Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shaping up: the abs

After having a baby my abs are in serious need of "shaping up" and "coming together as one," if you know what mean! I hate doing crunches, nevertheless my abs need crunches and I'm out to find simple everyday tips to make them more doable!

I've been doing crunches for a few days now and I've been reminded of a few helpful tips:

Keep it doable (2-3minutes is all I have done a day but its keeps it simple enough that I actually do it!)

Notice what your body is saying (second plank was getting too much and had I gone longer I could have made my back even more sore or worse)

Find a quick way to document (stopwatch on phone - encouraged me to not skip Wednesday)

Keep your mind in the muscle (that actually helps the particular muscle to work a little extra hard - key to my little workouts)

Below are the details Monday through Wednesday of what I have done. Sorry my pictures are all below my text. Not sure how to stager pictures on my mobile app!

Actually, I really started on Friday with a huge ab workout at water aerobics! 10 solid mins of workouts while in a reclined position in deep water!! It left me sore until Monday! Awesome! :)

Monday night I finally squeezed in a 2 minute plank workout at 11pm! Below is my stopwatch picture to prove it!

Loving the way my stomached looked flatter Tuesday morning, I attempted to do that exercise again. But when my lower back was getting most of the workout, I switched to rowing crunches (crunch position, bent arms, one elbow touching the ground as you tip from side to side,sitting up slowly), and regular crunches for a total of a 3 minute workout! Phew! ;)

Wednesday I was done! Crunches? Nah! Lol! And with my back pretty sore from the second plank attempt and lots of stroller pushing, I ignored all the reasonable excuses and opted for working out my side oblique abs. Success!! And less than 3 minutes later, my record of not missing a day continues and I feel much more encouraged for Thursday!! :) (doable chunks, right!?) :)

Here's hoping I can keep it up for the rest of the week! :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Turquoise!? Bah I'm addicted!

After painting the bar stools turquoise, I couldn't help but love them in my red kitchen. But honestly, the turquoise did feel pretty random. But yesterday I remembered I had leftover fabric from another project, and this morning I was gitty when I saw there was enough!!!

I have rediscovered my love for the red wall by adding the turquoise fabric with liquid starch!! It was easy (took twenty minutes while both kids were awake!!) It adds a splash of "fun" to the pretty formal feeling kitchen adding a very nice balance!!

In the mix of things: lemon water

After this fun and busy weekend, I noticed the amazingly little amount of water I drank. And I probably drink a lot less than I realize normally (not just this weekend).

So I'm gonna mix things up a little bit here in the mix of things (har har), and make some very simple water "mixes."

Today I'm drinking 64 ounces of water and 3 drops of lemon essential oil.

Yikes! Wish me luck!

Benefits of lemon (other than the taste!):

"Lemon is known for its ability to clean toxins from the any part of the body. That includes the hair and scalp, digestive system and the kidneys, and much more!"

"It is very uplifting to the body and mind. Very light and improves concentration."

"Joy and hopefulness with clear thought."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Turquoise bar stools!!

I bought these (dare I say...) retro bar stools at a neighborhood yard sale to raise money for our neighbor with cancer.

I've started spray painting them turquoise and they are actually kind of fun in our very red kitchen!! Brynlie loves them and loves eating at the counter like a big girl! They are so sturdy and safe with the large backs that surround her.

Anyone else have a turquoise addiction like I do!!? :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the mix of things: cottage cheese and orange?

I made a special smoothie for brynners that had banana, lemon juice (of course), raspberry yogurt, and milk. For me I added cottage cheese to give it more protein and an orange.

Before I added the cottage cheese, the flavor was fine but not great. The cottage cheese added a salty richness that made the flavor complete.

The orange and cottage cheese blended up well enough to drink but it was still a little chunky. It wasn't too big of a deal, but I did add a few ice cubes and blended them in to take away from the orange/cottage cheese chunkiness. I was a little hesitant adding the cottage cheese, but it really was wonderful. Like I said, the salty richness was the perfect protein substitute for protein powder!

Picky-Brynlie test? She tried a little of her drink (hers didn't have cottage cheese or orange), then set it down to watch cartoons with Trevin! She was holding his hand and watching the TV, but I didn't catch that in time! :)

In the mix of things: berry delicious!

This has been our most delicious smoothie this week! I have thought this before, but this smoothie reiterated to me what a difference berries (in this case blueberries) make to the flavor of fruit and veggie smoothies. From my limited experienced (not just from this week :)), I'd say berries and bananas are STAPLES to fruit and veggie smoothies!

This smoothie had a handful frozen blueberries, a frozen banana (fresh one pictured), handful of spinach, strawberry Greek yogurt, cup and a half milk, and a cap of lemon juice (whenever I use bananas I usually use lemon juice to brighten the flavor).

Picky-Brynlie test? Most successful so far! She looked at it and actually wanted some and took a few sips!!! But that was all. More for me, though!! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I want to remember: sleeping success

Dear Me,

I hardly ever rocked Trevin to sleep. We would play for about an hour then I put him in his swing until he'd give his tired cue (facial expression) and almost dosing off. Pick him up, wrap him up, lay him down (in his carseat-keeps him upright cuz he sleeps better cuz he's kind of a spitty baby), put the dark carseat cover over the seat as his eyes are already closed!

This is wonderful for the future for him-being an independent sleeper- but it's amazing now with another child to tend to. I would lose my patience so easily when I had spent 20 minutes rocking him and as I'm laying him down (he'd just wake up on his own or..) Brynlie would yell or say something and wake him up. But now by the time she gets to the top of the stairs, Trevin asleep and in his carseat/bed! Yay!!

Trevin never cried it out. I started before he was socially aware of my leaving him AND with the swing routine above, he is so tired (and now used to this routine) that he seems to relax and be relieved as I lay him down - cuz he's wanting to sleep.

I learned that when they're so young you don't have to be crazy strict about it. Trevin and I had plenty of naps together, which were tender moments. But it's wonderful he's also independent. :)

I want to remember: the bottle

Dear Me,

Cold formula bottles are so much easier and convenient. I use our fridge filtered water (it's actually slightly colder than luke warm, refrigerated bottles are colder).

At home: takes out the microwave step which is awesome for both Trevin and I when he is crying for food.

Away from home: I can bring water in the bottle and no worries about the temperature!

Trevin started on cooler bottles from the beginning and slowly transitioned to cold bottles by the time he was 3.5-4 weeks (started on formula at 2 weeks). He was young enough he didn't seem to care. He was a lot more laid back about than Brynlie, who screamed at the bottle every time we had to switch formulas. Trevin never seemed to even notice a difference! So luckily his temperament is more flexible.

Bottom picture is actually Brynlie!! :)

In the mix of things: Mexican blender

Monday night trav and i made chicken enchiladas and fresh salsa in the blender too!! The chicken, tomato and onion (cut in 1/4ths) were no challenge for the blender!

Enchiladas: 1/2 big can of red enchilada sauce, 1/2 regular can size cream of chicken, 3-4oz cream cheese, 3 boil chicken breasts (probably makes 16, but we made 7 enchiladas and froze the rest)

Salsa: 2 tomatoes, half white onion, half green pepper, half cilantro bunch (makes a pint)


Monday, May 20, 2013

In the mix of things: banana chocolate protien

Today I made a smoothie with my chocolate protein drink! I added two bananas, two caps of lemon juice (brightens the banana flavor and not pictured), handful of spinach (not pictured either, oops) cooked oatmeal!, and 8 ounces of water.

Verdict!? Yummy and filling. Two full servings. But the spinach! Hmm... It was a little crunchy. I could tell I was drinking spinach. I'm not incredibly picky but knowing that I'm drinking spinach with every swallow isn't really what I'm looking for. BUT I couldn't taste the spinach, so that made for a yummy chocolate banana flavor.

As for the oatmeal? Great idea! It makes it chunky but that's fine with me. I cooked it first though (microwave) to reduce some of the chunkiness.

The Picky-Brynlie test? Complete no-go! Ha ha! She kept saying "dats mommy's, data mommy's!" Tomorrow I better trying a non-green-chunky one to win Brynlie over again! :)

In the mix of things: got celery?

I got a new and awesome blender for my birthday!! Im not a blending pro and so I thought I'd try making as many things with it this week as I can! I know (especially lately) sometimes trial and error is a great teacher goes!!

On Sunday I made a smoothie with an orange, banana, strawberry Greek yogurt, spinach, and celery. Then I added a little V8 juice and a cap of vanilla extract.

See my goal is to find a smoothie that has lots of veggies, fruit, protein, and even grains in it to make it a complete and healthy snack.

Honestly, this smoothie totally rocks (and made two servings, both of which were very filling), EXCEPT for the celery. Like the celery completely ruined it!! I like celery so the only way I was able to drink both servings (hours apart), was just telling myself it was a celery drink. If I simply tried to taste it as its own flavor, I kind of gagged at the sweet celery chunkiness! But luckily I like celery so it wasn't all for not.

I'd do this one again, but I'd pass on the celery for sure. The spinach (like all great green smoothies) I could hardly taste!

The Picky-Brynlie test? She actually sipped it three times which had me excited. But in the end the celery smoothie was left for me to finish. :) "Chunky" being the number one problem! :) and I'm sure the extreme celery flavor didn't help! Ha ha!

Maybe that's what Heaven is for

Today everything about motherhood was overwhelming. The tantrums, the lack of sleep, the food fits, and the lack of control I really have on my day (ex: got everything and everyone down for naps including me when one child wakes nap for me).

Sometimes motherhood is one of those things we try and conquer in this life and yet it's always slightly out of our grasp - therefore stretching us to grow.

Tonight while I was hanging on to my hope and faith (in the strength God gave me and in the faith He has in me), trav took Brynlie outside for a much needed break (for both of us). I opted for cleaning the kitchen, which truly was a nice break. While cleaning I was listening to "hilary week radio" on pandora and thinking about the gigantic task yet privilege motherhood is for me when the song sang, "maybe that's what heaven is for."

It made so much sense right then. Oh how I want to have everything together and be a fantastic mother. Yet it's a little out of my grasp (like, I'm not perfect). But how comforting it is to hope that one day (far way) I WILL have it all together. One day my kitchen will be spotless AND my child will fully understand that she can't throw a fit about everything (or anything!) :)

Then (if that wasn't comforting enough), Heavenly Father sent another great song. All the words were too perfect to not include them all:

I know you wonder
If you’ll ever have a day
Where the kids stay calm, the laundry’s done
And the dishes are put away

And sometimes you feel like
Your days are spent and gone
And the question running through your mind
Is what have I gotten done
And when you finally have a moment to slow down
At the end of your day I know Father would say

Believe in what you’re doing
Believe in who you are
And hold tight to the truth that you’re a daughter of God
Believe in who you’re becoming, believe in who you are

Now it might seem simple
All the little things you do
But the lives you touch matter so much
And there’s no one else like you

And Father needs you to stand tall and faithful
To be all you can be
Oh, if you could see what he sees

You’d believe in what you’re doing
You’d believe in who you are
So hold tight to the truth that you’re a daughter of God
Believe in who you’re becoming, believe in who you are

And when it’s hard to believe in yourself
And you feel like you’re beginning to doubt

That he believes in what you’re doing
He believes in who you are
So don’t lose sight of the truth that you’re a daughter of God
That he believes in who you’re becoming, He believes in who you are

I believe in this challenge and blessing of motherhood. I believe it's my heavenly calling and Heavenly Father will guide me every which way if I submit and not succume to the temptation to lose faith. I know he hears my prayers, the huge ones and the ones about finding the binkie! I am so grateful! And so blessed to have this knowledge in one of the hardest and amazing callings in the world: motherhood.