Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter & All Natural Jelly Beans


Yeah, I'm kind of hooked on Trader Joe's after one visit. Well, I went in 2002 in Scottsdale, Arizona but could not fully appreciate it then. Now I realize what an incredible array of stuff they have. Sweet potato fries! Quinoa chips! Oh, that smooth and creamy hummus!

On a lark I picked up these all natural jelly beans. I have friends who swear their kids act like total heathens when they eat food dyes. And I'm like, um, okay, but your kids act the same when they don't eat food dyes! Anyway, moving on because we are all entitled to our opinion and I am no Perfect Parent ...

... so on a day when I had a few extra kids around I whipped these out so I could get some work done. My daughter proceeded to play Easter Bunny, fill eggs and pass them out.

And I am happy to report the children (some of whom were not mine, mind you, so they were in the Control Group) were all calm and kind and sweet and did not run around like heathens.

Yeah, right.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weight Loss Buddies

I am a contradiction, I know.

I like to be around people but I also like to be alone.

I like to sneak into my Weight Watchers and sit in the back of the room.

This morning I was standing in line and heard, "Kerrie, is that you?" I dreaded turning around.

But it was someone I know and like! [I know it's not AA, but I won't "out" her unless she wants me to.]

I didn't know how she felt about being alone at meetings, so I asked her if she'd like to sit with me.

We sat next to each other and laughed and shared ideas. We talked for 1/2 hour after the meeting. It felt weird since for so many years I always feel like I have to get right home to my littles.

Just like how I met a fellow published writer at an Easter egg hunt yesterday and that felt cool, it was nice to see someone I know in Weight Watchers, sharing my struggle and encouraging me.

I think we all need someone like that, someone to tell us they ate all of their weekly 49 points in one sitting last night when stressed or sad. Someone we can relate to. Then the next week they might tell us how excited they are that they worked out every day and lost a pound ... or even a fraction of a pound.

With Easter coming up I was feeling crummy and not in control. She told me how great I was doing and how far I had come in the last 6 months.

So this is a shout-out to my new weight loss buddy. I think I'll try to start attending the same meetings she does. This blog post is her warning so she can switch if she doesn't like to be stalked.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Thomas the Tank Engine Lunchbox and Pez Dispensers


This is Sam. His Tutu (grandma in Hawaiian and no, we are not Hawaiian; my mom just likes Hawaii) gave him money for Easter.

I used his money to buy him this Thomas lunchbox with 4 Thomas Pez dispensers in it. I also got him a Plants vs. Zombies T-shirt because he likes to watch his siblings play that game.

Anyway, thank you from Samuel, Tutu. We appreciate you and love you and you are wonderful.

And no, Sam is not wearing any pants.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Your 6 Most Favorite Places

My friend Angeliina of Modern Art Announcements just gifted me with this amazing print. She told me to pick my 6 favorite places and my husband and I could only think of 5 so then I just had her put our last name at the end.


San Diego is where Aron and I honeymooned and where my parents and I went in 1977. Aron and I went back in 2008 when we had 4 kids and currently we are saving up to go again.

New England is where we went in October 2000 for 2 weeks. Aron is from Connecticut. We found out when we got home that I had been pregnant with Joel the entire time.

Grand Lake, Colorado is where we went in 2010 with all 5 of our kids and had a great time.

Phoenix is where we went in 2008 with 4 kids for 3 weeks. We had also gone for 5 weeks in 2002 when we had Joel and I was pregnant with Michael. Someone in my family thought I was nuts to do this, to travel with a kid while pregnant. Now it's still no problem with five!

Kingfisher Bend Ranch is where we stayed in Wyoming for 5 weeks in 2012 and is what has inspired us to try to do some remodeling, save some money and move to some land while our kids are still young enough to care.

I think the next one I will have her make will have the names of my 5 kids, then McLoughlin.

What would your print say? These are only $13 and you get to keep the file to do anything you want with. You can print it and frame it. Use it as a scrapbook page. Get creative!

Thanks, Angeliina. It's always nice to have a super creative friend!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Hours Without Kids?! Errands with Photos

Saturday was a rare day. I had a lot to do and can always get things done twice as fast without kids (sorry, kids, but you know it is true).

First, I took Callie to her friend's house. She is harder to leave than her 3-year-old brother for some reason, so I chatted with her pal's dad a while (I'm sure it made his day to sit around shooting the breeze with a chick he doesn't know very well) then had to give her a bunch of sugar-free gum to get her to let me leave.

Then to the Apple store to see about getting TWO measly keys fixed on the MacBook Pro I've been borrowing. I had Toshiba over a year and a half with no problems yet I borrow a laptop and the damn things FALL OFF while I am using them. They are all snooty about me needing an appointment, tell me it will probably need a new keyboard, and in researching online it looks like they will charge $150 for that. Or I could get a used keyboard and have Aron the Computer Wizard replace it for $50. It's all up to my pal. She has let me borrow it for months and I owe her a whole laptop even if the keys are a piece of crap and the guys who work at the Apple store are snobs. Keys randomly falling off?


Since I was out in the most shi-shi part of Kansas City besides the Country Club Plaza -- Leawood's Town Center -- and already felt like I was living the life of the hooker in Pretty Woman (um, you can't afford that) it was time to try my maiden voyage to Trader Joe's. I'd been in 2002 in Scottsdale, Arizona with Baby Joel, but it's a whole new world now. I got some cool crap like quinoa tortilla chips, apple cinnamon sticks, jalepeno/cilantro hummus, garbanzo beans, all natural jelly beans and some little chocolate cupcakes for the kids. Sue me; I like to feed people.


I was so annoyed with Apple (why can't they just check the darn computer in and then call me and let me know an estimate or something?) that I sat in the van and pigged in some hummus and chips while listening to talk radio. A plan formed. I knew there was a bra place nearby, so I called Aron to see if we could swing me buying a costly bra and he said okey dokey. I ordered a 34 long and was good to go.

If only. I still need a nursing bra. Yes, Sam is still nursing. Stone me. AND you never know if that Aron is going to knock me up again, so I threw down some serious cash on TWO nursing bras that are SO pretty and make me look skinny because my girls are not resting on my lap when I sit down. I highly rec Clair de Lune in Leawood.

 
 
Next it was on to Bass Pro Shops in Olathe, Kansas for Passport to Adventure pick-up day. PTA is a program where you hit a bunch of cool places in town like nature centers and historical sites and the kids dig it and learn stuff and get a prize at the end. I picked up NINE ... 5 for me and 4 for my friend Jill who just lost her son. I almost started to cry in the Bass Pro because I so badly wanted to pick up FIVE passports for her. Later I HATED handing her husband only four of them. Then I started thinking about Easter for them this year and lost it.
 


Wipe your eyes, friends, because we are moving right along. Yes, I am aware that crying in the car is very therapeutic. Anyway, I went by Julia's house (Joel's friend) to return some shoes and gift her mom with some coffee. Her mom in turn gave ME some coffee and also some facial stuff (she's an aesthetician [how do you spell that word?]!). Score!

 
By now I was severely missing my peeps even though I knew they were in good hands. When I got home it was snowing like crazy (spring break, anyone?) and I walked in to this ...
 


 Yep, a man who approves the expense of a fine nursing bra, watches the kids with no problem, has them in the tub when I arrive AND makes a fire is a man who is fixin' to be a daddy for the sixth time, don't you think? But don't tell my parents, because they only had little ole me and that many grandkids would freak them out!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

UPDATE! I Want My Wedding Ring to Fit Again ... Is That a Lot to Ask?

fun fact: my diamond wedding ring has FIVE diamonds, like I have FIVE kids. weird!
***Originally posted January 31, 2013 and updated today:
It's tight, and it ain't comin' off, but it's on there, folks! And, no, I did not have Knuckle Reduction Surgery, although I did consider it. It was too pricey.


Here's some miscellaneous weight loss stuff all in one post so as not to bore you in separate posts!

Okay, first of all, see above. I wear this Black Hills gold ring when my wedding ring does not fit, like generally when I am pregnant. I'm like some 1950s housewife and MUST wear a wedding ring when pregnant. Since I gained almost 40 pounds, my diamond wedding ring does not fit. If losing weight doesn't work again this time, I might need a knuckle reduction. My point is: I'm not just losing weight to look "hot" or wear "cute clothes" ... (I'm not going to lie to you ... those are good reasons, too). I also want to be able to wear the wedding ring my man bought for me in 1997.


Above, how I pack healthy stuff when I'll be out of the house for a few hours. I have to have healthy stuff ready to go or I will eat pure crap. This picture shows oranges, carrots, apples cut into small pieces and string cheese.


We went on a rockin' field trip to The Roasterie in Kansas City. We bought enough coffee to get a free lunchbox, and below is what I put in it ... my "stash". A "stash" for me used to consist of bags of Hershey's kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups and these things Russell Stover used to make called s'mores cups. I would hide chocolate in my drawers in the bedroom, in the closet, in the coffee table in the family room and more. Now my stash is Weight Watchers 2-point bars in about 6 different flavors and these yummy double chocolate protein bars.


Yes, sometimes I do make fun of myself because I'm so much healthier. But, DANG, I have so much more energy and patience for my family and friends, and I just can't beat that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Banana Republic's MadMen Collection

Holy crap.

I am no fashionista, folks, and my little girls dress themselves nicer than I do, BUT ...

I do know I have a funky style and it's certainly got retro vibes to it, AND ...

Banana Republic has a new MadMen (you know, the rockin' TV show on AMC?! ... if you have not heard of it, Google it and then take your laptop back under your rock with you).

I am in love but can't afford $130 for something like this (and I'm not sure how it would look on a woman with boobs and hips) ...


Note: Banana Republic, don't advertise your MadMen collection all over creation and then make it impossible to find the entire collection by searching MadMen. Sheesh. I am specifically looking for the black and white top/pants set you advertised in People Magazine.


Guess it's back to my local vintage store at a fraction of the price. Pete 'n' Repeat in Overland Park, Kansas .... here I come! This makes me want an apron, too!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unprotected Sex and Old Girlfriends: A Rant

Yeah, that got your attention, didn't it? Let's dive right in.

So I watched a season of this reality show called "VanderPump Rules". Remember we are not here to discuss the merits of reality TV and whether or not I should be polluting my brain with it. Remember again (redundant?) that I do not have any awesome vices anymore since I'm losing weight, so reality TV is it. Try and focus, people.

So this show is a spin-off from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." There is a person on there named Lisa VanderPump who owns a restaurant called SUR. "VanderPump Rules" is a show about the staff there. Lisa is English so she says it "stoff."

I have two issues with this season (keep in mind I was also 20-something once and was also a big drama baby; now I am a full-fledged middle-aged drama queen):

1. This nasty dog Jax seems to go around having unprotected sex all over California and Nevada. Yeah, the obvious happened, and it seems like more than once: pregnancy and giving-her-some-money-to-take-care-of-it. My kind of guy. Oh, and the lying about it to his current girlfriend. Dude is a sociopath for sure; no tears even shed as he broke the news to his woman. As Andy Cohen of BRAVO would say, here's what:

-- I'm sure I will offend someone with this, but I hate how black men get the rap for being the ones who make babies all over creation with multiple women and when a white man does it and an abortion occurs, it's all good. He has "taken care of it."

-- I also hate how people like myself who CHOOSE to have many children because we LIKE them and can TAKE CARE OF THEM get snide remarks and looks. You want I should give one back?

2. This drama baby Kristin had a major meltdown over running into her boyfriend/shack-up lovah's EX-lovah (stay with me here) at a photo shoot. She freaked out, people, then went and let her man have it. For what? For HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE BEFORE SHE CAME ALONG.

Here's what: this is the society we live in. I love how one of the Bachelors on TV allegedly saved himself for marriage. Rock on, dude. This is rare, and I applaud you.

But here's what, Kristin: I am a little too close for comfort with a couple of women my husband of 15 years was WITH before me, and you don't see me beating him up over it or acting like a diaper baby around the women. And I am Facebook pals with a couple of guys I used to date and my husband is not all checking my account with his mascara running down his face while wailing at me because I had a LIFE before him.

In conclusion: Sex is an intimate act. Don't do it with someone you don't want to spend the rest of your life with cuz stuff happens.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Garden of the Gods in Manitou/Colorado Springs

Originally posted 9/19/10 when we were on vacation in Colorado. I could use a vacation right now, so I'm reposting this!
Yeah, yeah, we went to church this Sunday before we went to what I like to call my Outdoor Church: Garden of the Gods. In fact, we went to TWO churches this morning, devout Catholics that we are. Actually, we made a mistake and went to an Episcopalian church first. We made it halfway through before Aron realized we weren't at a Full-On Catholic Mass (I was in the hallway with active girls and Sam, so I was clueless about the situation, which is of course a first). So he schlepped our butts to another church, where I spent the whole Mass in the nursery with my 2 youngest bonding with the nursery workers and playing with my kids.  I think God was cool with that.  I don't, however, think God's cool with traipsing all the little kids to another room to do a Sunday Schoolish youth program and have some fun instead of sitting through church ... and then telling them, "Oops, we have nobody to teach this. Go back and sit with your parents."

Anyway ... our Garden of the Gods experience was amazing as always. Got some walking in, some playing in the red dirt in, lots of time to think about the awesomeness of the universe (no, I was not smoking weed).

And it's always fun to put your kids in rock cracks and take pictures of them.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Call Me Crazy ...

... but I went down to the basement the other day (by the way, is there any other way but to go DOWN to a basement? isn't that a redundant statement I made?), and ...

I heard running wild banshees going crazy on the level above me.

They were running and laughing and having fun.

Some people would yell STOP IT. Believe me, I have my days when I can't handle the noise. I am no saint, friends.

But usually it just makes me smile. It's like music to my ears. It's all I ever wanted to hear when I was stuck in a cubicle working in my late 20s and dreaming of having kids and being at home with them all the time.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lazy Crockpot Cinnamon Sugar Apples

This is so easy, makes a nice dessert and makes your house smell amazing!

Just cut up any type of apple you like into chunks and toss them into a slow cooker.

Then toss a stick of butter or margarine on top.

Sprinkle in maybe 1/2 cup of sugar.

Sprinkle in maybe 2 T of cinnamon.

Cook on low 4 hours.

Make this recipe your own ... more or less sugar, make it light, whatever.

Enjoy!

P.S. No, I don't peel the apples because I am lazy. AND my friend Jill gave me the idea to put in some flour so it isn't as runny, and also add oats to the top for a Cobbler Effect!

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