38 weeks pregnant

A new year with two weeks to go

Happy New Year.

I need a nap.

My husband and I accidentally stayed up until midnight New Year’s Eve. We were watching the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven — good movie — and sorting, washing and folding/hanging baby clothes from my sister-in-law.

And then, suddenly, fireworks!

We’re super exciting, folks.

Side Note: My kid has clothes for daaaaaaaaays. Some of the outfits have been through five or six boys; most have been through four (his cousins). I found a “Cool like my Auntie” shirt that no longer applies to me. Ha! I do not anticipate needing additional clothing items until he’s about nine months old… depending on how big he is and how fast he grows.

Staying up late Saturday is not the only reason I need a nap. The holidays have been busy. Family, family, family… work, work, work… nesting, nesting, nesting. And, oh boy, am I nesting.

Annoyingly nesting…

I want everything to be clean, including things I can’t reach or actually clean… like my wet basement — it’s always going to be a wet basement.

I want everything to be organized, including things I’ve already organized… like the baby’s dresser and the baby’s closet and the baby’s everything. I’ve reorganized those things too many times to count, and they’ll never look as nice as they do right now again.

Most of all, I want the nursery to be complete, and, thankfully, we’re nearly there.

baby changing table
Do you see the adorable stuffed animal my mother-in-law got us? It’s a German Shepherd puppy giving kisses to a little yellow tabby kitten!
german shepherd dog and cat
Ivan and Zuzu!

My coworkers threw me a baby shower in October, and they created a beautiful wreath decoration I tried to recreate. In opposition to my Pinterest account, I am not very crafty :\ I’ll have to go back to Michael’s…

nursery wreath
Brown or birch? I can’t decide.
nursery dresser and closet
This dresser will be the death of me…

I still have shelves and picture frames to hang above the dresser, and I have to find something to put the humidifier on top of because IN CONTRAST TO THE PICTURE ON THE BOX IT CAME IN, it can’t go on the floor.

Meh.

But there are four full drawers of baby clothes in that dresser — organized by size — newborn to three months, three to six months and six or more months. The last drawer is just full of sleepers. With lots and lots of snaps. We’ve got a full closet, too, containing baby clothes I’ve decided are impossible to fold. (Note: All baby clothes are impossible to fold.)

baby clothes hanging in a closet
Do you see the black and yellow Shocker sweatshirt leading the line? It’s got matching pants! He will wear it always and often.

My greatest success? Curtains.

crib and rocking chair in nursery
I went through three different sets of curtains before finding ones I liked.

After two sets of failed attempts at getting curtains to go in this room… I found these pretty white ones from Target. (Not really blackout, though, nice try.) They’ve got a nearly woodland look with a soft twig pattern.

Perfect.

Finally.

Except for the length…

At 96 inches, these did not fit in the previously allotted space between curtain rod and floor.

Eh, oops.

Luckily, my loving husband handled my near meltdown — I’m pregnant, it’s a thing — with finesse and rehung the curtain rod eight inches higher.

Looking at those compared to curtains in other rooms, I think I prefer the higher rod.

However, any other re-hanging of rods and buying of new curtains will have to wait until the baby gets here… a while after the baby gets here.

Because, after all this, I need a nap.

Accomplished + Homemade fries

le (busy) day.

Workout: Four corners (stadium sprinting).

Work: Students.

School: Paper intro… check!

Groceries: Deals and peanuts.

Home: NO! GO BACK TO…

School: Interview!

I’m going to be on the radio! Well, if they use my soundbites, who knows?!
My health seminar class was interviewed, well, three of us, by KFDI for the WSU Hunger Awareness Event! Yay! People care, people care!

this chick <——— ridiculously happy :)

When I finally get home, what do I do? Relax? Heck no.

First, PBC.

Second, wit.

New BelgiumThird, undead.

Dead Week The Dead Can't Dance Zombie WalkJo! (make up by Shae)

Fourth, Italian Turkey Sandwich and homemade potato fries.

HomefriesTake that Thomas Jefferson.

Homemade Potato Fries
Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ strips
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika

Toss and bake at 450 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender crisp.

What did you make today? a midterm, cookies, sandwiches, fries… zombie? ;)

Staying honest: My diet and fitness journey

I need to stay honest and accountable, especially if I want to stay on track.

For the week of June 20, 2011, I made many mistakes when it came to dieting and staying on track with my fitness program.

Many mistakes.

I exercised twice, well, two and one-half times. On Monday, I completed my Fit Test with reasonable results. I wanted to do better.

On Tuesday, I cried about stuff, and couldn’t finish my workout.

On Wednesday, I got half way through Pure Cardio before giving up. (One-half!)

On Thursday, I finished Cardio Recovery, even though I did not deserve any recovery from cardio.

On Friday and Saturday, I was so busy with work, grocery shopping and spending time with family that I completely skipped my workouts (and blogging). Good job Shae.

On the healthy eating front, I did well until Friday. First, I ate cookies at work. (Darn it!)

Then, Husband and I went to Hu-Hot Mongolian Grill with a friend. The sodium and oil content were through the roof! After dinner, we had dessert at Orange Leaf and ate frozen yogurt… that came in barrels.

True! I did not have to fill my barrel full of bad-for-me food stuffs, but I did. Ugh.

At the end of the night, I did not feel great. To say the least.

On Saturday, I ate a good breakfast, but had fried chicken in Olpe, Kansas (no I didn’t know it existed), with a large portion of my husband’s family.

I should have ordered a salad! But the place was called the Chicken House.

For dinner, we ate at Sister-In-Law’s house and had burgers, chips and potato salad. (And I also got in a little retail therapy.)

It’s Sunday, which means it’s laundry day, and I’m eating cookies. Can I stop myself? Yes. But what am I doing?

Sigh.

Laundry Note: Stain sticks do not work on deep, set-in stains. Waste of money! I really hope I did not ruin Husband’s favorite pants… My shirt was a goner in the beginning. :)

My honesty. It’s really not that pretty, is it?

When I make dinner tonight, I’ll make sure I keep the fat and sodium content down and the healthy, nutrient-rich content up!

To make up for my serious fitness sins, I plan on redoing Week 3 of Insanity at the end of Month 1. Instead of an eight-week program (that will probably be 16 before I see any results), I will do a nine-week program to make up for the parts I skipped.

I have a resolution for the next weeks of my diet and fitness journey: Do not get upset. Just be happy. Be happy all the time, and I will do better.

That’s a good goal, and I might be able to love my workout if I can be happy.

The bane of my existence…

I worked out today!

Of course, it was only Cardio Recovery, filled with exercises I’m good at. Squats, plank, yoga, etc.

No cardio.

Maybe I hate cardio… No. I still think I hate it all.

Anywho! We’re not going to talk about that today because I hate it, and I’m in a good/sleepy/goofy mood! (Plus, I got a lot of stuff done at work today, too, so I feel accomplished at something.)

Instead, we’re going to talk about one of the many banes of my existence: cellulite.

Did you shudder? I did.

Cellulite: Hold the Cottage Cheese, Please
By Stephanie S. Saunders

(Apologies. I cannot find the original link to this article)

One of the most hated words in the English language must surely be cellulite.

For the 90 percent of women who are plagued by the “cottage cheese” dimples that can run across the backs of arms and the entire lower body, it can seem like the ugliest thing in the world. Sure, you can hide it beneath clothing, but once bikini season hits, it’s all over.

From a self-consciousness point of view, it’s as if you’re back in middle school. You might as well make it a trifecta of humiliation by slapping on some braces and a lime-green prom dress.

While there’s no way yet to completely rid your body of cellulite, there are a few ways to help improve its appearance.

(Fantastic! Lay it on me.)

The term cellulite refers to the dimpled appearance of skin that can occur at any point on the body where the skin is thinner. Under the upper layer of skin, there’s a layer of connective tissue that holds fat into place. In most women, this connective tissue has gaps in it, which allow the fat to push through, creating a bumpy appearance. The difference between fat and cellulite is simply where the deposit lies in relation to these gaps in the connective tissue. That, and the fact that even with weight loss and muscle gain, so-called “normal” fat may disappear, while cellulite seems to want to continue keeping your thighs company indefinitely.

(So far, dear article, you continue to depress me.)

Cellulite can occur in the thinnest of women and men and doesn’t seem to discriminate based on nationality, financial standing, age or weight.

There are believed to be hormonal and hereditary issues that can contribute to causing cellulite. Other causes may include poor circulation, lack of exercise and even too-tightly fitting undergarments.

But no one really knows for sure why 10 percent of the female population is gifted with not having to deal with cellulite, while the rest of us have rear ends that look like a giant golf ball.

(I hate those… lucky… freakin’… not fair…)

So when faced with the appearance of orange peel (orange peel?) on your thighs, what should you do?

Well, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is that there is no actual way, surgical or otherwise, to get rid of cellulite completely at present. No amount of vacuuming, injections, creams or painful massage will eradicate it permanently. But there are many things that can potentially improve the appearance of cellulite. The following is a list of options, ranked from the least to most invasive and/or expensive.

Diet. There are several diets out here that claim to remove cellulite from the body. After a bit of research, you’ll find that most of them are just healthy eating plans that tell you to reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption, avoid processed foods, and drink plenty of water. This, of course, doesn’t really bring anything specific to the table for cellulite. It might help you lose overall body fat, which will reduce the appearance of the lumpy stuff, but no amount of pineapple consumption will completely remove it.

(Darn liars…)

Exercise. Magazines are full of articles on exercises to ban dimpled thighs. Again, these exercises are designed to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Unfortunately, a lot of them are exercises that only target very specific areas, which will not benefit your overall fitness level and are fairly pointless, considering that you can’t spot-reduce fat. Hard cardio and a toned physique will go just as far, if not farther, for reducing the appearance of cellulite. Overall, continuing with your P90X or INSANITY® workout plans will do more for you than will any number of leg lifts alone.

(Of course…)

Tanning. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has again come out with studies on how horrible the effects of tanning beds and baking in the sun can be. Tanning has now been compared to cigarettes and arsenic. Which is unfortunate because a little color on your skin can do more to mask extra bumpy tissue than just about anything else. Luckily, there are an abundance of tanning creams and spray-on tans out there that can give you a similar effect without the risk of skin cancer. Just be careful with application, and if you go the professional route, make sure the folks you choose know what they’re doing. I once attended a black tie event with hands the color of a pumpkin. Not pretty.

(Totally not me… it was the author. I don’t attend black tie events. I don’t look good in ties.)

Creams. There are thousands of topical treatments available that can cost anywhere from $10 to several hundred. Most of them have the common “active” ingredients aminophylline, caffeine and theophyilline. Sad to say, none of these creams can deliver the needed concentration to the necessary depth to make much of a difference in the connective tissue. They’re promoted as increasing circulation, but ultimately, you’re just using a very expensive moisturizer.

(Celtrixa is a lie. Wait… that’s for stretch marks. Still a lie.)

Massage. Massage is another attempt at breaking down connective tissue and increasing circulation in the area. Unfortunately, cellulite is a tougher problem than can be fixed by a single day at the spa. However, there have been studies that consistent, rather aggressive massage techniques can really assist in the cottage cheese reduction process. Before scheduling a daily visit from your massage therapist, though, try intensely rubbing the affected areas on your own with a moisturizer for a few weeks and see if there’s any change in appearance. Thankfully, most cellulite appears on areas of the body you can actually reach.

(…areas you can actually reach? Back cellulite! The itch you just can’t scratch… lol.)

Wraps. (What? I’ve not heard of this.) Wraps have been around forever and still have devoted followers all over the world. The idea of the body wrap is to dehydrate the area, removing all excess water, supposedly creating a leaner appearance. Wrestlers and ballet dancers alike are infamous for wrapping themselves in plastic and sitting in a sauna for ridiculous amounts of time to try and drop “weight.” These results are temporary and will usually return to normal with any intake of water. Wraps may in fact moisturize the skin, but so will a bit of inexpensive aloe vera cream.

Supplements. Supplements can be extremely effective in helping you achieve fitness goals, but like all things I’ve mentioned thus far, no combination of herbal remedies has been proven effective in the fight against cellulite. Most contain some sort of ginkgo biloba, sweet clover, grapeseed bioflavinoids, oil of evening primrose, fish oil and soy lecithin. All might assist your metabolism, and possibly your immunity and brain function, but none will make the dimples disappear.

(Lies, lies, lies…)

Injections. Here’s a cellulite remedy that can cause actual discomfort. Mesotherapy is a series of injections to the cellulite-affected area. Very similar to Botox® for your back end, it’s highly controversial and can require up to 10 visits to see any results. The medication injected has been approved by the FDA for other cosmetic issues, but wasn’t designed for use on cellulite, and is so new that all potential side effects haven’t been discovered yet. Before you choose to go this route, make sure to discuss it thoroughly with your medical practitioner.

(No thank you.)

Suction massage. (Say what, now?) Endermology was created in France about 15 years ago for the temporary reduction of cellulite. The machine creates suction, pulling and squeezing affected areas, which eventually seems to redistribute the fat somewhat, but in truth, it doesn’t change the fat’s makeup. Sessions last about 45 minutes, require 10 to 12 visits, and are rather expensive. Without regular maintenance visits, the appearance of cellulite will simply return.

Lasers. The FDA has approved two different laser options, both used with either a suction device or massage therapy. A low-level laser is radiated on the skin as some type of massage is administered. Both TriActive and VelaSmooth® require as many sessions as Endermology, in addition to continued follow-up maintenance, and can cost thousands of dollars. The effectiveness of laser treatments on cellulite is still unclear, but for individuals with enough cash to spare, this presently seems to be one of the best possible options for cellulite reduction.

Remember, while many of these approaches can improve the appearance of cellulite, none seem to remove cellulite completely or permanently. Until a method is found that will accomplish the total eradication of cellulite, it might be better to spend less money on expensive creams and injections and more on nutritious foods and activities that support a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this help to improve your skin tone, but it’ll make you feel better about your whole body, inside and out. And isn’t that more important than a few extra dimples?

(The answer to that question is most obviously… no. Ditch the dimples!)

Now, to all you ladies out there with perfect skin and cellulite-free thighs, I sorta hate you. Don’t take it personally.

The bane of my existence! Cellulite! We’ll talk about armpit hair and stretch marks on another day.

Remember: Don’t buy the creams!

A better workout

It’s true.

I did not have workout anxiety today.

In fact, I had workout excitement.

MOSTLY because I had to sit on my butt all day, and didn’t have quite as many opportunities to get up and move around.

I was stuck there.

Don’t get excited for me! It’s not that much of an accomplishment. I still did not really enjoy the workout much or at all.

Cardio Power and Resistance is HARD. Why? Because it feels like you’re running and doing a squat at the same time for 30 minutes, which is not a feeling I enjoy.

Who knew? Ha!

I have to be careful, I’ve noticed, on my left leg/foot/ankle. During hard landings, I feel like I’m pinching something that makes my leg spasm. Uncomfortable. (Hard landings as in stomping the floor during High Knees or Hurdle Jumps. I’m trying to land softly.)

Good news: I discovered an “enjoy your workout” trick.

“Oh, do tell!”

Yell at the TV.

I yelled at the television like 50 times in my 42-minute workout DVD. (The first 10-12 minutes are warm up, and then stretch, and then about 25 minutes total of working out.)

So, if you hate working out in your living room to Insanity DVDs like I do, yell at the TV. Scream at it.

It pretty much worked.

More good news: I’m doing well with eating this week!

Next thing!

I thought I’d show you my “gym.”  :)

Working Out in Living Room
My program/trainer/DVD!
Need a Yoga Mat for Insanity Workout DVD at Home
My mat! I do not technically need to use a mat, but there is dog hair all over my floor, so...
Keep Cool with a Fan during Workout at Home
A fan to keep me cool because it gets hot. And a dog bone for my suddenly missing workout partner.
skinnyshae ready to workout to Insanity DVD
And THAT is my stellar headband. :)

So that’s me getting ready for my workout. I’m dead right now. No. You don’t get a picture. It’s time for a shower.

Is this positive? Is this a positive attitude? I’m trying!

Here’s something positive: Husband is cooking dinner tonight! :)

A new plan

I feel like C-R-A-P.

Why?

I’ve been eating bad food, haven’t been to the gym in a week and haven’t had a good night’s sleep in… well… I guess last night I slept well.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been so crazy busy with school, I’ve been living off Ramen Noodles, coffee and beer and ignoring how I feel, which is sick.

Not good. Not good at all.

So, instead of allowing this to continue, I have created a plan!

My plan is to not do anything about anything until I wake up Friday morning. Why Friday? Fridays are always good days. Always. Always. (It cancels it out if you say it twice. -Stepmom)

Tomorrow, I have to teach, sit office hours, meet three different groups of people at three different times AND study for my exam Thursday night.

Thursday… I’ll be studying… and exam-ing. Boo.

So, Friday, after I teach and sit my office hours, I’ll be A-OK to run off to the gym and enjoy some treadmill.

I am well aware that my workout will suck. I’m prepared for that. So, instead of trying to kill myself on the treadmill or the rowing machine or the elliptical, I’m going to re-ease myself into the whole process.

On Friday, the world will return to normal… at least for skinnyshae. Regular Shae… she’s pretty much a spaz-face until she passes comps in a few semesters.

To be more interesting and less depressing, here are some of my favorite/most awkward Google search terms that get people to my blog…

-any variation of the following… “I Used to Be Fat” and “A&E’s Heavy,” which are the most popular

Crock Pot Pot Roast (No lie… I’m so good at this. And the world should know it.)

-Yoga Journal Birds of Paradise or Yoga Shiva Rea (Thank goodness!)

I’m addicted to coffee (and I’m glad I could help someone)

-What’s your body frame?

-Insanity fit test results female

-My personal favorite… “rambo nerf”

-sleeping German Shepherd or German Shepherd playing in the snow

TLC’s What Not to Wear Sarah

Eating disorders and gymnastics (Pray for this one.)

-overhanging forehead (???)

-cross ear tattoo (Wewt!)

disfigured tongue :(

cheap and healthy groceries

 

Bridal Week: Countdown

When should you begin a beautifying routine? What else should be included? Evil Journal had a brilliant entry from before my wedding…

5 to 6 Months Before…

  • Begin a stress-relief regimen; and reserve one night a week for some non-wedding fun or quiet time.
  • Start experimenting with different hair (styles, colors, cuts, etc.) now. (I cut my hair around this time and really enjoyed the length it grew out to.)
  • Start a good cleansing and moisturizing regimen and consider consulting a dermatologist or making appointments for monthly facials.
  • If you don’t already, start exercising. You’ll look great, feel better and be less stressed out.
  • If you want to lose weight, consult your doctor or nutritionist to develop a nutrition and fitness plan. Set a weight loss goal and meet it before dress fittings begin. Once fittings are underway, you’ll need to stay the same size. (Or reconsider weight loss. Your guy thinks you look fab. Remember, my dress couldn’t be altered – I didn’t lose any weight for my wedding and still felt fabulous.)
  • Start paying attention to your nutrition. Bad food habits and too much caffeine mixed with wedding stress can transform you into “Bridezilla.” (Honestly, I think a number of things can turn you into a Bridezilla and coffee is not one of those things…)

3 to 4 Months Before…

  • If you don’t plan on using your regular hairdresser, make consultation appointments with potential candidates. Bring along pictures of styles you like, even a picture of your veil and headpiece. If you want to wear an up-do, discuss how long it will take to grow out your hair so it’s the proper length. (I had my friend -who is a fashionista! -do my hair and make-up in my mother’s bathroom. Cheap and awesome!”

    skinnyshae wedding hairstyle long curls and makeup
    She did a fantastic job!
  • Make consultation appointments with potential makeup artists. Be sure to take pictures and analyze them. Do your features stand out? Do you look like you’re wearing a mask?
  • Decide on a makeup artist and hairdresser and book them for the day of your wedding. Set a wedding day schedule at this point as well, including the hair and makeup times.
  • Now is the time to experiment with self-tanners. Consider the neckline of your gown and whether you have existing tan lines you’ll need to cover. (I went pasty as an uncooked pancake -never heard that one before have you? -my skin was no wear near tan. And I don’t believe in fake-bakers.)

1 to 2 Months Before…

  • Meet with your makeup artist for a trail run. If you don’t hire a pro, like I didn’t, then go get a makeover at a department store and buy anything you might need.
  • Bring your veil to your hairstylist for a trial style.
  • Now is the time to have you eyebrows professionally shaped. (I don’t actually know if I plucked my eyebrows…)

 

Those are my eyebrows the night before, and I have no recollection of plucking them... Also the white stuff is pimple cream.

 

  • Use an at-home face mask or get a facial. Don’t risk an allergic reaction any close to the wedding day.
  • Cut down on tea, coffee and red wine. Try a teeth-whitening system.

2 Weeks Before…

  • Get your final trim -just split ends -and stick with the look you love.
  • Remember to eat right: fruits, vegetables and fiber! No salt. No fat.
  • Exfoliate and moisturize. Soft and silky elbows, hands and feet are musts.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated (body, skin, hair, etc.).
  • Keep up the exercise!
  • Touch up hair color.
  • Confirm all your big day beauty appointments, as well as all of those annoying things we have to do that day…
  • Remind your man to get his final trim, too… They’re so messy.

1 Week Before…

  • Avoid overindulging in salty snacks and alcohol.
  • Get a bikini wax (OUCH!), a final eyebrow shaping and shave your legs.
  • Get a massage -from a professional or from your fiancee. You deserve it.

1 Day Before…

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Pack your emergency beauty kit. (For tomorrow!)
  • Deep condition your hair.
  • Exfoliate your skin with a familiar product.
  • Have a professional pedicure and manicure.
  • Take a long relaxing bath. You definitely deserve this.

Day of…

  • Be sure to eat something. This is not a day to operate on an empty stomach.
  • Get your hair or makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt, a color that matches your gown to get the makeup right.
  • Take a few minutes to reflect on the day before giving yourself one last look over. And remember… you’re beautiful. Get going!

Tomorrow… Bridal Beauty: Your Wedding Day Toolkit