Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rachel's birthday!

We were so blessed to have Aunt Allison here with us for Rachel's birthday...and also got way more pictures than usual!  Enjoy!!

What is this thing, 'birthday,' of which you speak?

Elizabeth?  Where are you?!

Ok, Aunt Allison...where are you hiding her?

There she is!!

Dancing to the tunes on Playhouse Disney

My big girl, reading her book

It's YOUR birthday!!

Aunt Allison and her girls

Why you cry??!!

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday girl

hmmmm...I like this!

Diving in for some icing

Birthday cupcakes!

I like this gift thing, mom!

As for me and my house...we are ready for summer!

Dude...the weather guy said 60 today...

Oh, you should have seen the fit she threw when the checkout girl had to scan them at Target.  I didn't think I was ever going to get the things out of her grubby little mitts.

Hope you're having beautiful weather wherever you are! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rachel Lynn!

Today, our baby turns one...and I am having a little bit of trouble believing it.  I felt like when Elizabeth turned one, I was ready.  I expected felt like it was time.

That couldn't be farther than the truth for Rachel.

I feel like I blinked and missed an entire year!  Yet, I was here for the whole thing...what a blessing.

Rachel was born February 25, 2010 around 10:30 a.m.  Scott and I had checked into the hospital early that morning to get induced - I had spent the last two months 3 cm dilated and was pretty much a HUGE joy to be around...ha!  I was panicked about Allison getting down in time and us getting to the hospital in time and I was really concerned about leaving Elizabeth.  Therefore, when the doctor asked me if I wanted to get the ball rolling, I said YES!

She was precious and beautiful...and demanding and challenging all wrapped up into one.  She wanted to eat like she was starving to death...all the time.

These pictures were obviously taken in the day time because that was when she liked to sleep! she is yelling at me.  She still has this expression sometimes!

First day home.  Elizabeth's hair cracks me up!  She's grown up in a year too!

I love this picture...Elizabeth still takes stuff from Rachel and very rarely does she really care about it.

It amazes me how much their looks change.  Rachel is still serious a lot.  She has every ounce of determination and stubbornness that both Scott and I have in our bodies.  She wants WHAT she wants WHEN she wants it.  But then her smile is so sweet and she will cuddle right into you.

Daddy's little "floofer" as he liked to call her.

Already saying, "Give me that camera, mom..."

Today, her hair is coming in and it looks like it might be blond to us.  She loves anything bread and will pick through all fruit and vegetable in her sight to find what she wants on her tray.  She loves whatever her sister is playing with and will sing and clap her hands to the music in the car.  She really likes books and will point to pictures and "read" to herself.  She loves to be upside down and to be bounced.  And she loves the swings on the playground (and the mulch too...of course...).

She is turning into such the little walker - but will still drop to all fours if she needs to get somewhere fast.  See...determined!

What do you mean, it's my birthday?!

Mommy and Daddy love you, baby girl.  Happy birthday!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can I Burn Calories Doing This??

You know, if I just had one of those Zac Morris pause buttons for a DAY, I swear I wouldn't abuse it!  (Ok, maybe just a little...but you've had those days!)  My sister is on the airplane AS WE SPEAK on her way to baby turns one tomorrow...and my car has chosen this opportunity to act up.  

Oh, have I mentioned it's raining and I have muddy dog tracks all over my floors and laundry not done and bathrooms not clean?!

We got up and went to the Y real quick this morning...literally.  I dropped the girls off, jumped on the treadmill for 30 minutes and picked them back up.  I didn't think it was enough time for Elizabeth to get markers all over herself, but she proved me otherwise.

We ran to the grocery store for the staples...milk, eggs, bread, salad fixin's, "brokkoyi" (per Elizabeth's request), and shredded cheese.  I was so thankful that not many people shop at Kroger at 11:00 a.m., as I was pushing a cart the size of a semi down the aisles with one child screaming and the other trying to get out of the little car that's strapped to the front.  I was also thankful no one else was in the potty...OF COURSE WE HAD TO GO EVEN THOUGH WE JUST WENT AT THE Y...because there I was, holding onto Elizabeth so she didn't fall in and trying to keep Rachel from dropping down on all fours to crawl on the floor...ewwww. 

Back home, I thought I would be so smart by giving the girls leftover pizza with vegetables on it.  I heated it up, cut it up and plopped it in front of them.  They both took one look down and then looked back at me like I was the stupidest person on the face of this earth.

"Pizza!!"  Elizabeth wailed.

"That IS pizza!"  I answered.

"No it not!!"  Of course, Rachel just yelled. 


So now it is wonderful nap time.  I just finished a cup of coffee, put dinner in the Crockpot and am getting ready to start mopping these floors.  I need to make cupcakes for Rachel's birthday and start a load of laundry and plan meals for next week and get my coupons together for a grocery trip this weekend.  

Through all the chaos, I can't help but be thankful.  I have so little to complain about and am daily challenged not to take my life so seriously that I can't laugh at my kids or sit and breathe for a second.  I have a wonderful family and a warm home and food on my table.  The extra challenging moments just build character...

...and I hope to heaven that they also burn calories!

Have a great day!

Draw your own conclusion...

I thought I would let Elizabeth color on a piece of paper with a pen at the table while I cleaned up the desk area.  Additionally, she's been in love with this little board book called, Minnie so Pretty where Minnie wears make-up.  I will just let you enjoy my rookie parenting mistake.  *Sigh!*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hot Lips!

Listening to Elizabeth talk is one of the funniest parts of her growing up.  The more time I spend with her, the more I understand her and she never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of her mouth.  She repeats full sentences...a lot...sometimes to my chagrin.  

She doesn't say her r's, which I figure is normal.  And her l's sound like y's.  She tends to run words together so unless you know the phrase she's saying, it can be hard to catch.  Other than that, things come out pretty clear.  But funny.

The other day, she sat on Scott's lap and began messing with the zipper on his sweater.  She said, "Oooo, Daddy!  I yika you shirt!"
She tells Rachel all the time that she "yikas" her outfit.  

The other morning, I got out of bed and was wearing a nightshirt (we had a couple of warmer evenings last week, which was WONDERFUL).  Elizabeth took one look at me and said, "Mama!  Where you pants??"  So after I explained to her that it was a nightshirt and that you didn't need to wear pj pants with them, she nodded in recognition and told me, "I yika you heart shirt..."  (It had a heart on it...ha!)

Now, tie this in with her normal 2-year-old tendency to want attention and crave mischief and you get our child.  She is all the time telling me that something hurts so she can get cream rubbed into it or a band-aid put on it.

"Mama, my finger...," she says, sticking any one of her fingers in the air, with her lip poked out.
"Mama, my back."
"Mama, my yeg."

You get the idea.

Now, the other half of this is that she likes to grab things that she knows she's not supposed to have and run.  A cell phone.  A remote.  A camera.  Some sort of wrapper that falls out of the trash.  She also loves climbing up to inspect anything left on the table when dinner is over.

So the other evening, we had gotten takeout from a local burger place and Scott thought he'd treat himself with some spicy french fries.  The girls and I got regular and he got some with a little heat.  (You already see where this is going, right?)

After dinner, I took Rachel into her room to change her diaper when I heard Scott yelling at Elizabeth to get off the table and heard her feet take off down the hallway.  She stopped momentarily and then immediately started yelling for me.


My husband was dying laughing, telling me that she had taken one of his spicy fries from off the table and had obviously sampled it.  We then had a four-ring circus as Scott tried to get the sippy for Elizabeth to fix her burning "yips"... Elizabeth threw the spicy fry on the floor... Rachel grabbed it and immediately stuck it in her mouth and I tried to get it away from Rachel. 

We figured that would be the end of her getting on the table until the next night, when she climbed up and took a big chomp out of a piece of a red onion. 

Ah well...enjoy the ride, right?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What do YOU classify as a date night?!

Tonight found me crabby and irritable and my husband suggested a garage workout instead of a date.  I agreed, hoping it would get me out of my funk. did and then some.  

Scott stumbled upon BODYROCK while looking for a body weight workout earlier today and this woman is incredible!  We tried her 550 Rep Muscle Murder Workout tonight after watching the video and all I can say is holy moly...  Scott finished in 33 minutes and I finished in 38 - which is only because I know I didn't do everything correctly.  

Photo courtesy of
Like this little move, for example.  I had to do these on my forearm after collapsing after trying two with the straight arm.  My push-ups were also ridiculous.  I would say I'm going to continue to work on this workout, but I get the drift that she posts a new at-home workout daily so I may work these into days I can't get to the gym. 

Plus, they are inspirational to watch while I munch on a few Hershey Kisses...which my husband caught me doing after dinner..."like a true Mama Wants her Pre-Baby Body Back," he said.  ha!  

I'm off to shower before my arms lock up on me. 

These Booties Were Made for Walkin'...

Oh my...we are officially on two feet rather than four most days now.  Here's to moving and shaking!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Healthier Lasagna Roll-ups

I think it would be hard to steer clear of pasta with kids.  Before our children were born, I think Scott and I might have fixed some sort of Italian dish a couple times a month.  With Elizabeth and Rachel, I buy my weight in noodle-type products.  So I was hunting through my recipes for SOMETHING other than mac and cheese or spaghetti and ran across my mom's recipe for Lasagna Roll-ups.  I tweeked it a little bit with a healthier cheese mixture I found in an old La Leche League cookbook**, plus added spinach and ground turkey.  This got a 100% child approval rating in our house.  Let me know what you think!

Healthier Lasagna Roll-ups
Begin your pot of water boiling and cook up one box of lasagna noodles.  Brown your turkey in a pan and add one can or jar of spaghetti sauce, one chopped onion, one (defrosted and drained) box of chopped spinach, and any additional seasonings you might like (I added salt and pepper and garlic powder).  Let this cook up while your noodles finish.  

In a blender, mix 2 C cottage cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese and 4 T parsley.

Drain your noodles and pull out your pans (I used one 9x13 pan and one 8x8 Pyrex dish).  Spread a bit of your tomato sauce around the bottom of the pan.  Make yourself a clean workstation to work the noodles.  Lay out a single noodle and take a spoonful of the cheese mixture and spread it along the full length.  Then, roll it up so that it looks like a pinwheel.  Place on top of the sauce. with seam-side down  Continue this until you've used all the noodles.  Pour the remaining sauce over all your little bundles and then top with Mozzarella cheese and some additional Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Siddons, K. (1981).  Kathy's Lasagne.  In R. Johnson (Ed.), Whole Foods for the Whole Family - La 
     Leche League International Cookbook (pp. 200).  Illinois:  La Leche League. 

You may be able to take the girl out of the mass comm lab, but you can't take the APA style book out of the girl... ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My husband's thoughts: What's your excuse?

I committed a few weeks ago to write a couple of posts dealing with common excuses given to not train or to not follow a sound nutrition plan.  Today I will post some of my thoughts on training excuses and hopefully can offer up some tips, motivation, and action steps to help in overcoming this obstacle.  I will apologize in advance to anyone who gets uncomfortable reading some of my thoughts on this subject of excuses. This is only my opinion, based solely on my experience as a fitness enthusiast, athlete, teacher, trainer, and coach.    

The most common excuse a person will give to not start or stick to a structured exercise plan always sounds something like this:

“I would like to exercise but I am too busy because…:”

“My schedule just does not allow me to workout because…”

“With my family and work responsibilities I don’t have time to...”

Or it some variation of this type of physical limitation excuse:

“I would like to workout but I have a bad (knee, back, foot, shoulder)..”

“I just had surgery to repair…”

“I would love to train but I have a heart issue or I am a diabetic...”

“I have shin splints…”

“I am pregnant or I just had a baby…” etc, etc.

Please let me share with you my common responses to the above excuses:
  • The person running beside me on the treadmill at 5:15 a.m. on Monday morning is busier then you are.
  • The mom with 3 young kids finishing up a Cross-Fit Class at 10:30 a.m. has more going on her life than you do.
  • The successful businessman on set 5 of an intense squat workout at 7:00 p.m. has the same life responsibilities as you.
  • The diabetic walking out of the gym at 7:00 a.m. after a hard interval cardio session had worse blood sugar issues than you 1 year ago (but is now completely off of insulin).
  • The 40-year-old woman in the locker room doing a little happy dance because she just fit into her skinny jeans had worse knees than you before her total knee replacement 2 years ago.
  • The recent retiree that just started training 6 months ago and is now planning on running a 10K this summer had worse heart problems than you do.
And the list could go on and on….

Here is the deal – I think everyone will admit that physical training is good for us all and should be part of our life schedule.  The difference between the people that do train and the people that don’t is a simple perspective shift around the “rule” that says – physical training is beneficial to me and should be an integral part of my day. 

My old college wrestling coach, the very respected, Dr Vince Monseau, once told me that people that make excuses always believe that they are or should be exceptions to rules.  He said that people who don’t make excuses usually believe that "rules" apply to them.  If you are someone that uses the not exercising excuses listed above – I would challenge you to change your perspective.

The fact is that all of us should have time to train; it all becomes a matter of priority.  The only difference between consistent trainers and non-trainers is the priority given to the activity TIME, not necessarily the activity (or task) itself. 

For those of you with “no time” for exercise, try this homework assignment for two-days this week:  Make the effort to record your activity (total activity) for a complete 24 hours.  The more detailed your documentation, the better.  This will take some effort, but what I guarantee you will see is how much time is wasted each day.  I documented my day on Friday as a reference.

4:05 –Wake up
4:10 -4:25 – Get dressed / coffee on couch while watching news / bathroom break
4:30 -5:10 – Drive  to YMCA
5:15-6:30 – Workout
6:30-7:00 – Shower / shave / dress
7:00-7:05 – Drive to office / Call Annie
7:10-7:30 – Make shake / start computer / check email / update job list
7:30-8:30 – Conference call
8:30 –:900 –Nashville unit meeting
9:00-10:00 – Phone calls / client proposal
10:00-10:15 – Check wrestling sites / protein shake
10:15-11:00 - Internal interview
11:00-11:20 – Drive to client lunch
11:30-12:30 – Client lunch
12:30-1:00 -Drive back to office / get gas
1:00-1:25 – Client contract agreement
1:30-2:15 – Cold calls
2:15-2:50 – reply emails / finish SOW / finish contract
2:55-3:15 – Drive to client Happy hour
3:15-5:00 – Happy hour
5:10-6:45 – Drive home (Friday traffic)
7:00-7:30 – Dinner with girls
7:30- 8:15 – Baths / read books / put girls to bed
8:15-9:15 – Watch TV/ talk with Annie
9:20 – Asleep

You have to be honest with this exercise or it serves no purpose. You can't list, cook dinner from 5-6 when you actually had hot dogs and chips and spent most of that hour looking at Facebook on your iphone from the kitchen. You have to be detailed and specific.  This activity will help identify time wasting activities and will help you identify areas to be more efficient. 

Consistent gym goers will have the same requirements on their time as non-gym goers, but will prioritize their time in a way that they will be able to get their activities done in shorter amount of time.  This does not happen easily or without meticulous planning.  Step one in this process is “setting in stone” your workout time for the week.  I would challenge everyone reading this blog to post your workout schedule in the comment section or on Annie’s Facebook site for this blog. It will help for accountability and could be a fun assignment to track.

For those of you who often use a physical limitation excuse to not train –I would offer you this thought.  If you were to stop at any local gym, you would find someone who has had, or is currently battling the same physical issue as you.  It is what I love about training in a public facility.

At every gym you will find people that inspire you, people that have the same lifestyle, body, body goals, and limitations as you.  Where else on earth can you find that?  Training is motivating and being around people with common lifestyles, issues, and goals is incredibly motivating and rewarding. This week – leave the excuses at home, set your schedule, get to the gym, and have some fun. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

My sister's kitchen: Skinny Chicken Parm

As I was preparing my own dinner last night, I received a text from my sister, Allison:
I just made the best dinner jealous.
After a couple additional texts back and forth, I WAS jealous...and proud of her for taking the time and effort to prepare such a wonderful and healthy dinner for herself!   I promptly asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing it, to which she whipped up this little ditty to share.  My sister is one of the most important people in my life.  I love her for her beauty, humor and heart...which definitely shows through in her writing.  Enjoy!! 
 Ok, I know what you’re thinking. I may not be the best person to be writing a spot for a health blog. Let’s face it, I’m not the Lewis girl known for being svelte. I love the carbs. In fact I have made it my job to supply people with fresh baked calories.  When I see exercise waving at me across the street, I avoid eye contact like it’s the one person in high school you’d wish you’d never see again. 
But, I am getting better. 
‘Smalls steps’ is the key phrase. I work crazy hours and after working in a kitchen all morning, fast food is my afternoon delight. Lately though, I have cut my fast food intake by 70%, stocked my fridge with fruit and have started walking to local places instead of driving. Did I mention the multi-vitamin? They’re gummies. *HIGH FIVE*
My main problem with most things in life is that I get bored easily, and well…I’m lazy. 
There, I said it. The first step is admitting the problem. 
And when I’m only cooking for one, it’s hard to get motivated to fire up the oven or wash those pesky dishes. This particular night though, I had a stroke of genius and promptly texted Annie to gloat about my delicious dinner. (hence the blog spot)
My mind set was ‘I’m hungry. It’s dinner time.’
The cravings were exactly as follows: Nachos, Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Noodle Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
So what’s do Is dos in this situation? I watch my recently DVR'd episode of Top Chef: All Stars and the challenge is Italian. HEY! THAT LOOKS GOOD! So off I went.
The following recipe will blow your mind. You have been warned…
Skinny Chicken Parmesan
2 Grilled Chicken Breasts (frozen. I used Tyson’s Grilled and Ready)
16 oz Tomato Sauce (I used Hunts 100% Natural with basil, garlic, and oregano)
2 humongous Portobello Mushrooms   
½ cup Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
2 slices of Provolone cheese
A dash of red pepper
Take one Pyrex casserole dish you might have gotten from your awesome sister for Christmas, and place your frozen chicken inside. I sliced the Portobello mushrooms and filled in the spaces around the chicken. You can obviously chop them more finely; I just prefer them this way. Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushrooms and pop the dish into a 375 degree oven for 18 mins. While that’s baking away you can boil you some water to make the pasta of your choice. I chose spaghetti noodles. Once the timer goes off, sprinkle the mozzarella over the entire dish, top with the provolone slices, and sprinkle on your red pepper for a nice jolt. Bake for an additional 5-10 mins or until the cheese is nice and gooey. 
I didn’t add anymore spices because the grilled chicken has a marinade already and the sauce is obviously spiced. Plate by putting naked noodles in the bottom of a bowl, take one of the chicken breasts that’s covered in the cheese and place on top of the noodles. Spoon extra sauce and mushrooms around the rest of the bowl. Voila! You have a bowl of awesomeness. And if you were cooking for one, you have your lunch or dinner for tomorrow! SCORE! 

Onions would be a nice addition, maybe some zucchini…I was just working with what I had already in the fridge. 
And I think that’s all folks! Lewis, out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Need a little jump rope variety?

If you've taken up jump rope and added it into your daily or weekly workout routine, then you may be bored out of your gourd by now with just jumping....and jumping...and jumping...

Elizabeth, however, is never bored with just jumping and stole Mommy's new Buddy Lee jump rope to show off her skills.  As you can hear, Rachel is unimpressed.

Perhaps YOU are looking to add some variety?  Check out the following  jumping options (making sure that you are jumping one time for each rotation - not adding a little double jump in between).

In-outs (jump your feet like the bottom of a jumping jack - in, out, in, out)
Front-backs (switch your feet front and back - meet them up in the middle)
Twists (keep your feet together and twist to one side - back to middle - then to the other side)
Two jumps on each foot (jump twice one foot, holding the other in the air, then switch)
Runner - or Speed (single feet jumps each time the rope turns, so it feels like you're running)

So if you need a cardio workout today, try the following (remembering that I always count every other my 100 is actually 200.  5 sets are a lot easier than, they are easier to count!)

1,000 straight jumps.  You can rest/walk around after every set if you need to.
1 set In-Outs
1 set Front-backs
1 set Straight jumps
1 set two jumps each foot
1 set twists
Finish with 100 crunches

Good luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Little Things

Amy, I'm stealing your post (from May All Beings Be Well).  I've shared with you that she is in the process of marathon training and recently wrote about how appreciative she is for the little things in her training...the accomplishment of running just a couple miles, nice leg definition, being able to run without her ipod, etc.   

This got me thinking...what is your favorite "little thing" that you noticed that encouraged you to continue on your wellness journey?  I keep calling this a wellness journey because for some of us, it's not just about weight loss, and I completely understand that.  It's nutrition and emotion and spiritual and physical and...WELLNESS!!

I still remember when my youngest sister came to college (she played at the same school where I was coaching...and was even on my pitching staff!  Neat, huh?) and began running and training more than she ever had before.  She was so excited when she ran up to me and said, "Annie! You will never believe what I have now!!  Back dimples!"

Now, I was probably as clueless as I know you are right now.  But she raised the back of her shirt to show me the indentations at the base of her spine that were visible because of her leanness.  

Of course, I just smiled and said, "That's great, Andrea..." in a bless-your-heart kind of way. And after she left, I went in the bathroom to check out if I, too, had back dimples.  

Go ahead and check yours out...I'll wait... :)

I remember being so thankful to see my hip bones when I worked my weight off from both pregnancies (they were MIA for a while!), when I no longer needed the taste of sugar in my coffee anymore because I'd gotten used to using just milk (that was a HUGE step for me!), and when I was able to finally button my pre-baby jeans again.

So what about you?  Please share your little things - because we all can benefit by your positive victories!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Another random week, my friends. 

Clover Lane - Winner of Tiny Sprouts Contest
Because this little punkin' is just the sweetest thing...

May all Beings Be Well - Surround yourself with Success
Amy gave me a shout-out and talked about her inspirations in life.  I love the positivity!!

A Feathered Nest - Crafting Chickies
I just love this site and these little plates seem so easy that even I could make them without screwing them up.  This would be cute for a Super Bowl party!!

Under the Table and Dreaming- Hurricane Luminary
Waaaaay out of my league, but love it!

Thanks, Simply Staci for the link!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

You're only as Strong as your Weakest Pig-Out Moment

Am I the only one that has one of these? 

I swear, all day I eat clean, clean, clean.  I write proudly in my little journal and mark down my fruits and vegetables.  I walk triumphantly past the kitchen, not even glancing in.  I mean, I am just the hot nutritional stuff...

Until nap time hits.

The girls go down and I fix myself a cup of coffee or tea.  And then I think, you know what would be good with this?  CHOCOLATE.  So I go scavenging through the cabinets / freezer / refrigerator until I find something (ANYTHING) chocolate.  It's at this time that I lose all control of portion sizes - I mean 5 or 10 Hershey kisses...2 or 3 cookies...does it really matter?!  And before I know it, I put away my journal for the day because there's no point in writing any of this down!

Am I alone here?

I think I've always had these times.  At one point of my life, my pig-out moment came at night when I was watching TV.  Or when I worked in an office, I had to "stretch my legs" and walk past the vending machine around 3:00 every afternoon.  When I was coaching, I'd stop and grab a snack and a Coke on the way out of town to get me through the drive.  I'm not sure if this is mental or physical, but I can tell you this much, I think I would have a pretty clean slate if not for these little episodes.

But then I ask myself, are these episodes keeping me from reaching my goals or are they keeping me sane?  Because really, I am a MUCH happier person after I've eaten the kisses...  Perhaps they are keeping me human?!

All of this was irrelevant until an occurrence as of late...

I was caught.

Elizabeth be-bopped in from her nap before I had a chance to clean up the table and pointed to an Oreo wrapper (found beneath a fryer chicken in my deep freezer...I'm serious, people!  I scavenge, sometimes!).  "Mama?  Tooties??  Me want tooties!!"


Although that was not as bad as this summer when I was really trying to lose weight so I kept all chocolate out of the house.  Well, Nancy Drew here found a single box of Klondike Bars in the freezer.  So I ate one every day for however many bars were in there.  They would just call to me during nap time!  When they were gone, like an idiot, I threw the box in the recycling.

And guess who does the recycling...oh yes, my dear husband.

In he comes one day, holding up the empty box.

"Why didn't anyone tell me we had little ice cream sandwiches??!!" 

Ah well...if this is the worst of it, I guess it's not all that bad.  :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Because sometimes you just need macaroni and cheese

When you ask Elizabeth what she wants to eat, you're going to get one of three answers.  Every time.  

Cheese sandwich.
Mac and cheese.

Now, very rarely do I make these things for dinners - a lot of times, I'll appease her for lunch and then we'll have whatever is on my menu plan for dinner.  Well, yesterday ended up being just one of those blah days.  And I think on those days, you just might need mac and cheese for dinner.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, because my husband called on his way home from work and asked, "What's for dinner?  I am starving tonight."  My answer received a pause on the other end (since we are both trying to slim down and this meal would not help).  "Are you going to post this on your blog?  Will this help mamas get their pre-baby bodies back?"

No.  It will not.

So here I am, being accountable to you and letting you know that I fixed macaroni and cheese for dinner last night and IT'S OK BECAUSE I'M ONLY HUMAN AND I NEEDED IT!  And you might, one night too - considering that you are only human as well.  

Of course, I healthified it, because that's what I do.  So I felt a little less guilty (and you will see why I say little when you see the ingredients).  Here is my recipe - mostly handed down from my Grandma to my mom.

Boil up your box of pasta - I used Ronzoni's Garden Delight, the little whirly-gig kind.  Both of the girls love it and it is tomato, spinach and carrot pasta AND there are three servings of vegetables in the box AND a lot of times, I can get it BOGO at Publix...with a coupon...because I'm cheap.

Make your white sauce.  I melt 2 tbsp of butter and whisk in 2 tbsp of flour to a bubbly paste.  Then add in 1 cup of milk (I use 2%).  Whisk until thick, smooth and bubbling.  Then add in 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar (I just use whatever's left in the bag that I'm sure is already open in the fridge) and 1 cup of Velveeta  a very secret ingredient.  (I KNOW it's so bad for you, but I HAVE to have it in there.  I grew up eating it this way!)  

Whisking in the cheese
In order to combat my secret ingredient and make myself feel better, I throw in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pureed butternut squash from the freezer and let that melt in with the cheese.  This just gives it an extra dose of vegetables that no one knows...and it even makes the color more orange.  Seriously, you don't taste it!

And there's with the squash...see?  you can't even tell.
Drain the cooked noodles and add to the cheese sauce.  I always put mine in a covered Pyrex dish and microwave for five minutes to get it extra melty...but you don't have to. 

And the best part about cooking dinner last night?  I found the cutest little elves to do my laundry...

Have a great night!

Picture Catch Up

Because I don't feel like I can write fast enough to keep up with my kids.  I can't believe Rachel will turn one this month...just doesn't seem possible!

"MWAH" - loud kiss for Rachel
I swear, they can read each other's minds...

Not sure if this was a hug, or Rachel's attempt to confiscate the Princess CD player
Um, Mom?  Do you think...that we able to watch Mickey?
Yeah, Mom!  Mickey!  I want to too!!

What?!  No???

Oh were just kidding.  That's cool, yo.

WHY I ever give my children spaghetti for lunch is beyond me...especially after I just cleaned the floors...

Exhibit A...  Rachel's newest thing is to start throwing the food off her tray to let me know she's done.  This morning, she slung a piece of waffle half way across the room.  And this is why the dogs love Rachel.  ha!