Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Family Matters

Remember that show?? "Got any cheeeeese??"

Anyway, here's a little family update:

Yesterday was Eli's ENT visit. Eli started whimpering as soon as we got to the red light on 10th street. I admit, I'm envious of those children you see who don't bat an eye at going to the Dr. Both of my kids start crying the moment we turn into the parking deck!! They get it from me. No, I don't actually cry when I have to go. But I want to! The Hubs had to keep Eli outside the waiting room because he was screaming most of the time. The poor little guy has just had to go so much that he hates it. So, we saw Dr. B and learned a lot about the little ear and why children get more infections than adults. He checked Eli's ear and they weren't well, although he just finished antibiotics Friday. We discussed the antibiotics he'd been given, the strongest for the past two infections. And we also talked about his horrible sleeping habits and that the started shortly before he got the first infection. Dr B said that the sleep issues were definitely a marker for problems and it was good that we could identify that he was better on antibiotics and worse before and shortly after antibiotics. Many parents don't know that their child has an ear infection because many children don't have the discomfort. Well, Eli does and he wants everyone else to know to! The Hubs and I had already discussed tubes and were ready to go ahead with them. Dr. B left the decision up to us but was kind of nudging in that direction as well since we had already used the strongest antibiotic twice coupled with the sleep and discomfort we'd had for such a long period of time. I think that if Eli had not had such a LONG stint of sleep problems (and by long I mean MONTHS) and discomfort, I might have just said let's wait. But if that were the case, we'd probably not been in the ENT office anyway! I am a low/no intervention if at all possible. I don't give tylenol/ibuprofen for fevers unless it's accompanied by pain! God designed our bodies perfectly and fevers are meant to fight infection.. we don't run to the Dr for every sniffle.. or even a fever... (but that's a different post!). For a child, a few ear infections a year is normal but it becomes a problem when the antibiotics aren't clearing them up and the child is in pain for long periods of time (and the entire family, minus Luke, is suffering with them). I just know this is the answer for Eli. So, Friday morning we'll be going in for surgery. I'm nervous about him being put to sleep but I know he will be fine!

In completely different news, we have two new fish! Some of you know that Larry the fish passed away Monday evening. Last night after the Hubs got out of class we decided to go eat dinner at Cracker Barrel (yay, gift cards!) and then stop by PetShop and pick up a new Larry. Luke didn't know what had happened yet. So, we had dinner and then on the way over to the pet store, we explained that Larry had gotten sick and we had to get rid of him. Luke didn't really understand what we were saying so I said, "Luke, Larry died. " So, then we got a lot of questions like, "Did he just get smaller and smaller and disappear?" "Did he stop moving?" So, I attempted to explain that Larry wasn't alive. Then he just busted into tears! After being told he was going to get a new fish, he said, "But I want Larry!!" Bless him! He cried all the way up to the doors of Pet Smart. Once he saw all the fish tanks, though, it was like, "Larry who?" So, he picked out a spotted goldfish and Eli got a white goldfish. As we were checking out and getting in the car Luke kept saying, "I wanted to get two fish and Eli have one. I wanted to get three fish, two for me and one for Eli." over and over. We explained that, that wasn't fair and that they each got one fish. Then after more complaining we threatened to take Luke's fish back. Finally, the Hubs said, "Luke, I promise if you say one more thing about wanting two fish, I will turn around and take yours back." The rest of the ride home Luke was quiet about everything and we decided on names. Luke's fish is named Elmo and Eli's is Dorothy. Now, here is the funniest part. When we pulled in the driveway, Luke asked where the fish were. I told him that I had them and was going to bring them in the house. I looked over at him and he already had his little hand holding up three fingers and he said, "But I wanted three...." and I stopped him. I said, "Luke, you better think about what you're saying and remember what Daddy said." So, he stopped and Hubs got him out of the car. A few seconds later as we were all walking in the door, Luke said, "I was going to say, 'I wanted three peanuts.' " Hahaha! Yeah, sure. Quick thinking.

As for me and the Hubs. We're good. The Hubs is doing great in school. All A's! I am so proud of him! If you read much here you know that I'm attempting to lose weight! I'm also reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I'm working on a post on what I've read so far. I'm also reading through the Bible in a year. I started about 2 weeks late from the usual Jan 1st start but that's just me. I'm in Exodus right now. After reading about the making of the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle and everything in it, I'm just amazed. Then, learning about the blood, food and incense sacrifices just makes me stand in wonder and awe at the sacrifice of Christ. He was the ultimate sacrifice. It all points to Him. I pray every day that He changes me! I don't want to look back and be the same person I am now. Complacency has no part in the life of a Christian!

Ok, this is long enough! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 2/22 & Update

Here's my menu for the next two weeks (update and news at the bottom):

Broccoli and Cheese Soup, Homemade Bread

Spaghetti with meatballs, Salad

BBQ Pork Chops, Corn on the Cobb, Green Beans

Chicken and White Bean Soup, Corn Bread (still working on that corn bread recipe)

Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken, Peas, Mashed Potatoes

Whole Wheat Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Orange Slices


Chicken Pot Pie

Loaded Baked Potatoes (sour cream, cheese, bacon), Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower

As far as my weight loss is going... I gained! I gained about 1.5 pounds. The V'day candy got the best of me. I probably would not have gained if I would have actually exercised but I only got in one day of the Shred last week. So, I didn't do so hot in either departments. It's a new week though and I plan on staying away from sweets and attempting to do lots of exercising. I am still determined as ever to get this weight off! By the way, Grandparents, no candy allowed at Easter. Ok, one piece per child. No extra!! I just don't have the will power!

I'm trying a 'lighter' Chicken Pot Pie this time that I found in the newest Parents magazine. The Broccoli and Cheese Soup is a new recipe too and only 140 calories per serving! I'll let you know how they both turn out! Check out for more menu's and recipes.

In other quick news Eli goes to see the ENT Tuesday afternoon. Please be praying that whatever the Dr suggests is exactly what he needs. Eli finished his round of antibiotics Friday and we had a HORRIBLE night last night. So bad, he and I didn't make it to church. I can only assume it was ear pain considering he slept great while on the antibiotics, but I guess you never know. I'm praying for a restful night for all of us. I am exhausted.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, February 18, 2010


While shopping in the produce section the other day after a few moments of silence:

Luke: "God has everything in His hands, Mommy!"

Me: "Yes, He sure does!"

Luke: "But what if He drops it??"

Luke burned his hand Tuesday on a hot pan while helping me make grilled cheese. His little pinky got it the worse and it blistered or 'has a bubble on it' as Luke says. Well, Luke hates the bubble. I think it freaks him out and so he obsesses over it (wonder who he gets that from??). So last night, after dinner, he was worried about taking the band aid off to get in the bath because he would have to look at it. I kept telling him not to worry about it and to just not look at it! A few minutes later he came back to the kitchen and said,

"God's going to help me not look at it. I just prayed and asked Him."

Bless his little heart!

Just today these conversations happened:

Luke: "Mommy, I'm going to cut your hair." (goes and gets his tool set which also doubles as a scissors, brushes and clippers)

Me: "Ok, sounds good."

Luke: "Don't worry Mommy, I won't use the hammer."

Eli decided not to take a nap today and I didn't get a shower this morning. So, I asked the boys after their afternoon snack if they could be good while I hopped in the shower.

Luke: "Nope, I don't think so. Watch."

He goes over and pushes Eli in the floor.

It was so hard not to laugh. At least he was honest. And no, I didn't get a shower.

Oh and Eli has a new phrase:

"Oh, meh!" (Oh, Man!)


Monday, February 15, 2010

Weigh Day

As I told you last Monday, I changed my weigh day to Friday. So, after a week of NO exercising I figured at best I would have not gained or lost anything. But to my surprise I lost another pound. That makes 8 pounds total. So, since I didn't weigh last week I lost about a pound in 2 weeks. I'm okay with that since I had some cheats last weekend. I must confess to you though that I actually weigh about 6 pounds heavier than I thought originally. When I went to the Dr last Friday evening and got on the scales my heart sank! It said I was 8 lbs heavier than what I had weighed the week before!! I knew that was not right! I knew I hadn't gained that much (I hadn't even eaten anything off my diet yet!). So the only thing I could think of was my scales are off. So, when I came home I weighed on my own scales and sure enough there was about a 7-8 lb difference than the Dr's office. Giving that it was around 6:00pm when I weighed and you typically weigh more in the evening, I decided that I'd say that my scales are about 6 lbs off. This of course doesn't change the fact that I've lost 8 lbs already but what is so frustrating about it is that it means I have about 6 more pounds to add to my total weight loss to get to my goal weight. Poo! So the original goal of 30 lbs is now 36! It sure would have been nice for my scales to be off in the other direction! And instead of 22 to go, it's 28. Sigh.

Ok, now to some better news. Food. Here are the reviews for what I tried this week:

CrockPot Beef Stroganoff - I really liked this. I did most everything that the recipe called for except for a few moderation's. I used beef tips instead of cutting a whole roast. I'm not sure if that did anything to the calorie content of the recipe but I did use the same weight of beef. I also used low sodium chicken broth instead of beef and dried parsley instead of fresh. I never have beef broth and just forgot to pick it up at the grocery store. I did add the dried dill but it could be left out if you don't have it. I think adding a little Worcestershire sauce might be good, especially if you leave the dill out. I also added some frozen peas in the last 30 minutes of cooking. The cook time for the recipe was way too long for me. After cooking it on high for about an hour, it only needed about 5-6 hours on low for the meat to be tender (not the 7-8 that the recipe calls for). I also only added about 3/4 cup of sour cream. I was just scooping and stirring and after about 1/2 to 3/4 c I stopped. I think more would have been too much sour cream taste. (And it saves calories!) I served it over a mixture of white egg noodles and wheat egg noodles (ronzoni). I actually liked the wheat egg noodles and will be using those again. They weren't much more expensive (or I wouldn't have bought them!) but were about 40 calories less per serving. I've tried the wheat pasta before and didn't like it and it's usually a lot more expensive than regular. I have tried the smart taste by ronzoni and we like it. I actually used that last night when I made Italian Chicken Pasta.

Speaking of Italian Chicken Pasta... here is a recipe I got from the Publix magazine.. speaking of Publix, I have a hilarious story to tell about something that happened one year on a trip to the beach with my family and the Hubs.. wait where was I? Oh yeah, I still get the Publix magazine sent to my house, even though I can't shop there anymore. *sniff, sniff* It always has some good looking recipes in it. I got this one from there.

Italian Chicken Pasta

8 Chicken Tenders (cooked, 2 per serving)
1 c Mozzarella Cheese, divided (or 8 slices)
2 TBS Parmesan Cheese, divided
Spaghetti Sauce (24 oz jar or homemade- about 3 cups)
Thin Spaghetti, 8 oz

First bake the tenders and make the sauce. Once the tenders are cooked, put two tenders together in a 13x9 pan. Next put 1/4 cup sauce over each set of tenders. Top each set of tenders with 1/8 cup of shredded mozz cheese (or 2 slices of mozz cheese) and 1/2 TBS of Parmesan cheese. Bake tenders at 350 for 7-9 minutes to melt cheese. While chicken is in the oven cook pasta. Mix remaining sauce with spaghetti (heat through if using jarred sauce). Serve chicken over pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Total calories is about 405. I calculated the calories using Tyson Chicken tenders (200 cal for 2 tenders), 1/8 cup mozz cheese and my homemade sauce. That calorie totals includes 1/2 cup of pasta and 1/4 cup of sauce on top. So, if you used mozz slices, different chicken (deli would be higher calories b/c they are fried) and different sauce it would be off. I think if I used sliced mozz, I'd just do one slice. Anyway, it was a good, quick meal. The Hubs really liked it. It's always the simple things that turn out the best, for me anyway! I served it with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

I'm also experimenting with a corn bread recipe. I love corn bread! But I haven't found a 'light' version that I like but I think I've almost got it. Hopefully I'll have it mastered next week and I'll share. And lastly, on my wish list:

Yesterday, the Hubs and I were able to do some shopping. I got a wedding band! Some of you know that I lost my engagement and band months ago. It still upsets me so much. I keep praying they will turn up. Anyway, I've been wanting a plain ol' band to wear since my finger has been naked for months! After Valentine gifts from our parent we were able to go yesterday and buy me a band! I'm so excited to have a ring on that finger now! Anyway, we also went in BooksAMillion for some coffee and just too browse. I saw this book, Cooking Light 350 Calorie Recipe, Hints and Tips, and thought it looked perfect. It has 90 recipes that are 350 calories or less. I've been trying to find it on Amazon but for some reason Amazon is not working for me. I love cook books!

Oik, time to go work off some of this Valentine candy... yes, I did eat some! Any good, healthy recipes that you've tried lately??

Friday, February 12, 2010

February Snow!

Rarely in Alabama do we get enough snow to that amounts to anything. We occasionally get flurries but it rarely 'sticks' and when it does it's typically not more than a dusting. Yesterday was an exception. It started snowing yesterday morning and snowed until well in evening. I think we probably got around 2 inches. I must be honest and say that I'm not a huge fan of snow. I love the way it looks. It's beautiful when it's a freshly fallen, white blanket of snow. A true masterpiece from the Maker. But it's cold! So, I'm kind of glad that when it does snow around here, it doesn't last long. One other thing that I do love about the snow is how excited my boys get:

These above were taken earlier yesterday when the snow was just starting to dust the ground. Here is one of Luke from a few hours later:

The Hubs and Luke made a snowman while they were out:

And after all of that snow playing, it was time for the perfect snack.. hot chocolate?? Nope, chocolate ice cream!

And this morning there is still plenty of snow on the ground! So, after our breakfast of waffles and scrambled eggs, I know two little boys who will be out playing until it all melts away! Happy snow days!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Number Four

Ear infection number four! As I said the last time I was complaining about Eli's sleep, it was because of his ears. After that last infection we had about a week of decent sleep and then it was back to terrible sleeping. I was thisclose to bringing him back to the Dr last week because we had some really bad nights. But I didn't want to be the over-reacting mother who brings her son in when he's not sleeping well to find out it's just teething (remember he's still getting molars in, not to mention more teeth on the bottom too). So, we just dealt with the night wakings and the crying and the kicking the Hubs to the couch because Eli absolutely would not let me put him down in his bed. Well, Tuesday night Eli started running a fever and had no other symptoms other than a little runny nose. I just knew it was his ears. So off to the Dr we went yesterday. And sure enough, his ears were infected. They weren't as bad as last time (which was just a month ago) but they were definitely not healthy ears. That makes ear infection number four.. in only a little over five months. My poor little guy had to get another shot and round of antibiotics. Now the next step it going to see the ENT. We've been referred and will be going to the on Feb 23.

The more the Hubs and I talked about Eli's sleep issues, the more we started to realize that his bad sleep started when he had his first ear infection, which was around the first of September. Since then his sleep has been horrible and since then he has had three more ear infections. Yes, there have been days, even sequence of days that he has slept all night but it has been few and far between. It just makes sense to tie the two together. I'm praying that's it anyway.

I don't think the fact that I'm still nursing him is keeping him up. I'm just stating that because I know there may be those out there who think that's part of the problem. It just doesn't go with everything else. Like I said before, after the last ear infection, we had a week of good sleep. 5 nights out of that week he slept all night long. I felt GREAT! Then everything went down hill. And here we are, 3 weeks later with another ear infection. So, it just makes sense that he gets up when he doesn't feel well. And after last night, which was a doozy, I know he is comforted by nursing when he is in pain. And although it completely wears me out and even frustrates me, I was glad to be able to comfort him. He would cry, then as soon as he started to nurse he'd stop and relax. Then he'd roll over to fall asleep and he'd start crying again. Then we'd do that over and over until the pain medicine kicked in.

You see, I am exhausted. I am weary. I am so ready for this little boy to sleep all night long without waking and crying. I honestly feel like my life has been on hold since his sleeping took a turn for the worse. I often don't get up before the boys in the morning because I am so tired from the night before. That leads me to walking around in my PJ's until after lunch when Eli takes a nap. And I HATE that. I often feel like I'm in a fog. I feel totally unmotivated most days because I am just tired. I'm ready for my husband to know he's actually going to get to sleep in our bed all night. He usually ends up sleeping on the couch 2-3 nights a week. On the nights when I can't get Eli back to sleep within an hour to an hour and a half, I usually just bring him to bed with me. Then I have to nurse Eli back to sleep in the bed.. and we do that all night long as he wakes up. And although many people find it easy to sleep in the bed with a child, I get very little sleep when Eli's in our bed. And I know the Hubs doesn't sleep well on the couch. The nights that Eli actually stays in the bed are the nights that I tough it out and rock him to sleep. Many times for over an hour. And he always gets up at least twice. I think sometimes broken sleep is worse than a small block of sleep. I'd rather get 5 hours of solid sleep than five hours of broken sleep.

I have begged God to help us with these problems... ears and sleep. And while I know it's not life or death, it is really beginning to put a strain on our lives. I'm praying that this visit to the ENT and the possibility of tubes will be our answer. To those of you who have read this far, thanks for listening to me whine and complain. I love my boys with all my heart! I am so thankful for them and every single minute, good and bad, I have with them. I just want my little boy to be healthy and I want to feel better so that I can do the job that God has called me!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan ~ 2/8/10

This week I'm trying some of the Cooking Light recipes that I posted on my last menu. I'll let you know how they turn out. The menu's I'm posting now are for 2 weeks worth of dinners. I've found it easier on the budget if I shop one big trip every two weeks and make one smaller trip for produce/bread/milk the next. So, it's just easier for me to post my menu's every two weeks. Below I'll give you an update on how the eating/exercising is going.

Turkey Dogs, Baked Beans, Potatoes and Onions

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff, Steamed Broccoli

Beef and Bean Burritos, Mexican Rice

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup, Mexican Corn Bread

Sloppy Joes, Corn on the Cobb, Green Beans

Italian Chicken over Pasta, Salad

Roast w/ Peas, Carrots and Potatoes, Corn Bread (moved over from last week)

BBQ Chicken Pizza, Cucumber Salad, Carrots w/ Dip

Sandwiches/leftovers/dinner with parents for the other nights.

I typically weigh on Sunday mornings but the more I thought about it the more I realized this was the worst day to weigh!! So, I'm changing my weigh day to Friday. That way if I choose to have a cheat meal on the weekend I can work extra hard that week to make up for it!

Last Sunday (1/31), I was down 3 more pounds, which makes 7 lbs total. And last week I did really well with my eating and exercising up until Friday! Thursday morning I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold.. well, my colds are never just colds. I went ahead and did my 3 mile WATP (Walk Away the Pounds) DVD.. well, it was cut short by about 5 minutes because the glass mirror on Eli's door FELL ON TOP OF HIM AND BROKE (He's okay). Yes, that is a story for later. Note to all parents: never put or leave (in our case the mirror was already on the door when we moved in and we didn't think anything about it) a glass mirror on a door. Anyway, by Thursday night I could not breath out of the right side of my nose. Friday morning I was a mess and totally stopped up. I went to the Dr Friday afternoon and got some meds but even today I'm still not feeling all that great. I can breath but I'm still really congested in my head. It just takes me a while to get over sinus infection. When I get them, I get them bad! It's totally annoying when someone tells me that they just got back from the Dr with a sinus infection and they don't even sound sick... because I am always so stopped up that it sounds like I've got erasers stuck up my nose... for days! And my appearance is lovely.. my nose gets red and peels from all the blowing.. my eyes are watery... even when I start to feel better it takes a while for me to look better. So, needless to say that exercise has been a no go. And although being sick is not an excuse to eat whatever you want, I did make a few unhealthy choices this weekend: pizza on Friday night (my in laws watched the boys so Hub's could come with me to the Dr and they picked up pizza! Thank YOU!)... although I only had two slices of cheese pizza and I did not eat the crust! And then Saturday my parents watched the boys for me (Thank you, too!) and the Hubs so we could grocery shop and nap! I definitely needed that. Saturday was actually suppose to be a date day for us but we opted to save that Olive Garden gift card for another time when I actually feel like going! So, after we dropped the kids off we had Arby's. Fast food. But it was good. Ha! I think the best thing to do after something like that is to just realize that it's okay. It's not the end of the world.. or the end of weight loss. The worse thing to do is to allow something like that lead you into a crazy 'bad' food binge. And I've been there. I know.

Anyway, enough about that. I didn't weigh Sunday and I don't plan on weighing again until Friday. So, I'll let you know when I get there! I'm hoping tomorrow I'll feel up to some exercise. I'm planning on keeping my calorie eating around 17-1800 calories a day for a week or two more and then I'm going to try to cut it back. I read an article by Jillian Michael's saying that it's better to decrease your calorie intake slowly so you're not putting your body in shock. At my starting weight I was eating 2,000+ calories a day (I know, so bad!). So, I dropped it down about 2-300 calories (plus what I burn exercising). In a week or so I'll probably drop it down to around 15-1600 calories and keep it there. Keeping it at this range plus subtracting my calories burned by exercising should equal out to help me continue to lose at a healthy pace... as long as I don't keep eating Arby's!!

I think many people cut their calories way down and then add lots of exercise and their body goes into shock.. then they end up feeling so worn down and starved that they fail. Either that or they don't cut back enough or don't exercise enough. I think often people don't realize how many calories is actually in what they are eating too. It's an eye opener to actually track your calories for a few days!

BTW, the Michelina's Flatbread Chicken Club was so-so. I probably won't buy it again. I did try another one today, pasta with cheese and marinara sauce. It was pretty good. It had a coupon in it and they are still on sale for $1, so Ill probably be trying a few different ones out.

Sorry these posts are so long. I'm trying to at least keep up with blogging about my 'diet' so that I can stay accountable. I plan on posting my (hopeful) weight loss every Monday with my menu. Hopefully this week I will be able to do some more blogging.. not about food!

Visit Orgjunkie to view more menus and recipes.