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

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

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…

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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

m<3m’s day ’14

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one of my most cherished moments in time. i didn’t even know this pic of me and Chiso’s first  face to face interaction was captured until later;  i was so wrapped up in his little presence.  simply honored God saw fit to make me his mommy.

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 almost 3 years later i’m still getting all the kisses i can before he starts wiping them off! i woke up to the sweetest mothers’ day card from Sonny & Chi along with this little lifesaver right here:

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 my Samsung s4 is so full of pics and vids that i haven’t been able to download any new apps for weeks.  i mean really. and i’ve backed up everything in my phone onto my mac but because i never know when i’ll need to upload or get access to a particular pic, i can’t bring myself to wipe my phone totally clean. i know. all kinds of crazy over here. but now i have even more space to fill with food and workout pics :P

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i got on up and made breakfast for the fam and had one of my usual combos: mushroom egg omelette with whole wheat toast, natural pb, and sprinkles for fun ( i used a cupcake cookie cutter btw) and some wild blueberries.

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then i threw on my Mothers’ Day best and snapped a few 35 week pics before we hit the road to go celebrate with our moms!

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Sonny’s mom and sis couldn’t make it,  but he and his brother, Brian, treated my mom, his fiance, and his future MIL to a feast of a lunch at Las Ventanas.  May 17th, 2014 is the BIG day for those two!!! i am so happy to be gaining another sister as awesome as Kara.  my dad is a homebody and told us all to have a great lunch lol.

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so this is what i ordered… shrimp & mushroom topped brown butter snapper with steamed veggies.  it originally came with mashed potatoes but i switched them out. i normally ask for any sauce/dressing to be put on the side…..but i didn’t want to this time to be honest!  Sonny ordered a side of rice and i took a few scoops.

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 and here’s what everybody else ordered!   good stuff. this is actually one of the restaurants that will be catering Brian and Kara’s wedding. definitely looking forward to the reception, hahaha!

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 we skipped dessert at the restaurant and headed to get some all natural fro-yo from Tasti D-lite, our first time there. i heard about them via Instagram and was stoked to find out Houston had one too.  my mom and i both got their bananas foster fro-yo…heaven.

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   heath bar and sprinkles for me.

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my love and respect for my own mom grows exponentially each day. especially the older Chiso gets lol. seriously!!!  never knew motherhood would be so challenging yet rewarding all in the same breath.  God bless all mothers, those who play the mother role, and moms-to-be. you are needed and you are appreciated.

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i love you mom!!!!

le

8th month recap

group B-strep test is up next, guys.  HEY FIT FOODIES!  i’m gonna get in as much last minute preggo blogging as i can these last few weeks (or days, that’s cool too).  my 8th month has whizzed on by

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*bloop*

and i’m knocking on week 36 in like 2 days, praise God!

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O_o :P   >:( :'( :| #flipacoin

early AM workout classes & breakfast:

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so, getting up at 4:15am to teach my classes is only getting rougher.  but i’m hanging in there! that’s my automatic answer for my gym members every time they ask me how baby and i are doing, lol.  that’s really all i can say though, seriously.  sure i’d rather get those extra hours of sleep but i feel good after i get on up and most days and the urge to workout is still strong.

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mmhmmm, don’t forget that. aim to move every single day, even if it’s just walking around your hood.

i am asked how i am still doing HIIT training  this late in the game.  modifications! lighter dumbbells, monitoring my heart rate, using my knees instead of toes for pushups…just a few examples. see vid below!  plus i’m doing way more coaching/encouraging/motivating and ‘working’ the group exercise room more. the classes are NOT about me anyway- it’s all about the members!  i’ll do a quick demo of a high intensity/plyometric move though, then quickly modify it just so i can keep moving with the members.

 eating, on the other hand…. i know my appetite is flaky cause baby boy is growing rapidly and fattening up for his grand exit/entrance, but after breakfast and a small lunch (even after working out), i could honestly be done for the day.  the rest of my meals are pretty much forced since i’m still very active,  so WE need those cals and nutrients to keep coming. and they shall.  so i have my pre workout snack (usually banana w/ peanut butter) on the way to the gym, then tackle my real breakfast afterwards as usual.

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here are some breakfasts i’ve been rotating (clockwise starting from the top L):

1. spinach, tomato, and mushroom scramble (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites) with strawberries and blueberries

2.  4 egg whites over a whole wheat english muffin & topped with homemade guacamole w/ blackberries & a halo

3. spinach & mushroom egg scramble taco (La Tortilla Factory 80 cal light low carb, high fiber flour tortilla) w/ shredded part-skim mozzarella & pineapple salsa w/ berries

4. plain greek yogurt with strawberries & blueberries and dribbled with maple syrup (also a great post-workout snack)

 

individual workouts & lunch/dinner:

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i have been enjoying taking classes to the fullest these last few weeks!  why?

  1. i’m not up there teaching so i can stop at any time :P
  2.  i get ideas and inspiration for new moves i can use later in my own classes and just experiencing another instructor’s style, music, and motivational sayings
  3.  group fitness is FUN and keeps me motivated!  i look forward to it. period.

i do a combo of the following every week:

  • TKB – turbo kickboxing
  • Zumba
  • Barbell Strength (Lifetime Fitness signature formatted class)
  • Step (don’t knock it lol! keeps my heart rate nice and steady… great cardio workout vs. the boring treadmill and elliptical)
  • Weights – since i’m not lifting crazy heavy, i’ll do a full body workout in one day most times using basic exercises for each muscle group. 3-4 sets of 12 does the trick. looking forward to getting back to my postpartum 6 Pack USA workouts though.

 

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lunches and dinners (starting clockwise from top L):

  1. homemade Chipotle inspired salad (i cut the chicken into chunks and marinated it in Weber Kick n’ Chicken seasoning blend)
  2. Kick n’ Chicken pan seared chicken breast with pan roasted brussels sprouts and grilled pineapple
  3. pan seared whiting (cheaper than tilapia at Walmart right now so i gave it a try) grilled squash, and fresh coleslaw
  4. salmon & avocado deviled eggs sprinkled with sweet & smokey paprika and black pepper with raw sugar snap peas and sliced roma tomatoes on the side.

 

the bump and i will be walking down the aisle in my brother’s wedding this weekend! can’t wait to party and celebrate gaining another sister. fun times ahead. and cake.

—–> if you are preggo and need help with staying on track (or starting) a healthier workout and nutrition regiment for you and your little bundle-to-be, please check out www.pregnantnotpowerless.com and sign up!  even if you’re not preggo but know a woman who is, please tell her about this awesome program created by one of my inspirations and fellow fit mom @babyfatboss on IG. follow herrrrrr! <——

vday >weekend< recap

that’s right, weekend! not just one day to celebrate V-day for us this year. a big, grateful thank you to our default babysitters, i.e., my parents :lol:

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i woke up and made some cliché Valentine’s Day themed food porn before heading out to do my Friday cardio.  they are just my oatbran banana pancakes with a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, stevia, melted semi chocolate chip drizzle on top with strawberries on the side. scrumptious!

after a full week of weightlifting i took it easy and did 45 min of elliptical,

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and 15 minutes of stairmaster (i repeated the chart above 3 times through).  kept my heart rate between 140-150.  you can turn this into an interval workout by switching the speed from 60 – 90 every minute.

before dropping the little guy off, we had a family lunch date at Perry’s Steakhouse.

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i always hate to have to send plates back to the kitchen cause i don’t like giving our waiter /waitress a hard time ( and especially if i’m REALLY hungry) but this time i just rolled with it and split my way
overdressed house salad with Sonny. that was followed by the grilled salmon, whipped potatoes and seasonal veggies.

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later that evening we exchanged some gifts, headed out to see About Last Night, and had a super late 10:30pm dinner at 52 Seasons.

i received some hand-made chocolate covered strawberries (impressive ;) ) and i found the cutest gifts at Urban Outfitters: a Sriracha water bottle (he eats this stuff with every meal, haha) and a ’50 things i love about you’ fill-in-the-blank flip book.  

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that’s it. just one sample question :lol:

*****

we were in the car a while sunday and we heard Beyoncè and Jay-Z’s ‘On The Run’ 53 times and i am really feeling it. especially her words in the very beginning:

‘who wants that perfect love story anyway, anyway…cliché, cliché, cliché, cliche…’

 after church we ended up on campus at our alma mater before heading to pick up Mr. Chiso. even though things are different physically around campus, being there always reminds me of our perfectly imperfect, almost 15 year-long, roller coaster of a love story.  visiting our old stomping grounds is a nostalgic experience, and this was an ideal weekend to reflect back on how much we have grown together.

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 we ended up eating dinner at our old dorm.  really, Sonny had already paid (it’s buffet style and you pay before you go in) and i didn’t want to ruin the moment so i sucked it up and threw this together at the salad bar.  the nutritional stats were displayed right next to each food item to my surprise (go UH!) and at 130 cals per slice, i couldn’t pass up getting two servings of that cheese pizza. baby’s request of course!!!

hope you had an awesome and hopefully long holiday weekend yourself.

Q: what’s the most unusual or original Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received or given?

le

holiday happiness

::Christmas::

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uncle Thew is stateside again from working in Afghanistan!  he and Chiso have some catching up to do.
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Christmas morning.. wake up my sleepy face!

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Caillou has a bike, so Chiso had to have one too.

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one of my foodie gifts! already used it twice! Yonanaaaaaaaaaaas

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a fitness gift! i am ashamed to say that this is my 3rd ipod Nano :shock: . i do not even deserve this.  but i’m grateful to have it in my life again cause i sure did miss it.  i fried my other two with my own sweat because i used my bra to house it during my workout. both times. i know.  soooooo, tomorrow i’ll be getting a nice little arm band/holder thingy to prevent that from ever happening again.  thanks Hubby. for real.

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breakfast and gift exchange at my MIL’s was earlier, then we headed to my side of town to see my folks. this was dinner plate #1 at my moms: cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, turkey breast,  deviled egg, potato salad, candied yams, hummus dip with carrots and celery, cranberry sauce, and a wheat roll. this baby can EAT.
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aaand our 2nd stop/plate was homemade seafood gumbo, garlic bread, and plenty of sweet treats at Granny’s house with all my cousins, aunts, and uncles.

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grateful for Christ and what he means to me and my family.  blessings to you and yours as another unpromised year comes to a close!!!

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my next race will be the Lifetime Fitness Commitment Day 5k on January 1st, 2014!  come run with me!  details are over in the side bar ————>

email me at le@fitfoodiele.com if interested ;)

Q: what are your NYE plans? vote below!

#egwuatuanniversary – MIAMI 2013

anni #6 – MIAMI!

we had SO MANY DANG pictures and i didn’t even use them all.  i made 50 billion collages to cut down on the length of this post. enjoy :lol:

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happy to be flying the friendly skies again with this guy.
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Food Network Mag and Rachael Ray kept me company while Sonny slept.

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before we even got to our hotel, Sonny secretly had one of our good friends #gocoogs meet up with us for lunch at Balans!  thanks for stopping by to eat and catch up with us, Udochi!

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checking in. loved the square theme the lobby restroom had going on.

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we’re here! Riveria South Beach Hotel.

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Sonny planned our daily itinerary and the first thing we did was find a nail shop ASAP.  i neglected to get my toes done before we left and packed mostly sandals, yikes.

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feet then food.

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dinner at Rusty Pelican for our first night in town.

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well, it was happy hour :lol:

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we headed back to explore the hotel a bit since we were stuffed and needed to keep moving around.

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next morning. you know what time it is.

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we hit the beach first though.

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just like on TV! my first time running on the beach.

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next, Sonny took me to this breathtaking gym. truly one of a kind and worth checking out the David Barton Gym if you’re ever in Miami.

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the sexiest cardio i’ve ever done!! the music, the atmosphere, the people. what a COOL experience.

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i’m such a tourist.

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thanks for waiting patiently :lol:

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back to our hotel for some continental breakfast.

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  continental breakfasts almost always leave me hungry cause they are usually just breads, pastries, fruit, and little to no protein.  i found some boiled eggs though!

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later for lunch, Sonny found a truly authentic place with some bomb cuban cuisine.  this man did his research!!!! he always does. Malanga Cafe was a TEN for me and we will be back.

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on the way home i spotted what i thought was a Whole Foods Market, but it turned out to be World Market.  never heard of it before but they had a crazy impressive bulk section!  so i got a few things. as if we even needed more food. also, peanut butter stuffed pretzels is one of my favorite snacks. who on earth dips them in chocolate!?!?!? World Market does.

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THEN, i saw Publix!  this is prolly so not a big deal to a lot of people, but i’ve heard about Publix on Instagram for a while now and had to go in just to go since we don’t have them in Texas.

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i’ll spare you the pics of the Publix aisles :shock:

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later that night was fight night!!! we went to go watch Mayweather beat up on Canelo.  we visited Lincoln mall earlier and i picked up this American Apparel top there for like 7 bucks.

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Lucky Strike was jam-packed and alotta fun.

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i took most of that cheese off my salad and had 1 taco and one burger. that’s all i could handle.

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i know, i know, dairy is my enemy but Burger King’s soft serve is hard to resist and better than Mc Donalds to me!   i did it for #6. cheers!

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the next day was the BIG day! September 15th.  Sonny found us a church to attend for service and we stopped by ‘Bucks for some caffeine first.

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enjoyed the service and meeting the Miami natives.

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neeeeext, eating again, duh. Sonny did his THING! he found this cozy little natural food cafe on South Beach that was right up my alley! instant love.

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Juice & Java had countless smoothie combos!  we actually walked in just after breakfast ended,

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but Sonny has such a way with words :lol:

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visited Versace mansion afterwards and then…… guess what we got!?!? ;)

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we let our stomachs rest for a few hours because we had dinner reservations later.  didn’t know where, but i knew it would be off the chain.

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and it was. Prime 112. yes, yes, yes.

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happy #6, Mr. Egwuatu!!!! grateful and blessed to be on your arm, driving you crazy.

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a sweet ending to our meal; key lime pie.

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up in the gym the next morning lol!  we found a 24 HR Fitness in the city to sweat out some of the deliciousness we had been eating. even though we weren’t done.

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my Instagram peeps recommended David’s Cafe for breakfast, so we had to hit him up.

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today, Sonny!!! cuban french toast, eggs, and potatoes.

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that toasted cuban bread though…….. :shock:

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last adventure before lunch and heading to the airport was the Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale. 

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we saw Born to Be Wild in the IMAX theater.

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the very LAST stop on our list was Versailles, another IG and Yelp recommendation.

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it was just OK for me.  i actually wish we could have gone back to Malanga Cafe one more time!

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didn’t want to leave just yet, but we had to get back home to this little guy.

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we didn’t dare come back empty-handed though- we brought ya a little something that will be debuting in June of 2014.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

thanks for reading!!!!!!!!!

le

sunday family fun day

i have been teaching my 11am 24 Hour Fitness Total Conditioning class since the beginning of 2013.  i’ve had a crazy good time meeting so many new members and sweating our faces off together sunday after sunday for these past 9 months!   nevertheless, after having a sit-down with Sonny and fighting weeks (ok months) of conviction, i have finally decided to give it up.  even if a class inconvenienced me, leaving is always difficult.  i despise disappointing and letting people down, especially when they get a routine going and expect me to hold up my end of the bargain and be there.  i guess i despise it cause i know how it feels.    this isn’t the first class i’ve had to leave in my 6 years of teaching, but yesterday gave me that overwhelmingly bittersweet feeling.  again.

i could barely let my supervisor know my decision let alone share my ‘important announcement’ with my class today.  yeah…. this is always my answer to that dreaded ‘what’s one thing you would change about yourself’ question.

if we made it to church for early service, i felt good.  starting my sunday with Word and worship with my fam is well, the best way to start the day IMO.  however,  if we were out too late at a saturday night event (which happened all too often e.g. birthday parties, dinners,  gatherings, weddings, etc.) early service was out of the question, which meant church didn’t happen at all.  i have missed church more times this year than i have in my entire life…and that is so unfair to my family.   individual worship is important to grow your relationship with God, definitely….  but church is a vital part of that growth for me and my spiritual life has suffered because of its absence.  when this happens, i have to evaluate whatever is going in my life at the time,  pinpoint those distraction(s),  and either move or remove them.  it took me 9 months to accept this, but i finally let it go.  why? because it’s the best move for our family and the head of my household and heart agree.  masking those feelings of disappointment completely will come with time, but putting it that way makes me feel a whole lot better.

and i really miss going out to eat after church. lol. not just as an immediate fam, but meeting up with my parents, friends, and extended family, etc.  we have either turned down those invites or showed up super-duper late.  rushing off to the gym after service was the only thing on my mind…  if i hadn’t gotten my routine together the night before, i found myself writing down moves during service instead of giving God my undivided attention.  ok i could go ON.

———->let nothing hinder or get in the way of your worship & relationship with God or block the spiritual & emotional growth of your family.  nothing.<———-

now does this mean i won’t workout on sundays anymore?  not at all! i appreciate having the option to go at a more convenient time though vs. mandatory for sure. no pressure.  those family gym dates will keep right on rolling.

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 i’m so grateful for these two knuckleheads cause they are totally worth the sacrifice.  so each sunday when we do our family thing, i’ll capture the moment, upload it to Instagram, and hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday.    seeing other families spending quality time together really makes you appreciate and cherish what you have.  so if you’re following me on IG, well, join in and share!  just don’t forget to hashtag it #sundayfamilyfunday. eating, chilling, hanging out, exercising….WHATEVER it is you and your family do together, share it.   i have a feeling most pics will revolve around food – i know most of ours will :shock:

**********

if there’s a HEB by you, fresh salmon is on sale for 6.97 a lb this week until tuesday!

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 i got us a couple pounds this past weekend and i have been roasting it with hidden valley ranch dry ranch dressing mix.

Walden Farms dressings have been BOGO (buy one get one free) at Sprouts Farmers Market this week so i got the Asian and Balsamic flavors on my last trip there.

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 you can use them as actual salad dressings, or as marinades for your proteins (fish, chicken, beef, shellfish).

that chicken up there turned out great (roasted it for 50 minutes on 350 degrees) and i threw it on a salad for lunch last week.

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see! it’s a berry almond Asian chicken salad.  romain lettuce mix, raw sugar snap peas, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, roasted chicken breast (marinated and sprinkled with Mc Cormick Perfect Pinch Asian seasoning), all drizzled with a little more Asian dressing.  crunchy, crispy, fresh and healthy.

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back to the salmon – i’ve been making these ‘teriyaki’ bowls by throwing everything into a container (carbs, veggies, protein, fat) and drizzling it all with one of the WF dressings.  flavorful, fresh, and addicting.  switch out any and everything for your favorites!  countless combos i tell you, COUNTLESS!!!!!!

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  these fantastic sales are over this week (tuesday and wednesday), so take advantage.

happylife

we always have enough to be happy if we are enjoying what we do have and not worrying about what we don’t have.

you’ll always be waiting for or on SOMETHING.  take a look over your life and praise Him for all you have right, right now.  you are so BLESSED!

Q: what day of the week do you consider your family day?

le