Weekly recipe recommend: salmon salad sandwiches

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That’s Claire keeping Daniel happy on Thursday while we waited in the van during our homeschool co-op. Just now: “Can somebody come help me clean up our room?” asks Claire in her sweet little voice…”Yes Claire; I would love to!” answered Liesl. Man. Some days these kids just blow me away. 🙂 Now Claire has come down crying because Parience apparently took over the cleaning project and won’t let Claire help. Sheez!

Anyway I do have a quick and yummy recipe for you but though I’d give you a brief snapshot of our Thursdays first since we sit in the car a lot trying to entertain the baby and toddler and occasionally other kids as they come and go from classes. We left on time for co-op with sausage biscuits from the microwave and dropped off Liesl and Patience in their Little House on the Prairie class (Liesl just joined it this week-good thing, too, bc they watched a movie and had pumpkin pie!) and Gabriel at KNex. Greer, Claire, Daniel and I goofed off (after I fed Daniel) in the van:

20121005-134317.jpg. Love Daniel’s matching expression in the next one:

After that, Patience walked Liesl to art class and I dragged the babies along to bring Claire into art class; Patience continued on to science, and Greer, Daniel and I walked over to meet Gabriel. He was glowing from a great class in which he and his team had built a bridge, the teenage boy teacher had told everyone in the class they were all being horrible except Gabriel, and the guy had also told Gabriel he was the smartest kid in the class-probably not true, but high praise coming from a “cool guy” which is how his teacher seems to him. I took them over to Biggby Coffee a few miles away and drove through for a pumpkin spice decaf frozen latte, a chocolate chip cookie, and a hot chocolate for Greer and Gabriel to share. Normally that time period will be when I run Gabriel to piano, also only a few minutes away. Here they are after the hot cocoa:

20121005-135451.jpgAfter the coffee break we arrived back at the co-op to gather in Claire, Patience, and Liesl. John just happened to be there today to meet us for lunch bc I had forgotten something at home I would need for later in the day and he was bringing it to me. He hopped into the van, and I was able to snap a few of the kids:

20121005-140141.jpgNormally at this point I would have left Gabriel at piano and then just swept in to collect the girls, turned right around and driven back to the piano teacher’s house, but instead we had until 1pm for lunch and errands with Papa. Then we returned once more to the co-op where Patience and Gabriel skipped into zoology (they love that class) and John walked Liesl into ballet while I finished nursing Daniel in the van and wolfing down my sandwich. 🙂 Here’s what we were up to during ballet:

20121005-141705.jpg We always put mats out to run around or sit on…




20121005-143250.jpgRachel and Andrew Sample were there bc their two daughters are in ballet as well – here’s Andrew with Gideon and also Jude smiling for the camera:



After class we spent more time than intended at the mall because I had Gymbucks to spend at Gymboree and wanted to pick up some jeans to match their sunflower shirts.

20121005-144317.jpg(Yes, those are tiny sunflowers on their jeans!) After a few more stores I was ready to pass out from needing to eat, so a smoothie with protein powder from Orange Julius was necessary. 🙂 The kids enjoyed a waffle bowl sundae from DQ (the same kiosk as the OJ) and spent their quarters on little ninjas and skittles. 🙂

20121005-143647.jpgI think Greer is a little confused about what “open your eyes” means :). Here she is finishing off my smoothie and covered in stickers at Gymboree:




That’s about it for our day out 🙂 now on to the food! I am constantly amazed at how hungry I am when I’m nursing. You would think I’d remember that from kid to kid, but the intermittent period of being repulsed by most foods or just completely apathetic about eating (aka pregnancy) wipes out any fond memories I have about being able to eat like a horse while losing baby weight (I’m guessing that training to run a marathon is also increasing my appetite…) Usually I have to wait three hours after eating before I can run, and that normally means refraining from drinking as well to keep it from sloshing around in my empty tummy. Now, I can drink nonstop fluids up until and during running and I’m still thirsty. If I were to go three hours without eating I wouldn’t make it five steps down the road before face-planting (I don’t think I’d even have the energy to get on my compression socks if I hadn’t eaten recently!) I went to bed hungry last night, dreaming of a salmon-salad sandwich, becoming quite unhappy when I realized the only bread in the house was cinnamon raisin Ezekial bread. But wait! Genius! It would be sort of like those chicken salad sandwiches with grapes in them!

If you’ve ever thought tuna in a can was healthy, you’re right of course. But what’s even healthier? Canned salmon, my friend! The ingredients in canned chicken are pathetic – about ten in all, none of them monosyllabic. Tuna is a bit better – maybe one preservative, tuna, salt, and either water or oil. But salmon? Just salmon and water! And even better – the salmon is canned with skin and bones giving even greater nutritional value. “Gross!” you may think. But I promise, with a little salt and pepper and something crunchy – I like celery – you hardly notice the bones. I added some curry powder, too, just to spice things up a bit 🙂


20121005-151128.jpgThat salmon looks pretty icky right out of the can, doesn’t it? I add mayo and seasoning and then the celery, then spread it onto my bread 😉 Yummmmmmy!

20121005-151430.jpgOh, I mentioned running after eating because I’m about to head out for a quick 3-4 miles after nachos at lunchtime. 😉 Come on – I was making them for the kids – how could I resist?? Two days ago I ran 8 miles and my iPod cut off after two miles (so I made it start a new workout) and then it wouldn’t register the other six on the Nike website. It did the exact same thing the day before with my six mile run. They both show up on my iTunes, but they won’t upload to Nike. It wouldn’t matter except that on the iPod nano you can’t see your splits unless you look at the run on the website, although on the iPhone app you simply turn your phone sideways to see your splits. All this is to say that I’m excited to now run exclusively with my phone because I received my new water bottle yesterday with the bigger bag for holding the phone, and I’ll be running with John’s Bluetooth headphones. Check it out.


Saturday’s Run and Weekly Recap – Lean, Mean, Running Machine!


So I’m not at all lean, trucking up that street with my 30+ pounds of pregnancy weight, but for at least half a mile today on my run, I felt just like that  – light and fast, and mean!  More like – “determined, fighter, hard-core” kind of mean 🙂  I woke up this morning nice and late again (yippee!) – always great for a Saturday morning – to find sunshine!!! It was still pretty windy the whole time, keeping it rather cool, but the sun was glorious 🙂  I had a pretty decent 4 mile run today, punctuated by occasional slow spots to run through discomfort, and the awesome fast parts where I felt like I could fly (if 9 minute miles could be considered flying :))  Those few times of feeling just great really make running at this point so worth it, because there is nothing else going on in my life right now that makes me feel that way.  When you deliver a baby, when you finish a race after giving it all you’ve got, performing on stage with crowds on their feet singing and clapping along – all these things bring a sense of euphoria seldom found, and none of them are available to me right now.  But when you can find it on a normal, everyday run, it’s even more welcome, because it sneaks up on you, right there in the middle of the humdrum.  Oddly enough, it was one of my slower songs on the playlist that got me going today – “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.  Here’s when I picked it up:  ‘But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me, reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!” You’ll never win”‘

Then the chorus comes in with “But the voice of truth tells me a different story – the voice of truth says ‘Do not be afraid.’  The voice of truth says, ‘This is for my glory.’  Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

I think this one really motivated me today because I had just read someone’s blog about her mental struggles with her 10 mile run that day.  Wow, even at 35 weeks, a song can make me go faster than I think I can.  I love music that way 🙂

So the week’s workouts were:

Monday: Walking 5+ miles as quickly as possible around London, with lots of stairs!

Friday: 3.1 mile run at 11:30 pace

Saturday: 4.1 mile run at 11:58 pace

This should hopefully make anyone who’s pregnant and concerned about their weight gain rest easy.  Here I am running enough to do my first half marathon at 24 weeks, and to still be doing 5-6 miles at 30 weeks, 4 miles now at 35 weeks (so I don’t run as much as some ladies, but still, quite a bit) and I STILL have put on 30 pounds.  I’m not sure of my exact weight, but about a week ago it was hovering around 170, and I started out at 140.  The midwives don’t weigh you at your visits here in the UK, so that 140 was just at the intake “you’re pregnant” visit, and the 170 is on my bathroom scale.  Either way, this makes me realize that my body knows what to do, and it will put on whatever weight it needs to in order for me to successfully grow this baby and nurse him for as long as he needs.  That’s what all the extra fat deposits are on upper arms, in the chest, hips, thighs, etc – stored energy for the long months of nursing ahead!  So don’t get down on yourself if you’re putting on more weight than you would like – your body probably has a way that it does pregnancy, and it will continue to operate that way regardless of what you do.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been heavier for previous pregnancies when I wasn’t a runner, but, generally speaking, 20-30 pounds seems to be about what I gain.  Oh well!

Here’s a picture after today’s run to show you the torture device that is the maternity support belt.  Rather an embarrassingly ugly picture of the contraption, but I’m putting it here in case someone wanted to know how it looks when you wear it.

You can see the huge amount of back support, and the smaller band going down around the bottom of the tummy, with that skinny little band on top.  I don’t really like that part but use it rather than cutting it off.

So now I want to get on my soapbox for the day – about someone’s comment on another person’s blog I read yesterday.  I didn’t want to comment back about it because it’s obviously just that person’s opinion, but I found it annoying, so I wanted to talk about it (especially since it was running through my head as I ran today.)  I doubt that the blogger will be reading this, but I am 100% certain the commenter won’t, so I think I won’t offend anyone 🙂  I don’t plan on regularly talking about pregnancy once I’m no longer pregnant, so this is my one chance for this topic to come up 🙂

So to the story – the blogger was posting about how she was feeling at 33 weeks – uncomfortable, hot all the time, knocking things off counters with her belly, etc. She wasn’t complaining about it, per se, but asked others how they felt in their last months, etc.  Well I’ll tell you straight up – I don’t like being pregnant at all.  I know, I know – there are lots of ladies out there with infertility problems, or who aren’t in a position to be able to have a family and give birth, etc, so obviously I have never walked in their shoes, and they would love being pregnant, but for me, I should still be allowed to say that I don’t like it.  I am not one of those people who embraces her pregnant body, feels all glowing and lovely, and can’t wait to be pregnant when I’m not.  Even when we had been married 2 1/2 years and I was not pregnant, I wasn’t “looking forward” to the way one feels when pregnant.  Since then I’ve had 7 pregnancies and 5 babies (one miscarriage at 16 weeks), and pregnancy and I have made peace, but we’re not friends.  I always wonder who these people are who say they “loved being pregnant – don’t you???” I was talking to a friend the other day who said she liked it, and she told me they had struggled with infertility for a while before they were able to conceive.  I guess, medically and technically speaking, we were “infertile” as well before our first baby was born.  But that is simply ludicrous since we never underwent any sort of infertility regime, and I now am 35 weeks into my 7th pregnancy.  So the medical definition of infertility of actively trying to conceive for a year without achieving pregnancy must be wrong, since we’re clearly not infertile.

Anyway, someone commented back to this blogger saying things I won’t quote directly because that might seem rude – but generally things along this vein: I hated it too when I was in my last months, but now I miss it! You’re going to miss it,too! Treasure the time you have together just as a couple because you’ll miss that once the baby comes (ok maybe this one I’ll say is not that far from the truth). I’m finding myself wishing I were still pregnant because I get sad when I see how much my baby has already grown and how it’s happening so fast! [and finally] – you may only be lucky enough to do this a few times in your life, so cherish the times you get to be pregnant!

Okay, so maybe this girl was feeling that way now that she had delivered and was no longer pregnant, but really people – STOP TELLING WOMEN IN THEIR LAST TRIMESTER THAT THEY ARE GOING TO MISS BEING PREGNANT AND THAT THEY SHOULD JUST TRY TO RELAX AND ENJOY IT!  I think MOST WOMEN will not be sorry to have the baby on the outside of their body, holding it and loving it in a new way.  That kind of encouragement really is not encouraging.  Especially because I think the women are few and far between who really do miss being pregnant.  Who knows, though, maybe I’m just the weird one?? And as far as being lucky enough to only get to do this a few times – ladies, I have news for you. If you want to be pregnant more often, you’ll probably get that chance if infertility is not a concern for you.  You don’t live in China, so there is no one (unless you spouse is adamant) telling you you can’t have more children.  Most women limit their pregnancies by choice, so if you’re sad you won’t get to be pregnant again (because you feel like you didn’t cherish the experience enough the other times) well then – you could probably have another child.  Despite all the reasons people give for limiting their family size, the truth remains that it’s a choice you’ve made – so you’re not lucky for the few times you get to be pregnant (infertility aside) – you’ve made a decision to only do this a few times.  And as a matter of fact, I’m sure that a lot of women make the choice to have a smaller family partially based on how they felt while pregnant – which is to say, not good.  Yes, pregnancy is amazing, and it’s truly astonishing what goes on in the 40 weeks while the baby is growing inside of us, but that doesn’t mean that if I say I don’t like the way I feel when I’m pregnant (really – who likes feeling weaker, heavier, limited, apathetic, nauseous, tired – I could go on) that others should tell me I need to readjust my attitude basically and just love it because it will be over soon and I’ll miss it.  No, I won’t be missing it.  Not at all.  Either way, I think the commenter and the blogger were friends, at least it sounded like that when I read it, so maybe you know your own friends well enough to know when you can say stuff like that.  Well any of my friends and family reading this – you know me well enough NOT to say anything like that, because you know I will give you a dirty look if you do 🙂

When getting dressed to run takes as long as the run…


Someone asked me recently about whether or not I use belly support when I’m running, and if so, what type.  So I promised to post about it.  I haven’t talked about running much since last Saturday when I ran that crazy hill.  Guess that one hill really took it out of me!! 🙂  Mostly it’s just been because we were traveling which meant I had a bunch of other stuff to talk about, but now, back to our regularly scheduled program…


Here’s a shot with my support belt on under the belly panel of my maternity skirt so that if I had to make a pit stop along the way during this 10K, it would be easier and faster to get undressed and dressed.  Normally I wear the belt over the belly panel.  The top was custom made for my by the great people at www.cyclingthings.com  (to fit me at 28 weeks) and is their American flag tri top (it was a race in Windsor where we were supposed to show our national colors.)

I did walk 5-6 miles on Monday, so I’m counting that as one workout, and I asked my babysitter to come tomorrow morning so I can hopefully get in a run Friday and then Saturday when John’s home.  We’ll see how that pans out.  I have been reading about lots of other motivating pregnant runners – apparently Inside Edition in the US did a short piece on one lady who is pregnant with her 9th child and was still running in her ninth month, and they showed her running, along with another pregnant runner/blogger who she called up to come run with her for the shoot.  Like me, they have found that most of the places they can find information and support on running through a pregnancy has been on blogs.  I know there are a few books that have been written as well (and which I have read), but it has helped me so much more to read about people’s personal experiences and to see their photos.  So inspiring!!

It seriously does take me about half an hour to get myself ready to go out for a run.  First of all there are the multiple sports bras – usually 3.  Those things are hard to get on regularly, but getting harder every time now as my body keeps growing and changing.  (They’re even harder to get off!!)  Enough about those torture devices, though.  Pregnancy has added a new one to the mix – the maternity support belt!


It still has blood stains on it from the massive amounts of chafing it caused (even with the Vaseline I used) during my half marathon at only 24 weeks pregnant.  So you can imagine how comfortable it is now!  I wear a maternity running skirt from www.runningskirts.com (I have two of them) which has a lot of material to cover my belly – a good thing for use with the maternity belt or even with a running tank that might be too short now.  I sometimes wear the huge belly part up with the maternity belt over it, and then chafing is not a problem.  Other times, when it’s too hot for my cute pregnant running shirts (a rarity in England, but it has happened once in the last month) I have worn the maternity belt against my skin with the skirt up over it, so that the belly panel on the skirt will cover what my shorter tank top would otherwise have left exposed.  It was only vanity which caused me to do it that way, though, because I just didn’t want the maternity belt peeking out from under the tank top since it’s white and would have thrown off my cuteness 🙂  The problem with wearing the belly panel up, along with the maternity belt and my shirt, is that your whole middle is swathed in fabric, which really can heat you up.  Good luck with figuring out how to keep cool – for me, the British weather is helpful 🙂

Another picture with the belt under my skirt so my shorter tank top would look cuter (vanity of vanities…):

The brand of maternity support belt I bought is Mobilis Elite Maternity Support Belt, but there are many other makers of it.  It has a rather-less-supportive-than-I-would-like panel in the front (which you first put on by using its separate elastic to hold it in place) and then a huge back brace which you velcro at the edges to the front again.  Not sure what the little strap across the top of the belly is for in this picture  http://www.physioroom.com/product.php?utm_source=googleproducts&utm_medium=foc&utm_campaign=125&pid=39162&cid=2277&affid=25&gclid=CO72msP4u7ACFSghtAodbGnlmg  because that part does nothing for me except to help me in looking more lumpy and bulgy.  Oh well, it’s not about how I look…

Here is one of the maternity athletic skirts from runningskirts.com.  The fold where it goes up onto the next stair is where the belly panel starts.  I like it that it has little velcro pockets on both sides as well.


I also have been wearing compression socks for every run since I went out without them once in early April.  I had weird pains and such in the parts of my legs the socks normally covered, and I hadn’t had them before, and haven’t had them since sticking to the socks.  This pair is from runningskirts.com but I have other pairs as well.  I have no particular favorite.


I have had to switch to another pair of Newton running shoes because my feet grew (as usual) causing the seams across a part of the top of my Terra Momentus to bother my toes.  I was able to keep the same size but with the more roomy toebox of the Gravity my tootsies are more comfortable right now.  I also have the Distance, but felt like there was a little too much pounding with those (which are my normal go-to shoes when not pregnant.)  The Terra Momentus are great for trails and were really what I needed as it started getting colder and wetter around here,  and since I was running the fields with all their holes and mud.  Once I was further along, though – around 23 weeks – the holes just freaked me out too much, and the thought of slipping in the mud, so I have stuck to the roads ever since.


To top it all off (pun intended) I love my running tees from www.fortwofitness.com .  I wish I’d gotten one of their tanks, too, but it’s too late now since I have to have it shipped to my American PO Box on a base an hour away, and we don’t make a lot of trips out there.  Who’m I kidding…I should just go order one 🙂  I LOVE the shirring on the sides and the stretch in the fabric, and they feel very light.  The one pictured here is a large because they didn’t have a medium at the time in this color, but I also wear a medium orange one, and it fits great as well.  I think you just get more length with the large, which is okay even if the length is too much for you because with the shirring it really is just as long as you want it 🙂  You should check out the For Two Fitness page if you’re into other sports, too, because they have other cute sayings on them besides just the “Running for Two.”  Here’s a shot at the half marathon at 24 weeks.

On top of putting on all these clothes, I then have to strategically place Vaseline here and there to prevent chafing – which incidentally I have discovered also helps to hold the undershorts of the skirt in place.  Unfortunately, it stains shirts because it’s greasy, but I don’t really care so long as I’m not chafing!  Hope this post has been helpful to someone out there 🙂