Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weigh-In Wednesday

Despite feeling fat and crummy this week I am now down to 168. I guess that goes to show that even if you feel crummy you can still lose weight. Not sure how, but the numbers don't lie, right?

Bought a scale tonight. Based on the above weight I think it's a keeper.

Pounds to goal: 8!
Pounds lost: 27

I may need a long-term goal as well.

You all have a great night.

Potty Training Paused

This morning I woke up. I had a plan. Our almost-in-the-potty episode had me ready to start training my boy.

I bought nine pairs of undies for him. We made a big deal out of the potty.

And he proceeded to mess 4 pairs of pants in 2 hours. 3 pee, one poop. Each time he didn't notice at all and could care less.

I started thinking. I asked an experienced mom (8 boys and 4 girls). And I have decided to wait at least 6 more months. He really has no idea when he pees or poops. Even talking about it when I see him do it really hasn't helped much.

I think it will be okay to wait a little while longer. At least till summer, when it's all right to walk around with only your undies on.

If you're two.


_________

I'm getting out tonight with a friend. I've been home with sick kids two days in a row, and wouldn't you know they were preschool days. I'm so glad I paid for the month of January because we went a whole 4 times in that month.

My shopping list with my friend is:
a scale
celery


Isn't that funny? They kinda go together.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crispy Baked Chicken with Honey and Pecans

I made this recipe tonight and I must say it's quite tasty! My only suggestion would be to use a small dish just large enough for your chicken because the coating tends to drip off into the pan.

Got it from cooks.com.

2 1/2 to 3 lb. chicken (I used two large chicken breasts)
1 cup cracker and bread crumbs
2 beaten eggs
salt and pepper to taste (I forgot this step)
1/2 cup butter (I used canola oil instead)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup coarsely broken pieces of pecans

Skin the chicken and dip into eggs and crumbs; coat well and season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Take the chicken out and coat with butter and honey whipped until smooth; add pecans to the mixture. Bake for 15 more minutes.

Instead of the egg the chicken can be dipped into Italian dressing or brushed with Miracle Whip. Serves 4.

I served it with cornbread and salad. Joel liked it.

Some Pictures in the Sun




We have had a beautiful week of sunshine after the week before of overcast skies and rain. Here are a couple of pictures I took recently.

My Poor Cactus

I was given a cactus piece last spring. It sprouted two ears and was doing wonderfully. So I planted it in our xeriscaped garden right by the sidewalk.

One ear got kicked off. I retrieved it and planted it in the back.

The other ear got knocked off. I don't know what happened to it.

This morning I went out, and the whole cactus had been uprooted, with a nice hole in the ground, and the cactus was just lying down on the ground next to it, roots exposed.

Why?

It's a nice cactus. Not even pointy. Just pretty. If I can get it to survive it will grow very nicely and fast and make a nice cactus.

But someone seems bound and determined to hurt it. And that hurts me.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Potty Talk

Tonight for the first time Denali went pee almost directly in the potty. All afternoon he'd been playing with the potty and looking at it, and when I took his diaper off for bed I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty. He did, off and on, for about 20 minutes. We practiced taking his diaper off and putting it back on, and he was having so much fun and being so proud of himself. Then at the end of our time though there wasn't any in the potty there were two puddles right in front of it. I think we need to work on aim. I hear it's harder with boys.

Anyway though I know it will still be a long journey I am proud of my son for taking the first step.

Yay Denali!

Way to Go, Amy!

On Friday Amy did something she'd never done before. It was very difficult for her and she needed lots of encouragement, but she did it.

Everyone go tell Amy how proud we are of her!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chickens

The next time I need my daughter to be quiet I am going to tell her,"There are frightened chickens in China who are dying for quiet time."



I read this in a comment on someone else's blog. I just had to quote it and link to both the other blog and the original news story. It is hilarious.

Original news story

Rocks in My Dryer's blog entry

The commenter of above quote (waiting for permission but if you read the blog entry you can find the quote).

Find Your Money Today.

All right. I know this will sound like a scam but it really isn't.

www.missingmoney.com

Most of the states have searchable engines for you to see if you have unclaimed property. These states endorse this website to search all states at once.

I found money for my sister, grandma, aunt, and friend. And I was convinced by the other information shown that these are real listings.

For reals.

If you don't believe me, google "unclaimed assets" and look for urls that end in ".gov". They are legitimate and will link you with their own search engines or www.missingmoney.com

Go find your money today.

Just How Long

have I been walking around with a tangle of hair statically-clinging to the armpit of my shirt?

Thursday Thirteen- All About Trash

1. Our fence scraps got picked up from the front of our house after sitting there for a week.
2. Now I need to sweep the nails and splinters up out of the street.
3. We have ~15 boxes in our garage that need to be recycled, but the process is so difficult! First you have to break them down, then tie them together. Can't do it.
4. Our new trash can is great. Except for when it traps my children.
5. I honestly think I could pick up 50 pieces of trash in our house every day. That seems like a lot to me.
6. 80% of our mail goes straight into the trash.
7. I'm running out of grocery bags for dirty diapers. Anyone have any extra?
8. Our old trash can is up for grabs if anyone wants it.
9. We need to put leaves in our compost soon to balance out the kitchen scraps.
10. Man, 13 items just about trash is hard to come up with.
11. I was at Target and an amazing number of the outfits for young girls looked trashy to me.
12. Why is my daughter enraptured by Bratz? She knows they are forbidden.
13. I guess I'll go see how much trash I can pick up.

A Sad Finger

Denali was playing with our new trash can and caught his pointer finger in it. He cried and cried and I came to rescue him. Except I opened the lid rather than closing it and exacerbated the problem. We eventually got his finger out and he cried for about half an hour. I think he is better now but still sad. His little finger is red and there's blood under the fingernail.

I decided it was time to break out the cookies we got from our neighbor this morning. No, not right away, because food is not for comfort, but about 45 minutes later.

My tummy feels a lot better certainly.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Pictures

Another picture from Susan's party on Friday night.


Amy and I being goofy.


This was at the Oakland Zoo- the kids got to go down a tunnel and look at the meerkats.

Everyone got to help Denali blow out his candle at his 2 year birthday party. That's Aunt Ruth and Granna.


We found "Denali" ice cream at the store and just had to buy it for his party.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Susan's Party

Taking the hint from Susan about posting pictures from her party, here are the top five pictures from the night.

Susan and me posing for the camera.

Josh, Susan's husband; and Brandon

Amy, Kara, and Susan. I think Susan was so surprised she just couldn't stop smiling really big.

Our chef purportedly looks like K-Fed. I don't really know who that is, so I leave you to decide. But he is evidently a Samurai as evidenced by his belt buckle.

He kept setting things on fire. I was never sure whether that was intentional or not.

All in all it was a great night! I was so glad I crashed Susan's party. Happy birthday, Susan!

My Very Own Hippy Chick Name

Your Hippie Chick Name Is:

Primrose

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weight (Again)

I know I've been beating this topic to death recently. But I wanted to show you the awful picture that put me over the edge with my weight.

I am not photogenic. I never have been. But when I saw this I knew something had to change. This was taken November 4, right after the biggest Halloween pig-out ever. I was pushing 200 and feeling awful all the time. Tired, filled with heartburn, headaches, I had no energy. For reals.

I talked to my friend, once again complaining about my health. For the 50th time she gently said "have you tried changing your diet?"

I have never dieted. I ate what I wanted to, when I wanted to, and always had a good excuse for doing it. I didn't like the way I looked but didn't want to do anything hard to fix it.

Then I saw this picture. I was never going to share it with anyone. But in the interest of posterity I have shared it with the entire world...

Do you see how I look 8 mos pregnant? I know it's a bad angle, and I'm kinda slouched, but really! Awful.


This is a picture I took tonight. I tried to match the clothing and pose although I couldn't get it quite right. I am so much more energetic, I never have heartburn, and I've lost 25 pounds. Can't complain.



What's my secret?

Dependence on God and self-control. I'm not going to tell you the specific diet plan I used (unless you really ask me nicely) because I think if you have hit your wall and you're really dedicated you can lose the weight. The first three weeks were awful. I didn't know what to cook and I was suffering from withdrawal from certain foods. But I don't think I'll ever go back.

Anyway I'll try to quit talking about this and move on to a new, more interesting topic.

Later!

Quitting While You're Ahead

This weekend I was at Fry's and stopped to weigh myself on one of their scales for sale.

I am allergic to scales and therefore don't own one, and it had been since CA (3 weeks) that I weighed myself. In CA I weighed 175.

So I stepped onto the scale and it said 170. "Yay! I thought. Even though I felt fat this week it looks like I've lost 5 more pounds! Excellent!" And I trotted off away. But then I thought maybe the scale was inaccurate. So I went back and tried a different one. This one was broken, as was the third one. The fourth one said 175. "It's okay!" I told myself, "just a few pounds! Just take the average!"

And then I went for a fifth. 179! Ack! I walked away, furious. Stupid scales. That's why I hate them. Should have quit while I was ahead.







Later at Grace's house I was relating this story and she reminded me that she has a scale, and it's accurate, because it consistently tells her she weighs too much. :)

171.


That's right.


I have eleven pounds left to my goal. 24 pounds I have lost since November 1.


Woo hoo!

A Bittersweet Weekend

First the bitter part:
My pastor, Randy, was taken to the hospital this morning with severe chest pain. It may be a heart attack; they don't really know. Please lift him up in your prayers.


Now, the sweet part:
My sister Grace watched the kids Friday night thru to Saturday morning. I got to crash Susan's birthday party (pictures will be forthcoming) and then visit with Amy and then sleep in all the way to 8 am! It was fabulous. It had been a while since I had no obligations to anyone at all. It was great.

Then I took the kids to the children's museum where we had a good time, spent a lot of money on a membership, and lost my new used digital camera. I am such a dork, and Grace had warned me: "since you're using your jacket as a purse instead of a purse, you're going to lose something." How right she was.

The kids and I then went to Amy's house for some heartfelt absolute chaos. It was great. But I'm really glad I got to hang out with her alone first; her kids and mine can sometimes get very vocal in their dislike of the circumstances, especially when they're tired.

This morning I went to church (great time!) and came home and called the museum. They found my camera! Hurray!!!!

So after quiet time we will be going back to the museum. My kids are so intellectual, you know.

Amy will be happy to know that Emlyn loves the princess sticker book and she's even following the rules.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Poop

I can handle the smell of my own children's poop. It's unpleasant but not overwhelmingly so.

But.

Other kids' poop? The toddlers especially? It's so gross! Makes me want to puke when I smell it.

Does that happen to you? Can you handle your own kids' but not other kids' poop? Or am I just crazy?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A New Game

Sorry for the negative post earlier. I had a hard morning.

Here's a fun thing to do when you feel like everyone else in your house is a big slob and you're sick of seeing their mess:

Go around the house and try to find 20 things that YOU left out, and put them away in their real place. Just your mess, not anyone else's.

Can you find 20? I could especially if I look at papers on the desk.

Go give it a try!

Snow Day #3

Well this is the morning of Day 3 and it's VERY frozen still out there. I don't know what the record is of "most icy frozen days in Austin TX" but it's bad. We didn't get mail yesterday and the whole city is basically shut down. Some models put us with frozen weather till Friday while other models have us warming above freezing later today. All I know is that I don't think I could handle living in a state that had this continually during the winter. I know that you would learn to drive in it, etc, but it just makes me want to sit and eat and watch movies. Argh.

We have over a half inch of ice coating most surfaces. It's starting to be like a skating rink out there. We've had periods of snow but mostly sleet and freezing rain.

If the electricity goes out we are prepared but life will suck for a couple days.

On the upside, perhaps I can convince Joel to work from home today rather than driving in...

I'm gonna go watch the news and PRAY that our electricity doesn't go out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Funniest Letter We've Ever Received

I wanted to share this letter with you all, my blogging friends. This is why our society is so messed up sometimes.

2002
From Citibank

To Joel xxx:
Thank you for applying for a Platinum Credit Card. We regret that we are unable to approve an account for you at this time because of the following:
* Your credit bureau report shows you have no revolving accounts with a balance.





Isn't that hilarious? You can't have a credit card from us because you don't carry a balance on your cards and we won't make any money off of you.

Snow Day #2

Well the kids are still bored, and the house is still a wreck, and we've only really watched 3 hours of TV over the two days so that's pretty good.

Last night I tried a new recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. They were insanely good. I mean really. I made a heart cake thing out of the dough and over the last 12 hours we've eaten half the heart which is a quarter of the recipe. Guess how much of that I ate myself? Needless to say I don't feel very skinny today.

So this morning I had the great idea to go to our neighbor's house. They have two kids, 5 and 6 or something like that. I know they are all home. I took the other half of the cookie cake and we slid/tromped/skid over to their house. No one fell! I rang the doorbell and it turns out they're all sick. Very sad for the kids. Luckily I was able to hand off the cake thing to the one who answered the door, and the kids were quickly distracted by the prospect of sliding around. I called another neighbor (across the street) on the cell phone and we talked that way. We played for about 15 minutes and then came back inside.

Now we're back in. Temp outside is still 29. Joel drove in to work (CRAZY MAN) and we're here.

Gack.

But at least the cookie cake is out of here. My stomach is glad.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Drunk Driving

Before this Christmas I could say I had never seen a driver that was definitely impaired while driving. I have seen bad drivers, rude drivers, and distracted drivers, but this was a whole new league. I don't know the end or beginning of the story, and I don't know what was impairing this driver, but I have a feeling he (not sure if male or female but easier for writing) was drunk.

It was a couple days before Christmas, and Daniel and I had just left the family gathering to get Grace from the airport. Within a few minutes of leaving my uncle's house Daniel (who was driving) and I saw a car pass us that didn't seem to be following the laws of driving.

This driver was all over the road. Literally. He would go from one side, up onto the curb and back down, and diagonally across to the other curb. Luckily it was a divided road (yay CA) but he was still crossing back and forth through three lanes. We immediately dropped back enough to still see him and follow him but not so close that we would hit him if he did something really weird.

He was very slow at stopping. He would brake late and come really close to the car in front of him, and then try to change lanes to go around even if there was a car right there. Several times in the 10 minutes we watched him he came very close to hitting 10 or 15 cars.

After about 2 minutes I called 911. We had to wait on hold for a minute or two, and then I was talking to a dispatcher, trying to explain where I was. It's hard when you're moving because you'll say "eastbound on Clayton Road, crossing x Street" and by the time you finish saying that you're crossing another street entirely.

While talking to her, we saw him hit a sign in the middle of the road and careen back over to the right side and almost up onto the curb. After another few blocks he must have realized something was wrong with his car because he did pull into a parking lot.

We don't know why he stopped. Was the car making a funny noise? Did he notice we were following? Did he realize he was seriously in no shape to be driving?

I was tempted to get out of the car and give him a talking to, but as we had called 911 and let them know where the car was, we just went on our way.

Shaken.

Drunk driving scares me even more now that I know how these drivers are. They really do notice things about 30-45 seconds after everyone else. That's ample time to miss the yellow part of a light and hit it red.


I am so thankful that no one was seriously injured this time. I am so thankful that he stopped of his own accord, for whatever reason. And I hope the end of this story is good. I hope he got taken to jail and his license suspended. Unfortunately that was probably not the case.

My Brother Daniel

On our CA trip this last time I finally got to spend significant time with my brother Daniel. He's a Junior at Pepperdine this year and it had been about 2-3 years since I had really had the chance to visit with him. This trip however he made a real effort to be a great uncle. "Denali" is an anagram of "Daniel" so he was excited to spend time with him.


This is at the Oakland Zoo. Daniel volunteered to come with my friend Daine and I, and I'm glad he did. We were not outnumbered by children because of it. Unfortunately there were no hot girls around to notice his availability and strength with children.
Isn't he so cute in this hat?

We also got to drive around the Bay Area together. We witnessed a drunk driver on our way to pick up my sister Grace from the airport. Daniel says, "Drunk driving is bad!"

He and Denali had a good time with the train it looks like.
I'm proud of Daniel–he's really growing up to be a great guy.

A Christmas Meme and Rainy Day Website

First, since it's raining/sleeting outside and my indoor activities ideas are rusty, I present to you this website, chock-full of great ideas: Rainy Day Activities

Second, I have been tagged by Angela for a meme.
First, the rules:

1. Players start by listing three things he/she got for Christmas.
2. Then they list three things he/she definitely did not want to get for Christmas.
3. Then he/she tags five friends and lists their names.
4. The ones who get tagged write on their blogs about their Christmas wishes, and state the rules clearly.
5. Then tag five more victims.

Three things I got for Christmas:
A. An African sculpture. Joel bought it for me and it is a family carved out of one piece of stone.
B. Yoga Booty Ballet. It's exciting and fun and the name is goofy.
C. The movie Serenity and the miniseries Firefly. The coolest sci-fi/western series out there. Very nice.

Three things I definitely did not want to get for Christmas and didn't get:
A. Ice skates
B. Candy
C. Car accidents

Victims?

Eh. I'm not much for passing on memes. Consider yourself tagged if you want to do it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A New View

Yesterday in spite of the rain and nearly-freezing weather Joel and his dad tore down the back fence. It was easy considering the wood is so rotten. They only left the posts because they are sunk in concrete.

When we woke up this morning we discovered we now have a beautiful view! Our back yard bumps up against the middle school track and field so we have a clear view of a few hundred feet instead of 30 feet. It's very nice and lovely.

I keep telling myself that we really do need a privacy fence so the middle schoolers don't wreck our yard or steal things, and so we can go about our business in the house and yard without worrying who's looking.

But it sure is nice to see so much open space in the middle of town. We will have a chance to enjoy it since the weather is so bad, and then Joel will be leaving town. So chances are I will have two weeks to decide whether I want the view and a small picket fence or whether we value or privacy more and want a privacy fence.

The lack of privacy inspired me to go out there and clean up some of the trash that had accumulated along the fence, move some bags of dirt to a prettier place, and put some tools away. It's too cold to really clean up the toys and sweep out there.

What is your opinion? Do we need a big tall 6 foot fence to save us from the dreaded neighbors/students, or can we get by with a picket?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How Many Chickens Fit in a Semi-Truck?

That question led someone to my blog last week. It's amazing how many strange hits I get when the title of my blog is "chicken." Of course now it's changed a bit. Oh, you didn't notice? Go look at the title. It's somewhat different.

Our fence will not be built today. It has rained all night and is continuing to rain. I think we will be doing nice inside dry things today. Maybe we can get the garage cleaned, and the office too. Ever since our trip the papers have continued to pile up as I am too lazy to deal with them. As always I'm sure 90% of them just need to be shredded but can't deal with it.

Last night we went to Costco for 3 things: dishwasher detergent, baby wipes, and cat food. Our preferred brand of detergent wasn't there. Neither was the cat food. The only choice for dry cat food was "Maintenance Cat." Now you tell me, does that sound appealing to you? I know that my sister's cats won't eat it. Frankly with a name like that I wouldn't eat it either! They did have the baby wipes and toilet paper so that was good.

Signing off: Emmy just woke up.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Dreaded Talk

This morning I had The Talk with my 4 year old Emlyn.



Emlyn: I am Cinderella.
Me (folding and washing clothes): That's good. Would you please get all the toys out of the kitchen?
Emlyn: Well I guess you are Cinderella's Mommy.
Me: Why is that?
Emlyn: You're making me do work.
Me: Come over here and let's have a chat.
Me: I am not Cinderella's mommy. Did Cinderella's mommy do any work?
Emlyn: No.
Me: Did Cinderella have to do all the work?
Emlyn: Yes.
Me: That's right. And I don't make you do all the work. I do work too. Denali does work. Daddy does work. This is how a real household runs: everyone does work. In Cinderella's house she did all the work and no one else did, right?
Emlyn: Right.
Me: Am I mean when I ask you to do things?
Emlyn (grinning): No.
Me: That's right. Please don't call me Cinderella's mommy anymore.
Emlyn: Okay. You know, all the mommies in the princess movies are mean. Except Sleeping Beauty's mommy. She was nice.
Me: That's right! Maybe you could call me Sleeping Beauty's mommy.
Emlyn: AND I could be Sleeping Beauty! Great!
Me: Sounds good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Yoga Booty Ballet

For Christmas I got a DVD set called Yoga Booty Ballet, which is an exercise program to give you a nice booty and long lean muscles just like the movie stars. I'm excited. It's pretty good, definitely hard (even the basic) and my tummy muscles are feeling it after only two sessions. That makes 3 out of the last 4 days that I've exercised. I'm hoping to stick with this exercise stuff. They even worked in rest days into the schedule. I like rest days.

Today was actually Emmy's first day back at preschool and there is another girl in the class now, so that makes 2 girls and 4 boys. She had a long hard day and was ready for sleeping when we got home.

The last couple of days I have eaten some things that I shouldn't have, like sugar and white flour, and I definitely felt it in strange ways. I'm still sticking to my diet but am in need of new recipes. Especially recipes that everyone in my family will eat. I've lost 20 pounds so far and am hoping to go lower.

It was nice to go back to preschool and Ladies' Bible Class today. It's starting to feel more like normal. Tomorrow I get a massage :) I'm really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another Slow Busy Day

Other than going to the bank and Home Depot the kids and I stayed home today. You would think we got lots of stuff done around here, and we did get some done, but overall I still feel as though I'm barely keeping up with the treadmill of mess in this house.

Dinner is in the oven. That's good.

Three large items will be leaving my house this week via Freecycle. That's good.

The kids are watching their 4th half hour of TV. That's not good.

Gran-gran bought us a new digital camera for Christmas. That's really good because our 4 year old camera is sad and decrepit.

I balanced the checkbook and wrote 3 thank you notes and cleaned a little in the office. That's good!

I need to go catch up my kitchen and living room before Joel gets home.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Chagrin

Today I was so excited! It was Emmy's first day back at preschool. I got us all up and dressed, packed a lunch for Emmy, and as a bonus, Joel, and we all hopped in the car and drove over to the school.



The lot was empty. There was one minivan and that was it.




Preschool doesn't actually start until Wednesday.

So we have Wednesday, then we're off for MLKJr Day on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday again, and finally on the 22nd we will have a full three days in a row of regular preschool.

What's the point of even going Wednesday this week? Why even start until next week?

Argh.

Needless to say, Emmy was not happy to find out she wasn't actually going to school this morning. And to tell you the truth, I was a little disappointed myself.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Good Morning!

Good morning everyone! We are back in town from California. We had a great time visiting with friends and family and doing sightseeing.

Some highlights:
Looking at the Pacific Ocean on a stormy night when I had the flu
Visiting the Oakland Zoo with the kids
Driving in San Francisco Bay Area traffic
Ringing in the New Year with my family
Raking up and bagging thousands of leaves
Going on dates without the kids


While I was gone some various things got fixed around the house by my husband and his sister. It was really nice to come home to a more improved house.

Of course my living room has been exploded with all the luggage and new toys, but I have faith that I can overcome such small things as that. We have lots of Christmas cards to put up and a little bit of laundry to do.

My son is still asleep because he is on California time. Hooray for that!

And to finish up, I am wearing size 14 jeans today for the first time in 5 years.