Monday, January 28, 2013

Being a mom

This weekend Jack and I were able to go down to Vermont with my mother and Annie so that Mariah could meet her Great Grandma and some of her Greant Aunt's and Uncles. We had such a fabulous time I can't even explain how wonderful it was to get out of the house and relax. It was so special watching my grandma with Mariah too it really touched me.



We also managed to get some shopping done at the outlets. My wonderful Aunt Cathy bought me some new dresses which I desperately needed. I currently don't own any clothes besides sweat pants and tights that fit and since I'm starting week in two weeks I really needed some work clothes. I definitely plan on posting pictures of those outfits in the very near future.

While in Vermont my Aunt Kathy said that she was surprised that I wasn't very nervous or frantic and I was a very relaxed mom. I explained that I'm really not and that I honestly felt like it was a little weird as most mom's are usually so anxious. She then said to me "Well I think it's just because you were born to do this you are a natural" As soon as she said this a sudden realization came over me. I was born to do this, this is my purpose in life. For most of my life I've felt depressed, awkward, and unsure of why my life was the way it was. As soon as Mariah was born it all fell into place and I finally feel like I am exactly where I need to be and I am doing exactly what I should be doing. I was made to be a mother and I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Meal Planning/Pantry List

I started my pantry tracking list and so far it has been wonderful. It took me a little while to put it together, but I definitely think it's going to be worth it. I went through all my cupboards and took out all the foods shelf by shelf. If it was expired I threw it away and if it was still good I jotted it down in my notebook a long with how much of it I had. This process also gave me a chance to clean out my cupboards too which was very much needed. I haven't gotten to the fridge yet, because cleaning out that is going to be a much longer process and I don't know if I'm prepared for that right now.

Here's how I made the excel spreadsheet. I tried separating them into the same categories as the aisles in the grocery store are. If the item is in pink then I have a full container or package if it is in green I have half of a package or less and should probably pick up more. The only thing I haven't figure out yet is how to put each column into alphabetical order, every time I tried the columns would become jumbled so I still have to work on that. I'm hoping that this will be easy for me to update, every time we buy an item I'll add it to the list and if we run out I will quickly remove it until we buy it again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


So I was told by a little bird that my follow up on things I have been trying has not been great. I was crossing my fingers no one would notice, because to be honest I had to put a slight pause on everything,

My meal planning was going pretty well until the last month of my pregnancy when I decided I hated the taste of everything except for Crazy Bread from Little Ceasar's and chicken Gyro's. So Jack and I seriously ate out every single meal for the last month, it was bad. I think we managed to spend over $700 on eating out a lone that month OUCH!

My budget has been pretty much thrown out the window due to the fact that our income has gone haywire. I am unfortunately not being paid for my maternity leave so we are strictly relying on Jack's income. Even though he makes enough that we can afford it, he gets paid on commission so it is a little hard to figure out exactly what is going to be coming in and when. Also, since he only started at this job several months ago and his commissions just started coming we haven't been able to figure out exactly what his average pay check will be. This has made budgeting really tough so I decided to simply put a pause on  my budget until I go back to work.

Before I have to go back to work I am planning on making my meal planning organization, I guess you could call it, a top priority. Writing out my meals for the week was working really well, however, I did notice a few issues I wanted to figure out. First off after listing out the meals and going grocery shopping for the week Jack and I noticed that we still didn't follow the menu to a "T" and therefore we were still throwing out food. I think until we get a real good hang of it we are going to have to go to the store every day or at least every other day. This issue is really minor compared to the second issue I need to figure out. Jack and I never seem to remember what foods we already have. Because I was writing out the grocery list while at work I would forget we already bought something and buy it again. Jack and I discovered this weekend we had four containers of chicken broth that all had been open and used just once then expired. This is not okay. So what I plan on doing today and tomorrow is creating a pantry list. I've seen it on several organization blogs and it seems like a really good idea. I'm going to create an excel spread sheet of all the items in our pantry and fridge, put it in alphabetical order for easy searching, and update it every time we either buy a new item or run out of one. I am actually really excited about creating this.

So look for my pantry tracking list sometime this week. I'm hoping to figure it out today if I have time. Mariah didn't sleep much last night so I might spend today napping!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken

While browsing pinterest one day I discovered a recipe for stuffed buffalo chicken. I gave the recipe a brief look and decided Jack and I would definitely have to give it a try. We didn't follow the recipe at all, but instead made up our own and it came out absolutely perfect. I'm going to be honest we didn't really measure things out per say, but instead just threw it together.


  • 3 chicken breast
  • celery
  • carrots
  • cream cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • onions
  • bread crumbs
  • ranch
  • frank's red hot
  • 1 stick of butter
  • garlic
To start we took about 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese 1/4 cup of cream cheese and mixed it together with the celery, carrots, and onions. By making a small pocket in the chicken breast with a filet knife we stuffed the mixture into the three breasts. 

After that we dipped the chicken breast in ranch dressing, covered them in bread crumbs, and put them in a a baking dish. 

The buffalo sauce I used was the same buffalo sauce recipe I made for the "Buffalo Balls". Take a stick of butter, melt it and throw in some garlic. We like to throw in extra garlic, because we are fiends but put in however much you would like. After letting the garlic simmer for a minute pour in a bottle of frank's red hot and stir it. I know a stick of butter seems extreme but don't worry there will be a lot extra!

Take about half of the buffalo sauce mixture and pour it over the chicken and stick it in a preheated oven. Let it cook for about 20-30 minutes or until it is done. After it's cooked put it on a plate and drizzle it with more hot sauce. We served it with a side salad, but the chicken is very filling!

I did calculate the calories, but honestly it's a rough estimate because we didn't measure anything. My basic estimation of what I put into myfitnesspal came up to just under 500 calories so it's really not too bad. 

I apologize for not having any measurements, but put in as much as you'd like. If you want more cheddar cheese add more if you want less don't use as much. This recipe is so good I don't think there's a wrong way to make it,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2 Week Appointment

Mariah had her two week appointment yesterday and everything looks great! She is finally back up to her birth weight and all my little concerns, probably typical of new parents, checked out fine. It's funny things that happen to her that may be absolutely normal for me kind of give me a slight panic attack. For example this morning she woke up with some boogies in her eyes and my first thought was oh my goodness she's deathly ill. Then I thought about it and realized I was probably completely overreacting since there are no other signs of her being sick whatsoever.

Dad and I also learned a very important baby lesson at the doctors, Never leave the house with out a change of clothes for the baby. We were at the doctors getting her undressed so she could be weighed, took off her diaper and she immediately peed all over herself and her clothes. Not thinking, we have not put in a change of clothes in her diaper bag so we literally had to put just the top half of her footie jammies on and then wrap up her bottom with the blanket we had brought. YAY us! Now we know to always bring a change of clothes, lesson learned.

So Little Mariah is 19 days old, 21.4 Inches, and 8lbs 12oz. I can't believe that in less than two weeks she's going to be one month old. Then again I also can't believe that I gave birth to her only two and half weeks ago. 

Mamma is also doing fantastic. My blood pressure is showing improvement and I have officially lost 30lbs since before birth. I also realized the other day that I am happier than I have been in over 6 years. Not only that, but it has been one year officially since I cured my anxiety and depression wahoo!! Life is pretty perfect and I hope it doesn't change, unless it's for the better of course!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life as parents 2

Hooray! Mariah slept for a full 6 hours last night. She woke up at 6:30 to eat then went right back to sleep. Our good luck continues *knock on wood*. My only concern is that because Mariah lost so much weight after birth the nurse keeps telling us that we need to wake her up every 4 hours to feed. I would absolutely love to do that IF my daughter would wake up to feed. When Mariah sleeps there is absolutely nothing in this world that can wake her up. I'm not even exaggerating Jack and I have tried everything and she just snores away. So unfortunately, waking her up so she can eat is just not an option, BUT Mariah eats plenty when she finally does wake up making up for the food she missed.

Also good news is Mariah's jaundice has finally gone away. When the doctors first told us her "billireuben" levels were high (meaning she had jaundice) it was extremely nerve racking, because to me jaundice means liver failure, but apparently it's different in babies? I don't really know, it's what I hated the most I couldn't get any doctors to give me any information on it. They were just like "well it means she has yellow skin and if her levels get into the 20's we have to do treatment and something something brain damage" ummm what could you be a little more descriptive and explain that to me in non doctor language? Naturally my nerves quadrupled when at 4 days old her billireuben levels went up to 18. Thankfully we were able to bring that number down by extra feedings and keeping her in indirect sunlight. Now she is jaundice free so that scare is completely gone.

My blood pressure is also finally starting to go down yaaay! I still have to stay on what Jack refers to as my "old man medicine" but at least it won't be for too much longer.

 In the mean time before I get permission to start working out and Mariah is old enough to explore the world we have been having lots of fun making silly faces together...


Turning her into a rockstar...

Awesome photo shoots...

And meeting her Great Grandpa...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Life as parents

Up until this point Jack and I have been extremely blessed with a baby that sleeps 6-7 hours in a row every night. We have been knocking on wood and thanking our lucky stars that we have been able to get so much sleep. This weekend Mariah started a whole new trend of sleeping all day and hardly sleeping at night. We are praying and hoping that this is just a rare occurrence and that she will go back to her old sleeping habits, but we shall see.

A huge concern of mine while I was pregnant was how my ferocious beast of a cat was going to respond to the new baby. As most of you know Leia is not the nicest kitty; when she was younger she scratched my arms up so bad I still have scars. She stopped doing that and instead started biting me in the face while I was sleeping. Now while most of you are probably thinking "holy cow that cat is evil why wouldn't you get rid of her" I would like to say when she was not acting up she was the sweetest most loving and cuddly cat I have ever met. Every day when I got home from work I was greeted by her loud meows, her rubbing up against my leg, and jumping into my arms. Jack and I are the only ones that she ever showed this type of affection too so I was extremely concerned about bringing a baby into the home. I even took her to the Vet to see what her recommendation would be. The vet told me that her breed was actually extremely good with children. While this brought some relief I still had major doubts. When I was bringing Mariah home for the first time to meet Leia I was so nervous. When we walked in something amazing happened Leia jumped into my arms per usual noticed the baby looked at her sniffed her then went right back to loving on Jack and I. As the days passed Leia became even better and better. Leia watches over Mariah all the time, when Mariah cries she runs over to her and doesn't stop meowing until we come and pick her up. She has turned into such a great cat she's even nice to most visitors that come by. The only thing we have to be careful about is putting the cover over Mariah's car seat when Mariah is in it. One time we brought her home with the cover and Mariah was crying inside and poor little Leia lost her mind thinking that Mariah was trapped inside I've never seen my cat so upset.

So far I am absolutely crazy about being a mother I can't get enough of it. Everytime Mariah coos, cries, wiggles, makes silly faces my heart melts. I find myself constantly just staring at her in amazement. Jack is such an incredible father too and more helpful than I could ever hope for. He gets up with her when I'm too tired on days he doesn't work, as soon as he gets home from work he takes over changing and feeding duties, and I find him very frequently staring at her with the same love and amazement that's in my eyes. 

I am so happy with life at the moment and am so excited for what the future is going to bring. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

My workout routine

I have yet to receive permission from my doctor to start my full cardio and workout routine so in the meantime I have been doing little exercises here and there to get me started. I have been obsessed with my stability ball and have been using it for two incredible core exercises. 

The first exercise is referred to as "The Jackknife" This exercise, if you've never attempted it, is really really hard and it takes awhile before you can get really good at it. I love this exercise because it helps with balance, it works out your core, arms, and legs. I try and do at least two sets of 5 of these. Sometimes 3 is all I can do before I fall off. After doing this for awhile it does get easier I used to be able to do 10 in a row, back at my peak fitness era. 

The next exercise I do is just your standard crunch, but on top of the stability ball. Shown below is a woman doing a full situp, however, I just do a crunch. For these since they are much easier I try and do 2 to 3 sets of 20. When doing these you will notice they are much more intense on your core than the regular on the ground crunch.

Leg lifts are my all time favorite workout for lifting up your bum. I do 30 lifts on each leg once or twice a day. I love these, because they are easy to do when waiting for the microwave to be done or water to boil. I also do 30 for each leg to the front which gives you more of a work out for your legs and your lower abs.

Since I am not able to do a real pushup just yet I do wall pushups. I do 2 sets of 15 everday.

Also, one of my favorite things to do is toe raises while I'm brushing my teeth. I do 60 raises every time I brush my teeth. Not only is it a good work out, but it helps ensure you are brushing your teeth for the full 2 minutes the dentist recommends.

I've been doing this routine for three days and I can actually feel it in my muscles. Most likely due to the fact that I haven't worked out in a couple months. I also want to point out that I do not do all of these in a row. Whenever I get a spare minute I will do a set of one particular exercise. If I have several spare minutes I will do a set of all the exercises. 

So this routine is pretty short it is at least something and something is always better than nothing!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Years Resolution

Now that my pregnancy is over I am very excited to start my new lifestyle of being more organized, getting into shape, and becoming the fashionable mamma I've always wanted to be. My main goal, however, is to get back into shape and get my body back. Jack and I plan on working on this together so I'm pretty excited to have a partner in crime on this expedition.

As some of you may already know I was pretty overweight as a child then from 8th grade to probably my sophomore year of high school I suffered from anorexia. Since then I have always had issues with my weight.  I was able to keep it under control by eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis until about two years ago. Jack and I had just moved in together and I was going to school full time and working. Due to my increased stress level and lack of time I gained a whopping 50 lbs. I went from a healthy 135lbs all the way to 185 lbs. When I saw that number slowly creeping towards 190 I knew I had to do something. I was almost done with school and had great plans to get back into tip top shape as soon as I graduated, but then I got pregnant and my weight loss goals were thrown out the window.

The first couple months of my pregnancy I gained a good amount, then I snapped back into reality and started eating very healthy while trying to do as much exercise as I could. I was doing incredibly well and it actually seemed like I was losing weight every place but my belly. The last couple of months I completely fell of the bandwagon and right before Mariah was born I was a grand *gulp* 234lbs. I tried very hard not to let this number devastate me knowing that it would drop after her birth, but it was pretty depressing.

Since Mariah's birth my weight has been rapidly dropping and I'm now at 208lbs a number that still makes me cringe. My goal is to be back down at 135lbs by January 1st 2014 with a healthy diet and regular exercise I believe this goal to be completely possible. I plan on focusing on the smaller numbers first and breaking my much larger goal into smaller short term goals. For example by the end of February I want to be at 194lbs the equivalent of losing 2lbs a week.

Now comes the fun part, how am I going to get to my ultimate goal?? Throughout my entire pregnancy I scoured pinterest looking for healthy recipes and workouts and saved all the ones I found most interesting. I plan on choosing one of these workouts a week and following them to a T. For Christmas I also received a stability ball, a yoga mat, and Zumba workout tapes. Since I foresee getting to the gym might be a little difficult with a new baby I plan on using all of these to their full advantage. I also plan on investing in a couple dumbbells and basically I will have a mini at home gym!

I haven't come up with a complete plan for eating healthier, but I know I want my meals to be between 400-500 calories. I am also a huge fan of counting calories and (which I've mentioned in a previous post) will help me with that.

Unfortunately, due to my high blood pressure that I developed during pregnancy I've been forbidden by my doctor to do any high level of cardio for 6 weeks. SO now that I have started to feel better I have been using my stability ball to do crunches, I've started doing my leg lifts, and I attempt some push ups every day. While it's probably not doing much it's at least a good start!

I plan on continuously updating you all on the different workouts I find that I like, the healthy recipes I discover, and my weight loss progress. I'm really excited to start this expedition and am looking forward to sharing my adventures with all of you!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mariah's Birth

Mariah Rose Cowie was born on December 29th 2012 at 11:13 A.M. She was a big girl at 21 inches long and 8lbs 13 oz. Her birth was not an easy one and I'm not going to lie I definitely tried giving up once or twice or five times.

On December 27th I went to the doctors for my 39 week appointment accompanied by my mom. The doctor came in and checked my blood pressure and discovered it was still a bit high. She very calmly said to us "Well I think it's time to have this baby I'm going to call the hospital and see if they have room for you" then she left. My mom and I looked at each other with much confusion when she quickly came back in and said "How about you guys head to the hospital now" I said "Head there for what" she said "To have the baby!" Still a little confused about how calmly and quickly everything just happened we said "okay!" I immediately called Jack who didn't answer and I got very nervous. I don't know if you guys remember but that Thursday there was a horrible snow storm taking place and Jack was stuck on a hill trying to get home to me. The second time I called he answered and I said "Turn around and head to the hospital we're having the baby!!"

We got to the hospital at around 10:30 A.M. For those of you who haven't been to the Maine Med delivery center it is flipping incredible. The rooms are about as big as my living room and dining room combined complete with couches, chairs, your own bathroom, and a jacuzzi tub! They started the inducing process almost right away with a miso tab and waited four hours. Nothing happened so they tried putting me on the petocin hoping my contractions would start. Very mild ones did but they would get closer together then they would stop and get further and further a part. At around midnight when I was no closer to being in labor they decided to take me off everything, because apparently they were getting busy and wouldn't have had time for me. I was extremely upset and disappointed, however, I was able to get some sleep. At around 5 A.M they decided to start me on everything again after literally telling me they got so busy they forgot about me.

We waited the whole day for something to happen and needless to say nothing did. Mariah was being incredibly stubborn and mama was less than impressed. Finally that night the resident doctor came in and said "Hey guess what we're going to break your water!" Thank God, I thought, however I had no idea what I was in for. Very soon after I was in the worst pain I have ever been in in my life. I begged the nurse to get me pain meds, but she said I had to wait for some god awful reason. My mother, sister, and Jack were all in the room as they listened to me curse the world and every one in the hospital. After what seemed like years, but was probably 2-3 hours the brought me my epidural and I was instantly relieved. Mariah, however, still did not feel like joining us in the world and waited until 8 A.M the next morning to begin her grand entrance.

Mariah's delivery took three hours, three very long hours. When Mariah finally arrived the excitement was overwhelming. The rest of the day was just a miracle even though I was beyond exhausted and still in a lot of pain the feeling was indescribable.

We've had Mariah home for about 10 days and so far she has been a perfect angel. We've been blessed with a sleeping machine. She typically sleeps 5-7 hours in a row every night. She wakes up for a little bit to feed then goes right back to bed for another 2 hours. It's wonderful. 

Jack and I couldn't be happier or feel more blessed. Leia has been wonderful with Mariah and we finally have our entire family together and happy!