Friday, September 24, 2010

Thank You, MM

I've been working really hard lately to get back into shape. I gained a ton of weight last year and I plan to lose it all ASAP.MM and I are taking a cruise in November and I want to have a bikini body by then. Of course, that's easier said than done. I've been pretty good about exercising, but I'm totally exhausted this week and I don't feel like doing crap.

Just before MM came home from work today I was trying to talk myself into going to the gym. It wasn't working. As a matter of fact, I'd pretty much talked myself out of it.
Apparently MM had a bad day at work today. He came home in a terrible mood. He got a box in the mail today and TG hid it as a joke. Only MM didn't think it was funny. He got all aggravated and yelled at TG about it which made me mad.

So what did I do? I worked out for 2 hours. Not only do I feel healthier, I'm also not angry at MM anymore. Actually, he's curled up in the couch napping and looks cute (I couldn't have said that an hour ago).


I'm real sorry he had a bad day, but...thanks MM! I needed the workout.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Isn't That Why We Have Kids?

MM and I have been having a battle of sorts over who turns the lights out in the living room before we go to bed. The rule has always been last one out of the room turns out the lights. It isn't that I mind turning the lights out, but MM makes a big deal of it by rushing in front of me when I'm headed to bed, so he doesn't have to do it.

As if that wasn't bad enough, he's started doing the same thing in our bedroom. We keep our ceiling fan on at night, so when we climb into bed we reach up and pull the cord to shut the light off. The light is directly over our bed, so we usually leave it on until after we climb in. A lot of times we'll read for a bit before we turn the overhead light out. It never fails, even if I put my book down first and and start to snuggle under the covers, MM will throw his book down and lay down first, telling me to shut the light off. 

Saturday night The Girl had a friend spend the night. MM and I stayed up until around 11 or so, then headed to bed so the girls could do their thing in the living room (Little Man was spending the night with a friend, so he wasn't home). We both took a shower, then read for awhile. I think we set our books aside about the same time, though I was definitely settled into bed before he was.

He starts telling me I need to shut the light off, and I start refusing. Then he starts poking me and pinching me, trying to get me to do it. I said, "For all the energy you've expended poking me, you could have turned the light on and off 5 times by now!". He just huffed and tried poking me again.

Eventually I got annoyed and pounced on him, pinching his nipples and poking him in the belly. He started screaming like a girl and, satisfied, I rolled back over and snuggled down into the covers again. Then he nudged me, "Come on, Pookie! Turn off the light." WTF? Really, MM? REALLY? After all that he couldn't turn the light off? Don't look at me like that. I couldn't turn off the light at that point! It was the principle of the thing!

Stalemate.

We lay there awhile. Me quiet, MM calling me a spider monkey for jumping on him like a banshee. Then he started in again. "Come on, turn off the light. You know you want to." I'm telling you, I just couldn't do it. The light was in my eyes and annoying as hell, but..no. MM needed to do it.

Then MM gets an idea. I know, because he said, "I have an idea."

He picked up his cell phone and called TG, who was in the living room. He said, "I need you in here right now!" and she said, "Uh..ok?" like, Oh shit, WTF did I do wrong?? I kind of laughed, but don't tell her I said so.

TG tentatively knocked on the door and MM told her to open it. He said, "What were you cooking in there?" since we'd heard some weird noises coming from the kitchen, which shares a wall with our bedroom. TG said, "Nothing! We're just watching stuff on YouTube! I swear." MM said, "Are you sure? We heard noises." TG assured him she hadn't been in the kitchen.

He said, "Ok, well, turn off the light." Then he snickered, because even he couldn't keep a straight face. She said, "Are you serious? You called me in here for that? OMG!" But she turned off the light.

As she was pulling our door closed I heard her say, "OMG, They called me in there to...." to her friend.

Isn't this the reason we had kids? I always kind of thought it was....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cooking Tips: Rotisserie Chicken

I'm lazy. This is a well known and well established fact. If I can find an easier way to do something, one that requires less effort, I'm going to go for that before I do something that's harder/takes more effort. There are some things when it comes to cooking that can't be skimped on, but there are a lot of things that can be.

I'm going to tell you a secret. I don't like chicken. I know, I know. But..well, it's just gross. It's slimy and tastes weird. I can only eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I prepare. Unless the chicken is shredded or cut up and added to a dish with a lot of other ingredients or heavy sauce. 

I don't like rotisserie chicken on its own. Meaning, I would never buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to feed my family for dinner. It's slimy and nasty and doesn't taste very good, IMO. But it's really great to use in a pinch, or when you're pressed for time.

Start with one of these:

I bought mine at Costco for $4.99. It's approximately 3lbs, so that's about $1.70lb, which is less than uncooked chicken generally goes for (at least here in CA).

Remove the skin and pick the chicken:



Then shred it. I use my fingers, but you pull it apart by using two forks. Hold one in each hand, starting with the tines together, the slowly pull them apart:


Once you've done that, you can vacuum seal the chicken (or put it in Ziploc bags) and freeze it, to be used at a later date. You can make soups, casseroles, pasta dishes (hot and cold), tacos and burritos and a million other things I can't think of right now.


Like a Greek chicken pasta salad (try one of these: http://www.food.com/recipe-finder/all/greek-pasta-salad):


You can even vacuum seal (or put in a Ziploc bag) and freeze that:





Here are some (about 400) recipes that use shredded chicken:

http://www.food.com/recipe-finder/all/shredded-chicken

Trust me, there are hundreds more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

MM the Hottie

Last night MM comes home from work and says, "I have something funny to show you later!". After dinner we went into our room and he showed me a text message. It was a forward and the subject said, "Do you know this sucka?" It was a picture of MM standing next to his bike at work.

He said, "Do you know who that is?" It's hard to tell because his head is down and he's wearing a helmet. I said, "It's you, right? I can tell by the way you're standing."

He goes on to tell me that he ran into a girl at work and she very uncomfortably asked if he knew who was in the picture. He said, "Yeah, that's me" and she said, "I thought so, but I wasn't sure."

Apparently her cousin was out driving and saw MM on the side of the road, snapped a picture, sent it to the girl MM works with. Then called said, "Do you know that dude? Because he's freaking hot!"

Let's take a moment so you can imagine the size of MM's head right now.

Ok, moving on...

MM's response? "Is your cousin hot?"

Freaking MM.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"These words are my diary, Screaming out loud"

If I get it all down on paper, its no longer
Inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud


I've kept a journal for most of my life (don't get me started about the time my parents decided to start reading it, covertly, and my dad started calling me Journal Girl. Real slick, Dad. Way too keep it a secret that you were snooping...). It's always helped me to get things on paper. Once I've written something down, it's like I've released it. It's no longer inside of me, no longer contained. Maybe that sounds silly, but I totally empathize with the lyrics I quoted above, from Anna Nalick's Breath (2am). 

For the last 5 years I've used this blog as my journal. Putting my thoughts and feelings out there for all of you was very cathartic for me. Not only did it get things off my chest, but it had the added bonus of getting an immediate reaction - generally the one I was looking for - to whatever I had going on. And who doesn't like getting an immediate reaction?  This was an open forum for me to talk about whatever I felt like I needed to talk about. MM, the kids, my ex, my in-laws, my friends, my family. Putting a humorous spin on certain things helped me cope with them and release a lot of my anger (Tales of the Devil Woman, anyone?). 

About a year and a half ago, things in my life changed. MM and I started arguing more than we ever had before, his family started bugging me more than they should, my family was getting on my nerves. I guess I just changed, or my outlook on life did, or something. Whatever it was, the small things in my life stopped being humorous - or, more accurately, I stopped being able to put a humorous spin on them. 

At the same time, more of my friends and family started reading this blog. I'm not shy about my feelings and I have no problem telling someone how I feel about them. But telling someone I have a problem with them and having them read it on my blog are two different things. So I stopped blogging about the bad. Mostly because I didn't want to deal with the resulting drama. But worse, I stopped blogging about the good. And eventually just stopped blogging, period. If you look over the posts from the last year - even two - there's not much personal. Mostly each blog post is just filler. 

When I started this blog, MM and I were together. Since we don't keep secrets from each other, I gave him the address right away. He's been reading it basically since its inception. I used to joke with him that as soon as we had our first fight he was going to have to stop visiting, because he probably wouldn't like what was being written. At the time I was joking, but I kind of feel like that's where I'm at now. Censuring myself, keeping things inside of me. I don't like it.
I've decided it's time to get back to being me. To blogging about what I want, without worrying who's going to read it. Do I mean to say I'm going to air all my dirty laundry here? No. Do I plan to lambaste my family and friends publicly? No. But I am going to stop worrying that someone will take offense to every word I write. This blog is for me. It's about me. Deal with it. 


ETA: Looking back over my post, it kind of sounds like MM and I are breaking up, or having trouble. We're not. We're fine. We just fight more than we used to, which happens. Especially since we never fought. Ever. I'm told that's not healthy... Which must mean we're really healthy now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Streusel Muffins

I had a bunch of apples that needed to be used up, so I made cinnamon stewed apples. Then I used those to make Apple Streusel Muffins, which were amazing. I'm not a huge fan of cooked apples, or of apple cinnamon flavored stuff, but these are so amazing I ate three. Good thing I'm going to spin class tonight...

Cinnamon Stewed Apples - I doubled the recipe because I had extra apples)

2 pounds apples (I used Gala and Granny Smith, bc that's what I had. I'd say approx 5-7 apples)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
1 tsp Cinnamon

Core and slice apples into 1/2-inch slices, leaving peel on. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add apples and cook until just softening, stirring frequently (approx 5-7 mins). Stir in remaining ingredients and cook until bubbling. you don't want the apples to fall apart (another 5-7 mins, approx).

I made these last night. I used some on the pork chops I made last night (Pork Chops with Onion Marmalade) and put the rest in the fridge until today.

The recipe for the muffins come from an awesome muffin cookbook my aunt bought me. It's called 1 mix, 100 muffins. It features some awesome muffin mixes. Some sweet, some savory, some healthy. I love it.

I modified this recipe slightly. It calls for fresh apples, but I used my stewed apples instead. I know these came out sweeter because of it, but I can't say for sure how much sweeter. Maybe one of you will try it and come back and let me know.  :)

Apple Streusel Muffins



I did 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup apple juice, instead of 1 cup of milk, because my family loves apple flavor. As I said, I substituted the stewed apples by cutting them into chunks. I also added a bit of the sauce from the stewed apples to the wet ingredient mixture before adding it to the dry ingredients. I'd say about 2 tablespoons or so. Not a lot, but just enough to give it some extra flavor.

Check out the chunks of apples..yum!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Happenings

As you can see, I took the summer off from blogging. Things got crazy around the middle of June, and we've been running pretty much non-stop since then. In a lot of ways, we've had an excellent summer. Unfortunately we also had some not-so-great things happen. I lost two of my uncles within a few months of each other.

The first was heartbreaking because I was close with him as a child. Our entire family is close, but I shared a special bond with this particular uncle from an early age. Sadly we'd lost touch in more recent years, but I still mourn the man I grew up with, and the lost opportunity to reunite.

The other uncle I lost wasn't really my uncle at all, but one of my dad's childhood friends. Over the last few years we'd become very close, and he was a strong influence in my life. His death was unexpected and really hit me hard.

Besides those two tragedies, we had a great summer. Busy, but great. We traveled quite a bit. I went to South Dakota, the kids went to visit their dad, MM and I went to Georgia last week and we spent some time at Lake Havasu with some friends. I really had a great time, but I'm glad we're done for now. We need a break and a chance to get things in order here at home. My house looks like a bomb went off inside it and our mountain of laundry is about to topple and kill us all.

The highlights of the summer have to be our trip to Georgia and Ames, of Thrifty Reader, coming to visit. Yes, you read that right. Ames came to visit. Try to contain your jealously. My trip to South Dakota was nice because I got to spend some great one-on-one time with my grandparents and see some family members I don't talk to very often. But the reason for my trip was a sad one.

We went to Georgia last week because my brother was graduating from Army Basic Training. I couldn't be prouder of him. Even though it was a quick trip, I had an amazing time with him and his girlfriend. MM and I are so thrilled we were able to be there to see his ceremony. Plus, I missed him like crazy. Letters just aren't the same as phone conversations, you know?

Ames detailed her trip to my house here. I'm not going to go over all the details again, but I will say I can't wait for her to come back and visit again. We had a great time and she fits in super well with my family. She was like one of us (and yes, you can take that how you will..lol).

Now that things are - hopefully - settling down (no more traveling, Yay!), I plan to start blogging again. I've missed blogging, and all of you.

In kid news, TG started 8th grade (ZOMG, 8th Freaking Grade) and LM started 6th. They're both excited for the school year, because they're both the "big man on campus". LM's school tops out at 6th grade (Jr High is 7th and 8th here) and TG's tops out at 8th. She's going to be in HIGH SCHOOL next year, can you believe it? Gah! I get sick just thinking about it.

I have some stories about them to share, so I might start post at Not Dead Yet again, too. I'm not going to many any promises about that, though. We all know how lazy I am.

I did update the web addresses to both this site and NDY, though. I bought the domain for each of them, so the new addresses are:

http://www.momsnotdeadyet.com/
http://www.cranberrytarts.com

The feeds should still work for the blogspot addresses, but you can update if you want.

Anyway, I guess that's about it. I feel so out of touch with most of you, and for that I'm sorry. I've missed you all like crazy and look forward to catching up.

Tell me how your summer has been.

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