of everything! Tomorrow, I will be getting back on track with eating and exercising!

 

Appreciating the little things… June 30, 2012

Filed under: Family,Workouts — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 7:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

Keenan being silly at our “box” while I was working out. He just HAD to wear the goggles that were in the toy box in the kids’ area!

Where do I begin? This has been a long time coming. Welcome to Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy!! Since I had my son, Keenan, almost two years ago, I have wanted to start a blog, but with going back to work for a while and being consumed with the craziness of life, I never  got around to it. Finally, here it is. That little thing called LIFE never seems to slow down these days, especially with a toddler. We are constantly on the go, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We have lots of fun and I truly cherish our time together. A child really puts life into perspective, because they live in the present, only focused with what they are doing NOW. They truly see the beauty and rawness of life. I wish as adults, we could live more in the present, instead of worrying about finances, family issues, what we are going to make for dinner, what school are we going to send our child to or when we can move into a bigger house, etc. Our minds are constantly flooded with thoughts and ideas about what we are going to do next, which can make us pretty stressed out! Keenan has made me stop and appreciate the little things, such as smelling flowers, watching a pill bug roll over or a bumble bee fly from one flower petal to the other, or just being goofy (there is always a lot of goofiness in our household!)! We can all use a good laugh (or two) and just be silly, remembering what it was like to be a kid. When I feel particularly stressed about something, laughing always does the trick to help me feel better, in addition to working out. It really is the best medicine! When I was a child, every time I was sick or not feeling well, I would always watch “I Love Lucy” episodes (thanks to my grandma for introducing me to the show when she babysat me), and immediately felt better! What makes you feel better when you are feeling down? How do you manage your stress? Do you ever just stop to focus on the here and now to truly enjoy the moment?

At Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy, it is my goal to share my experiences of being a new mom, staying fit, being well (physically and mentally) and giving my child the best nutritional start as possible, as well as my knowledge and passion to ultimately help you become a Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy, too! I hope you enjoy reading this and if there is anything you would like to see, please let me know!

 

 
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