Back to Green

DISCLOSURE: this post is part of a compensated project I’m doing with Kiss Me Organics. I was provided the product, but the opinions shared here are 100% honest and absolutely my own.

As I shared with you a few months back I have been trying to get back into a healthy groove, cleaning up my eats and getting more activity. One way I’ve done this to bring back The Green Smoothie! Green smoothies have been a mainstay in my diet for the past four years and with the warmer weather they are the perfect breakfast for a busy mom plus a good way to get some veggies in at the start of the day.

Kiss Me Organics reached out me and asked me if I wanted to try their green tea matcha powder. 

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I am always up for trying something new. Kiss Organic’s Matcha can be used  in much more than smoothies. They even gave me a free online recipe book with other ideas for use of their product. I haven’t had a chance to try any of the recipes but check out Katy’s post where she shares a recipe for a green tea latte. I used this product in several smoothies. It came in handy when I didn’t have any spinach on hand (my “green” of choice) but still wanted a little extra kick to my fruit smoothie.

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I found with this product that a little goes a long way. I put about a tsp. in my smoothie. I noticed a slight taste but nothing too over powering.

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The only complaint I have about the product is that it gets all over my hands when I scoop it out of the bag. As far as the products promises of “all day energy,  metabolism boost, increased focus,” I couldn’t really say if they held true but I know I did feel a little better putting something with an added “kick” in my smoothies.

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Anything to keep this busy mom going!

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I don’t often get to do product reviews. Thanks to Kiss Me Organics for the opportunity!

Everly Laura: 7 Month Update

Wow! 7 months! Some how this seems more momentous to me than 6 months because it means Everly is closer to turning 1 that she was than to the day she was born!

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A few milestones were met this past month. I don’t think I’ve got a good picture but Miss Everly is sporting two little teeth! She has been (and still is) chewing on everything. I can’t really say that she was overly fussy while teething and one day there one tooth was and then the other!

Eating solids foods seems to be going well.

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She gets VERY excited when she sees the spoon coming towards her and she really seems to enjoy the taste of foods after she has tried them a bit. What she does not like is those foods coming out the other end! Definitely a different sensation than breast milk poos! She cries and scrunches her face up! It is is so sad! So far she has eaten.

  • Banana
  • Apple sauce
  • Baby oatmeal
  • Peas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Prunes

So far I have only been feeding her at breakfast and dinner and mostly pureed store bought food.

Sleep is ok. We still struggled for a few weeks with her getting up every two hours and lots of tears at bed time and nap time. Now she is falling asleep on her own a lot easier (a lot less crying!), taking some pretty good naps on most days, and sleeping for longer chunks at night, falling back asleep easily after I nurse her. Still no nice long 6-8 hours stretches and I am longing for a “good nights sleep” but I’m just going to let things take their course, much like I did with Hunter. We are no longer using a swaddle and Everly definitely prefers to sleep on her stomach.

Everly went on her first road trip this past month and did GREAT! She didn’t sleep much but was happy to sit in her car seat and play with the toys I handed her.

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As part of this road trip Everly also went to the zoon for the first time! Although I don’t think she really cared much about the animals she sure had fun hanging out with Grandma Chi Chi

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She is doing much better at sitting up on her own but I still don’t trust her to do it alone.

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She is as always my little sweetie pie! I just love her so much! Can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for us!

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What we do when we’re 2: Part 1!

You all know how much I love my little man and there is no way I could stop posting about him completely! I hope to do a post about him every couple of months! Can you believe he’s been 2 for a quarter of a year already?!

Two is such a crazy age! One minute I’ve got my sweet little boy who brings his sister a toy when she’s upset the next he’s having a screaming crying fit because I want him to eat something on his plate!

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A lot the time I don’t think he gives a hoot about his baby sister but now that she is getting older and a lot more fun he interacts with her a little more. In the morning if both she and he are awake at the same time he asks if she can come and lay in his crib with him.

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He then proceeds to give her one of his “buddies” and then yells at her saying, “No! That’s mine!” Yeah….we are still working on sharing!

My boy LOVES to read! Once he turned two we were able to go to toddler story time at the library. At first he was really shy but by the end of the 6 week session he was standing up by the librarian as she read the stories and sang the songs. Another way that we combated the loooooong winter was to head to the Children’s Museum. My mom has a friend who graciously let us be her guests several times on Thursday mornings.

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That place was made for Hunter! It has trains, boats, helicopters, trucks and more! Again, he was a little hesitant being in a new place but the last time we were there it was all I could do to chase him throughout the three floors of exhibits. He loved it!

FINALLY the weather turned nice. Last summer I had dreams of playing with Hunter in the park and running around with him in our back yard but since he wasn’t walking yet our trips outside were rather tame. Now a day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t ask to play outside or go to the park!

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He loves playing with the sand table from Grandma and Grandpa Cuckoo’s house!

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He also recently has had a crazy obsession with pinwheels! He saw one in a neighbor’s yard and didn’t stop talking about it. During one of our walks around the neighborhood we found a house with TONS of pinwheels in their yard.

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He’s still so very very verbal! He chatters on and on. He LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and will often tell you about one of the episodes repeating details that I don’t even remember. He is also getting very creative and imaginative. He will act out episodes from Mickey with his toys. He spent several days playing with this box which he told me was a boat!

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Because he’s so verbal he is quick to tell you what he likes and dislikes. Especially when it comes to food! He is quite the picky eater but he does love his sweets!

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A couple of firsts over these past few months. Hunter had his first “puking” incident. It was AWFUL! Let’s just say I was holding him when it happened! Worse though was how sad and miserable to he was!

He also got to color Easter eggs for the first time

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And catch his first fish!

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I love watching my little man grow an change! Hunter still sleeps in a crib and potty training seems to be at a stand still but it is all good. I am enjoying my guy in the moment and loving TWO even on the days when he doesn’t nap!

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It is such a joy to experience the world through his eyes! Thanks for keeping life interesting little man!

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Everly Laura 6 Month Update

Boy! Did that half of year sure fly by! I remember when Everly was born, just as the seasons changed from Fall to Winter and I thought to myself, “She’ll be half a year in May.” These warm Spring days seemed so far away but here we are!

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At her 6 month appointment Everly weighed in at 18lbs 1oz. and was 27 inches long. Hunter wasn’t this size until he was 9 months old! Yet Everly dropped from the high 90 percentiles into the mid 80 percentiles. She just feel so solid to me! It’s hard for me to even remember what she was like as a itty bitty newborn.

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                                                    3 days old vs. 6 month olds

Shortly after she turned 6 months I started introducing solid foods. She seems very excited when the spoon comes towards her mouth but then she makes a face once the food gets into her mouth.

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With Hunter I was super excited to make my own baby food. I am sad to say that this time around I just don’t think I can do it! It takes so much time! Poor second child! Oh well, I will try not to beat myself up about it. I will still try and do some of the same “fresh foods” that I did with Hunter such as banana, avocado, sweet potato fries (when she is older) and broccoli bites (also when she is older).

Sleep has been all over the place lately! I felt like for awhile she was actually falling asleep on her own for bedtime and then would wake up (usually when I entered the room to go to bed) I would nurse her and she would go back to sleep for 6-8 hours. It was glorious! Now, not so much! We are back to the screaming and crying at bedtime and couple of nights she has been up every 2 hours! I know that since she is breastfed that she still probably needs to eat at night but I am just afraid of creating a sleep association. I try to let her fuss a bit but it is hard to listen to since I am in the room. If I nurse her she usually falls back to sleep pretty quickly and I can get her in the crib no problem. Part of the challenge is we are trying to get her out of her swaddle since she breaks free of it but she can’t seem to calm herself at night without it. Naps are also hit or miss. At daycare she naps for hours upon end and doesn’t need a swaddle. At home she sometimes cries sometimes just talks, is able to put herself to sleep and sleeps anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

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Definitely frustrating at the moment but I know it can only get better… right?

She is still working on sitting unassisted (so close!) and can easily roll from back to tummy but not tummy to back (also contributes to the sleep issue!).

Some of her favorite things:

  • Her brother (of course!)

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  • Bath time
  • Blowing raspberries
  • Grabbing her feet
  • Putting anything and everything in to her mouth (still no teeth!)

Things she doesn’t like:

Not much! She is such a happy smiley little girl. Even if she hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep she is pretty easy going and can usually be calmed with a kiss and a tickle!

Having a second child is so much fun! I think it’s because you kind of know what to expect and you know that despite the sleepless nights things will get better. It has been so much fun watching Hunter become the little boy he is today and I enjoy watching Everly’s personality shine through more and more each day.

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Whatever Happened to The Girl With The Pink Sneakers?

When I started my blog over four (FOUR!) years ago I was at a very different point in my life. In fact, one of the main reasons I started it was my husband and I were dealing with infertility. Doctors pretty much told us that we would not be able to have children on our own. I don’t remember why but for some reason, at that time, we decided not to pursue any medical intervention to help us have a child. I guess we decided to just put the whole thing on hold and see if nature would take its course. I had been following several healthy living bloggers and was inspired by their stories of clean eating, mindful eating, race recaps, and more. I wanted to write about my own healthy living journey. I wanted to stop focusing on the fact that we couldn’t start our family. I started grad school, was teaching several fitness classes, and decided to train for an Olympic distance triathlon and two half marathons. I enjoyed writing about my daily efforts to live better and be healthy. That’s how “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” was born. It was a good distraction, something fun and creative to do. It kept me motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve my fitness goals. Other people told me they enjoyed reading about my joys and struggles. They even told me I was an inspiration.

I remember at some point after the Disney Half Marathon I had dreams in my head about running a full marathon but in the back of my mind was still that undeniable desire and yearning to be a mom. We decided to go back to the doctors and see what needed to be done to achieve this goal and if we couldn’t have children of our own then we needed to decide where to go from there. I didn’t write about any of these struggles because they felt very personal at the time. I still continued to live and write about my own personal health and fitness. By God’s grace and blessings we finally got pregnant (naturally!) and I continued to write about how I was having a healthy pregnancy and still being fit and active.

Well, after my precious Hunter was born our lives took a dramatic shift and so did my own personal health and fitness. I gained 40 lbs. when I was pregnant. 20 of those pounds fell off instantly but the remaining 20 seemed to hang on for good even though I was exclusively nursing. I started to get back into a fitness routine and even ran a 5K but it was SO HARD to fit exercise in. On many of the blogs that I started reading way back when the women have had children and seem to get right back into their fit and active lifestyles completing triathlons, marathons pursuing goals of becoming fitness instructors and more. They also seemed to get right back into their pre-pregnancy jeans! Weight loss has never been easy for me and this was no exception. Once Hunter turned a year old I started getting back into the swing of things as far as healthy eating and exercise goes. But then, much to my joy and surprise I found out I was pregnant again!

Here I am today, almost six months after my sweet Everly was born, still clinging on to 20 of the 40 lbs. I gained with her. I haven’t formally exercised since the yoga class I went to the day before she was born.

To be honest I am really struggling to find some semblance of “The Girl With the Pink Sneakers.” Of course I don’t expect to be working out 5-6 times a week including teaching fitness classes and training for some race. But it would be nice to do SOMETHING!  I honestly don’t miss that lifestyle. It was a good distraction from the maddening fact that I wasn’t a mom. I feel lucky that I am able to only work part time so when I am not working I want to spend time with my kids. I don’t want to drop them off in some child care room so I can work out. I want to be with THEM. The little free time I do have is usually spent trying to catch up on housework (my house is a mess!) or other chores. Or sometimes I am just plain exhausted and all I want to do is sit on my couch and veg out.

All that being said I know how important being healthy is and now I have the ultimate reason to be healthy, my children! I don’t want to be the mom that sits on the park bench and watches her kids play on the playground because I am too out of shape to play with them. I want to be around for when my children have children. I want to be a good example of what healthy is to my kids. I want to feel good about myself and have the reflect outward so my children know what it means to have a positive self image.

The big questions that looms over my head right now is, “how the heck am I going to do this?” Exercise is the biggest challenge right now. I know all it takes is 30 minutes a day BUT if you work up a good sweat then you have to figure in showering time too. Since I am pumping at work I take a lot of time out of my work day to do that and I don’t feel it is ethical to take more time (like a long lunch break) for exercise. Everly is still not on a consistent sleeping schedule so early mornings are tough and I am usually exhausted once both kids are in bed for the night (and Everly doesn’t always stay asleep!). Nap time is a possibility (if they both nap at the same time) but I am finding it hard to find space in our little house to actually do any type of work out. I have been doing a squat, push up, plank challenge during the month of May and that has been a good start but I need to devise a plan to keep it going. Everly still naps a lot but I think I will try my hardest to get in activity with both kids while they are awake and also utilize nap time once I can clear a space to actually do exercise in!

I have started to “clean up” my eating over the past three weeks and am amazed at how a few simple changes have made a difference (I’ve lost almost 6lbs!). I started tracking my calorie intake with myfitnesspal.com and that has been a good way for me to stay within healthy calorie range and not affect my milk supply. In fact I think that because I am eating more whole, less processed food my supply has actually increased. In addition to my fitness challenge for May I’m doing a “no” cookie, candy, doughnut, cake, ice cream challenge except for one serving once a week. I was going to throw alcohol in there as well but don’t really imbibe that much any way.

I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I didn’t become “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” overnight. I just need to keep working at it until I can find “The Mama With The Pink Sneakers!” I am doing this for so much more than my skinny jeans. I’m doing it for the two precious loves of my life!

Everly Laura 5 Month Update

It feels like it has been such a long time since I last updated this blog! Little miss Everly has been 5 months for awhile now (almost a week!) and I’ve been meaning to write this update but simultaneous toddler/infant naps have NOT been happening lately!

I don’t know how much there really is to update about my beautiful girl, just some fun things that we’ve been up to. Of course she is still growing and growing! No doctor’s appointment this month so I don’t know how much she weighs or how long she is but we are guessing she is quickly approaching 20lbs! A LOT bigger than Hunter was at this age!

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Look at those chunky legs! Big Brother just had to get in on the photo shoot!

About a month ago a young woman approached me at church and asked how old Everly was. She was a Physical Therapy Grad student at the University and she was looking for babies 3-7 months old to use for a research project. She asked if I would mind bringing Everly in to be part of her research. I said, “sure!”

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For the research Everly had to wear a tight fitting onesie and a hat. They placed 3D sensors  around her head, neck, and shoulders just like the type of sensors they use to make 3D movies! Then they held Everly and moved her body left and right to observe her head control. They took pictures with a regular 2D still camera and a 2D video camera AND then using the 3D sensors took pictures using 3D cameras that were placed around the room. They were comparing the 2D and 3D results to see which was better at diagnosing head and neck problem like torticollis.

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She did great and the students and professor just loved her!

Everly also got to meet the two boys who will one day fight over who gets to have her heart! Smile

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Remember my best friend who was pregnant with twins? Well these are her two adorable boys! They were born just a month after Everly. I am pretty sure Nolan is on her right and Atticus is on her left. It was so great to finally meet them over Easter.

She has rolled over a couple of times but doesn’t do it regularly and she is working on sitting up. Check out her adorable Easter dress!

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We took our first walk to Ranison’s Ice Cream Shop!

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And we’ve even had a few nice days where we can go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

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I’ve started having Everly sit in the high chair with us for meal times but we won’t start solids until next month.

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She sure likes being part of the action and of course watching her big brother!

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Sleep has been going ok. She easily falls asleep on her own for naps and usually takes some pretty decent naps sometimes she take s a short one but usually makes up for it later. Night time is a whole different story. I can count on one hand the number of times she has fallen asleep on her own with out putting up a big fuss (a.k.a. crying!). And I can also count on one hand the number of times she actually stays asleep for the night once she finally is down. I’m not really sure what to do! I’ve tried putting her to bed earlier, I’ve tried later. Even when I do nurse her to sleep we play this annoying game of me trying to transfer her to her crib without waking her up. When I finally am successful she usually doesn’t stay asleep. Not really sure what is up with that. I’m thinking it’s because eventually I sleep in the room with her and maybe she wakes up and realizes I’m not there (since I would like to sit down and watch TV for an hour before falling asleep!) and that’s what wakes her up. I guess she just knows I won’t be there for naps! The good news is I have her out of the Rock ‘N Play and completely in the Pack N’ Play. I am still swaddling her but we are getting close to stopping that as she is fighting it! We’ll get it all worked out soon (I hope!) she is still A LOT farther along than Hunter was. I think Hunter was still in the swing at night when he was 5 months old!

She is still my little sweetie pie and I just love her more and more each day! I love watching her grow and change and develop her own personality!

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My Dad

I am writing this post in honor of my dad who would have turned 66 this past Tuesday. It has been a month since his passing and as expected I sometimes find it hard to believe that I will never see him in this lifetime again. In reality even though I live in the same town as my parents in the past months (years?) I did not see my dad very regularly. Over the past seven years his health had been declining and he did not want his kids to see him in this failing state. He wanted us to remember him as he was: the fun, loveable dad who was always up for an adventure. Even though I did not see him frequently I still find myself thinking, “I wish I could ask dad about that,” or “I wonder if dad has heard about that.” Not having lost someone this close to me in a long time I’m not use to these thoughts but I am sure they will last for awhile, maybe even forever.

My dad was such a good father and I was daddy’s little girl all the way! I think if he could have he would have given me the moon!

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He wanted to give my brother and I the kind of life he could only have dreamed of. He liked to expose us to things that the “average” person wouldn’t have done like SCUBA diving and down hill skiing. This meant we took lots of trips to fun places like Cozumel, Colorado, Vancouver and many more places.

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We also took many many family vacations to Disney World. I have to admit when I traveled there a few years ago without my parents I really missed them! Disney World is connected to family in my mind. We had so many experiences there as a family and mad such good memories.

I know that dad had a hard time watching me grow up and he wanted me to stay his little girl forever. I remember when I was in 8th grade and I decided to redecorate my room AND got contacts within the same week. He was so sad that I was growing up!

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I know he would have really liked it if I had grown up to be an opera singer. When I was younger I felt like I had disappointed him by choosing a different path. I know that he was proud of me and that he just wanted me to use my gifts and talents.

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For all the important events in my life and even the not so important ones my dad was there with a video and a still camera in hand (or he hired someone like at my wedding!). I think I get my love of capturing life from him. He was so proud of everything I did.

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(I’m pretty sure this is a picture of us using a self timer on a camera he gave me).

I miss him so much! But the hardest part for me is knowing that my kids won’t have him as a grandpa. He would have been such an awesome grandpa!

It was hard for me to see him suffering both physically and emotionally with his medical problems. I could see in his eyes how sad he was that he couldn’t be the kind of grandpa he wanted to be. I find comfort in the fact that he is now at peace and I look forward to the day when I will be united with him again.

I will always love you daddy!

Photo: #throwbackthursday me and dad<br />
circa 1980. Miss you so much!” src=”<a href=https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/p600x600/1965011_10152250789103118_755023008_n.jpg&#8221; width=”551″ height=”551″>