Road Trippin' - my tips to make it work with kids!

Happy HUMMMMP DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! 

(Now fake like I am right next to you and I sang it to you like an opera singer...fun, right?)

I hope your week is going fantastically and your Friday comes quickly. We're so effing busy with work and with life right now that my days are all flying by. I actually wouldn't mind if they slowed down a little bit - I only have a little over 5 weeks left here and I'd like to savor them (and as many poke bowls as possible). 

And just in case you're worried, because I'm SURE you are...I've already found several poke restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that are totally in driving distance from where we'll be living. Me being the crazy person I am, I have no issues driving 3 hours for a day trip somewhere...it's just the way I was raised! More on that in a minute, but first...

Also, Jules is back to her usual shenanigans...

She is walking/running pretty well now. She still has a bit of a limp and walks kind of wobbly and her balance is way off - the doctor says it will take some time for her to get full mobility back into her joint - but as most toddlers do, she has adapted and is up and running. Literally.

And walking the dog as much as she can. You can tell by the look in Jax's face how much he loves it when Jules walks him. But like I said before, ever since figuring out Jules will feed him anything she's eating he's become much more tolerant of her. 

As mentioned above, I will drive 3 hours for a day trip...one way. That's 6 total hours in one day. But if it's for something super fun and worth it, like a trip to the beach or an awesome amusement park, why wouldn't I?

I'm pretty sure this sense of adventure and doing stuff is something that runs in our genes or something. My entire family, mother's side and father's side, are a bunch of traveling/adventuring fools. My Gran moved to the U.S. after a childhood in Nazi-occupied Norway and my dad's mom moved to Boston with her husband where she didn't know anyone and my other grandma has traveled literally all over the world. As I was growing up, we would go on trips everywhere, usually by driving. My Gran and Granther drove my brother and I from Illinois to California to see family twice in my childhood - once when I was 8 and another time when I was 12. That's a long-ass drive to take with 2 kids! And we'd regularly drive from Illinois to Florida with my mom and step-dad, grandparents, and my siblings. It's just what we do!

Needless to say, after having Justin I wasn't about to stop traveling and road tripping everywhere - it's the absolute best way to see the country and it's fun! 

(please ignore the straps on Justin's carseat - I obviously didn't know 12 years ago how to strap him in properly...pretty sure no one knew that 12 years ago).

Having children makes the whole thing a bit more complicated, however don't fret - it's totally doable! Justin was a champ at the whole road trip thing practically from birth and Jules...well Jules was a bit more difficult since she hated her carseat and would scream whenever she was in it, however we still managed to drive up to Virginia and back for a spring break vacation last year when she was 8 weeks old and that's a 12 hour drive!

Without further ado, here are my top tips to successfully road trip with kids:

This post will include some affiliate links - these are things that I have personally bought and found really useful in regards to this topic. Should you choose to buy an item based on my recommendation, I will get a very small commission from Amazon as a thank you. See my full disclosure here

Bring stuff for them to do. 

This may seem obvious, but don't expect your kids to just sit in the back quietly without anything to do. For an older kid like Justin, it's easy enough to bring his phone and a charger, headphones, and a book or two. That's all he needs. However when Justin was younger, we always brought crayons and drawing paper, some Legos in a small tin, mad libs (LOVE mad libs), and the iPad/computer so he could watch a movie or two. 

It's a bit more difficult to keep a toddler entertained, however it's doable! First and foremost, I highly recommend getting them something new to play with. We bought this for Jules a couple of months ago and she loves it, and I'm planning on getting this for her for our huge impending road trip/vacation/relocation up North. It's a good idea to give them something new (or something they haven't seen for awhile) for the trip so they are really interested and play with it for awhile. 

I also have absolutely zero issues with screen time for a road trip (or really anytime...pick your battles, people). So we always bring an iPad so Jules can watch movies/tv shows. We have Netflix, so we're able to download movies on our iPad - her favorite right now is Secret Life of Pets and she still loves Moana. While I hope to one day have one of those fancy schmancy cars with the built-in entertainment system, right now we don't have that. So how does my toddler watch movies without throwing/breaking/killing my iPad (or phone when the movies didn't download on the iPad and we have to leave right now...aka the last time we went to the beach)? I got this on Amazon a few months ago and we've used it several times. It is extremely easy to set-up and you can put pretty much anything in it. We bought it primarily for the iPad but we've used our phones as well and it keeps them in place well enough AND Jules can't reach whatever we've put in there to mess with it. I wish I had a picture of it in my car, but I suck. Sorry.

Bring plenty of snacks/drinks

We always bring fun snacks/drinks for everyone whenever we drive anywhere over an hour. I know some people are anti-eating-in-the-car, but it's insane to expect your toddler not to have a snack when you're driving anywhere long-distance. Same for drinks. Plus, how fair would it be for me to be eating cheddar cracker Combos (my road trip snack) and not let the kids eat? Bring a sippy cup and plenty of bottled water for everyone (we don't drink soda) and make sure someone is sitting in the back with your toddler while they're eating to ensure they don't choke - and don't give them anything super crunchy or hard so you eliminate most of the choking hazard. Jules only eats soft foods like cereal bars or bananas in the car to eliminate the choking risk. Yes, I do usually end up with my car being covered in food, but I honestly don't care if it helps to ensure a happy road trip. It also leads to more bathroom breaks, but that leads me to my next point which is...

Take plenty of breaks

I know this may seem insane to some of you and my husband is still getting used to it, but when I drive long-distance I never go for longer than 2.5 hours without stopping. Part of this has to do with me being terrified of getting a blood clot and you should be too, especially if you're on birth control. But it's also just a good thing to get up and walk around for a few minutes, especially when driving with kids. We love a rest area when it's daytime and if there are a lot of other people there. When I drive long-distance without my husband and without any other adults, I only stop at rest areas under those conditions for safety reasons. So if it's dark or the rest area is mostly deserted, we'll wait and stop at a big gas station or a McDonalds or even a playground if I can find one. Get out of the car, change diapers, everyone goes to the bathroom even if they say they don't need to, we usually get another snack, walk around and shake our limbs, get some fresh air, and then jump back in for another few hours before doing it again. 

I also do lots of research every time I drive/do anything and try to find things we can do along our route that can give us a break from the monotony of the drive. And if you're really lucky, Niagara Falls will be pretty close to where you're driving and you can pull off and see it. It ended up adding about 2 hours to our drive, but it was totally worth it.

Don't try to do it in one shot and be flexible

If you have a 12-16 hour drive planned (or more) and you're doing it with kids, don't try to do it all at once. That's insane. If they're older kids it's more doable, but when you have kids under 5 you're just asking for a hell of a drive. When we start our relocation/vacation road trip in July, I'll be driving the first half of the trip by myself, with Justin and Jules and our two cats. We'll be stopping at my dad's house which is north of Tennessee for a couple of days before heading up to my mom's house and that's a 12 hour drive. I'm not going to do it in one day - I probably could, but it would be awful for everyone involved. Instead, I'm going to leave Friday afternoon and drive as far as possible before stopping for the night around 9. Then we'll only have a 6-8 hour drive left the next day.

Additionally, be flexible. When we drove back from Virginia when Jules was only 2 months old, we originally planned on driving straight through. Then Jules completely lost her shit in Georgia and we decided to stop for the night in Savannah instead of trying to push it through, because that would have been miserable for everyone.

Helpful hint for you: 90% of the time when we stop on a road trip we have some sort of pet with us, so we always stay at Red Roof Inn. They allow pets and don't charge any type of pet fee, and a lot of their motels have been completely remodeled with wood floors so they're a lot nicer than I think they used to be. I try to do some research prior to leaving and find hotels along our route with good ratings that we can stay at should we need to stop and have never had to stay in a total crap hotel. 

Sit in the back

This obviously won't work if you're driving by yourself with one kid, but if you have another child or adult with you, have them sit in the back to help with your baby/toddler. I'll probably get crucified for saying this, but there have been times when we've been driving somewhere and Justin started in the front seat and jumped in the back at a stop light because Jules was losing her shit. Now we usually just plan to have him sit in the back if we're driving anywhere remotely long distance so he can keep her happy/fed/watered if she needs it. Or to nap in solidarity with her...

Make sure the temperature is comfortable

This is especially relevant when you live somewhere with hot temperatures or in the summer and have a baby/toddler. When you have a child in a rear-facing carseat, the recommendation now is to keep them rear-facing until they're 2 and even longer if possible (35-40 pounds, which for our little peanut will be until she's like 5). It's a lot safer for them and protects them better in the event you're involved in a car accident. With that said, when they're facing backwards they're not getting the benefit of the air conditioning like everyone else in the back who's facing forward. I'm pretty sure a lot of the reason Jules constantly lost her shit in the car seat was because she was hot. So now I always make sure two of the vents in my car are angled to hit the backseat and let them run a lot cooler than I personally need so she can stay comfortable. And if you have a car with a/c vents in the backseat, I'm jealous of you and you thought this out way better than I did :-)

I hope you've been able to find something helpful out of these tips on how to have a successful road trip with kids, but my #1 piece of advice is just do it. I've seen a lot of comments/posts here and there about people who are too scared to travel with their kids and in my opinion, you're doing yourself and your kids a disservice by not getting out there! The country/world is so big and the more we see, the more we can appreciate it! I know it sucks when you have to stay in a hotel/motel/tent and their sleep/nap/meal schedule gets thrown off, but I promise it's worth it! I mean, I have been dragging Justin all over this great country of ours (and he's been to Europe several times to see his dad) and he is such an independent and laid-back kid who has been a total joy to raise and I promise you we never had any type of nap/sleep/meal schedule. So don't let your fear of the trip stop you - just do it! 

Have any of you reading done any crazy road trips with your family? Either when you were a kid or with your kids now? I actually hate flying (control issues) and would drive everywhere if I could! I'm lucky my husband loves me because he's the total opposite, but he goes along for the ride...literally. HA, PUNNY!! 

And I almost forgot...I have another Le Tote coupon and this is a really good one! I am still 100% subscribing and absolutely loved the box I got last week so I still highly recommend, especially if you're between sizes! Click below and make sure you use the coupon code FIRST50 and you'll get 50% off your first month!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Weekly Workout Round-up & I Had a Moment

Happy Monday! 

I know it's been June for almost a week already, but it just hit me that it's freaking JUNE! Where did the time go? I am seriously going to be relocating to Rhode Island in less than 2 months. In fact, I have only 6 weeks of work left in Orlando and that's totally insane to me! There are so many things I still want to do before we leave! I'd like to eat at least 4 poke bowls, go to the beach twice, I need to repair my outdoor wicker furniture, I'd like to refinish my kitchen table because it looks like crap and I'd also like to reupholster my chairs because the fabric is old and gross. And then I also have to work full-time, do my wife and mom stuff, workout 6 times a week, lose this last 10 pounds, and try to sleep 8 hours a night. 

.........................................................

That's not asking much, right?? Hahahahahaaa...just writing that makes me look at myself inwardly like, you're nuts bae.

However I'm sure I can do most of what I want to do because I'm pretty dang stubborn when I want to be and right now, I want to do all the stuff and things!! Plus, my work completely covers all of the relocation expenses and movers, so we don't even need to worry about packing anything more than what we need for the few weeks we're living in corporate housing. I'm talking they come into your house and pack and move everything for us and all we have to do is clean up afterwards. And because I'm a total control-freak-planner-crazy-person, I'm pretty sure I've already found a place to live that's in the school district we want AND I've found a daycare and planned out my commute.  

So look forward to hearing more about all of this insanity that we have coming up, because it's truly going to be nuts! 

As I mentioned on Friday, I am going to go down to posting three times a week now, with more emphasis on quality posts and serious shenanigans. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback! Don't be afraid to give me more - I love hearing from you guys <3

Now onto our...

Weekly Workout Round-Up!!

I'm not going to lie - it was a pretty good week for workouts. Not a great week for eating...it wasn't really bad, just not awesome. As such, I have managed to lose 3 of the pounds I gained in the hospital, but still have 10 total to lose to get to pre-baby. and 3-5 more just because I'm fixed on the number even though I said I wouldn't be anymore. I'm not perfect and the scale and I are back in our dumb relationship. Stupid scale - I just can't quit you. I love you and I hate you at the same time!

Monday - P90X Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Core Workout

Memorial Day workout! I pretty much woke up, got Jules some cereal to snack on and put a movie on, and then did my workout using my iPad. I also did some progress pictures because I plan on really cleaning up my diet over the next 6 weeks and I AM going to get some results. I am always so amused with how different my pictures are when they don't happen at 5 in the morning...

Tuesday - Run & Core 

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Pretty big difference between Monday's before workout picture and this one, eh?

Tuesday's run was supposed to be a half mile warm-up and 8 repeats of 1 minute race pace (8:14/mi), 1 minute recovery jog, 30 second sprint (7:00/mi) and 1 minute recovery. I ended up getting up and out of the door late so I was only able to do 5 of the repeats, but my after workout smile tells me it must have been a pretty great workout!

Wednesday - P90X Back & Biceps and Core

Another super flattering picture that I'm sharing with the masses...I don't even look like I'm awake here (I probably am not actually awake in that picture...it takes me awhile to wake-up). 

Thursday - Run, HIIT, and Core

I have a few thoughts about these pictures...

  1. That is quite the expression on my face in my before workout picture. It's like I'm giving myself a death glare or something "you will do this workout and you will enjoy it, or else!!"
  2. The insane amount of sweat on my arm in the second picture shows me that it was em effing hot outside for that run. I remember feeling like I was going to die because of the heat and this picture shows that I wasn't exaggerating because that's just not something I do. 
  3. Look at how clean the mirror is!
  4. Fakest smile ever.

Oh and Jason came home from work towards the end of this run and followed me around our neighborhood twice while yelling at me on the loudspeaker ("great job" "keep going") and playing Eye of the Tiger...so yeah...our neighbors love us. 

I did Turbofire HIIT 25 for my HIIT workout and it destroyed me in every possible way. In a good way, but I was dead afterwards. 

Friday - P90X Legs & Back and Core

More of the same...wake up, take before workout picture where I look like I'm about to cry, do workout and still laugh at Tony Horton's jokes because I'm ridiculous, rush to take beaming post-workout picture before running around like a chicken with it's head cut off to get ready and out of the door on time, get to work with just enough time to fill snapchat with some ridiculous snaps, and then head into the door to #girlboss all day. 

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - RUNDAY

Let me tell you about this run. First and foremost, it's the furthest I've ran this year and I swear I really am proud of it. However this ish was hard. I'm talking, it took some serious pushing on my part to keep myself going. It was so effing hot - my car said it was 86 degrees when we got back and the humidity was like a billion percent. Not even exaggerating ;-) Then I was really really tired - Jules is sleeping so poorly right now and woke me up pretty much all night long. However something else happened this weekend that messed up my mood and motivation and it trickled into my run as well...don't worry, I'm about to tell you all about it. 

As you know, we are moving to Rhode Island soon (super soon) and as such, I have started to sort through our stuff to get rid of things we don't want/need. I have a huge closet filled with clothes that I'm mostly not wearing because they're primarily pre-Jules clothes that don't fit me anymore. So Saturday night I decided it was time to sift through all of these and get rid of anything that doesn't fit me and let's just say it did not end on a happy note. 

I'm getting rid of 80% of my wardrobe.

I started with shorts/skirts/workout clothes and that wasn't a big deal. I wasn't overly attached to any of those items and didn't really mind when those didn't fit. But then I got to my jeans/pants/work dresses and let me tell you, trying to put those clothes on to see how they fit/if they fit/can I even zip them up was extremely disheartening. 

Now I know that I'm still 10-15 pounds over where I'd like to be, however I've been able to wear most of my casual pre-Jules clothes (which is mostly casual dresses and workout clothes). I've even been able to get back into some of my old work dresses as long as I don't want to breathe too deeply on the days I wear them. However jeans and my other work dresses don't lie - they don't stretch or cover up any of this extra weight I'm still carrying and to say my mood decreased with every failed item of clothing would be a bit of an understatement. 

I still have so far to go before I'm close to being back to where I was pre-baby. 

In the spirit on honesty and full disclosure, here's a super fun picture that I probably shouldn't put in a public place but I have no shame...

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Just cause it zips doesn't mean it fits. 

To be fair to myself, I could hardly wear these jeans pre-Jules except for on my super skinny days...you know, those 3-4 days a month where everything fits and your stomach is flat and you feel amazing?!? So it's not 100% fair to call these my pre-baby jeans, but they are a pair of jeans that I was able to wear for a long time that I will never wear again and it hit me hard on Saturday when the majority of my clothes ended up that way. And that sucks. I ended up putting like 12 pairs of designer jeans into that pile of "donate" clothes and didn't even try on half of the dresses because I was practically in tears and couldn't do it to myself. And that mood stuck with me for my run and I seriously beat myself up for the vast majority of the run. 

"This run would be so much easier if you weighed 15 pounds less"

"Look at how far out your stomach is sticking, uggghhhh"

"If you weren't so fat, you could wear shorts to run and wouldn't be so freaking hot"

I absolutely hate how mean I was to myself and I do realize this probably isn't normal behavior and don't worry, I don't say any of this stuff out loud for my kids to hear. It's hard to come to the realization that you just aren't anywhere near where you used to be. Luckily, I'm not completely crazy and by the time I stopped and was stretching I was able to reflect and started to feel proud of myself for finishing the run. Especially since it was such a struggle. And then I was able to start looking at myself with clarity and honesty and I realized that in order to drop this weight and get healthy I am going to need to be honest, and I haven't been. 

Just to be clear, this isn't solely about looking good and vanity - I want to be healthy and I'm not.

I've mentioned this a few times, but I've had issues with my blood sugar and my blood pressure in the past and that scares me - I'm only 34. I know that carrying around 10-15 extra pounds especially when it's primarily around my core, is extremely unhealthy. While I do love to look good and feel good about how I look, this has a lot more to do with wanting to make sure I'm there to see my kids and their kids grow up and feel good doing it.

So yesterday after my run I took some time to reflect and came up with three things I'm really going to focus on to finally start making some progress towards meeting my goals.

  • Booze - if I am being completely honest with myself, I have been drinking way too much booze. I generally go through a bottle of wine in a weekend and lately, I've also had some seriously caloric craft beers and margaritas as well. When I took my measurements on Monday, I was kind of surprised to see that I'm pretty much back to pre-baby on my legs, hips, arms, and chest; however my waist and gut are 2-3 inches more than pre-baby. I guarantee a lot of that has to do with drinking alcohol. I actually didn't drink any booze this weekend, so I'm just going to keep that up for the foreseeable future and I have the feeling I'll see some good results from that alone. 
  • Food - that whole 80/20 thing? Yeah, it's more 50/50. I do fantastic in regards to nutrition Monday-Thursday, but I blow it all to shit over the weekend by eating anything and everything. I'll find myself snacking because I'm bored or just because I want to, and I know that's another big part of what's holding me back. So it's time for me to get seriously serious about what I'm eating - I'm going to track my calories and also cut back on carbs just a little. Not a lot, because I need my carbs, but instead of eating a full cup of rice with my lunch and dinner I'm cutting back to a 1/2 cup and seeing how that goes. And while I'll still allow myself treats, I'm not going to go hog wild every weekend like I have been. A little bit of control is what I need here, and it's been a long time since I've really tried to exhibit any control over my eating. However I've done it in the past so I know I can do it, I just hate doing it. 
  • Sleep - this is a big one. I don't sleep enough and that can have a negative effect on your weight. I have a bad habit of sitting down after putting Jules to bed and cleaning up and then I'll watch tv until it's 10 or 11 and then once I do finally get to sleep, it's interrupted by my butthole toddler. So instead of vegging out for 2-3 hours every night and watching tv I'm going to make a commitment to get into bed by 8:30. This way I will be asleep by 9-9:30 and will get 7.5-8 hours of sleep. I'm sure it will still be interrupted sleep (Juuuuuuules!!!), but at least there will be more of it. 

I'm calling this the Trifecta of Truth and I'm really going to focus on doing those three things for the next 6 weeks, tracking my progress, and then I'll reevaluate from there. Luckily exercise is already such a big part of my life that I don't need to work on that as well. As usual, I'll keep you all updated on my progress including successes and failures, and in true Jamie fashion, I'll probably change my mind about stuff a million times in the process.  

Have any of you reading this had a similar struggle? Do you have any advice for me other than I need to be honest with how much I'm eating and drinking and start sleeping more? I'll probably do some posts with a full day's worth of food so you guys can tear it apart, because won't that be fun?!?

I'll be back in a day or two with something SUPER FUN! Have a fantastic day!

Just Being Totally Truthful

Hi guys! It's me!!

I'm still over here doing my usual running and working and moming and wifeing and being awesome and stuff. 

I'm also wearing a DIRTY shirt that I'm pretty sure I talked about in another blog post (but I could be making that up since I'm super tired and my brain don't wanna worky). Anywho...I spilled food on this shirt the last time I wore it and then I apparently threw it in my closet instead of washing it. And now I'm wearing a dirty, food-covered shirt. 

#imthemessiesteateralive 

#evenmessierthanmytoddler

I wish I was kidding, but I'm not...ask my husband.

I'm also still here creeping on my kids and taking amazing pictures of them like the #photographer than I am. 

And don't forget about the super fun every day crap (pun intended) that I'm doing...like taking a picture of the "clean" litter box that Justin took care of earlier this week. I'm sure the cats loved having the scooper in there while they tried to do their business. That's like me trying to pee while the plunger is in the toilet.

Awkward AF.

One thing that I'm not doing enough of right now is blogging and for that, I'm sorry. Life is really busy right now. Work is insane and my husband is working a bajillion hours so home is insane too. Throw a promotion and relocation on top with a dash of a hospital stay, and you have pure chaos and insanity...

Fun story...whenever I'd read the word "chaos" I used to read/say it phonetically. Like "cha-hohs". Until I was a senior in high school. Now if I was just saying it in a sentence I would say chaos correctly. It was just whenever I had to read it out loud for some reason. 

I'm super effing smart though, I swear. 

Back to what I was saying...

Life is a bit crazy right now and as such, I may not be able to blog as much as I have been blogging. It's going to be even more insane once we move to Rhode Island and get settled in. I do intend to continue blogging regularly, but I'm thinking I will go to a 3 times a week schedule and try to make them more meaningful/fun/informative. 

So now I turn it to you - what would you like to see more of or have me talk about? Do you like the day-to-day stuff and shenanigans or would you rather have more of the informational posts and how-to posts? I'm thinking about going to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday plan with Monday being a weekly wrap-up of workouts/food/shenanigans, Wednesday being a WIIW or informational/how-to post and Friday being either a Fri-yay or informational/how-to post. 

What do you think? Please leave a comment and give me some feedback so I can keep this thing going and give you what you want!

Also...

Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend, friends!! 

Tuesday Catch-Up and Randomosity!

Happy not-Monday! It's always so much nicer when it's not a Monday, am I right? Today has me getting back into the swing of things, going back to work, and hopefully getting into a routine again. Which I think our entire family desperately needs!

Is anyone else a total creature of habit? I do love to do things spontaneously here and there - spontaneous beach trip, unplanned lobster dinner, winning the lottery (that would be nice...) - but for the most part, I do really well when I'm able to stick to my schedule.

Here's an example of my usual weekday schedule: 

5:00am - wake-up and convince myself to roll out of bed and work-out

5:30ish-6:40 - workout

6:40-8:00 - shower, get ready for work, get Jules ready for daycare, wake Justin up multiple times and remind him to shower/eat/brush his teeth/wear deodorant, run around like a chicken with its head cut off, make breakfast, run out the door 5-10 minutes behind schedule and rush to daycare/work

8:45-5:30 or so - #girlboss

6:00-7:30 - make dinner, clean up after dinner, try to play with Jules and talk to Justin before Jules has a tired-toddler melt-down, give her a bath, read story, put to bed, take a deep breath. 

8:00-9:30 - clean up more, prep meal for lunch the next day, eff around on Facebook/Snapchat/the 'gram, talk to my husband if he's not working, collapse into bed and hopefully fall asleep hardcore-style before waking up at 5 the next day and doing it all over again. 

I actually hope to do a day-in-the-life post once we get back into our normal schedule/routine and Jules is doing better, but you get the idea for now. Needless to say, being in the hospital and in and out of doctor's offices for the past week and half has really thrown our schedule for a loop. We were in the actual hospital for 3 nights and 4 days so my workouts and eating have not been where they normally would (and obviously I am okay with this since we had much more important things to worry about).

I think there are two types of people when it comes to dealing with stress - those who don't eat at all and lose weight and those who stress eat everything in sight and end up gaining weight. I'm the person who stress eats everything (especially carbs/cereal/chips) and even though the scale and I had broken up, I decided to check out the damage this morning to see where I am...let's just say that I now have 12 pounds of weight to get back down to pre-Jules weight instead of 7. Womp womp. 

Again, I'm not really super upset about it since we had so much more important things to worry about, but with my weight inching up and knowing in the back of my mind that I have issues with my blood pressure being close to the high-end of normal along with borderline pre-diabetic blood sugar, this is not really something I can just ignore. This isn't really so much about vanity and wanting to look good as it is about being healthy long-term so I can be around for a long-long time and not have any crazy health issues. So I am jumping back onto the workout train and trying to chill out on my eating/drinking and will hopefully be able to lose what I've gained in the past week and a half pretty quickly and then continue to chip away at the rest of it. Like I've said before, it's not that I'm obsessed with the number itself, but I am obsessed with getting my overall health itself back to normal/excellent. Too bad being able to do a million burpees isn't a health factor that doctor's look at because I am awesome at that. 

Moving on from that tangent, why don't we talk about other random crap that we've been up to outside of being in the hospital? The last time we really caught up was in my Fri-yay before Mother's Day post, which seems like it happened months ago!

Mother's Day weekend was a pretty nice weekend. Jules obviously wasn't feeling 100% so it was pretty low-key, but we did a lot of relaxing and goofing off, which is two of our favorite things to do!

All the cool kids wear bowls on their heads.

I obviously had to get a poke bowl...because duh. 

And I had to eat my Mother's Day cake - which I devoured over the course of the weekend. With a baby fork. While standing at the counter #icantimaginewhyicantlosethebabyweight

On actual Mother's Day, all I really wanted was to go for a run, have mimosas, take a long bath, and not have to cook any food myself. Which ended up happening pretty much 100% and it was GLORIOUS!

Jules and I woke up and went for my longest run since December. It was slow and hot and super sweaty with the humidity, but it was still a great run. 

Don't worry...Jules had sunblock slathered all over her little feet so they didn't get burnt - it was just too warm to have her in socks or cover her with a blanket and her ankle was swollen and tender at this point so I didn't want her to wear shoes or anything. Whenever we run I always give her a snack and water and she usually eats and drinks all of it and then takes a nap until we stop - easy peasy!

Then I came home to this...

And Jason made me an awesome breakfast. Then I was able to take a nice and relaxing bath before hanging out with Jules and watching movies on the couch for most of the afternoon. Finally Jason prepared some awesome steaks and crab legs for dinner that I scarfed down before meeting my BFF at the airport to bring her car seats and a stroller, since she was in town for the week on a Disney/beach vacation. 

Monday morning I woke up a bit later than usual and did my workout as planned...

Then I noticed Jules ankle was warm to the touch and we all know what happened then. 

We got home from the hospital early evening on Thursday and I did manage to fit in a couple of workouts on Friday and Sunday - just the strength training stuff; I wasn't in the mood for cardio. 

On a sidenote...here's where you can typically find our cats when they're not sleeping in a sliver of sunlight somewhere. They like to chirp at the birds/lizards that are outside on our patio. Sometimes a lizard will jump onto the door and the cats go nuts trying to chase them all over through the glass. It's insane. 

And that about sums up all of the non-illness/hospital related stuff we've been up to the past week and a half. It's not a lot, because the illness and getting Jules better has taken precedence and been at the forefront of everything, however I think I'm starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Jules is slowly putting more weight on her foot and was standing without support quite a bit yesterday, but she's still very timid and hesitant to take any steps. We had an appointment with the infectious disease doctor yesterday afternoon and he said it seems that she's responding to the antibiotics really well and we may even be able to stop them at two weeks instead of three, which would be amazing!

Cross your fingers that she'll be back to running around like a crazy toddler in the next couple of days! I'll be back tomorrow with another What it is Wednesday, since I actually have some fun stuff to talk about that I think you should know about!

Now I want to know, are you a stress eater and weight gainer like me, or are you one of the stress weight losers? I find that I turn to comfort food and all of the carbs whenever I am stressed. It's kind of crazy because when I look at the pictures from my workout on Monday compared to Friday, I can really tell a difference in my arm definition - I'm a lot more puffy in the pictures from Friday. But I know it will go away and I honestly just don't care that much at this point. I'm just extra swole and was carb-loading for the race...that I don't have scheduled. Or planned. It's just an excuse. Whatever. :-)

I'm at a Loss

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I hope it was an awesome one for you. 

I'm going to be completely honest here and let you know that I am really struggling right now. I have always been so good in a crisis. I remember this time when I was an idiotic 15 year old and was hanging out with some other idiotic teenagers and we were doing some things that we shouldn't have been doing and driving around the backroads on Spring Break. I was sitting in the middle of the front seat (we called that "riding bitch" and I still have a hard time not calling it that, even when it's Justin who has to sit in the middle #bestmomever *eye roll*). I didn't have my seat belt on because again, I was an idiot teenager, and we ended up getting in a pretty horrific car accident. I was the person who was the most injured but I remember being extremely calm and helping everyone out of the car and taking charge of the situation. Once we were at the hospital the doctors and nurses kept raving to my parents about how calm and mature I was, especially considering my age. 

Well that's something that I've always prided myself on. I am a very strong and composed person when I need to be, and this past week has been that type of a week. I sat and listened to everything the doctors and nurses said and did and remembered all of it so I could do research when they left so I could be better informed about everything that was going on. I couldn't cry and let myself feel my emotions while my daughter was thrashing about in pain and fear because if I did, who would take care of business?

This is all great for the crisis situation but now that we're out of it, I feel just completely drained and almost fragile like I might break or something. But I still can't break down and let myself go because if I do, who's going to take care of everything else? Jules still needs antibiotics 3 times a day for the next 2.5 weeks, has lots of dr appointments, has an open and oozing wound on her ankle that I have to dress and ensure we aren't having additional problems with, and she is extra clingy and tired and won't let me put her down even to go to the bathroom. On top of that, I have a 13 year old son who has been amazing throughout all of this, but he still needs me to be his mom. And then I have a husband who leaves every night to run into crazy and stressful situations and needs me to support him in that. 

So I am struggling a bit on the inside right now. I teeter between being so grateful that we seem to be getting out of the woods with Julianna right now and then trying not to cry because I haven't been able to get that out yet and probably won't until I eventually break down in the bathroom alone or something. 

I go back to work tomorrow (my mom is still here and will help with Jules) and then Jules will go back to daycare probably on Thursday as long as her incision site is scabbed up. I think getting  back into our routine is going to help me shake this feeling of almost being numb on the inside a lot and I'm actually really looking forward to it. I have also been able to work out almost every day since coming home from the hospital and that seems to help a lot as well.

However while I was trying to come up with a blog post for today I was really struggling and didn't really know what to put. I'm not feeling particularly funny or clever right now and I know that's probably what most of you have come to expect from my posts. So instead I'm just being honest and putting it out there that I'm kind of at a loss. 

I do think that it will start getting better tomorrow so let's all cross our fingers and hope that tomorrow's post is filled with all sorts of shenanigans and ridiculousness because I hate feeling this way just as much as you probably don't enjoy reading it!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here are some fun pictures of stuff we did this weekend. Jules spirits have really been up and she's getting back to her crazy, silly self. 

She's still not walking at all, but I think it will probably happen in the next day or so. Today she actually put full weight on her left leg and kind of shuffled over the my iPad, so we're almost there! Instead of walking she's just crawling everywhere or "walking" on her knees when she wants to use her hands. Or she's just having me carry her everywhere since she won't let me put her down.

We've obviously been taking it pretty easy 90% of the time, but decided to get out of the house and go for a short hike on Saturday morning, which ended up being a really great time. We were all able to work up a bit of a sweat and Jules really enjoyed being outside. As we were walking (I obviously wore her the entire time), she kept pointing and saying "that" to everything, meaning she wanted to know what it was. And then she kept wanting to touch the trees and point at all of the wildlife. 

For wildlife we ended up seeing a pretty big alligator, a baby alligator chasing a bird, and baby raccoon that was super effing cute. It climbed up a tree to get away from us and Jules kept pointing at it and saying "dog". No, not dog...don't pet. 

Justin was happy to be done with the hike when we got back to the end of the trail though...

2 miles is way too much for this kid. I think it's worth noting he's wearing a grumpy cat shirt and grumpy cat socks #fashionista

Other than that short adventure, we've been doing a lot of laying around and playing with blocks and changing multiple awful diapers that are due to the crazy antibiotics she's on. 

I hope to be back tomorrow with something super fun and exciting, but no promises. 

I hope you all have an amazing day and week. 

Take-Out Thursday

Happy Friday Eve! We're almost there! 

I'm starting to feel like crap, which makes me think I've probably picked up whatever Jules had/has, which is not a good thing. Because I literally do not have the time to be sick. 

A quick Jules update for you - she is doing mostly better. She's still clingy and cranky once I get her from daycare (she went back on Wednesday). She's also developed this fun new cry that sounds how I'd imagine a pterodactyl with a smoking problem would sound. It's absolutely ridiculous and drives me nuts; I'm guessing she got a reaction she wanted while doing it when she was sick so now it's her new cry. Yayyyyyyy...

Today I'm going to do a Take-out Thursday, since it's been awhile since I've done one. These are basically the pictures I deemed unworthy for a regular blog post that I've decided to share anyway, for one reason or another. So here we goooooooooooo!!

Sick, miserable Jules picture from Monday afternoon. I was like, I can't put that on my blog...that makes me a shitty mom. But now I'm like, whatever...it doesn't make me a shitty mom and it makes me more relatable because I'm sure most of us do it.

Did you know that apparently relatable isn't a word? I mean, I know it is, but I'm getting a spelling error and I know I spelled it right because I googled it. Weird. 

Anywho, moving on...

Other than the fact that I have melasma, my skin is pretty good...I rarely break out and if I do, they're usually itty bitty little zits. Not this week! I had this giant honker on my forehead yesterday and of course I had to share it with you guys! You're welcome!

Some outtakes from our run on Saturday. We're so photogenic and don't you forget it!

Jason was so excited about the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert a couple of weeks ago. Can you tell?? (He might kill me for putting this picture up, but that's the whole point of this post - crappy, outtake pictures!)

Jules really, really, really, really, REALLY loves breadsticks. Don't worry, I made her finish it before we took off. She's not allowed to eat back there by herself yet since I'm a psychopath and am terrified she'll choke. 

I made caprese salad on Sunday, which is one of my favorite summer dishes. I'm lazy and like to keep things simple, so I just buy the mozzarella pearls that can be found in any deli, cut up some tomatoes, some basil, salt, and olive oil. 

Get in muh bellay!!!

Not our good sides. 

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That's Julianna's "sup, brah" face. 

How about some fun outtakes from our beach trip?

First off, Justin is an amazing photographer...

About half the time I ask him to take a picture he zooms in and tries to make it ridiculous. And it's usually awful. Like up my nose or something.  #eyeroll

Being photogenic and working our angles runs in the family. 

I love how much Justin loves Jules (and she obviously adores him). I've talked about this a few times already and went into depth about my gap kids and their bond here, but it makes my heart so happy <3 He's been a huge help this week since Jules has been so clingy and won't let me put her down; they've watched all of the Toy Story movies together and he's helped her with snacks and tried to calm her down every time she'd lose her shit while I was trying to make dinner. I really loved when I took Jules upstairs to go to bed and Justin was still watching Toy Story when I came back down - he's a good teenager. 

I wanted to prove I have my priorities straight...

That's the pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom that really needs to be folded and I was going to do it last night...but I decided to paint my toenails instead. To be fair, my toes were looking ratchet AF - it had been a solid month since I've painted them and instead I was just putting an extra coat on anytime one chipped. So yeah. Not cute. But now they're super cute! 

#priorities

Finally I wanted to share the sunrise from my morning run with you, because it was so beautiful.

No filter needed. 

Seriously, if you really want to get into a good workout routine/schedule start forcing yourself to do it in the morning. Yes, it sucks for the first few weeks and when Jules doesn't sleep well, but I am always so happy to see the sunrise after an awesome workout. Give it a shot!

That's all I have for today and I hope you enjoyed my random picture outtakes and musings. Are you a naturally photogenic person or are you like me, and you always look like a troll if you're caught in a picture unexpected. Seriously...I am only photogenic if I'm prepared. Otherwise, WATCH OUT...it'll be funny, but your picture will be ruined. 

Have a great Thursday!

To My Friends <3

This is an ode to my friends. 

I hope you know who you are. 

I have never been the kind of person who had a million friends. There are some people I know who seem to have 25 best friends and they had a hard time whittling their list down to 10 bridesmaids when they got married. Instead of having a million friends I've always had a pretty close-knit group of girlfriends who I completely trusted and love as a BFF. The older I get, the more I find that this is what works best for me and for my friends because I hardly have enough time for the friends I do have, let alone having a bajillion of them.

If anything, the older I get, the closer and smaller my group of friends becomes. 

I've been friends with some of you for decades...

Even when we've been separated by states/countries/oceans we always come back to exactly where we always were **++ (that's secret code language). I love how we can go months without talking and then pick up the phone or have a lunch/crazy night somewhere and pick up right where we left off. 

My friends have been there for me through all of my highs and lows and trust me when I say that there have been plenty of both. We've cried and laughed and had epic fights where we swore we would never be friends again, but here we are...

There are some friends who leave an awesome impression in your heart and you know they'd do anything for you and you'd do anything for them.

Keep those friends. 

Don't worry about the rest. 

There have been friends I've lost along the way that I regret losing - we've grown apart or maybe we didn't recover from that epic fight. There have even been friends that I have been a super shitty friend to and for that I have major regrets. If you're reading this and that's you, I'm sorry.

I sometimes wish I could be a better friend to the friends I have now, since you've been such a great friend to me. You've held my hand while skipping around high school, we've gotten in epic trouble together, we've cried over dumb boys together, we've cried over not-dumb and awful things together, we've traveled and moved across the country, and here we are...still friends. 

Just as much as you've been there for me, I hope you know that I will seriously always be there if you ever need me. Really, I mean it. 

Thank you <3

  • For being ridiculous with me - whether we're trying to ride a moped or making dumb faces or singing songs at the top of our lungs in downtown Orlando or chasing a bear out of a field or drinking wine while watching The Walking Dead on a Sunday - those are just a small portion of my favorite memories with you and I can't wait to make some more as time and funds allow (cause you know, I'm a broke-ass working mom)
  • Thank you for loving my children and never making me feel like they're a pain in the ass(even when I know they can be). Some of you have kids and some of you don't, but you're all the same in this regard. We may not be exactly the same in our parenting styles or views on kids, but I've never felt like that was an issue from you and I hope you know it's never an issue from me. Also thank you for not getting mad at me if I drop an f-bomb around your kids - I don't mean to have such a shitty mouth and I'm not perfect so sometimes they slip out. 
  • Thank you so much for any time you have babysat or offered to babysit. Being a single mom for as long as I was, I had to rely on people to babysit so I could go out sometimes and be the mother effing P.I.M.P. I was back then. And now that I'm married, I still need to date my husband whenever possible. I am so thankful to have you in my life and know that I can leave my kids with you and trust they'll be well taken care of. I promise I will do the same for you if you ever need it so don't hesitate to ask!  
  • Thank you for doing nice things for me without expecting anything back. I do nice things for people simply because I like to do nice things for people - never because I expect them to get me back or to keep a running tally. My friends are the same kind of people - sometimes they might be giving me 80% and I'm only giving 20%, but the role will be reversed eventually and I'll give them 80% whenever they need it. That's simply how these things work and when it happens organically it's a wonderful thing
  • Thank you for never making me feel bad if I forgot about you - I promise it was not intentional and not because you don't matter. It's just simply because my brain can only hold so much before I lose stuff and unfortunately I do sometimes forget plans/dates/things. These darn kids and husband of mine take precedence 99.9% of the time and I'm a worrier so I'm always worrying/thinking about them/trying to figure out ways to make sure life keeps going well. I promise I will do everything I can to make it up to you if I do ever forget anything involving you and appreciate knowing that while you might be annoyed with me now, you'll forgive me  
  • Thank you for supporting me in my choices and never making me feel bad about them, even when you know I'm wrong. You know that this has been my life to live, just as much as I know this is your life to live. As such, having you to support me and my choices without judgement means the world to me. I am so lucky to have you there to pick me up when my choices have been wrong or to celebrate with me when they've been right 

I feel that I am so blessed to have the friends that I currently have and hope that all of you reading have the same support I do.

And if not, go get you some better friends!

Husbands/boyfriends/significant others are great, but there is definitely something to be said about an old fashioned girl's night out/Frozen sing-a-long/ridiculous shenanigans with my girlfriends. 

I encourage you to go hug a friend now. Or if you're not a hugging type, send a text message. And if you really don't feel like you have any friends, subscribe and talk to me and I'll be your friend :-)

Disclaimer - there is a chance I may have forgotten some of my friends in the pictures. Again, this was not intentional and I'm sorry if you are like, WTF, JAMIE?!? Jules and her illness have sucked the life out of me over the past few days and I'm completely brain dead. Please forgive me :-)

Hand, Foot, and I'm Going to Cry

What a weekend we had in our house. Not that it was really eventful because it wasn't, it was just not a relaxing one in any way, shape, or form.

Jules is sick. There is a kid in her classroom at daycare who was diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth and I'm pretty sure that's what she has. She's been running fevers (up to 102) on and off since Thursday afternoon and has been completely miserable, other than a few short moments of levity, pretty much all weekend. She has been extra super clingy, meaning I couldn't get anything done and I feel terrible for her because I can tell something hurts, but she can't tell me what. 

She actually woke me up around 3:30 this morning and thrashed and whined in my bed for another hour and a half before I finally gave up and went downstairs with her. I put Moana on and she watched that and fell asleep for a bit while I did some yoga and got my food ready for lunch, but then she woke up right before I was getting ready to jump into the shower. And she cried...and cried...and cried. She does not want me to put her down and she doesn't want anyone but me right now...and I have to work today. So I got ready like this.  

I'm talking I did my makeup, blow-dried my hair, and got my breakfast ready like that. And on the inside I just wanted to lay-down and cry alongside Jules because I am exhausted and my back hurts and I feel bad for her. Then Jason came home from work and took her to the doctor so I can go to work for a half-day before going home and putting my mom hat back on so he can get some sleep because he worked all night. These are the times when I hate being a working mom and wish I could just be home with my poor, sick baby. 

However I'm not even going to lie and fake like it won't be nice to not have a feverish, whiny, snotty toddler draped all over me for 4 hours today though. I hope that doesn't make me a shitty mom, but it's exhausting and it's been happening for 3 days now! 

Today's post will be a quick workout round-up from last week, since my brain is completely dunzo and I don't know that I can think of anything super clever or witty to write about. 

Monday - P90X Shoulders, Triceps & Chest

I also did my DR core workout (for diastasis recti - I posted all about it last week if you want to read more!)

Classic Jamie-before-workout-face. I feel like they're actually getting worse, but it is entertaining to me so I'm okay with it. Hopefully it entertains you guys too!

Tuesday - 32 minute run & DR core work

This was the day I was supposed to run 8 quarter mile repeats but couldn't math and ended up only doing 5 (see my blog from Tuesday for more info on that - I'm a hot mess). 

This is a pretty amazing picture too. Man, I am photogenic!

Wednesday - P90X Biceps & Back 

I also did my core workout. It's a trend - I did it every day last week except for Saturday!

Thursday - I ran real fast for 25 minutes...

25 minutes at 10K race pace (8:14/mile) with a 1/2 mile warm-up. This was super hard but I was so proud of myself once it was done and I actually hit my goal pace!

That after-picture though...man, I am trying to out-do myself with awesome pictures!

Also, my goal this week is to clean the master bathroom...including the mirrors. I can't handle the grossness anymore - like I'm almost embarrassed. Almost...not quite though.

Friday - Legs & back, extra hip strengthening workout, DR core work. 

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(this is the only picture I have from Friday. Gross, gross mirror!

Saturday - Rest DAY!

Peach-a-rita day?

I may have had a handful...over the course of like 5 hours. But still, a handful. It was after Jules went to bed and I was binge-watching Girls and snap-chatting all of my friends, so stop judging me!!

Sunday - RUN DAY! 

Jules woke up in a decent mood and didn't have a fever, so we went out and ran a little over 4 miles together. It was a pretty hard run - probably had more to do with the peach-a-rita's than anything, but I'm blaming it on the wind. 

LOOK!! I'm doing my old duck lips pose here! I haven't done that in forever!!

Maybe I should bring it back for good?!?

Nope...not gonna happen.

Mid-run picture, for the win!

This is apparently our new signature pose. I'm pretty sure she's telling me not to touch her with my sweaty, gross self. 

After our run we came home and I did my DR core workout and another hip workout, we had some breakfast, and then Jules laid on me and whined and thrashed around for the rest of the day. The poor thing looked like I look when I have a migraine and had a fever pretty much all day, so I gave her painkillers as directed, but she was pretty miserable all day long :-(

Did you have a better weekend than we did? Have you ever dealt with hand, foot, and mouth? How much do you LOVE my ridiculous pictures?  

 

WIIW (What it is Wednesday) and Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!! I very obnoxiously snapchatted about it this morning and if you're not following me already, you probably should because I'm hilarious (and modest too). I tend to be semi-to-totally inappropriate, with some ridiculous videos of my kids thrown-in and sometimes a ghost makes an appearance (best. snap story. ever.)

I enjoy these WIIW posts because I really like giving my opinion to everyone and this is a good way for me to round up my opinions on a weekly basis and make it seem less bossy than when I tell people my opinion otherwise. What do you guys think of them? 

You guys, remember when I showed you the Cake Batter/Red Velvet ice cream thing from Arctic Zero last week? This is a Salted Caramel Arctic Zero ice cream thing and it's even better. Yesterday was my fast day, but I needed something sweet and this did not disappoint. Get them if you find them! Shoot, I might stock up just so I never have to worry about them running out!

I have been trying to get my son to workout on a semi-regular basis, because he is a pretty typical, lazy teenager. If he had his way he would sit in his bedroom and play video games the entire weekend, only getting up to make and eat an entire pot of macaroni and cheese. We've done a few 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts from Beachbody and they're perfect for him since they're not super difficult and only 22 minutes. He actually did a workout by himself on Monday AND sent me a sweaty selfie. I am so proud of him! Now if he'll just keep it up!

You might be wondering why I'm trying to get my 13 year old to exercise - the reason why is because the earlier it becomes a habit, the more likely it will stay that way for life. And all I really want for my kids in life is for them to be healthy and happy. Working out helps with the health AND the happiness, so it's a win-win!

I am seriously loving the swimsuit I wore this weekend. It is SO HARD to find a flattering swimsuit that is comfortable and this one is both! And it makes my tiny little boobs look pretty good, so that's awesome too! And it only cost $30 at TJ Maxx, so YASSSSSSSS!!!

Link Love!

I am loving these two articles from Scary Mommy this week. They both apply pretty directly to my life right now, and I had to share them with you guys. 

As A Mom, I Value Quality Way More Than Quantity In My Friendships

I am so on board with the message of this blog. The last thing I need in my life right now is a judgmental, high-maintenance friend and I have made some changes in my friendships over the past 6 months or so that involved distancing myself from people who were like that. I honestly just don't have the time or energy for half-friends right now or people who make me feel bad about myself! I have a handful of really good friends who are both long-distance and local, and even though we don't hang out all the time, we always pick up right where we left off whenever we do hang-out or talk. And we usually do so in a house that I didn't even worry about tidying up because I know they won't judge me. These are the friends that will drink crappy, cheap wine with me and eat my partially stale chips from a half-eaten bag without judging me or making me feel like I need to do more for them. Because our friendship and support for each other is enough, and that's how friends should be. 

So to my friends who are reading this - you know who you are - love you!!

Stop Being A Judgmental A**hole When Someone Tells You Their Child Isn’t Sleeping

Everything about this. When you are pregnant and have young children, it suddenly becomes open season for everyone you know (and some you don't) to give you advice.

"I sure hope you plan to breastfeed since breast is best" (but God forbid you do it in public because that might make people uncomfortable)

"Don't hold your baby like that, she can't breathe correctly" (while holding Jules in football carry because it helped with her gassy stomach)

"You better stop giving her that pacifier now; she's so pretty without it" *insert middle finger here*

Sleep is a HUGE topic point for anyone with baby/toddler and is something that everyone wants to give you advice regarding. And for whatever reason, everyone seems to be baby sleep experts and their little snowflake is a MUCH better sleeper than your child. I get it; Jules doesn't sleep well and never has. Justin didn't either. But then the second Justin hit 2 or so he started sleeping 12 hours straight from when I put him to bed. Meaning if I wanted to sleep a little later, I would keep Justin up until 10 and he'd sleep until 10. And I'm hoping Jules will do that same thing. So instead of telling me how tired I look and that your unicorn snowflake baby slept through the night a week from the hospital and here's what I'm doing wrong, please just commiserate with me and be empathetic. 

I think everyone should try to have more empathy in general and in doing so, the world will be a better place. 

World peace, Jamie-style.

My current favorite songs...

In no particular order...

Just for listening:

  • Every Time I'm Ready to Hug - Ra Ra Riot
  • Silvia - Miike Snow
  • Open Your Eyes - STRFKR
  • Hot Thoughts - Spoon
  • HUMBLE - Kendrick Lamar
  • Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel

For running (all of these songs have really high BPM which help me keep my cadence over 180 - aka great for running)

  • Drop The Plot - Gregory Peopper and His Problems
  • Hard Times - Paramore
  • Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
  • When Your Heart Stops Beating - +44
  • Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
  • The Bomb - Pigeon John

Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

Man, I'm doing a lot of quitting around here! First the scale, now ab workouts, next I'll be quitting wine or something crazy like that (or not...most definitely not...if I do quit wine it will only be because I'm taking up margaritas #summer). 

First and foremost, I am not a fitness professional so if you are really worried about something being wrong with you or are thinking about starting a new program please see your doctor first. This is just something new that I'm trying and sharing with you so you can be entertained by my success or failure. I'm pretty sure I was a guinea pig in a past life because I love testing out new things!

I know I've mentioned at least once before in the blog that I'm working on strengthening my transverse abdominus. You may or may not be wondering why, but regardless I'm going to tell you why because this is my blog and I control ALL OF IT!!! 

Even though I have been really slimming down all over recently, I still have a very noticeable mommy bulge/tummy/gut. And it's the entire thing - top, bottom, middle. Now some of this I can totally blame on my eating - I don't eat perfectly (and don't want to), but I do tend to eat really healthy overall and *should* probably be seeing a bit better results considering how hard I workout. 

I've known about diastasis recti for a long time and even self-diagnosed myself with it postpartum, however I have refused to accept that I have it and it's affecting me in any way, shape or form because....I'm stubborn? Actually, I know why and that's because they tell you to avoid all impact exercises while working on recovering from diastasis recti, which means no running, jumping, kickboxing, etc - basically everything I love to do. And I can't stop doing that stuff or I might lose my mind, so I ignored it. But it's not getting better, and my core is so weak. The past few weeks I've been doing some additional research on it and have finally accepted it's time for me to do something about it before it gets worse or I give up and become a sloth. 

First, I did another test to confirm how bad my DR is and this one is a great one if you want to try it yourself:

I have about a 1.5-2 finger gap - it's not that bad, but still there and it is affecting my overall core/abs so it's something I should do something to fix. 

What's the #1 thing you need to do if you do have a gap? Stop doing traditional ab exercises. Crunches, planks, the bicycle, etc. - basically anything that is in a traditional ab workout including pilates can actually make this worse! So no more V-Ups for me no matter how cool I feel when I do them!

Like I said, I ignored this for going on 15 months now, however I have noticed that when I'm laying on my back and doing a traditional crunch or sit-up, I have a small cone-shaped mound that pops up on my stomach above my belly button...this is because I have a gap and the muscles are bulging through the gap - appetizing right? This is one of the signs you have it so if you are doing crunches and see a cone-shaped mound or pyramid pop up on your stomach, you probably have DR! If you think you might have DR I encourage you to follow along with the video above to confirm how bad it is and then for the love of Pete, stop doing ab workouts! 

There are several systems out there that you can purchase that help to rehab your core - one is called MuTu - and they all have rave reviews from women so they obviously work. But I'm a cheapskate and stubborn, so instead I turned to the internet and found this workout here. This is actually based off of MuTu and it's recommended to do it every day. So that's what I'm going to do and did do this morning. It took me about 12 minutes since I'm not familiar with the exercises, however I could seriously feel it deep in my core which is exactly where you're supposed to feel it. 

As I said, I plan on doing this every day and I'll keep you guys updated on how that's going success or not, since I love oversharing on the internet!

Have any of you had issues with diastasis recti? Have you tried any of the rehab programs like MuTu that are supposed to help and did it help? Will I ever lose my mom belly without giving up wine and carbs (cause that ain't gonna happen, yo!)?

Do you guys have any fun things you're loving right now that you want to share? Music, food, wine, etc - I love to hear about it all so please share!

I'm Breaking UP

With the scale and I'm serious. This is a dysfunctional relationship and I'm sick of it!

Now that I have your attention, don't forget to subscribe!

Before I get to the end of my relationship with my scale, I want to show you a few things. 

First we have a pre-workout selfie...

Take a look at those leggings and remember them - they play a role in the demise of my relationship with my scale. 

Then I didn't really like that selfie so I decided to mix things up and take another one in my dirty mirror right by our front door...

Blog 12.jpg

I sure do love to take flattering pictures of myself and then post them online for the world to see, don't I?! Also will someone please come to my house and clean all of my mirrors? I'm an embarrassment (but if I'm being completely honest I don't really even care). 

So I went outside and ran this morning. I had looked at my workout schedule like three times yesterday and again this morning and thought to myself every time, "cool, I only have to run 2 miles worth of 1/4 mile repeats - easy peasy". So I decided to do a full mile for a warm-up and run just a little over 3 miles. NO PROBLEM. Except here's the workout I was supposed to do:

I apparently can't math at all because I had that all sorts of wrong. Ugh. I ended up figuring this out mid-run and was like, there's no way I can run 4 miles of 1/4 mile repeats when I had only planned to do 2. Plus I really wanted/needed to do a core workout and didn't have time to do it all since I'd only planned for a total of 3 freaking miles, not 5. So I ended up doing only 5 repeats, for a total of a little over 3.5 miles. Yeesh. 

Get yo shit together, Jamie! 

Why am I showing you two nearly identical pictures of myself? Well I originally took those pictures for a blog idea - I'm really sucking it in on the left and not sucking in on the right and I had this grand plan on doing a post around them somehow. However looking at them right now, I can seriously hardly see a difference between the two and I'm going to be real honest and say that I look good. I mean, I'm pretty happy with how I look in those pictures overall - my stomach is pretty flat even when I'm not sucking it in and I felt great all day. 

Additionally, I have a ton of pictures from our beach day on Saturday and I am happy with how I look in all of them - those are freaking swimsuit pictures, people! I'm never happy with how I look in swimsuit pictures, but the fact that I was happy with all of them made me feel like I was really making some progress towards this whole self-love thing. 

Finally, remember how I told you to remember that picture from earlier with the leggings? Those leggings are pre-pregnancy and I have never been able to wear them comfortably because I always had muffin top with them. Or I'd have serious camel toe because I'd try to pull them way up over my muffin top and they were never comfortable #youknowyoudoittoo

So I should have been feeling pretty effing amazing this morning, right? 

WRONG!!

I got on the scale this morning right after waking up and guess what...I'm up 3 pounds from where I was on Tuesday of last week. 

F&%$ the scale!!

Raise your hand if you hate the scale...

Now raise your hand if you've ever felt great about yourself only to weigh yourself and have your entire mood change....

I am right there with you! I mean, I have been feeling pretty good about myself lately. My arms and my butt are looking really toned! My stomach is pretty flat most of the time and I'm starting to be able to wear most of my pre-Jules clothes while still being able to breathe! I have pictures in my swimsuit that I didn't even hesitate to post!

Then I let that stupid number ruin my happy roll. 

Well I'm not doing that anymore. This was the last straw!

Kind of. 

This will be a gradual break-up since I am currently running a Biggest Loser contest at work and don't want to drop out of it since I'm in charge of the whole dang thing. However instead of weighing myself every day like I usually do (except for Monday - I never weigh myself on a Monday #chipschocolateandwine), I will only weigh myself for the weigh-in days and luckily there are only 2 of those left in the contest. Once I'm done with that, I am going to work to measure my health/progress with other metrics and take the scale out of the equation completely: 

  • Progress pictures - these always make me happy, so this will be my primary method of measurement. 
  • Tape measure - I am usually pretty happy with this, but sometimes I actually measure bigger even when I feel smaller due to being swole. I'm such a douche - that's the second time I've blogged the word "swole". BUT IT'S A REAL THING!! I mean I guess I could say swollen or retaining water, but swole is so much more fun to say. Now if you ever hear me say or read "YOLO" or "FOMO" on this blog and I'm being serious, please find me and slap some sense into me. Moving on...
  • How do my clothes fit? If my clothes are fitting better and I'm more comfortable in my skin then that's a good sign that I'm doing pretty well 
  • Blood pressure and blood sugar tests. I haven't talked about this on here yet, but I've had some minor blood pressure issues since getting pregnant with Jules - my blood pressure can sometimes be a bit higher than I'd like and close to borderline high, like 138/80. Most of the time it's around 120/70, but that's even higher than I like for it to be and where it used to be (110/60). Also I've had two blood sugar tests that were pre-prediabetic in the past few years; like right on the verge. Luckily they weren't consecutive and being smart with my diet makes a huge difference almost immediately - for example, my last test was borderline, but it was in December. December = Christmas cookies. My doctor wasn't hugely concerned due to this, but I'm testing again in June and hope for better numbers this time or else I'm going to have to make some big changes (and I don't wanna). 

I will still weigh myself, but perhaps on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I might be pretty happy with how I'm looking overall, but find that my health tends to be better when I am below 140. So I know I will get there eventually, but for now I'm slowly breaking up with the scale.

In fact, I'm ghosting the scale.

(if you don't know what ghosting means, it's when someone you're dating shoots you a few texts and then disappears from your life. It's a thing now. Now you know and you're hip and trendy like me!)

MadreDiem Break UP

It's not me, it's you. 

(actually it might partially be me...I ate some chips before bed last night. But whatever...we're still broken up, you dumb scale). 

Have you ever broken up with the scale and if so, did it have a positive effect on your life? I am just so sick of feeling discouraged due to a number, when everything else is making me happy! 

I'm going to throw this in because I sooooooo need it...

Thanks for stopping by, friends!