Sunday, September 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I'm trying to get a jump on the week by posting this Sunday night and making up a grocery list so I can get my shopping done early tomorrow. Most of the recipes for this week come from the WW Turn-Around cookbook.

  • Monday - Sole, Lemon-Dill Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans

  • Tuesday - Roasted Chicken with Acorn Squash and Potatoes

  • Wednesday - Shredded Beef and Potato Soup with Chimichurri, Corn Bread

  • Thursday - Lasagne and Salad

  • Friday - Dinner and a movie

  • Saturday - Fruit-Stuffed Pork Loin, Salad

  • Sunday - Soup and Panini

Thanks to Laura at for the inspiration to get this aspect of my life in order

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reading the blogs of strangers

I love the little link at the top of my blog that says "next blog". Some days I can spend an hour swimming through the blogosphere looking for someone interesting and I am rarely disappointed in my quest (unfortunately I often find scary pictures of undressed people along the way but that's the subject for another post.) I have read the blogs of office workers in India, missionaries in Africa, college students, other moms, and countless individuals who post fascinating pictures yet remain a compelling mystery to me since I am limited by my ability to read only one language. It is amazing how many exciting people one can find. Or perhaps it's amazing that I find accounts of day to day life so interesting? Today I drifted into a delightful group of people who seem bound together by a common love of yarncraft but are very diverse in their interests and lifestyles. Before long I found myself feeling at home and yet terribly out of my element on the sites of these intelligent, focused, and creative individuals. I came away feeling like something is missing from my life. A passion. An obsession with something more than the tragicomedy of my day to day existence. I think I'll go buy some yarn.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Jonas Brothers!!!!!

(Insert maniacal, ear damaging, non-stop screaming here)
Yes... I am an overindulgent Disney Channel watching parent. So when my daughter begged for tickets to see The Jonas Brothers in concert I couldn't stand up and say "No! You don't need to waste your time falling in love with a pretty boy band!" I just couldn't... I had a weak moment... and a flash back to 7th grade (I was madly in love with Steve Walsh of Kansas) and before I knew what had happened Taylor was jumping around shouting "Thank you Mom!!" Of course, since that kind of excitement and the word "Mom" rarely occur at the same time, all the other kids came running to see what was going on. So on Sunday we all happily piled into the truck and headed to the Puyallup Fair and a date with Kevin, Joe, and Nick! Well, in truth, it wasn't a date and we weren't all happy. The girls were happy, the boy was very unhappy, even though he had been given the opportunity to avoid the concert and go straight to the fair, and the adults were a bit frightened. And frightened was exactly what we should have been! Within minutes of finding our seats the screaming began and it went on and on. Ah.. the power of pre-teen girls (and a few boys) in love! It was quite an afternoon. After the concert we did all the fair stuff.. looked at flowers, pigs, exotic farm animals, ate food that was very bad for us, and paid a small fortune for three kids to ride four rides. It was a great day but the best part was watching Zane spend time being the big brother. He is really growing into the role of eldest. It's both beautiful and heart-wrenching.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I didn't completely stick to the plan last week but I stayed pretty close to it and life really was easier! This week I'm trying to be even more organized. The recipes in red are from the WW TurnAround Program Cookbook. It was on sale at last week's meeting and so far it's really been worth the $13 I paid for it! If anyone wants a specific recipe I'll be happy to post them.

9/29 Ah.. best laid plans.. LOL We had a few last minute substitutions. In blue is what we actually ate.

Monday - Chicken Fajitas, with Grilled Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes, Corn Tortillas, Avocado Salad - We ate this. It was yummy.

Tuesday - Pork Chops, Tuscan Beans with Sage and Pancetta, Salad We also ate this and I will definitely cook it again.

Wednesday - Scallop, Orange and Asparagus Stir-fry with Rice noodles Sandwiches and chips thanks to a last minute notice of a school meeting

Thursday - Stuffed Shells and Salad Chicken and noodles, icky and not on my diet

Friday - Grilled Chicken Over Spinach - Allrecipes Hamburgers.. Bob had a craving and I was weak. But we did keep the calories and fat down with 95% lean ground beef.

Saturday - Grilled Salmon, Red Potatoes, Swiss Chard with Tomatoes Hey, we haven't stuck to the plan for four days.. we are now in a free-for-all free fall mentality. Pizza for the kids, a sandwich for Bob, Polenta with mushrooms and parmesean for me.

Sunday - Ham and Cheese Panini, Tomato Soup, Salad

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm too old to be this young...

The first time I bought a home pregnancy test I was eighteen years old (don't tell my mother) and scared out of my wits. Back then home pregnancy tests did not have six feet of shelf space in the feminine products wing of the mega-super store. No, there was only one brand of test, in a plainly marked box, and they were only available in the local drug store.. the same store where your mother shopped for cold medicine and corn pads.. hidden in an aisle near the pharmacist's counter. From there the kindly, white coated, gentleman could oversee the purchase of unmentionable birth control items and, the ultimate proof that you hadn't visited that aisle before, pregnancy tests. In order to maintain my privacy and living arrangements it was necessary for me to plan carefully. Not only did I need to buy the test at a pharmacy far from home and hide it until I could catch that very important first morning urine (not as easy as you might think in a 900sq ft house with one bathroom and four people in residence) but I had to set up a mini chemistry set, mix the carefully measured liquids in the real glass test tube and wait. After thirty minutes, if everything had been done correctly, the results were ready to interpret. There was nothing, clear, blue, or easy about these results... clear liquid in test tube meant negative but positive was also clear with a faint circle of brown sediment at the bottom. As I peered into the little tube suspended in it's flimsy wire frame on the brown wood of my desk I realized I was never meant to be a scientist. Fortunately, after sliding a piece of paper beneath the contraption I was also relieved to realize I wasn't going to be a mother any time soon. Then I had to hide the evidence.

Yesterday, twenty four years and many pregnancies later, I found myself standing in Target staring at dozens of hpt choices and remembering the first one. Yes, I have seen my share of tests since that delightful day but this was different. Different because I haven't even thought about hpt's in almost ten years. The last test I had seen announced the coming of a very unplanned fourth child. At thirty-three I felt physically too old to be having another baby.. but I survived and was blessed with my delightful Delaney. Shortly after I she was born I had my tubes tied, closed the baby factory for good, and haven't looked back. Until two weeks ago. During that particularly emotional week my long-suffering husband accepted my rebuff of his advances, again, and politely acted sympathetic when I groused about extreme pms, sore boobs and bloating. I'm sure he thought I was just trying to turn him off. "In fact" I joked, "if I didn't know better I would be worried that I was pregnant." That made him laugh and, although still unsatisfied, he drifted off to sleep with a small smile on his face. He laughed even harder two weeks later when I announced that the threatened period was now five days late. However, I wasn't laughing. I was trolling the internet looking for reassurance.. and what did I find? Multiple articles about tubals failing after ten years!

Which brings us back to me standing in Target. Standing in the aisle where I had recently spent fifteen minutes discussing pad options with the daughter who has never been able to tolerate underwear tags and is mortified that there isn't a panty liner that doesn't bunch up and annoy her delicate nether regions. (She didn't believe me when I told her about sanitary napkins and belts.) Standing in that aisle debating... one test or two, digital, worded, plus signs or just lines.. and wondering if the disinterested teenager at the check-out counter might know my son. I finally grabbed a package, filled my cart with paper products and laundry soap, and got out of there. At home I read the instructions and had to ask myself an important question.. can I actually pee on a stick for five seconds? I decided not to take a chance. Three minutes later I had my answer. Negative! Oh the relief! I called my husband who said "Oh good!" and then said "Are you ok with that?" Which made me laugh a little. In truth, I had let my thoughts drift to ponder "what if?" and I found there was a small part of me that would have rejoiced if the test had been positive. But it was a very small part and it gave in with little more than a sigh at the memory of a perfectly fuzzy head resting in the palm of my hand.

Of course, before the kids got home from school I had to hide the evidence and the extra test so that I didn't have to answer any embarrassing questions and then it was back to normal life again. For a few days this week I felt strangely young.. like an embarrassed teenager sneaking around with a huge secret.. but now I face the truth. I'm not young. In fact, I might really be getting old! I wonder if our local pharmacist is hiding a home menopause test somewhere behind the counter?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Menu Monday

Ok.. this is now the third week I have attempted to post my menu! Last week I actually got Monday through Friday planned by Thursday morning. Not my most successful week for planning but I did actually stick to my guns and we didn't eat out! Today I'm really going to do it though... here we go... the menu for this week will be...

Monday - Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms, French Bread, Pear Crisp
Tuesday - Turkey Meatloaf, Roasted White and Sweet Potatoes, Cinnamon Apples
Wednesday - Baked Ziti with Chicken Sausage, Green Salad
Thursday - Shrimp Paella, Tortilla Chips, Beans and Guacamole
Friday - Balsamic Chicken with Asiago Cheese on Sourdough Bread, Spinach Strawberry Salad
Saturday - Bob Cooks
Sunday - To be determined later

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Day One

The first day of school at last! I swear the air in my house was just crackling with anxiety last night. My kids were like caged racoons with nothing better to do than pace and bite at each other! I finally got them all off to bed at ten and I was even in bed (although I was watching Alton Brown instead of sleeping...) by 11. However, at 11:36, just a few seconds after turning off the light, I got my first visitor. Taylor snuck in to whisper that she might want to run track but she doesn't know where the permission slip is, could I please get up and help her? After explaining that track is a spring sport and she has about five months to worry about it I sent her back to bed. Delaney, of course, followed her into my room and needed three more kisses and reassurance that all of her paperwork (which isn't actually due until Sept. 28) is ready to return to the teacher tomorrow. 12am.. I'm finally drifting off to sleep when Zane crashes out of his room and slams into the bathroom.. this was the first of several bathroom trips for the boy who was teasing his younger sister that she was going to throw up all night because she was nervous about starting jr. high. It was actually a relief when the alarm went off at 6am!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Six months later

I have started several posts for this blog that never got out of the draft stage.. oh who am I kidding.. I never even got past the title! I know everyone will forgive me (and I know who both of you are so you'd better) for being such a bad blogger but it's really kind of sad. I look at other people's blogs and think they are so creative and cute but I don't like mine at all. So, in keeping with my new-found ambition to restructure my life, I am committing to really doing this blog. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it though.. maybe just trash everything and start over. The whole anvil/parachute thing just doesn't lend itself to vibrant passionate blogging and I really want to move away from obsessive analyzation of how I'm feeling. Why am I who I am? Who am I really? What does this world want from me? Blah! I'm sick of it.. I want action!!! The question really is.. what kind of action am I looking for? Stay tuned! New changes are coming soon!