Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Already?

I'm a bad blogger...has it really been since August that I typed anything up?  Yup, I've been slacking on a lot of fronts for the last half of 2013.
"Binary Dad", "Binary Kid", & Mom

Weight loss?  Try weight gain...
Mom of the year?  Ha!  At least he's clothed and fed...

On the bright side, both hands are now in working order...I can bend both thumbs again!  I realize you are probably thinking "what the heck is up with her thumbs?"  Well...last February (2013), I was diagnosed with all three RMI (repetitive motion injuries) that you can get...Trigger thumb (the reason I couldn't bend my thumbs), Carpel Tunnel (hands went numb quickly), and DeQueirvain's Tendonitis (something to do with the tendon that runs from your wrist to your thumb, I only had it "released" on my left hand and can't see any difference than in my right).  I had surgery in the first week of September and the first week of November, leaving me pretty useless for most of the months before and after.

We also lost Gabe's Grandpa in November, so life is "adjusting" still.

Where did that year go?!?

This year, I am getting back on track though.  No more excuses, more, but I am trying to work with it.  I've been having trouble with my right knee.  I was diagnosed (again) with tendonitis, this time in my knee!  Starting next week, I'll be going to physical therapy twice a week for the next 6 weeks, in hopes of it getting better.  If it doesn't I may be looking at another surgery.
My blender that can supposedly make Ice Cream...finally got it working!

I'm also restarting my low-carb journey, with some minor tweaking because we are still breast feeding here.  I'll be starting in "phase 4", or lifetime maintenance.  I don't want to cut carbs drastically and cause issues for the little man.  He also loves to stuff Cheerios in my mouth, so I figure this way I may not stall out or gain when he decides I look like I need a "two Cheerio snack break"!  I plan on shooting for the 80 carbs a day end of the 80-100 carb spectrum and dropping into "phase 3" if I need to to see a change on the scale.  Let's be honest for a minute...I currently weigh 5 pounds more than I did the night before our almost 15 month old (next week!) was born!  That's a lot of poundage considering I was down to only 5 pounds heavier than before he was concieved by the time he was 2 months old.

(01/01/2014) Current weight: 302.0
(06/01/2014) 6-month Goal: 250.0
(01/01/2015) 12-month Goal: 200.0
(06/01/2015) 18-month Goal: 150.0

Well, there it June, I want to be back down to what I weighed 2 years ago.  I can do it!  But, not by diet alone this time...nope, this time I will also be working out from the beginning!  In fact, I am starting with working out!

We have a family membership at a gym near our house, it has free daycare, a swimming pool, running track (walking for me), all sorts of machines (even a "women's center" with a door to the daycare room), and trainers!  Of course, I have been waiting for a call from the trainer since we joined...but since I haven't been able to take advantage of the gym anyway, I'm not too upset (I plan on trying to get with a trainer when I start going in regularly so that they can help set me up to succeed).  My goal for the gym is go in once a week to start...little man has horrible separation anxiety and has never been watched by anyone but my Mother (who lives 400+ miles away, so not often), so I figure the first month or so will be "workout free" while he gets used to the idea of playing with a "stranger" while I work out.

To aid in my "exercise to lose weight" goals, we brought the Wii back upstairs.  I ordered three new workout games to go along with Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus (that I already owned).  I picked up Jenny McCarthy's Your Shape, the one that comes with a cute little webcam, Jillian Michael's Fitness Ultimatum 2010 (I really don't like the way she trains on The Biggest Loser, but for the ~$6 I paid for the game, I'll give her a shot), and Gold's Gym Dance Workout.

My impressions so far (I got them yesterday)...
Dance Workout
Your Shape
  • Your Shape: Holy dog poop, this one makes you sweat!  I's supposed the camera, not real happy about her yelling at me to match her moves or "focus on your arms/legs"!  I can't really bend my right knee right now (that's what the PT is for), and there's no getting down on the floor without someone near to help pick me up since I can't put weight on my knee (Garrick had to drag me out of the tub a while ago because I literally could not get out on my own!).
  • Fitness Ultimatum 2010: Haven't loaded this one up yet...frankly, I'm intimidated by Jillian Michaels' and right now I'm "evaluating" these three games to decide which one I'm going to stick with for a while.
  • Dance Workout: I am so not coordinated enough for this game!  I get my right and left confused and it is so fast paced, I miss out on most of the workout trying to untangle my legs from each other.  This one is losing out on the "gonna do this one first" race.
 My goal for these "games" is to do one workout everyday  I'm not in the gym, so 6 days a week. 

Sharing my Burrito Blanco at Azteca...this is one of our favorite meals, but beans, rice, and flour tortilla are going bye-bye.

I made Peanut/Pumpkin Seed Brittle for Christmas!

Munching on a quartered hot dog wrapped in half a refrigerator biscuit...he loves these!

Phone's for you, Mom!

Starting his early love for Starbuck's (water)...

How to keep a baby properly strapped into his car seat and warm!  A car seat poncho, made by yours truly for a whopping $ can purchase one on Etsy for $40 if you can't sew...

Fun with Gak!  Flour + water + blue food coloring = a ton of fun!  Until it's time to clean up...
Rosie has taken to cuddling with the stuffies and baby blankets...I think we've watched enough Doc McStuffins, she may think they're really alive and really do need cuddles!

Daddy bought himself a PS4 for if only they'd come out with workout games for it!  We currently have the PS2, PS4, and the Wii all hooked up with motion/sensor bars all stacked on top of each other!

Our "Elf in Training" because Mommy is too cheap to spend $30+ on a creep looking elf when she's perfectly capable of crocheting a whole wardrobe for Barbie, and she can "report to Santa" every night.  She currently has two other dresses, an apron (for baking), and a bolero in her wardrobe as well...working on another set, but the pattern is problematic...

Santa came!  We decided that our family traditions (Garrick, little man, and I) will be a blend of family traditions...we opened all of our gifts Christmas morning, from family and Santa.  We had planned to order pizza and watch the Batman series of movies (we got the boxed set last Christmas and still haven't watched the second and third movies), but as plans with a toddler tend to change, it was visiting Grandma, dinner at IHOP, and home in time for bed.  As time goes on, we'll come up with some Christmas Eve traditions.
Now, do not look past here if you don't want to see me in my underwear.  The following photos are my starting photos for getting back in gear for losing weight.  I have yet to find my measuring tape to get actual measurements, but I did "suck it up" and take a clothed and unclothed photo of myself (not naked).  I also set up a "motivation jar", which in this case is a big wine glass, full of 154 glass beads.  It's pretty, but more importantly, for every pound I lose, I get to move a glass bead out of the jar and when it's totally empty, I've reached my weight loss goals!

Do Not Scroll unless you want to see it!

Well, there I am...I'll do another picture in 6 months and 12 months.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Baby-Friendlier Version of My Great-Grandma's Cookie Recipe...

We have been making a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in my family, I know this recipe only as "Great-Grandma Our Last Name Here's Cookies".  They are essentially an Oatmeal cookie with Raisins, Chocolate Chips, and Nuts!  They are cram-packed with yumminess and customizable to suit everyone's likes/dislikes.  For example, Garrick doesn't like raisins in cookies (or on the planet, but that's another story), so for him, I skip the Raisins (but I do still add the "Raisin Juice").  I recently made a batch (which is really a double batch of the original recipe, but as my Great-Grandma used to say, "Double batches of cookies are the only way to do it"), raisins, chocolate chips, nuts and all!  I even modified it a hair for my likes by replacing half of the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips and using some Golden Raisins instead of using just the plain old brown ones.  This was the first time I've made them in at least 5 years, but probably closer to 10 years...I just haven't made a lot of cookies, especially since these don't fit into a low carb diet at all.  Anyway, I let Gabe try them, being careful (or so I thought) that he didn't get a nut or raisin, or chocolate!  Well, as evidenced by his diaper after helping me polish off several of these cookies, he still managed to get the raisins, nuts and chocolate!  The up side to him not fully digesting food yet is that I can tell how long it took him to move particular foods through (and in this case to see that he got whole raisins and chocolate chips swallowed)!

Long story, well, long...I decided that before our next trip (which is coming up shortly), I would make a "baby-friendlier" nuts or chocolate in these!  Also, instead of sugar, I used mashed Banana!  I also only made 1/4 of the recipe, so essentially, a half batch, that still yielded 5 dozen (plus 3) baby-sized cookies!

Here's the recipe for "Baby-Friendly Oatmeal Raisin Cookies"...

  • 1/2c Butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2c Sugar or 1/2c Mashed Banana or 1/4c Applesauce and 1/4c Mashed Banana (I used 2 small bananas that were very ripe )
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4-3/4c Raisins (I used 1/4c and then snipped each raisin in half or thirds, I should have used more...)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Raisin Juice (*see Note)
  • 1c Oatmeal
  • 1c Flour (All Purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • optional...chopped banana, apple, or anything else your child likes (and can safely eat)
*To make Raisin Juice...Place raisins in a pan/pot and cover them with water.  Bring to a slow boil and simmer "for a while".  I usually simmer mine until the whole house smells yummy and the water is a nice dark "raisin" color, about 20 minutes.  Then, pour raisins into a strainer over a bowl (I use my big glass measuring cup).  This separates the raisins (to be used in the cookies) from the "Juice"! Save both!  Once the raisins and the juice have cooled, you're ready to make cookies!  I usually do this the night before, but I've been known to do it up to a week before and put everything in the fridge until cookie-making time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl or bag (I use a sandwich size ziploc for this size batch), combine Flour, Baking Soda, Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, cream Butter and Sugar (or banana or banana/applesauce).  Add Egg and mix (I use my stand mixer for this...I so badly want a good quality one of these, what I have is a hand mixer with a stand).  Now it gets "fun"...mix the flour mixture and the raisin juice with the butter/sugar/egg mixture...but not all at once!  Take a small bit of the flour and mix until combined, now drizzle in a little bit of the raisin juice and combine.  Continue mixing small amounts of the flour mixture and raisin juice until it is all combined.  Now, by hand, mix in the Oatmeal.  You now have your "dough base" to which you can add your "goodies"...for this batch, I simply added the raisins (these are not required, but are very yummy and Gabriel loves them).  Each time you add something though, mixing it in thoroughly before adding the next item, saving delicate things for the last (chopped banana should be carefully mixed in at the very last so you don't just smash it up).

Because I'm making cookies for my almost 10 month old, I made them fairly small (as in I could probably get 2 or 3 in my mouth no problem, but he takes 10 minutes to eat one).  I got 5 dozen (plus 3) cookies (63) out of this!  That's a ton of cookies for a baby!  I put a large container of them in the freezer for later and am taking half or better of them with us on our trip for Gabriel to share with his 21 month old cousin (and probably the 5, 7, and soon to be 9 year old cousins too).  But, back to baking them first!

Line your cookie sheet(s) with Parchment paper (man do I love baking with this stuff), this will keep your cookie sheets clean Hello easy clean-up! and keep your cookies from sticking.  I use two spoons to form these cookies, the dough is super sticky and this method just works awesome.  Make the cookies whatever size you feel is appropriate for you and/or your child...mine where roughly 1 teaspoon worth each (give or take).  By now, your oven should be up to temp (unless, like me, you've had your butter softened, flour mixture ready, raisins juiced and snipped, and oatmeal measured for like a week because you forgot last week that you were out of Ginger and had to wait until you bought more to make the cookies...then sit back and wait for your oven to come up to 400 degrees), place your first cookies in the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes.  The original recipe says 10-12 minutes, but I find that my oven burns two-thirds of the cookies if I bake them that long, this time produces mostly perfectly cooked cookies with only a few with darker bottoms.  When the timer goes off, remove cookies from the oven and then get them off the cookie sheets and onto cooling racks!  Give your sheets a minute to cool down a bit, then repeat the whole cookie loading, baking, removing process until you are out of dough!
We've recently removed one of the toys from his Exersaucer to make an "eating area" on great!

So that's it for the, here's some random (semi-recent) photos!
Deviled Eggs with Mommy for an afternoon snack (he's been getting a daily snack and sharing dinner with me, but still mostly a boob baby).

Spinach off my plate out at Olive Garden!  Garrick and I celebrating 10 years of being together!

Daddy (Garrick) & Gabriel "patiently" waiting for me to grill dinner!

"The Dinner" I was grilling!  Steak, Grilling Cheese (OMG that stuff's good, but spendy!), and Sauteed Mushrooms!

Using Rosie as a ladder...and giving "good pets" too.

He ate almost the entire banana at this sitting!  Right before an early bath. ;)

Enjoying Strawberries and Cheerios for dinner because we had smoked sausages and I wasn't sharing, lol.

I recently made 2 "tester" slings out of cotton, trying to find a good workable size for myself.  I have a size 9 sling from Seven Sling (thanks to my sister) and my homemade one that is a whopping 1" larger than the Seven Sling.  Both are too tight...after a screwup in cutting, the other sling I made is also a size 9...and this one is a hair too big.  But, with rolling the shoulder like I did, it was to get Gabriel to hold still in it, I don't think he likes slings.
That's it for today (in pictures), but in other "news"...we recently joined a gym (go us)!  So far, all we've done is enjoyed taking Gabriel to the swimming pool, but Garrick meets with his personal trainer tonight (was supposed to be last night but the trainer had his days wrong) and I'm still waiting for a call from the trainer he set me up with.  It's been about 10 days so far and I'm still waiting...but since we're fairly busy this week, I'm not really in a rush right now.  If nothing else, next week I'm thinking about starting to do a "couch to 5k" using an app on my phone and the indoor track at the gym (while utilizing the free day care)!  Soon, I hope I can start posting progress again!  Also, by Friday night, we'll be "plus" one more kid for the month...but shh, it's a surprise!

I linked the gym up there...if you're in the area and decide to check them out, give them Garrick's name and we'll earn a referral credit!