Dafney Harper

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Friday, August 31, 2012

{first} foodie penpal: August reveal

{I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures.  I have them; just not in this post.  I will add them when I have my computer back on Sunday....}

Here we are; the end of freakin' August already.  And, not only is it the last day of August & the Friday before a nice, long weekend, it's foodie penpal reveal day!

This month was my first {and certainly NOT last} month participating in the foodie penpal program put on by the amazing Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean.

If you want to read an inspiring blog, fully loaded with awesome recipes & killer workouts, definitely check her out!

Alright, back to me :)  This month, I was so lucky to be paired with Lisa over at Cluttercafe.  Check out her blog...I'll wait :)  Not only did she send me a great package, but she's a total sweetheart!  It was/is so much fun getting to know her!  

Let's dive into the package....shall we?

1 - The Food Network Magazine filled with amazing recipes!  I can't wait to spend some time in the kitchen making some of these delicious dishes.  And, Lisa totally personalized the book by putting sticky notes with her thoughts, ideas & comments on practically every page...LOVE!!  It certainly helped me get to know her better!

2 - This amazing lunch organizer!  I bring my lunch almost every day & pretty much adore these containers!  I've used them numerous times already...they're amazing!

3 - Bert's Bees chapstick...um, it's lip-smacking good ;) {sorry, I couldn't resist...I blame it on lack of sleep}.  I love Bert's Bees & will be using this constantly.  

4 - She made this a-freakin'mazing coconut lime sugar body scrub!  It's pretty much my new favorite thing.  And, it smells amazing...I've had to tell myself numerous times  that it's not for eatin' ;)

Thank-you so much for the amazing package & first foodie penpal experience, Lisa!  

Jealous and want to join??  Here's how:

What is the program all about?

- On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email.  It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal & get their mailing address & any other information you might need such as allergy or dietary restrictions.

- You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail.  On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

- The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats.  The spending limit is $15.  The box must also include something written.  This can be anything from a note explaining what's in the box, to a fun recipe...use your imagination; the possibilities are endless!

- You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size & how fragile they are.  *Don't forget about flat rate boxes!*

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.  If you're a reader & you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received.  If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for the month.

- Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian residents will be paired with other Canadian residents ONLY.  We've determined things might get too slow & backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from the US to Canada & vice versa. 

If you are interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form & to read the terms & conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th.

**If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe & want to participate, send Lindsay an email & she'll see if there is enough interest this month.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

what am I doing wrong?

I'm tired.  It seems that sleep is lacking in our household lately.  Dafney is not sleeping through the night.  Some nights she only wakes up once {those are the nights I'm thankful I get decent night's sleep}, sometimes she gets up twice, sometimes it's every couple hours & sometimes she absolutely, positively, will not go back to sleep in her crib.  Those nights I end up on the couch with her in my arms.  Last night was one of those nights *yawn* :(

I thought (naively) that Dafney would be sleeping through the night by now.  She started sleeping through the night when she was 7 weeks old {I miss those days}.  That all went down the crapper shortly after she started Daycare.  So for the past 152 days {yes, I actually counted} I have not had a full night's sleep.  That's about 151 days too many.

Normally I am able to function surprising well.  However, I can tell this lack of sleep is really starting to wear on me.  I'm moody, crabby & completely disorganized...which is so un-like me.  I'm finding it harder & harder to focus at work, I can't meal plan to save my life & my house is a mess.  

When she starts to cry in the middle of the night, I usually hop right out of bed to get her.  But, I'm wondering if I should wait it out a bit?  The problem is she rolls to her belly & puts her face into the mattress.  I worry that she'll fall asleep like that...not good.  I know that she can sleep on her belly now, but probably not with her face in the mattress, right?  

And, when she wakes up & I get her, sometimes she doesn't want to go back into her crib.  She cries & cries.  So, {selfishly} I take her out onto the couch to sleep with her.  Sometimes I'm just so freakin' tired that I'd rather sleep with her on the couch, than try to get her to calm herself back down in her crib.  Wrong.  I know.  

What am I doing wrong?

Should I let her cry it out?  Should I worry about her falling asleep with her face in the mattress?  Should I stop sleeping with her on the couch & force her to cry it out, even if that means no sleep for moi?  Will she eventually start to sleep through the night?  Is it because she's teething?  Is she going through a growth spurt & her body hurts?  I just don't know.  I'm feeling lost, frustrated & confused.  I want to do what's best for her, but I also want sleep.  I'm torn.  

Any thoughts or advice?  


- from a very tired, very desperate, half awake Mother :(

Monday, August 20, 2012

meal planning

I’d like to think I’m totally organized & have my crap together when it comes to meal planning…but I don’t.

I’m not perfect.  Yes, this may surprise some of you :)

A friend told me about this amazing app called Pepperplate that helps her with meal planning, storing recipes & overall organization.

♥ I love the app ♥ 

Seriously.  If I could marry it I would…wait, what? 

However, it doesn’t do all the dirty work & physically plan my meals for me.  It takes a lot of time & effort (at least for me) to plan out my meals for the week.  Some weeks I’m totally on the ball, while others turn into “what do we have in the cupboards” type meals. 

I’m all about trying to eat healthy while staying on budget as well as being “time” conscious.  As much as I love to spend time in the kitchen, I also want to make sure I have time to spend with my daughter, Husband, furbaby & maybe, just maybe a little time for me {HA, even I couldn’t say that with a straight face: baby + husband + a million things to do around the house = no ME time}.  Anywho…my point being, it’s hard to plan healthy, {relatively} quick meals.  But, I need to get better at it.

How do you plan weekly meals?  Tips? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

race re-cap

I'm alive!  More importantly, I'm a triathlete!  That's right, I survived my very first triathlon.  Everyone kept telling me that I'd be addicted after finishing my first triathlon...and they were right!  I had so much fun & am definitely looking forward to my next one :)

Here's the down & dirty on the race:

The day started bright and early!  I was up by 5:40am so I could eat breakfast, down some coffee & mentally prepare.  Since we live close to where the race was held, I just biked down there...I considered it a pre-race "warm-up"!  There were tons of people getting ready when I got down there at 6:30am.  The music was blaring, people were smiling...I knew this was going to be a fun day!

I went to get my body marked with my race #, age & swimming heat & I picked up my timing chip.  Wow, this was really happening!  Oddly enough, I wasn't all that nervous {so not like me}.  We had a pre-race meeting & before I knew it the first wave of swimmers were off...and boy were they fast.  It was neat to watch them swim & complete the transition from the swim to the bike.  I had 42 minutes to wait until my heat.  To keep my mind off being nervous, I cheered others on & tried not to think too much about the race.  

The 500 yard swim....
It went well.  I had only practiced in the Lake a handful of times, but knew that the 500 yards was very "doable" as this was my event in HS.  I was happy that I never got kicked {nor did I kick anyone...on accident, of course}; however, someone did swim over me.  I guess she was in a hurry :)  Before I knew it the swim was over and I was running towards my bike.  

The swim to bike transition....
In my opinion, this was the hardest transition.  For whatever reason, I felt really dizzy & was extremely tired.  Not a good sign when you still have to bike AND run.  I put my socks & shoes on, threw on a tank, put on my race belt with my race #, got my helmet strapped on, ate a "goo", took a sip of water, grabbed my bike & was off.  

The 15.5 mile bike...
The bike started off rough.  I was tired from the swim, my lungs hurt & my legs felt tight.  I kept thinking to myself...keep peddling...you CAN do this.  Shortly after the start of the bike ride, we came to a HILL.  I don't like hills.  They suck.  I started to peddle as hard as I could & very slowly made it up that sucker (as in I wasn't sure if I was going up the hill or if I was rolling down the hill...not fun).  Thankfully there were so many people cheering everyone on & they were giving such encouraging words.  It was my saving grace :)

After about mile 3, I really started to feel good on the bike & got into a groove.  Not long after that, I saw my Husband, daughter, Mom & Dad...it was exactly what I needed to keep me going.  They are the best cheerleaders ever ♥

I kept going with nothing but my thoughts & the sounds of "on your left" to keep me occupied.  The only thing I wish they had was mile markers.  I had no clue how far I'd gone and would have liked to know where I was on this gosh-for-saken ride :)

When I got back towards the lake, I knew that was a good sign & the ride must be getting close to being done.  Again, I saw my cheerleaders & it gave me the strength to get through the rest of the bike ride.  By this point in the ride, my arse was really starting hurt.  I may have been swearing in my head & all I wanted was to get off my bike.  I was proud I made it through the whole bike ride & knew that I could finish this triathlon.

The bike to run transition...
I was probably one of the only people that walked my bike in {truthfully, I didn't even care}.  I knew my legs would feel like bricks & I needed to transition slowly into the run.  I got to my bike rack & put my bike back; grabbed a quick sip of water, took another goo and was off!

The 3.1 mile run...
The run started off a little rough.  My legs still felt brick-like & wobbly from the bike.  But, I kept going...slowly, but I did it.  After the first water stop, I started to feel a lot better.  Not long after that was the first mile marker.  I had my watch on & was trying to do 11 minute miles...and I was on pace.  The ladies that did this triathlon were amazing.  Everyone was so encouraging & so positive.  It was amazing!  I got to mile 2 within my 11 minute time frame.  I only had one mile left.  I was determined & starting to get really excited!  I got a burst of energy and started to pick up my pace.  Then I heard one of the volunteers say "just around this corner and you're on the straight away to the finish"!  

Just before the finish, I heard my Husband cheering!  He said everyone else was up toward the finish line & then I saw him take off to join them {and all I thought was, "I hope he doesn't hurt his knee by running so fast"...haha}.  20 seconds later, I heard my parents & saw my daughter.  I started to tear up a bit...(so many emotions) and then I kicked it in to high gear!  I "sprinted" to the finish line.  I did it!  It was so awesome when they put the medal around my neck!  I couldn't believe it, I finished!  

My goal - 2 hours & 20 minutes
My actual time: 1 hour 52 minutes
...here's the breakdown:
Swim - 10:51
Transition 1 - 3:17
Bike - 1:02:26
Transition 2 - 2:17
Run - 33:11

Final thoughts...
It was such a fun race & the volunteers were amazing!  They kept me going when things started to get tough.  They cheered me on when I needed that boost of encouragement.  They kept me positive.  It's true, I'm hooked & can't wait for my next triathlon!  If anyone is thinking about doing a triathlon, I highly recommend the YWCA tri.  There are so many people that participated...all ages, sizes & athletic abilities.  It was truly amazing!  I can't wait to do this race again next year!

Thanks again...
Thank-you again to my amazing Husband.  He was so encouraging & positive during the training stage & the actual race.  I don't know if I would have done this without him & his encouraging words.  To my daughter & parents - thank-you for taking the time to come watch my race!  It meant so much to me to have you there to cheer me on.  I'm such a lucky girl!  And, to all the race volunteers...you guys made this race amazing!  Without you, none of this would have been possible.  

♥ Leah

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

i feel like a zombie

I'm tired.  No, exhausted.  Wait, I'm so tired I can't even think of a good word to explain how I feel.  It all started Monday afternoon when I got a call from daycare saying that Dafney had a fever of 100.2 {taken under her arm, which really means 101.2, right?} & that she needed to be picked up.  

So, I raced out of the office to go pick up my poor, sick kiddo.  When I got there, she flashed me a big smile & held her arms out for me to come pick her up...♥♥♥  I chatted with her teacher briefly & she said that she was in a good mood, but got a little crabby this afternoon which is when she started to feel warm.  

When we got home, she just wanted to be held & would cry & cry if she was set down.  Let me just say, it's rather hard to get things done with a child in your arms...thankfully my Husband saved the day & came home fairly early.  We took turns holding Dafney & getting things done around the house.  

By 7pm, she started to look "sick".  Her eyes looked glazed over & she just didn't look well.  So, we attempted to put her to bed.  To our surprise, she wanted to party & watch the Olympics with us.  I figured it was no big deal since I was going to let her sleep in the following day & most likely stay home with her.  

Around 8:30pm she was finally ready to be put down.  When we took her temperature, it was up to 101.8 {my poor baby}.  We've never had to deal with Dafney having a fever, so the Hubs quickly jumped on-line to read up.  We decided to see how she was in the morning.  

She woke up around 2am and I had a hard time getting her back to sleep.  I sat with her & soothed her for about 45 minutes.  I finally got her back down & she woke again around 5:30am.  This time she went right back down & slept in until 8:45am.  When she woke up, I took her temperature & it was 99.0. I thought it was on the down-swing.  She was crabbier than normal throughout the day so we just snuggled together the whole day!

Progressively throughout the day, her fever continued to go up.  By the time we put her to bed it was back up to 100.9...UGH!  She went right down & awoke at 11:40pm...{this is when the fun starts}.  I got up to try to feed her & she would fall asleep in my arms & the second I would lay her down, she would start crying (like that "I'm in pain / something's wrong" kind of cry).  I tried to get her down for about 40 minutes, when I finally decided to sleep on the couch with her in my arms.  Usually this works well, but last night she decided that instead of sleeping, she wanted to play...not exactly what I had in mind at 12:30am.  Every time I would lay her down, she'd try to sit up & she'd "hit" my face until I sat her up.  This went on for about an hour.  When my Husband woke us up this morning, I felt like a zombie.  To make matters worse, we were out of my new favorite iced coffee...

Needless to say, I'll be making a stop tonight to pick up another carton or 12 :)  On the plus side, Dafney didn't have a temperature this morning & I haven't gotten a call from Daycare yet...so, that's good!  I'm hoping for a better night's sleep...I need it, or I may actually turn into a Zombie.  

I'd write more, but I'm tired & my brain isn't working well.  

Here's to a good night's sleep & a refrigerator stocked with lots & lots of caffeine :) :) :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

reading is GOOD!

Just when I thought I was going to be able to sit down, relax with a cup of coffee & read my People Magazine, I see this....

"oh, you wanted to read this magazine?"

...yes, a certain little someone decided to "read" my magazine before I got a chance!  She looks so proud & so innocent...{don't be fooled, folks}!  She's so advanced :)  

Happy Sunday ♥

Friday, August 3, 2012

get fit FRIDAY - numero UNO

Hello friends!  Not only is it Friday, it's FIT Friday!  What does that mean?  Well, each Friday I hope to post about how I'm {attempting to} getting fit!  Sounds fun, right?  {This is where you say "yes" with lots of enthusiasm & excitement :)}   

Let's get started, shall we?!

A bunch of my super-smart co-workers started doing one minute "work-outs" every hour on the hour throughout the work day.  Sounds simple, but it's sheer genius!  Not only does it break up the long, boring work day, it allows us to get in some exercise even if it's only a minute.  

There are a couple groups that do this within my department, but the group I've joined works like this:  

...every M-W-F we work on arms (i.e. curls with weights, pushups {various versions}, mountain climbers, etc.) and T-TH we work on abs/core (i.e. sit-ups, planks, scissors, bicycles, etc.).  It might only be 60 seconds of "working", but I definitely feel the burn after that one, teeny, tiny, short minute.  

Moral of the story??  We're super strong, so don't mess with us.  No, wait, wrong moral...um, the moral of this story is every little bit counts; even those one minute workouts.  So, get out of your chair, off your butt, or up from your couch & do your version of "one-minute workouts".  Trust me, you'll be happy you did :)

I also am convinced that it helps me to be more productive during the day.  It might be totally in my crazy little head, but I feel more motivated & energized, especially in the afternoon when I'm ready to crash.  

This week also consisted of a nice 5.5 mile bike ride which I completed in about 28 minutes.  I hope to get out for another bike ride tonight and at least one over the weekend along with a 2-3 mile run.  
On that note, have a fabulous (& fit) Friday ♥

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{at least} three things Thursday....

It's Thursday...only one more day until the weekend!  I feel like I haven't updated in a while & have a lot to catch up on...so here it goes!

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind for us.  My in-laws {mother, father & brother} were in town.  They don't get into town often {as in this was their first time meeting Dafney...& she's 7 months old}, so it was important to us that we spend as much time with them as possible.  

The Hubs took Wednesday off to spend time with Dafney, his mom, dad, sister, brother & sister-in-law.  They spent the day enjoying each others' company & soaking up time with our sweet baby girl!   

Friday night the whole MacKenzie clan got together at my sister-in-laws for some pizza & games!  Let me start off by saying I was a bit skeptical about how the night would go (there tends to be drama when the whole family gets together...usually for no "good" reason), but we had so much fun - minus the hour long drive in traffic!  We ate pizza, played a rousing game of wiffle / baseball & topped the night off with a competitive game of Pictionary!  And, Dafney did so well!  She was telling stories, playing with her toys & flashing that darling smile of hers to everyone!  She even stayed up & partied with us until 10:45...then she had a major meltdown; that was our que to hit the road ;)

Saturday we, along with my sister-in-laws, threw my brother-in-law & wife a "one year anniversary" party.  They live in Hawaii {jealous} and not many people could make it to their wedding as it was pretty last minute due to a family emergency.  So, we thought this would be a perfect way to get family & friends together & to celebrate their "wedding" / anniversary!  It was a big success, mostly in part to my sister-in-laws who threw one-heck-of-a-party!

It was such a blessing & so much fun to spend so much quality time with our family while they were in town.  And, I'm glad they were finally able to meet Dafney...it's important to us that she know her grandparents, aunts & uncles!  We look forward to their next visit!

Next, remember how I'm doing a triathlon in 10 freaking days...yeah, I may have just fallen out of my chair & bumped my head.  I haven't kept up on the training like I would have liked, but I'm feeling okay.  I was/am most nervous about the bike portion since I'm far from a "biker".  But, my dear friend is letting me borrow her really, ridiculously EXPENSIVE  nice road bike!  I took it out for a test spin & I was absolutely amazed at how much of a difference a road bike made.  It's so much lighter & a million times easier to ride.  If nothing else, it has boosted my confidence for the bike portion of the ride a bit.  My goal is to finish the race as well as have fun!  And, if I do it in a decent time, even better.

My, er, I mean OUR sweet Dafney is 7.5 months old!  I can hardly believe how much she's changed, learned & grown during the past 7 months!  I can definitely see her personality more & more each day.  Let me just say, she's gonna be a little diva :)  

She sits up so well now.  She can usually catch herself when she leans backwards and smiles all the time :)  Her 2 bottom teeth have completely broken through the gums {so much are the days of the "gummy smiles"}.  She loves, loves, loves to play her "piano"!  She'll even move her body to the sounds of the music...it's pretty much ♥ melting!  And, she's curious about everything!  She loves to watch our dog, Hannah & has to touch everything within reach {let the baby-proofing begin}.  She loves to "talk" and thinks it's hilarious to spit her food out...I, on the other hand do not find this so funny!  She's starting to clap her hands & every-now-and-then, she'll wave.  I'm not convinced she understands what she's doing when she waves, but it's pretty precious.  

I am in-love with her more & more each day & can't help but feel completely blessed that she is in our lives!  She makes our hearts swell & brings more joy to us than we could have ever imagined!  Yeah, yeah, enough with the sappy crap...here are some of her latest pictures...enjoy & happy Thursday!

excuse the clarity on these pictures...they were taken on my iPad which doesn't have the best camera

See my teeth?!

7 months old and already has a cell phone :)
all smiles :) :) :)