Thursday, January 31, 2013

skinny sweet treat: cake batter yogurt

At work myself and a few other lovely ladies are using MyFitnessPal to stay on track with our goals for 2013 of living healthier.  Some of them are doing Weight Watchers as well.  One of the girls brought in this amazing "cake batter yogurt" today and allegedly, it has only 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving and 2.5 WW points.  That sounds great, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that probably most ice cream has about 100 calories per 1/2 cup.  Right?  Just a thought, but a pointless one because it doesn't matter.  That 1/2 cup was the best, most decadent 100 calories I've had all week.  So I bought the ingredients and made it at home for my family.  HUGE HIT.

Without further ado, friends (get ready to PIN the sh*t out of this), I give you Cake Batter Yogurt.

1 box of Funfetti cake (or cookie - whoops) mix
2 cups of plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup of Cool Whip Lite
*I added gummy bears to the boys for funsies and cutesies*

Seriously. That's all there is to it and it is soooo good.  It's almost too rich to eat with a spoon. It would be great as a dip (graham cracker sticks, maybe?).  

But is it good?  Proof is in the pudding, er, yogurt!  

Does he look like a satisfied customer or not?

So rich.  Must have milk.

And that's cake batter yogurt!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

if you really knew me: part II

To get to know me better, read my first If You Really Knew Me post HERE.

You'd know that I'm giddy right now because I just bought 21 items from Children's Place online for just over $100. (P.S. 30% off purchases over $60 and free shipping!) It's like Christmas over here.  Pants, Boots, and Shirts, OH MY!  And I do still have a blog post, over a month late, coming up about Christmas.

Back to the If You Really Knew Me stuff...

You’d know that I strongly believe if a town doesn’t have Target, it’s not worth living in.  You’d know I went to 5 different elementary schools.  You’d know that I’ve always been a writer (and that it’s gotten me into trouble before).  You’d know that I’d rather be hot than cold.  You’d know that I’m usually cold.  You’d know that my dad used to call me Can Dice…or Canned Ice I suppose.  (You’d also know that I really don’t like it when people misspell my name).  You’d  know I’m anal about apostrophes and spelling errors.  On that note, you might know that I would've won the school spelling bee when I was in the 2nd grade if the dumb judge hadn't misunderstood me.  I spelled most M-O-S-T and they thought I said M-O-S-T-E.  Come on. Who spells most with an e?  I fought for it though.  Lost, but I fought for it.

You’d know I used to sing in a church choir. You’d know I have an adventurous side. I’m not afraid of heights and I love the thrill of a roller coaster or a zipline (did you know I did one in Skagway, Alaska?) Did you know I have a superhero power?  Yep, 99% of the times that I randomly grab paperclips or hangers, I get the right number.  Jealous yet?

You’d also know that when I was little, I thought I’d get married at age 18 to someone who was 20 and that I’d have our first baby when I was 20.  You’d know that I thought I was going to be an astronaut or maybe a nurse, because those are pretty similar.  You’d know that my first car was named Penelope, and coincidentally, I now have a niece that bears this name as well.  An homage maybe? Maybe not.  My niece is much cuter than that old 1984 Pontiac Sunbird.  (Sadly, I don’t think I even have any pictures of me and Penelope.  The car.  Not the baby.  I have pictures of me and the baby).

Told ya so.

You’d know I’m obsessed with turquoise/aqua combined with most any color…red, purple, green, orange, yellow – I love it all.  My whole house would be aqua, inside and out, with splashes of all other colors if I could get away with it.

Some of my current favorite things ever:

1. World Market 2. Etsy 3. IKEA

Now do you feel like you really know me?


p.s. This is my 300th post of all time!  And my 11th post of January, which is 11 more posts than I posted in December.  I'm on it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

most embarrassing moment #5156

Picture it.  Sunday after Thanksgiving 2012 around 1600 hours Eastern Standard Time. 

Me behind the steering wheel in the middle of standstill traffic, about 3 hours after a long lunch and at least 5 glasses of sweet tea at Buffalo Wild Wings.  That spicy salad really was spicy and it made me really thirsty.  Theo was asleep, but woke suddenly, maybe due to the sudden lack of motion.  For some reason, this translated into him screaming at the top of his lungs for no known reason over the course of the next 15 minutes (that felt like 521 minutes). 

Interstate traffic + me = anxiety. 
Screaming toddler that can't be reasoned with + exploding bladder = nerves beyond their breaking point.

Anxiety + Frayed Nerves = Complete & Total Meltdown.

I screamed at Theo while he was screaming, just to be louder than him in irrational hopes that he would hear me.  I screamed to let off some of the tension that had been ballooning up inside like, well, my bladder.

Eventually Theo stopped screaming.  My bladder did not.  I begged Ryan for some kind of help. Some promise of relief.  Of course there was nothing he could do.  I threw that Highlander in park and climbed in the backseat, where the windows are tinted ever so slightly darker than the front.  I discreetly grabbed Theo's Mickey Mouse sippy cup and twisted that lid off at lightning speed.  I pulled my pants down and relieved myself in his cup.  All while avoiding eye contact with either of my children out of humiliation. 


Those cups aren't very big and certainly don't hold 5 glasses of sweet tea, regardless of how much ice was in those cups to begin with (tea always takes a lot of ice, you know?). There's this phenomenon of stopping and starting that I had to use and use well.  Long enough to hold this cup in position with one hand while getting a size 5 Luvs diaper out of the buried diaper bag with the other hand.  And yes, after conquering a mild to moderate case of stagefright, I finished the job in that baby diaper.

Never felt more relieved than I did at that moment.  All of the stress and tension of that traffic situation melted away immediately.  I situated myself and resumed my spot in the driver's seat.  All the while, Ryan was looking out the window with paranoia, and rightfully so, while saying things along the lines of:

Oh my god.
Are you serious?
I can't believe you're doing this.

Yes, seriously.  I sure did.  And that was that. Until the next day.

Picture it. The Monday after Thanksgiving 2012. 

On the way to the babysitter's house around 0730 hours Eastern Standard Time.

Theo: Mommy?
Me:  Yes, sweetie?
Theo:  Why did you pee in my Mickey Mouse sippy cup?
Me:  Thoughtful pause...I didn't.
Theo:  Yes, you did.
Me: No, I didn't.
Theo:  Yes, you did Mommy.  In the car yesterday.  You peed in my Mickey Mouse sippy cup.
Me:  Thoughtful pause, accept of defeat.  Oh.  That.  Well, you see, Theo.  Mommy had to pee really, really, really, really badly and there were no potties nearby.  All the cars on the road were stopped and there was nowhere for mommy to get out and use the bathroom.  So I had to find something I could potty in.
Theo:  But Mommy.  That was my cup and I really like my Mickey Mouse sippy cup.
Me: Yes, I know, honey.  I'm sorry.  We can get you a new cup.
Theo:  Thoughtful pause.  Mommy? 
Me:  Yes, Theo?
Theo:  I have a Mickey Mouse cup at {the babysitter}'s house.  Mickey's riding his bike and wearing a helmet and I really like that cup.
Me:  Oh?  That's good!
Theo:  Mommy, please don't pee in my Mickey Mouse sippy cup at {the babysitter}'s house. 

And at that moment, I knew our secret was not safe.  I knew that if I didn't tell the babyistter what had happened, Theo would tell some version of this story.  She wouldn't know if it was true. She would be confused. She might think I was making my child drink urine and report me to CPS.  I had to explain. 

Good morning, babysitter, let me tell you my most embarrassing story ever and get your week off to a hilarious start. 

It wasn't too funny then, but it's pretty funny now.  Darn kid is too smart for his (my) own good. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'm way behind, I know.  I just haven't felt too motivated to blog for the last week or so.  Last weekend we went to Tennessee to visit my now almost 3 week old baby niece, Penelope Quinn.  She's doing great.  My heart could bust with love for this newest member of our family.  I spent as much time as I could with her in my arms, just staring at her and memorizing her face, knowing that the next time I see her she will look completely different and much more like a smiley infant than a squishy newborn.  I also felt my heart grow ten times it's own size watching her big brother and big sister with her.  It's obvious that there will be no shortage of love in this baby girl's life.  I'm only sad that I won't be around as much as I'd like because of the distance between us.  It was definitely tough to leave.

What is it about those newborn yawns that are so irresistible?

I had obsessed about this baby out loud so much at work that everyone there has asked me about her.  Yes, she's amazing!  Everyone seems curious to know if this makes me want another baby, now that my sister has three kids and as I return from holding this tiny babe dressed in pink.  I sure miss that babe.  I sure miss my boys being tiny babes.  But no, we're still holding steady at two and through!  


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

to moms (expectant, newborn, and toddler): this is for you

I have some advice / words of wisdom to share with you.

Because all new moms love unsolicited advice. 

Because I'm such an expert now that I have an almost 3 year old and an over 1.5+ year old. 

Or really, just because I just have all these thing to say that I wish someone would have said to me...or that I wish I would have listened to back then.

First, do yourself a favor and go read You're Doing Good {A Letter of Encouragement} by Sarah over at It's a Vol. 

If you're pregnant:
1.  Enjoy this.  This will not, even if it feels like it will never end, last forever.  In the span of your lifetime, 9 months is nothing.  This time goes by so quickly and after that baby is born, it will be surreal.  You'll be thrilled to bend over. To tie your own shoes.  To walk 10 feet without feeling out of breath.  But you will miss those kicks (even the ones that take your breath away).  You will miss looking at the profile of your round belly in the mirror.  You will miss running your hands from the top of your stomach, all the way down to the bottom and feeling your baby react to your touch. 
2.  Have someone take pictures of you.  They don't have to be professional.  You don't have to feel pretty or get dressed up.  You are beautiful - you will realize this later.  You will want to remember the way you look.
3.  Lay around as much as you can.  Sleep as much as you care to.  Go to restaurants to have someone else take care of you and the mess you've made.  Enjoy those dinners out because after this baby comes, the last thing you think about doing at a restaurant is relaxing and being taken care of. 
4. Don't freak out.  Billions of women have gone before you and birthed babies successfully.  Your body was built to do this exact thing.  Being excited is fine, but don't let anxiety about the birth consume you.  In the span of your lifetime, the time labor and delivery takes is nothing.  Don't be afraid.  It might seem like the longest day of your life, but it will be the best day of your life. Focus on the latter.

If you have a newborn:
1. While becoming a mom may be completely natural, there are things about it that seem to go against nature. Nursing can come naturally, but sometimes it does not.  If this is important to you, don't give up. Be stubborn. Billions of women have gone before you and nursed their babies successfully.  Your body was built to do this exact thing. But.  If it doesn't work out, it's not your fault.  And your baby will be fine.  Don't let other people make you feel guilty.
2.  Ask for help.  It doesn't make you less of a mother.  It doesn't mean love your baby any less.  It doesn't mean you're weak or that you suck at this.  It's normal to need a break and it's important to take one when you get a chance. 
3.  Hold your baby as much as you can.  Your baby has been in your womb for 9(ish) months and has been held 24 hours a day.  Why would you deprive him or her of that now that she's on the outside?  He may need to be held...and it's not going to ruin him.  This sweet baby will not always want to be held.
4. You know how they say to sleep when the baby sleeps?  Rubbish.  You're holding your baby when he's awake; this is the only time you have to get anything done.  I missed the boat on this - get a GOOD carrier.  One that doesn't hurt your back.  Do whatever you need to get done with the baby in the carrier while the baby is awake so you can sit and do jack squat (text, talk on the phone, play Words With Friends, or whatever else makes you feel normal) while the baby sleeps. 
5. Get. Out. Of. The. House.  There are those days when you can barely find time to shower.  Doesn't matter.  Pack that baby up and go walk around the your neighborhood.  The park. The mall. The grocery store.  Fresh air does wonders for baby blues, feelings of isolation, and exhaustion.  I was paralyzed by the fear that Theo would puke all over both of us, crap all over himself, and/or scream bloody murder and people would stare.  After about 6 weeks, I learned that if the baby pukes, I can clean him up.  If he poops, I can clean that up too.  If he cries, so what.  People have heard babies cry before.  I can calm him down.  Fresh air improved my mood every time. P.S. Take comfort in knowing that, if there is a second time, it will be soooo much easier the second time.

If you have a little kid:
1.  This is just a stage.  Whether it's good or bad. Hard or easy.  This is going to pass soon.  Try not to spend too much time dwelling on the negative. It will get better.  It will. There are things you will miss about your child being this age.  It's a cycle.  Something is always getting easier while something else gets harder.  I don't think that ever stops. 
2.  Today, your child is the smallest she will ever be.  She will never be this young again.  When you think your little kid is just too grown up, remember this.  In the span of her lifetime, the time spent as a little kid is nothing.  Cherish it, even when you can't wait for her to be older, bigger, and more independent.  She will be more independent next week than she is today.
3.  Make memories on purpose, but realize that favorite memories will be ordinary things.  Like sitting on the counter while you cook.  Or sitting on your lap while you peel an apple for her to eat.  Or going to grandma's house. Take pictures.  Don't let too many days go by in between.
4.  Do things for yourself. By yourself.  With a friend.  Don't lose sight of who you are just because you have a new role. 

What would you add to this list?


Monday, January 14, 2013

cute things

Theo loses a little bit of his baby-ness every day so I'm trying to keep track of some of the cute things he says and does before they fade away.  Dexter is just now really talking in short sentences but is pretty cute too, I suppose.

I like how Theo calls crayons “crayleons.”
And ambulances are "ambliances."

I like how Dexter claps his hands and says “yay! I deeeed it!” whenever he’s proud of himself.

I like how Dexter randomly grabs my cheeks and pulls me in to kiss him on the lips.

And how he says “I wuv eee.”  Sometimes to me and his dad, but mostly to his stuffed animals when he looks deep into their eyes.

I like how I can tell Theo to talk to Dexter when he’s crying and Theo sweetly says “Dexter, it’s okay. Don’t cry buddy.”  Even more, I like how Dexter listens to him.

I like how obsessed Theo is with Toy Story, and how he carries that 4” tall Woody around with him EVERYWHERE he goes. (I don't like looking frantically for Woody's hat 6x a day when it's lost...super glue anyone?).

I like how Dexter wakes up with a smile on his face

I like how Theo is refusing to sit in his booster seat because he’s just too cool and old for that.

I like how Theo calls Penelope “Pepelome.”

I like how Dexter says lollipop…“Peepop.”

I like how Dexter decides it's bedtime most nights by announcing "I want milk!"  He'll stand in front of me, repeating this until I stand up.  As soon as I get up, he runs to the kitchen.  When I start getting the milk out, I'll ask him if he's ready for bed and he says "uh huh!" He'll go get his favorite blanket and start telling daddy and Theo "nigh nigh!"  So cute.

I like how both boys call their favorite blanket "kanket."  Dexter definitely stole that one from Theo.

Dexter loves to color and asks to do so almost every day.  "I wanna kuh-lah!"

P.S.  I like them. 


Added on 1/30:  Instead of saying he "forgot" something, Theo says he "got-for."  Love it! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

now or never

We had big plans of going to Tennessee to visit our one-week-new niece, Penelope, this weekend but both boys had colds and by Friday, it seemed that Theo's was getting worse instead of better.  Turns out, it's just a junky cough that has not changed one.bit. since late Thursday night.  He acts like he feels fine so who knows if it was/is anything contagious.  Dexter hasn't (yet) developed a cough.  We worried about the car ride, them sleeping somewhere else, and mainly, that Penelope would catch it.  As much as I wanted to go to Tennessee, I knew the right thing to do was to stay away from a 5 day old baby while the kids were not 100%.  Despite being super bummed, we made the most of our weekend.  Friday afternoon the weather was nice so we took the opportunity to play outside and go for a quick wagon ride.  Unfortunately we only made it about four houses down the road where a few neighbors were gathered, chatting. Even though I really wanted to bust on down the road and burn some calories, I stood and chatted for a few minutes as well.  Afterwards, Theo was ready to go back home.

Saturday we mainly relaxed around the house doing stuff like this:

then ventured out at dinnertime for Cheeseburger in Paradise.  COASTAL TACOS, y'all!!

I remembered a Groupon I bought for a bouncy place so we took advantage of that today.  The boys just loved it.  I was excited because I remembered taking Malachi (my nephew) when he was three and sweating to the oldies right there with him.  I figured we'd all get some exercise.  I was figured right about that part.  I figured we'd stay for about an hour. I figured wrong.  We were there almost two hours.  I was begging the boys for a break, "hey, aren't you thirsty? Don't you need a sip of water?"  Really, it was a lot of fun.

I couldn't hear him, but I know this face + clap = "Yay! I deeed it!"


quite possibly Theo's favorite part

After almost 2 hours of bouncing, we went across the street to Bajio, where we had a coupon. Can you tell I love a deal?

Woody was the only one that didn't have a hard time staying awake on the way home.  Also? Maybe one of my favorite pictures. EVER.

It was almost 2 by the time we got home and the boys were bushed.  I have been telling myself since January 1st that I was going to re-join the gym.  I snuck back out as soon as we got Dexter in bed and joined the Y.

 Since I had worn my yoga pants to the bounce place, I figured I may as well take advantage of the facilities and get in a little work out.  I only did 35 minutes on the elliptical.  I only burned 220 calories.  I kept telling myself how pathetic it was that this was wearing me out. Then I pep talked myself (silently of course).  Although I was struggling, at least I was making myself do it.  It felt good to move my body instead of spending the boys' nap taking a nap myself.  Those 220 calories are the only ones I've burned on purpose since Theo was about 4 months old.  Those 220 calories made me sweat like I haven't since Theo was about 4 months old.  Seriously.  The more I thought about it, the prouder I felt of myself for taking this initiative to take back control of my life.

"Yay! I deeeeed it!"

I was active with my kids today. It was fun.  I did something for myself by working out and I felt accomplished afterwards.  I don't want to be skinny minny, I just want to feel good. I want to have energy left at the end of the day to do something besides just lay on the couch playing dumb games on my phone.  I want to be able to wear shorts at Disney World in the fall and not feel disgusting.  I'm trying.  And that's the most I've done in a long time.

looking up,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

we booked our Disney vacay!

We've got a couple of exciting things already planned for this year.  First and foremost...we booked our fall family vacation to Disney World!  This has been a long time coming and I couldn't be more thrilled.  So thrilled, that I've started contemplating how all of this build up is going to crash and burn the day we come home.  Two years of waiting for one week of fun.  Yikes.

Anyway, some details are already planned and there will be lots more planning to come. 

We're staying at the Art of Animation Resort on Disney property.  Staying on property is a no-brainer.  Wonderful transportation between all the resorts and parks and to and from the airport.  No need for a rental car and no cost for parking at the parks.  It's a value resort (the cheapest rate for Disney resorts).  We contemplated staying at a moderate resort (the next price category up) since we knew we would be spending more time at the resort than in past trips. However, once I looked at the AoA resort online, I knew this is where the boys would have the most fun at the ages they will be (2 1/2 and 3 1/2).  An entire section of the resort looks like Radiator Springs from the Cars movies, which they both love.  You can stay in the Wheel Well Motel, just like in the movie.  It's a big family trip - my mom, Ryan's parents, and Ryan's sister and her family are all going.  We opted for family suites in the Cars section and requested to be in adjacent rooms.  Each suite sleeps six, has a kitchenette, master bedroom, and two bathrooms. 

We made sure to build in plenty of time to rest.  When Ryan and I went 6 years ago, we were exhausted!  Walking from 8am to 10pm or later every day wears on the old body, and while I hope to be in much better shape by the time we go than I am in now, I'll still be 6 1/2 yrs older than I was last time. Plus, I'm sure the kids won't nap much (if at all) at the parks and I don't want to waste time going back and forth. Days off will let us catch up on some needed rest.

{February 2007}

Currently debating flying vs. driving just because airfare right now is $300+ per person.  That's over 12-hundo for all of us.  My time is definitely worth some money, considering that it's a 2+ hr flight and a 16+ hr drive.  But I don't know if it's worth $1200+.

The preliminary itinerary looks something like this:

Friday: We will arrive and unpack, tour the resort, and enjoy some R&R.  Maybe head to Downtown Disney for dinner. 

Saturday: We will go to the Magic Kingdom first thing.  Ryan wants the boys to see Cinderella's castle first since that's what they recognize as being Disney World.  We may or may not stay there all day - we got 4-day Park Hoppers so we can change things up.  I don't think we'll spend an entire day at Epcot and Ryan's parents aren't interested in going there.  They won't arrive until sometime Saturday so this would be a good time for us to see Epcot.  It will be fun for the boys to ride the monorail between parks. 

Sunday:  We plan on spending this day at the resort.  Hopefully the weather will be nice for swimming.  If not, there's always Downtown Disney.  We are going to take the boys to a character breakfast one day and I think it would be ideal to do this on a day when we don't have anything else planned so we're not rushed. 

Monday:  A park - maybe Disney's Hollywood Studios (my fave!).  I think we could easily spend an entire day here (maybe more).

Tuesday:  Resort.  Ryan and I have talked about leaving the boys with the grandparents one day while we drive over to Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure for a date day.  :) We'll see how we feel abou this once we get there.  Ryan's parents are driving down so we'll have access to a car, which will be really nice.  We'll be able to make grocery store runs and eat some breakfasts & snacks in the room since we'll have our handy dandy kitchenette available. 

Wednesday:  A park.  Animal Kingdom perhaps. I'm not sure if we'll spend a whole day there and I know they close earlier than other parks, so maybe we'll go back to Hollywood Studios. We want to save an entire day for Magic Kingdom. It would be kind of sweet to start and end our trip there. 

Thursday: Resort / relaxation day.

Friday: Park day (MK maybe). 

SadderDay:  Go home

So that's all I know for now.  It's really exciting that this is in the foreseeable future now...instead of 2 yrs away like it was the first time I wrote about it. 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

things are poppin'

We've been enjoying some yummy new treats, courtesy of my new Zoku quickpop maker.  I've been wanting this thing for at least a year.  When I finally got it for Christmas, and read the instructions, I thought hmm....maybe this was dumb.  But turns out, it's not complicated at all and these pops are so GOOD!  The boys love them (and so do I).

Aunt Michelle and Uncle Bob popped into town to pick up our nephew Spencer, who had been staying with Ryan and Michelle's parents...the beloved duo of Nana and Pop Pop, since New Year's Day.  Theo and Dexter had a blast playing with Spencer.  They loved having a sleepover!  

Saturday we went to Shapiro's, a well-known spot in Indy, for lunch.  We chowed down on some giant sandwiches (I watched my portions, y'all!).  

this kid, however, cleaned his plate!

Nana and Pop Pop's three grandsons sure do love them!

And everyone loves Dexter. 

OH and one other thing that popped this weekend.....
My sister had her sweet baby girl, Penelope Quinn today January 6, 2013.  I am bursting with joy and excitement for them and wallowing in a little self-pity at the same time because I'm not there.  I now have 2 nieces and 2 nephews and this is the first time I wasn't there, at the hospital, for the birth.  SAD!  Even sadder because there's a 99.999% chance that this was my last chance to be there for a niece/nephew birth.   Without further ado, Penelope, Isabella, and Malachi.