Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Faces of Nate

He cracks me up EVERY day.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Madness...

...that has nothing to do with basketball. What madness am I speaking of? Oh, you know, the kind that starts the first day of the month off with snow and then 3 weeks later does this...
WTFrick?? Seriously.

When I saw the forecast for last week and noticed that every day was supposed to range from high 60's through the 80's, I decided to take a day out of work.  I spent the day with my hubby. We went shopping for spring fashions (mine not his) and then had our first frozen lemonade of the year. 

Arielle was digging the warmer weather all week in true puppy fashion. 
She kept asking me to roll down her window so she could open her mouth and face the wind.
This further solidifies my argument that two year olds are much like small animals.

 The kids played in the yard in short sleeves and then in shorts. I had to go dig the summer bins out of the basement a full 2 months ahead of schedule.

This week has been glorious.
 I have run outside 4 times and have felt happier than I have since the cold set in.
Of course, the forecast for the next 2 weeks shows temps back into the 40's and 50's, but it's coming.

Summer is almost here and we're looking at life through these.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu Planning Sunday

This is going to be a busy week filled with a birthday, consignment sale and a hectic week at work so I am actually going to make 2-3 of these meals tonight and tomorrow so they are ready to go during the week!

Sunday: Roasted Chicken and veggies with beet salad.
Monday:Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Tuesday: Turkey Burgers with zucchini fries
Wednesday: Birthday dinner out with the hubbs. Kiddos get to eat frozen fish fillets and edamame
Thursday: Mexican lasagna (I promise I will do the recipe post on it this time!)
Friday: Chicken Marsala

I am also trying to work more vegetarian dishes into our lineup. If you have any good ones, leave me a link!

Notes on last week:
  • Creamy tomato and Chicken sausage pasta was excellent! See last week's post for suggestions and what I changed.
  • Cod was good. A little secret is that I really don't like fish. I eat it because it is good for me and the kids and hubby like it. This dish, however, was pretty good. I actually ate a whole portion of fish, which I usually don't. I think the turkey kielbasa that was in it helped. I think next time I will add some fresh oregano to add to the flavor.
  • Creamy chicken taquitos were a hit, yet again. 
  • BBQ pork loin was really good. I am finding such a difference in the quality of our meat since we started shopping at Whole Foods! For lack of time, I ended up making mashed potatoes instead of roasted.
  • The shrimp were good, as always. :)
  • We ended up having pizza again on Friday. I am starting to hate pizza. Not that this is relevant to my post,but I seriously don't want to eat it again for a long time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Arielle at 2 years & 4 months

In just a month this little girl has managed to develop a whole new set of tricks. How do kids do this? I wish I had the ability to learn at this rate. I'd give Bill Gates a run for his money. Or just be able to win trivia games. Either way, it would be pretty cool.  

My blond beauty. You get more gorgeous every day. I took this picture with my cruddy cell phone camera as I was putting you in the car. I had to. I wanted to remember how you take my breath away all the time. 

You want to buckle yourself into the car now. I want to let you, but my poor accident prone girl, you tend to pinch yourself.

Speaking of accident prone, you managed to fall down a few stairs at daycare, slice the top of your foot open and require 3 stitches to close it back up. I really thought Nate was going to be my ER nightmare, but it is turning out to be you. This marks 3 ER visits before the age of 2 1/2. 

Your hair is getting so long and unruly. I try to get it in "tails" as much as possible, but you only tolerate it for short periods of time before you start ripping them out. The bangs are almost long enough to go back into the pony tail, but for now they hang in your face most of the time. 

You have really started picking up the pace on potty training. You think it is actually called the "potty train". Every time you go in it you say you went "poopy in the potty train". All I can picture is a train made up of toilets, but anywhoo.

You have decided that you are "Baby berstin (Berenstein Bear) bey-ar" and get mad if I call you anything but that or Arielle. 

You and Natey get along for the most part...when he is not covering your mouth, ripping his stuff from your hands, or tormenting you in some other way. We are really working on the way you two interact and it is finally getting better. You idolize him and if he could just realize that we'd be all set.

Some of the random things you have been saying are "Meep" and then you poke us in the nose, you hold my chin and tell me I'm your sweetie pie, and you will always talk about your uncles that you haven't seen in weeks.

You take your socks off in the car and put them on your hands and then say, "Hi puppet" in the funniest voice.  

You are a climber. You can't walk without falling over, but you can scale the rock wall thing at the playground  without hesitation. Some wierdo lady told me I shouldn't hover under you as you climbed the wall. I told her that she could go to the ER for the 4th time with you if you fell and broke your arm. That seemed to shut her up. 

You have yet to sleep over anywhere. I'm not sure why the grandparents are afraid to take you. You go down like a dream and sleep really well now. It might have something to do with the busy bee you are. If you'd stop upending everything you come across that would be good. 

I gave you one chocolate covered coffee bean. You call them "coffee sweeties" and now bug me for them all the time. Nate ate one and spit it in the trash. I guess dark chocolate and coffee aren't his thing. 

You are the perfect balance of baby and big "Grrr" (you can't say the l) and I love you to pieces. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Menu Planning Sunday

Last week were were semi-off the meal planning wagon. Our electrical system was acting up and the power had to be off for the whole day on Monday. This meant that there was no use in filling up a fridge that would not be staying cold. I still made a plan, but it was haphazardly followed. Subsequently we ate like bleh last week. It is nice to be back in the swing!

Sunday: Creamy tomato and chicken sausage pasta.*
Monday: Baked Cod with chorizo and whie beans with steamed green beans. (Using turkey kielbasa to sub for chorizo)
Tuesday: Baked creamy Chicken Taquitos and salad.
Wednesday: Grilled BBQ pork loin with roasted potatoes and parsnips and broccoli.
Thursday: My killer shrimp with asparagus and rice.
Friday: Takeout of some kind since I am sick to death of pizza!!
Saturday: Leftovers

*The recipe called for turkey sausage but I used chicken sausage. I used one spicy and one mild and only 1/2 cup of cream. I started adding it and, to be honest, thought it would have been too much to add any more. I also didn't have Italian diced tomatoes so I used regular and added Italian seasoning to it along with a little salt and pepper. We used the whole grain penne from Barilla and it was delicious! This is going into the rotation for sure.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere....

...but not a drop to drink!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm going!

I'll be geeking out at BlogHer '12

Sooo, I have had this plan since last August (really I bought my ticket right after they announced it was in NY), but it seemed silly to talk about it THAT far in advance. I'm going to BlogHer in NYC! Yeah, I know it is still not for another 4 1/2 months, but I am excited! Liz and I went 2 years ago when it was in NYC, but it was kind of a last minute decision so we just got the parties pass and stayed for 1 night. I might also mention that Liz was pregnant and I was pumping since Arielle was only 9 months at the time. Those things kind of put a damper on our ability to party it up.

We didn't get to see much of NY and the whole thing felt rushed and disjointed, but we did have a lot of fun in the small time window. I can't imagine how fun it will be with 3 days and nights of NY awesomeness...WITH NO CHILDREN! I sound a little too ecstatic about that, don't I? More than the fun and activities is the fact that I get to meet up with some lovely ladies that I have "known" for years, but have never met in real life. There will be 4 of us rooming together, Liz, Michele and Brooke and me. Liz and I work together so we hang out a lot. Michele is our semi-local (a couple hours away) friend who we get together with for fun days of crafting. Brooke, I've never met in person, but am excited that I will finally be able to. Brooke's blog was one of the first I began following back in August of 2008. It is a little surreal to "know" someone for 4 years before you meet them, but I know we will be like old friends and not miss a beat when we meet.

Since blogging is all about the connections you make, I want to call out some other lovelies that I am stoked to see. Some, I met the last time I went to BlogHer and some I haven't met yet.

Amy: We met briefly at the last BlogHer. Her son, Nate,  and Arielle were born 1 day apart. We are definitely hanging out for more than a few minutes this time!!

Melissa: A local blogger who I I haven't met yet, but will be going to a girls night out with her through RI Mom bloggers group.

Danielle: I love this chick! She is great people.

Maria: I met her for a total of 3 seconds at BlogHer last time, but have got to know her over the last 2 years. You will find us in Starbucks at some point!

Patty: I also met Patty for a few minutes at the Aiming Low event.

I could go on and on, but I am starting to feel a bit stalkerish. I'm not. I promise. I am just excited. I know I have used that word about eleventy billion times in this post, but I really am. If you are going to BlogHer, let me know in the comments so I can add you to my list!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The things they say

I always mean to write down some of the things my kids say so, when they become moody teenagers who don't speak much at all, I can remember how cute they were. This week, two such moments happened that need to be on the books.

Scene: I'm in the bathroom with Nate and we are brushing our teeth.

Nate: Mommy, I love you more than Ice Cream!
Me: Thanks sweetie. I love you more than anything. (I melt a little inside)
Nate: Mommy, I love you more than BEE STINGS. (laughing hysterically) I really don't like bee stings!
Me: Palm to forehead. So much for our sappy sweet moment...

Scene: Upon waking, I pull a rosy-cheeked girl out of her crib and she asks for snuggles.

Arielle: (Sucking her thumb and laying on my chest) Mmmmm. My a baby.
Me: You are my baby!
Arielle: Actually (which sounds like "axshullee"), my a Princess!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Favorite Things Swap: My Goodies!

It's here! It's here! My swap package from my awesome partner, Amber from The Binkertation, came! I love getting mail...that isn't a bill. Getting things I order in the mail is also fun, but it is even more exciting when it is a surprise! The whole gist of the swap is to send someone a package of your favorite things and they send you a box of their favorite things. I have to say, I love my box. What I loved even more than getting my package was the fact that Mamarazzi matched us so perfectly! We are both working moms with 2 kiddos that are about the same ages apart, we both have advanced degrees and love cooking. More than the fun stuff (which is awesome), I got a new friend out of the deal.  Without further ado, here's what I got!

1. & 3. A yummy smelling votive candle and holder. I love citrus smell. It is so fresh and clean and will be a welcome addition to the bathroom!
2. A Burt's Bees Acai chap stick, which is hilarious because I sent her the same one! I can't live without it!
4. A Starbucks gift card. I am usually a Dunkin kinda girl, but I love to splurge every now and then and get a java chip frap from Starbucks. It is a guilty pleasure and I am looking forward to using it!
5. A Cooking Light Magazine. I have recently got back into meal planning every week and finding delicious and healthy meals can be challenging. I am going to use a couple recipes for next week's meals.
6. The sweetest card explaining why she chose each item! This is probably my favorite part of the box. I get super excited over these kind of things and it is so fun to see that she shares my joy!
7. The most awesome scarf!! I wore it the next day after I opened my box. (see below) and I think I have found a new favorite accessory.
8. A bright, cheery tank from Old Navy with a cute detail on the back. It is making me long for summer.
9. Gorgeous card stock. I love, love, love crafting and these will fit nicely into my collection. I already have a plan for the damask and the orange and gray one. :)
10. Godiva chocolate covered almonds. These are not in the big picture as I didn't realize Arielle had stolen them before I snapped the shots! I did take a solo shot. I love dark chocolate. In fact, I sent Amber something similar too. see, we were meant to be swap partners!

 I do not usually post pics of myself, but this scarf was too cute to show just laying on the table!

I am thinking of painting our room gray and I want to use the orange flowered paper in a frame for a project that I also saw on Amber's "From Pins to Projects" post! (The link to the original project is on her blog)

 Check out Mamarazzi, the amazing organizer of these swaps I love so much! I can't wait to go see all of the goodies that peopel got! Oh and check out Amber. She is you can see some of the fun stuff I made for her...since I stink and forgot to take pictures of it before I sent it. Ha!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Planning Monday

Sunday: Leftover Stuffed shells. The recipe made a lot. I actually used almost all of the shells when I made them a couple weeks ago. I froze the remaining stuffed shells, before the baking step, and just threw them in the oven. The hubbs made a quick marinara to go with them.
Monday: Taco Night! This is what it sounds like...tacos. I will be having a taco salad whereas the fam will be eating something similar to Taco Bell's double-decker tacos. I want to eat them, but my waistline says "no way".
Tuesday:Lighter Shrimp Fried Rice.
Wednesday: Baked Chicken fingers, homemade baked sweet potato fries and beet salad.
Thursday: Pot roast with carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes with a side of green beans.
Friday: Pizza Movie Night!
Saturday: Date night!

Notes on last week's meals:
  • The sloppy Joe's are a fan favorite around here. Nate and the hubbs like them and Arielle tolerates them. I seriously think the girl doesn't like meat. She ate a few bites, so that's a win.
  • The recipe for the chicken tortellini soup was a bit bland. DH ended up doctoring it up a little, so it was good. It is a good base to start with but just needed a little more flavor. I recommend adding a little hot sauce into your individual bowl. Almost everything is better with sriracha in it!
  • The shrimp stir fry was good. I am laughing because I just realized that we are having shrimp fried rice this week. Apparently I like Asian inspired shrimp. ;)
  • Ribs are always good. I didn't end up doing them in the crock pot. I forgot so DH cooked them in the pressure cooker and then broiled them in the oven. I rarely make them, but I prefer to put a nice dry rub on them and then cook them at 200 degrees for 6-8 hours.
  • The Indian butter chicken was pretty good. The recipe called for Cayenne pepper and I used 1/8 tsp and it was still too hot for the kids. Lesson learned. I love spicy but I have little that aren't quite there yet!

Friday, March 2, 2012

First Day: March

I have seen Nicole's posts for forever and have been meaning to do this. Apparently I need to be reminded via FB to actually do it! My days as a working mom aren't all that exciting, but here goes...

The picture of me in the lab wasn't actually taken yesterday. I am not allowed to take pictures inside of my lab, but Nicole wanted to see what I do, so I used a picture they took for a promotional pamphlet. That's pretty much what it looks like anyway! If you want to link up and participate, follow the paper airplane below!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I might be crazy

If you are a good friend of mine or in my family, you would kindly ask me to remove the "might" from that statement. Ok, I kid, mostly. Why am I saying that you ask? It is simple. I plan to run a half marathon.

Wow, I said it. The words are out there and now I must. I love accountability. Without it, I am pretty sure I would be a big lump of anyway. I have struggled with my weight since 6th grade. That is a long freaking time to feel bad about eating.  I love, love, LOVE food. I think that is the problem. If I am sad, I want a treat to cheer me up. If I am happy, I want a treat to celebrate. Cookies, candy, cakes, pies, ooey gooey meals oozing cheese (oops getting off track here) they all make me happy. I need to have a better relationship with food. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never give up all of the things I find delicious to eat tiny salads and listless broiled chicken breasts every day, but I am trying to make small healthy changes as I go.

This is the reason I must exercise.

This is the reason I am going to run 13.1 miles.

Wow, that's far. I would chicken out, but now you all know, so I can't. I started training on Monday. I am on day 4 and, besides the fact that I am sore, I think it is going pretty well. I will not be getting all crazy and posting my weight on here, but I will be doing updates so I can hold my self publicly accountable. So cheer me on or call me crazy, but it is motivation to me either way!