Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A-traveling we go...

The amount of preparation involved in taking 3 kids along on a 3 day trip is just mind-boggling. We're taking a little mini-vacation tomorrow to Louisville to stay in a hotel with a pool, see the zoo, do some shopping, and visit friends.

For a little more sanity, I've made a list of stuff to not forget, plus I've printed out hotel, zoo, restaurant, mall and movie info to save some time when we arrive at these locations. Packing 2 bags for the girls, 2 for the baby, and 2 for us, plus a pool bag and miscellaneous bag with snacks, extra shoes, etc. And we have to bring the Pack-n-Play for Zach to sleep in.

I've been spending all day catching up laundry, dishes, and packing us up. I can see why some folks with young kids don't get out much--it's just so much work!

I did manage to get in a shower, then a 15 min segment of Pilates, 8 min abs and 8 min arms, and 8 min stretching. The girls did some of the exercises with me. It's entertaining just watching them.

Looking forward to a few days with the family, hoping we'll have a fairly relaxing, smooth trip. See you all next week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wellness mantra 3

"Fruits and vegetables are our friends."

None of us are eating enough fresh fruits and veggies, especially my girls. Well, fruits they like, but you'd think I was serving them p**p on a plate if I put broccoli in front of them. McDonald's french fries are NOT a vegetable, children!

Therefore, I've made a veggie chart for them with pictures of 7 different veggies to try, and each time they try one, they get a sticker. Whoever gets 5 stickers, gets a $5 gift at the Dollar Store. So far, Megan has 4 and Zoe has 2. Hopefully this will continue to inspire more veggie eating.

I am also eating the veggies right along with them--larger servings of course. I have a goal of eating at least one fruit or veggie with each meal, and increase that as I can. We can't rely on just multi-vitamins for our nutrients. We should strive to get most of what we need from our diet, then supplement that with vitamins.

I want us to re-familiarize ourselves with our produce departments, farmers' markets, or fruit stands. Get out there and get some fresh produce and eat away! Keep it as close to natural state as you can--steamed, blanched, raw, gently roasted. You can fill your plate with broccoli and it won't make you fat--promise! As long as you don't smother it with cheese :)

What are some of your favorite fruits and veggies?

Temptations and other thoughts

Over the weekend, on a semi-business trip to Evansville, we were given a big gift basket full of sweet goodies from the Great Harves Bread Company. It's sitting on my dining room table, tempting me. So far, I've had 1/2 a brownie, 1/2 a giant snickerdoodle, a small piece of strawberry shortcake bread, and some Groovy Granola. I've decided I'll stick only with the Groovy Granola, because it seems the healthiest choice, since it has oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, craisins, and other healthy stuff. When you sprinkle it on a single scoop of ice cream, it's really good...also good plain as well.

My blueberry muffins have been tempting me. I'm the only muffin eater here apparently, so it's hard to see yummy muffins go to waste. I'm limiting myself to one in the morning and one in the afternoon with some green tea for a snack.

Portion control is another thing I'm working on. Eating most everything on a smaller plate, making sure to dish it out in the kitchen and take it away to eat it, so I'm not tempted with seconds.

Eating slowly and thoughtfully is helpful, chewing each bite well and savoring flavors and textures. Allows time for my stomach to signal to my brain that I'm satisfied before I'm over-filled.

Sodas--I've been drinking almost exclusively diet sodas (mostly Diet Rite in recent years), but I had gotten a habit of drinking 2 cans a day. Cutting that back to one can, and even no cans on some days, replacing the soda with some skim milk.

Trying to shoot for a goal of not eating past 7:00 or 7:30 pm, unless I'm just really hungry. Brushing my teeth in the evenings after dinner may help with that.

Need to prioritize the exercise, preferably in the mornings, before kids are stirring too much. Need to stop procrastinating as I sit in front of the computer and drink coffee. Maybe make the coffee wait until after I exercise. Would be a reward of sorts, maybe.

Thinking I need to work on my backside and thighs--too much jiggling and gravity going on there. Going to check out my Pilates DVD to see if there are targeting exercises tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wellness mantra 2

"Get in gear and move your rear!"

I've never been athletic and don't even like to sweat. Yet, I know that moving my body will make it stronger and give me more energy. Apart from chasing my kiddos (which is a kind of exercise in itself), I'm not much into routine exercise. Plus, it's difficult to get out and head to a gym or health club, etc, so I have to be creative and exercise at home.

So, I'm trying to fit that into my day. I have a new beginner Pilates DVD and tried that this morning, along with 8 min arms and abs. Not good at the pilates yet. I did the first 8 minute beginners' segment. I'm going to have to practice a lot to develop the range of movement needed to be successful at that :)

I don't want to get bored and burned out, so my goal is to move my rear most days of the week, and vary it up with walking, treadmill, videos, and even just playing with the girls. From the little I've done the past few weeks, I can already tell a small difference in tightness and energy.

Alright now, ladies, the goal is not supermodel or bodybuilder bodies here, just more energy, strength and flexibility. Tell me how you move your rear!

Blueberry muffins

The great things about growing your own blueberries: super yummy, super nutritious.

The not-so-great things: I've got tons of berries, which means I'm making tons so nutritious treats out of them :)

This morning, it was blueberry muffins. I've tried many recipes, and like a lot of things I've tried before, leave it to Alton Brown, celebrity chef of Food Network, to come up with THE recipe that finally worked! I'll share the link with you. The pic, by the way, isn't from this recipe, just one I found online. The actual muffins looked even better than these.

Here's the link. Alton Brown's Blueberry Muffins

If you're lucky, since I have quite the abundance of blueberries this year, I may show up at random people's houses with a batch of these :) To avoid eating too many (I did have only one, plus one bite of Meg's), I'd say you could freeze them, and take them out to warm as needed. Would be a great weekend guest recipe.

P.S.--Get yourself a kitchen scale if you haven't got one already to use for the flour measuring. Scales are great for many recipes.

First evaluation

To try to stay on track and hold myself accountable, I'm going to evaluate my progress (or lack thereof) here fairly often.


Breakfast--One cinnamon roll, coffee, orange juice

Lunch-- mixed fajitas at the local Mexican place, along with Diet Coke and only a couple bites of the beans and rice on the side.

Snack--High fiber granola bar

Dinner--2 small slices frozen supreme pizza, spoonful of pasta salad, slice of fluffy lemon pie for dessert.

Here's the recipe for the pie. It's a light dessert from Simple and Delicious magazine:

Fluffy Lemon Pie
1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon sugar-free lemonade soft drink mix
1 cup cold fat-free milk
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat Cool Whip® whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
Directions: Combine pudding mix and soft drink mix. In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixture for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes (pudding will be stiff). Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread into crust. Top with remaining whipped topping. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours or until set.
I'm not planning on posting everything I eat, just evaluate when I think I need to and share recipes with you, etc. Nobody needs to post their weight! Women don't want to be reminded about how old they are or how much they weigh. So just post progress and updates as you'd like.
This morning, I've had a bowl of Kashi Go-Lean and OJ, but I've also made blueberry muffins that have just came out of the oven--let's see if I can limit myself to one :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wellness mantra 1

"Just because you CAN eat it, doesn't mean you SHOULD"

I've gotten tired of being "fluffy" and out of shape since being pregnant and having my last child. I've decided to begin changing the direction of my lifestyle to reach a destination of "wellness". I don't want to diet and fail. I want to begin from the inside, changing my attitude and reaching small goals that develop into routine. I want to be fit and healthy enough to hang around until I'm 100 and having everyone say, "Wow, I can't believe she's still alive".

It's not a fear of death or anything like that. I just think I owe it to my Creator to take care of this one body He's given me so I can do the work He wants me to do for as long as I can. Our years here are only a drop in the bucket compared to eternity, so best make them count--you can't do that as effectively if you're in lousy shape.

Hence, my new mantras. This first one--oh, don't we all struggle with that one? Junk food is yummy--full of sugar, salt, carbs and fats that just seem so good going down. But that's where they stay--right down on our bellies and hips.

I want to teach myself (part of this I learned in past Weight Watcher's meetings) to make better choices. Is that cheeseburger or candy bar really worth it? Why am I wanting to eat this and why now? Am I really hungry or just bored, depressed, etc? The first goal: evaluate how much and what I'm eating before I begin, so that I consciously make better choices instead of regretting it later.

Care to join me?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Thoughts

Babies are so genuine when it comes to bodily functions. They can be smiling and cooing at you, and out pops a burp or poot, and right back to smiling and cooing. There's no embarrassment or shame. They're just so natural.

Now, kids Megan's age (6 and up) them, every bodily function, especially the loud ones are hilarious! Entertainment at the dinner table often involves Meg trying to burp the alphabet.

Never a dull moment around here people....I'll be here all week! (literally)

One more thought: this morning I made blueberry waffles. I can't cook anything that these girls will devour like pancakes and waffles. I think they both had 5 at least. I lost count. Why can't they devour broccoli or green beans like that? *sigh*

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer is "wild kingdom" around here

Remember the snake last summer? Well, last week, a little bird got caught up in my bird netting that's over my blueberry bushes. I had to cut him out to rescue him. Today, it was a possum.

After we came home from picking up some Mc'D's for lunch, Megan spotted him in the front yard, next to one of our trees. He was acting strangely, circling around and falling over. I called the KY Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and finally, after much calling back and forth to get our location (it's such a confusing area to give directions for), they came out and got him. They said they'll take him back and see what's wrong with him. I was afraid of rabies, since he was acting so wierd and didn't want any of us touching him. I appreciate the guys who came out--they do a great job!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time's Flyin

Try to overlook my lack of photographic genius, and enjoy the pics of changing times!

Our "toothless wonder" just lost her third tooth. I love to hear her "thpeak" now :)

Bryan worked very hard to finish up Phase 2 of our "around the trees" playground (I helped!). We got the slide platform ready the day the girls left for a week with Bryan's parents. They're lovin it now!


Zachary is 3 months old now and is a fat, chubby, happy thing. He knows what he wants when he wants it, and lets us know about it....NOW!!!

As long as he's fed, comfy, well-rested, and talked to on a regular basis, he's smiling and cooing at us non-stop.

Zachary's favorite toy--his little "Twinkle, twinkle" turtle. He's now learned to flip from tummy to back on the floor.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blueberries anyone?

Susan asked me if blueberries are difficult to grow. I e-mailed her with some information and after I re-read it, I thought I would share it with you. With prices for everything going up these days, any thing we can grow ourselves is beneficial! So if you like blueberries:

"Blueberry bushes are surprisingly low maintenance. The only requirement they need is acidic soil, around pH 4.5-5.5. You can amend that pretty easily with aluminum sulfate and sphagnum peat mulch. I have 9 bushes now, and it's good to plant them in the fall. It's good to have more than one variety so they cross-pollinate and produce better. You have to prune them every year after the first couple years, but it's not hard to do. You just cut off dead parts and non-producing canes. Also, the first year, you don't let them make berries--you pick off the blooms, so they will concentrate on growing and establishing good roots. They are really resilient to pests. I've had a few aphids and Japanese beetles on them, but they never damage them badly. The only problem I've had with them is when we had that freeze last spring--it froze off all the blooms and I had NO berries at all last year. This year, I've got a ton of berries on the oldest ones, and they're just now getting ripe.

I bought mine online from Nourse Farms. They're a family owned company and are really nice about answering any questions you may have. Go to to check them out!

I don't have the time or patience to mess with high-maintenance gardening right now, so that's why I like blueberries...and they're one of my favorite fruits too :)"


I am finally getting ripe blueberries on my bushes. The girls and I picked enough to make the first blueberry pancakes of the season this morning. Let me tell you, nothing better than sleeping in, getting up and fixing blueberry pancakes for a late breakfast. Megan ate 4, Zoe had 3, and I think I had 5 :) Now some fresh coffee, and plans to play in the girls' new sprinkler outside in a little while.

I did have to wake up at 4 am when Zoe threw up a little and Zachary had to eat at the same time. Bryan handled Zoe, so I could nurse Zachary. But then I was able to sleep in til almost 8 today.

Now I just need some direction for the day. So far, I've been running in and out the last two days this week, so I've not exercised. Hoping to pick it back up soon, but I'm really so unmotivated and distracted with the "three". Trying to give myself grace and be patient with the process.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Kids are so funny!

This was taped on Zachary's bedroom door after we saw "Kung-Fu Panda" at the Sunday matinee this afternoon :D

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Where did the quiet go??

My girls are back....*sigh* :) I'm really glad to have them home, but it was nice to have a quiet week with just Bryan and Zachary. We even went out last night to see "Don't Mess with the Zohan"--Zachary's first movie. He did really well. I put him in his sling and he slept most of the time and I nursed him in there when he got fussy. Good place to nurse in the dark :)

The septic guys finished up this afternoon. Bryan re-spliced the wires and gas line that was cut and now everything's covered back up. We have a lot of grass re-sowing to do now. But I'm so glad it's fixed. No more pumping smelly water into our backyard. No more worrying about it coming back up into the basement.

Bryan's folks were kind enough to bring the girls all the way back here so we could hang around until it got finished today. We grilled out for them and we all ate and visited a while, and now it's back to normal life.

I'm sleepy.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lemonade and Septic Work

Those two things would not appear to go together, nor should they!

However, after months and months of having to pump out nasty water from our septic system into our backyard because our drainage lines are really old and have collapsed...well, the repair man finally came today! He had to wait until the ground dried out enough.
I was happy to see him arrive, but not 1/2 hour after he began digging with his backhoe, he came to the door to tell me he had dug up electrical and gas lines that ran to the garage. My hubby had just redone those a couple years ago to rewire old wiring and add the gas line.
*SIGH* Ok, so call Bryan (which I have to end up doing every time something's fixed around here--I don't know if it's myself or the repair people who are the most incompetent). Got the gas and electric turned off per his instructions.
Now, he's on his way home to assist in the situation.
I feel aggravated and helpless, so what to do? Oh, make fresh lemonade, of course! I had found this recipe online: I had already bought a bag of lemons and decided now's the time to mix it up. Looking back, I'm not sure $5 for the bag of lemons was a great deal for only getting one pitcher, but hey--it's GOOD!
I'll drink it while I'm watching men tear up my backyard.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


When you haven't officially exercised in over a year, it's really ouchy! I've made it three days in a row now...10 min on treadmill, 8 min arms, 8 min abs. My abs are so sore! And my pectoral muscles. I'm wondering if I should do the abs every other day to give the muscles a rest until they're not so sore?

I'm hoping I can continue some routine exercise once the girls are back home next week. We'll see!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Be prepared to laugh your butt off

Why did that chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! That chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

It's gonna be a quiet week

Let me set up the scenario:

Bryan's sister and her hubby just happened to take their anniversary vacation over the weekend at the Land Between the Lakes, which is somewhat close to our area. They also just happened to have to pass by here to get there and back.

Now, I had been wondering when the girls could come for a visit with Nana and Papa, who just happened to be on vacation this week. Uncle Bradley and Aunt Cheryl were also on vacation this week, so it just happened that we decided to pack the girls some suitcases and send them home with said Aunt and Uncle as they passed by here on the way home from Land Between the Lakes.

So, it's just me, Bryan, and Zachaboo for the week. We already went to Red Lobster last night to celebrate Bryan's birthday (his birthday was last Wed, but he had to work crazy hours last week). Zachary was so good. Didn't even cry. We even went to Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream after dinner. Great night out.

Today, I officially exercised for the first time since Zachary was born. 10 min on the treadmill, 8 minute arms and 8 minute abs. Hoping I can do it all week and keep doing it. I'm tired of being "fluffy". Need to get rid of about 20 pounds of winter and pregnancy coat :)

But looking forward to a quiet week here with my little man and my big man when he's home.