Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

A Day of Painting and The Importance of Sleep October 4, 2012

Painting!

I love it when I have a day with nothing planned (except for working out) and no place to go! Today is that day for us! Aside from taking my mom to the airport this morning, Keenan and I stayed in our PJs (a onsie, for him) and played at home. Since he has enjoyed playing with the box, I thought it would be fun to paint it. My original plan was to paint it as a car, but then Keenan said he wanted it to be a “Choo choo train.” We started out painting it as a train, but then it ended up being a smattering of different things and colors, so it is just one big colorful box! In the midst of painting the box, Keenan managed to paint himself, too! 🙂 In order to get all of the paint off, I gave him a quick bath, which he kept saying, “not bed time, no bath!” He sure is a child of routine, since he knows he doesn’t take a bath, unless it is bed time! All, in all, we had a great time painting outside this morning and Keenan can’t wait to play with his “painted box!”

His painted box!

Paint ALL over!

Before I forget, we tried something new for breakfast this morning. I saw a recipe for chocolate protein oatmeal the other day and decided to give it a try. I like oatmeal, but I rarely eat it, because it hardly contains any protein and it is loaded with WAY too many carbohydrates.  If I eat a bowl of regular oatmeal, I am usually hungry within 2 hours. When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued! It contains over 23 grams of protein!
Since I made it for the first time, I followed the recipe exactly, except I only had vanilla protein powder.

Chocolate protein oatmeal!

Chocolate Protein Oatmeal: (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup whole oats

– 3/4 cup water

– 1 tbsp flaxseed (ground)

-1 tbsp almond or peanut butter

– 1 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

– 1 banana mashed

– 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

Directions:

1. Mix oats, flaxseed, almond or peanut butter, cocoa powder and water together in a microwave safe bowl.

2. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes and stir.

3. Mix in mashed banana and protein powder. Enjoy!

Notes: It was good, but I think the chocolate protein powder would have made it more flavorful. Also, I think the peanut butter would have tasted better with the chocolate, so I will be sure to use it next time! All, in all, it was very satisfying and kept me full until lunch time. Keenan enjoyed it, too!

Enjoying his chocolate oats!

After breakfast, taking my mom to the airport and painting, Keenan and I had some “piano time” and then it was time for lunch. Since Keenan seemed more tired then usual, I made him a quick lunch of his favorite: peanut butter and honey sandwich with some carrots, applesauce and a glass of milk (in his fishy cup!). I felt like yogurt, so I made my “usual breakfast” for lunch, except with a peach this time! Also, look who got new slippers today…”Elmo” ones, thanks to Nonna!

Sporting his new “Elmo” slippers and enjoying his lunch!

After Keenan’s nap, we will head to CrossFit and then home for dinner. I am trying another crock pot creation/experiment for tonight’s dinner. I put 3 frozen chicken thighs at the bottom of my crock pot and topped it with a can of black beans mixed with onion, green and red bell peppers, salsa and lots of cumin, oregano, garlic no-salt seasoning from Costco and garlic salt. I’m letting it cook the rest of the afternoon. The last 30 minutes, I’m going to add some plain Greek yogurt and let it sit for 20 minutes before eating. I’m pairing it with a salad and dinner will be complete! I saw a similar recipe through a random search online that gave me the idea, so we’ll see how it turns out. I’ll keep you posted and be sure to take some pictures to share tomorrow!

Speaking of Keenan’s nap, I am still trying to work on getting more sleep these days. I know I said a while back that getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night was one of my goals, well… it still is! I have to admit, I haven’t been good at going to bed on time lately. It seems that there is always something to do and the only time I really have is after Keenan goes to bed, thus making my nights long. I always have the best intentions on going to bed early, but before I know it, it is already past 11 p.m.! Anyhow, I have been reading more about sleep and how it affects so many aspects of your life (not that I didn’t know this before). A lack of sleep can increase your risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Insufficient sleep affects hormone levels that regulate appetite (eating more to stay awake), metabolism and stress, not to mention making you more irritable and decreases your ability to focus/concentrate on certain tasks. In addition, not getting enough sleep can lower your immune function, making you more prone to catching a cold. Inadequate sleep also affects your workouts, such as not having enough energy to get through them, which can decrease the intensity and power of your workout.  Also, your body can’t properly rest and repair itself, such as recovering from a strenuous workout. Sleep is a major part of our lives and it is important to make time for it. My goal for this month is to set an alarm at 9:30 p.m. every week night to remind myself to get ready for bed, allow some quiet time for reading and shutting out the lights by 10:30 p.m. Since I worry about Keenan getting enough sleep, it is time I take care of myself, and make sure I get enough sleep to be the best that I can be (no matter what is done or not)!

Question: How many hours of sleep (on average) do you get a night? What kind of bedtime routine/ritual do you have to help yourself unwind before going to sleep?

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Monkey See, Monkey Do September 4, 2012

After going to bed early and getting a good night’s rest last night, we have all recovered from our weekend. Isn’t it the best feeling when you wake up rested and refreshed? My goal for this month is to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night because I feel and function so much better. It is also better for your health! Starting tonight, I’m going to make sure I get to bed early. We’ll see how it goes!

Speaking of sleep affecting your health….over the weekend, I had a great conversation with my husband’s cousin about modelling healthy habits for your children. My husband’s cousin is a Librarian, and a mother and her son recently came into her library asking for book recommendations and how to get her child to read more. The mother admitted that she doesn’t read that often, but she wanted to make sure her son developed a joy for reading. As my husband’s cousin helped her with finding books, the mother stopped as she was walking away and said, “Wait, if I read more, and my son sees me reading, he will probably want to read more.” This is powerful and really stuck with me. It is a perfect example how we as parents are crucial and important role models for our children. We can’t expect our children to do something, if we don’t do it ourselves. We need to model the behaviour we want our kids to exhibit. If we want our children to eat healthy foods then we need to eat them. If we want our children to develop a love for exercise and/or being active, then we need to demonstrate for them and incorporate them into our activity, i.e. family bike rides, jogging (having our child ride in a jogging stroller), swimming, hiking, etc. If we want our children to learn to be polite and be respectful to others, we need to respect others. Too often, we get busy or too tired to remember to be consistent in modelling the behaviours or actions that we want our children to learn, but it shouldn’t be an excuse to forget about it. Children are like little sponges and pick up things from us and their environment so easily; we need to remember how our actions effect them, both positively and negatively.

Since Keenan has turned two, he’s even more of a little sponge these days. He mimics what we say and do all the time, so we always have to be careful with what we say. I aim to be the best role model for him as possible, which is why I bring him to the gym, we go for family walks and bike rides, he is our “Sous Chef” in the kitchen, my “Little Shopper Helper” at the grocery store, picking out fresh produce and being respectful to others. In order for Keenan to be the best that he can be, I need to be the best that I can be. How do you influence your children? How do you handle negative influences?

Once we got up and made our way downstairs this morning (Keenan is now waking up at 7:00 a.m. again, ugh!), we had breakfast. We had some of the peach oatmeal bake that was leftover from yesterday, with yogurt and blackberries on top. It was a perfect combo! Keenan loved it, because he inhaled his breakfast in 5 minutes! I also made myself an iced coffee using the coffee concentrate that my husband made (he made another batch last week). It was tasty!

Breakfast this morning!

Today has been a nice and somewhat relaxing day. After breakfast, Keenan and I played at his table with his new toy, thanks to our friends, Elisa and Jon! He loves sticking random things, like his salt and pepper shakers, in the holes!

Thinking about what he wants to stick in the holes next!

A little while later, we headed upstairs, got dressed and had some “piano time.” We hadn’t played the piano together for a while, so it was fun to play and sing together. Keenan did so much better today, playing the keys (instead of banging them!) and singing with me. We played and sang several songs from one of his music class books!

Piano time with “Mr. Turtle!”

After playing the piano, we skyped with my brother and niece and then headed to the park for some outside play time (riding his trike there). It was a fun morning!

Playing on the Teeter Totter!

Playing on the play structure!

By the time we got home from the park, Keenan was pooped! He had a busy morning and played really hard at the park! He loved going on the “roundy slide” (as he calls it)!

Going down the “roundy slide!”

For lunch, Keenan had some leftover pasta (whole wheat noodles with pasta sauce), chicken and carrots. I made myself a salad with half of a peach, chopped chicken, dried cherries, walnuts and feta cheese with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Keenan was so tired from this morning that during lunch, he kept saying “sleepy-sleep!”

My lunch.

Once Keenan wakes up from his nap, we are heading to CrossFit. After our food-filled weekend, I’m looking forward to a good workout today! For dinner tonight, we are having Chinese long beans that got at our local farmer’s market over the weekend sautéed with an onion, sun dried tomatoes and Italian sausages with feta cheese. I know, you are probably thinking…Chinese long beans and Italian? The flavors actually blend really well together (and the Chinese long beans are more tender, so they’re easier for Keenan to eat).

Well, it is time to do some packing for our little getaway before we go to CrossFit. We are heading to the North Coast for a few days before my cousin’s wedding on Saturday. They are getting married in Healdsburg, so we thought it would be nice to make it a little getaway. I’ll be sure to post from over there and share some of the activities we will be doing. Have a great afternoon!

Oh, before I forget, here is the recipe for the basil avocado edamame dip:

Basil Avocado Edamame Dip: (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

– one 14-ounce bag frozen shelled edamame, unthawed

– 1/2 ripe avocado

– 1yellow onion, peeled and sliced into quarters

– 1 clove of garlic, peeled

– 2 teaspoons olive oil or more, if needed, to create a smoother dip

– 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste

– 1 large handful fresh basil or more to taste

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Cook edamame in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
2. Place cooked edamame, avocado, onion, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid in food processor. Blend in more olive oil, if mixture is too thick.
3. Transfer to a bowl and serve with pita chips.

Notes: I doubled the recipe, since it didn’t seem like enough for 8 people. I’m glad I did, because most of the dip was all gone by the end of the evening. I also added a little of our sodium-free garlic all-purpose seasoning from Costco for added flavor. Since I didn’t have any lemons, I added a little red wine and white wine vinegar, instead. The dip turned out okay, but I think the lemon juice would have added the zip that it needed.

 

Sleep…how I need you! July 7, 2012

Filed under: Children and Mommyhood,Coffee,Family — Fit 'n' Well Mommy @ 10:39 pm
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Keenan napping on Daddy’s back while hiking in Costa Rica!

Do you ever wish you could sleep-in until noon and wear your PJ’s all day? For some reason, today is that day for me. Even though I went to bed at a decent hour last night and technically should have gotten 8 hours of sleep, I am still SO tired! Keenan even slept-in a little this morning, so I should have no excuse for being tired! I guess it is a two cup (or more) of coffee kind of a day!

Speaking of sleep, I am fortunate that Keenan is a child who needs a lot of it (like I was when I was younger, and even now, as an adult, I need 8-9 hours to feel at my best). He started sleeping through the night (at least 6 hours) by 3 months and then he gradually increased to 8-9 hours by 4-5 months and at 6 months, he was sleeping at least 10 hours at night, with 2 naps during the day. Today, at almost two years old, he sleeps between 11-12 hours at night and takes an afternoon nap for 2-3 hours. On his best days, he gets a total of 14 1/2 to 15 hours of sleep! People have asked me how I was able to get Keenan to sleep through the night, and I believe it was attributable to three things: First, I implemented a daily routine of: eat, play, sleep that I adapted from the books, “The Baby Whisperer” and “Baby Wise” that I repeated over an over throughout the day, until bed time (keeping him up at least 2 1/2 – 3 hours before bedtime). Both books discuss the importance of routine vs. schedule and that by following a routine, your baby will learn its’ days from its’ nights, thus being able to sleep through the night. Secondly, Keenan started cluster feeding in the late afternoon/early evening, nursing every hour (for at least 30 minutes!) the last few hours before bed time, which helped him to “load-up” his tummy before bed. Lastly, if he woke-up in the middle of the night (once Keenan was 12 weeks old), my husband went in to comfort him back to sleep, instead of me, to make sure he didn’t associate food (aka…the boob) with waking-up. The first 3 nights were tough, but after the fourth day, he would pretty much go right back to sleep. After a couple of weeks, he wasn’t waking-up during the night anymore. In the end, I am not sure if it was one thing or all three things that helped Keenan sleep through the night at such an early age, but I will implement them with our future children and hopefully they will work just as well!

How many hours of sleep do you regularly get? How many hours of sleep do you need to function and feel at your best? Do your children sleep through the night?

Since Keenan and his cousin are napping, due to a very busy morning of playing outside and visiting a miniature pony ranch, I think I may take a nap, too! Have a great rest of your weekend!

 

 
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