Monday, May 31, 2010

McFatty Monday - Week 3

This week flew by!  Between the car drama and vacation I never got around to starting the C25K.  I did download the iPod app and Tim gave me a nice iPod armband for our anniversary.  He also bought me a ladies running mag and has been very encouraging, so I'm looking forward to getting going this week.  I did manage to do some intense gardening (stop laughing!) that actually left me really sweaty and sore, so not all was lost.

I didn't do too horribly with food.  Even though we were on vacation all weekend, I managed to eat reasonably well (except for that cherry shake from Don's Drive-In, it was Traverse City after all...)  I've also developed a bit of a problem with granola (thanks for the Crapola, Amy!) so I'm in need of a lower fat recipe to make.  We've started getting Door To Door Organics delivered each week, which makes it easier to have fresh fruits and veggies around. 

Today's weight was basically unchanged from last week.  I'm both pleased and disappointed at this - it's better than gaining, but if I had done better with exercise it probably could be lower. 

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 141.1
Today's BMI - 22.8
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 1.9

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Conor, Please Don't Eat the Truckster

A few months ago, I shocked myself by considering the merits of owning a minivan.  Well I didn't end up getting a minivan.  I went way beyond minivan, all the way to station wagon.  Yup, we got a truckster.     

We weren't able to locate a Wagon Queen in Metallic Pea so we had to settle for a Subaru Outback in Graphite Grey.

I am very excited to have a new car.  LaToya and I had some great times together, including 4 interstate moves!  I really hope Sue can last as long.


Conor is very lucky to have two wonderful cousins, Madeline and Clara.  We miss them so much but always look forward to visits with them.  Madeline is becoming quite the little lady, and Clara is growing so fast I can hardly believe how much she changes every time I see new pictures of her.   

I wanted to make them both something they could keep to remind them of how very much we love them.  I just finished Clara's quilt yesterday:

I am working on Madeline's "big sister" quilt but it's taking a little longer because it's bigger (naturally.)  It actually evolved from the quilt I started a couple years ago.  I just love the colors in it, and if there's anyone who appreciates pink, it's Madeline!  I thought it would be perfect for her.

I hope they enjoy their quilts as much as I have enjoyed making them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

11 months!!!

air (bass) guitar???

Conor is 11 months old today! Time is really flying lately. This month he perfected crawling, pulling up, and has started cruising and walking with help. He's into EVERYTHING - it's fun to watch how curious he is but exhausting keeping him out of trouble. He seems to be less frustrated now that he can get around so easily. However, he has also started throwing mini tantrums when he doesn't get his way. His personality has really bloomed, too. He's a funny little dude! Everywhere we go, he likes to flirt with people he meets - no signs of stranger anxiety at all.

We are busy planning his first birthday party, which will be at home on his actual birthday, June 26th. He has a busy month leading up to that. We're taking a vacation to Traverse City this weekend. We're also looking forward to his one year photo session with Kelli of Purple Tree Photography, who did his newborn pictures. We will have them taken at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor on June 12th.

Age 11 months
Weight 23 lbs
Length 31.5"
Size 12 month+ tops and pants
Eyes beautiful bright blue :)
Hair third haircut this month! He has a frequent cut card now.
Teeth working on the 7th (3 on bottom, 4 on top)
Sleeping pretty much the same, sometimes he only takes 2 naps instead of 3
Eating 4 bottles a day (2 breastmilk and 2 formula (switched to regular Similac)), plus 3 meals of table foods or fruit and/or veggie purees, and 2 snacks. New foods include falafel, hummus and pita, ravioli, grilled cheese, pizza, Special K, omelette, cucumber and black beans.
Movement crawling, pulling up, cruising, climbing, walking with help, giving "5"
Milestones see above!
Outings frequent walks, Uncle Brian's graduation, Plymouth Green Street Fair, Verve Pipe concert, meeting Brian Vanderark
Favorite toys/activities music table, walker, blocks, books, instruments, swings, bubbles, sand box, painting
Words/sounds He "talks" all the time, just this week he's been saying something that sounds a lot like "Hi"
Memorable Moments first Mother's Day

Monday, May 24, 2010

McFatty Monday - Week 2

Week 1 didn't go so bad. I'm down almost 2 pounds - could be normal fluctuation but at least it didn't go in the other direction, right?

I really tried to make healthier food choices. High points were lots of salads and veggies, low points were a bag of coconut M&Ms and a dessert hamburger and fries made out of cake and brownie.

Turns out I do need more structure to my exercise plan. My new goal is to run the Plymouth Fall Festival 5k September 12th, a little less than 16 weeks away. I'll be starting the Couch-to-5k program (there's an app for that!) It's a 9 week program so I think I'll just put the first week on repeat for a while and see what happens, then July 11th it's go time. I hope by then to have shed several pounds and to be able to fit into my old exercise clothes. The beauty of this plan is it's only 20-30 min, 3 days a week - I think I can handle that.

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 141.3
Today's BMI - 22.8
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - 1.7

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Conor in action

A couple of videos of Conor from today:

(I don't know why they are always so loud - be sure to turn down the volume before playing)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby Foodie - Banana Quinoa Muffins

If you're not familiar with quinoa (KEEN-wah), it's a grain-like crop, considered a "pseudocereal" because it's not in the grass family.  It has a somewhat couscous/tapioca like texture with a nuttier flavor.  It's a complete protein source, so it's a nice substitute to rice or other grains, especially in vegetarian cooking.  In it's natural state, quinoa has a very bitter coating that you need to soak away, but most prepackaged versions are presoaked (though I usually do a quick rinse in a mesh strainer anyways.)  Quinoa is available at most grocery stores - you may need to look in the "natural foods" section.  Bob's Red Mill and Ancient Harvest are two common brands.

Quinoa is supposedly very easy to digest, so it's great for baby.  Conor has been eating quinoa cereal for a while and really likes it.  Also, because it's not in the grass family, it's more easily tolerated for those with certain allergy issues.  It's also gluten free.

This recipe was adapted from Martha.  Several quinoa muffin recipes I found used quinoa flakes or quinoa flour, but I like that this one uses whole quinoa.  It gives him a little more interesting texture to enjoy.  These muffins are super dense and moist.  I used a regular size muffin pan, but a mini muffin pan might be a great serving size for baby.  I bet they would freeze well, too - will try that and let you know.

2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups AP flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 350. 
Bring quinoa and 2/3 cup water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 min, or until all the water is absorbed.  Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, milk, vanilla and banana.  Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Stir in cooked, cooled quinoa.
Divide batter into muffin pan lined with paper cups.
Bake 30 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition Facts
(Amount Per Muffin)
Calories 220.8
Total Fat 5.9 g
     Saturated Fat 0.9 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat 2.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 17.9 mg
Sodium 271.6 mg
Potassium 131.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Sugars 20.3 g
Protein 4.5 g

Conor LOVED them!  I think he actually consumed about 1/4 of a muffin, which is excellent for him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

McFatty Monday - Week 1

Even though this blog is usually dedicated to all things Conor, I am making an exception to start a weekly weight loss post. I am joining McFatty Monday, a community of (mostly) new moms who blog about weight loss.

I gained 50 lbs. while pregnant with Conor. Within 2 months after delivering, I had shed 35 of that (it was a lot of water weight, probably at least 10 lbs. in each ankle) and slowly over the next 7 months lost every. last. pound of my pregnancy weight. WOOT! 9 months on/9 months off was exactly right for me, but I was doing absolutely nothing to lose weight except breastfeeding. 30 ounces a day x 20 Calories per ounce = 600 Calories burned each day sitting on my butt doing nothing. (Wow, after typing that out I can totally see the benefits of extended breastfeeding!) We have been slowly weaning since 9 months and I'm down to producing about half of his intake with the goal of totally weaning over the next 6 weeks.

As I'm breastfeeding less, I've noticed the number on the scale slowly creeping up. At first I thought it was a fluke and would go back down, but 8 lbs. later I'm pretty sure that weight is firmly planted on my gut. Swimming lessons start July 3rd and I don't want Conor to be embarrassed of me. I need to nip this in the bud so here's the plan:

1. Diet - I don't do well with restrictive diets. I need to work on being more sensible with portion sizes and food choices. Last night for dinner I had a bag of popcorn (Orville Redenbacher Natural Lime & Salt, mmmmm) and part of the leftover dessert assortment from Brian's graduation lunch (chocolate cake, Tiramisu, and cheesecake.) Completely unacceptable. Consider that my rock bottom, like the time Tim consumed an entire case of Big Mo chocolate bars in less than a week (which spurred him to start running and he subsequently lost 25 lbs. and became a marathoner.) Emotional eating is also something I need to work on.

2. Exercise - I know if I set some lofty goal of working out X days a week I will let myself down. I have never once been able to stick to a workout routine for more than a few weeks (or days.) (Case in point - I signed up for an exercise program this year at work logged a grand total of 1 workout.) Let's face it - with a full time job and a baby I only have so much energy left at the end of the day. My goal here is to just get moving every day. Go for brisk walks or even a light jog with Conor after work and on weekends, take the stairs at work, stuff like that. I just need to be less sedentary and see where it goes. My eventual goal is to train for and run that 5K I was working towards when pregnancy sidetracked me, but I'm not ready for that just yet.

3. Reward - I need a tangible goal other than warm fuzzies and increased self esteem (and, oh yeah, better health.) If and when I make it to my goal weight I'm going to buy myself a pair of really nice designer jeans to show off my less fatty self.

4. Motivation - Hopefully this McFatty Monday post and community will hold me accountable and motivate me to stick to it. I'm also counting on Tim for encouragement. Seeing him lose weight and become a marathoner over the past 2 years has been inspirational. I really don't want to embarrass him as the fat wife cheering on the sidelines - I want to be the skinny wife cheering on the sidelines (in hot jeans ;) )

We'll see where this goes. I may find that this open wishy washy plan isn't working and I need more structure, only time will tell. I'd like to lose these 8 lbs, plus another 5. I'm not setting any time restrictions on this because the ultimate goal of this is about developing a more healthy lifestyle and setting a good example for my son. I think if I work on building better habits the weight will eventually come off and stay off this time.

Here's where I'm at:

Today's weight - 143
Today's BMI - 23.1
Goal weight - 130
Goal BMI - 21.0
Total weight lost - (0)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daycare Dilemma

We are in the midst of deciding what to do regarding childcare for this summer. Tim is done teaching June 18th and doesn’t go back until the end of August. He has applied to teach summer school, which would be Tu/Wed/Th, but we’re waiting to hear about that. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Conor only had to go to daycare 3 days a week and could spend M and F home with dad? It would be awesome for all of us to have a break from the daycare grind, even if only 2 days a week.

Not possible. GH won’t accept a Tu/Wed/Th schedule because M/F only spots are hard to fill. If we do drop his schedule down they can’t guarantee there will be a full time spot in the fall. I can’t get a straight answer about what the chances of there being a FT spot are. We’ve been very happy with our daycare situation so far and don’t really want to be stuck scrambling in the fall. But the idea of Conor going to daycare while Tim sits at home watching World Cup makes my stomach turn, and yet might be our best option.

It feels like this decision rests squarely on my shoulders but there’s really not an obvious answer. I don’t know what to do, so in typical fashion I made a PROS/CONS list of our options:

Option 1 – Keep Conor in daycare 5 days/week regardless of Tim’s schedule.

PROS: No stress about childcare for fall. Conor continues his routine and stays accustomed to daycare.

CONS: No break from the daycare grind. No break from $$$ daycare bills. Why is baby in daycare when one parent isn’t working? Tim doesn’t get to spend extra time with Conor.

Option 2 – Drop Conor down to 3 or 4 days a week for July/August (3 days a week will only work if Tim doesn’t teach summer school).

PROS: Some $ saved. Will have at least part time child care secured for fall. Conor stays acclimated to daycare. Some break from daycare grind. Tim gets to spend some extra time with Conor.

CONS: Full time child care for fall at risk. Still paying for at least some childcare days when parent is not working. $$$ saved for 4 days/week is minimal, probably not worth the risk esp. if Tim doesn’t teach summer school. Conor’s schedule becomes more hectic as his days are more variable.

Option 3 – Withdraw Conor from daycare for the summer (only if Tim doesn’t teach summer school.)

PROS: Major $$$ saved. Tim gets to spend tons of time with Conor. Break from daycare grind. There are other (cheaper) childcare options for fall.

CONS: Childcare for fall at risk. Stress of finding new daycare for fall – do they have openings full time, will it be as good as GH, will Conor adjust okay, will is be as convenient to work?

So, great. That really didn’t help at all. This all hinges of course on whether Tim ends up teaching summer school and who knows when that decision will be made. If he does, the financial aspect makes less impact but it’s hard to put a value on Conor’s experience in all this. We only have a couple weeks to decide this because we need to make any changes to his contract a month in advance.

Sorry for such a downer post but if anyone has input I’m all ears.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Conor is full blown crawling! He is also getting up on his knees, pulling up to stand, and even took two steps with the push walker today!!!

Practice at the park tonight. (He really wanted to go play soccer with the big kids!)

**Be advised - there is some lady giving really loud obnoxious commentary during the videos, you might want to turn your sound down**

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baby Foodie - Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

An easy "from scratch" meal that can be whipped up in no time. Burgers can also be made ahead and frozen.

Black Bean Burgers
(very loosely) Adapted from Broke Ass Gourmet

1.5 c (or 1-15 oz. can) black beans, soaked overnight (for dry beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 clove garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (or 1 tsp dried)

In a large bowl, mash 3/4 of the beans well. Combine with egg, garlic, bread crumbs, cilantro and cumin. Stir in remaining beans. Form into patties (makes about 2). Cook in an oiled pan until well done, about 5-10 minutes each side. Serve on toasted buns with Sriracha aioli (1 tsp Sriracha + 2 tbsp mayo) and fixins for mama and dada; cut into bite sized pieces for baby.

The flavor is not too intense and great for baby.

Sweet Potato "Fries"

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin strips (somewhere between McDonald's and Red Robin size, maybe a nice Wendy's? I do love fries...)
1 tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, toss sweet potato fries in olive oil until coated. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Cook 10 minutes, flip, continue cooking until desired doneness is achieved (eyeball it.)

Playing with leftovers (photo documentation FAIL)