Dec 212015
 

Usually my huge family gets together for our annual Christmas party and white elephant gift exchange. There’s tons of food and drink and people and it’s a blast. For whatever reason that didn’t happen this year, so some of my cousins decided to throw our own little Cousins Christmas get-together. I’m glad they did! It was a small group of us because so many of us are scattered around the country (and world) but it was so good to see some of them!

First, I went to the gym. 40 minutes of weight lifting (a mixture of body weight exercises like squats, some free weights and then weight machines) and then 30 minutes “running” on the treadmill. Jog/walk intervals about 2-4 minutes each. I did 1.4 miles on the treadmill.

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Then Michael and went out to my aunt’s house for the festivities, Mexican food themed. Yum!

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It was nice of my aunt letting us crash her house for our party. I had cousins come from Seattle, Eugene and Salem. When we arrived my grandma was also there! That was a nice surprise I wasn’t expecting. My aunt had picked her up in Seattle and was taking her to the farm south of Portland to spend Christmas with them. It was great to be able to see my grandma (who I think turned 95 this month) for a little bit. My grandma tried to pawn off her Moscow Mule drink to me and I kind of laughed and pointed to my belly and she said she’d forgotten. Ha!  They left and it was just us cousins for the rest of the day.

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Lunch was so tasty. My cousin Di made tamales. Michael made his amazing guacamole. My cousin Anna made taco salad. I made a bean thing –four different kinds of beans, Mexican spices and Rotel cooked up. Everything was delicious. I was famished and the food hit the spot and satisfied my Mexican food craving.

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My cousin’s husband works at Sound Brewery and brought some beers. I liked the label with the frog on it. :) We spent a few hours just hanging out and catching up, having fun and then called it good. The rest of them were going out to a show that evening. Michael is getting over a cold and I wasn’t feeling up to going out for a late night (as much fun as it did sound to hang out with everyone longer) so we took some pictures and said goodbye.

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LOL My aunt took that photo. Too much egg nog?? :) We were laughing so hard. It took several tries but we finally got a good photo:

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It was so much fun. I’m glad we organized something and got together instead of just skipping it this year. I wish it could have been the whole family, but maybe next year.  Michael and I went home and I immediately got in my PJs, turned on the heating pad and put my aching feet up. Exciting Saturday night for us!

Sunday

Sunday morning I did 4.5 miles on the elliptical:

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And then Michael and I went to the hospital for our tour of Labor and Delivery! I was excited for the tour because I had no idea what to expect and I hate the unknowns. It’s the control freak in me. I really wanted to see what the delivery rooms looked like and the recovery rooms.

The tour started with an introduction on where to park, how to check in, etc. We walked over to Labor and Delivery and got to see where the check in is, and then see the room where you labor. It was a really big room. I’m guessing because there are often a lot of people in that room when things get going for real.

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The guide talked about what to expect and that there was a tub in the labor room, plus there were labor rooms that had big tubs like this one:

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There were a lot of things to assist with the birth. A ton of different kinds of bouncy balls, apparently there’s a squat bar that can attach to the bed for different positions.

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There was a little incubator for the baby with a heating pad under the blanket. They don’t have a “nursery” and the baby pretty much stays with you the entire time, unless you have to go to NICU. I like that. They also had a padded couch/lounger thing for the dad to sleep on if necessary.

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The guide said that they try and give the baby to mom immediately and then everyone leaves the room for about an hour to bond and stuff. Then they come back and do all the testing things they normally do for the baby. After a few hours they move you to the recovery room, where you’ll stay for a few days. That room was a lot smaller.

I’m glad we did the tour and got an idea of what to expect. I admit, I was a bit overwhelmed and anxious at the beginning of the tour but once we got to the rooms I relaxed a bit and by the end of the tour I felt ok. Of course, things don’t always go as planned but it’s nice to see what everything looks like. One weird thing — it was SUPER quiet. I didn’t hear a peep the entire time we were at the hospital. I wasn’t expecting screaming women but not even a baby crying? It was very odd.

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After the tour we turned in our pre-registration forms and then went to lunch at McMenamin’s.  Michael got the Italian salad. I got the grilled Tuna melt sandwich on rye with cajun tots. The tots are fabulous!

Overall it was a good weekend, even if it was busy busy busy. The next thing to check off our to-do list is the birthing classes! Those start in January.

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Aug 242015
 

Saturday I awoke to a yellow, glowing hazy outside. The light was very weird, abnormal, and I couldn’t figure out why until I went outside. Then I realized it was all the wildfires in Oregon. Apparently the wind shifted and Portland was engulfed in a haze. It was gross, smelly and hard for me to breathe. Thankfully I already had plans to go to the gym and not try to run outside or go for a hike. I don’t see hiking in the future until the air quality clears up.

It was the first time I was back at lifting weights since my back injury. I took it easy and focused on things like shoulders, triceps and core instead of my back. I was back at doing my PT exercises and glute/core work. It felt good to do it again. Then I did a walk/run on the treadmill. First run since my 5k! I felt pretty good and did 2.5 miles.

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I burned 559 calories, went home to clean up and have lunch (leftover turkey enchiladas I made). Saturday I spent most of the day inside to avoid the smoke!

Saturday evening we went to a friend’s house for dinner. It was so good to see them! And to get out of the house and be social. After my back stuff I kind of hid in the house for awhile. I was tired, feeling wounded and a little bit mopey I think. I didn’t do much socializing (aside from our parents visiting) so once I was starting to feel more like myself I was glad to see some friends.

They made delicious margaritas from scratch (limeade, rhubarb compote, simple syrup, lime verbena juice and ice). So delicious and refreshing!! Mine was a virgin because me and Tequila AIN’T friends. No thank you!

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Dinner was grilled chicken, corn on the cob and a delicious salad with greens, mint, feta, onions and watermelon.

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For dessert they made root beer floats with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. What a treat! I can’t remember the last time I had a root beer float…

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It was a fun night. The kids are getting so big.

Sunday

Michael made french toast for breakfast. It was quite a treat. I hadn’t had french toast in I don’t know how long…at least a year. I’ve been craving it recently and Michael kindly satisfied my craving. He made the fabulous Martha Stewart recipe (it’s a winner for sure).

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After breakfast I went to the gym. It was too late for yoga class and honestly I was a bit too sore for it I think. Those jump squats always do me in. I was so sore (hamstrings) from Saturday’s workout. Instead I used the elliptical for a mild workout.

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Sometimes doing something like the elliptical can help loosen up the sore muscles. Time will tell. The afternoon was spent in the kitchen working on tomatoes from the garden. I decided to can whole tomatoes. I had so many ripe ones in the garden that needed to be cooked or something. I picked a big batch and got started.

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I did a combo of romas and heirloom tomatoes. I love canning whole tomatoes because it’s super easy and fast. I boiled the tomatoes, peeled the skins in no time, cored the tomatoes and then canned them whole. The longest part of this process was the canning part. It took forever to get the water boiling and I had to do the jars in two batches because my pot wasn’t big enough.

Sunday evening we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for dinner. It had been way too long since we saw them and I was excited to make dinner using the spaghetti sauce I made last weekend. Michael’s mom made a fantastic salad with greens, tomatoes and lemon cucumbers from their neighbor’s garden. I baked a loaf of garlic bread (my weakness).

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We did gluten free spaghetti and I cooked up my spaghetti sauce with meatballs. I was so happy with my sauce! It was delicious! Thick and flavorful and just right.

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Dessert was a little bit of a cheat. :) I baked cookies.

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It was a busy weekend! But a good one. How was yours?

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