Saturday, January 31, 2009


Randy and I went on our first REAL date tonight since our Anniversary last March.

We spent REAL time away from both kids (even though it was just for a couple of hours).

We went to a REAL movie theater (instead of renting from Redbox and watching it at home).

and saw a REAL movie (we saw "New in Town" --very cute)

and ate REAL movie theater popcorn (instead of from our air-popper).

I wore REAL perfume, Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren (instead of eau de Laney's drool and snot).

I wore REAL make-up.

My hair was blown dry using REAL fabricated (how's that for an oxymoron?) hot air from my hair dryer (instead of letting the Valley wind blow it dry).

I carried a REAL purse (instead of the overly-used-and-carried-everywhere-tote-for-a-diaper bag).

And after a night of refraining from thinking about our "extra appendages", we were slightly bummed when the movie ended and realized that we had to pick up our REAL kids.

We REALly enjoyed ourselves and REALized that we don't do it nearly enough.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 3

This week was pretty uneventful....taking care of a Flu-ridden husband and snotty-nosed and refuse-to-get-a-full-night's-sleep children, and dealing with a virus myself, which made me feel like I got hit square in the face by a MACK truck. Needless to say, with the exception of last night, I hadn't been to the beloved gym in a week. So it's no surprise that I gained back one pound. Grrr. I also didn't get in my "required" water either.

I've had a heck of a time dusting myself off and getting "back on the horse". I don't know why because I always feel better when I'm consistently working out. Why must it be so easy to get back in the "rut" after weeks of working hard and doing so well? That question has always frustrated me. I really want to lose 5 pounds during this challenge, so that means that I must find my lost motivation and get moving....and fast, since I only have 3 more weigh-ins. I just need a serious push to get started. As Newton (and my friend, Christie) object in motion, stays in motion (unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). Definitely easier said than done, especially when it's so easy for the couch to absorb the energy (and act as that unbalance force). Ha!

Here's to a much better week, a much better attitude, resulting in a much better weigh-in next Wednesday!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365 Vol. 4

January 19-25, 2009
I can't believe I've taken a picture every day for 4 weeks now. While I was/am really excited about this project, I was doubtful that I'd be able to follow through. But so far, so good.
I've really enjoyed this project. It's not hard for me to take pictures every day, especially when my children are the subjects of so many of my photos...because after all I am one of THOSE moms. But I'm finding that the hardest part, for me, of this project has been variety (and finding the time to post my pics). And while I'm a little frustrated that so many of my pics are of either my kids or my hubby, I have to remember that I'm participating in this project so that I can remember what I, my kids, or my hubby did during a particular day. Right? Right.
So here is my submission for Week 4 of my Project 365.
Day 19: Catching Laney in the act of pulling up.
Day 20: Randy came home early on Tuesday with the FLU, which knocked him out COLD.
Day 21: Laney fell asleep on Randy's belly and the sweetness was just too sweet NOT to take a snapshot and freeze it in time.
Day 22: One of Josiah's most favorite things to do is climb up on top of the coffee table/tv stand and "play" his guitar. Yes, I do let him climb on our furniture....I'm THAT kind of mom, too.
Day 23: We've been going to park in the afternoon to celebrate the beautiful weather.
Day 24: I challenged myself to shine my sink EVERY night before I headed to bed for one week. For those who know me knows that this was a really hard thing for me to accomplish. BUT, I did it. And boy, did it make each day start "fresh".
Day 25: After losing a tire a couple of months ago, Josiah "got back on the horse" today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

No Vitamin D Deficiency Here

It's nearing the end of January, and I think the coldest day we've had so far this winter produced a high of 50 degrees, which to us now is COLD (it took NO TIME for our blood to thin). It's definitely a perk living this close to the equator Mexico, but don't even get me started about what it means for this summer. UGH!

Since we've been blessed with temps ranging anywhere from 75-85 degrees, we have been spending a lot of time outside. We've been going for walks/rides around the neighborhood, visiting the city parks after naps, and meeting friends for lunch with the inclusion of a run around at the park. Not only does this give the kids their required dosage of Vitamin D for the day, it provides an outlet for energy depletion. It's just been lovely and the kids are really enjoying it.

(Josiah is also sporting a new haircut...a mohawk. Temporary, just temporary.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Big F, little f, what begins with F?

My SIL, Elizabeth, participated in a fun meme that required her to write about 10 things she loved beginning with a particular letter. And because I'm always up for a good challenge, I asked Elizabeth to assign me a letter....and she gave me the letter "F".

Here are 10 things I LOVE that start with "F", in no particular order.

1. Friends--I'm a very social person and LOVE to be surrounded by all my
best girlfriends. Unfortunately, now that they live ALL.OVER.THE.COUNTRY, I have to settle for conversation via Skype, IM, email, etc. My beloved friends know how to give me a "lift" when I'm in need of some encouragment, how to "bring it down a notch" when I'm overreacting, and how to separate me from being "Josiah and Laney's mommy".

2. Facebook--yet another way that I've managed to keep in touch with my friends. I've also reconnected with some old ones. I LOVE to be nosey and finding out what my college roommate, Iowa and Florida classmates have been up to for the last 10-15 years has been A LOT of fun. I've also become "friends" with some of my bloggy friends, and I've enjoyed getting to know them, too.

3. Freshly washed sheets--there are few things that are as soothing as a freshly made bed with clean, fluffy sheets, especially those of a higher thread count. Ahhhh.

4. Family--as much as my children grate on my last nerve most days (I'm working on my patience level), oh how do I LOVE my little family of four....and hope to make it "five" some day soon. I also could not have been more blessed with more loving parents, siblings, and in-laws. They are, after all, the ones who helped sculpt me into the person I am today....and they did a wonderful job, I do say so myself.

5. French Manicure/Pedicure--I just LOVE, LOVE to get my nails done and my favorite polish is "the french". When I'm in need of something just for me, as a reward for a job well-done and don't want to reward my weight loss with a double fudge brownie, I'll go nail salon for a mani and pedi.

6. French fries--something a good hamburger should NOT be without. And because I wasn't given the letter "H", I had to go with the next best thing. The french fries I enjoy the most are those from McDonald's and Red Robin. What are your favorites?

7. Fireworks/Firecrackers on the Fourth--going to see fireworks is almost as much of a family tradition as driving around to see Christmas lights. I LOVE the BIG ones, the ones with a lot of color (and even different shapes). As a kid, we only did sparklers at home. But now that Randy is in charge of home-based explosives, he comes home with a bunch that I've never even heard of...and they make lots of noise.

8. Fondue--what is more wonderful than dipping strawberries, pound cake, pineapple, marshmallows, and pretzels in fondue? The chocolate kind (and in my opinion, the ONLY kind).

9. Flowers--while I am just like most girls and enjoy receiving a bouquet of flowers on special occassions (or for no particular reason), I would rather have my husband's hard earned money go towards something more permanent (a book, iTunes gift card, DVD, jewelry, card, etc).

10. Fireproof--while I haven't seen it yet, I know that I will LOVE it once I do. I can't wait for its release next week.

If you want to play along, let me know; and I'll be happy to assign you a letter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 2

This week was a bit of a struggle....about mid-week I hit the proverbial "wall", which translated into NO motivation to work out (or even eat well). After being away from running since Christmas (to give my knee injury time to heal), I really wanted to get back onto the treadmill. But I found it so discouraging when I could barely complete 3 miles at a snail's pace. What!? I went from running 5 miles at 10-11mm pace to that of a snail? Hellooooo, "wall"!

However, on a more positive note, I was able to reach my goal of drinking 80 oz. of water EACH day, which I really think helped me in losing 1 more pound this week! I was totally shocked when I saw that I'm now only 3 pounds away from reaching another decade of numbers. Woohoo! Additionally, I may not be losing pounds at lightening speed, but I'm definitely noticing a difference in my "shape". I no longer have the cul-de-sac of fluff where my arm meets my back, and the elbow fluff hangover is slowly, but surely, is disappearing. I'm also able to use the next notch in my belt, which I wear with my loosely fitting pre-preggo pants. YAY!

My goals for this next week, assuming that I can push through the "wall" and get over the sickness that my dear doctor husband brought home from the pediatric clinics, are to continue with drinking at least 80 oz. of water/day and to get back to my evening treadmill workouts at the gym, averaging 3 miles each night. There is a 5K run on February 15, here in town, that I hope to participate in, and I really hope to cross the finish line in less than 32:00.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To Be Expected

1 Doctor + Pedriatrics rotation + no flu shot =

1 Doctor flat on his back with the FLU!

PS. Please pray that the FLU decides that MY body is NOT a good hostess.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~January 19

Monday--Sloppy Joes
Tuesday--Taco Pasta Salad
Wednesday--Easy Enchilada Casserole **new recipe**
Friday--out to dinner w/interviewing student
Sunday--Pronto Pizza Patties

For more menu ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project 365 Vol. 3

January 12-18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prayers for Harper

Little Miss Harper was born yesterday at 7:03PM, weighing in at 9lbs, 12oz, with pneumonia in her lungs. The pneumonia is so serious that they immediately flew Harper to Tulsa, OK in order to perform a heart/lung bypass.

I have been amazed time after time how powerful the act of praying is, which is why I'm asking you to please pray, with me, for Harper and her parents, Kelly and Scott. Kelly prayed for years to get pregnant with Harper, please ask God to protect her precious little girl.

Kelly has been posting updates as she has time, please visit her blog for updates on Harper's condition.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

1/2 Off the Wagon

I have to blame my only slight fall from the wagon today on the new neighbors that just moved in across the street. I ran across a new brownie recipe the other day while visiting Bakerella and simply could not resist trying them for myself baking them for the neighbors. This brownie is AWESOME, marrying extreme fudge brownies with chocolate chip cookies topped with rich chocolate frosting. Mmmmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

Please excuse my feeble attempt to recreate the pics that Bakerella took of her finished brownies...I'm still learning my camera.

I apologize to my dear readers who are currently in calorie-counting mode, but this was a recipe too good not to share.

And I only considered myself to fall 1/2 off the wagon today because I did workout this morning, and I also consumed around 100oz. of water. With all of that water, many of those brownie calories are surely expected to be washed away, right? ;-) It's right along the same thinking that my dad has about freezing chocolate chip cookies...if they're frozen, the body won't absorb the fat. Silly, dad!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday--Lookin' Fine, Week 1

In keeping with my resolution to lose 20 pounds by May 1st, I joined in on the fun at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans last week as they started a new weight loss challenge, "Looking Fine for Valentine's". I did so well with losing 13 pounds during the blogosphere challenge, Hot For the Holidays, that I thought I would participate in another. I found that it's an awesome way to stay accountable. Rules are the same: I'll post a Weigh-in Wednesday report, and then go to the Sisterhood blog and share my success/setbacks with the group. In this 6 week challenge my goal is to lose 5 pounds. I figure the slower I lose the weight, the more real the weight loss is. Make sense?

So now onto the nitty gritty....

My week's worth of workouts:
Wednesday--ran 3 miles
Thursday--P90X Chest & Back AND Slim In 6 DVDs
Friday--nothing (meant to try spinning but the baby woke up right before I headed out the door)
Monday--start of 2-week trial period with P90X (Chest & Back DVD)
Tuesday--P90X Plyometrics
Wedesday--Slim In 6 DVD (workout buddy had a sick kiddo--had to pass up the P90X this AM)

I lost 1 pound this week. It may be small, but I'm so excited to see the scale continuing to move on down!

In other weigh-in news, today was our first weigh-in for the Biggest Loser challenge I'm participating as a part of our MOPS group. I lost 2 1/2 inches and 2.2 pounds since starting the challenge on December 5. I have to say that my weight loss would have been more if it hadn't been cold outside this morning and required that I wear jeans and a sweater. BUT a loss is a loss in my book, and I couldn't be happier....even though I wasn't the biggest loser this month. Oh well, there's always next month, right?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~January 12

Nothing too exciting going at our table this week...other than the new recipe that I'll be trying out on Tuesday.

A few years ago we purchased the Eating For Life (EFL) cookbook which is a supplement to Bill Phillips' Body For Life exercise program. It turns out that from my quite diverse cookbook library, the EFL cookbook one of our favorites. So in an effort to help BOTH of us shed some oh-so-unwanted pounds before my sister's wedding in July, I've decided to cook more from the cookbook to make sure that our carb/protein/veggie ratio is in check (which is sometimes hard to do because I LOVE carbs).

This week's menu comes entirely from the Eating For Life cookbook. And even though we've had the book for years, there are still recipes that we haved tried, like the Chunky Beef Stew, which will be my recipe review of the week.

Monday--Spaghetti & Meatballs (EFL) with steamed broccoli
Tuesday--Chunky Beef Stew (EFL)
Wednesday--leftover spaghetti
Thursday--leftover stew
Friday--Grilled Chicken Kabobs (EFL)
Saturday--Egg-cellent Enchiladas (EFL) & Birthday party out
Sunday--Egg-cellent Enchildadas & leftover kabobs

For more menu plan ideas, visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project 365 Vol. 2

January 5-11, 2009

11 days down, only 354 to go!

This week was full of a bunch of fun stuff. I really struggled with deciding which one picture to select that best documented each day. I'm slowly but surely getting over the weirdness of carrying my fairly large camera every where I go, but I'm enjoying finding pleasure in the simple things including, but not limited to, Josiah wearing underwear for the first time and running around the house in his excitement, watching Josiah sit quietly in his room and read, Laney falling asleep in her highchair after filling her belly, drinking from a sippy cup for the first time, and having fun pulling diapers out of the diaper basket, and finally finding some much needed play space (other than the living room, kitchen, or the kid's room)by just simply moving some furniture in the guest bedroom.

To see more pics, visit Sara.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Recipe Review-Week 2

Chicken with Snap Peas
(recipe from the Alli cookbook)

6 oz. whole wheat blend wide egg noodles
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
2/3 cup orange juice
3 T. hoisin sauce
3 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. tomato sauce
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3-inch strips
3 T. cornstarch
3/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted cashews

1. Prepare noodles according to package directions, adding snap peas and pepper 2 minutes before end of noodle cooking time. Drain.

2. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir together orange juice, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce.

3. In a medium bowl toss chicken in cornstarch, shaking off excess cornstarch.

4. In a large skillet slightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook and stir half of the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes or until light brown and no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken to bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken.

5. Return chicken and drippings to skillet; add orange juice mixture and bring to boiling. Add noodles, snap peas and pepper; cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with cashews.

Makes 4 servings.

Not a great pic, but I'm working on my food photography skills.

Review: While this is the type of meal that I enjoy cooking (easy, noodle/chicken/veggie combo in a sauce), the flavor of the sauce was just a little bit more tangy than either of us cared for. The recipe also required an ingredient, hoisin sauce, that I don't normally keep stocked in my kitchen, so that was definitely a negative aspect of the recipe...but I was willing to buy some just in case we really enjoyed it. I also left the cashews out because I didn't want the extra fat, but I think they would have added a dimension of crunchiness to the meal. Overall, "it's okay", according to Randy, and I probably won't make it just didn't "WOW" our tastebuds. Oh well, at least I tried, right?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~January 5

Getting involved with Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie was one of the best decisions I've made regarding my efforts to get my home organized. Planning meals has made my grocery shopping so much easier (and when I'm having to drag two small children along for the ride, there's no time for dawdling--that is, unless you don't mind dealing with a breakdown in the middle of the dairy isle), and it has kept me from spending excessively. And even though Randy still asks me every day what's for dinner (when it's posted on the fridge for all to see), the meal plan provides me with an answer other than "I don't know, what do you want to eat?", which is the most frustrating part about not having it all laid out beforehand.

One of my Resolutions for 2009 is to continue planning menus each week, with the inclusion of a little something new, to try at least one new recipe each week and then post a review. I just LOVE trying a new recipe, so this shouldn't be something too unreasonable to accomplish.

So here's my plan for this first week of 2009:

Monday: Baked Turkey & Jack Cheese Chimichangas
Tuesday: Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Wednesday: leftover chimichangas
Thursday: leftover peppers
Friday: Chicken with Snap Peas **new recipe**
Saturday: Steaks with baked potato & veggies
Sunday: leftover chicken with snap peas

Having trouble with what to cook this week? Check out additional menu plan ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Project 365 Vol.1

January 1-4, 2009

Here's to a New Year documented by taking a picture every day!

I have to say that I'm pretty excited about this project. What better way to learn about my new digital SLR camera and enhance my photography skills than to take at least one picture every day?

While I'm excited to share our lives through pictures, I am a little intimidated that my pictures will be of little interest to anyone besides me. I guess we'll just have to see what this project turns out to be, but I'm sure that it will most definitely include many pictures of my children.

So here's my first plunge into Project 365. Click on the button above to visit our hostess, Sara, and see how others documented their first week of 2009.

8 is Great!

I think all of the Christmas hustle and bustle caused this 8th month to whir by in a flash. Laney is getting so big. PLEASE let me bore with a few details. Pretty please? Great, thanks!

  • she started clapping her hands, although she only moves one hand when she claps.
  • she started waving some
  • she clicks her tongue and loves it when we click back
  • she says "da da da da da" regardless of how hard I try to have her repeat "ma ma ma ma"
  • as soon as we got back from Christmas break, Laney could pick up cheerios (which she LOVES) and put them successfully in her mouth. What a difference a week makes!
  • she can NOW roll over from her belly to her back...unassisted! Woohoo!
  • she has started eating the equivalent of 1 small jar of baby food plus some oatmeal and cheerios in one sitting.
  • she graduated from her infant carrier to a "big girl" convertible car seat.
  • tooth #5 started to cut through, making a very cranky little princess.
  • and when we took her to the ER the day after Christmas, she weighed in at 21 pounds.

Happy 8th Month Birthday, Alayna!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas in the Valley

Alternatively titled: Fun with the new Nikon (Alert: picture ladened post)

Since things were so crazy before our family trip to West Texas for Christmas (and since there was NO extra room in car after packing it), we decided to wait and open our gifts here, sent by my parents, until New Year's Eve. And I'm so glad we did. It was nothing but crazy during our break in Pecos, with the baby being sick and all. Plus, with 10 adults and 7 children staying under one roof, things were bound to get (and stay) a little chaotic, which Randy is used to...I, on the other hand, am not (I grew up with 2 sisters and NONE of my family lived nearby). But I just adore my in-laws....and all of the family that lives within such a short distance of "home". A holiday without all of the people just wouldn't be same, a definite perspective change from my first Pecos family get together a short 5 years ago.

Anyway....and because there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than with a nice meal and CAKE, that is exactly what Josiah and I did. We baked Jesus a Tres Leches Cake....and boy, was it "yummy in my tummy", as Josiah says. But before we endulged, we enjoyed, as a family, a nice meal...our favorite, Singapore Shrimp with Jasmine Rice and Edamame. THEN it was time for cake. And Josiah was insistent that he was going to blow out the candle for Jesus. So following our birthday song, Josiah successfully blew out the candle. It was a much better effort than he demonstrated just 6 months ago when it was time to blow out his own 2 candles (when he was scared to get close enough because they were "hot").

(Lesson learned: put sprinkles on cool whip just before serving.)

Thanks, Trisha, for the cake decoration idea.

Of course, no Christmas would be complete without pictures....posed in front of the tree. I dressed the kids in their Christmas sweaters and made them smile before opening any gifts. There's nothing like bribery. (I also had fun taking some pictures the night before in the dark of our tree, a few ornaments, and my newest Christmas decor project).

Believe or not, this was the best one I got of them together. *sigh*

I took this one earlier in the day...not particularly special, I just thought it was too cute NOT to post.

I was so excited how these "gifts" turned out. This was my first bow-making experience.

Once I felt that I had gotten as good of pictures as I was going to get, THEN it was time to open presents. Josiah was "gone" after he opened his first gift and saw that it was a much coveted remote control train for his Geo Trax. Laney was much more interested in tearing up the paper and rolling around the box instead of what actually came inside of it. But her face lit up as soon as she I opened her Taggie Doll. Perfect choice, Mom!

We had a lovely evening, spending some much needed time together. It was a wonderful way to spend our last night of 2008.