Friday, May 27, 2011

Raspberries and my sad attempt at gardening

One of the best things about this rental house is the raised bed in the back with its unruly raspberry patch.  Last year, I made the mistake of thinking I could manage the entire thing being planted, only to discover that I am not Old McDonald nor the Farmer in the Dell...  My biggest problem was that I didn't weed it early because I wasn't sure if weeds or sprouts were popping up and very quickly, it over-ran me.  

Well, that, and I had a newborn.

Ah, there's our pride and joy.

And because it's a rental house, and we've owned a house before, we really don't have much inspiration to do more than the bare minimum to the property.  So we keep the grass trimmed and Scott manages the bushes.  But those raspberry bushes are BORN FREE!!  

So I've kept my eye on them from the kitchen window and ventured out today to pick in the land of dog poop, mosquito's and mud.  (Notice the nice, dog mud path created in front of the cinder blocks??)

Now, last year, I was worried about the birds getting to the berries before I could - so I used netting and realized what a pain in the rear end it is to pick through little netting holes.  So we didn't mess with it this year and our birds haven't touched them...weirdos...

Look here!  Free berries!!  (Free for us because we didn't pay for these plants...and it's not like we've used any pesticides or fertilizer.)  This is about a cup and they're really small, but are so sweet when they get dark.  It'll take me about a week to get them all, but every day, I'll be able to pick about this amount. 

I rinse them, plate them and stick them in the freezer.  After a couple hours, I'll put them in a baggie.  Now, I've been told not to rinse them before hand because it makes them mushy, but I caught Butch cocking his leg in the general vicinity of the bushes, so I thought I would play it safe.

Ah, there's Mr. Wonderful himself. 

I'm unhealthily craving a mixed berry pie in my future...or a raspberry/green tea shake I saw recently.  The house we're moving into has blueberry plants already and I'm really counting my chickens that they wait to ripen until after we move in.

The rest of my gardening?

Eat your heart out, baby.  We have green peppers, salad mix, tomatoes and jalapenos.  I have no idea which is which except for the salad mix that has flowers growing out of it.  Is salad supposed to have flowers??!!

Ok, my friends...back to packing!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

While I was packing...

I know, I know...why am I writing when I have tons to do?

Well, you see, yesterday I spent most of the day boxing up things and packing and cleaning.  And then today, I found all of those boxes, and their contents, scattered throughout the house while I (unsuspectingly) did the breakfast dishes.  So I need my coffee and an outlet...

Lucky you!

It's really my own fault because I run these kids around like crazy and wonder why they bounce off the walls when I make them stay home.  Here's some of the things I've caught them doing while I was packing...

Rachel loves to sit on her potty while her big sister goes to the potty.  I pretty much think this makes her brilliant, but the pediatrician didn't agree with me because she can't point to her nose or ears yet...stupid benchmarks of achievement.  Anyway, here she is doing her baby squats on her potty.

Silly, colorful shower curtain.  So tempting and distracting from mommy's picture taking....

Bowling...also known as throwing or kicking the pins at each other...

Yesterday, it sounded like the walls were coming down in Elizabeth's room.  Moments later, she stomped in the kitchen..."tap dancing."  Why yes, her shoes ARE on the wrong feet.  Normally, she gets that right...I know...she's brilliant too. (Notice the bowling pins in the background?  See!  Kicked or thrown...I don't think I've ever thanked Kim for this thoughtful and priceless little gift...)

Rachel joins in on the dance...if you look closely, she's playing with a nightlight that her grubby mitts yanked out of the wall.

Striking her ballerina pose with assistance from the chair.  (Like that table?  It's for sale on Craigslist...I'll make you a deal!)

I swear...all I asked was for her to get her hair out of her eyes for breakfast...

And here we have princess "eat my butter off my toast first", enjoying her breakfast.

Hope things are stable in your neck of the woods.  Praying for safety through this next round of storms!  Back to my packing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Run...Pack...Change Diaper...Repeat!


We are 3.5 weeks out from our move.  I have 25 million boxes to pack.  We just traveled a million miles with two small children to move furniture my grandparents graciously gave us. 

During the trip, the van got stuck one time in the mud at my parent's house.  Scott had to take 3 panels out of the elevator ceiling in my grandparent's condo to be able to fit the bookcases in and we brought home 25 boxes of  my family history (pictures, slides, 8 mm tape, etc.) which lead to an hour long discussion last night on how my husband thinks I might be a hoarder. 

I am fairly sure there are 678 discarded Goldfish in my backseat and it has been exactly a week since I've been to the gym.  Ever feel like your life is lived in numbers??

You don't even want to know the number of times we ate at McDonalds on this trip... *shudder*

Today, I might actually squeal with delight when I see the beautiful row of treadmills!  Especially since my 89 year old grandmother asked me if I was expecting number 3...because I "have a little belly"...and I AM NOT.  Therefore, today will be a sprint day.  

And then onto packing.  And putting stuff on Craigslist.  And planning a yard sale.


I shut down the Facebook portion of the blog - I know, after I just encouraged you to join!  It just got to be too much.  And I was getting ready to shut down the blog all together until I had three more wonderful people follow and make me feel all popular so I've decided not to make any drastic decisions until after the move.  Welcome to the roller coaster!

Hope you all are great!  If you have any words of encouragement or advice for selling furniture or a hankering to babysit, let me know!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My views on running and why I might be crazy

So I told you a couple weeks ago that the Nashville Half Marathon was going on and not only was Amy from May All Beings Be Well coming in town to run in it, but quite a few people from Scott's office were running as well. 

My husband has gotten the training bug a couple times after talking to his friends about races and mostly he talks about how fun it would be to do a triathlon or an Iron in WITH ME.  This isn't entirely off the wall, considering we love to train together and normally, I laugh him off, but as he received text updates from his office mates as to their race times and recovery methods, he looked at me and said, "We should totally run in the half marathon next year."

Let me pause here a moment and tell you that I really enjoy running.  I enjoy it as an activity and as a weight loss method.  That's it.  I've never competed or run in any kind of race post elementary school field days.  

I prefer to run sprint intervals because it takes WAY less time than distance and, when I go for distance, I like to run through neighborhoods so I can look at people's houses and flowerbeds and dream about what I might do one day.   I don't like timing myself and I enjoy the freedom of being able to putz and walk when I want and go at my own pace. In fact, when my friend Kathy was training for the NYC Marathon, the idea of running 20+ miles in a day perplexed my (then) mid-20's mind.  And really today, it just seems near impossible.  

So I looked at my dear husband, sitting beside me on the couch after a long day of child raising and said, "Sure, honey."

"No, I'm serious," he said.  "We should do it next year.  We could do it together, wouldn't that be fun?"

I patted him on the leg to let him know that I thought he was very sweet and said again,  nodding, "Sure, honey."  

And then it happened.  He raised up his hand for a high five.


This was as good as a signed agreement, my blood on paper, my first born...the dreaded high five.

That's when my arguments started.

"Well, who is going to watch our little children?"  I retorted.

"I am sure that SOMEONE will watch the girls," he answered.

"How will we train for this?  We don't have time to run 13 miles!"  I whined.

"We can take turns and do our long runs on the weekends.  [The new neighborhood] has great trails and paths that we can use," Mr. Wonderful retorted.

"Ok, but you can't blow me away.  You have to run with me," I pleaded.

"Nope,"  he said flatly.  (Geez, you beat a guy in ONE race...)

After several silent minutes went by and his hand was still raised, I gave in and high-fived him.

So people, we are going to run in the Nashville Half Marathon next year...  yay

This will begin a whole new series of training with children and my husband and I will be excited to try and accomplish something new.  So my griping is about 95% tongue-in-cheek.  

Now seriously, any takers on watching these kids?? :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Non-Pina Colada Pancakes

So have you missed me or what??

I warned you that I was going to be MIA for a while.  First, we had Mother's Day and mine was wonderful.  We had a great day and I even got to chill out on the couch with my girls.
Drinking our "milk shakes" and watching college softball.  Life is good!
But other than that, I have been packing and cleaning and rounding up little children and working out and trying to sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day to get my Vitamin D and gathering documents for the mortgage people and trying to plan moving and decorating a new house and...


I just have not had time to sit down and write.

Plus, my head is full and fuzzy with all this nonsense, so you may not get a worthy post from me for a while.  But I just have to tell you about what I've discovered...

Coconut Oil.  

I've been reading a little bit about the health benefits of coconut oil and decided to purchase some when it went on sale through Amazon...because I'm addicted to Amazon...but I was more than a little nervous to try it.  I don't use oil a ton in cooking - more in baking - and I've always used Canola Oil, just because that's what my mom always used.  And I didn't want everything to taste like coconut...

Because, even though my husband will eat almost anything I put in front of him, he hates coconut.  I mean, he gives the crinkle-nose and the bleh sound effect when it comes to coconut.  One time, when we were dating, he ate a carton of cottage cheese that had gone bad.  After he had consumed it, he checked the date, shrugged at me, and said, "I'm not really sure that was good anymore.  I'll guess I'll live."  Yes, that man hates coconut.

Well and I can't say that I'm crazy about it.  Coconut cream pies, yes.  Pina coladas, no...just tastes like you're drinking sun tan lotion to me.  Any whoooo...

Coconut oil is solid and liquefies at 76 degrees.  Yes, it is currently that hot in my house because I'm too cheap to turn the air conditioning below 78.  Is my family lucky or what?!

After having this stuff for a couple months (yes, I was that nervous!), I thought I'd give it a go with the girls and pancakes.  (Nothing like testing new stuff out on your kids.)  And I'm happy to say that it passed with flying colors!  I even made waffles with it last weekend, when Scott was home to try it, and he couldn't tell a difference!  (Not that I told him...well, until you honey!)

I will let you know as I use it in other things.  I'm not baking a ton of sweets right now, as I'm trying like mad to fit into a too-small pair of khaki shorts at the moment.  But as soon as I can button those puppies, I'm going to try this in some cupcakes.

Here was the recipe for pancakes - this is not mine, however.  My grandma sent it to me and I'm sure she got it off the side of a Bisquick box.  I love it though.

2 1/3 C Pancake mix (I use homemade Bisquick)
2 eggs, beaten
1 C milk
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 C oil (I used coconut oil)