Friday, January 29, 2010

busy busy busy

I am busy getting ready to host a (belated) tea party birthday for this little diva. Hope to post photos on Monday. Happy weekend to everyone. Please keep your fingers crossed that someone comes through our open house and wants to buy it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my best invention yet

I am about to share with you my best invention yet. Hold on to your seats mommies, you'll love this one. Oh yeah, I call it an invention because I thought of it myself, no one put this one in my brain, and I executed it. Here it is..

behold, the sport snack bag!

Ta Dah!

OK, so last year Parker was playing soccer at the YMCA for the first time and the coach asked parents to sign up for a snack week. Just a side bar, why do 3 year olds need a snack after running around like bumble bees for an hour? Anyway. We signed up for the first available week which happened to be about three weeks later. I watched moms and dads struggling to pass out juice boxes, bags of Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks to all the bumble bees buzzing around at the end of each game. Someone was always left out. Well, when it was my turn, I was determined not to have anyone in tears because they didn't get a snack or juice. Ha ha, eureka! It came to me in the shower (where I do all my best thinking- probably because most everyone is not bugging me then) why not put everything in a baggie and pass those out? I know it seems so simple, we do this for birthday parties (i.e. treat bags) why not for sporting events? Let me just tell you, all the moms, I mean, all the moms were like "why didn't I think of that?" No one was crying that day, everyone was happy, I was the queen of snack passing out after a soccer game. Oh yeah, I rock. I have done this every time we have snack duty and moms always react the same. Try it, you'll see. I will share my queen-hood with you. (I usually throw all the bags in a cooler with ice/freezer packs so juice is cold, just FYI).

By the way, if anyone else has done this before, don't tell me, I kind of like being queen even if it is my own mind.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

I haven't weighed in yet this week, hope to do so tomorrow. I don't like missing my regular meeting but my hubby's schedule makes it difficult to get to the regular meeting consistently. I am really anxious to weigh in, not good anxious, nervous. I am a hormonal mess and you know what that means, water weight, stress eating, all that good stuff. I just weened Tanner about a week ago and my body is like, woah! I swear Becca, you are so right about the advanced maternal age thing, you just don't bounce back like you used to as you get older. Ho hum, woe is me, right?!

I would like to mention a personal victory for me. I have almost given up salad dressings. I have professed my love of all veggies many times before. I adore salads of just about any kind. I never slathered on dressing but a dab would do me. Well in Weight Watchers ever dab (or bite) counts. I have slowly been eliminating my Ranch dressing by trying other kinds. I found that I actually love balsamic vinegar. It makes all salads taste so good. I used to read about celebrities who would eat a salad with vinegar or lemon juice and I would think, "WTF!?" How could anyone eat a salad like that? I am proud to say I can now, and by George I like it! I have also been reading about natural remedies and supposedly vinegar can cure a lot of stuff. So I am always the multitasker, killing two birds with one stone. Woo, love it! Now, if only I could give up chips....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

black and white

The difference between black and white is very important at my house. Black and white trash bags are the difference between knowledge and ignorance. You see, for our every day trash, I use the white ones. I buy them cheap at Costco (the big box of Kirkland brand). For the big stuff, I use black ones, heavy duty, won't bust as you load them up, can't see through them unless you have x-ray vision kind. Now when I say "big stuff" I am of course referring to the stuff I gather that must be thrown away but no one wants to throw away. (If any member of my house saw what I was gathering, there would be a revolution for sure, I might even be dethroned.) For example: broken toys, McDonald Happy Meal toys, junky toys from the grocery store candy machines, trinkets from birthday goodie bags, "art work" created using noodles and glitter (or other media), torn books that cannot be hidden in the recycling bins under Diet Dr. Pepper cans, and other stuff I think is garbage worthy. Shh, don't tell them, this is our little secret. They think I use the black bags when I run out of white ones. Now seriously people, I call myself organized, do you think I would ever run out of the white ones?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday stuff

Is it really Monday already?! Wow, time flies.

Any-who, here are some things I am working on for this week, my "things to do"
  • prep for Zoe's tea party- Saturday
  • clean whole house for open house- Sunday
  • drop things off at consignment (leftover from last week)
  • mail/deliver new pictures of Tanner to family and friends
my menu items for this week
  • stuffed peppers
  • steamed veggies with pesto pasta
  • salmon and baked sweet potatoes
  • spinach and mushroom quiche
Warning! Naked Baby Pictures up ahead!!!

These pictures of Tanner will probably get me in trouble someday, like when he is 12 or so, but until then... This boy loves the bath! He squeals and screams as soon as we go in there. He cannot wait to go in the water, he splashes like a complete loon and he cries when I take him out.

Look at him! He is totally climbing in! I still cannot believe he is tall enough to get in. He is going to be a giant someday.
Don't you just love baby tushies?!
Seriously, I thought I'd share a little idea I came up with called "Sunday spa." I always make sure all the kids get a long, thorough bath on Sundays. I stay right in the bathroom (no putting away laundry) and scrub their little heinies. We use the nail brush to clean their nails. I cut their nails (usually paint Zoe's- little diva) and clean their ears really well. Make sure their hair is washed and dried all the way, no soap left over, all that stuff. I definitely allot for extra bath times on Sundays. Now, this may sound like a "duh" thing to you but I found that with #3 came more of everything to do and it was overwhelming. When I did not have a designated day to do all these things (like other chores around the home) I found I was forgetting to do things and lo and behold, it was like the kids had claws and enough dirt in their ears to grow veggies. I do give them baths every day (well Tanner is like every other day, he gets all red and itchy if we do every day) but I have to tell you sometimes I let them do it themselves and well, you can imagine how "clean" they are when that happens. It's just one of those things that I do to make my life easier. Try it, Sunday spa, you can even include yourself when the monkeys are in bed, ahh, long bath, paint your nails, lotion up, sounds heavenly.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Shredded BBQ pork

It's 10 AM and I am already cooking dinner, aren't I so on top of things?! Seriously, this is one of my favorite dinner and it is so easy.

I take a 3 pound (or so) boneless pork roast, put it in the crock pot on high, with 3/4 cup of cider vinegar and a little salt and cook it to death. Seriously, cook it forever, hours and hours, I don't think you can cook it long enough. About an hour before you want to serve it, take it out, dump the vinegar. Shred the pork and add your favorite BBQ sauce, put it all back in the crock pot to heat through, you could put it on low heat now. Mmmmmm, so good. I eat this on a bun with cole slaw or oven fries. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

just wondering

I think my right arm must be more flexible than my left one. It has to be. Seven years of stretching to the back seat to find lost pacis, deliver juice cups, and retrieve dropped toys has to make it more flexible, doesn't it? Do these activities count as my daily yoga? Hmm, maybe I can get some activity points if I stretch really quickly. I definitely have worked up a sweat trying to find a Bakugan that has rolled under a seat while I am driving through town. Just wondering...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January Birthday parties and misc.

A little late in posting...

Two weekends ago, we had a joint January birthday party. We celebrated Tanner's, Zoe's, Paul's and my aunt's birthday. It was really fun. We had subs and snacks which was a nice menu because at the same time the Bengals (whodey!) were playing in their playoff game. All four birthday celebrators had a cake. I used the mini cake pans and decorated them myself. Nothing fancy, just simple and easy monograms. This was family fun at its finest.
Happy Birthday to you, and you, and you (where is my aunt Diane?! Am I ever going to get a photo of everyone at once!?)
Seven is so sweet!
This is about as messy as he got, he was not having anything to do with that cake. After that, I am not really sure he is mine! I mean, it's cake, and it's all yours! Dig in already.
Isn't that the cutest?
All four cakes plus a few extra cupcakes (I sent those home with people who had to leave early.)
I must say a special thank you to Zoe who so graciously agreed to share her birthday party, just as long as she gets to have a special "friend" party later. Always my diva!

menu plan Monday: (just a little late)
I also forgot to share my menu for this week, oops, the 3 day weekends always throw me off. Basically I am having a lot of simple suppers, using some leftovers and things in the freezer, nothing too exciting to note. I will say I made homemade yogurt parfaits last night. I used greek yogurt, raspberries, and granola. Oh my, they were so good. Everyone loved them. I have been wanting to make them forever but just never did, no real reason, just laziness. I am so glad I did, they were super easy. Now I never have to get one from McDonald's again. I did add just a pinch of sugar to the top (before adding granola) because the greek yogurt isn't as sweet as other kinds so I knew the kids would eat it that way.

Things to do this week:
Um, again, I am late but I hope to
  • finish laundry from last week (is this always on my list!?)
  • mail invitations to Zoe's tea party
  • finish my December scrapbook
  • finish all birthday thank you cards
  • take books and toys to consignment shops
watching my weight Wednesday:
now I am getting ridiculous... so behind...
I am hoping to start my running again this week. I was sick with the world's worst cold for two weeks and every time I ran, snot and phlegm were flying. I hope to weigh in next week at my Weight Watchers meeting, so I'll keep you posted. I am enjoying lots of salads and fruit from my recent trip to Whole Foods (that place is heaven!).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

thanks guys

I came home from getting my hair cut and these are the words used to describe my hair: kooky, OK, ridiculous. Seriously, no editing. Thanks guys, you sure know how to make a gal feel good! On another note, does anyone ever look "right" in these pictures taken by the computer?! Ugh!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Just wanted to share a photo.

No reason.

I just like it.

I am hardly ever in pictures, I'm always taking them. I don't particularly think I am lookin' fine or anything, I am just happy I am in it with the kids... now where was that hubby of mine?

Oh, we are at the wonderful Krohn Conservatory, checking out the holiday display.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Evil Kenevil

Ooops, he did it again...

This boy kills me in more ways than I can list. A week ago I found him standing on our stair railing and then jumping off into the living room. Then later that night, he was doing front flips (in the air) on our couch. And then later still he was doing the Nestea plunge (I am so dating myself here- who remembers those commercials!?) on his bed just inches from the wooden head and foot boards. Do you think he hurt himself any of these times? No way, the boy is fearless and gifted in all physical ways. Now later on still, the same night, he is holding daddy's hand, standing by me in Tanner's room as I change the baby's diaper. He lets go of daddy's hand and kablamo! He falls and hits his head on the rocking chair. It's off to children's hospital we go for staples (this time). This makes his 6th trip to the ER for stitches/glue/staples. I swear we don't beat him. Every time he has an accident he is doing something "normal." None of the crazy stuff he does on a regular basis even gives him a scratch, but just standing there I guess is deadly. Whew, so a week later, staples are removed, he's healed and currently jumping off the couch (from the back of the cushions) onto our leather recliner. Never a dull moment around here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Hi all, yes, just like the rest of America, I am trying to "get healthy". Whatever that means for you. For me it means sticking with my Weight Watchers plan. I am finding it hard to be strict all the time. I literally have to tell myself that I love my healthy weight more than I love that cookie that is staring at me from the bottom of the cookie jar. I am continuing to exercise. I am hoping to fight off a nasty cold I have had for about two weeks so I can really kick it in gear. I am going to make myself run a 5k this spring (whenever it gets warm enough to venture out). For now I am tracking every bite and really monitoring my intake. I noticed I got a little lax over the holidays with BLTs (bites, licks and tastes) and those things add up fast.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter blues

OK winter, seriously, I am sooooooo...... over you. Get on with it already. I am freezing my hoochie coochie off and I don't like it one bit. The only thing(s) getting me through this wretchedness is hot tea. These two varieties specifically. I bought all my grocery had left, and I ordered a case from the Celestial Seasonings site. So take that winter, uh, fuggettabouttit, (oh and I am watching way too much "Jersey Shore"). Don't you just love my favorite mug? I know it is "holiday-y" but I don't care, it fits my hands perfectly and it has a Longaberger basket on it, so I use it year round proudly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Birthday girl

My baby is seven today. How can it be? Didn't I just bring her home with a little pink hat on her head from the hospital?! Zoe is like Lucille Ball, all crazy, thinking about schemes, clumsy yet graceful at the same time, theatrical, talented, smart as a whip and funny, did I mention beautiful? OK, I am biased but she does remind me of Lucy. She is crying right now because she doesn't want to stay home from school (snow day). I think seven will be an interesting year. She thinks she is so big but really she isn't, she just hasn't admitted that to herself. I love all her quirks and nothing brightens my day faster than one of her surprise notes she leaves me.

Happy Birthday little princess.

Monday, January 4, 2010

So long 2009

Ah, a brand new year, a new start, don't ya just love it? I do. I am a weirdo, I love Mondays too. I love to have a clean slate and be able to start anew. I have been wanting to recap 2009 and talk about 2010 but honestly I have been slammin' busy, probably like you have also.

I don't usually make resolutions but I do like to have goals because I think goals are flexible and can be changed or adapted as time goes on. A year is a long time to "resolve" to do something. A goal is something to work towards. See the difference?

My goals for this year are:

write in my gratitude/thankful journal- 4 times a week

increase my coupon savings to 40%

organizing projects- one per month (I'll share later)

fitness- lift weights 3 times per week, run a 5k this spring (ha, that forces me to keep running)

weight- maintain my current "lifetime" status as a Weight Watcher

health- reduce (hopefully eliminate) my Diet Dr. Pepper intake (I'll always be a Pepper!) and continue to buy and eat more and more organic foods

work- after training is complete, I hope to work for Weight Watchers 2 times a week

love-one date night a month with my hubby

kids-one family activity per month (not a scheduled sports or other activity- something fun!)

cooking-try 3 new recipes per month

scrapbooking- just keep it going, I have a monthly breakdown of projected layouts and projects already, too complicated to share with others, basically I just want to scrap a little every week

blog- well, not sure about this one, just to keep sharing with everyone, I hope to share my organizing projects and inspire others to do the same

My one little word for this year (see Ali Edwards blog for more info) is........ME!
I have adopted this practice for the last couple years and it does help to have one word to remember/focus on during those times when you feel overwhelmed. I chose "me" this year because honestly I think I have to. I want to focus on myself, doing things for myself, taking care of me, my body, my mind, my spirit. In doing so, I think I will be a happier mom, wife, and friend. It does seem a little selfish but I think in choosing to be not selfish for the past years has made me put myself last and I don't think that's the way to a happy life. So I guess I'm going to be self-centered this year and it feels completely foreign and strange to say that, I have 12 months (or so) to get used to the idea right?!

Here is a recap of 2009: (I tried to cut/paste this to the top of the entry but my computer is being wonky- sorry)

Scrapbooking totals:
107 layouts
163 cards
lots of mini projects: tags, mini albums, gifts to share (especially at Christmas- forgot to tally), welcome back to school gifts for teachers, etc.

several sewing projects: changing pad, bibs for Tanner, tooth fairy pillow for Zoe, doll accessories for Zoe

Couponing totals:
$1535.40 in coupon savings
$1122.07 Kroger in-store savings (plus card + sales)
$66.97 Target savings
$216.29 CVS savings
$302.21 Walgreens savings
(total combined $3765.85)

other miscellaneous goals met/achieved:

had a baby (he he he, technically that one was the last three days of 2008- but I think it is close enough)

achieved Lifetime Member status as a Weight Watcher

accepted a position with Weight Watchers as a receptionist

cleaned five years of stuff out of our basement

donated items to Goodwill at least once per month in 2009

helped hubby find a new job (yehaw!)

kept house ready for showings/open houses, let's sell this bad boy!

vowed to be a more "green" Earth resident by recycling, reusing, and driving my family crazy talking about what is good for the environment

Happy 2010 to everyone, good luck in your goals/resolutions/one words/etc.!

Friday, January 1, 2010

goodbye Christmas

I love this picture of Tanner looking at the Christmas ornaments, I think he is thinking, "if only I could get my mouth/hands on these!" While I had a wonderful Christmas, I am certainly glad it is over and I can get back to normal. As of now, all the holiday stuff is put away and I am slowly getting everything cleaned and back together. Why do we give ourselves a week to decorate for Christmas but only a day to take it all down?! I am hoping to share some of my goals for the year in the next couple days. Notice I didn't say "resolutions" because I like goals better, goals are attainable, and flexible.

My weekly menu:
  • stir fry chicken and broccoli with rice
  • smoked sausage with grilled peppers and onions
  • spaghetti (Thursday- Zoe's birthday choice)
  • pesto something (maybe pizzas?) I am craving pesto
  • leftover buffet
Things I want to do this week:
  • prepare for family birthday party
  • get Parker new shoes
  • get my house back in order (all things cleaned and dusted)
  • order Paul's and Zoe's birthday gifts
  • deliver my Grandma's birthday gift
  • clean off my desk!