Sunday, January 30, 2011

Too Blessed to be Stressed

But just because I'm too blessed to be stressed, it doesn't mean I don't get stressed. I pretty much woke up this morning stressed. Why? I don't know. I got a much better night's sleep than usual. But I just woke up stressed. I don't know if it's because I walked in the kitchen and there was a HUGE pile of dishes in BOTH sinks. I hate when I don't do my usual cleaning for ONE day and it might as well have been a week. UGH! But I felt much better after getting through that mountain of dishes and sweeping and vacuuming and generally getting the house straightened up. I vowed that I would do no more cooking today as to keep it clean just for a little while.

That would work out though because we were supposed to be going out to eat with some friends to exchange Christmas gifts (I's almost February). I use the term friends loosely least where I am concerned. They only ever call when they need something from Michael...never to just hang out. I think they've seen Joseph less than a handful of times since he's been born. But they said they had gifts for us and Joseph, so we came up with something for them and have been trying to get together since early January. Well, we never got a confirmation from them for tonight and they wouldn't answer their phone so we just went out for Mexican. It was fabulous as always. Joseph spent most of the meal flirting with the table next to us only pausing for a bite of beans now and then. Silly boy.

It irritates me to no end when plans just can't seem to come together and when it seems that the other party just doesn't even try. My only stipulation is no Wednesdays. I don't want to miss circuit night at the gym. Now I have a friend who has a 15 month old and twins on the way and it seems like she is always making and subsequently canceling plans. I understand though...I mean, she's got a lot on her plate working full time, being a mom, etc, etc. It doesn't mean that it stings any less when plans get canceled. I miss getting to see my friends and I know Michael misses seeing his friends. But it seems that we are always the ones that start turning ourselves inside out to accommodate others, and I don't like it.

Anyway, enough of that! I can't believe that January is ALMOST over and in less than 2 months my baby boy will be 1!! I'm starting to plan the exciting! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Despite a rocky start to the day, my house in clean and I'm ready to start a new week!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mischief Managed (Maybe)

I was trying to find a picture to put with this blog post. I don't like posting blogs without pics. So I decided to go back a year and look at pics from then. Well, this is me a year ago...7 months pregnant making that poor horse carry my ever-widening butt around.

Anyway...I'm not going to brag on Joseph's sleeping....that's not what this is....don't get the wrong idea, universe! However, all I'm gonna say is that my damage control post worked...a little. :)

Also, I have been quite the domestic diva this week. Not only did I make a fabulous roast chicken earlier this week. I then simmered the carcass with veggies and herbs to make homemade chicken broth. Also, I used leftover chicken to make Chicken Pocket Pies which were SOOOO good and used the broth and the last of the meat to make Chicken Noodle Soup tonight. I have to say that canned broth doesn't hold a candle to homemade. I bought 2 more chickens at Kroger this week so I see many more stretching of chicken in my future. I'm pretty proud of myself for not wasting any of the bird. That is one of the things I'm trying to be better about this year. I tend to throw so much food out due to bad planning or simply forgetting that I have some of it. It makes me so mad when I clean out my freezer and throw 30 lbs of food away. So wasteful. I've got to get better about that.

Well, I hope everyone is having a good weekend. It's been good for me so far. Yoga this morning and a nice 50 degree day to take the Munchkin and Shelby for a walk this afternoon. Good times.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Damage control

So I wrote a post the other day about how awesome things were and how we aren't sleep deprived even though the Munchkin is less than perfect about sleeping at night. Well, it seems no sooner than I hit the "publish" button, Joseph has decided that sleep is uncool.

So, I'm writing a "woe is me" post. Michael and I are both starting to get a bit sleep deprived. It's not just nighttime's naps, too. However, I count my blessings that he is happy while he's awake and not tired and moody. I just wonder HOW is he acting so rested. Does he suddenly not need to sleep anymore? Because I do. And Michael does, I assure you..probably more than me. I take that back...he's not happy ALL the time when he's awake. He gets mad if you leave him in his crib alone and awake. If he would party in his crib by himself...then rock on, but he needs someone to party with. Enter me or Michael.

Anyway, I am hoping that since I have written about it, that I will see improvement. Just like he tends to get worse when I brag on him. :) We'll see how this goes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy days are here again!

It has been a great week (for the most part). Joseph has just been a joy. Not that he's not always a joy, but more so lately. He's just so stinking happy almost all the time. And he's been eating his solids like a champ and FINALLY gaining weight again. A big load off of my mind. I've been losing sleep over it. When you realize your child has only gained half a lb in 3 months....not a happy thing. But he's coming on like gang busters now. He's pretty well got his nap schedule down (except today he decided he didn't need an afternoon we left it out..I wasn't going to fight him and he was happy so whatever). We still are lacking in the nighttime sleeping area, but I know it will come in time. Michael and I are taking turns with him and that works just fine for now. Neither of us are sleep deprived.

One major downer this week was that Spice got sick. I was so scared that we were going to lose her and the thought of that just about made me lose my mind.

I got a call from Bruce, the barn owner, at about 9 Friday night saying that Spice was laying down more than usual and hadn't eaten her hay (and she is usually a piglet). He was going to get her up and give her some medication to try to make her feel better and would call me if she wasn't any better by 10:30 or so. I was so scared and the next hour or so just creeped by. Well, I got a call saying she was no better and that he was walking her but she just kept trying to lay down....a sign of colic which, while fairly common in horses, can be deadly. Bruce was going to call the vet and I started getting ready to head out to the 2 degree weather. Now we had had a bunch of snow that day and the day before so all our vehicles were under ice and snow. We agreed that I would take the truck since it was 4 wheel drive (even though it is a stick which I'm not that comfortable with)...I didn't care, just get me out there. So, Michael went and cleared off the truck while I put on layers of clothes. He came in and said that there was a problem with the wipers...the blades had busted and he would feel more comfortable if he drove. So that meant waking the Munchkin. So anyway, the whole fam-damily went out to the barn at 11 PM on a Friday night in 2 degree weather.

Michael stayed in the truck with a very awake Munchkin (he stayed awake through the whole ordeal) where it was warm. I went to talk to the vet and see my baby (my other baby). The vet had given her a shot and she was already feeling much better. It was almost definitely a bout of colic, but her vitals were good and she was not acting like she was in pain anymore. I was so relieved. She was even starting to nuzzle my pockets for treats. So, I walked her around for a little while longer but there was really nothing left to be done but wait. Bruce agreed to come check her in the wee hours when her medication would be wearing off to see if she was still ok.

So we headed home and I got the Munchkin back to bed. The next morning I went back out to see Spice. She was back to her old pushy, HUNGRY (she made a beeline toward the hay when we were walking out the door) self.
And Shelby even got to make a couple of new friends:

Happy times for all!

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Yes, I was ON tonight. You can tell that happy days are here again with a child that will play independently and nap and generally not need mommy ALL the time. So, in addition to the wonderful roast chicken, I also whipped these up for dessert.

You can find the recipe here.

It was a very easy recipe to pare down to 2 servings. I served mine with ice cream instead of whipped cream. It is a lot like the Black Devil Float that my mom makes, but individual sized. I had some teeny-tiny chocolate chips that I've been dying to use for something so I threw some of those on there.


Garlic Butter Rubbed Roast Chicken

I cut into ours too fast and didn't take a picture...I was I just took a picture of Martha's. Mine looked pretty much just like it. :)

I have wanted to roast a chicken for a while. I finally bought one last week when I was at Kroger and was planning to cook it Sunday, but had put it in the freezer and there's just no quick way to thaw a whole chicken. However, I vowed to cook it this week and today was the day. I thawed it yesterday and picked out the perfect recipe from a group of them in Martha Stewart Living's January issue. I chose the Garlic Butter Rubbed Chicken. The name just made my mouth water. The weird thing was that you roasted oranges and red onions with it. Now, I know that's not "WEIRD" really, but I don't want to eat roasted oranges and onions. That doesn't sound like a good accompaniment. But I did it....I didn't put as many as the recipe called for because that just seemed wasteful.

Here's how I made mine:

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp course salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Navel oranges (1 zested), both cut into 2 in wedges
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, plus some sprigs (I didn't have fresh...I used *gasp* dried and just put some in...probably 1/4 tsp)
1 whole chicken (4- 4 1/2 lbs)
2 Red onions, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 in wedges (I only used one)

Preheat oven to 450.

Mash garlic and salt to make a paste

Combine garlic paste, butter, zest, and thyme (not sprigs).

Gently seperate skin from breast of chicken and put HALF (not all) of butter mixture under the skin of the chicken. I put ALL of mine and then had to whip up some more for later.

You can season with more salt here if you wish, but I thought the butter mixture was pretty salty so I didn't salt any more....of course mine was probably salty enough bc I used 50% more butter mixture on mine. So, now that I think of it, it makes sense that mine was salty enough. Carry on with your salting, people!

Fill cavity with 2 orange slices, 1 onion slice, and thyme sprigs if you've got them. Place chicken breast side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Tie legs together with cooking twine (or heavy duty thread if you are like me and didn't have no stinking twine).

Scatter oranges and onions around the chicken. Pop that baby in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Then brush it with the rest of the butter. Pop it back in for 15 minutes. Remove the onions and oranges. Put it back in until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 (10-20 minutes). Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Now, I wouldn't call this an "easy" recipe, but it wasn't too labor intensive. All I know is that it was SOOOOO worth it. Michael and I both gave it HUGE thumbs up. Joseph was just "ehhh" but he's not a huge fan of chicken. He ate a roll and some asparagus.

I happen to know that the Krogers in our area are having whole chickens for 79 cents a lb starting tomorrow. Go get you a chicken and try will like it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


For Christmas 2007, one of the things I really wanted was The Lord of the Rings Book. I didn't want it divided up into the separate books...I wanted ONE book that encompassed them all. Michael obliged and gave me a 25 lb hardback edition with gorgeous illustrations. (As you can see from the pic, Daysie thinks it makes a good pillow!) I remember that I got quite a few good books that year, so I don't think I started it right away, but I probably started it within a month of Christmas.

Well, I am say that as of last night, I have finished all 1069 pages!

It only took me 3 years.

In my defense...a lot happened in those 3 years.

I broke my ankle and had surgery to fix it.

I planned our wedding and got married.

I moved my horse up to Kentucky.

I wrote my thesis, defended it, passed, and got my Masters degree.

We adopted a first indoor dog ever!

I had a baby, quit my job, and became a stay at home mom.

It's been a busy 3 years. Me and The Lord of the Rings have been through a lot. It was almost sad to put it's dust jacket back on and put it on the shelf....where it has never been since I received because I've been reading it pretty much the whole time off and on.

Something Michael and I have started doing on road trips is reading. We pick a book and I read it aloud while he drives and it keeps him awake. It's cheaper than books on tape. Our first was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and now we are on the Hobbit. Michael wants to do Lord of the Rings next, and we might be done with it by the time Joseph graduates high school.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Made It!

This was the Munchkin today....he got into his speedway all on his own. Silly boy. I guess he wanted to spin around like the cars. As you can tell, he's feeling better.

It's been a rough few weeks in our household. Beginning with the Munchkin getting a double ear infection just after Christmas followed by a misdiagnosed viral rash. Then rash was diagnosed as eczema. During that visit to the doctor, Joseph picked up the flu and came down with that late last week. He was a little trooper though. I came down with it on Sunday and it hit me HARD on Monday. I thought I was going to die...seriously. If Joseph felt that bad, he sure did do awesome! Michael felt bad for a half day or so, but that's it. He was the luckiest. I guess the flu shot was good for lessening our symptoms and duration of the flu, but it sure didn't keep us from getting it! And Tamiflu is expensive...even with insurance!

Anyway, I am feeling much better this evening and Joseph has been back to his normal, happy self. His eczema is under control and the flu is all but done. Happy days are here again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One thing after another...

I have so many good recipes to blog, but just haven't done it yet. It has just been a week let me tell you!!!

First of all we had the eczema rash issue which is pretty much resolved. Joseph is still a little itchy and he has a few bumps, but it is a world better! Well, this morning, Joseph felt a little warm when he got up. I didn't think TOO much of it, because he ALWAYS feels warm. He's a little furnace. Well, then we sat on the couch and watched Sprout for almost an hour without him trying to get down to chase the cats or trying to knock stuff off the end tables or anything such normal munchkin activity. Something was up. So, I took his temp and it was 101.5. Baby's first fever. Not something I really want to scrapbook, let me tell ya. I still think we are pretty lucky to have made it almost 10 months without a real fever. So we were off the the Dr. this morning. Turns out he has the flu. He is the third patient of our doctor's to have had the flu shot and still get the flu this year. The whole family got a prescription for Tamiflu and now we just have to ride it out and hope that Michael nor I get it and that Joseph gets through it as quickly and painlessly as possible. Today wasn't too bad. He just wanted to lay on me and sleep mostly or just cuddle. Which was kinda nice since he really isn't much of a cuddler usually. Knowing that he really feels bad and needs me to comfort him really put all the "need to do this and that" thoughts out of my head. I still got our Friday pizza on the table though!

In other news, the no caffiene/no sugar thing was going really good until I broke the no caffiene today. I was so worried about Joseph that I ran out the door without breakfast and by the time we left the Dr's office, it was lunchtime so I ran by KFC for a chicken sandwich and before thinking about it, got a diet pepsi out of habit and just went right ahead and drank it. Then it was like, "DOH!" I was also trying to stay away from artificial it was a double whammy. Oh well, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm still good on the sugar though. I've also been to Boot Camp three times this week and am already feeling so much better. I hope to be able to go to Yoga tomorrow, but that will depend on the Munchkin. I hope he will be just as happy to cuddle with dad. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jumping on the "Healthy" Bandwagon...

The picture is of our little family all ready to go to a wedding up in Virginia. Doesn't Michael just look so happy? I thought we looked pretty dapper...but what you don't see are the scratch marks all over my neck and chest from where the Munchkin went after my necklace...he's like a magpie.

Anyway, today was day one of my giving up caffeine and added sugar for a week. It's kind of a makeshift detox. I'm also going to try not to eat anything processed for this time. Yep, I am jumping on the "It's a New Year, let's get healthy" Bandwagon. I need this. I have been feeling really crappy for a while now...tired, run down, etc. I know it has to do with all the crap I've been eating. I've been shoving TONS of sugar and chocolate in my face for well over a month now and not exercising. I also started back at Boot Camp today. It was a lot to do in a day. It didn't start off the best....I did something weird to my neck while fixing breakfast this morning and it was excruciating trying to keep up with Joseph and try to get my chores done when all I wanted to do was lay on a heating pad and not move. I resorted to just trying to keep up with the Munchkin and push the chores for another day.

I also had a doctor's appt for Joseph for his incredibly itchy rash that he's had for over a week. It was diagnosed in the ER in MD last week as a viral rash and was told to give him benedryl and that it would go away in 4 to 5 days. Well, it is still here in full force...keeping him (and in turn, us) up most of the night. Benedryl only worked about half the time. So, we went to see our doctor this afternoon. It turns out it is eczema. It sucks that that is what he has, but I will just be so relieved that he gets relief. He has been clawing himself to death.

The good thing was that after wrestling with Munchkin in the waiting room for an hour at the dr (there are a lot of sick folks), my neck was pretty much cured.

Anyway, tonight I stocked up on skin protectant, sensitive skin baby wash, etc. I was told to give him Zyrtec and was even given the go ahead to give him a double dose tonight. Zyrtec is supposed to make him sleepy...I was excited. Well, I gave him the meds and waited a little bit and then tried to put him to bed. Nope...not sleepy at all. I stopped trying after 30 minutes. I mean, there was no eye rubbing, no yawning, no sleep signs. He just sat there and jabbered and played with my face. So I brought him back out to the living room and he ran 90 MPH for another hour and half. So my dreams of a drowsy baby were dashed.

So, day one of detox was ok...probably bc I was too busy to think about it. We'll just have to wait and see how day 2 goes. I'm planning on going for a run with a training group in town tomorrow evening...that is if we don't get a ton of snow like we are supposed to. I don't run in snow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a little late on the New Year wishes...better late than never. I thought I would share a few pics from Joseph's first trip to DC. We had a great time and he did so good even with all the schedule breaking, etc.

First subway ride:
At the National Building Museum LEGO exhibit:

American History Museum:
White House:
Lincoln Memorial:
Korean War Memorial:
And the cutest...the Washington Monument:
Touching history!

More to come later!