Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Runday: Jingle Bell Run

This marks the 6th year I've done the Jingle Bell Run.  6 years!  It's kind of crazy when you think about it.  Thatkid has done this race every year he's been alive.  And now so has Thatbaby!

We bundled the boys up and put them in the wagon.  This was Thatbaby's first wagon experience.  Really, he's a bit too little for it, but nothing that cuddling with a big brother can't fix!

Timing-wise I feel like we're always rushing to the start line of this race.  But this year all the stars aligned and we got their early enough to do a quick run-around and pick up our bag from Sprouts - filled with fruit, Suja, water, powerade, cookies, and chips.  We also got to watch the warmup.  Which Thatbaby found fascinating.

Pretty soon it was time to start the race.  The taiko drummers were set up right at the beginning of the race.  (Which is coincidentally also right before the Finish line, so we got to see them twice!)

I love the support on this race.  It's a bunch of high school kids scattered throughout who yell, cheer, and ring bells.  They're adorable.  And have the perfect amount of energy for a cold, early morning.

Thatkid threw a fit shortly after crossing the start line, so he climbed out of the wagon and ran with me for a bit.  Which gave Thatbaby a nice cushy spot to fall asleep. 

Although there were plenty of people dressed in holiday garb, there were fewer costumes this year than in years past.  Of note was Olaf and Santa on stilts who was handing out candy canes.

As expected, after a little bit of running, Thatkid wanted back in the wagon.  And also as expected, Thatbaby eventually woke up from his nap.  Which is what happens when it takes you over an hour to do a 5k.  Thatkid spent part of the race entertaining his brother by singing Jingle Bells.

One of the things I love most about this race, is the family friendly expo.  Santa was present (although Thatkid wanted nothing to do with him), there were all sorts of Christmas crafts to partake in, and vendors geared specifically to kids (and dogs).  We always end up hanging out for quite a bit after the race.

One of the new things this year was the medal.  Every year it's the same, a red ribbon with a little medallion.  This year the medal part was huge!  Almost as big as Thatbaby's face!  And even though I've been doing this race for 6 years (before there even were medals) this is the first year I realized that the little ribbon attached to the medal is so that you can hang it as an ornament! 

I love doing this race as a family, and every year I enjoy it more and more as the boys get more out of it. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 6 Months

Weight: 16lbs 14 oz (+8lbs 10oz)
 Height: 27.75 inches (+6.25 inches)
 Head: 17 inches

Sleep:  I see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Currently our biggest issue is getting him to stay down for the night.  He does not want to do that.  He's up for hours before finally falling asleep.  Once he finally gets there he's been only waking up once.  And then again right after I wake up in the morning.  I had one night where I got 6 hours of sleep straight!

Eating: We introduced solids!  We're doing BLW again and Thatbaby is loving food.  He dove right in and shoves his mouth full of food.  Of course, most of it still falls out, but he certainly has vigor about it!  His favorite food right now is latkes, followed by meats, then vegetables, then fruit.  Although he is also a fan of pancakes and toast.

Best Moment: Decorating the tree with the whole family.  Well, the actual decorating was after Thatbaby was in bed.  But I did love showing him the result the next morning.  And watching Thatboy point out the lights and ornaments to him.

Monthly Wisdom: I'm really looking forward to the future.  We're not planning on having any more kids, and when I was pregnant, I was so looking forward to the newborn stage - that quiet, immobile, stage.  Full of tiny baby cuddles.  But I can't help it.  I'm so excited for Thatbaby to get to experience things, which won't happen until he's older.  And excited for us to have more family moments.  Plus I'm excited to sleep again at night.  But 6 months is such a turning point.  And I'm looking forward to it!   This is when we move from a fussy baby to a little guy with "real people" personality.

Goals for the Upcoming Month:
- More solids
- Work on baby signs.  We've started, and for the life of me I can't remember when I started with Thatkid. 
- Survive another family vacation.
- Survive a visit from the inlaws

Things Thatbaby is doing:
-CLIMBING.  UGH.  I was not expecting this since Thatkid never did it, but Thatbaby has started pulling himself up on his crib, his music table - anything he can.  He can't figure out what to do once he gets to the top, so usually he hangs out until he falls over.
-Eating real food
 -Getting on all fours.  Once he's there, he can't figure out what to do, so he usually hangs our until he falls over.
- Moving.  I don't even know how he does it, but he will end up across the rug from where I placed him.
- Crying and reaching for me when I'm not holding him.
- Lots of babbling.
- Loves modulating his voice with my finger up and down on his lips.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Smothered Steak Burgers

I love my husband, but honestly, the man thinks he's a doctor and doles out some of the worst medical advice in the world.

Recently he insisted he didn't need to get a flu shot because he didn't get one last year, and he didn't die of the flu when he was a baby, so Thatbaby is sure to be safe. 

And then we all get sick.  Not all at the same time.  It started with Thatboy, who got sick on Friday morning.  Then came Thatkid, who spent all Friday night throwing up.  It took me all the way till Sunday before my stomach started bothering me.  Thatboy insisted, despite the fact we weren't sick at the same time, or had eaten the same foods, that we had food poisoning.  He continued to insist this despite the fact that I found out kids in both Thatbaby and Thatkid's daycare/preschool had a similar bug.  And despite my showing him diagrams of viruses, and explaining how they work, he still insisted that the only way to get rid of them was through vomit or bowel movements - so I should make myself do one or the other.  You'll notice the line for treatment from Dr. Thatboy is not out the door.

I had my own way of dealing with the stomach bug - I spent the day doing nothing but drinking gatorade and water.  Lots of both.  By the next morning I felt as good as new.  And hungry!  I wanted to eat just about everything.  Like a real sink your teeth into burger.  Covered with a rich mushroom gravy.  Thick and messy, this is the probably the last thing you should be putting in your stomach once your stomach lets you put things in it, but for me it was just what the doctor ordered.

Smothered Steak Burgers (From Cooking Light)
Cooking Spray
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 package presliced mushrooms 
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium beef broth
1 Tbsp low sodium steak sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb ground sirloin
1/4 tsp salt
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato
4 bakery rolls
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shallots and garlic to pan.  Cook 1 minute or until tender, stirring frequentl.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high.  Add mushrooms to pan.  Cook 10 minutes or until moisture evaporats, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Combine broth, steak sauce, and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/4 tsp pepper.  Remove mushroom mixture from pan.  Cover and keep warm. 
  5. Wipe  pan with paper towels. Combine 1/4 tsp pepper, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  6. Add beef to bowl, toss gently to combine.  
  7. Shape beef mixture into 4 equal patties.  Press thumb in center of each patty, leaving a nickle sized indentation.  Sprinkle evenly with salt.
  8. Heat pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes.  Turn and cook 3 minutes.
  9. Place 1 lettuce leaf and 1 tomato slice on bottom half of each roll.
  10. Top each serving with 1 patty, about 1/4 cup mushroom mixture and top half of roll.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Nursing Clothes

When I wrote about my pics for maternity clothing, I got a note from one of my favorite blog-friends complaining about the void that is the nursing-friendly wardrobe.  And really, she couldn't be more right.

While the market for maternity clothes covers all your non-maternity favorites, the same cannot be said about nursing-friendly clothes.  I remember after having Thatkid my entire nursing wardrobe consisted of a couple of nursing tanks and nursing bras, and I just made do with layering them under regular shirts.  Dresses?  Almost completely retired from my wardrobe for the year I exclusively nursed/pumped.

The problem with nursing clothes is that they're just so...shapeless?  unflattering?  and of course, with giant slits in the front or on the side, they are entirely obvious.  And really, it's a shame that so much is put into the maternity clothes racket and not nursing clothes, since maternity clothes are often worn for a shorter period of time.

I had pretty much resigned myself to another year of a very limited wardrobe when I happened upon Love Milk.  The clothes were just so beautiful, I was completely surprised they were nursing friendly.  I ordered something, a dress.  Because a dress I could nurse in seemed like the holy grail of nursing clothes.

When my package arrived in the mail, I was giddy with glee.  Do you see the color? A deep, rich, royal purple.  The material was some of the softest I've felt.  Which is important.  I mean, you want your clothes to feel good, right?  And the although the dress was a little on the clingy side, it was so ridiculously flattering.  Another important aspect of good clothing. I was instantly sold.

I next ordered one of Love Milk's shirts.

Another gorgeous, vibrant, saturated color.  Flattering and comfortable. And equally perfect for wearing on the weekends with jeans as it is under a suit to court.  And let's talk about nursing access.  The folds and draping perfectly hide the areas where you can artfully place a baby's head.

This is me nursing Thatbaby.  In public.  In my beautiful shirt.  Anyone see anything inappropriate?  It covers just about everything.  And that drool stain on the arm only makes it more attractive, right?

I wrote to Love Milk to tell them how much I love their clothes.  And how I plan on living in them for the forseeable future.   And they sent me some items to review and tell you about.  Because they rock.  And it's no surprise that I love theses clothes as much as those I purchased.

The Ella shirt is a great casual shirt.  I like that the neckline is low, but not obscenely so - another problem with maternity and nursing clothes.  And as much as I love the jewel-tones of the previous pieces, this slate blue shirt goes with pretty much everything.

Charlie is so sweet and feminine with its lacy neck detail.  I wear this to work about once a week.  It looks fantastic under a suit, paired with a skirt or slacks.  I have a similar non-nursing shirt that I also adore, so I knew I'd be a fan of this.

But my all time favorite Love Milk item is the Tara Sweater Dress.  What don't I love?  It has the colors I love.  It's ridiculously comfortable.  And the neckline is so much fun!  I really love cowl necks, but they can get really stretched out with nursing.  This one doesn't.  And it perfectly hides the nursing access, which includes a built in cami top. I plan on cuddling up in it all winter long!

Love Milk is the kind of company that I can really get behind.  I think my stance on breastfeeding is pretty clear, and anything that makes it easier for a nursing mama gets my vote.  Being able to look and feel beautiful during that time really helps in that regard.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Kris Kross Will Make You...

The great thing about "birthday season" is that we get introduced to whole new places of entertainment for Thatkid.  Like our recent adventure at Get Air, a local trampoline park. 

We were there for Ironman's birthday, which reunited this group of wild children.

These three guys are Thatkid's best friends at school.  Every day they find new and creative ways of getting into some sort of trouble.  They managed to keep up this reputation at the trampoline park as each of them had a turn hurting themselves or someone else.

Thatkid had a fantastic time, and never stopped moving, jumping, and fooling around with his friends.  They are such goofs.

Thatkid drinks either water or milk at home.  We don't have much else to offer.  However, when he's hanging out with his friends, I like to have alternative choices available.  I know that most of his friends probably drink a lot more juice than he does.  This punch is fun for kids because it takes the juice and adds "bubbles."  It's great for any holiday parties you have coming up.  Make sure to use herbal tea, because if your monkeys are anything like mine, they don't need the caffeine.  

 Citrus Punch
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart hot tea
1 quart orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 quart ginger ale
  1.  Dissolve the sugar in the hot tea.
  2.  Mix together with the citrus juices.
  3. Pour over ice.
  4. Just before serving, add the ginger ale.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving: Irish Coffee

I mentioned yesterday that the best part of Thanksgiving is that it heralds in the holiday season.  And that wasn't entirely fair.  Thatboy and I were discussing the fact that Thanksgiving is usually bypassed in favor of the more glamorous Christmas. 

A local radio station has been playing Christmas music for weeks.  All month houses have been decorated in lights.  Stores are loaded with Christmas items and decorations.  And it's not Christmas-time!

It makes me a little sad.  Thanksgiving is a holiday which celebrates community and family.  It transcends race and religion (for the most part.  I mean, I would imagine that I would have different feelings if I were Native American).  And although Christianity remains the majority religion here in the states, Thanksgiving embraces a much larger percentage of the population. 

I really love the family aspect of Thanksgiving.  For as long as I can remember, it has always been a time when we opened our doors and the house was filled with warmth and laughter.  Part of the delight is that I am lucky enough to have an amazing family.  There is very little family drama, no crazy drunk uncle, or senile grandparent.  Everyone genuinely likes each other.

Even within my own immediate family, Thanksgiving has some of my favorite holiday traditions.  Thatkid has been asking for about a week when we get to drink cocoa and watch the parade.  Because Thanksgiving is the first day of the year I break out the hot cocoa. 

It's also the time of year to start with the festive holiday drinks.  Many of which contain alcohol.  Like mulled wine or egg nog.  Irish Coffee is a fantastic way to stay warm during the holiday season.  I make mine with decaf coffee because drinking caffeine in the evening means less sleep than I'm already getting! 

Irish Coffee
1 shot of Irish Whiskey
1 tsp sugar
1 cup coffee
whipped cream

  1. Put the Irish Whiskey in the bottom of a mug.
  2. Stir in the sugar and add piping hot strong coffee.
  3. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Crave Wednesdays: Grilled Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread

Are you so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow?  I have to admit, I could give or take Thanksgiving itself.  The thing that I love about Thanksgiving is that it heralds in the holiday season.  I mean, the food is fine, but really you can have turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pie any day of the year.  And chances are, you do, even if they're not all together.

We're spending Thanksgiving with my cousins this year, as Thatmom is out of the country, and I couldn't be happier about spending time with family.  Even if it does mean no Thanksgiving leftovers!  For those of you that are going to be swimming in turkey, here's a great use for it.  It calls for ground turkey, but would work just as well with shredded.   It feels light and fresh, which is welcome after the heavy holiday meal.  Anything with spinach and yogurt makes me feel inherently healthy anyway.  Which is perfect since we're about to delve into the season of hot cocoa and cookies!
Grilled Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread (From Cooking Light)
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground turkey breast
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
cooking spray
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
6 green lettuce leaves
6 slices red onion
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients and 1/8 tsp pepper in a large bowl, mixing gently. 
  2. Divide turkey mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/4 inch thick patty.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  4. Combine 1/8 tsp pepper, yogurt, and next 4 ingredients (through mint) in a small bowl, stirring well.  
  5. Layer bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 onion slice, if desired, 1 patty, 1 1/2 Tbsp yogurt mixture, and top half of bun.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 5 Months

Weight: 15lbs 10 oz (+7lbs 6oz) (from 4 months)

 Height: 27 inches (+5.5 inches) (from 4 months)
 Head: 16 3/4 inches (from 4 months)

Sleep:  Sleep?  I vaguely remember what that was like.  We're still in the throws of some pretty terrible nights.  In a "good" night he's up twice.  More often than not he's up every 2 hours.  And up for the day before 5am.  I'm exhausted.  Usually I get to work a couple minutes early and sleep in the car, but that extra few minutes doesn't make up for the hours I'm not getting at night.

Eating: I'm breaking even with the fourth pumping session so I officially make enough for Thatbaby at daycare!  His daycare provider asked me to send in an extra couple of ounces and I put my foot down.  He ate so much less when he was at home with Thatmom, or Thatboy, and I really don't want to try to squeeze in another pumping session.  I brought in some teething toys for him to chew on instead of eating, and that seemed to work.  Plus she realized that he was wanting to eat whenever she was eating, and with that knowledge she was able to figure out when he was actually hungry, and when he just wanted to join her.

Best Moment: Halloween went so well!  I figured he'd sleep the whole time, but he stayed awake.  And instead of fussing in his stroller, as he is wont to do, especially when tired, he just chilled out and watched everything around him.

Monthly Wisdom: There are various times during infant/toddlerhood when eating out is harder than other times.  We've entered that state.  Thatbaby used to sleep in a carrier through meals, he doesn't anymore.  And he's still too small, not a stable enough sitter for the highchair at restaurants.  So my diaper bag has become a lot like Santa's bag - filled to the brim with toys and distractions.  At home, he sits with us for breakfast and lunch on the weekends, with his high chair tray filled with silicone baking cups - the ultimate baby toy.  Soft and pliable, mouth friendly, and stackable. I'm really looking forward to next month when we start BLW.  Not because I'm anxious to start solids, but because it will keep him occupied!

Goals for the Upcoming Month:
-Thanksgiving - I hope it goes well. 
- Santa visit - also hoping it will be a success
- More sleep?  Well, it can be a goal even if it's unrealistic

Things Thatbaby is doing:
-putting EVERYTHING in his mouth
-Reaches to touch people (especially family)
- waking up when he hears Thatkid's voice
- joining us for breakfast/lunch at the table
- LOVES Sophie the Giraffe
- Trying to grab food off our plates, out of our hands....

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Runday: Fit Foodie 5k

I've been remiss in not posting about the Fit Foodie 5k.  I wish I had a better excuse than life, but I don't.  But let that not lead you to believe the race was any less amazing than last year.  It remains one of my favorite San Diego races.

Like last year, I stayed downtown the night before the race, and ran down to the start.  Or rather, past the start since it had moved slightly this year.  I like the new starting/finishing area, and the slight change of course.  It leads to a more picturesque finish.

 There were warm ups being led by Stacey McDermott and The Q Crew.

And cooking demonstrations by Cooking Light and Better Body Foods.

There was also an amazing coffee bar set out, with different flavored syrups, whipped cream, and travel mugs to take with us.

The race started, right on time and we were off! Because I was partaking in the Finisher's Village a little early, I ended up being towards the back of the pack.  Which was fine because I wanted to take it a little easy since this really was my first 5k back. 

And I did.  I didn't push myself, just went for an easy run.  For the first mile.  When my Nike+ app came on and told me I ran under a 10 minute mile.  And I wasn't even trying!  I knew I wasn't going to keep that up, but I did decide I was going to push it a little.  I dropped my speed a bit for the last two miles, but still hit 3 miles at 30 minutes.  Which was much faster than expected.  The finish was slightly longer than a 5k, my app read that when I finished I had run 3.22 miles in 32 minutes.  Not so bad considering my times during pregnancy, and just before.

Right after I crossed the finish I got a text that my pit crew had arrived!

Thatkid and I went around the Finisher's Village, taking pictures and sampling all kinds of goodies.  By the time it was time to go, we had accumulated quite the stash.

That's a Fabletics bag, sunscreen/lipbalm, sports wipes, a travelmug, t-shirt, Wasa-crackers, Cookie Thins (which I am madly in love with), Sabazon acai engery drink, olives, yogurt, granola bars, luna bars, kashi bars, bread, Justin's nut butter, quest bars, deoderant, sunglasses, toothpaste, ice/warming packs, oatmeal, popcorn, water, chips, and organic girl juice.

The race was a swimming success and I've already got a team lined up for next year!

Friday, November 06, 2015

A Homemade Life: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper

Saturday marked one of my favorite days of the year - Halloween!  And it;s so nice to have the holiday fall on a weekend.  We had a leisurely, relaxing day leading up to the main event, instead of trying to rush home from work and eat and change into costumes.

We got our Halloween decorations up the weekend before.

But Saturday found me finishing the last off our pumpkins. (I told you I was behind this year!)

We got our first trick-or-treaters right before 6pm, so we all hurried to get dressed and ready, and get the night started!

After a number of different costume choices, Thatkid finally decided on Ironman earlier this month.  We decided to go off of his idea and wear costumes that stuck with this theme.

I thought it would be fun for Thatboy to dress as Nick Fury, and he loved the idea.  But then he couldn't get his bald cap to work so well, and he forgot his eye patch.  Personally, I think he looks like Daddy Warbucks.

As for Thatbaby and I, Thatkid thought he should be Ironman also, but I took it a different direction.  Since costumes are hard for babies, I figured a simple onesie would be easiest, and dressed him as Iron Man's alter ego - Tony Stark.  Since I'd be "assisting" him all night, I went as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts.

Thatkid has trick or treating DOWN this year.  It warmed my heart to hear him tell every house "Happy Halloween" following his "thank you" after his receipt of candy.

We don't have a ton of houses who participate in trick or treating in my neighborhood - I think due to too many years of inactivity on the part of trick or treaters.  In fact, we saw twice as many other trick-or-treaters this year as opposed to last year, so I think it's starting to pick up.  Which means the houses that do hand out candy are very, very, generous.  Full sized candy bars and the request for Thatkid to take multiple handfuls of candy.

His bucket was filled to the brim!

I'm very meh about candy this year.  Which is odd, since nursing usually gives me a sweet tooth.  And in a way I do have a sweet tooth, it's just not geared toward chocolate.  I'm having major fruit cravings as of late.  Which is a shame since this is a terrible time for most fruits.  With the exception of apples, pears, and grapes.  And of the three, grapes are my vice of choice since they're the sweetest.  I love them plain, I love them frozen, and this recipe for pickled grapes is a very interesting alternative.  I was hesitant about trying it, but these suckers are addictive.  They have that easy  quality that all grapes have, where you just throw one after another in your mouth.  And they combine sweetness, spice, and sour vinegar.  I'm always a fan of complementary flavors, so that mix works for me!

Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper (From A Homemade Life)
1lb seedless grapes
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Rinse and dry the grapes, and pull them carefully from their stems.  Using a small, sharp knife, trim away the "belly button" at the stem end of the grape, exposing a bit of the flesh inside.  Put the grapes into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then pour the mixture over the grapes.  Stir to combine.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. While the grapes cool, wash 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in warm soapy water.  When the grapes are cool, ladle them into the jars.  Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Serve cold.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Sunday Runday: Into the Woods

There is no better way to start a holiday morning than with a run.  And that includes the holiday of Halloween.

Yesterday morning the lovely SDMom organized a "spooky" run for us all at Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.  Despite a rough night with Thatbaby, I headed out - since I'm currently in training for a half marathon.

This was my first time at Los Penesquitos Canyon and I was really impressed. 

The trail is nice and wide open, AND flat! It's also very wooded.  One of my running buddies says it always makes her feel like she's in "Into the Woods."

And running in the woods is a little spooky on Halloween.

The way is clear,
The light is good,
I have no fear,
Nor no one should.

The woods are just trees,
The trees are just wood.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that there's a grave right off the trail.

Lately, probably due to fatigue, I've been really off.  So yesterday morning was no different.  I ended up heading back a little earlier than the rest of the group, and then missing the turn off back to the park.  Which meant I got an extra mile in.  No worries, we were all able to meet up for a little "trunk or treating" after.