Friday, March 30, 2012

Learning about "The Bird"

Today I went into X-man's school because today was the day that all the March birthdays celebrated. I made some cantaloupe and strawberry kabobs that the kids wolfed down, and another parent brought some peanut-free mini cupcakes and some juice and the kids enjoyed their snack. In the middle of it, X-man walks up to me, all somber and says. "There was a bad thing today. That table and that table and that table all laughed at me."

When my child was an infant, he spent the first eight months of his life clenching his fists, except he inserted his thumb in-between his ring and middle fingers. I don't know why. He just did. And since he's been able to use his fingers to count, he routinely uses his middle finger to point at things.

Apparently, I'm behind in teaching my child the social customs of using the finger that also flies the bird at people. Because he used it today to point out something and someone noticed, and he said that the other kids went NUTS over it. He was embarrassed and insisted that he used his pointer finger, but I'm sure he didn't. But he also did not know that using your middle finger was "bad" until the moment 10-12 kids were publicly shaming him for doing what came naturally to him.

He said his teacher was appropriately angered at the children for picking on him and doled out the check marks and held the discussion about teasing and what not. But it still made him very sad.

Now I'm curious to see if the public shaming changes how he points, after using that finger for six years.

X-man also saw his doctor for his six-year check up today. For the first time, he went alone with MacTroll while I had a make up Parent-teacher conference. He is just under 3'11" and at and even 50 lbs, which puts him in the 72nd percentile for height and weight. His blood pressure was 86/49 (sweet! He's like his mother). She was happy that he was seeing someone for his anxiety and that he's eating a rainbow and in a normal BMI range. She asked him what he wears when he rides his bike. He said, "My helmet and my pads." She was very pleased with his thorough responses for himself. So hooray.

After school, we went to Hassle Park and played with my aunt and uncle.

In other news, I'm heading up to Chicago tomorrow to spend the night with Womenthatrolls. I'm hoping to get a pedicure and find a few cute "non-race shirt" tops to wear.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Easter, Bunny Killer!

So last night I let Lily outside... and suddenly I hear her barking. I figure our neighbor has come outside and startled her because she stops before I can get to the back door.

Then I look out and she's licking something ferociously.

I go out to investigate and it looks like she's got a brown version of a naked mole rat. It's too big for a mole, because it's clearly just been born. (It's eyes are still shut, but it's relatively hairless.) I go inside to get a paper towel to pick it up and throw it away. But X-man notices the commotion and asks what's going on. I explain that Lily had killed an animal and that I'm going to throw it away.

Then I pick it up and the damn thing squeaks. Shit.

"Mom, it's still alive! We have to save it." (Yeah, the apple falls so close that it actually hits the apple tree.) I go inside and google baby bunnies and see a photo of what I've got in the paper towel. There are no puncture wounds but I have really no idea what Lily has done to it except lick it like a popsicle. It's still breathing. I go to the U of I Wildlife rescue page, which really needs to be updated. Because they had no useful information on it. Just a phone number. So I call it, but, of course, it's 7 p.m. and no one is there and they just tell me to call the small animal emergency clinic. I do that and the receptionist (no lie) says, let me connect you and sends me back to the recording that sends me back to the receptionist. Nice, right? The recording did say that they take animals 24 hours a day and to bring them in... X-man, hearing this news insists we go right away, but first I scope out the yard to find  out if there are any more.

Turns out the mama bunny dug her nest in my elevated garden boxes. There was one other baby bunny. It was taken out of the nest by Lily, but left on the ground. It was breathing, too. So I put it with its sibling and off we went. (I want to note that had I found them on my own, I would have taken them out to the field behind my house and let nature take it's course. But my child was with me, and well, he's the kind that would never get over Bambi...)

We got to the animal hospital and the Wildlife person who was there and also doing an intake on another baby bunny with puncture wounds, said the best thing to do was to take it back to our house. I explained that we couldn't safely reconstruct the nest in the same place. So she said to try to put it close but not too far. X-man argued with her. Seriously. "We can't put it outside of the fence. There are wild dogs out there!" (wild dog = coyotes and he's right). She explained that it was the best thing in case the mama bunny came back for them. On the way home, he asked me what would happen if the mama bunny was already dead? I did the circle of life story, which made him feel not at all good about nature, but is true. His reply. "Mom, I know the doctor lady said to do it. But I can't support this. I am not going to help you." And he didn't.

I settled for making a nest 12 feet away on the other side of the gate. I dug down 4 inches and lined the nest with the bunny fir and some garden materials that were in the old nest. Then I laid some softer items on top of them and went to put X-man to bed way too late. He had so politely stuck his head outside in the dark and ask if I was okay out there by myself before I went in.

And even though all the information that was actually useful that I found from a Wildlife Rescue Group in Toronto (go figure, gotta love those helpful Canadians) later, told me not to check on them... I had MacTroll do it when he got home.

The babies were dead, so he took them out to the field. But I couldn't tell X-man that when he got off the bus. "The Mama got them. They're okay."

Yeah, that makes me a big, dirty liar.

Monday, March 26, 2012


So while I was sick before break I had to cancel some parent teacher conferences. I rescheduled them all and had one today at noon. And then promptly forgot one at 7 p.m. at the library. Nice, right? Sigh.

On the other note, I found this cool stuff at Target in Decatur the other day. It's called Squishy Baff (for ages 5 and up). It's not actually helpful in the bath arena as a cleaning method. But say you want to fold and put away some laundry within earshot of your kindergartener... you magically mix this stuff up and throw them in with some plastic play figures and a bucket and shovel and they're happy with the sensory activity for a LONG, LONG time. Basically, you pour the stuff in and it turns into a gel (kind of like the gel in a baby's disposable diaper). Then when you're done with it you pour in table salt and it chemically converts the goo back into liquid water. It's a bit like making gak with cornstarch and water. Except this definitely turns into a solid and then converts back to a liquid.

X-man wore goggles because he was afraid he'd mess up and get it in his eyes and it would suck the moisture from them. He's never going to lack for imagination. :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I remember this feeling. It's akin to senioritis... spring fever.

Tomorrow is Monday after 9 days of spring break. I don't want to go back to my regularly over scheduled lifestyle. I want to muck about in the garden.


Saturday, March 24, 2012


This morning I was able to show up for my first 5k in a really long time. I drove over to my alma mater (Millikin University) and met 600+ other people in Fairview Park for a run with John Bingham (i.e. the creator of the Penguin Chronicles in Runners World Magazine). John went to Millikin, too.

Anyway, John's been injured for apparently over a year. I wonder if he's gained weight like I have. I didn't have the balls to ask him. But I was curious.

I have to admit to you. When I went to Millikin, I never really stepped foot in Fairview Park. I went once, to cover a women's soccer game the first year we had a team, after that... I always sent my sports editor or his reporters. So, when the description of the park said "gently rolling hills" I thought it would be like Meadowbrook.

I was wrong.

So, now I know where to go when I want to run hills, steep grades, gentle grades, rolling... because this race had them all. And it had lots of bathrooms, which I like.

It's also the only 5k I know of that awards a medal. :-) And it's really quite a good one to have for someone who is amping up for a fight to get back into her pre-injury, body breaking down form.

See, I told you it was awesome.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Goin' South

For spring break we drove to Atlanta for a few days. X-man loves to travel, and he was going through three new states (Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia). We got a late start after parent/teacher conferences on Friday, so we spent the night at a hotel in Brentwood, just outside of Nashville. Quigs will like that it was right next to a Target, which came in handy when MacTroll realized he forgot to pack underwear, and I realized the nose thing on my sunglasses was broken and uncomfortable. We ate dinner at a place called Pie in the Sky, where they handed out pizza dough for kids to play with while you waited for your pizza. The pizza was pretty -- meh. But it was a kid friendly place to go after being in the car all day. Well, except for that lunatic woman from Chicago who was bitching about how every TV on in the place was on March Madness. Her words weren't so child friendly.

Anyway, we rolled into Atlanta and got the hook up at the downtown W near Centennial Olympic Park. X-man had spiked a fever in Nashville, so once we checked in we made him have some TV time and rest while the ibuprofen kicked in. Then later on, when he was feeling better, we cooled him off (it was 85 degrees) in the hotel pool for a half hour.

The next morning we went to the World of Coke. MacTroll had pre warned me that it was a really cheesy experience. They've made a big deal that the secret "recipe" for Coke got moved from a vault at a bank to the World of Coke a couple years ago. But it's not like they actually show you the recipe... So, really what was the point of that. I'm not big into vintage Cola wear, but I did like watching the miniature  bottling plant. They make the small glass bottles of Coke (leaded, no diet is available) and then they churn them out for visitors to pick one up at the end of their tour.

To see all of the movies and what not takes about 90 minutes. X-man was not into the movies. He liked the bottling section and the tasting section, where the little man ran around with a plastic cup in a land full of various fountain soda panels from various countries tasting all of the different sodas. If you're in Italy, avoid something called Beverly like the plague. Blah! At the end of the tasting, X-man was sad his favorite soda, Sprite, wasn't there. So MacTroll walked him up to the free access to the Coke Freestyle machines and got him some. :-) He picked up our three bottles of Coke and into the gift shop he went. He was sad there was nothing really exciting there. I was sad that everything was generic Coke... I was hoping for some special Diet Coke gear for my friends who are Diet Coke fiends. Alas, none. The whole thing took us 45 minutes.

Afterwards, we walked into the park where the St. Patrick's Marathon was going on. Usually the marathon runs in 50 degree weather in March, but, um, it started at 70 and you could tell the runners were feeling it. We ate at the Googie restaurant in the middle of the park. They serve burgers and fries and shakes, but they did have a pretty mean black bean burger for me.

Afterwards we walked over to the Imagine It! Children's Museum. And I have to admit, for a city the size of Atlanta, we were all pretty underwhelmed. X-man made the most of the few things he found not too babyish. It really should be a specified "toddler" museum. X-man spent most of his time running a machine that rounded up small plastic balls and then dumped them in a big bucket. He also got kind of pissy with the three year olds who would not sort their fruit in the correct areas when putting them away.

After the children's museum, we went back to the hotel for quiet time and to swim in the pool. That night we walked over to Max Lager's because they had the most veggie friendly items. But I guess downtown Atlanta (the awesome parking mecca that it is because you can park all day there for $3 within two blocks of all of the tourist stuff), isn't used to having large crowds because the marathon folks ate the restaurant out of EVERYTHING. We had to order four times before they had something for us to eat. It was -- Odd. There was a giant chalkboard with over half the menu with the number 86 next to it (meaning -- none left).

The next morning we walked back to the park and went to the Georgia Aquarium. My expectations were pretty high, mostly because they have branded themselves as the world's largest and BEST aquarium. (Seriously, they say it while you're waiting in line to get in.)

Our first stop was to go to the dolphin show. What happened to aquariums being educational? When did they all turn into freaking Sea World? The show had very little to do with dolphins, they were like -- extras. There was all this crazy sprinkling of rain and spraying of water to simulate being on a ship while some guy sang a song about how his ship got taken over by water monsters. It was all very strange. Then we walked through the exhibits and it was terribly overcrowded. There was one area for kids to play in, where the kids went up in a climber and the adults watched from a ship below. Then there wasn't much information around the exhibits. They were just large tanks with really wonderful fish and mammals in them. But there was very little information or just space to enjoy. And it was nearly impossible for kids to actually reach in and touch some of the "touchable" exhibits.

Then we played at all-accessible playground in the park before going back to the room for quiet time. The most quiet time we got was when we all crawled through the child access to the Penguin exhibit. This was fun. We got to watch them swim by and then we stood up in the middle of the exhibit. Hello little penguins!

They did have a moving walkway under the large tank with the Whale Shark in it. This was the easiest viewing experience of the whole aquarium. We were there for two hours. They try to make it so you get a show in the morning and a 4-D movie in the afternoon, but my child hates 3-D/4-D movies, so we didn't go. Instead, we left around noon and walked over to Subway. (Thus avoiding overpriced Aquarium food.) It was a beautiful day out, so we sat out on the steps and ate our sandwiches.

That evening, we piled into our car and drove to a great veggie friendly restaurant that MacTroll used to frequent back in the days when he was flying around training for the Fruit, the R Thomas Deluxe Grill. I think X-man at the most there than he had all week, since he wasn't feeling well.

We decided to drive back to Illinois in one day. But we stopped at Metropolis, IL on the way. And guess who we ran into there?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Pirate Birthday

We celebrated X-man's 6th birthday at the Savoy Recreation Center. It was a good set up. Last year, I had two different parties. And it was a weekend of work.

So this year, I decided to do both at the same time. My sister and mother-in-law did a great job putting together the pirate ship! (Now I just have to rebuild it in my basement.)

While they built, X-man worked on coloring the steering wheel. 

It worked out. We had 7 little boys who were able to come out of 10 (due to the crazy amount of illness going around, I consider that not too bad). The boys arrived and got to choose between Legos and coring a cardboard pirate ship. Then the Savoy Rec Center employees took them to the gym. They played pirates versus the British in dodgeball. They played kick ball. And they got to ride around on their own pirate ships (i.e. scooters) in the gym. Then they came in the activity room for cake and fruit. Afterwards, X-man opened presents and then MacTroll brought out his treasure map. He had designed a treasure hunt around the rec center. And the boys LOVED it. He took photos of where the clues were if they weren't able to find them by hunting for the numbers that he'd put on the walls with post it notes.

And here's the "grown up" table.

On the back of each post it note was also a letter. Lighting McColin carried the decoder part of the map and the marker and diligently wrote in the letters on it. Then they opened the treasure chest and found party bags. :-) MacTroll and his mother even figured out how to draw an appropriate map on the canvas that I brought home from the craft store.

X-man got a LOT of cool gifts for his birthday. But this is one we keep sitting down to do. It's a Snap Circuit Jr. X-man likes this configuration best so far. He sets up the current, throws the switch and the helicopter spins. Then when he turns it off, it makes the helicopter part fly into the air. He can also turn on a light bulb, configure it to play music and all kinds of other fun stuff.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daytime Drama

It's not my drama. I swear to you. I've been home sick all day with a fever and will be home for most of the day tomorrow. I'll have to pull myself out of bed to take X-man to school and to take him to an appointment at 2 p.m., but other than that I've been in bed - sweating. It's been pretty gross but it's not dramatic.

The drama part comes in the fact that I decided to download the NBC app for my iPad. I don't watch a hell of a lot of TV. Well, okay, I watch Castle and Grey's Anatomy... and that's it. Castle I'm fairly addicted to. Grey's I watch when I have time. Since I do all of my viewing online, I had only downloaded the ABC app. Well, today I was a bit desperate because I had the fever on and off all day and I was uncomfortable and sweaty and sad about missing all the things I was going to do AND being home when the weather was so beautiful outside.

Anyway, when I downloaded the NBC app, I was hoping to find a host of new shows that I've never seen before to try. I tried something called Suburgatory. It has this guy from She's All That and the Series Finale of Dawson's Creek in it. Except now, he's near 40 and has a teenage daughter of his own. That creeped me out. But I watched an episode. And, um, no.

The only other thing that caught my eye was the fact that Days of Our Lives is on the app. I didn't even know it was still on TV. And, yes, I know you might find this shocking and kind of inappropriate, but I watched Days of Our Lives pretty religiously from 1987 until 1989. I had a "super couple" that I liked. Then when the girl part of my super couple left, I felt that I'd only watch the Monday and Friday episodes because that's when everything important happens anyway. I did that until 1992 or so. Then I stopped all together.

What was strange was that all the same characters were still on. And I had a hard time imagining them all in the same gig for 22 years. So I started googling. And it was fascinating. That apparently there's someone new at the soap opera that's trying to bring back the old characters to bring back the fan base. That is -- people my age who grew up watching Days and would remember Jack and Jennifer, Billie and Bo and Lucas and Sami, etc., and may be home with their children now...

I find it all very curious. Mostly because I'm looking at people who have had so much darn plastic surgery and botox that they're all really odd looking.  Marlena looks more like her grandson's mother than grandmother. And the mother looks more like a sister. And I'm sure if I spent more time researching I'd find that the characters are really only 10 years apart from the actors playing their 18-24 year old children.

So I watched a couple of episodes. I had to fast forward through some parts. And I mourned a bit, the characters that I liked way back in my tween years... and then I wandered over to YouTube. Where I could see clips of my super couple. And what I found was -- hilarious. For two reasons, one, the couple I liked was rarely somber. They fought most of the time. He was a total neanderthal, and she was equally as hard headed. And like all pre-Buffy TV, he, as a police officer, had to sweep in and save her, as a nosy reporter, over and over and over again. I swear that woman got knocked out by a faint breath in her direction. Frail though she might physically have been, she was rather -- feisty.

When they weren't arguing and doing round-the-world soap opera craziness, they were having sex. They had a lot of sex. Probably not something an 11 year old should have been recording every day in middle school on her VCR kind of sex. They laughed and joked when they had sex. It was very loving and cute. Fight, make up, laugh. Get knocked out by evil guys.  Fight, make up, laugh. Swear undying love. Fight, make up, laugh. Get blackmailed. Fight, make up, laugh. Get revisited by former wives/husbands long since thought dead. Fight, make up, laugh. Accidentally shoot the other one. Fight, make up, laugh.

Until I came across this scene, which I had totally forgotten. (I still don't remember it, but now I've watched it and can't get the horror out of my head.) I'm kind of glad that at 11 I totally did not understand what I was seeing. Sure, it's a daytime version of it and it was the days of Depeche Mode's Master and Servant song. But um... wow.

The actor who played the cop 20 years ago has now been morphed into this weird non-emotional, secret agent character with an entirely different name. I liked him better when he was stupid and overly male. At least then he had a sense of humor and wasn't creepy (except for that scene that I linked above).

So that ends my foray into Daytime TV. I really should have been outside exercising that five hours a week. But hey, teenage hormones make you watch some really crazy stuff. (Speaking of, did you know you can download the pilot to 21 Jumpstreet at the iTunes store for free?) When I was 12, I had Johnny Depp on my wall. I'll admit it. Everyone else had Bon Jovi or the New Kids. I had Johnny Depp. And I feel okay about that decision, even now. ;-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh My Goodness

Sorry that it's been so long since I've posted. X-man's birthday was on Saturday and we had the annual Superhero Ball (mother/son dance) at the Savoy Recreation Center on Friday. And then on Sunday, I finally caved to the fact that I haven't been feeling well since Friday morning.

In fact, I got a low-grade fever. I spent most of Sunday in bed taking fever reducers. Then it was gone this morning when I went to work. But now, it's back up to 99.7. So, I promise I'll post photos of the birthday when I get my stuff together.

This week at school is also Beatles Week. Today we talked about who the Beatles were (i.e. their names and where they came from). We focused on John today, and that he sang (that our voices are instruments) and that he played many different instruments, including the guitar, harmonica and accordion. I showed them a video from the 1960s when the TV was in black and white and that concept kind of fried a few of my students' brains. Then I busted out the karaoke machine and keyboard and they all jammed. We did the Twist to Twist and Shout. We tried to learn a new dance to I Want to Hold Your Hand. We made rainmakers out of giant shipping containers, and we designed our own cardboard guitars.

Tomorrow, we're doing the Yellow Submarine and Octopus' Garden. At the same time, I had 4 parent/teacher conferences today. They were pretty positive. I'm sad that one of my students will be relocating to another state at the end of the month.

I just don't have time for a fever. So make it go away!

I have vacation coming up, and things to do. Plus, MacTroll is leaving tomorrow a.m. to go away for two days, which isn't normally a big deal, except we're supposed to be leaving on vacation on Friday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Patience Needed

I work in a room of 2-3 year olds. My job requires someone who has a natural amount of flexibility, a willingness to be adaptive and a whole hell of a lot of patience.

What I notice when I get home, is that I expect my almost 6 year old to have somehow learned to be more patient than my 2 year olds whining for more apple juice. (Have I ever not refilled their cup with their second cup of juice or water? No, so I always wonder why they're so worked up over needing more.) Anyway, it's the same as home. Today, after X-man's therapy appointment, he asked to stop at Sweet Indulgence.

We did, and he picked out a red fish cookie. Then we went over to Schnuck's where I filled up on fruits and vegetables and some breakfast essentials. Then we picked up Lily and went home. He was in the back of the car looking at his Shark V. Train library book that I took to read to my students last week. I was bringing in my school stuff, the groceries, the dog from the back of the car in what was at least four trips back and forth to the car.

He was in charge of his bookbag, his book and his iPod (all of which could fit in the book bag). But the little dude also apparently took off his shoes and found a sucker somewhere in the back of the car and ate it, so he had garbage and he started whining that his hands were full.

I ignored it, since I knew it was going to take multiple trips for me to my stuff out of the car. When I got Lily inside, I gave her fresh water, filled her dinner bowl, put a pencil on the kitchen table, put my school stuff by my desk, checked the messages and realized that X-man was still not in the house.

Sigh. I went back into the garage, where he was standing next to his side of the car with the door open looking bewildered. "What are you doing?" I asked going to the other side of the car to start carrying in groceries.

"I can't do EVERYTHING!"

"So take two trips."

And apparently that was the equivalent of me asking him to walk across the United States. The whining commenced...

"Why do I have to take care of all this stuff?"

"Because it belongs to you."

"But I have to do everything!"

"Yes, because YOU are responsible for yourself."

"It's not fair."

"Yes. It is."

"You don't have to do anything!"

"X-man, who washes your stinky clothes?"

"You do."

"Who washes the dishes so you can eat on them?"

"You do."

"Who wakes you up in the morning, feeds you breakfast and makes sure you get to school on time?"

"You do."

"Who signs you up for camps that you want to go to over the summer?"

Sigh. "You do."

"Should we continue?"


He took his bag inside. I'm pretty sure he left his shoes in the car. But at least he threw away his candy wrappers. He sat down and did his homework. Then we went over 55 sight words. He, for some reason, keeps forgetting here and good, which is funny because they're two words he had down pat last summer during our Dick and Jane love fest.

I guess what I wonder is if I'm so impatient with him because he's my kid. Or is it because I exercised a lot of patience with 13 smaller children today, so that I don't have any left when I get home. Or is it because it was 3:15 p.m. and I had some kind of sinus headache going on since about 8 a.m. this morning?

Either way, every conversation at transitions with him has always been some kind of arm wrestling fight, and it pushes my buttons in a nasty, nasty way.

Monday, March 5, 2012

X-man the Science Kid!

X-man loves science, and today he received a package in the mail. It had his name on it, so he asked if he could open it. (His birthday is Saturday.)

I said sure and he got his scissors out and opened the box to find a very cool planting set. It's set up so you can actually view the root vegetables as they grow. He was very excited, but he was also very concerned with the nano-size of the seeds. The directions said to put 2-3 in each hole. And he was worried he'd put more in than he was supposed to. So this is him a little tired, but concentrating very hard.

We read the directions pretty carefully and then he set to work making the dirt mixture right and I got the "absorbent" rope in the right places and adjusted the viewing panel and boom -- off he set planting little vegetable seeds.

Check it out.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Lily

We're guesstimating that Lily's 1st birthday is today, since puppies usually start losing their teeth at 4 months and she lost her first tooth on July 4 last year. :-)

Here she is when we got her and today. (We're sitting KTDID's dog, Zoey, for the weekend. So she's got a little play date party going on over here.) She's so soft and so sweet! We're renewing our dog park membership for her for her birthday... and she can use it as soon as it's not a total mud pit out there.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Recipes

I've tried two new things this weekend including a vegetable side dish from Vegetarian Times called Spring Leek with Polenta and Goat Cheese and a main dish from Eating Well magazine called Spring Pizza.

Both take less than 30 minutes to make, which is awesome.

Here's a photo of the pizza. I used the new pan that I got when I hosted a Pampered Chef party for Tiffany Despain last weekend. It was perfect!

The recipe for the Spring Leek with Polenta and Goat Cheese follows, since it's not online:

1 tbsp olive oil
3 med. leeks, trimmed, halved and chopped (6 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme, divided
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
1 16 oz tube prepared polenta, cut into 12 slices
2 oz crumbled aged chèvre (1/2 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat oil in ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, bell pepper, 1 tbs. thyme, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in broth and garlic.
2. Arrange polenta slices over leek mixture in skillet; top with crumbled chèvre and remaining 1 tbs. thyme. Bake 10 minutes or until chèvre softens.

Serves 4: Per serving (1 cup hash, 4 oz polenta, and 2 tbs cheese) 257 calories, 8 g protein, 8 g total fat, 40 g carb, 11 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 4g fiber, 7 g sugars.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I worked out Sunday through Wednesday for 60-90 minutes each day, and then on Thursday I was pooped. I ended up taking a two-hour nap just to have enough energy to get up, go to weigh in and take X-man to swimming lessons.

Today, I felt crappy and slow all day again. It didn't help that I felt so run down that I decided to eat sugar in the form of pastries. I ended up taking another hour-long nap just to be able to go to the grocery store, cook dinner and crawl in bed.

I just don't understand how I could have four wonderful days of energy and then two of -- blah. Yes, I know I've only taken two of the vitamin D pills, but really, why would I lift and fall so suddenly? Is my body just that tired?

Tomorrow, I've set my alarm to get up at 4 a.m., which means I need to go to bed soon. I want to get in a 60-minute run before I go help with the Pancake and Sausage Breakfast at First Baptist Church. The breakfast runs from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and you can buy tickets at the door. :-) Adults are $7, children (ages 3 and up) are $3. Under 3 are free.

After that, we might be going to go to Read Across America at Lincoln Square Mall or to go see Willy Wonka Jr. at the Virginia... I'm just not sure.

Lots of choices, but lately getting the boys dressed and out of the house on a weekend has been challenging.