Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it Snow!

The greater D.C. area is finally getting its first snowstorm of the winter. Gabe was ecstatic. He loves snow. Nick wasn't sure what to think. Although I'm worried about both of them being outside in this weather with the bad colds they're coming down with. Nick had such a hard time sleeping because of it. Which means I also didn't sleep much.

I felt bad for Gabe this morning. I don't like driving in the snow, even the short distance from my house to my MIL's, but I had to this morning. Gabe kept trying to ask me questions and I had to keep asking him to be quiet so I could concentrate on driving. I know he was just excited about the snow, but I needed to focus on the road. I think it hurt his feelings, which wasn't my intent, I just didn't want to lose focus and slip on the road. Perhaps I might have asked him to be quiet a little more harshly than I intended after the 3rd or 4th question.

I do like snow, I think it's very pretty - to look at. Driving in it and walking in it, even just being in it, isn't high on my list. Although, when I do have the time I don't mind playing in it. When the boys get a little older and we have a decent back yard, I can see having a great time building snowmen and having snowball fights. Right now I have neither the time nor the backyard to pursue fun in the snow, plus they are really too little to be fully enjoy it.


My workouts are still going well. I should certainly be in bikini shape by this summer, although I'm not sure that I will have any reason to wear a bikini. I moved up to level 2 on the 30 Day Shred, and ouch! It is much harder than level 1. I couldn't quite do the explosive cardio moves the whole time, but I figure if I do a few each time and gradually do it for longer by the time I've completed 10 days of level 2 I should be able to do them for the full time. That, along with my treadmill work outs should help ensure that the weight keeps coming off. I really like the iFit cards, and even though I'm only on level one of the cards, a 10% incline at 3.5 mph is still hard.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blast From the Past

So I finally joined Facebook. I had been resisting, but I thought maybe it wouldn't hurt to just peek, see who is on there. It can be addictive. I've found a number of really good friends from high school that I haven't talked to in years. It's weird, too. My last memories of my high school friends are as teenagers, from the perspective of a teenager. We lived with our parents. And now, some of us our parents. And married. And we have real jobs.

I don't know why I was so hesitant to join the networking site. I guess I was just worried about having the time to keep up with it, but really, it's nice to talk to old friends. There was a reason we were friends in high school, so it's not unrealistic to think that we could be friends almost 10 years later (wow, has it really been that long?). My life is so consumed by my family and my job and my degree, that having an easy way to stay in touch and catch up is nice.

It's also nice to remember that I am still my own person outside of my role as a mother. Sometimes I forget that I am more than just Gabe and Nick's mom. That's another reason I really enjoy when Oscar and I go out on kids-free "dates". We get to connect and talk and remember why we fell in love and had children in the first place. Next Saturday we are going on a date and I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to a Japanese Steakhouse, which is always fun, and we'll still be home at a decent hour to put the babies to bed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Feel the Burn

Yesterday, Nick started his first gym class and he loved it! He was the youngest baby there, being 4 days shy of 10-months, so I wasn't concerned that he was one of only two or three that were not yet walking. The age range for the class is 10 to 19 months, so there can be a huge difference in skills. One of the little girls in his class, who is only 11 months, has been walking since 9 months, and she is TINY, much smaller than Nick. She looked so cute toddling around, although it just doesn't seem possible for a baby that tiny to be walking.

Nick loved that he had so much space to crawl and so many things to climb. He especially liked hanging from the bar and working on his upper-body strength (with Mommy holding onto his bottom) as we played peek-a-boo with the bar. He did very well maintaining his grip on the bar. Overall, I think his favorite activity was crawling around on the parachute. He loved being pulled around in a circle and bounced up and down.

The only thing he really wasn't interested in doing was walking. In the warm-up we were supposed to assist our children in walking, if they were not doing it on their own yet. Nick refused to participate and instead just crawled for the warm-up. He did like the clapping part and the pounding of the mat. Also the bells, he was very mad that he had to give the bell back.

And poor Gabe... He insisted on coming with Nick to class, which meant Oscar came too, not understanding that he wouldn't be allowed in the gym to play. Not understanding that it was just or Nick, not for him and Nick. I felt bad for him, although we did try to explain and convince him that he would have more fun at home with Daddy. Luckily he has his sports skills class tomorrow afternoon and his regular gym class Saturday morning.


I'm doing fairly well with my own workout time. I'm managing to be consistent - 5 days a week for about an hour. Although this is only my third week of even having a workout routine. Tonight I did 30 Day Shred and Jillian's weight training portion on the Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. I am also staying within my calorie goal on TheDailyPlate. That site is really useful, even without paying to upgrade to gold. I should be able to easily meet the goal weight I set for Nick's first birthday.

There are so many nights that I just want to skip working out, but I remind myself that not only is it important for losing weight and getting toned, it's also important for my health. I also remind myself that if I work really hard M-F, that I can take it easy on the weekends. Tomorrow night I do another iFit workout and then 30 Day Shred again. I'm on day 10 of Shred. I don't do it everyday, so on Monday I will finally start Level 2.

Working hard during the week also gives me more time on the weekends to tackle my statistics homework. This class is making my head hurt. The amount of work required and formulas to understand makes me feel like I'm going cross-eyed. I'm about half-way through the class and then I have a short break before I start my next class - a non-math management course. Thank goodness! I am convinced that should never pursue any profession that involves math. I'm too stubborn not to do well in the course, but it is taking much more time and energy then I usually devote to my studies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Obama Dance

"That my President" and "That Barack Obama" are Gabe's two favorite sentences and they are uttered whenever he sees a picture of President Obama in the newspaper or on TV. We even have the children's book titled Barack, which he loves to have me read. He has buttons, and place mats, and decorations. Today, he created an Obama dance, which involved running around singing Barack Obama. It was cute. He watched the whole Inauguration with my MIL and loved it.

It is adorable and amazing. I am so proud to live in a country where my child can get that excited about the leader of our country and have no understanding that even last century this would never have been possible. I am filled with hope and excitement at the possibilities of this new Presidency. I watched the Inauguration at work and felt my eyes well up during parts of Obama's speech. It was wonderful to hear.


I really don't have a good transition, but I do want to write about Nick's expanding vocabulary. Not only can he say hi and wave. He can also say DaDa (in reference to Daddy), Do (in reference to Dog) and bye with a wave. It is very cute. He can also understand short commands and identify a picture of both a dog and a cat in a book. He can also identify Elmo. This weekend I put on Sesame Beginnings for him this weekend, and as soon as he saw Elmo he stopped what he was doing to say hi and wave at Elmo.

I can't believe how quickly the last year has gone. Tomorrow Nick starts his first gym class, and I'm sure he will be more than ready to go, as he showed during Gabe's class on Saturday. Both my boys are beautiful and amazing and I feel so lucky to be their mother.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pancakes with a Strawberry on Top

Today was Gabe's last gym class of fall session. Although, his next class starts next Saturday, today they put on a big show to show off all the skills and routines that they have been working on through out the fall session. This is Gabe's first non-parent/child class and he's doing really well, but it was nice to able to go inside the gym and see close-up what he has been learning.

However, before the show we picked up Oscar's parents, so that they could see the show as well, and went to IHOP as a special treat for breakfast. It was a long morning, as both Oscar and I were exhausted because neither of the boys had slept well last night. Plus, Gabe's class starts at 10 a.m., which meant we had to pick up Oscar's parents by 8 a.m. so that we would have enough time to eat breakfast before the show. Plus, I wanted coffee from Starbucks.

I was happy, IHOP still had their pumpkin pancake special, and I love just about anything pumpkin flavored. I also had Starbucks, so all was good. The show was very cute. They had even practiced an entrance that involved running into the room jumping on a spring board and then doing a forward roll down a wedge before standing at the front of the room on a dot. Gabe had a bit of a hard time listening, but I think it was because so many people were in the room. He did very well on the skills they were exhibiting.

Nick was ready to go. As soon as you put him on the floor he would take off. He was eager to explore. Luckily his first class starts this coming Wednesday. It's for 10-19 months, which is the age range we started Gabe. Although Gabe had just turned one, and Nick will be a few days shy of 10 months. It's an evening class, so Wednesdays will be rushed for me. I will get off work at 4, come home and grab something to eat and then rush Nick to his class at 5:30. However, it is worth it, and I know he will enjoy it.

Well, I suppose I should go. I have so much homework to do, and I really want to watch last night's episode of Psych.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Last Friday we started sleep training Nick. In other words, we are trying to get him to go to sleep on his own, rather than being nursed to sleep. He's allowed to have one more feeding - usually around 10:30 pm - and then for any other night wakings we're supposed to have him go back to sleep on his own. Bedtime works beautifully. We usually only have to go into Nick's room once or twice before he goes to sleep on his own. It's the other wakings that are the issue. He is still getting up at 10:30, 1:30 or 2:00, and 5:00 before getting up for good at about 6:15. And I usually fall asleep for 2 hours or so in the big green chair in his room during his last feeding.

My goal is to start eliminating wakings, starting with the middle of the night one (1:30ish). That is more challenging than it sounds. Not only do I dislike hearing Nick cry, it is even more painful in the middle of the night when I am tired. Plus there is the added dilemma of not wanting Nick's crying to wake up Gabe, which is especially hard since their rooms are right next door to each other. Still, it has to be done. Nick needs to be sleeping through the night, not just for his health, but for my sanity. I really am done with being tired all the time. Not that I don't love cuddling a snuggly baby, I just would prefer to do it when we're not both supposed to be sleeping.


The start of sleep training is why I did not work out last Friday, so I missed one of my three iFit treadmill workouts and my third day of 30 Day Shred. I am making up for it this week by doing four treadmill workouts and four days of 30 Day Shred. My break will be Wednesday, and I will do Biggest Winner: Cardio Kickboxing and the stretch segment from Slim in 6. Cardio Kickboxing is another Jillian Michaels' video and it is a good workout, if a little boring. I really want to be consistent and a work out a minimum of five days a week. If I can add another day or two of working out on the weekends, so much the better, if not, oh well, at least I got my five days in.


I don't watch a lot of TV, there are only a handful of shows I watch, and there are almost all shows that Oscar watches with me. Usually we catch up on the weekends, since we typically don't have time during the week. However, The Biggest Loser is one of the shows that I watch when it comes on, otherwise I won't catch up with it on TiVo, and usually without Oscar. My dilemma is that tonight is the premier of American Idol, and they will be up against each other.

I am curious to see American Idol, especially with the changes they have made this season, and the auditions are usually entertaining, but I love The Biggest Loser. What to watch? I could flip between the two shows, but I also have to work on homework, which I usually focus on during commercial breaks. So what to choose? I find The Biggest Lower motivating, so I will probably choose to watch it over American Idol. I know I could TiVo American Idol, but doubt I will find the time to watch it when I have other shows to watch this weekend. Oh well, I will be fine without following the stories of this season's crop of Idol wannabes.


Also, I forgot to mention - Nick now has two teeth. His second front tooth broke through a couple days after his first tooth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sesame Beginnings

Oscar and I are starting to plan Nick's first birthday party, and it just makes me think how fast this past year has gone. How can he be almost one? I was just pregnant. And yet, I'm not and he's growing and learning and changing... It makes me sad sometimes. Especially since I'm not the type of person who can capture it in baby books and scrap books. Mostly it's in my head or in pictures, none of which have made it into a picture book. Also, whenever I reflect on the past year I hear the song Seasons of Love from Rent in my head, which really is fitting.

I originally wanted to do Baby Einstein as the theme and had researched how to make the Caterpillar into a cake. I found some great ones here. However, after talking it over with Oscar and taking into account Nick's fondness for Elmo, we have decided to do a Sesame Beginnings theme. We're going to purchase the main cake from Costco, which makes excellent cakes, BTW. Nick's smash cake will be homemade and made to look like Elmo - I can't wait to see him dive into an Elmo cake.

The party is going to take place at the Little Gym. Since we plan to invite children of varying ages, we decided to not attempt a party at home since our home isn't particularly large and spring weather is unpredictable. Nick starts classes the week after next and we hope to invite a couple of the babies that are in class with him. We didn't start going until after Gabe turned one, so I didn't have that option for him. I know birthday parties for babies are supposed to small, but I also want it to be memorable and for Gabeto have a good time.

Birthday parties were always so important when I was growing up and I want them to be important to my children. I want them to have good memories not about the gifts, but about the event. The celebration of their birth and how important they are to their family. Oscar and I both feel so lucky to have them and want to ensure that they have wonderful memories of their childhood.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

At Last, A Tooth!

Today was Nick's 9-month check up and clever baby that he is, decided it was a good time to show off his first tooth. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Nick has a tooth! I'm not sure when exactly it poked through, either overnight or this morning, but it just appeared, so that's good. At 9 and a half months he is no longer toothless.

As for his other check up statistics he is 29.5 in, which means he is officially too long for his infant carrier, which has a maximum height limit of 29 in. So we were instructed by the pediatrician to get a new one asap. Since my MIL will also need a new one, we will get two of them this weekend. He is also Just shy of 19 lbs, weighing in at 18 lbs 15 and 3/4 oz. His height puts him just shy of the 90th percentile and his weight puts him in the 25th percentile, which is a decrease from where he was at his last check up - in the 50th percentile for weight, although height and head circumference (25th) have stayed on course.

He didn't need any shots today, which pleased Gabe, who didn't want them to hurt his baby. He did have to have a little blood drawn - just a toe prick - for an iron test, which bothered Gabe, but Nick was more interested in the band aid they applied afterwards and didn't cry at all. He was happy to show off just how energetic he is, and all his skills - sitting, crawling, pulling himself up, clapping. He got good marks, which is always nice to hear.


I am doing well, so far, with my workouts this week. I have done 30 Day Shred twice, workout 1 and 2 of my Jillian Michaels iFit cards, and level 1 and 2 of Biggest Loser Cardio Max. Hopefully it makes a difference in my weight. I have also managed to stay right around my calorie count on The Daily Plate, so between the two...


School started up yesterday, so I will again have very little time. I am now taking RES342 through University of Phoenix. However, blogging as a break from homework, is an easy transition since everything is online. This course looks like it is going to be a heavy workload, and of course, team assignments are always my highlight, what with people not participating, not understanding the assignment, or waiting until the last minute to turn in their portions, it makes it an adventure... but I suppose that is part of life, which I guess is a good thing to learn.

Well, I better go finish my homework for the night. Plus Nick will probably wake up soon. We are now trying to sleep train him at the doctor's suggestion, so this next wake up will be his last feeding of the night, then well, have you ever heard a banshee scream? Yeah, it will be a little like that when Nick doesn't get his way, i.e. Mommy as a pacifier. Sigh, oh well, it has to be done. We all need to sleep more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wedding and Workouts

It's Tuesday, and I returned from Seattle early Friday (via a red-eye, ouch), so I have no excuse for why I haven't posted. So I will now write my synopsis of the wedding. It was beautiful and my brother looked so happy. And isn't that what is important? That he's happy? The ceremony was short, but it was nice because it included specific comments about why they loved each other.

The bride's dress was gorgeous and the bridesmaid dresses were very pretty, I loved the color - a purple called Lapis. And did you know that Men's Wearhouse is tied to David's Bridal? I didn't either, but the Groom's vests and ties were the exact same shade as the dresses. The reception took place in the lobby outside the chapel. The church is the one the bride has gone to her whole life and it is huge.

Poor Nick. He was fine until Oscar and I walked in to the chapel and then he started crying because he wanted one of us, rather than my mother, to hold him. I felt so bad, it had been a long few days for him. My mom's friend took him outside the chapel for the service and I felt really bad for her. He SCREAMED the entire time she had him. In his defense he had never met her before, but I know it must have been difficult for her, plus she missed the ceremony. It was really really sweet of her to do that.

I had a nice time at the reception. Three of my mom's siblings came (she's one of six, and two do not live in the area) and I was finally able to introduce them to Oscar. I know, we've been together for five and half years and they had never met him. We spent much of the reception at our table playing this convoluted movie title game, which was fun.

The cake was lovely, very simple - three tiers with purple flowers, white cake, butter cream frosting and I believe raspberry filling. The best man and the maid of honor were the only ones to toast. I really enjoyed the best man's toast - he and my brother have been best friends since 4th grade (they're 24 now) and it was both funny and sweet.


Moving on to other topics I started my Jillian Michaels workout routine last night. I did one of the 20-minute iFit routines on my treadmill (BTW, iFit cards only work with Nordic Track treadmills) and then I did Level 1 of her 30 Day Shred video, which was a good work out but not too hard for someone who is still a little out of shape.

It did not feel as hard as her Biggest Winner videos. It took me a long time to decide to buy 30 Day Shred. I Googled it and read a lot of reviews, which were mostly positive, before I made the purchase and I'm glad I did. It's a nice solid work out, although I do agree with some of the negatives - the big ones for me are no triceps work and no ab stretching, but I can do that on my own.

My goal is to work out 5-6 days a week for about 40 minutes. I know I'm only supposed to do the iFit routines 3 days a week (each card has 24 work outs, so its an 8 week program if you do it 3 days per week), and I think I'm supposed to do the 30 Day Shred every day. So I'm not sure if I plan to do additional cardio on my non-iFit days or if I'm going to do some sort of stretching.

The Slim in 6 series has a good 15 minute stretch segment on the videos and my Moms into Fitness has some nice yoga segments, so I might follow it up with one of those. I could also do pilates for extra ab work. So many options. I still have about 10 lbs of baby weight to lose and 3o lbs to be where I want to be, which may be unrealistic, but it can't hurt to try as long as I'm eating well and not overworking myself.

Speaking of Jillian Michaels - the new series of Biggest Loser starts tonight. I am hoping I like these contestants better than the ones from last season.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Quiz

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Finished my Associates Degree the day before I had my second child, and then started my Bachelor's Degree three weeks later.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did not keep my New Year's Resolutions - my goal was to lose my baby weight before the New Year, and I did not succeed. However, I have a long list of resolutions for 2009, to include losing the last of my baby weight and getting down to my "ideal" weight.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I had a good friend give birth in addition to myself. That was fun... Mr. Nicholas had to have a more traumatic birth then his older brother.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Grandmother passed away after suffering a massive stroke. I miss her a great deal. She had only been retired for three years (she was 81) and had been a nurse since WWII. She was an on-call nurse and raised six children at a time when most women did not work outside of the home. After her initial retirement she became a traveling nurse to see the country. She was amazing.

5. What countries did you visit?

I did not step foot outside of the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

In 2009 I would like to have time to relax (I know, who am I kidding, two children, school, and work, plus a husband, where would I find the time). Also some girls-nights-out.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 23rd and 24th. March 23rd I completed my Associates Degree and March 24th I delivered Nicholas via c-section.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I would have to say having my second child. Although I also got a raise and a promotion in November.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not losing all my baby weight.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a few bad colds, nothing major, although recovering from my c-section was painful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Nordic Track iFit capable treadmill.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Our troops overseas and Barack Obama (whatever your affiliation, he ran a fairly clean campaign, and I personally am I excited for his Presidency).

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The media - can't we get unbiased coverage of news?

14. Where did most of your money go?

After bills it went to my children (Damn you, Baby Gap!)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My new Jillian Michaels iFit cards, my new Coach purse (first designer purse), my baby's birthdays (birth and 3).

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I don't really have a specific song - but I think I'll go with Taylor Swift's Our Song or Britney Spears' Womanizer.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier - I have another beautiful baby!
b) thinner or fatter? thinner - I'm no longer pregnant
c) richer or poorer? richer - I did get a raise, as did my husband

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working out while pregnant, also writing in my children's baby books (so bad at that)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing about things, especially school, my lack of time to organize pictures and write in baby books.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Locally with my husband, children and in-laws. Went to see Yes Man (silly plot, but very very funny).

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

I was already in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

I didn't read any memorable books last year - I only had time for fluff (aka regencies), textbooks and magazines

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

iTunes playlists (okay so I'm a little behind)

26. What did you want and get?

New Coach Purse, Jillian Michael's iFit cards

27. What did you want and not get?

Wii and Wii Fit (I actually bought both at one point and returned them due to my lack of time for pretty much anything)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

My favorite film of this year was probably Yes Man, just because it made me laugh the most.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I went out to Red Lobster for my birthday and I turned 27.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

New mom (it needed to be easy put on, easy to clean and camouflage my post-pregnancy figure)

32. What kept you sane?


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I was most interested in Barack Obama and the Pitt-Jolie Family

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election.

35. Who did you miss?

My family - it's hard living on the other side of the country.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I didn't really meet anybody new except my son.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Life is short and your babies grow up quickly, enjoy them while you can.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

My Baby lyrics (Britney Spears)

Tiny hands, yes that's you
And all you show, it's simply true
I smell your breath,
It makes me cry
I wonder how,
I've lived my life

'Cause without you,
How did I get through
All of my days, without you?
Now living with you,
See everything's true
My baby it's you
My baby, my baby, my baby

With no words at all,
So tiny and small
In love I fall,
So deep, so deep
My precious love,
Sent from above
My baby boo,
God I thank you, God I thank you


'Cause without you,
How did I get through
(How'd I get through)
All of my days, without you?
Now living with you,
See everything's true
My baby it's you
(My baby it's you)
My baby, my baby, my baby