Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Updates and Musings

I tend to live my little piece of cyberspace for long periods of time. Busy isn't even the word for life these days. Exhausting? Challenging? Rewarding? Those all apply along with "busy."

Updates:

Me: I am now working about 25 hours a week. Some from home and some in the office. While in the office Ellie is generally here at home with a babysitter. I come back around 2pm and then at 4 we go and pick Logan up from school. This is something I am still getting used to - almost a month in. I am already working out less and this doesn't make me happy. Plus we are located now in the GALLERIA so I am one elevator ride away from the food court. I am already sick of Salata as my healthy choice.

Our new office with the concept I came up with in the middle. Finished product on left and right.
Lee: He is working and traveling a lot. I appreciate his dedication to his job and to us. I know it's hard on him to be away and we miss him.

Logan: Logan man now has glasses! He has depth perception issues so these are helping his eyes coordinate properly. I wonder if this will help with riding his bike? He still has his good and bad days but he is extremely affectionate and funny and we love him so much.


Ellie: Miss thing is almost 9 months. She is crawling, pulling up, cruising a little, and eating like a champ. Finally sleeps 12 hours. All complaints are ended with a graham cracker. I wish that worked with adults.


Side eye. Wanting us out of bed. Now.

Wearing her brother's old t-shirt!

There you have it in a nutshell. Busy.

SO TIRED.


Very Happy :)




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Monday, March 28, 2016

Changes in Eating

When Logan was diagnosed with ADHD, I started researching like crazy - as any parent would.

Something that came up over and over, whether through Pinterest or Google or even ADDitude Mag .com was diet. I quickly cut out all food dye and moved on to cutting out processed food as much as possible. The most processed thing he gets at home are Hebrew National hot dogs and organic macaroni and cheese with no artificial coloring.

Don't get me wrong, I am not super crazy about it. If we go to a party and they have cupcakes or cake with icing that is bright red - he eats it. I cringe the whole time but I am not going to deny him having fun for one slice of cake or a Capri Sun.

Some tricks I have found are keeping approved lollipops or treats in my purse. When we are somewhere (pharmacy, for example) and those dreaded Dum Dum's are in a jar, I can swoop in with a treat and avoid a meltdown and not compromise the mission.

Lately, I have made more changes in our home that are not only for Logan but for the whole family.

The list includes (and is growing):

Flour: NO WHITE FLOUR! I have brought in White Whole Wheat - less grainy than whole wheat and adds little to no flavor to the recipe. I haven't notice a difference in losing "all purpose" flour at all.

Butter: NO MARGARINE. Margarine is just oil and I don't want to know what makes it "taste like butter." We use real, organic butter in recipes. You don't have to use a lot and the taste is beyond compare.

Milk: Lactose free milk, organic of course.

Pasta: Chickpea pasta (This Brand) or whole wheat/protein enriched.

Sugar: NO WHITE SUGAR. I have a tiny amount in the pantry for recipes that just have to have it (haven't seen many yet). I instead use coconut sugar. It's basically very fluffy brown sugar and again - other than a little nuttiness, the flavor in baked goods isn't noticeable. I made chocolate chip cookies with the wheat flour and coconut sugar and I actually thought they were BETTER. more depth of flavor.

I do my best to make my own salad dressings or at least buy organic and with as little sugar as possible.

Today, Logan is out of school for Easter and we made some cookies from Kristin Cavalerri's book Balancing in Heels. This book also delvs into food issues in today's society and healthy changes. I am looking to make more after reading through this.

To die for. (recipe below)

I do not have any guilt eating them or letting Logan have a few because the ingredients are so healthy.

Otherwise I try to make sure Logan is eating something with protein and healthy fats at every meal. Plum organics has a wonderful line of meatballs in the freezer section that have hidden veggies and quinoa in them and he loves them. Add those to the chickpea pasta and some homemade sauce and I feel like he is eating the best I have to offer! (other than when I make my own meatballs for a family meal).

I like to keep quick stuff like that on hand for when Lee is traveling. This way he is getting a good healthy meal and I don't have to "cook."

Have you made any changes in your pantry/kitchen recently?

Recipe: Almond Butter Sugar Cookies (From Balancing in Heels - Kristin Cavalarri)
Ingredients:
1 stick butter, softened
1 Cup coconut sugar
1/2 almond butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups oat flour (i did buy some for this.)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I only use kosher. she calls for pink himalayan)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 pans with parchment.
2. In a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar, and almond butter until fluffy. Add egg and mix to combine.
3. In separate bowl, mix all dry ingreients. Add a little at a time to the mixer on low until combined. Place a tablespoon size scoop onto the pans, leaving room for the cookies to spread.
Bake 10 minutes.

**I did 10 minutes but with 2 pans this left them a little chewy,which I like. If you want crispy you may want to try one pan at a time.

Enjoy!


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Busy and Happy

It's now been about 6 weeks since I started working again. Although it is from home there are still days that it is a little stressful.

My company is moving their office in May to a new building and I came back primarily so I could run this project, a real honor. At this point we start construction tomorrow and I am going to the weekly meeting and having the baby sitter watch Ellie and then I pick Logan up from school on my way home.

While there is balance, I am still at a crossroads.
I love being home.
I miss the office atmosphere.
I love being able to work when I want, on what I want, and go to the gym and store, etc at my own pace.
I miss walking into the office with coffee and a to do list and offering advice to the younger workers.

Now with the office moving to a building that is directly connected to the Galleria, I am fidgety! How fun would it be to office there? On a campus of an account I ran for 8 years?

I am thinking of having Ellie in Mother's Day Out 3 days a week and maybe those days I could work in the office a few hours to get that part back into my life. Then the other two would be groceries, etc.

Just thoughts.

Otherwise we have been having a wonderful 2016.

Ellie - 5 months
Ellie is growing growing growing and is generally a happy little baby. We are working on solids and sleeping. One night she will sleep all night and the next she wakes a few times. I am hoping once she is totally over this cold she gets more consistent.





Logan is an AMAZING big brother. He is always playing with her and making her laugh. He likes to sing goodnight songs with me at night to her if he can. There are times he is jealous but he usually pulls out of it quickly. We are trying to be more mindful of spending one on one time with him so he knows he is still important to us.

Ice Cream date after school!

Legos just us after Ellie was in bed. 


Since starting the gym 4 days a week (and some at home work outs) I have lost over 10 pounds. I have about 10 more to lose to meet my goal for Hawaii in Mid May (if we go.) I am really happy with how I look, I just want to keep going to achieve my goal of being confident while in a swim suit. We have a pool which lends us to being out a LOT and people come over to visit and swim. I am tired of spending pool parties in a cover up standing in the kitchen talking and making drinks to avoid being in the pool.

I also do NOT want to hear "You look great for just having a baby!"

If i meet my goal, I will be 20 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant, which means an overall weight loss since having Ellie of 40 pounds! I didn't even think I needed to lose this much but I can see it in my face and legs and arms just as much as my midsection.

I love the gym and I have gotten very into Hot Yoga (85-90 degree room) and Barre. I am going to try a few other classes to mix it up. I just have to keep everyone healthy! March has been full of sickies and I have missed the gym several times.

I ventured into Essential Oils. With Ellie being so little and it being cold season and Logan needing some extra help with the whole ADHD/Behavior stuff - I thought it couldn't hurt.

Headache Blend - Love it
And I am OBSESSED. Pinterest has tons of "recipes" and tips for each ailment. I made the above headache roller and it got rid of my migraine in the beginning stages with about 3 applications. No meds needed. 

Otherwise I have made several calming rollers for Logan and even a bedtime lotion that I put on his feet at bedtime to help relax him. He loves it! I made a "Sweet Dreams" spray that I spray on his bed at night and he made me make one for Ellie too :) 

Lee is kicking ass at work and I am doing my best to kick ass at the house. I keep it clean, laundry done, and dinner on the table. Lee rarely sees the grocery store anymore so our weekends are just for us to be a family since he does travel much of the week. 

Life is pretty great and I will do my best to keep documenting it along the way. 
Today after church (with Lee's Mother)




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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Not So Lazy Days

I think my boss must read this blog.

No sooner did I hit "publish" on the "Working" post did she text me and ask me when I can start on our new office because we move at the end of June.

So just like that I am back to work - BUT from home!

Tea Latte for me please!


So... I may have a sharpie problem...

I set up a desk from Container Store in our living room and got all the computer stuff going. Now I remote into a computer at work and can devote Ellie's nap times to working.

I have already started working on ideas for the finishes in our new, fun office that is in the Galleria. Well, a short walk down a hallway and you are in the Galleria and about 20 steps from a Starbucks Kiosk.

How cool is THAT?

Anywhoo now my dining room looks like this:


Lee walked in and said "Design has taken over the dining room!" It'll all be gone or consolidated in a another week or two.

So far the balance is going well. My day tends to look like this:

7am: get up (not for the first time I assure you)
Make Logan's breakfast
Make Ellie's Bottle
Make my breakfast (lately it's been overnight oats. Yum!)
Feed the dogs and give Teddy his shot.
Feed Ellie her bottle.
Get Logan going on getting dressed
Get myself dressed and pack my gym bag.
Get Ellie dressed
8am: In the car taking Logan to school
8:30am: walking into the gym
10:30am: leaving the gym showered and dressed for the day
If I have any errands to run (groceries) I usually do this on the way home.

11:30am: Ellie's nap. This is when I work. Usually until around 1.

After that if she is happy playing on the floor or in her chair I work a little more.
On day I even managed to order samples like this:

Gotta do what you gotta do right?

The rest of the day is chores and picking up around the house, prepping dinner, etc. Logan is home by 5 every night and Lee walks in around 5:30. Dinner is at 6:15 and then the night routine to get both kids in bed before 8 begins.

It's a little scary but we manage to get it done most of the time.

After that we chat, watch tv, and drink wine.

At 10 I wake up Ellie to feed her, then go to bed and cross my fingers she makes it all night.

Last night she made it to 4am - which was pretty nice. That's 6 hours of sleep for me. If she had gone back to sleep like she normally does it would have been awesome - but she decided to throw a crib party until 5.

Not good when your 5 year old wakes up between 5:30 and 6 every. single. day. He watched his Kindle in his room until I got up. Then it's off while we do the morning routine.

Balance... I suppose.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Working."

Now that Ellie is over 3 months old, the question keeps coming up - "when are you going back to work?"

Technically - I'm not.

There is a plan in the future to pick a few hours up from home when I am ready.

At the moment I am NOT ready.

Don't get me wrong - I love what I do (did?) and I do hope some day to go back to it.

However, at the moment, I  LOVE being home.

My house is clean.
My laundry is done.
I am calm and happy when Logan gets home from school.
I have time to rest if I need it or just goof off on Pinterest while Ellie is asleep if I need that instead.

I am cooking again. More than just the same 4 easy meals.


I go to the grocery store when no one else is there.

I snuggle my baby a lot and kiss her and talk to her and listen to her coo back to me.

Tummy Time!
I have also gotten a tad addicted to The Kardashians...

Now that I have added going to Equinox every day - my days are even more full. By the time I drop Logan off, go to the gym, work out and shower, run whatever errand we have, get home and get Ellie on her long nap (maybe mine too) - before I know it we are looking at 1 or 2 pm and I have to get the chores done and get ready for Logan and Lee to be home! The day just flys.

I am working on myself right now. I want to be the happy and healthy mom my kids need.

New hair cut! Ignore the ketchup on his shirt... 

Making cookies together!

I have a goal for my body by May of losing 20 pounds and getting more tone/in shape. I met with a trainer today and while I was somewhat unhappy with what she said, she also told me I have good muscle mass, am very strong and flexible (yay Yoga!) and I did the best squats she had seen in an evaluation.

I have started drinking a Shakeology shake for lunch on the week days (Saturdays too if I work out) to help curb my appetite. I really like chocolate or vanilla with PB2 powder added in.

I am also looking at all the problem spots in our house - the areas that have clutter - and I am working through getting us more organized. I am also sitting here while we have some work done in the house.

Fixing a lazy flipper mistake. Thanks lady....

In a nutshell?

I am so. very. happy.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello 2016

January of 2015 started us on a rollercoaster of a year. From Logan being disagnosed with ADHD, a surprise pregnancy that came at a stressful time, house issues costing us thousands... to Lee's promotion, my decision to stay home full time, and Ellie's birth lighting up our lives. Ups were super UP and lows were super LOW.

We made it.

I didn't mean to disappear the last few months. In fact I thought I would have time being home all day to blog it up.






Quite the opposite!

I get Logan to school and I run errands - usually the grocery store or something similar - and then I am home with Ellie. When she is sleeping I am cleaning the house, organizing cabinets and closets, laundry, prepping dinner, etc. When she is awake I am playing with her and talking to her. If sleep sucked the night before I usually lay down with her around 11:30. If I am feeling good I use that time to be productive.
Before I know it Logan is home and we start the night routine and now the doubling up of "witching hour."






Lately, by 8pm, they are both in bed and Lee and I have a few hours to chill and catch up before I feed Ellie one more time and head off to bed with hopes of a full night of sleep.

Never happens.

The last few months flew by with Holidays and Birthdays. Adding Ellie means that in 12 weeks time we celebrate 4 birthdays plus christmas in this house. Busy!

Logan turned 5 on November 30th. I can'e believe it. He has made so many awesome strides in the last year. He is a totally different kid than this time last year. I realize he is older but we also have spent lots of time (and money) finding the right therapy, and yes medicines, to help him be his best self. He is also in a school that really loves him and they are patient when he needs the extra understanding. He is amazing and kind. He LOVES his sister so much.




I do my best to juggle attention time with him once he is home from school or on weekends. When she is napping I sit and play a game with him or whatever he wants to do so he has my attention without her around for at least 30-45 minutes. I have noticed this cuts down on whining...

Ellie is growing so fast. I am really enjoying her as a baby. With Logan it was all about survival as a new mom. This time, I can actually stop and watch her be a baby without hoping for the next big thing to happen. She smiles and has started laughing and has rolled from front to back a few times! She has slept from 10-6:30 a few times but also tends to wake around 3:30 or 4 as well. Thankfully she is easy and just eats and passes back out.




Christmas was great, but hectic. We kept the gifts pretty light this year - again since we all had birthdays right before. Logan's favorite present has been his Leap Frog TV system. It's like a Wii but easier for his age to use plus the games are educational.

I have been working out at Equinox regularly and hope I don't just "look great for someone who just had a baby." i want "wow! I thought you had a baby?!"

Here is to a great 2016!!

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