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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Delish & Nutritious

I have really been enjoying my smoothies lately. They are a good snack, pre or post workout, and oh so tasty. I know you do have be conscious of what you're putting in them b/c you can rack up the calories pretty quickly. The right combination can be really good for your body though. Logan even enjoys them. While he won't eat a lot of different fruits and veggies he will suck a smoothie down in a matter of minutes! So I know he's getting good nutrition as well.

Here's what I've been doing and I'm totally loving it. I have pretty much perfected it and about ready to move on to a new concoction but this one has been Heaven!

1 cup Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk (only 45 calories per cup, I use Almond Breeze)
About 1/2 a banana (frozen)
Sometimes I throw in some frozen strawberries
A handful of spinach leaves (for vitamins and good stuff, you don't taste it)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 Tbsp Flax Meal (ground Flax Seeds)
1 Tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter

You do have to be careful of the amount of Flax you use. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. If you have a weak or sensitive stomach you may want to pass on this. I had to cut back on the amount b/c it does have a natural laxative effect (I know, TMI, but it's the truth). I was using 1 whole tablespoon. Not such a good idea for me. I want to continue to use it b/c it does have some good benefits. You can read about Flax here.

Smoothies are great b/c there are unlimited possibilities. And can be super healthy. Whatever you're in the mood for or whatever you may have on hand. I've come to realize it's not rocket science. If you drinking them for health reasons just be sure to know what you're putting in them. I have a new love for them and can't wait to experiment. My next endeavor is a Strawberry Lemonade one that uses lemon zest, LOVE!!

Strawberry Lemondade Smoothie: (This makes 2 servings so you don't wanna drink the whole thing, great for sharing!)

3/4 cup (6 oz.) Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze® Almondmilk
2 cups halved strawberries
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 packet no-calorie sweetener (such as splenda) or to taste
3 ice cubes
Again, I would add my protein and flax to this as well.

Get Blending!!! What are you drinking??

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Favorite Things!

A blog friend of mine, Danielle Butler, had a Favorite Things party last year. If I remember correctly everyone brought some of their "favorite" things to share. What a great idea!! I'll have to go back and reread the post to get it completely right. I make it sound, well, so BORING!

So she decided to do a blog Favorite Things party! Cute idea!!! So here's the button and link to her page. And some of MY favorite things at the moment.

Butler, Favorite Things

I have really been working hard to get in shape and to lose weight. It's been working and I love it. I have been enjoying a cup of green tea or even just hot tea in general after lunch. I have always heard it is good for digestion and that green tea can help you lose weight. Here's my pick!

My hair has a tendency to dry out if blow dryed too much. I try not to wash it everyday but now that I working out SO much I kinda need to, ya know? I use this and it makes my hair smell and feel good. If you use too much it can get greasy but thank goodness that hasn't happened to me. A little dab will do ya for sure. It helps tame the frizziness and smooths it out some.

I recently started making healthy smoothies for a snack and will start this evening as a pre-workout meal. I might start doing it after depending on how I feel. The girls at work got me started on it and I wanted to try it for myself. I don't always have time to eat before hitting the gym and also don't want to work out on a super full stomach. We've been using this and adding a variety of fruits, protein, and flax seed. It's delish!!! And good for you!

My absolute favorite thing right now is Zumba! I LOVE IT!!! I have had the DVD's at home for over a year now. I would do them off and on and then once I got sick for about 2 weeks. So I stopped and never picked it back up. In January I had made up my mind to lose weight. I'd do my Walk Away the Pounds Video, Zumba, and a few other things. I got invited to a class one night by a neighbor. I was nervous since I'd never done anything really past the 20 minute Zumba express and the class is an hour. Well, all it took was one visit and I was hooked. I was going once a week and now I love it so much I have joined the gym, go 2 nights a week, and will do Saturdays when I can! It's an AWESOME workout, I sweat my booty off, and I know it's working! My neighbor and I have totally caught the Zumba bug! I even just bought a tank top off their website so I can workout in style! :) With a BIG help from Zumba I have officially lost 16 POUNDS! since January! Yeah, I think I'll stick with it!!!

I am also TOTALLY loving this album! Yes, it might seem kinda ghetto in a way but I just can't seem to get enough. Thanks to Zumba!! Ha! Our instructor plays a lot of it and it's THE perfect music to get you moving and to shake to! I think I've had it on replay all day the last 2 days at work. You'd think I'd be tired of it by now. But I am so looking forward to tonight! I can't help but wanna get up and dance when I hear Shake Senora! It's my fav!!!

What are your favorite things?? What are you loving right now?? Thanks Danielle for a fun idea!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weigh In Thursday

Total weightless since 1/13/12:

That means only 6 more pounds til 20!! Wow!! Seems so impossible when you start but then it hits you that you are almost there! But I want to keep going. A 30 pound loss is my ultimate goal. If I lose more great. But I will be totally happy with 30!! I GOT THIS!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

MRI Results

Drum roll please.......

Yesterday at about 3:30 pm we got the news we'd been hoping and praying for. Logan got the all clear!! He no longer has a Chiari! Wow, what a difference this surgery has made with the Chiari and his overall health! We are so thankful and grateful for Dr. Reisner and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta! They are all such amazing people. The entire staff here really loves and cares for their patients and parents alike.

We got to the hospital super early. We anticipated much more traffic like previous visits. It only took us 25 minutes this time. We passed time just sitting in the car listening to music and Logan watched a movie. We would rather be early than late.

The MRI was scheduled for 9:45 but they didn't end up taking him back there until about 10:15. Good thing they have cartoons and that we own a Leapfrog Explorer! That thing is a life saver, highly recommend it or something like it.

Since Logan wasn't allowed anything to eat after midnight and nothing to drink (clear liquids up until 5:45) we skipped breakfast entirely. The cafeteria was closed by the time they took him so we decided just to wait until 11 when they opened for lunch. Justin and I headed down to The Zone to pass some time. It's a super cool play area they have for kids and families downstairs. Clown shows, pizza making, ice cream parties, movie nights, all sorts of things. Well, today it just so happens that some of THE ATLANTA BRAVES were having a meet and greet! Amazing! Justin is a huge Braves fan so he was i Heaven. AND it just so happens that I decided to wear my Braves hoodie to the hospital! Talk about a meant to be situation. Of all days!! We got some pictures and an autographed baseball cap for Logan. We wish he could have been down there with us but it didn't work out that way. But was a great time waster for sure! Lunch was so good after that wait. I had some yummy Cajun Shrimp Jambalaya from the cafeteria. Who says you can't eat good in the hospital!!

When he woke up after sleep for a good hour and a half he got 2 popsicles and a gatorade. He got dressed and we headed to Dr. Reisner's office. It is great that it is only about 50 feet from the hospital, very convenient. We did end up waiting a little over an hour to be seen but that office is SLAMMED! And we didn't have a set time so I am sure that made a difference.

We had high hopes that everything was ok. We know his quality of life has been greatly improved. He showed no previous symptoms. And has been all boy, no inhibitions at all. He is more vibrant and can really run with the big dogs like never before! He is doing so amazing!

We treated him to his favorite, cheeseburger and french fries after we saw the doc. Don't worry, he didn't starve. We did go to the hospital with an arsenal of snacks in tow! So he munched on that til he got some real food. That boy can eat! And he followed it up with a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich that was huge and ended up sharing with daddy! ;)

We ran around the hospital for a while letting him enjoy the train as he always does! And to let traffic die down. We are glad this day is over and that we got some great news!

You can click on the image to make it bigger. As you can see in the pre-op and post-op images, the Chiari is GONE! Such a miracle and such a success! We hope he continues on this path and that he can continue to live a normal, healthy life!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Journey of Parenthood Blog Giveaway

I have an awesome blog friend named Emily Parker. Her blog is the bomb!!! She always had good advice and really tells it how it is. That is not a bag thing. I love her writing style and she really just knows how to keep you interested. She is a mother of 2 and rockin' it I must say!

She recently revamped her blog and it's starting to come together nicely. It looks awesome. She is doing a blog give away. And guess what, IT'S A COACH PURSE! Man!!!! And a $25 Stella and Dot Jewelry gift certificate. She is an Independent Stella and Dot seller. How generous and how exciting! :) She is totally legit, I have won something from her blog before! A cute red and gold Stella and Dot necklace! Love it!

Here are the rules: (From Emily herself)

For your 1st entry: Follow my blog! Leave a comment on this post letting me know that you're a follower. Example: "I'm a follower"

For your 2nd entry: Blog about the giveaway with a link to this post. Once you have blogged about it leave me a comment here including the link to the ACTUAL blog entry. Example: "I blogged www.journeyofparenthood.com/revampandgiveaway"

For your 3rd entry: Post my button on your sidebar of your blog, then leave a comment on this post including your blog where the button is posted. Example: "I'm showing off your button! www.journeyofparenthood.com"

For your 4th entry: Post the link of THIS blog entry to your facebook page then comment on this post letting me know. Example: "I posted a link on facebook!"

For your 5th entry: Visit my Stella and Dot site (www.stelladot.com/emilyparker) and pick out your three favorite pieces. Then leave a comment on this post telling me you're favorites. Example "I totally love the serenity necklace, the sidewinder ring, and the soiree studs!"

Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to enter
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry (it'll make it easier to pick a winner)
  • Up to 5 entries per person but you don't have to enter all 5 times
  • Your entry must meet the above requirements or it will be removed from the running
  • The winner will be randomly selected at random.org
  • The winner will be announced on Tuesday February 14th at 1:00 PM
  • Once the winner is announced you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. If you'd like to leave your contact information (e-mail address) with your entries, that's great, or just contact me if you're the winner so I can ship your prizes to you!
  • I will contact the winner and we can work out how you want to spend your $25 Stella and Dot credit.
So head on over to www.journeyofparenthood.com and follow the rules to be entered to win!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012



So, I don't want to, ok so I will, toot my own horn! I am down 10 pounds since I started my health kick on January 13th! I must say that I am super proud of myself. 10 pounds might not seem like alot but it is very hard to get motivated to lose. So, I am very proud of every one of those 10 pounds!!!

I am amazed that it hasn't actually been that hard this time around. I have more determination and motivation than ever before! It's great!! I am still saying no to sodas and sweet tea, still saying no to sweets and tons of cards, and just generally paying attention to what I put in my body. I am still enjoying my workouts all well.

Just a little update! Hopefully next time I can post that I am down.....20!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Meeting Liam

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call on my cell phone while I was at work. I didn't answer since I didn't recognize the number. I tend to do that alot. I figure, Hey, if it's important they'll leave a message. So, I just let it go to voicemail. I listened to it right away since even though you ignore a call, if they leave a voicemail it tends to peak your curiosity. Turns out it was the mother of a little boy who has been diagnosed with the same condition as Logan, Chiari Malformation. I had forgotten that we gave permission to Logan's neurosurgeon for him to give our # to other families who might be going through this and want to talk and get an idea of what it was like and will be like. I didn't mind at all. This was the first call I'd gotten.

Jessica is the mother's name. She asked if I could call and speak with her about the condition and what we've been through. She also gave me her email address so I emailed her right away. For me it's easier since I'm working all day and have easy access to email. I told her it was nice to hear from her, that we'd be happy to chat with them, but would they be interested in meeting for lunch one weekend instead? I guess I'm the type of person who would rather meet in person than speak on the phone. Especially about something so involved, long and drawn out as this way. I wanted to meet them face to face, let them get a feel for the situation, meet Logan, see his scar, and just ask any and all questions they had. I figured it would be a great week to meet new friends too. Afterall, they are going through the exact same thing as we have with Logan. It's nice to connect with people who are in the same boat, have been there, and you can relate to.

We met Jessica, Mike, and Liam Saturday at Wild Wing Cafe for lunch. They have lots of food options, is good, and fine for families. It was perfect. They live in Decatur which is not right down the street from us. They suggested to meet up near us. Jessica has family that lives is Cumming and they were visiting with them after meeting with us. So it actually did work out perfectly. We had a nice lunch. The boys warmed up to each other finally. They were both a little shy at first but as soon as Liam's race car came out it totally broke the ice. Logan didn't want to share for some reason which isn't really like him. He acted out a little bit but after we ate they played and ran around some. It was great.

Jessica and Mike were super sweet. We told them Logan's story. We started with the sleep apnea, his tonsils and adenoid removal fiasco, and finally to his MRI and Decompression surgery. It was all a total whirlwind. It was hard to separate his stay at Scottish Rite in January from his stay in May. It kind of ran together. But we told them the basics. They asked lots of questions and said we did help to ease their fears. That's why I thought it was important for them to meet face to face and see Logan and see how well he's doing. Every kid is different, every kid responds differently to situations, no one recovers the same way from things as others. But it gave them hope and I was glad we could do that for them.

I think God put them in our lives for a reason. It just so happens that Liam is at the same age as Logan was when he was diagnosed. The herniation size of their chiari's is only 1 mm difference. Logans' was 14 mm, Liam's in 15 mm. They both see the same ENT. They both are having their surgery done by Dr. Andrew Reisner. Just a lot of similarities. So both parties have been going through a lot of the same things. All of Logan's previous symptoms have been no more since the surgery and they saw how well he is doing with it all. I know it had to have lightened their hearts and make their worry much less. Here's hoping that we made some life long friends in them. Thanks for meeting with us Jessica, Mike and Liam.

You can click here to follow Liam's story!