Snowballs

snowballs

This morning was spent throwing snowballs at the noisy crows who decided to have a party in the tree outside of Penelope’s window during nap time.

The snow was too powdery to make a sufficient snowball so after the fifth snowball disintegrated in mid-air I gave up and transitioned into a weird silent arm waving dance… it was very tribal and interpretive.

It didn’t work either.

Then I looked across the street and saw my neighbor staring at me. It was the same neighbor who lent me his ladder when we first moved in so that I could break into my own house wearing nothing but a bathing suit… in November. (It’s a long story that involves a hot tub and a locked door.)

When I saw him looking at me I waved and tried to nonchalantly make my way back into the house.

When I went back inside I made my breakfast fuming as those stupid crows taunted me with their incessant CAAWWW noises. I was so mad at them for being so noisy during nap time! Don’t they know that nap time was created so that moms don’t get too weird during the process of raising children?

I sat down with my breakfast and realized that Penelope had been sleeping the whole time. I was being a weirdo for no reason.

Now that she is a asleep and the crows have flown off to find new victims I am free to share what I ate yesterday… because I know you are all on the edge of your seats.

Veggie Challenge Day 3

Breakfast- Mini peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach topped with two scrambled eggs and some rooster sauce aka siracha.

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Lunch- Chicken, bacon and spinach quesadillas with carrots.

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Snack- Target has a deal that if you order a grande espresso drink you get a free pastry. I got the drink, Bridget got the pastry. This deal lasts until March 3 but they aren’t allowed to advertise it. Apparently, I was the first one to ask about it yesterday and I got a round of applause. Thank you Anisha Tischer for your friendly Facebook reminder!

Dinner- Spaghetti squash topped with cooked italian turkey sausage and marinara. I added a piece of Provolone cheese and broiled it on top and sprinkled some of my beloved basil from my basil plant.

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I enjoyed it but Bridget was a little ticked off by the fact that we weren’t having real noodles. She made a few dramatic gestures and declared that she wasn’t hungry.

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While I was looking for my food pictures I stumbled upon one of my attempted butt pictures. I didn’t post it yesterday because my mirror was dirty as was the rest of my room.

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I was also embarrassed by the fact that I have done nothing to decorate our bedroom since moving in. I have no idea what to do with purple carpet! Any tips would be appreciated. Plus, I didn’t really want to post this because I couldn’t get the right angle so show off how awesome my butt looks. In fact, it is rather flat in this picture and my stomach is quite lumpy. But it is awesome… you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

With that said, I will reveal the scary weight that prompted The Veggie Challenge.

I stepped on the scale Monday morning after having been snowed in with the girls for the weekend and it said…. 211.4. YUCK! I’ve been hiding this number from you all week trying to get it back down in time for my weigh-in tomorrow.

The Veggie Challenge was the best idea ever because I feel like I’m back on track 100%.  We’ll see if the scale agrees.

I’m kind of sad because I wasted about two weeks trying to get my crap back together. I’ve decided that weight loss is only hard if you are halfway committed. If you leave room for debate the decision to make good choices isn’t always clear-cut and you end up wavering back and forth.

I’ll see you tomorrow with the results… keep your fingers crossed.

Hey Look At My Butt!

I seriously just spent ten minutes trying to take a picture of my own butt.

It didn’t really work.  My dog was just watching me like, “Yeah, I do that sometimes too. But you’ll never catch it, I speak from experience.”

I couldn’t help it. I was wearing my new Lululemon pants and I have fallen in love with the way they make my butt look. In the words of my sister-in-law Carrie, “Aren’t they just glory on your bum?”

Yes Carrie, they are.

I don’t know if it’s the pants or the workouts that my husband has been putting me through but seriously ya’ll, my butt looks good!

You can tell a lot about a man by the kind of workouts he creates for women. I have come to the conclusion that my husband is a butt guy. Every time I step foot into the gym he feels compelled to set my buns on fire.

Yesterday was no different. Here is the workout he put me and my friend Tara through.

We’ll call it…

“These Buns Are On FIRRRRE!”

(Little known fact, my husband has a huge crush on Alicia Keys.)

Warm-up:

Spiderman lunges and Toy soldiers

Strength:

3 x 10 weighted bridges

hip thrust

Do you see my Lululemon sign winking at you?

WOD:

We loaded up the prowler until it was so heavy that we couldn’t run with it while pushing. He had us push it across the gym and then do overhead kettlebell lunges back. Then switch and rest while the other person does it. We did this five times, I think. It kicked my butt so I don’t remember.

prowler pushes

This may not sound like much but your heart wants to explode as soon as you stop pushing the prowler. It’s so weird.

kettlebell lunges

The lunges killed me! We used 16 kg kettlebells and it really worked our core. Which, according to the muffin top I’m sporting here, seems to be something I struggle with.

I feel like I’m back on track, the Veggie Challenge has turned out to be a great idea!

Veggie Challenge Day 2

Breakfast:

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I made a veggie scramble with these lovely veggies. I only saute veggies on high because I like them to caramelize like this…

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I add the spinach last because I just want it to wilt a little. Then I push all of the veggies aside and cooked up some turkey sausage then the eggs. It was topped off with a little Siracha or “Rooster Sauce”.

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Brent puts “Rooster Sauce” on everything, so much so that when Bridget was in first grade she felt compelled to throw the bottle away because she felt like her daddy had a “problem”.

Lunch:

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Brent and I just tossed some of the cooked left over shredded chicken in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and made salads with yogurt ranch and cheese. I usually love this but for some reason I thought the chicken tasted gross. I still ate it though because I was starving after that workout.

Dinner:

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Brent made home-made baked chicken tenders using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. I thought it sounded gross but it was SO yummy. It tasted more like fried chicken because of the dark meat. We served it up with oranges and broccoli madness. Broccoli madness is just something that I make and I’m not sure I’ll be successful in sharing my recipe but I’ll try.

Broccoli Madness

1 head of broccoli chopped into florets

2 tbls chopped red onion

2-3 tbls dried cranberries

2- tbls chopped or slivered nuts (salted is best)

dressing:

(This is the part that gets tricky you’ll have to play with it to your taste)

1 tbls of lite mayo

2-3 tbls red wine vinegar

1-2 tbls sugar or agave nectar

In a small bowl mix together mayo, red wine vinegar and sugar. Keep adding vinegar until the mixture is pinkish in color and cancels out most of the mayo taste. Mix in the sugar until you’ve found a tasty balance between sour and sweet. (I really suck at this.) Lightly pour the dressing over the broccoli then add the other toppings and mix.

This is the only way we eat broccoli at our house. We tend to get heavy-handed on the cranberries but it just makes it yummier. If you are too scared to try my version because I’m horrible at writing recipes you can refer to this recipe. It has more yummy stuff in it like bacon and cheese but is definitely not diet friendly. Good luck!

The Accidental Try Out

Have I ever told you about the time I accidentally tried out for a play in high school?

True story. I was sitting in theatre arts class one day and we were taking turns reading from a script. I must have been day dreaming when Mrs. Harvey had informed us that this was an actual audition.

It was my junior year of high school and up until that point I was known as a soccer player. I played competitive soccer and most week days consisted of a practice of some sort. All of my weekends were spent traveling to games and tournaments for either the highschool team or my competitive team. All of my best friends were soccer players too.

Then one day during practice I dislocated my knee cap when I went in for slide tackle.  I was left screaming in the dirt begging someone… anyone to pop it back in. Nobody would touch me for fear of hurting me. My coach didn’t know what to do so I finally popped it back in myself. During that time the ligaments in my knee were stretched out and to this day if I bump it at the right angle it will pop out and stay lodged to the side of my leg until I pop it back in.

I was a defensive player meaning that my success depended on my ability to attack the ball to keep the other team from scoring. I started soccer shortly after my mom had died. Once I had found my stride I was no longer timid and unsure but instead powerful and aggressive. All of my confidence was wrapped up in that power.

After that accident my knee cap kept popping out making me more and more timid. All of my power was gone. After talking to a doctor it was determined that there wasn’t anything that could be done. I could have kept playing knowing that it was going to pop out or quit. I couldn’t handle the vulnerability. I made the heart breaking decision to quit. My whole identity swiped from me and I was left behind while my friends carried on doing what we used to do together.

I was really sad but didn’t want anyone to see it. It conflicted with the bubbly personality I was known for. My fit muscular body started to turn to mush as I gained weight from lack of activity. I was left wondering who I was and where I fit in.

I was at a loss until that one weird day in theatre arts when my name was called to read for a part in the play. The character was neurotic and insecure and my voice shook as I read it, just like the character’s would have. I played it off like I was doing it on purpose and channelled all of my new-found insecurities into the character that I was reading for.

To my surprise I got the part… and I was in a play.

Wait! What? I’m in a play? You mean we’re actually doing a play?

All of a sudden I was submerged into a whole new culture where everyone hugged everyone else. Not just normal hugs but lingering hugs. I was so uncomfortable with this physical contact. Every time someone would hug me I would try to pat-pat my way out of it to no avail.

Looking back I don’t think I really received many hugs up until that point. Sure, my dad hugged me every once in a while and I was used to boyfriends hugging me but we all know why they were doing that. But these drama people, they were different. They were just hugging to hug.

I have to be honest, at first I thought they were a bit too weird for my taste. Always hugging and making dramatic gestures. It sounds like a cliché but it was true. They had their own social hierarchy that I had never paid attention to and suddenly I was a part of it. Before I knew it I had a bunch of new friends who I would have never met if it weren’t for this accidental try out.

During this time I met a girl named Emily. She played the part of my best friend. Every time we would meet up on stage she would animatedly say, “Hi best friend!!!” Then one day as we were walking off of the stage she said, “You know, every time I call someone my best friend they end up being my best friend.”

When she said that I smiled at her and nodded as if to say, “Sure, sure… whatever you say weird drama girl.”

What I didn’t know at the time was that we would indeed become best friends.  We’re still friends fifteen years later, we’ve got the kind of friendship that tests the bounds of time and distance. And she still gives me awkwardly long hugs, but it’s okay because now I’m used to it.

That year I learned that if you step out of your comfort zone (or are pushed out of it) you can crush all of the preconceived notions that you carry of yourself and find that you are capable of surprising yourself. Sometimes we spend so much time cowering under the labels we’ve made for ourselves that we forget that we are capable of more than meets the eye.

When I feel lost I call up Emily and she reminds me that there are no bounds to the things you can do or the person that you can be. She reminds me that there is no such thing as too old, too fat, too dumb, too cowardly…

Those are just excuses you give yourself to keep you from trying new things that take you out of your comfort zone.

With that said I’ll tell you what I ate yesterday even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the story I just shared with you but it’s part of my challenge this week so I must…

Veggie Challenge Day 1

Breakfast: sautéed onions and sweet peppers covered with mexican chicken and two eggs

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Lunch: Green Monster Smoothie

green smoothie

Snack: apple and almonds

Dinner: Chicken Marsala with mushroom and salad made with this recipe

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The Veggie Challenge

eat your veggies

Have you ever had one of those really good friends that pisses you off because they are brutally honest with you?

Today when I stepped on the scale to get a reality check after a snow day full of snacks I decided I needed to be that kind of friend to myself. After I saw that number I had to sit myself down and have a little come to Jesus talk.

Basically, I had to confront myself on slacking off since successfully completing Operation Lululemon.

If Jillian Michaels were here she would have yelled, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT IS IT?! TELL ME! I CAN’T HELP YOU UNLESS YOU TELL ME!” Then I would cry because she scared me and we would decide together that I’m afraid of success. Then she would use her soft whispery therapy voice to tell me that I’m worth it. “You. Are. Worth it.”

I know this. But if I were there I would pretend like Jillian discovered this for me for fear that she might beat me up.

After Operation Lululemon I created another challenge where I couldn’t eat sugar for two weeks. I quit after one day and I just haven’t been the same since.

I’ve decided that it is time for another challenge but this time I’m going to change the focus. Instead of taking something away and triggering my inner brat  I will add things instead. And by things I mean veggies and water. I always do better when I eat more veggies so this makes sense. I only have 4 full days before my next weigh-in to shed the popcorn and hot cocoa I indulged in yesterday.

For the next four days I must eat vegetables with every meal. I  also must drink 4 water bottles full of water a day. The water bottles I carry around are 24 oz so that is about 96 ounces of water a day.

For the next four days I will document the veggie filled meals with my camera and post what I’ve eaten so that you guys can keep me accountable.

So far this morning I’m off to a great start by sauteing up some mini sweet peppers with some sliced onions fajita style.

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The other night I had made yummy chicken tostadas using the chicken from Skinnytaste’s chicken enchilada recipe. A lot of the time if I have chicken breasts that are about to go bad I’ll pop them in the crock pot with chicken broth and let them cook while I go about my business. Then I’ll make the chicken portion of this recipe and leave it in the fridge for a quick healthy taco dinner.

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Brent came home from work today and ate some of that left over chicken with his eggs. So I copied him by topping my veggies with the little bit of chicken that he didn’t eat.

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Every time I eat that chicken I cover it in lots of cilantro, avocado and lime juice  you can even add a dollop of plain greek yogurt if you wanted. I was out of avocado today and was seriously bummed out. It would have been so good with this.

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It turned out to be super good even without the avocado. It has been two hours since I’ve eaten it and I’m still satisfied.

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Since I will be posting up lots of food and links to the recipes I kind of feel compelled to warn you…

I’m not a food blogger and there is a very good reason behind this. I have a tendency to talk about inappropriate things right before posting recipes. Like the time I posted a taco recipe right after I talked about how much spin class hurt my vagina. And then the other day I talked about how my dog was sick with weird goopy eyes and then shared a goopy grilled cheese sandwich recipe along with my roasted tomato soup.

I don’t do this on purpose…

Just know that it happens and it’s kind of gross.

With that said I will see you soon… posting up yummy things that I can have instead of crying about the things I can’t have.

Syncronized Babies

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I don’t know if you know this but as a blogger you can see what kind of search engine terms people have used to find your blog. So far the strangest ones are… “butt pee” and “burger slapped”.

I have no idea what I have been talking about for the past few months that has led to being summed up by those two terms.

Burger slapped I can get… this is a weight loss blog after all. You don’t get fat without getting slapped by a burger or two. However, butt pee has got me stumped.

I can also see which pictures have been clicked on most frequently. It turns out, the pictures that make me cringe the most get the most hits. Like my fatty mug shot…

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I never know what picture it is that people are looking at until I click on the link. Every time this picture pops up I give a little startled “Ah!…Eww.”

However, it was that picture that kept me on track all day today… even though I wanted to cheat SO bad.

After I put Penelope to bed I really wanted to slather butter crackers in peanut butter and top it off with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. I wanted to pop it in the oven until the marshmallows got all toasted and gooey and then top them off with more crackers to turn it into an ooey sandwich supreme.

It sounds like I’ve had this before right?

I’ve never had it… I thought it was crazy that my brain could thoroughly examine the naughtiest items in my pantry and put them all together within a millisecond just to torture me. Why can’t my brain assess the healthy stuff that is about to go bad and come up with delicious recipes that way?

I am creative in all aspects of my life except for the kitchen…I’m a recipe follower not a maker. When you suffer from this lack of culinary creativity you have to be organized in order to get a successful dinner on the table. Well guess what? I’m not organized. I try to be but I’m not…. not by a long shot.

Now my friend Andrea… she’s organized, and artistic, and funny. I would hate her if she weren’t so loveable.

Our girls are only a month apart and their nap times are always conflicting, making it difficult for Andrea and I to get together. Only recently after weeks of planning did we finally manage to have a play date at Barnes and Noble. Penelope ripped things off the selves, Lucy cuddled and Andrea and I  decided that we needed to synchronize our babies so that we could hang out more.

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Since she is the organized one, I asked her to share her tricks with me and later that day I saw that she had emailed me her schedule. (You can scroll down to the bottom to find the infant daily schedule and her weekly schedule.)

At first I thought she wrote Lucy’s schedule for me on the spot, that day. It was so thorough and organized… basically all of the things that I’m not that I really started to feel inadequate.Then I realised that it was intended for her nanny before she decided to be a stay-at-home mom/photographer/early child counselor… (yes, there was another job in there somewhere until she dropped it.)

Yeah, yeah, we get it… she’s awesome. Compared to her I’m a mess, but somehow we compliment each other.

Andrea and I met when we were both competing for the same preschool teacher job. During the interviews the director kept going on and on about how much she loved me… but she also loved this other candidate. She kept saying that she had no idea how she was going to choose between us.

My initial thought was…”Pshhh, there is no way she is better than me. She can’t be that awesome.”

Well as fate would have it we both ended up getting the job and we were to be teaching partners. When I met Andrea it became apparent that we were pretty much opposites.

She was tidy, I was messy. She ate veggies, I ate burritos. She liked calm, I liked chaos. But we had one thing in common. We had inherited the worst preschool class that ever was inherited. Both of the previous teacher’s quit midway through the year and I don’t think it was a coincidence.

It didn’t take long for us to join forces… we knew we were out numbered.

Andrea did her child psychology/organizational thing and I animatedly read Miss Nelson is Missing (but replaced Miss Nelson with Miss Nina). I had the kids totally convinced that Ms. Viola Swamp was going to end up taking over the class if they didn’t stop kicking our shins…

Ms. Viola Swamp

When they were particularly bad I would gasp and pretend like I saw her peeking through the window like she was just waiting to take over the class… don’t worry they loved it. Okay, so one kid go scared but I let her in on the secret and then she loved it too. We would give each other sly winks during the day to indicate that we had a little secret.

Before we knew it the classroom was organized yet covered in art and filled with music. The kids loved us and so did the parents. Together we were a success!

During that year we found out that we actually had a ton in common. I am so thankful for that rag-tag group of students for pulling us together.

The next year we were both pregnant and we taught together side by side, pregnant belly to pregnant belly. Literally…It really is awkward being pregnant and then trying to slide by another pregnant belly in a small classroom. There were a lot of involuntary belly bumps going on.

Lucy and Penelope were destined to be best friends! Now… if only we could get them to nap at the same time.

Andrea’s Weekly Routine

Mondays – Clean house, Meal Plan
Tuesdays – work on business; sometimes Outing day (mall, bookstore, etc.)
Wednesdays – Marketing and home projects, Denver Public Library Day
Thursdays – play with Nina, Odd jobs, mini-cleaning day (sweep, clean toilets, wipe off mirrors in Master bath), Jeffco Public Library Day
Fridays – Bake/Mass cooking, project day (crochet, scrapbook, work on albums, decorating etc.); Walk to and play at park day
Saturdays – what ever
Sundays – Laundry (but Jon actually does this – I watch from the couch while watching Friends =), change all sheets on beds

Lucy’s Daily Routine 

**Eat – Play – Nap

7:00/30 am: Wake up; Nurse 

7:30: Change Diaper, Get dressed 

7:30 – 8:15: Play Time 

8:15/30: Breakfast 

9:00/30: Nap Time

Routine: take upstairs, change diaper, give pacifier, turn 

  Piano music and read a few books until she shows she 

  Is ready for her crib; lay down or rock until asleep. 

11:00/11:30: Wakeup, Nurse 

11:30 – 12:30 Play time  

12:30pm – Lunch time  

1:00 – 2pm: Play Time

Wednesdays/Thursdays – Library Days

Daily – Walk outside 30 mins. Or so

Fridays – Play at the Park 

2:00/2:15pm – Nap Time

Go through same routine as for morning nap 

4:00/4:30: Wakeup, nurse

** Do not let her sleep past 4:40 or 4:45pm or she won’t sleep at night  

4:30:  5:30: Play time  

5:30:  Veggie snack in kitchen 

6:00: dinner Time 

6:30 – 7pm: Play Time 

7:00: Bath and Bed Time

 

Bedtime Routine: 

*Give Bath; towel is on hook in bathroom

*Dress her in footed sleeper

*Put on double stuffed diaper w/ fleece insert and lots of

  diaper rash cream. 

* Zip her up into her sleep sack and give pacifier

* Turn out Ocean Sounds 

* Read a short story

* Turn out Lights and turn on Lady Bug Night Light

* Nurse (give bottle)

* Usually we lay her down awake when she seems calm

* If she cries, give her 10-15 mins., then go up and pat her

    back and give her her pacifier again. 

Food:

Lucy really doesn’t snack between meals. She can always have water – otherwise please keep to the feeding routine.  

Sleep:

Typically she goes down easily for naps and bedtime. On the off chance that she doesn’t, here is what we do.

* Let her cry 15-20 minutes.

* If it is Naptime, go up and give her a pacifier (she’ll have spit it out) and pat her back – don’t pick her up. If she still seems like she’s not calming down, pick her up and see if she needs a diaper change. Change her diaper if necessary. Put back down and pat back until calm. (You may also rock her in the glider for 5 minutes or so but sometimes she will think this is playtime.)Then leave.

Usually after this process, she may cry for 5 more minutes or so but will eventually go to sleep. If she cries for 30 minutes or more, give up. She’s not having it. =)

If it is Bedtime, give her closer to 20 minutes, then go back up and give her her pacifier and pat her back until she’s calm. Usually it doesn’t help at all to pick her up during bedtime. Just let her cry it out after 1 trip up. We usually say “Ok Lucy, now it’s time to sleep. Mommy and Daddy are close by but we aren’t going to come back in again. We’ll see you in the morning.” And that’s that. Bedtime is firmly kept.