Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Return to C25K

I've got a strict deadline when it comes to fitting back into my work pants!  SO... Here's my view from the treadmill these days:

Sweet baby Punkin (I've GOT to get around to giving her a blog name!) is 10 weeks old and tomorrow I'll finish week 3 of C25K...   I've learned that it's definitely easier to run when she's sleeping.  BUT.. I don't always get that luxury (I'm trying to cram every dentist/doctor/hair appt - you name it! - into the last couple weeks of my maternity leave!)  So... sometimes I have to resort to running & entertaining - at the same time.  See my headphones in the picture below?  Sweet baby is rocking out to some Girl Talk. ;)

I'd forgotten how running keeps me SANE!  (Or at least more sane than I'd be if I wasn't running!)  ;)

My work out plan the last several weeks and until I return to work (I have only one more wk off - yikes!) has included:
3 (or more) c25k runs
3 (or more) Buff Brides strength work outs
and TONS of lugging around that sweet baby.  Who was a teeny 7% at her 2 wk appt, but came in at 94% by her 2 month appt!  (What can I say?  I've been working hard at that!)  :)

What is Buff Brides? 

A super easy, super quick workout...
perfect for busy moms like me (you don't have to be a bride, clearly... although my sister started doing this workout 10 yrs ago when she was engaged, so it's a classic!)... 
using mostly stuff I already had (I bought an $8 exercise ball and that's it!)...
and it can even be done while you're catching up on tv (damn this maternity leave for getting me addicted to all sorts of shows I've never had time for!) 
Score your Buff Brides on Amazon for cheap!

And when Sweet Pea isn't helping me with my workout... she's usually sitting pretty in one of her girly girl outfits.  I just can't help myself - I love the bows, the ruffles, the tutus.... watch her turn out to be a tom boy! ;)

11 days til I return to work... I'll let ya know how those pants fit!  ;)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

SUPER Semi-Homemade Cooking

Have y'all seen these?  It does NOT get easier than this!

The directions are simple:
Buy this packet (it's with the spices in your grocery store)
Buy some chicken, some potatoes (the back of this packet has a recipe card for you to keep)
You'll need a few things you already have at home (like olive oil and salt)
Chop the potatoes, mix everything together
Roast for 30 minutes (it's not just easy, it's FAST!)

This is so good that both my kids and the hubby love it.... I've used the recipe at least 6 times since I bought it, and changed it up in subtle ways.  I love to use sweet potatoes instead of the red potatoes it calls for.  And I love, love using fresh rosemary (which has to be one of the most amazing scents EVER) instead of the dried...

There's also several other choices (I keep meaning to try a few, like Garlic Lime Fajitas!)  Click here to get a full list (I haven't seen all of these in my store, but I might have to start looking around!)

This may be some of my most semi-homemade cooking yet... :) 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trade Days Treasures

Wow, it's been a month since mr. fix-it and I loaded up all 3 kids (lil Punkin wasn't even a month old yet!) and headed to the Trade Days in the  This isn't the big Trade Days that Mrs. Everything and I try to go to a couple times a year... but it's MUCH closer, smaller (in a good way) and the weather that day was PERFECT.  And here are a few things I found:

I *think* I'm going to hang this in the wet bar off the living room.  When I know... I'll show you.  ;)  (OH, and for the record... we scored this at the same place we got the MASSIVE piece for our entry way.  We were able to negotiate and got them for a steal.  Literally, it was like we stole them.)  ;)

Okay, this is standing on it's side... and since I can't figure out how to turn the pic horizontally... just bend your left ear to your left shoulder.  Got it?  Okay... it's the sillhouette of cowboys.  It matches the ones hanging everywhere in our college football stadium.  And when I'm done with it, it'll be black and hanging (horizontally, of course!) in our media room.  Or man cave.  Whatever.

This is for the nursery and it, too, will be getting a few coats of spray paint.  It'll be part of a collage... you'll see!  :)

These projects are FINALLY coming together - can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Y'all Come In!

My 2 big kids are gone for a few days - making memories with mr. fix-it's parents - so I'm trying to finish as many half.done projects as possible.  First one done:  entryway. 

I never liked the way it was decorated in the last house (below).  So we'd been searching for the perfect oversized something to hang on that wall.  And I wanted to hang crosses around whatever IT was to make the look even bigger.  And I love it!

Next on the list:  working on some projects for each of the girls' rooms today, then finishing up Gman's room this evening when mr. fix-it gets home.  Stay tuned for more semi-homemade decorating!  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The ONE WORD that's keeping me up at night -- Part 1

And it's not NEWBORN.  Or CRYING.  Or REFLUX or COLIC.  Nope, I'd give anything if it was any of those things.  It's CANCER.  Such a poisonous word.  A sad word.  A devastating word.  And a super scary word that can turn your world upside down in an instant. 

My mom is a 24 year cancer survivor.  Which is completely amazing (considering the advancements in cancer treatment we have now and the increased survival rate they've given us).  She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 10 yrs old.  My youngest sibling was 4.  My mom was a young 36 years old. 

But she beat it, and over the years I've taken such pride in that.  My mom is a fighter.  But now it's back.  24 years later and it's back.  It all started less than 2 months ago....

On March 30 (a Wednesday I'll never forget), my sister called me at work.  Don't panic.. but Dad took Mom to the ER because she's had shortness of breath... and they just drained 2 liters of fluid from in/around her lungs.  Okay, I was 9 months pregnant... I'll let you guess if I was able to refrain from panicking.  My parents are the type to avoid the doctor at all costs unless there's a visibly broken bone or someone isn't breathing.  So, the ER?  Serious stuff.

However, I was having issues of my own.  The baby had suddenly stopped moving.  I had tried drinking tons of fluid, I had tried sugar and caffeine, anything to get that baby moving.  But I wasn't feeling anything but miserable.  A trip to my OB showed I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes and was in preterm labor (the contractions were keeping her from having any room to move - that's why I couldn't feel movement!)  I headed home for strict bedrest until a Monday appt - leaving me with nothing but time.. time to put the focus back on my mom.

Mom insisted she was fine and that they were testing the fluid and we wouldn't know anything more until the results came back.  My longtime friend (we've known each other since we were 11 and call each other our "forever friend"), a nurse at my hometown hospital, assured me that it was most likely pnemonia and not to worry. 

But I'll never again be able to enjoy April Fools Day.  April 1 was a Friday, but mom's doctor promised to call if her results came in over the weekend.  I had barely gotten the kids in bed when I got the call from her Fri night.  Cancer.  But not just breast cancer.  It was back, but this time it was IN HER LUNGS.  Mom was so strong while she gave me the news... told me they'd be running tests in the next wk or so and let's not get too upset until we know more.  I tried to keep it together while I was on the phone with her, but I doubt I did very well.  And once off the phone... I literally collapsed and have never heard sobs like that out of anyone.  Ever.

I've since learned that Diagnosis is the hardest part of the cancer journey.  Not just for the patient - but also for their family and friends.  It's shocking.  It's scary.  (And when you're 9 months pregnant, and a hormonal mess.. it's even more intense.)  It was another 11 days before we got the full picture of what we were dealing with.  During that time, there were scans and tests and more scans.  I didn't function.  Friends fed my family often... and when they didn't, there were dinners of cereal or takeout.  I tried to hide it from the kids and be strong, but I often failed.  Sissy caught me crying a few times, and I explained it away, unsure of what or how I'd tell her.

The good news:  the cancer is confined to the one place, and all her other scans came back clear.  The bad news:  it's cancer and it's in her lungs.  The fight would need to  be immediate and aggressive.  Chemo - 6 rounds, 1 every 3 weeks. 

So, April 18th came, and mr. fix-it's amazing mom came to town for the birth of #3.  My mom met with her oncologist, sooo very far away from me and my big belly.  And on April 19th, our dear, sweet baby was welcomed into this world by me, mr. fix-it and my  It was special.  But the pain of not having my mom there was so deep.  She was here for the birth of our other 2 kids.  And we had planned that she would stay that week - with the big kids at night and with me during the day.  But cancer has a way of derailing your plans.

So, on that spring Tuesday, I was in Texas, having a baby.  Mom was in OK, getting a port in her chest for chemo. 

Wednesday, I was in the hospital.  At times all alone with my newborn, instead of hanging out with my mom.  She was in OK, shopping for wigs with my sister.  They texted me pictures, asked my opinion. 

Thursday was more of the same for me - hospital food, visits with my, precious visits from friends.  My mom started chemo.  And I wasn't there for her, couldn't be there for her.  I wanted to cry, over and over... not fair, not fair, not fair..... 

Not being able to be there for her for that scary time after diagnosis and the first treatment broke my heart.  Much as it did that she didn't get to meet the baby until I was cleared to travel... for Mother's day.

And here's my sweet momma... with her new look (because her hair fell out the first week of treatment... the bottom picture is from my baby shower in March, where she's sporting her 'old look').... that top picture was taken on mother's day... holding her newest granddaughter.  My mom... th every person who taught ME how to be a mom... how to live semi-homemade... how to be crafty, and cook, and entertain, but to be quick and move on to the next thing... My mom, the fighter.

If you read all this, thanks.  I honestly wrote it almost as my own therapy.  I'll try to wrap up my thoughts in Part 2... and thanks to everyone who has shared prayers and good thoughts with me in the last few months.

School's Out for SUMMER!

And look how big the kids have gotten!  As we speak, I'm packing them for Camp Magaw & Papa... that's southern speak for grandparent camp!  ;)  They'll be gone for 9 whole days and it'll just be me, mr. fix-it and the baby!  Maybe I can finish any of the 5 semi-homemade projects I'm working on.  Fingers crossed!

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