GirlEvolving


4 Comments

sneaky spaghetti pie

The beauty – and sneakiness – of this recipe is that it gets in a whole head of cauliflower.  It’s delicious, comes together quickly, and was a big hit with Dave and I and both the kids (a dinnertime where we’re not fighting to get them to eat the meal?  Priceless!).  I’ve had a version of spaghetti pie made with ricotta or cottage cheese, which was really good.  But I liked this version even better!

sneaky spaghetti pie

Sneaky Spaghetti Pie

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and chopped into large pieces
  • 1lb. spaghetti, any variety (gf also works)
  • 1/4c. pesto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2c. shredded parmesan
  • 3-4c. spaghetti sauce
  • salt to taste

Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with salted water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.  Scoop out the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender.  Return the water to a boil for the spaghetti noodles and add more water if needed.  Cook the noodles as directed.  While the noodles cook, blend together the cauliflower, pesto, and eggs until smooth and creamy.  Add salt as needed.  When the noodles are finished, drain and return to the pot.  Add the cauliflower sauce to the noodles and mix well.  Add 1/2c. parmesan and mix again.  Pour into a greased 8″ round pan.  Top with the remaining parmesan.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Take off the foil and back for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  While the pie is baking warm the spaghetti sauce in a small pot.  Slice the pie and serve, topping with sauce.  Serves 6.

IMAG1117_1


3 Comments

2014 running review

January 1, 2014 I ran 2 miles – my first postpartum run after having Kate.  I ended the year at 15 weeks pregnant and 840 miles for the year.  I ran two half marathons: the Parlor City Trot in Bluffton Indiana (2:14, Kate in stroller) and the Haunted Hilly Half (1:58:48).  Parlor City Trot was my half marathon with Kate and she did really well for most of the race, aside from a few fussy spots where she was tired or wanted a snack.  I was not really trained for the 13 miles and hoped that all my miles pushing the double stroller would help me get across the finish line.  It worked… but was painful.  The Haunted Half was my attempt at going sub-2 for the first time since having kids and thanks to the help of Kimberly, I mostly achieved it.  I say “mostly” because the course was a little short, so technically I would have been just under 2:01 if it had been full length.  But the HILLS.  Yowza.  Kimberly had to drag my sorry 6 week pregnant butt over them (and she was 16 weeks pregnant at the time).  My highest mileage month was October, with 122 miles.  As of right now I’m still running.  I had a dip in November and December where I was tired and didn’t run as much, but now that I’m in the second trimester I’m finding my energy is back up, as well as my speed (for the most part).  I’m in the sweet spot right now where I don’t have first trimester fatigue or third trimester body bulk.  I’m loving it!

I don’t have tons of goals for 2015.  I’d like to run through pregnancy as much as possible and as my body is willing and able.  I’d like to come back running postpartum.  And I’d like to do a half marathon in the fall with Kimberly, as a postpartum comeback.  I’d love to do some stroller runs in the spring and late summer and fall, as it’s a great way to build strength and endurance and share running with the kids (as well as get them outside).

How was your 2014?  What goals do you have for 2015?


Kate: 13 months

I was thinking yesterday there are some things I want to remember about Kate at this age but her baby book no longer has space for me to do monthly summaries.

Kate started walking just shy of 11 months so now at 13 months she is almost running (it’s kind of a powerwalk/jog thing).  She is really aware of what is going on around her and knows when we are talking about certain things.  For instance, if you say “snack” or “eat” or “milk” or “breakfast/lunch/dinner” she will expect food immediately.  If we’re upstairs, she’ll go right over to the gate at the top of the stairs and shake it to let us know she’s ready.  She also does this when she’s hungry.  It’s actually really convenient and helpful that she can communicate that way!  She loves to be chased and wrestled.  She’s adores Leo and wants whatever he has.  For the most part Kate just does her thing but when she wants something she really lets you know!  She can also be quite dramatic.  This past week she had to get a heel prick and shots at the doctor and it was a huge ordeal.  She was screaming and flailing during the heel prick and blood was everywhere.  Then during the shots she was crying so hard she was sweating and shaking.  She did the heaving-postcry breathing for about 15 minutes afterwards, too.  The nurse said she wasn’t sure she’s ever seen such a reaction out of a baby!  To her credit, once shots are over Kate calms down and rarely has a reaction (no fever or crankiness).  She’s a tough girl!

Kate never stops moving.  She doesn’t sit and play with toys.  If something is particularly interesting she might stand and play with it for about 3 seconds before she’s walking on to something else.  She’ll bring you stacks and stacks of books but not stick around for more than a page before she walks off again.  She loves to chew on things.  Thinking of Christmas ideas for her for family was hard because she doesn’t really “play” with anything!  She walks around and chews things!  She loves to take magnets off the fridge and to put toys on her head (or other’s heads) as hats.  She loves to get hats out of the bin of winter things and bring them to us to dress up.  She eats pretty well but when she’s done with a food she does “scissor hands” in front of her face to let you know she will not eat any more of that.  She knows what “no” means but generally laughs when we say it and thinks it’s a pretty funny joke.  If you actually tell her no emphatically and swat her hand lightly, she will be very offended and wail.

IMAG0972

doctor on the move

drinking bathwater.  gross.

drinking bathwater. gross.

sleeping hard with pink kitty

sleeping hard with pink kitty

Nicknames: Katie, Katiegirl, Missy, Little Miss, Shortstack, Babycakes

Favorite foods: graham crackers, cheese, peas, noodles, fruit, yogurt and oatmeal (but only if sweetened), cheerios, raisins, roasted broccoli, eggs, toast

Foods she dislikes: beans, avocados, tofu

Dislikes: diaper changes and getting dressed (you’d think after a year this would be old hat but no), sitting still, getting nails trimmed (basically she walks around with talons because trying to cut her nails is akin to wrestling a very angry wildcat)

Likes: socks and shoes, playing dress up, magnets (she uses Leo’s magformers more than he does), saying “dadada” and “mamamamama”, playing with Leo, her pink kitty and pacifier, rattling balls, taking things off shelves/out of baskets

I would still describe Kate as opinionated and a little particular at times, but she’s predominantly very sweet, happy, and silly.  She’s busy busy busy but still a really good sleeper (she sleeps 12+ hours at night, 45 minute morning nap, and 1.5 hour afternoon nap).  It’s fun to see her and Leo chase each other and laugh together and we’re hopeful that they will grow up to be good friends!


13 Comments

hello out there?

Remember when I blogged?  Me, too.  Barely.  It’s been a loooong time (7 months…).  Basically I was tired, I didn’t feel like I had much to say, and when I had extra time I wanted to use it to zone out, not write.  I’m not saying this is a comeback.  But for the first time I felt like I wanted to write, so I’m going with that.  No promises it will become a regular “thing” again.

In case you forget what we look like…

6b92618a-66bc-443f-aa6b-b013c7f8dc90

This morning as I was getting ready I thought of a few things I/we do that have made life a little simpler, so I wanted to share them.  And I’m hoping you have some ideas you can share, too!

1) Get up before your kids.  Obviously losing some sleep kind of sucks, but once you’re used to the wake up time, it becomes much easier (also: turn on the light as soon as your alarm goes off and it’s much much easier to wake up).  That first cup of coffee by yourself?  GOLD.  And Dave and I have both found that we’re much more mentally and emotionally ready to hang with the kids when we’ve started the day with some time on our own.  Which leads to…

2) Trade off.  First, you might have to make some tradeoffs with your life.  For instance, we go to bed silly-early (about 8-9pm) because Leo is an early riser.  This means we might miss out on social things at night or we’re going to pay for it the next day because we stayed up late.  Second, we tradeoff with the kids.  Dave does breakfast with Leo so I can run in the mornings and takes the kids for half an hour before dinner so I can cook without kids hanging on me (literally Kate hanging on my jeans crying because she knows there is fooooood).

3) Put your shoes on when you get dressed.  This seems silly, but if you’re getting two kids ready to head out the door it’s so much easier if you don’t have to get your shoes on, too.  In the winter there is enough stuff to tie, pull on, zip up.

4) Pick recipes that are delicious but easy.  I want meals that come together in about 30 minutes.  If I have to do a little prep over naptime that’s okay, but I prefer it to just be done all at once, in half an hour.  Here are a couple of our favorites:

There’s also the crockpot, which I’ve sorely underused lately.

5) A quick clean is better than a no-clean.  So you’d love to sweeper the whole kitchen but only have time to use the handheld to get the really crumb-y spots.  You don’t have time to deep-clean the bathroom but you can quick-scrub the sink and toilet.  Go for it.  Anything is better than nothing!

What are some of your best ideas for making life a little simpler?  We need all the help we can get because…

IMAG0993

Baby #3 is coming in late June!


3 Comments

baby carriers

I love baby wearing for a few simple reasons: it’s really convenient and I love holding/smelling/touching my baby.  We have a few baby carrier options that we’ve rotated between.  We have a Baby Bjorn, a sling, and a Moby wrap.  Each of these have things we like and things we don’t: the Bjorn is super easy to get on, but for whatever reason neither Dave or I can get it adjusted to a position that doesn’t feel like it’s killing our back and neck (I actually had my leg fall asleep mid-walk once from it pinching me).  The sling is great when the baby is little but still places a lot of pressure on the shoulder/neck.  And the Moby wrap is probably the most supportive and least painful, but winding 3 yards of fabric around your body isn’t exactly convenient or easy to get on/off in public (let alone at home).

I’d heard rave reviews about the Ergo carrier from multiple sources, including my sister, but Dave and I didn’t really want to drop $100 on a new carrier when we already had a few.  At the same time, we loved the carrier option and really wanted one that would allow us to baby wear for long walks, afternoons at the park, etc.  It’s much more convenient to go on a walk with Leo and hang with him around the playground while wearing Kate than pushing her in the stroller.  Plus, she naps better.

Then I found it: an Ergo knock-off for less than half the price of an Ergo!  I ordered mine from Amazon and while it shipped directly from China, it only took ten days to reach our house.

41g3c-P-4oL

I wore it for the first time yesterday and was stunned at the difference.  I wore Kate for over an hour and my back or neck never hurt and I never had to move the carrier around to get a different position or make it feel better.  It was so comfortable.  I’m really excited to use this carrier more and to try the different positions (you can wear the baby in the front, back, or hip positions)!

(We’ll be donating our spare carriers to a women’s shelter or pregnancy center.  I think they’re good carriers when you just want to wear the baby for a short amount of time.  Since we were wanting to wear Kate for much longer, they just weren’t working for us.)


1 Comment

dirty girl mud run, indianapolis

On Saturday Kimberly and I participated in the Dirty Girl Mud Run.  Although labeled Indianapolis, it was actually held at a paintball venue in Anderson, which was more convenient for both of us since it’s a lot closer.  I was looking forward to the race beforehand, but as the day got closer and the days got colder, I was a little apprehensive.  How much mud could there be with freezing temps (answer: a freakin lot)?

clearly "before"

shirts read: “If you think I’m dirty you should see my toddler.” Fun fact: we definitely out-dirtied our toddlers.

The morning of the race I met Kimberly in Fort Wayne.  We did 4 fast (for me) miles, then loaded in to the car with coffee and snacks.  The drive to Anderson was just 1.5 hours, which was awesome.  We found the paintball place without any trouble.  Registration and gear check was set up in a big field that was already pretty muddy.

shoes after registering - we thought they were muddy.

shoes after registering – we thought they were muddy.

picking my way across the muddy field to gear check.

picking my way across the muddy field to gear check. now imagine how much muddier this field would be a few hours later and hundreds of people more.

It was relatively well-marked, but also a little confusing.  While the volunteers were very friendly, they didn’t necessarily offer extra information, such as “here’s your bib but you’ll get your safety pins down at gear check,” which meant we did some unnecessary backtracking looking for things.  In terms of “flow” it was a little, ahem, muddy.  Strangely enough, the hardest thing to find was the start line!  We followed a group of ladies and got some help from a volunteer.  It was tucked behind a lot of things, including some tank trucks, and completely unlabeled, from what I could tell.

start line selfie

start line selfie

We had signed up for the 9:15am wave, but since nobody asked when we had signed up and we were ready at 9am, we just started then.  The first half mile or so was through the forest.  This part wasn’t very muddy – more a trail through the woods.  We tried to run where we could but it was narrow and a lot of people were walking.  The first obstacle was climbing up a huge inflatable pyramid and bouncing down the other side.  The next obstacle was climbing up an inflatable pyramid again… but this time you slid down a giant slide into a vat of ice cold muddy water.  This was actually pretty fun, although it would have been more fun if it was actually warm out (it was about 35 degrees).  A volunteer at the bottom helped you up, which was nice.  It was also smart to place this obstacle early in the race, as it forced you to get wet and muddy!

photo 2

We did a few more obstacles – a waist high wade through a tub of more ice cold mud water, over some muddy hills, up and over a couple walls and across a rope net.  Then we hit a long, open stretch of field.  The course zigzagged over the field, which would have been fine if we could have run, but the mud was literally up to our ankles, making running difficult or impossible.  We were forced to walk much of this, which was slow and tedious.  In addition, the field also smelled distinctly of cow manure.  We ended up walking back and forth across three or four different fields, with only a few obstacles scattered in between.  This was by far the worst part of the course.  Fighting across shoe-sucking mud got old, fast, especially when it was 3 miles worth.  We saw several ladies who cut across the course and honestly, I can understand why they did.  This part of the mud run wasn’t really fun, except Kimberly and I kept each other laughing.

There were a few more walls to climb up and over, some obstacles to climb under, and a long tube in the mud to crawl through.  Also: more ankle-deep mud.  Then we were at the finish line, which was a quick run through a long vat of knee-deep water.  We finished in just about an hour, which was pretty good considering how slow we had to go through the fields.

photo 3

Afterwards we picked up our bag from gear check and headed to the area where you could clean up and get changed.  We were hoping for actual showers, even if they were community, but instead got a line of garden hoses on a tarp.  The water was freezing cold!  We got relatively clean, although it was definitely more of a thorough rinsing and not anything that allowed soap.  Afterwards we changed in a large tent with tarp floors.  Water was already starting to come up through the floors, which made us glad we were there early (I imagine later this was a disaster zone)!  Changing clothes when you’re damp, freezing cold, your hands are completely numb, and you’re trying to balance and not fall in puddles of water is a special kind of challenging, let me tell you.  We ended up keeping our old shoes on until we got to the car, since the venue field was now a soupy, muddy mess (spectators basically were forced into a bit of mud run themselves!).  We cleaned our feet off as best we could at the car and left our shoes in the field, since we didn’t want to put them in the car and we didn’t want to slog back through the mud to put them in the donation bin.

Afterwards we grabbed lunch at Panera (warm soup!  hot coffee!), stopped behind Walmart so I could pump in the car, ran a hilarious errand for Kimberly, then headed home.

Overall, I had fun, but I think this was mostly because I got to hang out with Kimberly, who I love spending time with.  The race itself would have been more fun if it were a little warmer (not their fault!) and if there had been more opportunity to run rather than endless fields to walk across.  There were some awesome-looking food trucks at the venue, which would have been cool to try post-race, but at that point we were just wanting to get out of the mud, not slop around in more of it.

In general, I think the mud run is a great idea.  I actually love that it was all women and that it wasn’t timed.  It felt really encouraging and accepting of all women.  There was a wide range of ages and athletic abilities represented, which was really cool.  It would be fun to do with a group of friends, for sure.  However, the execution felt a little… slapdash.  The venue wasn’t set up very intuitively and the race course could have been more creative.  Facebook showed that others were frustrated by the fields, too, and that past years and other locations had more opportunity for running (which would definitely make it more fun!).  I will say though the obstacles were fun and the volunteers friendly.  The general mood was upbeat, too.

For not running I was surprisingly sore on Sunday morning from fighting to keep my balance in the mud!  I’m not sure I would do the mud run again, although I’m definitely glad I’ve done it once.  And I’m really glad I got to do it with Kimberly!

photo 4

Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the Dirty Girl Mud Run Indianapolis, and I was provided an entry to the event free of charge in exchange for a blog post (in March) and a race review. Opinions are honest and written by me.


4 Comments

the state of things

It’s been about a month since I’ve posted, which is by far the longest I’ve ever gone.  The days have been busy, the hours short, and I either haven’t had time to blog or haven’t really wanted to say anything.  That paints a rather dire picture, but it’s really the opposite.  Our days are full of good things – a busy toddler, a growing baby, work, housework, new recipes, walks in the spring air, time at the park, running, and even small pockets for reading or just hanging out.  I’m doubtful I’ll be back here regularly for awhile – it’ll be sporadic at best – but here’s a few things that have been happening around here:

Leo: We’ve enrolled Leo in preschool for the fall!  We’re excited about this for him, mainly because he’s incredibly social and loves playmates.  The school is within walking distance of our house and we were really pleased with it at our visit.  We think he’s going to love it.  He’s incredibly excited about going, which has led to the next big thing: potty training.  We told Leo he couldn’t go to his new school until he was using the potty and about a week later he told us he was ready to wear underwear.  We jumped on that opportunity and, true to his word, he is ready for underwear!  For the most part it’s been a pretty easy transition.  He’s had few accidents, has used public toilets without fear, has put himself on the potty without our asking, and has even stayed dry through naps and the night (even though we still had him in a diaper)!  He has yet to poop on the potty, but we’re working on it.  We’re pretty confident that this, too, will be a matter of decision for him, but we’re trying to encourage that decision with multiple incentives (he loves fruit snacks so we upped the ante and bought Gushers – the ultimate fruit snack!), lots of praise, tons of conversations/songs about poop, and trying to watch him for signs of poop.  It’ll happen.

Kate: Kate’s nearing 6 months, which is just crazy.  She’s still incredibly happy and smiley and sweet during the day.  She takes a 45-90 minute morning nap, a 90-120 minute post-lunch nap, and a 45 minute late afternoon nap (although this one sometimes gets skipped depending on earlier naps and what’s going on).  She’s a bit of a wild animal at night, but we’ve been working to “break” her a bit.  Previously she was going every 3-4 hours at night still, which was wearing me out big time.  But with a little bit of letting her cry, we’ve moved to once a night.  She now eats at 7am, 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6:30pm, 11pm (or whenever she wakes up).  We’ve had some really good nights lately, which gives us hope that we might be a bit “out of the woods.”  We started solid foods a few weeks ago but then had some poop issues, so we backed off.  We’ve started slowly introducing again – just last night – after Little Miss was throwing a fit at dinner time because we were eating and she was not (seriously, we tried everything and nothing made her happy… until Dave suggested maybe she was actually just wanting to eat, too).

Running: I didn’t run most of March because of injury and sickness.  I didn’t run most of April because I was too dang tired and I just didn’t feel like it.  I was pretty exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally, and running sounded like too much.  I needed something restorative instead of challenging.  Some days I walked.  A lot of days I slept in.  On days I ran I was getting about 6 hours of sleep in broken chunks, so sleeping in seemed like an obvious choice.  While it didn’t do anything to change my postpartum body, it was definitely the right choice at the time.  Since Kate has started sleeping better I’ve been running more.  Three changes have helped get me back out there: 1) a new route.  I’d been running my old route for the better part of 5 years and I was tiiiiiired of it.  I found a new route that is still well-lit and residential and – bonus – it’s extra miles.  2) I stopped caring about pace.  My preferred pace is always sub-9, but that’s just not happening right now.  Instead I’m just running whatever feels comfortable, which ends up being around 10:30 pace.  I’m fine with that, as pace isn’t (or shouldn’t be) my driving force for running.  And it’ll probably drop as I regain fitness anyway.  3) I’m listening to music or audio books while I run.  Normally I eschewed this since I run when it’s still fairly dark out, but lately I’ve been listening in one ear.  It’s helped to change it up for me and keeps my mind off “uggggh I feel out of shape.”

Dave and I: Here’s how I can best describe the transition from one kid to two: One kid (Leo) fit pretty easily into our already-existing lives.  We had to make a few adjustments but, for the most part, we could still do a lot of what we wanted, just with a kid along.  But with two kids it’s definitely more of us fitting in to their lives.  Our schedules and decisions revolve largely around the kids – what they need, if they can come, their schedule, etc.  I don’t think this is bad.  I think it’s totally necessary and will likely shift again and balance out as they get older.  However, it’s definitely meant some adjustment for Dave and I – adjusting our schedules, our energy, our expectations.  One thing that has been really good for us is carving out a 30 minute time slot in the day (for us 6:30am-7am) where we sit and talk.  We get Leo playing in his room or put on a show (Kate is still sleeping) and get some time to sit together and really talk.  It’s not long, but it’s enough for us to feel like we’re still married and still friends outside of kids and diapers and feedings and all that.  I’m so grateful Dave initiated this for us!

So that’s a general rundown on the state of things around here.  The days are flying by and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity we have to be this family of four and to watch these babes of ours grow and change right in front of us.  What a gift (and before we paint too rosy a picture, yes, also sometimes an exhausting, frustrating, I’m going to hide in a closet for alone time “gift”)!

10270479_879623721466_7195403711567636722_n IMG_61882385199035 IMG_20140508_103317 IMG_20140507_184647 IMG_20140421_164100

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers