Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Christmas (movie) season....

Don't think I'm skipping over Thanksgiving - though I kind of am....
See - I love Thanksgiving.  I have a very specific Thanksgiving routine that I love, which includes cooking a big fat dinner.  However, this year we'll be with my husband's family, which means that I'm not cooking.  Just chasing little boys and hanging with family.  It should be very relaxing :)

But, since I'm not cooking, or grocery shopping, or doing any of that nonsense, Christmas is much higher on my radar this year.  Especially since the Christmas movies have started.

Erin and I love Christmas movies.  Especially the made-for-tv, Hallmark or ABC Family or Lifetime feel-good Christmas movies.  Love.

My DVR is locked and loaded.  Full of movies about Christmas Angels, retiring Santas, single mothers finding the perfect father for their children for Christmas....  Admittedly the themes and plots are very predictable, and my standards, they are low.  If a movie actually contains an actor I've heard of, then it's probably going to be AWESOME (a shining example is that I was thrilled to see James Van Der Beek was in Mrs. Miracle).    Would I go see a movie in a theater because of James Van Der Beek?  Um...no.

It's become a Christmas movie time suck.  There are at least 8 movies saved right now.  And it's not even Thanksgiving.  I can't wait until I have presents to wrap, and then can actually feel productive while I plunk my bottom in front of the TV.

What's your Christmas guilty pleasure? 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stupid Grocery Store People

It's been an interesting week for me.  I had a totally different schedule because I decided to take a week off of the gym just so my immune system can get back to normal after my fun episode of the stomach flu.  I've had to be creative in entertaining my son in the mornings and hence made more aware of things that my house was lacking which included numerous trips to the grocery store.  For some reason I don't mind taking my son to the grocery store, he gets into it and even before we go he helps me make a grocery list of all the things we need, it's very cute.  Word of advice for all the moms out there if you have to take your toddlers to the grocery store I absolutely recommend having a grocery list and sticking to it.  Not only does it make the trip so much faster but it saves you money in the end.  I always go every Tuesday morning when it's not busy in the slightest and when they are restocking all the fresh fruit and vegetables, it's fabulous.  Also I tell my son if he is good he can have a little bag of chips while we wait in line.  Works every time for the most part and I really haven't had to deal with any major meltdowns.  (I always put together my list the night before and have all my coupons ready to go to save time.)  Now usually all this little bit of effort works out great until you run into THOSE PEOPLE.  You all will know who I'm talking about after I write this so I'm sure you will have felt my pain.  So the last couple times I have gone to the grocery store I've had these annoying experiences.  The first one being I'm there on a Tuesday have a weeks worth of groceries to pay for and I'm in line.  I start unloading my cart, my son is happily chomping away on his chips and a lady gets behind me with one item.  I think to myself ....okay she is going to be here awhile.  I would offer to have her go in front of me but I'm one third in to paying and there is no turning back.  She starts getting annoyed.  Sighing, rolling her eyes, drumming her fingers.  Really lady?  Did you not notice the self-check out lines you can do by yourself?  Then she starts invading my space. Standing right next to me in line, shoulder to shoulder to me while I'm giving the clerk my coupons and giving my son a wipe to wipe his cheesy hands before he touches me with them.  I turn around about to say something to the lady because I have a major issue with my personal space being invaded, it makes me claustrophobic when all of a sudden a cheesy wipe landed on her chest.  My son throws his dirty wipe at her.  At that moment in time I'm at a loss for words.  I grab the wipe off her as quick as I can and just say "oh sorry" and then start to laugh because damn it, it's funny.  I don't look at her and I don't chastise my son because at this point he is my hero and after I pay and roll out of the grocery store I give him a big hug and a high five.  Now normally yes he would get a no and a don't do that from me but for gods sake if I could of I would have rubbed that cheesy wipe all over that annoying woman's face.  Two days later I'm back for more.  I'm waiting in a long line...you know because it's not Tuesday and I see one of the clerks walking by me and ask if there is any way they could open another line (my two year old is getting fidgety and I don't want to buy him more chips).  So he goes ahead and opens another lane and motions for me to come over.  I thank him and start to move my cart when this lady (different but still rude) runs from her lane (I'm serious she ran) with her cart and cuts me off in line.  Um okay seriously WTF!?  I look at the clerk who looks at me like "um that was uncool sorry face"  Whatever I don't say anything and just hand my son a nice clean wipe, give him a wink and tell him to go to town.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A huge accomplishment - Dinner

I admit, I'm not great at having dinner on the table when my husband gets home.  But I used to be much worse.  Goose is a very picky eater, and in an attempt to actually get him to eat like a normal child, we read the book Child Of Mine, and took some of the great advice to heart.  Some of the advice that has helped us immensely has been to feed your child at the same time as you eat, and to always offer your child the same food you're eating, with the addition of a food that they are certain to eat.  For instance, if we are having salmon with spinach and potatoes for dinner, Goose gets the exact same thing, with the addition of egg noodles, as he usually finds those to be amenable to his delicate palate ;) 
We were not doing any of those things.  I was feeding Goose, then my husband and I would eat after he went to bed.  I had also become a terrible short-order cook.  I remember one day when my husband came home, the house had food everywhere.  Small dishes of things like edamame, and cereal, and crackers, and broccoli and pasta were strewn about the house in my efforts to get Goose to Just. Eat. Something.
Anyway, I don't do that anymore.  In fact, since we're supposed to be all eating together, now I try to have dinner ready by 6 PM when Goose eats, so that we can all eat together. 
That doesn't mean it's easy.  But as with all necessities, it has to get done, so it does.  I use the crock pot a lot more.  I cook bigger meals so that I can serve up leftovers more frequently.
I wanted to share my favorite crock pot recipe right now.  We had it the other night, and Goose gobbled it right up.  Even better?  It's cheap, healthy and ridiculously easy.

Unfortunately, I can't credit the originator of this recipe.  A good friend of mine passed it along, so I'm not sure where it came from.  But it is definitely on our regular rotation!

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken

2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups salsa

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker. Pour frozen corn into the bottom of the slow cooker and place the frozen chicken breasts on top. Cover with beans and salsa. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir until the chicken, corn, beans and salsa are combined.

Serve on a bed of tortilla chips or as a taco and top with additional garnishes: lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daylight Savings Time - Pure Parental Torture

Oh Daylight Savings Time, how I hate you....
I was thinking about DST for weeks before it happened, totally terrified of what was to come.  Goose is not the best sleeper, anyway, and is generally a very early riser.  5 AM is not unheard of at all in our house, and that is besides the fact that Goose also wakes up hungry in the middle of the night.  I can often be found feeding the child bananas at 2 AM.
Needless to say, DST had me a little tense, if you will.  So my husband and I were working diligently to move his bedtime and naptimes back, so that when our clocks jumped back, we were back on schedule.  That part has gone just fine.  The problem is the mornings.
It turns out that no matter what time Goose goes to sleep, he still likes to wake absurdly early.  The latest we've gotten him to sleep prior to the big time change was 6:45 AM.  Now?  We're talking 4:30 (AM!)
I have friends who tell me to just let him hang out in his crib until it reaches a reasonable hour, but Goose wakes HUNGRY - he is not great at eating dinner, for whatever reason, so if he happens to sleep through the night, then when he wakes, he wants food - pronto.  This morning, he ate a banana, strawberries, a whole cup of cereal, an egg with cheese and ham, and a half a piece of toast with butter.   A child who eats that much at 5 AM will not go back to sleep willingly when he wakes hungry.

If someone would like to tell me that this too, shall pass, and maybe that it shall pass by the end of the week, I will be eternally grateful!  How is DST affecting your household?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Biggest Loser....Me

After days of stomach flu and eventually the hospital (yes I ended up in the hospital for my stomach flu) I'm finally feeling much better.  Thank goodness and if I get a stomach flu again this year I will cry all my tears.  The only positive with the stomach flu was that I was cut off from all human contact in my house and got to spend quite a bit of time in front of my favorite thing....my television.  Since I like to work out and love to see a good transformation I record on my DVR "The Biggest Loser".  All set up to catch up on my program while lying in bed with my big barf bucket and ginger ale I hit play and lay back for an hour of watching sweating, grunting and crying.  The best.  Then suddenly forty-five minutes in...a weird feeling comes over me.....I'm hungry.  Not just hungry for anything but for a cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake.  Seriously I was just vomiting about 12 hours ago what is this about?  I finish watching the biggest loser and about fifteen minutes later my cravings go away to nausea.  How interesting.....I start thinking back whenever I watch this show I always want to eat especially really bad food but does it cure nausea?  That would be awesome.  I need to start a scientific study.  I'm putting that on my to do list right now.  Anyway is it just me or does watching the biggest loser or any show where people work out just make you hungry because every time I swear before the show is over I'm shoving a piece of chocolate or ice cream down my throat telling my husband that I just want sugar.  I need to stop watching these shows or else I'm going to gain fifteen pounds!  It's terrible and I would stop but I'm addicted to the end where the contestant has there 'ta da' moment and shows how amazing they look and talks about how wonderful there life is.  Truly inspirational except to me who sits there chewing on her snickers bar.  What is wrong with me?  Anyway anyone who does the same thing...let me know.  If not I might need to seek professional help.   Also if you are vomiting or nauseous put on a workout video and get back to me if it suddenly cures you.