Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monkey Joes or Trader Joes

Warning: Read only if you DO NOT mind a little 'bathroom' humor. Seriously.

So- today I decided to go to Trader Joes. I was prepared. READY. I had a list. A plan! Joshua and I would enjoy our girls, get a few yummy organic/whole grocery items. Enjoy time together in the van during the 1 hour trip there..... and then snack on something scrumptious for the hour ride back. I had it alllll planned out.

But. Joshua wasn't feelin' up to it. Leah was tired..... eh... I'd just go with Kyla and Zoe. No big deal. It was still going to be fun.

Here's the thing about Trader Joes, though. It's in Roswell. That city confuses me, I ALWAYS GET LOST. Always! There are 2 Trader Joes in Roswell. I can never remember 'which is where'. BUT! I had directions. I read them. I KNEW where I was going THIS TIME (ha. ha. ha HAH! Um. No I didn't)

I'm driving down 400. I see a friend on the road. I call her. We start chatting. I miss my exit. No biggie. I'll turn around. (psh!) I got off the 'right' exit, drove and drove, didn't see Trader Joes. Turned around. Drove a LOT more... and ended up NOT in Roswell... but in Gwinett County (????) Turned around again. At this point- I had to pee. BAD! I mean, I had to pee so bad it really hurt.

Kyla kept announcing "We're driving in circles ya know. Does anybody else realize that we ARE DRIVING in a circle?!!" I yell at Kyla, "Be.Quiet! I'm trying to figure out where we're going".

Zoe asked what we were looking for. I explain "A store that has a T at the first part of it's name. Trader Joes."

We pass Monkey Joes. She says "Hey. There's a MONKEY Joes...."

I'm in so much pain. My bladder is feeling like it may rupture. But. I had no clue where to stop for a potty break. I was annoyed that I had now been lost for an entire hour. (Seriously, driving up and down the same stinkin' road!)

Finally I cave. I pull into a Quick Trip. A. They usually have clean bathrooms. B. Even if they didn't, I have mastered the art of the 'squat'. I have power-house thighs due to the many times I've had to squat over a bathroom toilet. No joke.

I all but yank both girls out of the car in an effort to NOT pee on myself. Yay me... there's a cop parked RIGHT next to us. I was praying I didn't look like a crazy person as I held both girls hands saying "Hurry up. We have to go quick!!!"

They sweetly hurry, and I go straight to 'the big' stall at QT. Thank YOU JESUS it's clean. Whooo. And I sit. Painfully. It reallly hurts. You know how sometimes you have to just pee soooo bad that it takes a minute for you to actually 'let loose'? No?

I'm sitting there, the girls are looking at me like "Ok. We'll just wait." And Zoe glances over at a sign on the stall door. She says. "Hey. There's a T." (in reference to the "T" we were looking for on Trader Joes) And then she perks up. And runs over to me (as I'm sitting. On the toilet. Peeing.) "MOMMY! I have a plan! We can go to MONKEY JOES instead of Trader JOES!!!! Isn't that a great idea??"

What a mind. Her spunky little 4 year old brain decided to make the best of our day. We couldn't find Trader Joes.... but we DID know where Monkey Joes was.


Journal. Not Blog!

I bought a journal today. No. Really. I really did. I have sooo many things I want to remember while I'm out with my girlies, but by the time I get home, and find the opportunity to 'write' about their hilarious / profound comments- I have FORGOTTEN.

So- this journal that I bought..... it's pretty basic. Black. Leather (or fake-leather?) Bound. Purse size (I have a mom-purse, but it's still fairly compact). And it was a whopping $4. I know. I totally broke the bank with that purchase! Really, though. It's nothing spectacular. And it doesn't need to be, either. My friend of friends has been telling me for EVER to journal. Journal. JOURNAL! (not Blog, Amber. JOURNAL!) And once upon a time I did buy a journal just to get her voice out of my head... it just kept nagging me every time I was out and experienced something that I needed to write down (kidding friend! I am forever thankful for your wise words) but I always FORGOT to write in it. Why?!

I over-thought the journal. I made 'tabs'. Go ahead. Get ready to start crackin' up. I'm already laughing at myself. So. I made tabs in my journal. I wanted it t be an 'organized' journal, you know! The tabs read- Kyla. Zoe. Leah. "Me". And it was all fancy and stuff. It was a journal with a removeable notebook. SO! I could just 'file' away my notebooks and keep the journal-cover.... blah. blah. blah. blah. It was ridiculously complicated. I journaled just a few times in it.

This little one, it's just basic. Keep it in my purse. Open to blank page. Scribble my thoughts. Close the book. The End.

So, here I am. On my blogger. And what am I doing? I'm blogging- about journaling. Total weirdo. Yes. I. Am.

But I am happy to have a journal to keep me in check. And to help my brain quit farting all the time and forgetting all the important stuff that I want to remember.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Competing Scales

Just a quick note: I've lost a grand total of....... 16 pounds.

Not really awesome concidering the lenght of time I've been on my "Weight Loss Journey". (1 year) My sister, on the other hand, has lost 30 pounds in the SAME amount of time that I've been trying to lose weight. She works outside her home. I work.... um.. NOT outside my home. Her job entails heavy lifting, and massive amounts of walking, pushing, pulling, etc. My job- eh? Sweeping, mopping, folding.

BUT! I've been working out (on again off again for the last year- ON for a few weeks at a time, OFF for a few weeks at a time). Totally inconsistent. I'm either go go go and GONE, or home home home and busy busy busy. I eat when I can- most days missing breakfast, losing out a decent lunch and crammin in as much as I can hold by the evening because I'm sooo hungry due to nutritional neglect through out the day. This is why I hold onto chub. This is WHY the last year has absolutely discouraged any hopes of seeing the 'cute thinner side' of me.

Today, my sister and I, we're exactly 5 pounds apart in our weight (she has the 5 pound advantage, um, DISadvantage.... that is- she's lighter than I am)

We have a difference in height as well. Maybe around 2 inches? And totally opposite shapes. I'm an apple. She's a pear. I love her slim face and smaller stomache, she would prefer my tiny touche and long legs. Physically, we can't do a whole lot of comparisons, because we look different.

BUT! She has proclaimed that she refuses to let me weigh less than her. Not that the scale is an accurate account of healthy vs. unhealthy.... but the fact remains that she is challenging me to step up my game.

Oh. Ya. It's ON now. I mean- total challenge! We'll see who gets the NEXT 5 pound adv... disadv.... um.....WE'll SEE WHO WEIGHs LEss next time! I'm not gonna be the LOSER, that's for sure. No. Wait! I AM gonna be the LOSER. Um. That still doesn't sound right.

I am going to be the one that loses weight and ends up weighing less, therefore putting me in first place and BEATING HER. There. That clarifies it.

Game On Sista! You're going doooowwwn... (well- I'm going doooown, too.. BUT I'm going to go doooowwwn in a way that beats you! So. HA!)

Breakfast. Hurry up. Eat up. Go. Go. Go.

Kroger. It's my grocery store choice because it's 45 minutes closer to me than Trader Joes (the ultimate store for the label-reader health-conscience, budget minded shoppers).

It is a second best store for me due to their variety of natural and organic food, the distance in which I have to drive (15 minutes), and it's more affordable that Publix. (here in North Ga, these are the options). BUT! Kroger is still a bit on the pricey side. I use coupons on top of sales and typically save around 60% off of my total grocery bill when I use the sale and coupon method. But. Again. It's still expensive. ESPECIALLY when I have found that I need quick meals more often than not, and being the label nazi that I am, I have to buy the quick and much pricier organic/natural Quick Food (double the cost).

Breakfast with a 22 month old, 4 year old and a 6 year old can get quite messy. Cereal with milk is not what I would concider a quick and easy meal choice for the A.M. meal. I need something that the baby can feed herself, and an option to eat-on-the-go if need be. Breakfast in and of itself could cost us $12 per day if I were to purchase a quick on the go Clif Bar, Apple, and Organic Milk in juice box. Each item costing (with coupons!) $1/each. Nutritionally, we're getting a lot of protein and essential vitamins in the Clif Bar, plenty of fiber from the apple, and a good combination calcium/protein and vitamin D in the milk. But? Breakfast could cost $60/week. Who can afford that?!

So... here are my quick and easy, on the go if need be, finger food, young children in mind, super nutritional Breafast Food Options:


What You'll Need:
-Blender or Food Processor
-Cup w/ a Lid and a Straw (going to Moe's a few times for lunch or dinner can land you a perfect size, washable, lid and straw accepting, kid-sized cup collection if you're uncertain of where to begin your search)
-Orange Juice (not from concentrate is healthiest)
-Frozen Fruit (berries are high in antioxidants, pineapples are scrumptious, bananas are filling... mix it all up, or choose just one)
-Plain (full fat) Yogurt (Dannon is affordable in the 32 oz. containers)

Simply blend orange juice, yogurt and frozen fruit- the amount of each you use will completely depend on the number of smoothies you'd like to make and the consistency. Remember, your child needs to be able to use a standard straw to drink this.
Start out small- 1/2 cup of each untl find your perfect recipe.
(lactose intollerant can omit the yogurt, or use soy)

From this frozen treat, you and your child will be consuming the daily needs for fruit, a well balanced amount of protein and calcium, AND they'll believe they get to 'drink' ice cream for breakfast.
Estimated Cost? For our family, it cost maybe $2 per day

Freshly Frozen French Toast:
Pick a day. Any day.

What You'll Need:
Atleast an hour to premake all the French Toast in preparations for freezing
Break out the griddle, or just use a regular skillet.
WHOLE WHEAT (organic if you can) Bread
Gallon Freezer Bags
Wax Paper

Whisk Eggs, Milk, Vanilla and Cinnamon.
Heat griddle/skillet, and place a small dab of (REAL) butter on the surface to prevent sticking.
Dip each piece of bread into the egg batter and cook well.
Set each cooked piece to the side to cool.

Once you've completed your desired amount of French Toast (ideally, enough for everyone to eat every day of the week) arrange the French Toast onto waxed paper. Place 2-4 slices of FT per sheet and begin layering. Place inside the Freezer Safe Bag, and freeze.
Each morning pull out frozen French Toast, place in the toaster, and serve with a fresh fruit. For on the go- no syrup is needed because the cinnamon, vanilla and real butter have created a pleasing taste.
The protein from the eggs, and grains from the bread provide a nutritionally balanced meal when served with fruit or juice

Pre-Bagged Cereal and Apples.

Not only is cereal great for a snack, it's also good for an 'in a really big hurry' meal when served with a fruit.

Easy Easy.
What You'll Need:
Apples, Grapes, Blueberries, Bananas or any other favorite fruit.
Snack Sized Bags
Lemons or Lemon Juice

Pre-Bag several snack sized baggies of an organic, low sugar cereal (Cascadian Farms has a yummy favorite called Clifford Crunch)
Cut up several apples and toss them in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
Place apples (or other fruit choice) into a snack sized baggie as well.

Have pre-bagged apples and bagged cereal in a ready to grab out of the fridge location, and allow the children to eat their food in the car along with a sippy cup or water bottle.