Failing to Thrive: My Lesson on Growth

Hey all,

So I haven’t written a post in a while. We recently bought a home and I have been spending a lot of my time working to make it feel like home, for the time being. One broken AC unit, broken car, and new truck later, I am back!

This morning I was feeling really nostalgic and have been thinking about the past year. It was about a year ago that they labeled my son as Failure to Thrive. Just typing the words makes my throat catch. It’s such a hurtful “diagnosis.” Being a new mom, tons of thoughts weighed down my mind this time last year. The typical…

So my kid is already considered to be a failure?!

Did I do something wrong?! What should I have done differently the past few months?!

Why can’t he gain weight as easily as other babies?!

…on and on and on.

Following this, all we got were suggestions – from doctors, specialists, family, friends, and strangers. Mind you, none of these suggestions, even between those on his healthcare team, were in sync. It was hard determining which direction to go with all the information we got. Do we follow what his primary doctor wanted, his GI specialist, or his nutritionist?! All of a sudden, people were starting to correlate his age with what size he should have been and telling me how small he was. And then, it was like I became paranoid about it. I kept trying to justify his size, like it was something that even needed justification.

We spent months hauling little man to appointments, where he was poked, prodded, stabbed with needles, hospitalized for losing a teeny bit of weight, and just made plain miserable. They changed up his formula a couple times. They made us feed him ten or more bottles a day of his $50+ hypoallergenic formula; that he barely ever drank and we usually poured down the drain! And even when he did drink the formulas they prescribed for him, he barely gained any weight! I’d even dare say that since they intervened, his weight gain has been slower than it had been before they found out he had milk, egg, peanut, and wheat allergies last September.


Today, it only bothers me come time for appointments. Today, I am more angry with those doctors and specialists than I am sorry for myself and my son. Today, I have yet to be given a tested, proven explanation (aside of oh, so scientific belly pushing) for why my son is so small. Today, I tell myself that he is happy, healthy, intelligent, energetic, and just slower to gain weight. He is small, but he is mighty! And I joke about how we are praised for being chubby as babies and shamed for it as adults. As long as he’s healthy, it’s all that matters. Maybe he just puts all his calories toward driving his mommy nuts with all his activity and has little to spare for chunking his little belly and limbs up!

Those skinny legs are actually quite comparable to the normal, chubby baby legs (And just as adorable)! Mighty Mouse!!!

Anyone else willing to share stories about their FTT kiddo? Any tips for how to survive the years it may take before doctors stop looking at me like I starve my child?!



Tuesday’s Workout

Okay, so this is a little late. But hey, what hot mess of a mom isn’t late?! I got to workout on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and figured I would share my Tuesday routine with anyone interested. Thursday was fairly limited on time and I just blasted through a low rep, heavy weight chest day. I gave most of my time to only incline bench press (my weak lift).

My workout Tuesday was a lighter day. I did focus a bit on shoulder accessory type work toward the end, but stuck with a few circuits for the most part. Working shoulders and back have always been my favorite things to work on. I’ve somehow lived with poor posture for more than half my short life and boy, does postural work just set me right?! But back to the stress relief.

I started with a Barbell circuit, completing 5 rounds of 5 repetitions each exercise. Did my best to allow no more than 5 seconds rest between exercises and about 30-45 seconds rest between rounds. Simple stuff! Just blast the legs a bit and get everything pumping.

Next came a Landmine circuit, 4 rounds this time with 10 repetitions for each exercise. Same parameters for rest, except catching your breath is fun (if you’re not a fan of cardio type workouts like myself) because you complete 10 repetitions on both sides of your body. Yay, for that good, old fat burning zone! 

Threw in an Abdominal circuit. My least favorite! Five rounds this time, 10 repetitions per exercise, and minimal rest. 

The accessory work was fairly random for sets, reps, and rest. I’m a lazy, forgetful counter and tend to work in rep ranges. As I mentioned before, I did focus on shoulders. I do love getting my shoulders a little warmed up with some light band work, beforehand. Throw a resistance band around the forearms. Do a few choo-choos forward and back, stir the pot (clockwise and counter-clockwise), figure 8s, and some internal and external rotations. Quick and easy to get my shoulders woken up and stable.

Give it a try, if you’d like. I’m no professional, nor am I intense about my workouts. I’m just a crazy, weightlifting obsessed chick, who wishes she could lift a car or bus or train! Let me know how it goes. And feel free to share any advice or tips! 

Late Night Workouts

So a few years ago, my husband introduced me to the gym. What started out as a means of spending time with my husband, quickly became an obsession…a passion…a lifestyle. I thank him everyday for giving me the knowledge and drive to hit the weights and hit them hard.

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The husband, Chris, and I on a marriage retreat in Phoenix, AZ in 2015. This was about two years after I first began weight lifting.

Pre-baby physique, circa 2014.

I wasn’t always this way. When I hit my junior year of high school, like many others, I stopped exercising because gym class wasn’t a requirement. It wasn’t a priority for me, nor was it something I was comfortable doing. And when you hit 17 years old and find out how amazingly easy it is to bake delicious cookies, somehow it all just hits the hips and thighs (at least for me, anyways).  This is in no way a means of saying that I was overweight. I’ve always been of a teeny build at only 5’3″ in my mid-20s, but I was far from fit or healthy. I think the term a lot of folks on social media are using nowadays is “skinny-fat.”

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I have no shame, what can I say?! circa 2009.

Now that I’ve had a baby, it makes my obsession a bit more difficult to carry out, but I’ve tried my best to fit it in as often as possible to keep my sanity. I also know I want to promote a fit and healthy lifestyle for my little man. As hard as it may be, I want to show him that being active, even when it’s challenging, is important to our health.

I usually don’t get the chance to fit a workout in until after little man goes down. With the teething he’s been doing lately, it’s made for some fun evenings the second I finish showering and am ready to hop on the couch to relax. Yay, motherhood!!!

Last night, I worked on chest, predominantly, and added in a bit of leg work, like always (since I usually sissy out on my actual leg days!). It’s nothing crazy or incredibly intense, but I’d love to share my workouts with any of you readers, should you choose to do the same.

I do chest because as a lot of you may know, any amount of breastfeeding can possibly leave the “girls” feeling less than “perky” after weaning off. Although I only breastfed for a few weeks (latch issues and poor first-time mommy timing and eating to pump), I found myself in the less than perky category afterwards.

Chest Day

Push ups                                           1 x 20 x BW
BB Flat Bench Press                        1 x 5 x 75#;                                                                                                                                               3 x 4 x 85#;                                                                                                                                               2 x 3 x 90#;                                                                                                                                               4 x 10 x 65# rvrs grp
SS: DB Incline Press                        4 x 8-12 x 15#
DB Incline Close grip Press     4 x 10 x 15#
Walking BB Lunge                    4 x 20 x 45#
Flat DB Flyes                                    2 x 15 x 15#
Incline DB Flyes                              2 x 15 x 12#
Push ups                                           1 x 20, 15
BB Front Squats                              3 x 7 x 45#
Banded Tricep Push Dwn             3 x 25 x Black band
Bench Crunches                              3 x 15
Random Obliques                           3 x 15 both sides

Like I said, it’s an obsession. After putting little man down and washing up the dishes in the sink, I usually don’t get the gumption to walk out to our garage gym until 9 PM or so. But I live for the sweat and the stress relief once I get into that moment.

Feel free to drop me a comment below, letting me know if you work out or have any suggestions. I’d love to know what you all do when you exercise!

Take a Load Off!

And here we are. Welcome to The Training Wheeled Mom, my first blog. This is my run-on-sentence-get-every-word-out-before-you-chicken-out safe space. It’s where I am going to divulge my life, learning and growing with my little man, as he does the same himself. I can’t wait to get started!

A little background information on me.

My name is Jessica. I married a man in the Army in 2011 and have been learning the ropes of a “milspouse” for the last few years. I went back to school in 2014 to become a physical therapist assistant. You know, the typical “bettering myself and having a portable career to go along with a husband in the military” type job. Well, about two years ago we decided to embark on a new journey and expand our little family. And what do you know, we move cross country the day after I graduate, to a place that doesn’t support my career choice, on top of having an infant with a few allergies and a really good metabolism that keeps him from gaining weight.

Easy to say, this lands me smack dab in the middle of NOWHERE! I find myself stuck somewhere between withdrawn and hopeful. I was so busy going to appointments for my little man that having a job just wasn’t feasible. I stumbled upon the position of Stay at Home mom, something I NEVER thought I’d ever be! Downer alert! Quitting that. For now!

Now, don’t go expecting some crazy, extravagant sort of lifestyle to pop out of this blog. It’s simply just my voice, how I see things, and my way of keeping myself from losing my mind. We all need our vices, right?!

Onto my heart! My little love! My crazy, feral child! My Zachary!!!


This kiddo, like any other kid, comes with his own set of heavy, HEAVY baggage! He’s a little human too, right?! We have had quite the adventure this last year and two months with him and can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

Little guy has had a whirlwind of a first year himself. From really bad eczema, failure to thrive, and food allergies, he has seen a lot of hospitals and doctors offices. I thank the stars and moon everyday that he deals with manageable issues that don’t hold him back (despite what his doctors think for this zero percentile kiddo!). Now that he has hit a year, things have really settled down and I’ve learned how to sift through all the BS his doctors try to push on him.

So again, welcome. Take a load off and learn from me as I venture into blogging, parenting, exercising, housewife-ing, and whatever else I can get myself into!