Being the Best You!

Comparison is the thief of joy. ~ Teddy Roosevelt 

I admit that I sometimes compare myself to others.  She dresses nicer than I do.  She probably has a cleaner, neater house than I do.  She is a better mom, teacher, wife, sister…just better at life than me.  This is such a mistake, and I realize it while I’m doing this comparison dance.  It’s almost like I can’t help myself at times.  It is a daily battle with constant reminders to myself to let go and just be the best me that I can.  Obviously, no one is perfect.  I’m fully aware of that.  Due to my own personality flaws, I somehow think that I will surely be the one person in the world capable of perfection.  Wrong!  This belief sets me up for failure and disappointment each and every day.  I’m trying to live in a more “real” place.  A place where I accept myself, strengths and weaknesses, and  strive to fulfill the goals that I believe are important…sharing love, showing kindness, and enjoying life.  

 

Do you struggle with the comparison dance?  What do you do to stop the in-your-head-comparisons?  

Fit, Full, Fun ~ Fall To D0 List

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time to pack away the bathing suits and breezy summer dresses.  I love summer, but I’m really over the warm temps.  I’m ready for a slight, very slight coolness in the air.  I can wan’t to do all those seasonal things that make fall so much fun.  Sometimes, I find that I get so focused on the day to day things to do I forget about the big picture and making sure to have some fun!  

Fall Fun List

decorate a pumpkin

rake leaves and hide from Roscoe in them (hilarious!)

go to the petting zoo and corn maze at Hunt Club Farm

make some healthy apple and pumpkin desserts (going beyond the pie this year!)

nature walks at the park

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Walking last fall with Mommy

celebrate Grandparents’ Day for the 1st time

roadtrip to visit a special friend

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Here we are with our pumpkins last Halloween!

decorate the house for fall

make homemade apple cider

What do you look forward to doing each fall?  New things to try?

Here Fishy Fishy

Fish Tacos for Two 

Ingredients:

2 to 3 fillets of some type of fish (lighter fish work like tilapia, flounder)

garlic powder

red pepper flakes

whole wheat wraps/taco shells

lettuce

red onion

salsa

Greek yogurt

shredded low fat cheese

1.  Split fillets of fish down the middle.  Place on aluminum foil sprayed with PAM or something similar on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle a tad bit of red pepper flakes and garlic powder.  Place in oven at 400 degrees.

2.  Microwave wraps (I did 3.  2 for Jake, and 1 for me.) on high for 15 seconds.  Flip and microwave for 15 more.  

3.  Assemble the toppings on your wrap.  I used a bit of shredded cheese, salsa, Greek yogurt.  

4.  Check fish after about 5 minutes.  Make sure to cook the fillets all the way through.  Place on wrap.  Enjoy

***I enjoyed my fish taco with a side salad of mixed greens with a bit of salsa and a dollop of Greek yogurt for dressing.  No pictures since I got excited and ate it!***

 

I admit my version is a bit simplistic, but I need simple in my life with as much action as we have going on in the afternoons/evenings.  If you’re feeling adventurous, some of these look delish!  Happy Tuesday (a.k.a. only 3 more days until 3 whole days off with the Mr. and Holdie)!

Day 1 was a bit trickier than I thought…

Well, we survived day 1 of mama back to work!  The morning rush has taken on a new meaning to me!  I got up at 5:00 AM and still didn’t have enough time.  The biggest thing I missed was the leisurely baby play time.  There was no time for chatting, kissing those fat feet, standing up with a little bit of help, and just looking at each other.  Missing that time was what really got me upset.  Then came the tears.  Only a few but they were there.  Then my eye makeup was not.  After soldiering on through the day (after one outfit change for Holdie, a broken hair dryer for me, a grumpy attitude that I gave the Mr., a state of confusion for Roscoe, and a carbonated drink explosion during the first school meeting of the day), I was so ready to get my little man.  Everything went well as I knew it would, but they didn’t follow my feeding and nap schedule…and Holdie smelled like someone else had been giving him kisses.  I was disgusted on my drive home and irrationally mad.  No one can do it like I can do it (or so I tell myself)!   I decided to suck it up, write a detailed letter of ounces per feeding, the schedule we worked on, etc. in my nicest and probably slightly teacher-ish voice.  Hopefully, the sitters won’t hate me.  I’m okay with some eye rolls and sighs.  Maybe they’ll mark it off as new mom syndrome, but I don’t care.  I want my baby to have his day be as close as it can be to the days were spent together.  I think the mom confidence has kicked in a smidge.  🙂  Everything has to be just right for this precious boy…Image

 

 

Nothing Changes. Everything Changes.

Before I jump into a more serious post, let’s recap the weekend.  We were on the road again this weekend.  We left Friday night for a wedding weekend, but we had a yummy fall-like dinner first.  Chicken with White Wine and Caper Sauce, Steamed Corn (Frozen Steamer Pack), and Paprika-Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  

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The potatoes were just about 4 smallish wrinkly white potatoes that we were given from a local farmer on the Eastern Shore.  I cubed them up with skins still on and boiled about 10 minutes-ish.  Then, I poured in some skim milk and a bit of “fake butter” (Country Crock to give it that buttery taste that the Mr. prefers).  I used an actual hand potato masher and mashed them up right in the pot to prevent another dirty dish.  Lastly, I added a sprinkling of paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (really garlic upsets my stomach but not the powdered stuff~ go figure!).  The corn was just steamed in the microwave.  It was the last vegetable-like food we have in the house.  I really hate having a meal without some type of “green” on the plate but oh well!  The chicken was pretty easy as well.  I sprayed the pan, salt and peppered the chicken breasts (2), and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes with a flip in the middle.  Then I added in the white wine (to be a little smarter about nutrition you could use vegetable broth or chicken broth) that the Mr. won at a company function.  Since I had it, I decided to splurge and use it as a base for the sauce.  Cook for another 5ish minutes.  Next, I added in two heaping spoonfuls of capers (delicious little salty things that you can find in the ethnic food section or with the olives).  Lots of flavor!  Add more wine to keep that chicken juicy!  I kept the chicken swimming in about a half inch of wine.  Take the chicken out and put a little foil hut on it to keep it warm and juicy.  Cut into it to make sure it’s cooked through.  I turned the heat up to medium high and stirred/sprinkled some whole wheat flour into the wine.  This thickened it up to make a nice sauce that we spooned over top.  All in all this would not be my pick for the most fabulously healthy meal, but I used what I had in the kitchen, avoided spending money on junky fast food, and the Mr. really liked it!  Plus, the chicken is lean protein.  Success!

Well, our weekend started out as planned but certainly fizzled.  I went for a lovely run with Roscoe at 6AM on Saturday…in the rain…with a dog that hates the rain…and a giant Mag flashlight.  It was slightly ridiculous, but I so wanted to try out my new kicks!  I was soaked in rain and probably a bit of sweat when we got back.  The weather went downhill after that with torrential rain and some pretty decent wind.  Here’s a picture of a wooded area with the water ripping through it like you wouldn’t believe!  One road was even completely washed out.

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No wedding for us!  I felt so bad for the bride and groom.  So much work goes into planning that big day, but Mother Nature just wasn’t letting Saturday be their day.  We did get to spend some time with the Mr.’s parents and enjoy some delicious Italian yummies like eggplant and manicotti.  I rarely do Italian, so it really hit the spot.  Today, we worked very hard preparing for Holdie’s first day at daycare.  I’m a slight mess, but I know he’ll be fine.  Can’t wait until the afternoon pick-up though!

Now to the serious stuff!  Two sayings come together to title my post today.  I heard these in a song by a group called SOJA.  They are a reggae band with a surprisingly strong message of love for your neighbor and the world at large.  I’m certainly not going to get in a political discussion, but the group does make some interesting points.  I was jamming out on the elliptical at the gym today, and a particular song of theirs came on my iPod, “Everything Changes.”  The song starts off with saying nothing ever changes.  I think that people feel that way sometimes when it comes to fitness and healthy eats.  Do we say “Tomorrow I’ll fix something healthy for breakfast” or “I’m too tired, busy, overworked, etc. to exercise my body?”  Do we feel powerless to make a change?  Do we feel like “Oh well, nothing every changes?”  Do we feel that our health isn’t a priority?  The CDC states that more than a third of adults in the United States are obese.  We are suffering as a nation from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer due to our weight/lack of physical movement and what we are consuming.  By the end of the song, the lyrics have changed to “everything changes.”  If we don’t like how we feel, everything has to change.  How do we begin a journey like that?  First, don’t become discouraged if we fail at times.  Today, I had cookies for my mid-morning snack (delicious but surely not a nutritionally good choice!) and enough snack pretzels to sink a large ship.  I’m sure a piece of fruit or some greek yogurt would have been better.  I told myself “It’s okay.  I’ll do better.”  I went out and hunted up some fruits, veggies, and whole wheats at the local Kroger and Sam’s, and I’m all set for better days ahead.  It can be tough, but we have to make a choice.  Nothing changes or everything changes.  Start this journey…A journey back to our health…one change at a time.  Here are just a few ideas plus some resources…

1)  Use a water bottle and drink, drink, drink H2O.  If you don’t like water, add a splash of juice.

2)  Stretch for 5 minutes as soon as you get out of bed.  

3)  Start with a nutritious breakfast (eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, etc.).  You’ll be more likely to make better choice all day.  

4)  Double your dog’s walk.  Enjoy the outdoors.  He/she will thank you with licks and goofy dog smiles.

5)  Buy that workout DVD.  It can be any type of workout you like…yoga, dance cardio, whatever!  Just buy it, so you can have a workout ready to go in your living room.  

6)  Make half your dinner plate filled with veggies.

7)  Do something physical everyday even if it’s just 20 jumping jacks during every commercial of your favorite hour-long show.  

8)  Buy some fresh fruit and cut it up or display it on your counter as soon as you get home.  It’ll be ready to go when you need it.

9)  Think of your family and friends.  Remember you want to be healthy and happy for them.  Then, get up and take a walk.  

10)  Buy a healthy magazine and cut out interesting articles, recipes, work-outs and start a healthy living binder.  It can be your go-to resource when you’re needing some encouragement or information.  

Health Magazine

Oxygen Magazine

Fitness Magazine

Cooking Light – Recipe Finder

Women’s Health Magazine

 

It’s finally the end.

Last day of summer vacation for me and Holdie.  I’m excited and nervous and perhaps just a tad bit emotional.  During the first few days/weeks with him, I remember thinking “Oh, I’d rather be at work.  At least I know what I’m doing and feel somewhat confident at work.”  Then, things changed.  He grew more into a little person, my little person, and I realized what a gift it is to be his mama.  It took me about a month to adjust to this new role enough to enjoy my baby.  I know people say “I loved him and being a mom as soon as I saw my baby.”  This wasn’t me.  I felt confused, annoyed, sad.  Not the happiest feelings one would expect of a new mom.  I had a textbook pregnancy and a issue-free delivery.  When I saw his face, I didn’t feel what I thought I would/should.  I got a little scared when I STILL didn’t feel what I thought I would/should several days later.  I told myself that I would give it about a month, and then I would need to meet with my midwife.  I think I scared the Mr. quite a bit too as I honestly told him how I felt.  I felt like I was in a hole that was filled with water and I couldn’t swim.  My house was my prison, and sweet H was the warden.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I felt this way about the little boy I couldn’t imagine being without today.  Hormones are to blame I’m quite sure, and things sort of magically got better little by little at the one month mark.  Thank goodness!  We’ve had good days and not-so-good days this summer, but we’ve spent so much time together getting to know each other, mama and baby.  Beach trips, ice cream tastes, walks at the park, trips all over the place, pool time, and just lazy mornings hanging out for tummy time.  I knew all along that this time had an expiration date on it, and I’m kind of okay with that.  Although I’ll miss the little man on Monday, I have to admit I’m kind of excited about bathroom breaks, leisurely lunches (meaning more than 5 minutes), and some more adult interaction.  I’m sure I’ll be singing the blues by mid-September, but I think this will be good for both of us.  Holdie will get to “wow” some new people/kids with his megawatt smile and show off his army crawl skills.  I’ll get a little more mental stimulation and a bit of a baby break that will hopefully make me a better mom.  What a good reward at the end of a day of work to see this face….

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Love you, Mom!

Healthy Food for the Babe

Solid foods sort of snuck up on me.  Breastfeeding was a challenge, but we finally got the hang of it.  Then, blissful months of mommy confidence ensued.  At the 4 month dr’s appointment, the subject of solid foods was brought to my attention.  It’s not that I forgot it.  I was just enjoying the peaceful process of feeding Holden.  We started with organic brown rice cereal (Earth’s Best brand) at 5 months.  He loved it, hated it, and then loved it again.  We continued that for about 2 weeks.  Now, onto the real food (as real as it can ben when it has the consistency of soup). I had always thought I would make my own food.  So I ordered up a book that Holden’s pediatrician recommended (Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron).  Beware:  Only read this book with a glass of wine and realistic attitude.  This book was scary!  She is one intense, intimidating lady!  However, she is very thorough which I can appreciate and passionate about baby’s nutritional needs.  I was very overwhelmed about the whole process.  The Mr. and I discussed and went back and forth about what we would do.  We decided that moi would make the food on a trial basis (see how it goes especially once I am back to work).  The homemade food would be for home or when baby boy is with us.  We are going to purchase organic baby food jars to send with H to the sitter.  He will just be having lunch with her.  Currently, he is eating breakfast and dinner only.  The process has been pretty simple.  I especially love the avocado and banana since no cooking is involved.  I’ve also made sweet potato and peaches (which have to be cooked for baby’s less-than-6-month tummy).  The Internet also proves to be a good resource for this project.  We’ll see how it goes once I’m back in full swing in the classroom.  I have to say that I’ve tasted it all, and it’s pretty dang good!

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Slightly scary but very informative!

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Yummy organic peaches

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The Ninja getting a work-out!

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Organic bananas for the banana lover in H!