Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meatloaf, Smeatloaf, Double-beatloaf

Does anyone else quote the line from A Christmas Story when they eat meatloaf?  "Meatloaf, Smeatloaf, Double-beatloaf. I hate Meatloaf!"  Lies...I actually dig meatloaf.  I like to say this one ALMOST as much as I like to quote The Sandlot.

"This pop isn't workin', Benny! I'm bakin' like a toasted cheeseer!"

Meatloaf muffins with mashed potato frosting are a brilliant idea. Those that know me, know I can't do cute and crafty, and mine came out almost picture worthy.   This recipe inspired me. I was looking for a recipe that Wyatt would like and this one was perfect with ground turkey and zucchini and not too many spices.   I subbed oatmeal for bread crumbs to keep it gluten free (just one more week).

Not in the mood for cute muffin meatloaf?  Try this recipe.  The garlic croutons crushed up add some great flavor.  This one is tastier but less kiddie friendly and takes more time.

I have to get pumped about doing P-90X hour anda half yoga.  I dread doing this one because it takes soooo long.  Olympic watching last night allowed me to get some extra work hours in so I can "slack off" today. 

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Fevah

I am busy watching the Olympics so I can't be bothered to blog about real cutting edge, important stuff like what Wyatt is doing or what I am cooking.  So sorry to my loyal readers....chuckle!

So about the Olympics....

Ummm...what? I couldn't follow the opening ceremony.  Some history, some kids in hospital beds, the Queen jumping out of a plane, Mr. Bean playing the keyboard. I was only half way paying attention so maybe I missed some key parts.

I despise how the media keeps playing up Michael Phelps as a disappointment.  Haters gon' hate.   "This race really sets the tone for the rest of the Olympics"...aka all of the failures he will see.  He took time off.  He is trying for a comeback.  Ryan Lochte is doing great.  Well deserved.  Still...I can't handle the talk about Phelps and how disappointed he should be.

You should follow Usain Bolt on Instagram.  His photos are hilar because they are all about him trying to look like a killah.

Exhibit A

The US Gymnastics qualifying day was heartbreaking.  Poor Jordyn Wieber.  I can't imagine working so hard your whole life for a goal and missing it by so little.  I hope she feels proud of what she has done. She is not going to the All Around competition and is not competing in any individual events either. Here is the list of who qualified for what events.

Have you seen Phelps' Olympic badge photo?  Also, hilarious.  The cruel joke is he wins a gold medal for the worst photo.

Even if TV rots a babe's brain, I must push forward and keep the TV on everyday for the next 15 days.  Wyatt will understand.  He knows when you push on the remote to look at the TV.  Me laugh.  

Sorry to all of the random websites that I borrowed the images from.  I only have 10 readers, so don't worry about me stealing your fame or fortune.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Post Dinner Walk

After Wyatt demolished an adult size serving of rice and beans (can't wait to change that diaper), we went for a walk outside. 

I think he is fattening up appropriately.  Check out his rollies!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some Movies and Books

Need some time wasters?  You must if you read this blog frequently (wink wink). 

On the toob:
I am REALLY late to the PBS Masterpiece Theatre TV show Downton Abbey but I dig it.  You can find it on Netflix Instant Play.  Hunter opted not to watch this so I make it through about 1 show a week.  They are on season 3 I believe.

The movie 50/50 was surprisingly good. A 27 year old is diagnosed with cancer and it follows him and his people through the trials.  Inspired by a true story. 

I like to ponder about how I would react in a life threatening situation so of course I enjoyed 127 Hours, based on a true story of a guy who gets stuck under a rock while on a hiking / canyoning trip and he is all by his lonesome. 

In a book:
Read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  I gave this one 5 outta 5 stars.  There is love, war, and mistreatment of the Japanese in Seattle.  I didn't know that happened in the US.  We sent American citizens of Japanese heritage to war camps. There is a bit of Romeo and Juliet feel when a Chinese boy befriends a Japanese girl. 

Another 5 outta 5 star book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  What is my obsession with war?  This book is set in Germany in WWII and documents a family that adopts a child (the book thief) and harbors a Jew.  Amazing book.  I really loved it. 

I also got on a non fiction kick.  I already mentioned Dominique Moceanu's Off Balance Memoir.  I also started Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.  I have not read very far into this one yet, but again, what is my deal with all of this war reading?

What else should I be watching and reading?  Hook a sistah up. 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Dominique Moceanu's Book

Soooo, I am still obsessed with all things Olympics, especially women's gymnastics.  I bought Dominique Moceanu's Memoir book called Off Balance. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars because I loved to read all of the details about the Karolyis, the training, and little hints of information about some of my favorite gymnasts from the 92 and 96 Olympics.

Book Spoiler Alert! Don't read below this if you want to read the book and not know what happens.

To summarize the book:

Dominique's family gave up a daughter that was born without legs for adoption.  They believed that they did not have money to care for a child with any medical issues.  The child was 6 years younger than Dominique.  What the daughter was old enough, her adopted parents told her the truth.  This girl is an amazing athlete and lives a very full life without legs.

The Karolyis are not the people they appear to be in the media.  I can understand/forgive putting the gymnasts through brutal workouts, not allowing them to eat much, and monitoring the athletes 24/7.  I cannot understand how they were very uninvolved in the day to day training.  They provided no direct guidance and shuffled the girls between various coaches.  They always acted lovingly and supportive in front of the cameras but really did not have a strong relationship as coach / supporter and took the credit for the training even though they were not responsible.  They also didn't allow any celebrating or encouragement because it would give the athletes a big head.  According to the book, the Karolyis benefit financially from the Olympic training camps that are held at their ranch every year and they are the ones that established these camps as a requirement.

Dominique was granted emancipation from her parents at age 17 because she did not like the way her over bearing father was not keeping her in involved about her financial gains from her tours / sponsorships and apparently he spent all the money building a dream gym that never became a success.  

Dominique made quite a comeback at age 24.  I did not know about this.  She has some resentment towards a board of 3 Marta Karolyi, Kim Zmeskal, and somebody else I don't remember for voting against her entry to the 2006 National Championships.  The book did not spell out hatred towards Kim, one of her old training partners, but hinted at it.  Me being the Kim fan that I am, I had to go off and research.  They apparently are not on good terms, but I am not sure that Kim is at fault for anything.

Overall, Dominique had a very tough childhood and young adult life.  Her situation was further complicated by a Romanian father that was abusive and the lack of support from her coaches that she spent more than 40 hours a week with (the Karolyis).  She was so successful in her career because she gave up her young life and dedicated it all to gymnastics.  I imagine all elite level gymnasts have to make this huge sacrifice. 

I don't know that we can make any judgments about life in the gym with the Karolyis because we don't know all sides of the story, but the book was definitely an eye opener to me.  Even today, there are complaints about the Karolyis having too much power in the US Gymnastics world.  There was the Chellsie Memmel issue. The fact that the winner of the trials gets an automatic entry to the Olympics, but the rest of the Olympic team is all decided by a board where Marta has the influence. 

I wanted to get more answers about Kim being part of a team that voted down Dominique's return so I did some research.  It seems that more people are of the opinion that Dominique is a little bit crazy and has some incorrect hatred against Kim.  Kim asks what planet Dominique is from.  Ahh..the drama.  Ahh..the drama played up by the media.   Read the book.  Ponder the info.  Pity Dominique's lack of childhood.  Consider the fact that it is a one sided story.  You should definitely consider my opinion as I am an expert because I took gymnastics from the age of 3 to 13. I once scored a 3.0 on bars to further my credit.

In all my research, I came across a blog that posts opinions and updates about women's gymnastics almost daily.  Check it out if you would like to stay current with the events.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Gluten Free Update - Hafway Point

Well, I never figured out what caused excessive screaming Wednesday morning but it left us by the afternoon and life has been very pleasant these last few days and nights.  Hooray!

An update on my one month gluten free trial since I am at the half way point.  My face has not magically cleared up but I am going to stick with it for two more weeks.  The adjustment has still been very easy. For those that don't know, I do not tolerate diet drinks.  Rarely can I enjoy food that is labeled lower fat / lower calorie.  Don't get me started on fat free cheese that doesn't melt! I have not felt that it is worth my time to learn to tolerate the taste of the modified foods and drinks. I guess I have no problem with eating potato flour and rice flour instead of wheat because gluten free has been easy.

Here are a list of the foods that we have tried and enjoyed (Hunter and Wyatt included):

Target Brand (Archer Farms) Gluten Free Fusili - Made of rice and corn. I could not find online, but this is in our local store.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough - This was really good

Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix - Hunter made chocolate chip cookies. Might try waffles this weekend with it.

Here are a few items that are not necessarily for gluten free purposes, but are gluten free and easily incorporated in meals: 

Maifun Rice Stick Noodles for stir fries and soup. 

Corn and Rice Chex Cereal - The chocolate one is great!

 We have been eating rice, potatoes, quinoa, and several varieties of asian rice noodles.  We have also been burning through our meat and vegetables.  We are eating yogurt like crazy and are on our 4th batch of homemade and already need to make a 5th batch.  

One minor disappointment.  Jacque and I went to a gluten free bakery/restaurant (such a great friend) and bought several dessert items.  Meh....they were not that great.  Maybe desserts are what suffer the most with gluten free.  I bought a loaf of jalapeno cheese bread with potato flour and that was pretty good.  

Happy Friday to everybody! Hope everyone has a fun-filled weekend. We have NO plans. 

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Irony

I would like to go back in time and remove my post from Monday about how being a WFHM has been manageable. This week has included no exercise and not much work. I have been having to charge to the "Mom Project".

I will leave Monday's post up to remind me not to tempt fate again.

Am I the only mom who strips their kid nekkid (diaper too) when their kiddo is crying uncontrollably? I don't know what I am looking for. Bugs, an ouchie, a sign?

Monday, July 16, 2012

How I Am Making It Work

I was scared to think of how life would be once I started working 20 hours a week, but life has not changed very much since I started.  Sure, the house is messier.  Yeah, I only do dishes before and after dinner. Ummhmmm, sometimes I even work while Wyatt is awake.

My windows of serious opportunity are before Wyatt wakes up, during morning nap, during afternoon nap, and after he goes to bed.  I can usually get in about 2 to 3 hours before I put him to bed.  Some/most of the time, I put morning nap towards a P90X workout.

Here are my measly tips for how to make being a WFHM (work from home mom) work.

1. Meal plan during the weekend so you don't have to do additional shopping and creating during the week.  Do one crock pot meal a week. Frozen vegetables are your friend. Salads are your friend.  Always thaw your meat one to two days in advance. Make use of marinades.

2. Track the time you work consistently.  Sometimes I think I will just sit down and work a few minutes while Wyatt is occupied, but then I end up getting in a nice 30 minute burst.  You might forget about this time if you don't track it. I am using the Free iPhone app called OfficeTime Lite. You can start / stop timers, track which project you are working on, and run weekly/monthly/daily reports. 

3. Don't feel guilty for working while your kiddo is awake.  This one was easy for me. :)  I think letting you child entertain himself helps to build independence and creativity.  Wyatt has no problem letting me know when he needs interaction. He crawls or walks up to me and that is my cue.  I put the computer down and spend time with him until he moves on to another toy or activity and doesn't need me.  Then I pick up the computer again.  Wyatt goes in laps...cruising around the room, investigating his toys, and banging things on the walls (yay for rentals). Then he looks up, sees me, and decides its time for some Mama. 

Those are all my tips.  I realize that I am in this magical window where Wyatt is old enough to not need constant attention but young enough to not be so active that he is going bonkers in our living room.  I also know that 2 naps is a luxury I will not have forever.  In the future, I will probably have to make use of early morning and late evening...maybe even some weekends.

I do struggle with feeling unprofessional while talking on the phone to anybody at work.  I am embarrassed when Wyatt cries/chatters while I am on the phone.  Most people that I work with don't know that I am a work from home mom that lives in Florida.   I wish I was stronger and could just think about how being a mom is more important than being 100% professional on the phone.  Maybe someday.  :)  Any tips for me?

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Friday, July 13, 2012

10 Months

We survived another day around here AND Wyatt turned 10 months old yesterday.  We went to Target with a goal of distracting Wyatt from his mood.  It worked! He had a great time so we stayed there an hour and a half. I had a lofty goal of spending $0 but after an hour and a half, Target reeled me in.  I spent $15.  Of course, I bought only the essentials....bananas, cilantro, ginger, bug spray, and some trucks for Wyatt that were on clearance for $1ish. 

A quick summary of Wyatt's new 10 month tricks:
  • He is waving
  • He claps
  • He looks at Mama/Dada when you ask where one of us is
  • He points (I want more of that, show me that painting)
  • He is fascinated with anything hung on the wall
  • He walks (kind of).  He goes in 5 step bursts.
  • He makes a funny face and kind of whistles to get my attention
Here are some photos I managed to take between crying, hanging on mom's leg sessions yesterday.  The new trucks from Target helped.  Cute outfit provided by Jacque. :)

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peaceful Times

Our household is experiencing excessive clinginess, an abundance of crying, and even a random (luckily not repeating) barf.  The random barf was so smelly I threw Wyatt into a bubble bath (so I didn't have to scrub) and stripped most of the way so I didn't have to smell myself.  Lucky for my sister, I was ready for some adult conversation so I answered her FaceTime call while mostly stripped.

And now, I must go.  I have a few more ideas to try.  Ibuprofen.  Maybe some ice cream.  Maybe some earplugs.  Kidding.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some New Food Ideas

Mix instant espresso (decaf or caf) into your Greek Yogurt.  I bought Cafe Bustelo.  This may only be enjoyable for people like me that don't really like coffee...they just like the idea of the flavor.

Slice your chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make them skinnier and cook faster.  Once they are cooked, use chicken broth, wine, or cream to make a pan sauce.   PW has an excellent mustard cream sauce for her chicken. 

Make a salad with arugula (I love), the sharpest cheddar cheese you can find, sliced peaches, and some roasted pecans.  I have been enjoying Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette.   I think this salad was inspired by a magazine I got in the mail, but I can't remember which one.

Cook your whole cut-up chicken the way this recipe describes. The whole recipe was good, but the chicken was great!  Must repeat.  

In other news, I have decided to try a gluten-free diet for one month in hopes that it will help to clear up my face.  Acne has been such a pest for me for the past few years.  I am 31 years old...geeeze Loise! Since a large part of my family has been diagnosed with Celiac disease or has seen a major improvement in their life since giving it up, there is a small chance it can help.  Surprisingly, I have not had to change what I eat very much YET.  I am only a week in.  Does that mean it won't help?  Maybe.  Anything is worth a try!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Florida, Conquistador Style

We went to check out one of the Florida Natural Reserves Saturday morning.  We came prepared with California Baby Bug Repellent (safe for the babes) and the Ergo Baby Carrier. We also had a trail map.  We made it about 2 minutes in on one trail before being swarmed by mosquitoes.  This trail was titled something like "Trail to Swamp Buzzzzzz".  We tried another trail that was titled "Maybe Less Mosquitoes Here" and made it about 5 minutes in before having to turn around.

We toured the rest of the natural reserve by truck with the windows up.  On our tour we saw one wild hog, two wild turkeys, a deer, a turtle, plenty of vultures, but not a single gator.

I can't imagine how brave you had to be to land on the crazy ol U.S. Continent and start wading through Florida swamp land as a Spanish Conquistador.  Fighting the mosquitoes would be enough to send me straight back to the beach.  Hunter suggested coating your body in mud.   As you tromp through the swamps with the gators and snakes, surely your mud coating comes off.  How would you have faith that the swamps would end? And when the swamps do end, then you have to navigate through sharp palms and other plant life that slices your skin. Crazy brave people!

Fresh meat...buzz, buzz!

Looking up
The trail
Flowery swamp


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sad News...Today is NOT Sunday

Was anyone else confused by the mid week holiday?  I kept trying to plan our Sunday.  Sad news...it is only Thursday.  We enjoyed our 4th, did you?  I narrowed down my hot dog toppings to one with sharp cheddar, a slice of bacon and 1/4 of a large avocado and one with sharp cheddar, red onion, and coarse dijon mustard.  I cannot pick a winner!  To finish off our healthy hot dog lunch, we had rhubarb cobbler.  I used a recipe I got from my mom that we usually use peaches or blueberries in.

Easy Cobbler Recipe
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Self Rising Flour
2 Cups Sugar, Divided
1 Cup Milk
4 Cups Fruit (sliced peaches, berries, etc)
Melt butter in a 13x9 dish. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, and milk. Mix well and pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Combine fruit and remaining cup of sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Pour over batter. Do not stir. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown.

Since I did P90X (Core Synergistics DVD) and it was a holiday, we had dessert after dinner too.

Here is an easy recipe for Homemade Magic Shell (a deeelightful ice cream topping).  We topped Blue Bell's new Strawberry Pie ice cream with it.

Today I am having water for breakfast, salad for lunch, and hot tea for dinner.   Kidding, kidding.  I am making PW's Pot Roast for dinner.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When Daddy Comes Home

Most of you probably think that I love it when Hunter comes home because I get a break from Wyatt.  Wrong! I am a perfect mother and never tire of giving my child endless amounts of attention.  I also have no need for adult interaction throughout the day and can easily cook dinner and do laundry with a 9 month old clinging to my legs.

Ok, but seriously, it is so great to see Wyatt's reaction when Hunter comes home.  He usually giggles the second he hears the door opening.  In the video, he gets so excited he forgets how to crawl for a moment. 

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some High Points

The U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team has been selected for the Olympics. Check out who was picked. Congrats to Gabby Douglas for winning the Trials Meet.  My favorite routine was Sarah Finnegan's beam routine.  She is an alternate, but check it out here.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July (yippee).  My exciting meal is going to be hot dogs.  No wise cracks!  I can't remember the last time I had them.  I am going to prepare every topping I can imagine and then struggle to pick which ones I want on my dogs (mustard aioli, avocado, red onion, bacon, cheddar cheese, chili, sliced dill pickles).  Did I miss any?

We took a quick trip to St Augustine and almost melted.  We were able to to push through by pretending to shop in the tourist traps that were heavily air conditioned. We also nursed one beer as long as possible so we could hang out in the A1A Brewery.

Wyatt had his first frozen yogurt.  OF COURSE I got the healthy, no sugar added and topped it with fruit.  He ate it up!  I call it training for ice cream for his first birthday party which will be in less than 2 and 1/2 months.  Eek!

We managed to get a bike helmet on Wyatt and rode 2 loops around our condo complex in the bike trailer.  There was one joyous lap and one crying lap...not necessarily in that order.  We just have to get him used to the helmet.  The trailer was not the problem.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Photo a Day June

Here are my Photo a Day June pictures in case you don't follow me on Instagram (funfiveminutesago).

If you are not on an iPhone, here is the Flash SlideShow:

If you are on an iPhone, here is the Photo Album:
June 2012 Photo A Day

I am probably hooked for life, and have started the July challenge.  Please join me!

For those of you on Instagram, do yourself a favor and order one of these super cute items on Printstagram. A set of 3 TinyBooks is on the way to me.  I can't wait!

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