Burning Daylight

Today is the first day of my first vacation since maternity leave. I am hoping to put vacation to good use. Working out, eating better, etc. I have been on a diet (calorie and portion watching) for two weeks. So far so good. Without working out I have still lost five pounds.

We will see how it goes I suppose.

Since my last post, I am down a dress size, so things have still been going well. My daughter is nearly two years old and growing like a weed. She is getting so big its depressing.

Either way, lets get this party started! ♥

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Figuring it out

We finally were able to afford a gym membership with California Family Fitness. We have been going for three weeks, and I have lost 12 pounds.  I am using a handy app on my phone that helps me log all of my calories and exercising.  Of course, watching our diet and portions has helped a lot.  I have cut out the Starbucks (EEEK!) and the Vodka (GASP!).  I am feeling great, and keeping motivated to go even further.  Now to just move forward and keep going in the right direction.

In other news, my daughter has a slight cold.  I am off work the next few days to stay at home and be a mama.  I love it.  I wish I could stay with her every day.  I am sure she would love that too.  I am sure the dog would love to be home with people every day instead of alone with the cat.

I also recently started a second “job” as a Passion Parties independent sales consultant.  This second job is totally fun, and probably shouldn’t even be called a job.  I love it.  I am still building my business, and waiting for the day it can become a full-time job.  I have met so many interesting women, heard great stories, and helped women experience themselves for the first time.  It’s been great.

My life is headed in the right direction, I am just waiting to figure out what my next moves are going to be.  I am praying daily for a sign as to what my next move needs to be.  I am thankful for what we have, and I am excited to see what the future brings for my family.  Now to just keep moving in the right direction.

A New Recipe

So, I was browsing the book, and found another recipe, which I changed up a bit, and it is amazingly good, makes a ton, and can be frozen for those lazy days.

  • 1 Can Low Sodium Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Low Sodium Pinto Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bag Frozen Corn
  • A Dash of Chili Powder
  • A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey Cooked
  • Onions

Cook the turkey with the onions, then combine all ingredients in the crock pot, cook on low for four hours.

The recipe in the book is a lot different, so I modified it quite a bit.  It called for a can of corn and a table-spoon of sugar vs my bag of corn which is a larger quantity of corn.  Instead of the black and pinto beans, it called for kidney beans.  So needless to say, I changed it up based on what I have in the pantry.  🙂  My husband loves the meal, and it was good for three nights worth of dinner, plus a lunch for me.  Now I am making it again to freeze for the lazy days.  We made burritos’ one night, nachos another night, and tacos.  A friend even suggested putting corn bread mix on it while cooking, which I don’t have any of that, so needless to say, it isn’t getting done.

On the diet update, I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t been trying as much as I have promised myself.  We ate at home a lot this week, but work has been slow so my daily walking around the big box store isn’t happening as much as usual.  It has also been storming here so I haven’t had the ability to walk around the neighborhood.  At the same time, I haven’t gained any, so it’s somewhat of a wash.  The eating healthier and the lack of physical activities has evened out.  I have lost a few millimeters centimeters off the hips, which did get me into my skinny self/pre-pregnancy jeans, which I am excited about.

I tend to eat the same way over and over and over again, and no matter how much I exercise, I still manage to gain weight.  I have actually lost a fraction of a pound over the last week, so it is truly a move in the right direction. I took an hour out of my day today to prepare meals for the week to make eating healthy at home easier and more appealing, as well as cut up cucumbers, celery, and carrots as easy grab-n-go snacks, to avoid buying a snickers bar or a bag of chips.

Eating healthy isn’t just a way of eating, it is a whole lifestyle change that takes time, effort, and commitment to do the things you need to do to continue eating healthy   You can’t eat healthy and be lazy, because if you are lazy, you will want to go through the drive through instead of make a leaner burger at home.  I know I keep talking about all of this, mostly trying to embed it into my own head, because I am not showing much of a change.  Maybe I will start posting pictures for all of my readers to see.  I have been shrinking, and I have a flatter tummy today than I have in years, just the scale doesn’t show the same thing.

Note to self: More Water!!!  I think I am retaining water thus causing the scale to reflect a heavier weight.

Chicken Soft What?

So today’s experiment in the slow cooker is chicken soft something.  The recipe is for chicken soft taco’s, but I am almost certain my husband will want chicken soft nacho’s.  The recipe is essentially the chicken itself, now what ever you decide to do with the chicken is up to you.  The recipe is simple, and great in a bind.  You don’t even have to defrost the chicken, and there are three easy ingredients.  Throw them all in the slow cooker, and cook on low for six to eight hours.

  • Four FROZEN Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or approx 1 lb.)
  • 1 14.5 oz Can of Tomato’s (or tomato’s with peppers)
  • 1 Packet of Low Sodium taco seasoning.

Note: I put the can of tomato’s in and a little bit of salsa.  Also, instead of the seasoning packet, I put in some of my own seasonings that I know we like, therefore removing some of the seasonings that I don’t like.  I used paprika, chili powder, and dried onion flakes.

I have made this recipe previously, and it was amazing.  Now I am changing up the seasonings.  I am doing this because ever since I got pregnant, my heart burn doesn’t like too many crazy seasonings and spices.

The thing I like most about this recipe, is it is great in a bind.  I don’t know how many of you have a ton of chicken in the freezer to take out when you want it.  Well, this is the recipe for when you don’t want to risk the chicken de-frosting on time (like today when I remembered to take something out at noon!).  You can toss the frozen chicken in the slow cooker with a can of tomato’s some salsa and seasonings, turn it on, and you have a great meal that looks like it took all day to make.  This chicken can be used, like I said before, in so many different meals, like burritos, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, and change-up the seasonings for even more feasts.

Feel free to suggest seasoning alternative idea’s, and meal ideas for this simple easy main ingredient.  (And low sodium and diet friendly!)

Healthy Cooking Doesn’t Cost More

I keep hearing on the news that people on food stamps purchase crappy unhealthy food because it costs too much to eat healthier.  Ok, as one who just went to the grocery store for one meal, I am going to have to go ahead and call “Bull-Shit!” on that argument.  I purchased quite a bit of food, and spent about what one meal for my family at some sort of fast food joint like Taco Bell or Burger King.  The list of stuff I bought:

  • The stuff for just this meal: 
    • 3.73 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Eating Right Chicken Breast Boneless Skinless Extreme Value Pack)
    • A Baguette of Sourdough Bread (We need a side right?!?)
    • A bottle of Cabernet
  • The stuff for this and many meals in the future: 
    • Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (the small bottle)
    • A jar of paprika
    • A jar of dried oregano leaves

Ok, now just so you know, this meal cost me $25 (Not including the bottle of wine, that was $8.99).  The meal will feed us for three nights!  It costs us $20 to get through the drive through.  And now for the kicker…the chicken breasts were not from chickens, I think they were from Godzilla.  I used three of the five chicken breasts, froze the other two, and plan on making slow cooker chicken soft taco’s with them next week!  So really, from the $25, I am getting three meals for two, and then another meal for four (my parents are coming and I plan on making the chicken soft taco’s when they are here.)

Both recipes are from the Fix it and Forget it Lightly cookbook….both take about ten minutes to prepare before work, and at these prices, who needs the drive through?

Sick Baby = Sick Day

I have a sick baby at home, which means I have a sick day at work!  It is making me want to stay home with her forever.    She is acting totally normal, like her happy little self.  She is coughing quite a bit and sneezing with a runny little nose.  I want to stay home with her forever, because she is my little precious girl, and I want to keep her out of school where she also could have caught something not only this time, but in the future as well.

On a semi-side note, I have been battling postpartum, and it has turned into this feeling of not wanting to leave her.  It is so weird, and a change from my previous feelings of wanting time apart from her.  Now, especially since she is growing so much and so fast, that by leaving her at school, I am going to miss all of her milestones.  It makes me want to be with her every single day, so that I don’t miss any part of her life and her development.  I was so happy yesterday that she rolled over for the first time by herself, and I was home to be with her.  I am so happy I didn’t miss it.  My husband is a little bummed he missed it, but I took some pictures and sent them to him,  so that he could at least share the moment from work.

I don’t know how I would feel if I missed her first steps or her first stab at crawling, just because I had to work in order to keep our debt on a downward trend.  I know I could quit work, but I am working for a few reasons.  So we can keep with somewhat of a lifestyle that we are used to, and so we can pay off our debt quicker.  As much as I want to stay home with her and never return to work, I know the consequences is a much higher debt for a much longer time frame, and I would rather pay that down for another year.

I wish there was a way I could figure out how to make money with my many blogs, or even finish my book and get it published.  My career of choice is one I can easily do from home, the only bad thing is, with the economy in its current state doesn’t provide for the client pool that I would need in order to afford working from home.  For some reason, when the economy tanks, people are not spending as much money on Kitchen and Bath Designers, or Interior Designers for that matter.  So now, I am here, blogging away and not at work.

I am sure I am not alone, I am sure there are other working mom’s who find that paying off debt is vital.  I want to be able to afford to give her things she wants, and needs, and not have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, and raid the couch for change, in order to afford diapers and stuff like that.  If I stayed home, that is all I could do, because we would have to sell my car to pay off some of the alleged debt, and avoid insurance gas and maintenance charges.  As much as I want to stay home with her, I think it will be better for her in the long run for me to work another year…and just hope she keeps doing her little milestones at home!

Adjusting to Motherhood

I have been a mom for four months now, and I will say, it is a definite adjustment.  It is very hard to get used to, and I have been having some trouble adjusting.  I have thought it was me, that I was selfish, that I am not cut out for this job.  I have been wondering what is wrong with me.  I have wanted a child for so long, and love having her, holding her, playing with her, and being with her, but at the same time, the adjustment is killing me.  I wonder if I am alone, I wonder if this adjustment period is hard on other women too?  I wonder if I am going to be an awful mom, or if I am going to a great mom, and this feeling I have eating me away inside effects other women.

Deep down, I know I am a good mom.  I love my daughter unconditionally.  I know I get frustrated when the sleepless nights are stacking up and there is no relief in sight, but in the end, I still hold her close and we fall asleep together on the couch.  I have been vomited on, peed and poo’d on, and it doesn’t bother me.  I just keep going.  I have held her close during her shots, and kissed her little boo-boo’s.

I have been doing research, and I have found that I am not alone.  This adjustment period happens to a lot of women, not just me.  This feeling of being completely overwhelmed happens to the best of them. Women all over the world experience this, and there are a lot of options out there for women, and support groups.  One helpful site I have found: Postpartum Progress

I won’t let this feeling I have inside, this anxiety of motherhood, this desire to run away from my life, inhibit my ability to be the best mom I can be.  There is help out there for women who feel this way.  There is help out there for women who feel that maybe they bit off more than they can chew in their new road to motherhood, or adding an additional member to their family.  There are a lot of symptoms to Postpartum Depression, and there is also a lot of ideas and ways to help.  Since I don’t want to take the easy way out, and just go directly on medication, I am going to start journaling both privately, as well as on this blog.  I want to feel like myself again, and journaling has helped me in the past with previous cases of depression, so I am hoping that it will help me again with this case.

This is a process, this is a move in the right direction, and I hope that I get from this process what I need.

Working Hard at Hardly Working

Monday was my first day back at my real job.  My full time big box retailer job as a Kitchen Designer.  I had to leave my little girl at a local school.  I wasn’t worried about her having a fabulous day, I was mostly worried about me needing her and having her so far away.  I know I have been other places and left her with friends and family, and when I need my own little baby fix, I can quickly get a picture texted to me.  Monday, I wan’t able to do so.

Honestly, the day went well.  We had a big corporate walk to prepare for, so the day was over before I knew it, as everyone was keeping me busy.  My husband picked up the baby from school, and promptly sent me two pictures of her cute little face.  Having to leave her with strangers is hard, and I have realized that it is harder for me to not have her close, than it is to leave her with a stranger.  I know she will be perfectly fine, she is so sweet, happy, and loving.

Now to get through the rest of the week!  Is it too early to ask for a vacation?

Discovering Hands

My daughter is three months old, and is just finding these new fascinating toys, her hands.  She is able to hold on to things, like her rattle, or various other toys.  She loves to play on the floor, especially when I give her toys to hold onto and shake around.  It is amazing seeing her explore herself and learn about new things everyday.  She is now able to track the mobile, she is much more alert and awake during the day.

This little miracle has completely changed my life.  Several years ago, if someone threw up on me, or much less pooped on me, I would probably throw up on them promptly.  Now as a mother, I get poop on my hands vomit on my shirt, and drool on my face, I don’t care.  I look at this little face, and I think “Wow, I created this from a microscopic spec, I grew this in my body for nine months!”

People always told me that things wont’ matter as much, that it all changes when a baby comes, and I thought they were out of their mind.  Now I have this little girl and I know exactly what they are talking about.  My whole life is changing, and I am happy to adapt.  I must have a little less fun every month so I can afford formula and diapers, wipes, and clothes for my growing little weed.  My diminished shoe collection is suffering due to this little baby, and I couldn’t be happier.  She is totally worth it.

I go back to work next week, and I am depressed that my time as a full-time mommy is coming to an end.  At the same time, however, I am happy she is going to a respectable school, that will assist me in making sure she is developing at a rate she needs to.  I am excited to see her develop into a young woman.  I am excited to see her grow more and more a day and become more and more herself, and meet her new personality traits.

Currently she is so observant, smiling all the time, happy, and playful.  I enjoy that about her.  Honestly, you always hear these horror stories about babies and how hard of a job it is.  I am not going to lie, it is a hard job, but it isn’t nearly as hard as we were expecting.  I am happy for that.  She knows our limits, and generally doesn’t push them.