Giovanni: 4 Months

This past month with Giovanni has been my favorite so far! Each month he grows, I love him more and more. Weighing in at 16 lbs, 14.7 oz; his days as a newborn seem long behind us! He’s already in 6 and 9 month clothing, and size 4 diapers!

He started sleeping in his crib this past month, retired the Rock-n-Play, and graduated to the jumperoo…which he LOVES! He likes to bear weight on his feet when we hold him, so I knew he would be thrilled to exercise a little independence and jump on his own..I’ve already taken so many videos of him in it! He’s so darn cute 😉

He has his own little personality now and this may sound weird but I forget sometimes that he can’t talk (haha)…he expresses his love for me in so many other ways that just melt my heart. Like when I wake him up in the morning, and as soon as I pop my head over his crib his face lights up. Or when he’s sleepy and I scoop him up in my arms and he nuzzles on my chest.

He took his first vacation this past month, and this weekend we’ll be heading down to Southern California for spring break.

Yesterday marked one year since finding out I was pregnant (read how we found out here), and looking back now I smile because though we were SO happy in that moment, we had yet to find out how much more joy Gio would bring to our lives. And as each month passes, I know that there is something even better that lies ahead.

Here’s what happened this month:

  • Gio discovered his hands…and now they are in his mouth ALL.THE.TIME.
  • He has become much more expressive and talkative…I know he’s happy as a clam when he just sits and babbles to himself.
  • Sleeps 8-10 hours at night
  • Likes to look at himself in the mirror- when I hold him in front of it and smile, he’ll smile back 🙂
  • Has such strong neck and leg muscles …he always wants to stand on our laps.
  • He is now able to grip things..and just started holding onto his rattles and toys.
  • Hasn’t rolled over yet, but he’ll roll on his side so I think he’s almost there!
  • Is stretching out- he’s now 2 feet, 3 inches long (99% percentile), definitely gets his height from dad!
  • Is becoming more of a Momma’s boy which I secretly love… 😉 if he meets someone new now, he’ll look away toward me.
  • Loves listening to his Portuguese children’s songs…since I’m home with him during the day and I speak English to him, I try to play more Brazilian music so he’s exposed to that.
  • Is looking more like mommy now..his eyes aren’t as almond shaped as they were at birth (which made him look a lot like Kendrick).

 

My how this little one has grown!

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Happy 4 Months Giovanni!

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Outtakes…

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Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Hello again, friends! I’m so grateful to Angela for having me here on Mrs. K-Fit for a second time. When she asked if I had a recipe I’d like to contribute, I knew immediately that I needed to share my Quinoa + Turkey Stuffed Peppers. This meal is always a big hit at our house. It’s one of my husband Matt’s favorites, and I always feel really good about cooking and eating it because it’s healthy, well-rounded, and not too difficult to make.

This version of the recipe is adapted from my favorite cookbook The Skinnytaste Cookbook. The original recipe doesn’t use turkey, but I like to add a leaner protein to meals whenever I can. One thing you’ll notice is absent below is the use of garlic and onion. I’ve been dealing with digestive issues for about five years now, and one of the biggest fixes for me has been removing those foods from my diet entirely (I would totally recommend it for anyone dealing with chronic stomach pain and bloating. Give it a try!). That being said, you can feel free to add 2 cloves of chopped garlic at step #2 of the filling instructions, if you’d like : )

Ingredients:
For the filling…
1/2 cup white quinoa
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the peppers…
2 large bell peppers (red or yellow)
4 tbsp. canned crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

For the filling…

Make your quinoa, using vegetable broth instead of water to infuse extra flavor. Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan, add the vegetable broth, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (HINT: A rice cooker is another great — and easy — way to make quinoa! Simply throw the grains and the broth into the pot, turn it on, and you’re ready to go!)

 

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and ground turkey. Stir until the meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.

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Remove the pan from the heat and put turkey and tomato mixture into a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa, Romano, spinach, basil, and mozzarella.

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For the peppers…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove the core, seeds, and stem. Place the peppers cut side up in a baking dish.
  3. Fill each pepper with the filling. You can stuff them to your taste — I like mine a little overfilled!

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4. Top each pepper with a little extra crushed tomato, Romano, and mozzarella.
5. Pour remaining broth into the bottom of the dish.

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6. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are soft, about 50 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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HINT: We usually end up with extra filling, which is one of my favorite parts of this recipe! I’ll mix a scoop of it with fresh spinach, which makes for a great lunch the next day. The stuffed peppers themselves make great leftovers, too… and they keep really well in the freezer for longer periods of time. Sometimes I’ll double the ingredients so I can make sure I have extra to put away. Don’t you just love getting multiple meals out of a single recipe?

Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to see you over on my blog Finding Plan A and on my Instagram! xo

 

by Alli Hoff Kosik

 

Our First Trip with Baby

I’m so sorry for my absence this past month! As baby Gio gets bigger, he requires more play time with mommy and less sleep during the day…which I’m not complaining about 😉

He’s been sleeping through the night for over a month now. In the beginning, I was doing a late evening feed around 9 or 9:30pm, and then he would sleep until 7:30am or 8! Recently he’s been wanting his last feed earlier around 7:30pm or 8, in which case he’ll wake up earlier around 6 or 6:30am. We’re not on any sort of set schedule, but depending when his last feed is, he’s pretty consistent in sleeping 8-10 hours after that.

We transitioned him to his own room when he turned 3 months. We had my in-laws in town the beginning of March, so I figured it would be the opportune time to do it. Kendrick and I slept in his room on an air mattress (he was in the bassinet), and after they left, we put him in his crib and he slept through! His room is caddy corner to ours and we share a vent, so I knew I would hear him if he woke up.

In other news, this past weekend was our first family getaway!

Kendrick and I have been going up to Lake Tahoe every winter for the past 3 years. Now that baby Gio is here, we were even more excited to share our love for this place with him. It has become a special place for us because it was one of the few places Kendrick hadn’t been to in California before I moved here. We went for the first time a month before our wedding, and have been back almost a dozen times since.

A friend asked me what it was like packing for him, and I told her it was more fun than packing for myself! Naturally I overpacked for him, and under packed for myself, classic mom move! We decided to forgo bringing his bassinet (mainly just to save space), and let him sleep in the bed with us. The only other item I brought besides his stroller was this Fisher Price seat, which was foldable!

What I packed for Gio: (3 night trip)

  • 5 long-sleeve pajamas
  • 4 long-sleeve onesies
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 short sleeve onesies
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 hat
  • 3 bibs
  • 2 Aden and Anais swaddle blankets
  • 3 burp cloths
  • 1 lightweight thermal blanket
  • 2 fleece blankets
  • 1 fleece bear suit( didn’t use because it was so warm!)
  • 1 washcloth
  • Baby shampoo
  • Bath squirt bottle (instead of bringing his bathtub we just brought a squirt bottle to rinse him off in the sink)
  • 1 fleece hooded jacket
  • 40 diapers
  • 1 package of wipes
  • Baby Einstein music box
  • 2 rattles
  • Infantino teething rings
  • 2 changing table liners
  • Diaper bag
  • Skip-Hop Changing station
  • 1 bottle
  • Pump
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • 2 pacifiers
  • Gas relief drops
  • Baby tylenol
  • nasal aspirator

..I think that’s it!

He was super fussy our last night there and kept crying which is unusual for him (the last time we saw him that upset was after his shots), so we decided to give him a little Tylenol assuming that the altitude may have been bothering his ears.

Other than that last night, Gio was a perfect angel! We hit the slopes on Friday, and even though it was St. Patty’s Day, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t crowded. Diamond Peak has an interchangeable parent pass ($74 all day) which was so convenient for us! Kendrick and I both got a chance to ski twice.

We rented a house in Incline Village (north Lake Tahoe), which gave us plenty of space to spread out. My sister came with us and was a HUGE help – she sat in the back of the car with Gio on the way up and entertained him (thanks sis!). We only had to stop once on the way up to feed him, and opted for a Starbucks. When I went to change him in the restroom I couldn’t believe they didn’t have a changing table! The sinks were too close together to change him on the counter, so thank goodness for my Skip-Hop station, because we had to change him on the floor! So not ideal.

A life-saver on the trip was my UnderCover baby breast cover! Initially I tried the Bebe au Lait cover after Gio was born, but didn’t like how bulky it was and that it didn’t have full coverage around my sides. I decided to return it and instead bought this cover online. Another mom I follow on Instagram recommended it and I’m so glad she did! It’s lightweight, has 360 degree coverage, and also doubles as a scarf, carseat cover and shopping cart cover. I feel way more comfortable nursing now in public, which is good because we have more trips ahead 🙂

Here are some photos from our weekend!

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Happy baby during our long car ride
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We made it just in time for sunset at Kings Beach

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Incline Beach
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Happy St. Patty’s Day from Tahoe!

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Skiing is exhausting 😉
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We stopped by The Ritz at Northstar for some s’mores

Practicing tummy time

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Burnt Cedar Beach

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Momma bear and her cub 🙂

Until next time…<3

A Newlywed’s Top 10 Tips on Building a Better Marriage

*Today’s post is brought to you by my friend Alli Hoff Kosik, the blogger behind Finding Plan A. Alli lives in Brooklyn and is a freelance writer for media companies such as Brit+Co., Refinery29, and Bustle (SO cool!). We both went to the same high school, and re-connected on social media after college. Her husband, Matt, also attended our high school and they were married last June! 

It’s been one year since starting my blog, so, in honor of my very first post  AND Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I reached out to Alli to have her share with us her own tips for a healthy marriage 😉 

 

Hi, everyone! It’s great to be spending some time with you today on Mrs K-Fit! I feel super lucky to have gotten to know Angela so well over the last few months… I only wish we’d known back at our 2,000-student high school that we should find each other and be friends 🙂

When Angela invited me to share some thoughts on a successful marriage with you, I felt a tiny bit unqualified, since my amazing husband Matt (seriously, how cute is he?) and I got married just six months ago — but then I remembered that we’ve been together for nearly eight years! In that time, we’ve definitely learned a lot about what works for us and how to keep our relationship happy and thriving. Here are my ten (newlywed) tips for marriage!

    1. Be silly! One of the distinguishing characteristics of our marriage is a little playful weirdness. I think my maid of honor said it perfectly in her speech at our wedding: “The three of us were sitting on the couch chatting, and then there were a few silent moments, and you just looked at each other and made a few faces and burst out laughing.” Matt and I never cease to crack each other up, and sometimes we spend weeknights just sitting around sending each other into fits of giggles with the most random jokes and comments. It’s important to keep that kind of fun and lightness in a marriage!
    2. Know the right time to step away from a difficult conversation. I’ll be honest — this one doesn’t come easily to me. My instinct is to talk all. the. way. through a challenging discussion. As I become more emotional, I tend to talk more, while Matt tends to get quieter. You can probably imagine that this combination can often lead us to an impasse! What’s been working well for us instead is to agree to take a break (usually at the point when one of us can sense that we’re no longer being productive) and to set a time (usually about 30 minutes later) to come back and talk more calmly. It gives each of us a chance to organize our thoughts so we can redirect in a more positive, less emotional way.
    3. Find passion in your personal pursuits that you can share with your spouse. Matt and I find that we are most likely to bring our best selves home to each other when we are each fulfilled in our individual jobs and activities. When I was miserable in my corporate career, I wasn’t able to be the kind of wife I wanted to be, and it was hard for me to even have a conversation with my husband after work because there was so little from my day that I actually wanted to share. Now that I’m writing full-time, I can’t wait for him to come home so I can fill him in on what I’ve been working on. Since I’m happier, I also have the emotional energy I need in order to go above and beyond and be the type of wife I want to be. Additionally, I carve out time for exercise and dates with my girl friends, too, both of which help me be the best version of myself. Matt and I both like that version better 🙂
    4. Be intentional with your words and your tone. While we are not perfect, Matt and I are very thoughtful about the way we talk to and about each other. Your spouse should be your biggest cheerleader! We notice that there are couples who use teasing and subtle jabs at the other’s expense as a common pattern of conversation. We firmly believe that this should not be part of our rapport. Of course, we’re only human, so sometimes we slip up, but for us, this is usually a symptom of a larger tension that needs to be worked through and not a casual, offhand comment.
    5. Sometimes, it’s easier to let things go. Let me tell you about something that we call “The Zone.” The Zone is an L-shaped area of our bedroom that starts on Matt’s side of the bed and extends across one wall and into his closet (the doors of which are never closed). Within one week of moving into our apartment, I realized that Matt had very efficiently covered The Zone with t-shirts, clothes hangers, scrap paper, and other random items. I am extremely clean and neat, and at first, I fought against The Zone. Fast forward a few months, and I’d decided that it really didn’t matter. Matt has given me total license to keep the rest of our apartment just the way I like it, and he happily cleans The Zone whenever we have visitors — so what’s the point in constantly arguing about something so silly? It’s important to really think about the battles you want to fight — and for me, it was OK to let The Zone go.
    6. Be comfortable with quiet. One of the first things I noticed about my relationship with Matt was that silences never felt awkward. Very early in our dating life, Matt offered to drive me from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, where I went to college. A four-hour road trip is bound to include a few quiet moments, and I was worried that all of that time in the car would be uncomfortable. It actually felt very natural! Day-to-day life can be pretty low-key and uneventful, so it’s important that you and your spouse can relax into quiet time without feeling awkward. For newlyweds, it’s also important to be comfortable in the post-wedding calm, which can be a strange adjustment after months of chaotic planning!
    7. Find great “couple friends.” We are so lucky to have jointly befriended a few pretty incredible couples over the last few years, and I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything. Having great couples to hang out with makes for lots of fun double dates, but it has also given us a chance to learn from other relationships.
    8. Check in regularly about long-term plans. Matt and I try to talk about big picture topics (money, kids, where we want to live, etc.) approximately every three months (sometimes we even schedule it on the calendar!). We never want to get into a situation where those conversations feel more stressful than necessary because one of us feels like they are up against a deadline, so regular chats help keep things casual and authentic. To make it a fun date night, we splurge on our favorite take-out and buy a bottle of wine!
    9. No-phone time. Just like most other twenty-somethings living in 2017, Matt and I are both guilty of getting a little caught up in our phones. While we were on our honeymoon, we started implementing “no-phone time.” Any time either he or I feels that we’re both a little too distracted by our Apple-branded friends, we are allowed to invoke the no-phone rule. We also try to leave our phones at home when we go out on a date.
    10. Don’t forget the importance of being best friends. Naturally, marriage comes with perks (wink, wink) and responsibilities (budgeting, anyone?) that fall outside the realm of typical friendships, but Matt and I really do try to keep our best friend relationship at the core of our life together. Ultimately, there’s no one in the world that I would rather do anything with than Matt, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make him happy. When all the other stuff gets stripped away, it’s important that the integrity of those feelings stay intact so you can remember what’s really most valuable.

 

Thanks so much for reading! You can find more of my thoughts on marriage, life, work, etc. at Finding Plan A and on my Instagram! xo

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Photography credit: Bri Cibene 

February’s Healthy Heart Challenge

As January comes to a close, our New Year’s resolutions may be winding down as well. To keep the momentum going, I have a challenge for you that will keep you moving through February!

For those who are new here, I am 8 weeks postpartum and announced in my last post that I have set a goal for myself to lose my baby weight by April 6. To help keep me accountable, I will be tracking my cardio weekly…and you can join me!

Here’s the challenge:

WHAT: 4 hours of cardio each week (16 hours total for the month) with 1 cardio session to be done with family, friends, spouse or dog each week. Studies shows this helps improve heart health even more! If you participate in classes at our studio, these count toward your cardio count. You can add the time in small segments as well; ex: dog walks of 20 minutes everyday would add up to 2 hours 20 minutes of cardio for the week assuming you do it every day.

Since February starts mid-week, your goal will be to log 3 hours of cardio this week (breaks down to about 35 minutes per day).

Since it’s hard for me to get in an uninterrupted 1-hour workout these days, my personal goal is getting outside for a 20-30 minute walk daily. Instead of setting lofty goals for myself, I’ve concentrated on smaller, more realistic goals; like, completing 10 push-ups a day. When I can check something off my list, I feel more accomplished and that motivates me to continue pushing forward.

The best thing you can do when setting small goals for yourself is attach the action to something you already do. For example, I complete my push-ups before taking a shower each night. My husband Kendrick wrote a great blog post about creating positive changes without motivation. Read more here.

 

I’m super excited for what February has in store! If you missed the announcement in my last post, I will be publishing an exclusive newsletter bi-weekly for those who are subscribed to my blog. The first newsletter will be released this Wednesday, February 1st.

 

I’d love to hear if you’re joining me for this month’s Challenge! Feel free to comment and let me know if you’re participating below! 🙂

 

Back to Body: Postpartum Series

Last Friday I had my 6 week checkup post-baby. I tried not to psych myself out for that fateful moment when I would step on the scale. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained 42 pounds. More than I had expected, but since this was my first pregnancy, I wasn’t as worried about weight gain as I was about staying healthy and doing what was best for my body. I was very active for most of my pregnancy and my OB wasn’t at all concerned about my weight, so that reassured me that everything was going smoothly.

Truth be told, when I saw that number on the scale, I panicked a little.  I’ve never had to intentionally try to lose weight. I’ve maintained a healthy balance between exercise and nutrition so that I can eat what I want without feeling guilty.

The first 22 pounds have come off seemingly easy. I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding and walking daily. After week 3, when I started finally feeling like myself again, I hit the gym for some higher intensity cardio. My favorite machines have been the water rower, the ski erg, and the Airdyne bike. I like to rotate between all three during my workouts and add strength training  in between. Then, I usually finish with a core set.

(NOTE FOR NURSING MOMSBe wary when feeding your baby after a high-intensity workout! I learned this the hard way.  I had no idea that the lactic acid could affect the composition of my breast milk. Recent studies claim that moderate exercise has no effect on breastmilk, only “exhaustive” exercise…this may be the case, but I can only account for my own experience. I spent an hour working out, rotating high intensity cardio with strength training; and when I fed my baby a half hour after, he ended up spitting it all back up. I must also note that my milk smelled sour, something that has never happened before. Since he showed no other signs of sickness, and didn’t have a fever, it made sense that the reason he spit up was due to the composition of the breastmilk. Every body is different and what happened to me might just be a fluke, but I don’t want to risk putting my poor babe through that again so I will be sure to feed him BEFORE working out next time.)

Anyway, I still have 18 pounds to lose to return to my pre-baby weight…however, I can’t deny that having a baby changes your body, and chances are my body is never going to look the same as it did before…and that’s OK. It took over 9 months to grow a baby, so it may just take another 9 months for my body to return to its NEW normal.  I am not going to stress over the scale. I am going to give myself a 5 pound buffer to account for the changes my body’s been through (these new boobs weigh at least a couple pounds each) 😉

I’ve set a goal for myself to lose between 13-18 lbs by April 6, 2017…a little more than 3 months from today. Since this is a first time journey for me, I’ll be documenting my progress along the way. If I don’t reach my goal by this specified period, I will not give up. This process is about the journey, not the destination; my number one priority is my new baby and taking care of his needs first. If that means I carry around some extra weight for a little while, then so be it!

I’ll be posting  on Instagram (@mrskfit), Facebook (Mrs K-Fit page), and Snapchat (@acn1228), in addition to my blog…so be sure to follow along on these social media outlets as well.

I’ll also be releasing a newsletter twice a month filled with exclusive content; such as workout videos, delicious (and easy!) recipes, monthly challenges, tips and inspiration, and of course – baby photos! 🙂

To receive the newsletter, be sure to subscribe to my blog!

 

Here’s a quickie core set to start your week off strong:

20 crunches

15 butt lifts

15 toe touches

10 sit-ups (* I only did one set of sit-ups, but if you feel good, go for two!)

1 minute plank

REPEAT

 

Let’s do this!!

 

 

 

Giovanni: One Month

We’ve made it to the one month mark! I think with all the holiday celebrations, it made time go by even faster.

The past month has been nothing short of amazing. Gio’s been such a great baby, and even when I moan about getting up in the middle of the night, I take one look at that face and can’t help but smile.

He is eating like a champ (takes after his father) and now weighs 10 lb. 12 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. His hair is lighter than what I thought it would be, and I’m curious what the coloring will be as he gets older. So far here’s what we’ve learned about our little guy.

  1. He sleeps with his mouth open (like me)
  2. He purses his lips when he poops (and also will turn red)
  3. He has started grabbing onto things (especially shiny things like my necklace)
  4. He has started to track with his eyes (if Kendrick puts him down and walks away, he’ll follow him)
  5. He doesn’t like baths
  6. He likes being carried in the Ergobaby
  7. He loves his Rock-n-Play (and has slept mostly in this)
  8. He smiles right after he’s had his milk (aka when he’s in a milk coma!)
  9. His lips and nose resemble mine and Kendrick’s
  10. His eyes are like Kendrick’s
  11. He loves the camera! 😉

 

Here’s some pictures from his newborn shoot when he was nine days old. Thank you to the talented Jessie Salas Photography. I absolutely loved doing an in-home shoot!

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model status…he was totally posing for the camera!

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These next few are my absolute favorite!! It makes my heart melt seeing my handsome husband hold our beautiful boy ❤

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Sneak peek of the little man’s room…we spend lots of time changing diapers in here 😉

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Happy 1 Month Giovanni!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy