Pregnancy Update: Week 26

Hello! Before I head to dinner with Brody to meet up with another couple (who are also expecting their first, and a girl like us!), I wanted to check in with a baby update.

How far along? Week 26 will be done on Monday.

Baby’s size? She is a head of lettuce. Her eyes are starting to open now!

Weight gained? I weighed myself one morning this week, and I’ve gained around ten pounds.

Stretch marks? No, and hopefully it will stay that way.

Sleep? Some night were better than others this week. Falling asleep is no problem (ask Brody who has to listen to me snore a minute after closing my eyes), but I wake up to any little sound or movement. Last night was a good night though: fell asleep on the couch at 9pm, went up to be at 10:15pm, woke up around midnight to pee, up at 4:30am again, and then up for good at 7am.

Best moment this week? Brody and I switched over a bunch of items in my Wish List on Amazon in to the registry. Most of the big stuff (BOB running stroller, Liteway stroller, swing, bouncer, etc.) are on Amazon, and I’ll be registering the smaller stuff at Babies R Us. We also purchased our bedding.

Isn’t it adorable? It’s from the Land of Nod collection through Crate and Barrel. Once it arrives, we’ll be able to pick out the paint color (we’re now thinking a pale yellow). It’ll be fun to see the nursery start to come together.

Miss anything? I haven’t officially given up running, but it’s been a week since my failed attempt. It could’ve just been the day, so I want to give it another shot. This morning in a cardio class, running in place felt awesome and made me crave real running. I also got a little jealous when I saw a bunch of my running friends met in the Arb and did 6 miles this morning.

Movement? She continues to move around, and I’m noticing it more during the day now. Her kicks or punches actually woke me up last night also for a second.

Food cravings? I like tortilla chips (the ones from Chipotle are to die for), pears, and orange juice. I have been having a glass of orange juice most mornings, with ice. Anyone else love orange juice with ice?

Anything making you queasy or sick? Car rides still aren’t the best, but no episodes like a couple weeks ago. I have been getting some mad heartburn lately, though. I carry a baggie of Tums with me wherever I go. Can someone OD on Tums? I hope not.

Gender? Girl.

Labor signs? None.

Symptoms? Round ligament pain, heartburn, and some tiredness are what I’ve been feeling lately. We have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday night, and hope she tells me the discomfort I’ve been feeling from the round ligament is normal.

Belly button in or out? It’s still kind of an innie but it looks different. I wonder if I’ll ever have a full-blown outie.

Wedding rings on or off? On – no water retention (knock on wood).

Happy or moody? Happy but normally tired by Thursday – I wish the weekend came one day earlier.

Exercise? I made it to BodyPump twice this week, walked with the dogs at the park twice, and then did an hour and twenty minutes BodyStep/Attack class this morning. I actually worked up a little bit of a sweat at it too!

Looking forward to? I am excited to get the bedding, for our doctor’s appointment on Thursday (hearing the heartbeat), and for all of the dinners we have with friends coming up.

Until next time (which will be a Wine and Recipe post – I have good and easy recipes to share)!


Epiphany #1
I swear to God that when I left last Friday morning, it was still “summer” in Wisconsin. Warm temps, green trees, and flip flops. Now this:

Driving back from MN Tuesday.
And this!

Heck, even my dogs match the colors.

The last few CSAs have also included squash.

Butternut squash soup is coming up!

Epiphany #2
BodyPump hurts after a couple weeks off.

This is EXACTLY what I look like at BP at 5:30am. It is uncanny, I tell you.
A minor epiphany occurred this morning when I realized it wasn’t Tuesday. Last night I looked at the group fitness schedule and apparently looked at Tuesday. Excited, or as excited as I can be before the sun comes up, I asked for my BodyCombat ticket. The front desk lady looked at me like I was silly and told me I could choose between RPM (spin) or Pump.

BodyPump went well, and I am already sore. Tomorrow is a rest day luckily, as I see challenges in walking, stairs, and sitting.

Epiphany #3
I like salty dinners.

ThIs disgusting looking yet delicious recipe is from a recent issue of Real Simple. We got collards in our CSA last week, and when I saw this soup, I wanted to try it. Instead of andouille sausage I used pork and chicken sausage (I had a coupon and it was double coupon day yesterday!). Although there is no added salt, this soup is salty! Maybe it’s from the dried beans? The chicken broth? The sausage? Regardless, I am totally into it, just like I love me some teriyaki meatballs (also salty and also a Real Simple recipe).

Epiphany #4
My Costco Asics were not working for me. After a few long runs resulting in blisters on both feet, I realized it was time to return to my beloved Gel Nimbus 12s.

Oh how I missed you.

I ran in these yesterday afternoon on my teacher run, and not surprisingly, they felt incredible.


So I guess you may have noticed my lack of posts recently, especially during the weekdays. Being back at school is kicking my butt! I don’t want to force posts, and when the day is done, sometimes I need the couch, Brody lying next to me, and The Voice. Hopefully life calms down a little in these next few months, though. It’s been go Go GO!

Have a wonderful night!

What epiphany have you had recently?

This Week’s Sweat Sessions

While walking Tucker, the dog of the family I nanny for, I realized how I was a cross-training rockstar this week. Not sure what I’m training for (maybe the Tyranena half marathon?), but I was happy with how I pushed my body this week.

Workout Round-up
Saturday: Five mile run (outside with friends)
Sunday: BodyPump Express
Monday: Hot yoga (Power Flow at Inner Fire Yoga)
Tuesday: Kickboxing
Wednesday: Three mile run outside and forty minute incline treadmill walk
Thursday: Two mile “trail” run and thirty-five minutes of a Jillian Michaels circuit training DVD
Friday: RPM (a.k.a. spin) and fifteen minutes of free weights

This week I definitely kept my body guessing. No elliptical-for-thirty-minutes-every-day kind of girl over here. Although I wish I could’ve gotten a second Pump class in, I am very proud of myself for doing some new or rare workouts, like the “trail” run at the dog park, the workout DVD, and even lifting weights on my own. Also, please remember I am basically on vacation and have lots of free time. Once school starts, I do not have the luxury of time to create such a diverse workout schedule. I also have normally two rest days a week.

While I am not sore or fatigued from working out every day, I need to give my body a rest, and Sunday is the day for that. Tomorrow I am joining my friend Mel for about five miles in the middle of the Madison Mini half marathon. Should be fun!

Next week’s workout goals:
1) Run at least twelve miles
2) Get to BodyPump twice
3) Have fun doing the Color Run 5K in Milwaukee on Friday (that will not be hard)



Did you try something new this week?
Have you ever done a color run?

Au Revoir America, Bonjour Switzerland

I realize my title is in Frenglish; my French is a little dusty.

We leave for our European vacation in a couple hours. Because we’re flying out of Madison’s airport, we’re only getting to the airport an hour and a half before our flight. From Madison we fly to Detroit, Detroit to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam to Geneva. I am so excited to get there and not so excited about the traveling part.

This morning I made a to-do list to keep me in track and to stop my mind from running through all of the things I needed to do.

Juicing probably shouldn’t have been at the top of my list, but it was.

I HATE wasting food, and there were grapes, watermelon, blueberries, a beet, and mixed greens in the fridge. With my breakfast I juiced watermelon and the beet (amazing combo and beautiful color) and grapes, blueberries, and greens after my workout. The juicer is cleaned and will be neglected for the next two weeks. Yup, Brody put the kibosh on bringing it along. We tried Bridget.

Another important item on my list was laundry.

My amazing travel tip: wash your sheets before you leave. It is the most incredible feeling to get into bed with clean sheets after traveling for almost twenty-four hours.

I also like to workout the day I travel because of how much I will be sitting. My blood got moving this morning in a BodyPump class and thirty minutes on the elliptical. While on vacation, I like to stay somewhat active but in different ways. Last year, we did tons of hiking in Switzerland and I went on one amazing run in Lauterbrunnen (even though I had just developed runner’s knee). This year, Bridget and I have hopes of running in Croatia, but the research I did about running in Croatia make it seem like a challenge. If we end up just hiking and walking a lot, I’ll be okay.

All of our other affairs are in order: the neighbor boy is watering my plants and getting our mail, the dogs are with my mom, and my pack and carry-on (scarf, socks, books, iPad, toiletries, and snacks) are packed. Now it’s time to wait for my coworker to pick us up and we’re off!

See you again in Switzerland!

Have you ever been to Switzerland or Croatia?
What do you bring on your carry-on for long flights?

Monday Musings: Time and Baked Ziti

I found myself thinking about time this morning. Time is such an important part of my life, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

What does time do? It escapes us; we waste it; it goes by too fast; it can’t go by fast enough; we use it wisely. I typically feel all of these different ways about time in one day. When I walked into school at 7:30am, I thought, “I can’t wait until Friday.” During my hour-long prep, I wrote a to-do list for myself and “used my time wisely.” After work today, I had just a little bit of time to get home, let the dogs out, and get to BodyPump by 5:00pm. Because it is Moose’s birthday, another concept involving time, I wanted to get him and Frankie to the dog park tonight as well before “time escapes” us and it got too dark.


On the weekends, though, I am more relaxed with time. I often do not set an alarm, obviously have no bells ringing at certain times of the day, and don’t worry as much about being productive every minute.

Even when I am less stressed, I still get stuff done. On Sunday, I made it to the dog park, picked up some groceries, and cooked Brody and I breakfast…all before 10:00am.

French toast and coffee for me and an omelet and Dt. Mountain Dew for Brody.
I must’ve had one too many cups of coffee because I set off on a cleaning rampage, and much to Brody’s protests, he became a part of it. We also ran to Endurance House (I needed GU and GU Brew) and Home Depot for my vegetable beds. See…productivity without time constraints. And don’t worry – we also relaxed by watching That 70’s Show and I read fifty pages of Fahrenheit 451.

Honestly, I haven’t drawn any conclusions about time. It just popped into my head this morning, and after pondering it for the day, I realized how important and controlling it is to my life but how differently I treat it on the weekends versus the weekdays.


Last week at Trader Joe’s, I picked up a carton of two fennel bulbs specifically for this Emeril Lagassi recipe. Years ago, I was looking for a recipe I thought Brody would like. I stumbled across this gem and have since made it at least ten times.

Through trial and error, I have perfected the recipe and can basically make it without the recipe. If you choose to make it, which I highly suggest you do, consider these suggestions:
-Cut the fennel into small pieces or thin slices (they take a while to soften)
-Cook the sausage and fennel at the same time
-When making the Mornay sauce, heat up the milk first before adding it to the roux
-Take the pasta out earlier than you normally would
-Serve with baguette to sop up the remaining sauce

If you wanted to make this a little healthier, you could use turkey sausage; I think Jennie-O makes a hot Italian turkey sausage. You could also add spinach to it for a nutritional kick with little to no change in flavor. Lastly, whole wheat pasta would up the fiber. However, I really make this dish for Brody because he loves it so much, and I would hate it taint his memory of it by changing it this late in the game.

I hope you all had a great Monday!


Instagram Photo Challenge

It is no secret that my photography skills are somewhat lacking. Brody is the photographer of the family, and I have relied on him to snap some of the amazing moments of our life.

Amazing moment = me eating an eclair in Switzerland

Most of the photos I take are on my countertop; I lack creativity and variety. I hope this photo challenge will force me to step outside my very tight comfort zone. Many of the blogs I read post beautiful images and I feel a little embarrassed. Plus, this would definitely count towards Janetha’s Adventurous April.  She has prizes people!


Because I am eight days behind, I will just pick up today. My plan is to share each day’s photo here and maybe on Facebook.

Today’s theme: younger you


*This is EXACTLY why I am glad I am doing this challenge – I can’t even figure out how to rotate pictures in Instagram (on my iPad).  I thought I could do it on my desktop (also an Apple), but no can do.  I get frustrated easily with technology.  

I gave up on my dream of being a professional ballerina/dancer after my sophomore year of high school and turned to the dark side (i.e. cheerleading) for my junior and senior year. Last year at a cheer competition (I coached for two years), my mom arrived sporting these high school cheer buttons. Both pictures are from my senior year of high school. This was a fun time of my life when everything was so easy (obviously I didn’t realize that then). It seems like people either love or hate high school; I loved it, which is maybe why I enjoy teaching at a high school so much.

For my last day of Spring Break, I am working hard and being very productive lying on the couch watching HGTV. My laziness from yesterday wants to hang on. I haven’t been horizontal all day, though. My mom, sister, and I ran errands this morning and ate lunch (leftovers of course) together. After they took off, I brought the pups to the dog park and graded essays. BodyPump is next on the agenda, and I may squeeze in half an hour of elliptical before to get the blood moving.

Like many of you out there, we have lots of ham left. Brody had the genius idea to make Cuban paninis with pulled pork from last week and ham from yesterday. I also want to make scalloped potatoes with ham tomorrow or Wednesday night. If you have a good scalloped potato recipe, please share.

Have a great Monday!

Were any of you in cheerleading or dance in high school?
What do you do with leftover ham?

Ten Nuggets of Randomness

I have lots of random thoughts I’d like to share with you. In one of the classes I teach, we are reading The Catcher in the Rye which is written and narrated in a stream of consciousness style. I will spare you all of the randomness going on in my brain and limit it to ten nuggets.
*Note: While reviewing this post before publishing, I realized where the word “nugget” came from – the Garlic Gold!

1) I realized yesterday that I have completed half of my training plan. This weekend I will run 14 miles and bypass the halfway mark in terms of distance. Even now, I struggle to understand what 26.2 miles will be (and of course feel) like.

2) Roasting veggies is the easiest way for me to fit in a few servings a day. Tonight I roasted yellow squash, red and orange peppers, and onions. I love how the onions caramelize and become sweet.

BodyPump Unawareness, Quesadillas, and Lagunitas Glasses

Happy Monday people! Did everyone adjust to the time change? I had my alarm set for 5am, but when it went off, I made the executive decision to skip morning BodyPump and go to the early evening class. It felt nice to sleep for an extra forty-five minutes.

As I had planned in the wee hours of the morning, I made it to Pump. I arrived early and spent twenty minutes on the elliptical; then I pumped it out next to my friend Jena. There were two men in the class who had no idea what they were doing. Both did the clean and press SO wrong, and I was concerned they were each going to hurt themselves. During the triceps track, the guy closer to me had his arms way out on the bar and had no clue how to do a skull crusher. I know it shouldn’t annoy me because he was probably new…but it did. First of all, I wish the instructor would’ve seen him and helped him out. Secondly, it amazes me how some people lack body awareness. For example, if the instructor says, “Place your hands shoulder width apart on the bar,” that is what I do. I grew up dancing and watching myself in mirrors since the age of three. I have that mind-body connection and maybe I take that for granted. I also wonder if part of it comes from being a female (stronger mind-body connection?). Thoughts?


My pups needed exercise when I got home and we went for a nice thirty minute walk around the neighborhood. I spent about 79% of the time planning my dinner. Brody had a fantasy baseball draft, so I was on my own. With all of the produce in the fridge, I had lots of options. The sweet potatoes called my name and I wanted to finish up the last half cup of black beans I had used for tacos on Friday. I suddenly remembered a yummy dish from Bluephies: sweet potato black bean quesadillas.

Not the prettiest picture, but they tasted good.

With a whole wheat tortilla from Trader Joe’s and a little maple syrup, they came together nicely. In lieu of sour cream, I topped them with plain nonfat yogurt. Dessert included frozen mango. A perfect sweet, non-chocolate treat.


Is anyone else picky about glasses you drink out of? We have lots of pint glasses (many of which have beer logos on them), and they have been my favorite water drinking glasses…until today that is. Looked what we ordered!



I drank a cappuccino stout out of one of these last weekend at Cooper’s. Brody and I commented how cool of a glass it was. I ended up ordering six of them. I love the mason jar look.


Yesterday I thought I was being all cool mimicking the format of two of the bloggers who I regularly read; come to find out today I did it wrong. I took each letter of the alphabet and did my own thing with each, but I was supposed to answer the prompt for each (i.e. A is age, X is for x-rays). Oops! Oh well.

My rambling is done for the day. Sleep well!

Run Pump Yoga

Last week, after reading and seeing Janetha’s post about her Livefit results, I was in awe – you have to check it out. Amazing! Ummm, can I look like that if I follow the program? Seeing those pictures made me momentarily regret being in the midst of marathon training. I know I can tackle it after the marathon, but our plans are to be in Europe early July. It would’ve been amazing to look and feel like that on vacation.

Speaking of the marathon training, it is going pretty well. I haven’t really talked much about my running or workout schedule, so here’s what I’ve been doing and continue to plan on doing.

-two shorter runs during the week; normally Tuesday and Thursday; 3 – 6 miles each
-one long run Saturday (only at 6 miles so far – I will end up doing two 20 milers)
-one recovery run on Sunday; normally 3 miles
-two days of BodyPump; normally the 5:30am class on Monday and Wednesday morning
-one day of elliptical or yoga (sometimes)
-one to two days of rest

Besides this, I also walk at the dog park for 30 to 45 minutes about five times a week. Plus, as a teacher, I am on my feet for a majority of the day. No wonder I can fall asleep within a few minutes of closing my eyes at night.

I credit BodyPump with making me a better and healthier runner. Now with my Garmin watch my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas, I watch my pace when I run outside. I’ve noticed I run faster outside than I do inside on the treadmill. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? But really, with stronger legs and arms, everything moves more efficiently. I haven’t noticed a big change in my body; maybe my arms and legs are a little firmer but nothing drastic.


The other type of exercise I wish I could do on a weekly basis is yoga at Inner Fire Yoga. This studio is fantastic, but I unfortunately live a good thirty minutes away. With an hour and fifteen minutes class, that’s a two and a half to three hour commitment. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in a class Sunday morning and did this instead of my recovery run. The flow class was sweaty and challenging, and the instructor, who was new to me, had a positive teaching style. Instead of saying how the room was warm, he kept calling it juicy.


Being active makes me a happier person, and I have found that going even a few days without sweating makes me a little crazy and sometimes overly emotional. My body relies on those endorphins! I feel lucky that my parents signed me up for ballet at a young age and instilled in me other healthy habits.

Question: What is your healthiest daily habit?

Tuesday Rambles and an Easy Dessert Recipe

The three miles on the treadmill this morning at 5:40am felt pretty terrible. After taking a week off from BodyPump, the hour long class last night kicked my butt…and my hamstrings and my chest. My legs were heavy and I was slow. Hopefully the run shook off some of the soreness. When I first trained for a half marathon, I only ran: no elliptical, no yoga, and no BodyPump. Cross-training and lifting helped me run a faster second half marathon, and hopefully will help me run a successful full marathon at the end of May.

The baby shower was a fun, after school activity. My cupcakes were overshadowed by a much better dessert which I will provide the recipe for now. I have no idea what the official name is, but if they are delicious, does that minor detail matter?

Brownie Chocolate Rice Crispees (made that up…doesn’t really roll off the tongue)
– brownie mix (and necessary ingredients)
– 2 cups of marshmallows
– 3 cups of rice crispees
– 1 cup of chocolate chips
– 1 cup of butterscotch chips
– 1 cup of peanut butter

1) Make brownies but with only two eggs for recommended time
2) Add layer of marshmallows over brownies and put back into oven to melt (2 mins)
3) Mix rice crispees with melted chocolate, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter; spread over marshmallows
4) Allow to cool and then serve!

That ugly pile of dishes you saw last night? I took care of them while Brody took the dogs for a walk. It was around 50 degrees today, and the dog park is likely a muddy mess. I have plans to go tomorrow to meet with my friend Jena and her dog Ruger. Baths for the dogs might also be on the schedule.

My work week feels half over already; I am attending a conference on Friday in Milwaukee. I have two friends presenting as well! Conferences inspire me and provide me with many ideas for how I can be a better teacher. I am lucky that my school district is so supportive of teachers pursuing professional development opportunities.

Have a great night!

P.S. Sorry for the absence of pictures – I need to be better about bringing my camera with me and actually remembering to take pictures.

P.P.S. I signed up for the foodie penpal program for the month of February that Lindsay organizes. I can’t wait to go shopping for my penpal and to receive my package in the mail.