Fit 'N' Well Mommy

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Keenan’s 2nd Birthday Party Recap August 28, 2012

Happy Monday! Was it me, or did the weekend go by way too fast? We had a great weekend: Celebrating Keenan’s birthday on Saturday with our family and friends, and on Sunday we had a reunion for our Bradley Method birth class. It was definitely a party weekend! Needless to say, we are all still recovering from the festivities (lack of sleep and too much good food!).

Keenan’s birthday party went very well. Keenan had a blast playing with all of his friends and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The party started at 3:30 p.m., and everyone pretty much left around 8:30 p.m. or so. Keenan had so much fun playing at his party, he immediately fell asleep as soon as I put him to bed around 9:00 p.m. He was exhausted, but just as I thought, he was up bright and early at 6:30 a.m. the next day, since he doesn’t sleep well at my parents’ house. I’m not sure why he doesn’t sleep well at my parents’ house…either there are too many different sounds or he is too excited to be there.  Since he was so exhausted, I put him to bed a little early last night, at 7:00 p.m., and he woke up at 8:00 a.m. this morning!

More on Keenan’s party: I made it pretty simple with red table cloths (going with the Elmo theme), flowers for centerpieces, a birthday banner (from his 1st birthday), Elmo balloons and Elmo plates and napkins. It was a perfect day, too, not too hot or too windy.

Once everyone arrived, we snacked on my husband’s infamous guacamole and chips (one of Keenan’s favorite foods) and swam. Keenan had fun swimming with his puddle jumper! After some swimming, the kids played with the water table, took rides in the wagon (courtesy of Nonna!) and played on the swing set. The kids were constantly busy playing, it was so fun to watch!

Before dinner, the kids swam a little more, making them all pretty hungry! For dinner, we had grilled chicken, Artichoke Torta, grilled peach spinach salad, fresh blueberries and strawberries, along with some freshly baked ciabatta. It was all very yummy! The kids dined at the little table, while the adults sat at the big table. The kids did a great job of cleaning their plates and once they were finished, they were off to play again!

A little while later, I brought out Keenan’s Elmo cake (Pig-out Carrot Cake), and we all sang Happy Birthday. It was funny, Keenan was afraid of his birthday candles and kept turning his head away (not wanting to look at them). Since he was a little unsure about blowing out his candles, his friends gladly helped him! Since we have talked about the danger of fire, I think Keenan was a little too scared. I hope we didn’t permanently scare him away from blowing out his birthday candles in the future! In addition to cake, my husband made peanut butter chocolate swirl ice cream, so all of the kids had ice cream cones in addition to the cake (LOTS of sugar). Keenan ate Elmo’s eye balls and his ice cream cone first, so he was too full to finish the rest of his piece of cake. Luckily, we have plenty leftover for him to have little pieces for some dessert this week!

As you can see, I decorated Keenan’s cake with m&ms (red and orange), chocolate chips for the mouth and peanut butter cups for the eyes. I definitely learned my lesson; I will not use m&ms again because they immediately started to bleed as soon as I placed them on the cake! Once I put the cake back into the fridge after I finished decorating it, the frosting and m&ms stopped melting, so it wasn’t too bad. But, I was still a little bummed that the cake didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped. At least the cake tasted good! The cream cheese frosting was perfectly tart and sweet, while the cake was super moist! Below is the recipe:

Pig-Out Carrot Cake:

Ingredients:

– 4 eggs

– 2 cups sugar

– 3 cups flour

– 2 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp nutmeg

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 1/2 cup canola or grape seed oil

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (reserve 1/4 cup of juice for frosting)

– 3 cups grated carrots

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs and set aside.

2. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in oil, vanilla and beaten eggs. Mix.

4. Add crushed pineapple, carrots, raisins and walnuts.

5. Pour into greased 9X13 pan (or prepared cake pans) and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

– 1 cube butter

– 1 8 oz. package cream cheese

– 2 cups sifted powdered sugar (add by taste, instead of all at once)

– 1/4 cup pineapple juice

Directions:

1. Beat  together until well mixed.

2. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

After cake and ice cream cones, the kids played a little more before everyone headed home. For party favors, I gave each family a small bag of kettle corn that I made. All, in all, Keenan’s party was a lot of fun! Everything went smoothly; my husband and I were still able to relax, enjoy everyone’s company, watch Keenan have fun, while getting all of the food ready. It was great day.

Since it was so late after everyone left the party, Keenan opened his birthday gifts on Sunday morning, after we got home from church. He definitely knew how to open his gifts! One exciting gift he got was from Nonna and Avo: a tricycle! The nice thing about this tricycle is it has a removable handle, so we can push him now (since he doesn’t know how to peddle) and once he learns to peddle, you can take it off.

Today, Keenan helped my husband put his new trike together and then we went for his first ride! He was SUPER excited to take it for a ride!

Once Keenan woke up (sleeping for 2 1/2 hours), we headed to CrossFit for a much needed workout, after eating lots of sugar and rich food this weekend. My body sure needed it, but it definitely was not my best WOD. The WOD was a 7 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible), doing power cleans (women weight: 115 lbs) and 12 over the box jumps. I started with the prescribed weight of 115 lbs, but once I was on my 4th rep, it took me 5 attempts to get another one, so I decided to go down in weight to 105 lbs (not something I’m happy about). Since I changed the weight, I lost a lot of time, thus I was only to complete 3 rounds and 5 reps. A weakness of mine is “early arm bend” which makes it hard to increase my strength, if I don’t have proper technique. The “early arm bend” is something I have been working on for months, so it is something I need to continue working on…bring on more medicine ball cleans!

For dinner tonight, we had my turkey meatloaf in the crock pot (Mexican style with: cumin, oregano and salsa), roasted sweet potatoes and a salad. I didn’t have enough oats, so I added some flax seed and bread crumbs, thinking it wouldn’t effect the consistency. As soon I scooped the meatloaf out of the crock pot, it fell a part, thus not holding up as it usually is. But, it still tasted good! Since we were so hungry, we inhaled our food before I could take a picture, sorry! What did you make for dinner tonight?

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Fun and Festivities July 6, 2012

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July! We had a great celebration! Keenan certainly had fun, being silly with his cousin, helping Avo (Keenan’s nickname for my dad, which means Grandpa in Portuguese) make ice cream (and licking the spatula after the ice cream was finished) and playing with sparklers for the first time.

Here is a little re-cap of our day:

Wagon riding with Uncle E and taking pictures in 4th of July outfits:

The roller coaster “wagon” ride with Uncle E!

Swimming and trying out Keenan’s new Puddle Jumper! This is one of the best purchases we have made for Keenan, hands down! A mom in our swim class recommended it, and we (and Keenan) love it! It is Coast Guard certified, which is a bonus, but the best part is it keeps your child upright (instead of on their backs, like traditional infant life jackets), so they can learn to kick and paddle while floating. The Puddle Jumper has two arm holes (like floaties) connected to a belt that goes around the child’s belly. I was able to swim with Keenan in the deep-end and not feel nervous, because the Puddle Jumper is very safe and secure. The weight/size requirement is for kids 30-50 pounds, but Keenan is 26 pounds and it fit perfectly. If you are looking for something to help your child learn how to swim this summer, I highly recommend it! Also, it is very inexpensive, only costing between $15.00-$20.00! I bought the most basic one from Amazon for $20.00 (including shipping).

Swimming!

Ice cream making with Avo: Keenan helped put ice and water in the bucket, but he was so fascinated with watching Avo crank the handle. After the ice cream was finished, he and his cousin were the first ones to taste it!

Dinner and Dessert:

Keenan devouring his ice cream cone!

Sparkler time: Keenan wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be. His favorite part was putting the finished sparklers in the water bucket!

Sparkler time!

Today, after getting back into town, we slowly got back on track with eating healthy again (cutting back on portions, rich food and dessert) and went back to the gym, CrossFit. Even though we had lots of fun the past two days, it felt good to have a more “normal” day. My body needed it! I ate too many  peanut butter cookies and ice cream yesterday!

Tomorrow, I will be heading to CrossFit in the morning and then Keenan and I will head back to my parents’ house one last time, to spend the weekend with them and my niece, since my husband will be out of town and my brother and sister-in-law will be out of town, too. Keenan will enjoy having the additional time to play with his cousin (he cried when we had to leave this morning!). It should be fun!

What did you do for the 4th?

 

 
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