Tuesday, September 21, 2010

There's a new blog in town

I've been working on a new blog with a name I like better. I don't have a background I love yet but it's good enough right now to at least direct you there.

Follow me over here . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soup Season

I'm ready for fall. But in Texas fall doesn't really start to settle in till after Halloween. I like soup but I'm not willing to wait that long for it. So I decided to start making soup once a week to coerce fall to arrive.

Last week I made that pizza soup that I made before. I think I'll take a break from it for a while. I used less pasta this time but the leftovers were really greasy, probably from the Italian sausage. So I ended up throwing out a lot of it, something I really hate to do.

This week I made taco soup. I like this one a lot. It's really easy to throw together & it makes A LOT. So much that I decided to try my hand at freezing some of the leftovers for some time in the future. I guess we'll see how that turns out when I decide to use it.

Next week I want to make buffalo wing soup. I've been craving good hot wings in a bad way. No, I'm not pregnant. I just crave things on occasion. Jeremy has already promised me Wingstop this weekend. And I'm planning to make a buffalo chicken pizza tomorrow night. See, major craving!

If you have a good beef stew recipe, I'd love to have it. Stew is close enough to soup. But every time I've made it, it's always seemed to be missing something.

I'm gonna keep on looking for more soups to try & post the ones I really like.

Friday, September 10, 2010

3 Weeks To Go!

The marathon is only 3 weeks away. 3 weeks! Eeek!

Last week I finally took the plunge & signed up. It made it official. No turning back now.

One portion of the form asked what my estimated finish time will be. I put down 5:15:30 (5 hr. 15 min., 30 seconds). Based on some recent long runs that's about what's estimated. I would love to finish under 5 hours & it is possible. But if I don't meet that goal I'm ok with it. Just finishing is an accomplishment.

Tomorrow is my last real long run: 20 miles. I've attempted this twice so far, both on the treadmill due to the Texas heat. The first time didn't go so well & I only got 17 miles done. The 2nd time was much better & I got it all done but I didn't feel like it was the best training since I had to get off a few times for water refills which stopped the clock on the treadmill. In a race the clock doesn't stop for you.

So I'm excited to try this run tomorrow. It's been pretty humid here this week after all the rain from the tropical storm off the coast so I'm planning to get a very early start, like before the sun is even up. I'm also having to tackle this one alone. Normally Jeremy rides his bike with me, encouraging me to keep going & carrying my goodies (Gatorades, water, & energy beans). But he's out of town this weekend so I've got a 2-mile loop & a 1-mile loop in my in-laws' neighborhood that I'll do. I have to refuel every 3 miles so I'll do 2 miles, drink some water, then 1 mile & drink a gatorade, then the 2 miles again & so on till I complete all 20 miles. I hope I don't lose count! Being by myself will be closer to race conditions since Jeremy will only be able to meet me at a few mile markers along the race.

After this run I get to taper off, having shorter runs during the week & then my last 2 long runs are a 12-miler & then an 8-miler. And then it's 26.2 miles.

Oh, and I bought my singlet for the marathon today & will have something special put on the back of it. I can't wait to reveal it! There's also a super cute purple running skirt I have my eye on. I may feel terrible when it's over & be tired & sweaty, but I'm gonna look going doing it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crockpot Brown Sugar Chicken

This was from the same site I've used before. It was also called "Candy Chicken". It is sweet but very yummy.

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (I used 7-Up)
2/3 cup vinegar
3 cloves smashed & chopped garlic
2 T soy sauce
1 t black pepper

Put chicken in crockpot. Cover with brown sugar, garlic, soy sauce, & pepper. Add vinegar & pour in the soda. Cover & cook on low for 6-9 hours.


My chicken thighs had bones & I left the skin on. I thought it was just fine. I also was out of garlic so I just used garlic powder. We ate it over white rice, adding broth to it. I LOVE white rice but Jeremy isn't a big fan of it so he'd prefer just the chicken. Other than that he liked it. He thought the house smelled like Chinese food when he came home.

This is definitely something I'll make again!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

7 Months Old


Even though I'm with her all day everyday I'm still amazed at how fast this little girl is growing.


- Shaylin hasn't made any more progress on crawling but that's ok. Sometimes she'll get one leg in the right position or get her bottom in the air like she's going to do it, but usually she just ends up pushing herself backwards.


- She's sitting on her own even better now.


- Shaylin can now sit in the grocery cart. I just put the cart cover in (because it's more comfortable & keeps her from touching a cart full of germs) & she's able to sit & look around. She's enjoying shopping much more now.


- When Shaylin's sitting on the floor I can take her hands & she'll pull herself up. Recently she attempted to pull herself up by pulling on Jeremy's hair.


- We've introduced a lot of foods to Shaylin. She loves bananas (but they don't love her), peaches, pears, peas, sweet potatoes, & carrots. The first time she had green beans she didn't like them but the following nights she changed her mind. She's so much fun to feed because she gets so excited for every bite & opens her mouth wide ready for more.


- We were back to teething again for a few days but now it seems to have stopped.


- She's still sleeping well at night, getting at least 10 hours each night but some nights close to 12 hours.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Praying for a Cold Front

We're in the middle of a long streak of temperatures over 100 degrees. So far all of August has been over 100. I think as of today we're at 17 straight days but I may have lost count. And it's still supposed to continue for another WEEK!

Because it's been so hot, I haven't been able to run outside in over 3 weeks. For one thing, it's ruining the great tan I was developing. I'm also developing a distaste for the treadmill. It's not so bad running for 5 miles on it. But 16 miles like I did this past Saturday gets old really fast. The marathon is creeping up on me & I've got to get some outside runs in so my body is ready for it.

The heat is also going to give us a killer of an electric bill. In June we received the largest bill we ever. Our previous house was brand new & had radiant barrier decking so our bills were very low despite having the a/c at 70 at night. But now we live in a much older house so keeping it cool isn't easy. In July we bumped up the a/c at night to 76 & that helped a lot on our bill. But I'm worried how the August bill will turn out when we have the thermostat set at 78 during the day which it can't cool down the house lower than 80 or even 81!

Our poor dogs need to be walked so bad. But when it's still 95 degrees just before the sun goes down, that's just too hot for anyone to be out there. I don't want to burn their big paws.

Shaylin seems to be very hot-natured. She gets sweaty very easily. And I think all her sweating how caused her to be a little dehydrated. Getting her to drink water & like it hasn't been easy.

So those are my biggest reasons on why I'm praying for a cold front. And I'm not even talking like weather in the 70s although I look forward to that. Just the mid-90s would feel better.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Addition Thoughts

Sometimes after I post a blog I later think of some other thoughts I meant to say. So I'm going to take the time to do that right now. I'm sure this won't be the last time I do this.

Cloth Diapers

When we were using disposable diapers, we would get so many blowouts. Out the legs, up her back, up her front. But since having Shaylin in cloth we have rarely had any leaks. If we have anything, it's from wet diapers, not dirty ones, & only if she's really wet.

Schedules

I failed to mention that I mop the kitchen & bathrooms on Tuesdays. I also wanted to clarify that the kitchen is something cleaned daily. I'm not 100% on top of the dishwasher but I try.

Crockpot Pizza Soup

Definitely do NOT add as much pasta as I did! The leftovers are more like a casserole than soup now because the pasta has soaked up most of the broth. The broth was so good but now it just doesn't taste the same.

The Ups & Downs of Breastfeeding

Someone recently told me that if a baby gets just 1 oz. of breast milk a day that gives them all the antibodies they need for the day. That has really helped me feel better about supplementing since the main problem time we have is the last feeding. She's definitely getting more than 1 oz. a day so I know I'm still doing good.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Ups & Downs of Breastfeeding

Any mother who chooses to breastfeed will tell you it's not always easy. And I think knowing that helps when you're first starting out so you don't feel like a failure.

Shaylin's first few days were difficult because she just couldn't figure out how to latch on. This is a common problem in the beginning. While I was in the hospital there wasn't a lactation consultant on duty. So I was getting tips from whatever nurse that was there. That can get very confusing after a while. Sometimes Shaylin would get it & I could get her to nurse for as much as 20 minutes, but most of it was very frustrating.

Two days after coming home I saw a lactation consultant. It was a very long visit but I finally got to see Shaylin actually eat. This was a day after my milk came in. The LC gave me a nipple shield to help Shaylin with latching on & it really did the trick. I went home afterwards & nursed her as if we never had a problem. It was wonderful!

Things were going fine till Shaylin was around 9 weeks old I believe & I got sick fast. Body aches, high fever. I looked up my symptoms & knew it was mastitis. Since it was a late I had to go to a Care Now clinic rather than seeing my own doctor. But this doctor was actually really good & determined I didn't yet have mastitis but I was on the verge of it. He said that what was likely causing it was that I was still using the shield 100% with nursing. It was keeping my milk from fully coming down so it was blocking up. So the next day I had to start weaning Shaylin off the shield. It was difficult at first but within a week she figured out how to latch on without it & once again things were going well.

Now in the last couple months I've seen a drop in my supply. The hardest feeding is the last one. Shaylin will fuss & cry which I think is because the milk is coming down fast enough for her. I'd have to look on my calendar but it likely started around the time I was putting in 20+ miles a week. I try to make up for those calories I burn but on those long run days where I burn over 1000 calories I just can't eat that much.

A friend told me of a tea that has fenugreek in it so I've been drinking that & it's really helped. It seems that on most days I can just drink it twice a day & be just fine.

But I'm noticing another pattern. See, I was one of those unlucky mothers who's cycles came back early. Like exactly 6 weeks post-partum. Yeah, I was not happy about that. And lately I've been noticing that when it's "that time of the month" for a few days my supply suffers even more, despite drinking my tea. But then once it passes everything is back to normal & Shaylin nurses just fine.

So for this next time around I plan to be ready for it. The few days prior I'm going to drink extra tea, at least 3 times a day. I'll eat oatmeal everyday & really make sure to drink lots of water (which I do anyway because of running). And we'll see if this helps.

Being able to breastfeed is very important to me & I really want to make it to 1 year. It's extra special for me because at one time I didn't think I'd ever get to do it. Had we adopted I wouldn't be able to breastfeed. I know I would still find ways to bond with my baby. There are others ways than just breastfeeding.

But it's such a special time for me when it's just us. I love how her little hands reach up & touch my face. I love how she'll suddenly stop eating to look at me & give me a big grin. These are memories that are so precious to me. So even if I can't make it to 1 year I have these memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crockpot Pizza Soup

I've had some bad luck with crockpot recipes lately. They've burned or just haven't cooked like they should. So when I went to my favorite website for crockpot recipes & found this one I was hopeful but had some backup options in the freezer just in case.

It's a good one! Really, really good!

1 jar (14 oz.) pizza sauce
3 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
2 already-cooked Italian sausage, cut in quarters
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters
8 fresh basil leaves, 1/2 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
1/2 to 1/3 cup pasta (I used spiral noodles)
shredded mozzerella cheese (for later)

This makes A LOT so you need at least a 5 quart crockpot.

Wash veggies & prepare. Dump in crock pot. Cut up sausage & pepperoni & dump in crockpot. Add basil & oregano. Pour in pizza sauce, followed by 3 jars of water.

Cover & cook on low for 7-9 hours. About 30 min. before eating dump in pasta & turn temp up to high.

Garnish bowl with cheese if desired.

A couple changes I did:

I couldn't find pizza sauce so I bought a traditional flavor of spaghetti sauce. Close enough I guess. My package of sausage came with 5 & I decided to use all of them. Two just didn't seem to be enough & I like meat. I added the entire bag of pasta (16 oz.). I tried 1/2 cup, even a whole cup, & it didn't seem like much at all. Jeremy thought it was a little too much pasta, but I didn't mind.

We each at just one bowl & there is a ton left. Jeremy asked to take it to work tomorrow & we'll probably eat it again over the weekend. I'll definitely hold on to this one, especially when cold weather comes . . . someday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pre-pregnant weight does not equal pre-pregnant body

My pregnancy weight gain goal was no more than 35 lbs. The Sunday before Shaylin was born I made it to 34 lbs. So close enough.


The first 20 lbs. just fell off. It was the coolest thing getting on the scale everyday & seeing the number get lower & lower.


But after about 2 weeks it stopped. 14 lbs. to go.


I started running at 6 weeks post-partum & thought that would get the rest off. But eating too much bad food didn't change things. I'd lose a couple pounds & put them back on.


Finally in May I cut out sodas completely. That finally did the trick. The weight started falling off. It also helped that by the next month I was running 20 miles a week. You run that much & you'll drop weight fast.


Just last month I got on the scale & I had made it! Pre-pregnant weight! I can wear all my jeans again. My face is thinner.

But my middle hasn't changed much. Granted, I never had a perfectly flat tummy with an awesome six-pack. But it would be nice to not look in the mirror some days & feel like I look about 12 weeks pregnant.

I'm happy that I at least lost the weight in 6 months. But it's frustrating when you look at magazines of celebrity moms in little bikinis bragging about how they lost the weight in 3 months or sometimes less. Seeing these pictures never bothered me that much till now. It puts unreal expectations on women.

At this point I'm not trying to lose anymore weight, although I probably will. I'm happy with the number I'm at. But I'm hoping all this running will help get my stomach back to something more pre-pregnant.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running Update

I'm still training for my marathon, which is on October 2. Almost 2 months away! I can't believe how close it is!

The past couple long runs haven't gone as I had hoped. The 14-miler was fine. Had to walk a little bit at the end of it which slowed by pace but I finished. The 16-miler had me really defeated. It was an extremely hot & humid day despite starting at 8am. After 3 miles I realized I had taken a wrong turn & I just couldn't recover mentally from it. The sun had also sucked out all my energy. I turned back, walking & jogging it, & got a little over 5 miles total. So the other 10+ miles was later done on the treadmill. It's not easy doing that long of a distance on the treadmill.

Last Saturday I had to do 18. The weather was much nicer. There was even a nice breeze. But after mile 10 I started struggling. Finally around mile 15 Jeremy called his dad to come pick us up. So close!

This Saturday I have to do 20 miles. 20! That's only a 10k short of a marathon! Crazy!

Weather.com is predicting a high of 103 on Saturday so we'll have to try to start early. Not easy with a 6-month old.

I'm so thankful to have Jeremy with me on my runs. He gives me water, gatorade, & energy beans when I need them & encourages me to keep going. He'll bike the marathon, meeting me at mile markers, & will probably update the world of Facebook on my progress. He's been a great support!

Friday, July 23, 2010

6 Months Old

Shaylin is 6 months old today. Here are some of her milestones & things she's doing:

- She just started eating rice cereal this week. I was prepared for her to not like it since they say most babies don't & it's very bland, but she loved it & I couldn't give it to her fast enough.

- In probably a week's time she's gone from falling over anytime I sit her up to sitting for long periods of time without me or the boppy pillow propping her up.



- Loves blowing raspberries. We find her doing it when she's getting mad, like when she's in her carseat & wants out.


- When she's on her tummy, she manages to turn her body 180 degrees.

- Most nights she sleeps 10 hours straight through.

- She loves Kaylee & Keira (our dogs) & gets so excited when they're around.

- She's figured out how to get her toes in her mouth.

- Her favorite show is Wheel of Fortune. I don't know if it's Pat, Vanna, the sound of the wheel spinning, or what but when it's on, she's hooked!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Do you need a chocolate fix? Here's a quick way to get it!

4 T white sugar
4 T flour
2 T cocoa powder
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T oil
3 T chocolate chips (optional)
splash vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (microwave safe)

Add dry ingredients to mug & mix well.
Add egg & mix well.
Add milk & oil & mix well.
Add chocolate chips (optional) & vanilla extract & mix again.
Put your coffee mug in microwave & cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise a little but that's ok.
Let cool for a few minutes & then dump onto a plate.
It's enough for 2 to split & you can eat it all if you don't want to share.

I drizzle a little chocolate syrup on top because I like my chocolate a little sweeter than this comes out. It's super easy & calls for everything that most women already have in their pantry.

Schedules

I'm not very spontaneous. Jeremy will echo that. I'm a very scheduled person. Schedules help me be sure that things get done. So when I was asked during my pregnancy if I will be a "go with the flow" mom or a scheduled mom, I already knew the answer.

When we brought Shaylin home I tried as soon as I was able to get around I started setting a schedule for myself. But I didn't get this figured out in one week. I started by settling on when I'd wash Shaylin's laundry & make sure to get it done. Then it was our laundry & then towels. Anytime I felt that I had a part of my routine down, I'd add something to it. It kept me from being overwhelmed with this new chapter in my life.

So here's what I currently have going on in my week:

Monday - wash Shaylin's laundry, grocery shopping while my mother-in-law watches Shaylin (so thankful she can help me with this so shopping is less stressful)

Tuesday - wash towels, dust, vacuum

Wednesday - wash sheets & put new ones on the bed

Thursday - clean bathrooms

Friday - wash my & Jeremy's laundry, dust, vacuum

Cloth diapers are washed every 2 days & I usually only have to wash whites every 2 weeks (we have a lot of white socks apparently!).

I was brushing the dogs on vacuuming days during shedding season but don't have to so much right now. However, now that Shaylin is getting on the floor more often I'm noticing that I probably need to start vacuuming daily. Kaylee may not be shedding huge chucks of hair but she still loses hair & I'd rather my baby not get it all over her. So there's a new change to my schedule.

My scheduling also helped me with being able to easily train for a marathon. As soon as I was allowed to at least walk I got on the treadmill everyday in the mornings & put Shaylin in her swing. She fought it for a while which had me getting off a lot to soothe her. But eventually she adjusted & now expects to be in her swing & take her morning nap there.

Being a new mom can be overwhelming. And it's easy to feel like you're being lazy if laundry is piling up & dishes are in the sink. But by just slowly building a routine you can be sure things get done & some days it'll even make you feel like your Supermom!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cloth Diapers


When I heard of cloth diapers I used to think of the old school kind, the giant napkin that's held together by giant safety pins. There are some still out there like that but now cloth diapers are so much better .

Choosing cloth over disposable wasn't based on the environment. Don't get me wrong. I do believe God has commanded us to take care of this planet. I just think there's a way to do it without going over-board to almost creation-worship. Anyway . . . the decision was mostly financially based. Here is a cost comparison showing what you typically will spend on disposables & what you'll save with 3 different cloth diapering options. We also learned that babies in cloth tend to have less diaper rashes. Major plus to help keep Shaylin comfortable!

Actually, the above site is a great resource for all your CDing questions. A friend directed me here & it really helped me decide the best type of diaper for us.

We settled with the Fuzzi Bunz One-Size diapers. I liked these because the elastic in the legs & waistband are adjustable & there are multiple snaps so you get the perfect fit. But best of all Shaylin will be able to wear these diapers all the way to potty-training.

I spent $389 on my order which included 18 diapers, a diaper sprayer (I'll explain later), one large wetbag for dirty diapers, & one small wetbag to hold diapers while away from home. Sure, it was a lot to pay out at first but how long would it have taken me to spend that much on disposables? Not long I'm sure when the big boxes cost close to $20 each.
So how does cleaning work? Isn't it gross? Well, it's not my favorite but it's not as bad as I thought it'd be. Wet diapers are simple. I pull out the insert & put that & the diaper itself in the wetbag. For dirty diapers, I pull out the insert & put it in the wetbag. I think spray the "dirtiness" off with the diaper sprayer. It's a hose much like what's on your kitchen sink but attaches to the pipes on your toilet. It sprays most everything right off. That then goes in the wetbag.
Since I have 18 diapers, that has me washing them every 2 days. It's spaced enough so I don't feel like I'm constantly doing laundry but not too far out where it starts to smell. I throw all the diapers, insert, & the wetbag in the washer. First I do a cold rinse cycle. After that I do a regular wash cycle with hot water & detergent & include a 2nd rinse. Then I dry them on low heat. That's it! Very simple & I don't feel put out at all.
Our water bill has not been affected at all despite the extra laundry. Neither has our gas bill (our dryer is gas).
I certainly can't say cloth is for everyone. If I was working full-time I don't think I'd do it unless I was using a diaper service. But if you are considering it, you've got my support!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My American Sweetie


This is a few days later but wanted to post it anyway. Actually, I haven't been able to even post in a few days. Just a little writer's block I guess.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why I Run


1. It helps me shed the baby weight. About 2/3 of the weight came off really fast. It was kinda fun stepping on the scale when I came home from the hospital & the few days after that. But then it hit a stand-still. Once I was consistent in my running & stopped drinking sodas, the rest of the weight has been falling off. Last I checked I have only 4 pounds to my pre-pregant weight!


2. It's a sport that I'm actually good at. Let's face it. I'm not athletic. I was never any good at basketball (maybe it's the height). In high school I was ON the volleyball team but I didn't start. Never bothered with soccer. Sometimes I can hit the ball in baseball. But running has given me confidence that I can do something well in the sports world.


3. It's been a great way to blow off steam or give me time to think or pray. This especially helped before I was pregnant with Shaylin. I started running after my 4th miscarriage. Running let me put my energy in something than just growing bitter. Work was really hard back then, too, so somedays it was nice to put my frustrations on the treadmill.


4. It keeps me humble & keeps my pride in check. This one isn't easy to admit. Sometimes after a long run I've been tempted to post a status on Facebook like this: "I just ran (X # of) miles. What did you do?". But that's just my sinful pride coming out. I'm also reminded often that I'm not the best. Just a couple weeks ago I was running 9 miles & feeling great that I was holding my desired pace & then this skinny girl coasts right by me with perfect form. All I can do is my best & thank God for the ability.


5. I want to be an example to my daughter. Shaylin's swing & the treadmill are positioned perfectly so I can look back & see her & she can watch me. Sometimes I catch her just staring at me. I want her to see her mother staying active & being healthy so she'll want to do the same.

5 months old


Shaylin is 5 months old today. Here's some of the things she does now:


- She holds her head up really well when on her tummy.

- She's sleeping in her room & can sleep as much as 10 hours at a time.

- She can do kissy sounds.

- She's still on breastmilk alone. I'm sure within the next month we'll try some rice cereal but currently the plan is to hold out till she's 6 months old.

- Naptime is going much better now. She doesn't fight me as hard & will often nap for at least 2 hours.

- She's still working on hand-eye cordination. She tries to get things to her mouth but doesn't quite get it there sometimes.

- She's a very serious baby. She can laugh but it's very hard to get her to laugh.

- She likes watching tv. This isn't something I'm necessarily proud of.

- She wears 3-6 months in all her clothes now.


Some days I'm overwhelmed by how much I love this little girl. She's so precious to me & such a gift.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T paprika
1 T garlic powder
1 T poultry seasoning
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
4 thick cut boneless pork chops
salt & pepper to taste

Place pork chops in crock pot.
Whisk together all other ingredients.
Cook on high for 4 hours. Baste periodically with the sauce.

Another really easy recipe. I'm sure you could cook it on low for longer but it did just fine on high. The pork chops were so tender that you didn't even need a knife!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Couponing


I went to Walmart today armed with a whole lot of coupons. Walmart isn't as friendly with couponers as other stores. They're coupon policy is confusing & most of the cashiers don't know it anyway. If they don't know what to do with a coupon they just claim they don't take it. I had that happen today.


A few weeks ago I signed up on kraftfirsttaste.com to get coupons for new Kraft products. They finally came last week & I was so excited to use them. They allowed me to get some items for free, like the deli meat I always get. But it also allowed me to try items I've never bought.


When the cashier finished scanning my items, it totaled just over $81. But after using my coupons (which took a long time!) my total was $60.13! That was $21 in coupons!


Here's my loot:

Gallon of milk, 10-pack of gatorade, pint of buttermilk, 2 100-calorie snack packs (b1g1 free), shampoo & conditioner, parsley flakes, spaghetti, crushed tomatoes, 1 lb. ground beef, shaving cream, 2 packs of hot dogs, hot dog buns, Ritz Crackerfuls (free!), Kraft Homestyle mac 'n cheese (free!), small DiGiorno pizza (free!), toothpaste, 3 squash, Kool-aid Fun Fizz (free!), hand soap, toilet paper, p.j.'s for Shaylin (because she's a growing girl!), canteloupe, Duncan Heinz Warm Delights, Oscar Meyer deli meat (free!), 2 boxes of Suddenly Salad, Sunday's newspaper (for the comics & more coupons!) *not pictured: 24 pack Ozarka water bottles (because they were too heavy)

So I'm pretty proud of myself. I was trying to keep my grocery bill low this week since we're eating out a coupon times.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleeping in her own room


At 5am Thursday morning I decided it was time for Shaylin to move to her own room. She woke up that morning at 4:45 wide awake & fought me to go back to sleep. I needed to just leave her alone & let her cry it out but it's so hard to do that when she's doing the crying in our room & I'm trying to make sure Jeremy is getting enough sleep. He is the one making the money afterall.


All day I was fine with the decision. I knew it needed to be done & would be best for all of us. Even when I laid her in her crib I was ok. But going to bed was hard. She wasn't there where I could easily check on her. So there were a couple tears.


She ended up sleeping 8 1/2 hours that night, never waking once. And then last night she slept 10 hours. She only woke up this morning because I had to get her up so I could leave for my run.


I'm so happy that this transition has gone so smoothly. I was hesitant because I thought if she's going to wake at night it's easier if she's 5 feet from me. But now it looks like all she needed was her own room!s

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Marathon Training

Training for my marathon begins this week. The schedule is pretty simple. I run every Monday & Wednesday, anywhere from 3 to 7 miles depending on what is scheduled, & then Saturdays are my long runs. So for this week I'll run 6 miles on Monday, 5 miles on Wednesday, & then 10 miles on Saturday.

Tuesdays & Thursdays are cross-training days. I do things like squats, lunges, ab workouts, & use my 5 lb. weights. Nothing to "bulk up". Just trying to stay toned. I'd like to have abs again, too.

I've been losing baby weight & have only 4 pounds to get to my pre-pregnant weight. I'll be happy to have the weight off but mostly I'd just like to fit into my clothes again. Most things fit but are still snug.

So back to running . . .

My original goal was to run the marathon at a 10 min. pace. I'm not so sure this is possible by now so I'm just hoping to stay under a 12 min. pace now. This weekend I ran 9 miles & held my pace really well & ended with a 11:56 average. So I'm hopful that in 16 weeks this will improve a little.

But more than anything what's most important is finishing the race.

Friday, June 11, 2010

4 Month Sleep Regression


Like the title says, that's what we're in right now. My good little sleeper is waking up every 3 hours (sometimes less). It's like she's a newborn again.


At first I didn't know what was going on. She had been sleeping through the night, averaging 9 hour stretches, for quite a while. Then she snapped. It helped when a friend led me here & I learned how there's a lot going on in her little body & mind right now. I also found some good information here.


But how long is this going to last? And is there something I should be doing to get her back to sleeping through the night? Do I need to change our routine?


Shaylin still sleeps in our room. Quite frankly I'm having a hard time letting go. I'm just now getting to the point where I'm not checking to see if she's breathing every night. It's just nice to have her close to me, but especially while she's waking up at night. But I'm starting to consider moving her to her room to see if that may help. A couple friends have told me that when they moved their baby to their own room that they slept the best. So it's under consideration.


So I'm asking for help & advice. We've had 7 nights in a row of her waking up constantly. Last night she did give me a 4-hour stretch so I'm hopeful that's she moving in the right direction.

My sleeping angel

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I found my feet!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Soy Lemon Pork Chops

Since I'm trying at least one new recipe a week, I think I'll share them on here, so long they're actually good. Last night I made Soy Lemon Pork Chops for dinner. They were super easy & the only expense I had was the pork chops because I had all the other ingredients at home already. I love recipes like that!

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t black pepper
1 t vegetable oil
4 pork chops (I used the butterfly chops)

In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, & oil. Add pork chops & turn to coat evenly. Cover & refridgerate for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Place marinated pork chops in roasting pan & bake for 35-40 minutes, basting often with marinade.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It all began a year ago

It was one year ago today that I learned that I was pregnant with my precious Shaylin.

I wish I could say that I was happy when I saw that little + sign. It was the 7th time I'd seen it & every time before had ended with sadness.

I took the test at work (because I'm classy like that). I just had a feeling that something wasn't right. Right away I called Jeremy & let him know. Both of us were thinking "here we go again" & were prepared for the worst.

The next day I had bloodwork done to see what my beta HCG count was. In the past it had never been very good. Only 2 hours later my results were back & they were 2,275.

Hope had returned.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The End of Lost

This post will only be of interest to anyone who's watched Lost. It'll also be full of spoilers so if you were thinking of watching the dvd's, I'd advise you to stop here.
LOST first aired on September 22, 2004. From the very beginning Jeremy & I were hooked. The first episode cost $11 million to make but it was worth it. It has to be one of the best pilot episodes of a tv show ever. In that first 2 hours we met many different characters, all who crashed on an island while flying from Sydney, Austrailia to Los Angelas. There was a monster who killed the pilot & uprooted trees in the jungle. And there was a message in French that had been repeating for 16 years. So lots of mystery.
It all ended this past Sunday. And there are mixed feelings about the finale.

Personally I'm fine with the whole "they-made-their-own-limbo-place-so-they-can-be-together-when-they-die" ending. I liked getting to see characters that died so long ago, like Boone, Shannon, & Libby. Watching some of them remember their time on the island was touching, like Jin & Sun or Charlie & Claire. Probably the one I was most excited about was Sawyer & Juliet because her death was so sad & I cried like a baby seeing Sawyer cry. And it's kinda neat to see the show end with Jack closing his eye to be opposite of the beginning when he opened his eye after the crash. No problems with all that.
The problem is the producers lied. They said we were going to get answers. For 6 seasons they bring us question after question. Sure, they answered a few through this last season (Adam & Eve, Richard's story, who the whispers are). But there is so much left unanswered. Let me just name a few:
1. Walt - probably the biggest question is "what was special about Walt?". He was kidnapped by the Others, he freaked them out about something he did, & then they just let him leave with his dad. It looks like his story was overlooked because he aged & grew so much that it just wouldn't work. So let this be a lesson to tv show writers: Don't give a child on the brink of puberty a major storyline if it's not going to progress faster than 3 months. But it still would have been nice to at least been given an answer about him at some point, even if you never bring him back on the show.

2. Jacob's cabin - So who was in there & said "help me" to Locke? My guess is that it was actually the Man in Black (MIB). But had it ever been Jacob's cabin? If so, why did he leave it & let MIB in it? And what about the ash circle around it? Was that to keep him from escaping it? But that wouldn't make sense since the smoke monster went all over the island.
3. Preggos - Why couldn't women who conceived on the island sustain a pregnancy? They would die during their 2nd trimester. Did that statue have something to do with it? Ethan was born on the island but we know the statue was destroyed by then because Richard's ship destroyed it when he came like 100 years earlier.
4. The Purge - I still don't understand all that. Was Rousseau on the island & if so, how'd she survive it? And why did Ben have to do it? Was it Richard that told him to do it as mediator for Jacob? But would Jacob have told him to do that or was Richard unknowingly following MIB's orders?
5. Ben vs. Widmore - Ben said Widmore "broke the rules" when he allowed Ben's daughter to be killed. What were these rules?

Those are just a few because I know there are others that people want answered. What questions do you have?
My other problem with the finale is Ben. They just kinda let him go. I think Jack should have let Ben be the new protector of the island. He didn't give himself over to Widmore's people & allowed his daughter to be killed because he thought he was protecting the island. Ben was my favorite character of the show. I never believed he was a bad guy. He just did whatever benefited himself. Michael Emerson's acting was so good & he totally deserved last year's Emmy. Unfortuantly I don't see him getting nominated this year since he was so under-used.
So now that I've seen all 6 seasons, would I still recommend it? Yes. I really would. Yes, it makes me mad that we don't have answers to some major mysteries. But I still love the characters (except Ana Lucia). The show did a great job of getting you to like these people so early on & to have your favorites. It made it that much harder when one of them was killed off.
Whether you liked the finale or no, LOST will still always be remembered as being one of the greatest tv shows ever.
Namaste.

Monday, May 24, 2010

4 Month Checkup

Shaylin had her 4 month checkup today. I enjoy these, minus the shots. It's fun to see how much she's grown since the last time. Here are her stats:

Head circumference - 16 in.
Weight - 12 lbs. even
Length - 24 3/8 in.

This puts her in the 50th percentile for her head, 25th for weight, & 50th in length. She's practically perfectly proportionate!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm also a runner

I started back running as soon as my doctor gave me the green light, which was at 6 weeks post-partum. He warned me to go slow since my body had just been through a whole lot for the past 9 months. As a pleasant surprise I didn't have near the problems I thought I would, particularly with my hips.

On May 8, I ran my first post-partum race, a 5k called the Mom Run. It couldn't have been a more perfect first race! My official time was 36:53, which is only 8 seconds slower than last year's race.

Now I've set my sights on a marathon. Most days I really feel like I can do it. The marathon is in October so I still have just over 4 months to train & since I don't work outside the home (because being a mom is still work!) I have more time to train. But then other days I kinda freak out!

But I really want to do this & I feel like this is my one shot to do one, at least for quite a few years if God blesses us with more children.

I'll update from time to time on how it's going. The actual scheduled training starts in 3 weeks & the marathon is on October 2.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Birth of Shaylin Joy - Part 3

I think it was around 4pm when I got the epidural. I also agreed to them giving me pitocin, something else I originally didn't want. But I was barely 4 cm & it had been 16 hours since my water broke. They don't like you to go past 24 hours for risk of infection to the baby. Once they gave the pitocin we were to wait & see what happened. If I had not made enough progress by 8pm they would start prepping for a c-section.
Somewhere during that wait Shaylin's heartrate dropping some so they put me on oxygen & started monitoring her by screwing a probe in her head. This was yet another thing that did not go according to my birth plan. But being tired & out of it I didn't argue.

8pm came & I was pregressing very well so we were cleared to continue laboring.
I think it was around this time when my parents made it . . . from Georgia. See, I called my parents at 1am to tell them I was in labor. My mom immediately got online & started shopping for tickets. They had just bought tickets a week earlier to fly the week after my due date. But now Shaylin decided to come 2 weeks early & my mom didn't want to meet her 2nd grandchild for the first time at 3 weeks old. As an answer to prayer they found an incredible deal & were both able to fly in time for the birth!

At 10pm I had made it to 10 cm so it was time to push. That's when they turned off the epidural. Big mistake! I had no idea what I was doing because I couldn't feel a thing. It was just me holding my breath for 10 seconds at a time. Somewhere over an hour later I started gaining some feeling & could even tell when a contraction was coming.

Finally at 11:38pm on January 23, 2010 our little Shaylin Joy entered the world.


To say I cried is an extreme understatement.
I sobbed.
It was a moment I had waited for for 3 years.
Shaylin weighed 7 lbs. & was 19 inches long with lots of dark hair.

And this is our little family. We are so in love & so thankful for this precious gift. All praise can only go to the Lord for this little blessing.

The Birth of Shaylin Joy - Part 2

I'll admit the order & time of what happened the rest of the day is blurry.

I had my first internal check & learned why my OB doesn't bother with those for checkups. OUCH! I thought she was trying to grab my tonsils! We learned that I was barely 1 cm, 0% effaced, & Shaylin was at -4 station, almost as high as she could get. Not a good way to start.

I should also mention that I had tested positive for strep B so I had no choice but to go to the hospital so they could keep me on anti-biotics. This also meant that I couldn't try to labor in the tub. Total bummer.

I do know that sometime around 3am or so my contractions started. The on-call doctor gave me permission to walk the halls to hopefully get Shaylin to drop. So we did & I was checked again & had made little progress.

The nurse was already talking c-section because at that time I didn't want any drugs & wanted it all natural. This upset me pretty bad. So to try to get things going & prevent a c-section I agreed to use cervidil. This forced me to have to stay in bed for an hour. But it got contractions going then. We started walking again but at this point it seemed like contractions were every 30 seconds & I was having a really hard time. So I agreed to some meds, one for the pain & one to help me sleep. The sleep meds worked fast. I remember falling asleep to Jeremy reading me encouraging comments people were leaving on Facebook & the next thing I woke up & my mother-in-law is in his place so he can have lunch. They told me later that I was still having contractions while asleep & was moaning through all of them.

The best pain relief I found was the shower. I could just stand in there with the water hitting my lower back & all the back pain went away. But of course I could stay in there for the next 8 cm.

At one point I tried the birthing ball but after about 2 minutes on it I made the difficult decision to have an epidural. It wasn't something I wanted to do. I was so certain that I could go without. So the pain was not what I thought it would be. My emotions really got the best of me because all I could compare it to was one of my miscarriages so I just couldn't focus.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Birth of Shaylin Joy - Part 1

If I'm going to have a blog about being a mom, then I should at least start off with the day I became one.

On January 22, Jeremy spent the day with me to get some errands run & help me clean around the house. That night we went to dinner & called it our "last date night" for a while. All day Jeremy was joking that I wouldn't make it to Sunday. He was certain my belly had dropped.


I went to bed around 11:30 & Jeremy stayed up to play a video game. About half an hour later I felt . . . something. I'm going to spare everyone from too many details. But we eventually figured out my water had broken.


Let me just say, that is the weirdest feeling in the world!


My hospital bag still wasn't packed & we didn't even have the carseat installed yet. Jeremy called his parents so they could take the dogs home with them & we scrambled around the house grabbing anything we could think we'd need.


We checked into the hospital around 2am. At this point I hadn't had any contractions yet.


I changed into my lovely hospital gown & the nurse proceeded to ask all sorts of questions. We didn't really like her. We were excited about having our baby & joking around & she wasn't having it. Well, lady, then don't take the night shift!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Chapter, New Blog

I'm back!

My old blog was the Texan Toad & I used it for about 3 years. It was a hodge-podge of a lot of things but quite a bit of it was taken over my our fertility issues. Thankfully God answered our prayers & allowed me to carry a pregnancy to term & gave us our precious Shaylin. There's probably about 50 posts that have to do with my pregnancy. My last post was at 36 weeks. I forgot to post one for 37 weeks & then 6 days later Shaylin came. Through the hectic transition of having a newborn at home I never got a chance to get back on & post about Shaylin's birth or those first few weeks of her life. So I figured I just wouldn't blog anymore.

Well, I've been itching to blog again so here I am. But since this is a new chapter of my life, I decided that called for a new blog.

Coming up with a title was not easy. I was going to have it do with running, since I'm back at that again & am training for a marathon in October. But nothing sounded right. So I left it to just say where I am now: I'm a momma.

But you'll see in the address the number 262. That's not two hundred sixty-two. That's supposed to be 26.2, as in 26.2 miles, as in a marathon. Blogger didn't allow the "dot".

So here I am. I'm a runner. And I'm a momma.