Parts of the Whole

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First Time for Everything

Hey I thought I'd try something different. Here's my first ever video blog...vlog. I apologize in advance for its awkward nature and the fact that I'm so cold I'm wearing a blanket on my head.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It Takes A Village

Truth: I am so glad January is over. If that month had one more day, i was going to have a full blown anxiety attack.

In order to get February kicked off right, I decided to take a ginormous step out of my comfort zone. After being encouraged by countless mommy friends to find out if my teeny tiny town has a Mothers of Preschoolers or MOPS group, I did. And it is not teeny, tiny.

There were probably forty to fifty mommies, mommies to be and mommy role models. Where did all these women my age with kids come from? Turns out, I even kind of sort of knew one of them because her husband works with Husband. For someone who is an extroverted introvert, I fully anticipated going in and being friendly if approached but was okay with mainly being ignored. Not the case. I was greeted warmly by a woman with a darling two month old strapped to her chest (Boba wrap for the win). She got Monkey and I name tags and assigned us to a table where again I was welcomed. The table leader had a personality as bright as her awesome fluorescent pink shirt. She showed me where the nursery was and here is where I bust out the Proud Mom t-shirt. Monkey walked in, let me put him down and just started toddling around while the four other kids were crying their eyes out. One of the volunteers handed him a toy and I was completely forgotten about. I left crossing my fingers that he would play nicely (and so would the other moms).

It was exactly what my soul needed. I have a great internet support group of women, some of whom I consider my best friends. However, there's something about sitting across from someone telling them about your son's obsession with books and having them nod along in solidarity. They get it. They've been there. They can still quote Little Blue Truck line by line. One mom even gave me her number and was like hey my kids are a little older but let's get together and have a play date. I don't care if your kids have their own kids, yes! Please be my friend. Please help me prove that I'm not as pathetic as I think I am when I realize I don't know anyone in a town I've lived in for three years.

This was an experience I can't wait to repeat. Every first and third Wednesday from 9:15 to 11:15,you will find me in at Faith Baptist Church. I'm looking forward to being a part of this group and maybe someday giving a new mom my own number and saying hey let's get together.

PS If you're interested in finding a MOPS group near you or maybe starting your own chapter, start at MOPS.org.

Girlfriends together
Back when I had friends. And a waist.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life Happens

I wish I knew where to begin with this post. The past few days have been obnoxiously overwhelming. Monkey had his first trip to the ER after a constant dry cough turned into wheezing which turned into struggling for breath. We are now the proud owners of a nebulizer and I've regressed sleep wise to when Monkey was about eight months old and I was still getting up once during the night to feed him. This has done nothing for my ability to be a productive employee and/or boss. I am thankful for the grace that was extended to me because of course none of this would happen on my days off.

I'm also beyond thankful for my partner in parenthood. From helping to get Monkey's prescription dropped off to taking a sick day to stay home to administer breathing treatments so I could go to work, you name it Husband did it. True love and I probably haven't done a very good job lately expressing my thanks since between PMS and sleep deprivation, I'm a biotch. Bi to the otch.

Ironically, I joined the #NoExcuses #Sweatpink challenge this year for fitness and it seems that's all I have these days. Excuses. By the time I put Monkey in his bed (and thank you Binky for all the sleep training encouragement because now he goes down like a boss), I'm stumbling around the house like a drunk because I'm too tired to walk straight. It's not uncommon for me to be in bed before the sun goes down because I know I will be up to greet it in the morning (all ugly thoughts for someone who loved life as a night owl).

What does one do when they realize that they are behind in getting ahead? (No really, this is not a rhetorical question, I really want to know what you do) I personally planning on just jumping back in the program on Sunday. If I tried to go back and make up all the challenges I already missed, I know for myself, that would be more discouraging than just admitting I fell off the wagon and jumping back on. I mean really, who makes the wagon back up just so they can see a repeat of the scenery? That's the perfect definition for the opposite of progress.

So here's your gratuitous picture of Monkey. And a gentle reminder that whatever I do, the choices I make, are not just having an effect on me. Thanks kid for the swift kick in the pants.

Life Parenting
Feeling bad, looking good



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hide yo' kids, Hide yo' veggies

Beet
Source

This year in an effort to be more consistent with Goal #3 (and #1 too I suppose), I'm taking part in the #NoExcuses #SweatPink challenge. Back when I was a good little blogger (and runner), I became an SweatPink Ambassador or SPA. It's a great community of physically active bloggers who want to change the world one burpee at a time.

So as part of the challenge, every Sunday for the entire year, we receive an email that lays out a different task for each day of that week. I've done squats, ran/walked a mile and for today, I'm sharing a healthy snack with you. As if all my recipes weren't super healthy. Pffft. As if.

Becoming a mom put so much of life into perspective. Especially when it comes to food. From eating right while nursing to keep up supply and provide nutrients to now feeding a ever eating toddler (seriously, I cringe when I think about the teenage years of watching my kid go to the fridge at stare into only to come out with the fixings for a Dagwood sandwich).

Now I know how to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I lost thirty pounds before I had Monkey by doing so. That was when I only had me to worry about. There was no teething, roaring, pooping pterodactyl screaming in my ear for me to put something, anything in front of him to devour. One of my biggest challenges is veggies. I'll eat them all day long. In fact, I even have favorite vegetables (asparagus, lima beans and peas are my top three. Stop gagging you big baby). Husband, on the other hand, will only eat corn. And not even corn in a variety of ways. Just corn or corn on the cob. Guess what vegetable I hate? Corn. And I actually loathe corn on the cob (my biggest nightmare involves eating corn on the cob and discovering that the dental floss factory has burned down).

So what's a girl to do to make sure her child is getting a balanced diet? She purees the shizz out of veggies and puts them in everything. No really, EVERYTHING.

Last night I opened a can of beets (small can, I wasn't even confident to begin with) to introduce to Monkey. Bad, just bad (how are these things a super food?!). Even I wouldn't try them. So bad. Rather than waste them because there are starving kids in China (thanks maternal unit for that therapy session), I pureed the beets with some frozen spinach, frozen fruit (I used a no sugar added blend) and water and voila! That puree will go in Monkey's oatmeal (part of his high iron diet). It will go in his plain Greek yogurt. Perfect for adding to pancakes and waffles. I may even spread some on his toast. Winning!

Beet Puree
1 8oz can sliced beets
1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice
water (enough to help liquify)

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until desired consistency. (Mine was smoothie like)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Completely Mad...Lib



If you remember from this post, I talked about how one of my goals was to write more. It's one of the ways I remain centered and a little less Ted Bundy. In conjunction with writing more, I was also going to run more. Which I have. I've even enlisted Melodie, who now thinks that every time we go out the door we should be running. In an effort to be more active period, I took advantage of being an SPA (SweatPink Ambassador) and signed up for the #NoExcuses Challenge. Each Sunday I receive an email with our daily challenges for the week. The challenges range from doing a 30 second plank to sharing a healthy recipe (probably one that doesn't require you to use a can opener to access all your ingredients).

There are a bunch of awesome sponsors (Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, Beaming with Health, Actio926, WIN Detergent and Sasquatch Racing) who are giving out some awesome prizes for participating in other activities and let's face it, we all know I love for free shiz. This time it's filling in a mad lib which I'm terrible at. This should be interesting. (Forgive the uninspired answers. My 5AM wake up time is finally catching up with me.)

  • Hey 2015, it’s me DCG(nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)
  • This year I would like to run more, cook more, and write more.
  • It would also be super duper awesome if I also did a 10k this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because it's all about your attitude.
  • The thing I am looking forward to most this year is continuing in my new job.
  • I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is coffee to help me get up, get rolling (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.
  • Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is "I'm too tired" and I have used it to get out of doing exercise and writing on more than a billion (number) occasions.
  • I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to get up even earlier.
  • Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I'll still wake up at 5AM.
  • I will stop blaming the Monkey [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the ice cream when everyone knows it was really me.
  • My job [job, hair, car, husband, kids] is not the reason I make excuses. I will show my job [same as before] who's boss this year and get my run[type of sweaty activity] on
  • I know that running[type of workout] is better than whittling [noun]
  • I will reward myself by not caring a fig how often I do it or for how long
  • No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a Ladies Action Color Block Skort(article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and glowing (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking the plank [yoga pose / workout move] in new Rock the Course leggings[article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my strength[noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  5k[distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.
  • Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my reflective shirt[article of clothing] will smell in my / during my run [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!
  • Tag, Tweet, shout-out, call, text, fax or email 3 friends to take this survey and share how they will have a #NoExcuses 2015. Remind your friends to simply fill in the underlined parts!
  • Use the #NoExcuses hashtag and post to win prizes from Augusta Active, ShowerPill, ActivMotion Bar, WIN Detergent, Actio926, Beaming with Health, and Sasquatch Racing
  • Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Here's Hoping Beauty Doesn't Have 20/20 Vision

    There's a lot going on in this house most days. So much so that I now get up at five AM just to have some me time. It's no wonder that a lot of days, I feel like something the cat dragged in (and based on my Instagram photos, I tend to look like it as well). Luckily, I have managed to get in the routine of mascara, blush and lip gloss. That tends to keep the zombieness in check.

    It's hard to feel beautiful when you look in the mirror and all you see is someone who idolizes Rip Van Winkle. Since delivering Monkey safely and securely into this world, nothing fits the same. Pants don't fit the same, bras don't fit the same, hell even my skin doesn't fit the same. I live in fear of the day Monkey wants to find mommy's belly button in public. Anyone in the near vicinity will surely be turned to stone if they catch a glimpse of what lies beneath my spit up stained jump rope t-shirt from my freshman year of college.

    What does make me feel beautiful, though, is when I open the bedroom door after giving up with trying to find clothes that don't scream "my hips were made for birthing!" and keeping my hair in place (I should really know better than to try and do anything with my curly hair on days when it's raining), and there stands my boys. And when Husband says to Monkey, "Look it's a pretty flower. Can you say pretty flower?" and Monkey claps his hands in approval, I glow from my unpainted toes to my split ends. Nothing makes me feel more beautiful than being acknowledged by my two favorite people.
    Source

    And cheesecake. Cheesecake makes me feel beautiful. It's like the healthiest dessert there is when smothered in strawberries.


    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    *Food Friday* Husband Friendly Burritos! Ole!

    Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that it is a rare occasion where Husband takes a second helping of something. Like million dollar in plain view on eccentric grandma's coffee table book rare. And yet when I was trying to figure out a way to use up an excess of couscous sitting in my fridge with burrito sized tortillas, I apparently hit it out of the park with this recipe. Even Monkey had seconds (and will actually have thirds tomorrow at daycare).

    Feel free to substitute ground beef for ground turkey. I'm a budget conscience grocery shopper so I regularly interchange the two. Keep in mind that when you're using ground turkey, you really want to over season the meat. It's rather bland without the extra BAM!

    This was also the first time I didn't hear Husband whine about my use of rice in my burrito/taco/enchilada filling. I'm half Puerto Rican; I grew up eating A LOT of rice. It's like pasta to Italians or bread to Germans. It didn't even cross my mind that Husband might not potentially like rice. Who doesn't like rice? I mean, it's just rice; it's like tofu and takes on whatever flavor you throw on it. But he doesn't like rice and I don't like picky eaters, so I get an earful at least every other week when rice makes it's way on to the menu. This time, I didn't hear a peep about the couscous. Makes me wonder what else I could get away with. Quinoa perhaps? Make some cauliflower? The possibilities are (kinda sorta) endless!



    Husband Friendly Burritos
    1lb ground turkey
    1 cup frozen chopped spinach
    1 can low fat refried black beans
    1 cup cooked couscous
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    4 burrito sized tortillas
    1 8oz package shredded cheddar cheese
    Seasoning salt (to taste)
    pepper (to taste)
    cumin (to taste)
    Sour Cream

    Brown ground turkey in medium pan over medium heat. Add frozen spinach while browning. Season generously. Add garlic when meat is almost completely down cooking. When everything is completely cooked through, add refried beans. Stir in until hot. Add couscous. Heat through. Place meat mixture in tortilla, top with cheese and sour cream.