Monday, April 27, 2009

Oink Oink

Ahhhh this SWINE FLU thing is giving me a HEADACHE! I have friends/customers flying to Mexico on Wednesday and we spent most of the morning trying to figure out if we should change their trip and if so, what their options are...! I feel for them.... We leave on Wednesday for our trip too and I keep praying, crossing fingers, all that stuff that we all stay healthy for our trip!!!! My friends decided just to "roll the dice" and keep their Mexico plans and hope that flights going into Puerto Vallarta don't get cancelled.

so far the concentration is in Mexico City, it has not been reported to reach either coast...We're supposed to be in Cozumel on May 6th but we're going on a cruise ship, so if Disney decides not to go there, that's alright; because we'll still be cruising!

Part of me feels like the media has it all hyped up. Isn't that what they do most of the time? I mean, if this was a smallpox/malaria/diptheria/some other terrible thing I'd understand. It's a form of flu. It responds to tami-flu. 1500 people in the entire country of Mexico-- there's a LOT of people in Mexico, so isn't that really a fairly small percentage?

I don't know. I'm hoping all goes well for my friends. We all plan on washing our hands like crazy of course anyways.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep miss allergies/asthma (brooke) well rested so she doesn't get sick. She seems to have some drainage going on. Heaven forbid she take a NAP for me!! I've got so much to do between now and Wednesday morning, and that is even with having a few things "wait" till we get home! Yikes!

Pray for happy, healthy, MAGICal safe wonderful travels for us!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sum-it-up Saturday

We've got a real fun day planned around here. Laundry.
But that's okay since it is in anticipation of finishing up packing for our trip!

Matt is off work again today--and is spending the morning running some errands.
If the weather holds off then I'll probably run some errands this afternoon.

A recent conversation--
Me "I need to go get a new swim suit cover up"
Matt "Don't you have one?"
Me "Yes but it's getting all frayed and cruddy looking"
Matt "Well you got it cheap in Nassau didn't you?"
Me "YES. that is why, since I paid $10 for it TWO YEARS AGO, I think I'm plenty deserving to go get a new one. I think I've gotten my money's worth!"

Another recent conversation, the other night when I was camera happy. Like this is something new?
Matt "Why are you taking all these pictures?"
Me - blank stare
Matt "Why are you messing with your camera so much this evening"
Me - well-duh-stare "Just because I want to! Better get used to it babe, vacations coming! And you better get it in your head to do some picture taking on this vacation so I can actually make it INTO some shots!"

The rest of our recent little WORTH-while moments--

*Hannah's 3rd tooth popped thru this week. It's on top, but weirdly enough it is one of her eye-teeth and not one of the front ones.
*I cleaned Brooke's room one day this week, and miraculously enough it is still clean. Same for our room. Now i just need to get Hannah's done.
*Saw the movie "Marley and Me" with Debbie- in the Collinsworth theatre. It was cute. People say "Wasn't it sad? Doesn't the dog die?" and to that I say "Don't all dogs die eventually?"
*We went to the art fair at Brooke's school. They had some super-cute little projects they had done. Now I need to find places to display it all!
*We did a re-fi on our house and finally got it closed yesterday. A savings of $235/month on our house payment. That'll be nice!
Some pics from my picture-happy evening:

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon cleaning all the dead stuff and fresh weeds out of one of the flower beds, uncovering the perennials that have poked thru. Or, the cone-flowers that have taken over the bed completely. I tried to thin them out a bit, planted some petunias, and mulched the flower bed. Only got one done.
The whole time, I was NOT enjoying myself. I thought about my grandma dean and how amazing her backyard always was when we were growing up. Gorgeous plant life, everything perfectly placed, looking great, fabulous. She must have worked so hard on that, she and grandpa. Because it is hard work just doing my stupid flower bed that is NOT great.
Apparently she has the green thumb and passion for gardening that did not get carried onto me.

I don't mind digging holes, sticking a plant in. I don't mind watering (when I remember). I love pretty flowers and I love fresh vegetables (I'm hoping still to get some small version of a vegetable garden put in somehow). But I hate weeding. I hate cleaning out the flower bed, cutting back the old stuff.

And I have a real love-hate relationship with the cone-flowers. They fill the bed, they look pretty in all their pink glory. But they have choked out some other things, and by mid July, they look like they burst into flames and are all burnt-looking! Then they are just ugly the rest of the summer. I dug up a bunch of them, gave some to the neighbors, gave some to the trash can. I'm hoping I did it right and therefore successfully weeded out some of them!

So this is what I accomplished yesterday:

And aren't the phlox in the "bearclaw" (that's the shape of the area around the tree by our driveway) looking great?

But.... this is still what I have to contend with:

And see that little bunch of color in the middle of that mess? It is these:
They pop up all over. They're like miniature pansies. I'm sure they have a real name. I wonder if I might be able to dig this bunch up? Maybe I'll stick it in that pot that is empty, by the "done" bed.
Now the thing about the flowerbed that is not done. It's in front of our porch. And in the middle of it lies the hidden beast that is our own "Little Shop of Horrors" Plant. It is a GIGANTIC hibiscus. The thing gets huge. Once it springs up, it will grow a few INCHES a DAY until it is full grown. And full grown it is almost as tall as me and about 5 feet around. We have to tie it up, and anchor it to the deck rails to help it keep from breaking in the Kansas wind, as well as help to keep at least a little of our sidewalk traversable! I'll have to try to document this for you in pictures. It's amazing. We dug it up from our old house when we moved, chopped the heck out of the roots while doing so, stuck it in a garbage bag in our garage for months when we moved. Then we planted it out there, and it's been a maniac of a plant ever since. There are two other hibiscus plants in this bed as well. They don't get nearly as big. And I try to stick some other stuff in there, but it all gets pretty well taken over by the Monster anyways. That little edge along the sidewalk that is in front of the paver stone, I usually put in petunias. I should do something else there. Not sure what. The middle section gets eaten up by the Monster anyways. I wonder if phlox would do good along there?
And we haven't even looked at the backyard, have we? Well.... not much to look at, but hoping that will change this spring/summer. I think we're going to do some work/landscaping around the playhouse/swing set area. As a matter of fact, we've come up with some extra money to pay for it, so we should get to work on it as soon as we get home from the Big Trip.
In the meantime... if there are any gardening fairies reading this post.... feel free to come get this bed done for me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Catching up

Well since my diet-pity-party the other day, I suppose I should post something a little more entertaining. I'm going to give you what they always called in the corporate world a "high overview"... but this is of our week/life/household as opposed to charts, numbers, and sales.
Snoozing on the couch.
Flew twice this week.
Not working tomorrow- like the 4th Saturday in a row! he's got self-proclaimed vacationitis.
Has not eaten the big Reester Bunny I got him.

Doing great in swimming lessons.
Slept till 740 one morning this week. I told her to do it again on Saturday. Not likely.
Going to see the Hannah Montana movie tomorrow with Mommy and cousins.
Had quite a conversation about Jesus and heaven last night- that she started!
Is a pacifier addict. In a serious way.
Has been cranky the last two nights.
Has renewed her interest in the stairs. Not good.
Makes this "ock" sound when you ask her to say "dog." Uses it in appropriate context.
Finally throws her own hands in the air when you ask "how big is hannah?!"

Almost won New Kids on the Block tickets on the radio this morning.
Will be buying NKOTB tickets tomorrow morning!
Ate cookies this week.
Is slowly chipping away at all that I have to do to get ready for the trip!
Is finding packing for 2 little girls, herself, and hubby for the trip to be a daunting task!
Has not chewed on her nails for a week! Yeah me!

and a few pictures from easter. Just a week late. I'm not sure how Matt escaped the camera that day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Failure.... Today I feel like such a failure. Most days I have fairly decent self it is in the shitter. (Sorry, I try not to use words like that too often!). I am just such a failure at trying to lose weight and it is ABSOLUTELY MY FAULT. It is not my thyroid. It is not because it is hard to lose weight. It is because of what I choose to put in my mouth. And I have got to stop failing!

I wanted to lose 30 lbs for our trip. I've lost 7 lbs. Our trip is in 2 weeks. This failure is because of what I eat. I work out pretty good, at least 4 times a week; and I do some pretty kick-ass (I'm on a roll with the language) workouts. I also do great at eating a low-calorie, well balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner. My problem is snacking and sweets. I just prowl the kitchen in the afternoons. I munch when I make dinner. I have a snack after dinner. This would be okay if it is one cookie...but it's often two with a nice sized glass of milk.

The Easter candy here is killing me. I love candy. And saying "get it out of the house" just isn't fair to the rest of the family.

I can do great one day. Have a major will-power day, and feel so proud of my self. Then I "Celebrate" the next day or treat myself. Counterproductive.

I am an emotional eater. Call me Oprah. I know this for a fact. I get stressed out with the kids, and I medicate with sweets. I feel like "ACK. What a day. They are down for a nap, I am going to reward myself for surviving the morning. Where's the ____?" You may think "Reward yourself with something else." Great idea. If I could walk out the door that instant and get a massage, I'd totally do that :) I have got to find myself a new form of collateral.

Because I don't want to be a failure. I don't want to be fat. Brooke told me the other day I was chubby. She's right. And it's mortifying. I look in the mirror most days and think I look okay. But I know that I don't. The scale tells me. The size of my pants tells me!

And how stupid is this failure, really? BIG TIME STUPID. I mean, I do not ENJOY working out at all. I do it because I have to. And then I sabotage all that effort by eating junk on top of my allowed calories for the day? It's sooo stupid. And here I thought I was a pretty smart girl, even if I did fail a math class at ISU.

And it's okay to have a piece of cake. A small one. It's okay to have a cookie. But I usually end up having more than one "treat" each day....several actually.... and I blow my calorie-allowance out of the water by doing so. And I know it when I am doing it. And I do it anyway. Why is that? I don't know...but I better figure it out and figure it out quick. I'm tired of being a failure. Of being a disappointment to myself and others. Of being overweight. But I'm also tired of battling it. Why can't I be one of those people who can eat whatever and be stick-thin? My dad eats CRAP all the time...and he probably weighs 100 lbs soaking wet. Why didn't I get his metabolism?

I guess the WHY's don't matter. It's the "What am I going to do about it" that does. And right now, I really don't know. I guess I'm going to have to take it one damn bite at a time. Pray for me!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A recipe- Healthier chicken parmesan

Hi there! I don't know what to blog about but I feel like I've got some catching up to do! We're on major countdown mode for The Big Trip. There are piles of clothes everywhere....clothes for the cruise, clothes that Brooke has outgrown, clothes that Hannah doesn't quite fit into yet. It's nuts. And then of course there is the ever-present pile of clothes that "need put away." If I have my way we might all be going naked around here the last few days before our trip, because it's all going to be packed and we'll have nothing to wear!

But hey I said I didn't have anything to Blog about, so I'm going to share a recipe. Except that it isn't really a recipe b/c I don't have's just something I threw together the other night.

I happened to have some Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Vinegariette (however you spell that. I'm a good speller, I just don't care right now!) dressing in the fridge. So I thawed out some chicken breasts, smothered them in that dressing for awhile, and cooked them on the George Foreman (well, hamilton beach) grill. You could probably really grill them, but it's so windy here lately that ain't a happenin.

Cook some spaghetti. I like thin spaghetti.

After spaghetti is drained, toss it with some spaghetti sauce. You can use canned. It's okay. That day I actually didn't have any canned sauce, so I opened a can of tomato sauce, doctored it up with some onion and garlic that I'd sauteed in olive oil, threw in about 1 T of sugar, and some italian seasonings.

Anyways, toss the spaghetti and sauce together. Put it on your plate. Slice the chicken breasts into strips and lay across the top. Sprinkle with Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

That dressing really makes the chicken seem like a good Chicken Parmesan without going overboard on spaghetti sauce, and with no breading which is good.

Serve, obviously, with a garden salad. Yum.

Here's a question for you-- what's on your menu for Easter Sunday? We're actually going non-traditional and just having lasagna, garlic bread, salad and dessert. I'm in charge of dessert and I need to do something non-chocolate (because matt's grandpa is coming and he thinks he is allergic to chocolate). Any ideas?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Whew-Birthday festivities are DONE!

It has been a long day! Wednesday was a long day!! But we celebrated Brooke's 5th birthday big and wonderfully!

On Wednesday, I went to her class at 1030. We had her (aforementioned) snacks, she shared items out of her "me" bag (which included a favorite book, favorite movie, her favorite baby-doll, a pic of her and Hannah, and some random toy she had temporarily attached herself to). She was leader that day-- which excites her something serious. After school, she asked if we could go to lunch. I told her I'd already decided we would do that. I'd picked HuHot-a mongolian grill that she loves and had asked about a few times the week prior. So as we pulled into the parking lot she says "that looks like Daddy's truck." I say certainly that can't be, but before I finish my sentence she is squealing "daddy daddy daddy"!! We'd planned for Matt to take off work early and surprise her by meeting us for lunch. She was so excited.

After lunch, she and daddy went to pick Hannah up from grandma's, while I went to get her cake. Once Hannah got settled down for a nap, we gave Brooke her gift from us:
She was a lllittttllllleee excited to get her very own, real (not "fisher price real"-but REAL) digital camera. We were having trouble deciding what to get her, and found this one on sale and at a reasonable price considering it was for a little girl. She loves to pretend with my old camera I gave her to play with, and she always wants to try to take pictures with my camera, so we thought this would be good. She's got a learning curve ahead of her, but she is certainly very excited about the gift. I love the picture above.
After naps were over (or should I say movie time. Brooke has not napped for over a week now. She needs to, because she's crabby and difficult, but all we've been able to do is get her to lay in her room and watch a movie and have quiet time). Anyways, that evening, we met our friends the Housers and grandma/grandpa at Olive Garden for dinner. This is one of Brooke's favorite restaurants (the other being Subway). The Houser's are good friends of ours with two boys (and a big sister but we don't see that college chic much)--the boys are around 9 and 11 or so. Brooke LOVES LOVES LOVES them. Especially the oldest one, Greg. Anyways, she always wants them at her birthday parties but we decided they were too old so we had them to dinner with us instead. After OG, they came back to the house with us, where Papa Harris (great grandpa) met us, for cake. That was a long day.

Fast forward to Friday. The day before the party that was supposed to be at Beech Lake on Saturday afternoon. We'd been stressing the weather all week long, but on Friday morning a bigger worry came into play-- they had scheduled a big Easter Egg Hunt/pics with the Bunny at Beech Lake for Saturday afternoon! Even if that was in a different section, we couldn't imagine it NOT being crowded. So Friday morning, trying not to have a panic attack, I quickly got a moonwalk booked and switched the venue to our house. Now we just had the weather to continue to worry about.
So the temps today were gorgeous- around 70. The winds---horrendous!! I bet it was blowing 35+mph all afternoon and it kept getting worse. Fortunately the kids did not seem to notice; I think it probably bothered the parents more than anything, but the whole gang were a bunch of troopers. The kids played in the moonwalk, the playhouse, and dug in the rocks; we ate yummy cookies (decorated like beach balls and palm trees--it had been a "Beach/Beech" theme), had an Easter Egg hunt (why not? easter's next week!), and had a great time. I had two seriously pooped out little girls by the end of the day. Everyone left, and we had grandma/grandpa, and great-grandma here for dinner (pizzahut).

So nowwww..... everything is "done" and we're on the downhill slide to the BIG TRIP. We had so much fun celebrating our big girls' day and hope she loved it too!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Five years ago TODAY (a.k.a Part II)


....the rest of the story....
Around 2 a.m. on the 1st, they gave me some pain medicine to "Take the edge off" so I could get some rest. I'd been stuck at a 6 or 7 for a really long time. We slept (lightly) for about an hour. The pain med was just not doing the trick. I hadn't wanted an epideural because I'm desperately afraid of needles. Around 3:25 in the morning, the nurses said that my doctor really thought I should get an epideural because it might help me relax and finish dilating. In tears I said yes. And then the next 15 minutes--of waiting for the guy to actually get in there and do it--were the most painful of my life! It was like my body knew I'd decided to get it and was going to put me thru the wringer before I got it. I was a wreck while they were putting it in. Leaning on the nurse with tears just rolling down my face...from the pain and the cold-gripping-fear of them actually putting the needle in.
It was in and working at 345. They had checked me just before and I was still at a 6. They checked me at 415, and I was at a ten! Yipppeeee the baby would soon be here!
Not really! I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. The doctor held one end of a towel and I held the other and she pulled and pulled and pulled with all her 120lb mite. Matt pushed me from behind with all his strength. This went on and on and on. This baby did NOT want to come out!!
I would like to insert here that I had requested no male nurses or residents, etc. I just have a thing about that. It is also helpful here to know that we did not know if we were having a boy or a girl.
Finally, at shift change, with about 17 people in our room (male and female!) watching the festivities, Brooke came out at 7:09 a.m. I was sooooo excited it was a girl. I was sooo excited it was done! She was healthy and beautiful and perfect and had gaggles of hair. (No wonder I had the heartburn I did!). Matt is convinced the 17 people then went in the hallway and exchanged payment on their bets on what we were having.
At 730 I started asking for something to eat. I asked constantly for about two hours till they finally came up with something for me to scarf down. I've never been so hungry. Those two tacos were nearly 24 hours earlier. I'd done a lot of work. I was starving. Same thing happened when we had Hannah. Starving new mommies is a shameful thing to do :)
It was a long wonderful day. It was a blur. We'd both been up since about 6 a.m. on the 31st. We didn't nap at all the day she arrived, and our last guests left the hospital around 10. We were so exhausted!
SO--Happy Birthday to my Princess. What a ride it has been! We love you so much!