Monday, November 30, 2009

Treasure Indeed

Hey guys, just a quick hello before I head to my warm and cozy bed to do a little reading. 

This afternoon I got to chat with my long distance BFF – love her!!!  Call me anytime my dear. I feel so lucky to have met sweet Polly through the blog world and now I can not be more thankful to have her as my friend.  This community that we have here sure is amazing.  I see it all the time on other blogs – bloggers meeting other bloggers/readers and the rest is history. 

Dinner tonight included this massive bowl of veggies – I think that I met my quota for the day and then some. 

mixed greens, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, roasted red pepper and a drizzle of Maple Grove Farms Strawberry Balsamic dressing.




And of course more of my favorite combo – where would I be without sunflower seed butter, almond butter and jelly?  Along with a piece of almond cheese served up on my fancy Dixie china. 




Now onto the GOOD STUFF!!!  For dessert I topped some frozen blueberries, strawberries and mango chunks with Ben & Jerry’s Berried Treasure Sorbet.  Oh boy is this stuff good.  I love the little zip that the lemon sorbet adds to this combo as well.  I think it is safe to say that anything blueberry is never going to let me down. 




Time to go hit the book – still making my way through Eclipse.  I hope you have a lovely evening.  See you tomorrow.

What I want to be when I grow up.

No I am not talking about myself, I am referring to my son who is forever blowing things up.  He is definitely ALL BOY!!!  Growing up with a sister, we never blew things up or fought imaginary monsters.  We played with Barbie practically every day.  There was a time when we were very fond of cars and Micro Machines (remember those), but we made pretend towns and drove them around aimlessly for hours on end.  Being a mommy of a boy is very interesting to say the least.  He is always up to something – creative that is – thankfully D has never been a little imp. 

The other day we asked him what he wants to be when he is all grown up.  His answer – “I want to go around and fight people.  And I want to be a knight”. Hmm???  I bet in a few years that will change – at least a mother would hope. 

This morning all he wanted to do was wear his costumes and go around and shoot things.  I only got pictures of him in one but there was an outfit change at some point.  At least I got him to take them off when it was time to go to school.  My child is still stuck on Halloween when all the other kiddios are singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. 

They are a little blurry due to the fact that he does not stop moving.





Oh no, he has been hit!!!! 




I love this little sweet tart!!!  And is it me or is he looking much older these days????  Only 14 more days till he turns five – I’m tearing up just thinking about it.




Onto the food shall we.

This morning I hit the gym at an insanely early hour – 5 AM to be exact.  I do love my crack of dawn workouts.  I did 30 minutes on the Elliptical, 30 minute run on the treadmill and weights.  I ended with LOTS of foam rolling which is much less painful now that I have been torturing myself for many months.

Breakfast was a glorious bowl of Banana Blueberry Oats.  I had been avoiding bananas for a little while (thought they might be bugging my belly) and decided to test them out again.  I only bought 2 and I have eaten both without any issues.  Looks like they are back on the menu.  Thank goodness, I LOVE bananas. 

This beauty contained 1/2 cup oats cooked with water and 3/4 of the banana.  I then stirred in 1/2 a cup of frozen blueberries and added the lovely toppings – the remainder of the banana, PB2 and almond butter. So yummy I tell ya!! 




Lunch was rather fiber-iffic – raw broccoli, zucchini and an apple. 




I also had rice cakes with sunflower seed butter and jelly.



Seeing as I have a few hours to myself I am going to savor the peace and quite.  I hope you have a great Monday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We’ve been having some fun

Boy did the last 4 days whiz by.  Our little family unit sure did have some fun.  We have become quite competitive when it comes to Wii Bowling so we decided to take things to the actual lanes. 







Honestly, I am much better at the video game than the real game – I STINK!!!  No big deal, we had a blast. We are definitely going to have to go bowling more often – outside of our living room that is.

On a foodie note, I have been eating the same old “Sammie” stuff – simple yet delicious. 

Here’s a few in no particular order.











Yeah, I am eating lots of broccoli and I really like it roasted till it is almost charred – weird, I know.

I got a question on my last post (thank you all for them amazing comments) and I wanted to answer it so that you all could hear.  It might be a question that you had been thinking and did not want to ask – please do not hesitate.  I shared my story and am fully prepared to answer any question you have.

The question asked if I was able to breastfeed.  There are a few risks that come with the surgery – loss of sensation and the inability to breastfeed are the two big ones that come to mind.  I did not lose sensation – they actually got a little more sensitive after the 1st surgery.

My answer to the question is – yes and no.  Odd answer, so let me explain.  I produced colostrum and was able to feed that to D when he was born.  Because I’d had a breast reduction I had to meet with a lactation consultant numerous times while I was still in the hospital after the birth.  From her, I kind of got the feeling that bottle feeding was not really supported and I felt pressured to give breastfeeding a try even if it was SUPER difficult on me and my new baby.  He was producing wet diapers so we assumed he was getting his fill.  When we went to his newborn appointment with the pediatrician, however, he had lost weight.  The pediatrician told me to buy a really good breast pump and try to feed him more even if I had to bottle feed him the breast milk.  She was not supportive of the formula option, either. We went out ASAP and bought a $300 dual electric pump.  I hooked that thing up and tried to pump when ever I could, but it wasn’t very productive.  I felt the breast milk come in – for all you non-moms, it takes a few days after the little one is born – so I knew that there was milk in there that needed to come out.  So I continued to do this even when my skin was peeling off my breast and I was bleeding.  I was still trying to get D to latch on and drink directly from me, but every time he would latch on I would cringe because my nipples were so sore.  The pressure I felt from the nurses and doctors made me feel like I just had to stick with it and hope it would get easier.  Well one night (2 weeks after D was born), during a big snow storm, I got really sick.  I had a very high fever, my breast were super hot and felt like rocks to the touch.  I called my doctor and she had me call the fire department so that they could come over and check on me.  There was no way that we were going to be able to venture out in the snow with a newborn.  Thankfully I just had a fever and everything else checked out ok.  The next day I went to my doctor and she told me that I must stop breastfeeding.  I had developed an infection which I think occurred because the milk was basically stuck without a way out.  There were too many of the milk ducts that had been severed.

After that I did go through a period of feeling selfish for having the surgery even though my doctor told me that our society can really put too much pressure on a mom to not bottle feed and I should not feel badly about it at all.  I was just really sick and it was not doing D any good either. 

Even after that hurdle, I would not go back and change my decision to get a reduction.  I am a much happier Sammie and Mommy. 

I hope that answer was not too graphic.

Time to go battle those boys in bowling.  I hope you all had a great weekend.  See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Story

Happy Thanksgiving!!  I am super thankful for my family and friends.  But there is also something else that I will always be thankful for. Eight years ago I made the decision to do something that would change my life.  Let me first give you a little background info.  I have ALWAYS been an active individual – just not a runner.  I did attempt to run a few times but it just hurt my body so much that I decided to stick with the elliptical, stair climber and also I used to be into Kickboxing (at one time I was an instructor). I wake up everyday excited to get my body moving. I have never been the person who dreads fitting in a workout – I ALWAYS look forward to whatever type of exercise I plan to do that day.  So you are probably wondering why was it that I could not run, or should I say, why I had a hard time with the after effects of running?  I have been trying very hard to come up with a less drastic way to say this but I’m at a loss so I am just going to gun it – I had very large breasts.  There, I said it – sorry if I have any male readers. This post is going to be all about boobs.  I carried around a set of 34 DD girls that were really not proportionate with the rest of my body.

Here are a few photos from when I was in high school.  I know it is a little hard to tell really how well endowed I was but I am pretty sure that I chose bras that would hold them in to try to make them look smaller.




Having all that weight in the front caused me extreme back pain and I was very self conscious of their size.  People would talk to my chest as if my face did not exist.  I knew that they were very noticeable even when I made every attempt to cover them up.

This next picture is so not flattering but I am willing to put it out there to share my story with you guys.  For some reason Charlie really wanted to capture me eating that nectarine. 

This was taken on a trip to Canada when Charlie and I had been dating for a little less than a year.  I went under the knife a few months later. 




I was very fortunate to meet a plastic surgeon that really and truly cared about doing this surgery for me.  I had met with others – yes I tried to get this procedure done many times – and they were not as helpful. I even went through physical therapy with an orthopedist to try and alleviate back pain with taping and massage treatments.  This was not just to address exercise related pain but just the normal pain & stress due to having breasts so disproportionate to the size of my upper body.

I even met one who was surprised that I wanted a reduction when most of his patients were going in for enlargements.  Another one told me to try and lose weight – WHAT!!!  I wasn’t overweight to begin with.  A lot of them do not want to fight the insurance company to get this surgery paid for.  I knew that I had enough to spare in order for my insurance company to pay for it, I just needed to meet the surgeon willing to fight for me.  Well in August of 2001, I met my surgeon and she changed my life.

The surgery was in October 2001, and I was shocked at the instant relief that I felt in my back and shoulders.  It really was an immediate change to my posture and my confidence was lifted too.  I no longer felt like the first thing people would see was my chest.  I was able to buy clothes that I would have never dreamed about wearing before.  My life really did change.  After I healed, I then ventured into the land of running.  Boy, did I get hooked.  I started off really slowly – 3 miles here and there and mostly on the treadmill.  It felt great and I had NO pain in my back or shoulders.

Here is a photo a little less than a year after my surgery.  Even though I had a little over a pound removed from each breast, I was not left without curves. 




Well I went to see my plastic surgeon for a routine checkup and she noticed that I had developed hypertrophic scars.  When she touched my scars I would get a sharp pain in the area where she had made the incisions. Not only were they painful but they were very raised and hard.  She recommended that  I have them removed and hopefully my body would not heal the same way twice.  One year and five months after my first surgery, I had another.  This time it was much shorter – the first one was 5 hours.  I was not required to stay over night at the hospital like I had to when I had gone in for the first one.  It was still surgery though and I needed lots of TLC. Thankfully I had the most amazing care giver – Charlie.  He took care of me after both procedures – changing my bandages and making sure that I was comfortable at all times.  During the 2nd surgery she had to remove skin along with the scars which resulted in smaller breast yet again.  I think that I was a pretty large B/small C after the first one and then the second one left me at a small B large A.  Fortunately, the scars did not return.

Talk about one extreme to the next, right?  I am totally ok with that.  I would never go back and not have the surgery.  Did I want to be this small? No, but I would much rather lay down at night and not have muscle spasms in my back and deep indentations in my shoulders from carrying around all that weight in the front.

On the running front, I really started adding more and more miles to my runs the year that I had my second surgery.  I was not out to drop weight but yes, I did lose weight.  I ran for the first 5 months of my pregnancy and then after I had Declan I went right back to it.  Running became my outlet, my way to let off any stress that I was feeling.  When I run I feel so strong and healthy.  I do not run because I HAVE to – I run because I WANT to.  And now I CAN without any problem.  After I had Declan my cup size has gone down a little due to the fact that breast tissue is less dense after having a child.  It is all fine and dandy – I WILL never complain that my chest is too small. 

So that is my story.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

I hope that you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Now I must go bake some treats for my family. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OD on Vitamin C

Sorry I skipped out on you last night.  I starting getting a sore throat and just wanted to hit the hay early.  I have been pumping some serious vitamin C through my body – ever try Emergen-C?  I love that stuff. It is fizzy and tastes really yummy. 

Dinner last night was a lovely platter of roasted veggies and a Turk’y Burger on an English muffin.  Did you know that broccoli contains oodles of vitamin C?  Good thing I like my greens.




This morning I made a bowl of Blueberry Oats for breakfast.  So warm and delicious.




D and I went to the gym for our weekly babysitting gig.  It wasn’t too busy which is surprising seeing as tomorrow is Turkey Day.  Maybe a lot of people are traveling today in order to avoid traffic tomorrow. 

Lunch was the ever so scrumptious combo if apple, zucchini and cinnamon.




And 2 rice cakes with sunflower seed butter & jelly, almond cheese and the rest of the zucchini & apple.




I am debating on whether or not I should make a dessert to bring along with us to my mother-in-law’s house tomorrow.  I know that she always has plenty of food but I also know how much my main squeeze LOVES my baked goodies.  He kind of hinted toward brownies. 

Are you making anything special for tomorrow?  Or do you have to make the ENTIRE meal? If my house were bigger I would love to have the festivities at my homestead but there is no way we can cram that many people in here.  Maybe someday, if we ever move that is. 

time to get a move on, decisions, decisions

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running Errands

Hello, finally.  This morning/early afternoon, D and I had bunches of errands to run.  I have been without a watch for way too long and really had to have the battery replaced so that was first on the list.  I then headed to a photo shop to get some pictures scanned – no, I don’t own one but thinking that one would save me $$ in the long run.  We have so many pictures pre-digital cameras that I would love to have on my computer.  Then it was off to CVS to pick up a prescription and a few other odds and ends.  Well for some reason the prescription was put back on the shelf – I swear it has not been that long since I called it in.  Well a quick trip into the store turned into more like and hour.  I just got home and had lunch at almost 2 o’clock.  Thank goodness I had a serving of Kashi crackers and a tablespoon of hummus before we left – I would have been crawling to the fridge if not.  I do have to hit the Post Office at some point to mail the rest of D’s b-day invitations – I had to scrub that due to the fact that my belly was eating itself.  I will probably go when I venture out to pick up the disc of scanned pictures later. 

Onto the eats now shall we.

This morning I made the exact same bowl of yummy Pumpkin Oats as yesterday, including the NuNaturals NuStevia powder.  The only difference was today I used a dollop of almond butter instead of sunflower seed butter.





I enjoyed a cup of French press coffee while savoring every bite.




And my side kick did his thing – told you we have a routine.  If you have not noticed I am HUGE on the routine – don’t mess with it or I get a bit wacky.




So of course I threw together a super fast lunch because I was so hungry I was ready to eat my arm off. I had a bowl of zucchini, apple and cinnamon.




And 2 rice cakes topped with sunflower seed butter & jelly, almond cheese and the rest of the apple.




I want to thank you all for the comments on my last post. I am currently in the process of getting some before pictures – thus the need for scanning.  Honestly, I do not have a lot. I used to HATE to have my picture taken. The ones that I am going to share with you go WAY back, like when I was in high school.  So be on the lookout for that post. Not sure if it will be tonight but I do promise it will be soon. 

I hope you are enjoying your day. Is this a short week for you guys?  I know that it is for my main squeeze – he has Thursday & Friday off – woo hoo!! 

Well I am off to go retrieve my photos .

on the road again! 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Zucchini Boats

Well all the invitations have been handed out to D’s classmates. He was so excited – I really hope that they all can make it.  I actually already got a call this evening from one mom letting me know that her son will be there and is so thrilled to attend. 

Today I did a little something different with my zucchini – I made boats.  After hollowing them out, I spread lemon hummus in the trenches.  D thought that I was eating peanut butter stuffed zucchini. 




I also had an open face sunflower seed butter & jelly sandwich (on gluten free bread) and an apple.  I am not eliminating wheat – this bread just happens to be soy free as well. 





While D was at school I got some cleaning accomplished.  While I cleaned I had a few candles lit and boy did my house smell fabulous.  I recently purchased a Sparkling Snow Yankee Candle from one of D’s school fundraisers.  It made my house smell like Christmas.  I guess it is not too early to get into the holiday spirit. 

Dinner tonight featured some yummy roasted green beans, broccoli and portabella mushrooms.  I also had a Turk’y Burger, almond cheese and rice cakes topped with almond butter and jelly.




Dessert was lemon sorbetto served over a bed of frozen pineapple chunks and strawberries. 





There is something that I have been giving some thought to posting about but it is kind of up to you guys if you want me to share it with you.  I really do not get into that many personal things on my blog.  I mean this is the internet and I do not know who is out there reading.  It is kind of “my story” to when and how I became a runner.  I know that I generally do not get bunches of comments but I am asking for a simple response. Let me know what you think.

I am off to get warm – it is FREEZING in here.  Thank goodness I turned on my heated blanket. Have a great night.

Take Two

Good morning & happy Monday.  I hope you all had  a great weekend. We had some good quality family time here at my homestead. I just love our little family of 3 – well 4, I can’t forget crazy Otto. 

This morning I ventured to the gym for a workout.  I did fit in 2 nice runs over the weekend but I was really looking forward to some strength training today.  I did a little cardio mixer- 20 minutes on the Stairclimber, 25 minute hill climb on the Treadmill and ended with a 15 minute quick run.  I headed into the weight room and had a glorious little session using dumbbells.

I headed home, cleaned off the grime and made a fabulous bowl of Pumpkin Oats.  Since there was not a lot going on in the mix, I decided to try the NuNaturals NuStevia again. I added 2 packets to the pot after cooking the oatmeal. 

This time I could definitely taste the difference. It was rather yummy if I do say so. 




While I prepared my breakfast, D played on the computer - part of our daily routine.





Time to get my little doobie dressed. We need to make a trip to Staples to make copies of the directions to his birthday party – he decided to go with a karate party.  All the kiddies will participate in karate activities led by the owner of D’s karate school. D went to a party there back in April of this year and loved it. He wants to invite ALL his friends from school so this should keep them busy. I can’t even imagine 15 kids crammed into my little house. Thank goodness we have other options. 

I hope you have a great day.