Plexus Trial: Months 2 and 3

The best laid plans.

First, if you are just reading this series, you can find my intro post here. If you don’t want to read the whole explanation, basically I decided to try Plexus because I had heard stores of it helping those with seasonal allergies and asthma, and since I am reliant on at least 3 different meds, I wanted to give it a shot. I was good about posting updates at first, and you can find my progress in the first two weeks here and the second two weeks here.

The full truth is, I didn’t post further updates after that because the more humid it got, the crappier my allergies got. I also caught a cold. After the second month, I saw very little difference as far as my allergies went and I was frustrated, but because I had seen improvements elsewhere, and had read that true improvements in this area can take time, I decided to keep going and give it 6 months. So, here we go:

Sugar Cravings

Slim is still doing an excellent job of keeping my insulin levels regulated and my sugar cravings down. There are days that I do not eat dessert AT ALL, which is huge for me. Most days I do still have a little something, but in comparison I’m eating half the junk I ate before, most days less. As an added bonus, because my insulin levels aren’t going nuts, I find myself making smarter food choices overall. I’ve started making smoothies with spinach and kale, I’m packing vegetables in my lunch, and I don’t need to keep sugary snacks around. I don’t put a dessert in my lunchbox anymore A big bag of chocolate we bought from SAM’s 4 months ago still has candy left in it. Now, if I could only say the same about Cheezits…..

Allergies/Asthma

I’m honestly still fighting a battle on this one. Summer is the worst time of year for my allergies because of the humidity and I’m still having to take all of my medicine. A few days will go by and I won’t have to use everything, and then I get a random flare up or start to fight a cold and it’ll suck to be me for a few days. I have noticed, though, that I haven’t had ANY random days where I do nothing but sneeze  – something that happened to me last year 4-5x during the spring and summer months (I seriously counted over 100 sneezes once a few years ago).

Fitness

I cannot deny the benefit here. I did NOT start using slim to lose weight, but in addition to fewer sugar cravings that have helped me make healthier food choices, I lost 3 pounds and see definition in my abdomen that wasn’t there before. The last two months I’ve actually increased the time I’ve spent exercising (an additional 5 hours per month) but my recovery time has decreased. In fact, in preparation for my LASIK procedure that ended up being rescheduled and ultimately canceled again, I exercised 14 days in a row, many days for over an hour at a time, and felt great. That isn’t to say I didn’t start to feel a little tired or burnt out, however, my 14th day ended with some serious sprinting that I didn’t even know I was capable of, especially after 14 consecutive days of exercise.

Sleep

Aside from allergy flare ups, my sleep has been good. I didn’t have a huge issue here.

Energy

I do still experience what I call the “after lunch sleepies” on some days, but not all, and when I do it is to a much lesser degree. I don’t “crash” in the afternoon and want to eat sugary things to stay awake. I do feel like I’m eating a bit more, but I’m also exercising more, and as I said before, my snacks are better choices in general than they used to be. I find I have more energy at the end of the day than I think I’m going to have after work to do things like group workouts after a full day.

Other

My period cramps are less painful. I experience less bloating both overall and during my cycle. I used to go to bed at least mildly bloated every night, and now I hardly do at all. My nails are growing faster.

Plexus has a 60 day money back guarantee if you do not feel as though the products have made a positive impact on your life. And while the allergy issue is still an issue (though I’m hoping with some more time it won’t be – I’ve been told the more meds you take the longer it can take to have full effect, and I can’t exactly cold turkey quit my medications or else I’ll have breathing issues), I found I’m happy with the other benefits and encouraged enough to keep going. Things that I didn’t think I’d find all that impressive or important in theory have turned out to be better than expected in practice (i.e. decreased sugar cravings and fitness benefits).

In the end (after quite a bit of deliberation and coaxing) I decided to become a Plexus Amabassador. I’m really not a salesperson. In fact, I dislike salespeople. I hate when people try to push products, but I’ve seen enough of a change in myself and others that I want to pass on the benefit. My “mentor” as I call her, is pat of a group of ambassadors hosting an opportunity for anyone interested to try some of the products at wholesale cost if you can commit to 3 months. If you’re looking to get healthy, lose weight, want longer and stronger hair and/or nails, need help managing stress or getting focused, eat cheat meals every now and then, want to get rid of a muffin top,  want to be less anxious , want build your immune system, need  to eat less sugar, love to workout, want to better sleep at night, have aches and pains or need more energy, you could find Plexus helpful. If you’re interested, leave a comment with your goal and I will contact you. (With a 60 day money back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose) If not, ignore this. I/she will also be hosting a giveaway through this blog soon.

Onward through a new journey!

The Only Olympics I’ll Ever Be In

Last year I tried (tri, see what I did there?) my hand at a couple sprint distance triathlons. As I was always primarily a runner, I’d never taken a swimming lesson and the only bike I had was a “hybrid” which was basically a mountain bike. Still, even though I didn’t swim “right” (freestyle is the stroke typically used) and got passed by just about every bike out there, I was hooked.

You can read my recaps here, and here.

Over the winter, I bought a triathlon bike. Starting in March, I got a friend to help me swim (it made a HUGE difference). So this year, I’m stepping up my game a little, and spending the summer training for an Olympic distance. The one I picked is a .7 mile ( a little more than 1100 meters) swim, a 25 mile bike and a 10k.

And because I like to blog and document these things, everyone gets to read (or ignore) another set of weekly training recaps! Fun!

I cheated a bit this week because I was supposed to have LASIK surgery (which if you follow me on Facebook got canceled TWICE) and set it from Saturday to Saturday instead of Sunday to Sunday. I’m following a 16 week swim heavy plan from Beginner Triathlete, but I’m starting at week 5 because I felt comfortable enough with my base to jump in a little later. These plans are a little different from what I’m used to following, which sets workouts by miles. This one uses time.

So here we go. I did a lot more swimming this week because I thought I was going to have to take two weeks off post LASIK.

Saturday: 45 mile ride (2 hours 22 minutes). Lesson learned on this ride – just commit to the 50 miles at the beginning or risk getting left behind. I didn’t quite jump in fast enough after a break and lost the 50 mile group, but was going faster than the girl who was doing 5 and turning around, and got stuck alone in the middle. Then I overestimated how far I needed to go before turning around and ultimately ended up riding 20 miles alone. The effort used to ride 20 alone I am sure was more than if I’d just done 25 with the group. You live, you learn. :)

Sunday: 32 minute swim, 30 minute (slow) run with the stroller.

Monday: 48 minute swim – 1200 meters without stopping. I hate sharing lanes, but only because I get paranoid about hitting someone and so end up hitting the wall instead.

Tuesday: 34 minute swim – I did a few intervals, but my asthma was acting up so they didn’t go well.

Wednesday: 42 minute run – asthma sucked again. Run sucked again.

Thursday: 15 minute run – sounds odd, but I participated in track meet against a couple local speed work teams. I actually game in 3rd place in the 400 meter (1:16) and WON the 200 meter (:34)! This was particularly surprising after 14 days straight working out (blame the LASIK cancelations) but I drank my Plexus (update on that coming) to keep hydrated and felt great – at least up until the last 400 when my legs died. :)

We are standing here, but we really did run

We are standing here, but we really did run

Friday/Saturday: rest

Week Totals

Swim: 114 minutes swimming, 2 hours 22 minutes biking, 57 minutes running.

Next Weeks Goals

Swim:2 hours 7 minutes

Bike: 2 hours 51 minutes

Run: 1 hour 25 minutes

Here we go!

No

A two year old’s favorite word is no. At the very least, it comes in right behind another word we hear often: MINE.

I have kids at work that say no to everything, which after awhile can become quite frustrating. So, instead ending up on a never ending train of “do you want this?” “no”, I just ask questions that end up with funny answers.

For example (and pardon the fact that I look like crap):

I’ve even tried “do you want a cooke?”, except every once in awhile this catches their attention and they respond with a “COOKIE!” and then I am in trouble.

Abby, who tends to say things a week or so behind Miles, started the same trend recently. Yesterday, after we returned home from a birthday party, Abby decided to go for a swim. As she sits there, I say “Abby, did you decide to swim? With all your clothes on?”

“No”

FullSizeRender

Say What? – Part 2 (and Jord Giveaway Winner)

2 year olds are interesting beings. The things they learn, and how quickly they learn them can be really astonishing.

Last week, both twins and I were sitting in the family room. I put together a car track for Miles and their favorite nursery rhymes (courtesy of You Tube and Little Baby Bum) were playing in the background. My parents bought the car track a few months ago and this was the first time he was really excited to play with it. I started to take a video of him playing with them when I realized Abby was reciting the ABC’s.

Miles names 4 numbers. Abby knows 7. Like, they can look at them and tell me what they are. I was amazed.

But, the funny ones are still my favorite.

This past weekend all of us were spending some time outside. Miles came over, exclaiming “bug!” (another one I didn’t know he knew) “its a bug!” Excitedly, he opens his small hand and releases a dead bug into mine.

Ew.

“It’s all done,” he says.

Yup, buddy. It sure is.

*For those of you who entered the watch giveaway – we have a winner! Kristy Hanselman – an email is coming your way! Congratulations!

Choice

Infertility has a weird way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.

Since the twins were born, I’ve been very “99% sure” I am happy with our family the way it is. Bryan is still trying to convince me otherwise, and my answer was always the same: probably not, don’t count on it. I even wrote a post on why I was 99% sure we were done. I had planned to donate the embryos. I even felt almost ready to do it.

Then, this picture popped up in my Facebook memories feed:

IMG_2623

Since we haven’t yet entered the full “terrible twos” (I’m hearing later twos and threes is much worse), I’ve been really enjoying this age. Language is just exploding. The things they are amused by are hilarious. They learn something new every day, sometimes every hour.  Looking at this picture made me miss it. I stayed home with them for 13 weeks, and then only went back to work twice a week initially and yet I STILL feel like I have very little memory of their infancy.  Maybe its for a good reason, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t stir up some thought. I actually found myself saying to Bryan “IF we have another, we are waiting until they are four”. Wait, when did this become a possibility?

The problem is, I’m not entirely sure if its another child that i want, or if its the CHOICE I wish I had. Yes, we would have some semblance of choice this time around because we know we have good quality frozen embryos, but it isn’t the same. And before anyone goes all “be thankful for what you have and don’t complain” on me, I’m just writing this to help myself figure it out.

Man, they were cute babies.

(Don’t forget to enter the watch giveaway! Ends in a little over 24 hours!)

Toddlers are …..Can be…..A-Holes

A friend of mine often tells me that when she leaves her kid with other people, they rave about how good he is, how well he listens, and how much fun he is to watch. But somehow, when he gets home, a switch goes off and he’s a completely different (sometimes mouthy) kid.

I get it now.

Miles’ daycare teachers love him. Every day they talk about what a great kid he is. I am always relieved to hear this of course (because who wants to be the one with the kid that causes all the trouble?) and we all drive home, happy.

The door opens, and more often than not: boom. He’s throwing cups, spoons, food at the dogs. He’s throwing a tantrum because I want him to ask me “please” to open the gate. He wants and cookie – I say no and the world as he knows it comes to an end. I’ve read before that kids tend to act the worst around their parents because they are the ones they know they can trust. They know, even if not consciously, that they can push and push and push your buttons and you will still love and cuddle them. I appreciate this sentiment. But sometimes man, when I’ve had a long day, I’d just love the kid to calm the heck down.

Today, Bryan tells me that Miles hits him. Not once, not twice, but three times. And the third time (after he was warned and stopped twice) he was put in time out, where he naturally threw a fit.

They are two. i get it. I love them, but for the love of Pete sometimes dude.  IT ISN’T THE END OF HUMANITY!

I do bedtime routine and take a shower. In my search for my missing hairbrush, I walk past their room, just in time to hear Miles say (in just about the sweetest voice ever) “Night night Abby”.

Sigh.

(Don’t forget to enter my Jord Watch giveaway!)

Another Jord Watch Giveaway!

I expected to have this post up earlier this week, but Paul, who has been collaborating with me on this, was out of the office for a few days, and so the blog got a little neglected again…..still, I am very excited to be hosting another Jord Watch giveaway, and this time just in time for Fathers Day!

IMG_0608What makes these watches stand out from the rest is that they are wood watches. The band and border are made of cherry, maple, natural green or zebra wood with a face of cherry, black, maple, rose gold, mother of pearl, and turquoise just to name a few. I choose to try the Ely – Cherry pictured above. The watch arrived just a few days after I was notified that the order was placed. Immediately following the order I received an email with details on my order and once it was shipped I received an email confirming its shipment with tracking information. The watch arrived in a well sealed box, and, in my opinion, was packaged very nicely.IMG_0607I did need to have the watch sized, but this was something that was easily (and fairly cheaply, it cost me about $10) resolved after a visit to a local jeweler. I admit that I worried a little that the watch would be too big for my wrist, as the watches I’ve owned are about half the size of this particular watch face, but after wearing it for an hour or so it didn’t feel too large at all. In fact, I have received several compliments on it. After wearing it for a couple of days, I noticed that the hour hand had gotten stuck. I was able to move it backwards but not forwards beyond 3:00. It was disappointing but also gave me the opportunity to test out Jord’s customer service. I contacted the person who reached out to me about the review and he immediately shipped me a brand new watch (and  sized it for me) no questions asked. It arrived in about 3 days and contained a return label – all I had to do was repackage the broken watch, put it back in the box, slap the prepaid return label on and put it back in my mailbox. I was very impressed with the level of service. Overall pro/cons

Pros:

  • The watch arrived in a timely manner from the time it was ordered. I appreciated an email confirming the order and an email confirming and tracking shipping.
  • The watch appeared to be well made and while it definitely looked nice on the internet, it was much prettier in person.
  • I was impressed with the customer service when I had an issue with the watch. Returning the broken one was super easy.
  • The watch was packaged nicely.
  • After several months the watch still looks great! I’ve had a couple people ask me if they could have it :)

Cons

  • I had to have the watch sized. This turned out to be a minor issue, but still required an extra trip (and $10) to have it done since I don’t own the tools necessary to do it myself.
  • My first watch had an issue, however was quickly replaced and have had no issues with the replacement.

Jord has offered another $129 gift certificate which can be used towards the purchase of any of their watches. (This would cover the full cost of the Ely, or Fieldcrest in any color, or all but $10 of the Sully in any color. As previously mentioned, it could also go towards the purchase of any other watch. My personal favorite is the Cora.) With Fathers Day just around the corner, one of these watches would make a great gift for dad. But, if you’re a woman searching for a nice watch for yourself there are both mens and women’s watches. Click below (under the picture) and enter via rafflecopter. The contest will end Friday June 19th. Good luck and feel free to spread the word!

on my wrist, so you can get an idea of size

on my wrist, so you can get an idea of size

Click to win an awesome watch

National Running Day Interview

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1. Why do you run?

I started and still run to combat stress. It helped me pull through depression, a divorce, infertility and keeps me sane for everything else in between. Now I hope to use it to be a good example for the twins – to show them healthy ways to cope when life is unfair (because it is) or deals you a crappy hand of cards. On the other hand, it can also be used to celebrate victories and create memories.

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

National Running Day falls on Speedwork Wednesday. A local group meets at the high school track to become speedy :).

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

Not a ton. 393, but once end of spring hit I took a break from running and have been doing more biking and swimming :)

4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

Ran my 3rd marathon in February. After that mostly small running races. Planning to do 3 sprint and one olympic distance triathlon, a couple half marathons at the end of the year, and my 4th marathon early next year.

5. Before I leave for a run you must have:

My garmin, my phone (music) and my inhaler. Shoes help, too :)

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I use my Garmin 920xt. No phone apps. I do listen to Zombies, Run sometimes though.

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

I don’t really have a favorite. It’s just nice to have company.

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

February 14, 2015: Myrtle Beach Marathon

March 21, 2015: Turtle 5k

May 2015: Sangaree Sombrero 5k

May 2015: Moms Run 5k

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

Never underestimate the power of a good easy run.

10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Strong.

Join in the interview linkup:

Life With Twins – 2 years

This post is insanely overdue (for me anyway), but after feeling more “forced” to than wanting to blog for the last month or so, I decided to take a couple weeks off and see if my motivation came back with it. Plus, it would be ridiculous to have completed every week from Week 1-52 and every month from ages 1-2 and then leave out the last one.

I’m not honestly sure what my plan is for “updates” from here forward. I do like having these to look back on, but not sure it feels necessary to keep going month by month. So the jury is still out on that one. The bonus of this age is toddlers tend to say and do quite few funny things, so I’m hoping to keep up updates using more of that “theme”.

I think the biggest change from last month to this month is just how different they are. Not from each other, necessarily (though they are) but more week to week or even day to day. They know things I had no idea they knew. They say things I’d never heard from them before. I’m not even sure how many words they have anymore. Yes, they still throw tantrums for crazy unpredictable reasons (Abby cried when I took them to the pool yesterday)  but for the most part, I’m surprised to find myself say I have really enjoyed this age.

I have been warned that things get more difficult around 2.5, so we will see.

Abby still LOVES her mirror.

Hi me!

Hi me!

Both loves music lately, which of course I love. Favorites: Row row row your boat, 10 in the bed, ABC. They also do hand gestures to the blessing they do every day at daycare, which is super cute. Miles is still the more talkative of the two, but Abby holds her own. She asks to “go to goose” (school). They do use words for most things but many are still pretty general (more, this etc) but they are learning new words every day and as long as they are using something in lieu of whining and screaming, I just repeat the word I’d like them to use and let it go. They still nap once a day. 12-2 at daycare and 1-3 at home. Bedtime gets pushed closer to 8:00 now that they are getting a solid 2 hour nap.

The best thing about this age, I think, is that they are just funny. For instance, Miles came to me with his pool floaties and insisted I put them on. Last week he climbed into the wagon and started to buckle himself in. Abby dances in front of the mirror whenever she can, and tells herself she is “so pretty”. She asks for “tickle tickle”. Miles opens and closes the door over and over while telling us “hi” and “byebye”. Abby sounds hilarious when she does her donkey sound (eee aw). It was hysterical when she got her name mixed up. Yeah, they do their share of kicking and screaming, but we do a lot of laughing too.

  • Miles greets others from the comfort of his own front door
Hi!

Hi!

  • But he still knows what it means to be cool
The cheesiest

The cheesiest

  • The whole family doesn’t quite fit into the new house
MIIIINE!!

MIIIINE!!

  • We run a race
Ready to run

Ready to run

  • We have a birthday

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  • Abby accidentally has a twin
Hi, we dressed alike

Hi, we dressed alike

  • We take another trip to bee city
  • We hang out at the pool
  • Miles does some light morning reading
The high is 85 today

The high is 85 today

  • Abby puts herself to work
I build things. Not really. but I look cute in this hat.

I build things. Not really. but I look cute in this hat.

Videos!

I’m holding a mirror in front of her here..

For those that were interested, another post will be coming soon with another Plexus update (first post here, first update here, and second update here if you missed them), and the great people at Jord Watch agreed to another giveaway for Fathers Day!

What’s Your Name?

You gotta know your name, so we have been practicing with the twins.

Miles caught on first, and responded with the cute playful nick name Bryan uses: Mi Mi’s (pronounced my my’s). We thought it was so cute that we asked him constantly so we could hear him say his name. Eventually, Abby caught on too. Except since Miles’ name was the only one heard, she too thought the answer to “what is your name?” was “Mi mi’s”.

Well there’s one “complication” with twins that you don’t necessarily think about.

Our solution to the problem was to re-direct. So when we asked Abby what her name is and she responded with Miles’ name, we’d consistently say one of two things:

1) “No (nicely, of course), ABBY!”

2) “What? Abby!”

Then she’d repeat “AAAABBYYY” and we figured we were on our way.

Turns out, she took us literally.

(Translation: Mi Mi’s. No. What? Abby!)

Well, crap.

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