Thursday, February 24, 2011

Body by Baking!

I love to bake. Sadly, its no secret that a) my husband doesn’t care for baked goods (uh, what?!) and b) I’m fat. That being said, I’m attempting to channel my addiction to baking into some do-gooding!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m working hard to make a healthy change in my life by counting calories, documenting my food/drink intake, and regular quality exercise. I’ve been using the free “Lose It” app successfully for a few weeks and I’m looking forward to making it over the two-week hump of dieting this weekend. Wahoo! However, what was a girl to do when she noticed these beauts in the fruit basket this week?:


Non-bakers see these nanners and immediately think “eww”. But I get so excited when I see bananas start to get all brown and such because it means I’ve got an excuse to make delicious banana bread! My mom has used the same recipe for ages and when I got married she passed on to me one of her all-time favorite cookbooks: “Hulabaloo in the Kitchen” by the Dallas A&M University Mother's’ Club, copyright 1983. It sits in my kitchen all day long, always opened to just the right page. Its hard to see in the picture, but this page has been through the ringer. That’s always a good sign!


In an effort to keep myself motivated not to eat this delicious loaf, I decided to keep the mixer in the cabinet and do all the work the real way. By hand. Burning calories while baking sounds good to me!


Oh, how I love me a good whisk. Maybe that’s why I have about 10? There’s a whole drawer in my kitchen dedicated to my whisk collection :)


My favorite part. Pecans! I couldn’t resist, friends. I’ll be honest and let you know that I did nibble on ONE pecan half to tide me over. It was well worth it.


Nomnomnomnomnom. Ready to go in the oven!


Did I mention that all this baking was done during B’s nap time (of course!) and while I was watching this week’s episode of “Glee”? Though I was appalled at the subject of the story, teen drinking (if I were a teen, after watching that episode I’d want to raid my parents’ liquor cabinet for sure), I couldn’t stop myself from having a little glass of wine. While I’m working hard to keep myself from joining Eaters Anonymous (I kid, but only a little) I really need help taking the edge off some days. This fit perfectly with the inappropriate nature of “Glee” this week. I’ll consider it a win for us both! Hardy-har-har…


I love greasing and flouring the pans. It’s a kitchen must-do that I honestly don’t remember even learning, I’ve known it for so long. Made me giggle when I thought of Jonathan trying to make this recipe someday and having no clue about the flouring technique. Oh, how he tries :)


Since it takes an hour to bake and even more time to cool, of course B woke up from her nap and my documentation through pictures had to come to an end. I forgot to take a pic of the final product! I’d already wrapped this one up nice and tight for my friend, Pat, at work and I didn’t want to disturb it. He and I totally slayed Birthday Cake Day at the office this week (I brought a delicious Better Than Sex Cake and he contributed amazing chocolate chip pecan cookies and ginger cookies. Ahhhh!), and last time I brought Nana Bread to the office he didn’t get a slice :(. This time he’s getting his own loaf!


Now, what to do with the other loaf?! Bridget and I both knew that if it stayed at the house for her to nibble on I’d end up eating the lion’s share. Not okay! So instead, we brought it up to the gym where she delivered it to her sweet babysitters in the Kids Club. Yay! Mommy got to workout and Bridget got to keep her status as favorite kiddo at the place. Success!


I got to bake one of my faves. My house smells delicious. Buttering up friends at work is always good. The 24 Hour Fitness girls will continue to love Bridget and treat her better than all the others (I like to think that’s the case!). A win-win-win-win. This Body by Baking program is going to work just fine! Now its time to get my little hiney in the kitchen to make a yummy spinach salad, veggie chicken breasts, and mushroom wild rice for dinner. Here’s to hoping this healthy kick keeps up the momentum it has right now!!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

17 month old Valentine!


Big girl! I am so proud to be your mommy and tote around such a beautiful, personable, curious, caring, and inquisitive little tot. We certainly have had an exciting month full of weather adventures, sickness, traveling, playdates, park visits, parties, and so much more. Each month brings us so many endeavors. You and I continue to learn together everyday and I cherish every moment we share (yes, even those moments when you really try my patience!). Go Team Adamo!

Lately, here’s what you’ve been up to:

- eating better than last month…phew! Still a picky eater, but at least we can always get you to eat pita pizza, grilled cheese, oatmeal (this is how mommy sneaks in fruits and veggies! A little cinnamon and nutmeg can go a long way!), goldfish crackers, and yogurt.

- talking, talking, talking! A few of your favorite words are baby, Mommy, Daddy, bye bye, thank you, go go (car), AAAH (cat), shoes.

-communicating through signs is a favorite, too. Please, up, milk, eat, and more are your most used signs these days.

-you’re getting better and better at sharing. Thank you to all of your friends who help you learn this valuable lesson!

-you’ve decided that playing in your crib is suuuuuuuuuuuper fun! Mommy’s not a fan of this new habit, but you can always count on Daddy to give you what you want. He’s such an enabler for his little doodle bug :)


- and new toy that Mommy often finds in your hand (or mouth) is a pacifier. I’m thankful you never picked up on this habit as a wee one because I’d certainly be paying for it now if I had to take it away. I don’t mind you playing with it for fun, but let’s not make this too much of a habit!


-ooooo…Mommy is not a fan of another recent stage you’ve entered. Screaming! You think its so fun and as music teachers, Mommy and Daddy know the importance of allowing you to explore your “natural instrument” but man is it loud! I’ve been playing up the whole “that hurts Mommy’s ears” bit complete with sad faces and such…occasionally you sympathize and quiet down :)


We all know I can go on and on bragging about my little stinker, so I can stop for now. I just love this little so much! We’ll both have to wait in suspense to see what’s in store for us next month. Mommy loves you, Baby Girl!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Miserable Mommy Guilt

We all suffer from it. If you haven’t experienced it yet, its probably because your little one just isn’t old enough. Seriously, every parent meets the ominous obstacle, whatever the cause, that brews a feeling deep in your heart filling you with horrible guilt. For me, I’ve had it plenty and though I often get over it, I never get used to it.


Here we are, me and my B, in the Kids Club at 24 Hour Fitness. Yay me! I’m getting my butt in the gym and making myself a positive role model for my preciously innocent child who looks to me for constant guidance in all facets of life…wellness included. However, let me tell you the story of our day up to this point.

It’s a normal Wednesday so we got up, got dressed, and headed to Miss Kathy’s where I dropped her off (she’s long since gotten through the crying stages at daycare…she freakin’ loves that place!) for the day. Mommy headed to work, got a few things done, and then sat through traffic on my way back to Kathy’s. No biggie, right?

Well today was a little different. I had already pumped myself up for the looming guilt trip by packing my gym bag the night before and ensuring it made it into my car so I’d have no excuse not to go. I just knew that if I went home after getting B, I’d go right into our normal routine and I’d never get back in the car til the next day (if that!). So instead I scooped her up and the two of us drove straight to the gym…where I proceeded to hand her right off to a babysitter again. Tear!

Thankfully this was not our first trip to the Kids Club, as I’d experimented the day before with some success. It was a Tuesday, so she’d been with me all day. Good start, right? Well, she gripped onto me with the jaws of life and cried and cried when I pried her fingers off me and handed her to the sitter. It broke my heart! I’d planned to stay for only 30 minutes just in case it was a bad scene in there, but she was happy as a calm when I returned to the Club and didn’t even notice when I entered the room. Let me also mention that this particular Kids Club is AWESOME.

Back to Wednesday. Oh my heart hurt so much when I brought her into the Club just knowing she wasn’t going to understand why Mommy was leaving her again (and Tuesday’s dropping off ordeal was still fresh in my mind). Well, I’ve told you of Bridget’s greatness many times over and today was another shining example of why my angel is amazing. She reached right out for the sitter and didn’t shed a single tear. Praise Jesus! Did it make my guilt go away?? Absolutely not. I still teared up a bit (let’s be honest), but managed to get a 45 minute session in and got her home just in time for dinner and our normal nighttime routine. Phew!

Being a part-time working mom causes me to feel the guilt from taking her to a sitter, though we all know how I feel about quality child care. I love how it offers B the opportunity to be in a social environment with other children, while simulatenously preparing her for the preschool setting with math and reading daily lessons from her “teacher”. It’s a true blessing to have such a wonderful woman like Kathy who teaches both Bridget and me so many things about life and parenting. Love her!

Mommy guilt is hard, but it reminds me that I’m being a good parent. I’m showing Bridget that Mommy needs to take time for herself so she can be the best parent to her children that she can be. I do this by taking time to better my health as well as venturing into the world of higher education for the betterment of my family (let’s see how I feel about this when I actually start school this Fall). The day will come when Bridget can understand these sacrifices, and until then I’ll just be grateful that I've been given such a sweet, loving little noodle who’s flexibility never ceases to amaze me.

For those of you who’ve experienced similar Mommy guilt, how do you overcome it? How do you manage to find time to exercise, outside of your strolling jogs with your little ones? What are your thoughts on taking your children to outside caregiving places like the 24 Hour Kids Club or Little Gym or Adventure Kids? It’s not an easy world out there for a busy Mommy, but I take solace knowing I’m not the first parent to live such a life and that there are many more out there who work longer hours, more days and harder jobs…so I should stop complaining! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good!

Returning to my sweet baby was the best part of my trip by sure. I had a wonderful and being away from her wasn’t as bad as I’d prepared. Thank goodness! I think the time we had away was just right so as not to make my heart hurt too much, but when we got home and she was still sleeping through her nap it was hard to wait for her to wake up! Here’s how it went…(notice I took WAY more pictures in the first hour of being back with her than I did throughout our entire trip together. Figures.):

“Hey, I think I might remember you guys…”


I was so pumped to hold her again!


With her wonderful babysitters, Grammy and Pop:


Spending some time reading with Daddy:


Saying “bye” to Grammy:


This was one of her many new “babies” during her time with Grammy and Pop. She enjoyed putting the bear in her jumper (and we were thankful that we were able to distract her enough so she didn’t demand to get in herself!):


Time for a family walk down to the park…the weather was FINE!

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Penny has such a good friend to help walk her…thank goodness!

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Enjoying the “big girl” swing!


Look what I found, Mommy!


Man, don’t we all love our neighborhood park. It’s the best for a girl like Bridget :)

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I will never have enough pictures of her on the slide…I love every minute of the excitement this stupendous slanted serpent brings her!




Mommy almost forgot to give Bridget her souvenir from the trip! What was i thinking?:

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Shake-a, shake-a, shake-ah!


Life is all back in balance now that I’m reunited with my princess. And that is life is pretty darn good :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rest, Relaxation…& the Riverwalk

Ah! What a glorious few days of NOTHING. Who knew NOTHING could be so darn rejuvenating? As you may know, Jonathan and I took our annual trip to San Antonio for the Texas Music Educators Association Convention last week and we did two big firsts:

1) my first time to attend the convention as a “family/visitor” instead of an elementary music teacher

2) our first time since we’ve have Bridget to go without her (and my first overnight without her besides our 8pm-10am anniversary night)

It was just as awesome as I’d thought it would be and I didn’t feel bad about being gone for a moment. I’ll say it again…ah…..

I could give you a play-by-play and show tons of pictures, but honestly, if you just know how relaxing and wonderful it was for me to just get some quiet, stress-free, sloooooow down, extended period time for myself you’ll hit the highlight of the weekend right there.

(FYI: we last saw her when we put her down for her nap on Wednesday at  noon and returned home at the tail end of her nap on Saturday)

Also, I didn’t even take that many pictures! Who am I?! My reasoning is that I think I don’t really have the enthusiasm for pics if Bridget isn’t around. She doesn’t necessarily have to be in the pictures, but if she’s asleep or we’re out somewhere without her I rarely turn on the camera anymore. I’m okay with that :). But here are a few that I required of myself in order to write a somewhat interesting post:

Getting the final vacuum done before Grammy and Pop come to stay with Bridget. She’s such a good helper to Mommy!


I’ve been super pumped about this away time for like 6 months, so actually getting to the airport was so exciting! What a nerd! It was only San Antonio, but I totally treated it as if we were going to the Ritz Carlton Maui…which I’d be pretty pumped about, too. Anyone??


Since we ate out everywhere and haven’t lived like that in a while, I stopped taking pics at restaurants really quick. However, I had to document Jonathan’s trip to his FAVORITE vegetarian place in the world: Green. They are so nice there, everything’s home grown and all vegetarian friendly and its all delicious! Even for a meat-eater like me!


(Here’s B enjoying the Green menu this time last year…love her!)


We also ventured off the river to Mi Tierra and it was quite nummy. We even enjoyed a mariachi serenade, compliments of Cory. His request? “Feliz Navidad”…it was a hit…

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One of the best parts of this trip (nerd alert!) was when Jonathan and I were walking along the river our first night and looked up to notice a familiar yellow glow….the Einstein’s Bagels sign! Wahoo! A new one had opened on the Riverwalk, so we made sure to take a trip and got there for Friday’s breakfast.


Our egg and cheese bagel proof (and enjoying the Alamo):

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It was pretty darn cold down there, too, last week so we didn’t get to sit out on the patio and hang like we usually do each year. Here’s fun reminder of what a lovely time we had outside last year when B came with us:

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Well, I passed on getting a “Welcome” picture seeing as how I didn’t ever even go to the actual convention except for a 30 minute trip to the Exhibit Hall just so I could say I went :). Hehehehe. I was way too busy relaxing in my room, finishing applications on the computer, or walking along the river. Priorities, people! At least I captured this happy reminder of the fun that’s to come next year…


Before we left the hall we caught a quick mini-concert by some college friends of ours. They were actually a few years younger than me (that means a few more years younger than Jonathan!) and I met one of them when I was an orientation leader and he was a freshman. The two boys on the outside of this quarter are our dudes. We termed them The Canadians (its true, too) and took them under our wing when it came to crazy camping trips. Glad to see they not only carried on the Adamo way of camp for future students, they are also very successful performers. A proud Mama moment! Hehehehe..


And a quick (be it horrible) shot of us at the airport before we boarded to come home. Just delightful, friends…


My post about being reunited with my favorite gal is coming next….


But here are some more from last year just for fun. Can you believe how teeny tiny she was?! Man, what a year does. That’s when she used to smile AND look at the camera :).


This was Valentine’s Day (I love that TMEA falls right around it every year) and her first, at that. Some fun tummy time/rolling around in the Convention Center:


She was just getting to be too big for that bouncy seat. And I still had my feeding pillow back there in the back…still breastfeeding! That feels like eons ago. And doesn’t she look more like me now than she did back then?? Yes?? So many of the little girls we know all look like their daddies :)


All the crap we lugged with us (travel swing, pillow, bouncy seat, pack n’ play, suitcases, etc….ugh!). Travelling with a baby baby is a hassle, but it rarely stopped us :)


Loving the wind at the rest stop with Daddy on the way home. Look at that smile!


Her hair was such a hoot back then. She looks as excited as mommy to be at the Czech Stop for kolaches :). My little lamb…warms my heart to look back just one year ago and see how much she’s grown. Good to know we’re doing something right, eh?!