Friday, July 25, 2014

{My First Week}

Well, my first week of my work outs and healthy eating is almost over. I have one more work out tomorrow morning. 

I'd like to document a few things to look back at when the 6 weeks comes to an end.

1. I AM SORE. Today has probably been the best day as far as soreness goes, yesterday was the worst day. Hopefully my body will start warming up to everything. :)

2. I ate very well this week. I stuck to egg beaters in the am, boiled chicken with zucchini and squash for lunch and boiled chicken with roasted broccoli for dinner. Everything was season with pepper and garlic only, no salt. For snacks I had granola bars, fruit, or veggies with hummus. 

3. I only went out to eat once (Corner Cafe) and I ordered 2 slices of plain toast and a fruit plate. I have to stick to it, even if social gatherings to arise.

4. I love the work outs we're doing. They make me feel like an athlete out of shape athlete, but still. I lived for basketball and track and have always been an athlete and to lose that was hard. I love that this class is kind of giving me back my competitive side and even more, my athletic side.

5. I'm still swearing by the My Fitness Pal App. It's amazing how fast calories rack up. I would definitely go past my allowed calorie intake if I wasn't using this app to keep track of them. It's so easy to take a bite of this and a bite of that here and there, but those little bites do add up. I'm keeping myself accountable and every little bite gets documented, or skipped until my next meal!

6. I'm eating or snacking every 3 or 4 hours. You know, just smaller portions and healthier decisions.

7. I've eaten a ton of broccoli, zucchini and squash. I'm looking for more veggies to branch out to. I always say I'm not a picky eater, but when I restrict myself to whole foods it becomes a little harder. Any suggestions?? I hate mushrooms, and I don't care for sweet potatoes...

This is a pretty bland post, but I'm focused and ready to accomplish something that makes me happier and healthier.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend. One more morning class for me and then I get to relax and maybe hit the pool??
Melissa Loren

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Solids or NO Solids?

Since I stopped breastfeeding Henry, I get asked all the time what he eats. Well, formula, of course! Right? I mean, we really don't know what we're doing, we're just winging it here, people! Henry has always been an eater. He nursed nearly every hour until he was about 3 months old. Then we slowly went to two and finally every three hours. Now, at almost 9 months he still eats every three hours. 7, 10, 1, 4 and 7, give or take a little. That's 5 bottles and they're usually 8 ounces. Again, give or take a little. Sometimes they're more if he's in a growth spurt or sometimes they're less if he's teething and fussy. Some people are against solids, and that's totally fine. They say, "food before one, is just for fun." We totally are the fun people so we started introducing solids at 6 months when the pedi gave us the go ahead. From about 6-7.5 months it was only one thing of prune puree every day at 6 pm. Then once he started crawling we introduced puffs (which he LOVES). And I'd say around 7.5 months we started putting him in the high chair at home so he could eat dinner with us. This would include puffs, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, whatever we were eating, that he could have. Same with when we went out to eat. I'd order him some fruit, or applesauce, or pack a puree pouch, and definitely the puffs. We're a couple weeks away from him turning 9 months and we have always stuck with the 5, 8 ounce bottles. Any other "snacks" were just a bonus. We don't count them as a significant nutrient source, they are strictly for "fun." This is just how we roll with things. Henry was showing major interest in what we were eating and was constantly reaching for our plates and our forks, so we thought we'd share! Turns out Henry is not a picky eater! The kid has had avocado, banana, raspberries, zucchini, salsa, mandarin oranges, green beans, the list goes on and on! I had high hopes and ambitions to make all of Henry's food, but life is so busy. Homemade purees went out the window with the cloth diapers. He's not eating fast food or bad food, he's eating fresh, from the earth food. Besides he's passed the puree portion anyway! Again, there's no right or wrong, this is just how we're doing things. We're all learning and doing the best we can, right? :)
 Happy Day!!
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{Something New}

I've totally been MIA lately, I know. Sometimes a little R&R and a break from cyberspace is just what I need. Plus I've started something new and anytime something like that happens, my focus shifts. It's temporary, don't worry. I'll still be posting, I just need to get the hang of my new routine.

So what's new? I finally decided it was time to take action over my post-baby body. Complaining, whining and self-loathing just weren't getting me anywhere. Shocking, I know! ;) I signed up for a 5 am HIIT Fit class(thanks to my friend Emily). Which is high intensity interval training. We do everything from martial arts to lunges and bicep curls. Now, I'm only through day three, but I'm already loving it. It is exactly what I needed. I don't want to strictly lift, because that's just not my style and I don't want to just run and use the stair master, because well, that's just not my style either. I need to do different things and change it up, it keeps it from being boring.

I haven't done any major workouts since high school. I've done some lolly-gagging here and there to stay thin-ish, but nothing this hardcore in a very long time. After day one, there wasn't one part of me that wasn't sore. I was feeling it from my shoulders all the way down to my shins. Which is incredible. A total, full-body workout. I love it.

We also have to keep food journals, which is a must for me. I can work out all the live long day, but unless I have it set in my mind to eat well, then I'll just blow it. Which is what has been on repeat for the last few months. I do really well for a couple weeks and then I fall off. I have started using the My FItness Pal App religiously, so that I can keep track of my calorie and h20 intake. I'm so bad about drinking water. I'm mschartz24 if you want to keep up with my diary or need a buddy to help keep you in line. :)

If you're interested, I'll post some stats here and keep you guys updated so you guys can follow along. I'll do this post and another and if you guys are just hating feel free to tell me, or I'll at least be able to by your lack of visits. :)

I'm also thinking I'll try and post some of my meals on Instagram. They won't be fancy pictures or fancy food. They'll be REAL, what I'm really eating daily. It might be eggs, or a salad or grilled veggies, but these pics will hopefully be inspiring or motivating? A little push to get people to eat healthier and it will definitely keep me accountable. So, I'm @Kourtney_Shotz if you want to follow along there too!

I was going to post a before photo, but I think I'm still a little timid to do that, so maybe in a couple of weeks? 

Here are my stats though. (Gah!)

Height: 5'4
Weight: 146.9 (I wish I was exaggerating, I thought about skewing the #, but then that wouldn't be fair.)
Body Fat: 39.5% (We did this on Sunday and I'm not 100% positive I have this correct, I think I do though)

The program is 6 weeks and my goal is to lose at least 15lbs, tone up and gain muscle mass and drink TONS of water! Losing 20 lbs would be a miracle and some sort of awesome, but I'm being realistic. I'm doing the 50 min high intensity classes and sticking to a 1,200 calorie diet. Which is where the myfitnesspal app really plays a key role!

Ok, last thing. Here's a video of some of what we're doing in my 5 am class. Feel free to watch it. I'm the one doing Thai Pads in the beginning of the video. Post by Kri Chay.

That's it! I hope you guys find these posts helpful and motivating. I'm really hoping to adjust my lifestyle, here, not just lose the weight. I want to be healthier for myself, and my family.

Melissa Loren

Friday, July 18, 2014

Momma & Son Date

I've had a couple of extra days off this week and they've been great. I'm certain I'd be great at being a stay at home momma. I mean, I only work a few hours a day, so I'm a little bit of both, but it would be great to stay home with Henry all of the time. Which is a far cry from what I would've said about 5 months ago. I wasn't ready to go back to work, but I didn't know how H and I would make it through all of the long days at home. He has such a personality now and we can actually "play" together. We can even go out in public together. HA. Today Henry and I went out to lunch, ALONE. Just the two of us. I had the diaper bag ready, I made sure I packed snacks and toys and I had a bottle ready just incase. When we got there I put the diaper bag around me, I grabbed the high chair cover and I unloaded Henry. I went to the counter and ordered (Five Guys, nothing too fancy), put our stuff down, walked over and grabbed a high chair, covered it, grabbed my cup and filled my drink. We came back to the table and I put Henry in the high chair. I pulled out a few puffs for him and got my straw in my drink. By the time I finished all of this, they called our number. I grabbed H, we grabbed the food and we came back to the table. I ate my burger and Henry looked all around, stuffing as many puffs as he could into his mouth. I watched him, as he looked around, grinning at anyone who would grin back at him. I couldn't help but smile. I was proud. I am proud. I'm proud of the mother I'm growing into, even if it took me a little while to get the hang of things. I'm proud of the son that we're raising. I'm proud that he is so happy and content. I'm proud that grabbing a burger and fries with my babe no longer feels like a major feat. I know it all seems so simple, and really it, but toting a child around by yourself out in public can be daunting. All my fear is gone these days. Well as far as worrying about other people goes, all of those fears are gone. Henry has taught me to relax. To let go. Not to sweat the small stuff. He brings a peace to my soul that is so refreshing. I'm thankful for him. I'm learning from him every day. It's amazing to me how happy something as simple as a date with my son can make me. Our date was absolute perfection. I hope Henry will always go on "dates" with his momma. <3
Love you, toots.
Melissa Loren

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

8 Months Must Haves

It has taken me something like 8 days to get this post written. Why, you ask?? I really have no idea! Henry is even more mobile these days, work has been crazy and at night I really just want to spend time with my hubbs. Priorities, people. I love this blog, but family first, always, don't you agree? Anyway here's my post in all it's glory, better late than never, eh?
For the 8 month milestone there isn't really anything extraordinary or unique, but there are items that prove there are major changes happening in Henry's development!
First up, Henry's new convertible car seat. It was a bit nerve-wrecking at first. It's so big and such an expense, is H ready, am I ready? Here's the scoop though, it fits 5-45 pounds rear facing, 20-80 pounds forward-facing and up to 120 pounds in the booster. It will last us a very long time, so the price seemed worth it. Especially since Buy Buy Baby price matches to Amazon. Hello $359.99 car seat for $249.99! That was awesome news. It seems silly now, but I was so worried that not having his car seat to tote him around in would be tough, but I haven't even looked back. He loves sitting in his stroller or the shopping cart. It was a great change.
Since I stopped breastfeeding, we've started introducing some solids. This is where the high chair has come into play. Henry eats puffs (which are also on our must-haves!) like they're going out of style and some pureed fruits and veggies. It's nice to have the high chair so H can sit with us during meals. This one converts into a booster as well, so it'll grow with us.
Seriously on the puffs though, this kid LOVES them. He has even learned to feed them to himself. We recently discovered the target brand and that's what we've switched to.
I have always said that I think Henry would be an early walker and I still stand by that. He is so strong and he already moves from one piece of furniture to another. We don't personally have this walker, but I'd love to get something similar as soon as possible. If you have any recommendations, please share! 
And I just added this blanket buddy, because Henry recently discovered his and his loves the silky part. We always take that and his singing puppy along in the car.
If you're at this point, or past it, what am I missing? What were your must-haves? 
Eight months is such a fun age. I can't get over it. 
PS- We're 3 "friends" away from doing a giveaway on our FACEBOOK page!!
PSS- Is there anything you guys are missing here? Anything you'd really like to read about??
Melissa Loren

Monday, July 14, 2014


HOLY WEEKEND! If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that Kory's brother and sister in law invited us back down for another weekend at their amazing house on Grand Lake. For the first time ever I didn't stress about taking Henry with us. I'm learning to just go with the flow and let things happened. Last trip he struggled just a little bit sleeping in his pack n play, so we ordered a pack n play mattress from amazon to make it easier on him this time. It was perfect! This kid continued sleeping through the night and even took a THREE hour nap Saturday morning. Cray. He was awake nearly the entire time on the ride down there and on the ride home, but you'd never know it. He just hung out and played with his rings and his puppy dog. It is so crazy to have a babe that is old enough to push buttons on his favorite puppy dog and entertain himself in the back seat. It blows my mind. He is growing up so fast. I loved randomly hearing "If you're happy and you know it..." ring out from the back seat. 
Henry loved the lake. We were actually able to get him in the water this time. He wasn't sure about the life vest, but as long as he was in the water he was fine with it. No one thinks life jackets are comfortable, Henry, but safety first! It was so fun to see the fam and have all of the cousins together. The big kids cannot get enough of Henry, they LOVE him. It's the most heartwarming thing ever.
Momma even got to enjoy a few moments alone and with the girls. Put me on a raft and beer me. And Dad got to enjoy a few boat rides and surf! Happy family, happy life. ;)
The only trouble we had with Henry all weekend was on the way home. Our sweets hadn't pooped all weekend and it finally happened on our drive home. He struggled a little bit and he was really needed some momma lovens. We pulled over to change him and and squeeze in some snuggles. Afterwards, we were back on the road and he was back to being his happy self! :)
Sorry about the picture overload, it was just an epic weekend. How was yours?
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On Weaning (for real this time):

So as you'll notice, it took me a while to write this post. It took a lot to bring this here and to be ok with my decision. Also, I'll try not to bounce around too much. Breastfeeding is just so many things for me...

Henry turned 7 months a couple of weeks ago. And that was the point where I decided I would start thinking about weaning.

Before I get too deep into this I want to say a couple of things.

1.) I'm not sharing this to discourage OR encourage breastfeeding in anyway. You should do what is best for YOU and your little one.

2.) I would like nothing but support in my decision. If you have any negative thoughts or opinions keep them to yourself or take them elsewhere. Please and thank you. :)

I always knew I would breastfeed. I knew it before I even knew I wanted children. I didn't have any expectations though. I never knew what it would entail or all that it would take. Breastfeeding for me is such a bittersweet gig. I'll be honest, sometimes I question if I could do it again...if there's ever a baby #2. Sometimes I think there's no way I'm ever doing that all over again, but then there's times where I [REALLY] hope I'll be able to breastfeed longer with the next one.

This time around, however, 7 months was enough for me. 

Breastfeeding is such a selfless act. I know that it's natural and many, many, many women have done it and that's what our bodies were meant to do, but in this day and age it can be tough. As women, as mommas, as wives, our plates are so full. We're always on the go, some of us our working mommas, many of us our homemakers, a lot of us have multiple children, the point is, we're wearing many hats. Throw breastfeeding into the mix and you have a baby attached to you damn near 24/7, making it hard on a first time momma. Making it even harder are the people who criticize and don't understand breastfeeding. Making a mom terrified to take her baby outside of the home for fear she might actually have to feed her baby and make someone else uneasy.

IT'S NORMAL, PEOPLE!!! Breastfeeding is normal! Do you know how many things I see out and about that I don't want to see?? Turn and look the other way!

Our bodies are also coming home after immense and sudden change, and in some cases immense pain, and after 36 hours or so of practice and recovery, we're walking the plank to find out if we'll sink or swim. A breastfeeding class will never be able to prepare you for all that you will encounter. Henry latched on right away in the hospital and I thought to myself "What on earth is all the fuss about?" I thought we were naturals, pros even. Then I came home and the recovery pains really kicked in and I wondered how I would take care of another human being while I myself was in tremendous pain. When they tell you the baby will eat every two hours in the first few weeks, there is ZERO exaggeration and you will never know how quickly two hours passes, until you're breastfeeding. I would swear that I just handed him off to Kory and he was already crying again and ready to eat and suckle again. It was a tough gig in the beginning. There was pain and there were tears. Just when I thought we had pushed through and made it to the surface, the pain would kick in again. I will say that I should've gone to a lactation nurse. I never did and maybe that would have helped my pain. Eventually the pain flatlined and the engorgement leveled out and things became semi-natural. I'd say this didn't happen until the 4.5 month point, though.

At first I wanted to breastfeed for the health and well-being of my son. Then I wanted to do it for me, to be able to say that I did it and I accomplished something incredible. But, after several difficult months it was no longer for my son or for myself. It became about other people. I didn't want to let anyone down. I didn't want anyone to think I was selfish for giving up. I didn't want my husband to think I couldn't handle the simple things that made a mother a mother. My competitive nature had kicked in and I didn't want to give up because I wanted to be able to say, "I EBF FOR A YEAR, I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!" Then I realized I was no longer breastfeeding for the right reasons. We had made it out of cold season, so we had pushed through sickness(one of my initial reasons for BF). So why was I still doing this? I felt stressed, I felt like I couldn't go anywhere, I felt like I wasn't being the mom that I always imagined myself to be.

So with hesitation, I finally decided it was time to wean. Of course it wasn't easy! I'd say, "this is my last session(!)" and then as soon as he was ready I'd say "just one more!" Eventually, I slowly started dropping nursing sessions and we slowly introduced formula.

Again, I would never discourage breastfeeding, I will try again, but it felt like a house had been lifted off of me. I felt like a new woman. I felt like I could live again and really be a good momma to Henry. Breastfeeding was taking so much out of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. I needed to feel normal again and I needed to love on Henry in different ways.

Just a few afterthoughts...

I never pumped to feed Henry. I only nursed. I pumped here and there to relieve myself in the am and pm. Perhaps I should have more, so that we could've gone places. but, 1) In the beginning I could literally never put H down, so it was impossible to pump and 2) When I went back to work he ended up refusing my frozen breast milk. I'm positive that both of these factored into my stopping early.

I started this post nearly two months ago and I've come to the conclusion the BF can be like labor, you'll swear it off just like you swore off more children, but after time you'll come back around. :)

The cost of formula is insane and will make you rethink weaning. :) Another reason to EBF for as long as possible with baby #2.

I will never, ever forget all of the incredible and intimate moments with my babe. The look of 100% happiness and contentment in a baby is life-changing. Those post-feeding snuggles are irreplaceable. The way he'd always fall asleep on me during feedings is forever in my memory. I will never regret nursing him.
Breastfeeding for me, truly was bittersweet and although I threw the towel in early, I'm still proud of myself and grateful for our experience.
Melissa Loren
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