Archive | April 2013

Learning as I go.

Needless to say, neither of my children came with an instruction manual.  And as my title states, I am learning as I go.  Today I was reminded of how many little mistakes I have made in just the last week.  I will only share a few—actually, today’s if I am being honest.

Life– and this blog, are too short to dwell.

First, I thought it was cute that my kids learned to knock.  Seeing them put their little hands curled into a ball against a door and lightly tap, and eventually knock was a precious sight.  Now, that little knocking sound follows me every time I am on the other side of a closed door.  And sometimes a person just needs a minute to themselves, if you know what I mean.

Second, in an effort to distract my son from something, I showed him how to step on the diaper pail, open its top and drop a dirty diaper inside.  I am not sure where the naivety came from, but I cannot unring this bell.  It’s done.  Somewhere inside in my mom brain, I think I imagined we’d walk away, and visit the diaper pail next time someone had a dirty diaper.

So, just like I showed him, my son stood at the diaper pail stepping on the step and reaching his hand into what I call the poop hamper, touching who knows what.  I am unsure why the smell was not at all a deterrent for him, but he was able to carry on for some time.  Finally, I had to take him away and wash him thoroughly.  Yuck.

Lastly, I didn’t think it the worst idea to let the kids play with cars while they began their dinner.  Don’t judge me here, we have let them hold things while they dined and it wasn’t really a big deal.  It quickly became apparent, I was wrong, again.

As I click away at my keyboard, the die cast cars are in the dishwasher.  My son jammed the front seat of the vehicle with farfalle, peppers and watermelon.  My daughter, just farfalle.  I had to use a knife to get them out, and I am pretty sure they did not say “dishwasher safe” on any part of them.  My next blog might include how I explained to Gary, the man that fixes our dishwasher, how a car tire got stuck in the dishwasher drain.

So, basically, I am just learning as I go.

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My Saturday Morning with Jackie

For anyone reading from my blog’s start, you already know, I run. Serious runners might call me a jogger because of my times, but I take offense to that. Jogging sounds way more nonchalant than the effort I’m putting out there. To me, jogging sounds like sashaying. And I am definitely not sashaying.

Over the years, a group of great friends have assembled, gathering for this 5k or that 5 miler.  And it’s become a habit, standing around before and after, catching up and talking about the next race. Here we are on the boardwalk yesterday after the race for the Special Olympics.  I’m the little head peeking over in the center, and that’s my calf on the bottom too!

Everyone at the race Finish

Everyone at the race Finish

My day started out well. We left the kids with a very generous family member who was willing to wake up at 5:30 am so that we could be to the race start on time. The weather was windy, damp and chilly, which I don’t mind, it gives me an excuse to get moving to warm up.

After mulling around for an hour, we took our positions at the start. My husband, who could probably get a full body massage in the time between his finish and my finish, positioned himself toward the front. I typically move toward the back. Nothing jabs harder at the ego than being passed by a few hundred people in the first few minutes of a race.

I put my iPod on a great playlist, beginning with Bruce Springsteen’s Jungleland and Land of Hope and Dreams. Yes, sometimes I wear an iPod. For me, I consider it a complete crutch to get through the miles. I prefer to run without music in my head and take in the experience of the people and sounds. But because I am undertrained at this point, I wanted to avoid the possibility of dragging and feeling tortured for 5 miles, so I brought music.

As I slugged through the first miles, I noticed a woman in a black shirt with a man who seemed to be coaching her along. For this post, I will call her Jackie. Not her real name, which I actually know because she had her race number with her name on it pinned to the back of her shirt.  Jackie, Jackie, Jackie…

From what I gathered, Jackie’s strategy for completing the race was to run and walk in intervals then begin running again. Now here’s how Jackie’s strategy affected me. My pace was steady, so when Jackie would stop and walk, I would catch up with her and her partner. And just as I was ready to pass them, they would resume running and get yards ahead of me again.  Frustrating.  I told myself that her actions had nothing to do with me, and that her strategy was planned out long before race day, but she was getting in my head.  This cat and mouse game happened at least a dozen times between mile 2 and 5.

The race finish was along the boardwalk. The wind was strong, and I was ready to be done. Jackie and her partner were ahead of me, as they had been for the last 5 miles.  And I had had enough. I could see the people gathering at the finish line, so I knew I had limited time. I increased my pace with the last bit of energy I had left. I closed the gap between me and my Saturday morning nemesis. I cut to her right and hit the finish about a yard and a half ahead of her, knowing full well that this little battle resided solely in my head, my silly idea of victory.

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From Peeps Week to Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar

It seems as though I can’t throw a rock over on Pinterest without seeing an image of Salad in a Jar.  So, I thought it would be the perfect next blog from Peeps Week.  If I blog about vegetables as well as marshmallowy sugar treats, I must be a balanced human being, right?

I thought the first step would be an easy one.  Buy Mason jars.  I planned on buying two to test this idea before I committed any more cupboard space.  If you are a canner, you are probably laughing at my naiveté.  Apparently Mason Jars are like eggs, and you cannot purchase them one at a time.  I am now the proud owner of 12 brand new Mason Jars, so I’m in, all in…

I bought the lettuce, carrots, peppers, chick peas and dressing to make the salad.  I was careful to layer it in the order specified, from bottom to top, dressing, crunchy veggies, softer veggies and lettuce on the top.  It seemed all too simple.  I put it in the refrigerator overnight and it was fresh and ready when I went in for lunch.

Now here is where I found myself feeling a little silly.  How do you eat this thing?  I shook the salad dressing to cover the lettuce, so in theory, I could have eaten the salad from the jar.  But my forks are not long enough–yes, I bought the large Mason jar–I thought you could never have enough vegetables.

So I ended up dumping the lettuce into a bowl, which just confused me further, because couldn’t I have just done the same thing in a plastic container.  Certainly I would have missed the feeling of trendiness I had when I assembled it and saw it every time I opened the fridge, but is that enough?  Is it fresher because it is in the Mason jar?  It was a very good salad.  But I don’t know.

For now, I have 12 Mason jars, and no plans of discarding them or using them for canning.  And I will keep at this salad thing until I figure it out.

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The Genius Lives On!

Hey, it turns out you have to pay attention and click “Publish” to post your blogs.  So for those of you hanging on the edge of your seats for the Peeps Week Enders, I offer my sincere apologies.  Here they are, out of order, but posted at last.  Peeps On!

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Peeps Week Delayed Grand Finale

Well, Peeps Week was tremendous fun.  The following week was not so fun which is why the grand finale is appearing a full week after intended.  The final day of Peeps week ended with a bang in terms of a really bad stomach virus that put one of my kiddos out of commission for a full week.  Ugh, so hard to watch a little guy be so uncomfortable.

But, as promised, here is the last treat from Peeps Week, courtesy of Terri’s Peep Hut.  The recipe was simple, basically mashed sweet potatoes spread out in a baking pan.

Peeps and Sweet Potatoes Image

Peeps and Sweet Potatoes before baking

Peeps and Sweet Potatoes after baking

Peeps and Sweet Potatoes after baking

And here is how it looked after baking.  I have to say this was pretty tasty.  I look forward to next year already, sans the sick little one.

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And then there was the Peeps Peach Fizz!

Image of Peeps Peach Fizz Drink

Peeps Peach Fizz

So today I mixed it up a little with the Peeps Peach Fizz from the recipe on the Marshmallow Peeps site.  And I was not sorry!  I used whipped cream instead of whipped topping and because of the season, canned peaches to make the peach puree.

I’ll admit I’m not the best at making the crushed ice the way it should be, but I didn’t have any complaints.  I will definitely be making this Peach Fizz again.  And I feel disloyal to the Peeps for saying this, but it would be good without the Peep too!

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