Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Happy Birthday, Keenan! August 21, 2012

Our little birthday boy this morning enjoying his new table and backpack from Grandma and Grandpa!

Two years ago, today, our lives changed forever. My husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. I can’t believe it has already been two years! It seems like yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital; our little peanut of 6 lbs and 1 oz. Where did the time go? The past two years have been awesome, to say the least! We have thoroughly enjoyed our new roles as parents, even during the sleepless nights when he was first born or the occasional tantrums, now. The silliness, full-belly laughs, smiles, hugs, cuddles, holding his little hands in ours, tickles, conversations, play time, story time and most importantly, watching Keenan grow and develop have been the rewards of being parents. We love each and every moment that we spend with him, and we look forward to many more to come! Happy Birthday to my Sweet Pea, Keenan!

For his birthday festivities, we started the day off with one of Keenan’s favorite breakfasts of waffles spread with peanut butter and honey (except it was with the blueberry honey Grandma gave him for his birthday), along with fresh blueberries and strawberries. After breakfast, we met my parents at Sacramento’s Railroad Museum to show Keenan real “Choo Choo Trains” for the first time, followed by a picnic lunch. Keenan was fascinated by the trains! He kept asking to see more by saying, “More Choo Choo Trains!” He was so mesmerized by all of the trains, that he didn’t want to leave when it was time for lunch!

Sitting in the Conductor’s seat!

For lunch, my mom made her famous fried chicken (a family tradition anytime we have a picnic) and beer bread and I made my Grandma Rose’s Artichoke Torta and fruit salad (made with Keenan’s favorite fruits: blueberries, strawberries, banana and peaches). For dessert, we enjoyed Peanut-Butter Swirl Brownies! I put two candles on Keenan’s piece and we sang “Happy Birthday” to him. It was funny, he seemed a little apprehensive about blowing out the candles, but after we helped him blow them out, he devoured his brownie! After dessert, Keenan opened his gifts, which included a Firefighter hat from my parents (and he immediately wanted to wear it).

Enjoying his “birthday picnic” with Nonna and Avo!

Once we were all done and got to our car, Keenan fell asleep before we were even out of the parking lot, with his Firefighter hat still on! To make it more comfortable for him, I reached back to take off his hat, which scared him, so he abruptly woke-up and screamed, “Ahh!” We laughed SO hard!! Fortunately, he dropped right back asleep. But, as soon as we got home, as I was transferring him to his crib, he woke-up and didn’t want to go back to sleep. So, it was play time, pretending to be a Firefighter, wearing his new Firefighter hat, along with his boots and jacket (that Nonna bought him a few weeks ago) with his new backpack (that Grandma and Grandpa gave him for his birthday). We read the Firefighter story with all his gear on and he didn’t want the story to end. He wanted to keep reading and reading it!

Our little Firefighter!

Keenan was so set on being a “Firefighter” this afternoon that he didn’t want to take his gear off and get dressed to head to the gym. It was like pulling teeth to get him to take everything off. Finally, with a promise that he could wear all of his “Firefigther gear” tomorrow, he agreed to get dressed, so we could go to CrossFit. Today’s workout wasn’t too bad, but still challenging. We did 5 sets of 2 reps of power complexes (power clean, hanging squat clean followed by a squat clean) for the skill. For the WOD, it was 5 rounds of 5 deadlifts (185 lbs for women and 275 lbs for men) and 10 burpees for time. I finished in 4 minutes and 25 seconds, doing the RX women weight! Whohoo!

For dinner tonight, we are having swiss chard, sauteed with a red bell pepper, onion, sun dried tomatoes and Italian sausages, sprinkled with feta cheese. It should be good! Night, night!

If you are interested in the recipes for Artichoke Torta and Peanut-butter Swirl Brownies, here you go:

Artichoke Torta, YUMMY!

Grandma Rose’s Artichoke Torta (a very special food in my family that my Grandma would only make for special occasions, i.e. birthdays or holidays):

Ingredients:

3 packages frozen artichoke hearts

1 onion

1 cup olive oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup dried parsley

3 cloves garlic (minced)

6 eggs

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a 9X13″ glass dish by greasing with olive oil.

2. Boil artichoke hearts, drain and cool.

3. Beat eggs in large mixer. Meanwhile, place onion in food processor and pulse, until finely chopped.

4. Add onion to eggs, along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the artichoke hearts).

5. Place artichoke hearts in food processor and pulse, until roughly chopped.

6. Add artichoke hearts to the rest of the ingredients and mix in mixer on medium speed for a few minutes (until well blended/mixed).

7. Pour mixture into prepared 9X13″ glass dish. Place dabs of butter into each corner and one in the middle.

8. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy for an appetizer or side dish cold or warm!

Yummmmmm!

Peanut-Butter Swirl Brownies by Martha Stewart (makes 9 large squares): *I followed the recipe exactly. It was probably one of the first times, in a long time, that I didn’t substitute any of the ingredients to make the recipe healthier. Since the brownies were for Keenan’s birthday, I thought I would make the “real deal” (which my husband was excited about!).

Ingredients:

For the Batter:

– 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan

– 2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely choppe

– 4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

– 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 3/4 cup granulated sugar

– 3 large eggs

– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

– 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

– 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).

2. Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

3. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.

4. Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

5. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.

6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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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!

 

A somewhat relaxing Saturday July 29, 2012

One of my favorite breakfasts, a great pre-workout meal!

Today was somewhat of a relaxing day, aside from running last minute errands and getting things ready for our trip. Since Keenan is still getting over his cold (he came down with it a few days ago), we laid low. After breakfast, (which was different today: whole grain frozen waffles spread with peanut butter and banana slices on top), we headed to the gym for one last workout before we leave for Alaska. Since my husband was still really sore from yesterday’s WOD and his ankle was bothering him, he just took pictures, while I did the WOD with our friend. It was a good one! Below, is a picture of the workout, as well as me (and my nice CrossFit face!) doing an overhead squat.

Today’s WOD, a modified “Chipper” from the CrossFit Games this past month.

My lovely CrossFit face doing an overhead squat of 85 lbs, thanks to my husband!

After we got home from the gym, we had lunch: leftover Grilled Corn Salad with half of a sandwich thin and a nectarine. It was tasty after the crazy workout! Once I was done, I got ready and headed out to run errands, which included a trip to Nordstrom to exchange and return some things. I just love Nordies (as I call it)! Their return policy is awesome; you can take anything back (even if worn and without a receipt) and they will fully refund you. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy, which is fabulous! After wearing shoes for a couple of times and if they still don’t fit right, you can take them back at Nordies and they will refund your money or exchange them. This is another reason why I do most of my shopping at Nordies!

Keenan playing in his pool, yes, I know, naked.

Once I got home, Keenan woke up from his nap (almost 3 hours!), so we headed outside for some pool time! My husband and I enjoyed his “special summer drink creation” while Keenan played in the pool. Once Keenan was done playing in the pool, we went inside and watched a little “Elmo’s World” (Keenan’s request) and played several rounds of “Ring a Round the Roses” and “Tag.” It was a fun-filled afternoon of quality family time!

Watching an episode of “Elmo’s World,” while having a snack of my niece’s leftover gold fish crackers.

Tonight is our at-home “date night,” so it’s time to open a bottle of wine and start cooking! We are grilling some zucchini and an onion and tossing it with sun dried tomatoes, chicken, Kalamata olives and feta cheese over whole wheat penne noddles. It should be good! After dinner, we watching some Olympics! What are your plans for tonight?

 

Forgetful July 25, 2012

I don’t know what it is…maybe too many things on my mind lately or just “mommy brain”, but unless I write things down, I easily forget them. With that said, I completely forgot to take a picture of our dinner last night, sorry! I am going to work on this by making sure to keep my camera handy, so I can take plenty of pictures. As far as last night’s dinner goes, it was delicious and very satisfying, especially after another brutal workout (running 2,400 meters and finding your 1 rep maximum of front squats, which I maxed out at 135 lbs)! Here is the recipe that I created, if you are interested:

Sauteed Kale with Sun dried Tomatoes and Onions: (serves 3)

Ingredients:

– 2 bunches of kale (chopped)

-1 red onion (diced)

– 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

– 1 clove garlic (minced)

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 3 Italian sausages

– 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

– 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

– pinch of salt and pepper

– 1/4 cup of feta cheese

– 1/2 cup cooked couscous

Directions:

1.) Saute onion with garlic and olive oil in a large pan.

2.) Add sausages and cook until browned.

3.) Add kale, balsamic vinegar, spices and saute for 10 minutes, or until soft and vinegar is absorbed.

4.) Divide cooked couscous among 3 plates, pour kale mixture on top and sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

My morning latte that my husband so kindly made me!

On to today: Keenan had his swim class this morning, so it was rather rushed to get out the door on time, especially since he slept-in to 8:30 a.m. again! I’m loving that he is sleeping-in; I sure hope it lasts! We had a quick “usual” breakfast with blueberries (Keenan’s favorite fruit) and I took my latte to go (thanks to my loving husband for making it). After class, we ran some errands, delivered a meal to a mom in my MOMs Club who recently had a baby, and then headed home for play time before lunch. Since Keenan got his Play Doh ice cream maker set from Uncle E, Auntie Mimi and his cousin, he hasn’t wanted to play with anything else! All he wants to do is make and pretend to eat ice cream cones! Does your child (or children) have a favorite toy that they always want to play with?

For lunch, I made my “typical:” a turkey sandwich on Orowheat whole wheat sandwich thins with lettuce, tomato and a little bit of jalapeno yogurt dip from Costco (it is scary good!), along with carrots and a peach. I made Keenan his favorite: a peanut butter and honey sandwich with blueberries and a glass of milk. He sure loves his peanut butter! As we were eating our lunch, we sang, “The Wheels on the Bus.” Since we got back from San Diego, he has wanted to sing that song over and over…it’s funny, but also tiring at the same time!

My typical lunch, very satisfying!

The best spread for sandwiches and a dip for veggies!

Since today is Wednesday, it is gymnastics day at CrossFit Gold so I’m excited to see what today’s WOD includes. I love Wednesdays at the box, since I used to do gymnastics when I was younger.

Since my husband is gone for the night (for a work event), tonight’s menu is all about salad!! Though I don’t like it when he has to travel for work, I love that I get to make HUGE salads for my dinners (my husband thinks I’m crazy!)! If I had it my way, I would eat salad every night. I love that there are so many things that you can do with a salad: add fruit, nuts, meat, veggies, cheese and different vinegars. You can be as creative as you want. I don’t think there is a wrong way to make a salad. When my husband was gone for four days a few months ago, I made myself a different salad each night, it was great! Tonight, I’m going to make “everything, but the kitchen sink” salad that will include, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, avocado, peperoncinis, kalamata olives, carrots, chicken and a few roasted unsalted walnut pieces with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Since I’m having salad, I’m going to make Keenan some chicken with avocado, carrots, bread and some blueberries. What do you eat if you are by yourself for dinner?

Peanut butter hands!

 

 
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