Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dog

Harry, the Dirty Dog and Roses for Harry were some of my favorite books while growing up. Somehow, reading the Harry books with Libby just doesn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling like I expected.


Probably because she points out every dog on every page. Let's just say that there is at least one dog on each page. Sometimes more, like 20.


Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog. We do find trees and birds in this one, but it's mainly dog, dog, dog, dog, dog.


Just asking for a little diversity is all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Habits

I have a bad habit of removing my shoes when I'm at home. I guess this isn't really the bad habit part. It's the part where I end up with 5 pair of shoes in our family room, or on our bedroom floor, and not neatly placed in the closet like they should be.



Maddy and Libby do love this, because they try to wear some of my shoes so I just look at it as added entertainment.



I picked up 4 (!) pair of shoes yesterday and laughed at the range of difference in all of them. I'm wondering what they say about me.



Exhibit A.



1.) One pair of ballet flats. They are Dr. Scholl's so could this mean cute, but sensible?

2.) One pair of my sh*t-kicker Nine West boots as Hubby calls them. Mainly worn with skirts or jeans and not worn that often. Is this my wild side?

3.) My Brooks running shoes that I love. These are almost at the point of retirement, but I'm trying to get a few more miles out of them. I use my running shoes for running, so they are a necessity.

4.) My Dansko clogs. Another favorite of mine. I really wish I had the clog with the enclosed back. These have to be the most comfortable shoes I own. One word: practical.

Ever thought about what your shoes say about you? I think the above is a pretty fair look at all my winter shoes with possibly a pair of pointy toed flats that aren't pictured.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ummmm.

So much to say, so little to say. I'll choose to say nothing and post photos of my 20 month old babies instead.

When they wear their little Widgeon coats with the hoods up, people either tell us that they look like they are from another country or like little elf children. Not sure if either is really a compliment, but that's what we hear.
So, to my little Elfen International babies, I love you.

.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A little lighter

Both in topic and hair.

Maddy and Libby had their first haircuts yesterday. Truly more of a trim, but it was definitely time to clean up the curly mullets that had formed. Almost 20 months of hair growing. Sigh. I'll miss that long hair after bath night when it formed into perfect little damp curls.


Libby modeling the "before" photo.

No one told me that lollipops were the secret for getting toddlers to sit still.

The "after" photo. The nail polish stand was a complete bonus ... they loved it and luckily even put them all back in their spots. Not sure if it was still color coded when we left, but at least they weren't on the floor.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Whine.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers for my Mom. I really do appreciate it and she seems to be doing well. When I talked to her yesterday, she sounded great and her only real complaint was that her throat hurt from having a tube in during surgery.

She will go back in March to find out the stage of the cancer, and also learn more about her treatment plan. So far, so good and she is extremely positive. I also loved hearing about the treats that my Sister-in-Law and one of her friends had brought. Everything from steps so she can get into their (very high) bed easier, hand sanitizer, mints, bubble bath, Cheez-Its, button front shirts, etc.

Yesterday, after Maddy and Libby woke up from their nap, I was taking a few photos so I could send some to my Mom. New photos always make her happy and she had reminded me that she was looking at photos from Thanksgiving and didn't have that many from 2010. Subtle hint, huh?

I noticed that Maddy looked flushed, so I took her temperature ... 103! Yikes! It's never been that high, so I called the Pediatrician and spoke to one of the nurses. Just a virus and not much else to do other than Tylenol/Motrin, lukewarm baths, humidifier, etc. Poor girl. She did OK last night, but was pretty needy this morning. We read lots of books and pointed out all of the dogs. Sweet girl. She and Libby are now at the coffee table eating Ritz crackers and seem to be having a good time. The Motrin is helping, but they said the fever could potentially hang around for 3 days. She's not pulling at her ear or having any breathing issues, so that is good news, but I still hate that she's not feeling 100%. At least she's eating something, because she didn't have much to eat at breakfast.

Of course by the evening, I also noticed that I didn't feel great. Sore throat, etc. Lovely. So, I've been taking my Emergen-C, drinking hot tea, and digging into my bag of throat lozenges. Great. Like everyone, I just don't have time to be sick and of course, it's coming up for when we have plans. 1st haircuts for Maddy & Libby today, Bounce House with the Moms of Multiples group tomorrow, 1st birthday party on Saturday, 10 mile run on Sunday.

So who knows what will actually happen this weekend ... Libby may be playing solo daughter while the sick girls stay home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I feel like

I'm writing about anything, everything, and nothing simply because I don't want to have to write what I need to write about.

My Mom has breast cancer.

It's all happened so fast that all of us are still spinning.

Back in early January, my Mom had a rash on her hand so she called her Doctor to get a prescription filled. He wouldn't fill it without seeing her, so off she went. Thank you, Dr. Sussman.

While she was being examined, he noticed a lump in her underarm and sent her in for a mammogram.

My Mom has always been healthy, but has also been one to not go to her appointments like she should.

So she went and while they determined that the lump was just fatty tissue, they did find find some abnormalities during the mammogram. So, she had a biopsy, and they found cancer in her left breast.

This was at the point when she finally told me and she was very nonchalant about the whole thing. She was just glad to know what it was and that it was treatable, that there was a solution.

So, the solution is a lumpectomy to remove the cancer and lymph nodes, followed with radiation and chemotherapy.

It sucks and it's scary, and we all still can't believe that it's happened. To my Mom. I know that is how every other person who finds out that their parent has a serious illness feels.

She honestly sounds OK. She's more concerned with finding a good front closure sports bra to wear after surgery, wondering whether or not my Dad is going to overcook her chicken for dinner, or if she can find a wig that won't make her look like Dolly Parton.

I'm not going for the actual surgery, which is tomorrow and I am feeling guilty about that. Luckily my Dad and the rest of my family are there. I'm planning to go in a couple of weeks so I can help out and do whatever they need.

It's scary and while we've always said that she's tough, it's just not what you want to see your Mom go through.
To my friends in real life, I'm sorry I couldn't say anything ... I just didn't know where to start or what to say. It honestly hasn't felt real and still doesn't. The surgery is tomorrow and she should be home by 5pm. She'll find out more about radiation and chemotherapy tomorrow and we're all just hoping and praying for her Dr.'s and that the cancer is truly in an early stage.

I have always believed that prayers are private and something that you can do by yourself any time of day or night, but it's been rare that I've had to ask for people to pray for me or my family. Now I'm asking if you do pray, please consider sending up good thoughts for my Mom.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lunch

Maddy and Libby's lunch today is brought to you by ...
the letter P.

Pizza (leftover from our dinner last night. Made from local tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella cheese, and truffle oil. Yum)
Peas
Pears
Pound cake (from a friend of ours ... double yum.)

Somewhat healthy, except for the pound cake and decently balanced. It also helped get rid of some leftovers and kept me from eating another piece of pound cake.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I have my eye on ...

Not that I need a party dress by any means, but when I go to the Harris-Teeter near our house, I drive by Brooks Brothers on the way out. This dress is on a mannequin in the window and I love the way it looks and I can't help but slow down and look at it every time I'm there.

It's classic, timeless, but still the polka dots make it a little more fun. While I love Brooks Brothers for Hubby's work clothing, I typically find their clothing a little "mature" for me. This model actually looks a little bit stuffy and uptight. I think I may like the headless mannequin version better.


Since I have no party to wear this dress, nor do I have $300 lying around to spend on it, I guess I'll be happy to window shop.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thankful

Today, I am thankful for running.

Without the ability to run the past couple of weeks, I would have been a total wreck. I can literally feel the stress build before a run and leave following.

I am also thankful that I have those little back-up sensors on my car. Without them, I'm nearly 100% positive that I would have rammed right into several cars, including the plumbing van that likes to park directly behind our driveway while he is working on the house under construction on our street.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Haiku

Bed late, wake early
Windy, hot coffee, shower
Up and thinking now.


I can't help but feel all "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy." I don't think I've written a Haiku since 8th grade!

Why is it on the night that I'm up late, that I also wake up early? I may have also been scared that a big ol' tree was going to come crashing down on our house. It's super windy today.

Coffee made, and I'm showered. At least I can say I accomplished two things today!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Smart.

I love things that are just smart.

Like this little handy guide.

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah recently and I noticed that they had these little cards with a 3.5 mile running route mapped out. Everything was easily marked, and it was on a waxy type card stock that you could hold in your sweaty palm, but you'd still be able to read the writing.

Apparently, this is a program of Hyatt's. Everyone else in the world may know about this, but I had never seen this. Maybe it's been a while since I stayed in a Hyatt.

I noticed that they had Garmins you could check out, and even workout clothing available. A great way to get a work out in while you're traveling. I will say that I just did my run on the treadmill while I was there, but I just love this idea.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Diaper Bag contents

Diapers (duh)
Wipes
Ritz crackers
Cheerios
Another container with assorted cook-cook-cookies, like Annie's graham cracker bunnies and Earth's Best alphabet cookies. (Maddy and Libby usually pronounce cookies as "cook cook".)
Sippy cups
Tylenol
Ziploc bags
Changing Pad
Bottle of red wine
Board books
Saline spray for stuffy noses
Antibacterial wipes

Oh, you don't carry a bottle of wine in your diaper bag?

I normally don't, but since we were going to a Super Bowl party tonight, it made more sense to just throw it in there instead of carrying it. But on some days, it's probably a really good idea.

I'm not a huge football fan, so I really didn't watch much of the game. But after a 9-mile run this afternoon, I was happy to enjoy my fair share of stuffed jalapeno peppers. I love these ... a jalapeno pepper stuffed with some sort of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and sausage mixture, then baked in the oven. So, so good.

Maddy and Libby ate the hostess out of crackers and Tostito scoops. They also enjoyed opening every drawer in her kitchen and playing in the dog's water bowl. Their bedtime was about an hour later than usual. We read one book and they were definitely ready to drift off to sleep.

Let's just say that I haven't logged onto Weight Watchers all week and that may come back to haunt me tomorrow on my weigh in day. Hubby and I have had a little pity party this week and haven't been counting points this week. Thank goodness nearly all the chocolate chip cookies are out of the house.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Why does snow

make me want to eat?

All I can say is it's a good thing that I don't live in North Dakota.

I was "that girl" at the grocery yesterday who really did need to buy milk. When I'm lugging my gallon of organic Vitamin D, I feel like I should proclaim "I really do need this ... I have twins at home!"

Hubby is back braving the crowds and snow for the rest of our supplies since I was planning to do the grocery shopping today.

On tap to make this weekend:

Taco Soup for today ... a mix between a tortilla soup and chili. Yum! From my friend, Kelly

3 FROZEN chicken breasts (or ground beef or turkey)
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 medium onion, diced
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can black beans 1 can cannelli (or any white) beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can vegetarian baked beans
1 can kernel corn

Put everything in crockpot in order listed. Do NOT rinse or drain beans. Add a little chicken broth as needed.
DO NOT STIR. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Take chicken out and shred with two forks. Put chicken back in, stir, and eat.

It's A LOT of beans, but you can always use what you have and not follow the directions precisely. I'd love to try to make this with dried beans so you don't have as much sodium. It's really good to top with a bit of shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and a few tortilla chips!

Chicken Cordon Bleu, ala Weight Watchers
Ingredients
4 spray(s) cooking spray, or enough to coat chicken
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
3 oz Boar's Head Smoked Ham, or other brand, four 3/4 oz slices
3 oz low-fat Swiss cheese, four 3/4-oz slices
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup(s) honey mustard
1/2 cup(s) seasoned bread crumbs, Italian-style

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness; remove plastic wrap. Arrange 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese on each chicken breast.
Starting from shorter end of chicken, roll up breast into a tight pinwheel. Tuck in ends. Secure with toothpicks.
Place flour, honey mustard and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Add chicken to flour; turn to coat. Transfer chicken to honey mustard; turn to coat. Place chicken in bread crumbs; turn to coat.
Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve.

This has been one of our favorite WW recipes ... great flavor and it's really easy to make.

Apricot Pork Chops, ala Cooking Light
5 1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (I use a garlic clove and mince it myself)
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless pork chops

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Combine salt, cinnamon and pepper, and sprinkle over both sides of pork. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove skillet from heat; add apricot mixture, turning pork to coat. Place 1 chop on each of 4 dinner plates; spoon remaining apricot mixture evenly over chops.

This may be a new favorite - the flavor of the sauce is good. The recipe doesn't call for it, but I think the apricot sauce would be good to warm it up instead of leaving it cold.

We also decided if a bag of dark chocolate chips just happened to fall into the shopping cart, that a batch of chocolate chip cookies wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Another Valentine's Day idea

If you have a Kohl's in your city, you know that they are constantly giving great coupons.



If you were in the market for a pair of new PJ's, aren't these for cute and comfy Valentine's pj's? Or for any other day, too.
I know the picture doesn't do it justice, but it's a pink and white heart print that almost looks like an animal print, with a dark grey trim. Plus, you can't beat the price because I'm sure you're going to find a nice 40% off coupon to buy them soon.

Cute, comfy, and perfect for that upcoming Hallmark holiday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Where is the sun?

I really need the sun to come out and for the rain/sleet/snow to go away so I can get back to running outside and not at the gym.

Tonight at the gym, on the treadmill, this girl was skipping and bounding on the treadmill. I've done this type of workout in the park, but not on a treadmill with someone three feet away from you.

Unfortunately, we are supposed to get hit with another weather system by the weekend. I know everyone in the North just laughs at us, but the South is just not equipped to deal with snow. Schools closed early on Friday and one flake hadn't hit the ground and the schools are closed again tomorrow.
Oh, and M&L's Mother's Morning Out operates on the school system closings, so they haven't been all week. So, I definitely have to figure out a fun outing tomorrow for them ... one where they can run and play and use some of their energy. I think I'll get brave and take them to the Children's Museum on my own and hope that they don't run off in two separate directions.

So, here's wishing that I won't have the need for those little child leashes tomorrow.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Thinking about ...

  • Wondering if my Multi Vites gummy vitamins are really vitamins or if they are just gummy bears of sorts. I picked these up when I was tired of choking down a big horse pill'ish vitamin, but I really wonder if they are doing anything vitamin-wise. But they do taste pretty good!
  • Does anyone else have a hotel room coffee aversion? I traveled this weekend to a conference and my roommate made coffee one morning. I've always called it bathroom coffee and I think I don't like the fact that you have to make it with water out of the bathroom sink. Also, the powdered creamer just grosses me out a bit. Even though I had to pay a ridiculous amount for a cup of coffee in the hotel cafe, I'm convinced it was worth the money.
  • I visited the land of butter, Savannah, GA, but didn't take the pilgrimage to Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady & Sons. We tried to go twice. Once they were closed, and the second time they had over a two hour wait. From the reviews I've heard, I don't know if I'm really missing out on much, but I did hear that her gooey butter cake is something not to be missed. Any reviews?