07 November 2012

Time passes way too quickly.  It seems like I've barely blinked and weeks and months have passed.  The boys have had their 4th birthday, and now Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away.  Before I know it the new  year will be upon us.

Life has been full of changes again for us.  A new home, in a new state.  It was such a whirlwind of a move, I don't feel like I've even fully processed it yet.  Every now and then I'll get this overwhelming sadness, missing our giant house and my beautiful gray walls.  The orange and green chair I had to leave behind.  Friendships that had been developed over the 3 years we were there.  The BRAND NEW washer and dryer I had finally been able to buy.  The memories that were made.   Its weird little things.  At odd times.

I do love it here in North Carolina.  I can't tell you how many times M and I have looked at each other wondering how we made it 3 1/2 years in North Dakota.  We have certainly (very quickly) become spoiled with everything at our fingertips here!

15 July 2012

I just cringed when I realized when my last post on here was.

Tomorrow, I will update.  I miss blogging.  Don't I say this frequently?

05 December 2011

Christmas Cheer

Yesterday I had a chance to pull out the camera and play around with the manual setting.  I was so thrilled that I figured a few things out, AND got it to do what I wanted it to!

(G wasn't feeling good yesterday, this is as much as I got out of him)

This year I feel like Christmas is creeping upon me and I don't feel prepared for it.  Which, is truly silly because I actually have all my shopping done.  And then I realize its also only the 5th of the month.  There is still time for me to make peanut butter fudge and Christmas tree cookies. 

 Now, why do I feel so unprepared?  

03 December 2011

4 Months Difference

yesterday I put this up on facebook.

I truly did not expect the overwhelming response to it!  I was so hesitant to put it up, but I wanted people to know that I did not achieve this just sitting still.  It has been a lot of hard work.  It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.

So many of my friends asked me to share my secrets to success, so here they are!

My Tips and Techniques

#1: Running. Year before last I discovered running and I fell in love. I was not a runner by any means, nor did it come easy to me. The first time I went out for a run (and attempted to follow Couch to 5K) I couldn’t even make it half a block. I stuck with it (the running... I quickly modified C25K and ended up ditching it after week 2), and quickly fell in love. There is strength and power in running. Even after the worse run possible you walk through the door feeling like you can take on the world, or in my case… 2 toddler boys. By the time I got pregnant with Milee, 7 months later, I could easily run 5 miles. I will never be able to shut-up about my love of running. Now with 3 kids it’s harder to find time to get out and run, but my goal is 1 run outside a week (which right now is more like 1x a month). I do now have an elliptical, and I am running on that 4-5x a week. (Miles is going to read this and be like “what?!”… OK, I’ve only had the elliptical together for a week. I WILL be running on that 4-5 times a week during the winter.)

#2: Insanity. A week after my 6 week check-up I started Insanity (www.beachbodycoach.com/nodakhotmama).  And it was truly insane. No person in their right mind (especially one that physically can.not exercise beyond yoga while pregnant) should do Insanity at 7 weeks postpartum. But, I once again stuck with it… well, at least until week 6. After rest week at week 5, it was hard for me to get back into it.  Workouts had to be pushed until after the kids were in bed and I had finished up everything else that had been neglected during the day. Not to mention that was when it decided to be ridiculously hot here. At 10pm the last thing I had the mental energy to do was make myself sweat and cry for 60+ minutes depending on the night. No lie, Insanity is brutal. You will cry (actual tears), you will curse, and you will hate your life. But oh, the sweet results! Even though I didn’t finish the program I saw so much progress and change in those 5 weeks. I highly recommend it to anyone that has it in them.

#3: Tabata. A few months ago, after being completely unsatisfied with the lack of runs I’d been able to squeeze in, I discovered tabatas at fithealthymoms.com. And my life was made complete. Tabatas are a high intensity interval workout. The short of it… you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds, you rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 4 minutes. You can either just do 1 tabata (4 minutes), or take a minute break and repeat. The most I’ve accomplished at a time is 3 tabatas (15 minutes). These are the BEST workouts for me. I can always find the mental energy to force myself to do a 4 minute workout. This usually leads to 2, and then 3. After 15 minutes though, I am most times completely drained, muscles shaking, nothing left to give. Favorite part of tabatas, I found a HIIT app for my phone. So I can do my work out with the timer set on my phone and watch whatever TV show is on, that I don’t admit to people I watch :D I do these on average 5-6 times a week. I found I like them better if I do 2 different moves per tabata, for example I’ll do 20 sec. Mountain climbers, 10 secs rest, 20 secs jump squats, 10 secs rest, and repeat. Different exercise moves I’ve done include mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump squats, heismans, pretend jump rope, sprinting, flutter kicks, high knees… a lot of things I learned while doing Insanity have been put to VERY good use with these.

#4: Core Firing System. Shortly before I had Milee I found momsintofitness.com, and quickly fell in love with her approach and style of exercise. I had originally intended on buying her 60-day slim down after Milee was born, but since someone offered to let me borrow their copy of Insanity I ended up doing that instead. BUT, I discovered her Core Firing System. As a woman that has had a twin pregnancy and a singleton pregnancy in just over 2 ½ years, my abs (and skin) are/were shot. Her CFS method teaches you how to work your abs from the inside (and also has tips for if you have diastasis recti, or separated ab muscles). I am a person that HATES exercise DVDs with a passion. So I bought her download. It seems so much better using my computer. And, another favorite, its only 8 minutes long. I try to do this 3x a week, though lately it’s only been about once a week.

#5: Diet. Now, I hate the word diet. What I do is not a “diet”. It is not something that is just temporary. It’s a permanent way of life for me. I ate like this before I had children, and will mostly likely until I die, or am too old to eat solids. On an average day I eat mainly vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. It is once again so second nature to me, that it’s hard to describe it as anything extraordinary, so I’ll try and break it down.

Breakfast: coffee (with fat-free half & half and 1 packet equal); and a handful of almonds.

Lunch: it could be a large salad with a little cheese or meat on it; a plateful of vegetables; or a green smoothie w/protein powder (which I love because I don’t really get to sit down and eat most days)

Snack: mostly always almonds or an apple with natural peanut butter (‘normal’ peanut butter usually has some type of sugar added. And the less sugar I consume the better. For me, sugar is the enemy after having kids.)

Supper: is a wild card. I’ll either have another salad, with what I’ve made for Miles and the kids as a topping (if they have tacos, I’ll have taco salad type of thing). Or, if it’s a meat and potatoes type of meal I’ll fill my plate with 75% vegetables, 15% protein, 10% whatever the side dish is. And if it’s something there is no way to healthy up (we’ve all made those casseroles when we’re in a hurry), I just watch my portions.

I am not a person to truly deprive myself of anything. I think those that have spent time with me know that. I’ll eat that birthday cake. Or enjoy that meal out. But, I don’t prolong it past that. Moderation in everything. Two key factors for me since having kids are cutting out as much sugar and starches as possible. I very, very rarely eat bread or pasta (I don’t believe in whole wheat pasta… gag). But, nor do I miss it. It could be because I’ve cut it out of my everyday diet for so long that I don’t notice that it’s gone, or maybe I’m just not a huge fan of it. Sugar on the other hand, no lie, I’m an addict. I try to keep as much of it out of the house as possible. I can’t say I avoid it 100% (I did 2 years ago for 7 weeks, go me). I just try to limit my intake.

And lastly,

#6: Motivation/Determination. This is the hardest topic to discuss, in my opinion. Each person is driven by something so individually. For me it is to feel like I did before I had the boys. I felt amazing way back when (hard to believe it has been 4 years!). And it has been a driving force since. Now, as for short term motivation… well, my secret is to find something I really, really truly desire for every 10lbs ($25-$50.00 price limit). And when I hit that goal, I buy my reward. Ahh, all the pretty shoes I’ve got this year! It sounds silly, but for me it works. I love shoes. Shoes motivate me (to some extent). I also have a board on pinterest that I pin every motivational picture or saying to. And I don’t just pin it and forget it. I look at that board all the time. Being reminded of what I want consistently helps me to remember that short term satisfaction (whether it be the comfort of a skipped workout or the indulgence of chocolate cake) is not worth the long term goal.

06 November 2011

chocolate pumpkin spice caramel corn

a few weeks ago I hosted a halloween party playdate.  I had found a recipe for pumpkin spice caramel corn that sounded truly amazing, but it called for pumpkin spice hershey kisses.  Now one, I have never heard of such a thing.  And two, there is no way I could go somewhere to see if I could find them thanks to our lovely middle-of-nowhere-location (I have left town since then, and still have been unable to find them... I don't think they really exisit).

On the website that I had found this recipe there was also a chocolate caramel corn.  Which looked and sounded amazing.  But, I was sold on the pumpkin spice idea (since it was a halloween party and all... it needed pumpking SOMETHING).

And then I decided to create my own.  Lo and behold. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn.

(yes, yes, you're welcome)

1 batch of perfect popcorn
1 cup. nuts (if desired)
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Place popped popcorn and nuts on large rimmed parchment paper lined cookie sheet (or that has been lightly sprayed with non stick cooking spray).

2. Place remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until  mixture comes to a light boil (once the ingredients have been melted together I usually taste it.  Some days I feel a little more pumpkin spice is neccesary).  Remove from heat and pour evenly over popcorn and nuts.  Gently stir to coat mixture evenly over popcorn.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes.  Stirring after the first 15 minutes. 

3. Remove from oven and cool.  (If you have used parchment paper you can just slid it off the pan onto the counter to cool.  If you just sprayed your cookie sheet, lay parchement paper or wax paper on the counter and pour popcorn onto it cool).  Break into pieces and stuff your face enjoy!

02 October 2011

4 Months

Lil' Miss M turns 4 months old today.  I have to admit I'm in a little bit of disbelief that its already been that long.

She is growing like a weed.  Literally.  We zoomed right out of 3M clothes and are now nicely filling out the 6M stuff.  I'm beginning to wonder if we aren't going to be in the next bigger size before winter hits us here in the NoDak.  Which, if you remember should be anytime now because we do live in NoDak.

(total side story BUT it was actually 84F here yesterday.  84!  It was warmer here than it was in FL.  How the heck does that happen?  I'm pretty sure today is like 80F too.  Not that I've left the house.  Or, I'll admit it, even gotten dressed.)

Back to lil' M.

She is sleeping decently.  Though she's discovered that Mommy will run and plop the paci back in her mouth at any given time during the night.  She likes to take advantage of that every now and then (more like every other night).

The teething monster is paying us a visit right now.  The drooling

 and the chewing. 
 I'm not sure the poor little thing will have any hands left by the time she gets teeth.  I wouldn't say she's a miserable baby, but she does seem a little more grouchy than normal (read: she fusses for like 5 minutes a day now).

I got her highchair delivered the other day, and she is without a doubt ready for solids.  Bottles just aren't doing it for her anymore.  5-6 ounces every 2-2 1/2 hours.  And its just not enough anymore.

She has rolled from her tummy to her back 5 times.  But its been about a month since she did that.  She seems to have decided its just not for her.  She's this close rolling from her back to her tummy. 

 I actually thought she was going to do it while I was siting here typing, but she changed her mind at the last minute.
The boys love her to death.  Some days I'm afraid they will literally love her to death.  Now that she's a little bigger Z is much more involved and interested in being around her.

G couldn't be bothered to join us for pictures, but he does love his little sister dearly and spends a lot of time talking and 'playing' with her.

I honestly thought (when pregnant) that having a 3rd child would be pretty easy-peasy. I mean, I've already done this once times 2. But what I didn't expect was to have such an easy child. She is happy. Like almost always.

And when she isn't. I have not.a.clue. what could be wrong. With G it was easy. He was crying. Oh well, what was new? And as I'm typing this I realize I have no clue if Z cried a lot or not. Hmm. He's kind of whiney and cries a lot now if that counts for anything.

I'm beyond thrilled that this time around I knew 'how to do it' and have been able to lose almost all the baby weight.  As of this morning I have 8lbs of lil' M weight to lose and then another 7lb of G&Z pregnancy weight.  I think in some ways knowing that lil' M is our last child motivated me to get back on track running and eating healthier again.

I'm attempting to paint the dining room.  The last room downstairs that I had plans to paint (I'm not touching the kitchen or bathroom until I can completely remodel the).  I've worked on it for 6 hours over 3 days.  And have the trim cut in.  At the rate I'm going I'm figuring it will take me 12 days to get the room painted.  Though I am hoping to have the energy tonight to get the first coat on the walls. Highly doubting it though.

09 September 2011

Play Dough!

Today Z and I made some play dough while G and lil' M napped.  He very carefully dumped all the ingredients into the pan.  He helped me put everything away.  And even pretended to wash the dishes for me.  Which was only a little disastrous, but no major damage was done. 

 I did discover that using whole wheat flour in your play dough... well, I thought the spoon had splintered through out the dough at first.  Note for next time... no whole wheat.  It was a mistake, the whole wheat.  I forgot I had emptied it into the flour canister.

The boys were very excited to play with this new creation.  I pulled out the safety scissors and let them practice their cutting skills.  G was all about the scissors.  He grabbed onto them (the right way!) and started "snip, snip, snipping" away.

Z wasn't so thrilled with them.  OK, he was.  But after he tried to cut his cheek, finger and arm repeatedly, each time getting yelled at by yours truly, he ditched the scissors and decided to just play cars.

I love to see their imaginations coming out.  And the new discoveries they're making.  The little tales they make up as they sit there and play.  Even though, G some how manages to make every. single. conversation turn into one about Thomas the Train (really G?  can't we give Thomas a day off?)

Lil' M is discovering her hands.  She spent the entire afternoon devoted to the research of her hands.

look at those cheeks!  and yes, she is kind of busting out of those jammies but I'm trying to wait until the weather cools down to pull out the next size.

And of course, a little taste testing too.

Today was a good day for me.  I got to the end of the day, and I still felt like I had it together.  I didn't accomplish as much as I secretly wanted to.  But at the same time, I accomplished a lot more than I realistically thought I would.  I was able to catch up on a ton of work.  And should be able to finish the rest of it up over the weekend.

I've been wracking my brain lately trying to figure out how to make this all work.  Between laundry and cleaning.  Work.  Cooking 3 meals a day (as unhealthy as they are... there has GOT to be a plus side to having drive thrus semi-close to where you live.). Taking care of lil' M.  Trying to make sure the boys get the attention they deserve.  Making sure M gets the attention he deserves.  Feeling like I am a human too... I've felt like the flood waters have been slowly rising around me.  And there won't be much time until I'm in over my head.  I decided earlier this week to devote a section of every day to one certain task.  I was doing it housework in the morning; work in the afternoon; boys after supper.  But that hasn't worked for me.  Too many days my housework takes up more than just a few hours of the morning.  I think that next week I'm going to switch it around so work is in the morning and house stuff is the afternoon/evening.  Before we moved, I felt like I had it all conquered.  Granted, I was minus 1 child and a job.  But there is this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I can still conquer everything.  I'm just missing a secret link.  I will find that link.  I will find it, and I will conquer again.

04 September 2011


1. We went grocery shopping in Minot (aka: we now have FOOD!)
2. I was given supermom props repeatedly through out Wal-Mart (that darn cape must have been hanging out)
3. The good behavior ended between Wal-Mart and Target.  (I was given 'worse mom of the year' looks while in Target.  We left quickly.)
4. Z kept his undies dry the entire time we were gone.
5. I pass-blocked someone who annoyed me for over 15 miles.  (yes, I'm that kind of driver.  Do.Not.Try.To.Pass.Me.When.I.Am.Already.Speeding)
6. All the littles napped in the truck on the way home (YAY peace and quiet for me!  Much better than the screeching "CHOO, CHOO, WHOO, WHOO" from G and the screamed response "BE QUIET YOU'RE GOING TO WAKE UP MILEE" by Z I had to listen to the entire way there.)
7. We had our first potty training casualty.  (OK, it was a fatality.  I just threw those suckers out.  Come on already, tell me when you need to poop Z)
8. No one learned a lesson yesterday.  G rocked his chair like a crazy man at the table (can I maybe blame this on Grammy's obsessive rocking habit? its genetics, they can't help it, right?) must also add that while G was doing this, Z was throwing milk soaked lucky charms across the table at him.
9. The boys have been playing for an HOUR together. (they're still happy.  and not killing each other)
10. Lil' M is already asleep.  And 5 minutes until the boys are dragged whisked away to bed (YAY for me again!)

Another discovery of the day.  Pretty sure caffiene has become ineffective.  Give me an energy drink and I am one happy lady.  Or maybe it is the effect of coffee and energy drink on a mostly emtpy stomach.  Either way, I feel awesome.  And its the end of the day.  Something could possibly be wrong with me.

03 September 2011

maybe not such a great idea.

Today I found a recipe for homemade 'edible' finger paint.  Edible as in, it won't kill them.  Not as in, it tastes yummy.  But hey, G will pretty much put anything in his mouth (I believe it was jet dry he wanted to suck down today).  I thought it would give me a chance to finish my grocery list. 

Or not so much.

And then the fun was over. 

 Z decided it was WAY too messy for him.

G decided to tear his paper into bits (which he then threw all over the dining room).

It was definitely a fun project.  Something I'm sure we'll do again.  But just not when I'm attempting to get stuff done.

Tonight we also had a first almost major boo-boo.  After the 500th + time of telling the boys to not rock their chairs at the table, I gave up.  Wouldn't you know, Z rocked it too hard and flipped his chair backwards.  Unfortunate for him Thomas the Train was laying on the floor at the exact point his head was to collide with it.  Gave him a nice little split (man, oh man do head wounds bleed).  I was afraid at first that I'd have to take him to the ER.  But the bleeding stopped prett much as soon as I put a cold wash cloth on it.  It dribbled a little more before a scab formed, but I decided we could get away without having to make that first, dreaded trip.  And, of course within minutes of climbing back into his chair he was rocking away.  Lesson learned  for.sure.