Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Brain Can't Work with All That Whining!

So after a few weeks of active blogging I faded away... and the reason - well, the challenge of staying at home with two monkeys wonderful children is that you have very little time to form a coherent string of thoughts. The only "downtime" you get is when the kids are playing with friends so you are either a) chatting with the other Moms, b) refereeing or c) racing around trying to accomplish all the cleaning and chores that have been neglected. Like now... my children were playing nicely upstairs with The Hubs. He just came down to say goodbye. Um honey... where is Destruct-O Boy? Oh, he won't come out of the bathroom... see ya! Do you know what that kid can do to a bathroom? Fortunately he just wanted to privately poop... not in the toilet of course... that would require me to think straight long enough to figure out a plan on how to get him potty trained. I tried it for awhile. That ended in me trying to peel poopy underwear off him in public places. When we start again I'll be carrying scissors so I can at least just cut them off. As my husband walks out the door he starts to shout... can you...?? The look of death made him stop short. No, today I will get 2 kids out the door to school and music class, squeeze in a trip to the gym and maybe a shower, back to school for pickup, make them lunch, put one to bed, tidy the house and practice reading with the other, make dinner, plan a birthday party, finish organizing our vacation, finish making awards for a luncheon, get the dogs toenails clipped, order a mothers day present, finish the laundry and handle whatever else gets thrown at me.

Where was I again?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for good companies. My friend Marisa had a great experience with Apple and wrote about it at I Failed Math so I thought I would just be thankful for some of the good companies out there that offer decent customer service and try to do the right thing. Here are a couple:

Alaska Airlines - Really, an airline! I bought tickets for a trip. My friend told me the tickets were on sale now for much cheaper. I went to the website and looked for a price guarantee... and they have one. I pushed a button entered my confirmation code and they gave me a credit for the difference. It took about 30 seconds! They don't actually give you cash back - just a credit for future purchases but that is better than nothing! I don't know if other airlines offer the same thing but Alaska made it super easy! I also love Alaska because I have had nothing but good experiences with them and the Hubs used to do some work there and thought highly of the people that ran the show!

Roth's Grocery Store - my local grocery store is awesome. They are not the cheapest store so I do occasionally cheat on them with Winco but I just can't beat the selection of local foods, the friendly staff, they free cheese and cookies for the kids, the drive-thru (deli, bakery or call ahead for grocery items) and the kids who take the groceries out to your car - for everyone, they insist. I love it!

I'm sure there are more but not enough. Thank You to all the companies that suprise use by actually treating us like people!

A week of posts... All in one!

I haven't gotten around to posting anything this week so I'm doing it all at once:

Menu Plan Monday:

Monday: Meatballs, Rice, Salad (Hubby was out of town so we had meat!)
Tuesday: Pasta & Cheese, Fruit Salad
Wednesday: Aubergine (Eggplant) Tartine and Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday: Black Bean Burritos
Friday: Pizza, Pizza!
Saturday: Dinner Out
Sunday: Leftovers

Tuesday Tunes:
One of my favorite ways to get new music is to exchange with a friend. My friend Rachel runs a lot so she asked me to trade music this week. She was really fast and gave me her music but I'm lagging behind. So I got to add so new music to my list this week! Rachel clearly has a preference for running to Kid Rock and I have to agree. There were some good, intense tunes on there that just make you want to go, go, go Fast! Unfortunately I don't know the names of all the songs so I will have to figure them out and get back to you.

In my Garden:
Nothing, Nada, Bah! Still soggy and cold here. I'm starting to see my little radishes popping up and my peas are up but getting nibbled by the slugs. My cloches are working in the backyard to finally get my lettuce going but they are still struggling. I am so ready for spring! My goals for this week are to get the following seeds in the ground:

More Peas
Wild Kale

Phew, that gets me caught up through today!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Dr. Will See You Now...

Last month I spent too much time at the doctor's office. Normally I go in for my annual exam and that's it - see you next time. Of course I normally forget to have my blood work done which avoids a lot of problems. What you don't know won't hurt you, right? This year I dutifully got my blood work done (I forgot to fast for 12-hours so I still have to go back for more) but I was proud of myself for even going at all! And that is when it got interesting...

Vitamin D
I live in Oregon. We are all sunlight deficient which means we are all vitamin D deficient. If you take a regular multi-vitamin you should be just fine. I wasn't taking one. Vitamin D is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 with healthy being above 40. I was a 23. I've been looking up sources of Vitamin D (besides Sunshine) and found it comes from Fish and Dairy but you really need to eat a lot of make up for the lack of sun. For the last month I have been on a prescription does of Vitamin D. A really high dose. The interesting part is that I have noticed a strong improvement in my overall mood. It is like some of the darkness has been lifted. Not the same way my postpartum meds worked but in a more subtle way. I just feel a little cheerier! So, my recommendations to anyone living in Oregon: A) If you don't take a multi-vitamin and you have never had your vitamin D checked - have it done. and B) Take a multi-vitamin or at least some Vitamin D to make up for the fact that you don't live in a tropical location.

Blood Pressure
Now the scarier piece of the visit which has required a lot more follow-up. I have high blood pressure. Not lethally high but higher than it should be for my age (140/90). First they checked my pressure at the beginning of the visit and it was high but they thought it might be nerves so they planned to check it again at the end... but they forgot. Normally I would dash out of there and be thankful they didn't check it but my brother was recently diagnosed with severe hypertension so I stopped them and asked them to check it again. And it was still high. So after a week of monitoring it at home and then rechecking it at the office, I was started on blood pressure medication which is working.
I was pretty disheartened at this turn of events because a)I just ran a half-marathon which means I do actually exercise; b) I eat very little meat and lots of vegetables; c) I don't like salty foods and pay attention to sodium intake. My Doctor was very kind. She helped me realize that this is a hereditary condition (from my Dad's side) and there is very little I can do to change it. I'll be honest, I could loose a few pounds which could get my blood pressure down but I'm doing most things right.
So why am I sharing this? Because I want you to know that having high blood pressure is not something that occurs only in obese people who eat burgers and fries all the time.

You can be pretty healthy and have these issues so don't skip your annual Dr. visit because you think your healthy. We have a wonderful world of medicine that is helping us live longer lives so use it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Foto Friday

My post is super late because I wanted to wait until I made it to the Tulip Festival for a picture. The fields are still a little green but I hope to make it out again in the next week or two to see the full bloom. The weather was so amazing today! A rare event this time of year. Thanks to my friend Liz for being a trooper and dragging 2 preschool boys out there to keep me company.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Seriously, my first attempt at posting something about myself for the the UBP11 was pretty lame so I went and read a few more blogs and realized I needed to spice things up!

Uhmmm, well it just doesn't get very spicy around hear. Plus the crying kids and slamming doors are kind of distracting.

I used to write about all the horrible things my kids did but then I felt bad about that so I decided to write about the things I like to do but that isn't as interesting as I had imagined. Now I'm trying to find a balance in my blog but that seems to be as difficult as finding balance in my life.

I have 2 kiddos (4 1/2 and 2 1/2) and a great hubby. I am a full-time domestic goddess and have the habit of jumping in head first to anything I find interesting.

I'm not terribly crafty but I do love to cook. My latest crazy plan is to bake every bread recipe in the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". I'm only 2 recipes in but The Hubs is super happy with the plan. He is a breadaholic.

I also write about my garden. I started gardening a few years ago and just finished a class in sustainable gardening. I still find the process a little overwhelming so I'm not an expert by any means but I do like getting a little dirty.

I love photography but I'm not willing to invest the serious money it takes to turn it into anything more than a hobby. I have great family photos though!

I took up running to get rid of the baby weight but wouldn't you know it - I haven't lost a single pound. I have gained some muscle and tightened things up but still... I just ran my 3rd half-marathon and still weigh the same as when I started. Grrr!

Oh, and for some reason I have a husband who develops crazy obsessions! I started running so he became obsessed with running - last year he ran 1000 miles and this year he plans to run 6 half-marathons.. and he lost weight...Grrr again! He also watched a documentary about food and decided to become a vegetarian and watched another documentary about beer and started brewing his own beer (so now he is gaining weight - yippee!).

So that is me, I can't promise to be interesting all the time but I'll try!

Oh, and following the link to join the Ultimate Blog Party!

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am Thankful for old friends. I am in a MOMS Club and we get new members all the time so I am blessed with a steady stream of new friends coming into my life. It can be really fun but it can also be exhausting! Meeting new people and getting to know them takes energy! Recently I was feeling a little worn out but suddenly I got a few calls from old friends and we were able to get together or get the kids together. There is something pretty awesome about just hanging with people you have been friends with for a few years. I've only lived here for 4-years so I don't have any local friends stretching back farther than that but they have seem me through a lot! It also reminds me that I need to keep in touch with my friends from even further back. Thank God for facebook! So today I am Thankful for Old Friends and for new ones too!

What are you Thankful for today?

What's In My Garden Wednesday

So you may have noticed that today is actually Thursday. I just didn't get around to posting yesterday but I'm trying to be consistent so I will just get it done today.

Sooooo.... what's in my garden? Hail, lots of Hail. We got pounded with tiny little white balls yesterday so I didn't get out to look around. Unfortunately the gutters clogged and overflowed on my Columnar Apple Trees taking most of the dirt away with the water so I'm off to get some more soil to refill the pots.

The cloche in my backyard is working well and all my little lettuces are sprouting. The cloche at the community garden blew off but I think I might give up on that one. The weather is starting to warm up so I don't need it anymore.

I bought a little greenhouse on Amazon:

It has been keeping my seedlings and my little bell pepper plants cozy and warm on the back porch. I think I'm going to keep one set of peppers in there all year (I'll open it up in the summer) and see how they do.

I have raspberry plants growing happily in some plantar boxes. The kids can't wait for them to produce!

So now what? I have to review my plans and see what needs to be started. It is so hard to keep track of what needs to be done. I'm also going to need to start transplanting some more seedlings but with this crazy weather it is hard to know when!

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

Here are some of my favorite songs that got me through my run Sunday:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Bah! I have post-race let down today. After a fairly busy weekend and a sunshine teaser we are back to the gray. I'm more tired today than yesterday but a little less stiff so that is good but I'm generally grumpy. A lot of things are wrapping up in my life right now and it gives me a sense of being unsettled. I finished out my Home Horticulture Course which has been a weekly challenge since January, I finished my annual half-marathon (does 2-year in a row count as annual?), and the new board for our MOMS Club has been set and I will not be on it for the first time in 3-years. I'm happy that all these things are ending but I also am trying to decide what comes next and how to get myself out of negative funk that comes after completing a challenge. But of course none of these things have anything to do with Menu Plan Monday other than the fact that I don't feel like cooking so I'm having a hard time planning and my menu for this week is a little vague because I can't quite decide on anything.

Menu Plan
Monday - Pasta Primavera
Tuesday - Tilapia, Rice, Veg
Wednesday - Lentil Casserole
Thursday - Spaghetti & Salad
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Still Deciding
Sunday - Dinner out

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

I meant to get this out earlier but it has been a busy day.

This week I am thankful for my husband. I know he is falling over in shock in hearing that but I truly am thankful for the life that he has given me. While I am a stay-at-home-Mom, he doesn't expect me to stay home and cook and clean all day. He is supportive of my many endeavors and recognizes that I do aspire to do more than what my role is today. He does believe that staying out of the workforce to raise our children is important but he also respects that I will want more. Mostly I am Thankful for him this week because he realizes that I was never meant to be a tidy person but I need a tidy house so I spend most of my life making messes and then struggling to clean them up or being stressed about it so he let me hire someone to clean my house every other week. They came on Tuesday and I am in pure heaven. The kid areas are already getting messy but my bathroom is still beautiful and I hope it stays that way.

Oh, and by the way, I'm also thankful that he is an amazing father but I tell him that one all the time.

So Jimmy P - Thank You!

Oh, and thanks to Let It Shine Cleaning. They were awesome!

Photo Friday

Spring is trying to make it here in Oregon but the cool weather is making it hard. Still the cherry blossoms are going at the capitol. I had a kid free moment the other day so I popped in for a quick picture:

In my Garden...

Winter is really hanging in here and the RAIN just won't go away. There is some promise for the weekend and today we might actually hit 60 degrees! So this weekend I decided to add a Cloche to get some of my lettuces going. A cloche works a bit like a greenhouse, providing cover for your garden to warm things up. I forgot to take a picture but it pretty much looks like this one from Westside Gardener where I got my instructions:

I should have done it sooner but the idea was just too intimidating until I found those instructions and gave them to The Hubs to go get the material. It cost about $10.

I also decided to bring a little garden color indoors. Make and Takes had great instructions on growing Wheatgrass. I stopped in at Lifesource yesterday and found the Hard Winter Red Wheat. I followed the instructions and now all my wheat seeds are starting to sprout! I will take a photo next week so you can see the beautiful green!

That's what's happening in my garden... how about yours!

Tuesday Tunes

I've been running to the same music for months now I need something to get me motivated. I tried searching my husbands music but you would think I married an old man. He and my parents share the same taste in music. His explanation is that he likes quality music and there wasn't much after the 70's. I can't argue with him because I have no musical inclinations. I just care about how music makes me feel. I mean even Lady Gaga has a place in my musical collection because she makes me feel like dancing. My current favorite channel on Pandora is "80's Throwback, 90's Comeback" which is music that makes me want to sing along. So anyway, I am now looking for music that makes me feel like running. Here is my current playlist:

Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Movie Loves a Screen - April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Raise Your Glass - P!nk
L.O.V.E. - Ashlee Simpson
Uprising - Muse
Pressure - Paramore
My Own Worst Enemy - Stereophonics
Next Best Thing - Nikki & Rich
Souljacker, Pt. 1 - Eels
Can We Go Wrong - Hesta Prynn
Devil's Dance Floor - Flogging Molly
Under My Skin - Gin Wigmore
I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphys
Anyway - Dynamite Hack
Someday - Pete Schmidt
Hell's Ditch - The Pogues
Ride to California - Paper Tongues
I'm Amazed - My Morning Jacket
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
Recall - Hesta Prynn
Spirit In the Sky - Doctor & The Medics
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Fed Up - AM Taxi
A Thousand Trees - Stereophonics
Ooh La La - Goldfrapp
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Misery Business - Paramore
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
You Winding Me Up - Hesta Prynn
Turpentine - Brandi Carlile
Dreamer - Ozzy Osbourne

It is really long and on most runs I only get through the first few songs. What songs get you motivated to move?

Menu Plan Monday!

My Menu plan started out so beautiful and then I went to Costco... $200 later and I still don't have all the ingredients for the dinners I planned. Grrr! Of course I did get a couple cute outfits for the kids and a birthday present but I still needed to do a quick menu revisit. So here is the menu:

Monday - Penne Pasta and Prawns (from Costco - it looked too yummy!) with sauteed spinach.
Tuesday - Pinoche Pasta from Twelve Months of Monastery Salads
Wednesday - Halibut, Cous Cous, Spinach Salad
Thursday - Lentil Curry (has been on the menu for 3 weeks and still not made!)
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Pasta, Pasta!
Sunday - Whatever I want because I'll be finishing my half-marathon!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gardening Catch-up

Tuesday is supposed to be my garden blogging day but I'm behind this week so here we are on Thursday but that keeps things exciting anyway.

I received my seeds this week from Territorial Seed Company. There were... well beautiful!

See what I mean?

I went through each one and made a chart for planting dates for indoor and outdoor starts. It seems crazy but when you are planting so many things it is really hard to keep track of what, when and where! So here is what I'm getting started this month:

Bell Peppers
Brussels Sprouts

Peas (snap and shelling)
Kohlrabi (I'm starting it indoor and out to see what does better)

I was also spending some time this week learning about cultural controls for garden pests. This is something that I never spent time thinking about before - how do you reduce destructive pests by changing what, how and where you plant your garden. I learned to plant cilantro and dill to attract ladybugs who will then eat your aphids - that's simple! Also, I was looking up information on how to get rid of the earwigs that ate my bell peppers last year... only to learn that is was the slugs eating holes in the peppers and the earwigs just used the peppers as a cool hideout during the day. Those darn slugs! They are always causing problems. So now I'm on a mission to figure out how to protect the garden from them. Easier said than done...

If the rain lets up some today you will see me and the kiddos down at the community garden putting the carrots in - give us a honk and wave!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

It's that time again!

Monday - Pasta Bake (something like a baked ziti but using whatever leftover pasta and cheese I have)
Tuesday - Fish (I'll see what is fresh at the store), Couscous and spinach salad
Wednesday - Lentil Curry with Flat Bread
Thursday - Colcannon with Irish Brown Bread. It was hard to find a good vegetarian Irish Recipe!
Friday - Pizza Pizza
Saturday - Dinner with friends
Sunday - Family Dinner

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another day at the beach... Menu Plan Monday

We were able to do a weekend getaway to the Oregon Coast since hubby was running the Lincoln City Half Marathon. It was so nice to get away from home and we were so lucky to have a little break in the weather! But now it is time to get back to the real world.

Last week the Frittata I made was very popular - Jack actually ate some vegetables! I completely changed the recipe and used bell peppers since that is what I had on hand so I adjusted my seasonings to match. The rice really helped lighten the texture.

Now for this week...

Monday - Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Tuesday - Black Bean Quesadillas (Family Favorite)
Wednesday - Baked Potatoes and Salad
Thursday - Salmon Cakes
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Leftover Buffet
Sunday - Family Dinner

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday Garden Party

I had big plans to write about my gardening homework this week but I need to walk out the door in 5-minutes so here is the short version. I'm taking a gardening class and this weeks homework was to design a pollinators garden using herbaceous plants (doesn't that sound complicated!). So we needed to design an garden for bees and butterflies using a variety of plants so the garden will bloom from March - October. We also needed to use some native plants. I found some great resources so if you want to take on the challenge check out the following links:

I ended up planning the following plants for the garden:

Purple Cone-flower
Bee Balm

Ooops, now I'm late.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

I'm trying to use what I have left in the fridge so I only have to pick up one or two things at the store:

Monday - Rice Frittata (the recipe I pulled out was for a Zucchini Rick Frittata but I don't have any Zucchini so I think mine will be with bell peppers)
Tuesday - Fried Rice
Wednesday - Black Bean Quesadillas
Thursday - Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Friday, Saturday - Beach Trip!

See more menus at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Garden Party

I love when other bloggers come up with ideas of things for me to write about! I thought I would share some of my favorite resources for figuring out what to plant and when!

Here is a gardening calendar from the Oregon State Extension Office:

Planting and Harvesting Calendar by Oregon Tilth:

According to both these websites we are in the planning stage and it is time to get some seeds started indoors. Oh, and it is almost time to start peas! We have 3 blueberry plants anxiously waiting to go in the ground but I think we will wait until after this weeks snow threat.

I have a whole windowsill of lettuce starts that need to be moved to bigger pots and I'm working on some lettuce. The kids started some sunflowers and daisy's. It might be a bit early for those but I couldn't convince them to start anything else.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Monday - Pasta w/ Ricotta Walnut Sauce and Spinach Salad
Tuesday - Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice with Corn
Wednesday - BLT with Fruit
Thursday - Mushroom and Sour Cream Soup with Salad and fresh Sourdough Bread
Friday - Night out!
Saturday - Birthday Party
Sunday - Family Dinner (TBD)

I'm excited about trying the recipes on Monday & Thursday and the kids will be super excited about Wednesday's dinner since Dad is working late so we are eating Bacon!

Friday, February 18, 2011


So I said I was going to blog again and POOF! all interesting thoughts went right out of my head. Maybe they were eaten by the never ending cold turned ear infection that made it impossible for me to run, garden or even think!

I'm back on the treadmill this week prepping for an 8-mile training run.

Tomorrow the weather will be clear so we are planning a gardening extravaganza. I've got spinach starters that I haven't peeked at since I planted them (covered in a
Wow! It felt good to make that list, even if it wasn't interesting! At least I'm back to my post.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music Soothes...

My plans for writing about gardening and running went down the tubes this week when I got sick and have just barely been functioning. Today isn't really much of an exception but the crud has settled down to a really annoying cough but I'm hoping to at least get a few miles in so I'm not behind on my training.
Anyway, back to the my original topic.... Music and kids. I'm always amazed at the power of music to transform my children from little beasts into sweet angels. Really! This morning they were driving me crazy and shouting "mommy" every 2 seconds. I put on some tunes and they are now playing peacefully together.
What is it about music that makes that happen? For my daughter, who hates being by herself, it seems to soothe her need to be right next to me. Something about the music in the room makes her feel secure. For my son, it seems to give him somewhere to direct his intense energy and end his constant attempt to be the loudest thing in the room (oh, did I mention I play the music really loud - not ear splitting loud but drown out the whining loud).
Oh crap, they must not like this song - the beasts have returned. I better turn it up louder.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday - Vegetarian Style!

My husband randomly decided to go vegetarian last year so I've been learning so new ways to cook. I'm not actually vegetarian but I eat meat at lunch time and cook vegetarian meals at night. Sometimes I have to supplement my meals with some meat so my son will eat something since he doesn't like veggies. Here is my plan for the week:

Monday - Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (not homemade), Spinach Salad, and homemade sourdough bread.

Tuesday - Stir Fry and Rice

Wednesday - Black Bean Burritos (carrots and spinach hidden in the black beans)

Thursday - Chili and corn bread

Friday - Roller Derby Night - the family is on their own while I take a night off!

Saturday - Family Movie Night - meal TBD

Sunday - Family Dinner at Nana's. No Cooking for me! Woohoo!

Long Time, No Post

I gave up blogging last year. I just didn't know what to say but after being inspired by friends starting up their own blog and an amazing book (The Happiness Project) so I'll begin again...


About Me

My photo
Right now I'm covered in flour, haven't showered since yesterday, and I'm sleep deprived. Once upon a time I was using my expensive college education to work as a accountant/consultant. Now I use my high school Home Ec. skills to raise 2 kids and keep my house from falling down.