Monday, February 29, 2016

Mommy Mondays: The Mom Bathing Suit

The ground hog was definitely on his game this year.  We are experiencing an early spring, it's almost summer here!  Warm, beautiful weather means that our beach days are not too far off.  And I'm already trying to work in swim classes to coincide with baseball games.

Shopping for bathing suits isn't really very fun for most women.  But for some reason, after women have babies, it becomes an even more daunting task.

Perhaps its because I have never been skinny, or because my large breasts have always made bathing suit shopping a battle involving covering up, but I didn't experience a huge change in finding a bathing suit after having kids.  So here's what I've learned in the past 30something years about finding a flattering, functional swimsuit.  And yes, functional is something that's definitely important when there are kids involved.

My current favorite bathing suit trend is the rash guard.  Because they are so cute right now - this one is from Athleta.  And probably the most functional of all swimsuits, because you don't have to worry about little hands pulling down a strap, or a breast flying out as you run across the pool or beach when your child attempts to make a break for the water.  The only downside is that these are not terribly great for nursing.

These are my favorite one pieces.  The high end version from La Blanca, a more affordable version from J.Crew.  Both have nice, thick straps which is really important in terms of dealing with grabby hands.  And both are ruched, which is a nice and forgiving for any extra weight you may carry in your midsection.

In terms of tankinis, I prefer halter tops, which I think provides the most support for larger breasts.  I also like the sweetheart neckline, which I think is the most flattering.  See - flattering and functional.  This one from Old Navy has a great flare at the hips also.

Two pieces are especially nice for nursing.  But they can be lacking in support.  I love the look of this one from Target.  The wide band under the cups offers a little more coverage, and the adjustable straps are a definitely plus.

 But the most important thing you can wear isn't the suit itself, it's confidence.  It's so easy to be harsh on yourself and your body. And bathing suits help with that, highlighting everything you perceive as a flaw.  The great thing about having a kid, is that your child will never judge the way you look in a swimsuit, just whether you spend time with them and play with them.  And there is nothing more attractive than a woman who looks like she's having a great time.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Runday: Mardi Gras Run Walk

Or the race that almost wasn't.

Or somehow bad starts always end up with good times.

This was one of those races where all my good plans just went to pot.

I set my alarm on extra loud, we all woke up and got out of the house on time.  Which was great, because when we pulled in to Mission Bay, the road was closed.  Which is weird, and should have been my first clue.  But it wasn't. 

We parked, and walked the mile to where the race started.  Except, it wasn't where the race started.  I hadn't bothered to check.  I just knew it was at Mission Bay and figured it would start where all the Mission Bay races started.  It didn't.

Of course, by that time, there was no way we were going to walk the mile back to the car and make it over to the race by the time the kids' dash started.  We got there about 10 minutes after that race had finished.  I felt terrible.  Thatkid had been so excited about the race.  I talked to the people running the race, and they said that if Thatkid ran the last part of the 5k with me, he could still "earn" his medal. Bonus point 1 for the race.

We picked up our bibs.  Instead of a t-shirt, this race offered light up Mardi-Gras hats.

The race had promised a bead and boa station, and the beads had been Thatkid's incentive for the race.  He wanted beads!  So we set off on a search for them.  And were disappointed there were no beads to be found.  We heard a rumor they were handing them out on the course, and I promised to get some for Thatkid.

I cheered on the start of the 15k and 10k, hit the bathroom, and then I was ready to run!  The course ran along a different part of Mission Bay.  One that was new to me.  It involved a nice, dedicated path along the water.  It wasn't terribly flat, but the hills were small and rolling.

I felt good during the first mile.  It wasn't as fast as my last race, but it was comfortable.  And the field was small, so not too much weaving.  Plus, I was getting texts like these from Thatboy:

At mile 1 I looked for beads, and didn't see any.  The turnaround was at mile 1.5, where there was a water station and volunteers handing out beads and "boas."  And that's when I figured out what a bead and boa station was.  I explained to them that I wanted some extra beads for my kid, and they hooked me up.  Bonus point 2 for the race.

When I hit mile 2,  I texted Thatboy a warning I was 10 minutes away, so he could get in position.  I slowed my pace a smidge, because I knew Thatkid would have been rested and was going to be sprinting those last few feet.  Just after mile 3, I picked up this little hitch-hiker, and we put on some "blazin' speed" and ran to the finish line together and collected our medals.

Given the comfortable pace, stopping to talk to the volunteers, and running with a 4 year old, I had already convinced myself this would be another 32 minute race.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw my time was 30:57.  I'd finally done it!  I beat my 32 minute streak!

I loaded Thatkid up with the beads and boas.

Despite my user error, I can't say enough good things about the race.  Good course, easy parking, sweet volunteers, a cool medal, and frankly the hat is cooler than a typical race shirt.  I also told Thatboy that as bad as I felt about missing the kids' run, I really loved finishing the race with Thatkid.  He's my favorite running buddy and it just makes my heart swell to hold his hand and take off.  I love that he loves it, and I love that he enjoys doing it with me.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Theme Parks with Friends: Sangria

Last month Thatkid ran the Legoland Marathon Mile with his friend Lexus.  One of the perks of the race was that we got free entry to the park for the kids, and 50% off adult tickets. 

The last race we did with Lexus also had us in a theme park, Sea World.  And the kids had such a great time in the park together, we figured we would do a repeat this time.  I was pretty excited on Thatkid's behalf, because there is nothing more fun than getting to ride rides with your friends.

He did do a couple rides with Thatboy, but spent most of the time with Lexus.  The two of them are just so cute together.  They figured out a way to share the glider board on the stroller.

Lexus talked Thatkid into hitting up Heartlake City, and then at some point he decided this was the "girl" part of Legoland and didn't want to go there.  This lasted a very brief time, and was completely surpassed by his ability to meet the girls of Heartlake City.  He was especially impressed by Stephanie.  During the show, he ran right up to her and gave her a huge hug.

Thatkid convinced his friend to join him for posing with some lego friends.  Because he's still in that "take my picture" phase.

And as anticipated, they had a fantastic time riding together.

Even Thatbaby got into the action.  He didn't get to hang out with a friend, but he did get to go on his first amusement park ride!

We had such a fantastic time with Lexus and her family.  It makes me so grateful Thatkid has such fantastic friends to share our adventures with.

Our current adventure involves oranges.  And I wish I had more friends to share with, because our tree is generous.  We picked over 60lbs of oranges!  Which means lots of orange juice, orange smoothies, and orange muffins.  Plus a drink that makes use of that orange juice!  It also uses red wine, which is my Friday night drink of choice during the winter. 

1 cup orange juice
3 cups red wine
1 orange, washed and sliced
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1 lemon, washed and sliced
confectioner sugar
soda water
  1. Mix together juice, red wine, and fruit and let stand 4-6 hours.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Stir in confectioners sugar and soda water to taste.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crave Wednesday: Southwest Turkey Burgers

The theme of this year's holidays was family.  And we continued that trend with a family vacation over New Year's Eve.  We headed out to Palm Desert with Toxicesq, Thatmom, her boyfriend, and TMIL.

The place was still decorated for Christmas, or at least our building was.

Toxicesq brought up a bunch of China's old books, which Thatkid was quick to share with her.

We hit up all our usual haunts, the outlets, the zoo, and the airplane museum.

And Thatbaby had his first taste of barbecue.

We are sorely lacking in good barbecue in my area.  Which means I have to make it myself.  But I'm not terribly adventurous with the grill.  Last Friday marked the 7 year anniversary of Thatdad's death.  He was the big barbecue guy in our family.  His ribs and chicken were unparalleled.   And it's one of those things where I never thought to learn from him, because I didn't expect him to not be there.

So instead, I mostly grill burgers and chicken.  Not even barbecue, just grill.  I don't have a great sauce of my own.

But I can grill a mean burger!  With the right ingredients inside, the lack of a sauce doesn't matter.  This turkey burger gets most of its flavors from the chiles.  Poblanos are nice, because they're not all spice, the have a great smokiness to them. 

Southwest Turkey Burgers (From Cooking Light)
2 poblano chiles
1 oz French bread baguette, sliced
1/4 cup 1% low fat milk
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 lb ground turkey breast
cooking spray
2 Tbsp canola mayonnaise
4 hamburger buns, toasted
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Cut poblanos in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.  
  2. Place poblanos, skin side down, on grill rack; grill 10 minutes or until blackened.  
  3. Place poblanos in a paper bag; fold to close tightly.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Peel and dice.
  4. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.  
  5. Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  6. Add cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder and next 4 ingredients.  Mix gently until just combined.
  7. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions; shape each portion into a 1/2 inch thick patty.  Press thumb in enter of each patty, leaving a nickel-sized indentation.
  8. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  9. Combine 1/4 tsp chili powder and mayonnaise. 
  10. Top bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 patty, about 1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise mixture, and bun top.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Mommy Mondays: 8 months with 2 kids

Sometime between 11pm and 3am - Thatkid wakes up screaming.  Bad dream?  We don't know.  Thatboy goes in and he's already back to sleep.  He doesn't remember anything in the morning.

3:17am - Thatbaby wakes up to nurse.

3:54am - Rather than go back to sleep for an hour, I've been showering if Thatbaby's wakeup keeps me up to 4am or later.  So this morning it's close enough where I jump in the shower, get dressed and load up the car.

4:22am - back to sleep for me!

6:00am - Thatboy's alarm goes off, so we both get up.  He walks the dog and I work on my hair and makeup.

6:08am - Thatkid is up.  He decides to work on a puzzle in his room, so I go back to hair/makeup.

6:25am - Thatkid calls me to show me his puzzle, which also wakes up Thatbaby.

6:45am - We all sit down for breakfast.  Thatkid has toast, cheese, and a smoothie, Thatbaby has cereal, and I have a peanut butter and jelly smoothie.

7:03am - breakfast is over, it's time for everyone to get dressed!  Thatkid also brushes his teeth, his hair, and washes his face.

7:27am - We leave for school.

7:48am - Arrive at Thatbaby's daycare

7:54 - leave Thatbaby's daycare

7:59am - arrive at Thatkid's preschool

8:05am - leave Thatkid's preschool

8:30am - Last night when I was making lunches for today I realized our avocado and cucumber were....not appropriate for eating.  Which threw a wrench in our lunch plans, so I make a quick stop at the store to pick up... cucumbers and avocado! (And tortilla chips, and granola bars for Thatkid)

8:50am - Head to work.

9:00am - Arrive at work, make some lactation tea, and get to work while I pump. 

9:55am - My boss emails me that he wants to meet with me before our client meeting.

10:16am - meeting with client

12:10pm - Meeting over, so I eat my lunch and pump.  Since I couldn't make lunch last night, I ended up grabbing a steak and ale pie from the freezer.

12:30pm - work.  I go through some medical records and some research projects.

3:00pm - last pump break of the day.  I also use this as a snack break.  My favorite snack right now is yogurt with granola.

3:25pm - leave work.

4:00pm - pick up Thatkid from school.

4:15pm - pick up Thatbaby from daycare and head to Thatkid's baseball practice.

4:30pm - arrive at baseball practice.  Thatkid practices baseball while Thatbaby takes a nap.

5:42pm - leave baseball and head home.

5:57pm - arrive home.  Unpack the kids and all my stuff.

6:10pm - nurse Thatbaby while Thatkid watches some television.

6:22pm - Thatboy arrives home from work and changes out of his workclothes.

6:30pm - Dinnertime!  Tonight we have Greek burgers, sans buns.

7:00pm - Thatboy gives Thatbaby a bath while I start clearing up and getting things ready for the next day.

7:17pm - I go in to nurse Thatbaby while Thatboy spends some time with Thatkid.

7:51pm - Thatbaby is asleep and Thatboy is giving Thatkid a bath.

8:01pm - Thatboy and I join Thatkid for a bedtime story.

8:19pm - Back in the kitchen.  I make collard green wraps for lunch the next day with the cucumber and avocado I picked up.

I also make blackbean and quinoa patties for dinner the next night.  Thatboy washes dishes.

8:42pm - Time for a little workout!

9:06pm - Pump.  My supply has been awful the past few days, so I take this opportunity to power pump.  Bleh.

10:06pm - Wash pump parts, lay out my clothes for the next day, read a chapter of my book, and head to bed.