June 23, 2014

this and that

::  Christopher graduated from residency!  Wooo FREAKING HOOOO!  I seriously can't believe residency is over.  I know compared to other specialties, his residency wasn't all that bad.  But let's face it, residency sucks for almost everyone involved.  They actually had their graduation a week before their contracts are up, and of course Chris would be the last third year working, but still.  Done.  Residency is done.  Now we just have to survive a year of fellowship.

I'm so proud of Chris and all he has done.  He poured a lot into his residency program, constantly striving to make it better.  And at the graduation dinner he was given an award for teaching during residency.  All the while taking care of his family (even though I bitched about it the entire three years) and being a good man.  Truly, Christopher, so very proud of you.


::  Ryann picks out a movie to watch a bit of before bed every night.  Last night she wanted Shrek: The Final Chapter, so tonight I just push play for the end of it.  BAD FREAKING PLAN.  She was epically traumatized by the ending, thinking Shrek was going to disappear.  She has watched all sorts of movies and never gets truly attached to it.  This is the child that while watching animals attack and kill each other told me "It's just life Mom."  But she just could not handle it, and it took me nearly 45 minutes to calm her down, and even then was more or less whimpering in bed as she fell asleep.  Fail.  Parenting fail.

::  I really wanted the girls to wear red shorts on the fourth, but can't find any anywhere.  Come on stores, help a girl out!  If you've seen any girls shorts in red (would have to coming in a 4 and a 12-18 month) please oh please let me know.  That is, if anyone still comments on blogs.  I know I rarely do, so I'm not judging.  Still reading though!

::  Speaking of the fourth, I'm super excited for the holiday (festive outfits! family time! hooray!), but terrified of all the tempting foods and wondering if I can handle it.  I've finished day 26, only four more days to go, I don't want a holiday to completely derail everything I've put in to the last month.  It will definitely be a true test to my will power, whether or not I can reasonably enjoy party food and not go overboard.  Not to mention our anniversary is this weekend and I don't want to make Chris stay in (plus I'm down with a break from cooking!).  I'll go in to more detail on how the Whole30 has been for me next week, once I'm done, but for now I'd say if you're considering trying it, go for it.  It has been empowering and fulfilling.  And I've eaten a LOT of good food.

::  E has an awesome new trick (several new tricks actually, such as scaring the shit out of me climbing on top of everything and picking her nose until it bleeds in her crib, those ones aren't awesome).  Grabbing your cheeks when she goes in for a smooch.  Dead.  Every freaking time.


Just excuse the dinosaur and cat bomb, mmmkay?

June 18, 2014

miss elsie belsie

I realized there were a few things I left out of Elsie's monthly post, so I thought I'd just write up a little addition.

::  Elsie is terrified of bugs.  Spiders, ants, flies, anything.  She hates them.  Naturally, our house tends to let in the creepy crawlies through cracks in our doors and such.  I'll be in the kitchen making dinner, and she comes running in rambling gibberish, pointing and clings to my legs.  She won't move until I go find whatever bug it is and kill it.  A fly landed on her high chair at lunch the other day and she about had a panic attack.

::  We had this brief conversation while I was buckling her in to the car the other day...
Elsie: "Nom nom eeew."
Me: "What?"
Elsie: pointing to a wet spot on her car seat "Nom nom eeeeeeeeeew."
Me: "Oh, you bit the carseat and it was yucky?"
Elsie:  "Mmm hmm."
Me:  "Well yeah, we don't bite the carseat."
Elsie: "Whhhyyy?"
Me: "Because a carseat isn't food."
Elsie: "Whhhyyy?"

::  I think Elsie is going to be a biter.  It is driving me insane.  If she gets really frustrated or grumpy, or Ryann is trying to keep her from doing something, she definitely goes in for a bit.  She's bit my leg once when I wouldn't let her open the kitchen cabinets.  She hasn't done it hard enough to hurt anyone, and she goes for it kind of slow like she knows she shouldn't (also giving me time to intervene) but ugh.  Biters are so difficult.  And I will not bite my child back.  Sorry, won't do it.  I don't believe in spanking because I think trying to teach a child not to hit and then punishing them by hitting them is wrong, and that is how I feel about biting too.  Just my two cents.  Hopefully it is just because she is in that frustrating stage where she can't completely communicate, not to mention she is still working on all her molars. 

::  On the flip side, E totally uses kisses to get her way or get attention.  If I've directed my attention elsewhere, she'll run up and kiss me on the leg, because she knows I can't resist it.  Or if she does something she isn't supposed to and I'm starting to get on her about it, she'll lean in and kiss me.  Totally distracts me.  What a little punk :o).

Sometimes she is so cute I just can't handle it.


June 16, 2014

where's my tiger blood?

And everyone who read my post title is all what the heck is wrong with this girl?  No worries, I haven't completely lost my mind.  As far as I know anyway.

I'm currently 19 days in to my first Whole30.  It has been hard, but not THAT hard.  Sure it takes a little extra planning, and some will power (my husband was laying in bed eating animal crackers and m&m's last night... grrr...) but it isn't impossible.  I haven't even touched the surface of all the recipes and ideas available.  But I have yet to hit that point where I feel like I have 'tigers blood' as they call it in It Starts With Food.  I know a lot can happen in 11 days, and maybe my body is still working stuff out, but I honestly don't feel all that wonderful.

That isn't to say I haven't seen any benefits.  I lost 5.5 pounds in the first two weeks (you're not supposed to weigh yourself, I don't care, I did anyway).  I don't have headaches anymore in the afternoon from too much junk.  I can go without snacks between meals and not feel like I want to slap someone (hanger is real people, Elsie and I are both evidence of that).  And I don't have an upset stomach as much anymore either.  I've discovered that nuts make me extremely bloated, and almond butter makes me feel sick (lame!).  But they aren't the only thing bothering me.  I just haven't figured it out yet.

My runs have also been pretty miserable.  I anticipated the first week being bad, and it was.  It was quite horrible, my body was having a very difficult time providing enough energy to keep me going.  I felt shaky on runs.  I've found that eating a banana or a Larabar before a longer run definitely helps, so some homemade Larabar bites might be in my future to pop before all my runs.  But on Friday I went out for a six mile run and it was AWFUL.  I walked probably a good mile spread throughout there.  My legs felt weak, my stomach was a bit of a mess and my back was killing me.  I don't know what is going on.  If it's all in my head, if it is just because I need new shoes (I really need new shoes), if I really need to strengthen up my legs more, what.  But right now nothing seems to be working.

I feel like it sounds as though I am not enjoying this process and the Whole30.  That isn't true.  I don't feel deprived, I'm eating lots of good food, I'm never truly hungry.  Honestly if the people around me weren't eating off limits foods, I don't think it would be a huge deal at all.  But currently the girls get a 'sweet treat' (a few m&m's or chocolate chips) if they finish their meal, and dishing out m&m's without eating a few is kind of agonizing for a few seconds.  Or just reminding myself not to eat the crust off Ryann's sandwich, or a handful of whatever snack I'm getting them.  Overall the experience has been positive, and I look forward to hopefully moving our family toward a clean eating or paleo lifestyle.  It will just take a while to figure out the balance.

If you care what some more of meals have looked like, here you go...


I'm pretty sure some combination of sweet potatoes and chicken apple sausage has become one of my favorite breakfasts.  So tasty and so filling.  Today I added spinach and it was great.  The second photo is an Asian Almond Chicken Salad.  I liked the flavor, but wanted more of the sauce.  Directly underneath that photo is a Chili Lime Chicken Burger from Trader Joe's.  I really liked it on top of a portobello with guac.  Chris wasn't as impressed but he said they were good.  I don't know what I would do without Trader Joe's.  They have some great clean options.  To the right of that photo is a Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad.  I really liked it, and would eat it more often if I wasn't too cheap to buy the good shrimp.  And that very last photo is an example of how much I fail at making omlettes.  They taste fine, but I can't figure out how to make a pretty one for the life of me.

I'm challenging myself to make at least two new actual recipes in the next 11 days, instead of just throwing compliant crap together and calling it good.  The recipes I've used have been delicious, but I'm not a very good meal planner so we haven't had all the ingredients for stuff.

June 14, 2014

elsie - sixteen months

Sorry E, I'm running a bit late on this.  But we've been busy and Daddy is working late and you hate taking pictures anyway.  Which is why they're aren't that many this month.  Oh well.

oh, you want me to lay on the blanket?  that's nice.  i think i'll stay over here...

Yes, Miss Elsie Jo is sixteen months now.  I didn't weigh her, but she doesn't seem like she has grown all that much in the last month.  Maybe taller, and maybe her feet are a touch bigger, but overall, pretty much the same.  12-18 month clothes, size four shoes, size four diapers.  Her belly is still large and in charge, and her favorite thing to do remains more or less, eating.  At least it is the fastest way to cheer her up, get her to do something you want her to do, or redirect her attention away from something you don't want her to do.  She isn't as much as a vacuum, vegetables don't get shoveled in quite as quickly.  But if she's truly hungry and you refuse to give her anything else, she'll eat them.  The other day Grammy made chocolate chip pancakes and eggs and Elsie threw THE BIGGEST fit I have ever seen because we cut her off after more than an adult size portion.

Sleep is pretty much exactly the same as last month.  She'll give me a short stretch of sleeping until 6:30 or 6:40, but for the most part she is up by 6:15.  I miss quiet mornings.  All of her molars seem to be coming in so fingers crossed that after that she sleeps a little better.  However I said the same thing with Ryann and that sure as heck NEVER happened.


Elsie's favorite words this month were 'no', 'mine' and 'why'.  Yay.  She's lucky that her little voice is so darn cute, because those can get annoying real fast.  Sometimes no comes out 'mo' and very aggressively.  Sheesh!  I was surprised she picked up the 'why' so early on, and absolutely uses it correctly.  I'll tell her we're not going to do something, or we are going to do something, and she'll respond with a 'why???'.  Sometimes she goes on and on.  I wonder who she learned that from... cough RYANN cough  Other words I've heard her say are raining (unprompted! she pointed outside and said 'ain-ing?'), dude, 'uck' (stuck), 'om-nee!' (help me!), hey, 'ain oo' (thank you), 'ar-wee' (sorry).  If I ask 'whose ready to do (whatever we are going to do)' she responds 'me!'  She also is doing a good job repeating the letters of the alphabet when I say them to her.  My favorite right now though, is where are you?  She just yells out "are you?!"  Freaking adorable when she is saying "Is-eee (sissy)! Are you?" or "Dad-dee! Are you?"

In the last week or so E has been very intrigued by naming an owner to lots of items.  Cups, toys, clothes, etc, she tries to figure out whose it is and tells me.  When I was unloading the dishwasher she pointed to a coffee mug "Dad-dee's?" and to a Camelbak, "Is-eee's?" And she can say her own name, though it is hard to distinguish it between Elsie and Sissy.

this photo is necessary because of the cat bomb.  seriously.

We started back to the gym this past week.  The first day I dropped them off I snuck out before E really knew what was going on.  I expected to be paged 15 minutes in to my workout because she was crying, but it didn't happen.  45 minutes later I went downstairs thinking wow, she really didn't mind at all this is awesome!  Yeah, nope.  They said she cried for maybe 10 minutes and then just passed out on the floor.  Sleeping = doing great?  I don't know.  The second day I again expected her to get us kicked out because she was screaming.  She screeched horribly when I left her.  But I made it my three miles and then some and no page.  When I got down there I could see her and even though she wasn't playing, she wasn't crying, just sitting and watching the other kids.  Naturally, the second she spotted me she started all out wailing.

So now stranger danger is at an all time high again.  Even towards people we see on a regular basis.  I know that it will get better, Ryann quickly grew to love the gym child care center, and I'm pretty sure isn't shy in the least bit because I started leaving her there.  But man do I feel guilty knowing that it makes Elsie so upset, and I'm annoyed because on a 1-10 scale her clingyness has returned to about a 12.  It is a good thing though, for her to branch out.  Right?  Right...

punk swiped my bribe

E is OBSESSED with her belly button.  She constantly has her shirt lifted up, playing with it.  She rubs it even when she's in a onesie.  And in the morning if she has been sleeping in footed sleeper, she gets all giddy when I unzip them.  It is definitely her comfort thing.  Haven't had any paci lovers or thumb suckers, nope I got a lip picker and a belly button rubber.  I guess I can handle the belly button thing, for now anyway.

Elsie pretty much wants to be just like Ryann.  And it already drives Ryann nuts.  But that is beside the point :).  E follows her around like a little puppy, always needing to see what she is doing.  And she mimics Ryann's movements the best she can.  Every time Ryann practices any dance moves, Elsie will truly try to copy her, and not just dance around.  Well, after a while she usually ends up doing her own thing and spinning in circles, but she sure loves Ryann.  They fight, but they have a lot of fun together too.


Elsie has become determined to climb on, over, through and in things.  Thankfully she still hasn't mastered getting up on stuff, but I have caught her on a chair in our family room about ready to dive off face first.  She loves trying to fit inside boxes, and if she sees any sort of tunnel like object or what not that she thinks she can fit through, she has to give it a try.

E loves being outside, doing chalk, swinging, and going for walks in the stroller.  She likes having books read to her, coloring, and when I sing songs (nursery rhymes and what not) in the car.  She has been having fun pushing a Pottery Barn doll stroller around the house, and gets this ridiculous little 'oh no' face every time she pushes it in to something.  Her play is becoming a little bit more interesting and imaginative.  She'll walk a toy horse around saying neigh neigh, or bounce a cat while screaming meow meow!  The other day she was pretending to feed a stuffed cat grapes.  And I seriously need a video of her dance moves, she is so funny and loves to boogie.


Love you so much Miss Elsie Jo.  Can't wait to see what next month brings!  

June 11, 2014

ry's first dance recital

The first of June Ryann performed in her first dance recital.  Despite the fact that she only kind of knew the dance, it was freaking adorable.  Every time I tried to get her to practice she'd tell me, "It's ok Mom.  (Two of the girls from her class) are five.  They know the dance.  I'll just look at them."  Oh sweet girl, that isn't how it's supposed to work!  But she's right, the oldest two did know the dance.

When we were walking into the building for the recital, Ryann couldn't stop ooogling everyone else's costumes.  "Look at her pretty costume!  Oh that one has fringe!  That one is sparkly!  I like that one mommy!"  I basically had to drag her along or she would have just stayed on the sidewalk staring at everyone walking in.  It was so cute to see her so excited about all of it.


The girls did pretty darn good considering their one stage rehearsal (where they ran through the dance one time) was close to a wee bit of a disaster.  Obviously nobody care too much since they're four, but you'd like them to look like they at least kind of know what is going on!  The recital was definitely much better.  Their song was Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  At one point in the dance they march in a circle, and while facing the back Ryann got completely distracted by the silver mylar backdrop.  Chris and I got a good laugh out of that one.


I was so proud of my girl, I think a lot of times we discount how scary getting up on a big stage can be for a little kid (for anyone I suppose).  She didn't bat and eye, got right up there with a smile on her face and did her thing.  It was so fun to see her dance, and I really hope she continues to love dance as much as I did.  Dance was such an incredible outlet for me growing up and I'd love to share that with her.

Great job Ry Ry, I love you!

June 10, 2014

georgia vacation - part two

Truthfully, the rest of the vacation was a lot like the beginning of the vacation.  Beach, pool, eat, repeat!  So I'll let the pictures do the talking and add in any details I don't want to forget.

 The curls.  Oh the curls.  I couldn't get enough of them.
 Two ornrey peas in a pod! 
Oh just that morning that Ryann insisted on wearing the headband she fashioned from Auntie Lorin's swimsuit strap to breakfast.
She is obsessed with the Super Man ice cream.  You know, vanilla with food coloring?  Ha ha.

We seriously had such a good time.  Can't wait until the next time we can all get back there!

June 9, 2014

hills and rain

There are some things that make me want to not go for a run, or stop running while I'm out.  I don't necessarily like running in the dark (though I will), I'm not a fan of temps above 75, snow is pretty much a heck no from me, and temps below 25 definitely make me reconsider.  I hate running hills and despite knowing it's good for me, will usually run my routes so I can avoid them at almost all costs.  But what will certainly keep me from starting a run is rain.  I hate being unnecessarily wet (the reason I despise giving the girls baths, I always manage to get wet!).

Guess what I got for the Hospital Hill Run Saturday?  As if my post title didn't give it away, hills AND rain!  Bah.  I freaking HATE rain.  In my opinion it should only rain between the hours of 2 and 5am.  Get everything a little wet, and then get the heck out of my life.  I don't like rain.  When I checked the radar Friday morning it said there was 70% chance it would be raining at 7am.  By Friday evening that had increased to a 90% chance.  And Saturday morning I woke up to storms, rain, thunder and lightening, and a 100% chance it would be raining through 8am.  BOOOOOO.

I most certainly considered staying in bed and telling Chris to go by himself (he was working the medical tent), but that $60 entry fee was enough to push myself out the door.  I'm not one to be wasteful!  About certain things anyway... So we got ready, and I followed him in my car downtown.  It was windy, tough to see, and yeah, more lightening.  We parked and started walking towards the medical tent, it was about two blocks maybe?  By the time we made it we were absolutely soaked, even though I was wearing a trash bag and Chris was carrying an umbrella for the two of us.  My shoes and socks were completely saturated.  Nothing like starting a race with an extra pound or so of water squishing in your shoes.  Yay.

The race ended up being delayed for 30 minutes because of lightening.  The rain actually let up right around 7:10, and I really wish we could have just jumped out there and started going.  There was a little window of nothing, and then just a sprinkle, but less than two miles in to the race it was definitely raining again.  On the bright side, the miles went by faster than I thought I was running.  Even though I was only running the 10K, I stuck with the 2:05 half pacer for as long as possible before the split.  I made it through the first few hills (SERIOUS HILLS) without too much of a problem, but by the very last two I just couldn't convince myself to run up them all the way.  Thankfully the race finishes with more than a half mile of downhill, so I came in pretty strong.  The volunteers were kind enough to hand us wet towels at the finish line :o).  And I'm not knocking the volunteers, they were standing out there in the rain for us, but come on.  What's the point?


I grabbed a water, my medal and a banana and went to say goodbye to Chris.  He wrapped some dry towels in one of those solar blanket things for me, and I headed back to my car.  Naturally, while getting my key out, I dropped the towels.  #winning  When I crossed the finish line the clock was at 1:01:29, so I had my fingers crossed that my chip time was under an hour.  Got on my computer to check, and 59:19!  That puts me at a 9:33 pace for the race.  The last time I did Hospital Hill I managed to finish in under 54 minutes, but seeing as several of my runs have been averaging 10 minute miles lately, I was very very happy.

I'm still trucking along with Whole30.  The last few days I have been a little overwhelmed trying to coming up with different things to eat.  I know there are TONS of recipes out there, but I haven't yet ventured in to making my own broth or mayo or all that jazz, so that limits stuff a bit.  Not to mention we were at my parents a bit this weekend, and there was artichoke dip and chocolate chip pancakes and bacon (with added sugar in the ingredients) that I couldn't have.  That I really wanted to eat.  But I stayed strong.  On Friday I picked up some dried pineapple and plantain chips from Trader Joe's.  It is crazy how not having added sugar or really any snacks for 10 days can change your perspective.  The pineapple tasted like candy to me.  Hence the reason I probably won't be buying any more of that until after my Whole30.  I hit that bag HARD.

I haven't been taking photos of all of my meals, I figured chicken + veggie + fruit on repeat would get pretty boring.  But here are a few of my favorites lately.

Scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes and Aidells chicken apple sausage.  I love this breakfast.  Especially the sweet potato sausage part.  Very filling, I definitely don't feel the need to eat between breakfast and lunch anymore because my meals are so satisfying.  We also had Chipolte (twice now! I get tired of cooking...).  The only meat that is Whole30 compliant is the carnitas, so I got a bowl with carnitas, lettuce, fresh tomato salsa and guac.  Not too shabby of a meal.  Steer clear of the fajita vegetables even though they seem like a good idea.  They are cooked in a non-compliant oil.

And then there is the steak.  Because Chris was working the race and I was running, my parents opted to take the girls Friday and have us come to Topeka to get them Saturday.  Therefore we were left without the children overnight for the first time since Elsie was born (only the second time I've been childless overnight since Ryann was born!).  Unfortunately we spent a good chunk of the evening driving downtown to pick up my race packet, but when we got back Chris grilled up some delicious steaks.  Honestly I'm not 100% sure what was on them, but I know it included garlic and cilantro, just because we had it and why not?  I cooked the asparagus and onions in ghee, and honestly couldn't really taste the difference from butter.  It was a great meal and a very nice night.

This week I'll be on my own for dinner, but I'm still hoping to try out some actual recipes to switch things up a bit.  I know some of you are jumping on the Whole30 train, so excited to have other people on this journey with me.  Good luck!

June 8, 2014

georgia vacation

After I finally finished editing my photos I uploaded them to flickr, and realized I had 44.  Ummm, a lot for one blog post, so I guess I'll break it in two.

We were all very anxious for this vacation.  Life has been busy.  Chris has been working hard.  We were ready for some days of just having fun.  And that is exactly what we got.  We spent time at the beach, in the pool, hanging out with family and eating good food.  Definitely a great vacation in my books.

Shortly after arriving on our first day we headed out for dinner at The Half Shell.  Dinner was great, and the calamari is tasty.  After dinner Ryann requested a visit to Moo Cow, and I have a really hard time turning down ice cream.  Elsie was pretty darn pleased with the situation as well.  Before heading back home for bath and bed we took a sunset walk on the beach.  After traveling for much of the day it was a great end to the evening.


Day two started back at the beach.  Somewhere in there we made a grocery store run.  We walked around in the village a bit, and ended up at Iguana's for dinner.  Definitely some of the best fried shrimp on the island, and they have free soft serve ice cream.  Win win!  After a walk by the water and on the pier, it was time to get the girls to bed.


Another morning, another trip to the beach!  We only got Elsie to wear her sun hat for maybe 10 minutes?  When Ryann was Elsie's age we told her she couldn't play outside without wearing a hat, and after that she kept it on.  Elsie didn't care what we said and totally called our bluff, throwing off her hat and running back to the house.  So the kid was greased up with sunscreen from head to toe for the rest of the week.

We went out for lunch that day, at Bubba Garcias.  I really like the shrimp and pineapple tacos, my mom loves the shrimp quesadilla.  And the margaritas aren't too shabby either.  Ryann loves to over salt the chips as much as possible.  Elsie just enjoyed eating in general.  As usual.

That afternoon we decided to try a spin in Papa's boat.  I was a little leary of taking a smallish boat out on the ocean, but my Dad assured me we could go slow and stay back where the water was calm.  We didn't think Elsie would love the boat, but man, she HATED it.  HATED IT.  She couldn't really move or sit in her life jacket and I'm pretty sure she overheated.  So that boat ride lasted all of like 15 minutes.  Maybe 20.


After dinner my mom busted out a couple of bomb pops.  Ryann was thrilled.  Elsie attempted to bite it and freaked out because it was so cold.  Then she acted like we were torturing her, trying to get her to lick it.  She finally realized that they were tasty, and ended up looking like a baby vampire with all the red juice running from her mouth.


Annd now I'm ready to go back.  Can it be vacation time again??  I'll post the rest of my photos sometime this week!