Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sugar Cereals - What's Your Position?

My mom NEVER bought them. We didn't have a large variety in our cupboards: Cheerios, Rice Krispies and Oatmeal. And as a kid, oatmeal is just blech!

I thought my mom was so square!

Now, as a mother I am just disgusted by all of the sugar cereals that are pro-ported to be "healthy". These cereals have over 15 grams of sugar per serving! That's a lot for a little kid for breakfast! Kellogg just put out a new line of lower-sugars but they're still around 12 grams. That's not low -it's just a concession. I don't care what federal guidelines are for nutritional content for kids - look at a lot of American kids and you decide what should be the limit - less than 12 grams, for sure (especially for breakfast).

I am encouraged that some companies are doing their best to make tasty cereals without all the sugar. Fruity Cheerios (a little high but still reasonable), Frosted Mini Wheats, Kix, and the varieties of Life and Chex. I still buy a lot of Cheerios and Rice Krispies though.

I buy sugar cereals as a special treat. I bought some Lucky Charms the other day (11 grams of sugar - have you noticed how many more marshmallows there are vs. when we were young - wow!) and of course SP eats all of the marshmallows first and then doesn't want to eat the rest. But that was the deal when I bought them so she *forces* them down.

Fortunately, I've started her off on a good foot. Not totally depriving her so she doesn't go crazy when she gets some, but also shooting for healthy, low-sugar breakfasts. I realize there are *vitamins* and *calcium* and other junk but I think it's just those manufacturer's way of getting away with putting so much sugar in them.

Yeah, sugar sells.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thank Heaven for Mix n Fix

Last time I was pregnant, it got to the point where I couldn't even stand the smell of myself, or anyone else for that matter. It made me nauseated to cook any meat and so I just didn't cook at all. I'm not sure what we ate. That I gained 60 lbs is proof that I did eat, however, lol!

I've already started to plan ahead this time though. I've got about 10 lbs. of ground beef thawing so I can cook it & re-freeze it so if I want to make something, I don't have to fry the beef first. Yuck! The only time I barfed last time was cooking a pork chop. Just the memory makes me want to heave.

Today I spent a few hours getting ready for tomorrow's Mix n Fix. And it's coming right in time because I think I've only got another week or two of olfactory bliss.

What's on the menu this month?

I made: Sesame Tilapia, and Montreal Chicken

Meals I will receive will be:

Fajitas, Beerless Brats, Cranberry Chicken, Personal Pizzas, Grilled Asian Pork, Bistro Turkey Burgers, and meatloaf.

I'll be so happy to tuck these babies into my freezer for later use. I have lots left over from months past too so we're definitely NOT going to starve as I enter into my hardest time of pregnancy - seriously - it was the absolute worst part. I couldn't stand the smell of Fall even the next year when I wasn't pregnant.

Also, please bear with my posts. I know they're not all my typical uppity-up, and definitely not the frequency you're used to. But I'm trying.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Advice Anyone?

Let me just preface this by saying that if you think this blog is about you, it's extremely likely that it isn't, in fact I can very nearly guarantee that it isn't.

So anyway, I need someone to help me out here. Have you had a bum reader? Someone who is just bringing your blog down by reading and not commenting ever but you know their intents aren't pure? They're just reading your blog to have material to be more jealous of you or something.

Maybe I should just say this to that person - please stop reading my blog. Your presence here is not welcome anymore. You don't add anything to this give & take, and actually disturb the flow of this blog more than anything. If you continue to read my blog (and believe me, I know who reads my blog, and how often), I'll be forced to move the whole thing just to exclude you from my life.

If anyone has advice for me to do this without having to change my entire address, I'm open to suggestions. I love 99.999% of my readers but that .001% just bring me down!

Sorry. This has been bugging me for several months and I'm finally getting the guts to lay it out there.

p.s. yes, i do personally know this person. that rules out a great number of my readers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

For more information, go here.

Old Memories

I created a profile on Facebook sometime ago and just in the past couple of weeks, I've gotten in contact with several of my old high school friends. Yes, I know I said I didn't have any old high school friends, but there are a few of them out there and contacting me to find out what's up with me, no less! Wonders never cease!

But getting in contact with old friends, especially from high school, has had some adverse reactions from me of which I have been surprised! I've mentioned before how miserable high school was for me. Literally, it was like having my head stuck in a hay-baler the whole 3 1/2 years.

Never tried that? You should. It's an experience you'll never forget.

And being in contact with people from a period in my life that was so difficult, it tends to bring up many memories that after 16 years, I thought I'd expunged for good.

My therapist would probably say it's a good thing to open up the wounds, flush them out, bare the nerves until they are numb...and then move on with life. I like the advice. It's sort of how I've dealt with many other equally painful things in my life like my divorce, parent chaos, etc.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dance Recital

SP's first year of dance was officially over tonight. I love watching that kid dance. It's all I ever thought it would be.

It was at a high school this time so she got to actually be on stage with the lights out - and then they flooded them on and she just blinked and looked around like she didn't know where she was. But it only took a second and she was in the groove. She's not shy at all; not like I was when I was her age.

I hope she stays outgoing. It's such an easier world when you don't always have to stand behind your mom. I've learned that being outgoing can actually be fun.

If I can get the video downloaded tomorrow I'll post a clip just for grins.

We're also going to Cherry Hill tomorrow and I've got my big dinner-swap coming up on Saturday to prepare for. It's going to be a busy week.

BTW, I'm not a complete slacker. I had a great post all done on Monday and Blogger was down so I lost it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Noises

As a kid, I spent practically my whole life living with a pool in my backyard. This was one of the first ones my family put in our backyard and is similar to the huge blow-up ones that are for sale nowadays.

We had SO MUCH fun in it and the bigger model that came a few years later.

In the in-ground swimming pool we had in SoCal, we spent hours and hours and hours playing Marco! Polo! and I have such great memories of that.

Today, while vacuuming my own pool out, I heard familiar sounds coming from my neighbor's home. They have an inflatable pool and have 3 children. I heard them loudly playing Marco! Polo! and it just made me grin from the memories. They were having such a great time and I couldn't help but think of my sisters and the great fun we had in the water as kids. Those are good neighbor noises.

Friday, June 20, 2008


This was me today, pushing the mega-load about the tempo of a turtle. It was not all my stuff, mind you. I can usually just use an average sized cart for my personal Costco trips.

And so I guess Costco expects lots of traffic on Fridays because there were those "taster" stations at every SINGLE aisle corner, sometimes two at each end. And then you have these people who wouldn't even normally look TWICE at tofu burgers who nearly twist their heads off trying to get a glimpse if they're out of the toaster-oven yet. Then, everyone has to clog up the aisle while they wait for the worker to load the paper holder with the tiny sliver slices.

Meanwhile, I don't give a rat's rear for whatever they're trying to sell, just trying to get my bohemith of a "cart" around the frickin' corner. And of course I can't because Mr. Mom & Pop Gluttony are waiting for their half of a cream puff.

Can't Costco work something out? I mean, this system clearly does not work!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Time Off

I didn't really mean to take so much time off! It sort of got away from me. I was so busy and sort of just let it all just carry me away. But in answer to my many friends' inquiries about where in the heck I've been...I'm okay. Thanks for your concern though - it's nice to know when you're missed!

My niece left a couple of days ago. We had so much fun while she was here. We didn't finish the Zelda game but I'll probably finish it on my own in the next couple of weeks although I'm not going to let it consume my life like I have in times past.

I've also getting really into my new job which has been working out so great! I'm loving the people and the flexibility (not to mention the $$). I've been working with geriatric patients in their homes and it's been awesome. Working with them in nursing homes, I've always wondered what their lives were like in their actual homes and in this job I get to see it. I'm amazed by their spirits. So many of them have these HUGE families (like 10-12 children) and support networks like you wouldn't believe. I love seeing all of their family pictures and seeing their personal lives reflected in the way their homes are kept. I'm so lucky to be able to be in a position to help such terrific people, really.

I'm so happy it's actually Summer now. It's hot enough to take the cover off our pool and actually enjoy it even if it will only be hot for 2 months. I'm just happy to finally have a little bit of a natural tan!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I know I've been sporadic lately and I'll tell you why and it's a little story.

Before I was married, I went to visit my little sister who also wasn't married. She was in college and played lots of video games. I was with her for a week and we literally didn't leave her house for practically the entire time because she got me into playing a fanatic. I was fixated!

Eventually I came back to reality but knowing I hadn't won the game yet, I bought an N64, the Zelda (Ocarina of Time) game, and beat the game.

It's been in my storage room collecting dust...until now.

My niece has been here since Sunday and I was feeling bad for her because all she was doing was playing with SP - Candyland, legos, play-doh. All the stuff that's fun for about 30 minutes. But I'm talking hours. And I wasn't obligating her to do it but she said, "what else is there to do?" Hmmm - what else would a 14 year old WANT to do?

So out came Zelda - and she's hooked doing way better at it than I ever did but while she plays, I've become hooked again too. I love watching her play and since I remember lots, I can help her. We've been up until 1am for the past couple of nights and I can't tear myself away!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm Thinking That Moving Sounds Nice

Literally in less than 5 days, one and then two of my friends who live within 1/2 mile of my house have had their homes burglarized in broad daylight. Where are we seriously living?? This is supposed to be one of the top 100 safest cities in the nation!

Kelly had her car stolen right out of her garage not to mention the thousands of dollars of electronics and purely priceless memorabilia on her laptop that was stolen. Heidi also was robbed of her precious wedding ring - something that just can't be replaced.

I've spent this afternoon on the phone with neighbors, husband and my home-security company trying to figure out how this happened and how to avoid it happening to us! Short of locking all of my windows and setting the security system even when I'm home there's not much else that can be done. Talk about living like a prisoner. I hate it!

To my friends who have been violated, I'm sorry. I can't imagine the feeling of coming home to see that your belongings have been sorted through by a complete stranger whose sole goal was to make a gain from your sadness and loss. I certainly hope this creep(s) is caught soon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Best Laid Plans

You remember the list of things I'd outlined to do today in my family's absence? I tossed and turned all night because I was excited to wake up and get to my day (not my typical MO).

I didn't go to sleep until about 3am due to this book I'm reading, which by the way is pretty compelling. I wasn't a Twilight Series groupie and thought that Stephanie Meyer wasn't "all that" but have somewhat come around after reading her latest book.

At 9am, I woke ready to jump into action. But...first order of business was to throw up, then head to the medicine cabinet for Pepto or whatever might let me have even a 3 minutes reprieve from the bathroom. Not deterred, I took a shower and got ready to go to church. By 10:15 though, I knew I wasn't going anywhere except back to bed. Foiled!!

I lay there feeling sorry for myself and listening to the Chihuahua tell the world he's lonely (no, I haven't yet gone over there - I'm waiting to see if DH will take care of it first, for once). I read for awhile and then at noon, decided to try to clean up the house at least. Having labored through that wondering how my friends who get deathly nauseous while pregnant manage THIS for 9 months, I made some mint tea, took my temp (101.9) and went back to bed.

I decided that my aches and pains could be associated with my hellatious run yesterday but are more likely attributed to a case of stomach flu. Even touching my skin hurts.

I think I'll just lay here and feel sorry for myself some more though, as I think of all the wonderful things I was going to do today that now I'm missing out on.

Where Am I?

I know it's been a few days since I've posted but it may be another couple before I make an intelligible one. I am however consumed with reading YOUR blogs as this has been more fun for me for the past few days.

Additionally, DH and SP have gone to the in-laws for a couple of days leaving me with some blessed relief time. I'm playing...let's just put it that way.

I'm expecting my little niece (she's not so little being that she's taller than me) here tomorrow for a week's trip while her parents vacation on some little island in the Caribbean. I'm excited to have her. And because I'm expecting her tomorrow is why I didn't go with the family to the in-laws.

So today while I had the whole day to myself I...went for a run, got a massage, went to a movie, visited my sister, and am working on a good book I received last night from a friend.

Tomorrow I plan to...sleep late, clean up my house so it doesn't LOOK like I played too much, go to church, go on a bike ride, read some more, take a nap.

These are most of the things that are difficult when a 4 year old's in tow. A couple of days every now and then make me feel like a human being.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Princess and the Frog

SP: "Mom, if I kiss a frog, will he turn into a prince?"

Mom: "No honey, but sometimes if you kiss a prince, he'll turn into a frog."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Grocery Trip

When standing in line at grocery stores, I am constantly amazed at what other shoppers are buying - the assortments of foods - or rather lack of.

I frequently see huge carts full of food with only about one item of fresh produce in the whole bunch - but the cart is full of chips, cookies, prepared foods, sugar cereals, ice cream etc. And while there's nothing wrong with those foods, it surprises me how much percentage they take up!

I went to the store tonight and bought everything you see in the counter. As I was checking out, I took an objective look at what I was buying and was surprised to see the healthy variety of things I was buying. It was in nearly the exact ratio it should be in relation to the food guide pyramid. And all of this stuff only cost me $55. Who says eating healthy is expensive?

New Job

I started my new job today and shadowed my friend Jamie on her caseload, and she showed me the ropes. It was fun! I feel much better about my ability to do this job successfully now that I've seen firsthand what I'll be doing.

In case you weren't following this story, I've been working for the school district for the past school year as an occupational therapist and now that school's out, I opted to get another job to fill the summer hours. I only work a couple of 5-6 hour shifts a week.

I'm now doing home-health (rehabilitation) for a variety of different patients from dementia to strokes, to post-orthopedic patients.

The school district has offered me a more permanent position (so far, I've only been "as-needed/PRN" to fill in) for next year and I asked for a month to consider it. In that month, I'll be deciding if I like this low-stress job (which incidentally pays a heck of a lot more) or if I want back in the crazy school schedule. Based on today, I'd take the home health job, but there are a lot of factors involved so I need to keep myself open.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do You Use Photoshop?

I've been doing a bunch of stuff with my digital scrapbooking lately and it's required that I learn a lot more about Photoshop than I ever knew before. It's complicated!

But I learned something today that I've been wanting to learn for a long time, and that's producing higher contrast black & white photos instead of just eliminating all of the hue.

I got the basis for all of my knowledge about Photoshop from Kelly, of course (who incidentally took this picture) and since then have had to supplement it with tutorials from the internet. And that's what I wanted to tell you! I found a great tutorial today (right at the nice "beginner" level - which is what I always need) that guides you right through how to create higher contrast black & white photos.
The photo on the left is the higher contrast and the one on the right is just having the hue removed. You can see what a big difference it makes! You virtually lose all your interest by removing hue.

I just wanted everyone out there who was as clueless as I am about Photoshop to know where you can get an awesome!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Some Random Things

Random Thought Provokers
What makes you laugh?:my friends, and my dorky husband
Who is your hero?:Christ
Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours?:Renee
How many pairs of shoes do you own?:about 20 too many
Seriously... Where does the other sock end up?:behind the dryer!
Who do you blame for your mood today?:Christ - it's a great mood
If the Internet were sex... I would:be considered a nymph
Have you ever seen a dead body?:i'm old enough to have seen my fair share, and young enough to still have many left to see
What is something scientists need to invent?:a robot who cooks and does laundry
What should we do with stupid people?:love them anyway
Have you ever broken a bone?:yes, my arm when i was 16. it was awful!
Do you watch local news? Why?:no. it's all depressing and annoying. besides DH fills me in on all the important stuff
What happens after you die?:it depends on what you did while you were alive!
How big is your bed? Big enough?:big enough that i get to be with DH but have enough space to be spred eagle!
How long do you think you will live?:until i've finished what God sent me to do
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