Friday, February 27, 2009

Vail baby!

I'm taking a blogging break this weekend - girl weekend in Vail - woo hoo!

Stories, pictures, musings, and more to come...

Gone snowshoeing...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thumb suckers

During the ultra this morning the boys were going crazy! I think they must be runners ... in between bopping around and doing flips, they took breaks to suck their thumbs:

What not to do when you're pregnant: try a new perfume

A girlfriend gave me a bag of great shishi perfumes and lotions. I'm loving most of the lotions but trying a new perfume? Giant mistake. I keep smelling myself and wanting to barf. I guess my nose is a lot more sensitive than I thought!

Take it and Run Thursday: Backwards TIaRT - You Ask the Question

Every week Runner's Lounge posts a topic for runners to comment on. This week they've turned the tables and are leaving the door open for runners' questions.

As I'm somewhat of a race junky now (seriously, I love them - the adrenalin, the pukey feeling at the beginning ... and sometimes the end, the mud (I like the trails), and the gummy bears when you cross the finish), I'm curious - what's the race that changed your life AND/OR the one race everyone needs to do before they die?

I've done most of the Marin trail races, the San Diego Marathon, and the Bend Marathon. I've dappled in half marathons, Bay to Breakers, and other local 10ks. With my 30th birthday coming up in October I'm considering a half Iron Man in Santa Cruz ... and these are great races! But I'm not feeling that moved. Do I need to throw a Great Wall of China Marathon in the mix? Today I read on Julianne's blog that she's doing the Hope Runs 777 Challenge (which I'm blown away by - major kudos!) and covering these seven marathons:

DATE

RACE

LOCATION

January 2010

ING

Miami, Florida USA

February 2010

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

Beppu JAPAN

February 2010

Buller Marathon

Westport NEW ZEALAND

February 2010

TBA

EUROPE

March 2010

Kilimanjaro Marathon

Moshi TANZANIA

March 2010

Antarctica Marathon

King George Island ANTARCTICA

March 2010

Maraton Fin del Mundo

Ushuaia ARGENTINA


So what's the best? The most life changing? The most beautiful? What's it for races?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Week 18 and growing!

Tomorrow is our "uber-ultra" - the long ultrasound where they'll measure everything on the boys (not in the college dorm room way - you know what I mean) to make sure they're growing well. Can't wait!

Straight from the gym to the kitchen

I'm still loving my Under Armour gear. I got some free running clothes and shoes as part of "Team Under Armour" (which I'm on for being a running Captain for PacWest). Love it.

Definite bump action:Can you believe there are two growing baby boys in there?! I can, everytime I feel the little "flutter" (I love love love the flutter - think too much thai food mixed with your first kiss ... )

Baby brain

I've heard it from friends and am experiencing it first hand - "baby brain," the forgetful side-effect of being pregnant. It hasn't effected my work (I hope) but things like forgetting my glasses are on my face, or standing in front of the fridge but forgetting what I went to get are increasing.




CNN posted a study that proves pregnancy does cause memory loss last year. This highlights:


"Henry and her colleague, Dr. Peter Rendell of Melbourne's Australian Catholic University, analyzed 14 studies from around the world that tested the memory performances of more than 1,000 women -- expectant women, mothers and non-pregnant females.



The study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, found that the memory loss can extend up to a year after birth."





On the flip side, Pregnancy Info.net suggests pregnancy can make you smarter:


"How Pregnancy Makes You Smarter:



The StudyA recent study performed at the University of Richmond and Randolph-Macon College in Virginia illustrates that pregnancy brainpower actually doesn’t decline at all during pregnancy. Neuroscientists examined the activities of pregnant mice, rats, and humans and found that all three showed significant increases in mental acuity and memory throughout pregnancy and after giving birth. Specifically, the researchers noticed that the pregnant mice and rats:
  • had more energy
  • were more curious
  • ran mazes more quickly
  • retained detailed information for longer periods of time

Human subjects in the study also showed increased brainpower. Specifically, the pregnant women showed:

  • increased visual acuity
  • improved sense of smell"

20 Reasons Why it's Great to Have Twins

In between bouts of wanting sushi and wanting my old jeans back, it's nice to remember what's at the finish line - TWINS! Here are 20 Reasons it's Great to Have Twins from Baby Centre:

1.

Knowing that you are only going to have to go through the birth process once to end up with two children.

2.

Enjoying the fun of choosing two baby names that fit together perfectly.

3.

Being able to hold one baby in each arm and feeling a huge rush of love and pride.

4.

Watching your babies sleeping peacefully side by side.

5.

Having to establish only one routine.

6.

Getting all the sleepless nights over and done with in one go.

7.

Watching them carve out their own identities as they grow.

8.

Knowing that they are going to have a best friend in each other for life.

9.

Enjoying the attention that twins inevitably attract.

10.

Feeling confident that they can help each other on their first day of school.

11.

Discovering all their amazing little differences.

12.

Watching them create their own secret language and games.

13.

Knowing that they will never be lonely.

14.

Loving the fact that they are constant playmates and can entertain each other.

15.

Feeling special because you've joined the exclusive club of twin mums – together with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Julia Roberts.

16.

Only having to buy one of every must-have toy and not having to give baby number two (by a few minutes!) hand-me-downs.

17.

Only having to bake one birthday cake and throw one party a year.

18.

Seeing them learning and encouraging each other to reach their milestones.

19.

Watching them taking care of each other when one is upset or hurt.

20.

Knowing that their shared history means they have one of life's most unbreakable bonds.

18-weeks and counting!

I'm now 18-weeks along and finally getting into the whole grove of being pregnant. I'm a little less tired but I'm definitely not feeling the energy boost or glow that many mom's have promised - hopefully soon!

According to Baby Centre UK, the boys are about 6" big each now - that's a whole foot of baby growing in there! No wonder my pants are reaching their stretch to close limit - pretty soon I'll have to move to maternity duds - or at least more Lulus (they really are the best pants for everything - yes, I'm biased, but anything that makes my butt look great no matter what size I am is a winner in my eyes).

Here's more from Baby Centre:

Your baby is approximately 6 inches/ 14.2 centimetres long from crown to rump and she weighs about 7 ounces/ 190 grams. Her chest moves up and down to mimic breathing but she's not taking in air, only amniotic fluid.

A mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan is often done sometime in the second trimester (usually between 18 and 22 weeks) to assess fetal growth and development, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord and determine whether the gestational age is accurate. During this scan, you might see your baby kick, flex, reach, roll, or even suck her thumb. Bring your partner along, and whether or not he's able to accompany you, make sure you ask for printouts of the baby in various poses.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shadow Fear

I know I don't have to worry about this fear with the boys yet, but this is pretty funny:

The belly brigade


With my "secrets" now out, and my belly out farther, people seem shocked by the fact we're pregnant and drawn to my belly - it's as if rubbing it is good luck. Today at work a co-worker mused, "I just can't believe you're pregnant. And, I can't believe we couldn't tell until now. Now I can see your belly! It's just so weird." My reply? "Weird for you? Try being pregnant!" This was all in good fun, though, and it actually felt good being able to clear peoples' weird feeling.

I think those who don't have kids or don't want kids just can't imagine the whole pregnancy process. Those who do have kids nod, laugh, and look so worried for my sleep and livelihood when I say it's twins.

The nicest thing about being "out"? The amazing surprising generosity! The same co-worker who was amazed at my changes, bought me a cupcake at lunch time which was so sweet.

Happy National Pancake Day!


I noticed on RW Daily that today is National Pancake Day! Unfortunately I missed the boat on free IHOP pancakes (they were giving 1 free mini stack to everyone who came in from 7-10am (picture that line ...)) Dinner may need to be savory pancakes ... gross or good? I'm pregnant so I can eat whatever I want regardless of taste.

Here's a good looking savory recipe that I found on World Famous Recipes (I'm a HUGE fan of Indian food):

This is a delicious savory pancake recipe served with Indian meals as a bread alternative.

Ingredients

140g/5oz/ chickpea flour, sifted
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ajwain seeds
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
4 fresh hot green chillies, very finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
2 tbsp very finely chopped, fresh green coriander
about 3 tbsp vegtable oil

Method

1. Put the chickpea flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add 250ml/9fl oz water, mixing with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter. Add the salt, cayenne pepper, ajwain seeds, onion, ginger, chillies, garlic and coriander. Stir and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Smear a large, wide, non-stick frying-pan with 1 tsp of the oil and set over a lowish heat. When very hot, stir the batter and pour about 55ml/2fl oz on to the centre of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions as you would for a crêpe, spreading the batter to make an 18-19cm/7-7½in pancake.
3. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the pancake is reddish-brown at the bottom. Dribble another tsp of oil around the edges of the pancake. Turn the pancake over and cook, uncovered, for a further minute or until golden. Remove from the heat and keep covered between 2 plates. Repeat with the remaining batter. Always remember to stir the batter before you use it. (leftover batter may be covered, refrigerated and re-used)

Tasty Tuesday

As this week brings the finale of Top Chef in New Orleans, I made a Cuban/Cajun/Californian trio dinner tonight.

Mahi Mahi with pineapple and peppers
Black beans
Salad with tomatoes and pomegranate seeds

Mahi Mahi:
Thawed frozen fish from Trader Joes (we're on a budget)
Put in pre-heated over at 350 covered with garlic powder for 30-minutes
After fish was cooked, plated with fresh cut pineapple and topped with chopped up peppers (I like it spicy!!!)

Black beans:
Pretty basic - heated a can of black beans and topped with tapatio

Salad:
Mixed organic greens with pomegranate seeds
Topped with sliced tomatoes
Dressed with olive oil, balsalmic, salt and pepper to taste

Delish!

Why it's good for you?
Yet another 30-30-40 meal - the beans and fruit pack some carbs but they come with fiber, too. The fish is a great source of protein (as are the beans), and the peppers help satisfy the appetite so as not to over-eat.

Why it's good for baby?
Fish helps brain development and I want these kids to be smart!

Why it's good for runners?
The carbs from the fruit and beans will help with a morning run but not over exhaust you before you get going (bread and pasta do this to me).

Monday, February 23, 2009

I think they need to make a sequel to Run Fatboy Run

Run pregnant lady Run...



Alright alright, I'll volunteer.

Lululemon Ambassador - Me!

Lululemon recently asked me to be an Ambassador and I'm so excited! They're posted a mini bio about me on their website and soon I'll have my very own posters (the photo shoot was an adventure trying to hide the bump under layers of spandex - not an easy feat!)
The greatest thing? Lulu's workout pants and sweats are the best for pregnant and non-pregnant athletic and lounge-wear alike. No joke, I live in mine on weekends.

Drowned smurf or blueberry - you decide!

Another Monday, another awesome Lululemon run. Tonight we only had two other guys show up (I'll chalk it up to the rain) but we were truckin' (averaging ~ 8min miles).

Soaking wet just home from the run:
You can't tell from my brilliant Under Armour disguise, but there are two kickin' babies in there! You can see the bulbousness in all it's glory here (lettin' it all hang out):
I still haven't told the other Lulu runners but I'm starting to get some funny looks and side-ways belly glances. I guess the truth should come out ...

Overwhelmed ... so many to dos

Matt and I are trying to buy goods now to jump on the sale bandwagon and check things off our growing list before we're battling lack of sleep with to-dos. We made our very first trip to Babys-R-Us yesterday and instantly felt overwhelmed - seriously, hives were present. There are hundreds of stroller options alone! And there are mixed reviews for every option - eesh.

We have 4-months to research and research we will do.

Money Saver Monday: Love hand-me-downs

I've always been a fan of second hand goods - I think I've supported an entire department at eBay and I know most good consignment stores across California. My philosophy of hand-me-downs for designer goods carries through to baby goods - even more so, in fact - where I could love and wear a Gucci purse for 5+ years, the boys will only be able to enjoy their cute duds for a month (if that!). It's nice having a friend with a baby boy in the city - and she is so amazingly generous!

Today I went to visit Leanne who recently had beautiful baby Wonder and after catching up on lack of sleep and bump stories, she surprised me with piles of great baby clothes! Wonder is 3-months old now and has already grown out of his onsies and tiny shirts. A million thanks to Leanne!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What a run!

The weather can't seem to make up it's mind this week - one day it's dumping rain, the next is sunny and warm. That's San Francisco for you - the city that keeps fleece in business, the city of mind changes, and the city of surprises. I had been chatting with some GGRC'ers about doing a 13-14 mile run today but with my exhaustion rolling in at a pace that could rival the dark clouds rolling in and out of the city, this far was out. I did however meet up with the guys at the Warming Hut to kick them off for their 13-14 mile and to go off on my own 7 miler.

The run started out great for us all - we ran from the Warming Hut up to the bridge and over. The bridge was doubly incredible (beyond the standard amazing views) because it was empty - a perk of the weather. On the Marin side of the bridge I waved the guys off for their run into Tiburon and started making my way up the single track to the "Saddle." I was in heaven - I had the entire mountain to myself and the swishing sound of the rain combined with the cars was a perfect pacing melody to push me up the hill. At the top (the "Saddle") I did my own little Rocky dance and then turned to go down. About this time the wind switched gear and pushed against me - OK, weight training. Back onto the bridge I was really hit with it - the rain picked up, the wind doubled, and then the worst friend to running - hail! I ran nearly the entire stretch of the bridge with my eyes closed pushing against the ice and wind - the only things getting me through being the song "Ain't nothing gonna hold me down, no no, I got to keep on moving," and the goal of getting to my car quickly to pump the heat.

All in all, a terrific run!

Baby's breath

The growing twins are already quite popular with the ladies - Courtney bought them beautiful roses and baby's breath flowers last week - so sweet! (I don't normally say "sweet" - not quite sure what's come over me...)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two headed child

I have been best friends with Lisa since we were in second grade - we grew up together (and are still growing up together). Last week when Lis told her father I was expecting he reacted by laughing: "I remember when you were kids and talked about having babies," yes, another I remember story - I'm becoming more and more fond of those, "One day you two sat in the back of the car and for nearly 30-minutes Amber (me) explained why she wouldn't want a two-headed child."

I remember this conversation in the back of the car. Funny how things work out - I may not be having a two-headed child (thank God) but I am having 1 birth with two heads. OK, re-reading that it sounds a little gross, but you get my drift.

The forgotten things

I had a story to tell but forgot it on my way here (my way being typing in www.blogger.com ...) You'd think that because I have two more brains forming there would be more room for memory - no. With pregnancy comes memory lapses. Eesh!

Yesterday before work I went to wash my face, toner, remove the excess eye makeup I missed the night before, and primp - pretty standard. I got through the wash part OK. Then went on to tone - somewhere between the cabinet and my face I forgot what I was doing and found myself "toning" with eye makeup remover. Oops! Onto makeup - I powdered, linered, and mascara'd. Done. Beauty regime in 10-minutes. Upon reaching work I looked in the mirror and realized I had only mascara'd my right eye. Oops again! At least that one I could play off as part of the weird '80s style coming back.

Long live to do lists!

Friday, February 20, 2009

(Baby) breakfast of champions

Our good friend Tracy made the BEST breakfast for Matt's office today (she works with Matt) ... baby muffins on baby blue plates. So sweet and so cute!

Breakfast of champions:









Muffin Man:

Now playing the role of fat bum...

Yesterday when leaving work I ran into an ex from highschool. Our past run ins have been rather nice (in the mean girl sense) - he was my waiter twice while "in law school." Yesterday, on the other hand, was another story. When I walk to work I wear sneakers and then change into heals for the office. I was in the in-between mode (in more ways than one):
  • Gold velcro sneakers
  • Purple cable knit turtle neck (BAD idea when 4-months pregnant - who knew cable knit could make you look like the stay puff from Ghost Busters?)
  • Capris (how's that for a statement with the shoes
  • Jacket I can't zip shut anymore
  • Computer bag I was wearing as a backpack
Oh the horror. I think pregnancy+walking is not an excuse for bum attire. I'll work on that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The times we'll have

Being able to let the cat out of the bag (or gut out of the suck in) I had the "work talk" - namely, what'll I do after having the twins? It was necessary to have "the talk" because VPs are proclaiming, "Congrats! When are you off?" Life and then back to business.

So here's the plan (and I'm thrilled):
  • 6 weeks off completely on maternity leave
  • 2 months working from home 5-days a week (we'll have in-home help - family, Matt and I trading off, and babysitters)
  • 4 months working 1-2 days in the office and 3-4 days at home (we're hoping to find a co-op daycare, sharecare, or inexpensive but reputable daycare for the days we're both in the office)
  • Figure it out from there
I am so lucky in that a) my boss is understanding - he knows I'm still career oriented AND I need to be a good mom and b) my company wants to keep employees and trusts that I really will work when I'm working from home.

Let's just hope I don't need to go on bed rest...

Super mom?

Can women have it all? Can mother's have it all? I just went to a "Girls in Tech" mixer where Sarah Lacey spoke about her new book, about having been a tech reporter for the past 10-years, what trends are looking like with this down economy, and balance.

To the balance note, one point that stood out was:
"If you think you can have work-life balance - be a mom and be a successful entrepreneur, you're nuts. Change your plan."

At first this totally caught me off guard and I am/was ready to head out and prove this statement wrong. What I think she really meant though (based on her further clarification around taking VC money, having employees, etc.) was one cannot go out and juggle "having a life" (kids/sports/anything) with starting a large enterprise. The good news is I don't want to be an entrepreneur in tech and evangelize the newest .com 2.0 cloud wiki mashup transnational acronym filled whatever. I want to be a great mom, runner, and successful globe trotting career woman. I think that's doable. Consider women in sports - women run in the Olympics all the time after having kids. HUGE accomplishment. Women write books and start creative businesses (kudos Martha) after kids because they learn so much. Amazing.

I think life and wants and dos will change constantly. Right now? Yep, I want it all. Talk to me in 5-months when I haven't slept for a week and am still feeling fat and bloated - we'll see then.

Baby reality!

Ryan, the twins' new auntie-to-be, was one of the early ones to hear about our growing family (Matt + Amber squared). We told her Saturday on her birthday and it was hilarious - Rye and I studied in London together so saw all the very non-mom-to-be activities. She also lived with Matt and I in separate stints so she knows our family well. Last night she brought over our very first baby gifts and it still brings little (teeny tiny) tears to my eyes - so nice!!!!!!

The "Oes" as dubbed in London









Not sure what's going on with the hand here - let's call it excitement












Little itty bitty baby clothes - so CUTE!

Is four the new three?

When I was "growing up" (aka, in college) and dreaming of being a mom one day, I always thought I'd tell the world as soon as the little stick said "pregnant." Hitting adult-hood (graduation) I realized most people wait until 3+ months to tell because of miscarriage fears. Becoming pregnant myself, I learned it's much different. The tell factor of course varies for everyone but now it seems like the majority of expectant parents wait until 4 months, not 3. The 4 month time marks:
  • Test results being in (mine came in yesterday!!!!!!!!!! - 1 in 10000 chance of Down syndrome, 1 in 1700 chance of spinal biff)
  • Miscarriage fears being gone
  • The bump starting to appear (especially with twins)
  • Belly flutters (this is an "inny" feeling when you start feeling the baby - it's awesome)
We just started telling yesterday and it's a weird experience. People are thrilled, shocked, and amazed that I was actually able to lie for 4 months straight. Now reality is setting in even more - it's fantastic.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Polenta and Salad

I'm a fan of "the balanced meal" - aka, protein, fats, and carbs. A recent winner? Polenta and salad.

Polenta:
Trader Joe's brand yellow polenta
2-slices bacon

Salad:
Spinach
Heirloom tomatoes
Walnuts
Avocado
Crumbled goat cheese

To cook the polenta, cut into circles and fry. In another pan fry up the bacon. After both are ready (which will be in roughly the same amount of time) plate the polenta and crumble the bacon on top.

For the salad add ingredients to taste - I'm an avocado fan so I typically do 1/2 avocado to split between Matt and I. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.

Delicious!

Why it's good for you? Coming in at roughly 30-30-40, this is a good fat/protein/carb breakdown.

Why it's good for baby? The polenta and spinach have a healthy dose of fiber which is needed (especially when pregnant). The avocado provides good fats for forming baby and the tomatoes give a good dose of liposine.

Why it's good for runner? This is a filling dinner, but not stuffing. The polenta will give energy for a morning run while the bacon will help you not get hungry 10-minutes after eating.

Running in circles

Because I didn't get off work until it was dark out today, and I don't want to forge a new path in the dark and rain, I went to the gym for a treadmill run instead. Consensus? I don't love the treadmill. The pounding on a semi-solid surface didn't help my ongoing knee problems. Also, the indoor running in circles made me realize even more why I like to run - I like to be outside where I can get fresh air, where I have to think about my world (not that of the gym or what's on TV), and where there's dirt and branches to duck.

Treadmills aside, I do like the elliptical every now and then - it's a nice way to turn body and mind off and just gooooooooooo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Money Saver Monday: Get a side with that

A big money saver is not to eat out at all and learn to cook economically (i.e. with Trader Joe's goods instead of Whole Foods). When the dinner bell brings you to a restaurant, though, a great trick to make the meal stretch and save a buck or two is to get a size - instead of getting a small get the large portion and add the $1.00 salad. Then, make sure to eat half or less and save the rest for another meal (or two)! Restaurants always pile on way too much food and it's rarely good to clear the plate when eating out, so this money saver is a bit of a gut saver, too.

Yep! They're growing - 16.5 weeks and counting

Here's a look at all the ultras from 3-weeks ago (they've grown a lot since then!)








Here's a better look at "Baby A" (on the right in the pic, left in my belly) and "Baby B" (on the left in the pic, right in my belly)










Definite bumpage












BAM - there's a belly

Friday, February 13, 2009

The good, the bad, the stinky


Running to Queen - great
Getting on the road early enough to have the whole thing for myself - rad
Tiny raindrops falling just as I was getting too hot - awesome
Having to pee every 10-minutes - getting used to it
A skunk running in front of me as I crest the Ft. Mason hill - not cool

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oh boy! ...

Today we went for our 16-week ultrasound. I look forward to my bi-weekly baby screenings - it's amazing, they're growing so fast! We saw their little legs, their bellies, their brains (both hemispheres looking very smart), there hearts - all 4 chambers beating away, "Baby B" did the baby dance (picture fists pumping and legs moving up and down (a little runner in the making)) while "Baby A" kept turning towards the ultra light and then turning away (a little model). We also got to see one more thing ... well, two actually - we're having twin BOYS!!!! Oh boy.

Here are some famous parents of twin boys from Yeah Baby:

If I thought I was running around a lot now, I can't imagine what the next few years are going to bring.

Yay for twin boys!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The packing brigade

We're getting ready for our move on Friday (we're moving into a 2-bedroom just over the hill in North Beach) and the packing brigade is well under way. In fact, Saturday we managed to make a sizable dent and have most of our clothes/dishes/etc. in boxes. So much stuff is packed, in fact, that I can't show pictures of the box chaos - so, instead, you get pictures of our new apartment...

The kitchen:









Either our room or the living room:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Thai chicken soup

I love homemade soup - it's great when you're feeling sick, when you need an energy boost, or when you want to make something that lasts a few days. Thai soup is one of my favorites because you can make it as spicy or mild as you like (and I like spicy).


Ingredients:
  • 1 chicken breast, boneless with skin
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 pepper (I like jabanero)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 turnip root
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1/2 can low cal coconut milk
  • Other vegetables to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 1 tsp green curry sauce
To cook (total time - 45-min):
  • 10-min Cover chicken breast with water and add salt and pepper and bring to a boil - then lower heat and leave lid on
  • 5-min In a separate pan, saute onion, brown sugar, and ginger in olive oil
  • @ 20-min Add carrots, root, and other vegatables to chicken - keep heat low
  • @ 25-min Add green curry sauce
  • @ 30-min Add onion/ginger mixture to chicken
  • @ 35-min Pull chicken out and take the skin off, cut up and put back in pan
  • @ 35-min Add water chestnuts and coconut milk
  • @ 35-min Add fish sauce
  • @ 35-min Add rice noodles
  • Simmer for 5-minutes
  • Serve with lemon slices

Monday, February 9, 2009

If I were famous ...

If I were famous, this photo from the Kaiser half might just be in Us Weekly with a big red arrow and the blurb: "Pregnant, or packing on?"

Arrow potential aside, I'm proud of my belly bump / running partners.

Maternity in style

With my ever expanding waistband and passion for "growing" in style, I'm becoming even more addicted to Lululemon workout pants. My new favorites?

The Boogie Crop:

These are a crop with an opening at the back so they're perfect for long runs or hikes. They're also made of a great stretchy coolmax material so they stretch and breath as I expand and move.

These crops coupled with the Remix Hoodie and I have my weekend wardrobe.

It was a good run

On Monday nights I lead "fun runs" for Lululemon and PacWest. Tonight was freezing but we still had a crowd of 4 + 2 small dogs. We started at Lulu on Union Street and ran over to Gough, then up up up to Sacramento, over to Fillmore, up to Broadway, up up to the Presidio, down the "Di Fi" stairs (Dianne Feinstein lives on the side of the stairs), around Palace of Fine Arts, along the water, and back up to Lulu. Great run! Over the course of 5-miles we circled 5 parks, scaled 5 hills, and enjoyed multiple great (breathless) conversations.

What a way to start the week. I'm off to a running start ...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Money Saver Monday: Go for the sale

I'm a shopper - I love to shop - but lately I've stopped all consumption (clothes, not food - don't worry!) completely in order to save for the move, new furniture, and of course the twins. But when it is time to shop, a good deal is well needed. Here are a few of my favorite sites to haunt:

For baby stuff:
  • Baby Steals - they postone item on sale daily and they're typically between 50-60% off
  • Giggle - this store is actually not cheap at all, but I do love it and, if you're having twins, any time you buy two of something they give you 20% off
  • Amazon - tried and true for many, they're full of great sales
  • Overstock - a good site for discounted furniture and nursery goods
For mommy:
  • Gilt - I LOVE this site - every day they have a new designer on sale. My favorites? DVF and White and Warren. You need an invite to "join" and shop on this site - if you're interested, leavea note and I'll invite you!
  • Hautelook - Similar to Gilt, every day they have a designer whose goods are discounted. The one downside to this one is their shipping time is way longer than Gilt.
  • Blue Fly - this site used to have better deals but the one thing that is still good is the lingerie - I buy all my cosabellas here.

Pregnant runners

I love this video - sometimes when I tell family I'm still running while pregnant I get a funny look - well, check them out!

To do: Got a sore throat when pregnant? Drink lemon, honey, ginger tea

This morning I woke up energized but somehow in a matter of 2-hours all the energy faded to a headache, sore throat, and lethargy. Now, I'm trying to get up the energy to make some dinner - the only problem? I can't swallow.

Not wanting not wanting to take OTC meds for sore throats or hold off all swallowing, I'm going to cure my throat the pregnant/natural way:
1 cup hot water
1 tblsp honey
2 lemons juiced in water
1/4 tsp ground fresh ginger

Look out health - here I come!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The day my belly popped: week 15


I'm not 15.5 weeks pregnant and it's really sinking in. On Tuesday my belly "popped" and now it looks like I ate too much lunch all the time. It's a weird in-betweener phase where I kind of look pregnant and kind of just look full - funny. Tomorrow I have a photo shoot for the store I'm an Ambassador for and last night we did a fitting. It was a bit funny - all the clothes are spandex so they really exentuate the bump. I dig it.

So what's going on in there?

This is from Childbirth Solutions:

PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: Second Trimester

Week #15 (27 to go!)

Mother:
  • Ever feel as though your heart would just burst with love for your little one? Well, the truth is that your heart has enlarged in order to handle your increased blood volume. It is now pumping out 20% more blood than it did before your pregnancy.

  • The top of your uterus (the fundus) is now half way between your pubic bone and belly button. It is easily felt and your care provider will use its position to check the progress of your pregnancy, measuring the distance from the top of your pubic bone to the top of the fundus.

  • One in every 50 pregnant women will be carrying multiples. That is twice the number of a generation ago. Signs that you might be carrying twins will include:
    • A larger than expected belly.
    • A faster weight gain.
    • A fundal height greater than half way to your belly button.
    • More than one fetal heart beat.

  • If your care provider suspects twins, she may suggest a sonogram to confirm.

  • More information about how the multiple miracle comes about can be found at: How Multiples are Formed and Twins: Some Things to Consider

Baby:

  • The baby can probably hear now and is comforted by the sound of your heartbeat and your voice. Encourage your loved ones to talk to the baby and let her know how much she is loved already.

  • Colorless eyebrows and eyelashes have now appeared and the hair on the head is getting thicker.

  • Speaking of hair, a very fine down, known as lanugo is now covering the baby's entire body. Most of this will disappear before her birth.

  • The baby's heart is pumping the equivalent of about 25 quarts of blood a day.

  • The scalp hair pattern is developing. If you could see it you would already be able to tell if he got Daddy's cowlick.
Here's what one of the babies would look like (from Baby Centre):

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You know you're pregnant with twins when...

  1. Walking over Union St. (big hill in San Francisco) winds you after 5 steps
  2. You can't hold the plank position for longer than 10-seconds when you used to be able to hold it for over a minute and a half
  3. Your boobs are so big that not only do your co-workers stare, but your female co-workers grab them
  4. Your stomach makes the same sounds as a high school band ... under water
  5. Your friends who don't want kids and aren't close to marriage look at you like you're an alien
  6. Womens' perfume makes you cross the street
  7. Cigarette smoke makes you want to cry
  8. You still fit your jeans but in a sausage like way (15-weeks pregnant anyhow - let's give this one time)
  9. You ate an entire container of salsa with dinner
  10. You took a shower, got through the shampoo OK, put in conditioner and promptly stepped out of the shower to go to bed

Gosh, if this is the list at 15-weeks, let's see what another 15 bring!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Working out when I just don't want to

My feet are still on fire from the Kaiser Half, it's cold in San Francisco, work is keeping me quite busy ... oh, and I'm pregnant with twins! All these excuses make it easy to opt out on working out. So what do I lose by not working out? My energy back. My stress decreased. My "me" time.

After a mental battle with excuses and comebacks this afternoon, I dragged myself to the gym. I'm a runner at heart and in practice, but when I can't run or am feeling too laggy, the gym is a great alternative. There are movies (my gym is in an old movie theater) and the elliptical machines provide a perfect venue for reading through mile piles of pregnancy magazines.

Here's my "I just don't want to but know I should" workout:
  • 30-minutes elliptical with an incline at level 9
  • 3 sets of 15-reps free weight curls
  • 3 sets of 15-reps free weight lat pulls
  • 3 sets of 15-reps free weight lat pushes
  • Stretch
  • Done!

Cheap Beauty Deals


Women's Health and Fitness just published "The 34 Best Drugstore Beauty Finds," and I thought this was a good shopping list - especially in light of my Money Saving Monday post.

Read

Shop

Save

Enjoy

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: the perfect BLT

Our adventures in cooking continue as we avoid restaurants. I think a BLT is a perfect meal for breakfast (add eggs), lunch (add chips), or dinner (add salad). The sandwich:
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado (key)
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
Stack all!

The sides:
  • Blue chips
  • Organic lettuce
  • Paul Newman dressing
Dessert:
  • Mini peanut butter cup
A perfect meal!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The fat days

I'm starting to feel a bit pudgy on the edges - aka, fat, and not with a p. But with famous people living their lives in front of us, it's reassuring to see some of these mom's of twins have bounced back and then some.

Angelina Jolie had a boy and girl July 12, 2008 (right around when I'm due!)











Rebecca Romain had her twins in December, 2008 and looks GREAT now!













Julia Roberts had her twins (with funny names) in November, 2004










Lisa Marie Presley had her twins October 7, 2008










Jennifer Lopez welcomed her twins in February, 2008 - and then did a triathlon!!!













The list could go on and on but the point is, no matter how puffalicious I'm feeling right now, they felt it too. And they had to feel it in the public eye. Furthermore, they all bounced back - and so will I. So for now? It's time to enjoy it! It's time to run, eat, nap, and be merry.

What I learned in grad school, I could've learned in the Kaiser half

Running always gives time for thinking. This weeks half marathon gave me lots of time for thinking (1:39 to be precise) and again my mind turned to work. I find it ironic how many ties running has to the workplace. Why the irony? I run to turn "off" of work - to give my brain a break.

Winding through the streets of the Golden Gate park and around the Ocean, my mind wandered to workplace politics and I found some interesting ties with races.

These aren't necessarily the lessons I'm going to teach the twins - I want them to experience and learn for themselves. That said, I am going to try to help them start in the front - I'm starting that now with a healthy pregnancy diet. I'm also going to encourage them to "be great" - I think I have two amazing people cookin!
  • Those who start further up, have a better chance of finishing first
I started the race with Linz and Brett - we started at the 8-min per mile mark because we weren't planning on sprinting out in the beginning and we knew we waned uneven splits (slower in the start, faster in the end). After the gun went off, it took a good 2-minutes to even cross the starting line - because we started in the middle of the pack, it was a slow start and seemed to slow down all the way to the starting line - then the crowd picked up. Apparently people don't think the "race" starts until you cross the starting line. Because of this slow start we had to weave around groups of runners and walkers who clearly did not plan to run 8-minute miles thus stalling our races even more.

(Side note, even though I started with the 8-min group, I ran 7-7:30s. Not too shabby.)

In the workplace, if you're lucky/smart/good enough to negotiate a good job and salary right out of school, it's easier to "move to the front of the pack" in the work place. You can negotiate better "jumps" when you switch jobs in both title and salary. You're automatically looked upon as a "higher up" which gives many advantages including having an easier time running meetings and managing up, down, and side to side.

  • Backup plans can hold you back - running with money in your shoe hurts!
Not wanting to deal with a 50-minute bus ride to the start of the race, we taxi'd over to the start line. Having no pockets and no-where else to put my cash, I stashed it in my shoe. Matt was going to pick us up (he did) but I wanted extra money in case he forgot or didn't make it. Hence, the backup plan in my shoe. BIG mistake! 3-miles into the run the cash wad was rubbing the skin off my foot. 6-miles into the race my foot was a bloody mess. I wonder if they'll still accept the cash when I go to purchase shoes?

In the workplace, if you're always thinking of an "out" or a backup strategy, you're likely not going to execute on the job at hand as well. There are many examples of this but let's take the careers in general example - if you're always looking for another job for a "backup" you're likely not focused on the job in front of you. Even if you are focused, you're either a scared nilly and not performing to par because you're second guessing, or you just don't care as much as you should. Work doesn't have to be the passion in life, but it should be something you enjoy and aren't always second guessing.
  • Don't run someone else's race - it slows you down
The last 4-miles of the race were painful - after emerging from the park's shade and beauty, we ran along the ocean. Two miles up the ocean towards the zoo, then 2-miles back. The back leg was the WORST. I kept looking at the oncoming runners wondering where my friends were, how the other runners felt, what our times were, how people trained - you get the picture. Then I saw a man collapse coming in the oncoming runner traffic and I nearly stopped in my footsteps. He had a crowd around him and an ambulance came in minutes, but I started feeling so much for him that I forgot my race.

(Side-note - I think helping people is more important than winning. But when the ambulance is there, there's not much else you can do).

In the workplace, if you're constantly helping others complete their job because they can't or they have some reason that you need to help, you're "running their race." On the same point, if you're always looking at someone else's job and thinking "I want to do that" you're both a) not doing your job as well as you could, and b) not going to "do that" because you're not proving you can do what was already tasked for you. Believe me, I've seen it happen.
  • If you think you can go faster or do better, go faster and do better
In running we all try to pace ourselves or hit certain mile or race marks. I was shooting for a 1:37, which I unfortunately didn't get, but I was shooting for this because I've hit it before. The first time I ran a half marathon I was going for a 2:00 - about 4-miles in I thought I could go faster, so I did. Low and behold, I nailed a 1:37. The point is, don't slow down or stick to a slower pace because you think that's what you're supposed to do.

In the workplace the same rule applies - namely, if you're trucking along just getting "good enough" done because that's what's expected, but you know you can do "better than great" - then do it! Don't hold yourself back because other peoples' expectation is that you can't do better - prove them wrong.
  • If you're a walker, don't get in the runners lane - same thing goes for the other way around
The one thing that always kills me in races is walkers in the runner's lanes. I know, this sounds like it's going against the point above but it's different - often people "walk" races - just to walk them, not for time. These are the "walkers" who are supposed to be on the right side of the race lane and they're not thinking of going faster, trying to go faster, or wanting to go faster. They're walkers. As such, they should stay to the left - otherwise, they're putting the races of all those around them in peril just because.

In the workplace, there are people who think "good enough" is OK and who just want to slide by on this logic. That's fine! It's not for me, but it's fine. That said, if "good enough" is OK, don't push it on co-workers. Don't try to hold them down to "good enough." This staying pattern doesn't excel companies, doesn't excel individuals, and certainly won't get you to an IPO or bought (not that I'm wishing or anything).

Curious how I learned all this in 1:39 during Kaiser? I started with the wrong group and got held back from the get go. I ran with a backup plan and got a bloody painful foot because of it. I dodged walkers nearly ripping my groin (again!). All in all, though, I had a good time.

Money Saver Monday: Buy this, not that

I'm a label fan. I love Gucci shadows, LV glosses, Prada polish - really, anything with a posh label. I blame my college years of Sex and the City - I was such a fan and couldn't afford anything mentioned on the show so, in my adult life, I started buying fancy makeup and used label goods.

Recently I've been test driving Walgreens' finest glosses and mascaras and I have to admit, there's some pretty great stuff!

The first money saver?


Not









Buy Great Lash not Dior - total savings? $20+!! Difference? Not much.