Friday, June 17, 2016

October 2015 - Hartman visit

We're playing catch-up on the blog...................because a LOT has happened but even more is about to happen!

Grandma and Grandpa Hartman visited!  That always means we're doing tons of fun stuff.

Thomas the Train and choo choos were set up in the living room AND the old HO train set was put up in the garage.

Airplanes!  Ethan loves planes.  Welcome to the Great Georgia Airshow with the Blue Angels!  Gail, Jess, and Ethan had primo family area seats while Jeff and Allen sat with the masses.

Trick or Treat!  My little pumpkin head braved the cold and rain to visit just a few neighbor's houses after a long day at the airshow.

We also went camping at a cabin in Unicoi State Park just outside Helen, GA - a neat Alpine town (Gail was in heaven!).  Ethan was too - mooing and chasing the horses pulling carriages.

AND saw our first concert (Bluegrass!)

And totally relaxed at the cabin.  My big smore maker.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Know Your Numbers

Our health insurance insists that in order to "give" us money to use on healthcare next year, we take certain actions, tests, and checks...and be within healthy parameters (otherwise, no money without taking a class to correct whatever is wrong).

So I attended a biometric screening at work because it is WAY easier than taking a half day off just to get blood drawn.

This biometric screen was just a finger prick, plus BP, weight, and height.  Then they had counselors on site to walk you through your results and what they mean.  That part is awesome, much better than the call from your doctor that says "everything is fine".

My counselor was super nice.  She was also really surprised my numbers were so good since my BMI is so high.
I was happy to see my numbers continue to be in the normal ranges.  I eat relatively healthy-ish (just too much), I consume perfect nutrition with my shakes and food, I exercise some, I've been trying to lose weight. 

The only bad part about the biometric screening is they didn't do the detailed blood work that comes with the vials of blood, particularly TSH, T3, and T4.  My physical is coming up (again, on-site) and I'm going to ask for those to be taken.  I had to take Synthroid during the pregnancy because my TSH was not ok given the tightened parameters for pregnancy (but apparently is fine the other times? not buying it).

Because I'm a nerd, I've been tracking all of my stats in spreadsheet since 2010.  Some people may think that's overkill, but seriously folks - YOU ARE YOUR OWN HEALTH ADVOCATE!  I don't trust the system to spot a trend in one of my numbers, plus it's easy to plunk it into the sheet once a year.

Here's a snapshot of my results this year, straight from super fancy spreadsheet.  YAY ME! 

Test 2015 Low High
Cholesterol, total 153 125 200
HDL Cholesterol 73 > 46
Triglycerides 101 < 150
LDL Cholesterol 59 < 130

97/86 < 120/80
Chol/HDLC ratio 2.1 < 5
Glucose 89 65 99

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Annual Apple-n-Pumpkin trip

Every year we go to North Georgia, around Ellijay, to go apple-pickin and pumpkin-pickin.

Our favorite orchard is R and A Orchards.  They are family owned, you get to ride behind a tractor in a wagon without hay, and there is apple picking and a little store.  No petting zoo, milk a cow, putt-putt extravaganza.  Which is totally more my speed.  (Yes I recognize that probably when E is older we will have to visit the ones with bounce houses, but not yet, yay!)

We left home by 9:30AM and decided to grab a snack en route.  Chick Fil A's line was ridiculous so we went to Dunkin Donuts.  And proceeded to wait in a 4 car line for 30 minutes.  Total fail.  Then we gave E a piece of biscuit, which we shouldn't have done - we never eat in the car and he proceeded to choke, then barf all over himself while we were on I-85.  No bueno.

Thankfully, the rest of the 2.5 hour trip was super uneventful.  We finally arrived at the orchard and proceeded to have a great lunch - sandwiches, chips, and a fried chocolate pie for Jeff.

Then out to the orchard on our tractor ride to the far area to pick apples.  But first, a selfie.  Of course.

It was the last weekend for U-pick (last weekend in September if you need to remember), and by now there were still some to pick but plenty had fallen to the ground in a super rotten stinky way.  So, definitely no scooting around for little buddy.  He got to ride on my back.

After we got our fill of apples - a 1/4 peck - we headed back to the main building for my annual apple and caramel treat.  Ethan thought the caramel was just fine lol.

Off down the road we went to Burts Farm, the epicenter of all Fall Fun Cuteness.  There were literally a zillion families with matching outfits trying to take their pictures.  Not that many were picking out pumpkins, but that's ok.

Every year Jeff picks out the biggest pumpkin he can carry.  No exception this year.  There was no injury this year either, thankfully.  No yellow jacket stings either.

Ethan loved to scoot around and be free, and of course stand while banging on a pumpkin.  And watching the kids, his favorite pastime.

We finally got our fill of fall fun, and headed home.  Another success!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

19 months old

What a wonderful and joyful time to be a parent.  We are so lucky to have such a happy, if not a bit intense, toddler.

Here's a peek into life at our house...

Ethan has a bunch of words, some of which are kind of funny (don't judge them)...
Dada or daddy
Gaga (grandpa)
Bye or bye bye
mi-mi (milk), and signs it
Nigh Nigh
num num num (for food he likes)
pisa (pizza)
choo choo
This, or these (with pointing)
tweet tweet (what does a bird say)
moooo (what does a cow say)
ba ba ba (what does a sheep say)

He also does some hilarious stuff:
claps for all done (with food. with playing. with riding in the car.)
Points at his nose and eyes
Loves to 'go bye bye'
Click kick clicks his heels on the ground when he's excited
Climbs the stairs up (only) super fast
Tries to put on socks and shoes constantly, the kid loves shoes
Stacks blocks 2-3 blocks high
Still loves to put stuff "in" stuff, like animals in shoes, trains in baskets, etc
Waves bye bye to planes overhead, from RC to commercial jets
Stomps his feet to "We are the Dinosaurs" by Laurie Berkner

And some other random stuff --
Loves Curious George and Thomas the Train on tv (yeah we didn't make it to 2).
He can drink water out if straw sippy cups well, if he wants.
He loves the milk, in a bottle.  And that darn paci.  He usually only gets it at naps and night but still.
Loves his teddies and blankie in his crib, and his monkey for cuddles downstairs.
Loves to play the piano with mommy, low notes.
He's a great sleeper, one nap a day 1pm for 2-3 hours.  Bed by 8pm and he'll sleep through until 6-7am.

And his laugh. Oh my.  I'm in love.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Pronuts

Well guys, it's Friday.  Woohoo!  It's been a week for us this week!  Nothing bad, nothing magical, but sometimes the daily life of working, trying to exercise and eat healthy, and being a mom (even with an awesome stay-at-home-dad) is cray-cray.  

PS, I always think everyone around me has it way more together than me because it doesn't seem like others are struggling as much as I am to just BE.  That discussion is for another day.

Anyway, we've got tons of stuff going on at work, so I've been coming into the office early.  Let me tell you a little story of my Friday so far.

It's 7:45AM.  I'm at the coffee station to get my Newman's Own Organic k-cup, kindly provided to me by the company.  I spot PUMPKIN SPICE OREOS.  

I am a sucker for pumpkin-anything.  

I try not to make eye contact.  

I eventually look at the package and think, well I'm not going to open it if it's already open.  

Shit.  It was open.  

It's too early for Oreos, right?  


Ok, distract.  Make small talk with colleagues about the new printer.  

...oh sweet geezus, the brew is finished...

Take the coffee and run!!!!!!!!

Then I pop open my Facebook feed and find THIS - Pumpkin Spice Pronuts (Protein Donuts).

I'm totally trying this instead of the Oreos.  Maybe.  If I actually make them.  Maybe I'll just THINK about them.  (See previous comment about people having their shit together more than me.)  

In any case, since YOU probably do have your shit more together, here's the recipe to make when you pop out of bed with unicorns and rainbows tomorrow morning.

Pumpkin Spice Pronuts
2/3 cup of IsaLean pumpkin protein powder (any flavor is ok but, Pumpkin)
2 tbs apple sauce 
1/4 tsp salt 

1 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs 
2 tbs Water 

Mix and pour in donut trays (Makes 6 full size donuts)
Put in the oven at 325 for 15-20mins 

Our frosting was Vanilla Greek yogurt with a half scoop of Vanilla protein powder 

30g or more of protein! No artificial flavors, colorings, or sweetners!

**If you don't have a donut pan, use cupcake pan!

Enjoy! 🍩🍩

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Semi-public restroom fails

No, this is not how I'm potty training my 18 month old.  (BTW, who DOES that?!  He can't even walk yet.  It's not good for them, here, I proved it.)

No, this is not a personal account of my own potty escapades.

It's a post about the semi-public restrooms known as "the bathrooms at work".  I have questions (and comments).  10 of them, actually.  Because lists of 10 are awesome.

1.  Do people leave little bits of T.P. on their bathroom floor at home?  Why do people do it in every public restroom ever?  How does that even happen?

2.  There are 4 different restrooms within 1 minute's walk of my office.  How is it - every time - the one I choose is "closed for cleaning"?

3.  Why is scrubbing out the inside of the bowl the gold standard for cleaning a toilet?  No one's body parts touch it.  I'd much prefer a latch wipedown.  Or maybe a inside-of-the-stall-wall wipe.

4.  The soap sucks.  It's not foamy or good smelling and I don't think it works that great.  (I'm a handsoap snob, thanks Ecolab.  I love going to Mellow Mushroom and using the awesome ECL soap there.)

5.  Who leaves the door propped open?  I get that there is an entryway so you can' see directly in... but just close it man.

6.  It's clear the full length mirror was designed and placed by a man.  Getting a good look is impossible.  Also, selfies are impossible.

7.  While we're on the topic of bathroom design, the depth of the counter/sink when reaching to get the faucet is no bueno ...I get water on my belly every.time.  Everyone else must too, because the sink counter is always wet.

8.  Auto flushing.  Why.

9.  Toilets not bolted to the floor - that instead stick out of the wall.  Why.

10.  T.P. dispensers that are mounted to close too far back (close to the wall).  My hand doesn't bend that way, and when it finally does, I rip off a tiny little piece because of the angle.  Maybe that's why #1 occurs.

(At least I don't have this one.  But see the little tiny bits!?!?)

I know, these are totally all first world problems.  But they are annoying, IJS.  Sorry.

What workplace / semi-public restroom woes do you have?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vitamin obsessed

I have taken pills my entire life.  Any 80's asthmatics remember Slo Bid?  Yep, I do.

Sometimes I get super tired of taking pills.  I have a giant morning/night pill container that I was putting asthma medicine, allergy medicine, prenatal vitamin, fish oil, vitamin C, turmeric, plus other supplements depending on what I had recently heard about (my mom, Dr. Oz, Today Show, etc).

I actually don't mind taking a bunch of capsules every day - but I'm so lazy, I hate filling up my morning/night pill container every week!  What a pain.  I know it's only like 5 minutes but sometimes I will literally open a bunch of bottles every night before I fill up the container.

So I was so excited when I was introduced to Ageless Essentials with Product B.  The initial appeal is that it is pre-packaged into morning and evening packets, just tear open and take them.

Then I started taking it, and MAN, something magic must be in there.  I really, really like how it makes me feel!  Usually I take supplements and don't notice a difference at all, but figure it 'must' be good for me so I keep on with it.  This is different.  I can't really describe it, but it's a feeling...

Maybe after seeing this description and graphic from the website:

Formulated to meet the latest in nutritional science, Essentials contains therapeutic dosages of key nutrients tailored to meet the nutritional needs of both men and women. 

This sounds pretty normal, like a normal multi-vitamin, right?  That's what I thought.  Read on:

Ageless Actives™ Contains potent amounts of CoQ10, Vitamin D3 and Resveratrol, as well as botanicals and other antioxidants to support healthy aging. 

IsaOmega Supreme® Supports cardiovascular health and brain health by providing you with a high-potency and highly concentrated amount of DHA and EPA omega-3 essential fatty acids. 

C-Lyte® A daily vitamin C supplement featuring Isa-C™ Complex, a combination of three forms of Vitamin C, designed to be easy on the stomach and give you long-lasting antioxidant protection. 

Product B IsaGenesis Product B IsaGenesis provides a potent blend of powerful bioactive herbs and antioxidants that work synergistically to result in maximum healthy aging benefits and telomere support.

Wow!  Even my organic, all natural multi doesn't quite fit the bill when compared to these.  Amazing.

If you are interested, click this link for more info or you can of course email, Facebook, tweet, etc me anytime.  Here's to better health!

Monday, September 28, 2015

I need a chef.

Would someone PLEASE come be my (pro bono) chef?  I could really use some help with cooking and mealtimes.  Jeff does a great job, but I know he wants me to help and I'm just terrible.  I'm tired at the end of the day, uninspired, don't want to take more than 15 minutes start to finish (excluding eating time), and have poor attention to detail in the kitchen.

I'm GREAT at making plans and shopping.  I'm terrible at follow through.

So if you're interested, Here's what I'd want you to make first:

Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken and Vegetables 
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 3 oz chicken w/ veggies • Old Pts: 6 pt • Points+: 7 pts 
Calories: 273 • Fat: 12 g • Protein: 30 g • Carb: 13 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 6 g
Sodium: 260 mg • Cholesterol: 85 g 


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless thin sliced chicken cutlets
  • 3 tbsp homemade pesto (or store bought)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb asparagus (1 bunch), tough ends removed
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • olive oil cooking spray


Marinate chicken with pesto, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.

Mix oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and 1/4 tsp salt in a small bowl.

Heat a grill over medium-high, be sure grates are clean and well oiled to prevent sticking.

Put veggies on 1 large grill tray or 2 smaller trays (or cook in batches), spray with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook, turning constantly until the edges are browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside on a dish.

Cook the chicken about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear and the chicken is cooked though, transfer to a platter, too with the veggies and pour the balsamic dressing over everything.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Skinny Jeans

So, my pants are looser.  YAY.

I took a trip to Lane Bryant to buy a new pair of black pants for work.  They are a size down, and that feels great.

I also tried on a bunch of other stuff.  On a whim, and because I was feeling confident (hey, I was preparing to buy a smaller pants size), I decided to try on skinny jeans and a graphic tee.

The jeans were SUPER comfortable - they were super super stretch.  The tee had too big of a neck.  I thought I finally looked trendy and cute.

But did I really?  Skinny jeans on a plus-size lady?  With a slouchy shirt?  Was I just grasping to be on trend?

So I employed my stylists - my mom and sister - via text.  One suggested grabbing a boot cut instead, and then told me that skinny jeans are going out of style.  Then the other one agreed, on Hoda & Kathy Lee (or some show like that) they said skinny jeans are out.

So the clothes stayed on the floor of the dressing room.  I left with my single pair of black pants.

All was not lost.  I came home to this cute art project from CMO.

And cementing my mommy of the year status...a picture of my kid with string around his head, watching're welcome.