Friday, March 22, 2013

Learn How to be a Better Caker

Here is something fun and exciting.

I got adventurous and signed up for an online Cake Decorating Class through Craftsy called Clean and Simple Cake Designs by Jessica Harris

It is an awesome class!  I love Jessica Harris's design style, and she is a great instructor.  She gives great tips and information about how to make and work with marshmallow fondant, modeling chocolate, how to cover cakes with buttercream and fondant, and some fabulous techniques on how to easily decorate beautiful cakes.  No matter your skill level, if you are interested in cake decorating at all, it is an incredible resource.

Here is a link for 50% off the class.

It is ah-may-zing.  Here's to better and happier caking!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Make Me Laugh

I'm feeling a smidge bitter about all the snow and cold we have.  Three weeks in a row with piles of snow to shovel, and single digit weather has got me down.  So...
To brighten a ridiculously cold beginning of Spring, here are some funny things my kids say:

You thought this vehicle is called an Armored Car.
You are wrong.
According to Gunner, it is an "Armored Personality Truck."
An armored car.
It makes me laugh every time.  I have no idea where he got that idea.
Oh, Spiff just informed me that he got that name from an Armored Personnel Carrier.
That makes sense.
It's still funny.

Hobbes occasionally calls me "Momminee."
I think it's a great combination of Mommy and Mindy.

We were having a Star Wars day yesterday.  We marched to some Star Wars music, and Gunner narrated some detailed scenarios straight out of the movies.
Then out of the blue, he said, "Leia (he's talking to me!), I've got a baaad feeling about this."
I love my little Star Wars kid.

Hobbes is sweet and funny, and he has 1 million hard-to-understand words.
Here's a short list.  His sweet little words make me laugh:
Huh-vie: shovel
Hock: Sock
Hoot: Shoe
Ho-ha: Salsa
O-ha: Elsa
Bobbiya: Lollipop
Tal-kin (his name)
Dame (his brother)
Doctoh Dadjee (his father)
Cack-oo: pancake
Baybo: baseball
Wah-yoo: I love you
Wah, Yo, Ga-daaah! (3,2,1, blastoff)
Hubbie, Go!: Ready, Go. 
Tintin No-wee: Tintin's dog Snowie
Cud: Squeeze
Cackuko: a pair of pajamas with heavy machinery on them. 

That's about it for my kids today.  
For a few more laughs, Here's a funny and shocking soccer video.  
I wish more sports were like this.  
It seems like it might even the odds for terrible ball players like myself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Some Stuff About Running

I haven't talked about running recently, not since the marathon, really.  I had a hard recovery from my injury.  I spent the Summer doing workout videos in my living room.  As I got feeling better, I spent the fall pushing the kids around town on stroller runs.  Then it got cold.  Cold enough and icy enough that no amount of weather shield, heated rice bags, coats, hats, boots and blankets was going to be good enough to take my kids out in the stroller, so I stopped running for a few months.

I worked out on Spiff's new rowing machine, which is a great workout.

But then I signed up for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April (Gah!!!  I'm so excited!), and it kept being cold and icy outside.  So we bought this:
I really don't think I could be more in love with a piece of indoor exercise equipment.  I LOVE this machine.  It is fabulous and oh, so convenient.  But I really love that I can run and train, whether or not Spiff is working or the kids are sleeping.

So, my hip is finally healed now (thank goodness!), and I'm in the middle of my Half training, and my first 10-miler rolled around a couple weeks ago.  It was cold and icy outside, so I chicken-out on the outdoor run, and I ran the whole thing on the treadmill.  It was long and hard, but fine.  I watched a movie while I ran.  I picked up the speed near the end because I was tired of being on the treadmill, but it was fine.

The strangest thing was knowing that I had run a long distance, but really hadn't gone anywhere.

So when the next long run came around (just a 6-miler this time), I was determined to get outside and run.  I did, despite the warnings from Gunner who told me it was too icy to run outside.  He was right.  It was too icy.  I slipped and slid all around the paths and sidewalks.  I thought I would break an ankle.  Oh, and it had been raining, and the snow was melting, and I had to trudge through 2-inch-deep icy puddles.  So, my feet were wet and cold, I was sloshing with every step, and I was sliding around, and miserable, and cursing the fact that I had felt adventurous and determined to get fresh air.  It really was so awful for two miles (think 2 miles in 25 minutes) until I decided to ditch the sidewalks and just run on the road.  I'm sure the drivers were cursing me, but I felt safer and happier, and faster (last 4 miles in 35 min.), even though my feet were still wet and sloshy.  Blech, those are my very least favorite running conditions.

So, anyway, we have had the same weather this week.  Piles of snow earlier this week, and by the weekend it is raining, and freezing rain in places.  I'm already trying to think of a good movie to keep me company during tomorrow's Treadmill 10-miler.

In other running news, though, is the fact that I found a new running partner!  A friend from my ward.  I ran with her for the first time the other night, and it was really fun.  We will probably run once a week together.  But it was so fun to run with someone again, and I was feeling so happy, and then got home and realized that this happened:
That is my 13-year-old orthotic, the ones I wear in my running shoes since having foot surgery when I was in college, cracked in two.  Total bummer!  I'm hoping to replace them with a running-specific shoe insert.  I'm hoping I really don't need them all that badly. 

Anyway, despite the issues, I'm happy to be back on my feet and back in training, working on a goal, and getting in better shape.  Running Rocks!

Monday, March 11, 2013

March in Minnesota

Someone warned me that March is Minnesota's snowiest month.  Good thing I had warning because we have had a whole lot of snow in the last two weeks.

 It's hard to believe that my sister, Mhana, is cutting flowers from her garden in Oregon while we are shoveling six inches of snow.  It's like we live in two different worlds.

Here's my driveway after the first time we shoveled snow this morning.  It was so wet and heavy.  I am grateful that Spiff got out first and did half of the driveway before leaving for work.  Then my next door neighbor (who is generally not so nice) surprised me by snowblowing out our sidewalk and the end of the driveway for me.  Maybe he's nicer than I thought.  But that all meant that it took me 45 minutes to shovel this morning, instead of two hours.  

Now I get to go out and shovel the latest two inches that fell since the morning.
I swear that our driveway gets bigger every time it snows.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Get a Little Food Inspired

A friend suggested that I post my favorite meal of the week occasionally.  Don't mind if I do, folks!  I have an intense food obsession these days.  I read food blogs in my free time like nobody's business.  I am constantly pouring over new and better dinner ideas and planning planning planning my menus.  It's a funny obsession, since I adore food, and my children would rather not eat any of it.  The mainstay of Hobbes's diet these days is trail mix and grapefruit.  Gunner would prefer crepes and quesadillas every day.  They both hate almost everything else.

So I try to make delicious food with the hopes that Spiff and I will enjoy it, that it will help us be healthy (most of the time), and it will save us money that we don't have to spend at a restaurant.  I believe that good food is one of the greatest gifts from God, and that it is meant to be enjoyed.  And while I don't always enjoy preparing and cleaning up every meal, I really do take pleasure out of creating delicious food.  I love eating well at home.

Soooo, on to the good stuff!  I don't have any pictures of my own, but here are a few of my favorite meals we have enjoyed in the last few weeks.  Make them and love them.  We sure did!

Chicken Noodles--My FAV!!!
I always double the chicken, marinade and sauce.  And I threw in some sugar snap peas with the veggies.  It's so good, I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Caribbean-Style Pork paired w/ Sweet and Savory Coconut Rice.
Top with green onions and chopped cashews/peanuts.  Such a fantastic combination!
(A note about the pork--It may need to be cooked with the green onions in the crock pot, but they got wilty and gross-looking, so I picked them out, and then served it with fresh cut green onions.  Problem solved.)

We tried going to Chipotle for lunch a couple weeks ago, but decided against it when we got there and discovered a line going out the door.  We settled on making our own burritos and burrito bowls at home with this Crock Pot Pork Carnitas, Cilantro Lime Rice, Black Beans and guacamole.  I loved the pork.  It packed some serious flavor. 

I hope you're even a little inspired now.  Just looking at the beautiful photos of the food from these blogs is enough to get me excited.

Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta go make something delicious.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Unpleasant Realities

I recently took both of my kids in for well-child check-ups.  They are both the greatest examples of health, a fact that I am extremely grateful for.  I wrote about Hobbes's check-up, if you remember. (Can you forget?)  It was long and logistically unpleasant, but apparently it made a large impact on Gunner's little mind.  Hobbes got so much attention during that appointment!  And shots!  Those were exciting!  So, when I told him we were going in for his appointment, he was thrilled.  We had an afternoon appointment, and he could hardly stand to wait all day.  He was especially excited about the prospect of getting shots of his own.  I made sure to remind him of when he got shots as a baby, and he was so brave that he didn't even cry.

He was an angel at his appointment.  He was excited to sit on the exam table.  He happily cooperated with the nurses and doctors, and he eagerly answered all of their questions.  When it came time for his shots, he did just what the nurse suggested.  She instructed me to hold his arms firmly.  He told her that he didn't need me to because he is so brave.  Of course, I did anyway.

And when she put the first (of five) needles in his leg, he said, "OW!!!"

Completely betrayed.

"Ow ow ow ow ow!!!"

He cried so hard that he burst blood vessels in his face.

But he didn't struggle.  He still cooperated.  I am so proud of him.

We had a long talk on the way home about why he had to have shots, what vaccinations are, and why they are so important.  It is a hard concept for a 4-year-old that one small shot is way better than getting very sick.  And it is hard on me as a mom to remember that it is so important when my child is feeling so sore and betrayed, and surprisingly harder for me as Gunner has gotten older and understands what's happening to him.

But it is.  And I am grateful for vaccines.

I think the funniest part of the experience was when we got home.  Gunner was a wreck.  "Mom, my legs hurt.  I need you to carry me into the house."  "Mom, I need you to carry me down the stairs."  "Mom, when I lift my leg like this, it hurts."  "Mom, I need you to carry me into my bed because my legs hurt and I can't walk."  "Mom, when it hurts when I touch my leg right here."

And the pièce de la résistance:
"Mom, I thought the shots would be fun.  But they were Not!"

Poor guy.  Good thing he heals quickly.  And he was completely fine the next day.