high heels and grits

high heels and grits: May 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Whole 30

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My friend from college posted a before and after picture of her body after a Whole30 experience. 
First of all: SO BRAVE of her! I'm so proud of her, she looks awesome! 
Second: I was sold! I googled Whole30 as fast as I could.

It didn't seem too bad, just 30 days of unprocessed foods, grains...easy enough
But then you can't have beans, rice or even peanuts
Also no dairy!
So basically meat and veggies. Not totally paleo (no substitutions like "healthy brownies") and not entirely Atkins (not pure meat).

Start date: April 13 one month after giving birth.

This first week has been fun. I'm exploring my small town grocery store (no Whole Foods or Central Market here) and using my imagination with my menus. 

I'm on maternity leave so I have plenty of time to make meals. 

However my husband does come home for lunch and his sister makes lunch for him and his dad. I have slipped up a few times. I had corn tortilla and rice and white potato with cheese. Following the white potato I got ill! 

Week 2: I realize why this Whole30 works for me. It's not called a diet or a detox, even though that's kinda what it is. I guess it's a lifestyle change? A program? I'm not sure what to call it. But the anonymity of it leaves little room for excuses. And I like that. 
Really doesn't help that this week was Easter and I was tempted with Easter candy. While I didn't give in to the candy I did have some baked goods - brownie and cake. But I'm usually a sucker for a Reese's peanut butter egg and I willingly rejected one.

I had a doctors appointment this week which means we went in to the "big city". Things got crazy as we tried to squeeze in errands and we ended up on the side of town with fast food restaurants, not REAL restaurants. While I wanted to try the Pita Pit thinking it had healthier options than any place serving fries. My husband was turned off by the name and suggested Sonic. I was tired and hungry and didn't want to stop at two places for lunch so I gave in to Sonic. I couldn't fathom deconstructing my burger in the car so I just ate the bread. #fail However, I wasn't hungry for dinner that day. 

Week 3: Ok, so they say you can't slip in during the Whole30, but I'm here to tell you: You can! (not in a good way) I made the choice to make/eat jumbalaya the other day - it was the quickest thing I could make for my FIL and Husband. A few days later we were invited to hubby's aunts house and she made gorditas and desserts. That's all that was available to eat! And yesterday I made chinese meatballs with brown sugar glaze and beef shortribs with brown sugar. I'm sure I could have found a substitute, but I didn't. However, I WILL because I had a headache all night due to the excess intake of sugar! I thought week 2 was going to be the worst - my my I was wrong...

Week 4: Whole 30 has come to an end and I am grateful I've attempted this. I realize that I do eat sugar and that is greatly effects my body. I've found new sources of sweetness. After a fast from sugar you realize fruit is incredibly sweet! I almost wanted to fast from fruit too! I found a new love for coconut in this banana, coconut, nut salad. Quite yummy!

When I go back to work I will DEFINITELY need to pre cook and pack my lunches. There is TOO much temptation to eat out. And in the past I focused too much on the meal. I expect each meal to have a vegetable, meat, carb, something sweet, something crunchy. I've learned I will survive without that sweet, that carb and that temptation. With a new baby I'll want to spend my time with him, not in a fast food line. Something I did for my pregnancy was create freezer meals that I could throw in a crock pot. I ended up burning 2 of them, but it was a good concept. Yes, I'm the girl who burns meals as easy as crockpot meals. I found these Whole30 freezer meals at Stuff I Make My Husband. Worth a shot!

In conclusion...
I noticed a HUGE difference in my body shape and in how I felt. I was alert (no yawning - even with a new born!). I could see definition in my body. I didn't feel "blah" and "mushy". I felt pulled together and centered. 

I guess I need to read the book: It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
I will need to try Whole30 again - maybe in June? and I will need to COMMIT 100%. If that means turning down an invitation to a family event or bringing my own food. So be it!

Meal suggestions for next time:

Blueberry, raspberry, strawberry almond milk
Spinach, kiwi,  banana, pear, almond milk

Hard boiled eggs and grapefruit
Breakfast sausage and eggs
Veggie Omelets with spinach

Beef lettuce wraps with homemade taco seasoning
Chinese Meatballs (with ground turkey - don't tell my hubby!)

Steak, grilled veggies: cabbage, zucchini, asparagus
Beef stew
Beef Shortribs

veggie chips
Dried bananas
Dried apricots
Salad: Banana, Cashews, Almonds, Cinnamon, Coconut pieces

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The nursery

There have been many requests for a post about the nursery. Remember I wanted to do a forest theme

Lesson #1: Finish your nursery before you have the baby! There is so much going on as a new parent you think your maternity leave is a vacation but it's actually more difficult than your day job!

Now I know....

MJ is now 2 months old and the nursery is still a work in progress. Just take a look:

When you walk in you see a window, laundry basket, artwork from my SIL and yep, that's my bridal portrait...guess I need a new place for that.

Close up of SIL artwork

To your right is the crib. Baby cribs are so simple. They can't have too many pillows or blankets so there's just the sheet and a few stuffed animals. Our "nino" sign is hanging up. And yes, we still need a mobile. The one from my previous blog looks cool when you look right at it, but it's not that interesting to the baby. Weird, once you have the kid you're more interested in his needs and not your own. Someone warned me that would happen!

Across from the crib is my dresser turned changing table turned baby's dresser. My jewelry and make up use to take up the entire surface of this dresser. Not any more! I don't even have all the drawers. He has three and I have four. 

This is his favorite place in the room because of this DIY mobile I made:

Babies can see in B&W so I made this mobile out of a paper plate, note cards and a sharpie. He could sit for hours under this mobile! Ok, more like 10 minutes straight, but to a new parent that time is a much needed breather!

What looks like clutter on the dresser is a two-tiered fruit basket that is a diaper holder and diaper accessory holder. We're still going through the disposable diapers that were given to use during our baby showers. I've tried cloth diapers on occasion. One brand did not hold in a #2 while the other brand was stolen by the neighbor dog when I left it outside to dry! Gotta love country dogs.

All the baby books from my baby book shower are displayed on top of this dresser. I emptied out this dresser thinking we'd move it but it hasn't made the move and is now full of extra baby stuff. Towels, blankets, clothes in the next size up, clothes he's outgrown...so it has come in handy and won't be moved into storage.

Things on the top of the dresser include:
Baby size crucifix, baby cross, frame (that needs an ultrasound picture in it - opps!), Sophie the giraffe, digital alarm clock used for nature sound feature and static (white noise), baby's hand print will be created soon and MJ's favorite accessory: the wipe warmer

Now you've had a quick tour of our nursery....

We have a rocking chair in the family room but MJ prefers to bounce rather than rock. So we use that yellow yoga ball and he's a happy camper! 

High Heels! 

p.s. there is a can of dirty diapers that didn't make the photoshoot. Because who wants a picture of a trash can?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A day on maternity leave

I thought you might be wondering what happens on maternity leave.
Then I realized I was wondering what was happening on maternity leave. It's been 2 months! This time is just flying by!
My pregnant self had these amazing visions of getting so much accomplished while at home on maternity leave. Three months to just sit at home?! Sounds like a dream come true. Little did I know, it would take FOREVER to get ANYTHING done while on maternity leave.

So to prove to myself that I was actually accomplishing something throughout the day I decided to log one day. This was last Friday:

2 am: feeding, dad put to sleep
5 am: feeding, mom put to sleep
7:30 am: feeding mom and baby fall asleep on recliner
8 am: dad leaves for work
9 am: mom and baby wake up for another feeding
9:15 am: baby falls asleep on couch, mom works out
9:40 am: baby wakes up during work out, diaper change, go for walk outside take Max and Ranger
10:40 am: back from walk, another feeding
Mom wonders when she'll have time to make lunch
11 am: baby won't fall asleep, wear baby in Moby wrap and begin making lunch. Turn on podcast
11:20 am: baby is asleep, carefully transition baby into crib, shut door,  continue with lunch
12:18 pm: dad finally home for lunch, baby wakes up (of course!)
12:19 pm: mom inhales lunch because baby is crying and must be hungry
12:20 pm: mom goes to feed baby, not hungry, so tries 5 s's
12:30 pm: baby falls asleep
12:35 pm: baby is up
12:45 pm: tries 5 s' s doesn't work. Burps baby, dad eats lunch alone while mom is attempting all this.
12:50 pm: baby falls asleep
Whisper around the lunch table and try to have a conversation...didn't really work out.
1:30 pm: hubby leaves for work, baby still sleeping
1:33 pm: try to move dishes to sink, too loud!
Log on to computer. Need to be sure baby's doctor is covered by our insurance. Computer wants to update! Lovely! Don't they know These are precious minutes!

At this point I stopped taking a log of the day. If I remember correctly I did make some calls and pay some medical bills. But I also had a really hard time getting MJ to nap throughout the afternoon. 

Which means the rest of my day looked like this-

He loves being held like this. I hear it's a colic baby thing....

I'll try to log again this week just for some self satisfaction! Only 4 more weeks to be productive.


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Birth Announcements

Now that the birth announcements have been delivered I am happy to share them with the blogosphere! 

But first let me take you through the process of capturing this adorable picture! It was not easy.

I visited Pinterest and various blogs for advice and inspiration on this photo shoot. Newborn babies are so squirmy, after my first attempt in Dallas I realized this would be a big overtaking. 

The biggies mentioned on every website were:

  • Keep the room warm
  • Use natural light
  • Be sure the baby is in a deep sleep
The first two were a Catch22 for me. It was mid March and cold outside, so if I set up near a window for natural light, it would be cold. I brought in a space heater, but it didn't warm the room well. 
And yes, newborns sleep, but not as much as they eat! MJ was up every hour so by the time I fed him, burped and rocked him to sleep, I had SECONDS before he would wake up for his next feeding. This is why he's awake in our photoshoot.

I was telling people I took over 700 picture of MJ during this photoshoot but it turns out I took less than 100! I was so exhausted afterwards I guess I over exaggerated! 

Now to the pictures....

Did you see it?
Did you see the ONE perfect little smile? 
It was in 'Take 4'.

This was MJ's 2nd week on this earth so he wasn't at a developmental stage for smiling on demand or smiling in general. One smile in almost 100 photos. That one shot was a gem!!!
The other contenders were....


but this

is perfection.

You may remember my post about our Christmas cards and how I should have used Minted.com. Well I remembered my own advice and went to Minted.com for the birth announcements. They have a HUGE selection for baby announcements. It was very difficult to make a decision. 

I was torn between the following:

I really loved the B&W one, but I also really liked the picture being in color. 

I decided on this:

 and we couldn't be happier!

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