Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summer 2014 Family Pics

Last month, we did a photo session for Nicky's third birthday.  I've also been trying to make sure we do two photo sessions a year.  I'm always the one behind the camera, so there just aren't too many pictures of me with the boys.  I still hate the way I look now, but it is so important to have family pictures. Thanks to Sea Flowers Photography for such beautiful pictures!

PS.  Check out the hair growth! 

 August 2013 (almost 2 months post chemo)

November 2013 (5 months post chemo)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

That Time I Locked My Kid in the Car while House Hunting

EEEK!  Yes, we have actually begun house hunting.  This might actually happen!!!  We decided to move further north to be closer to Nick's office.  He has about a 40 minute commute and he just works too much to be spending that kind of time on the road.  I about fell out of my chair when I saw how much more housing costs in that area though!  And the stuff we really want is about $30k out of our price range.  Isn't that how it always works?! 

So we went to look at a few places this  morning.  Nicky woke up in quite a mood and was just a handful all day.  A few of the homes we looked at were occupied, and Nicky kept throwing tantrum after tantrum because he wanted to play with the toys that were in the homes.  We went to grab a bite to eat before we were scheduled to see one more home, and he was a total nightmare.  I took him out to the car while Nick paid the check.  He fought me while I was trying to get him into the carseat, and I had just buckled the bottom part when Nick came up behind me and said he would take over as I was clearly frazzled from trying to wrestle the 3 foot tall terrorist into his carseat.  I closed the door a little so Nick could get by me and heard it click shut, immediately realizing what I had just done...SSSSHHHHIIIIITTT!  I had set the keys down in the car while I was trying to buckle him.  I tried to open the door, but they had automatically locked for some reason.  Luckily, it was an overcast and rainy day, or it could have been horribly dangerous for him to be trapped in the car for even a few minutes.  This is the hottest time of the year down here in South Florida.  I have always been super super paranoid about this happening.  When I was still a new mom when Nicky was a newborn, I would always open the front door and leave it open while I got him into the car.  Then, I would make sure I had my keys in my hand before I closed it.  I just couldn't believe I had done this...

So we called 911, and Fire Rescue arrived a few minutes later.  We had been trying to get Nicky to pull the lock up in the meantime, but he couldn't get it.  One of the firemen started working on the getting a door unlocked with the snake-like tool, and the others kept trying to get Nicky to pull the lock up.  I kept going back and forth from totally freaking out and crying to thinking of the Modern Family episode where Mitch and Cam lock Lily in the car.  My mind has a funny way of dealing with stress sometimes...

Somehow, Nicky was finally able to get the lock, and I heard that glorious click of the door opening!  The firemen were so amazing and took him over to see the truck.  He was so excited!  We are SO LUCKY to have such wonderful first responders looking out for us!  I am so incredibly thankful. And now I must go drink some wine...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jumping on the Bandwagon: 3 Day Refresh

That's right.  After seeing all you crazy people post your before and after pictures and crazy work out pictures, I've ordered the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology.  I was trying to do it on my own, but this Tamoxifen is no joke.  After a two weeks of working out, I GAINED 3 pounds.  Yes, yes, muscle weighs more than fat...but with how much weight I have to lose, I should have seen some budge in the scale in the right direction!  Clearly, I still needed some more structure because it just wasn't working!  So I caved and placed my 21 Day Fix order.  My friend, Michelle, is my "coach."  She gave me a 3 Day Refresh she had on hand to do while I waited for my order to ship.  I couldn't wait to get started.  I cannot tell you how sick I am of being this fat!  I HATE it.  I'm so uncomfortable.  So I started the following day, which was Monday.

So the program is designed to be a cleanse so that you get rid of bloat and help kick start healthy eating.  It helps you get rid of the cravings for addictive bad foods (ahem, carbs).   And people have lost ridiculous amounts of weight in the three days.  Okay, I can handle this...let's do it!

The plan goes like this:

Wake up: 8 oz of water

Breakfast: Shakeology shake and a fruit serving

Not the most delicious thing I have ever tasted, but it was better when I mixed my fruit in.  And super convenient to throw it on my Nutribullet and run out the door in the morning.  And it really kept me full.

Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep shake

More like vomit in a cup.  You have chug it.  It's only 8 oz.  I actually had a pep talk with myself on day 3 and said that if I could get through chemo, I could tackle this 8 oz of vomit in a cup.  I think it was more the texture of it that bothered me than the taste.  It turns into a gooey gel as soon as you mix it up.  Bleh.

Lunch: a fruit serving and veggie serving plus a healthy fat with the Vanilla Fresh shake

Shake was not amazing, but light years ahead of vomit in a cup.  I wish they did a chocolate one though.  I'm not a fan of the vanilla shakes in general.

Afternoon Snack: veggie serving with a healthy fat

Dinner: option from the list of dinner recipes (all veggies and a little healthy fat) and a vanilla fresh shake

 DAY 1

My biggest mistake was starting on a busy day.  I had a full day of depositions scheduled for Monday-my first in FOUR years!  I drank my breakfast shake on the drive up and then I wasn't able to do the Fiber Sweep until after 2pm.  I went way too long without eating and felt like crap because of it.  Then I tried to mix up the Fiber shake in the car and ran out of was just all a hot mess.  I had no idea it turned to goo after you mix it.  I stopped in a parking lot shortly after that to scarf down my lunch of baby carrots and grapes.  I should have just waited until Tuesday to start!  Oh, and it is recommended that you cut out coffee.  First deposition in four years is not the day you want to cut out coffee.  I had a headache all day.  By the end of Day 1, I was a disaster.  All I wanted was a big bowl of yummy pasta.  But I had a cucumber and tomato salad instead.  It did taste good, but I still wanted pasta.  I wish I had taken some pictures of my dinners to make this blog post a little more interesting, but I was too damn hangry to think of that!


When I woke up on Day 2, I was surprisingly not famished!  I felt pretty good.  I was still a little groggy throughout the day, but I wasn't starving.  I made my kale with pine nuts dinner and the cravings for carbs were still there but definitely not as bad as before.  The dinner was surprisingly satisfying...well, as much as eating a bunch of kale for dinner can be.


On Day 3, I woke up feeling even better.  I was over the shakes and only eating veggies by lunch time though.  I had to choke down my afternoon cucumbers.  Dinner was a little easier since I had some roasted asparagus with pine nuts again (the recipe said sliced almonds, but all I had was pine nuts).  I really needed to eat something cooked, so I chose a cooked dinner option.  Nick ordered pizza for dinner (he asked me if it was okay first).  Oh man was that hard!  I thought about food for the rest of the night.


My final results?  2.6 pounds and 1 inch off my waist.  Womp, womp.  Yes, I am happy with an inch off my waist.  But it's still discouraging to only have lost 2.6 pounds, which is a pretty typical fluctuation for me anyway.  Especially when all those skinny bitches out there are blogging about dropping 5-8 pounds!  I have two theories on this: (1) Tamoxifen is just going to make me fat forever, or at least for the next four to nine years that I take it; or (2) I was already eating pretty clean so I just wasn't going to have the massive 5-8 pound weight loss that others have.  I'm going with theory 2!

I definitely don't feel as bloated, which is something I have REALLY struggled with since my treatments and surgeries.  I retain water like crazy!  And 1 inch around the waist is definitely a good number, so I'm focusing on that rather than the scale.  My cravings are much more manageable.  Plus, I feel that I have more control over my portion sizes.  Portion control is a big weakness of mine.  I generally eat pretty healthy foods.  But even healthy food makes you fat if you eat too much of it.

I have a two day break until my 21 Day Fix arrives.  I am trying to make good choices until then so I don't undo those 2.6 pounds! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monsters, Inc. 3rd Birthday Party

Yes, I am officially the worst blogger in the world.  I have two good excuses, though.

1.  Nick has been hogging the computer lately cause he is OBSESSED with a computer game.  Yes, I married a huge nerd!

2.  I am totally exhausted after work these days!

We had another big day around here.  My baby turned THREE!  I can't even believe it.  This year was sort of a milestone for me.  Last year, I was still too run down (and broke) to do a big party, so we just had family over for ice cream and cupcakes (which I just realized I never blogged!).  This year, I got to throw the party I wanted to be able to give my boy!  This also served as a good distraction from the fact that I am super sad that I haven't been able to make Nicky a big brother now that he is getting older, but that's for another post.

Nicky first saw Monsters, Inc. a few months ago.  For weeks and weeks after that, we had to watch it at least three to four times a day. He would wake up and the first thing out of his mouth was a request for "Mymowski and Sully."  When I asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted, his response was, " cream...cupcakes!"  No help, kid!  So we went with a Monsters, Inc. theme. 

We had the party at an indoor bounce house place, Monkey Joe's.  It was soooooo easy.  They did a great job!  But you can't bring in any outside food at all except for the cake, and you can't hang tape anything to the walls.  So I had to get creative with the decorations.  It was such a fun theme!  And most importantly, Nicky had SO much fun!

I made Boo's door from a wood box and some other supplies from Michael's. For the backdrop, I covered two foam boards with streamers.

The kids have to wear socks to bounce, so I figured I would do a tray of Monster socks since I couldn't put out any snacks.  I found Monsters University socks on Zullily!
For the hard hats, I spray painted some plastic construction hats and mod-podged on the Monsters Inc. logo.

 Everyone got a Scare Floor ID card.

The scream cans doubled as the goody bags. 

The giant Mike balloon was a hit with the kiddos.

And the best part...the cake!  

Getting ready to blow out some candles! 

Did  I mention that he fell on his face the night before the party?  My poor boy! 


happy birthday banner: Monarch Paper Creation
birthday shirt: Lilly's Bowtique
invites/id cards/scarer of the month sign: Madness and Method Craft Boutique
scream cans: and etsy
lanyards for IDs, construction hats, and mini beach balls: Oriental Trading
polka dot platters: Dollar Tree

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One Year Post-Chemo-Versary!

Last Friday marked one year since my last chemo treatment.  And the beginning of getting my life back.  I just re-read this post for the first time since I wrote it.  It feels like an eternity ago.  It was by far the hardest thing I have ever been through.  Today, life is mostly just normal.  So blissfully normal.  Sometimes when I get stressed out about work, I stop myself to take a moment and just savor it.  Yes, I enjoy the stress.  It wasn't too long ago that I desperately wished for these normal problems.  Cancer does still cross my mind multiple times throughout the day, and I am still dealing with a lot of emotional issues.  I cry a lot, mostly out of relief.  But, overall, I am doing pretty effing awesome.  So far, I have been lucky enough not to have any lingering side-effects from the chemo with the exception of this stubborn steroid weight gain! There are still long term side effects that may pop up down the road.  When you're up against something like cancer, you have to learn to take life one day at a time, which has not been easy for the planner in me.  So I just keep reminding myself today I am cancer free and healthy...and for that I am thankful!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yes, I'm Still Here!

So it's been awhile since I've posted.  And yes, everything is okay!  Better than okay, actually.  And that's why I've been so absent...I'm terrified!  I'm so scared to let my guard down and trust that this is behind me.  I'm scared that the life I so desperately wanted back will be taken away.  I'm scared of having to watch the world go on for everyone else while I'm too sick to do anything but lay in bed.  My scars are slowly fading, my hair is growing back...but I just keep waiting for the bottom to drop out again.  So I'm trying to conquer my fears and finally say it is so good!

One of the biggest life changers that has happened...I am now a practicing attorney again!  For the first time since I was pregnant.  I was terrified that no one would ever hire me with my limited experience, health issues, and a young child.  But then, the perfect job fell into my lap...a friend from high school who is a paralegal at a firm here posted on Facebook that they were looking for help, and my past experience was a perfect fit for what they needed.  Two days later, I had a job offer.  Now, being able to buy a home by the end of the year is definitely an attainable goal.  I want a home of our own SO BADLY that it hurts.  Although I'm sad that I don't get to be with Nicky as much, keeping my mind busy has done wonders for my post-treatment anxiety. And the extra income allows us to do so much more than we could before.  We might actually go on a family vacation this year! 

So on that note, I will leave you with my attempt at a selfie to show off my new hair!  I was a bridesmaid for my cousin recently.  I was bald when she got engaged, and I remember worrying that I'd still look like a cancer patient at her wedding.  I'm so glad my hair has been growing in so quickly!  It's still way too short for me, but I'm starting to recognize myself a little more each day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baked Tomato Artichoke Chicken

Now that the craziness of the holidays are behind us, I've really been focusing on our diets.  Mostly to plan meals in advance and stick to it so we don't wind up spending money and eating unhealthy take out.  In the past two weeks, we only ate out twice.  One of these was already planned as Nick's Aunt and Uncle were in town so we met up with them for dinner.  And this past Friday, we decided to go for a pizza to get out of the house for some family time.  So I'm pretty happy with myself.  I went through pinterest to find some new ideas for easy and clean meals.  I even made a lasagna for the first time.  I'm Italian, but somehow I had never made a lasagna before!  I feel like I cheated using the no-boil noodles, but that was the only whole wheat variety that I could find at Whole Foods.

I also made a delicious Baked Tomato and Artichoke Chicken dish.  I was a little worried Nick wouldn't like the artichokes, but he loved it!

I started with this recipe, but made a few changes.  I used a can of drained artichokes (in water, not oil) and about half a carton of cherry tomatoes (that was what I had on hand and they were about to go bad).  I like my chicken breasts to be really thin, so I butterflied a couple bigger ones.  Then, I salt and peppered them and put them in the baking dish with the artichokes and tomatoes around them.  I drizzled some olive oil on top and then put it in the oven, which had been preheated to 350.  After about 30 minutes, I added some fresh mozzarella that I shredded myself and broiled it until the top was nice and brown.  I've been shredding all my own cheese after finding out that the pre-shredded has unnecessary additives that may be derived from tree bark that keep it from clumping!  I went to add some fresh basil once it was done as instructed in the original recipe, but apparently the fresh basil I put in my cart at the grocery store earlier that day did not make it home.  I'm pretty sure I have Nicky to thank for that!  I served it over some whole wheat pasta, and it was delicious!  There will be a lot of liquid in the pan, but it made a good sauce for the pasta.  I even used the leftover artichokes and tomatoes to make a delicious grilled goat cheese sandwich for lunch the next day.