Thursday, February 24, 2011

After Blood and Tears: Back to the Crib

I'm not exactly admitting defeat on the whole crib-to-bed transition thing. It really is for my child's safety. Ok, and maybe a little for my sleep and my morning work outs.

Buddha started off so well, but once he figured out he could actually get out of his bed (only 4 days later) I couldn't get him to stay in. So, that led to me having to stay in his room with him until he fell asleep. While he used to self-soothe and fall asleep so quickly in his crib, I think he was excited someone else was in the room with him and would take forever and I do mean forever to fall asleep with me there. He used to be put to bed first, then Monkey, then Mommy could get a few stolen moments of TV, a magazine or blogging. No mas. I am now putting Monkey to bed first, and Buddha next. He at least sleeps through the night, but the morning wake-ups are a wild card...sometimes 6 am, sometimes 7 am, or 7:30. Once in a while it  is earlier. Gone are the days when I could just go get him out of his crib when I was back from my morning run, as he would happily play in there until I picked him up.

I am bringing the good times back, yo.

Two nights ago, my beloved youngest, who I refer to affectionately as Buddha or "The Bude", woke up around 12:45, in his bed. It may have been a nightmare of some sort that woke him, I'm not sure. But I heard him cry out a bit and went to check on him. Back in the crib days, I would have left him and kept an ear out for him in the event it went on for a while but now that he's in the bed I don't want him wandering around outside his room and waking up Monkey. So I lie down with him, rub his back, attempt to soothe him and he still seems mellow and half asleep. But over time, the excitement of having Mom there must have gotten to him and he seemed to wake up more and wanted to play. Then he wanted milk. So I got the milk, and resorted to putting Pinnochio on for him. He started to get really hyper for some unknown reason and started running circles around his room.

"Buddha, lay down. Bed time."

He'd humor me for a second, then the running would start up again. I was just thinking how I was tired, but still had time to get enough sleep before getting up for work. I was also thinking all this was worth it:

"Good night, Buddha, I love you," when I had him down for a brief moment.

"Good night, Mommy. I love you too."

My heart had just started to melt when he was off and running again. I asked him to please get back in bed a couple more times, which he did not, and then it happened.


Oh God, I could not believe it, he tripped on his nightstand and went face-first into the side of his bed. Not the mattress, but the furniture part. Wood, with an edge. Ugh. Immediately he started to cry very loudly and I picked him up, and I could see in the darkness,  lit only by night-light, blood. BLOOD.

I scooped him up in my arms, ran down the hall and woke up my husband, shouting.

"Buddha has a bloody nose."

Turns out, once the lights are on, his nose is not bleeding but his lip was split open. My husband held a wash cloth onto it, I did a quick change out of my pj's, brushed my teeth, put a coat on The Bude and took him to the ER. I was remarkably calm, I think because he stopped crying fairly quickly. I popped a DVD in for the drive, and we were good. To make a long story less long, there was no wait at the ER, they gave him 3 stitches which he took like a champ and we headed back home where he crawled into my bed with us and we slept for a long, long time.

Buddha recuperating on his bed, watching a movie with his Pillow Pet

That night, it was back to the crib. And he will continue to sleep in his crib for a while. I just don't think any of us are ready for him to be in a bed. Not that him sleeping in a bed caused his injury per se, its just that he's not mature enough to be expected to stay in his bed at 28 months. If he did on his own, great, but he doesn't want to and I think he is not mature/old enough to understand. And really, I don't have the patience yet to deal with this. If he was older and could comprehend it, I would try to work with him. But if he happily goes to his crib and stays there, where is the harm in that? He has never tried to climb out of his crib. He still fits just fine. It really is his "happy place." Maybe we will give it a go in another 5-6 months. And I am not judging myself, or feeling like a failure. I just feel terrible that my little guy hurt his face really badly and just want to go back to a place of calm for a while. And for the second night of putting him down at bed time and walking out, it's all good.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Paying the Price for Squirreling My Stuff Away

That's me, the squirrel
It's a long, rainy weekend and we have no firm plans. So naturally I am hoping to catch up on some things around the homestead. Like pre-spring cleaning, ya know, get a jump on things.


I used to pride myself on being a pretty clean person, and I used to have house cleaners come every two weeks. That was before the recession. Now, I am the house cleaner. And you know how my main focus after my kids is fitting in exercise, so you know where cleaning ranks on my list. Fortunately when my mother and mother-in-law watch my kids during the week they do small things from time to time like vacuuming, and occasional dusting on my bottom floor. But that barely scratches the surface for what needs to be done. If I wasn't away from the home 40 hrs a week, I might be able to do a little bit every day and stay on top of things but there is just no way. So on the weekends I try to clean my whole house. I say try, because my whole house is never clean all at once unless we are having company.

Well, sort of.

When we have company, I do clean everything, this much is true. But my kids and husband are pretty messy and even though I can get the kids to help a little, we must remember they are 4 and 2. "Clean up your toys please" lasts about 3 -5 minutes if I'm lucky. So, when we have company, I do my best to put all the "stuff" away, but there are some things that require more attention, like paper work and what not (not bills though) that I will take and put all in a pile and put in a small shopping bag and put it in a closet. The problem is, once its cleaned up and out of sight, its also out of mind. I am staring at 3 bags of such "stuff" that has been bagged when we've had company coming and never dealt with. I skimmed through it and tossed out the obvious things that are no longer relevant, such as a flyer for an event that has passed or a coupon for something I thought I'd use but never did and now its expired. I did not want to spend much time on this, as there are other things I can make a lot more headway on in less time, so I abandoned that project.

I went to put something away in my guest room closet and was reminded of something awful. Awful like how I used to work from home, and had a home office which is now my guest room. When I was expecting with Buddha (in 2008), I was laid off from my job, so we got rid of the furniture and got a bed for any guests that may stay over to help with the baby. It looks really cute in there, with a Hawaiian theme. Except the closet. It seems that all my office supplies, desk accessories, papers, and who-knows-what, was just stacked in there and left for dead. Something else I need to do. But not on my holiday weekend, because its a really big project.

Even thought its a holiday weekend, I do have good intentions to clean. I know it doesn't sound like it. I was actually very productive with my cleaning today, just not on those projects.  I keep putting them off for when I have more time, or when I'm more motivated.  I think honestly, the motivation is the key factor. I know that when I finally deal with the closet for example, it will be because I really have to for some reason. Like if we move. Ok not really. But maybe.

What household project has you procrastinating? I know I can't be the only one! Hope you are enjoying your President's Weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, Time to Break Out the Wine

Clos La Chance, drinking local tonight!
TGIF my friends! What a week. It's rained non-stop here, fortunately everyone seems to be out of town because traffic was a breeze to and from work every day. I bring this up because my commute has an enormous effect on my mood. I mentioned a couple days ago I was having some challenges (um, my kids!) with exercise but have still managed to fit it in when I can. Doing even part of my yoga work out and doing arm weights and core exercises while I watch a bit of TV is not so bad! Sure I'm not out running 5 miles but I think our bodies need variety and new challenges to stay in shape. It's supposed to rain all weekend but my running buddy and I still hope to get in 10 miles between Saturday and Sunday. As a matter of fact, when I am done with this post, I plan to get on my treadmill. I am sitting here with my treadmill staring me in the face. I have no excuse! And Good Lord, will that Valentine candy just go away already??

Chip is off tonight - so we are going to do something as a family. Since its raining and one of our brood is too small to sit through a movie at the theater, I am thinking a family dinner out is what's on tap. Probably not anything too healthy as my Monkey is already telling me he is ordering a corn dog (so I'm thinking Chili's). Other than the Valentine candy I have been eating well all week. Breakfast was oatmeal, with almond milk sprinkled with blueberries and cinnamon and vanilla. This was my lunch today:

Black Bean Burrito
1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
3/4 cup black beans (rinsed if they are canned)
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Trader Joe's corn salsa
dash of salt n pepper (optional)

This is the quick and dirty assembly: Put tortilla on microwave safe plate. Put beans in center, top with cheese. Microwave for 40 seconds, depending on your microwave. Top with avocado and corn salsa. Dash with salt and pepper if you so desire. Fold up the bottom, and roll the sides. Easy, healthy and tasty.

Just waiting for the hubs to get home so I can crank out a run, and have a glass of wine. Aaah Friday. Finally. Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fitness Eff-Up

The boys in their pj's playing inside Buddha's new dresser

I'm not the type to complain a lot, and I'm not really even complaining now. This week has been a mixed bag, and I fell short of some of my typical goals. I have been eating really well, despite a few pieces of See's candy from that darling heart-shaped box I got on Monday. A lot of vegetables of all different colors, hardly any meat, and no processed food. It's my blogging and exercise that sucked. I was good about running Saturday and  Sunday, but Monday my running buddy "called in sick". We already were not scheduled to run Tuesday, so I planned to get up early anyway and do Body by Bethenny. And I did, sort of.

Pottery Barn pattern for Buddha's "surf" themed room

Let me rewind a bit. I am starting to rethink putting Buddha in a bed so soon, at 28 months. He did so well in his crib, he absolutely loved it. I don't know why I was in such a hurry to get him in a big boy bed. He doesn't want to stay in it at bed time unless I lay with him until he falls asleep. Which isn't so bad, except Mama needs "me time" and wants to put him down and walk out so I can blog and watch TV. I sound horrible, but its true. Sometimes it takes him about 45 minutes for him to go out. Before, he'd just amuse himself in his crib on his own until he fell asleep and I was so proud of his independence and ability to self-soothe. Now, I sort of feel like a prisoner who's night is pretty much over when its time for the kids to go to bed.

Even my morning work outs for me now are at risk. The Buddha is waking up sometimes a little before 6 a.m, which is when I leave for running. So far, and its been a miracle, he hasn't woken up that early on my running days. If he's telepathic and he gets it, then I'm going to encourage that. But on my other days when I am not running but working out at home, he is waking up before I even have a chance to make any noise or even start my DVD. That kind of telepathy I do not support. For whatever reason, this darling, sweet, cherubic love of mine does NOT like me to do yoga. He looks downstairs and sees me on that mat and he starts to scream.

"WAIT MOMMY!!" he wails.

I don't know what I am supposed to wait for. He lays down on the ground and writhes around like he is in pain. Yesterday, I was 20 minutes into a 40 minute work out and I was totally irritated. Since Chip works nights I have to keep the kids quiet. Monkey was awake too, but he is a total Mommy Yoga Supporter. He even goes to the closet where I get my mat, takes it out and unrolls it for me. I love it.

This work out is excellent for my hamstrings and counterbalances my running

I made do, pausing the DVD to put the TV on in their playroom which mostly worked. I managed to finish the work out although I think I might have missed part of a sequence on one side of my body but oh well. I planned to do the same thing this morning but was a complete YOGA FAIL. I had even tried asking the Bude if he wanted to sleep in his crib last night.

"NO! Sleep."

He promptly hugged his bear and fell over onto his pillow pet with a huge smile on his face. Did he fall asleep right away? No. Did I? Of  course. At some point I made it out to watch TV with my hubby who had actually stayed home sick. Naturally, both kids got up early this morning. It was a school day and before I started it was too late for me to work out and still be ready in time.

I'm not going to give up, I am planning to try the DVD again tomorrow. I think Buddha likes his bed and it might be too late to go back to the crib. I just have to be patient, and know that eventually he will get the hang of this. I also need to give a shout out to my man, who I know will still encourage me to run in the morning, even if it means dealing with Buddha if he wakes up before I get back.  And, there's always velcro. Just kidding.

Hope you all are having a fabulous week so far...we are on the downside...2 days until the weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award, for Moi?

April over at Party of Five so graciously awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you for the recognition, I am honored! Receiving the award comes with a few rules.

1. You must link back to the person who gave you the award to let them know you accept.
2. You must share 7 things about yourself, which I have done here: 7 Things About Me
3. Pass the award on to 15 recently discovered bloggers and let them know about the award.

Giving and receiving awards is always fun. It let's you know your readers appreciate you and just makes your day! It also gives you the opportunity to let special bloggers out there know how much you enjoy reading them! Hope you are all having a lovely Tuesday. Here are some blogs I have recently started reading, you should check them out!

1. Babyshit & Giggles
2.Welcome To Our World
3. The Weekly Adventures of an Ordinary Girl
4. Just Hide the Dishes in the Dryer
5. Diary of a Preppy Mom
6.A Day in the Life of a Mom
7. From Tattoos to Tots
8. Glori
9. Mika's Pantry
10. Mandyland
11. Mama Dee
12. It's Blogworthy
13. It's ALL Good in Mommyhood
14. Gina's Music Memories
15. Eclecticisms

Have a great week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm OK With the "Hallmark Holiday"

It's Valentine's Day and my husband is under the weather. He actually stayed home from work, so I know he's feeling lousy. We don't have any special plans tonight, but I'm ok with that. On my negative days I call Valentine's Day a "Hallmark Holiday"... a day over-marketed so that people will go out and buy cards, spend money on over-priced meals in super-crowded restaurants and get lousy service.

But really, I don't mind. I think any day where we stop and take time to appreciate our loved ones and do extra special things for them is great. But I don't think we need to have the date dictated by anyone, it can and should be any day we like.

Of course we always cave in and do something. My husband is pretty traditional and I can sometimes be high maintenance so there is no way he'd ever NOT do anything for me. I made sure he and the kids had Valentine's cards when they woke up this morning, but since today was a school and work day our morning was otherwise pretty ordinary. Chip did take my car into the shop and got me new brakes. While most may not consider this a romantic gesture, I am nonetheless thrilled!

This past weekend we went with two other couples to a fabulous winery dinner/Valentine celebration. My parents had our kids and we got to spend the evening with good friends of ours and we drank great wine all night. We had a really fun time, and it met every expectation I had for Valentine's Day. I don't need expensive gifts or romantic surprises. Call me boring, but after 6 years of marriage I am happy with "recognition" of Valentine's Day. It's not like its our anniversary or something!

I came home from work to nice cards from Chip and the boys. He doesn't have much of an appetite, so I'll just make a standard dinner for me and the kids. I will spend my evening tending to a sick husband but that is ok. In my mind we have already celebrated, and even though he is sick it will be nice to have him at home tonight since ordinarily he'd be at work.

Wishing all of you lovelies a wonderfully romantic evening!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And the Award Goes to....ME!

Many thanks to sweet Bruna at Bees With Honey with giving me the lovely Versatile Blogger award! It is my first time receiving this award and I am honored and flattered!!

Part of the "deal" in receiving this award are these rules:

1. You have to Thank the person who awarded you and link them back in your post. Thank you so much Bruna!

2. Tell everyone 7 random facts about yourself.  My favorite ice cream is peanut butter n' chocolate, flies totally disgust me, I love snow skiing, I had both of my kids after 35, I wish I was on TV, I have a huge appetite, I wear size 6 shoes

3. Pass the award on to 10 new bloggers. It's tough to pick just 10!

4. Contact each blogger and let them know you’ve passed the award on to them, and let the “giver” know you accept the award.

Here are are 10 blogs I read, and suggest you do too!:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Quinoa Bomb-Diggity Breakfast

And it all started with this

Does your current breakfast leave you unsatisfied? Are you consuming a sugary carb load that only leaves you hungry 30 minutes later? I suggest you change up your game a bit. Healthy breakfasts with more protein do not have to be all eggs or nut butters. Quinoa is a grain that contains more proteins than other grains. It is wheat and gluten free. I have fallen in love with it mainly because you can eat it at all times of the day, and as a main dish or a side. You can even have quinoa for breakfast. You must try my Quinoa Bomb-Diggity!

You will need:

1 cup quinoa (I used organic from Trader Joe's)
1 cup almond milk - can also substitute with cow's milk or soy milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (please don't skip the toasting, the flavor is amazing)
Honey to taste

Strainer for rinsing quinoa
Begin by rinsing the quinoa. You must use a fine strainer or else all your grain will go down the drain. Put the quinoa, water, and milk in a medium sauce pan on high.

I live for unsweetened almond milk
No sugar. Most people don't realize how much sugar is in regular milk
Bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water/milk has been absorbed. Remove from heat and cover for about 5 minutes.

If you haven't already, toast your walnuts. The best way to do this is in a toaster oven for about 3-1/2 minutes. Toasting the walnuts adds an incredible flavor that really makes this dish.

I put my walnuts on a piece of foil and hit toast!

Stir in the cinnamon. I'll be honest, I used more cinnamon than I put in this recipe because I really like cinnamon but I know its not for everyone. I used 1/2 a tablespoon. Also stir in the blueberries and cranberries to get them warm and softened.

Spoon out into individual bowls. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Drizzle with honey. Enjoy.

Cooking notes: I highly recommend using unsweetened almond milk if you are trying to watch your diet. Even the 1% organic milk I feed my kids has 14 grams of sugar per serving. Make sure to also go easy on the honey. If you are really trying to restrict your sweets you can use stevia extract instead, but make sure you have tried it before as the taste isn't for everyone. Stevia extract is natural, and sugar and calorie free. You can't go wrong with blueberries, so you can always add more and skip the cranberries for less sugar as well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

Sleeping Beauty Pictures, Images and Photos

My running buddy and I had already decided to take this morning off. I was still planning to get up and do a yoga DVD before work, but my children had other plans for me. At 2:30 Monkey came to my bedside and said, "Mommy, take me back to my room." This doesn't happen super frequently, but often enough to not be all that surprised. I decided I would just crawl into bed with him until my alarm went off at 5:30. He's got a full size bed, and I'm 5'2 so we fit well in there together! It could tell when I lay down next to him that I wasn't going to fall asleep right away. Then my mind started to wander, and I tried to get myself back on track with "sleepy" thoughts. Before I knew it, Buddha had opened his door. His room is across from Monkey's, so as soon as I heard the baby gate we have across his room rattle, I tried to act quickly but turns out Monkey was still awake and he sat up. We both went to get our little Buddha, and brought him into the bed with us. After what seemed like quite a while of listening him recite the Cat in the Hat, and singing Frosty the Snowman, he and Monkey were out. And soon, so was I. My alarm went off before I knew it, and there was no way I was getting up to do yoga. I slept for as long as possible, and quite soundly.

I had a decent day at work, although the commute home was hell. I planned to make a quinoa recipe for dinner tonight, but discovered a box of Kamut Spirals in my pantry that were near expiration so I decided to switch things up. Kamut is a grain high in protein and minerals, but it is not gluten free.  I also made the decision to do the Kamut instead of quinioa because I have a great recipe that calls for artichokes, and I had a few artichokes that needed eating before they went bad. I am sorry I did not take photos, but I think it sounds good enough to try without seeing it!

1 12 oz box kamut spirals
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, cut into small chunks
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 15 oz cans quartered artichokes, drained and chopped
(I substituted 2 fresh artichokes, steamed with most of the outer leaves removed)
1/2 cup or more grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheeese - my favorite on pasta
1 tsp basil

Cook pasta according to directions. While waiting, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet on medium high. Saute the chicken, until browned. Add garlic and saute briefly. Then add the white wine, salt, pepper, artichokes and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked. Turn the burner off and place pan on an alternate burner. Put the pasta in a large bowl, add the cheese and mix gently. Add the sauce and combine. Sprinkle with basil. (I always opt to use fresh, however I did not have any on hand).

Doesn't this sound heavenly?

Have a great night! Hope my children sleep on through so I can make my 6 a.m. running date!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Running Crazy!

Speeding Up
I know its only Tuesday, but I am having a great week. I have already run 12 miles! My running buddy and I were feeling like we had hit a plateau, so we added a little extra distance on to our morning route. It's just the little kick we needed to get going again. We have also been trying to increase our pace, and sometimes mix it up with a bit of alternating between walking briefly and then running fast. We talk a lot while we run, but sometimes running gets a little boring if we just keep the same pace all the time. I swear since we have increased our pace our runs seem to go by faster, even though we have added distance. And, my legs feel it so much more. I am sore and fatigued, but in a good way. If there is such a thing.

Minding My House
I have also been improving on the household front. I have spending less "unfocused" time online. Instead of aimlessly surfing the web or checking for Facebook updates and tweets like an addict jonesing for crack, or just sitting while watching TV, I have been multi-tasking and getting more done. Last week I managed to dust my bedroom, clean 2 bathrooms, and vacuum 3 rooms and do an insane amount of laundry. Not only did I just wash and dry the clothes, but I folded them and put them away. One night I even did arm weights while I watched TV. By no means did I achieve all that really needs to be done in my house on a weekly basis, but I have already accepted the fact that I can't do it all when I am working full time. Anything that gets done is a bonus!

Family Time
During the week this still suffers and I don't know if there really is a solution. I don't know what I'm going to do when my kids are in school and have homework, and how we're going to get it done. By the time I get home from work it seems like all I have time to do are the necessities: feed, bathe, and bed. Buddha has been sleeping in a bed now for 1 whole week! Only at night time, as he still has been napping in his crib. This is because during the week I am not here and I think it might be a little too much for my MIL and Mom who split the week watching my kids to try to sleep train him in a big boy bed. He has figured out that he can get off the bed and walk out of the room. And he tries it, repeatedly. He still desperately needs his nap during the day and I am afraid that initially when we take his crib away completely that he may end up skipping naps because his caregivers can't keep him in bed. I guess we'll get there in due time.

Food, Bite By Bite
I want to start documenting what I eat on my blog, but am afraid it will become a chore. So I may do it from time to time, and will continue to share great recipes as I try them out. I have been doing well with eating so far this week (I know, its only Tuesday!) and have discovered my love for quinoa. I stumbled upon this website for  quinoa recipes. If you sign up for the newsletter, will you receive a free download of a cook book! I can't wait to try many of them, they look fabulous and quinoa is good stuff. It's a complete protein (which is rare for a plant food). You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

I have been eating egg whites and wheat toast for breakfast and find that it keeps me satisfied until my mid- morning snack, which has been half a grapefruit the past 2 days. I continue to bring my lunch to work to prevent me from making bad choices. Monday, for lunch I had tuna mixed with Dijon mustard, and lettuce on an Orowheat Sandwhich Thin. I love those things. I used to think I needed to mix my tuna with a bit of mayo, but Trader Joe's makes this great Dijon which is full of flavor and has a little kick to it. I can easily do without the mayonaise! I also had a small cup of Campbell's V-8 Vegetable Soup. When I was craving something sweet later I had a banana. Today I brought a piece of chicken I baked the night before, and some quinoa I had made over the weekend, which was mixed with sauteed onions, diced tomatoes, garlic, and some organic jarred marinara. I had more vegetable soup on hand but wasn't hungry enough to eat it.

Tomorrow I will be roasting a spaghetti squash, which will yield enough for me to eat the next few days for lunch or dinner. I have learned to appreciate meatless meals...not just on Monday, any day of the week. YUM!

Hope your week is off to a good start my friends!