Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Prep

As per my usual, I've bah-hummed through yet another holiday. You will not walk into my house and see spring decor or loads of pastel in every nook and cranny. However, what I lack in decor, I make up for with holiday activities. I don't mind bringing in a bit of holiday cheer with the little man....and you better believe I'm nothing short of giddy to hide some eggs on Sunday and watch him squeal and laugh with delight as he finds them.

We had a rare Friday night with nothing going on, so I pegged that as the night we would whip through a couple of fun Easter-themed activities. The first and most obvious, of course, was getting our dye on with some hard boiled eggs. If you know anything about our family, you know we go through no less than 20 hard boiled eggs a week (not kidding), so I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited about adding some color to my otherwise ho-hum breakfast.

My friend, Heather, had this amazing idea to help make my egg dyeing with a toddler less painful...put the egg into a whisk and let him dunk and dye away! Pure genius!  Cruz loved using the different color water and seeing it transform the outside of one of his favorite foods. 

I wish I could say the color remained in the bowl and on the egg only, but you all know that's not at all possible with a sixteen month old child. I was still finding food colored water on my cupboards this morning.

And in other Easter news, since I wasn't going to be spending the holiday with my side of the fam - where my sister or mom usually provide the fun Jell-O jiggle treats for the kiddies (and let's face to enjoy - I opted to be the one to take on the task. Easy, right? Make Jell-O, fill mold with Jell-O, refrigerate and enjoy! Yeah, not so much. 

I'm not even going to show a picture of the little disasters I created. There were headless ducks, bunnies with no ears, flowers with no petals and butterflies without was a Jell-O murder scene. The only ones that were salvageable...the jiggly eggs. Fail.

Happy Easter everyone! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DIY: Frozen Yogurt Melts

I got this simple, yet awesome idea from Sarah and had to try them out for myself. Because if you know me? You know I like easy.

Frozen Yogurt Melts
Yogurt, Greek yogurt, toddler yogurt (I had some Gerber left over, but have also used Gogurt)
Pan (baking pan worked for me)

Fill baggie with yogurt, squeeze it all down to one corner. Cut the smallest of holes to disperse the yogurt onto the pan. And I'm saying small. The first time I did this the hole I cut was too big and the yogurt came out waaay too fast. By the second batch, I figured it out.

Squeeze the yogurt onto the tray in small circles.

Throw the tray into the freezer and wait approximately 10 hours (I generally keep them freezing overnight), remove, scoop up using a spatula or other kitchen utensil that I probaby don't know the name of. And voila!

Cruz generally has them done before I can even question what I should do with them. The cold yogurt is especially nice while little man is teething. Score.

Don't let this uninterested face fool you, he is a BIG fan!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Favorite Things: Baby Registry

I've been meaning to post some of our favorite things through Cruz's different stages for quite some time now. If not for my own recollection when we have baby #2, also for some of our friends who are becoming new mamas soon. Hope these are useful!

Baby Registry Faves.

  • Fisher Price Papasan - we used this from the first day we brought little man home and basically daily until just before he turned one. Being able to prop him up and safely strap him in to the vibrations and music - it really was one of the items we used most often, sometimes even opting to allow him to sleep overnight in it when he was really congested. And for us with having such a sick baby early on, it was great to give him his breathing treatments from and use during steam sessions in the bathroom. I didn't love the colors necessarily (as you can see they didn't really match the color palette), but the thing worked so we that I didn't really mind.
  • Bordeaux's Butt Paste - this is by far the best diaper rash cream that we have found. At first we started off with using baby Vaseline, but quickly realized it didn't do the trick like this stuff does.  And, hello, it's called Butt Paste. How cute is that?
  • The First Year's Bottle Drying Rack - nothing fancy about this guy, but it has worked the best for us. I purchased the Boon Grass at first because I love their products and it's so darn cute, but I personally didn't like it and ended up returning it. TFY's drying rack has worked well and i love that it has two levels, is pretty compact and you can't complain about the basic white color.
  • Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat - this is a purchase that I did TONS of research on - between online and other mamas - and time after time I read and heard that this is one of, if not the, best. The base was a bit tough to figure out at first, but after we decided to get one for each vehicle they pretty much remained there so we didn't have to worry. Other than that, the seat itself was easy to maneuver and it was simple getting him in and out of it. And weight-wise it was one of the lightest and even my weak self could transport him distances without getting tired.
  • Hospital Aspirator - I wish I had a website to list here where you can purchase these (and if you do, hook a sista up), but the aspirator we received from hospital was far and above better than any others we tried. (Remember to keep yours!) But wash that bad boy out periodically, cuz it will start to stink if you don't.
  • Chicco Playard - we love this pack n' play and pre-baby decided to save a few bucks and use it as the bassinet in our room for the first couple months. We have no regrets. Since, we've used it when traveling and its super easy to set up and little man sleeps perfectly in it. The only complaint? If you haven't used it in a while, it can be tough to close back up when you are packing it away, but that could be user error.
  • Boon Flair High Chair - by far one of our top and favorite purchases! We didn't have a high chair on the registry to start out, because I was stuck on this one but the hubs wasn't sold that we needed to spend the money. After bringing home a Chicco seat that was supposed to be easy to clean up (a must!) and easy to store, we immediately packed it back up and brought it back to Babies R' Us and I quickly ordered the Boon. This chair is phenomenal. It is SO easy to clean and if you have witnessed a kid eat a meal, you are bound to have a huge mess on your hands after. And remember there are three meals a day, so ease to clean is a must! This guy is plastic and easily comes apart for cleaning. It adjust to different heights and moves easily around the kitchen. I would give this my best rating.
  • Carter's 5-pk Onesies - like diapers, you can never have enough onesies - just hoping you aren't going through onesies as you will diapers because that would be expensive. (Though, I've opted to cut off quite a few in my day because they were nasty.) I've tried all the brands and Carter's are by far my favorite. They wear well after multiple washes and fit well, plus they are made of a thicker material that keeps them in shape. Just make sure you are spot treating them before washing because formula (and other gross stuff) stains and will quickly yellow these guys out.
  • Baby Jogger City Select - this is actually my number one, absolute favorite item (and we were lucky enough to receive it as a gift from a really good friend).  This stroller rocks - easy to fold up/store, tons of storage (great for all you shopping-loving mamas like moi), adapts to your car seat (must purchase adapter), fits two kiddos, the seat changes from back facing to front facing easily and lays back in many different levels. Plus, I use it as my running stroller! It's a bit more expensive, but the reason we justified it was that we would be able to use it for kiddo #2 and it covered all of our needs. 
  • Offi My Pet Lamp - I loved this lamp as a key piece of our nursery decor, but it also proved to be extremely useful as well! The light is muted enough that it was perfect to provide a bit of light during middle of the night feedings while not being too bright to keep him awake. And its still useful now as the light when we are reading our "before bedtime" books and again in the morning when he just wakes up and needs the morning diaper change. And I still cannot get over how stinkin' cute it is! Plus, they have tons of different animal shapes and colors to choose from. 
  • Baby Bjorn - I realize I'm saying I love every item so far, but I suppose that's why they have all made our favorites registry list. The Baby B is no exception. We didn't receive it out of the gate, but looking back this is an essential registry purchase. At first we started with the Moby Wrap - I can see how this would be nice, but it just didn't work for us - I was too scared I wouldn't wrap it just right and the baby would just slip out. No thank you. I was sure to mess up enough on my own, I didn't need a baby wrap to be another way. The Baby Bjorn, however, was amazing! We used this all the time. Around the house doing chores, at the zoo, on walks, at the mall to change it up from stroller time, everywhere! Plus, Nick loved using it as well. I loved being able to use it during different stages - early on when his head/neck control wasn't the best all we had to do was stick him in it facing us and put the neck protector up. When he got big enough to hold his head up, we were able to turn him forward and roll down the neck protector so he could check out the sights.
  • Graco No Touch Diaper Pail (no longer available & not pictured) - what a jerk item to talk about on here. Not available? Why even post? The reason I'm posting this is because we loved this diaper pail and for the first full year it worked perfectly. Held a good amount of diapers, didn't smell and was hand-activated. Then, it started smelling when we opened it and when I started looking for replacement vents I found that it was no longer available. Not just the vents, the entire system. Now it sits in our garage, but it still works pretty well. Just get a good diaper pail, it will be one of your most used items and you want to make sure it's good!

I hope you all enjoyed looking through this as I did putting it together and remembering what products we loved the most from our registry. If you are in the process of registering...have fun!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's New Around Here

Things have been moving along around here. This last week has been a bit hectic due to the hubs being out of town on a guy's trip to Vegas for some March Madness. Thankfully all worked well and J was on Spring Break so she was at my disposal this week.

What have we been up to?
  • Girl's Night Out - I would love to plan a standing monthly girl's night out. Time with the girls is essential. And when it includes being surrounded by this gorgeous group of lovelies, how can you go wrong? Thursday we made plans to meet up at the new Louie's Wine & Dive...throw the words wine and dive into a place and you know I'm game. And this place didn't disappoint. I got there early to save our party room and was immediately introduced to everyone from our server to each bartender to the owners. Good start...

  • Dog Lovin' - little dude is loving up on his puggle these days. He is nothing short of obsessed with her every move, throwing her toys and teasing the heck out of the poor dog. Luckily, Maya puts up with his shenanigans. (Check him out waiting for her by the patio door, licking the glass, with that cute little diaper booty...)
  • St. Patty's Day fun - the green holiday has come and gone in a much different fashion than year's past. It's crazy to think of years before when it was all about morning, day and night drinking all while sporting a permanently green mouth. And now? Now, it's Lucky Charms for breakfast, a nice little Sunday basketball game and then meeting some friends for a few drinks and dinner. Not quite the same, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Cruz Update - this crazy monster has been learning up a storm and playing like a fool.  He worked out with me the other night and it was nothing short of the cutest thing ever watching him squat and plank with me. Nanny J has been keeping him busy - they checked out the Lincoln Children's Museum which evidently is the "best place ever" for a toddler while spending time with his bestie Kellan and he got to ride on a big rig...being that "Honk! Honk!" is his fave book, this was nothing short of amazing for him. And his love of his dada this week (always, but even more this week) has been the sweetest thing ever. Playing "trah-tahs" and watching sports. Two peas in a pod.

I'm going to sign off with a shot of this boy who here looks like he's 7 years old, chilling on my bed, watching some TV. How does he look so old? This is not a 16 month old. He's growing up so fast...and  this makes his mama sad.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY: Storing Your Wrapping Paper

I am the queen of easy projects. Whether it by DIY, cooking, when this gem came up on my Pinterest feed I knew I had to do it. 1) I don't like when my wrapping paper comes unraveled and gets all messy and 2) even worse, I despise using a piece of tape to hold the paper together, because when it comes time to use it again? Girlfriend always rips it. Always.

Did I say this was easy? It's beyond simple. I only took it a mere bit further with the spray paint. I mean, who wants a boring toilet paper roll holding your wrapping paper together? Not this girl.

Toilet Paper Rolls - Saves Wrapping Paper
Empty toilet paper roll
Spray Paint (what ever color fits your fancy)
Rolls & rolls of wrapping paper to fix!

I've been saving toilet paper rolls for quite some time. I'm pretty sure Nick thinks I'm half crazy when he spies the empty rolls in the master bathroom closet.

I decided to give them a quick spray...who wants to have boring, old wrapping paper savers anyway?

After drying for an hour or so, I cut one side.

And attached to my wrapping paper roll. See? That easy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Accessorizing the Phone

Little man officially demolished my iPhone case...better the case than the phone, I suppose.  Plus I didn't really like that one I guess I should be thanking him. Now I can pick out one...or three that I really like. I know I should probably be targeting one of those cases that are unbreakable since Cruz now thinks tossing my phone everywhere is an okay thing to do, but that wouldn't be fun.

Enter this gorgeous metallic gold one. I have been digging gold lately figure why not sport it on my phone too?  I also love Tory Burch and if I had oodles more money I would by her totes, shoes and sunglasses, but I don't so a cell phone case will have to suffice.
Tory Burch Gold Metallic
And since this one was such a good deal on Shop Bob, I decided to get two. I mean, I don't wear the same watch, necklace or earrings every day, so why not change up my case every so often. Enter this fancy little guy that looks like leather, but is actually plastic. I also wear loads of black so this will fit right in.
Tory Burch Stacked Logo
Here were some others that almost landed in my {virtual} shopping cart. Love the brighter colors for spring, the animal prints and the gold & white stripes.

And if I had the 5, you better believe I would've ordered one of these super cute floral prints. I love love love these!
Tory Burch Robinson Printed

If you want to know the truth, my next purchase may be one of these. I am digging these fun and funky ones I found on Etsy. Though, the "Cool story, babe. Now get me a sandwich." one would be for Nick...he says this stuff to me all the time. I'm beginning to get a complex about my story-telling skills.

(iPhone cases pulled from various Etsy shops)

I really cannot believe I dedicated an entire post to cell phone cases, but I did. Any other cases out there that I need to check out?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

We Are Family

My mama updated her cover photo on Facebook the other night and this was the pic she chose. Can I tell you that this pic makes me so happy? These are six of the people I love the most in this world. This is my family.

And what a goofy, ridiculous bunch we are. I am so fortunate to have grown up and learned from each of them. I cherish every minute I get to spend with them. I love all of the fun we have when we are together. And all of the weirdness and crazy that ensues.

This night we just happened to be celebrating this wonderful woman - my mom- and her 60 years of doing amazing things on this planet. She raised us five kids - with the help of my pops - and they are really two of the best people I know.

I'm one lucky girl. (I know I say that a lot, but I am). Just look at this amazing crew that I get to call my fam.

Friday, March 15, 2013

16 Months Old!

Sixteen months old and such a little man!

What's New With Cruz:
  • Check-Up: little man had his 15 month a couple weeks ago and it was so nice to show up at Boys Town not having been there since the end of November! For such a long time we were in there a couple times a week due to illness...and knock on wood...nothing the past few months! Best feeling ever. Cruz had a great well check - all is progressing well. He is 25.2 lbs and still continues to be in the 60% percentile for weight and height, but his head falls in the 90s. Not a big surprise there. Unfortunately, this check also brought on a round of four shots - poor guy. Only cried for a bit, yes it was one of those hold in your breath/any noise for what seems like five minutes and then scream louder than we've ever heard, but it was over just a soon as it started. He did end up getting a fever and just wasn't himself later that day and into the next, but overall no issues.

  • Sixth State: our guy has traveled to number five and six states this month. We headed to Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas to visit mama's friends - it didn't end well if you remember here - but we had a great car ride down with daddy, shopped like crazy and then had dinner with auntie Tricia. Prior to this he has obviously been to Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota in May (helmet wrap!) and Houston in October. 

  • Talking: he is talking up a storm these days. Annoyingly, er interestingly, he overuses the words "pees" (while feverishly signing it at the same time) and "dada" (oftentimes referring to me as dada as well), only getting louder after not being paid attention to the first time. He is also starting to talk in sentences - though these sentences make no sense whatsoever - but you can tell he's trying to get something out. On our end, we have had to be very careful with our bad words. I have a bit of a potty mouth, as does the hubs, and we realized this the hard way after little man repeated "Jesus" (after Nick said it) and "oh shit" (me).
  • Eating: Cruz still eats so real complaints. He loves fruit, likes veggies and is ok with meats. I do find myself trying to get creative with meals and change it up every now and then, but it's not easy. Plus I'm no chef.  He is loving pasta, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, veggie stirfry w/ quinoa, cheese pizza, mandarin oranges, strawberries, fruit snacks and grapes. BUT, we think he is allergic to blueberries - after noticing a rash appear around his mouth soon after eating them. Gatorade is his drink of choice - as if he has one - but he also loves milk and water. He has also learned to dip his food into things - ketchup, syrup, you name it - and is adamant about doing it himself.  And he's still throwing his food off the side of the high chair which makes for a happy dog, but an annoyed mama.

  • Carseat: is officially pointing to the front (don't judge!) and is working very well for us. We didn't make this decision so we could "look at him in the backseat" or anything like that, we just felt it was time...and our pedi signed off.

  • Development: we have said to ourselves no less than 20 times that our kiddo is so smart and has learned so much over the past few weeks.  Every day it seems like he comes up with something new that we are just amazed he has picked up, whether it be by mirroring us or direct from the nanny. The big ones are being able to point out his body parts when you ask him, "where is your mouth?" (points to mouth and sticks tongue out) and "where's your hair?" (slamming his hands down on his head and rubbing them over his hair).  He has also added many new animal and vehicle noises to his repertoire.  We can lay out his animal cards and he will point to each and make their sound. See, I don't lie. Smartest.Kid.Eva. :)

 XO buddy!

Monster man!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What We've Been Up To

(Let me warn you the following will be photo collage overload. I have not posted pics of my kiddo in some time and he deserves his time in the spotlight. Enjoy!)

Loads and loads going on around these parts...only problem is most of it is being shared on Instagram and not being transferred over here. This girl is nothing short of obsessed....and I don't even care if you judge me. My family or close friends, well you have probably noticed the lack of photo texts being sent your way showing all of little man's developments. That's because they are all being uploaded to IG - where I can post without abandon and pretend I know how to use hashtags (seriously, check out this nonsense here). is what the Mango's have been up to.
  • Cruz got to enjoy some time on the farm with Papa a couple weeks ago and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more - him or my dad. I looooove the fact that Cruz incessantly chants Papa when I mention his name or for minutes after our FaceTime chats with him. He adores his Papa...and stroking his full, gray beard.
  • We've got a bleeder! (Who can name that movie?) Little man got his first self-inflicted, gushing-blood wound on Sunday. I thought I would've handled it worse than I did, but I actually impressed myself and didn't cry. Not one tear. Now this is quite different from the first time he bled. I bawled like a baby. He was probably two months old and I tried cutting his nails for the first time. He squirmed just as I squeezed the clippers...and you can figure out the rest. If you had seen me then, you would've thought I had just cut off his pinky.

  • One thing our little family of three loves to do is EAT. And even more we love going out to dinner. We have made a little ritual of going to Vincenzo's for some Italian on Sunday nights. Partly because the food is so good (and cheap) and partly due to the fact that the servers all adore our little guy and dote on him like he is Knox Pitt. We changed up our game a bit and went there this past Saturday night to celebrate Britt's birthday...and some wine. All of us, evidently, by looking at the pics below.

  • (Boys, you should probably skip over this little gem.) Well, I finally took the time to get my girls measured. They have been all messed up since having little man and basically falling out of my bras, so I assumed I needed to get a much smaller size. (Sad face.) Imagine my surprise when she told me I was now a 32D. Um, yeah right honey. She handed me a bra to try in this size while I all but laughed in her face...but then it fit. Like really, really well. And I think I almost hugged her. One, because it was so nice to have a bra that actually cradled my ladies just so. But, more importantly, because I could actually text the hubs and tell him that I'm now a size D...and predict his response which for the blog's sake basically made me feel like Pamela Anderson...or Dolly Parton. Let's just say it impressed him...
  • Along other lines, I think I'm turning our son into a dog. He is obsessed with playing with Maya's dog toys. Pees, pees he screams, while signing it feverishly at the same time - wanting Nick or I to throw a toy for Maya to fetch. I swear he could do this for hours. And last night it got worse. Maya wasn't complying with his game or fetching fast enough, so Cruz decided he would. Each time I threw the ball, he would look at Maya who was lazily laying on the carpet and then take off crawling or walking to the toy and bring it back for me to throw again. We played this game for roughly an hour. And he never tired of it.
  • A couple weekends ago, I braved a day out by myself with Cruz and my sister's kiddos. I was a bit nervous because to honest sometimes it's hard to manage my one guy who is constrained to a stroller most of the time, let alone three other kids who can't be strapped in anything (although the thought did cross my mind to pick up a couple of those monkey backpack/leash things on our way). They had been stuck in the house most of the weekend, so we decided to go have lunch and then hit up Amazing Pizza Machine for some games. And we had a blast! They were so well-behaved and we even got a couple great photo ops (check out C copying my "funny face" - too cute!)
  • And lastly, if these cute little girl scouts don't stop guilting me into buying their delicious cookies, I'm going to go mad...or gain 20 lbs. Who can resist a frozen Thin Mint? Not this girl. Mmm, vodka.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Really Love My...Dyson Handheld

I've been meaning to post about our favorite products as it relates to baby for some time now....obviously a long time since I intended to do this every few months and he's now 15 months old. Fail.

So, first I feel it only right to make a plug about my most favorite product in the whole world - the Dyson Handheld Vac....and even though it wasn't created specifically for life with a baby, it should be marketed that way. Every mama should have one. 
Most of you know that I have an aversion to cleaning. I like a clean house, but I don't like having to be the one to get it there....hence the reason we have a house cleaner (if it came down to it, we would be eating ramen noodles before we got rid of her). We have a fancy schmanzy Dyson vacuum that gets about as much use as my oven and to be honest it's a pain to have to lug out of the office every time we have a meal in the high chair (there's sure to be masses of food thrown overboard) or dog hair to clean up. So when my MIL gifted us with this little gem for our 3rd anniversary last August, I quickly fell in love.

We've had handheld vacs before...and they sucked.  Well, wait a sec, actually they didn't suck, which was the problem.

We literally use this every day. Generally three times a day if we are eating at home and it works like a charm. The only problem (small, in my opinion) is that little man is desperately afraid of it. He sees me walk around the corner with it in hand and he runs in the other direction. He hates the noise it makes. Check him out. C versus the Dyson...

Look at that face...pure hatred
If you have small children, furry family members or messy husbands, this is a must. Take it from me, buy it or better yet drop hints to family that you would like one..and you will never regret it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Little Luke Bryan In My Life

I wasn't sure what to expect when we planned a girl's night to Sioux City for Luke Bryan. Yes, I knew I would have fun with the girls. And yes, I knew I liked some of LB's music, but only a couple songs. And like the dork that I am, I wiki'd him to find out his number one hits so I could download them to my phone and listen to them all week, so at the concert I wouldn't have to just sway to the music pretending I knew the words.

Plus, when you are bringing together two groups of friends - new friends mixed with old friends (not old as in age but old as in friends forever) - you never know how they are going to get along. Fortunately, my different groups of friends always seem to get along when we intermix...I think it's the common denominator. Kidding. Kind of. :)

The night ended up being a blast. Here is a little recap.

  • Dinner at Luciano's in Sioux City. Good food & many cocktails. We were just goofballs. I can't describe in on here because it would be one of those "you had to be there" kind of funny and I hate when people do that.
  • Luke Bryan. Enough said. I knew he was good looking, but this guy was absolutely gorgeous in person and he moves his hips like Magic Mike. He came out in a v-neck T, tight jeans, a studded belt and a trucker hat. Um, hello yummy man. He worked the stage, had an amazing voice and was just sexy. He has definitely moved onto my list. You know the list I'm talking about. The one where you keep the top five guys you would be able to get with should you meet them in person (and because they are just dying to meet you & be with you) and your hubs can't get mad? Mine is Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, David Beckham (though he would be silent - I can't stand his high-pitched voice), Paul Walker and Richard Gere (the Pretty Woman one, not the gerbil one).  I'm not yet sure who I'm giving up yet, but he will be on my list. Maybe I can just squeeze one more on it? I think I said, "omg he's so sexy" at least 67 times that night.
  • Heading back to my hometown to our little corner bar for a few beers before last call and the first comment when we walk in being, "hey, you must be a Fuchser girl because you are the only ones who wear heels in this bar." I admit it made me smile. I love being back home and I'm dang proud of my country girl roots.
  • Recapping the night with my mom and Kate when we got to my parent's house while shoveling Funyuns and Doritos in my mouth (though I won't have remembered this the next morning and would try to recap it again then) and then laying down with little man because he wouldn't fall asleep. 
  • Getting a call the next morning at 6:30am from Britt who was sleeping downstairs to alert me that the toilet had overflowed all over their bedroom and the basement living room and walking down there to masses and masses of water. 
  • Recapping the night with the girls over C-store breakfast pizza and remembering all the fun times and convos from the night before driving back to of us had to work. Boo.
Fun times.
Fun with the girls and one hot man

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mama Weight ( Part Two: Post-Pregnancy)

(This is part two of "losing the mama weight", check out the first post here.)

Now for the real meat of my Mama Weight battle. The road to losing it. And I will say, it was not easy. For me, at least.

For everyone else - celebs, every mama blog I followed, other moms I ran into - it seemed to be so easy. The weight appeared to just fall off. They posted pics of themselves looking like they had looked pre-preggo just a few months after giving birth. Bitches. Kidding...well kind of. :)

For me, though, it was tough. I carried over my late-pregnancy bad eating habits after I had little man (remember the cupcakes, Oreos and pudding pies?) It took me a looong time to get used to the new sleep routine, or lack thereof.  I didn't breastfeed. I had no energy. I wore sweatpants every day. It was tough.

Then I got the green light to work out from my doctor and I got somewhat serious about it. I was still on leave and stole every chance I could to fit in some type of exercise.  Logging a few minutes on the treadmill. Popping in the Tracy Anderson Post-Pregnancy DVD.  Taking advantage of the abnormally nice January weather (here) and walking whenever I could. Then my maternity leave ended and I was back to working full-time+ again. My workouts went on the back burner.

Over the next couple of months I struggled to get back to a consistent routine. Food-wise, I was logging so many hours that I would just throw whatever I could into my mouth when my stomach started growling. I drank loads of caffeine to stay awake through the day. I guess you could say I was in a rut (here) and traveling for work and for fun definitely wasn't helping (here).

In late May, I decided I needed to get serious about getting back to working out and eating better...our family Vegas trip was looming in front of me and I couldn't be the beached whale (you know what I mean) among all of my thin and trim sister-in-laws. I did pretty well. I started eating smaller portions, made healthier choices and logged a lot of miles running outside. I felt better about myself than I had in a while, though I knew I hadn't gotten back to where I wanted to be.

After our Vegas trip, I slipped again (seriously, is it annoying you how many times I fell off the wagon? Me too!) I always found something more important to do than work out. I kept telling myself I would start eating better on Monday...this happened every Sunday night.

After going back and forth for a couple months, I finally just took the plunge and signed myself up for the Omaha Half Marathon (here)...a month prior to the race. I have to say this was the most important move I had made on my road to getting back to myself. One, it pushed me to run, run, run...otherwise I would've made a damn fool of myself. And two, it gave me back the confidence I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Not only the race, but get back to being healthy. I still can't believe I ran 13 miles at one time...and actually finished better than I thought I would (here).  That was definitely not something I thought I could or would do within a year after having a baby.

The half in September helped me jump start what I can only call the final leg of my road back to my pre-preggo self. I felt really good about myself and decided that while I was feeling good about my work out plan, I needed to get to a place where I felt good about my eating habits.

I completely dissected what I ate regularly and sought out healthy alternatives. I started packing my lunch for work so I wouldn't be tempted to grab something quick from our cafes of buffets. I decreased my portions. I increased my water intake. I made substitutions - instead of chips or crackers for a midday snack, I brought a baggie full of carrots. I made sure to have a Kind bar in my bag in case I got hungry. I cut toast out of my breakfast (subbed with two hard-boiled eggs each morning) and bread out of my lunch (and instead have lunch meat with a piece of cheese). I eat more fruit...thanks to my boy, Cruz. He eats so much of it that I always have fresh fruit around the house and I force myself to incorporate it into my snacks or with my meals. I guess I just started making better choices.

It was these things that helped me get to a place I was comfortable with. By mid-November I was five pounds down from my pre-preggo weight. (Don't forget, though, my pre-preggo weight wasn't anything to write home about).  I felt good in my clothes. I had energy.

Don't get me wrong, I still fall of the wagon. The holidays hit me like a tornado - cookies, candy, huge meals - I was all over it. I miss workouts often. I love wine a bit too much. I often blame work for my fails. I still eat the fatty foods I love. I don't deny myself my favorite meals. I just do more in moderation.

Fifteen months after giving birth to my first child, I'm finally in a place where I feel good about myself. I'm eating better than I ever have, while still allowing myself to indulge every now and again. I'm trying new workouts. I feel better about myself.

If I can sign off with anything - or better yet remind myself when it comes this time again after our next kiddo - its don't beat yourself up or stress about it. As they say, it took nine months for your body to change and grow like it did, it definitely should take nine months (or 15, but who's counting) for it to get back to where it was. Take your time and do things right. It's not only about working out, but about eating better and being cognizant of what you are putting into your body.  Thanks for listening. This was important for me to write for myself.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mama Weight ( Part One: Pre- And During Pregnancy)

(This is part one of my post-preggo weight loss journey. It by no means has ended, but I feel that I can finally speak to this little battle and let you know how its went for me.)

I have been putting off this post for a very long time, partly because it has taken me forever to shed this baby weight and partly because it makes me uncomfortable to talk about this stuff.

I've had an interesting time with my weight and perception of my weight my whole life. Growing up, I never felt thin enough or looked like one of the models I envied on the cover of Cosmo (seriously that was my idea of perfect and, yes, I know now that is pathetic). I remember it being a topic of conversation in my house often. My mom and sisters were always talking about different diets and exercise fads, whether they were warranted or not. Let me just say, I was never big. I was scrawny, but that doesn't mean I was healthy. Then I moved out to head to college. I remember busting my butt my freshman year because I didn't want to succumb to gaining the freshman fifteen or more. But there were so many temptations: drinking, fast food, no one to make sure I was getting balanced meals.

The thing is, I love to eat and I love enjoying some cocktails even more. From college through my twenties that was our thing. Our group of friends went out to dinners, drank, partied, went to bars, took trips that revolved around partying. This is what made up our weekends. And this is what got me to my highest weight and unhealthiest state just before finding out I was preggo with little man. I can remember being the Monday morning dieter. Sunday night after laying around the house all day recovering from the weekend and shoveling some fattening hangover food into my mouth, I would tell myself I'm going to diet and exercise starting "tomorrow." It would work for a day or two and then a work dinner or after work cocktails would arise and I couldn't say no or behave myself.

After finding out I was pregnant, my main goal was to consume healthy foods for the baby and I also didn't want to balloon up from feeding my face with every yummy treat I could get my hands on (but trust me, I tried).  Early on in my pregnancy - most of my first trimester and well into my second - I had major morning sickness. I threw up every single meal I ate. At first it was annoying and kind of disgusting, but after a while it was just a part of my pregnancy experience. I knew that directly after I ate, I would need to hightail it to the bathroom to vomit. It made for some awkward bathroom convos. I often felt the need to explain to everyone as soon as I got out of the stall, especially since that early on I wasn't showing and couldn't just point to the belly.

For the remainder of my pregnancy, I ate ok. I substituted caffeine from both my daily morning Starbucks to my extremely large diet mt. dew to decaf, allowing myself the real stuff only once in a while. I loaded up on a ton more fruit and tried to limit my snacking. I wasn't drinking, so that eliminated a shit ton of calories right there. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I did succumb to my late night snacking/cravings and was oftentimes found laying on the couch before bed with a glass of milk and oreos or hostess cupcakes....or those yummy hostess chocolate pudding pies (embarrassingly, here). Who am I kidding, the "or" was probably more realistically an "and." I loved me some late-night junk. (sample preggo diet here...definitely not proud of this moment).

As for exercising, I had taken up running just before becoming pregnant. I actually remember the first time I ran Lake Zorinsky the entire way - no walking- that I found out I was preggo later that day. I was a half-assed two to three times a week exerciser (even though if asked, I more than likely would've lied and said four to five times a week). I had good intentions, but always found other reasons to justify not working out - I'm tired, I had a long day, I want to go to happy hour, I'd rather lay on the know, really good reasons.

Throughout my pregnancy, I walked a decent amount with Maya, around the lake with friends, around the neighborhood. I ran a little bit, but got tired easily.  The bigger I got, the less energy I had for any of it and I became pretty stagnant. I used my pregnancy as a get-out-of-working-out-free card. I really got used to not having the black cloud known as "working out" hanging over my head for the last month or so....and just got lazy.

Then, little man came. Obviously, I was over the moon happy. Best day of my life. But then the reality of what was ahead sunk in. I remember the first time I went to the bathroom at the hospital and noticed all of the flab (of course, a lot of that goes away within the next couple of days) and extra meat on my inner thighs, arms, love handles. I was bummed, overwhelmed by the long weight loss journey that was looming in front of me.

In my head, it was all challenge accepted. I was going to show this preggo weight who was boss and bust my ass to get back into better shape. And quickly! (Or so I thought...)

(Check back tomorrow for the next post all about the aftermath, what I experienced with my post-baby bod as well as my path to getting it back together.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Traveling With Little Man

Getaways around here have definitely taken a different turn.

In my prior life, I used to gear up for a girl's weekend with trips to the nail salon for a mani/pedi, slathering on the sunless tanning lotion, carefully picking out my outfits and planning out an itinerary full of shopping, cocktails, dinners and bars. These days, it's turned into planning a slumber party with all of our kiddos, hastily packing a bag for two with comfy clothes, and comparing bed time schedules for our little ones so we could map out when the first bottle of wine could be cracked and the real fun would start.

We took off for Kansas City early Saturday morning (the hubs tagged along for a night in the hotel + some poker), dropped him off and then C and I headed to what can only be called as my heaven: an outlet mall.

Eating our socks is a cool car ride game.
Bouncing on the hotel room bed.
Locking the kiddo in the shower = hours of playtime fun.
Little man and I spent approximately five hours at the mall. If you would've told me my 15 month old little boy was going to be such a great shopper, I would've laughed in your face. But this kiddo rocks! And I just about die when he gets all flirty walking around and waving quick hellos to all the ladies. He knows how to work a room. And, of course, they all melt.

We hit up T. Rex Cafe for lunch, which could only be described as my nephew Aasyen's favorite place in the world due to his dinosaur fascination. On a side note, after lunch we headed over to the retail section and I loaded up on a bunch of goodies for Ace's birthday. The only problem: it's in May. I'm sure to have forgotten I picked up his gift or at the very least misplaced it over the next couple months. I'm just not one of those "shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year"-type people. I would rather be a "pulling my hair out of my head piece by piece because I don't have my shopping done and Christmas/birthday is just a few days away"-type person.
The many faces of Cruz. T Rex Cafe
But I digress...

The shopping was nothing short of a success. I had certain things in mind that I didn't find - a new pair of tennis shoes for little man since last time daddy took him out on his own, he only came back with one shoe on and they were the new Puma ones we had just bought for him over Christmas - but I scored on many other things. 
  • Under Armour - zip-up jacket/matching pants for Nick, t-shirt for Cruz, two workout tanks for me
  • AE - pair of ankle-skimming jeans and a bracelet for me
  • Nike - a pair of compression pants for me, zip-up white jacket & workout pants for Nick
  • Converse - a pair of slip-ons for Dominic's birthday
  • BCBG - a stud covered clutch for me in silver/slate and gold/cream for my MIL (replacing the one I got her for Christmas that I just didn't love), a new pair of heels, a $9 hi/lo skirt (score!) and a summer dress for me
  • Old Navy - a pair of swim trunks for Cruz
  • Gap - two v-neck t's and a pair of gray linen pants for C
(I told you it was a successful trip!)

After our shopping escapades we met my girl Patricia at her place (she moved away almost a year ago this month and I miss her Irish self terribly, but cherish the time when we get to see each other). Her little man had left early to visit his dad, so that coupled with the fact that our friend Heidi and her boys were sick and couldn't come over meant C had both of us to himself all night. We made our dinner - pasta for C and Boursin cheese, crackers, rotisserie chicken for us - and opened up our first bottle of vino.

Lot's of girl talk, a visit from her English neighbors (I was loving the accents going back & forth) and some more vino later, my sorry self passed out at 10:30pm (seriously, I told you my girl's trips have changed drastically) and awoke at 5am feeling terrible. I can only describe it as a mix between stomach flu and food poisoning, so you can imagine what was happening. I was in and out of the bathroom all morning, I could barely walk, but lucky for me little man seemed to sense this and stayed pretty immobile. Mostly because I bribed him with a box of donuts.
Mmmm little Homer Simpson
This virus was a major B and really messed up our trip - I ended up being sick for two days after - but am finally back to my happy little self. In case you were worried...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life Lately

This comes to you from me, finally feeling like myself again (if not just a tad hungover from the glass of wine, part of a martini, six beers and one shot from last night, but more on that in a later post). Had a rough one this week - sick with what I have self-diagnosed as food poisoning/stomach flu from hell. The highlight: I couldn't eat anything and dropped four pounds. The lowlight: I gained that back last night (damn, I knew it was too good to be true).

We've had loads going on around here these days. Cruz continues to impress me every day. I didn't think I would be one of those moms that would constantly gush about my kid - he's so cute, he's so smart, he can do this/that - but it just so happens that my kid is the cutest and the smartest and he does everything well, so it's all warranted. And if you still don't believe me...

See, it's not just me.

So, I've got loads of posts ready to get together about all the super exciting things we've doing around here. If not for your reading pleasure, then for my memory. I've heard about preggo brain, but I didn't believe that my memory could get any worse than it was before giving birth. But it can...and it did. And it's still bad 15 months later. 

I'm signing off for now to sleep off this hangover, but more to come soon. I promise!