Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday: The BEST Diet for Nursing Mommies

I will never forget the look on my OB nurse's face when I told her at my 6-week postpartum appointment that I was going to start my diet. "OH CANNOT diet when you are nursing. Your milk will dry right up!!" I guess I should have been more specific with her, since there are a lot of fad diets out there (like the all soup diet? Sick.) Anyway, what I really should have told her was that I was going to cut out a lot of sweets, buy low-fat or non-fat options when I can, and eat waaaaaay more fruits, veggies and fiber. That would have sounded a little better don't you think? I mean afterall, she was the same nurse that told me that I needed to eat healthy while nursing.

Well, the great news for all nursing moms out there is that you CAN diet and still provide perfect nourishment for your little peanut. Weight Watchers has been a complete success for me both times I have been on the plan and this time, I got an extra 10 points a day just because I am nursing. I haven't seen a difference in my milk supply and even though it is hard to resist some of the foods I love, I never feel hungry. In fact, some days I have a few extra points left over that I force myself to use up because of nursing. How many other Weight Watchers can say they force themselves to use points? I know I didn't have a single point to spare each day when I was on it the first time. But when you are nursing and get so many extra a don't really feel like you are dieting at all!!! Well...other than the fact that I have to eat fresh strawberries instead of strawberry cheesecake :-)

But seriously, I am SO GLAD I decided to diet while nursing, instead of waiting until I was done (like with Addie). I am eating so much healthier and I know that Blake is getting all the benefits of that. Plus, I feel so great being able to slip into my old jeans again :-) I wish I could be one of those girls that just has a baby and the weight falls off without any assistance. I know several people like this. Hell...they came home from the hospital in prepregnancy jeans for crying out loud!! I, on the other hand, needed to take control of the situation and I think all the hard work is paying off. It is making me much more conscious of the things I eat, which will help when I am done dieting and strictly trying to maintain. final word on this matter is that if you are a nursing mommy looking to shed those extra baby pounds but don't want to sacrifice your baby's nutrition, head on over to Weight Watchers online and check it out. They make everything super convenient and they even have a handy app for your phone that will help you keep track of points on the go :-)

Now, since the weather is finally looking more like Spring, I like to daydream about the evenings when Eric and I can put the kids to bed and then sit on the patio and sip some drinks. Eric sticks to his beer, but I like to sip something more fun. Wine is always great, but in the summer, I like something fruity from time to time. I found this great low-cal drink recipe in Fitness Magazine and I can't wait to try it.

Sangria Sparkler

Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Makes: 12 servings

750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
1 cup light orange juice
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium oranges, sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled
Crushed ice and/or orange peel curls (optional)

1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, orange liqueur, sugar, and orange slices. Chill at least 2 hours. Add club soda before serving. Serve over crushed ice and/or with orange peel curls, if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 100 calories, 0g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

Doesn't that just scream summer? Yummy!!!!! Do any of you have a great low-cal cocktail recipe that you have tried? Or maybe even a non-alcoholic one (you know...especially for the nursing and preggo mommies out there)?

Weekly Weigh-In: 142.5 pounds

Total Pounds Lost: 11.5!!!

Goal Weight: 140 pounds. Almost there!

** I also wanted to link up to my darling friend Bre's blog because she always posts about some fabulous recipes and I know we are ALL looking for new ideas in the kitchen. Plus, she is super cute and I love reading about her life :-)**

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

GOOD Things Happen When you Take Walks

Taking walks with the kids is pretty much my favorite thing to do when the weather is nice. Today, Addie couldn't wait to throw on her shades and head out the door with Howie (she is in charge of holding his leash and she actually does a great job). And now that we finally installed the carseat attachment to the BOB, Blake got to ride facing me today! He was all smiles as usual and when I started talking in my silly voice, he started to laugh...hard. Luckily, I had my phone right in front of me so I grabbed it hoping to get at least one second of laughter on video. And boy...did I get some VIDEO!!! **Unfortunately, I have been trying to upload this video for over an hour with no luck. I will try again later but for now, you will just have to settle for a super cute pic of him starting to laugh...

Blake's little giggle fest actually went on for another minute or so, but when I saw Howie leaving a very large "present" in my neighbor's yard...I broke our concentration. I started freaking out a little because I didn't grab a baggie before we left. I was hoping there was an extra one in the storage basket under the stroller but when I bent down, I could only see one thing. What was it you ask? was just my


I screamed so loud I scared the shit out of Addie, Blake and Howie. They all just looked at me like WTF mom? I couldn't believe it. Here I had been ripping my house and car to SHREDS the past three days and lying awake at night crying and it was in my damn stroller the whole time!!! And yes...I did check my stroller. Twice actually. And my mom checked it too. I have absolutely no idea how we missed it or how it managed to be sitting dead center in the storage basket today...but either way...I FOUND IT!!! Thank you JESUS!! And St. Anthony because I prayed to him too (thanks for that one Kate!). And I guess I should thank Howie and his obsessive need to pee and poop in everyone's yard, because if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't have checked the stroller basket again today. Whew...I just can't TELL you how relieved I am!!!!!

And for the record, I want you all to know that I am well aware of how overdramatic I am being. I mean come on...its just a stupid camera!! But it was a gift from hubby and it is a very nice camera that I do NOT have the money to replace right now. I am sure you all understand the feeling though so thanks for hanging in there with me the past two days. You guys are the best :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blake is 3 Months Old!!

* CAMERA UPDATE: Thanks for crossing your fingers and saying little prayers for me everyone! But sadly...our camera search has come to an end today. My parents came over to be my "extra set of eyes" but they came up empty handed. We have literally checked every square inch of this house. I have found lots of other missing items (like an earring, a $20 bill, and my Philosophy lipgloss) but still no camera. I think it is best at this point to just stop looking and hope it turns up. My mom was nice enough to loan me her camera until mine either shows up, or I break down and buy a new one. So...with my camera gone, I had to snap a few new 3-month pictures of Blake today with my iPhone. Not the best quality, but boy was he hamming it up!

Tell me...does this 15 pound cutie look like a 3-month-old to you?

I think his little outfit from Auntie Tara says it all. This little boy eats NON STOP!! And even though that gets exhausting sometimes, how can I deny his precious little face?

I don't know why, but Blake just seems like such a big boy these days!! He is still sleeping like a newborn (meaning he is still up 2+ times a night), but he acts and looks more like a 5-month-old! He is already in 6 month clothing, he smiles, laughs and coos ALL the time, and with just a little more practice, he will be rolling all over the place. I mean just look...he is about to roll off the chair!

I have also learned a lot about my little man this month. For one thing, he LOVES silly voices. If you want to make him smile or don't need to make a goofy face. Just talk in a silly voice and even if you are across the room and he can only hear you, he will start to smile and giggle. It is just about the cutest thing ever.

Also, I have learned that Blake LOVES being a little brother. Him and Addie are truly the best of friends and they do everything together. Well...Blake doesn't really have much choice in the matter because like it or not...Addie wants and needs to be everywhere he is :-)

And finally, I have learned that my little guy is the cuddliest, sweetest, most lovable little baby boy and I secretly hope this is a sign that he is a mama's boy in the making. Haha!! Sorry Daddy!

I know another month is going to go buy in the blink of an eye, so I am going to make sure I enjoy every last second of it :-) Happy 3 month birthday baby boy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lost Camera

Sad new beautiful Canon camera is missing and I am just beside myself :-( I have spent the better part of this weekend searching for it with no luck.

The last time I had the camera (that I remember) was on Tuesday. I took pictures of the kids in Blake's bedroom and then we headed out the door to see the Easter Bunny. I don't remember taking the camera with me to the mall that day (since you can't take your own picture of the bunny) but if I did take it with me...there is a chance I lost it there. I will be calling lost and found tomorrow but let's be serious...if it was lost at the's a goner.

Now, if I did leave it at home (which I really believe I did) there is a chance that little miss likes-to-hide-things-that-aren't-hers walked off with it and hid it somewhere in our house. Problem is...I have literally turned this house upside down this weekend and not only checked places 2 and 3 times...I made Eric check all of them too. We didn't get a chance to search Addie's room and all of her toy bins and baskets so that is our last place to look tomorrow. PLEASE pray that the camera turns up there because if it doesn't....I think I am going to have to let this one go for now :-(

I am just so sad...I love that camera!! I feel completely lost without it. And that is the reason I haven't posted this weekend. But hopefully my mission will be successful tomorrow and I will be able to post the adorable 3-month pics I took of Blake before it disappeared. PLEASE keep your fingers crossed that I find it tomorrow and I will post as soon as the search has ended.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Things We Say...But Don't Really Mean

I think it is safe to say that we are all guilty of this from time to time. When we are happy, sad, scared, frustrated, stressed, etc...we react out of emotion and say things that we don't always mean. Sometimes, we regret the things we say right away. For example, today I said...

"I wish cell phones were never invented"

I said this after my cell phone rang just as I was getting Blake to sleep. It had taken me almost half an hour of Addie's naptime to walk and rock him to sleep and just as my phone rang...his eyes popped right open. I know it's my own fault for not turning off the ringer, but still. I was frustrated. But then 10 minutes later, when Blake went back to sleep in my arms, I was able to surf the internet with one hand thanks to my trusty iPhone. I apologized immediately :-)

There are also things we say that even though we always immediately regret them, we say them repeatedly. One such example is...

"Howie...that's it. I am finding you a new home"

I probably threaten poor Howie once a day. After he eats a cheese stick right out of Addie's hand, after he rips open another bag of garbage, after he barks like a maniac at the UPS guy and wakes up the kids...the list goes on and on. But as soon as the words come out of my mouth, and I see the poor bugger go running off to living room...I immediately regret what I said. So...I always tell him I'm sorry and give his belly a little scratch. But before I even have enough time to reflect on all the things I love about that little guy, he is in our closet eating a pair of underwear.

And finally...there are the things we say that we don't regret immediately because at the moment we say them, we are overcome with whatever emotion we are feeling at the time. But later, when the moment has passed and the threat, or promise, or wish we made comes true...we realize just how much we didn't mean what we said. Here is my example of this.

The other night, while Eric and I were lying in bed, I was telling him about the loooooooong day I had with the kids. I told him about how I hadn't sat down all day because someone always needed something. Blake needed to be fed, Addie needed me to play dollies with her, Howie needed to go outside, etc. I said...

"I just get so tired of everyone needing me all the time!"

Please take in mind that I was hungry, un-showered and completely sleep deprived when I said this. But I did mean it at the time. I was tired of not having a minute to myself. I was tired of having kids and dogs hanging off me every second of the day and not having even 5 minutes to go to the bathroom alone. I know every mom has felt this way at some point and I am sure many of you have even spoken these exact words. But what I want to know is...when did you regret saying it?

For me, it was today. My mom was over in the morning helping me work with Addie on her potty training. Addie ended up going pee pee on the potty TWO times yesterday and TWO times today!!! That is a huge success and I am SO proud of her. But the problem is, she will only go for my mom. She wants nothing to do with me. Even when I tried to walk her into the bathroom today while my mom was over, she just yelled "Out Mama! Out Peass!" And what started as just a preference for Nana in the bathroom, turned into a preference for her in general. When my mom went to leave, Addie started putting on her coat. She turned around and said "Bye Bye Mama. See ya". Absolutely heart-breaking.

But at the same time, I LOVE that Addie is so attached to my mom. I am so lucky to have her around as much as I do and I wouldn't change that for anything in the world. I was just a little sad that my baby girl wanted nothing to do with me today :-( But then I got over it because I still had Mr. Blake. He literally NEEDS me to eat and sleep so if Addie wanted Nana today...that was fine. I could spend some time with Blake. little guy is all stuffed up and not feeling the best. He has been pretty fussy and I've had a hard time getting him to nap. So when Eric came home and Blake had been crying for over 20 minutes, I gladly handed him over so I could change my shirt. When I went into the bedroom, I noticed that the crying had stopped. And when I walked out, I saw Blake in Eric's arms with a HUGE smile on his face. Again...absolutely heart-breaking.

At that point I turned to Howie for a little love, but he was still pissed at me from my latest threat...and for choosing him third once again :-( So he was out too. No one needed mama today. No one wanted mama today. I honestly thought this was what I wanted. Addie was with Nana, Blake was perfectly content with Daddy, Howie was eating his Dingo in the kitchen...all my children were occupied and I was free to go to the bathroom alone. Or take a shower alone. Or drink a cup of coffee alonw. Whatever I wanted to do! But instead of taking advantage of that time...I cried. I cried big crocodile tears and said to Eric...

"I don't care if the kids hang off me all day tomorrow...I just want them to need me again!"

Anyone want to guess how long it will take me to realize I didn't mean that comment?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Well Nolan...I guess Uncle Eric and I should thank you for being one of the CUTEST baby boys we have ever seen because when we held you for the first time one year ago today...we knew we didn't want to wait another minute to have our next baby. I could you blame us? Look at how cute you were (and still are)!!!

I really hope your first impression of me was just as wonderful as my first impression of you, because thanks to your mommy and are stuck with me for life sweetie! But I promise to be the best Godmother I can be.

It's been amazing watching you grow over the last year and I honestly can't believe your first birthday is already here!!! But if one thing has stayed the same over the past 12 months, it's your precious smile. And smile more than any baby I have ever known!!! Just look at your cute little face here...

And here...

And here...

And here...

And here!!!!

I could just eat you up (which is what I tell you all the time!!!) And even though I love your smile more than anything, there is just one other thing you do that I CAN'T get enough of. Its when I pick you up and you bury your little head in my chest. You are the biggest cuddler and I love that about you so much because your sister and your cousin Addison were not big cuddlers. They were just too busy playing. So please promise me you will stay this way for a little while longer :-)

Well baby boy...I hope you are having a wonderful first birthday and I can't wait to celebrate with you this weekend. I love you to pieces my little Noley!!!! Hugs and Kisses!!!

Love always, Aunt Jen

Weigh-In Wednesday: Hello Pre-Pregnancy Jeans!!!

To start this Weigh-In Wednesday on a positive note, let me just say that since starting Weight Watchers 7 weeks ago, I have lost a total of 10 pounds!!!! And the best part...I can now zip ALL OF MY PREPREGNANCY JEANS!!! Woohoo!!!!! Now don't go hating me just yet. Some of these jeans only zip because I am laying down. Others only zip first thing in the morning. And finally, others only zip because they are low rise and my gut can hang over the front. But nonetheless...I can zip them ALL!!!! I just can't tell you how fantastic this feels to be so close to my goal. I am confident that after I lose these last 4 pounds (and do some serious toning) I will be able to wear all of my jeans comfortably again...even the "skinny" ones :-)

And speaking of toning, I've decided it is time to be realistic about my workout goals. I really, REALLY wish I could be one of those people that loves to work out. I really wish I could find enjoyment going to the gym. But I just don't. I hate working out. H.A.T.E. But I know there is absolutely no way around it when it comes to toning and truly getting in shape. The only good news is that the weather is starting to warm up which means I can get back to taking my daily walks with the kids. Walking is actually enjoyable for me and I know it is a good exercise, especially when I come home and can feel the burning in my butt and legs (two of my other problem areas).

I know that I will have to continue my at-home pilates to sculpt my tummy and arms, but I am hoping that all the extra walking will really help with all the junk in my trunk. help move that process along a little quicker, I was thinking about purchasing the new Sketchers Shape-Ups...

Does anyone own a pair of these? My SIL has a pair and she says she can definitely feel a difference when she walks. I have read quite a few reviews online, but like everything else, there are a mix of good and bad. So that is why I am asking all of you for your help. I would love to know if you are seeing any results from wearing these and if you think they are worth the money.

Well that's it for this installment of Weigh-In Wednesday! I don't have a great recipe to share but I will tell you about my new favorite snack...Special K Fruit Crisps. Try them...they are DELICIOUS!!!

Weekly Weigh-In: 144 pounds
Total pounds lost: 10!!!!!!!!!
Goal Weight: 140 pounds

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

At Least Someone Smiled for the Bunny

And no...I am not talking about Blake. The person who smiled for the Easter Bunny was me...

Jumping in the picture with the kids was the ONLY way it was going to happen today. Turns out Addie is just as freaked out by the bunny as she was by Santa. Go figure :-) And just for the record...I did not drug my kids, even though they both look totally stoned. Ha! Oh well. At least we got a picture with both of them not screaming or crying :-) I'll call that a success!

BUT...we did have to make a quick stop in the Disney Store before we left (as promised by me) so that she could pick out an animal for her and Blake. Well, when I tried to take her Perry the Platypus away to let the cashier ring it up, she had a full on meltdown. I looked around feeling totally embarrassed but the other moms in there didn't even look up!! I think its just because they have all been there, done that :-)

So now we are home and happily napping with Perry the Platypus, which means its time for this mama to have some wine! Oops...I mean coffee :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Place Your Bets

Well friends...we are off to see the Easter Bunny tomorrow. I know I could I possibly take my child back to the mall after the "Santa Incident" this past Christmas. Well, I honestly think the Easter Bunny is less scary than Santa and our track record with him has been pretty good so far. This was last year's pic...

I am banking on two important things this year: 1) The easter bunny is furry and looks like a big stuffed animal and 2) Blake will be with her so hopefully she can act like a big girl for him. Eric thinks I am asking for another breakdown, but I am trying to stay positive. So...anyone want to place a bet?

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I just want to thank everyone who entered my GoToob giveaway!! It's fun to see how many of you are already using so many reusable products and I really appreciate all the great dryer balls!!! I am getting myself a set with my next order :-) I am also happy I sold so many of you on my market tote. Get WON'T regret it :-)

So..the lucky reader who will be going home with their very own GoToob is....

(Commenter #4)

I tried posting the screen shot of my generator but it wouldn't work :-( Anyway, Congrats Laura!!! Please send your mailing address and info to

Have a great Monday everyone!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Birthdays, Bachelorettes, Bears & Bribery

I think it is pretty safe to say that our Saturday ROCKED this weekend!! For starters, it was the FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!! Woohoo!! Too bad it was 30 degrees and snowing :-) Oh least the sunshine is right around the corner!!

It was also my brother Adam's birthday which meant that we all got to do what we do best these days...EAT CAKE!!

It's a miracle I have lost any weight this month with all the freaking birthdays!! And they aren't even over yet!!

And speaking of a birthday girl who was also a bachelorette this weekend...

My BFF Tiffany was in town to celebrate her upcoming wedding in Jamaica!! I was sooooo excited to get to see her and all of my other girlies. Thanks to busy schedules, babies, work, etc...we haven't had the chance to see each other in a while. But what I love best about this group of ladies is that no matter how much time passes or how much distance is put between soon as we are together's like we never skipped a beat!!

I just love these girls to death!! We had SO much fun and I really hope we get to do it again sometime VERY soon. Love ya Tiff!! Hope you had a great night!!

Now, while our weekend was filled with lots of partying, Blake's weekend was filled with lots of chilling. He got passed around at Uncle Adam's and Aunt Diana's house, he spent Saturday night bonding with Daddy, and then today...he made friends with Mr. Bear. The two of them cuddled for the better part of the afternoon.

Oh my Gosh...I almost forgot one of the most exciting parts of the whole weekend!! NEW MOON came out!!!! I preordered my copy of the movie a month ago and didn't realize that it would ship out on the 20th, instead of arriving on the 20th. Boo! So....I may or may not have paid $4.99 to watch it On Demand. And I may or may not have bribed Eric to watch it with me at midnight :-)

Well...I hope all of you had just as much fun as we did this weekend! Remember, my GIVEAWAY ends tonight so be sure to enter before I pick the winner tomorrow morning. Good luck!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Uncle "Ado"!

Dear Uncle Ado-

Mommy always tells me that one of the things she loves best about you is that you are a total "kid at heart". I don't really know what that means, but I what I do know is that you are ALWAYS fun to be around.

You love acting silly with me...

And making me laugh...

You taught me how to walk just so we could run around outside together...

You always help me open my Christmas presents...

Just so we can play with them...

I love cuddling and on sitting in your long as you don't tickle me...

And best of all, I love that you are always my buddy.

I know that you are going to have to spend time with Blake now too...

But I'm pretty sure I'll always be your favorite. Ha!!!

Mommy, Daddy, Blake, Howie and I all hope you have a GREAT Birthday Uncle Ado!!!!! Can't wait to share your cake with you!!!! Love you!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

That's Just How We Roll

It's official...I have totally and completely ruined my dog.

In the back of my mind, I always knew that letting Howie ride in the BOB with Addie last summer was a bad idea. Howie likes being pampered. He likes being picked up and placed on the bed at he doesn't have to strain himself jumping up on his own. He likes having his treats fed to him, instead of just having them tossed on the floor. He is spoiled rotten and I should have known that I was creating a monster.

So when I packed the kids up for our third walk this week, I was feeling pretty confident that Howie was over his riding-in-the-BOB addiction since he had walked next to us the last two days. But about a block into our stroll, Howie stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, turned around, and hopped into the stroller. Addie thought this was awesome and started screaming "YAY!!! Howie hop up!!!" So obviously, I couldn't take him out after seeing how excited she was. But then when I got a few disapproving stares from neighbors, I thought I should at least try to make him walk. So I took him out and made him walk another block. The whole time, Addie kept screaming for him to get back in and Howie finally looked up at me with pleading eyes. How could I say no to actual puppy dog eyes? So I let him hop up. Again.

You know...I am probably wrong for not making him walk, but damn it...he was so happy! His little tongue was out, Addie was laughing and petting him the whole time, and Blake was finally able to get some much needed R&R on his side of the stroller. I think he appreciates when someone else has Addie's attention besides him. Ha!

So when we approached a group of teenage boys playing basketball in their driveway, I was just waiting for them to make a smart ass comment about how I had my dog in the stroller. But instead, one of them yelled "That dog is bad ass! Does he just chill like that the whole way?" and I said "Yep. Its just how we roll."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Might Be Potty Time!

When I was pregnant with Blake, lots of people asked me if I was going to potty train Addie before he arrived. As much as I would have loved to only have one child in diapers at a time, I knew Addie wasn't ready. She wasn't showing me any signs and in addition to that...I honestly didn't want to invest a bunch of time just to have her regress when the baby was born. So I decided to put the whole potty thing on hold.

But, over the last few weeks, Addie has really been showing me some signs that she might be ready to start training. I copied the "potty training readiness checklist" from BabyCenter and I can check off almost all of them now.

Physical signs

Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily. You betcha!

Urinates a fair amount at one time. I think so.

Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times. Almost the same time every day.

Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. I haven't paid too much attention to this, but I will have to start checking more often.

Behavioral signs

Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes. Yes, especially if Elmo is on.

Can pull her pants up and down. Oh yes. She can pull them off completely :-)

Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper. She pulls them off and hands them to me now. Nice.

Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear). Yes. This totally creeps Eric out though, so he locks the door when he goes Haha!

Gives a physical or verbal sign when she's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you. Yes, but I will spare you the details :-)

Demonstrates a desire for independence. OH YES. She has to do everything by herself now.

Takes pride in her accomplishments. I hear "YAY" at least 30 times a day.

Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet. She loves sitting on the potty and wiping herself, even though she hasn't actually gone. We still need to work on that :-)

Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one. Weeeeeell...I wouldn't say fully cooperative, but definitely not a negative one.

Cognitive signs

Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy." Very much so.

Understands the value of putting things where they belong. Yes...especially with bribery :-)

Has words for urine and stool. The standard Pee Pee and Poo Poo. She also likes to announce when she has tooted...even when we are in line at Target.

Understands the physical signals that mean she has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until she has time to get to the potty. This is where we get held up a bit. She tells me after she has gone, not before. So this is where we will have the biggest challenge. We need to practice going on the potty, instead of going in a diaper and then wanting to sit on the potty afterward.

So as you can see, we answer "Yes" to almost every question on the readiness checklist. And she does understand what the potty is and what you do on the potty. She actually loves reading her Elmo potty book and talking about how Elmo goes.

And even though we haven't officially started the potty training process, I thought it might be fun to pick up some big girl underwear to see if they make her excited at all.

I ask her every day if she wants to wear big girl underwear like mama and she says "UH HUH!!!!" but then she runs to grab her pull-up. Sooooo....we need work on that and I need to get her to actually go potty IN the potty.

And that is where all of you come in. For those of you who have experience in this did you finally get your kiddo to go on the potty? Was it a long process for you? Do you have any "Dos and Don'ts" that I should be aware of? Have any of you read any good potty training books or articles? I know every child is different and I am in no hurry to train Addie. I just don't want to miss this window of opportunity. Thanks in advance for all your help!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie Lightened Up

When I didn't lose any weight last week, I realized that it wasn't just the cupcakes that did me in. It was the lack of exercise. So this week, I made sure to get in three days of "work outs", even if that meant just taking a walk with the kids. I did that twice this week since the weather has been BEAUTIFUL, and I also did pilates in my living room one night. So with that, and a very close watch on my points, I was able to lose another pound! Woohoo! And the best part...I was able to put on two more pairs of pre-pregnancy jeans!!! I finally have some clothes to wear!

So, in honor of St. Patty's Day, I did some searching for a healthy version of Shepherd's Pie (since the one my friend Amy posted about looked so delicious :-). I came across a great recipe at one of my go-to sites, Real Simple.

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 10m
Total Time: 20m

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (such as carrots, peas, and corn), thawed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Cheddar (optional)
1 16-ounce package refrigerated or frozen and thawed mashed potatoes

Heat oven to 400° F.
Place the beef in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until no trace of pink remains, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard any fat. Stir in the ketchup and Worcestershire. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Spoon the beef mixture into a baking dish. Mix the cheese (if using) with the potatoes in a medium bowl. Spread the potatoes over the beef and bake until heated through, 10 minutes. Divide among individual plates.

The recipe is only 384 calories as it is, but if you substitute the regular ground beef for 95% lean and substitute the regular shredded cheddar for reduced fat, you can cut even more fat and calories!! Not too shabby!! Now if only I had all the ingredients for this in my house tonight :-)

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!!

Weekly Weigh-In: 145.5 pounds
Total pounds lost: 8.5 pounds :-)
Goal Weight: 140 pounds

P.S. I am not sure if all of you noticed, but I am having a giveaway! Be sure to read yesterday's post to find out all about it :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Go Green for St. Patty's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to post about something Green. I thought about posting pics of the Chicago River, but to be honest, the river stays pretty green all year. I thought about taking pics of the kids wearing St. Patty's Day attire...but they don't have any. And finally, I thought about posting some healthy St. Patrick's Day recipes, but there is simply no way to make corn beef healthy. Sorry :-)

So with all of those ideas out the door, I racked my brain for something good to post about. And then it hit me...why don't I post an update about my mission to GO GREEN this year?! Perfect!! I know I have been trying to become a more eco-friendly mom since I started this blog two years ago, but I have really made some progress lately (especially since I went on a little shopping spree at in December. And January. And this morning :-) I have no guilt though because all of the items I have purchased from ReusableBags are things I use on a regular basis. Here are some of my favorite items, along with the many uses I have found for them.

When I posted about this basket back in December, many of you commented about how much you liked it. In fact, I even had a few people ask me where I got it but when they saw the price tag ($39.95), they thought it was a bit much to pay for a cute basket. I mean, what can you really do with it? As it turns out...there is a LOT you can do with this basket. Here is how I use mine.

* Whenever I go to someone's house for a dinner party, birthday party, casual get together, etc., I always find myself bringing lots of little things: gifts, containers of cookies or snacks, the sippy cup their child left at my house, the book I promised to loan them, etc. and I usually can't fit all of these things in my purse or diaper bag. Normally, I would just throw all these random items in a grocery bag or old shopping bag. But after seeing my sister-in-law carry all of her stuff to Thanksgiving in her basket, I knew I had to have one. Now I take it with me whenever I go to someone's house and I always find it helpful to carry all those little odds and ends. It also comes in handy when you have friends (Linsey) who send you home with 4 containers of pastry items every time you visit their house because they like to stress bake :-)

* This basket just happens to be the perfect size to fit between two car seats in an SUV. And when you have a toddler that insists on entertainment in the car, it is great to be able to keep their books, small toys, DVDs, etc. in one place, instead of all over the floor of your car. I also found that when you travel to people's houses that don't have any children (or activities for children), you can just pull your basket of toys out of the car and viola...instant entertainment.

* This is going to sound like the most ridiculous use for this basket, but I am going to share it anyway. I don't know if your child is anything like mine, but Addie loves taking toys out of her bedroom and distributing them all over my house during the day. I find puzzle pieces in the bathroom, baby dolls in my bed sheets, alphabet fridge magnets in the dining room, etc. At the end of the day, I like to bring all of these toys back to their original home, but that usually requires about 10 trips. So one night, I just grabbed my basket and went room by room picking up all the random toys. When I was done, I took them to Addie's room and she helped me put them away. This little process literally saved me 45 minutes so it has become one of our new nighttime routines :-)

* And finally, my mom would be so upset if I didn't mention what a FABULOUS knitting basket this is. If you knit, scrapbook, cross-stitch or do other crafts that you like to keep portable so you can...I don't your girlfriends at Starbucks and work on "projects"...then this is the basket for you!

I know, I know...I have posted about Envirosax a million times. But I can't help it...these things are fabulous!!! Obviously, their main purpose is to eliminate the use of disposable grocery and shopping bags and let me tell you...they do a great job of that. You can fit an entire cart of groceries in just 5 bags. Trust me...I have done it many times. And while I do love my Envirosax for this reason, I have also found several other uses for them over the years.

* Whenever we go swimming or to the beach during the summer, we are always driving home with a garbage bag full of wet swimsuits and towels. That garbage bag gets thrown out of course because it is filled with sand or smells like chlorine, and then the suits and towels go into the washing machine. Well...this summer I realized that Envirosax, because they are made of nylon, are the PERFECT bag to tote home wet suits and towels. And the best part is that you can throw them in the wash with the rest of your stuff!

* Luckily, Eric and I don't frequent the dry cleaners too often any more because neither of us dress up for work. But when I did go to the dry cleaners on a regular basis, I would always take my clothes in an old shopping bag. That shopping bag would then get thrown out at the cleaners and I would use a different one the next time I went. Well this year, I realized that I could use my Envirosax to not only take my clothes to the cleaners, but also divide them by shirts, pants, dresses, etc. in different bags to make the whole drop-off process that much quicker! Wish I would have thought of that sooner :-)

* Lots of people tell me that they own reusable bags, but never seem to have them with them when they need them. My advice is to keep them in different places. Keep one or two in your glove box, one in your purse/diaper bag, one in your desk at work, etc. If they are scattered all over, you are bound to find one when you need it! And considering these babies roll up to be no bigger than the palm of your hand, you should be able to fit them anywhere :-)

I actually just purchased these reusable produce bags after reading all of the great reviews and I am so excited to use them!! I absolutely HATE grocery store produce bags because they always fall apart and get nasty in your fridge. But these handy bags won't do that. And they best part...they can be used for other purposes.

* I can't tell you how many grocery bags I have gone through picking veggies and fruit from our garden. Obviously, the bags get dirty from the produce and then you throw them away. But these bags are much more sturdy and they can be washed so you can use them over and over again! Perfect!

* This next idea is also courtesy of my mama. She saw these bags and immediately thought about knitting (of course) and told me they would make great project bags. My mom usually has several knitting projects going on at one time and she likes to keep them separated in individual bags. She too use to use shopping bags but now she can use these! And the best part, she says, is that you can see through them so you know which project you are grabbing.

I also posted about these great reusable sandwich/snack bags back in December and after four months of using them, I can honestly say I LOVE THEM!!! They are so great for bringing goldfish crackers, pirates booty, and any other little snack you have on the go. Addie loves being able to open and close the Velcro herself (as apposed to wrestling with Ziploc sandwich bags). They wash up like a dream, which is what makes their price tag worth every penny. And like the other items I have posted about, they too can serve other purposes.

* I always carry hand sanitizer, a small hand lotion and chapstick with me where ever I go. But I can't tell you how many times one of those has leaked or gotten on the inside of my purse or diaper/bag. So, I decided to start carrying these items in one of the large sandwich bags because it stays closed and if anything should leak, the bag will keep it from getting all over my purse. And because these are washable, I don't have to worry about it getting ruined.

* The snack size bag is perfect for carrying pens or a handful of crayons. Addie is all about coloring lately and not all restaurants have crayons for kids to use. So, I like to throw a pack of them in the diaper bag so that she has them in an "emergency". And again, because these bags are washable, it doesn't matter if crayon gets all over the inside. Better on the inside of a LunchSkin than the inside of a Kate Spade. Know what I'm sayin?

For starters, these little GoToobs are one of the few BPA free reusable containers you can find in travel size. They don't leak, they are easy to use and refill, AND you never have a problem getting the very last drop of product out of them. How many travel containers have you had to rinse for 20 minutes just to get the last bit of shampoo out of the bottom? I don't travel much, so I actually plan to use my GoToobs for hand sanitizer and lotion. A travel size Purell is about $.99, yet you can buy an economy size bottle of it for around $4. Talk about saving money...and plastic!

* Obviously, the best uses for these containers are with toiletry items like shampoo, body wash, hand soap, hand sanitizer, lotion, etc. BUT...I read a review from a woman that says she uses it for salad dressing in her lunch bag!! How creative is that?

So you see, investing in these items is totally worth it when you think of all the different ways you can use them!!! And if you are looking for some great tips on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle and joining the reusable movement, you can watch some very informative videos (like this one) on the ReusableBags website. Also, be sure to sign up for the newsletter. They always have great tips, as well as special offers on new products. And speaking of new products, here are a few things I have on my wishlist...

And the list goes on and on...

Now, before I wrap up this rather lengthy post, I also want to mention something worth thinking about when you go to purchase your reusable items. Remember that the whole purpose of going green is to save our planet and I truly believe you should invest in companies that have that as their #1 priority. donates 1% of all their sales to 1% for the Planet. Last year alone, they gave back $100,000 to environmental charities. You could probably find some of these items a dollar or two cheaper on another website, but you are not going to get the added donation or the level of customer service they provide. And take my word for it, their customer service is incredible!!

Now, in order to show my love for this company, I am going to host a tiny little GIVEAWAY!!!! I am going to be giving away one GoToob to a lucky reader. Entering is very simple. All you have to do is visit the website and post a comment telling me about a reusable item that you either already own, or wish to purchase and why you love it. See...easy peasy!

* Only one entry per person. All entries must be in by Sunday, March 21st and the winner will be selected and posted on Monday, March 22nd. Good luck and Happy St. Patty's Day!