Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cabin Fun

We spent last weekend at our cabin in the

I love it here.

Since John had to finish some contract website work before he starts his new job, he stayed home while Katie and I drove together with the kids.

We took walks with Grandpa . . .

rode the John Deere (Megan was too afraid) . . .

played in the rocks for hours and hours . . .

and even had a little . . .

Megan roasted and ate about 10 marshmallows in 5 minutes.

She really likes marshmallows.

A lot.

Once she was told she couldn't have any more, she promptly lost interest in the whole fire thing and walked through the darkness back to the cabin because it was "too cold" outside.

On the way home (which happened to be right at nap time),

the kids fought like they were siblings.

Colin wanted to watch some machinery DVD, Megan wanted (who else) DORA!

Imagine 5 hours of this . . .

Sorry about the sideways view . . . couldn't figure out how to fix it.

I love trips to NY! Next time, I'm just packing some earplugs for the car.

Either that or some boxing gloves for Megan. ha, ha

Colin is such a bully! Can you imagine, he talked to her in the car!!!!! I don't blame her a bit for whining and complaining about it for hours. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Things I'm thankful for today:
1. I'm so thankful we received multiple job
offers to mull over the past few days. (My John is one smart guy.)

2. I'm so thankful we narrowed it down to a job that John is excited about doing AND compensates him for what he is worth.
(He has been hired by a consulting firm to design software at the Columbus Airport.)

3. I'm so thankful we didn't reach the bottom of our savings and go bankrupt. I'm also thankful we learned a valuable lesson about SAVING MORE, spending less. (lisa lisa lisa lisa lisa lisa)

4. I'm so thankful John and I stuck together, supported each other, and weathered the storm that strengthened our marriage.

5. I'm so thankful I have lower back/hip pain and heartburn. It means I'm expecting a wonderful present this August . . . and I can't wait to snuggle him close to me.

6. I'm so thankful for Megan who melts my heart with her sweetness every day.

7. I'm so thankful for my family and friends. They supported us through this tough time by bringing groceries (thanks, mom - above and beyond the call of duty), giving us sound advice, calling/emailing often to check on us, etc. Thank you thank you thank you.

8. I'm so thankful I learned that if you just don't go to Gymboree, you just don't spend any money there. (My bank account feels so relieved!)

9. I'm so thankful for my awesome bloggy friends, one of whom gave me an award on her blog Tuesday. (I'll tell you all about that tomorrow!)

10. I'm so thankful I think I'll go to the cabin in NY this weekend to relax and finally sleep through the night without waking up in a panic.
(And, I'm so thankful I can afford the gas to get there!!!!!!!!)
I'm happy today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

I'll share with you a recipe I love love love but hardly ever eat. Every time I even think about eating this recipe, I can hear my Nana say, "A moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips." (She usually says this while looking at my hips - so sweet.) I'm making this on Friday for my recipe club, since our theme is brunch. (I'm looking forward to Friday just so I can eat this.)
Of course, you can substitute reduced fat ingredients, but with 1 pound of sausage in the mix why bother?
Weight-Gainer Hashbrown Casserole

1 lb. sausage
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (8-oz.) container of French onion dip
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper
¼ cup red bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 (30 oz.) package shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

In a heavy skilled, cook the sausage until browned, breaking up as you stir and cook. Drain off excess grease. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, French onion dip, chopped onion, chopped bell peppers, salt and pepper.

Fold in thawed hash brown potatoes. Mix well.
Spread half of the hash brown mixture over bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish. Spread half of the browned sausage over the hash browns. Repeat layering second half of hash brown mixture. Top with remaining sausage.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, until the casserole is hot and golden brown. While the casserole is cooking, go ride the exercise bike or do some Pilates. Your hips will need it when you’re done eating this dish. Yum!
Don't forget to dance while you cook! I've chosen a little video for you that will make you laugh. Enjoy!

And don't forget to shake that healthy butt!

Lisa's got back!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're Having a . . .

B - O - Y !!!!!!

Holy moly, it is a boy. A boy! I'm having a boy.

I'm gonna withhold the "money shot" in an effort to preserve his dignity.

Here he is waving at you in 4-D.

The ultrasound tech said he is very big and actually thinks I'm due a week sooner. That would make me 19 weeks preggo instead of 18. Heck, a week less of being pregnant in August. I'll take it!!

He has 10 fingers and 10 toes, and everything looks perfectly formed (some things are bigger than others, if you catch my drift.) 100% boy, that's what she said, no doubt about it! John is so proud.

Megan refuses to accept this latest development and continues to call him "Caroline."
A boy named Caroline. Hmmmmm . . . that's not gonna work.

I am in serious need of boy names. Names we like so far:
Brendan, Noah, Nicholas

John hates "soap opera" names and I hate boring, plain sounding names.

Wanna help?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Where There Is a Will, There Is Always A Way!

Wanna see my little baby bump?

Here I am at 17 1/2 weeks. (Looking chubby but excited!)

So, do you want to hear some good news?????

Ever since I had to cancel my appointment at Ultrasona to find out the sex of the baby (remember . . . John = laid off) I've been racking my brain trying to think of a way to raise a hundred dollars. (I'm really, really terrible at waiting and my ob doesn't do another ultrasound until 24 weeks! That's like a million years away!)

At first, I thought . . . I only need to convince 100 people to give me a dollar. Then I could afford the ultrasound. Brilliant plan! (John just looked at me funny when I told him about this plan.) Then I decided if I was going to go around begging people for a dollar, it should go toward some worthy cause or someone who truly needed a hundred dollars. Sometimes a conscience is very inconvenient!

Then, in the middle of the night, I had an aha moment! (I thought those only happened while watching Oprah but I was so, so wrong!)

We happen to have money in our flexible spending account from John's old employer that we must use within 60 days or lose. Money that must be spent on a medical expenses and only medical expenses!!!!!!!! Ultrasounds are medical expenses. Ultrasounds are medical expenses. Ultrasounds are medical expenses!!!! (I love aha moments.)

Wooooooo hooooooooo!!! Ultrasona here we come.

I called Ultrasona and asked for the first possible appointment. The lady said this Monday at 1:45 pm. I said, "Ahhh. Do you have anything sooner?" (Today is Saturday. Me=impatient) She said, "How's Monday at 10 am?"

"Much better" I replied.

He or she??? To be continued on Monday!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tacky Costume Alert

World's Ugliest Dance Costume EVER . . .

However, I must say . . . World's Cutest Kid!

Megan could make a potato sack look cute.

As a matter of fact, I think a potato sack might have been cuter than the shiny, brown crushed velvet in this little number. What in the world was the dance teacher thinking?
I guess I'm bitter because that I look at the costume now and think, "Wow, that ugly costume cost a week's worth of groceries."
Costumes that are definitely worth a week's worth of groceries:

And some people wonder what stay-at-home mom's do all day.

Duh . . . we are sitting around obsessing about ugly dance costumes all day.

What did you think we were doing??????

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Please Pray Today

Would you help me today by remembering in your prayers my cousin Jim who is undergoing surgery for colon cancer today?
He has an adorable young son named Seamus and a gorgeous wife Cheryl. He seems much too young to be dealing with such a terrible illness.
Please go here to read more about the warning signs of colon cancer.
Wives, make an appointment for your husband to have a yearly physical.
(I have to do this every year for John. If I didn't, he would never go to the doctor.)
Thank you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Before I get to my recipe for this week, how about I update you a little on Fetus XX/XY?

Fetus XX/XY is swimming comfortably in my wombgarden. I can feel his/her little nudges now. The doctor says my uterus has reached my belly button (just in case you were wondering where my uterus is these days.) The heartbeat was 145 beats a minute, which means the baby is a boy or a girl, according to Downstairs Doc. He's such a smart alec!

Despite my rigorous exercise regimen, I gained a whopping 7 pounds of baby love last month. I think that might have been due to the second dinner I added to my daily menu of breakfast, snack, lunch #1, lunch #2, dinner, and snack. I've been seriously hungry! Since I lost a pound at last my visit, my grand total weight gain so far is 6 pounds. (Plus a few pounds I gained before my first doctor's appointment - but that's between me and big, fat bum. Shhhh.) One day I did step aerobics and then a pregnancy workout tape cause I felt so guilty about over-indulging. That night my back hurt so badly I almost couldn't walk upright. I've cut down to one workout tape a day and all is well.

And that's your preggo update for today.

How about a delicious, whole grain, your-bum-will-love-you, summer salad recipe??

Greek Pasta Salad

2/3 of a 12 oz. package of whole wheat salad rotini
1 medium cucumber, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup ripe, pitted olives, halved
1/2 cup sliced green onions (I skipped cause I hate green onions)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon dehydrated parsley flakes
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

Prepare rotini according to package directions; drain, rinse with cold water, and drain thoroughly again. Combine rotini, cucumber, fata cheese, olives, and onions. Blend together with oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; pour over rotini and toss gently to blend. Chill several hours. Garnish with tomato wedges before serving. Makes approximately 5 cups.

I serve this with grilled chicken breast for a perfect spring/summer meal.

And, of course, some music to celebrate all that junk,
the new 7 pounds of junk inside my trunk . . .
The part where they sing about milky, milky cocoa puffs makes me hungry. ha!

C'mon, open up your windows, blast "My Humps", dance around your kitchen, and make your neighbors wish they were cooking at your house.

I seriously think this song has the most inappropriately hysterical lyrics ever!!!!
Imagine the writer of this song, "Hey mom, I wrote a song that's gonna be on the radio. It's called My Humps. Wanna hear the words? You would be so proud of me."
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
It is so terrible but I can't help but dance to it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Little Stinker - No Pun Intended

I can't believe I'm about to tell you this. I honestly can't believe it.
Some of life's moments are just too funny to be kept inside.

The setting:
Grocery store in suburban city, Ohio

The characters:
Megan - the rambunctious two-and-a-half year old, sitting impatiently in the cart
Lisa - bloated, crabby, and in the second trimester of pregnancy

Lisa bends down to grab something from the bottom shelf. While crouching down, she lets out the teeniest, tiniest little toot. (A toot that seemed to echo through the walls of the canned goods aisle, stopping everyone in their tracks.)

Lisa *humiliated* decides the best course of action would be to blame the two-and-a-half year old, as dishonest as that seemed. She gasped and said, "Megan! Oh my goodness."

Megan, who has a strange habit of being totally uncooperative during moments when cooperation is essential, replies,

"Mommy, that wasn't my butt. That was your butt. And you should say excuse me."

What a little stinker.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is That Too Much To Ask?

Why did I start this blog a year-and-a-half ago?

I wanted to share that being a stay-at-home mom didn't mean being forced into a life of unhappy servitude.

I wanted to share that there is joy in the bum wiping, the boo boo kissing, the playing, the snuggling, the cooking. the cleaning . . . and even in the sweatpants.

I wanted to tell some funny stories and hopefully make you laugh a little.

I wanted to play some music for you and encourage you to dance.
It's fun to dance.

I wanted to share a little of my heart with you.

I realize now that opened me up to criticism.

But this is my life.
It isn't some made-up story.

I'm worried about losing everything we own.
I'm worried we won't be able to find any job capable of paying for it all.

What am I supposed to be writing about right now?
March Madness?
The weather?

I'm sure my family is not alone as we struggle through this period of unemployment.

I honestly considering hanging up this blog after reading a couple anonymous comments (that I won't even publish.)

Then I realized the reason I keep this blog in the first place.

Even in the middle of a recession, in the middle of worry and tears, there is love here.
I felt it tonight when I rocked Megan to sleep.
There, in the quiet of her room, I held her tightly as my quiet tears fell atop her head.
Tears of gratitude and love.

I use this blog to share my heart with you.
(A heart that is a little sensitive right now.)

So, if my search for hope in the middle of struggle is too much for you,
if you just can't hold back your bitter words that I deserve to suffer like the rest of the world,
please stop reading my blog.

I want nice, loving people to visit.
People who love God, their children, and each other.
People who have been sending me their prayers, hugs, and love. (XOXOXO to you.)
Is that too much to ask????
If you're bitter, mean, and wish me all the pain and suffering my heart can hold . . .
I'll pray for you too.
(But just so you know, I'm not sure how much longer I'm gonna be able to do that :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Feel an Emotional Eating Binge Coming

I'm pretty irritated today.

Did you know if you're lucky enough to be laid off in this economy, you can look forward to paying Cobra insurance premiums almost equal to your enormous mortgage payment????

Gee, good thing I'm not pregnant.
Especially good that I'm not right in the middle of a high risk pregnancy.
Good thing I don't have a critical pre-natal test to be completed this week.
Good thing I don't have a doctor's appointment next week.
Good think I'm not at all in need of health coverage.
Wow, that would be really inconvenient if I was.

Please don't talk to me about Cobra and the Stimulus Bill. Here's how it works . . . pay the full premium (again, which is almost as high as my giant mortgage) and wait until the government gets it head out of its A$$ to reimburse you for the 65% they promise to pay for you. I guess since I'm so rich in my current unemployed state the government expects me to loan it money. How nice.

So, basically . . . we can pay for health coverage and almost go bankrupt or we can continue uninsured and hope the baby turns out ok without prenatal care.

How's your day going?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

My sister introduced me to a food blog called Kelly's Korner.

I've tried two of her recipes and I loved them both.

Her recipes are definitely not low-fat (my bum is growing almost as fast as my belly)
but certainly delicious. Sometimes we all need a little comfort food. Right now, I need a LOT.

Poppy Seed Chicken

3 chicken breasts, boiled and cut into small pieces

1- 16 oz sour cream (I used reduced fat not that you can tell from looking at my hips)

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 tablespoons poppy seeds (I only used one)

Ritz crackers - one sleeve

1 stick of butter (I used half a stick . . . being a chunk-a-lunka is no fun)

Mix the first 4 ingredients and put in a baking dish. Cover with crushed up ritz crackers. Melt a stick of butter (shame on you) and pour on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.

Serve on top of some white rice (double shame) and some veggies.

As always, if you're going to make a "stay-at-home-momma drama recipe", you must shake it while you cook. Not just a little now . . . really put your hips into it. Dance. Just dance.

Dance like you've had a little too much red wine (even if you haven't.)

Even if you're in a bad mood . . . even if you're broke and your husband's still jobless.


It will be ok!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tell It Like It Is

I've been spending a great deal of time re-reading the "pregnancy bible."

You know, the book that is supposed to answer every possible question that might come up during pregnancy . . . the book that sugarcoats the whole experience and convinces you that when the whole thing is over, you'll walk out of the hospital a size 6 counting down the days until you can get pregnant give birth all over again. Yeah right!

I think I should write a new book.

I could call it WHAT TO ACCEPT WHEN YOU'RE EXPANDING. (Cause face it ladies, you're gonna blow the heck up.)

I could correct all the falsehoods promoted in the other book.

Falsehoods like these . . .

"I'm getting very anxious about labor and delivery. What if I forget everything I learn in childbirth education class?"

The "other book" tries to convince you that everything will be alright, and that the knowledge you gain in your expensive pre-birth class will actually help you to have a zen birth experience.

My version: Yes, you will forget everything you learn. You'll be so preoccupied with the unimaginable PAIN PAIN PAIN you'll forget you're not dying. You'll scream words so filthy you'll want to wash your own mouth out with soap. If you really insist on attempting to prepare yourself for labor, get a hammer and start beating yourself over the head continuously for 18-36 hours. If you can deal with that pain, you're almost ready for labor. (Oh yeah, and don't forget to practice your breathing techniques in between the blows to your head. Ha! They don't work, do they?)

"I'm afraid I'll do something embarrassing during labor."

The "other book" tries to convince you that you'll be so excited about seeing your baby, you won't care about the embarrassment. Interesting perspective, indeed.

My version: Don't worry about a thing. Unless you consider being naked, pulling your knees up to your chest, and pushing so hard you will *gasp* poop in front of a room full of people (including your husband) embarrassing, you don't have a thing to worry about.

I'm just a purveyor of the truth ladies. There is nothing glamorous about giving birth. The end result is the greatest thing in the world and completely worth it (of course) but the process is quite messy ordeal.

I wish "the other book" would just tell it like it is.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Welcome Blogstalkers!

You've come to the right place! On Monday, I'll be the featured blog on this website.

Oh the pressure to come up with something witty to post about today!

There's just one problem - I haven't been feeling extremely witty lately.
You see, my husband (who happens to be the smartest .NET software architect on the planet) lost his wonderful job and all the benefits that went along with it. (By "benefits" I mean my weekly trips to Target, Gymboree, Janie and Jack . . . you get the picture. Oh yeah, there were stock options, 401k match, and health insurance too.) Now *poof* all gone.

I haven't really been able to get a good night's sleep since he lost his job 3 weeks ago.
I keep waking up at night . . . repeatedly . . . thinking things like . . .
"Can a pregnant woman sell her own plasma????"
"How much money could I get for selling ad space on my bulging belly????"
"Is it tacky or brilliant to open a lemonade stand in my front yard?"

Want to know a little more about me?
My friends think I'm funny.
My husband thinks I'm awesome.
I think he's awesome too - and sometimes I write about it.
I like to laugh.
I post recipes every Wednesday on my blog.
I hate grocery shopping and emptying the dishwasher.
I scrapbook every moment of my daughter's life.
I dance when I cook.
I bake cakes.
I'm 33 years old but I feel about 15.
I serve as a city councilwoman, where I act all serious and keep the wild, crazy side a secret.

To read some of my funniest posts (or so I'm told) click on the links below.

I'm also a crazy cake baker. To see some of my masterpieces, click the links below.

I hope you liked your visit to my blog.
Come back and visit often.
Oh, the drama . . . will Lisa ever shop again?
Will the new baby be a boy or girl?
Will the city re-elect this crazy councilwoman this November?
Will having two children throw her completely over the edge?

Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and more.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Men Are From Mars, Woman Are From Venus

John: We have x dollars left in our savings. (x=number that should be higher but Lisa had a spending problem.) What do you think we should do with it? Perhaps we should prioritize our bills, cancel unnecessary things like satellite radio in the car, etc.

Lisa: Nope. I think we should take the money we have left, buy three plane tickets and fly somewhere really far away. We could stay in an all-inclusive resort, bask in the sunlight, and forget all our problems.

John: Yeah, but I'd still be unemployed and then we couldn't pay our mortgage.

Lisa: But at least we would be on vacation.

(Perhaps the title for this post should be - Why Lisa Isn't In Charge of the Bills, Part 483974)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday


Yep, that's the name of the dish folks.
I was first introduced to Bust-A-Gut when I worked as a social studies teacher in a home for troubled adolescents. Some of my students would invite me to stay for dinner (cause I was the coolest teacher in the place - not tryin' to brag or anything) and Bust-A-Gut was often on the menu.

Bust-A-Gut (not the official name, I'm sure) was the name some of the girls gave this recipe because "it's so good, you eat so much you bust your gut." (Their words, not mine.)

I've always found it best not to name your food after what it does to your body. Can you imagine? I'd have to call my white bean chili "Gives Me Gas." Ewwww.

So getting back to the recipe . . . I don't really have one. All I can do is describe how to make this. It is not health food, my friends. It is not a classy recipe to serve company. It is good, though . . . if you're not too embarrassed to admit it.

Cook a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese according to the package but add only the powdered cheese mixture. (Skip the milk and butter.) Add to that about 3/4 pound of browned ground beef. Stir in a can of drained diced tomatoes. Add about 1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and a few big dollops of sour cream. Sprinkle in some taco seasoning (to taste) . . . about half the package or so. Heat on the stove top until warm and the cheese is melted.

I was going to add some Alicia Keys for your cooking pleasure but Alicia is a little too classy for Bust-A-Gut. You're gonna need to dance off some calories if you eat this anyway.

Go listen to a little Ricky Martin and TRY not to dance. I'll bet you can't . . .

While you are dancing, imagine that Ricky is singing this song about you. Your lips are devil red and your skin's the color mocha. You're living la vida loca!!!!! (Yep, right there in your kitchen with your raggedy sweats on.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm Still Here

Don't worry blogging buddies . . . I'm still around. They haven't turned off our internet connection . . . yet :)
I'm finding new and interesting ways to save money during this difficult period of unemployment. More on that later . . .

We entertained John's parents this weekend and had a lovely visit. Megan and I made some cupcakes for Grandma Keller's birthday.

We were supposed to go to Ultrasona and pay $125 to find out the sex of the baby since I was too impatient to wait a few weeks for the doctor to do it for free. I cancelled that appointment amidst a bunch of tears . . . while feeling sorry for myself. I'm over it now. (Not really but I'll just move on.) So the baby's sex is still undetermined. That's the bad news. The good news is I still have my $125.

This whole unemployment situation has really got me thinking about how irresponsible I've been in the past with money. I spent it just as fast as we made it, shopping often for new clothes, decorating the house, landscaping the yard, etc.

Wow, how much things change in just a few weeks. Now I'm clipping coupons and asking myself, "Are Q-tips a want or a need? (Need = I can still buy it. Want =don't even think about it.)

I've turned down the temperature in the house so low I think you can see your breath. I'm looking in the newspaper for all kinds of things to do for free. So far, I've come up with "watching the courtship display of the American woodcock" at Glacier Knoll picnic area on Saturday at 6:30 pm. Wow, having no money kinda stinks.

But then again, I haven't been to Target in nearly two weeks and I don't even miss it. (And that is a lie.)

We're still incredibly blessed. We have each other. We have a cute little baby on the way. What else really matters anyway???