Saturday, June 30, 2012

Three Months

Yesterday Mason turned 3 months old.  Since his next doctor's appointment isn't until the 4 month mark I took it upon myself to take really unscientific measurements of his weight and height.

These are total approximations (weight was done holding him on a scale then subtracting what I weighed without holding him): 16 pounds

(height was done while he laid down on the bed and measured with a toolbox tape measure): 25 inches

He's still sleeping in his crib using the swaddle, although chances are that this will end soon once he starts rolling over.  Some nights he sleeps up to 6.5 hours at a time which is a huge improvement.  Other nights he still wakes up every 3.5-4 hours which is not as fun.

We did our monthly "I'm wearing a onesie with a tie" photo shoot and Honey was very eager to participate.  

Mason wasn't all that thrilled with posing for so many shots.  
He smiles and "talks" and holds his neck up for what seems like a long time.  He's growing up so fast!  It's amazing how different he looks/acts on a daily basis.  Some people are finally noticing a resemblance between me and my monster.  We don't have an exact schedule yet but he's eating, playing, and sleeping in that order.  He took his first vacation last weekend to Savannah, GA and was awesome being in the car for the 4 hour car ride.  

Looking forward to what the 4 month update will be!

Friday, June 29, 2012

need some motivating music?

Ryan makes fun of me for liking the musician Pitbull.  I happen to think his music is very catchy and upbeat and have recently fell in love with his Pandora station.  Lately I've been listening to this station while running and have found the music on here to be highly motivating.  
one of the artists featured on the Pitbull radio station
One of the advantages (disadvantages?) of having a baby is waking up earlier than you ordinarily would.  Mason did not want to go back to bed after his 6am feeding so I woke Ryan up to watch him and got ready for a run.  I figured if I didn't get a run in early I probably wouldn't run at all.
Although it was only 68 degrees outside, it was already really steamy, muggy, humid, sticky, and just plain gross.  I felt super sluggish and dragged myself around our neighborhood to finish a little over 2 miles.  Once I was home I started a load of laundry, made and ate breakfast, and even gave Honey a much needed bath.  

Here's to having a super productive Friday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

new to me Vitamin Water

today Mason joined me for another day of running errands.  this time we drove over to the "greenway" by Target for a run followed by some shopping.

"The Mecklenburg County greenway system is quickly becoming one of the finest in the nation. Greenways are vegetated natural buffers that improve water quality, reduce the impacts of flooding, and provide wildlife habitat. Greenway trails provide recreation, transportation, fitness, and economic benefits for all to enjoy. There are currently 37 miles of developed and 150 miles of undeveloped greenways in Mecklenburg County." 
(from Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Website)

Some of the trail is shaded which is perfect for warm summer days.  I love not having to stop at intersections and traffic lights. 

Once we were done with our 3.1 mile run, I stopped by a boutique to get a giftcard for a friend's birthday.  While I was there I grabbed a complimentary drink.
I love all flavors of Vitamin Water and was curious about the flavor "Drive" that I hadn't tried yet.  
  • natural caffeine from coffee & yerba mate (30 mg caffeine)
  • blood orange-mixed berry flavored
  • 100% vitamin C
  • 40% vitamins b3, b5, b6, b12
  • electrolytes
It was pretty tasty and I definitely felt the extra surge of energy from the caffeine.

Finally we made it to Target and Mason walked out of there (rode in his car seat) with a new pair of shades.
And don't worry ... this was taken at home; he's always buckled in when riding around. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

will run for homemade sweet potato burgers

today Mason joined me on a short run to and from CVS pharmacy.  We completed 1.75 miles in under 17 minutes.  Thankfully the weather in Charlotte today was pretty mild ... breezy with a temperature in the mid 70's at 11:00am.

The high in Charlotte on Friday is forecasted to be 100 degrees ... not sure how much outdoor running I'll be doing then.

Tonight for dinner I decided to make some sweet potato burgers.  I found a couple of recipes that I liked online and came up with the following:

Sweet Potato Burgers (makes 4 patties)
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach
- 1/8 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon maple/agave syrup blend
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash of cayenne pepper

cook sweet potato in microwave for 5 minutes.  peel and mash in a bowl.  cook quinoa according to package directions (in this case in 1/2 of 3/4 cup of water).  melt butter and mix with syrup and cayenne pepper.  chop fresh spinach.

combine mashed sweet potato, spinach, quinoa, butter/syrup mixture, and panko bread crumbs.  form into 4 patties.  pan fry.

On the side I had a salad with arugula, goat cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, golden raisins, sweet pecans, drizzled with olive oil and a balsamic vinegar glaze.  

The sweet potato patties were delicious and went well with the salad.  Can't wait to have the other 2 patties some time this week :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

20 minutes

I realize that being a mom is a full time job. A job that I don't take lightly and that I am so thankful for. I love my little peanut so much but after spending all day and everyday with him, I crave a little "me" time.

Unfortunately those times of freedom are few and far between. I was able to sneak away yesterday to the hotel's gym for a quick treadmill run.

20 minutes was all I needed to decompress and loosen up. I was then able to enjoy the last night of Savannah without killing anyone :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

better late than never ... Carolinas Care 5k

On Saturday morning Ryan, Mason, and I headed over to the Carolinas Care 5k at the McAlpine Creek Greenway.  The race start was 9am and I had forgotten to pre-register so we arrived around 8:40am.

Biggest fan
After paying and handing off my race packet to Ryan I stretched and wandered over to the starting line.  This was a very small local race and there weren't a ton of runners present.  The timing was also done without chips ... instead you were handed an index card with what place you finished as you crossed the finish line, and a person wrote down your information.

Most of the course was on loose gravel through the park.  There were some steep uphills (and subsequent downhills) that were hard to deal with, especially with the slippery ground.  I managed to finish the first mile in 7:30 minutes and then the second mile in 15:55 minutes.  I saw Ryan and Mason two different times during the race which helped keep my spirits high.  

I crossed the finish line in 24:30 minutes and didn't really notice what my place was among the other runners.  After grabbing my usual post-race snack (banana and water) I headed back to our car with Ryan and Mason.
just finished!
Once I was home I sampled my first protein drink from Premier Nutrition.  They graciously sent me an awesome sample package and I haven't had a chance to try everything yet.
The drink was super yummy and totally hit the spot after exerting myself during the race.  I loved the vanilla flavor and can't wait to try the chocolate flavor soon.

Hours later I received a tweet from someone that had said they heard my name called during the award ceremony.  I was bummed that we hadn't stuck around for the awards ceremony.  I emailed the race director and was told they had my medal and I could pick it up whenever I had a chance.  Score!
I placed 3rd in my age group with a final time of 24:30 minutes.  Definitely not my best time but still something to be proud of.  At least my biggest fan is proud of me :)

NIX Burger Bar - Burger Review

Last Friday Ryan, Mason, Alex, and I went to NIX Burger Bar in Uptown Charlotte for dinner.  Although I've had many NIX burgers in the past, I haven't done a review on them until now.

I usually stick with basic burgers for my reviews (cheese and bacon as the add-ons) but this time I decided to try something a little different.
I ordered:
Mikes’s Pimento Cheese, Crisp Bacon & Jalapeno Onion Jam, Shredded Lettuce & Tomato.

I opted for no lettuce or tomatoes and picked sweet potato fries as my side.

The burger was juicy and full of flavor.  I loved the pimiento cheese and bacon as the toppings.  The jalapeno onion jam was not as amazing as I would've hoped but didn't do too much damage to the burger.  The sweet potato fries were super crispy, although a little too salty.  My potato bun held up pretty well, unlike Ryan's bun which was really soggy by the time the server brought out our burgers.  

All in all the NIX Cheeseburger was a hit and would definitely be ordered again.  Cheeseburgers are the perfect pre-race meal ... I ran a 5k the following morning and placed 3rd in my age group.  More on that later ...


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

20 minute at home work out

While Mason did this:

I decided to do this:

20-minute workout health
Slight modifications *since I'm out of shape*
- I did girl push-ups
- I did the wall sits for 45 seconds

At least I made it through all 3 rounds.  Time to stretch! 

an unhealthy coping mechanism and delicious treat

Mason and I were ready to run our errands today.  We walked out to my car and found that it wouldn't start.  Awesome.

We haven't left the house in a couple of days due to our respective colds and have gotten a little stir crazy.  At least I have.  So our best option was to strap the car seat onto the BOB and take a walk around our neighborhood before it heated up too much.

Guess where our walk took us?  To the neighborhood bakery, Nova's.  Sadly since becoming a mom, when things go wrong and I get stressed out, I turn to eating.  And not just any eating ... eating desserts and anything sugary and sweet.  So I ordered the pecan sticky bun and an iced coffee with brown sugar cinnamon syrup.  Talk about overly sweet!  Maybe I should consider setting up a dentist appointment to make sure all of these sweets aren't causing major problems ... like CAVITIES.
The bun was delightful ... super sticky and super sugary.  Just what I was looking for to calm my nerves.  Thankfully the walk to and from the bakery totaled approximately 1.1 miles so at least I did something active today.  Even Mason got in a short nap (he hasn't been sleeping well since his nose is all stuffed up).

I'm going to research some more at home work outs to hopefully get some exercise in and not be a total bum.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a cold, some rain, and no motivation

I hate being sick.  Know what I hate more than being sick?  Being sick and taking care of a sick baby.  At least I'm assuming Mason is sick too ... he sounds like Darth Vadar, keeps coughing/sneezing, and has been non-stop fussy for days.  Poor guy.  But who gets to say "Poor Jess?"  

After coming off a 6 day running streak last week I found myself on Sunday feeling all the signs of a cold ... congestion, achy body, and a headache that would not go away.  Think I did any running or working out?  Naw.  Let's move on to Monday (yesterday).  Think I felt any better?  Not really although my congested head/nose started to turn into a runny (ha ha) nose.  At least my body was doing some-sort of RUNNING.  

Now it's Tuesday.  I've spent most of my morning in bed with Mason.  While that sounds ultra relaxing it's really not.  So much focus and attention goes into watching a baby ... especially one that doesn't feel well.  It's hard being alert when all you want to do is crawl back under the covers and sleep off the sickness.  

Oh and to top it all off it's been crappy rainy weather since Sunday.  Guess it fits the mood around here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hickory Tavern - Burger Review

Today Ryan and I tried the Hickory Tavern for the first time.  The menu was large ... in size and in content.  I am terrible at making decisions in general so picking something for lunch was a huge ordeal.  Then I focused in on the burger section and made a decision.

I went with the "Hickory Honey Burger" ... it was the best price for a burger with bacon.  The "Tavern Burger" was $9 and did not have bacon on it but for $0.20 more I was able to get it on the "Hickory Honey Burger."  It's the little things people.  As my side I opted for the french fries since sweet potato fries would've been $1.25 more and the Chalmers' household is currently on a tight budget :)

Thankfully the honey mustard sauce came on the side.  The burger was smothered in jack and cheddar cheese and  came with lettuce and onions, along with the bacon (I opted for no tomato).  What the burger lacked in a fancy bun and hard to pronounce toppings, it made up for in flavor and juiciness.  I was pleasantly surprised that this burger tasted so good since the restaurant is a chain and I tend to get weary of restaurants that mass produce simple, crowd-pleasing items.  

I should've included the "after" picture which showed a few empty plastic ramekins of condiments and the lone lettuce leaf.  I would definitely order this burger again if I ever am back at the Hickory Tavern and suggest you give it a try as well. 

A few hours after eating my cheeseburger I headed to the YMCA for a quick run on the treadmill.

3.15 miles in 25:03 minutes.  Day 6 of my running streak.  I haven't had a 15 mile week in a long, long time.  Let's see if I run any miles tomorrow ...

Running streak and an awesome cookie

I wish I could say that sheer motivation was what pushed me through 5 days of running this week.  Instead it was having an awesome running partner in town and eating desserts every night.  Then feeling guilty the next day for having desserts and finding the need to run off the calories.  My sweet tooth has not gone away ... not even a little bit.  I still find myself craving some sort of dessert night after night.  

But back to running ... 

This week I ran Monday thru Friday, something I haven't done in a while.  My friend Katie was in town and did my runs with me Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I did solo runs on Monday and Friday, for a 5 day total of 12 miles.  Mason even joined in on the fun 2 of the days.

And now for the desserts ...

I dragged Katie to Dairy Queen one night for mini blizzards, we had cannolis at an Italian restaurant another night, and last night I made a one-pan chocolate/peanut butter skillet cookie for some guests.  

I used the following recipe and only made one adjustment ... instead of one full cup of chocolate chips, I did 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips.

Oh.My.God.  This was probably one of the easiest and most delicious desserts I've made.  I wish it would've been a complete flop so that I wouldn't be able to make this again.  There goes kicking my sweets addiction any time soon.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the racing bug

it just takes running one 5k to get the racing bug back!  I've been looking up other races to run this summer (which might be a bad idea since it'll be super hot) and have found the following possibilities:

 CArolinas CARE 5K Run/Walk
  • only $20
  • race time is at 9am ... sleeping in!  well not really since I still have an infant to take care of
  • "A fun, fast beautiful trail run used in high school/college competitive 5ks"
  • only $20
  • baby joggers are allowed so I could technically run with Mason
  • starts/finishes about 1 mile from our house
  • no other plans that day so why not race?

Maybe I'll do both?   Also it's time to start thinking about which half marathon we are going to train for this year.  We've tossed around the idea of running the OUC half marathon in Orlando, FL but haven't finalized anything yet.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

King Tiger 5k

65 days after having Mason I ran my first 5k.  It was the King Tiger 5k, put on by Run for Your Life.  

My cheering squad stayed home sleeping (Mason had his first 5 hour sleep stretch) so I headed to the race on my own bright and early.

It was a nice, chilly morning in Charlotte and didn't warm up until after I finished the race.  The course had some challenging hills, and unfortunately I didn't finish as fast as I would've liked.

I'm such a breastfeeding mom ... love how you can see that I was leaking in the photo.  How embarrassing!

This was the first race I ran in my new age group, 30-34 years old.  I am not pleased to announce that women get faster as they age.  Whereas I felt pretty confident in the 25-29 age group, I am in way over my head with these older speedy women.  3 out of the 5 top women overall came from the 30-34 age group.  I placed 8th out of 57 in my new age group, with a chip time of 25:03 minutes.

I had a lot of fun racing and am looking forward to running a few more 5k's this summer and fall. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mason's longest run

Well my goal for running 5 miles with Mason using the BOB jogging stroller by the end of May did not pan out.  I did get pretty close though ...

Yesterday Ryan and I took Mason to one of the group runs organized by the Charlotte Runners Group.  It was my first time back with the group since early on in my pregnancy.  The start of the run was by one of our favorite local bars, Philosopher's Stone, or P-Stone (Mason has already been there of course on a lazy Saturday).

We ran 4.46 miles in 41:34 minutes, running alongside another family using a BOB jogging stroller as well.  Both Mason and Linus slept throughout most of the run.
thanks Ryan for the blurry picture
It was our longest run done as a family.  We were all pretty tired by the end.  We stayed afterwards to have some drinks with the runners but left as soon as Mason started fussing.  

We may not have run 5 miles this month but I definitely see it happening some time soon :)

The work out streak had to reset ... Day #2 of my NEW streak!