Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hair Accessory Hunt

Sofia was born with head full of glorious & beautiful hair. Over the years she has accumulated.....ummm.....a few barrettes & hair ties from dollar stores, gifts, etc. Sofia & I recently went on a hair accessory hunt & retrieved all the barrettes & pony tail holders lost in random drawers, pockets, cupboards, purses, cars, etc. And then began sorting & organizing. Here is our final result....organized in a wooden paper box.





The combs, brushes, & large clips


Just a few barrettes


Pony Tail Holders
Organized by type....then color.




While I do realize that this is an embarrassing amount of hair accessories....I can happily report that there will be no more rummaging to find matching hair ties & barrettes for the zillion hair styles for Sofia.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Official

Okay, it's official.....I have officially registered for the 5/3rd Riverbank 5k run on May 9th....yes, that's right...5k RUN.

This is pretty major for me.....I DON'T run! Yes, I play indoor soccer....but I play up top & our team is not good, so very little running is expected of me....and then I sub out. This is the very first run I have even signed up for.


The Course.
It starts on Lyon & Market streets downtown....goes along the Grand...and then ends at Ottawa & Lyon.


GOALS:
To see & run under the Finish banner.

I would really like to run the whole thing without walking.....this would be a huge feat for me. In my current "training".....I can make it about 2 miles....and then I have to walk....and then have Sofia question my running inability & giggle at my desperate gasps for oxygen.....which always seems to disappear out of the air after those 2 miles. But I have yet to run without pushing an extra 55 pounds plus a double jogger...which is really hard uphill!

My big goal it to finish under 30 minutes. Yes, many of you laugh (you should)....as this is a ridiculously slow pace....but perhaps I should repeat that I DON'T run....so we will see.....baby steps. I have 2 more weeks to "train."


So far I've run 4 out of 5 days. I accidentally went 5 1/2 miles yesterday because I my cell phone dropped out of the jogger....long story short - I was exhausted & really only ran about 4 miles...and walked the rest.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grilled Chicken

My husband is a carnivorous meat-etarian. He prefers meat with every meal & is pretty strict about this diet. For this reason, grilled chicken has become a staple in our house. Peter will eat grilled chicken straight out of the bag as a snack. I like to buy the family size chicken packages (it's way cheaper)....and then grill a ton for the week or freeze it. The chicken preparation is usually the most time consuming part of recipes....so once this is done...you can easily "whip up" a quick meal. Using the grill also eliminates clean up....awesome. There are a lot of recipes that can use grilled chicken....which I will eventually start posting....but this is where is starts.

This is my universal grilled chicken

Start with boneless skinless chicken breast(s).
Butterfly it (cut it in half)
* Cutting it thinner cuts down on grilling time & also allows more surface area for marinade *


Into a ziptop bag
Italian dressing marinade (sometimes I add a touch of soy or brown sugar)


Into the fridge overnight.
Keep it in a dish to avoid cross contamination


Grill time!
1st side @ high heat for 2 minutes
2nd side @ high heat for 2 minutes
Turn grill off (in summer) or to low (in cold weather) & let chicken finish cooking with residual grill heat. Sometimes I move it to the higher grill shelf for the final cooking.


Let chicken rest! (about 10 minutes)
This is important for almost all meat. Always let the meat rest & allow juices to settle. Otherwise you cut it open & all the flavors pour out.


Slice or Dice...you choose
I usually slice


The finished chicken


Into a ziptop bag & ready for recipes, freezer, or eating

Snapshots

Warm weather = time at the park
If it is not wet, I take the girl everyday


Stella has two speeds: run & run faster
....but always with a smile


Fia enjoys taking her sister down the big slide.


Why can't I have this tube thing in my house?


The tube slide is a favorite


Sometimes I let them pick Pop Pop's flowers....but only when he is on vacation....shhh, don't tell.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not Me Monday

It's Monday again....that last week went fast for me. Nice weather is very helpful. So here we go with another list of things that I did not do or say last week....

I did not believe that consuming 9 oranges in one day was acceptable. No way. That exhibits my non-compulsive eating habits. I did not regret my decision the next day....as 9 oranges is enough fruit fiber for a family of 6.....sweet Rach.

I did not fall asleep during Sofia's bedtime prayer & have her nudge my face to wake me up...."uhhh....mom, you should really go sleep in your own bed, this is my pink flower bed & I need to go to sleep now."

I did not eat so many baby carrots (an entire bag in one day)......that I swear my skin started turning a tinge orange. That would be silly....as I am already yellow & do not need any more "warm tones" added to my skin color. I clearly do not have a problem with eating one food item in excess.

I did not convince myself that when my gas light goes on....I have a good 25 miles left in my tank...and then RUN OUT OF GAS! (at least it was in the gas station) I did not have to bother two dudes to push my van 10 feet so the gas hose would reach. I was definitely not THAT lady.

I did not almost hit a bright orange construction barrel because my eyes were glued on my rear view mirror to see the if cop on the side street was pulling out behind me. Nope, not me. I was not speeding and I was not late.

I did not drape a huge comforter over my Sofia's book shelf to hide all the books (a.k.a. scattered books all over my house) for a few weeks. I would never discourage reading or any type of educational stimulation & activity for my children.

I did not blame Sofia for losing my pen....and then remember I was using it to hold my hair.

I did not spend 5 minutes each morning combing through Sofia's tangles & decide that brushing my own hair only once this week was enough.


I also did not have the chance to say the following........

"Stella! You have GOT to be kidding....seriously!?!?....dude, I JUST changed your diaper.... I think your dumps are bigger than a grown man's....this is so gross....why aren't you potty trained yet?"

"No Fia, my z-dogs did not have babies....I just have more zits....sure, if you want, they can be like a nice little family....sure, if you want, you can call the small one Sofia....thanks for noticing"

"Fia [gasp], Mommy [gasp], can't [gasp], talk, [gasp] when, [gasp] I'm [gasp] running!! [gasp][gasp][gasp]"

"Stella! Stop head-butting your sister! Fia! Stop being a wuss!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Is The Point?

This is just a portion of how my day is spent....

This is what the book shelf should look like.....


....but this is how it usually looks


This only started to look like this when Stella started roaming about. Sofia usually helps me put the books back on the shelf at least twice a day.....while we sing her preschool song "Clean Up, Clean Up, Clean Up...To-ge-e-e-ther!" Such is life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rach's Brush with Tier 2 Fame

I've been going back & forth on whether or not I should post this....& came to the conclusion....YES, I am that pathetic....so I will post about it.

So our family joined Peter's sister & parents for brunch at Egypt Valley on Easter Sunday. When we arrived....who else was there?!? None other than....The Bachelor! (Oh, & Molly too) I found a few pictures on their blog.

I pretty much stared without blinking & watched as he took the next 3 pictures below. I soooo wanted to be that girl who gets a picture with him....but ultimately I decided to leave him alone as it was Easter Sunday & felt he should be allowed some private time with her family. (I still regret this decision)



My sister-in-law's colorful bag & camera got into a background picture with him. Sofia is way cuter than this random Asian. This girl didn't even want to take the picture because she didn't have on shoes....but then he took off his & she agreed.


I struck up a conversation with Molly's sister about her new baby. I asked the name, when she was born, & how big she was.....I'll admit that I was secretly hoping Jason would join the conversation....but no such luck.


The best I could do was get a picture in front of the fireplace too....& hope they were in the background....but again, no such luck.


So this is my pathetic best picture....a crappy side view of Molly & a red arrow pointing to where the bachelor was sitting. I don't know why I didn't aim my camera down....I really did not want a picture of Peter & Stella going down the stairs....I guess my conscience got the best of me.


Yes, feel free to mock me. This is the closest I've ever come to someone "famous." Well, there was that one time when I was in Chicago with Peter & John Malkovich stepped out of a restaurant 6 feet in front of us. But then I only walked behind someone famous for about 15 steps before he stepped into Barneys....we didn't follow because it would be so obvious.

My Final Thoughts:
Molly is WAY better looking in person. I don't feel the cameras are very kind to her....she's actually very pretty. And the bachelor was WAY tan...and way shorter than I thought. Everyone looks tall on camera,....I was definitely taller than him in my heels....I'm only 5'6''.

Obedience vs Stella

Stella is a very well-mannered child.
She never ignores her mother.
She always does exactly as she is told.
This video is proof of her excellent behavior.
You too will be amazed at her immediate obedience.


Right.....Stella pretty much does what she wants....when she wants....or at least thinks she does. Stella, you might think that your unwavering cheery disposition has everyone distracted....but I'm keeping an extra close eye on you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Me Monday

I just realized that I forgot to post a Not-Me-Monday last week. I suppose a post about Easter would trump my Monday confessions. Well, here we go again with another list of all the things I did not do or say.....

I did not put the cereal in the fridge & the milk in the pantry.....and then realize my airhead mistake at noon when I went to get the mac & cheese out. I am not dependent on coffee & always 100% aware of my actions before that first cup.

I did not forget to tightly seal the ziploc bag when making puppy chow....and so when I shook it...I had a white powdered sugar mess EVERYWHERE. So much for a "no clean up" snack....sweet Rach, sweet.

I did not spend an eternity trying to unlock my van door completely confused as to why my key wasn't working....finally get fed up & start pounding on the door.....and then look up to see that my van was parked two spots over.

I did not don my Shanahan jersey, crack a beer, & watch the Wings....all by myself because Peter was working. That is pathetic....I do not pretend that I am at social functions with imaginary people.

I also did not have the chance to say the following....
  • "Yes Sofia....Stella is your sister & you do in fact have the concept correct.....however, your stinkys & Stella's stinkys will never be cousins....because they are not human."
  • "No Stella, I can not read you a book while I am trying to use the bathroom....get out of here & go find Sofia!"
  • "Yes Sofia.....I am aware that I shouldn't eat ice cream because it makes me belly hurt, but sometimes that is a sacrifice Mommy just needs to make."
  • "Stella! What are you doing!?! Get your hand out of my shirt....there is no longer anything there for you."
  • "Thank you Fia for noticing....there are actually great advantages to having small boo-boo's such as playing sports & not spilling food or toothpaste on them."
  • "No Fia, I did not just kill Charlotte....she lives in the country on a farm by Wilbur....that was an unrelated ugly spider named Thor....he didn't have any friends because he was mean....and ugly."
  • ".....and when baby Jesus was born, he washed us clean like the snow.....yes, Fia, you're right....not yellow snow, only the white snow....."
  • "Fia! Stop twisting your sister's boo boo's!....I don't care if she thinks it's funny....get your PJ's on...now!"
  • "No Sofia, I have no idea why boys need to stand up while they go potty.....you should ask daddy when he gets home from work because he is a boy & maybe he knows."
  • "Yes Fia, I'm so excited that Lindsay has a baby in her belly too!.......ummm, Jesus put it there.....What do you want bring in your Sharing Bag for school next week?"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pet Peeve #20

As the weather gets nicer....deprived Michiganders are drawn outside to absorb any available ray of sunshine....like flies on stink. To say that the need to be outside & active is long overdue is a gross understatement. But before my rants go any farther....I give you a short quiz.

Short Quiz
Someone please tell me who belongs on the road & who should use a very nice black top pedestrian bike path....or sidewalk. (not side streets....main roads)

A. The Smith Family (white & pretty...most likely EGR residents...not "outsiders"...although I do not see expensive name brands showing....so quite possibly posers from another "Tier 2" community)


B. Great Aunt Gertrude (or Eunice....you decide...no offense, both lovely names. Thank goodness for that 3rd wheel!)


C. Neighbor Suzy Brown (she grows organic tomatoes & recycles the tiny plastic tabs from her bread bag)


D. Lance (ummm.....4% body fat)


Answer: D!
If you can not propel yourself (or whatever mode of transport you are using for forward movement) to a speed that is at least the posted speed limit....then get off the main road so the cars can use it....or divert your route to a quiet side street!

I happen to live just 2 blocks from a pedestrian attraction....Reed's Lake. Runners, walkers, & bikers flock to Reed's Lake as it is nestled in picture perfect East Grand Rapids & next to Gaslight Village....more on the stereotypes of EGR in a later post. This is all fine & dandy, but someone please share with me why people feel the need to use the road when there is a wonderfully maintained beautiful walking path made specifically for pedestrians? Arg!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party

Those who know me....most likely also know my political & religious leanings. So I am not going to use my blog as an avenue to preach the specifics & details about my views on various topics to everyone.

I will, however, post about my first "rally" Tea Party. If you don't know what it was about, then scroll down for the news clip....I'll let News 13 explain it. It was a spur of the moment decision to go, so I didn't know what to expect. I went with my girls & my MIL (mother-in-law) and met some fellow church members. The weather was incredible & it was fun to be outside. Lots of people made signs & dressed for the occasion. We couldn't stay the entire time because it ran into dinner time & I hadn't packed anything for the girls....so Peter picked us up on his way home from work.

We ended up being front & center....right by the speakers. It was really loud. Here are a few pictures from the event.

The crowd


My girls


Some other people & their signs


Pati & Fia


Church friends: The Gehrls


The absolute best part was that my MIL, Pati, got interviewed by WZZM News 13! They actually asked me if I wanted to be interviewed....but I declined because I am a wuss. So I will claim fame by association.

Click HERE to see the actual news video footage.

 

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