Thursday, February 28, 2013

TTT and Ready for Spring!

It's Thursday and that means it's time for some randomness. Thanks to Laura Belle for starting this tradition or else I may never have anything to write about...

1. Remember last week I mentioned that my 5 year old had her first ever ear infection and her first experience on antibiotics? Well she's now officially allergic to all penicillin products. The poor kid is covered in hives from her head to her legs. Her lips look like Angelina Jolie.
We spent the morning at the doctor, who was quite impressed with the severe reaction and made sure to tell us how important it is that she NEVER EVER have anything with the word cillin in it again.
No problemo doc.

2. Haven't been to body pump in a week now due to sick kiddos. It's going to hurt like hell when I do go back (hopefully Tuesday). Nothing like starting all over again.

3. Remember those size 10 jeans I bought last week? Sick kiddo puked all over me and those jeans the other day (probably an early sign of the allergic reaction). I came home and threw them in the laundry and then forgot about them. I didn't realize until the next day that I had put them in the dryer with the rest of the clothes. On HIGH. For almost an hour. Yikes!
I was certain I had ruined my chances of ever getting into them again, but guess what? They went right on this morning, and zipped. No problem!
When has that ever happened? Back in my fat days there would not have been a happy ending to this story.

4. Hubby and I both caught a cold from our oldest daughter. She likes to share everything, especially her germs. I don't care much about me getting sick, but hubby is flying to China this weekend and the thought of him having to be on a flight for 14 hours (yup, 14 hours!) and having even a little congestion is very sad.
Hoping he'll be over it by the time he flies out.

5. Did you know kids don't develop sinus cavities until they're 5 years old? Oh the things you learn when you spend time with a pediatrician.

6. We're all pretty sick of winter around here, even my husband who NEVER complains about the weather or being cold.
Wanna' know how I know he's tired of it? Because we haven't even gone on our beach vacation for this year yet, and he's already booked a week in Florida for next year.
We're spending a week in February at a friend's condo (the friend will not be there).
It's not on the beach but I don't care because it's in Florida. With sunshine. And a pool. And did I mention sunshine?

7. The Pope stepped down, so does that mean I have to keep up my Lent promise of doing the elliptical every day? Ugh, I suppose I do because it was a promise to God, and not to the Pope. I have to admit I am getting sick of it now and can't believe I've gotten myself into this.
If I make it all the way to Easter will someone give me permission to eat an entire bag of cadbury mini eggs? Somehow I've convinced myself that I deserve that!

8. I really wish Benadryl made my kid sleepy. Not so much as a cat nap out of her.

9. I've decided I need to start tracking my daily food intake again. I've been in maintenance for a year and a half and doing fine, but the reality is I feel like I haven't really learned a thing. I honestly have no idea how many calories I eat each day or how much protein I'm getting (except that I start my day with a good protein shake). If I lost my band tomorrow, I am not confident that I would know how to keep the weight off.
I need to get back on track ASAP.

10. Well, since I'm not at the gym or doing my grocery shopping, I must at least put away the 2 loads of laundry that won't put themselves away. Stuff to do people, stuff to do!

I hope you're all having a better week (and month) than we are over here.
Be well!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A quick catch up of what's in my head

Hey Folks. I had a minute and thought I'd do a quick post to catch you up on what's going on over here.

Baby girl who has the ear infection is feeling better but having a terrible time with the antibiotics. They mess with her stomach and she hates taking it because she knows it's going to hurt her tummy. Awful!
She's barely eating anything, and when she does, it's a good possibility that she'll throw up. She threw up on me and herself yesterday when we attempted an outing to the library.
She went back to school today and I'm so scared about what's going to happen at lunch. I'll wait for a call I guess.

My husband ran a half marathon yesterday. At home. On the treadmill. Who the heck can run for 2 1/2 hours on a freaking treadmill? My husband, that's who. He was a big ole dripping ball of sweat when he was done. I made him oven fries for after the run and boy did he need them!
More proof that the man I married is just plain crazy.

I just signed up to do the Dirty Girl in August.
In fact, the date of the race happens to my my 3 year bandiversary! That's mainly the reason I want to do the race. I don't particularly like getting dirty, or doing obstacles, but I figure I have to do this because the date is so significant for me. My husbands craziness might have rubbed off on me.

I took one day off from my Lenten elliptical challenge due to the pain in the top of my foot. Not sure what was going on but just taking the one day off seems to have done the trick. All better now.

18 days of doing the elliptical every day (with one day off) has caused something odd to happen to my body. I have these things in the back of my legs that I never knew were there. You may know them as hamstrings. Yes, they were there all the time, strategically hidden behind layers of cellulite.
I bent over the other day and had my hand on the back of my leg and BAM! There it was. Holy smokes, I have muscles!

I think that's it for today.
If you're in the path of this snow storm coming through, I wish you warmth and safety.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New Food #8

These 52 new recipes for the new year are really going by quickly! Today is #8.

My kiddos aren't feeling well so I thought I'd try some comfort food for them as our new recipe of the week.
They both love corn bread so I've been wanting to try THIS recipe for some time (click on the link to see recipe).
You know I've had some good luck, and some very bad luck, with Chocolate Covered Katie recipes. I'd say this one ends up somewhere in the middle.

First, for all my bandster friends, let me warn you that for me this corn bread is not band friendly. I figured it might not be, so I tried my piece while it was still warm, and I drizzled it with honey, but still no go. In fact, I ate it 5 hours ago and I'm still seeing corn bread. It's not been a fun afternoon for me.

But, for those of you who can tolerate bread and baked goods, you might want to give this a try.

Here's how it looked when I flipped it out of the pan to let it cool...


You'll see that Katie says the sugar/sweetener is optional. Let me tell you it is NOT. In fact, the 1/4 cup of sugar was not enough. It tasted like eating a spoon full of corn right out of the can. I like corn bread, but this was too 'corn-y'.

My kids didn't like the pieces of corn in the bread. My oldest suggested that I make it again but put the corn through the food processor first so she wouldn't have to eat around the pieces of corn (or pick them out!).
I'm thinking if I do end up making this again (for the kids, not for me), I would definitely use the food processor. It was just too much corn, even for the vegetable lovers in the family.

The other thing is that it's just too dry and crumbly. I'm not sure if that means it needs more moisture (apple sauce) or more fat (oil).

Here's what it looked like plated up...


Even the honey couldn't take the strong corn taste away, and it still was too dry and not sweet enough.

I guess what I'm saying is that the recipe isn't a complete fail, but it's a good start that needs some tweaking. I might work on it. I am sort of mad that I wasted my good, expensive organic sugar though.

For the record, my husband who does not have a sweet tooth AT ALL actually liked this recipe. He was hungry this evening and said "I guess I'll have another one of those bricks you made".
Doesn't take much to please him.

Let's hope for a better recipe next week. Until then, be well!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ten Things Thursday!

Hi All,
I hope you're all keeping warm in your neck of the woods because it's COLD here in the mid-west.
And, as we've come to expect on Thursdays, here's my weekly contribution to TTT.

1. My youngest is home from school today with her very first ear infection. This is the kid that never gets sick. She's never been on antibiotics or even missed a day of school due to illness before. The poor kiddo insisted on going to school this morning, but I got a call a few hours later that she was in a lot of pain.
Sure enough, ear infection. She's all cozied up on the couch resting comfortably now.
I don't love school germs.

2. Today was the 13th day in a row that I've done 30 minutes on the elliptical. Remember I was going to do that for Lent? I know Lent only started last week but I had already been doing the elliptical for a while before I decided to keep going until Easter. Some days I curse that decision. Some days I REALLY don't want to do it,(like yesterday after my killer power cycle class) but then I remember that I promised God that I would, so I do it. *Sigh*.
Why do I get myself into these things?

3. I'm having a weird pain in the top of my left foot. It almost feels like there's a bone out of place that needs to be popped back in. I keep thinking that at any moment I'll hear a crack and then it'll all be back to normal. I'm wondering if all this elliptical work is irritating something, but the odd thing is that it doesn't hurt while I'm exercising. It hurts mostly when I'm just walking around.
Hoping it's nothing.

4. I was called 'skinny' the other day by two people who never knew me when I was morbidly obese and have no idea of my life long struggle. That was weird!
They were complaining about not being able to lose weight, and I mentioned that when I'm not losing, I take my measurements. Then they both said "But you're skinny!".
OK, I'm technically still overweight (by about 10-12 pounds) so I'm not really 'skinny', but it dawned on me that people now just see me as a normal sized person. When the heck did that happen?!
My husband said "See, I tell you that all the time and you don't listen to me". He's right. It's not that I don't listen to him, it's that I have never been normal sized, so it's hard for my mind to embrace it.
Definitely something I have to work on.

5. As a reward for being skinny(snicker), I bought myself a new pair of size 10 jeans today. All my jeans are size 12 and I belt them. I figured it was time to embrace the  new me and start wearing my true size.

6. Sort of related to #5, the powers that be at work have sent down a declaration that we will now be able to wear jeans at the office. I can't tell you how excited I am about that, and how sick I am of wearing the same 2 pair of dress pants over and over again. My wardrobe possibilities just opened up greatly. I'm so happy!

7. I was really hoping the Tylenol would make my baby girl sleepy, so that we could both take a nap. Doesn't look like that's happening. She's still wide awake, but thankfully no longer in pain. Man, I really could use a nap!

8. There's another storm coming through tonight. Can I just tell you how sick I am of winter? I'm not cut out for this weather. I want to stay in the house and bake cookies all weekend.

9. Speaking of measurements...did I tell you I took my measurements last week and that I lost an inch? Yeah, in my bust. The ONE place I do NOT need to lose any more inches. I barely had anything there to start with! I would love to lose a little in the butt and belly, but NO, I continue to lose in the chest. Nice.

10. Sick kiddo is asking for a sandwich, so I must go.

I hope you all stay warm and healthy this weekend!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Food #7

This is supposed to be "New Food Friday" but things got kinda' busy around here, and I'm just getting to it today.
Not to worry, we definitely tried a new recipe, I just hadn't had a chance to post about it.

This week it's another great recipe from 'Smashed Peas'. This is 2 weeks in a row that I've used a recipe from that blog, and 2 weeks in a row that we were all happy with the choice.

Here's the actual recipe (Click on the link).
Don't they look amazing? Well, let me tell you, they are!

The first time I made them, I used all Splenda instead of sugar. I didn't care for the chemical after taste. My kids didn't  mind a bit. They loved them.

The second time I made them, I used 1/2 organic cane sugar and 1/2 Stevia in the Raw. MUCH better result, but obviously higher in calories and sugar for those of us who care about such things.

Also, as you can see, I used kisses instead of the Dove hearts, because they were much cheaper.


Here's the finished product...


I made a double batch. The second pan was without the kisses. I figure it's safer for me to have the chocolate-free kind around, because I can't always be trusted to have just one or two!

They're definitely Bandster friendly, as long as you don't over do it.

I hope you and your families will enjoy these as much as we did.
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

TTT on V-Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to my Bloggy Peeps. I hope it's a great one for you all.
Today is Thursday though, and we must have some randomness, right.
So, on with Ten Things Thursday...

1. This morning while cuddling with the hubby I said to him "I'm sad that today is Valentine's Day and I don't even like you right now". We both laughed. He knows I don't mean it. But he was being a turd about how I do too much for our kids on these holidays, and he was bringing me down!

2. V-day is a gift giving holiday for the kids at our house. They wake up to a kitchen table all set up with pretty, wrapped presents (there have been balloons and streamers in years past). They love it and look forward to it.
You know what I love about it? I get to take the credit for the gifts. There's no thanking Santa or the Easter Bunny. It's all Mama. Call me selfish, but I like that.

3. I woke up with a very puffy, sticky right eye this morning. I'm hoping with all my might that it's not pink eye. I've been at the kids school quite a lot lately, and I get everything that goes around, so fingers crossed!

4. I'm not Catholic and pretty much grew up without any religion at all. However, for some reason, I've always participated in Lent. I usually give up sugar or chocolate, like all the good Catholics of the world, and it makes me feel good. This year I decided to be a little different. Instead of giving up something, I'm going to DO something. Something that's good for me.
I've been doing the elliptical every morning for 30 minutes, regardless if it's a gym day or not. I figure doing two work outs on some days is not going to kill me, and with our family history of heart disease, and extra 30 min. of cardio wouldn't hurt.
I'm going to continue doing that throughout Lent. Now that I've put it on here, in front of God and the world, I must keep my word. Wish me luck!

5. TMI alert: I think I have a yeast infection AND I'm getting my period. Nice. Some Valentine's Day, huh?

6. I'm supposed to be grocery shopping, but I'm doing this instead. I'll go tomorrow, and I'll probably get a ton of V-day clearance items while I'm at it!

7. We went out for a special V-day family dinner on Tuesday night.
We never go out on the 14th because it's a crazy mad house, and who wants to fight for a table when you have 2 kids who need to be in bed by 7:30.
We went out for Japanese. It makes my  heart swell with pride that my girls can sit through an entire dinner at an adult restaurant and eat normal food (with chopsticks!). No fighting, no huge messes all over the floor, no bag full of goldfish, apple sauce, and baby wipes. No trying to get through it without an incident or major spill.
They were such little ladies. They even ordered for themselves.
We have truly been blessed.

8. It's only 4 months until our beach vacation! Yet one more reason to keep my butt on that elliptical EVERY day.

9. I'm helping out at both kids V-day parties today. I'm bringing the snack for one of them. I made chocolate cut out cookies. It was a recipe from the newspaper, and although they turned out OK, I won't make them again. The dough was very difficult to work with.
And because I'm a mom who must suffer guilt, I felt bad that I was feeding them junk food, so I bought a truck load of strawberries and am bringing those too. I'm sure the kids will eat the cookies and leave the berries, but at least I'll be able to say I tried to offer a healthy snack, and it was a red snack, making it appropriate for this holiday. I guess I covered all my bases!

10. Because I'm not at the grocery store, or at the gym, I must at least go put away the 3 loads of laundry that are waiting for me. So, it's been fun, but I must go.

I hope you're all having a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oh How I Love Salt!

I've always had pretty low blood pressure. Even when I was morbidly obese, my BP never went above 120/80
.
When I started losing the weight, it kept going lower and lower. Then when I became a gym addict, it went even lower still
.
When I was at the doc for my daughter, I took my BP on the machine in the pharmacy. It was 90/62. Lowest ever.

Then, I went to donate blood last week since my kids school was having a blood drive. The tech who took my BP looked at me with a concerned look and asked "Um, do you normally have really low blood pressure?".  Yeah, pretty much. What is it today?

88/60

Okie dokie. That's pretty darn low, even for me. What could have changed? I'll tell you. When my husband had his little scare with elevated BP, he asked me to stop using salt in my cooking. We started reading labels and have become very careful to not bring foods into the house that are high in sodium. We figure it's good for the whole family, right?
Well, maybe not.

I spoke to a nurse who asked if I get dizzy often. Yup, sure do. All The Time!
She suggested that I have a salty snack every day. She also mentioned that even though I'm not cooking with salt, I can always add a little to my own plate. I felt kinda' dumb that I hadn't thought of that myself, but truthfully, I usually forget.
In fact, later that day I went to the store and bought unsalted cashews. It's just a habit now. I keep forgetting I need salt.

So for dinner the other night I made fish, mashed potatoes and salad. I added some sea salt to my own potatoes.
Holy Mother of salty goodness!
I forgot how much I LOVE salt. I'd been living without it for so long it was like reuniting with an old friend.

So, my hubby can no longer make fun of me for my love of salt. It's medically necessary!

Now excuse me while I go out to the garage and suck on some rock salt.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Catch-Up

I haven't been posting much lately and I don't have a great excuse.
The hubs and I are totally engrossed in the tv show "Revenge" and we're watching several episodes every night on Hulu. It's an addiction. We're both hooked! No time for blogging when your eyes are glued to the laptop every night for hours at a time.

Anywhoo...here's the big catch up.

The band is pissing me off again. I don't know what's happening but I've not really been able to keep solids down (Again!). Here's how it goes. Eat a small portion of food ,chew it up like crazy, wait 30 minutes, try to drink water, and puke for the next 2 hours until the entire contents of your stomach is now in the sewer. Nice.
This is my life. It sucks.

I get so frustrated that I've even been questioning why I got this darn thing in the first place. Then I look back at my fat pictures, and I remember. I've been getting grumpy because I can't eat, but I've lost more weight which is a silver lining on the cloud.
My hubby says my butt looks cute in my jeans. I say I wish it was because of hard work and dedication, and not from puking!

Even though I can't eat solids, you know what I can eat? Chocolate. Yeah, I can totally see how Bandsters get into trouble with eating crap and getting malnourished. Thankfully I start my day with a protein shake that has 2 servings of fruit and 1 veg each day. Probably the only reason my hair hasn't fallen out yet!

I've been doing the elliptical almost every day. It's like a habit now. I don't even hate it. I just get on that thing with a good book and before I know it, my 30 minutes is up and I'm sweaty. Good deal.

Our family back on the east coast got pounded by that storm last week. Phew, I'm pretty happy I wasn't there for that. We got it bad enough last Thursday but it was only 1 day. I can live with that.

I'm at work today and wearing a new sweater that I got on one of my clearance shopping trips. I'm sitting here wanting to kick myself for not buying the other one that I saw There was a dark green and a purple. I bought the green and wasn't sure I really wanted two, but I freaking love this thing. It's so warm and comfy, and I actually like the way it looks. I really wish I had gotten the other one now.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll be able to find the time to post more often, but I won't promise anything until I'm done watching the entire season of Revenge!

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Food Friday #6

We're trucking right along with this 52 new recipes in 52 weeks.
Last night we tried out new recipe #6 and it was a big hit with the whole family.

I've been checking out Smashed Peas and Carrots because she's a mom who has super great ideas, and she lives in our old town in Illinois. I've actually met her and her family a couple of times. Does that mean I know someone famous?

Anyway, she posted this recipe (click link for the recipe page) for a healthier version of home made mac and cheese. You know most times mac and cheese is loaded with butter and cream, so this was a refreshing change.

My kids LOVE mac and cheese. I stopped giving them the boxed kind a while ago because of all the chemicals in that packet of fake orange cheese product. I do on occasion give them the kind found in the freezer section though, because they really really love their mac and cheese!

When I found this recipe I realized I could make the kids a healthy, natural mac and cheese in just about the same amount of time it would take to make the old box kind.

I served it with baked Tilapia, cucumber salad, and grapes for dessert.

Here's what ours looked like...


This is the plate of my 7 year old who until this year Never ever ate any form of meat or fish. She ate all that fish and liked it. I think the weekly new recipes are bringing her out of her comfort zone.
Both kids asked for seconds on the mac and cheese.

Recipe notes**
I used 'veggie pasta' which gives a whole serving of vegetables her cup.
I used skim milk and reduced fat mild cheddar.
I would have liked a sharper cheddar for a stronger taste but my store didn't have it.
I think the 2TBSP of corn starch could be reduced to 1TBSP. The finished product was very thick and a bit 'starchy' tasting. Next time I'll reduce the corn starch and see what happens.

Bandster note**
I did have some of this mac and cheese even though I know I can't normally eat pasta. It seemed to go down fine. However, I saw it again later in the evening. Not so fun. Use caution and chew CHEW CHEW!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Food Friday #5

OK, I'm fully aware that it's not exactly Friday. However, you know my daughter had strep and was home from school on Thursday and Friday, unable to eat much of anything.
For that reason, we postponed our new food trying until the weekend.

Here's what we tried...



Whenever we go out to an Asian restaurant, my oldest daughter orders crab rangoons. Actually, she calls them cheesy won ton's because if she knew there was crab meat in there, she wouldn't eat them.
I figured I could make them at home a lot healthier than the fried ones at the restaurants, so I gave it a shot.

I bought the won ton wraps at my regular grocery store. They were over by the organic produce and tofu (where weird people shop!)

Recipe:

14 won ton wrappers
1 package imitation crab meat
4-5 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese
just a few drops of soy sauce.

have a water bowl handy for the wrapping.



Place crab meat, cheese and soy sauce in a food processor and blend.
Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray
place won tons flat on cookie sheet.
place about 1 TBSP of mixture in center of each won ton.
dip your finger in water and rub around the edges of the wrapper.
Fold the wrappers up into a little 'purse' to enclose the filling. The water will make the edges stick together.
Spray the tops of each won ton with cooking spray.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Keep an eye on them so the edges don't burn, since ovens vary.


ready for the oven

After a while I was getting so good at the wrapping I thought I should get a part time job at a Chinese restaurant!

I also set up a salad bar so everyone could make their own salad the way they like it. The kids really enjoy that, and I figured there would be something to eat if these were a flop.

Well, 3 out of the 4 of us loved these. The daughter who always orders them at restaurants liked them the most. I was surprised she didn't mind that they were definitely different than crispy fried version.
The youngest daughter ate half of one then gave them a thumbs down. She doesn't like the fried ones either, so I wasn't expecting her to love these.

I was thinking as I was making these that the filling would be great for people on the 'mushy' stage diet. It's delicious and goes down very easily. I'll admit I was tasting as I was filling. I couldn't help myself!

So there you have it. I hope you'll try your own version of healthy crab rangoons. Enjoy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

TTT at 2am. on Friday!

A little late in the game, but here goes...

1. It's 2am. and I've been awake for 2 hours. This is becoming a very irritating pattern lately. Insomnia sucks.

2. My oldest has strep AGAIN. She complained a little of a sore throat in the morning but had no fever or redness so I sent her to school. Well, a few hours later she got sent to the nurse and I picked her up. We went to urgent care and sure enough, Strep. Now I've allowed her to contaminate the whole class because I thought she just had a dry throat. Mother of the year, right here.

3. I'm up a bit on the scale this week due to my addiction to cereal. I managed to get through the whole day today without any, so that's better. When will I ever learn?

4. I'm not happy that she's sick, but I have to admit I'm excited that I get to spend the whole day with my big girl. She's great to be around and I don't get to spend any quality time with just her since she's in school for 8 hours a day, and she has a little sister who requires a lot of attention.
I think we'll do our nails, or bake cookies. Fun times.

5. We didn't get to try our new food since I was at urgent care through dinner. That will have to be tomorrow (well, actually today since it's technically Friday already).

6. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sharing some loose skin pics with you all this week. I had been thinking about doing it, then I saw that LapBand Gal did, so she has paved the way. Be warned. It's not pretty.

7. We had a 50 degree temperature drop here within a 48 hour period. We went from 60 degrees on Tuesday, to 10 degrees on Thursday. I can't wait to see our heat bill for this month.

8. I got some new trail runner shoes on mega-clearance the other day. I popped in the store just to try on and figure out what size I am in that particular brand because we have a friend who works at their corporate headquarters and he can get sneakers at a huge discount. While I was trying on I saw a clearance rack and they had one pair, they were my size, and they were $9! Excellent brand of running shoe, at an unheard of price!
I guess that means I have to start running outside again, since I have trail runners. Sigh.

9. My hubby is sleeping in the guest room because he's scared of contracting the strep. Can't say I blame him.

10. I have a tummy ache, and my chest hurts a little. I'm probably next in the line of who gets sick around here. Good thing the doc I saw last month for my sinus infection gave me a refill on my Z-pack. I'm prepared.

I think I'll try to get back to sleep now. Wish me luck.
Have a good night/day folks!