Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mid Vacation

Quick post while my husband is out running. So far it's going well. We're getting into a good routine of keeping Baby A occupied and on schedule for naps and meals. Hubby is doing a lot of the work too. Our only really issue is Old Lady. She's not eating and we don't know why. The other odd thing is Big M and his food. I bought a different variety of the same brand and didn't realize it would be an issue. This is Big M. He loves to eat, he eats anything. Well, I apparently found the one brand that he doesn't like. Or there's something wrong with it, which is my guess. Old Lady got into his food several days ago and hasn't eaten since. *sigh*. My poor girl. I'm trying to wait for next week to take her to the vet and crossing my fingers that she works through it before then.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Working through chaos

I just realized how ridiculous my desk at work is. Right now i have two travel coffee mugs, one actual coffee mug, two water bottles, and two containers that housed my breakfast (plain greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and organic granola, mmmm)

I reached for my water, only to not know which thing I was reaching for.

I may need help.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vacation looming

I think Mama T goes on vacation just to remind us how hard is it to be a full time parent. We are going on vacation next week as a family. Our first real family vacation with all of us, Old Lady and Big M included (please reference the post from a few months ago regarding packing and multiply it by 10 as that is how many days were gone). We're not going anywhere all that exciting or glamorous, we're actually just crashing my in-laws cabin in north TN. The in-laws will be there for this weekend, but after that it's just us.

I am very much looking forward to getting away. Away from the alarm clock. Away from work. Away from the house and all the pending projects that we're scraping money to try and finish this year. All of it. Just get out of the house and be somewhere else.


There is no Away from family responsibility. Baby A still needs her regular schedule. She still needs to be fed, several times a day; diapers changed, naps had. The dogs still need walks and meals and playtime too. So a family 'vacation' isn't really a vacation as much as a change of scenery with all the same stuff going on. And what I am concerned about is that, my husband is going to have a wonderfully relaxing week, which he absolutely deserves. He's been working long hours, traveling a lot and is very stressed out. But I'm concerned that I'm not going to get any down time. That I"m going to have to be the single parent while he's relaxing. I'm going to be doing every breakfast, every bath, every nap, every lunch, every play time, all of it and I don't know how to say I don't want to without sounding like, and feeling like, a terrible mother.

I want to look forward to all of the vacation, but part of me is already worn out from just the knowledge that it's 24/7 parenting with no Mama T. I love Mama T. I appreciate her. There are some evenings and occasionally a morning that are so rough, and so whiny that when we get to Mama T's house I practically throw Baby A at her and run to the office. It's not every day, and it's probably not even once a week. But I know that after 10 days of full time mom, I'm going to give Mama T a big hug and yell 'see ya' as I run out of the house.

Just typing all of that makes me feel guilty. I don't want the idea of 10 days with Baby A to stress me out. I want to want to be a stay at home mom. There are even some days where I think I could be. We'll have a fabulous 3 or 4 day weekend. Baby A will be happy and playful and eat great, take nice long naps, with minimal fuss about anything and I'll think 'I could totally do this'. Then, we'll have an evening where I want to tear out my hair because she cries and whines about everything. And then once I'm frustrated with Baby A, my Old Lady knows I'm upset and thinks she's in trouble. So she's now under my feet doing her 'I'm sorry dance' with big eyes and a wiggling butt. Add to that Big M who, seeing Old Lady dancing for attention, comes over and does his own 'me me me' dance and he's the biggest cry baby of all of them. His normal 'talking' mode is a whine. Everything is a whine. He's excited for a walk, he whines. He's hopping around waiting for dinner, he whines. He thinks I've said something fun like, ride, or food, or treat, and his ears perk up and he whines. All of a sudden, I've got three babies all under my feet, whining at me. And this is what I'm going on vacation with.

Maybe I'll just stay home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Planned Cooking, week 2

I did a really good job last week and so decided to continue the trend. Grocery shopping had to wait until Sunday morning, but, Baby A and I had a great day. I made all her meals for the week as well as a chicken pasta salad that we haven't had in a while and whenever I make it we always say 'we need to make this more!'

2 cooked chicken breasts diced
16 oz pasta
8 oz Italian dressing
8 oz creamy Ceasar dressing
1 green bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan
8 oz mozzarella diced.


It also makes a ton of food and is good for at least two nights worth of dinner and then an additional lunch sized portion.

The next dinner of the week will be done Wednesday and that will be chicken and mushrooms with mozzarella over rice. mmmmmm

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oddly Good, Super Easy, Garlic Bread

I love my Ellie Krieger Cookbook. It's great. There are a few recipes that we haven't really cared for, but overall, it's a great book. Part of the reason I love it is because she gives you menus, not just recipes. It's a meat, vegetable and starch that all go together and are all easy. We tried her garlic bread recipe last night and I was amazed at how good it was, and how easy.

Step 1 - slice bread
Step 2 - lightly coat with olive oil
Step 3 - place under low broiler for 3-4 minutes
Step 4 (this is the neat one) - Remove from broiler. Take a large clove of garlic and rub it vigorously across the oiled side of the bread.
Step 5 - Eat!

The toasted bread serves as a grater for the garlic. Be careful, it's more effective than you realize. The first piece I did ended up a little stronger than I intended it to.

Even my husband was amazed and he gave me a couple of really odd looks as I was scrubbing the bread.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm an Aunt!! I'm an Aunt!!

Super excited!! We waited all day yesterday for news. Prego SIL checked into the hospital for a scheduled induction at 6 am yesterday and didn't have their adorable little girl until 9:30 last night!! What a very, very long day!! I can only imagine how exhausting that must be. My little niece is 7 lbs 12 oz with a head full of beautiful dark hair. I can't wait to meet her. We will call her NJ (Niece J).

She is currently in NICU for a heart condition that they discovered during the pregnancy. My poor SIL must be so overwhelmed. It was hard enough when I had Baby A and they took her to the nursery for half a night. SIL doesn't even get to sleep in the same room as her new little girl. NJ also has Down Syndrome, which we were expecting. When the doctors tell you it's a 98% positive on the chromosome test, there really isn't much room to do anything other than expect it. It's going to be such a different learning experience for them than it was for my husband and I. I wonder if, since this is their first, it's almost easier. They don't have a reference. They won't know anything other than NJ and so as much and we had to take raising Baby A one day at a time, so do they.

We're a little worried because NJ does have a fever and is under observation, but the doctors aren't too concerned and think she should be able to go home in a few days. There are lots of tests to do, both for her heart and her DS. Lots of prayers and good thoughts in the next few days.

P.S.  I'm an Aunt, not an Ant. I am not a bug. I do not have 6 legs and ruin picnics. I am an Aunt, as in gaunt but without the g. Just to be perfectly clear.

Monday, September 10, 2012

So far so good.

I made my dinner plan Friday evening. I made my shopping list and Saturday went out with Baby A to buy her first pair of 'walking' shoes. Even though she's not quite walking yet, she's pulling up and cruising the furniture. It's so cute.

I followed my dinner plan for Saturday and Sunday and tonight is 'leftover' night.

Saturday's dinner:
Open Face Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches - So Easy by Ellie Krieger
1 Loaf whole grain bread
4 baked chicken breasts sliced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup Marinara
1 cup mozzarella
4 tbs shredded Parmesan

Cut loaf of bread in half and then slice each half lengthwise for 4 sandwiches. Remove some of the insides of the bread to create a 'bowl'. Pour 1/4 cup of Marinara into each sandwich. Top with 1/2 cup spinach, sliced chicken, 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1 tbs parmesan. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden. Do not leave unattended! This doesn't take long to cook.

I left the recipe for Sunday's dinner at home and so will post that later. It came out really well too except for the garlic mashed potatoes that actually tasted like we were going into battle with vampires and needed fortification.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Planned Cooking

I used to be really good at actually planning meals for the week and would spend time each weekend going through cookbooks and making a grocery list. Since Baby A arrived that really hasn't happened much. I think that is mostly because I do the majority of the grocery shopping on Friday afternoon's now, on the way home from work with Baby A. So I make my grocery list Friday morning while at work, in between phone calls and emails. It's a much more abstract list, something along the lines of:

Ground Beef
Veggies for Baby A food
Canned Baby A food (for the days I forget to have home made on hand)
Lunch stuff

But there's no real plan as to what the veggies are, or what I'm going to do with the various assortment of meat and/or fish that I come home with, so during the week, when I'm just trying to make it through until Baby A's bed time, I'm staring into the fridge with no real idea of what's in there and no real plan of what I'm going to make.

Well, today is Friday and would normally be shopping day, but I can't today because my daycare lady, Mama T, had a family emergency this afternoon and I'm going to go play with the kiddos for an hour until the other mom's can get there. So, I"m going to have to go shopping this weekend.

I pledge to create a meal plan for next week, a coordinated grocery shopping list, and know what's for dinner every evening prior to 7 pm when I would otherwise be staring confusedly into the fridge.

Go Team!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Motivated by a completely fabulous shopping experience this past weekend where everything I tried on was TOO BIG(!!!!) I am feeling committed to continuing my healthy eating and exercise plan. I have actually been doing rather well with my prior commitment to going to the gym between work and picking up Baby A from daycare. I have gone at least once a week, usually twice, I really want to make it three visits during the week and then maybe once on a weekend. Let's just start with what we have though.

So, if you haven't heard of myfitnesspal.com, you should really check it out. It's free and it's easy and it really  gives you a visual of your eating. What meals are super high fat, or calories, or carbs and where you can make quick adjustments. For instance, measuring the creamer that you put in your coffee. Sounds dumb, but 2 tbsp of creamer is 40 calories. How many cups of coffee do you drink each morning? Do you know how heavy handed you are with the creamer? Think of it as, three cups of coffee, 2 tbsp each cup and that's a granola bar you could have eaten as a snack later in the day. I measure one tablespoon per cup, two cups a day.

So, here's what my normal morning looks like:
Coffee - Brewed from grounds, 2 cup (8 fl oz)5001
Yogurt - Chobani Greek Non-Fat Plain, 6 ounces1007018
Publix - Half & Half, 2 Tbsp40130
Strawberries - Raw, 1 cup, sliced531301
Add Food  19821320

And then lunch.

Publix - Muenster Cheese, 1 Slice80165Ico_delete
Arnold Sandwich Thins - Flat Bread, 100% Whole Wheat, 1 roll1002215Ico_delete
Helmans - Real Mayonaise (From Label), 0.5 tablespoon45050Ico_delete
Oscar Meyer - Deli Fresh Cajun Seasoned Chicken Breast, 6 slices (51g)50219Ico_delete
Add Food  275251319

I will have a V8 as a snack around 11 and then cheese in the afternoon:
Publix - Reduced Fat Mozarella String Cheese, 1 mozzarella string cheese70148Ico_delete
Campbell's - V8 - Spicy Hot (5.5 Fl oz), 1 Can30701Ico_delete
Mars - Snickers Minis, 2 piece901142Ico_delete
Add Food  19019811

So, 200 calories for breakfast. 275calories at lunch plus 200 in snacks...ok, ok, you saw the mini snickers. I only had two pieces though and I never said I was trying to be a saint...

One of the great things about myfitnesspal.com is that not only does it add up your calorie totals for the day, but, if you exercise you get extra calorie points. So before dinner I typically have 660 calories or so. My goal for the day is 1200. But, if I go to the gym and spend 25 minutes on the elliptical machine, I get an extra 218 calories added to my goals! If I walk the dogs in the morning, that's another 80 (was sprinkling this morning so my two pansies couldn't bare to get their paws wet).

Your Daily Goal1,41815938106
*You've earned 218 extra calories from exercise today

Dinner is super easy too because the majority of the recipes from allrecipes.com are already loaded in, so I just look them up, and add them to my menu, along with brown rice and a small spinach and tomato salad and one small glass of wine. Watching those calories add up really makes you think about the second glass of wine, although sometimes is necessary, but at 122 calories per glass. It's hard to justify when you're trying to stay within your goals.

Allrecipes.Com - Heavenly Halibut, 4 oz23511426Ico_delete
Rice - Brown, long-grain, cooked, 0.5 cup1082213Ico_delete
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!-Original - Margarine, 1 tbsp70080Ico_delete
Tomato - 5 Slices, 1 container (5 medium slices ea.)20401Ico_delete
Spinach - Raw, 1 cup7101Ico_delete
Generic - Kraft Light Creamy Cesar Salad Dressing, 2 Tbsp35420Ico_delete
Diamond - Chopped Walnuts, 1/8 cup1002103Ico_delete
Barefoot - Pinot Grigio, 5 oz122500Ico_delete
Add Food  697393534

So, at the end of a typical day, here's what my eating looks like. 58 calories to spare, I'm under on my carb goal and a little short on my protein, but at 84 grams in a day, that's really pretty good. I"m over on the fat portion, but that's because of the fish dinner and walnuts in my salad. I find it so hard to believe how high in calories and fat nuts in general are. They're healthy for you, but definitely in moderation only! An 1/8 of a cup is 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. Yikes!

Your Food Diary For:

Tuesday September 4, 2012
Here's one thing though. If you're going to join myfitnesspal, don't hide your food diary. Make your friends hold you accountable and let them see that you just pigged out on an ice cream sundae, or stopped at Wendy's for lunch. That's what this whole system is for. To put your goals out there for others to see, be a part of and support you.