Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's been awhile but I thought our adoring fans would appreciate a glimpse at these cuties again... 
Addison loves making faces in my camera phone. I usually end up laughing at her selfies.

She also likes to encourage me to do leg lifts "Up, Down" she tells me. 
Blake has taken over my iPad. He enjoys playing Bloons and looking thru the pictures. Clearly it makes him very happy.
Again with the funny faces. I love this one.
Daddy teaching Blake to hit a baseball. He caught on quick. "Put the ball on the t and swing."
He's been so smiley lately. 
Mommy's boy.
She thinks she is just so adorable (because she is!) But here she was singing.

We're all still here and doing well. Summer is coming to a close and life should be returning to the cool weather usual.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday

I am super duper tired tonight, so this is gonna be short and then I am going to curl up and enjoy this cool fall like night air. If you notice drool on the screen, its mine, just wipe it off :p

Weigh in this morning and I am down 2.6 this week. So excited about that and I was super worried because this week hasn't been all that great. I've been trying to be super careful about what I am eating but haven't made it to the gym. I have, however, managed to keep busy around the house as well as getting out and enjoying this taste of cooler weather we are having. I still just didn't feel like I was truly working for it, but I did something right I apparently.

Looking forward to getting back to the gym on Sunday. (Maybe even tomorrow if I can sneak away from the kiddos while my mom is in town.)

And with that - I am off to bed at 10pm on a Friday. Living the dream right here. Goodnight and happy Friday night.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bragging About Blake

If you follow us on Facebook then chances are you saw the above update earlier today. And I couldn't be more proud.

We decided to have the eval because we are coming up on their 3rd birthday and the transition to Preschool from Early Intervention (or Infants and Toddlers). To us, we saw no real concerns or issues (minus a minor apprehension about sticking things touching his hands or feet - think paint or sticky foods) with his development but we put so much focus on helping Addison succeed, we wanted to be sure. And because he was a preemie and had NICU time, he automatically qualifies for monitoring and evaluations through our county.

During the evaluation, they mentioned to us several times that he has a great attention span and he is very determined to accomplish tasks. And, we knew his speech was advanced but I didn't expect to hear that he is so far ahead. A 3 year old level?? THREE YEAR OLD???? Who knew! Plus he has some "emerging" 3.5 to 4 year old skills in speech. I guess that gives me a whole new perspective on his little attitude and some of the snippy things he says. ;) 

They still highly encourage us to find more opportunities to expose Blake (well both of them) to situations and children their age in a more structured environment and feel they will benefit greatly from a pre-school program twice a week. She thinks Blake and Addison might even be ready for library story time! I'll keep you posted on that.

Here's the smarty pants himself admiring his milk at breakfast.

That pretty much wraps that up, and I owe all our adoring fans a post about all the cool things we've been getting into lately, I promise that's coming. (Think trains, movies, water and rollercoasters - and not the NICU kind). So stay tuned!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fitness Friday

I have officially hit 20 pounds LOST. Super excited about that and feeling really proud, because I know I've earned every single ounce of that lost.

I bought a fat analyzer finally! If you are looking for one, THIS one came highly recommended to me and it's what I ended up going with. So far I love it. Why a fat analyzer you ask? Because for me it's one more way to see my progress. I wish I had made this purchase sooner though so I could see where I started. As I gain muscle, the body fat % will decrease, and as I loose weight the BMI will go down. It's an even better judge then the scale especially with all the strength training I am doing now.

I am still loosing an inch to half and inch all over which is pretty awesome too. I am really starting to see a difference in my body shape and the way my clothes are fitting, and I am noticing some muscle and toning going on. The hubby actually laughed at me last night because I felt something weird on my mid section and it "flexed" as I moved in certain directions. Yeah those things are called muscles. There might just be hope for a six pack after all :)

Last Friday I mentioned how I felt like I finally had a grip on things, found a better "routine" and was really digging in and focused. It felt great. And this week feels even better. My diet has improved dramatically over the last week and I've seen more gym days this week. I was very proud that I took time to make it to the gym this past Sunday and got in Cardio and then did Strength Training on my own because I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to my usual Monday night BodyWorks class.

Monday I spent all day on my feet walking around/chasing two littles at an amusement park with one of my BFF's and her little family. I expected to be completely exhausted by the time we left but I felt really good still. We packed lunches and then ended up having to get a small meal there too since it was getting later. Lunch was a super healthy salad with chicken and veggies and I felt very full. Plus I carried a huge water bottle and filled it when needed. I am not sure if I was still running on all the excitement from that day or if I've finally reached that place where I am starting to have more energy and feel better about myself. (I'll go with BOTH. ;) )

The rest of the week, I hit up not ONE but TWO BodyWorks classes, mowed the lawn (which is an exercise in itself) and then my hubby so graciously sent me on my way to the gym tonight for some Cardio. I burned 436 calories and walked/ran 2.59 miles in 45 minutes, which seriously is a record for me on the treadmill. So yeah I feel like I am back on track and really in deep this time. Committed. Hoping that feeling stays. I think I've finally found some motivation deep down inside and I really like the way I am feeling about it all.

How are you doing with your goals & progress? I'd love to cheer you on!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Preemies and the Life After

Chances are you might have seen this article from the New York Times by now. I read it, and sat on it for a few because I really didn't know what to say. My mind when back to a few days ago when we had the honor of attending our first NICU reunion, and heard one of our own Neo's said something similar. Something to the effect of  "Sometimes the hardest part of my job is to save these tiny babies. Because when we do all that we do, we have no clue what kind of life we are saving them for. Many go on to a lifetime of severe disabilities, so to see two 26 weekers doing so well - it makes it a little easier."

Not too much more far fetched then what the NYT author had to say. BUT - the author also says parents lack the appropriate education in these situations and need to be better educated. And further seems to make it seem as if saving a child so premature is almost torturous and inhuman. She also mentions about using steroids to help the child come of the ventilator and that it can cause Cerebral Palsy, and how risky it can be. Yeah we had that same conversation about Addison, but guess what? BEING BORN PREMATURELY INCREASES THE RISK, not to mention many full term children have CP too! The data claiming the steroids "cause" CP is inconclusive, because there is no way to tell if a child would have developed CP without the steroids. So if we are talking education, she miss informed his patient's parents right there. It also makes me wonder why she chose such a profession if she disagrees with much of the treatment? To all of that I have many many thoughts. Some which I can't even put in to words.

Somewhere along my news feed today I saw a blog post from Life with Jack  in response to the NYT article that probably said it better then I ever could.

Is there truth to much of what the author is saying? Absolutely. Statistics don't lie, and parents do need to be well informed. Reality is that that conversation shouldn't happen just once. It should happen often throughout the care of the mom and later after the care of the preemie. Our hospital was good about doing NICU consults every week/stage so we knew what to expect should we deliver on this day or that day. But the very bottom line is that there is no sure way to know what the outcome will be. If you didn't know Blake or Addison's story - chances are you wouldn't guess they were preemies (aside from being a little tinier then their peers), that's even with Addison's very mild delays. And every day I am reminded that some of this could just be Addison and not a preemie thing we are just likely more aware and have been working on it because she was born early.

Please understand this - I am NOT in any way criticizing the parent who chooses not to sustain life in a child born at 26 weeks (or any gestational age). But I do want these parents to see what life with a 26 weeker (or two) is like. That's what this blog has been about. Sharing our experience. Sure we talk about lots of things here, but at that end of the day - raising awareness and knowledge will always be where my heart is. If we knew back then when I was on bedrest what we know now - you can bet your bottom dollar that we'd make the same choice. After all we were given the choice more then once about how to proceed with Addison. And you know what? Even with all she has been through and all the heartache I've felt as her mother, I cannot imagine my life without her and Blake. No way no how.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What's for Dinner - Tuesday Edition

I have been wanting to try this dish called Italian Wonderpot that I found on Budget Bytes for about a week now. And I finally got around to it tonight.

Just starting to boil

To make it you'll need:
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 12 oz. fettuccine 
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped spinach 
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • ½ Tbsp dried basil 
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano 
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste 
  • 2 oz. feta cheese 
Ingredients List source: Budget Bytes

Only changes I made was to us a whole box of fettuccine (16 ozs vas 12 ozs), minced garlic instead of cloves (2 tsp = 4 cloves) and a pinch of shredded mozzarella on top instead of feta. For the full recipe and instructions click here.

It was super simple, smelled wonderful and tasted absolutely amazing. I admit though I typically prefer a thicker sauce and was worried I wouldn't be into this since it isn't very saucy. Boy was I wrong. The flavor was packed into the pasta and tomatoes. Even the kiddos who have been stubbing there noses at spaghetti lately LOVED it. Blake even asked for seconds.

The Finished Product

It cost me less then $7 to make, serves 6 and was only 453 calories according to My Fitness Pal.

So... Go ahead. Try it. And come back and tell me how much you loved it too.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fitness Friday

So it's been awhile since I've done one of these. And well the truth is, I've avoided it because - I've been struggling with the same pound and a half for a few weeks now, and I won't lie, I've really felt discouraged by it. Yeah there is that whole "muscle weighs more then fat" theory, and I am not questioning it. And my clothes are fitting different, but - the scale isn't moving.

Ok well that's a lie. Last week it moved down, and I was so excited. Then I started going to BodyWorks class (think cardio and weights all in one) and it went back up, and then it didn't budge. Yeah I really shouldn't let my mood hinder on the scale, but what woman doesn't? I am working on it. And I've switched my focus and changed some things up. Truth is I haven't had a really good weight lifting/strength training routine. So far I've made it to ONE BodyWorks class a week, then I usually do Zumba one or two days and two more days of strength/weights on my own.

I will say this. This week alone, I have felt like I have done better at the gym then any other week thus far. I think I really have a good grip on working out now so that's a plus. I do want to hit up more then one BodyWorks class a week, but the times are all funky and that's the biggest reason why I've not been able to make it to more then one. But for the first time in a long time, I feel ACTIVE, and that's pretty huge for me. After today I'd say I am feeling much much much better.

Currently I am down 19 pounds - 6 pounds from my pre baby weight, which I've now made my next goal. And I need some new workout pants. I can make due with the shirts, but the pants are getting a little too baggy and/or I can't keep them up. That's progress!

I did think this was worth sharing though. Right is March, Left is today.