Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aweigh, Matey!

All righty. I'm participating in Cool Zebra's weight loss challenge which she has very cleverly named "Aweigh!" I'll be checking in once a week with my progress towards becoming a healthier me.

Personally, I can't stand it when a blogger starts blogging about nothing but their weight loss, so I'll keep it to a minimum over here.

Starting weight: not quite sure what to put here! My last "known" weight was 157, but I had been using my Wii Fit to weigh myself. Then our Wii went all screwy and we had to send it back to Nintendo to get the hard drive replaced. It just arrived back last night, so hopefully we can hook everything back up. This morning though, at Kiddo's doctor appointment, he refused to stand on the scale alone so they first weighed me while I was holding him, and then they weighed me by myself. According to THEIR scale, I'm 155, which is two pounds lower than what the Wii says I am, plus I was wearing heavy shoes and had just had a cup of coffee. (And I discovered that if you weigh yourself shortly after consuming a beverage, you WILL be a pound or two heavier. Depending on if you drink a "tall" or a "venti" coffee!!)

So anyhoo. I'll wait until I get on the Wii Fit scale again to post a starting weight so things will be accurate. I will tell you that I am currently wearing a size 12, and I would dearly love to be back to a size 6 like I was my first year in college.

My goals for this weight loss challenge: exercise more frequently and eat healthier foods. I'm gonna keep it simple this time.

Wish me luck! If you'd like to join in, hop on over to Cool Zebras. We'd love to have you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are some photos I've taken over the last couple of days. Most of you probably don't know, but I used to keep a photo blog. Photography has been a hobby of mine for several years. Since Kiddo has been born, I haven't been able to put the time into it that I used to. However, I've now realized that he makes a GREAT subject for some of my "serious" photography. Enjoy!

Here we have Kiddo enjoying his first box of "big kid" crayons. I just thought it was a little ironic to put a photograph of crayons into black and white. I'm weird like that.

And you see, I saved one and kept it in color!

We have a local nature area called "Tall Cypress Natural Area." Kiddo loves to go out there and run up and down the boardwalk. I like it for all the great photo ops.

Managed to catch a pensive moment. I'm not sure how I feel about this photo, because he really doesn't look like himself in it. But I like the expression in the eyes. I think I might go back and re-edit it. I made it a little too grainy. A softer look would be better. Thoughts?

These are called "Beautyberries." I had to keep Kiddo from picking them and eating them. I don't know if they're poisonous for humans, but I *do* know that all wildlife is protected in this nature area.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When the dog bites, when the bee stings...

I got a bee sting yesterday.

Bringing the trash cans back up to the side of the house.

Where, evidently, a nest of bees has taken up residence.

I did everything you're NOT supposed to do around bees.

I screamed. I jumped. I flailed my arms wildly. I ran like heck.

One particularly enterprising bee found my elbow and stung it. Hard. It throbbed for hours afterwards. Thankfully, I'm not allergic to bee stings, so I only had to deal with a little discomfort for awhile.

I really hope none of my neighbors saw me and got it on videotape, because if they did, they will win $10,000 from America's Funniest Home Videos.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Multitask? Not so much.

Kiddo's in bed. Hubby's away for the weekend, so I have the house to myself. I decide to tidy up a little bit. I wander into the kitchen and decide to wash some dishes, since there are only a few there. Before I can wash the dishes, I need to empty the drying rack which is overflowing with dishes I washed earlier in the day. I put away a couple of pots, some silverware, and mostly plastic food storage containers. I stand up from bending over the cabinets when my eye falls on the laundry room. I remember that I have a load of towels and sheets in the washer which needs to go in the dryer. So I go in there and do that. I briefly consider putting another load in the washer, but decide against it since it would most likely sit in the machine all night and then I'd have to run it again, anyway. I leave the laundry room. As I cross through the living room to make my way back to the kitchen to finish the dishes, I catch sight of the counter which really needs to be cleared. There is food to be put away, fast-food containers from tonight's dinner of chicken nuggets and fries to be thrown out, and I really need to consolidate my stuff from two purses into the one that I know I will be using tomorrow. So I start to clean out my purse. While doing so, I find tickets to a local attraction stuck to the bottom of my purse. There's a raisin stuck to one of the tickets. Ew. I throw away the old receipts from the purse, pry the raisin off of the ticket, and transfer necessary items like wallet, keys, pen, and my ID badge for school into the other purse. Tickets in hand, I make my way back to my bedroom to put the tickets in my jewelry box, which is the standard place for me to store things like tickets. While I'm in my room, I pick up the clothes hanger that is on the floor from when Kiddo was playing in the closet earlier. I walk out of my room, and back to the kitchen. I wash the skillet I used to make my omelet this morning. As I stand there washing the skillet, I realize that I have taken a tour of my entire house in my efforts simply to wash some dishes. It then occurs to me that it would make a great blog post, so I put the one skillet into the now-empty drying rack, ignore the rest of the dishes, and come back to my computer so I can tell you all that I cannot focus on a single task, let alone try to multitask. It just ain't me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Well-Intentioned Sandwich

Dear Guinevere,

I had the best of intentions. Really, I did. I know you have been trying to eat healthy foods, so I presented myself to you in the form of a Really Good Idea. It's not my fault that the apple was mushy. It's not my fault that you had the heat on the stove too high, so that the butter outside of me singed before the cheese inside got to that glorious state of ooziness which you love.

How could I have known pure maple syrup cooks faster than butter? If I had, I would have told you to turn the heat to a lower setting, so you would have been able to enjoy both the glorious oozy cheddar cheese AND the crispy crunch of the butter and syrup mixture you spread on the outside of me. Instead, you got singed syrupy-butter and lukewarm, indifferent cheese. And mushy apple slices in between.

We've been together before and things turned out fine. Don't give up on me, Guinny, please!


Your Sandwich, Grilled Cheese with apple slices on multigrain bread spread with a mixture of butter and pure maple syrup.

(at least the salad you ate alongside me was tasty!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


My apologies for my sarcasm in my previous post. I said much of the same things to the nice gentleman who was taking my fingerprints this morning, and he reminded me about Jessica Lunsford. Ouch. Sorry. Point taken.

Anyway, onto better, brighter, happier things. This evening I am trying a new recipe from Rachael Ray's newest cookbook. (I Heart Rachael Ray. Yes, she uses cutesy phrases and annoys the heck out of a lot of people, but if it wasn't for her, my poor hubby would still be eating canned Spaghettios for dinner every night.) Actually, I'm trying a combination of her recipes, as I realized that I purchased the wrong cut of meat for the recipe I wanted to try. I'm sure someone who knew a thing or two about cooking could make it work, but since I'm a dope in the kitchen, I have to try something else. Fortunately, also in her new cookbook is a recipe for precisely the cut of meat I purchased! So, I am using that meat recipe with the side dish recipe in the original recipe I wanted.

Are you with me?

If you have Rachael Ray's new cookbook, The Big Orange Book, turn with me to page 88. Three recipes for a complete meal of porkchops, sauteed veggies, and a yummy potato side dish. Then, flip back to page 262. Roasted Loin of Pork with Apples. Since I mistakenly purchased a whole gigantic pork roast rather than chops, I am going to prepare the meat according to the 2nd recipe and serve it with the side dishes from page 88. It's going to be yummy.

This is the first new recipe I've tried in a while. The economy being what it is, we've been sticking to very simple fare around here. Spaghetti with meat sauce. Baked chicken and potatos. The occasional frozen pizza. However, Hubby bought me this nice new cookbook for Christmas. The other night, I asked him, "Why do you buy me cookbooks if you don't me to use them?" He acquiesced.

So tonight, I am dusting off my apron, sharpening my big ol' chopping knife, and I'm gonna have me some fun in the kitchen.

On My Way

I am well on my way to becoming a productive member of society.

Scratch that. I HATE that term. It implies that the only productive people are those who are employed outside the home. That the only useful people are the ones who devote hours to someone else's agenda. (Although, it could be said that raising a child is devoting hours to someone else's!) It implies that men and women like myself, and like many of you, who so far have chosen to stay home to raise their children are unproductive. Anyone who has ever stayed at home with a child knows that such work is INCREDIBLY productive and rewarding. So let me rephrase myself.

I am well on my to becoming a taxpaying member of society.

That somehow doesn't sound so glamorous.

Anyhoo. Today I am having my fingerprints taken again for my new job. In the last 3 years I have been fingerprinted so many times it's crazy. While I admire the education and childcare industry for taking such scrupulous care to ensure that all workers have clean records, this is getting a little ridiculous. Surely, somewhere, my fingerprints are in a file. Can't they just dig 'em out and run a check again, rather than make me pay another exorbitant fee and drive 45 minutes away to some hole-in-the-wall post office again??!!

Ah, that's it. The exorbitant fee.

They want more money out of me. Of course.

On the bright side, once my fingerprints clear I will be able to begin work at a local Christian school. I got hired on as a substitute teacher. I was hoping for a full-time position, but it can be hard to come by teaching jobs in the middle of the year unless you catch someone going out on maternity leave. As it stands, there are way more of us who just graduated than there are pregnant teachers this month! So I'm happy to have a job at all, and it could certainly lead to a full-time position if someone DOES go out on maternity leave before the school year is over, or if someone decides to leave for next school year.

It's time to go be fingerprinted. Again. See ya later!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dirt, You Suck!

You know you're all grown up when a new vacuum cleaner gets you more excited than your kids were on Christmas morning when they got their Wii.

I have been without a vacuum cleaner for a really long time. An infinity, if you will. It could be measured in eons, in fact. OK, I exaggerate- but it *has* been over a month since I have been able to vacuum my house. Our vacuum cleaner is perfectly good- we just needed to replace the roller. Trouble is, none of the stores around here that sell vacuum cleaners sell replacement parts. So while I was hemming and hawing for my husband to get around to finding the new part, over a month went by.

So like a very bad mother, I used my son's Wal-Mart gift card to purchase a new vacuum. My grandmother sent gift cards both for his birthday and for Christmas, which totaled $75. We used half of it on him for a basketball hoop, and the other half to purchase a new machine. We didn't really want to buy a new cleaner, because like I said the vacuum itself is fine, it just needs one stinkin' part, but Mamas, a Mama's got to do what a Mama's got to do. I could tell there was no way I was going to have a working vacuum cleaner in any reasonable amount of time. So I put my foot down and stole my kid's gift card made use of the resources I had at hand.

And a good thing, too. I just vacuumed my entire house. During the process, I had to empty the dirt container three times. Behold:


What do you think, Moms? Am I awful in using my son's gift card to purchase something for the household? I prefer to think that I used the gift card to give him the gift of a clean house...especially now that he likes to sleep on the floor rather than in his bed. Yes, you read that correctly. We took the side off of the crib so he could have a big-boy bed, but he prefers the floor. Hubby made a little bed on the floor out of a pile of blankets. It looks much like a dog bed. But that's what he wants! At least I don't have to worry about him falling off the bed!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Quiet Day

Today is the first day in over two months that I have just stayed at home with my family. Since Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law was with us, visiting from South Africa. She is a very sweet woman and we got along fantastically, but I think you all will agree that it can be exhausting to have a houseguest for such a long time. She went back home on Sunday. I had a couple of days to be a hermit and hang around the house, but my husband had not yet had a chance to do so.

I feel a little guilty, because we had made plans with friends to go to the zoo today, since everyone was off work. But this morning was rough. Hubby and I were snapping at each other, we had to wake up Kiddo before he was ready, and you could just cut the tension with a knife. Hubby realized that we had not spent a day together just as a family for over two months. Every single day we have had an obligation. We never have a full weekend to enjoy, because we attend a church service on Saturday night, and then we meet with a small group on Sunday evenings to do a Bible study together. Those things are fantastic, but it makes for a very full week with little downtime.

So being the bad friends that we are, we called our pals ten minutes before we were supposed to meet them and canceled. I felt truly awful about that, but it was clear that we need to devote some time to our marriage. Hubby and I were both reduced to tears this morning, and we agreed that in 2009, we are going to make more time for each other.

I truly apologize to our friends. You could help slept later this morning if we had simply declined the invitation in the first place. We will make it up to you soon!

However, this day has been good for all of us. We played with Kiddo this morning. We made a trip to Best Buy to get some computer games to send to Kiddo's cousins in South Africa, and we stopped in at Wal-Mart to get a basketball hoop for Kiddo with the gift card my grandmother sent. This particular Wal-Mart didn't have what we were looking for, but there's another one in town that we know to be stocked with what we're looking for.

Everyone is taking a nap right now. I rested for awhile and read a few more chapters in my book, then decided to catch up on some blogigng while Hubby and Kiddo sleep. Then it's back to the Wal-Mart to buy Kiddo's basketball hoop, and then we're going to set up my camera and tripod and take some nice family portraits.

Tonight we're going to rent a movie and order pizza.

I wish days like this came around more often!