Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Fancy, outdoor mall, cooling off from 100 degree day, good music, good food, good friends. Nice way to spend one of the last days of summer.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Link to recipe: http://family.go.com/food/recipe-cp-630077-proven-al-lemon-and-olive-chicken-t/
Link to website: http://family.go.com/food/
Provençal Lemon and Olive Chicken
From our provider:
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 6 hours
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups chopped onion
8 skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
1 cup pitted green olives
1 tablespoon olive brine from jar or white vinegar
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- Place onion in 4-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker. Arrange chicken thighs over onion. Place lemon slice on each thigh. Add olives, brine, herbes de Provence, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in chicken broth.
- Cover; cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH 3 to 31/2 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in parsley before serving.
To skin chicken easily, grasp skin with paper towel and pull away. Repeat with fresh paper towel for each piece of chicken, discarding skins and towels
Friday, September 25, 2009
I did have a little "experience" w/security at the airport. I actually have been debating writing about this. I'm figuring I might end up on some "watch lists" over this (I hope not). On the way down to LA no problem. Extremely uneventful. On the way home, bit different situation. First, I was flying out of Burbank. They had one of those new, fancy scanners. They actually had two lines; one for the new scanner & one for people who didn't want to have the full body x-ray. While in line, a man (late 50s/early 60s I'd guess) apparently opted out on the new version. He didn't realize it meant he needed to go to the next line and the TSA agent ripped him a new one. That right there, gives you an idea of the tone of the area. Tense. I was the one waiting to put my bags on the conveyor belt next while all this was going on. The TSA agent sitting behind the machine admired my bag. Even wanted to know the brand (Vera Bradley) and such. So then I put my bag on the conveyor belt and go through the old style metal detector (they got so backed up while the agent was yelling at the guy, one of the other agents started sending the rest of us through the old style scanner. I get to the end and wait. And wait, and wait....my bag is obviously a problem. Grrreat. While I'm watching my tray w/laptop, shoes & liquids comes through. The agent sitting behind machine has now called in reinforcements. Uh oh. I go to pick up my shoes and a third agent has come over to my tray and tells me not to touch anything. Ummm...OoooK. So I'm standing there, barefoot, while she's going through my stuff, and my bag is going back and forth through on the conveyor. The agent realizes I'm not very comfortable standing barefoot and allows me my shoes (flip-flops). She continues scrutinizing my "liquids". I have skin cream medicine, moisturizer, tooth paste and saline solution. I had to buy hair gel in LA & leave it there b/c my brand doesn't come in a small bottle. Finally, she decides the moisturizer is an offending size, (4 oz, instead of 3, even though it obviously isn't full & was OK to bring to LA) and tosses it. My main bag is still having problems and there are like 5 agents looking at the monitor, pointing and discussing now. Finally, one of them brings the bag over to a table and starts to go through it. So all my unmentionables are on this table, which has sides to offer some privacy, but still. My bluetooth ear piece charger was apparently the problem. It was in a side pocket and it had an odd shape on the screen. "On the screen, it looked like it was wrapped in the middle. Like it was trying to be hidden." Once she saw it she said ok. So I after all that I was out a bottle of moisturizer and got to repack my bag. Here's my favorite part; while I was repacking my bag she had to ask what it was. Killed me, since she would've let me go, still not knowing what it was. I'm feeling very safe now.
I know the TSA agents were doing their job. I want that, I want my TSA people to be on the ball & paying attention. But yelling at people who don't really understand what's going on, and trashing people's hair product, etc...isn't going to stop the terrorists. A couple of questions would've made both situations shorter and less stressful. And I would have way more respect for what they're doing, if they would've asked me what it was before letting me go.
And I'm pretty sure none of those terrorists are using moisturizer anyway, have you seen their skin??
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
I do have a review of where we stayed I'm planning on writing. But in the meantime....I spent this afternoon at the dentist. On Friday, at lunch, I cracked one of my old fillings. I thought I'd just gotten a lot of food caught in a tight space. When I was able to floss I went to town. I figure then, that the pain was from overdoing it on my flossing. Same story on Sunday afternoon. But this AM when it was still achy, I called the dentist. He took x-rays, but when he looked at it, he could see that I'd cracked it. This afternoon I had it replaced. Dude! It hurt like heck! He had to give me multiple like 8 I think,) shots. When he got into the actual tooth (after drilling out the old filling) he had to give me 5 more shots to numb the nerves inside the tooth. He said it was a "hot tooth". Whatever. Once the numbing started to wear off, I'm dying. Like really, really intense pain. Very, very glad I had pain pills in the house. Got home & took ibuprofen & half a pain pill & crashed on couch. Felt better when I woke up 2 hours later. It's wearing off now & I can really tell. I've never had dental work hurt like that. I think the pain is actually from the shots. (Two were in the roof of my mouth.) Guess I'll know better tomorrow.
So I had this post all ready (in my head) to complain about the status of my house when I got home. But Daddy totally saved the day this afternoon. Any ill feelings I was having, I'm over it. I was reminded how lucky I am when he left work early so I could get my tooth fixed, while he took the girls to gymnastics. Then he made sure they were fed, bathed and off to bed (while I slept on the couch). The house took 30 mins to clean (more or less). I can't put a time frame or dollar amount to measure the love he showed me today with his efforts. I am a very, very lucky woman.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Started last night, Little woke up w/a really, really bad dream. Neither of my girls will ever talk about bad dreams, is this normal? Anyway, when this happens I usually hug her & put her back in bed. Sometimes, I will lay w/her for a few minutes. Last night was bad, so she wanted me to lay w/her. After 10 minutes I said I was going to go, and that was fine. Ten minutes after that, I hear her in her room screaming again (she's got a potential future in horror films w/this scream). Go through the same drill. Three's a charm! Only this time, she's not letting me leave. She's had it w/this nightmare crap & apparently a parent in her bed is the only thing that will help. After a good hour of me thinking she's fallen asleep, only to have her freak as I'm trying to sneak out, I allow her to come to our bed. Didn't have to ask her twice. She jumped into our bed & snuggled right up to daddy, who has managed to sleep through the entire episode!
Three a.m. I wake to:
Little: "Daddy! Daddy! I peed my panties."
Daddy: SH**!! Yup. OK, go take off your panties & put on a pull up.
Me: "She wet the bed?" (She has NEVER had an accident, of course her first is in our bed.)
Daddy: "Just a really small amount. I'm putting a towel over it.
In other words, he wasn't getting up to change the sheets. I let him get away w/it (because it was in his side, and) it really was a pretty small amount. So I'm washing sheets right now, and will be remaking our King sized bed when he gets home. (Something I avoid due to my back.)
Love to stop right there and say my night sucked and I'm tired, but my morning continued this direction. I hit my exhaustion point around 4: 30 yesterday, so I didn't eat dinner (unless Oreos count). When I woke up, (and ate my dinner of Oreos and Diet Dr. Pepper) I watched Glee (new favorite guilty pleasure!) and I went to bed. Daddy unloaded the dishwasher & did dishes (or so I thought). When I got up this morning I realized he unloaded the dishwasher onto the counters & piled half of the dishes in the sink. Not a deal breaker for our morning routine or anything, but it is a pet peeve to have dirty dishes around the clean ones. Grumble, grumble...
Got girls off to school w/little incident, but did notice that my clean shirt has a stain on it. Grumble, grumble....
Got my Starbucks mocha, only to realize their chocolate syrup must be close to being out. (Tasted more like a sweet Latte) I even went back & asked for an extra pump. Added another when I got home. But you know, it wasn't perfect. (For $4 a day it ought to be perfect.) Grumble, grumble...
Have a bunch of important emails to send/answer, so I sat down to get to it, and my laptop locked up on me. Grumble, grumble....
After that I decided to cut my losses, nap (on the couch, cause my bed has no sheets!) and see if I can't start this day over w/less Grumble, grumble...
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
The timing of the test drive for the MKT was certainly gratuitous for us, considering my husband's accident. Having it coincide w/the holiday weekend was also a nice touch. We were basically down one car when they dropped the MKT off Thursday morning. I got to have a dual experience with it. Thursday and Friday, I put it thru the "soccer mom paces". That included a trip to Costco, carting kids to school, daycare, practices, etc... I also got to make a trip to urgent care and some other "special" mom type duties for good measure. (The reason this write up wasn't last week in fact.) We did make it to the beach, but just for a day. So we got the "road trip experience" to an extent as well.
This car is luxurious, elegant and sophisticated. Yes, I said that about a Lincoln. And not in a "my g'ma's car" kinda way. More in a Lexus kinda way. The perks were many and made us very happy. My favorite thing: the 3rd row seats. That may strike you as odd, w/all the perks like the cool GPS Nav system, the SYNC system w/my iphone (meaning I could talk on my phone or play my ipod music using steering wheel controls,) and the moon roof. Yeah it was those 3rd row seats. I could configure those seats w/the push of a button and the pull of a strap. For someone who has a very bad back and is constantly hauling kids and stuff, this was a HUGE thing for me. It was so easy! Pull a couple straps & my backseat is big enough for a full Costco run. Press a button, pull a strap (or two) and I'm carpooling the soccer team to practice. I think it was my favorite thing partly b/c it was so unexpected. I expected seat warmers (altho seat coolers, nice touch), and I know people w/the steering wheel controls/SYNC system as well as the cool GPS & navigation systems. While I have the room in my minivan for the Costco run, it's a minivan, and really it was no comparison. The MKT was so much nicer to do anything in.
Other perks that surprised me: the blind spot lights. A little light in the corner of my side mirrors to let me know someone was sitting in my blind. I used to have a small car that no one saw, so I kill myself trying to make sure no one is in my blind. Not a problem in this car. Someone's there, the light goes on. They move out of the blind, light goes off. Such a simple thing, but such a huge benefit.
In the past I would not have considered a car like the MKT. My husband & I argued about the minivan but agreed b/c of the roominess issue. The MKT addresses the 3rd row seat issue and adds in the luxury aspect. Having to go back to driving my minivan I think svtwinmom put it best, "Now I feel like Cinderella after the ball".
I ask my husband give me a quick paragraph on his thoughts. As a guy, his focus is a bit different from mine. Here's what DaddySpeak had to say:
I was excited to drive a new car with a 400hp rating. It definitely took off at a high rate of speed but the 4 wheel drive kept the wheels from spinning like most rear wheeled drive cars would. I think you could sip a drink at full acceleration with this car. Getting backed up in highway traffic and deciding to google maps our way around it I used the full acceleration to merge onto the off-ramp to another highway was no problem. Driving over notorious hwy 17 was very comfortable even in the tight turns with the fast traffic. Watching one lane slow down for no reason as happens on 17, the blind area alert allowed confident lane changes. The blind area is rather large in this car, so if I purchased, the sonar is a necessity. The was great for backing up in a neighborhood full of kids. Again backing up in this car with out the camera would be difficult.Sadly, our insurance did not total my husband's car. (Although, they're replacing part of the frame, so it better be perfect or we won't accept it.) When we are in the market for another car the Lincoln MKT will be on our short list. It made a busy, crazy weekend much more fun and comfortable. Imagine what it could do if we had it all the time?
There is less room then a minivan but has plenty of room and is a much more fun and confident ride.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
So this week I found this new one here which is linked via the title.
I made some changes, noted below:
Next time I'm going to try adding Cumin I think or yellow curry. We served this over white rice. Kid's raved about it.
Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 6 to 8 hours (LOW) or 3 to 4 hours (HIGH)
Yield: 6 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (used boneless, whole ones)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (bought the precut ones from Trader Joe's)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (used fingerling's, not cut up)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch slices (used baby ones, not cut up)
1 can (28 ounces) whole stewed tomatoes (used cut up, not stewed, what I had)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds (omitted, I was out)
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (was out, so I used Allspice)
1 cup nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth (all out, used tomato can w/chicken juice & water)
1⁄4 cup fresh basil, chopped (used dried & probably about 2 Tbsp)
- Combine the chicken, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, salt, paprika, celery seeds, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and broth in the 4 1⁄2-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker.
- Cover; cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
You may double all the ingredients when using a 5, 6 or 7-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker.
This light stew has an Indian influence and offers excellent flavor without the fat.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
These pix actually makes it look good. Little (aka--Little Miss Accident Prone) got a fight w/a chair and lost. Friday night at Big's soccer practice Little & a buddy were picking flowers & collecting them on my beach chair. (I was standing watching practice at his point.) All the sudden, Little trips (over her own feet I guess?) and falls. If she had been a few inches back or anywhere else on the field she would've fallen & it would have been no big deal. But she had the perfect storm where she cracked her eye/head on the edge of the chair. We've been in recovery mode ever since. Truth is she's been fine. I've been on edge.
Friday we didn't do anything to it. Got it to stop bleeding (mostly), but she wouldn't really let us do much to it, including cleaning & ice. Soccer team goes out to dinner after Friday practice, and since our girls are deprived when it comes to eating out she was absolutely game for that! While we had to dab it a little, (still bleeding a bit) she seemed fine, played w/the kids & happily ate her dinner. We figured we'd let it go & depending on how it was looking in the morning we'd take her to the doctor.
We were also supposed to head to the beach house for the weekend in the morning. When she got up, it wasn't looking stellar. Now I know, often these things look worse for a couple days while they're healing. But the big thing was that the edges of where the split was weren't meeting up and it was still weeping quite a bit. So off to the doctor we went. Luckily, our pediatrician's office has Saturday morning hours. I called & they said bring her in, and her doctor was the one who was working. So first things first, they looked at it & felt they needed to clean it to decide if it needed stitches (or more likely glue), so had to wait for a nurse. Nurse came in & brought Little some dayglo bracelets. So Miss Happy laid there & let the nurse have at her eye w/nary a peep. Nurse was amazed at how chill she was, so I told her Little's stitches story. Not sure she totally believed me, but she didn't completely doubt me either, considering how calm she was now.
Let me preface this part by saying that usually blood & guts stuff does NOT bother me. I was in a science magnet high school & our senior year physiology class was all lab practicals on animals AND we got to go to UCSF and take cadavers apart. (Didn't continue in this area b/c I couldn't hack the upper level math. Well wasn't motivated to at least.)So the nurse is cleaning and when she gets to the where the actual split is, she pulls it apart to clean it better, and umm, gross! My stomach flipped acouple times. Seriously, I'm pretty sure I turned green. You know the slot that opens for your eye to see thru? Well, Little's is a bit longer right now. Ugg! I'm still recovering from it. Like I said, Little was fine, mom needed some help. After being cleaned the doctor came back to check it, and decided it was "borderline" glue. But didn't want to be the one to make the decision for sure, so she called in another doctor, who did the same thing. Finally, we had a little party, w/all 4 doctors working that day, a nurse, me & Little. Seems none of the doctors wanted to be the one to make the final call. Learned that day that it takes 4 doctors to decide NOT to do anything.
They did put suture bandages on it to hold the skin together. Then the told us to keep in clean & out of the sun (there goes the beach!) Little managed to pull the bandages off about 2 hours later. Of course. Daddy put a Barbie bandaid on it, and that stayed put (so there doctors!). It'll be a week tomorrow and if you're looking you can see her eye is still swollen, and there's scab, but nothing huge. Kids heal fast.
My emotional scars will take much longer and require many more margaritas I'm sure.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
for pre-K through grade 6 suggests questions students think about during the speech, such as "What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do?"
Conservatives are all a dither over him "speaking directly to our children" and "brainwashing them."
My understanding is that basically President Obama is going to talk about how important education is, and why kids need to stay in school. So knowing that,
Seriously folks? You really think President Obama is going to "brainwash" your children about what? Healthcare? The War in Iraq? Going to college? The humanity! Your kids might actually be inspired to do well in school & get a higher education!
I can't imagine what you think he's going to say to our kids that will suddenly turn them into flaming liberals. I actually had to look up the article to find out what the fuss was about. I thought for sure he must be talking about some controversial topic. I believe the "talking points" are basically to help make sure the kids are paying attention. It's no big secret that the kids like to screw around in class when the TV goes on. I'm pretty sure there isn't any indoctrination into "liberal" politics that will take place. It's noted in the news article, that Reagan, and George H. Bush both addressed students when in office. Which means!?! that I was addressed when in school. And guess what?? I'm an Obama girl. Obviously, it didn't hurt me. I turned out OK, or at least more or less the same. I wasn't a fan of President Reagan when in office (I actually didn't speak to my dad for a week after voting for him the second time) and I wasn't a fan of him after he (Reagan) spoke to me and my peers either. Actually, I don't remember it, so there you go.
As a parent, part of my job is to teach my children what I think is right and wrong. If you don't agree with the President's policies it's your job to teach your children what you do believe and why. While I don't think our President is going to say anything that will need refuting on any level, I think it's good for our kids to get different views on different topics. It helps them develop into critical thinkers. You know, well rounded individuals who can take in multiple viewpoints on topics and then develop a well thought out opinion. I'm crazy like that, wanting my kids to grow up to be smart and all.
I think our kids are all going to be OK.
Can I just say that I know several of you are "conservative". I hope this doesn't offend you and prevent you from coming back to read more (since I don't usually get on my big ol' political soapbox anyway). Most of my family is very conservative, thus my sarcastic tone. ;) Here's the thing, I'm topic by topic and when you add it all up I usually come out on the side of: Common Sense. If you don't like what I had to say, tell me (respectfully). And we can agree to disagree, just so long as we can all go get Starbucks later, okay?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
No, we did not get a new car (yet). In a weird quirk of fate, I was offered the opportunity to test drive the Lincoln MKT for several days. It just worked out that we were able to take advantage right after our other car went into the shop. Still waiting to hear about the other car BTW. (Current fix it cost is $12K & potentially rising, Insurance is reviewing at this point to determine if it will be fixed or scrapped.) I'm actually pretty excited about it. I don't know what I expected (Towncar) but it was not this, that's for sure. The girls, especially Little, are beyond the moon over it. Got to do a little driving in it this afternoon, but will be minus the girls tomorrow for part of the day when I can really play with it.
All I need now are my gold rimz & rhinestone grill & I'll be chill!
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The Ohio Supreme Court just upheld a case in which a woman was terminated for taking unscheduled breaks from work to pump. Umm, which century are we in here folks?
I guess my question to the Supreme Court of Ohio is, "Would you have found the same result if the person was taking these breaks for going to the bathroom?" "What if this person had a medical reason/need to take more than the average person? (Like a small bladder?) My guess is that it wouldn't have made it to the Supreme Court, but that a medical reason would deem that a resulting termination was discrimination of a person's handicap and would be deemed illegal. (In this case, a small bladder.) They also determined that it wasn't gender or pregnancy discrimination because the woman had continued to "choose" to BF 5 months postpartum and after a period of time, lactation is a condition of breastfeeding not pregnancy. Really???? How many men do you know who lactate? It just doesn't make sense. I want to throttle these people. Seriously. The stupidity behind this ruling floors me.
I BF both my kids. My second child had all kinds of health problems and couldn't eat anything, BUT breast milk. AND as a lactating mother, I didn't have leakage issues, which are bad enough, but I had engorgement issues. Engorgement is painful and can cause mastitis which is awful at best. Honestly, I'm currently wishing a flaming case of mastitis on each of the justices right now. If you start to become engorged & don't pump to relieve it you can cause all kinds of additional health issues.
One thing for sure, I will NOT be purchasing products from Totes/Isotoner any longer. If you know of any other ways we can help to get this changed and prevent it from becoming law in other states, please let me know. I'm so fired up over this one, I can't tell you. I don't understand how this kind of thinking has made it into this century. I believe my 6 year old could have told you that this ruling was a form of gender/pregnancy discrimination. Of course, my 6 year old was breast fed and we all know those kids are smarter.