Fitness Blender

Since the holiday face stuffing has now concluded, here is a post about fitness.

Fitness Blender is now my favorite way to work out. I have always been a fan of working out at home. With two kids, and winter upon us, it is really the only way I can get it done these days.

I read about Fitness Blender in Self magazine earlier this year, and before I went to Mexico I purchased a 5 day workout plan. Since then, I have been hooked.

The site has hundreds of free videos with all different types of workouts, for all different levels. The best part about the site is that you can buy workout plans (relatively cheap, the one I got was $5.99) which will give you a workout to do every day for a specific period of time (1 week, 4 weeks, 8 weeks etc.) This was attractive to me because I always found myself getting stuck in a rut; I would get into a certain type of exercise and do it all the time. Not only would it get boring, but my body never seemed to changed because I was just working the same muscles over and over again.  You can access the videos that make up a workout program without purchasing the plan, but the plan shows you how to put them together, in order, so that you work out your entire body while avoiding injury and repetition.

The videos can be searched by length of time, calorie burn, type of exercise, difficulty level, equipment needed etc. It’s convenient and even if I only have 10 minutes to work out, I can find something to do. Also, the videos are seriously challenging. I have used other sites where the workouts labeled “most difficult” didn’t always feel hard enough to warrant my only workout for the day. Not so, with this site. The most difficult videos left me feeling as tired as  I would have after running 5 or 6 miles, and I felt like that was all I needed to do all day.

These are the best free workout videos I have found online so far and that’s why I am sharing, I wasn’t asked to write about this site and I wasn’t given any free stuff, promise!





Good God. 40 Weeks and 2 Days.

jackie mar 2 2014 075_phixrNo sign of this baby yet.

Reese was ten days late and a little part of me is dying imagining the possibility of being pregnant for another 8 days.

Aside from attempting to eat myself into labor, I am not doing much else. I’m not sure how I feel about those weird natural methods for inducing labor that you read about, but talk to me in a few days and I may have changed my tune.

My “birth plan” (I use that term loosely) includes trying for a VBAC (or C-VAG as my brother-in-law referred to it ) so my doctor is trying to avoid induction for as long as possible,  because apparently risks can be increased by an induction. She said we will talk about our plan at my next appointment and we can “see how I feel.” I thought it was pretty clear how I feel. I mean look at me. But ok.

We had an ultrasound last week that showed a 7lb 12 oz baby.  I know that the weight estimates are rarely accurate, but I am relieved that they aren’t telling me I’m having a giant baby, like they did with Reese.

33 lbs gained. I cannot even believe the fact that I was a full 22 lbs heavier than this last time. What a beast.

And so we wait….Will keep you posted.

Date Night




A few weeks ago Andrew and I had a rare date night.

A date night that ended with a broken foot and a 2:30 a.m. $100 cab ride home from the hospital.

Now here I am, four months prego, with a toddler; unable to drive or walk without crutches, and I am forced to carry anything I may need around with me in a backpack. This morning I actually carried my English muffin upstairs to my “office” (bedroom) in a backpack.

I am not much of a football fan but I am a fan of going places, and it had been awhile, so I jumped at the chance to go to a Thursday night Pats game with Andrew while my Mom babysat.

Andrew picked me up at work and we parked our car in a garage in Chinatown so we could take the train in to the game. Walking (yes, just walking) out of the parking garage, I somehow fell and rolled my ankle/foot.

I have no idea how it happened but it hurt like a biotch. It wasn’t a graceful fall; of that I am sure. It started as a sideways stumble, then a fall  to my butt, then an un-elegant roll to my side. The fact that it involved a roll should be enough to let you know that it was hilarious. Any fall that involves a roll is automatically 100 times better than one that does not.

Andrew immediately said that we should just go home.

The first rule of date night is never give up date night.  I was not going home. I was thinking that it was just a sprain and that I could handle it.

I limped to the train station, where we were told that no bags would be allowed in the stadium or on the train. Andrew raced back to our car with my oversized purse on his shoulder, while I stood against the wall of the station trying to shield my injured foot from the crowds. He made it back about ten minutes before the train left, soaked in sweat, only to be told that train tickets were sold out. In years of riding the train I have never heard of this happening and peeps were not pleased.

Finally, after a bunch of unhappy, scary looking Pats fans appeared ready to rush the train, a transit authority started collecting cash and letting people on the train. At least I think he was a transit authority employee. He could have been the guy who stands near Dunkin Donuts telling people that he lost his T pass and needs to get back to Braintree, but we were ok with that.

An hour and a half later we arrived at the stadium and when I stood to get off the train, I realized that  limping wasn’t really an option anymore. Instead I had to hold on to Andrew and use him as a human crutch.  We saw a medic on our way into the stadium who said it was a  sprain and that there was not much he could do except give us a ride to the stadium entrance. Thus marked my first ambulance ride of the night. Once there, we took an elevator to the third floor and somehow walked to our seats which were cozily nestled at the top of the world.

Midway through the second quarter I started to feel like my right foot was going to explode out of my shoe.

Rain was rolling in and we needed to climb back down the stairs to go under the overhang.

And I couldn’t walk.

Andrew half carried me down the stairs and a nice stadium employee offered us seats in the ADA area so we wouldn’t have to climb back up the stairs to our seats. We figured this was our best option, since we had no way of getting home until the game ended anyway. While getting the tickets for these new seats the ticket woman convinced me to see the medic again.

This time they told me my foot was broken and that I would have to take an ambulance to the hospital for X-rays. I was actually relieved. At least I wouldn’t have to walk back to the train.

When the EMTs showed up with a stretcher I nearly died. Some crutches would have been great but I felt that a stretcher was overkill.

A man who was in the early stages of a heart attack was wheeled through the crowds just before me. Then came me, fully reclined, rolling by with a tiny icepack on my ankle. Andrew and I were dying.

We arrived at the hospital without incident, got an X-ray, which they assured me was fine since it was just my foot and I was covered in lead vests; got crutches, pain meds, etc.

Hours later, we took a cab home from the hospital and crept into our house as quietly as possible, which is not very quiet when you are an inexperienced crutch user.

So now I am in cast for at least two more weeks and Reese is taking full advantage of the fact that Mom can’t chase after her. She steals my phone, goes after my coffee mug, and runs away with my glasses on a daily basis. Stealing a limping, pregnant woman’s glasses?? Talk about cruel.

This is how I will be enjoying football from now on.

2013-09-22 2013-09-22 001 004

2013-09-22 2013-09-22 001 006

New Year’s Resolution Follow Up. I Still Love Food Too Much.


022_phixr 018_phixrFollow up to my new year’s resolution post.

Exercising is going pretty good. Now that it’s getting warmer and staying light out longer, it’s easier to get walks/runs in after work.

Eating well is going as expected. There are cheat days and then there are Mondays.

Something I have discovered that has made this quest a little easier is the Skimble workout trainer app. It’s full of workouts you can do anywhere and allows you to search for workouts based on intensity level, length, target area, etc. I am a fan of searching for 5 or 10 minute workouts I can do while watching Tv. It’s free (woot) and has made it easy for me to squeeze in quick workouts while Reese is napping or for the ten minutes that an Elmo DVD can hold her attention. It makes me feel like I am doing something, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Food and self-control have never been strong points for me. I’d rather burn off what I eat than not eat. Reese too is turning into quite a food lover; a foodie if you will (can I really call myself a foodie? Does the term “foodie” encompass those who are Auntie Anne’s pretzel club members?) Either way, last night at the park she showed us where her loyalties lie when she chased down a family who announced that they were going home for pizza. As they turned and walked out of the park, Reese began chasing after them yelling “Peezee!” She was ready to trade families for some Papa Gino’s and she wasn’t looking back. Personally, I would have held out for some Regina pizza but she’ll learn.

Oh My God, No One Told Us That!


As I’ve said before, the first year of motherhood has shown me that there are a lot of things that people just don’t tell you. In some ways, I get it.  No one wants to be the Deb Downer who squashes your pre-baby, blissful ignorance with the gritty details of their pregnancy, birth story, parenting experiences or whatever. Everyone’s experiences are not the same, so why cause someone to worry about something that may never happen?  That’s fine and all. But for me, if you are my close friend/family member, I expect a heads up about certain things. Certain things that will remain nameless, but if you have ever had a baby, you probably have a good idea of what I’m talking about.

Although it was never explicitly stated, I pretty much understood (from books, birthing classes, my doctor etc.) that I could be straight up crazy for a couple of months after my baby was born. Overly emotional, over-protective, stressed, tired. Yea ok. I guess these are the socially acceptable feelings for a new mom to have and thus, the ones we hear most about.

Yesterday I came across this article. I will state that I am not a fan of the title. I don’t think it really reflects what the article is about, and in my opinion, it doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of how the mothers in the article seem to feel about motherhood. It did however, provide a brief moment of relief for me.

When Reese was a newborn I had nightmarish thoughts about awful things that could happen to her. Every article about a missing or ill child, a car accident, a fire etc. brought fresh fears and anxiety that reared its head at all hours of the night. Was it irrational to think that someone could lean a ladder against our home, climb up to the second floor window, cut the screen and take Reese? Maybe, but this image ran through my mind more than a couple of times.

Thankfully, I can’t say that I experienced anything as severe as what the women in the article went through, but I can relate to not feeling totally comfortable sharing these feeling with others.  At the time I just felt like a paranoid weirdo.

Today, these fears are few and far between, but I doubt that they will ever completely leave my mind. I don’t know many mothers who don’t worry about their kids on a daily basis, regardless of their age.  I guess it is the price you pay for having a child, and in my experience so far, it is a small one.


To 2013


I am not one for resolutions. The last one I made, much to the delight of my husband, was  to try to do less clothes shopping. But then I got prego and needed a whole new maternity wardrobe so that didn’t last long.

This year I have decided that a resolution is necessary immediately, in order to combat my extreme laziness and insatiable appetite for entire frozen pizzas and Bud Light. 

Since I stopped breastfeeding about a month and a half ago, my pants are getting a little tighter and the sad truth that I can no longer eat what I want and nurse/pump off the calories is setting in. It was fun while it lasted.

Pre-Reese, I worked out often and tried to eat semi-healthy. Now, going to the gym is no longer an option unless I want to wake up at 4:30 am (hells no.)

Thus, I have resolved to try to eat a little healthier, try to cook more (heating up frozen stuff doesn’t count) and do some sort of exercise where I can. Notice my use of the words/phrases “try”, “some sort” and “where I can.” Clearly, I am weary of setting myself up for failure.

So here we go.

Cheers to fewer cocktails, carbs and cookies, and more sweating, starving and stir-frying. Ugh.

Happy New Year!