Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Long week

I FINALLY made the creamy garlic pasta on Tuesday night! It was great. Its very strong on the garlic, but I like that. I don’t think Doug liked it as much, and Allie wouldn’t try it. I hope to make it again though. It also had the heavy cream and parmesan flavor that I like. That heavy cream though made it very filling. It initially seemed like only two servings so I divided it up between me and Doug. We were both stuffed and put our leftovers in one bowl that I just ate for lunch today. It still tasted great, but the cream went away and there is an obscene amount of oil remaining in the bowl. I’m not really sure what happened.

We’ve been eating really well up until the last week. Between Doug’s birthday and other assorted events, that good eating has gone way south. I’m overeating and eating bad stuff. Of course this is also during a week in which I didn’t work out like usual because of the cold and my sore shins and waiting for new shoes. Lovely how that stuff works. I’m kind of at a point where almost anything I eat is not sitting well. Hopefully that will stop as I am getting back on the eating well wagon. I don’t really call it a diet… I’m not following any kind of plan. We’re just not eating out (other than this week) and I’m making good for us dinners.

On the new shoes… I got them yesterday and I love the color!
Unfortunately I’m not 100% sure they are keepers. I ordered them online on clearance and they didn’t have my size in wide width. So I got regular width and when I ran this morning I got blisters. ūüė¶¬† I’m staying optimistic though and I will try wearing my double layer running socks, which are supposed to prevent blisters. If that doesn’t work, I’m not sure what I’ll do. We can’t afford my current shoes at full price and I don’t really want to pay full price. The increase in price from model to model in running shoes is crazy! However, on my run this morning, my shins were only minimally painful, which I regarded as leftovers of the pain from running in old shoes. So if these shoes don’t work, I can’t easily go back to my old ones.

This has been a long week of cold, and when its not as cold, its supposed to snow.¬†At least the snow¬†doesn’t paralyze Madison like it did Atlanta! We complain about how unprepared the city of Madison seems when it snows… but¬†from events this week in the south, I now believe Madison is quite prepared! And on that note, we laugh when the south closes everything in event of snow in the forecast… well, maybe that’s with good reason!¬†

Every day this week, I’ve thought it was Friday. I even thought on Tuesday that it was Friday! At least Friday is tomorrow, but that still seems a LOOOOONG way away.
Some fun in the midst of a long boring week, Peyton! He’s so proud of himself as he scoots around the house. A favorite spot is by the bathroom door, he likes to play with the door stop. Allie liked that too.¬†We lost one of the ones from the kids room when she was playing with it a lot.¬†

Peyton still doesn’t crawl on all fours, I suppose because he gets around just fine with his “swimming” motion. We have noticed just over the last day or so he is getting more on all fours and making a crawling motion without actually crawling. Doug and I think he’s going to go straight to walking though. Its time to get the gates out!
He was following me into and around the kitchen last night. This is a change as very recently he’d see me walk in a room and cry when I walked away from him. And even if I sat down near him, he wouldn’t come to me, he’d just cry until I went to get him.

On the subject of getting up on all fours, he’s also starting to pull up on things. The other morning I put him in the crib to help Allie get dressed, and he started pulling up on the side of the crib! So unfortunately I think it may be time to lower the crib mattress. This is bad for me with my back. Not to mention I’m short, I can’t reach the crib mattress when its on its lowest height!

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This week’s food plans

I didn’t get back yesterday to post this week’s meal plans. Last night for dinner we had leftover chili reheated on the stove. We had to stop by the store on the way home from work, so I picked up some bread to have along with it. That was the perfect meal for the super cold night!

Here’s the rest of the week:
Tuesday: Creamy garlic pasta, I’m going to try it this week!
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Chicken cacciatore from the freezer
Friday: Mushroom lovers pork chops.
Saturday: Pasta fagioli. This is the double batch that I was going to freeze half last weekend, but since we had so many leftovers I didn’t make it.
Sunday: Super Bowl! We’re going to Jon and Julie’s like we do most years… Julie always makes the most amazing Super Bowl food!

Several of these are items I didn’t make last week, yet we still managed to spend a larger chunk at the grocery store than we expected. Why is it always so expensive? I’m happy at least to report that we ate all the leftovers last week and don’t have nearly as much left over this week.

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Back on the treadmill

I’ve made a pretty good comeback in January, compared to how I was running in November and December. November I had the remnants of pneumonia and December I had laziness, then crazy busy, and then chest cold. Well, for January so far, I’ve beat my November mileage with 23.5 miles. November was 22.8. I won’t mention December, because I only ran 9 miles in December!

Even better, I’ve finally started going to Body Flow again! I’ve gone the past two Sundays. I could definitely tell last week that it had been several months, I was so sore for a few days. Yesterday’s class was easier and I’m not nearly as sore. I’m so glad it comes back fairly quickly! I really enjoyed doing Body Flow when I was pregnant, that was the only real workout I could do by the end. I can really see the benefit when I’m doing classes like this regularly. When I’m toning my core and back it helps with my SI joint disfunction. It also helps me get stronger in running with the strength and balance portions.

Unfortunately my running right now is on the treadmill. If it would be a little warmer and if some snow would melt so I’d have good footing, I’d happily run outside. Unfortunately the temperatures these days don’t get too warm and even if they do, I can’t trust myself to run on snowy sidewalks or streets!¬†Not to mention running in the morning in the dark is miserable even in the best winter conditions. So I’m stuck on the treadmill. And as I do most winters, I’m dealing with shin splints. I have general shin splints but also a problem spot on the inside of my right shin.¬†I saw the doctor about them a few years ago, she determined that the poorly maintained treadmills at the gym are to blame. So I do my shin strengthening exercises and try to alternate which treadmills I use. Its not the most comfortable process, but I don’t feel like my shins are getting any worse, and in some ways are getting better. I just ordered new shoes, so that should help too. My current shoes just got over 250 miles, which is about the limit I have for shoes when I’m on the heavier side.

I was basically starting over as I started running this month. My longest run was 3.5 miles, but that was a run where I was doing some run/walk intervals. I’m alternating between run/walk and straight running. This past weekend I noticed that if my shins weren’t having issues, I could start running a bit longer now. As it is, I’m taking a break from running for at least a few days because of the intense cold. I could drag myself out in -25 wind chills to the gym, but I figure since I’ve got this sore shin, I’ll just excuse myself, at least for today and tomorrow. My new shoes are supposed to come Wednesday, so I may just wait until I get those. I don’t know. I change my mind daily!

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Birthday celebrations

Since Dada’s birthday was on Friday, we didn’t really do anything on the day because the weekdays are so hectic already. Saturday the plan was to make a birthday cake and go to Buffalo Wildwings for a birthday dinner and then go home to have cake. But, as most Saturdays do, the day got away from us. So we made dinner at home and had cake. We made sure to light some candles and sing “Happy Birthday to you!”
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When there’s cake to be had, we can get Allie to do anything. She picked up her toys and ate all her dinner in order to win that cake! She helped make the cake and frosting too.
Since we didn’t go out to dinner last night, we went to lunch at Buffalo Wildwings today. It was quite pleasant going out as a family! Peyton is getting big enough that he’s not as hard to entertain when we go out and Allie was very good too.
Happy Birthday Dada!

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Our first week of menu planning was a smashing success. It was so successful in fact, that we had and still have tons of leftovers. So many leftovers that I still haven’t made the creamy garlic pasta that was originally on the menu last Wednesday. I was going to make it on Saturday and again last night, but our fridge is full. We had leftovers for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday and last night. I made meatloaf from the freezer on Saturday night and that just added leftovers to the mix. I have the last split pea soup leftovers for lunch today and we still have lasagna and meatloaf in the fridge at home. Over the weekend we finished the barbecue chicken.

The menu for the rest of this week:
Tuesday: Basic barbecue with chips and baked beans. This may get replaced with leftovers.
Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore (freezer recipe I haven’t assembled yet, I was going to do one for this week and freeze another, I may just put both straight into the freezer)
Thursday: Ham and scalloped potatoes from the freezer
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Free
Sunday: Pasta fagioli (a double batch to freeze half)

Its a good thing we like leftovers in this family! I really really want to try that garlic pasta though. I’m a big fan of garlic. Friday is Doug’s birthday, so we may actually use the free spot for a meal out on either Friday or Saturday night. The good thing about this is with so many meals still unused, our grocery bill should be a bit lower next weekend! Of course it seems in a family of four, there’s always something to spend our grocery money on.

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Special January days

I used to remember late January more for the negative. But now there is more positive. It was four years ago yesterday I started working for unemployment insurance. In that time I’ve managed to get a couple promotions and raises! I still can’t forget that yesterday was also the day I was laid off from my newspaper career five years ago. I can’t forget starting 2010 getting ready to somberly observe a full year of unemployment, when I got the call from the unemployment job… the irony of my first day of work falling on the one-year anniversary of my layoff. I still would go back to my newspaper career in a heartbeat, but I also know our life is much better off how it is now. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be to navigate life with two kids while also working nights! I am so glad to have the job security that comes with working for the state.

Today is another fun anniversary. Nine years ago today, Doug and I went on our first date.
first pic
This is the first picture of us from a couple months after the first date… I couldn’t find a copy on my computer so I took a picture of the picture in Doug’s first Valentine’s Day present he got me. I guess I could have dusted it off first. But aren’t we cute?
And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today is also Peyton’s 11-month birthday!
peyton morning
We’re still having a hard time with teething. We are sleeping better at night though, thank goodness.

The big news as we hit 11 months is all the new foods Peyton is trying. He’s a big fan of butter crackers. We buy the generic, I think the brand is club crackers? We can’t even let him see them or he will cry for some. Its still often a long process at meal time. Peyton gets frustrated sometimes too. Yesterday he was really hungry at breakfast and was enjoying the scrambled eggs and hash browns, but preferred his oatmeal as he could eat it faster. Almost every meal last weekend Peyton had some table food. And certain foods are getting a little faster! Among new foods recently in addition to the crackers are: real oatmeal (actual oats as opposed to the baby oatmeal that I mix with water) scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar cheese, meatballs, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, small noodles and steamed carrots and broccoli.

Peyton is very mobile now, in spite of not crawling. His army crawl with a dolphin kick reminds me of swimming, maybe that will be his sport? I took a video last weekend, but I’m not sure how to post it here. I will try to get it posted soon. Peyton is quite content with his army crawl. He surprises us with how fast he can move and he looks so proud! He stands up leaning on things like the couch, but he still doesn’t sit up or stand up himself.

He loves the music table thing he got from Tyler. We take the legs off a lot so he can just play with it on the ground rather than standing.
The only other big happening I can think of is last night Mama got brave and gave Peyton his first bath in the big tub. Before I was still just sitting him up in the infant tub. It went well, though a little nerve wracking for Mama! It didn’t seem to make much difference to Peyton. He did enjoy playing with the bath letters though.

I can hardly believe Peyton will be 1 in just a month! Where has the time gone?

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This morning Dada started teaching Allie about the ABCs while Peyton was napping.
They did ABCD and she did great! She’s really good at writing A and C. She remembers pretty well about the sounds and words that start with those letters. We’ve been wanting to start working with her on these early school things since we didn’t put her in preschool this year.
She also had fun coloring. We need to get her some more crayons though because we’ve lost or broken most of the original box we got her a couple years ago.