Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Water Consumption

Let's talk about water. 
And since this is such an exhilarating topic (har har), 
let's kick it off with my favorite water graphic: 

How is your water consumption?  
Sometimes mine is outstanding 
and sometimes I'm pretty piss poor at it. 

When I was working in an office, 
I was consistently great at water intake. 
Sitting at my desk, it was easy to make my 32 oz Nalgene disappear. 
But at home, where I'm constantly moving between 3 floors, 
plus out and about outside of the house, 
my water consumption is much more variable. 

Early this month I was in a 
Water Slump. 
I simply didn't WANT to drink any more water. 
It felt like this annoying chore 
that I just kept procrastinating on. 
"Oh I should drink water... but first let me clean the kitchen." 

What do you do when you're in a water slump? 
I have all these little tricks I try to inspire myself. 
Sometimes they work 
and sometimes they don't. 

I've downloaded water-tracking apps. 
I've added infusions to my water 
(cucumber, lemon, and mint is my favorite). 
I've added reoccuring reminders on my phone 
(12:00: Drink 8 oz water!). 
I've even bought new water bottles 
(my water bottle showdown here). 
Recently I bought a new straw lid for my Hydro Flask, 
and for some reason I love me a straw to sip on. 

But sometimes, all the tricks in the world aren't enough motivation. 
And since I don't drink anything else 
(soda, coffee, tea, juice, milk, etc) 
I can get awfully dehydrated. 
Dehydration headaches are very real, 
particularly for me. 
And when I haven't drunk enough, 
my head starts pounding. 

Here's the crazy thing about this. 
I KNOW for a fact that I feel 100x better when fully hydrated. 

I don't get headaches. 
I run better. 
I'm less hungry. 
My complexion looks way better. 
My hands and lips aren't dried out. 
Hell, I even poop better!

So why is it sometimes so hard to drink water? 
I don't know. 
It just is. 

Some people blame it on the water taste
Like my parents think Pennsylvania water tastes horrible. 
While New York water tastes great 
(and even within NY, apparently Syracuse had better water than Cortland). 
It's freakin' water. 

Oh and then you get the people who only drink bottled water 
or even worse, only certain kinds of bottle water (Fiji) 
There are not enough eye rolls in the world to convey my feelings on these people. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

7QT: Sickness, Nakedness, and Bird Feeders

Did that title get you excited for this 7QT? 
I hope so. 
Anything with "bird feeders" is bound to get me all hot and sweaty. 

1. Sickness. 

I've been coughing for 4 weeks. 
I'm not one to go to the doctor. 
I mean, if I have an infection or a weird looking mole, 
I'm the first to run to the doctor.  
But a cough? 

After 4 weeks of being awoken in the middle of the night 
by my horrendous coughing fits, 
Adam [selfishly] begged
"PLEASE go see the doctor." 

I have bronchitis. 

I'm on albuterol and an oral steroid. 
I confirmed through my pediatrician 
(who looked each up on the medicine/breastfeeding database
that both were safe with breastfeeding. 

My first albuterol treatment, at the doc's after being diagnosed

2. Nakedness. 

Aaron loves to be naked. 
(...Let me retype that.)
Aaron LOVES LOVES LOVES to be naked. 

5 years ago when I was pregnant with him, 
a coworker told me stories of her 4 year old 
and his obsession with nakedness. 
And when Aaron is running about with all his parts flopping around, 
her stories come to mind. 
I've also adopted this coworker's rules, which were: 
"You may be totally naked in your bedroom. 
If you come out, you need underwear on. 
If you go downstairs, you need pants. 
If you go outside, you need a shirt." 

So far, he's sticking to the rules pretty well. 

3. Bird Feeders 

When I'm not incessantly documenting my children on IG, 
I may throw in some pictures of birds at our feeder. 
I love bird feeders. 
All three of my grandparents had one when I was little 
and I could sit forever watching the pretty birds. 
Ours is right outside our kitchen window 
and equally gets a lot of attention. 

That said, you can tell I have zero background in avian studies, 
because I had no idea whether or not to keep it up over the winter. 
What if the birds decided not to migrate because of the feeder, 
and then we forgot to refill the feeder 
and they perished on our account?!?!?!?!

I was concerned enough to spend an hour researching this. 
And no, neither of those scenarios are likely. 
However, my research did turn up that in the ice
birds have a particularly difficult time collecting food from the trees 
(because branches are covered in, you guessed it, ice!) 
and that is when feeders are most valuable. 
So in this bitter icy freezy weather, 
I have been a dedicated bird-feeder-filler, 
and subsequently have been rewarded with the most beautiful birds. 

Of course my iPhone does not capture their beauty, I realize that. 
The red cardinal against the snow was stunning. 
Also the red-headed grosbeak in the morning light was picturesque. 

4. This Is Us. 

I just watched this week's episode, 
and I am still HUGELY partial to Randall. 
Randall is my favorite by a loonnngg shot. 
I also love Rebecca, 
mostly because I love Mandy Moore. 
And Jack and Kate are equally good in their own right. 
But Kevin... gosh, I just hate Kevin. 
He's such a whiney little bitch. 
That said, this was the first episode where I had a twinge of empathy. 
He didn't get much attention because everyone assumed he was "fine." 
I can relate to that absolutely! 
I am an Attention Whore myself, 
and sometimes I get a little annoyed at everyone else's damsel in distress mode. 
Like, if I can pull up my bootstraps and handle this, why can't you?!?! 

(Please take note I admitted to two of my many flaws: 
My attention-whoring and judgmental attitude)

5. Dead Batteries 

Monday morning, 
thanks to overnight temps below 0, 
and despite the car being housed in the warm-ish garage,
I had a dead battery in my Honda CR-V. 
It was over 4 years old and due to be changed anyway. 
I called AAA and the first ETA was 6 hours.
Eventually that was lengthened to 11 hours
Fortunately, I was home. 
Adam had taken Aaron to preschool, 
and my brother-in-law who works nearby
 was very gracious to go fetch him for me.  

But seriously, 6 hours
11 hours

And yes, we do keep jumper cables in both our cars. 
When Adam got home, 
he jumped my car, 
we canceled AAA,
and the next day I drove it to the auto shop 
for an overdue battery replacement. 

6. 127 Amazing Facts

I like useless trivia. 
I think it's fascinating. 
So for National Trivia Day 
(side note: MUST we have a national day for everything? eye roll), 
MentalFloss compiled 
127 Amazing Facts
I love this kind of useless knowledge. 

7. I love love love the Disney movie Moana.

I love it so much more than Frozen. 
To be fair, Frozen was over-hyped for me, 
and when I finally saw it, it was like: 
"That's all?"
Opposite, I had no set expectations for Moana. 

Another thing I have to notice: 
Frozen is so white
Like I get it, it is Scandinavia, 
and they are all white people there. 
But I love that Moana is not
They even resisted whitewashing Te Fiti's features! 

I also love that there is ZERO romance in the movie. 
(Unless it's the shiny crab in love with himself.) 
But seriously, a strong girl character with no romantic attachments? 
Yeah yeah, Elsa wasn't romantically involved, 
but Ana was a starry-eyed mess. 

Now, obviously, there are cultural issues with the Moana movie 
(as the Smithsonian points out here
but I still love the movie. 
And the soundtrack, which we listen to EVERY DAY. 
Clearly, I am 100% supportive of it being Aaron's favorite Disney movie. 
He has asked for a Moana dress for the last 9 months, 
and on Hanukkah he finally got his wish! 

I am 100% on board with my son dressing up in a dress. 
If it's a phase (which it likely is), then that's great. 
But if it's not a phase, and he wants to grow up to wear dresses, 
I'm happy with that too

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 Resolutions

2018 Resolutions: 

The first inspired by this article...

1. Read 30 minutes a day. 

Either I kick off naptime with reading 
or I set aside approximately 30 minutes at the end with reading. 
And if that fails, at least 30 minutes of reading at night. 

2. Lose 7 lbs. 

I was disappointed not to see 130 lbs during 2017. 
I'm at 137 now so my goal is to lose the last 7. 

3. Give myself a breast exam once a month. 

I've read Kelsey's blog Pardon My French for years now 
and she was just this year at age 30
Even though my own mother died of breast cancer at age 29, 
it's still a shock that someone could get breast cancer this young. 
She found the lump on her own 
and used her social media to constantly remind women to 

Again, even with my family history, 
I've never done monthly breast exams. 
But now going forward I will.  
I have an alarm on my phone every month. 

4. Diversify our weekly meal food groups. 

As of a few years ago, 
you would NEVER see me cooking meat or seafood at home, 
which meant 90% of our recipes were pasta. 
Thanks to a few months with Blue Apron after Oliver was born, 
I've greatly expanded my cooking ability. 
Some weeks I do a good job of balancing, 
but other weeks may still be pasta-heavy. 
The goal this year is to strike a balance, 
also forcing me to fill in the gaps with new recipes. 

 - One seafood dish (salmon, catfish, shrimp). 
 - One white meat dish (chicken, pork, turkey). 
 - One red meat dish (meatloaf, burgers, meatballs). 
 - One pasta dish. 

I already reorganized my cookbook to suite my new cooking goal. 
And doing so showed me that I desperately need to up my seafood recipes. 
I've been combing pinterest and Food Network for new ideas. 
The tricky part here is that we are a BIG FLAVOR family, 
and so many dishes I try just fall into a mild "meh" category. 
Edible, but not exciting. 
I need exciting food or else I won't want to cook it. 
Which brings us to... 

5. Find a fish taco recipe. 

We lovvveeeeeeee taco Sundays in this house. 
We eat tacos practically every winter Sunday. 
But it's always the same old ground beef + taco seasoning. 
I'd like to branch out into fish tacos: 
flavorful, but still relatively easy to make. 

Also on the cooking front... 

6. Learn to make challah

I've wanted to try my hand at challah for forever. 
It's like a signature of Jewish households, 
and even though we barely a Jewish household 
(we have a menorah and subscription to PJ's Library, that's it), 
I still want to give it a try. 

Plus one of the very best uses for leftover challah is... 

7. Learn to make french toast. 

I hate eggs with a passion. 
And while I've learned to whip up scrambled eggs for the boys 
(usually as a we-have-no-food-in-this-house lunch option), 
but I've never tried my hand at french toast. 

I know from grandparents that my kids LOVE french toast 
and I feel like I'm depriving them of a basic weekend morning ritual. 
We ritually have pancakes or waffles for Saturday morning, 
but what about Sunday morning french toast? 
Plus, those rare nights we do "breakfast for dinner," 
it would be perfect. 

8. Go to church once a month. 

I'm begrudgingly tacking this on to the end of my resolutions. 
When reviewing my 2017 resolutions, 
I went off a bit about my issues with church. 
Same old fluff. 
But, I do want Aaron to go and learn. 
I read to him constantly from his Beginner's Bible
but reinforcement from a Sunday school teacher would help. 

So my compromise, to myself, is once a month. 
Take him at least once a month. 
And if he goes to church with my parents, 
I say that counts too. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Resolutions Resolved

I'm pretty psyched about my 2017 Resolutions
Specifically that, for the first time in my life, 

It probably helped they were "SMART" goals, 
rather than the abstract "spend less time on my phone" goals.

1. Lose Weight. 

I started the year at 148 lbs, 
about a size 8-10. 

By the end of January I was down to 141 lbs, so size 6-8
and then fluctuated up/down in the 130s for the rest of the year. 
Thanks to a bad cold right before Christmas, 
I hit 132 on Christmas day. 
But then of course sky-rocketed right back up. 
Ended the year around 137. 
So 10 lbs down. 
Let's see if we can't get the remaining 7 this year? 

2. Run 3 Races 

 See my post here

3. Learn to Cook Seafood

I attempted 3 shrimp recipes 
and 1 scallop recipe (see scallops one here)!
Of all of them, 
my favorite discovery was the Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Salmon

4. Take Aaron to church. 

This was by far the most difficult. 
All our family in this area is Jewish, 
which makes finding an Independent Protestant church pretty difficult. 
And also  Google maps SUCKS at church-finding. 

I eventually came across a church in the area 
 with a vibrant Sunday school 
and great youth group program. 
Aaron loves it. 

It feels like the same old fluff I listened to for years growing up. 
Everything is about loving your neighbor, 
but any talk on the refugee situation 
or the perils faced by the black community? 
Another example: God supports life, 
which means the church is all for attacking abortion 
but dare the pastor mention anything about gun control 
or saving lives through universal healthcare? 
No and no and no and no. 
It's just the same old, same old. 
Lots of white privilege fluff. 
No real examination of the world we live in. 
So I'm not really motivated to go, 
except when Aaron asks. 

5. Do a Time Study on Myself 

Done done done! 

The main intro post is here
then Week 1 is here
Week 2 here
and Week 3 here
Overall I loved this so much I'd like to do it every year. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Auld Lang Syne

I am not an emotional person. 
I don't cry at birthdays or weddings or really any major event. 
I don't mourn away the days, like some moms do. 
Hell, I barely shed a tear at the birth of my children. 

But every now and then
an emotional Emily sneaks up. 

Like those first few weeks breastfeeding, 
when all the hormones surge 
and all the sentimental feelings bubble up. 
(Sprinkled into this post here

And randomly, 
a good Subaru commercial can do me in, too. 
Also life insurance commercials. 
I guess random commercials bring more tears than childbirth. 
Analyze that! 

But I will confess to one emotional moment
 on this past New Year's Eve.  

We have the same tradition every year. 
Dinner at the same Belgian Bar on the Main Line, 
where the food and drinks are outstanding. 

Afterwards, we head home to put the kids in PJs, 
doll them up in plastic NYE crap, 
and turn on one (or many) of the Netflix kids countdowns. 

They run around like madmen, 
thrilled with their little plastic horns 
and the crazy "King Julien" song playing on Netflix. 

And as we all counted down... 

It suddenly hit me, 
with tears in my eyes, 
how happy I was

Right there, in that moment. 
With my three guys. 

I've been to every kind of New Year's Eve party. 
From drunken frat parties in college 
to "sophisticated" (lol) Casino nights. 

And yet, sitting there in my PJs, 
on our family room carpet, 
with my two boys dressed in garb 
and my husband occasionally checking sports scores on his phone, 
there really was no other place I'd want to be. 
And I started to cry. 

Because in all my life dreams of what I've wanted, 
I've wanted a husband I love 
and kids to call my own. 
And that's what I have. 
And it's pretty awesome. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

7QT: Post Holidays and Big News

Welcome back! 
Other than my brief book recap post
I have let this blog mellow 
while we cavort through Christmas/Hanukkah festivities. 

So here it is, the new year of 2018! 
We'll start with the required acknowledgment of the holidays, 
then dive into the real exciting news. 

1. The holidays.
They were wonderful. 
There were so many presents. 
So many get-togethers. 
So much good food. 
So many drinks. 

Plus I turned 33 on January 1st 
so we extended the parties, 
and drinks even longer than most. 

All in all, it was a fantastic holiday/birthday season. 

... And omg I'm so glad it is all over
The kids need a schedule again.  
I need a better diet than alcohol. 
And EVERYONE needs a sugar detox. 

Usually, we take down decorations on New Years' Eve, 
but on the 30th at 8pm 
I had had ENOUGH. 
And tore through the house like the Grinch, 
dismantling every tiny piece of Christmas cheer 
and packing it away for next year. 


Now onto the big news... 
(no, I'm NOT pregnant, 
but that is what EVERYONE thought when we started our announcement...)

2. Goodbye, Big Law Firm World! 

We are DONE with Big Law Firm World
Goodbye 90 hour weeks! 
Goodbye Adam-leaving-the-office-at-1am! 
Goodbye ruined weekends! 
Goodbye Adam-working-all-vacation-long! 

I am so relieved. 
Of course, I don't know exactly how his hours will be at his new job, 
so I don't know yet if we'll have the luxury of family dinners 
- I barely can utter the phrase
co-parenting bedtime routines! 

BUT I know they will be better than what it is now. 
Of course, with better hours comes... 
-dun dun dun- 
a paycut. 
We knew this was coming. 
I mentioned it briefly in my post on SAHM and Money
but its still tough to see the $ on paper. 
It'll be an adjustment, 
but one we are all VERY happy to make. 

And speaking of cost-cutting adjustments...

3. We got rid of cable! 
When Adam and I started brainstorming cost cutting, 
I joked that the first thing I'd get rid of is cable. 
(If you know me, 
you know I hate TV. 
I think it's a waste of productivity and mental capacity.) 

Much to my shock, 
Adam set off on a quest to eliminate our cable! 
His only requirement was to still get all his sport stations on live-streaming TV. 
After much research
he narrowed it down to Hulu or Playstation VUE, 
and we finally settled on VUE. 
I really should write a whole separate post on this process, 
because it's amazingly detailed.

And on the flip side of the TV brain suck... 

4. Those who read 30 minutes a day live 
an average of 2 years longer than those who don't. 
From this article here

As much as I love to read, 
I don't do it with any sort of consistency. 
I'm more of a binge reader,
but I want to change that. 
I want to commit the first 30 minutes of naptime to reading. 

I did this when I very first became a SAHM, 
and it was a great way to reset. 
But then I let "busyness" get in the way 
and have since long lost the daily reading time. 
This is the only concrete "goal" I have for 2018 so far. 
Need to find more! 

And still on the book theme... 

5. Yet again, I'm stuck on a book. 
This happens to me all the time
and very much so contributes to my binge reading. 

After years and years and years of hearing about 
"Big Little Lies", 
I finally checked it out from the library. 
I normally LOVE me a ghastly rich vs desolate poor storyline, 
but this I just can't seem to get into. 
4 chapters in and UGH, 
I just don't CARE. 
Do I just give up and watch the TV series 
or do I suffer through the rest of this book? 

6. It's really really really cold. 
This could be one of our coldest New Year's Eves on record. 
Of course Trump takes this opportunity to mock global warming 

But anyway, it's cold out. 
On New Year's Eve, at 9am, 
I went running in 10 degree weather. 
Wind chill of 4 degrees. 

Pretty much the same temperates as 
when I blogged about my cold-weather running attire two years ago. 
The only thing I've added is double-layer my leggings. 
After one run where my legs were red raw 
(almost painful to the touch)
I decide to double layer my leggings. 
Zella underneath, Under Armour on the top. 
It makes me legs feel "heavier" 
and overall slows down my run, 
but they aren't frozen blisters when I get back. 

Of course all this cold hasn't stopped this kids from playing in the snow. 

7. What's coming up next? 

I have a post ready to go recapping my 2017 Goals. 
Had I planned better, 
I would have put this in the actual year of 2017, 
but oh well. 

I will also have 2018 goals, too, 
as soon as I can think up some besides reading 30 minutes every day. 

I have several other draft posts 
that have been hanging out there for quite some time. 
My hope is to either delete them 
or pretty them up enough to post. 

Happy New Year!