Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Workout Update #2

I'm frustrated.

I worked out every day, or at least 4 days a week, for 3 1/2 weeks. My body did change. I think. But the scale did not budge.

Then I got mad. I decided to rebel by eating everything I looked at for an entire week. And skipped the gym, to boot. The scale remained the same.

Now I am sick with what Austin had last week, so again, no workout. I'm not eating quite as much, and I do plan to start my routine up again on Monday.

Until then, my scale and I are no longer on speaking terms. I simply roll my eyes at it and move on.

Share with me any secrets you have, I'm sure I need them!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Onion Straws

Some of this week's menu is taken from The Pioneer Woman's cooking section. Last night we tried the Onion Straws, and boy were they a hit. My husband couldn't get enough of them.
Here is how easy they are:


1 onion - sliced into thin rings
1 quart buttermilk
cayenne pepper
Vegetable Oil

Pour oil in a deep skillet about 1 inch high. Heat to 350 or until water sizzles when added to the hot pan. Slice the onions and soak them in a bowl of buttermilk. Place a 1 - 2 cups of flour onto a dish. Sprinkle cayenne, salt and pepper on top of flour. Stir to combine dry ingredients. With a fork, remove rings from buttermilk and place in flour mixture. Coat well. Drop individual rings into the hot oil. Brown on one side then flip and brown other side. Cooking should take 3 - 4 minutes is oil is hot enough. Remove rings to paper towel and salt.
Serve with ketchup, ranch, or favorite dipping sauce!

If you would like step by step directions with pictures, click on Onion Straws in my menu planner on my sidebar and it will take you to Pioneer Woman's link! Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Book Review....

It has been 17 years since I had a one year old running around the house. Since that time, I have carpeted, put in new windows, furniture, and even accesorized! Never did I think that I would one day be "baby proofing" again. But, as fate would have it, I am! Although I am enjoying everyday with my little guy, I really hoped that I would not have to put away everything in order to keep it safe. Actually, over time, I have forgotten the majority of things a one year old does, and rather than learning one day at a time, I decided to read about it.

My girlfriend lent me a book called Your One Year Old by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., Frances L. Ilg, M.D., & Carol Chase Haber. This book talks about the fun loving, fussy 12 - 24 month old in realistic ways that began to clear the cobwebs from my earlier motherhood days.

Understanding your child makes ALL the difference in the world to a stress free,somewhat peaceful year. Knowing that my child is naturally curious, seems more mature than he really is, and is one big bundle of gross motor activity makes it easy to know that removing objects is easier than constantly saying "no". This is the age where the child is still "becoming". By two, several of the major components will be in place for an easier time: language, movement, abilities.

The book is separated into chapters covering routines, general characteristics, individuality, techniques, and abilities. It is an easy and fast read. Although at times I thought it was written in the 1950's, the copyright is dated 1982. Children are timeless however, and much of the book does characterize my son at this point in time. This is a series of books each designated to a specific year.

If you are wondering about your little one, I highly recommend this series. My friend borrowed this book from her library at the Children's Learning Center at Long Beach City College where she works as a Child Development Specialist and they still refer to the collection.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stopped Dead in my Tracks

I love to plan.
I love to make lists.
I'm such a control freak that I actually put times next to my items on the list.

This was a whirlwind week with many activities planned. My husband's daughter, Jaycie, is down from Alaska visiting for 2 weeks. This Sunday is Austin's first birthday. And Todd is surprisingly slow at work. All adding up to lots of fun entertainment for me to plan. So plan I did.


Somewhere between the Orange County Fair, the Getty Villa, and the Santa Monica pier, Austin got a fever. Now, he is a trooper. He'll party with the best of them. No slowin him down. But. As a responsible mother, uh hem, I had to cancel the Aquarium today and most likely the Concert in the Park tonight.

We're hoping we can still go to Palm Springs tomorrow and Sea World for his birthday on Sunday. But, that is a wait and see kinda thing. For now, I think I'll make that dreaded doctor's appointment since it's Friday, and we all know that without medical attention his fever will reach an all time high over the weekend.

So, instead of a fun packed day, I'll go to the DMV (I've needed to do this for a few days now), head to the doctor's office, and maybe hit the grocery store. Oh, joy.

No worries. There's always next week to plan!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today is the Getty Villa

Yesterday was lunch with friends then off and running to the Orange County Fair. What a hoot! Austin saw elephants, goats, chickens, rabbits, bulls, water buffalo and so much more! He loved all the animals and let everyone know with his ear splitting yell! He cannot contain his excitement, and it balls up into one hoop'n holler.

Today we will be visiting the Getty Villa. The place where J. Paul Getty lived. His museum with all his art and furniture is amazing. A stone building etched into the hillside overlooking LA. But, his home, what a treasure. It is filled with marble, granite, art, pools, gardens, the likes of which very few compare. It is set in the beautiful surroundings of Pacific Palisades. It always amazes me when someone (a lottery winner, a rock star, movie star, CEO,....) has that much money to him/herself. I always wonder why we have homeless and poverty stricken areas in the world. If only one person could not hoard all that money. I know that they also give back, but what if they made the same as the average Joe and the profits went to feed the world.... OK another blog...

I'm sure we will oogle with the best of them as we walk through his mega mansion.

Tomorrow we will all be visiting the Long Beach Aquarium and then going to the Concert in the Park. Saturday is Palm Springs and Sunday is Sea World in San Diego....Whew...

Comment me and tell me your week's plan! I need some good ideas!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Win a Blog Makeover!

Do you like the way your blog looks? Does it represent who you are? Do you wish you had a blog, but don't know where to start? Head on over to Casual Friday Everyday to have a chance to win a new blog look!

I've entered. If I don't win, I hope you do!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's Been Almost A Year

since I had a day to myself. I really can't remember ever being alone in the house this past year. On the 2 occasions I do remember the 15 minutes of complete quietness, I just stood like a dope looking around. Todd was back from the market with the milk long before I found my Martha Stewart and living room couch.

Well today Todd took Jaycie and Austin to the California Speedway to watch a friend of his race his car. Todd loves Nascar. One year for Christmas I bought him 40 laps on the race track up in Fontana.

So.... with my new found freedom, I spent the day like this.

I woke up late and had my coffee. Is there anything better than coffee in the morning? I think not.

Then I took Austin for a walk to Grammie's house. She was actually sitting in her kitchen when she heard Austin screaming out of pure happiness at her approaching house. We were just turning the corner 3 houses away from hers when she came out to greet us. I'm sure all the sleeping neighbors were thrilled on their Sunday morning to have my son so happy to see Grammie's approaching house.

Church was next. What a great message today. It was about the cycle of getting a deeper relationship with God. If you want the 5 steps, comment me and I will be happy to share!

Todd, Jaycie and Austin were suppose to leave for the race around 11:00. Church is over at 11:15. I was in sheer joy anticipating the quiet house I was about to come home to. Then we turned the corner onto my street and I saw it. My car was still in the driveway. WHAT??? Why was I even surprised. It took them until 12:30 to get out the door.

I was going to a play with my mom at 1:00, so for 30 minutes I stood in my kitchen and enjoyed the quietness - with Paula Dean showing me how to make a scrumptious looking lasagna.

The play was at our little local theater that my mom and I subscribe to every year. It is a blast. First lunch at the local Mexican restaurant, Panchos, then a great little show in a round-about theater. There are 3 sides for the audience to observe the play performed in the center. The sides have 4 rows going up and only about 20 seats across. Very quaint. Today's play was "Of Mice and Men". The Steinbeck classic. It was super!

From there I rushed (the play went long) to a much needed Shiatsu. We used to go weekly. It's now been 5 weeks since I had a massage, and boy did I need it - what with all the Turbo kicking I'm doing now.

Home at last. And no one is here. It is getting dark as I type this, and I'm starting to miss Austin. I'm ready again to give back. The Lord knew what he was doing when he made Sunday the Sabbath day. No work. Relax. Rejuvinate.
What a blessing today was. I will look forward to again next year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer with a One Year Old!

Today was park day. Life with a one year old means ALWAYS having a plan. Which involves being out of the house. DAILY.

Gone are the days of alternating between lying on the couch reading Martha Stewart Living and consuming massive amounts of Food Network cooking shows. Rachel Ray? Who's Rachel Ray??

Today we decided two parks were in order. First the Nature Center. What an amazing place. I live next to a gajillion acre park. There are four or five sections each with fun things to do: train rides, paddle boats on the lake, duck ponds, library,
tennis, softball, playgrounds, and a nature center. And when Austin grows up and wants to join in the model airplane flying, remote powered boat races, and archery, it's just a walk or bike ride away.

Jaycie, Ashley and Austin on the trail

Ashley, Austin and me

We all love the turtles

After the nature center, we went to the playground park. We pushed Austin in a swing until he couldn't see straight anymore!

Tomorrow is the National Train Show. Model trains, trains made out of legos, and train rides. God have mercy. This is only the beginning......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Little Austin

You are less than 2 weeks away from your very first birthday. Daddy and I are still trying to figure out if we will spend the day at Sea World with you and your sisters or have a party at home.

The year has flown by so fast. You are on the verge of walking. Today we spent one hour at the mall's playground where you delighted in every other child. You smile and laugh and want to play so badly with each and every one of them. It is such a joy to watch you try and engage others. You have a sweet heart, my little man.

Fearless. I am so proud of the way you are so independent and fearless. Nothing can stop you when you set your mind to it. Whether it is standing and reaching for the highest object or jumping from the pool's 3 foot ledge. You are simply fearless.

At this point in your life, you

hate sitting in your high chair, and opt to eat anywhere but there
love spotting helicopters and airplanes
had your first love affair was with your ceiling fan
would spend all day playing and climbing on the backyard waterfall if we let you
love taking walks with Grammie and looking at the spinning bee and flower pinwheels
enjoy driving anywhere
get excited when Carmen arrives every morning
stand up and play with your diaper genie
climb the stairs in 10 seconds flat

What a blessing you are my little champion. Your sisters adore you. Grammie can't remember life without you. And Daddy and I feel like the luckiest people in the world.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Work Out Update

Yes, my friends, I went to TKB (turbo kickboxing, for all us locals)today and FINALLY found an instructor willing to go at a snails pace to help poor old folks like me. She actually taught the class. I learned all the routines, and now I feel like I can join in the fun!

It was a gentle reminder to me as a teacher, as well. I need to make sure that I am not cruising along through my lessons assuming that everyone is on the same page as me. It really helps to slow down sometimes and let things sink in!


This begins my third week of working out. I'm averaging 4 days, but am trying for 5. And I think my body is changing. HOWEVER, like I said in a previous post - my past weight loss consisted of nothing for 3 weeks, then boom - 5-6 pounds lost on the 3rd or 4th week. Well. I am exactly the same weight I was when I started this gig. So I am expecting some great things come this weekend. Or maybe into the beginning of next week.

Tomorrow is my lift class, then a pool party for a girlfriend's birthday. I have to remind myself that I am only allowing myself ONE treat a day. Seeing that I treated myself whenever, wherever, however I wanted for the past year - my body should be changing now right?!

Hopefully I'll be posting the good news soon.....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just to pass time...

Austin and I have become members of the Long Beach Aquarium.

And then a Day at the Beach

Well, I must say, I'm mighty proud. Yes ma'am. Mighty proud. Not only did I work out 3 days during the week, I did a double workout today. At 8:00 AM, I was turbo kicking with the best of them. Then at 9:00 we went straight into a SET hour - cardio with weights. I celebrated by eating a Hershey's chocolate bar. I believe in the rewards system.

My mom and I then took Austin to the beach. What a beautiful day. Sorry for those of you that are in heat waves, hurricanes, or whatever else our bizarre weather throws at us. We played hard, then went to Golden Spoon. Okay, two treats. Austin was exhausted, but didn't feel like sleeping. So okay, into the pool with you. We swam and played in the waterfall until he was crying. Not even overhead helicopters could cheer up this boy. A short walk to look at spinning pinwheels, then back home.

It's funny. While we're out. No problemo. He is the happiest, quietest, most content looking at everything around him little boy. But at home... Holy Moly. Chase him up the stairs, down the stairs, away from the plants, yada yada yada...

I bought Todd a new grill for Father's Day. We pulled out the box it came in, put Austin in it and filled it with toys. Nope. Austin wasn't having any of it. I sat in the box with him and his toys. This worked for all of 4 minutes. Time for dinner. Nope. Not eating.... Okay, bathtime. He loves water so this was entertainment for 18 minutes. Todd finally got him a bottle when my head started spinning around and now the two of them are bonding. From down in the depths of my office - I can still hear him crying. It must be hard being 1, going to the beach, eating ice cream, swimming in your pool, having meals cooked for you, cleaned up after you, a nice warm bath drawn for you, a warm bottle of milk served to you with soft music filling the room.... No, I'm not bitter.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yummy Pasta Salad

It's been awhile since I put up a recipe and linked it to another site. I'm going to link this to Saturday Stirrings at I Throw Like a Girl and Monday Menu Planning at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I've served this several times over the last few weeks, and it is a hit with everyone!

Yummy Pasta Salad
Serves lots and lots - usually with left overs!

1 package tri colored noodles
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1 can medium olives, chopped
1 jar artichoke hearts in oil (you can use water also)
1 small red onion, chopped
8 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Salad Dressing

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Put all ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing.
Refrigerate before serving - not necessary, but it tastes a little better I think.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Something to do while waiting for your favorite tv show to come on....

I saw this on another blog and thought it looked fun! If you try it on your blog, leave me a comment with a link!

A is for age.
44 - but I feel like I'm 20. Must be the Turbo Kickboxing.
B is for burger of choice.
Turkey burger with chipotle in adobo sauce!
C is for what car you drive.
2006 Saturn VUE - best car for the money!!! Equipped with hands free calling - now very necessary in our NO CELL PHONES WHILE YOU DRIVE state.
D is for Dog's name.
Bo. We put him down April 11th. Best dog EVER.
E is for essential item you use every day.
Toothpaste. Oh and SPF 30 moisturizer.
F is for favorite tv show at the moment.
Hell's Kitchen. I love Gordon Ramsey - sassy mouth and all - you donkey.
G is for Favorite game.
I LOVE ALL GAMES - especially Rummy with my husband. - I am looking for a couple who wants to play Pinochle though.......
H is for Hometown.
The same town I live in now-- Long Beach, CA
I is for instruments you play
I can play Color My World on the piano
J is for favorite juice.
I like CranRasberry with 7up if I have a craving for juice - which is not often.
K is for who you'd like to kiss.
Definitely Austin. I could kiss him all day and night.... nothing beats a baby kiss.
L is for last restaurant you ate at.
Lucille's last night - Unless Golden Spoon counts and that was just minutes ago.
M is for your favorite Muppet.
I have to admit - I don't know all the muppets. I guess the girl pig - forgot her name.... sorry.
N is for number of piercings.
Just my ears-- two in the left ear, one in the right.
O is for overnight hospital stays.
P is for people you were with today.
My family, Carmen, neighbors, my dental hygeniest.
Q is for what you do with your quiet time.
Read, Blog, Sit in the quiet house doing nothing.
R is for biggest regret.
Too personal.
S is for status.
T is for time you woke up today.
U is for what you consider unique.
Each one of my three children
V is for vegetable you love.
Roasted squash, grilled zucchini, cauliflower with melted cheese, garlic broccoli,...
W is for worst habit.
Being bossy
X is for number of x-rays you've had.
Y is for yummy food you ate today.
Golden spoon yogurt - just chocolate with St. Nicks Mint!
Z is for zodiac sign.
Libra - I do tend to weigh both sides of things. My husband just calls me fickle.

The Sweet Days of Summer

Does every city have Concerts in the Park? I sure hope so. Our great city of Long Beach has one every Friday night. The LB Municipal Band plays everything from Dixieland to Broadway tunes - each Friday being a different theme.

It starts at 6:30, but getting there a little early helps. Usually the crowd averages between 500 - 600 people. Picnics are everywhere. We brought KFC - very low end. I walked around with Austin to check out the other fare.... tables were set up with candles and wine, cheeses, fruit, handmade sandwiches, pastas, and yummy looking desserts. There were pizzas, lots of take-out, and the park even has Hagen Daas and BBQ'd hot dogs for sale. Kids and dogs run randomly throughout the tables, and no one minds because it is warm, outside, and the music fills the air.

Check out your city for a Concert in the Park. This week I have my eye on a Movie in the Park down towards the beach.... All are free, and all provide great family fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Turbo Kickboxing

Yes, my friends. I went to the 10:00 Turbo Kickboxing class and kicked some butt.

Ashley went with me. She is now my new workout partner. I asked Kalie if she wanted to go, too. She made some weird noise and I took it as a no.

As I stood at the door with the other 100 people waiting to stampede, I struck up a conversation with the gal in front of me. She told me that I would probably have a hard time this time around, but "stick with it and you'll be fine". Oky Doky.

The doors opened, and men and women literally raced for the front. I'm a front kind of gal also, so I elbowed, I mean politely took my place front and center. Being a teacher, I know how important front and center is when trying to learn something new.

Anyway. The teacher asked if anyone wanted to know anything before we started. No one spoke. I timidly asked if she was going to lead the first timers through this painful experience. She quickly, and I mean in 27 seconds flat, went over ALL the different moves we were expected to perform. I looked at Ashley. She being tall, blonde, and only 18 had a smirk of confidence on her that not even a nervous mother could break.

The music started. The kicking, jabbing, upper cut, upper cut, side step and kick routine started. I took it a bit easy. After all, I have a bad back. Did I ever mention that I'm a little clumsy as well? The music continued for ONE HOUR. I sweated, I kicked the girl behind me, I laughed, I upper cutted while everyone else was jabbing. But, you know what? I burned calories, and that's why I'm there. It is so good to be 44 and not care anymore!

Later in the afternoon, I called my gyno for the all important visit. As I was speaking to her secretary, Liz, I heard Dr. Gonzalez mention something to her. Liz said that Dr. Gonzalez saw me in class today. She was in the back.

Then I heard the laughing over the phone.