Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthdays and Updates

Exercise update: I finished 29 days of a 30 day workout routine before they removed the episodes I needed. No significant changes in weight, for which I had been hoping. The program was called the 10 lb slimdown. I know that my body shape has changed for the better, but the scale went the wrong direction. I have had a hard time sticking to exercise since and need to get back to it. I have also been doing fairly well with the bedtime goal.

It was birthday time for Miss Isabella last week. She invited friends from school and most of the girls were able to attend. I had Isabella plus 4 other first graders, a kindergartner, my almost 5 year old and the little brother for a grand total of 8. Most parents dropped their girls off, but one mom stayed and helped me with all that energy. Isabella had requested bobbing for apples and I figured, "why not, it's her birthday." But the more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that it would be a serious germ fest. She settled instead for Mommy's version of bobbing for apples. We took a toy broom, with the bristles removed, so basically it was a short stick, and wrapped it with crepe paper. Then I washed the apples and tied yarn to the stems. (Tobias and I had gone shopping and spent several minutes trying to only find apples with stems) They we tied one apple to each end. Hands behind backs, the girls took turns trying to be the first one to capture the apple. I'm happy to say that it was a success and that there were no teeth lost and no germy water to deal with. Natalia liked it so much that she wants to do it at her party. We also made crowns and recycled the "kiss the frog" game from last year. I had drawn a picture of a frog on poster board, then I recovered it in Glad cling wrap (yes, I through last years cling wrap away). The girls got to pick one of my lipsticks, we applied it and then blindfolded them and spun them. The goal was to kiss the frog on the lips and transform him into the prince. Half the girls loved it and the other half have reached the "kissing is gross" stage and wouldn't even participate. We revisited the butterfly design from Natalia's cake last year. This year was strawberry cake with chocolate icing. We topped it all off with a movie that none of them could agree on and only one or two of them really even watched. Fun times.

Poor Natalia, though, is having a difficult time with this birthday thing. She is the last one to have a birthday and is feeling very left out. She has been very sad that Isabella has received all these new things and she hasn't gotten any. We pulled out the clothes from the attic that I have been saving for warmer weather and she kept asking why she didn't get new clothes. Of course, it didn't help that I discovered a purchase that had been set aside for Isabella and Tobias. The only things for Natalia were the hand-me-downs (which were also there for her siblings) and a pair of new flip-flops.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Exercise Week 2

Well this was the first day of my second week of exercise. If you read my previous post, you will know that I have not felt well enough to do much of anything. I made a goal last week to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am. Although not perfect, I was able to get to bed before 11pm most nights and was able to get myself downstairs in front of the TV for my workouts by 6:15am. As this is week number two, I have set a new goal for myself. I'm trying to be more careful about my food choices. So for breakfast, I had vanilla yogurt with a Tbsp of cocoa to help curb the chocolate cravings. I took a mug of tea to work with me and was able to get by on only 1/2 Tbsp of sugar (this is an accomplishment, I will have you know). When I got home, I had an orange for a snack. Lunch was a healthy heaping plate of spinach with a wonderful mango dressing (it's only 30 calories for 2 Tbsp). I was doing so well that I celebrated with the last of the cookie dough brownies (not so good). I had a small serving of juice while cooking dinner. For dinner we had pecan crusted salmon (200 calories, approx), spinach salad (30 calories), and spanikopita (because I was trying to get rid of it, and 340 calories, but only because I ate 2 servings, YIKES!). Not a bad first day. . . At least it leaves me a lot of room for improvement tomorrow. Did I mentionthat I'm researching desserts for a baby shower this weekend. Will power!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Healthy Again

We spent several weeks in March sick. Mark found out that he had a sinus infection, since November! Yikes. We are finally feeling better and working on keeping ourselves healthy. The short bouts of sunshine have allowed us to spend time outdoors. Mark has started work on preparing the garden and I have started some plants indoors. I went to Fred Meyer's fushia sale and got some flowers and free potting soil. Mark also recently took a cholesterol test with exciting results. He was considered to have high blood pressure, but with some better food choices and taking a vitamin supplement called GBG, he has been able to lower his blood pressure to normal levels, approx 20 points lower! We had a three day weekend from school, so we invited one of Isabella's friends for a play date. They played games, put together puzzles, colored, and watched Tangled. We also made some decadent brownies. We made a boxed fudge brownie batter. Let it cool and then added "cookie dough". It was made without eggs so that it would be edible without baking. Once the cookie dough was layered onto the brownies, it was put in the refrigerator to chill. I finished dinner while I was melting chocolate chips with milk to make a ganache/glaze. That was layered onto the "cookie dough" and place back in the refrigerator. So yummy! Cookie Dough 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup milk 2 tsp vanilla 2 cups flour 1/2 cup chocolate chips, mini are best Cream the first 5 ingredients. Add flour until combined and then add chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto brownies. (The cookie dough will pull off the top layer of brownie if you don't smooth it out carefully) Chill completely before topping with chocolate layer.

Monday, March 14, 2011


What a roller coaster, whirlwind, soap can be. I started blogging in the summer with every intention of being more consistent. Then life happened. Lice, hunting season and then Mark was seriously injured Labor day weekend. It feels like we have been playing catch up ever since. His arm is on the mend and it looks like we are past the critical stage when it looked like he might need a bone graft to correct the breaks.

This post finds me recuperating from one of the most vicious sore throats I can ever remember. Still feeling a little weak, but thankful that I can once again swallow small, soft items and breath without pain.

Isabella ran the jog-a-thon at her school last friday. Daddy told her that in addition to her pledges, he would take her to get a doughnut if she ran 25 laps. Unfortunately, the person recording her laps was a little sloppy with the tally marks. Isabella thought that she had reached the goal, but was actually 10 laps away. So, I dutifully got out there and jogged/walked with her to help keep her motivated.

Now that we are somewhat caught up, I thought I would share my menu for the week. More of just a log for me.

Monday 3/14 ~ Soup, Spinach Salad and Sour Dough
Today's soup was Beef and Barley. I like to submerge my sour dough roll, broken in pieces, in my soup. It seems to heighten my awareness of the sour flavor. My kids like to eat it by itself and Mark is somewhere inbetween.

Tuesday 3/15 ~ Salmon, Broccoli, Spinach Salad, Twice Baked Fingerling Potatoes
I was watching Dinner Impossible while I was physically unable to swallow. I can't wait to try these. Salmon will be baked with garlic, lemon and dill.

Wednesday 3/16 ~ Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, Home Canned Green Beans, Salad
(yes, probably spinach again)

Thursday 3/17 ~ Stuffed Green Pepper Wheelbarrows, Green Fruit Salad, Green Garden Salad, Broccoli
The wheelbarrows will be stuffed with a traditional beef and rice mixture, but will be fashioned to look like these from Noodle and Doodle. The fruit salad will be a combination of kiwi, green grapes, pear, and granny smith apples. The green salad will include lettuce, spinach, celery, and cucumber. (This is also my Bunco night, so the family will be eating this menu without me)

Friday 3/18 ~ Peanut Chicken, Brown Rice and Cauliflower
Again, another shortcut dinner. I would eventually like to find a recipe for Peanut Sauce that I can make myself.

Saturday 3/19 ~ Dinner with Friends: Braised Pot Roast, Carrots, and Potatoes, Dinner Rolls and Salad

Sunday 3/20 ~ Beef Stew and Salad
I have been moving away from a heavy meal on Sunday because we enjoy having popcorn while watching AFV.