Friday, December 30, 2011

It's NEVER what you expect

Isn't that one true fact in life? Nothing ever pans out the exact way you expect, no matter how much you put into planning. I imagined and replayed over and over in my head the day that my son was born before it happened. I created what I thought I was going to feel, what my room would look like, what the nurses would look like, how it would smell, the things I would be thinking while it was happening and how he would look. I planned and planned and anticipated. It was nothing like I thought it would be like, and thank God it wasn't because the way it happened was way better than I could have ever imagined myself. I'll leave most of the gory details out but here's what really went down:

Sunday 11/13/2011
- 4:00pm: Contractions start. We start timing them 5-8 minutes apart. I call my Doula, she tells me to go to sleep. What?! She told me that I would need rest so if I could sleep through the begining of labor at home it would helpful later.

Monday 11/14/2011
-1:00am: I wake up to a very strong contraction. When I get to the bathroom my water breaks. Half a sleep and scared/excited I yelled out for Jeremie. Unlike in the movies, when your water breaks in real life its a slow leak that continues until the baby is born. In the moment I completely forgot what to do, I looked at Jere and said "how do I get off the toilet, it won't stop?" Months earlier I bought adult diapers for this reason. He calmly reached under the bathroom sink and passed me a very attractive pink adult diaper. SWEET! Called the doula again, she told us to start timing contractions again.

- 7:00am: After 6 hours of weak contractions they slow down and are irregular again. I called the Midwife. She told me to come into the hospital soon and that I would probably have to be induced if my contractions didn't start back up. Ughhhhh no! I told her that was not what I wanted to do. And she said "sometimes you don't have a choice, you need to come in. Our goal is to get your baby out safe and healthy. We'll talk about options when you get here. Walk around, for a while to see if you can get your contractions going again. Be here by 10am"

- 9:00am: No consistent contractions. Despite nipple stimulation, bumpy car rides, bouncing on the exercise ball, and pacing the house. It was time to go in.
Right before we left for the hospital
I actually felt amazing. The baby dropped so my heartburn was gone and I could breathe again.

- 2:00pm: We were all checked into the hospital and after an hour of pacing the hallways and talking about options with my Midwife and Doula it was time to start Pitocin. I stalled and ordered a turkey sandwich first. I remember the nurse coming in and saying "You feel good enough to eat...that's a problem"  My Midwife told me some people just need a little bit of the pitocin to kick start their own labor. The plan was to start on the lowest setting and slowly increase the dose amount until labor started.  I was hopeful that we could get things going, I could get off the pitocin and continue with my PLANNED natural child birth.
Seconds after starting the pitocin drip
-5:30pm - Whoa! Active labor. Strong strong contractions. I'm not a happy camper anymore. Didn't get off the pitocin, we're actually at the highest setting. I am crying in pain wondering how long it was going to last. I tried to focus on the fact that I would be holding my baby soon.

- 7:30pm - Time for the first check. After 2 hours of very painful contractions, I'm hoping I'm at least 6cm only 2cm. I could die. I start crying and ask for nubain. It's a pain medication, that would allow me to still have control of my legs so that I could get in and out of the tub. And unlike and epidural it would allow me to feel when to push. It is used as a way to take the edge off and relax during contractions. It was weird. I could still feel everything but I didn't care as much. It was like being drunk. I was able to relax and sometimes fall a sleep in between contractions.

 -9:00pm - Check again. I'm at 7cm! Yes! Time to get ready for the tub. First I had to walk to the birthing room with the tub, (you're not allowed in the water birth room until your are in active labor) Walking to the tub felt like a long exhausting WOD. Now I had to get weaned off pitocin. I couldn't be on it in the tub because with pictocin you have to be on a constant baby monitor, the contractions could be too strong for the baby and you can't get in the water with a baby monitor on.

-10:00pm - I'm getting in the tub, this is it. I'm scared to death of the actual birth, it's all I can think about.  Once I'm in the tub I feel sick, I'm already hot and sweaty,  getting into the hot water makes it worse. My doula has a ice cold rag with lemon smells on it, I keep putting it over my face, it keeps me from vomiting. I feel alone and scared in the giant tub, even holding Jeremie's hand.  My contractions slow down.....I have to get out of the tub.

-11:00pm - Check again, I'm at 8cm. Not good, back on pitocin and another dose of nubain.

Tuesday 11/15/2011

- 12:00am - Nubain did not kick in or take the edge off like it did the first time. I'm in extreme pain. Screaming. Like those crazy ladies you see in the movies, blood everywhere. If you would have told me before that I would be naked on all fours screaming and crying, in front of a room of people,  I would have told you, you were crazy, but that's where I was. I was tired, I was in the most pain I had ever felt in my life and I was ready for it to be over. I didn't care how. I started asking for an epidural. 

- 1:00am - I'm yelling at Jeremie "I don't want to be brave anymore, I don't want to feel anything anymore, I'm done" Our doula gets the nurses to run my blood so that I can get an epidural. I have to move back to the first room, there's not going to be a water birth.

- 2:00am - I am back in the room we started in, the epidural is on the cart waiting for me. The anesthesiologist gets called out on an emergency. I feel this indescribable urge to push.  The Midwife comes into check me...9 1/2 cm. She tells me that sometimes you can deliver without being fully dilated and if I wanted to push I could try. I thought to myself, Try is not a word I like in my vocabulary, this baby was coming out now. I'm not waiting for the epidural. Squeezing Jeremie's hand  on one side and our Doula's on the other, I take a deep breath and push on the next contraction. All the pain is gone. It almost feels good to push. The nurse shocked says "ummm that's that baby" calls the midwife over. She didn't even have time to put her gloves on. The next push his head was out. In between pushes the nurses give me oxygen. I put all my energy into pushing and am so exhausted afterward I feel like sleeping in between, despite what was happening. Apparently our Midwife said "okay on this next one you don't have push so hard". I didn't hear that I wanted to hold my baby. According to Jeremie, he almost shot across the room.

Avery James Tokarsky, 8lbs 15oz, 19inches. Welcome to the world little man!

-2:15am:  He's finally here! I'm holding him on my chest crying as the nurses wipes him off. I feel a high like I have never felt in my life. I'm still crying all I can say to him is "Hi, I can't believe you're here, hi baby, hi" over and over. Jeremie got to cut the cord. I honestly can't remember all the details other than that. They took Avery to weight him and do the tests. Jeremie went with them and it took my Midwife almost an hour to stitch up the damage. I broke every blood vessel in my face, eyes and neck.

- 2:50am: My family can finally come in to see us. My Dad, Mom and Sister were all there the entire time waiting for Avery's arrival. When they leave I'm left holding Avery trying to comprehend what just happened. Jeremie comes over and gives us both a hug,  says "You are amazing" and kisses me on the forehead. Then he says "but that was the most gory thing that I have ever seen". hahahahaha! 

Avery is 6weeks old today. Its still hard for me to believe that he lived in my belly. It's an absolute miracle that he's here and safe. From the time of conception to birth there are so many things that can happen,  I thank God everyday that he's here and healthy. Birth is a crazy, unpredictable, amazing event. Its not what I expected to experience at all. And it is true as soon as you hold that baby in your hands you forget the pain. I can't wait to have my second...and maybe third....again with no epidural. My Midwife said the way that my contractions were I probably would have had to have a c-section if I got the epidural because it slows down contractions and I was already at the highest dose of pitocin. I don't know what would have really happened. I'm thankful that it happened the way it did. I am also the first woman on my Mom's side to have a non-c-section birth.

Right now, I'm focused on soaking up all the baby I can handle, the messy diapers, sleepless nights, and all the baggage that he comes with. I'm taking it all in,  cherishing the day to day, seemingly uneventful moments.   He's already so big, growing out of his newborn clothes. I feel like I'm going to blink and he's going to be walking and talking, then driving, then walking down the isle, then having his own babies. The uneventful moments are the real stuff. That's what matters, as a parent it's who you are in each of those moments that matters. I look at him and know that I can be better for him. He will learn what I teach him. Every day, every moment, who I am teaches him how to be. I will be better for him, I will be his role model. When he looks at me with those sweet innocent eyes, depending on us for everything, how could I not want to be a better person? It really puts life into perspective.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

But won't your baby drown?

My favorite question asked when people find out we are doing a natural water birth; "Won't your baby drown?"  And coming in at a close second, "They make drugs for a reason".

Holistic Birthing Center at St. John West Shore, where we plan to meet our little man. 

My philosophy on child birth is very similar to my philosophy on health and wellness; humans have been having babies for millions of years and up until the last 100 years we've been doing it all natural. Seems to be working out pretty well for us as a species. Child birth is a natural body function, I don't understand why we have turned it into a medical procedure. Of course there is always exceptions and of course medical intervention is required and needed in some cases, but for low risk healthy pregnancies it's completely unnecessary.  Our bodies are absolutely amazing and when we let them function naturally they do amazing things. Why would you want to mess with that? Now there's also the whole, women's rights view, why should I have to go through all that pain and uncertainty when I can choose to schedule a cesarean and a tummy tuck? You're right, you can choose whatever birth plan you think is best for you and your baby. That's the hidden key for most 1st time mothers, you do have a choice in everything. If you go to a hospital and a traditional doctor you might never know that you can choose a different path. Even through prenatal care, you have a choice. My first reaction to the routine gestational diabetes test that involves quickly drinking a sweetened liquid (called Glucola), which contains 50 g of glucose, was "hell no am I'm putting that much glucose in my body at once". Considering the average recommended amount of daily glucose is 40g per day and I have been paleo for over a year so I probably stay well below that number, 50g would knock me out for weeks. I questioned the procedure and asked if there was a different method of testing for gestational diabetes, guess what....there was. A simple meal of eggs, milk, orange juice and toast 2 hours before my finger prick. Why do we tell pregnant women to drink 50g of glucose as a routine procedure? What?! Again you have the choice. Ask questions. Next "routine procedure" that made me  question the typical methods,  ultra sounds every appointment. I will admit it's pretty cool to spy on your little nugget, but what are the effects of ultrasound exposure to our babies? Ultrasounds can be very insightful and even life saving when something goes wrong, but why expose your healthy baby to them every month just because that is the typical thing to do? You have a choice. Do research. Ask questions. Those were the two big ones for prenatal care, there's all those fetal testing and other procedures too but the doctors are usually pretty good about letting you know they are optional.  We decided not to do any of them. I asked myself this question, "If I knew there was something wrong with my baby would I do anything different?" My answer was no, so why would I want to know/worry. For me that was the best decision.

For the birthing process there is a whole list of things to consider. The major one of course, the epidural. I won't waste your time trying to explain all medical research that I have done, do your own and come to a conclusion. My good friend gave me a DVD called "The Business of Being Born":

That was enough for me. Yeah it is a little conspiracy theory like Food Inc, but it was the reason I did so much research on natural child birth. I also really liked the natural child birth series on Chris Kresser's, Healthy Skeptic Blog. Those are two awesome sources to get you started. Most people that have had a traditional industrialized child birth have generously shared their opinions about how I will be changing my mind when the actual day gets here, but I feel pretty confident in the fact that I don't want an epidural to interfere with the natural hormones that my body creates to manage labor or the bonding that is created between baby and me through those hormones. I also want to experience that natural high feeling, that accomplishment, I know it will be like nothing like I have ever experienced in my life and I feel like I would be missing out if I didn't do it naturally. Plus the warm water immersion is a great natural technique to relieve pain. And baby will not drown, he's been in liquid for 9 months, receptors in his cheeks are activated when oxygen hits them signaling his lungs to take over for the first time. How cool is that?

I will admit, there are days where I wish I could return all the knowledge that I have found and schedule a cesarean and a tummy tuck but that is just the fear of uncertainty creeping into my head. I know a natural birth is the best decision for me and Baby T.

Right after birth there are more "routine procedures" that are administered to your newborn unless you request otherwise. The three most typical: vitamin K Shot, Hep B Vaccine, and antibiotic eye drops. After doing research and talking with our pediatrician we are not doing any of them. Whoa do the research on those, it's crazy that parents don't know that they have the right to say no to them. Why are we vaccinating newborns for sexually transmitted diseases (Hep B) anyway? Yeah awesome we have the technology to prevent sexually transmitted diseases but what are the side effects?? What does that do to a newborn's immune system? What about the other ingredients that are in the vaccines? I haven't even started researching all the infant vaccines....but I'm sure that it is a similar cluster of misinformation. I found a holistic pediatrician that has similar values as we do and feel like with her guidance and a lot of research we will make the right decisions for our lifestyle.

And finally the one thing I did not cover with "routine procedures" -  Circumcision.  Wow! Lots of controversy there.  We decided to get baby T circumcised on the 8th day so he wouldn't have to get the vitamin k shot. For cultural and religious reasons we felt like that was the one thing we couldn't go all natural on.

We also hired a doula in preparation for our big day. She is an experienced non-medical birth coach that has been answering all my questions thus far, helped us create a birth plan and will be there to support me and Jeremie during the entire labor and birth. I can only imagine Jeremie and me in the room alone during asking Jeremie questions, him not knowing what to do, me yelling at him....throwing things, head spinning, speaking in different languages, walking down stairs backwards.....oh wait that's the Exorcist. Hahaha! In all seriousness though, I hope to avoid the whole "what's happening to me and my body" panic attack and the "I want to kill my husband for not understanding everything that is happening to me" by using a doula. I also have faith that she will keep me drug free.

My goal in writing this all out was to #1 solidify why I made the decisions that I did so that when I'm in the pool with no drugs next week I have a clear reminder of what I wanted to experience and #2 to empower you to take control of your own health and if your pregnant or have children to take control of theirs, be their voice, do research and choose for them.

Oh how I miss my cute little baby bump:

It's just out of control now and very uncomfortable. There's so much baby in there I'm not sure how he's going to continue to grow for two more weeks.  I officially stopped Crossfitting the first week of my 9th month. My body was not having any type of physical activity.....getting dressed this past month is a pretty great workout. Not to mention unpacking, setting up the nursery and cleaning.

We have been in our house for a whole week now.....montage video coming soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Caution: inappropriate pregnant lady behavior

If I said I loved being a pregnant lady I would be lying. Pregnancy has been kicking my ass left and right for the majority of the past 8 1/2 months. One of the hardest part for me is learning how to scale back, how to slow down. I really only know two speeds; full speed or dead stop. I don't know anything in between. It's a 'all in' or 'no thanks' for me. And so I have found myself in this situation over and over again during my pregnancy...

I extend myself way too far on the days I feel good doing inappropriate pregnant lady things like:

 Pull-ups at 8 months

Remodeling work:

...and end up in bed recovering for days after. In my defense, I am also balancing out my inappropriate behavior with some very obvious pregnant lady activities like:

Filling up an entire room (and garage) with baby supplies....when do you stop?

Eating turkey sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner

In preparation for Baby T I have found an obsession with garage sales and craigslist. I think I have enough clothes for him for the first year of his life, but I can't stop. It's like hunting for women. Like a sport and I can't get enough. I also am back to having meat aversion and weird cravings, like the first trimester, making strict paleo almost impossible. I'm still okay with it. I do my best and eat what I can when I can. Again, I am so thankful for AdvoCare, because I know that Baby is getting all the nutrition he needs even when I'm not being the best role model for food choices. That's very evident in his development pace, he has been a solid 2 weeks ahead in growth and development the entire pregnancy. The more research I do, the more I discover how important pre-pregnancy behavior is to baby development too. Chris Kresser, has an amazing program called The Healthy Baby Code that goes into all the specifics on how to raise a healthy baby, before, during and after pregnancy. Of course, it's paleo and natural. And of course we are planning on raising our son paleo following his guidelines. It's very amusing to hear reactions when I inform people that we won't be feeding our child grains, dairy or sugar. My favorite reactions and my responses:

Them: "hahaha good luck with that"
Me: "I'm pretty sure I'll be the one doing the grocery shopping"

Them: "Kids need milk for their bones to grow strong"
Me: "Really? who told you that? The dairy industry?"

Them: "What are you going to do when he doesn't eat what you want him to?"
Me: "He's not going to starve himself, he'll eat what I give him eventually when he's hungry"

Now once he is older and bombarded with ads for junk food, surrounded with his friends that eat crap and tastes sugar, I'm sure it will be a different story. However, I'm preparing myself as a parent and doing as much research as I can now to collect ideas on how to educate and empower my children to make the right choices when it comes to food. Everyday Paleo, is my all time favorite blog on how to raise children paleo, how to get them involved with meal time and hundreds of kid friendly recipes. Her podcast is fantastic.

Baby delivery news.... like I said, he's going to be a big one and we're doing it all natural. With the disapproval of most of my family and friends we are choosing to do a holistic water birth. Which means no drugs or medical intervention unless absolutely necessary. Next post I'll go into depth about what it means and why we choose to do it that way. Like everything controversial, it's about education, ask questions and learn. Never settle for the answer "that's the way we've always done it".  Ha! Thinking about it...that's the reason I got fired from lululemon, still great advise to live by.

House news...with 5 weeks to go before Baby arrives we are currently a week past our move in goal date. New goal is to be moving in by October 15th. I don't want to ruin the surprise but I'm making a 80s montage video of our remodeling fun. Here's a sneak peak of the work we've been doing and when I say "we" I mean mostly Jeremie.

June 31st 2011
October 5th 2011
My family has been so amazing helping us out with the house too. We are truly blessed to have such awesome people in our lives.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blessings in disguise: why I'm grateful that I was fired from lululemon

"Everything is a life lesson. Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. They’re all part of the learning experience we call 'life.' Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you don't get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn't work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it." -Marc and Angel Hack Life - Practical Tips for Productive Living

As much as I preach about setting goals, planning your life and taking responsibility for everything that happens to you. There are things that are going to happen to you that you have no control over. You cannot control what other people are going to do, how they will treat you, decisions they make that effect you or how they choose to live their life.  You can however choose how you are going to act. These past couple of months I have learned so much. Last Tuesday I was fired from my lululemon job. The months leading up to my termination were filled with manipulated documentation, dozens of meetings to dispute those claims, belittling threats and lots stress. I decided the minute that the bullying started that I was going to do the right thing, to stick up for what I believed in and not sink to the level of respect to which my manager was treating me. I did a lot of hard things in terms of reaching out to the manager that was bullying me. My ego told me to talk behind her back, complain, and figure out a way to sabotage her efforts. I battled myself daily to be the better person. When I was not getting anywhere with the manager I reached out to my old manager and asked for guidance on what I could do to resolve the issues, she told me to reach out to our regional manager. I did and felt great about the advice that was given to me, which was to sit down with my manager another time and just listen to her point of view. I did. I wanted to know why she was treating me the way she was, I wanted to know what I was not understanding, most of all I wanted to know what I needed to change so that we could be on the same page. The meeting did not go well she told me I wasted her time, her boss's time and that I was very difficult to manage and we were going around in circles. She also asked if I expected her boss not to support her, that she would support her no matter what and she felt like I was the one bullying her. I felt worse about the situation and started questioning whether I had made the right decision to even bring it up in the first place. I think that's what bullies do, they try to isolate you and make you feel guilty. I decided that it was not going to prevent me from being the best that I could be while I was at work. I came to work everyday committed to doing everything in my power to going above and beyond my job duties. I asked for feedback from the rest of the leadership team regularly, everything was always positive. Without going into too much detail a month later,  at 5 1/2 months pregnant, I was fired for "who I was being" and other misleading and unclear reasons in a very unprofessional manner.  My pregnancy was held against me and used as a way to "document" performance issues. In the beginning I was angry, sure I know I made mistakes along the way but not anything that I felt would get me fired in terms of performance. I was disgusted that a company that preached so much about integrity, people and culture would let this happen. I was hurt and disappointed that my experience with lululemon at the Cleveland store was such a bummer compared to the experience that I had in Orlando. Most of all I felt obligated to share my story so that others could maybe find the strength they needed to stand up for what is right. I take full responsibility for where I'm at today. I chose lululemon last year, I chose to relocate back to Cleveland, I chose to get pregnant, I even chose to get fired when I stood up for what was right. Now I'm choosing to view this experience as a blessing, I am so grateful for the lessons that I have learned from this entire experience:

  1. There is no such thing as business ethics. - Businesses can not be ethical, only individuals can be responsible for being ethical.  A company can have all the culture, integrity and good intentions in the world but in the end the wrong person on the wrong seat of the bus can ruin it for a lot of people. Seth Godin wrote an awesome blog on the topic.
  2. God is always listening to my prayers. I prayed a lot for God to make me a stronger person during the lululemon experience. I did not want it to be easier, I wanted to be stronger. God gave me an opportunity to be stronger. I read a quote once that said, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" I thank God a lot for my husband, my new baby, my family, for the food on the table, the car that I drive, the clothes on my back and for the people I got to meet everyday. When I called Jeremie to tell him that I got fired he said, "It's my fault you got fired, I kept praying that I would get to spend more time with you." How awesome is he? It occurred to me that God did in fact know exactly what I needed and was listening. He presented it in a way that I would not have chosen for myself, he presented me with the opportunities that I was praying for. I trust in his plan for my life with all my heart. Honestly, the stress of being in that environment was effecting me more than I thought. I have been so happy since last week, I have a huge smile on my face right now as I think about never having to be in that office in those crazy meetings ever again.
  3. I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. I never in my life would have thought that I had the courage to stand up to a bully. I did. I did it with integrity and I was fired for it. That puts a big smile on my face. Being a people pleaser my entire life, this is a major breakthrough for me.
  4. As a leader personal responsibility becomes even more important. I believe 100% in personal responsibility and it killed me to watch the leaders of our team used "personal responsibility" as a way to diverge their own responsibility. It tore apart our team, sent the wrong messages and did not accomplish anything accept for passing blame. I learned that if you want to be a powerful leader you have to be willing to take personal responsibility first, no excuses.
  5. Owning your own business really gives you the freedom to control your financial future. I gave a year and a half of my life and a lot of creative ideas to lululemon and was terminated like a replaceable cog in a machine for questionable reasons. I've seen worse, people that have worked for companies for 30 years and have the same thing happen to them. You just never think that those things will happen to you. It taught me why that freedom of owning your own business is so important.
  6. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. I'm choosing to forgive and move on. I don't know why they treated me like that, I don't know what they're going through. I hope that they get the help they need so that they can stop living a life of lies and drama and find peace. It has to be exhausting.  I'm forgiving them because holding a grudge does not serve me in any way. I don't agree with how they acted but it is not my place to judge. I don't have to agree with them or like them to forgive and it is the right thing to do. And guess what? They don't even have to deserve it, I have the power to forgive, I decide to let go or not.
  7. You may have to forgive more than once, or twice, or three times. Actually you may have to remind yourself that you already forgave everyday until you stop all unproductive thoughts about the situation. Andy Andrews has an amazing book on forgiveness called The Heart Mender, that taught me this important lesson. Now I really understand what that lesson means.
I feel like I just woke up from a 6 month long dream, like I was stuck in a real life sequel of Mean Girls. The rumors, the cat fights, the talking behind people's backs, the created drama,  and everything in between. I'm so thankful that I got out a better person, that I did not let it change me negatively. I sleep like a baby at night knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I did the right thing. There are some really incredible people on the team that inspired me, I'm also so grateful that I got to know them. That they shared their goals with me and let me be a part of their lives. The people that I met working at lululemon, for the most part, were absolutely amazing, they changed my life, they made me a better person. If I had the option to go back and do it all again, I would just to have the opportunity to meet them.

With no job, no health insurance, a gutted house and a baby on the way, I'm taking each day as it comes. I'm appreciating every minute and focusing on being present to right now, not the past, not the future but now. I thank God everyday for all the wonderful things that I have and know that he has a better plan for me. I'm not wasting one second being negative, I'm choosing to count this as a blessing and I wouldn't change this amazing journey that he planned for me in any way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Being "self-employed" is like be unemployed.

....according to the banks and job applications anyway. If you are planning to be an entrepreneur there are a few things you should know about "living the American dream" (and by that I mean owning a house.) I've never had a JOB in my life. And by JOB I mean J-ust O-ver B-roke, where you work just hard enough so you don't get fired and they pay you just enough so that you don't quit. (thanks Mike Ferro for that quote) Growing up I could never picture myself in a job role. I never wanted to do anything except for be my own boss, creating my own future. I greatly underestimated the strength and perseverance it would take to make it a reality. Jeremie happens to be the same way, with both of us full-time entrepreneurs it makes it close to impossible to buy a house the "traditional" way. Here's the truth guys, right now in the crazy world of borrowing $$ you have to show 5 years of taxes returns on a business for it to be considered as income for the banks to approve you for a mortgage. Even if you have those 5 years to show, most businesses are not profitable enough in their first years to even qualify for a loan. I wouldn't recommend even trying to live off of a new business before 5 years. Most of  you probably have a day job or two to fill in the gaps while your getting your businesses off the ground. Mine is lululemon. I love that it gives me the flexibility to build my business and matches my values, but it's not enough income to qualify for a loan. Here were our options:

1. Find a house for $25,000 or less so that we could buy it in cash.
2. Find a family member or friend that would co-sign for us.
3. Find a family member or friend that would mortgage the house for us.
4. Find a place to rent.

We so blessed to have a family that supports our entrepreneur lifestyle. They are going to mortgage the house for us. Over that past six months we have looked at so many houses, we lost three in the bidding war and with Baby T on its way we were getting anxious. Last post I put it out there that we would own our new house by June 30th.  Never under estimate the power of writing out SMART GOALS, we got our house!! YES YES YES!!!

Perfect little project house for us, wait until you see the inside.... Lots of work but we think we can have it liveable in 2 months.  Since this is a short sale we are also estimating that it will take 3x longer to up to 3months!  You know how we like time pressure. hahahahaha! That will put our move date right around the time Baby T arrives. YIKES! I'll be updating our progress. It's going to be a fun adventure!

On another note, our gym is rockin!! Mostly because of all the hard work that Jeremie has been putting into it....I've been pretty useless the last couple of months. We hit a few bumps in the beginning but are continually adding 5-10 members each month. During the transition of Jeremie and I taking over we lost a few members. Normal when any business goes through a huge change. We were kind of anticipating it. When we got to The Box it was a hobby, a hangout and the members got use to treating it like their home gym. Jeremie and I knew that if we were going to make it a profitable business we needed to treat it like one. That was what the owner wanted as well, so that's what we did, we structured it. Jeremie also does all the programing and has a very different style than what the members were use to. Our goal with programing is to develop nonspecializing athletes, we cater to athletes, we attract athletes that want to push themselves and constantly get better.  The people that create our gym family are amazingly inspiring people to be around. We love them and can't wait to keep growing the family. 

Again, with the baby coming we're on a tight schedule to make the gym work. The truth is, the gym barely brings in enough income to put gas in our cars right now. AdvoCare supplements our income, but these past two months have been rough with my pregnancy, I've been slacking big time and our numbers are reflecting that. We know that with AdvoCare and the Box we will both be full-time trainers/stay at home parents soon. We also have a lot faith, specific goals and a lot of perseverance, in the past that has been a perfect combination.
Yoga at the CrossFit Box, totally my creation! (the one thing I can take credit for at the gym) Makes my heart smile. Laura from Yoga 101 Rocked our world!
I'll be re-doing my goals this week since it's the half-way mark on the year and we've accomplished the three biggies for this year already! I'm so inspired to create the next adventure of our lives!

and just so you know.....
I've stuck to my Goal of crossfitting at least 3X a week during pregnancy. This is at 16.5 weeks.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Enjoying the whole journey

"I've had a rough month," would be an understatement. Surely I'm not this big of a baby, but I have had at least 15 days where I wanted to stay in bed and cry all day. I'm learning a lot though. Things I didn't know about pregnancy and that no one could explain to me 4 months ago:

1. You lose your mind. Seriously feel like an idiot, brain stops working.
2. You will say the most ridiculous things. This came out of my mouth last week, "I can smell your shampoo from over here, it's making me sick." Poor Jeremie.
3. You constantly have to remind yourself that you aren't getting fat your growing a baby.
4. There is no cure for morning sickness, heart burn, exhaustion or weird food aversions. Suck it up and enjoy the ride.

So that's where I'm at. I'm finding the calm in the storm. Learning how to enjoy every second of this amazing journey, even if that means loving crying in bed all day.  Know what's funny? I've been here before. I already know how to handle this. I don't want to call this a setback but if I was choosing my  pregnancy I would be that woman that never had nausea and was glowing radiantly with beautiful skin, hair and nails. Oh and a perfect little baby bump under a cute sundress. When I look like death, I'm breaking out like a teenager and I'm feeling like I have the worse hangover feels similar to a setback. Here's the positives:

1. I don't feel guilty ever about eating. If I can eat something and keep it down, it's a good thing.
2. I don't feel guilty about sleeping all day. ahhhh
3. I love watching my husband transform into a father.
4. I have a new found respect for all mothers, especially working women that go through pregnancy with full-time careers. 
5. And most importantly, as my good friend Christina reminded me of, my body is doing an amazing amazing thing and this little baby is going to change my life forever.

How can I complain about this experience? I can't. I'm appreciating it, the amazing, the weird and the bad. I'm loving the moments.

When we first moved to Ohio, we had goals and a plan:
  1. New flip house
  2. Babies
  3. Crossfit Gym (starting in our garage). 
As usual our plans were a little off, we went backwards: CrossFit Gym, Baby, .....still working on the house.  Wow that's another journey that is full of emotions. We have spent hours looking at houses, have put bids in on 3, walked away from one and were out bid on the other 2. We fell in love, had our hearts broken and are back to the drawing board. The right one will come. We own our house by June 30th 2011. Putting it out there.

For those of you demanding baby bump pics....

Up next.... the creative task of financing a house when you don't have a regular J-O-B and an inside look at the gym. : )

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And then there was 4

"Life isn't happening to you; life is responding to you." -The Secret: The Power

Be very careful of what you put on your goal board and put out into the universe. Have you ever heard of the law of attraction? The Law of Attraction simply says that you attract into your life whatever you think about.  Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. When you create goal boards, 10 year visions and constantly talk about where you are going in life, it will manifest itself one way or the other. The law of attraction works the other way too. If you are constantly thinking, worrying and whining about all the negative things in your life you will most definitely be attracting more of that to your life. Guard your thoughts, make a conscious effort to stop all negativity. Get away from negative people that bring you down and plant seeds of doubt in your head. Control your thoughts and you can control your life. You have to honestly believe that it will happen too. Imagine the perfect life that you want and make small choices everyday that will get you closer to being there. Do you ever notice that successful people are almost always positive? And most people negative, whinny people are not successful in their life. Watch for it, it's a pattern.

In January I re-did my goals.  In January I was not in a happy place, but I never blamed my situation on anyone, I never whined about it and I definitely was not going around telling people about it. Instead I chose to change my life. I only thought about where I was going and I told everyone about my goals. In my mind, it already happened. I read my goal board, 10 year vision and stared at my vision board every night before I went to bed. I was obsessed with where I was going. Its only 4 months from those dark days in the ghetto of FL and I am so humbled to say those goals have manifested themselves into my life. We moved to Ohio, we own a CrossFit gym, we gave ourselves an $800 a month raise in AdvoCare and now........we are having November Twins!!!
Now....I do not know if they are twins yet...but you know I'm telling everyone they are.  I will be building AdvoCare, working full time, training at the gym, CrossFitting, eating Paleo and documenting the entire process. Whoa! Its going to be an incredible journey!

Coming up next....Paleo + Pregnancy

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Sorry I can't, I'm too busy"

"Being busy is seductive, just because you’re going flat out doesn't mean your on the right path. If its the wrong hole you need to stop digging." -The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun 
This by far is my favorite excuse to debunk. Why why why must people act like they have no control over their life? Don't you see that makes you the victim? Being busy does not mean that you are going anywhere. Being busy with things that are not important to you does not make you a better person. Being busy does not equal success. Now, being lazy and waiting around for things to happen to you is another thing. I'm not talking about that. Define your purpose and your goals and only be busy with those things that will get you there, everything else is a waste of time. If you don't know where you are going it is very easy to get "busy" running around in circles. Being a fitness professional I hear, "I'm too busy" more than a normal person should ever have to, I usually answer, "we all have 24hrs in a day" Isn't that the truth though? Got that from one of my favorite books, The Magic of Thinking Big. I'm 100% convinced if you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it happen. If not you will find an excuse. Being busy is an excuse. If you don't want something a better answer is "no if I spend my time ______ than I will be taking time and energy away from what I truly want." Be honest with yourself. Don't make excuses, that's lame. If you want to get healthy than do it, don't waste my time or yours with excuses. If you want to make more money than do it. If you hate the weather and want to move than do it. You are the one that drives the "you" bus. Nobody makes you do anything except for you. If you're "too busy" right now to work on achieving your goals, whose fault is that? Hate to be the bearer of bad news.....but that would be you.  

In that light, I'm happy to announce that I have redone my goals, re-focused my energy and am ready to cross more goals off my board. I work on average 12hour days, but I can tell you I am never too busy to pick up one more task if it is in line with my goals. I will also say that I am getting better at saying NO to the things that are not. Every decision I make gets me closer or further away from my goals. One choice at a time I determine my future. How amazing is that? Jeremie and I are now the only other owners in the run for the CrossFit gym. We made the decision to stay, it will become successful.  I work at lululemon but choose not to get promoted because it's not my career choice. My ego gets in the way sometimes and I think I want to be in a leadership position at lululemon, but I have to constantly come back to my goals and be honest with myself. My BHAG is to be retired by the age of 35, that's not going to happen by climbing the ladder at lululemon. Even though I love love love it there, saying yes to a promotion would take away time and energy from my AdvoCare business.  We choose to work AdvoCare daily because it is our future. Because it is the only thing that will allow us to be financially independent enough to be retired at the age of 35. I write this blog because it keeps me accountable. It organizes my thoughts. And I hope that it speaks to someone struggling to build a life that they imagined. 

Coming up careful what you write on your goal boards they almost always come true...

Paleo eats: 
Paleo good! Recipe from Everyday Paleo
Breakfast of Champions
Seriously bacon makes everything better, bacon on asparagus.
Bacon and mushrooms sauteed with spinach, baked mahi-mahi topped with guacamole and hot sauce
Sausage over raw spinach, salsa dressing.
Pizza with a turkey bacon crust! Use a tiny bit of Raw cheese.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sometimes you need a break

I promised a million people I would have my goals redone and ready to go tonight, but its not going to happen. I'm tired, I'm burnt out and I'm taking a break. I've stared at this computer screen for over an hour now and I am completely uninspired to write new goals. What's been going on this past week has completely drained me emotionally and physically. I'm not going to wine about this funk I'm pushing through but I will be honest. Small setback. There needs to be a balance readjustment. The big announcement that I have to make is this, Jeremie and I are now training at a CrossFit gym. This announcement is also the source of my balance issue. Here's how this week went, 5:00am wake up  go to crossfit to train myself, come home shower and head straight to lululemon until 4:00pm, go straight back to crossfit to train until 7 or 8pm, get home cook dinner, shower, answer emails for about an hour, clean up and crash around 11:00pm. This is what my schedule looked like for the majority of the week and I am dreading going through it again. Our goal is to own a CrossFit gym. This past week we had an interesting opportunity of joining forces with the owner of the gym we work at and help build that into a successful business. He already had a couple interested in the same thing. Today we had a meeting with the owner of the gym and the other couple and we are entering into a 3 month trail period where we see if this is a feasible setup. Can there be 5 owners? Can we all get on the same page? Can we all win? Right now for me I feel extremely overwhelmed for a maybe. My dream in life has always been to be a gym owner. We also want to travel and give our children a wonderful life and never have to worry about financial pressure. We know 100% there is no way to do that with a gym being the only source of income. I've ran the numbers a million different ways to make it work. It's not going to happen. And even if we could make enough money we wouldn't have the time to travel or raise our children. We would be married to the gym, trading hours for dollars. That's why our focus has been to build our AdvoCare business to a point where we can live comfortably ($80,000) before we venture into opening a gym. That way the gym was our passion that we get to share with people..not a business that stresses us out.  That we could let people workout for free if we wanted to. That we could hire and pay trainers to run it when we were gone. That we would actually have time and money to travel when we wanted to. Helping people reach their goals is my passion. Helping people become more than they thought they ever could be is my passion.

And so investing time into a gym right now might not be the best solution for us. We have to sacrifice hours from our AdvoCare business to build the gym business, when we know that is not what is going to pay us. Where do we draw the line?

The next couple of months will be interesting. I am going to make a promise to myself to stay grounded and take a break when I need it. Will that happen how I plan.....probably not...I like to do everything all at once by myself. In the past this is where I break. I've learned a lot from the 4 businesses I started that didn't make it. Just by being aware of this balance issue I feel like it's going be the tipping point for me. Being aware that I need to call myself out when I don't follow through too. I want to become the leader that I was meant to be. To do that I know I must continue to grow and learn. This is one of those learning experiences that will make me stronger. Staying true to my goals and pushing my comfort level is where I grow. I want to be extraordinary. I want to be a difference maker. I want to change the world for the better.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing feels as good as crossing accomplishments off your goal board

Its been about 3 months since I redid my goals and I'm happy to say the forward momentum that started with a simple goal writing session moved us across the country and gave us a $500 a month raise. You want to know the best feeling in the world? Well its the title of the blog so you probably guessed it...Crossing off accomplishments from your goal board. I have never felt more joy than when I'm crossing off goals from my list. Sometimes I feel like that one act is what motivates me more than the actual accomplishment of the goal.  I am also a habitual list maker, (mini goal boards to cross off accomplishments) I have lists for everyday, every week and every month. I use sticky notes, white boards, my iPhone and anything I can write on. I have them everywhere they are visible to me whither I'm at the grocery store or I'm in my bed. I find myself easily distracted without a list. A.D.D what? What was that? Shinny things. See. Okay.... so I find lists most helpful when they're in an order of most important to least important and organized by time frames for each task. I can already hear the moans..."but this takes way to much time" I promise this will make you more productive than you have ever been, which in turn will buy you back more time than you could ever spend making lists. Become a list making fool, make sure your lists tie into your 1, 3 and 5 year goals and make sure those goals match your 10 year vision. This is so important guys, know what you want. You have to know what you want....your 10 year vision should be that for you and everything you do should feed into that perfect vision you have for yourself. Be committed to your vision. No amount of setbacks should deter you from moving toward your vision. Can it change? Sure...but not everyday, not every month. Your vision should be pretty solid once you create it.  If you don't know what you want,  I would not recommend making lists. What's the point? You're creating directions to nowhere. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU TRULY WANT OUT OF YOUR LIFE. If you're completely lost and have no idea what I'm blabbing about this is a good place to start.

Your daily lists change as the unexpected distractions of life happen. It's okay. Rearrange, redo and keep moving forward. Just like your goal board changes. You must stay on top of them to keep them relevant to your life. So in that light I'm holding myself accountable and redoing my goals again. I will be posting them by the end of the week. Things that we thought would take us much longer are coming together and rocking our world. Not going to make a huge announcement yet...but I will leave you with a clue....its not a baby...

Two intense days of in class lecture
and Practical hands on work...and of course WOD'n
Did I mention how proud my Hubby makes me. First time in his life he is passionate about his career choice.
Goal accomplished CrossFit L1 Certified

Kale wrapped lunch meat, egg, avocado. In the car.
More fast food.

Working on more seafood in our diet, Mahi Mahi frozen from Trader Joes Amazing! Steamed spinach and fresh guacamole
apparently I love Kale too, kale, salmon salad from Tree Huggers
-Mrs.T. 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Power of One

"Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world" - Andy Andrews, The Butterfly Effect

Jere and I at Success School
We spent this weekend with some of the most inspiring people on the planet at AdvoCare's Success School. One of whom was best selling author Andy Andrews. It would take pages upon pages to really describe what we experienced this weekend, but I feel like Andy's message about the butterfly effect really does the best job at summing it up. Every decision we make has an effect on the world, whether you believe that or not, it's a scientific principle known as the law of sensitive dependence upon initial conditions. Just like the scientific law of gravity you don't have to understand it, believe it or even be aware that it is there to be effected by it. Scientific laws are truths. Sometimes I feel like I have to do something obnoxiously great to change the world. But its not the truth. I change the world with every decision that I make, how I react to situations and the attitude that I choose to have. And so do you. The pure fact that you are alive and breathing gives you purpose and ability to leave a legacy. Not by what you accomplish (building your resume) but by what you've contributed (building a legacy). At the end of your life you will look back and have one of two feelings #1 Regret or #2 Fulfillment. You choose every time you make a decision. Do  you live a safe life of mediocrity or do you let people in your heart and your life? Do you chase the dreams that God put in your heart or let fear, the little gift from Satan, keep you in your safe place.  Do you trust that struggles are part of his plan to make you stronger or fall into a pit of depression crying "why me" when your plan doesn't work out? I want to share  a story that I heard this weekend about the power of one decision:

AdvoCare's new endorser Colt McCoy  had one dream from time he was a little boy, to be the quarterback that lead his team to a national championship. On January 7, 2010 he was face to face with his dream. It was the last game of his college career as a Texas Longhorn.  The day was perfect and as quarterback to win the most games in college history, he was hours from achieving his dream. His plan was solid. However, God had different plans for him that day. In one play Colt was hit and his shoulder was numb. To shorten the story he was taken out of the game and Texas lost to Alabama. Then Colt made a decision that effected millions. He decided that day how to react to his reality. Here is what he said seconds after the game was over: 

Thousands have written, emailed, and shared this story of faith. Because of his decision to trust that everything happens for a reason and to voice that on National TV Colt touched more lives than he could have ever if they would have won. 

How many times have you missed the opportunity to make the right decision?

Don't get me wrong we don't have to be incredible starting quarterbacks to make a difference. We all make a difference. I use to think that my decisions would only effect me and some of the people in my life. Don't make this mistake. Settling for less than your best, not chasing your dreams, being "realistic", not challenging the "way we do things" when they don't seem right does not do anyone a favor. Clarification; I'm not saying quit your job and move to Mexico because that is your dream, I'm saying make small conscious decisions every day to get you closer to that dream. Be grateful for what you have, enjoy every second of your life (good and bad), take a stand for what you believe in and fight for your dreams. If your plan is to go to college, get into debt, settle for a job to pay off your debt, live pay check to pay check, switch jobs every time you are offered a little more cash, live for the weekends, trade the precious hours of your life for dollars, and build your retirement fund so you can finally live your passion at the age of 65,  I  strongly urge you to find a new plan. Even if you truly love your job your future depends on someone else. Pension plans, benefits, retirement are all things of our past they will not be around long. This system is failing and we are seeing the effects.  Be smart and create multiple streams of income, get out of debt so that you do not owe anyone anything and prepared. Become financially independent so that you can be a contribution not just a cog in the big business machine living for your pension.

This is not an advertisement for AdvoCare, but it is an endorsement for direct sales. I don't know any other way for an average person to create an abundance of wealth. Find one that fits your passion and start creating a second stream of income. There are thousands of great companies out there. If you're into Makeup, especially if you are into organic non-toxic makeup, Arbonne, is a great company. There's ones for jewelry, tupperware, house decorations, cell phone some research and find one that pays well, has a value system that you believe in and is filled with people that you want to be around. Our AdvoCare team is like our family. Beware of companies that promise quick easy money. It's not easy. You will work if you want to be successful. Here's my question, if you are going to work hard for the next 5-10 years why not build something that is going to pay you for the rest of your life?
3 of the most amazing people we know
Jere and I are part of AdvoCare because we are passionate about helping people get healthy. The products work and the business opportunity works. If you're still reading I'm guessing you are looking for something, that you want to be a difference maker. You will effect millions whether you want to or not, you will change the world no matter what.....its a fact.

The question isn't will I make a difference, the question you should be asking is what kind of difference do I want to make?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Freezer Burn

Adjusting to the cold Ohio weather has been a lot easier than we had thought. We already did an outside running WOD in the was awesome! Growing up we hated the snow, the reason we left Ohio in the first place was the weather, now the snow has a calming, welcoming affect on us. We spent 3 years traveling around looking for a place to call "home" a place where the grass was greener. Think we were really looking for ourselves. We had to break out of our comfort zones to discover who we were. We had to leave to get a different perspective. Funny how perspective can change everything. The lessons that we learn on our 3 year excursion gave us the perspective we needed to truly appreciate everything we have in Ohio. We are loving every minute of the freezing state that we call home.
Our new CrossFit home, The BOX, lots of cool people that share a sick obsession with CrossFit. : )
Coolest free handstand pic yet!
Love Trader Joe's for Meat and Fish
and Buffalo Jerky with no MSG!
While we were making dog food, we were eating some of the celery with almond butter, found this one at Sam's Club for $5.99 an there is no sugar added.
Had this at Fresh Market while we were in FL, we recreated it at home, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and a little Garlic Expressions to add flavor
Not 100% paleo so use sparingly
Not a huge fan of processed lunch meat, so we bought full turkey breast and cut our own. If you are buying lunch meat read the ingredient list. If you can't pronounce the words and/or don't know what it is don't buy it.
Absolute favorite snack on a cold afternoon, mix chocolate muscle gain with coffee. Love AdvoCare Muscle Gain.....its predigested so you don't get bloated and its ran through a program called informed choice so there isn't anything shady in it.
Asparagus, turkey and sweat potato
My sister got me the Paleo Diet Cookbook for my birthday! Can't wait to try some new recipes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paleo is great for Dogs too

About 6 months ago my sister in a last resort effort to reverse her 2 dogs ongoing health problems started making her own dog food. Her older (7yrs old) pug, Bailey was overweight and having seizures on a weekly bases, her puppy Chloe, was having major stomach issues, lots of gross diarrhea. The vet put them on expensive medicines and fancy food but nothing seemed to really help.
My sister, Britta, her boyfriend, Tommy and Chloe and Bailey(aka Santa)
One of our family friends learned about a making your own raw dog food in California and was having amazing results with her great dane. So my sister decided to try it out. Within a day Chloe had no stomach issues, with in a month Bailey lost 10lbs and was not have seizures at all. Hum....have you ever read whats in dog food? Its mostly corn filler, the exact same corn that makes up most of our processed food. Corn by the way is a grain, not a vegetable. Seriously do you know that everything in the middle of the grocery store (processed) foods contain some form of corn. Watch Food Inc if you don't believe me. Its cheap, it keeps you full, you can turn it into anything and its subsidized by the government. As a profit driven organization its a no brainier to use corn in food production.  But its obviously not what our bodies or our four legged bffs are designed to eat. I was attracted to the paleo diet because it was founded by asking the question, "what is the optimal human diet". Had nothing to do with making money on a fad diet, or losing vanity pounds or even figuring out how to eat the right combination of our adulterated modern food,  it was about finding the diet that was most suitable to our bodies. It scrapped everything we knew about food and started from the beginning notion that everything we needed to thrive as a species was provided to us via the Earth. Love that simple theory. And it makes sense....our human ancestors diet would consist of lots of lean meats and seafood, some veggies, some berries and nuts when they could find them. Before farming they would not have had access to the quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables that they would have needed to survive. Sorry vegans, I know its hip to be a herbivore these days but back in the day that wouldn't have been a survival option. And I love The China Study, I took out of it that we should be eating the raw food that nature provides for us, that nature is still the best doctor and that getting off of processed foods will do miracles.  I will point out too, that there is a huge difference in being paleo (eating free range lean meats) and eating tons of fatty store bought meats. Don't be a bad example for the paleo peeps. Do your research, lean meats, game meats and seafood not fatty steaks and processed meats.  Our bodies are made to eat meat we evolved for millions of years that way. I'm not picking on your lifestyle decision if you are vegan or vegetarian, I respect your decision to live a meatless life and to take a stand for your health, it just doesn't make sense to me. So if being meatless make sense to you, go for it! I support you. I love you but I'm not in love with you.

Wait I got lost in my rant....this is about dogs. So guess what the homemade raw dog food is, PALEO!! Yay!! I was all over this when I got home and saw my sisters dogs eating the same diet that we were!
Meet Sam and Bob, our paleo dog subjects. Bob is our big baby, he's sick all the time, he has been to numerous vets that tell us different things but mostly that he has allergies and he has to be on  medications his whole life. And I guess this is not uncommon for dogs. What?! I don't accept that. Sounds so familiar to human doctors doesn't it? Why aren't we looking at the source of the maybe dogs aren't suspose to eat grains.
Our local butcher grinds up bones and everything for dog food
$31 total for 8lbs of chicken and 8lbs of beef
Apples, Blueberries, carrots, celery, green beans and flax seeds total price $18
Cut up and mixed together
Thought about eating it
Mixed the beef and chicken together
Bob gets about 2 cups and Sam get just under 1 of half and half mix 
Cleaned the bowls
split them up into daily servings
Made about a month of food froze the leftovers. 
they slept like babies : )
Going to mess around with ingredients next time. We can get our dogs the chicken with the bones in them. They are big enough that they can chew up the bones. Think it will be more cost effective. We also went to our local discount grocery store and found out when they sell their veggies on their last day. Found out for $1 they will sell a full bag of veggies that are past their sell date! That should save us some money next time too. We'll update on the costs. This batch cost us $50 for a month for two dogs. Got a lot of our information from: you can buy it from them pre-made. We used their ingredient list to get an idea of what to put into their food and how much to feed them.

Anyone else make their own dog food? Cat food?