VLOG inside! hump day motivation + WWAW (what we ate wednesday)

it's hump daaaay! and heavy leg day. and we hit the gym (wut) together .

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sure we can be normal. for what?

why is wednesday referred to as hump day? i heard the reasoning years ago but Googled it anyway to reconfirm as i typed this post:

'Starting around 1965, Wednesday began being referred to as “hump day.” Smack dab in the middle of the traditional work week, arriving at Wednesday symbolizes that we've made it over the hump and the weekend is in sight.'

sounds about right!  not working a traditional job since the beginning of 2013 when my IT contract ended has diminished the 'monday blues' and those feelings of always wanting to speed through the week to get to friday and the weekend.  i am a WSAHM (working stay at home mom) and being here with my boys has taught me to slow the heck down and live in the now.  i look forward to every single day!  yeah, entrepreneur life is a scary, huge sacrifice (especially with young kids in the mix) but i would have never, ever gotten the chance to GROW as quickly and as much as i have these past 2 years in every. single. aspect. of the word.  each day is a new adventure over here and i am head over heels in love with this temporary journey with my boys (Dego is 9 months already yall, DANG.) now that Sonny is no longer working a traditional job either (this is now week 4) and his schedule allows him to be with me and the boys more often, we have been taking full advantage of this blessing.

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the endorphins were flowing after our workout this morning so we made quick vlog! i also included 2 clips of some of exercises we did. we focused on unilateral training (one leg at a time) for most of the exercises instead of both.  why?  sometimes when you train both arms or legs together, you can cheat by letting your dominant side do the brunt of the work.  so, working them one at a time helps you:

  • create balanced growth and development in both limbs equally
  • correct size asymmetries
  • improve general balance
  • engage smaller muscles like the abductors, gluteus medius, and quadratus lumborum in ways we can't duplicate training two legs at a time.

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here are a few things we dined on today:

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i found the Ranch Tuna Creations, woo, hoo! someone mentioned this flavor on Instagram and i had never seen it until the last time i was at Walmart. i like. i didn't add a thing and ate it straight from the packet while out and about today.

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i whipped up a snack using my Ninja Blender single serve thingy and Dego loooooves this combo! it's 1 heaping cup of all natural, unsweetened applesauce + 1/2 cup roasted beets (you can do frozen or fresh and even canned if you must) + 4 or 5 strawberries.

i could not stop eating it myself! tasted way better than those prepackaged flavored applesauces in stores. but you knew that already, right!

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for my meals 4 and 5 i had quesadillas using La Tortilla Factory light flour tortillas.  they were stuffed with spinach, onions, mushrooms, Weber Beer Can Chicken seasoned chicken breast chunks, and Lisanatti almond cheddar cheese.

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i folded them in half and cooked them on my griddle for 2-3 min on each side until the cheese started to melt and the tortilla was crispy. no avocados in the house :( but this citrus pineapple Pace Picante sauce sufficed!

now i'm going to lay down, blink, and it will be time for me to get up and go teach my Barbell Strength class. GOODNIGHT!

Q: what have you ever ended up doing (or being) that you said you never would do (or be?)

le

all pink everything

my sunday started with the usual breakfast (oat bran pancakes and egg whites) but this was my lunch:

PhotoGrid_1413675077991Weber Kick 'N Chicken grilled chicken breast and veggie stir fry using every fresh veggie i could find: mushrooms, yellow squash, asparagus, and red bell pepper.

i skipped church (but listened to the podcast later) and stayed home to finish getting things ready for my sister Michelle's  baby shower! this was a #sisterssquared production; something my other sis Kara and i like to refer to ourselves as!  as of may 17th of this year she officially became my sister-in-law as well as my Soror.  i had so much fun hosting with her.

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#skeewee

cake batter rice crispy treats were requested so cake batter rice crispy treats were made! Sonny brought me back the super-duper jumbo size marshmallows from the store which didn't exactly melt aaaall the way down in the cooking process but i was totally OK with that. why? the clumps of ooey gooey marshmallow in the bars was an awesome touch in my opinion! recipeeeee: (fyi, this is definitely a treat that should be eaten in moderation, guys.)

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Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats

the stuff:

  • 5 cups rice crispy cereal (can use brown rice puffed cereal too)
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dry boxed yellow cake batter
  • 4 tbsp butter (i haven't tried any dairy-free alternatives in place of regular butter yet)
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

do this:

  1. coat the sides of  a large pot/saucepan as well as the pan you intend to press the rice crispy batter into
  2. melt butter in large pot/saucepan over medium heat
  3. add vanilla
  4. add marshmallows and cover; let melt for 1-2 minutes
  5. add cake batter & sprinkles and stir a few times to incorporate then immediately add cereal and KEEP STIRRING
  6. remove from heat and stir until all combined. be sure to scrape the sides of the pot really good
  7. pour batter into a rectangular or square pan and press down on the batter until even across the top
  8. add more sprinkles
  9. once cool (bout 10 min or so), cut in squares, bars, or however you'd like!

20141019_160354_1who remembers this drink? who still makes this drink lol!? rainbow sherbert and 7 Up (or Sprite, or natural ginger ale). the ugliest, tastiest party drink, ever. it's been a good while since i've had it, whew.

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 Kara made the most adorable, pink cupcakes.CYMERA_20141019_232013

 and she also got another idea from Pinterest: mini strawberry shortcakes in a glass. aren't they beautiful(bottom right)!? there are cubes of light angel food cake, sliced strawberries, cool whip, and sprankles in there. SO.GOOD.

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per Michelle's request: subway sammiches, shrimp fried rice, egg rolls, chicken meat pies, wings, and chips.

20141020_005606_1 happy shower day, Michelle! eviction notice goes into effect in 4 weeks (or less).  aaaand we can't wait to plan your shower, Kara! HAHAHAHAHA

thanks for reading.

Q: what's your favorite, indulgent party food?!

le

baby mama

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happy hump day! i'd love to shine the spotlight on someone vital to my motherhood journeys as well as my Christian walk. remember my confession post, In Love With Lean, from about 6 months ago? weeeeeell,

this pretty young thang is one of the good friends i was referring to... my BM, Marguerite!

(i.e., Baby Mama, as we affectionately call each other.)

 through my infertility struggles with both pregnancies, Marguerite helped me cope with having to 'sit down somewhere' from all the excessive exercising i was doing in the most loving way possible. lol. she has a masters in counseling because it's clearly what she was born to do!  we met at UH, were even roommies for a semester, and continued to keep in touch after graduation.  she prayed and fasted with and for me during those times, and i received her advice and words wholeheartedly because i knew they were from the Lord. fasting solo (and usually for your own personal issues) is physically and mentally difficult enough.   but to care for another friend so much (i'm not talking about your spouse, mom, dad, siblings, etc.) that you sacrifice yourself and go to the Lord on their behalf... i am utterly thankful God put her in my life.  i'm also grateful she was willing to let Him use her in the first place!  being obedient to God's commands and tasks can be uncomfortable and downright hard.  it can often make relationships difficult, very awkward...or even eventually non-existent. but you must do what He tells you to do... His way.  it's about His glory, never us.

we were preggo together for both of our children, however, she is chunking me the deuce for babies #3 and 4, hahaha! i'm on my own now, but i know she'll be with me in spirit.

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i was almost 9 months along and she was about 6 when we met up for our BM prenatal massages and lunch back in 2011. we worked out (walked on the treadmills), hung out and talked about baby stuff, and ate good of course. boobs and bellies everywhere!

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we were gettin' our Red Lobster on for lunch in this throwback pic,

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and a few months ago we met up for brunch at Le Peep before heading to get our massages. i was 8 months along and she was right behind me again at almost 6!  because my birthday had recently passed, she told me my massage was on her.  what a sweet, sweet surprise and a testament to her character.

aaand of course we attended each other's baby showers!

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i've had so much fun sharing blessings and making memories with this girl.

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she came to spend some quality time with Odego and i at the hospital back in June, and i was recently blessed to return the favor because her sweet baby girl, Callie Marie, is already HERE! today is actually Callie's due date and i am elated she is safely in her mama's arms and in the comfort of their own home.

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she's perfect. and PINK:) i'm looking forward to all the girlie advice Marguerite will pass my way because i'll need it :) .

i just want to give a sincere congrats to the blessed Hairstons who are now a family of four!  thank you, BM, for simply being the sister you were called to be. i appreciate you. <3

le

happy birthday, Odego

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WELL!  a lot has happened since Fathers' Day.

*****

i know a good handful of current mommies-to-be and the real life story you're about to read is just one of bajillions. moms, i just want to encourage you to learn from my journey, but don't let it make you even the slightest bit apprehensive about your own.  your L & D story will have its own twists and turns too...or not!  even with the longest, most detailed birth plan ever, we just never know how these things will play out...

*****

at 2 cms dilated, we finally got our hospital tour done on thursday, June 12th, my expected due date.

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we asked questions, made jokes, reminisced about Chiso's birth, talked and walked around, met a few L & D nurses (who are all awesome and heaven-sent), and made a family date out of it with big brother Chiso.

i was convinced Odego would make his way into this world on Fathers' Day (wishful thinking on Sonny's behalf ), so i finished packing our bags (for the last time) that night and started prepping to celebrate the weekend in the hospital.

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happy Fathers' Day, Papa!!! sunday morning came and there were still no surefire signs of labor to be found whatsoever though. before we headed to church, Chiso, Dego, and i presented Sonny with a few gifts at home, unlike i planned.  then, we dined at Fish City Grill, per Sonny's request, and met up with my parents before heading home to finally relax.

9pm sunday night, i began spotting.

i won't say the spotting and excess fluid was surprising at all as we had been trying a few natural remedies to get this thing going, but the unexpected sight of blood always makes me do a double-take.

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could this be it? would Sonny really get the best Fathers' Day gift ever? we still had 3 hours left according to him. i was having super light contractions and some spotting, but i was still smiling.  and taking pics. lol. the on-call Dr. told us not to play with amniotic fluid, so we were told to head to the hospital to be checked. i know the front desk nurses had to be like 'ummm, clearly she is not in labor.' LOL.

soooo we did the walk of shame right on home 3 hours later.

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definitely not in labor yet.

papsmears are nightmares for me, so just being checked for dilation was enough to rev up my light contractions to the next level  from that point forward. monday morning, Dr. A told me to come straight to her office after the previous night's fiasco, so we did. i finally began to keep record and contracted 3 random times during the 15 minute drive to her office.  i was still at 2 cms according to her, and she wrapped up my appointment by presenting us with an option to mull over for the next couple of hours.  i could come in to be induced at 530am the following day, tuesday the 17th, or, we could just keep waiting...  she then explained that she would be out of the office on thursday and friday. THAT little nugget of info helped me make my decision right then and there. Dr. A. was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born and i was not missing her  again this round, nope. Sonny was ready to meet Odego on Fathers' Day so he was all for option 1. we prayed about it and agreed to go for it.  that same night, the contractions were even stronger, but bearable enough for me to take a walk to the park with Chiso. during 1 hour, i counted about 6 or 7 contractions.

once home, i loaded up most of our things in the car and because i was required to fast from food and liquid after midnight, i cooked and ate my last meal around 10pm. i also baked every fillet of tilapia in the freezer per Sonny's request as he is prepping for a Musclemiania competition at the end of this month.  couldn't leave him out in the cold!  afterwards, i did my best to lay down and get some rest with Chiso, but that didn't really happen. i got in the bed around 1, but each contraction woke me up. Sonny started his timer and laid his phone down right next to me. every time a contraction hit, i'd press the 'lap' button to record the time between each of them.  by 4am, i was up pacing and breathing through each contraction.  of course to me they FELT like they were coming 2-3 minutes apart, but it was more like every 5-10.  this boy was definitely on his way.

  so we headed out to the hospital,

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(now that looks more like a labor-face)

valated the car, signed in, and waited a few moments for our room.

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Sonny knew i would want these pics later... so he snapped away while i contracted away and did his best to keep Chiso busy.

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  however, Chiso was generally concerned for his mama and every time i got up, he got up and paced with me. it wasn't funny at the time but he kept asking, 'mama happy? mama happy now?'

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last #usies as a family of 3.

the staff directed us to our room and i immediately changed into my gown, used the restroom, stood up to my feet, look down, and 'watched' my water break!  no induction needed. and it wasn't a ginormous tidal wave like the movies either :D

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i waddled out of the restroom and immediately called out to alert Sonny when i should have been telling my nurse, nurse Judy. i mean we were in the hospital and all.  force of habit!  thank God for L& D nurses. He provided us with a fabulous one. she encouraged me, told me i was strong, kept me informed, and did her job like she was born to do it.  i laid down on the bed to be checked: 4-5 cms! i was ELATED to be halfway there and also to know i'd be kissing Odego's sweet face sooner than later.

so about those contractions!  well, they got stronger as expected after my water broke and i labored to about 6-7 cms or so before calling for an epidural around 9am.  in less than 15 minutes the anesthesiologist was literally behind me and ready to go.

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finally... peace, ice chips,

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and electronics for the boys as we waited.

around 12:15pm, i randomly started to feel moderate cramping again.  i was told if i needed more meds to push a Jeopardy like button connected to my IV and placed on the bed right next to me.  i was reeeeally hoping i wouldn't have to even use that thing, but because the pain kept getting stronger, everybody in the room could tell when each contraction hit cause the button made an electronic dinging noise when pressed. unfortunately, no matter how many times i hit that button the pain didn't let up and only increased. a 2nd anesthesiologist came in and 'added' more meds... but i felt no difference.  eventually, the nurse checked me again- 9cms! it was music to my ears but the thought of laboring through those contractions until i hit the big 10 discouraged me.  how much longer?!?! my dad held my hand and prayed over me through each painful wave.. something i will never, ever forget.  watching your child suffer is no easy task. i understand now.

alright, 10cms, FINALLY!  Dr. A appears out of nowhere again, instantly calms the room, puts on her cape & gloves, and nurse Judy prepares me for delivery. my dad takes Chiso and heads to the waiting area, and my mom and Sonny take their places on either side of me.  let's GO. with each contraction came a strong urge to push... and i must admit that since my lower body was no longer numb from the epidural, i had total control of my pelvic muscles, floor, and core.  because the epi was in full swing during my 1st delivery, i pushed with everything i had and it felt like absolutely nothing was happening. less than 8 minutes and 5 or 6 pushes later, my mom was crying and overjoyed with emotion, Sonny was cutting the umbilical cord, and Dego's warm body was laying on my chest.

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in an instant...all the pain was gone and completely forgotten.  by me anyway. my dad? not so much!  Odego was worth it all. i couldn't help but think of the women who birthed babies with no medication whatsoever. past, present, whether it was their choice, and those who had no choice at all. amazing.

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Chiso could barely contain his excitement!  it was finally time to meet his little brother after all this waiting!  heck, he talked to Dego more than i did while he was in my tummy.  i can't wait to show both boys this picture when they are older.

 i'd also like to note that Odego weighed in at 7 lbs & 9 oz, but i carried smaller vs my first pregnancy (Chiso was 6 lbs 11 oz).  i was also in better shape and made way better food choices this round. take note, moms! that's just another reason comparing bumps is really silly and never a fair baby weight predictor.

20140617_171609 FOOD. after fasting since midnight, nurse Judy read my mind and put the menu and the room phone right next to me. i LOVE her.  that was my post-delivery lunch: grilled chicken burger with sweet potato fries, a side salad, and vegetable soup. yall know when i get hungry i get scatterbrained and just want everything. i read the 3 page menu 50 bajillion times before Sonny was like, 'Leah we will be here til thursday, PICK SOMETHING.'

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i don't go there often, but i hear hospital food has changed!  i ordered eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for every breakfast, and either grilled chicken or tilapia for lunch and/or dinner.  i made sure to have veggies and a salad with every meal, but i wanted fries so i ordered those sometimes too.

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Dr. A approved me to get up and move around, so i threw on my Nikes and did just that wednesday morning after breakfast. just a few slow laps around the postpartum wing, that's it.  later that night, Sonny pushed Odego in his nursey cart and walked with me.

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heading home the next day!  but not before ordering lunch one last time, haha.

i missed that fresh new baby smell, skin, and newborn cry... to finally hold and kiss the face of someone you already love so deeply after months of waiting is... indescribable! a blessing. a miracle.

 but with that comes the smell and sting of Dermoplast spray, recovering down there, sitting down super slowly,  swollen, engorged breasts & nipples so sore the brush of a t-shirt or bra feels like hell's fire, nocturnal newborn schedules and feedings, i.e.,  good ol'  MOTHERHOOD!

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hello, round two!        thank you, Father, for expanding our home by two more feet, and thank you for reading.

le

it's hottt

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why? two words: THE SUN.

nothing drains me more these days and it's not like i'm out jogging in it either! just walking up to the store and/or driving around in my truck (even with the air cranked to the max) still makes me crazy tired more so than any of my gym workouts. which is why i'm glad this little guy will be outta here before the texas heat really shows out. God bless and be with you preggo mama's this summer (wherever you are)! i mean that sincerely. be safe, stay hydrated, and stay indoors.

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the weekend was rather warm too, so Chiso and i jumped at the chance to hit the pool with my sis, Michelle,  and her daughter, cousin Livvy.  time for swimming lessons for these two.  we did a family maternity shoot last month and i totally want to do a look in my bikini now! i enjoyed wearing it and sporting my bump.  most likely Sonny will have to be the camera man for that though, lol.

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something about the pool makes me want chips, hot dogs, burgers, and ICE CREAM! thanks, Sonic.

remember that summer stir fry i made? i finally got some shrimp from HEB and made it again.  this time i added red bell pepper and yellow squash too since they were on sale.  and yall know the more color in your meals, the better.

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i have still been eating the heck out of nectarines these past few days. i can't get enough of them! plus the longer they sit in the fridge the softer they become. so i must eat them while they are still crisp. all of them.

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was sad to finish the last of this stir fry today for lunch but it'll be back soon.

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Q: do i ever feel my bump is too small?

A: during my first pregnancy? yeah. this time around? nah. when people ask me (especially at the gym) how far along i am these days, 'almost 10 months' is the last thing they expect to hear.  their faces say it all, and 'you're so tiny!!!' is usually soon to follow.  then the women reflect back on their own journeys and express how ginormous they were compared to me before delivering, and the men usually tell me the same about their wives, sisters, friends, etc!! never, ever gets old.  i welcome the questions (yes, the same ones over and over ;) ) and LOVE to discuss my journey with anyone willing to listen!   i enjoy hearing all about other women's preggo stories by the same token as they are all unique.  anyway, that darn, 'every woman is different' statement refers to, well, everything, including bump size. the 'right' size doesn't exist. also: bump size is not an indicator of your baby's weight.  mom's height, weight, activity level, the way baby is positioned, how much fluid present, etc, etc, etc...... so.many.factors.  so don't compare bumps.  especially if you trust your OB and he/she assures you that you and baby are on track every check-up, just as mine has!  done deal ^^'.

Q: what's your biggest pregnancy pet peeve? vent below!

le