Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Join Me in a Blog Hop!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Week in the Life of a SAHM

OK, at least a week in the life of me, as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).  I am told that I am atypical in the sense of the term.  And that very well may be.  By nature (and perhaps a little training), I am a planner.  I do not see how things can get done without plans.  That is not to say that we don't switch things up now and then.  Realistically with children, you have to be ready for anything.  But as a general rule, I plan, and my weeks flow.

K-Man has 2 standard activities.  On MWF, he attends preschool in the mornings, and on MW, he has Tae Kwon Do (TKD) in the evenings.  Mini-Me has 2 activities as well - story hour on W mornings and naptime at 12Noon every day.  Pretty much everything has to float around these, and that includes grocery shopping, laundry, my exercise, kids' doctors appointments, haircuts, my own doctor appointments, etc.  I also like to do something fun with the kids on one day, so it isn't forever errand running with them.  That usually happens on Tuesday or Thursday.  I am always on the hunt new and dun experiences for the them - apple picking, pumpkin farm, museums, parks, etc.

As a result, here's what a typical week looks like:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
7:00 Wakeup --> --> --> --> --> Wakeup
8:00 Breakfast --> --> --> --> --> Breakfast
9:00 Family Time K-Man School Laundry K-Man School K-Man School Family Time
10:00 x Grocery Shop Mini-Me Story Hr x
11:00 Lunch --> --> --> --> --> Lunch
12:00 Mini-Me Nap --> --> --> --> --> Mini-Me Nap
1:00 Football Susan - Exercise --> --> --> Susan - Exercise  
2:00 Football Laundry Cleaning  
3:00 Football  
4:00 Football  
5:00 Football TKD Dinner TKD Dinner Dinner Dinner
6:00 Mini-Me Bed --> --> --> --> --> Mini-Me Bed
7:00 K-Man Bed --> --> --> --> --> K-Man Bed
8:00 Adult time --> Mister-curling --> --> --> Adult time
    Susan - run        

You will notice some spaces that are blank.  Obviously, those are the times I am sitting around eating bon-bons, right?  HA!  Usually it is the afternoon that I leave open.  By the time Mini-Me is awake from nap, it is tough to do much before I need to start preparing dinner.  We fill the time by playing in the playroom or outside if it is nice enough, etc.  This is also when I get things picked up around the house that were displaced in the course of the day.  I tend to make Tuesday my laundry day since Monday and Wednesday are so busy, and I hate making the kids run out for 3 days straight.

The Mister and I have an agreement that weekends are family time - for the most part.  We are big believers in being able to do things outside of that, so sometimes he might take a fishing trip or maybe I head to NYC to see friends.  Normally though it is reserved for working on the house, trips out with the kids, or just general playtime with the kids.  We also are pretty strict about bedtime because, well, where else would we have Adult Time?  He leaves for work at 7am, and isn't home until dinner.  We do need some time to connect with each other, which of course leads to date night.  Again it is not on here, but we do try to swing one about every 2 weeks.  Speaking of which, I think I need to schedule the sitter!

This "basic" schedule doesn't account for me running a race, attending an exercise class, Bunco night or the Mister having a business dinners or an evening out or even the kids having a playdate or birthday party.  Throw visitors into this mix and things really get nuts!  Depending on what days of the week it involves, groceries, laundry, and the other "movables" need to be moved to accommodate.  No guest wants to see or smell a pile of laundry after all.  And odds are they will also need to be fed, so groceries are a must. LOL  The workout may sadly also have to be put on hold - GASP!

In other words, this "stay-at-home-mom" does very little of staying home actually.  We are just as busy as other moms, only our place of work is also our place of play.  Sometimes things get a bit messy.  Am I really as "atypical" as "they" say :)?  What do your days look like?

Monday, October 29, 2012

To Prepare or Not Prepare

We are on the Eve of Halloween Frankenstorm, and the East Coast is in a frenzy, including upstate, inland New York.  It isn't that I don't want to be prepared, but I am torn on just how much really can be done.  I mean, it is a storm.  I have lived through storms.  I was IN a hurricane while in St. Maarten some 13 years ago.  We had zero provisions, were staying in a condo with no power and no water.  Thank goodness for alcohol!  (Oh, come on, you know you checked the liquor cabinet first when the news came out to prepare for Sandy!)   I have also literally laid down in a field as a tornado passed through in case it decided to take anything in its path.  Surely, I have the basics for surviving in my own home.  Right?
Hurrican Lenny (in the eye) 1999 - Dang, we were young!
Now that isn't to say we have done nothing.  I did take most everything off the deck and flip the glass patio table upside down, so that it doesn't become a wind sail.  I decided that our decorative scarecrow out front would better decorate the garage than blow piece by piece through the neighborhood.  That is really just to not provide additional projectiles to the air for all my neighbors though.  Sweet of me, huh?

Hurricane Lenny Aftermath
I guess the biggest concern is what will we do if there is no power and no water.  No power for sure would be the most concerning, as we have the Mini-Me and her whole milk addiction.  Brat - LOL.  As for cooking though, I actually have a gas oven/stove.  And if it isn't raining, I have the gas grill too.  By all rights, cooking shouldn't be an issue unless the gas lines are compromised.  The kids would be content on turkey dogs and chicken tenders anyway.  Both of which are technically fully cooked and could be eaten as is.  Thankfully they are fruit/veggie kids too - bananas, pears, clementines and carrots will have to tide them over.  I think the kids will survive.  The Mister and I might only have beer and wine to drink, since we will generously give the kids the few bottles of water if needed :).

I did go shopping, but for my normal things.  No, I did not go nuts and buy out the bread and water aisle.  I already have plenty of bread in the freezer for one thing, and we likely have enough water to tide us over.  If we felt it was really going to a place of no water, I have an obnoxious amount of liquid containers that we can start filling too.  I will admit to buying 1 gallon of water for the cats.  I figured I should be nice to them, as I house them too!  And really, we might get stingy with our water if things last longer than expected.

Water will be the crappiest (literally) of situations - but what can you do?  We have 4 bathrooms, so if the water goes, I think we will start by using those farthest from the main living area.  At least if it is going to be a stinky (sorry can't help myself!) situation, we can keep it at a distance.

Maybe I am being too blase' (not sure how to make an accent mark, my apologies) on this.  Hopefully, it will very literally all blow right over and life can go on... until the next storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Two Passing Ships

The Mister and I seem to be, that is.  It happens every once in awhile that things are just busy and we are truly like two passing ships.  UGH!  We aren't really doing anything different.  Life just seems to take over, and all of the sudden a week goes by and we have hardly sat down with one another.  It is like our hours are off from one another.

For instance, we had a semi-date night Saturday with the Celtic/Knick game.  EXCEPT that I was running a 5K the following morning at 9:15am.  It sort of puts a damper on the evening festivities.  (And don't even get me started on the pathetic WVU loss!).  Then Sunday, he wanted to get projects done around the house rather than dragging the kids into the cold to see my race.  I get it, but UGH!  Damn compromise stinks.
Jamaica 2010
Then Sunday night is the Steeler game.  Really, did you think I would go to bed?  OK, OK, I was tired enough to fall asleep on the couch and wake up for the handshakes at the win.  But give me some credit - I ran a 5K that AM!  Monday rolls around and we have a presidential debate.  Goodness, this pressure is mounting.  The Mister has his fantasy opponent playing a good player.  So of course, we are up.   Thanks to for the fabulous Debate workout to keep me in the game.  And thank you to his opponent's player for sucking :). 

Tuesdays, the Mister has curling in the winter.  (I did indeed say curling - the old man, bizarre Olympic sport that no one gets.  Who knew there were clubs, right?)  It was great though because not only did I get in an afternoon Crossfit Workout, but also an evening run.  Sadly despite his early 10pm arrival, we still were like ships passing in the night.  So here we are awaiting Thursday morning - except now I have a Moms' Night Out dinner in the evening.

Ugh, so here it will be Friday before we actually have time for connection.  Saturday is a kids' birthday party and Sunday starts football all over again.  I hate weeks like this.  Jamaica can't come soon enough!   I am anxious for uninterrupted time alone with this man!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Woot! An Award & Nominations

I've been nominated for the Liebster Award (German for favorite) by Brooke at The Pursuit of Healthy
Here are the Rules:
- Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
- They must also answer 11 questions the tagger has set for them.
- They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
- They must then choose 11 bloggers to tag with less than 200 followers.
- These lucky bloggers must be told.
- There are NO TAG BACKS.
11 Things About Me
1. I am a coal miner's daughter.
2. My first job was in the coal mine as an Industrial Engineer.
3. I believe in Feng Shui.
4. I am a diehard Pittsburgh Steeler fan.
5. I have 2 sisters, 1 is 6 years older and 1 is 6 years younger.
6. My husband and I met in a bar - there, I said it :oP!
7. I have traveled to 28 of the 50 states.
8. My favorite word is ominous.  I don't know why, just sounds cool.
9. I organize the shirts in my closet by the colors of the rainbow.
10. My mom is my inspiration for healthy living.
11. I live for mail! 
Questions from Brooke
1. What is your biggest challenge with food?
Snacking when bored
2. What is your favorite food?
Hungarian Cabbage Rolls
3. Do you have children?
2 - son 4 1/2 and daughter 14 months
4. Do you speak any other languages?
Not fluently.  I can get by traveling in Spanish or Italian speaking countries though.
5. How do you manage to eat healthier while eating out?
I choose options with less sauces or fried components.  That isn't tough though because my palate has come to a place that I don't really want them anyway!
6. Who has been the most supportive person in your life?
This is tough because I think you lean on different support systems throughout the various phases of your life. 
7. What is your favorite genre of music?
8. How long have you been blogging?
5 Years
9. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging strictly as a way to connect to family while we were raising our son, who is now 4 1/2. The families didn’t use MySpace or Facebook, nor did I, so this was the easiest way for me to share. With the advent of more and more internet social sites, I haven’t found blogging for the family connection quite as necessary. I started using it as an outlet for myself really. The blog evolved into Susan Today because that was what I would write about, whatever was on my mind that day. I talk about things that I would talk about with my friends.
10. Your all time favorite blog to read:
11. What is your favorite season?

Questions from Me
 1. Are you a sports fan?  If so, which sport & what teams?
2. What is your 3 most favorite words? (thanks, Rants from Mommyland)
3. What was your first job?
4. What is your favorite song to exercise to?
5.  If you could travel to anywhere, where would it be?
6. What is your least favorite cleaning activity?
7. How many US states have you been to?
8. Do you have a favorite adult beverage, and what is it?
9.  Who inspires you to be healthy?
10. How much television do you watch?
11. What one food could you not live without?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - You like me, you really like me!

Details to follow tomorrow! Thanks Brooke at The Pursuit of Healthy for the Nomination!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crossfit Rocks!

A week ago, I decided to try developing a "crossfit" program for myself.  I love to run, but know I need some upper body, etc too.  So how is it going you might ask?  I LOVE it.  And really I meant that in caps.  I decided to simply repeat my schedule seen here: Crossfit Workout.  I won't rest 2 days, I don't think.  But never say never!

Day 1, I alternated a 1/2 mile run with 50 pushups, 3x.  At the end, I added an extended run so that my workout lasted 30 minutes.   I did this workout again today.  I try to do at least 1/2 of each of the pushup sets on my toes, and the other in the girly position :).  By the end of each set of 50, the arms are getting wobbly, but it feels good!

Day 2, I alternated a 1/4 mile run with 50 squats, 4x.  I liked this one because I could do the squats right on the treadmill.  But I am thinking about upping the run to 1/2 mile and only doing 3 sets.  I need to focus tomorrow on squeezing that butt while doing the squat.  I don't think I did my best effort last week.

Post Race 30 min 30 sec!!
Day 3, was a varied routine - 60 walking lunges, 20 pushups, 30 box jumps, and 20 tricep dips, then the 1/4 mile run, 2x.  I have already decided that I prefer the run at the beginning.  It just seems to flow better for me, maybe because I add a run to the end.

Day 4, alternating 1/4 mile with 50 situps, 3x.  I changed this right away to crunches.  I am bad with situps and end up pulling on my neck - not good.  On the second set of them, I did alternating oblique crunches, then regular on the final set.  I think that I might up the mileage on this set too.  1/4 mile just doesn't seem enough.  However, that day, I didn't add a run to the end.  Instead, I did a 5 mile run in the evening.  That was AWESOME - farthest distance ever.  I think I will do this on nights when my husband has business.  Basically, I won't add a run to the end of whichever set, but do a distance run in the evening.  Something to look forward to.  And yes, I have a sickness. :P

Day 5 & 6 - I ended up resting for various reasons.  I totally intended to do one or the other, but it just didn't happen.

Day 7 - 5K - ended up with my personal record on an outdoor run, 30 minutes and 30 seconds.  Woot!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's Look in the Fridge

When we moved to NY, we had to get a new fridge.  Unfortunately, the only stainless-ish one from GE with the water dispenser on the outside was a side-by-side.  Yes, we had to buy GE.  We get too good a discount to pass it up.  Anyway, I have NEVER liked it.  I feel like it is forever overcrowded.  It was brought to my attention that it is "messy" again today, so let's evaluate what is in it and why.

Top shelf - fresh milk from the dairy delivered yesterday.  We get 4 bottles every Friday, so that pretty much overwhelms the top shelf until you use some up.  We have to have 1% for the K-man and adults and whole milk for the Mini-Me.

2nd shelf - This is the most eye-level shelf, and tends to be the most frequently used/transient items.  Today, it is loaded with the following: 

3 2 types of salsa (throw out partial)
a container with 1 mozzarella ball (really?)
2 hummus
kosher dill midgets
6 greek yogurt
1 bottle of water (enough on door)
1bottle of beer (hello beer fridge in garage)
coffee creamer
pizza sauce
sour cream
can of pineapples (doesn't need to be there)
leftover chili from 2 weeks ago (ick)
cottage cheese
leftover coconut milk (not sure how long this lasts)
3rd shelf - This shelf is for things that Kyle can reach.  Right now it is housing:
2 lunchables way in the back
a bowl of clementines
salsa chicken
turkey dogs (need to be flash frozen and put away)
Small drawer - We use this pretty exclusively for meats and cheeses.
3 bags shredded cheese
deli ham
string cheese
American cheese
unfrozen yogurt sticks
4th shelf - This shelf is awkward with little space.
2 containers of eggs
leftover pizza
english muffins (should fit in bread drawer)
whole wheat bagels way in the back (will replace the near empty drawer ones)
ham (will be in roaster after I type)
Large drawer 1 - Our fruit and vegetable drawer currently holds:
Large drawer 2 - We keep breads in the fridge so they last longer.

2 1 partial packages hot dog buns (no need for both)
hamburger buns
white wheat bread
mini whole wheat bagels
raisin toast
Door - This is where things get ugly.  We have more condiments than most people knew existed.  From the top down, here is the list:
First compartment - butter sticks and spreadable, cream cheese
2nd shelf - Dirty martini mix, kalamata olives, 2 soy, teriakyi, minced garlic, cocktail sauce (rarely used), peppercinis, spicy mustard, horseradish, jerk sauce (rarely used), steak sauce

3rd shelf - 2 salad dressings, mustard, relish, ketchup, tarragon vinegar (but I like it cold!), BBQ sauce, Red Hot
4th shelf - Worchestershire sauce (doesn't need refrigerated, who knew?), dill slices, Mayo, chocolate syrup, spicy relish
5th shelf - 4 3 water bottles (don't need all), lemon juice, green olives
I marked through what I felt could be removed for sure. But I have an internal debate with myself on the door stuff. When you need cocktail sauce, it is there, and it hasn't reached its date. Do you keep or throw out? And yes, it is open. Then there are the things I like cold - tarragon vinegar (for my salads), etc. It doesn't have to be refrigerated, but I prefer it that way. Surprise, there are some things that apparently don't require refrigeration after opening too.

Throught this little analysis, I am making some headway.  Looks a little better now, huh?  I think I might do the pantry next.  Stay tuned :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

And Then...

I had all these grand plans for the day.  There was an open play time at a local gymnastics center, then a story thing at the local Science Center.  All were within miles of one another, so sure, I could do it all.  Of course, the kids were probably thinking home would be awesome since M-W are so busy and we had company.  But NO - Mom had a plan. 

The plan quickly went awry when I didn't leave the house before 9:41AM.  Then, we follow Ms. GPS to get somewhere we actually could have gone on an easier route.  Ms. GPS's route was significantly more effort!  As we are getting closer to our destination, I am thinking, "Hmm.  Maybe we better make sure we lock the doors."  Or "Please don't let me have to stop at any lights."  Now anyone that knows me, knows I am not skittish, but we were not meant to be in the part of town we were. 

They did enjoy some parts of the morning!
So, we took plan B - Science Center.  Thankfully, they were very accommodating and let us in early despite it being technically closed.  That was cool because the kids basically had the run of the exhibits for 30 minutes prior to the story time.  EXCEPT that there is probably a reason they do the story time RIGHT AS SOON AS they open, then let the kids free.  Mine didn't really want to go sit and listen to a story.  Mini-Me was a T-E-R-R-O-R, and I wasn't even remotely attempting to keep her still.  4 Teeth coming in at the same time is apparently not fun.  Then, K-man turns to me at roughly page 4 in the story and says "Mom, do you know what my feet smell like?"  Ummm... Shoot me!  Needless to say, we left story hour early.  Daddy came to the rescue and entertained us for lunch.  Breather.

But wait, did I mention that I also signed us all up for flu vaccines today?  When I go for it, I really go for it!  The boy and I were lucky enough to do the nasal one.  Despite the live virus factor that wigs me out, I do like the less preservatives (thanks for that tidbit Lawyer friend!).  Mini-Me was unfortunate though and had to have the real shot, and still needs a follow up :(.  Mom had lollipops on the ready and crying was quickly averted.  We ended on a high note though.  I took them to the playground as a reward for the days' missteps.

I scored big myself too with a personal distance record.  5 miles in 50 minutes.  Too bad the playlist ran out!  I had to actually play 1 song part way through a second time, just to finish!

No More Afternoon Spark

No, that wasn't some euphemism for after nooky :-P.  I mean my Advocare Spark.  I love this stuff, and typically only drink the mandarin orange (tastes like Tang, I swear!) in the morning.  But today was a rough day, and I thought what the heck!  I drank a second one around 1PM.  It is really only an energy drink.  Apparently, this mama doesn't need that much help in that department.  That explains why you see this post at 1:25AM.  I don't have much caffiene in a day - often Spark only, so extra sends my poor system into a tizzy.  Really though, the stuff rocks and you basically get your multivitamin too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Eating Enough to Lose Weight

Weird concept, huh?  But I am pretty darn sure this is my problem.  Almost exactly 1 year ago, I started a Boot Camp Challenge.  Part of the challenge was keeping a food log.  My caloric intake rarely ever met the suggested number I should reach, with the low end being 1297.  The biggest issue for me is what they deem "lean protein".  I am not a vegetarian or anything, but very rarely do I have a taste for meat, period.  And when I do, it is usually something more like a steak - a really good steak.  Yes, I am sighing right now ;oP

For instance, so far today, I had a Greek yogurt for breakfast.  I might have had more, but honestly barely remembered in time for that!  Check out the Yoplait version, by the way.  I have found it has much less sugars than others.  Then for lunch, I had homemade haluski.  Yep!  That is my Hungarian coming out.  I love cabbage.  I tried to find a recipe online that was healthy to no avail, so here is my version.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c egg noodles (or 1 serving of noodles of your choosing)
1/4 cabbage (no measurement actually .25 of a cabbage head)
1/2 small onion
1/4 c water
garlic salt to taste
  • Boil noodles according to directions - usually 6-8 minutes. 
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat, add cabbage, onion,  and 1/4 c water.  Stir and cover while noodles are boiling.  Stir periodically.
  • Drain noodles and add to cabbage mix.  Season with garlic salt.  Cook an additional 5 minutes covered. 
Doesn't sound horrible, right?  Well, unless you dislike cabbage, then nevermind.  The thing is that the whole meal is only around 300 calories and 8 grams of protein.  Breakfast was only 110 calories and another 8 grams of protein.  This is probably less than 1/3 the calories and protein I really need to balance my exercise and allow my body to process what it needs, plus drop weight.  UGH!  I feel like I have to eat ALL DAY LONG to make this goal. 

That would be fine if I could find things that I want to eat all day long.  It isn't like I want bad things (not all the time anyway!) like chips and pretzels.  I don't drink soda or anything.  What I really want is an orange, an apple, grapes, carrots, or cheese. Another sigh - I love cheese.  Which reminds me!  I did have a snack of cheese today.  See!  I forgot!  (Sorry to say, ladies, but pregnancy having kids seriously does this to you.)  Anyway, I had 2 slices of provolone, so add 200 more calories and 14g protein, criminy!  That looks a little better I suppose.  Sorry, I got sidetracked... what I was getting is that my other choices account for very little in calories or protein.  Would it be bad to compensate missed caloric intake with wine or pumpkin beer?  LOL

The problem is that by getting my protein through dairy, I am also taking on more fat than I would having, let's say, a piece of chicken.  Just those 2 slices of cheese accounts for 16 grams of fat.  EEK!  My previous sigh has now become a little gag.  According to various calculators for fat intake, I can eat anywhere between 46 and 67 g, but still!  What tips and tricks do you use to increase your calories without having to go to the darkside of food?  My Jingle Not Jiggle gals are counting on me to do my part in our weight loss challenge.  We want those prizes from Mama Laughlin!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workout Menu

I thought I might try something new with my workouts.  I have tried very hard to like Jillian Michaels.  But Friday was my last foray into her world, I am afraid.  I attempted her Yoga Meltdown.  While the exercises were par for what I like in yoga, I have decided it is her that I JUST DON'T LIKE.  That stinks for me because the results from the 30 Day Shred were great.

A few friends have recommended other instructors, which I still may try.  However, this week, I am going to attempt a crossfit workout of my own choosing.  Thanks to a couple great sites provided from a running mate, I have a list of things I can try that incorporate the running too.  I have chosen my exercises for the week, mixing them up a bit, just like I do with our weekly dinner menu.  I figure that if the exercises don't take a full 30 minutes, I will just run more at the end.  I will plan one day off on the weekend and one to run the entire 30 minutes, as well.  Wish me luck!

Run 800 M (1/2 mile) - 50 Push-Ups - 3 Rounds
Run 400 Meters - 50 Squats - 4 Rounds
30 Walking Lunges - 20 Push-Ups - 400 M Run - 30 Box Jumps - 20 Dips - 400 M Run
50 sit-ups - 400 M run or sprint or walk - 3 Rounds
Run 400 Meters - 50 Squats - 4 Rounds

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Planning This Week's Menu

I was completely lax on the menu last week.  As a result, we had a strange conglomeration of meals.  This week, I am determined to get back on track.  Our biggest issue is K-man has Tae Kwon Do at 5:15 on Monday and Wednesday.  Since this happens every week, a standard meal would be nice, but then again, I don't want the exact same meal each week.  The Mister and I discussed it last night and decided that Mondays would be Breakfast for Dinner night and Wednesday could be Pasta/Italian Night.  Both lend to a little leeway, but are easy-peasy. 

I never plan Saturday.  That is our family day typically, so we roll with whatever is happening.  In the summer, it might be grilling out.  Sometimes we eat out if we are already out with the kids.  You get the idea.  Sundays are semi-planned in the fall because of football season.  We like to do an all day sort of meal, one that can be lunch and dinner.  So far, we have done chili twice and shrimp/coconut soup.  Today will be the Italian Feast - fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and proscuitto.  I think I might have to pick up some olives while I am out, too!

Here's how the rest of the week is shaping up.  With the new M/W concept in mind, I think I see the month menu taking form too. 
Monday -Breakfast for Dinner
French Toast - One of my favorites because leftovers are flash frozen.  Pop them in the toaster for french toast any day of the week.
Clean The Fridge Night - The Mister is won't be joining us for dinner, so the kids and I are going to use up whatever is left in the fridge :).
Pasta in Tomato/Sausage Sauce
Five Spice Chicken with Rice & Vegetables
Homemade Pizza - Usually sausage and whatever veggies are left over in the fridge
Homemade Pizza Tips
  • I buy dough from the bakery of my grocery store.  Most offer a wheat version too, which I tend to sneak in use.  The Mister isn't as big of a fan of it, but he works with me. 
  • I make my own sauce using the small cans of plain tomato sauce from the store.  Just empty the can into a storage container, and add whatever spices you prefer to taste.  I usually do basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper with a dash of sugar to cut the acidity. 
  • Use VERY little sauce.  One small can might last 3-4 pizzas!  I like to use a silicone basting brush to spread it over the dough.
  • Toppings don't necessarily need to be cooked prior to baking the pizza.  If using something tougher like broccoli, I might soften it a bit in a steamer.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.
Off to make the grocery list.  Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Running shoes, that is!  It was roughly 1 year ago when I started my shed-the-baby-weight-loss project.  Actually, I started more around 6 weeks post-partum, but this is the anniversary of starting Boot Camp with Make It Fit.  That was an experience and truly a great one for me.  I hadn't worked that hard since Rudy Marisa's basketball camp at Waynesburg College.  I was 13!  Seriously, this was a workout like none other.  Not to mention waking up at 5AM to go so that the Mister could still be here in case the kids woke.

Anyway, back to the point.  I went to the first day of Boot Camp in my Sketchers Shape Ups.  It was the only pair of tennis shoes I owned.  Don't judge!  I have a high arch and trouble finding something comfortable, but these worked fine for me for the last year of Stroller Strides.  Drill Sargeant Mel wasn't impressed though and was a little concerned for my balance during Plyometric type exercises.  So off to Fleet Feet, I went.  I was still fighting that summer into fall shoe thing, and stupidly wore sandals into the store.  They probably thought I was mildly dumb.  To be fair, they would have been right.  Prego brain was still rampant in my body at 8 weeks PP. 

I explained what I would be using the shoe for, how often I would be wearing them, etc.  They sized me and I tried a zillion on - all with a baby in the stroller and a toddler racing around the store.  Thank goodness, they were patient!  I ended up with a pair of Nike shoes.   This was surprising to me, as I haven't worn that brand in a very long time.  Of course, it might be because I was trying the wrong size or that you can rarely find a shoe store with this type of attention to the customer.  There I was though, leaving with a shiny new pair of shoes.

Flash forward to 1 year later though, and oops!  I am still wearing that shoe.  That probably wouldn't be a big deal, if I hadn't started running in February 2012, when we bought a treadmill.  The shoes weren't technically a running shoe in the first place.  Since February, I would guess I average around 3 miles a day, 3 days a week.  In roughly 36 weeks, that means I have logged around 324 miles, not including the 6 months prior with bootcamp and other workouts!  So, after this weekend's 5K, I am hanging up these running shoes.  But only because Mama DESERVES a new pair!  Bye, Bye Old Friends!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


My mind is super scattered today!  I have started a new challenge with Mama Laughlin's Fit Camp.  It is essentially a biggest loser type thing.  We are grouped into teams of 4, and we report weight weekly.  I think it runs through Christmas, which is great for me, since I have a trip with the Mister planned.  In the meantime, though, I also am mentally/physically preparing for an upcoming 5K on Saturday, thinking about my son's wardrobe for tomorrow's picture day, wanting to watch the VP debate tonight and the Steeler game, thinking it would be nice to get the kid's outside, etc, etc.

Can you see the problem?!

Crud!  And in the middle of typing this, I just realized it is 2:30PM and I haven't eaten lunch.  Seriously, today is an ADD day if there ever was one.  I have never been diagnosed with it, but it is what I imagine it must feel like.  So, instead of boring you with my extremely scattered thoughts, I thought I would share with you some blogs that I discovered yesterday through my new challenge group:

Krazy Cutie - HYSTERICAL!

Lots of Words Little Thought - Inspirational for those losing weight

Poisoned Perception - Just Real

Off to eat "Lunch"!  Happy Reading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Dance in the Rain

Especially if it keeps coming!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fashion 2012 - or is this 1985?

In roughly 1985, my favorite outfit consisted of a long purple sweater with a huge diamond on the front.  The sweater fit over my butt, from memory to maybe even mid-thigh.  I wore a collared shirt under it, so that the collar showed and a pair of leggings in whatever color was clean and matched.  The shoes were yellow gold ballet slipper flats.  Can someone PLEASE explain why I am all of the sudden able to buy this outfit in its entirety TODAY in 2012?

Back then, it maybe looked okay on me, but to be fair I hadn't exactly developed a womanly body yet.   I honestly am not sure I even had my first bra yet.  After all, I was only 11.  Yes, I am dating myself, for good reason.  While shopping for clothes, this style is everywhere.  It isn't just in the juniors or young girl's where it belongs.  Oh no!  It is right smack in the clothes that are supposed to be my size - Misses.  I hate that name by the way.  I really don't know where my aversion comes from - I just don't like it.  Maybe because I associate Misses with the Alfred Dunner clothes that my paternal grandmother wore.  She is not to be confused with my Gap Grandma, who never shopped in Misses if I remember correctly.  By Gap, I do mean she bought all her clothes in places like the Gap.

I am getting off track though.  The problem with the skinny jeans/leggings look going on in the Misses' Department is that when that is nearly all there is, guess what?  Someone thinks they should buy it!  If you are rail thin without hips or a chest, hey - go for it.  But when you are in a 34G and hips to match from having 2 babies, maybe, just maybe, it is time to say NO.  Actually, let me retract that, I am not entirely sure that even the rail thin should wear this look.  Then they look, well, rail thin!  Could I just please have a decent cut of jean with a slight flare, not a bottom leg opening wide enough to accommodate my 2 children?  Doesn't anyone watch What Not to Wear?  You have to balance hips not put on the skinny jeans!  And the big baggy sweater look is so not appealing on a me.  I have a thin waist, which is lost in all the material.  From chest to hips, I then look all the same width.  Not attractive, let me assure you.

I just want a cute top that I can wear out on a date with the Mister.  I don't want to look like I am trying to be 16 or that I bought from the 70+ section.  Can anyone else relate?

Monday, October 8, 2012

How much is TOO much?

K-Man is a big 4 1/2 year old.  At last visit, he was 48 lbs and 45 inches tall.  He is by all accounts a good eater.  We rarely have to coax him to finish a meal, and he likes a variety though perhaps a bit of a purist (not too much mixed up).  The only things he isn't interested in is steak - his loss - and peanut butter - my loss.  Lately though, I find he wants to eat ALL THE TIME.  I am struggling with how much is ok to let him eat.

K-Man is not in danger of being overweight or anything, but I think that it can become a bad habit to snack all day long.  Plus I am not genuinely sure he is hungry as much as bored.  Today is a prime example.  He woke at 7:30AM.  He had 1/2 a whole wheat mini-bagel with cream cheese, 1 slice of raisin toast with cream cheese, a gogurt, a clementine and a glass of milk.  THEN still had a cereal bar within an hour or so.  I calculated that up minus the cereal bar and breakfast was 365 calories and 15g of protein.  That is a little under 20% of what he should have for calories and more than 75% of the protein recommended by the CDC.  I don't think that was unreasonable.  Add in the cereal bar and he shouldn't be "starving" at 10:30AM. 

I get tired of telling him, "No, you don't need another snack", or "You just ate dinner", etc, etc.  I also feel a little bad.  What if he is REALLY hungry?  Maybe he is growing and needs much more than the suggested 1400 calories a day.  And no, I am not counting them regularly.  I am crazy, but not that crazy.  I only know because my buddy, Google, told me when I asked today what was "normal" for a 4-5 year old.  When he asks for the 8th time in an hour, I offer a fruit or something healthy.  I figure if he is really hungry, anything will do at that point.  Honestly, he almost always does take it.  For goodness sake, he chose raw cauliflower yesterday because he said he was hungry and that was my offer.  Tell me how many 4 year olds would?!

I would like to hope that I am not the only mom or dad out there trying to decide how much food is the right amount for their kids.  Do you have tips on how you handle the constant barrage of "can I have a snack" or "I'm hungry"?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fantasy Football - not my fantasy!

I resisted the temptation to join a fantasy football league for many years.  Then I caved!  After all, it was The League of Extraordinary Mommies (aka Feb08 Moms) who were getting together.  I liked the idea of being in a league with all women, ones that KNOW football and plan their weekends in the fall around it!  The only thing that could make it better is if we were all more local to one another.

The problem is that my issues about fantasy football still exist no matter how much I like those in my league.  I am a Steelers fan.  Some might call me diehard, that isn't quite strong enough a word though.  The concept of fantasy is that you draft players from whichever team to create your "dream team" that supposedly should win it all.  You get points based on them as individuals.  Except A.  I wouldn't really want these players on my team even if they were free agents.  I still would want the guys that play for my Steelers.  (Yes, i said my, I  told you I am fanatic right?).  I don't like these players, and I don't want to watch them or root for them, particularly if they are playing the Steelers.  And B.  They divide my attention from the only game I care about, and surely that karma could affect the Steelers...  Ok, yes, that part is crazy, but not any different really then thinking that a certain seat in your house affects their outcome.  I mean, I don't go that far, unless they are losing ;0).

As a result. I am really not very good at this game of fantasy football.  It isn't that I draft all the Steelers' players because other people think they are worthy of their teams too.  I just don't care enough, and I have a good team!  For goodness sake, I have Brady and RGIII as my quarterbacks.  Who else has to decide between two 30 point players each week as the starter?  Despite that, I am only 1 and 3 on the season it 3rd in most points scored.  My competitors have just scored that much more.  At not even halfway through the season, I already feelings enthusiasm flagging.  I am afraid this just might be my last season.  I need to focus my attention where it should be - on my children, the Steelers.  Now where is my lucky Terrible Towel?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crafty Day 2

Has anyone guessed yet that the Mister is out of town on business?  Really, how else could I ever get these things done?  Don't get me wrong, he supports craftiness and all, but my evenings are devoted to couple time when he is home.  Right now, they are devoted to bad chick movies, fun, self-serving projects and the occasional glass (or 2) of wine.

After building my burlap jewelry organizer, I realized I still needed to do something with my bracelets and rings.  I have a TON of bracelets though and admit to a slight obsession. I went to my trusty Google Images again and found The DIY List 's version using beer bottles. It was originally from another site Decoratrix, but I can't locate it directly there being that the site is in Spanish. Not for a lack of trying though! I did search the Spanish word for bracelet (pulsera) to no avail. Back to the VERY simple solution of using a clean beer bottle to house your bracelets.  Beer bottles are always aplenty here thanks to NY State's 5 cent deposit.  We have to get our money back!   This project was done in no time!  Pick which bottles you like best, remove labels if you want, rinse and dry, add bracelets.  All and all, a very productive 30 minutes.

My Google friend also helped me come up with my final jewelry project, at least for now.  Thanks SO much to the I Am Never Naked blogger!  I LOVED your idea of using a bobbin rack, which by the way I didn't even know existed!  As an FYI, it is simply as it sounds, a rack for holding sewing bobbins.  There are 2 inner posts that are now covered in ribbon that actually fold out to allow it to stand.  Finding the little rack was more challenging than the rest of the project, but I did it.  In case you have a crazy amount of rings, they also make really big bobbin racks.  JoAnn Fabrics had the biggest selection of these, and thankfully I was able to verify the availability at my local store online and I had coupons :).  While I was there, I also picked up the cute 5x7 frame for just $3.00 with the other coupon.  I used a few different techniques than recommended again.  I chose spraypainting of the rack, for one.  There are lots of little grooves on this thing, plus getting the entire peg covered.  I also opted for wood glue versus hot glue, but I have a "carpenter" in my house.  We have all that stuff already!  And finally, I added a little of the ribbon used on my other project to the centers of the rack, just because.  I think this is by far my favorite jewelry organizing piece.  I will have a big reveal of all the pieces together on the next Wordless Wednesday :).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Doctors Appts & Kids

The other night, I couldn't sleep.  That isn't particularly normal for me because the kids wear-me-out.  While I laid there though, I started thinking that I haven't had my yearly exam at the yuck doctor, a mammogram, a physical with my family doctor and maybe I should really consider a skin scan with a dermatologist.  Not exactly light thoughts at this time of night.  The problem with all of these appointments is that they require various stages of undressed time.  Realistically, my children see me like this all the time, but being poked or prodded by the doctor might not sit well with them.  Mini-Me didn't even like when the hairdresser laid my chair back to wash my hair!  My husband is more than accommodating when I have things like this, but we are talking 4 appointments, most likely longer visits as well.  Scheduling them at a time that he can manage the kids around conference calls becomes the new challenge. 

When we first moved to NY, there was this place called Maui Playcare.  It was basically a drop-off daycare service.  I think it was $8 an hour for the first child, and they had to be 18 months or 2 years.  I can't completely remember because sadly, it has since closed.  However, it was FABULOUS for the few times I needed it.  It was completely secure, had all sorts of activity areas and the kids got socialization while you did whatever you had to do.  I don't even think the kids had to be potty trained to use their services.  I can't figure out what their downfall was.  The location was decent, though I don't think many people knew it was there, or what it was.  The only thing I can figure is marketing.  They really needed to partner with all the hair salons, spas, dentists and doctors in the area.  Those are the places you can't take the kids, or maybe just don't want to.    Sigh, how I miss that place! 

I have 2 options left now.  My regular sitter is in high school, so she can't help in the day.  I either forgo my health check-ups, which isn't really an option with breast cancer and melanoma in the family history.  For that matter, it shouldn't be an option regardless of health history!  I know lots of us do it, but moms still need to take care of themselves or they won't be able to take care of the kiddos!!  That leaves the darling Mister to stay home for 3-4 mornings while I take care of my business.  Well, at least I could do it on a day that the K-Man is at school, then he only has Mini-Me to tend to, but I am sure there will have to be some AHEM... trade-offs :P.  Guess I am off to make some phone calls.  Don't forget to make yours too!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Menu Monday

Another blogging friend of mine posted her menu for the week, reminding me that it is time to get back in the swing!  Of course this is another atypical week as we have guests coming in for part of it.  Oh well, still have to plan to eat, right?  I am keeping it simple this week as I already grocery shopped without actually considering the menu - not my most brilliant move.  Sadly, that means it might not be my most healthy meal plan either! 

But now that I am sitting down considering this week, I will finish out the month to share with you in the upcoming weeks.  I usually try to make a different meat each night and a meatless meal.  We reserve Fridays for homemade pizza night, which works great when we couple that with Date Night.  What sitter can't throw the pizza in for 12 minutes?  Of course, I shouldn't say that because I did have that sitter who managed to melt my plastic steaming pot by using it on my gas stove.  Did I mention that she had a degree in bio-medical engineering?  Common sense and book smarts do not go hand in hand obviously.  Oh and she no longer sits for us either.  Not because she did this, but because she then put the pot into my dishwasher and never told me! 

Anyway, Mini-Me doesn't eat certain things yet, which explains the need for the sides I include.  Thankfully both kiddos love their veggies.  Please don't be horrified... it will get better :}

Monday - Pork chops, mac n cheese and green beans
Tuesday - Chicken Satay from Jillian Michaels (trying for the first time), rice and carrots
Wednesday - Pizza out at our favorite spot, Primavera Pizza
Thursday - Eggplant Parmesan straight from my garden, with pasta for the side and for the kids
Friday - Chow Mein Casserole

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cram of chicken
1 c celery chopped (optional)
1 c onion
1/4 c soy
1 c rice
1 c water
Chow mein noodles
Brown and drain ground beef.  Mix all ingredients except noodles into 9x11 pan and cover with foil.  Bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees.  Add noodles to top.   Continue baking 10 more minutes.

Hope your Monday has great prospects!