BigDaddy = Superhero

We heard it. The music. We froze. We heard it again. ICE CREEEEEEEEAAAM!!!!!!!

Go! Go! GOOO! Outside children! BigDaddy grabbed the kids and ran into the yard. I raced into BigBoy's room to raid his piggy bank (he's the only one with the big cash stash.) We all managed to get in our drive-way, money in hand, in about 5 seconds flat.

And then it happened. The ice cream man went past our street. Oh NO you didn't Ice Cream Man! BigDaddy looks at me, "Get my keys!" I ran and got his truck keys, he threw his cape behind him and dashed into his DadMobile and went off to apprehend said Ice Cream Man.

BigBoy was crushed. Instant tears. He ran into the backyard and wouldn't look at anyone. I explained to him that Daddy was going to get the Ice Cream Man. Really. It would be okay. I see our Babysitter Extraordinaire walking home and invited her over for ice cream, if it ever came. So there we were, all huddled on the drive-way. BB had calmed down at this point. Our babysitter has this effect on him. SassyGirl was dancing, "Mama the ice cream is singing!!" At this point, I felt like the music was mocking us. We could hear it, but it wasn't in view.

And where the hell did BigDaddy go? We then see him drive past our street, actually fly around the corner, but we still didn't know what was going on. And then it happened. The yellow "singing" truck appeared. ICE CREEEEAAAAM!!!!! BigBoy is jumping up and down, we're frantically waving our arms- like the Ice Cream Man could miss up NOW? BigDaddy was just in front of him. The kids were giggling and bouncing non-stop. The fun was not even spoiled when we found out that the ice cream man was out of BB's first choice of the tasty treat. Note to Ice Cream Man: tell your customers that you're out of something before the 5 y.o. stares at your picture menu, contemplates the crucial decision of what ice cream bar to get and after 5 painstaking minutes, decides on the very bar you are out of.

We found out that this particular ice cream truck comes by every Tuesday evening and that our street is part of his regular route, he exits out on our street. THANK GOD. BigDaddy ended up catching up to the Ice Cream Man and flagged him down from the truck, I think. Asked him if he was planning on hitting our street. He was. yada yada.

BigDaddy saved the day nonetheless. BigBoy freaked out, but the fact the BigDaddy raced off during the frenzy made everything better. Daddy would make everything okay. He knew that. That damn ice cream man would come by our house come hell or high water.

As we sat on the newly constructed monster swing set, we enjoyed our overpriced, slightly melty ice cream bars. Our kids had chocolate eclair aftermath all over their smiling little faces. The weather was perfect. BigBoy looks over and says: "This has been the best day of my life!"

I can't wait for summer.


Owning it.

I've been walking the fence for a while now and it's time to make the jump and just own it. As in, my semi-secret blog. I'm taking the next step: owning up.

I knew this day would come. It really hit home when I won a contest on a sister site to Roni's Weigh; www.skinnyminnymedia.com (her techie blog) It was to join her in Baltimore for a blogging conference. Yep, a full day of blogging goodness! So that's crossing the line, right? Making this all the more real. And this also means I leave the kids overnight. (Can I get an Amen Sista!?) I'm also staying with a family friend in BAL (like my parents are hosting her brother's graduation party since they all moved away type of family friend.) Which means the moms will know what's up. BigDaddy alone with the kiddos just does NOT happen unless there is a really, really good reason. The 'rents will all be in the know. I'm a Blogger.

Note to BigDaddy's friend; He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named who spilled the beans to The Boss' Wife- This Does NOT mean I am advertising my blog to all people in general.

I share my posts on FaceBook and the trickle down theory was gonna bite me in the butt. I can feel it. Friends of parents hanging around, family "FB friends" that I don't ever really see, but my parents do. hmmm.... this creates quite the conundrum doesn't it? It's hard to have a semi-secret with all these leak-holes. So it's time. I added my last name to my profile and everything. Can I BE any more official? BTW, I'm NOT a concert pianist nor am I the CEO of Staffing Plus. Just in case you were wondering.

I'm not sure why I've never mentioned it. I guess I wasn't sure what This really was. I've tried blogging before and it didn't last very long. I'm not a niche blogger so If someone were to ask me "so, what's your blog about?" I don't even have an answer. And what if it's lame? At least I have the loyal 7 that think otherwise. And as some of you know, this started as my diet and daily food journal. Not too exciting, unless you're into reading about how I ate a Sandwich Thin ham sammie with Laughing Cow cheese and Spinach for lunch again. Which I am into, but I digress.

With my now public announcement (I'm emailing family a link to the lunziness)I think I need to create some user guidelines for FaceBook as that will now be my only private slice of cyberworld. If you match my demographics- you're in! We're Friends! If you are a student at BigDaddy's work- you're out... until you graduate. If you are the same age as my parents or are friends with them or are them- you're out. Sorry AARPers, this includes you. If you all can figure out Twitter, you are more than welcome to join me there.

So here you go world... I have a blog. There I said it. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my cardboard box again.


Whatcha Doin'?

I've had a few friends ask What exactly are you doing? Or How do I get started? Or What does all this mean? etc. I don't really know what to say to that. I think "getting healthier" "eating naturally" "Going Green" means different things to different people. I can tell you about what I did, give a few tips, but I'm by no means an expert. And what might work for my family, might not work for yours. So here goes. The non-doctor is in:

Getting started.
This can seem sooo overwhelming. There's so much information out there. So where to begin?

I suggest really looking at your lifestyle and figuring out what you don't like about it. Do you eat out too much? Are you eating too much junk, processed, sodium/sugar heavy stuff? Do you need to pack a lunch for work? Set some guidelines and make a family plan. For me, the start was learning how to cook about 6 years ago. We decided to go on Weight Watchers before our wedding and I bought a WW cookbook. Started making real food- NOT Pasta Roni with canned meat.

I got preggo and started to really monitor what I was eating. (Get pg was a snap for me and I truly believe part of it was how healthy my body was.) When BigBoy was born I started to get crispy (just barely crunchy) and tried to incorporate more healthy options since I was nursing. This was now not about me but about caring for my babe the best way possible. I used cloth diapers, made my own baby food and also started looking at all the chemicals we had in our household and bodies.... (The Mothering Magazine community was a HUGE source of info for me. Lots of knowledgeable mamas ready to help with info)

So at this point we already ate a ton of whole grain, no salt added, low sugar, foods due to WW. We weren't on the program anymore, but those habits stayed in our diet. We don't eat out much because honestly, we don't have the money. It always seems to disappoint me anyway, mediocre food and tired kids.

The next big jump happened here, when we moved to VA. We had a yard, a big one at that! BigBoy started getting interested in the world around us. He was totally into the Presidential election and Inauguration and aware of what was going on in the Big Picture. He started noticing what "helping the environment" meant and was fired up about gardening. We were recycling again on a large scale thanks to curb side pick-up. Between that and composting we have very little actual trash now!

I really can't pinpoint what happened next. We decided to make changes in our diet again to lose weight for this summer, which got me thinking about our diet in general. The Great Recession started REALLY effecting people and I began to examine our overall lifestyles. I felt bloated in all areas. Plus, I'm a project person. If I can assign a task to something, I feel like I'm moving forward. It was time for a major overhaul- our diet, our finances, our environment. I highly encourage you to include your kids if you decide to make major changes like this. We had a family meeting and I really think it made it all click. BB makes comments all.the.time. about being healthy and doing things to take care of the Earth. He ate FOUR apples yesterday as snacks since he "wanted to be healthy." He doesn't freak out if I make something "healthier" he actually gets excited and asks questions about what I'm doing.

We decided on doing a garden, start composting and lessen our carbon-footprint. We turn off lights, use windows, turn off the water when brushing our teeth, and now use the clothesline that came in our yard. We borrow books from the library. I bought canvas bags for grocery shopping. Little things that add up and really can be baby steps when you feel ready to move onto the next task.

I went though our pantry and looked at what we were eating. It really wasn't all that bad, but a LOT of processed crap: cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, LOTS of preservatives and additives (due to my love of WW type products.) But I remember hearing Dr. Oz of Oprah fame talking about food. The 5 Ingredient list (items to avoid in packaged foods) including: hydrogenated oil, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, enriched flour and bleached flour. He also commented that it's better to eat REAL food since your body knows what the heck it is. Butter? Recognizable. Margarine? WTH?? This makes sense to me. Use traditional foods. We use butter, real maple syrup, olive oil, etc. It tastes worlds better and you actually use less. I try to avoid anything I can't say. I try to buy organic when I can, but sometimes the price doesn't let me. My second choice is "All Natural" which means lots of different things to different brands, so I read, read, read the labels. I don't buy juice anymore, the kids have never had pop and we have are slowly buying less Diet Coke for the grown ups. Choices are milk, soy milk, chocolate milk in the a.m., or water. period. I also started meal planning. It makes a huge difference!

My next step: Making more at home. I have almost completely stopped buying crackers, cookies and other snacks. The kids haven't noticed much ("Oh, we're out, I need to get some more" works pretty well) and my shopping time and effort has dramatically decreased. I can skip full aisles now and pretty much perimeter shop (that's where the necessities are in case you didn't know that. Junk is on the inside, dairy/eggs/produce/meat on the outside) I've made some bread, but fine eating Oroweat/Arnold for now as it's free of HFCS. I know this type of shopping is more expensive (Organic/All Natural) but I'm skipping the processed foods so I really think it all evens out. I'm going to try to make some crackers, more baked stuff and try to batch cook more often.

I'm also trying out new food items like the Great Quinoa Experiment. Adding kale or spinach to dishes or sandwiches. Putting wheat germ into waffles. stuff like that.

I'm currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love it. Again, it just makes sense to me. We have our Victory Gardens in place, composter going and heading into the big growing season for fresh produce. It's part of the slow food movement of eating in season and NOT eating what isn't in season (ie "fresh" tomatoes over winter) This is a good time to start. I'd love to use all free-range meat. I would. But that's the next step. In order to do that, I need to use less meat, which means finding more recipes to try that uses meat as an extra instead of being the main act. I'm not there... yet.

So where does this leave YOU? If you eat out a lot, try making dinners at home more (the crock pot is your best friend!). If you already eat at home, try getting local produce and making new recipes. If you buy a lot of processed foods, use Dr. Oz's list and only buy stuff that isn't full of junk. Buy ONE canvas shopping bag. Go to your local farmer's market or join a CSA. Plant a salsa garden or container garden. Use a new ingredient. Remember this is all totally do-able is you consider it a Process. It won't happen overnight and I don't recommend trying to. You'll get overwhelmed and totally give up. I will also say this is probably easier than you think. We shop at Walmart and sometimes Target. I live in the kinda country. We don't have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes anywhere close by. I have started going to the regular ol' grocery store that sells more items that are natural, organic and has bulk bins (Martins or think Ralphs/Marsh- nicer upscale but not speciality) but that's only been in the past few weeks. We live on one income (that's not huge to begin with.) Prioritize and then take the first step. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me-- The Non-Dr. is available. :)


Hold my calls.

I think I need to change our voice mail outgoing message: Hi, sorry I can't get to the phone right now but I'm just too busy enjoying this glorious weather or blowing bubbles with my kids in the backyard or I am in a flower coma over at Lowe's again. I'll call you back around early winter! BEEEEEEEP!

Busy, sunshiney weekend for us. Monster swing set is going up and the garden is getting planted. I'm also prepping our flower beds for plants and flowers. I haven't entirely figured out what yet. I'll leave you with this fun video. This song came last weekend and I instantly felt a little cooler in my minivan. Nothing oozes cool like a minivan mama rockin out to Run DMC. ;) this is a later version btw...

Happy Weekend!


A Ruckus Among Us

A few days ago BigBoy decided he wanted to drag out the ol' John Deere ride-on tractor. He hasn't really ridden it since last Fall. It caused quite the ruckus in the neighborhood. Good God, I love this place.

The horse all sprinted out from the stables across the pasture (the building to the far right.) What is going on?!?

Um, guys, we better stop for a sec and get a better look at this creature roaming around noisily. I think we need to stay close. Why is he waving?! (this is Zip talking btw. He's the guy with the white stripe on his nose in the middle.)

Still not to sure what to think. Safety in numbers.... and a good cluster doesn't hurt.

You guys stay over there....hold the tight formation! I'll investigate, says Zip, their mighty leader.

Hmmm. Okay guys, I think everything is copacetic, but maybe we should still hang out for a bit just to make sure. Hey you! Noisy Little Man! You got any apples in that there fancy machine??


Quinoa and Canvas

Quni-who? No, Quinao (Keen-wha). This will be the one that puts me over the line. I will be certifiable crunchy now. The kids and I made quinoa last night. You've probably heard about quinoa as a superfood or the supergrain that isn't a grain. My muse Roni uses it. I've seen "healthy recipes" using it. I've heard all the hype. I just wasn't really sure what exactly it was or what to do with it. Basically it's a superfood from South America. It's actually a very small seed pod. But I told the kids it's like rice. And it's fun to say. Say it with me: KEEEENWAAAA!

I've slowly been overhauling our diet. The processed snacks are all but gone-- I have a few Annie's Bunny Snacks and organic fruit strips from Tar-jay. oh and graham crackers. Our staples. But I decided we needed to start ADDING things, not just getting rid of things. I needed to go to the actual grocery store, not superstore. I bought some Agave nectar, organic vanilla, Greek yogurt, organic chocolate syrup, etc. Then I went over to the bulk section. Quinoa. There it was. It called me. Come on Lisa... make the jump. Just buy me and put me in your kitchen for a bit. Get used to being an owner of quinoa. So I grabbed a few scoops. They also had decent canvas bags for $5, so I grabbed two. I will slowly build up our stash. Before checking out they had lighter weight bags for a buck a bag! grabbed a bunch. I was a little nervous. Dumb I know, but checking out "out of system" was a weird feeling for me. I didn't know if it would hold up the line, if the checker would secretly be cursing my granola-loving name. But the kids weren't with me and it wasn't really busy in the store. I had 4 bags total (1 nice one and 3 cheaper ones.) They were huge! I couldn't believe how much stuff fit in them! And the cashier remarked "It's great how much can fit in here!" Yes, it was great. And Ms. Cashier Lady, you just made my day. I broke out of my comfort zone. Quinoa and Canvas bags. I made the jump. And didn't feel like a dork in the process.

So back to the quinoa. It was fish night and we didn't have tilapia like I thought, so it was Salmon. So now what? Time to get something going for dinner. Quinoa. It would be quinoa. It had to be quinoa. Roni had a recipe she used, but it didn't thrill me and we didn't have all the ingredients. I found recipe for a quinoa salad at another favorite site of mine: 101 cookbooks. It looked fantastic. I had everything we needed. It was a lemon-cilantro base and I had some Newmans Own Light Lime Vinaigrette that I could use instead of the recipe dressing and then I could also throw it on the Salmon with more cilantro. Some broccoli added to the mix. Viola! The best part was everything would only take about 15 min.

The kids wanted to help and since everything was so easy, they were able to do most of the work. Sassy was running around yelling "I make quinoa! Me turn!" They both took turns and pretty much made the meal. The results? A beyond delicious and nutritious meal. The kid verdict? A beyond delicious and nutritious meal. Really. They ate everything!! BigBoy didn't want the quinoa salad (he doesn't do tomatoes or onions) but proclaimed the quinoa w/some butter one of his favorite things to eat, along with the salmon. The kid wouldn't eat fish past the mandatory "One Bite Rule." He claims to love salmon so much now, that he wants it everyday for dinner. They've helped with dinner before, so I'm not really sure what magically happened last night. The quinoa, it had to be the quinoa.



This past Friday was a big deal in Twitteropia. People were scrambling, tweets were a flying, proclamations typed out in 140 characters or less. What was the big deal? @oprah. "huh?!? what?!?," you non-tweeple say. Oprah now tweets, or is trying to at least. @aplusk & @ev (aka Ashton Kutcher and Evan Williams Twitter's Chief Executive ) were on Oprah and now she tweets. I suddenly feel less cool, less techie, less in-the-know.

I haven't decided if I think this is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, I'm telling all my friends to get on Twitter. "Come follow me @lunzy!" I say to them. It's easy. It's fun. But I don't want Oprah on it. I don't know why really. It's really not going to effect my world. It's more my ego. The cool factor I guess. I even like Oprah. I was a HUGE fan way back when... but now that she's on Twitter it seems a bit cheesy to me. I'm not alone: herebeforeoprah.com lets you tweet that you were on Twitter before her. Re-Tweets galore of @SavvyAuntie: were you on Twitter way before it got on the Oprah Show? Then you are Pre Oprah! #Im_preOprah with tons following suit (search #im_preoprah on twitter's search feature to see what I mean) there's even a new user @herebeforeoprah.

Her first tweet was not pretty:


ALL CAPS?? "Twitters"? Doesn't she have PR people who could have helped her out a bit, given her a cheat-sheet. Crafted her first "official" tweet? Come on, people.

THE_REAL_SHAQ (whom I love) called her out, ahem, helped her a bit:

"@oprah ur caps r on, btw"

*See cnet.com's take on it with screen shots.

In a dumb way I guess I wanted it to be my personal world. My not-so-little secret um, like this blog? ;) But word is out across the land. OprahLand has called and they will follow. But make no mistake; I was on before Oprah.


We are family.

Uh, correction... we are a tie dye family. Yah, that's would include me. Me + Tie Dye. I know what your thinking. Lunzy just doesn't do tie dye. Okay, making it... a fun art project for homeschool. wearing it? not so much. The things we do for our children.

We headed out to our homeschool field trip to Boxerwood Gardens in Lexington, VA. The day was going to be perfect! I couldn't wait to head out. I had finally washed out our tie dye shirts from last week, got them in the laundry and dried. Of course BigBoy wanted to wear them. And insisted SassyGirl wear hers. And mommy too. "We can be a tie dye family." huh. okay. a tie dye family. so not only did I don the tie dye shirt (which actually came out great btw) but I went as part of a collective group donning the tie dye.

BigDaddy bailed on me this weekend (damn work, always gets in the way of family fun during the week!) so I was flying solo, rounding up the troops for about an hour drive. Can I just say how worth it it really was. Boxerwood is my new happy place- physically and mentally. This would be replacing my former happy place from our honeymoon resort in Mexico next to the swim up bar. Did I mention how thin I was too? And childless? With unlimited food and drinks? But yes, this is it. My new happy place.

It was on land that was naturally gorgeous. On a gorgeous day. Surrounded by friends as we watched our kids have the time of their little lives. And it wasn't fancy. tree stumps, mud pits, a running creek, a fence with a plank missing, a dock, old cow bones, bamboo sticks, an "underground" tunnel.... Stuff kids love to do. And we all got to chat laugh about how messy the kids were getting, share a bag of dried fruit, meet other parents. Relax. Be in the quiet of nature surrounded by the chatter of kids playing together. I really could go on and on. Really. We were there for FIVE hours. And of course the kids didn't want to leave. Neither did I.


Stock Check

** This was written yesterday, but I fell asleep early and didn't get it published. A day late, a dollar short....But feeling refreshed and ready for the day. That counts for something right??

My first few jobs were in retail--cheesy, cheap clothes to be exact. They were great jobs, part-time, usually tons of fun and my managers were only a year or two older than me. We had soo much stuff to sell that it was really hard to know what we had in-store. Every once in a while a customer would be at another location and we'd check a phone call looking for a specific item in a specific size. Groooooaaans. Uggh. A stock check! Who the heck had time to stop what we were doing to look for something in the piles upon piles of clothes for ONE thing. But we did. usually. if it wasn't too busy we'd actually really look. It actually amazed me what other things I would find during the check. Sometimes other cool clothes...that no one knew about! I'd either snag them for myself with my awesome 15% employee discount or have some deeper knowledge of the store that my co-workers did not.

I feel like I need to collect my thoughts, sit down and regroup. I've been all over the place lately and feel like I haven't gotten much accomplished. The scale hates me still, my body hurts, my house is still a mess, homeschooling really isn't happening, etc. Time for a mental stock check:

Have you still been "homeschooling?" my mom asks me today? hmm... not so much. But we are learning a ton everyday about our garden, saving energy, what to compost, bugs, birds, cooking. you know, life stuff. Did I mention the kids were in an honest to goodness Art Show? That gets me some credits in the ol' homeschool piggy bank right?! We are still doing our 100EZ Reading Lessons and BB still enjoys them a bunch. I need to get the next BOB Books, Set 2-Advancing Beginners. He loves those things. We also have a co-op field trip planned for tomorrow to Boxerwood. I'm really looking forward to it as a) I've never been there and b) should be GAWgeous tomorrow-high of 75! and c) we have a group of very cool moms I get to hang out with.

A bit of a new skill for me. I cut BigBoy's hair! I love his curly hair, but it's super thick and grows straight down from the crown. His bangs were out of control and he kept doing this crazy head flip. I seriously was on the look out for whip-lash. Our babysitter/hairstylist extraordinaire actually taught me how to cut his hair yesterday. I did it!! It was actually a lot easier than I thought. and since it's curly, you can mess up a little and it still looks great! ;) He now looks 10 instead of 5 :(

Still a work in progress, but it's progressing and I even went through BigDaddy's closet.

The BIG NUMBER isn't moving. well, it IS moving, but still doing the cursed dance. up a pound or two, down a pound or two. repeat... I've been trying to remind myself this is okay, it really is. I'm working out about 3 times a week (t/th/s) eating healthier food and less of it overall. Making smart decisions. Not drinking pop and other crap with junk in it (yes, even diet coke- well here and there. I'm trying to completely kick it.) I'm checking in with Mr. Snarky almost every day. Even though he's informing me that I'm now back up to Obese level. *** Edited to report that after writing this post this a.m. I checked in a found out I lost 2.2 lbs! Mr Snarky actually gave me props! I'm back to a "healthy BMI," just barely, but down to my lowest point yet. I love that chart!

Workouts for this week?
Tuesday- Wii Gold's Gym Boxing
Thursday- Denise Austin Hit the Spot pilates
Saturday- Zumba?

Victory Garden is filled with soil, just waiting for the dirt to settle a bit and the damn frost to leave completely. Compost bin is up and going... now to wait six MONTHS before we get anything. That was a bit disappointing. I didn't realize that until after we got it. Not that we wouldn't haven't gotten it, just a bummer. I now need to finalize what we are planting and where.

Roni's Weigh got me thinking about my daily/weekly fitness routine, or lack of, which then made me think about my lack of routine in general. BigDaddy's schedule was brutal for me when he had two-a-days (all the dishes and mess that we normally have since he came home for all meals, but one less parent for the critical times like wake-up and bedtime.) Now that that's over, things are more steady. We talked about getting to bed earlier (like by 10:30) falling asleep reading (see below) and waking up at a regular time by 7 (for BD) and 6 (for me as I want to have some time before the kids wake up)

I really, really miss reading for enjoyment. I've been reading very few books for ME. Most of the books in the past 5 years have been how to be pg, how to have a baby and how to be a mom. It's what I was into at the time, and that's all and well, but I'm ready to start reading for fun again. I'd like to just end up in bed by 10 and read a bit and fall asleep.

BB and I went on a date together yesterday to our local library branch and found some good nature books. And he got his official library card. We decided when he was 5, he'd be able to get one as the library doesn't have a set age. The account defaults to mine, but it's in his name and tracks everything through him. Big deal for a 5 y.o. ;) For him: books on bugs and compost and a book I hadn't seen before by Shel Silverstein Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook.

For me: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. How in the world I missed out on this book until now just floors me. But things fall into place when they need to. I'm ready to listen and I'm not so sure I would have a few years ago, even last summer. I'm about 30 pages in and it speaks to me. I think I'm going to totally inhale this book into my every being. I love it. It reminds me of a book in read in my 20s Diet for a New America (different style, but similar theme) and it totally changed my life. I became a vegetarian, kind of. But it effected me enough to completely overhaul my life. I think this book will do it to. So be warned, I will probably be yapping about this book in the future...

Lunzy Likes:
Just wanted to throw this in. I've been looking for a natural sweetener and haven't been so excited about the results. I recently found Truvia I like it a lot. It's not as sweet as say, sweet and low, but I've gotten used to having my coffee less sweet. Anyone heard of it before? good or bad?

We are loving the forecast for this weekend in the valley. Enjoy the weekend!!



too tired for a title: boxing, horses and food.

I'm BEAT! I woke up rested and then worked out to my new wii game Gold's Gym Cardio Workout. First thoughts: I love it! It was super easy to get started, you DON'T need Wii Fit (only a few moves use the balance board since it's mainly a boxing workout) but I DID use my second remote instead of the remote/nunchuck option.

You get your "membership card" to Gold's (laaaame) and then pick your mii (why don't these games use the wii miis??) fill out your info, pick your trainer, etc. I chose Alex so I could have some eye candy. If Alex asks me to give him a few more punches I'm game! Anything for you Alex, you hunk of boxin' love! Nina, not so much. It's more like "Nina, you skinny little B*#$, I know this is easy for you... but you obviously don't have kids or a post-baby body. I'm tired and the kids are yelling for me as we speak. So no, Nina, I don't have anything for you! Where was I? Oh, yes.... Fun music, if a bit cheesy, you can select on your own after you finish the basics lessons. I picked Eye of the Tiger. of course. (Mr. Hancock may have issues with the not-so-sophisticated graphics, but I'm cool with it.) This is a great review from youtube:

I went through all the "learning the basics" and got to the actual workouts. I picked the beginner level that was 6 minutes long. I love that it's longer than the wii fit mini-games (my big beef with the system). Mr. Snarky (aka Wii Board) told me I'm up to "overweight" BMI again. He also called me out on not checking in all weekend. Suck it Mr. Snarky! I'm a bit bummed I'm gaining weight again, but I know I am going about this the right way. Eating better, working out and slowing changing my lifestyle for the better.

I must have had a bunch of energy, or was on a runner's high kind of ride, because I went into super cleaning mode and went to town on the house. Not that it looks significantly better now since the kids ransacked their rooms and the guest room in the process of staying out of my way. DirecTV guy came out and fixed our set up (the receiver was bad). I think I worked it a bit too much today for my own good. I'm dragging and BB refused to take a nap which means no nap for Mama Bear. sigh.

I did manage to take a few pictures. I ran outside to catch the horses lying down. I've never seen them do this before, at least not all at once. Some weird climatic reaction like when dogs freak out before earthquakes? I wish PW didn't have 100 million followers. She would know. Or at least her hubby, MM, would. The only other horse person I know is The Boss' Wife's daughter. But I'd have to text her. And truth be told, I despise texting. I don't even like that word "texting." Sounds like a non-word. So I'll go googling around later tonight I'm sure. (Googling = word?)

I'm running out of steam and need to get dinner fired up. Without further ado, the Weekly Meal Plan. I'm not counting points anymore, just focusing on lower fat and natural ingredients. Plus they need to be fairly easy and quick to prepare.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan, sauteed veggies (asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash and red onion) leftover mashed potatoes. * made this last night and it rocked! We ended up having a totally vegetarian meal. yeah! We are going to try and incorporate a total veggie meal once a week or so.

Tilapia with Pimiento Sauce over brown rice (this is my new favorite meal. love, love, love it!)

Split pea and ham soup, crusty bread-- homemade? (from our Easter Ham leftovers)

PW's Mac n cheese, salad (I'm totally sold on this, but BB wants to make it.)
pork stir fry with udon noodles (based on this), "fried" rice

Breakfast for dinner: egg sandwiches, fruit

Make your own pizzas (toppings: black olives, turkey pepperoni, veggies)
PW's Apple Brown Betty?

batch cook chicken
easy chicken tacos, beans & rice

Italian Beef Sandwiches?




Man I'm having quite the time getting back into a routine. I guess it's a bit hard when you weren't actually very good at a routine to begin with.

Still in a S'meeps coma and bloated from the ham but we had a fantastic time with Aunt Bebe and her man Mr. A. We were all sad to see them leave. It was wonderful being able to have them over for the weekend. Another bonus to living here. Today was a weird day, I actually got some sleep last night-- can I get a AHYYAA!?! maybe not so much... But I got over 8 hours of glorious sleep and then woke up at 5:30. sick, right? I am hoping I can start getting up before SassyGirl everyday (translation 6:23 a.m.) It would be nice to get a jump start on my day. Anyway... later in the day I tried to get to my tasks. I unplugged the extra receiver from DirecTV to return it to them* and it dropped our entire signal. WTH? Another fire to put out. yippie skippy. got our tv working again after being on the phone forever, but now have a tech coming out tomorrow since the big dummy installer jacked it all up and connected everything via our bedroom. So I didn't get much done, however, I AM going to bed with a shiny sink tonight (see flylady?! see?!) I'm also doing a bit of housekeeping here.

I added labels for old posts since I never really did labels, like ever. So now it'll be easier for me to find old posts. Victory garden in filled and now just needs to settle and we can start planting. Compost bin arrived (BB was so freaking excited, I wish I had a video going on him when FedEx arrived!) and is sitting under my favorite tree just waiting for lovely scraps.

* In continuing my campaign for NO MAS! I called DirecTV and cut my bill by more than HALF! go me!! I scaled back our ridiculous package that ended up costing more than they (Verizon) told me. Our bedroom receiver hasn't worked a single day since they installed it. both times. so we've been without it for about a month now and I don't miss it at all. Gone! I would like to see our package get even smaller, but for now I'm happy with our baby steps.

A bit of a boring post, I know. But I can't be witty, astute and inspirational ALL the time you know? I'm working on a garden update for all us rookies since I know some of you are also venturing out in the dark, brown, musty world with me. I'm getting my meal plan figured out with recipe links so that will be up and going. Also got a new wii fit game I'm going to try out manana. So until then, I'm out.



What I learned

I'm following a new person on twitter @marciamarcia and she has a question posted on her profile: "What have you learned?" So for you marcia, marcia, marcia: What have I learned? (What?? You're STILL not tweeting?)

I've learned I need my coffee before I continue blogging ....

Okay. cup o' joe, ready to go. Yesterday was quite the learning day for me. We had our weekly homeschool group, but this week we had a bigger activity that also included other homeschoolers in the area. It's was fantastic being around more area moms and the rain stayed away! yeah! So on to the task at hand.....

What I've learned:
  • Tie dying might not be worth all the effort. However, I may have mastered the Heart Fold.
  • BigBoy has no interest in tie dying when there is a playground full of new, cool boys.
  • SassyGirl is in the grunting phase full force. UUUGH= me want eat. UUGH= now.
  • BigBoy can get locked in the bathroom at funschool.
  • Purple dye stains your hands reeeeeally badly.
  • My body doesn't do so well on 4-5 hours of broken sleep.
  • My husband can kick ass in the yard on a day off.
  • BigBoy does a good impression of me saying "Just let it be! let it be!" (as in band aids and sores)
  • Sassy does an even better impression of BigBoy saying "Des lettle be ma!" (hands out to her side for emphasis)
  • BigDaddy really does love me (he drove to DC late last night to pick up the fam since I was so beat and couldn't take a nap)

I also learned I really do love living here. The drive home (all 10 minutes of it) was sooo beautiful- new bright green grass, blossoms, produce stands. The kids were being sweet to each other, we spent the day together, and all was good. BigDaddy had the day off (and Monday too!) The horses were out trotting about. My sister and her boyfriend are here for the weekend (since we are so close to NYC.) Lunzygras is in full force! Later today, like around noon, grab a glass of pinot grigio with me and celebrate the good things in your life. What makes your life special? What have you learned?

Happy Passover/Easter/Spring Weekend!



pretty is not practical

It's just like when I buy a pair of cute earrings. They look great. Initially, I feel great with them on. But they just don't belong on me while I am around two small children. Too many things can go wrong. What I thought was a great idea ends up hurting or getting lost.

I should have known. The template, the new name, the sugar-high of birthday cake first thing in the morning. My blog is sick. The template looked great, but when I started messing around with it to get all the bells and whistles that worked before (with my boring ol' basic blogger template) it started to get ugly. And not very fun. And difficult to manage. And now I can't fix what appears to be PERMANENT changes from the pretty template.

Dammit. Why did I have to go there? Why did I get shiny object syndrome AGAIN? I should have left well enough alone.


Welcome to Lunzygras!

It's Passover tonight in our Cashew house, so I'm just going to post this now. I'm running on less than 4 hours of sleep, thank you insomnia, and I have a feeling I am going to crash and burn once I get a belly full of Brisket and Kugel. www.lunzygras.com should be up and running for most of you, but until then blogger tells me I may still at blogspot.

April 9th is my birthday and the official start of Lunzygras '09! What? You've never heard of Lunzygras? You've been missing out. But let's go back in time a bit...

"Lunzy" has been a nickname of mine since my first real job after college, shorten version of my maiden name (original, no?) Pre-children, my birthday was a BIG DEAL. When I didn't have BigBoy stealing my birthday thunder. And its celebration period lasted a LONG time, usually the entire month of April. We started to call it Lunzygras at one of my jobs and the name stuck. What can I say? A reason to drink and play for a month? Sign us up! We were all a bunch of drunks with too much media trade.

I began to think about my blog and my whole "online identity." Mountain Mania, the name itself, was focusing on the craziness that is my life, the chaos, the disorder. Yes it IS what my normal is, but it's not what I want my normal to be. I am happy about the direction my life is going, that we finally have some balance. Yes, my house is a disaster zone and I can't remember one thing to the next, but what matters the most is our family. And my family rocks! Things are good. Life is good. My blog should focus on the good -- celebrating the good things that are in my life everyday. My year round Lunzygras.

The Marketing/PR Chick in me wasn't happy with the whole Brand Identity Package though. I have been known to buy a product because it came in a cool nifty box. I decided to retire SassyAztec, make things are little more seamless, and start using "Lunzy" for all things on-line like twitter and blog comments. Since I only have 7 readers, its easier to make all these changes now rather than later when I'm all famous and a professional blogger raking in the bulk of our family income. Happy Birthday to me! I'm official now; with my very own domain name. Aren't you impressed?

My sis and her man are visiting this weekend to join us for Lunzygras (and Easter), so I may not be around much til next week. Hope you all enjoy your Passover/Easter with loved ones and don't eat too many Peeps!


p.s. This is your official notice: You are my Guinea pigs. I'll be trying out different things here from time to time-- don't get nervous if things get a little tweaked, things will eventually look normal again.

cha cha changes...

ACK! Sorry for the ugly mess! It will be pretty in a bit, promise! you just caught me mid-construction....

Announcing the retirement of sassyaztec

This a bitter-sweet occasion. It's time bid my dear sassyaztec adieu.

I'm sad to say goodbye to SassyAztec. Sassy and I have been through a lot together. I first entered the shaky waters of cyberworld more than 11 years ago with her, exploring what these yahoo "chatrooms" were. A name, a name... I needed a name. yahoo and AOL chatrooms and online identities was exploding and all the "good and easy names" were gone. okay.. think. It can't be anything close to my Real Name- what if someone found me out?!? Sassy (one of my favorite words) Aztec (as a San Diego State Alumna, that would work) = sassyaztec. done.

We then found bulletin board journal life, Sassy and I. We met lots of great friends, both on-line and IRL, from around the globe. Dear Sassy, you helped me plan every detail of my wedding, documented every ultrasound, baby kick and food aversion throughout my pregnancies and even helped me look for houses. You and our other friends helped me through some bumpy, lonely times. You even got me blogging and tweeting everyday.

We've created many online memories together, but we must move on. It's time for SassyAztec to retire and promote The Babe to SassyGirl. You've got big shoes to fill baby girl, but SassyAztec will always be around if you need her (maybe at some point, she'll even follow you on Twitter.)

To be continued...


Shout out to my on-line peeps!

I'm been making some summer plans and one of them is to get together with a girlfriend. Whom I've never met. After hmmm..... 7 or 8 years I guess. wait, what?

Having online friends has always been a part of my adult life. It has totally shaped my life in ways one could never imagine. It's not weird for me, never has been, and kind of throws me when it's not "normal" for other people. Actually, nowadays, more and more people are using the internet to connect with other people. But it's still not the norm for some.

I think I was the first in my social circles to be online "talking" to other people. It started when I got a laptop for work. I was at home messing around and stumbled into yahoo chat. cue swooning love songs. I was hooked. It was so fun. It rocked my not-having-so-much-fun-in-real-life-post-college world. I was having my quarter life crisis. The timing was perfect. Eventually it opened up an entirely new world for me: namely Indiana. But that is a gigantic post in and of itself....

Then I met BigDaddy, moved to Ohio (from Indiana), got engaged and had to plan every.living.detail.of.my.life. or at least the first day of "the rest of my life." I found a local board for planning a wedding in San Diego when I was living in Ohio. VERY helpful. And I connected with other women like me. around my age, doing what I was doing, and talking about it. Done. I was a total goner. Then we all "moved" to the big, national "Ultimate" wedding planning board and things really got moving. We had online journals and posted pictures. Agonized over which font to use on our invitations and what color ribbon we should use on our favors or if we should give favors out at all. And became friends, good friends. And then we met their BFFs, and bridesmaids, and sisters. And they became our friends too. And then we got married, or didn't for one reason or another (and offered a cyber shoulder to cry on or a real life phone call or real life card/gift.) And then bitched/raved about every aspect of the first day of "the rest of our life." But at that time we called them Vendor Reports. :) side note: you REALLY don't want to give crappy service to a bride on a popular wedding chat board.

The websites expanded, we now had San Diego Newlyweds because we were done with the wedding planning and one of the users created a new home for everyone. Hooray! I haven't been active there in ages, but just now popped back on and recognized a bunch of names. I'm celebrating 6 years this May. We also found the home life and baby planning sites adjacent to the Ultimate Wedding Board. I got preggo right away and then found I have to plan every.living.detail.of.my.life.

TinDC was one of my first calls after BigBoy was born. She was my official journal representative appointed to post an update in my journal and let everyone know the vital stats. We had talked on the phone a few times before that, nothing major, but chatted. I hooked up with Plaidfrogg and RachinCali during trips back home to California, but didn't get to see WordPrincess. MrsS* opened the world of OZ to me (and very cool Moulin Rouge necklaces.) SassyJen (my sassysista) sent me some of her baby boy stuff after BigBoy was born. I met her via her BFF and my wedding twin SkyyCO4, whom I've managed to zig zag with in moves across the country but we never seem to actually cross paths. Someday! The point is, these were real women. Women I really liked and connected with. Women who were (and still are) my friends. Women who actually knew more about me than my family and friends IRL (In Real Life for you non-computer geeky people.) They oohed and aahed for me. Told me I wasn't crazy for my pity parties. Knew every detail of my emotional and family baggage. And at one point every baby girl's name I was thinking of.

Even though I am not as involved in every one's life as I once was (we all have the life juggle of work/home/kids) I still keep in touch with most of them and love knowing what they are up to. We all shared a very special time together. Oh, and now I know all their real names, I have to since now they're my Facebook Friends. :)

* Kerrie's name wasn't MrsS, but neither one of us can remember it. What can I say? We have kids and thus mommybrains now. :)


Weekend recap: Inside and Out

Happy Monday! Just a quick little summary from the weekend.

I heart wii fit.

I'm at day 7 with my wii fit. I've only worked out on it once, but I've done the body test 6 out of 7 days. My evil scale is so out to spite me. Daily it performs this juggling act, dancing with a few number partners. But my beloved wii fit shows me that my BMI has every so slowly moved down, it even shows me a cool graph (I love cool graphs.) It shows me that I was borderline overweight, but now I'm in the healthy zone. which actually isn't the end all be all, but it's a pretty good measurement for me. I also shows me, my lovely wii fit, that I'm down overall in weight and even lost 0.2 lbs. 0.2 lbs??? I'll take it!

I made sure to mark my spot on the floor where I place the Wii Board since it's in our basement and probably not on the best level ground. So the measurements are accurate in a consistency level. I don't even care the Wii Board called me out on not weighing in on Friday. Looks like you missed yesterday's workout... let's get started! Damn you Wii Board, I think you've got a little attitude problem! It's okay because his bosslady, Wii Fit, is dear to my heart... and I get to stomp on Wii Board when I workout. Sweet revenge.

Overall, I'm doing well with my lifestyle changes. My weight isn't going down, but I don't want to get obsessed about The Number. I've been working out T/TH and did a longer workout on Saturday. Hopped on the wii fit on wed. for 15 min. of game time. My body is really getting used to eating better food now. It's amazing. BigDaddy brought home some baked chips and sourcream with onion soup mix for dip. I ate some (not as much as I would have before) but I felt SO sick the rest of the night and even the next morning. We also had an actual date on Friday! But I ate less than my past would dictate and I was soooo full. My stomach has definitely shrunk and apparently won't tolerate junky stuff. Which is good, it will keep me more honest.

I also want to check out the book Volumetrics. Roni at RonisWeigh talked about it here and linked to an article here, and looks interesting and like something that would work for us. We already do a lot of these things, but I'm trying to add even more whole grains, veggies and legumes into our diet and meals. I'm going to see if our library has it.

House Stuff

I'm really needing to get back into meal plans. The weather is getting nice and we have been outside a lot more, than all of a sudden it's 5 p.m.! ACK! What's for dinner?! Plus, last week I killed the microwave. yes, it's done. We haven't replaced it yet so that's making it hard to get stuff out quickly, last minute. I also have TWO big meals to plan this week as we are a Cashew Family (Catholic and Jewish) so that means Passover Dinner AND Easter Brunch.

BigDaddy has been gone a lot due to spring ball season, but thankfully it's over this week. [Insert me doing backflip here.] I'm a bit overwhelmed with the house.... I need to clean, purge toys and finished bringing out warm weather clothes and purging/storing winter. I did manage to get the kids room pretty organized, tossed an entire large garbage bag of unusable/non-recyclable stuff. amazing! Hid a big trash bag full of stuffed animals. I'm hoping none go missed and I can get them out of the house at a later date. The extra special ones get to stay, but the others? GONE.

My sister and her bf and also coming to visit for Easter. yeah!!! So I'm getting ready for that also.

Our little victory garden is coming along! BigDaddy called the school stables and asked if we could get some horse manure. He went to pick it up and got two FORKLIFT loads- and got some bonus hay, straw and mulchy stuff in the mix. So we aren't going to do the lasagna beds because our horse manure was perfect! Now we just need to cut the mix with some topsoil. Viola!

Friday we came home from our homeschool co-op and BigDaddy was already halfway done. BigBoy scarfed down some lunch and then went out to water down the poop nuggets. yes, water down the poop nuggets until they break up and mix in. I can't make this crap up!

I also found some great websites for gardening that I will share soon!

Have a great week!!


Sigh of relief.

I got a ton of hits on my homeschool/public school post and I thank everyone for all the feedback. I really appreciate the different viewpoints.

BigBoy had his official registration day and Open House. I met the principal (and guess what? He was totally every one's pal!) They had a cool lizard in the office (BB was in love instantly.) Open Mind....Open Mind...Open Mind.

In a nutshell the school has 5 K classes, around 16 kids per class, max would be 20 (they aren't sure what enrollment will be due to the economy). Day starts at 8:30 until...oops, forgot to ask. Lunch is around 12:30, recess afterward. check. bring on the classrooms!

First was Rm. 1. I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of cool nooks, group table stations, circle time rug, dress up area, LOTS of wooden blocks and legos and a TON of artwork. okay, good. I started talking with Teacher 1 and turns out her son goes to the preschool that the Babe is going to next year. She said this school was very similar to the format of that preschool: play-based (seriously??), fluid, lots of work stations, with a daily "special": p.e., art, music, scheduled library visits (and they could also go other times if they feel the need) math & literacy is taught though a variety of ways including puzzles, games, etc. They are NOT sitting at a desk most of the day doing worksheets. She also mentioned they rely on parent volunteers and loved that I wanted to be involved. Throughout this conversation BB and The Babe had said excuse me and asked to play with some of the toys, thank yous were said and they were totally getting along. Thank God for BB's nap earlier in the day!

I explained to her I was really concerned about the curriculum and was relieved at what she was telling me. She also said this school was actually not the norm in the district. They are a firm believer in exploration in learning. At this point I became the Lame Mom at Open House. I look over at BigDaddy and he gave me The Look...see? it will all be okay! I became overwhelmed. The manners. the playing nicely with each other. hearing what I wanted to hear from who seemed to be a really cool teacher. the relief. I started to cry. yah, really. How lame am I?? I already cried to my son's might-not-be-teacher at Open House at his future school.

I'm a crier. I get upset, I cry. I get really frustrated, I cry. I'm happy, I cry. You get it. It's my pressure valve.

Now I feel like a fool, but she didn't make me feel like a dork. She has a 3 y.o. and said, I can't laugh at you because I know I'll be worse in a year 1/2- and I'm a teacher! She grabbed some tissue for me and I had to do that uncomfortable I-know-I'm-being-totally-lame-right-now-laugh. But she got it. She understood. I also said he's not allowed to be in her class now that I've cried. Did I mention I also get red when I get emotional. Yes, I've got a GREAT look going on now. So much for my semi-cool SAHM look. The make-up and earrings barely made up for the blotchiness.

Teachers 2-5 were all very nice, I didn't speak to them as much as it was getting more crowded and Teacher 1 answered most of my questions and I still looked a bit tomatoey. All of them seemed to have the same type of day. All the kids break for lunch and recess at the same time. All the rooms were pretty similar: big, bright and looked fun. Not many tables, but tons of "work areas" We also got sent home with a personality profile for our kids (input form) to help place students with teachers. I have no idea if other schools do this or not since this is my first kid and my first time registering for K.

  • Describe your child's primary strengths as a learner.
  • Describe your child's primary weaknesses/areas of need or any concerns you have.
  • Describe what you would consider to be your child's ideal kind of classroom environment (Do NOT request a teacher by name)

In trying to mix abilities in the room they also wanted to know:
  • How many letters your child can identify All Upper and lower- to few letters
  • From my perspective, my child is: well behaved and follows directions most of the time, pretty well behaved and follows directions some of the time, or I have concerns about my child's ability to follow directions and behave in a group.
  • Note any preschool and/or daycare attendance.

The bonus for the night was we met a family who lives, get this, just down the street. We have seen them a ton, but apparently they have a girl BB's age and a boy The Babe's age (but a year behind her in school due to the cut-off) and a newborn. And they live live two seconds from us kinda near TBW's house and on the way to BigDaddy's office. Score! And they seem really cool. yeah us!! She also heard that this school was particularly "great" because the principal was fantastic.

So we are moving forward with public school...for now. Part of me is sad I won't be homeschooling because I think it would be a really amazing experience. We have a great group of homeschoolers in the area and lots of things to do. But a bigger part of me is totally relieved. A huge weight is lifted and I feel really good about our decision. It's not set in stone, but this is our direction for now. I think Homeschooling will always be on the back burner for me. My plan B, my safety blanket in my back pocket. Maybe someday I will totally let go of my JIC-ness.


Busy day...

Off to a good start, got some decent sleep, finished my workout, but I have a million things to do today and I don't want to fall into the internet trap (I've got a mean game of Mario Galaxy to continue...) Little parting gift all 7 of you. Have a great day!

~ Lisa



As I mentioned, we recently got Wii Fit. We started to set it up last night but I feel a little cheated. I had no idea I was going to do the Wii Fit Age Test. Insert dark back lighting, smoke and somber music.

I plugged in my info, chose my Mii (SkinniiMommii of course) and got rolling. Height, weight, etc. Oh a balance test? okay. Oh now you are giving me a "game" at how well I can balance. Oh, Wii Board... we are going to have some words I can tell. Wii Board asks me if I TRIP a lot walking. Mentions that the Balance Test must not be my "forte." Then informs me that I will soon find out my Wii Fit Age. Poor SkinniMommii is now looking bloated in her cute yoga pants and little T and my age? 42. 42??? WTH?!? Yes I want a freaking Do Over Mr. Wii Board! I've decided the Wii Board just HAS to be a man. So I do my Do Over and got 32. TYVM.

We did a few minigames that were fun, then ran upstairs for dinner (Tilapia, Spaghetti Squash and rice- yummo BigDaddy!) After dinner my son and I went back to our love affair with Mario Bros Galaxy. I freaking looooove this game. Me. A non-video game gamer. Wii's target audience actually :) But it's super fun, uses advanced vocabulary and is more about thinking creatively than shoot up- bang bang.

BigBoy got it as a bday present. The guy at the store totally didn't know what he was talking about... shocker, huh? We asked what would be the most "old school" version of Mario Bros that our 5 y.o. son could play since he liked playing PaperBoy at our friend's house in Indy. This is NOT the game. However, he loves to sit next to me and play as a team for "him." Then it dawned on me that we could download the classic game of SMB3 from the wii channel for 5 bucks. duh! Totally basic jumping. He loves it. And now I can have Mario Bros Galaxy all to myself. Mawwhahaha!!!!


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