Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas was great.  I hope you all had a wonderful, joy-filled holiday as well (assuming you celebrate this particular holiday.)  We went to the beach last week, and I'm continuously surprised at how restful being in the presence of the ocean is for me.  I need to have a house there.  Living there, right now, isn't an option.  BUT if I had a house there, I'd be there pretty often.  Back to the story.  We spent several days there.  Water park.  Time on the sand.  Dinner date with my man.  Ride Makerz with my boys.  Shopping with my girls.  Bliss all around.

We had a great day Christmas Eve day as well.  The kids made "Ninja-Bread" men.  Boys did a few crafts.  Baked cookies.  We spent time with my mom, Two played a song on her guitar and we sang.  It was great.

This morning, I sent all my fellas (The Punk, Three and Four) on a plane and went to visit family.  I'm sad, all my men are gone.  But, on the up side...the boys first plane ride went well.  They both loved it.  Four was really anxious about it for a couple days, but I managed to calm him down.  Hooray (it's really just my vast experience at dealing with One's anxiety disorder.)  

After I dropped the boys off, I went by Target and picked up some 50% off Xmas decorations.  I'm going to make:  Ornament Wreath  Exciting stuff.  

Now, it's just the girls and I for a bit.  During this time...One will be getting her belly button pierced.  How the HECK did I end up here???  It's just a piercing, it's not permanent, and I realize as a parent of a teenager it's really important to pick your battles.  I just don't know how it's possible for me to have a child this old.  Truly.  I also get to see The Bestie, whom I haven't seen in over two weeks.  YAY!!!!

Other than that, I have work I need to do around the house...lots of it.  So far since I've been home today..I've done a whole lot of NOTHING.  ;)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two for Tuesday (plus a little bonus rant.)

I need some sunshine.  Truly.  It's so grey and dismal here.  I can't take much more.  The weather man says the next 3 days (today not included) will be sunny.  Cold as a witches titty (My Daddy said that to me when I was a kid.)  But, SUNNY.  I have my chair positioned on the back porch, I should probably turn it upside down so the water can run off--it's going to rain all day, and it rained a bit yesterday too.  It's not helping my depression.  At.  All.  I ran twice last week.  I danced yesterday, and I am dancing again later this week.  I am motivated to run (which I will probably do tomorrow, with my new running partner The Bestie!) because of a race I signed up to run in May.  That's a long way out you say?  It's a warrior dash.  Google that.  There are 12 obstacles that unlike my FUN MUD RUN are no joke.  I'm excited, but I need to be in shape.  Coincidentally, my FUN MUD RUN is the weekend after, and should therefore feel like a walk in the park!  Sunshine.  I need sunshine.  Stat.  I'm considering paying $10 to lie in a tanning bed for a few minutes even.  It's that bad.

We are currently "tracked out," which means we aren't doing any REAL school.  We are still reading because I don't want to lose what he's gained in that department-he's doing SO WELL!  But, other than that, our only learning is about Christmas traditions around the world and how they are similar to and different from ours.  We only have this week, and a few days before Xmas to do this because (SHHHHHH...this is a secret) Santa is bringing us another trip and we'll be gone the entire week before Christmas.

Here's what I downloaded from TPT (one of my favorite sites, in case you didn't know that already.)

Christmas Around the World Facts and Snacks

My Christmas Pinterest Board  (ideas of things to do/make)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordy Wednesday

Ok, well....this week has sucked ROYALLY.  I've had a borderline-to-full blown migraine every day this week (now, I've also had a lot of caffeine because I've fallen off the paleo wagon, and I'm starting to think that might be the culprit, truly.)  I'm beyond over it.  I've spent the bulk of two full days in bed, just because I don't want to do ANYTHING.  Tomorrow is my FAVORITE day of the year.  I must snap out of this bullshit.

I need to get up, and go bake, and do stuff.  My family is having thanksgiving together this year.  We haven't celebrated this holiday together in a 3 years.  I started a new tradition for just the family that lives in my house (we celebrate with The Bestie and her family...who have adopted me.)  I LOVE it, it's just the way I want Thanksgiving to be.  This year, I get both.  My family is pulling together because of a tragedy that is upon us, but we're not going to focus on that, we're going to just enjoy one more GREAT holiday together.  And, then, I'll head over to The Bestie's parents place for a lot of laughter and more food.

It's supposed to be CLEAR tomorrow, which means there will be sunshine (it's been completely overcast for the last 5 joke) and I shall bundle up and BASK in it and hopefully RUN.  If I don't chicken out because of the cold.

The Punk and I went to the store this morning, alone.  It was good to be alone, but I'm so grumpy I don't even want to be around myself.  SO, his opinion may vary.

On the 'falling off the paleo wagon' front, I'm going to go back to full on paleo as of Friday.  I'm waiting until then because I want to drink tomorrow.  Truth.  Alcohol isn't really paleo, so I will wait that out.  The family has been pretty paleo with our meals too, because I'm the one who cooks.  But, as of Friday, Three is going full on paleo with me.  He has some serious skin issues going on and we thought it was triggered by food dyes, but now I'm thinking it's something more.  We've been really tight with the food dye for almost a month, and I've been slathering him twice a day with an insanely expensive eczema treatment lotion for a couple weeks and his skin still looks horrible.  Sigh.  As a result, we're going to give paleo diet a two week trial for him to see if it will help clear up the skin issue so we can try to pinpoint what it is that's causing it.  If that just bombs, then we'll be seeing a dermatologist before the new year.

Now, I'm off to bake some sweet potatoes, make some pumpkin cookies and muffins, and blast some music to make myself happy!  And, GO!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Snapshots

Yesterday, I posted about my current depressed state.  That was prior to my wonderful, gets-me-better-than-anyone-else husband woke up. He had been at poker until 4am yesterday, and won a decent amount. He woke up suggesting that we pack up the boys and do SOMETHING. We decided we'd head to the aquarium since we've never been to the one here in NC (we have more than one, but we've only ever been to the Ripley's one in Myrtle Beach. This, of course, meant that I would get to see the ocean, put my feet in the sand and have a (quick!) moment in the surf. He gets me. The ocean is my happy place. Heals my heart and cures what ails me. I love that man. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sideways Saturday

I've been in a funk lately, and things have suffered. I want to spend the bulk of my day in the bed, and don't really want to see anyone. I've suffered with seasonal depression before but the last fee years had been free from symptoms. I know last years fall/winter were exceptionally mild and that probably had a lot to do with me being symptom free. However, this year, I'm not going to be so lucky.  It's mid-November and we've had short stretches of what feels like bitter cold (logically, I know it is NOT bitter cold...but for here, this early in the year???  It's bad. It already snowed for the love of all things holy!) 

Treatment is pretty simple (for me) and just involves getting out in the sunshine and moving.  Now that I typed that, I also was an avid runner last winter....and currently I haven't run since September.  It's all coming together in my brain. One day last week, I sat on my back deck, with my face tilted towards the sun for a half hour. I wore my earphones (and music drastically effects my mood too) and I got more done in that ONE day than I had in the entire week-maybe two-prior. It was truly amazing. 

This week I've forced myself out of house. I hung out with The Bestie, whom I hadn't seen in over two weeks. The following night The Bestie and I took One, Two, her One and her Two to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was amazing.  

Dealing with this blah-blues-ick has been far less than amazing. But I'll get through. And today, I will run. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Manic Monday

I have danced so much today!  I did a half hour practice first thing this morning.  I did a 10 minute practice in my space before class, my hour class, and then they requested a few favorites so we danced for nearly 15 minutes OVER.  Almost 2 hours worth of dancing before 11 am!  Holy smokes.   I also made cupcakes (the very vanilla ones I've shared before, you can find them on the recipe link) this morning to go in a container I was giving back to a friend.  She brought the container when she made me paleo-doughnuts.  I kid you not.  Ahhhhmazing.  

We came home, I showered and we headed back out to meet some friends at the park.  We met and chatted while the kids all played...ahem, the big kids HUNG OUT.  They have informed me that they do not "play."  *eye roll*

I outlined a plan for One's school work.  They went on a week vacation with their bio-dad and now she's behind.  However, she is already trying to cram a full school year into six months so her work load is higher AND she only has 8 weeks left to finish so she can't just stretch it out.  Now, I just printed some of the freebies from TpT I shared yesterday, so that I can get to school with Three and Four.

I'm exhausted, and truth be told, I just want to lie down for an hour or so.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Snapshots

Three, Four, and The Punk on the big slide at the fair. 

Four is a very serious soccer player. 

Awesome ride. Their favorite. They rode it twice. 

After the fair, we stopped at our local ice cream place. This is the first time Four had ice cream that we didn't buy and obsess over the ingredients. It went well, I'm beginning to see a light at the end of this tunnel. 

This is how your kids play Wii too, right? 

Hey, maybe you shoulda listened to mom when she said go back to sleep (@5:45am.)

"Cave Painting"

Four's pumpkin choice.  I carved, he chose the pattern. 

Three's pumpkin choice (actually, his third choice, I vetoed the first two based on difficulty for the carver. )

Sideways Saturday (on a Sunday Morning...)

I know my posts have been all over the place, but whatevs.  It's life, it's chaotic and crazy (and I love it.)  I have a few minutes and I wanted to share a few things I'm downloading to help out with school stuff.  Enjoy these freebies from TpT!

Retelling Sticks--I can see these being really useful with Three right now.

Number Line Math Game--We are currently working on addition and subtraction with the number line.  This game has a space theme, and Three is all about any GAME to get his work done.

Witches Brew--this is a Halloween themed trail mix.  We won't be making it because a.) money is tight, and I don't have enough of these things just lying around to say "well, I'll only have to buy XY." and b.) Four couldn't eat it, and he has enough of that "Look everyone else gets this fun stuff, you get none." shit going on is his life already.  BUT--if you aren't dealing with either of those situations?  This is a cute, yummy way to get kids measuring in the kitchen with you (which I'm a huge proponent of.)

Pumpkin Seed Counting--this one has the numbers out of order, so they have to pay attention and really recognize the numbers.  We will be carving pumpkins today, so we will be counting some seeds this week (the few that I don't hoard and roast.)  I will most likely create my own sheet with higher numbers (this one only goes to 10.)

Dia De Los Muertos--create your own calavera bilingual worksheet.  Awesome!

There is also the idea of keeping all the candy wrappers (or using the actual candy) and making a graph of what you got.  We will be using Switch Witch this year (Four can't have the candy--allergies.  And Three gets what we refer to as "candy spots" which are really bad eczema flair ups because of food dye) so all the candy will be gone on the morning of Dia De Los Muertos.  Yay for me (it's SOOOO tempting to have it in the house.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flashback Friday

This has been the most productive week-school wise-that we've bad in a LONG time. We actually got EVERY SINGLE thing I planned complete. Crazy right??  

We learned about: Bats, practiced reading, did addition and subtraction on a number line, memorized a rhyme, looked at our map and learned where some interesting types of bats lived, learned what characters are, completed a Venn diagram about a bats vs birds, and did a few sheets on the story of Stellaluna!  Phew!

Three at First Grade Co-Op. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Skinny Housewife

OOOOOK.  I'm so excited about the apple bacon chicken salad recipe.  I've been wanting to try it since I found it on Monday afternoon.  Now, I haven't had a chance because I haven't been home at lunch time all week.  Today I was, but my husband cooked all the bacon yesterday so I was short that.  I will rectify this.  Trust me.

I'm thinking this will be lunch for a couple days next week.  I love it because it uses greek yogurt in place of mayo.  I LOATHE mayo.  LOATHE isn't even a strong enough word truly.  I hate the look of it, the smell of it, the feel of it....just IT.  BLERGH.

Now, greek yogurt isn't paleo, but I'm not being super strict about dairy.  I'm not going out of my way to eat it, but I'm not really going out of my way to avoid it either.  And cheese, don't even get me started on my unwillingness to part with the GREATNESS that is cheese.  Not.  Going.  To.  Happen.

My plan for having this as a lunch while out of the house involves cooking up the bacon and chicken and mixing it up with the apples (submerged in a little lemon juice, because I don't want brown apples at lunch) and then packing the yogurt in the ice pack and mixing it in when I'm ready to eat.

One of my BIGGEST issues with being paleo is lunches out.  We are out of the house at lunch time three days a week.  And, I don't like raw veggies of any sort (I know, I know...) so I'm limited in what I can pack.  Especially, now that it's getting cold out and some things I just don't want to eat cold.  I need a portable microwave or a camp stove for the back of my van.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two for Tuesday

I could lose a whole day (maybe more than just one...) looking at this blog!  I used a lot of these ideas for our work this week, and I LOVE her other ideas too...can't wait to spend more time digging through old posts.

And did you know about this??  If you did, I may come beat your TUSH for not telling me about it sooner.  Online stories from National Geographic Kids on a WIDE variety of subjects!  WHAT the WHAT???

Monday, October 21, 2013

Manic Monday

Such a productive day.  Got up, practiced my Zumba routines for the new upcoming session of my class, did school work with Three, went to the grocery store ALONE (did you hear the angels singing?  I sure did!) came home and fed the boys lunch, did a little more school with Three and Four, then went to bowling league, stopped at the store for 1 thing I forgot (that I NEED for halloween costume finishing, so it was imperative,) came home and put the dinner in the oven, filled out 2 job applications, practiced some new Zumba routines, now I'm putting up a blog post and waiting to scarf down dinner--I'm STARVED--and head to Four's soccer game, followed by a movie watching party with a friend!  PHEW!  It's been a glorious day.  

Here's what the kids have been doing while I was filling out apps, dancing and now blogging...

Let's hope no one needs to use the potty any time soon.  *wink*

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Snapshots: love is...

Love is...searching thrift store racks for a newborn sized pj outfit for a stuffed animal. 

Love is...stitching a beloved monkey's head back on. 

Love is...pulling off the decoration of one of YOUR favorite headbands in order to convert it to a useable accessory for your child's Halloween costume. 

Love is...hand painting shoes (bright pink ones because that's the only color we could find in her size) YELLOW to match your child's Halloween costume. 

Love is....watching your kids do their thing! (Four blocking a goal, that's my little keeper!)

Love is....taking care of yourself and doing what you love (at the same time in my case!) 

Love is...a hammock near a bonfire. 

Love is....The Bestie and I hanging out in the back of her car, in a Walmart parking lot (because we are both on restrictive diets and weren't drinking either and would have felt rude sitting in a restaraunt and not ordering, AND this was my only free time this week--you do what you can!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Skinny Housewife: Very Vanilla Cupcakes

These are delish!  My kids like them, but I won't share because they aren't "all in" paleo, and so they have other treats that I cannot eat. I'm a selfish mom like that. If they want to move "all in paleo" I would share, until then--MINE. These are cake like, and not dry at all. I'm eating them without icing and they are FAB but there is a link to some icing recipes listed on the blog post as well.  


Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday Snapshots

Yes, I realize it is early Monday morning, but I'm the only one awake, so it's peaceful here. I meant to post yesterday, but it got busy and I worked in a crafty project until late into the night. Here you go:

Weapons strewn across the yard, I love boys. 

Four practiced soccer for about 20 minutes. 

He was pretty sick most of the week, there was a lot of screen time, and THIS:

Marble water color at 1st grade co-op was so fun!  I made one too. 

My handsome Three. 

The only bad side of our week?  There was some serious Lego violence. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Snapshot Sunday

We spent a good chunk of our Afternoon in the Lego store. We all built mini-figs and the boys each got to pick a set. This is Three's jet, with the two mini figs he built (the one on the left side is modeled after Indiana Jones, a current obsession.)

Four's stunt plane had an unfortunate accident. 

Four and I worked together to build his set. 

The Punk and Three built his jet. 

Friday morning Four had a "game store."

I know there are 6 of us, but truly this is too much!

National talk like a pirate day!  We celebrated at co-op with a pirate theme, and then we got doughnuts. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Skinny Housewife

First, I want to address something that I was wondering since reading my friend Liz's blog about self image.  I was momentarily concerned that my "Skinny Housewife" posts might make someone out in the blogosphere feel bad about themselves.  Then I thought...nah, that ain't me.  It's not my bag to make others feel bad.  First, I'm not skinny.  Second, my posts are never condemning or bossy (You SHOULD be eating THIS.)  They are mostly healthy things that I've found that I actually LOVE, and that sometimes my kids like too and an effort to share.

Now, on to what I wanted to post about this week.  :)

I think I may have mentioned Paleo lifestyle before (I prefer lifestyle to diet, because honestly since the first four days, I haven't felt like I'm on a diet AT ALL.)  If not, quick recap:  it's eating like a caveman.  You only eat things that would have been available 'back in the day.'  I've been eating Paleo for almost 2 weeks (which in internet time makes me an expert.)  Everything that I read said to expect to feel like hell for at least a week, and possibly up to two.  Luckily, it didn't last that long for me, but I have to say that the first 4 days were ROUGH.  The sugar withdrawal was brutal.  I had a headache for 4 days straight.  The worst was when The Punk told me I was actually asleep with my hand on my forehead (yes, my head hurt SO BAD that I was aware of the pain, even in my sleep.  Sweet, right??)  That particular headache had rendered me useless (it hurt so bad I couldn't think!)  However, the next day?  It was over.  Apparently, those sugars and grains put up a fight on the way out.

I love this lifestyle.  Let me list the reasons:

1.  I have so much more energy.  Honestly, this was one of those things I've read but FEELING it within my own skin has still stunned me.  Prior to starting to eat differently, I was tired all the time.  I wanted a nap EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I was sleeping as late as possible (when The Punk would get up with the boys) and being miserable on the days that I couldn't.  Even with all that love of sleep, I needed sleeping pills to actually FALL asleep.  It was a crazy vicious cycle.  Now?  I'm falling asleep sans pills around 10:30 every night.  I've been awake BEFORE the kids every day this week.  And my kids wake up before the sun.  For the last 3 days, I've been up at 5:15.  Just awake.  Not miserable about being awake.  Just awake.

2.  Everything I've made so far has been YUMMILICIOUS.   And, the paleo versions of a few foods I was bemoaning having to give up (spaghetti--my very favorite meal and chili--as we enter fall/winter,) have blown me away with yumminess so it's ALL GOOD.  AND, at a dinner get together I attended last weekend, someone showed up with "ultimate paleo chocolate chip cookies," it was like the universe was rewarding me for not eating the cupcakes that had been on the counter for two hours, or gobbling up those chips.

3.  My kids are eating better, just because they want what I'm having!  No one else in my house is currently paleo (One is vegetarian.)  The Punk is totally supportive of this choice for me, and has decreased his intake of the "no-no's" and he's definitely eating better because he's eating with me.  A couple nights ago, I made garlic-cauliflower faux-tatoes.  The kids all ate it!  Three complained that he didn't like it, but he complains about almost all food that is put in front of him right now (except watermelon) so, I was expecting that.  One kept repeating how much she LOVED the potatoes that night.  Yesterday morning, I told her what it REALLY was and explained that that's why she liked it so much (she loves cauliflower, like her mama.)  Two ate them, and while she wasn't raving about them, she also wasn't complaining.  Personally, there was too much garlic for me and I think Two felt the same.  Next time, I'll dial that back a little.

4.  When I open my fridge, I get to marvel at an astounding number of fruits and veggies.  I know this seems simple, but we can hardly fit anything in there for the grapes, watermelon, pineapple, kale, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, apples, carrots and peaches!

5.  I've lost 4 lbs.  I need to lose about 15.  And, one of my hopes for going paleo was to lose this belly fat (abs are made in the kitchen, ya know.)

Like most diets or lifestyle changes it's not for everyone, clearly.  And I'm not saying YOU SHOULD ALLLLL GO DO THIS NOW!  BUT, for ME, it has been truly amazing.  Not only do I feel great, and the food is yummy...I'm just HAPPY.  I've been able to give up taking all my vitamins (and let's be honest, while a pill form vitamin is better than not getting them...but they are never as good as ACTUAL FOOD) and still feel amazing.  *Hallelujah*

So, now that I've touted how amazing I'm feeling, let me confess something.  Yesterday was "Talk Like  Pirate Day."  Krispy Kreme doughnuts gives you a free doughnut if you come in and talk like a pirate.  They will give you a free DOZEN if you come in dressed like a pirate.  Their definition of "dressed like a pirate" and mine when we showed up in pirate bandana's and t-shirts meaning to claim A free doughnut (one for One, Two, and Three...none for me, being Paleo, and none for Four because of his allergies.) they sent us home with TWO DOZEN.  *slow blink*  I've never been good with temptation.  It's just not my bag.  I gave away a dozen almost immediately upon arriving home.  One, Two and Three all had 2 doughnuts a piece.  And, me?  I ate 4.  Four.  FOUR.  *shakes head in shame*  It is what it is.  It's over and done.  I was still up at 5:15 today, and I still feel great.  I do want MORE sugar again, which I had stopped really feeling (but sugar makes you crave sugar.)  I'm fighting that with water.  Tons of water.  Trying to just flush it from my system.

None of us are perfect.  We all fall.  We all eat doughnuts.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Manic Monday

This is going to be a combo Manic Monday and Snapshot Sunday.

Today was awesome!  So awesome.  Taught my Zumba class this morning, and had probably the best time I've had to date!  So fun.  Stopped at the store on the way home and picked up the few remaining food items needed for the week.  Came home made an AMAZING lunch (zoodles, italian sausage and homemade spaghetti sauce!)  Cleaned, taught the small kids a great amount of school (which has really been taking a back burner,) made a really banging dinner and went on a walk as a family.

It was a blissful day. 

Now-pictures from various activities over the last few weeks, including my trip to Cali with The Punk, and concerts with the Bestie. 

Me, in front of the Hollywood sign. I'm rocking my "Love" shirt, representing #loveinarms on the west coast (check out this cause on FB and Twitter, check out her etsy shop theloveshacknc for some cool LOVE gear for yourself.)

My favorite food truck. 

My fare from the slummin' gourmet:  chipotle maple sweet potato tots. Nom nom nom.  (My apologies that the food pics are blurry, I was in a hurry to eat!)

Garlic parm spiraled potato on a stick ('cause I don't do healthy on vacation!)

We had lunch in Venice Beach inside a renovated old fire house. Too cool. 

The view from the Santa Monica Pier, you get mountains AND ocean. Hard to beat. 

This is the design it menu from a place called Slater's 50/50. You should check out their site, and be jealous that I got to eat there. The subsequent pictures are my food from there. Drool. It's expected. 

Fried bacon Mac and Cheese balls. You may openly weep with delight that these exist now. 

My burger:  50-50 (ground beef-bacon,) Swiss, chili, fritos, on a bacon pretzel bun. 

The Huntington Beach pier at night. 

The Bestie turned 40 while I was on the west coast, this was her Pacific Ocean birthday wishes, before the waves snatched it away. 

Angela vs Rays game. 

First night back, The Bestie and I wet to see John Mayer. 

Four had his first soccer practice. He was SOOOOOO excited!

Two and I with a baby bobcat!  This bobcat is being sponsored by The Bestie and her family, which is why we got an inside chance to play with her. 

Four helping make his pizza. 

The Boo, myself, The Bestie, and Two at Maroon 5 concert. 

A little Jenga in the morning. 

19 months after a gnarly break, Three is hanging on the bar he fell from. He's not nearly as scarred by this experience as his mama. 

Electric Run visited a city near me!  It was fun, fun, fun. Great lighting effects and pumping music the whole time. Here is a good friend of mine, myself and Two ready to get our groove (run) on!