Wednesday, July 31, 2013


On Sunday, I finally got to go on my awesome self-improving, baby fat burning, no pain-no gain power walk/run with no stroller, no baby...just me and my insane thoughts and that lady panting behind me...oh wait, that was me. It was awesome! I ran, I walked, I covered new territory and I busted my butt!

When I got home I was swimming in sweat, my heart was still pounding, but I was feeling great!...until I opened the apartment door and a wall of smoke and a burning smell hit me in the face.  I ran in, asked what was burning and looked for the baby. She was in bed sound asleep as was Michael on the couch. As soon as I asked what was burning Michael jumped off the couch, said, "Your eggs!" And headed to the kitchen. Oh eggs.

Let's rewind a bit...

On Saturday night Michael went for a kick ass 28km bike ride around Linz. When he came home all amped up on adrenaline he said I could go for a run Sunday morning and he'd watch the baby. Score! I'm on it!

Sunday morning rolled around and I got up at 6am, changed and then nursed Alexa, made myself breakfast and ate it, washed the dishes, turned on the dishwasher, started hard boiling eggs, turned the washing machine on, got all our stuff ready for the pool, got dressed for my run, hung the wash and then finally woke Michael up so I could go for my run, about 40 minutes later returned from my awesome run and ...crap, I never turned off the eggs!   We opened all the windows to clear out the smoke and smell, but I tell you, it's still lingering.

I can honestly say I never knew an over cooked egg would explode and cover a kitchen so thoroughly. If I had been thinking I would have definitely taken pictures. Instead, I washed egg off the walls and ceiling, rewashed all the dishes in the sink and also those drying next to the sink because obviously they were egg covered. Meanwhile, Michael had already cleared the majority of the exploded eggs from the counters and the pot itself, and he was sweeping egg splatter off the floor, counters and even the window before he mopped it all up..

Now, my only question is...when will the burnt rotten egg smell leave our apartment?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 4

Wow, I can't believe three full weeks have gone by since I started this challenge...and yes, for me this is a challenge. I looked in the mirror the other day and I actually felt thinner. I haven't "thought thin" in quite a while. I'm looking forward to actually continuing on in this quest for healthiness, because that is what this is. I'm not just trying a new fad diet, or to drop a whole bunch of weight instantaneously (but that would be nice!). I am consciously trying to eat healthier, pay attention to what I am eating and putting into my body, and trying to live a more active lifestyle. On top of all of those huge goals, the most important one for me is to develop a good body image. Woah, what a horrible admission. I have a terrible self body image. This is something that I do not want my daughter to have when she grows up and if I can help her develop a great sense of self and an appreciation for her body then I am going to have to start with myself.

Week 3 went pretty well. I think I am slowly, but surely starting to fall into a routine of when I can exercise and get out and be active. I will admit that the heaviest exercising I do is usually on the weekend when Michael and I take the Bean out for a hike, a stroll around town, or to the pool. It's a lot easier to be motivated when you've got someone else along for the ride!

Walking. I've definitely been able to incorporate walking into my daily activities and errands a little better now. I would like to be able to go for at least one hardcore power walk by myself each week without the stroller and the little jellybean inside it!

Tae Bo. I took a break from Tae Bo last week and I think I'm going to take a break next week too. I'm going to look for another work out dvd because I am starting to get bored with this routine.

Strength Training/Ab work out. Banged it out this week! I did both my ab work out and strength training routine 4 days last week! My legs are starting to feel like awesome, powerful rocks again. With the strength training routine, I am definitely starting to feel a difference in my butt and thighs, but I haven't yet noticed a difference in my abs. I am assuming it is because after pregnancy your abs have basically pulled completely apart and it takes quite a while to repair those now spaghetti like muscles.

Food diary. I'm still keeping up with the food diary and I think I am starting to see some good changes. I have been eating more fruit during the day as a snack instead of cookies, chocolate, etc. However, I would like to see that roll over into the evenings when the chocolate part of my brain takes over.

Chocolate. I ate at least a small (if not large) piece of chocolate every day this week. Shame.

Weigh in. I was really excited to get on the scale this morning because I really felt thin, was thinking thin and if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck! Alas, after this weigh in...I've gained 0,6 kg (1.32lbs). I'm not giving up though! I'm going to keep thinking thin and do better this week.

Healthy snacks. I slacked off on the quest for healthy snacks. On Friday, I did make berry popsicles using frozen wild berries and water. I can't wait to taste them!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another First Time Mom

After spending five glorious days in the hospital after having Alexa (yes, in Austria that is possible!), we left the bubble of security, we left 24 hour nurses, doctors and midwives, prepared and cleaned up meals and laundry that magically did itself and ventured home...a new family, a mommy, a daddy and a baby. It was exciting, thrilling and mostly it was terrifying. No one can prepare you to take your little bundle of joy home. No one tells you that every fear you never knew existed would topple over on you one by one the closer you got to the hospital doors. No one tells you that the world outside is a predator and your sole purpose in life now is to protect your little bundle from those threats, from all of those threats.

I left in comfy maternity leggings and whatever shirt fit over my ginormously engorged boobs (I think it was red). We had Alexa bundled in her little rockin' polar bear outfit, added blankets to the car seat to keep her warm, and then added a burp cloth over the car seat to keep her safe, to keep her unseen and away from people...from the world. Michael carried the baby and I stayed right next to them, to my family, my world.

I thought about that day leaving the hospital when I saw all the news articles and Facebook posts about the royal baby. About Kate in her fancy dress and high heels. HIGH HEELS??? Are you freaking kidding me? Regardless as to whether she had a natural birth or a c-section, you do not wear high heels leaving the hospital! I actually think that might have been the most painful moment of her life, not the birth itself! Seeing the hundreds of news posts declaring the arrival of the royal baby and the "first picture" made me feel so thankful. Thankful that I was able to bring my child home without the world watching, without making every single one of those paranoid fears come true. I was able to protect and hide my little bundle under a burp cloth. Until I had a child of my own, I never even considered what motherhood, or parenthood for that matter, of a celebrity, an athlete, of any famous person or political figurehead, or a member of the royal family might be like. I have always thought the paparazzi were annoying, little flies...everywhere and nowhere all at the same time catching every moment that the world really doesn't need to see. It makes me extra thankful that the only paparazzi I know is Oparazzi, my father-in-law with his digital camera, taking pictures while my mouth is full of food or while I'm in the middle of a sentence. I am thankful for my little world, my little family and the privacy that we have to walk around in sweatpants in the middle of the day, run to the grocery store with crazy bed head or hang out with baby spit up all over my shirt and not care at all.

So, I tip my hat to you Kate...congratulations on your new little bundle of joy and may your feet be comfortably resting in some snuggly slippers! Now, go put on your sweatpants.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our Week in Pictures

I LOVE the Summer! There's always so much to do and see and even if there is nothing on the agenda, just going outside for a walk in the sun puts me in a great mood!

 A Subway lunch with a bunch of friends
 Mommy and Alexa

 Pool time!

 Chilling in her baby pool

 Stealing my afternoon snack...

 Brushing her gums with Papa

 Alexa's first hike - Family hike in Halsach

Making our way back from the hike - Halsach, Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 3

All of the Baby Weight Be Gone posts will now be called Mommy Makeover. I'll post an update on how I am doing and my total weight loss every Monday!

Week 2 was a total disaster. I was really disappointed that I didn't lose more weight in Week 1 and really lost my determination this past week. The scale was spiting me, so I decided to be spiteful too...I barely walked, totally neglected to do Tae Bo, but did in fact do the Strength Training routine. Guess who I hurt? Yup, myself. It's a good thing that I am not stubborn at all!

Well, after a full week of slacking off we decided to take a hike with the little bean. It was her first hike ever and she did amazingly well. We were gone for nearly 3 hours and hiked just shy of 11 km. Let me tell you, I was in PAIN when we got home! Every single part of my body hurt, but it was a good hurt! I feel like the hike kind of made up for my super slacking ways during the week. And for every horsefly bite I received on the hike,  I learned that if I was in better shape I could have walked faster and then I would not have nearly 40 itchy, hot, painful horsefly bites ALL OVER my entire body!

Walking. HAHAHAHA yeah right. I barely did any additional walking this week. I can give you all of my excuses: no time, too tired, too hot, cranky baby...but that's all that they are - excuses. I will try to be better this week.

Tae Bo. It was more like Tae Not this week. God, I am really starting to feel bad about how much I slacked off last week :/

Ab work out. Finally, something I did in fact do!! I worked really hard at the Strength Training routine this past week. I think for Week 3 I might even up the ante and try some of the "Make it harder" options. I even added the other ab work out in one day last week!

Food diary. I have stuck to the food diary even though I feel like it's kind of turned into my very own mean, older sibling. It's always mocking me for the bad food choices I make. It points out every extra calorie I eat and all of the snacks I have. The only nice thing it ever said is that I drink a lot of water. It is so rude!

Chocolate. Yeah, chocolate is getting it's own header! I think I did an okay job cutting down on my chocolate this week. I ate a lot more fruit and it was totally satisfying. I might actually overcome this addiction! I would also like to announce that I did not eat a single piece of chocolate on Sunday! This is HUGE! I might finally be on the road to chocoholic recovery.

Weigh in.  Ok, so after this morning's weigh in, I have lost another 1 kg! After two weeks I am now down 2 kg, or 4 1/2 pounds! This actually made me smile today. Yes, this is a loooooooong and slooooooooow process and I am all about easy and quick results, however, slowly, but surely the weight is in fact coming off. Go Mama go!

Healthy Snacks. Here are my 2 new healthy snacks for the week...
1. Banana Oatmeal Bars
2. Frozen Watermelon - Best summer treat! Super refreshing and could it get any easier? Cube a watermelon and freeze it. Oh happy day! I even stuck some in a glass of water for a nice, ice cold, refreshing drink.

New/Updated Goals for Week 3:

Stop being lazy and actually walk this week - 30-minute walk 4-5x per week
Get off the couch and do Tae Bo (at least 3x per week)
Amp up the Strength Training at least 2x this week (so 2x hard, 2x normal)
Keep up the food diary
Attempt to limit to one chocolatey snack per day (this is a goal in progress)
Lose 1kg (2.2lbs)
Come up with at least 2 more healthy snacking options

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Learning to Sit Up

I can't believe that Alexa is nearly 5 months old. I have no clue where the time has gone. She's learning everything so quickly and I get so excited when she learns something new or finally accomplishes something that she's been working on for a while. We've been working on rolling over and sitting for a while now. She can roll over, has done it multiple times, but just doesn't seem that interested in continuing to do it.  We've also been practicing sitting up. You have to understand, I have a crazy baby over here. She doesn't do anything that she's supposed to do...little babies lay in prams - Alexa wants to sit up in the toddler part of the stroller, babies learn how to hold their heads up, roll over, sit up, stand up - Alexa only wants to stand...she's quite an independent and determined little bean!

Well, she's almost a self-sitter. Every day she can sit for a little bit longer on her own! On our route to sitting we've had our first injury. She had been sitting unassisted for almost a minute and she was trying to figure out how to get the toys that were in front of her...well, she decided to use her mouth and ended up face planting directly onto her toy. One red, swollen cheek and a very sad baby later and she refused to sit alone for the rest of the night.

We obviously continued practicing after our first boo-boo. Here's our progress as of today!

How old were your babies when they first rolled over? Sat up unassisted?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Baby Antics #2 and #3

I think it's pretty cool and slightly amazing that we've made it 4 1/2 months and Alexa has only pulled one other crazy-ish stunt. That said, I am counting this as Baby Antics #2 and #3 because, well, keep reading and you'll find out why!

So the other night I put Alexa into bed and we had our usual routine of bed, bink, blankey, night night...about five minutes later I hear her fussing, no big deal. Her new sleepytime routine includes whining into her lovey as she falls asleep. Don't even ask me where that came from! So, I hear her fussing, I ignore her and go about looking for something decent to watch on tv when her fussing turns into a weird cry. I paused for about one second, trying to decide if I should leave her be or just go in there. Well, I'm a sucker and I hate when she cries so I immediately went in to her. Thank God I did!! My child had her blanket pulled up and over her face and couldn't get it off. I pulled the blanket off and she had this look of fear and panic on her face. Poor little Bean! We had some serious cuddle time before she calmed down enough to try and go back to bed. After pulling all blankets, bears and loveys out of her crib I put her back to bed. Five minutes later I hear her again! There's nothing in her crib except her and her binky so I say, forget it, I'm going to give her a minute to situate herself. The crying increases and again turns into a strange cry so I go straight in...she's somehow managed to get both legs stuck in the crib bars. I can't make this stuff up. When this kid doesn't want to go to bed she comes up with some pretty creative ways to make sure I take her out of that crib!

Lessons learned:
*Playing peekaboo with baby's bedtime blanket is DUMB!
*A moving baby gets in trouble...constantly.
*Knowing my child's cries came in very handy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I ❤ Online Coupons!

There is nothing that brings me greater joy than not paying full price for things. If we lived in the US, I'm pretty sure I'd be one of those extreme couponers. Seriously. It's that great. Here in Austria, coupons come far and few between. You find a coupon for something and it's like Christmas Day! Even when the grocery store has something like buy 1, get 1 free or buy 1 for 1,79€ or 2 for 2.99€ I feel like a kid in a candy store (even if you actually end up spending more money or saving very little).

Ever since our visit to the US, I have been very jealous about my friend's ability to buy diapers and wipes online and have them delivered straight to her door. No schlepping diapers all over town (we're carless over here).  At the beginning of the month I hit the stores that have "Baby Days" and I fill the stroller up and also have to carry an additional bag full of diapers and wipes back home. It's not horrible, but could you imagine just waking up to a giant box of diapers and wipes delivered straight to your door!! Glorious! What's even friend ALWAYS finds awesome coupon codes to make the outrageous cost of diapers super low!! I am green with envy.

I had mentioned my jealousy to a friend and she told me about two different diaper delivery services available here in Austria! Suh-weeeeet! First thing this morning I logged on and compared prices. After deciding which diaper delivery service to go with, I searched for online coupons and hit the JACKPOT! Now, I signed up for a "Pampers Sparplan" which I had to pay 10€ to sign up for (annoying). I then bought a huge case of pampers that will seriously last us at least a month and a half, if not longer, for the amount of money I usually pay at the store for one month of diapers. I also bought a case of wipes. The total price came to over 60€ (nearly $80), but then I saved 20% from the Pampers Sparplan and after adding in the online coupon code that I found I saved another 10€, bringing my savings to a whopping 18€!! This is basically unheard of here. I did a dance. Literally got up from the computer and danced around. Alexa thought it was great. For a month and a half plus worth of diapers and possibly 2-3 months worth of wipes I paid what I normally pay for one month of diapers. Happy dance, happy dance!

So, for all of my diaper buying Austrian or German friends here is the coupon code:

10€ gutschein on a purchase of 40€ or more for New Customers Only (Good until Oct. 31, 2013)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Bars

My friend Christine sent me this awesome recipe! It's super easy to make (like 2 minute prep) and tastes amazing! I hope you enjoy it too.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup applesauce - (I used one medium pink lady apple and used a cheese grater to make it into applesauce, it came out to exactly 1/3 of a cup.)
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of raisins
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients together in the order they are listed and then bake in a circular pan (pie pan) at 350 F (180 C) for 20 minutes.

I looked up all of the ingredients on a calorie counting website and for the entire pan it came up to about 800 calories. I used a circular pan and cut the "bars" into pie pieces. Based on the calorie counter, it's about 100 calories per pie piece.

**Note - this is not an exact calorie count. I was just curious to know how "healthy" this snack really was. For me, it's an A+! It's sweet, but healthier than a chocolate bar!

My Magic Wand

Sometimes I really wish I could wave around a magic wand like Glenda the Good Witch and my entire apartment would be clean, all the chores for the day would be done and dinner would be ready. I wouldn't even mind being able to wiggle my nose like Samantha and seeing all the bills get paid or blinking my eyes like Jeannie and seeing all the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away. Unfortunately, I have no magical powers, no wand and no wiggling nose. I do have a Dirt Devil and a wooden spoon, my own wands of of the mommy-trade!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bean Sprouting's gone social!

 I am not really computer savvy, unless you count my awesome ability to beat Candy Crush levels!  I learn different things about blogging and the internet every time I turn on the computer. Well, I've started this blog and now I have to follow through, so here it is...

Bean Sprouting has gone social! We are now on Facebook! Come like us here: Bean Sprouting: Raising our Bean

So far the Facebook page includes a picture of me and my Bean and the link to the blog! Hahaha I will eventually figure out how to actually link the blog to the Facebook page and I'm sure I'll start posting photos soon too!

We even have our own email address too! Feel free to contact me at

Happy Monday Tuesday!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 2

Week 1 was pretty difficult. Here is what I learned:

Taking a 30 minute power walk every day is unrealistic with a 4 1/2 month old.  I don't always have an extra person to sit with Alexa while I do my walk. Also, sometimes her schedule just doesn't allow for me to have that extra time. In my mind, my original goal was to do 30 minutes of just walking. I wasn't planning on incorporating shopping or anything else into the walk. Unfortunately, it looks like it will have to be incorporated into the other things I need to get done every day. I did manage to walk 6 out of 7 days (sometimes just as a power walk, sometimes incorporated into my day and one day without baby!) last week, which I think it awesome!

Tae Bo. I did not manage to do Tae Bo every other day. However, I did do it three times last week. On Wednesday, I was just too lazy and miserable to do anything. Plus, it was outrageously hot. Yes, I am full of excuses.

Ab work out. My original ab work out came from Pinterest. It was something that I pinned for after baby and let me tell burns! It's a 15-minute belly busting workout. It is PERFECT for a new mom or someone with limited exercise time. I cannot do all of the exercises yet, but I am working up to it. This ab routine is comprised of six different exercises. You do need an exercise ball and some weights to complete the routine. Instead of a medicine ball, I use a 5-pound weight. One day, I'll be able to do the Sprinter and the Mountain Climber, but first I need to build up my non-existent abdominal muscles. I actually have not done this workout at all in the last week. I decided to focus on the following strength training routine for two weeks and then I'll switch it up between these two OR just add in the ab workout.

Here's the new, really awesome and totally painful strength training work out (also found on Pinterest! Can you tell that I'm obsessed with Pinterest?). It's a series of six exercises that you do using only a wall! Sweet! It took me about 10-15 minutes to complete the circuit and let me tell you...I am seriously out of shape! Have a look: Wall Exercises. As much as these hurt, it was a good "Yes, I am finally going to get in shape" kind of pain. I managed to do the Wall Exercises three times last week.

Keeping a food diary is horrible! I started avoiding the computer area every time I had a snack or wanted a snack because that was where I had my food diary. Seeing all the crap I eat in writing made me feel soooo GUILTY! I know in my head that what I am eating is horrible, but that has never actually stopped me from eating it. However, with the food diary, to actually have to admit that yes, I ate "an entire chocolate bar, plus a brownie and an ice cream"...all within the same hour, that is just AWFUL!  It made me feel shameful. I think that might be the point of the food diary. The stupid, horrible, very mean, food diary. Let's see if it continues to help me change my chocolatey ways! I do have to say, that even after two days I started to see a very clear pattern to my eating. I eat pretty normal, healthy portion sizes during the day, but once evening hits...the chocolate part of my brain takes over! Seriously, I'll be eating dinner and I am already thinking about what I am going to have for snack. This cannot be normal!

I have to admit that as much as I hate the food diary, I also secretly like it (only a little bit!) because it is making me very aware of all the junk I eat. I am even, sub-consciously, a little bit less hungry...maybe. I am not dieting though. That is not my goal. My goal is to eat healthier and get back in shape in a healthy and safe way. I am not going to not be allowed to eat certain foods. If I want it, I'm going to eat it, however, I am hoping to eat those not so good for you treats less often and most importantly in lesser quantities. Instead of a 300g chocolate bar lasting oh say one evening, I would like it to last me a week or two. And I really want to reduce my stress eating! Ugh, that's a whole new goal right there!

Weigh in.  Ok, so after this morning's weigh in, I have lost 1kg (2.2lbs). I am disappointed. Yes, it is the amount that I want to lose each week, but honestly, I expected to drop at least 2-3kgs last week with all of the additional exercise that I was doing (Shut up, I know I ate a lot of chocolate last week too!). Chocolate, why oh why are you my best friend and worst enemy???

Healthy Snacks. Here are my 3 healthy snacks for the week...
1. Banana Peanut Butter ice cream
2. Strawberry Fruit Popsicles
3. Full grain rice cakes dipped in chocolate

I ate all of these snacks last week, however, I also ate chocolate too. :/ I guess I should add to this goal that not only do I have to find new, healthy snacks, but that I should actually eat them instead of my chocolate cookies, bars, and candies...

New/Updated Goals for Week 2:

30-minute walk 4-5x per week
Tae Bo every other day!! (at least 3x per week)
Ab work out/Strength Training opposite Tae Bo days (at least 3x per week)
Keep up the food diary
Attempt to limit to one chocolatey snack per day (yes, this really has to be a goal!)
Lose 1kg (2.2lbs)
Come up with at least 2 more healthy snacking options (and eat them INSTEAD, not in addition to chocolatey snacks!)
Learn to hate chocolate (any ideas on how I can do this??)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

FroYo Update

My homemade FroYo experience has not been as great as expected...

Ingredients - awesome. Easy recipe - awesome. Delicious, creamy frozen treat - FAIL.

I left the yummy FroYo in the freezer over night and now it is a brick of frozen ingredients! Apparently, you do need to follow the online recipes to a T. I am sad now. I really wanted delicious FroYo goodness. Maybe it really only needs to freeze for like 2 hours?! If that is the case then these recipes get a thumbs down in my book. I like to prep stuff ahead of time, so when I am craving that sweet (chocolatey) taste, I just need to grab something out of the fridge, freezer, or cabinet.

Maybe it's possible to make some slight adjustments to my doctored recipes...adding crushed ice and blending the entire combo for an instant, ready-to-eat frozen treat? Must buy more Greek yogurt!

And onward I go in my quest for delicious, but healthy snacks...

Saturday, July 13, 2013


The new fad this summer in Linz is FroYo...that's right, frozen yogurt. The fad that hit the US in what, the 90s? We're a couple of decades behind over in this part of the world. Actually, to make it worse, apparently frozen yogurt was first discovered in the 1970s! Way to join the party Austria. FroYo is exactly what it says, frozen yogurt. It is all natural, no sugar added yogurt that is frozen. I'm pretty sure all of my American family and friends just sugar added? Gross. Actually, it tastes pretty amazing with fruit.

Here is my take on frozen yogurt based on a recipe I saw on...guess where! Pinterest. (Pinterest should really pay me for all the free advertising I do for them on my blog! haha) Anyway, here is the original recipe: Honey Peach Frozen Yogurt. For a number of reasons (no peaches, no ice cream machine) I doctored this recipe to what I had in my house.

Honey Nectarine Frozen Yogurt

4 small nectarines, peeled and cubed (ends up being about 1 1/2 cups of nectarine)
200 grams of plain Greek yogurt ( about a cup)
1 teaspoon honey

I peeled and cubed all of the nectarines, then put them in a container to be pureed using a hand mixer.

After the nectarines are pureed, add the Greek yogurt and the honey and puree again.

Place into a freezer safe container and freeze. Not sure how long it needs to be in the freezer for, but I plan on freezing it over night.

Raspberry Banana Frozen Yogurt

1 1/2 cups of raspberries (I used frozen)
1 banana
200 grams of plain Greek yogurt

Puree the raspberries using a hand mixer, then add the yogurt and slices of banana and puree again. Place in freezer safe container and freeze overnight.

I originally was just going to add the raspberries to the above recipe, but decided to add banana to cut the sourness of the raspberries and ended up leaving out the honey all together.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One year ago today...

One year ago today I had my last cigarette because one year ago yesterday I found out that I was pregnant and growing a little bean.

Oh what a week!

We had a rough few days this week with missed nap times and a bit of a tummy bug. Let me tell you, babies are complicated! They can't just talk and say "hey mom, my tummy hurts!" They apparently use secret code cries and hand signals to let us know what's going on...and no one gave me the decipher!

All of last week something was wrong...Alexa was vomiting, I thought it was because I gave her avocado...Alexa had a low grade fever, I thought it was from teething...Alexa was pulling off and crying during nursing (until she refused to nurse at all), I thought she might be going on a nursing strike, or maybe she had an ear ache. I was wrong...about everything! I brought her to the pediatrician's on Monday after an entire weekend of inconsolable, heart-breaking crying. I told the doctor what I thought: ear infection, and she told me I was wrong. She then told me that Alexa has a stomach virus. WOW, that came from left field, but actually, if you look at all of her symptoms again, well...I guess the doctor could be right. Poor baby, it's horrible to see her unhappy and not feeling well.

Thank god it's Thursday! The Papa comes home tonight and this Mama will be begging for a sleep break!

Despite an upset tummy, Alexa has learned some pretty cool new things this week. She was able to drink out of her sippy cup all by herself for the first time.

She also found her toes for the first time...while she was in the tub. It definitely made for an interesting bath time, since she completely refused to do anything but hang onto her toes, wave them and wiggle around in the tub!

Strawberry Fruit Popsicles

1-2 cups Strawberries
1 cup Water (as needed)

Wash and de-stem strawberries. Add half of the water and puree using a hand mixer. Add more water if necessary. Freeze in popsicle trays. Taste just like Edy's Whole Fruit popsicles with NONE of the added sugar!!! I am planning on using this recipe with a variety of different fruits this summer. I think the measurements for different fruits might vary.

Makes 4 ice pops.

Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

This is another recipe I found on Pinterest! It is so easy and healthy to make.

Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1 Banana
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter

Slice one banana and place it in a freezer safe container until frozen. (I usually freeze it over night or freeze a bunch of bananas in individual containers so I have them ready when I want to make this recipe.) Add the frozen banana slices and the peanut butter to the blender and blend until the mixture is the consistency of ice cream. You will have to stir the mixture and then blend again 2-3 times.

I have also substituted Nutella for the peanut butter since my husband doesn't like peanut butter.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 1

I am really struggling to lose the baby weight. It is so depressing. When I'm depressed, I eat. I don't eat just any junk food that is lying around...I eat chocolate. Delicious, rich, 9 zillion calorie chocolate. And I LOVE IT! UGHHHHH! This is the worst never ending circle of don't lose weight, eat, continue to not lose weight/start to gain weight, be sad, eat more chocolate. I am so sick of it.

Prior to my trip to the US, I was walking EVERY day, doing Tae Bo every other day AND doing an abdominal exercise regimen every other day. These days, I sit around, eat non-stop and complain about being fat. Yes, I know...9 months on, 9 months off. The weight is not going anywhere. I have literally been the same weight for almost 2 months now...every few weeks I weigh 2-5 pounds more or less. I am stuck and I am miserable.

My cousin actually said that I have motivated her to start walking and exercising regularly. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I can't even motivate myself to get off the couch! I'm really glad she's started exercising though! Go Beth, go!! Well, she got me off my butt. After seeing that she was walking and starting at Day 1, I decided I needed a Day 1 too. And so it has begun...(again).

Today I did Tae Bo and then went for a 30-minute walk. I am also planning on keeping a food journal, so that maybe if I see all the junk that I am eating then maybe, just maybe I'll stop eating so much of it!

Here are my goals for Week 1:

30-minute walk every day,
Tae Bo every other day,
Ab work out every other day opposite Tae Bo
Keep a food journal
Lose 1kg (2.2lbs)
Find 3 alternate, healthy snacks

I would also like to try and find some healthy snacks that can replace my chocolate bar(s) (addiction). I have even made it one of my goals for the week.

I have set a big goal for myself as well...I would like to lose 12kg (26.4lbs) and then start doing Power Plates to tone up and lose the rest of the baby weight. Throughout my pregnancy, I gained 29kg (63.8lbs)...yup, that's disgusting. In all fairness to myself, I was on bed rest for nearly three months. It's hard to stay toned or be active when you're only allowed to get up to pee. Since giving birth I have dropped a total of 11kg (24.2lbs). I know it will take quite some time for me to lose all the baby weight, so I have set a realistic goal of 1kg (2.2lbs) per week for the next 12 weeks to get me ready to start Power Plates. Think good, motivating thoughts for me! I really need them.

I'll update once a week on my progress.

Monday, July 8, 2013

*Update* Food for All of Us - Recipe

The spinach and rice cubes that I made in Food for All of Us were a little bitter on their own. The first night I gave them to Alexa I added a little bit of rice cereal, but she still didn't seem to like the taste very much. She only ate about 4 or 5 baby spoonfuls. The second night I added a carrot cube, so now that's 2 Tablespoons of food (normally she only eats 1 Tablespoon, or one baby cube), and she ate it all! The sweetness from the carrots canceled out the bitterness. Success! Tonight we are trying spinach and rice mixed with sweet potatoes.

Food for All of Us - a Recipe

Family dinner: Pangasius filets over spinach and rice

2 Pangasius filets (a white fish filet)
1 bag of frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups uncooked, parboiled rice
3 cups water
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder

Lay the 2 fish filets in a baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, chives, celery, parsley, cress, and garlic powder. Top with lemon slices and bake covered on 170 C (340 F) for 30 minutes or until fish is white and flaky. The last 10 minutes I uncovered the fish and increased the temperature to 200 C (390 F).

In a small pot, add 1 1/2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water. Cook for 15-20, or until rice is tender.

In a large pot, put frozen spinach in pot and cover with water. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain spinach when it's finished cooking. Set some of the spinach water aside for the babyfood.

Serve fish over the rice and spinach. Add additional salt, pepper and garlic powder to rice and spinach while plating.

Baby food Spinach & Rice
Frozen spinach
Parboiled white rice
Water that the spinach was boiled in

Instead of separately cooking food for Alexa, I just cooked enough for all of us. **Important side note - I did not add any seasonings or salt to the family serving until after I removed Alexa's portion**

1/2 cup of cooked spinach, drained
1/4 cup of cooked white rice
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons  water from spinach

Purée spinach rice mix until you reach the desired consistency. Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Since this was the first time making a mix I wasn't quite sure on the how much spinach and rice I'd need. I did a 2:1 ratio, but it still only made 11 spinach/rice cubes. A normal baby food batch prior to this has yielded 26 baby food cubes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A baby's gonna do what a baby's gonna do.

Towards the end of my pregnancy and then again after Alexa was born, a friend of mine told me not to expect to be able to have my child on a schedule any time soon. She said that as soon as the baby would get into a routine they would switch it up and do the total opposite the next day. She said knowing this up front would save me a lot of headaches. I managed to keep her advice in mind for a long time...then I actively tried to schedule my baby. It worked for three (3) days. They were three amazingly glorious days. She slept wonderful naps (she did so before this schedule as well), went to bed nicely at night and best of all...SLEPT at night. She was only waking up ONCE...that is one time from bed time to wake up time. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Then today occurred and she said that was enough of that. She has napped randomly, barely eaten at all and was a super crank butt all day. Now, she might have a little cold (that's what I'm saying it is...), or she's just being a baby and she's had enough of my routine and she's switching it up. Well, as long as she eats, sleeps and poops as dictated by the job description of a baby, well, then we will figure out what her new schedule is tomorrow!

P.S. Dear love baby, I really hope you continue to sleep so well at night. It makes Mommy very, very happy and I extra love you for it too! Love, Mama

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July Photo shoot

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!

(this picture courtesy of Brandi Henniger-Wiesinger)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On-demand vs. Scheduled Breastfeeding

Before I moved to Austria [for love ;)], I was an Infant Room Teacher, an Au pair and a nanny. I had been around children, infants and toddlers my entire life because I came from such a large family. I started babysitting when I was 11 years old (what the heck were those parents thinking?!?!). My baby knowledge is extensive. I have trained babies to sleep, to eat, to be pretty awesome kids. I know how to do this. Let's face it, I was a baby guru! It is (was) in my blood. And then I got pregnant and had my own baby. All previous knowledge and know how flew right out the window. Well, I've had enough of brain dead baby mamma and am calling on all my old guruness to please come back to me!

When Alexa was born, the nurses and midwives told me to feed her whenever she rooted, but also not to let her go more than three hours without nursing. I have basically let her dictate her feeding schedule (and every other aspect of her life and mine) since birth. Now, I'm over it. I am so exhausted and cannot cope with waking up every 2-3 hours at night just so she can have a "sip" and then watch as she falls seamlessly back to sleep while I am wide awake for the next hour! Mamma needs a nap. That is why, I have decided to start scheduling my previously free spirited, any time you want it baby. It is hard and it hurts me...physically hurts me. My boobs are now the size of watermelons (previously they were honeydew melons) and they are literally throbbing, but I am holding fast. I will nurse her every three hours during the day. I am hoping that this will help her establish a better feeding pattern and that she will actually nurse properly before bedtime and then (for the love of God please) sleep longer stretches at night.

July 1st was day 1...and it sucked. My original plan was to have our day start at 7am. She normally wakes up to nurse around 4am, so I didn't really think that pushing her next feeding to 7am would be that big of a deal. It was and I caved. Our day went like this...

5am Wake up, play, snuggle, try and play some more, do not nurse!
6am Nurse (Yup, I caved that easily - my happy baby turned into super sad baby. No good.)
Morning playtime and hang out time
9am Nurse
10:15-11am Morning Nap
12pm Nurse
12:40-1pm Cat nap (disaster)
Afternoon nap time was a disaster. Normally Alexa nurses before she goes down for her AWESOME 2-3 hour wasn't time to nurse...she wouldn't go down for a nap. I put her in her crib and tried to let her chill out, but that led to serious crying. We read books and I rocked her until she fell asleep (so snuggly and I love it, but rocking her to sleep is not a habit I would like to get into.).
2:15-4:20pm Afternoon nap (FINALLY!)
3pm dream feed (she was still sleeping and I really wanted to keep the feeding schedule, especially since it's day 1)
4:30pm dinner (peas and carrots)
6pm Nurse and bed
6-7:40pm Sleep
(I tried to let her kind of fuss and find her binky, but after about 5-10 minutes it was clear that she was just wide awake!)
9pm Nurse and bed
1:45am (!!!) Nurse and straight back to bed
4:45am Bink
5:30am (!!!) Wake up!

I got so much sleep that night. It was AMAZING!!! By 7am on day 2, I had a load of laundry in, the dishwasher was running and dinner was already prepped. Go energizer Mommy!

Day 2 went REALLY REALLY well! Basically, every 3 hours I nursed her. She took a one hour morning nap, went down right after her noon feeding for an awesome 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap, ate dinner, nursed, had a bath and then went to bed at 9pm. She slept until 3:30am!!!!! Nursed and then went back to sleep until 7:15am!!! Go baby go!

Being a mom is definitely a "learn as you go" job. It's the best job I've ever had!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Real Jeans!!!!!

Today for the first time in almost a year, I am wearing a pair of regular jeans. Not maternity jeans. Not yoga pants. Real.Regular.Elastic-free.Jeans!!!!! Now, when I say that I am wearing them, it is not completely true that they fit me well. Well, they fit me? I got them up over my post pregnancy elephant thighs and around my new AWESOME butt (I'm not being sarcastic here at all - I never had a butt my family we go back to thigh in a straight line.) and if I suck in really hard, I can totally button them!!! Okay, so I can't quite zip them up yet...I'm working on it! And you know, I am absolutely, 100% wearing them out in public today. I slapped on a belly band and even was nice to myself and did the "elastic band button" and I am rocking these jeans!!!!

Self-esteem - 1000% increase today!