Friday, January 30, 2009

New Blog: Walk Away From the Twinkie

Because I don't have enough trouble keeping this blog up (sarcasm on), I've decided to start yet another blog. Rather than turning this blog into my escapades on trying to lose a gazillion pounds and run a marathon like tomorrow, I've decided to keep that separate.

I figure it will be a good to keep a journal of my journey, and I'm inviting you to come along...

Walk Away From the Twinkie

My goal is to update both this blog and the other blog daily. I think now that I've finally finished my "second job" role, it will be much more realistic for me to find time. For the most part, I think I'm going to be working a normal 40-50 hour work week now. I'm pretty excited about that! That is also what led to me finally being able to take on the weight challenge as well. It's really nice when things finally come together.

I have a new cousin!

My Aunt Kelly is a year younger than me (I'll pause for a moment while you wrap your noodle around that concept). After a difficult delivery, Kelly had her first baby. I now have a new first cousin!

Kelly lives in Seattle so we don't get a chance to see each other very often, but through the magic of Facebook and email I look forward to watching her little baby boy grow up.

Congratulations Kelly! We are so happy for you!

Brady Joseph Lynch
January 17, 9:35am
7lbs 3oz, 19 inches

Here's a picture of Kelly and Brady. How adorable is he?

Here's the proud dad, Tim, with little Brady. That's right, sleep while you can!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Loftiest of Goals

So what do you do when you find yourself 100 lbs overweight and you can't run to your mailbox? a) Get a rascal scooter
b) Diet and exercise sensibly to loose weight and get in shape
c) Bury your sorrows in a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby
d) sign up for a marathon

Ok, I realize most of you probably would have picked B (although C does sound like a tempting winner). Alas, if you haven't found out by now, I'm not like most people. I picked D. That's right, I signed up to run in a marathon.

I realize how crazy it all seems well, because it is. But I am very goal driven and up until now, I haven't had a strong enough goal and motivation to push me to my end result. So as I was perusing the company intranet yesterday I saw a notification for early sign ups for the Chicago Marathon on October 11. I started to think about it and thought this could be just the piece of motivation I'm looking for.

I did some research. A lot of people suggest you run regularly for about a year before you try to train for a marathon. There was a lot of good and of course, conflicting advice. In the end, I ignored a lot of the advice (not that I am recommending you do the same), and decided to go for it.

I'm not looking to beat a certain time or even enjoy the run. My goals are to simply survive it and finish it in 6hrs and 30mins before they take down the water and first aid stations. I may not get anywhere close to that goal, but I'm going to do everything I can do try. Bill said he'd call it success and would be proud if I just finished 10K. That may be all I can do, but I'm still shooting for the entire 26.2 miles.

I've got eight months to loose weight, get in shape, and prepare for the race. I'm starting with the "couch to 5K" program where at the end of nine weeks I'll be able to run three miles without stopping. We'll see.

Everyone has to have a dream, right? Here's mine:

Chicago Marathon
October 11, 2009
Bridget finishes the race

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lured from the tent

I previously reported how Reagan would only sleep in her princess castle tent she got for Christmas. I am happy to report that a solid month later, she has finally been lured from her tent into a real bed.

Prior to her taking up residence in her tent, she was sleeping in her little toddler bed. But she's always had a twin bed in her room that has gone unused. The twin bed is a canopy bed that looks like Cinderella's carriage. She's shown great interest in it over the years-- for climbing, for jumping, for doing dive rolls off of it. For sleeping-- no interest whatsoever.

But about a week ago, I put in the Cinderella movie for the first time. She watched it with great interest, becoming very upset with the ugly stepsisters destroyed Cinderella's dress for the ball. Then, when she saw Cinderella's carriage, she immediately identified it as looking like her bed.

When the movie ended she asked to watch it again. She's now watched it about a dozen times. And she now wants to be "Cinderella Princess." The bed that was only good for jumping from has now become her bed of choice for slumber, over her toddler bed, over her tent. She looks so adorable being so tiny and sleeping in such a big bed.

I wish I had thought of putting on that movie a long time ago.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's for Dinner, Super Bowl Corn Dip

With the Super Bowl coming up, I've started thinking about what I'm going to take to our friends' Super Bowl party. Here's one super easy crowd pleaser for your consideration:

Corn Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

2 cups mayo
2 cans Fiesta/Mexican corn- drained
2 cups grated Monterrey jack/Colby mix
2 cups grated Parmesan (or Parmesan Romano mix)
Add some cumin, jalapenos, diced chilies, or red cayenne pepper if you want (it's perfectly yummy without them)

Add all the ingredients and mix together
Cook in 350 oven for 30 minutes

Scoops Tortilla chips are awesome with this
I think next time I may try this same recipe but adding crab. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ballet Dreams Dashed

Reagan has a couple of things she takes at school in addition to her regular curriculum. One is tumbling, we are just now adding yoga, and her favorite: ballet.

Every Thursday Reagan has a ballet class that she SO looks forward to. Just the act of getting dressed up in her leotard, skirt, and ballet shoes makes it all worthwhile to her.

So today of all days, the girls sleep in a little. Bailey didn't wake up until 7:45. We haven't used a real alarm clock in 2.5 years because the girls take care of that for us. Not today. Ballet is at 9 and school is 30 minutes away. We had to hurry, hurry, hurry!

In our rush, I went ahead and put on Reagan's ballet clothes. The ballet instructor always begs us to do that anyway because it saves her tons of time on getting eight two-year olds out of uniforms and into leotards. But not once have I actually done it. I always send Reagan in her uniform and let them change her. Since I did go ahead and Reagan in her clothes, she was especially looking forward to ballet today. Every step had a little hop or twirl with it and she wore her tierra and waved her wand proclaiming she was a ballerina princess.

At 8:30 Bill scrambled out the door and took the girls to school. Shortly before 9 I started checking email. As I scanned the new mail, one subject in particular stood out: PLEASE READ NOW. NO BALLET TODAY.

Ugh, too little too late. I already had a two year old dressed and ready for ballet and walking through the doors of her classroom as I read. Apparently the teacher had a fever so she decided to stay home (good call). But I had Reagan already dreaming of prancing and twirling in ballet. While Reagan was in her uniform when Bill picked her up today, that didn't happen without a struggle. That was one disappointed little ballerina.

Of course she still thinks Santa Claus is going to come every morning and bring her more presents, so she's getting used to the concept of disappointment. And tomorrow is yoga, so life will be good again.

Here's Reagan at school during one of her ballet lessons:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What's for Dinner, Hearty Yummy Veggie Soup

Confession time here. Last year I had a very busy, demanding job and towards the end of the year I multiplied that chaos by two. Working crazy hours, having a newborn that didn't sleep through the night, and combined with the fact I worked from home and virtually didn't move at all, I am starting this year weighing more than just before I delivered Bailey. That's just plain unhealthy, unflattering, and embarrassing.

So, starting the new year I made a resolution, along with 50 gazillion other people, to lose weight. My goal is a little more ambitious than many, but it needs to be. This time next year I plan to be 100 lbs lighter than I am now (geesh, I can't belive I'm saying that). My biggest part of the success will be to make sure I workout 30 minutes a day, twice a day, five times a week. But certainly eating healthy is part of it too.

So now I'm on this new eating healthy kick but I was hungry and it is really super cold outside. I wanted something comforting and warm, filling, but sticking to the low cal and low fat regimen. Then I remembered that Cabbage Soup diet of days gone by. Did you ever try that one? The one where on Day 1 the soup was bland but tolerable and you didn't mind eating just eight bananas in a day because you were going to be 10 pounds lighter by the end of the week. But by Day 7, just the sight of the soup in the fridge was enough to make you gag and you instead found yourself scarfing down a six month old bag of forgotten Halloween candy and an entire bag of chips. Yeah, that's healthy.

But it got me thinking. The veggies are low cal and healthy and the soup wasn't entirely bad. What if I made a soup that's tastier than the original and I didn't eat it 12 times in a day? Then it becomes a yummy, healthy meal rather than a diet. That was all I needed and I was off.

So, here is my version of the old Cabbage Soup recipe. It's got a nice little kick to it, but not so much that Reagan can't eat it. It really is quite tasty, healthy, and hit the spot on a cold Winter's night. You certainly don't need to be dieting to enjoy this soup!

Hearty Yummy Veggie Soup
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: about an hour

1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 bag frozen crinkle cut or sliced carrots
1/2 bunch of celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (I used ones flavored with jalapenos and garlic and onion)
1 container V8 Hot-Spicy (you really want this over the regular stuff!)
1 can beef broth
1 packet onion soup mix
2 Tbls minced garlic
Other spices to taste- I used anywhere from 1-3 tsp of each: cumin, seasoning salt, Mrs. Dash garlic and herb blend, Worcestershire, pepper (Really season this stuff here!). If you want it even spicier, try adding Tabasco, diced jalapenos, or cayenne pepper.

Add all ingredients in a large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until veggies are tender, around 45 minutes to one hour. Remember the veggies will cook down, so don't panic if there doesn't seem to be enough liquid. If you do need to add more liquid, add more broth and cut back on the salt you add.

This makes a lot of soup. Try freezing some of it for another day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Girly Girl

When I did Reagan's room, I have to admit to doing a very girly theme. There is pink everywhere and there is a bit of a Cinderella theme going through the room. However, I never bought a single Disney princess anything, never made mention of Barbie, and introduced her to Pirates and trucks as early as one could. Yet here we are, with one of the girliest girls I've ever seen. I'm not complaining mind you, I'm just dumbfounded as to where it came from. While I freely admit to supporting her habit, we did not start or encourage it. I can only surmise that some girls are just wired that way.

So, what makes me think I have one of the girliest girls around? Let me show you.

I give you Exhibit A: The Princess Castle Tent
Reagan got a lot of things for Christmas. You never really know which ones are going to be the big hit and which will bomb harder than a Jessica Simpson movie. The Princess Castle tent her nana bought her was clearly the front runner this year. Since this tent has been set up in her room, she has refused to sleep in her bed, opting instead for a little sleep mat and sleeping bag set up in her tent. She spends all of her free time in this tent. She would refuse pop tarts and fruit snacks over a few more minutes in her tent.

Exhibit B: Her weekend attire choices
Reagan wears uniforms to school Monday through Thursday. On Friday's we pick something together to wear. On weekends when we are running to Target and Publix, she gets to pick what she wears. You might see a common theme here...

Exhibit C: The Minnie Mouse high heels
I made the mistake of letting Reagan go into the Disney store one day. She saw a pair of bright yellow Minnie Mouse shoes and immediately pulled them off the rack and started trying them on. I let her put them on. Instead of wobbling, getting frustrated and yanking them off (what I hoped would happen); she jumped up, ran off, and starting saying, "Oh, mama. These are my favorite! I love these."

So $20 later we were walking out with a pair of toddler size 7 high heels that I was sure would be tossed the moment we got home. Uh, can I say how wrong I was? Every morning when it is time to get shoes, she pulls them out and says, "How about these?" Then I have to tell her it is a school day and she can't wear them to school on a school day. But when weekends roll around, all bets are off. I let her wear them to her heart's content. If you weren't looking at her feet, you'd have no idea she was in heels. She's just as adept at them as a pair of sneakers. I guess she gets that from her mama. Good thing since Mr. Height Predictor said she's going to be a towering 5'3" in adulthood.

The soles are worn, the toes are completely scuffed out, but she wears them everywhere, even to scooter in.

Notice the purse she is carrying in this picture? She picked out her first very own purse before she was even a year old and carried it everywhere.

So that's our girly girl, Reagan. Two years old and every day asks to watch Princess or Barbie movies. Wears her tutus with her pirate shirts and high heels and sleeps in a princess tent. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

Been a long time gone

What do you know? I do still remember my blog address. I stated before that until the end of the year I was absolutely buried in work. Well, now it's the new year. I'm down to one role and a more normal, manageable 50 hours of work a week. What shall I do with all of that newly found time? Blog, of course.

I have six weeks of pictures and stories to catch up on. I'll just be posting the highlights so that I'll have them for posterity. Everything else will be a new year, a new start, new stories, new recipes, and hopefully lots of fun.

So far, 2009 is looking pretty good. I can't wait to share it with you.