Lately

It’s been a melancholy week around here.  First the death of Kidd Kraddick and then a high school friend’s little 3 yr. old girl is losing her battle with brain cancer.  They thought she was out of the woods and then out of no where, it’s returned.  She’s been given 2-8 weeks.  Her 4th birthday is August 16th.  You can read Phoebe’s story “Atypical Miracle” here.

It’s the strangest feeling to be so sad about the death of someone I have never met.  I am not alone in this feeling.  We all have “I remember” stories about Kidd Kraddick.  Mine is listening to him on my way to work at Best Buy every morning.  I had a very long drive and he just about killed me with Pooladsanj.  That was by far my favorite.

I couldn’t sleep Sunday night/Monday morning.  I woke up just heart broken for Amey, Phoebe’s mother.  And I was heartbroken for Kellie Raspberry.  Losing her best friend, where does she go from here? What about Emma Kelly?

Finally I just had to turn off the show they did Monday morning….I had to focus on something else.  Or at least try.  It’s been hard to shake the feelings of melancholy.

Please pray, send good vibes, energy, healing thoughts to precious Phoebe and the Fair family.  I can’t imagine their heartbreak.  There are many many sick children and hurting families in the world, but sometimes there is one that really cuts you to your core.

*********

On a lighter note:

Aidan…..my sweet, loving, calm, smart as a whip, clingy, will probably live with me till he’s 30, introverted Aidan…..has been moved upstairs at church with the other 1st graders.  Well on Sunday we got up there at just the right time to catch everyone and their grandma dropping off or picking up kids.  It was chaos!  Now, I do not blame him one single bit for refusing to go in there.  I was a little unnerved by the situation as well.  So after trying to get him comfortable to no avail, I took him into the nursery with me.  I was volunteering and let our coordinator know the sitch.  We are in desperate need for volunteers so she was more than happy to allow Aidan to “help”.  He loved it so much!

photo 2

This little one was completely smitten with my Prince Charming.  Followed him around, tossed the ball, asked him to rock her, rocked him.  It was priceless. My coordinator said he could come in anytime he was having a rough day but now I am afraid every Sunday will be a “rough day”.  He was a little annoyed by all the fussing and fighting and diaper changing I was having to address, and wasn’t too happy about me not tending to him.  He’s been asking for a baby sister. Surprised smile  So maybe this put the kibosh on all that.  I know it does for me!

Jeremy cooked out for us last night.  YUM!

photo 2 (2)

photo 1 (2)

We were super low on groceries so Luke and I went through my spices to find a good combination. We decided just to use several shakes of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and several dashes of Worcestershire.  We had a blast trying to figure out how to correctly pronounce WORCHESTISHER!!!! WERCHISTSER!!!! WORCHESTSHIRE!  They came out scrumptious though however you pronounce it! This week I am going to add shredded zucchini and onion.  We also had some Alexia 98% Fat Free crinkle fries…..<——- NOT GOOD.  I added about a ton of seasoned salt and baked the mess out of them and they were still super mushy and not very crispy on the outside….

Anyway…..I was up early this morning for a run.  It was so lovely.  This summer has been so mild.  Poor Jeremy gives me the look of death when I say that.  I always have to say “RELATIVELY!” and that its been much cooler in the morning than years past.  He gives me that much.  I still don’t know how they manage to survive in those uniforms in 110 degree heat.  No thank you!

After my run I showered, ate an apple the size of my face and a Luna Bar then headed out for a much needed grocery trip.  You know you are hungry and grocery shopping when “Diet Food” ends up in your basket.

photo 4

photo 5

I never buy stuff like this. Ever. Now before you go thinking “Ugh, eyeroll “Food Snob” my reasons are many but the biggest reason is that 9 times out of 10 stuff like this tastes like crap.  Sorry, but seriously.  So I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find (after ravenously tearing open the box, tossing one in my purse and then before even getting out of the parking lot, had half of it eaten) it was really REALLY good!  I will for sure buy more of them.

We were helping our friends paint inside their new house this afternoon so I was not in the mood to whip up dinner and we were all starving so we decided to head to Chick-Fil-A.  I was so hungry I forgot to snap a photo but I  have been getting something different lately.  They changed my usual side salad to something incredibly awful, so I had to find a new go to meal!  I love the Grilled Market Salad.  I switch it up a bit by asking for the reduced fat berry vinaigrette and asking them to leave off the blue cheese.  It is so delicious!  I love it.

CFA

It really looks like this when you order it.

*********

Lately I have been noticing things randomly placed around the house.  I always think “You know you are a mother of boys when….”

The other day I found a plastic tarantula on the floor by Luke’s closet and just picked it up like it was no big thing.  I had to stop and giggle a second thinking that “You know you are a mother of boys when you don’t even flinch at a gargantuan tarantula nor do you hesitate to pick it up with out even kicking it a little, you know just in case”

Last night I found this just hilarious…..maybe it’s just me but the simplest of things tickle me pink.

photo 3 (2)

Advertisements

Focus

I think it’s very safe to say things have been…..CRAY….around here.  I know a lot of people hate that term but guess what….I LOVE IT! Everyone says “Oh things are crazy…”  But to me that’s like saying “Oh, I’m so busy!”  Guess what?  Everyone is busy.  But to say CRAY instead of crazy, means like seriously crazy.  I can’t even recall what I have been doing for the last month since I wrote last.  I can’t even believe it’s been a month.  Let’s try to recall……

The movers damaged just about everything I own in the move…..ok that is an exaggeration….they shattered the glass in my china cabinet, scuffed up my dining chairs, dented my washer and dryer, damaged Jeremy’s table saw…..It’s ok, they have all been repaired….Annoyed

Jeremy had to replace our master toilet the first week we were here…..I honestly do not want to re-live the details of it…..but lets just say…..ugh…..never mind.  He is a champion and that’s all there is to that.

Scrubbing filthy grout that we thought was brown until I was cleaning base boards prepping for painting.  After the grout around the base boards dried, I realized it’s beige grout.  Jeremy bought me a steamer…..

steamer

McCulloch

so that my life would be easier.  Indeed.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love to clean?  It’s an obsession.  But….after hours and hours of steaming my grout…..I am over it.  I still need to go over some areas that were seriously bad, but I am taking a break and moving onto other tasks for now.

Painting…..choosing a shade of beige for most of the house proved down right impossible.  We had about 20 swatches taped up all over the wall for a week.  Different lighting, different moods….so glad that choice has been made.

desert fortress

Desert Fortress

It looks a little pink in the picture but it’s more of  a warm beige color with grey undertone.  It’s perfect and makes me happy! We have the largest part of the house all done so now we can move on to the smaller jobs.

I set the burglar alarm off while I was talking on the phone to the school nurse.  While I am alone in the house during the day I keep the alarm set. (I know it sounds weird, but keep in mind that I am married to a cop) We have terrible reception in the house so I stepped out onto the porch…….I don’t understand WHY it has to be so so loud!  I mean I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack.  After I had turned it off, I called the nurse back but the alarm company kept calling me!  The nurse was questioning me as to why Aidan was wearing glasses…..don’t get me started on that….to say the least I was very annoyed and trying to reassure her that he indeed needed glasses and that I needed to get off the phone.  I called the alarm company back to let them know I was ok and not to send the police.  But low and behold an hour later the police show up……Stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

Speaking of Aidan’s glasses…..

After a well-child exam early March, our Pediatrician told us to get Aidan’s eyes looked at.  We knew this was inevitably looming but we prayed and prayed for his eyes to be spared.  Jeremy’s entire family has poor vision.  I tease him saying he has Special Eyes but seriously…..I have never known anyone with vision poor as his.  Think –12 prescription…..at risk for retinal detachment……Lasik completely out of the question….yeah bad.  Aidan has never presented any symptoms of vision impairment but I think it’s because he has never had clear vision. When we took him into the optometrist we learned his prescription was –2.50!  I was shocked.  That’s worse than mine!  She said it will only get worse as he grows so we have to take him in every 6 months now.  Bless his sweet heart.  It was so heart warming to me when he first put on his new glasses.  His eyes lit up and the sweetest smile came on his face.  He was seeing the world for the first time.

photo 4

Anyway…..I could go on and on…..

So, FOCUS…..that is what I have been lacking.  I feel like my schedule and my days have just been all over the place.  I long for routine which I have been hanging onto by a thread. I also am HATING this cold weather that just keeps lingering and lingering like an unwanted house guest.  I am dreaming of the 110 degree Texas heat!!!!

Each week I tell myself, ok Little Miss….this is your week.  You are getting back on track….getting back to your schedule and routine.  Following all of your own advice and healthy habits…..and then low and behold….a wrench gets thrown in.

productivityvia

A field trip, a dr appt, a dentist appt,  a damaged furniture appt, a phone call from the nurse followed by setting the house alarm off and a friendly visit from the local police department…..replacing a toilet, nursing a migraine, you name it. Then at 8:30 pm, I am taking a shower thinking…man….I have got to get it together!  For a short time I even thought that maybe this is just a season of change in my life and I need to take a break from working out and eating like a champ.  But who am I kidding?  Not working out and not eating right makes me down right depressed, unfocused and feeling crummy emotionally and physically.  A sweet friend of mine and I decided we were going to start P90X again last week….yeah I did Mon-Wed before life got in the way of that.  We both admitted neither of us “brought it” but would do better this week!  So….here is to time management & making exercise and eating right a priority.

Relatively Speaking

You know how when you go without something you appreciate it that much more when you get it back?  Going without sleep for so long when the boys were babies makes me appreciate it so much more now.  I appreciate my husband being home at night because he worked nights for so long.  I appreciate the abundance of healthy food that I have because I ate so poorly for so long.  I appreciate the health of my children after they have been ill.  I appreciate a shower that stays warm all the way til the end when the weather warms back up.  And now, I appreciate the complete peace and serenity I feel now that the hard part of selling/buying a house is behind us.  Actually packing and moving is going to be a cake walk, relatively speaking.  I am looking forward to having a “normal” life again.  No interruptions.  No making sure the house is spotless before I get on with the rest of my day.  No more having to be out of the house for hours at a time when all I want to do is sleep and watch T.V.  No more wondering if today’s appointment will be THE ONE.  Having to read on a daily basis why someone doesn’t like your home. No more circling the neighborhood when an appointment is going over their time, having to pee so bad you are willing to pull over and squat.  Did I just say that?  Yes I did.  I never ever ever could have imagined how difficult and stressful this process would be.  You know when you go to visit a new doctor and they have you fill out that form asking if you have experienced any of the following in the last year?

  • Divorce
  • Death in the family
  • Loss of Job
  • Serious Illness
  • a MOVE

Yeah, I get that now.

It’s a miracle and by the grace of GOD that Jeremy and I are still married.  No I am kidding, but seriously…..it IS by grace that Jeremy didn’t leave me!  On the contrary, we are closer than ever so I wouldn’t trade the last 4 months for anything in the world.

Good news first…..we got the house we wanted.  Praise God.  But not without a fight.

The house we wanted had been on the market for 280 days…..nothing wrong with it at all just priced a little high, market slow…..honestly, I believe it was saved for us.  After seeing it again last week and loving it, I said “We need to put an offer on this place immediately, like this minute…”  I knew it, I could feel it….someone else was going to offer soon…possibly even that moment.  Mike reassured us that there was no other offer on it but I just knew….. Our offer was low but we weren’t asking for closing costs and accepting it in “as is” condition.  There were a few minor things that need to be addressed, light bulbs out, nail pops exposed etc.. …..nothing we haven’t fixed on our current home. I felt comfortable with our offer.  We had some issues getting our paper work emailed back to Mike so he was going to come by our house late that evening after work to pick it up.  It was 7:30 pm, I was feeling down right anxious because I knew we needed to get that offer in ASAP.  Sure enough, sometimes I swear I am psychic, Mike calls.  “There is another offer.”  My heart sank and my stomach churned.  I may have teared up a little. There goes the sweet slumber I was hoping for.  Thankfully because we knew about the other offer and hadn’t turned ours in yet…..we had the upper hand in the matter and were able to change our offer last minute to a more competitive one.  Ultimately, we won the house!  HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!  We are set to close March 11 and will be moving out the next few days after that!  What a great way to spend Spring Break!

The very last stress inducing event was our buyer’s inspection on Friday morning.  I started out the morning with a clogged potty.  Then the milk for my oats boiled over and burned in the stove. We opened up the back door to let the smoke air out and Rya the cat escaped.  On her little adventure outside she ate some grass which induced vomiting…..of course not on the tile but the carpet.  I said out loud with a smile and in a very friendly manner to who or whatever was causing the issues.….”Nothing can shut what the Father has oooooopeeeened!  Just so ya know!”  That fixed that.  I felt good leaving the house that day. Confident that no issue would arise.  We haven’t heard anything back about the inspection and Mike said when there is a problem, they address it immediately.  No news is good news.  We have the inspection on the new house Wednesday morning and  I am confident that will go smoothly as well.

*******

Aidan turned 6 on Saturday.

photo

We had a very low key event.  There is no denying that he is my child.  I asked him a month ago if he wanted to have a “Pump It Up” party and invite all his classmates and friends.  His response?

“Ooooooh noooooo way.  It’s too loud in there and the kids get super duper crazy. I just want you and me and Daddy and Luke and Rya and Early and Trixie at our house where its peaceful and quiet.”

What?  I didn’t think I could love this child anymore than I already did.

On Friday morning I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  His response?

“I don’t want a cake, I don’t want a party, I just want white donuts.”

Wow…..

same

He does love him some chocolate chip cookies so I made him a giant one, and yes, I did pile a bunch of white donuts on the birthday platter and served it to him for breakfast.

I am so happy right now.  I can’t even explain it.  I am just over the moon.  I feel so light and full of excitement.  I can’t wait to start packing.  I can’t wait to start making our new house our own.  I am so happy to be thinking happy thoughts again instead of “Good God, when will this ever end?  Are you even there?  Have you forgotten us?”  Or worse trying not to think at all.

This week I will be getting back to my P90X.  I had to put it on hold while we dealt with life last week.  Each day I set aside the time for it and it just never got done.  I really tried to follow the diet at least but even threw that out the window this weekend.  It was too much.  But…..I am getting right back on that horse and galloping my way to being bikini ready!

Jamesvia

Super Parents

It’s not often that I (ok, pretty much never) feel like a great mom. I too often fall victim to the comparison trap.

good mom

Truth

But lately I have been feeling like SUPER MOM!

Starting last week with the boys Christmas“Winter” Parties….*eyeroll”

Aidan’s teacher asked me to do a big project for their party and I happily obliged!

It was a present of treats in a box, wrapped with 20 things, put in a bigger box wrapped with 20 things, put in an even bigger box wrapped with 20 things.

photo 1 (4)

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2)

photo 3 (2)

photo 4 (2)

The kids listened to music while passing around the box and when the music stopped the child holding the box took off an item. This continued until everything was gone and then they all got to have treats from the very last box! So fun to be able to do!

THEN I baked 9 dozen cookies for treats to give to the boy’s classmates along with cards from them.

photo 2 (3)

I got to put my “new” KitchenAide to good use! This was Jeremy’s Grandmother’s that his dad gave to me! This is the best gift I have ever gotten! I love it!

photo 2 (4)

I used a box mix considering my time constraint and the fact that I had to make so many cookies! They turned out fan-freakin-tastic! I highly recommend the Krusteaz Chocolate Crackle Cookie mix.

photo 5 (4)

Jeremy and I package all 45 little treat bags and sent them all to school the next day! I felt like a CHAMPION!!!!

I was given another opportunity to feel like Super Mom this weekend when my sweet Aidan fell victim to the dreaded…….Stomach Virus……

Jeremy’s family came to visit for Christmas last Friday and we had our Christmas on Saturday. That night around 9:30, Aidan was complaining of stomach pain. I didn’t think anything of it except it was probably gas. He did eat a lot of turkey and his little belly isn’t used to all that meat. Well…..I was wrong wrong wrong.

The 3 of us camped out in the bathroom on pillows and blankets, read books & listened to the classical station on Pandora all night. From 10pm until 4 am we were up every 30-45 minutes. It was so sad. We have been so lucky to not have had a bout of stomach flu in this family in almost 10 years. I was so proud to say we had been “Vomit-Free-Since 2003”. I am very diligent about keeping my house very clean, the boys are constantly washing their hands, so are Jeremy and I. I wipe down grocery carts, tables at restaurants, use hand sanitizer. I don’t ever eat questionable food nor do I allow the boys to. If you had been through the last bout of stomach bug we went through (in 2003) you would be just as diligent. That kind of trauma never leaves you.

But alas….it was only a matter of time before all of our precaution was just not enough to keep it out of our lives. Poor Aidan. The saddest thing I think I have ever heard was him say “What’s happening to me?” Bless his sweet sweet heart. He was such a good boy through it all. I felt terrible because he was so thirsty and I knew I couldn’t give him anything so I let him suck on an ice cube. Talk about heart breaking. I couldn’t sleep at all. I read my new book, looked on Pinterest, stared at him, prayed for him. About 4am is when the vomiting every 30 mins finally stopped. From about 4-7 am I was neither awake nor asleep not wanting to miss the first signs of another attack. I was supposed to volunteer that morning so I got up and texted the director of the children’s ministry that I wouldn’t be there. Jeremy went to the store for Pedialyte. Our family left early so we could take care of Aidan. After they left, Jeremy and I disinfected this house from top to bottom. We stripped the beds, mopped, Lysol’d anything that stood still, and opened all the windows even though it was 50 degrees. I was so incredibly thankful that we made it to the toilet every single time so the worst part of cleaning up wasn’t something we had to deal with. Thank you JESUS! Aidan was feeling completely normal after some Pedialyte and Pediapops.. I don’t get that! He wasn’t even tired! Oh to have that kind of energy! Jeremy and I were totally wired on coffee and probably a second wind.

That afternoon he started to feel bad again and vomited a few more times. But after the second time we convinced him that maybe some toast would make him feel better. He was so afraid of eating anything. Understandably! But he did begin to feel better after the toast. And by better I mean not a constant feeling of needing to make a trip to the bathroom…..Sad smile You just never can trust that stomach flu. It’s a beastly thing.

We watched Home Alone on Jeremy’s tablet,

photo

and finally fell asleep around 9. Poor Jeremy slept on a cot in Aidan’s room so that I could get a full nights rest. We were pretty sure Aidan would sleep through the night but, honestly, you never know. Jeremy hardly slept because Aidan was up needing to go potty, or was thirsty. I, on the other hand, slept like a rock for about 11 hours. To say the least we will ALL sleep tight tonight on this lovely Christmas Eve!

Aidan is feeling much better today. We have been following the B.R.A.T diet. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. He has been tolerating it very well. I’ve also been letting him have white grape juice and Gatorade. I think we will continue with that tomorrow and I will let him have some chicken soup tomorrow night for his Christmas Feast!

I am super afraid that Jeremy and I are next. I pray my in-laws don’t come down with it! So far Jeremy and I are good but…..ugh. I have been so afraid to eat anything lest I spend the next 6 hours worshipping the porcelain throne! At this point I can’t tell if my slight nausea and weakness is from the lack of food or the first signs that it’s my turn!!!! I went to Target today to relieve my cabin fever and started to feel hot and dizzy while picking out fruit! Hopefully this fear will pass. I just know it could take a few days to show up and I don’t want to be caught of guard!!!!

Well, I am off to get ready for Santa Claus!!!! I hope everyone has a VERY Merry Christmas!!!!

Here is a VERY good link that I followed through the night and the next day to the T. It was immensely helpful for someone who has never really had to handle this. Except in 2003 when I was completely clueless on how to treat the stomach bug. I did all the wrong things which is most likely why it was so awful.

Dr. Sear’s

T’was a week before Christmas

and I am up to my ears in all things Christmas.  I wouldn’t change a thing but, it is SO important that I don’t get so caught up in the doing that I forget the whying….What?  I don’t know….Confused smile

Anyway, I thought I would try to check in quickly….to catch up.  I should be wrapping presents. That was on my “to-do” list today and I haven’t gotten to it yet.  I’ve reached that point where I still have so much I didn’t get done today that I have decided to just give up and blog instead. I’ll try again tomorrow!   We’ll see how “quick” I can actually make this!!

So…..where do I start?

Tuesday

DSC00629

DSC00635

Tuesday was Luke’s first Orchestra concert.  I was so proud.  I mean, let’s be honest, they are 11 year olds who have been playing for 3 months. I was prepared to have my ears bleed.  But NO!  They were fantastic!!!  The 6th graders played Canon in D which is my all time favorite song probably EVER.  I was sold.  It made me want to go to a big time show.  I am trying to get Jer to buy tickets to the Dallas Symphony for us….like every show.  Isn’t that season tickets or something?  Yes please!

Aidan and The Giant Nutcracker.  He is obsessed with them.  Every time we see one it’s the same thing.  “Mommy!  A Nutcracker! LOOK!”  Plays with the handle, sticks his fingers in the mouth, pretends its eating him, laughs hysterically…..

DSC00627

After the concert we stopped at CFA for dinner.

DSC00638

DSC00641

Oh no, they don’t belong to each other AT ALL!

************

Wednesday

Wednesday was our Date Day.  We finished up our Christmas shopping FINALLY! I don’t know how families with more than two children do it. Much respect. We had planned on going to see Silver Linings (Bradley Cooper? Yes please!) but the only showing was at 1:50 so that was a no-go.  We also ended up looking for a new desk….. for the office I will have eventually have…… in our new house…..when ever we actually sell our house!  Don’t get me started on that…..it will happen….it will happen….it will happen……Annoyed

Lets change the subject and look at some cute things….

This little brat is too much.

photo 1

photo 2

He hates that cat…..but she sure does love him!

I was feeling a little sassy on my Date Day so I wore my “Sassy Pants”.  I rarely wear these.  I have to be in just the right mood to pull them off.

sassy pantsvia

DSC00643

Top and Sweater: Ross

Hot Pink Sassy Pants: Honestly I can’t remember the name but it’s a store in the mall.   It’s like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe.

Boots: Payless

We ate lunch at Corner Bakery again and I got my special Starbucks treat.  Perfect Day with my love.

********

Thursday

I don’t remember Thursday…..is that bad or what?

*******

Friday

Ugh, Friday….not a good day.  I woke up feeling absolutely terrible with a number of unrelated ailments that kept me in bed all day.  The only thing good about days like that are being able to catch up on some reading and Dr. Oz.  I was also glued to Fox News with tissues.  I was going to post that day but felt it was highly irrelevant.  I don’t even have words to describe how heartbroken I was.  I couldn’t keep my mind from going to those dark places that only a parent knows about.  It was all I could do to not walk….no run over to the school and get my kids.  I cried as I saw them walking up the steps and hugged them in a way I have never hugged them before.  There are so many opinions out there that I agree & disagree with to an extent.  But all I am going to say is God help us all.

photo 4 (2)

This was Friday night.  If it weren’t for Jeremy saying nay, I would have had a slumber party with two little precious babies.  I didn’t want them even a foot from me.

*********

Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning with such a heavy HEAVY heart.  I was reminded of how I felt after 9-11.  I felt this vague sense of guilt as though I had an obligation to mourn with those who lost their children.  An obligation to watch the news for hours on end. To cry until I had no tears left.  But after reading a post by someone who I can’t remember now, I realized that I absolutely can not do that.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I was reminded to lift those who mourn up to God in prayer, pray constantly for all those involved and to live my precious life not in mourning or in fear, but in love and in power and in self control.  We never ever know when will be our last moments here in this earth.

*******

After all that deep spiritual stuff,  I had some power shopping to do…..grocery shopping that is.  Am I the only who has a love hate relationship with grocery shopping?  I love a full pantry and fridge, but I hate actually going to get the stuff.

After grocery shopping pretty much all day,  I prepped some food for Jeremy to take to work this week.  Since he is gone for 15 hours a day, he has to pack a snack, lunch, snack and more snacks….actually they are small meals for most people.  He can stop drinking cokes and lose weight.  I have to basically eat spinach all day in order to lose .5 lb. Yes, I might hate him a little for that.  Anyway…..I was buying him frozen meals like Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisines….but it killed me inside a little each week to do that.  The man needs food, like real food, like a lot of food.  But he is also health conscience.  Therein lies the conundrum.  Healthy food with a lot of good fats and calories…..He is also on board with me to nix the sugar and excess carbs in our diet.  So during lunch on our Date Day we brainstormed and came up with the most obvious solution.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before! I would make him homemade Lean Cuisines!!!!  I decided I would make a one dish each Saturday just for him to take for his lunches the next week.  When I make dinner for the family, we eat the leftovers until they are gone in order to stretch our grocery budget out.  So there are no leftovers for him to take to work.  I am thinking casseroles, a batch of veggies, brown rice, fish, chicken, turkey burgers ect.  Something that will make 3-4 servings.

This week I baked some fish with lemon pepper seasoning, roasted some frozen veggies and cooked up a batch of brown rice.

photo 4

I packed them in some containers.  3 for the 3 days he works this week.

photo 5

And stacked them in the fridge for easy access and visibility at 5am.

photo 1 (2)

I felt 100% better about his fuel for the week.

I also made some “Quick Energy Bites” for him to replace his Clif Bars.

photo 2 (2)

There are several variations of these all over the internet. I’ll post the one I use with my variations sometime this week!

************

Sunday

So that brings us to today…..finally.  I woke up feeling pretty terrible with those same “ailments” as Friday.  I was feeling better on Saturday but they came back today.  I was scheduled to serve in the nursery this morning at church but I just couldn’t get myself together, let alone two children and the house picked up in case of a last minute showing.  So I had to call in.  I was so sad.  I SO look forward to my “baby fix” each week.  As the morning went on I started to feel better and got out and about this afternoon while The Boys were at a birthday party.  I went to the library in search for a particular book I have been wanting to read.  Couldn’t find it there so I went to Garden Ridge (I saw it there once) Target, Barnes & Noble, then Walmart.  I must REALLY want this book if I (person who would rather go to the dentist than be in a crowd of people) braved the mall 11 days before Christmas.  I couldn’t get in OR out of there!  Parking was MAD!  But….after all that, sadly I still can’t find my book.  Fortunately my mother-in-law has it!  Too bad she lives 300 miles away!  She is bringing it to me on Friday when they come for Christmas!

************

Well, that took much longer than thought…..so alas I must bid you adieu….Hopefully it won’t be another week before I post again!

It’s (finally) beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

I hope all had a lovely weekend!  Mine was pretty good!  Laid back just the way I like it.  It was just me and little A all weekend which is always nice.  Aidan is a total homebody like I am so we were both content to hang around the house all weekend just enjoying the peace and quiet.  We did get out for a bit on Saturday for some Christmas shopping but after three stores we both decided that being in traffic and standing lines was not how we wanted to spend the day.

photo 1 (3)

photo 2 (2)

0011

Red heartRed heartRed heart

I never shared his school picture did I?  He is so beautiful.

I must mention that the reason I hadn’t shared it yet was because I had to reorder them.  In the first set he had blue marker on his nose. WHAT? Yes…he did. Smile  I thought “Ummmm, excuse me but how did that get past his teacher, the photographer and the editor yet it was the first thing I saw?!?!”  I don’t know…but thank goodness for Photoshop.

I haven’t done an excellent job of food documentary.  I have had this for breakfast the last several mornings.

photo 3 (2)

Except this morning I had a banana, some almonds and half a boiled egg in addition.  I didn’t eat dinner last night and woke up famished.  I didn’t eat dinner last night? No, I was so exhausted by the end of the day and my head was pounding.  It was all I could do just to make sandwiches and slice up oranges for my boys.  I found myself in bed by 7pm giving half hearted directions to shower, brush your teeth, stop fighting, pick up ya’ll’s toys…..I’m not exactly sure why I was so tired.  It had been a go-go-go kind of day though so I supposed my battery just died.

Yesterday

After doing Level 2 of 30 day Shred, I cleaned up quickly and ran some errands.  When I got back home I ate some tuna salad I had prepped that morning.

photo 4 (2)

This was two cans of tuna, 2 tbsp. light mayo, homemade relish (just a pickle crushed up in my food processor), a squeeze of mustard, and some pepper.

When I got home from more errands yesterday afternoon I was super hungry and ate an apple, a few handfuls of almonds and a bag of 100 calorie popcorn.  I suppose that was another reason I wasn’t super hungry at dinner.  I made up for it this morning though!

******

It took me 2 hours to get my house cleaned up this morning.  What am I talking about? This is every morning.  Is it just me or does anyone else’s home explode between the time their children get up & when they leave for school?  I am not kidding….I go to bed, the house is tidy, I wake up, the house is tidy….three hours later I have to go through each and every room, picking up clothes, toys, wiping down sinks and toilets, two loads of laundry everyday.  I don’t know how two little people can make such huge messes.  It’s chaos chaos, we leave and then I return home to the aftermath and think  “What the heck happened in here?” The kitchen alone takes an hour….I am so glad I don’t have a “real” job.  I’d go crazy.

I didn’t feel like doing 30 Day Shred again today. I really wanted to go for a run.  The fact that it was literally freezing this morning made me cringe just thinking about it.

photo 2

But the thought of doing 50 squat thrusts made me cringe even more…..So I bundled up and went for it.

photo 1

About a mile into my run, the gloves and jacket come off.  Lesson #1 of running in cold weather, you won’t be cold for long.

When I got back I noticed my plants looked down right pitiful!

photo 1 (2)

It’s so sad because they THRIVED in the 110 degree heat this summer.  I hope they don’t completely perish.

I trimmed them up and gave them some water so hopefully they’ll perk up as the weather begins to warm up.

photo 4

Anywhoooo….my huge breakfast is finally wearing off and I need to find something for lunch!

Before I go I’ll leave you with some pictures of cute animals and some inspiration to get ya booty movin!

photo 5

You mess with my waffle, I will cut you.

photo 2

ahhhhh warmth…..

Oh Ryanvia

Why yes, yes I would LOVE to run a marathon!

Winking smile

Interesting times

The last two weeks have been very interesting to say the least.  Last week my unexpected pre-cancerous mole and the removal of….also my life changing conversation with Jeremy.

**Side note: Friday’s “exciting news” meeting went better than we expected.  We have another one this Friday, hopefully making things official.  I don’t want to say anything out loud just yet because I don’t want to jinx a thing.  With the way the devil has been working on stealing my joy this week, I think it best to keep a lid on it until all is said and done!**

The weirdness this week began on Sunday morning.  Trying to get two boys who love/hate each other ready for church is nearly impossible.  Add to that trying to do it with 9 stiches on your hip…yes I said 9.  We thought it was 7, but upon further inspection (i.e. changing bandages) we saw there were 6 not 4 on top.  She put 3 inside and originally was going to put 4 on top.  I remember her saying to her assistant that she was going to do “a couple more”.  So 9, yes 9 stitches.  Sunscreen my friends…..SUNSCREEN!  Anyway….it was pouring down rain as we were trying desperately to get ourselves out the door.  It wasn’t supposed to be raining by the way…..Don’t get me wrong I was THANKFUL for it but it does tend to make it exponentially slightly more challenging getting out of the car and into the church.  Thank you God for giving me boys who don’t mind getting wet and are sweet enough to make sure Momma is covered by the umbrella.  Good news though, we made it!  In time for donuts and coffee before the service too!  I am so glad I didn’t throw in the towel trying to get there because it was one of those services that makes a girl cry!

photo 1 (2)

I currently have two boxes of these in my house.

photo 1

Thank you Elementary School for choosing my drug of choice for a fundraiser!

Just what I need during a stressful week! YAY!

I made Skinny Pizza Rolls from Dashing Dish

photo 3

photo 4

They were super SUPER yummy!

A few words of advice from my experience:

1.  The recipe didn’t make 24 rolls

2.  Go easy on the Italian seasoning and Garlic Powder.

3. Check them at 8 minutes.  I baked these for 10 and look what happened!

It was a good thing Aidan wasn’t interested in these either because there wouldn’t have been enough for everyone!

Speaking of Aidan….weird event #2

Luke had a dentist appointment on Monday afternoon at 3 so I picked both boys up from school early.  As you may know, or not know, I feed them dinner right after school because they make a bee line for the kitchen when they get home.  By the time we got out of the dentist office it was way past meal time for them and I thought they were going to start chewing their arms off if I didn’t get them something ASAP.  I decided to take them to Chick-Fil-A and sit outside since it was absolutely lovely out.  Aidan got bitten twice by a mosquito or something but we didn’t pay any attention to it.

Yesterday around 1:30 I got a call from the school nurse saying Aidan had some bug bites that were pretty bad and asked if I was aware of them.  I said “Oh yeah, he tends to swell up quite a bit.”  She proceeded to say that she didn’t think this was normal and I could tell from the sound of her voice I needed to get there quickly.  When I got there she was right!  My little punkin was swollen up like a muscle man!

These were taken a few hours after I had given him some Benadryl.  The outlines are where the swelling and redness were when I picked him up.

photo 2 (2)photo 3 (2)

photo 4 (2)

He looked like he had a baseball under there when I picked him up.

The one on his wrist was so swollen there was no curve from his forearm to his hand.

photo 5photo 5 (2)

I didn’t have any Benadryl but I was on my way to Wal-Mart (sometimes there is no other choice) for a few things before the nurse called. So after I picked him up we went to Wal-Mart and had the weirdest experience ever.

I was in a hurry, obviously because hello, it’s Walmart and also I had to be back in time for when Luke got home from school.  First, I got stuck in the pharmacy area behind the slowest elderly man on the face of the planet….and then I got ran into by a mentally challenged obese woman with googly eyes on a scooter who was also knocking down boxes of Icy Hot with her basket!  After I picked up her helped her pick up her mess she began asking for advice on what pain medicine she should take.  All the while Aidan is mad at me because he thinks I got him the wrong humidifier last year and I really need to get him a new one.  “Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mommy. You REALLY need to get me this humidifier, its way cooler….Mommy, mom, momma mom mom Amanda….MOM!  Look!”…..Meanwhile I am having to listen to Mentally Challenged Lady in the other ear “What kind of medicine do YOU take? Do you like the liquid gels?  What’s this Goody’s?  How do you take it?  I have an appointment with the pain management specialist tomorrow and I just need…….”  All this is being fed into my brain while I am looking at boxes of Benadryl trying to think….. “WHY would the nurse tell me to give my 5 yr. old Benadryl when the box clearly says Ages 6-11.  I really hate giving them stuff…..I only do it if it is absolutely necessary and clearly it is…I guess I’ll just call her when we get home. By the way Lord God, you are making it very difficult to be a sweet Christian woman right now.”  So I said to the lady “Well, I hope you choose the right medication for you! I personally like the Aleve Liquid Gels but everyone is different!  Good luck at your appointment tomorrow.”  “Ok!  thank you!”  I wish I could say that was that but lucky me ran into her again a few aisles down in baby care.  She told me she chose the Goody’s because……

I honestly don’t know what else she said but I said “Ok!  Sounds GREAT! Bye now!”

Lord help a sister out!

Finally we made it home.  I gave Aidan the Benadryl and the swelling went down.  However he started acting all sorts of loopy.  Slurring his words, blinking his eyes slowly, talking about random stuff.  It was funny and sad at the same time.  The exact reason I hate giving them anything.  I decided to give him half the dosage at bedtime.  This morning the bites were still pretty red but are getting better and I haven’t gotten a call from the sweet nurse so I am thinking all is well!

There have been many other odd events this week that I won’t divulge but trust me….they were anything short of what’s normal around here.  It’s been fun though, last night I just had to laugh.  When it rains it pours doesn’t it?

I am reminded of one of my FAVORITE scriptures.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1: 2-4

So that’s how this week is going!  We are going to try to go to church tonight and I am so excited to see how the devil is going to try to keep that from happening!

*****

Master Commander

THIS made my cry I was laughing so hard!  If you are a little twisted like I am then you may like it too!

Just a little proud

When you are a mom, there are moments in your life when you experience a level of pride for your child that can not be matched.  Today was one of those moments for me when Aidan graduated from Pre-K.

photo 2 (2)

photo 3 (2)

Excuse me while I brag on my child for a few minutes…..with all the drama and trauma I have to deal with on a daily basis, not to mention physically growing him in my body and then giving birth to the child….I think I deserve this.  So if you don’t like mush and gush….please by all means…carry on.

First of all he won the award for Mr. Manners.  That my friends does not come naturally in a child, so yes…I was proud of my work.  How many times do I repeat myself? “I am raising gentlemen, not heathens!”  “Boys!  Act civilized!” “Say thank you!….AIDAN SAY THANK YOU!”  “Aidan, say hello….that man said hello to you.”  “Luke, sit right in your chair.”  “Boys, no potty talk at the table.” “Luke, we do not fart at the table.”  “Boys, potty talk is not cute or funny, ever”  “Ladies first!”  and on and on…..In a world where good manners seem to be a lost art….MY children will have manners.

photo 3

photo 5

Look at that precious baby.  They did a little show for us, singing songs and doing countless sign language along with the words.  They recited the alphabet in sign language as well as a few words beginning with each letter.  His teachers told me he was in front because he was one of the best.  I would have to agree.

photo 4

After graduation we had the opportunity to let our children stay at school for the remainder of the day or take them with us. Ummmm, take my child with me on my only day of freedom?  I think not!  I had some shopping to do that required me to be able to hear myself think.  I tried to do it Sunday and then again yesterday but the little boy in the graduation picture was NOT havin it.

I went to several stores trying to find something nice for the boys’ teachers.  I intended to MAKE something super crafty and clever….but I lack that gene.  It’s ok, I have strengths in different areas!  Winking smile  I settled on Bath & Body Works.  The scents are Island Margarita and Caribbean Escape.  I am going to say something completely cheesy like “Enjoy your Island Margarita and your Caribbean Escape over the summer!!!”

photo 2

************************

I did a terrible job of eating today.  Thumbs down

Breakfast was my usual smoothie

photo 1 (2)

After the graduation I had two cookies.  One chocolate chip and one sugar.  Then I got a tall Misto from Starbucks.  I got hungry while I was at TJ MAXX and these looked appetizing.

photo 1

180 snacks in cranberry pomegranate

I ate the whole bag (I guess it was “lunch”) and  it kept me pretty satisfied for several hours.

I had to go to Target to get a few more things for the teachers and they had several delicious samples out to try!  Samples are my favorite.

When I got home I had a Clif Crunch Bar.

See what I mean?  Atrocious…We are having leftovers from last night for dinner.  Have I mentioned that casseroles are always so much better the next night?

Speaking of dinner.  I am in a bit of a cooking rut lately.  I think because we have been so busy lately with End of Year Activities,  I haven’t been able sit and look for hours for new recipes…..That will be a goal for this week and seeing as how I do the grocery shopping on Wednesdays…..I better get on that a.s.a.p.!

I am so looking forward to summer.  I may eat my words in a few weeks when I have both boys with me all daaaaaay long.  But I am looking forward to the more relaxed schedule, staying up later, sleeping in.  There just seems to be more time for fun in the summer.

summer

I am SO thankful that today is our Friday!!!  Happy Dance!!!  I will have some back-up!

one last thing….I am INCREDIBLY sore from Bob’s workout yesterday.  Like hurts to sit, hurts to stand, hurts to walk sore…..I will have to do some serious stretching if I want a workout to happen tomorrow!

one more last thing…..I am taking the White Kidney Bean Extract now and so far, none of the  unpleasant side effects!!!  WHOO HOO!!!

Dr. Oz experiment update!

Guess what I got yesterday?

photo 1

It’s the raspberry ketones I talked about last week.

Top Secret Raspberry Ketones

I have taken two so far.  One last night and one this morning.  My plan is to take two a day for 30 days.  I took my measurements last night and I’ll take them again in 30 days.  I haven’t felt any weird side effects so that was win #1 since I am super sensitive to things.

Breakfast

photo 2

Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed

Workout

I was feeling super energized this morning, unlike yesterday, and couldn’t wait to get started.  The gym was PACKED and I literally drove around for 5 min waiting for a spot to open up.  I guess the parking lot situation was because there were at least 3 group classes going on.  The cardio equipment was open & I got my favorite treadmill!!!  I planned on doing 30 min on the treadmill then some upper body strength but by the time I finished the treadmill work there were about 4 people in the spot I like like to use.  So I decided I would go home and do Jillian’s 30 Day Shred.

By the time I got home I was famished. So before I started Jillian’s workout I had a little snack.

photo 2 (2)

Fuji apple, 1 piece cinnamon protein bread

Lunch

photo 3

1/2 large baked sweet potato with spray butter and Ideal Brown Sugar Blend

I didn’t have time to eat the other half.  Thumbs down

Snack

Before I left to pick up Aidan I knew I would need something else to tie me over until I could get back home.

photo 4

Annie’s PB & J granola bar, Vitamin Water

Bank trip

Aidan had saved up a bunch of coins and wanted a new toy.  We went to the bank to exchange them after school today!  $9.06.  Then we went to Target for a new toy!

photo 5

Snack

By the time we made it home it was 3:15 and clearly I had not eaten enough earlier in the day.  This is just one of the things I ate this afternoon!  I.WAS.RAVENOUS.

photo 1 (2)

Dannon Greek non-fat yogurt in Strawberry, protein bread

You can add to this: peanuts, another few pieces of bread, a granola bar.  I am planning on eating the other half of that potato for dinner tonight so I will have at least 1 serving of veggies today.   Note to self: eat better tomorrow…ok?

Of Interest?

Cinnamon:Superfood

My favorite kind of day

I was up at my usual time this morning thanks to a fantastic nights sleep.  By 7am I had had my quiet time and coffee and was ready to start the day.  The rest of the house was still fast asleep so I decided I would eat a banana and go for a 5 mile run.

photo 1

My run felt incredible!  It was gorgeous this morning.  I tried my best to take it all in because I know my days of running in the morning are numbered.  By 8 am I was a sweaty stinky mess. I could have gone for an additional 2 miles but I knew I still needed to eat breakfast and get ready for our outing later.

Breakfast

photo 2

Chobani 2% Greek Yogurt in Passion Fruit, 1 Orowheat Sandwich Thin, 1 tbsp. JIF Natural Peanut Butter, sprinkle of cinnamon and chia.

Snack

photo 3

Annie’s PB&J Granola Bar

I think these may be new favorite.

We took Aidan to a bounce house place.

photo 1 (2)photo 5

He was in heaven and we were thankful to have a place that wasn’t 150 degrees where he could burn off his abundant energy.

photo 4 (2)photo 3 (2)photo 4

We ran a few errands before coming home and then I got started in the kitchen.

But first a snack

photo 1 (4)

and my usual pick-me-up.

photo 5 (2)

Spark

This is such a life saver at 3pm when you have been up since 5am, bedtime is another 6 hours away and your children’s energy levels do not match yours!

I made the best batch of Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread I have ever made.

photo 2 (3)

Dinner

photo 1 (3)

photo 2 (2)

Weight Watchers Chicken with Fresh Tomato Sauce, 1/2 cup Brown Rice, & 4 oz. Moscato

This was SOOO yummy!  I wasn’t crazy about the chicken as usual, but the rest of it was so wonderful.  I gave Jeremy half of my chicken and ate all the rest.

Then I had two pieces of Jamie’s bread….this batch will not last long! Winking smile

I had such a wonderful day today.  Full of my favorite things.  A really good and long quiet prayer time, coffee was superb, an exceptional run, fun with little A, baking, cooking a healthy meal for my guys, and I will end it with some reading….as long as I can keep my eyes open! We have a long day planned for tomorrow so I better try to get in bed ASAP!

What I am loving right now.

Jeremy loves 80’s music.  I can’t blame him, it was some good stuff!  He showed this to me a couple of days ago and I have been listening to it pretty much constantly ever since!

Pandora’s 80’s Love Songs Radio

photo 3photo 4

You can’t argue that this isn’t quality music.

photo 5

RIP Whitney Sad smile

Me:  Man, they just don’t make love songs like they used to.

Jeremy: They don’t MAKE love songs anymore.

Truth.