Friday, March 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday: Jumping on the Bandwagon Edition

1) I jumped on the Chia bandwagon and added some to my morning delight (plain greek yogurt with fresh strawberries):
They crunch like poppy seeds when you take a bite then turn to gel as they sit on your teeth.  They don't change the taste at all, and are supposed to give you tons of energy.  I didn't feel a difference in my energy level, but they did fill me up.  Highly recommended!

2) Phil and I got a last minute babysitter offer (our babysitter is awesome and lets us know when she's free so we can snatch her up) and since we are on a diet decided to go to a movie instead of out to eat as we normally do.  We saw The Hunger Games.

(gosh, she's gorgeous, right?)

It was great.  I knew absolutely NOTHING about the story.  About five minutes in, I leaned over to Phil and said "Is this set in the present, past or future?" Seriously I knew nothing about it.

3) For those of you out there who think it's practically a mortal sin to see a movie based on a book before actually reading the book, well I just ordered the book to read.  Ok?  Am I absolved?

4) As for the 17 Day Diet's pretty awesome.  I have detailed everything we've eaten here, and we have  both lost 5% of our body weight in a week.  We feel healthier, leaner, more energized and are sleeping better than ever.  We have never eaten so well (read: never eaten so many vegetables) in all our married life.  Even when this cycle ends, I want to continue incorporating mad veggies into our normal diet.  It takes some prep work and planning, but it is so worth it!

5) Alexander heard that it's really cool to get top teeth, and so we've all been on the cranky baby-not sleeping well-take teether toys everywhere-worrying about Tylenol effects-teeth popping bandwagon.  It's been ugly.  But those teeth that finally came through.  Opposite of ugly.  So stinkin' cute!

6) Lately I have struggled a lot with feelings of inadequacy.  I look around at other moms who can home school, craft, cook, write, remodel their homes, and seem to have all the time and talents to do everything well.  When I think about my hobbies, all I have is exercise and blogging.  How boring is that?  I am trying to remember the words of the wise Danielle Bean who said that we should never compare our interiors to another's exterior.  And picturing those "perfect" moms with a messy house and wild children does help make me feel better ;)  Because we never know what is really going on behind the glossy appeal of the photos they choose to display.  And it's not right to compare our most miserable days with their best portrayals.

7) Lent has been really good this year.  And by good I mean hard.  And by hard I mean fruitful. And by fruitful I mean good.  And by good I mean hard ;)
How is your Lent going?

Have a great weekend everybody.  Happy Palm Sunday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (a day late): Could my newest nephew be any sweeter?

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

We really are having chicken for dinner tonight.  Just like pretty much every night :)

But on to more important news. 

The winner of the giveaway is.....

True Random Number Generator:


(I tried to do a print screen and copy it, but it didn't work.)

So the winner is...

...wait for it...

...patience is a virtue...

I will work out the details with you and all my lovely giveaway crafters ~  Thank you Allison, Liz, Cari and Melissa for your beautiful handiwork!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just a Reminder...

I'm picking a giveaway winner tomorrow!!

Enter here :)

Family - you can enter too, so don't be shy...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What My Kids See

I heard once that if you add together all the ages of all your children, you get your "mother age".  That means that I am 9+7+5+4+8 months = 25.8 mother years old.  In my 25.8 mothering years, I have often wondered how my kids view me. 

Sure, I know they look up to me while they are little.  And I know that they love me unconditionally just as I love them.  I could even jump to the conclusion that they think I am the best mom in the world, as all young children dare to do. 

But as a person, not just a mom, how do I measure up?  When they see me in my non-mother roles, such as Business Manager, wife, runner, Catholic, daughter, sister, do they think I rate? 

Recently I came across that beloved Bible verse in 1 Corinthians 13:  Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. 

And I thought, yup, that is exactly how I want my kids to view me:
Mom is patient, Mom is kind. She is not jealous, not pompous, not inflated, not rude, does not seek her own interests, is not quick-tempered, does not brood over injury, does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 

But, wow, I have a LOT I need to change about myself  in order to be remembered in this manner.  Especially the patient and quick temper parts.  Ouch. 

As Mother Theresa said "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."  And so each day I will begin anew with this verse to remind me of the kind of person I want to be when I grow up.  Because God knows I'm not there yet.  Not even close :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mum!

My mum, Maggie, with my daughter, Maggie:

That's right, my mom's so awesome we named our only daughter after her :)

And you know what totally made my Mom's day today?  That the Feast of the Annunciation is being observed on her birthday.  Her actual birthday.  Can you imagine the delight?

Friday, March 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Volume 32

1) I forgot to write about something funny that happened at the half-marathon.  We were close to the finish line, and this woman was sitting on the sidelines, cheering for everyone.  Phil was running about two steps ahead of me, and as she cheered us on, he yelled "Thank you!" and she yelled, "You are welcome!" as she eyed him from top to bottom with a big smile.  I came up from behind and said "Yeah, he's hot, right?" and she goes "Sure is!" and I said "Oh yeah, baby, that's my hubby!" and I pretended to smack his bottom. 

2) Alexander is scheduled for ear tube surgery (I hate to even call it surgery because it is so minor) on April 30th.  We're hoping he doesn't get a 5th ear infection before then :)

3) Today I am taking a personal day from work to stay home with the kiddos because the elementary schools are having a professional day for teachers.  Phil is actually speaking to them about Teaching Bioethics...should be interesting to see how his day goes.  As for us, we are going to play outside as much as possible!!

4) We are on Day 3 of the 17 Day Diet, and I am tracking it on one of my blog pages, if anyone is interested.  Just trying to hold myself accountable because I am no good at sticking to diets, and this one is pretty restrictive.

5) Some funny race pictures:
I'm here
Phil's here
This time we really noticed the cameras and were smiling for them.  Which only proves we weren't running very focused.   Oh well!

Xander is already a ladies' man.  Meet Ava, his little buddy :)

7) In always being the last to jump on the bandwagon...we are thinking of reading The Hunger Games books after a good friend gave them a good review.  Has anyone else read them?  What did you think?

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Noodle Stir Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce

 (Adapted from this recipe)

8 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (same size as peppers)
1 cup broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, sliced
4 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 green onions, sliced ( I actually just sauteed a large sweet onion instead)
½ cup chopped peanuts
olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbsp Peanut Butter
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar (I only had balsamic vinegar)
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1. Cook noodles to Al-Dente, according to package directions, drain, rinse, and set aside.

2. In a large pan, heat a splash of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, bell pepper,and broccoli, (and onions if you used them) and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to saute an additional 1-5 minutes, until soft but not browned.

3. Remove vegetables from heat, add noodles, and toss with green onions, peanuts, and crushed red pepper flakes, to desired level of zip.

4. Make the sauce: whisk together peanut butter and water until smooth. Then, whisk in the rice vinegar and soy sauce. Pour over the stir fry and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Another yummy meatless recipe :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!

Doing some spring cleaning and playing around here.  

Daddy and his mini-me

My little mini-me and his robot drawings

We're thinking about having a yard sale.  Anyone have any tips to make it successful?

And maybe we should sell some of our old appliances for scrap metal.  
I wonder how much we could get?

Then maybe we'll finally get our house on the market.

Baby steps :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Notes from The Half

Pre Race:
Oh man, after a night spent tossing and turning due to nerves, I was not feeling confident in even finishing this race.  I am so so so competitive, and if I wasn't going to beat my time from two years ago (1:56) it seemed like there was no reason to do it.  Phil kept reminding me that we were just running to finish, not to win anything.  

OK, we can finish, I can handle that.

I cooked a yummy Belated St. Patrick's Day post race meal (steak and Guinness pie) and we got dressed about five different times because we couldn't figure out what to wear for the weather.  It was sunny and high 50's.  We decided on the simple shorts and tee-shirt route.  We decided well.

Our friends and co-workers came over to drive to the race with us, and my awesome parents came to watch the kids.  After some sun screening and number pinning and nipple taping (ahem), we were ready to go!
 Jen and Matt
Two of the smartest and nicest people I know :)

 After driving around for a while, we found a good parking spot and took some pre-race pics.

The Girls:
 OK, I'm 5'6" (and a half) - so you can imagine how tall Jen is!

 The Boys:
This was Matt's first race, he was such a trooper to train it in wicked fast time in order to run with us.

The Girl and Boy:
We walked down to the starting place and decided to use the potty.  Well, everyone had decided to use the potty, so we snuck into the chapel and said hello to Jesus, and used the friars' bathroom.  I figured that they serve the poor and we were poorly prepared, so it was kosher ;)

Jen and Matt lined up with the 10 minute milers and Phil and I decided to run with the 9 minute milers.  We took off right on time with the other 3200 runners.  About 2 miles in my hips started to hurt (thank you 5 babies!) and we were running a little too fast (8:30ish minute miles).  
We ran by Team Hoyt:
And I thought, hips, you are healthy enough to run, get over yourselves.  Seriously, how could you not be inspired by this father and son combo?

Mile 3 started the first big hill, and we slowed down a bit.  Around mile 5, my friend Ann-Marie was there cheering us on, which helped a lot!  Then we were near the park, and I was looking for my kids, thinking they might be there to cheer.  I was disappointed not to see them, then Phil reminded me that there was no way that my parents could have driven them all there.  We forgot to leave the van keys.  Whoops!  Onward we charged.

Miles 7ish through 11ish were all by the water, and you could smell the ocean and see the blue water, it was so nice.  The ocean breeze slowed us down a little, but I honestly couldn't have gone much faster anyway.  I was definitely holding Phil back a little, but he wanted us to stay together.  Whatta guy :)  

We talked a little, didn't listen to any music, just watched the spectators (who were an amazing support) and kept on keeping on.  We would say thank you to all of the kind people cheering for us, high five the little kids, and read the funny signs people had made.  So much to be thankful for!  Except for the spectators who were smoking as they watched us run by.  Hello, not cool!  We signed up for a race not lung cancer!

Despite all the support, I could feel my pace slowing little by little and instead of 9:20 minute miles we were running just over ten minute miles.  But I was strangely ok with just finishing and told Phil not to let me know what mile it was or how fast/slow we were going.  Actually it wasn't strange at all considering how I prayed for peace and patience the first half.  God is good!

At mile 12 we heard a loud "Hi Phil and Colleen!" from another friend and co-worker, Nicole, and then ran by Fr. Rich who had just gotten out of Mass and was in front of his church.  We yelled hello to Fr. Rich and he shouted back his hello as well as "I'm not going to run with you this time!"  Those two cheerleaders got us over the last huge hill and towards that finish line. 

As soon as we turned the corner at the end, we sprinted for the finish and crossed with a time of 2:06.  Ten minutes slower than two years ago, but I'm just glad it's done!  We grabbed some orange slices and water and our medals, and waited for Jen and Matt to finish.  They raced to the end with a time of 2:11.  Yup, we nailed it.

 Post Race:

And now I am super sore and all lactic-acidy (that's a medical term, right?) so I am going to go drink some more water and lay in bed.  

And chant my new motto: 
Never again


Friday, March 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday: Volume 31

1) I took Maggie and Eamon to see a play this past weekend with my sister and her kids.  It was Pinkalicious, based on this book:
I had never read the book, but the littles already knew the story, and were excited to see it.
(Eamon with his cousin and Maggie in background)

John-Paul and Andrew got grumpy about not being able to go - though I would have bet money thinking they wouldn't want to.  They just didn't want to be left out, but if they could have seen all the little girls dressed to the nines in pink frufruness, they would have felt sooooo out of place. 
All in all, it was cute, but I don't like how it portrayed "green food" as gross for 99% of the show, and then the 1% of the show (at the very end) showed she could choke it down.

2) Phil and I had a work meeting this week and even though we were in the same room, we couldn't see or talk to each other, so we flexted.  You know, flexting...flirty texting.  Do you and your spouse flext?  Does your face ever blush while reading them?
Me neither.

3) We had a family birthday party for John-Paul and his cousin Katie.  It was at the Y and lots of fun.  We had make-your-own-sundaes in lieu of cake for two gluten-free family members:

4) We are officially done with our half-marathon training.  The race is this Sunday.
It makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it.

5) When we did our first half-marathon two years ago, I was in much better shape to run 13.1 miles.  I was younger, my 4th child was 2 years old, I had done tons and tons of speed and hill workouts, and I weighed ten pounds less.  Now?  Well I'm 33, I've had another baby who's only 7 months old, and I've done virtually no hills or speed work.  I did get in all of my long training runs though.  Our goal is just to run the whole thing without stopping and not focus on time (me) and not get dehydrated (Phil).  It should be 60 degrees and sunny so he is going to run with his Camelbak and hope that makes a big difference over the half two years ago.

6) We have one baby boy St. Patrick's Day outfit.  It is size 9 months.  In other words, it's not Xander sized:
 Look at how short it is!

At the ripe old age of 7 months, he is wearing size 18 month shirts and size 12 month pants.

Here's Eamon wearing the outfit 5 years ago (5 months old):

Loads of people tell me Alexander looks like Eamon.  Here's Alexander again:
 What do you think?

7) Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Have a wonderful Irish weekend everybody :)