Friday, April 11, 2014

Yoga Videos on YouTube

For the past few months I've been involved in a work project that has kept me away from the Wednesday @ noon yoga class that my employer offers. I've been missing it SO MUCH. A noon class at work is really convenient. Little to no effort goes in to me actually getting there, and the teachers we've had are excellent.

I wanted to add a practice back into my week because I really love yoga, and I think it helps me focus and regroup. In the past I've done some of the free Yoga Journal podcasts, and I've liked those. Since my Samsung TV is connected to YouTube, I thought I would try out some of the free YouTube yoga videos.

But, let's face it, most yoga videos on YouTube are pretty bad. I've seen my fair share of folks who have recorded themselves in their tiny apartments on dirty carpet with dogs barking in the background. Not to mention the awful sequences in general and bad instructions.

But, I've found some gems, too, so I thought I'd share them . The first one is my favorite. The instructor, Ali Kamenova, has a beautiful Russian accent. Her hot body and the gorgeous Santa Cruz beach in the background doesn't hurt, either. This is a challenging sequence. I appreciate that she adds in a chaturanga between upward and downward dogs, creating a little "push up" in the sequence. Georgette, my yoga teacher in Clinton, added that little push up to her sequences, too, and I love it. This is more a of a strengthening sequence.

Energizing Morning "Coffee Cup" Sequence:

The other video I like is more of a flexibility sequence. It flows very quickly and is a great warm up for the body. Again, I love the beach setting. This one is less challenging physically, but a little harder to follow because she flows through the poses quickly.

Morning "Blush of Dawn" Routine:

If you are looking for some good, free routines, give these a try. Both are great for an intermediate yogi. I wouldn't suggest them for beginners. If you know of other YouTube gems that I should check out, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smoothie Kick

I've been on a green smoothie kick lately. It started with Lydia's babysitter. She would whip one up when she got to our house in the mornings and would often share with me. I was hooked.

I started making them myself a few weeks ago, and I love it! Here's the basic recipe I use.

1 cup flavored Kefir (I usually use strawberry or peach because that's what they have at Kroger)
1 large handful of greens (I've used kale, swiss chard, and spinach)
1/2 banana
1/2 cup fruit (raspberries, strawberries, mango, etc)
1 Tbsp black chia seeds (for fiber to feel full)
1 Tbsp flax seeds (protein for sustained energy)

Blend on low, then high until smooth. Add 1 cup ice if you like yours chilled. Blend on high until all ice is blended.

So, depending on what fruit you add, the smoothie will probably be brown or gray. Not green. But that doesn't bother me. I feel great getting in so many fruits and veggies first thing in the morning. I do find that sometimes I need a mid-morning snack when I just have a smoothie, so I keep Autumn Wheat Kashi at my desk to munch on.

Saturday, April 05, 2014


We picked up a trike with a steering handle at the recommendation of our friends. (Thank you, Leah!) Lydia LOVES it! We like it too.

We've been all over the place. Up and down the driveway FAST FAST FAST. Up the street and back. To the park and back. All over. Not a weekend has gone by that we did not use it. By next summer, I hope she can reach the pedals!

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Zoo!

We took Lydia to the Memphis Zoo last month. It was a great day to go - overcast but not raining. Lydia's favorite animals were the monkeys, big cats, and giraffes. She didn't last long in the sea lion show. I think we will be back many more times. I loved it!

On the train in the children's zoo.

Waving to the children and animals.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Eighteen Months

I had every intention to write a fifteen month post back in November, but as it often does, time got away from me. The holidays ramped up, then Lydia turned sixteen months old, seventeen, and now she is eighteen months and I haven’t written a baby update post in almost six months. 

So much has changed since her 12 month post that I really don't know how I'm going to fit it all in. I'll do my best to stick to the format I've been doing: developmental milestones, eating and sleeping routines, favorite things and activities.

We went to Dr. Singletary for Lydia's 18-month appointment on Thursday. She was 16 pounds even. That's up 1 lb 6 oz in the last 6 months. Not bad, but she is still so small! Dr. Singletary wasn't too worried about her weight since she is growing and eating well. Lydia still wears a size 12 months in clothes and size 3 in diapers.

Lydia is a champion quick crawler these days. She isn’t standing or walking on her own yet, but it won’t be long. She pulls up and cruises on everything and can walk using her walker wagon or by holding one of our hands. Her legs are gaining strength every day, so I know we will see those first steps soon. Her doctor said that we should only be concerned if she doesn't walk by 20-months (that is 18-months adjusted for her prematurity). 
Play time outside in the grass on a warm Saturday afternoon.
Lydia loves to jibber jabber. She can say a few words (mama, dada, cat, socks, shoes, pants, six, no, this, that, hot), a few phrases (Oh Wow! is her favorite), and loves to babble to herself and to us. I find it funny that many of her words are clothing related, especially "socks". We spent lots of time this winter discussing socks.

"Lydia, do not take off your socks."

"Lydia, why did you take off your socks?"
"Where are your socks, honey?"
"Can you help mommy put your socks back on?"

She understands many, many more words. I have to catch myself a lot lately because I forget that she can be an active participant in our daily activities now that she recognizes more words.

We may be in for it… the child is VERY girly, full of grins, and loves all kinds of silliness. She loves racket like the blender or the vacuum cleaner and will cackle loudly along with it. Right now her favorite game is to “get” mommy or daddy by crawling behind one of us and pretending to tickle us. Or, if I pretend to sleep she crawls up and “scares” me awake. It is all very fun. We laugh and giggle then do it all again. She likes to scribble with her pink crayon (I kid you not, she goes straight for the pink one every time).

Right now she isn’t taking a huge interest in toys. She mostly likes to rummage through our stuff: my make-up drawer or the toiletries in the cabinet, the baskets in her room where we keep extra diaper cream, bath wash, etc, "her" drawer in the kitchen where her eating utensils, etc are, our DVDs L. The toys that do impress her are mostly music related: drums (like her daddy), maracas, harmonica, music players. She likes puzzles, too, but generally loses interest pretty quickly.
Playing in my makeup drawer. A favorite activity these days.
Trying out mommy's lipstick.
Lydia has basically transitioned to all solid food. She sometimes has baby food purees for breakfast, or she'll eat some pureed fruit at the end of a meal. Her favorite breakfast food is Mighty Oats. I love that stuff. It tastes great, has no added sugar, and comes in compostable packaging. Lydia is eating a variety of foods these days. She has her picky days, but for the most part she is very agreeable when it comes to eating. Right now her favorite foods are cucumbers, bananas, chicken, and Ritz crackers. She still loves blueberries and cantaloupe. She isn't to the point that she eats what we eat for dinner, so I generally make a child friendly portion of what we are eating for her. Like last night I made a kale and butternut squash minestrone. Soup is hard for her to eat on their own. So, I set aside some of the cooked squash pieces for her to eat. She tries to eat with her fork and spoon sometimes and is getting better and better at it. She loves to dip her food into ketchup or sauce.

Dinner at Volta after our first Ole Miss Basketball game. She tried hummus and pita bread. She liked dipping stuff into the hummus more than she liked the taste of it.
We try to stick to a feeding schedule of three meals a day with breakfast at 8 AM, lunch after she wakes up from her nap, then supper at 5 PM. We do our best to slip in two snacks: one before her nap and one around 3 PM. She has an 8 oz bottle when she wakes up in the morning and another 8 oz bottle at bedtime. All other fluids are water or juice from a sippy cup.

We had a tough time trying to switch Lydia to dairy at 12-months. We tried three separate times (at 12-months, 13-months, and again at 15-months) by mixing 2 oz of whole or skim milk with 6 oz of infant formula. Each time we tried it we were faced with multiple days of major constipation... straining until she was purple-faced along with crying and super hard stools (poor baby!). At her 15-month appointment her doctor suggested toddler formula. Now both of her bottles are Enfagrow Toddler Transitions formula (NOT the vanilla flavored stuff). I am open to trying almond milk or soy milk if cow's milk continues to disagree with her. Lydia's doctor is awesome is good with either of those options when Lydia is ready. At the moment, I am sticking with the higher calorie toddler formula. I would love to hear from anyone who has tried almond, soy, or goat's milk with their children instead of cow's milk.

Lydia is taking just one nap a day now. She gets sleepy between 10 and 11 AM and goes down for about 2 hours. Then she is up until bedtime at 7 PM. Bedtime routine is the same every night: bath at 6:30 PM, then teeth brushed, books, and bottle. We say our prayers while she drinks her bottle. Some nights she lets us rock her to sleep. Other nights she squirms in our arms, and that is our cue that she wants to be put in her bed. Chip and I rotate on bath/bed routine, but he does it the majority of the time while I cook dinner. Lydia really likes to be put to sleep. She reaches for her sleep sack and points at the bottle when she gets sleepy. After she is asleep, Lydia doesn't cry out for us unless she is sick or doesn't feel well. She sometimes wakes up to play with her lovies, one in each hand, and we see her on the baby monitor making them talk to each other. She'll play that game for awhile then fall back asleep. She generally wakes up between 5:45 AM and 6:45 AM... even on the weekends. It is rare for her to sleep past 7 AM.

We were going for a Landshark but got a moose instead.

Lydia and Grandpa.
Gosh, having a daughter is just so wonderful! Her smile melts my heart, and her shenanigans make me laugh each and every day. Love you, baby!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Little Princess

Today I worked from home since the roads in Oxford were icy for the morning commute. Lydia was playing so sweetly this afternoon, and I got a lot of work done. In the early afternoon I got the pipe cleaners and colander out since she likes goofing around with those. A few minutes later I looked over and she had a pipe cleaner crown on. I got some video of her putting the crown on and playing with the colander. I'm pretty sure she is saying "baby" in the first video.

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