that the ole beckster ate more dirt than food today
both boys needed to be basically scrubbed, hosed down and just plain old dowsed in the bathtub more than once or even twice today. it was just one of those little boys all over the park, backyard, garage floor, etc. kind of days.
i'm on an all out mission to rid my kitchen of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, MSG and artificial sweeteners as much as possible. plus fill it with whole grains, raw foods, etc. and although i looove shopping at whole foods, i am no millionaire (contrary to popular belief) so i've been spending lots of time reading food labels at wal-mart and this is what i've come up with. i thought i'd pass along the love and ask for a little love in return. any good brands/foods/recipes whatever that help eliminate this crap from our daily food intake? i just want to feel good about what i feed my family, especially the kids' snacks. i'd love your input.
here's my list, all found at wal-mart
Mia Whole Wheat Pizza Crust, comes with packets of pizza sauce quick & easy. i make it with sauce, cheese and veggies. bake for 5-6 mins. serve with a salad. all the boys in my house love this pizza.
Swanson's low sodium broth, no MSG
all the of the Annie's Homegrown products: crackers, bunny grahams, bunny fruit snacks, mac & cheese. no additives, preservatives, HFCS, etc.
all Kashi products this week we're trying the soft-baked cereal bars like nutri-grain bars but more crap-less
Fruitabu real fruit roll-ups, 1 fruit serving
Stretch Island Fruit Co. real fruit leather, 1/2 fruit serving
Skippy Natural Peanut Butter no hydrogenated oils, no HFCS, low sugar and yummy
Smuckers Low Sugar Preserves no artificial sweeteners
Yoplait Simply Go-Gurt simple ingredients, none of the fillers/sweeteners
Wheat Thins, toasted chips 100% whole grains, no HFCS no more Ritz for my kids
Hunt's 100% natural ketchup no HFCS
Prego 100% natural Veggie Smart red sauce, no sugar added always leary about "natural flavorings" listed in ingredients tho sometime this means MSG
Whole oats instead of instant oatmeal to prepare "instantly" boil water in the microwave pour over 1/2 c oats in bowl, pour in just enough to cover the oats cover bowl with a plate, let sit three minutes perfect and much healthier than instant
Great Value Whole Wheat Bread no HFCS, good fiber, only 50 cals per slice
Great Value 100% Maple Syrup obviously lots of sugar, but natural source instead of HFCS
and i make most of my salad dressings because they are hard to find without this stuff. any favorite homemade salad dressing recipes?
i'd love your suggestions if you have found good products with more natural ingredients?
this was so yummy for dinner last night and again for lunch today that i must share
asian chicken salad note: it's yummy enough to eat sans chicken if you prefer
i've been craving a good asian salad lately so i tweaked a few different recipes and came up with this gem. the dressing is yummiest if you prepare it first and let it sit at least 30 minutes. mix all the veggies and chicken but leave the additional toppings separate and add to your salad just before serving so they don't get soggy. i also doubled the dressing and poured half over the cooked chicken for extra flavor. i also prefer it with cabbage but use whatever you prefer.
dressing: 2 T brown sugar 2 t soy sauce 1/4 c canola or olive oil 1 T sesame oil (optional, i skipped it) 3 T rice vinegar (i used seasoned) blend, let sit
salad: 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 1 c sugar naps peas, chopped 3 green onions, diced 1-2 shredded carrots
additional toppings: 1 package ramen noodles, plain, uncooked and crushed 1 T sesame seeds, toasted (i skipped this too) toasted almonds (yummy!) mandarin oranges, chilled
to hat or not to hat a little shout out to the hat lady
i really have no business wearing this hat as i am neither an 80 year old woman nor do i belong to a bridge club. i dig fancy hats though and sometimes i think i was born in the wrong era. but then i remember that if i could never leave the house without wearing a skirt, hose, heals and lipstick i'd probably never actually leave the house at all and i realize i'm right where i should be. nevertheless i bought this hat on a whim a few weeks ago and darek has twice vetoed it when i've put it on for church. i trust his vetos when i've made a fashion faux pas but i'm thinking i just might override that veto one of these days. what do you think? to hat or not to hat?
so this little photo shoot is actually less about whether or not i can pull off the role of church hat lady in my ward and more about trying to get beck to take a step or two on his own. but as he prefers pulling down my skirt to taking steps we are still waiting.
this post is also less about anything i've said do far and mostly supposed to be about the hat lady in my ward growing up. my parents were with me on the little shopping spree that brought this hat into my life and its purchase spurred a little reminiscing about the hat lady...
she was 300 hundred years old and owned 500 hats and i'm sure never wore the same hat two sundays in her life. i loved her. and she loved everyone. every week we'd await her entrance to witness the spectacle. the hat i remember most vividly was huge and brown and fuzzier than peter cottontails' cotton tail. it looked like a grizzly bear parked its behind right atop her head. i sort of (really) hoped she'd bequeath me some of those hats someday.
anyway, my funniest memory of this woman, which i shared with my parents and had us all in tears laughing occurred one sunny afternoon in the land of leisure, in other words leisure world. leisure world is a retirement community in my hometown. one day the youth were all there digging and dunging the little garden plots as a service project. this sweet lady was so grateful for our service that she brought a little treat out to share with us. she loved my mom and so by proxy loved me and therefore first approached me and all my friends offering her goods. i remember it so distinctly. i'm sitting on the curb, surrounded by everyone in the known world. hat lady approaches. she leans down in front of me, offers cookies, all smiles and gratitude. i look up, take a cookie, all smiles and gratitude. suddenly something is happening. i may be mistaken but it appears to me that she getting closer. leaning down. and is it just me or are her lips puckered? all things warp into slow motion. oh dear. i'm not sure what's happening but i'm thinking it might have something to do with this woman kissing me. right here. in front of a million people. mere seconds pass but it feels like a lifetime. it might be her 300 hundred year oldness but she also seems to be aiming for something. yes. she's aiming for me. no, she's not aiming for my cheek. yes, she's aiming for my lips. my. lips. what do i do? do i turn the cheek? do i turn the other cheek? will it hurt her feelings? i love her. i can't hurt her feelings. i'm just going to have to take one for the team. all this thought has passed through my head in less then 2 seconds. she's coming. she's puckering. i'm squinting. i'm cringing. and then i do it too. i pucker. and it happens.
she kisses me on the lips sticky little old lady lips right on mine
and everyone's watching
i smile she smiles she moves along
was that legal?
i'm shell shocked. two seconds of silence. then the onslaught of questions from all my friends around me why did i kiss her? how could i let her kiss my lips? why didn't i turn my cheek? or perhaps the other cheek?
but what could i say? she was the hat lady. i loved her and she loved me. and she kissed me on the lips
sadly, we forgot to take pictures when we went to see the lion king with my parents on monday night. nevertheless, it was INCREDIBLE!!! for real. such a beautiful production. i wouldn't mind seeing it again. at such productions i always find my jaw hanging open in sheer awe at the talent before me. the singing was incredible. and scenery and costumes were especially amazing. rakifi, pictured above, was one of my favorites. she's pretty hilarious. and i've been prancing around like those zebras since walking out of the show. if you have a chance to see it, do! you won't be disappointed.
speaking of good shows, my parents babysat again so darek and i could see a movie. i'm not much of an r-rated movie type girl but i make the occasional exception. we saw the king's speech. now judge if you must. i won't judge you for judging. and besides i kind of think the sin of R-rated movie watching might be equal to the sin of judging for R-rated movie watching so it all kind of works out. anywho, as if colin firth and his golden globe winning performance were not enough motivation to see this film, it just plain tells a good story. it's about kind george VI who had a serious stammering problem, poor guy. the movie is an R for one scene where he discovers while working with his doctor on his stammering problem that shouting obscenities helps him spit the words out. it's funny. not gonna lie. but don't say i didn't warn you. anyway, good story, good cast, good acting. thumbs up.
we took my parents to the cosmopolitan on monday to show them around this is a view of the chandelier. it is gorgeous and huge, spans several floors and has a lounge in the middle of it. it's one of my favorite parts of the hotel. fancy, no?
these two are becoming best little buddies papa ted and baby beck
there's a little game type space on the second floor that we let the kids play around in
beck takes after his mama and was loving himself some dominoes
amberli and kindle sittin' in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G
i'm not gonna lie, i've got a new love in my life. goes by the name of kindle. also goes with me everywhere. as sure as there is a tube of blistex in my right pocket there is kindle in my diaper bag. she's just tucked right back there in the changing pad pocket, as if the pocket were sewn just for her. on christmas morn, about 10:32 AM i opened the precious gift. by about 10:34 i had read three books. ok, that my friends, is called an exaggeration as i am known to exaggerate on occasion. however within a day or two i had read the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society. i flew through it like a jet plane through a nimbus cloud. it's a good read, cleverly done with fun characters and an interesting approach to story telling through letters.
i also spent about two minutes zipping right through portia de rossi's unbearable lightness. it is a brave and detailed account of her battle with anorexia and bulimia. i found her account particularly interesting because it also gives insight into the hollywood be-stick-thin pressure as well as her struggle to keep her sexuality secret. i really admire not only her bold fight that eventually saved her from her eating disorder but also her stark honesty about all the complex drama that makes eating disorders so painful and so complicated. plus i just love portia de rossi. two words sum up this love: arrested development.
let's see...kindle and i also spent a week or two bustin through the uglies, pretties and specials. (three separate books) the extras are still awaiting my perusal but i needed a little break from the bubbliness. have you read this series? somewhat hunger games-esque, an interesting interpretation on the human race destroying itself. i liked it even though my favorite for the "team david" vs "team zane" drama did not come out victor. lame.
so kindle and i are now exploring the deep south inthe help. i'm about half way through and i can already tell it's a must read.
have you read any of these books? what did you think?
welp, there it is. my confession about my new love. she underlines things for me and archives things for me and looks deep into the recesses of my heart and fortune tells books she believes i will like. and she's always right.
as is inevitable when i blog about my embarrassingly bookwormish ways you will now be asking yourself how i possibly find all this time to spend with my kindle. well to you my faithful blog readers, i can not tell a lie. so here's the truth: i read when i should be doing something more productive. often along the lines of dishes, laundry, cleaning and sleeping. night owl + bookworm = recipe for successful kindle relationship. also = recipe for messy house and tired, grumpy mom but we've got to pick our battles, no? i've also been staying at the gym after aerobics classes to give kindle a go on the elliptical, much reading gets done and we all live happily ever after.
we had a great weekend. it's so fun to have my parents in town. friday night they babysat for us so we could go out. we saw country strong. it was good but it's kind of a downer, not gonna lie. we're not really country music fans but the music was really good and the cast is great.
primary...the president tried to help me out by taking atticus he cried and maybe screamed and wasn't a fan and she ended up in the hall with him rock bottom? i hope.
the isa game on is going really well i'm getting really good health results which makes me happy it's been good to detox my body and clean up my eating oooo, but i want a treat!
this morning we're headed downtown with my parents to show them around the cosmopolitan and tonight we're headed to see lion king at mandalay bay! hooray!
ten of my college girlfriends are coming to stay at my house for a girls trip in three weeks the following is an understatement: I CAN'T WAIT!
k, that's it for now happy martin luther king day! if you get a chance give THIS a little read and be sure to have kleenex nearby
this sweet little boy of mine has entered the nightmare stage meaning he's starting having nightmares, not that he's being a nightmare :) he has them about once every week or every other week or so. my friend's pediatrician told her that having a regular bedtime routine and same bedtime each night can help reduce nightmares. our bedtimes have been a little random lately so maybe that has something to do with it. do you have any suggestions though? it kind of breaks my heart when he wakes up shrieking and falls back to sleep whimpering while i rock him.
my parents got to town today (hooray!!) and anytime we have visitors coming we hustle to finish up unfinished (or sometimes un-started) house projects. this time it was the guest bathroom.
after just don't ever accuse me of shying away from bold colors!
the yellow is soft and mellow - moon mist, behr paint the red is brighter than shown here - antique ruby, behr paint bright yes, but it just might make my heart pit-a-pat a bit when i see it. love. incidentally, as i painted both i colors i just kept asking myself why i repeatedly spend so much time painting rooms in my house colors i hate, but it all turned out in the end. two coats, let it dry, fall in love.
this bathroom obviously still needs work, we just painted the walls and cabinets but eventually it will need tile, new lighting fixtures, updated cabinets, new mirror and medicine cabinet etc. but if i wait until all that gets done it'll never make the blog progress...slowly but surely
i originally bought the knobs for this bathroom from anthro but then found identical ones at hobby lobby for a 1/3 of the price. yes please! i did a quick return and a little purchase and viola, anthro knobs for cheap! plus everything at hobby lobby goes on 50% off sale every couple of weeks, so double deal. if you love something there hold out a few weeks and it will probably go on sale. also you can print %40 off coupons off their website to use on any item in the store. do not delay!
the mirror and towel/hand towel hooks are also from hobby lobby, also bought at half off. towels, hand towels, wash clothes and floor mats were good deals at ross. don't doubt it folks, i love me some good bargains!
soap dispenser and q-tip holder from target
so anywho, that's it i still need to add some bold color accents to tie in the red but it's good enough for now
this picture has nothing to do with this post but doesn't darek look so cute? he doesn't like his squinty-ness but i do. swoon! and since you asked yes, these square pics are from the new camera, the diana mini. swoon again!
so on monday i started the Isa GAME On! health challenge. i've done health challenges before but this is the first one that uses deep cleanse and nutrition replenishing products like THESE from ISAGENIX. have you ever used these products? they are fantastic! anyway, i have been wanting to do an isagenix deep cleanse for a long time but couldn't do it while nursing or pregnant. and now since beck ruthlessly pulled the plug on our nursing-ness a few weeks ago despite all my pumping and hoping and best efforts at convincing him not to break up with me, here i find myself with a fully weaned baby. i was sad for a second and then felt liberated. time to reclaim my body for now. funny how that works, no? so anywho, the challenge is 11 days. the first two days are "shake days" which means two shakes and one meal, plus supplements. then two "cleansing days" which are cleansing drinks and supplements. then five more shake days and two last cleansing days. i admit that the eating disorder therapist in mean feels a little leery about this low calorie intake but i know that these products are so nutritionally dense that it's ok for now, just while doing the challenge. i'm planning on incorporating these products into my daily food intake anyway because they are pretty incredible and make me feel so good. plus they are all natural, etc. without any of the crap that might temporarily give you energy but just end up making you feel like crap. my workouts at the gym the last two days have been so incredible, all kinds of energy! i sort of feel like a new person. today is my first cleanse day which means a growling tummy but it's actually not so bad. i was worried about low blood sugar too because i'm hypoglycemic but it's not too bad. i think my body is so excited about replenishing the nutrition lost over the last few years of pregnancy and nursing that maybe i'm starting to feel human again. so anywho, i'll keep you updated on how it goes over the remaining 8 days. let me know if you're interested in giving it a go!
oh and PS - i taught an eating disorder workshop last night and thought i'd share some links to good info if you're interested:
what was the sacrament-meeting-wonder-bag slash new-sunbeam-in-primary verdict?
well my friends this is the truth
there was improvement not perfection but we're getting somewhere
the wonder bag was full of wonder in the forms of magnets, stickers, new coloring gear, activity pads, action figures, cars, etc. etc. some of it we'd used before, some was new based on your suggestions. i'm still looking for the mini where's waldo book...get it? where's waldo?? haha.
anyway, we kept things pretty orderly in sacrament meeting but the bottom line it's just chaotic, no matter what. two toddlers being "reverent" = chaos.
primary... when we first walked into the room atticus was up to his old shenanigans then i gave him a firm reminder of what we had talked about all week - reverence, sitting in his chair, etc. etc. he sat down in his little sunbeam chair with a sad little frown like he was in time out or something. this lasted through opening exercises. then came my one woman circus act and he was fully "hold me, hold me!" so i did my tap dance either holding his 40 lbs. or with his 40 lbs clinging to my leg. overall a vast improvement from last week. but final result: leaving church feeling exhausted and totally spiritually UNfed. oh well...it will get better.
the cherry on top of the cake, you ask? the visiting stake primary presidency who were there to witness me in all my glory! i didn't even know they were coming but luckily, due to the drama of last week i was super prepared with fun activities, etc. for teaching the new song to the kids so despite my extra appendage who goes by the name of atticus, i put on a good show and received their acclaim. *exhale*
atticus braved the soccer field today with his fellow wild pirates
well, to be honest this is where he spent most of the game on the sidelines, hanging out with us. by choice. apparently soccer practice is more fun then an actual soccer game
beckett, on the other hand, couldn't stay off the field he just wanted to be out there with the big kids kicking the ball around he spent most of the time crawling around pushing a ball with his hand and screeching for joy
after the game we played at the park for a while which was probably the highlight for atticus hopefully he won't be so shy next time!
are you having a chaotic week? i'm having a chaotic week. and this looks like it's turning into my typical friday post... my to do list has never been so long and i've never been so beat.
as you can see in the picture below my christmas tree is still up, albeit ornamentless however the ornaments hanging in the wall window thingies still remain and as you can also see in the picture atticus is as crazy as ever
these big punchy balloons came in the mail from the boys' cousin this week they are currently holding the prestigious title of "most favorite toy in the house" even though they keep popping and causing tears in the process
i also tried to get a picture of the boys in their matchy match shirts but it just turned into a wrestling match like all things eventually do
i would be far more productive if i could just get my brain to concentrate on one project at a time i'm literally working on six projects while i blog this and have a list of probably ten more i want to work on. and as i'm sitting here blogging this i can't remember how i even ended up on the computer. at some point this morning i started cleaning out and organizing the craft closet. this came about because i had started cleaning out and organizing atticus' sacrament meeting wonder bag. then i took some things i found in the craft closet into the guest room to add to some craft stuff i have in there and i saw the sterling silver jewelery box that i got and a thrift store this week that needed polishing. so i took it into the kitchen and started polishing it with toothpaste which atticus thought was so cool he started polishing the counter top with toothpaste. after polishing the jewelery box (which btw, is the only project i've started and actually finished this morning) i took the toothpastey washcloth to the laundry room and started a load of laundry, my second one this morning. then i took the clothes out of the dryer and added them to the three loads in the tv room waiting to be folded and i started folding. i got maybe three articles of clothing folded before my ADD brain distracted me and tricked me into working on some other random project that i can't even remember right now. at some point this morning i also refereed a play date for atticus, played soccer with the boys outside, took funny pictures, cleaned up spilled cereal, wiped up spilled paint, made a sad attempt to work on my primary preparations for sunday and yelled "stop yelling" at my kids. i'm pretty sure that is the less effective form of parenting. then i had to put six foam bowling ball pins, a foam t-ball set and the tube of toothpaste (the one atticus "polished" the counter with) in the toy time out on top of my fridge due to the morning's drama. i feel like i'm taking crazy pills name that movie
it's only 11:56. luckily darek just called to say he's coming home for lunch. amen to that
So just prior to any of Amberli's family photo shoots (which usually conveniently occur just before we walk out the door or right after we get home from 3-hr church and the kiddos, including Dad, are pulling tantrums, hungry, tired, and crying), she'll setup the camera tri-pod and begin testing her lighting, focus, aperture, ISO, etc., while I crankily round up the boys in the other rooms.
Well apparently before we even get in front of the camera, Amberli has taken a few frames of herself doing her favorite body-builder poses and faces. I thought I'd share a few of these with you. (and no, she doesn't know I'm posting these...I'll be busted for sure!) But I simply can't NOT share these gems though!
(even though I'm sometimes a poor sport about it, I really do appreciate that Amberli takes the time to record our family moments. She's such a good Wife & Mom, and the funniest, silly lady I know!)
first off THANK YOU for all the sympathy and suggestions in response to my last post! you will be happy to know that operation fantastic sacrament meeting wonder bag is currently under way
you might also be interested to know that while darek was hosting a young men's activity at our house tonight i was chatting with one of the other leaders. we'll call him "super hero" for the purposes of this post. well super hero was in primary last sunday because his daughter was also a new sunbeam. he was witness to the one woman circus act gone awry. (aka amberli pretending to be primary chorister while her son wreaked havoc) anyway, super hero informed me that after i left primary to go sing in nursery atticus apparently bolted out the door after me. luckily super hero noticed and followed him out knowing that i probably wasn't there to corral him back in, bless his heart. super hero called out to atticus, who sweetly turned to look back at him, without skipping a single step in his mad escape in the opposite direction. aha! now he was being chased, his most favorite of all favorite games. super hero did indeed have to chase atticus down the hall. but the story does not end there folks. nor does it end at the very other end of the church where super hero chased atticus...neither does it end in the chapel of the other ward's sacrament meeting into which atticus ran... nope. the story in fact, ends ON THE STAND of the of the chapel of the sacrament meeting of the other ward. yeah. my son. on the stand. during the other ward's sacrament meeting. and me, totally oblivious, singing my little tooties off in nursery. THANK GOODNESS super hero was looking out for me! can you imaging me coming back to primary, no atticus? searching the halls, no atticus? all the while the other ward is thinking, "whose kid is that? get him off the stand!" i cringe to picture atticus pounding away on the piano, running away from who ever tries to stop him, trying to get at the microphone...
can we all just cringe for a moment of very embarrassed silence, please?
in prelude to this post i feel it necessary to remind you all that it was only one short post ago that i mentioned the whole "i love my calling as the primary chorister" business
well that was 2010 people 2011 brings new challenges namely atticus as a sunbeam
he got rave reviews from his teacher after class he played the games, he listened, he didn't send any of the other children to the hospital this did not surprise me
what also did not surprise me was that he was something along the lines of maniacal during singing/sharing time before class.
so let's picture this together: i'm in front of all the junior primary singing, dancing and otherwise entertaining as these are the requirements my calling entails atticus: running, laughing, drawing on the chalkboard, pounding on the piano, talking into the microphone, let your imagination soar here all the other children: sitting quietly, paying attention, whatever is the opposite of atticus
so this is quite the conundrum i did my best to keep him reverent, get him to sit down, all that jazz which he did part of the time, but it was the rest of the time that had be feeling trapped in a perpetual try-to-keep-my-child-under-control-alla-sacrament-meeting-style fiasco. i mean an hour+ in sacrament meeting is tough enough but now to keep him reverent and engaged for the second hour of church while also trying to do my calling is more tough. i've chatted with other peeps who have had my calling and we've compared noted and i've discovered that different wards use their primary chorister differently. and my ward uses me a lot! i'm busy almost non-stop for the two hours of primary. and when another leader is doing sharing time i'm in the nursery singing with them, so it's real busy, not a lot of downtime. i'm also kind of the impromptu fill-in-the-extra-time person too so at any time a primary leader will ask me to come up and do some extra singing, get the kids reverent, get their wiggles out, whatever. as i've said before - i love it but it's also a lot of work. and now i'm also chasing atticus which = a LOT of work.
this isn't meant to be an whoa is me pity party and i realize that the passage of time is going to help this situation but in the meantime, any bandaid solutions you could throw my way? perhaps just a bit of sympathy?
and while we're at it i'm planning on revamping my sacrament meeting bag of tricks to keep the kids happy and quiet for the hour+ sacrament meeting circus do you have any must-have secrets for making sacrament meeting less circus-esque?
thanks for letting me pick your brain
note: this is not meant as a rip on atticus post. i'm very leery of labeling children and i'm actually very pro-mania when it's appropriate but i'm just looking for tips on teaching him reverence, etc.