Monday, March 30, 2009

Fit Mommy Monday - Get Ripped

Just time for a very quick check-in here...the baby is starting to make her little, squeaky, elephant noises so I know I have about 30 seconds.

I had my post-baby doctors appointment last Wednesday. I thought they were just going to have a look at my incision, ask me how I was feeling, and send me on my way. No. Not so lucky. It was a stirrups kind of a day. Yuck. But, worse than that...they also made me get up on the scale. On my last visit before Nicole was born I was 150. I was 118 before I got pregnant. I was hoping to at least be in the 120's somewhere but, no. No such luck. 132. So, that means I have 14 pounds of pure fat to loose. I asked my doctor how long it normally takes to make it back down to your pre-preggo weight and she, of course, said it totally depends. She asked if I was nursing (yes) and said that usually helps women to loose it fast. She, for example, was 10 pounds LESS than her pre-preggo weight at her 6 weeks post visit. UGH. I don't think I like her very much anymore {Just Kidding}. So, anyway, that means I have 14 pounds to go. Seven pounds from each I have so many pairs of pants that I can't even get passed my thighs, let alone do up!

So, after that sad visit I've upped the work-outs. No longer satisfying myself with a nice, quick, stroll. I got out the Jari Love, y'all.

Now, this used to be one of my easier work-out tapes back in the day (the day when I could pull up my pants) and I was rather congratulating myself on actually getting through it on my first attempt. The next day...I could barely climb the stairs. My arms hurt, my tummy hurt, and when I crossed my legs just the weight of my one leg on top of my other thigh muscle killed.

I had to give myself a couple of days off to recoup.

But, I got back up on that horse...or exercise and I did it again.

The plan for this week is 3 days more of me and Jari.

Also, I'm going to re-weigh myself when I take the baby back to the doctor's for the second half of her vaccines. I haven't had any junk or any coke all week (except one coke and some ice cream on Sunday. I'm letting that be my free day). I hope I'm under 130 now. Is that possible in a week?
If you are a Mommy trying to get into your pants again, too, please let me know! I need someone to help keep me motivated...especially if that scale isn't going to give me any good news this Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The 8-Week Mark.

Little Nicole Lily is 8 weeks old now.
Time for her monthly "car-seat shot"!

{Colie at 2 months, 11 lbs. 4 oz., 22 inches}

{Colie at 1 month, 10 lbs. 15 oz., 21 inches}

{Colie at 3 days, 6 lbs., 9 oz., 21 inches}

It's amazing to see how quickly her face is changing. I look at photos of her on the day she was born and I wonder when she lost that "brand new baby" look. The puffy eyes and the little tiny round face. They change so fast. They grow up so fast. She is 8 weeks old and, already, I'm getting nostalgic.

Other changes...

Well, she has gotten even more nicknames. I'm finding myself calling her "Colie" more now. I just love the name "Lily" so much, but everyone else is calling her "Nicole" or versions there I guess I'm following along. She suits it, though.

Her hair is changing a bit, too. Other than the fact that she is losing some of is also starting to look more red. We've had a couple of people comment on her red hair (although, it looks more red in the sunlight than when she is inside). I'm, of course, loving this because I was a little red-headed baby. Dave calls her "Little Red" (another of her nicknames!).

She is starting to almost sleep through the night now, too. That is a wonderful change for sure! We've had nights when her last feeding was at 1 am and then she has slept all the way to 6 am. Fantastic! She is staying awake longer through the day, too, which is probably helping that whole sleeping-at-night part along.

We are also finding that she is a bit more willing to be by herself for little bits here and there, now. She'll sit in her Papasan swing for long as we put the "Nature" music channel on for her. She likes to listen to the classical music with the sounds of rain, and birds chirping in the background. Not for too long though. She is still one very cuddly baby and she would prefer to be in her Mommy or Daddy's arms 24-7. She won't go to sleep anywhere but on her Daddy's chest at night. That is her absolute favourite spot. She is actually starting to complain now when it gets to be bedtime. Right around ten o'clock she'll start fussing. We'll try feeding her, burping her, walking her around, cuddling her, letting her try to get cozy on Dave's chest in the living room...nope. None of that works. She'll just keep fussing. Not crying - just fussing. So, we take her into the bedroom and Dave lies down on the bed, pulls her up onto his chest, and she lets out a little sigh and is sound asleep in seconds. Dave thinks this is a sign that she will be the hardest of the three kids to move into her own bedroom - because she is so attached to her spot. But, right now, it's just completely adorable.

And another change we are seeing in our little baby these days...we are getting lots of real smiles now!

Those first baby smiles are just the best.

She can melt your heart with one grin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tofu Tuesday - Sweet Potato Badi

It's Tofu Tuesday time and while my recipe this week does not contain any tofu - it is meatless and that's the whole idea, anyway, right? So here it is - delicious Sweet Potato Badi.*

Here's Your Shopping List:

1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup raw red lentils
1 tsp ground cumin
1 med. yellow, white, or new potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1-2 small, skinny chile peppers, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 pita breads, split, toasted, and buttered, Basmati Rice or Jasmine Rice

  1. In a small, dry skillet, toast the coconut over med. heat, shaking the skillet often, until uniformly light brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the coconut to a small bowl and set aside.

  2. In the same skillet {??? Don't use the same skillet if you were using a small one! You will need a large skillet to hold all your ingredients for this next part!}, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the lentils and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, until they begin to brown. Stir in the cumin. Add the potato, sweet potato, and 1 and 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and peas, and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender and the liquid is almost gone, about 10 minutes more. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, add a little more water. Remove from the heat

  3. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the toasted coconut and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining coconut, yogurt, chiles, and salt, and whisk until smooth. Fold the yogurt mixture gently into the vegetables. Cover the skillet and let stand for a few minutes until warmed through. Transfer the badi to a serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut on top. Serve immediately with the pita bread or rice.

Note: This dish can be prepared ahead through step 2 up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve, reheat the mixture in a large skillet and remove from the heat before starting step 3.


This was really yummy. I will for sure make it again. It says to serve with rice or pita bread, but I think it is great with both. I added my frozen peas right at the very end so they still remained very firm and fresh and they add a great little "pop" in your mouth as you eat. So good! The rest of my family had spaghetti for dinner but Jamie still came over to mooch some of mine and she really liked it. I gave Davey a taste, too, and he thought it was good (what's not to like, reall?). Maddie was already off playing in her toy room, so she missed out. It left lots of left-overs, though, so she can try some today.

*Recipe from Didi Emmons book, "Entertaining For a Veggie Planet". I'm really loving this book, btw!*

Brought to you by...
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fit Mommy Monday - The Nasty Fitness Journal.

I found something horrifying. It was downstairs on the bookshelf, just above all my cookbooks. It was a fitness journal I purchased a couple of years ago. My goal at that time was not to loose any weight, but to put on some muscle (and, hopefully, gain a little energy). I took the book down to look at it and much to my chagrin I noticed that I recorded all my measurements in it at the time. So, these are pre-baby measurements. I brought the book upstairs and found my measuring tape. Why did I do that? Ladies - it is not pretty. Not pretty at all. To put it in a nutshell I basically have an extra 5 to 6 inches on all my parts (waist, hips, and thighs). Yes, my chest is bigger, too (nursing) but who is gonna' complain about that, right? What I don't understand is how I could have gained as much girth on *one* thigh as I did on my whole waist! It's really, really, awful. I can even tell you that I almost fell into a pit of despair rather, shockingly, fast. I decided that I can never eat again, and I can never leave the house. I have no clothes that fit, except for my old scrubs, and I am not about to spend a small fortune on new clothes that - Gawd as my witness...will NOT fit me soon!!!!!

But, I'm going to try and not walk past any more full length mirrors for awhile and just keep focused. I've given up all pop (I was drinking 2 or 3 cans of the stuff a day) and I am no longer snacking at night (I was eating ice cream before bed every night...hey, the calcium is good for me...I told myself). I am drinking more water than ever (which isn't saying much...I had two bottles the other day and that was more than I had drank in about the last 2 weeks). Btw, I live on a I kind of have to use bottled water. I do recycle all the bottles, though. There seems to be a big anti-bottled water movement going on right now but I'm not sure what else I can drink.

Also, remember I promised to walk three times last week? Well, I did. And they were pretty hard/fast walks, too. I bought myself a pretty new, pink, pedometer and measured my distance and steps. I did 2 km's each time - in about 2500 steps. My third walk was over very hilly terrain out by Dave's Mom's place and that one really got my heart going.

I have my "6 weeks post" check-up with the doctor this coming Wednesday (yes, it will actually be more like 9 weeks post...which is why I wasn't going to wait for her go-ahead to start moving) and, as much as I hate scales, I'm gonna' hop on there and see where I am at (i.e. torture myself some more).

9 months on, 9 months off? What crazy girl said that? Oh, ya, that was me. Before I tried on my old jeans.

I want my thighs back.

p.s. Goal for this week: three more work-outs - this time including some fitness dvd's. If you are working on some fitness goals of your own, please leave me a comment so I can go check out your blog and, maybe, we can commiserate together!

p.p.s. The above picture is actually me this time and I must tell you it does not do justice to the actual situation. I don't know why - maybe because the camera was kind of angled downward or something...but just appreciate the fact that my zipper comes no where close to doing up and that denim could not be pulled any tighter across my legs without actually exploding. sigh.

p.p.sp.s Please excuse the sloppppy writing. It's really hard to blog with a baby in your arms.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tofu Tuesday - Veggie Sloppy Joe's

Talk about great timing. I just decided to start eating more vegetarian food again. As some of you already know (and are sick of hearing) I was a vegetarian for many years before I had my first daughter. While I was pregnant with her I started eating chicken again because I was a very unhealthy vegetarian, and I thought I really needed to eat something other than meat-free junk food. I've been eating chicken ever since (that's 6 years now), but I never did start eating cows or pigs again (I just can't eat them - they are too cute. Isn't that the worst reason ever?). So, I just started blogging about my "Meatless Meals" and I went hopping around the web looking for other veggie-friendly-idea-filled sites. That's when I found Kelli at Gohn Crazy and Kaci at Ellyphant, the hosts of Tofu Tuesday. Cool! Glad to meat ya' ladies. ha ha ha. (No, I haven't been into the green beer).

So, I'm happy to present to you my first dish for Tofu Tuesday - Veggie Sloppy Joe's.*

Shopping List:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lrg. onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 8-oz. packages of Tempeh
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, with their juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp veggie Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
Hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper
6 toasted bulky rolls


  1. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over med. heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers, garlic, and chili powder, and cook for 2 minutes more.

  2. Crumble the tempeh into the pan (it will crumble more as it cooks, with the help of a wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, and 1 cup water and mix well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the flavours are well blended, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Stir in the cilantro and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over toasted bulky rolls.

Note: The sloppy joe mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Re-heat in the microwave or on the stove.


Dave and the girls really liked it. Jamie actually gobbled hers up. Dave kept saying "It's really good", but I wasn't sure if he was teasing (he is practically a carnivore), but he said, "No. Really. It's really good. I'd eat this again for sure".

Ironically, I wasn't as big a fan. I'm just not that fond of stuff in tomato sauce. I don't know why because I really like fresh tomatoes and I even like tomato soup - but I just don't love tomato sauce -- and this is very tomato sauc-y. That was my only problem with it, though, and I did still eat it all.

Other notes: it has been very hard to find Tempeh! I haven't been able to find it in any grocery store and I couldn't even get it at the Asian market. I got some, finally, at The Horn of Plenty but one of the two packages they sold me was expired. They also sold me an expired (by a YEAR) package of Seiten. Not to mention, I got a parking ticket for getting back to the truck literally 6 minutes late. I think the ticket guy must have just been standing there waiting for the time to run out.

But, anyway...!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone and

have a Terrific Tofu Tuesday!

*recipe from Didi Emmons book, "Entertaining for a Veggie Planet".

Tofu Tuesdays
Brought to you by...
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fit Mommy Monday

It was a beautiful weekend around here. We can definitely feel Spring in the air. And, I'm happy to report that I took full advantage of it in order to further the whole "Whip Mommy Back into Shape" cause. Lily-Pie and I went out for a nice big walk on Saturday and an even bigger one on Sunday. I even hit the trail on Sunday where the recently melted snow made for some very mucky conditions and some quite difficult terrain for pushing a buggy. I kind of thought part-way through that it may have been a mistake going that way -- but I made it and I felt great again after. So, so far so good.

It looks like we will be enjoying the nice weather for awhile more so I'm hoping to get out there again maybe tomorrow. I even bought a new pedometer today which can track my steps and my distance (Jamie took my other one - I guess she has her own little fitness goals). My plan for this week is at least 3 workouts. I'll report back next Monday to see how I did. If you are becoming a Fit Mommy, too, please leave me a comment so I can go check out your Fit Mommy Journey. ;-)

I can't wait to fit into all my old pants again!!
p.s. I don't really run. That's just me being a goofball for the camera.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bottom's Up.

I did a lot of reading about cloth diapers before Lily-Pie was born. I really like the idea of cloth for many reasons - I think that it has got to be better for her skin, I know it is better for the environment, and we are also down to a one garbage bag limit in our town now. I think we could almost fill up one bag per week with just disposable diapers! Not to mention, they are pretty darn cute. You can get them in so many adorable colors and patterns these days. But the choices are mind-boggling!! You've got the traditional cloth with covers (and then many sub-categories of the type of cloth diaper that goes under the covers), you've got pocket-diapers (a diaper with an opening inside that you stuff with an absorbent cloth panel), and you've got all-in-ones (diapers that are just like disposables, only you don't dispose of them - you wash them).

I had a lot of trouble figuring out what would be best for us, so I went to many web-sites and looked at several forums, and I spoke to girlfriends who had used them. It seems to be that the diaper/cover combo is the most leak-proof, but it would also be the most bulky. And, the all-in-ones would be the most convenient, but they would also be the hardest to wash/dry (since they are "all-in-one", they take much longer to dry for one thing). So, in the end, I decided to go with pockets. Even with that decision made, you aren't set yet because there are many different brands of pocket diapers. You can get Bum Genius, Happy Heiny's, Baby Kanga's, and Fuzzy Buns (amongst others, I'm sure). So, what's a mommy to do?

I decided to try each of them. I ordered a couple from an on-line source and I got the rest from a cool baby store (in which I could have easily spent a million dollars, I think). They are not cheap, I'll tell you - and the initial layout is a bit of a shocker, but if you compare it to what you would end up spending on disposables over the long haul - they do end up being a better bargain. Not to mention the good it does for the environment not to have all those disposables sitting in a landfill forever.

So, I'll let you know how it goes and which ones we decide are best for our particular kiddo. We just have 14 diapers for now, so we will definitely need to invest in a bunch more soon.

If you are a cloth-diapering kind of mommy, please let me know which you use/used and how you liked them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Man's Best Friend.

Oh I wish I could figure out how to actually post this video. It is the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life. My hubby is making fun of me because I am sitting here in tears watching it.

Dogs are just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful animals I tell you. This is just further proof of that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Spider Monkey

It's time for Thankful Thursday. I started to list what I was grateful for on Thursdays because of a little newsletter I received by e-mail one day that explained to me...

According to research in Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, regularly writing down what you're grateful for can increase your level of happiness by about 25 percent. (So can a chocolate martini, but we couldn't find that in the self-help aisle.)

So, if you'd like to get happier, too...please feel free to make a little list of your own and let me know about it by signing Mr. Linky below so I can go check it out! Here's mine:

1) Health: I am grateful that the horrible tummy virus (I believe it is norovirus) that is going around these here parts has passed me by (knock wood). My little Jamie James may have gotten it because she came into our bed one night a week or so ago and proceeded to vomit all over our duvet. It is so horrible to watch your kid get sick, isn't it? Such a feeling of helplessness coupled with panic and anticipation as you watch to see if this "thing" is going to get better or worse. Luckily, she quickly got better and when Dave got it next it was relatively mild. I know the Fairy Blogmother has been hit by it at her house and I hope they are all feeling back to normal soon.

2) My Baby Can Still Eat with a Cold: This has always been a big fear of mine - my baby getting a cold while she is nursing. I worry that when she is so stuffed up she won't be able to eat. I mean, how could she? But, luckily, despite the fact that she is all stuffed up it seems that, somehow, every time she goes to eat her sinus passages magically open up. She starts eating and within seconds the little wheezing, I'm trying to suck some air in, sound is gone and she is fine. I think this may be why she has gone back to eating every 2 hours (at the most) all day and all night (zzzzzz) - just so she can breathe and feel better/comforted. But, I won't complain (except to maybe mention that I am so tired) because I am just very grateful that she is still able to eat.

3) Rocky Road Ice Cream: Can you believe I've never tried this before in my life? Dave brought it home from the grocery store and it is so good. Little chunks of nuts and chocolate with chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirled together. It looks so pretty and tastes even better. Of course, I was trying to stop with the snacking on junk food every night before I go to bed thing (trying to be a Fit Mama here, Davey, remember?) but since that ice cream came along it's been tough. I may have just put another inch back on my waist. So, I'll have to tell him to stop buying it. But, it is good. And, I will just be grateful to have tried it. lol.

4) My Treadmill: speaking of the above...Yes, I went on that lovely walk last Friday and I felt fantastic for it. But, you know what, the weather turned bitterly cold and viciously windy ever since. I'm sorry, I can't do the cold. I just can't. So, I'm grateful that I do have a lovely treadmill sitting downstairs (covered in dust) that I can use to start getting back in shape. If only I could find the desire to go down and use it.

5) The Promise of Spring: That one nice day last week was really a thrill. How nice to be walking around outside and not freezing your butt off (although, that might be a quicker way to achieve my goal). And, right now, as I sit and gaze out my window, it is a lovely-looking sun-shiny day. Although, the temperature is only 2 degrees with a windchill of probably minus 20...the promise of nicer days is certainly there. You can just feel it. I am very eager for the warmer weather and I promise to get back out there as soon as it comes. In the meantime, I'll try to make the effort to go dust off my treadmill. No, really.

Bonus Thankful Thursday moment: I'm so grateful for these moments when little Lily-Pie does her best impression of a spider monkey on top of her daddy. This is her absolute favourite position to be in. She is so comfy-cozy like this and it is so adorable!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

6 Degrees of Separation - Bloggy-Style.

Okay, this is so weird I just have to tell you about it quickly...

I was just surfing around the blog-o-sphere looking for some cool veggie-cooking type blogs. There's one I came across the other day called VeggieWife. I went there to see what was new and see if there were any other links I could jump off to. From there I went to Veggie Girl Vegan. When I was there I found a link to Dog Hill Kitchen that I checked out. When I was at Dog Hill I saw a link to Jen's site at A2EatWrite. I thought, HEY!, I know her...from my pal Shan's What's Cooking Wednesdays.

So, Shan baby, in 6 bloggy steps (if you start with my blog) I went around the world and I came right back to you!!

Is that weird, or what??

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meatless Meals: Tofu Stuffed Peppers

This weekend Davey and I went shopping for a new barbecue. We have been without a grill for over a year now and that is too bad because Dave used to barbecue all the time. It's one of the simple joys in a man's life, I think. A man, his barbecue, and a dog to play fetch with while sipping on some cold beer - any time of the year. Throw in a lightning storm and they are all set. We didn't get one because we are still trying to choose between the "nice" model and the "fancy-smancy" model. The "fancy-smancy" one has a built-in rotisserie. Ohhhh. That would make some nice chicken. Can we stick a block of tofu on there? I think the "fancy-smancy" model may interfere with my quest to become a healthy vegetarian.

Anyway, here is the Meatless Meal that I've got for ya' for this week: Middle Eastern Tofu-Stuffed Peppers. This was very good so I'll post the recipe...

Shopping List:

2 tsp. canola oil
2 lrg garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups onions, diced
pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 2/4 cups carrots, peeled and diced
dash of salt
1 c diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups tofu (frozen, thawed, crumbled)
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs dill, chopped (optional. yuk!)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 c couscous
1/4 c hot water
3 tbs raisins
4 lrg bell peppers
2 c tomato juice

Warm the oil in a med. saucepan, add the garlic, onions, cayenne, and cinnamon, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the carrots, sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, until the carrots are just tender. Stir in the tofu, soy sauce, dill (i left this out), lemon juice, couscous, and water and cook on low to medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Cover tightly, remove from the heat, and set aside. After about 5 minutes, add the raisins and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds but leave the stem ends on so that the peppers will hold their shape during baking. Fill each pepper half with about 1/2 cup of filling and place it in a nonreactive baking dish. Pour the tomato juice into the bottom of the baking dish, cover tightly, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

{Served on a bed of basmati rice with shavings of Parmesan cheese on top}

These are quite good. The whole family liked them and ate them as a main dish. Unlike the veggie lasagna I made last week - where the protein came from all the fattening dairy - this dish gets it's protein from the tofu. I've never used tofu frozen and crumbled before and that is genius! It really makes it blend into the dish without being even noticeable which is good for those who are scared, or not fans, of tofu. I'll have to try that trick more often. This also made for a very pretty presentation but I found that for reheating the next day in the micro. it's much easier to just chop the pepper up and mix it all together. I'll definitely make this again and if you are looking to drop some meat from your meals I would recommend this dish for sure.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Recovery Pants.

Yesterday I passed the big 6 week mark: 6 weeks post Lily-Pie's birth. This means that I can now start exercising again after months and months of total sloth. As soon as I found out I was at high risk for preterm labour (I think that was at about 6 months) all exercising came to a halt. The only thing that mattered was trying to get baby-one to "38 weeks" where it would be safe to bring her out into the world. Well, gratefully, we made it safely to that goal but with the c-section I was instructed that there should be no exercising for 6 weeks after, either. Not even "hoovering" the floors as one, funny, British nurse put it.

But, here we are! Six weeks past her birth and, as luck would have it, it was the most beautiful day we have seen around here in months. We reached a high of about 15 degrees Celsius and we even saw a bit of the sun. I promised myself that on that day, the six-week mark, I would get out there and go for a nice, long, fast-paced walk. I signed my pal, Shan (aka The Fairy Blogmother) up to be my walking companion. Unfortunately, her little My-Pie, got "the burps" so Shan had to bow out of our expedition. This would, normally, be the point where I may let myself off the hook and pass on the hike...but it was such a gorgeous day and, I tell you, I was eager to move it! I knew I had to start off easy since I've been so sedentary for so long (the longest stretch of not having any form of exercise I've even had in my life), so I just put baby in her stroller and we headed off for our walk around town. I went as quickly as I could without getting terribly out of breath and I hit a few little hills and dips as well.

It was fantastic! I swear, I think I could feel my blood moving around my body again! I even met another one of my neighbours on my walk. A lady (who seemed really, really, nice) who just had a little baby girl of her own a couple of months ago. Yay! I've found a new friend for Lily-Pie already!

So, this will be a regular thing from now on. Dave has teased me throughout the pregnancy with, "I don't know...are you sure you are going to be able to recover from this one?" Well, I don't have a scale in my house (I don't believe in having the horrid things around), but I do have the "series of pants". The series of pants goes like this...1) My pre-preggo pants 2) My preggo pants and 3) My "recovery" pants. The "recovery" pants are sized somewhere in between my preggo pants and my pre-preggo pants and they are what I can fit my butt into at this point. The goal, of course, is to get myself back into the pre-preggo ones. Once I've done that, I know I've pretty much reached my goal.

I also measured my waist the night before having Lily-Pie and we were up to 40 and 1/2 inches. Having given birth to her in itself quickly shaved 4 inches off that number and just getting my uterus back down to size has knocked another 3 inches off...the rest, I suppose, will be my responsibility. ;-)

So, wish me luck!

I figure "9 months on, 9 months off" so I'm not in any hurry...but I'll post updates here regularly just to keep me going. If you have any fitness goals you are working on, maybe you could join me and we could spur each other on! I can always use the encouragement (especially since that 15 degree weather is already gone and it's just getting cold and wet again...blahh).

{btw--the picture above isn't me. I just found it on the web because I really don't have time to take a picture of myself right now - 6 weeks is also a growth period for the baby and she is wanting to eat constantly! Gotta' go! bye!!}

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday is back, baby!

Well, I think it's time to get back on track with "Thankful Thursday"! After all...regularly noting the things that you are grateful for can increase your overall happiness by 25%. I have no idea how "they" came up with that figure, but it makes sense to me. So, here are some things that I am Thankful for on this Thursday!

1) High Speed Internet Access!!
Yay!! It seemed like it would never be available to this area (which, in fact, is not so very far out of the way at all - but, still, getting high speed out here just seemed like an impossible task for so long for some reason). When we told the young man working at the store that we were on dial-up and that cost about $20 per month he said, in complete seriousness..."They charge you for that?". So funny. So sad. Dial-up should really be free because it is so horrible to deal with. I am so glad for the high-speed. I can surf around like crazy now and downloading scrapbook papers, etc., no longer takes two days. It's fantastic.

2) My New Laptop Computer.
It is so nice being able to speed around the internet from anywhere in the house! I don't have to go downstairs to the cold, drafty, office anymore. It is really nice down there when we have a fire going, but otherwise it is really just kind of...a basement. Now I can be upstairs, on the couch, in bed...wherever. Incredible. I feel like we've really caught up with the times...finally. That same man that sold us our high-speed access sold us our laptop. When we left the store he smiled and said, "Welcome to the modern ages". Thank-you. Thank-you very much.

3) My Bamboo Graphic Tablet.
Okay, now this is just getting silly! How lucky can one computer-addicted gal get? Davey bought me this little toy as a surprise present. It is the greatest thing. If you haven't seen one, it is like a little pen that "writes" on it's own little tablet. You can use it instead of a mouse to (much more easily) zoom around your computer pages...but more than this you can also use it to write, to draw, to color...etc. This makes it absolutely fantastic for digital scrap booking. I lerve it.

4) The Food Network.
I'm so glad their programming is on all night so that when I am up from 3 am until 4:30 am feeding and burping little baby-one I can at least watch the Iron Chefs battling it out, or Alton Brown explaining all that you can do with a ginger root, or that one young student chef smashing up his place in a drunken rage. It really helps to keep my eyes open while Davey snores away beside me. ;-)

5) Baby-One.
A.K.A. Nicole Lily-Pie. My little sweetie. The one for whom I don't even mind being up from 3 am until 4:30 am . She is such a great baby. She is so cute, and so cuddly, and so good natured. She really doesn't complain much at all - except when she realizes that, Hey, Wait a minute one is holding me...C'mon people...Hold Me. She will be 6 weeks old tomorrow and she has never cried for more than, say, 30 seconds. Just the amount of time it takes us to realize we need to change her, or feed her, or - ya - pick her up. Then she is quiet again. So easy-going! And, yesterday she had another check-up with the doctor and we got to weigh her and find out that she has gone from her 6 lbs., 9.5 oz. birth wait -- to her 6 lbs., 4 oz. discharge weight (they were so concerned about her losing weight...but I knew she'd be fine as soon as we got out of there) -- to her current weight of 10 lbs, 2 oz., which is actually above average now! Yay! Little porker. I knew you'd put on the pounds!

We are very, very, lucky to have her (and all our girls)! So, I'll be thankful for her ~every~ week...but I just had to give her props today, `cuz, y'know...she's new and all.

{Picture taken just moments ago as my little Ten-Pounder heads out the door with Daddy and big sister Jamie for a little truck ride. What does that look mean?? Is she sick of me taking her picture already?? } ;-)

I don't think I'll be able to get Mr. Linky back up today, but if you'd like to raise your level of happiness by 25% then, please, make a list of your own and leave me a comment so I can go see what you are Thankful for on this Thursday.

Not to be Outdone...

So, of course Jamie wanted to make a phone call of her own!

We let her call her friend M. to accept the invitation to his birthday party this saturday.
Kinda' excited. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life's Little Milestones.

Maddie has been asked over to her friends' houses before, and we've had her friends over here. But, generally, these visits are arranged between the friend's parents and us. What with Maddie being just a little kiddo and all. But, this weekend, there was a message on our phone that was left by one of Maddie's friends. The voice sounded so young: "Maddie? When you get home, can you play? Maddie? It's J. Bye-ie".

Well, an actual message left just for her by one of her friends?! This put both Maddie and Jamie into almost hysterical joy. I had to play the message over and over for both of them to hear while they giggled away.

So, I guess it was time to let Maddie make a phone call of her own. We coached her a little on what to say - made sure that she would ask to speak to her friend, politely, when her friend's parent answered - and we had her invite her pal over.

I've never seen anyone so excited just to use the phone. It really is quite amazing to watch kids as they cross these little milestones and see the kind of joy they find in the simplest things in life. It reminds me of when these routine, everyday, kind of things were all new and fresh and exciting to me. Something I've usually completely forgotten until I see it in my girls.
And, she did a great job with her call. She spoke very clearly and politely. I was quite proud, actually. Enough to go grab the camera (embarassing her, as usual).

I guess she isn't so little anymore.
Next she'll be asking for the keys to the truck.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Meatless Meals - Eggplant Lasagna

As some of you will already know - I've tried being vegetarian before. There was a span of several years, actually, when I didn't eat any meat. What I did eat was 7-layer burritos from Taco Bell and potato chips. That was okay (well, no it really wasn't) when I was a single gal with no kiddies. But, when the family came along I needed to provide meals that were slightly more nutritious than that. But, I still really don't like eating meat. My problem is I don't think eating tofu 7 days a week is much healthier than eating burritos and chips and I've never been a big fan of beans. So, what I'm going to try this time is to just make at least one good veggie meal a week and, then, once I have a fair number of them I'll be able to give it another shot - but be healthier about it this time.

So, this is "Meatless Monday" and my recipe for the week is "Eggplant Lasagna with Garlic Bechamel". This recipe was taken from the book "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". I don't really have time to type out all the instructions right now (baby-one just isn't likely to give me that much time on the computer), but if you want them let me know and I'll try to get them up here. Basically you roast your eggplant and layer it between layers of instant lasagna noodles, cheese, and your garlic bechamel. To make the sauce you heat 2 1/2 cups of milk on the stove with 3 smashed garlic cloves. In another pot you melt 4 tbsp. of butter and mix in 1/4 cup flour. Then you combine the two (straining out the garlic cloves) and add 1/2 a cup of cream and salt and pepper to taste. The lasagna is cooked in a 8x10 inch baking dish at 400 degrees (or 350-375 on my wacky oven) for 25-30 minutes.

I should mention that I tried to make this dish three times. The first time I just didn't get around to doing it before the eggplant got mushy (that happens fast!). The second time I burnt the eggplant instead of roasting it (remember...I have a wacky oven). But, the third time everything turned out great. The lasagna was delicious. Even Dave (Meat-Eater-Man) said it was "very" good. However, I kind of think...well, no wonder it is good! It is milk and cream and cheese and a bit of eggplant! No calorie count was given with the recipe. Probably a good thing.

I'd say this is a good, and filling, side dish. Serve it beside a great, big, healthy salad so you don't feel so guilty eating it.

From now on I'll try to find recipes that are a bit healthier and ones that get their protein from leaner sources than, say, cream and cheese.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Knowing Me, Knowing You / March

My friend, Shan, over at Tales from the Fairyblogmother started up a cool little monthly feature called "Knowing Me, Knowing You". It's a quick little interview project that you can respond to yourself, and then link back to her so we can all see your answers. Here's mine...

#1 What is your dream life?

Well, I think in my dream life I may have been able to sing really well and I would probably be a rock star. I would also be drop dead gorgeous and, oh, let's say I can dance too. Yep. The triple threat. But, let's say I've just won the lottery and I can't make miracles happen...then I think I'd like to move onto a farm, too. I would still have to have farm-hands around to be responsible for all the work but I'd get to play with all the animals and even take care of them when I happened to be up early enough in the morning to do so. I would love to have cows and goats and pigs and chickens. I just love seeing chickens walking around. But, of course, we wouldn't be eating any of them...they'd just be pets. And, I would need a second home, or two, to run off to once the temperature around here drops below 25. There is no question as to whether or not I'd quit my job. Are you kidding me? But, I would take lots of classes and study lots of interesting things. I would have huge "crafting" spaces in my home where I could do scrap booking, and photography, and beading, and all kids of things. I think I would also study vegetarian cooking and open a restaurant with my hubby (but he'd want to cook meat so that may not work out. I'd get grossed out watching him chop stuff up). I'd be really busy!

#2 Do you play games online?

No. I'm not much of a gamer. I can't find enough free time to get all my other projects done.

#3 Seen anything good lately?

Well, we took the kids to see Madagascar II awhile ago and that was pretty cute. I can't remember the last movie Davey and I went out to see together. Is that sad? I think we need a date night. I just saw "Swingers" on t.v. the other night and that was very good (I just love that movie) but I've seen it lots of times before.

#4 What is your favourite pizza combination?

I always get mushroom, pineapple, and green pepper...preferably with garlic crust (from Little Caesar's). But, we just got our own (baby brain! baby brain!...I've just realized I can't think of the name of either of the things we got...) uh, the thing you put in the oven to cook the pizza on so the crust gets nice and well as the thing you use to put the pizza into the oven. Man, I need some sleep.
[edited to add: I remembered in the middle of the night...a Pizza Stone and a Peel. Or is it Peal?]

#5 How are you with houseplants?

I'm happy to say that I am getting better. I used to get one little cactus plant and kill it off and that was about it. I really love a house filled with plants, though, but I figured that if I did that they would all die. Then I started learning about the plants that "clean the air" in my horticulture class and one day I took the plunge! I walked into the nursery and bought a Snake Plant, a Golden pothos, and a Peace Lily. I spoke to the lady who worked there and she helped me pick out the best potting soil and even the best kind of planters for each of them. They are all beautiful and all still alive! And, our air is cleaner for it too. So, Shan, I say you jump in and try again! As a matter of fact, I feel inspired now to get a few more for myself. Here's a list of all the best "Air-Filtering Plants" which I just got from

English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Golden pothos or Devil's ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa')
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)
Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans 'Massangeana')
Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig')
Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Warneckii')
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Pot Mum or Florist's Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

And...just because I love looking at pictures of Lily-Pie when I look at my is another one. ;-)