February 28, 2011

Monday's Baby Food Bonanza: Twenty-Minute Chicken Parm



This Chicken Parm recipe is easy and quick.  It's a good bet when you forgot about dinner and are now in a hurry to get something tasty made!



Twenty-Minute Chicken Parm

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup chopped parsely


Directions:

1. Flatten chicken into even thickness.

2. Beat the eggs.
3. Dip chicken into eggs and then bread crumbs to coat.

4. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp vegetable oil and brown chicken on both sides.

5. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet.

6. Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

7. Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley.

8. Cover, simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. 

February 25, 2011

I think I'm empty...

I think I was born to be a mother, but I was not made to stay at home.  Ironic.  All my life I've looked forward to the day that I can stay home and raise beautiful children.  I've dreamt of it.  I've anticipated all the amazing times.  It's a disappointment. 

Don't get me wrong, please.  I love my babies.  They're my world, my life.  They're fantastic and perfect and wonderful, but I should not be at home.  I am social, intense, crazy.  I need to be out and interact with adults every day.

Staying at home is slowly draining me of everything that I am.  I crave myself.  I want to be "me" again.  I want to live again.

I miss myself.  I miss my husband loving who I was and having fun with me at every minute.  He misses who I was too.  I know he does.  I miss feeling like I am the perfect person that I can be, and knowing that I am who I want and need to be.

I miss everything but the part about being childless.  I love my boys.  I love them with all my heart.  I need them to be a part of my life, but I also need to have a life.  The fall can't come soon enough.  I can't wait for them to be in the care of the very amazing and capable daycare provider that a close friend of my family sent her boys to.  I can't wait to work again.  To meet new people.  Friends.  To live.

February 23, 2011

Dear "0 Long" Jeans,

I love you, but I did not even attempt to put you on today as I pulled you out of the wash.  I'm not going to be unrealistic about this - it's going to take some time for me to enjoy your company once again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure we'll be great friends in a few months, but right now you're just not someone I need to be around.  You make me depressed.  Every time I see you on my shelf my heart falls just a little bit. 

I don't even know why I washed you yesterday.  Was I trying to hold on to the past?  What was I thinking by even dancing with the idea that you'd be able to pull onto my legs today and fit once more?  I've obviously fallen and bumped my head somewhere along the way.

Don't worry, though...you'll be back on my soon enough.  Soon enough.

February 21, 2011

Monday's Baby Food Bonanza: Delicious Tropical Baked Chicken





Delicious Tropical Baked Chicken

Ingredients:
1/2 thinly sliced onion, cut into rings
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
18 oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 a medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cups cooked Basmati rice




Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Divide onion and center on two 12x18 in sheets of Aluminum Foil.

3. Top with chicken, pineapple, and red pepper.

4. Mix together Krista's Jamaican Jerk Sauce, brown sugar, and ginger...spoon mixture over chicken evenly.

5. Bring up foil on both sides, and double fold ends to seal...leave a small pocket inside for heat to circulate.

6. Bake 16-18 minutes or grill 13-15 minutes.

7. Serve over hot Basmati rice, and drizzle more of jerk sauce mixture over to finish.

February 17, 2011

We're diving head on into the "4-Month Wakeful"

Have you heard of the "4-Month Wakeful?"  It's a made up term for the nights of playfulness that often accompany the huge growth spurt most babies get around that time.  When a baby is enjoying the "4-Month Wakeful" period, he's happy and excited to play at all hours of the night.  Say 3:30 am, for example.  Mommies and Daddies, of course, are not so excited.

Little Rocker did this for about nine nights before returning to sleeping through the night.  Monkey Man is on night number three of the "4-Month Wakeful," and I'm really hoping he sleeps through the night tonight.  Everything is starting off rather normal {although the last two nights did as well}.  He's being pretty good right now, actually.

I was able to put him down around 9:15pm, and he has been fussing on and off for about fifteen minutes but not crying at all.  In fact, neither RJ nor myself has even had to go back in the nursery!  Monkey Man did this during naptime today also, and when I was about to go in and walk him some more {he HATES to be rocked, bounced, etc.  All that works is sitting with no movement or walking in circles} he stopped fussing.  Then he napped for nearly four hours.  I think my little man is turning into a big baby who can soothe himself and put himself back to sleep.

Yippee!!!!!

February 16, 2011

Reaching my weight loss GOALS, MILESTONES, & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio MaxOn January 19 I posted about my current physical measurements, weight, and my goals for February 16.

Well, it's February 16 and I have some numbers for you that I'm really excited about!  I didn't quite hit every measurement I was hoping for, but you have to remember that I've re-toned a lot of muscle so I'm not upset at all.  In fact, I'm loving how sexy and toned my arms and legs are looking, and I'm also a fan of feeling some butt muscle again.

Nine West Women's Vintage Boho Bootcut Jean, Dark Water, 10I've also hit a huge milestone that I'm freaking psyched about!  Right this minute I am wearing SIZE 6 JEANS!!!!!  That's right, I've moved down from 8's to 6's and I'm feeling hot!  Okay, okay they're a little snug but they still look really good.  My legs look really thin in them, and I know that in a couple more weeks my size 6 jeans will feel as great as they're making me look right now.

I'm also just 2 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Monkey Man, and that was when Little Rocker was 5 months old.  That means I've been losing the baby weight and getting toned again more quickly than I did after having Little Rocker.  WOOT!!!


Reebok Women's EasyTone Reeinspire Walking Shoe,Black/Silver,11 M US


Measurements on January 19, 2011

Weight: 151 lbs
Left Thigh: 24 in
Right Thigh: 24 in
Hips: {gulp} 40 in
Right Bicep: 11 in
Left Bicep: 11 in
Waistline: 31 in



February 16, 2011 Goals

Weight: 140 lbs
Left Thigh: 20 in
Right: Thigh: 20 in
Hips: 34 in
Right Bicep: 9 in
Left Bicep: 9 in
Waistline: 27 in 
 
 
 
Current Measurements

Weight: 140 lbs {I made my goal!}
Left Thigh: 22 in
Right Thigh: 22 in
Hips: 38 in
Right Bicep: 10.5 in
Left Bicep: 10.5 in
Waistline: 29 in



GOALS {by March 16}

Weight: 135 lbs
Left Thigh: 20 in
Right Thigh: 20 in
Hips: 34 in
Right Bicep: 9 in
Left Bicep: 9 in
Waistline: 27 in


As you can see, I only made my weight loss goal for today and none of my body measurement goals.  I'm definitely not discouraged, though.  First off, I was building muscle and you can see and feel that my body is more toned than it was.  Secondly, I lost a lot of body mass and weight so there's really nothing to be upset about!  The longer and harder it is to lose weight, the higher your chances of keeping that weight off.  I'm building a better body and that takes time and effort.

I'll see you in March!

February 15, 2011

Little Rocker is just the sweetest thing in the world!

Last night he had some trouble in the middle of the night.  He woke up around 2:00am and was playing, but soon it turned to crying and carrying on.  I decided to go in there because  

1) I didn't want him getting worked up in the middle of the night
2) I didn't want him waking Monkey Man
3) I couldn't fall back to sleep while Little Rocker was crying in the next room.

So I walk into his room, he JUMPS up from under the covers, and he jumped right into my arms!  He was hugging me so tight and wiggling around and laughing.  I guess he was really excited to see me in the middle of the night.  I loved the warm feeling it gave me to have my little man in my arms right then.  He was so happy to see and snuggle with his mommy, and I felt like such a special lady.  I guess he just wanted to remind me how much he loves me.

He's also the silliest and most clever little guy around.  Earlier I put him down for a nap and then I hopped into the shower.  About 3/4 of the way through my shower I started hearing all this weird bumping around in his room...then it stopped.  After I got out of the shower I thought I heard the television on, and I was confused because I was pretty sure that I hadn't turned it on and left it on.  I walked out into the hallway, and I realized it was the radio in Little Rocker's room! 

The little stinker had climbed up his dresser {it's next to his bed} and turned on his radio.  He was lounging in his bed, his legs crossed, his hands behind his head, and listening to the radio.  I told him he's a silly dude and turned the radio off, but he got really mad when I did that so I turned it back on and turned the volume down low.  He calmed down right away, and I decided to tuck him in again and see what happens.  Well, he fell asleep within ten minutes and napped for three hours!

I guess he's napping with the radio on.

Has your little monkey done anything silly, crazy, or crafty lately?

February 13, 2011

Monday's Baby Food Bonanza: Valentine's Day Cupcakes



This is a special Baby Food Bonanza that comes right from the heart! 

::ba dum ching::

Valentine's Day is a beautiful little made-up holiday {thanks Hallmark} that allows us a special day to celebrate love in our lives.  Love is truly everywhere, and we should celebrate it, so I don't really mind a day being put aside to remind us of the beauty of love in our world. 

Today I'll be celebrating with my boys by taking Little Rocker and Monkey Man to a Valentine's Day playdate in which they {Little Rocker} will decorate Valentine's Day Cookies with some of his little friends.  Later, I will present RJ with a very special cake that I baked just for him.  I'll show you pictures of that later!

I hope your Valentine's Day is as wonderful as I anticipate mine will be.   Please feel free to share what you're doing or plan on doing today!




Valentine's Day Cupcakes!

1) Simply bake your favorite cupcake recipe {or mix, if you prefer}.

2) Add about 1/2 cup of red or pink sprinkles to the batter after it's completely mixed.
 
3) Slowly mix in with a spoon or spatula.




4) Fill cupcake tins nearly to the top {so you have big beautiful cupcakes!}





5) Bake as directed in your recipe or mix.







Valentine's Day Cupcake Frosting!
I found this delicious {and incredibly easy} frosting recipe on MarthaStewart.com, and it's fantastic!

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
6oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
9oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cup sour cream


Directions:
1) Mix together sugar, cocoa, and salt.
2) Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. 

3) Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add sugar-cocoa mixture

4) Beat until combined.

5) Pour in chocolate in a slow, steady stream

6) Add sour cream, and beat until combined.

7) Decorate your Valentine's Day Cupcakes however you want!


I decorated with three swirls of chocolate frosting using my frosting needle!

Then I sliced the stems off 4 strawberries and sliced them into medium-thin, flat pieces.

I sliced a "V' into the strawberries {to create hearts} and placed them on top of my cupcakes at a downward slant!


Aren't they beautiful?  Now hurry up and make your own to give to that wonderful person in your life!

February 12, 2011

L.O.V.E. how are you spending your evening?

BoldLoft "From My Heart to Yours" Couple Pillowcases-Romantic Valentine's Day Gifts for Couples, Cute Valentines Gifts for Him or Her, Romantic Anniversary GiftsRJ and I were supposed to go out for a romantic dinner this evening, for Valentine's DayOops! 

He forgot to make a reservation.  I guess we're not going anywhere romantic and amazing, but we are going out to eat and then maybe for some fun at Dave & Buster's.

He's such a silly forgetful man, but I still love him so much!  He definitely felt really bad about forgetting to call the restaurant {or any other}, so I obviously forgave him and we moved on to other things.
 
Be Mine Desk Table Top Sign Happy Valentines Day GiftI hope we can at least have some fun tonight!  We'll be going out for a romantic dinner to celebrate our birthdays {in March}, and I'm getting really excited about that now. 


::crossing my fingers that I'm not sick like I've been the last 5 birthdays::


I love my hubby so darn much, and he's the most amazing man in the world.  I don't care what we do tonight because what matters is that we'll be doing it together.  As a couple.  And together we can have fun with anything.  He's my heart. My knight. My love. 

BoldLoft "Say I Love You" Couple Pillowcases-Romantic Valentines Gifts for Couples, Cute Valentines Day Gift Ideas, Good Couple Gifts for Valentines, Romantic Anniversary Gifts 


I can't think of another person I'd rather spend an evening with - or 8 million evenings.

How are you celebrating with your love this Valentine's Day?

February 10, 2011

I have a present for you!

Monkey Man is 16 weeks old, and I finally uploaded his 3 month photos onto our computer.  I just know you're all dying to see this little cutie!


February 9, 2011

I love the way Little Rocker says "Mommy" now

He no longer calls me "Mama"...a few days ago he started calling me "Mommy" and it's the most adorable thing in the world.  He says it with this cute little sing-song voice, and I fall in love every time I hear it!

My little boy is also becoming a little stinkpot!  The Terrible Two's are definitely on our doorstep, so we'r dealing with some naughty behavior lately.  Little Rocker has started hitting when he doesn't want to do something that we want him to do, or he'll hit when he's mad at us.  I implemented Time Outs, and they seem to be working, but I really hope this stage doesn't last long.  Unfortunately, he's only 18 months and I know better.

Speaking of Little Rocker already being 18 months...

He weighs 24lbs 15oz and is 30.5inches!

February 6, 2011

REVIEW: NMEDA {a non-profit trade organization}


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.


NMEDA is a non-profit organization that promotes safe driving and equipment for disabled people.  This is a great organization because they really care about the safety of everyone, and NMEDA's goal is for all equipment for the disabled to be 100% safe for everyone!  NMEDA dealers sell handicap vans and vehicle modifications for disabled people, and these members are required to adhere to the safety standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NMEDA also understands that no two people with a disability are exactly the same and different people need different equipment adapted to their specific needs.  NMEDA wants everyone to beware of adapted wheelchair vehicles sold over the Internet or through catalogs because these wheelchairs may not be the best chair for your needs. After a personalized “in-person” evaluation with an NMEDA dealer, you can be sure you are getting the right driving solution customized to your specific lifestyle and needs. If you need additional training or product refinements, your NMEDA dealer is there to help you every step of the way!

NMEDA also offers a Quality Assurance Program {QAP} that is actually the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the Adaptive Mobility Equipment Industry. It is based on the principle that in order to satisfy customers consistently, companies must have a systematic and documented approach to quality.  This also prevents companies from acting dishonorably toward disabled people.

NMEDA is a great program and offers lots of help to caregivers of disabled people.  This is a tough position to be in, and it's nice to have a helping hand when needed.  NMEDA also helps the elderly get back on to the road to independence, and that's a great road to be on if you're not used to depending on others to get around!  If you're ever in need to some quality and safe products for the disabled, please find a NMEDA dealer in your area.  All you need to do is visit nmeda.org and click on "dealers locator" on the homepage.

Leave a comment and let me know the closest NMEDA dealer to your house!
Visit Sponsor's Site

REVIEW: Evie {the voice-enabled app!}


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Evie. All opinions are 100% mine.


Evie is this cool little iPhone app that allows you to use your iPhone totally hands free! 
It's a really convenient way to get things done while you're on the go, and I've talked to a few people who use Evie and LOVE Evie!

Welcome-Message.PNG (27 documents)
Uploaded with Skitch!

Evie allows you to say the name of any contact in your phone or just speak a phone number, in order to make a call.  You can also play your favorite song just by telling your phone to "play Only Girl in the World" {or whatever the name of your very favorite song is} and Evie will start it up!  Looking for a gas station or Chinese Restaurant?  Just tell Evie to "find the nearest gas station" or "find the nearest Chinese Restaurant" and your call will be connected by Evie or Evie will give you directions there.

Dock
Uploaded with Skitch!

Evie even allows you to listen to your Facebook feed without even looking at your phone!  Evie is so easy to use, and is convenient for moms on the go, businesspeople, anyone who is in the car a lot or drives for a living - basically anyone!!!   

I really recommend that you check  Evie out the next time you're out and about! 

evie-tips-mode-summary.PNG (27 documents)
Uploaded with Skitch!
Visit Sponsor's Site

February 5, 2011

I'm having an "off" day

Yesterday was rough for me, I was feeling "trapped" inside this house.  I've been trying to get my resume, application, and transcripts out to school districts and I'm so ready to find a teaching job.  Well, piggy-back this morning onto that and I completely fell apart when my dad accused RJ of being a jerk.

I'm not mad at my dad, he only means well, but I think everything on top of my parents not being very supportive of RJ in our journey to get back on top of our marriage is really weighing on me.  He's an amazing husband and he's working so hard to get back to the way we were before we had the boys.  We're going out on dates, we're both working on better communication skills, and we're falling in love all over again.  Unfortunately, and this is because they're my parents {so I get it}, my parents seem to be having a difficult time forgiving RJ for getting into the rut he found himself in after Monkey Man was born.  They just can't seem to remember what it's like immediately after a baby joins the family, and the hardships that can follow.  RJ was feeling like he was losing the love we had found so many years ago, because I was focusing my life on potty-time and babies while he was still vying for my affection.  I completely understand how he was feeling, and I thought my parents did too.  I guess they don't. 

This morning my dad came down {they live in the apartment above us} and was acting all nasty about how RJ didn't sleep at home last night.  I tried to explain that he stay at his friend's place because another friend was visiting last night and they wanted to drink but not have to go out.  RJ and I talked about the possibility of him staying over, and I agreed that it was ok with me.  If I had said I didn't want him to he would have stayed home, easy as that.  My parents, however, took it as him running away from the family and not being a man.  I don't know what to do about this.  I've told them we're doing great, I've told them we're reconnecting and having a great time again - they're just not listening.  My dad said he thinks I'm saying that because I think it but that it's not really true.  This is not the case at all!  RJ even called me last night at 2 am to check on me and the boys.  We're not fighting.  We're not avoiding each other.  We're having fun and in love.

How are we supposed to make them see this?

February 4, 2011

REVIEW: I See Me personalized children's books







Have you ever heard of I See Me personalized children's books?  I See Me is a great website to create a special storybook for your little one, and I really think you should check it out.  Just think of how excited your little man will be to read a story about himself as a pirate?  He'll love it!  Trust me!

February 3, 2011

Day three of The 30 Day Shred!

Jillian Michaels 3 DVD Set. 30 Day Shred/Banish Fat Boost Metabolism/No More Trouble ZonesI've been doing different things to pump up my workout routine, as you probably already know, so I was inspired to begin the 30 Day Shred starting in February!  My goal is to begin on February 1 {accomplished} and move through the first two workouts as quickly as possible, to obtain ultimate strength and weight loss {well, I care more about baby flab than pounds...but they're an added bonus!}.  I plan on doing this every morning and still hitting the gym, if I have time.

Well, I'm only on Day 3 and I realized during my workout today that I am so done with Workout 1!  I barely felt a burn while I was doing it today, so I definitely need to move on up to Workout 2 tomorrow - after just three days of The Shred!



I'm super excited about this because it means my body is definitely getting back into shape and my stamina is getting better and I'm getting stronger.  


I'm so ready to be back in my pre-pregnancy body.  As I've been watching my waist and thighs shrink and tone up, and my arms and butt look firm again, I've been getting more and more excited about getting back into my cute, slinky clothing and looking hot again.  I spent lots of time earlier this week going through my closet and weeding out clothes that I haven't worn for years, and I'm starting to think about what new clothes I'm going to buy for my birthday.  {All I asked for was a new wardrobe, since I haven't gotten new clothes since before I got pregnant with Little Rocker.}


RJ may not be saying it, but I can tell that he likes my better body and can't wait until I'm back to looking like "me" again.  A woman can just tell

::wink wink::