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Pinterest, Food Network, & Snacks, Oh MY!

I’ve been struggling with making lunches and snack interesting again. I’ve looked to Pinterest and Food Network and Bento Mama home pages. I’ve tried so many different things. Some, like the pizza bagels (easy peasy: toast a bagel, put it in the lunch box, add a tub of pizza sauce and a tub of shredded cheese and send to school for kids to assemble) and the Turkey/Cheese Skewers (with festive skewers ordered online) have been instant hits. Others, like the Cherry Angel Food Dump Cake (again, easy: dump one can cherry pie filling into greased 9×13 pan, dump box of angel food cake mix on top of that, dump one stick of butter on top of that. cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees), no one loved (it fizzed in your mouth. it was disturbing).

Today I made a version of Puppy Chow that I’ve taste tested before the kids get home. It’s got chocolate and peanut butter and bits of dried fruit and random dry cereal. It has a couple substitutions for kids likes/dislikes, but I’m still thinking it won’t be a hit. Or maybe it will be. I just don’t know.

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Neighbor Bread

Here’s the story: on Wednesday morning, I went to my friend Stephanie J’s house for coffee. She served the MOST DELICIOUS coffee cake EVER. It turned out to be a recipe one of the neighbor’s had given her…and she had used figs that another neighbor had given her to make it. Wednesday night I was over at the (recipe) neighbor’s house for a wine tasting party and asked for the recipe. She laughed and introduced me to Debbie, who is her “neighbor” at work who had given HER the recipe.  Hence the name Neighbor Bread. So I posted about it to facebook and this recipe now has a following. I’m posting it here in slightly edited form (It was originally sent in to a newspaper and “my” copy of it has the newspaper bit at the top, with bits crossed out, underlined, and whited out & written over, with copious notes at the bottom.).

Neighbor Bread

AKA Fresh Fig Bread with Sherry

Spread the slices with cream cheese or butter and serve at breakfast or teatime, or for dessert.  Moist, sweet, and lightly perfumed, fig bread goes well with tea, apple juice, or sherry.

 

1 ½ cups stemmed and coarsely

chopped ripe dark or light figs

1 teaspoon  each ground cinnamon and baking soda
¼ cup dry sherry ½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts ½ cup salad oil
2 large eggs

Combine figs and sherry; let stand at least 15 minutes. Mix together flour, walnuts, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

In a mixer bowl, beat sugar, oil, and eggs to mix. Blend in flour mixture; gently stir in figs and sherry. Pour batter into a well-greased 5×9 inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven until bread feels firm when gently pressed in center, about 1 ¼ hours. Let cool in pan 10 MIN. Invert onto rack to cool. Slice to serve. To store, wrap airtight and keep at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes about a 2-pound loaf, or 12 servings. —Lee Jordan, Concord, California.

Notes on page from Connie (as passed on from her friend Debbie):

-can substitute port for sherry (or marsala)

-if using “cooking sherry” omit the salt

-place wax paper along bottom of pan & grease generously

-takes about 16-17 small figs, or 2 cups untrimmed figs

-can substitute pears for figs (takes about 3 pears- peel them)

-maybe add extra yolk if using pears.


Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Merrily I Roll Along

I’m adding to this post as I go on today.  Seemed like fun!

  • My bedroom & bathroom before (the parts I’m working on today only):
  • 9am
Bathroom before: the sink is rusting and I can't figure out how to stop it from dripping short of a bathroom renovation.  So I'm constantly having to wipe up down there.

Bathroom before: the sink is rusting and I can’t figure out how to stop it from dripping short of a bathroom renovation. So I’m constantly having to wipe up down there.

The tall cabinets before: Not too bad, but could be better.  The towels definitely need help and it'd be nice if my shelf were better organized.

The tall cabinets before: Not too bad, but could be better. The towels definitely need help and it’d be nice if my shelf were better organized.

Most of this stuff does not belong in my room, but it’s where stuff gets dropped when the kids can’t find other homes for stuff when they’re tidying other parts of the house. If I can’t find new homes for this stuff by end of day, I’m taking stuff to Goodwill on the way to pick up the kids.

  • After:
  • 10am:
I took  the old art bins to use as a cleaning bins for the bathrooms.  I moved out the unnecessary  sharps bin and extra cleaning supplies.  Tidy!

I took the old art bins to use as a cleaning bins for the bathrooms. I moved out the unnecessary sharps bin and extra cleaning supplies. Tidy!

I separated out mine and Nick's hoards of extra supplies into two bins up top, then tidied up the other three shelves below.  Then I put a different shelving unit in for the towels.

I separated out mine and Nick’s hoards of extra supplies into two bins up top, then tidied up the other three shelves below. Then I put a different shelving unit in for the towels.

  • noon

My spouse is home for lunch, but he is very busy preparing things for dinner. Apparently it is multi-step and I will need to assist as well. Yay?

  • 1:05pm

I just mashed potatoes for the first time ever. It was smushy. Then I added stuff to them. They smell good. 🙂 I am supposed to wait to eat them for dinner. Hmmm….

  • 1:30pm
Look: you can see the floor!  And the stack of linen-filled hat boxes have been emptied into a basket and put in the linen closet.  And the boxes of my grandmother & great-grandmother's china from the top shelf of  the linen closet got emptied into a cupboard in the kitchen and that cupboard in the kitchen got emptied into the donate-to-Goodwill box.

Look: you can see the floor! The stack of linen-filled hat boxes have been emptied into a basket and put in the linen closet. And the boxes of my grandmother & great-grandmother’s china from the top shelf of the linen closet got emptied into a cupboard in the kitchen and that cupboard in the kitchen got emptied into the donate-to-Goodwill box. I also drilled holes and installed the iron curtain tie-back things.

  • 2pm
If you look back at the day I was working on David's room, you'll remember that his closet top was very full of mess.  I cleared a bit out.

If you look back at the day I was working on David’s room, you’ll remember that his closet top was very full of mess. I cleared a bit out by moving stuff in the big bin into the little boxes that used to house china in the linen closet. Now it houses the pile o’ pants that used to be in that empty spot.

  • 2:45pm
No before picture, sorry.  I cleared out my magazine racks, filled them with the piles of Nick's magazines from the floor, and put them on shelves.  Then I cleared out the top shelf of the closet and put all the empty boxes from up there in the recycle bin.  Don't ask why I had empty boxes up there.  I don't know.

No before picture, sorry. I cleared out my magazine racks, filled them with the piles of Nick’s magazines from the floor, and put them on shelves. Then I cleared out the top shelf of the closet and put all the empty boxes from up there in the recycle bin. Don’t ask why I had empty boxes up there. I don’t know.

And last but not least, I started spraypainting Nick's side table.  It used to be blue and silver, but it was very scraped.  I say "started" because I used to have half a can of that paint and when I started spraying I realized that someone else must've used it for something because it was mostly empty. *sigh*

And last but not least, I started spray-painting Nick’s side table. It used to be blue and silver, but it was very scraped. I say “started” because I used to have half a can of that paint and when I started spraying I realized that someone else must’ve used it for something because it was mostly empty. *sigh* Anyway, I have a new-to-us alarm clock-and-Iphone-charger-player thingie to put on top of it. The younger kids are getting our old alarm clock-cd player and David is getting their old one, which doesn’t have readable numbers, but does have a CD player for him and then I’m going to hand him all the Weird Al CDs.

And that’s the end of that, because I’m having weird back spasms now.  I have definitely overdone it today.

Week of craziness

(One day soon I hope to come up with better titles…we’ll see.)

Thursday last we had a double crazy day.  I baked 6 dozen cookies over the course of the day, those yummy apple caramel cider ones I did last week, but this time with the chunk caramel rather than the bits.  Oh what a difference the chunk caramel made!  They went from yum to superextrayum!  After the kids came home from school we decorated the cakes they baked the night before and that morning.

Ben’s cake:

Ben's green car cake

David’s cake:



That night Nick took the kids to their cake auction while I went to a cookie exchange party at one of the newer neighbors houses.  I didn’t know most of the people there, but the kids did enjoy playing together and I came home with some fabulous cookies.  (photos to be added once I find them)  Nick came home with some other kids cake, as he was outbid on our kids cakes.  They totally loved that!

Friday was the quadrupaly crazy day.  Ben had eaten  one of the caramel chunk cookies without warming it first and his crown came out so he had to be taken into the dentist first thing in the morning.  Also in the morning there was a concert at school for all the kids and parents that hadn’t gotten to see/be in the big performance the week before.  My mom took Ben to the dentist and my dad, Greg, and I went to save seats at the concert.  Ben and my mom got back before the concert started but too late to sit with us.  David got to play his violin in public for the first time and did very well.

From there we went home and got some breakfast real fast before gathering stuff up for the class parties.  I’m the homeroom mom coordinator for our PTA this year, so I’d spent the week contacting all the homeroom moms and their teachers, trying to make sure all the room parties were being taken care of and that people were all signed up to bring stuff.  I brought a cartload of extras and put it in the school office in case anyone was lacking anything, as I had two parties of my own to help out with.  Fortunately for me, the other moms involved in the parties were awesome, so I was able to run back and forth between the two parties a bit.  While I was running around, I noticed this hanging in the bathroom:

Isn’t that amazing?!

Anyways, Ben’s party had bingo

and a Left/Right gift exchange (I wrapped extra gifts in case they were lacking some and passed them out to younger siblings afterwards).

David’s party made ice cream cone Christmas trees (idea from Pinterest, naturally)

and also played bingo (yes, Greg was everywhere all at once, too!)

It was a great afternoon, but I was exhausted and out of breath by the time I’d climbed all those stairs a half dozen times (sometimes I’d walk the extra distance and take the elevator, but it was pretty far away).

My parents picked us up straight from the time the bell rang and drove us down to Palestine for our annual trip to ride The Polar Express.

Mom and I dressed up in our robes for the event

The kids were likewise dressed in pajamas.  This year it was freezing cold, so everyone wore their jackets, except Greg, who tried to live inside my robe.

Looking down at the train

Sitting together

The other half

Mr. Conductor came and punched our tickets.  The kids continued to be sad that they weren’t punching words like in the movie. The elves came out and danced with Ben

and to our great surprise, David danced with her, too.  (Even more surprising actually was that Greg said “no.”)

Hot chocolate

The North Pole.  We decided to be nice and let another family that hadn’t been there before sit on the side with all the lights.  🙂

After the train ride we changed up tradition a little and ate dinner at Giovanni’s, which is right next door to Little Mexico (where we normally go).

We have no photos of Saturday at all.  Aren’t you feeling happy about that by now?

Sunday Santa’s helper Elmer the Brownie visited our house.  When he saw we were all decked out for the holidays, he brought us yummy cookies.

Monday we made some graham cracker houses (and used up all the leftover candy from the class parties).

Yesterday we got The Call and left for College Station a day early, thinking that Steph’s baby was on his way.  Sadly, he wasn’t yet (she was more than a week over due), but we did get in a little visit today and she opened his present from us (which was partly something to be used on Christmas day).  Tomorrow I’ll post some more pictures.  Aren’t you excited?

Oh so tired…

…but trying to catch up. In case you were wondering, I’ve gone back and finished up a few posts and hit “Publish” today, so in case you’re reading from a feed-reader you might want to visit the site and see what’s gone up lately (I’ve noticed that sometimes Google Reader doesn’t update when I hit “publish” on back-dated posts. Or sometimes it just pops up all 8 billion all at once. YMMV.). I’ve been saving posts on the theory that someday I might upload the photos and add the photos to them. Hahahah. Today was that day. But let’s not let me get ahead of myself.

Last Friday we got up and did…something, who knows what, until it was time to go to playgroup. This week they texted me that they wanted to do the library, which was fine by me, as we’d had to skip on Wednesday. The library’s Circus Day was different than we’d expected, more like an indoor winter carnival than a circus. It was fun for the kids, though. There was hand stamping and face painting (strangely none of our children wanting either thing done). Punching dolls and snowmen were set up to throw hula hoops around.

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There was a Bobbing for Bears booth and Snacks & Storytime as well.

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Greg’s favorite part was the Puppet Theatre: “And they lived happily ever after. The End.”
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But really, it was all a little too loud in there because there were so many school groups and day cares in there. The kids asked to go to “the real library” so we headed over to the side with books and let them play in the regular story room and to look at books:
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After the library we came home and I was exhausted. It was lunchtime. Nick looked at me and suggested a nap. So I reminded him of the kids rescheduled piano lessons, put my ear plugs in, and went to bed. I slept until 4:30 when the piano teacher rang and asked if we were still planning on coming. Apparently no one else remembered piano lessons. So I got up, drove the kids over, and stared out the window until it was time to go home. I got to officially meet her daughter and chat about pinterest for a few minutes, which was nice, but I was so out-of-it. Took the kids back home and tried to get things done, but really was not awake enough for anything.

Saturday we got up and blissfully had nowhere we needed to be. I rested all morning, as I was still exhausted, but things did not improve for me. Everyone else went to church and I stayed home and slept. By the time everyone got home I was doing well enough to load & unload the dishwasher, but not much else.

Sunday we got up and had a busy day full of cleaning and repairing. Nick and David worked on repairing the light fixture in the kids room:
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Then I found Nick the dishwasher guide and he tried to fix the dishwasher. He got as far as I did the day I tried and also couldn’t get the part off that I couldn’t get off. So we read the guide and decided to try the suggestion to run hot water in the sink before we run the dishwasher. It’s seemed to help somewhat.

We washed and cleaned and swept and cleaned some more until dinnertime. It wasn’t a really exciting day, actually. Just productive.

Monday was yet another A. day. He was cranky. Greg was cranky. I was cranky. The less said the better, probably. The big kids had scouts in the evening and I got them to go together again like last week since it worked so well. 🙂

Yesterday I got the big kids to draw me their plans for their Scout Cake Auction cakes. They’re supposed to design and make their own cakes with a scout-like theme. We looked online for some ideas to enhance our designs, made a list of supplies needed, and then it was time for the big kids to be dropped off at school. Greg and I went shopping for those supplies, plus a few others for other baking related things we have going on this week (piano recital, gift cookies, cookie exchange cookies). We did not get the film that was developed because the film area was not open until 9am, which I find ridiculous, especially this time of year. Grr. Got home in time to pick up Greg’s school stuff. Once I got him settled at school, I came home and baked my first batch of cookies for the week, courtesy of Pinterest (recipe here and using stamps to press cookies here). Nick called and said he was leaving for Houston before lunch so he never got to sample them.
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At that point it was time to head out for the PTA meeting. I brought them some cookies and some for the office staff as well. We had our meeting and then put together staff appreciation gifts (scented candles and hand-signed cards with candy canes attached with ribbon). I got out in time to grab food from home to eat on my way picking up Greg from MDO. Picked him and the big kids up, got them to practice their piano pieces one last time, then gathered up my kids plus an extra that was coming to be the audience for the mini-recital. Since our local family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and my parents are in BCS during the week, we asked friends from school & their moms (one mom not pictured) to come hear our little recital.
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The recital went pretty well. The kids were a bit nervous and made a few mistakes here and there, but they were so happy to have their friends there it didn’t matter. The kids in the audience sang along to the songs they knew words to, which was super fun! I had thought about bringing my piano books with in case I was asked to play, but after all that PTA work, my hands weren’t up to playing by that point in the day. It would have been nice, though. After the recital we exchanged gifts with the teacher and the kids ran outside to play on the stumps in the front lawn (and were joined by a random kid on a bike):
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It was a really good evening! At home I made a really simple dinner and we watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to wind down before bed.

Today we got up and I did a mini recital of my own for my own kids while they got ready for school. It was nice to play through my Christmas music for them and they enjoyed singing along. 🙂 Got the big kids off to school & then A. came over. The kids played in the back yard most of the morning, digging for dinosaur bones and looking for T-rexes over the fence in the creek.
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I, of course, sat where I could see them and set about uploading photos and finishing inserting pictures into blog posts so they could finally be “published.” 🙂 Today was our awkward in-between day before a bunch of things happen. Tonight we’ll bake the cakes for scouts so we can decorate them tomorrow. I have to go to the store now and buy 2 more items that I couldn’t find at Super-Walmart yesterday for the cookies I’m baking for tomorrow nights cookie exchange party (which is happening at the same time as the Scout Cake Auction). Then the next day will be a school program in the morning, a coffee date, then all the class parties, followed by a trip on the Polar Express (on the Palestine to Rusk train), and ending up with dinner at the yummy Italian place in Palestine. I think I probably won’t be updating until Sunday or so, after I’ve had a chance to catch my breath. Y’all have a fun next few days! 🙂

The beginning of the insanity

So after the Boring Post of Boringness, things finally got interesting.

Thursday morning I kept Ben home from school because he had to go in and have a pulpectomy, which is basically a smaller version of a root canal. His little tooth was mildly infected, so they drilled it and put a silver cap on it. He said “it was terrible” and promises to floss more now. Here he is with the funny mask they put on him for the nitrous oxide:

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We were going to go straight home for him to rest, but he was antsy so we went to the mall and looked for a present for his grandparents while we waited for him to stop being drooly and start being able to eat. Once he’d regained feeling, I fed him lunch (his lunch time is really early and he wasn’t done being numb by then)and took him back to school. I took no pictures of his drooliness by his request. Then I headed off for my piano lessons and the rest of the day.

Friday morning I got a text from my long lost friend Monaca asking us to go out for coffee, so we headed out to Einstein’s bagels. (If you sign up for their e-club they’ll send you a coupon for a free bagel with schmear with any drink purchase. I also have a refill cup there, so my refill only cost $1, which wasn’t quite as good as the promised 50c refills, but better than $2+ for coffee. No, I’m not being reimbursed by them to say this. I also signed up with Panera Bread for their card and got a free pastry coupon from them, too.) Greg got an “everything” bagel with strawberry cream cheese on it. It was pretty gross. My whole wheat with onion spread was delicious. From there we left for our regular Friday playgroup. This time we met at Pollard Park, which we’ve been going to since before Ben was born. It’s gotten pretty run down in its wooden seating areas, but the playground itself is in great condition, so the kids love it there.  It was much cooler at the park than it was at my house.  I’m surprised Greg didn’t freeze to death (he had a jacket and refused to wear it).  I ended up wearing someone else’s blanket as a shawl the whole time we were there.

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My parents came into town again, so we hung out with them after school (though not that night, as Nick was making chili and I was baking cookies) and the next morning helped them put up lights outside. The kids, naturally, ran around and tried to drown each other in leaves.

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That night was the Chili-Cook-off and Sing-Along at church. Nick made a super yummy, super spicy chili for the event. He won 2nd place!

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We all had a great time singing along and enjoying the entertainment afterwards as well. I love live music, so it was a super fun event for me.

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I admit to not taking any of these photos. I was too busy enjoying the event. They were either taken by Lupe Gonzales or Laura Moody or maybe even both. I am so fortunate to have facebook friends who take event photos and let me mooch off of them.  The kids sitting in front of us (I don’t know their names, as they’re not from our immediate church,but were visiting from nearby) were hysterical.  They danced and danced.  Our kids actually got up on stage and sung with the whole group at some point as well.

 

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Sunday my mom, dad, and I left the boys at home with Nick and went off to do our Christmas shopping. It was CRAZY out there. I hate shopping near the holidays. Afterward we came home and the kids and I cleaned up the house while Nick cooked. Then my parents came over for our special birthday dinner for my dad.

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I love this next photo because my dad figured out that if you time it just right, it seems like you’re blowing out the light-up candles on this bag. He’d press the button, let the song play, then say “Blow them out!” and Greg would blow on the bag and the lights would stop. It was so cute!

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Here’s a little preview of our winter décor (another post on that another day, I promise):

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Monday was another day with A. It was, of course, raining, so we had to figure out some indoor things to do.

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I was beginning to realize at this point that I was having an RA flare, so I convinced everyone to go to scouts all together in one car at one time that night instead of me coming up and bringing someone halfway through the evening and taking someone else home. It was so very nice not to drag myself out of the house again. Oh so nice. Incidentally, the kids got all their reading done this week. Haha. Evil mommy plan worked.

Tuesday I spent getting my stuff ready for gifting. I did all the purchasing and cutting for crafts I planned on gluing on Thursday. I did not take pictures of this process. Aren’t you surprised? Teehee. Afterwards I went to the library for volunteering and took a picture of my favorite literary tree:

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Tuesday night was a joint performance between our school and one other’s 2nd & 3rd graders of a program called “Flakes.” Ben was sad he didn’t get a speaking part, but he’ll have other chances.

Ben before with friends (they were supposed to be dressed for cold weather):

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Ben during (see why it’s a good thing I took a before picture – my camera couldn’t handle the lighting differences and distance):

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Nick and Greg watching the program (I thought I took one of David and the friends we sat with during the program, but can no longer find that photo. I wonder if he deleted it. He was cranky that night.):

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I was going to post a video of the program, but I’ll be honest here: you can’t see my Ben (or the kids next to him, for that matter) at all. The kid in front of him was a) taller than him and b) wearing a huge hat (which they’d said they wouldn’t let kids wear, but with 300 kids up there, no one was paying attention to that). It was ridiculous, but there’s nothing I could do about it. The program was cute enough, but you don’t want to spend 20 minutes watching a shaky video where you don’t see Ben, right? Right. Moving on.

Yesterday was another day with A. It was freezing cold, literally, as evidenced by this ice we found in the back yard flower pots:

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We were supposed to go to the library again, but it was Circus Day and A. professed a fear of clowns, so we stayed home and played inside and sprayed ourselves with colored hairspray.  And told each other silly secrets.  That was important.  And silly.

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This morning we got up and, inspired by a friends pictures on facebook, made fancy pancakes.

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We also made heart shaped ones and a reindeer. Ben helped me with a lot of the process: measuring, mixing, pouring batter into the pan, and keeping the already made pancakes warm while I made more.

And now I must run off and finish my gift crafting or no one will be getting presents for Christmas. 😉

End of the week & weekend

The first Thursday of the month with had a playdate after school with Greg’s pal E. and his brothers. We had 7 kids amongst two moms. It was great!
Ethan's mom says he hates to have his photo taken, which is why he's trying to escape Greg.

The next day we had a playdate at DSP with Greg’s friend Kya. There were only 6 kids amongst 3 moms this time. 😉 I’m always amused at the numbers, I don’t know why. They had all sorts of new stuff at DSP since the last time we went there, including robotic surgery arms, a new pretend restaurant, and a pretend courthouse building. The kids did not want to play in the courthouse, they wanted to play grocery and restaurant instead. 🙂

They have cool new robot-surgery arms at DSP!Townsend & Annabrielle ate all the play food they could!

Later that day we drove on down to College Station. We ate out at Cotton Patch Cafe (bad decision, such a long wait) and settled in. The next morning we took the kids out to the new skateboard park. We didn’t have skateboards, but we did bring the scooters and they absolutely LOVED it. All the ups and downs were enthralling to them. We have nothing like it in Tyler, as far as I know. They didn’t ever want to leave. They’ll probably go back again this morning as soon as they can drag someone out the door. p_00198Our family.  :)

Last night my dad and Nick had a whisky tasting. (In case you’re new here, I’ll mention that they do a couple a year, one in College Station so they can invite my Dad’s friends from the University and one in Tyler so we can invite our friends.) I spent all afternoon helping to clean and set up and getting food ready (I must have dipped about 50 strawberries in chocolate), but before it started I took the kids and headed out to Steph’s house for the evening.

Here’re the pictures I took before I left:
Getting ready for the whisky tastingSome of the food at the whisky tasting

We had a great time at Steph’s. She ordered pizzas for us and we got to try fancy homemade ice cream. We boggled at the entirely empty nursery. Our friend Sarah also came over with her baby. Sadly I didn’t get many photos at Steph’s house, as I left the camera at my parents house thinking they’d take pictures during the tasting (no, no they didn’t). The best one was this one:
Ren chases Greg in a crawling race.

Anyways, I have a big day ahead of me with Steph’s baby shower. It’s way too early in the morning, but I’m already jittery and excited about it. Must go shopping as soon as the stores open. Smile

Day 7: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day 7 fell on the Sabbath and my parents were in town.  We got up, walked over there (the short way), and had what passes as breakfast at my mom’s house: store bought sweet rolls.  Checked the calorie count and ate just one (220 calories).  Also had a banana and a cup of coffee. 

 

Took a long walk with my mom just before lunch, slower than I’d have liked, but still we were out and about. Lunch was a turkey bacon, cheddar, and toast sandwich (total calories: 350).

 

Snack at church was a glass of artificially sweetened lemonade (0 calorie), a handful of popcorn (55 calories), and a devilled egg (approximately 65, which is pleasantly low). 

 

Dinner after a long day of walking around doing hospitality (putting out snacks, cleaning tables, sweeping floors, washing, drying, and putting away dishes, etc) and waiting for kids to finish filming their program was pizza & salad & more 0-cal lemonade.  I ate two full pieces of pizza (380 calories) and a small salad (50 calories) and a mini cupcake (80 calories) and a mini brownie (100 calories).  (Most calorie amounts approximated from Calorie King.)

 

I felt like I’d indulged a bit, but looking at the numbers I am very cheered.  So actually, all in all, not a bad day at all. 

Day 6: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day 6 I got up and tried to do my 10 minute Dance Solutions video.  I have several problems with it: 1) There’s no instruction, just dancing. 2) I am trying to lose weight, which means that I cannot see all my muscles, so I have no idea which ones are moving.  3) I can’t dance.  So after several minutes I gave up trying to figure out what she was doing and spent the remainder of my time bouncing around energetically whichever way I could.  I figured that cardio was cardio at this point.  My heart was beating super fast, my arms & legs were flailing around, it was all good.  I also ended up walking back and forth to my parents house a few times (and mostly took the long way ’round).

IMG_2099Food: I had another one of my less-than-inspiring-at-this-point breakfasts.  Skipped morning snack because I knew I was meeting my parents for lunch.  Lunch was at a place called The Purple Pig.  I should have realized that this would mean less-than-stellarly-healthy, but I did expect there to be some sort of salad option.  Alas, no.  Even the safe-sounding new potatoes turned out to be cooked mush with a pound of butter in it.  I ate the brisket sandwich (surprisingly small compared to my parents food) and some of the broccoli rice casserole (I farmed out the rest under the flag of “You don’t have any of this, try some!”) and since everyone agreed the potatoes were bad, I didn’t feel bad leaving them on the plate.  So I didn’t really do too terribly badly.  Skipped afternoon snack as well, since we were doing Mother’s Day Celebration dinner.

We went out to BJ’s Brewhouse and Grill.  Even though I’d declared it my “cheat” night, I still wanted to not go too overboard, so I chose off the “under 575 calories” menu and had a yummy chicken pesto flatbread with a side salad.  After dinner I had a Klondike bar (only 220 calories, much less than regular ice cream, strangely).IMG_2109

Day Five: Food, Fitness, & Faith

Day five was when I fell apart.

 

I got up, couldn’t find the exercise video I wanted, so had to do a different one.  It was for the balance ball, an upper body workout, and really, it did go okay, but my head was down towards the ground a lot, which made my headache (day 5 of headaches, day 5 of fitness.  a coincidence?) so much worse.  Surprisingly, as the day wore on what I missed the most of my workout was the cardio part.

 

Breakfast was fine: another variation of oatmeal, fruit, and tea.  Snack was unexpectedly a mini muffin at Greg’s MDO (muffins for moms, whee). Lunch was a small portion of a low-calorie version of mac-&-cheese with some yummy herbed zucchini.  Dinner was pasta & sauce leftovers. 

 

Everything was all right to that point, but after the crazy day I had (nothing went right.  nothing.  And then the kids brought other kids home, which I’d forgotten entirely)  I really wanted a beer after dinner.  So I had one.  And then I wanted just a few Reece’s Pieces, so I had some of those, too.  And then another high calorie bit of junk before bed.  Like I said, after days of denial of things I really wanted, I caved. 

 

I was going to allow myself a cheat night for Mother’s Day and I’ll just have to think of this one as this week’s cheat and Mother’s Day as next week’s cheat come a bit early, right?  Tomorrow is, as they say, another day, so I’ll just have to start over and be good again.