Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Uniform

I have decided that I no longer like to shop, because I always leave frustrated. I used to love to shop ... I used to work for a major shopping center developer, so I shopped all day long, I mean on my lunch hour.

Anyway ... I looked around for a bit today and left empty-handed. Big drapey sweaters, while cute and bohemian, do nothing when you're 5'3" and have hips. It looks like a big ol' mish mash of yarn that is too short to be a dress and too long to be a sweater.

I really want someone to come and go through my closet and tell me what to keep, what to donate, and to take me shopping for what I need. I really want to be on What's Not to Wear.

I need the following go-to outfits/uniforms:

* Everyday - when I do change out of my workout clothes or PJ's and would like to be comfortable, but still look pulled together.

* For when I have to go to work for an event and want to look a little more professional and polished.

* For when I have Junior League meetings, or Hubby and I actually have a date, or go somewhere. So, maybe this would be cute, still pulled together, but possibly a little more special.

I could live in a good pair of pants or jeans, white tee shirt, with a cardigan or my blue jean jacket if I'm not wearing jeans. Is this too boring if I do this every day? Will someone come and raid my closet and shop with me? And maybe teach me how to incorporate fun shoes or a good piece of jewelry? Or give me recommendations on where you find your "uniforms?"

Please?

I don't want to scare people this fall when I'm still wearing my running shorts and a sweatshirt revealing white pasty legs. Think of this as a public service for my local community.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I got duped

When I bought my trusted box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares over the weekend, I thought the box looked pretty small.

When I got it home and compared it to the box I had at home, I realized just how small it was.


A whole 8 ounces smaller for the same price.

I definitely need to find something else for my breakfast menu.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ball Pit Mayhem

At a recent consignment sale, I spotted a ball pit with OVER 200 BALLS!!! I should have known when that's the way the tag is written up, that you should just step away. But, I caved. What's one more big plastic thing with OVER 200 BALLS!!!?

Today has been cool and rainy, so I thought it would be the perfect day to try this thing out. While Maddy and Libby were down for their nap, I brought it out and pumped up the container portion. Then, I wiped off each and every one of the OVER 200 BALLS!!! with antibacterial wipes.

They have definitely had fun this afternoon playing in the pit, licking almost all of the OVER 200 BALLS!!!, and throwing them out as well. Our family room currently looks like a bomb went off and left, wait for it ..., OVER 200 BALLS!!!
Who, me? I wasn't throwing any.

Checking it out.

Maddy tasting each and every one.

Libby wasn't so sure about "swimming" in the pit.


Libby's fast little hands throwing the balls over the edge.

Friday, September 25, 2009

And other ways

that I torture my children.

I take a lot of (good-natured) teasing from some of my friends about the foods that I make for Maddy and Libby. I'm proud of the fact that they are 15-months-old and have never tasted a chicken nugget. I'm proud that they devour avocado, fresh fruit, tomatoes, peas, and various other foods that I probably would have spit out when I was their age. Or at 36. Peas. Blech.

By no means am I an all-organic hippie mom, growing her own veggies, and only serving all natural unprocessed foods, but there are days that I wish I could live that simply and be better about being a "locavore." I also don't mention the bag of Halloween candy that I bought yesterday and it's already short a few pieces. I'm not trying to save the world - just trying to find a good variety of healthy foods for my family.

I feel strongly that as a parent, I am charged to keep my children healthy, happy, and loved. I think by offering a variety of healthy foods at an early age can only do good for them. Sure, they still get cookies after lunch, but I try to make sure that they are somewhat healthy and not totally loaded with sugar. They have many years ahead of them to start buying Halloween candy in September if they choose.

I am always looking for new veggies or new ways to introduce veggies to Maddy and Libby. I'm sure peas for lunch every day would get a little old. Now that they are a bit older and are great self-feeders, I was happy to find Wholesome Toddler Foods. I loved their Baby Foods website and found many of our puree recipes from their site.

One that caught my eye were the spinach nuggets. I didn't have all the required spinach on hand, but I did have broccoli so I decided to improvise. After all, who doesn't want their kids to eat another veggie and serving of dairy?
Freshly grated Cabot extra sharp cheddar.


Choppin' broccoli.

Here is the recipe (adapted) from their site:

Spinach (or Broccoli) Nuggets

1 16-oz package frozen chopped broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped further if needed .
1 cup bread crumbs
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese *I used Cabot Extra Sharp cheddar, because it is the World's best cheddar!
3 Large eggs

Heat oven to 375F

1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. *Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired*.
3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm

You can "roll" this out and then try using small cookie cutters to make these into fun shapes!

I tried to roll out the "dough", and make heart shapes, but just ended up forming them into circles instead. It seemed a little too sticky so I just did spoonfuls.

Ready for the oven.

So, here are a few "after" photos. Happy girls, don't you think? And, I'm pleased to report that they ate all of their "nuggets." Unfortunately, they still left the sweet potatoes on the tray. They used to love them as a puree, but baked and diced, not so much.

Libby chowing down.


Maddy loves 'maters.

By the way, the nuggets were really good. I had a couple for my lunch too. Hmmm, maybe it would work on Hubby.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sucker

I'm a sucker for good marketing/advertising campaigns.

We just booked our hotel for NYC, and not only does this hotel seem to have a great location, a "hidden" burger joint, but they also had very tongue-in-cheek marketing on their website.

This was taken from the website that describes their rooms.

Park Views? Further than the eye can see.
Comfy Beds? Better than sleeping with the fishes.
DVD/CD players? Oh yeah.
Hi-Speed Web? What do you think?
Humongous TV's? Stole 'em from Times Square.
Showers for Two? Even Two Sumo-Wrestlers.
Desk Space? The Envy of Your Boss.

Now to start planning where to go and what to do. This, of course is all based on hoping that Hubby will be able to walk the day after the marathon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tone that Zone

I started a Tone Zone class with my friend, E on Monday. The same woman who is our running coach also has a small classroom/fitness center and this is one of her exercise/torture classes.

We were late starting the class for the month of September, but she's repeating it again for October, so we'll be able to have 6 weeks of toning.

If you remember, I used to do Boot Camp classes, and hey ... I just ran a half marathon, so I was feeling good about the class. I also haven't done any exercise like this since before I had Maddy and Libby, so I will readily admit that I'm a bit out of shape when it comes to any kind of core fitness.

Ummm, let's just say, I'm still hobbling around like an old lady this morning. We were supposed to have our arms and core session today, but we have had to reschedule due to rain.

I feel good about the soreness in my abs ... I haven't felt that in so long. Plus, I'm hoping that it means there's a washboard under this big pile of laundry! But, not being able to sit without moaning is another story.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girl talk


Don't you wonder what they're talking about in there?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm not an interior designer


Not just no, but hell no. Wrong on so many levels.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If I can't laugh at myself, who will?

I woke up this morning at 5:45. Way too early, so I rolled back over and didn't wake up again until 7:45. And, the house was still quiet. The girls were still sleeping, so I crept downstairs to get breakfast started. Oh, and did I mention that I've been single parenting since Monday? It is hard.

I had to get them out of the house by a few minutes before 9am and wow did that 1hr. and 15 minutes ever fly by.

A few things that were going on this morning ....

  • Maddy won't keep her PJ pants on. She's just figured out that she can take them off, so I just decided to let her crawl around in the diaper. It's cute, she's happy, but the pants thing just make me laugh.
  • Got them fed (1 scrambled egg, strawberries, 1/2 banana, handful of cheerios, 1/2 of a bagel, and milk for each). Lord help us when they are teenagers. I already feel like they're going to eat us out of house and home.
  • Some slapping incident (Maddy on Libby's face). Libby was not a happy camper, and Maddy doesn't quite understand what "no" means. Drama.
  • Wet paws with the dogs due to rain. Ugh.
  • Wet bottoms on the girls due to both sitting down in the grass while I was trying to get the backpacks in the car.
  • Oh, and me dressed in my workout clothes to take them to school. Like I was going to work out. Ha. I just had to put on something that didn't resemble PJ's so I could get them to school and hit the ground running on work errands.
  • And what made me laugh even harder were the Moms (with kids and without) that I saw today dressed exactly like me. I bet 95% of us didn't even drive past a gym this morning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home

I really feel like the grocery store is my home away from home, and that Maddy and Libby are going to eat us out of house & home.

I am so thankful that they are good eaters, but I feel like trips to Harris Teeter are becoming daily, or twice a day. I had to go there again today to exchange a box of Cheerios. Yes, I was that woman walking in with my big ol' box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Hubby picked them up accidentally when he was there yesterday, but we just eat the plain ones. I don't think the girls are allergic to nuts, but I'm not willing to test it out just yet.

So, I just finished baking three chicken breasts and a batch of turkey meatballs. It's so much easier to bake in larger amounts, then freeze the majority of it. I can then get out what we need for the day and not have to worry about making something right then.

Growing up, we typically had standard meals on certain days and I can now understand why. As much as I hated "Hot Dog Monday", I know that it was probably much easier for Mom to plan ahead and not have to stress about what she was making for dinner.

Any tricks that you do to help mealtime and meal planning run more smoothly?

One tip that a friend of mine does (that I've never been this organized to do) is she plans her family's weekly meals and they are posted on the fridge so the entire family can see them. On the back of each color-coded, laminated card, she has the recipe printed so she immediately know what she needs to buy, how long it takes to bake, that she needs to defrost chicken that day, etc. I think her daughters (5th and 7th grade) also help out more and they also get excited when they see the "Dad's Choice" card which ultimately means dinner at Chick Fil A.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What a week

From Sunday til today, I've

  • Finished my fourth half marathon
  • Enjoyed some cocktails with good friends post race and danced with a reggae band after said cocktails.
  • Ate my weight in yummy food after the race. Cheeseburger, french fries, crab cakes, omelet, Nutter Butter cookies. Why else do you run if you can't enjoy the food afterwards?
  • Felt like I looked pregnant on Sunday night wearing my new "cute" dress. Perhaps it was all of the food?
  • Wrote a blog post about my running experience for our local newspaper. When it's up, I'll post a link.
  • Had a biopsy, felt like my left boob was slammed into a car door, didn't cry because I was trying to hold still, and then felt like crying when all I had in the house was regular strength Tylenol.
  • Found out that the biopsy was benign and everything was A-OK. I still don't know who was happier. My Doctor kept exclaiming "I'm so happy!" when he called to tell me the news.
  • Took the girls to their first "Parents Morning Out" class. We were told that they did great, loved music time, and Maddy was supposedly already flirting with Dax, a cute little boy in their class.
  • Came home after taking Maddy and Libby to school and couldn't believe how strange it felt to not have them here. Everything was very quiet and neat for about two hours.
  • Happily accepted some rosemary from my neighbor's garden. Now to see if we have any potatoes to make some roasted potatoes with fresh rosemary.
  • Just turned on Sesame Street to function as a babysitter for a few minutes so I could check email, and write this post. Is that awful?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

"School"

I feel like all I do is write in " " lately. We went to the open house where Maddy and Libby will be attending "school" aka Parents Morning Out. I like that they are PC when it comes to the name.

About half of the students are attending 3 days a week, 3 of them are going 2 days a week like we will be, and then the other 2 are going only 1 day. I think they have 9 children on Wednesday's, but only 7 on Monday and Friday.

So cute ... the door is decorated with monkeys and a trailing vine with leaves. Each leaf had the name of a child in the class. We walked inside and found their very own hook! with name to hang up their little backpacks. Can you tell it's been a while since I've been in a classroom? We also know one of the teachers and she is wonderful. It turned out that we knew two of the other families in the class, so that is always reassuring. Another Dad is a Detective, so I know they'll be safe!

So cute and I love their little schedule ... outdoor time and music every day. The teachers talked about how they come in as babies and leave as toddlers. What??? My babies are growing up for sure. Maddy and Libby will be about in the middle as far as ages go for the class.

I'm a little worried about snack time. I have known that Maddy and Libby are great eaters. Lately, our sitters have commented about how much food they can put away, so I'm assuming that they are ahem, overachievers in this category. The school will provide a snack, but it will typically be Ritz crackers, graham crackers, goldfish, etc. I may need to sneak in a banana to go along with what is provided. Otherwise, we may have a tiny revolution from my two Generals who want to know where the rest of their food is!

One cute thing that I've noticed lately ... if you say "good job" to Libby, she automatically claps her hands. So adorable! Sigh. They grow up too fast, they really do.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I'm going there

I typically don't "tell" people what to do ... well, with the exception of my girls and Hubby, but it's just not part of my normal routine.

But today, I'm going to do it. I'm going to tell you what to do.

If you are a woman, 35 or older, please go get a mammogram. See, I did still say please.

I had my first one two weeks ago and last week, I received one of those calls. You know those calls from your Doctor that you don't want to receive ... you want that nice little flat letter to come in the mail instead.

They told me not to worry, but they wanted to do a 2nd mammogram of my left breast. AKA Ol' lefty who never produced as much milk when I was nursing.

So, I went yesterday to have the 2nd mammogram completed. It's not cancer (that's my cancer whisper voice), but they have found calcifications that aren't completely normal (indeterminate) and need to do a biopsy to determine what they are. Hopefully, they'll turn out to be benign and I won't have anything to worry about. If they aren't, well then that's a whole different post. From what I've read and what the Doctor told me, most of the time the calcifications turn out to be benign, but they can be an indicator of early cancer. That scares the crap out of me.

So, I go next week for the biopsy and to find out what's going on.

I've definitely been feeling some nerves, but it has also made me realize the importance of mammograms and self exams. This kind of calcification would have never been detectable during a self exam and while it may end up being nothing, if it does turn out to be an early cancer indicator, then I feel like it's better to catch something this early and not find out years from now when it could be full blown.

I'll hop off my soapbox for now, but please ... if you are a 35 year old + female, please call and schedule your baseline mammogram today.

Please tell your family, co-workers, and your friends what to do, too.