Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If you need me I will be laminating everything in sight...

*A week or so ago, I did a Pinterest Project (the Christmas Card year book) in which I wanted to use a laminator to laminate the front and back of the book.  I knew I could go to Office Max or something of the like, but was hoping a friend had one I could borrow really fast.  I didn't know anyone with one, but my daughter Rachel's teacher was sweet enough to see my FB shoutout, and told me to just send it with my kiddo and she would take care of it at school.  Later I read on a friends blog, that she had received one from Costco, and it was easy to use, and cheap!  While I was at Costco this past Sunday, I checked it out, and it was even marked down further for about $14, so I snatched one up!  I took it out later that night to laminate my daughters school schedule for the year, and was really happy with how easy it was to work!  I have already started a Pinterest Board on things I plan to print out and laminate.  I think it will really come in handy for projects, learning games for the kids, and of course to help me with my battle to organize myself.  My next project I plan on using it for, is for Valentine's for the girls classmates to make them more sturdy, after they make them.  I love the one I purchased because it's nice and compact, so very easy to store, simple to use, and of course it was very inexpensive.

*I just finished reading a great book called The Midwife's Confessions.  It's the second book I have read by this author, and it was another book I couldn't put down.... I had it downloaded on my ipad, and my iphone.  I have never really read any books on my iphone before, but it came in handy, and made waiting in carpool lines more productive, and it was nice to whip out my phone on lunch break and get a chapter knocked out here and there. I will totally use this app more now.

* I am now trying to finish up a book I started earlier this year, which is basically about how different men and women communicate.  It's pretty obvious that men and women are different, but it's just so bizarre how different we process things, and how we can get so mad at each other by just not simply understanding how we process things differently.  Honestly, I didn't think I would learn anything new from this book, that a friend had loaned me, and I liked to think of myself as a boy expert after growing up with guys and playing baseball with them for years and years. I thought I pretty much knew everything, but it's been interesting.  Of course I wont leave the house with this one, because reading books that are considered Self Help genre just scream "issues" lol.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Catch up posts..

- This weekend has worn me out!  Friday, I took the girls to school, then had my meeting at the preschool regarding my conference.  It went ok.  I was much more calmer then I was last week thank goodness, but just even more confused now in a way.  The head said that they have kept an eye on my child and another one in the class because of how young they were, and that the teachers actually did recommend for the other child to be placed in the 2 year old class, but that they have felt like Emily is fine in the 3's.  The head also said most of the things that the teacher said Emily isn't doing in class isn't expected to be done until by the end of the year, so it's no big deal if she isn't doing somethings.  I wish the teacher would have made that clear.  So from my conversation with this lady, Emily is doing fine, and age appropriate for the class per her, the teach just concentrated on what my child isn't doing, and maybe she was just trying to point out what we can work on, but it just came out wrong.  I honestly think this teacher is a nice person, but I am still firm on the fact that teaching preschoolers just isn't for her, and will be sending my letter in to the board of directors.  So as for next year, I am going to do what I want to do, and I am trying to figure out now if that means placing her back in the 3's with another teacher, or doing the 4 year class twice.  I have to have my form in for it by next Friday so that doesn't give me much time, so let's hope we do the right thing.  The head of the program still really feels keeping her back an extra 4 year tends to be the best.  But as her parent that's going to be up to me.  She did express that if your heading to public school it's best to hold the child back in  preschool before they reach Kindergarten, (if you were in a private preschool) as once they get in public school the system makes it near impossible to hold them back, as there is a push to just shove them through.  How heart breaking for the kids....

- So enough about my meeting, I then ran a bunch of errands, took Emily to a follow up eye doctor appointment, played out side with the kids, hosted the slumber party, etc.  Saturday morning with visited my grandmother who is at a nursing home for rehab.  It's so sad to see her like she is.  I don't think she's improving, and given that she's 94, I don't know if she will improve much.  We spent the rest of the day outside playing hard.  Such wonderful weather!  We rode bikes, ran around the street, and Dave worked on cleaning out the garage (story of his life). By the end of the day everyone was passed out in the den, and had to be woken up for dinner. 

- Today we have a birthday party to head to for one of Rachel's classmates, and I am sure we will be back outside doing something fun.  The weekends are just never long enough are they??


Slumber party fun...

My sweet oldest child had her friend over to spend the night Friday.  My child loves this little girl, and looks up to her so much. She's two grades above her, and my childhood best friends niece, but they hit it off at school, and that just makes me smile.  We ordered pizza, watched Dolphin Tale, painted nails, and did a craft.  I was short on ideas for a craft, so we just did the valentine door hanging tissue craft.  We did this last year.  I just cut out a heart from the pizza box that we had, and let the girls glue balled up pieces of red tissue all over it.   The girls had fun, and even passed out half way early, which was good because I was zonked.  They were ready to roll though Saturday morning, and we were dressed and outside riding bikes and playing by 8am lol.  Such cuties!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My mom heart is full...

My daughters school starts each day off with Chapel in the morning.  Yesterday, her class was singing a song in front of their school in church, so my husband, girls, and mother in law and I, made sure we didn't miss it.  I had never been to one of their chapel services before, but my husband and I were very impressed with how well behaved all of the children were.  I just love this school.  Laura's class sang the Butterfly song, and I was just so proud of her!  During her preschool years, Laura would never sing in front of others.  She would stand and look terrified!  Yesterday, she looked so confident, and was having a blast up there with her classmates.  I told her a thousand times before I went back to work, and when I got home last night how proud I am of her.  She has requested to have a friend over for a sleepover tonight, and by goodness I am making that happen.   Photobucket

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have been feeling overwhelmed lately, and I have been feeling like that for a while.  I think it's just a natural feeling for moms, but I was trying to brain storm ways to make it easier on me, or manage it better.  I know I don't do the best job managing anxiety and stress.  In the past I have even taken medication to try to help with it.  I stopped taking it about two years ago or so.  I think it did help somewhat, it helped my mind keep from constantly racing, and helped me not be so snappy, but it also made me lazy, tired all of the time, and though it kept me a lot calmer, the energy was just zapped out of me.  This lead to weight gain, and then being made at myself for not having enough energy to do other things I wanted.  Don't get me wrong, I think medication can be life saving for people, but it can't be something that people use long term.  You have to get to the source of the problem.

I do feel exercising has helped with me relieving stress a great deal. That's generally my "me" time.  Often it's just 1/2 an hour, always no more then 45minutes, but it helps so much for my mood.  I didn't have time to work out yesterday so maybe that's why I was stressed more then usual.

It's really hard being a working mom, but at the same time I am lucky it's only 4 days a week, and it can be flexible.  My husbands schedule is the exact opposite of flexible, with his line of work, and working nights is hard.  I am so jealous of people who have their husbands home every weekend, who work normal hours, and are going to be home every holiday.  But in the other hand I do have that stress, but I am so blessed that my parents help watch the girls when we work, without them I  know our stress would be soooo much greater.

Do I wish I was a stay at home mom?  You betcha, but we have to provide for our children, and this is how it has to be unless we win the lottery. 

I often wish I was involved in more.  I tried to relieve a lot more stress earlier this year, and dropped every commitment with the exception of one which is a woman's organization.  To be honest, I almost dropped out of that too, and had even looked into the process of taken a years leave from it.  I figured I would need something extra for me, and I wanted to be a part of something that does so much good.  However, lately it's been hanging heavy on my heart lately.  With so much going on and making adjustments, I don't feel like I have been pulling my weight on my comittee that I am on.  I know I haven't, but I honestly have not had the time to do what I need to do.  Work has been busy, and when I come home I do even more work with the kids, cleaning, etc, that I feel like the organiztion is just too much for me to handle.  I can't give what I need to, to it, and I feel bad, and I am worried my committee is going to think I am awful.  I was sitting at home last night before I had to go to the meeting  I was trying to make Cheese Straws before I left for it that I had picked to make, those ended in crumbles as I did something wrong.  Then I was doing home work with my oldest daughter, and was trying to rush her so we could finish it before I had to leave, which isn't fair to her when she's just 5, and then I had to wake my husband up so he could get up earlier then usual since I now had to go to the grocery store and buy cheese straws since I goofed on cooking them.  While I was in the store buying them I teared up, and was thinking how I just needed to drop out of this organization too, as I am just not pulling my weight.

I was seriously sitting in the chairs around all of these women, thinking to myself how I just need to get home and get things done and be with my children, when my name is called.  I had won a headband for registering for the 8k.  Then a little later another basket comes out, and everyone who had met another requirement was entered in a contest to win a complete dinner cooked from the cookbooks our organization sells to be prepared and brought to your house to feed your family.  I freaking won that too.  Don't get me wrong, I was really excited to win these things, but I felt awful for sitting there the whole time pretty much just planning on writing a letter to drop out.  I am guessing those are some signs, maybe from God telling me not to.  I feel bad for winning, as there are women who make this organization their life, and do such awesome things, and here I am doing the minimum, and I get these wonderful rewards.    I wish I could be more involved, and I don't know how some of these ladies do it.  I have met some nice ladies, but I have not been able to get really close with anyone as I have just have not been able to take the time to do some of the bonding/social things, and being such a worry wart get the better of me.  I know I need to finish out the year as I committed to it, and I don't like to quit anything, but I hate feeling like I am letting my family down at the same time.  I wish I was a super mom like many of these women seem to be. 

I have to say though, winning that meal meant so much to me, as I am going to have an awesome meal, made for me and my family for free, and wow, that can't be beat!


Getting old...

My husbands birthday was Tuesday, he's 33 now.  We celebrated it over three days.  Sunday we went to a new restaurant that opened called Smoke, with another couple we are friends with, and their little girls.  We had heard mainly good reviews, but a few people had said they didn't care for it.  I am glad we went, as the food was really good.  It's a BBQ place, and has a feel of County Grill with the different BBQ sauces available, but my husband was in heaven.  The pulled pork was awesome, the baked beans were my favorite part of my meal though I have to admit!  Monday, we had his family party party.  We were going to keep it simple with just cake and icecream, but after watching Pioneer Woman's first show of this season on the Food Network, Dave annouced he was going to cook the meal she made, and he wanted to do it.  I offered to help or to make it all together, he refused saying it was going to be fun for him to make it.  That's all I needed to hear =).  I did make his cake though =).
He made Pioneer Woman's Pulled Pork Spicey Pop BBQ, her cole slaw from that show, and her flat apple pie.  I thought it was all pretty tasty, but it is hard to beat BBQ cooked in a smoker... so he has decided to go back to how he usually makes it next time.  My cake was hilarious looking despite my efforts to watch every Pinterest tip on icing cakes.  Oh well, it tasted pretty good I thought =).  I made home made cream cheese icing, and the cake part was chocolate that I got the recipe from on the back of the Hershey Coco can.  

The girls and I spoiled him with a leather heavy bag for working out in the garage that he's been talking about, some etched glasses with a particular skull he's been wanting that I had made off of Etsy, and there was a good deal on a Groupon on our area for a massage, that I snatched up, since he loves getting those.  It's his inner girl =).

On his actual birthday we went to Plaza for a quick dinner, and we enjoyed some yummy Mexican and fried ice cream. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

French Toast adventures....

There is a small locally owned resterant next door to the gym that Dave and I go called Papaou George's. It's kind of tourturing to walk in and out of the gym and smell the amazing food coming from the place. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but truth be told we have never been there for lunch.  The breakfast is amazing though, and very reasonably priced (cheap works).  We don't go out for breakfast much, but when we do we usually end up there.  I also tell myself that supporting a small business at the same time is multi tasking.  Food for my belly and good deeds for our local area.  The owner is also super nice and gives the best service.  One of my favorite things to order when we go is the French Toast breakfast special. It's soooo good.  Some french toast with a side of bacon and scrambled eggs just hits the spot.

I have made baked french toast on many occasions.  The kind that you prep the night before and then bake in a dish in the morning in the oven.  I had been wanting to try to make it the traditional way in a skillet, but just hadn't gotten around to it.  I make pancakes and waffles all of the time, so it was time to venture out and try something new for me.  I saw a link this morning on a cook books fan page this morning, and figured I needed to try this morning.  I did end up using half and half instead of milk because I had just used up the last of our milk, and I added a dash of cinnamon.  The husband gave a me two thumbs up for this one, and I found it so easy to make.  If you would like to try it out go HERE  Maybe I shouldn't have done such a good job though, so we can still go to Papaou Georges.... 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Strike a pose....

My husband likes to joke on me for taking pictures of myself with my iphone.  That handy dandy camera on the front of it is really helpful though, and honestly I never have a mirror on me, so often I use it for a mirror if I need one.  I also like to capture good hair days, hehe.  And face it, being the mommy often means you don't have many pictures of yourself, as I am the one always behind our camera, so if I want a new facebook profile photo I just take it myself.

While I was getting a shower yesterday my daughter Rachel decided to play with my phone.  One of her sisters tattled on her while I was blow drying my hair, and I was eager to just finish the process so I just said it was ok.  Later on though I discovered that Rachel herself loves the iphone camera a little bit.  She had take over 40 pictures, mainly of herself in about a 5 minute time span.  Oh yes, she likes the camera. 

The first one was a little blurry.

But soon she got the hang out of it, and was cheesing and posing like it was her job.

Then she got all artsy and started taking pictures of her toys.  I like this one she captured of Woody.

She's hilarious, and obviously totally my daughter =)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Much needed weekend...

It's been a good, low key Saturday.  When Dave got home from work he suggested we all go to the VLM, since he had not been able to join us last weekend when we renewed our passes.  Yepp our third time going in a week lol.  Hey we are going to get our monies worth since we live close by.  Today they were having story hour in which someone read a book about Possums.  Then one was brought out for the the children to see, and they got to pet it.  Yeah they sure are not the prettiest thing,but it was neat.  We learned that possums in the wild generally only live for 3 years, and those out of the wild like we saw live 4-5 years.  Also, they don't play dead, they pass out due to fear when they get scared.  We had planned to walk to the trail there, but it started pouring so we just came home.  Registration just started for the baseball/softball field by our house, and Dave went to sign the girls up, and fill out a form because he wants to coach the girls in t-ball this year.  I think it's awesome that he wants to do that, such a good involved daddy.  Emily is still too young for t-ball but our older two will play, but maybe she can be an honorary player =).
Tonight I am meeting a girlfriend for a dinner to catch up, and then tomorrow I am going to get some things ready for Dave's family birthday party Monday.  I am making him a cake.  We also have plans to go to a new bbq place called Smoke tomorrow night with some friends to celebrate a little early too!

The post in which I snap out.

First of all this is going to be a venting post.  Sorry about that in advance.  I just have to try to keep it real on here because that is how life is.  I also use this blog as a diary sometimes to just talk it out.  So, Wednesday I was bummed that Emily's speech issues are severe enough for speech therapy.  I'm not upset that she has to do it, I mean, it would be better if she didn't, but mainly I just feel bad for not going with my gut and pushing for it, and allowing the doctor to hold all the power.  I should  have been stronger and gone past him.  So, Friday I am feeling better about it, excited to get the process going, and then I head to preschool for conference day with Emily and Rachel's teachers.   Dave went with me, and I was ready to share info on what was going on with Emily, and see how they are doing in school.

I guess I need to back up, and say when we enrolled Emily this year, I wanted her in the 2 year old class, instead of the 3's.  She turned 3 in September, and she just barely made the cut off for the three's.  I felt 2 would be more appropriate, because of the concerns I had from all her ear infections, and being behind with her talking. I turned in the 2 year old application and everything, and then was told not to hold her back then, that if she needed to be held back, it's better to keep them for a 2nd year in the 4 year old class before starting Kindergarten.  I balked at it, and even tried to again to keep her in the 2 year old class before school started.  The head of the school convinced me to try it, and if there was a problem they would then put her back in the 2's after school started.  To make matters a bit more complicated, Emily was placed in a class with a teacher who my oldest had her last year when she went there, and myself, as well as seriously all of the other moms in the class were not pleased with.  To be honest the room mom of Laura's class last year wrote a letter to the board complaining about this teacher, and did not put her younger children back at this school because of the experience.  She had other moms sign the letter to.  I didn't sign the letter because I knew that this teacher was having personal problems going on, and I didn't want to be a part of bashing someone who was going through a rough time.  My oldest child is also a fast learner, and though she could have had a better teacher, I tried to ignore it and just tell myself it was just preschool.

So, my Emily ends up with this lady for this year.  At our first conference, back in October, she says things are fine, and ensures me that if I had placed Emily in the 2's she would have been bored.  I have not had any more communication with her, other then letting her know about when she got glasses, and that I was trying to get her into speech therapy.  I had one issue in which Emily had an accident at school right before pickup, and she was put in the car without having been put in clean clothes, and didn't even mention it, when it was obvious she had one.  I immediately called the head of the school with my concern, and I wasn't even mean about it, I just asked that it be looked into.

So back to her conference.  As soon as we sit down the first thing out of her mouth is, "so can anything else be done about her vision, and can it get better?"  I asked what she meant as Emily got glasses back in October, and everyone else has raved about how they notice a huge difference in her since she got glasses.  Her reply was that Emily sometimes takes her name sticker and sticks on the board upside down.  She only does that a couple of times, she admitted.  I am sure other 3 year olds put up items upside down from time to time, and it's not because they are blind.  She then asked if we had hearing tested.  I told her yes, and that she has no hearing issues.  She then asked about a new strap for her glasses as once she has had to adjust them for her, and there had to be something better we could buy.  At this point, I am getting angry because obviously this teacher hates dealing with my child's glasses.  She even admitted that she hates those things.  I informed her we got several types of straps, and the one we use has worked out the best.  Once in a while the strap will come lose and we help her with it.  The conference went on and on, and she did not have one positive thing to say.  She at least behaves in class, and follows directions, (I am guessing because she didn't say she wasn't).  She then said she doesn't know her shapes.  I asked her how she tests for that.  She said she points to the picture and asks them what it is.  I told her that Emily does know her shapes as when I tell her to find a square, etc, she will point to the correct one.  The teacher admitted she didn't try that with her. I mean really?  I am not a teacher, but I am guessing any other person would try another method to see if the child really understands the concept at all.  Don't get me wrong, I am not expecting the teacher to tell me my child is perfect, but hearing one positive thing would have been nice.  I also think, with everything she laid out, she shouldn't have waiting until conference to talk to me, she should have called me sooner. Also, if this is how she is doing then she needed to be put in the 2's like I originally wanted.

We had to then go to Rachel's conference.  I walked in, the teacher just looked at me, and I started crying hysterically.  Not like one little tear rolling down my cheek while looking upset, we are talking full out bawling.  Yepp.  Total basket case.  So her two teachers, and my husband  then spent the first 5 minutes trying to calm me down, and then those teachers honestly starting ragging on the other teacher.  They both had worked with her in the past, and they told me that she's completely inappropriate, and have had issues with her.  They were as sweet as they could be with me, and made me feel better.  Rachel's conference went great, and she's ready for kindergarten next year.  She will go to Laura's school next year.

So back to Emily...I have called the preschool and left a message to have a meeting with the director.  I never wanted to be a bad guy and complain, but I am going to express my concerns with the teacher, and I am also going to the board of the school about it.  I also have spoken to other children's parents in the class, and they too said the teacher had nothing positive to say about their children in conference, and they left feeling awful.  With this many people being upset they need to either get her out of the school, or give her some suggestions to do her job better.  They obviously didn't take the parents complaints last year into consideration, and if they want to keep their stellar reputation they need to do something different.  For that many people to make a huge stink last year to the board and director, AND for at least 5 of the maybe 8 teachers total who teach there to talk lowly about her teaching abilities then something needs to be done.  To be completely honest, if I can get her in another class right now, I am going to do it, but from what I have already researched the other classes are full.  With that being said I want her back in the 3 year old class again next year, because it makes no sense for her to move up if she hasn't learned what she needs to. I am not going to let them tell me what "they suggest", if they want my money then they will comply or I can find another school to pay that will let me.  I am going to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure I can give my kids the best that I can.  If things do not get better I will just take her out of the school all together mid year.  She deserves better.  I know I can talk a big talk on here sometimes, but I honestly hate confrontation, and hurting someones feelings, and there is no way to do this without the teacher knowing how I feel.  Having to do this is not easy, as I know the head of school is going to think I am a crazy mom.  It's even more interesting since the head of the school is my husband's bosses mother in law, so let's hope I don't snap out on her for the sake of my husbands job.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Parenting pains.

Today was a hard day in parenting.  Our youngest has been under an evaluation for speech services through the local school system.  Apparently speech therapy with children,(at least in our area) has a long waiting list of at least 6 months if you pay privately, so we were urged to see if she could qualify for services through the public school system.  We have been going through the process for about two months now, and today was our meeting for them to tell us their findings and if she qualifies.  To make a long story short, she qualifies, and to qualify you really have to have a profound need, so we are a little rattled, because we didn't think it was that bad.  Her issue is with articulation.  The other areas were fine.  I know it's not really that big of a deal, but it still upsets me.  Seriously, I almost started crying during the meeting, and my husband turned about a million shades of red.  I know, I know.  Speech isn't a big deal.  It's the whole label on it.  It's under the special education umbrella and considered a handicap.  I'm also frustrated that our pediatrician kept blowing me off when I brought up my concerns with her talking.  I should have gone with my gut from the start, and pushed for an evaluation sooner.  I am by no means saying it's his fault, as I am sure he sees  overreacting moms every day, and face it, doctors have about 10 minutes of that with their patients at a visit.  I know all of this is caused from all of the ear infections, and that I should just be happy she doesn't have hearing problems, critical disease, etc etc.  This can be corrected.  But still it's hard not to beat ourselves up, and wish she didn't have to do this, and wonder if we did something wrong.   Moms, if you ever have concerns, just go with your gut.

Twice a week she will go over to a school near our house and work with the specialist.  They can increase it or decrease it, if needed.  The lady who does it, is a member we know from our local pool, so that was nice seeing a friendly face.  She told me I look just like Betty Draper from Mad Men.  This made me laugh, and I felt the need to tell her I didn't drink or smoke while pregnant with Emily, like Betty did. This lady can be my BFF though for thinking I look like her though.

I will say as a tax payer it is nice that we will be able to utilize such services for free, and we still do not have to attend the public schools.  If she didn't qualify, she still would need speech, and then we would have to wait forever, and then pay $40 a session at least twice a week or more.  Free works for me.

The meeting took a lot longer then I thought it would, so I just ended up having to call out from work, which was probably better that way.  My mind was definitely else where.  I took care of some errands, but did get around to that pedicure.  It was lovely by the way.  It's also good I stayed home, as I had to go back over to see the speech people, because they have a new computer program that they are not used to yet, and it didn't print off one of a zillion consents I had to sign, so they called  for me to come back and sign. 

My grandmother will be going back to a nursing home to start rehab tomorrow, so I am happy she is improving.  She's a strong woman.  I am trying to focus on everything that is positive, because I know I have a lot to be thankful for.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another post of randoms...

*Today I made progress on the girls birthday parties!  We nixed previous ideas of having something at home, as I don't think I can handle a huge amount of screaming girls in our house during winter.  If we could get outside I would be fine, but with the amount of friends that they want to have come, it's better to hit the road.  After some looking around online, we are going with a joint friend party at the Virginia Living Museum.  My girls are a year a part born in February, so they have a lot of the same friends, and the joint party worked out just fine last year.  Of course in my demand that they still have a special day of their own, we will have small family parties for them on their actual birthday at the house.  Today I booked the VLM, created invites, and have already brainstormed some ideas.  The VLM has a great member rate for parties there, and it sounds pretty organized.  We have a party room for one hour, in which I will come up with a game for the kids to play, they also get an animal show, and of course we will eat a snack, and have birthday cake!  Afterward we can tour the museum, and Laura and Rachel should be pretty informative tour guides since we have been there so much.  All that's left to do for the party is now send out the invites, make goodie bags, and make a cake.  Totally doable. 

*I finished the Hunger Game series, so I am down three books this year towards by 25 goal =).  The books were great, and I have been suggesting them to everyone I know!  I already loaned my girlfriend the first one, and she's hooked!

*My grandmother is doing somewhat better.  It looked really bad at first, and they did a temporary feeding tube. Today they took it out, and she is tolerating some soft foods and liquids.  She has a long road ahead of her that's for sure, but today she said my name and looked pretty happy to see me.  Then she proceeded to tell a nurse that I have 5 kids, and apparently told another nurse after I left that I am very knowledgeable about peeing, and they should get me to show the nurses how to help people do it.  Bless her heart.

* I am determined to get a pedicure after work tomorrow.  I have a gift card that has been burning a hole in my pocket for far too long.  Nothing better get in my way.


Monday, January 16, 2012

I am still trying to come up with a menu for this week for dinner, I have some ideas swarming, but I think it wont be anything spectacular or new, as I think I did all of that this weekend with our meals =).  Saturday night I fried some chicken breasts and we had home made chickfila sandwiches, which the kids loved!  I had never fried before, so this was interesting but successful.  Sunday night I made homemade meatballs from scratch with a yummy homemade bbq sauce, Pioneer Woman Mashed potatoes, and green bean bundles.  My husband was excited to wake up to this meal =).  So for tonight, I am not sure what we will have.  I have some leftover chicken, so I might use that to make chicken tacos.  I know it's not exciting, but it will be nice to do make something easy after working all day.  I probably will make Pioneer Woman chicken spaghetti this week too, and I am sure we will do Kid's Night at Chickfila Thursday, but I need to figure out the rest of the week.

*I ended up taking the girls back to the VLM Sunday afternoon, as they were getting restless, and I got nervous they would wake up Dave.  So this is the most boring post ever, so I apologize =).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A bunch of stuff...

*I was able to visit my grandmother last night.  She hadn't opened her eyes or responded since after breakfast before she went to the ER, but while I was there she opened her eyes and seemed to know who I was.  She tried talking but we were not able to understand her.  We sat and talked with my grandfather for a while.  I took a piece of the sheet cake with me for him to eat, and he gobbled it up in about 10 seconds.  He kept saying over and over how much the cake tasted exactly like the cake grandma used to make that he loves.  It was sad to hear him talk about how he was trying to figure out if he should let them do a feeding tube, and the hard decisions he may face.  They have been married for over 70 years!  I hope to get by the hospital today sometime. 

* I have one birthday present of Dave's enroute.  He has been wanting some etched beer glasses with a certain design on them, and I thought about trying my hand at it, but I don't think I could do it without him seeing the project, so I broke down, and found a etsy shop that can do anything.  The lady was really helpful, and is shipping them out Tuesday.  I hope he likes them.

*Today I cleaned my oven thanks to pinterest.  My oven door and inside was nasty.  I honestly didn't think cleaning it would help much, but it's brand new looking now.  Side note, my husband has been on a beef jerky kick lately, and has been experimenting with making it different ways.  He used a food dehydrater on one batch, and then saw a technique where you basically thread the meat through a bamboo skewer, and then hang the skewer from racks in the oven with paper clips.  So. Freaking. Redneck.  I have to admit, the jerky he has made has tasted really good.  I messed up though and posted a picture of him doing this on facebook, and our neighbor saw it, and brought over deer meat for him to do.  My oven was a nighmare, so I got out the baking soda and elbow grease.  I ended up also using one of those brown pampered chef  scrapers, but my oven is sparkly now, even the door glass which always looks horrible! Thanks Pinterest!

*I am on the third book of The Hunger Game series- Mocking Jay, and I had to say the books are sooo good!  I am sad that this is the last book, but I am eager to see how they end up the story.

* I need to get cracking planning the girls birthday parties.  I have some ideas, but I need to finalize some things. My older two both have birthdays in February, one has a birthday I think the day after Super Bowl, and my husband is driving me insane, as he wants to have some Super Bowl Party, and he wants me to help plan it, when I really don't want to be bothered with, as 1. I am more concerned with trying to plan my kids parties. 2. I could care less about the game other then the commercials, and the half time show. 3. I really don't feel like busting butt for another freaking party. 4. It's going to end with me and the other wives trying to watch all of the kids, while our husbands drink. 5. It's soooo much fun to clean our house, and then watch it get destroyed in under 10 minutes. 6. I have to get up, go Laura's birthday blessing at Chapel the next day at her school, then go to work, and that should be fun getting all the kids ready after they have been up all night. 8. When I get home, I am guessing my house will still be a mess, and my husband who was home all day will have done no cleaning what so ever, and then will ask me "What's For Dinner?" 9. I am going to stop talking about it, because I can feel myself getting snarkier and snarkier.



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some Saturday morning Fun....

The kids have been itching to get out of the house and have some fun, and it was just too cold to go to the park today.  I decided to renew our Virginia Living Museum family passes again, so we could go have some fun, and stay indoors these winter months.  The girls love that place, and it's been a while since we have been.  It's so nice living close by it, and it's a great deal.  Also, if your a member of Langley Federal Credit Union you get an extra $5 off the family price, so being that I do have an account there I took advantage of that deal! 

We stayed inside instead of venturing out on the trail, but the girls still had a blast looking at all of the cool animals native to Virginia.  They have already asked that we go back tomorrow, which I am sure we will!

We are staying busy inside the house the rest of today.  I had planned on going to see my grandmother at the rehab center, but apparently this morning they think she has had a massive stroke, and we don't know very much yet as they took her quickly to the ER.  Please keep her in your prayers.  She's 94 years old and is just the sweetest thing, and the very definition of what every grandmother should be.


Friday Night Cooking....

I've been slack in the meal planning lately.  I hate to admit this, but I have not even really done a decent grocery shopping run since before Christmas.  I have just been making stops almost daily to Food Lion to Costco to get what ever easy item I could think of to throw together, or talking my husband into going out or picking something up.  I put it off long enough, and decided to get busy and do a massive grocery store run at Walmart. 

For Friday night, I made something out of my My Mama Made That, junior league cookbook.  It's something we had never tried before, but it sounded pretty good.

Island Style BBQ Pork
1 1/12 lb pork shoulder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 small white onion chopped
1 8 ounce pineapple chunks in syrup
1/2 cup bbq sauce
1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs cold water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 green pepper cut in thin strips
hot cooked rice
- cut the pork into 1 inch pieces/cubes (I found this to take me forever, and I even thought I had really good knives, I own Cutco ones, but to be honest, I don't know if the one I used is meant for meat.  Total pain the but and took forever) sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large skillet (I used my Le Creset Dutch oven because I feel more like Pioneer Woman when I do, and I can put it in the dishwasher when I am done)  Add the pork and onion and cook until the pinkness in the pork is gone.  Drain the pineapple and reserve the syrup, adding water until is reaches 3/4 cup.  Pour the syrup and bbq sauce over the pork, simmer covered for 40 minutes.  Stir the cornstarch into the water until smooth, and then add to the pork mixture constantly stiring until thickend.  Add pineapple chuncks, and green pepper,and stir until everything heated throughout.  Serve over hot rice.

Family Verdict, My oldest wasn't a fan and only ate the pineapple and pork out of it, my other two kids, and husband and I enjoyed it.  I would say the amount cooked would serve 4 adults.  It was plenty for my family of 5 with the three kids, and enough leftover for an adult to have some for lunch the next day.  I told the kids this was an Hawaiian dish, so they thought it was perfectly acceptable to wear bathing suits to the dinner table =).

Later Friday evening, my husband ran to the gym for a quick workout, and I played with the kids, and then was craving something sweet.  I decided to make Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet cake....Holy cow.

First of all the cake is so freaking easy to make, and it's all from scratch.  It reminds me so much of a sheet cake my grandmother used to make that she called $500,000 Chocolate Sheet cake.  The icing is fudge like, and really how can you not love a chocolate sheet cake?!  I omitted the pecans she puts in hers because I don't want anything getting in my way from the chocolate.  This recipe is in her cookbook, and on her website, and because I am tired so I will just leave you with the link. Click Here  Make this though for your loved ones, and they will be declaring you amazing.  Don't get all crazy if you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute by using regular milk mixed with a bit of white vinegar.  Yes Ree taught me this.  Yes I still think Ree and I would be best friends if I lived near her ranch.   I plan on taking some to my grandmother this weekend who is in a nursing home right now for some rehab.  I will have to see if she still has her old recipe so I can compare this one to hers!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Randoms Post...

*Dave and I had a mini date Wednesday night.  Bone Fish Grill has a special every Wednesday where their Bang Bang Shrimp is just $5, and let me tell you , it's banging....We went and each got one as our meal, and apparently everyone else in town had the same idea as it was already a long wait for a table, and even a wait for a seat at the bar, luckily we were able to snatch up two seats at the bar and enjoy ourselves though.

* I got my hair did yesterday, and I am super proud I just waited 8 weeks this time lol.  I used to be so good about going for trims or high lites ever 4-6 weeks before kids, but now sadly I go a crazy time in between because I just get side tracked or busy, or not wanting to spend the money on it.    I made an effort to get my butt in to my hair girl, because she changed shops, and she has a special right now where during the first two weeks she's there hair cuts are free and color is just $15.   Yeah, for that deal I was willing to do whatever if took to get in.  I also took my blue hair extension out.  I had a one tiny blue hair extension put in before halloween, it was fun, and I am not going to lie I am itching to get a feather one put in again, but then I have to remind myself I am 31 years old, and wonder just how ridiculous I really look.

 *My coworkers college age daughter made my day last week.  She met her mom for lunch, and though I don't really know her daughter I hear all of her stories and see her pictures all the time so I feel like I know her.  She was walking to her car and I was heading back into work after grabbing Subway.  Before I could help myself I smiled all big at her and said hello.  Then remembered she doesn't know who the heck I am as we had only met maybe once or twice years ago, and so I  stopped myself from giving her a big hug before she pepper sprayed me.  She called her mom a few minutes later and told her she just realized who I was, and that she thought I was some friend of hers from high school when she first saw me. So maybe I can rock a feather extension then.

*Confession, I still have not started my running program.  Mainly I am wondering if I start now if it will be too far ahead of the race.  The program I looked into is a 8 week program, so technically I should wait a bit.  I could start now I guess, but I am worried that it will be bad on my joints, and I will end up injuring myself.  I don't have joint issues, but I know running isn't exactly the best thing for your body.

* I have gone to the gym and worked out 3 times already this week, so at least I have been active.  I got on the scale the other day after not being on it for a while, and I was kinda surprised that I had lost more. I am honestly not trying to lose anymore before anyone gets all crazy.  To be honest I was holding good at about 130 give or take a lb, but the scale just said 124.  I don't diet, or heck even count calories anymore. Don't get me wrong, I am eating a heck of a lot better the I used to when I was fat, but I honestly eat what I want now. and it's not just salad.  I figured with Christmas I would gain, and I hit the gym hard in December hoping to just stay the same.  Of course we got the stomach flu so that didn't help matters, but honestly I am still surprised.  I know my metaoblism is better, and I am making better food choices, but I really don't want to lose any more,and in fact I'd like to get back to 130.  People at work have already been freaking out on me again.  I am guessing my problem is I have become a cardio junkie.  When I go to the gym I always do at least 30 minutes on the crosstrainer machine.  I freaking love it.  There isn't much better then getting on there with my music blasting and just going as fast as I can.  Dave tells me all the time I do too much cardio, but it's my favorite.  I do work with some weights, but it's not my favorite.  I hate the weights, I feel stupid, I always lose count, and then feel all self conscious.  He has told me I just should do cardio like that 3 times a week, or may consider just doing it frequently but not as long.  Of course I haven't paid any attention to that advice.  I need to though.   I guess I have finally got those darn endorphines  or whatever people get from working out.  I feel awesome on days I get to the gym, and feel blah on the few days I don't.  The idea of going in the gym and doing 15 minutes on a cardio machine just seems crazy and slack.  Also, I don't want to do too may weights as I don't want to be all female body builder looking.

* I am seriously jealous of my children's tennis shoes that they just got, especially my older two kiddos.  They have some sweet Nike's now, and with Dave's birthday coming up,and my older girls birthdays soon after I know I wont be buying myself a pair any time soon unless I find an amazing sale.

* Have you seen those red neck wine glasses, you know the mason jars on a candle stick?  Turns out I know the inventor.  Seriously.  She put a patent or license or whatever on it a while back, and sold the rights to a big company, and she's rich now.  I feel like I know a rockstar lol.  I have known her since I was a little girl, she in fact did my hair for my wedding as a gift, and spoiled my oldest with a a bunch of purses when she was little.  I am so happy for her, and so proud to say I know her!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday Funday!

Ahhh Sunday/Funday.... I started my Sunday with a quick trip to the gym, I am still sore from being all crazy with a million fitness classes in two days.  BUT it was totally needed after what I baked later Sunday.  When I got home, I took the kids to the park since it was still semi warm for January out, took some fun pictures of the kids playing with my new lens.  Sadly I looked into photography classes through Parks and Rec, and there isn't anything being offered right now. Oh well I can just play more with the camera until something comes up.

Anyways, I had a cooking day by prepping dinner, and a meal for a girlfriends family having surgery,  and then got busy making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  This is a Pioneer Woman receipe, but it's not on her website.  It's in her cookbook though, and a few other bloggers have made it, so if you want to see all the details check out this link: http://manysleeplessnights.com/2011/01/08/pioneer-woman-recipe-5-pineapple-upside-down-cake-in-an-iron-skillet/
You make this in a cast iron skillet, and I found it really easy to make.  I did have to purchase shortening for my first time ever to make it, so I can now cross that off my bucket list.  The top of mine looks darker then the one in the cookbook and blog because I added a lot of cherries since we all love them, and I had dark brown sugar which of course made it a lot darker, I promise it's not burnt =).  My family loved this cake, and half of it was gone in seconds.  I took a huge chunk of it to my parents to get it out of the house!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Well I survived kickboxing class, AND the next day a girlfriend took me with her to the cool gym in town and I did a spinning class and ab class with her.  What was I thinking.... Kickboxing was great, I felt pretty good afterward, and I want to keep doing it.  Helps when you have a friend doing it with you too, I was able to talk my sister in law in going with me, and I think she enjoyed it too =).  So, I am feeling all awesome and then the next morning is spinning class.  Don't get me wrong, I love riding my beach cruiser all around the neighborhood, but spin class was a butt kicker.  It was fun, they held the class in a completely dark room, with lots of nice loud music, but the bike seat is small and tiny, and I don't exactly have a big hiny.  It lasted an hour, and my legs were killing me afterward!  It was doable though, because if I got too tired I could just let up on the resistance, and fake that I was working just as hard as the others lol.  Then as soon as it was over, I tried to run away from my friend and say I was going to do some weight training, but she made me go to the ab class.  That class was 1/2 an hour, and I survived a million crunches and some planking.  By noon though I could hardly walk.  The husband planned a fun date night too us, and showering and dressing for it was hilarious when you can hardly move. 

I enjoyed going to my friends gym, and even though I love my cheap gym, I have to admit it would be nice to have classes which my gym doesn't offer.  I think I will compromise and just stay at my gym, and take a few kickboxing classes from the Boot Camp lady who does them near my house.  Since I did all of the extra classes Friday I didn't start my running program, and I am not sure if I will start Sunday or Monday.  I worked out Monday- Friday, so I need to allow my body to recover.

Our date night was still really fun despite me being sore, and Dave has a sprained ankle from a treadmill injury. We looked funny hobbling around. We went to dinner, and a movie, and the kiddos spent the night with their grandparents and one of their cousins.

I have been looking around for running shoes.  I am really liking how the minimalist shoes look, and they seem to be really popular right now. On a recent shopping adventure I ended up buying all new sneakers for the girls, because I still can't make up my mind, and they fell in love with some Nike's and Pumas.  Go figure.  Our new neighbor who runs was telling me I need to check out a website called Roadrunner, as they have a deal where you can try out tennis shoes and you have 90 days to return them if you don't like them after using them.  She said it took her 4 pairs before she found a pair she liked using the site, and they have all the popular brands/styles. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am such a running poser....

Today during lunch break at work I googled how to train for a 8k.  Though I have successfully mastered running a 5k without dying, I am still by no means a runner. Even though an 8k isn't much further then a 5k I am going to have to prepare for it if I want to be able to do it.  Imagine my surprise when the first suggestion that pops up suggests trying to run a total of 15-25miles total a week.  I about choked on my diet coke.  A 8k equals about 5 miles, so if I were to run just three days a week I would need to run 5 miles each time.  That's not happening right now.  I know I need to build up slowly, but I am going to research some different training programs.  I first need to buy some some new running shoes, I am still rocking my old Reebok Easy Tones or a pair of Nikes that are not really ideal for running.  I plan on attempting my first run Friday some time at the gym.  Tomorrow night I am going to do a kick boxing class to shake things up a bit before starting this adventure.  The 8k isn't until April so I have plenty of time to get ready or die trying.  I am sad to say goodbye to my favorite cardio machine at the gym though while I attempt this, I hate treadmills.

I finished the first book of the Hunger Games series Tuesday night.  OMG, so good!  I started reading the next one Catching Fire, and I am already sucked in...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Today the girls put on some Christmasy dresses to wear one last time before we went to my great aunt's family reunion party.  I snapped a few pictures of the girls today with my new Canon 50mm lense, which I am obsessed with. I really need to read up more on photography, to learn to use my camera better.  Maybe I will take a class or something through parks and rec here locally. 

Our New Years Eve was even more low key then it normally is.  We are still recovering from the great stomach flu of 2011.  Seriously, it was rough. Everyone has had some lingering effects from it, not being able to eat a lot, still getting sick a few times, it's just been awful, and let's just thank God for washing machines, as I was constantly running the darn thing. We did venture out Saturday morning to take care of some errands, the husband finally got his new phone, and we did our fun family activity with the girls at Build a Bear.  We had never done Build a Bear before, so this was pretty exciting for the girls.  It was a lot of fun, and I figured it would be expensive, but oh my goodness they are making a killing there.  We had gift cards for the girls to use that they got for Christmas, and I had a $5 off coupon on my phone, but we still had a chunk to pay when all said was done lol.  I mean of course the new bears all needed shoes, purses, and clothing.  They are really nice quality stuff animals at least, and the girls have carried them around non stop.  Laura named hers Sydney, after a girl at her school that is basically her hero.  Rachel named her Princess Star, and Emily named her blue bear, Blue.  So stinking cute!

The girls ended up all being invited to a friends house to spend the night around the corner from us, but we kept Emily home since she was still feeling iffy.  Dave and I did sneak away while my mom and dad kept her for dinner at a Hibachi early. He had to work last night, so we didn't have any exciting plans, and with him having to be at work at midnight, I didn't feel like watching the ball drop by myself, so I just went to bed early. 

So I know I am supposed to come up with some goals for the New Year.  Thankfully for the first time in a long time I don't have to say I want to lose weight now that I finally am at my goal for that.  I have been doing a good job maintaining, and eating healthy.  I guess for 2012, I just want to continue working out regularly.  I want to continue to aim for working out at least 3 times a week, and I am challenging myself to an 8k in April.

My second goal is to read 25 books this year.  Last year I set a goal on my goodreads.com account to read 20, and I did 23.  Yesterday I starting reading the book The Hunger Games.  I have all three of the books, and had been hearing forever how good they were.   With the movie coming out in a few months I knew I needed to get a move on it.  I started it yesterday and I am already halfway through with the first one.  It's really good, and intense!

I think 2 goals is plenty, well maybe three if you consider the 8k.