Weekly Meal Plan and SIDELINED.


OHHHHH my friends. I alluded to this injury in my “Dear Running” post, but I will detail it now. Alas, the stress fracture in my shin that I dealt with a couple years ago…is back.  I am SURE it is due to increasing my mileage too much too soon (19 to 30= more than 33% increase) and the fact that my orthotics haven’t been replaced since 2008. Yup.  So when I initially had this shin issue, I think it was a shin splint (caused probably by the same culprit as this time; too much too soon; beating up the bod) that turned into  a stress fracture, compounded by the fact that apparently one of my legs is longer than the other, messing with my gait and thereby creating a propensity for injury.  Fun, anyway, friends, I will be visiting the dear Rothman Institute this week and will update soon.  OOOOOK… Anyway, onto the FOOD! Here is my meal plan for the week:

Monday- meatball (left over from last week, froze and defrosted last night) subs, salad

Tuesday- Turkey sloppy joes with roasted potatoes (use leftover rolls from Mon)

Wednesday- Forgotten chicken. Must cook for shorter time because last time it was tasty but dry

Thursday- beef stew in the crock (I teach thursdays so it is a crazy crock pot kinda day)

Friday- Homemade pizza

Saturday- order out

Sunday- leftovers from family party

Oh, so that family party.  Basically I am having a brunch at home for about 35-40 family members.  We are having a little ceremony for Baby Zachary!  This is Sunday morning. Yup, I’m a bit frazzled.  Here is the menu for that:


Whitefish salad, lox, fish (tray I am ordering)

Scrambled egg cups; sausage/onion and veggie (mushroom/spinach/cheddar)

Monkey Bread

Mimosas, OJ

Blintz Casserole (Mom making)

Noodle casserole (mom making)

Yogurt Parfaits


Celebratory Cake, assorted cookies, etc.

Hmmmm am I forgetting anything? My friends, I SO appreciate you allowing me to post this nonsense. In all honesty, I am constantly referring back to my blog to remember what the heck I am supposed to make for dinner 😉  For real. So tell me; DO YOU MEAL PLAN!?  Also, how was everyone’s holiday?!

Cute Zach daily dose 😉

Watching the light show at Macy’s

Big boy in the cart. He’s like “what? i don’t care!”


Dear Running,

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Oh how I missed you during the majority of my pregnancy and three months post-pardom.  But, boy, have you wrangled me back!  I am addicted to you once again.  And even though I am currently feeling such an increase in my mileage (19 one week 30 the next) via the returning stress fracture in my shin, I am finding you so irresistible lately.  I RUN BECAUSE I CAN.  And YES I CAN ONCE AGAIN!  I loved running post-baby because you made me feel like I was “back in my skin” and you fit perfectly with the little man’s naps.

But Saturday you solidified your place back into my heart, rather than just into my fitness routine, when I raced once again (and fell back in love).

Nothing beats the adrenaline of a race, the sheer joy of being able to run.  You do not need a racquet, a bat or ball, simply sneakers (and shin sleeves).  You are fun to do while catching up on tv shows on the treadmill, jamming out to music, or swimming in deep (or not so deep) thoughts.  You make me cry (happy tears) and make me thankful for everything physical and emotional.  Even though my feet have now extended to a (running shoe) size NINE (including orthotics) post-baby (gulp) you make me proud of my body and what it is able to do.

You are liberating, freeing, joy-inducing and for you I am thankful.


Jessica (a huge fan)

Weekly Meal Plan and Professional Pictures

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Hello hello!  I hope you enjoyed my lil’ on-cam cameo 😉  I think it is funny when you don’t know a blogger and you can hear them in your head as you are reader their posts and then you actually hear them and they sound NOTHING like what you expected. Ha.  Anyway, just wanted to check in with a weekly meal plan. In all honesty, I write this to remind myself what the heck I’m making for din.  Hehe. True story.  Here we go!  This week is a little off due to the Holiday…

Monday- chicken and dumplings a la crock.  I used a version of THIS RECIPE. I will let you know how it is.

Tuesday- going out for dinner

Wednesday- Turkey meatballs and spaghetti.  I use Barilla plus Pasta.  I think it tastes great, has good texture and is healthy-ish (for pasta)

Thursday- turkey day!

Friday- Spaghetti squash w/leftover sauce from Wednesday for ME, and black bean quesadillas for Husband (take a tortilla smear refried beans on it, put jalepenos in there and then some shredded cheese.  Then smooth another tortilla on top of it.  heat/crisp either in frying pan or just back on 350 for ten minutes, flipping after five minutes).

Saturday- Probably go out

So yea, weird week. ANYWAY, moving on…a good friend of mine who I partnered/work with on the organization Generations Connect, is a professional photographer. She is SUPER talented and she offered to take a few shots of baby Zach so I could get a good one for the holiday card. I wanted to share a few.  Click HERE for her website.  She is fantastic!

What do you think!?

Cloth Diapering (a review of GDiapers) and Baby Food Making


HI there!  So, I just finished “filming” a v-log reviewing the cloth diapers I have been using and will post the video in a separate post in a minute.  It goes quite in depth about cost, etc.  But, until then, here is the “Cliffs Notes” version. Ha.  Remember those!?

-So, I decided on GDiapers after much research.

-It is a HYBRID cloth diaper, meaning you can use a cloth insert or a biodegradable disposable insert.

-The disposable insert, which is biodegradable, can either be flushed (after being ripped apart) or tossed in diaper can. I do the latter.

-The cloth inserts are hemp and super soft.  I’d wear ’em 🙂

-If using a cloth insert, you can use a cloth liner which resembles toilet paper that pretty much serves to “catch the poop.” Yup.  You heard me.

-General care is easy; wash on warm with your regular baby detergent (like Dreft)

– Prices are reasonable when compared to the cost/amount of disposables you would go through (view video for more)

– All in all, I like them so far.  I think they are a great modern “hybrid” approach to cloth diapering that allows for many options.   The only thing I found annoying was that you have to wash the cloth inserts three times on hot and dry between each cycle.  This not only takes FOR.EV.ER. but is not as environmentally friendly as you would think a cloth diaper would be.

So here is my revamped “top drawer” of Zach’s dresser.

As you can see, I still use disposable diapers for a. overnight b. traveling c. when we are out and about.  On the right are the clout inserts.  to the left of that is a “gpant” (diaper) and to the left of that are the disposable inserts.

PS:  Are you wondering what “g” stands for? I was too.  From the site:

OH and PSS:  These opinions were non-solicited, solely mine and I am not a paid endorser.  Wouldn’t turn it down though lol.

Alright, now, from diapers to baby food making (hey, what goes in must come out hehe).  So after seeing Zach’s reaction to cereal, I decided it was time to mix it up with some fruit.  I waited four days which they recommend to rule out allergies.  I use the wholesomebabyfoods website which is phenomenal.  It gives you TONS of information on solids with great charts and recipes.  It says I can give Zach certain fruits not cooked so I decided to start with bananas to make it as easy-peasy as possible.

I also thought I could mix the banana puree with the cereal to make it more palatable for him.  So I decided, after much research, to get the Baby Brezza all-in-one baby food maker. It steams, purees, reheats and defrosts food.  Good deal. I’ve only used it once so I will do a review on it soon.

OK!  You’re turn!  Do you cloth diaper?  Have you thought about doing it?!  Do you  make your own baby food?!  What are your thoughts on that?!

2012 Rothman 8K; First Race Post Baby

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Friends!  I did it!  I told Negative Nelly to “beat it” and I pushed hard to achieve my goal (and even better)!  Not going to lie; it was hard; I left everything out there.  In fact, this was the fastest pace I have ever ran for a race!  I kinda thought to myself, “listen, you got up ass-early (and Mr. Zachary decided to get up multiple times the night before for the fist time in months, of course), it is freaking freezing, and you are leaving your baby for this so you BETTER show up STRONG.”  I do feel like I sprinted the whole way and today am super sore. I was actually sore right after.  Rookie mistake- went out super fast.  So initially I had two goals:  1. do NOT walk at ALL and 2.  Get under 50 minutes (10 minute mile pace).  As I said, I started out SUPER fast (rookie mistake) but I felt gooooooood! A few thoughts:

1.  Races make me SUPER emotional. I cry during races, not out of pain, but out of sheer thankfulness and for the beauty that I am able to experience and the ability to run.  I’ve even been known to cry at the Expo.  Yup.


2.  That girl, Cecily Tynan ROCKS.  Dude, I saw her 43 year old RIPPED body in a tank top and shorts on her way back when I was going out. Girl got her 8k in 29 min.  Less than 6 min pace.  I hear girlfriend has two kids too.  Cray.  Oh ha, just read her bio on 6-abc, she is apparently  “a four-time sub-3 hour marathoner, former world-class professional duathlete and a top ten age group finisher at the 2003 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.” Um wow.  Anyway…

3.  I have WEIRD pre-race rituals (btw I over the odd-bib thing; i am ok with evens after this race).  For instance I have to drink coffee out of my “13.1 been there run that” mug.  uh-huh.

4. IF you are breast feeding, “empty” completely before a race for best results 🙂  Even if it means waking your little honey up ass-early.

5.  This

6.  NOTHING feels better than finishing a race feeling like you left EVERYTHING out there…except returning to your little sweet baby boy.

All in all, a great time. Final Stats:

I am so happy to be back in racing!  Can’t wait for Broad Street! (nor can my favorite fan)

Negative Nelly.

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So Saturday is my first race post-baby, and my first race in a looooong time.  Hmmmm…I think my last race would have been Broad Street 2011!  Yup, that must be right, as I got pregnant in August of 2011.  Anywhoooo…I am feeling super negative about my race Saturday.  Even though it is only an 8K, and many of my runs lately have been this distance (5 miles), I am not feeling positive about it. For one, my bib is an even number.  I am SUUUUUPER superstitious about this.  And dorky.   Also, my training has ONLY been on the treadmill because of my Zachy-wacky’s naps (save for three glorious runs in Az).

So not only am I not used to outside terrain, it is going to be MUCH colder than in my dungeon 😉



I also have a tendency to stop a few times during my runs at home. I need to drink and it is SUPER hard to do on a treadmill. I specifically remember mastering the “drinking while running” thing outside, but on the treadmill is a different story.  So I REALLY want to run this race a. WITHOUT STOPPING TO WALK and b.  in under 50 min.  This will be hard I think.  I run SUPER slow on the treadmill because if I run too fast the pounding eventually leads to the aggravation of my stress fracture from before and because I SWEAR my treadmill is tilted on an incline or something (excuses excuses) hehe.

OK, so ENOUGH of this negative thinking!  My mileage is there. I had a THIRTY mile week last week- yippeeeee!  So I just have to get my head in the game and push.  “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”  OK, thank you for letting me pep-talk to myself.  I will let you know how it goes 😉  Oh, and I have sufficiently bribed myself with a batch of these…

The most amazing cookies I have ever made/tasted- Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking triple chocolate chip cookies. HOLY YUM. Worth carrying around an extra five pounds.

Traveling on a plane…with a Baby

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1.  Bring your car seat if you can.  Usually  airlines will allow you to use an extra seat if available.  In our case, I used my Husband’s seat as he ended up going out sooner than us.  Zach took two GREAT naps on the way there. We left at the time of his am nap (about 10 am) so he napped for an hour at takeoff.  Then he played for two hours and napped another 45 minutes (not too far off from his normal).  The way home was a different story.  See below.

2.  Do NOT schedule flights during baby’s NIGHTTIME sleep.  Zach cat-napped well on the plane as I mentioned in #1, but when it came time for his night time sleep, he was not having it. At. All.  He was awake for FOUR hours on the flight (and NOT happy) from 7-11pm.  Yup.  Good times.  Homeboy did NOT want to have his night time rest on the flight.  That was interesting.  Keep reading though.

3. DO bring MANY toys that will occupy your child, EVEN if they make noise.  Whatever works, people.

4. DO make little treat bags for those around you with a pair of ear plugs, candy and a cute little explanatory poem 😉  Even if just a novelty, it wins people over.  VERY important on an almost 5 hour flight.

5. DO make friends with the flight attendants.  Need I explain?

6. DO take advantage of the family/baby security line (oh and PS you CAN take water through the security line for baby needs) and priority boarding. Get on, and get a place for all of your crap. You do NOT want them to run out of over head space when you need your crap.

7.  DO pack an extra outfit for the baby AND you that is within reach for the plane.  When Babycenter said this I thought “yea yea blah blah sure” but did it because, you know, I am Mom of the year.  But for reals, people, this kid grabbed my WHOLE newly poured diet coke and threw it ALL over me.  Not him. Me.  Like peed-myself-third-trimester-pee.  Hot. Also hot: changing your pants in the airplane restroom.  Mile high club?  Yea right.  I don’t believe it for a second.

8.  DO use MANY zip locks to organize MANY things like your baby’s outfits (don’t want to lose socks!) and a diaper-changing essentials bag for the plane.  The zip locks work well for dirty clothes and diapers later.

9.  DO NOT bother bringing “fun” reading materials such as magazines, novels, etc. For reals.  Just laugh that one away.

10.  DO wear matching shirts so people think you and your baby are cute (or at least you do).