Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reality check + "cookies"

As I wiped off the counter tonight--with the smell of freshly baked "cookies" in the air, lunches made, homework done, and dinner in the oven--I couldn't help but feel so accomplished.

And then I had a reality check, because it was frozen pizza (with cheese that fell to the bottom of the oven and almost set the smoke alarm off) that was cold before Adam even made it home, and I had already had one huge #momfail of the day: I didn't make it to the bus stop in time from work so Aidan and Logan were upset and had to ride around for an extra 25 minutes until the end of the normal route (on the plus side, at least the bus driver doesn't leave them to roam the neighborhood by themselves...).

Clearly I'm in no danger of setting the bar too high for myself anytime soon. Oh well, at least I can console myself with relatively guilt-free banana oatmeal "cookies."


PS: It's just 3 really ripe bananas smushed up and mixed with a cup-ish of quick cook oats, a bit of cinnamon and some chocolate chips. Bake for 15 min at 350. Or just eat the batter, because it's almost better than the finished product.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wise Words Wednesday: Laughter and child's play

"The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better." ~Wayne Dyer


I can't tell you how much I love this photo, and the fact that Adam pretty much walked in the door after work, dropped his stuff and immediately engaged with Lorelai. They cooked up some bananas with ranch dressing, flipped some eggs, and laughed the whole time while Lorelai was being her usual hilarious self.

That's pure joy on his face right there. Let me tell you--he's never more attractive to me than when he's being an awesome dad like this. And these moments will mean so much to Lorelai as she grows up, knowing that her daddy was more than happy to drop everything and play with her.

I think sometimes we let mundane, unimportant things--checking email one last time before dinner, sorting through the mail, fixing lunches, yada yada--get in the way of joyful moments like this. From the looks of it, we could all use a little more child's play and laughter in our lives.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I confess: We're too busy for soccer

As much as it pains me (and more so Adam) to admit, we weren't able to let the boys do spring soccer this year. I know sports are important for many reasons, but we just can't fit it into our schedules with the less than ideal practice times we'd have, and the fact that Adam will have to do a lot more traveling for work in the coming months.

Aidan really started to become a more confident player last season. Sad to lose that momentum.

I feel even worse about it since this time Logan was actually looking forward to playing. He loved soccer when he first started playing, but much to Adam's dismay, got disinterested and refused to play in the fall. Honestly, it worked out much better for us anyway since we didn't have to juggle multiple practice nights or competing weekend game times. But just as soon as he decided to give it another try, we pulled the rug out from under him.

But the reality is that I can't do Logan's practice every Monday from 6:15-7:15 AND Aidan's practice every Wednesday from 5-6pm. Just getting to Aidan's 5pm practice last season was a mad dash since the bus doesn't even come until sometimes closer to 4:30. And I work 8 hours a day outside the home. And Adam has soccer and I have Zumba on Mondays already.

On top of that, it's enough of a struggle for Aidan to get his ~90min of homework done at home on a normal night, and still have time to eat a normal meal (aka not cereal) and bathe and go to bed at 8/8:30. We would have to sacrifice a normal dinner and quality homework time TWO days a week (not to mention Lorelai's bedtime on Mondays) for several months.

I guess we've lucked out with previous seasons getting good practice times (last year their practices were back-to-back on the same day, which was the most ideal), and the lighter homework load was a big factor. But the biggest wrench this time is Adam's travel schedule. If he's not there on a regular basis to share that burden (especially with allowing one of us to be home to put Lorelai to bed like normal), I don't see how it logistically makes sense. I'm not superwoman, apparently unlike all of the other parents who have multiple kids in multiple different extracurricular activities. Seriously, what's the secret?? How do you make it work?

While I'm sure we could probably push back bedtime if we had to, or come up with more creative meal ideas, the thought of living with this schedule flat out overwhelms me. I like our routine and I like things to be less complicated, not a logistical nightmare. I'm sure it's mostly selfish on my part, but I don't see how adding stress to my (our) situation will result in anyone being happy.


Fortunately, there was relatively little fuss from the boys when we broke the news to them. Aidan enjoys playing, but said he's okay missing a season (we'll re-evaluate in the fall and keep our fingers crossed for a better schedule!). As for Logan, he was a little sad, but said that as long as we take him bowling on the weekend, he would be okay. Deal, kiddo.

Linking up with Heather and Megan:

Monday, February 18, 2013

{Lorelai-isms} "Don't see my business"

It's been way too long since my last post of Lorelai-isms and I've got a stockpile (plus some I never wrote down and have probably forgotten, bummer).

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Here she is, eating her "danilla logurt like Aidan."


She came up with her own nick name for Logan: "Logan-Lou."


One day at school, she took her teacher's face in her hands to study it and said "Kim, you have boogers" (which wasn't actually true)! She said it to Grandma the other day, too.

She calls me Miss Mommy all the time even though she just calls her teachers by their first name. At home, she'll also call her them "my Donna" and "my Kim."

Randomly at dinner, she said "oh my golly, I'm gonna cry" and then she did a fake whimper. She's the queen of the fake pout lately, too.


And then there are a whole bunch of potty-related ones:

In an effort to encourage privacy (mostly for myself), I told her I needed the bathroom door closed so no one sees my business (you can see directly into our powder room from our front door). Now she says "don't see my business" all the time, and uses "business" interchangeably with "privates."

And with boys in the house, there are lots of questions about privates: "Daddy, you have a wiener?" "I don't have a wiener." "The boys have a wiener." "Mommy,  you have a business, not a wiener?"

She says "my butt's hanging out" whenever she gets a wedgie or her pants/undies are too low.


She also likes to run around naked and stick her butt in the air (yikes). When our elf was in her room, she turned around and stuck out her butt towards him and said "see my bottom, Jack?" Then she got some sense and turned back around to cover up and said "don't see my butt! No!"

I accidentally hit the switch for the bathroom fan and Lorelai said "no, don't turn on the stinky!"


Man, it's a shame this girl doesn't have any personality! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Feeling the love

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action." -Mother Theresa

My heart is full today, feeling the love in our home. Hugs and kisses from all of my sweet Valentines--I'm one happy and incredibly lucky mama! And oh how they love each other and their Daddy, too.

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And this guy. We've spent 16(!!) Valentine's Days together, and he knows that he doesn't have to spend money on expensive flowers and chocolates to make me feel loved and appreciated.


The simple gesture of him offering to pick up dinner on the way home so I didn't have to cook, was absolutely perfect on this Valentine's Day. Simple, sweet, understated. Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most.


Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day was full of LOVE, too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3 good things

1. Lorelai's allergy report came back and it's good news! She's down to 2.36 from 4.95. Doesn't mean we do anything differently for now, but it gives me hope that she could outgrow it at some point.

{alazycrazylife} {alazycrazylife}

2. Haircuts with no tears this time! Aidan got ALL his hair chopped off (part of me misses it though) and now I can see his eyes. Adam and I gave in to Logan begging for a mohawk, and I have to admit that he was right--it's cool.

{alazycrazylife} {alazycrazylife}

3. Clearance shoes from Target! $6 flats (originally $20) and $10 heels (originally $33). So what if the heels killed my feet this weekend? Still a win, in my opinion ;)


Linking up with

IROCKSOWHAT Three Good Things

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

LASIK: a year later

It's been a year since I had LASIK, and last week I got two thumbs up from my eye doctor that my eyes still look great. 20/20 vision, and my corneas look good with normal moisture. The only issue is that I'm starting to have some allergy irritation. Excuse me, but since when is it ok for pollen to start in early February?!

Anyway, I went on my way with prescription for allergy eye drops and a standard appointment for next year.

{alazycrazylife} {alazycrazylife}

As for my thoughts on LASIK after being contact- and glasses-free for a year? In short, I LOVE it. Being able to be carefree in the pool and at the beach with the kids over the summer, being able to quickly hop out of bed in the middle of the night to check on Lorelai, being able to wake up in the morning and see the alarm clock, all make it so totally worth it. I've even noticed that I get fewer headaches from eye strain now.

The only slightly negative thing I've noticed is that my eyes are significantly more sensitive to pollen now. Not sure if it's because I don't have the contacts acting as a barrier over my eye anymore or what, but I never felt the pollen in my eyes or needed allergy eye drops until last year. But the drops do their job, so it's a minor issue.

Also in the (very) minor bummer category, I do occasionally miss my glasses. Not *having* to wear them, but they were cute and I liked how I looked in them. Ha!

Maybe one of the biggest positive things to report is that my intese dry-eye (that I worried so desperately about at first) cleared up gradually within a few months, so by the time our cruise rolled around in April, I wasn't totally dependent on eye drops to get me through the day or night. I don't need them during the day at all, but over the summer and fall, I would occasionally need a drop overnight (the preservative-free Refresh Tears are the best drops for me) and I've started to notice a little bit more dryness overnight during the winter since our heat has been running, but it's nothing like it was at first.

In fact, I had stopped taking my fish oil and B-complex supplements for a while, but ever since I started taking those again a few weeks ago, I've noticed less dryness.

I'm really happy with my decision to get LASIK and can say with confidence now that I don't regret it at all.


Read about my LASIK experience here and here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Right place at the right time

I had to stay home with Lorelai today because she had a fever all night and didn't sleep well. So neither did I, after getting up multiple times to comfort her and then bringing her into bed with us at 4:30, where she tossed and turned for hours. But then like magic, her tylenol wore off and she was fever-free all day.

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...Until right before I put her to bed.???? No idea what's going on with her. So we'll see how tonight goes...
Anyway, it ended up being a blessing in disguise that I was home with her today, because I just happened to notice that our water heater, which is on our second floor (why does anyone think that's a good idea?!), had started to leak. Add this to the rest of the list of things that are going/have gone wrong in our house. Sigh.

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Thankfully, I noticed in time to give Adam a frantic call and he was able bring a maintenance guy from one of his properties over to take a look. At first we thought we'd have to replace it, which wouldn't happen until sometime next week. But fortunately, it looks like it's just a problem with the release valve on top, which was a quick fix.

So I guess today wasn't so bad. Got to spend the day in my yoga pants hanging with the cutest girl in the world, and I single-handedly prevented a house catastrophe (nope, not overstating that one at all, ha!).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peanut allergy update

Lorelai had her annual appointment with the allergist last week and there's good news and not so good news.

First, the good news. Unlike last year, she was AMAZING for the entire appointment--skin scratch test, blood draw and all! No major freakouts and only one minor freakout when she didn't want to have her mouth or ears checked (no big deal to the doctor). I'm SO freakin' proud of her, considering her previously intense fear of the doctor.

all smiles, even ready for another bp check :)

I'm kind of patting myself on the back for turning her onto the wonders of Doc McStuffins (a Disney Jr. show) last fall and getting Santa to bring her a doctor's kit for Christmas. She was so excited to go see Doc McStuffins, even when I explained that our doctor's name wasn't Doc McStuffins, but she does checkups and helps people feel better like Doc McStuffins does. We sang the theme song over and over again, and Lorelai was hardly apprehensive as we went back to the exam room.

It also really helped that the nurse who weighed/measured/took her blood pressure had Doc McStuffins stickers and bubbles to help distract her. At the end of the appointment, the stickers are what we looked at during her blood draw, and she barely even flinched! (Thank goodness for another wonderful nurse who actually got her vein on the first time and didn't have to dig around like last time.)

Whew! Such a relief on all of our parts after a couple of other fairly traumatizing doctor visits.

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And...for the not so good news. Not only is she still allergic (what? I was totally hoping her allergy would magically disappear, don't tell me I'm crazy!) but her skin reaction was worse this time compared to last time. To be fair, the doctor said that doesn't necessarily mean her blood IgE will be worse. But it does mean that she doesn't qualify for a food challenge yet, and we have to wait a year before we go back to see if her levels have gone down at all.

The peanut in on the left, the histamine is on the right, and the saline is the tiny speck sort of in the middle. We told her they were drawing a face on her, so I took pictures to show her the "eyes" and convinced her not to touch and mess up the "red marker" on her back.

See, my ultimate hope was obviously that her levels would be low enough to qualify her for a food challenge (the doctor talked it up like it was an actual possibility since we met at least one criteria, they would actually feed her increasing amounts of peanut butter under close supervision at the hospital) and if she passed, we wouldn't have to worry so much about her when she goes to kindergarten. I know we have a few years before we get to that point, but if her allergy really is getting worse...well, cue mommy freakout.

Of course, part of me was relieved that we don't have to go through the anxiety of potentially watching her have another reaction, however supervised it would be. But my anxiety over her going to public school with a peanut allergy is so much worse.

For reference (and my memory), here are her levels from last year, and her skin reaction measured 8x8, I believe. Her skin test this year measured 14x8, but we won't know her new levels for at least another week probably, so I'll reserve my freakout until then.

Class IgE kU/L Interpretation
0     <0.35 Negative
1     0.35-0.70 Equivocal
2     0.71-3.50 Positive
3     3.51-17.50 Positive
4     17.60-50.00 Strongly Positive
5     50.10-100.00 Strongly Positive
6     >100.00 Strongly Positive

I don't even know how likely it is that in a year they'd drop within range of a food challenge (I think she said it should be below 2 kU/L), but the way the doctor was talking it up, it seemed like it wasn't unlikely. So all we can do at this point is keep doing what we're doing with avoidance and keep our fingers crossed for a trend down next year!

And if anyone has any positive stories about growing out of a peanut allergy, I'd love to hear them!

PS: I don't think I ever posted a follow up, but thankfully, her skin reaction to the fish last year was a false positive.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Easy Mediterranea quinoa salad

One of my absolute favorite pizzas to make at home is a Mediterranean pizza. Spread hummus on the crust and top with diced grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, kalamata or black olives, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and feta. SO YUM! But...not super healthy--mostly because of the crust and lots of mozzarella.

When Adam and I made the pizza this weekend, I cut up some extra artichoke hearts and tomatoes and made over the pizza into a healthy quinoa salad for lunch at work. All part of my mission to start eating healthier and get into better shape, which is even more important to our family now, since Adam was recently diagnosed with high cholesterol. Boo :(


I can hardly even call this a recipe, since it's really just throwing some ingredients (however much you want!) in a bowl and calling it done (um, that actually may be my absolute favorite kind of recipe, come to think of it!) but I figured I'd share anyway.


Ingredients (serves 1, because my family is lame and won't eat quinoa):
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (follow package directions)
  • 1-2 tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 or 3 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • handful of grape tomatoes, sliced
  • handful of olives (I used black since the kids don't like kalamata olives)
  • 2tbsp reduced fat feta cheese (ok, I'm totally making up that measurement, just sprinkle however much you want on the top--my point is I didn't use a ton)
  • diced cooked chicken (optional)

Toss ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy! (um, duh?) :)  And honestly, use however much you want--these amounts are just what I happened to use. Pretty foolproof, if you ask me!

Since I made my quinoa ahead of time, I reheated it in the microwave with the balsamic and then tossed in the rest of the ingredients cold. But I'm sure it's good warm or chilled.

I've eaten this meal twice this week, it was so good. I've really been on a quinoa kick lately, but NO ONE else in my family will touch the stuff for some reason. Not even Adam, who has to start eating better for the sake of his health. Oh well, more for me! And maybe I'll change his mind about quinoa one of these days...

Anyone have any other good quinoa recipes to share?

Linking up with Noel @ High Heeled Mama for Fitness Friday,
since healthy eating and fitness go hand in hand, right?!