Monday, December 20, 2010

Carpe Dentum!

Remember that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where her teeth fall into the glass and she uses the utensils to get them out? That's all I could think of today while I was at the dentist.

I didn't sleep much last night because I was freaking out so much. I got up a little before 5 this morning and made some tea, chopped an apple, dished out some cottage cheese, and ate a hard boiled egg. On the way to the dentist, I ate the apple. I knew it would be my last for a while. It took a little over an hour to get there. Even though I was there before they opened, the place was packed (it's a walk-on place). It was mostly old people. However, I was brought back quickly for an x ray, reseated, then brought back again to see the dentist. They went over what I wanted, took impressions, reviewed the costs, what to expect, blah blah blah. I paid at the front desk then waited in the even more packed waiting room for a little longer. Then it was go time - all 4 wisdom teeth and four in the lower front. So no need for any upper partial, cutting the cost quite a bit!

They numbed my gums with some sort of paste. I put my headphones in (My Chemical Romance is my medical procedure music, in case I do die, the Black Parade can escort me to wherever I belong) and the dentists got to work. Or, I thought they did. There was an awful lot of digging and pinching and pain and pressure. After that, I had to sit there, and lo and behold, my teeth hadn't even been removed yet!! I did get a terrible, terrible headache though. There's nothing like a numb lower face and the top of your head ready to explode. But then the dentists came in and removed the teeth and I will never confuse extraction prep and the actual extraction ever again! The uppers came out fairly easily but the lower wisdom teeth had curved roots and they were a bitch. I could hear the cracking over my music. I started shaking and crying, because I was past the point of no return, then they were done. They packed my mouth with gauze and gave me instructions. I asked about my front teeth, and the assistant said they don't remove those. What? All that and the biggest problem I had isn't even taken care of? Fortunately, it was a misunderstanding - I did have a mouthful, after all, but one would think dentists understand gauze-speak. They did remove the four in the front on the bottom and I never even noticed. They gave me an ice pack and it had a hole in it so my white Hooters shirt and new school sweatshirt got dirty.

So now I had 3 hours to kill and nowhere to really go. I couldn't go sit at Burger King or Hardees with my mouth all fucked up the way it was. I didn't want to drive an hour home and an hour back. So I sat in my car and read on my Kindle, turning the car on every so often for heat. I got up the courage to look at my mouth. It looked weird. Bloody and swollen and like a 2nd grader. I did take pictures but I don't think I will be sharing them any time soon.

Finally, the time came for me to go back and get my partial denture. It was a lot bulkier than I was expecting. It's made out of acrylic, but I hope to upgrade to the new flexible material when my gums heal and they give my my "real" denture. As soon as the technician put it in my mouth, I felt like I was going to pass out. I wasn't in any pain, but the foreignness of it overwhelmed me. The technician made some adjustments to the denture and the swelling was pretty significant and the partial doesn't sit perfectly on the gums just yet. That will take time, and I just have to get used to this being there. After a few minutes of lying back with my eyes closed, I felt better and figured I probably needed to eat. The dentist wasn't really comfortable with letting me drive home myself but I assured him I'd be okay. I ate the cottage cheese I brought and I really did feel better. I drove back to the beach, got my prescription filled, and came home. 

Once at home, I was getting that icky, gunky stuff one gets when a tooth is extracted and while I was trying to fish it out from the wisdom tooth site, I dislodged my partial. While trying to put that back in, I pushed that gunky crap from my gums right down my throat. Repeat on the other side, but fortunately I was able to wipe my gums off. It was incredibly difficult to hold down the denture and try to get my fingers & paper towel back far enough to clean that icky thing off. I can't really maneuver my tongue around just yet. I can't brush my teeth tonight. I can't drink anything really hot, or anything carbonated. I can't take out my denture or rinse my mouth or drink from a straw. None of that until 1 PM tomorrow. I can eat, but it's a challenge. Again, not because of pain, but because it's different. I'm have been working on this little bowl of oatmeal since before I started writing this post, and I'm only halfway through with the dish.

I am done with this post though. I hope to adjust to this quickly. I miss my food.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The feeling of impending doom.

I am pretty used to feeling like the world is going to end, with death constantly on my mind, for no real reason at all. I get into these moods where all I think about is mortality - my own and my family. And it's depressing as hell. I usually come out of the funk after a few days. It's been a long time since I've felt that. There usually is no trigger. It just happens, then goes away.

But today (Sunday), I'm freaking out. I'm going to get 13 teeth extracted tomorrow, and I'm getting partial dentures. This has been a long time coming. I've always had this crazy fear of my teeth just falling out, like dreams of being able to just spit them out of my mouth. That's not happening, but I do need these suckers pulled. I've lost fillings and my gums have receded since I got pregnant 7 years ago. It's like I woke up one morning and things were a mess.

For the last year, I've been considering the work. Going to the dentist for work on one issue at a time would be way too expensive and time consuming, so I've opted to just get them ripped out. I was going to get full dentures but I decided that I'd be better off with partials because a lot of my teeth, though stained from coffee, cigarettes and antibiotics, are in decent shape. Once I made the decision and set a date, I felt better.

But on the eve of my dental work, I feel sick. I literally feel like I am going to die tomorrow. I don't even remember being this scared and nervous when I got my tubes tied last year. And that was pretty scary because when I woke up after the surgery, I was fighting like crazy to stay awake, like I'd die if I fell back asleep. I feel like tomorrow is going to be some sort of death.

I'm sure the psychologist in you is quick to point out that, like death, it's a transformation. I get that, really, and I know that's all it really is. But I'm still scared shitless. I'm an open person and I've admitted to a lot of things that would make people think less of me. I know I don't have to put this all out there, but it's who I am. On the one hand, I need the support (as much as I hate to admit needing anything or anyone!) but on the other, I worry about how people will view me because of my teeth. They are pretty bad right now, and a lot my issues with them will go away with the partials. I'm sure I'll have more self confidence and I'll be better off.

But right now, I am terrified. Even with all the research I've done, I don't know what to expect. I don't know how much pain I will be in. I don't know how I'm going to stay on Weight Watchers AND travel AND eat soft foods. I purposely decided to do this just before Christmas in the hope that I would not eat so much garbage. Plus, it was the only chance I'd have to do it until the end of April, and I really think I'm better off doing it now. Life is really good, despite my insecurities about my teeth. I want to get out and do more - get a second job, do more at the school and the PTA. I want to get my Turbo Kick certification and have the confidence to be in front of a class to teach it. There's just so much I want the self-esteem to do, especially now that I am no longer overweight. I'm happy for the first time in I can't remember how long.

But I'm still a wreck and I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. And I realize this post probably makes no sense. That's how messed up my head is - I'm barely coherent and I can't concentrate.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's a long, boring drive to Raleigh.

On the 24 I'm going to Rolley. I don't know what I'm doing there! My mom kept it a secrite. 

Sebastian wrote that in his writing journal at school a few weeks ago. I told him at the beginning of the month that we were going somewhere fun when Thanksgiving vacation started. I wouldn't give him any hints at first. Then I told him we were going to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to see the Grossology Exhibit. Once I explained that "grossology" was farts and burps and poop, he was excited.

I also planned to take him somewhere else, but I didn't plan on telling him until we arrived - the Lego Store at the Crabtree Valley Mall. Sam and I decided that we'd take all of Sebastian's change to the bank and let him spend it at the Lego store.

There are pennies in that pumpkin bucket. When we took it to the credit union and dumped it into the change machine, Sebastian walked away $533 richer. He was allowed to spend all but $100, which he is going to spend on a toy drive or angel tree.

So the day finally came and we made the 3.5 hour drive west. Sebastian was so good the whole way. He only asked if we were there yet twenty times. We never stopped, until we got to the parking lot near the museum. Sebastian's behavior was stellar! I was so proud of him. And he had a good time. He showed lots of interest in the exhibits, he told me 50 million times that this or that was awesome, and it was a wonderful 2 hours with him.

I, of course, loved the place. It wasn't as good as the Science Museum of Minnesota, which I went to in 2002, but it was pretty darn good. I'm more of a space & anatomy kind of "scientist" rather than naturalist but there were dinosaurs

and gross things

and I'm kicking myself that I didn't get a picture of the walking sticks because those things creep me out. And now they are going to creep you out, too, because I Googled an image just for you!

The ones at the museum were "leafier" and way more disgusting!

Speaking of disgusting, I bought my step-daughter Brandy a chocolate bar. I hope she doesn't mind the giant moth larvae in it!! I'll post a picture next month, after she opens it.

After gross things (including the Grossology Exhibit), we went to lunch in the museum cafe. It was surprisingly affordable and I was a good girl and just got garden vegetable soup instead of food I really wanted to eat. Being good is so boring!

Finally, it was time to go to the "special" place. It was just down the road from the museum, fortunately. Parking was a nightmare but I finally managed. Then we walked in the wrong end of the mall and I had to hunt down a directory, walk all the way to the very end and go down the escalator. While we were stepping on to the escalator, I saw the store. Sebastian did not. I tried to keep him distracted long enough to get down there and closer to it. That worked great and we were practically right in front of the entrance when he saw it.

"Oh, a Lego store. Can we go in there?" he asked in the calmest of voices.

Not what I was expecting! I told him that the plan was to go there all along and he showed some mild excitement. When we actually got into the incredibly packed with rowdy kids, teeny-tiny store and he saw that it was wall-to-wall Lego sets, he did his cheer/jump/woohoo, then raced around looking at everything. He immediately picked out a big set. I told him he still had money and could pick out another. So he did. And he was shocked that he still had money. So he kept picking. In less than 20 minutes, we walked out of there with 10 Lego sets and $417 less than we'd gone in with.

No, he did not carry those bags. Remember how we entered the mall at the wrong end? Mommy got strength training and cardio that day.

Poor kid fell asleep on the way home, holding one of his sets. Look at that improper car seat restraint!

This picture reminds me a lot of the time the bread man let Sam have the close-to-expiration bread from his truck.

Needless to say, he is not getting Legos for Christmas. He put the little sets together, and has the biggest Lego City set in his sorting box and partially built. He has the Power Miner set in another sorting box and partially built. The rest are in the spare room, waiting for him to finish his first two. He has to have every set he owns built before we go back to the Lego store, to see if we are missing any pieces, because he spent so much money, he got 4 free boxes to fill with random pieces from the wall when he goes back.

I don't know what else to say about the trip. It was awesome. We were home in time for dinner and iCarly. It was just...awesome. Next year, I will take him to the Science Museum of Virginia. I've been dying to go there for years and I think he will be old enough to have fun. They have IMAX. Nothing beats IMAX.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Halloween Fun!!

Along with my spooky dinners, I had scary plans for the weekend. On Friday night, Sam was gone, so Sebastian and I made popcorn and watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Scared Shrekless. On Saturday,

Saturday night, the three of us went to Manteo to the haunted house at The Lost Colony, Quarantine Island. In years past, we've gone to Trick or Treat Under the Sea at the aquarium, and we've done the Haunted Hayride in Corolla at the Whalehead Club (which they don't seem to be doing this year). This year we went to First Flight Elementary School's main fundraiser, Trick or Treat Night. It was really great! Admission was a $2 (or more) donation per person, plus a canned good. Brilliant idea - NHES should do a food drive. We bought tickets to the haunted house, to sort of test out how Sebastian would handle it. I screamed. He did great, so I stopped worrying about how he would do at The Lost Colony. And he was fantastic! The production put on by the Lost Colony was amazing! I absolutely loved Quarantine Island and we are definitely going again next year. The only "bad" part was when I cut my tongue on a prop. About halfway through, we were in a section that had large rubber things hanging from the ceiling. They were blowing around as part of the production and I opened my mouth for some reason, and it hit me just right. It hurt my teeth a bit and left a good cut on my tongue. It was bleeding enough that I could see blood on my fingers in the semi-dark, and I could really taste it. There are also spots of blood on my sweater where I tried to blot it. But even with that, I loved it, and it was well worth the $30 we paid. Even Sebastian loved it.

Sunday morning, I got up very early to hide Halloween candy & trinkets around the house. When Sebastian woke up, I gave him his plastic pumpkin bucket and told him to start his treasure hunt. He found his loot then we took him to buy a new bike - exercise to burn off all those candy calories. His old bike was too small and it still had the training wheels. He couldn't ride it very well, so we upgraded and got him riding a bit. He did very well for his first sink or swim.

We ended the night in a very bad parent kind of way. We watched Paranormal Entity (Netflix Watch Instantly) and Paranormal Activity (Netflix Watch Instantly). I'm a bit of a ghost hunter freak. I would love to do some real paranormal investigating, not that stuff you see on television. Anyway, Paranormal Entity was stupid, stupid, stupid. Paranormal Activity was much better - the end even creeped me out a bit.

Other Netflix Watch Instantly to get in the mood:
Paranormal: Haunts and Horrors
Paranormal State: Season 1 -- Season 2 -- Season 3 -- Season 4
Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal: Season 1 -- Season 2

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Week Menu

I know I've been a-slacking on my bloggy here, but I've been busy and sick, and lately busy and sick at the same time. I wanted to throw this post up so I could reference it during the week. Last year during the week of Halloween, I did a theme for dinner and it was a huge hit. I'm doing a few of the same recipes & ideas but there are some new things, too. 

Lunches for Sebastian this week - just spooky sandwiches. Those are just sandwiches cut with Halloween cookie cutters. He's so weird about his lunch. He doesn't want to take anything "new" so we stick with peanut butter & jelly/honey/nutella sandwiches, sometimes some mini pizzas on Sandwich Thins or light English muffins. He won't take leftovers. Turd. 

Speaking of turds, I am still on the lookout for a good cookie recipe that can be made to look like dog shit. Sam said he'd eat it.

Monday's dinner is vegetarian chill-ee with blue moon corn muffins. I'm just using my favorite easy vegetarian chili recipe.

1/2 c dried black beans
1/2 c dried pinto beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced 
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash cayenne pepper
dash red pepper flakes 
1/2 cup TVP + 1/2 cup water

1. Cook the dried beans according to the directions on the package.

2. In a medium to large soup pot, sautee the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth and chili powder and stir.

3. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Stir occasionally and cook for at least 20 minutes. Add TVP and water 10 minutes before done cooking. Of course, the longer you cook chili the better, but if you're pressed for time, 20 minutes is fine.

4. For a spicier chili, add extra cayenne and red pepper flakes. Makes 6 servings.

Blue Moon Corn Muffins - Okay, I cheated here. There is a recipe for this in 13 Halloween Recipes but it's not Weight Watchers Core friendly. So I made Core'N bread with a little blue food coloring.

Core'N Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat, uncooked
1 cup ff sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup splenda
2 tsp olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup ff milk.

The cornbread bakes in a sprayed 8x8" pan at 400 for 35 minutes. 

On Wednesday - jack-o-lantern sloppy joe pie. I'll be using ground venison instead of turkey sausage.

On Thursday - Halloween Soup.

1 pound black beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoon A-1 Sauce
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 pound carrots, sliced into rounds
cilantro for garnish (optional)

1. Rinse and soak beans for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Drain beans and empty into a large soup pot.
3. Add enough water to cover the beans by 2 to 3 inches.
4. Bring to a boil and then skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
5. Add garlic and onion.
6. Lower heat and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
7. Next, add A-1 Sauce and salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
8. Cook for about 1 hour.
9. Add carrots and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
10. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, before serving.

On Friday - Cannibal Platter

Fingers and Ears:
1 lb. medium-large shrimp, divided
1/4 lb. small peeled shrimp
3 tbsp. salted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

10-12 large sea scallops, rinsed and thoroughly dried
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

1. To make the fingers and ears, divide your pile of medium-large shrimp in half. Use half for fingers, and half for ears.

2. To create the fingers, peel each shrimp, leaving on the tail and the last segment of shell right before the tail. Devein each shrimp, cutting into the shrimp as little as possible to do so. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the tail off of each shrimp, leaving the small shelled end intact. Keeping the shrimp as straight as possible thread each one onto a toothpick or a length of skewer. This will keep them from curling as they cook. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

3. To create the ears, completely peel and devein the other half of your medium-large shrimp. Butterfly them generously to devein. This helps give them their "ear" shape. Tuck a small peeled and deveined shrimp into curve of each larger shrimp. Skewer them both together with a toothpick. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

4. The sea scallop "testicles" are basically ready to go - they require no preparation.

5. To cook your Cannibal platter, melt the butter and olive oil together in a large saute pan. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook over low heat until garlic is very tender, about 15 minutes. Don't let it burn or brown!

6. Add rosemary. Cook 2-3 minutes more.

7. To cook the finger and ear shrimps, salt and pepper them to taste and add them to the pan. You may need to do this in stages. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste and keep warm (if desired - they're also good cold) until ready to serve.

8. To cook the scallop "testicles," mix the flour and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Dredge scallops in flour mixture.

9. In a skillet, heat oil until hot. Cook scallops in oil, turning once, until both sides are brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle lemon over.

10. Arrange your "testicles," "fingers," and "ears," creatively on a platter and pour the sauce for each over top. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired. And don't forget to label each of these gross Halloween foods for maximum gross-out! 

Saturday's dinner is pizza mummies. We're making them with chicken breast & Sandwich Thins instead of pepperoni & English muffins.

Sunday's breakfast will be pumpkin oat pancakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoon wheat germ
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2. Combine milk, egg, pumpkin and oil in separate bowl; stir into dry ingredients just until

3. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot greased griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of

4. Cook until second side is golden brown. Decorate with chocolate chips and raisins if desired.
Yields 10-12 pancakes

And dinner will be vampire-repelling burgers with potato worms. This is just burgers with minced garlic and potatoes cut into worm shapes and baked. 

For beverages, Sebastian loves Blood Juice - a little red Kool Aid mixed with club soda or Sprite/7-Up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tons O' Updates

I was feeling Irish when I wrote my post title!

I've been a busy little beaver, with work and preparing for the school pumpkin fair. Being in charge of commercial sales had me all in a bundle of nerves because it meant I had to make phone calls to all of the businesses that bought from us last year. I don't do phones! The thought of calling someone makes me want to throw up. So when the PTA handed this assignment to me, I went back and forth between dry heaving and assuring myself that I could do it. This past week was crunch time, and I had no time to really stress about it. I had to make those phone calls - 600 kids were depending on me to help raise money. So that is what I did. I sat down one afternoon when we got home from school/work and I pounded out all the phone calls. I wasn't nervous at all. I just did it. I still have to call a few people, but only because they've been unavailable every time I call. I will finish that up tomorrow, then all I have to worry about is the setting up of the actual pumpkin fair, the fair itself, then the delivery of the fall decor. So really, even though most of the long hours and heavy lifting are still ahead of me, the hard part is over. And as soon as all that is over, I get to start on the cookie dough fundraiser. I think that will be easier.

Work is going well. I'm still not officially hired for the position, and still just a sub, but I absolutely love this job, and I've told my manager that I am definitely interested in further training. I think I have finally found something to do with my life. I'm not insanely passionate and knowledgeable about child nutrition, but I am very, very interested and I do think that passion will come. Along similar lines, I'm getting involved in a children's fitness program at the school. They started a Go Far Club, and our first meeting is Tuesday. I have volunteered for that (along with my manager) and we're going to spend 8 weeks training for a 5K. And so this gets me thinking (again!) about getting my Turbo Kick certification, and teaching TK to kids! How fun would that be??!!!

Let's see...what else? My father-in-law came to visit for Labor Day weekend and took us off-shore fishing. I had horrible seasickness. I'd never had a problem on a boat before, but I'd also never been 40 miles from land before. The waves are different out there. The choppy, fast moving stuff didn't bother me. The slower, longer waves did. The only time I didn't want to puke was when I was lying down with my eyes closed. Also, when I was doing actual fishing (which I did!!!), I was okay, but as soon as the excitement of the catch was over, I had to lie down again. Which was a shame because the mate was shirtless and sofa king sexy!!! OMG, no words. It was amusing though - after we got off the boat, my husband made some comments about how he just knew I'd think the mate was hot. Sam even said, as soon as the mate took his shirt off, he knew what would go through my mind. I didn't get to see the shirtless mate until well after he'd taken it off, because I was just trying everything not to hurl on his feet. I did notice that it didn't look like he was wearing underwear though. Ah, the memories.

My 11th wedding anniversary is next weekend. I got a Kindle. I always said I'd never get one, but the new 3rd generation Kindles are so light and thin and cute. I had some Amazon gift cards that I'd earned from SwagBucks, so that helped pay for about half of it. The rest of it was a "gift" from my husband. I first thought about getting it before my father-in-law got here, and at that time, any e-reader would have worked. I just wanted one. I'm so glad there wasn't one available locally. It gave me time to research more and see if I really did want one. Then I couldn't decide whether I wanted a Kindle or a Nook. Most of the ebooks I have are Kindle format (thanks to all the freebies Amazon offers), so I went with that. And of course, they were backordered so I had to wait. It took about 2 weeks from the time I ordered it until it arrived. It would probably have taken another week but I didn't cheap out and sprung for 2-day delivery. I love it. I absolutely love it! I named it Lasher, after the Anne Rice character/book (which gave me nightmares). I can access the Internet and read my blogs and message boards. I can put all of my fitness and nutrition PDFs on there and read whenever I need to. It's very convenient. My first "for fun" reading is the Sookie Stackhouse series. I just finished watching Season 3 of True Blood and OMFG!!!!! I am a total werewolf girl. Total.

Remember how I started monthly menu planning? This week has sucked for following it. I didn't take into consideration the fish we might catch (50 mahi mahi) or the deer Sam would get on opening day (about 30 pounds of meat - all ground). So my freezer is full of those two things and I haven't been able to buy any other meat in preparation for the menus. Hopefully, my October menu will be better executed. I am planning a lot of venison & fish quick or Crock Pot meals because...I'm now a sub for the after school enrichment program. That runs until 6 PM every day, and I never know when I'm going to be called to work. I wouldn't call it "babysitting" but more like facilitating and monitoring the kids in whatever grade level I am working with. They play outside, have a snack, do crafts and other activities, do homework. The best part is, Sebastian gets to go on days I work and play with his friends. I'm not available every day because on Mondays Sebastian has his allergy shots, on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next 8 weeks we're doing to 5K training, and one Wednesday a month, I have Green Team.

Green Team keeps me busy too, and I'm not even a main leader!! Our first meeting was last week, and I wanted to have the kids make scarecrows out of recycled/recyclable materials. I had to do a lot of the prep work before hand, and I still have to put everything together into the final product before mid-week. The scarecrows are going to be decorations for the pumpkin fair. I was a bit nervous before the first meeting because, though I volunteered last year, I wasn't a team leader. This year, I am. 

So basically, I'm all about the elementary school these days. I like the kids (probably because I don't have to deal with them all day) and the teachers and admins are mega-awesome. I'd like to do more in the classroom but my work hours kind of suck for that. Oh, and I'm in charge of making salads! I like that. I don't feel guilty making those. I think it is kind of dumb to have different types of chicken salads three days in a row each week, but no one I work with directly has the power to change that. 

I know I'm probably forgetting something. I love being busy but I feel like I'm doing enough in terms of contributing around the house. Yes, I'm working but it's only part time and I could probably get a full-time job and help out more. I spend a lot of time on the volunteer stuff, which is great, but I feel like some things are already being shoved to the back burner. I'm trying to keep to a schedule for keeping up with the house cleaning and I've been doing weekly To Do lists that has helped out tons. I'm keeping all my stuff organized and accessible. I hope I can stay on top of everything. The new TV season starts tomorrow and there's so much I want to check out but I have a feeling that I just won't have time. I have it on my To Do list to update my DVRs before tomorrow night. That item is not crossed off yet.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Girl Crush of the Month - September

This month I'm crushing on someone who isn't necessarily take-your-breath-away stunning, but she's someone I most definitely love watching. Her name is Laura Phelps-Sweatt. Laura is a personal trainer and power lifter - supposedly the strongest female power lifter in history.

I have no idea WTF is up with her knee there!!

She is really impressive to see in action. Her muscles, especially her legs when she lifts, are incredible. She does seem to cut for bodybuilding competitions, but when she's more in her lifting form, I just love her. I would like to be her.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

15 Albums That Rocked My World

I found this on Babycenter - here are the rules. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Should be Albums that you can play through all the way with no skipping or few skips.

  1. Hysteria - Def Leppard
  2. Skid Row - Skid Row
  3. The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
  4. This Is War - 30 Seconds To Mars
  5. Dark Horse - Nickelback
  6. Thriller - Michael Jackson (or Bad, I can't make up my mind!!)
  7. Greatest Hits Volume 2 - Olivia Newton-John
  8. Measure Of A Man - Clay Aiken
  9. Titanic & Back To Titanic (Soundtracks) - James Horner
  10. Greatest Hits Volume 2 - Styx
  11. Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich - Warrant
  12. Bat Out Of Hell - Meat Loaf
  13. Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz - Pretty Boy Floyd
  14. Greatest Hits - Chicago
  15. Jesus Christ Superstar

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe Links for Monthly Menus

Breakfast (muffins, bars, pancakes & waffles)

beef & vegetable soup (recipe to come)
crumb-coated chicken (also shrimp) - I use the coating only (on boneless, skinless chicken or fish or shrimp)



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

School Breakfasts/Lunches - Ideas for this year!

I may work in a school cafeteria, but that doesn't mean I want my kid eating what I serve. Sebastian took his lunch most of the time last year, and ate school lunch the year before (in pre-school, and I have no idea whether home-brought lunches were allowed or not...unless there were allergy issues [none in his class], I think everyone got school lunch, and I do know the teachers were very good about making sure the kids chose fruit and vegetables). I wanted to jump on the bento lunch bandwagon but I am what you call a lazy parent. We were extended breastfeeders and co-sleepers because I was too lazy to make formula bottles or pump or quiet him in his own bed. I'm so glad he was a comfort nurser, too. He was so clingy, I managed to watch



before we were all finished.

Luckily, I've found a fantastic blog that's not all fancy bento, but it does offer great ideas and pretty healthy recipes. I cannot tell you how much I love this blog. If I had to cheat on Fitbomb, it would be with this blog.


granola/cereal bars
toast (or bagel/English muffin) w/ nut butter or light cream cheese
cereal (Cheerios, Rice Krispies, or Corn Flakes)

with milk or yogurt and fruit, sometimes turkey bacon or sausage.


ham or peanut butter & jelly/Nutella on whole wheat or quick ogre bread, tortilla roll up, or mini pita
meatballs with easy vegetable risotto
crumb coated chicken nuggets (use boneless, skinless)
chicken Momnuggets
chicken/beef/vegetable soup
Tex-Mex corn & bean salsa
grilled cheese or quesadillas
Sandwich Thin or English Muffin pizza
bulgur chili
turkey veggie meatloaf muffins
ham & cheese mini muffins
ham stuffed cheddar mini muffins
baked corn dog bites


whole wheat crackers w/ peanut butter, jelly, low fat cream cheese & chives
pretzels or croutons
oatmeal pumpkin bars or pumpkin nuggets
whole wheat pumpkin carrot muffins
fruit & vegetable slices
air-popped popcorn
oatmeal raisin cookies
baked apples w/ cinnamon

I'm hoping to post a full menu for the month of September, that will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner for both of us (Sebastian and me - Sam gets whatever he gets). I have Sebastian's lunches penciled in and I need to schedule dinners. My lunches will likely be left overs, and my breakfasts the same (or not all that varied). And of course, since I have no idea what the heck I'm doing, September's menu will be very simple and not likely to include any "new" dinner recipes. I'm also trying to figure out how to present it online. I know there are menu planning templates but the once I've seen so far aren't right for my need to be in control of every single detail. I'll probably end up making a spreadsheet in Google Docs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I know you want to know.

What's in my Google Reader?

13 Babycenter friends' blogs
1 Lost blog that I really need to delete
26 fitness blogs (some of the personal blogs are no longer updated - that makes me sad)
26 food & recipe blogs
12 blogs related to photobombs, LOLs, FAILs, and Accidental Dongs
3 blogs for job hunting (I really need to add more)
3 local blogs
4 bargain hunting blogs
3 paranormal blogs
8 blogs related to the Twilight Saga and other gross things (I wonder why God no longer updates His blog. Not that God is gross. That blog is just in my "Miscellaneous" folder that does contain some pretty disgusting stuff.)
1 LGBT blog

So, for those of you who can count or own a calculator (I would be one of the latter), that's 100 blogs. I'd say 60% are updated daily and 20% updated many times per day. Add in my Facebook feed and 10 message boards I regularly check, you can see how I have no time for anything else.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I need an intervention.

I tend to be obsessive about new things. When Ghost Hunters started airing on SyFy, I immersed myself in the paranormal. When I discovered Stargate SG-1, I read all the slash fanfiction I could find. When The X Files produced the spinoff, The Lone Gunmen, I memorized all 13 episodes and made videos. After seeing my all-time favorite band, Def Leppard, in concert, I listened to them non-stop for months. When I do something (low carb, Weight Watchers, various fitness programs, Meatless Monday), I research it to death. I'm an over-thinker, under-achiever.

For the longest time, I was stuck in an old-school, hair metal rut. Aside from the occasional Clay Aiken CD or Titanic soundtrack, I was pretty much all glam, all the time. Then we were visiting my inlaws for Christmas one year...I want to say 2007...and my step-daughter was playing Welcome To The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. I. Fell. In. Love. I bought their CDs for my step-daughter (and ripped them for my mp3 player) and listened to the Black Parade album constantly. That album quickly became my #1 all-time favorite album. To this day, it still beat Def Leppard's Hysteria. I'm talking, stranded on a desert island and I can only have one album to listen to for eternity #1.

MCR quickly led me to 30 Seconds To Mars. Seeing how hot and sexy Jared Leto is slamming himself up against a wall in The Kill, I was hooked. I alternated between MCR and 30STM for the next two years, declaring that I would most definitely die for either band, and give my kidneys to both Jared and Shannon Leto or Gerard and Mikey Way. Time passed and there was nothing new from either band. Then 30STM put out This Is War and I fell in love all over again. But MCR disappointed me. There is still no new album, and it's been 4 years. There are whispers that the new album is done (as in recorded but not finished) but they've lost their drummer. No reason given, but I think he had surgery on his arm a while back and his recovery may have had complications.

But I digress. Without new stuff from the band I'd die for, I turned to radio more and more. Not looking for fresh meat...just to listen to because I was too lazy to bring my Zune everywhere. For months, 98WOBX was advertising the Shinedown concert. After eight weeks of hearing the Shinedown ad, I found myself getting excited when their songs were actually played on the radio. The Sound of Madness, in particular, made my day. And soon I learned that I have always liked Shinedown - I just didn't know who they were! So Shinedown became my new obsession.

Then, I started leaving WOBX on at night, instead of my usual BBC Radio (a habit I've had since September 11, 2001). To promote the upcoming Avenged Sevenfold album, Nightmare was played a lot. The only reason I knew of A7X is because my step-daughter had some of their stuff, and I had sent her a text when their drummer died last year. Same shit, different day. I did my research and I am currently obsessed with Avenged Sevenfold. I didn't even realize I loved them. I am particularly in lust with M. Shadows, lead singer of A7X.

Sofa King sexy!!! To hear and watch him sing, I've decided that there is absolutely no way I am a lesbian. I was wondering. M. Shadows has prevented me from switching teams. I'll play for both. I don't care. I love my eye candy. And I'm a sucker for great arms and shoulders. I told Sam he had to get more tattoos. I think I like that look. 

I live in fear that each day, I'll "discover" a "new" band. How many times will I fall in love before MCR's next album comes out? How many times will I alternate between being on top of the world because the music makes me feel young and good, and being depressed that I'm 3fucking5 years old and getting too old for this shit? I certainly do not feel old. I feel better now than I did in my 20s. I don't even have any grey hair on my head, and I do NOT color my hair. I feel like I have my whole life ahead of me, then I'm reminded that I can't just be young and carefree. I have a kid and I'm halfway to 70. By the time the kid is old enough to move out, I'll be almost 3/4 of the way to 70. And who even knows if I'll live that long? My life could be 99% over right now. 

Look, in the time it took me to write this post, I went from being on top of the world to depressed! And I didn't even get a new obsession. :(