Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Action From the Back Section

I know you all have seen my Little Dancer, but I can't get enough of his moves. There was one point in video taping, that I momentarily lost my composure. The moves he used right before I started laughing...well, they are interesting.
video

I can't wait for him to go to Prom.

I am so bringing the camera!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Since We are Talking Food

I don't want to whine, but I am going to anyways. I feel like I could lose my patience. I am DYING for my beloved Mojo Cliff Bars to return to the shelves. They were recalled because of that crazy peanut Salmonella thing. Of course I don't want Salmonella, but I miss them dearly.

My favorite was the chocolate dipped peanut. It is salty and sweet. As far as food combinations go, the salty sweet? it rocks my world.

So does the spicy sweet.

Sweet and sour rocks as well.

Basically, give me sweet.

I am trying, I really am, to be patient and expand my post-workout-bar menu, but really? nothing has stacked up.

Or even come close.

Some of the other bars, besides not being very tasty, have very unpleasant side effects. I have had to practically quarantine myself in the evening hours while the bar finishes the digestion process.

I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON.

In summary: Give me a Cliff Mojo or give me death.

(OK, that was a bit dramatic.)

((I do love them though.))

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's All About The Food

I am currently having food issues. I usually do this time of year, when my "Winter Menu" becomes boring and overused, but it seems so wrong to toss together a fresh, cool salad when the thermometer doesn't budge beyond 30 degrees. (Yes, I know it has been unseasonably warm in these parts the last few days, but generally speaking, February doesn't scream salad to me.) For the same reason, I also refuse to cook chili while in the grips of July heat (I CANNOT WAIT!). It's just wrong in both scenarios. So this is typically the time of year that I go out searching for something new and exciting for the menu.

I am not a cook by any means of the word, do not become confused, but every once in a while, I do come upon a recipe or two that make me look amazing because they are so simple and so, so good. Since I am dying for new recipes and am spending a considerable amount of time looking for the perfect ones, I thought I would share, for those that are in the same boat.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), both recipes are a smokey Southwest type recipe. The first one is from a Pampered Chef cook book. It's Called Adobo-Glazed BBQ Chicken. It is smokey, sweet, and spicy all at the same time. I have served it with a Mexican/Spanish style rice, but I am dreaming of the day that it will adorn a fresh, crisp salad with corn, cheese, tortilla strips, and maybe a small smattering of black beans. It is heaven, and Hubs loved it too.

Of course he did. It was spicy.

Here you go:
Chicken:
2 TBSP of Smoky Barbecue Rub (I used a McCormick's rub called Mesquite)
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)

Adobo-Glaze and Garnish:
1-2 TBSP seeded and finely chopped canned chipotle peppers (about 3-4 peppers) **DO NOT FORGET TO SEED THESE BABIES (not that I would know from experience or anything, but they are HOT)**
1TBSP adobo sauce from the peppers
1/2 cup of honey
1 TBSP Smoky Barbecue Rub
1 TBSP Cider Vinegar
1 Medium green onion with top (I omitted this part since it is just a garnish)

Directions:
Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. For chicken, combine rub, oil, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat; cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

For glaze, remove and discard seeds from chipotle peppers. Finely chop peppers. Whisk chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, honey, rub, and vinegar in a bowl. Reserve half of the glaze for serving.

Grill chicken. Glaze the chicken with a brush the last few minutes of grilling.

Spoon reserved glaze over chicken and top with green onion to serve.

It is DELISH

If you are not sure what to do with the rest of your chipotle peppers, and feel wrong about throwing them out, then check out this recipe.

It will flat knock your socks off.

Especially if you add some of this.

And this.

DO NOT forget this. (I realize that these look like all of the same recipe according to the picture, but they are indeed three different recipes for garnish)

And have mercy, the CHEESE. Don't forget cheese.

You will need to invite some friends over to help you with this recipe, as it serves many. They will be so happy you did. Trust me, I was one of those friends.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Boy

WOW.

Sorry it's been a while. I don't really have an excuse except for that last week went so fast, I didn't even know it was over until it was, well, over. I'm sure there were about 101 different things I could have blogged about but didn't because exhaustion found me so easily each night. At least I left you on a good note.

Although The Girl has been up to some silly antics this past week, which include, but certainly are not limited to, showing off her new "Egg Tooth" (that's her new adult tooth that is growing in and also what a chick/any egg born creature uses to crack open their shells in order to hatch) to anyone who will look, making so many art projects I have no clue where my counter top or kitchen table is, telling me I need to lift more weights because she didn't think I was using the shovel to the utmost of my abilities in the garden, and walking around saying that, "If you want to find a worm, it takes more than just a wish," this post will be devoted to The Little Man.

(That might have been the longest sentence I have ever written.)

((It probably is a run-on, and I can't/don't want to figure out how to fix it. So try to ignore the issue.))

Anyways, The Little Man. He has made me smile this week and here's how:

1. Last night, while he watched his beloved Star Wars, he had out his Light Saber. Since he didn't want anyone to miss out, he went into the toy room and scrounged up sister's Light Saber too. It's very important to have your Light Saber with you at all times when you are watching Star Wars. You never know when some bad guy will jump straight out of the movie and into your living room. Without your Light Saber, you are defenseless in these types of situations. You must be on your guard.

Also, during the fight scenes, you need to practice all of your moves, mimicking the best you can, the moves that the warriors use. Practicing your jabs, dives, and turns as often as possible is what will get you ready if you are ever called to battle.

Lastly, when the battle is over, you must put the Light Saber back into your holster so no one gets hurt, and then wait patiently for the next battle scene.

I love watching him become a little warrior.

2. My Little Singer made me smile this week as I listened to him sing the lyrics of Addison Road's "Hope Now". The first two verses go like this:

"If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of?
When I call out your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I am yours.

I'm not my own,
I've been carried by You
All my life."

To hear my little boy sing with all his heart that he's been carried by God all his life, made me weak in the knees. Does he even realize what he is saying?

All 3 years, 7 months, 11 days, and 16 hours God has carried him through. Oh, how I pray that he will know this truth for the remainder of his years, months, days, and hours he has left on this earth.

3. Today, as I was getting him out of the car, I gave him a helping hand. He hesitated to grab my hand for help. I looked down at him with an expression on my face that conveyed he should grab my hand for some help. He just looked back up at me as if to say, "You don't understand." So, instead of continuing this non-verbal dialogue, I spoke up and said, "Here, let me help you."

He grabbed my hand and said, "Momma, I'm not sure if I should grab your hand. My hand is full of germs."

We both starred at each other again with some non-verbal conversation. I was not saying, "It's fine, let's just go already." and he was not saying, "You don't understand."

After the small pause, which allowed for the non-verbal dialogue, he continued with, "They are full of germs because I was picking my nose and my hands are full of buggers."

Nice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cat is Out

So there has been happy news in my family that I haven't been able to blog (or really talk) about. In the meantime, I have been trying to keep my trap shut by keeping it busy.

Mostly by devouring Girl Scout cookies.

WHY are Samoas so good you CANNOT eat just one and walk away like other cookies?

Seriously, I can easily eat any other cookie, and then walk away after only one. Put a Samoa in front of my face, and before I know it, BAM half the box is gone.

Then I figure, "Why stop there? Seriously, the damage has been done."

Also, at that point, no one likes to see a quitter.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a cardio day.

Where was I?

OH!

Two of my sisters are pregnant!

YIPPEE!!

Can I tell you how much more fun it is to go through this whole time with them while I, myself, am NOT currently pregnant (nor ever will be again) or have a little tiny one to tend to?

It's WAY more fun.

I am far enough removed from the situation that it all seems like so much fun again. Also, knowing that it isn't me, and that it won't ever be me in that same spot again, gives me so much less anxiety and just a bigger sense of happiness and excitement. It's exciting and fun to go through all the emotions again, and then go back to your real world and walk away from all the hard stuff like morning sickness and 24/7 heartburn. Also, when the babies come, I won't be so worn out from my own child crying all night long, that hearing their babies cry will be no biggie.

Did I mention that these babies (if they stay true to their due dates) will only be six weeks apart?

SIX WEEKS.

There will be no shortage of tiny toes, sweet little cheeks, yummy baby smell, or any of that stuff to go around.

And because I am the auntie, when that overflow of the other baby stuff like dirty diapers, spit up, and fussiness is at it's peak, It might be time for me to head on home...to my own kids.

Who have big stinky feet, still don't wipe very well and need help, and scream and holler like you wouldn't believe when they don't get their way.

So I'll probably turn back around to visit the babies instead.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Child After My Own Heart

We had the day off of school today because it's President's Day. I don't care what day it is, just give us the day off! I LOVE no school days. They make me so happy. There is nothing better than just lounging around in the PJ's all day and accomplishing things around the house.

Wait. Didn't I just do a whole post on this?

Well, it's that good for me.

The Girl wanted to accomplish some stuff today too. I guess she saw me organizing and cleaning and wanted a piece of that happiness for herself. I thought she was just making an "art project" so I didn't pay too much attention to what was going on at the table while I cleaned up around her.

Tonight, as I was putting her to bed, I noticed what all her hard efforts this morning were for.
As I went to pull out her clothes for school tomorrow, I noticed I had a little help (just in case I got confused).




Not Sure what you are looking at? Here's a close up:


She has put labels on all her drawers. And some of the drawers have two labels. We don't want our short sleeve shirts getting mixed up with the long sleeve shirts. Also, we don't want the tights to migrate into the sock pile.

We will have NONE OF THAT.

(P.S. Those "Lammys" you see there are not a new clothing item. They are actually where her Jammies go. I just don't have the heart to fix it.)

Where, oh where, would she ever come up with such a thing?

Oh wait.



Yes, that's our toy room.

Hey, we all need to know where to put stuff away when it's time to clean up.

I might celebrate by getting her her very own label maker.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chlorine Therapy

I know it's Valentine's Day and all, but I won't be talking about who I love in this post. I think it's clear who has my heart. Plus, nothing too fabulous happened today. It was a day.

(For the record, I am TOTALLY fine with that.)

Oh wait, I did get to eat a Pazooki.

It was the Valentine's Special dessert, and it was Triple Chocolate.

That alone stirred up emotions in my heart that words cannot clearly express.

No, there is something else I have been loving for the last two weeks. I've actually been thinking of it as therapy for my sad, cold-weather-loathing heart.

The kids started swim lessons a few weeks ago at the local rec center. It's at an indoor pool, and they both take private lessons for 30 minutes each.

Can I tell you how happy I feel sitting inside at an indoor pool? It is so warm in there. It's also a little steamy. Lastly, the smell of chlorine just brings a happiness to my heart which draws up fresh memories of warm, sunny, slathered in sunscreen, relaxing days at the pool. I am not kidding when I say my heart actually skips a beat. For one hour a week, I get to pretend I am not in the dead of winter, but somewhere else.

Somewhere warm.

Somewhere were outdoor fun is being had.

Somewhere were the only goosebumps you get are when you get splashed by accident as child plays nearby.

Somewhere I want to be.

On Valentine's Day this year, I am reminded that February is half way over.

BRING ON JUNE!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Organization, Teeth, Running, and Laziness. Do you follow me?

It was a full day, and we didn't even get out of our PJ's.

I love those kind of days.

The Girl has a weird week of school (or lack there of) due to conferences, so no school for her today. The Little Man is feeling a bit under the weather, so I felt it necessary to declare a day of rest.

Which means that the kids got to watch TV, stay in their PJ's, and goof around in the house while I cleaned and organized like mad. I have found that the best time to re-organize and clean is when you don't have it on the calendar to do so. Somehow, you can really get things accomplished and keep yourself motivated to get the job done. Besides cleaning up around the living spaces, we re-organized the playroom. And when I say "we" I mean "I" cleaned up, and the kids helped me decide what went into the garbage.

Mercy.

They actually did a pretty good job of helping. Neither one of them played in the playroom for the rest of the day after that. I think they got their fill. So it remains gloriously picked up and organized even now as I type this, and they are snuggled up in their beds for the night.

The Girl's second tooth fell out today as well. As much as I still hate the fact that her teeth are out, I am glad it finally came out. It was all loose and dangly looking. Loose teeth are nauseating to me. I don't know why. When she ran up to show me that it fell out, I literally let out a smallish scream. It freaked me out for a second, and I was caught off-guard.

I need proper warning when it comes to that kind of thing.

She, of course, was ecstatic. She can hardly wait for the Tooth Fairy to make another visit tonight. She even wrote a note to her. In the note she told the Tooth Fairy that she knew when she came the last time because she could "feel her".

That is some serious bond they have after only one meeting.

After the kids went down for a rest, I got a chance to go out for a run. It was a bit cold, but so good. The sky was bright blue, the sun was shining, and the air was fresh. It just so happens that the Sister-In-Law was able to join me on this run, which aided in the joy that it brought to me. Although I ran my fastest 10k to date, Sister-In-Law was still itching for me to move it a bit faster. She is so far out of my league it isn't even funny.

After returning home and hitting a very warm shower, I decided that my PJ's had served me right all day up to this point, so why change a good thing? Back on they went.

Cozy. So very cozy.

Tomorrow it's back to the real world. No more PJ's, two Valentines parties, errands, the WORKS.

I am so thankful for my un-lazy "Lazy Day".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm No Longer a Spring Chicken, You Know!

I am having sleeping problems. I guess that doesn't accurately describe the issue. I can fall asleep just fine, and if left alone I could sleep soundly for hours on end. My bed has become my enemy. I simply cannot get comfortable in that thing any longer. It annoys me to see that I am the only one having an issue with this fact. It also annoys me that the bed isn't even that old yet.

Hubs sleeps just fine. He wakes up refreshed and pain free. I, on the other hand, wake up feeling like I have been in a fight all night long, and lost. My back and my hips are the worst.

Finally after a really bad night last week, I went to Costco and bought a Tempur-Pedic type mattress topper. My sister has one as well and said she really liked hers. I thought for sure this was going to solve all my problems. They are so squishy yet so firm.

The first night, I was so excited to try the thing out, that I couldn't really sleep because, well, I was excited. I tried out all sorts of different positions just to see which ones were the most comfortable, and tested out if I was able to stay that way for a long time. The next night was a test for the hips and lower back. That night was just OK. I slept the same as I did without the mattress topper. My hips and back felt fine, but I noticed my upper back and shoulders were not quite right. This morning I woke up and I felt like someone had ripped my shoulder out of the socket and then tried to jam it back into place.

I JUST WANT TO SLEEP.

Please.

Pretty Please.

And without hurting would be nice.

If I am not asking too much.

Believe it or not, I am giving the mattress topper another chance tonight. The shoulder is feeling a little better, and the information pamphlet that came with the topper said that "Some customers don't experience the full benefits of the product for up to a few weeks after using it."

I will not wait a few weeks.

I will give it another chance though.

Here's why: First of all, I can return it, but the king size topper came rolled up in a ball that was the same size as a child's sleeping bag. So it's safe to say, that I am not sure how we are going to get it back into the box. When we cut the plastic tie that was holding it in a ball, it was like unleashing a self-inflatable river raft that seats 6 in our bedroom. Thankfully, no lamps were lost in the process. Secondly, if I give up on this option all I can think about is that I might get stuck with one of these.

I wasn't expecting to go that route this early in life.

As I stare at that website, thoroughly exhausted, I am tempted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's February.

Yesterday was beautiful.

I mean, for February.

It's crazy. Some people were actually sporting their Capri pants and flip flops.

I can't do that.

It's still February. Even if the thermometer reads almost 70 degrees.

Oh yea, and I am the color of paste.

But, I did take the kids out to the park to burn off some energy and soak up some vitamin D.

Well, as much vitamin D as you can while still wearing long sleeves and pants.

I don't think they cared:






Even at the play ground, she still likes to chat it up:


He's finally mastered this part of the playground. It eluded him last year. This year he's a conqueror:


This was my favorite part of the day:




To the top!


When I asked The Little Man if he was up really high, he said, "Yes, Momma. I am so so so tall!" I asked him if he could see a really far way away. He said, "Momma, I can see so far from here! I think I can see all the way until September from here!"


Then he climbed down.

I just hope September looked good.

I love this:


Got water?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Groove Thang

My Little Man LOVES music. There have been many times when he has asked me to watch his new dance that he has made up to some toy that plays music. Most of his dances involve one crazy move, and then he stops at the same time that the music stops.

That's it.

The choreography is simple, but expressive.

Yesterday, he asked me to video tape his latest "dance". I grabbed the camera, and tried my hardest not to crack up in front of him.

I call this one the Elaine :


video

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My New Favorite Thing

It's only happened twice, but I have a new favorite thing.

If the weather cooperates and it is either a Tuesday or a Thursday and Hubs doesn't have any meetings/phone calls and if the moon aligns perfectly with Saturn (OK that last one is just a joke), then Hubs and I get to run together.

I run, he jogs.

I love it.

The first time we went out, he wondered why I only had one ear phone from my iPod in. I told him it was so I could hear him when we talked.

He just looked at me funny.

I should have gotten the clue right then and there. About three fourths of the way through the run, I had both of my ear buds in.

I didn't even bother today.

It doesn't bother me though. He's got his own way of running that makes conversation unnecessary. He pushes me to run harder without saying a word. The way he gives "high fives" to all high branches, stop signs, and any random pole as we go along the way, reminds me that we are having fun. Today, he even chased a flock of rabid Canadian Geese off the path in front of us because he knows my total dislike for all birds.

I didn't have to say a word.

He just saw the wicked look in their eyes, and like a Knight, burst off full speed and fought them off single-handedly.

(They might not have had rabies. But I thought that I saw one had foam around it's beak, and I definitely saw one of them looking for the veins in my neck so he/she could peck it out.)

And even though he totally could, he doesn't gloat when we get home about how he "could have gone so much faster" or "that was just a warm-up run". He just says it was fun to run with me.

Even though he only jogged.

Thanks for the run, Hubs.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Is She Dramatic or Is There Really This Much Drama?

The good news is that The Girl is better. After making it one whole week without getting sick, I feel like I can officially say she is healthy again. Thank you to everyone who prayed for her (and me). More good news is that she got a VERY cute hair cut. It totally gives her a whole new six year old look. She picked it out and really likes it. I do too.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news. It actually happened on Sunday, but I needed a day to let everything soak in.

Do you remember how much I said I was dreading her losing her teeth? Ya, well, it seemed like that was still a few months away. Even though The Dentist said she should have lost her teeth about a month ago, they still were not even close to being loose enough to fall out.

Enter younger brother.

With a big, solid noggin

Who doesn't really pay too close of attention when he is running around like a wild animal.

In a restaurant.

I know, I know, WHERE WERE HIS PARENTS!!??

That, my friends, is a good question. See, there were a group of kids that had finished their lunches before the group of adults were done having their conversations. So, his parents were otherwise engaged and allowed them to have a little freedom.

Freedom that allowed for him to accidentally smack the back of his head into his sister's mouth and knock out almost FOUR of her front teeth.

After seeing a dentist today, she is toothless, but we were able to save 2 of the teeth for hopefully another six months, and one tooth will be lucky to see March. The last tooth was pretty lucky to see today.

The thought of having all four teeth gone (possibly) in the next six months is enough to make me reach for a brown paper back and inhale...and then exhale....inhale....exhale...

I also freaked out because, besides the blood and pain and swollen PURPLE gums, I had realized that I had not taken her formal six year old pictures yet. You see, if you haven't figured it out yet, I am kind of a sappy, sentimental type. I loved her baby teeth, and I knew this was the last birthday picture with them IN HER FACE.

So I did what every rational, baby tooth loving, picture crazed mother does.

I grabbed my photo gear, tried to make those teeth look like they weren't about to fall out of her head and set up a photo session.

Right then and there.

Well, I did wait for the bleeding to stop.

We couldn't keep any pictures where she has her natural toothy smile. Her smile was too marred, but she did come up with a more subdued grin that I think worked just fine.

Take a look:





OK, this one I had to do some Photoshop work to the teeth. Can you tell?


Besides baby teeth, I am crazy about eyelashes. Thankfully her brother can't knock them off her face...






*swoon* I can't imagine not getting this one LARGE!




OK here's the crazy Girl showing off her teeth (and the fact that she can cross her eyes).


Here's another:


So you can see why we couldn't go with the big toothy smile we are used to from our happy girl, but I think the compromise is good...What do you think?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

His Love Runs Deep

I won't even try to deny it, our home is a Backyardigans' home. Recently, the flames of the kids' love affair with the show were fanned when four new episodes came out. The Little Man especially, has fallen hard. There were two instances in one morning, that proved this to be a fact.

First Instance:
P: Mommy? When am I going to play laser tag wid my cousins?
me: You get to go at 10:00 this morning.
P: 10:00?
me: Yes, 10:00. That's when you get to play laser tag.
P: But, Momma! I can't go at 10:00! That's when Backyardigans is on!
me: Well, I know that's when Backyardigans is on, but your going to play laser tag. Laser tag is way more fun.
P: But, I'll miss my favorite show!
me: Really? You would rather watch Backyardigans than go play laser tag?
P: Well, can I go play laser tag after my show?
me: No. You can play laser tag OR you can watch Backyardigans. Which one do you choose?
P: (PAUSING TO DEBATE THIS IN HIS SWEET LITTLE HEAD) I guess I'll choose laser tag with my cousins.

Second Instance:
Paxton is in the bathroom washing his hands and singing this song:
"He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands.

He's got Pablo and Austin and Tasha and Tyrone and Uniqua in his hands...."

He definitely has the WHOLE world in His hands.