Monday, February 28, 2011

Two-Faced Tots

It goes without saying that (most of the time) kids act differently with their grandparents than with their parents. When they are with their grandparents they follow the rules, they rarely argue, and they are generally pleasant to be around. Usually. With their parents, well, not so much. To be honest, I missed out on this when I was a kid because my grandparents died when I was a baby/toddler. So, I didn't get the chance to get away with the grandparents for a while just to chill and relax...

My oldest son, however, gets that chance at least two or three times a year. Last week the boys were out of school for the entire week in honor of Presidents' Day and mandatory furlough days. So, he was gone for three days at his grandparents' house, which is two hours away. When we went to pick him up he did not want to come home. He was visibly disappointed. (To be honest, I think my youngest son was disappointed that his brother was coming home. :-)  On the drive home, he was surly, rude, and a general pain in the ass. The next day, he was surly, rude, and a pain in the ass. It took an attitude adjustment to straighten him out, but it was still annoying. We're obviously not as cool or as fun as grandma and grandpa, but we're not exactly ogres. Its times like this that I wonder why I can't just skip straight to grandparenthood.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Shoes Blues

I'm trying not to whine. Really, I am. I loooove my new pair of walking shoes. They are the New Balance 811 walking shoes for women. And as a bonus, they are proudly made in the USA. I specifically looked for shoes made in the USA, because for some reason I'm on a quest to see how much of what I need to buy is made in the USA. Anyway, back to my shoes.

My old shoes were beyond pathetic and should have been tossed months ago except for one small detail: I hate breaking in a new pair of shoes. I'd almost rather walk in shoes where the soles are falling off and my toes are peeking through than break in a new pair. Yes, I know, ideally I should buy a new pair of shoes while my old shoes are still wearable in order to switch between the two while I'm breaking in the new pair. But, I'm wired to use up something until it's beyond redemption and then I buy a new one to replace it. I also don't like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Did I mention that?

I went for my walk this morning and came home to find a big, red blister on my little toe. I don't think a Band Aid is going to cut it. Moleskin, anyone? Oh well, it won't last forever. I can't let this be an excuse to stop exercising. Maybe I should take up yoga again. You don't need walking shoes for yoga, do you? :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Lost a Turkey

Time to do my happy dance. As of today, I'm down 20.5lbs. Yay!! That's two 10lb bags of potatoes; or four 5lb bags of sugar; or one 20lb Thanksgiving turkey. Had I quit at 15lbs I wouldn't have felt the happiness over losing a turkey...I mean 20lbs. Had I settled for 15lbs I wouldn't have been happy with myself. My weight loss ticker tells me that I have to lose another 9.5lbs to reach my first goal. Onward and downward.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BFD - February '11

Since February's BFD was on Valentine's Day, I wanted to do something sort of special, but to be honest, I couldn't think of what. Hubby had to work until 7:00 so really, it was just going to be me and the boys for dinner. I needed something (dare I say it) kid-friendly and interesting. I figured that since last month's stuffed chocolate croissants were a hit I would do well if I continued with the stuffed theme. For this month's BFD we had:

  • Stuffed French Toast (here and here)
  • Crock-pot Apple Granola Breakfast Cobbler
  • Home Fries

The french toast was stuffed with cream cheese and seedless blackberry preserves. Yum.  Now, why do I have two links for the Stuffed French Toast? The first recipe from listed 5 eggs in the ingredients. In my opinion, that's too many and I would be setting myself up for that eggy taste, which I hate (on my french toast that is.) So, I used the batter recipe from the second link,, and even then I reduced the eggs to just one. Aside from that I think the All Recipes stuffed french toast recipe is pretty good, however, I did add honey to the cream cheese. Topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup this was yummalicious! Did you notice the heart shape? :-)

It goes without saying that I was dying to make a recipe from my crock-pot cookbook that I got for Christmas. So, I chose to make the Crock-pot Apple Granola Breakfast Cobbler. This was very good, however, I was expecting a little more crunch. I think the next time I make this I will add the granola mid-way through cooking. As it is, I sprinkled granola on top as a garnish and then topped it off with a dollop of Zoi Greek Honey Yogurt. Yum!

The home fries? Well, what can I say? They were the standard diced and peeled potatoes coated with oil, seasoned with salt and Sweet Mesquite Seasoning and baked in the oven. They were a request from the kids. All in all, a very good breakfast for dinner.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guessing Game

Last week was a reminder of just how frustrating it can be to have a child who doesn't talk. My youngest son had the flu last week and it was a constant struggle for me trying to determine how I could help him. If he would tug at his ear I would think, "Does his ear hurt? Does he have an ear infection?" When he would start to cry I would think, "Does he have a fever?" or "Is his tummy upset?"

Trying to take his temperature was like going through an aerobic exercise or a gymnastics regime. Also, he won't swallow pills or tablets, nor will he drink liquid medicine, so trying to give him ibuprofen for a fever was a challenge. Under ordinary circumstances, like when he has a cold, we give him Triaminic Thin Strips mixed with chocolate pudding.  This time around he wasn't really eating, so we had to try and feed him spoonfuls of pudding mixed with ibuprofen throughout the day. Fortunately, he slept a good part of the time. All in all, a very challenging week. Still, nothing lasts forever including the flu. Thank goodness.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Changes and Pages

You might have noticed a few changes. I love orange, I really do, but I'm more of a green person. Actually, I'm torn between orange and green, but since I spruced up the background picture I decided that more green was in order...and black, to go with the black beans. I also added some Pages, which you can find at the top. I know, I should have done that eons ago, but better late than never. Feel free to let me know what you think, but just remember...if you don't have anything nice to say then just say, "Hmm, it's okay." :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Real

The good: My clothes feel looser, I feel better, and I've become more aware of the difference between hunger pangs and emotional craving pangs. I am seeing the benefits of self-control, commitment, and determination - as of this morning, I'm down 15.5lbs. That is no small accomplishment. I'm halfway to my first goal, which is to lose a total of 30lbs by June 21st. What's my second goal? I'll let you know after I've reached my first.

The bad: It sucks to exercise, count calories, chart my daily weight, and log daily food intake. No, really, it sucks. There are plenty of days when I don't want to do any of the above. It requires way too much time and honesty. I also struggle with the afternoon munchies. The time between lunch and dinner is a long stretch...even with an afternoon snack. I've realized that this is the time of day when I'm most prone to eating handfuls of chips and crackers, or just about anything. And no, carrots are not a crunchy substitute for crackers or pretzels.

The real: The real honest-to-goodness truth about losing weight is that it's hard work because it's about breaking bad habits and replacing them with good ones. The real honest-to-goodness truth is that in the last few weeks on at least three occasions, I have spit out a mouthful of chips or crackers into the kitchen sink. Why? Because on those occasions I was eating emotionally/mindlessly/out of habit. Take your pick. The real honest-to-goodness truth is that right now it would be so easy to quit, so easy to settle for halfway; but I don't want to and that's why I need to chart my daily weight on a calendar so I can see the progress.

All in all, I'm happy with the progress and the changes that I've made. That still doesn't mean that it's been easy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Clubhouse - A Dream Come True

It's funny that in some ways it really doesn't take much to make kids happy. Right before Christmas our oven died and my husband hunted down a new one. When he brought it home and set it up, he gave the appliance box to our oldest son who couldn't have been happier.

For years he has wanted his own clubhouse. First, he wanted a tree house. Gradually, he came to realize that our trees were not mature enough to accommodate a house. Next, he wanted a wooden fort and a log cabin. Unfortunately, our yard isn't big enough for either. Then he decided that he would settle for a kid size tent, maybe. Finally, he downsized his expectations by rearranging the garbage can and the yard waste can and draping a towel over them. I kid you not.

Naturally, he jumped at the chance to have his very own big was a major step up from the garbage/yard waste cans. He has lined it with a beach towel and an old baby blanket, and he's decorated it with various rocks and stale food particles. It gives him a place to do his homework or just chill out and play his DS. And to think, I only paid $900 for this box; I mean clubhouse.


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