Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day out with Thomas

Because of circumstances well beyond our control, the trip didn't live up the the expectations we'd had for it. Between sick kids, lawyer's appointments, and a very uncooperative sister, our group was whittled in half. Even though there was a bit of a cloud over the day, we still had a great time.

Words cannot adequately describe my son's obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine (and trains in general), so it goes without saying that he had a blast. The event was held at a railroad museum. It had lots of engines and cars on display, and Braeden took to deciding which one of Thomas's friends each engine was. We rode the train, of course - and had pictures with Sir Topham Hatt & an inflatable Percy (those of you with Thomas-obsessed kids will know exactly what I'm talking about), visited a petting zoo, and tore through a hay maze. Though Branden is almost too old for Thomas, there was no doubt he had a good bit of fun. Bebo was on cloud nine, and is still talking about it today.

There's nothing like seeing the light in your childs eyes when he's doing something he loves. I guess that's why my sister makes me so sad. She's never taken that joy in her own children.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Big Party

Yesterday we went to a party. At least that's what Braeden called it. Actually, it was a smallish carnival set up for the Cornbread Festival. Let me take this moment to reiterate how hilarious I find it that the only thing we have to celebrate is cornbread! But I digress...

Carnivals are interesting things. I suppose if a philosopher-type were to study the psychology of carnivals and how people react to them, it would be an interesting study in human depravity. Throngs of people will spend $4 to ride a cheap, thrown-together kiddie ride that can do little more than some version of running in circles, and they will do it over and over again. They plunk down money for rigged games that only produce cheaply made toys that will burst at the seams if the fuzziness doesn't rub off first and eat food so laden with grease that it makes riding the aforementioned attractions a recipe for a vomit fountain. Lovely, eh?

In spite of the absurdity of the whole thing, there is something about it that's just plain fun. And really, that's why we go, isn't it? Even though it had rained and every step risked soaking my feet in nasty mud (and every ride posed a threat of a wet bottom), and even though I'm on a diet and the funnel cakes were seductively calling my name like a siren, and even though in the back of my mind I kept wondering how much money we were spending - despite all of that, it was a great deal of fun. Just to see Braeden laughing and squealing on the rides, running from one to the next as fast as his skinny legs would carry him was worth any perceived sacrifice on my part.

Maybe that's the real appeal of carnivals - for a few brief moments, even a 30-something can feel like a kid.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

My child is a piece of work. Allow me to illustrate:

Yesterday when I picked him up at the sitter's, she gave me a strange look. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "I didn't expect to see you. Braeden said his daddy was picking him up because you were hurt and had to go to the hospital." Needless to say, I am perfectly okay! No clue where he got that idea!

A few days ago I asked him what he wanted for supper. "A-fee-esa potatoes (fiesta potatoes from Taco Bell) and a drink and a straw for my cup." Guess he was worried he'd have to suck his drink through the lid...

I decided to grill for supper one night, and he wanted to play outside with me. I agreed. Then he asked me if he could play in the dirt. I said no; I didn't want him getting his hands dirty before suppertime. His response? "What about my foot?"

Four-year-olds. Gotta love 'em!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bored, bored, bored

There can be no doubt that Friday is my slowest day. In fact, I've only received one phone call and only four or five emails today. I find myself inventing things to do to earn my paycheck. But I can only invent so much, so here I am, blogging about being bored.

And in that spirit, here are some things I often do when I'm bored. Some are better than others, I admit.
  • Sleep
  • Eat
  • Take pictures of anything and everything
  • Watch Star Trek reruns on TV, or worse -
  • watch the Maury Show
  • Read (currently working on The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien)
  • Surf the internet
  • Drive
  • Sit quietly and do absolutely nothing
  • Stare at the pantry, hoping something delicious will magically appear
  • Go to Wal-Mart
  • Scrapbook
  • Play piano (only when I'm alone - Bebo won't let me play without his "help")
  • Talk to Mom
  • Spend time on Yahoo! Answers

What I should do when I'm bored:

  • Clean the house
  • Catch up on laundry
  • Spend time outside
  • Take pictures
  • Scrapbook
  • Play piano

What's just plain dangerous when I'm bored:

  • Going to Wal-Mart (spend $ I don't have)
  • Eating (gain weight I don't need)
  • Staring at the pantry, hoping for something delicious to magically appear (see above)
  • Watch the Maury Show (lose brain cells)

Oh, will three o'clock never get here???

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

Like everyone else, I'm saddened by the events Monday. My heart goes out to the parents of not only those who died, but also the parents of the killer. They not only lost their son, but have to bear the burden of knowing he was responsible for so many deaths.

I just hope that our lovely politicians don't capitalize on the event in their run for the presidency. That would be the ultimate height of tackiness - and sadly, I expect nothing less from them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

American Idol

I have succumbed.

Didn't think I ever would give in to the American Idol craze. Thought it was dorky. But this season has most definitely drawn me in. I've been eagerly anticipating this week's performances - I couldn't wait to see what the divas would do with country music, and I was excited to see Martina McBride, anyway.

In case you're wondering, I'm all for Melinda to win. Jordin would be a close second. None of the guys are doing anything for me, though I admit that Phil surprised me tonight. Sanjaya lived up to his usual mediocre expectations - so much for his surprise performance last week.

Now I realize that you really care what I think. I promise - no more Idol commentary until the end of the show.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Progress Report

This week: down 1.8 pounds
Total: down 6.2 pounds

I'm averaging 2 pounds a week. I can tolerate that.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Not much today. Jeff's parents came for a visit. FedEx will deliver a new camera lens Monday. I got 3 2-gig SD cards for $13 each. I think I'm going to have a good weigh-in Monday if I don't blow it between now and then. It's raining.

That's 'bout it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Revamping Recipes

The downside of the Flex program is that you have to count points for everything - which can be a little complicated when you're trying to deal with casseroles and other multi-ingredient dishes. I finally set up Excel to calculate points per serving for me (never could get the Weight Watchers recipe builder to work) and I've entered all of maybe three recipes so far. It's just a pain in the neck, because you have to get all the nutritional info, blah, blah, blah.

Last night I took what could potentially be a fattening mess of goo and toned it down considerably. It's worth it to reduce the amount of cheese and use low-fat instead of fat-free. The fat-free stuff just doesn't melt. Instead it creates little pockets of cheese-like goop that freakily manages to retain its shape. Ew.

So here ya go: Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti. Sounds delish, eh? Only 5 points per serving!

7 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. low fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 small jar pimientos, drained
1 c. fat-free milk
1 1/2 c. diced cooked chicken
salt & pepper to taste

Break spaghetti in pieces and cook according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine soup, 1 cup cheese, pimientos, milk, chicken, and salt and pepper. Drain spaghetti and mix well. Pour in a greased casserole dish (8x11 would suffice). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c. cheese on top and bake 5 more minutes, or until cheese melts. Serves 6.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Another Weigh-In

Bad week. No, just bad Amanda. It is so hard to be good! I heard someone say that it's harder for those of us who are addicted to food. Unlike other addictions, you can't just quit eating cold turkey. The source of your problem is always in your face, like it or not.

That being said, I gained .6 lbs. I'm actually happy with that. I wore heavier clothes than usual because of the weather, so in reality I probably just maintained. Given the Easter candy that's been singing my name, the baby shower with ultra-healthy tuna croissants and cake (tongue firmly planted in cheek), and the late-night fast food runs, I am thankful it wasn't far worse. I suppose it's something I will always struggle with.

But this is a new week. I'm going to try planning menus. I should have done that last week, but obviously it didn't happen. Perhaps it will help to plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.

One more thing. Please pray for my family. My sister is being undeniably stupid right now, and a lot of people stand to get hurt from her shenanigans.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

So tired...

All this past week I've felt I could sleep like Rip Van Winkle and it still wouldn't be enough. I guess I'm just behind on my beauty rest - ha! - but I am so freakin' sleepy! Granted, I haven't been getting into bed as early as I should - but I'm still getting a solid 6 hours of sleep a night. I shouldn't be this tired. I guess the diet is throwing me for a loop?

I cautiously went to Curves yesterday. My right wrist is still hurting quite a bit when I put any pressure on it. I did manage to do the workout with no major problems. But last night every muscle in my body was screaming at me. I bent down to close a dresser drawer and my back knotted up like I'd had baseballs stuck under my skin. The crazy thing is, I didn't really work out that hard at Curves! In fact, it was a "light" workout because of my wrist.

I know, I know - mumble, mumble, groan, groan. I really am a stunning ray of sunshine this morning, eh?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Go, Lady Vols!

I said I wasn't going to watch the game, but I couldn't help myself. Tennessee was awesome last night against Rutgers!

Yesterday I had a headache. That seems to be happening a lot lately. Anyway, Braeden felt the need to speak several decibels above normal, so I finally shushed him. As sweet a maple syrup, he said, "Mommy, I love you. But Mommy, you just can't shush me like that."

That child! He can always make me smile!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Weight, Pictures & Toys

I had my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers last week. Despite having two birthday parties to deal with, I still managed to lose 5 pounds! Granted, most of that was probably water weight, but it was still a good start. It should be easier this week - I don't have anywhere to go and no special events to attend.

The couple who sat for engagement pictures liked them so much that they asked me to take pictures at their showers and luncheons. (Yes, plural.) That is going to stretch me a bit, but will be good practice. I'm excited to return the favor - when I got married, her family pretty much ran my wedding for me.

Jeff had the day off yesterday, so he played with Braeden all day long. They decided to go fishing, and Bebo was thrilled to get his Finding Nemo fishing pole out. I asked him to pick up his toys before they left, and he informed me, "It's not a toy. It's a fishing pole!" I had to laugh at that one! (He still had to pick up his other toys, though!) I think they must have gone everywhere in the county yesterday, winding up at Grannie & Peepop's, where he of course had to spend the night. I didn't mind - it was nice to have a quiet evening with Jeff. He whupped me at a game of Monopoly, but we still had a good time. I enjoy those rare moments - no TV, no hollering preschooler - just me & the mister, talking & playing board games.

Now I need to go find my new checks. I put them in a Safe Place. Do I need to say that I can't for the life of me figure out where the Safe Place is?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

...always get me-e-e down...

Not entirely true. But a rainy Monday is tough stuff. Especially when you don't get a good night's sleep Sunday evening.

I'm concerned about a situation I see developing at church. Two men were put forth for the eldership, but certain folks are raising cain because a third man wasn't put forth. I know God is in control, but I am afraid of what this might mean.

My sister is going to make us all crazy.

Jeff had a "situation" at the house while I was gone that wound up with the police at the door in the middle of the night. Not his fault and nothing he could have done about it, but still not good.

Lots to pray about today.