Thursday, July 30, 2009
There was absolutely no way that I could go to the grocery store. But I did become very well acquainted with the bathroom. I also took 5 very hot baths and fell asleep in the tub once. I was just so exhausted.
I started taking antibiotics but of course they don't work instantly. Come on, drugs; work your magic!
Food: cereal + skim milk; lots and lots and lots of water; popcorn; soft pretzel from freezer
Not the healthiest but I wasn't too hungry. I just wanted something to fill the void and the pantry was pretty darn empty. I made pancakes for dinner for the family.
As soon as this mess is over I want to start walking and exercising regularly. I don't think I'll try killing myself with 2 workouts per day like I was before. That's just excessive and not something that I can maintain. 5 days per week is good for me. I'd like to add in spinning again because it's a lot of fun and burns lots and lots of calories.
Thursday (today) I did go grocery shopping so I should have a new recipe to share with you later if it turns out good. If it's nasty I don't want to share it. :) I also finally have some fruits and greens in the house again. yeah!
Friday we'll be going to visit my parents for Charlie's 9th birthday. They grow up way too fast. His birthday is Saturday so we'll be spending Friday night there. His Ben 10 party supplies came in the mail today (cutting it a little close, Fed Ex man!). I'm not exactly sure what Ben 10 is but I do know that he is obsessing about it.
So if you don't hear from me for a couple of days you know where I'm at and what's up.
Hey, I did peek at the scale today. Not bad! I haven't exactly lost weight but I haven't gained either. I'm practicing for my maintenance lifestyle. Yeah, that's it. ;-)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Life has just been hitting me at full speed and when I finally have a chance to blog I just want some quiet "me" time.
Busy teaching the kids most of the day, then running errands, reading, doing nature challenge missions (though we finished our last one on Sunday), playing taxi to the kids, etc etc.
My exercising has really been lacking lately which is not good. I am going to exercise today no matter what even though I did get up before the crack of dawn because it feels like I'm coming down with a UTI. Ugh. Haven't had one of those in years. Drinking lots and lots of water.
I hope to post some new recipes for you very soon. Today is grocery shopping day but the money tree in the backyard has died so I'm going to try to find budget friendly yet healthy options. Not always possible though. There may be a hot dog night tossed in there somewhere. :)
Weight loss? I haven't checked the scale and quite frankly I am afraid to look. I'll be checking next week and reporting the damage. LOL And this weekend is Charlie's 9th birthday so I'm getting ready for that.
Any suggestions for healthy budget friendly meals?
Friday, July 24, 2009
The officer said that there have been a lot of robberies lately and they are happening during the daylight hours typically from 8am until 1 pm. Our neighborhood has been hit twice in 2 weeks.
They may act like door to door salesmen and then force their way in at gunpoint when you open the door. If you don't answer the door, they knock down your back fence and then kick down your door. Some unfortunate homeowners have been tied up while being robbed.
My new companion is not a cuddly puppy but a shotgun that holds 8 shells. I refuse to be a victim.
This is happening all over, folks. Please be careful out there. Be prepared. Don't be a victim.
Other than a cop visiting, it was an ordinary day.
For dinner I made some oven roasted potatoes that were out of this world. I bet these would be awesome with some scrambled eggs and cheese wrapped up in a tortilla. Mmmm...and some salsa.
Also made these totally awesome (!) pork chops with chimichurri. Only 4 pts! Chuck loved the sauce so much that he even put it on top of his potatoes. Give it a try. It is a very fast dinner.
After dinner we watched a documentary on mummies then made funeral masks using plaster bandage strips (found at typical hobby store like Hobby Lobby or Michaels).
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday the kids and I visited Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique in Houston. Just look at this cupcake goodness: (from top left: Charming Chocolate; Dippity Doo-dah; Dippity Doo-dah; Java Chocolate) Mine was the Java Chocolate. OMG! So good. The kids weren't terribly impressed with cake but thought the icing was good. They're quite the cupcake connoisseurs.
Here's how I justified the trip to a cupcake shop: Rachel is taking a cake decorating class so it's kind of like an elective in school. So we went to the cupcake shop on a field trip. Are you following me camera guy? That's it.....a field trip! It was for education. And I'm all about my kids' education. Ha!
Hey, I did eat "on plan" the rest of the day. Balance. Must have balance. :)
It has been 1 week and 1 day since the chicken mummification project started. Yes, I still have a chicken sitting on my counter.
Today the kids made canopic jars. The jars were used to hold the intestines, lungs, liver and stomach of the deceased. Our jars will hold pennies, trinkets and rocks. Maybe keys.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I woke up at my usual 7ish am. That's a real time according to my Einstein Watch of Relativity: 7ish, 8ish, 9ish, etc....
Forced myself to get on the treadmill and walked for 1 minute and jogged for 2 minutes. Did that for 2.5 miles. I love seating now and I sure do a lot of it. It's kind of silly but I like to imagine that I'm sweating away melted fat and getting thinner and more muscular.
I also like to walk on the treadmill while watching cooking shows. Nothing makes me want to run like watching Paula Deen cook. Can she cook anything without a stick of butter? I think not. I am not making this up: I once saw her make a hamburger using two glazed donuts as the buns. I know!!!
After a good sweat and getting cleaned up, had an Amazing Grass Bar, and headed over to a chemical supply house to pick up citric acid (for Rachel's bath fizzies she likes to make) and some caustic soda (aka NaOH aka sodium hydroxide aka lye). Did you know that you used to be able to get lye at the grocery store in the form of Red Devil Lye drain cleaner? Can't any more. The feds were putting pressure on lye makers because lye is an ingredient in meth.
If you've ever wanted to give the gift of meth for the holidays, don't. Check out these ingredients: Drano, Brake Fluid, Lithium From Batteries (Battery Acid), Lighter Fluid, Rubbing Alcohol, Drain cleaner, Gasoline additives, Paint thinner, Freon, Camp stove fuel, White gasoline, Ammonia, Cold Remedies, Hydrochloride, Hydriodic Acid, Red Phosphorus, Lye, Ether (Starter Fluid), Iodine Ephedrine.
Ephedrine is a common ingredient in sinus medications like Sudafed. Since being used to make meth, you will often see it behind locked glass doors at the pharmacy now.
Ok. Back to chemical shopping. I was having trouble finding copper sulfate. If you ever need it, just go to a home supply store and pick up some root killer for septic systems. It's 99% copper sulfate. It's also used to kill algae in ponds so you might be able to find it at a water garden supply store. Just FYI.
Chemical roundup complete, we begin the experiment. The whole point was to be able to detect starches, fats and proteins in foods.
The first two tubes are for testing for starches using cornstarch and iodine solution. The one on the far left is the starch and the other one is the control.
The middle two were for testing for fats using veggie oil and alcohol. I was out of alcohol so I used hand gel. LOL It worked!
The last two were for testing protein using egg white and copper sulfate solution & lye water. The one of the left is the one with the egg white protein.
Things I learned from this experiment:
- finding lye is a lot more difficult than I'd expect. Hope you don't want to make soap or hominy!
- lye is used in making meth
- handgel can be used as a substitute for alcohol and is a wonderful product.
- lye gets extremely hot extremely fast when mixed with water. I did not know this and freaked out a little bit.
- chemistry can be a little scary for those (ME!) who don't know what they're doing
To make the day more fun, here is a real conversation that occurred:Charlie: "Mom, can I keep this daddy long legs?
Me:"AH! Get it out of here. That's not a daddy long legs!!"
Charlie: "what is it?"
Me: "A spider! Don't pick up things if you aren't sure what they are."
Lunch: turkey sandwich and some popcorn
Then school. Rachel also had to frost another cake for her class. These cakes have been giving her a fit. We've had the worst time with them falling apart or sticking to the pan. But this time I greased it like crazy and it worked out much better.
Things were busy and I just couldn't squeeze in another thing before her class. Took Rachel to class, went to the grocery store and came home. Breathed for a moment and then it was time to go get her at 8pm. We still hadn't eaten dinner so we went out to Gringo's Mexican Restaurant. Chuck and I split a fajita burrito (actually I had about 1/3) and we both got Mexican Hurricanes. Great way to end the day. :)
Oh, and Rachel's teacher showed everyone in the class a rose that Rachel made. Yeah! I know that made her feel good. She's been afraid that she can't do as well as all of the adults in the class.
And that concludes our broadcasting day.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This picture pretty much sums up the weekend: I love the innocence of childhood curiosity. We were on a mission to find animal tracks. The kids found raccoon and deer prints.
I packed in the materials we needed to make casts of the deer tracks. How is that for a prepared mom?! I made some casts of another track but some kids from hell smashed it. Brats.
Here are the casts that survived.
I did try a couple of new recipes that were hits.
How about some Cheese Stuffed Sliders? These are filled with 2% cheddar and were very good and filling. I did not top them with grilled onions like the recipe called for. Next time I'll try that. You can tell from the picture that I like a lot of mustard on the burger. No ketchup, please.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I would like to report that food wasn't too terribly bad yesterday even though we were busy and on the road most the day.
Chuck cooked a good breakfast before we left for the day. Thanks, Chuck
Off to get a sneak peak of a place called Hudson Woods in Lake Jackson. We didn't have a lot of time for exploring but I have really wanted to check this place out since I found out it existed. I'm always on the lookout for new places to explore. Check out those gorgeous live oaks with Spanish moss! This area is a part of the Columbia Bottomlands ecosystem.
Saw some great spiders including this black and yellow argiope. They are easy to recognize because they write zig zags in their webs.
The trails are beautiful and shaded. This represents the Post Oak Savannah ecosytem in the Houston area.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I didn't exercise because I was exhausted. I went to sleep find Wednesday night but woke up around midnight in a panic attack. It suddenly hit me that Rachel is 14 and will be 18 in 4 short years. I lost it! It felt like a weight was on my chest and had trouble breathing.
Have I taught her enough? What should I have done differently? Anything? OMG, she will be driving soon! How can I afford a car for her? Will I have taught her everything she needs to know by graduation time? She's behind on math because it's always been her toughest subject so we don't move ahead until she has a firm grasp on a concept; therefore, we have moved slowly. She tells me she doesn't want to go to college. Should I push her or let her choose her own path in life?
Yep, I had a full freak out. It lasted until around 2:30am and I couldn't fight sleep any longer. I can't believe how fast kids are growing up. I can't believe how fast my life is flying by. Time used to go so slow when I was a kid. Did the clock speed up?!
I woke up fully recovered from the panic but very tired. I just have to make a 4 year plan. And if it takes a little longer, then so be it.
Breakfast: Amazing Grass pomegranate mango shake with chia seeds
Lunch: leftover Chicken Enchilada Casserole; watermelon
I also had a handful of coconut M&Ms. Those things are incredible.
Rachel had an experiment involving liver, hydrogen peroxide, and a toothpick. Place the liver in a jar with hydrogen peroxide. We didn't know it was going to have such a violent reaction. The catalase in the liver converts the hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen in seconds.
She put the lid on the jar and let the chemical reaction break down the peroxide.She lit a toothpick and blew out the flame so that the toothpick just had a glow. Then take the lid off the jar and hold toothpick inside the jar. The high oxygen content from the chemical reaction lit the toothpick again! And it burned much brighter in the oxygen rich environment than outside of the jar. So COOL!
By dinner time I'm usually tired from a busy day. This has been my toughest part of the day. THIS is when I want to just go out for a quick meal. It's easy & I don't have to clean up afterwards. But I totally resisted and made dinner instead. And it turned out great!
Dinner: Open Faced Chicken & Spinach Sandwiches; baked sweet tater
Wanna hear something sad? My elbow is so sore that it hurts to bend my arm. All because I played too much Wii tennis in the evenings. LOL Can you get tennis elbow by playing Wii?!
I feel much better about my day. I got school done; dinner cooked; washed clothes; worked on a scrapbook page for the Nature Challenge. :)
Now if I can only do good over our busy weekend. That is a big challenge for me. I'll report back how I did. Planning is everything.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The day didn't start with a cup of coffee or a healthy breakfast but changing the salts in the mummy-in-progress. The kids are great sports about this.
Breakfast: Green shake with Amazing Grass Pomegranate Mango & chia seeds & almond milk
Rachel then had to do a science experiment that demonstrated how cells use osmosis. She used potatoes & sugar. Love science.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We are studying about ancient Egypt right now. Rachel LOVES this time period and knows more than most about the Egyptian gods/goddesses and culture. It's something that has always fascinated her. So a lot of times she is teaching ME about history instead of vice versa. Charlie.....he's just along for the ride. I'm doing my best to spark an interest in something for him.
Our project for Tuesday was to begin the mummification process for a chicken that was named Pharaoh Cluxor or Clucksor. The spelling is debatable at this point among scholars.
You have to wash out the chicken with water and then with rubbing alcohol and then dry it thoroughly. Charlie was talking about becoming a vegetarian after this which I thought was hilarious.
We also made our own natron mixture. It had all of the elements of the natron that the Egyptians used except for one: sodium sulfate. I also added spices to give it a better smell than mummifying chicken. After all, you don't refrigerate this thing.
Guess how long this process is going to take! 6 weeks!! That's commitment, my friend.
Lunch: maple turkey, pesto, roasted red peppers & mozzarella on whole wheat bread; baked chips; watermelon The sandwich was the best! Such a good combination.
Took Rachel to her cake decorating class. She was stressing because her first cake didn't come out how she wanted. But I think she did pretty good. She's never made a 2-layer cake and homemade frosting before.
Dinner: Chicken Enchilada Casserole; salad; slice of bread I really enjoyed this recipe.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We still have nature challenge missions to complete. Got up this morning and made some blueberry muffins from a mix from vitamuffin people and had some cantaloupe on the side. Nice.
Then off to Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston. It was hot. REAL hot. But we're on a mission.
We retrieved our mission papers from a secret location and went over our plans: find native and invasive plants; make a nature journal entry; collect a leaf from both a native and invasive species. The message then self destructed but we're not sure if it was designed to do that or it was from the heat.
Success! A native bald cypress. Woohoo! One part of mission complete. Secret agent Happy Texan needs to lose a few more pounds. That IS a challenge.
At one pond were a bunch of turtles. They obviously get fed a lot because they started coming out of the water when they saw us. No food today, turtles.