Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fatter Thursday

Today is my birthday! So that's a good excuse for why I ate out three times today, right?

My beloved is working the night shift right now, so in the morning as I was whipping up our healthy breakfast smoothie, he called and told me he was bringing me breakfast. Yum! I did finish making the smoothie, so at least I got in some servings of fruits and vegetables this morning. The smoothie WAS really healthy - raw milk, yogurt, flax seed oil, apple, carrot, kale, spinach, raspberry and blueberry. So maybe that balances the Bagel B.E.L.T. from Tim Horton's? Ok maybe not.

At any rate, after breakfast and lots of birthday phone calls from my parents, dear friend Ashley, and grandparents, I dropped Eli off at Nanny's and Theo and I drove to Grand Bay to meet friends for lunch. I share a birthday with another woman in our church - Lilly - a bit of an interesting character. Birthdays are VERY IMPORTANT to her, so nobody ever forgets because she reminds us all year long! She was turning 61 this year, and while my birthday does get a little overshadowed because of her, I really don't mind because I don't exactly like being the very centre of attention, but at the same time it's nice that no one ever forgets because Lilly will remind everyone constantly that it's my birthday too! We went to Pizza Delight because it has an "eat free on your birthday" program so we go there to celebrate every year.

So lunch was a panzarotti (spelling?) and a caesar salad with way too much dressing. After lunch and a coffee at Tim's, Theo and I headed into the city to get some last minute things for Waterski Camp next week! I needed a few pairs of shorts to wear because I don't fit into any of mine, Eli needed a sunhat, Cory needed a new pair of shorts, Theo needed a swimsuit, and most of all we needed some more diapers. I cloth diaper Theo at home but not when we're out, and Eli's skin is too sensitive for cloth anymore. I don't do cloth diapers at camp because, while there is a washer and dryer available, I really don't like to impose and I know it still grosses some people out to have diapers washed in the same machine. It's just easier anyway for one week.

Guess what the one thing I forgot to buy was.

We'll have to pick some up on Saturday on our way to Moncton. We're going there for a friend's wedding, staying the night, visiting the church we used to attend while we were in university there and then heading to camp.

I also tried to find a bathing suit for myself for next week. Complete and utter failure on that front. Somewhat demoralizing. I do still own a bikini that I bought in a fit of teenage rebellion and then only had the nerve to wear once or twice before it retired behind a t-shirt and shorts permanently. I guess it'll have to be that next week - well covered of course! I felt like asking the clerk where they keep the bathing suits that are for women who have HAD BABIES, but apparently they don't make those. On all other clothing fronts though, I had success, thanks to my fave clothing line, Joe Fresh! Some longer but still stylish shorts that FIT.

Theo was fussy and difficult this entire time, refusing to sleep and crying every time we stopped moving. He wasn't hungry, I nursed him in the car before going into the restaurant, three times during lunch, once during coffee at Tim's, in the change room at Superstore, in the "Mother's Lounge" at the mall, then in the car at Walmart before we went home. No wonder he's pudgy.


By the time we were done all this shopping and nursing, it was after five and I was starving again, but Theo had finally fallen asleep in the car. So it was McDonald's drive thru. I would normally get the salad but it's a bit difficult to eat when you're driving. McMini's it was. And that is how I ate out three times on my birthday. And why this is not Thinner Thursday as per usual, but Fatter Thursday.

We'll be gone all next week, but then I'll be back and posting again! I want to share my new favourite cookie recipe that I made myself for my birthday and ate way too many of. I'll leave you with a rather random photo of the birthday present that I got this year, my new KitchenAid blender! Well, just the pitcher. It's full of yummy vegetables that I whizzed up and made into a delicious tomato sauce for our pork curry the other night. Yum!


This post is linked up to Thinner Thursday over at Mommy Miracles.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

He's Growing Up...

(photo by my friend Holly)

Here's my big boy at our annual Church Picnic this past weekend. He's been making this scowling face more and more often lately but he really was having a great time, believe it or not. We have our picnic at "Oma and Opa's pond," Oma and Opa being a couple in our church affectionately known by those names by their eight grandchildren and everyone else! While the bigger kids swam in the pond there were three small kiddy pools set out for the little ones. Eli took immense delight in sitting in one pool, then climbing out and into the next one for a little while, then into the next one and so on. When the bigger kids got into a huge water fight - which inevitably happens every year - Eli watched them solemnly for a while, then picked up a cup and started methodically and very seriously scooping up the water and pouring it over another little girl's head. At only 13 months she was too little to defend herself, poor thing. Oma was quick to correct this behaviour as soon as she noticed, and Eli moved on to another game to amuse himself, but the incident certainly made me laugh. His careful, serious imitation of the older kids and teenagers was too cute.

I was worried about sunburn that afternoon, I realized as I was getting things ready that I don't yet have a sunhat that fits him, and I feel very strongly about the use of high chemical sunscreens (besides the fact that I don't even think they're very effective), but I also didn't want him to get burnt. I prayed that he would be ok and not get burnt, and despite the fact that he spent a good 3 1/2 hours in direct sunlight with no sunscreen, no hat and bare arms he wasn't even the slightest tinge of pink. The irony is that I sat in the shade with Theo and got sunburnt on my arms and back. I should have remembered to pray that I wouldn't burn either!

My little boy is also talking more and more each day. You wouldn't know it if you only knew him in public, because he refuses to say a word the minute we step outside the house, but at home he's becoming quite a little chatterbox, finally moving into words with two syllables or more than one sound, and here and there even stringing two words together. He says milk like it's two words, "Mill...K" and the K is less of a K sound and more like a click of his tongue. He can say his brother's name now too. He normally calls him "Fee," but with prompting he'll say "Fee... OH." Not to mention his newest phrase which I taught him yesterday - "stinkin' hot," pronounced "Tink... OT." (Can you guess what our weather has been like?) Phrases like "Dad shoes," "hat off," "spoon/fork stuck," or "more milk/food/raisins" are cropping up too. While this is a lot of fun, and it's nice that he's learning so much, I already miss my sweet little baby when I look back at photos.


It's amazing how much they change, here he is almost exactly one year ago, just after his first real haircut. What an adorable age that was! I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with another sweet little boy to watch go through that stage again. I hope he blesses us with many more!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Long Day

It's been a long day. Some parts good - other parts could have been better.

My poor husband is still sick. It's been over a week now, and he's been flat out with a nasty cold. Eli and I caught it too, but recovered in a day or two. Cory's still working the night shift, 10-12 hours every night and he just can't seem to get better. His sleeping pattern is all messed up too. So when I got up this morning he had already been awake for several hours, but was feeling a lot better! I whipped us up some smoothies for breakfast and then at his request we went for a walk around Beulah. It's so nice to have someone else push the stroller for once! We enjoyed the fresh air and the sunshine, then came home and packed up the boys to go to town for some errands.

We were all the way to the West side of the city when Eli puked up his breakfast all over himself. Lovely. We were shocked because he had showed no signs of being sick, and it's not like him - this was only the second time he'd thrown up in his entire little life! He seemed fine afterwards, so we figured it must be car sickness. He's never been carsick before but I guess it has to start sometime. We cleaned him off as best we could with wipes, but his clothes were covered in puke. I used it as an excuse to get him a new little Joe Fresh outfit from Superstore. I love their clothes. So we dressed him in his new outfit, did our errands, then grabbed some lunch from Arbys and started driving back toward home. Since he seemed absolutely FINE now, and was very hungry, I gave him some french fries.

In retrospect, this was probably not a good idea. He munched them down happily and then threw up all over himself again. All over his brand new outfit. Again, I cleaned him off as best I could with wipes - my own lunch not sitting too well in my stomach after all this puking - and we drove home. Once home we stripped him and put him down for a nap with his water bottle. He slept for three hours!

Cory went to sleep too, and I proceeded to: put groceries away, nurse Theo and get him down for his nap, clean up the puke in the car, take the padding off Eli's carseat and wash it, wash all puked on clothes, take the garbage out, empty and load the dishwasher, clean up the kitchen and get chicken stock simmering to make soup for dinner.

The kids woke up when I was trying to get the veggies cut up for supper. Theo's grumpiest time of day is right around supper time and through the early evening until bedtime. I asked Cory to take him for a bit while I got supper ready. While I was making supper and Cory was soothing Theo, Eli decided to empty out our bedroom garbage and spread its contents across our room. After I got THAT cleaned up, we ate supper. Thankfully the chicken noodle soup seemed to be just what Eli needed, he ate two big bowls of it and kept it down no problem.

After supper I got Eli bathed and in bed, Theo nursed and in bed, then tackled the kitchen. It's our church picnic tomorrow, so I had to make a pasta salad and a blackberry cobbler. And divide up the extra stock I made for freezing.

Anyway, it's all done now and I am FINALLY relaxing on the couch with my favourite snack: multigrain tostitos, guacamole and club soda. My feet ache and my back hurts, but I made it through the day with only one minor meltdown. I wish Cory would feel better. I really miss him.

Friday, July 15, 2011

UGH

I keep messing around with my blog layout and I CANNOT seem to be happy with it. I wish I knew more about making it look nice and web design! My Dad is a web design genius so maybe I should sit down with him sometime and get him to help me. For now though, sorry for the constant changing and switching things around. I just need to pick something and commit to it...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yoga

My whole body hurts. I've been working SO HARD the past couple weeks, but I'm pleased to report that I've managed to shed another 4lbs. It's been a lot of work, but it's definitely worth it to see the weight dropping off. I've always had a pretty easy time losing weight - I lost 35lbs after Eli was born by doing nothing. But that took a lot longer. Working out is hard, but it's paying off and it's kind of addictive. I'm enjoying pushing myself and surprised at how much I can actually handle. Plus my energy levels have been fantastic.

So just to report: lots of walks around Beulah pushing the boys, a few walks out the back road but I've been trying to run short sections of that. I've never been much of a runner and frankly I'm not really that interested in running, I find it pretty boring and it is the only exercise on the planet that irritates my very mild asthma, but the walk itself isn't really enough of a workout for me anymore so I feel the need to push myself. Don't expect to see this girl running races anytime soon though, not really my style. I've done my Bootcamp DVD a few more times, and pulled out my yoga DVD. It's designed for first trimester pregnancy, but it still works and it's a nice gentle yoga routine. What is NOT nice and gentle is my newest addition to my workout collection - Bob Harper's Weight Loss Yoga. I did the first level last night and was sweating, shaking, and my left leg even gave out a couple times. It's an excellent workout - challenging, fun, and I love that it's real people demonstrating in the background. They're all former contestants on the Biggest Loser, and all at different fitness levels. It's kind of nice to actually be thinner and in better shape than some of the people demonstrating!

On the food front, now that my new blender is here I've been able to start drinking some smoothies again! Smoothies are great things for getting in multiple servings of fruit, veggies, greens, and all sorts of other good stuff. After my workout this evening I made one with raw milk, yogurt, cream, a raw egg, some flax oil, frozen blueberries and a bit of stevia to sweeten. YUM. I've never tried the egg before because in my head I thought it would be slimy or something, but actually it kind of foams up the smoothie and makes it taste even better. So incredibly good for you too! I also used my blender to make supper tonight. I made Borscht! I had never heard of it before until watching this video, and I knew I wanted to try it as soon as I saw it. It was delicious. I added a carrot and a stalk of celery to mine too, just to round it out, and topped with homemade sour cream and a drizzle of olive oil.


And that's my update for this week. I'm really enjoying the accountability of "Thinner Thursdays" - the thought of posting this blog every week is actually a good motivator to keep pushing myself!

Starting Weight: 150lbs
Current Weight: 142lbs
Lost: 8lbs
Still to go: 7lbs to Goal #1, 17lbs to Goal #2

This post is linked up to Thinner Thursday over at Mommy Miracles.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happily Employed

I love my job. Let me reiterate: I love my job. I thought that I loved my job when I worked as a bank teller. In hindsight, I really liked that job, but I didn't love it. I LOVE being a stay-at-home wife and mother. I find so much pleasure and fulfillment in keeping house, cooking meals, and taking care of my two boys!

This isn't to say that there aren't moments when I wish that the laundry would fold itself, or that Eli would stop whining, or that we lived closer to take-out. But most of the time I am so happy with my life at home that it doesn't even feel like work to me.

Today, with a cool, fresh breeze blowing in through my windows and my sweet boys down for their nap, I can't imagine anything I would rather do than turn on a sermon and sit and fold laundry. I'm not even being sarcastic!

I never thought I would be this type. My childhood was filled with dreams of motherhood, yes, but also fabulous riches, a big-city life and a house that kept itself clean. Reality is surprisingly much more satisfying.

Can you tell I'm having a good day? My birthday present arrived this morning [and looks like I bought it just in time, the price increased by $50!], my toddler did not have lunch time total meltdown as he has been doing lately, but instead happily ate all of his soup, a large bowl of coleslaw and wanted more!

Life is great.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

I love to keep ziploc baggies of pre-cooked, ground breakfast sausage in my freezer. They are so simple to pull out when I want to make a yummy breakfast skillet in the morning, or add some flavour to a lasagna. I have bought it in the store before, but it's quite expensive, and contains corn starch and corn syrup solids and lots of other nasty unidentifiable stuff. Besides, making your own is SO simple and will save you money!

Hot Breakfast Sausage
2lbs ground pork
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp brown sugar (or molasses or honey)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

What I usually do is just throw all this into a skillet and cook it right away, then cool and freeze in individual baggies. This just saves me the pain of mixing all the spices in by hand. But if you want to make sausage patties, you can stir all this in by hand or with your stand mixer, form into patties and then freeze and/or cook as desired. If you have fresh herbs on hand, you can replace some of the poultry seasoning with that. Sage and thyme are fantastic!

I love the "real" taste of this homemade sausage. It's less fatty too, if you buy lean ground pork. You could get all fancy and grind your own meat - I'm going to try that at some point - but for now just buying the packages is much simpler!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thinner Thursday

Weighed myself this weekend while I was at my parent's house and... I'm down 4lbs! Very exciting. I'd like to get a digital scale for home though so that I can keep more accurate track of my progress. I find our scale very difficult to read, and it's not very accurate either (always says you're heavier than you actually are!).

Theo on the other hand is UP 4lbs, my chunky little boy weighs in at well over 13lbs now. Eli was only 10lbs at the same age. I'm glad that he's growing well and nursing lots, it makes it easier to shed that weight.

Speaking of Theo, he turned six weeks old yesterday, meaning it's time to get back to more serious workouts. Not that my Beulah walks haven't been serious because trust me - in this heat especially they are - but last night I broke out the workout DVD's again. Eventually I would like to try Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, but for now I'm just starting out with Lindsay Brin's Bootcamp2. It's definitely not as hardcore (I've watched my Mom do Jillian Michaels and it looks TOUGH), but it's a good place to start. It's designed for postpartum moms, so takes into account things like restrengthening your pelvic floor, and being cautious about diastasis recti, which I have. It's an eight week program, so I think after I get through it I'll try out the 30 Day Shred. I might give myself more than 30 days to do it in though, we'll see.

At any rate, last night it was Bootcamp2, and I made it through fine, though I can still feel a bit of looseness in my hips when lying on my back. It's worlds better than a few weeks ago though, so soon enough I'm sure I'll be fine again. I'm going to try to do the DVD at least three times a week. We've got Waterski Camp the end of July so I'll be taking a short hiatus during that, but then back to work.

Oh, and one last thing to brag about - I've walked around Beulah every day this week. I'm trying to go earlier and earlier in the morning to escape the heat, but it's still pretty steamy even at 8 or 9 in the morning. I timed myself today and it took me 50 minutes to go the whole way. Only a couple weeks ago it was over an hour, so I'm pleased with that. I know pushing just Eli before I got pregnant with Theo it took me 40 minutes, so considering the extra weight to push and lack of exercise I'm happy with my time for now. Looking forward to shortening it though!

And of course I couldn't leave you without a recipe! I don't usually buy sausage because it's expensive and usually contains fillers like corn starch (actually I like to make my own - I'll have to write out my recipe in a future post), but Superstore had it on sale this week so I bought a package and used it to make a sort of sausage and potato and vegetable bake.

I cut up and threw into a large bowl:
6-7 new potatoes
1 sweet potato
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 pkg. mushrooms (rinsed and left whole)

Drizzled it with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash Herb & Garlic and Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy. Spread it on a foil lined baking sheet and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour. Since my sausage was pre-cooked I simply sliced up 5 links and added them to the baking sheet toward the end just to warm them up, but if you had raw sausage you would obviously add it sooner! Anyway it was very simple and yummy. I love meals that you can prep, throw into the oven and forget about until suppertime.

This post is linked up to Thinner Thursdays over at Mommy Miracles.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Girl Food

I made Pioneer Woman's quesadillas for dinner on Wednesday. I always try to keep some homemade flour tortillas in the freezer to pull out if I want them, so that part was simple. Mine are 100% whole wheat - works just as well as white! For tonight I sliced a red onion and sauteed in butter until soft and brown, then sliced up a package of white mushrooms and sauteed them in butter with a little red wine. Grab a tortilla, top with grated mozzarella, mushrooms and onions and more mozza, top with another tortilla and then cooked them in coconut oil on medium heat, 2 minutes per side. I kept them warm in the oven while I made more.

And they were SO YUMMY. Ok so I loved them a lot more than Cory did, but come on... cheese, caramelized onion and mushrooms cooked in red wine? Does it get better than that? I don't think so! On the side I made a simple little tomato-cucumber-basil salad with a balsamic vinaigrette - just balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Cool, refreshing and very yummy.

It was a good, healthy supper. Now that Baleman's (the farmer's market) is open across the street getting fresh vegetables is a snap. Some are a little more expensive than the grocery store, but if you factor in the cost of driving all the way to town I think it's totally worth it. I can now go a lot longer between grocery trips. Unfortunately, getting cold, sweet, wonderful ice cream is also a snap. This isn't quite as healthy, but I try to resist going more than once a week. Moderation in all things!