Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Cooking Day(s) #7

This weekend the cooking joy encompassed 2 days, and once again, I think we've gotten a week's worth of food!

We've (finally!) had a "cold" front, so I was wanting foods that would warm our bodies and our home.  My favorite winter meal is roast, for that reason, so that's what we cooked on Saturday.  My recipe is simple: buy a big honking chuck roast (that's a technical term), put Season Salt and Garlic Powder all over it, rub it in, etc.  Put it in a (floured) oven browning bag in a 9x13 pyrex.  Cut an onion into quarters and place one in each corner.  Divide a bag of baby carrots on all sides.  Stick a bay leaf on top.  Pour in water until you're almost to the top of the roast, however much it takes.  Close up the bag, cut a few slits in the top, and bake for 2-3 hours (for a 2-3 lb roast) at 325.  It makes the house smell amazing, it gives you a roast so moist and tender that it is falling apart, it gives you some super-yummy carrots, and it gives you gravy that makes mashed potatoes taste like heaven.  We ate some that night, and have at least another meal's worth.

Sunday I did the slow cooker Barbecue Chicken, and a Quiche.  We had the quiche for lunch and have another meal's worth left over, and the chicken for dinner and have a meal's worth left over, and that takes us through Wednesday!  Thursday we can have frozen pizza or eat sub sandwiches.

I was also pleased with the 2 day approach because I ate more healthily all weekend using this method - we only ate out on Friday evening (for Preston's dad's birthday), and we never felt the need to eat out the rest of the weekend because there was always something nommy (also a technical term) about to come out of the oven!

Also, Zoë really really likes quiche, yay!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

First Tooth Pic

I've been trying to get a picture of Zoë's first tooth since it came in almost 2 months ago.

This is the best I've been able to do.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zoë's First Birthday Pics

On the actual day:
There was an awesome 2 liter bottle at Gramma and Papi's.

And a balloon from daycare!

And Gramma, who taught her to remove the lid from said bottle, and she was very excited about it!
 And then at the party:
There was a book!

And Papi read it to her.

There was a cupcake!
Which she really wasn't sure was for eating.
The wrapping paper was far yummier than the cupcake.

There was her wagon that she shared with Cousin Ethan!

And more reading with Mommy and Daddy.

Birthdays = fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Cooking Day #6

(No run this morning - even though the Rangers got rained out last night, the Z woke up twice in the night, so I slept in.)

This BCD was a win for the bake sale, and a fail for family dinners.

I made 2 batches of the Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins and the Pineapple Pecan Cake with cream cheese icing.  Both totally made from scratch.  And they did very well at the bake sale - I reckon I was responsible for over $30 of what we earned!

I'm not only the baker, I'm also a client.

And I unfroze the 2nd half of the crockpot Chicken Curry and made that.  But it turned out that that was only 1 night worth of food, and we ate it on Sunday night!

So the rest of this week has been a total scramble.  Monday I had Preston pick up Murphy's sub sandwiches for us and my parents who are in town.  Tuesday we ate PBJ sandwiches, and Wednesday my mom did a Breakfast for Dinner night at her house with pancakes, french toast, and bacon.  (And the Z loved her pancakes and drank a ton of milk out of a glass, yay!)  I have absolutely no idea what we'll do tonight - maybe frozen pizza(s).  But I'm off on Friday so we'll be back in business with more healthy eating then.  All this daily uncertainty about what to eat for dinner has really reminded me of why I do the BCD's, and how I need to not lose my focus on the purpose, which is to feed my family Monday through at least Wednesday, preferably Thursday.  But the bake sale is for charity and only once a year, so I wouldn't go back and change things...  I do know that as the holidays approach, though, I'll probably be tempted to stray again.  I need to remind myself to keep on track - fun baking is extra!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Which I Talk About Running



Ok, so they have been short, tiny runs.  But I've been running!

About a mile and a half yesterday morning.  I didn't have much time, but I didn't use that as an excuse.  That was the first best thing about that run.  The second best thing was how I felt: which was not like I was going to die!  THat is such an improvement, let me tell you!  I mean, on the 3 miler last week I started bargaining with myself about not walking before I was a quarter of a mile in. But yesterday morning I never felt the need to walk, and I felt.... lighter, easier, more on top of my running.  I was still slow as all get-out, but I ran and I didn't walk and I felt good.  And for me right now, that is HUGE.

Then I decided to go again this morning.  My logic: I'm going to be up late tonight watching MY Texas Rangers WIN THE WORLD SERIES (if you will it, it will happen!), so I'm going to want to sleep in tomorrow.  So I need to run today.  So I did.  2 miles this time.  And while the legs were a little heavier from the day before, this was also a startlingly good and successful run.

I've decided that the current weather is perfect for my running habit.  Not for running in, don't get me wrong - don't ever let anyone tell you that anything warmer than 60 is good weather for running - but for getting out there and just getting it done.  Often.  It is about 70 degrees out in the mornings right now, and there is an INSANE drought going on down here.  70 is perfect because I'm neither hot nor cold when I roll out of bed, and therefore there is nothing mentally holding me back from going outside.  Obviously when it is hotter it is difficult because if you're hot standing still, you know you're going to be miserable while running.  And when it is cold you know it'll be awesome while you're running, but there is the great freezing getting-out-of-bed issue, followed by the great freezing warm-up issue before you get to the good part.  But right now... right now I just go.  And once I'm running I'm hot but not miserable.  And the drought is actually helpful just because rain never stops me either.

By the way, on the drought.  So it rained down here the other week.  Lots of rain.  You know, for like the 5th time since Zoë was BORN.  Apparently mosquito eggs down here lie dormant until a big rain.  And since there had been no rain, when it finally happened, the ENTIRE SUMMER's crop of mosquitoes hatched SIMULTANEOUSLY.  They may not be so big you can ride them, but there are certainly enough to create flying carpets to replace cars as transportation for every Houstonian.  Which is another awesome thing about running at the butt-crack of dawn: it is too early even for the mosquitoes!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

Here's a long weekend wrap-up for you, complete with photos!
Fun in the car as I came home from work.
Friday was a normal day, except that I had to take the Menace to the car doc AGAIN because the idle control valve thingy that they installed the other month really doesn't seem to be working properly.  And except we hit the carwash on the way home from dinner at Jax. And by "hit the carwash" I mean "visited the awesome gumball machine".

Contemplating her vertical leap ability.

Saturday morning we went to the Madza dealership for Preston's car's 10k check-up.  All systems nominal.  And we browsed at CX-7s and CX-9s for me.  You know, just in case the Menace continues to misbehave.

The dealership must have left their balloons out over night just for the Z.
After that we headed back home to try putting the Z down for a nap sans boob for the first time ever.  I had asked the daycare ladies for advice on Friday, and basically the party line was (gently) hold her down with one hand on her back and pat her butt in a heartbeat pattern.  It'll take 20 minutes, at least, and she'll squirm and struggle, but eventually she'll fall asleep.  Don't give up, don't lose patience.

Well, they were right about everything but the 20 minutes - it was more like 35!  But eventually she did comply, and she took a nice looooong nap once she was finally asleep!

Once she woke up, we headed to a local pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin to carve.  It was really pretty cool: they had a little goat pen and tons of pumpkins, and for when she's older, hayrides, train rides, and a bounce house slide thingy.  But for now, we just looked at the goats and all the pumpkins and all the other kids.  Z had a great time!

Shy at the petting zoo.

Little pumpkin in the pumpkin patch.
 We stopped by Freebirds on the way home, but Z was asleep in the car, so we made it take out.

Sunday we watched the very last episode of Star Trek: Voyager.  I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I've been doing a watch of every Star Trek ever.  I was never a Trekkie before - it seemed like the series never hit me in the right way or at the right time.  So it started when I saw the new movie.  I wanted to understand all the references, so I started watching TOS.  Then when I was done, I was thoroughly sucked in and that led nicely into TNG, which led to DS9 (watched while pregnant and then breastfeeding), and finally Voyager.  And now I'll move on to Enterprise.

The funny thing is that I get the same feeling with the end of an episodic series that I get when I finish a long good book.  I mean, I've been watching Voyager for probably 9 months, now.  I cried during the last episode.  Until the end I claimed DS9 as my favorite Star Trek series, but now I'd have to say Voyager - I liked the ending that much better.  I hope Enterprise doesn't disappoint, and can't even imagine what I'm going to do when I've seen all of them!

Sunday also involved some extreme cooking, and a belly ache.  More on the cooking in a later post.  No more on the belly ache, unless it attacks the Z. :-)  Onward!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baby Excuses Over

I just read this.  And she's right.  One year is long enough to play the "I just had a baby" card.  I'm still allowed to play the "I'm nursing" card, but that's a much smaller card!!  Time to buck up or shut up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Partial Weaning

Ugh, this is so hard!

So the last few weeks, my daytime/afternoon supply has been dwindling.  Evidenced by the Z's marathon hour+ nursing sessions last weekend.  And by the fact that I'm getting 5.5 oz combined MAX from my 2 daily at-work pumping sessions, instead of my former 8-10 oz.  And really what I'm seeing is a relatively normal 4-4.5 oz session in the morning, followed by a 1-1.5 oz session in the afternoon that has had me asking why I'm bothering.

I don't know why I'm losing my afternoon supply.  This all started the week that my colleague died, and that week I chalked it up to stress.  I ate well and drank tons of water the following weekend, tried to make my peace with his death, and saw a slight rebound in my supply.  I continued those good practices, but what I listed above is as good as it has gotten.  At this point, it may have been initially a reaction to stress, but I don't think it is necessarily recoverable, and honestly I don't know if I want it to be.

I mean, yes, in a perfect world, I don't feel ready to be done nursing.  And in a perfect world I'd stay home with my baby, and we'd keep our 4 daily nursing sessions: morning, down for both naps, and night.  But I've got to get it through my head that we don't live in a perfect world.  And I can't be with her for 2 of those sessions on 5 days a week.  And that is 10 pumping sessions.  And I am soooo sick of pumping.  Especially for a 1.5 oz yield.  And my place of work has been really understanding, but I can't go on like this forever.  Maybe this is my body's way of telling me that it is time to drop a session.

But when I think of how excited she gets when we ask her if she wants milk and she sees me getting ready and then how sweet she is as she falls asleep while nursing... well, I'm crying, again.

I keep trying to remind myself that we're not talking about total weaning.  Just about 1 session right now.  5 obnoxious pumping sessions per week.  And 2 sweet weekend nap nursing sessions.  Sigh.  I worry about how we're going to get her to go down without the boob.  And I worry that once I've taken this step, it'll lead to the eventual decrease of my supply for another session.  And then another.  And then another and she'll be weaned.

But that's all a part of her growing up.

But I'm not ready yet.  And Zoë doesn't seem ready yet.  She still responds so positively to nursing.  And her little immune system is still only 60% of an adult's.  And she's in daycare.  And it's flu season.  Ugh!

You know, they say that the very first time you give a baby solid food, you've begun the weaning process.  And she did take less at that point: she went from 40+ oz per day to only 30+ oz per day.  But she still ate or nursed what seemed like constantly (every 2 hours, and for a while even more often than that), so I never really felt it then.  Even until very recently she was still nursing 6 times a day.  It has only been in the last few weeks that I've really noticed that she only seems to need/want to nurse when it is time to sleep... I was able to drop the 5pm mommy-just-got-home-from-work nursing session with absolutely no difficulty at all.  And dropping that one and the 3:30am pumping session - well, honestly, both of those were really a relief!  And these 2 daytime ones will really be a relief on the weekdays, too.  It is just the weekends I'm not sure about.

I just feel totally torn up about the whole thing.  But I've managed to vacillate long enough to say for certain that I'm only pumping once today.  And I only pumped once yesterday.  There's no going back now.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I ran!

Woke up this morning, unengorged, and popped out of bed for a 30 minute run.  Slow, but no walking.  And now I have a baseline for how far I can go in 30 minutes, so I can proceed with trying to beat it.  (From the top of the hill, on the short PW out-and-back loop, back to about halfway up the hill.)

Important things about this morning's run:
I got out of bed quickly.  FINALLY.
My boobs weren't engorged (THANK YOU!), so I was not in pain and capable of running.
I can run even though I have a strange rib injury.
I mentally forced myself not to walk.  It was difficult, but I did it.

Interesting things I noticed about this morning's run:
100% humidity (i.e. it started raining on me) feels better than 99% humidity.
Weather that is lovely for walking my warm-up isn't so awesome once I start running.

Earworm for this morning's run:
Shine by Collective Soul

A morning run really starts my day off right!

Big Cooking Day #5

Again, wasn't so gigantic, but the principle continues to work well for us.  Next weekend will be HUGE, so you've got that to look forward to!

I made Crock Pot Girls Chicken n' Dumplings, with a few modifications.  I used a whole bag of whole baby carrots (easy, less prep), one entire unit of celery (I really prefer to use the whole of what I buy if it is something like celery because I'm not likely to use it for anything else before it goes bad), and half of a giant sweet onion.  We also added 2 heads of broccoli.  And we used chicken thighs instead of breasts - we both prefer dark meat, and it is cheaper, win-win!  Preliminary reaction was that the crockpot was suuuuuuper full.  Scarily full.  So full that I was concerned that I'd be able to get the dumplings in.  Second reaction was that this is far more liquidy than the stuff I've been making.  Not sure I was looking for a soup, but it really looks like a soup.  Third reaction was that 8 hours is a long time, and unlike my other recipes, I wasn't given the 4 hours on high alternative.  Not sure if that'd have worked or not, so I went for the 8 hours on low, and added the dumplings at about 6.5 hours, and finished the dish prematurely at 7.5 hours.  The chicken appeared very fully cooked, so I don't think that was a problem, and I was ready for bed!!  Preston's first impression was that it tastes yummy. :-)  I'll be trying it tonight!

On Saturday, Preston and I made the Lemon Fish and Garlicky Cream Corn, so we have a little corn left over for the week.

For Sunday, I made the Maple Glazed Salmon.  We were going to have garlic veg (the kind you buy in a bag - probably need to develop/find my own recipe here), but I didn't make it to the store, so we just had rolls with it and called it a night.  This was only ok with me because I know we'll get a lot of veg the rest of the week from the crock pot recipe.

That was actually it for the cooking day.  I'm counting on 2 nights with the crock pot, 1 night we'll have steak and baked potatoes, and one night we'll have an Amy's frozen pizza.  And then Friday we'll go out!

Next weekend I'll be baking for an annual bake sale that my department holds.  I've alread pre-sold a batch of Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, so I intend on making 2 batches.  I'll also make Brownies (not from scratch), Pineapple Pecan Cake (from scratch, and always a huge hit), and possibly some sort of cookie... I've got my eye on an easy looking Vinegar cookie recipe (from scratch).  All this means that it'll definitely be a weekend for one of the frozen halves of a crock pot recipe.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Vitamins

This conversation actually happened.  It was the day before Z's 1 year well-baby check-up.

"Are you giving Zoë her vitamin drops?"
"No, I haven't been for months - they were nasty, she hated them, and she just spit them out immediately.  I decided it wasn't a battle worth fighting."
"Are you going to tell the Pediatrician?"
"Of course."
"Good.  Maybe that's why she's such a small baby."
"What, because I don't give her vitamins?"
"That's BULLSHIT.  I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

Ironically, I heard this story on NPR on my way into work this morning.

People began taking vitamin supplements in the 1930's (shockingly little history on the supplement industry out there, sorry I resorted to Wikipedia which isn't exactly an authoritative source, but it does illustrate my point), and I can only assume widespread use didn't begin until later.  So that means that humans have managed to survive and thrive as a species without vitamins for how long?

MY BABY is NOT skinny because she doesn't get her daily vitamin drops.  She is skinny because her mom was naturally skinny (until she hit her mid 20's),  her dad was naturally skinny (until he got married), and genetically she comes from a long line of primarily not-fat people.  She was born skinny (perhaps because I ran while pregnant?), and according to her Pediatrician, as long as she stays in the same general percentage zone, there is no cause for concern.  Read: she's just a skinny baby.  Furthermore, she is breastfed, and I feed her a well-balanced diet of primarily organic solid food.  For the record, I did tell the Pediatrician that I don't give the Z her vitamins, and she didn't even bat an eyelash.

And, the American Academy of Pediatrics ONLY recommends a vitamin D supplement.  Which I was giving to the Z until the Pediatrician prescribed the nasty iron vitamin drops that made us quit altogether.  If I had done my proper research back then, I would have just bought a cheap OTC D supplement and kept calm and carried on.  Instead, I let myself get freaked out and had an over-reaction (to quit entirely).  I'll know better next time, but in the meantime, my kid is just fine.

I love this link.

Just eat a balanced, healthy diet of whole foods that you cook yourself.  Know what you're eating, and try to do a good job of getting a variety of foods.  That's it.  It isn't rocket science.  And you don't have to pad the pockets of shady vitamin companies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No Politics in the House

Seriously, I really don't want to get into a political debate with anyone.  I'll put it out to the world that I don't align with either party, and I vote for whoever I think is the best candidate.  Therefore, I'm not following the Republican primaries.

But I heard this yesterday morning on the radio, and I can't get it out of my head.

In response to one candidate's 999 economic plan (9% tax on income, sales, and corporations), another candidate says this: "When you take the 999 plan, and turn it upside down, the devil's in the details."

I know nothing about the validity or invalidity of the plan.  I do not know if it would work or not.  I care, but only slightly, because let's be honest: it'll never come to fruition.  Even if what's-his-name gets elected, he'll still be mired in our current code, trying desperately to get us out of an economic crisis while he's unable to actually *change* ANYTHING because CONGRESS legislates, the president merely enforces their laws.  But I digress.  How is that comment acceptable in a DEBATE?  The definition of "debate" is as follows: A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.  THAT IS NOT AN ARGUMENT.  That is just a stupid Stupid STUPID barb.  Totally pointless.  What does it say about the state of American politics that that was an acceptable statement in a political "debate"?  Where is the substance?  Why don't we demand substance?  What does it say about us as a people that this kind of behavior from our elected (and wanna be elected) officials is acceptable?  If this plan isn't going to work, and I shouldn't elect what's-his-name because of that, then you need to tell me why.  Why won't it work?  What do you propose that will work better?  Or should a president not be an economics major?  Then tell me who you're going to hire and why they'd be able to fix everything.  Or tell me why you wouldn't be able to fix anything BECAUSE YOU CAN'T.  I don't care.  But don't just sling mud around the stage.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Big Cooking Day #4

Not so big, but not skipped!

On the list:
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Healthy Mama Barbecue Chicken (from frozen from Big Cooking Day #1)
Florentine Quiche
Garlicky Cream Corn
Maple Grilled Salmon

Managed to accomplish everything but the corn and salmon = not bad! (We went to Freebird's instead. :-) Because it was RAINING, yay!!)

The quiche is the only thing on here that I haven't talked about before.  Here is the recipe (my mom's) in a nutshell (without amounts, because my memory sucks): thaw a package of chopped frozen spinach, wring out the water, combine with shredded cheddar that you've tossed in a bit of flour, plus mayo and eggs and some kind of small meat (I prefer turkey or ham cubes, but if we can't find that I do turkey bacon bits.  My parentals like regular bacon.), mix it all together, put in a frozen pie crust and bake for 40 minutes at 350.  This stores well in the fridge and heats up well in the microwave, so it is actually a great candidate for a Big Cooking Day.

Along those lines, I'm really looking forward to some cooler weather so that I can make Roast, Stew, Mulligatawny, and others that are best reserved for fall and winter!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zoë!

My dear, sweet baby girl,

You're not such a baby any more!

I've spent 30 years living, and I never knew the difference a year could make until I met you.  I mean, think about it: in one single turn around the sun, you've: grown almost a foot(!),  tripled your weight(!), eaten your first tasty morsels, taken your first steps, spoken your first words, blown your first kisses, laughed your first giggles, and smiled the first of what I hope is a lifetime of smiles.

You've transformed from a tiny little passive (screamy, poopy, sleepy) newborn into an actual person with wants and needs and emotions and reactions and preferences!

I'm getting a little tear in my eye just thinking about it.

So where are you at a year?

You're 19 pounds 2 ounces (17th percentile) and 29.5 inches tall (60th percentile).  I don't remember the circumference of your head, but it is in the 85th percentile!  You're walking.  A LOT.  And very well, too.  Almost running, really.

You love to dance.  And you love music of any sort.  The best is still the theme song from Star Trek Voyager, but you also really love Everlong by the Foo Fighters.  And you clap your hands when we sing If You're Happy And You Know It.

Your favorite food is fruit.  Yes, I know that fruit is a food GROUP, but you really love all fruit.  You eat cut up peaches, strawberries, plums, pears, and you squeal with glee when a jar (or more likely bag) of baby fruit wanders your way.  Veggies are totally nom nom when they're mixed with fruit, though you eat them pretty well without fruit, too.  You were a really great eater until very recently, but just in the last week or so, not so much.  I'm not sure if you're developing your preferences and you've just decided that everything I'm serving you tastes like dog food, or if you're teething.  Right now I'm betting on teething, because you've still got only 1 tooth, your bottom front left tooth.  Surely that right one is coming in, right??  Right???

You prefer showers to baths, and you love to play with the water.  You also love to watch Mommy brush her teeth, and to grab her brush and pretend to brush your hair.  And then lose the brush.  You say brush, sort of, it sounds like "Buh....s".  You've actually got a ton of words: hi, bye-bye, uh oh (those 3 are the ones that sound like they should), kitty (keeeee), dog (dah! while pointing at a dog or a picture of a dog), ball (bah! while pointing at a ball or a picture of a ball or one of Mommy's witch-catching glass balls that hangs in the window), diaper (bah-puh), eyes/ice (aye...s while pointing to eyes or glasses or ice in a cup (your first homonym!)), oh wow (which sounds pretty good, but you ellide the words together, usually said when you enter a room, or when you see something cool), book (buh!), done (duh! as you pull off the boob or karate chop a spoonful of food away from your mouth), up (uh! as you stand up or get picked up), down (duh, but with a different inflection (lower pitched) than the duh that equals done and usually uttered as you squat or sit down), and you've just started with milk (muh, while signing milk).  You can say "mama" and "dada", but you haven't bothered to label me or your father with those syllables yet, although I think you may be getting close.  You also moo/bark when asked, "What does a cow/dog say?".  And Daddy swears that you quacked at the ducks last weekend at the park. You can point to your nose, your tooth, and your hair when asked.  No wonder your head is so big, you need a lot of space to store so much information!  Your Pediatrician says that you know more than 6 times the average number of words (1-3) for your age.  Mommy was so very proud to hear that!

You love to turn the pages of the books we read to you, and you love your books.  They are the go-to distraction for ending your meltdowns.  Not that you meltdown very often - usually when you fall, although you've been a little more meltdown-prone lately.  Teeth, right?  Not the beginning of toddler tantrums, right??

Your favorite person in the world is your Gramma.  You run to her every time.  And she loves you just as much.

You love the wagon that they pull you around school in so much that we've gotten you one of your own for your birthday.

You still prefer to fall asleep while nursing, but at school they just lay you down and pat your back til you go to sleep.  Honestly, I don't know how they do that.  When we've tried that method, you just stand yourself up and look at us like we're crazy.  And then yell at us.  I have a vague fear that I'll wean you and we'll never be able to get you to sleep again...  You sleep about 9-10 hours a night, and nap twice during the day, usually totaling another 2ish hours.  You obviously missed the memo telling you that you need closer to 14 hours a day at your age.  You're pretty scheduled, but you've scheduled yourself.  You wake up around 6, drink milk, eat breakfast, drink some more milk, and almost exactly 4 hours later you go down for a nap.  When you wake up, you do it all again, again staying up for 4 hours, exactly.  And then you do it all one more time.  You require food or milk at 2 hour (or less) intervals for as long as you are awake.  Little girl, for such a little girl you can sure pack it away.  At least until last week when I started serving you dog food.

You greet every morning with a smile.  You are funny, and cute, and precious.  You are the light of my life, my sunshine, my reason for being.  I can't believe you're already year old, and I simultaneously can't believe you've only been with me for a year!

I love you so much.  I can't wait to see what your next year brings!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big Cooking Day #3

(Not quite as big as the last 2.)

Made the Chicken Curry slow cooker/freezer recipe.  Nom nom!  I think it's our second favorite after the Barbecue Chicken.  We'll do it again.

Last post we hadn't tried the Goulash yet.  Here's the review: it wasn't our favorite.  We found it a bit... dry.  I also didn't like the bell peppers I used (recipe called for sweet peppers, but I couldn't find those at the store).  I think I'll try it again, though, because I really want a recipe for beef to work.  Only without the bell peppers, and maybe with a nice big can of diced tomatoes added in.

Along the same lines, P was really worried about the Chicken Curry being too dry, so he added in 1/2 c of water, but I really don't think it was necessary.  Might try with only 1/4 c next time.

Other than that, we didn't do as much cooking as I wanted.  We did shrimp and mashed potatoes again because the store was still running a great deal on shrimp.  And we wanted steak this week, and that is sort of a same-day proposition.  I did want to do corn, but we ran out of time, and I figured the slow cooker would be 2 days worth, so we really didn't need to do much else this week.  That was nice in and of itself.

I think I'll probably skip next week for a Big Cooking Day #4 and use one of the frozen halves of the recipes I've done so far, since we'll be busy with/tired from guests and Z's big party this weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goal Review

September goals:

1.  Get back to it, really.  My vacation swung into September, so any type of quantitative goal is probably out the window.  I have made a goal of running a 5 miler on Thanksgiving morning.  That gives me 2.5(ish) months to basically double my mileage.  That shouldn't be rocket science, but it will require me to be more devoted to running than I have been.  I started with yesterday morning's run - 2.5 miles, no walk breaks.  I didn't run this morning because I'm all kinds of sore from yesterday (that's what a lay-off will do to me!), but I did stationary bike for recovery.  Going to run again tomorrow morning.  And I need to start finding a way to do a weekend "long" run - I just can't run much farther than 3ish miles right now in the morning unless I want to get up EVEN EARLIER than 3:30.  Hint: I don't.

Well... I started the weaning process a little early, and this put a considerable cramp in my morning exercising.  Here's why: I wanted to start with the 3:30am pumping session.  Because, seriously, Mama needs some sleep!  And I started early because P got switched to a job site where he could go in a little later, and thus take some of the Z's morning processes off my hands for a week or two, which would mean I could pump later, which meant the time was then!  So I started off by shifting the pumping to 4:30ish, and then after a few days 5:30ish, with a goal of ultimately cutting the pumping all together and just breastfeeding first thing in the morning (for Z, which means 5:45ish).  This all had an extreme impact on my working out, because it means that ultimately I want to be working out BEFORE my first morning breast-emptying session, regardless of method.  What that means is that I need my boobs to get on board with not being full to the point of bursting first thing when I wake up.  My boobs are slow to respond to commands, which is why this morning, after 3 weeks of later pumping, I finally was able to run again, before pumping, without insanely painful boobs.  So while this month wasn't what I wanted, AT ALL, it was progress, and therefore I'm pleased with it.

2.  Get some core work in.  See #1.

3.  This is my last month of full-time breastfeeding/pumping!  Halla-freaking-luyah!  Prepare for some weaning.  Yay, check, see #1.

Informal goals:  More working on the house.  Finish the upstairs completely.  Hopefully hire a contractor and get started downstairs.  Get the Z's birthday party planned.   Some checky checks here.  Office is completely finished, so upstairs is truly almost done.  Will post a pic or 2 soon.  Contractor fail.  Party planned check.

Weight September 1 was 132.4.  Weight on October 1 was 131.8.  I'll take it.

Over all, really a pretty successful month.

October goals:

I'm still going to be working the partial weaning situation.  Perfect circumstances right now (I think) would have the Z nursing morning, 2x during the day to help her go down for naps, and night.  I'm hoping my non-engorgement from this morning wasn't a fluke, but I'm not holding my breath.  Once that situation has settled, that'd mean I'm still looking to drop a late afternoon session (usually right after I get home from work).  I can't say enough how much better/easier 4 times a day sounds than 6-7.  That's like getting a 1-2 hour GIFT added back to every day.  Seriously.

With all that said, I'm still not sure how that's going to impact the working out.  In a perfect world, my goals would be the same ones I keep repeating month after month: run "more/lots" and work out my core "more/lots".  In the real world, anything is better than nothing, and whatever I need to do to make it work is good enough.  I'm done trying to sink goals into concrete and obey.  It just isn't sustainable with a shrimpie who is still so needy.

And with all of THAT said, I do still want to run the 5 miler on Thanksgiving.  So I need to get ready for that.  I've got about 2 months to add on about 3 miles.  I CAN do that.  I really can.  Even if I'm not as consistent as I want to be.  So my real goal this month is just to show progress in that direction.  That shouldn't be hard: this morning I ran 1.6 miles.  Seriously.  Progress isn't going to take hours and hours at this point!

Informal goals: survive Z's party with JaMIL intact.  Finally finish upstairs.  And... I haven't really mentioned this yet, but I've had a really sad thing happen at work - goal is to move mentally past it - remember to enJOY every moment with my precious Z, because life is short.