Tag Archives: oatmeal

Quick snapshots of our new normal

Sam was woken at 5.45 by George’s meows… normally we would leave him to yell it out, but he heard Wes going downstairs, and that’s (quite reasonably) ball game for sleep for Sam, so I took him into our bed. Then ensued 40 minutes of me trying to sleep, while Sam told me everything on his mind: “Mummy has hair…. Oh, Mummy hair nice…. Nice Mummy….” [rubs hair] “Georgus crying… Georgus cry…”

“No Sam, George was meowing…”

“Meow? Meow!” [cue several minutes mewing like a cat. “Thomas! Thomas got stuck on the bridge…. Bridge shake, shake… Percy came, Oh Percy…. OH PERCY” and so on, plus of course, several requests for milk.

But it was nice, he did snuggle well, and I enjoyed having him close. Then up, and dressed at the speed of light, and out into the pre-packed car:



Ugh, the totally over packed car:


Then off to school, except I am about 2 hours earlier than usual which means:


TRAFFIC. School traffic. UGH. But after 30 mins we get to the Y and Sam is:


Well, it is alright for some, eh? Luckily he wakes up quickly and is excited to get his backpack on:


We enter daycare, and I tell Sam he has to go to his classroom. He barrels off, ahead of me and the Director (how does he know where to go??):


Finds the classroom, and immediately joins in circle time. He sits down, sees what the other kiddos are doing and copies them, building quite a fine lego tower:


Since things are going so well, I hastily depart and make my way to the office and enjoy a new treat:


Our teeny tiny car instead of our big huge truck, in the teeny tiny work garage. No more 20 million point turns! Woo hoo! I make my way to my desk. It is 8 am, I haven’t usually left the house by now… I’m not impressed:


But hey, I make  myself a big breakfast (OK reheat my premade breakfast) of my old standby: pumpkin oatmeal:

IMG_8077 and without further ado start work, since I have nothing else to do (and am usually at home, possibly still in bed at this time).

I am sure the novelty will wear off, but it was not a bad start! Long may it continue.


A (working) day in the life

From another work day... but it will do.

From another work day… but it will do.

2 am: Day begins now. I am sure my days used to end about now. I feed Sam, settle him down and begin the first pump of the day. I try to do something vaguely productive on the computer while pumping. I Fail. I start sleepily going crazy on pintrest, gathering ideas for the organization of my craft stuff .

4 am: Sam stirs… I refeed Sam, and enjoy the quiet breastfeeding bond, marvel at his drunken sleepy drinking, and his smile when done. I try to settle Sam in his crib. Fail no 2 of the day. Oh well, guess he’d better come into bed with me… which means no pumping (guess I didn’t try very hard…).

7 am: Alarm goes off on my iPad. Ha! with my alarm app it automatically goes onto snooze. Awesome. I don’t even have to angrily flail an arm, and the world is shut out a while longer. I snuggle closer to Sam.

Sam HATES waking up

Sam HATES waking up

7.30: The incessant, 5-minutely snooze alarms get to me. I decide I will indeed get up, put the light on, and go to wake Sam. Sam is as unimpressed as usual. He pretends this cruel wake-up is not happening and valiantly struggles to stay asleep, shielding his eyes from the light and snuggling closer to me. I sit him up and snap on the light. He looks like I feel. He even shuts his eyes and pretends to still be asleep. Before he realizes what has happened, I run downstairs and put my coffee and steel cut oats on.

But cheers up quickly

But cheers up quickly

7.35: Back upstairs, when he comes to he realizes it is a new day, Happy-Sam kicks in. His beautiful smile wakes me up, and cheers me up, and galvanizes me more than any coffee. We get up and get dressed. I always choose proper outfits for him, for totally selfish reasons. I am sure Sam would love to stay in a sleepsuit all day, but I like making him look smart.

Smart AND happy

Smart AND happy

7.45 We go and wake Dad. He is the only one of the three of us who wakes quickly and fairly perkily. Ugh. I leave Sam with him and go to get my coffee (OK, so Sam galvanizes me, but not that much). Even though it is decaffeinated, I need my fake coffee before I can deal with the world. Which is unfortunate as there is dealing to be done.

I burned my oatmeal.

Yup. Burned oatmeal.

In my dopey state I decide that the thing to do is just scrape off the burned bits and cook the rest. Mmmmm… black bits in my oatmeal.

Mmmm... burned breakfast. Today is going to be AWESOME.

Mmmm… burned breakfast. Today is going to be AWESOME.

I pour coffee. Enough for 4 cups (2 in my giant mug; 2 on the way to work). Add 1/2 a banana and vanilla protein powder to the oatmeal and go and bring Sam down. Sam lies in his pack and play. Thus begins his daily battle with: The elephants. What passes between Sam and the elephants every day for 20 minutes will have to remain known only by Sam. But, every day, there is talking, yelling, hilarity and often, anger and tears, followed by more hilarity. Fair enough.

Oh those elephants

Oh those elephants

Look, I even did that annoying thing new parents do where they take a video of their child doing something very mundane and ordinary, but think it is wonderfully hilarious and so share it:

While this is happening, I dash upstairs to get dressed. This is easy peasy. I am still a dress size bigger than pre-pregnancy, so bless Target and their ‘cut for curvy hips’ range: I went a bought one pair of plain trousers which I wear every day. They go with all my tops, so throwing those on, grabbing a top and putting my hair in a ponytail (or, if I am feeling fancy, a bun) takes all of 4 minutes. Why didn’t I figure this out before? All those wasted hours.

8 am: Feed Sam and go upstairs to pump, taking my oatmeal with me. Pumping in the morning is always SLOW for some reason, I often takes 45 mins – an hour to drain, so I start my work – clearing up emails, finishing reviews and making a neat to do list for the day.

9.15: Eeek, I hoped to leave at 9. I blindly grab an assortment of packets for lunch, clean and pack up the pump, get my coffee refill and off I go.

9.45: Now begins the endless work-pump-eat- cycle, punctuated only by consuming massive amounts of fluid. We get about three rotations before the day is out. I am trying to establish a decent milk supply so my pumping schedule is crazy. My first pump is usually ~10.30, takes to 11.20. I clear up until 11.30 and at 12.20 it is time to set the whole thing up again. That 50 minutes off the pump flies by and it seems like I am always hooked up to the darn thing.

I’ll be honest: I am not sustaining this 2-hourly pump schedule forever. I will use it to establish a supply, and maintain for  2 weeks. But then I am going back to every 3 hours, and if I can’t maintain a supply with that, then I guess Sam can have more formula. It is interrupting to my work, and depressing to do it all day every day.

Anyway, first task of the day: Gain access to data from the MESA study. I spent all yesterday getting my ethical approval to do the analysis. Now to get the data. MESA send me a form. UT need to sign this form. I call the bod at UT who needs to sign it. He says I have to get another form signed, before he will sign the form. Really… you think I am making this up, but there are forms to be signed to get a form signed. I run up and down and left and right getting it filled in and collecting 2 more signatures (only one person had a form for me to sign to get the form signed to get the original form signed. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, THIS ISMY LIFE), and scanning and PDF-ing and generally not doing any Science. I have to say, both UT and MESA people are very nice and extremely helpful.

Quite an achievement (for me: a 'low supplier').

Quite an achievement (for me: a ‘low supplier’).

12.30. Yeah, I am pumping again. But now I get lunch. Let’s see: what did I grab in my haste? Let’s see: A packet of ‘hot multigrain cereal’ (read: over priced oatmeal) and a packet of herb and garlic tuna. Well. That’s just lovely. I eat the tuna and then feel guilty about not eating enough carbs to make milk, so I make the cereal and throw in some old blackberries I had left in the fridge and the remain of a Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar from UAB, which has gone white with age. It is surprisingly delicious. SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS I SAID.

Delicious, ya hear me?

Delicious, ya hear me?

Back to work. Or… form signing. Yeah, this is why I went through 8 additional years of education.

2.30: Oh look, you caught me pumping. Funny that. I am also having a delightful instant decaff coffee. How depressing. I used to at least have a Starbucks coffee from UT’s cafe but I fell out with the server there when he threatened to call the manager because I asked for souvlaki in my souvlaki sandwich. Don’t ask.

4 pm: HOME! Now I get some Sam cuddles, some pumping (of course), and a run. I get into my black ‘n’ pink gear (always with the black n pink), including my favorite hot pink top. My favorite hot pink top given to me by a girl much slimmer than me, even when I wasn’t post partum. A foolish move, and I run with my belly attractively hanging out.

Running time

Running time

Even pink shoes:


And really waddle my way through 2 miles at 9:30 a mile. I am pissed. With relative ease, just 11 months ago, I used to bang out 9 miles at 8:30 a mile. Seriously: I don’t think I have recovered from the 10 unit transfusion. I think, even given pregnancy, this pace tells me that my body is not recovered fully. I have never known my heart rate get up to 220 bpm and me make so little progress: even serious sprints would only touch that before. So, I guess I am still anemic, and my heart has to work extra hard to get oxygen around. It sucks, but it is what it is. I am off to the OB next week to have a blood count to see what the damage at 3 months postpartum is. I am persevering though. Not as much as I should be, but I am.

Pathetically exhausted after 1.8 miles

Pathetically exhausted after 1.8 miles

5.30: More Sam cuddles and the highlight of my day: bath time. Sam and I clamber into the bath together, and splash and sing songs and generally be ridiculous.

Post bath smugness

Post bath smugness

6 pm: I feed Sam (expressed milk this time… my supply seems to be dead after 4 pm) and he comes down while Daddy & I have steak. Yeah… I am lady muck, I get my dinner cooked for me EVERY (week)night. And my laundry folded. And my dishes washed. Boom. This was why I went through those 8 years of study I mentioned (not the chance to make a real difference o human health: I was in it for the lazy lifestyle). Sam’s not very impressed by the steak / milk bait n switch. But I worked so hard for the milk!



8 pm: It is time to put Sam down. He drinks a whopping 8 oz of expressed milk (THIS is why (1) I am up at 4 am pumping and (2) He gets 2-4 oz formula every day. That boy can eat), but as usual, goes down fairly rapidly. He sure will tell us if he is NOT ready to go to sleep though.

8.30: Work, work work (today, other days it is either Dexter, Once Upon a Time or American Horror Story) until my last pump of the evening. If I am watching AHS, Evan Peters makes milk fly out of me, which is really twisted as he is physically not attractive, so I must like his personality, and he always plays super needy killers. I am a sick puppy.

Yay! A whole 3 hours uninterrupted sleep ahead of me.

Yay! A whole 3 hours uninterrupted a head of me.

11 pm: All pumped out, and ready for bed. See y’all in 3 hours time. Zzzzzzz.

Is this what you imagined my life 9 weeks postpartum would be?

DAMY weeks 3&4, training week 4 and a new oatmeal. Oh my!

Clearly, it has been too long since I wrote, as there is much to update. As this is fairly self-serving, I am sweetening the deal with a new ‘Oatmeal of Awesomeness‘ at the end. I betcha can’t wait.

DAMY weeks 3&4

So.. DAMY weeks 3 and 4. These have been HARD! Week 3 I could not understand why I was feeling hungrier… why I really needed a late night snack… then along came TOTM. So, that would explain it, then. It made me flake out on one workout. Week 4 was hard for a different reason: I received some extremely sad news early on, which threw me a bit of a curve ball. Then, I got bitten by a fire ant and discovered I am extremely, anaphylatically allergic to such things. Even just one bite. 2 steroid shots (one not being enough, apparently), a Benadryl shot, several steroid tablets and an additional bottle of Benadryl later we can safely say: Ants: 1 Lekki:0. I HATE steroids. Yes, they let me live (which is indeed a benefit), but they also make me grumpy, paranoid and mess with my appetite and sleep (up the former, drop the latter. Boo). They also utterly inhibit my ability to repair from sports (just at a time when I need sports to chill me out).

Then work went crazy with my K99 score coming back ‘on the border of funding’ (the right side of the border for last year – but who knows what this year will be?). It was so anti-climactical, and disappointing, and frustrating and exhausting. So… it has been wonderful to be on DAMY (surprisingly). I have had 2 weeks of healthy, tasty meals planned and prepared that I have got to eat without thinking about them. No stress. I have also (due to a dip in sports – see below) been able to focus on the journey to a healthy body and mind, and look long-term, rather than focus on every day, and every minutiae. Huzzah!

So, those stats. Starting / after 2 weeks / after 4 weeks:
Weight: 143.5 lbs. / 138.5 / 135.5

Chest: 38 / 37 ” / 37 ”

Waist: 30″ / 29″ / 28″

Hips: 38″ / 37″ / 37″

So, I lost 3 lbs in the last two week, for a grant total of 8 lbs in 4 weeks and am very happy. I am much more toned and looking forward to starting on weeks 5-8 (phase 2).

Training for Tough Mudder – week 4.

Hmmmm…. in terms of achieving my goals, this was an utter disaster! With exhaustion, hospital visits, inhibited recovery and all the goal of: “To just do it and not stress about it” – i.e. follow the plan. Yeah. Well, plan and actuality went like this:

Thursday:  DAMY weights A, 45 min kickboxing – DONE!

Friday – DAMY HIIT on the track (yuck) – Changed. Dropped due to TOTM exhaustion

Saturday – Steady state (5K, running for Diabetes) and DAMY weights B – DONE

Sunday – REST (double yuck) – Changed due to dropping Friday. Did a trail run: 1.5 miles uphill, jog back down. Stretch. Repeat. Took me about an hour and half (!)

Monday: Steady state cardio (5K run if knees OK, dreaded elliptical if not) + weights (workout C) – Changed Dropped due to allergy! Too many shots, too much need to recover. Like Friday, I sat on my lazy butt! I actually did this Tuesday.

Tues: DAMY interval training with bodyweight exercises – Changed, as was doing Monday’s workout. I did this Wednesday.

Weds: REST – changed as I was doing Tuesday’s workout.

So, I did not stick to the plan at all! And it has knocked my week 5 training plan out, as I tried to workout on Thursday, but dearly needed a rest. Hmmm. Actually, an accumulation of all the above: I seriously need some rest for body and mind. Tough Mudder is 4 months away: I have some wriggle room. As long as I keep my long runs up, I should not lose too much fitness. That being said, here is my

Week 5 plan:

Thursday:  DAMY weights A, (DONE!)

Friday – REST (yuck) –

Saturday – Steady state 6 mile jog

Sunday – Steady state cross train (30 min trail run; 2 hour hike); weights DAMY B

Monday: 30 min interval run; Weights DAMY D (legs)

Tues: REST

Weds: Steady state (4 miles); DAMY C.

This is not ideal, as it misses out a lot of my HIIT. But, I think I have to sacrifice that for r ‘n’ r and hope it makes me come back stronger. Next week we have my first trail run 🙂

A new Oatmeal.

Mmmmm…. this is so good. Definitely worth listening to that one giant moan for 🙂

Apple crisp Oatmeal:

1/2 sharp green apple (like granny smith)
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 scoop Vanilla protein powder (I use ON casein creamy vanilla)
cinnamon to taste
1/2 tsp all spice
toasted pecans

Bring water to the boil. Stir in oats. Grate in apple and stir. Stir in cinnamon to taste and all spice. Let cook for 4 minutes, stirring all the while. When cooked, stir in protein powder and add water to desired consistency. Top with walnuts. Enjoy the deliciousness. It tastes really like the artificially flavoured versions, but is pretty ‘clean’. The apple adds a nice texture too.

Carrot cake oatmeal

Cake-taste for breakfast

A new oatmeal. This is not so good post-running as it doesn’t have the casein protein that helps keep me full, and I thought could help fat loss if ingested after exercise., but now I find this unsubstantiated in the literature. Anyway, this oatmeal was created when I woke up on Saturday and really wanted to go to iHop for pancakes for breakfast, but am trying to stickk to my ‘only eating out twice a week’ rule. I wanted something decadent, and healthy. It did well.

1/2 cup pre cooked oats oats in water
1/2 cup milk – I used 1%
1 cup grated carrot (10 baby carrots)
1/4 cup egg whites (makes it creamier)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
Sweetenerof your choice – e.g. 1 tbsp sugar / brown sugar OR agave OR 1 tsp splenda

Fill the pan with the oats and carrot, but sort of half and half so the carrot is on one side and the oats on the other (as above)
Pour the milk on the carrots
Simmer over a low heat for 5 mins (don’t worry if the ingredients mix a bit)
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients
When well mixed return to the heat and cook until the egg white is thoroughly cooked

Optional toppings: pecans; flax seed (my choice); cottage cheese blended with sweetener and cinnamon

More appealing in taste than sight.

Indulge, guilt free 🙂 (Disclaimer: food should not come with guilt blah blah blah).

266 calories – 3.8g fat / 42.3g carbs / 14.75g protein

Oatmeals of awesomeness

Raspberry and cashew nut oatmeal

Oatmeal for breakfast is my new ‘thing’. Mainly because it is about the only thing that reliably keeps my hunger at bay for 4 hours. No mean feat when I am likely to have run 7 miles or lifted 120 lbs in that time. But, just plain oatmeal is… well… plain. Naturally I slough off any of the ‘flavoured’ oatmeals because they are usually too full of sugar, too instant (too high GI) and too fake tasting. Hence I am working on developing the greatest oatmeals ever. Here are two of them:

Chocolate and Peanut butter oatmeal:

1/2 cup dried oatmeal, made with water, 1/2 packet of splenda (or sugar) and 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder. When it is done, take off the heat and stir in 3 egg whites (optional but does not taste of eggs and makes it thick and creamy). Beat over the heat until the egg white is cooked, serve topped with a tbsp of crunchy peanut butter. Happy days 🙂

Kcals: 302; Fat: 10.93, Protein: 21.88; Carbs: 30.56 (sugar: 2.81).

chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal

OK, in some ways it looks a little gross, but it tastes *amazing*

Raspberry and Cashew nut:

1/2 cup dried oatmeal, made with water. Add 3 egg whites as above (optional). Top with raspberries, cashew nuts and heavy cream. Drool.

Made with 6 cashew nuts, 10 raspberries and 1/2 tbsp of cream: Kcals: 286; Fat: 9.91, Protein: 18.81; Carbs: 31.39 (sugar: 2.58).