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Saturday, June 30, 2012

24 and 6

I'm super, super, super tempted to do a fitness check up on our 10 day challenge, but I shall resist to make way for two outrageously important events going on in this here family:
Chadly turning the big 2-4 and Kota practically becoming a woman at 6 months!

Those two, those two...What can I say? They are daddy and daughter, ying and yang, Milo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast {HA!}. They are just wonderful together, even though I feel sort of bad because  we are still in the you-take-the-tot-I'll-take-the-babe set up, but that's okay though, because I have yet to see a bigger smile on the little lady than when she's being held by her daddy-o. Anyway, in light of this most wonderful of days, here are a few things I'm loving about each of them.

Ladies first:
6 things I love about Kota:

1. She is a professional baby food eater. I kid you not, that child has yet to have an over-the-top messy eating session. Slain the rice cereal department, she has, and we have just moved on to bananas. Let me tell you, my friend, she is totally boss.

2. I always talk about how tiny she is, but girlfriend can really rock those six month old outfits. Yes, she is actually six months old as of today, but I was dressing her in 3 month old cutenesses up until about a week-and-a-half ago, convinced that there was no way that tiny little thing could fill out a six month old jumper. Welp, I was wrong, and she looks fab!

3. Girly girl is still waking up twice {TWICE!} in the middle of the night, but I sort of look forward to it now. I know, weird, but late at night when she's super tired is when I have some of the most precious times I have with her, especially because it's only us two. Precious, I tell you, precious.

4. Her new favorite sound is this outrageous grunting noise. We were trying to figure out where such a gracious little woman like herself would learn such a thing, but then I heard Carter grunting it up with her yesterday. So...we figured it out.

5. As long as I position her legs just so, she's been sitting up like a pro! She's still wobbly, and the face plants are not so far and few between, but hey, who can beat looking into those self-supported blue eyes?

6. ...Speaking of, HER BLUE EYES! I'm still in shock we produced a blue-eyed child, and could not be more enamored by them.

Okay, this won't be so grandiose:
here are 24 things I love about Chadly:

1. He's a professional make-Nicole-laugh-er.

2. His positivity.

3. His logicalness {even though sometimes I want to shoot that logic in the face with my emotionally-led revolver}.

4. His skills in the daddy department.

5. His determination.

6. His I'm-so-going-to-dance-for-you-like-the-guys-in-Magic-Mike notions.

7. His bottomless pit of "Yeah, babe, I know what you mean" - 's.

8. His close relationship with my parents. And siblings. And if we had a dog growing up, that dog.

9. His constant desire to travel, just like me.

10. His international know-how. We would be a sad pair, traveling around the globe, if he was exactly like me in that realm.

11. His constant need of cleanliness. Already I'm a pathetic cleaner, but could you imagine if he had the same ideals of "clean" as I do? It would be madness. And to my credit, I am getting better! 

12. His less-frugal-than-cheap-o-Nicole ways. He's a fun guy to go on a date with, that's for sure. If I was a guy and had to take a girl on a date, it would always involve a picnic blanket. Because you can get that from your parents' linen closet. And my mom would make the food. Therefore no need for out of pocket spending. And maybe I'd make my date pay for the gas to get to the field where we would be eating. Eating for free. Thank goodness I'm a girl, is all I have to say!

13. He makes me calm.

14. He likes his family! 

15. He usually has a week off for Christmas and Carter's birthday, and now will have it off for Kota's birthday, as well. 

16. He's actively interested in fitness with me!

17. He's one supportive dude.

18. He listens to rants about how outrageously slow the hours of 4:00-6:00 pm seem to crawl by.

19. He likes to wash our cars!

20. He, like me, hates yard work. We will be getting a gardner for sure. It's either that or a concrete jungle as our future backyard, and that's not cool for the kids. 

21. He has sexy green eyes.

22. He gave at least one of our kids his bronzed-to-perfection skin, and the other, fair-as-a-vampire-like-his-mama, a fighting chance in the tanning-instead-of-burning realm!

23. No longer does he enjoy sitting in cold areas drinking beers. I daresay the man has matured!

24. He loves me and I love him!

Ahh, that was wonderful! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MAN, and HAPPY 6 MONTHS TO MY BABE! You two and Carts are my whole world, and you couldn't make me happier! 

French bistros with the husband and his birthday

1. We were on the 'moon!
2. Who can beat commentary from good ole' moi?
3. I have to say, I'm quite proud of Chadly in the fitness department... He just looks so healthy compared to just a few years ago!
4. It's that man's birthday today :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hey! I think I see a muscle!

So the 10 day challenge was amazing. It's just so awesome to have a goal! I think the part of it I enjoyed the most {well, in hindsight anyway} was the fact that we included pushups in the gosh darn mix. Y'all, my upper body strength is pathetic. "Little to none" is being generous. Anyway, here is how it all came out:

I walked/ran 23.5 miles out of our goal of 30,

did 2,700 situps out of 3,000,

and got through 380 pushups out of 500.

So I was short on everything because I took two days off for some rest, and there was just no making it up! Already the ole' bod was being pushed to the limits, so that was just the way it was going to go. But I'm truly totally happy with those numbers! It was our first challenge and now we know.
Here's the most awesome news of all:
I... see... some muscle... in my ARMS!

In these arms!

I think I'll go so far as to say that these ole' guns are getting a good workout! Yes, I thought my body was going to crumble by the wayside due to overworking the joints, but hey! It was so worth it! Look at that muscle-less picture up there from when I was pregnant with Kota! No more Gumby arms around here, my friend, no more!
Anyway, our next challenge starts this Wednesday, and here are the new goals:

27 miles of walk/running
3,500 situps
500 pushups

That's the deal, man! 
And here's what's going on in nutrition around these parts as of Monday {our grocery day}:

Smoothies: strawberries, bananas, blueberries, flax seed meal {give it up for crazy ingredients!}, greek yogurt, honey and apple juice. Seriously, best tasting and for us to date.

Snacking/Chad's lunches for work: I made quinoa! So now we have a protein filled, healthy snack during the day and Chadly has deliciousness to look forward to. I also packaged the rest of last week's turkey-filled spaghetti for the dude to trade off, if he would like.

Veggie muffins: this week, for Carter's wonderful veggie muffins, I'm going to include sweet potatoes and broccoli. Seriously, these things give that kid more veggies within a one inch radius than this woman was able to give him during the last two-and-a-half years. Cheers to carby-looking healthy snacks!

Dinners: planned and ready to go, although one night include enchiladas, which surely will not be too nutritious, but hey, what can ya do? This marriage is comprised of someone who is half espanol, so what's a wife to do? {NO, I most certainly DO NOT enjoy fattening Mexican food more than my husband... Why would you think such a thing?}

Anyway, it's looking good, it's looking good.
I hope Jen's blog is inspiring you just as it is me, and go check out my 10 day challenge pal Jenna and tell her to go turn on Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred RIGHT NOW!
{And seriously, you better yell!}

Monday, June 25, 2012

Night time and the thoughts

Late at night, particularly when Chadly is watching boring videos pertaining to business and there's a lovely glass of Skinnygirl right next to me, my thoughts wander. I'm just a late night thinker! Anyway, here's what's going on in the noggin:

Our 10 day challenge went FAB. I will be posting very, very soon about it, but one thing we didn't think about was any days off. We totally over did it, but you know what? It was worth it. Next challenge = conscientious resting days.

I'm overhearing bits and pieces from Chad's boring video, and let me tell YOU, it's even worse than I thought. He looks happy though, so that makes me happy. You've got to love a man who enjoys movies where phrase's such as "undeterred by his success," and, "sales tripled unbelievably, and they continued to triple every year..." are said in monotone, old man voices.

I'm in a three-way debacle as to which book I should purchase next on the ole' Kindle. Should I finish up the Harry Potter series, since it's now LEGALLY available on the marketplace? {My last two Kindles died horrible deaths because I tried to pirate those gosh darn books. Yes, I tried to pirate something! It's out there in the ether!} Anyway, it's between Harry, Fifty Shades of Grey and the third book in this series I've been reading which is all about Henry VIII's wives. I know. I'm a dull person because I enjoy period dramas. 

I just polished off my Skinnygirl bottle and this glass is STR-ONG. Wow. There was only about two inches left in the bottle, but holy guacamole. I think I'm skipping the tingly feeling and going straight to the okay-Nicole-it's-time-for-bed zone.

Should I take up a few scoops of mint ice cream, or should I not? The new norm in my life is spending inordinate amounts of time being indecisive about ice cream. Normal?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real life and a fitness check in

Real life right now consists of...

- Waking up at the crack of dawn to drive the zillion miles down to Wednesday morning's work at 5:15 in the am.
- Spending a solid 20 minutes at an Angel's game because when Kota started crying, we felt bad for the old man sitting next to us who was, without a doubt, the most hardcore fan alive {binoculars and dirty looks, anyone?}
- Still being conflicted over matters surrounding that ole' institution of working outside the home.
- Being frustrated that Orange County fancies itself as the city of gold, keeper the fountain of youth, and/or paradise. I have no idea what justifies these high home prices, no idea at all!
-  Not cleaning like a proper person . . . Who says dust bunnies can't be your friends?
- Kota experiencing a massacre level poop situation half way through a 3.5 mile walk yesterday. 
- Apparently me turning into the world's largest complainer. I'm not sure if that's anything new.

It's high time for a fitness check in!
Here's what's been going on around here in the culinary realm:
Daily smoothies {this week I got LOTS of strawberries, mangos, bananas and I threw some celery in there, which Chadly hates, but it's all about the greens, man!}, I made Carter some vegetable muffins which made me feel like a super proactive mom and last, but certainly not least, I grilled myself a few steaks last night. For the first time. Ever. So I would say that Sprouts is still serving me well and that I'm turning into a regular Wolfgang Puck.

Here's the count as of right now, having not done anything towards the goal today yet:
13.5/30 miles of walk/jog
1,400/3,000 sit-ups
180/500 push-ups

My numbers are pretty low since I took rest days on Sunday and Monday, then yesterday I only walked, but I'm feeling good about the next few days! The challenge ends on Saturday, so I've got a full plate for the next few days!

Okay, writing that out was pretty motivating, so here is what else real life consists of:

- Carter loving his vegetable muffins!
- Kota smiling and talking like a maniac! 
- Chad growing out the ole' scruff yesterday. It's my favorite. Hands down. Forever.
 - Carter neatly eating said muffin with a mini spoon right now! That kid...
- This cup of coffee.
- The fact that I didn't buy Starbucks today, but actually craved a home made pot! Times are a-changin'!
- Kota loving her rice cereal!
- Chadly just being Chadly.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fitness check in and the 10 Day Challenge

So to put some structure to this awesome new eating-well-and-feeling-good thing that's been going on around these parts, my friend Jenna and I have started the
where we have set goals for ourselves, all of which need to be reached within 10 days.
This is, yet again, inspired by the awesomeness that is Jen's Journey, except our version is much more small scale, therefore more applicable to our previously slovenly ways.
{Just kidding, we are not slovenly, just in the thick of expanding the ole' familias!}

Anyway, here are our goals for our first 10 Day Challenge:
30 miles of walk/jog
3,000 sit-ups
500 push-ups

And today being day three, here is what I've done the last two days, since today's work out won't be happening until the evening:
4/30 miles of walk/run
500/3,000 sit-ups
50/500 push-ups

The reason I'm loving this whole 10-day-parameter thing is because if you need to take a break for a day, that's totally fine, or if you're feeling extra motivated and on top of business one day, you can take on more! So long as everything is done within the 10 days. Awesome, I tell you.

Anyway, here's a random story from yesterday about eating horribly:
I went to pick up my little brother's high school graduation present {the guy has GRADUATED from HIGH SCHOOL!}, and the lady said I had to wait an hour for it to be completed, so off I went to grab Carts a little something to eat, and since I was awkwardly hungry, decided to get myself a little something too. The only healthy options available were served up with these huge portions which I wasn't hungry enough for, so I decided just to grab myself a once-fabulous pizza pretzel from Wetzel's Pretzels. 
Oh, Lord. Greasey-McGreaster. 
So greasy that when I was ready to choke down all that was the pepperoni/pretzel combination, I could have swallowed the grease first, then swallowed the rest. Basically, puking right there in the middle of the food court didn't sound like such a bad idea to me in that moment, and wouldn't ya know it? The rest of the day waves of feeling the need to animatedly gag came and went every time the experience flitted through my memory. Awful, man.
Anyway, back to my smoothie and reading Carts his new Potty with Elmo book!

{PS- Anyone who reads Elmo, what about this "Baby David" character? Hilarious!}

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My first fitness check in

Today I'm teaching at Purebarre at 6:00 am, 7:15 and 8:25, so I'm going to take it easy with these extracurricular activities. Since Wednesday's start at such an ungodly hour, I'm usually completely beat by 3:00ish, so I think a light, nice walk should reinvigorate this ole' broad. Anyway, I think I'm going to like these here check in's, even if I'm the only one!

Today's goals:

3.5 mile walk around the lake {no hills, just relaxing!}
300 sit-ups
45 push-ups

What happened yesterday:

3.5 miles of hills
300 sit-ups
30 seconds of plank
45 push-ups {knee's down, mind you}
30 elbow bends {crab!}

One of the most surprising aspects of this whole healthy life thing is how I'm pulling away from my usual obsessed-to-insanity coffee-buying habits! I've actually been preferring home brew over my McCafe/Starbucks delights, so long as a generous amount of my fabulous Italian Sweet Cream is present. The last few days I've had a warm cup of coffee around 8:00ish {except for today...damn you, 5:00 am!}, and then an iced coffee from the same pot around 2:30ish. Who would have thought that I would chill out on the coffee purchases?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Findings in fitness

So this is awful, but I've never been big on the whole "nutrition" thing. It's just never been something I was ever particularly interested in! Growing up, of course my parerentals cooked a great deal, but let's just say that Burger King was conveniently right down the street. During college, who the hell knew how to cook for themselves? I was an active patron of Taco Bell. Anyway, bottom line is this: unhealthy eating never really affected the scale, therefore it never really affected my guilty conscious. Gorditas for all! - was my sick mantra.

But I think I have turned a new leaf! 
About three weeks ago I went shopping at the local Sprouts Farmers Market for the first time and without even meaning to, totally stocked up on fruits and veggies because they were so darn cheap! My outrageously cheap-skate eye has this thing for buying whatever the heck is thriftiest, and at this glorious market, it was all the stuff that actually helps your bod out! I even bought a can of coconut juice and it was delish! What on earth?!

Anyway, I came home and told Chad about my awesome score and per our compromise, we meal planned! Yes! We meal planned! For meals that I would be making! Mind blowing!
So the week went on and each meal was actually quite a riot to execute...A good time was being had by me, the mother of all burnt brownies.
During the days of that first week, all of our snacks consisted of something fruit or veggie-like since we had such a supply, and let me tell you something: I had never felt better! 

THEN, I came across this blog, and was just absolutely floored, particularly by this section. Um, can we say "healthy lifestyle pay off?" That insanity got me outrageously motivated, prompting me to go on at least four 3.5 mile walks, all during that first week! Apparently eating a few fruits, veggies and homemade meals makes one turn into a completely different human being!

So let's recap: Week 1 was a little bit of healthy eating and a few walks.
Awesome, but not as awesome as week TWO!
Back I went to Sprouts with a psycho determination to fill up again on these wild things which are au naturalle. I was so stoked to whip all my goodies into wholesome meals that I was actually perturbed when Chad came home early on that Wednesday night and asked if he could cook. When Thursday came around, I felt like I hadn't turned on the stove in years! Who the hell had I turned into?!
Anyway, week two consisted of awesome meals, healthy snacks, 3.5 mile walks AND my new thing: 300 sit-ups.  

Now for this week, WEEK THREE!
I totally splurged at Sprouts, therefore taking it off of my this place is so awesome because I have yet to shell out more than $50 per week so far list, but here's what we did with the loot during the kids' Sunday nap session:

- I pre-packaged little sandwich bags filled with fruit and froze them all so Carts, Chad and I can easily {quickly} have daily smoothies after adding a little bit of apple juice and spinach

- We meal planned more in-depth dinners {steak and spinach pinwheels, anyone?}

- and -

- Pre-packaged Chad's lunches for the entire week with the leftovers from last week so there's no need for any crazy processed foods out there in the wild world of the "lunch break."

...And those smoothies? Heaven. I actually crave them when I wake up now!

More things about week three: continuing the 3.5 mile walks WITH the double stroller {want to get into shape? Have another kid! You will be pushing a minimum of 45 pounds during each walk session!}, adding more sit-ups into the mix, and I'm determined to start pushups {the kind where my knees are on the floor...Full pushups? Not there yet, my friend!}.

So in the spirit of Jen's blog, I'm going to start posting my daily fitness goals {with my two days of teaching at Purebarre included}, along with what the deal is with dinner for us that night. 
At the end of the day, who would have thought that my cheap-o-ness would have led us down the road to some healthy eating? I guess everyone out there is right: eating well makes you feel good! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chad and Jesus walking on water

One of Carter's favorite books of all time is his little book of stories from the Bible, and I have to say, I've learned a thing or two from the simple little compilation. Anyway, we read this thing every night.
Now look, I love reading about David and Goliath as much as the next gal, but after about...hmm...let's just round up to the 700th time in a row of viewing the same content, one's mind tends to wander. 

Such was the case with Chadly tonight. I was handling the babe and he had the tot, and after I laid her down and closed the door behind me, this is what I overheard from the next room over:

Okay Carts, 'Jesus Walks on Water.' 
Jesus's disciple's were in a boat on this crazy lake in the middle of a snowstorm. The waves were going all wild, so Jesus walked on over to them on the water!
Jesus said, 'Yo my peeps, I'm here to save you and calm these waters.'
So He calmed the waters and all went well from then on out.

And after the whole "on the water" part, he had this totally gangster voice going on! Like we were up on the block reading Bible stories to our little hoodlum child! Anyway, it was hilarious. That man of mine... he's got it going on :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This moment in time

I'm in one of those totally funky moods where every possibility just sounds weird. Ice cream... great, but also horrible; going to bed... divine, but mind-numbing; sitting at the computer... boring, but reading my book doesn't sound too good either. 
So in order to fill this hideous void-ish feeling in my stomach, here is what is going through my mind:

Potty training has actually been quite a joy. Five days ago I would never have thought that those words would run through my mind, but you know what? It's not so bad! Thursday was our first day, and up until today {Sunday} the little ones and I have just been rolling around the floor waiting for Carter to tell me if he has to go. There has only been one HORRENDOUS accident, but as far as I'm concerned, only cleaning up once within a four day period isn't so bad. Anyway, this actually deserves it's own post, so more on that another day!

Kota Bear has been quite the unruly sleeper lately. Last night I punched the feeding clock at 12:30, 2:45 and 6:00, which was actually better than the night before. The thing is that she's still in our room, and there's just no way I could lay there and let her cry in an attempt to sleep train. That would be torturous for all of us. And unless she's sleeping all the way through the night, I don't want to put her in Carter's room. And the thing about that is, I'm sure if I just switched her to formula she would be good to go, but I don't want to do that yet. So as of right now I'm just waking up with her sans complaints. It's just the way it goes, man. The good news is that every single time I go to pick her up at one of those ungodly hours she gives me a big, fat smile. It makes me very happy, even though I feel like gauging my eyeballs out.

Carter refuses to go to sleep right now. I'm listening to Chad continually tell him, "Bed, now." Maybe I should go up there? Nah. This blog post is way more important.
{Just kidding... Chad already told me that he would handle it. Thanks, hun bun!}

I'm still conflicted in the whole should-I-go-to-work-full-time realm. A part of me thinks that would be amazing for the family and for this curious itch I have, and then the second I think those thoughts, I immediately sling shoot to the other side of the spectrum. Rolling around on the floor for the past few days has not exactly helped the whole "work" cause either. I'm telling you, man, kids just like it when their mom is home and readily available. 
{...And the Thank You, Captain Obvious award goes to me...}
Again, we shall see on this one.

...Which leads me to my thoughts on day care. I'm actually all for day care, as long as it's not for years and years on end. I think it's good for kids since it's built in social building time. If I did go to work, however, we would do an in-home day care, most likely, because it's a little bit more personable and I feel like I would trust the whole system a bit more. I was an in-homer for the first three-and-a-half years of my fabulous life, and look how I turned out! WONDERFUL as can be!
Can't you tell??!

Chad let me sleep in this morning for an extra 2 hours, which I was mad at myself for. I just can't sleep in anymore! Enough already, Nicole! It doesn't help you a damn bit throughout the rest of the day, and leaves you feeling wishy-washy into the night. {See: indecisive about ice cream.}

Anyway, I guess I should go read my book and drink some water. Who knows. Talks on potty training to come.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A compromise

So it's no secret that my culinary skills are outrageously out-shined by....umm...well, everyone. I'm like the opposite of Giada, who unfairly so, is the epitome of intuition in the kitchen. Anyway, I have learned to accept this unfortunate fact, and have been serving myself well from Chad's dishes-o-amazingness nightly. Well, since the Little Lady has made her appearance, I literally can count on one hand the amount of times I've actually cooked something. It's all about waiting for Chad to come home and figuring out exactly what he's craving, so that way I can just handle the kids while he slaves away over a hot stove, after he has just slaved away all day long at work. The good news is, the man likes cooking. It's a release for him, something which compliments my stress-ball ways when it comes to the heart of the home.

On a completely different note, about a month-and-a-half ago, I realized that I will never be without the kids, if even for forty-five minutes, unless they're sleeping. It's one of those things that just hits you once #2 comes along, where with #1, the hubster can relieve you every once in awhile and all is well. Of course Chadly can always take both kids while I sleep in or what have you, but it's just not the same. There's no such thing as a stressless "me" moment, at least while they're this age.
But anyway, I'm completely, 100%, totally fine with that. It's my job, and exactly what I signed up for. I truly am making a conscious point to savor it. Something I always used to read out there in blog-land was "to savor the little moments because they won't be tiny forever," and with the coming of Kota, I see how important that is. 
That being said though, it can get mighty tiring. Every single day, without fail, 5:00 pm will roll around and I'll feel so spent it's outrageous. Like I just ran 5 marathons in a row, which again, is completely fine, but just tough from time to time.

Anyway, Chad and I were discussing this fact, when he said, "You know what would be awesome and easier on everyone? If I just came home from work everyday, we ate right then and there, then I can handle the kids' bedtime routine. That way I can spend more time with the babes, not have to cook as much, and you can relax. What do you think?"

Um, yes please. 
Why had that never occurred to me before?
The only thing I would have to do is start cooking about an hour before he gets home, something which scared me because of the wild task of balancing both kids, but hey! I had never even tried it before, so how was I so positive that it would be a disaster?
There I was, forcing my man to cook like a maniac after a long day, while I just sort of barraged him with all the weird points of the last eight hours because, remember, that's when I would hit my tired phase.
So a deal was struck, and it has been ever so enjoyable.

Now I'm spitting out crazy meals like chicken and vegetable pasta and stuffed portobello mushrooms with eggplant parmesan. What the heck?! Who knew I had it in me!
Anyway, quite the exciting little week we've had over here in the land of the C's, and I daresay my kitchen skills are improving! 

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