Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Meat Slicer, a High Temperature and a Fat Lip

This was my Monday.

We bought a meat slicer on Saturday and we were so excited to use it. We bought a rib steak and The Marshmallow, after warning me several times of the danger of meat slicers, proceeded to slice the puppy up.

Meanwhile, I am nursing the poor fat lip of my 5 year old who was bouncing around, quite acrobatically, on one of these...
and as she was bouncing around the corner into the dining room, she ran smack into a very sharp corner nearly knocking out her incisor, causing it to bleed and creating a rather bluish fat lip.

In the other corner, Tinkerpot had been fussy all day (except for the 20 minutes it took me to take her pictures). Otherwise, her runny nose was running a marathon and by 7pm, she had a 102 degree fever. So I'm up to my ears in her too.

And then I hear the yelling from the kitchen just as the meat slicer stops running and I imagining body parts on the counter and blood fountains. I go running into the kitchen and The Marshmallow is running around looking for something to soak up the blood that is gushing from his hand. I'm still thinking he'd cut off his finger, but no. He just opened up a gash so big that he had to go get stitches. Needless to say I'm living in terror now of the meat slicer (which was a gift to me...which I did indeed want very much btw). I'm pretty certain that all meat that needs sliced around here will be done by him since I'm sure he's got a healthy respect for the thing now.

So by 9pm, the kids were abed and I was absolutely done and I thought I'd cut my losses and go to bed 'lest I end up with some broken bone or worse since I was the last one left in the family who could still be considered "healthy".

Anyway, that was two days ago. Tink still is running that high fever and I've had some hard days. Hopefully she's on the mend and will have a brighter outlook tomorrow. I pray for this.

In other news, I purchased a little Nikon Coolpix for The Marshmallow for V-Day and was so excited! It's what he's been asking for. It was on order as of this afternoon when he came home and told me that he was totally ready to do a cell phone upgrade to an iPhone and do we have the money for it? Turns out it's the exact same amount as what I just bought that camera for. So I immediately got on the internet and canceled the camera and told him I'd give him the $$ for the iPhone...and I told him what I'd done. Turns out he wants the camera instead. (that's because he's never had an iPhone so he has NO IDEA that an iPhone is the most amazing device in the world to date). So I reordered the camera. And now the surprise is ruined...that's totally deflating. I wish he'd never even said anything.

Ok, that's all that's going on here. Can't wait for Spring...getting ready to start my indoor garden. Praying for warm weather soon...

Have a great night!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby Party

I have less than a month to plan the baby's first birthday party! It's plenty of time, I'm not worried about that especially because it's only a small group of family that will be there.

When Bugs turned 1, we had a big backyard party and half of the known world came. It was really fun and exciting. Bugs had a ball and stripped down to her diaper, toddling around the yard. It was Memorial Day weekend so it was hot and wonderful.

This baby was born in the heart of winter so the party, unfortunately will be indoors. I did want a February baby - just never thought about what the parties would be like. Course I always had indoor parties and never felt gypped.

I was planning to make a beautiful fondant cake made from building blocks in pastel colors. I love making birthday cakes - it touches my inner creativity and makes me feel like the world's best mom that I create beautiful, homemade cakes for my kids' birthdays. I've only ever purchased 1 cake for Bugs and it was because she begged for that kitty cupcake cake.

Anyway back to the fondant...which I've never used. I was very nearly buying it when I was reading something about more nutritious choices for baby's first birthday. They suggested rather than making sugar-icing laden cakes, opt for a choice like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting instead...a healthier choice since at a year old, every bite they make counts with their tiny tummies.

And while I usually balk at totally over the top people who completely go overboard when it comes children and healthy eating to the point of distraction and not letting a kid be a kid, I sort of like this idea. It will be easier for me to make a cake like this and I can still make cute building blocks but I won't have to worry about sugar overload, a baby eating fondant (is that even ok?), and all the time I will spend worrying about how to even use fondant. There are many other years for that - something my little sister put me onto this year. Here's a girl with nearly 4 (ha, one is still in gestation but that provides it's own limitations!), all of them under 4, 2 still in diapers ... and she's learning new and extremely awesome skills like using fondant. Inspiring!

Anyway, can't believe I'm already planning Tink's party. I no longer have a baby. She's a total toddler right down to her toddler toes. She giggles, says no, holds the phone to her head and says "hi" and tries to say "thank you" although it's really like "di di" in that perfect little tone. *sigh* one tiring but satisfying year down, many wonderful years to come.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When You're the Third Person

Have you ever been standing around with 2 other people who are involved in a converstion? And, one of them piques your curiosity and so you sort of stare at them. And your mind is spinning with thoughts about them, like maybe you admire them, or you think they're just plain weird, or you wonder why they didn't comb their hair that morning, or why they thought pink and green go together in that combination, or do they realize they have gravy on their chin.......

People, they know you're watching them. Out of the corner of their eye, they can see you. You are not sneaky and you're making a spectacle of yourself. In fact, they are oh so carefully looking at YOU too and wondering what exactly you are looking at!

So if you must look, make sure to glance casually back and forth as if you are following the discussion so you don't look like a weirdo as you stare like they're some sort of monkey at the zoo. you're embarrassing yourself.

Yes, I've been the starer...and I speak from experience.

hCG, Your State of Mind Makes a Big Difference

I'm finally done with this round of hCG. I did 23 days and it was sort of long for me this time. With 2 months between my rounds, I had so much liberty in what I was eating to be put back on the restrictions was difficult for me. I think it also has a lot to do with how my weight is very close to where I want it to be permanently. So where's my motivation to tough it out? Good question. When I was very heavy, the motivation was staring at me in the mirror every day. Now I look at the sizes on my clothes and my motivation peters right out the window. It happens.

So I finished the round and I realized that transitioning into Phase 3 this time is much different than my huge resolve last time to make it successful. Not that I don't want it to be successful, I'm finding a happy medium and knowing what things already work for me. I'm not quite as worried about the fluctuations because I'm learning how to control them. It's empowering. I feel totally confident to walk into any restaurant, order what I want and know that it's not going to show up on the scale the next morning. That makes me happy. Food does not control me.

If you're still struggling at maintenance, relax. You may be over thinking it. Take some tips:

1) plan to work out for 15 to 20 minutes most days; whatever it is that makes you work up a sweat.
2) take additional protein in whatever form you like.
3) find some low carb recipes and make up some batches of things you'd like to try. then keep them in the fridge so when you're wanting a snack or just something to eat, you have something low-carb to eat anytime.

For example, I love salads but the ones I'm eating are getting boring so I've gone online and downloaded a whole bunch of new ones with ingredients I've never tried in salads before. And it's wonderful to try new foods that I know are healthy for me.

Anyway, for those that are interested, just for the sake of the experience and knowledge, starting on February 3rd I'm going to try a 7 day hCG round. In my experience you lose the most in the first week and then it slows down after that. I'm interested to see what happens to the weight loss if you stop the drops after only 7 days - after the biggest loss. I'm wondering if the loss will stay or if it's just not long enough. The protocol specifically states that 23 days should be the minimum. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment but I will make myself a guinea pig for this experiment. Check back. I'll be reporting.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recipes, Baking and Organization

So I realize my last post was a week ago but I really haven't done much since then besides do what it was I was talking about in my last post! Recipe organization. By the way, I am LOVING The Living Cookbook. It is utterly an amazing program and simply rocks my little world.

I've been slowly and steadily going through all of my recipes and I'm only about 1/3 of the way through. Turns out I have a crapload of dessert recipes which reaffirms the fact that I love to bake - either that or I love to look at baked goods. I really haven't made many of them honestly because to make them means I have to eat them which means that I'm eating foods that I shouldn't be eating for my hips' sake.

Enter hCG loveliness. I no longer worry about eating a few things that were otherwise off-limits if I do so in moderation. And so....I'm busting out those wonderful dessert recipes and am going to be trying them.

I have lots of bread, muffin, cakes, pies, cookies, and roll recipes. And for some things like banana nut muffins, or biscuits, or cheesecake - I have several. How am I supposed to know which ones are the best?

I'm going to have taste-test days where I make up a few of my similar recipes and have my family taste-test them to determine which ones make the cut. Those will be fun days!

Then...even more fun - I've decided I'm going to make one spectacular dessert a week. I'm super excited to try some of these things. They just look so delicious!

I can't, of course start making the desserts for about 3 weeks because of the phases of hCG. I'm nearing the end of this round and will be done next Sunday, after which I avoid carbs for another couple of weeks but then I'm good to go!

Here are some of the things I want to try...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monkey Bread for Family Home Evening

Have you ever made monkey bread? It's like the easiest thing to make in the world and why we did it for FHE - because of course I like Bugs to help me in the kitchen.

This stuff is definitely not cuisine but served immediately, it's hot, sweet, doughy, carmely, sticky and utterly delicious.

Here's the recipe:

Monkey Bread

3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 can refrigerator biscuits

Mix the butter, water and sugar in a large microwave safe glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Remove and place a small glass in upright in the center of the bowl. Put the biscuits all around the glass so it's like a big doughnut. Then microwave it again for 2 minutes on high. Be careful because it's really hot but remove it and invert it onto a dinner or serving plate. Serve hot because as it cools, it becomes firmer and less tasty, not to mention it's cold and just not as yummy. It's easy to tear chunks off because the biscuits separate really easily and then you can dredge them in additional caramel sauce on the plate. Mmmmm!

Anyway, this is a great FHE treat or just one to get the kids in the kitchen learning how to cook. Bugs is pretty finicky even with treats and she loved this.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Living Cookbook

Are you inundated with recipes? Cut-outs, cookbooks, recipe cards, computer files, recipes your friends gave you, emails etc. Are they all stuffed into a binder or worse yet, a drawer? Do you not even know what your favorite recipes are half the time because all your recipes are such a jumbled mess? And when you finally do decide to make something good, you can't find the darned recipe anyway...

that's me.

I have recipes in a binder, and I have tons of cookbooks. I cut out a lot of recipes because I'm a sucker for a picture of something that looks delicious. I get recipes on the internet a lot, watch cooking shows, have a recipe box of old family recipes and I have a folder on my computer dedicated to recipes. Haha, the funniest thing ever is that I don't like to cook! Oh, but I love to bake. If it's doughy, or sweet, or thick & rich then I'm all over whipping it up and I'll spend hours if I know the result will be worthwhile.

Anyway, I'm done with all that recipe crap. I'm sick of that drawer of recipes mainly because I am very against the idea of a junk drawer in general and yet to take a look at my "recipe drawer", let's face it, it's junk. I don't know what's in there. I don't know what's in that binder. I have no idea what's in all my cookbooks and recipe box. I'd have to say there are one or two recipes I can visualize being in various cookbooks - things I refer to from time to time and so I keep the whole cookbook just for that one recipe. Seems stupid to me.

So I did something about it today. It's one of my items from my yesterday's desk dejunking. It was to get my arms wrapped around my recipe "problem".

I downloaded The Living Cookbook. Rather I downloaded the 30 day trial. I read the reviews and specs comparison of 10 different recipe organizational softwares and found The Living Cookbook to be one of the best. All said and done, it will cost $34 if I'm pleased which based on what it said it would do, I'm sure I will be.

It's actually downloading as I'm typing so when I'm through with this post, I'm going to start inputting all of my recipes and I'm anxious to see how it works. I'm very excited as this has been pressing on the back of my brain for a really long time - like every single time I open that forsaken drawer. It makes me cringe that it is so full that you sort of need to actually tug on it a bit to get it opened. So against my nature people.

So, I'll report on my findings later. TTFN.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Very Productive Day

was spent in my pajamas. Isn't that great?

I had one agenda item today and it was to clean off the ridiculously high pile of mundanity (yeah, I just made up that word and the definition is: mundane at its highest), from my desk. There has been so much crap piling up there lately that there hasn't been any room to set my laptop let alone do anything. My desk sits in the free flow of traffic which is unfortunate because I pass it like a zillion times a day and every time I pass it I groan because I knew it would take an eternity to get to the wood surface.

But I did it today. It took me all day. Minus the hour or two spent feeding children, and finally showering myself. But the desk is clean and even better, I have a to-do list of all the projects that were sitting here to be done. Some of the were actually accomplished today while I cleared away the rubble, but most of them sit in a bin waiting for another day when I can tackle them. Best of all, I have a wood surface to place my computer on, one that will gleam at me as I walk past it multitudes of times.

To make the day even better, this is one of the projects I was able to complete today with my newly de-infested desk. I made a Personal Progress Pail which holds incentives for girls who complete PP experiences. They can drop their names in a ballot box weekly and then once per month I will draw a name and that person can pick from the Personal Progress Pail, which is filled with goodies that teenaged girls like. How fun is that?
Anyway, I'm tired. It's 10pm and past my bedtime so I'm going to head up there to my favorite place in the house. I'm reading that series Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr - about the dragons. I'm halfway through the second one. It's really good if you like that fantasy fiction stuff which of course I love. My books are on my computer so I'll take that with me up there. Just so you can picture it :) ... nitey nite.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No Crossing Guard

I walked my kindergartner to school today like I do most days. There's only one street that she needs to cross and there is a crossing guard that mans the street. The speed limit on the street is only 25 but it is notorious for being broken by a large margin.

So we mothers have faith in these crossing guards don't we? I plan to, in a couple of years, let my daughter walk to school alone, and even walk her younger sister to school when she starts go too. So what are we supposed to be feeling when no crossing guard shows up for duty, like happened this morning?

I turned the corner and there was no crossing guard, no blinking lights, not even an officer taking her place. It was rush hour and cars were buzzing by at their usual over the limit speed barely looking twice at the hordes of kids trying to cross the street. And no, I'm not doing my typical exaggeration.

I was angry that whoever dropped the ball put so many children's lives' at risk. And that is not blowing it out of proportion people! A child could have easily been killed today because someone forgot to either 1) call in sick 2) pass along the message 3) arrive on time as replacement ...or whatever lame excuse they can come up with.

I called the police department and they told me that an officer was on his way (duh the freaking bell had already rung!) and by the time I had gotten back to the crosswalk, the officer still wasn't there and the crossing guard is usually still on duty when I walk back. do we have faith that our children's lives are important and that they are safe when we let them out of our doors. We trust in a system that supposedly is ensuring the safety of our most prized possessions only to muck up their job in the process. And do I let my daughter walk herself to school ever? Will this happen again? Do I want to find out the worst way possible? I need to know what happened to the crossing guard!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Have A Lot of Scrapbooking To Do

I've documented nearly all of Bug's life but am woefully needing to catch up on Tinkerpot's. Thankfully she's not even a year old but there are so many great pics to do. I did one's a start.

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Day Back on hCG

Yesterday was really hard as I tried to wrap my head around starting another round. I've been off for two months and had totally been back to eating normally (which is whatever I wanted...reasonably). To know that I would go to the restrictive diet phase was something I wasn't looking forward to.

On the flip side, to know that in 3 weeks time, I will have shed every single last pound of extra baggage this little body has been holding onto for 15 years is thrilling to me. I have enjoyed the past two months at a significantly lower weight and know that feeling will pale compared to the time when my body is at the size it should be - when it's healthy and lean.

This morning when I first took my hCG, it took me a moment to process the do's and don'ts of the program that were so second nature to me before. I need to not automatically put lotion on myself, not use a certain body wash I love so much, not forget to keep things out of my mouth as I'm cooking - stuff like that. I don't mind; I just have to remember. It's a small price to pay I think.

For those of you who have done a round of hCG and are considering now to go do another round, I have a big piece of advice. Do not load this time. And if you do, do not load with sugar. Only fats! I loaded my prior to doing my 2nd round and gained 7 lbs. This time, I am not loading at all. It took me nearly the whole first week to drop that 7 lbs I gained during loading. I feel a little hungrier today than I probably should since I didn't load but I don't care since I didn't gain anything prior to starting another round...

Anyway, so here goes. Hopefully this is the last time I have to do this for a really long time.