Monday, November 30, 2009

glad to be home

Whew, isn't Thanksgiving supposed to be relaxing? What a whirlwind: packing, traveling, driving, eating, lugging suitcases, doing dishes, honestly, I am sort of glad it's over. I hate to admit it but I like routine, order, the same 'ole thing every day. Who am I kidding, now is the craziest time of the year, but at least I'm at home and ready to go. We got our Christmas tree yesterday and plan to decorate it this weekend, that means I'll be decking my halls for the next week or so. I'm not sure how much I'll do since our house is still on the market and it probably won't "show" well with all my Christmas schmag all over the place. I do however plan on purging a whole bunch of decorations as I unpack them all. I couldn't do/didn't want to do this last year since I was preggers, now I am excited to see how much stuff I really don't want/need. I've got my Goodwill box all ready to go...

my weekly menu:
  • chicken and rice cheesey bake (I'll sneak some veggies in here too)
  • lasagna and salad
  • chili and biscuits
  • chili spaghetti (using leftovers)
  • ?- hubby is gone twice this week so I'll be wingin' it at least once
stuff I want to do this week:
  • order some presents online
  • decorate the Christmas tree
  • address envelopes for Christmas cards
  • get my hair trimmed
  • weigh in at Weight Watchers (Monday evening)
  • finalize Christmas shopping list
  • plan holiday menu
  • iron (it's been a couple weeks)
  • date night with hubby (Saturday)
  • begin Christmas scrapbook (photos and journaling)

Monday, November 23, 2009

gobble gobble

Hi All,
I am taking the week off to craft, cook, clean, travel, watch tv, get well (double ear infections!), organize my coupons/shopping lists, and eat of course. Have a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?
I am thankful for:
the obvious:
my husband
my children
friends and family
our pets
our home
our health
resources that make our lives better/easier (money, computers, phones, etc.)
health insurance
working vehicles
all those service men/women fighting for us around the world
now for the fun stuff:
makeup-especially under eye concealer and mascara
Weight Watchers
funny tv shows- The Office
good tv shows- Mad Men
the library
Walmart and Target
Diet Dr. Pepper
pictures of my kids when they were tiny
Longaberger baskets
Swiffer products
music by Sting, Michael Buble, Dave Matthews Band, and The Black Eyed Peas
John Travolta movies
cards/letters in the mail
drive thru anything
my treadmill
UK basketball season has started and they are rockin'
Converse shoes
living within a mile of a horse farm and a dairy farm- love seeing those guys every day
putting my kids to bed at 8:00
Burt Bee's chapstick
my children's laughter and hugs

Thursday, November 19, 2009

thinking about friends

Thinking about my friends far and near, and some I have never met...

Lately, I have been listening to some of my old CDs and I still can't believe how a song can instantly transport me back in time. I am reminiscing about high school, college, those first few years of teaching, basically my carefree youth. I am loving all the memories but then reality hits... wrinkles, dirty diapers, bills to pay, you know the rest. It even prompted me to join Facebook, something I never thought I would do. I've heard all the horror stories about people becoming addicted to finding friends and losing countless hours to this new hobby. I will say I have enjoyed looking at people's pictures and although I haven't made any official "friend" requests, I do find it comforting to see my old buddies with kids and spouses. Makes me feel kind of normal, less alone, part of a group, sounds like high school all over again!

This photo is for Kristin: thanks for telling me about the sale at Michaels on the scrapbooking supplies I have been wanting... aren't you so glad I already used some!? (I added my title after the picture, oops!)
This one is for Becca: you are not alone in the messy desk category. See mine, there is only one teeny spot in which I can do anything. It's stuff like this that keeps me up at night. I swear I have visions of spools of ribbon rolling off onto the floor and disappearing forever. You can even see there is a mess under my desk, where my feet go! I have some serious work to do this weekend. Oh my goodness, this is giving me hives just looking at it.
So, hello friends, have a great weekend.

trying new things

I am a virgin no longer.
Oh, get your head out of the gutter, I've got three kids for goodness sake!

I had my first sushi yesterday. I have wanted to try some for years but finding a good sushi place in Cincinnati doesn't vibe with the kids who want nuggets and pizza and the hubby who wants wings and ribs. So I found myself at Jungle Jim's, a foodie's paradise, and they had samples sitting out. I thought, what the hey? I tried it and by george I loved it. I mean, I didn't get too crazy, just veggies, organic brown rice, soy and wasabi sauce, seems pretty basic. Now, I am in love. I figured I would like it, me being the veggie lover I am. I'm not sure how adventurous I will get, eating raw fish does raise the ick factor a bit, we'll see. I bought a little pack and had it for lunch today. Yummo! And, the best part, I got to eat six pieces of my healthy veggie sushi and it was only 2 points! For you fellow weight watchers out there, you will agree this is a rockin' good food.

Check out Jungle Jim's if you're ever in the Fairfield, Ohio area.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

watchin' my weight Wednesday

In my quest to maintain "lifetime" status as a Weight Watcher. I admit I weigh myself every day. I know some people would say that is unnecessary but it's all part of the ritual for me. I find that checking in with myself every day forces me to be more accountable for my actions. I do not weigh in during "female monthly time" that is just depressing and I get really mad at the number on the scale even though I know it is due to hormones and retaining water. I also take measurements (frequently, not daily) and this has helped me to feel really good about weight loss and maintenance. The best part of monitoring my weight is being able to shop for jeans. I took the tags off a new pair of jeans I bought and taped them to my closet mirror. The visual reminder of the new size of my jeans is the best motivator I have found yet. I think we all have to find what works for us and stick with it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

hoo hoo

Real owls are scary. You all know I have a slight bird phobia that has existed forever, it has only waned a teensy bit since becoming a bird mommy. I still have to get up with Tanner several times a night, I have never been one of those lucky ladies whose children sleep through the night at six weeks old, mine like to have me visit them until they are about six years old. Oh well, sleep is overrated. Lately I have been rocking the Tan-man in his room trying to get him back to sleep and I have been hearing real live owls hooting (is that what it is called) to each other. And let me tell you people, it is spooky! It doesn't sound at all like "hoo hoo" what you hear on Scooby Doo or even scary movies, it sounds like, "hoo-ooo, ooooh-ooh" oh, you get the picture. To make it even scarier, I think their nest is right outside Tanner's room in the tree by our house. Our house is built on old farm land and there are a lot of big trees in the neighborhood. I think they have nests in the two big trees by our neighbors for sure, we have seen them (using binoculars) sitting on the tree tops right at dusk. Now that the leaves have fallen, there is this big mass of leaves and stuff in our little pear tree by the house and when those guys hoot, it sounds like they are in the same room with me. So creepy. Shivers and chills. I keep having visions of letting my little pug out to go poo and this big silent owl sweeping in and snatching him up, could that happen? I also worry it will somehow get in our attic and therefore in our house, aren't phobias just the darndest things? Do owls fly south for the winter? I can probably draw them a map with sidewalk chalk or something. Now that I have heard them, I lay awake at night and listen for them, imagining all kinds of scooping up scenarios. Ahh!

Monday, November 16, 2009

medicine area and my weekly menu

In reference to a few weeks ago...
Here is my straighted/stocked medicine area:

I am a big believer in using what I (you) have so no fancy baskets or containers. I used some that were in the basement. I think they are leftovers from my hundreds of shoes days. One box is for adult medicine, one is for kids, one is for thermometers, we have several kinds, don't ask! They are not usually this overflowing, doesn't really reflect my "organizing mommy status", but Walgreens had a BOGO sale and I stocked up on pain/fever relievers since Parker was infected with some kind of flu (probably H1N1). By golly, I am prepared! You will also notice that I have my extra vitamins in here, I always stock up when there is a BOGO sale at CVS or Walgreens. Anyway, you get the idea...

Now here is the next shelf which houses my stock pile of personal care products.
One drawer is for deodrant and razors. One is for toothpaste and toothbrushes. The last one is for first aid (band aids and first aid ointment). Along the sides is where I put shaving cream, hair products and my yearly supply of contacts. The top of the drawers is where I put bar soap, tooth flosser thingys, and small tissue packs. You can't tell from these pictures but this closet is a weird shape. It is not a boxy closet, it has angled sides and those dumb wire shelves (things always fall through!). It makes organizing difficult, I know, shock and awe! Can you believe I said that?! So that is why I have to put the square things in the middle and odd shapes on the sides where I can cram them in. I mean place them neatly, ahem. The good thing about this closet being small and somewhat unusable, it forces me to purge regularly and does not allow me to overbuy.

My menu for this week:
  • chicken enchiladas
  • crock pot chili and hot dogs
  • baked fish and sweet potato casserole
  • Vegetarian quiche and sausage (for the kids!) with biscuits
  • Tacos and taco salads
All menus subject to last minute changes when hubby calls to say he won't be home until late and kids won't eat what I fix, therefore, we have chicken nuggets for kids and salad for me! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time to take the kids for their dental check ups, hopefully we will be cavity free.

I got these cute buckets at The Container Store (OMG, it was my first time there and I about had a heart attack, that place ROCKS! I seriously could have spent thousands of dollars and the whole day there.). I got one for each child to keep his/her toothbrush and paste. They are not dishwasher safe, unfortunately, Parker's is kind of free formed warped now after I ran it through one time, oh well, it still works. And notice the cute fingertip towel. I have been buying these when I see them for each season/holiday and it is a great incentive to get the kids to wash their hands after they do their business. Parker helped me pick out new ones for Christmas, he is ready to use them right now! We have found them at Target, Meijer, and Walmart. They are really cheap, about $2 per towel.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

to do

Things I want to do today:
  • go to the library
  • make pumpkin bread
  • finish 3 loads of laundry (and put away)
  • watch a "Martha Stewart" I have DVR-ed
  • begin cutting paper for Christmas cards
  • maybe begin a new scrapbooking project
  • order stuff online- crafts for Thanksgiving break (keeping kids entertained!)
  • upload some photos to order when there is a print sale
  • make my grocery list/organize coupons for that trip
  • run on my treadmill
  • watch "The Office" (maybe do this while on treadmill)
  • vacuum downstairs
  • go to the dry cleaners

Things I probably will do today:
  • about half that list

It's good to have goals isn't it? Even if some of them are unattainable.

Seriously, it seems like my "to do" lists get longer and longer every day. Does anyone else feel that way? I try to balance have to dos with want to dos and honestly, I sometimes just get exhausted and overwhelmed. I mean, whew, already!

Update: I got about half these things done, didn't get to watch my shows or begin Christmas cards, or order online goodies,teething baby made these impossible. Did get to watch the new Housewives of Orange County... sometimes plans change.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Just about any healthy lifestyle plan (such as Weight Watchers- my favorite!) advocates eating lots of fruits and veggies. This has never been a problem for me, I love all vegetables, I always have. I can remember going out to eat with my Grandma when I was a teen and she would always say, "aren't you going to get any meat?" Nope, just a salad, thanks! Seriously, I had to re-evaluate my veggie eating when I joined WW, no more melted cheese or regular ranch dressing (actually I still have them, just the right amounts). One of the things I did to help me in this quest to healthier living was to buy this little mini cutting boards.
I had a big cutting board that I have used before. When I started eating veggies for almost every meal and snacks, I got annoyed quickly with washing it several times a day. Now I just grab a clean one and get to choppin'. It makes it easier to get those veggies ready for eating. I also use these in chopping things for Tanner since he is eating pretty much everything. These are just the right size for a small drawer so they're easily accessible. Just one more thing to make this journey easier and better for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grayman & wrapping station

I don't think I have ever talked about Grayman very much. The camera scared him so he wouldn't stop moving, hence the fuzzy photo. He is our parrot, actually he is Paul's parrot that I "adopted" upon marriage. I was very anti-bird before I met Paul and I almost didn't go on a second date with him when I found out he had a bird. I was worried he'd be one of those weirdos that sat and watched tv with a parrot on his shoulder like a pirate or something. Thank goodness he isn't like that. So now I am a bird mommy. I clean up after him, his breed is the messiest of all birds, seriously. He throws his food all over the floor and he takes a "bath" in his water bowl just about every day giving me more to mop up. I feed him, pet him, hold him, buy him toys, and put up with his constant talking and squawking. He talks to me all the time, in fact when he is at the bird sitter before trips, I kind of miss him. He speaks in my voice and Paul's, mostly mine. He giggles like Zoe, he says "woo" when I turn the music on, he starts squeaking as soon as the sun comes up, kind of like a chicken. He says "bye bye" when I get the keys ready, he makes a pop can opening sound when I get one out of the fridge. He yells at the dog (again, in my voice), he calls for me if I go upstairs. He says "go Buckeyes" and "go Wildcats" and sometimes he just screams. He says lots of words and makes countless sounds, I once made a list and stopped when I got to 100. Repairmen get freaked out because he can mimic cell phone rings and beeps. He makes a ringing phone noise when I talk on the phone, most people tell me I can "get my other phone" when I am talking to them. He got outside before we were married and we spent three days looking for him, hanging posters around the neighborhood, we found him and he had learned to caw like a crow, hanging with the wrong crowd you know. His wings are regularly clipped now, no more nights out with the boys for him. So he's my companion, my alarm clock, my buddy, for the next 50 years or so. Truly amazing since I seriously had a bird phobia before I met him.

Now on to some organizing stuff....
I have envisioned a gift wrapping area for-like-ever! Right along side my giant scrapbooking/crafting room with built in cabinets and shelves and giant counters in which to spread out. OK, reality, I have a desk and some shelves for my hobbies and this tv armoire. This used to be the tv where the kids watched movies. Now we do not have a VCR or a DVD player for this tv so the drawers were stuffed with stuff and it just bugged me. They had videos and some other junk in them (see my cookbook holder- what the f? how did that get there?) I moved the DVDs and put the videos in the Goodwill box... (those are Tanner fingers, just itching to "help" me)

And now I have this! Nothing fancy, just basic stuff in one place. I used to have to run to the basement for wrapping supplies and then work at my desk since I like to add bows, ribbon, tags, etc. Now I am super excited to have it all in the same area. Why didn't I do that sooner? I have tags, ribbon, small gift bags and tissue paper in this drawer, in baskets and boxes I already had. The other drawer holds gift bags (not pictured, just boring). It forced me to purge my gift bag collection, a much needed task and I was able to take stock of what I needed to get for the upcoming Christmas wrapping season. By the way, rolls of wrapping paper are hidden in the corner by my scrapbooking shelves, no one will even know they are there. I don't keep a lot of these so I don't mind putting them there. Ahh, bliss, everything in a container and ready to go, I just love it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

my Monday menu and free/almost free day

Usually, I hate to go to the mailbox. It seems like I only get bills, credit card statements, solicitations for credit cards (I swear, Capital One must kill a billion trees every year!), and other yucky stuff. Today I got these things instead making for a happy free day: coupons from Kroger for stuff I actually buy (including a free Dole salad kit!), a Dell coupon for $70, $10 rebates from Kelloggs and L.L. Bean, and a recipe book I sent away for using UPC codes. These things made it nice to actually open the mail for a change.

Other things that made this a good free/almost free day:
  1. I trimmed Parker's hair myself (saving $20), just around the ears and back where it grows like crazy.
  2. I got free tags and wrapping paper when I bought some at Walgreens (BOGO this week). savings= approximately $5.00
  3. My family had a fancy dinner last night (OK so that makes it a freebie for yesterday, but who cares!?), we ate by candlelight in our formal dining room. The grownups even drank wine! Wow, I highly suggest this activity. We had a leisurely dinner and everyone was relaxed, without the hassle of going out. approximate savings= $50.00
  4. I vaccumed my van out and restocked it with snacks and supplies (like hand sanitizer). This activity always makes me feel good, no matter what. I love a clean car almost as much as I love a spa day. not sure of savings, since I have never had my car "detailed"
  5. Speaking of spa days, I plan on giving myself a "free" pedicure tonight, after the kiddos go to bed. $40.00 savings
I just love free things, they just make me happy!

Here are my menu plans for this week:
  • Grilled chicken wraps and strawberries
  • Italian sausage and white beans stew with biscuits
  • Stuffed peppers and salads with oranges and pomegranates
  • Homemade mini pizzas with salads
  • Leftover buffet
I'm not sure how these will play out since my hubby is gone, again, and he has to attend two sports banquets this week thus making him not be home until late. Depending on the kids' moods (and mine of course) all menus are subject to change!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

Brr! We had our first true frost this morning. You know I am a winter-hater but I do admit, crazy hats are my favorite. I love this one. Someday Tanner will probably hate me for putting it on him, but I feel it is my God-given right as a mom to torture my kids. They deserve it after nine months of pregnancy, years of sleep-deprivation, forcing me to clean up their stomach flu messes at 3 AM, wiping boogers with my sleeves, stretch marks, you know all that "joy of motherhood" stuff.

**I tried to post this yesterday (Friday) but my computer was having PMS or something, sorry for the delay**

Thursday, November 5, 2009

medicine area clean up

The spreading of flu(s) germs has me thinking of a task that I hadn't done in a while. I cleaned out our medicine area. (We keep our meds in the tiny linen closet in our bathroom, that way I know it is locked and secure from my kids.) I threw out expired stuff, I didn't have a lot since I usually do this once every six months or so. I took stock of what we needed and bought replacements. We needed pain and fever relievers for kids and baby and allergy stuff for the grown ups. I feel better knowing we are prepared in case we get another outbreak. I thought I'd remind you just in case you get busy with holiday preparations and forget, that's when I always get sick. I'll try to post a picture later, although it is pretty boring!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

watchin' my weight Wednesday

I thought I could occasionally share a Weight Watcher tip that has worked for me over these last seven months. I think most everyone agrees that being healthy is a top priority. Weight Watchers is the healthiest plan I have ever found/used and I am not a paid endorser, just sharing what has worked for me. Although I am looking forward to starting my training to be a meeting receptionist very soon :)

Drinking Water
Almost all diets/eating/health plans call for drinking water, at least 6-8 (8oz.) glasses. At first this was hard for me. I tried filling the water bottle and drinking three a day, that way I knew I got the right amount. But at night I was chugging water that I forgot to drink during the day, and after three kids, the old bladder couldn't take that. So I started drinking a big glass first thing in the morning, my body needs it after all that sleep I get (ha ha ha). I drink a glass before bedtime. I always drink a big glass with each meal. I measured my glasses and found that I was surpassing the 6-8 recommended amount but I felt so good, I figured I must need it. Spreading it out with meals, makes it easier to drink, instead of all at once. (Our drinking glasses are big tumbler sized.) I still drink Diet Dr. Pepper and hot peppermint tea too. So I am basically floating around all day, but honestly, I feel really good and my skin is really clear. I think from all that water. Maybe this is something that might help you in your health and wellness quest.

Monday, November 2, 2009

trick or treat

Can't get all of them to look at the camera at once but...
Happy (belated) Halloween!
Daphne (from Scooby Doo)
Charlie Brown (Paul insisted we draw on his head- I protested vehemently)
Pirate Parker

this week's menu:
enchilada casserole and corn
spaghetti and salads
chicken wraps and berries
deli sandwiches and vegetable soup
hot italian sub sandwiches and chips and fruit

Some of these are from last week, Parker has been battling some kind of flu so it's been all helter skelter around here. Our doctor will not test for H1N1 but I am assuming that is what he had since that is all that is spreading around. Poor boy, I am glad he is starting to feel better. Now I have to be on the lookout for him to relapse (a symptom of H1N1) and pray that no one else here gets it.