Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday

Just a head's up that I'm skipping Weight Loss Wednesday this week.  In addition to last week's right ankle injury (remember that whole clutzy fall off the treadmill ordeal?), I slipped and fell on the ice yesterday (yes, while wearing my super cute black boots and while carrying Miss O in her car seat) and landed on my left ankle.  Seriously. 

I'm wondering how in the world I'm ever going to lose any weight if I can barely even walk.  Anyway, it isn't like I have anything to report, though.  Still.  No.  Weight.  Loss.  Ugh.

And, remember that whole fancy-schmancy work dinner I am supposed to go to with Ben?   That's this Friday.  I'm going to need some VERY opaque black nylons to cover up the nasty bruises on my ankles in addition to some miraculous healing if I'm even going to consider walking in heals. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Packers Victory!

There were a few tense moments...
 But, the majority of the game produced smiles all around...
 Oddly enough, the boy shockingly requested to be put down for a nap right after the first quarter.  Five minutes after this photo was taken, he was completely out (getting sick possibly?!)...
 Allie declared the game boring approximately two minutes into the first quarter (by the way...I actually watched the ENTIRE first quarter before making the same declaration) and instead wanted to show off her star that she received at Sunday School this morning for memorizing five verses (the star is that little pink thing that she's pointing to on her bag)...
So, I guess this means we'll definitely be tuning into the Superbowl in a couple weeks...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Little Pre-Game Celebration

Ben commented to me today that he hasn't been this excited about a Packers Game since we were in high school.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that he has an outstanding bet with a Vikings fan coworker that would result in that particular coworker coloring his hair green if the Packers make it to the Super Bowl.  

Anyway, today we went to the grocery store to pick up some football game necessities...mainly Sprecher Root beer (thankfully we are all stocked up on Chex Mix).  We checked out the bakery for some festive Packer goodies, but seeing as we are in the heart of Vikings territory, our only choice was Packers and Bears cupcakes...CO-MINGLED IN THE SAME PACKAGE--ACK!  THE HORROR! 

So, being the over-the-top football fanatic that I am, I took it upon myself to create some chocolate green and gold Packer cupcake goodness:  
And, then we tried them out tonight after dinner.   

 Ok, so Olivia didn't get to partake, but she still looked mighty cute watching us all eat ours!

Or whatever....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Week So Far

Well, I have been doing my best to keep everyone entertained around here this week.  I usually LOVE to be on the go and last year at this time we had countless play dates, trips to the Children's Museum, visits to the zoo...we had a calendar FULL of out-of-the-house activities to keep everyone occupied during the month of January. 
Now that I have 3 kids, with one who is still needing to nurse every 2-3 hours, I feel like our "going" has come to a screeching halt.  And although I'm starting to get a little taste of cabin-fever myself (along with the kids), I'm mostly ok with things slowing down...basically because it takes me twice as long to get anything done around the house (ie-cooking, cleaning, laundry--oh the laundry!!) and three times as long to get ready and go anywhere. 
Anyway, I know that all too soon, especially when the weather isn't so blasted cold and snowy, we'll resume our regularly scheduled outings...this time with one more kid in tow!  So, for now, I'm enjoying the respite while trying to come up with activities to keep the boredom at bay.
Monday, usually the most difficult day of the week because the excitement of the weekend and having Daddy home is over, was spent with home-made play-dough (because everyone knows home-made play-dough is waaaay cooler than the stuff you can buy in the store). 

Yes, these pictures were taken after lunch and yes the kids are still in their pajamas.  In fact, we were all in our pajamas...all. day. long.  Just another fun bi-product of having nowhere to go. 

Anyway, after two hours of play-dough fun (I'm not exaggerating...I was SHOCKED at how long a lump of moldable flour/salt/oil/cream of tartar/food coloring kept them occupied), I decided to bring some snow inside to "color."

And because small glad-ware containers of snow didn't keep them occupied nearly long enough, I filled the bathtub with the fluffy white stuff and armed them both with squirt bottles full of colored water. 

This was a HUGE hit (and also kind of a huge mess...oh well...it was all washable and that was why it was in the bathroom anyway)!  In fact, they have both been requesting to do it again ASAP.  However, I feel I need to recover for a few days before doing this again (it was actually a lot of work to lug that much snow into the bathroom!).  

Thankfully, Tuesday is preschool and ECFE, so both kids are usually occupied enough during the morning that by the time we get home in the afternoon they are ready for quiet time and seem to play nicely together until dinner.  After dinner is usually a downhill slide until bath/bed time, but that is a post for another time.

Anyway, this week Zach did not have ECFE, so after we dropped Allie off at preschool he helped me put together a crock-pot chili recipe for dinner.  I haven't done a lot of cooking with him (mostly because Allie shows more interest) and I was surprised at how much he enjoyed it.  He helped "chomp" all the veggies in my "chomper" (otherwise known as my electric chopper/mini food processor).  After the veggies were significantly liquefied, he had fun dumping them in the crock-pot.  In fact, he had a lot of fun dumping in beans, the ground beef, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and all the spices.  He was so thrilled that he "made" dinner all by himself that he actually ate dinner that night.  He is usually extremely picky when it comes to eating, so I was pumped that he cleaned his bowl without one complaint!  Although it took me twice as long to make the chili, it was definitely worth the fun that Zach and I had together.  And, Olivia seemed to have fun watching everything unfold from her bouncy seat in the kitchen. 

After picking Allie up from preschool, I visited Once Upon a Child to see if they had any cheap Bumbo seats for Olivia.  I thought it would help with her torticollis, but didn't want to pay full price for another piece of plastic baby gear (which was good thinking because so far she HATES the seat with a passion...I'm thinking it probably has something to do with the fact that her baby butt and thighs are so squished into the seat that she can barely move).  We scored one pretty cheap and as we were leaving the kids noticed a McDonald's with an indoor play land across the street.  So, despite my nervousness that they would get sick (seriously, everyone I seem to know with kids is sick...and we've been extremely healthy...so I'm just waiting for our turn for the nasty to inevitably hit), we went.  It was a good way to kill a chunk of the afternoon even though Zach was a little hesitant to climb up all the tubes despite his sister's complete inhibition.
So, now it is Wednesday....and if you are still reading this quite-mundane play-by-play of our week so far, I'm impressed.  Today is laundry day...even though I just did laundry this weekend, somehow it is overflowing yet again.  The kids are having quiet time right now and Olivia is actually napping in her crib.  The crib-napping doesn't happen very often for her because she is usually required to catch zzzz's in her car seat in between running errands or shuffling Allie to/from preschool.  Speaking of Olivia, she just discovered her hands this week.  It has been fun to watch her intently try to reach for things and bring her hands up to her eye level and stare at them in pure amazement as if wondering if those could actually belong to her. 
I need to go to the grocery store at some point, but am thinking I'm really not up for it with all 3 kids in tow.  Plus, Allie is way excited to fold the socks...and I wouldn't want her to miss out on that now, would I?   

Weight Loss Wednesday

Operation Lose Those Pregnancy Pounds: 
Week 3:  1/13/11 - 1/19/11
Weight Lost This Week:  +0.2 pounds (AAACK!!!)
Current Weight Lost to Date:  +0.2 pounds (SERIOUSLY?!)
Weight Lost Since Baby:  -25 pounds

I am still not quite sure how in the world I am not losing weight.  You would think the 14+ miles I ran in the last week would have helped things along, but apparently not.  I guess it could have had something to do with the stuffed crust Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza making its way to my kitchen table this past week...along with the fact that somehow a pan of brownies topped with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups made their way into my oven on that same evening.  However, the Weight Watcher's plan allows for moderate indulgences such as these (each week you are allowed additional points to use throughout the week) and even when I tabulated the points plus values for those two pieces of pizza and the brownies (no, I'm not going to reveal how many brownies I ate...), I didn't surpass those "extra" points.   
So, whatever.  I'm irritated.  It is completely discouraging when it seems like no matter what I do, my body will not rid itself of the baby blubber. 
Anyway, exercise is going well.  See all my smiley faces:
The 'R' labels are for days that I run and the 'S' labels are for days I do the Shred with Jillian.  As you can see, I've pretty much abandoned Jillian over the last couple weeks.  I just haven't been that excited about her video...so, I probably need to find something new that can help me strengthen my core muscles. 

Running has been going pretty well, though.  Today, I was able to crank out 3 miles in 29:45.  Granted, I almost died (I'm pretty sure the coroner's report would have read "death by sweat asphyxiation")...and then when I went to stretch afterwards, I totally lost my footing and thwacked my right ankle bone on the side of the treadmill (although I can run, I never said I was coordinated...thus, my extreme fear of exercising in public). 

At first I didn't think it was that bad, but after removing my sock and seeing the blood and bruising...I thought that a bit of ice was in order: 
(so, it took me like 15 shots before I successfully took this picture of my leg and foot minus my toes...because, seriously, who wants to see ugly toes that have been neglected for the past who-knows-how-many months due to pregnancy and the arctic blast?  And, no, there will not be a picture of my nasty ankle because, trust me, it just seriously looks nasty.)

No new goals for this week...just trying to find the motivation to keep making good choices amidst the chaos of 3 kids and absolutely NO encouragement from the scale.  However, considering the past three weeks' weight loss achievement, maybe I will actually lose weight this week if I starve myself and run one-legged....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Star of the Week

It is finally Allie's turn to be "Star of the Week" at preschool.  Needless to say, she has been looking forward to this week all year!  In addition to bringing in an item for show and tell (she is still debating what to bring in...right now it is between her Rapunzel doll and a few of her favorite books), she gets to share her "All About Me" poster.  This morning I helped her fill out the poster. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Combatting the Boredom Bug

It never fails.  I can guarantee that at least approximately 15 times in any given hour throughout the day I will hear the phrase that most parents dread hearing....

"MOM...(melodramatic sigh)...I'M BORED!!"

And although more often than not I respond with some lecture about how many toys and games we own and how we should be grateful for those things (which inevitably falls on deaf ears), I sometimes have a few tricks up my sleeve to combat the boredom bug.  Usually those tricks involve somewhat silly, simple things that occupy bored minds for hours on end. 

Baking Soda + Cookie Sheet + Vinegar + Food Coloring + Eye Droppers =
45 minutes of scientific wonder
(and the bonus benefit of peace and quiet as they listen intently for the fizzling sounds)

 Scissors + Leftover Sunday Newspaper Ads =
30 minutes of intense concentration while cutting paper to smithereens
(however, be prepared for groans and complaints when you explain that we will not be decorating the kitchen floor with confetti-sized snitchels of paper)
All the action the older kids create will definitely keep your two and a half month old babe completely entertained. 
 Fruit Loops + String =
Edible, wearable art that takes approximately 45 minutes to create and consume
(Seriously, what could be more cool than that?)

Top off all those fun activities with a pizza, applesauce, juice box, and chocolate brownie living room picnic while also enjoying a movie starring animated talking wolves and you may just be lucky enough to have avoided hearing that dreaded phrase for at least one afternoon. 

Unfortunately, utilizing every single one of your tricks in one afternoon may set an unattainable precedent that will be impossible to live up to the following day. 

So....Any more ideas?  How do you keep your kids occupied at home when they complain it is just "WAY TOO BORING HERE!" 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just for Fun

Apparently, Olivia takes after Allie and is becoming quite fond of posing for the camera.  Can we handle two divas in the family?!

Is it me, or does my son seriously have a gigantic head?! 

Tummy Time...

"Look at me!  I'm so cute and happy!"

"Ok..I guess I can also be cute and sort of happy if you flip me on my tummy."

"Ok, this is getting a little old...maybe I'll see how my hand tastes."

"Seriously, mom.  I do NOT like this.  Pick me up now before I start to wail."

"What?!  You cannot be making me do this again."

"Fine...I'll just eat my shirt sleeve then...until you decide to pick me up."
Obviously we are still working on it. 

On A Snowy Thursday Morning...

...while Allie is away at preschool:
"Look, Mom!  I moved my step-step stool all by myself so I could pway wif Owivia!  I'm strong...like even stronger than Jesus!"

I think she would seriously stare at this thing all day long. 

She sure loves smiling at her brother....

...even if he is trying to squash a giant pink elephant blanket in her face.

Zach...the master of tummy time...Olivia still has some catching up to do.

The boy actually requested a picture with Mommy.

This was the best I could do to get all three of us before Olivia decided she needed to eat.

In the Waiting Room

This morning after dropping Allie off at preschool, Zach and I had quite the engaging conversation while waiting to get his haircut. 

Zach:  Mommy, who watched over us when you were a baby?
Me:  Honey, you weren't born yet.
Zach:  You mean I wasn't in your tummy when you were a baby?
Me:  Nope.
Zach:  But you were in Grandma's tummy.
Me:  Yep, that's right.
Zach:  And Olivia used to be in your tummy.
Me:  Yep.
Zach:  And Allie and me were in your tummy too!
Me:  You're right.
Zach:  But, how did we get in your tummy?
Me:  Well, God put you there.
Zach:  But...but...how did God get me in there?
(Seriously?!  Why can't my kids just accept the easy answer?!  By now, the other lady in the waiting room is stifling laughter.)
Me:  Well, God waited until just the right time and put you in Mommy's tummy when you were very small.
Zach:  But...but...how...did he use magic or somefin?
(ok...now I'm laughing too)
Me:  Something like that.
Zach:  Can we read a book when we get home?
(Thank goodness for short attention spans!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday

Operation Weight Loss 2011: 
Lose Those Preggo Pounds!
Weight Loss This Week:  -0.2 lbs (big whoop...)
Weight Loss To Date:  -25.2 lbs

I got on the scale this morning, pretty much certain I would see the same numbers I've been seeing for the past month, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I was down by 0.2 pounds.  So, even though it's not much, it is a loss, and at this point I'll definitely take that over a gain or seeing those same cursed numbers I've been seeing for weeks on end.  I've decided to also include my entire weight loss since having Olivia...mostly because seeing -25.2 makes me a lot happier than seeing a measly -0.2. 
Regular exercise went really well this week.  I was able to alternate between doing about 2.5 miles on the treadmill and doing The Shred (muscle toning).  I find that I enjoy the treadmill a lot more (perhaps I need a new exercise video because watching and hearing Jillian say the same thing every.single.day.  is starting to grate on my nerves), so I did run a few more days than I spent with Ms. Michaels.  I also took one day off...which at first made me disappointed in myself, but later I realized it was probably a necessity to rest my burning quads.   
I would like to get back to doing 3 miles in 30 minutes (right now I'm at 2.5 miles in about 28 minutes), but I think instead of making that my goal for this week, it will instead serve as my goal for the end of the month.  Ya, ya, I know what I said about consistency and not setting mileage/time goals, but my competitive nature has gotten the best of me and I fear I will just chuck the whole running thing if I don't actually have something to motivate me to work towards.
My eating has definitely improved this week.  It is ah-mazing how much more disciplined I can be without the constant temptation of Christmas cookies everywhere I look.  Although I have been getting more sleep (thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Miss Olivia!), I still feel tired.  I think it must be the months and months of sleep deprivation finally catching up with me.  So, anyway, I'm also still majorly craving sugary carbs, but it has been easier to curb those cravings because we don't have any in the house.  Granted, I did have one evening of shear sugar-carb need and ended up swiping some of the kids' chocolate animal crackers, but I figured that was far better than consuming the brownie or doughnut that I really wanted (which was thankfully not in the house because I definitely did not have the will power that evening to refuse). 
So, goals for next week include keeping with the diet and exercise.  I'm not going to add too much more right now because I'm not sure I can handle much more.  I'm hoping to see some more substantial weight loss numbers soon, but for now I'm choosing to be happy with the fact that my pants don't seem to be fitting as tightly and am hoping my lack of weight loss is nothing more than my body turning that jiggly fat into muscle.  If that's not the case, well then, I guess I'm fine living in my delusion for the time being. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

PT Appointment Follow-Up

Olivia had her first physical therapy appointment yesterday and she did great!  Despite minor fussiness when the therapist was turning her head and showing me how to perform daily stretches for her neck muscles, she was all smiles.  The therapist said that she definitely has a very mild form of torticollis and is hoping after a couple months of daily stretching and weekly PT appointments that she will be right back on track developmentally.  Thankfully the flattened spot on the left side of her head isn't pronounced enough to require a helmet or any other treatment.  We are definitely fortunate to have caught this early on before it has caused Olivia any difficulties in development or growth!
In other baby news, it seems that just as I have established a coffee addiction to get me through the day on only a few hours of sleep, Olivia has decided to reach that sleep-through-the-night milestone!  Although I am finding that I somewhat miss our late night nursing/Star Trek Next Generation dates, I am pumped that she is officially sleeping from about 8:30 pm to 5:00 am.  Last Sunday, she even surprised us by sleeping until 7 am!  I cannot believe what a world of difference having a full night's sleep makes.  Since I didn't sleep well at all throughout the duration of my pregnancy, the last few nights have been the best night's sleep I have gotten in almost an entire year!  However, don't think I'm going to give up my morning coffee now that I'm getting sleep.  I've found that the energy combo of a good night's sleep in addition to my coffee is amazing! 
Well, we have a busy day ahead of us...with preschool and ECFE.  Happy Tuesday all!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shopping Trip

At the end of this month I will be attending a fancy-schmancy dinner with my husband and a few of his coworkers and their spouses.  The prospect of an evening out with all adults and no kids, complete with sophisticated conversation over a steak dinner, was at first incredibly appealing...until I was informed of the attire:  cocktail.  Because cocktail parties are not usually part of my job description, it should come as no surprise that I only own one cocktail dress--heck, I'm shocked that I actually even own one.  Anyway, I am quite fond of my knee-length black cocktail dress that is collecting dust hanging in the back of my closet (along with the pearl necklace, earrings, and 3-inch peep-toe heels to accessorize it) and can't wait to wear it again. 
The only problem with my perfect cocktail dress is that it is two sizes smaller than what my current curvaceous 2-month post-partum body will allow itself to be adorned in.  Even if I could finagle the dress over my hips, yank it up over what's left of the once-cute but now annoying belly bump, and somehow miraculously get it zipped, I'm fairly certain by the end of the night (after missing one, if not two times nursing Miss Olivia), my ever increasing Pamela Anderson-style you-know-whats would not only create quite the scene, but would absolutely cause my perfect dress to split at the seems. And although a wardrobe malfunction of that magnitude would definitely leave a lasting impression, it is not quite the impression I would be going for amongst my husband's co-workers.
So, to save my poor husband from such a horrifically embarrassing scene, I left him at home alone to supervise all three kids while watching the Packer game yesterday as I went to the mall in search of a new cocktail dress.
Let me start by stating, for the record, that it is never a good idea to go shopping for a cocktail dress one week after New Year's.  Although the prices will be unbeatable (yay for 60% off!), you will be depressed that the only sizes left are 2's and 00's.  And, if you are able to locate and procure a 60% off gem in your current size, it will look like something closer to what your grandmother would wear to a wedding in the middle of July or something that no one in the whole world other than your husband should ever see you put on. 
Plus, if you are unusually tall (say, approximately 5'11", for instance), you have to keep in mind that the above-the-knee-length cocktail dress designed for the average-height woman will show a lot more than just the one or two inches above your knee.  And, if you are considering purchasing one of them because it happens to actually fit and not make you look like you should be standing on a street corner, you must remember to do the sit-test and bend-over test in the fitting room...unless perhaps you are considering standing upright for the entire duration of your event (which you will seriously debate that possibility). 
Anyway, despite the challenges of shopping for formal wear, I am incredibly thankful for the helpful sales associates who are placed strategically by the dressing room doors to help make choosing that perfect little black dress a breeze.  I mean, it definitely makes me feel 100% better about my choice to hear the perky sales associate tell me that my obviously-too-tight number is nothing more than sleek and sexy.  Ummm...I'm not sure where you have been 20-year old tan sales associate (who obviously just returned from spending a week on a sunny tropical beach in Florida or Mexico, clad only in a string bikini, because no one is naturally that tan in January if they live in Minnesota) and has never had to worry about thunder thighs or a jiggly belly, but the last time I checked, looking four months preggo in a black cocktail dress that I will pay approximately $100 for is neither sleek nor sexy. 
So, obviously my shopping trip wasn't all that fun, but it did prove surprisingly fruitful.  After trying on more ugly black dresses than I care to count, I was finally able to find one at White House/Black Market that not only fit and seemed moderately fashionable, but that didn't also cost an arm and a leg (ok, so maybe it cost just a leg...).  Along with the industrial-strength spandex tummy-tucker/thigh slimmer/booty lifter I was able to snag at VS and the 70% off heals I found at Macy's (because after thinking further on the subject of winter in Minnesota, I decided peep toe heels in January weren't my cup of tea), I am just about set....that is until I try it on again next week and change my mind.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two Month Stats

Olivia had her 2-month well-check today.  She weighed in at a whoppin' 13.05 pounds (94%) and measured 23.5 (94%) inches long.  I knew she had grown, but had no idea she had gained close to 6 pounds and 4.5 inches in two months! 

She was happy and smiley through the whole appointment until the shots.  Since she really doesn't cry that much, it seemed extra difficult to endure her panicked screams while the nurse gave the immunizations.  The poor girl has definitely not been herself today since.  Usually content to lay on the floor and only make happy sounds, Olivia has definitely had one of her fussiest days to date and just wants to be held.

Although most everything checked out a-ok, I decided to bring up one concern I had regarding the fact that Olivia seems to only turn her head to the left.  We first noticed her favoring the left side when my sister pointed out that the left side of the back of her head seemed flatter than the right.  Since then, we've tried to get her to fully rotate her head to the right on her own and have been unsuccessful.  Even when we move her head to the right, we have to hold it in place or else she moves it back to the left.

After observing her, the doctor diagnosed Olivia with torticollis.  Torticollis, also known as "wryneck," is a condition in which your baby's head is tilted. One of your newborn's neck muscles is shortened. So the chin points to one shoulder, away from the shortened neck muscle. And the back of the head tilts toward the opposite shoulder (thank you, WebMD)So, basically, our baby girl has a crick in her neck (which was either present in utero or happened during delivery) and if left untreated can cause developmental delays.  Here's an awesome pictorial description thanks to WebMD as well: 
And, here are a couple pictures of Olivia proving to be a perfect real-life model for torticollis:

Treatment is in the form of physical therapy that will teach us how to help her stretch that shortened neck muscle several times a day.  The doctor did not seem to think that her case was very severe and was pleased that we caught it before it caused any developmental delays.  We have our first PT appointment next Monday.  I'm guessing she is not going to be very fond of the exercises, seeing as she HATES it when we try to turn her head/neck the opposite way. 
Otherwise, we are thankful for a happy, healthy, chubby, pudgy baby girl!