baby mama

happy hump day! i’d love to shine the spotlight on someone vital to my motherhood journeys as well as my Christian walk. remember my confession post, In Love With Lean, from about 6 months ago? weeeeeell,

this pretty young thang is one of the good friends i was referring to… my BM, Marguerite!

(i.e., Baby Mama, as we affectionately call each other.)

 through my infertility struggles with both pregnancies, Marguerite helped me cope with having to ‘sit down somewhere’ from all the excessive exercising i was doing in the most loving way possible. lol. she has a masters in counseling because it’s clearly what she was born to do!  we met at UH, were even roommies for a semester, and continued to keep in touch after graduation.  she prayed and fasted with and for me during those times, and i received her advice and words wholeheartedly because i knew they were from the Lord. fasting solo (and usually for your own personal issues) is physically and mentally difficult enough.   but to care for another friend so much (i’m not talking about your spouse, mom, dad, siblings, etc.) that you sacrifice yourself and go to the Lord on their behalf… i am utterly thankful God put her in my life.  i’m also grateful she was willing to let Him use her in the first place!  being obedient to God’s commands and tasks can be uncomfortable and downright hard.  it can often make relationships difficult, very awkward…or even eventually non-existent. but you must do what He tells you to do… His way.  it’s about His glory, never us.

we were preggo together for both of our children, however, she is chunking me the deuce for babies #3 and 4, hahaha! i’m on my own now, but i know she’ll be with me in spirit.

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i was almost 9 months along and she was about 6 when we met up for our BM prenatal massages and lunch back in 2011. we worked out (walked on the treadmills), hung out and talked about baby stuff, and ate good of course. boobs and bellies everywhere!

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we were gettin’ our Red Lobster on for lunch in this throwback pic,

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and a few months ago we met up for brunch at Le Peep before heading to get our massages. i was 8 months along and she was right behind me again at almost 6!  because my birthday had recently passed, she told me my massage was on her.  what a sweet, sweet surprise and a testament to her character.

aaand of course we attended each other’s baby showers!

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i’ve had so much fun sharing blessings and making memories with this girl.

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she came to spend some quality time with Odego and i at the hospital back in June, and i was recently blessed to return the favor because her sweet baby girl, Callie Marie, is already HERE! today is actually Callie’s due date and i am elated she is safely in her mama’s arms and in the comfort of their own home.

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she’s perfect. and PINK:) i’m looking forward to all the girlie advice Marguerite will pass my way because i’ll need it :) .

i just want to give a sincere congrats to the blessed Hairstons who are now a family of four!  thank you, BM, for simply being the sister you were called to be. i appreciate you. <3

le

H-town’s very first 24 hour donut cafe

 a former colleague of mine and fellow UH Cougar, Ose Ohen, opened up Glazed last week!  we headed to stuff our faces immediately after church as planned.

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transparency is a wonderful thing.  i appreciate and enjoy being able to watch my food being prepared and just the entire process in general.  maybe that’s why i’m such a big fan of Unwrapped on Food Network.  seeing how things i’ve been eating for YEARS are made is just really interesting and cool.  anyway, kitchen windows build trust.  it can also change the way an employee works if you know what i mean, lol.

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 they had 3 flavors ready to go for the soft opening: lemon poppy, glazed, and maple bacon (with a turkey bacon version as well).

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more glass windows, awesome.

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we all sat down and got comfy while Sonny went to order our sweets.  i didn’t even have to tell him what to get either.

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*just before pulling the deliciousness out of the bag*

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i know. and it tasted as incredible as it looked.  perfect balance of sweet/salty/doughy/chewy/fluffy. WHAT a donut. i am crazy excited about this gigantic list of flavors they’ll be selling in the near future and i’m not even a donut person!

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Chiso eats his donuts just like his pizza, plain.  i’d say he enjoyed it.

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 well you knew this was happening later.  sweaty stair master intervals and some core work completed my sunday.  5 weeks postpartum and i still work my kegal muscles (when i think about it randomly at home) to strengthen my pelvic floor again.  it’s a process, ladies!  be patient, work them daily if you can, and make sure you do them on an empty bladder.

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 as i got meal prep going for the next few days, i channeled my inner Fish City Grill with these tacos for dinner.  if you’ve been there and ordered them they should look pretty familiar to ya ;) .  i used La Tortilla Factory 70 calorie tortillas as usual (which i saw at HEB recently!!!!) and filled them with baked swai fish, bagged cabbage and Annie’s all natural Lite Goddess dressing.  this is super similar to the Crunchy Ginger Rotisserie Chicken Wrap from a few days ago.  then i grilled them up on our griddle for a few minutes until they browned.   heating the tortilla first makes a huge difference vs a cold, flimsy tortilla.  try it!  someone from Instagram suggested i taste that flavor of Annie’s next and i’m glad i did.

Q: kolaches or donuts?

i’m a cheese lover so that’s an easy one. 

le

saturdate + 6 week pp fitness goals

Sonny and i attended a wedding late last night/morning, so the boys hung out with their grandparents overnight.  which also means i was confined to my breast pump every 4 hours or so.  i remember being away from Chiso overnight for the 1st time and fearing he would reject my breast cause of nipple confusion once we were reunited again. it drove me crazy, but i was also a first time mom. a lot of things drove me crazy then.  fortunately, both boys latched right back on like nothing ever happened. *although it is recommended to give newborns at least 3 solid weeks of breast only before introducing the bottle if you can help it*. after sleeping straight through the night i woke up full of liquid gold and leaking through my clothes and bed sheets. there’s always a trade-off! was it worth a night of uninterrupted sleep?

heck yes.

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 i headed to ‘weigh-ins’ with Sonny, as he calls them.  the 6 Pack USA  plan works for people inside and outside of Houston. ‘weigh-ins’  is where we check our 6 Pack USA Houston clients’ progress in person if they choose (body fat, weight, motivation levels) to ensure they are on track with their customized meal and workout plans. video links are provided for  those that prefer to have a family or friend measure them weekly.  i’m 5 weeks postpartum and currently pondering about my own fitness goals these days. here are a few i’d like to share with ya:

  • naturally detox my body from processed foods (i’ll still be eating whole wheat bread and tortillas, etc., but i’m referring to unnecessary things like cool whip)
  • drink way more water (WHEN will i get it together in this department…i mean really.)  it will help keep my milk supply up, skin hydrated, and things moving along in my digestive system
  • lift these glutes! i eat pancakes…i don’t wear them. ready to squat heavy again and build my booty back up.
  • strengthen my entire back – the weight of these boobs have my posture slipping big time. not cute. and i’m feeling quite unbalanced and shaped like a number 9 at that. gravity is just not my friend.  this is another job for heavy weight lifting.
  • widdle down my waist – which will largely come from better nutrition, time, and patience.
  • shooting for 13-14% body fat  (long as that comes with a normally functioning menstrual cycle. since i’m breastfeeding i don’t have to worry about Aunt Flo for a while anyway, woo hoo)
  • upper-body definition - i can only do a few push ups on my toes before modifying to my knees because my core is still pretty weak, but like anything else, the more i do them the stronger i’ll get.
  • start my own 6 Pack USA plan soon!

that’s it for now;  just want to tighten a few things up. not ready to hit any stage anytime soon or anything though.

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 the last piece of evidence to this pregnancy…. my linea negra and tummy discoloration. it stuck around for like 4-5 months after my first pregnancy, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. no crop tops for me this summer though!

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two dates in one weekend? don’t mind if we do.  hubby and i don’t work out together too often (we actually train at different gyms), but when we do it’s always fun and special cause it’s so rare. maybe once or twice a month at best.  it’s one of those ‘too much of a good thing’ kinda idioms for us i guess.  20140726_124252_1

afterwards we had lunch at one of our fave Greek spots, Niko Nikos. they were on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives a few years ago but they were already well-known in Houston long before then!  i would love to visit every place Guy has gone one day.  i already told Sonny if we ever visit a city with a restaurant that was featured on his show, we are going. it’s mandatory.

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what…?  #unphased #stillsnappingaway

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i started out with one of their fresh greek salads with that signature block of salty feta cheese on top,

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then our shared, ‘appetizer’, The Hercules Plate, came next. lol.

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we hadn’t been here in a while so we were surprised to see breakfast items on the menu! Sonny got a steak and egg gyro for himself that was really good.  the pita bread is always so soft, warm, and magical.

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instead of ordering my usual grilled chicken and spinach pita, i got The Broiled Flounder Plate w/ half rice half lemon baked potatoes with tzatziki sauce and pita bread.

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hey. just hiding my food baby.20140725_125414

  i REALLY wanted some greek donuts, but i went for some Arctic Zero, fat-free Redi Whip and sprinkles when we got home to kill my sweet craving.

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  not sure who is harder to raise….  husbands or kids? i’ve been saying i have 3 babies lately, lol. ironically, i showed this to Sonny and he didn’t even get it!!!

Q: have you ever eaten at a restaurant featured on Food Network?

le

Grovin’

i started saturday morning with a RUN!  yep, i stepped it on up and turned my power walk into a run. after a restful night i felt the urge and had the energy to do more for my workout.  and uhhh, my legs said GO but my boobs said NO.  ouch. so it definitely became more of a jog/walk kinda thing for about an hour or so. nice, early, humid workout nonetheless.

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 great support from both sports bras and regular bras is EVERYTHING when it comes to postpartum boobs.  all boobies are different but i am now back up to a D cup (k, double) after getting quite comfy and confident with my B’s post bikini comp last year.  my strongest, most supportive, ‘old faithful’ sports bra is so old actually that i can only find it used on eBay lol. it’s the Asics Athletic Seamless Racerback bra and has served me well, so i’m sticking with the Asics brand from here on out. it’s like a brand new bra after every wash- it tightens back up and provides maximum support.

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mama and papa stepped out for a hot date saturday night!  dates are good. dates are refreshing.  dates keep things going, exciting, and refreshing. dates give you something to look forward to.  we are going on 7 years of marriage this year!  i actually had something really cool planned that fell through….but i didn’t reveal it to Sonny yet cause i’m totally gonna try again.  so, we went to dinner anyway to just enjoy some kiddo-free time. and burgers.

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i chose the Grove downtown, and we got a nice big cozy booth to ourselves.

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repeat offender.  just one of those things Sonny has grown to ‘love’ about me.  even if we’re at a new spot- i always play it safe and order salmon, and then we argue on how to even say salmon correctly.

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excuse the disrespectful flash;  the lighting was super dim and sexy though so i needed it.  reminds me of my early IG pictures pics- i can’t stand looking at them!! uuuggggghhhh.

this was a spring mix salad with radish and tomatoes.  now that i think about it, our waiter didn’t ask me when kind of dressing i even wanted, so no idea there.  i was living life on the edge and didn’t get my dressing on the side this time.

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Sonny asked our waiter what the quickest appetizer to make was (kinda hungry, aye?) and he said the flash fried shrimp.

sweet, crunchy, and full of flavor.

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a tasty bacon burger and french fry combo for hubby,

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and a grilled salmon fillet paired with sautéed cauliflower, kale, and fennel for moi.

much needed!

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are they twinning or what?  Dego is much more social and aware these days which means more smiles :D

Q: what’s your favorite date nite with your S.O.?

Q: how often do you make time for them? weekly? monthly?

long as i’m eating good food i’m a happy camper; 2-3 times a month is ideal for us when going out. home movie/dinner/game dates are great ideas too!

le

zucchini pepperoni pizza poppers

Bey and J are performing in Houston tonight and guess who’s going!??!?! all of Houston!!!  except us. we’re at home eating zucchini pizzas and staring at each other.

IMG_20140718_174525these healthy, light snacks are bursting with Italian, cheesy goodness and make THE perfect party appetizers by the way! you just need to serve them immediately while they are hot and bubbling. else, the cheese hardens up. but i can eat cheese at any temperature. especially burnt cheese. yummy.

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Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Poppers

the stuff:

  • 2 raw zucchini, coined 1/2 in thick
  • 1/3 cup homemade marinara
  • 1/4 cup turkey pepperoni rounds, chopped
  • no stick cooking spray
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (vegan, dairy-free, cheddar, monterey  jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, etc.)

do this:

  1. wrap a large flat baking plan with foil and coat with no-stick cooking spray and set your oven broiler to high
  2. heat a large griddle to med-high heat  (i made pancakes for breakfast and the griddle was already out but you can use a very large skillet too) and coat it with no-stick cooking spray
  3. place as many zucchini coins flat on the griddle as possible and cook for 1 minute (you may have to work in batches)
  4. flip the coins over and cook for an additional minute
  5. transfer the cooked coins to the baking sheet lined with foil
  6. dab some marinara sauce on the top of each coin and using the back of a small spoon, spread mixture out
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  8.  sprinkle a few shreds of cheese on top of the sauce
  9.  sprinkle some chopped turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese
  10. place entire pan in your oven as close to the broiler flames as you can get and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly
  11. sprinkle with Italian seasoning. done.

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s/n: if you have more zucchini to use up, see if you can stretch your ingredients even further as you might have sauce/cheese, etc. left over.

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 i upgraded my fry cutter!  this is the Deluxe Fry Cutter from Bed Bath & Beyond and i got it for 13 bucks after using the 5 bucks off coupon that comes in the snail mail flyer.  great, affordable investment.  the only thing i did have to do first is peel the potato, then slice it in half.  the device only opens so wide, so you might have to cut the ends off to make it fit.  other than that, no microwaving needed before cutting!  sign up for their ads directly on their website to get their coupons.

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what a big helper! not just in the kitchen with me but with his little brother as well which is a huge answered prayer. many have asked how the transition with the boys has been and i can honestly say smooth.  putting Dego’s dirty diapers in the diaper genie for me is exciting to him. yeah, i’m milking that for as long as he lets me.

also, these are the delish, Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Fries from my ebook!

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WHY didn’t i think of this sooner… Quest Bars help out big time with my sweet toof.  i really i only get them when i go to my gym, so now that i’m going almost regularly the bars are making appearances again. THIS time though, i’m going to GNC and buying an entire box. can’t keep buying them for 3 bucks at a time, pretty stupid and not cost-effective.  20g protein, 17g fiber, 170-180 cals. coconut cashew is one of my fave flavors! .

didn’t get to have my early gym rendezvous this morning so i went power walking this evening.

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 i strapped down the girls with two sports bras and hit the bricks.  let me tell you how much i appreciate working my back 2 or more times a week when i was preggo! the weight of these boobs right now….. whew.

le

wienervention – the cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten

another early gym date accomplished this morning and officially 1 month postpartum! i expect to get a lot done today. 
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i had my usual preworkout snack, some hot, magical coffee, and headed out for an hour of treadmill intervals. i alternated btw:

5 incline @ 4 mph – 5 minutes

15 incline @ 3 mph – 5 minutes 

walking IS boring but there are ways you can rev it up.  i always swing my arms vigorously, walk heel-to-toe with a wide stride, and i never hold the side rails either. that’s cheatiiiiing ;)

can i do a blog #throwbackthursday? i’m doin’ it anyway!

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while we were headed home from the hospital last month with our brand new baby boy, something beat us there- my Wienervention Kit from Applegate!!!

that nostalgic red and white pattern always reminds you of what? a summer picnic, yep.

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however, the Houston heat was too much and i just wanted to lay down somewhere and stuff my face in the AC.  i’d like to give a gigantic high-five and thank you to one of my favorite natural and organic brands, Applegate, for the goods. i knew the kit was on the way, but it slipped my mind after giving birth and all.  my mom and aunt were at our house tidying up and waiting to help out with our new family member, so unbeknownst to Sonny & i, they went ahead and cracked the kit open and prepared a welcome home lunch for us! perfect timing, right?

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i actually used to avoid hot dog wieners for this very reason…  i’ve always thought of them as the wack parts of meat that didn’t make the cut all blended up together with fat and other UFOs.  i would only have them every blue moon, like july 4th or memorial day at somebody’s BBQ. at home? not so much.  also, reading ‘mechanically separated turkey, chicken, or beef’ in the ingredients list is not very appetizing. thank God we have many healthier options to choose from these days; these Applegate wieners are in a league of their own! a wienerventioW was overdue.

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rest assured these top-notch dogs are:

  • all natural
  • contain no antibiotics
  • humanely raised beef fed vegetarian/grain diet
  • gluten-free
  • casein-free
  • contain no fillers
  • contain recognizable ingredients! every single one.
  • really, really tasty.

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nailed that presentation.

they also sent along condiments, cause you can’t build a stellar dog without them.

20140619_185515_1 for the buns, we had a choice of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain or White hot dog buns!  i loved them both and you can snag a coupon for a bag of your choice right on their website. 20140620_144055_1from the bun, to the condiments, to the wiener, this is THE cleanest hot dog i’ve ever eaten.

time to change the meat you eat and give Applegate a try.

in newborn news, CYMERA_20140717_114845

i think he’ll be tall.

more tummy time, aka, push up practice!

le

4 weeks pp + Dego’s 1 month mark

last night i said i was going to get up at the crack of dawn this morning and not just get my treadmill interval workout in, but to pop up on my 5:30am class to say hi while i was at it! i made me some hot coffee and headed out, Beats and ipod in tow.

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i kinda forgot to factor in feeding my newborn before leaving though so i arrived way after class started.  it was SO good to see old and new faces all across the studio when i peeked my head in the door!  i caught up with some of my regulars after class finished and they only made me more anxious to put that mic on again.

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cardio killaaaaa. i was hoping to be cleared to lift this week, but my OB’s schedule is jam packed!!! huge bummer. still crossing my fingers to be worked in somehow. else i’ll just wait ’til next week.

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Chiso woke up and requested pancakes, so he got’em.  i made him a stack of my WW Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Birthday Cakes complete with dolphin sprinkles and he almost finished the stack by himself!  i gladly killed the rest. remember, you can also sub blueberries for the chocolate chips.

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who’s 1 month today? that guy! i asked Sonny does 4 weeks make it one month, or will July 17th make it one month… idk and too lazy to Google. close enough.  also up until today, smiles from Dego were only reserved for Chiso. i finally got mine :)

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our God is an awesome God.  i make an effort to praise Him for all things, both great and especially small.  after receiving and reviewing Dego’s newborn screening results in the mail a few days ago i began to thank Him repeatedly.  i was instantly reminded of the time in my life when my thoughts consumed me and convinced me that i was unable to bear any children, ever.  God has blessed us with healthy baby boy #2, and for that we give Him all the glory.

they willl find you

this is so funny because i actually remember doing this to my mom.  putting my face on the floor to see her feet while calling her name over and over again and everything.  well it’s payback time!  who am i kidding… once Chiso doesn’t give a flying hoot about my whereabouts i’m gonna have a mommy moment…

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grilled sirloin steak and taters for dinner tonight.  we’ve been outta sweet taters and they are exactly what i need to keep me feeling fuller longer between meals.  the steak was marinated in some Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette, pinch of sea salt and black pepper before i tossed it in my grill pan.  that delicious sauce is just Grey Poupon mild and creamy mustard (which is calorie free, sugar free, and fat free) sauteed with white mushrooms. it’s bananas!

Q: how do you like your steak cooked?  

blood = no bueno. can’t do it. well done, please.

le

 

chocolate, chips, and crackers, oh my

this morning i got the chance to walk it OUT again at the gym! you’ve seen the quote ‘you’re one workout away from a good mood,’ but baybaaaay, i was already in one and the early workout made my day that much better.

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i did about an hours worth of treadmill incline intervals.  i switched back and forth between these two settings:

4 mph @ incline level 4

2.5 mph @ incline level 15

sweaty, saturday FUN.

IMG_20140712_150854back at home, i had a gangload of zucchini (about 6 medium) i needed to spiralize so that’s exactly what i did before they went bad.  i sauteed the zoodles in a large wok for about 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat, then added them to a large bowl with about 3 large spoons of homemade guacamole from yesterday.  i didn’t really have a sauce prepared and was being lazy. it worked though!  i paired them with tilapia and a few fresh tomatoes for lunch.  Sonny really enjoyed this!
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seriously.  these postpartum cravings…  i try to fight them as best i can and it is pure torture some days. i am a bottomless pit and i’m not even working out like i used to yet, jeez.  i either want chocolate, salty, crunchy chips, or crackers, so I turned to my old friend, popcorn.

IMG_20140712_1948513 cups of air popped popcorn is only 25 cals, 1g of fat, 22g carbs, 6g fiber, and 3g protein. soooo I made a big vat of homemade Salted Dark Chocolate Popcorn! I melted 2 tbsp of dark chocolate and drizzled it over the popcorn (that I cook on the stovetop with a lil coconut oil) and added a pinch of sea salt and a few mini chocolate chips. i suggest putting the entire bowl into the fridge so the drizzle can harden first, but i didn’t wanna wait nor did i mind the mess.

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 so, friday night ended differently that i expected! hubs came home and suggested sushi and i did not dispute him.  i order the same thing at our fave spot every time with the following adjustments:

  • salmon teriyaki bento box with the teriyaki sauce on the side
  • steamed veggies instead of vegetable tempura
  • 2 salads instead of the soup & salad my meals comes with as the sodium from the miso soup bloats me
  • i customized my roll and asked for brown rice with fresh shrimp and avocado.

according to Sonny my roll always tastes too healthy.  whatevs.

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dinner… and a show.

 Q: what special healthier requests do you make when ordering food at a restaurant?

le

 

happy birthday, Odego

WELL!  a lot has happened since Fathers’ Day.

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i know a good handful of current mommies-to-be and the real life story you’re about to read is just one of bajillions. moms, i just want to encourage you to learn from my journey, but don’t let it make you even the slightest bit apprehensive about your own.  your L & D story will have its own twists and turns too…or not!  even with the longest, most detailed birth plan ever, we just never know how these things will play out…

*****

at 2 cms dilated, we finally got our hospital tour done on thursday, June 12th, my expected due date.

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we asked questions, made jokes, reminisced about Chiso’s birth, talked and walked around, met a few L & D nurses (who are all awesome and heaven-sent), and made a family date out of it with big brother Chiso.

i was convinced Odego would make his way into this world on Fathers’ Day (wishful thinking on Sonny’s behalf ), so i finished packing our bags (for the last time) that night and started prepping to celebrate the weekend in the hospital.

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happy Fathers’ Day, Papa!!! sunday morning came and there were still no surefire signs of labor to be found whatsoever though. before we headed to church, Chiso, Dego, and i presented Sonny with a few gifts at home, unlike i planned.  then, we dined at Fish City Grill, per Sonny’s request, and met up with my parents before heading home to finally relax.

9pm sunday night, i began spotting.

i won’t say the spotting and excess fluid was surprising at all as we had been trying a few natural remedies to get this thing going, but the unexpected sight of blood always makes me do a double-take.

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could this be it? would Sonny really get the best Fathers’ Day gift ever? we still had 3 hours left according to him. i was having super light contractions and some spotting, but i was still smiling.  and taking pics. lol. the on-call Dr. told us not to play with amniotic fluid, so we were told to head to the hospital to be checked. i know the front desk nurses had to be like ‘ummm, clearly she is not in labor.’ LOL.

soooo we did the walk of shame right on home 3 hours later.

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definitely not in labor yet.

papsmears are nightmares for me, so just being checked for dilation was enough to rev up my light contractions to the next level  from that point forward. monday morning, Dr. A told me to come straight to her office after the previous night’s fiasco, so we did. i finally began to keep record and contracted 3 random times during the 15 minute drive to her office.  i was still at 2 cms according to her, and she wrapped up my appointment by presenting us with an option to mull over for the next couple of hours.  i could come in to be induced at 530am the following day, tuesday the 17th, or, we could just keep waiting…  she then explained that she would be out of the office on thursday and friday. THAT little nugget of info helped me make my decision right then and there. Dr. A. was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born and i was not missing her  again this round, nope. Sonny was ready to meet Odego on Fathers’ Day so he was all for option 1. we prayed about it and agreed to go for it.  that same night, the contractions were even stronger, but bearable enough for me to take a walk to the park with Chiso. during 1 hour, i counted about 6 or 7 contractions.

once home, i loaded up most of our things in the car and because i was required to fast from food and liquid after midnight, i cooked and ate my last meal around 10pm. i also baked every fillet of tilapia in the freezer per Sonny’s request as he is prepping for a Musclemiania competition at the end of this month.  couldn’t leave him out in the cold!  afterwards, i did my best to lay down and get some rest with Chiso, but that didn’t really happen. i got in the bed around 1, but each contraction woke me up. Sonny started his timer and laid his phone down right next to me. every time a contraction hit, i’d press the ‘lap’ button to record the time between each of them.  by 4am, i was up pacing and breathing through each contraction.  of course to me they FELT like they were coming 2-3 minutes apart, but it was more like every 5-10.  this boy was definitely on his way.

  so we headed out to the hospital,

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(now that looks more like a labor-face)

valated the car, signed in, and waited a few moments for our room.

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Sonny knew i would want these pics later… so he snapped away while i contracted away and did his best to keep Chiso busy.

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  however, Chiso was generally concerned for his mama and every time i got up, he got up and paced with me. it wasn’t funny at the time but he kept asking, ‘mama happy? mama happy now?’

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last #usies as a family of 3.

the staff directed us to our room and i immediately changed into my gown, used the restroom, stood up to my feet, look down, and ‘watched’ my water break!  no induction needed. and it wasn’t a ginormous tidal wave like the movies either :D

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i waddled out of the restroom and immediately called out to alert Sonny when i should have been telling my nurse, nurse Judy. i mean we were in the hospital and all.  force of habit!  thank God for L& D nurses. He provided us with a fabulous one. she encouraged me, told me i was strong, kept me informed, and did her job like she was born to do it.  i laid down on the bed to be checked: 4-5 cms! i was ELATED to be halfway there and also to know i’d be kissing Odego’s sweet face sooner than later.

so about those contractions!  well, they got stronger as expected after my water broke and i labored to about 6-7 cms or so before calling for an epidural around 9am.  in less than 15 minutes the anesthesiologist was literally behind me and ready to go.

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finally… peace, ice chips,

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and electronics for the boys as we waited.

around 12:15pm, i randomly started to feel moderate cramping again.  i was told if i needed more meds to push a Jeopardy like button connected to my IV and placed on the bed right next to me.  i was reeeeally hoping i wouldn’t have to even use that thing, but because the pain kept getting stronger, everybody in the room could tell when each contraction hit cause the button made an electronic dinging noise when pressed. unfortunately, no matter how many times i hit that button the pain didn’t let up and only increased. a 2nd anesthesiologist came in and ‘added’ more meds… but i felt no difference.  eventually, the nurse checked me again- 9cms! it was music to my ears but the thought of laboring through those contractions until i hit the big 10 discouraged me.  how much longer?!?! my dad held my hand and prayed over me through each painful wave.. something i will never, ever forget.  watching your child suffer is no easy task. i understand now.

alright, 10cms, FINALLY!  Dr. A appears out of nowhere again, instantly calms the room, puts on her cape & gloves, and nurse Judy prepares me for delivery. my dad takes Chiso and heads to the waiting area, and my mom and Sonny take their places on either side of me.  let’s GO. with each contraction came a strong urge to push… and i must admit that since my lower body was no longer numb from the epidural, i had total control of my pelvic muscles, floor, and core.  because the epi was in full swing during my 1st delivery, i pushed with everything i had and it felt like absolutely nothing was happening. less than 8 minutes and 5 or 6 pushes later, my mom was crying and overjoyed with emotion, Sonny was cutting the umbilical cord, and Dego’s warm body was laying on my chest.

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in an instant…all the pain was gone and completely forgotten.  by me anyway. my dad? not so much!  Odego was worth it all. i couldn’t help but think of the women who birthed babies with no medication whatsoever. past, present, whether it was their choice, and those who had no choice at all. amazing.

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Chiso could barely contain his excitement!  it was finally time to meet his little brother after all this waiting!  heck, he talked to Dego more than i did while he was in my tummy.  i can’t wait to show both boys this picture when they are older.

 i’d also like to note that Odego weighed in at 7 lbs & 9 oz, but i carried smaller vs my first pregnancy (Chiso was 6 lbs 11 oz).  i was also in better shape and made way better food choices this round. take note, moms! that’s just another reason comparing bumps is really silly and never a fair baby weight predictor.

20140617_171609 FOOD. after fasting since midnight, nurse Judy read my mind and put the menu and the room phone right next to me. i LOVE her.  that was my post-delivery lunch: grilled chicken burger with sweet potato fries, a side salad, and vegetable soup. yall know when i get hungry i get scatterbrained and just want everything. i read the 3 page menu 50 bajillion times before Sonny was like, ‘Leah we will be here til thursday, PICK SOMETHING.’

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i don’t go there often, but i hear hospital food has changed!  i ordered eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for every breakfast, and either grilled chicken or tilapia for lunch and/or dinner.  i made sure to have veggies and a salad with every meal, but i wanted fries so i ordered those sometimes too.

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Dr. A approved me to get up and move around, so i threw on my Nikes and did just that wednesday morning after breakfast. just a few slow laps around the postpartum wing, that’s it.  later that night, Sonny pushed Odego in his nursey cart and walked with me.

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heading home the next day!  but not before ordering lunch one last time, haha.

i missed that fresh new baby smell, skin, and newborn cry… to finally hold and kiss the face of someone you already love so deeply after months of waiting is… indescribable! a blessing. a miracle.

 but with that comes the smell and sting of Dermoplast spray, recovering down there, sitting down super slowly,  swollen, engorged breasts & nipples so sore the brush of a t-shirt or bra feels like hell’s fire, nocturnal newborn schedules and feedings, i.e.,  good ol’  MOTHERHOOD!

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hello, round two!


       thank you, Father, for expanding our home by two more feet, and thank you for reading.

le

it’s hottt

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why? two words: THE SUN.

nothing drains me more these days and it’s not like i’m out jogging in it either! just walking up to the store and/or driving around in my truck (even with the air cranked to the max) still makes me crazy tired more so than any of my gym workouts. which is why i’m glad this little guy will be outta here before the texas heat really shows out. God bless and be with you preggo mama’s this summer (wherever you are)! i mean that sincerely. be safe, stay hydrated, and stay indoors.

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the weekend was rather warm too, so Chiso and i jumped at the chance to hit the pool with my sis, Michelle,  and her daughter, cousin Livvy.  time for swimming lessons for these two.  we did a family maternity shoot last month and i totally want to do a look in my bikini now! i enjoyed wearing it and sporting my bump.  most likely Sonny will have to be the camera man for that though, lol.

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something about the pool makes me want chips, hot dogs, burgers, and ICE CREAM! thanks, Sonic.

remember that summer stir fry i made? i finally got some shrimp from HEB and made it again.  this time i added red bell pepper and yellow squash too since they were on sale.  and yall know the more color in your meals, the better.

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i have still been eating the heck out of nectarines these past few days. i can’t get enough of them! plus the longer they sit in the fridge the softer they become. so i must eat them while they are still crisp. all of them.

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was sad to finish the last of this stir fry today for lunch but it’ll be back soon.

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Q: do i ever feel my bump is too small?

A: during my first pregnancy? yeah. this time around? nah. when people ask me (especially at the gym) how far along i am these days, ‘almost 10 months’ is the last thing they expect to hear.  their faces say it all, and ‘you’re so tiny!!!’ is usually soon to follow.  then the women reflect back on their own journeys and express how ginormous they were compared to me before delivering, and the men usually tell me the same about their wives, sisters, friends, etc!! never, ever gets old.  i welcome the questions (yes, the same ones over and over ;) ) and LOVE to discuss my journey with anyone willing to listen!   i enjoy hearing all about other women’s preggo stories by the same token as they are all unique.  anyway, that darn, ‘every woman is different’ statement refers to, well, everything, including bump size. the ‘right’ size doesn’t exist. also: bump size is not an indicator of your baby’s weight.  mom’s height, weight, activity level, the way baby is positioned, how much fluid present, etc, etc, etc…… so.many.factors.  so don’t compare bumps.  especially if you trust your OB and he/she assures you that you and baby are on track every check-up, just as mine has!  done deal ^^’.

Q: what’s your biggest pregnancy pet peeve? vent below!

le