Fitness Friday: Prenatal Cardio at Home

Friyaaaayyyyy!! I’m excited for the weekend. How about you? I have fun plans with Ethan today (water park on my lunch break!!), and Kevin and I have another wedding to attend this weekend.

My parents are babysitting, so while they’re at the house, I may make them pose with Ethan so that I can test my photography skills. Wish me luck! (As if I didn’t steal enough of their time already, right? Whatever – that’s what you get for being retired.)

bumpSorry for all the awkward gym selfies; my funny figure amuses me these days.

But enough of that – I want to share a bit about what I’ve been up to in terms of fitness.  I have about 30 minutes of physical therapy (PT) exercises that I’m supposed to do daily. Fail. I do it about 4 days/week. Sadly that cuts into my workout time, but here’s what I’ve been managing.

  • Monday: morning PT, lunch break arms (DB biceps curls, resistance band curls, lateral raises, DB triceps kickbacks, resistance band pull-down triceps extension, resistance band front raises – I do lighter weight and lots of reps for all these.)
  • Tuesday: morning gym (25-30 min bike or elliptical followed by leg press, leg extension)
  • Wednesday: morning PT, rest
  • Thursday: morning gym (25-30 min elliptical and chest press, chest machine flyes)
  • Friday: morning PT and at-home cardio
  • Saturday & Sunday: morning PT, followed later by family stroller walk (2-3 miles)

Here’s the Friday at-home cardio. Do each move for one minute. It’s a great routine for both pregnant ladies and new moms too. The low-impact nature of it won’t have you jumping around and waking up your sleeping baby.

prenatal cardioCardio Lunge Back: This “stutter step” is similar. I get in a lunge position, touch one leg back while swinging opposite arm forward. Keep doing these 30 seconds, then switch to the other side. Or you could just do this stutter step from the linked video, but be sure to get low enough to feel some booty burn!

Deadlifts: Deadlifts are hit or miss in pregnancy. I haven’t had much back pain, so they’re fine for me.  However, if you’ve had back pain, sub something else – maybe calf raises with biceps curls or biceps curls to overhead press?

Overhead Triceps Extension: For a little extra challenge, do these on one leg. Preggos shouldn’t lift leg high for risk of falling – just a little off the floor is fine.

V-step with Arm Raises: This video hits the nail on the head. I skip the marches in between v-steps.

Of course, make it your own. Don’t like one of the moves? Substitute something else! Too easy? Add more weight. Too hard? Sub in stationary walking/marching during the harder intervals. I use 8-lb weights for this, but you could even grab 2 water bottles if that is best for you.

  • I find it’s useful to put on a countdown timer during this that’s large and easy to see.

prenatalI think it’s not important to focus on calorie burn during pregnancy but rather to just keep moving. Your joints and muscles were made to move, so that’s going to make you feel better in the long run. However, moving too much or in the wrong way can be bad news. Take it easy on yourself; you’re growing a human!

  • What have your fitness routines looked like lately?
Posted in Fitness, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments
Easy Italian Chicken Broccoli Skillet

I’m back with a new recipe for you. This one’s super easy, and it doesn’t take long to make. I know I haven’t been sharing many recipes these days, but when the toddler asks for seconds with the broccoli, you may as well spread the word.

broccoliFor this recipe, I used a braising pan, but I think any large nonstick skillet would work. Just be sure to find one with a lid.

veg Serve it with boiled potatoes, pasta, quinoa, risotto, or maybe orzo. If only Ethan could easily pick up orzo! Though I used Kraft Tuscan House Italian dressing, I’m sure other varieties would work.

Easy Italian Chicken Broccoli Skillet
  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • ⅔ cup Italian dressing
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets (approx 2 crowns)
  • Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
  1. An hour before cooking, put chicken breasts and Italian dressing in a bag. Place in the refrigerator to marinate.
  2. When ready to cook, heat olive oil in a heavy nonstick pan with lid. Pour in chicken and most of the dressing/marinade. You don't need every drop unless you have very large chicken breasts.
  3. Cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Flip chicken breasts, add broccoli, and re-cover. Cook on medium about 15 minutes more, stirring once at 10 minutes.
  5. The actual cooking time depends greatly on the size and thickness of your chicken. Make sure it's thoroughly cooked through prior to serving.
  6. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

 chicken    chicken

Per usual, sorry for the iPhone photos. Sometimes getting out a real camera is simply too much to ask. I’m just happy Ethan let me put him down long enough to make this. It’s the little things, y’all.

dinnerI’m linking up with Jenn for her weekly What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) linkup. This may not have been everything I ate yesterday, but it was certainly the most share-worthy!


  • Are you as anti-oven as I am these days? It’s too hot for roasting!
Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
2 More Months! {bumpdate}

Good morning! Ethan gave me his best Monday face in the baby monitor yesterday morning. I couldn’t agree more, kiddo. Ha. But Monday is behind us, so let’s get on with this week’s bumpdate, eh?

mondayHow far along? 31 weeks! I now have two months left (in theory). Here’s 31 weeks with E.

Baby’s size? He’s about 16 inches long and weighs 3.3 lbs

Total Weight Gain: 20 lbs

Stretch marks? Nope

Sleep: So terrible – I put seven pillows in my bed last night – yes, seven!

Best moment this week: Ethan giving me kisses while I read to him at night

Miss Anything? Sleep

Movement: Bumpin’ and rollin’! I have been trying different positions to get him to turn, so maybe that will happen too.

31 weeksFood cravings: chocolate chip cookies (must be soft, thick, chewy, and delicious!)

Anything making you queasy or sick: nope

Gender: BOY!

Labor Signs: Sort of. I don’t remember feeling any contractions with Ethan, but I felt a couple harmless Braxton Hicks contractions Saturday night. Saturday was a long day for me, so I probably just needed rest.

Symptoms: I feel like my body is all of a sudden falling apart. Ouch! Mamas, ever want to give your hubby your symptoms just for a day? I can’t be the only one! It’s clearly not to be cruel, but you just kind of want them to “get it” when you ask for a foot rub, right?

Belly Button in or out? A little pokey

Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy most of the time

Looking forward to: Meeting the little guy!

31 weeksMy workouts have gotten slower, and I’ve been more sleepy. However, I’m still trying to keep active. I actually have a new workout to share, so hopefully I’ll get to that later this week. I’ve also still been doing my physical therapy for pelvic pain. I think it helps, but it’s hard to tell. But speaking of that, I better get to it!

  • What are you most looking forward to this week?
Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments
Weekend Fun & Meal Plan Monday

Hello Monday! I can’t say I’m happy the weekend is gone, but at least it was a good one. I’ll share a brief recap prior to diving into the meal plan.

I kept Ethan home with me on Friday. We visited the pool on my lunch break, and my parents took us to dinner that evening. Kevin was out at a party, so I was extra appreciative of the company… and the food.

toddlerOn Saturday, Ethan and I ran some errands in the morning, and we all went out to a party that evening. I think it was Ethan’s first grown-up party, but he did pretty well. Going for a walk that morning, carrying Ethan on our errands, and then chasing after him at the party had me pretty worn out. I was certainly feeling it Sunday! (Yeah, someone doesn’t want to walk on his own much lately.)

partyOhhhh Sunday Funday. Kind of. It was more of the same – a walk, grocery shopping, food prepping, and cleaning. We got a break in the chores when Kevin’s parents stopped in for a visit that afternoon.

grillDespite a sunny weekend, we saw about 15 minutes of rain when it was time to cook dinner. Poor Kevin! But luckily the food still turned out great. I made an Asian sauce and cooked rice, and he grilled salmon and baby bok choy. Got any bok choy recipies? I love it, so send ’em my way!


  • Sunday – grilled bok choy, salmon, and brown rice
  • Monday – poor girl take-out (rice, scrambled eggs, soy sauce, mixed veg)
  • Tuesday – sauteed Italian chicken & broccoli with boiled red potatoes
  • Wednesday – pumpkin & bean burriladas
  • Thursday – turkey meatballs, zucchini, & pasta with red sauce
  • Friday – hmmm, not sure yet
  • Saturday – out!

What’s on your meal plan, and how was your weekend?

Posted in Food, Out & About | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments
Preschool & Daycare Necessities

Happy Fridayyyy!! Ethan is home with me today, which is how I like to spend my Fridays, but I thought it would be a nice time to share a few daycare necessities that get us through the week.

necessitiesOkay, we’re not actually “home” but are instead at my parents’ place so that we can use their pool on my lunch break. Bring on the sunshine!

But back to those necessities. Of course, the age of your child will greatly influence what he or she “needs,” but these help my toddler.

1. Lunchbox – Soft lunchboxes are popular, but this hard cooler I recently purchased is so much easier to clean. I can quickly wipe it out at the end of the day and/or spray in a little water/vinegar to let it air-dry overnight. Teachers often rinse out bottles and sippy cups before throwing them back in the box, so it can get icky in there.

cooler2. Food storage – I originally bought a few glass storage containers, and despite my love for them, they’re awful for daycare. No glass! I instead got one of these Sistema containers that is freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe; it is also free of BPA and phthalate.

pyrex  sistema

3. Clothes – Poor little Ethan doesn’t have many outfits and wears the same things week-in and week-out. (Don’t worry, he doesn’t mind.) But I did need to pick up a couple extra things when he started school because you don’t have time for much mid-week laundry. You’ll also need to pack a couple extra outfits to keep at school in case of messes. (Keep it comfy!)

carters4. Wipes & Diapers – If you’re little one isn’t yet potty trained, you’ll need diapers and wipes, though some daycare centers provide these free of charge. Double up on the wipes! I hear the state law in NC is to use 3 wipes per wet diaper and 5 per poo. Really??

wipes5. Personal care – Your kid is bound to get sick at some point, so have a good thermometer, fever reducer, and pediatrician’s phone number in a convenient location at home. You can also pack sunscreen for kids. Most daycares/preschools bring kids outside daily (weather permitting), and you can ask if they’ll apply sunscreen. We like Babyganics brand, but there are plenty of good ones out there. As for thermometers, I like Vick’s speed read. No one wants a slow thermometer up their butt.

babyganics  vicks

6. Quick dinners – If your little one is going for a full day, you’ll need quick dinner ideas. Ethan can be a little agitated when returning from school. I don’t blame him; it’s a long day! So just he needs a few minutes of mommy play time, my purely undivided attention, before I even start to cook dinner. Of course, shortly after that time he’s hungry, so I’ve got to make it snappy!

  • What would you add to the list?
  • Non mamas – what lunch essentials do you use for work/school?
Posted in toddler | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments