Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome Xavier!

It's been a while since I posted anything, mainly because I've just been too lazy, but also because my little nephew decided he needed to make an early appearance! My sister-in-law (Elise, who we all love very much!)wasn't due until March 17, but instead went into labor February 21st (my 1 year wedding anniversary). Let me run you through the events of that day.

I get a phone call on Tuesday, the 21st, around 11am, from my brother screaming, "Julie, where you at? The baby's coming!" I did not believe him at first because we are a family that is very sarcastic, pranksters, teasers...but he kept on saying he wasn't joking, that Elise's water broke that morning at her OBGYN appointment...I finally hear my sister-in-law in the background telling someone that she was in labor...that's when I believed! 3 weeks early, and she was already 5cm dilated!!! Holly crap, we were not prepared to go this early! I mean, I had made a list of stuff we were needing to take (because we would be cooking for them) and we didn't want to end up getting there and run out of clean undies :/ or not be able to charge a phone (yes, I have forgotten my phone charger) I was prepared this time with my handy list of everything we HAD to pack, and everything we had to purchase at the grocery store...well, I wasn't able to go grocery shopping because my husband had my debit card :( Anyway, so I immediately call my husband at work and let him know what's going on...he had the OK to take a week of in March for the babies arrival, but at 3 weeks early, I didn't think they'd let him go, but thank goodness his boss let him go!!! We had planned on renting a car (to avoid adding additional miles to our cars), but this happening so fast made it impossible to rent a car...I mean, we do have to be able to pay our utilities. We had planned on celebrating our anniversary in a cheap manner (since we get to pay Uncle Sam this year) by watching a movie at home and having a pizza, wings, and beer. We didn't end up having a beer (thank god! I don't need those additional calories!) So Elise was progressing rapidly, 7cm right away...they told her it would be quick...but the baby changed his mind, so they scheduled a C-section :(

So our plan was to go to sleep right away so we could be on the road around 3am (it is a 10 hour drive), but we were unable to sleep at all so we hit the road around 11pm. Around 2:30, we get a call from my brother saying that little Xavier was born at 1:51am! We took turns sleeping and driving all night long, and arrived there at 9am, tired but excited. Little Xavier was so tiny and precious! Love at first sight!!! My niece, Evey, was so excited! She just loves her little brother so much! My brother was so happy, so excited! I could tell he had cried (there's a difference in sleep deprived eyes and eyes that have been crying), and knowing my little brother (he is emotional, which is a good thing!) I knew he had cried even though he wouldn't admit can a daddy not cry when their baby is born! He likes to act like Mr. Tough Guy, but we all know he's kind hearted :D He is such a good daddy...dressing baby, swaddling him, even changing poopy diapers!

Boy do they have a precious baby! He only cries when he gets his diaper changed :D He is such a smart baby (I know everyone thinks that of their kids), but little Xavier really is! The doctors told them that, since he was a preemie, it would be a while before he could open his eyes....nope, Xavier opened his eyes on his first day! The following day, he started lifting his head up! The following days, his little eyes followed the sound of his mommy and daddy, then he started turning his head "looking" for whoever was speaking...already growing up so fast :( He's going to be one smart baby! So excited for my brother and sister-in-law! Welcome home little Xavier!
such a proud daddy :D
the entire family!
3 generations
she is so gentle with him :D

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Losing it for good!

So, I have been on this "lifestyle change" for a little over a month now and I mus say, I'm quite impressed with myself! I have started this "change" in the past and I would lose weight, but then I would gain it all back plus more because to me, dropping a pound would mean I got to munch on goodies a little more :D I know, stupid! "But I go to the gym everyday, why does my weight not go down?!" Who would have thought that going to the gym alone and not changing your eating ways wouldn't really do much?! Seriously, who would have thought that?!

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Growing up, I was extremely really really skinny that I was anemic (I still remember having to take that nasty medicine every single day, two times a day)...I also had (and continue having) digestive issues (like I would poop like a bunny/goat every two to three days...and that's so not normal!) HEY, MAYBE EVEY TAKES AFTER ME :D I mean, after all, I am her aunt! By digestive issues, I mean extreme bloating after any and every meal...and by extreme, I mean I looked pregnant, very pregnant! I had gas up the wazoo, I had severe heartburn and acid reflux! Anyway, I was skinny until I graduated from high school, that's when we moved to Georgia...boy did I gain weight when we moved to Georgia! I mean, who wouldn't gain weight staying at "home" all day everyday, not knowing anyone, not having anything to do except eat? Yes, I did have a job (actually two!), but I didn't know anyone! I worked 4pm-1am at a grocery store, then I would work from 7:45am-5:30pm at a dentist...I had no life (not like I was looking for one), but having no life means having no friends, no one to hang out with, no one to talk to...I only had my siblings (not that it's a bad thing :D it brought us close that me and my sister became good friends...and that's a good thing because we hated each other! like seriously hated!!! but that's another story) So yeah, all I would do was eat...I guess I was replacing something with food :/ sad to say...and I continued gaining weight even once I met my now husband (I guess finding love didn't make me want to lose any weight!) So for the last eight years I have been overweight (based on my age and height)...It's actually quite sad to think that I've been overweight for EIGHT didn't seem that long ago that we left California! But eight years was too long! Time for a permanent change!

I don't have a certain number in mind when it comes to losing weight anymore...I used to, but I would quickly get discouraged when I didn't see any change...I just want to be happy with my body, no matter what the scale says, nor what society says. I want to be healthy...I want to feel good...I want to poop regularly! (it's my blog, if you don't like what I'm saying, don't read it...simple as that) What caused this whole change? I mean, I have been this "fat" for eight years, I must have not cared enough to want to change all those years...why now? I'll tell you why! Contrary to what some family members might think/ husband and I do plan on having kids, really soon :D And what happens when you get pregnant? You gain weight! I am convinced that I will be one of those people that gains a million pounds and gets extremely swollen, and never ever loses any of that pregnancy weight. I do not want that! I want to prevent that! I don't want to continue looking awful! So it's now or never :D

This is me in November 2011. Yes, my jeans are too tight, but I still wear them because they're the only ones that fit. No, I can't button my jacket. Yes, my thighs rub together.

No I am not pregnant. Yes, the buttons on the jacket are barely holding on, but at least I was able to button them, so ha!. Yes, my face is fat.

So here's what's worked so far! And by worked, I mean I've lost 10 pounds and kept them off! I have been counting calories (something I have done before but never continued with...I guess you can say I was never serious about this, until now). I have been using this app and I love it! It's quite sad to think of all of the calories I used to eat...I don't know the exact number because I never did count them...I just know it's a lot based on the calories I consume now! It's not easy "counting calories", but it has been easier this time! I was quite surprised at the number of calories the food I ate had! What also surprised me was the serving sizes! Holly cow! I was eating like a cow! I have also started eating healthier...and by healthier I mean eating more fruits and veggies...replacing ground beef with ground turkey, adding flax seed to everything, and not eating out as often as I used to. Yes, we still eat out, but now I look at the nutrition facts before we eat at a certain restaurant, and I minimize my food intake once we're there. I have also stopped drinking soda (I still have a sip or two every now and then, because I do love Pepsi and sweet tea), but I have upped my water consumption, like I have been drinking over eight cups of water a day! Seriously...I have! I take my water bottle everywhere with me!!! The down side of that is that I have to pee all the time! Like every five megusta :( but I know water is great for me! Another positive side of drinking all this water is to try to prevent me from getting kidney stones! Both my brother and my sister have had kidney stones, they get it from my dad, and I do not want any! No thank you.

January 2012. Same jeans and jacket. No, jean's are not as tight as they were before. Yes, jacket is buttoned, and the buttons are not holding on for dear life! Still same fat face.

Let me tell you, just doing that has really worked for me! It has really helped with my digestive issues!!! I also have a lot more energy...I know eating poorly also drains your energy, so obviously eating better changes that...but I do feel the difference at the gym!!!!! I can now run a full mile on the treadmill without much trouble! (I could barely run half a mile before I would seriously start panting, cramping, and overall feeling horrible). Who would have thought that eating fatty foods could really affect that? I used to think that I couldn't run longer distances because of my weight, but it actually was because of what I was eating...seriously! The other day we had Panda Express (bowl only for me, unlike the usual 1 side, 2 entree I used to eat), I went to the gym the following day like usual, and I could not even run half a mile! And it's not a coincidence, because the same thing happened last time we had Five Guys...I seriously have trouble just trying to run half a mile without feeling horrible and just giving up! No more eating out like that for me! I feel way better when I don't eat out, and I love it! It has also cleared up my skin! Now I only break out when I'm going to get my period...curse you female reproductive organs!

For now, I just have to continue testing my will power, because boy does my husband love to eat out (so do I, but I don't want to anymore!)...seriously, he is constantly asking if I want Burger king, or if I want Thai food (which I love!), or if I am craving pizza...I seriously think he is out to sabotage me! We agreed that we would not be purchasing anything unhealthy at the grocery store, and I do the grocery shopping so I have been very successful at keeping those things out of my home...but the other day, he wakes up before me, goes to the grocery store, and comes back with a six pack of beer, a giant bag of Doritos, and a king size Reese's chocolate! *gasp* He said it was a treat for us for doing such a great job (which I appreciate), but seriously? I already have a difficult time using my will power to not buy those things, now it's in my cupboard just begging me to eat them! He does this regularly :/ so I finally had to get upset and FORBID him from bringing those things home...yes, forbid! I think that's the only way I can convince him to stop! We'll see how long that lasts.

So yes, I shall continue in this journey and continue eating healthy...not just for me, but also for my future babies...I want them to eat healthy, and feel good, and be happy...I also will need all the energies I can once I have babies, because we all know how much energy it takes to raise kids!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hipster fetus :D

So, my little brother is going to be a dad soon...good luck with that! Just kidding!! But seriously, I'm going to have a little nephew!!!! I am so excited, can you tell?! This will be the first little boy that we will be corrupting! We have already corrupted my little niece, sad to say! She is so spoiled with love...and I guess we can share the love with the new baby!
Isn't she the cutest?
My little nephew, Xavier (aka Professor X from X men :D, or pampers, or ñuñor), is already a hipster, and he hasn't even joined us in this wonderful world! This is going to be the fliest boy ever. Why? Because I said so :D I must admit, I was really hoping that it was a girl because girls are just so much cuter to dress...and boys don't really have many options when it comes to clothes...that is, until hipsters arrived into this planet!

There are so many cute hipster outfits on Etsy, but I am so not going to pay $25 for one onesie! I can pay $12 at Target and get a 5 pack and create my own. So that's what I did yesterday with the help of my wonderful husband :D It was a bit time consuming (maybe because it was the first time doing something like this), but it was so worth it! This is the post that inspired me...she has awesome and easy to follow directions!

He had iron duty :D
This is my absolute favorite one! I just love the colors!!

 I made two using the same fabric...different size onesies of course...because Daddy has a tie in a similar color, and I  thought it would be so cute for them to match! Hopefully my brother thinks so too!

I love the look of the simple black, true hipster.

These just make me think of nerdiness, poindexter, dweeb! It's going to look so cute on little Xavier!

This applique made me crack up when I saw it! It is so cute! And I thought of an awesome idea as I'm sitting here writing this! It's going to be so funny! I can't wait to do it!!!

This just says fancy, pinky up! Mm yes, indeed.

Bro, a frequently used word in the Perez household :D
This is going to be the illest lil' bro! True dat!

I couldn't leave my little nice out! She definitely wanted a little sister, so she's getting used to the idea of having a little brother. And what child doesn't have a hard time adjusting to any type of change, especially a baby! 

It took us quite some time to find the right shirt for this applique. A simple white shirt would have been the obvious choice, but white shirts are just too thin and see through...and I don't want a see through shirt for a little girl...there are too many pedobears out there and I don't want anyone thinking that way of my little girl! No ma'am! And yes, she could wear an undershirt...but this girl has way too much energy, she would be so uncomfortable and sweaty. And all of the shirts we came across already had designs, there weren't any simple ones. But while perusing the discount rack at Target, I found this cute shirt and knew it was the perfect colors!!! It was the last one left, and thank god it was her size! 

Aren't these the cutest shoes ever?! I know he won't be walking for a while, but I just could pass on these! Both were already on sale PLUS they were BOGO! Best deal ever!!!! Definitely hipster! 

I just hope some of these will stay in the family and be hand me downs, especially the shoes! :D it would be such a good family tradition to start! And it would be cheap too! But unfortunately that's not up to me :/ Hopefully my brother and my sister-in-law like these!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tortellini Soup

Ever since I came across this recipe, I have been making it quite often (not by my choosing, but because my husband loves it...what doesn't he love?). It is very delicious and versatile. Like usual, I first made this recipe exactly as I found it...and it is amazing...but I have also made it substituting different kinds of canned tomatoes, adding more spinach and different types of beans...anything I change still works! I try to use whatever I have on hand, and it is amazing.

Tortellini Soup adapted from Annie's Eats

1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices (used whole tomatoes, all I had)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
9 oz tortellini (used spinach and cheese stuffed)
3 cups fresh baby spinach
salt and pepper

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Turkey Chili

Today's weather is oh so great for chili! My husband is a huge fan of, not so much...but only because I do not like ground beef!!! So when he asked me to make chili, and this time substitute turkey for the ground beef (to make it healthier, of course!), I was a little hesitant, but it turned out great! I absolutely love this chili recipe, which calls for ground beef even tastes good with ground turkey!

Turkey Chili adapted from Sweat Pea's Kitchen

1 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can light red kidney beans, drained
cayenne pepper to taste

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground turkey into the hot pot, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Add onion, red pepper flakes, and the cumin; cook and stir until union is tender.
Pour in the tomato soup, chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in the beans and season with cayenne pepper; simmer for another 30 minutes.

We normally have this with saltine crackers (because I'm too lazy to make cornbread!), but I figured why not make some cornbread today! Yummy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spinach Tomato Orzo Soup

What is it with me and easy meals? I'm still trying to do the whole "no meat day" every week, so I was excited to see this recipe in my favorite site. It is really similar to a tortellini soup I've made before. While this is a really good quick meal, I think I'll stick with my tortellini soup (recipe soon to come!). (Btw, this makes a ton of soup! If I ever make this again, I'll definitely half this recipe.) 

Spinach Tomato Orzo Soup adapted from
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ lb fresh spinach
1 – 15 oz can diced Italian tomatoes (with oregano and basil)
1 lb orzo pasta
8 cups of chicken stock
4 cups of water

Preheat a large soup pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add onions and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, spinach, chicken stock, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

Add orzo and cook for 10 minutes, or until orzo is tender. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This year, we are about 600 miles away from home. What does that mean? It means that we're only about 10 hours away. What it really means is that my husband and I are on our own for the holidays...for the first time! We moved here only two months ago (seems a lot longer), so money's a little tight, especially for it being the holidays. We mostly decided not to go home because we thought it would supposedly snowed last year the week before Christmas...and since we have never driven in snow, we didn't want to risk our lives. Well, it didn't snow. It wasn't even really that cold! Oh well. But we are definitely going next year! So I'm calling dibs on my sister's bed and on my brother's spare room!  

We didn't really do much this weekend. I do not like large crowds, it's a little phobia of mine! And I do not like holiday crowds. No matter what type of deals there are, you will not see me waiting in line or fighting crazy people for something I could buy any time of the year...even if it twice as much...or even on line! No thank you! What we did do was drink lots of coffee and hot chocolate! Calories don't count during Christmas!!!! We also made popcorn! Not the fancy kind you pop in them there microwaves (I have a little redneck in me)...we made popcorn without a popper, on our stove!!! 

I worked in a movie theater in high school, so I've made a crap ton of popcorn on a fancy machine...I even have the scar to prove it (cleaning it was also a bitch!). The only reason I loved working at the movies was because I could eat all the popcorn I wanted! Delicious buttery popcorn! I can never get tired of it. Never ever! So, we usually buy a box or two of microwave popcorn every other time we go to the grocery store because my husband is addicted! It gets expensive...and very unhealthy! So we decided to stop...cold popcorn. This broke my heart, and my stomach. No megusta

So the only "healthier" and cheaper alternative would be using an air popper. Well, I already have too many gadgets, and I couldn't fit another gadget anywhere. So we figured why not make popcorn the good old fashion way and use a pan! So we did!!! It may not be soooo healthy, but it is healthier than buttered popcorn, and cheaper than microwave popcorn. So how did our first experience making popcorn go? I shall tell you.

It was very easy! I did go a little overboard adding a shit ton of kernels to the pan! It was pretty cool watching the kernels pop! Now let me tell you what happened once we thought they were done popping...the pan we used is a bit heavy, and since I have dainty muscles, I had my husband remove the lid while I poured the popcorn in our bowl. Well, as soon as he lifts the lid a little, kernels and popcorn start shooting out at us...going everywhere!...all over the counter and floor, inside the burners, under the dishwasher and the island! It was hilarious! Who would have thought hot popcorn kernels would hurt! The pictures don't do it justice.

 So overall, our Christmas Eve wasn't too bad. We had freshly made popcorn (which really was delicious!) and watching the Dog marathon (don't judge me. Yes, he's a nasty looking human being...but I just love the show!) and cuddled on the couch under our very warm blanket! (My hubby didn't even really complain much even though I did! My left ovary has been hurting, I think I'm dying!...but that's a whole different story.)