Friday, July 31, 2009


In my last post about Oliver's 15 month check-up, I forgot to mention how advanced the doctor thought he was. Of course, we all have known since his birth that Oliver is very advanced for his age. ;-) But now we have a real medical professional agreeing with us! So let me use this entry as an opportunity to brag about my child, because what mother doesn't love to do that?

They say that at 15 months, a toddler should have 3-5 words. Knowing that our pediatrician appointment was coming up, and figuring she'd ask this development question, I made a list so I could see how many words he knows. I was surprised to find that it has 13 words on it, plus a lot of sounds! Here they are:
  1. ball. His first word, said for the first time just 2 days before his 1st birthday, and like walking, just in time to show off at his party. Back then it was a very southern drawn out sounding "baowww", now it's a short "ba" when he says it, which isn't as often as that first week when it was all the time!
  2. guitar. His second word, because he loves his Daddy's guitars. He only whispers it, as if in reverence. Actually, he whispers many of his words, we're not sure why, but it's really cute.
  3. whale. His third word (I promise, after this I lost count of when he said them). He has a toy rubber whale. It sounds like "whey-oh."
  4. duck. Pronounced "guh-kuh" with a german sounding K. Must be in the genes (we both have some German in our ancestry). He loves ducks, real ones, rubber ones, and especially his bathtub shaped like one.
  5. Mommy. Finally! This really only started around the time of our trip. Often comes out "Mom-bish," possibly from when I'd say "No, that's Mommy's." He still doesn't call me, like when he wakes up, and says it randomly, but we're pretty sure he knows it's me at least.
  6. Daddy/Da. Started soon after we moved here, we know it means Marty because he often says it when he hears him opening the front door when he gets home.
  7. truck. See also: duck. Because he pronounces it exactly the same, "guh-kuh", but we know it means truck too because he said it the whole trip, every time we passed a semi on I-80, which was, like, every minute.
  8. block. See also: duck, truck. Because he pronounces it exactly the same, "guh-kuh." It's all about context. If he's holding up a block, we know it means block. Unless he's building a truck (or duck!) with his blocks, then who knows.
  9. hi. Very rare, but apparently he said it all the time in daycare. He'll randomly say it to strangers in the grocery store.
  10. one. Grandee taught him this trick at his 1st birthday. We'd ask him, "How old is Oliver? Is Oliver one?" And he'd hold up his index finger and wave it around. Now we just ask, "How old is Oliver?" and he whispers "One" and holds up his index finger. Impresses everyone. We're working on two.
  11. up. As in "pick me up." Started out as "up-peas" for getting out of his highchair (Up, please!), but he's quickly dropped the "peas." Manners are not his strong suit. Hey, he's a toddler.
  12. baby. Recently started saying this in reference to pictures in some books we look at, and because we walk with our neighbor and her 5 month old baby. So I'd say, "Want to go see Linsey and Annabelle?" and he says, "baby!"
  13. cracker. As in animal cracker, goldfish cracker, graham get the idea.
See, 13 words!!! And this doesn't even include the sounds, which I believe must count a little bit. He says uh-oh (he said that before 'ball'), muah (for kisses), and lots of animal sounds, quack, moo, bow wow, ribbit, roar (he whispers that one too). He also just started giving me kisses when I ask sometimes....everyone...awwwwwww.

In addition to his vocabulary, he also understands a lot more than he can say. He often "tests" me when we look at picture books. If I name the wrong thing, he keeps pointing until I say it right. And he understands a lot of simple directions, i.e., bring me your shorts, where is your cup. So for a child of such apparent genius...can someone tell me why he doesn't understand "No!"??? Yeah, you're right, he probably does, he just pretends like he doesn't. sigh.

So yes, brilliant, but ornery. I'll leave you with proof. He's also learning to climb; he's using his tractor to practice:
So I guess now we have to hide everything on high surfaces too. Where will I put my wine, I mean, water glass?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

15 Month Stats

We had Oliver's 15 month wellness visit with his new pediatrician today. Yes, he's closer to 16 months right now, but it was overdue because of our vacation and the move. Then there was a mix up sending his medical records here. Anyway, I really think I'm going to like our new pediatrician as much as our last. Oliver, on the other hand, hated every minute. I can just imagine what he's thinking: Why are these people messing with me? Why am I naked? What is that thing you are about to put in my ear/nose/mouth? Plus, it's like he knows he's going to get shots at the end of the visit.

Here are the stats:
24 lbs, 11 oz (50th percentile)
30" tall (25th percentile)
That's pretty much staying on track for his development so far. He's always been in the 45-50% for weight and 20-25% for height. Of course he's a shorty, just look at us! I didn't remember to write down his head, but it was big, as usual, she didn't say a percentile though. It's usually around 65-70%.

For a few weeks he's had a rash on his feet, near the ankles. She thinks it's plant based, poison ivy/oak/whatever, which is all apparently really bad in CT. Great. She said just give it time and hydrocortisone. Luckily, it doesn't seem to be bothering him. Any tips for getting the rash to go away? We think he got it on his shoes because the rash is right where a strap rubs on top of his feet, but it's both feet. So what should I do with his shoes? I forgot to ask. I wonder if it's still on his shoes and I keep reinfecting him?

They wanted to do an eye test (standard at 15 or 18 mo wellness appt.), where they put an eye patch over one eye, some electrodes all over his head, and read his brain waves as he looks at some pictures on a screen. Yeah, that wasn't happening. You want to put those wires on my head???? Why am I only wearing a diaper? Look, an elephant! What is that thing you want to put over my eye??? They said they'd try again at the 18 month visit. The eye patch is cool though, it has a skull and crossbones on it! She sent it home with me to "practice" so maybe he won't freak out next time.

He was very unhappy with the shots, as usual. One of them was his MMR (measles/mumps/rubella), and I'm not looking forward to the side effects. Most babies get a fever 9-10 days after the shot, and some get a rash 4-5 days after the shot. He's down for a nap now, but I just realized I forgot to give him Tylenol for the pain at the injection site. Hope his leg doesn't start hurting. Poor bunny. I just hate shots, hate seeing him cry so hard!He just screams and screams and chokes. Exhausting. I hope he sleeps for a while, cause Mommy needs a nap too!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Beach

For our outing this weekend, we decided to go to the beach. Yes, Connecticut has beaches! It's on the Long Island Sound, and while most of the beaches are private, there are some public ones as well. Being the researchers that I am, I searched online, and found a site that described all the beaches. We picked Rocky Neck State Park, because they said it had soft white sand and shallow water so it was good for kids. I guess the other beaches are much more rocky and less comfortable to sit on. They also said it never got as crowded even in the busy summer months. Well, I'd hate to see the other beaches, because this was what it was like:

Check out my handsome husband in the foreground ;-) I don't think the picture does it justice, but it was packed. People had their blankets/umbrellas set up just a few yards apart. And people brought everything, not just blankets, umbrellas, and coolers, but we saw 2 people hauling in gas grills! Full size ones, like you'd have on your patio! I've never seen anything like it.

See, I grew up in Pensacola, Florida, and while I've often made fun of it (well, it is known as the Redneck Riviera) and taken it for granted, I realize now that it was pretty awesome. The beaches were actually white, like pure sugar. I can't believe that website described the beach we went to as having white sand. If it was ever white, then it must be really dirty now, as you can see by the pictures! I hate to think what made it turn brown! On the Northwest Florida beaches, you never have to sit right next to strangers. There'd be 100s of feet between blankets. See, here are a few random photos I found online (I don't have any of my old photos with me in CT, they're all stored away in Iowa):

Sure, it might get more crowded than that during Spring Break, but typically the most crowded it'd get is like the 2nd photo. I guess there is just so much beach that it was easy to find uncrowded spots, like the 1st photo. So as we sat on the crowded, noisy beach, trying to get a peek at the water, not wanting to leave our blanket together for fear of getting our stuff swiped, I was a bit nostalgic for the beaches of my childhood. The ones I took so much for granted that I remember visits home from college where I wouldn't even go to the beach. It was just there. I'd love to show Oliver those white soft sandy beaches and that beautiful water someday!

Still, Oliver didn't know the difference, and he had fun regardless. At first, he was not enjoying the sand. He kept showing me his hand asking me to brush the sand off. That'll make for a long day! Then I got him settled with his snack so he could just sit on the blanket and check things out:

Then Daddy got him used to the sand by burying his feet in it. Check out the look on his face, like "What have you done to me?"

You can just barely make out the water behind him. Then they made sand castles and that was it, he loved the sand:

The non-white sand. Marty & Oliver did check out the water a few times, but reported back that it was pretty cold, so I didn't go in. I'd say we lasted maybe an hour, hour and a half tops on our beach visit. They did have a building with showers so we were able to get a little cleaned up and went to lunch at an overpriced diner not far away. It took about an hour do drive to the beach and an hour back, and on the way back I-95 was completely stopped going the other direction, for at least 20 miles. We are very lucky we didn't get stuck in that! We'll have to be careful about where we go on these busy summer weekends, because my nightmare is getting stuck on the interstate with a toddler.

I'm not sure the day was worth it overall. It was a lot of driving for a so-so visit. It wasn't relaxing. But it was an experience, and now we know what the Connecticut beaches are like. Please, if I have any Connecticut readers, don't take offense. I think if we went on a less busy weekend, it would have been much more enjoyable. I'm really not big on crowds, and it was just such a different experience than what I'm used to at the beach. It did inspire Marty. Now he wants to build his dream home on the Florida.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Photo Friday

Father and Son

{The inspiration for this entry was my friend Monica's blog, which sometimes features a "Wordless Wednesday." I may not do this always on Fridays, but was in the mood today.}

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Good Stuff

Before anyone freaks out and thinks "Oh, she hates her life!" based on my previous entry, I thought I'd list a few of the good things from the last few days:
  • The Toddler music and movement class at the Library yesterday was a success this time! The last time we went, Oliver only wanted me to hold him. He was playing the "I'm shy" routine. This time, I only had to hold him about 40% of the time. The rest he danced around and clapped his hands and bopped up and down. He loved playing the instruments...they were sticks, of course he loved them!
  • Marty came home at 3:30 yesterday (and had not read my blog entry yet!), and took over with Oliver so I could go to the gym and lift weights. So not only did I have time to work out, but I also got some alone time! Well, sort of. He took Oliver swimming, and the gym overlooks the pool, so I kept watching them having fun and wishing I was in the pool with them. I know, I thought I wanted to be alone! I'm a bundle of contradictions, no?
  • Marty also cooked dinner last night, and we had wine!
  • Oliver slept until almost 9:00 this morning!! (7:30 is more typical, yesterday was 7:00).
  • We started our walk late, but had a good time because not only were there ducks at the park, but also a bulldozer! Wow, as Oliver would say (though it comes out more like Whoa-ow!). When I took him out of the stroller so he could walk around and burn some energy, we played "I'm gonna get you!" and I chased him and he laughed and laughed and sound better than that!
  • Hearing Oliver go "Yummmmmmmm....mmmmmm!" as he ate his lunch. We had hummus on a tortilla with cucumbers, tomatoes, red bell peppers, green onions....and he went nuts. This kid is crazy for veggies lately!
  • This face:

I hear him babbling...and we're going on an almost 2 hour nap! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My new job is hard

And my new boss gets on my nerves sometimes.

What? I'm not allowed to say that? I should be grateful I get to stay home all day and play? I should love to be spending every waking minute with my son, because I am so lucky to be able to do so, right?

While I know I'm lucky, and I am grateful, it is also hard and sometimes I don't want to do it. Why is it ok for someone with a "real" job to complain, but it's not ok for a mom to complain? Why does the mommy guilt kick in immediately? I bet John Doe office worker guy never feels guilty when he hates his job. And he gets paid, and 2 weeks vacation, and only has to work a 40 hour week, and has weekends off.

I know it's new to me, and I'll adjust. But I have to wonder, how do women do this? How do they entertain a 15 month old all day, praying for a good nap in order to get a moment to themselves. A moment where they have to decide between doing what they want to do--surf the internet, write a blog, take a nap, take a shower (!), and what they need to do--clean, think about/prep for dinner, do laundry, exercise. And then not get another break until the kid goes to bed and you follow soon after from exhaustion.

Some days I don't want to read Planes 63 times. Some days I don't have the patience for the point and name game (he points at something in a book, grunts "uh", and I name it). Some days I don't want to chase him away from the computer or tv 17 times in an effort to teach him "no!" Some days I can't bear it if he throws his food during one more meal. Some days my head explodes when I hear him babbling 15 minutes after I put him down for a nap. Other days, in fact, most days, I can handle all of those things just fine, and he's a brilliant, adorable angel. But some days it's hard, and he's an annoying little booger. And I hate feeling that way!

I know we are still in a transitional phase, and that I'll adjust to this new job. I should love it, right? I hated working too, a lot of the time, and I've been looking forward to having this new freedom. Maybe we're still just working out what to do with all that freedom, and it will get better.

And he's awake. Barely took a nap. How does he know to do that on days like this?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The exercise part

In order to lose weight, you have to eat less, and move more. Calories in, calories out. It's that simple. Wish it felt that simple! I do have an exercise plan. It's not easy to get exercise in as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Especially when you want to use his nap time to surf the internet and write a blog!

As I mentioned before, I have struggled with my weight all my life. Before I got pregnant, while I wasn't at my skinniest, I was exercising regularly. I worked out with a personal trainer, went to the gym, and walked. I worked out 6 days a week. I know how to do it. I know what you're supposed to do. It's the getting it done part that's hard. When I got pregnant, my doctor limited my physical activity because of my previous miscarriage and my "advanced maternal age" (I was 40 when Oliver was born). I was only allowed to walk, swim, and do very light hand weights, no straining. After he was born, it would have been the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the weight loss I had with the pregnancy to work out and keep going. But I developed de Quervain's Syndrome during pregnancy, which worsened after he was born, so I couldn't do much of anything with my hands. We did walk when the weather was still nice, but then it was winter in Iowa. And the excuses pile up (yes, I know they are excuses, but also reality) ... I started working full time teaching a class I wasn't prepared for so it took a lot of my "free" time, in addition to still doing some weddings and, oh yeah, raising Oliver when he wasn't in daycare (which was a lot considering how sick he got over the winter with one ear infection after another). So, before we moved to Connecticut, life was crazy, and exercise was the last thing on my list. But that's the past, and now is now and I have the opportunity to change that.

Walking. This will be my main form of exercise. It's free, and easy, and best of all, I can take Oliver along. We found a very pretty park not too far from where we live that has nice walking trails. Best of all, there are several ponds and the river, so there are "ducks" everywhere (mostly geese, but some actual ducks too). So Oliver is in heaven. Actually, we've seen lots of animals at the park, which is great since he's very much into naming things right now, especially animals. In addition to the ducks (geese) we've seen lots of dogs, birds, a few frogs, a baby bunny rabbit, and a deer. I've also met one of our neighbors who has a sweet 5 month old little girl, and we've walked there together a few times. My plan is to walk at least an hour every day, though recently, the weather has been so nice, we've been going closer to 1.5 hours! When the weather is bad, we can also walk at one of the malls, there are some big ones that are convenient.

Weight training. Our apartment complex has a small fitness center, with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, hand weights, and about a half dozen machines. I'd like to start doing the weight training again like I did before I was pregnant. I actually enjoy it, it's kind of peaceful, and I know that building muscle is helpful so the cardio is more effective. However, it's impossible to do with Oliver--he'd be dropping weights on my toes in minutes, or worse, some stranger's! But we're going to try to work something out where I can go work out after Marty gets home. It's just hard to plan with also trying to get dinner on the table, and with Marty's own running/work out schedule. Oliver doesn't do well with later dinners, he gets hungry early. But it is important for my health and my sanity, because it might also be one of my only times "alone" during the day. So we'll see how that goes.

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. This is all the rage on the baby message boards that I go to regularly. Word is that it's hard but you get results. And it's only 20 minutes a session, so not too hard to fit into your day. So I bought it. I tried to do it today with Oliver, thinking he'd enjoy "dancing" with me. Nope. He likes me to hold him when we dance, so no go. I should do it when I wake up in the morning, but I'm not a morning person, at all. And after he goes to bed, I'm wiped out. So this one is something I'm going to try to work into the schedule when I can. I'll let you know!

I hate exercise. I've never been athletic, or much into sports (except when I beat Marty at Fantasy Football!). But I will admit, when I was working out regularly, I felt a lot healthier. I don't feel so healthy right now, so I need to do this, and I know that getting back into it will remind me of how it makes me feel better. I can already tell a difference in the few weeks we've been here from all the walking I've done. Most importantly, I need to be healthier to keep up with Oliver...he is one big ball of energy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fish and frogs and ducks

When we learned that we would be moving to Connecticut for 2 years, we knew it would have it's challenges. Living in a new place--in an apartment not a house, far away from family, where we didn't know a single soul. Living in an apartment. Transplanting a toddler, removing him from daycare that he loved, and becoming a full time mom. Living in an apartment. You get the idea. So we decided to look at it as an adventure, and try to see the positive side of things. I know, those of you who know Marty are thinking, "What? Marty tried to see the positive side of things?" Yes, believe it or not, he actually is capable of not being a pessimist, occasionally. [love you honey!]. Anyway, so we decided one way to make it fun was to try to travel around the Northeast, and see as many places as we could while we are here. Well, as many places you can see with a toddler. So one night in the month or so before the move, we sat down at the computer and made up a list of all the places we'd want to see in Connecticut and the surrounding states. It's a really long list, and we may not end up doing all of them, but it is nice to have ideas. Some of them are big, like going to Boston or Maine or DC. Some are small, like visiting a nearby zoo or museum.

We decided to start small. Our first outing was to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is a very nice little aquarium not too far from us, and we thought Oliver would like it. His current favorite pastime is naming things, especially animals. Well actually, he points and grunts (his way of asking "what's that?"), and we name them. He does know some animal sounds though, and knows that frogs go "ribbit ribbit." He loved it! He is now obsessed with fish (he makes the "kissing" sound) and frogs. Some pics:

Oliver and Marty checking out the Frog exhibit. While he did want to see them, and kept asking to go back to the tank, he was a little scared, but that's what dad's shoulder is for--Daddy will protect me! The only disappointment was that we didn't get to see the "Penguin Walk" where they do a demonstration with some real penguins. We couldn't get close enough to see, it was so crowded.

The next weekend, we decided to go to Manhattan. We figure we'll be visiting there quite a bit, and we know there's so much to see and do there, so we decided to keep it small and because the weather was so nice, just take the train in for the day to visit Central Park and go to the zoo. But first, we had to go to Carnegie Deli, because Marty wanted to get one of their famous sandwiches. Mine is on the left, a BLT. Sorry for the dark pics, they are from Marty's cell phone. The big brown blob is all bacon. Yeah, even too much for me! Marty got the "Woody Allen," which is pastrami and corned beef.

Very tourist-y of us, I know, but we had to do it. Oliver loved the pickles. On an off chance, we decided to give him a piece of a pickle (they put some on the table as an appetizer!), and he loved it. He also apparently now loves onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, and olives! We've been trying all sorts of things just for fun, and those are all the things he now loves. He's crazy.

Then we went to Central Park and walked around and found a place to sit and play for a while.

Oliver loved picking up sticks, of course. Then we tried to go to the zoo, but it was so crowded and the lines were so long. Oliver was already getting tired, so we decided it just wasn't worth it that day, but that we'd come back another time to see it. So we walked around Central Park again and then headed home. Here's some more pictures on the Promenade.

And then finally, this weekend we went to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT. It was a warm day, but the zoo is in a nice park, so it wasn't too bad. It's a small zoo, but a nice place to walk around, and of course, Oliver loved naming all the animals. Especially the ducks. Well, more precisely, the swans and geese and ducks, all of which are to him, ducks, or as he says "guh-kuh," which also means "truck." Confused yet? Hey, he's 1! We somehow did not get many good pictures on this trip, but here's one of Marty and Oliver checking out the ducks, and one of the beautiful peacocks that walk around the grounds.

Some things we've learned in our adventures so far: Keeping it small is good, especially for Oliver. He won't nap in a stroller when there's too much to look at, and after every visit, he's crashed in the car within seconds. So we'll have to figure out how to handle this on our bigger trips. Maybe lots of exploring in the car! We also like visiting different restaurants, especially those we've seen on the Food Channel or the Travel Channel. I'll post about those experiences another time. I'm out of steam, and this is way longer than I thought it would be. But I knew you'd all enjoy the pictures! More to come!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I refuse to call it a diet!

I hate that word. I'm going to call my plan a "healthy eating" plan, or a "healthy lifestyle" plan, but not a diet. I officially now ban that word from this blog! My whole life I've struggled with my weight, but now I'm not only getting older, and I have a son to keep up with, I know it's more important now than ever to try to get healthier.

I do believe my view of my body changed a lot when I was pregnant with Oliver. My body was doing something pretty amazing--making a person, and I had to keep it healthy to keep him healthy. During my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. At first I was mean I wouldn't be able to indulge in anything I wanted with the wonderful "I'm eating for two" excuse? I don't even get a break for pregnancy? But then I took the class on it and read the piles of literature they gave me and got started on the meal plan (see, no "d" word) they gave me. Yes it was limiting, but not as much as I thought. I even got to have ice cream! It was all about portion control, especially where carbs/sugars are concerned. And eating 6 small meals a day (or 3 small meals plus 3 snacks), to keep my blood sugar levels in a healthy range. So, for example, I could have 1/2 cup of ice cream as my evening snack. It was manageable. I was diagnosed at 28 weeks, at which point I had not gained any weight with the pregnancy at all. Following the GD diagnosis, I actually lost weight over the rest of the pregnancy. And then after I had Oliver, I lost all that baby weight too, so 2 weeks after having him, I had lost something like 32 pounds since my positive pregnancy test! [disclaimer: for some reason I am completely forgetting the numbers...exactly how much I lost during and after pregnancy....if mom or someone who knew then remembers, let me know! I know it was around 32 pounds total.]

Pretty cool, huh? I know all my other mommy friends would kill to have that outcome, but there were downfalls too. Pricking my finger and testing my blood all day long. Never ever being able to give in to cravings. So you'd think I would have kept it off, right? You'd think. But no, not all of it. I currently weigh 14 pounds less than when I got the positive pregnancy test. I could blame lots of things: caring for an infant, not being able to breastfeed (everyone loses weight with breastfeeding it seems). Or when he was no longer an infant...starting a new job and being too busy, then traveling and moving, blah blah blah. No regrets. All I can do is start now.

So all of that to say, the inspiration for my new healthy eating plan is the GD meal plan. I know that carbs are my problem. I carry my weight in my tummy, and everything I've read says this is a big sign of carb/insulin issues. I have been tested since my pregnancy, and while I don't have any form of diabetes, my numbers are high enough that I could develop it in the future. I want to avoid that!

I like the GD plan because it doesn't tell you what to eat, but how to eat. I hate diets (I can use the word if I'm talking about what I hate about them!) that tell you what you must eat at every meal. The good thing about the GD plan is you can adjust it for your tastes and for cooking for a family. So the basics:
  • 3 small meals + 3 snacks a day. Never go longer than 2.5 hours without eating.
  • Limit carbs, but have them at each meal/snack. This is important. The GD plan does not eliminate carbs/sugars, as many people assume. Carbs are important fuel for your body. There are good carbs and bad carbs, the key is to have good carbs, but regardless, limit the quantity. Having them throughout the day will keep insulin levels normal. The GD meal plan broke it down like this:
  • Breakfast, 1 carb serving (1 carb serving = 15 grams carbohydrates)
  • Snack, 1 carb serving
  • Lunch, 2-3 carb servings
  • Snack, 1 carb serving
  • Dinner, 3 carb servings
  • Snack, 1 carb serving
  • Always have a protein with a carb
  • Eat as many veggies as I want, except for corn, peas, carrots, all of which contain carbs.
  • No milk in the morning. While milk is a good carb to have and encouraged, it can mess with blood sugar levels first thing in the morning. So cereal is not a good breakfast choice on a GD meal plan.
  • Unlike the GD plan, limit fats. On the GD plan, they encourage you to eat more fat because it keeps blood sugar levels even and it is good for baby's development. But no baby, no extra fats!
  • Please note that GD diet plans vary. I had a mild case, I never had to give myself insulin. My numbers stayed very nicely controlled with the meal plan. I know other women have a lot more trouble controlling their numbers than I did. So if you've stumbled upon this blog and have GD, please consult a professional!
So, for example, last night's Shrimp Alfredo Pasta. 1/2 cup of pasta = 1 carb serving. The sauce probably was about .5 carb serving (because of the milk and flour) for the amount on 1/2 cup. I had no bread or wine with it, so to make 3 carb servings, I could have 1 cup of pasta with sauce. When I first started the GD plan, I had to measure everything, but you get pretty used to what 1/2 cup looks like. So, you find yourself making choices. If I had wine (which I would have if we'd had any in the house), I would have had less pasta. But when you have 3 meals plus 3 snacks, you aren't as hungry...a good thing! Oh, and also, I could have as much zucchini as I wanted. Except Oliver ate it all, lol!

So that's the gist of it. I'll add more info as I go along. I don't anticipate logging all my meals on my blog, but I'll make note of things I find that work for me, and resources as I find them.

Exercise is a big part of all this. More on that in another post soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

Sounds decadent, right? It actually wasn't! Well, ok, it was still pasta, but it was a light version of the sauce, from Cooking Light magazine. We were pretty happy with it for dinner tonight, so I'll pass along the recipe:

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

1 lb. fettuccine
1 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. 2% milk
3/4 c. fat-free half and half
pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 pound cooked shrimp
3/4 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta. While it's cooking make the sauce: Melt butter in skillet, add garlic and cook until just brown (less than 1 minute). Stir in flour. Add milk and half-and-half slowly, stirring with a whisk. Add nutmeg. Cook 8 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly. Add shrimp and Parmesan cheese, stir until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add some pasta water to adjust. Toss with pasta, serve.
Makes 6 servings. One serving: 477 calories, 14 g. fat.

To keep the pasta portions small, I also sauteed some zucchini in a little olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper. Served it on the side.

The verdict:
Marty liked it, said he'd like even more veggies added to the pasta. We do another shrimp pasta w/pesto recipe that has lots of veggies in it, so I think he's thinking of something like that. I'll post that one of these days.
Oliver liked it, especially the zucchini! He kept asking for more, to the point where we were giving him some off our plates.
I thought it was good. The sauce just kind of sticks to the pasta, so it's not real saucy at all. If you like more sauce, you'd want to make more (or make less pasta for it to go on). But I think part of the idea is that it shouldn't be swimming in sauce to be healthier.

I want to start a blog.

I've been saying this for days, maybe even for months. Now that we are finally settled after our move, I decided this is the time. Of course, in order to create a blog, the first thing you have to have is a name. What would I name my blog? I thought about it for days. It was starting to annoy me because I had all these ideas in my head of things to write about, but I couldn't start writing about them until I had a name!

The problem is that my blog isn't going to be about one thing in particular. My first idea was to write a blog about "a year of healthy eating," in an effort to help me lose weight. I would blog about what I ate, post recipes, exercise reports, how I was feeling, successes and failures. But, well, that was a lot of pressure! And I've realized, in the few weeks in my new role as stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), that being the mom to a toddler is as much of a challenge! Cliche, but it really is a full time some! I would blog about the creative ways I find to keep Oliver entertained and educated, while I keep my sanity. And a place to vent when I don't. Finally, tied in to all of this is our move to Connecticut for this "short term" assignment...if you can call 2 years short term. Marty & I have decided that while we are here, we are going to travel around the northeast, as much traveling around as possible with a toddler. So I also want to blog about our adventures and travels, as well as talk about how we are adjusting to this new life. I see all of these things as connected, it's all part of my life now, and I'm sure the blog will evolve as we do.

So back to the name. My first idea was "One Nap at a Time," since the only time I'll have free to blog is when Oliver naps. I'm just too exhausted at night, and enjoy having time to read a good book to escape (something else I can blog about...the books I've read). But, yeah, that name was taken. "Life Between Naps," also taken. Still, those names focused a bit more on the toddler side of things than the dieting and the living. So I thought of "Eat, Play, Live," a take off of one of my favorite books, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. The perfect name! It encompasses the "healthy eating", the playing with Oliver, and the living our lives here in CT. But, duh, taken. Finally, I played around with it, and came up with "Cook, Play, Love," which I like just as well. Cook because it is as much about the cooking as the eating. Play because it reminds me that this is going to be fun. And Love, because if Life isn't about Love, then I don't know what it is. So here we go...and as if on cue, Oliver is awake!