Body after Baby: Weeks 11 and 12

I'm way behind on these posts but as I sit here making my grocery list and reviewing recipes for Thursday, I wanted to make sure to get this update out there before the season of gluttony begins and my weight loss efforts get derailed (maybe? maybe not?)

Since my last post, I have officially reached my "pre-Hudson-pregnancy" weight. Yippee! I am now just 16 lbs from my goal weight (which is my "pre-ALL-pregnancy" weight). In other words, I'm currently holding steady at 161 and I want to get down to 145.

I feel great and I've noticed that my habits have changed quite a bit. For instance, I no longer CRAVE candy as I once did. Sure I might snag a piece here or there, but I'm not stocking up on all my favorites to have on hand whenever I decide I need a fix (Sour Patch Kids, Mike and Ikes, name a few).

Horrible-for-you foods also don't sound as good as they used to. When my kids wanted McDonald's, I'd happily oblige and use it as an excuse to grab myself a hamburger and fry. Now, I offer alternate choices to them like Sandella's or Subway so I can eat something healthier. And you know what? They request these places now too! I love it :)

Those will-power tests that I started at the beginning? They served their purpose and I'm happy to report that it is MUCH easier for me to pass up the random chocolate in the candy dish at the doctor's office, birthday cake at the party or my kids leftover corn dog. Will power is in tact.

BUT here are my concerns going forward...

1) Thanksgiving

We are doing Thanksgiving here on our own this year. Which means I will be cooking my first Thanksgiving meal by myself. While I don't care to cook, I am excited about this feat. I'm NOT going to "healthify" the recipes...I'm using the good stuff. Butter. Cream. Full-fat dinner rolls. Because anything else would just be wrong.

2) I'm weaning Hudson

There goes that extra 500 calories burned a day doing pretty much nothing. Looks like I better pick up my exercise efforts a bit.

3) Christmas

The ultimate will-power test. And one I repeatedly fail every year. First there's Christmas Eve at Ricky's parent's house: spinach and artichoke dip with King Hawaiian bread, cheese ball, meat and cheese trays, chips and ranch dip, desserts, etc. Then, Christmas morning brunch at my parents with sausage and egg casserole, Irish soda bread, fruit, and more. And shortly after brunch is cleared from the table, snack stuff replaces it on the counter. More cheese ball, mini quiches, cheese and crackers. This is followed by a traditional dinner of ham and/or turkey, potatoes, veggies, rolls...

Diet. Fail.

4) Traveling

Because something about stepping foot in an airport says "It's okay to eat crap and not care". Add to it the fact that while you are staying at someone else's house your usual food routine is just thrown out the window, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

5) Alcoholic beverages

Since I couldn't really partake in them when breastfeeding, I *might* be looking forward to the occasional bottle glass of wine. Or spiced rum and apple cider. Or whatever holiday cocktail I find on Pinterest and create an excuse to make (ugly Christmas sweater party last year was entirely planned around the fact that I wanted to entertain and make "Jingle Juice"). True story.

So, while I'd really like to get below 160 before my trip back home at the end of December, I am not making any guarantees. I'm not going to just give up and let loose for the next month or two. But at the same time I'm not going to stress out about all things weight-loss either.

I may not write a Body after Baby blog post each week due to our crazy busy holiday schedules and traveling, but I am going to hold myself accountable and at the very least will still post my weekly weigh-in on the More Skees Please Facebook page.

Week 12} 161.6

Week 11: 161.8
Week 10: 164.4
Week 9: 166.4
Week 8: 168.2
Week 7: 168.6
Week 6: 168.6
Week 5: 172.6
Week 4: 171.6
Week 3: 170.6
Week 2: 172.2
Week 1: 173.5


Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Source: via Taryn on Pinterest

Family = Love

I had an amazing childhood. One filled with love, tons of laughter and many opportunities and experiences some never have. To say I was fortunate in that regard is an understatement but I try not to take any of it for granted.

Looking back, my best memories are all centered around time spent with family. My mom is one of 10 children and my dad is one of 6 so our family functions were never small - the rooms were always filled to the brim with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and branches extending out beyond the ones I ever even recognized or knew first-hand. I hardly remember ever being bored.

It is true that we lived in a much different time. One where where electronics were rarely turned on and computers in the home didn't really exist (and when they did, they were certainly not loaded with games...MS dos anyone?) We played outside until dark and sometimes even later without our parents worrying too much about kidnappers and other child predators. We used our imaginations abundantly, had dinner as a family every night and played board games like Boggle and Life on any given Friday evening. My, how things changed.

Despite the fact that I have more electronic gadgets than I can count (of which my kids ages 4 and 5 can use better than most adults in my parents generation) and that I am too afraid to ever let my children out of my sight even to play in the front yard, there is one major thing that remains a constant.


What I hope to accomplish as a mother - after all is said and done - is for my children to one day look back on their childhood, as I do mine...and smile. I want them to have known love in its greatest form. To have memories that guide them into adulthood and give them goals for their futures. I want their relationships with their siblings to be unwavering. As we all know, family is forever. We didn't get to choose ours, God chose them for us.

Thanks to the folks at Alphabet Photography, this beautiful piece of artwork recently became a centerpiece in our home. It is the perfect reminder of the ties that bind.

I started by choosing the word, then got to customize every individual letter from a gallery of photographs taken of everyday objects that resemble letters of the alphabet.

It came ready to be hung in a 3" solid wood frame and museum quality double mat with a V groove. Valued at $169.95, the piece is a hand-made original signed and dated by the author.

Once the artwork was hung, we used it as an opportunity to talk with the boys about how family is so important now and always. This high-quality piece will be a constant reminder of just that, and something we will cherish for years to come.

Are you looking for a unique home accent or gift for the holidays? Then create yours today at Alphabet Photography!

The perfect customized gift that includes photographs from
all over the world, this is the original Alphabet Photography
Celebrity owners include: Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, 
Tyra Banks, Ryan Seacrest, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 
John Schneider, Nelly Furtado, and many more!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of
Alphabet Photography. The opinions and text are all mine.

We won!

Who said big brothers are only good for fetching baby binkies and burp cloths? With their sweet smiles and photogenic personalities, Ethan and Aiden have helped earn their keep!

Thanks to all of you who voted in the MetroMoms - Austin Pumpkin Patch Photo Contest. The boys photo had the 2nd highest number of votes...and the TOP 2 got to choose an amazing prize.

I am so excited that we are now the proud owners of a super safe Britax Advocate car seat {retail value $320!} Nothing like using Ethan and Aiden to win a prize for their baby brother...well done boys ;)

Britax Advocate
Image source:

We really should go out and buy a lottery ticket. Last week we won a $100 gas gift card in a neighborhood drawing (courtesy of Keller Williams realtor Jason Taylor) AND a Joovy Bicycoo while at the Touch-A-Truck event on Saturday!
Image source:
Feeling extremely lucky and very blessed!!!

The long and short of it...

My hair that is.

I am notorious for saying I want to grow my hair out long, then I get about half-way there and decide it's taking too long so I cut it short. And as soon as I do, I am on a mission to grow my hair back out. I can never make up my mind. 

This is where you come in. Help me figure out what to do with my hair! Here are some pics at every stage:

While I may not know which hair length looks best on me, looking at these pictures does tell me a few things...

1. I love being a blonde. I will always be a blonde from here on out. Gray is so much easier to cover when you are blonde. :)

2. Of the four photos, I'm definitely heaviest in the "Medium-long hair" pic. Don't let that sway your decision on which length looks best.

3. I tilt my head EXACTLY the same way in almost every picture I take. I really need to learn how to mix it up a bit.

4. Speaking of mixing it bangs are also almost EXACTLY the same in these pics. While I've done the no bangs thing a few times, I'm convinced it's not a good look for me. Feel free to weigh in.

5. I miss Hawaii. Aside from our honeymoon {click for pics}, this was one of the BEST vacations we've ever taken. I spent about an hour reliving said vacation through pictures {click for pics}. Note to newlyweds: go on vacations as often as possible before you have kids because even though you say you will, once they come along, you won't.

If looking at those honeymoon and Hawaii pictures
doesn't reinforce my desire to lose this last 20 pounds,
I don't know what will!

Anyway - at this moment, my hair is somewhere in between the medium-short and the medium-long lengths. Which might explain why I'm suddenly torn on what to do.

Sooooo...Should I keep growing it long OR should I chop it off???

Body after Baby: Week 10

I'm making progress and it feels great! The boot camp is definitely a huge factor in helping me tone up and slim down. I only have 2 more classes, but I'm motivated more than ever so I plan to continue my workouts on my own at the Y...BodyPump anyone?

The photos reflect a little bit, but, more importantly, the way I feel and how my clothes fit say so much more. Now I just have to keep out of the boys' Halloween candy if I want to continue to lose!

I'm a third of the way to my goal. Woo-hoo!

Week 10} 164.4

Week 9: 166.4
Week 8: 168.2
Week 7: 168.6
Week 6: 168.6
Week 5: 172.6
Week 4: 171.6
Week 3: 170.6
Week 2: 172.2
Week 1: 173.5

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS =  10.2 lbs.

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to read all of the Body after Baby posts.

Tricks and Treats

This year, Halloween started out with several "tricks" and I wondered if we would even make it to the "treats"...

Aiden goes to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but when holiday activities land on an "off" day, I try to take him up to his class to participate then bring him home. For weeks he begged me to take him to the annual costume parade that his school was putting on. He couldn't wait to gear up in his jockey get-up and show his friends and teachers. All morning he asked "Is it time yet? Is it time yet?" I wasn't feeling well and if he hadn't have been so excited about it, I probably would have skipped it all together. But, being the good mom that I am ;) I took a shower, fed Hudson, got him dressed, got Aiden ready and loaded up the car headed for his school. 

When we got there, Hudson was crying and Aiden refused to participate. I stood in the hallway for a good 10 minutes trying to coax Aiden into doing what we came to do - I mean I TOOK A SHOWER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD - but alas, he threw a fit and we looked like idiots. I was a frazzled sweaty mess (so much for the shower) so we turned right back around and drove home. Awesome start to the day.

As the day wore on (and I wore out) Hudson was extremely fussy. He wasn't his happy, easy-going self so I decided last minute to try to get him in to the doctor. The only appointment available was at 4:00 and knowing that it usually takes FOREVER, I was unsure if I'd be back in time to get everything ready for trick-or-treating. But we had to take the chance - and I'm glad we did. Turned out that Hudson had a double ear infection. Poor guy.

While at the doctor, I glanced at my phone to see 5 missed calls from Ricky. Uh-oh. That's never a good sign. I called him back and he told me that Aiden threw a toy at Ethan leaving him with what was sure to be a pretty good shiner. He was okay but the only problem is our family pictures are Friday... Oh well!

I zoomed home after grabbing Hudson's Rx at the pharmacy and raced around trying to get things ready. Ricky had already done most of it so I focused on getting Hudson fed and our costumes on. We were ready just in time and luckily, the rest of the evening was perfect.

Ethan has been really into Star Wars lately and wanted to be a Boba Fet(?). I've never seen any of the movies so I couldn't tell you what the heck that is, but he was happy with the store-bought costume from Target so I was too. Aiden, on the other hand, picks more original costumes which means I get to get creative. Last year he was a "motorcycle dude" (Ethan was a dragon). This year, per his request, he wanted to be a jockey. My dad has owned a couple race horses and Aiden has loved every aspect of the sport so this didn't come as a surprise.

My wheels got turning and I started looking up ideas online. I could have bought a jockey costume for $49.99 but decided I'd rather do it myself. Growing up, my mom made most of our costumes and I loved that, so I am excited to give my boys some of the same memories (as long as they'll let me anyway!)

I'm so happy with how Aiden's costume turned out. I did have to buy the "horse" he was riding on - and I think it really made it all come together - but the rest was hand made. Keep in mind, I DO NOT/CAN NOT sew worth anything so everything was either fused together with glue, staples or "Wunder Under" fabric adhesive. Worked like a charm!

As for Hudson, I had seen the cutest idea on Pinterest for a newborn costume and since my creative juices were already flowing, I decided to tackle it as well. All it took was felt, real popped popcorn hand-sewn onto a little white hat, a red bow-tie and A LOT of time. And seriously???? I could not have been more excited about how it came out.

There were about 8-10 kiddos that went trick-or-treating together (with parents of course) and afterwards, everyone gathered on our driveway for grilled hot dogs, freshly popped popcorn, pizza and lots of other snacks. Oh, and to keep up with my "holiday drink" tradition, we made "Halloweenie-tinis" :) YUM!

Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays, but I absolutely loved every part of it this year. As the boys get older, I have a feeling I am going to love it more and more!