Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Silver Lining of Swine

We're all prepared for the PaNdeMiC.
John went to the store this morning looking for a few essentials - you know, face masks, electrolyte drinks, acetaminophen, and jelly beans *just in case*
Part of me thinks we're being overly cautious and ridiculous.
The other part of me is worried this is the beginning of the end.
What a struggle.
Seriously, it never hurts to be prepared.
I am preggo my eggo and we have a young child. Two out of three of us are in the high risk category if we get the funky pig flu. No thanks!
Until the outbreak is under control, you will not find me anywhere large numbers of people gather. Think of the money I'll save at the mall.
See, don't I have a way of finding the silver lining????

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

I should really call this one "What I Cooked Last Friday."
I had a girl get-together at my house.
It was Lisa-licious!

My mom was impressed with my spread.
I love it when my mom is impressed.
She is a food guru.
How about some of the recipes?
Chocolate Chip Cheeseball
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 T brown sugar
1.4 t vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in conf. sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in choco chips. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll the cheeseball in finely chopped pecans before serving.
Serve with graham crackers for dipping.
Russian Rye Dip
2 lb. Russian Rye Bread
2 cups sour cream
2 cups mayo
1 T dill
2 T parsley
2 t chopped onion
dash Worchestershire
Cut a round hole in the bread and hollow out a space for the dip. (Save the bread and cut into chunks to serve with the dip.)
Mix together all ingredients to make the dip. Serve with veggies.
Spinach-Artichoke Dip
1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped artichoke hearts
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
Bring spinach and artichoke hearts in water in a medium saucepan and bring just to boil. Remove from heat, drain, and mix with remaining ingredients. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Cream Puffs
Don't you wish I had the recipe for these??? My mom brought them. Sorry

Cherry Limeade Punch
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1 bottle Sprite
1 jar marachino cherries
1 lime

Put the limeade and then add the sprite. Pour in the juice from the cherries. Then add the cherries and sliced up lime for looks and taste. Add ice.
(I doubled this recipe for my punch bowl)

Sorry, no music today for your cooking pleasure :(
Too tired. I have a sore throat and I'm achy.
(And no, I'm not entertaining the idea that I have the swine flu so don't try to tell me that.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Hot and Fat. How Are You?

It can be pretty easy to let the discomforts of pregnancy distract from the miracle of it all.
. . . the heartburn, the swollen feet, the swollen fingers, the backaches, the constant trips to the potty, the weight gain, etc etc etc . . .
I've done my share of complaining lately (just ask St. John.)
In my defense, the A/C quit working on a 59891445 degree day and my fingers got so swollen I was worried I was going to get stretch marks on my hands. Seriously.

Now that the A/C is back in working order, I am able to be a little less hot and a little more rational.

I pulled out some old pictures of Megan to remind me of what is to come.

In a few months these temporary discomforts will be over and I'll have another one of these to snuggle. (except he'll be wearing blue instead of pink)

I am so amazingly lucky.
Why do I find it so easy to forget that????

I'm going to try to remind myself of how lucky I am when I feel the urge to complain.

When John gets lippy with me I lovingly say,
"Have some respect. I'm a walking miracle!"

Seriously though, I am a walking miracle.
I have been given an incredible gift.

I'm going to try to stop complaining about being hot and fat
and start being more GRATEFUL that my hot, fat self is able to bring a new life into this world.

Like I said . . . a walking miracle.

Time to take my own advice and have some respect.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Potty Training Bootcamp - Day ??

I completely missed "What's Cookin' Wednesday" this week!
I'm so sorry.
I was busy chasing an uncooperative two year old around the house, waiting for the next "accident" to occur. By accident, I mean pee pee all over my couch, floor, carpet . . . you get the picture. It has been exhausting. My steam cleaner needs a rest! My washing machine needs a rest. I need a rest!!!!
Worst potty training advice I've gotten so far:
Put her in panties (not pull-ups) and she'll figure it out pretty quickly.
Not working, thank you. Not working at all.
Best potty training advice I've gotten so far:
If she's arching her back and screeching when you put her on the potty, she's just not ready.
I love you Mary. When we got off the phone today, I put her in a pull-up and let her whiz away!
We've been so happy ever since.
Potty training boot camp was the worst idea ever.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April Showers

Potty Training Boot Camp
Day #1
I was ready.
I was armed with plenty of Dora the Explorer underpants and all the knowledge gained from reading this page turner.


So, was the day a success or a crashing failure????

You be the judge.

Today's numbers:

Hits - 2

Misses - 2489654 (2489652 pizzles, 2 shizzles)

It was a pretty messy day.

Teaching technique #1 - Demonstrate using Ruff the dog

Teaching technique #2 -

"See Megan. This is how you do it."

Megan found this so hysterical she decided to photograph me.

Notably missing is the photograph of Megan sitting on the potty.

Hmmmmm, she was too busy doing this.

I think it is time for a change of game plan.

I am now desperately seeking a pleasant mommy (who doesn't mind cleaning up pee pee/poo poo off the floor multiple times in a day) who is willing to take my child, potty train her, and return her when the job's done. I'm willing to pay for this service. I'm willing to pay dearly.

Any takers?????

John's Birthday in Review

First, we marveled at my made-from-scratch German Chocolate Cake with coconut/pecan icing.
(ok, ok, I did most of the marveling - I was so proud of myself)
Next, we sang Happy Birthday . . .
And ate the cake.
I'm not sure Megan liked it . . .

Hmmmmmm . . .
John couldn't wait to get outside and enjoy his gift.
(No, it wasn't a year membership to the spa for massages like last year. Darn recession!)

It was his very own herb garden.

Megan and I went to the garden store to pick up the pot and the herbs.
I told her not to tell daddy where we were or what we were doing.
The second we walked into the house, she ran to find John and said,
"Daddy, we went to the garden store and bought you a prize.
It has lots of holes in it."
Since John asked for an herb pot and herbs for his birthday, I think he kinda knew what was coming. Next time I'm leaving her home when I buy the birthday present!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday St. John

Today is my favorite day of the year.
It is my St. John's birthday!
The sun is shining, the air smells like spring, and the birds are singing. (seriously)
Per John's request, his birthday meal shall be:
1. Ribeye steak on the grill
2. Mushroom sauteed in white wine and butter
3. Baked potatoes
4. Vegetable (I chose steamed asparagus drowned in butter)
And for dessert:
Homemade German chocolate cake with coconut/pecan icing
John also reminded me of one important thing . . .
Today is the one day of the year I can't use the excuse
"It ain't your birthday!"
Oh boy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

I'm ridiculously tired today.
I had a city council meeting on Monday night, I was up late last night making fondant Miss Spider (and all her Sunnypatch friends) with my neighbor for her daughter's birthday Saturday, and today I had to go meet with my constituents in the retirement community to discuss their traffic light. (I am, after all, a public servant :)
I put this recipe together in about 5 minutes, before I left for my meeting.
To call it delicious is the understatement of the century.
It is
I'm so lazy today that I'm not even going to post the recipe here.
You'll have to go to my sister's blog to find it.
It is Swiss Stuffing Chicken.
If I were you, I'd make it for dinner tomorrow (and then invite me over to eat it with you.)
I'm sorry, my sister doesn't provide music for your cooking pleasure on her blog.
You don't really need it for today's recipe anyway. It is that fast to prepare. By the time you started the rump shakin', you would be finished with your prep work. That's my kind of dinner!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009 Recap - Part TWO

Time to wrap up this Easter recap!
Soooooo . . .
After the egg hunt (per Megan's request) we went to McDonald's for some saturated fat and excessive calories. Delicious.

Then we went home to color some more eggs.

After Megan went to bed, the Easter bunny made up her basket.

I told John that Megan needs a bigger Easter basket.

He told me I need to get her less stuff. And so it goes . . .

She found her basket FINALLY hiding behind the chair and ottoman.
The Easter bunny made it really tough this year.

Her favorite part (after the candy, of course) was her new Tinkerbell fairy.

We enjoyed french toast, sausage, and strawberries for breakfast. (Can you tell I'm pregnant?) No flax seed oatmeal this year. No sir!

Then we got dressed and went to church. The good news: we got a seat this year. (Last year we had to stand on Easter) The bad news: Megan pulled my shirt open exposing my giant bosom to the entire congregation. And that wasn't even the most embarrassing part. Most embarrassing part: When I whispered to Megan, "Megan, this is a very special day because Jesus saved us. Please be quiet." Her LOUD reply, "JESUS DID NOT SAVE US!" (Of course she didn't know what she was saying but it was embarrassing just the same.) Too many jellybeans for breakfast. How humiliating.

Then we headed over to GG's house for more Easter festivities.

There was yet another egg hunt in the backyard.

And then, of course, THE BUNNY CAKE.

It is an annual tradition.

Then off to find another Easter basket . . .

What you will not find in this Easter recap: photos of me. (I'm getting so fat I don't fit on the screen unless the camera is in panoramic mode :)

With all the eggs, jelly beans, and bunnies it is easy to forget that Easter is really a miracle.

A miracle that saved all of us.

A miracle that promises we'll see our departed loved ones again.

A miracle that promises our lives together will never really end.

How wonderful is that?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009 Recap - Part One

I'll bet you are just dying to hear every detail of our Easter celebrations!
Great, cause I'm going to tell you all about them!

First, we went to GG and Grandpa's for the annual tradition of coloring eggs and decorating the bunny cake. (only we didn't decorate the bunny cake until part two of this story - stay tuned)
When Megan was asked what color she wanted to dye her egg, she responded,
Well then Ms. Megan, that can be arranged!

Here she is marveling at her "white" egg. Wow! Think of the money we could have saved in egg dying kits!

Fortunately, we were able to talk her into other colors as well.

And here's a photo of Colin, getting all the attention as usual.
The next morning, we were off to our city's Easter Egg Hunt.

Megan and the Easter Bunny.

Finding eggs

Wow, 9 eggs!!!!

This fascinating story will be continued when I have the time to wait for Road Runner Light to take six gazillion years to upload 3 pictures. (Half the price of regular road runner- twice the aggravation - this cost cutting measure was undertaken by me during our period of unemployment)

I tried to do the right thing and cut down on costs but fast internet is clearly a need rather than a want. Agree? (ha ha)

But seriously, I think I'm going to upgrade that now . . .

I haven't had internet connection this slow since the dial-up days!

I'll be back to finish this story later.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where's a Boy Scout When You Need One?

Today I watched my sister's son Colin for a few hours.
It was a nice day so I suggested walking to the neighborhood lake to feed the ducks.
Since Megan and Colin couldn't agree on whom should carry the bread, they each got a baggie with two slices of bread.
The first lake = no ducks
The second lake = two ducks that promptly flew away as soon as they saw us
Colin, still holding his baggie of bread, looked at me and said, "Can we eat this bread now?"
How funny.
Megan, not wanting to be left out, began eating her bread as well.
Several steps later (while still at the lake), Colin handed me his second slice of bread and said,
"Can you please put some jelly on this for me?"
Gosh, I love that kid.
(Sure Colin, I happen to have some jelly right here in my pocket . . . I packed it just in case there were no ducks at the lake, you decided to eat the bread yourself, and felt it would taste better with some jelly!
Only a boy scout would be that prepared.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday

How about a nice spring recipe for this Wednesday? This recipe comes from my mom. She serves the salad with homemade chicken salad sandwiches on croissants. Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

10 ounces fresh spinach
1 quart strawberries
DRESSING: can be made days in advance
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 small onion
1 cup vegetable oil
1-1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

In a food processor, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard & onion. After blended, slowing add oil. Add poppy seeds and shake well.

And for your dancing pleasure today . . .

I think today I'm gonna slow it down a bit. Yep, time for a slow dance. Everytime I hear this song I think about St. John (its ok for you to go barf now, just don't do it after eating this recipe -what a terrible waste!)

That's why I love country music. Whenever you're feeling extraordinarily sappy, you can always find a song that says just what you're thinking.

I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you

You had me memorized

3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight

I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world

I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl

Like the river meets the sea

Stronger than it’s ever been

We’ve come so far since that day

And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you

You were so surprised

There were people around But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there

And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world

I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl

Like the river meets the sea

Stronger than it’s ever been

We’ve come so far since that day

And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way

I can just see you when your hair is turning gray

What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more

But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world

I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl

Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in

And will look back and say and I thought I loved you then

And I thought I loved you then...

What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love him more . . . but I've said that before.

P.S. John, There's some dog poop on the front lawn that needs to be picked up. (This is just so he doesn't think I've been possessed by someone else today.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Un-Lisa Pregnancy

"How are you feeling?"

It is a question I get asked multiple times per week. I always pause, forgetting and then remembering why people are asking this question. Duh! You're pregnant!

I just feel so "normal."
So completely drama free.

Megan's pregnancy, now that was a whole other story.

Convinced we needed to prepare, John and I took this birthing class at the hospital. John was totally into it, taking notes, asking serious questions, and actually buying the "comfort bag" the teacher recommended for labor. I spent most of the class rolling my eyes and looking out the window thinking, "This crap does not apply to me. I'm getting an epidural. I don't need to learn how to breathe through the pain. I don't need a comfort bag. I'll be wearing lipstick with my hair neatly combed, reading People magazine and watching TV."

Yeah right.

So anyway, John and I were in birthing class watching some terrifying and ridiculously graffic video on childbirth. I drank a whole bottle of water and when I stood up, I noticed my pants were wet.

I slinked away to the bathroom as quietly as I could to inspect. Yep, my pants were wet. Did I pee pee in my panties??? Surely I would have felt that. I couldn't have. My water must have broken. OH MY GOODNESS. It was too soon!

I whispered to my compatriot in the next stall. "Will you please DISCRETELY go get my husband and bring him to the ladies room. I think my water just broke."

Except to her, discretely meant announcing it to the entire birthing class and the overly eager teacher. I think she even told a janitor on the way down the hall.

John came down the the bathroom with the eager teacher in tow. She insisted I go up to Labor and Delivery. So I did.

It was pretty embarrassing at the check-in counter.
"So, what brings you to Labor and Delivery tonight?"
"Well, I either peed my pants or my water broke. Not exactly sure."

I decided to wait before I called my mom.
My plan: If I did pee pee, I'll just make John pinky swear to never tell a soul.

The nurse came in and did some preliminary test, which was positive for amniotic fluid.
I started crying.
I called my mom to come immediately, convinced I was about to deliver a premature baby.
I was terrified.

The doctor came in and asked why I was crying.
He said, "That was just a PH test! I didn't mean it was amniotic fluid for sure.
Let me do another test."

Guess what?

I did pee my pants.
On the one hand, I felt relieved I wasn't in premature labor.
On the other hand, it meant I had PEED MY PANTS!
Oh the humiliation.

I called my mom.
"You didn't like tell anyone, did you???"
Good thing she only called every relative I have, all her neighbors, and the church prayer chain.
You've got to be kidding me.
Could this day get any more humiliating??? (Don't ever think that. You'll just curse yourself.)

Once released from Labor and Delivery, we stepped out of the elevator just in time for birthing class to be dismissed. When I saw all the people walking down the hall towards me (in my still wet pants) I did what any rational person would do . . .

I turned and RAN LIKE HELL.

I had one arm on each side of my ginormous belly for support and I ran all the way to the car (with John chasing behind me.) What a sight we must have been, the giant pregnant lady running out of Labor and Delivery (with wet pants, mind you) and her husband chasing after her.

I actually thought I dodged the bullet.
I thought I made it to the car without anyone from birthing class even seeing me.

Until I got home and played the answering machine message . . .

"Lisa, its Mary from birthing class. You didn't have to run away from us. We were just trying to talk to you! We were all worried about how you were doing."

Am I allowed to crawl into a hole now and never come out???? Please????


So, to answer all of your questions . . .

I feel fine. Great actually. Thanks.

No trips to Labor and Delivery.

No pee pee in my pants (yet.)

I actually forget I'm pregnant (when I'm not reminding John how miserable I am.)

No false labor drama.

This pregnancy (so far) is soooooooooo un-Lisa of me.

And it has been so relaxing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm So Hungry I'm So Hungry I'm So Hungry

Lisa: For our next vacation, I want to take you on a tour of Buffalo. (my hometown)

John: Really?

Lisa: Yes, an EATING tour. We could make a day of it. We could go to Swiss Chalet for the chicken, Mighty Taco (yum yum), Polish Villa for the best pierogies and sausage in the world, Anchor Bar for pizza and real Buffalo wings, Townline Pizza for chicken finger subs . . . for a snack we could eat Bison chip dip and Troyer Farms potato chips

John: You are SO PREGNANT!

Do you think that means he's not interested???

Seriously, Buffalo has the best food in the world. Why doesn't this sound like a good idea to anyone else???? I miss Buffalo food. I want real wings and some decent pizza. I want some Bison chip dip.

And that's your pregnancy update for this week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brothers From Another Mother

Oh my goodness!
My sister Katie went to Ultrasona today.
(She's preggo, by the way, and due 3 weeks after me.)
She lives about 2 miles away and we talk 984375934 times a day on the phone.
She's like a twin separated by six years.

Sometimes people even confuse us for each other
(which is always flattering to me since I'm the older one.)

Well guess what?

She's having a boy too!!!

Our kids will be like brothers from another mother.

How cool is that??????