Monday, May 03, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

The kids loved helping me make these granola bars for their teachers. They were delicious! I used dried cranberries from Whole Foods that were sweetened with apple juice and dark chocolate pieces instead of the chocolate chips.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Healthy Eating

I know that I haven't blogged in forever, but my free time has been taken over by my new healthy lifestyle. I've been working out and eating much healthier. So far, I've lost 45 pounds. I started counting weight watchers points but I got bored with the tracking so I guess I'm doing my own version of their non-tracking plan. I've been doing great with eating naturally. Fruit, veggies, whole grains, lean meat and non-fat or low fat dairy. I'll occasionally splurge and eat something other than these things but it is sparingly. These foods fill me up so much that I'm not having to count calories or worry about points.

I'm going to start posting some of my menus too. I don't want to be selfish since you guys are sharing your ideas with me. Nikki, I LOVED the black bean sweet potato chili and so did all of my coworkers. I just gave out the recipe to 3 of them!

One of my new favorites is The Sneaky Chef's BBQ Chicken Nuggets with the purple puree. My kids love it. Zach calls them the special chicken nuggets.

- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 large egg whites (about 6 tablespoons liquid egg whites)
- 1/2 cup Purple Puree, divided
- 1/2 cup store-bought BBQ sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- 1/2 cup ground flax or wheat germ
- 1 cup crushed whole-grain cereal flakes (from about 2 cups of cereal)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small nuggets
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

> Place flour in a shallow dish or on a plate. In another shallow bowl, beat egg whites with 1/4 cup of the Purple or Orange Puree, 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the honey and place next to the flour. In a third shallow dish or on a paper plate, combine the ground flax and crushed cereal. Place remaining puree, BBQ sauce, and honey in a clean bowl and set aside to use as dipping sauce.

> Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg mixture, followed by the cereal mixture. Press the breading evenly onto both sides of the chicken. Put on wax or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator for cooking tomorrow or proceed to cook immediately.

Oven-bake method: (not as brown and crisp, but lower fat and less time standing at stove)

> Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place breaded nuggets on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn chicken nuggets over once with tongs, then return to oven for another 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve with honey BBQ dipping sauce.

Makes about 1 cup of puree

- 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves*
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons water

*note: I prefer raw baby spinach to frozen spinach for this recipe (more mild flavor); if you must use frozen spinach, only use 1 cup of it.

> Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

> Fill the bowl of your food processor with the spinach, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

> This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Delivery Story

Only a week late, but here it goes...

Well ironically one of the first things I did Monday morning was to email Keri and let her know that despite her intuition I was not having the baby. But as she pointed out in her blog she has a knack for these things obviously!

I went to my 38 week ob appointment at 4:00 on Monday August 17th. My regular OB was out of town so I saw another Dr. in the practice. I DID not like him with Kaitlyn and I still did not like him this time. He always freaks me out. The first thing he said was your baby is huge. I'm sending you for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. Then he told me I should be induced soon. I left his office a little freaked out thinking I was having a 12 pounder or something. My regular Dr. had never said anything and the midwife I had seen the week before said this baby would be bigger than the other two (7 pounds) but she didn't seem concerned. So anyway I left and drove home.

Joe and I had asked Rosilea (Kaitlyn's old nanny) to babysit the kids so we could go out for our anniversary. We got to the restaurant and I started to feel a little weird. It felt like I was having braxton hicks contractions but they were pretty regular but mild. I thought maybe it was just because of the internal. Then as we were standing in line at the movies, they were still coming and after about 10 minutes of the movie I decided we should go to the hospital. I was 1 1/2 at the Dr. at 4 and by the time we got to the hospital at around 9 I was 3 1/2. They admitted me. I was hoping the scary Dr. wasn't on call and luckily it turned out to be the midwife who I loved. YEAH!!!

After I told EVERY one about the way they had to hold Kaitlyn in they were all aware of how quick I deliver. My contractions were still mild and about 11:30 the midwife decided to break my water to get things moving. An hour later I still hadn't progressed much so she decided to give me pitocin. This wasn't really doing much at first either so they increased the dosage. The nurse asked (actually almost begged me to get an epidural) but I said I was fine. After all, I'd done it twice before without one. Well around 3:00 am Jackson decided he was going to come and come quickly. The nurse was right. The contractions were MUCH worse after being induced. She checked me again and said I was only 6-7. Ughh...bring on the epidural. But by the time the anesthesiologist came (like 15 minutes later) I was in lots of pain. She told me I had to hold still but I really didn't think I could. So she checked me again and I was 8-9 and said it would be about another hour before I delivered...well needless to say it was more like 5 minutes and Jackson was out. They were amazing this time and the midwife got there immediately. I think I pushed for about 2 minutes!

No tearing, no complications everything was perfect. I will admit though that if I ever had to do it again (which I'm not) I would definitely get an epidural if they induced me. The uterine contractions afterward while I was nursing were more painful than I remember with the other 2 also but the nurse said that was because after your 2nd or 3rd you have muscle memory so it contracts quicker/harder something like that.

Jackson was perfect as well. 8lbs 5 oz (not 12) and 20 3/4 inches long. We got up to our room around 7am. They wanted to keep me in the hospital until Thursday but I asked if we could leave Wednesday since they weren't really doing anything for me or Jackson. I hate the hospital. Kaitlyn and Zachary came to the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Zachary wouldn't really get near him because he didn't want to wake him, but Kaitlyn was obsessed with him. She hasn't left him alone since. That first day she was rocking and singing to him. I have yet to get this on film because she wants to grab the camera whenever we try to take a picture or video of it. I'll get it though!

We left the hospital around 4:00pm on Wednesday to come home. It felt very surreal bringing home baby number 3. Stay tuned for more...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Boating




Yesterday we went out in my parent's boat. It was a beautiful amazing day. We rode up to a place called Peanut Island. It is in the middle of the intercoastal in
Riveria Beach. The kids loved the boat and playing in the water. The water was the perfect depth for Zach to stand and swim. Both of the kids discovered they LOVED jumping off of the side of the boat towards the end of the day. We couldn't exactly get the timing right on the pictures but this is pretty much what we saw of Zach for about an hour. What a blast. This is the "after" shot.

Zoo Fun

The mommies in my neighborhood planned a few field trips this summer. I took Friday off of work and went with all of them to the Palm Beach County Zoo. It was a blast. The kids both loved it. I had never been there before and I always assumed it was just a lame version of Metro Zoo. It was completely different. I wouldn't say that either was better than the other just different. The Palm Beach zoo doesn't have a lot of the bigger animals like hippos, giraffes or lions but it is much more intimate. All of the animals are closer which I think the kids really liked. They got to be really close to the tiger, jaguar and bears. Zachary was completely excited because there was a baby jaguar, just like Diego. It made his day. Kaitlyn was in awe of everything. She started at this turtle for like 10 minutes trying to catch/pet him. She also loved staring at all of the animals and talking to them. I'm so sad I didn't have my video camera because she was hilarious "cock-a-doodle-dooing" at the rooster! All of the paths were also shady and tropical looking which was nice because it was HOT!

Kaitlyn wants to do everything that Zachary does...









In between looking at the animals we stopped for a splash break. It was a great day and I was happy to spend the day with other mommies!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Any Suggestions?

Ok, creative friends, I need some help. I'm trying to decide what to do with the kids rooms. Should the baby have his own room or should Kaitlyn, the only girl, have her own room? I was leaning toward Kaitlyn and Zachary sharing a room for now and then once Jaxson is in a bed having the boys share a room.

I think since the kids are so little, mixing genders in a room won't matter. What do you guys think?


I think the kids might be a little small yet for bunk beds but this one from IKEA converts to a loft bed. Then they each would have their own space on each side of the room.

I would probably have it on the floor for Kaitlyn and possibly raised for Zachary. In the store display they have an extra mattress under the loft with pillows propped against the wall like a little sitting area. It is super cute.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day





We had a great Mother's Day. My parents pool was finished just in time so we got to swim in it for the first time on Saturday night and we didn't really get out until Sunday night.

Zachary and Kaitlyn both LOVE the water. Jade was so protective of both of the kids. Every time Kaitlyn got out of the water Jade tried to herd her away from the pool. She never took her eyes off of the kids. It was so HOT on Sunday and Jade would not go inside because she had to "guard" the kids.

I made my mom's favorite dinner with duchess potatoes and creamed spinach and berry trifle. YUMMY!

I hope all of you had a nice day as well.

Here are my favorite pictures from the weekend.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday Dress Up

Zachary loves his cowboy costume. I think we take it out at least once a month. Saturday, Kaitlyn and Zachary dressed up in their costumes and then asked me to take pictures. Zachary then proceeded to sing and dance in front of our wall mirror. It was hillarious. Kaitlyn was more interested in climbing over the wall but Zachary suddenly became very interested in what she was doing.




After I stopped recording, I put the crown on. Zachary told me that I couldn't wear it because I was already married. Then he pointed to our wedding picture on the wall and said, "see mom, you are already married there is a picture of you and daddy right there on the wall."