Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Menu

We've had a lot of fun since I've last posted but it's just too late to start talking about it all. So tonight all you get is my weekly menu. Plus, my mom is flying in tomorrow night which will bring even more exciting stories to post about. Just be patient with me.

I've re-re-re-committed myself to losing weight via counting points with the Weight Watcher's plan. I'm not going to the WW meetings but I am counting my points and countering them with my EXERCISE points. Yay!! for exercise points...they taste DELISHus.

And now here is my weekly menu...mostly courtesy of my new cookbook "Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes" [side note: I wish I didn't have to look up the Amazon price while posting the link because I paid about $5 more than that at Walmart, of all places. Bah humbug...]

Weight Watchers recipes seem to be very copyright protected so I'm not finding all of them on the internet. I will post what I find and if the recipes are StUpEnDoUs then I will manually type them out and pretend they are my own. JUST KIDDING! TO ALL YOU LAWYERS OUT THERE!

enough the Weekly Menu:

Monday: Asian Aromatic Chicken with white rice (this was deLISH)
Tuesday: Steak with Olive-Mint Sauce & red potatoes & steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Easy Red Beans and Rice & freezer bizkits
Thursday: Chicken and Coconut Curry with white rice
Friday: Ham-Wrapped Flounder with Spinach Stuffing & salad
Saturday: Herbed Bean and Tomato Pita Pizzas
Sunday: Pork Medallions with Fresh Pear Chutney

!Buen Provecho!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inside Edition. : What Really Goes on at Playgroup.

Yesterday, Tyler had his weekly playgroup. You may think that we use each playgroup in order to get the children together to interact with each other and in doing so learn valuable life lessons such as sharing, communication, assertive behavior, problem solving, and the like. But I welcome you to the inside: "Playgroup...Behind The Scenes."

First up, we arrive at the house and I down my coffee I brought myself since none of the other Mother's drink coffee (for some CRAZY reason.) As I lick the last drop from my 2 gallon thermos the children are immediately starving and begging for a Snack. (despite the fact that each and every child ate breakfast exactly 30 minutes prior.)

So of course we give them a snack.

Then we settle them in front of a 5 inch DVD player and insert the movie ELF.

and they're stuck
but to hold their attention we make them POPCORN!
Tyler is testing his will-power and chanting in his head
"I won't touch the popcorn, I won't touch the popcorn."
of course he gives in
and us Mom's talk amongst ourselves
eventually they start to get a little crazy
and us Mom's have to end our conversation about where the next Mom's Night Out should be and resume teaching our children the value of playgroups.

Although I jest (or do I??), it was a fun playgroup for Mom's and children alike.
Wednesday night I made Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops with Honey-Mustard Carrots. (only 4 Weight Watchers points per serving!!) I had a picture on my camera but somewhere along the journey from the camera to the computer it completely disappeared. I didn't have apricot preserves so I used the blackberry jam I had in the fridge. Honestly, I'm sure it's better than the apricot. =)
After dinner I went to Impact Group at church. I am really enjoying this Bible Study aka Impact Group. I'm learning a lot but also realizing that the more I learn the more I have yet to learn. Hopefully I have a long, long time to learn all I can.
Today, Thursday, I went to my monthly Mom's Club meeting. This meeting was about eating healthy and how to cook healthy and productively for your family. Right up my alley!! But as fate would have it, this was my turn to stay in the children's area and have fun with them. I got to rock and pat a 6-month-old baby to sleep and play with various other toddlers and "big boys and girls." It was delightful!
Even though the meeting was about healthy eating, we had the usual snacks. Fruit, yay!, cheesy crackers, and powdered sugar donuts. Tyler ate a powdered sugar donut while he was there. When we got into the car after the meeting he thanked me for the donut. He said, "Thanks Mommy for the white bagel." Go son!! Either I'm teaching him right or I'm withholding him from a true childhood experience filled with donuts. (my aversions to the d-nuts probably comes from my 4 years of baking them in Albertson's bakery.)
After the meeting I scooted off to Lauren's school to pick up her and her friend Kylie. We came home and the kids made their own pizzas for lunch. These were made with flat bread, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and olives.
As the kids made up their pizzas they put at least double the amount straight into their mouths.
Kylie made a "smiley face" pizza.
ready for the oven
Hah! I tricked them. I put carrots and celery (& Ranch dip) in front of them while the pizza baked...
And They Ate It!!
fresh out of the oven

they picked and poked at the pizza but I think they were so full of the pepperoni, cheese and carrots (yes, carrots) that they just didn't have the appetite to eat their fresh baked pizzas.

they did have some desire to be silly though

After lunch the kids had a blast running around from room to room, from floor to floor and played together without any fights what-so-ever. Tyler was even willing to forego his nap in order to play with the girls. What a trooper.
After awhile the craziness finally got to Tyler and he tried to escape from it all.

Don't we all need to do that every once in a while?
Dinner tonight was Greek Sandwiches with Feta Vinaigrette (for only 5 Weight Watchers points each!) and a serving of Progresso Chicken Soup, which only added 1 point to the meal. I had forgotten how well (fulfilling) I could eat while eating healthy and losing weight.
And this brings us to tonight, present time. I am parked in front of the computer, in front of the TV showing Grey's Anatomy while Matt is attending the local showing of "Town Hall for Hope with Dave Ramsey." Hopefully Matt will come home with all the right answers to survive this state of the economy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

hopefully they took better shots than I did...

Lauren had her second round of school pictures today. Back in the day (I'm so old now so I can say that) we only had our school pictures taken once per year. But at Lauren's school they get one school picture taken around Christmas time and another in the Spring.

In all of these shots I'm asking Lauren to "smile pretty." Please enjoy my girl "smiling pretty."

While Lauren was at school I set Tyler up in the basement with The Best of Thomas DVD and hopped on the treadmill to continue my half-marathon training. I've committed myself to the Reggae Half-Marathon this coming December in....[drumroll]...JAMAICA. I've got a lot of work to do!
After school Tyler went down for a nap (poor guy) while Lauren went over to Lea's house to play. (From what I heard from Ms. Maria while picking Lauren up...she had a lot of fun and her and Lea played together without any problems/fights/tantrums what-so-ever.)
In the meantime I started in on dinner. I made Majorcan Vegetable Pizza. I made the crust by hand and the whole thing took quite awhile. Since I love Matt so much and occasionally cave into his food aversions...instead of feeding him my eggplant-based pizza I made him his very own Left-over Chicken & Black Bean & Rice and pepperjack cheese pizza. Lucky guy...I hope he realizes this. BTW...the Majorcan Veggie Pizza was pretty good by my standards and only 6 points for 1/6th of the PIE.
Tonight was a bath night. After the bath there was some mishap with the tub jets that I happened to miss. I had gone downstairs when I heard a THUD followed by a little boy voice crying, "I want my Mommy, I want my Mommy." I Never hear this so of course I trotted upstairs ready to swoop my hurting and whining little boy into my arms. He took one look at my welcoming arms and...did a complete one-eighty... and demanded his Daddy. Go figure....
But at least I can still go to bed tonight remembering my sweet little boy's voice crying out for me. ...don't ya just love that?!

Monday, April 20, 2009

so much few pictures

(disclaimer: I'm typing this post while I'm watching today's TIVO'd General Hospital episode. Please forgive me if I space off and occasionally lose my train of thought...I'm SURE y'all understand. In all honesty GH is the only "real" soap there is.)

Well, we've been pretty busy the past few days but the pictures I took just don't do them justice. Here's a brief summary of our latest happenings....

Last Wednesday I hosted playgroup at our house. We had a house full of Tyler's friends. Unfortunately, Lauren missed the whole thing since she was at school. Tyler and his friends laughed, cried, and played with play-dough. Everyone had a blast.
On Thursday I took Lauren to school but I didn't pick her up. Instead Lucky Lauren got to go home with Kylie and play at her house for the afternoon. I picked her up a few hours later and she reluctantly came home.
Friday, Lauren, once again, got to go have fun with Kylie. She went with Kylie's family to K's brother's school carnival. I loaded her up with quarters to buy her heart's desire of popcorn and cotton candy. I remember my school carnivals and they were So Much Fun. I can't wait until I can go to one again.
While Lauren was at the carnival, Tyler helped Matt mow Ms. Connie's yard. Don't tell him that I told you but while mowing with Tyler on the back of the riding lawn mower He Ran Into A Tree!!! how does that happen?!?! I was at my monthly Bunco game so I couldn't protect my son from his crazy Daddy. The mower suffered a crack or two but everyone else was unharmed.
Here's a shot of Matt and Tyler assessing the damage:
Saturday we went to the Sharpsburg Festival. I had volunteered to sit at the Mom's Club of Sharpsburg booth and while I did that Matt (lucky guy) got to take the kids + neighbor Tera all around the festival.
It was a beautiful day (not too hot and not too cold) and I think the kids had a lot of fun. At the Mom's Club booth I took down a lot of people's information. Hopefully we'll be able to get some new members to enjoy in the fun and community of the Mom's Club.
Here are some pics of the kids and Mr. Matt enjoying the festival....

After the festival Matt went to work on his second job. Word got out that he does a mean kitchen backsplash so Mr. Nelson (neighbor across the street) hired him to do a slate backsplash in their kitchen. I've yet to see pictures but Matt should be able to finish up in the next few days and hopefully I'll get a shot of the finished project then. He tells me it looks "Rad."
And to close I'll let your mouth water with an image of our dinner tonight....

I made Creole-Seasoned Chicken with Black Beans and Yellow Rice. I based it on this recipe but I had to change a couple of things. (I didn't have Jerk seasoning and I used chicken instead of the turkey.) It was very good and I added a spinach salad with balsamic to finish off the meal.
and now I'll be focusing my attention back to the TV. Night All.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm ready for number three now.

Yesterday I took the girls (Lauren and Lea) to dance class. Tyler, a trooper as always, accompanied me. Here he is checking the dancers out.
Today, I decided to continue my third child training and invite Lea to accompany Lauren and Tyler to their Chick-fil-A playdate. (of course, the children get their own table while us adults sit elsewhere in the restaurant)

We had such a successful lunch that I'm convinced I'm ready for that third child. I'll have to get creative though, since Matt has already paid THE visit to Dr. Stop. [wink]
I was so confident that I decided to bring the kids to Jump to It. (an inflatable jumpy place) What fun we had!! Much more fun than taking a NEEDED Nap!

Before long, we were thirsty! And Oh Boy, were we THIRSTY!

I'm guessing this was the first time Tyler drank from a drinking fountain.
He had more on his shirt and in his eyes and ears than he did his mouth. Too funny!

When we got home the kids were pretty much toast. Lauren and Tyler waited until Lea went home to have their Complete Meltdowns. They (especially Lauren) were completely miserable. I don't blame Lauren, I guess. She went to school, then went to lunch with 4 of her best friends and then jumped to her heart's content without much time to relax and regroup. I guess I'll cut the girl some slack.
While I was making dinner THIS was delivered to my garage.... Matt's Birthday Present!!
This is a hard floor cleaner that will sweep, clean, rinse and DRY. I love my hardwood floors but I DESPISE cleaning them. I was so excited that Matt let me get him this for HIS birthday!! I can't wait to try it out. =)
Dinner tonight was surprisingly good. Even Matt said it was "pretty good." I made the Polenta Gratin with Mushrooms and Fontina. He snickered as he took his plate to the table but he eventually came around once he tried a bite. Don't be afraid of the polenta, y'all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

It was a wonderful day to celebrate Easter and all it represents.

The kids woke up to find 2 Easter baskets each. I haven't introduced them to the whole Easter Bunny myth yet so they knew exactly who got them their Easter baskets. Mommy and Daddy got them some candy and each a movie and Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael stole the show with their baskets full of stickers, plush duckies, candy and the original SLINKY. The slinky provided hours and hours of entertainment today. Thanks G'ma & G'pa!

I thought it would be fun to let them eat their candy to their heart's content. I was curious how much they would eat. Surprisingly,they had a few pieces and then moved on to do other things.

The candy did take it's toll because before long they were acting goofy.
Especially Lauren...

After awhile Chloe HAD ENOUGH of the Easter excitement and decided to escape.

Stupid Cat!
(by Stupid I mean Seriously Way Too Smart For Her Own Good!)

It was a beautiful day today so I made up some cornstarch sidewalk paint and we sketched a few masterpieces on the driveway.

if you can't tell her glasses have some "bling" on the side of the lenses
Even Daddy took some time to enjoy the weather while working on his appears he needs to RE-rebuild the carburetor.
Dinner tonight was the Honey Mustard Meatloaves with Roasted Potatoes. I didn't have any honey-mustard so I used Dijonaise instead. The Meatloaves were great. Lauren and Tyler each had a second serving. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before we ate.
Matt and I are about to go down to the basement and watch The Punisher. (oh yeah...this was TOTALLY my choice of movie [mucho sarcasm])
Before we go I'd like to give a shout out to my new friend (I swear he winked at me during Monday's practice rounds.)
Viva Argentina!!
(a reference/congrats to Angel Cabrera and his new green jacket.)