Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh Weight Watchers, we meet again...

Word of advice for any new mom- sign your baby up for a swim class.  Now.  CJ has now been napping for almost 4 HOURS after his 11:00 class.  All we do is sing a little, hold the babies as we glide them through the water, and play with some rubber duckies for a half an hour.  But, man, does it make him zonk out.  And, he absolutely LOVES it.  Here is a picture of me, my friend Caroline, and CJ and his friends Case and Jason. 
Now if you haven't seen me in awhile, especially since after having CJ, you may in the back of your mind be thinking, "wow, Angie still hasn't lost that baby weight yet."  Don't feel guilty, we've all sized each other up at one time or another.  Here are some pictures of me over the past 5 or 6 years:
Our Honeymoon August 2006
Fall 2010-right before getting pregnant-unfortunately at the high end of what I usually weigh
36 weeks and HUGE
About a month after having CJ
The sad thing is, even though I have lost about 35 lbs, I still don't look much different in the picture above when compared with the one in the pool.  Sigh.  We all know that it's normal to gain weight when getting pregnant and having a baby.  We also all know that it can take awhile to get back to normal.  The frustrating thing is that I have been working really hard to lose weight for the past several months and have not budged much on the scale.  I can't say that it's all muscle because I still can't fit into most of my prepregnancy clothes.  I was hoping to lose the weight with exercise (P90X, Insanity, Zumba, and running) and without dieting (but still eating healthy).  The one vice I do have is desserts because as you know I love to bake (see below pictures) but otherwise in general I do not buy junk food, I cook healthily with trying to limit processed, packaged foods, and I rarely drink soda.  My lunches usually are vegetable- packed soups.  I work out at least 4-5 times a week.  Grrr.  It was so easy to pack on the pounds, but it just seems like my body is wired to keep them.  SOOOO... I have decided to start tracking "points" again and joining Weight Watchers.  I've done it twice before, and both times worked well especially before we got married.  Even though I loved the way I looked that summer of my wedding, I know that weight (135 lbs) is just not realistically manageable for me.  I believe that my ideal weight is around 145-150 lbs.- so that's my goal.  I've got between 25-30 lbs. to lose!  Kevin has also convinced me to give up sweets with him for Lent so let's all look forward to my blog post after Easter when I take pictures of the yummy stuff I will have baked!  HA!

Enough ranting about my weight.  Onto some CJ updates.  He is crawling!!  After about a month or so of him getting up on all fours and rocking, then collapsing on his stomach and "swimming," he has put two and two together.  Of course with all of his toys in the middle of the family room where does he head- to the fireplace.  Or to the corner with the vent in the floor and the drapes for the sliding glass door.  Here are some pictures of him around the house from over the past few weeks. 
Another warm day!

Not crawling quite yet

The night CJ started crawling

Izzie is not scared of him anymore!

I love his feet

CJ thinks his sippy cup is a teething toy

He's very curious about our friends' dog Milo

Helping CJ "walk"

Future basketball player?

Drooling over his Valentine's Day card

Speaking of Valentine's Day, Kevin and I have a tradition of NOT going crazy over celebrating the holiday that my friend Stephanie and I used to call Communist Day in college.  However, I do use it as a good excuse to cook a fancy dinner for Kevin and I and this year was no exception.  I made Beef Wellington with roasted Fingerling Potatoes and a Red Velvet Cheesecake.  I was going to also make roasted asparagus with Hollandaise but the eggs ended up scrambling as I was making the sauce.  Note- do not multi-task next time.  I also tried to make the peppercorn sauce that accompanies the beef in the recipe.  Note- do not EVER flambe anything again.  The Beef Wellington I thought would be absolutely amazing but it was nothing to get excited about.  I was pretty impressed with the cheesecake though.  The red velvet cake part was tasty and the cheesecake itself was very fluffy.  Thank you Pintrest!
Other baking/cooking projects of note:
Red Velvet Cupcakes

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
Baby Food- Fail!!!

CJ HATED my green beans (but likes Gerber's)
Don't even get me started on making my own baby food.  Maybe another blog post.  Well, I will leave you with two more random pictures from my project to show- one of my candy dish of Valentine Hearts (candy makes a great and tasty decoration) and then the other was a random glass I found at an antique store that my grandma used to have.  It's nothing special, but I immediately remembered it when Kevin's sister Anna showed me the glass at the store. 

Hope your weather is just as lovely as ours.  I am going to go back inside and look through my new Cooking Light magazine and not try to think about the cupcakes in the freezer.  At least they last a few months and you can then take out a couple at a time. ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Monster

January has been a month of new milestones for CJ.  I can't believe that he was just a little ball in that bouncer 7 months ago!  So much has changed since last June and I have learned a lot about myself and motherhood.  I have also realized that motherhood does not change all of you- and it may bring out the monster in you.  Take, for example, my desire to become Supermom.  Of course we all want to be super moms, but I am not heeding any warnings from friends and family and trying to do it all and more.  Maybe I'm just trying to make up for the fact that I am not bringing in any cash flow (which when I do start thinking about a small side job of sorts is just going to feed the monster), or the fact that I feel like I need to fill up my days with productivity since we have had such a good sleeper and I shouldn't need to relax.  I don't deserve naps, not when I've had a baby who has slept 10 hours a night since 2 1/2 months.  Maybe I'm just too type A and a perfectionist.  Who knows, but that monster could definitely bite me in the behind. 

As you know already, one of my hobbies is photography and over the past few years I have really started learning about taking good (?) pictures without using the Auto function on the camera.  This 365 day project (and well, having a newborn) has also given me good reason to keep practicing.  I am not halfway through the year yet though and I need some inspiration.  So many of my pictures are of CJ almost in the exact same location-it's like all he ever does is play in the living room either on his playmat or close to it!  I am also less and less motivated to try and get different (artsy) pictures- there have been more and more moments at night where we have just been around the house all day and I just, for lack of better words, got nothin.  At least I've got a few interesting pictures in the past few weeks-
When opening one of my old books to read to CJ, I found that my sister had crossed out my name- I thought it was funny

Interesting picture of Izzie- I used the white balance setting for "flash" when I should have used the one for indoor lighting

matching socks

On a walk through Ida Lee Park on one of our many unseasonably warm days

Another hobby that I have mentioned in my blog is my love for cooking and baking.  I received a standing mixer for Christmas, so I have been looking forward to playing with it, but just haven't had the chance until this past week when I baked some vanilla cupcakes.  I am trying to find some "Go To" recipes, and I started with just basic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.  They were quite tasty, and freezable!


We have to be careful though because I am still whittling away at that 50lb weight gain so I am still cooking pretty healthy for our meals.  Here is one meal from Eating Well Magazine: Halibut Packets with Mushrooms and Polenta 
 Kevin and I have started getting up at 6AM in the morning to work out- I can't believe that I used to get up at 5AM every morning for work!  Even though this does not happen everyday, I am happy when I already have burnt 400 calories before CJ even stirs.  Ahhhh.. back to my cup of coffee a day. 

So what other crazy things am I trying to get done?  Well, reorganizing the house (I need to fit a trip in to the Container Store ASAP), finishing a counter-cross stitch project I started for CJ last May so I canlearn how to knit so I can knit him a Christmas stocking a la super complex retro style, attending social outings and playdates, and starting a scrapbook with the hundreds of pictures I have already taken in the past 7 months.  And what about those books I want to read?  Oh and who can forget taking care of said 7 month child??? 
This stage is truly amazing in CJ's first year.  I love watching him play with all of the toys Santa brought him (although if he can't put it in his mouth, he gets frustrated) and just becoming aware of the world.  Last night was the first time CJ laughed at something other than a person trying to make him laugh- Izzie was chasing a fly around the family room and he thought that was HILARIOUS.  Along with the sitting up and eating solid foods CJ has sprouted some teeth!  He also will be crawling any day now- he is so close, but has been on the cusp for a few weeks now.  God help me when he can start moving.  He already will roll all over the place.
At a playdate- CJ now knows a little boy smaller than himself!

No more baby tub!

What are these sharp things in my mouth?

Check out those bottom teeth!

I've always got to have something in my mouth!

We also took a day trip to Pennsylvania a few weeks ago.  A close member of my family, Ron, was in the hospital for pneumonia and is thankfully doing much better.  We visited him and got to see my cousins as well.  My parents were up visiting my grandparents, so we spent the rest of the day with them and my aunt and uncle.  Everyone loved seeing how much the Little Man had changed in the past couple of months- and he behaved wonderfully.  Why didn't we think of bringing the Pack n Play along on day trips before?  Giving CJ a nap was a lifesaver! 

So, back to that monster in me.  Stay tuned for the "OMG I Am Trying to Do Too Much" breakdown post.  Am I going to change and take a step back?  Probably not.  But, I need to make sure that I do not lose focus- my first priority is that little man who has woken up from his nap and is quietly playing in his crib right now as I finish this post.  He is becoming more and more active everyday and I know my projects are going to have to wait.  Or, I'll just have to teach him how to ice the cupcakes.