Chicken Capri & Baby with Beer

Ethan took comfort from the pains of teething with his dad's nice cold (cheap) beer. It was unopened, CPS. We do not let our child actually drink alcohol. Only when he's reaaaaaally well behaved.

Ah, the chicken! I got the recipe in a South Beach Diet email newsletter and it is soooooo gooooooood. I used four 120-gram chicken breasts, 1 T. olive oil instead of 2, provolone cheese instead of mozzarella and diced Italian blend tomatoes instead of crushed. I can't wait to have it again tonight.

Chicken Capri

Serves 4


1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup crushed tomatoes
4 slices reduced-fat mozzarella cheese


In a blender or food processor, combine the ricotta with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Process to blend. Rub the chicken with the garlic powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 12 minutes per side. Place the chicken breasts, side by side, in a large baking dish and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and 1/4 cup tomatoes onto each chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of a breast registers 170°F and the juices run clear.

Nutritional Information:
340 calories
15 total g fat (5 g saturated fat)
115 mg cholesterol
6 g carbohydrate
44 g protein
1 g fiber
470 mg sodium

Then, later for dessert I had protein pudding:

2 servings

1 box (4 serving size) instant sugar free fat free chocolate pudding
2 cups cold skim milk
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder

Add the scoop of protein powder to the dry pudding mix, then prepare according to package directions. Easy enough, and yummy, too.

Per serving:
220 calories
1 g fat
19.5 g protein
30.5 g carbohydrate

The trick to sticking to a healthy diet is most definitely trying new foods and recipes so the junk doesn't start to look good. I wouldn't trade my chicken capri for a slice of pizza any day! (It was really that good, I tell you no lies...)


TOM & Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I finished my first 12-week "challenge" yesterday. I hate to call them challenges because that kind of leaves you thinking ok, I'm done with that, now what?, and the fact is that if you plan to keep the positive changes you made in your body for the rest of your life, you simply have to keep at it, forever. To me, dividing chunks of time into 12 week blocks is just a way to set goals, long and short term, and then to reassess and observe and tweak as necessary based on the results you get and the results you want. This challenge I lost 15 pounds of nasty jiggle, became a rather hardcore fitness fanatic, and squashed my issues with the all-or-nothing mentality and binge eating. In other words, success! Scale-wise I'm still 5 or 10 pounds from where I'd like to be, but it's possible that the scale won't budge much from here on out if I focus on building lean muscle, and that's perfectly fine with me. I also found out that I love to lift weights. Cardio leaves you with that little rush afterwards and makes you feel wonderful for the rest of the day, but I truly love nothing more than knocking out 3 heavy sets of squats, or arnold presses, or skull crushers, or negative curls, etc etc etc. I love strength training.

A month ago I started taking Ortho-TriCyclen Lo again for the first time in 3 years. I hadn't had my period (boys, you probably want to stop reading right about NOW) in close to 2 whole glorious years because I was pregnant and then breastfed for 11 months after that. When I took my last "active" pill last week and started on the green ones I knew what was in store, but honestly I wasn't fully prepared for the rush of hormonal craziness to come. The 3 days before I started my period I felt as though I was ready to explode. I was bloated, cranky, irritable, and pretty much just a straight up bitch. I also felt the constant urge to put on some elastic-waisted pajama pants, make a nest of pillows in front of the television and consume an entire gallon of ice cream, maybe half a peach cobbler and a package of oreos, whole boxes of cereal and buckets of cookie dough. I refrained, mind you, but the urge was there and I felt fat and moody and miserable. I did have one semi-wild free day last Saturday but I needed it, oh how I needed it! Cheese sticks with ranch and hot wings and an oreo McFlurry from McDonald's were on the menu, and later cookies and cereal and dinner at my in-law's. Sunday I was right back to it, and amazing things started to happen. I go through these little "whooshes" where my body seems to stay the same for awhile, then all of a sudden I can almost see the fat melt off my hips and thighs, new muscle is uncovered, faith and commitment renewed. These results couldn't have come at a better time, so now I feel like I finished the first 12 weeks proud and strong and am diving right into another 12-week challenge starting today.

I have so many good things to say about the Pure Strength series, and I'm honestly kind of sad to see it go. I was tempted to do it for another week or two, but I know that changing things up is good and that I'll rotate back around to it again in a couple of months. I'm lifting heavier than ever before, and it has really pushed me to dig deep and see what I'm capable of. I no longer subscribe to such magazines as Shape and Fitness because I can't bare to flip through the pages and see a 95-pound model hoisting a 3-pound dumbbell over her head like she's breaking a sweat. It kills me. Well, maybe she is breaking a sweat with 3 pounders, as a brisk wind would likely knock her on her ass and maybe even cause her to break a hip. But, you know what I'm saying. Women, be not afraid of the heavy weights! They will do wonders for your body and your health and your all around well-being! It's true! We're ALWAYS stronger than we think we are. (Except for those meatheads in the gym who lift absurd amounts of weight with totally incorrect and slightly embarrassing form, of course. Men, you probably can't honestly bench 467 pounds with proper form.)

Ethan has 2 new teeth! We'll call them Ned and Fred. Ned and Fred have caused mommy and daddy some major teeth-grinding and nose pinching and several dollars into the potty mouth jar over the last few days, but now all is well. Is it normal for teeth to come in pairs? Ethan has always gotten his teeth in two at a time, so it's totally double the fun. I guess one tooth would be kind of lonely without his mate, and I understand that we all need friends, but really. One at a time would be much better. Two is not always better than one. Nope. Nu uh.


Pointless Pics


My recent job hunt has been an enlightening, terrifying, disappointing and nerve-wracking experience. I've passed on a couple of jobs and been turned down for one. I'm to the point where I start to question if I'll ever find anything, anything at all!, that I'll even remotely enjoy. It also makes me wonder how many people out there hate their job, see it as something that they do only because they have to, see it as merely a paycheck. I'm not special, I don't have any especially brilliant or unique qualifications and I don't have umpteen years of experience with any one thing under my belt, but I do know what will make me happy and what will make me miserable. I know that I need to continue on with college and additional education to get to where I really and truly want to be. Nutrition is my passion, and I'd love to have a career related to that in some way. (Let's not spread the word that everything you need to know about good health, weight loss and nutrition can easily be found online or in a book, and would require no more than honest dedication and time to actually read and learn.) I have been seriously thinking about going back to school and getting my degree, but I feel like it'd be more practical to do so when Ethan is a bit older.

So what do I do in the meantime? I've only been on the hunt for a couple of weeks now, but that's plenty of time to realize you're a dime a dozen and that the pickins aren't necessarily slim, but the chance of getting a job I'll genuinely enjoy is. That makes me really, really sad. I can hold my breath until that perfect job comes along, or I can take the next ho-hum clock-in-clock-out position that crosses my path. I don't want to interview for something I know I'll hate, but am I being too picky? When I turned down the first job I was confident that I'd find something better. Now I feel that ever so subtle twinge of regret begin to ache in the back of my head.

I am trying to feel good about the choices I've made thus far, and all I can do is hold my head high, try to keep my confidence up (though my optimism and excitement are slowly plunging downward) and continue the search. I'm anxious to make the change to working mom, eager to get Ethan into daycare, not because I don't want to be at home with him anymore but because I really feel that it's time for him to be around other kids. My own social isolation is bad enough, and I certainly don't mean to keep my toddler in a protective bubble (let him fight over blocks and get dirt under his fingernails and sing songs and have snack time and eat crayons already!), but right now the circumstances are kind of beyond our control. I've located exactly ONE playgroup in our area, and when I called to find out more information the lady told me that the group hadn't met in awhile and that she didn't exactly know if it was going to continue or not.

The pressure is on, and part of the time I think I'm being to antsy, that I need to chill the fuck out and remember that getting a job takes time, something will come along, I'm doing what I can. The other part of me says why don't you have a job already? All this change for the better depends on you, and nothing is happening! LOSER!

Months ago this whole scene would have made me eat an entire box of cookies and a gallon of ice cream, and then I'd wash it down with 1.5 liters of cheap Merlot. I don't go there anymore, thank gawd, and I'm doing really well with my training and my food. At least I'm successful in one area of my life, right? Also, D and I have been getting along better than ever. I don't know what's changed in the last month, but we're so disgustingly in love and happy it'd make you ill. We're like the 3 amigos. One happy little family. We're in a good place and I know it's only going to get better, if I could only get my mopey ass a job. Should I start practicing my "Would you like fries with that?" or what?

Ok, ok... has anyone seen the Family Guy movie? The part where Stewie is shaving his body and Brian walks in and Stewie asks him if he'll "shave his coin purse"? Priceless. Fucking GENIUS humor. All men should now refer to their balls as 'coin purses'.

Well then. No wonder noone will hire me.



See my new profile picture on blogger? That's EXACTLY how I glare at Drew when he farts in bed. So, now you know. In case you were wondering. I am practically incapable of smiling in pictures. They always always always come out looking fake, my nose somehow morphs into a smaller version of Jerry Springer's with the upturn of my mouth, the smile seems stale and forced and stiff. So, I hardly ever smile in photos, and that's why. In case you were wondering. Self esteem? Oh self esteem? Where have you gone? I also rarely smiled (or talked, for that matter) in high school, and became known to some as the quiet girl with black hair who never smiled. One girl that was in my 9th grade english class was convinced that I hated her, that I wanted to "beat her ass". When we actually talked to each other we became immediate best friends. She learned that I was as harmless as a knat despite my combat boots, severely dyed blue-black hair and pale complexion, that I was instead filled with teenage angst and confusion and low-self esteem and Nirvana lyrics. But I digress...

Where the hell did that come from? Anyway! My favorite breakfast-o-the-moment is 1 c. 1% cottage cheese mixed with 1 c. blueberries, 7 grams macadamia nuts (crushed) and 2 packets of Splenda. Something about those buttery, crunchy little nuts sends me over the top. They're almost magical. I got the idea from Skwigg. Whenever I'm in a food rut I consult her What I Eat page for new ideas. She's a genius, and I recently emailed her practically begging her to write a book. I fell in love with her blog after I learned that she was anorexic (like me) and then went through a resulting rebound weight gain phase (like me). And look at her now! She is my inspiration. But, I swear I'm not a stalker.

It's raining buckets here and coooold. Well, cold to us. It'd be like summer to some of you Northerners. I did KickMax this morning, ate my nut-licious berry breakfast and now I think I'll spend the rest of the day folding laundry, chasing a toddler around the house and watching movies. Enjoy your Sunday!



Ethan must be cutting another tooth, that's the only reasonable explanation for his totally outrageous behavior. If I so much as blink it causes a meltdown that looks something like a cross between a fish flailing about out of water and the dance scene from Napolean Dynamite. He's got to be getting another tooth. I can only bare this insanity if I know there is an end to it at some point. Yesterday I actually said out loud: I can't wait until he's older so we can just tell him to please go play in his room. And before that I remember sputtering something along the lines of: I never thought I'd actually look forward to putting him to bed so I don't have to deal with him anymore. And: Perhaps we can sell him on the street corner for a penny, or even pay someone to take him? And then of course I felt horrible and fed him cookies for dinner. (Ok, I wanted to feed his picky ass cookies for dinner, but I refrained. Instead I ate 2 cookies myself. All better.) Anyway, his mildly unpleasant demeanor (read: cute, soft, warm baby goodness studded with great displeasure and served with a side of pain in my ass) makes me want to go back to work, like, now. I don't care what the job is, let me wash your damn dishes while someone else deals with this madness. Ethan gets Tantrum of the Year award hands down, I don't care what your own kid is doing.

Speaking of jobs, the interview I went for on Monday was with a recruiting agency that deemed me "very placeable", and they were oddly impressed with the scores on all of my assessment tests (particularly the logic test, ha, hahaha, hahahahaha) (I hope they don't read blogs). They called me several months ago way before I was ready to go back to work after having found my resume online. I figure it certainly can't hurt to have them on my side while looking for a job, and they have a couple of really great positions that I am crossing my fingers for. We shall see. I'm confident that I'll find something great when the time is right.

I've been doing a kickboxing workout every Sunday morning called KickMax. I absolutely love it! It's a nice change from stepping and leaves me exhausted, red-faced and drenched in sweat. The workout begins with a thorough warmup, easing you into the kicks, punches, lunges and knee smashes. Then she teaches you 4 punch/kick combinations that are really challenging but lots of fun. After that are 10 intensity drills with brief recovery in between, and then a series of standing leg conditioning drills that help improve your kicking range of motion and endurance. The entire dvd is something like 70 minutes long, and I do it on Sunday to feel better about all the wine and chocolate I usually consume the night before. Heh.



For the last week it has been something ridiculous like 77 degrees here in Louisiana, and now it's in the forties. Don't get me wrong, I love cold weather. I just hate this back-and-forth shit. Do I wear shorts? Pants? Flip flops? Boots? Living in the dirty dirty South means having to keep your winter and summer clothing out year 'round. I was watching The Weather Channel early, eaaaaaaaaarly this morning (many thanks for waking up at 5:30, Ethan) and in the northwest they had been behind on snowfall by 19 inches, then suddenly in the last two days they're above average by over two feet. The weather is wack, yo. Wacky weather. And who's to blame? Is it a part of global warming, or did Mother Nature just forget to take her mood-stabilizing drugs for a few days in a row? Quick, someone offer her a double shot of vodka and an OxyContin so she will settle the fuck down.


Sunday night I made those Fiber One popcorn shrimp, and they were really good! If you try 'em be generous with the spices and maybe add some cocktail or hot sauce to them before eating, lest your shrimp taste like they were dredged in sawdust. I'll probably make more tonight. I also tried the new ham & cheese Eggbeaters this morning, and they're soooooo goooooood. Cooked a cup omelet-style, topped with a slice of 2% cheese and served with a cup of fresh strawberries. The breakfast of champions I tell you. Look for me on the front of a Wheaties box at a store near you.


Yesterday I had a job interview (it went really well, thanks for asking!) and had to leave Ethan with Drew's family. We arrived at their house and said hi to everyone (the kids were off for MLK day) (did you know that Drew has a 2-year old sister?) (and a 5-year old brother and another sister that's 15?), I offered him a snack and gave him his sippy cup, and the minute I put him down he totally lost it. He lost it like never before. You know how kids do that thing when they cry where they'll scream, then hold their breath for an extended amount of time while they work up another scream but it looks like noise should be coming from their mouth? Ethan let out a desperate cry as I turned my back and walked around the corner to get him a toy, and then there was silence. I figured he'd gotten over it. No. He held his breath for so long that I only thought he'd stopped crying. He held his between-crying breath for so long that he nearly turned blue. Breathe, baby. Ethan, take a breath sweetie! I told him. And then he let out the most horrifying shriek I have ever, EVER, EVER heard. The kid has lungs. (Future American Idol contestant? LET'S HOPE NOT.) I kissed him and hugged him and then stood dumbfounded in the middle of the kitchen while his grandma, great-grandma and aunt gathered around him to try and calm him down. They shoed me away, saying He'll probably be fine when you're G-O-N-E, hint-hint. I helplessly turned and left, and the sound of Ethan's pleading, high-pitched squeal for his mama continued until I had closed my car door. (That's mighty loud in case you weren't sure.) As I began the drive into the city, my mind raced: I can't leave him at daycare! He'll never forgive me. This will take years of therapy for him to get over. I AM THE WORST MOTHER EVER. And then my cell phone rang. It was Drew's mom.

Me: Hello?
MIL: Hey, ya hear that?
Me: I hear nothing.
MIL: Exactly.
Me: Gah, awesome. Thank you soooo much.
MIL: No problem! See? He's fine. Relax. It's only when you're around that he acts like that.
Me: Lucky me. I feel... better but also worse.
MIL: That's just how they are.


I increased the weight for my leg workout today, so now I feel all strong and muscle-y and buff. Rawr! I'm on my third week of the Pure Strength series and I can really tell that I've made some serious strength gains. (Perhaps that's why they call it pure strength, ya think? Genius!) After 4 weeks of PS I'm switching to Leaner Legs and CTX Upper body. Since I'm used to lifting 3 x week now instead of 2, I'll probably alternate the workouts so that one week I'll do legs twice and upper body once, and the next week I'll do upper body twice and legs once, etc. I fully, fully, FULLY intend to post before, 8-week and 12-week pics sometime after January 25. Rest assured that they are the most hideous pictures in all of picture history, where I'm wearing old boxers and some sort of old bra/sports top and my hair is a total rat's nest. Something to look forward to, for sure!


Proof That Giving Birth Causes Brain Damage

Yesterday I had some errands to run, one of which was swinging by the post office to get a money order. I was in a hurry to make it before the post office closed for lunch at noon, so after Ethan's post-nap snack I promptly put on his shoes (on his feet, not mine) and loaded him into the car. I sat in the driver's seat, buckled up and realized I did not have my keys. Craaaaaaaaap. I searched the front seat, Ethan's carseat, the back seat, the grass, the door... nothing. I frantically called Drew at work.

Me: Hi, heh, I love you!
Drew: What's wrong.
Me: I'm locked out of the house.
Drew, in a huff: What? Gah, ok... try to get in through the kitchen window.
Me: You want me to break in?
Drew: Yeah, whatever, I'm sure you can figure it out!

I snapped my cell phone shut as if to say THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP, OH LOVING HUSBAND, GOODBYE and scanned our yard for Drew's ladder. I hoisted it onto my shoulder and walked it to the outside of the kitchen window. A few months ago when the tornado hit our house it cracked the kitchen window (in addition to tearing off a good portion of our roof!) and we've yet to replace it. I climbed the ladder, pushed through the small crack to break the glass and carefully squeezed my hand through the opening to unlock the window. I slid the window open and that's when a tiny light bulb lit up in my head. I jumped from the ladder and ran back to the car, where naturally I found my keys sitting ON. THE. ROOF.

Let me take a bow as I accept 2007's BIGGEST DOUCHE award. And it's only January.


Early this morning Ethan and I went grocery shopping. I love early grocery shopping, love love love it. Shopping between 7 and 8 a.m. means that the shelves are being stocked and that the few people roaming the store are either old folks or college kids that haven't gone to bed yet and need more beer. It's awesome. Anyway, I wanted to pay cash for this particular shopping excursion and had exactly $77 dollars on me. At the check out, only 2 items left to scan: a large container of fresh strawberries and a 6-pack of Sugar Free, Fat Free Dulce de Leche pudding cups that caught my eye in the dairy section. (I'm sure they taste awful, but I figure if I'm desperate enough for something sweet during the week I can pair one of these puppies up with a protein shake or some cottage cheese and still get a halfway decent meal out of it.) After scanning both items my total came to $79 something or other, so I told her to take off the pudding. My total was now $77 even. Horray! I paid and left. For some reason the fact that my purchase totaled the EXACT AMOUNT I had to spend made me overly giddy. As I loaded the grocery bags into the trunk of my car, I saw the pudding. She had subtracted the pudding from my total but then stuck it in one of my bags anyway. I considered DOING THE RIGHTEST OF RIGHT things and going back inside to return it, and then I laughed to myself and got in my car and drove away. Isn't there a clause somewhere that says if something like this happens and you have a small child you can get away with NOT doing the right thing? I do believe there is. Hopefully karma will cut me a break and remember that I have a 1-year old.


Later today we're going to my in-laws to watch football and eat jambalaya, and you can bet yer bottom dollar I'll be drinking wine and eating something with chocolate in it, too. Enjoy your weekend!


Friday? Already?

I can't remember how I came across the hungrygirl website, but I signed up for their daily newsletter a couple months ago. Every time I sign up for a daily newsletter I end up regretting it, mainly because I eventually decide that I can't be bothered reading anything extra. (I recently subscribed to Flylady, and while I think it's a great way to get your house in order and keep it that way, the emails are just tooooo muuuuuuch. Also, a tad too touchy-feely for my taste. Reading Remember, you are loved! after every email makes me want to stab myself.) Anyway, I actually look forward to the hungrygirl emails. They're not necessarily geared toward the Body For LIFE-style of eating, but I've gotten some great recipes and recipe ideas from this site, and most can be tweaked to fit anyone's diet. Here are a few I found today (don't mind the cheesy names or overuse of exclamation points):

Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries!
(Serving Size: 5oz. of squash cut into fries, calories: 65, fat: 0g, sodium: 6mg, carbs: 16.5, fiber: 4g, sugars: 3g, protein: 1.5g)


1/2 butternut squash
kosher salt

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and de-seed your butternut squash. If you're unfamiliar with handling these large items, you may have a little trouble at first. They're fairly easy to peel, but you'll need a sharp knife to cut them. Once your orange friend is peeled and sans seeds, slice it in half. Then cut it up into french fry shapes. We like to use a crinkle cutter to make authentic looking crinkle cut fries, but they'll work any way you slice 'em. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover lightly with kosher salt (regular salt works, too, but we prefer kosher salt). Place tray in your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or so, flipping halfway through baking process. Fries are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and get crispy.Serve with ketchup, or however else you enjoy fries or sweet potato fries!**We've been known to eat a huge 2-3 serving bowl of these for lunch...they're awesome, healthy and packed with fiber!

Swap-corn Shrimp!
Coming up with a popcorn shrimp swap was no easy task, 'cuz as you know, those breaded sea critters have nothing at all to do with popcorn, and EVERYTHING to do with fried greasiness. With the help of our favorite fiber-ific cereal and a fat-free egg sub, we churned out crunch-alicious shrimp so good you'd swear they were packed with gazillions of calories (but they aren't... Woohoo!). There are actually less than 200 calories in the whole entire batch; so shrimp it up, baby!


3 oz. raw shrimp; peeled, deviened and cleaned
1/4 cup Egg Beaters, Original
1/2 cup Fiber One bran cereal
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour Egg Beaters into a bowl. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour Fiber One crumbs into a plastic container that has an airtight lid (or into a plastic food storage bag). Add as much salt & pepper to Fiber One as you like. Next, prepare the shrimp by ensuring that they are as dry as possible (use a paper towel to soak up moisture). Place shrimp in dish with Egg Beaters and coat them thoroughly. Transfer shrimp to Fiber One container or bag and secure lid/ seal bag. Then shake until shrimp are well coated. Place shrimp on a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cook shrimp for 15 – 20 minutes (flipping them about halfway through), until outsides are crispy. Let ‘em cool; then serve 'em alone, with ketchup or with some cocktail sauce.

Serving Size: Entire recipe
Calories: 180
Fat: 2g
Sodium: 420mg
Carbs: 26g
Fiber: 14g
Sugars: 0.5g
Protein: 26.5g

Peanut Butter Yup!
Today is Halloween, and chances are you'll either be sitting next to that dreaded candy bowl, or helping your kids sift thru (and possibly eat) oodles of tiny chocolate bars, lollipops and candy corn. But even itty-bitty candy bars add up to huge amounts of calories if you eat enough of 'em. So before you grab one, two -- or SIX of those "fun-size" minis, head into the kitchen and whip up a batch of our Peanut Better Cups. This year, we think you should SKIP the packaged, chocolate holiday treats altogether and opt for our better-for-you swap instead.


1 8-oz. container Cool Whip Free
1/3 cup Better ‘n Peanut Butter, Regular Creamy
4 tbsp. Hershey’s Syrup, Sugar Free

Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake holders, or spray pan with nonstick spray. Using a whisk, combine one cup of Cool Whip Free with Better 'n Peanut Butter. Fold in remaining Cool Whip. Pour the mixture into cupcake tin evenly (approx. 2.5 tablespoons each). Top each cup with a dollop of sugar-free chocolate syrup (about 1 tsp.). Freeze. Enjoy. Serves 12.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 56
Fat: 0.5g
Sodium: 61mg
Carbs: 10g
Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 2.5g
Protein: <1g

(I wonder if you could add some whey protein powder to this one to balance it out? Worth a try, right?)



Several years ago this really weird thing would happen to me every once in awhile where I'd be doing some normal, everyday task like showering or folding laundry and suddenly everything would seem to be moving in fast-forward. That's really the only way I can describe it. My mind would race, I'd think to myself man, this is weird, and there was nothing I could do to make it stop. It happened again today while I was washing my hair. I took deep breaths, stopped what I was doing, tried slowing things down, but nothing worked. It's the most bizzare feeling, and I have no idea why it happens. Is it anxiety? A drug flashback? Who knows. Very, very strange. Maybe I'm just plain nuts. That's probably it! Indeed.

Ethan is quite the crankster today, and I suspect some teeth are sneaking in somewhere in that drooly little mouth of his. Also, I've mentioned before how the stench of his poop is from another world, unlike anything I've ever smelled before, but it seems to have gotten worse. I read somewhere that extra smelly poo is another sign of teething. When I set him on the changing table, take both his ankles in my hand and prepare to peel back the offensive diaper, it is truly like something out of a horror movie.

I need some baby-friendly meal ideas. I'm worried (of COURSE) that Ethan isn't getting enough iron. He hates meat and will only very occasionally take a bite or two, usually just to chew it for a minute and then spit it back out. I make sure he eats one container of YoBaby Fruit & Cereal yogurt every day because it supplies 45% of his daily iron requirement, but I still think he might be falling short. His tried and true standby foods are whole wheat french toast, whole wheat grilled cheese, cheese sticks, peanut butter toast and whole wheat toast with trans-fat free butter and all-fruit spread. He also eats chopped fruits, vegetables like peas, carrots, corn and string beans, and all the crackers and rice cakes and soy crisps in the entire world. If there is a cracker or rice cake shortage at a store near you, it's probably because Ethan ate them all. He drinks as much whole milk as he should be and the recommended amount of juice, but I really wish he'd be more adventerous when I offer him something new. (Heh, dream on mom, I know.) He used to love cubes of cheddar cheese and slices of avocado, but now those are, like, totally the most disgusting things on the face of the planet. Naturally. For those of you with wee ones in your life, what are some of their favorite foods? (Screw consulting his doctor, I'm asking the mighty Internet for help.) (Polishing that well-deserved mother of the year award now.)



Once the Internet was back up yesterday I frantically plowed through all my favorite blogs and sites to see what I'd missed the last few days. I have a handful of blogs that are as necessary to starting my day as a cup of coffee, and I'm always a little disappointed when they go a few days without posting anything new. It seems that when the Internet was down for us, all my fave-o bloggers went post-crazy. I spent the afternoon catching up and sorting through my email. Cramming my daily dose into one long afternoon session after going several days without was EXACTLY THE SAME as going without chocolate for several months and then eating one of those giant Hershey's kisses people give at Christmas in one sitting. Not that I've, uh, ever done that before or anything. Because that would be, uh, gross. ::cough::

If anyone is wondering, I've been sticking to my training and nutrition per plan, so things are great on that end. I'd planned a cardio workout for this morning, but because I did Pure Strength Strong Legs & Abs last night and am sore, sore, sore this morning, I'll do it tomorrow morning instead. Tonight will be PS Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. I'm finding that I actually really enjoy working out at night. I've always been a GET IT OVER WITH FIRST THING kind of girl, but lifting at night means that I have energy from the day's eats and am actually awake, so I'm able to lift more. My birthday is coming up and I fully intend to create a birthday list that consists mainly of new workout dvds and exercise gear, because I actually get excited about that stuff. I'll also ask for a dust buster, a new blender and maybe even a scale. Maybe. Um, these things aren't signs that one is getting older, are they? Just an indicator that someone is health-conscious and enjoys working out, right? RIGHT? Right. Good. Ok then. Good.

Ethan continues to BLOW MY MIND each and every day. He now recognizes things like trees and ducks when I read to him, and he'll jump ahead of me and point to the yellow duck on the page and say "Du-K, Du-K". He tries to sing along with his favorite songs on t.v., namely the Hot Diggety Dog song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dance Around from the Ralph's World album. (Clap your hands clap your hands clap your hands... stamp your feet stamp your feet stamp your feet. Dance around, dance around the room dance aroooound, dance around the room...) (Not at all annoying, never gets old, brings a toothy grin to my face each and every time I hear it!) (I am only lying a little bit.) (If it brings Ethan joy, it's alright with me.) (Should it not be stomp your feet? Stamp your feet? Do you stamp them or stomp them? Anyone?)

Little Mr. McPooper Pants is slowly moving Mama down from the #1 spot on the list in his heart and replacing it with Dada. He now only occasionally wiggles from his dad's arms to reach for me, and he goes around the house all day long saying Dada, Dada, Dada. If he hears Drew coming to the door after work, he'll scream "Dada!!!" and kick his legs and go crazy with excitement. I knew this would happen eventually, but honestly I expected to be more heartbroken. Watching Drew and Ethan play together is the most awesome feeling. D is such a good father, he's always so excited to show Ethan new things and talks often about how he can't wait to show him how to play catch, to take him out to lunch on a Saturday afternoon for guy time and eventually take him to his first strip club. (Kidding, though I'm sure that's on his to-do list.) (I'm sure it's on Ethan's to-do list, too.) Anyway, after having Ethan cling to my ankles for the last several months and not being able to pee without him having a meltdown, this shift in favorites is a welcome relief. My bladder is quite pleased as well.


Withdrawl Part Deux

Fuck meeeeeee, man. The Internet Gods decided to let me connect for no more than one hour on Saturday, when I wrote my last post. After that? Poof! Nothing. My key to the cyber world was gone. Internet Man came on Sunday night, where he tracked mud and grass all over our house, tinkered and toyed with our wires for over an hour and watched Drew and I eat dinner and cuddle up on the couch for Family Guy. He said he'd have to return on Tuesday with a new modem. He just left, and I am once again C-O-N-N-E-C-T-E-D! Horray!

Now, if you'll excuse me while I sort through my eleventeen billion pages of email from the last five days.



Thursday it rained in our part of Louisiana so badly that our entire front and side yard was flooded with like 15 feet of water. Ok, maybe not 15 feet, but enough to where I had to practically swim to the car if I wanted to leave. And, I didn't want to leave, but I had to. For Ethan's appointment. For the shots. (dum Dum DUM!)

Because Ethan was a first-time patient of this particular doctor, and because I am very considerate of others and continue to ignore the fact that there is no doctor's office in existence that actually runs on schedule, appointment times are just a rough estimate give or take three fucking hours, they're all really in the back room watching soap operas but want you to think they're understaffed and overworked, and because I simply love waiting in a toyless waiting room all afternoon with a squirmy 1-year old boy... I arrived at the appointment 30 minutes early. I swear, dearest Internet, that from this day forward I will arrive no less than 5 minutes early for any and all future doctor appointments. THAT is a New Year's resolution I'll keep.

Anyway, Ethan weighs 19 pounds. 19 pounds! And the nurse showed me that he's healthy and proportioned and wonderful, which duh, but at least now I know he's not really a runt or a midget (no offense, little people). He's just... small. And because Erin is toting around a 28-pound toddlet the same age as Ethan and complains of daily back and arm pain, I'm choosing to be thankful for Ethan's size and see the bright side. (Erin must have some kick ass mommy muscles, though!) Of course, then there's Drew: "Gah! Ninth percentile!? He'll NEVER be able to play football at this rate!", and that's when I squawk "Maybe he'll be a dancer" and Drew falls over and dies. (Ethan, if you do become a dancer I will totally support you and I will learn how to sew snazzy, brightly colored unitards for you and your 'partner'.)

After they weighed him and gave him a physical the nurse noticed that Ethan's tummy was a little mottled (from me holding and undressing him). She freaked out and insisted that he had some sort of rash, scurried off to find another nurse and by the time they came back it had faded away because HELLO, little miss NURSEY POO, I am his mother and I TOLD YOU that he has sensitive skin. (I suppose I appreciate her concern, and maybe she really thought I'd been spending my free time using Ethan as a whipping boy or something, but we totally wasted precious pre-shot time examining the non-existent marks on his soft round belly and my patience was wearing thinner than Nicole Richie's legs.) (Tacky, I know, but as an ex-anorexic I can totally poke fun at other anorexics, right? No? Oh. Alrighty then.) Ahem. So then came the finger prick, and Ethan did not even flinch. I knew this meant that the shots would be especially brutal. I'm trying to be more optimistic lately, but let's be real: you can't expect a kid to sit through a finger prick AND shots without blinking. For the shots they made me hold him. This was my worst nightmare. Clearly Ethan could see that I was not the one inflicting this horrible pain in his thigh, but I was allowing it to happen just the same. He looked right into my eyes and S.C.R.E.A.M.E.D. Oh, the tears! The bright red face! It was awful. And then it was over. And he moved on and got over it and was perfectly normal the rest of the day. A miracle, in other words.

I came home to find the Internet NOT WORKING. Another one of my very worst nightmares. (Have I really become such a mouse potato that the Internet not working is one of my very worst nightmares? Yes, yes I have, let's be honest, I'm a stay-at-home-mom.) I ASSumed it was because of the storm and waited it out. When I look back on the last 2 days I see myself sitting at the kitchen table, biting my fingernails down to the quick, staring intensely at our modem. Come on, little light, gimme a flash! Come oooooon! I know you want to connect, you're doing this to torture me, plain and simple. Fuuuuuuuck yoooooooooooooou! I finally called our internet provider, who told me that nope, no outage in your area! Have you tried unhooking the coaxial cable and turning off the computer and doing a little jig that involves clicking your heels three times? Yes, Yes, Yes I have. I sang to my modem, promised it the world, licked it in all the right spots and even let it watch me shower. NOTHING. Today Ethan and I went on a very long walk, and when we got back the Internet was mysteriously working again. THERE CLEARLY IS A GOD.

Last night I did the Back, Biceps & Abs workout and I am sooooooooore today. It feels great. I love Cathe's Pure Strength series and can't wait to do it all over again next week. Tonight we are watching The Cowboys playoffs game and eating pizza and drinking wine (D is drinking beer, of course). (We are getting one large 1/2 veggie lovers, 1/2 meat lovers pizza. Truly the yin yang of pizzas.) It's a much needed treat after a week of near perfect food and exercise perfection. I hope you all enjoy your weekend as much! Cheers!


Shots & Triceps

Last night I completed the PS Chest, Shoulders & Triceps workout. I got all excited and moved my weights to our bedroom where Drew's weights are, changed into a cute little workout outfit and waited for him to get home. Moments later he texted me saying he was still on a roof somewhere and would not be on his way for another hour. Sigh. Ok. Can't really be mad at the guy for, uh, working to support his family or anything. I was just reaaaaaaaally excited to work out together. Maybe Friday.

Anyway! The workout was great and I'm really impressed with how quickly it flew by. The legs and abs workout was over an hour long, and this one was something like 46 minutes, but they were over in no time. I'm especially happy because this workout really targeted my triceps, which is a hard-to-work area for me. I never quite feel the burn like I want to, but the french presses, dips off the step with a barbell and skull-crushers got me good. Friday I'll finish things up with Biceps, Back & Abs.


Today is E's 1-year well-baby checkup, which means one thing: SHOTS. The appointment isn't until 1 o'clock this afternoon, and this is both good and bad. Bad because we have to freaking wait half a day to get it over with already, good because at least I get E in a good mood for half a day. Bad because this just might interfere with his usual afternoon nap (God save us all!), good because maybe he'll just tucker out in the car on the way home and completely forget that mommy subjected him to such cruelty by the time we get home. I sure hope so.

As your kid gets older, the shots really do seem to get worse, for you and for them. When they're newborns, all red and wrinkly, they hardly know what hit them. Then your baby gets a little older, and the smiles come, and when that needle is plunged into that chunky little thigh, there's an obvious change of mood. And then, you and your wee one develop a bond, a relationship, you might even call yourselves friends. And your perfect little cherub is laughing and babbling and squirming around on that examining room butcher paper and then suddenly: STAB!!! There's always that moment of silence where the pain hasn't quite registered but you know the flood gates are about to open. Their eyes frantically search for you, YOU, the RESPONSIBLE PARTY, why did you let this happen? Then they stare at you in shock as their eyes well up with tears, which burns a little hole into your very soul. For the rest of the day you are on their shit list, at the very top of their shit list (because let's be real, how many people can a baby actually have on their shit list? Mom, and the dog. That's about it.) So anyway, yeah. I wonder if the doctor would let me hide under the table while E is getting his shots? I just don't think it's fair to have to take the blame. Gah, I hope I don't cry. I hear this new doctor we're going to is really smokin' hot.


My awesome and amazing friend Megan (shall we call her double A Megan?) (who does not have a blog, I don't understand why, if she did I guarantee you'd much prefer reading anything she had to write about over my own nonsensical ramblings here) (note to Megan: get a blog, asap!) sent me a link to this site. It's interesting to see how much and how little you can eat for 200 calories. Just a little food for thought, heh, no pun intended but sort of because I am funny and clever and totally made that up myself. Riiiiiiight.


Yesterday Ethan and I went up to his future daycare center to turn in some final paperwork and discuss possible starting dates. I can't tell you how great I feel about this place! I love everything about it and the people that work there are incredible. Ethan lights up every time we walk through the door and totally flirts with all the chicks, so if you see Ethan on t.v. in the very near future as one of those kids that had an affair with his teacher, well, I totally called it. I am 99.9% certain that he will have no trouble whatsoeva adjusting to daycare. *I* will be the one that is heartbroken and will cry until my face is unrecognizably puffy. Ethan will probably be glad to be rid of me, like, finally.



I did the Pure Strength Strong Legs & Abs workout today and holy holy holy hell. Oh quivering thighs and buns-o-fire! This workout was phenomenal. I am already sore. I was a tad apprehensive about going from doing two total-body weight workouts a week to splitting up body parts and only working each once a week, but now that I see how hardcore these workouts are I expect to see some drastic changes in my body. For one thing, up until now I've been training with higher reps and moderate weight. Pure Strength uses heavy weights and I have never had my thighs scream at me like they did today. The hover squats and step-ups are new moves for me, and they are intense as hell. There is also floor work using a body bar that targets the inner and outer thigh as well as hamstrings. Tomorrow I'll do the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps workout, and Friday will be Back, Biceps & Abs. I'll also be switching from morning workouts to lifting in the evenings, get this, with Drew! He wants to start working out with me! And since I plan on going back to work in the next month, it makes more sense to train after Ethan is in bed anyway rather than get up at the wee hours and half-heartedly push my dumbbells around. I definitely workout harder and smarter when I'm fully alert and have eaten a meal or two. This will be a bonding experience for us, and we can push each other and high-five after a good workout. Then I'll trot off to eat fish and veggies post-workout and he will probably deep-fry an old boot, but we'll work on that later. One thing at a time.

So! It'll be cardio in the morning, 4 times a week. I plan on one high-intensity interval workout on the step each week, one steady-state workout on the step, one day of kickboxing or circuit training and another day of jumping rope. And then the weight training 3 nights per week with my honey bunny. Totally do-able, considering this means I'll only have to wake up early to work out when I'm back to work twice a week (if I do my other 2 cardio workouts on Saturday and Sunday). Gotta fit it in somewhere, right? I know it will be challenging but the key is making time and planning ahead. I am ready. (Insert fierce growl here.)

It's also back to basics with diet. Ideally I'll have my usual 5 days of 5-6 mini-meals every 2-3 hours, with 2 free meals to use at my discretion. I'm thinking that more often than not those free meals will be used on the weekend, which is fine. I do need to dig around and find some new healthy recipes that I can cook on Sunday in bulk for the week ahead to make food prep easier when I'm pressed for time. Who knows, maybe I'll even find something that Drew will eat. Miracles do happen!

Aside from health & fitness, I have some other goals for the year ahead. One is to read to Ethan more often. We have already established a bedtime routine that includes at least 1 book, but I feel like I should turn off the t.v. more during the day and open a book instead. I also want to find age-appropriate activities for him to do with us at home. Today I gave him a blue crayon and a piece of notebook paper. He seemed fascinated with scribbling lines on the page, so I'll probably pick up a coloring book and a box of crayons next time we're at the store. Even if he rips the book to shreds and eats the crayons, its something different. Also, colorful poop!

I've got to stop cussing so much. I must! I say fuck like it's necessary to survive or something. That's got to stop. Ethan can go to daycare saying shit, but not fuck. No way. We'll save that little gem for kindergarten.


Giddy on New Year's Eve (blogger would not allow me to upload these earlier when I posted OF FREAKING COURSE)


Last night I sent 2006 out with a bang by stuffing my maw with forkful after forkful of the kajillion different kinds of delicious food my mother-in-law and her family prepared. Cabbage rolls, black eyed peas, taco rolls, sausage queso, mini-éclairs, cheese & crackers and a few glasses of wine, among other things. Oh, and a diet soda to balance it all out. We shot off fire crackers, ate, drank and talked about everything that happened in 2006. It was good times, but by 9:30 I was slowly starting to fade away. We decided to pack up our sleeping baby and head home at around 10:30, and I promptly snuggled into bed after tucking Ethan into his crib. D nudged me awake 15 seconds before the ball dropped, and I drifted off to sleep moments after the clock struck midnight. 2 years ago I would've felt like a loser, like an old partied-out wench, but I am quite content with how the night turned out. Considering that last year we slept through everything and hardly even acknowledged that it was New Year's Eve because Ethan was only a few days old, I'd say we are making progress. Maybe next year we'll go to a full-fledged party, or something. At this point the couch and a bottle of champagne between the two of us is equally inviting, and if that's a sign of maturity then bring it on. I think I'm actually starting to be ok with getting older. I might even like it a little. But just a little.

Today I have been goinggoinggoing nonstop. I woke up at 7:15 and did some hardcore intervals on the step. I kept my promise to myself and was not hung over in the slightest, just a little tired if anything. After that came the cleaning and mopping and organizing our closet, doing all of those little things that you know you need to do but silently tuck into the back of your mind until you just can't stand it anymore. It feels goooooood to have it all done. I also watched the Pure Strength series that I'll be starting tomorrow. Holy hell! I'm excited and a little nervous. Tomorrow I'll be doing the Legs & Abs workout, which consists of lunges every which way, plie squats, hover squats, step ups, regular squats, calf raises and a bunch of floorwork exercises using the step and a body bar. In other words, remove your leg at the hip, find the nearest heavy object and beat the hell out of both your limbs until you simply can't stand it anymore. I'll give a little mini-review of the workout after I do it tomorrow.

Today I'm feeling unusually optimistic, motivated, confident, determined and just plain happy. A fine way to start off the new year for sure! Hopefully this glass-half-full mentality will linger on. Life is just so short, so precious, and so often wasted. I'm not going to let another moment slip by me unnoticed.

(Ok, I'm starting to nauseate myself a little here. Just because I'm happy doesn't mean I'll start shitting rainbows or anything. I'm sure my next post will be about how the sky fell on my head and will request that a kind stranger come kill me in my sleep. But until then, all smiles!)

Oh, and I took out my tongue ring last night. I am now piercing-free (except for my ears, which doesn't really count). It was just... time, I guess.

Gah, I really am getting old.

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