Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Slowing Down

My weight loss slowed down this week to only 1 pound. I didn't really have a fitness goal, so as a result, I probably slowed down this week. In terms of food, I have found some great additions to my diet to help replace dairy. I have tried soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice ice cream and hazelnut milk. All of them are pretty good! I've also tried goat cheese (still not too sure about this one) and have been eating a lot of kale and spinach.

Stats and Goals for Week 5:
Lbs Lost this Week: 1
Lbs Lost So Far: 12
Lbs Left to Lose: 18

Food Goal: No snacking after dinner. This is an old habit that has been creeping back into my life. Once dinner is over, the kitchen is closed. Well, except for dessert. =)
Fitness Goal: My goal this week is to do an exercise video 3 times. It can be any workout video. I have a couple on hand, including a post-pregnancy one that I'd like to try.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ryan: 2 Months

I can't believe you are already 2 months old! This month started off a bit rough for you but ended really well. You still love your lamby seat.

You are growing and changing every day. I love how your little personality is beginning to come out. For example, you get a really cute pouty face whenever I take away your bottle:

You love trying to stuff your entire fist into your mouth. It keeps you occupied for quite a while sometimes!

You still cry throughout the day, but it is almost always because you are either hungry or tired.

You try to roll over but your silly arm always gets stuck beneath you, preventing you from making it all the way onto your back. I bet by next month you'll be an expert at it. You will happily stare at your bear mobile for up to 10 minutes at a time.
I love you more than you will ever know. I am so blessed to be your mommy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brought to You By the Letter "B"

Poor little Ryan. First people were calling him small and mistaking him for a preemie baby. Now they're mistaking him for a girl!

Today at the store the cashier was talking to me about Ryan, and she said at the end of our conversation "So it's a girl, right?".



This is what he is wearing today:
It's true! In the cashier's defense, she couldn't see his shirt. But still. I thought it was funny that on the first day of wearing this shirt, Ryan is called a girl. Guess he'll have to wear it every day. Along with pants that say "No I'm not a newborn, I'm just small for my age"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Day!!

Do you know what my baby is doing right now? Napping. In his CRIB!!

And this morning. He napped in his bassinet! What?!I'm at a loss for words.

Seriously, people. This is huge. Ryan only sleeps in his Baby Bjorn, his carseat, and mommy's arms. This is a big day for Ryan!!

Foodie Friday: Kale

Have you ever tried Kale? No? Well you should. It's really good! In my quest to add more calcium into my non-dairy diet, I read that dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium. So I bought a bunch of kale this week at the local Ardenwood produce stand and I've been munching away at it. Below are two of my favorite ways to eat kale:



Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 350. Wash and dry 1 large bunch of kale.
Tear or cut into large bite size pieces. Spread on a large cookie sheet.
Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Halfway through sprinkle on parmesan cheese.
Kale chips should be crispy, but not burnt. Enjoy!

Massaged Kale Salad
Wash 1 large bunch of kale and cut into bite size pieces.
Place in bowl, drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and generous sprinkle of salt.
With clean hands, "massage" the kale. Rub the salt and olive oil into the leaves. Next add a few sprinkles of lemon juice.
Add half an avocado, smushed up so that it mixes well with the kale.
I also like to add chopped tomato for some sweetness. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Boys

My 3 boys last night:

Adam focusing on his RC cars...
Riley focusing on his nap....
Ryan focusing on his bear mobile.

And me? I was focusing on my 3 boys. =)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Steady Loss

This week turned out pretty good. I aced my food goal of adding more variety to my diet. Wednesday night's dinner was Fish, Thursday was Beef. Friday was vegetarian and Saturday was beef. Sunday was Turkey and Monday was Pork. Tuesday we were back to chicken again. In terms of fitness, I have continued to walk almost every day and have started stretching my back. It's hard for me to find time to do this, though, because I am constantly holding Ryan. Even when he sleeps, he's usually in his Baby Bjorn on me, which not only makes stretching hard, but kills my back.
Stats and Goals for Week 4:
Lbs Lost This Week: 3
Lbs Lost So Far: 11
Lbs Left to Lose: 19

Food Goal: Find new ways to get enough calcium and Vitamin D, since I am no longer eating dairy. I've heard that dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium, so I'll have to start eating those more regularly.
Fitness Goal: I'm out of ideas of how to incorporate fitness into my daily routine. At this point, I only have time for a daily walk with Ryan. Any other exercising I do would have to be done while holding him. I'd love to find a mommy baby stroller fitness class in the area, but haven't been able to find anything like that yet. Anyone know of anything in the Newark/Fremont area?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slow Grower

At Ryan's last appointment his Dr. recommended we supplement Ryan's feedings with a non-dairy formula. He suggested this because Ryan's weight gain has been pretty slow. The average baby gains about 1 ounce per day. Ryan has been averaging half an ounce per day. Over the past week Ryan gained 3 ounces, so the formula isn't really contributing to a larger weight gain, but rather helping his gain to remain steady.

He was born at 8 lbs, 6 oz. At 7 weeks of age last week, he weighed 9 lbs, 15 oz. Not a big gain, right? Well apparently everyone else has noticed as well, particularly strangers. People always mistake him for being younger than he is. Yesterday at the grocery store a woman came up to me and exclaimed "Oh a newborn! How cute!"

I said "Thanks, but he's actually almost 2 months old".

She said "Oh wow. Was he a preemie?"

I said "Nope. Full term. He weighed a healthy 8 lbs, 6 oz at birth"

I think her eyes almost popped out of her head when I said this.

The more comments I get about his size, the more I wonder if there is something else I could be doing to help with his weight gain. The Dr. did not seem overly concerned, which makes me feel a bit better.

Moooo

A little over a week ago I cut out all dairy from my diet at the suggestion of Ryan's Doctor. He thought it might be the cause of his extreme fussiness, and as I posted last week, things have improved dramatically! Ryan is happier and therefore so am I. So we are assuming that at least part of the problem is an allergy to cow's milk protein. Unfortunately, introducing this back into his diet before the age of 1 can result in even worse side effects.
What does that mean? No dairy for both Ryan and I until he is 1. (Or until I stop breastfeeding him...whichever comes first). That's right. No dairy for the next 10 months! Stop and think about everything you eat on a regular basis that contains dairy....milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, yogurt......That's a lot of good food! But if eliminating these foods from my diet makes Ryan a happy baby, I am more than willing to do it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Momma Knows Best

I know more about my Baby Ryan than any other human being on this earth. I spend the most time with him and because of that I get to see his development firsthand before anyone else. It's nice knowing that I'm an expert on my son. (Well, maybe not quite an expert)

I can now distinguish between his "hungry cry" and his "tired cry". I know that he will always be happiest first thing in the morning, and grumpiest in the evening. I know that he loves sleeping in his Baby Bjorn, close to his Mommy. And I can talk and make noise without waking him, but the minute I stop moving he will wake up.

Isn't it amazing that our Heavenly Father is an expert on each and every one of us? Before a word is on our tongue, God knows what we are about to say. He knows how many hairs are on our head and how many days we will live.

I love being an expert on Ryan, and I love that he's starting to respond more to me. He follows me with his eyes when I leave a room, and sometimes will start to cry until I come back into his line of vision. When I stick out my tongue at him I see him moving his mouth around, trying to imitate me. I love this beginning of our communication, and I can't wait for it to develop into actual laughs and words!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy

Happy Father's Day!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Foodie Friday: Mini Meat Loaves

As promised, here is a non-chicken recipe for you. I've made these mini meat loaves a handful of times and have always liked them. Adam isn't a fan of meatloaf, but he will grudgingly eat these. Probably because they have cheese in them. Unfortunately, I will have to omit the cheese next time I eat them, since I have eliminated dairy from my diet.

Let me know if you try the recipe!

Mini Meat Loaves

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mustard

In a bowl beat together the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Share into 8 loaves and place in a 13-in x 9-in baking dish. In a small bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Spoon over loaves. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

You can use ground turkey in a variety of recipes that normally call for ground beef. When you buy ground turkey be sure that it says "ground turkey breast" if you are looking for a lower calorie option. Otherwise they include all sorts of turkey parts that are not necessarily lean.

Other recipes using ground turkey that I've made:

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Yum!)
Basil Turkey (Like Thai Basil Chicken, but with ground turkey)
Pumpkin Turkey Chili (Sounds weird, but it's good)

I would love to have a link at the top of my blog that takes you to a separate page of my recipes. Does anyone know how I can do that??

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ryan's Video Debut

video

Here is a video of Ryan not smiling. I tried really hard, but just wasn't able to capture his cute smile on video. I think he was so focused on my camera in his face that he wasn't really paying attention to me.

Right around 1 min, 25 seconds is the best part. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Big Fat Fail

So this week wasn't as great as last week. I was distracted by Ryan's problems, and didn't meet either of my goals. I did try to get out for 30 minutes of walking every day, but Ryan wouldn't always cooperate. And I had the best intentions of not eating out, but we did buy food out once (with a gift card!) and then I got lunch out yesterday with my mom.

I'm also not sure about my weight, because my scale at home is different than the one at the Dr office. According to their scale, I actually lost 3 lbs last week, and not 5. That sounds more accurate. But because I have to use my scale, I will post my weight loss based on that. (And 5 sounds better than 3, right?!). My scale says I lost 3 this week, for a total of 8 so far.

Stats and Goals for Week 3:
Lbs Lost so Far: 8
Lbs Left to Lose: 22
Food Goal: Get out of a rut! We tend to eat chicken a lot around here, so my goal this week is to eat beef, fish, turkey and pork at least one night. I am planning on posting a recipe on Friday that does NOT include chicken.
Fitness Goal: In addition to walking every day, I want to start stretching. My back has been killing me lately, probably as a result of carrying Ryan around all day. Whenever I have time each day this week, I want to do some stretches to start strengthening my back and abs.

PS: I am back in my regular jeans now! No more maternity jeans for me. Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

So This is What a Happy Baby Does!

I thought the constant crying we've experienced the past few weeks was just normal baby behavior.

Wrong!

I assumed it was normal for a baby to barely sleep at night, and then rarely nap during the day.

Nope!

Ryan has been a different baby since Saturday. He takes naps during the day. He is content to just sit for 15-20 minutes at a time, looking around at things. He doesn't start crying immediately after being fed. He's calm!


I'm not totally convinced that a cow's milk allergy is the cause of all the mayhem in our house lately. It just seems like too simple of an answer. But so far, all signs point to that being the problem. Ever since I cut out dairy, Ryan has been happy!


I'm crossing my fingers and toes that things continue to improve!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We're Halfway There, Living on a Prayer

Like the cheesy title? Adam was listening to that song today and I thought it described our situation appropriately. 6 weeks is supposed to be the peak of a baby's fussiness, with 3 months being the magic time when they become a happy baby.

This week has been.....tough. Ryan's fussiness in the evenings has spilled over into the daytime. It seems like if he isn't eating or sleeping (which is rare), he's crying. Not just fussy whimpering or soft crying. Full on crying, screaming and turning red.

So I took him to the Dr. yesterday. I explained his symptoms....basically crying all the time, especially after nursing. The Dr. asked how many hours Ryan sleeps on in an average 24-hour period, and I said 6. Well apparently it should be more like 12! He checked him over and said that he may have a cow's milk allergy. He also has eczema on his face, which might be due to an allergy.

So I have cut out all dairy from my diet, in hopes of calming Ryan's tummy. At 6 weeks, Ryan weighs 9 lbs, 12 oz, which is a bit lower than the Dr. was expecting for his age. We're not sure why he's gaining so slowly, so in addition to breastfeeding him every 2-2.5 hrs, I am now giving him up to 1 oz of Nutramigen formula afterwards. This is a cow's milk-free formula that is recommended for babies with colic.

So we're praying that something works soon. It is very frustrating not knowing what is wrong with my baby. We're just trying to put together the puzzle pieces right now until something works.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foodie Friday: Morph It

I hate wasting food. I'm pretty sure I got this from my Mom. Growing up, she constantly reminded us about buying things on sale, using up leftovers, and clipping coupons. Now that we have a house and a baby, sticking to a budget and not being wasteful are particularly important. I think sticking to a food budget is a good idea no matter what your financial situation is.


I try to use up leftovers from the night before in my lunch the next day. If this doesn't happen, I often "morph" the leftovers into a new meal for later in the week. Here are a few examples from this week:


-Over the weekend I made The Best Vegetable Lasagna. I had half a jar of marinara sauce leftover, so I used that on a homemade pizza Thursday night. (Using Trader Joe's pizza dough!)


-Sunday night Adam grilled london broil. I cut up the leftover steak and used it Tuesday night in Steak Tacos!


-Bell peppers were on sale at the store, so I based a couple meals around them. Thursday's pizza was topped with sliced peppers. Wednesday's Jambalaya used up the rest of the bell peppers.


Another great idea is to use leftover cold rice to make fried rice. Or use up a rotisserie chicken by shredding the chicken and making chicken enchiladas. You can really stretch this meal by adding black beans to your chicken mixture.

What do you think about leftovers....love them or hate them?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cheat Day

Today is one of those days where I'm basically just existing. Last night was rough and I'm too tired to really post. I went to the Dr. today due to blocked milk ducts. The pain is pretty bad, but luckily I got antibiotics in case it turns into an infection. Here is an explanation if you are really interested: http://www.babycenter.com/0_clogged-milk-ducts_8494.bc

Instead of an actual post today, I'm going to cheat and link to another blogger's post. I follow the blog "O My Family" and almost always can relate to what she posts. She is a mother of an adorable 10-month old (I think?). See for yourself.

Today's post is another one of her great explanations of motherhood. I encourage you to read it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weighty Wednesday: Week 1

Week 1 is over and here is my progress!

I'm a little hesitant to post my weight loss, because I don't think it is truly accurate. According to our scale at home, I lost 5 lbs this week. Again, I don't think this is right. It might be time to go out and buy a new scale. I'm not doing it so that I can become obsessed with weighing myself all the time, but I think it's important to have a number to compare against each week to get a true idea of my progress.

I did great with the food goal.....got my 3 fruits/veggies every day, and often more than that. To make things easier I tried to prep food at the same time. If Ryan was taking a 15 minute nap, I chopped veggies and washed an entire basket of blueberries. Then I could easily munch on them throughout the week. I also bought some dried fruit. Not my first choice, but easy to just open the package and eat. As for the walking goal, I got out on a walk every day but Saturday. I'm going to continue to keep both of these as ongoing goals because I think they are important components of a healthy lifestyle.

Stats and Goals for Week 2:
Lbs Lost so Far: 5 (?)
Lbs Left to Lose: 25
Food Goal: My goal for the week is to not buy food out. This is a tough one, since I am often persuaded by Adam to buy food rather than eat at home. But we all know food eaten at home is almost always healthier and cheaper.
Fitness Goal: My goal is to continue to walk every day, but this week I am setting a time goal of at least 30 minutes per day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sneak Peek

Over the weekend we were busy working on Ryan's nursery. Until now, all that was in there was a changing table.


I am not a crafty/creative person. At all. So Adam's Mom offered to help with a project for the nursery walls. Here's a sneak peek:
It's going to be so cute when it's all done! Stay tuned for the final photo.

We're Losing It

Our hair, that is. Both Ryan and I are losing our hair. I vaguely remember reading about this in a pregnancy book. A woman often loses her hair in the first weeks and months after giving birth. Well I'm definitely losing it! It's ending up in the shower, on my pillow, in Adam's car, in the sink......Let's just say it's a good thing I started out with a good thick head of hair. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd be bald by now. When is this supposed to stop??

Ryan, on the other hand, did not start out with a thick head of hair. He was born with a good amount of hair, but he's slowly been losing it. You can kind of see his balding in this picture. I hope it starts growing back soon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just Another Monday

As Ryan's 6-week mark approaches, I feel like I am finally settling into somewhat of a routine. He's a very unpredictable baby, as I'm sure most babies are. But I'm slowly beginning to have some sort of structure to my days.....

Most days start somewhere between 6am and 8am. I try to get out of bed before Ryan wakes up, so that I can at least put in my contacts and go to the bathroom by myself. Once he's awake, I immediately change and feed him. Sometimes I eat breakfast while feeding him, sometimes not. It all depends on how anxious he is to eat. (ie: how loud he is crying)

After breakfast Ryan is generally a very happy baby. He will sit calmly in his vibrating lammy seat for a good 20 minutes. During this time I shower, dress, put on makeup (if I'm going out of the house), make the bed and check e-mail. After that he gets fussy, so I try to get us out of the house. Today it was to the grocery store. Once home about an hour later, it's time for him to eat again.

By lunchtime I start to feel like I'm not getting anything accomplished because the house is still usually a mess. If Ryan is calm, he will go into his Baby Bjorn carrier while I do laundry and dishes. Sometimes this works.....sometimes not. Afterwards it's time for him to eat again. I try to use this time to eat myself, but again, it doesn't always happen.

Afternoons usually consist of a walk in the stroller. I think the fresh air is good for both Ryan and I. After that it's time for Ryan to eat again! (Sensing a theme here? It's about every 2 hours still). Once late afternoon hits, Ryan gets fussy and I run out of things to do to entertain him. Sometimes he will take a nap. If not, I basically hold him for the next few hours until Adam gets home.

Dinner is made using one hand. This is when the meltdown starts. Ryan gets really loud and fussy, so he is passed off between Adam and I while we try to eat, usually around 7pm. Every other night I give him a bath, which he absolutely loves. On the off nights he usually cries non-stop from 8 to 9. Once 9pm hits, I get into bed and nurse Ryan to sleep. He will generally sleep from about 10:30 until 1am, and then again from 2am until about 4am or 5am. After that it's anyone's guess.

So that's a "typical" day with Baby Ryan. Honestly, each day is very different. Some days he seems to just cry all day long. Some days he will take both a morning and afternoon nap. Other days he stays awake all day demanding to be held.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Smiles

Ryan has given me an honest genuine smile twice in the last 3 days! At my prompting (smiling and talking baby talk to him) he opened his mouth wide and gave me a big gummy smile.
He's becoming such a big boy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Foodie Friday: Trader Joe's

I love Trader Joe's. It's kind of a quirky grocery store that has some unique products you can't find anywhere else. The store itself is small, but has a good variety of items. And the prices are great! I only wish there was one in Newark.

Here are some of my favorite Trader Joe's products:
Microwaveable brown rice! It's cheap and healthy. Enough said.


Pizza dough. You can get whole wheat, regular, or garlic & herb. They're around $1 each and they are so convenient to freeze and then defrost when you feel like making a homemade pizza.

Love these! I don't actually like almonds, but for some reason these Cocoa Almonds are absolutely delicious. Doesn't hurt that they're dipped in chocolate. Lots of calories, though, so only eat a few at a time!

This is the best tasting natural peanut butter I have found. And it's very inexpensive.

I tried this Harvest Grains blend for the first time this week. It's like a rice mixture with proteins added in, such as mini garbanzo beans. So delicious and chewy!

Other Trader Joe's staples of mine are their chicken sausages and greek yogurts. What are your favorites?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The "C" Word

It happens almost every night. It starts somewhere around 6pm, and lasts until bedtime, generally around 10pm. I dread it each and every day. It started sometime in the last 2 weeks. I fear it will never end. It starts out like this: looks a little something like this:

Sleeping Peacefully. I'm such a good baby.

Look at my adorable yawn! Little does Mommy know....

It's 6pm....that means it's time to...


CRY!!!


and SCREAM!!!


One minute he's a happy baby. Then the clock strikes 6 and he's miserable. He screams and cries, holds his breath and turns dark red. We pat his back, walk up and down the hallway, sing to him, swaddle him, talk to him, ignore him, burp him. Nothing works.

It's called COLIC and I hate it. The Baby Bible, otherwise known as "What to Expect The First Year", describes colic as follows:

"...crying turns to screaming, and the ordeal lasts for three hours, sometimes much longer, occasionally nearly round-the-clock.....Colic generally begins during the second or third week of life.....by twelve weeks it usually begins to diminish"

After complaining to Ryan's pediatrician and hearing the word "colic" uttered, I wanted to cry myself. Colic is so frustrating because absolutely nothing seems to work. It's just unexplained crying. I'm the kind of person who wants a reason. If he's crying, then there must be a logical explanation, or a problem that can be fixed. Right? Wrong.

I would love to hear advice or stories from other moms who have experienced this. Did you find anything that helps?

Weighty Wednesday: The Beginning

Here I am at the beginning on my weight loss journey. I'm calling it the beginning because the last 5 weeks did not count. The 32 lbs I lost since giving birth were not due to anything I did.....it was just natural weight loss from having the baby and breastfeeding. But now is when the hard work starts. I'm going to have to actually make a conscience effort to be healthier in order to drop the rest of the weight.

According to the scale at the Dr. I have 4 lbs left to lose in order to be at my pre-baby weight. But I would like to lose an additional 26, for a total of 30 lbs. I plan on weighing in each Wednesday to track my progress. I'm giving myself until the end of the year to reach this goal, because I anticipate it will be difficult to stay on track with a baby. I will start out with small goals and gradually work my way up to more difficult challenges.

Here are my stats and goals for Week 1:
Lbs Lost so Far: 0
Lbs Left to Lose: 30
Weekly Goal #1: Take a walk every day. This shouldn't be too hard, assuming it doesn't start raining again. I'm not setting a time requirement for myself. My goal for the week is to simply get out of the house once every day for a walk with Ryan, and possibly Riley.
Weekly Goal #2: Eat 3 servings of fruits/veggies per day. This was so easy before I had the baby. But now, most meals are eaten standing up while holding the baby. I think the key here will be to plan ahead. If I am chopping veggies for dinner, I'll try to wash a few more to have on hand for a snack the following day. It's much easier to eat healthier foods when they are prepped and ready to grab whenever you are hungry.

So there you have it. Hopefully putting this out there on blogland will help me to remain accountable. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blog Changes

I have plans this week to make some new additions to my blog. While I love posting baby pictures and talking about being a new mom, I also want to write about other things in my life, such as weight loss and food.

My post-partum checkup is today, and once I know what my current weight is, I plan on setting a weight loss goal for the rest of the year. It will be something that I blog about every Wednesday, in a post titled "Weighty Wednesday". It's basically going to be a way to hold myself accountable and share my healthy tips with others.

In addition, I want to get back to posting about food and recipes. I love to cook and eat, but have not had much time to do either with a new baby. Every Friday I will try to post something about food....maybe an easy and healthy recipe, or a grocery store tip. I will title these posts "Foodie Friday".

I can't guarantee I will post these every single week, since having Ryan sometimes prevents me from doing anything! But I can promise I will continue to post cute pictures of Baby Ryan, and provide updates on how he is growing and changing. Right now I can tell you that he slept from 3:30am to 8am last night....the longest stretch ever! I'm not supposed to let him go longer than 4 hours without eating, but he was asleep and I was exhausted, so I just let him sleep. Bad Mommy.