I’m lucky that my life is so mundane

October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I feel so lucky to have two healthy kids. When I recently heard about an acquaintance’s special needs baby boy, I just had to share her story on the blog. I met Mandy the night that I went out with my girls to see Magic Mike.


That is her on the far right in the purple dress. She won a male objectification award (as did we all in this photo). She had JUST had the baby and this was a big night out for her. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a BIG BIG night out for her because her new little baby boy was dealing with some serious health issues.

In Mandy’s words:

Our miracle Madden came into this world crying and screaming, which is normal for most babies, but this is something we were told Madden would never do. Just like his brother Jake, we were told Madden would not live long after he was born because of a very rare genetic condition. Well, Madden has a way of proving doctors wrong and on May 25th, did just that. Madden has a rare condition called Jeunes Syndrome http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/chromosomal-genetic-conditions/jeune-syndrome/ and due to its rarity the doctors are unable to treat him at our local hospital. He likely needs multiple chest expansion surgeries called the VEPTR procedure. The specialist that has agreed to see him is located at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and we will be traveling there very soon so he can finally be evaluated by the experts. The costs associated with having a child with special needs are extraordinary. Many people have asked how they can help and for now this is the best way to help Madden and our family get to the doctors who can help him. We appreciate all of the amazing support we have received from friends and family. Thank you so much in advance for helping our little guy get the help he needs to continue the fight!

Back to my own words:

I can’t imagine what it must be like to deal with serious health issues with your children. If you are so inclined, please CLICK HERE to make a donation to help baby Madden and Mandy’s family. Your donations will be used for Madden’s medical expenses and travel costs associated with the trips to and from Philadelphia for the family.

Now back to my mundane, wonderful, lucky life.

Last night I made that Loaded Baked Potato Pizza from Clean Eating Magazine, as requested by Cal. (The recipe is in the October issue which is on news stands now). I used pre-made, multi-grain pizza dough from the Publix bakery. I rolled it out while Mack read out loud to me from Harry Potter.


First you boil one peeled, cubed potato, mash it up, and mix in a little plain Greek yogurt.






You can top it with a dollop of more Greek yogurt if you like.


Cal was psyched.


He approved.


This morning I had to drive Mack to school, because I also had to drive Cal and his friend Cameron to school early for Robotics Club.


When I got home I had breakfast…


then biked to the gym.


It felt great this morning. A “cold” front has moved in and while it is still hot, the humidity was noticeably less this morning.


I always take a picture at that sign because I have to wait there for the traffic light to change. Plus, I like the sign and the bike path.

My gym:



BodyWorks, which was really a BodyPump/BodyWorks hybrid.


The instructor only uses hand weights, but she told us we could use the bar if we wanted it to be more BodyPump-like. I did want it to be more BodyPump-like. Much more.

I’m hurrying here, under the gun to get out the door…

Once home and showered, I had lunch.


Then it was time to pick up Mack because Wednesday is early release day. Once home he got started on his homework and I made him a snack and worked on the boys’ lunches for tomorrow.


While Mack read out loud again (switching to a different book for book club today), I got started on dinner.


I’m making Persian Beef Casserole from the Le Creuset website.


I was moving really fast due to limited time this afternoon, but here are a couple of photos that I managed to take before I completely got overwhelmed and stopped taking photos.



It’s in the oven now and smells amazing. I’ll fill you in on how it turns out tomorrow.

Now we have to run to karate. Cya!

Bodypump, sort of

October 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

As I mentioned yesterday, this morning was International Walk to School Day. However, when we got up this morning it was pouring down rain. I kind of figured that there would be die-hards who would walk the half mile from the park where people were supposed to meet, rain or not, but I just didn’t want to walk in the rain. I figured that since we walk to school most days anyway, we were excused from walking in the rain. After I dropped Mack off in the car line, I drove back down the route we were supposed to walk and sure enough there was a group walking with a big fire truck with flashing lights escorting them down the dark street. I felt kind of bad, but not really. I also feel kind of bad that Mack and I don’t get a fire truck escort every morning, but not really.

After I got back from taking Mack to school I prepped dinner for the crock pot.


I was making stuffed peppers from a recipe that I found on Pinterest a while back. Click here for the recipe for Crock Pot Pork-Stuffed Peppers from Mark’s Daily Apple. I made mine with half pork, half beef. This is a “paleo” recipe, although we don’t even try to eat paleo on a regular basis. It just sounded like a good crock pot recipe to me.

I used the mini-chopper that I won from McCormick at Fitbloggin’.


I have another mini food processor that is electric, but this one is pretty interesting because it uses a rip cord to spin the blades.


It reminded me of my Mrs. Beasley doll that used to speak in an old-lady voice. Anybody else have a Mrs. Beasley doll? I loved that doll, but now I think it’s strange that there was a popular doll that was supposed to be an old lady.

The mini-chopper worked great on all the veggies, including the garlic.


I smushed all the ingredients together with my hands and stuffed the peppers into the crock pot, filling in the gaps with the extra meat mixture.


I made one pepper for Chad (see the toothpick below?) which was stuffed with meat mixture sans tomato paste or onion.


I set the crock pot for 10 hours (super low). It felt strange to make dinner before I ate breakfast, but I remedied that by eating breakfast right away.


That’s peanut butter toast with fresh figs. It’s kind of a small breakfast, but after my huge dinner at Seasons 52 last night, I wasn’t that hungry for breakfast.

After Cal got off to the bus stop I did some laundry then headed to the gym. I wore my Beach Beast shirt, of course.


I got a message from my gym/Twitter friend Lorena on Monday telling me that there are no more Les Mills classes at my gym. I guess their license with Les Mills ended at the end of September and that was it. No more Bodypump, Bodyflow, RPM (the spin class I used to take), etc. Now all of the group fitness classes are LA Fitness classes. Today was supposed to be “BodyWorks” and I was going to give it a try.


There weren’t very many people there. This room was usually packed for Bodypump. The instructor today told us that she was a substitute. All of my favorite instructors are gone now also. It’s pretty sad. The sub said that she was going to do the class in “Bodypump style”, even though she couldn’t actually do a Les Mills class. That meant that she did the exercises in the same muscle-group order as a Bodypump class, but the music was LA Fitness music. Also, apparently the BodyWorks class is all using hand-weights, not barbells, but she taught the class using barbells. It was like a hybrid class sort of. It still made me sad. I talked with several of my gym friends who were there (us old Bodypump addicts), and it seems like the rats are fleeing the ship. Many people are leaving for other gyms.

After I left the gym I stopped by the Sprint store because I’ve been plagued with low-memory problems with my HTC Evo Shift.


They ended up just doing a factory reset which cleared all my dialer history (including text history), but it also freed up tons of memory so I should be good for another six months and then we’ll definitely be getting new phones.

Next I went by UPS to mail a gift (it’s for my Mom, but don’t tell her…her birthday is next week).


I thought this was funny at the UPS Store:


Next I decided to go by Gold’s Gym to get some information. It was right on my way home anyway.


I actually used to go to this gym before I had Cal. After I had him I ended up canceling my membership because he would not tolerate the child care. For a while before I had Mack I went to Curves, but then after Mack came I didn’t go back to the gym until he was four years old.


I have been going to Lifestyles for about four years now, and I’ll be sad to leave it. But it is not Lifestyles anymore and I haven’t been happy with the way LA Fitness has handled the transition. I actually haven’t been happy with the manager there and a few other things also. I think it’s time to move on. As of three weeks ago Gold’s has Les Mills classes. As of now they don’t have that many classes, but the person I spoke with today said as more people want the classes they will be adding more time slots. He also told me that they have had a ton of people coming in from LA Fitness lately. He said he thinks that most of their new members in the last couple of months have been from LA Fitness.

My new gym home?


I have to give a month’s notice at LA Fitness, so we’ll see. I do think that the LA Fitness facility is nicer, but they have everything at Gold’s also. It’s still really close to our house. It’s actually $10 cheaper a month. I’m still thinking about it.

After I got home from the gym I made a seafood salad wrap for lunch.


I wrote my Seasons 52 post, then went to pick up Cal from the bus stop. They finally got their gym uniforms today and he consented to having his picture taken.


I bought him two uniforms so one could be in the wash, so he left one at school and brought one home.


The idea of gym uniforms really brings back memories. It also makes Cal seem older all of a sudden.

We hung out at home until it was time to pick up Mack. Oh, I forgot to mention that he had an Astro Skate field trip after school today. Thank you Linda and PTA parents for giving me two and a half extra hours today! We picked up Mack and then dropped Cal off at karate where Chad would be picking him up on his way home from work. Mack and I came home and I finished up dinner.

The stuffed peppers smelled amazing all day.


As you can see, there was quite a bit of liquid in the crock pot. They basically gently boiled all day. The recipe said to add 1/2 cup of water, but I think if I were making them again I wouldn’t add any water. The liquid from the veggies and the fat rendered from the meat would be plenty.

I also made this as a side dish:


I told you we weren’t paleo.

One of the peppers fell apart as I was removing it from the crock pot and the rest of the pile of meat below was the extra meat mixture that was stuffed in between the peppers. The one on a separate plate was Chad’s.


They were pretty tasty, but also kind of like boiled meat.


I’m not sure I would make this recipe again, but like I said, if I did I would definitely not add water. Flavor-wise, they were good. The boys said that they liked it.


It’s been raining here pretty much all day, but there seems to be a break now so the boys went for their evening walk. I have totally gotten out of the habit of going with them in the evening.

I’m excited for the first Presidential candidates debate tonight! I’m also excited for Sons of Anarchy on Tivo if we get a chance to watch any of it. No spoilers! I’ve already seen a few on Facebook. I may have to “unlike” the fan pages that I follow. Last week’s show was such a shocker and I’m so glad it wasn’t spoiled. It’s hard to get more than a day or two out without seeing spoilers on social media, though.

That’s all I got. Cya.