Today was a day of milestones…

Well, at least we’ll never forget what day they happened seeing as how it’s Valentine’s Day.  Squish hit three big milestones unassisted today:  getting to a sitting position from lying down, getting on her hands and knees and rocking like a skier getting ready to leap out of the gate, and starting to pull herself up on things… namely my shirt when we’re sitting on the floor together.

She’s been able to do this stuff for a long time, but I suspect she just didn’t feel like it.  Today she really turned on the juice and surprised the crap out of us.  I wouldn’t be shocked if we came downstairs tomorrow morning and she had a pot of coffee on.  Every day is a day of wonder and amusement.

I’m still doing ok with the no sugar thing.  It’s hard, but manageable.  Squish and I took a 2 hour trip to the grocery store and refilled our pantry and fridge with healthy things.  Out went the white rice, in came the brown rice, quinoa (can someone PLEASE tell me how to pronounce that?!), and barley.  Got rid of anything that had a lot of saturated or transfats and empty carbs and replaced it with a ton of fruit & veggies.  My produce part of the list was a mile long!  Cooked with wheat flour for the first time this weekend too – I made pizza calzones.  To make it healthy I snuck in a whole shredded zucchini into the ground turkey filling.  It was awesome.  I made 6 more – they’re frozen and ready to go in my lunch this week.  Pair ’em up with a salad and it’s perfectly balanced.

Saved a ton at the grocery store with The Grocery Game. I even spread the word about it to another family who was neck deep in coupons like me.  All told, I saved roughly $40 grocery shopping by matching up what was on sale with the matching coupon.  I got Soft Soap (the hand dispenser for the bathroom) and Lipton Onion Soup Mix for FREE!  I like free.  It’s my favorite four letter word.

Back to work tomorrow – bleh~!  Ben has the day off for Presidents Day.  Plus, it’s his birthday so he’s kinda psyched about that.  I’m taking Squish to the babysitter so he can have an entire day to play Bioshock 2.  Aw crap!  I gotta get him a card.  *gulp*.

Oh yeah.  Did I mention we’re forecast to get another 5″ – 9″ between now and tomorrow night?  I think Mother Nature took a wrong turn at Albuquerque – where does she think I live, Buffalo!?  At least a lot of people have the day off so they won’t be clogging the roads.


Weekend Fun

Well, it seems like Mallory is over her little gastro virus so hallelujah for that.  She’s still snotty from the cold virus she had at the same time; we’ll be wiping her nose for the next few days, I’m sure.  There’s nothing like sprinting for a Kleenex every time she sneezes because of the twin fountains of slimy expectorant she brings up.  Yum!  Yesterday I saw the largest snot bubble I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was half the size of her head, I kid you not.

Today she was well enough to venture out to the library for a Valentine’s Day event that featured book reading, crafts, and rhymes/ songs.  We met up with my friend Claire, her daughter Emily, her friend Andrea, and her son Drew.  Mallory had a blast!  I don’t think she’s been around that many kids before 🙂  While she wasn’t able to really follow along, she was content to sit there in her mama’s lap and listen while playing with some stuff.  At least she wasn’t howling the whole time.

Afterwards, we hit up Max & Erma’s for lunch.  Our poor waiter…  having to deal with two 2 and a half year olds and a baby.  Mallory was just enamored with him.  She did fairly well sitting in the high chair until I let her play with one of the paper things that wrap the napkins and silverware.  She ended up getting a piece, it triggered her gag reflex, and I got to play clean-up.  Luckily, disaster averted and it was just a quick wipe up.  The whole thing got her tuckered out and she was fast asleep before I pulled into the driveway even though it’s less than a 5 minute drive home.  All in all, I’m glad we got out and hope Claire invites us to more Mommy stuff. I tell you, that girl knows everything mommy-related going on in town.

So she’s still sleeping and then we’re going to hit the grocery store.  I had to clean out a lot of the goodies in there yesterday because Ben got diagnosed with diabetes.  I figured the Ghiradelli Brownie Mix and Frosted Flakes were just too cruel to leave in the pantry.  Plus, I need to make room for all the healthy stuff we’re going to be putting in there… barley, brown rice, and quinoa.  High cholesterol and diabetes… ai yai yai.  As a  bonus, Mallory and I will be eating healthy as well.  I’m not about to cook two dinners, yanno.

I think it was the wake up call that he needed to get his life straight.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get his major causes of heart disease under control.  Of the five risk factors, he has 4: smoking, high blood sugar (diabetes), high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Amazingly, all of them are controllable.  The doctor wants him to quit smoking right away and told him a minor weight gain (5-10lbs) would be acceptable by his next appointment in 12 weeks if he quit smoking immediately.  The major thing I see us having problems achieving is getting in 200 minutes of aerobic exercise a week.  Seriously, going from basically ZERO to 200 minutes / week is a big jump.  That’s 40 minutes five times a week or about half an hour every day.

I had him fill a prescription while I was there and then he looked at my chart and noticed that I hadn’t had a physical and bloodwork done EVER.  Needless to say, I have an appointment in 12 weeks to have mine done.  Doh!  I think it’s for the best though.  After we left Ben said that he got read the riot act even after he had lost 12 lbs… LOL.  Looks like we’ll both have to try harder.  Expect to see more posts in the future about our journey to get healthy.

Oh!  Just as a ‘shiny monkey moment’ – have you tried  You can search for recipes based on ingredients.  I think I’m going to actually pay the $24.95/year fee and join because it’s a lot easier to manipulate stuff.  Plus, it allows me to have multiple cookbooks and I can take advantage of the menu planning / add to grocery list options.  I’ll share our cookbooks and meal planners when they’re active so you can see what we’re eating.  The most interesting recipe I’m trying this week is “Low carb shrimp with ‘grits.'”  Instead of grits, they make a neat concoction with cauliflower.  I figure we’ll have something New Orleans-ish for Fat Tuesday.

So how’s your weekend treating you so far?

Fitness Program – Halftime results

We started Week 7 tonight and had the opportunity to weigh in and get our measurements taken after going halfway through the program.  Unfortunately, I gained back the 2 lbs I had originally lost (I’m telling myself that’s all baby related) but here’s the cool statistics!

  • 2.5 inches off my tricep
  • .5 inch off my neck
  • 1 inch off my hips
  • 1.5 inches off my chest (measured high – not like you measure the bust)

I also found a new mom / water aerobics buddy tonight!  She tried to answer her phone in the locker room, which is notoriously bad for cell phone reception, and couldn’t talk to anyone.  I commiserated and let her know that she’d have to go out front to even get close to having a decent conversation and she said she could hear her newborn crying in the background. 

We got to talking (her baby is almost 3 months old and is home with her husband tonight) and discussed how she took water aerobics up until the day before she delivered and that it made her delivery much easier.  I’m up for that!  Anyways, I think she’s going to go to tomorrow’s class with me. –   Plus she’s the same height shape as me – now I’ve got someone who was in the same shoes that I’m in just a few months ago.  Yay!

Water Aerobics – not just for blue hairs anymore…

I had previously taken a water aerobics class on Monday nights with Lisa – you’d swear she was a drill sargeant in a former life and really worked us hard.  I had heard through the grapevine that the other classes were more targeted for elderly people, those individuals with injuries who *had* to work out in the water, and those assorted malcontents who liked seeing other people in bathing suits in a group setting.  One day Lisa was absent and they had another instructor fill in for her.  Instead of spending the evening getting our heart rates up and sloshing some water out of the swimming lanes we were walking laps around the pool using the styrofoam dumbbells to work our triceps!

I woke up this morning at 7:30 (ok, more like 7:40) bound and determined to get to today’s 8AM class with Stephanie.  I figured that I could ease back into the water aerobics scene and get prepared for more classes with Lisa once my Team Weight Loss session is over; it’s too bad that the times conflict on Mondays.  I quickly brushed my teeth, shrugged into my swim suit – luckily I have a suit that is swim shorts with a halter top – wrestled my hair into a quick ponytail, threw on some clothes over my suit, kissed my groggy husband goodbye, and headed out the door into the bitter frigid cold of a late November morning.

I had hoped to snag a quick breakfast of a banana and a botle of water at the cafe, but just my luck that they didn’t open until 8.  I headed to the locker room where I grabbed my skimpy towel, my flip flops (can’t be too careful about athlete’s foot, yanno), and stashed the rest of my gear in the locker.    As I headed out to the pool area I noticed that we’ll be working out in the ‘warm’ pool today and not the lap pool that they keep at near hypothermic temperatures.  I grabbed my noodle and styrofoam dumbbells and hopped into the pool with the other ladies.  I started talking to the lady whose gear is next to mine and ask her about the intensity of the class.  She shocked the hell out of me by telling me that Stephanie will kick my butt if I’m not prepared for it.  I quickly assured her that I’m a pro, having survived several weeks of Lisa’s classes.  Imagine my surprise when she tells me, “oh, Stephanie is worse.”   GULP.

Imagine cross country skiing under water where you’re submerged up to your shoulders.  I had no idea there were so many different ways to vary arm and leg positions to target specific muscle groups – all based on one form.  Move your arms with your thumbs pointed straight up in the air and you begin your arms.  Modify that arm position so that now your palms are facing the bottom of the pool and you work your shoulders.  Flip your hands so that now your palms are facing the ceiling and you’re killing your triceps.  Take your arms and move them from the sides to the front and depending on the positions of your palms you can either work your chest or your back.  47 minutes of cardio later – mostly at level 3 – I was convinced that yes, Stephanie will kick my butt even worse than Lisa.  I can’t wait to see how my upper body feels tomorrow morning when I wake up.

I loved every minute of it and surprise surprise, I plan on going back on Tuesday night when she teaches again.  I think I like these classes even better than my Team Weight Loss treadmill cardio workouts.  If I’m really ambitious then I’ll tackle her 9:30AM class on Thanksgiving day.


Fitness Test – 6 Weeks into the program

I almost forgot – we did our fitness test for the Team Weight Loss Program again on Monday night and we all absolutely kicked butt.  Essentially, this is the 1/2 way point into the program and we compared our baseline distance that we did on the first night to this mid-point distance. At one point I was cruising along at 3.7, which is only .3 away from the jogging speed.   I did 1.51 miles in 30 minutes last time and ended up doing 1.72 miles this time.   That’s a 12% increase over the last time. 

Other noticeable things is that I have more stamina when walking or even working out.  An hour doesn’t seem to kill me like it used to.  I can easily do an hour+ on the treadmill at a pretty fast rate without wanting to keel over.  The incline increase is probably the most dramatic change that we’ve faced.  When we first started we would do a 2% incline with the max being 6-8%.  Now?  A 2% or 4% incline feels FLAT and we can all do a 15% incline (the max!) for over 4 minutes.  It feels like you’re climbing a huge hill but it gets your heart rate up like you wouldn’t believe.

The good thing about this class is that I’ve been able to keep all of my workout handouts (remind me to get those to you, Claire!) so when I *do* have the baby I’ll have a custom workout where I can start at a not-so-fit level after taking those 6 weeks off and will be able to get right back to where I left off without having to go through the program again.  Genius!

I’ve been thinking ahead to when the program ends in January… they have 4 nights of water aerobics classes and I think I’m going to start taking those for several reasons.

1).  You’re a lot lighter underwater and there’s less risk of injury when your ligaments are all whacked out from relaxin. 

2). Water provides hydrostatic pressure – basically, it has ‘counter pressure’ and pushes in on your skin, which is supposed to reduce swelling and edema.

3). I’ll be doing SOME form of exercise activity.

Back to the grind

Tonight’s class wasn’t too bad.  I cheated and did the 6:30 workout but went to my usual 7PM nutrition class – I’m sneaky like that.  We’re down to only 4 of us now.  Derek and I both did the 6:30 class but Michelle and Ahmad showed up expecting the 7PM class to go on as usual.  We quickly talked them out of the torture they were going to be in. 

I ended up pulling the emergency stop off twice by accident and wiping out my entire workout… grrrrr.    Talk about depressing.  Megan worked us harder than Sheila usually does but it was a good workout.  I got my butt kicked by the nutritionist because I don’t eat enough protein.  Seriously, protein at every meal?  Dunno if I can make that happen.

I’ve found I sleep better on nights that I work out.  Funny because I was worried that working out from 7-8 would keep me awake.  Great… Ben is making me watch the Devil’s Rejects.  This is gonna keep me up…

Team Weight Loss – Night 1

So yeah… I joined this Team Weight Loss system at my local gym hoping to get more in shape before having the baby.  What I didn’t realize is that there’s a pretty decent nutrition component to it as well.  We get 1/2 hour with a nutritionist every week in addition to our managed workouts.  In essence, I’m getting my own personalized nutrition plan for what exactly I’m supposed to eat (ex: X starches, X fats, X proteins) per meal so that I can eat healthily (is healthily a word?) throughout the second trimester.  The best part?  There’s only SIX people in my class so we’re getting near one-on-one training and attention

With all that good stuff said, here’s what happened the first night:

30 minutes learning about what’s going to happen with the program, going through all the paperwork, reviewing homework (who said anything about HOMEWORK?).

Remaining 30 minutes spent on the treadmills for our ‘endurance test.’  Essentially, they wanted to see our base fitness level so we had to walk (or run) on the treadmills at 2% incline for 30 minutes.  At the end of that time Sheila checked the distance that we covered so that we can compare it in weeks 6 and 12. 

Wednesday’s class involves weigh-in (oh no!) and measurements which I think include our body fat.  I’m betting that I’m the only participant in this class whose waist measurement is going to INCREASE instead of decrease 🙂  We’ll work on cardio and strength training for Wednesday and Friday.