Sad Day

This morning around 6:30 my dad called to tell me that my sweet grandfather had passed away in his sleep. He went into the hospital just last week with some health issues and was diagnosed with kidney failure. The doctor estimated 6-12 months, and Grandpa opted to go home and begin hospice. I think we’re all still kind of in shock that it happened so quickly. My parents and brother were over there last night and said that Grandpa was very alert and joking around with them. We saw him on Sunday and Jack told him all about starting school this week. Ultimately I’m so fortunate that my kids were able to get to know him- he was an amazing Grandpa (Grumpy to Jack and Isla) and they adored him.

Earlier today I went through old pics and found some favorites of sweet Grumpy:

I’m heartbroken but glad he’s no longer in pain, went peacefully and is in a better place. We miss him dearly already.

Posted in August 2014 | 6 Comments

First Day!

So… big first day of school! I’m not going to lie, the day started out a little shaky. I went in to wake Jack around 7:15, which is only like 15 minutes earlier than he usually gets up. Um, he was having NONE OF THAT. He threw a fit, said that he wanted to go back to bed, refused to get dressed. Good times! But Brian- being the more patient parent, apparently- went in and asked if he wanted to go with him to pick out a donut for his first day of school. Talk about a 180. He was Mr. Personality after that.

A few First Day pics:

Brian and I (and Isla) walked him to his classroom. He trotted right inside and didn’t give us a second look. Rude! But really… such a relief.

Isla seemed a little lost today, but we stayed really busy. I took her to the splash park this morning for a MOPS playdate, then we met my parents for lunch. I put her down around 1:15 for a super short nap before we had to pick Jack up at 2:50. Thank God she fell asleep right away. We are definitely not used to keeping such a tight schedule. So long, lazy summer…

Jack hopped into the car this afternoon and announced that he LOVED his new school and asked if he could go back tomorrow. Hallelujah!!! He was all chatty about how they learned how to put their stuff in their cubbies, all of the daily “jobs” like turning out the lights and wiping tables (he’s REALLY excited about the table wiping), how he “…tooted a few times but made sure to say ‘Excuse me.’” (OMG- welcome to my life, teacher), how they get to go to the library tomorrow, and on and on. Such a huge relief! And he also promised me that he would be nicer tomorrow morning. We shall see.

So there’s our big day! And I’m exhausted. Mama isn’t used to waking up this early, either. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in August 2014 | 1 Comment

Last Day of Summer Vacay

Well the backpack is packed and lunch is in the fridge. We are READY for pre-K. I’d say our last official day of summer vacation was a success. Per Jack’s request, we hit up the pool for a few hours:

At some point while we were there, he took about 500 of these…

In other news, I’m back to the beloved avocado toast at breakfast- but this time I added FETA (*jazz hands*). Seriously, you should try this. First, a few friends raved about this bread at Costco and how it makes the best toast ever. I have to agree:

Then I mashed up the avocado with some lime juice, spread it on the toast, and sprinkled with coarse salt, fresh ground pepper and feta.

Fab-u-lous. Give it a try!

Wish us luck tomorrow! I think Jack is secretly excited but won’t admit it. I keep asking him if he’s looking forward to his first day, and he tells me, “YES. Wait, I mean no.” Hopefully he changes his tune before 9am tomorrow!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Quite Finished

In high school and during summers in college, I worked as a waitress at a local Italian restaurant. One day another waitress got really fed up and just walked out. But before that she penned this big note for the owner and stuck it to the clipboard with our schedules. The note? In giant letters: “I QUITE.

That’s right. She quite that job. And I’m writing to tell you that I’ve decided to quite this Whole 30, just 7 days in. Here’s the thing… it was a great experience the first go-round. I had a ton of energy, weaned myself off of artificial sweeteners, did a fab job of planning meals and snacks, and had an all-around great time. THIS time, however, I failed to take into account that we would be attending 34985 meetings in the month of August as school gets ready to start, plus we’ve had some family stuff to deal with. Basically my motivation to meal plan and devote half my life to cooking has tanked.

So I did a Whole 7! Yay me! But seriously, I may decide to do another one once we’ve settled into the whole school routine and I’m not away from the house 3 nights/week..

Speaking of, tonight Brian and I had orientation at Jack’s school. I really like his teachers and it was fun getting to hear about their schedule and what they’ll be learning. I can’t believe we only have one more day of summer break!!!

My dad babysat the kids while we were at orientation. Apparently Isla wanted no part of dinner, but cake pops? Yes, please!

Brian and I picked up sushi for dinner after our meeting. Nope, salmon avocado and cali rolls are NOT whole 30, but they are freaking delicious (and easy). That’s as good as it’s going to get for now.

Off to bed- Jack has announced that he wants to spend his last day of summer at the pool, so that’s where we’ll be.

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Whole 30, Round 2: Days 5-7

Hey guys! Well it seems like we’re diving head first into the whole “school” thing. On Friday we had Meet the Teacher at Jack’s new school, today Brian and I had to go up to the school for a volunteer training, and then tomorrow night we’re back for orientation. Poor Jack is just not sure about all of this change. On Friday he told me that I could, “Go ahead and call a babysitter because I am NOT going to meet my teacher.”

Luckily he seemed to like his classroom and his teacher is really sweet. Oy, prayers for Wednesday. I’m realizing that Jack just doesn’t do well with any type of change. He got really upset a month or so ago when we bought a new coffee table (!!), and when I offered to get him a new backpack for school (he’s carried the same one since he was <2), he told me that he would get a new one when turns 18 and leaves for college. So that’s awesome.

I didn’t snap many pics this weekend. Saturday was busy with errands, and then today we visited my grandparents and then I had a MOPS event, so I didn’t get home until after 10. We did grab dinner at one of the few restaurants where I can find a Whole 30 meal, Nazca Kitchen. Butter leaf tilapia tacos with roasted butternut squash on the side:

Jack and Isla being sweet at dinner.

They kill me. This afternoon Isla threw a fit at my grandparents’ house, so Jack sat down next to her and she put her head in his lap. He then proceeded to stroke her hair while SINGING TO HER. Holy geez. Love their sweet bond.

Sorry I don’t have more pics for you!! I’ll try to do better this week, but it’s going to be a crazy one so who knows. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Whole 30, Round 2: Day 4

Let me just tell you what we’re dealing with here tonight.

Jack is playing the up-down-up-down-not going to bed game, per usual. Of course he had to use the bathroom just one more time. So I’m sitting here blogging and he comes out of the bathroom and into the living room.

Jack: “Hey Daddy? I just licked that thing in the bathroom.”

Brian: “What thing?”

J: “Next to the toilet. The blue thing.”

B: “YOU LICKED THE PLUNGER??????”

Yep. Yes he did. But don’t worry- “Just the top part! Not the bottom.”

Ohhhhhhh, well ok then. All is well. Maybe this was the wrong week to start Whole 30? I need wine.

Onto food things. I tried another new recipe for dinner tonight, PaleOMG’s beef, broccoli and cashew stir-fry.

I modified the recipe for Whole 30 by leaving out the honey, but otherwise I kept everything the same. It turned out pretty good! Next time I might cook the meat separate from the sauce (plus that whole using-marinade-as-sauce thing is a little sketchy from a food safety standpoint… but y’know, we lick plungers around here so I’m sure it’s fine). OH and I did add mushrooms as well.

Served over cauliflower rice:

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We have meet the teacher at Jack’s new school tomorrow and I think he’s a little nervous. Can’t believe summer’s almost over!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Whole 30, Round 2: Day 3

We didn’t do much today, which is a good thing every once in a while. This morning we went to the gym so I could get my butt handed to me at boot camp, then headed to Trader Joe’s for some “necessities” (turkey corn dogs, yogurt smoothies, soy sauce rice crackers… basically the only things that Isla will eat). I probably shouldn’t share this, but Wednesday at 11:30am is THE TIME to hit up TJ’s if you’re toting toddlers. I usually hate taking the kids to Trader Joe’s because they each want their own little cart, and I spend the entire time either getting rammed in the Achilles or diving in front of their carts to keep them from ramming into strangers. But today it was empty!!! So awesome. And good to know for the future.

On to the meals…

I forgot to snap a pic of breakfast, but it was 2 hard boiled eggs, frozen cherries with toasted coconut flakes and cashews, and coffee with coconut milk.

Lunch: leftover Italian Chicken Bake (even better the 2nd day!) and a very random assortment of olives, hearts of palm and cantaloupe.

We grabbed dinner at Zoe’s tonight to keep things easy. Did you hear that white potatoes are now Whole 30 approved?? Hooray. So I ordered the steak kabob plate, grilled potatoes and ALL.

Wow- thanks, Zoe’s, for the fab lighting! I didn’t even filter that bad boy.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment

Whole 30, Round 2: Day 2

I wasn’t anticipating dealing with any of the “withdrawals” on this Whole 30 go-round, but lordy I was dead tired today. I got a decent amount of sleep last night, too, so I’m guessing that this is from lack of sugar/carbs/Diet Coke. I probably need to step up the water intake.

This morning I took the kids to Studio Movie Grill for the $2 kid movie, Madagascar 3. Okay, that movie is terrible… but of course Jack thought it was the funniest thing ever, so I guess we can call it a win. Isla just played musical chairs the entire time. Shocking. Oh well, it’s a struggle to find stuff to do in August!!

Dinner tonight was REALLY good! My friend Jenny posted this recipe to a whole 30/paleo FB page and I finally got around to trying it. It’s not difficult at all, but be prepared to dirty a lot of dishes: Paleo Italian Chicken Bake. You spread diced chicken breasts with a mixture of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and garlic (pulsed in the food processor), then top with bacon and almond meal and bake for an hour.

The veggie mixture, pre-food processor. Smelled AMAZING.

Just before going in the oven (minus the almond meal):

Sorry- forgot to snap a pic before digging in:

It really does taste like spinach-artichoke dip with chicken!! Somehow cheesy but without any cheese? So good, and Brian liked it too.

Other meals today…

Breakfast = Bacon and a “salad” of frozen cherries, cashews and toasted coconut flakes:

Lunch = Avocado chicken salad (w/ lime juice, salt, onion powder) with plantain chips and mini peppers.

Posted in August 2014 | 2 Comments

Whole 30, Round 2

Well… day 1 of Whole 30: Round 2 is in the books. I think this second go-round is going to be both easier and harder than the first. Easier because I already have a lot of go-to meals and snacks, but harder because I feel a little less “rigid” this time- if that makes any sense? I don’t feel as beholden to the more minute rules. If I’m out to dinner, I’m not going to obsess over if they brushed the grill with canola oil when they cooked my chicken. It’s a slippery slope, though, so I’m going to try to stick to the guidelines as much as possible… lest you find me elbow deep in a jar of cookie butter in a week or two.

Anyyyyyyway. On to the meals…

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, bacon, strawberries and grapes. Ugh, eggs. I want so much to like you but it’s just not happening.

Lunch: Picked up Snappy Salads- red leaf lettuce with tomatoes, cukes, water chestnuts, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, grapes, almonds, kalamata olives, shredded chicken and avocado, topped with olive oil and balsamic. Eaten at the coffee table at 3pm once Isla finally went down for nap.

Dinner: I sauteed a red pepper, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil, then added some sliced chicken sausage. Nothing fancy. Served with sliced avocado and sauerkraut.

With Jack starting 5-day school next week (!!!), we’re attempting to get the kids on a better schedule. Up until now we’ve been… let’s say “lax”… on the whole bedtime thing. Usually Brian doesn’t get home until around 7 or after, so it stinks to then have to immediately put them to bed. But we’re working on it. Tonight was 8:30, which is an improvement! Baby steps!

Posted in August 2014 | 2 Comments

(Not So) Itsy Bitsy Spider

Hey heyyyy. So it hit me this weekend that Jack starts school next week. WHAT? Just over a week and a half left to squeeze out the last few drops of summer fun. Definitely makes me a little sad, but we took advantage and had a great weekend.

On Friday we met up with friends at the Galleria to play and have lunch. The kids had a blast and the mall was surprisingly not busy, considering that it was tax-free weekend in TX.

(Thanks for the pics, Allison!)

We were all exhausted when we got home from the mall, and I was looking forward to a long, quiet, nap-filled afternoon. I put Isla to bed, and then Jack and I climbed into his bed to read stories… when I spotted this ON HIS PILLOW.

Holy giant spider. I honestly thought it was one of Jack’s toys at first. Then cue me screaming and pushing Jack out of the room while trying to decide if I could somehow leave it in there until Brian got home. Only the vision of it crawling under the door motivated me to grab a jar and venture back in. Horrifying.

Luckily it wasn’t very fast. Obviously I immediately called the exterminator, and when the tech came to spray on Saturday he looked equally horrified by our little pet. He took it with him so that the company could ID it, but my vast knowledge of arachnology (i.e., frantically Googling for an hour) tells me that it’s probably a rabid wolf spider.

Moving on to nicer things… Brian and I are planning to start another Whole 30 tomorrow! I’m half excited about it, half dreading not being able to put milk in my coffee or eat avocado toast for a month. Womp womp. BUT I just keep reminding myself how great I felt last time. I’ve been slipping into some of my old habits (*cough* Diet Coke *cough*) and I worked too hard to start that crap again. So now I’m going to have a big glass of wine and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Posted in August 2014 | Leave a comment