Saturday, July 31, 2010

They Say the Darndest Things

I've been out of pocket for a bit.  I've got two words for you:

Single. Parent.

Coach went to football camp, and I stayed home with G and AC.  G is at the age which requires a full-time chauffeur, and AC took the opportunity to put me through some sort of sadistic parenting Boot Camp.  Every day I would wake up bright and early, and she'd have a list of activities and tasks she wanted me to complete. 

That list included everything from braiding her hair to painting her nails to opening a stationary/gift store for her to own.  (And sadly, I'm not talking about the pretend kind.)  She settled for a trip to the grocery store for dog food and milk, and seeing Ramona and Beezus.  (Which, incidentally, is one of my favorite movies of the summer.)

Anyway, before my absence I do believe I told you about my run last week which ended with a sprained ankle.  I'm almost over the trauma of it, and honestly, it didn't really slow me down much.  I've done quite a bit of running since then.  20.6 miles to be exact.  If you're a runner, that may not be much, but for someone who hasn't had a regular exercise program since the spring of 1992, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

But like I said, last week I sprained the ankle.  Thankfully, AC was riding her bike along with me so that she could witness the whole thing and have a hissy fit. 

But what's ironic about the entire episode is that just a minute or so before I fell she asked me how long a mile was. 

I confidently said, "I have to run about 2500 steps to equal a mile."  Turns out, that's not actually correct.  I had to run approximately 5300 steps to cover a mile.  Explains a lot.  It also further illustrates my inability to do any sort of math.

But, she asked, and I gave her the wrong answer.

And then I fell.

And skidded down the street and into a culvert.

It rattled her a bit, she jumped off her bike and flailed her arms around while asking me if I was okay a couple of dozen times all the while looking up at the sky lest she see any sort of carnage.

Once I got up and told her I was fine, she just sort of shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, at least all that sliding means you don't have to run all 2500 steps to get home."

Yeah, at least.

See y'all!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

snack cups

If you use those little butter cups (like Brummel and Brown) or any similarly sized cups with a lid, you can make your own snack cups.  Just use a sharp pair of scissors or craft knife (be careful!) to poke a hole in the center of the lid.  Then cut toward the edge, not all the way through, making pie-shaped cuts  (you should end up with 6 pie-shaped flaps.  Next, cut the sharp points off the tips if the flaps, to save pinching those little fingers!  Voila!  This would be good to hold all those little pieces from games, too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Much needed break taken @ Wrightsville Beach

We spent a short, but very relaxing weekend at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach.  It was only 4 hours away, right on the beach, and within walking distance of restaurants and shops.  The room we stayed in was newly renovated and nicely decorated.  I think the shower needs redesigning (it doesn't close--that makes it challenging to shower a two-year-old without getting the floor soaked.  The AC was a bit noisy coming on intermittently through the first night, but I fixed that by turning it from "AUTO" to "LOW."  
It is amazing that it can be 100 degrees outside, but if you have a breeze at the beach, it is quite pleasant anyway!  We ate dinner the first night a 22Lumina.  Touristy, as expected.  The menu was a big chalkboard they moved from table to table.  Dave had the chicken and dumplings, I had the pink snapper Calabash, and Lily had the popcorn shrimp.  Everything was very tasty and fresh.  Lily made a little friend of a 1 year-old tyke named Max.  To be continued....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My, What Pretty Teeth You Have

I've had one of those weeks.  You know- those weeks you don't really want to talk about because it's really not any one big thing, rather an onslaught of minor annoyances that I am going to blame on the Twilight Saga.

Oh yes, you did read that correctly.

I have successfully avoided all things Twilight- no vampires, no wolves, no Team Jacob or Team Edward- none of it.

Until this weekend.

And incidentally, it's Team Jacob all the way.  I can't help it.  He has such pretty teeth...and abs.  I'm a sucker for teeth and abs.

Coach went to the lake for a coaching retreat.  I took the opportunity to head to Knoxville to visit a friend.  We did girly things like shop and see movies and talk and eat cheese.  It was heaven.
It was on Saturday night that she convinced me that my life would not be complete until I had seen the Twilight movies.  And, it just so happened that she owned the first two.  So, we stayed up until 3:00 am watching parts one and two.

I was hooked.  And then I got up four hours later and drove the 180 miles home.  And then I ran 6 miles.  And then we went to a funeral.

Exhaustion I tell you.  And Coach was exhausted too, and he had to get up at 5:00 for football workouts.

I know, it is a charmed life isn't it?

So we crashed. 

At approximately 3:14 Monday morning the Momsense/Coach honeymoon ended.  I was sleeping soundly until I heard a funny noise.

So I turned on the light just in time to see a mouse take a swan dive into my purse.  Yes, I did say a MOUSE diving into my purse.

I might have screamed at that point.

Coach's head might have exploded, or maybe he just sat up clearly disoriented with bloodshot eyes.

I'm going to admit- I was hysterical.  I was standing on the bed with a hammer begging Coach to get the mouse out of my purse and away from my Reese's Pieces.

He said, "Just go to sleep, it's just a mouse."

To which I replied, "Are you kidding me?  There is a varmint in my purse!  I have Reese's Pieces in there!  We have to get him out of there and away from the Pieces!"

Him:  "Did you really use the word varmint?"

Me:  "Did you really tell me to just go back to sleep?"

I'll save you the rest of the conversation.  Just imagine a very irritated and sleepy husband and a hysterical wife.  Then imagine that the husband just rolled back over and went to sleep, the wife slept with the light on and a hammer in her hands, and a whole lot of huffing, puffing, muttering and grumbling.

That was Sunday.

Tuesday I went running again and promptly chafed my thighs whilst wearing some different running shorts.  It's a third degree chafe.

Today I bought some compression shorts to retard the friction and flame throwing from betwixt my thighs, and went running again.

And so I ran. 

Until I twisted my ankle on absolutely nothing, fell down, took the skin off my calf and hip, tore my new compression shorts, and took care of any shred of pride I had left.

So, that's where I've been.  Sleep deprived, chafed, swollen, and oozing.

Oh, and a mouse just cuddled up with Coach on the couch.

I'm not kidding.

I must go.  There's quite a bit of packing to do as I will be moving out as soon as possible.

See y'all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Try This

We're still trying to get in all 6 fruits and vegetables each day.  On a difficulty level, it ranks right up there with Geometry, but we're making it.

Of course Coach is doing much better than I am; I have issues with fiber.  I also have issues with Lebron James and Miley Cyrus, but who wants to hear about all that?

Anyway, lets talk roughage, shall we?

Since there are only so many ways to dress a salad or cook broccoli, I've been trolling for recipes.  We had this one tonight.  Coach and G gave it a 10.  It is a must try, and again, so easy, cheap, and light.

Spicy Chicken Tacos 
(Weight Watchers points 4 points for 1 taco with 2 oz. chicken and 1/2 oz. cheese and 1 tbsp. of sauce)

12 taco shells or tortillas (we used some high fiber, high protein tortillas)
6 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thickness (about 3 pounds of chicken)
Caribbean seasoning
2 cups shredded cheese (we used Sargento light Mexican blend)
Sour cream sauce
Jalapeno Slaw

Sprinkle the chicken with the Caribbean seasoning and grill.  Cut into thin slices.  Add to taco shells/tortillas and top with slaw and sour cream sauce.

Sour Cream Sauce
1 cup sour cream (we used fat free)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice

Mix together.  Take a good long whiff and smile. 

Jalapeno Slaw
1 10 oz. bag of coleslaw mix (try to get angel hair slaw if possible)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup cilantro minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced  (if you like heat leave some seeds- we like it hot)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2  teaspoon honey

In a medium bowl mix slaw, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Mix the honey and lime juice together, pour over slaw and mix. 

I'm still finishing the bedroom.

Oh, and I started training for a half marathon.  It's in 11 weeks.  I'm sort of being forced.  It will be good for me.  I'll keep telling myself that.

It will be good for me.

See y'all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home Improvement

The bedroom is almost finished, but not without incident.  What had once been a dark taupe/chocolate colored room is now Raw Silk and the trim is a very deep brown.  Yes, I painted all the trim - 4 doors, two very large windows, baseboards, and deep crown moulding.

On a pleasure scale, I'd rate the experience somewhere between root canal and pap smear.

But it is coming along beautifully.  I still have some finishing touches and then I'll post some pictures...and hopefully get my sense of humor back.

In the meantime let's congratulate Spain- well done men.  Now, can we get back to real sports like FOOTBALL?  I'm so excited about football season that I've put my Pride of the Southland Marching Band CD in the car, and I play Rocky Top every time I go to the grocery, which incidentally is about one or seventy times a day.

Anyway, I've got to finish this project and then I'll be back and I'll tell you all about our newest Momsense addition.

See y'all!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Recipe and a List

Well, if the title is any indication of how the rest of this post will go, I feel for you.  (Or hopefully you'll feel for me and keep on reading.)  It's not that I don't have anything to write about, it's just that my summer is turning out to be much different than I had planned.

I had planned on writing every day, reading dozens of books, organizing every nook and cranny of my house, exercising, and on and on and on.

The reality of my summer?  Chauffeur and cruise director.  It's okay.  I've made peace with it.

This week the children are away, and Coach and I decided that we would use the week to tackle some lingering home improvement projects which included painting the bedroom, painting the trim and windows in several rooms, painting the stair risers, and cleaning out the garage.

Coach added playing golf and cleaning out a football closet at school which has gone untouched since the mid-90's to his list.  That's okay too.  Home improvement projects aren't really his thing.  I'm doing my best to make peace with that.

So, the reality is that it's Friday and we've managed to knock out painting the bedroom.  Have I ever told you our bedroom is enormous?  It is.  And every inch of wall and trim had to be painted. 

3 coats. 

Don't. Get. Me. Started.

We did go to our Weight Watchers meeting Tuesday night, and Coach has lost a little over 50 pounds.  I've lost...a bit less.  But we've been challenged this week to eat more vegetables and fruits.  We dutifully left the meeting and went to the grocery to get said fruits and vegetables.  Remember I told you the children are gone for the week- the old me would have had us surviving on Frosted Flakes and popcorn.

Turns out I like cherries and blueberries, and they don't even have to be in a muffin.  Although, the muffin is certainly an excellent vessel for a blueberry.

I also wanted to try a new recipe.  Paula Deen published it, and I adapted it just a bit.  I have to say that this particular recipe was a Weight Watchers-friendly recipe before I adapted it.  I reduced the butter, orange juice, and teriyaki sauce and increased the onions. 

Perfection.  And, the ingredients were cheap, easy to find, and the recipe went from grocery bag to plate in about 20 minutes.

Asian Tilapia Lettuce Wraps (adapted from Paula Deen)
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp. butter  (I got away with 1 tbsp.)
2 pounds tilapia fillets
Sea Salt
Seasoned Pepper
Garlic Powder
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I bought it freshly squeezed to save time)
1 cup teriyaki sauce (I used low sodium)
1 bunch green onions, chopped  (around a cup or so)
2 8 oz. cans of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
Lettuce leaves

Sprinkle the tilapia with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Heat butter on medium-high heat until melted and add tilapia.  Cook 2-3 minutes each side until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove tilapia.  Add orange juice and teriyaki sauce.  Be sure to incorporate brown bits in skillet.  Cook the sauce about 5-6 minutes until it thickens.  Add onions and water chestnuts.  Cook another 3-4 minutes.  Add the fish and combine.

Serve on lettuce leaves.

So, turns out the post title was no indication of how the post was going to go. I never actually made it to the list.  Good intentions seem to be a theme with me this summer.

It's okay.  I've made peace with it.

See y'all!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Playground Workout

Quartz has tennis lessons this week (and he has been loving them), so Onyx and Sapphire and I have gone to the park next door to play every day.  I decided to try and get in shape a little better, so I've been doing the Playground Workout.  Works best in the early morning when there's no one else there; it feels pretty weird to be working out around other people (hmm, I wonder why?  I don't feel weird riding my bike, and I see people jogging around all the time.  Must be because the movements are so artificial).  Exercising in the morning has helped me feel more motivated to get things done (even though I feel sore all over).

So, mostly for my own reference, here's the exercises I've been doing.  I generally don't count reps or anything (I can't stand counting); I just keep going until I feel the muscles get pretty tired):
- Warm-up (usually by walking to the park and then jogging around it a few times, arm circles, etc)
- Squats
- Pull-ups on the monkey bars (lucky if I can do 2)
- Stair stepping
- Lifting and lowering self on parallel bars on the bridge
- Swinging on monkey bars hand-over-hand
- Bouncing on tip-toes
- Dips (hands behind on a ledge, lower and raise self)
- Jumping on one leg
- Swinging
- Stretches (especially arms & stomach)

Doesn't take too long, I can keep an eye on everyone, and I feel stronger, so I guess that's a good thing.  Probably won't keep it up after tennis lessons are over, though . . . :-)

What do you do for exercise?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Electronics, Construction, & Embudito Spring

Wes got an electronics kit and has been teaching the boys all about resistors, capacitors, charge, LEDs, current, etc.  They get to attach the wires to the springs where he tells them, and then push the button to make a light go on.  I think the favorite activity was making the circuit go through everyone in our family, so we had to be holding hands for the light to go on.

The kids watched a construction video that showed how houses were made, and they decided they wanted to build something.  So I got out the scrap particle board and they nailed together a small bench.  When the bench fell apart a few days later, they got to use the claw end of the hammer to remove all the nails.

Our latest easy hike was to Embudito Spring; a nice 2 mile hike.  The first part is kind of steep for little kids, but the rest is not so steep.  The trailhead is at the eastern end of Indian School.  We saw lots of cicadas, daddy long legs, stink beetles, and even a diamondback rattlesnake.  He was just laying there on the trail, when Quartz yelled, "Snake!".  We were probably four feet away; I didn't even notice it until Quartz yelled!  Whew.  The little stream was fun and refreshing for little feet, and the rocks were exciting to climb for bigger feet.   We're having fun this summer!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Happy July 4th!

Here's what we did when we weren't eating...

And a little Green River with neighbors...

And then some Fireworks...

And then we ate.  Specifically, I ate my weight in brownies with salted caramel.  Then we continued on with the festivities...

Oh, and texting....let us not forget the all important 4th of July texting tradition....


Someone said "Wingardium Leviosa" and levitated that thing right on out of there.  (Don't you love when I break out my vast Harry Potter knowledge?  I've been memorizing useless information so that we can keep our undefeated streak at trivia night.  I know- it's an exciting life we lead.)

Happy 4th of July!  I'll be back tomorrow and I'll fill you in on our crazy week.

See y'all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flower Girl

We had a great trip up to Utah for my sister's wedding!  Her husband's family is so cool (ALMOST as cool as our family, :-D ), and the reception was beautiful and simple.  We loved the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point -- I was pleasantly surprised by the well-made skeleton dioramas and the plethora of actual fossils on display (trilobites!  crinoids!  stromatolites!).  Next time, though, I'll make sure the kids have a snack BEFORE we go in, because once you go in, there's no place to eat until the very end; it's a very linear museum.  Sapphire got quite cranky.  I took a video of her rolling on the floor yelling "No, no, no, no, no, no, no."  I'm sure someday I'll think it's cute.  :-)

We also got to play mini golf twice.  I think Utah Valley has the highest number of mini golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world.  

Oh, and if you go to Wallaby's in Utah Valley, make sure you go to the one in Lindon.  The one in Provo has no snaggers (sausage), and no nifty down-under decor, though they both have great southern-style barbeque.