Thursday, May 30, 2013


Last week's exercise wrap up will be not of a physical sort (since I worked out zilch) but rather about exercising the ability and right to improve your mental and emotional status by implementing CHANGE. Change. Such a simple word but with such complex implications wouldn't you say? I made a life change decision last week. It was a stressful period letting one thing go but also an exciting one to embrace the next new thing. This current week, I am in transition. I wouldn't say limbo because I know where I am going and I know that it's going to be great. I pat myself on the back for having the courage to take the steps necessary to make that change happen. Many people don't do that. They fear the change, or really, the unknown so much that they rather stick with what they know indefinitely, even if it makes them miserable or they no longer find any joy in what they are doing. I found this great quote that I shared with a friend that is experiencing some of what I did: "Do not fear change. Change fear." - Karen Salmansohn I've learned many lessons and one is this: You don't HAVE to accept mediocrity, misery, judgment or drama because it's served to you. And with that, I'll just say that I had one too many servings and decided that was enough. I'm not interested in drama. I have a very full, fulFILLING and happy life to let miserable person(s) attempt to break me down over irrelevant, insignificant things. Life is too short, folks. Stay focused on the things/people that bring you joy...and if someone tries to stand in the way of that...I say, cut them OUT. I know how hard it is to make the move but boy once it's done, what a relief! So on week 21, I threw a big monkey off my back. It was a huge load off and a heck of a workout. ;) The baby bump is growing, the knot is my shoulder is slowing releasing and as my friend said just yesterday that I look radiant! (Not sure if it's the pregnancy, the monkey off my back or the fantastic skincare products I've been using...but I'll take it!!) :) I've been keeping busy during my off week to make up for all that lost exercise, a post on that coming next Monday. Yay for change and moving forward and upward. Til next week, keep your eye on the prize. ~V

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ooooh, we're halfway there...

20 weeks!

I wish I could say I really knocked out the workouts this week but really what I did was work crazy hours.  I'm not all thrilled about pulling 70 hours this week, especially in a chair.  Every time I stand up I feel a delicate balance between pulling my back out and being perfectly okay.  It takes a few gingerly taken steps to get into a "normal" stride.  Until that is, the next time I have to stand up.  I fear that one of those times will be the one where a loud "OW!!!" will come from my office.

That's my only complaint.  Not bad, I'd say. So with that, here's the 20 week wrap up:

Monday - Yoga at lunch. So glad they moved the day, otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to do it at all.

Tuesday - Long work hours.

Wednesday - Long work hours.

Thursday - Broke out of the office with just enough time for Aerial Tone! SOOOOO happy about it! (it's not lost on me that I just a jail reference, btw)  Anywho...our teacher, Lori, switched up the curriculum and it was an intense workout!  We did a series of one legged and varied plies and releves (ballet moves consisting of squatting and lifting at the toe) that had my feet screaming.  Those tiny little muscles that help you balance in your feet and toes were getting a beating like they've never experienced before.  Two days later my feet felt fine but I felt I had baseballs for calves.  (Honestly they still feel a little tight).  We also did a fantastic conditioning move for that muscle that runs directly over the spine, by balancing in air with the fabric wrapped around the hip.  I need to keep practicing getting in and out of this move as it take fancy footwork to wrap your body in the fabric and then flip upside down so that you are in an airplane type position (hovering parallel to the ground, face down).  The object is to let go of the fabric (which you hold like you would a swing) and put your arms out, like an airplane and arch your back as far as you can.  Here's the best picture I could find of it (the fabric is wrapped around the waist here whereas our hammock, once flipped was in the lower hip area, whereby requiring a more drastic arch to balance) From Aerial_Wiki:

Friday - more work...

Saturday - Summer has officially arrived with temps in the high 90s.  Took a break from work and headed to the pool with the family.  After splashing around and relaxing for awhile, I decided to get my work in.  1250M complete which seemed harder than it had been all these previous weeks.  I'm guessing the sun took a toll on me and wore me down.  Nonetheless, it's done!  Here's a cool pic my daughter took with my iPhone.

1250M swim at 20 weeks
(side phone was in a LifeProof when this and other pictures/videos were taken...everything seemed fine until morning when Siri just started having conversations with herself.  After a few hours of listening to her nonsense and realizing my home button was defunct...well, long story short, I have an iPhone 5. And just like any other rattling sound in a car when it goes to the mechanic, the original phone works perfectly fine AFTER the purchase was made while STILL. AT. APPLE.  Same daughter has already claimed possession of the "damaged" phone.  Sigh.)

Sunday - work, work and more work.

So you see, I'm not exactly thrilled with my exercise accomplishments this week, however, I did get a few other things done that I am pretty excited about (and I don't mean the phone upgrade either - but thanks to my honey for treating me to it!).

20 weeks down, 20(ish) to go!  Here's to a productive and fit week 21...wish me luck!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Positive Thoughts - Happy Friday!

After a long and particularly difficult week, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of all the positive things around us.  So rather than wait until the end of the day to have those positive thoughts to kick the weekend into high gear, start NOW.  Pull away from your task and look at the big picture.  Think of what's important and the real reason why you are HERE.  Have a wonderful weekend all! TGIF!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tomatoe, Tomato 19 weeks, that's a wrap-o!

Goofy, I know.  I sign up for weekly pregnancy newsletters and I always find it kind of funny how they relate the size of your baby to a fruit or vegetable.  During my last pregnancy, I got the crazy idea of taking self portraits of my baby bump progress along with said fruit/veggie.  Some turned out cute, some were a total reach but when it became stressful to try to accomplish this EVERY week...I gave up.  The frustration to find that special produce item that sometimes was not in season that if you did happen to find, would go bad if you bought too early was unnerving.  I should also mention what anyone that has ever attempted at GOOD self portraits already know...they are a total pain the rear.  Being your own art director, set designer, and being on both sides of the camera is a challenge especially when you move out of position to see how the last shot turned out.  Thinking about it makes me break a sweat (or reminds me of the hot days when I was shooting in the sun outdoors!) It was easy to give up too, since my bump really never made a significant appearance until the end the pregnancy.  Honestly, it was pissing people off to see how small I was when I was that far along (it's not my fault, people!).

In any event, it's week 19 aka Heirloom Tomato(e) workout wrap up time....

Monday - 4 mile run after work...passed on Aerial Tone (I was in the 5 day zone, more here)

Tuesday - Parenting solo on a hectic work/school/special event type day.  OFF!

Wednesday - Didn't pass on Tone...just could not get there. Frustratingly off. :(

Thursday - Double duty...Lunchtime Yoga (discovered that side crow is way easier than frontal crow...although I did accomplish it) & evening Aerial Tone (hallelujah!!)  I have never been so grateful for my kid's persistence. Another great workout here and a reminder that if I stick with ONLY once a week, I'll sorely pay for it...pun intended.  I really love this class and watching all the other classes that take place along side (Lyra, Aerial Fabric, Trapeze) is really motivation to get flexible and strong so that I can participate in those post-baby.
Inverted Duo
Friday - Off

Saturday -  Never got around to doing any exercise but did catch the Spring Show at Vault/GyrotonicHouston.  They did demonstrations of what each class entails starting with the kids level.  My kids were in total awe (and I KNOW they could totally do it too).  They followed the demonstrations with a recital of sorts performed by the teachers and even some students.  It was eye opening to know that the majority of those performing were not gymnasts, dancers or aerialists by trade but rather, doctors, lawyers, marketing executives and such.  So inspirational and motivational to know that I amongst them and working towards achieving those levels of performance.  Their next show is in December and we already know that the very least, my daughter wants a piece of that action.  I'm not sure what condition I will be in physically by then, but the idea of a mother/daughter demonstration is pretty darn cool if you ask me.  We'll just have to wait and see how the cards fall between now and then.

Sunday - Mother's Day!  I didn't have the heart to push and let my family know that I really wanted to get my swim in or that..."hey guys, it's beautiful outside, let's go for a ride!" because well...eyes would be rolling. I know it.  Instead we just played the day by ear and got a great breakfast together, shopping and some good fun family time with cousins that included a pretty exciting kickball game.  I will call it an official holiday rest day. :)

So, only 3 workouts in this week but some pretty great family time and other exciting things happening that filled up the week and made it a great one.

Off to week 20...the halfway point where we go...bananas?


Fighting for whats right...your right!

What have I been saying for the last few weeks?  If you want it, you make it happen, right?  If you want to have fitness, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, you find the time and juggle things around and sacrifice other not so important things to achieve it.  Right?

Well, what if with all the juggling and schedule shuffling to get it to where it finally works, someone stands in your way and says "you CAN'T do that"?  And the reasoning is no other than "if I can't do it, you shouldn't do it either".  Well...for a total of about 5 days, I thought that my regimen would have to go through a major overhaul and possibly be substantially cut back (before I and my body was ready to do so on my OWN terms).  And then I thought..."wait a minute, because someone tells me I can't, I'm going to stop? ...because it makes THEM feel bad that they don't make it a priority in THEIR life?...because their reasoning is exactly that: "I don't have time to workout and you shouldn't do it at lunch should work through lunch like me." Um. NO. I can't believe I let it take 5 days. 

I am entitled to do what I please on MY lunch break. That's why it's called a "break", correct? So, if I choose to eat out, eat at my desk, run errands or take a yoga class...the time out is exactly the same.  My activities are irrelevant.  ESPECIALLY since I have adjusted my schedule in advance to make up for drive time, etc.  Additionally, I will say that as a pregnant woman, at whatever number of weeks, sitting in a chair for a solid 8, 9, 10 hours straight is just NOT a good thing.  Every time I stand up, there is a symphony of pops in my hips and back and after extended periods, sciatica kicks in and misery is sure to follow (experience speaks here).

This is not my first rodeo.  I know what my body needs to feel strong, healthy and well to carry on with all the balls I have in the air.  Please don't stand in my way and take away my relief.  Exercise, especially when it becomes a habit or part of your lifestyle, is a necessary drug to keep the mind clear and the body in check.  You wouldn't skip brushing your teeth or taking your contacts out at night would you?  These are things that are required to keep the things moving like clockwork. Such is my routine...especially now that I have been so diligent about sticking with it and have been so proud to be able to be accountable, even for this blog and anyone that I could possibly inspire to get moving by reading it.

So I stood up and I fought for my right.  It was the right thing to do.  No one should be pushed off their path because it's not in line with someone else's path and especially if that path is not interfering with the path of others.  

So stand up.  Fight for it and you may just be surprised how quickly they step down and let you be. ;)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Poof, there goes week 18!

Just like that, another week has gone by and I am beginning to finally see a bump and also...FEEL pregnant.  Just last night, I jumped out of bed to check on the baby and whoa, Nelly!  My hip popped and my legs felt like they weren't attached to the rest of me.  I needed a few steps to um...wobble into a normal stride. Oh boy.

Nonetheless, I will continue to keep my fitness levels in check but most importantly, read the signs of my body and know when to pull back and take it easy.  Here is the run down on how last week went:

Mon - I had an early doctor's appt so I had to pass on Aerial class so I went for a 5 mile run after work.  For the 1st 5k of it, I ran with my son and pushed the baby in the jogging stroller.  I found a nice perk to this is that we could take turns  pushing the baby and he now has a new found respect for his mama...that thing hinders speed FOR SURE.  (Hence why he only hung for the first 3 miles...he was pooped!)

Last Monday, at 18wks2days, baby bump still in hiding...
Tues - off

Wed - Aerial Tone at lunch...I had the instructor all to myself so she was able to do extra modified moves just for a private lesson! Sweet!

Thurs - I did double duty here...Lunchtime Yoga at work (I was the only one in class that was able to do the "Side Crow"...on both sides!! Yay!!)  and then Aerial  Tone in the evening.  My daughter's first words when I got home from work were "are we going tonight?!"...she pumped her brother up about it and really, I had no choice.  I was a little nervous about bringing them both and having them be a distraction but ironically enough, the threat of NEVER, EVER coming back there if so much I heard a peep from them kept them on their best behavior for a solid hour.  I couldn't help but enjoy the play time and monkey swinging free time at the end of the session with them.  Honestly, although my body was pooped, the time I spent with them is absolutely priceless. sister thinks I am the coolest mom ever and by the way my kids have told all their friends, I'm thinking they do too. :)
My favorite pigeon pose on the top right and some fun moves at the end of class with the kiddos (while I can)...I spy itty bitty baby bump! :)

Fri - off

Sat - off and the 1st time I felt HUGE.  My jeans felt tight and my hubby grinned all day about how my belly bump was protruding. We were supposed to go on a family bike ride (the weather was AMAZING) but our errands consumed the day and before we knew it, it was time for IRONMAN 3!  Fun!

Sun - Another gorgeous day and I was feeling antsy that we wouldn't get out there again because of a soccer game right smack in the middle of the day.  Getting 5 people in sync for a bike ride outside the neighborhood takes some juggling and when the baby fell asleep for a nap, I thought my outdoor activities were doomed for  the day. Luckily, my awesome husband stepped up and offered me a golden ticket..."you go, enjoy it, I don't want you to feel bad" I was hesitant and guilt started to wash over me but when he said "you better go before you run out of time!" I quickly packed up my gear and headed out.

I took Blu (my beloved road bike) out for a gorgeous ride from the club onto the trail and ran into a couple of friends that are training for a long ride next weekend.  They were on their way back and had already logged in 42 miles! ...I decided that at 8 miles, it was as good time as ever to turn back and ride with them for a bit.  I totaled 14 miles back to the club and quickly changed into my swim gear and worked on my laps.

Those first 10-15 laps are the hardest.  The water is cold, my body was cold and I was just plain 'ol tired.  But once I got warmed up, the laps came easier and easier.  I was shooting low because of the bike ride but managed to keep it at 50 for a 1250m swim.

My friend and I upon meeting on the Terry Hershey Trail. (I need a new helmet) 
Not bad for a prego mama, huh? Hopefully, I can keep it going!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweet Tart

Over Thanksgiving, I tried a new dessert recipe a friend recommended that was somewhat daunting because it involved meringue! and whipping! and lightly toasting! ...all things that for a rather green cook, could be absolutely terrifying.  The fear involved is usually related to trying a new recipe on a day that it will be consumed at a large gathering BY a large gathering.  Oh, the pressure!!!

Nonetheless, I have been known to take a challenge in the kitchen every now and again and once the supplies and ingredients are bought...IT. IS. ON.

So, the recipe in question is for Lemon Meringue Pie.  The first one I have ever made in my LIFE. It was surprisingly easy to make and making the meringue "peaks" was kinda fun too.  I actually let my daughter help me with those and she went a little crazy with that and made them sky high!

Although I enjoyed the pie, I didn't have but a small taste and I didn't think much of it because there were so many desserts on the table, I wasn't even sure if anyone got around to eating it.  That is, until later that weekend.  I left the pie at my friend's house and heard raving reviews about how awesome it was.  I was taken aback by the compliment which was furthered by a request for ANOTHER.  WHAT?  Something *I* made? That's just unheard of.

Months have gone by and I heard of this "recipe redo" request once more, and I thought surely, someone was just being their normal sweet self and extending an unnecessary compliment.  But now that my friend's birthday has arrived, Lemon Meringue Pie has come up again.

So, when his wife asks a group of us where we can "buy" a great pie, I jumped in and offered to make it again.  She said he wouldn't want to share so I made TWO. I bought my supplies on the way home and made them to bring to dinner.  However, one thing I didn't consider is the "setting" time.  Whoops.
Although the taste was great, because it was still warm (mostly because I altered the recipe a tad), the filling was not as firm as I would have liked and it didn't look as pretty when sliced. *Lesson it the night before and let it sit in the fridge like at Thanksgiving or...follow the recipe.  Ahem. :/

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 
1/2 cup lemon juice 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
3 egg yolks 
1 (8-inch) prebaked pie shell or crumb crust**
3 egg whites 
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/4 cup sugar

In medium bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and zest; blend in egg yolks. Pour into cooled crust. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks from. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

**Rather than the pre-baked pie shell, I used the Pillsbury roll out Pie Crusts (you'll catch a glimpse of them in the video).  These need to be baked for about 10-12 minutes and COOLED before filling.  (this is where I went wrong in trying to serve it just minutes later)  If in a hurry to serve immediately, definitely use the pre-baked.

Here's how I did it in 6 seconds. :)

Let me know if you give it a whirl and how it turns out.