Friday, May 31, 2013

Fitness Friday

For the sake of being honest.......

I gained 2.2 pounds after not exactly counting calories and not going to the gym. Too many sodas and junk. Which is the very reason I don't buy soda or junk food because I know if it's here I will eat it. In short, I've got to get myself back on track. And that is exactly what I am doing.

My goals for the next week include, repeating Week 3 of C25k (I know I am not ready for week 4 at all). Getting back into a routine at the gym, including weight trainning. Keeping up with my water intake and sticking to more healthy foods. I am also aiming for a walk every night with the twins before bedtime, for all of our sanity. I did this last night and it was so perfect.

I am also learning that I need to work on making better choices when attending cookouts and such (or hosting cookouts) and not letting one day roll over into two or three.

And that, is where we are this week.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day/NICU Homecoming Anniversary

It's been a whirlwind of a week(end) around here. We had a play date last week with the Mom's group I joined, a small cookout over the weekend with the grandparents and then took full advantage of PA's "Fish for Free Day" on Monday and took the kiddos on their very first fishing trip.

I have to say it was one of the experiences I could not wait to share with them and I know my dad was smiling down.

This little girl was not scared of the water at all. At one point she even sat down on that ledge right there and insisted I let her take her shoes off and stick her feet in.

Blake kept calling "Here fishy fishy" and making his fish face. It was priceless.

I was only good at catching sticks though. Such luck.

And how could we forget such an extra special day with Mr. Blake? He celebrated his 2nd NICU Homecoming Anniversary on the 26th as well. Where has the time gone?

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fitness Friday

I'll keep it short and simple this week...

Progress: I am down .6 pounds but feel like it should have been more. I've played by the rules and worked my butt off this week. But it's a loss and I'll take it.

How I am feeling: This week I really feel a little out of sorts and sad. Can't quiet put my finger on it but I am sure lack of sleep is playing a huge factor.

What I am doing: C25k week 3 - I can't believe I'm about to say it, but it's not been as bad as I thought this week would be. I am feeling like it's still challenging and that I might not be ready to move on and may end up repeating this week too, but we'll see. I've promised myself I'll give week 4 day 1 a shot and repeat where I need to. Other then that, everything else remains the same.

Goals/Things to work on: I am working on drinking more water. Aiming for 124 ounces a day. Sleep is clearly something I still need to work on but a change in hubby's work schedule is factoring in here now.

And that's all I've got for this week.

If you are taking this journey with me, how are you doing?

Why Are We So Judgmental?

By now I am sure you've seen the "Dear Mom on the iPhone" articles circulating. As well as many comebacks, THIS is possibly my favorite response. And maybe you've even seen the most recent "Dear Toddler Mom from Chuck-E-Cheese". (I have a lot I'd like to say back to this author. Like perhaps the child wasn't in fact 18 months old, maybe he was a preemie and/or just small for his age. And question just how old her child/children are that perhaps she may not even recall what it's like to have a toddler. Am I saying what took place was ok? No - I wasn't there so I don't know all the details, just what she has portrayed. I also seriously doubt that such a short person launched a skeeball at her head. But lets also point out that she was in fact in the Holy Grail of childhood craziness - what more did she expect.)

But I digress.

The point is I just want to know one thing... Why are we (society) so judgmental? I will be the very first to admit, I have done my fair share of judging. (I mean remember back in January when I was all like "Why the heck are all these moms with ONE kiddo abusing the DOUBLE CART privilege?" If you don't remember you can read about that here.) But am I proud of it? Absolutely not! And I won't even promise that I won't ever judge again, but I can say I have been humbled by life events and people I've met. Enough that I am becoming more and more aware in situations where I would have judged that maybe, just maybe, there is more then what meets the eye; more then I could even imagine or say what I would do in that situation.

I'll even take that a step further to be a little more specific and ask why are MOMs especially this way? Moms/woman can be some of the most judgmental people I've ever met. Not.even.kidding. Judged if you don't breastfeed, judged if you do. Cloth diapers or disposables. Organic or not. Working Mom vs. SAHM. You name it. I personally have felt more judged since becoming a mom. And it's always fun when a childless person judges a parenting choice. Honestly, how many of us as moms have once in our past said "I'll never" or had these big plans and dreams about what parenting would be like, only to be handed a reality check because - lets face it; nothing works out the way we planned.

What about if just once instead of questioning or judging, we looked at our fellow moms (and actually anyone for that matter) and just said "You know what, you are doing the absolute best you can. Good job." Instead of cutting each other down, lets raise each other up or better yet HELP EACH OTHER OUT! And especially don't base your opinion on a split second in time that you have witnessed. Leaving the judging for a higher power.

To those who I've very foolishly judged in my lifetime, I am sorry.  I am not faultless here either. Like I said, I'm a work in progress, I am striving not to judge and think it's something we could all benefit from.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fertility Scorecard 2013  just released their Fertility Scorecard where they ranked each of the US states based on the following: 

The insurance mandate climate in each state (otherwise known as - mandatory coverage of Infertility treatments.)

Current legislation and laws introduced in 2012

The number of accredited fertility clinics (like Shady Grove Fertility Center) in the state in relation to the state's infertile population. 

As well as the number of Resolve support groups in the state.

While we no longer reside in Maryland I am very proud to say that our hometown ranked #5 out of all 50 states and received an A for their Fertility Grade. Pennsylvania ranked #13 and received a B for their Fertility Grade. I can't say for sure what we'll choose should we decided to try again for baby number 3 but chances are we're more likely to make the commute back to our original doctor one because they get the best of the best results and because they already know our history. 

Did you know? Resolve touches base on this a little on their website but it's important to know - the state mandate applies to the state in which your employer is based out of. For example... Hubby's employer is based in Chicago (a mandated state) so even though we live in PA (a non mandated state) his insurance company is required under state mandate to provide infertility coverage.

How did your state rank?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fitness Friday

Yay, It's FRIDAY! So super excited about that. Even better, Hubby is home with us today and I have a Pedi Date with one of my BFF's.

Progress: Down another 1.4 pounds for 13.2 total. I am loosing inches too, except my calves and thighs, they haven't lost much but I am noticing more muscle there for sure so I'm not worried about that. After all it is my legs that are carrying me. I've lost 6.3 INCHES yes... 6.3 off my waist since I started this journey and 9 (NINE!!!!) inches off my hips. I looked in the mirror today and noticed that my saddlebags are....GONE. It's the first time I noticed that. And some inches elsewhere too.

How I am feeling: Great actually. And gaining confidence. I can feel my endurance and stamina building. It's been a good week. (Can you tell?)

What I am doing: C25k Week 2 (today is day 3), I haven't decided if I'll repeat this week or not, because really... I feel like I've really doing this now. I've found my groove. Sooooooo we'll see how next week goes. Still doing my homework outs (though I've skipped two days last week with those because I felt like my body needed it.) And doing some weightlifting at the gym too. And I've been walking our neighborhood atleast twice a day. And averaging 2.5 miles a day doing that, more when I add in the C25k training days.

Goals/Things to Work on: I want to start getting up just a little earlier each day, (aka before the kiddos) and yes I know I said that last week, and it didn't really happen. Unless you count the night I did not sleep at all then yes that day I was haha. No fun. But I want to really get into doing those home workouts I've been doing, first thing in the morning, as soon as my feet hit the floor, and increasing it to two times a day. And my next goal is to loose 6.8 pounds, in the next month or less.

Inspiration/Motivation: This...

I never thought I'd be a runner, but.. Here I am.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bed Rest - Yay Or Nay

A recent article published by USA Today says that some doctors are beginning to challenge the thought that bed rest can prevent pre-term deliveries and can even possibly make things worse.

Many of you who know our story may recall that I spent 6 weeks on strict bed rest at home (with two hospital stays thrown in there) when Addison's amniotic sac ruptured at 20 weeks. Doctors urged exclusive hospital bed rest, but we declined and opted to return home for several different reasons. One of which being that I was at a risk for infection - a risk that was actually GREATER if I remained in the hospital. Even our MFM (High Risk-OB) agreed but because of protocol could not consent for me to leave. At home I would be more comfortable, and less stressed plus other then the once daily fetal heartbeat checks there was nothing more the hospital could offer me. I was warned that delivery before 24 weeks would result in none heroic measures for the twins as well. So what exactly was the point in staying?

I cannot say with absolute certainty that bed rest is what kept me from going in to labor, but when you factor in that pretty much anything I'd do besides lay in bed would increase the risk for infection, I'd say there is a pretty good chance that yes indeed bed rest did buy us another 6 weeks.

Leading up to when my water broke - I was less active then I have ever been simply because I had 0 energy and was literally that sick 24/7. I cannot help but wonder if I had been more active, would that have preventing my water from breaking. Which I know logically makes no sense, because we know that early in my pregnancy I had a SCH (Subchorionic Hematoma) which is very closely linked with pPROM (Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes). So there is no way to say for certain what, if anything could have changed fate.

It certainly makes you wonder...

What was your experience? Were you put on bed rest? Do you think it helped? What are your thoughts on this new study and should doctors prescribe bed rest more or less?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

International Kangaroo Care Day

Today was International Kangaroo Care Day - Kangaroo Care is the skin to skin contact with momma (or daddy) and baby. It's thought to promote healing and bonding for the parent and child, especially among preemies. Yet in some hospitals it is not a current standard of care.

When A & B were born, this was the first method in which I was able to hold them (minus the five seconds when I held Addison in the palms of my hands while a nurse changed her bedding). Holding them skin to skin also helped to regulate their body temperature when they couldn't quite do it themselves. (Aka when they were still in the incubators).

Kangaroo Care, First Preemie Cuddle

Here is the first time I held Blake (Kangaroo Style) - he was 5 days old and this was just shortly before I was discharged to go home

Kangaroo Care, First Preemie Cuddle

And this is Addison and I...she was over a month old the first time I got to hold her. (A month and six days to be exact.) She was still intubated, and it didn't last long because she wasn't tolerating it as well as we hoped. She wasn't much of a cuddler back in her NICU days, but sometimes she makes up for it now.

If you'd like to find out more about Kangaroo Care and it's benefits, check out this website:

Word(less) Wednesday

Momma got NO sleep last night. NONE. As in tossed, turned. Sat up, laid down. Blankets on, blankets off. This was only made worse by the fact that -hello my babies sleeping so I should be too!!!!

Hubby's alarm went off, and before his feet could touch the floor - Addison was up. She was clinging to her baby and waiting not so patiently for Momma. Only a milk and nannies would do (bananas that is). She was full of smiles and laughter too. ;)

By the time I catered to Miss Adidson, Blake was up too. I now have no expectations for today. (Should I tell you my kiddos are not usually up until 8:40/9:00 - please don't hate me, I don't know how we got so lucky.)

Looking on the bright side, the babies got to have breakfast with their daddy before work. And we are now watching the sunrise while Mickey Mouse saves his clubhouse or something. Ok no really the breakfast and sunrise part really did happen but they are already cranky as can be. I think today is going to be a TWO nap kind of day.

Oh and coffee, there will be lots and lots of coffee.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ahhh. Tuesdays

Today we had Special Instruction (Therapy) for Addison. We're working on things like "my turn" and trying to get her to pair words together for two and three word phrases. She's got the "my turn" thing town EXCEPT the down fall is that she thinks that whenever/where ever, if she says "my turn" it immediately becomes her turn and it does not make her happy if she doesn't get her way. We also had a very funny moment today when after several attempts to get her to repeat "read the book" she shoved her brother just a little and screamed "Back up Meanie!" the therapist and I both giggled under our breath and I quickly tried to redirect the behavior. The therapist was impressed but told Addison, she could have been a little nicer to her brother ;) Blake just moved right on and didn't let it phase him.

A little later when Daddy came home, I am not sure what happen because someone took a nose dive off the couch. I think that Daddy walking to the door startled the like monkey who was jumping on the couch and he fell. It freaked hubby out, but Blake cried immediately and even though he bit his tongue (made it bleed) he walked away without a bruise or scratch and all was well after about ten seconds when I offered up a Popsicle to make his tongue feel better. As you can tell he was unphased.

A little later hubby was saying something to Blake and well apparently Blake was not please because he told Daddy "Go fly kite"... I walked away and let him deal with that little attitude.
I snapped this pic the other day and wanted to share it. I love his happy face in this one. And he looks soo....grown up. That I don't like. I sometimes wish they stayed little. Granted life does get easier in many ways, though sometimes it presents new challenges as they gain independence.
Now about this bird... One I can't say that this is the same bird every time but I've noticed him/her around a lot lately. Like I spot him/her in different places when I am out for my jog and today I started upstairs and caught a glimpse of him/her on the mailbox. Just by luck. So it got my mind wondering, especially since the bird doesn't immediately fly off when I come close. Like sometimes I don't even see him/her until I am right near it. So I googled to see what Red Robin's symbolize. (Yes I am one of those people.) What I learned is that they 1.) represent the coming of spring (I'd say a little late, BUT considering it was like 50 degrees the last two days...who knows) and 2.) They represent a sign of hope, new beginnings and contentment. I guess someone is sending me a sign. And that gives me peace.

And this one... something a little less heavy... I went in after naps and found Elmo and "bubba" both in Addison's crib. Blake said "Sissy take Elmo" she giggled and Blake said "Yeah give back NOW." He was not happy. Then she pretended to hand it to him, but kept it just out of his reach. This is what happens when their cribs are that close.

And I'll leave you with one of Addison just because. ;) she too is looking more and more grown up. 

I am really looking forward to the weather getting just a little warmer so we can get back outside to play more. I know they are looking forward to it too. They love our walks but are oh so sad when it's time to come in. 

How's your week been?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fitness Friday...

Well... Here we are again.

Progress: Down 1.4 pounds since last week!! Super excited about that. Still have another (OMG) 17.6 pounds to go to reach my "pre-pregnancy" weight, and still a super long way to go before I reach my goal. Pleased none the less because I am really seeing results.

How am I feeling: Confident. I did have a few days this week where I felt sort of down and out, but I pushed through it. Kept working out and stayed on track for the most part, which I really feel like in the end is what helped me get over the slump. By just pushing through. I also got a huge confidence booster when I was able to finish my C25k training for the day without having to take the 5 minute break in the middle like before.

And about this C25k thing - I know it's like the latest craze, and I can see why. But if you want my expert (as in "couch potato") opinion it is NOT a good starting point for someone who is truly just starting out. And that could just be me, but I really felt like I would have done better at first with something more gradual to get my endurance and stamina built up. That said, I am doing it and owning it so I'll keep on. For those of you who want to start running but don't think C25k is for you yet I'd like to suggest this:

I found the above on Pintrest and really feel like it would be much better for a beginner. And it would be easy once you got into lets say Week 3 or Week 4 to move over to the C25k program, or even just continue on with this one. It's spread out a little longer but like in my situation, I am repeating Week 1 of C25k right now and may or may not repeat each remaining week twice before moving on. So it will take me longer then 8 weeks to finish the whole program, but I'll finish.

What I am doing now: Still keeping up with the plank challenge for May (if you missed it, it's not too late to start - find more info here), tomorrow's time is 90 seconds OMG I THINK I MIGHT DIE I can do this, and it hurts so good. I am actually getting marks on my elbows from these planks, haha. Alternating gym days with outdoor walking/running and keeping up with my same routine I linked to last week. I will be continuing that for the rest of May, before I shake things up in June. (Yes I am already planning ahead for June.) And on top of that I've also been challenged to 52 miles in May, I hated cross country in gym class and this is very similar lol, but I'm determined to make it. It's less then 2 miles a day really and it's great for 5k training and working up to that distance as well. Pair all that with eating healthy, limiting carbs, and increasing proteins. Nothing crazy, just eating better.

Goals/Things to work on: Not gonna lie, I need to get to be earlier. Like seriously. There were a few nights this week when that happened and it made such huge difference in everything so making that a new priority is a must. I also need to get back into the habit of getting to the gym in the morning instead of putting it off. The best way for me to do this is to have myself up and ready to go before the kiddos are awake and then make sure their breakfast is ready when I get them up. (Note that I DO NOT and usually WILL NOT wake them in the AM. They are usually up by 8:30 sometimes 9:00 and that is good enough for me.) I just need to be more like a well oiled machine in the AM. I am also learning that drinking coffee right before a workout is not a good idea (hence another reason why I need to wake up earlier then the kiddos). 

As for goals, loose 3.6 more pounds to my next goal (equaling 15 pounds total) followed by another 5 (20 total for you math wiz people). Finish Week 2 of C25k, stick to my current routine AND actually REST on those rest days (I only get one a week - and by rest I mean "rest" from working out. Mommies don't get "rest").

No before and after photos this week. I'll post more when I hit my next target.

Inspiration/Motivation: I actually had an old friend tell me that I inspired her to get back into running and working out. Just by sharing my journey. I am flattered and hope that I continue to inspire others, as there are others that are inspiring me.

If you have a moment and haven't already, head over to Getting Healthy One Point At a Time and meet one of my inspirations and check out her latest post about healing and her weight loss journey.

How have you been doing this week with your own goals? Check in...who's in this journey with me?

How We Tube Weened Addison

(Updated 9/29/2013)

This post (and the ones that will follow) are long overdue. Almost a year over due in fact. But first lets back up and recap a little first in case you are just finding this blog and you are looking for guidance (or support).

Most importantly - we did this under the blessing of our Ped (who slightly disagreed with our GI, whom we too did not agree with), and Addison was monitored every few weeks for weight gain. (Plus I may or may not have weighed her every few days at home.)

For our first time readers - Addison is a twin, born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb 10ozs. She spent 153 days in the NICU before coming home to us with a G-tube (and Nissin Fundo). With the exception of only TWO horrifically failed attempts in the NICU, Addison had only ever been fed by a feeding tube. In the NICU it was decided that due to terrible reflux, a Cleft Palate and a very uncoordinated suck/swallow reflex she was unsafe to feed orally. From the day we brought her home we spent countless days in therapy and working on oral stimulation and slowly working towards oral feedings.

She came home from the NICU being fed overnight as well as every few hours during the day. After a lot of research and consulting with our Ped, we made the very conscious choice to begin decreasing her overnight feeds by adding 5mls to each of her day time feeds and decreasing her overnight feed by 20mls a night. We increased those day time feeds by 5mls every 3 days as she tolerated it. If she retched a lot or seemed uncomfortable we'd hold steady and try again a few days later.

After her first birthday and her Cleft Palate repair, we condensed her feeds again, down to 3 a day at 8 ounces each. It was at this same time that her GI decided we should change her to Pediasure to one with a higher calorie content per ounce, and began working even more aggressively towards eating orally. Once she was able to take more then one bite at a any given time she had another MBS (Modified Barium Swallow) to make sure she was safe to feed and not aspirating, that came back all clear and it seemed the only thing standing in our way was the fact that Addison was just simply not hungry.

On Oct 25 2012, we had an appointment with our Ped to address Addison's sudden and dramatic weight gain since changing her formula. We talked in depth about Addison's progress, she was now eating up to an ounce of purees - twice a day if I was lucky, and how she always did best in the morning after not eating all night. It was then that our Ped said, based on all the information I was giving him that we needed to consider that developmentally we were slowly closing in on the window of opportunity where Addison would learn to eat. It was time to push her hard.

Mind you we had moved to a new state just a few weeks before this and had no OT to work with us on this initially. (We were still commuting to see our old Ped though.) Our OT from our old home was great, and helped us so much. It's with her help that we made it that far.. but what now? I was flying solo. Thankfully I had a lot of resources from our first OT that would get me started and I was still researching more. One blog that I found incredibly helpful was The Crunchy and the Smooth. I must have read her blog a million times over, pulling ideas and insight and taking notes.

I came home from the Ped that first day, had a pep talk with Addison and vowed we weren't going back. I tube fed her before bed, just like always, but the next morning - I offered her a breakfast puree and Pediasure in a cup this time. She ate a little... like just a few bites and drank enough just to wet her mouth. I tried to feed her every hour on the hour, even if it was just a few bites. I counted every ounce and every calorie.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's been awhile since I've done a Wordless Wednesday and well since I haven't blogged since last Friday I though I should slide this in there lol... Just to keep my followers happy.

I love kiddie cuddles. <3

Proof that Blake does smile.

And of course a totally Addison smile.

This one kills me... The kid is researching preschools. Hold me.

And this is ME ::waves HI:: oh and that cute little furball that's Camden. Camden is not my friend, even though we look like friends in this picture. I really don't like Camden - ok all of that is a lie. I love her. So much in fact that during our little sprinting session, when she made a bee line for the woods, I ran after her. Full speed ahead. Down a hill, into brush and mud. Just to save her. We were working on having her come to us when called, without a leash. Lesson learned, never trust a beagle. And yes... I did have to sit down once I made it back up the hill with her in my arms. Don't judge.

Ok so those were a little bit of words... but Happy Wednesday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fitness Friday

As promised here is the long over due update on my fitness journey. I apologize about all the stuff going on in this post but here ya have it.

Let's start with some before and after photos...

This is ME... 10 (yes TEN) (.4) 10.4!!!! pounds lighter! My first ten is what I am calling it.

How am I feeling: Looking at those pictures.. I feel great actually. I will be the first to admit that I slid back for a bit. Life got in the way, and I may have made an excuse or too. BUT - I didn't fall too hard. I was able to at the very least NOT GAIN IT ALL BACK, and then still loose a little. I am also down in inches too all over, which is so exciting. 

What I am doing now: You saw my post yesterday about my May fitness challenge so there's that. I am also doing C25K alternating between at the gym on the treadmill and outside with the kiddos.

It's much much harder with the kiddos in the stroller (hello 45 pounds of babies and easily another 5 out 10 in the stroller.) And I've learned our neighborhood is PERFECT for training. Lots of hills and slopes. A challenge in itself.

Day 1 was a piece of cake.. Day 2 (the day with the kiddos...not so much) - Day 2 was super tough. I puked, had to stop in the middle and walk for about 5 minutes and then I logged back it and saw this message:

Thanks to the people at C25k for that motivation, because at that moment I needed just a kick. I was seriously debating on what to do next and then - I said, go for it.

Today (Friday) is day 3 - and it's supposed to be an "outside" day (I am using my outside days on days when we have therapy appointments for Miss A because it usually conflicts with the childcare schedule at the gym.

On the days that I am at the gym I also have a weigh lifting routine and I am working out at home. At home I am doing this routine from It's Fitness Baby - daily, even on days I go to the gym. I am also walking every night after dinner with the kiddos too. I've even gotten the Hubs in on the action in the evening. It's a great way to unwind from the day.

I'm finding that this is giving me a good balance. It's letting me enjoy the great weather and still taking advantage of the gym and all they have to offer there (aka keeping my mommy sanity). And I love that the kids are so into it. Every morning when the get up Blake asks if we can go outside, in the stroller, and if by chance I leave the stroller open and in the house, they are in it while I am trying to get their breakfast ready.

My Next Goal: To loose 5 more pounds, and continue to loose inches. Sticking to my routine for the entire month of May also. I know it's probably really brave of me, but I really really want to get up super early one day a week to run outside alone before Hubby even goes to work. That's a work in progress and might wait til next month though lol. My BIG goal is that I want to run a 5k before my next birthday (Nov) - there is talk that a friend and I will be doing one in October, though we are still sorting out the details. It's gonna happen.

To motivate me, I have hung this quote in my bathroom on the mirror where I can see it every morning, and set is as the lock screen on my phone. I think it sums it up pretty well.

So I think that just about sums it up. I'll leave you with this ...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Fitness Challenge

It's not Friday so I won't do my full "fitness" update but it is May 1st and I want to challenge all my fans to the Plank Challenge.

My friend over at Getting Healthy One Point at a Time challenged me to this (note she is not "mystriveforabetterme" - that's just the lovely lady that Instagramed this photo). I think said friend is nuts. And well we all know I am so... go big or go home. I hate Planks and they hurt so good.

Now who's with me (us)?

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