20 day check in

So it’s been 20 days. 20 days of eating mostly healthy foods and exercising. I won’t lie, I’m not depriving myself of all things delicious, but I have cut way, way back. Baby steps.
I’ve been walking a lot. I try to make my goal of 6000 steps a day. I also learned that I don’t HAVE to go on actual walks to get my steps in. For some reason, I never realized how much I walked around the house. I average out 3000 steps just in doors! Plus, I’m usually packing around a 30lb baby. I also started doing the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels again, and let me tell you, I hate, HATE jumping jacks. And my knees are now killing me, but I’m hoping it’s worth it.
I haven’t weighed myself at home yet, because it hasn’t been a month, but I had a Dr’s appointment this past week and was weighed….and I had GAINED weight. Gained. I have no idea how it’s possible, but it happened, it also happened that I LOST 3 inches off of my waist, and 2 inches off of my hips! I know, the human body is weird. But, once my month is up, I’ll weigh myself and see what I’m working with.
I’m feeling good, physically. Emotionally, I’m a mess, hahaha. I’ve been overweight my entire life, and while I’m determined to lose the weight, I’m afraid of what I’ll be once it’s gone. I feel like I’ll have to become reacquainted with myself, know what I mean? Being a bigger plus size girl is all I know. But I can do it, that I know.
I thought I would include a picture from my Myfitnessapp, and let you see what a typical day of meals looks like for me.

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As you can see, I’m not depriving myself. But this is WAY different than what I used to eat. I used to eat out a lot, plus come home and eat chicken nuggets, or stuff my face with ice cream. But I’ve changed my diet. I’m trying to eat more real foods, and more filling foods. This was my lunch today

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A spinach herb tortilla wrap filled with lettuce, deli ham, shredded cheddar cheese, and a little bit of ranch dressing. Then, some toasted Italian bread rounds, gouda cheese, and Italian salami. I also had a small glass of Kiefer for probiotics, and a large glass of water. It was very filling, and it wasn’t full of sugar, fat, or grease.
So, at the end of the day, after all my exercising, and my eating, I completed my log.

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I’m starting out at my heaviest I’ve ever been, which is 300lbs. I’m ashamed that I’ve gotten to this point, but, I’m not going to be here for long. I refuse to be. My son’s Birthday is in just 3 months and I have a ways to go, but I’m going to meet my goal, and when I do, I’ll set another goal, and another, and another….

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Tonight’s Dinner: Salmon, Rice, and Roasted Asparagus

So tonight’s Dinner was super delicious. We had pan seared salmon, with rice and roasted asparagus. I used to make it all the time but I stopped because Salmon had become too costly here. But yesterday, while grocery shopping, I saw that they had some wild caught Alaskan Salmon on sale, so I bought a pound.
I removed the skin, cut it in fourths, and then sprinkled a little salt and pepper over them.
I then heated up my cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, then I added my Salmon and seared it on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Once it was cooked, I took half of a lemon and squeezed the juice over the salmon.

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While it was cooking, I began cooking my rice by adding 1 and 1/2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water to a sauce pan on medium high heat.

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Then I got to work on my asparagus. I cut about 2 inches off the bottom of the stems, then I laid them out on my roasting pan, drizzled some olive oil, and sprinkled salt and pepper over them. Then I placed them into the oven at 375° for 30 minutes.

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When they were done, they looked like this.

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They were so tender and flavorfull. I love me some roasted asparagus.

After everything was cooked, I plated our meals and we ate! It was L’s first time having salmon and asparagus and he loved them!

Recipe

Salmon fillets
1 and 1/2 cups of Rice
Asparagus
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of butter
1 half of a lemon
Olive oil

Add a drizzle of olive oil to your skillet and heat to over medium heat.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over your Salmon fillets and place them in the skillet. Sear until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
While Salmon is cooking, add 1 and 1/2 cups of rice to a sauce pan with 3 cups of water and cook over medium high heat until done.
While rice is cooking, cut off 2 inches off the stems of the Asparagus. Lay them on your roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Then place the roasting pan in the oven at 375° for 30 minutes or until the asparagus is a little shriveled looking and the tops are crisp.

Once that’s done, squeeze lemon juice over your salmon, place the rice on your plate, salmon on top of the rice and Asparagus on the side, and enjoy!

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Beginning of Change

I’ve been overweight most of my life. I’ve never been a very active person, and as a child and teenager, I would have rather had my nose in a book or my pencil to my art pad, than play basketball, or soccer. I also had bad eating habbits. I’ve struggled with my self-esteem for about 12 years now. When I became pregnant, they classified me as “Obese”, and told me to try not not gain any more than 10 pounds. I didn’t have diabetes or gestational diabetes, and I didn’t actually gain any weight, I lost over 30 lbs, because I was eating healthy foods and drinking nothing but water. After I gave birth to L (who was a whopping 9 lbs 6 oz), my stomach was stretched out, with stretch marks as wide as a half inch. My skin sagged, but I felt great!
Now here, after 8 months, I’ve gained a little bit of the weight back, but not much.
When I first got pregnant, I weighed 282 lbs. At the end of my pregnancy, I weighed 248 lbs. As of right now, I weigh 257 lbs. My goal is to weigh 235 lbs by the time my son turns 1 year old. Now, that only gives me 4 months, but I think I can do it. For the next 4 months, once a month, I will be posting my before and after pictures, my activity, tools I use, and my diet for that month. So, for today, I want to share some pictures I took of myself this morning and my lunch. If you dont want to see the photos, then please end youre reading here. I can’t believe I’m actually putting these out there, and I’m very nervous doing it, but I figure this is the first step. I took these after I got out of bed and dressed, so you’ll forgive the “I need coffee” face, hahaha.

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Spinach wrap with ham, spinach, and cheese and a cup of Greek yogurt

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This is my 25 year old, Mommy body. This may sound crazy to some, but I’m actually pretty proud of these pictures. Mainly because I know what my body can do. And then because I know what I looked like before. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures from then of my body. But I’m hoping that by this time next month, I’ll have made a little bit of progress and lost an inch or 2.

I hope you go along with me on my journey, and we’ll see where it ends!

Spring Cleaning part 3

Alright hopefully this is the final part to my spring cleaning journey. In Part 1 I tackled my upstairs, and my son’s nursery. In Part 2 I worked on my Living Room and bedroom. Now in Part 3, I’ll be tackling my Kitchen, the Dining area, and the Bathroom.

Up first, the Bathroom image

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Isn’t it awful!? Under my bathroom sink is full of so much stuff that we don’t even use! Time for a trash bag!
I started on the bathroom first.
I pulled everything out of the cabinet, and threw away everything that hadn’t been used in a year or more, and everything that expired. That meant a lot of first aid items, lotions, hair products and various other things.
Aftwards, I took all the first aid items that I had left and put them in the black tub with my lotions. I stacked all of the back up items (extra toothbrushes, extra floss, etc) in the rear, and all of The Hubs hygiene products in the front where he can reach them.
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It’s still a lot of stuff, but it’s much more organized and easily accessible.
Next, I worked on the top of the sink and the towel rack. I rolled some of the towels and placed them on the shelf, and then I hung the others decoratively. Then I narrowed down our wash rags. There’s no reason why we needed 15 wash rags on our shelf. I left the ones that matched the towels.
Next, I took all the lotions, toothpastes, floss, cups, and toothbrushes and put them in their places. Toothbrushes on the rack, toothpaste under the sink in the basket with the floss and cups. This is my Bathroom now image

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It feels so good to be organized! Now on to the kitchen…
Here are the befores.

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The Dining area has become a catch all

My kitchen was so unorganized and so cluttered that it was driving me insane. I hated going in there to cook. L’s bottles and sippy cups were out on the counter tops because I didn’t have room in the cabinet for them, there were syringes, baby medicines, thermometers and pacifiers on the windowsill, and stuff all over my table. Gun cleaning kits, papers that needed to be recycled, seasonal things that needed to be put in the attic, and more of The Hubs work things. It is UNREAL the amount of things Police Officers have to have.
But it’s finally clean and organized.
I started by tackling that small little nook that’s been a catch all for The Hubs. I took all his papers that needed to be filed and filed them away, placed the bills in our handy dandy napkin holder haha, and then cleaned out his basket. Only left things that he actually used. Then I threw away all the trash, and wiped the counter top down. This is the nook now.
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Looks a lot better right?

Next I moved to the larger counter top and end cabinet. I cleaned out the end cabinet, which we call “The baby cabinet”, gathered all of L’s sippy cups and bottles and placed them on the middle shelf. Next, I placed all of his various pacifiers and bottle nipples in a little basket and placed it beside the bottles. Then I took all the baby food and snacks that I pulled out of the cabinet and placed it back on the bottom shelf. Then I removed my breast pump and all the accoutrements for that and took it upstairs to the nursery closet. After that was done, I wiped down the counter tops, washed my Instant Pot, and put it in its place.

I packed up all of his syringes and baby medicine into his first aid kit and put it away in the medicine cabinet over our refrigerator. Then I folded and put away the laundry, stacked up the baskets, placed them on top of my washer and got them out of the way. This is the Kitchen area now.
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SO much neater, cleaner, and more enjoyable.

Then I moved on to my dining area….ugh
I took all of The Hubs things (gun cleaning kits, tools, etc) and put them in the garage and on his cabinet. I recycled the papers that had been laying there for who knows how long. The seasonal items were taken to the attic and put away, and took all of The Hubs paper work to the office upstairs. After that was done, I just wiped down the table with some cleaner. This is the Dining Area now.

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Now we can eat here! I’m pretty excited about that. After I finished the Dining area, all I did was sweep and mop the floors. And my Kitchen and Bathroom are now clean!

That marks the end of my Spring Cleaning journey. I hate cleaning, but it’s so nice to have it done and to know that I can relax now and enjoy it. Plus, now it won’t be as time consuming to keep clean. Have you started your Spring Cleaning yet? What have you gotten accomplished? Let me know!

Tonight’s Dinner: Makeshift Shepherds Pie

I thought I’d take a small break between Spring Cleaning posts, and share with you all what I made for dinner tonight. I was having one of those days where nothing on our weekly menu looked good to me, so I decided to whip up a Shepherds Pie. Shepherd’s Pie, or Cottage Pie, is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. The dish is commonly made with beef or lamb, with added carrots, peas, onion and celery. Well, I only had a few of the ingredients, but I went with it anyway hahaha.

I started with browning 1 pound of ground beef in my cast iron skillet. Once it was nearly cooked, I added one small diced onion and let it cook together until the onion was translucent. Once that happened I added 1 and 1/2 cups of frozen green peas. While this was cooking, I mixed 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of beef broth to make a gravy. I added it plus 1 teaspoon of salt to the ground beef mixture and let it thicken. Then I removed the skillet from the heat and started on the mashed potato topping.
I used 1 and 1/2 cups of potato flakes, and 2 cups of milk. I added them to a pan and heated them on the stove, stirring frequently. Then I added 4 tablespoons of butter. If the mixture becomes to thick, you can add more milk. You want a whipped, creamy like texture. Once I finished the potatoes, I added them to the top of the ground beef mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Then I added 2 tablespoons of butter, cut up, to the top. Once that was finished, I placed it in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
And that’s it! It’s a super yummy comfort dish and we like it best served with yeast rolls.

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Ingredients:
1 pound of Ground beef, lamb, or turkey
1 and 1/2 cups of frozen green peas
1 small onion, Diced
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups of potato flakes
2 cups of milk
6 tbsp of butter

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large skillet, brown 1 pound of ground beef. While it’s still a little pink, add your Diced onion and let cook until onion is translucent and beef is cooked through.
Add frozen peas and let cook. Next, mix your beef broth with the cornstarch. Add the salt and the beef broth mixture to the ground beef mixture. Stir, let thicken, then remove from heat.
Next, mix your potato flakes with your milk in a pot and heat over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of butter and mix until you have a whipped and creamy texture. If mixture is too thick, add more milk. Once mashed potatoes are finished, spread them evenly over the top of the ground beef mixture. Place 2 cut up table spoons of butter on top of the mashed potatoes and stick skillet into the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Spring Cleaning part 2

In Spring Cleaning part 1, I tackled my upstairs, specifically, my son’s nursery.
In part 2, I’ll be tackling my downstairs. Now let me tell you the rooms that are downstairs. There’s my Kitchen, Dining Area, the Living Room, Master Bedroom, and Bathroom. Not a whole lot of rooms compared to some homes, but they can become so cluttered so easily! Especially when we’re all in a hurry which seems like nearly every day.
I started on my living room before taking a before picture. It just completely slipped my mind. But this is it half way through.

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Far from finished. If you can, try to imagine a christmas train set underneath the white chair, a huge stack of baby toys beside the white chair, random clutter on the coffee table and on a chair that you can’t see was a dress, a belt, a sweater and a cardboard box.
The train was taken upstairs during Spring Cleaning part 1, and put away.
I took the toys, seperated them into what was played with and what wasnt. And took what was played with and placed them into a small basket and placed the basket beside the couch. This way I have the few toys he’s interested in this month on hand. Then I took the rest and placed them in his toy crate upstairs.
Next I cleaned off the glider chair. Hung up my dress and sweater, put away The Hubs belt, and put the box into the recycling. After that was done, I dusted all the furniture, and vacuumed.
I’ve been wanting to expand my drapes even more than they are now to give the illusion of a large window, but I realized only after separating the brackets, that my rod wasn’t long enough. Oh well, I suppose a trip to the hardware store is in order now.
After putting the drapes back the way they were, I took down the small mirror next to the door, because I thought it was cluttering up my walls. Next, I moved The Hub’s Cop Caddy (that giant black thing next to the door) to the bedroom to make more room in the living room. And this is it now.
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With the large cop caddy moved to the bedroom, and the mirror taken off the wall, I feel like it’s less cluttered and there’s more room to breathe. And that’s it for the Living Room.
Now, on to the bedroom…

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That’s it. My bedroom. All that stuff you see on my bed? Yeah, it was in the floor. I know, I’m ashamed. I haven’t gotten around to putting the sheets back on my bed after they were washed…days ago. But that ended today! Today I placed the mattress pad and sheets back on my bed where they belong. I also folded the clean laundry (I know, clean laundry in the floor, again I’m ashamed.) And put it away. There’s also this random pile of stuff that’s been accumulating in the corner of my room.

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See it? Yeah well, it’s a baby tub, a booster seat, a basket filled with The Hub’s high school memories, and some of my childhood things. I think there’s also a blanket. Oh, and a hand towel rack. Well, it’s been here just growing for months now. I kept saying that I was going to move it to the attic but never did it. Well, no more! It’s gone. It may or may not be in the attic, but it’s not anywhere that can be seen. Ok, it’s in the garage. But it’s organized!
This is my Bedroom now, complete with baby playing on my bed 🙂
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It’s still not perfect, but it’s clean and it’s organized. But now I’m tired and the baby is needing a bottle. Tomorrow I’ll be tackling my kitchen, the dining area, under the bathroom sink, and maybe the closets. Maybe.

Baby Pancakes

Two posts in one day?! *gasp!* Yes, its a second post, but I was just so excited about these that I had to share.

Little L loves pancakes. On early mornings when I’m feeling well, I’ll fix his daddy some pancakes for breakfast, but because they’re covered in syrup, L doesn’t get more than 2 or 3 bites. Well, I recently discovered that you can make pancakes with baby cereal! This is great for us for 2 reasons. 1, because L hates baby cereal and this gives me a way to disguise it and not waste it, and 2, L gets to eat pancakes!

It’s a fairly simple recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup baby cereal
1 cup formula, breast milk, or regular milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Apple juice

You can also add a dash cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg if you wish. I added about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Once blended together, it looks like this.

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It has the consistency of regular pancake batter. But smells much better hahaha. Once it was well blended, I heat up my cast iron skillet, and added about 1 tablespoon of butter to melt. Then I started making pancakes.
I added about a tablespoon of batter per pancake to the skillet. Sometimes a little more fell in but that’s ok. I wanted to make them small enough for L to handle

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Once they were done, I let them cool, and placed them into a zip lock bag to freeze. I plan on keeping some in my diaper bag for snacks while we’re out and about running errands or visiting family

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L loves them which is great, and it’s such a simple recipe which is great for me because I have enough time left over for other things.

Spring Cleaning part 1

This week I’ve been spring cleaning our upstairs. I hate cleaning. HATE it. I would much rather go outside with L and have fun, but it has to be done eventually I suppose. We’ve been blessed by our friends with little boys and they’ve given us a lot of their gently used baby clothes. But up until recently I haven’t had the time to go through any of them. Well yesterday, I hauled L upstairs and we played in the floors and organized the clothes. We sorted them into boxes of too small, too big, and just right. Then we took the winter clothes from each box and put them into another box. L tried “helping” but obviously made more of a mess than we had when we started haha.

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Mommy's little helper

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Too big on the left, and too small on the right

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Stacks upon Stacks of clothes

After we had sorted all of this clothes, I took all of the itty bitty baby clothes and put them in a diaper bag for future use. My best friend and I both have boys, and we’ve decided that were going to just trade clothes as we have children. When L was 3 months old, she let me borrow several outfits and things for him, and now that he’s outgrown it all, I’ll give it back to her and let her go through any of the clothes I have that would fit her boy. It helps keep the cost of clothes down, especially since children are always growing so fast.

After all the clothes were organized, I put L in his crib for a nap while I continued on to the hallway. The Hubs helped me hang a bunch of our pictures up the stairway, and a hang a poem his Grandmother wrote in L’s bedroom. She wrote it for The Hubs when he was little, and now it hangs on L’s wall.

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Pictures going up the stairs...and yes. Those purple flowers came with the frame hahaha

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The Hub's grandmother's poem. Isn't it beautiful?

Once all the pictures were hung, I vacuumed the floors, made the guest bed, and the husband dusted the furniture and cleaned the bathroom (he’s such a great guy). And then we were done! Now, on to the downstairs….next week maybe.