Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Random Thoughts and hashtags

I recently joined Twitter (follow me @fortheHallofit) - I know I'm a couple years late and Twitter probably isn't even cool anymore.  But in honor of twitter,  I added some hashtags to the end of my thoughts....now its just practicing getting them down to 140 characters...

- Whoever came up with buttons and zippers on pants has obviously never been pregnant.  I never knew that buttons on jeans could be quite so uncomfortable.  As I'm beginning to squeeze into wear regular jeans again and my C-section pooch (and the 15 lbs I'm still carrying) makes all my jeans fit weird.  #maternitypantsforlife

- Sawyer has officially hit the 4 month sleep regression.  My sweet little boy who slept for nearly 11 hours with only one middle of the night feeding has now begun waking every 2-3 hours and refusing to stay swaddled.  My husband tries to help but usually Mommy is the only one who can calm him.  And it comes down when my  in-laws come to town for 10 days which does not help my stress level.  #thekidhasgreattiming

- A friend of mine posted on Facebook asking how other peoples kids responded to vaccines and I'm surprised by all the people who still think vaccinations are a bad idea.  Seriously?  We have gotten rid of many diseases (which can be potentially fatal to children) through these vaccines.  I have yet to see any solid research that says that vaccines are dangerous.  The one article that linked vaccines to autism was disproven and the lead researcher admitted that the results were altered.  Yes, certain people may have adverse reactions but of the hundreds of thousands if not millions of kids who have been vaccinated many (such as myself) have grown up to be perfectly well adjusted people #justmyopinion 

- Miss New York won Miss America a couple of weeks ago. According to the Miss America website, her scholastic ambition was to get a degree in cosmetics and fragrance marketing.  I can just imagine the final exam being at the makeup counter at Nordstroms: What is this lip color?  A) Dusty Rose B) Light Rose C) Sunset Pink D) Cotton Candy #lamemajorevenifyouaremissamerica

-Speaking of Miss America, Miss Wyoming totally got the shaft.  Wyoming (who never ever gets into the top 15) was awesome this year.  The girl raises goats, composed her own song on the piano, and her evening gown was the most interesting.  Plus, she wants to be a pediatric physical therapist.  #physicaltherapistsareawesome

- I love it when my patients say "whatever you think, you are the therapist" and then when I tell them what my diagnosis or plan is, they tell me that I'm wrong and that it won't work.  #imadoctorandyouarenot

-My college keeps sending me post cards and emails to update my alumni info since they are printing a new alumni directory.  I finally get around to doing so only to find out they want to charge me $99 for a copy.  A) Its a small college (about 900 students) - if I really needed someone's info,  I could probably email the alumni folks directly and get it and B) doesn't Facebook already serve this purpose?  #Idratherspendmymoneyoncuteshoes

Here's to learning how to tweet!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Make It Challenge :: Homemade Twinkies

Today I'm linking up again with 9 other blogs for the Dog Days of Winter Link Party. This week's challenge is the Make It Challenge.  Check out any one of these blogs for some awesome ideas but the ones I follow most are AP who made Rustic Pallet Shelves and Mandy at House of Rose who made a vintage looking laundry room sign.  Everyone links up to all the blogs and there are some great projects.

You might remember the Organize It Challenge a couple of weeks ago where I did a scarf rack (and ended up being featured on The Francis Family blog). 

Today, we have (da da ta da!)  homemade Twinkies!

When I was on maternity leave, I got addicted to the show The Chew.  Two Iron Chefs (Batali and Symon), a Top Chef all star (Carla Hall - Hootie Hoo?), Clinton Kelly (love him!), and Daphne Oz (pretty sure she's just well known because her dad is Dr. Oz but I like her anyway).  Its a lot of cooking as well as some crafting projects and just plain fun.  I absolutely love this show.  The best part - most of the recipes they do are relatively simple and easy to try at home. 

When the Hostess company announced their bankruptcy, Michael Symon made his own Twinkies.  While I wouldn't call myself a Twinkie lover, it does involve cake and yummy frosting filling so you can't really go wrong there.  I knew that I had to try them.

What you need that you might not just have in your kitchen - a mini loaf pan.  I found this silicon version on Amazon (actually got it as a Christmas gift) but there are also special Twinkie pans that you can get.  The other thing you might need is a decorating kit - specifically the long skinny tip for the filling.

First, collect all your ingredients.

Next get the egg whites going with some sugar and cream of tartar. 

Then do the same with your egg yolks.  Add your flour mixture and combine with some butter, milk and vanilla.  Fill your loaf pans and bake.

When cooled slightly, fill with your filling.   Easy Peasy.


Then eat them.  I would recommend sharing because otherwise you will eat them all.  They are yummy.

Here is the recipe, you can also find it on The Chew website here:

For the Cakes:
Nonstick Cooking Spray or Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Cake Flour
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Milk
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
5 large Eggs (separated and at room temperature)
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

For the Filling:
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons Condensed Milk

For the Cakes: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Spray the molds with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Cover to keep warm.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the whites reach soft peaks, about 6 minutes.

Transfer the beaten egg whites to a large bowl and add the egg yolks to the standing mixer bowl (there’s no need to clean the bowl). Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and a pale lemon color, about 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg whites to the yolks, but do not mix.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg whites and then mix everything on low speed for just 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, make a well in one side of the batter, and pour the melted butter mixture into the well. Fold gently with a large rubber spatula until the batter shows no trace of flour and the whites and yolks are evenly mixed, about 8 strokes.

Immediately scrape the batter into the prepared molds, filling each with about 3/4 cup of batter (a measuring cup can aid in this process). Bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pan containing the molds to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the molds.
For the Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, salt and marshmallow fluff. Add the cream and condensed milk and beat just until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Pipe frosting into three spots on the underside of the twinkie, taking care not to overfill. Serve

If you like this recipe, please feel free to pin it on your own Pinterest site or follow me!

PS - today Michael Symon made homemade Pop Tarts....going to have to try those very soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How I'm like Lance Armstrong

Control freak.

It was big news last week when Lance Armstrong interviewed with Oprah and confessed to what everyone had long suspected...that he had doped during all 7 of his Tour de France victories.

An American hero - someone who had overcome the odds to reach the top hit rock bottom in a matter of weeks.

I, although not a fan of cycling per se, was a hold out.  All of the allegations against Lance were numerous.  But he so adamantly denied the charges for so many years, I was pretty convinced he was telling the truth and that it was a conspiracy against him.  After all, in hundreds if not thousands of drug screens he never had a positive test (that wasn't tested retroactively).  That is hard evidence to argue with.

As I watched his interview and him admit to all sorts of cheating, he also admitted he was a control freak.  He wanted to control every outcome he possibly could.  From the doctors he worked with to the riders on his team, he was involved in every minute decision that controlled the outcome of his races.  His desire to be in control was so strong that he created his own "reality."  It wasn't cheating, it was "leveling the playing field."  He didn't openly say it but it sounds like if someone wasn't willing to dope then they were off the team.  If his massage therapist disagreed with him, he called her a whore. A teammates wife called him out and he called her a crazy bitch.  He sued people who alleged that he cheated.  Its likely he convinced himself he did nothing wrong.

Even in his "confession," he still tried to control it.  His team definitely fished for public opinion in the days leading up to Oprah.  There were rumors that he was going to confess that got leaked to the media followed by a strong denial from his lawyer that there was no confession coming.  I'm pretty sure they were testing the waters of public opinion.  And he picked Oprah for his grand confession.  Seriously?  Even when Oprah was asking him questions, he avoided certain ones or spun it into a different question.  It was almost visible how much he was desperately clinging to the control that remained.

I'm not sure if Lance considers himself an atheist or agnostic, however, it seems clear (as he wrote in his books) that he does not appear to follow any type of religion or believe in God.  When I heard this many years ago, I was confused how a man who had overcome Stage 4 cancer to become one of the greatest athletes of all time could not believe in God.  But I guess now I know.  Because it wasn't God given talent that got him there.

So what does this have to do with me?

I'm a control freak too.  Maybe not on such a grandiose scale, but its true.  I like controlling things - especially when such things reflect upon me.  Whether it's a group presentation, sharing a patient at work, how clean my house appears or even someone watching my child, no one can do it like I can.  If I had my way, no one would get the opportunity.  I often take on too much because I don't want others to "mess it up."  I want to be in control.  And my tendency to be so reared its ugly head this weekend and my poor husband got the brunt of it. 

On Saturday, Andrew offered to help clean the bathrooms (which is my task of the day).  I was already tired and hadn't gotten Friday's task of dusting done.  I thought he could clean the bathrooms and I would watch Sawyer and maybe dust while he did that. 

To say I'm tired these days would be an understatement.  Its been a good 6 months since I've gotten a good nights sleep.  Tired me is not always pretty.  First he took forever to clean the two bathrooms, then he didn't arrange my stuff back to the way it had been on my side of the bathroom counter (which truly had no particular order but it was something for me to get upset about) and then he hadn't cleaned the base of the shower which was still gross.  So, I got angry.  I stormed around the house slamming things around - a trait I inherited from my mother.  Andrew kept asking me what was wrong and I kept snapping at him.  I was a complete jerk. 

I, like Lance, am a control freak.  I want things done a certain way and I will snap at people who don't do it my way. 

But there's a difference between me and Lance.  I have Jesus.  As I've learned over the years, you can't love Jesus and be in control.  It just doesn't work.  The only thing that saves me from creating my own "reality" where I'm in control is knowing that Jesus is.  And there is such freedom in that.

Fortunately for me, my husband loves Jesus too.  He got me to fall in love with him by telling me that it was his job "to be the best representation of Christ that he could be to me."  He lives with my control freak tendencies, forgives me when I snap or storm around the house, and loves me anyway.

One of my devotions the other day said "Let your weakness be a door to My Presence."  I need to desperately pound knock on that door every day.  I know I can't control everything in my world but I also need to realize that I don't need to control it.  That's what Jesus is there for.  I certainly don't need to get upset with my husband who only has the best of intentions for helping me.

Lance will go down in history as one of the biggest sports frauds that ever was.  Its sad.  I hope that one day he finds Jesus and lets go of it all.  I hope that he comes to understand the true freedom of having a Father who loves him no matter what and has plans to prosper and give hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  He will never be free otherwise.

Oh the joy that comes with that freedom.  Probably better than any Tour de France victory.


Monday, January 21, 2013

4 Month Update

As of Friday, Sawyer is 4 months old.  Can you believe it?  It was just a year ago that that second blue line showed up on a pregnancy test and now I have this amazing little boy.  Boy, how life has changed...and how much my heart has grown.

Sawyer weighs 16 lbs 1 oz (75-90%) and is 26.1 inches long (90 %).  His head is holding steady in the 50th percentile at 16.6 inches.   I feel like he has grown a ton just in the last week or so.  He is in 3-6 month (Gerber, Gymboree, Gap) and 6 month (Carters) clothes and fitting them well.  I think he will get too long for them before he gets too chubby for them.  He definitely has a double chin now and little fat rolls on his thighs. 

Developmental Milestones
Sawyer now giggles (so much fun!) and responds to Mommy and Daddy when he sees us.  He is quite the flirt with the ladies and even giggled and flirted with Dr. Irwin at his check up.  He is able to grab toys and bring them to his mouth and has even been able to get his Wubby into his mouth on his own a couple of times.  In general, his hands are almost always in his mouth (and if you could see the 400+ photos I sorted through from the camera, at least 60% of them had his hands in his mouth). He has rolled from his belly to his back a couple of times but not purposefully and can roll part way from his back to his belly.  He has really good head control now and can stand and sit with support (or in his jumperoo or in his Bumbo seat).  He has also become quite the little chatterbox.  Often in the mornings when he wakes up he talks to himself for several minutes before he starts getting anxious to get up.  His little noises are so cute.

This may be one of my new favorite photos

He's eating like a champ.  I think we are going to hold off on solids until around 6 months.  Based on my own research about childhood obesity and the current AAP recommendations, I feel this is the wisest decision. I talked with Dr. Irwin and she said it was fine to start now or wait until 6 months and that solids were mostly meant for oral exercise and didn't provide any nutritional value right now. I still have plenty of breast milk and Sawyer has been taking a bottle well from Andrew when I have been working.  Hopefully this will continue with the nanny that will start with us in February.  If he starts showing a ton of interest in eating off our forks and spoons soon then maybe we will try.

Sleeping is going surprisingly well.  We have established a good bedtime routine and he is usually asleep around 7:30.  He will sleep until 3ish and get up to eat and then go back to sleep until 6:30 or 7.   Naps during the day are variable.  He usually takes a couple of short (45 min to an hour) naps in the morning and then a longer nap in the afternoon if we are lucky.  He definitely naps longer if he's being held vs. in his crib or chair but according to the leader of my parent baby class that is developmental and he should outgrow it.  For now, Andrew and I enjoy some time together after he goes to bed and I try to get to bed by 10 11.

Likes and Dislikes
Sawyer is coming around to tummy time - he can tolerated for a few minutes before breakdown and will even give us a smile sometimes.  He can last longer if he is distracted by a toy.  He also likes his Nuby keys since they are easy to grab onto.  He continues to love bathtime and his Wubbanub.  His new toy is the Jumperoo - he hasn't figured out how to bounce in it yet but he likes to play with the toys.

Tummy time
We did discover with his most recent cold that he DOES NOT like getting the snot sucked out of his nose.  You almost need to put in ear plugs before you start.  He also doesn't like being woken up from a nap when he is not ready - its a guaranteed formula for a 10 minute screaming fest.

Overall, he's a pretty content kid as long as he's fed and has gotten a good nap. He's also pretty handsome...but I suppose I could be a little biased...


bath time mohawk

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back to Work

It's official - I am back to work.  I started my new part time schedule last week.

I dreaded my first day back.  I imagined every worst case scenario - that I would get a frantic phone call from Andrew that Sawyer wouldn't stop crying or that he had an accident and was headed to the ER.  I imagined showing up at work to find a schedule full of new patients all of them cranky and difficult.  I imagined 8 hours being the longest 8 hours that I've ever gone through and wanting to quit when I walked out the door and never come back.  I spent some time praying that God would make it clear to me if he really wanted me to be working. 

I was put slightly at ease with an email from my manager saying he had blocked out my first couple of patient slots so that he and I could discuss some new policies that had gone into effect on my leave and so I could get oriented with my patient charts for the day since I wasn't familiar with any of the clients I would be seeing.

I hardly slept the night before.  Sawyer was awake at 1 to eat and was up again at 5.  I got up and showered and dressed and fed him at 6:30 before I left.  I packed my lunch and my pump and off I went.

I was surprised to find a light schedule - I had 3 hours free before my first patient even showed up.  I said hi to everyone in the clinic and met with my boss.  I did a couple of other random things that I needed to do and then I sat and drank my coffee.  It was odd to be in the clinic without a ton of things to catch up on.  My box was empty (for the first time in years).  I was actually a little bored.

Andrew brought Sawyer in over my lunch hour so I could feed him.  Sawyer seemed his happy self and smiled at everyone in the office.  He did not seem at all traumatized by his Mommy being MIA for the morning.  Hmm, maybe this was going to work out after all.

Another surprise on my schedule that day was the return of one of my favorite patients.  Normally I don't like to see familiar patients on my schedule because it means I didn't fix them the first time.  This man is like my adopted grandpa.  He is so cute.  Two years ago, around this time, I saw him for the first time.  I found some concerning things on his examination and called his physician.  It ended up that he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm (which was my suspicion) the size of a tennis ball.  He was discharge from our care at that time (and had that surgically repaired) but returned later that year to resume treatment for his back.  He saw me again this past summer because he ended up getting a part of his lung removed.  I had discharged him right before I went on maternity leave.  He ended up being hospitalized in December and was referred back to physical therapy to regain his strength.  So it was nice to have such a great person on my schedule.

I've decided I really like a part time schedule.  I'm working two 8 hours days on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then alternating a 4 hour day on Friday or Saturday.  I used to work 4 ten hour days.  I would leave the house around 7 and usually not get home until 7.  It was so nice to get off at 4:00.  It was light outside!  Traffic was a little worse but I got home and actually had time to make dinner!  Then I had a day off the next day to spend with my little man (and my big man since he's currently on his parental leave from work).

I'm also realizing that I really do enjoy my work and the people I work with.  We've had a lot of staffing changes in my clinic over the past year but I think that the team we currently have is really great.  I'm also good at what I do which I forget sometimes.  Its nice to have people leave the clinic telling me how much better they feel than when they walked in the door. 

I think God has been showing me over this week that it will be okay.  I can be a physical therapist and a mom.  I won't be missing my son grow up.  I can still make it home for snuggles and bath time.  I feel so blessed that we can afford for me to work only part time.  I don't know how you moms who work full time do it.  I love my days off that I get to spend with Sawyer and now cherish them that much more - even on days like today when he is fussy all day long.

Is it possible to have it all?  Because I'm pretty sure that I do.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Organize It Challenge :: Scarf rack

Happy Monday Friends!

Today I'm linking up with AP at I Love You More Than Carrots as well as 8 other bloggers for an organize it challenge. 

I, like many others, strive to be organized.  Or as organized as possible with an infant in the house.  So for this project I went somewhat small but its something I've wanted to do for a while.

I originally got this idea from my sister-in-law but I'm sure its all over Pinterest somewhere.  Its a scarf rack!

My scarves normally look something like this:
on the door handle

on a hanger - don't judge the rest of my messy closet.

They get lost in my closet or buried under each other, fall off the hangers, get tangled with each other and its a pain. 

But, there is an easy solution.  All you need is a towel rack and some shower curtain hangers. 

I got a this towel rack for $17.99 and the shower curtain hooks for $2.99 at Target.  I opted for black plastic hooks but you could easily upgrade to nicer metal hooks if you so desire.

My lovely husband installed the towel rack for me and then it was easy to attach the hooks and organize my scarves.  I just love the way it looks

The finished product
I'm sure you could get the other style of hooks and hang belts or jewelry - that may be the next project....I'm on a roll now

If you are inspired by this project, please pin it to your own Pinterest page, and check out APs blog for more organizing ideas.

Happy Organizing!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Snickers Bar Cookies

So I know this is not quite the appropriate post for all those who might have weight loss goals for the new year but think of it as an opportunity to develop more self control.

The next time you have an office party, baby shower, bunco party or girls night, you have to try these cookies.  They are a-ma-zing!  Seriously.  Best. Cookies. Ever. Snickers are by far my favorite candy bar. Chocolate, caramel, nougat and peanuts are the perfect combo. Add a cookie on top and I'm in heaven.

I got the recipe from a patient of mine a couple of years ago.  She was from Hawaii - she made cookie bags for our staff and after getting a pleasant Snickers surprise when biting into the cookie I had to get the recipe.

I most recently made these for some cookie plates I gave to the neighbors over Christmas and made Andrew take the rest of them to work so I wouldn't eat them all.

Snickers Bar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2  13oz packages of Snickers miniatures (about 60 candies)

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine butter, peanut butter and sugars using a mixer on medium to low speed until light and fluffy.  Slowly add eggs and vanilla until throughly combined. Then mix in flour, salt and baking soda.  Cover and chill dough for 2 to 3 hours.

Unwrap all Snickers.  Remove dough from refrigerator.  Shape about 1 tablespoon of dough around each candy. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cookies cool on baking rack.  Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Note: you will use 1 bag and approximately half of the other bag of candies.

The finished product.  Delicious.

These are a hit and not that hard to make.  People will think that you spent way more time making these than you actually did.  So, take credit for making amazing cookies - or leave them at home and eat them yourself. I won't judge.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby Giggles

There is nothing better than baby giggles.  Seriously.  Its a cure to a bad day or a cranky attitude.  I watch this video of my boy all the time several times a day.  I love his laugh.  Hope this brightens your day a little.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

13 Goals for 2013

Okay, I know its ambitious.  13 goals is a lot especially for a mom of a new baby.  However, most of my goals are more about creating better habits versus accomplishing something.

If I had one word to describe my purpose for 2013, it would be intentional.  I'm starting back to work next week and I have an infant.  My time needs to be intentional for me to make the most of it. 

So, here is my list.

Some explanation regarding my thoughts behind these goals:

1. Do a daily devotion.  Since having Sawyer and not really have a schedule for the last few months, my God time has certainly suffered whether it be from lack of quite time or just lack of sleep in general.  My sister in law Becky gave me a great devotional book for my birthday called "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.

How did I know this was the right book for me this year?  January 1st devotion said this:

"A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness.  Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year.  Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being tansformed by the renewing of our mind.  As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you....My attention span is infinite.  I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting love."

I can't wait to dive in more.  I know that it may only be 5 or 10 minutes a day but I hope that time is truly intentional in my quest to spend time with Jesus.

2.  Lose the baby weight.  Yep, I'm joining a zillion other people in America in the weight loss goal.  I always hated the gym in the early part of the year because of those people.  They crowded the parking lot, took all the good treadmills, and didn't allow me to spread out in yoga class.  Then, around late February, most people fell off the wagon and the gym was back to normal.

I've still got 20 pounds of baby weight to lose plus I could afford (and would love) to lose an additional 20 lbs on top of that.  I bought a Groupon to a crossfit gym in Redmond. I'm hoping that Sawyer starts giving me a more consistent wake up time so I can try a morning class on my days off.  I don't belong to a gym anymore since we got our treadmill.  I was running before Christmas but then I got sick and need to start up again.  I love running once I get into shape but the process of getting into shape sucks.  I don't expect this goal to be accomplished quickly but hope to have the first 20 off by spring.

3. Run a 5k.  My original goal was to run a 1/2 marathon but I'm pretty sure that won't happen so I decided to make this goal realistic.  Plus, I have way more options of 5Ks in the area vs half marathons.  And the thought of running 3.2 miles instead of 13.2 miles already makes me feel relieved.

4. Budget/track household expenses.  I'll be honest, we are not good budgeters.  We certainly don't spend beyond our means and are very blessed to have a good household income especially when we were DINKs (Double income, no kids).  Since I'm only working part time now and we have to pay a nanny, our income will be more limited.  The only non-mortgage debt that we have are my student loans from grad school.  I consolidated them several years ago but at this rate at the payments I'm making, Sawyer will be in college before they are paid off.  So, I'd like to budget more and find out where we can save so I can throw more money towards Sallie Mae with the hopes of kicking her out sooner rather than later.  Now that we finally got our Tacoma house rented (praise Jesus) we will have more coming in.  I think if we are more diligent with our spending we could save more. Mainly. if we could eat out less often I think it would help a lot.

5. Write a card to a friend once a month.  I have lots of great friends and I don't tell them often enough how much they mean to me.  I'd like to be more intentional about letting them know they are loved.

6. Try one new recipe per month.  This shouldn't be hard since I love to cook.  I got "The Chew" cookbook for Christmas and one of my gifts to Andrew this year was to make him 1 pie per month for the entire year.  So my first recipe will be to try a home made pie crust.  I will keep you all posted on my recipe adventures. 

7. Set a cleaning schedule and stick to it.  Housework for me gets overwhelming.  The amount of work to be done and my motivation are inversely proportional.  My plan is to have one household task per day that should take 10-20 minutes.  Hopefully, it will avoid the emotional breakdowns I have when I realize just how cluttered and dusty my house gets.  I haven't set an exact schedule yet but it will go something like this:  Monday - Laundry; Tuesday - de clutter main floor; Wednesday - clean kitchen and mop floor; etc.  I also plan to make a board of miscellaneous things that need to be done but that I may not have time to do so that my husband knows to do them.  We have different standards of clean - what I think might be obviously dirty he doesn't notice. If I write them down he might actually do them instead of me getting mad that he should be doing it when he has no clue that I want it done.

*I keep telling him that if he could just learn to read my mind, we could avoid a lot of conflict :-)

8. Floss 5-7x per week.  I openly admit I'm a terrible flosser.  I just need to do better.

9. Quit biting my nails for good.  Its a terrible habit.  I've quit many times in my adult life but easily fall back into it when I'm bored or stressed.  Lets just say having a baby has been stressful and full of a lot of sitting and rocking which leads to mindless chewing.

10. Read six books for fun.  I have too many books on my list and should spend more time reading and less time watching Project Runway.

11. Plant a garden.  This might be my most ambitious goal.  First, I am not a green thumb.  I have two plants in my house, one of which is near death on a weekly basis because I forget to water it.  But we have the perfect south facing backyard to create a couple of raised beds.  If I can be on the ball and plant some starts before summer I could probably have some zucchini and tomatoes to eat by September.  Plus it will be an excuse to get outside and I bet Sawyer would love it.

12. Drink less soda and more water.  Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm addicted to Coke Zero.  Not really.  If its in the house, I will drink at least one per day, sometimes two.  I just think its not good for me.  There are many studies about how drinking diet soda actually causes you to gain weight and the artificial sweeteners just aren't great for you.  So, I'm just not going to buy it.  Drinking more water will be healthier for me overall.  I will allow a soda when I'm out to eat but plan to no longer drink it at home. 

*I had Andrew buy me a 20 oz bottles of Coke Zero to fulfill my craving yesterday.  Fail.

13.  Learn to crochet.  I can knit basic things (mainly scarves) but think I can make cooler stuff if I can learn to crochet.  Not sure if I will have someone show me or just find a book or look online.  But I hope to have at least one thing to show off at the end of the year.

So, that is my list.  Thanks for sticking through such a long post.  I think they are mostly reasonable goals and I hope that I can be intentional with my time to accomplish them all in some form this year.  I will try and keep you all updated and I'm sure will include my cooking and gardening adventures.

So, what about you?  Its a fresh start.  What are your goals for 2013?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

East Coast Christmas - Sawyer's Version

Hi Mommy's friends!  Mommy has been busy since our trip and caught a little cold so I told her I would fill in and tell you all about our trip to the East coast for Christmas.

Mommy was really worried about how I would be on the plane.  I was so excited to fly that I wore myself out and slept through the first half of the flight.  I smiled at the lady sitting next to me who was a grandma going to see her granddaughter for the first time.  My ears hurt when we started heading down but once Mommy let me eat they got better.

When we landed, I met Daddy's best friend AJ who picked us up at the airport.  I decided that I don't like traffic in Washington DC.  It took us so long to get to Grandma's house.  I got really hungry and had to let everyone know that I was not happy.  We pulled into the Marine Corps Museum parking lot and Mommy fed me.  But all the stop and go traffic after that wasn't good on my tummy and I threw up all over my car seat.  After Mommy and Daddy cleaned me up, we drove a little more and I finally got to see Grandma Hall.  She was so excited to see me.  The next day she and I hung out while Mommy and Daddy finished their Christmas shopping.

Grandma makes me laugh!

I'm a big boy sitting all by myself

Grandma took me to the hospital where she works to show me off to all her co workers.  I smiled and flirted until I got hungry.  Grandma weighed me on her special scale and we found out I weigh 14 lbs and 5 oz!  I'm getting so big!

On Friday I got to meet my Aunt Susanna - she let me nap in her arms and it was super comfy.  Her dog Chloe looks different than Charlie and her bark sometimes woke me up but I like her anyway - especially when she snuggled next to me on the sofa.

Me and Auntie Susanna

Me and Chloe

The shirt says it all...

Grandma and Grandpa showed me off at church on Sunday and I did my best to smile at everyone.  But my tummy wasn't feeling good so I was a little cranky for some of the service.  But I didn't have to sit through a sermon because a lady fainted while we were singing!  Fortunately, Grandma is a nurse and she and Mommy helped take care of the lady until the paramedics showed up. 

Then we were off to Pennsylvania to meet the rest of the family.  I found out at a rest stop in Maryland that my tummy hurt because I needed to poop.  I let it all out after I ate and Mommy said its the biggest poop I have ever had!  She had to change my outfit so it was a good thing she had packed extra clothes for me.  That night we had dinner with friends of Grandmas and then went to Daddy's cousins house.

On Christmas Eve I got to meet lots of family that I hadn't met before.  All the girls seem to like it when I smile at them.  There were lots of people there which made it hard for me to take a nap so I got a little cranky but once I slept for a little bit I was much happier.  Daddy's cousins even brought their chocolate lab Ronon to the house - he looks just like Charlie and liked to lick my face.  But it didn't bother me because Charlie licks me all the time.  Everybody gave me lots of presents that night.  I was too tired to open them so Mommy opened them for me.  My family is very generous and got me lots of great things.  Then we went to Christmas Eve services but I was so tired that I couldn't stay awake.
Me and Laura - she is Ronon's (the chocolate lab) mom
Me and my cousin Jessie

Christmas morning, Mommy was really happy because Daddy Santa gave her a special ring she had wanted. It has a sapphire in it which is my birthstone.  She had put it on her Christmas Wish List.  Santa must read her blog.  I met more family and got more presents later that day and gave mommy a gift of taking a 3 hour nap so she could enjoy Christmas dinner of Prime Rib.  After dinner we said our good byes and headed back to Virginia to avoid heavy traffic.  I gave Mommy another gift and slept the entire 4 hour drive home.

Santa was here!

The day after Christmas we had another present opening fest where I got lots of gifts from Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Susanna.  My favorites are the recordable books from Grandma and Grandpa.  Mommy and I read/listen to them at night before I go to bed.  Opening presents really wears me out!  Then I got to see AJ again along with his wife Lauren and their kids Andrew and Liam who will be my good friends - especially when I get big enough to play with them!  They stayed for dinner and Grandpa made ribs - Mommy says that Grandpa's ribs will be my favorite food someday.

Me and Mommy - I love her lots!

I'm so spoiled!

Our last morning in Virgina, Mommy and Daddy went to breakfast with AJ and Lauren and I got some quality smile time in with Grandma and Grandpa and Susanna.  We all went to lunch before we went to the airport.  I got super sleepy on the airplane and slept through most of our 5 hour flight.  Mommy was so proud of me.

Then, the next day, my other Grandma and Grandpa came from Montana!  Its been a Grandma-pa-looza!  I love my Grandmas. 

We've been hanging out with Aunt Becky and Uncle JD and my cousins Reid, Keaton, and Lyla over the last couple days.  We got even more presents at the Watson family Christmas.  Mommy and Daddy feel incredibly blessed by the generosity of our families and that we have such fun when hanging out with our families on both sides. 

Mommy hopes that you all had a wonderful Christmas season celebrating Jesus' birth.  I don't quite get all the hype yet or understand why I'm supposed to be excited by the guy in the red suit with the beard but Mommy says that I will get really excited about Christmas in the next couple of years.  I hope that I learn to enjoy the time I get to spend with my family who loves each other like Mommy does. 

Happy New Year!

Mommy told me that she is working on a post of her goals for 2013 to share with all of you.

My goal is to fit my entire hand in my mouth.  I'm so close!