Little Trip to the Capitol

Happy holidays, ya’ll!!!

This is the time of year where I overstuff myself and swear that my diet starts on Monday..Come to think of it, that is my life in general regardless of the holidays.

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#TRUTH

So, as many of you may know, my family lives in South Florida and my husband’s family lives in New York so every year we alternate destinations for the holidays.  This year it was time to visit New York.  Since none of us has ever been to DC and since we don’t travel much these days, we thought it would be nice to fly to DC before taking a train to NY.  Overall, the DC trip was wonderful but rather exhausting as I am 25 week pregnant and there was lots of uphill walking involved.

So here are some photos…

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We decided to allow her to watch cartoons on the flight to DC and she was completely entranced!  She was drooling and everything.  Mental note to only allow this sometimes.

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We took Penny to the zoo and that was a big hit…she did her lion roar when she saw the lions.IMAG0533_1

We saw the White House then walked over to the National Tree (which was pathetic) and the Washington Monument.  I tried to get my husband to reenact the scene where Forest Gump is speaking and Jenny runs through the water toward him but he wasn’t game. Boo.IMAG0536_1

Obligatory Washington Monument selfie.  I thought about doing something a little more vulgar but I am trying to curb that behavior now that my daughter mimics everything I do. No fun.

We then took an Amtrak to New York where we are currently relaxing.

Penny was not happy on the train ride to New York.  We finally got her to sleep for the last hour of the trip which was nice.

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She looks so angelic, right? WRONG! It took a lot of tears to get her to that point.  The terrible twos is a farce…try terrible one.point.fives.

Peace and love on this holiday, enjoy it people!

All books everyTHANG

Books Mind MOvies

I have been on a MAJOR reading kick lately…In the last couple of weeks, I have read the following books: Circling the Sun, All the Bright Places, Boston Girl and now I’m currently reading The Other Boleyn Girl.  Anyone who knows me, knows I like to read but usually I don’t read this much!  I am attributing it to the fact that the library has had some great Kindle books become available (usually the waiting list is months-long) so I’m trying to take advantage.  #freebooksbitches !!!

As it turns out, I am not the only one!  Penny has been “reading” her books more than she plays with her toys so the other day, we decided to take her to Barnes and Noble, which she LOVED!

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I imagine we’ll be taking a lot of trips to the bookstore and library this winter.

Here she is in action at the doctor’s office:

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What a miracle, my 18 month old daughter can read!

In other news (but also along the same lines), we are trying to make room in Penny’s nursery for another crib.  Currently, we have this bookshelf that also doubles as a diaper changing table up against the window…

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We are planning to get rid of this and put the 2nd crib up against the window so this past weekend we worked on removing the books (hence why it’s empty).  [Eventually, the diaper changing area will move to the dresser.]

I found these great space-saving DIY book ledges online via Classy Clutter and decided that we* would build these ledges!

*By “we” I mean that my husband built and installed the ledges and I painted them (team work, people!).

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There are 3 pictured but we actually built 4 of them.  I was rather pleased with how they came out!

I hope you guys have a great weekend!

City rats go to the suburbs

It’s almost Friday!!!!!  I have had a very long week so I am very much looking forward to this weekend.

Admittedly, we do not get out of the city much.  With how bad traffic is around Chicago and the fact that Penelope hates her car seat after 5 minutes, there really isn’t much of an incentive to get in the car and drive.  But last weekend, we made an exception.  We went to Goebbert’s Farm, which was about 45 minutes away (without traffic…on the way home, it took much longer…grrrr).  Everyone agreed that it was worth the trip out there for the petting zoo alone.  Here are a couple pictures from our crazy adventure out into the suburbs.

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In other news, I have actually gotten better about working out and eating somewhat healthy.  I’ve been plagued by headaches this pregnancy and cutting sugar from my diet seems to have helped a little.  This afternoon, I completed the following workout:

Jog/walk x 25 minutes followed by…

3 Rounds of:

wall sits w/ bicep curls x 15
squat jumps w/ overhead press x 15
plank x 40 seconds
Russian Twists x 15
Push-ups x 10
Step-ups x 10

It was one of the better workouts that I’ve done in a while and I’m hoping to keep the trend going into the weekend!

Babies!!!

If you are Facebook or Instagram friends with me, you saw the news that Penny is going to be a big sister!

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She can hardly contain her excitement!

In order to try and prepare her, I bought her a little baby doll and she will not put it down!!…above is exhibit A and below, exhibit B

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Maybe this means she’ll love her little brother too?? I doubt that, at least at first.

Anyway, when I picked Penny up from daycare a couple weeks ago, they told me that she LOVES the arts and crafts stuff.  This made me feel like a terrible parent because I absolutely never do crafts with her but we’re trying to change that.

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She looks like she’s having fun, right?

Last weekend we went to the Lincoln Park Fall Fest then dinner with 3 other couples and their kids…it was a bit crazy with so many kids but we all had an awesome time!  Once again, I failed with the picture taking so I only have 2 low quality pictures to show you…hey, it’s better than nothing!

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I mean seriously, do the pictures get any worse than that?

Outdoorsy

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I think that is my favorite meme ever because it summarizes my personality quite well.

Lately, we have been trying to take Penny to do “outdoorsy” things while the weather still permits.

My mom came to visit last weekend so we took her to the park and had a nice walk around the shops in our area.

Hi mom!

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We’ve also been out bike riding and to the various splash pads throughout the city.

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to…

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#BlameItOnTheSugar

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Penny’s new thing lately is that she insists on eating with utensils.  It makes mealtime real messy but it’s also good to know that she’s making progress toward being a real human being with proper manners.

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Have you noticed that I haven’t talked about my workouts whatsoever?  That’s because they have been mostly non-existent.  I am really working toward changing that.  I have struggled to get myself out of bed in the morning and going to the gym after work means missing precious time with the little lady noted above.  Next week, I am going to try to start a routine where I do a run/workout DVD (taking a total of 20-30 minutes) Tuesdays and Thursdays after work then go to the regular gym Saturdays and Sundays.  Wish me luck!

I hope you guys have a fab weekend!

Why I don’t do New Year’s resolutions

The last time I did a blog post was approximately 1 year and 3 months ago…WHERE DOES THE TIME GO!?!?

I typically never ever do New Year’s resolutions but this year, i decided to give it a go.  My 2015 resolution was to…wait for it…get back into blogging.  Haha, it only took me 9 out of the 12 months to make it happen!  And that, my friends, is why I never do the New Year’s resolution thing.

So, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

As you can imagine, I have mostly been consumed with raising my 16 month old daughter.  I seriously had no idea how difficult and wonderful it would be to raise a child, what a ride!

These days, she loves her dad, the beach and getting into EVERYTHING!

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I have noticed that I am actually the absolute worst about taking pictures.  We took a family vacation to South Carolina for a week and the only picture I took was that terrible one above of her squinting at the beach.  I am really trying to get better about taking pictures because I know that if I don’t, I will regret it later.

I hope every one has an amazing long weekend!

Checkin’ in

 

 

 

Welllll, it’s been about 5.5 weeks since I gave birth…SO! let’s take a gander at my progress, shall we?

 

1 week postpartum // 2 weeks PP // 5 weeks PP

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As you can see, there is not much change between 2 weeks and 5 weeks.  I will say that I am having some trouble losing the weight — it’s not coming off as easily as I had hoped – who woulda’ thought?!?!

Therefore, I have decided to start really start watching what I eat (i.e. counting calories, #barf).  So here’s a look at what I am eating in a typical day…

Breakfast is either oatmeal with a banana and apple or eggs with turkey sausage and avocado

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Lunch is almost always a sandwich of some sort

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Dinner varies but on this particular occasion, I had steak fajitas with corn and salad

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Because I am still breastfeeding, I am constantly snacking and I am trying my darndest to keep it healthy around here

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Hopefully all this work will amount to some REAL progress soon!

In other news, the baby is…a HANDFUL!!!  People always tell you how hard it is to have an infant around and let me tell you, these people are not lying (as I type this, Penny is screaming bloody murder because I put her in her crib)!

Here she is at 1 week and 1 month…

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Side note: people allllways assume she’s a boy even when I put her in a dress!

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#mysonhasavagina

Enjoy your week, folks!

I had a baby and eating healthy again is…HARD

I had a freaking baby, people!  A 7 pound, 1 ounce human came out of my vagina.  Oof!

I’ll give you the short birth story because….well…because I’m sure you’re simply dying to hear read alllll about it, amiright???

At 5:00 in the morning of April 26th, my water broke so I showered, gathered my things and headed over to the hospital.  There was one small problem: we had to board our dogs and the vet didn’t open until 9:00.  Poor guys had to wait it out in the car while we checked into the hospital.  Luckily the weather was very comfortable so they were just fine in the car for a couple hours.

I didn’t go into labor on my own so they started me on a devil medication called pitocin.  After about 2 hours of dealing with VERY painful contractions that were coming every 2 minutes, I broke down and got myself an epidural.  #bestdecisioneverrrr

Then…we waited…and waited….and waited…

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At around 9:30 pm it was time to push.  I pushed the babe out in 3 contractions which took a total of 7 minutes and SHE WAS HERE.  WHOA!

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Everything was going swimmingly until…I heard the doctor mutter “hemorrhaging”…then things got scary.  Suddenly, my room went from having 1 doctor and 1 nurse to having a team of doctors and nurses and a surgeon.  For a hot second, I thought I was going to have surgery + a blood transfusion.  About 2 hours into the ordeal, the blood clotting medication they gave me kicked in and I was golden!

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Hey, check out the view from our room!

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My recovery has been very difficult but I am taking it one day at a time.  Reporting in 2 weeks later and I’m happy to say that I am about 80% better.  It’s just really crazy to think that if I had given birth 100 years ago, I would not be with you today.  Thus, I am very happy to be a modern woman!!!!  Go science!

Anyway, getting back to eating healthy has been a battle to say the least!  Breastfeeding makes me hungrier than a bear coming out of hibernation!  I am taking it one step at a time and right now I’m focusing on eliminating sweets and fatty foods.  Next I will tackle other processed foods (wheat thins, I am looking at you!).  Overall I have about 20 pounds to shed.  In the coming weeks, I aiming to share my journey to getting back my pre-baby bod.

Here’s to being able to work out again (in about 4 weeks)!!!!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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My post-pregnancy diet & 6 days left

As this pregnancy inches towards the end, I find myself constantly thinking about what my diet will look like once this baby decides to finally make her debut.  Let’s be real here, there is going to be at least 15-20 pounds that won’t come off when the baby is born and that’s ok.

It’s no wonder because my diet these days has been AWFUL and I know that getting back to a healthy diet will be hard.  Let’s take a look at a couple of the dishes I have been finding myself eating these days to give you some perspective:

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Spaghetti Bolognese (with a side of garlic bread no less!)…so freaking delicious but not so good for your health or waistline

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MEATBALLS!!!! 

Other eats have included: pop tarts, ice cream, pizza, brownies and the freaking list goes on!!!

Since my diet has been this terrible, I am planning on tackling my post-pregnancy diet in phases.  I am doing this because I feel like if I try to do a total overhaul all at once, I am setting myself up to fail.  SO, here is a general guideline of what the plan will look like:

1st week post: No changes, work on my new life with a newborn

2nd: week post: eliminate all desserts; no more pop tarts, candy, ice cream, etc.

3rd week post: eliminate breads & pasta (this will be the most difficult phase for me)

4th week post: eliminate most processed foods (including: granola, cereal bars, etc)

5th week (depending on how things go): eliminate dairy <— this is a hard one so I’m not sure I will take it to this level but if I feel that I need to go there, I will.

I don’t plan on counting calories at first but in the back of my mind, I am thinking that 1,800-2,000 calories a day should do it (higher than what I would normally eat but I plan on breastfeeding).  Again, if I don’t see any progress, the next phase will involve counting calories as well.

In short, I need to get back to eating meals that look like this:

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Chicken breast with a side salad

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Crock-pot chicken with pineapple, avocado, spinach, cilantro

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Egg frittata with watermelon + arugula salad and sweet potatoes

I know it’s going to be hard but I am looking forward to getting back into eating healthy.  Working out is going to come more slowly so I am planning on focusing on my eating habits first.

It’s hard to believe this new diet will be slapping me in the face in about 6 days (hopefully)!!!!!

I don’t think I’ve grown too much in the belly department these last few weeks but I am definitely huge:

37 weeks:

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38 weeks:

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39 weeks:

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The doctor seems to think I will have a “petite little baby” so I’ve got that going for me.  However, I definitely think I will be at least a week overdue before anything happens.  #ShootMeNow

Any tips for getting your diet back into shape after eating poorly for an extended period of time?

I’m almost there and another baby shower!

In case you’re wondering what it must feel like to be 35.5 weeks pregnant, I think this picture sums it up quite nicely:

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The good news is that I only have 4.5 weeks until my due date which means I will be pregnant for no longer than 5.5 weeks (my doctor told me they typically induce a week after your due date, thank GOD!).  I’m feeling pretty good about everything as I’ve somehow managed to get all my ducks in a row in terms of prepping for the arrival of this mini human.

However, I feel HUGE. And awful. And this needs to be over. stat.

I’ve had to put my gym membership on hold because it’s just started to get too uncomfortable to do simple things like walking.  Since I live in Chicago, I typically walk about 4-5 miles each day and you know what?  At this point, that’s enough of a “workout” for me.  I’ve also been pretty good about my eating these days; mostly because if I eat crappy, I get the urge to purge afterwards (I am back to feeling nauseated all the time).

Here’s me at 33 & 35 weeks:

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I’m sure your life is far more enriched after that tid-bit.  Let’s keep this trend going, shall we?

In other news, there was another baby shower!  Not for me.  I threw one for my lovely friend, Leslie.  My apartment is quite small so it was a little cramped in here but overall, I thought it was a success.  The only thing I screwed up on was probably the most important part (besides the food).  Pictures.  I only took a handful of them and for that, I am sorry.  Here they are…

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I had my husband make open-faced sammies with pesto, tomato, basil and mozzarella, they were quite delicious!

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Those little tissue things in the back left are party favors (soap) for the guests and in the back right are the cupcakes (that I did not make myself, thankyouverymuch).  I also used actual baby items as decorations and gave them to the guest of honor as part of her gift.  In the above photo is a little rattle 🙂 below, I used little shoes (then you’ll see a few pictures down, the onesies above the fireplace).Image

[Leslie opening gifts!]

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Clockwise from top-left: cupcakes, fruit salad, more party favors, cheese and crackers and a very delicious pear and bleu cheese salad (I can’t find the recipe, sorry folks).

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That’s all I’ve got!  Hope you enjoy what’s left of the week 😀