Thursday, May 26, 2011

She's Got More Shoes Than Me!

 24 pairs.  That's a lot for a 19 month old little girl.  People like to buy her shoes.  I agree, they are pretty cute, but she didn't even walk until she was 13 months.  Good thing we have another little girl who will be able to use them, too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Currently Snacking On...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Drug of Choice

Man, it feels good to be running again.  I seriously feel high after a run, thanks to dopamine.  I took a week off after birthing a child and was back at it again with little discomfort.  I took it slow at first because my core muscles were still loosey goosey, but after a month of easing into it, I'm back to my 9:30 miles and loving it.

I took a lot of flack from people throughout my pregnancy because I kept up the running, but I felt confident that I was doing the right thing.  I did tons of research, talked to my doctor, and listened to my body.  Up until 8 months pregnant I was consistently running 6-9 miles at a time, usually around 15 miles a week.  I did my last race (10k) at 31 weeks pregnant and after that my motivation dropped off.  I kept running, but only about 3 miles at a time, and at a much slower pace.  I wasn't truly uncomfortable until about 37 weeks.  It was mostly my bladder that made running difficult because I felt I needed to pee every 10 minutes, but knowing they were mostly "false alarms," I'd push through and finish my runs.  My pace continued to slow, but I continued to run.  Well, at around 40 weeks it became more like jog since I was doing 12 minute miles.  My goal was to continue cardio work-outs as long as possible.  I had tried the elliptical at the gym and biking, but no other activity seemed to get my heart rate up and make me sweat as much as I wanted.  On my due date I ran 4 miles.  At almost 42 weeks I ran/walked 2 miles.

I had about 10 hours of false labor throughout the night.  Chris didn't go into work the next day.  Though we were sleep deprived, we were anxious to get labor going again, so to speed up the contractions, we ran/walked 3 miles together.  Crazy, huh?  The funny thing is that it didn't work.  My contractions ceased completely.

I feel that keeping up the running had everything to do with having a healthy pregnancy, not gaining much weight, and having a quick labor.  The best part is that I had a healthy baby!

Now that I am back at it, I am once again really enjoying running.  I've been a runner for a year and a half now and am slowly accepting this as the new me.  For the longest time I felt like I was wearing a mask and that it was a lifestyle that wasn't genuine and wouldn't last long.  I didn't really believe that I could become an active, healthy person all of the sudden in my mid-20s.  Well, I am here to say that it is possible and I love it.

I'm not sure what my goals are for the remainder of the year.  I'd love to do another half marathon, but with two kids, training is even harder.  Figuring out time for long runs in between feeding Lydia is the challenge.  I had wanted to do the Danskin Sprint Triathlon.  I almost signed up, but it was too expensive and it wouldn't have been worth the money to me since I wouldn't have had sufficient time to train for the bike and swim.  For now, I'm enjoying the alone time listening to music and zoning out from mommyhood.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fond of Blonde

 I have this bakebook and let me tell you, it's a vault of goodness.  Everything I've made from it is completely delicious.  Including this blondie.  I've always been a fan of blondies.  It brings me back to college when I'd go to Applebee's with my friends.  For dessert, I'd always order the blondie with ice cream and maple caramel sauce.  So-rich-you-need-a-glass-of-milk-to-wash-it-down kind of good.  I had a hankerin for a blondie and since living in Austin, I can't tell you the last time I went to a chain restaurant.  Which is fine by me.  Except for missing out on that blondie at Applebee's.  Thank goodness for this recipe.

The Hummingbird Bakery

5 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 cup shelled pecans, chopped
9x13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, place chocolate and butter (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring briskly so that you don’t allow the eggs to scramble. Don’t worry if the mixture looks as if it is starting to split. Add flour, salt and pecans and stir until well combined and the nuts are evenly dispersed.
Spoon mixture into prepared baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and the centre is still soft. Let cool completely.
Makes 12 to 15 portions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Currently Snacking On...

These Are the Moments

On my wedding day, I remember someone giving me the advice to take mental pictures throughout the day so as to better remember the small things.  One in particular that I remember is of me and my maid of honor riding in her car with the sunroof open.  We had just gotten our hair done at the salon, my veil was pinned in place, and our heads were out the window.  We passed by a fire truck and they honked at us.  That memory makes me remember how happy I was to be getting married, how beautiful I felt, and how excited I was to move and start life with my husband.

I've been telling myself lately to take more mental pictures.  There's nothing like having babies to show you how fast time flies.  Yesterday the mental picture I took was of my sweet little Vera staring at me while I did my hair in the bathroom mirror.  I slowed down enough to take note of how intently she was watching me.  She was genuinely interested in what I was doing and just wanted to be near me.  How precious she is.  How loved I felt.

Slow down.  Be present in life.  Don't let life pass you by.

These have been my mantras lately to remind myself of what's important.  I have told several people that the transition for us going from 1 to 2 kids has been much easier than going from 0 to 1.  I think it's because in the beginning I had tried to fit Vera into my pre-baby lifestyle; running around, going from place to place, checking off my to do list, keeping a perfectly clean home all the time, cooking ambitious meals, etc.  About 8 or 9 months in, my epiphany was that in order to be a calmer, happier person, I needed to make some changes.  So, I simplified life.  I am one of those moms who stays at home more than she goes out.  We go on a lot of walks.  We go to the park, to the library, and we play a lot in the backyard.  And there are days that we do run errands, but most of the time, we are home.  And I like it that way.  It has made me slow down in life and I'm taking more mental pictures because one day my babies will be grown up and I want to savor the sweet times we're having.

When both girls are in the backseat screaming their heads off...these are the moments.
When Vera is giggling from being tickled by her daddy...these are the moments.
When it's just me and Lydia up in the middle of the night and she sweetly coos and makes all those cute newborn noises...these are the moments.
When applesauce hits the wall and spaghetti is on the carpet...these are the moments.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

She's Pretty Awesome.

I just need to brag.  We have been fortunate to receive meals from many friends who have stepped up to the plate to help us out after baby # 2 entered the scene.  We are really feeling the love, the extra cushion in our budget, and the break from cooking.  Thanks to everyone who has signed up!

But there is this one amazing friend that just blows everyone else out of the water.  A delicious dinner was delivered to our door tonight with a personal note from her.  Get this.  She freakin lives in Germany.  How amazing is that?  She went the extra mile (thousands, actually...and a time change in there, too) to figure out how to get us dinner.  And I have no idea how the typed up note from her was included in that, too, but I'm completely impressed and feeling super loved.

I think we can all learn a lesson from her about generosity.  I make up too many excuses sometimes because it's not convenient or easy to give, but really that's uber lame.  (Like my usage of German vocab there??)

Thank you, Sara!