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.


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.