Fitness Update

Four weeks of Best Body Bootcamp complete!


Week 1 and 2 were great. Week 3 stunk. Week 4 was mostly good. The best part of it all is I’ve actually been sore. Ya know, the good sore.

Besides the workouts, we set two goals each week. My goals this week were more water and only one dessert after each meal. Water intake was great and I’m quite embarrassed to admit that one dessert after each meal was VERY difficult. I only accomplished that 5 out of 7 days.

Week 5 kicked off today. Guess what. I worked out AND enjoyed it. I could only get the first two sets in before going to work but I finished up this evening. Not my favorite way to do it but the most important thing is, I did it! Woohoo!

To help my motivation, I’ve joined another group to help me through the holidays. I feel like I’m in AA or something with all these support groups! Welcome Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge! Honestly, a holiday challenge scares the crap out of me. The PRESSURE!! But, really, this is also why I’m signing up. Keeps me motivated. And who doesn’t need extra motivation to stay in shape and eat well during the holidays?


The HBBC is a competition with all the points publicly posted (yikes!) so that will help keep me motivated too. You earn points based on your activity, fruit and veggie consumption, and a host of other things. It’s not too late to join if you want to join me.

I think it’s time for a Callan update too. This little guy is 4 months old. Love this kid!

He’s so going to kill me one day for posting this ridiculous picture. He was posing for his 4 month pictures.

One more thing for ya. I’m back to posting recipes. I’ve been cooking up a dairy-free storm and have a ton of new recipes I’m excited to share.


Body After Baby — Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

You see this?

ATM-bibIt’s the race bib for the race I didn’t run yesterday.

I was signed up for the Army 10 Miler. As in, I was supposed to run 10 miles yesterday.

At 6 weeks postpartum, I decided to sign up for the race. So, I put together a running plan. This left me 8 weeks to get ready. Definitely not long enough to be running any PRs but enough to be back in shape and do some decent splits.

Workouts got a bit tough toward the end of pregnancy, but I kept up with it. Once Callan arrived and I was feeling better, we started going on walks. Sometimes in the stroller and sometimes in the Moby. We started walking at about 3 weeks and it was too soon. (PM me if you want to know how I knew.) We tried again around 4 weeks and I was good to go. The weather was so hot and that kept us in a few days but we tried as much as we could.

Then I started my race training. By the end of the first week, I was already hitting a wall. I’d lost my motivation. I knew it would be hard to get back into it, but I also thought running would come fairly easily. I mean, I’ve just dropped 23 pounds and should feel weightless, right? My legs were just tired and heavy. I kept it up for a few weeks but once things got a bit busy, I basically stopped. So, for the last three weeks, I’ve been quite lazy.

Honestly, the biggest motivation for me staying active is to stay thin. I hit my pre-pregnancy weight right at 6 weeks postpartum. Since then, I’ve even dropped a few extra. Unfortunately, losing the weight so quickly kind of made me lose my motivation.

39 Weeks – Oh, that looks painful now. And, my puffy eyes!

39 Weeks

A few days after Callan was born.

Callan Andrew-0470

Yes, some of it’s genes; but, I did work out my entire pregnancy and started back-up as soon as I could. I know that, plus breast feeding, contributed to losing the weight. That doesn’t mean things look the same. There is some major toning needed.

Here’s what I’m struggling with:

  1. I’m at my happy weight so less motivated to work out.
  2. We don’t belong to a gym anymore and it’s getting colder outside. I hate being cold and I really do miss the equipment at a gym. (Joining a gym isn’t an option as they’re too far from our house.)
  3. Timing. I can’t just leave the house while Little Dude sleeps and I’m much better at working out in the morning than in the evening.

Here’s what should be motivating me:

  1. I’m not toned and even though the number on the scale looks good, I’m not happy with the way I look.
  2. I usually enjoy working out.
  3. Callan – It’s very important he sees us healthy and active.

So, what’s a girl to do?

My first step in getting back into the groove is joining in with some others. I’m going to Best Body Bootcamp!!! I’ve seen a few other bloggers getting involved so I couldn’t wait to sign-up for the next session. Here we go!

Day 1 — a success!

I need your help mommies (and others!). How do I motivate myself? How long did it take you to get back into shape?

Philly — Labor Day Weekend

It was my (almost) last weekend of maternity leave and needed to do something. Andy also had a three-day weekend due to the Labor Day holiday so we decided to take a day trip to Philly. It’s about 2 ½ hours from our house. The weather was kind of crappy but we hoped that would keep the crowds away.

It did! Despite there being a two-day music festival downtown, we felt like we had the city to ourselves.

First, we took our time getting ready that morning. Haha! That’s a lie. It just takes us forever to get all three of us out the door. We’re working on it though.

On our drive, we found a cool little flea market with great deals on some furniture. Since we weren’t in the mood to think about future DIY projects, we moved on with a promise to each other (me and Andy that is) we’d return.

Since it was a Sunday and we didn’t get into town until about noon, our options were limited. Plus, besides a short jaunt into DC one day, this was our first trip with Little Man. Who knew what his eating schedule would be like or how he’d handle being out for so long.

After we found parking, we stopped by the Information Center, got our tickets for the 3:15 tour of Independance Hall then set off to find lunch at Reading Terminal.

It’s a food lover’s heaven. After a short walk through with a stroller (bad idea), we saw gyros. Done. We love gyros and they were delicious!

I’d been on a short-term, dairy-free diet for the little guy and was either going to go back on dairy that day (Sunday) or the next (Monday). Really? You try walking through a food market and not eating dairy. So, Sunday it was. However, I did resist the ice cream! More on this soon.

Next, we were off to Independence Hall for our tour. It started to rain pretty hard and we tried to find some cover where I could feed Callan. We made it through security, got in line, then a super nice National Park Guide told us we could wait in the covered area and he’d come get us when our tour was ready. So, under the archway we went. We’re still in view of the main street and the line for the tour but Callan needed to eat. BF in public was a success!

Before eating.

After eating.

After Independence Hall, we stopped by the Liberty Bell. Have you revisited tourist sites as an adult and been disappointed? Besides the historical relevance, we were a bit bored. Am I allowed to think this, let alone post this? Oops!

We were getting a bit tired so decided to stop in to a restaurant and have a drink. It was only about 5 o’clock when we were done but since all the touristy places were closed, we didn’t know what else to do.

Andy wanted to stop and get a cheesesteak on the way out of town but then we decided to look up Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives to see if there were any recommendations for Philly or somewhere on the way home.

 We found one! Good Dog Pub…supposedly has the best burgers and sweet potato fries. Off we went, found a seat at the Pub and placed our order. Cheeseburger, fries, and Chicken Cordon Bleu bites. The fries were awesome but the rest was pretty blah.

We headed back to the car and made our way home. It sounds like it was kind of an underwhelming day but we really did have fun. It was nice to get out of town and also nice to know we’re still committed to getting out with our new addition.

Callan’s Birth Story — Part 1

July 15 — It was quite the day. A little unexpected and scary but so absolutely incredible.

Just after 2 pm, I was in the kitchen making Tomato, Corn and Avocado salad. While cutting the jalapenos, I grabbed a pair of gloves thinking “I’d better make sure to use the gloves in case I meet the little guy soon. I wouldn’t want to give him jalapeno burns.” A few minutes later I felt something warm flowing down my legs (Sorry, kind of gross.). We all know pregnancy can do things to your bladder but this was different. I sopped up the mess with some paper towels, went to the bathroom.

Calling to Andy, I yell down the hall, “Either I just peed my pants or my water broke.” Calmly, he asked me a few questions and we decided it was time to call the midwife office. Since it was a Sunday, she was paged then called me back. We told her what had happened and she asked a few questions to determine how far along things might be.  At this time, I had no contractions. She told me that if I still hadn’t had contractions within 12 hours, I’d need to come into the hospital to start Pitocin. Not at all what I wanted. She told us to wait at home for a bit, hydrate, eat some light food and take a nap…sounds like we’ll be in for a long night.

Our nightmare had always been I would go into labor on a Sunday afternoon and we’d have to fight beach traffic. With no traffic, we’re just over an hour from the hospital. With beach traffic, it could be anywhere from 2-4 hours. If this happened, the plan had always been to leave as soon as I had any sign of labor. Since I had no contractions, we decided to just take our time, wrap things up around the house, then relax a bit… doctors orders!  In a couple of hours, we’d reassess and probably head to my parent’s house which is about 20 min from the hospital so we could be a bit closer.

Earlier that day and the night before, my low back had been hurting a lot. At some point, I had even been on all fours to ease the pain. It kind of felt like period back pain.

From here, the details get a little blurry and timing a bit vague. My back was still hurting quite a bit, but mostly, I was excited. We were going to meet Baby Ruf so soon! We already had the bags packed but went back through them, gathered a few additional items and set everything by the door. I started a load of laundry and we camped out on the couch to watch a movie —  Andy puts in our latest Netflix movie, Man On A Ledge. Uhh no, a little too intense.  My turn…Ratatouille.

During the movie, I kept getting up to go to the bathroom as water (and other stuff) was still coming out. Each time, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom (#2). There had been some other pains that felt like intestinal issues. The pain in my back never let-up and even got worse.

Andy kept asking, “Are you sure they aren’t contractions.” My response was “I don’t know but I don’t think so. They’re not how they always describe them. I think I’m just having stomach issues.” The pain never let up and besides my aching low back, the pain was only in the very low part of my abdomen. They always say it should start in the back, move to the front and would be your entire abdomen.

I was so convinced I’d be at least a week late, I just couldn’t accept I was in labor.

Andy made me start tracking them. I had something but couldn’t really tell when it started and ended. It got worse, then felt a bit better. My back just hurt!! We think I had two contractions during the 4 o’clock hour.

About 5 o’clock, I called the midwife again to ask about the amount of blood in the “water.” She talked me through it and decided it wasn’t too much that she wasn’t concerned for me or the baby. Just keep waiting and leave when the contractions are 10 min apart.

The pain in my back just kept getting worse and something was just weird. I told Andy I thought we should head out and maybe just go to my parents. By the time we put everything in the car and I put myself together (20 min or so), things got so bad, I told Andy we needed to go to the hospital. Something just wasn’t right. At this time, I still wasn’t convinced I was having contractions. It was my back that was killing me.

We got on the road about 6, called the midwife and our parents. By now, though my back was still constantly hurting, the abdominal pains definitely had a start and end. 20 min down the road, the pains were becoming quite frequent and much more unbearable, so I started timing them. Contractions were 1 ½ minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds each. Between each contraction, I tried to find a comfortable position in the front seat. Going through this phase of labor in a car is not fun!

Andy said he could tell they were getting worse and worse by the way I was acting. At first I was just moaning and as we got closer to the hospital, I became a bit more verbal. The worse I said was “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow” throughout the contractions, though Andy seems to recall that a few cuss words were uttered. Such a potty mouth!

Between our house and the hospital there is one other hospital, a trauma center, and some other medical facility. We almost stopped at the first one but all I could think about was not having my midwife, not knowing the hospital, not being able to have a natural birth, etc. Turns out, this never would have mattered 🙂

The traffic ended up not being too bad. Very heavy traffic but no major delays. We can probably thank the crazy thunderstorms that afternoon. My guess is people left the beach a bit earlier than normal.

We arrived at the hospital and Andy went in to find a wheelchair. There was no way I could make it in on my own. He came back with a security guard who told him to leave the car there and just come back when he had a chance. Getting me out of the car was probably a sight to see! Andy wheeled me in and up to the second floor. I had two contractions while they were checking me in. Ugh! I’m sure they were thinking I was still in the early stages of labor.

Up next, Part 2.

39 Weeks

July 1 – 7

The belly! It’s definitely grown since last week.

39 Weeks

No early signs of labor just yet. I’m still having Braxton Hicks here and there but nothing else.

I do feel like Baby Ruf is trying to get out though. He still moves around like crazy and I feel limbs everywhere all day long. He frequently punches my bladder and hits nerves that send shooting pains down my legs. Ouch! I tried to explain this to Andy. Have you ever been shocked and after it’s a little painful but eventually goes away? That’s what it feels like.

Can you tell I’m a bit ready to get this dude out? Really, I’m just anxious to meet him, see his cute little face, and just hold him. Andy’s getting the same way. He wants to meet him so badly. Hurry up, little one!

Overall, I’m still feeling pretty good but very exhausted. Vacuuming the house took three attempts. I had to sit down and take breaks in between rooms. I also didn’t work out once. Not one single time! This is probably the time where I should be at least walking but I’ve just been too darn lazy. I will try to get back into it next week. Or, I’ll just enjoy being lazy.

I forgot to mention something awesome from last week! Andy’s office had a shower for us. If you’re keeping track, that’s five showers (5!!!) for Baby Ruf. We’re so very lucky. Along with a diaper changers (disposable plastic gloves) and coffee for the “late nights,” they gave us a swing. This was something we weren’t sure if we were going to buy or not so we’re very, very thankful we received one as a gift. I’ve heard they work wonders.

July 4th was the highlight of our week. Check out this view!

My dad’s office overlooks the DC mall. This is the best possible option for a 39 week pregnant lady. We hung out inside in the A/C then stepped out just in time for the fireworks. I thought the booms would cause the baby to react but he was fairly quiet the whole time.

Friday was the 39 week appointment with the midwife. It was again, a boring but good appointment. He was super active while I was there. So active, the midwife was laughing at him. His heart rate was fast (nothing bad) because he was just moving so much. I told her that  he gets hiccups all the time and she told me that’s a a very healthy sign. I looked it up when I got home and read it’s a way for them preparing to breathe. It means their central nervous system and lungs are working well. Yay!

Will there be a 40 week post? Eek!!!

Cooking Class – Jessi and friends

Last September Jessi and Jamil invited us to teach a cooking class. It was the second class we taught and the first one that wasn’t family. Jessi and I went to middle school together, and thanks to Facebook, reconnected a couple of years ago.

It must have gone well…they invited us back! Two other couples joined us (one arrived just as we were finishing cooking, but they had a good excuse!). This group can already cook but they’re looking for new ideas and things to implement in their routine meals.

This time, they had a brand new kitchen. Isn’t it beautiful?

Andy came along and doesn’t do much of the cooking but he takes pictures which I love. This time though, he was also the grill guy. What a sport.

On the menu was Caprese with Balsamic Glaze, Polenta Bites with Garlic Aioli, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Risotto, and Roasted Cherry Brownies.

Click on the pictures below for a slideshow.

After we finished cooking, we sat around the table, ate, and chatted for long time. We all had fun. What a great crew!

Thanks again Jessi, Jamil, Katie, Mark, Grace and Nathan. Can’t wait for the next time!

38 Weeks

June 24-30

They say he’s the size of a pumpkin now. That sounds a bit scary. As in, how I’m getting this kid out?

I look tired all the time now and I suspect that’s not changing any time soon. No sleep and allergies. We know the sleep won’t get any better but I am looking forward to taking some allergy meds soon.

38 Weeks-2

Side story about taking pictures this week. Andy was looking through the camera and saw a spot. He checks it out further and turns out there was a microscopic spider inside my camera. What? How does that happen? Spiders find me everywhere! Now, I have to get my camera cleaned because of a stinkin’ spider.

Things are changing! I can definitely tell something is going on. I’ve had a lot more Braxton Hicks, pelvic pain, low back pain, breast tenderness, some ankle swelling, and some weird leg pain they tell me is round ligament (didn’t know that could hurt in my legs). These all sound terrible but overall, I’m still feeling pretty good. I thought the end of pregnancy would feel a lot worse, though maybe the end is still a few weeks away and it will get worse. Yikes!

38 Weeks

I have had a bit more energy this week. Has the baby’s dropped? The belly looks a bit different in the pictures but it could be my shirt. He still manages to find my ribs, so who knows.

Emotions? I’m a mess. Two melt downs this week.

Nesting hit the end of this week. Yay! The list of projects is getting smaller and smaller. Pictures hung, toilet fixed, baby’s furniture finished, car seat installed, trash can painted, a few freezer meals complete, laundry done, pack-n-play/bassinet set-up, hospital bags almost packed, and the big one — baby’s room is pretty much complete.

The furniture looks great! Andy, his dad, and a few others here and there helped finish this furniture. I love it! We’re not ready for the full nursery reveal but this should give you a taste.

Speaking of the baby’s room, we bought the paint for the baby’s room about 5 months ago thinking we could just go with the light blue on the same palette as our living room. WRONG! We put it on the wall and it was terrible. It wasn’t any sort of baby’s room color and didn’t match any of the items we’ve already purchased. Oops! So, off to the paint store we went.

We found a new color and Andy convinced me to go brighter (with my full agreement). Andy’s sister and husband came over to help paint so I could work on other stuff and not sit in the fumes. Plus, now Andy’s conveniently guilted into helping them paint. 😉

You know it’s bad when they send the 2-year old to deliver the bad news. “Emi, daddy says come quickly.” It was bright…very, very bright. I couldn’t face going to pick another paint or telling them I didn’t like it so I let them continue figuring it would grow on me.

Fast forward to the next morning. I had a melt down. I hated it. It still needs a second coat so I’m waiting for it to grow on me a bit more so Andy doesn’t have to paint more AND I don’t have to pick another color. Ugh! I hate picking paints. Why is it so hard?

The best news of the week? Our office told us we have off Wed-Fri. A 5 day weekend! Yippe! It will be a nice break, though I can’t completely check-out knowing I may or may not be back the following week.

The 38 week appointment was boring and that’s a good thing. Nothing new to report. Now, we wait and pray he decides to be somewhat on time. He’s already testing my patience. 😉

37 Weeks

June 17 – 23

Baby Ruf is officially full-term. Yay!!!

And the belly is still growing…

37 Weeks-1

While I get the camera ready, I have Andy stand in my place so I can set the focus. I figure he needs a pic on here too, right? Would you believe me that he’s the one pushing me to take these pictures? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So enthused.

37 Weeks-Andy

Another shower! This time a virtual one hosted by Emily from A Gilt Nutmeg and Project Pastry Queen members. I just wish it wasn’t virtual so I could try all the food.

Thanks to all who participated. Who’s next? 😉

This week I’m truly feeling the dreaded exhaustion. Some days, I just can’t function and it takes everything I’ve got to get out of bed. Other days though, I feel fine. It could also be this crazy heat that’s messing with me. I’m waiting for the nesting phase to hit because that’s the only way these last few projects are going to get finished.

I had my last major work project before going on maternity leave. It was a meeting in NYC and I’m so thankful I didn’t try to go up and run the meeting in-person. Now, I just need to work on wrapping things up and making sure everyone knows what’s going on before I head out. Not a small task, just not as daunting.

The plan (as of today) is to work until July 13, then see what happens from there. If he comes early, then the plan is shot. I just don’t want to waste a day of maternity leave without the little guy here. It would be nice if I have a day or two before he arrives to wrap up a few last minute things, but I don’t really get a say in that. We’re on his schedule now.

37 Weeks-2

The 37 week appointment went well. Nothing major to report, except they think the baby is face-up. The midwife says there’s no problem delivering but it will probably hurt mama more. Great! For the first time, I freaked out about delivering. I haven’t been scared because I figure I have no idea what it’s going to be like so I can’t even worry about it. When the midwife says it’s going to hurt, for some reason, that freaked me out. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night.

We took maternity pictures this week with our good friend Melissa. They almost didn’t happen. Big, ugly clouds looming threatened to dump on us. Thankfully, we only got a sprinkle. And because I’m behind in posting, she’s already got a sneak peak available. Thanks Melis!

36 Weeks

June 10 – 16

Eeek! 4 weeks left. I have to keep reminding myself (and others) that 4 weeks could mean anytime now.

I’m slowing down…guess it had to hit me at some point. Overall, I’m still feeling good but everything is getting a bit harder. Sleeping, walking, breathing, eating, working out, etc. One day I just couldn’t get the energy to work out so I tried a 30 min walk at lunch. Whoa! That was hard work. The next day though, I was feeling great again. Guess there will just be those days.

Apparently, Baby Ruf has NOT slowed down. I caught him in action this week. Check him out!

He’s also inherited a hiccuping problem from his mama. The poor little guy gets them at least once a day. I wonder if they feel the same floating around in the amniotic fluid? For his sake, hopefully not!

In other big news, I officially have a full outie. I think the little guy has been messing with it from the inside all week. So many of his movements have been right behind my belly button. Thanks Lil’ Dude.

My office threw us a shower this week. Wow, are we feeling loved. The gave us our car seat and base (yes, seriously!!) and others bought Baby Ruf clothes, toys, and so many fun things. They even brought in the cutest little cupcakes.

baby shower cupcakes

We’re in love with the RockABye pirate rocker they gave us to match his nautical themed nursery. They have some other very cool designs on their website. Aren’t they adorable?

Thanks to everyone. What a fun day!

18 Weeks

February 5

Here’s the bump! Ok, it’s still small,but it’s there! My mom predicts that by Week 20, it will be a real bump. Besides this being my first pregnancy, someone else told me that I’m probably carrying very low which is also why it’s taking longer for the bump to show.

Baby-Bump-Week-18 (1 of 3)

It is absolutely amazing how differently women’s bodies handle pregnancy. Now that I’m experiencing this myself, I find it very interesting to read or talk to other women about how and when their body changed. You have so little control over it, which to me, has been the oddest (and most difficult) sensation.

I have a co-worker that tends to make awkward comments. For instance, he once told my coworker he liked the color of her “under blouse” (aka tank top or camisole).  He also once told me that my purple shirt looks very nice with my hair color. He really means well but the comments just come off so wrong. If he wasn’t such a kind-hearted guy that truly means the nicest thing, it would be completely inappropriate. I was walking down the hall and says “Oh well, it looks like you’re starting to show just a little bit.” I said “Yeah, just a bit.” His response: “Someday, it’s just going to pop out” while motioning like fireworks exploding. Then finishes it up with “Ya know, some women would love to be as svelte as you.” AWKWARD!! He also refers to my pregnancy as “my situation.”

On another note, I’ve got a new invention. Maternity jeans are awesome and so comfortable. Why the heck do we not have regular jeans with these type of waistbands? Just think, there would be a decrease in muffin-tops, the bump from your jeans button wouldn’t stick out from your shirt, and really, we’d all just be a bit more comfortable. Just a thought! Anyone want to go in with me?

Baby-Bump-Week-18 (3 of 3)