About Me

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Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States
I am a late-30's busy career mom, attempting to find her inner athlete, be a vegan in a non-vegan household, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, knit, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cabbage is Cool

FOOD

So I know I can't possibly cover all of the food I've eaten in the nearly two weeks since my last post (which I am REALLY sorry, by the way....life has been sucking every last drop of energy from me, and I've barely had time to sleep, much less anything else!).

However, here are some of the highlights!

I made a chipotle tofu and roasted potato taco dish last weekend.  I ate one on a corn tortilla and one on a romaine lettuce shell.  Nicely spicy and tasty, with lots of cabbage on it!



D and I went out to a local restaurant, and I have a vegan fake chick'n panini with mango and spinach.  I was sad their only vegan bread was sourdough (I would have preferred the whole grain, but it had honey), but it was still very yummy.



I made pudding out of chia seeds!  Yes...remember the chia pet?  Who knew it did more than grow wool on a clay lamb?!  It was crazy, but REALLY good.  And chocolate, which was awesome.  I used chia seeds, chocolate powder, agave nectar, and vanilla soy milk.  20 minutes later after soaking it all up, creamy and yummy PUDDING!



I had to go to the DC area for work, and stopped at a really yummy place called Java Green.  It was a deli type place, but with all vegan, vegetarian, raw, and organic foods.  I had bimbimap (I think - I can't find it on the menu!).  It was all veggies with a spicy siracha-type sauce on it over some green tea rice.  Very yummy!



I made some 4 bean vegan chili in the pressure cooker last week - something I've only made in the crock pot before.  Lentils, black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans.  I've finally gotten D and the kids to eat the meat free dish by serving it with tortilla chips to dip into.  Whatever.  Works for me, and they eat it.  I've had that as leftovers a few times, including today for breakfast!

Lunch was popcorn.  Not great, I know, but I went to the office right after the gym (LOTS to catch up on), and that was all I had in my desk drawer.  Dinner is cooking now - a brown rice, tomato, and veggie dish in the rice cooker.  I plan to put some sliced avocado and cabbage on it.

So cabbage.  Probably the most underrated food ever.  I love all the cabbage family.  Brussel sprouts - awesome.  Cauliflower - heck yeah.  It's crunchy, lettuce-ish (so it's awesome on tacos and sandwiches and the like - not to mention cole slaw!), cheap as can be, and stays fresh for a really long time.  For the past two weeks, I swear I've been putting it on almost everything.  And that's just when it's raw!  I love it steamed, sauteed, or put into a crock dish. 

FITNESS

First real injury.  Yep.  I fell down the stairs like a doofus and hurt my ankle and back.  Ankle not too badly I think, but the back really sucks.  I finally started feeling better last Thursday, so today was my first workout since I fell.

What did I do?  SWIM!  Yeah, I've missed the pool.  I didn't want to over do it, so I did a 30 minute constant swim.  I lost track of the number of laps I did (I usually do unless I'm making a point to remember).  I did a few drills in the middle with either the pull buoy or a kick board.  I took it easy, and after I was warmed up, I felt like I could go on forever.  I didn't though.  Even though it's a non-impact sport, I know that it can still aggravate an injury.  Besides, my training calendar had today being a 30 minute swim anyway, so it all worked out for the best!

LIFE

Wow, what can I say?  Busy busy busy.  Even worse than normal!  Let's see...how to summarize without writing a novel that would bore you all to tears?

My son M had a school play.  He's been in drama since the beginning of the school year, and it's his first time in it.  When he auditioned, he told us that he had a pretty big role, but each day he'd get home (he had practice 4 days a week) and tell us how great everyone was, there's singing and dancing and some really great people.  What he failed to mention (which is typical for my mild mannered little man) was that he had the lead role.  And he was amazing!  Not just a proud mama either - he had the loudest and most vibrant applause at the end (which you could tell shocked him when it happened), he was singing, dancing, and hilarious!

Basically, he played an older Italian immigrant who had come to the US with his young wife in search of the American Dream.  They bought a small piece of land in California and build a beach front restaurant.  His wife is gone, and he runs the place with his daughter and granddaughters.  A couple snaky investors are trying to buy his land to build a resort, he won't sell, and all kinds of antics break loose.  It was a lot of fun, and now we're looking into local theater groups because he wants to keep acting.  It didn't help that I had people tell me that with the hat, his crazy thick curly hair, and the mustache (that was drawn on), he looked like Johnny Depp.  Joy.

me and D after the show


One of my great friend's had a beach birthday celebration, and 8 of us had a great time!  I'm not posting those pictures though :)

I had to go up to the Washington DC area for work.  I did get to steal away at a great veggie place and to walk around a couple art museums while there.  It was nice, but cold!

All hell broke out at work.  Without going into any boring details of servers and bandwidth and latency problems....not to mentions budgets, and evals, and blah blah blah.....I've been working 15+ hour days.  I'm either in the office late, or working in the home office.  Today I went in to try and get some focused time.  I managed to get below 100 unread emails (I real feat!), so now I only have about 800 total to deal with.  I'm really hoping nothing overly important is in there that I've ignored since Dec!

D has been working really long hours.  He had 4 go-lives this past week (he's in IT too) and involved a lot of travel.

R is coming down with something.  She started running a fever last night, and I have a feeling will have to stay home tomorrow.  D will have to do it this time, because I can't.

Oh, and we have a gas line problem that's affected my hot water (I have none - dishes, showers, can't do them), my oven (I can't use), heater, and my dryer (can't use that either).  The soonest the repair person can come out is Tuesday afternoon!  Thank goodness for a Y membership for showers!  It's been a pain in the butt.  Fortunately, we're having unseasonably warm weather, so it's not too freezing in the unheated house.

Okay, I'm going to go eat my rice cooker meal in my disposable bowl and plastic spoon (to which I feel guilty - but 4 days of no dishes in a family of 5 is NOT happening), take some Tylenol for my sore back, and read.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Found It!!

Okay, not doing a regular blog post today.  Too bloody tired.  BUT....I found the blog where I got the sunflower seed dressing from.  Here it is!!!

Choosing Raw Blog

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In the Raw, Baby!!

FOOD

Today was my raw experiment, and I'm happy to say it was a successful one!  I will be honest on the one thing I wasn't prepared for - no coffee.  It's good thing I don't typically drink much caffeine, so it wasn't too big a deal, but I missed having that hot cup in the morning.  I did start off with a room temp mug of lemon water.  Not the same by any means, but still tasty.

I found I wanted to eat or drink something pretty much every 2 hrs or so for the majority of the day.  I'm thinking that may be normal, but I'm not sure.  It eased up around 5pm or so.  And boy oh boy, and I HYDRATED.  I always drink plenty of water - typically a gallon or so a day - but with that plus all the juices and fruits and veggies - I think I'm peeing all the time!

I soaked a 1/2 cup of buckwheat overnight, and blended that with a little water, half a banana, a (skinned) apple, and a bit of agave nectar and tons of cinnamon.  It was really tasty, and even better than yesterday's version.  Raw or not, it's a keeper. 

A couple hours later, I made a sauce/dressing in my Vitamix that I can see as a salad dressing  or - in the case of what I did with it today - as a coleslaw dressing.  I will be honest - I found the basis for this recipe online, but I can't recall where or I'd link it.  I've done so much reading on raw food this last week, it's a blur.  I wrote this down on the back of an envelope a few days ago - along with a bunch of others (reuse garbage paper!) - so I can't remember where I found it.  If I do - I'll give the proper credit, because this was SO not born of my imagination. 

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup water
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Bragg's Amino Acid (or Tamari - if you use regular soy sauce, it won't be raw...but still good)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dill

good use of the mason jars my parents gave me!


I had a bag of coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots) and decided to save half of the dressing and pour the rest over the mix and see what happens.

While making that, I was getting a batch of kale chips ready for the dehydrator (to keep it a "raw" food, need to use the dehydrator vs. the oven due to the heat/cooking an oven would do).  I put a bunch of chopped kale into a bowl, and put in olive oil (cold pressed), sea salt, minced fresh garlic, and cumin.  After it marinated for 20 minutes or so, I layered it into the dehydrator.  I knew it had 7-8 hrs before they were crisp, which made them ready at 630pm, and my new "popcorn" for evening TV/movie watching!


my cheap-o dehydrator.  Does the job though!

Not long after, I munched on some cherry tomatoes and bell peppers as a snack.  A few hours after that, I made a fresh juice of apple, orange, carrot, celery, and spinach.  I was surprised at how tangy and yummy it was.  And it nicely took the edge off my hunger.

For lunch, I made "tacos".  I took romaine lettuce leaves, stuffed them with the coleslaw, sliced onions, and cherry tomatoes.  If I had thought of it, I'd have added avocado too.  They were REALLY tasty and filling.  This is going to be a regular addition to my menu.  I can see playing with it (chopped peppers, cilantro, etc).



I had to go to one of our local malls today, and they have a store called Smoothie Mania.  They make not only smoothies, but fresh juices as well.  I was feeling a bit hungry, so I ordered an apple-carrot-lemon-ginger juice.  The girl seemed annoyed that she'd have to use the juicer rather than a blender, but oh well.  My $3.15 for a large juice (half price Sunday's) was the same regardless.  It took her a bit, but was worth the wait.  It definitely hit the spot!

After getting home and starting dinner for the kids, A and I ate all the kale chips.  I'm sort of sad there are none left.  I'm going to start another batch to work on all night in the dehydrator.  A wants to take some to school tomorrow and force-feed her friends.  M is afraid of them.  Green crunchy things will do that to a 13 year old boy.

I haven't made dinner yet, but am planning on a tomato blended sauce and some veggie "noodles" marinated in olive oil.  When I get hungry, that sounds awesome.

So the raw verdict?  I like it.  I'm pretty sure I can't do it 100% of the time.  I like my coffee, my glass of wine, and a nice hot bowl of soup too much.  But I will say that I'm intrigued, and I definitely think raw meals have a good and solid place in my life.

FITNESS

I wasn't feeling a full blown workout today, so I did a 20 minute yoga sequence in the early evening.  It felt good, and I felt more centered than I had in a long time.  To be frank, it was also the first yoga I've done in a long time that wasn't for fitness.  I typically do hot yoga, which kicks butt as much as running 5 miles does.  This was meant to be gentle and relaxing and it was.

LIFE

R slept in my room last night.  She wanted to the entire time D was gone, but I only let her last night.  We watched one of the Redbox movies and then went to sleep.  

I woke up around 7am (thanks Sammie).  I had a quiet morning reading until the kids started waking up.

I honestly didn't do too much today, which was nice.  The house was clean so I was able to relax, and aside from prepping my meals and cleaning up in the kitchen, I spent most of my day reading - either my new raw foods book, online blogs and recipe sites, or catching up on magazines.  It's been a really, really nice Sunday.

M went to the movies with some friends, and I was the ride home.  I went a little early to walk around the mall a bit, and then took his friend home (not sure why I didn't take the other friend home, but apparently he had other arrangements).

Now I'm watching a movie with the kids and getting ready to watch the Grammy's.  D's on his way home, which makes us all happy, and I'm looking forward to seeing him.  Until then, I hope to get to bed early and have a great night's sleep.  I certainly think my day today has been conducive to that!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sorry...Having Trouble Thinking of a Catchy Title :)

FOOD

I'm thinking I'm going to have a lot of fun with food this weekend!  Tomorrow I'm attempting to be 100% raw in my diet.  Just for the day to see how it goes and how I feel. To that end, I picked up a new book, which I've been reading since yesterday.  I'm really excited, but also nervous.  I'm going to have to plan well what I want to make, and hit the grocery this afternoon to make sure I have everything I need.

Friday was a good day.  No freakishly early or late meetings, so that was nice.  For breakfast, I made a fresh juice (apple, orange, carrot, ginger) and an Ezekiel bread toasty sandwich with sunflower seed butter and sliced banana.  I love that it's so portable.  I made a soy milk latte too.  Drip coffee seemed like too much of a hassle.

Since I was out in VA Beach yesterday afternoon around lunch time, I stopped for some Thai food.  I had a steam spring roll with tofu and, of course, tofu green curry.  I read my book while eating, and it was nice.

I snacked on some Raw Food crackers I had picked up at Heritage a few months back and forgot I had in my cabinet.  Between that and the tons of water I was drinking, I ended up not getting hungry the rest of the day, so that was it on the food front.

Before bed, I decided I was going to make a raw foods breakfast for Saturday.  Sort of a trial run I guess, and inspired by the book.  Right before going to sleep, I started soaking 1/2 cup of buckwheat groats to make a porridge in the morning.

This morning I made drip coffee (gasp) because I wasn't in the mood for espresso.  I was up at least an hour before everyone else, so I drank a cup while flipping through my raw book and watched Law and Order.

Then, I made my first pre-thought out raw foods breakfast!  Now don't get me wrong - most of my smoothies are technically raw as are the fruit breakfasts, etc.  But this felt like my first foray into raw "cooking".  Here's what I made....

I drained and rinsed the buckwheat and put it into my Vitamix.  I added a small amount of water - maybe1/4 cup at most - and blended until it was the consistency of porridge.  Then I added a date and a chopped apple, blended some more, then added cinnamon to taste.  It was REALLY good.  I think the only thing I'll do differently next time is to peel the apple first. 

My raw buckwheat porridge breakfast


Mid morning snack was a banana before my workout.  Lunch was a small salad and a butternut squash and apple soup I made in my vitamix.  It's very similar to the recipe that comes with the blender, but I made some small variations....

3 cups chunked butternut squash - steamed
1 cored apple - steamed
1/4 large onion - chopped
1 garlic clove - chopped
1 cup coconut milk (lite, canned)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

stir fry the onion and garlic until soft.  Put the coconut milk, water, and flour into the Vitamix.  Blend on high for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. 

I couldn't decide what seasonings I wanted, so I didn't use any.  I ate it plain, and it was very good.  A tried it, and thought I needed to decide if it should be sweet (cinnamon and nutmeg), or savory (rosemary or Thai spices).  I was feeling fickle, so I had it as is.  I put the leftovers in the fridge, and if I decide later, I'll have more and pick some seasoning!

Late afternoon/early evening, I made a fresh juice of apple, orange, lemon, carrot, and ginger.  It was really good an filling.  I haven't eaten dinner yet (it's only 715pm) because I'm not hungry.  I imagine I'll make a salad or reheat the quinoa if I get hungry later.

FITNESS

I finally picked up a pair of women's padded cycling shorts!!!!  Here's hoping they really make a difference on Monday!

I missed the swim time trials last night.  They started at 630, and A's bus had to make an extra stop on the way home, so she wasn't back to her home high school until nearly 620.  There was no way I'd make it.  I was bummed because I was really looking forward to swimming with the team and hoping to see that I'd improved since January.

I went swimming today instead, and it was good.  R had swim lessons at 1030, so I hopped in the pool when she did, swam laps while she had lessons (which went about 10 minutes over), so I got in a 40 minute swim workout.  I forgot my watch though, so I didn't time myself the way I intended (I was going to time my swim and send coach my times - mimic what the team did last night).

Today would have been a bike day, but I didn't want to go on an hour long outdoor ride with D out of town.  That hour ride would have turned into 2 between driving to where the trail and getting home.  It was just too long.  We'll see about tomorrow.  Either a run or another swim.  Or both!


LIFE

Friday was a nice day.  I had a lot of work to do and was running around like crazy to different hospitals, but I can't complain.  It was sunny and beautiful out, and by lunch, I was just wearing my sweater with my scarf and left my coat in the car.  I also had time for a good meal and a quick stop at the mall for the book and shorts. 

I was bummed about missing the swim, but at the same time, it was nice to be home.  M had a school dance, R was playing, and A and I watched 3 episodes of CSI that were still on the DVR.  I went to bed pretty early - about 10pm (for a Friday, that's early!), and all told, had a really good day.

I'm FINALLY doing the Fun Facts Friday.  I know it's not Friday.  I just couldn't finish my blog post last night.  Especially since I didn't swim and didn't want the Fitness section to be blank!  So here it is.  I was tagged by H's Blog last month (I know..SORRY...I'm a slacker).

Fun Facts Friday - Four Things



Four TV Shows I Watch: (I have WAY more than four...be that's a totally different post entirely)


*Castle
*White Collar
*Eureka
*Southland


Four Things I'm Passionate About:

*Eating and cooking healthy
*Spending time with my family
*My focus on my career and future
*Spending time doing things that make ME happy (exercise, yoga, reading, movies, etc)


Four Words/Phrases I Use Too Much:

*Fully (as in...was that pizza good, "Yeah, Fully!)
*Not Even Remotely (as in....was that pizza good, "Uh, not even remotely)  - see, they're opposites!
*Stupid Cow!!!  (came from necessity when I need to cuss at other drivers, but my kids are in the car)
*Oh Hell

Today I woke up early (in no small part thanks to Sammie), and got out of bed around 630am.  I fed the pups, made some coffee, and got to sit around on the couch for a while before the youngest woke up flipping through my raw foods book.

After swimming at the Y, R and I played around, hung out in the hot tub, and then showered up.  We stopped at the market to pick up a bunch of veggies for my dishes tomorrow, rented two movies from Redbox, and came home.  After a light lunch, it was time to get cleaning.

I told R we could watch the movies after cleaning.  The kids each had to REALLY clean their rooms.  M took care of one of the bathrooms, his room, and some wash.  It took about 2 hrs max.  A cleaned out her closets and her room is the cleanest I've EVER seen it, and she did one of the other bathrooms.  She took about 2 1/2 hours.  I dusted all of downstairs, scrubbed the kitchen, swept all the floors, and steam cleaned them all too.  All told, about 2 hours.  Then I cleaned my bedroom and bathroom.  About another 45 minutes.  R had to clean her room.  It's a small room.  It took her SIX AND A HALF HOURS!!!  Not to mention, several interventions from me (but I wouldn't do anything for her - she really needs to clean her own space by now).  It was kind of funny. 

I don't think we'll end up watching the movies tonight now.  R has been in A's room drawing for the last hour or so, and I'm relaxing, watching TV (can you say Vampire Diaries??), reading, and planning meals for tomorrow.  Woo hoo for real relaxation!

I

Thursday, February 10, 2011

People Look Very Different When They Aren't Sweaty

FOOD

Today was a snow day, so I got to take my time to prepare my food all day.  I even made a real pot of coffee (don't tell my husband though.  If he figured out that I actually CAN make it, he may expect me to when he gets home).  I clean the floors.  He makes coffee.  It's MORE than a fair trade.

While enjoying my coffee, I had a conference call, and then was able to eat.  Breakfast was the leftover chickpea, veggie, and kale dish I had for lunch yesterday.  It was really filling and very tasty.

Mid morning was a fresh juice.  Same as yesterday - 2 apples, 2 oranges, a handful of baby carrots, and about a tablespoon of fresh ginger.  I made one for A too, who really loved it.  I've decided (though he doesn't know this yet), that I'm going to start making fresh juices for D every day.  Since he has Crohn's disease, his body doesn't absorb nutrients well.  He also has to stay away from too much fiber (I know - sounds to be the antithesis of a healthy diet, but can cause obstructions and surgery).  With all the reading I've been doing on raw veganism, juicing, etc, this may be a perfect way to get him some easily absorbable nutrients without the fiber worries.
Lunch was a gluten free vegan quinoa mac n cheeze dish I came across while reading a blog I like that was fully awesome.  The recipe itself was really simple.  I used my rice cooker to cook the quinoa, and the sauce was coconut milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, arrowroot powder (which I had on hand, but could probably sub corn starch), and salt.  Mix, eat, and be amazed. 

I did a small bit of grocery shopping after lunch.  I was out of oranges, kale, lentils, hot sauce, running low on apples and soy milk.  So M and I went to Walmart, picked up the essentials, and headed back home. 

I started a vegan crock pot of seitan pot roast for dinner.  The house smelled amazing!  I have to say that the flavors were right on, but it was too salty.  I normally have a very light hand with salt (too light for my husband's tastes), so I added salt when I put the ingredients into the crock.  That was a mistake - I forget that crocks require far less seasoning than normal, and it would have been perfect if I hadn't done that.  I also think that browning the seitan before putting it in would have been good.  Here's what I did (next time I'll do the same, just omit the salt)...

2 packages seitan cubes (they literally look like stew beef)
1 small package baby carrots
1 small package red potatoes, cut in half
1 cup water
1 package french onion soup mix (vegan)
1 package vegan gravy powder (just to make it thicker without having to do the corn starch thing at the end)
1/2 onion, cut into VERY large chunks
1 tsp salt

I ended up having some plain popcorn when I couldn't handle the salt anymore!  I'm going to prep the kale, put it in the dehydrator overnight, and make some kale chips.  I'm thinking of doing garlic and cumin flavored ones. 

Other than the popcorn thing, my eating today was very spot on, and I feel great.  Every time I felt like whipping up some cookies or cupcakes, I thought of that bloody Tri suit!  I did have a big glass of Silk Light Chocolate Soy Milk to satisfy that sweet tooth though, and it did the trick.

FITNESS

NONE!!  Ha, ha....Thursday's are rest days.  Thank goodness too, because my legs are sore!

However, today was the Tri Club social.  I figure that warrants an update under the "fitness" heading!

I mentioned to coach that I was going to bring name tags tonight, since I don't really know anyone's names.  When M and I went to Walmart, I picked some up and a couple green sharpies (R's favorite color), and brought them with.  After dinner (we ate really early - like at 530.  Normally we eat between 7-8), I headed up to Fat Frogs.  There was some food (which I didn't partake of due to the abundance of popcorn in my belly) and beer and wine (which I DID partake of - one glass...first one in a week). 

Fat Frogs actually has two Tri Club teams.  One is the "morning" team, and one is the "evening" team.  We don't train together, so tonight was really the first time to meet the morning group.  I saw the two women I met at the pool a few weeks ago, and the woman whose bike I bought.  It was nice to talk to them, and I had to thank J again for the bike (because it's fully awesome).  It was also neat to see everyone looking human instead of like sweat balls.  Women wore make up and everyone was wearing jeans instead of workout gear. 

It's funny, because in a very small group of people, I'm very outgoing.  At work, I'm very confident and talkative.  In large groups - I'm really not.  I have a very hard time starting conversations with people and getting to know them.  I usually wait for someone to talk to me first - and then I'm OK.  I hung around the very back of the group (which I knew I would!), and as a result, got to talk to other wallflowers too!  Both happen to be the girls I sit near during out spin classes.  They're also both swim coaches and seasoned triathletes.  It was nice talking to them, and getting some advice.  One even offered to take me out riding, which I'm definitely going to take her up on!

Tomorrow is swim time trials.  I'm in the same boat as yesterday.  If A gets home from school on time, I'll make it.  If she doesn't, I'm on my own.  I think if she doesn't, I'm going to go anyway and just stay late.  The 25 of us share 3 swim lanes anyway, so a few minutes late for this one probably won't make a big difference.  Besides - after shaving 4 minutes off my run time yesterday, I'm hoping I've improved in the swim too!

LIFE

Today was a snow day, and while I was annoyed last night that it was snowing when I went to bed, today I was grateful.  I needed the peace.  And the ability to work in jammies.

I went to be around 1030 last night finally, and I was nearly deliriously exhausted.  My alarm went off at 615am, I checked online to see if the kids' school was canceled - it was - and went back to bed (after turning off my kids' alarms).  My first meeting was at 9, so I knew I could sleep until 845 and still be okay. 

Of course, Sammie the wonder pups had other ideas.  She's used to eating at 630am, and gets very nutty when she doesn't.  She started prancing around downstairs, and doing her single-bark thing to get me up.  Finally at 8, she walked up the stairs to my room - stayed on the stairs but poked her head in - did a single bark, and then ran back downstairs.  I got the hint and reluctantly got up.  I bet I could have slept MUCH longer if given the chance.

I fed her, made coffee, and very shortly after R woke up.  I made her breakfast and then got to work.  The other two woke up eventually, and the three of them watched Dr. Who marathons while I worked and cooked.  All told, it was a nice and relaxing day, and I thank Mother Nature for making it snow in Virginia last night.  I think she may have done it just because I needed a break.

D is having a great time in San Fran, and did his first geocaching today!  He found some buried treasure, and is planting his registered Geo coins around the area too.  I guess when you have the coins, you register them online and set goals.  For one, he set the goal that he bury it in CA and it makes its way back to VA.  One he wants to see make it overseas, etc.  It's actually really cool.

He woke up obscenely early out there (with us being East Coasters, his internal clock got the better of him), so while his brother slept, D went for coffee, called me 5 times (it was cute), explored, and found his first cache.  I'm happy to see him do something physical, and he's having fun doing a grown up scavenger hunt!  I'm looking forward to warmer weather here so we can go together.

I'm glad tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is upon us.  I'm probably not going to do a long bike ride on Saturday because D isn't here to be with the kids, but I'll probably either swim or hit a spinning class.  It's also the 22nd annual home and garden show on the peninsula, and I really want to go and check out gardening ideas, since that's a big goal of mine this year (I've always had a black thumb, but it's become more and more important to me to grow as much of my own food as possible).  My ENTIRE diet is plant based.  If I eat them, I sure as heck should be able to grow them!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eye Contact In the Dark

FOOD

I can't do anything half way.  Sometimes that's a good thing.  When I commit to something, I really commit to it.  On the other hand, it takes me quite a long time to commit to something also (even though I'm spontaneous and occasionally flaky.  It's a strange dichotomy that I'm okay with).  Take becoming Vegan for example.  I thought about it for a really long time.  At one point I figured I'd just ease into it.  Of course once I decided it's what I wanted to do, a flip was switched and it was done cold tofurkey- and I've never looked back nor regretted it.

I've been having the same inner turmoil about raw veganism for the past 5 months or so.  The idea fascinates me, but I fear I lack the fortitude for it.  There's also the issue of nuts.  Raw veganism is pretty heavy on the nuts it seems, and because of R's allergy, I don't eat them either.  I think that's probably more of an excuse than anything else though, I imagine raw veganism is possible without relying on nuts.

I've noticed an increase in my blog reading and the people I follow on Twitter who do raw though, and it's totally exciting to read about.  The food is some of the most gorgeous I've ever seen.  I have an unbelievable respect for them because it takes such dedication and willingness to really prepare food.  I stumbled on a website and have been pretty intrigued by it.  I signed up for the email newsletter and recipes, and have even emailed with her about my nut banning.  In all this reading in the past few months, something finally clicked for me this afternoon.  It doesn't HAVE to be an all or nothing kind of thing.  I don't have to flip that switch to being 100% raw all the time, that I already have several raw meals a week (heck, what do you think a salad is???), and I can increase the amount of raw food I eat without making a decree that I have to eat that way only. 

So that leads me to a new idea.  I'm going to try and do Raw Sunday's.  I imagine it takes a lot of work and food prep, so trying to do a weekday will be utter failure until I'm used to it.  Maybe it'll stick.  Maybe I'll want to do a percentage, or aim for 1-2 raw meals a day.  Or maybe I'll decide it's not for me.  But I finally realized that I can try it without having to make a life-long commitment!

So in other food news.  Today was another ridiculously early day.  I was thinking of cereal, but D took the last banana this morning when he left, and I really didn't want cereal without a banana.  I didn't have time to make oatmeal or soup, so I toasted two slices of Ezekiel bread, used a small amount of Earth Balance spread, and put a piece of vegan mozzarella cheese on it, and made a little toasty cheese sandwich.  It was portable, which was key.  I also made a soy milk latte, which was fabulous.  I normally drink black drip coffee, but I HATE making coffee, so that's D's job.  When he's not here, I drink espresso because it's fast and easy.

Mid morning, I drank a fresh juice of green apple, orange, carrot, and ginger.  Probably my current favorite.



Lunch was really good today.  I did an "empty the fridge" kind of thing and was glad I did.  It was: (you'll see I didn't really measure)

1/2 a large chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
about 1-2 cups broccoli slaw (broccoli, carrots, cabbage)
about 4 cups kale
about 1 cup chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2ish teaspoons of a Mediterranean spice blend from the kit from my Dad
1/2 cup or so veggie broth

I heated a non-stick pan on medium-high and added the onions and garlic.  I sauteed until the onions started getting soft, but not brown.  Then I added everything else, mixed it, covered, and cooked for 6-7 minutes.  Holy cow, it was really good.  It was very much inspired by this recipe on the Fat Free Vegan's website. 



For dinner, I reheated the deconstructed taco filling (rice and black beans) and ate that with a salad (cheated on the salad, and made it from the salad bar at my grocery).


R building her salad!


FITNESS

If ever there was a day where I needed a workout to lighten my mood, today was it.  I was really worried I wasn't going to make it to my Tri Club run at 630, that I even texted my coach to let him know.  Tonight was 5K time trial to benchmark where we are from our last timed run, which was 6 weeks ago (can't believe it's been that long).  My backup plan was to use my Garmin to run solo near home this evening and time myself and email W the stats.  He blessed off the the plan, which was good, but I really wanted a team workout today.  I needed the push and camaraderie. 

My oldest doesn't get home from school until sometime between 6-630, so I knew I'd be cutting it close.  Sure enough, she pulled into her high school at 607.  I had R with me, got A, brought her home, and pretty much immediately left to get to the Y.  I got there with 3 minutes to spare.  Woo hoo!  M had drama until 6, so he wasn't even home yet when I left.  I let them both know that dinner was made and on the stove, and to eat and get homework done.  One bonus of teenagers!  They could have watched R too, but they did so much this morning, and R loves to play at the Y, that it was better for everyone to bring her with me.

We took off for our run just after 630.  It's a loop through the neighborhoods near the Y, and it was pitch black.  I had my reflective belt, but not my reflective jacket (it wasn't warm enough).  Good thing several of my team mates wear tail lights, so I could follow. 

When I was a kid, I used to go on long bike rides with my Dad.  One thing that sticks out is him telling me to always make eye contact with car drivers to make sure you know they saw you and won't run you over.  I still always do that when I run outside.  The location we run in near the Y has some heavy traffic in parts, which is one of the reasons iPods are banned I'm assuming.  When I'm coming up on an intersection, it's easy to make eye contact.  You're coming in perpendicular to the car, so you can clearly see their faces, and you can tell if they see you, so you know if you should wait or proceed.  It's not so possible when the car is coming at you head on in the dark.  I had a few moments tonight where I was wondering if I was going to have to jump into someone's yard to avoid a car because I couldn't tell if they saw me.  My reflective belt is awesome, but maybe I need some neon blinking lights too.

The awesome news is that I shaved FOUR MINUTES off my time from 6 weeks ago.  Wow.  I've been trying to get faster for 2 years and have made very minimal progress.  Maybe the key was cross training in the other sports.  Maybe it was because I really wanted to run with the group.  Maybe it's been because I've been stressed and not just a little pissed the past several days and needed an outlet.  Maybe it was my team mate who hung back to run that last 3/4 mile with me.  Whatever the reason, I'm stoked.

Tomorrow is my one rest day, and it's also the Tri Club social.  I've decided I'm going.  S offered to take R to gymnastics, and I may take her up on it - or let her miss a week and come with me to Fat Frogs.  I told coach that I'm bringing name tags.  I've been working out for 6 weeks with 24 other people, I know all of their faces, and talk to them, and I know 3 names!  When I brought it up, my thoughts were echoed, so name tags for everyone! 

LIFE

Today was just as hectic as I predicted.  D left at 330am, and my alarm went of at 445.  I was on the road by 6am, and ran into horrific traffic.  Apparently there was a multi car accident on my little stretch of highway that involved a truck on fire.  The fire fighters used hoses to put it out (naturally), but caused the roads to ice.  It took me a half hour to go 2 miles.  I was worried I'd be late, but I wasn't.

The presentation I wrote before bed last night went well, and I left the meeting just after 8am.  I got home, got A and R (and to give A a LOT of credit, she did a wonderful job of getting R ready for school.  She even put little braids in her hair, which is way more than I do), and took them in.  I had to walk both of them in and sign them in so they wouldn't be marked tardy.  I finally was done around 930, and since my entire day was blocked for office time, I went home and got to work. 

I powered through several things, but not nearly enough to ease my sense of feeling overworked.  I had more drama to deal with, and to be honest, being freakishly overtired, overwhelmed, and annoyed with more than a few people, I was in a pretty crappy mood most of the day.

After my last conference call around 330, I picked R up, hit the grocery, and then came home.  I opened her backpack to get her at the table to do her homework, and there was a nasty note from her teacher admonishing me for bringing R to school late and because my daughter (who's 7, by the way) put her math homework in the wrong bin and it took her 10 minutes to find it.  Without going into much detail, this teacher has done nothing but upset me (and R to be frank) since the beginning of school.  She's a bully, and shouldn't be teaching young children.  I'm not the only parent to think so, and I've bitten my tongue because I believe she'd take it out on my daughter.  Well, today was the last straw and the gloves are off.  She picked the wrong day to send something like that home.  I'll update my blog if I end up needing bail money.

Needless to say, I was stewing like mad all evening, though my run really made me happy and wiped most of that away, so happy times are back!

It's been a long day and it's time to go to bed.  I'm exhausted, but I got through what I knew would be my toughest day this week.  Tomorrow starts at 9 (assuming we don't get snowed on the way we may - it's snowing now), so no need to get up at an obscene hour.  So good night, and thank you for listening to my complaining the past few days.  I promise to not be such a crab apple soon :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Must Start Doing Crunches...

FOOD

I have had some opportunities lately to share what I've learned (the hard way) about nutrition, and it's been fun.  It's strange being asked advice about nutritional content of food and what constitutes balanced and healthy meals and good substitutions for old favorites (like brown rice pasta instead of white stuff).  I have a passion for food that goes well beyond just the cooking and eating parts (though those are awesome).  I read about it constantly, and almost everything I eat is measured, calculated, and balanced.  Don't get me wrong...I love onion rings and beer and popcorn.  But I know that it's a rare treat and not a daily thing.  Food can be medication to the body - or poison.  It's up to us to choose which.

My friend S has been telling me for years that I need to start a new career as a nutritionist.  That would actually be pretty cool someday as a later in life career.  Until then, I'll be happy to be the go-to girl for the people I know who want to know more about the power of healthy food and good eating.

I had to be out the door really early today, so I had the same breakfast as I did yesterday; a cup of black coffee, Crispix cereal, vanilla soy milk, and a banana.  Quick, simple, tasty, and filling.  Can't really beat that.

I didn't pack a morning snack.  I was going to bring an apple and my cool purple knife, but at the time I would have been eating aforementioned snack, I would have been in a VP workgoup, and would have felt slightly silly whipping out a blade.  I wouldn't want to eat the apple and have a core turning fun shades of brown on the table either.  So I consciously skipped it.  Boy, did my body NOT like that.  She's used to eating every 3-4 hrs and protests when she doesn't. 

My meeting ended about a half hour early, so D and I met up for a quick lunch before our afternoon meetings started.  I had a veggie wrap full of mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  It was really tasty, and also filling. 

My afternoon snack was a banana.  Not very inspired sometimes, but it's quick and easy and portable, which is always a bonus.

Dinner was Moe's.  I haven't been to Moe's in MONTHS (I quite possibly went a wee overboard this past summer - I craved those salads during my marathon training - but post-Chicago, I think I felt I had OD'd on them).  D had to get to bed by 8pm tonight, and that meant no time to cook a full meal that we could all eat and wouldn't be too much food, too close to bed.  I had my favorite salad - the Personal Trainer with romaine lettuce, black beans, tofu, onion, jalapeno, salsa, cilantro, extra hot sauce, and guacamole. 

FITNESS

I had my appointment this afternoon to get my bike fitted up at Fat Frogs with my coach.  I'm glad I had time to change out of my work clothes first.  I didn't expect to spend a half hour pedaling while he measured and tweaked!  Bonus Workout!!

I can't believe everything that went into making the bike fit me just right.  He was changing parts on the bike, moving seats, handle bars, and all the while teaching me things I didn't know.  All told, it took just about an hour, and now I'm more likely to ride right and not strain anything (well, anything inappropriate.  I imagine I'm going to strain a LOT, but that's sort of the point, isn't it??).  I'm excited to take it out for a long ride after D gets back.


W working some kind of magic on my bike

While up at Fat Frogs, I also tried on the Tri suits to figure out my size so W can order our team suits.  Holy cow.  Those things leave NOTHING to the imagination!  Hence my need to do crunches!  We have the individual option of a one piece or a two piece.  I went with two, and then started wondering how the heck a woman wears a running bra while swimming.  The shirts are skin tight, but certainly not "supportive".  So I asked.  Turns out, there's another piece of clothing I need to get!  I'm sure that will be another entry all in itself in the coming weeks.

After my fitting, I came home, snarfed my banana, did some emails, and then headed out for a 3 mile run.  It was a beautiful day today (48 and sunny), and it felt very good.  My legs are sore from yesterday's workout, but they're apparently not the same muscles I use while running, so I barely noticed.  I was happy to get it done early so I could spend the evening with D before his trip tomorrow.

Tomorrow we have another timed 5K as a check point 6 weeks into our training.  I can't believe it's been that long already.  Here's hoping I'm at least a little bit faster!

LIFE

I was stood up this morning and a bit annoyed at first about it.  I was really more annoyed because it was an early meeting I hiked to, and I hate those.  I left home at 630am to be sure I was downtown in time to get into the parking garage and make it to the conference room on time.  I was.  Yeah me!  One other person came.  Yeah him!  The other director and the VP didn't.  The director was apparently sick.  I can certainly sympathize with being sick - I was flattened myself in early January - but at least be sure the meeting gets canceled on every one's calendars.  Send an email or send a page.  The two of us who did show up are the two who don't actually work at that facility.  The other person and I took that time to meet between ourselves and get some things hammered out.  It was a nice hour and a half, but one that wasn't necessary to have so bloody early.  Ugh.  It doesn't help that this is related to what was eating at me yesterday.  Okay, enough whining.  It doesn't do anyone any good, especially me (or those who are forced to listen to me).

I have a lot going on at work, to the point I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.  I feel like I have a million deadlines, crisis keep popping up, my customers keep throwing anything with a plug my way (oh, if you don't know, I'm in IT and sometimes my customers think that if it has electricity, it's somehow mine to fix) and I have been spending most of my time fighting fires than getting my real work done.  I don't have enough staff (though that may change very soon I hope), and my team is too new to know what I can and can't delegate off to them until we're more solid.  I can't overload them to the point they feel as swamped as I do.  Okay, here I am whining again.  Deep breath.

Tomorrow D leaves for his trip to San Fransisco to see his brother.  It's my bday present to him (his bday is Sunday).  He'll be gone for 5 days, and I'm very excited for him. 

It's going to be a bit hectic here, and part of me is concerned about that.  I have a 7am meeting tomorrow morning, and try as I might, I can't get out of it.  I have to give a presentation and do introductions of my new team (speaking of...I must WRITE that presentation yet tonight).  My problem??  We don't have morning daycare.  It's always worked out great.  D dropped R off at school at 730am, and the older two take the bus.  They're also old enough to get up to an alarm, get themselves ready, and get to their buses without any interference from us.  Unfortunately, that's all hosed tomorrow.  I have to keep A and R home from school in the morning, and for the first time, A (who is a horrid morning person) has to get R ready for school.  I'll have her lunch made and clothes set out, but R is pretty poky and A has a short fuse.  Should be pretty chaotic.  So after my 7am meeting ends around 8ish, I have to hike it back home and take the girls into their schools late.  A won't be too late, but R will.  D has always handled this when I have stupid-early meetings.  Alas...he'll be on a plane. 

Every evening this week will be nutty too.  A doesn't get home from school until after 615ish.  I have to pick her up, get her home, and Wed and Fri, make it to the Y by 630 for my Tri club workouts.  Especially since both are timed, I'm really worried about any possibility of missing those.  M also has drama club rehearsals until 6 all week, but thankfully he usually has a ride from a friends' mom.  Oh, and Thursday are two things.  R has gymnastics AND the Tri club is having a clinic/social.  If I figure out cloning before then, I'll get to do both.  If I had the ability to ask friends for help, I'd actually do both.  I'll work on that (especially since S already offered to help pick kids up and stuff.  I just hate interrupting other people's lives).  Oh yeah.  And I have to feed them too.  Whine, whine, whine.

So there.  Life is crazy and chaotic and overwhelming right now.  I just want to call in sick the rest of the week, but know that I can't.  It's weeks like this, that I realize I have to be part super hero in order to get through it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Really Think I Need to Learn To Meditate

FOOD

Today was a pretty simple day, though I didn't do any planning.  Normally I cook all weekend long to be prepped for the week, and that just didn't happen.  It wasn't for lack of wanting to cook - I just didn't feel like figuring out what I wanted to make, what I had in the house, and what I needed. 

I do have to say though, I'm proud of the lack of spending on groceries I've done this year.  That was a goal for me, and I'm finally starting to actually use all the staples I typically "stock up" on.  I find myself out of lentils, quinoa, brown rice, tofu, and everything else I take for granted I'll find in my "hippie box" (it's a big rubbermaid container in the attached garage with "mom's food".  Nice huh?  I don't even get much pantry space....).  Since I don't want to mindlessly spend on groceries, I'm not as likely to just swing by the market and pick up a few things that I want without actually paying attention to what's on sale, etc.  I think I need to do a full inventory...hmmm...I sense a weekend project coming up!

Anyway, breakfast was some Kellog's Crispix cereal (I had a coupon, it was on sale, and I paid 66 cents per box), vanilla soymilk, and a cut up banana.  It was actually really tasty.

Snack at work was an apple.  I picked up a traveling paring knife at Sur La Table in Richmond (it's purple!).  I take it with me almost every day, and find myself cutting up apples and oranges just because I can!  It has a little case to keep the blade covered.  And it's purple!

Since I didn't plan lunch, I threw a soup and some popcorn in my bag.  Fortunately, I ended up going out for Indian food with most of my team.  It was the first time for one of them (he loved it), and that was pretty cool.  I likely ate way too much, but it was awesome.

Dinner I was stumped.  I hadn't planned anything (and if I don't, D certainly won't...he'll wander around the kitchen and then order pizza or chinese food around 8pm when he can't think of anything else).  I ended up making deconstructed tacos.  I put a cup of rice, a cup of water, a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a can of undrained tomatoes, oregano, cumin, onion, and bell pepper into my rice cooker.  I served it with a bag of unopened tortilla chips from yesterday, and everyone dipped the chips into the rice/bean concoction.

I was worried that it wouldn't finish until too close to 7, and I needed to eat around 6.  I ended up with trader joe's fake chicken nuggets for dinner.  They're actually pretty good, and for a convienience food, not too terrible.  I wish I had gotten to have the taco stuff though.

FITNESS

Today was Tri Club cycling day.  I ran out of the house a couple minutes after 7 to head to the Y.  This is going to be one of our last rides there, which is a good and a bad thing.  Part of me likes the controlled environment because I'm so new to cycling, but part of me just wants to ride outside!  Many of the classes, though, are going to be at Fat Frogs, and require a Trainer, which I don't currently have.  From what I can tell, they turn your road bike into a stationary bike or something.  Looks like I'm going to start lurking on Craigslist and eBay looking for one.

Anyhow, class today was pretty brutal.  W just got back from San Antonio and Tri coach training, so I think he was feeling pretty gung ho (aka...sadistic).  He put us through our paces for an hour and I can honestly say I was the sweatiest and reddest I've ever been.  And I still need padded shorts! 

Tomorrow I have my bike fitting up at the shop.  I bought a used bike after Christmas (Merry Christmas to me!), but the way it's set up is specific to the person I bought it from.  It's the right size frame (49cm) and she and I are only 2 inches apart in height, but her legs are MUCH longer than mine!  I took it in last week to have my girly seat put on and the seat lowered, but W wants me to come in and get it fully set up for me.  It takes about an hour, and will give me a good chance to ask him about all the things I don't know (trainers, aero bars, shoes, pedals, not falling down when running right after biking....)

LIFE

Today was one of those days, but it shouldn't have been.  I let someone get under my skin pretty badly, and in the end, the only person really bothered or wasting energy on it was me.  I need to let things like that go.  For my own sanity, if for no other reason.

My day started out very well.  I woke up (always a good thing), got breakfast and lunches made, grabbed some veg books for my friend, and headed to the office.  I had a team meeting for 2 hours where we hammered out our SWOT analysis on 3 software vendors we're looking at (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).  Very productive couple of hours.

Then it went temporarily down hill.  I got upset.  I stewed in my office for a bit.  I ranted and raved to my husband, and then my team asked me out to lunch, and my day got progressively better.  I had a few more meetings, and then home.  I even found time to catch up on my blog reading before everyone else got home for the day, which really made my day.

D is leaving town in about 30 hours, and he's grossly unprepared.  He's not packed, and really doesn't have anything planned for when he's out in SF.  Oh well.  His problem and not mine (and I'm sure he's completely fine with the lack of plans or luggage!).  He is taking my camera though, so my blogs will be picture-less for the week.

I'm off to bed.  I have a 730 am meeting, and since I really hate mornings, I had better go get everything ready so I don't have to think that early.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Proud to Be a (Vegan) Cheesehead!!!

Way to go PACKERS!!!!! 

America's favorite team (poo on Dallas) has done it again!  The Lombardi trophy is going home where it belongs.

FOOD

Without writing out nearly a week's worth of meals, I will say that it was a really good food week.  I also had a friend ask me for info on being a veg.  She wants to slowly move in that direction, and I was flattered that she came to me for advice.

A few of the things I made:

An awesome Indian eggplant dish with tons of habanero (it called for chilies, but the only peppers that looked good in the grocery were habanero), cilantro, and peas.  It was really spicy, but very good.  I roasted the eggplant in the oven for 45 minutes, and then mashed the insides with spices, onion, garlic, and a small bit of soy milk.  It made a thick paste, and I ate it spread on lavash bread, and topped with some onion and lettuce.  My oldest even took some to school the next day for her lunch.  It makes me incredibly happy that she likes most of my food.


lavash bread with hummus, eggplant, onion, and lettuce.  AMAZING

Fresh juice!  I'm addicted to this.  Both Vitamix juices or juicer juices (as was this one).  One is certainly more filling, but the other tends to be more refreshing. 




I made a brown rice, chickpea, squash, cauliflower, Thai thing in my rice cooker.  It's a variation on something I've made before, so I knew it would be good.  Lots of veggies, brown rice, chickpeas, coconut milk, and Thai spices.



Tuesday night was a nice quiet dinner out with D.  It was the 20th anniversary of his father's passing, and we went out alone to talk about his memories of him.

D enjoying a pre-bday dessert!

quite good, actually.  mushrooms, spinach, garlic, and breadcrumbs.


Dinner on Friday was with friends at 456 Fish.  They make an incredible vegan dish where the "noodles" are actually made from zucchini.  After a nice dinner and some wine, we hit an Irish put just down the street. 



Today was vegan pizza day!  I made home made dough, and topped it with tomatoes, onions, sweet bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage.  It was awesome!



FITNESS

The highlight of my week was definitely going for a bike ride outside.  Don't get me wrong, the swimming and the running made me happy too, but I finally got to take my new bike out for my first ride.

I stopped up at Fat Frogs on Thursday and had my new seat put on it.  I was really hoping for a nice enough day to take her out for a spin.  Today was that day!  It was 50 and sunny, so I took off for the Great Dismal Swamp trail (which is all paved and flat).  I had a few goals for today.  One - I wanted to get a feel for the bike.  I haven't ridden a road bike in a VERY long time, and the gear shifting is much different.  It's a bit more touchy than my hybrid is, so I wanted to be sure I wouldn't have balance issues (I'm highly uncoordinated, so basically....didn't wanna fall on my tush in the middle of a road the first time riding).  I also wanted to practice going from a ride to a run with little in between. 

I decided to just do 6 miles on the bike.  I was well dressed - long sleeve technical shirt, short sleeve technical shirt, long running pants, and a fleece.  I also had a headband to keep my ears warm and it fit snugly under my helmet.  Add a pair of gloves, and I was set.  I went out for 3 miles, and back.  It felt good, though I was pushing it that last mile.  I put the bike in the back of my van and took off for a run.  AWKWARD.  My legs didn't want to work right, and I only made it a mile total.  I felt like I was running through pea soup, and I just couldn't find a groove at all.  Half the time I felt like I was going to topple over.  This is something I really have to practice and get some advice from the team on.  Quite frankly, I felt like a doofus.  At least my butt doesn't hurt!  (yeah for the girly seat!).

LIFE

This was an incredibly busy week.  I worked at least 55-60 hrs this week, and still feel like my To-Do list multiplied at some point when I wasn't looking.  I'd be in the office 8-9 hrs, get kids, get home, and have to keep working just to be prepared for the massive amount of meetings I had.  It's weeks like this that work/life balance doesn't exist. 

Friday was nice.  We did a birthday celebration dinner with friends (her bday was last week, her hubby's is this week, and D's is a week from today.  I'm the odd ball out with an October bday!).  We went out and had a really nice time.  It's been a long time since D and I got to do that, and it was much needed.

Saturday morning was a little rough (just maybe I had a wee TOO much fun Friday night!).  R had swim lessons at 1030 and her first ever sleeping over at a friends house!  Her friend and her mom met us at the Y at 11 so the girls could swim for a bit before going back to her house.  R was so excited, she started packing the night before.  She wanted to bring movies, toys, books, and food.  I finally had to tell her that E would have all those things, and not to pack anything but clothes, jammies, toothbrush, and her pillow pet.  When G and I were making the arrangements, I let her know about R's nut allergies, and that R would have her 2 Epi pens in her bag (you give one every 15 minutes until you get to the ER).  I kissed her goodbye around noon when she was getting into her friends car, and I fretted all day that she was okay and having a good time.

I spent much of the day up in Williamsburg at the outlet mall.  It was a raining and overall crappy day, but we were in need of some essentials (like D's undershirts) that when on sale - are really good.  I made a stop at World Market and Fresh Market in Newport News on my way back home. 

This morning I woke up at 6, which just upset me because I hate mornings.  At least I slept really well and felt good, so I can't complain having the house to myself for a few hours.  I slept with both my cell and house phone near me in case R needed to call me.  She didn't.

My cell rang at 8am.  It was E's mom (we had arranged that I'd pick R up at 10, so I was a bit freaked out).  She wanted to let me know that the girls were just fine, but E got ahold of R's epi pens and stuck herself with one of them!  Then G opened the other one, the cap fell off, and the medicine expressed out of it.  I was horrified that her daughter got a dose of epinephrine, and G was horrified that the epi pens were garbage.  I certainly didn't care about that; we have plenty.  I'm just glad the girls were okay.

I picked R up, brought her home, and went to do my workout.  After I got home, I watched a little TV and then got busy in the kitchen.

This evening after giving R a shower, she threw her arms around me and told me she loved me so so much, and that she's sorry she was too busy at her friends house last night to think about me.  It was cute.  I'm glad she wasn't home sick on her first night away from home, but still.  Didn't think about me at all?  Sigh...

I'm hoping this week is less crazy, though I'm not betting on it.  D is heading out of town at 330am on Wednesday, and won't be back until about 2am on Monday.  I have a couple 7am meetings that I'm not sure how I'm going to figure out yet, but I'll think of something.  For now, I'll just be happy that the week from hell is over, a great weekend was had, the Packers won the super bowl, and try not to think too much about tomorrow.